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Knights Templar legends

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Author Topic: Knights Templar legends  (Read 666 times)
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« on: May 11, 2010, 03:11:57 pm »

Some historians and authors have tried to draw a link from Freemasonry and its many branches to the Templars. This alleged link remains a point of debate. Degrees in the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite such as the Knight of Saint Andrew, the Knight of Rose-Croix, and the 32nd Degree in Consistory make reference to a "Masonic Knights Templar" connection, but this is usually dismissed as being ceremonial and not historical fact.
John J. Robinson argues for the Templar-Masonic connection in his book Born in Blood: The Lost Secrets of Freemasonry, in which he alleges that some French Templars fled to Scotland after the suppression of the Order, fearing persecution from both Church and state. He claims they sought refuge with a lodge of Scottish stone masons within which they began to teach the virtues of chivalry and obedience, using the builders tools as a metaphor; and eventually they began taking in "speculative masons" (men of other professions) in order to ensure the continuation of the Order. According to Robinson, the Order existed in secret in this form until the formation of the United Grand Lodge of England in 1717. An example of Templar-Masonic transitory symbolism can supposedly be found in Rosslyn Chapel owned by the first Earls of Rosslyn Sinclair a family with well documented ties to Scottish Freemasonry, however Rosslyn Chapel itself dates from at least 100 years after the suppression of the Templars.
The case is also made in Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh's book The Temple and the Lodge.
However, historians Mark Oxbrow, Ian Robertson,[10] Karen Ralls and Louise Yeoman [11] have each made it clear that the Sinclair family had no connection with the Medieval Knights Templar. The Sinclairs' testimony against the Knights at their 1309 trial is not consistent with any alleged support or membership. In "The Templars and the Grail"[12] Karen Ralls states that among some 50 who testified against the Templars were Henry and William Sinclair.
The Order of the Solar Temple is one infamous example of a "neo-Templar" group, founded in 1984, that claimed descent from the original Knights Templar; there are several other self-styled orders that also claim to be descended from, or revivals of, the Templar Order. One such organization is the Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem (SMOTJ), an ecumenical Christian society based on the traditions of the medieval Knights Templar and principles of chivalry. However, the order is not a genuine order of chivalry, having neither official state recognition nor a head of state as sovereign. SMOTJ was created in 1804 and is dedicated to the preservation of the holy sites in and around Jerusalem, charitable works, and antiquarian research. In 2001, the most prominent faction of the SMOTJ was recognized by the United Nations as a non-governmental organization.
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