The following is an excerpt from Baphomet: The Temple Mystery Unveiled by Tracy R. Twyman and Alexander Rivera.
. . .[L]ong before the Templars were openly accused and arrested by Philip IV, several papal pronouncements had stated explicitly that the Templars were guilty of the same sort of things they were eventually prosecuted for. Prince Michael of Albany, in his 2006 book The Knights Templar of the Middle East (co-authored with Walid Amine Salhab), recounts some of these:
Innocent II (1198-1216), writing to the grand visitor of the order, said, “The crimes of your brothers pain us deeply by the scandal that they provoke within the Church. The knights Templar practice the doctrines of Satan.” Gregory IX (1227-1241) mentions the fact that he knew that the Templars practiced the act of homosexuality and occult sexual magic under a secret new rule established by Roncelin de Fos (later master of Tortosa and Syria) in 1240. This new rule was written in a Templar book known as “the book of baptismal (sic) by fire.”
This final item is of great interest to us. We found mention of The Book of the Baptism by Fire in a few other places, but not many (although we were not able to corroborate that it was ever mentioned by Gregory IX, who as we said previously, also condemned the Cathars for worshipping the anuses of black cats). Oddvar Olsen writes about it in The Templar Papers, also from 2006:
In 1877, a German Masonic specialist named Merzdorf claimed to have found, among other Masonic manuscripts, two Latin “Rules” of the Templars (purported to date from the 13th century). One was the Rule for the “chosen brothers,” and the other for the “consoled brothers.” The first Rule describes the church as the “Synagogue of Anti-Christ,” and stipulates an elect reception ceremony (involving various ritual kisses—one on the male member—and including readings from opening verses of the Koran). The latter Rule implies strongly that the Templars shared the doctrines of the Cathars, including that of the “consolamentumm,” or mystical baptism. Still, authenticity of these has yet to be determined.
. . . I have recently been referred to a text called The Book of the Baptism of Fire(The credence of this text needs to be ascertained, so I will just briefly mention it here.) The text was apparently transcribed by the Grand Master in England (Robert Sandford), in 1240 AD. It lists the different articles of The Order of the Weather. Some of the articles refer to both the “chosen” and “consoled” brothers. There is also mention of Baphomet and “the Secret Science of the great philosophy: Abrax and the Talisman.”
There is a series of documents first published in 1877 by Theodore Merzdorff, which were said to come from the Masonic Grand Lodge of Hamburg. These Latin documents were the official Rule of the Knights Templar followed by three other documents said to be secret statutes of the Order. They were said to be copies of the original documents that existed in the Vatican, which were copied in the 1780s-1790s by the Danish scientist Frederic Munter. The documents were translated into German, and from there into French in 1957 by Rene Gilles.
The third document dated July 1240 opens with “Here begins the ‘liber consolamenti’ or secret statutes, written by Master Roncelinus for the Consoled Brothers of the militia of the Temple.” These statutes, composed of twenty articles are signed by Master Roncelinus and another dignitary of the Templar Order, brother Robert of Samford, Procurator of the Knights Templar in England. . . . The last piece dated August 1240 starts with “Here begins the list of secret signs that master Roncelinus has assembled in eighteen articles and addressed to the same Robert of Samford.”
Yet another version of the story, told by Mark Amaru Pinkham in his article forAtlantis Rising Magazine, entitled “The Templars’ Biggest Secret & the Vatican,” calls the text Baptism of Fire of the Brothers-Consulate, and says that it was discovered in 1780 at the Vatican Library by “a Danish Bishop” (not, as Hogan had claimed, “Danish scientist Frederic Munter”). Also, like the others but unlike Oddvar Olsen, Pinkham purports that this document is one and the same as that which, he says, is “often referred to by Templar historians as the ‘Secret Rule of the Templars.’” According to him, the document contains quite a few amazing admissions not mentioned by the other writers on the subject:
Said to have been written in 1240 AD. by a French Templar Master named Roncelinus, it appears to give a green light to all the heretical offenses that the Knights were accused of in the 14th century. Permission to indulge in all manner of Templar heresy can be found in this document, including defilement of the Cross, denial of Christ as the Savior, sexual liaison, and the worship of the idolic head known as Baphomet. There is even a passage within the document that gives the Knights permission to initiate other gnostics into their order, including Cathars, Bogomils, and even Assassins. If the Baptism of Fire of the Brothers-Consulate was indeed in circulation beginning in 1240 AD. it would have been an easy task for a Church or Royal spy to procure a copy for their employers.
The references made by the above-quoted sources to the “Consoled Brothers,” “Brothers Consulate,” and “consolamenti” are taken by Oddvar Olsen to imply that the Templars practiced the consolamentum of the Cathars, which he describes as a “mystical baptism.” Benjamin Walker tells us more about this mysterious ritual in Gnosticism: Its Influence and History:
The central Cathar rite was the consolamentum, a kind of adult baptism of the spirit, which was administered only once. It was reserved as a rule for those who had attained the level of the Perfect, but it could be given to any Cathar prepared to make an irrevocable renunciation of the flesh and consecrate his or her life to God. The rite was preceded by a fast and imparted by the laying on of hands and placing on the head the gospel of St John. If anyone sinned after being “consoled,” he was expelled from the Cathar communion.
So strict were the requirements that many Cathars only underwent the rite at the point of death, so as to avoid any further chance of sinning. Because it was generally held that death through illness or old age only proved that Satan was still in control of the body, some Cathars hastened the end by what was called the endura, a ritual suicide or killing. It was thought best to be purified by the consolamentum and then face the endura, for then salvation was certain. The methods of endura included fasting to death or taking poison, or being smothered by one or more of the Perfect who held a pillow over the mouth of the endurist, or strangled him.
So this is the ritual that the “Consoled Brothers” of the so-called Book of the Baptism by Fire were named after? We presently cannot be sure. A copy of the book in which the alleged document was published, compiled by Theodor Merzdorf (who spelled his first name without an “e” on the end, a detail that none of the authors quoted above got right), has been obtained by our research staff and is now being analyzed. It has an extremely long title in German. But it seems to us that Prince Michael was probably able to read the text, or at least knew someone who could, because it appears that some of the “inside information” in his book about the Templars must have come from this.
One thing we do know, though, is that this Roncelin/Roncelinus fellow has been associated with the Cathars, and blamed for introducing blasphemous rituals to Templar tradition, in many books before. The Temple and the Lodge by Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh (1989) tells us:
Between 1248 and 1250, the Master of Provence was one Roncelin de Fos. Then, between 1251 and 1253, Roncelin was Master of England. By 1260, he was again Master of Provence, and presided in that capacity until 1278. It is thus quite possible that Roncelin brought aspects of heretical Cathare thought from their native soil in France to England. This suggestion is supported by the testimony before the Inquisition of Geoffroy de Gonneville, Preceptor of Aquitaine and Poitou. According to Geoffroy, unnamed individuals allege that all evil and perverse rules and innovations in the Temple had been introduced by a certain Brother Roncelin, formerly a Master of the Order. The Brother Roncelin in question is bound to have been Roncelin de Fos.
Relevantly, a Baptism of Fire rite of a very dark sort is evidenced in the imagery found on Joseph von Hammer-Purgstall’s alleged Templar artifacts as documented in Mysterium Baphometis Revelatum. 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.”
Similarly, in Worship of the Generative Powers, 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.