The first book I read after the meetup outrage in February 2016 was Sworn In Secret, which detailed how the Knights Templar and Freemasons operated through secret societies. Since the ideas that we hold are too dangerous to the ruling establishment, I wanted to see if it would make sense for us to go underground as well.
The book begins with the story of the Knights Templar. They were a secret group of militant monks who swore an oath to provide safe passage to Christians on their pilgrimages to the Holy Land after the first successful Crusade gave the Vatican control over Jerusalem. This group of men, often the second or third-born sons of noble families, grew to become a highly skilled army that only answered to the Pope. They quickly amassed incredible power throughout Europe as they implemented various banking and logistical innovations of the time.
They swore to act in a more holy manner than many of their rough-hewn fellow Crusaders, and took vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.
…instead of remaining isolated behind abbey walls their mission required them to be active in the world with sword in hand, fighting against any who attacked Christians in the Holy Land. This combination of religious peace and military action was relatively new in the West, but not in the East. For many years Muslim warriors had already managed to combine devotions with annihilations to a significant degree.
In order to fund their operations, the group sought alms from the richest men of Europe in the name of defending Christianity. Kings, lords, and noblemen answered the call, giving the Knights Templar over 800 valuable estates that allowed them to raise significant amounts of money. It’s in these estates, particularly in Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, where it’s claimed that the Knights Templar discovered numerous holy relics that gave them mystical powers. This further added to their aura of holiness and strength.
Their vows did not allow them to enrich themselves personally. Nor could they establish a dynasty for their heirs, as others had done across the continent. These men used their formidable power only in the service of pilgrims and God. This endeared them to lords and commons alike.
The Grand Master and brothers of the red cross showed on the battlefields of the Holy Land that they were prepared to fight to the last man and die in battle. It was the nature of their chosen path in life, and they accepted it. It permeated their entire brotherhood, even down to the person who only saddled the knight’s horse. They seemed to feel they could do no less than their brothers who had already died keeping their vows. This was part of the Templar mystique that cast a spell on members of the public. There was the feeling that Templars were part of something worthy, something greater than themselves, and it was addictive.
They swore to defend each other in the face of danger in a “no man left behind” oath. Many of their entire platoons were wiped out because they refused to leave a single Templar in harm’s way.
[Their] oaths were taken by all the brothers, from highest to lowest, creating the beginning of a bond between them. As the years passed and those vows were kept, even in life-and-death situations, trust would have deepened. By all accounts the Templars were notoriously firm about living up to their obligations. They did not leave a wounded brother upon the field, nor retreat while the battle was still being fought.
If one knight’s horse died in battle, and the man faced imminent death on foot with the enemy on every side, no other knight was allowed to leave the field of battle. The nearest knight was obliged by stubborn honor to fly to the aid of his brother, no matter the cost.
The Templars swore oaths of secrecy that kept their business practices and other plans completely concealed, not only from the public but even their own members. Unless you were high up in the organization, you only possessed a small picture of the group’s activities.
They believed that the lives of their brethren and the life of their Order hinged on keeping their secrets, even unto death. A leaked word about battle plans could kill a brother just as surely as leaving them alone on the battlefield.
The same institution that helped form the Knights Templar also lent a decisive hand in destroying them. The King of France, Philip IV, with support from the Vatican, launched a witch hunt against the Templars on a Friday the 13th using trumped-up charges (it is thought that Philip wanted to reduce their power and get out of debts owed to them). He captured and tortured 140 Templars in France. The Pope then rendered the group illegal, even though they were still beloved by the population. Members were forced to escape from lands controlled by the Pope or go underground.
Given that there were approximately 4000 brothers in the Templar Order before the sudden arrests on the 13th of October— and only about 500 of those men appeared in the official records of arrests and trials in the East and West— what happened to the 3500 others?
The book then attempts to make the connection that the Knights Templar provided the seed for another secret society that still exists today, the Freemasons. While the Freemasons originally came out of the masonry builders lodges of England and Scotland, it is thought that they took inspiration, rituals, and relics from the Knights Templar.
The Freemasons would eventually come to wield massive power on their own, especially when you consider that the founding of the United States was guided by men who were Freemasons, such as Sam Adams, Paul Revere, John Hancock, Benjamin Franklin, and George Washington. This is why symbols of the United States government, like the dollar bill and the layout of Washington DC, feature Freemasonry patterns.
During the course of the war, almost fifty percent of all the generals who served under Washington were Masons. That was an extraordinary number because the highest figure I have ever seen reported for Masons in the USA was about nine percent of the male population. In a similar manner, this society was well represented among the founding fathers of the United States. Thirty-three percent of the signers of the Constitution were Masons.
Over the years, Freemasons have developed a variety of rituals and beliefs that some may consider occult. Just like how the Knights Templar got their special “powers” from ancient relics, it’s thought that high-level Freemasons get theirs from praying to special deities.
Baphomet devil goat
Theories that they are a part of the “Illuminati” are common. The author of this book doesn’t dive into those accusations, probably because he’s a Freemason himself.
Freemasonry had thrived for hundreds of years because it was based on bonds between men. Those bonds had enabled brothers to survive the many acts of excessive violence by leaders of nations and religions against them. This was the driving force that brought Freemasonry into existence, and caused it to grow stronger over the decades.
…one of the hallmarks of Freemasonry was that its members joined together to protect themselves from the arbitrary acts of powerful men.
This book was an informative reminder that if you want to create a force multiplier among men who share the same beliefs, the best way to do it is organize and swear oaths of both secrecy and loyalty. If your beliefs go against those of the most elite members of your society, you may not have any other choice. I had to learn the hard way when I tried to organize rather innocent happy hours for me and my followers. Multiple institutions that back the ruling establishment made it clear that that wouldn’t be allowed. This book confirmed to me that operating in secret will be essential.[culturewar]