Today is Templar Holocaust Remembrance Day. On this day in 1307 the Knights were betrayed by the Roman Catholic Church and the French Monarchy, who claimed to be good friends of the Order. The Knights were not attacked because they did anything bad or morally wrong – it was because the knights had money, power, and self direction which neither of these two parties could stand. The French Monarchy borrowed tons of money from the Knights to have their petty little wars despite the fact that the Order tried to make borrowing more money an expensive venture, but war against their neighbors was more important. This is where DeMolay unwisely miscalculated the desperation of his supposed royal friends. Only the desperate will borrow money at that rate and generally with no plans of paying it back. The Roman Catholic Church had no real control over the Knights and like the ancient Order before them the Templar were slated for destruction. So on this day in 1307 Grand Master Jacques DeMolay, Sir Knight Guy D’Auvergne, and one other upper level knight were taken into custody to begin seven years of confined custody of daily torture to be only finally boiled alive. Yes, boiled alive not burned to death like the history books says. A sick and barbarous murder on a public level to instill fear into all those who opposed the Roman Catholic Church and the French Monarchy. But those three virtuous Knights were not the only ones to suffer from the brutality of this treachery – the order was sent out by the Roman Catholic Church and the French Monarchy that every single Knight and person connected to the Order be murdered. The riders went out on this day and began their slaughter of men, women, and children. The parents and grandparents of the knights were killed, the siblings, spouses, and children of the knights were murdered, and they even slaughtered all the animals that belonged to these people. No one was safe. The order went out through the ranks of the Order that they were to leave and bring all their family members with them as possible. This also meant Squires, Pages, and Sergeants. And it was the brave Sergeants who donned knights gear to protect the Order and pretend to be the main target of their enemies’ treachery so that the Knights could get as many as possible to safety.
They sailed away on the Templar Fleet, rode away into Eastern Europe and Northern Europe, and were hidden away in the Mountains of the Alps. Many European royal families dared to protect the treasures of the Order as well as their members and knight’s knowledge. It was no easy task and often at great cost. The Knight who had become the next Grand Master, who was of some Scandinavian descent, during this period oversaw the fleet of rickety old ships set sail off the coast of France from the beach where the escape and bloody battle had just happened. They sailed away into a great storm that would brutally toss and crush one of the older vessels carrying many of the elderly and wounded. A sad memory he would carry for the rest of his existence.
History is written by the winners, so don’t believe all the nonsense written about the Order. This was a holocaust most cruel and unjust. It was a cold murder planned only by people who lusted for money and power. The French Monarchy and the Roman Catholic Church greedily seized much of the property owned by the Order. Their prize for destroying a group that did so much for all the people. They were peace keepers making sure that travel was safe. They were observers of public safety and kept an eye on ports and cargo to make sure that plagues did not travel into the continent. They developed and established a safe banking system so that commerce could happen with little risk. The Knights were loyal to their code and not to just one nation. They were of many nations and as time progressed the Order realized that like the Order of Knights before them – one had to embrace the old Ways of Europe in order to protect the people they served, which meant the Church no longer had complete control over them. The Knights learned more of what the reality of life was and embraced it. They were not afraid of people with different spiritual beliefs, but the Church was. And thus, the Knights were tortured and murdered by frightened men who lusted for power and wealth.
Some will point out that the Roman Catholic Church was having political problems at the time with there being two Popes, and recently Church officials have somewhat apologized for the actions taken and have tried to distance themselves from the responsibility. It was up until 2007 that it was still illegal in many European countries to be a Templar Knight. Seven Hundreds years of persecution for being agents of the people and guardians of the truth. It will take time before the Order will feel less angry about these years. The French government still has not completely acknowledged their part in this brutality – and well look at the state of their nation.
Freedom is not free. And as long as the hearts of humanity still feel the lust for wealth and power over what is just and true, then sadly enough, there will be more holocausts.
G. Winkler – © 2014