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Mike Lawrence

Why do some Freemasons think we have a Knights Templar connction?

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AJM (15/10/2009)
Cheerio TheFreemason! :cool:




Well that's torn it! I was looking forward to having a non-Masonic academic on the forum, for an unbiased opinion so to speak. I hope AJM changes his mind, because I really enjoyed his posts and he always seemed to be very well-informed.



I hope that when his book does come out, it is a great success. If it is (and we have no reason to think not), I am sure we will regret some of our comments towards him. This board is about learning and sharing and I believe AJM did just that.



I hope you come back and visit us AJM and best of luck.



Best wishes,



Nosameerf :)



I just looked at AJM's website and googled some of the quotes there. Here is a report from The Times:



According to new research by AJ Morton, an authority on masonic history, the town housed a community of Knights Templar in the 14th century who may have possessed the cup used by Christ at the Last Supper.



According to Christian mythology, Joseph of Arimathea received the Grail from an apparition of Jesus and entrusted it to the Knights Templar, who brought it to Britain. Some accounts suggest it was buried in a secret vault in Rosslyn chapel, Midlothian.



However, Morton’s research suggests that, if the Grail exists, it is more likely to have been buried in Kilwinning or Irvine. He has unearthed land records showing 200 Templar properties in southwest Scotland in the 14th century, 30 of them in the Cunningham district of Ayrshire.



“Historians have been searching for a Templar haven, a hideaway where disbanded Templars sheltered after their downfall. Several places have been pinpointed, all of them false. Irvine and Kilwinning had the highest concentration of Templars in Scotland,” he said.



Rosslyn chapel has enjoyed a stream of visitors following Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, which connected the Templars and their treasures with the chapel. However, Morton believes this version of history is no more than a legend. He has used ancient property records and other documents to prove the presence of Templars in the Ayrshire area.



“People like the authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail, [Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh], Dan Brown, not one of them highlighted the fact that there were just so many Templars in the district of Cunningham in Ayrshire . . . The Templars were Europe’s bankers. When they were destroyed, none of the material was returned, it disappeared, so it is possible that it is in Irvine or Kilwinning somewhere, be-cause it had the largest concentration of Templars possibly in Europe, certainly in Scotland.”



“There were no Templars in Rosslyn. The building was built after the Templars were destroyed while Kilwinning Abbey was built shortly after the Templars were created. Rosslyn chapel is an enigma, it is a beautiful building, but it has nothing to do with the Templars,” Morton said.



Experts on the history of Freemasonry said Morton’s theory was plausible and an interesting starting point to solve the mystery of Templar history in Scotland.



Gerard Carruthers, head of Scottish literature and the Centre for Robert Burns studies at Glasgow University, said: “People go looking for the Holy Grail and the Masonic and Templar connection in Rosslyn. They should actually just do the basic history and look closely at Ayrshire.”



Dr Corey Andrews, assistant professor at Youngstown University in the United States and an expert on Scottish Freemasonry, said: “[Morton] does make a good case for the centrality of Kilwinning, particularly as regards to the amount of Templar lands that were located and re-distributed. As far as the treasure — that is going to be open to inquiry, but he has made a good case for arguing that might be a good place to look.”



Simon Beattie, interpretations manager at Rosslyn chapel, said: “I am not really concerned about this; visitors will still come out to see the building and we still have enough real history here.”



http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/scotland/article6719180.ece

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Thanks once again Nosmareef!



The article you quoted created a bit of a furore since I never claimed the Grail was in Kilwinning, nor have I ever conducted any research into the last resting place of the Cup of Christ. Pretty much everything else is true though! :)



Mike Lawrence wrote:

I have followed closely all the posts...and thus far I must confess that hasn't been much other than to promote your thesis




In point of fact, we were discussing pseudo-historical method, the Bologna Charters, Rosslyn, other Templar-Masonic research, and the offer of a free viewing of the thesis.



You have some good people here. Look after them. :)


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I appreciate that AJM is unlikely to be back so he may not respond to this comment

Given the relatively low cost of publishing an article electronically compared to print media, and the potentially much larger audience I am at a lost to understand why print was the distribution medium selected.

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bod (16/10/2009)
I appreciate that AJM is unlikely to be back so he may not respond to this comment

Given the relatively low cost of publishing an article electronically compared to print media, and the potentially much larger audience I am at a lost to understand why print was the distribution medium selected.





I got myself a nice free digital copy after asking. :D)

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I think AJM has been unfairly judged and treated on this forum.

He did not come here to sell anything - HE OFFERED IT FOR FREE

He did not come here to drum up interest in a book as there isn't one and he clearly stated that by the time that happens, if it happens, any interest created by this forum will have long since passed.

He came to what he saw as a forum full of people who would be able to give their honest opinion on his thesis.

He asked for help and for some reason got suspicion.

It's not rocket science. He wanted us to read his thesis and then tell him if we thought it was good or not.

Nosameerf has said he has received a copy FOR FREE. Now AJM has sent me one FOR FREE.

No cost, no con, just the thesis offered some time ago.

Well, there is a small cost.

This man would like our honest opinion on the work he has spent years on.

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dp (16/10/2009)


Well, there is a small cost.



This man would like our honest opinion on the work he has spent years on.




And is therefore heavily personally invested in his opinion



I don't feel he has been treated unfairly

The offer of a freebie wasn't widely known when the initial discussion moved on to the thesis and its cost

The initial presentation suggested that this was being made available only to the 'heed yins" as they were the only ones who's opinion mattered in AJM's eyes. He has since clarified this as not being the case. I fully acknowledge this, and that he is making the paper available to those who ask - which is great news for those who are so inclined an have the time.

I am interested to hear the thoughts of those who do read it and hope they come back on here to offer their opinions

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Was there a storm in a tea cup here? Opinions seem divided.

I think we have all apologised to AJM and "put the record straight" as it were.

However, what appeared to happen was a new member came into the forum and we are generally guarded until the Newbie "earns their laurels". This case was slightly different and I think we could have handled things a bit different just the same as AJM could have been a little more open with the forum from the start.

Having said all that, its nice to see brethren wishing him well and now enjoying his thesis.

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I am responsibly for causing AJM a severe disservice. I have had his thesis for a long time now but haven't commented on it. Firstly, because it goes into such detail that I had to read it carefully and secondly, because I have been busy. I will try and give some details this weekend but I can certainly say that it is a very well produced piece of work and certainly not the usual conspiracy/fiction that I have encountered before. It is thoroughly referenced through-out and leads to some conclusions that would appear to a non-academic like myself, irrefutable.

I just want to say thanks to AJM for sending it to me and I would be grateful if he would be able to post some further information with what he is currently up too. :cool:

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Thank you to Nosameerf and dp for their comments. Also, no need to apologise Nosameerf, I know how busy you have been.



You are in good company gentlemen: an endorsement from Glasgow University:



“…a highly nuanced, empirical and sane approach to an area that has been all too often hijacked by sensation-seekers, conspiracy theorists and fantasists. An excellent piece of historical research.

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Hi Steve,

Sorry, not my area of expertise, but wouldn't the Masons who built the Culdee edifices have largely been imported and already Christian?

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Hi, again, I am not overly sure but I have thus far gone with the theory that operative stone masons could claim a line of descent from the Roman Collegium. Throughout the Dark ages monestries where still being built and the masons who built these would have, I thought been probably Christian?

Don't know though. I read an interesting book about it called "The secrets of Freemasonry, Their history and connection to the Knights Templar" which laid out a very good case for this.

However, this was a while ago and even if I remembered it perfectly it was still only one persons opinion!

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The theory does appear to completely discount Celtic christianity

I hesitate to reference Wiki but it does offer a useful start point



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celtic_Christianity

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stevepenny (02/12/2009)




There is a belief among some of our 'irregular brethren' that Anglo-Saxon Free Masonrie had its roots in the early Celtic Christianity of St Columba and St Patrick. These early Christians (the Culdees) absorbed the Druidic communities in Scotland and in some cases in Wales and England.



There is some evidence to show that a Culdee community existed in York, and these individuals were known as The Canon's of St Peter's (York). This would have been around the time that Stone Masons were building some of the eclessiastical premises and logically they may have come into contact with each other.



There therefore exists two possibilities; that the Culdees instructed the Masons in the Christian faith and used their own working tools to illustrate allegorical lessons; or that the Culdees themselves used the Masons tools to instruct each other.



This provides for two distinct routes for the development of Freemasonry, both through the Guild system; and through religion.



There were a number of Preceptories in and around York from 1220AD when Walter Brito was the Chief Preceptor. Preceptories were located at;COPMANTHORPE, CASTLE MILLS, FAXFLEET, FOULBRIDGE, PENHILL, RIBSTON AND WETHERBY, TEMPLE COWTON, TEMPLE HIRST, TEMPLE NEWSAM, WESTERDALE, and WHITLEY.



Now although the time lines do not match up perfectly (in fact there are around 300 years unnacounted for), we do know that the Culdees seem to have dissapeared under pressure from Rome; and there exists a possibility, however small, that they found sanctuary within the Temples.



As i've said this is pure speculation but does provide a link, however slim, between Freemasonry/Free Masonrie and the KT.



If I has the time I would research this further, but I don't; so I wont :D



Perhaps our wonderful Curator at Grand Lodge might have the time?



Please; NO FLAMES :D





I'm quite troubled by this paragraph

Is there some doubt in your mind that the Celtic Church existed?

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Can I just point out to you that the Culdees were a particularly British phenomenon whereas the Knights Templar were pan European.

I would suggest if you want to investigate a link to the Culdees you need a new topic. I'm sure the only time I've seen a link tried between the 3 was in a Knight/Lomas or Baigent/Leigh production. However, it is still a new topic.

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Mike Martin (02/12/2009)
However, it is still a new topic.
Yebutt,before anyone starts it may I respectfully suggest googling Iolo Morganwg and using the results as a starting point. Should prove interesting for those who like to speculate.

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stevepenny (02/12/2009)
bod (02/12/2009)
I'm quite troubled by this paragraph

Is there some doubt in your mind that the Celtic Church existed?




Which paragraph did you have in mind?



And what did I write that even remotely suggests that the Celtic Church did not exist?




Hi Steve



It was the comment regarding 'irregular bretheren' - I took the inference that in your view there was something erroneous in the assumptions that were being made with regard to Celtic christianity, I apologise if I have got this wrong

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I am no historian, but I read enough that I think I have a general idea of why it is connected.



When people don't know where something comes from, they choose the simplest explanation. It explains a lot of early religious beliefs and as old as the habit is, I don't think we've really acknowledged it and let it slip away to this day.



The evidence of Freemasonry's existence starts to get scarce right around the time that the Knights Templar first got to Jerusalem, and with modern day Freemasons having a brotherhood who's teaching hinge on a story that goes far beyond that time, it is natural for somebody to try to make sense of what was going on and solve the puzzle that lies in the absence of evidence.



When you look at Masonry, and observe the dedication to the better qualities, the devotion to a supreme being, and the rituals that most people would consider weird and bizarre, and you set them next to the dedication the Templars had to protection of those in need and better qualities of that nature, their devotion to their supreme being, God, and all the weird things they confessed to doing under torture that were weird and bizarre, you can see the parallels.



Then take into account that the provable history of Masonry is missing before the time of the Templars and since nobody knows the origin of Freemasonry (From what I've read, there isn't a lot known about Freemasonry before 1717, but it does tend to pop it's head up here and there throughout the 600 years time period between the Templars and the forming of the UGLE) it is only natural to assume it was alive and healthy someplace (It has survived all this time after all).



To me, this is more or less the end of the logical connection.



But then the speculation camp chimes in and people like Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas and points out that in the early 1300's when the Templars were busted up, more of those easy-to-fill-in-with-speculation holes emerge.



The Templars took off with their boats and all their wealth that the King of France was after vanished. Nobody knows where those that left with the wealth and boats went. That much is fact as far as I can tell.



Then Roselyn Chapel... That I believe is what most people are convinced by, and it is only valid if you follow speculation after the Templars disappear.



And the reason for the speculation on that is that when Scotland was outnumbered against England in the battle that I believe is told about at the end of the movie Braveheart, where Robert the Bruce using inferior forces and outnumbered manages to kick the snot out of England's armies.



People have alleged that the reason for that was that when the Templars fled France and the rest of Europe that was under the rule of the Roman church, they went to Scotland, where Robert the Bruce had already been excommunicated and wasn't concerned about the fact that the Templars were also excommunicated and hence allowed them safe haven under a new name. And so they allegedly were there in Scotland, contributing to Roselyn chapel and the backhand England received at the hand of Robert the Bruce, free to continue on that bizarre craft that they confessed to under torture, which I am sure, is what some people believe to be the origins of Masonry.



And under far less logical, but admittedly alluring, is the idea that when the Templars were at the Temple Mount excavating, which I believe has been proven to have taken place, they found secrets buried beneath it and then I have read ideas that that is what the secret of Masonry is, or that Mary Magdalene was who Jesus wanted to lead the church (Can't have a woman in power, right?), or that like in Masonry's mythology, the true name of God was found or any number of other things. But I think the idea of Masonic secrets being found there is vital for the whole Templar/Mason connection theorists.



That part doesn’t seem to hold water though when you take into account that they were already just and upright men protecting pilgrims on the way to Jerusalem, if they were the precursors to Masonry, in my opinion, they already had some of the most important attributes before they had a chance to excavate.



So yeah, there are quite a few things I left out, but as you can see (and I apologize for) this is already pretty long winded, and like the original poster said he has read a few books on this so I am sure he and most of you already know a great deal of this.



But, to me, all of this makes it pretty clear why some people like to think there is a connection and are happy to connect the dots without factual proof. It does make a good story :) That's my $.02.

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>Nobody knows where those that left with the wealth and boats went.



Interestingly, the same year that the Templar armed forces ceased to exist, a bunch of farmers in some cantons decided to declare their independence from their ruler. Somehow they fended off a professional army.



Within 50 years those cantons were using the colour inverse of the Templar flag and were setting up a banking system that was renown for secrecy.



It is now Switzerland.






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Russell Holland (20/12/2009)


>Nobody knows where those that left with the wealth and boats went.



Interestingly, the same year that the Templar armed forces ceased to exist, a bunch of farmers in some cantons decided to declare their independence from their ruler. Somehow they fended off a professional army.



Within 50 years those cantons were using the colour inverse of the Templar flag and were setting up a banking system that was renown for secrecy.



It is now Switzerland.











The red cross on white was the image on the surcoat of the Templar brothers. Their flag was a simple black over white vertically oriented flag.

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