from Mystae Website



The Baphomet

Rumors and Charges

An Abominated Idol

"Public indignation was aroused by...charges of ...worshipping the devil in the form of an idol called Baphomet." Baphomet was "the Templar symbol of Gnostic rites based on phallic worship and the power of directed will. The androgynous figure with a goat's beard and cloven hooves is linked to the horned god of antiquity, the goat of Mendes."
- Peter Tompkins, The Magic of Obelisks

"Some confessed that they had also worshipped an idol in the form of a cat, witch was red, or gray, or black, or mottled. Sometimes the idol worship required kissing the cat below the tail. Sometimes the cat was greased with the fat from roasted babies. The Templars were forced to eat food that contained the ashes of dead Templars, a form of witchcraft that passed on the courage of the fallen knights."
- John J. Robinson, Dungeon, Fire and Sword (1991)

In the list of charges drawn up by the Inquisition against the Templars on 12 August 1308, there appears the following:

"Item, that in each province the order had idols, namely heads, of which some had three races and some one, and others had a human skull.
Item, that they adored these idols or that idol, and especially in their great chapters and assemblies.
Item, that they venerated (them).
Item, that (they venerated them) as God.
Item, that (they venerated them) as their Savior....
Item, that they said that the head could save them.
Item, that [it could] make riches.
Item, that it made the trees flower.
Item, that [it made] the land germinate.
Item, that they surrounded or touched each head of the aforesaid idols with small cords, which they wore around themselves next to the shirt or the flesh.
Item, that in his reception, the aforesaid small cords or some lengths of them were given to each of the brethren.
Item, that they did this in veneration of an idol.
Item, that they (the receptors) enjoined them (the postulants) on oath not to reveal the aforesaid to anyone."
- The Articles of the Accusations

An Eastern Origin?

"...They bestowed worship in their chapter on a heathen idol, variously described as to its physical characteristics, but known as a 'Baphomet', which etymologically was the same word [in Old French] as 'Mohammed'. [Once or twice the form Mahomet is actually used by witnesses in the trial.] Like so many persecuted heretical groups of the past, they were said to hold their chapters only secretly and at night."

"It was impossible for the Templars to have 'picked up in the East' the practice of worshipping an idol bearing the name of the Prophet Mohammed, since no such idol existed anywhere in the Levant, even among breakaway sects such as the Ismailis or the Druse. The idea that Muslims were idolaters was itself a part of another system of 'smears', the pejorative representation of the oriental world by western Christians."
- Peter Partner, The Murdered Magicians

"Probably relying upon contemporary Eastern sources, Western scholars have recently supposed that 'Bafomet' has no connection with Mohammed, but could well be a corruption of the Arabic abufihamet (pronounced in the Moorish Spanish something like bufihimat). The word means 'father of understanding.' In Arabic, 'father' is taken to mean 'source, chief seat of,' and so on. In Sufi terminology, ras el-fahmat (head of knowledge) means the mentation of man after undergoing refinement - the transmuted consciousness."
- Idries Shah, The Sufis

Sufi martyr Husayn ibn Mansur al-Hallaj died in 922CE. He was "a pantheist, an alleged miracle worker, and a most definitely unorthodox Muslim, Hallaj was imprisoned and tried for blasphemy for his public descriptions of his mystical union with God. Finally convicted after a nine year inquiry, Hallaj was maimed, crucified, beheaded, and his torso was cremated. Some of the stories surrounding his death include an account of the Caliph's Queen Mother having Hallaj's head preserved as a relic (Singh, 1970). Various Sufi sects have rituals commemorating Hallaj's death, and Shah claimed that Hallaj was the model for the 'Hiram Abiff' character in the Master Mason initiation ritual."

Hallaj "according to the medieval Islamic poet and historian Farid al-Din Attar, turns out to have been known by several titles beginning with abu-....Could the charge that the Templars 'worshipped a head called Baphomet' not have had some factual basis, namely the commemoration of a decapitated Sufi martyr whose head became a relic and who had been given the sobriquet abufihamet? The only problem here is that despite all the other abu- titles belonging to Hallaj, there is no known documentation linking him to abufihamet."
- Frater Baraka, IV, "Baphomet: A 'Mystery' Solved At Last?"

A Gnostic Origin?

"Another theory suggests that Baphomet is a compound of the words 'baphe' (baptism) and 'metis' (wisdom) ...Both theories imply the Templars were worshipping, or at least privy to, a secret knowledge. Several commentators believed this points to the Templars having been gnostics ('gnosis' meaning knowing)."
- Encounters magazine, issue 11: 45

A Bearded Head

The Brothers Testimony
The idol was described by Philip the Fair as:

"...a man's head with a large beard, which head they kiss and worship at all their provincial chapters, but this not all the brothers know, save only the Grand Master and the old ones."
- Philip's instructions to his seneschals

During The Trial of the Templars in 1307 Brother Jean Taillefer of Genay gave evidence.



"was received into the order at Mormant, one of the three perceptories under the jurisdiction of the Grand Priory of Champagne at Voulaine. He said at his initiation 'an idol representing a human face' was placed on the altar before him. Hughes de Bure, another Burgundian from a daughter house of Voulaine, described how the 'head' was taken out of a cupboard, or aumbry, in the chapel, and that it seemed to him to be of gold or silver, and to represent the head of a man with a long beard. Brother Pierre d'Arbley suspected that the 'idol' had two faces, and his kinsman Guillaume d'Arbley made the point that the 'idol' itself, as distinct from copies, was exhibited at general chapters, implying that it was only shown to senior members of the order on special occasions."


"The treasurer of the Paris temple, Jean de Turn, spoke of a painted head in the form of a picture, which he had adored at one of these chapters."

"Nearly all the brethren agreed that the head was bearded and had long hair, and the Templars, like the majority of their contemporaries, regarded long hair as effeminate, so the length of the 'idol's hair was remarkable for this, if for no other reason."
- Noel Currer-Briggs, The Shroud and the Grail - A Modern Quest for the True Grail

According to the most consistent accounts, the idol was:

"...about the natural size of a man's head, with a very fierce-looking face and beard."
- Deposition of Jean Tallefer

"He went on to say that he could not describe it more particularly, except that he thought it was of a reddish color."
- Ian Wilson, The Shroud of Turin - The Burial Cloth of Jesus Christ?

The mysterious object at one of the Templars' Paris ceremonies was,

"brought in by the priest in a procession of the brethren with lights; it was laid on the altar; it was a human head without any silver or gold, very pale and discolored, with a grizzled beard like a Templars."
- Stephen of Troyes


"Other descriptions, clearly referring to copies, included mention of gold and silver cases, wooden panels, and the like. But the Paris head is different. One gets the distinct impression that this was the holy of holies, accorded ceremonial strikingly reminiscent of that used by the Byzantines."
- Ian Wilson, The Shroud of Turin - The Burial Cloth of Jesus Christ?

The Templar Cord

"In the Inquisition evidence there are several references to members of the order receiving on initiation a little cord that had been in contact with the 'head'."
- Ian Wilson, The Shroud of Turin - The Burial Cloth of Jesus Christ?

Upon being initiated into the Order of the Peacock Angel (Yezidis), "a holy thread, of intertwined black and red wool, is put around the neck. Like the sacred thread of the Parsis and other ancient Middle Eastern cults, this must never be removed; and it sounds like the cord that the Templars were accused of wearing when the Order was suppressed as heretic."
- Arkon Daraul, Secret Societies


Theories About the Head

Alchemists' symbol
Caput Mortuum
(the dead head)


John the Baptist?
It is possible that the head idol was intended to represent the severed head of John the Baptist, based on allegations that he was revered by the Order.


The Templars took part in the sack of Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade in 1203-4. Robert de Clari described the opulence and numerous relics at the sacred chapel of the Boucoleon Palace, amongst them supposedly the head of John the Baptist.

An egregore is a magical entity that is artificially created by the focused thoughts and desires of a medium (analogous in many ways to Tibetan tulpas.)


Supposedly a medium or statue could then serve as a tenant for the egregore, nourished by the sexual life-powers of the members.

"The Egregora does [sic] exist in the so-called 'astral plane' and it is a demon, that is to say, an illusory entity. It is not a true Microcosm, but a gestalt of vitalized shells, a focus for everything that is negative, defeatist, maudlin, bigoted, introverted in human nature - a morass completely hostile to progress and to the spiritual evolution of mankind."
- Marcel Ramos Motta (from P. R. Koenig below)

"The representation of the egregore as bust recalls the ancient literary tradition of animated statues or Salome, who wanted the head of John the Baptist, probably to master his visionary powers.....The classic prototype of such an egregore is Baphomet, the alleged egregore of the Templars, who was (as the Roman Emperor of the Gods) likewise worshipped in the form of a bust. In the secret statutes of the Templars, Baphomet was besought with the introduction to the Qu'ran and dismissed with the 24th chapter of the Book of Sirach."
- P. R. Koenig, "Too Hot to Handle"

A Likeness of the Lord?
Another possibility as to the identity of the Baphomet may lie with Nicodemus, who in the Gospel of John who brought spices for Christ's burial. He is also mentioned in the apocryphal Evangelium Nicodemi (4th C.) as a ruler of the Jews who testified in Christ's favor.


The Interpolation in the First Continuation of Chrétien's Perceval (12??) tells of the flight of Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea to England and includes the following intriguing passage:

"Nicodemus had carved and fashioned a head in the likeness of the Lord on the day that he had seen Him on the cross. But of this I am sure, that the Lord God set His hand to the shaping of it, as they say; for no man ever saw one like it nor could it be made by human hands. Most of you who have been at Lucca know it and have seen it."
- Interpolation in the First Continuation of Chrétien's Perceval

The Skull of Hugues de Payen?

"Another possibility for the origin of the Head relates to the imagery on the first Grand Master's shield, which consisted of three black heads on a gold field. After about two hundred years, it is plausible that this head imagery could have worked itself into the legend of the Baphomet. According to more than one account, the Head was the actual skull of Hugues de Payen, which was preserved as an object of veneration."
- Forrest Jackson, "The Baphomet in History and Symbolism"

The Mandylion/Shroud of Turin?

"Surely this evidence [given by Templars at their trial] suggests that copies of the head, perhaps some of them not unlike the Sainte Face de Laon, others of carved stone or alabaster, such as those of the Nottingham School of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, were widely distributed throughout the order's houses. This would at least explain why nothing resembling a pagan idol was found after the brethren had been arrested, and why none of the pictures found in their chapels raised so much as an eyebrow."
- Noel Currer-Briggs, The Shroud and the Grail - A Modern Quest for the True Grail

The idol was also described as:

"...An old piece of skin, as though all embalmed and like polished cloth."
- Chronicles of St. Denis

Ian Wilson also hypothesizes that the Templar idols were representations of Christ's face copied from the Mandylion/Shroud.


A possible surviving example, on a painted panel found at Templecombe (image below), England, shows,

"a bearded male head, with a reddish beard, life-size, disembodied, and, above all, lacking in any identification mark.... It conforms too, to some of the most rational Templar descriptions: 'a painting on a plaque', 'a bearded male head', 'life-size', 'with a grizzled beard like a Templars'. (The Templars cultivated their beards in the style of Christ)."
- Ian Wilson, The Shroud of Turin - The Burial Cloth of Jesus Christ?

A Daemon Guardian?

"...The descriptions given of it [the Baphomet] varied wildly. The physical characteristics assigned to the 'Baphomet' seemed to come either from the maufé or demon of northern folklore, or from church reliquaries. It was often said to represent a cat, a beast traditionally associated with witchcraft and heresy."
- Peter Partner, The Murdered Magicians

"INQUISITOR: Now tell us about the head.
BROTHER RAOUL: Well, the head. I've seen it at seven chapters held by Brother Hugh de Peraud and others.
INQUISITOR: What did one do to worship it?
BROTHER RAOUL: Well, it was like this. It was presented, and everyone threw himself on the ground, pushed back his cowl, and worshipped it.
INQUISITOR: What was its face like?
BROTHER RAOUL: Terrible. It seemed to me that it was the face of a demon, of a maufé [evil spirit]. Every time I saw it I was filled with such terror I could scarcely look at it, trembling in all my members."
- from M. Michelet, Procés des Templiers

Based upon the idol's description as a "demon" having "very fierce-looking face and beard", the idol very likely could have been Asmodeus, the "daemon guardian" who helped Solomon build his Temple.


A statue of the demon guards the door of the parish church at Rennes-le-Château.

"The Templars' stronghold in Jerusalem, the site of their foundation, was finally overrun by the Moslems in 1244. Thirty-three years later the victorious sultan, Baibars, inspected their castle and is recorded to have discovered inside the tower 'a great idol, in whose protection the castle had been placed: according to the Frank who had given it its name [this is an unreadable word, made in diacritic letters]. He ordered this to be destroyed and a mihrab [Moslem prayer niche] constructed in its place."
- Ian Wilson, The Shroud of Turin - The Burial Cloth of Jesus Christ?


A Feminine Origin?


"...We found indisputable evidence for the charge of secret ceremonies involving a head of some kind. Indeed the existence of such a head proved to be one of the dominant themes running through the Inquisition records.... Among the confiscated goods of the Paris preceptory a reliquary in the shape of a woman's head was found. It was hinged on top, and contained what appeared to have been relics of a peculiar kind."
- Baigent, Leigh & Lincoln, The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail

The reliquary was:

"A great head of gilded silver, most beautiful, and constituting the image of a woman. Inside were two head bones, wrapped in a cloth of white linen, with another red cloth around it. A label was attached, on which was written the legend CAPUT LVIIIm. The bones inside were those of a rather small woman."
- Oursel, Le Procés des Templiers

"Caput LVIIIm - 'Head 58m' - remains a baffling enigma. But it is worth noting that the 'm' may not be an 'm' at all, but the astrological symbol for Virgo."
- Baigent, Leigh & Lincoln, The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail

"The number 58 is less puzzling if one remembers that five (5) is the number of the pentagram and eight (8) is indicative of Isis. We may now complete the simple equation which exposes her secret number:

5 X 8 = 40 = 58 - 18 ISIS

"The numbers 5 and 8 are also exhibited in the beliefs of the 'Brothers of the Rose Cross', where the rose is constructed with a centre of five petals, surrounded by eight petals."
- David Wood, GENISIS (1986)

"That it had a feminine origin is shown by Gerald Massey who writes 'METE was the BAPHOMET or mother of breath'. According to Von Hammer, the formula of faith inscribed on a chalice belonging to the Templars is as follows: Let METE be exalted who causes all things to bud and blossom, it is our root; it is one and seven; it is octinimous, the eight-fold name."
- Kenneth Grant, Nightside of Eden
Skull & Crossbones

Cults of the Severed Head

"Herodotus (4:26) speaks of the practice in the obscure Issedones of gilding a head and sacrificing to it. Cleomenes of Sparta is said to have preserved the head of Archonides in honey and consulted it before undertaking an important task. Several vases of the fourth century BC in Etruria depict scenes of persons interrogating oracular heads. And the severed head of the rustic Carians which continues to 'speak' is mentioned derisively by Aristotle."
- Julian Jaynes, The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind

A similar tradition could be found in the Celtic cult of the severed head which figured predominantly in Peredur, a Welsh romance about the Holy Grail.

"A great lady of Maraclea was loved by a Templar, a Lord of Sidon; but she died in her youth, and on the night of her burial, this wicked lover crept to the grave, dug up her body and violated it. Then a voice from the void bade him return in nine months time for he would find a son. He obeyed the injunction and at the appointed time he opened the grave again and found a head on the leg bones of the skeleton (skull and crossbones). The same voice bade him 'guard it well, for it would be the giver of all good things', and so he carried it away with him."
- Ward, Freemasonry and the Ancient Gods

"One chronicler cites the name of the woman in the story - Yse, which would seem quite clearly to derive from Isis."
- Baigent, Leigh & Lincoln, The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail

"At one time there was only God. He was all omnipotent and existed alone. This caused him to become discontented, thus he split himself in two in order to create a mate. He kept the elements of Order and Logic for his own being and gave his mate the elements of Chaos and Emotion for her being. Her name is Yse (pron. Issa).


She became so overwhelmed with love at her creation that when he kissed her, she gave him a reaction which was to become known as the 'Chosen Response'. The Chosen Response was the first acknowledgement and reaction of love between a male and female in the universe, and this became the greatest secret of and mystery of mankind, being 'The Holy Grail'."
- Synopsis from the Merovingian Bible, "Angels Among Us! The Gnostic (Johannine) Christian Path"

Use of the Atbash Cipher

Dr. Hugh Schonfield in The Essene Odyssey "had discovered a system of cryptography - he called it the 'Atbash Cipher' - which had been used to conceal certain names in Essene/Zadokite/Nazarene texts. This system of coding figured, for example, in a number of the scrolls found at Qumran."
- Baigent, Leigh & Lincoln, The Messianic Legacy

Schonfield "showed that by applying the Hebrew Atbash code to the name Baphomet, the name Sophia [ShVPIA], female wisdom, is revealed. Sophia is equated with Isis by Plutarch."
- David Wood, Genisis

Isis's magic was allied to the wisdom of the Egyptian god Thoth. His wife or consort, Nehemaut, was known to the Gnostics as Sophia.

"By this analysis, therefore, when the Templars worshipped Baphomet what they were really doing was worshipping the principle of Wisdom."
- Graham Hancock, The Sign and the Seal

"From the Templars' use of the Atbash Cipher, it is probable that some form of Nazarean or neo-Nazarean sect had continued to survive in the Middle East as late as the twelfth century, and had made its teachings available to the West."
- Baigent, Leigh & Lincoln, The Messianic Legacy

The Black Virgin

"Plutarch compares Isis to knowledge, and Typhon to ignorance, obscuring the light of the sacred doctrine whose blaze lights the soul of the Initiate. No gift of the gods, he holds, is so precious as the knowledge of the Truth, and that of the Nature of the gods, so far as our limited capacities allow us to rise toward them."
- General Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma

"The great Egyptian goddess Isis, often depicted as a black woman, is inextricably linked with alchemy and is closely associated with the Black Madonnas of Europe."
- Lynn Picknett & Clive Prince, Turin Shroud - In Whose Image? The Shocking Truth Unveiled

"The ankh [the looped cross of Egypt] which Isis carries as supreme initiatrix may account for some of the oddly-shaped scepters carried by the Black Virgins who, like Isis, often favor the color green. Their greeness and blackness points to the beginning of the opus whose secret, according to alchemists, is to be found in 'the sex of Isis'."
-Ean Begg, The Cult of the Black Virgin

"The Black Virgin... is Isis and her name is Notre Dame de Lumiére."
- Pierre Plantard de St Clair (former Grand Master of the Priory of Sion)

"The Templars, imprisoned and awaiting death in the Castle of Chinon... composed a prayer to Our Lady acknowledging Bernard to be the founder of her religion. In addition to the numerous hymns and sermons he addressed to her, he wrote about 280 sermons on the theme of the Song of Songs, the epithalamion of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, whose versicle 'I am black, but I am beautiful, O ye daughters of Jerusalem' is the recurring refrain of the Black Virgin cult."
-Ean Begg, The Cult of the Black Virgin

"I am black, but beautiful, daughters of Jerusalem. Like the black tents of Cedar, like the pavilions of Solomon."
- Song of Songs 1:5-6

Most of the several hundred statues in France known as Black Madonnas were accidentally darkened by smoke and fumes from votive candles. Others were originally constructed of a dark wood like ebony (and later pear) or deliberately darkened through periodic treatment with oil or wine. Syrian, Coptic, or Ethiopian images transported to France during the Crusades may have served as prototypes for the Black Madonnas.

Black represented the color of earth - the source of fertility and life, or divine flesh, or sorrow. Many effigies of goddesses were black including Isis, Diana and Cybele. From early on in Christianity, the Bride of the Song symbolized the Church and the Virgin Mary.

Churches of the Black Virgin often bore the name of Mary Magdalene. In 1247, Emperor Baldwin II (who helped establish the Templars in Jerusalem) exchanged pieces of the Shroud of Turin with the Abbey of Vézelay for the purported body of Mary Magdalene. A secret tradition states that the Magdalene was Jesus' wife and bore Jesus' offspring to Southern France.


There she was revered as a medium of occult revelation.





The Hidden Legacy of the Templars

Deep into Africa

Prester John

"In the year 1145, the German bishop Otto of Freising reported in his Chronicon a most astonishing epistle. The Pope, he reported, had received a letter from a Christian ruler of India, whose existence had been totally unknown until then. And that king had affirmed in his letter that the River of Paradise was indeed located in his realm.

"Bishop Otto named as the intermediary, through whom the Pope had received the epistle, Bishop Hugh of Gebal, a town on the Mediterranean cost of Syria. The ruler, it was reported, was named John the Elder or, being a priest, Prester John. He was reputedly a lineal descendant of the Magi who had visited Christ the child. He defeated the Muslim kings of Persia, and formed a thriving Christian kingdom in the lands of the Ends of Earth."
- Graham Hancock, The Sign and the Seal

"Prester John is a corruption of Presbyter John - the Apostle John - even in the Gospel, it says that a rumor had arisen that John would never die, but that this was not true. Combine that with the several emperor Johns of Byzantium, at a time with Europe was threatened by Muslim invasion, and it becomes conflated into a rumor of hope of assistance."
- Steve.Schaper (

"...No sooner had Bishop Otto reported the existence of Prester John and of the River of Paradise in his realm, then the Pope issued a formal call for the resumption of the Crusades. Two years later, in 1147, Emperor Conrad of Germany, accompanied by other rulers and many nobles, launched the Second Crusade.

"As the fortunes of the Crusaders rose and fell, Europe was swept anew by word from Prester John and his promises of aid. According to chroniclers of those days, Prester John sent in 1165 a letter to the Byzantine emperor, to the Holy Roman emperor, and to lesser kings, in which he declared his definite intention to come to the Holy Land with his armies. Again his realm was described in glowing terms, as befits the place where the River of Paradise - indeed, the Gates of Paradise - were situated."
- Graham Hancock, The Sign and the Seal

"If indeed you wish to know wherein consist our great power, then believe without doubting that I, Prester John...exceed in riches, virtue, and power all creatures who dwell under heaven. Seventy-two kings pay tribute to me. I am a devout Christian and everywhere protect the Christians of our empire...We have made a vow to visit the sepulcher of our Lord with a very great wage war against and chastise the enemies of the cross of Christ...

"Our magnificence dominates the Three Indias, and extends to Farther India, where the body of St. Thomas the Apostle rests. It reaches through the desert toward the place of the rising sun, and continues through the valley of deserted Babylon close by the Tower of Babel..."
- Prester John in a letter addressed to Manuel Commentus, Emperor of Byznatium (1165)

"Where was Prester John? His reference to the Apostle Thomas' tomb pointed to India, but so muddled were medieval notions of geography that India was thought to be somewhere near the Nile; thus when, in 1177, the Pope wrote to PresterJohn, his letter was presumably carried into 'Middle India', or Ethiopia."
- Mysteries of the Past

"Harbay, reigning Zagwe monarch of Ethiopia before his brother Lalibela deposed him, is deduced to have been the mythical Prester John. "Derived from Jano, a reddish-purple toga worn only by royalty, the word [Jan] meant 'king' or 'Majesty'..."
- Graham Hancock, The Sign and the Seal

Prester John's letter also contained a warning against the Templars, who were believed to have been allied with his brother against him.

"There are Frenchmen among you, of your lineage and from our retinue, who hold with the Saracens. You confide in them and trust in them that they should and will help you, but they are false and treacherous...may you be brave and of great courage and, pray, do not forget to put to death those treacherous Templars."
- Prester John in the letter written to varous Christian kings (1165)

The Churches of Lalibela
In Parzival,

"a member of the Grail Company...spoke, amongst other things, of riding 'deep into Africa...past the Rohas'. ...Rohas was the old name for a town in the remotest highlands of Ethiopia - a town now called Lalibela in honor of the great king who was born there and who made it his capital when he returned to it in triumph in the year of our Lord 1185... Lalibela had spent the previous quarter of a century in Jerusalem rubbing shoulder with the knights of a military-religious order whose headquarters stood on the site of the Temple of Solomon - knights who would have had a special interest in any contender to the throne of a country which claimed to possess the lost Ark that the Temple had originally been built to house."
- Graham Hancock, The Sign and the Seal

"Writing was seen on the Gral to the effect that any Templar whom God should bestow on a distant people...must forbid them to ask his name or lineage, but must help them gain their rights. When such a question is put to him the people there cannot keep him any longer."
"If a land should lose its lord, and its people see the hand of God in it and ask for a new lord from the Gral Company, their prayer is granted... God sends the men out in secret."
- Wolfram von Eschenbach, Parzival

Ethiopia's diplomatic relationship with Christian Europe were to continue into the following century.

"It is known that this emperor [Wedem Ara'ad of Ethiopia] in the...year of our salvation 1306 sent thirty envoys [who]...presented themselves reverentially before Pope Clement V at Avignon."
- Giovanni da Carignano (a Genoese cartographer active during the years 1291-1329)

"By a considerable margin, the eleven rock-hewn churches of Lalibela were the most architecturally advanced building that Ethiopia had ever known (indeed, in the considered opinion of UNESCO, they deserved to be ranked amongst the wonders of the world.).... Towering edifices, the churches remain places of living worship eight hundred years after they were built. It is important to stress, however that they were not built at all in the conventional sense, but instead were excavated and hewn directly out of the solid red volcanic tuff on which they stand. In consequence, they seem superhuman - not only in scale, but also in workmanship and in conception."

"...Considerable efforts have been made to cloak their real natures: some lie almost completely concealed within deep trenches, whole others hide in the open mouths of huge quarried caves. Connecting them all is a complex and bewildering labyrinth of tunnels and narrow passageways with offset crypts, grottoes and galleries - a cool, lichen-enshrouded, subterranean world, shaded and damp, silent but for the faint echoes of distant footfalls and priests and deacons go about their timeless business."

On the arch "of the ceiling of the rock-hewn church of Saint Mary's...can be seen a stylized croix pattée contained within a Star of David - a most unusual symbol in a Christian place of worship, but one to which it is known that the Knights Templar were particularly attached. Behind the arch...[is]a cloth-wrapped column said by the priests to have been engraved by King Lalibela himself with the secrets of how the rock-hewn churches were made."


Another croix pattée is carved on a boulder on the outskirts of Axum, and several more can be found "in the ruins of King Kaleb's palace - a structure that could well have been still standing and inhabited in the thirteenth century."
- Graham Hancock, The Sign and the Seal


Portugal: The Knights of Christ

"In Portugal, the Templars were cleared by an inquiry and simply modified their name, becoming the Knights of Christ. They survived under this title well into the sixteenth century, their maritime explorations leaving an indelible mark on history.


(Vasco da Gama was a Knight of Christ; Prince Henry the Navigator was a grand Master of the Order. Ships of the Knights of Christ sailed under the Templars' familiar red patte cross. And it was under the same cross that Columbus's three caravels crossed the Atlantic to the New World. Columbus himself was married to the daughter of a former Grand Master of the Order, and had access to his father-in-law's charts and diaries.)
- Baigent & Leigh, The Temple and the Lodge

"...The first and most active figure on whom any solid information is available was Prince Henry the navigator, Grand master of the Order of Christ and a man described by his biographer [Zurara] as possessing 'strength of hear and keenness of mind to a very excellent degree...[who] was, beyond comparison, ambitious of achieving great and lofty deeds."

"Born in 1394, and actively involved in seafaring by 1415, Henry's greatest ambition - as he himself declared - was that he would 'have knowledge of the land of Prester John'. Chroniclers who were his contemporaries, as well as modern historians, are in full agreement that he devoted the greater part of his illustrious career to the pursuit of precisely this goal."

"It is notable that he immersed himself in the study of mathematics and cosmography, 'the course of the heavens and astrology', and that he was constantly surrounded by Jewish doctors and astronomers - men in every was reminiscent of Wolfram's character Flegetanis who 'saw hidden secrets in the constellations [and] declared there was a thing called the Gral whose name he read in the stars without more ado' [Parzival ]."
- Graham Hancock, The Sign and the Seal

In Portugal, Dom Enrique, mestrat of the Knights of Christ became know as Enrique the Navigator and "exploited every modern method. At Sagres his staff included geographers, shipwrights, linguists, Jewish cartographers and Moorish pilots. The team studied map making and how to improve navigational instruments, the astrolabe and compass.


Islam had conquered the Spains; Christianity would conquer Africa, then Asia. By 1425 his brethren had colonized Madeira and the Canaries. In 1445 they settled the Azores. The systematic exploitation of the west African coast began in 1434, made possible by the new caravels, the most seaworthy ships of their day. Rigged with many small sails instead of one or two huge spreads of canvas as hitherto, these new ships were much easier to handle - a smaller crew make provisions last longer."
- Desmond Seward, The Monks of War

"Our knowledge of the Henrican voyages is inadequate, and this is largely due to the adoption of a policy of secrecy which included the suppression of facts...historical works...nautical guides, maps instructions to navigators and their reports."
- Edgar Prestage, The Portugese Pioneers

"Indeed, so great was the commitment to secrecy in Henry's time that the release of information on the results of the various exploratory voyages that were undertaken was punishable by death. Despite this, however, it is known that the prince was obsessed with the notion of making direct contact with Ethiopia - and that he sought to achieve this end by circumnavigating Africa (since the shorter route through the Mediterranean and then into the Red Sea via Egypt was blocked by hostile Muslim forces). Moreover, even before the Cape of Good Hope was rounded, the masters of Portuguese vessels venturing down the West African coast were instructed to enquire after 'Prester John' to see whether it might mot be quicker to approach his kingdom overland."

"It was not until the early years of the twentieth century that certain secret archives pertaining to the last decade of his life came to light. Among these archives a brief note was found to the effect that 'an ambassador of Prester John visited Lisbon eight years before Henry's death'. It is not known what the purpose of this mission was, or what the prince and the Ethiopian envoy discussed. Nevertheless, two years after their meeting it can hardly have been accidental that King Alfonso V of Portugal granted spiritual jurisdiction over Ethiopia to the Order of Christ."

In 1487 "King John II of Portugal, then Grand Master of the Order, had sent his trusted aide Pero de Covilhan on a perilous journey to the court of Prester John via the Mediterranean, Egypt and the Red Sea. Disguised as a merchant, Covilhan passed through Alexandria and Cairo to Suakin and there, in 1488, he took ship in a small Arab barque for the Yemeni port of Aden. He then became caught up in various adventures which delayed him considerably.


As a result it was not until 1493 that he finally succeeded in entering Abyssinia. Once there, however, he made his way immediately to the emperor's court where he was first welcomed but later paced under comfortable house arrest. One can only speculate as to why this happened, but...Covilhan's greatest skill was a spy (he had previously worked as a secret agent in Spain)..."

In 1497 Vasco da Gama, also a Knight of the Order of Christ "devoted a considerable part of the expedition [to India] to African exploration and is reported to have wept for joy when, at anchor off Mozambique he was rightly told that Prester John lived in the interior far to the north."

"...the first official Portuguese embassy to the court of Prester John landed at the port of Massawa in 1520 and made its way inland [in a grueling eight month march] to meet with Lebna Dengel, the Solomic emperor who had been on the throne since 1508.
- Graham Hancock, The Sign and the Seal

"We our great joy the tents and camps of the Emperor Prester John."
- Captain of the Portuguese expedition (October 20, 1520)

"At the center of this tent capitol, in a red pavilion guarded by warriors wearing lion skins and by live lions on leashes, the travelers beheld him, the negus, or emperor, of Ethiopia. That neither he nor any of his subjects had heard of Prester John fazed the Portuguese not at all, so elated were they to have found him at last."
- Mysteries of the Past

"One of the members of this embassy was Father Francisco Alvarez...who had been told by priests of the ancient tradition that the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela had been 'made by white men'....Carved into the roof of this great edifice [the church of Saint George], he said, was 'a double cross, that is, one within the other like the crosses of the Order of Christ."
- Graham Hancock, The Sign and the Seal


Spain: "Viva la Muerte"

"In Spain the brethren of Calatrava, Alcantara and Santiago were the spearhead of the Reconquista, consolidating the Christian advance, destroying the exotic Moslem civilization of Cordoba and Granada. On the vast and lonely meseta where no peasant dared settle for fear of Moorish raiders, the monkish frontiersmen ranched hears of cattle and sheep, a practice which reached North America by way; of the Mexican haciendas. In the later Middle Ages politicians used them to capture the whole machinery of Castilian government."

"They were the perfected instrument of five centuries of warfare with Islam, given their final shape by the Templars' example."

"Much of Spanish history cannot be understood without some knowledge of the brethren [which became the Order of Knight's of Christ and The Aragonese Order of Montesa after the dissolution. They had become the Reconquista itself and helped form their country's military tradition, that compound of unspeakable ferocity and incredible gallantry, expressed in the modern Tercio Extrajero's motto - 'Viva la Muerte'. It was this spirit and the techniques of the Reconquista which overcame Aztecs and Incas, creating the Spanish Empire, while Portuguese brethren transformed the crusading idea into a movement of colonization which ended with Europe dominating the world."
- Desmond Seward, The Monks of War

"Not long after the Templar dispersal, very accurate and inexplicable sea-charts began to appear all over Europe. These maps, called portolans (thought to be derived from 'port' to 'land'), were far superior to the Ptolemaic maps studied by academic ecclesiastics in the monasteries and fledgling universities. Most of the portolans covered the area of the Mediterranean and the European Atlantic coast. They covered the areas crucial to European sea-commerce.

"The earliest dated portolan chart is the Opicinis de Canestris map of the Mediterranean of 1335 A.D. It demonstrates that maps of inexplicable accuracy began to appear in Europe less than 25 years after King Philippe's surprise raids against the Templars and the papal elimination of the Order under Clement V."

"...Is it mere coincidence that his flagship, the famous Santa Maria, bore Templar crosses on her sails when Columbus set sail from Palos? Is it mere coincidence that his voyage was financed, not by the sale of Isabella's jewelry as so commonly thought, but by a mysterious consortium of wealthy men which included Jews and other heretics? And is it only coincidence that Columbus weighed anchor on August 3, 1492 just a few hours before the deadline for all Jews to be out of Spain?"
- Michael Bradley, Holy Grail Across the Atlantic


England - The Peasants' Rebellion

For several years before the Peasants' Revolt in England in 1381, "a group of disgruntled priests of the lower clergy had traveled the towns, preaching against the riches and corruption of the church. During the months before the uprising, secret meetings had been held throughout central England by men weaving a network of communication. After the revolt was put down, rebel leaders confessed to being agents of a great Society, said to be based in London."

"Another mystery was the concentrated and especially vicious attacks on the religious order of the Knights Hospitaller of St. John, now known as the Knights of Malta. Not only did the rebels seek out their properties for vandalism and fire, but their prior was dragged from the Tower of London to have his head struck off [along with the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Treasurer] and placed on London Bridge, to the delight of the cheering mob.....One captured rebel leader, when asked the reasons for the revolt, said, 'First, and above all...the destruction of the Hospitallers.'"

"Pope Clement V had directed that all of the extensive properties of the Templars should be given to the Hospitallers" almost seventy years before the Peasant's Revolt."

Walter the Tyler "exploded into English history with his mysterious uncontested appointment as the supreme commander of the Peasants' Rebellion on Friday, June 7, 1381, and left it as abruptly when his head was struck off eight days later on Saturday, June 15. Absolutely nothing is known of him before those eight days. That alone suggests that he was not using his real name...In Freemasonry the Tyler, who must be a Master Mason, is the sentry, the sergeant-at-arms..."

"Archbishop Courtenay, who became the leading churchman in England as successor to the archbishop whose head had been lopped off by Wat Tyler, identified the existence of the Lollard group in the spring of 1382, less than a year after the Peasants' Rebellion. He drove them out of Oxford and attempted to crush the entire movement. Lollardy, however, survived his efforts, and those of other civil and church leaders, for the next two centuries by the expedient of going underground. The Lollards conducted business in 'conventicles', or secret meetings, in a network of cells throughout the country, and they somehow gained the support of certain members of the aristocracy, especially the knightly class."
- John J. Robinson, Born in Blood

"In the early 1300s John Wycliffe, a professor of Divinity at Oxford University, realized that the major problem with the Church in England was that the Bible could only be read by the educated clergy and nobility because it was written in Latin. Although the common man was generally illiterate, Wycliffe decided that if an English translation of the Bible was available, then general literacy might be stimulated as well.

"As Wycliffe translated the Latin text, he organized a group called the Order of Poor Preachers. They began distributing the new Bible through-out England to anyone who could read. For the first time, it was possible for the common man to know what the Bible actually said. Suddenly, peasants flocked to the village greens and country parsonages to hear preachers read aloud from the new English translation.

"Opponents of Wycliffe's Order of Poor Preachers called them and their followers 'Lollards', which means 'idle babblers'. The Lollards grew so quickly, not only among the country folk, but even the artisans and noblemen that one opponent wrote: 'Every second man one meets is a Lollard'.

"The Lollards made such an impact in Britain that eventually Wycliffe's words were banned and the Pope ordered him to Rome to undergo trial. Although Wycliff died in 1384 of a stroke before he could undertake the journey, Lollardy continued to grow. By 1425, forty-one years after his death, the Roman Church was so infuriated with Wycliffe that they ordered his bones exhumed and buried together with 200 books he had written."
- William T. Still, New World Order

Scotland - The Scots Guard

"The church at Kilmartin, near Loch Awe in Argyll, contains many examples of Templar graves and tomb carvings showing Templar figures; furthermore, there are many masonic graves in the churchyard."

"...There was a strong Templar connection with this area of Scotland from the time when Hugues de Payen married Catherine de St Clair. In fact the first Templar perceptory outside the Holy Land was built on St Clair land at a site to the south of Edinburgh now known as Temple. By the beginning of the fourteenth century the Templars had many estates in Scotland and a great deal of affection and respect from the people."

The Templars reportedly provided assistance to William Wallace. "...There was a battle between the Scots and the English at Roslin in 1303 which was won with the support of Templar knights, led by a St Clair."
- Christopher Knight & Robert Lomas, The Hiram Key: Pharaohs, Freemasons and the Discovery of the Secret Scrolls of Jesus

"Scotland...was at war with England at the time [1307], and the consequent chaos left little opportunity for implementing legal niceties. Thus the Papal Bulls dissolving the Order were never proclaimed in Scotland - and in Scotland, therefore, the Order was never technically dissolved."
- Baigent, Leigh & Lincoln, The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail

"...Part of the Templar fleet made the decision to head to Argyll and the Firth of Forth, where they knew Robert the Bruce was engaged in a rebellion against England. The fact that Robert the Bruce was excommunicated combined with the long St Clair family links with Rosslyn was the greatest attraction of Scotland as a sanctuary - it was one of the few places on the planet where the Pope could not get at them. Because of the war with the English the Templars also knew that as skilled warriors, they would be received with open arms."

"The Scots' greatest triumph was the Battle of Bannockburn on 6 November 1314. The battle is recorded as going strongly against Bruce's army until an intervention by a unknown reserve force quickly turned the tide of the whole battle and ensured victory for the Scots. Stories quickly spread that these mysterious warriors had carried the Beausant (the battle flag of the Templars)."

The force was "led by the Grand Master of the Scottish Templars, Sir William St Clair."
- Christopher Knight & Robert Lomas, The Hiram Key: Pharaohs, Freemasons and the Discovery of the Secret Scrolls of Jesus

"According to legend - and there is evidence to support it - the Order maintained itself as a coherent body in Scotland for another four centuries."
- Baigent, Leigh & Lincoln, The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail

"At the bloody Battle of Verneuil in 1424, the Scottish contingents had acquitted themselves with particular bravery and self-sacrifice. Indeed, they were virtually annihilated, along with their commander, John Stewart..."

"The new French army created by Charles VII in 1445 consisted of fifteen 'compagnies d'ordonnance' of 660 men each - a total of 9000 soldiers. Of these, the Scottish Company - the 'Compagnie des Gendarmes Ecossois'...was explicitly accorded premier rank over all other military units and formations, and would, for example, pass first in all parades. The commanding officer of the Scottish Company was also granted the rank of 'premier Master of Camp of French Cavalry'."

"In 1474, the numbers were definitely fixed - seventy-seven men plus their commander in the King's Guard, and twenty-five men plus their commander in the King's Bodyguard. With striking consistency, officers and commanders of the Scots Guard were also made members of the Order of St Michael, a branch of which was later established in Scotland.

"The Scots Guard were, in effect, a neo-Templar institution, much more so than such purely chivalric orders as the Garter, the Star and the Golden Fleece."

"The nobles comprising the Guard were heirs to original Templar traditions. They were the means by which these traditions were returned to France and planted there, to bear fruit some two centuries later. At the same time, their contact with the houses of Guise and Lorraine exposed them in France to another corpus of 'esoteric' tradition. Some of this corpus had already found its way back to Scotland through Marie de Guis's marriage to James V, but some of it was also to be brought back by the families constituting the Scots Guard. The resulting amalgam was to provide the true nucleus for a later order - the Freemasons [Scottish Rite Freemasonry]."

"As late as the end of the sixteenth century, no fewer than 519 sites in Scotland were listed by the Hospitallers as 'Terrae Templariae' - part, that is, of the self-contained and separately administered Templar patrimony."
- Baigent & Leigh, The Temple and the Lodge

"c.1560. When the Knights-Templars were deprived of their patrimonial interest through the instrumentality of their Grand-Master Sir James Sandilands, they drew off in a body, with David Seton, Grand Prior of Scotland, at their head."
- A History of the Family of Seton


West to America?

"Josephus, the historian of the Jews in the first century, observed that the Essenes believed that good souls have their inhabitation beyond the ocean, in a region that is neither oppressed with storms of rain or snow nor with intense heat, but refreshed by the gentle breathing of the west wind which perpetually blows from the ocean.


This idyllic land across the sea to the west (or sometimes the north), is a belief common to many cultures, from the Jews to the Greeks to the Celts. The Mandeans, however, believe that the inhabitants of this far land are so pure that mortal eyes will not see them and that this place is marked by a star, the name of which is 'Merica'."
- Christopher Knight & Robert Lomas, The Hiram Key: Pharaohs, Freemasons and the Discovery of the Secret Scrolls of Jesus

Knight and Lomas argue that this was the true source of the name "America". Historical convention, of course, states that the continent was named after Amerigo Vespucci.


This was, Knight and Lomas say, is due to an error committed by an obscure monk in the Duchy of Loraine who had mused over a meaning for 'America' and confused it with the amateur navigator.

"Now, these parts of the earth (Europe, Africa, Asia) have been more extensively explored and a fourth part has been discovered by Amerigo Vespucci (as will be described in what follows). Insomuch as both Europe and Asia received their names from women, I see no reason why any one should justly object to calling this part Amerige (from the Greek 'ge' meaning 'land of'), i.e., the land of Amerigo, or America, after Amerigo, its discoverer, a man of great ability."
- Cosmographiae Introductio

When the monk published the information in Introduction to Cosmography it quickly became part of popular folklore.

"If you look at a map of the road network of France, which the Templars had built and policed, it is very noticeable that all the great long-distance routes meet at one point - at La Rochelle, on the Atlantic coast. The harbour of La Rochelle lies in a natural bay, is easy to defend, and it was laid out and developed by the Templars very early in their history.


Furthermore, the Order owned a huge fleet, and other seaports in the north, for links with England, and in the south, as a starting-point for voyages to the Holy Land and the Mediterranean islands. La Rochelle, however, is far too far north to serve as a viable port of embarkation for Palestine, and the same applies to voyages to England. For this purpose, it was far too far south. There were other ports from which one could cross to Britain far more quickly and simply.

"For this reason, La Rochelle must have had some very special significance. The town was not merely the seat of a simple Commanderie, but also the capital of a Templar Province. Its population grew quickly over the years. In which direction did the Temple's shipping lines lead, if it was neither to the north nor to the south? There can only be one possible explanation for the position of this seaport - the Order's ships set course from it due west, to America."

"After Napoleon conquered Rome in 1809, some files were brought back to Paris from the secret archives of the Vatican. Among these were a few documents relating to the Templar trials. In one of these records was the statement of Jean de Chalons, a member of the Order from Nemours in the diocese of Troyes."
- Johannes and Peter Fiebag, The Discovery of the Grail, translated from the German by George Sassoon

"On the evening before the raid, Thursday October 12th 1307, I myself saw three carts loaded with straw, which left the Paris Temple shortly before nightfall, also Gèrard de Villiers and Hugo de Chalons, at the head of 50 horse[men]. There were chests hidden on the carts, which contained the entire treasure of the Visitator Hugo de Pairaud. They took the road for the coast, where they were to be taken abroad in eighteen of the Order's ships."
- Jean de Chalons

"There is no record of the seizure of eighteen Templar ships from their naval base at on the French coast, or of any Templar ships anchored in the Thames or at other seaports in Britain.... Since many of the Templar ships were galleys, they were ideally suited for piracy, because becalmed ships were always easy prey for those that did not depend upon the wind."
- John J. Robinson, Born in Blood

The Zeno Narrative tells of a mysterious ocean voyage west one hundred years later by a Templar descendent, Henry Sinclair, Earl of Orkney. Indian legends and a number of clues suggest that the landfall was Nova Scotia.




Preserving the Secrets

Rosslyn Chapel

Rosslyn Chapel


"It is known that the Templars fled to Scotland, too, after the dissolution of 1312, and it is known that some found refuge among the Saint-Clairs of Rosslyn in Midlothian. There is a Templar cemetery there."
-Michael Bradley, Holy Grail Across the Atlantic

"No family in Europe beneath the rank of royalty boasts a higher antiquity, a nobler illustration, or a more romantic interest than that of St. Clair."
-Sir John Bernard Burke, Vicissitudes of Families and Other Essays

Rosslyn Chapel Choir


"...We encountered repeated references to the Sinclair family - Scottish branch of the Norman Saint-Clair/Gisors family. Their domain at Rosslyn was only a few miles from the former Scottish headquarters of the Knights Templar, and the chapel at Rosslyn - built between 1446 and 1486 - has long been associated with both Freemasonry and the Rose-Croix. In a charter believed to date from 1601, moreover, the Sinclairs are recognized as 'hereditary Grand Masters of Scottish Masonry'. This is the earliest specific Masonic document on record."
-Baigent and Leigh, The Holy Blood and The Holy Grail Choir

Rosslyn Chapel "is decorated inside with carvings of Masonic significance...and botanical significance. Arches, lintels, pillar bases and such like are mostly covered in decorative but highly detailed plant motifs, with many different species represented."
- Christopher Knight & Robert Lomas, The Hiram Key: Pharaohs, Freemasons and the Discovery of the Secret Scrolls of Jesus

Two of the motifs resemble the aloe cactus and maize cobs, plants indigenous to the New World and supposedly unknown to Europe before the sixteenth century.


"...Everywhere there were manifestations of the 'green man', the Celtic figure that represented fertility. Over a hundred 'green men' have been counted but it is believed that there are even more subtly peeping out of the vegetation."

"The symbolism is Egyptian, Celtic, Jewish, Templar and Masonic in profusion. A star-studded ceiling, vegetative growth coming form the mouths of the Celtic Green Men, entangled pyramids, images of Moses, towers of the Heavenly Jerusalem, engrailed crosses and well as squares and compasses. The only certain Christian imagery was in later Victorian alterations: the stained glass windows, the revolting baptistery and a statue of the Madonna and child."

Recalling the legend of Hiram Abif, "high up in the corner where the south and west walls meet, and level with the organ, is a head with a severe gash on the right temple and in the opposite side of the west wall is the head of the person who killed him."
- Christopher Knight & Robert Lomas, The Hiram Key: Pharaohs, Freemasons and the Discovery of the Secret Scrolls of Jesus

"...William St Clair himself masterminded the whole construction of the building from its inception to his own death in 1484, just two years before it completion; furthermore, he personally supervised every tiny detail of the work...William St Clair had brought some of Europe's finest masons to Scotland for this great project, building the village of Rosslyn to house them."

"From the outside, Rosslyn is a representation in stone of the Heavenly Jerusalem as depicted in Lambert's copy, with towers and a huge central curved, arched roof. Inside the Rosslyn shrine, the layout is a reconstruction of the ruin of Herod's Temple, decorated with Nasorean and Templar symbolism. In the north-east corner we found a section of the wall carved with the towers of the Heavenly Jerusalem complete with the Masonic compasses, styled exactly as they are shown on Lambert's scroll."

"As we looked directly upwards from the organ loft, we could see that the arched roof had a running series of keystones down its length, just like the one the Royal Arch degree describes as found in the ruins of Herod's Temple!"

- Christopher Knight & Robert Lomas, The Hiram Key: Pharaohs, Freemasons and the Discovery of the Secret Scrolls of Jesus

Apprentice Pillar

"Early this morning on resuming our labors we discovered a pair of pillars of exquisite beauty and symmetry: proceeding with our work, we discovered six other pairs of equal beauty which from their situation, appeared to be the remains of the subterranean gallery leading to the Most Holy Place."
- Royal Arch Degree

"In Rosslyn, we observed that the fourteen pillars had been arranged so that the eastern eight of them including Boaz and Jachin, were laid out in the form of a Triple Tau. The formation and the proportions were exactly as the Royal Arch degree depicts today."
- Christopher Knight & Robert Lomas, The Hiram Key: Pharaohs, Freemasons and the Discovery of the Secret Scrolls of Jesus

"The Triple Tau, signifying, among other occult things, Templum Hierosolyma, 'the Temple of Jerusalem'. It also means Clavis ad Theosaurum - 'A key to a treasure' - and Theca ubi res pretiosa deponitur - 'A place where a precious thing is concealed', or Res ipsa pretiosa - 'The precious thing itself'."
- Royal Arch Degree

"The famous Grail Seeker Trevor Ravenscroft claimed in 1962 that he had finished a twenty year quest in search of the Grail at Rosslyn chapel.....His claim was that the Grail was inside the Prentice Pillar (as it is known) in this chapel. The chapel is often visited now by Grail Seekers and many references to the Grail can be found in its stonework and windows.


Metal detectors have been used on the pillar and an object of the appropriate size is indeed buried in the middle. Lord Rosslyn adamantly refuses to have the pillar x-rayed."
- Chris Thornborrow, "An Introduction to Current Theories about The Holy Grail"

Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas believe that the small crypt of the Rosslyn shrine was the lower middle chamber where the masons received their wages.


Before the vaults were sealed off when the chapel was completed, twenty Templar knights were buried there in full armor.

"Seemed all on fire that chapel proud,
Where Roslin's chiefs uncoffined lie:
Each baron, for a sable shroud,
Sheathed in his iron panoply."
- Sir Walter Scott, "The Lay of the Last Minstrel"

"The vaults themselves may yet be far more than a simple tomb, other important artifacts may be contained therein. The one recorded action of the Lords Sinclair that apparently contradicts their well earned reputation for chivalry and loyalty may also be explained if the vaults are opened, for it is just possible that some clue as to the whereabouts of certain treasures of great historical interest may also be discovered."
- Tim Wallace-Murphy, An Illustrated Guide to Rosslyn Chapel

"The Companion's Jewel of the Royal Arch is a double triangle, sometimes called the Seal of Solomon, within a circle of gold; at the bottom is a scroll bearing the words, Nil nisi clavis deest - 'Nothing is wanting but the Key', and on the circle appears the legend, Si tatlia jungere possis sit tibi scire posse - 'If thou canst comprehend these things, thou knowest enough'."
-Royal Arch Degree

Knight and Lomas speculate that the reconstructed treasure vaults of Herod's temple are located below the main floor of the Chapel.


An Seal of Solomon (Star of David) can be constructed from the alignment of pillars between the entrance and Triple Tau formation.

"At the very center of this invisible Seal of Solomon, in the arched roof there is a large suspended boss in the form of a decorated arrowhead that points straight down to a keystone in the floor below. It is, we believe, this stone that must be raised to enter the reconstructed vaults of Herod's Temple and recover the Nasorean Scrolls."

"Rosslyn is not a free interpretation of the ruins in Jerusalem; as far as the foundation plan is concerned, it is a very carefully executed copy. The unfinished sections of the great western wall are there, the main walls and the pillar arrangements fit like a glove and the pillars of Boaz and Jachin stand precisely at the eastern end of what would be the inner Temple. The spot we identified as being at the center of the Seal of Solomon turned out to correspond exactly with the center point of the medieval world; the middle of the Holy of Holies; the spot where the Ark of the covenant was placed in the Temple at Jerusalem."
- Christopher Knight & Robert Lomas, The Hiram Key: Pharaohs, Freemasons and the Discovery of the Secret Scrolls of Jesus

Andrew Sinclair (The Sword and the Grail, Arrow Books 1994) "did some ground radar investigations of the chapel and found evidence of large metallic objects and vaults. They drilled down into a vault but were unable to get a mini-TV camera down because rubble kept filling the borehole."
- George Sassoon (private communication)


Freres Maçons

"Jacques de Molay and his predecessors signed documents over the title Magister Templi, Master of the Temple. And that temple, taking its name from the Temple of Solomon, certainly was left unfinished upon the murder of its masters, who also had been tortured to reveal their secrets by three assassins who ultimately destroyed them. Not Jubela, Jubelo, and Jubelum, but Philip the Fair of France, Pope Clement V, and the order of the Knights of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem."

"What the secret society needed was men who would affirm their belief in God, with a desire for brotherhood strong enough to accept any man's personal religious persuasion as secondary to their principal goal of survival."
- John J. Robinson, Born in Blood

The formation of the The Illuminati by Freemasons and the instigation of the French Revolution and anti-papacy movements in the eighteen century have been seen as a fulfillment of Templar revenge.

"The Templars, or Poor Fellow-Soldiery of the Holy House of the Temple, intended to be re-built, took as their models, in the Bible, the Warrior-Masons of Zorobabel, who worked, holding the sword in one hand and the trowel in the other.

"Therefore it was that the Sword and the Trowel were the insignia of the Templars, who subsequently, as will be seen, concealed themselves under the name of Brethren Masons. [This name, Freres Maçons in the French, adopted by way of secret reference to the Builders of the Second Temple, was corrupted in English into Free-Masons]."
- General Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma

"Thus the Order of Knights of the Temple was at its very origin devoted to the cause of opposition to the tiara of Rome and the crowns of Kings, and the Apostolate of Kabalistic Gnosticism was vested in its chiefs. For Saint John himself was the Father of the Gnostics, and the current translation of his polemic against the heretical of his Sect and the pagans who denied that Christ was the Word, is throughout a misrepresentation, or misunderstanding at least, of the whole Spirit of that Evangel."

"Hence Free-Masonry, vulgarly imagined to have begun with the Dionysian Architects or the German Stone-workers, adopted Saint John the Evangelist as one of its patrons, associating with him, in order not to arouse the suspicions of Rome, Saint John the Baptist [the Johannite heresy], and thus covertly, proclaiming itself the child of the Kabbalah and Essenism together."
- "Allocution of Pio Nono against the Free Masons"

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