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Knights Templar: A Classic Crime Syndicate and In-Group Model

The Knights Templar were one of the most successful Crime Syndicate operations in history. They really wrote the book. It was a dark organization, one of perverted faith, frightening methods and cunning strategies. It was well organized and well prepared, always scheming, always ready and dangerous, and-unlike anything seen before. The Knights Templar (KT) offer a classic study in secretive in-group behavior. The modern day Crime Syndicate no doubt has at least some roots with the KT and most certainly has adopted its model.

The order was founded in 1119 by nine, older, related, French aristocrats to exploit the “war and conflict business,” centering initially around the Crusades. This cadre was steeped in Gnostic and Kabbalistic thinking. But first the nine founders headed for Jerusalem, where they were apparently tipped off and had leads about a massive gold treasure hidden beneath the site of Solomon’s Temple. This was buried there from the Roman-Jewish Wars of 70 AD.

In 1128, this archaeological band headed back to Europe, suddenly quite rich. Discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls in the 1950s confirmed that indeed a treasure was hidden under the Temple site.

Flush with riches and endorsed by influential clergyman and the future St. Bernard of Clairvaux (in the same family as the founders), in 1129 the Knights engaged in one of the most successful recruiting and fundraising campaigns in history, mostly targeting made men who were already knights from noble families. They were effectively an elite special fighting force used in the Crusades. They received large swaths of land in Spain from the King of Aragon.

The Order then organized and acquired key locations and sites throughout Europe and the Holy Land to supply mafia-like racket protection to crusaders and pilgrims.

Non-combatant members of the order, who formed as much as 90% of the order’s 15,000 to 20,000 members, managed a large international quasi-banking, economic and intelligence network of nearly 1,000 commanderies and fortifications. It is estimated they had nearly 10,000 dwellings and way-stations throughout Europe. They developed a defacto coded traveler’s checks that were as good in Paris or London as in Jerusalem. This expanded trade, of which they always seemed to get a cut.

Their other scam and PR racket was to pose by the name “Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ.” With this trick, the Templars became a favored charity throughout Christendom, receiving money, land, businesses and noble-born sons from families eager to help with the fight in the Holy Land. A nobleman who was interested in participating in the Crusades might place all his assets under Templar management while he was away. Accordingly they became one of the world’s earliest large money managers, and generated very high returns for their ranks.

Additionally, the Templars looted and carted off treasure for nearly two centuries. They ran a brisk business in fake “holy relics.” Like any self-respecting Crime Syndicate foundation, they secured tax exemption through bribery or compromising. They had a passport through all Christian lands.

They in turn acquired large tracts of land, both in Europe and the Middle East. They bought and managed farms and vineyards; built massive stone cathedrals and castles; were involved in manufacturing, import and export; had their own fleet of ships; and, at one point, even owned the entire island of Cyprus.

As the Muslims regained the Holy Land, the Templars withdrew to Europe. Most headed for France; where, thanks to their privileged status, they continued to increase their power and wealth. In time, they became the “state within the state” in many European countries.

The Templars were expert financiers, using trading techniques quite unknown in the Europe of their day. They had clearly learned many of these skills from Jewish sources, but would have much more freedom to extend their financial empire. They had stashes of gold, which would have been useful to the Italian financiers of the day who they were connected with.

The finances of the English and French monarchies were controlled and run by the Templars’ respective offices in Paris and London, and both the French and English royal families owed the Templars huge amounts of money.

The kings of Europe were literally at their mercy, hoping to borrow money. Most royal households had come to depend on the order. This let them manipulate the kings and their national policies for their own purposes, including breeding wars, which enabled more looting opportunities. Wars, which for the greater number of warriors of good faith proved a source of weariness, of losses and misfortunes, became for them (the Templars) an opportunity for booty and aggrandizement.

Additionally, the Templars acquired knowledge in the arts of architecture and masonry and had gained expertise in building castles and Gothic cathedrals. With this knowledge, it was easy for the Templars to infiltrate and control the professional guilds of masons. They combined and allied with others, such as the Cistercian monks, who had skills in construction planning. When Innocent II was elected Pope with St. Bernard’s backing, he granted the Templars the right to build and run their own churches.

The Masons identified themselves with the Templars to a great extent, and what is viewed as original Masonic esotericism (secrecy) can be said to be a fairly important inheritance from the Templars.

The Templars as a Band of Homosexuals and Demon Worshipers

“Drink like a Templar.” — Medieval-era expression

The Seal of the Knights: the two cozy riders have been interpreted as a sign of poverty or the duality of monk/soldier. In truth, they were neither poor nor monks, leaving open sodomites as a more likely explanation

Over time, people began to take notice of the Knights and the trust in the unjustifiably positive image the order had managed to create throughout society began to wane. Like the modern Crime Syndicate, they needed constant war and false propaganda to subsist, and the Crusades were over.

This, in turn, led to an increase in the numbers who witnessed their perversions (like sodomy and idolatry) and began to whisper about it. Additionally, women involved with the order/cult were strangely missing, meaning the Order at the knight level never developed a bloodline or prodigy.

King Phillip IV made a move to knock the KT down to size. On Friday the 13th of October 1309, they were accused in the courts with the following charges. Note No. 6. In the initiation rites, Templar disavowed Christ and associations with women. If they couldn’t restrain their lust, relations with fellow Templars were encouraged. Thus, we have a full-fledged velvet mafia operating with Gnostic-Kabblalistic beliefs. 

The arrest warrant started with the phrase, “Dieu n’est pas content, nous avons des ennemis de la foi dans le Royaume,” which translates to “God is not pleased. We have enemies of the faith in the kingdom.”

The Charges Against the Brotherhood of the Knights Templar 

  1. During the reception ceremony, new brothers were required to deny the Virgin or the Saints on the command of those receiving them.

  2. Brothers committed various sacrilegious acts, either on a cross or on an image of Christ.

  3. The receptors practiced obscene kisses on new entrants, on the mouth, navel or buttocks.

  4. Priests of the Order did not consecrate the host, and brothers did not believe in the sacraments.

  5. Brothers practiced idol worship of a cat or a head.

  6. Brothers encouraged and permitted the practice of sodomy.

  7. The Grand Master, or other officials, absolved fellow Templars from their sins.

  8. Templars held their reception ceremonies and chapter meetings in secret and at night.

  9. Templars abused the duties of charity and hospitality and used illegal means to acquire property and increase their wealth.

According to the Templars, Jesus was a god ruling in another world, with little or no power in our present one. Satan was the lord of the here and now material world. The Templars revered an idol of Baphomet, a demon with the head of a goat.

It’s important to keep in mind that at that time, mystic and secretive beliefs played an important everyday role in people’s lives. Many were convinced that in order to gain wealth or power, one needed the help of dark powers, which could be compelled through Black Magic.

Pope Clement V after a separate investigation disbanded the order in 1312 under pressure from King Philip IV.

According to historical sources of the time, the Inquisition had captured and punished only 620 out of a total of 2,000 knights. It has since been estimated that the knights’ actual grand total was in the vicinity of 20,000, each of whom had a team of seven or eight Templars of other professions at his service. A simple calculation based on eight Templars per knight gives us a total number of 160,000 organizing and carrying out the order’s activities, including shipping and commerce. The Pope and the French King couldn’t possibly locate and confiscate all of their property.

Their fleet of 18 ships moored at La Rochelle, France simply disappeared — but to where? Some say to Scotland, others believe it sank in a storm. The central archive disappeared.

So the KT was taken down several notches, but was not out. The legends of where the Templars went are considerable. The French found little of their stashes, ledger books and treasure. They had maritime skills as well. They had hide outs all over Europe, and really only England and France openly persecuted them. They also ended up in Scotland and Portugal, as well as Venice. Some blended into other Catholic orders. And they would have become even more secretive. 

The History Channel produced a very good program on the KT – including some important nuances.

To Switzerland?

This is one of the soundest theories. The founding of the embryonic Switzerland conforms exactly to the period when the Templars were being persecuted in France. Switzerland as a mountain hideout was just to the east of France and would have been particularly easy for a fleeing contingent of Templar brothers from the whole region of France to get to. They had been crisscrossing through Swiss valleys for a century before.

In the history of the first Swiss Cantons, there are tales of white-coated knights mysteriously appearing and helping the rather backward locals to gain their independence against foreign domination. As we saw, the Templars were skilled in banking, farming and engineering (of an early type). These same aspects can be seen as inimical to the commencement and gradual evolution of the separate states that would eventually become Switzerland. The famous Templar Cross is incorporated into the flags of many of the Swiss Cantons, as are other emblems, such as keys and lambs, which were particularly important to the Knights Templar.

Templar flag
Swiss flag


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