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The Mysteries of the Knights Templar

The Baphomet

Theories About the Head

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The Baphomet

Theories About the Head


It is very possible that the head idol was intended to represent the severed head of John the Baptist, based on allegations that he was revered by the Order. The Templars took part in the sack of Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade in 1203-4. Robert de Clari described the opulence and numerous relics at the sacred chapel of the Boucoleon Palace, amongst them supposedly the head of John the Baptist. Another clue to the identity of the Baphomet may lie with Nicodemus, who in St. John's gospel who brought spices for Christ's burial. He is also mentioned in the apocryphal Evangelium Nicodemi (4th C.) as a ruler of the Jews who testified in Christ's favour. The Interpolation in the First Continuation of Chretien's Perceval (12??) tells of the flight of Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea to England and includes the following intriguing passage:

"Nicodemus had carved and fashioned a head in the likeness of the Lord on the day that he had seen Him on the cross. But of this I am sure, that the Lord God set His hand to the shaping of it, as they say; for no man ever saw one like it nor could it be made by human hands. Most of you who have been at Lucca know it and have seen it." - Interpolation in the First Continuation of Chretien's Perceval

"Surely this evidence [given by Templars at their trial] suggests that copies of the head, perhaps some of them not unlike the Sainte Face de Laon, others of carved stone or alabaster, such as those of the Nottingham School of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, were widely distributed throughout the order's houses. This would at least explain why nothing resembling a pagan idol was found after the brethren had been arrested, and why none of the pictures found in their chapels raised so much as an eyebrow." - Noel Curer-Briggs, The Shroud and the Grail - A Modern Quest for the True Grail

The idol was also described as: "...An old piece of skin, as though all embalmed and like polished cloth." - Chronicles of St. Denis

Ian Wilson also hypothesizes that the Templar idols were representations of Christ's face copied from the Mandylion/Shroud. A possible surviving example, on a painted panel found at Templecombe, England, shows "a bearded male head, with a reddish beard, life-size, disembodied, and, above all, lacking in any identification mark....It conforms too, to some of the most rational Templar descriptions: 'a painting on a plaque', 'a bearded male head', 'life-size', 'with a grizzled beard like a Templars'. (The Templars cultivated their beards in the style of Christ)." - Ian Wilson, The Shroud of Turin - The Burial Cloth of Jesus Christ?

"...The descriptions given of it [the Baphomet] varied wildly. The physical characteristics assigned to the 'Baphomet' seemed to come either from the maufÄ or demon of northern folklore, or from church reliquaries. It was often said to represent a cat, a beast traditionally associated with witchcraft and heresy." - Peter Partner, The Murdered Magicians

"INQUISITOR: Now tell us about the head. BROTHER RAOUL: Well, the head. I've seen it at seven chapters held by Brother Hugh de Peraud and others. INQUISITOR: What did one do to worship it? BROTHER RAOUL: Well, it was like this. It was presented, and everyone threw himself on the ground, pushed back his cowl, and worshipped it. INQUISITOR: What was its face like? BROTHER RAOUL: Terrible. It seemed to me that it was the face of a demon, of a maufÄ [/evil spirit]. every time I saw it I was filled with such terror I could scarcely look at it, trembling in all my members." - from M. Michelet, Proces des Templiers

Based upon the idol's description as a "demon" having "very fierce-looking face and beard", the idol very likely could have been Asmodeus, the "daemon guardian" who helped Solomon build his Temple. A statue of the demon guards the door of the parish church at Rennes-le-Chateau.

"The Templars' stronghold in Jerusalem, the site of their foundation, was finally overrun by the Moslems in 1244. Thirty-three years later the victorious sultan, baibars, inspected their castle and is recorded to have discovered inside the tower 'a great idol, in whose protection the castle had been placed: according to the Frank who had given it its name [this is an unreadable word, made in diacritic letters]. He ordered this to be destroyed and a mihrab [Moslem prayer niche] constructed in its place." - Ian Wilson, The Shroud of Turin - The Burial Cloth of Jesus Christ?


Almost midway up the eastern side of Lundy island there is a rock formation resembling a head, called Knight Templar Rock.






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