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Forum LockedThe Templars and their demise

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gcle2003 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 11-Jun-2009 at 13:39
Anyone reading Michael Jeck's Last Templar series of novels?
Citizen of Ankh-Morpork
Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.
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Huscarl View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Huscarl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Jun-2009 at 22:31
The wealthy Knights Templar were cruelly persecuted in the early 14thC, many fled from France, some alledgedly to Scotland etc. The allegations are that King Philip IV of France wanted their money, and blackmailed the then Pope, Clement V, whom he had installed after ousting the previous one!

The Pope really had no option but to back the scheming and avaricious Philip- he was a held 'guest' of Philip (the first time that a Pope had had his base outside of Rome), and who was blackmailing the Pope with allegations of an affair with the wife of a local noble! He also threatened to break from Rome and start up a rival church (as English Henry VIII later did!)

Philip had also been borrowing from the Templars and was indebted to them, near bankruptcy(he had sought sanctuary with them only years before to avoid an angry mob, upset at his debasing the French economy) , so had several motives even before the arrest and torture of the aging Templars Wizard Jaques DeMolay in 1307 (burned to death 5yrs later), who of course confessed the Templar's 'guilt'.
This shocked the world- God's knights indulging in very secular, blasphemous and sexualised initiation rites?

The Pope ordered an enquiry in order to try to save his knights of God -after the French one, (then held by the French king as a 'guest' in France) to be held into the Templars alledged 'crimes'. No torture was involved this time, yet DeMolay still oddly maintained the same charges- not guilt, but that they did ;-
  • Spit on the Cross of Jesus
  • Kiss one another on the mouth
  • Denounce Christ
  • Perhaps even encourage some homosexual acts in order to avoid indulging in loose women
DeMolay insisted that this was to strengthen the order in case of capture by Muslims, who were more than capable of torturing and making ordinary captives recant their faith. But these super soldiers weren't ordinary.
Yet in Chinon (which gives it's name to recently found parchments that reveal the real goings on between DeMolay, Philip and Clement), where many templars were imprisoned before their deaths, some cell grafitti suggests that some Templars actually did worship Venus, the Roman goddess of love- or was this merely losing faith after torture and before death?

The Pope pardoned the Templars, yet he but bore the tremendous pressure of an avaricious & scheming French King...who held the Pope in his 'hospitality'- and played his last card- threatening to set up a puppet Pope. Clement backed down and found them 'guilty'- DeMolay now recanted his previous confessions and announced they were innocent, but it was too late.

Apparently the Pope had- shortly before their demise in the early 14thC- advised the merging of the Templars with the Hospitallers, but was only to be declined by DeMolay- a unified order might have survived this persecution?

As DeMolay burned, he predicted that both the King and Pope would die within one year of his own death, and he was right.
The Templars either were executed, fled abroad or joined the Hospitallers who, based near the Vatican, today have UN recognition status and are the world's largest charity.

One bitter irony for Philip was, his men raided the Templar treasury only to find it- and remaining Templars from their harbour - gone. Had they taken their entire treasure to Scotland, where Robert the Bruce was known to protect them?

The Templars had been betrayed by the greed of a king and the weakness of their greatest ally and protector, the Pope.

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