posted on Jul, 24 2004 @ 11:15 AM
I just finished a book about the Templars, by the same author that wrote Born In Blood. I found it to be a very enjoyable read, although I have
been told that his other book has been debunked, I don't know how accurate the one I just read is, but I just read the final chapters of how the end
went down last night and all I can say is "Wow".
According to Mr. Robinson, the torture that some the other Templars were put through (always in plain view of several other brothers, who would in
turn take the horrific stories back to the dungeons) was downright hideous. Hot irons were used to sear their skin right off - in fact several
Templars had their feet burned completely off, and later were presented carrying bags of blackened bones that had fallen out of their feet as they
burned. Jaques de Molay was over 70 at the time. He cofessed to denying Christ, spitting on or alongside the Cross, that the brothers were absolved of
their sins by their own officers rather than priests, among other heretical acts such as worshipping idols because he was sure that the torture would
kill him in his old age, and he could not fight for the honor of his order if he was dead.
De Molay was convinced that no king had authority to sieze men or properties from the Templars, as they were only answerable to the pope himself. He
made it known that he wished to plead the Templars case directly to the pope. King Philip of France did not see it that way. He was in serious debt to
the Templars and had many greedy and evil reasons to bring them down. The suppression and torture of the Templars was most extensive and brutal in
France. Phillip (by way of an archbishop he had installed) condemned most of the Templars who were set to testify in defense of the order to either
life in prison, or death. The ones that weren't killed were so afraid that instead of putting up a defense, most of them only confirmed their
confessions, in the hope that they would receive mercy.
Anyway, I said all that to say this: When the time finally came, four Templar officers whose judgement and sentencing the pope had reserved to be
decided himself stood on a huge platform built in front of the cathedral of Notre Dame, Where everyone from the clergy to the nobles to the commoners
could see them. They were Jaques de Molay, Goeffrey de Charnay, the preceptor of Normandy; Geoffrey de Gonneville, preceptor of Poitou and Aquitaine;
and Hugh de Peraud, a former treasurer who had always cooperated with King Philip's officers.
They were all in plain view of everyone as the charges against them were read, and the expectant crowd waited to hear the confessions for themselves,
alot of them hiving a hard time believing these warrior monks were actually guilty of heresy. When the time came, de Molay siezed the moment, and his
place in history as well. He said:
"I think it only right that at so solemn a moment, when my life has so little time to run, I should reveal the deception which has been practiced and
speak up for the truth. Before heaven and earth and all of you here as my witnesses, I admit that I am guilty of the grossest iniquity. But the
iniquity is that I have lied in admitting the disgusting charges laid against the Order. I declare, and I must declare, that the Order is innocent.
It's purity and saintliness are beyond question. I have indeed confessed that the Order is guilty, but I have done so only to save myself from
terrible tortures by saying what my enemies wished me to say. Other knights who have recanted their confessions have been led to the stake, yet the
thought of dying is not so awful that I shall confess foul crimes which have never been committed. Life is offered to me, but at the price of infamy.
At such a price, life is not worth having. I do not grieve that I must die if life can be bought only by piling one lie upon another."
Geoffrey de Charnay, no doubt inspired by his grand master, followed suit and retracted his confession, shouting out the innocence of the order. As
you can imagine, the king was furious, and the two men were to be put to death immediately. They took the two knights to the island of du Palais, in
the Seine river to be burned alive. They built the fires out of specially cured wood and charcoal, so that they would burn low and very hot. The two
knights were literally roasted from the ground up. As he was burning, de Molay cursed Philip IV and pope Clement V to meet him within the year before
the throne of God to answer for their crime. The pope died within a month, and King Philip followed, seven months later.
I apologize that this post is so long, but I just felt like I had to post it, because these men were of the most honorable and respectable types in
history. They were as fierce in battle as in their devotion to God, and I just think it is a very inspiring story.
The information above comes from the book Dungeon, Fire, and Sword: The Knights Templar in the Crusades by John J. Robinson. It is a great
read, I strongly recommend it to anyone interested in Templar history. The above words are my own, but the de Molay quote is straight from the
BTW, according to this book, the suppression and arrest of the Templars started on Friday the 13 of October, 1307, and de Molay was burned at the
stake on March 18, 1314. Not quite seven years.