The Freemasons are often considered a very mysterious group with quite a lot of history and controversial theories attached to them. Among the most noteworthy mysteries surrounding Freemasonry are the links with the Knights Templar, the Mason connection with the founding of the United States, and the Da Vinci Code link.
Knights Templar and the Freemasons
According to a theory that is widely written about in articles and books, the Masons owe their origins to a mysterious group of monk-knights known as the Knights Templar, or the Poor Fellow Soldiers of Christ and the Temple of Solomon.
The knightly order was founded in Jerusalem during the Crusades to protect pilgrims traveling to the Holy Land. The Templars eventually became fabulously powerful and even took to lending money to nobles and kings. They had built their own fleet of ships with which they sailed between their holdings in the Holy Land and those in Europe.
In fact, the Knights Templar became so powerful that they aroused suspicion among other European powers. King Philip of France had become indebted to the order, and he conspired with the Pope to persecute and eventually abolish the Knights Templar. Many knights lost their lives during this purge, but some Templar organizations managed to escape destruction.
According to various theories, the Freemason organizations were founded by surviving members of the Knights Templar, and they carry on many of that order’s traditions.
Masons and the Founding of America
Many important American revolutionaries were active Masons. According to one estimate, about 98 percent of the Founding Fathers had Masonic affiliation. Through their history, the Masons garnered a reputation for supporting republican, secular governments.
Some believe that the capital of Washington DC was laid out according to Masonic principles of architecture. According to one story, George Washington wore a Masonic apron during the cornerstone-laying ceremony for the capital.
Some claim that Masonic symbols like the pyramid are also found on the dollar note and on the Great Seal of the United States.
Da Vinci Code
Although the book and movie “The Da Vinci Code” is a fictional work, it is based on a serious theory found in the book “The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail,” written by Richard Leigh and Michael Baigent.
The theory is also connected to the idea that the Freemasons trace their origin back to the Knights Templar. The new twist here is that Templars are said to have discovered the secret of the Holy Grail.
According to the theory, the Holy Grail is not a magical chalice but instead a reference to the holy blood or “sang real” of Christ. Using various folk legends and religious books that were rejected by the church, the advocates of this theory claim that Mary Magdalene was the wife of Jesus and also bore his progeny.
The family of Jesus eventually landed in southern France where the lineage of Christ carried on protected by the Knights Templar, who continued to exist in the shadows as the Priory of Sion.
In the book “The Da Vinci Code,” the Masons are actually mentioned on a number of occasions. The Templar link with Masonic organizations is specifically mentioned, and the Templars themselves are even suggested to have been master stonemasons.
Any truth to the theories?
Whether these mysteries surrounding the Masons are true or not will depend on who you ask. People on both sides of any of these theories claim to have evidence that proves their case. In the end, though, each person will have to decide for themselves. Certainly though, the Masons are one of world’s most intriguing organizations.