In the 18th century, some four hundred years after the Templar Order had been forced out of the limelight. They were to emerge as an influential Order within Masonic and Rosicrucian beliefs.
Karl Gottheff, Varon von Hund, founder of the Strict Observance Rite, who established Templar traditions, Templar rules within the Masons. Baron von Hund had been initiated into the Paris Lodge, led by Lord Kilmarnock, Grand Master of Scottish Freemasons, and the Guardians of Templar traditions.
Supporters of the Jacobite cause claimed that a Masonic Lodge had been founded in 1700’s Scotland, and drew its charter from a surviving Templar Chapter, which had been operational for some 700 years, in Bristol.
At his Masonic initiation, von Hund claims to have met with the knight of the Red Feather, better known as Prince Charles Stuart. Baron von Hund went on to found a German branch of the neo-Templar’s in Germany. Based on von Hund’s account of things, the Scottish chapter of the Knights Templar had been founded by two English members of the Order. They who had discovered the Elixir of Life, and actively practised alchemy.
A popular 18th century occult myth states that Templar’s were initiates of Gnostic teachings passed down by the Essenes, they who had iniated Jesus into its mysteries. Meo-Templarism attempted to combine pagan and wisdom with Christian ideals. According to Freemasonry, Templar influence of the 18th century spoke of a myth; three renegade Knights betrayed King Phillip of France to fellow Masons, who murdered Hiram Abiff in Solomon’s Temple. Masonic references of assassination of Charles de Monte Carmel a prominent Templar who underwent a ritual murder… This murder according to 18th century Masons, marked a turning point in the history of the Knights Templar and led to their eventual downfall.
The survival of the Knights Templar tradition was masterminded by Jacques de Molay, the Order’s last Grand Master, whilst in a French prison awaiting his execution. On the evening of the 17th March 1314 the night before being burnt at the stake on unproved charges of heresy. DeMolay sent a trusted aide to the Templar’s secret crypt in Paris, where the Order’s past Grand Master’s had been entombed. Symbolic objects sacred to the Order, were duly removed.
Jacques de Molay trusted his aide, with the future of the Knights Templar. The two pillars which stood at the entrance to the templar tombs were in fact hollow and contained money and artefacts. It was De Molay’s wish that they be removed, before falling into the hands of the French Monarchy. The Templar money and symbolic objects were to be used in the re-creation of the Order, preventing the loss of their secrets.
The two pillars of the crypt entrance were copies of the obelisks which stand at the gateway of Solomon’s Temple. The pillars held detailed manuscripts, detailing occult teachings within the Templar Order.
Johann Augustus Starck, another claimant of the Templar revival, encountered Masonic Templarism whilst teaching in St.Petersburg. He went on to make contact with surviving Templar Order’s in Southern France, they who were renowned for practising in the Cathar style. It was Stark’s belief that the Templar’s had inherited occult from the likes of Persia, Seria and Egypt, and these were passed on to the Essenic secret society, operating in the Middle East during the Crusades.
His version of neo-Templarism received approval leading to patronage of European aristocrats and membership of new Masonic Templar lodges. Gustav III of Sweden became a patron to neo-Templarism, a firm supporter of the Scottish Pretenders and the Jacobites.
In 1767, Frederick the Great founded two neo-Masonic lodges; “Order of the Architects of Africa,” and the “Knights of Light.” That same year, Frederick the Great became a financial supporter of Orthodox Freemasonry. In the next year (1768) Frederick commissioned the construction of a Grand Lodge for the Prussians.
A few years later, the title Illuminati was one of the Masonic Secret Societies. The “Order of the Illuminati, the occultists became a title associated by Rosicrucian’s and known as key figures in secret political history.
The grand convention of Masonic Lodges in 1771 openly admitted mythical descent from the Templar Order. Johann Augustus Stark’s group merged with Baron von Hund’s.
The Illuminati were founded by Adam Weishaupt, a professor at the Bavarian University of Ingoldstat, in the year 1776, the same year as the American Revolution. He being of Jewish descent, educated by Jesuits in the Catholic faith.
Whilst an undergraduate, Weishaupt studied Ancient Pagan Religions, Eleusinian Mysteries and Theories of the Greek mystic and philosopher; Pythagoras. As a student drafted a constitution for a secret society, centred on paganism.
In 1774, he made contact with a Masonic lodge in Germany, and was disappointed by what he found. They being ignorant to occult and Masonic connections, with no knowledge of pagan symbolism.
On the 1st May 1776, Adam Weishaupt announced the foundation of the “Order of Perfectibilists,” which later became known as the Illuminati.
Weishaupt had a vision, a political vision, a utopian state, with the abolition of private property, social authority and nationality. He believed human beings would live in harmony, within a brotherhood, based on love, peace, spiritual wisdom and equality. His main targets of reform were the Monarchy, Church and rich landowners.
The Illuminists attempted overthrow of Hapsburg in 1784, which led to the Bavarian government banning all secret societies, and so it was Weishaupt’s followers went underground.
Comte de Mirabeau a prominent Illuminist, was one of the founders responsible for the French Revolution of 1789. Aiming at the destruction of the French Monarchy and destroying the Catholic Church, to be replaced by the “Religion of Love,” across France.
Early 1791, allegations arose about the role played by Masons and Illuminate, partly based on the confessions of Comte Cagliostro (Comte Cagliostro born Joseph Balsamo in Parlemo, Sicily in 1743) arrested in 1789 on charges of heresy.
Cagliostro married Lorenza Felicioni whom he controlled by use of hypnotism, taught to him by Dr.Mesmer a fellow Mason. Lorenza went on to denounce her husband in the “Inquisition for practising heresy.” He spoke of an international conspiracy by Illuminati, neo-Templar’s and Freemasons, taking place across Europe. He revealed their ultimate object, was to complete work started by the original Knights Templar; the overthrow of the Papacy and the election of an Illuminist as Pope.
He went on to confess that large sums of money had been deposited in banks in Holland, Italy, France and England to finance revolutions. Funds to finance the French Revolution came from the House of Rothschild… Was this fact or fiction, was Comte Cagliostro just trying to save his life. No historical evidence can be found to support such claims.
The radicalism of Masonic Lodges prior to the French Revolution, alienated followers amongst aristocratic classes in France. By 1792 few lodges were still practising, and faced hostilities from the revolutionary government. At Versailles former Grand Master of a Templar lodge was lynched by an angry mob. Masonry came under suspicion by those in power, in their belief of a counter revolution.
The Masons who had helped start the French Revolution, and within a few years became a victim of their own creation.
By 1796, it had become common knowledge that Masons and Templars had a hand in the French Revolution of 1789. With Jacques de Molay, Templar’s last Grand Master, a prisoner in the Bastille before his execution in 1314, and as such, the Bastille was the first target for the mob. It wasn’t long before connections revealed that the Templar’s and Jesuits were dedicated to the creation of a church within a church.
Duc’d Orleans, Grand Master of French freemasonry an illuminist, plotted against the French Royal family. It is believed he practised a secret occult ritual, using relics from the past, which once belonged to de Molay. Were these the sacred objects from the Templar Crypt in Paris? Unfortunately, historical writings are unable to provide the answer.
“The Tomb of Jacques de Molay” was published in France of 1796, claiming that the French Revolution was the work of anarchists, they who could trace their lineage back to the Templar’s and Assassins.
Father Bamuel a Jesuit priest published his book; “Memoires pour serir de I’histoire du Jacobinisme,” tracing the survival of Manichean heresy through Catharism, Assassins, Templars, Freemasons and French Revolution.
The Royal Families of Europe were shocked by the Illuminist plot of universal revolution, they had witnessed the French Revolution and feared being next in line. In 1790 the Bavarian government brought in a law that membership of the Illuminati was classed as a capital offence.
England feared the hand of these secret societies, and Parliament attempted to bring in the “Unlawful Societies Act,” which would have outlawed Freemasonry. It failed, because they never dabbled in politics.
Napoleon Bonaparte’s rise meant Freemasons faced a bleak future. Bonaparte was well aware of the Illuminist’s role in the French Revolution. He used the Freemasons for his own political ends.
Joseph and Lucien, brothers of Napoleon Bonaparte became Grand Masters of the Orient. They attracted many new members, and by the end of his reign the Grand Orient boasted some 1200 lodges across France, and by the 1800’s had infiltrated the French Colonies.
In the March of 1808, a neo-Templar Order held a public requiem for Jacques de Molay, the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar. Held at St.Paul’s Church in Paris, presided over by the Canon of Notre Dame; Abbe Pierre Romains.
In 1809 a secret Masonic Lodge came into being in France “Sublimes Maitres Parfait” (Sublime Perfect Masters), with similarities to Catharism. They opposed Napoleon and saw him as a traitor of France.
The pre-Royalist Masonic Lodge claimed success in 1814, with the abdication of Napoleon Bonaparte in favour of King Louis XVII. The Paris revolt of 1830, led to Louis Philippe taking his place on the throne.
Louis Philippe placed Freemasons under his protection, appointed Duc d’Orleans his son, as the Order’s new Grand Master.
The Masonic convention of 1842 held in Strasburg, sowed the seeds of the 1848 Revolution by radical elements in European Masonry; they preached anarchism and socialism.
In 1850 Napoleon III made it law, that Grand Orient Lodges were forbidden to interfere in politics, even though they received support of the politicians.
The Illuminati failed to create social order across France, but had influenced another revolution.
In 1776 American colonists challenged the British in the War of Independence, the blueprint, a society based on democracy, freedom and social equality… A New World.
The American Revolution, a social experiment engineered by secret societies.