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The legend of the goatriders

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posted on Aug, 11 2004 @ 05:45 AM

There seems to be a strange similarity between an ancient rite/initiation ceremony of freemasonry and the legend of the sinister gang of goatriders or 'bokkenrijders' (dutch).

In the 18th century large parts of the Southern Netherlands, Belgium and Germany were terrorised by mysterious gangs of highwaymen. These robbers called them selves the Goatriders and were the subject of many legends. At sunset rich farmers, abbeys and convents locked their doors and waited in fear. With an amazing speed the Goatriders attacked and ransacked their targets. Their incredible pace made people suspect they were in league with the devil. Named after a medieval legend, the Goatriders were supposed to fly through the sky on glowing he-goats.

But there was more to the actions of the Goatriders than robbing and plundering alone. In their operations lay, besides their hostility towards the farmers and the clergy, an obvious element of protest against the established order. This manifested itself to the fullest when pillaging churches or presbyteries. Besides stealing valuables, relics, sacerdotal garments and opening offertory-boxes, they went even further by performing parodies on the holy communion, extreme desecration and by swearing a blasphemous oath.

The virtues one needs to be a Goatrider are stated as follows: be insensitive, have no scruples whatsoever, be out for living the good life without really exerting oneself.
Bound by their oath, which was introduced when the gangs were enlarged by strangers (i.e. not family of the skinners), the gangs formed a hermetically closed unity, difficult to break. They never talked about their nocturnal activities to the outside world, so it often occurred that an insidious member was hiding behind the looks of an honourable civilian or revered tradesman.

The oath was performed as follows: in an abandoned chapel at night, there stood an altar with a crucifix, two burning candles, the hand of a dead man (chopped off of a hung convict), a Mary-statue (stained or not) and a small box. The oath was read by the leader and was to be repeated by the new member who had the first two fingers of his right hand raised. A sentenced man declared the following: "this oath roughly contained: that I abjure god with the holy mother of god and that I acknowledge the devil. If I should be captured hereafter, I will rather undergo torture to death above betraying one of them, or in case that one is betrayed I will act upon him as if he had been captured."
After this oath, they often acted out "the last supper", mocking and trampling the crucifix.
There was no way back once you had taken the oath: only death would relieve you. Those who wanted to withdraw were tracked and killed in cold blood. Even when undergoing the worst of torture, betrayal would equal death: the retaliation of the Goatriders was always the worse, it was even persevered by mother, children, parents and the rest of the family. Never would a gang have itself betrayed without punishment.

The authorities accused them of witchcraft and designed special laws and tortures to stop them. A real witch hunt started, claiming many innocent victims. Between 1730 and 1796 over 300 people were burned, maimed or hanged as convicted Goatriders.

Maybe there's a link between the freemasonry or 'vrijmetselarij'(dutch) afterall, as they both originate from the same region.

posted on Oct, 11 2011 @ 09:06 AM
Well, I can see a few similarities, after all, in an old Dutch castle basement where free masons did their thing so to speak, once the christian knights found out they carved images of blasphemy, including bestiality, 'coincidentally' with horned goats, bokken.

When I first heard about bokkenrijders thought, I just thought about little people on goats, so it's interesting to hear new perspectives

posted on Oct, 11 2011 @ 09:09 AM
You do realise that the whole Goat Riding thing and Masonry is a joke?
Plus, Freemasonry did not originate in Holland.

posted on Oct, 17 2011 @ 05:54 AM
To my idea, freemasonry knows no borders, I mean, realizing nations, but not originating from any place so to speak.

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