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3.8 out of 5 stars
The Templar Revelation: Secret Guardians Of The True Identity Of Christ
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64 of 64 people found the following review helpful
on 23 August 2004
Picknett and Clive make bold assertions about "secret" revelations they researched regarding religion and the 'occult' knowledge and practices of the Knights Templar, Freemasons, and Cathars. These groups are presumed to have based their beliefs and religious practices to the time of Solomon and the ancient religion of Egypt, Osiris and Isis. While it is not a scholarly work in the strict scientific sense of the word, these authors do a fine job of connecting symbols, paintings, sculpture, and ancient church architecture to religious practices that do not conform to what was the common practice at the time. This reader is convinced they have revealed some of the "mysteries" upon which the secret societies and groups of the past based their esoteric knowledge. They include a fascinating mix of myths, legends, and "Indiana Jones" type archeological research associated with religion, which captures the reader's attention and keeps it transfixed as a complex maze of detailed revelations are brought forth for the reader's examination.
Some of the most complex connections made in the book relate to the information about why John the Baptist is held in high regard by the Knights Templar and Priory of Sion. In fact, the Grand Masters are often refered to as "John". Another interesting fact is that in the south of France, there are many "Black Madonna" sites where a church is often built to honor the Mary Magdalene. The authors connect the "Black Madonna" cults to the goddess worship of Isis which was the predominant religion of the area before Christianity. They also connect the concepts of fertility and goddess worship to secret practices within some of the societies. There were two levels of membership in the societies, the outward stated one, and an inner "secret" level, where only those who were initiated could understand and practice certain sexual rites. There are assertions that Jesus and Mary Madelene may have been married or, if not married, were participants in some secret rituals of this nature. There are references to gnostic writings which intimate a very different level to their relationship than is depicted in the New Testament version. The role of women as Apostles in the New Testament has been diluted. based on the prevalent Jewish dominant cultural view at the time. The religious questions the authors raise and possible connections they make do point to some fallacies in current religious practice, although there is no scientific proof to the relationship assertions. The findings of the Nag Hammadi scrolls in 1945, have been now revealed to the public. They shed a new light on the religious outlook of different groups of people who were living during the time of Jesus ministry, both before and after the crucifixion and resurrection. His life and teaching is given new meaning ... While this reader can not accept at face value the "true identity of Christ" as presented by the authors, indeed, there is room for more research. The New Testament books as carefully selected and edited versions of books that were copied and recopied from the past, do not reveal the full measure of Jesus life and teachings either. This was a fascinating book which read partly like a mystery which explained myths and legends, partly like a sociological research paper, and partly like an archeological exploration of religious symbolism and practice. Since it mixes so many unlikely topics, the reader needs to keep an open mind balanced with some healthy skepticism. Highly recommended. Erika Borsos (bakonyvilla)
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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on 12 October 2003
The Priory of Sion, Rennes-le-Chateau, Freemasons, Rosicrucians, Cathars, Isis, Black Madonnas, John the Baptist, Mary Magdalene, Hermes Trismegistus ... and much more are examined in The Templar Revelation.
If it sounds like the book is unfocused, that is likely to be your impression while reading it, at least for quite a few pages. There is a thread linking all these topics: Picknett and Prince are trying to trace the predecessors and descendants of the Knights Templar, who were cruelly suppressed early in the 14th century. They also probe the nature of the secret knowledge said to have been possessed by the Templars and their various offspring.
The connections aren't always easy to follow, and for awhile at least you're likely to find yourself at sea as the authors switch from one subject to another in kaleidoscopic fashion. In fairness, the evidence does seem by its nature to be complex and often ambiguous. Prepare to bring patience when you open the book; eventually, a sort of mosaic picture does emerge.
Picknett and Prince have certainly gone the whole nine yards in researching the material, quoting from hundreds of written sources and describing their conversations with people who might shed some light on the subjects, and they describe their own travels to relevant sites in the south of France.
Organization is not their strong point, but otherwise they are good writers who don't share the weakness of many occult researchers for trafficking in the obscurity and mystification endemic in the material they study. Further to the authors' credit, they appear to weigh the value of the evidence, and are not averse to rendering the odd skepical judgment on some of it. The numerous references are impressive, although a doubter could argue that quoting from multiple crackpot writings doesn't count for anything.
Whatever you make of all this -- and I confess I'm far from sure what conclusions to draw -- The Templar Revelation suggets convincingly that there has been throughout Western history an "underground" of individuals and organizations dedicated to preserving secret and often heretical beliefs challenging orthodox Christianity. And even if, in the end, you give this study a Scottish verdict of "not proven," you will respect the authors' sincerity and find this historical tour of occultism stimulating.
As one who (often) judges a book by its cover, I must highly commend the designer of the Corgi Books paperback. The main image is an embossed Templar seal overlaid with a version of the ankh; the title in gold foil raised lettering; and the entire cover laminated for an ultra-smooth, almost silky feel. The sensuous surface is a brilliant invitation to the mysteries with which the text deals.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 17 April 2003
This is primarily a book about Jesus, the development of Christianity, and the origins of certain heresies and secret or occult traditions. The authors share some interesting theories concerning Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and John the Baptist, supporting their ideas with some thought-provoking evidence from a wide range of sources. Special attention is afforded to the beliefs and traditions of certain well-known secret societies and religious sects.
The first half of the book is less compelling than the second, and deals with a few of the more curious historical characters, myths and legends that are often associated with these topics, and the authors offer a few novel insights. It is worthwhile persevering until the second half of the book, which presents some very interesting theories and is rich in intriguing scraps of information, scriptural contradictions, conspiracy theory, and unsolved mysteries.
Despite the title, the main focus of the book is not the Templars. However, anyone with an interest in the Templars, the history of the crusades, or the occult, should appreciate that experts continue to debate whether or not the alleged Templar heresy was genuine; where the heretical ideas originated and how they might have fitted in with the pursuits of a medieval Christian monastic military order. Some light is shed on these questions in this text, although the authors inexplicably seem to avoid actually stating some of the connections that they appear to be alluding to...
This book is easy to follow, informal and sometimes entertaining, packed with interesting information and ideas, and I would suggest it to any reader who would like to read around the subjects discussed.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 12 June 2005
This is a book to really make think and question the past. I know much of it is speculation but they do seem to have found a pattern or trail that shows an alternative view of Jesus and the Templars. The book is well referenced and researched.
It does not follow the theory of a secret bloodline of Christ like the Da Vinci Code or Holy Blood, Holy Grail in fact it disagrees with these ideas and exposes the many holes in that theory. They do seem convinced that the Priory of Sion is real but even if it wasn't their hypothesis does not rely on it anyway. Anyone who was fascinated by the analysis of Da Vinci's paintings will love this book as the beginning chapters show more curious messages that you just cant deny suggest he had some very unorthodox ideas...
It has made me question the origins of Christianity, I find the "Egyptian connection" really hard to dismiss. There are other explanations for similarities between other religions with Christianity, try 'The Jesus Mysteries' for another view altogether.
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48 of 51 people found the following review helpful
on 25 January 2002
This is a book about Jesus, the development of Christianity, and the origins of certain heresies and secret or occult traditions. The authors share some interesting theories concerning Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and John the Baptist, supporting their ideas with some thought-provoking evidence from a wide range of sources. Special attention is afforded to the beliefs and traditions of certain well-known secret societies and religious sects.
The first half of the book is less compelling than the second, and deals with a few of the more curious historical characters, myths and legends that are often associated with these topics, and the authors offer a few novel insights. It is worthwhile persevering until the second half of the book, which presents some very interesting theories and is rich in intriguing scraps of information, scriptural contradictions, conspiracy theory, and unsolved mysteries.
Despite the title, the main focus of the book is not the Templars. However, anyone with an interest in the Templars, the history of the crusades, or the occult, should appreciate that experts continue to debate whether or not the alleged Templar heresy was genuine; where the heretical ideas originated and how they might have fitted in with the pursuits of a medieval Christian monastic military order. Some light is shed on these questions in this text, although the authors inexplicably seem to avoid actually stating some of the connections that they appear to be alluding to...
This book is easy to follow, informal and sometimes entertaining, packed with interesting information and ideas, and I would suggest it to any reader who would like to read around the subjects discussed.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 22 February 2003
I bought this book while I was waiting for my flight to go home last June.The only reason I bought it,is because I hate glossy romances that are the majority of books sold in airports!(isn't that strangre?!) So it was the only book that seemed to me as interesting.I had a pleasant surprise to experience though.It is a quite revealing book about early Christianity and some of the less wide-known 'traditions' of the para-philology of religion.When I was reading it,I realised that bits and pieces of information I knew,regardless the source and object actually fited with the new facts the writters presented.I have been involved to the debate about the whole argument of what happened after Jesus's death (or not!) ever since and it keeps on prooving more interesting as my knowledge increases and new books are being written.I have only one thing to say: ET IN ARCADIA EGO..
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on 16 January 2004
I must admit to buying this book in order to find out about the Knights Templar. After the first section, I soon realised this book is NOT about the Templars and their inclusion has little more coverage than other sects and societies ie Cathars, Rosicrusions and Freemasons. The book basically questions the beliefs and teachings of todays church and to the uneducated on these matters (a group that I fall into) I believe this could be very dangerous reading. The authors have undoubtedly done their homework and with the references they supply to back up their findings, I doubt that even the most devout christian could not finish this book and dismiss it as total rubbish.
Though I am not a churchgoer, I have had a christian upbringing and from an early age have been led to believe that the teachings of the bible are to be taken seriously, that the birth and death of Christ are probably the two most critical events that have ever taken place and the church have got everything right and are the main upholders of the teachings we are all familiar with.
I now have very serious, and worrying doubts as to whether I have been misled all these years. The evidence produced in the book that there is another 'truth' can be either taken on board or dismissed either in part or totally but the assumption that the church are actually aware of a different truth and have chosen to deliberately suppress it I find a little more worrying. Can I still take the church seriously and treat it with the respect I always have done? Can the beliefs of the Templars and other secret societies be taken seriously? Someone must be right and someone must be wrong. Perhaps we've all got it wrong and the only thing I believe for certain is that one day we'll all find out just how right or wrong we've been.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 31 December 2006
I read this book shortly after it was published around the time that I was reading similar titles. Although this book offers a fascinating insite and often, to many people a complete expose of the architectural, historial and artistic anomalies that exist, the authors come to many dull conclusions and seem to lack a thorough knowledge of the true intentions behind Masonry and other secret groups. This book is an excellent introduction to those new to the subject and is highly recommended as a beginners guide which will introduce you to new debates, nomenclature, locations et al on the subject. I would recommend people check out 'Theatre Earth- Who Pulls the Strings' by R.Henry instead.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Absolutely fascinating and well written. If you are a devout follower of the Bible and any challenge to its historical accuracy is blasphemous than this is not the book for you. However, if you are open minded and adaptable to reason then give the book a chance - even if you challenge aspects of it afterwards.

The book is educational, entertaining and thought provoking.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 13 March 2005
When starting this book I was excited at the prospect of discovering alternative suggestions about Jesus, John the Baptist and Mary Magdalane. After reading several chapters I became increasingly frustrated with the almost constant comments of "of which we will discuss later" and "as we shall see in later chapters". I feel this book is badly written (as do several other members of my book club) and could have been better put together. The authors have spent many years researching their subject but rather than feeling I had gained knowledge and a new insight into Christianity I couldn't wait to finish the book and read something more fulfilling.
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