We just had a ‘Friday the 13th’ on October 13, 2000. One possible source of the superstition that surrounds this date is the arrest and imprisonment of the Knights Templar on Friday, October 13, 1307. On that date, King Phillip of France had all Knights Templar in France, England and Europe arrested. He owed them money and they owed him no allegiance.

The Knights Templar were supposedly a Christian order of saintly knights. The order was started at the time of the Crusades against the infidels that held Holy Jerusalem. It began with eight knights who were given control of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. This is a clue to the influence of this order.

By 1307 the Templars possessed vast land holdings throughout England and the Continent. They owned a fleet of ships that took pilgrims to the Holy Land. Pilgrims that sailed on Arab ships were frequently sold into slavery. The Templars were so wealthy that they became the first international bankers, and devised the first “bank drafts” so that travelers were not required to carry large amounts of gold with them.

When the Templars were arrested in 1307, none of the wealth of the order or their fleet of ships was found. Some had been alerted. Those that were arrested later confessed to sodomy, worshipping a talking head and other indelicacies.

The veracity of the confessions may be questioned, but there is no doubt that the order was not totally Christian. Templar “churches” are frequently round. There is one in London, England. Inside there are no pews or pulpit; there are effigys of dead knights. Around the outer wall of the building are carved faces and they are not a happy lot. The faces are scowling or screaming. One has its tongue sticking out. A rat is gnawing on another face. This is not typical Christian fare.

The Bible speaks of the destruction of the “merchants of Tarshish”, which are a representation of international bankers and global shipping concerns. “Cross over to Tarshish; wail, you people” - Isaiah 23:6-9; “The ships of Tarshish serve as carriers . . . They will raise their voice and cry bitterly over you” – Ezekiel 27:25-31; “the merchants of the earth will weep and mourn . . . They will throw dust on their heads with weeping and mourning” – Revelation 18:11-19; “Now listen you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you” James 5:1-6.

October 13, 2007 will be the seven-hundredth anniversary of the arrest of the Knights Templar. Were the Templars a foreshadow of today’s merchants of Tarshish? Will the seven-hundredth anniversary of the Templars’ arrest be an auspicious event for today’s international bankers? Only He who knows all, knows.

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