The Knights Templar and their Meaning for the 21st Century

The following contribution comes from the observation, that very many people today show a strong interest in the Order of the Knights Templar. The  main idea of this article is to give an explanation why the order has been destroyed in such a strange way and what this has to do with our century. The theme is deeply connected with the theme of my other contribution on the Solomonic temple. The aim, the plight of the knights templar was to develop their body and soul into a Temple for the name of God. And the aim of the torturers was to destroy this temple, which each one of the knights had built - more or less perfectly.

Die Hinrichtung Jacques de Molays und ..... am ....... 1314.

The Knights Templar and their Meaning for the 21st Century

Philip IVth of France and his destruction of the Order.

The way the destruction of the Order of the Knights Templar was carried out and the intensity of the destruction is, in some ways, a reverse mirror showing the profundity of their spiritual aims. We can see that King Philip 1V of France (known as ‘Philip the Fair’) seems to have had an awareness of the importance of their spiritual goals. The king himself gave detailed instructions on the methods that were to be used to torture the knights. These methods of torture were specifically aimed to destroy their spiritual discipline. This, I believe, shows that he was an antichristian Initiate.

So how did Philip destroy the order?

One of the first measures was the destruction of their reputation. Philip considered the lie to be a legitimate political tool and Giullaume de Nogaret, his chief henchman, began to smear the reputation of the Order in the eyes of the people through slander and libel. He declared them heretics and denounced their habits and customs as godless, impious and wicked. Nogaret reinforced this by using physical force at key moments.

Another means were the cloak and dagger activities. No one knew of Philip’s preparations before the time of the first attack, except his closest henchmen. On 13 September 1307 Philip signed an order to arrest all Knights Templar in France. The order was to be carried out on 13 October. The Royal order was sent to hundreds of baillie’s, seneschals, prelates, barons, knights and officials of France. The details were enclosed in a letter which was not to be opened until shortly before the time of the arrests.

In the dawn on 13 October 1307 about 220 Knights Templar, from all over France, were taken into custody at exactly the same time. They were still in their beds when their enemies arrived. In Paris Nogaret, himself, advanced against them with a strongly armed group of men.    

In order to achieve his goals the king not only persecuted the Knights Templar but also other wealthy groups, especially the Jews. In 1306 Guillaume de Nogaret had organised a campaign to rob and expel Jews from the Languedoc. It seems that he and Philip had no racial prejudice but calculatedly used the racial and religious prejudices of the people to gain property and assets. The persecution of the Jews was followed by persecution of Northern Italian merchants and bankers who lived in France and so on.

King Philip liked to take hostages.  As early as 1296, when Philip quarrelled with the Count of Flanders, he demanded an oath of loyalty and took the Count’s daughter, Philippa, hostage even though he was her godfather. She was imprisoned in Paris until her death in 1307. Philip supported the Archbishop of Bordeaux’ election as  Pope Clement V and expected services in return. Pope Clement V had to place his brother and two of his nephews under the king’s control as hostages.

Philip did not trust anyone and used indirect threats against his followers. For example, when Clement V hesitatingly disagreed with the king’s aggressive actions, Philip wrote him a seemingly friendly letter saying that as a true Christian king he would not hesitate to attack anyone who supported the heretics and would do with them what was necessary.

   The French king seems to have been the first ruler at the end of the Middle Ages who tried to gain the consent of the people through mass gatherings. On the day of the Templars’ arrest the citizens were called together in the royal gardens. Monks preached and lectured to them about the events – presumably these were the Dominicans whose task was to fight against heretics. This way the king involved thousands of people in his demonic ways.

   Through show trials Philip the Fair obtained the consent of the university. The teachers and students were invited to the Temple in Paris and had to take part in the interrogation of Jacques de Molay and other Templar Knights. The confessions of the Templars made a deep impression even though it was known that they were extorted by torture. Many thought that torture brought the truth to light. This idea lasted until the seventeenth century. Even today, after the actions of the Third Reich, some officials of the US-government share and act on this idea. On 25th of March 1308 the University of Paris agreed with Philip’s actions.             

Philip also reached his goals by misrepresenting words both in the gathering of the masses and the show trials held before leading intellectuals. There are many examples and one could say it was usual. For example, he called the criminal arrest of the  Knights besoigne, which only means “the affair” or “the matter”, in German it would be „die Angelegenheit“. This way the heinous activities rarely appeared in spoken or written word because Philip had so skilfully concealed them.

Philip exercised arbitrary lawlessness. He called upon those Templars who were not in prison to defend their knightly brothers. They gained the impression that they were free and could travel safely. Many of them believed Philip and were taken into prison and tortured.  The Knights were forbidden all legal representation and  Philip also ordered that the imprisoned Knights were not allowed to take part in the Mass. This was illegal as long as they had not been sentenced.

The appalling torture used dehumanised the servants as well as the tortured knights. The torturers used the noose to lift the knights millimetre by millimetre from the ground. They used iron shoes that could be compressed. They burned their feet to the bone. They put small rods between their fingers and pressed their hands together until the bones broke. They pulled out their teeth. They hung weights on the genitals and other parts of the body until the last breath. [1]

Philip liked to watch these proceedings in the torture chamber. We don’t know whether he took part in the tortures himself but he wanted to see the Knights being tortured.  The burning of Jacques de Molay and his companion had to be carried out where Philip could see the pyre. The king wanted to see whether or how long they could withstand the pain. In other words how long their consciousness, their “I” forces, could stay in their bodies. He tried to destroy their deepest spiritual aims through using torture.

The meaning of the Knights Templar for today.

 We have seen all these things repeated in the 20th century within the Third Reich in Germany, Austria and all over Europe.  The power that first entered European Culture in 1307 returned in 1933.

It returned at the same time when many people should be able to see the Christ in the etheric world. There are reports of those that have seen Him. Victor Frankl, a Jewish psychiatrist, was sent to Auschwitz in 1942 and wrote of his experiences in 1945.  In the concentration camp every circumstance conspires to make the prisoner lose his hold on self and life. All the familiar situations and goals in life are snatched away.  What alone remains “is the last of human freedoms” – the ability to “choose one’s attitude in a given set of circumstances”.[2]

Frankl managed to rise above his fate and conquer hatred, for he realised that if he hated his oppressors he would become one of them. He would have opened himself to the same powers that controlled or directed the evil. This saved his life. One day Victor Frankl, talking to a dying girl lying on a wooden “bed” – one cannot say bed, but what else – observed that she was cheerful. She pointed through the window of the hut and said, ’This tree here is the only friend I have in my loneliness’. She could see just one branch of a chestnut tree with two blossoms. ‘I often talk to this tree and the tree replies saying, “I am – I am here – I am life, eternal life”. The girl did not survive.

During the last few weeks he was given the task of helping prisoners with minor medical care although he was helping his fellow prisoners all through the war, as becoming ill meant death in the concentration camps. Victor Frankl survived. He went to Vienna and resumed his practice and developed an influential psychotherapy known as logotherapy. He married an Austrian wife, remained in Vienna and did not hate the Germans.

Paul Antschel, who wrote under the pseudonym of Paul Celan was born in Czernovitz, in Romania in 1920 into a German speaking Jewish family. He studied medicine in Paris in 1938 and in 1939 he returned to Czernowicz to study literature and languages. German troops occupied the country in 1941 and the Jews were sent to camps. His parents were deported and died in Nazi labour camps. Celan himself was interned in a camp for 18 months, then managed to escape to the Red Army. After the war he still used the German language which his mother had loved so much and emigrated from Romania to Vienna and from there to Paris, where he lived. He wrote his poems in German. And he seems to have thought that only in the German language can you write a poem on the horrors of the concentration camps. He committed suicide in 1970 in Paris.


Death Fugue’ by Paul Celan


Black milk of dawn we drink it at dusk

we drink it at noon and at morning we drink it at night

we drink it and drink it

we scoop out a grave in the sky where it’s roomy to lie

A man lives in the house he plays with his vipers he writes

he writes when dusk falls to Germany your golden hair Margarete

he writes it and walks from the house the stars glitter he whistles his dogs

he whistles his Jews and orders a grave dug in the ground

he commands us to strike up for the dance


Black milk of dawn we drink you at night

we drink you at dawn and at noon we drink you at dusk

we drink and we drink

A man lives in the house he plays with his vipers he writes

he writes when dusk falls to Germany your golden hair Margarete

your ashen hair Shulamite we scoop out a grave in the sky where it’s roomy to lie

He shouts jab this earth deeper you lot there you others you sing and you play

he grabs at the iron at his belt he swings it his eyes that are blue

jab deeper you lot with your spades you others play on for the dance


Black milk of dawn we drink you at night

we drink you at noon and at morning we drink you at dusk

we drink and we drink

a man lives in the house your golden hair Margarete

your ashen hair Shulamite he plays with his vipers


He calls play death’s music sweeter Death is a Master from Deutschland

he calls stroke darker the strings and as smoke you shall rise to the skies

then scoop out a grave in the clouds where it’s roomy to lie


Black milk of dawn we drink you at night

we drink you at noon Death is a Master from Deutschland

we drink you at dusk and at noon we drink and we drink you

Death is a Master from Deutschland his eyes that are blue

he shoots you with shot made of lead shoots you level and true

a man lives in the house your golden hair Margarete

he hunts us down with his dogs he gives us a grave in the air

he plays with his vipers and dreams Death is a Master from Deutschland


your golden hair Margarete

your ashen hair Shulamite

Paul Celan


There were others who noticed signs of the antichrist working. There was a Resistance in Germany which the historians in Germany tend to overlook. It was and is easier that way. They find it difficult to understand the central agents of the opposition because these young students, who were often soldiers too, spread leaflets in the University in Munich in July 1942 that means when the Third Reich was at the apex of its power. On these leaflets they publicly declared:

Every word that comes from Hitler's mouth is a lie. When he says peace he means war, and when he blasphemously uses the name of the Almighty he means the power of evil, the fallen angel, Satan. His mouth is the foul-smelling maw of Hell, and his might is at bottom accursed. True, we must conduct a struggle against the National Socialist terrorist state with rational means; but whoever today still doubts the reality, the existence of demonic powers, has failed by a wide margin to understand the metaphysical background of this war. Behind the concrete, behind what is perceptible through the senses, behind all the rational, logical reflections stands the Irrational, that is the fight against the demon, against the messenger of the antichrist. [3] 

How can a historian deal with this? It is either the end of the usual sort of writing of history and the reawakening of another kind of history: a history of salvation – or it is nonsense. The German historians are in a difficult position. If they take this seriously they have to change their whole attitude of mind. They do not want to do this. But they also do not want to say that these brave young people were mad.

As we have seen in the case of the Knights Templar we also see here again and can trust that, as the poet Friedrich Hölderlin says, “but where the danger is, groweth the saviour too...” [4]

The virtues of the Knights Templars are today needed as never before.

Today we face a new attack from the same antichristian powers. They showed themselves in the so called Third Reich. This name was blasphemous like everything that was said and done in the name of this force. The name “Third Reich” has been in use since medieval times. Joachim de Fiore used it as a pseudonym for the time when Christ would be present again. The falsely called ‘Third Reich’ was the beginning of a renewed attack of those powers that extinguished the Knights Templar.  

What began in France and returned in Germany has spread all over the world. Newspapers are full of it. Behind the façade, there is a mighty war between the Christian and the antichristian powers and this is fought in every human soul. Unfree persons can be drawn into a whirlwind of emotions and moral aberrations. Nearly every thinkable seduction is aimed at them. And only the gaining of an inner strength, the development of a free will, can save them. We all need an inner Foundation Stone.

The free human being cannot be overthrown by the powers of evil. So therefore we see another attack today, an attack against the daily necessities. Education, food, medicine – it all gains a post Christian or, better stated, antichristian stance. 

The Knights Templar were Knights of the sword. Within the process of law it was obvious that they were not the best defenders of themselves with their ‘tongues’. Today a new Knighthood would be a Knighthood of the Word’. The new Knights would never leave their posts – even when there were three enemies around them. They would not leave their post when there were three enemies or animals within them. The new Knights would fight against their soul sleeping within them and around them. They will do this not because they seek praise but of love for their own ideals and because of their compassion and understanding towards others.

They will be able to do this because the power of the Sun has found a home in their hearts and begins to warm it and to stream out in the form of love. This will be the force that changes the whole physical being of mankind and binds humanity to Christ who works for all, whatever their belief.

Therefore the new Knight will not speak with satirical sharpness. Good will flow from their tongues. The WORD will live in their words.  

Such Knights will be necessary in the future in every newspaper and on every railway station. They will be men and women. They will work as teachers and doctors, as shopkeepers, refuse collectors, architects and farmers, etc. They will be able to confront the future.    





[1] John Charpentier. Die Templer, 2nd edition Stuttgart. 1965. First edition: John Charpentier. L’Ordre des Templiers. Paris 1961.

[2] Victor Frankl.   Man’s search for meaning. Beacon. 2006

[3] Fourth leaflet of the Group The White Rose {Die Weiße Rose}. July 1942. See also Peter Tradowsky: ‚Und das Licht  scheint in die Finsternis ...‘.( And the Light shines in the Darkness...)  Dornach 2008. p.81.

[4] ‚…wo aber Gefahr ist, wächst auch das  Rettende‘.


Rolf Speckner. The Knights Templar and their Meaning for the Twenty-first Century
The way in which the Knights Templar have been tortured Shows the signature of the Beast.This returned in the 20th Century in Germany. The Knighthood of the Temple will in the future be a knighthood of the word not of the sword. It will be more needed than ever.
The Knights Templar and their Meaning fo[...]
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