Historian Laurence Gardner traced the connections between King Solomon & his Temple, the Knights Templar, the Ark of the Covenant, Free Masonry, and White Powder Gold. Solomon, who lived around 1,000 BC, built the first temple of Jerusalem, set an example for 'kingship,' and was thought to have stocked his temple with treasures. The Temple changed hands over the years, and eventually became an Islamic mosque, Gardner noted.
The Knights Templar, a kind of ambassadorial military unit, conducted excavations at the Temple during the first Crusades. When they returned to Europe in 1128, they became a powerful knightly order, made wealthy by the treasures they had brought back from Jerusalem, he detailed.
The Ark of the Covenant, according to the Bible, was used as a kind of high-tech weapon during wars. The magical White Powder Gold or manna along with the Ark, suggest the ancient Hebrews had an advanced science. It was the knowledge of these ancient secrets that the Free Masons once had but lost, back in the 1700s, Gardner explained. Research on White Powder Gold and monoatomic elements begun in the 1980's, has revealed a number of unusual properties such as levitation, and possible applications in medicine and energy, he added.
Laurence Gardner, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, is a constitutional historian, international lecturer and broadcaster. His latest book examines the secrets of the Grail bloodline from Moses to Jesus, delineates fascinating new information about the Knights Templar, and reveals the lost secrets of Royal Arch Freemasonry.
The Knights Templar have become associated with legends concerning secrets and mysteries handed down to the select from ancient times. Rumors circulated even during the time of the Templars themselves. Freemasonic writers added their own speculations in the 19th century, and further fictional embellishments have been added in popular novels such as Ivanhoe, Foucault's Pendulum, The Lost symbol, and The Da Vinci Code; modern movies such as National Treasure and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade; and video games such as Assassin's Creed and Broken Sword.
Many of the Templar legends are connected with the Order's early occupation of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and speculation about what relics the Templars may have found there, such as the Holy Grail or the Ark of the Covenant. That the Templars were in possession of some relics is certain. Many churches still display holy relics such as the bones of a saint, a scrap of cloth once worn by a holy man, or the skull of a martyr; the Templars did the same. They were documented as having a piece of the True Cross, which the Bishop of Acre carried into battle at the disastrous Horns of Hattin. When the battle was lost, Saladin captured the relic, which was then ransomed back to the Crusaders when the Muslims surrendered the city of Acre in 1191. The Templars were also known to possess the head of Saint Euphemia of Chalcedon, and the subject of relics came up during the Inquisition of the Templars, as several trial documents refer to the worship of an idol of some type, referred to in some cases as a cat, a bearded head, or in some cases as Baphomet. This accusation of idol worship levied against the Templars has also led to the modern belief by some that the Templars practiced witchcraft. However, modern scholars generally explain the name Baphomet from the trial documents as simply a French misspelling of the name Mahomet (Muhammad)
Another legendary object that is claimed to have some connection with the Templars is the Shroud of Turin. In 1357, the shroud was first publicly displayed by a nobleman known as Geoffrey of Charney, described by some sources as being a member of the family of the grandson of Geoffroi de Charney, who was burned at the stake with De Molay. The shroud's origins are still a matter of controversy, but in 1988, a carbon dating analysis concluded that the shroud was made between 1260 and 1390, a span that includes the last half-century of the Templars' existence