THEOSOPHY, Vol. 58, No. 10, August, 1970
(Pages 304-311; Size: 22K)
(Number 34 of a 36-part series)



THE Temple was the last European secret organization which, as a body, had in its possession some of the mysteries of the East. True, there were in the past century (and perhaps still are) isolated "Brothers" faithfully and secretly working under the direction of Eastern Brotherhoods. But these, when they did belong to European societies, invariably joined them for objects unknown to the Fraternity, though at the same time for the benefit of the latter. It is through them that modern Masons have all they know of importance; and the similarity now found between the Speculative Rites of antiquity, the mysteries of the Essenes, Gnostics, and the Hindus, and the highest and oldest of the Masonic degrees well prove the fact. If these mysterious brothers became possessed of the secrets of the societies, they could never reciprocate the confidence, though in their hands these secrets were safer, perhaps, than in the keeping of European Masons. When certain of the latter were found worthy of becoming affiliates of the Orient, they were secretly instructed and initiated, but the others were none the wiser for that.

No one could ever lay hands on the Rosicrucians, and notwithstanding the alleged discoveries of "secret chambers," vellums called "T," and of fossil knights with ever-burning lamps, this ancient association and its true aims are to this day a mystery. Pretended Templars and sham Rose-Croix, with a few genuine kabalists, were occasionally burned, and some unlucky Theosophists and alchemists sought and put to the torture; delusive confessions even were wrung from them by the most ferocious means, but yet, the true Society remains today as it has ever been, unknown to all, especially to its cruelest enemy -- the Church.

As to the modern Knights Templar and those Masonic Lodges which now claim a direct descent from the ancient Templars, their persecution by the Church was a farce from the beginning. They have not, nor have they ever had, any secrets dangerous to the Church. Quite the contrary; for we find J. G. Findel saying that the Scottish degrees, or the Templar system, only dates from 1735-1740, and "following its Catholic tendency, took up its chief residence in the Jesuit College of Clermont, in Paris, and hence was called the Clermont system." The present Swedish system has also something of the Templar element in it, but free from Jesuits and interference with politics; however, it asserts that it has Molay's Testament in the original, for a Count Beaujeu, a nephew of Molay, never heard of elsewhere -- says Findel -- transplanted Templarism into Freemasonry, and thus procured for his uncle's ashes a mysterious sepulchre. It is sufficient to prove this a Masonic fable that on this pretended monument the day of Molay's funeral is represented as March 11, 1313, while the day of his death was March 19, 1313. This spurious production, which is neither genuine Templarism, nor genuine Freemasonry, has never taken firm root in Germany. But the case is otherwise in France.

Writing upon this subject, we must hear what Wilcke has to say of these pretensions:

"The present Knight Templars of Paris will have it, that they are direct descendants from the ancient Knights, and endeavor to prove this by documents, interior regulations, and secret doctrines. Foraisse says the Fraternity of Freemasons was founded in Egypt, Moses communicating the secret teaching to the Israelites, Jesus to the Apostles, and thence it found its way to the Knight Templars. Such inventions are necessary ... to the assertion that the Parisian Templars are the offspring of the ancient order. All these asseverations, unsupported by history, were fabricated in the High Chapter of Clermont (Jesuits), and preserved by the Parisian Templars as a legacy left them by those political revolutionists, the Stuarts and the Jesuits." Hence we find the Bishops Gregoire and Münter supporting them.

Connecting the modern with the ancient Templars, we can at best, therefore, allow them an adoption of certain rites and ceremonies of purely ecclesiastical character after they had been cunningly inoculated into that grand and antique Order by the clergy. Since this desecration, it gradually lost its primitive and simple character, and went fast to its final ruin. Founded in 1118 by the Knights Hugh de Payens and Geoffrey de St. Omer, nominally for the protection of the pilgrims, its true aim was the restoration of the primitive secret worship. The true version of the history of Jesus, and the early Christianity was imparted to Hugh de Payens, by the Grand-Pontiff of the Order of the Temple (of the Nazarene or Johanite sect), one named Theocletes, after which it was learned by some Knights in Palestine, from the higher and more intellectual members of the St. John sect, who were initiated into its mysteries.(1) Freedom of intellectual thought and the restoration of one and universal religion was their secret object. Sworn to the vow of obedience, poverty, and chastity, they were at first the true Knights of John the Baptist, crying in the wilderness and living on wild honey and locusts. Such is the tradition and the true kabalistic version.

It is a mistake to state that the Order became only later anti-Catholic. It was so from the beginning, and the red cross on the white mantle, the vestment of the Order, had the same significance as with the initiates in every other country. It pointed to the four quarters of the compass, and was the emblem of the universe.(2) When, later, the Brotherhood was transformed into a Lodge, the Templars had, in order to avoid persecution, to perform their own ceremonies in the greatest secrecy, generally in the hall of the chapter, more frequently in isolated caves or country houses built amidst woods, while the ecclesiastical form of worship was carried on publicly in the chapels belonging to the Order.

Though of the accusations brought against them by order of Philip IV, many were infamously false, the main charges were certainly correct, from the stand-point of what is considered by the Church, heresy. The present-day Templars, adhering strictly as they do to the Bible, can hardly claim descent from those who did not believe in Christ, as God-man, or as the Saviour of the world; who rejected the miracle of his birth, and those performed by himself; who did not believe in transubstantiation, the saints, holy relics, purgatory, etc. The Christ Jesus was, in their opinion, a false prophet, but the man Jesus a Brother. They regarded John the Baptist as their patron, but never viewed him in the light in which he is presented in the Bible. They reverenced the doctrines of alchemy, astrology, magic, kabalistic talismans, and adhered to the secret teachings of their chiefs in the East. "In the last century," says Findel, "when Freemasonry erroneously supposed herself the daughter of Templarism, great pains were taken to regard the Order of Knights-Templars as innocent.... For this purpose not only legends and unrecorded events were fabricated, but pains were taken to repress the truth. The Masonic admirers of the Knights-Templars bought up the whole of the documents of the lawsuit published by Moldenwaher, because they proved the culpability of the Order."

This culpability consisted in their "heresy" against the Roman Catholic Church. While the real "Brothers" died an ignominious death, the spurious Order which tried to step into their shoes became exclusively a branch of the Jesuits under the immediate tutelage of the latter. True-hearted, honest Masons, ought to reject with horror any connection, let alone descent from these.

"The Knights of St. John of Jerusalem," writes Commander Gourdin, "sometimes called the Knights Hospitallers, and the Knights of Malta, were not Freemasons. On the contrary, they seem to have been inimical to Freemasonry, for in 1740, the Grand Master of the Order of Malta caused the Bull of Pope Clement XII to be published in that island, and forbade the meetings of the Freemasons. On this occasion several Knights and many citizens left the island; and in 1741, the Inquisition persecuted the Freemasons at Malta. The Grand Master proscribed their assemblies under severe penalties, and six Knights were banished from the island in perpetuity for having assisted at a meeting. In fact, unlike the Templars, they had not even a secret form of reception. Reghellini says that he was unable to procure a copy of the secret Ritual of the Knights of Malta. The reason is obvious -- there was none!"

And yet American Templarism comprises three degrees. 1, Knight of the Red Cross; 2, Knight Templar; and 3, Knight of Malta. It was introduced from France into the United States, in 1808, and the first Grand Encampment General was organized on June 20, 1816, with Governor De Witt Clinton, of New York, as Grand Master.

This inheritance of the Jesuits should hardly be boasted of. If the Knights Templar desire to make good their claims, they must choose between a descent from the "heretical," anti-Christian, kabalistic, primitive Templars, or connect themselves with the Jesuits, and nail their tessellated carpets directly on the platform of ultra-Catholicism! Otherwise, their claims become a mere pretense.

So impossible does it become for the originators of the ecclesiastical pseudo-order of Templars, invented, according to Dupuy, in France, by the adherents of the Stuarts, to avoid being considered a branch of the Order of the Jesuits, that we are not surprised to see an anonymous author, rightly suspected of belonging to the Jesuit Chapter at Clermont, publishing a work in 1751, in Brussels, on the lawsuit of the Knights Templar. In this volume, in sundry mutilated notes, additions, and commentaries, he represents the innocence of the Templars of the accusation of "heresy," thus robbing them of the greatest title to respect and admiration that these early freethinkers and martyrs have won!

This last pseudo-order was constituted at Paris, on the 4th of November, 1804, by virtue of a forged Constitution, and ever since it has "contaminated genuine Freemasonry," as the highest Masons themselves tell us. La Charte de transmission (tabula aurea Larmenii) presents the outward appearance of such extreme antiquity "that Gregoire confesses that if all the other relics of the Parisian treasury of the Order had not silenced his doubts as to their ancient descent, the sight of this charter would at the very first glance have persuaded him." The first Grand Master of this spurious Order was a physician of Paris, Dr. Fahre-Palaprat, who assumed the name of Bernard Raymond.

Count Ramsey, a Jesuit, was the first to start the idea of the Templars being joined to the Knights of Malta. Therefore, we read from his pen the following:

"Our forefathers (! ! !), the Crusaders, assembled in the Holy Land from all Christendom, wished to unite in a fraternity embracing all nations, that when bound together, heart and soul, for mutual improvement, they might, in the course of time, represent one single intellectual people."

This is why the Templars are made to join the St. John's Knights, and the latter got into the craft of Masonry known as St. John's Masons.

In the Sceau Rompu, in 1745, we find, therefore, the following most impudent falsehood, worthy of the Sons of Loyola: "The lodges were dedicated to St. John, because the Knights-Masons had in the holy wars in Palestine joined the Knights of St. John."

In 1743, the Kadosh degree was invented at Lyons (so writes Thory, at least), and "it represents the revenge of the Templars." And here we find Findel saying that "the Order of Knights Templars had been abolished in 1311, and to that epoch they were obliged to have recourse when, after the banishment of several Knights from Malta, in 1740, because they were Freemasons, it was no longer possible to keep up a connection with the Order of St. John, or Knights of Malta, then in the plenitude of their power under the sovereignty of the Pope."

Turning to Clavel, one of the best Masonic authorities, we read: "It is clear that the erection of the Knight Templars is not more ancient than the year 1804, and it cannot lay any legitimate claim to being the continuation of the so-called society of 'la petite Resurrection des Templiers,' nor this latter, either, extend back to the ancient Order of the Knights Templars." Therefore, we see these pseudo-Templars, under the guidance of the worthy Father Jesuits, forging in Paris, 1806, the famous charter of Larmenius. Twenty years later, this nefast and subterranean body, guiding the hand of assassins, directed it toward one of the best and greatest princes in Europe, whose mysterious death, unfortunately for the interests of truth and justice, has never been -- for political reasons -- investigated and proclaimed to the world as it ought to have been. It is this prince, a Freemason himself, who was the last depository of the secrets of the true Knights Templar. For long centuries these had remained unknown and unsuspected. Holding their meetings once every thirteen years, at Malta, and their Grand Master advising the European brothers of the place of rendezvous but a few hours in advance, these representatives of the once mightiest and most glorious body of Knights assembled on the fixed day, from various points of the earth. Thirteen in number, in commemoration of the year of the death of Jacques Molay (1313), the now Eastern brothers, among whom were crowned heads, planned together the future religious and political fate of the nations; while the Popish Knights, their murderous and bastard successors, slept soundly in their beds, without a dream disturbing their guilty consciences.

"And yet," says Rebold, "notwithstanding the confusion they had created (1736-72), the Jesuits had accomplished but one of their designs, viz.: renaturalizing and bringing into disrepute the Masonic Institution. Having succeeded, as they believed, in destroying it in one form, they were determined to use it in another. With this determination, they arranged the systems styled 'Clerkship of the Templars,' an amalgamation of the different histories, events, and characteristics of the crusades mixed with the reveries of the alchemists. In this combination Catholicism governed all, and the whole fabrication moved upon wheels, representing the great object for which the Society of Jesus was organized."

Hence, the rites and symbols of Masonry which though "Pagan" in origin, are all applied to and all flavor of Christianity. A Mason has to declare his belief in a personal God, Jehovah, and in the Encampment degrees also in Christ, before he can be accepted in the Lodge, while the Johanite Templars believed in the unknown and invisible Principle, whence proceeded the Creative Powers misnamed gods, and held to the Nazarene version of Ben-Panther being the sinful father of Jesus, who thus proclaimed himself "the son of god and of humanity."(3) This also accounts for the fearful oaths of the Masons taken on the Bible, and for their lectures servilely agreeing with the Patriarcho-Biblical Chronology. In the American Order of Rose Croix, for instance, when the neophyte approaches the altar, the "Sir Knights are called to order, and the captain of the guard makes his proclamation." "To the glory of the sublime architect of the universe (Jehovah-Binah?), under the auspices of the Sovereign Sanctuary of Ancient and Primitive Freemasonry," etc., etc. Then the Knight Orator strikes 1 and tells the neophyte that the antique legends of Masonry date back FORTY centuries; claiming no greater antiquity for the oldest of them than 622 A.M. [anno mundi -- in the year of the world], at which time he says Noah was born. Under the circumstances this will be regarded as a liberal concession to chronological preferences. After that Masons(4) are apprised that it was about the year 2188 B.C., that Mizraim led colonies into Egypt, and laid the foundation of the Kingdom of Egypt, which kingdom lasted 1,663 years (! ! !). Strange chronology, which, if it piously conforms with that of the Bible, disagrees entirely with that of history. The mythical nine names of the Deity, imported into Egypt, according to the Masons, only in the twenty-second century B.C., are found on monuments reckoned twice as old by the best Egyptologists. Nevertheless we must take at the same time into consideration, that the Masons are themselves ignorant of these names.

The simple truth is that modern Masonry is a sadly different thing from what the once universal secret fraternity was in the days when the Brahma-worshippers of the AUM, exchanged grips and passwords with the devotees of TUM, and the adepts of every country under the sun were "Brothers."

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(5) NOTE.--"The Christian Scheme," begun in November, 1967, is collated from the works of H. P. Blavatsky. It recounts the historical background and early development of Christianity.
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(1) This is the reason why unto this day the fanatical and kabalistic members of the Nazarenes of Basra (Persia), have a tradition of the glory, wealth, and power of their "Brothers," agents, or messengers as they term them in Malta and Europe. There are some few remaining yet, they say, who will sooner or later restore the doctrine of their Prophet Iohanan (St. John), the son of Lord Jordan, and eliminate from the hearts of humanity every other false teaching.
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(2) The two great pagodas of Madura and Benares, are built in the form of a cross, each wing being equal in extent.
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(3) The story given is this. A virgin named Mariam, betrothed to a young man of the name of Iohanan, was outraged by another man named Ben Panther or Joseph Panther, says "Sepher Toldos Jeshu." "Her betrothed, learning of her misfortune, left her, at the same time forgiving her. The child born was Jesus, named Joshua. Adopted by his uncle Rabbi Jehosuah, he was initiated into the secret doctrine by Rabbi Elhanan, a kabalist, and then by the Egyptian priests, who consecrated him High Pontiff of the Universal Secret Doctrine, on account of his great mystic qualities. Upon his return into Judea his learning and powers excited the jealousy of the Rabbis, and they publicly reproached him with his origin and insulted his mother. Hence the words attributed to Jesus at Cana: 'Woman, what have I to do with thee?' (See John 2:4.) His disciples having rebuked him with his unkindness to his mother, Jesus repented, and having learned from them the particulars of the sad story, he declared that "My mother has not sinned, she has not lost her innocence; she is immaculate and yet she is a mother.... As for myself I have no father, in this world, I am the Son of God and of humanity!" Sublime words of confidence and trust in the unseen Power, but how fatal to the millions upon millions of men murdered because of these very words so thoroughly misunderstood!
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(4) We speak of the American Chapter of Rose Croix.
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