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This is the republished version of a book that I wrote with Canadian researcher and author Stephen Dafoe, right back in 2000. I think it is a really good book for anyone who wants to know more about that most remarkable of institutions, the Knights Templar. Founded in Champagne, France in the early 12th century, the Knights Templar, who were essentially fighting monks, went on to become the richest and most powerful monastic institution of their day and maybe of all time.
Formed to fight the Muslims in the Holy Land, the Knights Templar went on to become shippers, bankers, builders, industrialists, farmers on a mammoth scale, tax collectors and the world's first capitalists. Amongst other things they invented cheque book banking and they infiltrated every part of the Catholic Church and all secular institutions across Western Europe. In 1307 the King of France, with the backing of the Catholic Church, declared war on the Knights Templar. They were declared to be heretical and were destroyed - but did they really disappear at all? In this book Stephen and I investigate what happened to the Knights Templar after 1307, with particular reference to the creation of Switzerland and we introduce the 'Continuum' of thought and action that I have identified in history and which runs through much of my investigative work. We also look at the connections between Templarism and Freemasonry and speculate about the Templars in the world today.