The Knight's Templar degree - along with the 18th degree 'Rose Croix' and the Knights of Malta degree - are (uniquely in Freemasonry) based on the New Testament and are sometimes referred to as the 'Christian degrees' (thereby confirming of course that the many preceding degrees are certainly not)
The Latin motto 'IN HOC SIGNO VINCES' means 'In this sign we will conquer'. It was the motto of Constantine the Great.
Many of the Knight's Templar gravestones now stored in various Abbeys in Scotland have the skull with the crossed leg bones below.
The principles of Templar masonry are to teach Christian life in action to 'demonstrate devotion and love for mankind by actions as well as words'. They are instructed to live in accordance with the precepts taught by Jesus. This has the deadly effect of assuaging a Christian's conscience about Freemasonry.
However there is nothing Christian about the degree, bar the Christian gloss over the surface. (Indeed a man claiming to be a templar wrote in the guest book when this was available on the web site "..You are the true devils of this earth. You pride yourself in fooling man. It is too bad you will soon have to answer to the God of truth")
The novice swears to keep the secrets of the Order and to
The Grand Password is 'Maher-shalal-hash-baz' (Isaiah 8:1) The Grand word is 'Jesus Emmanuel'. The sign is an imitation of Jesus hanging on the cross, with the arms outstretched, the feet crossed, and the head bent to one side.
Extract from 'Darkness Visible' by Walton Hanna
History of the Templars
A military priesthood in the Catholic Church, the Templars were formally organized in 1118 by Hugh de Payens, their first Grand Master, who, following the Crusades, derived the name from the Temple of Jerusalem.
The Templars were the first religious community to yoke the cross to the sword. The Templars' initial stated purpose was to guard and guide pilgrims to the Holy City of Jerusalem. Gradually, the Templars' duties expanded to defend the Holy Land against all infidels and "any force menacing Jerusalem of their religion".
The nucleus of the Templars consisted of nine men. As the Order grew, de Payens created 13 degrees within it. Why he chose to stop at 13 is not known. Perhaps it represented the t5ribes of Israel (eleven full tribes and the two half tribes of Joseph - Ephraim and Manasseh) May'be it stood for the twelve disciples and Jesus Christ. What is significant about the number 13 is that it identifies the Templar headquarters today.
Another symbol that identifies the Templars is the emblem of their order. They adopted the famous splayed red cross of the Merovingian kings of France, placing it on their mantles, swords, buildings, and gravestones. This symbol is also important in tracing their movements to their present day headquarters (discussed in the final chapter of the book)
After founding their order in Jerusalem in 1118, The Templars headquartered themselves in a fortified abbey above the ruins of Solomon's Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, hence the name Templars. Their domicile is one of great significance, for somewhere beneath it was allegedly buried the unfathomable wealth of Solomon.
As the Templars' fame increased, so did their wealth. According to standard histories, one source of their wealth was gifts from kings and princes grateful for their services. Although it is said that many of the nobility joined their ranks, we shall later learn why so few did at the beginning.
As their wealth and influence grew, the Templars developed into an efficient military organization that adopted absolute secrecy to cover all internal activities.
The Templars also made powerful enemies, among them King Phillip IV (the Fair), who ascended the throne of France in 1268, his country near bankruptcy. The Templars possessed both money and land in abundance.
The failure of the Templars to defend Jerusalem against the Moslems in 1187, their extensive banking and financial interests in both London and Paris, their rich establishments, and the rumours of heretical practices within the order gave Phillip the ammunition he needed to launch a successful campaign to destroy the order throughout Europe.
The association of the Templars with the heretical sect of the Cathars (or Albigensians as they are also known) is of special interest, as this association helped fuel the charge of heresy against them. For the Cathars were gnostics, replacing faith with knowledge. Knowledge to them was firsthand religious or mystical experience.
The Knights Templar imbibed the doctrines of gnosticism from the Cathars, but also further elaborated Cathar heresies. From their long tenure in the Holy Land, they had also been exposed to eastern mysticism. Like the Cathars, they practiced meditation - in their case Hindu Yoga - to reach an altered state of consciousness to open the "third eye". This was known as white magic. There is also evidence, (discussed in chapter 1 of the book) which fully addresses the convoluted history of the Templars and their involvement with drugs.
Suffice to say that eventually the Templars took on the Satanic symbol of the skull and crossbones, the symbol of death. In Freemasonry the skull and crossbones became the symbol of the Master Mason but was dropped after world war 2 because Hitler had used it for his SS.
But to return to Phillip IV's campaign against the Templars: On Friday October 13th, 1307, Phillip ordered the arrest of all Templars in France. Following the Inquisition of The Templars, in 1314 on Phillips' order, the Grand Master Jacques de Moloy and other dignitaries of the Templars were burned at the stake. During these years a remnant of the order fled to Scotland, allying themsleves with Scotland against England.
Michael Baigent, co-author of 'Holy Blood, Holy Grail', confirms this history: "Many English, and it would appear, French Templars found a Scottish refuge, and a sizeable contingent is said to have fought at King Robert Bruce's side at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. According to the legend - and their is evidence to support it - the order maintained itself as a coherent body in Scotland for another four centuries"
In Scotland the Knights Templar left their mark - an octagonal pattern with the splayed cross in the middle. Sometimes the mark was only the octagon. This symbol, along with the skull and crossbones, and the number 13, imprinted on dated gravestones, has assisted researchers in tracing the migration of the Templars. [see also 'recent events' section]
A descendant of Robert Bruce, the Catholic James Stuart VI, reigned in Scotland from 1567 until he ascended the British Throne as James 1 in 1603. He succeeded the unmarried Elizabeth 1 who enforced Protestantism by law, but who, because of her lack of an heir, designated James her successor on her deathbed. During James 1's reign (1603-1625) we received the King James version of the Bible, the first official translation of the Bible. Like their ancestors, the Stuarts had been initiated into the order of the Knights Templar, and James was more Templar than Catholic. James arrived in England with a contingent of Scottish Templars, and their first lodge opened at York in Northern England at the turn of the 17th century.
During James Stuart's reign the embryos of both the Scottish and York rites developed in England. At that time it was called Jacobite Freemasonry, in memory of the martyred Templar Grand Master Jaques de Molay. James and his descendants were members of the Royalist Jacobite Lodges, which practiced Templar rituals. Later these rituals became known to Masons in England and America as the York Rite, and in France and America as the Scottish Rite.
Extract from 'Scarlet and the beast', volume 1, John Daniels
Freemasonry is proud of its links to the Knight's Templar because of the Crusades. However the truth about the Templars does not match up to the popular myth.
The Knight's Templars were a violent, merciless band of wealthy men.
One slogan of the Crusades (which started 1069 and continued for 100 years) was..
St.Bernard applied the principle to the Crusades
One quote from the Crusades reads..
Extract from 'The Christians' by Bamber Gasgoine, page 113) (Fighting Knight from a Knight's Templar site)
Comments from the book The History of Witchcraft
The Templars were initially given the Pope's blessing to guard pilgrims in the Holy Land -the Templars had 9000 manors across Europe, none of which paid taxes thanks to the patronage of the Pope, - but eventually this patronage was withdrawn. Their home at the Temple in Paris was the centre of the world's money market, and Europe's crowned heads were forced to come to them for loans.
The Knight's Templars become a feared secretive group because of their political and financial arrogance and power, their alleged homosexual practices and their alleged blasphemous practices, resulting in the Order being brutally put down in one day by the French King Phillip the Fair.
The day chosen was Friday 13th, 1307 and this is where the superstition about Friday 13th came from. On that day 3,000 Knights Templar were arrested. Many made good their escape.
The leader Jacques de Moloy was tried, found guilty and burned alive at the stake.
The allegations were basically as follows
Scholars have been divided over the truth of the allegations made against the Templars.
However few doubted that those who escaped this one day purge remained within the Templar organisation, only now they existed as an underground, very secret society.
Many believe that this underground group of Knight's Templar discovered America long before Christopher Columbus (some evidence to support this theory is to be found in a Roslin Chapel in Scotland) and that today's Freemasonry emerged centuries later from the roots of this secret society.
Knights with a mixed heritage of Christian devotion and debauchery down through the centuries. Incredible bravery shown by the Knights against the forces of Islam when their fortress at Rhodes and later Malta was under siege from Muslim forces.
Has always attracted nobility from many nations. Web site here
Rick Joyner caused some controversy when he joined this order. He has produced a booklet on their bravery against Islam and it is available in the Morning Star Publications under the Hall of Faith series. ('The Extraordinary History of the Knights of St John')
Yvonne Kitchen, in her booklet 'Freemasonry. Death in the family' claims that the Orders of Knights Templar and St. John of Jerusalem, Palestine, Rhodes and Malta (this second order being usually known simply as the Knights of Malta) are controlled by the Great Priory, which operates from Mark Masons Hall, and also claims that candidates go through the following rituals and oaths..
Page 93, 'Freemasonry. Death in the family'. Yvonne Kitchen
An official statement from the Knight's of Malta states..
success of the First Crusade, the Hospitalers evolved into a military order.
Around 1113, Pope Pascal 2nd acknowledged the Hospitaliers as a religious order. They were bound by the Augustinian rules of Chastity, Poverty and Obedience. However, more was expected of the members of the Order. They were required to abide by eight obligations or aspirations. These eight obligations wore:
• give proofof humility;
• love justice;
• be merciful;
• be sincere and whole-hearted; and
• endure persecution
Noble aspiration indeed especially for individuals who came from very rich and powerful European families.
Members of the Order wore a black habit and a camel-hair cloak of the same colour. A white eight-pointed cross covered their breast. The eight-pointed cross was also on their standard against a scarlet background. Eventually, as the Knightsbecame known as the Knights of Malta, their symbol also became associated with Malta and is now known as the Maltese Cross.
The Maltese Cross is a very cherished symbol of the Maltese people and the cross has become part of the Malta’s heritage and culture. Many souvenirs are adorned by the Maltese Cross, The cross is also usedin all kinds of jewellery including earrings, necklaces, bracelets, broaches, pendants and cuff-links.