The unlucky Friday the 13th is one of the most well-recognized superstitions in the western world. This tradition is over 700 years old and has a very interesting origin. During the 12th century, there was a massive religious war that consumed most of Europe and Asia. Europeans referred to these times as “the crusades”. This war lasted centuries and allowed an elite class of knights to accumulate so much power and wealth that their influence rivaled both the monarchy and the church. The knights of the temple of Solomon, or more commonly known as “The Knights Templar” were the most influential political force of their time. They were the world’s first international bankers and were the corporate giant of the middle ages.
The Templar Knights were a military force throughout the entire crusades but didn’t become a strong political organization until they were given diplomatic immunity by the church in 1126. Their close relationship with the church was unusual for the time, as the lifestyle of a knight was usually associated more with the monarchy. The Knights Templar represented both the warrior and the priest, and were often referred to as the “fighting monks”. This best of both worlds diplomacy allowed the knights to form their own political dynasty which transcended the established powers of the time. They did not have to abide by the same rules as the church or the monarchy, but instead, they had the advantage and privileges of both institutions.
During the crusades, it was rumored that the Templars studied alchemy and discovered forbidden knowledge on their journeys. This would not be the first time that this has happened in history, it is actually quite common for conquerors to return home with ancient artifacts, just like Napoleon did with the Rosetta stone, for example. Some say that instead of offering their discoveries to museums the Templars kept the artifacts and knowledge within their own order. This is all speculation and legend, but what we do know for certain is that the Templars were sneaky military men and became the world’s first multinational bankers.
They had most of the known world caught in a complex pyramid scheme that is eerily similar to the scams that are being run by international bankers today. They collected taxes for protecting trade roads, bankrolled both sides of all the wars, and exploited the massive peasant class, using them as workhorses to build their fortunes. Through these shady practices, the knights ended up having more money than the monarchy and the church combined. Both the church and the monarchy were deeply in debt to the Templars from loans they had taken out, so one would be able to argue quite easily that the Templars were the most dominant political institution of the time. Eventually, the monarchy grew very threatened by the immense power of the Knights Templar. The person to finally take action against the Templars was King Phillip the 4th of France.
Since the Templars were under the protection of the church, King Phillip needed papal permission to overthrow them. In order to get this blessing, Phillip covertly murdered 2 popes in less than a year until a candidate of his choice was in power. With all the necessary steps taken King Phillip made his move. On the morning of Friday, April 13 1307 there was a surprise raid on all the Templar offices. The knights were being arrested on over a hundred different counts of heresy and treason and confessed after being brutally tortured. After a short, rigged trial the Templars were sentenced to burn at the stake. The grandmaster of the Knights Templar cursed the king and pope before he was executed, and synchronisticaly both died within the year.
Some researchers speculate that a fleet of Templar warships managed to escape France the night before the raids, and continued to control world events from behind the scenes. They apparently did this by changing their names and moving to various different parts of the known world. In fact, it is said by many that the Templars who managed to escape the inquisition fled to Switzerland and reestablished their international banking cartel there.
This theory makes sense considering that the country has been a safe haven for bankers and robber barons for centuries. It is estimated that around 35% of all the private wealth globally is held in Switzerland. The world trade organization or WTO is also based in Switzerland. These banks are among some of the only financial institutions in Europe that aren’t subject to audits and investigations from the European Union government. The financial district in London called “the city”, as well as the Vatican in Italy is also given the same kind of protection and secrecy, but they are the only areas in Europe that have those kinds of privileges. It is also rather interesting that the Swiss Guard is responsible for guarding the pope (located in Italy, not Switzerland), a task that was once the job of the Knights Templar.