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-Dear Sinclair,

I do not know which of us is the more idle. me for not looking up the
meterology reports you cite, or you for not simply looking out the window. We
must have more pressing matters in hand at the moment.

The complex question of the non-participation in the Albigensian Crusade by
either the Knights Templar of the Hospitallers is a thorny one. I dealt with
this at some length in Rex Deus.

Both orders are recorded as having taken part in a couple of minor skirmishes
and both are mentioned as having prvided shelter to fleeing Cathars. Indeed
Inquisition records show that certain Cathars who had died and been buried on
Templar property were later exhumed - tried posthumously, found guilty of
Heresy and had their corpses burnt.

The two orders had many properties in the Longuedoc, all gifted to the orders
by local noble families who gave shelter to, or supported the Cathar Cause.

Now these two orders, who were long term rivals who often fought each other
and could not agee on anything as simple as to where to have lunch, showed a
suprising unanimity in their response when questioned about their collective
inaction on this papally sanctioned Crusade.

As you so rightly state, both were warrior, crusading orders with a long
history of fighting the Muslims, both in the Holy Land and in Spain. Yet they
remained effectively neutral in the Albigensian crusade. The explanation
they offerred  was twofold. Firstly they claimed that their properties in this
region were not fortified and could not be used as bases in a war situation -
a statement which was not completely in accord with the truth. Secondly they
both claimed that the deeds of donation of these lands contained terms which
precluded their use as bases in any local conflict. 

The Langedoc was  indeed not truly part of France until after the Crusade was
over. France did not absorb the Languedoc until after the death of the last
Count of Toulouse. Then an agreement was made with Aragon that France would
obtain the Langedoc and Aragon the Roussillion. Rousillion was only absorbed
by the French in the early seventeenth century.

You state that " The Cathar belief system shared many elements of Templar
belief. The Cathar  belief system is crucial to the understanding of some of

This is only partly true. Yes the Cathars and the Templars had some
similarities of belief and practice, but this was far from a comprehensive
sharing of credance. Both were initiatory spiritual pathways to
enlightenment. Both knew that Jesus was married and had produced off-spring.
The two organisations did indeed share the belief that spiritual knowledge
should be used for the benefit of the community within which they moved.
That's about as far as it goes.

The differences were stark. The Cathars belied that Jesus was Divine.
According to most authoritative sources the Templars did not. The Cathar
Perfecti were non-violent vegetarians, the same certainly cannot be said for
Templars. The Templars acknowledged the overall power of the Pope. The Cathars
refuted not merely papal authority but all the Catholic sacrements as well.

Templar beliefs are indeed crucial to any real understanding of the messages
encoded within Rosslyn. Cathar beliefs, while important are very much marginal
to that.

Any list member wishing to know more about this crucial period of history
should contact the Renne Nelli Institue at Carcassone who have amassed a vast
archive of primary source material, contemporaneous documents and records of
the Inquisition as well as a library of good quality books as secondary
sources on this
fruitful are of study.

As to my suspect reliance upon primary sources, as I mantioned earlier, I am
but a simple Irish peasant who was brought up to believe in the old Irish
saying 'Why talk to the bishop or the archbishop when you can talk directly to

Best wishes


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