Saturday, 31 May 2014

Winds of Change and the New World Order

"There's a difference between having concern for conservation and for the preservation of the natural world, and being a Bunny-hugger" 

- Phillip Mountbatten 

"It is, as I have said, a special privilege for me to be here in 1960 when you are celebrating what I might call the golden wedding of the Union. At such a time it is natural and right that you should pause to take stock of your position, to look back at what you have achieved, to look forward to what lies ahead. In the fifty years of their nationhood the people of South Africa have built a strong economy founded upon a healthy agriculture and thriving and resilient industries.

No one could fail to be impressed with the immense material progress which has been achieved. That all this has been accomplished in so short a time is a striking testimony to the skill, energy and initiative of your people. We in Britain are proud of the contribution we have made to this remarkable achievement. Much of it has been financed by British capital. …
… As I've travelled around the Union I have found everywhere, as I expected, a deep preoccupation with what is happening in the rest of the African continent. I understand and sympathise with your interests in these events and your anxiety about them.
Ever since the break up of the Roman empire one of the constant facts of political life in Europe has been the emergence of independent nations. They have come into existence over the centuries in different forms, different kinds of government, but all have been inspired by a deep, keen feeling of nationalism, which has grown as the nations have grown.

In the twentieth century, and especially since the end of the war, the processes which gave birth to the nation states of Europe have been repeated all over the world. We have seen the awakening of national consciousness in peoples who have for centuries lived in dependence upon some other power. Fifteen years ago this movement spread through Asia. Many countries there, of different races and civilisations, pressed their claim to an independent national life.

Today the same thing is happening in Africa, and the most striking of all the impressions I have formed since I left London a month ago is of the strength of this African national consciousness. In different places it takes different forms, but it is happening everywhere.

The wind of change is blowing through this continent, and whether we like it or not, this growth of national consciousness is a political fact. We must all accept it as a fact, and our national policies must take account of it.

Well you understand this better than anyone, you are sprung from Europe, the home of nationalism, here in Africa you have yourselves created a free nation. A new nation. Indeed in the history of our times yours will be recorded as the first of the African nationalists. This tide of national consciousness which is now rising in Africa, is a fact, for which both you and we, and the other nations of the western world are ultimately responsible.

For its causes are to be found in the achievements of western civilisation, in the pushing forwards of the frontiers of knowledge, the applying of science to the service of human needs, in the expanding of food production, in the speeding and multiplying of the means of communication, and perhaps above all and more than anything else in the spread of education.

As I have said, the growth of national consciousness in Africa is a political fact, and we must accept it as such. That means, I would judge, that we've got to come to terms with it. I sincerely believe that if we cannot do so we may imperil the precarious balance between the East and West on which the peace of the world depends.

The world today is divided into three main groups. First there are what we call the Western Powers. You in South Africa and we in Britain belong to this group, together with our friends and allies in other parts of the Commonwealth. In the United States of America and in Europe we call it the Free World. Secondly there are the Communists – Russia and her satellites in Europe and China whose population will rise by the end of the next ten years to the staggering total of 800 million. Thirdly, there are those parts of the world whose people are at present uncommitted either to Communism or to our Western ideas. In this context we think first of Asia and then of Africa. As I see it the great issue in this second half of the twentieth century is whether the uncommitted peoples of Asia and Africa will swing to the East or to the West. Will they be drawn into the Communist camp? Or will the great experiments in self-government that are now being made in Asia and Africa, especially within the Commonwealth, prove so successful, and by their example so compelling, that the balance will come down in favour of freedom and order and justice? The struggle is joined, and it is a struggle for the minds of men. What is now on trial is much more than our military strength or our diplomatic and administrative skill. It is our way of life. The uncommitted nations want to see before they choose."

Who Killed Michael Hutchence...?

"The sex game cover is a very useful mechanism in a murder. Not only does it provide a disguise for the actual means and method of death, it trashes the reputation of the victim and blunts the energy of any subsequent investigation."

"Police won't confirm the cause of death - but they've taken a leather belt into possession for scientific examination."


I have received a completed police brief into the death of Michael Kelland Hutchence on 22nd November, 1997, at Ritz Carlton Hotel, Double Bay. I am satisfied that the cause of death was "hanging". I am also satisfied that there was no other person involved in causing the death.

The question of whether the death was a suicide or not has to be considered. The deceased was found at 11.50am naked behind the door to his room. He had apparently hanged himself with his own belt and the buckle broke away and his body was found kneeling on the floor and facing the door.

It has been suggested that the death resulted from an act of auto eroticism. However, there is no forensic or other evidence to substantiate this suggestion. I therefore, discount that manner of death.

With regard to the question of suicide I have to be satisfied on a strong balance of probabilities before I am able to come to such a conclusion. There is a presumption against suicide. Having considered the extensive brief I am satisfied that the standard required to conclude that this death was a suicide has been reached for the following reasons:

Ms Paula Yates provided a statement. She provided background to the custody dispute between her and Sir Robert Geldof. She stated that she rang the deceased at some time prior to 5.38am on the 22nd November and he told her he was going to beg Geldof to let the children come out to Australia. She had told the deceased that the custody matter had not been finalised and was adjourned until the 17th December and she would not be bringing the children out. Ms Yates stated that the deceased sounded "desperate" during the conversation.

Sir Robert Geldof received two telephone calls from the deceased, the first at about 6.30pm London time on (the) evening of 21st November. It was of a short duration and Geldof asked the deceased to call back. The second call was received by Geldof about 5.30am on 22nd November, Sydney time. This call was of some length. Geldof refers to the deceased's demeanour as being "hectoring and abusive and threatening" in nature. He refers to the deceased as "begging" to allow him to let the children come to Australia. He did not sound depressed during the conversation. A friend of both Geldof and Paula Yates, Ms Belinda Brewin, confirms the substance of the conversation between the two. A statement obtained from a Gail Coward, the occupant of the room directly next to the deceased's room, alludes to her hearing a loud male voice and expletives emitting from the deceased's room about 5am that morning. I am satisfied that she was hearing the telephone conversation between the deceased and Geldof.

An analysis report of the deceased's blood indicates the presence of alcohol, cocaine, Prozac and other prescription drugs. On consideration of the entirety of the evidence gathered I am satisfied that the deceased was in a severe depressed state on the morning of the 22nd November, 1997, due to a number of factors, including the relationship with Paula Yates and the pressure of the on-going dispute with Sir Robert Geldof, combined with the effects of the substances that he had ingested at that time. As indicated I am satisfied that the deceased intended and did take his own life.

I am also satisfied that this death is one in which nothing will be gained by holding a formal Inquest.

The identity of the deceased, the date and place of death and the manner and cause of death are clearly set out and the time and expense of holding an Inquest is not warranted and therefore such will be dispensed with. May I offer to the family of Michael Hutchence my sincere condolences on their sad loss.


Glebe. 6th February, 1998

Intelligence expert Crispin Black on why sex games feature in so many spy deaths

By Crispin Black - former government intelligence adviser

"SITTING at the Gareth Williams inquest this week, listening to the more lurid details of the case, it occurred to me the death of spooks in bizarre circumstances involving sex games or women’s clothing is hardly an unusual event.

Disposing of an enemy and making it look like a perverted fantasy gone wrong is in the training manuals of every spy agency from MI6 to Mossad.

Codebreaker Gareth, from Anglesey, north Wales, was found dead in a locked bag, in a flat full of women’s clothing and wigs and with his internet browsing history conveniently featuring bondage sites, sparking a flurry of allegations which horrified his parents.

But the fact the 31-year-old’s death scene was organised in such a way as to suggest a sex game gone wrong should make us more suspicious, not less.

The sex game cover is a very useful mechanism in a murder. Not only does it provide a disguise for the actual means and method of death, it trashes the reputation of the victim and blunts the energy of any subsequent investigation.

And it appears to explain the astonishing number of spies, and other people who step into their murky world, who turn up dead in circumstances similar to Gareth.

Take GCHQ personnel for instance, those that work at the vast electronic doughnut in Cheltenham that is responsible for intercepting and decoding secret electronic traffic of interest to Her Majesty’s Government. And Gareth’s ultimate employer.

In 1983, 25-year-old Stephen Drinkwater, who worked as a clerk at GCHQ, was found dead at his home with a plastic bag over his head. In 1997 another worker, Nicholas Husband, 46, was found dead at home dressed in a bra and panties – with a plastic bag over his head.

Two years later, Kevin Allen, 31, a language expert at GCHQ, was found dead in his bed with a plastic bag over his head and a dust mask over his mouth. One wonders what the Gloucestershire Constabulary make of it all.

To be fair, the kind of higher mathematical ability that many GCHQ codebreakers have is rare and it sometimes comes with some personal eccentricities attached.

Alan Turing, the Cambridge academic and founder of modern computer science who became the greatest of the wartime Bletchley Park codebreakers was a distinctly odd fish – a loner with sexual hang-ups who seemed to spend most of his waking hours dreaming of obscure mathematical theorems.

The point was amusingly made in 60s film The Italian Job in which Charlie Croker, played by Michael Caine, recruits computer genius Professor Simon Peach – Benny Hill – to pull off a daring bullion robbery.

But the whole scheme nearly comes unstuck as Prof Peach is unable to control his powerful urges towards large women. MI6, who recruit a more worldly-wise type than the boffins of GCHQ, have not been immune.

In 1994 ex-MI6 man turned journalist James Rusbridger, 65, was found hanged at his house in Cornwall – in a green chemical protection suit including rubber gloves, gas mask and black plastic mackintosh. Bondage pictures completed the tableau.

And of course, according to the pathologist, it turned out he probably did it himself as part of a sex game.

The same year Stephen Milligan, the Tory MP for Eastleigh, was found dead with electrical flex tied round his neck, a black bin liner over his head and wearing stockings and suspenders.

The 45-year-old was also tied to a chair and had a satsuma stuffed into his mouth.

His boss at the time, then junior defence minister Jonathan Aitken, has since denied suggestions Milligan had links to MI6.

Even if you are not a spook you need to be careful. In 1990, ex-RAF helicopter pilot and editor of Defence Helicopter World Jonathan Moyle, 28, was found hanged in the wardrobe of his hotel in Chile with a pillow case over his head.

At the time his demise was widely thought to be an auto-erotic accident. He was in fact almost certainly murdered after uncovering links between Chilean arms dealers and Saddam Hussein.

The last person to give evidence at the Gareth Williams inquest was Detective Chief Inspector Jackie Sebire – the senior investigating officer in the case.

She stated confidently that she was sure she and her team would be able to unlock the mystery in the end. But she also felt that this, her final appearance in court, was an appropriate time to remind the assembled audience of Williams’s internet browsing habits.

The last website he accessed probably just a few hours before his death was connected to cycling – a photo of him competing in a cross-country cycling race has been seen frequently in the national newspapers.

But then she went on to deal with the browsing information that had been made much of in the media over the last 20 months. Williams had accessed bondage websites on four days over a two-year period.

He had never accessed so-called “claustrophilia” sites which cater for people who get a thrill out of being confined in small spaces.

There we have it – the view of the woman in charge of the probe. Williams may have had a passing interest in bondage but no more than that. Even this passing interest may have a perfectly innocent explanation.

All MI6 officers get extensive training before they are allowed out on to the streets. Much of this takes place at Fort Monckton near Gosport in Hampshire – a Napoleonic era fortress surrounded by barbed wire and accessible only by a drawbridge.

It includes instruction in basic entry and exit procedures – buildings and cars mainly. If you ever get locked out of your flat and know a friendly spook from school or university give them a ring.

They should be able to get you back inside and could save you a fortune on locksmith’s fees. The instruction also includes some counter-surveillance techniques – how to make sure you are not followed.

And instruction on what to do if you fall into the wrong hands – resistance to interrogation and crucially, what to do if you are restrained – tied or chained up.

It is possible Williams had some of this training and it might well account for the episode when he was discovered tied up in his room by his landlady.

That the sex game angle was a simple smear is a view certainly not ruled out by the Westminster coroner who said, “it is still a legitimate line of inquiry” Gareth died at the hands of MI6.

In her narrative verdict, Dr Fiona Wilcox said: “I am sure a third party placed the bag into the bath and on the balance of probabilities locked the bag.

The cause of death was unnatural and likely to have been criminally mediated. I am therefore satisfied that on the balance of probabilities Gareth was killed unlawfully.”

I was impressed by Dr Wilcox. She had good judgment and wisdom as can be seen from her verdict in the case. She played down the bondage question and the interest in female fashion – Williams had an expensive collection of women’s clothing nearly all of it unworn and most of it not in his size.

She seemed to accept the view of Williams’s sister that these were a store of presents for his female acquaintances. Dr Wilcox pretty much dismissed the idea of any sexual component in his death.

Sadly that is the aspect many people will remember. Well, these kinky games with yourself or other people go wrong – what can you expect – becomes the prevailing attitude.

Occasionally the dark arts of postmortem reputation trashing are employed in a good cause and based on hard facts rather than a set-up.

The strange and squalid habits of Osama bin Laden before his death have been used to great effect by the US to make him a laughing stock.

Crispin Black’s espionage thriller The Falklands Intercept is published by Gibson Square on June 19."


Night by William Hogarth

 George W. Speth suggests that the picture is of Hartshorn Lane, Charing Cross, the principal figure, wearing a collar with square, is Sir Thomas de Veil, a member of Hogarth’s first Lodge, meeting at the Vine in 1729 and the supporting figure, in Tyler’s regalia with sword, key and lamp, is Bro. Montgomerie, the Grand Tyler. 

"When the king's party finally went out to meet with the leaders of the rebellion, two men conspicuously not in the party were the Archbishop of Canturbury and the prior of the Knights Hospitaller. 

Tyler and a few men found them anyway in the Tower of London and beheaded them. 

The young king agreed to parley with Tyler, but Tyler was stabbed by members of the king's excourt as he spoke. 

As Tyler lay wounded, the king rode to the rebels and announced to them that he would personally see to their concerns. "

"Tyler issued the command that men within 36 miles of the coast should stay put, lest the French take advantage of the upheaval in order to stage an invasion.

Tyler was a man used to giving commands and apparently accustomed to having those commands carried out, which in this case they were. Further, these commands covered ranges miles from London and coordinated concurrent rebellions as far north as Scotland. 

Robinson takes this coordination and discipline as evidence that a command structure was in place and ready to go when the rebellion erupted. 

That's a lot to expect of a roof tiler, but all in a day's work for a sergeant at arms of a secret society."

UNC Press - John Tyler, the Accidental President

John Tyler, the Accidental President

By Edward P. Crapol

The first vice president to become president on the death of the incumbent, John Tyler (1790-1862) was derided by critics as "His Accidency." Yet he proved to be a bold leader who used the malleable executive system to his advantage. In this biography of the tenth President of the United States, Edward P. Crapol challenges previous depictions of Tyler as a die-hard advocate of states' rights, limited government, and a strict interpretation of the Constitution.

In pursuit of his agenda, Crapol argues, Tyler exploited executive prerogatives and manipulated constitutional requirements in ways that violated his professed allegiance to a strict interpretation of the Constitution. He set precedents that his successors in the White House invoked to create an American empire and expand presidential power.

Crapol also highlights Tyler's enduring faith in America's national destiny and his belief that boundless territorial expansion would preserve the Union as a slaveholding republic. When Tyler, a Virginian, opted for secession and the Confederacy in 1861, he was stigmatized as America's "traitor" president for having betrayed the republic he once led. As Crapol demonstrates, Tyler's story anticipates the modern imperial presidency in all its power and grandeur, as well as its darker side.

About the Author

Edward P. Crapol is William E. Pullen Professor of American History, Emeritus, at the College of William and Mary. He is author of James G. Blaine: Architect of Empire and editor of Women and American Foreign Policy: Lobbyists, Critics, and Insiders.

" The unhappy people of Kent, Essex, Sussex and Bedford began to stir, because, they said, they were kept in great servage. And in the beginning of the world, they said, there were no bondmen; wherefore they maintained that none ought to be bond, without he did treason to his lord; for they were neither angels nor spirits, but men formed to the similitude of their lords; saying why should they then be kept so under like beasts? The which they said they would no longer suffer. For they would be all one, and if they laboured or did anything for their lords, they would have wages therefor." 

" And they had a captain called Walter Tyler, and with him in company was Jack Straw and John Ball: these three were chief sovereign captains, but the head of all was Walter Tyler, and he was indeed a tiler of houses, an ungracious patron." 

" When these unhappy men began thus to stir, they of London, except such as were of their band, were greatly affrayed. Then the mayor of London and the rich men of the city took counsel together, and when they saw the people thus coming on every side, they caused the gates of the city to be closed and would suffer no man to enter into the city." 

Then they cried all with one voice, 'Let us go to London,' and so they took their way thither, and so came to the Savoy in the way to Westminster, which was a goodly house and it pertained to the duke of Lancaster. And when they entered, they slew the keepers thereof and robbed and pillaged the house, and when they had so done, then they set fire on it and clean destroyed and burnt it." 


John J. Robinson
pub. M. Evans and Company, Inc., New York, 1989

The author purports to prove that Freemasonry is directly descended from the medieval monastic Knights Templar, and in the process to solve a number of minor mysteries concerning Masonic ritual, including the meanings and origins of words like cowan, cabletow and tyler, which occur in Masonic ritual and nowhere else in the English language. His best evidence centers on the English Peasant's Revolt of 1381.

In 14th Century England life sucked for all but a very few people. You worked hard and were paid little if you were freeborn and nothing if you weren't. You had no rights at all. Anything you grew or built or invented belonged either to the king or the pope. Malnutrition was a way of life, and if you were caught hunting on land that belonged to an aristocrat you could be beaten or executed. The penalty for criticizing the church was that your lower lip would be cut off. And if you did it again, you had another lip, didn't you?

Into the mix add frequent crop failures from 1315 to 1318 and then a big famine in 1340 then follow that up with three plagues and a simultaneous war with Scotland and by 1350 the population of England had gone from 4M to 2.5M.  Life's a bitch!

For a moment there seemed to be a silver lining to the cloud. The labor shortage caused by all your friends and family dropping dead meant that for the first time ever, a commoner could get some meaningful cash for his labor. The authorities didn't like the idea of working people having economic clout, so they passed the Statute of Labourers which, among other things, fixed wages at preplague levels. Also at about that time the Hundred Years War had begun, so that meant increased taxes. Landowners who wanted to reduce the cost of their human resources could hire a lawyer to comb genealogies to discover freemen who had descended from serfs, thus forcing them into unpaid servitude.


There's only so much a people can take, and in 1381 a peasants' rebellion occurred, organized by reform-minded parish priests in contact with a shadowy, secretive "Great Society" and led by a guy called Walter the Tyler. Now it may be that tyler is an obsolete spelling of the occupation roof tiler, but Robinson contends that tyler in this case is sergeant at arms of a Masonic lodge, a natural choice to lead a violent mob. During this insurrection, there was a great deal of lopping off of heads of aristocrats and upper church officials, lawyers and authority in general; but the mob seems to have been deliberately guided toward the destruction of property, particularly property belonging to the Knights Hospitaller and the Church. One piece of Hospitaller property was spared, that temple which had been the principal temple of the Knights Templar prior to the suppression of the order in 1307.

When the king's party finally went out to meet with the leaders of the rebellion, two men conspicuously not in the party were the Archbishop of Canturbury and the prior of the Knights Hospitaller. Tyler and a few men found them anyway in the Tower of London and beheaded them. The young king agreed to parley with Tyler, but Tyler was stabbed by members of the king's excourt as he spoke. As Tyler lay wounded, the king rode to the rebels and announced to them that he would personally see to their concerns. The now leaderless rebellion petered out in London and carried on for a couple more days in outlying towns.

So that's the closest Robinson came to a historical smoking gun. The shadowy Great Society of the Peasant's Revolt has one foot in the Masons, based on the name Walter the Tyler, and one foot in the Templars, based on the fact that the mob singled out Hospitaller leadership and property, the Hospitallers being the rival monastic order which had most directly participated in and profited from the Pope's supression of the Templars.

It's not perfect evidence, but it's pretty good. The troublesome part is the possibility that tyler might be an alternate spelling of tiler. Robinson tries to add weight to his argument mainly in that it just makes so much sense that a man who occupied the position of sergeant at arms of a secret society would be a natural choice to lead a violent rebellion and that a roof tiler would be a less likely leader. Also, from the moment he appeared on the scene he was universally recognized as the leader of the rebellion, even though rioting had been taking place under other leaders for a couple of days before he arrived. Robinson doubts that could have happened so easily if Wat had been a "tiler" and not a "tyler."

Tyler issued the command that men within 36 miles of the coast should stay put, lest the French take advantage of the upheaval in order to stage an invasion. Tyler was a man used to giving commands and apparently accustomed to having those commands carried out, which in this case they were. Further, these commands covered ranges miles from London and coordinated concurrent rebellions as far north as Scotland. Robinson takes this coordination and discipline as evidence that a command structure was in place and ready to go when the rebellion erupted. That's a lot to expect of a roof tiler, but all in a day's work for a sergeant at arms of a secret society.


For supporting evidence, Robinson backtracks to the history of the Knights of the Temple of Solomon. These guys were soldier monks who fought in the crusades and had as their stated purpose the aid of pilgrims traveling from Europe to the Holy Land (from West to East, and possibly the other way, too). To accomplish this, they maintained chains of castles, supply depots, armed escorts, banks, secret intelligence networks, farms, vineyards, ranches and so on throughout Europe and the Middle East. In modern terms they were a diversified multinational religious and financial corporation which became stinking rich offering support services to the crusades.

For example, if you were a young knight on your way from Paris to Jerusalem, you could carry a box of gold with you with which to purchase supplies along the way. You could camp in the woods exposed to robbers while you sleep. Or you could deposit your gold with the Templars in Paris and carry a note for the amount with you like a traveler's check. Templar facilities were conveniently spaced and feed, pack animals, supplies, even armaments could be purchased there and debited against the note you carried.

Of course, these notes were just that. Handwritten notes. In order to guard against the possibility of disbursing gold to people carrying forged notes, the Templar clerics developed secret signs, and ciphers, apparently accidental marks, tears, and the like which one Templar could use to authenticate a document written by another a thousand miles away and presented by a stranger. When you're handing out gold, you want to be sure. Also with a large geographically diffuse organization requiring the frequent disbursement of funds among its members, you have to know that the guy you're handing the cash to is a brother Templar and not a fake. So they developed other secret signs, handshakes, knocks and so on, manners of speaking and dressing that would allow them to identify their own. Those signs, customs, raps and marks would have to be standardized throughout the order across Europe and the Middle East from the Atlantic to the Euphrates.

In this way, Robinson begins to pile up a mountain of circumstantial evidence. The Templars did this --the Masons do something similar. The Templars had ciphers and secret grips -- the Masons have ciphers and secret grips. The Templar order took its name from the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem -- elements of Masonic ritual revolve around the construction of the Temple of Solomon. Masons wear sheepskin aprons, Templars wore a sheepskin loincloth under their robes. The Templars were monks and called one another "brother." Masons refer to themselves as "brother" Masons, and since the Templars were a French order, "brother Mason" might once have been "frére macon" which is transliterated into English as "freemason."


While we're on the subject of French, there's an old French word "tailleur," meaning "one who cuts." The pronunciation approximates "tyler," and it would be an appropriate name for a man who is stationed at an entrance to a Masonic lodge with his sword drawn and deciding who does and doesn't "make the cut."

Still on the subject of French, there's a phrase in Masonic ritual, "cowans and eves droppers" which has confused people over the years. Noplace else in the English language does the word "cowan" appear, but there's an old French word "couenne" which is pronounced kuh-WAHN and means ignoramus or bumpkin. The French word for protective gesture is geste du garde, which Robinson posits as the source of the Masonic identifying gesture, or "due guard" for each degree. There's an old French equivalent for the enigmatic "cable-tow" as well, although it's meaning is not all that surprisingly a rope used tie down a ship.

Still on the subjects both of French and the Temple of Solomon, the biblical telling of the story of the temple's construction names the chief builder as Hiram. The Masonic version gives him a last name, Abiff. That last name is not mentioned in the Bible. But in French, "Hiram à Biffe" means "Hiram who was eliminated," or perhaps "Hiram, the guy who got whacked," which is exactly what happens to Hiram in the Masonic telling of the story, not in the biblical version.

There was a pirate city in Muslim North Africa known as Mahadia. Robinson speculates that the Templar fleet escaping from La Rochelle might have gained refuge in a Muslim port like Mahadia, possibly referring to it as "Mahadia the Good." In French, Mahadia le Bon, later shortened to "mahabone," is the substitute word for the one that was lost at the death of Hiram Abif.


King Philip of France and Pope Clement conspired in 1307 to arrest the Templars on trumped up charges of everything from blasphemy to buggery (the usual accusations in the time of the Inquisition). Once confessions were tortured out of them, their lands and fortunes would be forfeit, turned over to Philip and Clement, and their real estate and charter turned over to the Knights of the Hospital of St. John -- the Hospitallers.

That was a lot of wealth. At the time, the Templars had property every few miles from Scotland to Egypt and from Portugal to Palestine. In addition to that, they were lending money to every nobleman in Europe and renting out their knights as mercenaries and security guards. They were managing agricultural property for a fee. They were required to recognize no political boundaries within all cristendom and were bound only by the laws of their own order, so they acted as bonded couriers, political messengers and mediators. If there was a dispute between a feudal lord and some church authority, the Pope might have dispatched a couple of Templars to settle the matter instead of an army of soldiers.

So concentrated within that order was more money and power than any individual king in the world. Although they were sworn to obey the pope, it's easy to see that Clement could have seen them as a threat, like having a lion in your house, even if it's YOUR lion....

The arrest operation was a disappointment for Philip and Clement. Templars in Germany simply declared their innocence and offered trial by combat to anybody who cared to cross the Rhine and say that. When the order was outlawed five years later, one assumes the Templars would have entered civilian life or joined the Teutonic Knights or some other order. Templars in Portugal and Spain changed their names to the Knights of Christ and melded into the feudal systems of those countries. The English King stalled for almost a month before carrying out the pope's order, so that by the time he had to make the arrests, all the treasure and all the Templars had vanished. And in Scotland, well, forget it. Any pain in the pope's neck was a friend of the Scots.

Even in France much of what wasn't nailed down was gone when the soldiers showed up to arrest the Templars. Only a few older members of the Order stayed behind, letting themselves be arrested. Possibly they hoped to delay the authorities so the others could make good their escape. Possibly they thought they had the best chance of legally defending their charter. Whatever the reason, only a small fraction of the Templars were ever apprehended. The 18 ships in the Templar fleet vanished from their port of La Rochelle and were never hear from again. This might explain why a man undergoing the rite of a Master Mason is told that this degree will make him a "brother of pirates and corsairs."


Robinson demolishes the widely held notion that the Freemasonry arose from medieval stonemasons craft guilds. In his chapter describing medieval craft guilds, he mentions that he visited the archives of some of the world's great libraries in London, Oxford and Lincoln, towns known for having lots of medieval stonework. Although he found documentation for guilds covering everything from vintners to fishmongers to gold wire drawers, he was unable to find even one documented instance of a medieval guild of English stonemasons.

A Mason swears to keep the order's secrets under the threat of having his body chopped into pieces, his throat cut, his tongue ripped out by the roots, his entrails burned and many other gruesome fates. What secret could a stonemason have that requires that kind of oath? This wasn't just a matter of "cross my heart, hope to die, stick a needle in my eye." Guys running from the inquisition would have a good reason to require that kind of oath from his brothers, because that "burning entrail" stuff is right down the inquisition's alley.

Masonic membership requires that the candidate be freeborn. Like Masonry there were three classes of Templars, (Knights, Sergeants and Clerics) all of which were required to be freeborn. Masons require a professed belief in a Supreme Being, but require that the specifics of religion not be discussed in the lodge. Doesn't make much sense from the point of view of a stonecutter's union, but regarding men evading religious persecution it makes a lot of sense.


Some of the oldest documents in Freemasonry, one dating right back to the fourteenth century, are known as the Old Charges. This is a short list of rules about how Masons are to treat one another. One rule goes that a Mason may not reveal a secret that would result in a brother Mason losing life or property. A Mason may not have illicit sex with the female relations of a brother Mason. A Mason visiting a town should not go about the town unless escorted by a brother Mason who can vouch for him. A Mason passing through is to be given two weeks' employment by a brother Mason, then given some spending money and sent on his way to the next lodge.

Seriously, doesn't this sound like rules of conduct for an underground railroad? And what possible relevance could these rules hold for a craft guild of stonecutters?


According to Robinson the veneer of stonemasonry is the most convenient available cover story. If a bunch of guys are gathered in an inn and the authorities burst in wanting to know what you lot are up to, you're a bunch of Masons relaxing. Scattered around the room can be seen rules, compasses, squares and mauls. A suspicious authority can't verify your name with the roll of the local stonemason guild, because as Robinson discovered to his surprise earlier, there were no stonemason guilds in England. Masonry was the perfect unfalsifiable cover for an underground organization. They couldn't very well pretend to be fishmongers. Their names would have to be on the rolls at the local fishmongers guild. Not only that, it would be hard to keep your lodge secret due to the telltale aroma of mackerel.

Ritual might have arisen around the stonecutting paraphernalia early on. In this way, even people who didn't know or care anything about the Templar supression could be recruited and used for the underground railroad and still have some ritual that they could make sense of, inoccuous parables about self-improvement.

At some point all the Templars are going to die of old age and the original purpose of the secret society dies with them. However, those original Templars persecuted by their monarch and their church had over the course of their lives recruited a body of men who were anti-pope and anti-authoritarian while on the surface being churchgoing, taxpaying upright citizens. That's the kind of men they would have to recruit. So by the time of the Peasants Revolt of 1381, the secret lodges consisted entirely of men who thought that common people were getting screwed by the authorities, and when a revolt spontaneously broke out, the post-templars (or proto-Masons if you prefer) were ready to leap to the fore and aim the mob at the specific authorities which they considered to be the source of the most immediate social ills.

Of all the connections with Masons and Templars that Robinson links to the Peasants Revolt, none of them involve the, rule, maul, compass, square and so on. It's tempting, but not really warranted to say that the Masonry trappings were added after 1381. The clues are just too sparse to be that specific.

So if there's an intellectual inheritance the Masons got from the Templars it's anti-authoritarianism, anti-tyrranism. You can't read the Bill of Rights (written by Masons) without hearing the echoes of Masonic ritual. For example, the constitution prohibits the establishment of a state religion, Masonry also leaves religious observance to the conscience of the individual.

Perhaps those Masonic sermons about improving one's self bit by bit and rebuilding Solomon's Temple brick by brick are an admonishment favoring gradual improvement of our political environment, and warning against the mistake made by the Great Society when it tried to uproot all authority in one grand violent swoop. If this is the case, the addition of the Masonic trappings would have occurred after 1381, and the story of Hiram Abiff, the builder murdered before the Temple could be completed, roughly corresponds to the story of Wat Tyler's revolt.


In the story of Hiram Abiff, the three Jewes (or Jubes) named Jubela, Jubelum and Jubelo, use the implements of their lower degrees, the setting maul, the rule and the square, kill Master Mason Hiram in an attempt to get the Master's Masonic secrets before the completion of the Temple. They hide the body, which is later "raised" and properly buried. Later in the story they wail mournfully that it would have been better to have suffered the fates of their bloody oaths than to have killed their master.

In a medieval church there's a thing called a "rood screen." It's a latticework screen on which is hung a cross. In a spot in front of the rood screen is where monks do their pennace in front of the assembled order. In France, that screen is called a jubé. There's a french colloquialism venir à jubé, which means "to do one's pennance," and the three Juwes in the story certainly were loudly and publicly penitent.

Robinson interprets this story as the naming of parties guilty of the attempted destruction of the Templars. Hiram represents not any one person, but Masonry itself and the three Juwes represent the Crown, the Pope and the Hospitallers, the three conspirators of the arrest and suppression.


Masonry, whether or not it was called that, operated in secret in Britain from 1307 to the formation of the Grand Lodge of London in 1717. That's over four hundred years. How is that possible? Robinson's explanation is that Masonry was formed around refugees fleeing religious and political persecution. The Pope kept right on burning heretics, and England was Protestant/Catholic off and on right up through Elizabeth I. Once established, a secret organization that protected heretics would have no trouble finding new members. Masons wouldn't have felt safe about revealing themselves unless England was a political non-catholic superpower and her heretics protected by law, thus making secret lodges unnecessary. In 1685 the last claim of a Catholic to the British throne fell apart. In 1701 it was made law that the British Royal Family would be members of the Church of England. Shortly thereafter the Grand Lodge of London was formed.

Masonic Lodges have from time to time served their ancient purpose right up through the twentieth century. While outlawed by fascist countries in WWII Europe, some Masonic lodges went underground in the old fashioned way and served as the foci of resistance efforts. Masonic initiations are even said to have taken place in prison camps, using a pair of sticks to inscribe a circle in the dust, just as described in Masonry's oldest rituals, the ones most closely resembling the Templar secret rituals.

In the WWII example, Masonry provided what the Templar organization provided 640 years earlier, a force in readiness, a pre-existing organization with a tradition of secret communication and a charter focused on religious and political tolerance.


There's lots more in this book (The Masonic mosaic pavement resembles the black and white Templar Beau Seant, for example.), but if you aren't convinced by now, doubling up on the coincidences isn't going to convince you. If you're interested in the material, get a copy of "Born in Blood" and read it for yourself. The author's reasoning is impeccable, even if he does stretch things a bit at times. For example, the proposed etymology of the word "mahabone" is little more than a guess. To his credit, when he does put forth a weak argument he's not shy about letting you know that it's a weak argument.

Most of his arguments are pretty strong, however, and given that the Templar trail has had seven centuries to cool, Robinson has put together a wholly convincing argument for the proposition that the three degrees of Craft Masonry are rooted in the fugitive Knights Templar in hiding in 14th Century England. Period.

Of course the whole time I was reading I was wondering just what you've been wondering. "What happened to all the stuff?" All the treasure that disappeared. Where is it hidden? Then I read the part about the Old Charges and how money was to be distributed to brothers passing through, and how lodging was to be provided and so on.  My suspicion is that all that treasure went to hide the Templars, shift them around the country, lodge them in safe houses, find new identities for them, buy them new clothes to replace the monks robes, set them up in new professions and so on and was probably gone within a generation of the suppression. If the fabled Templar Treasure was not spent, it was wasted.

According to Robinson, though, there is a treasure of sorts which might yet exist.  Along with the Templars and their treasure and their fleet, their records also vanished. This would include everything from membership rolls to expense accounts for military expeditions to wine recipes. Those might still be around, maybe all in one place, maybe in fragments, maybe dispersed throughout the world, but maybe somewhere. In 1717, when a few London lodges "went public" and Masons first publicly admitted that Masonry existed, a number of Lodges, fearing persecution, panicked and burned their records. Let's hope the Templars didn't do that back in 1307.


One place where Robinson and I disagree is in the interpretation of the story of Hiram Abiff. Robinson represents the story as a roman a clef with the three Juwes representing Clement, Phillip and the Prior of the Hospitallers.  While this reading is valid, I think there's a more reasonable interpretation that is more introspective from the Mason's point of view.  Hiram represents not any one person, but Masonry itself and the three Juwes represent the impatient elements of the membership who very nearly destroyed the secret order in a premature attempt to accomplish its goals.  As evidence for this proposition recall that Hiram was killed by Masons with implements pertaining to all three degrees of Masonry.

The point that the workers proceed in the rest of the story repeatedly mentioning that no plans were left for the workers by the master builder might indicate that the executions at the end of the Peasants' Revolt effectively removed the leadership of the secret society. And at the end of the story they install a makeshift Mason's secret word to take the place of the genuine article until somebody comes along who can figure out what that secret word was. It's an allegorical expression of the order's loss of purpose.

I find Robinson's explanation regarding mention of a Widow's Son a little vague and cursory. He holds that every Master Mason symbolically becomes Hiram Abiff, the son of a widow, the phrase being merely a description of Hiram. I interpret that phrase as an allegorical lament about an absent father. The Templars, a holy order, have lost their Holy Father, the Pope, or in Latin Papa, literally, father. The Templars are the widow's son. The Pope is the absent father.

"Russell T. Johnson is a non-mason and a writer on the subject of Arkansas. His self-published work can be found 

This review reprinted by permission."

To get books related to Freemasonry and the Ancient Mysteries.


"Davies explained in length his writing process to Cook in The Writer's Tale. When he creates characters, he initially assigns a character a name and fits attributes around it. In the case of Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) in his inaugural series of Doctor Who, he chose the name because he considered it a "good luck charm" after he used it for Lesley Sharp's character in Bob & Rose. "

Vince Tyler

Johnny Tyler (aka Satan)

Pete Tyler

The Other Pete Tyler

Jackie Tyler

The Other Jackie Tyler

Jackie Tyler's Knickers

CooperHave either of you fellas heard of the White Lodge?

HawkWhere’d you hear of it?

CooperWell, it was the last thing Major Briggs said to me before he disappeared.

HawkCooper, you may be fearless in this world, but there are other worlds.

Cooper: Tell me more.

Hawk: My people believe the White Lodge is the place where the spirits that rule men and nature here reside

Truman: Local legend, goes way back.

Hawk: There is also a legend of a place called the Black Lodge, the shadow-self of the White Lodge. The legend says that every soul must pass through there on the way to perfection. 

There you will meet your own shadow-self. 

My people call it The Dweller on the Threshold…but it is said if you face the Lodge with imperfect courage, it will utterly annihilate your soul.

Night, a print by William Hogarth. 
The figure on the right is the Master of a lodge, probably escorted by his Tyler.

William Hogarth’s Night,1 the fourth and last of a series entitled "Times of the Day" is of especial interest to freemasons, for "...if the whole intention is burlesque or satire, the tavern may be identified as the Rummer and Grapes, Channel Row, Westminster, the meeting place of Lodge No. 4 from 1717 to 1723."2
George W. Speth suggests that the picture is of Hartshorn Lane, Charing Cross, the principal figure, wearing a collar with square, is Sir Thomas de Veil, a member of Hogarth’s first Lodge, meeting at the Vine in 1729 and the supporting figure, in Tyler’s regalia with sword, key and lamp, is Bro. Montgomerie, the Grand Tyler. Note the figure on the right holding a mop, a possible allusion to the practice of drawing symbols on the lodge room floor and washing them off when the lodge was closed.3

1. Reproduced from The Works of William Hogarth, by the Rev. John Trusler. London : Jones and Co., 1833. plate facing p. 73. Engraving by W. Radclyffe. 
2. Freemason’s Guide and Compendium. Bernard E. Jones. 1952, plate X, following p. 176. "engraved by Charles Spooner." (1979 : p. 192) 
3. Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, vol. ii. pp. 116-17, 146-55 . A plate facing page 90 AQC vol. ii, reproduces an original print in the British Museum "Invented, Painted Engraved & Published by Wm. Hogarth March 25, 1738"

A Tyler’s Toast
by Iain Macdonald

The Craftsmen’s work of day is done, the Brethren now must part.

"A Tyler’s Toast" our Master cries, "to warm each faithful heart."
For though we go our separate ways, our bond is ever strong.
The magic of the mystic tie will draw us back ere long.

Until then, think, each time you meet a Brother down on luck,
Whose life is marked by poverty, perhaps by illness struck.
That "If not for the Grace of God, I might walk in his shoes,
I wonder how much I can spare, to help him meet his dues."

And spare a wish for Brethren, who through no fault, their own,
May find themselves in foreign lands, and labouring alone.
That once the day shall come when they no longer need to roam,
May each enjoy a swift and happy voyage to his home.

Long may our Lodges welcome Craftsmen, travelling to the East.
And may our secrets guide good hearts, until each soul’s release
To wing its own way Heav'nward, these heartfelt words ingrain,
We're happy to meet, sorry to part, happy to meet again.

To our next merry meeting.

R.W. Bro. Iain Macdonald is a member of Mount Lebanon Lodge No. 72 in Vancouver, BC, where he has often given the Tyler’s Toast.

“A name, for me, is a short way of working out what class that child comes from [And I can decide from that] do I want my child to play with them?

Tyler! Stop hitting 'im.!!"