A note from the original author of the Knights Templar Preceptory.
: Why is there such a thing as the Virtual Preceptory?
: As you may have gathered, I am not a historian. I am just a medieval buff, interested in all kinds of medieval things. Still, I am not that keen on re-enacting it all out (we Scribes tend to be reclusive by nature). I had read a good many works on the Templars and collected a bunch of notes on them, and I needed a way to sort it all. It then occurred to me to try my hand at building WWW pages on the way. And as we all know, the best way to clarify things in your mind is to explain the stuff to someone else. Another reason is that on the Web you often come across pages with dazzling graphichs and stunning design, but whose content is not up to the same standard. To me the Web is more a content-carrying media than graphics galore, and therefore I thought up a way of conveying this kind of content, hence the medieval stronghold imagery with pubs and baileys. Judging from the hundreds of e-mails I have received thus far, and the 30,000 odd visits to the site, this has worked to some extent at least. A special source of joy for me has been the comments on graphics - I made them myself, with some help from our graphic artists at the office. For example, the maps are based on the products of the mapping feature of Excel, to which I added textures. I use no scanned or copyrighted material on the Preceptory.
: Whose drum are you beating?
: My own. I have absolutely no axe to grind (or no cow of mine in the ditch as we Finns put it), and I am not out to defame (or fame) no one. I am just presenting a medieval chain of events for all to see, and for all to make their conclusions. I do present mine on the pages, but everyone is very welcome to his or her own. To me this whole thing is one very well documented case of government intrusion on the lives of very many individuals, an intrusion that used same tools as governments use today: misinformation, exaggeration, incarceration, and liquidation. [Would someone please kick me off the soap box?]
: What do you make of the fate of the Templars? And their later adventures?
: I am a boring person in that I fail to believe in the Holy Grail, the Lost Ark of the Covenant, or the magick allegedly performed by the Templars. In fact, when I read those words in one paragraph of any dissertation on the matter, I reach for me trusty shotgun. In my opinion, the Templars were certainly given the short straw, but only partly through Philip the Fair. The Templars were very much the culprits of their own demise, through their lack of respect for the authorities, their shift of emphasis from protecting the pilgrims to making money, and their inability to renew themselves when the Holy Land was lost. I see the Templars as a medieval ICBM with 15,000 nuclear warheads, whittling away on pieces of wood in France and all over Europe, and Philip had good reason to be wary of them. This is of course not to say that I approve of his campaign against the Order, but I certainly see his reasons. Still, the Templars were not to blame for it all - we do have Ad Providam as proof of that.
: What is your opinion on the latter-day Templars?
: In my humble opinion, the Templars perished in 1314, except for those individuals that survived the persecution, and when they died, the Order ceased to be. Any connection to the Order, such as that proclaimed by the Freemasons, is supported only by truckloads of conjecture and hypotheses, not to mention outright forgery. Dr. Partner has written a very elegant treatise on such imposters. Consequently, anyone wishing to hear more on Templars in another context than the historical one are better off leaving this site and going for the more esoterical servers.
: What can the Templars possibly donate to the WWW today?
: Lots. First, it is always interesting to see how far religious fervor can take you. Second, you can see that governments are in no way inventing new things when they persecute people [Somehow I made it back onto the box.] It is much the same as in a thing I read somewhere: when peeled to their bare framework, 80 percent of all jokes that currently run around the world can be traced to a jesters' handbook written in France in the 14th century. Third, I think the world could do with a heavy dose of virtue, valour, and chivalry. Therefore I urge all you female readers to play the damsel in distress every now and then, as it is hard-wired into the male nervous system to be on alert for such events. On the other hand, I suggest all you male readers convert some of the Templars' energy towards aspiring for some spiritual objectives besides the plain old run-of-the-mill work. Try some 14 Pater Nosters before you even get out of bed.
: Thank you.
: You're welcome. Oh, lest I forget: feel free to challenge me, if you do not like my style of handling these matters. You won't hit me, I know, because I wear glasses. Just click here and mail me your comments.
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