Yesterday we met and the master said: The storms of energies on the planet are intense now. Stay aligned with the light from above. Your friend is always on your side. You are following a divine plan. You have a job to do in these wired times. You are the light of your world. So surrender and feel what comes up. And don´t worry. You will always come up again. Feelings will not kill you!
The new program is almost ready. It will reveal how manifestation really works and also enlightenment. It is different than what we think. The world is changing underneath our feet. That way some bumps are happening. The allience destroys reptilian underground bases. At least that is one version of the story. The forces of light are winning. For the others, the payday is coming closer. If you have followed Lucifer until now you may ask yourself if you want to go to hell soon for a thousand years or surrender to Christ and change directions. Only he can save you now. Think twice! If you keep being stupid you will pay a high price for your pride.
Dear follower, please look up our new page of Secret Templar History!
Hughes de Payens, 1st Grand Master of the Templar Order under King Fulk
The original founding Knights and first two Grand Masters formed the Templar Order primarily as a result of their initial archaeological findings inside the historical Temple of Solomon, from which they derived the name “Templar” (“of the Temple”). In effect, the Knights Templar were directly inspired, created, and rose to power on the basis of their archaeological excavation and discoveries within the Temple of Solomon.
Many researchers of medieval history have concluded that the first Templars essentially stayed underground deep within the Temple of Solomon, mostly not resurfacing except to send for supplies, for several years. “The Templars’ apparent lack of activity in their formative years, seems to have been due to some form of covert project beneath the Temple of Solomon or nearby, an operation that could not be revealed to any but a few high-ranking Nobles.”  
Templar historians have come to the same conclusion, that the Knights Templar conducted archaeological excavation of the Temple of Solomon for a full nine years .
The resulting time frame established is highly significant. The Vatican gave patronage to the Templars with a grant of essentially “unlimited power” in 1129 AD, on the 11th year of the Order being established under King Baldwin II. Since the Templars resurfaced from excavations nine years after they were formed, this means that the Vatican gave them such power only two years later, a mere one year after they finished sufficient processing of their archaeological discoveries.
The context provided by these facts is deeply revealing of the importance of the archaeological discoveries made. Of that one year interval, it would take approximately three months for the Knights to travel from Jerusalem to the Vatican in Rome, at least three months for the Vatican to make official decisions, and at least six months to develop, prepare and implement the Roman Catholic version of the Knights Templar, which is precisely what happened.
This means that the Templars basically “ran” to the Vatican, directly and immediately, to present their discoveries as fast as possible. It also means that the Vatican responded overwhelmingly to that presentation, moving as quickly as any such international institution possibly could, to “immediately” grant the Templars unprecedented powers.
These historical facts evidence that what the Templar Knights found underground within the Temple of Solomon was so fascinating, inspiring, and voluminous in quantity of texts and artifacts, that it drove them to “obsession” (or at least devout dedication), relentlessly processing the discoveries on-site, despite difficult underground conditions, for nine whole years.
The same facts also evidence that what the Knights Templar found was so important, and had such potential to so profoundly affect the fundamental bases and authorities of the Vatican to its very core, that it caused the Vatican to “instantly” grant overwhelming power and autonomy to the Templars within less than one year, even though the Church had no previous relationship with the newly formed Order.
The belief demonstrated by the actions of the first Knights Templar, that archaeology itself is a sacred and holy mission of primary importance to the underlying founding roots of Christianity, is supported by a key fact in Vatican history:
Pope Gregory XVI, founded the Vatican Egyptian Musuem
Pope Gregory XVI founded the “Gregorian Egyptian Museum” in the Vatican in 1839 AD, featuring a large collection of ancient priestly texts, including original papyrus scrolls and reproductions of the Book of the Dead, as well as mummies and sarcophagi bearing significant religious and symbolic inscriptions. The collection focuses on ancient artifacts which trace the roots of early Coptic Christianity back to Pharaonic times.
That emphasis of the museum’s exhibits supports the reports of historians, that the Pope had founded the Vatican Egyptology museum with the intent that Catholics studying ancient Egyptian history would thereby increase their understanding of the Bible. This little known fact was confirmed by a statement of Vatican Museums Management, that Egyptology has a “fundamental role” in Biblical studies . That historical fact confirms the reality that archaeology is an integral and essential part of both Christianity in general, and Templarism in particular.
Let’s go on a Templar Grail Quest!
What links the Knights Templar to the Holy Grail?
Did they really find something under the temple in Jerusalem?
Where they really guardians of an ancient secret?
Everything you ever wanted to know about the Templars and the Holy Grail but were afraid to ask!
Below are some of the key stories associated with the Holy Grail and the Knights Templar. I won’t pass judgement on some of the tales. I’ll leave you to decide what you think is true and what is false.
So here goes!
What exactly is the Holy Grail?
There are different theories.
One is that it was the cup used by Jesus at the Last Supper where the first communion was performed. Christ invited his disciples to share in his blood, the blood of the new and everlasting sacrament. Catholics to this day believe that the wine held up by the priest during Mass becomes the literal blood of Jesus.
While the cup at the Last Supper held wine, it was later used at the crucifixion to receive blood flowing from the lance wound to Christ’s side. Although, there are depictions of the blood being collected in a shallow bowl by somebody sitting at Christ’s feet.
A central figure in this story of the Grail and the crucifixion is Joseph of Arimathea. He is described as the great uncle of Jesus and collected the blood of his grand-nephew while he hung on the cross. Joseph was apparently quite well off and paid for the tomb in which Jesus was placed.
He got permission from Pontius Pilate to do this as traitors and rebels would normally have been left exposed to rot as an example to others. It’s Joseph and a man called Nicodemus who wrap the body of Christ in a linen shroud that turns up as a holy relic several times in the centuries that follow.
Joseph was a member of the Sanhedrin, the council of Jewish elders that had condemned Jesus and handed him over to the Romans for crucifixion. For conniving behind their back, the elders put Joseph in a sealed tomb, similar to the one he had bought for the body of Jesus. But the Grail produced food and water every morning for Joseph allowing him to survive this ordeal. This story is covered in the Gospel of Nicodemus, which is not in our bible today.
Having survived his incarceration, Joseph of Arimathea travelled to England where he lived at Ynys Witrin, which is often reputed to be Glastonbury. The name Ynys Witrin meant Island of Glass in Celtic. Glastonbury is on a hill surrounded by fertile low lying farm land. That farm land was under water in the Dark Ages and so Glastonbury was effectively an island. Hence the Celtic name. The area is also referred to in some chronicles as Avalon, a sacred site where King Arthur was brought after a battle to be healed and from where his famous sword originated.
Joseph was accompanied by the Grail of course. One account has him hiding the Grail – in the form of two vials containing respectively the blood and sweat of Jesus – in a well now called the Chalice Well. Or it was taken to a place called Corbenic and guarded in an impressive castle by the Grail Kings, descended from Joseph’s daughter Anna and her husband Brons. Corbenic is mentioned in the 15th century account of King Arthur’s Grail quest, Le Morte d’Arthur by Thomas Malory.
Some stories claimed that Joseph paid a much earlier visit to England with the teenage Jesus. It’s alleged that the youthful Messiah and his great uncle visited St Just in Roseland and St Michael’s Mount on their journey. Some accounts have Joseph and Jesus becoming miners or Joseph as a merchant buying Cornish tin. More plausibly, Joseph is said to have been one of the first Christian missionaries sent to Britain, possibly by Philip.
How does King Arthur get involved?
Who was King Arthur? What was his association with the Holy Grail? These are two key questions on our Templar Grail Quest.
Arthur is perceived by many as a Briton, that is a leader of the Celtic people that inhabited England before the arrival of the Romans under Julius Caesar and afterwards when the empire collapsed in western Europe. As the Roman Empire disintegrated in the fifth century AD, kings like Arthur had to repel waves of barbarian invasions. In Arthur’s case, he was fighting the Saxons who had rowed across the North Sea looking for land and booty.
This account of Arthur’s life comes from a history of Britain by a medieval chronicler called Geoffrey of Monmouth. Arthur not only drives the Saxons back but builds an empire across northern Europe and even threatens what is left of Roman rule in Gaul (modern France). At his court at Camelot, the Knights of the Round Table ruled Britain. They dreamed of the most noble quest of all – to find the Holy Grail. The knights were convinced that somebody would emerge who could fulfil this quest, most likely a descendant of Joseph of Arimathea.
A knight did indeed come forward. Dashing Galahad, bastard son of Sir Lancelot. He arrived at King Arthur’s court at the holy feast of Pentecost and sat in a seat normally kept empty, the so-called Siege (from the French for seat) Perilous. Why Perilous? Because if you sat in it, you normally died. But Galahad didn’t. Therefore, he had to be the knight destined to discover the true location of the Grail.
Should mention at this point that the Grail appeared in a vision to the Knights of the Round Table doubling their resolve to go and find it. Galahad eventually discovered the Grail at Corbenic, still guarded by the Grail Kings. In this case, a man called King Pelles, who was descended from Bron, husband of Joseph of Arimathea’s daughter Anna. Pelles was also the maternal grandfather of Galahad, so provided a sacred link back to the life of Christ.
Pelles was injured in battle in the groin and so was impotent. Forlornly, he spent his days fishing and so is often referred to as the Fisher King. This barren status applied to both the king and his kingdom – the land was desolate.
Galahad was told by Pelles to take the Grail to the holy city of Sarras. This was located somewhere between Jerusalem and Babylon. It was asserted that the term “Saracen” referred to Sarras. On their quest, Galahad – accompanied by Sir Perceval and Sir Bors – encountered a vision of Joseph of Arimathea. Galahad was so enraptured he asked to die there and then and be transported upwards to heaven. He got his wish. And with that – the Grail vanished into thin air.
To get the full low down on the story of King Arthur, start with Geoffrey of Monmouth and then work on to the account by Chretien de Troyes and best of all, Thomas Malory’s rendition of the Arthurian legend.
So, what happened to the Holy Grail after King Arthur?
The Middle Ages saw an explosion of pilgrim activity across Europe and the Middle East. The religious would travel great distances to venerate bits of bone, splinters of wood and pieces of cloth associated with saints or biblical figures. These would normally be housed in bejewelled reliquaries proudly displayed by a church or cathedral. This was big business. And it led to some unscrupulous claims by monks and bishops.
Relics included anything that Jesus might have left behind during his life on earth. That included his foreskin and finger nails – no, I’m not kidding. The Middle Ages witnessed some incredible lateral thinking by monks eager to cash in on the craze for relics. The maternity dress of Mary, the cloth on which Jesus wiped his face on the way to his crucifixion and the arm of Mary Magdalene. A church in York claimed to have the silver tray on which the head of John the Baptist was given to Salome. Three other churches said they had the actual head of John the Baptist. Clearly they couldn’t all have been right.
The Holy Grail emerged in several places. In 2008, I saw the Antioch Chalice on display at the Royal Academy of Arts in London at an exhibition of religious art from the Byzantine empire. The chalice consisted of a plain inner cup with a very ornate outer covering. The outer portion dated to six centuries after Christ, most likely during the reign of the all-conquering Christian emperor Justinian – about a hundred years before Islam burst across the Middle East and five hundred years before the founding of the Knights Templar.
That was one candidate for the Holy Grail. Another is the cup still held by the cathedral of Valencia in Spain. It’s made of agate and the cathedral on its website reports it has been dated back to around 100-50 BC. The alabaster base is in an Islamic style, which the cathedral candidly admits. So only the cup and not the stand could date back to the life of Christ. In all, there may be up to two hundred vessels all claiming to be the Holy Grail.
But what if it never left Jerusalem?
The Templar connection
Now we can go in all kinds of directions with the Templars and the Holy Grail. Let’s start with the notion that the Holy Grail isn’t so much a vessel as the holy blood (line) of Jesus. The ‘Sang Real’ much beloved of the Da Vinci Code. But this theory predates Dan Brown. And it goes something like this:
- Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene and she bore children
- Ancient Gnostic beliefs asserted that Jesus may even have survived the crucifixion
- Mary Magdalene fled to France
- Her descendants inter-married with the Merovingian dynasty of French kings who ruled from the 5th to 8th centuries
- These descendants are the sacred blood line, or Sang Real, of Jesus – the Holy Grail
- The Priory of Sion was sworn to protect the descendants of Jesus from the Catholic church
- Past members have included Leonardo da Vinci and Isaac Newton
- The Priory based itself in Jerusalem after it was taken in the First Crusade in 1099 and then created the Knights Templar as an instrument to protect the Holy Grail, reinstate the Merovingians and defeat the church of Rome
Other accounts linking the Templars to the Holy Grail view it as secret knowledge hidden in Jerusalem that gave the Templars huge power over the church and accounts for their sudden increase in wealth. It goes something like this:
- The Templars were Gnostics, influenced by an early form of Christianity that sought to liberate the soul through true understanding of the divine – and did not recognise the earthly priesthood of the Roman church
- The nine knights who founded the order deliberately based themselves in what had been the Al Aqsa mosque under Muslim control but was in fact the site of the Temple of Solomon. Having obtained permission from Baldwin, the crusader ruler of the city, to take over the building, they began furiously digging underneath it
- They found something that allowed them to go to Rome and extract concessions from the papacy. This might have been a gospel written by Jesus himself. It may have been the Ark of the Covenant
What happens once the Templars are suppressed?
The Holy Grail, now in Templar hands, is believed to have gone in one of two directions. As the Holy Land fell by degrees to Muslim armies, the knights might have gone with their treasure north or south:
- NORTH: Up to the Paris Temple. A secure fortress that was impenetrable. But when the French king, Philip the Fair, turned on the Templars, they spirited away the Grail towards Scotland and Rosslyn Chapel. If they ventured further along Viking routes to the Americas, could the Grail be in the United States today?
- SOUTH: After leaving Cyprus, the Templars went to a country that they had helped to create – Portugal. The king there protected the Templars and renamed them the Order of Christ. From their base in the city of Tomar, they hid the Grail away.
Either way – it disappeared once more.
Is any of this true?
May seem an odd question to ask. In a recent podcast for BBC History, the broadcaster and historian Dan Jones rubbished what he said are the myths that surround the Knights Templar.
Although he assisted the History Channel on its recent drama series Knightfall, Jones nevertheless has no truck with the idea that the Templars had any secret treasure, rites or power over the church. In his view, we should stick to the story of the Knights Templar as recorded at the time by both Christian and Muslim chroniclers. Jones himself has just produced a magisterial tome on the Templars covering their story from start to finish, which I don’t hesitate to recommend.
Conversely, the story of the Templars still puzzles. The meteoric rise of this order of military monks. The rather implausible account of nine knights claiming they can protect all the roads into Jerusalem. Trial documents from their fall that made scandalous claims about what the Templars were up to. And I suppose ultimately a sense that there’s no smoke without a little bit of fire underneath.
New Christianity will be a personal commitment, not the common duty of mainstream religion. The Christian path is much easier than the eastern paths when we know the key because Jesus has done this for us. We only have to make a gesture towards him and give him our lives. He does not want to possess our bodies our lives but wants to join with us outside of space/time. That is what we want to practice. Read this message to understand the path we will walk together as the “Children of the Wind” as we call us as Templars of today.
Not all French Templars were burnt, 12 or more escaped
There were 12 officially named French Templar Survivors led by the Preceptor of France, Gerard de Villiers. Barber gathers this from official sources but his research has discovered about 12 more French Templar survivors. This group of about 24 left the French Preceptory the night before their arrest driving hay carts (possibly with the Temple treasure hidden beneath the hay) toward Switzerland (the first who mentioned the hay carts was Gérard de Sède in his book about the secrets of Gisors castle. He referred to the same depositions of Jean de Chalon, which he allegedly found in the secret archives of the Vatican). Why are they so significant? Because this band of 24 Templars may very well have made it to a secure location (like Switzerland) with the Templar treasure to continue the line of Templars which may have survived until today. The following profiles of the twelve known French Templar escapees was compiled by the brilliant Edward Zaborovsky of Latvia and we thank him for his permission to use his work.
The List of Twelve
This strange document with the custody number fol. 84v was cited in the paper of a famous researcher of the Order – Heinrich Finke[ – whose works are of a great value for the historians even till nowadays. The list is a mere note, written of an unknown reason not in Latin, but in Old French. The document tells nothing about the author and includes only a list of the twelve Templars, who escaped being arrested and managed to flee. The attribution of the document was apparently made by Heinrich Finke himself, who dated it late 1307. Assuming, that the document isn’t a fraud and wasn’t produced with a certain purpose by the legists of Philip the Fair, we can state, that it shows us the list of Templars, who were especially carefully looked for by the royal authorities. The fact that the number of knights fled was bigger than twelve, which is also partly mentioned in the document, leads to the conclusion that it were these twelve Templers, who should be captured in the first place. Who were then these people, so dangerous and so eagerly pursued by the King?
The most transparent person among them is Humbert Blanc (Humbertus Blancus). He was an old knight, who was in the Order for about forty years. Having been to the Holy Land, he returned later on to France, where he was at first appointed lieutenant (i.e. the right hand, spokesman) of the master of Auvergne, and from 1299 even became master of that province himself. There are no proofs, that Blanc fled, it’s more probable that he was quite occasionally in England by the time as the trial began in France, else it would be difficult to explain why he waited there to be arrested. Anyway, in 1308 he was captured (according to some records in Canterbury) and from 1309 testified many times on the trial against Templars in London. During the trial he denied all accusations against him and the Order in general. The only thing he admitted to was the secretiveness of chapters’ gatherings, but he himself described this habit to be “stupid”. Nevertheless, some new depositions, made by the French Templars in Clermont, reached England later. There Humbert Blanc was accused of blasphemy while accepting new members into the Order. Although Blanc stated these accusations to be “lies”, the judges didn’t believe him. None of the English Templars except him were sentenced to be imprisoned, so that Humbert Blanc was the only one who was put into irons[. We know that from 1313 Hospitallers even paid for his maintenance two shillings a day regarding his high rank, whereas other Templars were getting only four pence. The further destiny of the ex-master of Auvergne remains unknown.
But Humbert Blanc was not the only one from the list of twelve who was captured. Thus we find there a Templar Pierre de Boucle (Pierre de Bouch). Regarding the fact that his name could be spelled in different variations, it is possible that the knight meant here is the brother Petrus de Bocli, who had really managed to escape. In spite of the fact that this young knight (by the time of arrests he wasn’t twenty five yet) was acting in a proper way – he changed his clothes and shaved off his beard – the pursuers still found him. His importance can be easily explained by the position he held – he was lieutenant of the Visitor of France Hugues de Pairaud[ and could be regarded as a very valuable witness.
It seems like one more Templar from the list was unlucky in his escape. Although a brother from Burgundy, Renaud de la Folie (Foillie) by name, was one of those twelve, we have his depositions made during the trial in 1309. Unfortunately the records give us no hints who he actually was, so we don’t know either why his name is present in the list[.
Commanderie (preceptory) Villemoison – present days
Others were luckier. Among the twelve we find the name of a Guillaume de Lins, of an unknown reason followed by the question mark. He can be perhaps indentified as Gillierm de Lurs, the fled preceptor of a mighty Villemoison commandery[. He often committed the receptions into the Order in the chapel of that commandery; the last ceremony was held precisely before the trial in 1307. As it was often stated, the accusations against Templars reversed the different blasphemy actions during the receptions, such as spitting on the cross. That was perhaps the reason why Gillierm de Lurs decided to flee, moreover he also was once the lieutenant of the Visitor Hugues de Pairaud and could tell a lot.
The list mentions a Templar Hugues Daray (Dares), about whom we know almost nothing. He was probably a certain official in the Temple, for we know, that in 1306 he was in charge of accepting recruits into the Order in a small commandery of La Fuilhouse (Fulhosa), Auvergne, but he wasn’t a preceptor there. In the records of the trial, published by Michelet, he is not mentioned, and it gives us a reason to think that his flight was successful.
One more Templar from the list is named as brother Baraus. We can doubtless indentify him as the knight Barral de Gauzignan [, preceptor of a very big bailliage Le-Puy in Provence. Precisely as Daray and Lurs did, he also recruited the new members, but unlike the first two Templars he was an important Order official too. In 1296 he held the post of preceptor in Saint-Giles, one of the hugest commanderies of the region. And from 1298 he was lieutenant of the master of Provence. The presence of the Provence Templars in the list arouses a special interest, for this region was at that time under the reign und jurisdiction of Charles II of Anjou, count of Provence, and the arrest were made there later. Gauzignan was also among those, whose flight didn’t end successfully – he was captured, for we have his depositions in the trial’s records, where he admits the existence of some impious rituals in the Temple, though he states that he did all he could not to be involved.
As we see, most of the Templars in the list were engaged in the receptions of newcomers and holding chambers in commanderies. And it was these strange godless rituals, made at the receptions, which became the main and the most concrete and proved accusation against the Temple. In this case the presence of the knight Adam de Valencourt among “the twelve” is somehow strange. He was definitely not young, for there is some evidence about his being in the Holy Land in Château Pèlerin in 1286. We don’t know why he was being searched for, but his biography has a very curious aspect. He joined the Order twice, for after his first reception he left the Temple for an unknown reason and joined the Carthusians, but later on came back[.
We have no evidence at all about two more Templars – Geraud de Châteauneuf and Charembo de Conflant, who fled and were pursued. The only thing we can assume is that according to their names they probably belonged to some noble families from Burgundy. Perhaps the list of twelve is the only existing document where they are mentioned. In the trial’s records of 1308-1312 in Aragon we find a Knight Templar Jacobus de Conflent[ who can probably be the same person with Conflent from the list, and thus, regarding that the Templars of Aragon weren’t punished too hard, his escape was quite lucky.
Three villains including a real devil
Now we’ll take a look on the three remaining Templars, whose role in the trial is much more mysterious. One of them is the knight Hugues de Chalon (Hugo de Cabilone), preceptor of commandery of Thors, Champagne. In the trial’s records we find some testimonies that he was quite stingy and skilful. The accusations against him were among others that he reduced the alms for the poor and later on suggested to cancel them at all; he also shamefully practiced the reception into the Order in exchange for money. He was however not an ordinary Templar, for his uncle was the Visitor of France Hugues de Pairaud. Apparently, this kinship made him not only very powerful but also contributed to his political career. Thus in 1302, when the Pope called to his place the leading clerics and the heads of religious orders, but Philip the Fair forbade them to go, Hugues de Pairaud, being afraid of coming himself, sent Hugues de Chalon with this mission. By the way, Hugo was not the only one relative of de Pairaud in the Temple, we know also about Pierre de Modies and Falco de Milli. They both fled too, although they are not mentioned in the list. Disguising themselves as beggars didn’t help and they were soon captured.
The name of Hugues de Chalon emerges in one more very interesting document, which is also to be found in the storage Latin-10919 under the number 236v, and was also cited by Heinrich Finke[.
Frater Hugo de Cabilone nepos visitatoris et frater Girardus de Monteclaro, milites ordinis seu secte Templi, una cum quibusdam suis complicibus secte conceperant occidere regem.
The brother Hugues de Chalon, the nephew of the Visitor and brother of Gerard de Montclair, warriors of the Order or the Sect of the Temple, together with some moreaccomplices from the same sect planed to kill the King.
The murder of the King, the anointed sovereign – what crime could be more awful than this? We should also notice that this document tells us about the existence inside the Order of a special sect or circle! But who is Gerard de Montclair? There is no evidence about a Templar with such a name, but the list of twelve knows a certain Richard de Montclair. A Templar with that name did really exist and is said to be in Cyprus in 1304[. It’s quite possible, that we have a mistake in the document, and Gerard and Richard should be one and the same person.
Tombstone of Gerard de Villiers, preceptor of a commandery Villiers-le-Temple (died in 1273)
The key figure in this list of twelve villains is certainly Gerard de Villiers, master of France. He is often given the second rank in the hierarchy of French Templars, but regarding the fact that the Visitor Hugues de Pairaud was already in his declining years, Gerard de Villiers played perhaps even the main role. We know nothing about his origin, but he is often confused with another Gerard de Villiers, preceptor of a mighty Wallon commandery in Villiers-le-Temple, who died in 1273. The Villiers family was one of the noblest and not only in the Temple Order, Jean de Villiers was for example the Grand Master of the Hospital, who heroically fought while defending Acre in 1291. The historians know also the name of Pierre de Villiers, who held the high post of Templar commander in Aquitaine in 1292-1300. Besides, from the trial’s records we know of a Templar priest Guillaume de Villiers, who refused to defend the Order in front of the papal commission referring to his poverty and old age, and Bernard de Villiers, preceptor of the commandery in Sent-Paul-la-Roche, who testified against the Temple in 1309 and 1311. We don’t know exactly that kind of kinship existed between all these people, but apparently they were relatives.
We don’t know the time and age when Gerard de Villiers joined the Order but probably it happened not later than 1295. In 1297 he became lieutenant of the Master of France, that was Hugues de Pairaud then, who was also the Visitor at the same time. In 1300 Villiers became the Master of France and started a very prolific administrative activity, which results we see in many receptions and regional chambers organized by him. With the same energy he took up the economic issues, for except being a Master of France he also remained preceptor of the largest Order’s bailliages. This explains the fact that sometimes in the trial he is mentioned as, for example, the head of such bailliages as Brie or Mont-de-Soissons. But right before the trial some curious events took place. The last mention of the Master Gerard de Villiers dates from the February 1307, and already in June, just a couple of months before the arrests, the documents signed by the Master of France bear the name of Hugues de Pairaud[. Later on, after the arrests, the Templars held in Paris forwarded a petition to be allowed to meet the highest Order’s officials: the Grand Master Jacques de Molay and the Master of France Hugues de Pairaud! But what has happened to Villiers? If he was displaced, then what for? And if he was already dead by that time, why is it stated that he fled? Now let’s take a look on the trial’s records. They show us Gerard de Villiers as a real devil, whose evil essence can be hardly described. One of the accusations was that at the receptions, he conducted, he under the threat of death demanded from the newcomers to deny the God and spit on the cross, as it was testified at the interrogation by a Templar Nicolas d`Amiens. Another accusation concerned the veneration of a mysterious head, which was said to be cultivated under the lead of Villiers. That was the deposition made in November 1307 by Raul de Gizy, preceptor of one of the most important French commanderies in Lagny-le-Sec. Later, in January 1311 he made some extended testimonies. Interesting, that according to Raul the whole thing took place in the very annual chamber of French Templars in Paris. Raul even described how and by whom this head was kept – in a leather sack by Villiers’s personal assistant (lieutenant of the Master?) sergeant Hugues de Besançon. I don’t see any reasons to be skeptical about these accusations, in contrast to, for instance, accusations of betrayal. Villiers was accused of traitorously fleeing together with some other Templars from the island of Rouad, besieged by Mameluks in 1302, leaving its garrison to its fate. This accusation can be found in the depositions of the captured Templar Reno de la Foli. However, they seem to be a real slander, for, as Alain Demurger quite wisely remarks, a traitor had to be punished, and it hasn’t happened to de Villiers. Moreover, the assumption that Villiers was present at that time somewhere in the East contradicts the very beautiful legend how de Villiers “took part” in the Battle of the Golden Spurs (Courtrai) in 1302. According to it some Templar forces were both on the side of the Flemish and Philip the Fair, and because of this fact Gerard de Villiers gave an order to all Templars not to get involved. The French brothers stood aside during the whole fight and then left the battlefield together with the forces of the Count of Sent-Paul. Of course, regarding the weight of the defeat the French suffered, the legend describes how angry and furious Philip the Fair was.
But the most crushing and probably rather deceitful accusations against the Temple in general and Gerard de Villiers particularly were made by Jean de Chalon, preceptor of the commandery in Namur. He not only confirmed the fact of the total corruption in the Order and the presence of some blasphemous rites, but also told that everybody who tried to resist these godless habits of the Master of France had to end up in a dreadful secret Templar prison in Merlen. Moreover, de Chalon appeared to be a prison guard there and witnessed deaths of nine Templars imprisoned. Among these very doubtful confessions made by Jean de Chalon and cited in the report on the investigation in Poitou in 1308, which is now kept in the archives of Vatican[, we find also the below given passage. It is famous because of a huge amount of stories about the treasure of the Templars which this passage gave birth to:
Item dixit, quod potentes ordinis prescientes istam confusionem fugiunt et ipse obviavit fratri Girardo de Villariis ducenti quinquaginta equos, et audivit dici, quod intravit mare cum XVIII galeis, et frater Hugo de Cabilone fugiit cum tot thesauro fratris Hugonis de Peraudo. Interrogatus, quomodo potuit tandiu istud factum teneri secretum, respondit, quod nullus pro aliqua re erat ausus revelare, nisi papa et rex aperuissent viam, quia, si sciretur in ordine, quod aliquis loqueretur, statim fuisset mortuus[.
He also said, that the leaders of the Order, expecting the trouble, have fled, and he himself met the brother Gerard de Villiers, who had 50 horses with him, and heard people talking that [he] put to sea with 18 galleys, and the brother Hugues de Chalon fled with the whole treasury of the brother Hugues de Pairaud. To the question, how he managed to keep this secret for so long, he answered that nobody for anything in the world would dare to reveal it, unless the Pope and the King gave way to it, for if the Order’s officials would have found out that somebody had let out the secret, he would have been killed straight away.
The treasury of the Visitor of France Hugues de Pairaud is most probably meant to be the treasury of the Paris Temple, but the confessions, which de Pairaud himself made much later, don’t support this theory. The matter is that despite the common opinion de Pairaud was still alive even 15 years after the arrest. He was kept imprisoned in Montlheri and in 1321 told some quite interesting details. It turns out, that he was really expecting the arrests and thus in September 1307 gave a small chest with the treasures to a preceptor of the commandery in Dormelles for the sake of safety keeping. The preceptor in his turn gave it to another Templar. The latter, however, being afraid of responsibility and possible consequences, passed the chest to the royal official of Sens Guillaume de Angest. It remains unknown, whether it was the whole Order’s treasury or just a part of it but the royal finances increased by 1189 golden and more than five thousand silver coins minted in 1303-1304[. I suppose, these facts show once again that the myth of the hidden treasure of the Temple has no real background.
The depositions made by Jean de Chalon arouse the reasonable doubts in their credibility, and in the first place because of the mentioned 18 galleys which the Templars simply didn’t and couldn’t have. On the other hand de Chalon himself meant it to be mere “talks”. What seems to be more interesting is what he says about Villiers. Why did Gerard de Villiers need 50 horses? The answer to that question can be found in the list of the fled Templars, where the name of Gerard de Villiers is followed by the statement that he was able to arm 40 men! So, who seemed to be more dangerous for the royal power – the fled Templar authorities or a small but effective party of armed men? And how trustworthy were the rumors about 1500-2000 Templars, hiding in the nearby of city of Lyon, the rumors, which were so popular in 1311, just before the Vienne Council[?
If we assume that all above mentioned documents are trustworthy, then the version, that there was a certain “inner circle” inside the Order, begins to look quite plausible. Moreover, if this “circle” indeed existed, it included not only the captured Hugues de Pairaud and Jean de Chalon or the fled Villiers and other Templars from the list. A lot of other brothers of Provence managed to escape, only in Toulon fled seven, as well as the master of that province Bernard-de-la-Roche, whose name surprisingly wasn’t added to the list. It seems like many members of that secret sect were warned about the coming arrests and fled with their arms, treasures and probably the artifacts of their strange cults. This version will indeed satisfy those who like mysterious secrets and enigmas, but it can be assumed only under the condition that all these documents are not only authentic but also tell the truth. And it is precisely what we can hardly believe in. Jean de Chalon, who collaborated with the investigators, could approve or tell whatever they wanted. He was ready to make all possible depositions just with the purpose to reject an accusation against Philip the Fair that he stole the Order’s treasure. The untitled documents from the storage Latin-10919 were more probably written by the royal legists, who searched the ways how to cast a shadow on the Order’s reputation and blame Hugues de Pairaud, whose nephew was Hugues de Chalon. But perhaps they had one more purpose. It must be stressed, that the flight of Gerard de Villiers is mentioned only in these weird documents, but is not certain. Could the planned murder of Gerard de Villiers by the time the trial began be a good reason for the royal authorities to declare him one of those who fled? And could it also explain why the Templars testified so readily against their own Master?
There is though one more possibility. It shouldn’t be forgotten that all these weird documents from the French National Library may be mere frauds made in the XVIII century in the Masonic circles with the purpose to mystify the past of the Order. However, this assumption exposes the reputation of Finke, whose skills of a historian are beyond any doubts. Let the experts have the last word. But whether the documents are trustworthy and authentic or not, it doesn’t deny the fact, that despite all arrests some of the high-ranked Templars did manage to escape from the royal justice. The question, how many Templars escaped – dozens or hundreds – is still left open.
© 2006 – 2013, Edward Zaborovsky. Excerpted here by kind permission of the author from his article appearing here: http://www.templarhistory.ru/Zaborovsky_twelve_fled_Templars_En/ . No part of this publication may be reproduced, translated, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission from Edward Zaborovsky. The Forward was written by T. Bryant Jones.
So much has been written recently about the Knights Templar, but the last chapter in their history was written in Portugal. It’s a tale of adventure, cunning, and exploration. The Templars were a monastic order of knights founded in 1112 A.D. to protect pilgrims along the path to Jerusalem. The Templars came to Portugal in the 12th century at the request of Portugal’s founding king, D. Afonso Henriques.
They built a series of castles on the banks of the Tejo River to defend the new nation from the Moors. At Tomar, the order built their headquarters, a fortified monastery that is one of the most important medieval sites in Europe. The original church was patterned on the Church of the Holly Sepulcher in Israel. Its central nave with its soaring heights were almost unheard of at that time. The massive door was so high that, according to legend, the knights attended mass on horseback. In 1307, Pope Clement V extinguished the order, but the Portuguese king D. Dinis made the secretive order a deal they could not refuse. He created a new religious order, the Order of Christ, and it took over all the lands and castles of the Templars. It also took on their symbols and their power. The Knights of the Order of Christ became, by the 15th Century, enlaced with the royal family. Under the leadership of Infante D. Henrique (Prince Henry), the knights began a new quest as ships with their distinct cross explored the coast of Africa. The Age of Exploration had begun.
With the arrival of Da Gama in India in 1498, the riches of the East flowed into the castle at Tomar. King D. Manuel added a new cloister to the monastery in the uniquely Portuguese Manueline style, rich in symbols of the sea, coral, shell, and twisted rope. The rose of the Templars, as well as their cross, became the symbols of the monarchy.
Today, Tomar is a monument city and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Its great castle is a fascinating relic of the mysterious Templars, full of secret passages, symbolic paintings, and compelling art. The city below is well preserved with a 14th century synagogue and Jewish Museum, a riverfront park with an Arab waterwheel, a main square flanked by a Gothic church and medieval city hall. The Templars built the gothic Church of Santa Maria do Olival in the 13th as a built as burial ground for the Knights. But the mysterious of Our Lady of the Conception (Nossa Senhora da Conceição) chapel built in the second half of the 16th century in pure Renaissance style, is the center of rumors. Some say it was intended to be the burial site of King Joao III. But others say that it is tied to the secrets of the Templars…. Who knows?