Found Again: The “Templar Artifacts” of Hammer-Purgstall

I am currently in the final stages of preparation to publish my newest and most important book, co-written with writer on Gnostic subjects, Alexander Rivera of The Aeon Eye. The book is called Baphomet: The Temple Mystery Unveiled, and it is the most exhaustive history of the subject written to date, covering the origins of the concept and its influence on the activities of occult secret societies, as well as a revelation on the hidden doctrine of the Knights Templar. In the course of our investigation, quite a bit of important new information was brought to light.

Baphomet, of course, was the alleged name of the alleged demon allegedly worshipped in the form of a skull or a severed head by the Knights Templar (the elite Christian fighting force during the Crusades) in allegedly blasphemous rituals. For this they were prosecuted by the king of France in 1307 and eventually disbanded by the church that had chartered them two hundred years earlier. I have been working on this project since 2007, and last year brought Rivera on to help me finish it, which he’s done a superb job of. We also had the help of two others whom we couldn’t have done it without: my friend Philip Gonzalez, and a Latin translator who wishes to remain anonymous.

I needed to employ a translator so that I could read for myself one of the quintessential texts that has been most influential on the development of the idea of Baphomet. I am speaking, of course, about Mysterium Baphometis Revelatum (Mystery of Baphomet Revealed) by Austrian Orientalist scholar Joseph Baron von Hammer-Purgstall, published in 1818. This curious document is part of a larger book entitled Fundgruben des Orients (usually translated “Treasures of the Orient”). In it he cataloged a number of artifacts that he claimed belonged to the Templars and proved their involvement with Baphomet worship.

The text has been referenced, but almost never actually read, by almost every author who has written anything in-depth about the Templars and Baphomet since the early 1800s. Not only has it not, until now, been translated from the Latin, but while the Latin text has been scanned into Google Books, the all-important images inside have been messed up by the scanner. It was with the help of Philip Gonzalez that we tracked down a copy of the book and obtained the images for ourselves. He then helped me find the perfect person to translate it, and now that work is done. An English version of Mystery of Baphomet Revealed has now been produced and will be published very shortly.

There is no doubt that Hammer-Purgstall’s work influenced the writings of Eliphas Levi on the subject, who also produced the now-iconic image of the figure with a goat’s head and an androgynous human body. It is clear that he was referring to in Magic: A History of Its Rites, Rituals and Mysteries, when he wrote in about the Templars that:

They even went so far as to recognize the pantheistic symbolism of the grand masters of Black Magic, and the better to isolate themselves from obedience to a religion by which they were condemned beforehand, they rendered divine honors to the monstrous idol Baphomet, even as of old the dissenting tribes had adored the Golden Calf of Dan and Bethel. Certain monuments of recent discovery… offer abundant proof of all that is advanced here.

The “monuments of recent discovery,” Hammer-Purgstall’s “Baphometic Idols,” as they were later called by other authors, consisted mostly of statuettes, coffers, cups, and coins that he claimed had been found in churches on formerly Templar properties, in what are now Austria, Germany, France, Hungary, and the Czech Republic. They present strange images of both human and inhuman or quasi-human figures, including children and animals, engaged in bizarre sexual ceremonies of a seemingly religious nature. Some of the figures have eyes all over their bodies, or multiple faces, and there were some that were just heads, including some with two faces, much akin to the descriptions given by some Templars of the Baphomet head.

mystic tau

One image in particular, from the lid to a coffer allegedly found in Burgundy (which writer Thomas Wright calls the “most interesting” of the artifacts), is labeled by Hammer-Purgstall as an actual depiction of Baphomet, or “Mete” as he believed they called her more frequently. It shows a (seemingly) female figure crowned with towers a la the goddess Cybele of the ancient world. She is holding in each hand a chain, and connected to each chain, floating in the air and upside-down, are the sun and the moon. Below the figure’s feet are a seven-pointed star and a pentagram. Between these is a human skull. This combination of images was not unique to this coffer, as Hammer-Purgstall presented several versions of it that he had found. In other versions the figure is shown with a beard as well as breasts, making it quite clear that it was meant to be taken as androgynous.

bigorgyfun

Hammer-Purgstall believed that the word “Baphomet” came from the Greek “Baphe meteos, that is, tincture (or baptism) of Mete,” and that “Mete” was short for the Greek “Metis,” meaning “wisdom.” He said she was the same a Sophia, the personification of divine wisdom associated with the Holy Spirit in the Christian religion, and also known by the name of Achemoth to the Gnostics. In the latter cosmology, she was the mother of the Demiurge, the god who created this world and ruled over it as a tyrant (seen by Gnostics as identical to Jehovah of the Bible, and a crazy villain because he claimed to be the only god when he wasn’t).

Hammer-Purgstall said he found her name written in inscriptions on the statues and coffers, all of which refer to her as “sprouting,” or “the planter.” This is fitting, for according to several of the confessions given by some of the Templars who were arrested in Paris in 1307, the Knights were taught that the Baphomet idol “caused the land to germinate.” They were also supposedly told that this demon was responsible for the fecundity of the order’s finances, and so they kept copies of the idol in their money coffers. One inscription on an image of Mete given by Hammer-Purgstall refers to “sprouting water,” which he said is meant to indicate what is called in Greek sperma genethliakon or “reproductive seed.” The inscriptions were often written in Greek using Arabic letters, sometimes with letters supposedly transposed to make it difficult for the uninitiated to read. One of the inscriptions (as decoded by Hammer-Purgstall and rendered into English from the Latin by Thomas Wright in his 1865 book Worship of the Generative Powers) read:

Let Mete be exalted, who causes things to bud and blossom! He is our root; it is one and seven; abjure (the faith), and abandon thyself to all pleasures.

These “pleasures” are, presumably, the sex rites, which many of the knights confessed to, and which are often very clearly depicted (but sometimes not so clearly) in the images presented by Hammer-Purgstall. He censored the phalli on several of the images. For instance, a picture from what Thomas Wright calls the “Vienna bowl” shows two pots shaped like wombs placed on either side of a goose-human hybrid creature that’s seated on an eagle. From one vessel emerges a baby, while, according to Hammer-Purgstall’s description, there was a phallus entering the other vessel, which, in his line drawing reproduction, has been smudged out. (However, Wright was kind enough to draw in for us.) Other obscene pictures, Hammer-Purgstall said, have been obliterated at the churches they were found at by priests and nuns in many cases, out of embarrassment.

But what he and the clergy weren’t willing to show us is not nearly as bad as what he claimed that the images imply. Many authors have mentioned the charges against the Templars of homosexual rites, but very few discuss those of pedophilia and bestiality, nor of the ritual sacrifices of babes born to women impregnated during the ceremonies. But all of this and more is depicted in Hammer-Purgstall’s images. For instance, one of the statues that he found included an engraving that said, in Arabic: “… He ordered the camel to lie down on its knees,” which, according to his interpretation, “would signify to do the most disgusting things.”

This evidence of sexual interest in animals on the part of the Templars, if genuine, may hint that the famous osculum inflame (“obscene kiss”) that several of them confessed to conducting during their initiation rites, which involved kissing the anus of a goat, may have been more that just a hazing prank. It may have been foreplay for what came later. Regarding another drawing of a statue that Hammer-Purgstall includes in the collection of images, he describes it thusly:

You see such a dog at the rear of a genuflecting idol … in which we recognize nothing other than a Gnostic or Templar, who by means of a dog adhering to the posterior parts, indicates nothing other than the most disgusting outrage of the Templars.

Elsewhere, describing a collection of Templar coins that Hammer-Purgstall had identified, he discussed the depiction of “the cross, as a sign of life, arising out of a dog’s head, [alluding] to the well-known predilection for the dog.” He also claimed that this is something going back to the Gnostics, saying that heresiologist Epiphanius “indicated why dogs are held in the greatest veneration among the Ophites.”

Another image, engraved in bronze high up on the walls of a church in Schoengraber, Austria (too high for most people to see it), shows a picture of Adam, Eve and the Devil in the Garden next to the forbidden tree, where, Hammer-Purgstall writes:

Eve was not veiled, as modesty would demand, but by her own hand was thoroughly laid bare and, in addition to the serpent, also a dog assaulted her. The serpent embraced both the dog and Eve’s arm with its winding coils….

In another picture, images of pedophilia and bestiality are combined:

At the first station is discerned a boy, a future Ophite or Gnostic Templar, immodestly fondling a bear, an animal … addicted to this vice …. to prevent which and to claim the nursling for himself, the Templar charges forward with a lance in order to pierce the bear through and to lead the infant over to his own enticements, at which the above-mentioned dog not obscurely hints. On the other hand, the boy, now having become an adolescent, resists the girl’s flatteries, whom she tried to entice by offering to him flowers….

In the course of his essay, Hammer-Purgstall coins, or rather decodes, a number of interesting, very specific, ritual or doctrinal phrases that the Templars purportedly used on their ceremonial paraphernalia. One was the term “genital wisdom, ” as he translated it, found in more than one language: “in Greek Zoogogon sophian, and in Arabic, ma-ta na-sha.” This was, according to Hammer-Purgstall’s interpretation, “Gnosis, that is, carnal knowledge.” Further, he wrote:

The Ophites, though, by no means tending toward moral perfection, thought that the highest peak of all science [knowledge] is to be placed in carnal cognition, and under the term enlightenment, nothing other than coitus and promiscuous shameful desire.

It should be noted that none of the Church heresiologists said anything about Ophite sex rituals, and certainly nothing about child molestation. However, they did spread plenty of such rumors about other Gnostic sects. Also, a ritual bowl from Syria ascribed by archeologists to an Ophite sect (and also, alternatively, to an Orphic mystery school) does show naked men and women standing in a circle around a snake in what seems to be an erotic ceremony of some sort.

Another unique term that Hammer-Purgstall claimed the Templars used for a similar concept was “distinguished charity of Mete,” which he said stood for “nothing other than pederasty.” He claimed to have found, in a former Templar church in Prague, an image of a Templar trying to uphold two collapsing columns which was engraved with the words “The distinguished charity of Mete uproots the enemy.” Elsewhere in the text, Hammer-Purgstall gave further reasoning behind this concept:

…That arcane doctrines and pederasty common among them are to be excused, various dogmas and imaginings of the ancients seem to suggest. There were two opinions especially that they twisted in defense of their shameful indecencies; the Socratic one, “know yourself,” and the prior, Epicurean one, “respect God.” That first one, since by “cognition” they understood nothing but the carnal, was to their shame. The other one they interpreted so as to teach that by means of the moistening with seminal luminescence they themselves became gods….

freeding babt to dragon (or rescuing it)

While we may find it hard to believe that grown men of respectable positions (such as the Templars always were) would convince themselves that sexual abuse of children and animals was somehow spiritually enlightening, we should also keep in mind that this could also be yet another veneer, with a more practical agenda behind it. In our own time, our politics is occasionally rocked with scandals of child sex abuse by the rich and powerful. This often involves so-called “pedophile rings” that are quite secret and exclusive, making use of child prostitutes that have often been obtained from orphanages. Photos are usually taken at their meetings, for the purpose of establishing the ever-present threat of blackmail and mutually-assured destruction should any members of the abuse ring be tempted to give information to the authorities about what they’ve been involved in. This ties the participants together in a bond of evil, which is used for the coalescence of power into the hands of a cabal. On more than one occasion it has come out that these rings were actually being orchestrated by the intelligence services acting on orders of some group within government that was using it to control other powerful people. (See my 2008 book Mind-Controlled Sex Slaves and the CIA for more on this subject.) According to Hammer-Purgstall, something similar may have been going on with the Templars:

It remains for us to comment on yet another expansion, or rather subversion, of the Delphic dictum. They substituted in place of that golden sentence, “Know yourself,” the crafty, “know all, but let no one know you.” On this truly Machiavellian principle rests their whole politic, which up to now they try to sustain by the gospel precept, “Be wise as serpents.” To this depraved wisdom they connect unrestrained conduct, so that, “Pursue all, and all is permitted,” they seem to have proposed as the highest branch of wisdom…. Such persons, already destined by nature as leaders, sought the highest goal of their labors, not in satisfying desires, but in conducting state affairs. Finally, people eagerly followed this doctrine because, once a person wickedly indulges every sensual craving, it renders his associates more inclined to all types of illicit activities.

In addition to the sexual crimes, Hammer-Purgstall’s artifacts evidenced what I would consider the most outrageous accusation against the Templars: the sacrifice of babes in a “Baptism of Fire.” There are several pictures of babies or young boys either standing inside of a burning brazier, or standing over one as if he they are about to. According to Jules Michelet’s History of France, Volume 1, published in 1860 (and drawing on the Chroniques Francaises de Saint-Denys, compiled during the Templar trials), there were:

…reports spread among the people against the Templars, “… that a new-born infant, begotten of a Templar and a maid, was cooked and roasted by the fire, and all the grease roasted out, and their idol consecrated and anointed with it.”

burningdudealive

Similarly, Thomas Wright described a group that once met in Orleans, about which a document was found at the abbey of St. Pere in Chartres that told of their alleged activities. After calling a demonic spirit to appear “in the form of an animal,” they would purportedly indulge in group sex (men and women both). Then, Wright says:

The child which was the fruit of this intercourse was taken on the eighth day, and purified by fire, “in the manner of the ancient pagans” — so says the contemporary writer of this document — it was burnt to ashes in a large fire made for that purpose. The ashes were collected with great reverence, and preserved to be administered to members of the society who were dying, just as good Christians received the viaticum. It is added that there was such a virtue in these ashes, that an individual who had once tasted them would hardly ever be able to turn his mind from that heresy and take the path of truth.

Now since very few people have actually read Hammer-Purgstall’s book in the last century, a lot of people have doubted the authenticity of the artifacts he presented. Charles William King didn’t think much of them, when he took up the subject in his 1887 book The Gnostics and Their Remains. There he proclaimed any “sober archaeologist” would conclude that many of the “Templar artifacts” presented in Mysterium Baphometis Revelatum, specifically several of the vases, are:

…Nothing more than a portion of the paraphernalia of those Rosicrucian or alchemical quacks, who fattened upon the credulity of that arch-virtuoso, Rudolf II., ever since whose reign these “fonts” have been treasured up in the Imperial Cabinet.

Rudolf II was the Hapsburg Holy Roman Emperor and King of Bohemia in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century whose political failures, leading to the disastrous Thirty Years’ War, are often blamed by historians on his preoccupation with the occult. Clearly, King thought that Hammer-Purgstall’s artifacts may have been items that were collected by the emperor because of their seemingly esoteric nature, but could have had nothing to do with the Templars. In more modern times, Peter Partner wrote in his 1987 Templar history The Murdered Magicians that:

A few of the archaeological exhibits may have been forgeries from the occultist workshops; there is an especially suspicious pair of so-called “Templar caskets,” found after the publication of Hammer’s first article, which were supposed to have been medieval artefacts of Templar provenance. The Gnostic “orgies” depicted on these supposedly medieval caskets are uncannily like the late classical objects which had a few years earlier been published in the original “Baphomet” thesis. The “medieval” caskets had come into the possession of the Duc de Blacas. Since Blacas was a leading figure in the reactionary French government, and a close personal friend of the renegade Freemason Joseph de Maistre, it is not impossible that they were forged on his behalf. Whether they were forged or not, Hammer failed to prove that they had anything to do with the Templars.

It is true that Purgstall-Hammer does not always give enough detail about where he found these things. But part of the problem in finding them now is just the amount of time that has passed since he wrote his book. Most of the artifacts seem impossible to find now. They do not appear to be listed as what Hammer-Purgstall called them in any museum. The images that purportedly came from the walls of churches cannot be verified, as in most cases the churches no longer exist, and even the townships they were in have changed names. However, I did manage to locate the coffers described above, from the once-private collection of Louis, Duc de Blacas. Research confirmed that this collection had been sold some years ago to the British Museum, where I found the first (and as Thomas Wright says, “most interesting”) coffer, labeled as a limestone casket that has been:

….sculptured with crude figure of Cybele lifting up chains; sun and moon in top corners; pentagram and seven-pointed star with skull in lower corners; Arabic inscription round edges; sides carved with scene of human and animal sacrifices.

metelid3

At the time of this writing, on the museum’s website, only two sides of the coffer are shown. It is very hard to see what’s going on in the images. I had to pay the museum to re-photograph the item, so that I could see all of the sides of the coffer clearly. Those photographs are featured in the upcoming books. It seems a bit damaged, but on one side of the coffer, we see a bull being held by the neck while a group of people sit around a flaming bowl.

bullsacrificeandcauldron3

On another side, we see some similar themes to other images in Hammer-Purgstall’s book: a man wielding an ax (as well as a shovel) over a small child who is riding a crocodile. (Axes and crocodiles are featured in several of the other pictures.) This child is holding the right hand of a taller figure. To that person’s left, a smaller child is kneeling and holding his other hand. To the right of all of this we see a winged angel holding a serpent behind his back. In his left hand he holds the animal’s head, and in his right hand, the tail is coiled up into a circle.

crocodileride2

On a third side of the coffer, there definitely seems to be an orgy depicted. Everyone shown there is naked and appears to be male. On the left edge, there is a man with his back to us, spreading the legs of someone in front of him, of whom only the legs can be seen. To the right of this, there is a large cauldron with what looks like a crocodile bring dragged into it. Bending over the cauldron from the right are two men who seem to be forcing the creature into the bowl. One of them is pouring something over it from a vase. Both of the men restraining the crocodile are bent over so that their bare buttocks are sticking up to the right, and from that side, another man is reaching with his right hand to fondle them. To the right of all of this, there is a short brick altar with a man sitting on it, and two others molesting him, one of whom appears to be a child, and who seems to have his backside pressed against the man behind him—the one who is touching the buttocks of the men leaning over the cauldron. Everyone in this picture seems to be smiling. On the left edge, next to the man with a pair of legs in front of him, there is what looks like a very large bird talon reaching up from out of nowhere.

orgyonaltar2

On the fourth side of the coffer, we found the origin for a line drawing featured in Thomas Wright’s Worship of the Generative Powers, which he had said was from the same coffer as the image of Mete pulling the chains, but which wasn’t shown in the Purgstall-Hammer book. On the left it shows a statue of a horned demon with breasts and male genitals—clearly Baphomet. There are no legs, but just a column below the genitals, like the classical Greek herm statues that were used to protect gardens. A man is kneeling beside this statue, kissing its buttocks (the osculum inflame or “obscene kiss” of the Templars) and grabbing its testicles. A woman in a long dress stands over the kneeling figure on the right, pouring something onto him with a vase. To her right, a man holds another vase lazily in his right hand while a man to his left fondles him with his penis and testes visible. All of these things are shown in the drawing in Wright’s book.

osculuminflameandlibations

However, that’s only half the image. To the right of this scene, there is more. We see a man riding what looks very much to be a goat. The creature has his front right hoof resting on the back of a man kneeling in front of him, who is helping to support a round tray full of vases that is being held by another man standing to the right. The man riding the goat is removing an item from the tray. To the right of everything, there is a winged and crowned creature with bird-like legs, including large talons for feet similar to the one sticking up from the ground on the left edge of the second side of the coffer, described above. The crown and facial features somewhat resemble those of Mete on the lid of the coffer.

osculuminflamecoffer2

I also found, in the Duc de Blacas collection, another coffer in near-perfect condition (except for the missing lid) which for some reason is labeled “fake.” This item has not been featured, as far as we know, in any book or website ever, yet it is clearly part of the same group of items as the Mete coffer. The images found thereon are described in the following paragraphs.

On one side, a group of people are involved in very strange activity. To the left, we see a person stirring a cup in one hand with a large stick in the other. In front of him, another person kneels and fondles him. To their right, another man is pointing a stick to his right, over the head of another man who seems to be having sex with a hooved creature, the details of which are hard to make out beyond the bent hind legs. Whilst he mounts the animal, he is simultaneously stirring a bowl that sits on the ground with a large pole. The bowl has an object sticking out of it that may be a small child standing, and the animal’s front paws or arms are on his head. To the right of this, another man is kneeling over the bowl, and reaching up over his head to the right to grasp what looks like an alchemical vessel by the neck, holding it over the flames of a brazier that sits on the ground to his right. To the right of the brazier, another man holds out his left hand and grasps the vessel by the neck as well. Over the brazier and the two men holding it, there is a banner tacked to the wall with a message in Arabic. The look of this banner, and the entire scene as well, makes it clear that this piece, “fake” or not, was made by the same artist that made the coffer with the orgy scenes featured in Hammer-Purgstall’s book. The poorly-written “Arabic” letters on the banner are of the same style. It particularly resembles those images found in a bowl that, at least in 1887, was on display in the Imperial Museum in Vienna (the one featuring a banner that says “Let Mete be exalted…,” as quoted earlier).

flamingbowlsandsticks

On another side of the “fake” coffer that we discovered, we see someone being baptized, perhaps forcibly. He is standing waste-deep in a cauldron, bent forward, with his head buried in another man’s hands, while a third man, standing on top of a bricked platform, pours something on his head from a vase above, just like in the previously described image of the crocodile being dragged into the cauldron. In the upper left, a disapproving owl scowls at the viewer. The man holding the other man’s head is also looking at the viewer, as if we have walked in on a secret ceremony.

disapprovingowl

On yet another side, a bull is on an altar being worshipped. One of the participants clutches a stick like in the previous scenes, and holds out a garland as if to place it on the neck of the bull. Another kneels in front of it with a vase that looks like it might contain wine. One of them holds up a tau sign identical to those seen in several pictures featured by Hammer-Purgstall. Floating in the air next to the bull we see an equilateral cross. At the bottom of altar sits a billows for fanning flames, although no fire is featured in this scene.

calfworshipsacrifice

As to whether the animal on the altar is being worshipped or sacrificed, it seems that Thomas Wright thought the latter, for he described it thus and wrote that Hammer-Purgstall thought it was part of an Ophite Gnostic ceremony, adding:

The offering of a calf figures prominently among the Nossarii, or Nessarenes, the Druses, and other sects in the East.

Finally, on the last side of the box, a man slumped backwards as if dead has been placed on a flaming brick altar, on top of some logs, while two men lift up their hands in worship towards an unseen god.

burntoffering

The Louis, Duc de Blacas collection also contains a great many Gnostic talismans featuring the images of the deities Abraxas, Bes and Ialdabaoth. The images are similar, and in some cases seemingly identical to the images on some of the coins featured in Hammer-Purgstall’s book. I did not find any other coffers of a similar nature, nor any of Hammer-Purgstall’s “bowls” or other artifacts, nor did I find anything else in the de Blacas collection labeled “fake.”

So did these caskets have anything to do with the Templars? If not, who made the decision to present them as such? Were the artifacts found and incorporated into the plot, or were they created specifically for that purpose. What was the point of the plot in the first place?

Peter Partner sees Hammer-Purgstall’s theories as an outgrowth of the paranoia, rampant during his time, about Adam Weishaupt’s Bavarian Illuminati, a real secret society that had operated through Masonic lodges in Europe to foster republican revolutions against the crowns. Partner accused Hammer-Purgstall, and all of his informants for the research for Mysterium Baphometis Revelatum, of being part of their own vast right-wing conspiracy to discredit the French revolution by connecting it, via the Illuminati, then Freemasonry, and then Templarism, to heresy, Satanism, and debauchery. Partner derides Hammer-Purgstall as “a writer enrolled in the service of rampant conservatism, whose duty it was to demonstrate that advanced radical thought was subverting the foundations of Christian civilization….” His evidence seems to be that Hammer-Purgstall worked as a diplomat for the government of Austria, and that some of the artifacts he showed in his book were owned by Louis, Duc de Blacas, whom he calls a “reactionary.” Partner wrote:

Hammer was not employed by Metternich [the Austrian Empire’s foreign minister], the greatest conservative minister in western Europe, for nothing. The whole drift of Hammer’s argument is in the sense of that used by the ubiquitous Abbe Barruel [a Jesuit priest who wrote conspiracy theories about the Revolution]. Everything connects, from the Gnostics of the early Church, to the Albigensians in the west, the Assassins in the east, thence to the Templars, thence to the Freemasons, thence to the revolutionary anarchists. In 1818, the political order of European conservatism was making its greatest effort to master the threat of radical ideology and radical sedition. The center of that effort was in Vienna, where Hammer was employed by the Austrian Chancery.

Louis, like his more famous father Pierre (also an antiquarian), was indeed a Legitimist (in support of the rule of the older Bourbon dynasty and against the revolution that had dethroned them). Like his father, he was very highly ingratiated within this political group. His godfather was the King of France himself, Louis XVIII, for whom his father had worked as one of his most trusted ministers. Pierre had also worked as the French ambassador to the Holy See in Rome. So he was close to the King as well as the Pope. Furthermore, Pierre’s interest in antiques was such that he was been involved in discovering and unearthing the Temple of Castor and Pollux in Rome, and was responsible for creating the Egyptian Museum within the Louvre. So I suppose it is possible that his son had both access to the means for faking antiquities, and the motivation, if you believe that he concocted all of these artifacts to make the Templars look bad, so to in a roundabout way cast aspersions on the Revolution. As for Purgstall-Hammer himself, his text is not very political at all, and it is almost hard to believe that Peter Partner and I are writing about the same book, the way he describes it. Besides the passage quoted before about the Templars’ alleged “Machiavellian principle” of blackmail, he makes very few comments tying the Templars to the conspiracies brewing in his own day.

It remains to be seen whether or not these caskets at the British Museum from the Duc de Blacas had anything to do with the Templars. We would like to find out what has been done so far to properly date these artifacts. I would also like to see a greater effort made by someone to locate the other items that Hammer-Purgstall based his research on. Although many today have trashed his work, he was certainly respected by many at his time. He was the first president of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, and the Austrian Oriental Society bears his name as a tribute in their longer formal title. His works on other subjects are still referred to by scholars quite often, from his definitive History of the Assassins to his translation of Ancient Alphabets and Hieroglyphic Characters Explained by the ninth-tenth century Ibn Wahshiyya, which contains what may be the first pre-Templar mention of a demon called “Bafumed.” (According to Albert Mackey, Wahshiyya also wrote the now-lost Arabic book Sun of Suns and Moon of Moons that referred to “Bafumed” as symbolizing “the secrets of the nature of the world, or secret of secrets.”) There is no doubt, however, that Hammer-Purgstall’s work went on to define what Baphomet was for writers like occultist Eliphas Levi, whose drawing of the demon is now quite popular on album covers, and has even been made into a public statue in Detroit.

I find that most of the writers who have put down Hammer-Purgstall’s research were writing in an era in which it was much more difficult to verify things with internet searches and cheap international phone calls. Therefore, it seems, it was easier to dismiss things that seemed “unlikely” at the time, but which can be rather quickly determined nowadays. I feel that as time goes on, the truth about Hammer-Purgstall’s controversial essay on Baphomet will come forth, and Templar researchers will come to a new appreciation of his contributions. I feel that the re-identification of these caskets in the British Museum, and the English translation of his work that I can now present to you, are important steps in this process.


Baphomet: The Temple Mystery Unveiled by Tracy R. Twyman and Alexander Rivera.

finalfrontcoversnip

“Can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? And be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?”

For seven centuries, the enigma of Baphomet has mystified both scholars and the general public. Did the Knights Templar really worship a demonic idol of that name? If so, what does the word mean? What is the origin of this figure? What was the nature of the rituals that the Templars performed in secret? What were their covert beliefs? And why, if the Templars initially described their idol as a mummified severed head, is this figure now represented as a hermaphrodite human with the head of a goat?

Authors Tracy R. Twyman and Alexander Rivera have dived head-first into the bottomless abyss of mystery and returned with some astounding wisdom to share. Here for the first time they reveal the genesis of these symbols, showing how they relate to the Witches’ Sabbath, traditions of Sufi Islam, alchemy, Gnosticism, cabalism, the teachings of Hermes Trismegistus, and so much more.

Learn why the Templars and their beloved severed head are frequently associated with John the Baptist, and how this connects to his student, Simon Magus. Discover the known facts about things like the Chinon Parchment, the Book of the Baptism of Fire, the Templar Abraxas seals, and newly-found documents which claim that the Templars discovered the real Temple of Solomon during a secret trip to Mecca.

Join Twyman and Rivera on this exciting adventure into the unknown. Immerse yourself in this knowledge, if your heart has the strength. It is certain that your mind will never be the same.