Thursday, September 9, 2010

William Cooper's Mystery Babylon: Part 12 - The End of the Templars

Transcribed by URpwneddude (edited/formatted by wakingup72 @


I'm William Cooper and you're listening to the Hour or the Time.

Well, folks, we've been getting calls from all over the nation, and even in some foreign countries. They have been worried. They've called Stan; his phone has been ringing off the hook. It seems some rather spurious and ambitious individuals have been spreading a rumor by word-of-mouth, by the written word, and even on talk radio all across this country that I am dead.

Well, folks, here's my answer to that:

(opening music: Still Crusin', by The Beach Boys)

To all of my regular listeners and all the ships at sea around the world: it’s me, William Cooper, speaking to you from the dead where I have, indeed, seen the light and I turned it off.

[Reading from A History of Secret Societies, written by Arkon Daraul]:

"'One of the most disgraceful acts which stain the annals of the Templars,' says even one of their ardent admirers, 'occurred in the year 1155, when Bertrand de Blancford (whom William of Tyre calls a 'pious and God-fearing man') was Master of the Order. In a contest for the supreme power in Egypt, which the viziers, bearing the proud title of Sultan, exercised under the phantom-caliphs, Sultan Abbas who had put to death the Caliph his master found himself obliged to fly from before the vengeance of the incensed people. With his harem and his own and a great part of the royal treasures, he took his way through the desert. [Well,] a body of Christians, chiefly Templars, lay in wait for the fugitives near Ascalon. The resistance offered by the Moslems was slight and very ineffectual; Abbas himself was either slain or he fled, and his son Nasiredin professed his desire to become a Christian. The far larger part of the booty of course fell to the Templars; but this did not satisfy their avarice. They sold Nasiredin to his father's enemies for 60,000 pieces of gold...'"

[William Cooper]: Now, if you think that's a lot of money in this day and age, it was a veritable king’s ransom in that.

"'...and [they] stood by to see him bound hand and foot, and placed in a sort of cage or iron-latticed sedan, on a camel to be conducted to Egypt, where a death by protracted torture awaited him.'

"It was not the Templars alone [folks] who were guilty of arrogance and worse. The Hospitallers had deteriorated from their first fine beginnings; and the annals of both Orders are not innocent of unpleasantness, though they are indeed well filled with tales of glory. The Hospitallers, for instance, refused to pay tithes to the Patriarch of Jerusalem, even going so far as to erect immense buildings in front of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, as a practical demonstration of their own importance. [Now] when the Patriarch entered his church, they rang [their bells] so loudly that he cannot make himself heard. There is an occasion recorded when 'the congregation was assembled in church, the Hospitallers rushed into it in arms, and shot arrows among them as if they were robbers or infidels. These arrows were collected and hung up on Mount Calvary, where Christ had been crucified, to the scandal of these recreant knights. On applying to Pope Adrian IV for redress, the Syrian clergy found him and his cardinals so prepossessed in favor of his enemies -- (laughs) bribed by them in fact, [it] was said -- that they had no chance of relief.'

"This, then, [folks] was the background of the rise of the Templars, and the flavor of their environment. [Now] if one adds to these elements the fact that various very heterodox sects -- gnostic, Manichae and the rest -- still lurked in the Holy Land, together with a great deal of magic and superstition of every kind, [then] there is a possibility, to say the least, that the Templars were infected by it."

[William Cooper]: The facts, indeed, show that they were not only infected, but taken by it, and were initiated into not only by the branch known as the Assassins, but veritably arose from the secret sects in Syria.

"The contention which has been made, that such heresies and archaic religions and practices do not survive until the Templar period, is demonstrably false, although much play has been made of it by those who defend the Order; for do such sects not endure there until this very day? [Hmm? Well,] this is not to say that the Templars were guilty of the practices which formed the substance of the confessions later to be wrung from them by barbaric torture, which we will examine in due course. But a secret tradition and magical rites may well have played a part in their hidden lore and practices. It should also be remembered[, folks,] that towards the end there were Templars who were of actual Palestinian birth, who would have every opportunity of absorbing the unorthodox beliefs of the many schools of a magico-religious nature which existed in the area. The Grand Master Philip of Naploos ([in] 1167), for instance, was a Syrian, and many Crusaders were Levantine lords, whatever their original blood, speaking Arabic with perfection.

"It was 1162 that the Magna Carta of the Order was obtained by the Templars: the Bull Omne Datum Optimum, often described as the keystone of their power. [And] through this instrument they were able to consolidate their authority and preserve their secrets against intrusion. [They] were to find, too, that [it] did much to excite the envy of their opponents.

"Pope Adrian IV had died[; the] two rival popes were elected: Alexander III by the Sicilian group, and Victor III by the imperial party. At first the Templars acknowledged Victor; but in 1161 they switch their allegiance to Alexander. There was probably some sort of secret arrangement behind this, for by January 7th of the following year the famous Bull was issued. By the terms of this document, the Templars were released from all spiritual ties except to the Holy See [itself]; they were permitted to have special burial-grounds in their own houses; they could have chaplains of their own; they had no tithes to pay; [William Cooper: which in that day and age was miraculous] and were allowed to receive tithes [William Cooper: which was absolutely incredible]. Nobody who had once entered the Order could leave it, except to join one with a stricter discipline. The stage[, dear listeners,] was set for clerical hatred of the Templars and Hospitallers (who had similar privileges) [William Cooper: and in fact were one and the same and still are today], although the advantages to the Pope [from] the combined support of these two Orders could hardly be overestimated.

"In 1184 an incident occurred which inspired a great deal of distrust of the Order although the rarity of its occurrence should have underlined the fact that it was nothing of much consequence. [You see,] the English knight, Robert of St. Albans left the Templars, became a Moslem, and led an army for Saladin against Jerusalem, then in the hands of the Franks. The charge against the Templars that they were secret Mussulmans or allies with the Saracens does not seem borne out by the fact that Saladin accused them of treacherous truce-breaking and other crimes and -- unlike his usual chivalrous self -- took a solemn oath that he would execute such Templar captives as he could obtain, as 'beyond the limits of Islam and infidelity alike.' Nor did they make any [attempts] to invoke any religious bond with Saladin when they were captured, as we know from the Arabic Life of Saladin written contemporaneously by his secretary, Qadi Yusuf. Strong evidence of this is given in the events which followed the terrible Battle of Hittin. Two years before, Saladin had made a pact with the Assassins that they would give him a free hand to continue [his] Holy War against the Franks [William Cooper: which we discussed on an earlier program]. On July 1st, 1187, he captured Tiberias. He attacked nearby Hittin at dawn on Friday, July 3rd. Thirty thousand [William Cooper: Christians...30,000 Christians] were captured, including the King of Jerusalem. No Templar[, not one,] is mentioned in the detailed Arab account as asking for mercy on religious or other grounds, although all knew that Saladin had issued a war-cry: 'Come to death, Templars!' The Grand Master, Gerard of Ridefort, and several other knights were among those taken. Saladin offered them their lives if they would see the light of the True Faith. [William Cooper: Well, according to history,] none accepted, and all these knights were beheaded except, admittedly, the Templar Grand Master."

[William Cooper]: Could it be that he did accept the true faith, or the "light of the true faith," as Saladin had put it?

"A non-Templar, Reginald of Chatillon, tried to invoke the sacred code of Arab hospitality, and other Crusaders claimed that they were Moslems, and were spared: none of them were Templars or Hospitallers. Reginald and the Templars collectively were sentenced to death for breaking the truce and the 'war crime' of killing unarmed pilgrims to Mecca. Arab accounts include only a few references which could be construed as indicating any collusion with the Christian army. One says that on the Friday at midday ([and] the battle lasted for two days), Sultan Saladin issued the attack cry to be passed along the Sarasin host, 'On for Islam!', at which the striped banner of the Templars was raised, 'and [the] Emir Lion-of-the-Faith said, "Are those [Sultans] (Saladin) Yusef’s allies, of whom I have heard from the Reconnaisance men?"' [Well,] this cannot be regarded as anything at all conclusive. The only other reference is to a body of Templars who went over to the Saracen side, and whose supposed descendants survive to this day as the Salibiyya ([which means] Crusader) tribe in north Arabia.

"This engagement[, folks,] spelt the end of real Western power in Palestine for over seven hundred years, although it did stimulate the unsuccessful Third Crusade. Although the Templars -- and some other Crusaders -- were still in the Holy Land, they had lost almost all [of] their possessions there. But in the West lay the real seat of their power. At this time their European possessions numbered over seven thousand estates and foundations. Although principally concentrated in France and England, they had extensive properties in Portugal, Castile, Leon, Scotland and Ireland, Germany, Italy, and Sicily. When Jerusalem was lost, their headquarters were transferred to Paris. This building, like all their branch churches, was known as the Temple. It was here that the French King Philip the Fair took refuge in 1306, to escape a civil commotion. It is said that this visit gave him his first insight into the real wealth of the order..."

[William Cooper]: Now, remember, the wealth was not for the members, for they practiced the first true Socialism -- international Socialism, or Communism.

"...the fabulous treasures which his host showed him giving the bankrupt monarch the idea to plunder the knights on the pretext that they were dominated by heresies.

"Phillip the Fair was not entirely without some grounds for attacking the Templars. [For] in 1208 we find Pope Innocent III, a great friend of the Order, censuring them publicly for 'Causing their churches to be thrown open for Mass to be said every day with loud ringing of bells, bearing the cross of Christ on their breasts but not caring to follow his doctrines which [forbid] to giving offense to any of the little ones who believe in him. Following the doctrines of demons, they affix the cross of their Order upon the breast of every kind of scoundrel, asserting that whoever by paying two or three pence a year became one of their fraternity could not, even if interdicted, be deprived of Christian burial...and thus they themselves, being captive to the devil, cease not to make captive the souls of the faithful, seeking to make alive those whom they [knew] to be dead...'

The first sign of an attempt to bring some sort of physical restraint upon the Templars came from Henry III of England. [For] in 1252 he hinted that he might try to seize some of the property of the Order: 'You prelates and religious,' he said, 'especially you Templars and Hospitallers, have so many liberties and charters that your enormous possessions make you rave with pride and haughtiness. What was imprudently given must therefore be prudently revoked; and what was inconsiderately bestowed must be considerately recalled.' [William Cooper: Those were the words of the King.]

"The Master of the Templars immediately replied: 'What sayest thou, O King? Far be it that thy mouth should utter so disagreeable and silly a word. So long as thou dost exercise justice thou wilt reign; but if thou infringe it, thou wilt cease to be King!'"

[William Cooper]: Now remember that the Knights Templar at that time were the very first international bankers. They were the wealthiest Order, wealthiest group, then known in the world -- even surpassing the kings of the different countries that existed. And even though the Hospitallers were created before the Knights Templar, eventually the two became the same Order, though to the public and to the rulers of Europe, they were different orders with different names.

"The haughty Templars of the fourteenth century owned land and revenues, gained steadily in honor and importance. They might have thrones had they wanted them; for such was their power towards the end that, banded together (as one historian points out), they could have overcome more than one of the smaller countries of Europe. Perhaps though, they [aimed] even higher than that. If their eventual aim was world hegemony, they could not have organized themselves better, or planned their aristocratic hierarchy more thoroughly. [William Cooper: And you will see that that's been carried over even onto the modern-day.] The pride, arrogance, and complete confidence and self-sufficiency of the Order is something [which] shows through even the least inspired pages of the chroniclers. Their power was legendary:

"'Everywhere they...had churches, chapels, tithes, farms, villages, mills,...rights of pasturage, of fishing, of venery, of wood. They had also in many places the right of holding annual fairs which were managed and the tolls received by some of the brethren of the nearest houses or by their donates or servants. The number of their [preceptories] is, by the most moderate computation, rated at nine thousand; the annual income of the Order put at about six million [pounds] sterling: an [unbelievable, unimaginable] sum [for] those times! Masters of such a revenue, descended from the noblest houses in Christendom, uniting in their purses the most [esteemed] secular and religious characters, regarded as the chosen champions of Christ and the flower of Christian knights, it was not possible for the Templars, in such lax times as the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, to escape falling into the vices of [extravagant] luxury and overweening pride.'

"The Order, [folks,] when fully developed, was composed of several classes: chiefly knights, chaplains and serving-brothers. Affiliated were those who were attached to the Order in worked for and received its protection, without taking its vows. [And] this affiliation was said to be derived from the Arab 'clientship' association, analogous to blood-brotherhood and tribal associations.

"A candidate for knighthood should prove that he was of a knightly family and entitled[, yes, entitled,] to the distinction. His father must have been a knight or eligible to become one. He had to prove beyond any doubt that he was born in wedlock. The reason for this last requirement was said to be not only religious: there was the possibility that a political head such as a king or...prince might influence the Order by managing to have one of his bastard sons enter it, later perhaps to rise to high rank therein, and finally attaching it to the service of his dominion.

"The candidate [for initiation] had to be unmarried and free from all obligations. He should have made no vow, nor entered any other Order; and he was not to be in debt. Eventually the competition for admission was so great from eligible people that a very high fee was exacted from those who were to be monk-warriors of the Temple.

"All candidates were to be knighted before entry into the Order. But the period of probation which was originally demanded was before very long entirely abolished. No young man could be admitted until he was twenty-one years of age, because he was to be a soldier as well as a monk, and this was the minimum age at which he could bear arms.

"When a new knight was admitted to the Order, the ceremony was held in secret. This fact, and persistent rumors, caused the belief that certain ceremonies and tenets were put into practice which deviated more than a little from the rituals of the Church. The ceremony was held in one of the Order's chapels, in the presence of the assembled chapter alone.

"The Master (or the Prior, who took his place in chapels other than those at which he was present) opened the proceedings: 'Beloved brethren, ye see that the majority are agreed to receive this man as a brother. If there be any among you who knows anything of him, on account of which he cannot lawfully become a brother, let him say it; for it is better that this should be signified beforehand then after he is brought before us.'

"[And] if no objection was lodged, the aspirant was sent to a small room with two or three experienced knights, to coach him in what he had to know: 'Brother, are you desirous of being associated with the Order?' If he [had] agreed, they would dwell up on the trials and rigors of being a Templar. [William Cooper: They would prepare him for initiation.] He had to reply that for the sake of God he was willing to undergo anything in remain in the Order for life; they asked him if he had a wife or was betrothed; had he made vows to any other Order; did he owe money more than he could pay; was he of sound mind and body; was he [the] servant of any person?

"[Well,] after satisfactory answers, the result was passed to the Master. The assembled company was then asked again if they knew anything that might disqualify him. [And] if none objected, they were asked: 'Are you willing that he should be brought in God's name?' The knights answered, 'Let him be brought in, in God's name.'

"He was now again asked by his sponsors if he still desired to enter the Order. Receiving an affirmative reply they led him to the chapter, where he folded his hands and flung himself upon his knees: 'Sir, I am come before God and before you for the sake of God and our dear Lady, to admit me into your Society, and the good deeds of the Order, as one who will be all his life long servant and slave of the Order.'

"'Beloved brother', answered the receptor, 'you are desirous of a great matter, for you see nothing but the outward shell of our Order.'"

[William Cooper]: Now let me repeat that again in case you weren't listening, folks.

"'Beloved brother,' answered the receptor, 'you are desirous of a great matter for you see nothing but the outward shell of our Order. It is only the outward shell when you see that we have fine horses and rich caparisons, that we eat and drink well and are splendidly clothed. From this you conclude that you will be well off with us. But you know not rigorous maxims which are in our interior. For it is a hard matter for you, who are your own master, to become the servant of another. You will hardly be able to perform, in future, what you wish yourself. For when you may wish to be on this side of the sea, you will be sent to the other side; when you will wish to be in Acre, you will be sent to the district of Antioch, to Tripolis, or to Armenia; or you will be sent to Apulia, to Sicily, or to Lombardy, or to Burgundy, France, England, or any other country where we have houses and possessions. [William Cooper: Where we wish you to do our will.]

"'[Further he says:] When you will wish to sleep, you will be ordered to watch; when you will wish to watch, then you will be ordered to go to bed; when you will wish to eat, then you will be ordered to do something else. And as both we and you might suffer great inconvenience from what you have mayhap concealed from us, look here on the holy evangelists and the word of God and answer the truth to the questions which we shall put to you; for if you lie you will be perjured, and may be expelled the Order, from which God keep you!'

"Now all the former questions were asked [on] Holy Writ. If the answers proved acceptable, the receptor continued:

"'Beloved brother, take good care that you have spoken the truth to us: for should you have spoken false in any one point, you might be put out of the Order -- from which God keep you! Now, beloved brother, attend strictly to what we shall say unto you. Do you promise to God, and our dear Lady Mary to be, all your life long, obedient to the Master of the Temple, and to the Prior who shall be set over you?'

"[And initiate answers with:] 'Yea, Sir, with the help of God!'

"[Again, he is asked,] 'Do you promise to God, and our dear Lady Mary, to live chaste of your body all your life long?'

"[And he answers,] 'Yea, Sir, with the help of God!'

"[And he's again asked,] 'Do you promise to God, and our dear Lady Mary, to observe all your life long, the laudable manners and customs of our Order, both those which are already in use and those which the Master and Knights may add?'

"[And he answers,] 'Yea, Sir, with the help of God!'

"[And then he's asked,] 'Do you promise to God, and our dear Lady Mary, that you will, with the strength and powers which God has bestowed on you, help as long as you live to conquer the Holy Land of Jerusalem; and that you will, with all your strength, aid to keep and guard that which the Christians possess?'

"[And he answers,] 'Yea, Sir, with the help of God!'

"[And he's asked,] 'Do you promise to God, and our dear Lady Mary, never to hold (leave) this Order for stronger or weaker, for better or worse, than with permission of the Master, or of the chapter which has the authority?'

"[And he answers,] 'Yea, Sir, with the help of God!'

"[And then he's asked,] 'Do you finally promise to God, and our dear Lady Mary, never to be present when a Christian is unjustly and unlawfully despoiled of his heritage, and that you will never, by counsel or by act, take part therein?'

"[And he answers,] 'Yea, Sir, with the help of God!'

"[And then:] 'In the name, then, of God, and our dear Lady Mary, and in the name of St. Peter of Rome, and of our father the Pope, and in the name of all the brethren of the Temple, we receive to all the good works of the Order which have been performed from the beginning, and shall be performed to the end, you, your father, your mother, and all of your family whom you will let have share therein. In like manner do you receive us to all the good [work] which you have performed and shall perform. We assure you of bread and water and the poor clothing of the order, and labor and toil enow.'

"Then the candidate was admitted."

[William Cooper]: Don't go away, folks. I'll be right back after this very short pause.

(break music: unknown orchestral music)

[William Cooper, talking over music]: You're listening to the Hour of the Time. I'm William Cooper -- I am still alive, I am still kicking and I'm going to be around for a long, long time, much to the dismay of the Mystery Schools and international Socialism. Don't go away, folks. We'll begin again in just a few moments.

(break music continues)

[William Cooper]: With a joyous celebration the candidate was admitted.]

"The white mantle with its red cross was placed by the Master over the neck of the candidate, and clasped firmly by him. The Chaplain recited the 132nd psalm and the prayer of the Holy Ghost, and each brother repeated a paternoster.

"Then the Master and the Chaplain kissed the new entrant on the mouth. As he sat down before the Master, the latter delivered him a sermon on his duties.

"Knights were equipped more lightly than other Crusaders, and were issued with shields, sword, lance and mace. They were allocated three horses each, [William Cooper: not one with two knights riding, but three horses each] plus an esquire, who was either a serving-brother or a layman, perhaps a youth from a noble family anxious to become a knight in his own turn.

"Retired knights were looked after by the Order, became counselors at meetings, and were eventually buried in coffins in their Templar habit, with the legs crossed. Many Templar gravestones show the Knight with his feet up on a dog."

[William Cooper]: But most show the crossed thighbones and the skull known as the Skull and Bones -- the same Skull and Bones as the Russell trust, the Brotherhood of Death at Yale, and the same Skull and Bones displayed upon the flag of the Pirates.

"It was Philip the Fair of France, bankrupt and fearful of the growing power of the warriors of the Temple, who laid the conspiracy for the suppression of the Order for all time. It has been hinted that Philip had some forewarning that a plot against the throne was afoot; that the Templars, frustrated in their attempts to win back the Holy Land, were about to turn upon Pope and King alike and try to overcome all Christendom."

[William Cooper]: And, believe it or not, that's closer to the truth than anything that you ever heard about the Templars.

"In 1305, Pope Clement had been crowned through the assistance of the French King [William Cooper: and was actually under the control of the French King]; and Philip was ready to bring all the power of Church and State against the Knights of the Temple.

"There had been continued rivalry between the Templars and the Hospitallers [William Cooper: on the surface, underneath, they were one and the same]; and Clement, six months after his enthronement, wrote asking them to visit him for a conference, ostensibly for the purpose of making plans for aiding the kings of Armenia and Cyprus. The Pope was, however, hoping that he could effect a reconciliation between the two Orders, which would in turn strengthen his own position as their only ultimate head. William de Villaret, Master of the Hospital, was fully engaged in an attack upon the Saracens of Rhodes, when the invitation arrived, [and] could not obey it; but Jacques de Molay, Grand Master of the Temple, decided to accept. He handed over the defense of Limassol in Cyprus to the Order's Marshall, collected sixty knights, packed 150,000 gold florins plus much other treasure, and set sail for France.

"At Paris, De Molay was received with honors by the King who was plotting his downfall. In Poitiers, he met Clement, and discussed the possibilities of a fresh Crusade. De Molay opined that only a complete alliance of all Christendom could be of any avail against the Moslems, and that the amalgamation of the two Orders was not a good idea. The Grand Master returned to Paris; and almost at once rumors began to circulate about certain serious charges to be preferred against the Order. Troubled at this campaign, the master (together with Rimbaud de Caron, Preceptor of Outremer; Jeffrey de Goneville, Preceptor of Aquitane, and Hugh de Peraudo, Preceptor of France) returned to Poitiers to justify the Order before the Pope.

"An audience took place about April of 1307, in which the Pope mentioned the charges which have been made. The commission understood that their answers satisfied Clement, and returned to the capital in good heart. But this[, dear listeners,] was only the beginning.

"The method by which the charges were originally said to have been made was through a former Templar who had been expelled from the Order for heresy and other offenses. This Squin de Flexian found himself in prison, together with another man (a Florentine named Noffo Dei) and they thought (or were told) that they could obtain their release and a pardon for the crime of which they were currently accused if only they would testify against the Order. One account has it that de Flexian called for the governor of the prison, saying that he had a disclosure to make which he could tell the King personally; and which would be more to him than the conquest of [an entire] kingdom. Another chronicle has it that both men were degraded Templars, and had been actively engaged in the revolt against the King during which Philip had been forced to take refuge with the Templars. It is further stated that Cardinal Cantilupo, the Chamberlain to the Pope, who had been in an association with the Templars since he was eleven years old, had confessed some of their doings to his master.

"Ten main charges were made by de Flexian against the Order:

"1. Each Templar on his admission swore never to quit the Order, and to further its interests by right or wrong.

"2. The heads of the Order are in secret alliance with the Saracens, and they have more of Mohammedan infidelity than Christian faith. [And] proof of the latter includes that they make every novice spit upon the cross and trample upon it, and blaspheme [the] faith of Christ in various ways.

"3. The heads of the Order are heretical, cruel and sacrilegious men. Whenever any novice, on discovering the iniquity of the Order, tries to leave it, they kill him and bury the body secretly by night. They teach women who are pregnant by them how to procure abortion, and secretly murder [such] newborn children.

"4. They are infected with the errors of the Fratecelli; they despise the Pope and the authority of the Church; they scorn the sacraments, especially those of penance and confession. They pretend to comply with the rites of the Church simply to avoid detection.

"5. The superiors are addicted to the most infamous excesses of debauchery. If anyone expresses his repugnance to this, he is punished by perpetual captivity.

"6. The Temple-houses are the [receptacle] of every crime and abomination that can be committed.

"7. The Order works to put the Holy Land into the hands of the Saracens, and favors them more than the Christians.

"8. The Master is installed in secret and few of the younger brethren are present at this ceremony. It is strongly suspected that on this occasion he repudiates the Christian faith, or does something contrary to right.

"9. Many statutes of the Order are unlawful, profane and contrary to Christianity. [William Cooper: In fact, some of them are stone penises.] The members are therefore forbidden under pain of perpetual confinement to reveal them to anyone.

"10. No vice or crime committed for the honor or benefit of the Order is held to be a sin.

"[Now] these charges were later augmented by others which were collected through testimony from other enemies of the Order, and included such assertions as the use of the phrase Ya Allah ([which means] O, Allah!) and the adoration of an idol called the Head of Baphomet."

[William Cooper]: In fact, the Head of Baphomet was not an idol that they worshiped but represented the receptacle of the intelligence, or the seat of the intelligence: the brain, the light, Lucifer, the gift of intellect, primordial knowing -- and that is what really the object of veneration was.

"Philip and his advisers prepared a great secrecy for the dissent upon this powerful organization[, the Knights Templar]. [And] on the 12th of September, 1307, sealed letters were sent to all the governors and Royal officers throughout France, instructing them to arm themselves on the twelfth of the next month and open the sealed orders -- and to act upon them forthwith. By the morning of Friday, October 13, [and on that day] almost every Templar in France was in the hands of the King's men."

[William Cooper]: And thus was born the legend that Friday the 13th is an unlucky day. And notice that it was October, Friday the 13th, the very first October surprise.

"Hardly one seems to have had any warning."

[William Cooper]: But they did because, before the king acted, the Templars had moved their wealth, their treasure, and their holdings out of the country of France.

"On the day before his arrest, the Grand Master had actually been chosen by the King to be a pall-bearer at a state funeral.

"The secret orders had it that all Templars were to be seized, tortured and interrogated. Confessions were to be obtained from them; pardon might be promised only if they confessed. And all their goods were to be expropriated."

[William Cooper]: But the only thing that they really got was the actual real estate property held by the Templars in France and nowhere else. None of the gold, none of their wealth, none of their jewels, none of their treasures, none of the relics that have recovered from the Holy Land were ever found.

"The King himself took possession of the Temple at Paris as soon as the Grand Master and his knights were arrested. The next day the University of Paris assembled, together with canons and other functionaries and ministers; and the Chancellor declared that the knights had been proceeded against for heresy. Two days later the University met in the Temple and some heads of the Order, including the Grand Master, were interrogated. They are said to have confessed to 'forty years' guilt [William Cooper: whatever that means.]

"[Now] whether de Molay and others confessed on that occasion or not, the King was emboldened to publish an accusation, in which he called the knights 'polluters of the error and devouring wolves.' A public meeting was called in the Royal Gardens and addressed by monks and representatives on this subject. Edward II was the son-in-law of the French Philip, and to him was sent a priest who invited the English monarch to act at once against the Order in Britain. [Well,] Edward almost at once wrote to say that the charges seemed to him to be incredible. But Pope Clement wrote on November 22nd to London, assuring Edward that the Master of the Temple had confessed of his own free will that knights on their admission to the order had denied Christ. Others had admitted idolatry and other crimes. He therefore called upon the King of England to arrest all Templars within his domains, and to place their lands and goods in custody until their guilt or innocence should be ascertained; he condemned them to torture by the Dominican monks under the Inquisition until they confessed their guilt or were dead."

[William Cooper]: Now notice the date folks: November the 22nd in the year 1307. That's a significant date in our history and has direct bearing, as you will see, many hours down the line.

(William Cooper does an advertisement for an upcoming lecture)

"Before [the King of England] received this missive, [he] seems to have been sorely troubled by the allegations. He wrote, on November [the] 26th, to the Seneschal of Agen, asking about the charges. On the 4th of December he wrote to the kings of Portugal, Castile, Aragon and Sicily, asking 'what they had heard, and adding that he had given no credit to it.' He wrote to the Pope himself on December [the] 10th, expressing disbelief of what the French King said, and begging His Holiness to institute an inquiry [Well folks,] by December [the] 15th, when the Papal Bull arrived, Edward felt that he must act upon it without question. On December [the] 26th he wrote to the Pope that his orders would be obeyed. [But] in the interim, Edward had sent word to Wales, Scotland and Ireland that the Templars were all to be seized, as in England; but they were to be treated with kindness.

"On October [the] 19th, less than a week after they had been arrested [in France], 140 prisoners were being tortured by the Dominican Imbert, in the Paris Temple. Promises and the rack produced many confessions. Thirty-six of the examinees died during these proceedings. Throughout France the racks worked overtime, and the confessions poured forth. [William Cooper: Many good men were crippled for the rest of their lives.] Many of these were contradictory and confused; [and] perhaps there is little wonder of that."

[William Cooper]: How many of you could resist, even for five minutes, the tortures of the medieval Inquisition?

"The Pope now seemed a little uneasy at the arbitrary methods which were being employed. Philip wrote sharply to him saying that he, the King, was doing God's work, and rendered accounts to God alone. He offered to turn over all the goods of the Templars to the service of the Holy Land, Clement, still a weakling, merely stipulated that the inquisitions of each Bishop should be confirmed by a Provincial Council, and that the examination of the heads of the Order should be reserved to himself. Now we hear a constant succession of confessions and retractions, allegations that the heads of the Order confessed completely and spontaneously to the Pope himself. The Pope himself, for some unexplained reason, [folks,] tried to escape to Bordeaux, but was stopped by the King. Now he was the monarch's captive as well as his creation.

"Detailed confessions of individual Templars have been kept on record, many of them undoubtedly obtained by extreme racking and other tortures. The Templars who were prepared to defend the Order in court were brought to Paris, to the number of five hundred and forty-six. Deprived of their knightly habits, and the sacraments of the Church, they [had] no means to acquire defense counsel. Their numbers rose to nine hundred, and now they clamored for the presence of the Grand Master, who was held elsewhere. An Act of Accusation in the name of the Pope was drawn up, and seventy-five Templars throughout the Defense.

"The accusation had it now that 'At the time of their reception they were made to deny God, Christ, the Virgin, etc., and in particular to declare that Christ was not the true God, but a false prophet, who had been crucified for his own crimes and not for the redemption of the world. They spat and trampled upon the cross, especially on Good Friday. They worshiped a cat, which sometimes appeared in their chapters. Their priests, when celebrating Mass, did not pronounce the words of consecration. They believed that their Master could absolve them from their sins. They were told at their reception that they might abandon themselves to all kinds of licentiousness. They have idols in all their provinces, some with three faces, some with one. They worshiped these idols in their chapters, believed that they could save them, regarded them as the givers of wealth to the order and of the fertility to the earth; they touched them with cords which they afterwards tied around their own bodies [William Cooper: underneath their robes -- and that is still practiced today by Freemasons and by the Mormon Church]. Those who at the time of their reception would not comply with these practices were put to death or imprisoned.'

"The reply of the Templars denied every charge and stated that they had been subjected to every kind of illegality since their arrest. Fifty-four of the knights who [had] volunteered to defend the Order were committed to the flames, having been declared relapsed heretics, before the trials had even started."

[William Cooper]: And you'll see this number fifty-four crop up later, and even in the modern-day, and sometimes it's fifty-four plus one -- the Grand Master, who later was burned at the stake.

"Four years to the day after the first arrests, the Pope led a convocation of one hundred and fourteen bishops to come to a final decision about the Templar Order. [Well, folks,] the prelates of Spain, England, Germany, Denmark, Ireland, and Scotland called for the Templars to be allowed to defend themselves. The Pope reported by closing the Session almost at once. [William Cooper: He would not hear of it.] Out of fifteen hundred to two thousand Templars who were in hiding in the vicinity, nine knights came forward to testify for the Order. The Pope doubled his guard and sent a message to the King to do the same, as there was still danger from the hidden knights. They were not heard. Only one Italian prelate and three French ones voted to prevent the Order from putting in its defense.

"[Now] Philip, deciding that something should be done to hasten affairs, sent off for Venice and the conference. His arrival had an electric effect. On his sole authority the Pope almost immediately abolished the Order of a secret consistory. [And] this was on March 22nd, [in the year] 1313."

[William Cooper]: And 1313 plays a significant number later on as that was a famous address in New Orleans, as some of you may remember.

"On May 2nd, when the Bull was published, the Order ceased officially to exist. The Grand Master, assumed but not proved to be guilty, was sentenced to perpetual imprisonment. Most of the other knights were released and many of these past their remaining days in poverty. De Molay and one of his chiefs, Guy of Auvergne, [pronounced or] proclaimed their innocence on the public stage to which they had been taken to have sentence announced. The King, upon hearing [William Cooper: them recant their confession], immediately had them committed to the flames."

[William Cooper]: And some say that, while he was being burned at the stake, that De Molay cursed both the Pope and the King of France, stating that within a certain short period of time, he would meet them...he would meet them in another life, in front of God, who would judge them for their crimes. And, believe it or not, folks, well within the period of time, which was not very long, both the Pope and the King of France were dead, and I'm sure joined Jacques DeMolay in front of God for their final judgment.

[William Cooper]: We are in no way finished with the story of the Knights Templar. But until tomorrow night, good night, and God bless each and every one of you.

(closing music: unknown orchestral music)

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