By Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould
On Friday October 13, 1307 the French King Philip IV, who was deeply indebted to the Knights Templar, ordered them arrested and charged with heretical practices and on November 22 of that year under pressure from Philip, Pope Clement V issued the papal bull Pastoralis Praeeminentiae instructing all the monarchs of Europe to seize their assets.
Whether or not the Knights Templar practiced heretical beliefs as charged, the immolation of Templar Grand Master Jacques de Molay at the hands of the Pope’s Inquisitors in 1314 would serve as an inspiration to generations of people who did.
Pope Innocent III’s brutal Albigensian Crusade of 1209-29 against the powerful dualist Cathar movement pitted Northern France’s Catholic nobility against the lesser nobility of the south who were tolerant and supportive of it.
As a pre-Christian faith deeply rooted in the ancient world and spread by Rome’s legions through Mithraism to the four corners of the pagan Roman Empire, Catharism represented an old and powerful belief system which refused to be suppressed by the sterile and often contradictory doctrines of Rome’s Christian Empire.
As described by Reverend V.A. Demant, Canon of London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral in a preface to a 1947 book on the subject titled The Arrow and the Sword:
“To mention only its roots in Mithraism, its links with the Gnostics, its theological dualism, its asceticism, the ritual of life and death as cosmic mysteries, the appeal of the troubadours, Arthurian legends and the cult of the Holy Grail, the passions aroused for and against witchcraft, the intimate connection between sex and religion — all these things are sufficient testimony to the deep rooted vitality of a stream of religious consciousness which cannot be superciliously dismissed by rationalists and moralists.”
Writing on the heels of World War II, and with Europe still in ruins from the rise of an irrational and immoral pagan faith called Nazism, Demant feared that such a vital apocalyptic belief system with its “robust religiousness” and commitment to a struggle against an evil material world was bound to rise again, as it had so many times in the past.
Yet, he might not have been surprised to know that his own “Protestant” faith, of which he was a senior officer as the Canon of St. Paul’s, had its own roots in the same heresy.
Now lost in the cross weaves of history, Britain’s version of the heresy represented a new and far more dangerous version of life-denying Catharism than was ever imagined by the Templars, Bernard of Clairvaux or Jacques DeMolay.
A Grudge that lasted through the Centuries
Much has been speculated about the survival of the Templars following their dissolution in 1312. Today’s popular fiction about their life as a secret society rests not on any particular historical accounting but mainly on 18th century Masonic myth-making and Sir Walter Scott’s early 19th century stories that romanticized the Templar Knighthood.
The 18th century men of the Enlightenment found great interest in mystical illumination through Masonic rituals. To these men, the newly industrializing West needed a new prophetic tradition to anchor it in history. Rediscovery of the ancient world, as a result of imperial interventions in the Near East and Egypt, spawned a renewed interest in Renaissance Neo-Platonism and Cabbalism and their roots in a life-denying Gnostic creed. In fact, the very act of returning in victory to the origin of these Gnostic beliefs was in itself proof that they had been chosen to fulfill a cosmic cycle, as prophesied by the ancients.
Bestowing the Templars with occult mystical powers fit neatly into the early Romantic Movement and helped to promote Enlightenment thinking as part of God’s plan for mankind.
But the ravages of the Inquisition and the growing anger over a corrupt Roman Catholic Church were anything but myth to those living in the thirteenth and fourteenth century.
As a military order of religious warriors responsible only to the Pope, the Templars and their Cathar backers in France and England represented a powerful autonomous deep-state within medieval society. In many ways orthodox Christianity was no match for the life-denying, dualist doctrine of the Cathars. Catharism’s simple focus on the cosmic battle between a spiritual good and a material evil, and its promise of a time-ending apocalypse in which the material world would be consumed in fire, was an extreme seduction.
Driven to ground by a corrupted Roman Catholic Church and greedy French King, “the heresy” appeared to have been trampled out by the middle of the 14th century. But with the onset of the Reformation in the early 16th century, Rome’s authority faced a new challenge and as it spread to Ireland, the old Anglo/Norman warlords like the Fitzgeralds, would face their own apocalypse.
The Protestant Reformation represented a heresy that was at once secular and religious. Martin Luther and John Calvin confronted a Papacy that claimed a material domain, as well as a spiritual one. In 1534, the English Parliament’s Act of Supremacy solved that problem by declaring Henry VIII “Supreme Head on earth of the Church of England”, and in 1559, his daughter Queen Elizabeth I became the Church’s “Supreme Governor.”
Cathar territory remained fertile ground for insurrection against the church and that insurrection came with the Protestant Reformation. The French Calvinist Huguenot movement of the late 16th century grew from exactly the same ground in France, where 200 years earlier, the Cathars had been brutally suppressed by the Papal Crusade.
In England, Queen Elizabeth I’s deep-state, comprised of the Earl of Leicester Sir Francis Walsingham and Sir Philip Sydney, found common cause with the Huguenots and supported them with soldiers, guns and money. Their armies waged holy war against the Papacy across Europe and in Catholic Ireland where they targeted the last visible threat to Elizabeth’s supremacy at home, the Fitzgeralds.
16th Century deep-state competition
The Fitzgerald family had drawn their original power from France and Italy in the 11th century as the muscle for the Cathar-friendly Anglo/Norman royals. They had clearly performed their duties well enough to be rewarded by their feudal lords with lands and titles, but when they came to Ireland, their paths diverged. Gerald of Wales makes clear in his book that, by 1170, this family of Anglo/Norman Samurai was fed up with royal excess and wanted to strike out on their own under their own banner.
But three centuries of the Fitzgerald family’s immersion in Irish culture transformed them. Forsaking the English language, English customs and English law, the Anglo/Normans married the land and became “more Irish than the Irish themselves”. Known as the “Old English” (Seanghaill), their ongoing intermarriage with Irish clans produced furious resentment from London, while the coming of the Protestant Reformation produced outright hatred.
Known for their love of Ireland and their willingness to renounce their loyalty to England, the Fitzgerald family were feared and hated as representatives of a Roman Catholic deep-state bent on reversing the Reformation. On the other hand, the Sidney Circle represented a very old deep-state of its own; that “stream of religious consciousness,” that had been suppressed for centuries, had risen in rebellion and was committed to ridding the world of evil.
The Sidney Circle and its primary operatives, Francis Walsingham, Edmund Spencer, Sir Walter Raleigh and John Dee, represented the militarized edge of Renaissance Neoplatonism, bent on establishing England not just as a global empire to rival Catholic Spain, but as a spiritual empire headed by Queen Elizabeth I that would cleanse the material world and restore its spiritual destiny.
The first step to that destiny was the conquest of Ireland. Inspired by the Hermetic-Cabbalist Neoplatonism of John Dee, the Sydney Circle would take on the Fitzgerald Earl of Desmond in a genocidal war of extermination. Viewed from the 21st century, the idea of an all-or-nothing Manichean holy war between white Europeans seems bizarre.
But the feud between the European deep-state factions of the Counter-Reformation was a no-holds-barred fight to the death that embodied no less than the core principles of a cosmic war between light and dark.
In 1580, the prospect of this apocalyptic war of genocide coming to Ireland prompted the Holy See in Rome to send an army of Italians and Spaniards to help the Fitzgeralds under the authority drafted by the “Just War Doctrine.”
Dubbed by Richard Berleth, author of The Twilight Lords: Elizabeth I and the First Irish Holocaust as the “Twilight Lords”, the Fitzgeralds’ struggle against the Elizabethans and their Renaissance Neoplatonism offers a window into a thousand year old factional struggle of a European “deep-state” rooted in a Gnostic belief system. As allegorized in Edmund Spencer’s Faerie Queene, the Fitzgeralds satisfied the Manichean requirement for evil in the English propaganda of the day, while Elizabeth and her Red Cross Templar knights represented Christian purity in the tradition of King Arthur and the Round Table.
It is of no small importance that the death of Gerald Fitzgerald, the last Earl of Desmond in 1583, marks the beginning of the British Empire. The eternal struggle of good against evil, the ancient Iranian war of light against dark by design required a victory over the darkness, and the Earl of Desmond filled that sacred role. As was the custom at the time, his decapitated head was sent to London where, legend has it, Queen Elizabeth sat with it for the morning before having it impaled on London Bridge.
With the incorporation of the British East India Company in 1600, Elizabeth’s victory would be spread around the world through imperial expansion. Elizabeth’s favorite courtier Walter Raleigh would sail to America and establish the colony that came to be named Virginia for the “Virgin Queen.”
The East India Company would establish trading posts from India to America and play a key role in the economic causes leading to the American Revolution.
It would make its founding families rich beyond dreams of avarice and make the English language universal and English culture the standard by which all other cultures would be judged. But the competition with Rome and the suspicion over its motives would never stop.
In the 400 plus years since Elizabeth I’s time, much of what was once deemed heretical by Church authorities has become commonplace. The Irish feudal society the Fitzgeralds died to preserve was already obsolete by Elizabethan times, and would have vanished with or without them.
The sexual practices of the “heretics”, forbidden by law as recently as a generation ago, have become accepted and even openly embraced. The perfection of the human race through magic and alchemy sought by John Dee and the Sidney Circle has been replaced by computer science, physics and biotechnology, but the final product of such perfection is far from clear or even desirable.
Unknown and often unseen, the bitter struggle for power within the Anglo/Norman deep-state has raged beneath the surface down through the centuries.
On November 22, 1963, Americans were shocked by the public execution of their President, John Fitzgerald Kennedy. In the years since every manner of conspiracy theory has been advanced to explain what happened.
But killing the only Roman Catholic President of the United States on the site of the first Masonic Temple in Dallas on the Masonic day of revenge for the destruction of the Knights Templar (November 22) bespeaks a ritual; and the ritual to which it bespeaks belongs to the Cathars and the De Clare family.
The discovery that George Bush was descended from Earl Richard de Clare, “Strongbow,” the same man who drew the Fitzgerald family en masse into Ireland in 1169 was one of those moments few may understand without access to the deep-state script.
If the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy could have been an act of retribution for an eight hundred year old vendetta, then we all must begin to view history from a much more complex perspective. In order to understand a “deep-state”, we must all begin to ask “deep-questions” and be willing to accept “deep-answers”, no matter where they lead.
But with some clues to our own past, with an understanding of the ancient cycles of revenge and retribution and a rudimentary knowledge of the ancient rituals of death and rebirth, we can move forward to enthusiastically greet whatever is about to come next in much better shape than we might have thought possible.
Copyright © 2016 Fitzgerald & Gould All rights reserved
America, an Empire in Twilight Series
PART IV: The End of Illusion
FINALE: The Trump Card is played! Never Underestimate THE FOOL
Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould are the authors of Invisible History: Afghanistan’s Untold Story, Crossing Zero The AfPak War at the Turning Point of American Empire and The Voice. For more information visit their websites at invisiblehistory and grailwerk