Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Does this mean we can revise our opinion of Friday the 13th?

Knights Templar Being Burned

According to The Daily Telegraph, the Knights Templar are suing the Vatican for all that money they lost in 1307. (The Telegraph has a companion article here as well.)

This adds up to a nice round €100 billion. The Telegraph didn’t say whether that is American billions (thousand million, 109) or English billions (million million, 1012), and given that the Templars were The World Bank of the turn of the previous millennium and there’s 700 years of interest involved, it’s not obvious how many zeroes need to go at the end.

Last October, the Vatican released copies of the parchments documenting the Templar Trials after having them been “misfiled” for over three hundred years. (My house has nearly as many books as the Vatican, squished into a much smaller space, so I completely understand how that could happen.)

These parchments reveal that in fact the Templars were found to be not guilty of heresy at the time, but Pope Clement V let them be disbanded and burned at the stake anyway because King Philip IV of France was being really cranky about it. (If you follow US foreign policy, you should completely understand how that could happen, as well.)

The major dodgy thing about the suit is that the Spanish group claims that their suit is not to reclaim damages but only to restore the good name of the Templars. Yeah, uh huh, sure. Then why aren’t you suing for a single Euro?

Perhaps the Freemasons will weigh in on this. Among the many Fun Templar Facts, there’s a surprisingly good theory that they’re founded by escaped Templars. Other Fun Templar Facts include that Friday the 13th is considered unlucky because that’s when they were all rounded up; that the burned Templar Grand Master, Jacques de Molay, was the 23rd Grand Master; and that Jacques de Molay was the inventor of Molé sauce.

Photo is of Jacques de Molay being sent to burn at the stake, via the GETTY and the Daily Telegraph web site.