Also known as the Poor Knights of Christ, the Knights Templar was originally founded by two men in 1118, Hugues de Payens a knight from Burgundy and Godefroid de St. Omer a knight from Northern France. The two knights founded the Templar’s to protect pilgrims on the journey to the holy land in Jerusalem. The king of Jerusalem of that time, Baldwin I, gave them and seven other knights who joined them quarters close to Solomon’s Temple; which is where they got their name.
Obviously a group of nine knights wouldn’t be able to protect many pilgrims on their way to the holy land and they didn’t plan to. Instead the Knights Templar had a secret goal, to dig beneath Solomon’s Temple. After years of digging they discovered powerful religious artifacts holy knowledge.
Hugues de Payens traveled to Europe nine years after their founding to obtain recognition from the church in Rome. He gained the support of the Abbot of Clairvaux S. Bernard and approval of a Rule by the Council of Troyes in 1128. It wasn’t until 1163 when Pope Alexander III issued a charter for their order that the Templar’s were fully established.
Becoming established allowed the Knights Templar to continue to grow and gain influence in Europe and the holy lands. They used that power to continue their excavation of Solomon’s Temple looking for artifacts and knowledge. We cannot be sure of everything that the Templar’s discovered during their excavation but we do know they found a few objects of immense knowledge and power.
The two greatest discoveries the Templar’s were said to have made was the crown of thorns worn by Christ at his crucifixion and the holy grail. The holy grail has long been said to be the Templar’s most important discovery. Although there has been debate about what exactly the grail is. One side claims it is the cup that Christ drank from at the Last Supper. Other groups claim that the grail is actually knowledge the church wants kept secret.
What that secret is has been debated, but the likely answer is that the Templar’s found scrolls that documented the secret wisdom of the ancient Judaic. Specifically the scrolls gave them knowledge of ancient Judaic geometry, rituals, and technology that would undermine the Christian church.
Its believed that among the knowledge obtained by the Templar’s at Solomon’s Temple was the power to witness the true vision of God. The Templar’s are also believed to have obtained an even greater power from the knowledge obtained from their excavations, the Mana Machine.
The Mana Machine according to many is the device used by the Isrealites to feed themselves on their way to the holy land. It later became known as the Ark of the Covenant. The Templars it seem found this powerful artifact during their years of searching and began using it for themselves during special rituals. They probably still have this powerful tool and many others today.
Among special rituals used by the Templars were their Rites of Initiation for new members. Surprisingly the beginning stages of initiation took place each week during the weekly chapter meetings. Each postulant was brought before the chapter members for inspection. If this candidate was agreed upon by the majority of the members then he was sent on to be seen by two or three of the senior members of the chapter.
The candidates were asked a series of questions to prove their legitimacy as possible members which meant that they were free men, were noble, fit, and had been born of a legitimate birth. If he had all of these qualities this possible initiate was then introduced to the master of the chapter.
The initiation ceremony was a secret ceremony that was quite specifically done. Each secret ceremony was completed within a clone of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher’s rotunda. It would be rather difficult to do weekly initiations in the real thing as the Holy Sepulcher is in Jerusalem.
Many of the known Templar churches and chapels were built with rotundas for this main reason. Often times these round churches also held other significance. In Segovia, Spain lies the Templar Vera Cruz Church. Within the rotunda of Vera Cruz is a rather large model of the Tomb of Christ. This model was built in two stories with stairs leading up to it. This was often replicated in other churches and was used as a stage for their large and important ceremonies like initiation. This Tomb was a vehicle to give the initiates and members glimpses into visions of God.