An hundred years ago it had become known that the ו ?Q?D?Sה were the Templars under a veil, and therefore the Degree was pro-scribed, and, ceasing to be worked, became a mere brief and formal ceremony, under another name. Now, from the tomb in which after his murders he rotted, Clement the Fifth howls against the successors of his victims, in the Allocution of Pio Nono against the Free-Masons. The ghosts of the dead Templars
haunt the Vatican and disturb the slumbers of the paralyzed Papacy, which, dreading the dead, shrieks out its excommunications and impotent anathemas against the living. It is a declaration of war, and was needed to arouse apathy and inertness to action.
An enemy of the Templars shall tell us the secret of this Papal hostility against an Order that has existed for centuries in despite of its anathemas, and has its Sanctuaries and Asyla even in Rome.
It will be easy, as we read, to separate the false from the true, the audacious conjectures from the simple facts.
"A power that ruled without antagonism and without concurrence, and consequently without control, proved fatal to the Sacerdotal Royalties; while the Republics, on the other hand, had perished by the conflict of liberties and franchises, which, in the absence of all duty hierarchically sanctioned and enforced, had soon become mere tyrannies, rivals one of the other. To find a stable medium between these two abysses, the idea of the Christian Hierophants was to create a society devoted to abnegation by solemn vows, protected by severe regulations; which should be recruited by initiation, and which, sole depositary of the great religious and social secrets, should make Kings and Pontiffs, without exposing it to the corruptions of Power. In that was the secret of that kingdom of Jesus Christ, which, without being of this world, would govern all its grandeurs.
"This idea presided at the foundation of the great religious orders, so often at war with the secular authorities, ecclesiastical or civil. Its realization was also the dream of the dissident sects of Gnostics or Illuminati who pretended to connect their faith with the primitive tradition of the Christianity of Saint John. It at length became a menace for the Church and Society, when a rich and dissolute Order, initiated in the mysterious doctrines of the Kabalah, seemed disposed to turn against legitimate authority the conservative principle of Hierarchy, and threatened the entire world with an immense revolution.
And in this second paragraph, we learn of the idea that has damned many to death as the belief defies the “norm”. And the belief od the Gnostics and Illumanati, where Illumanati was a secret group in it’s own time, not related to Masonry per se, was that John the Baptist was the redeemer, not Jesus Christ.
Now, this idea probably runs contrary even to that of most of you who have rad along with me on and off for the past 3 years. This is the belief of the Johannites.
Since the Johannites did not march to the beat of the Catholic Church in that time, the Catholic Church set out to persecute and decimate those who held onto the ideal of a different redeemer. Before I go much further, please know that I hold no personal disdain or preference towards any one religion, I am reporting in this study only a darker side of Catholic Church history as a governmental power in its early time.
"The Templars, whose history is so imperfectly known, were those terrible conspirators. In 1118, nine Knights Crusaders in the East, among whom were Geoffroi de Saint-Omer and Hugues de Payens, consecrated themselves to religion, and took an oath between the hands of the Patriarch of Constantinople, a See always secretly or openly hostile to that of Rome from the time of Photius. The avowed object of the Templars was to protect
the Christians who came to visit the Holy Places: their secret object was the re-building of the Temple of Solomon on the model prophesied by Ezekiel.
"This re-building, formally predicted by the Judaïzing Mystics of the earlier ages, had become the secret dream of the Patriarchs of the Orient. The Temple of Solomon, re-built and consecrated to the Catholic worship would become, in effect, the Metropolis of the Universe; the East would prevail over the West, and the Patriarchs of Constantinople would possess themselves of the Papal power.
"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, Frères Masons in the French, adopted by way of secret reference to the Builders of the Second Temple, was corrupted in English into Free-Masons, as Pythagore de Crotone was into Peter Gower of Groton in England. Khairu_m or Khu_r-u_m, (a name mis-rendered into Hiram) from an artificer in brass and other metals, became the Chief Builder of the Haikal Kadosh, the Holy House, of the Temple, the Ἱερος Δομος; and the words Bonai and Banaim yet appear in the Masonic Degrees, meaning Builder and Builders.]
"The trowel of the Templars is quadruple, and the triangular plates of it are arranged in the form of a cross, making the Kabalistic pantacle known by the name of the Cross of the East. The Knight of the East, and the Knight of the East and West, have in their titles secret allusions to the Templars of whom they were at first the successors.
In these paragraphs we learn of the relationship between the Templar Knights and Masons. I love the concept of “holding the sword in one hand and the trowel in the other.” Symbolically, we could also assume this symbol as mirroring the duality of the human being; with the ability to create and to destroy almost in synchronicity.
I would advise the reader to keep note of the history written in these last paragraphs because as Masons, this is our heritage and we should not forget from where our paths toward more light has originated.
"The secret thought of Hugues de Payens, in founding his Order, was not exactly to serve the ambition of the Patriarchs of Constantinople. There existed at that period in the East a Sect of Johannite Christians, who claimed to be the only true Initiates into the real mysteries of the religion of the Saviour. They pretended to know the real history of YESUS the ANOINTED, and, adopting in part the Jewish traditions and the tales of the Talmud, they held that the facts recounted in the Evangels are but allegories, the key of which Saint John gives, in saying that the
world might be filled with the books that could be written upon the words and deeds of Jesus Christ; words which, they thought, would be only a ridiculous exaggeration, if he were not speaking of an allegory and a legend, that might be varied and prolonged to infinity.
"The Johannites ascribed to Saint John the foundation of their Secret Church, and the Grand Pontiffs of the Sect assumed the title of Christos, Anointed, or Consecrated, and claimed to have succeeded one another from Saint John by an uninterrupted succession of pontifical powers. He who, at the period of the foundation of the Order of the Temple, claimed these imaginary prerogatives, was named THEOCLET; he knew HUGUES DE PAYENS, he initiated him into the Mysteries and hopes of his pretended church, he seduced him by the notions of Sovereign Priesthood and Supreme royalty, and finally designated him as his successor.
"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.
"The tendencies and tenets of the Order were enveloped in profound mystery, and it externally professed the most perfect orthodoxy. The Chiefs alone knew the aim of the Order: the Subalterns followed them without distrust.
"To acquire influence and wealth, then to intrigue, and at need to fight, to establish the Johannite or Gnostic and Kabalistic dogma, were the object and means proposed to the initiated Brethren. The Papacy and the rival monarchies, they said to them, are sold and bought in these days, become corrupt, and to-morrow, perhaps, will destroy each other. All that will become the heritage of the Temple: the World will soon come to us for its Sovereigns and Pontiffs. We shall constitute the equilibrium of the Universe, and be rulers over the Masters of the World.
"The Templars, like all other Secret Orders and Associations, had two doctrines, one concealed and reserved for the Masters, which was Johannism; the other public, which was the Roman Catholic. Thus they deceived the adversaries whom they sought
to supplant. 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, and thus covertly proclaiming itself the child of the Kabalah and Essenism together."
[For the Johannism of the Adepts was the Kabalah of the earlier Gnostics, degenerating afterward into those heretical forms which Gnosticism developed, so that even Manes had his followers among them. Many adopted his doctrines of the two Principles, the recollection of which is perpetuated by the handle of the dagger and the tesserated pavement or floor of the Lodge, stupidly called "the Indented Tessel," and represented by great hanging tassels, when it really means a tesserated floor (from the Latin tessera) of white and black lozenges, with a necessarily denticulated or indented border or edging. And wherever, in the higher Degrees, the two colors white and black, are in juxtaposition, the two Principles of Zoroaster and Manes are alluded to. With others the doctrine became a mystic Pantheism, descended from that of the Brahmins, and even pushed to an idolatry of Nature and hatred of every revealed dogma.
[To all this the absurd reading of the established Church, taking literally the figurative, allegorical, and mythical language of a collection of Oriental books of different ages, directly and inevitably led. The same result long after followed the folly of regarding the Hebrew books as if they had been written by the unimaginative, hard, practical intellect of the England of James the First and the bigoted stolidity of Scottish Presbyterianism.]
In these paragraphs we learn some very interesting history of the Templars. Just as more enlightenment is revaled to the student of freemasonry as we pass through the degrees, we learn that the Templars held a certain truth for those students who progressed as Masters, which was their belief is Johannism. But to the beginning student or those in the early degrees, and most likely in order to keep the student’s attention and parlay to the understanding of the student, and a public face of the Templars was Roman Catholicism.
This is an interesting principal where an attempt is made even today in our Lodges to help the apprentice learn of truths he may have never thought of on his own, and not to do so in a fast and overwhelming manner.
It takes more than a lifetime to understand all of the philosophies of freemasonry, and maybe more than 2 lifetimes to adhere to and grow with her principals, we only BEGIN this journey towards MORE LIGHT, in our human form, and we only hope that what we leave for society as we soar to the hereafter is a steady and true foundation to build upon for many generations to come.
And this is where we will end for this time. As we go forward this week, let us remember to build with the trowel for future generations, and hold the sword of justice firm to protect that foundation.
It is Memorial Day in the United States where we pause as a nation to give honor to our fallen soldiers. We at Universal Freemason are always humbled by that ultimate sacrifice and are thankful for a free press and free speech that without both we would not exist as an entity. We are the fruits of that sacrifice, and we thank you.