satanism today and tomorrow

What Was Stolen by the Crusaders?



While religion is telling lies about heaven and god,
history is telling lies about Earth and humans.

/Alex Rozoff/


The established narrative of the Crusades is one of the most striking examples of history being a mere retranslator of church preaches rather than science. However, anyone who does not feel a Christian reverence before the “Holy Sepulchre” and who can cast a critical look onto the epoch of the Crusades will inevitably hit upon many questions that the historians refuse to answer. Let's review the chronology of the events, their interpretation by the established history, and the strange details that it fails to explain.

The 1st crusade (1096–1099). Its start was given by pope Urban II at the council of Clermont (a city in the south of present-day France; at that time it was the county of Toulouse). The officially proclaimed goal was to reconquer Jerusalem from the Muslims. The Crusaders’ army marched through Asia Minor and, just before entering Palestine, split into three divisions:
– Division 1, under command of duke Godefroy de Bouillon, marched on Jerusalem as planned, took over the city and established the Kingdom of Jerusalem;
– Division 2, under command of count Baudouin de Boullion (Godefroy's younger brother) did not go to Jerusalem; instead, it turned to the East, conquered the city of Edessa and established the County of Edessa there;
– Division 3, under command of Raymond of Saint-Gilles, count of Toulouse, did not go to Jerusalem either; it stayed near the city of Tripoli and established the County of Tripoli.
Question: What was the Crusaders’ business in Edessa and Tripoli? The Christian Bible does not say a word about these cities…

The establishing of the Order of Knights Templar (1118). The officially proclaimed aim of those knights, who were mere 9 (yes, nine!) men in the beginning, was to defend pilgrims on the way to Jerusalem. But unofficially I would strongly doubt that a unit of 9 warriors could defend anybody against any serious threat. Also, it's known that the headquarters of the Knights Templar in Jerusalem were stationed right in the palace of the King of Jerusalem. However, in the Middle Ages it certainly was not easy to get into a royal palace, not even to say about renting a part of it…
Question: What for an important mission did the Knights Templar pursue, so that the kings of Jerusalem allowed them to station in the royal palace?

First overtly acting communities of the Cathars appeared about 1140 in the south of present-day France, in the same County of Toulouse (which is hardly a mere coincidence). The attitude of the Catholic church towards any heresies, especially in the Middle Ages, is well known. However, in the beginning the Catholic priests criticized the Cathars in sermons, sent missionaries into the Cathar lands, called the Cathar priests for theological disputes, and generally showed a rare example of religious tolerance in the Middle Ages. Later everything changed, but it would be later.
Question: Why did the Catholic church allow the Cathars to exist for some time instead of exterminating them immediately?

The 2nd Crusade (1147–1149). Jerusalem was still under Christian control, and the army of the Crusaders prepared for the campaign right there. The officially proclaimed goal was to reconquer Edessa, which had been taken over by the Muslims in 1144. However, this all ended with a crashing defeat near Damascus.
Question: Why was Edessa so important that retaking it became the only reason for a new crusade?

The cancelled crusade on Egypt (1177). Baldwin IV, king of Jerusalem, planned to lead a crusade on Egypt in 1177. However, he did not find any allies in Europe, and the whole plan was cancelled.
Question: What did the king of Jerusalem need in Egypt, and how could it be related to the other crusades?

The Muslims took over Jerusalem (1187).

The 3rd Crusade (1189–1192). That time the Crusaders did not establish a single point of command. Different states sent each its own army, and due to the poor coordination between them the results were not impressive: only a small part of Northern Palestine was reconquered. One of the Crusader armies marched to Jerusalem without coordination with the others but failed to take over the city due to the insufficient manpower. Generally, this crusade poses no mysteries to solve.

The 4th Crusade (1202–1204). The officially proclaimed goal was Egypt (just as the king of Jerusalem had planned before), and here comes a question: Why Egypt and not Jerusalem?
Really, the Crusaders marched in a totally different direction — on Constantinople. They took this wealthy city by storm, plundered it, and then made it the capital of their new state — the Latin Empire. That was all with the 4th Crusade, and that poses one more question:
Why was it proclaimed as a crusade? E.g. why did the Catholic church took the liability for the plunder of Constantinople instead of putting it onto the Crusader warlords?

The extermination of Cathars (1209), which was also declared as crusade.
Question: Why 1209 and not earlier? Or, if something had been protecting the Cathars before, why did it fail to do so in 1209?

The 5th Crusade (1217–1221). The Crusaders landed in Palestine and won a series of victories over the Muslims, but did not take Jerusalem despite of the Muslim army having retreated from the city! Historians explain that Jerusalem did not have city walls and, therefore, it would be indefensible. But, if we take into account the symbolic value of Jerusalem for Christianity, this argument sounds unconvincing (to put it mild). If the city came to be under nobody's control, one could have all the reasons to worry about the fate of the important Christian relics. However, the Crusaders did not even send a unit to guard their “Holy Sepulchre” against thieves.
Question: What was the real reason for the Crusaders to refuse to march into Jerusalem when it was totally undefended in the winter of 1217-18?
Instead of retaking Jerusalem, the Crusaders landed in Egypt, but were unable to hold their positions there. The question of what was the Crusaders’ business in Egypt is still unanswered…

The 6th Crusade (1228–1229). German emperor Friedrich II Hohenstaufen used the clashes between different Muslim states in the Middle East for his own good and arrived at Palestine with his army. However, due to the dubious (to put it mild) reputation of Friedrich II, neither the church nor any other European state leaders supported him. However, Friedrich's army took over Jerusalem without any serious difficulties.
Question: How could it become possible for the Crusaders’ army to be commanded by a person excommunicated from the church?

The Muslims took over Jerusalem again (1244).

The 7th Crusade (1248–1254). The Crusaders’ army, commanded by Louis IX, king of France, ignored all requests for military aid from the Crusader states in Palestine and concentrated all their effort on the campaign in Egypt. It was proclaimed (and historians keep on telling this nonsense up to now) that the positions in Egypt would be later used for a march on Jerusalem. Really no attempts to go towards Jerusalem were made, and the direction of the Crusaders’ offensive headed to the south. This adventure ended in complete failure: the king of France was captured by the Arabs, and a huge ransom was paid to buy him back. The question about the Crusaders’ goals in Egypt keeps on hanging in the air…

The 8th Crusade (1270). Under command of the same Louis IX the Crusaders arrived at Palestine, but immediately sailed back to Sardinia. Then they landed in Tunisia and explored the ruins of Carthage. Although Carthage has nothing to do with Jesus or any biblical stories, it seems to be the main goal of the campaign.
Question: What did the Crusaders look for in the ruins of Carthage?

The 9th Crusade (1271–1272). The forces of several European states arrived at Palestine and helped the Crusader states in the war against the Muslims. It was a purely defensive action that does not have any mysteries behind.

The Muslims took over the last possessions of the Crusaders in the Middle East (1291).

The massacre of the Templars (1312). it's understandable that the Catholic church was not satisfied with the Knights Templar knowing too much and gaining too much influence. it's also clear that, after the story with the Cathars, the popes wanted to annihilate any slightest hint of heresy. However, I think that it was not just a coincidence that the order of the Knights Templar was established as a result of the 1st Crusade and liquidated right after the final end of the Crusades. Yes, the Templars knew too much to be safe for the Catholic church to keep them alive; especially unsafe could the church feel about their knowledge of the real goals of the Crusades. So, what were those goals?

To answer this question, we need to remember one thing that is now believed to be just a legend, but was treated as real by people who lived in the epoch of Crusades: the Grail. If we consider that the Grail may be a real ancient artifact that woke an interest of the Catholic church and the European rulers of that time, we can get almost all the questions answered, and all the mysterious actions of the Crusaders appear to fit together into a clear strategy.

How did the Grail look like? Certainly no “chalice with Christ's blood”; this was just made up by the church to link the Grail with its religious doctrine. Probably it had a chalice-like shape, but its real purpose is unknown for us, as it was unknown for the Crusaders. Anyway, it was something that inspired the European rulers of that time to gather an army and send it to the edge of the known world. This means that it was not merely a golden (or even diamond) chalice; it was something that no medieval craftsman could reproduce, no matter how much you paid him. It was a product of technologies of a more advanced ancient civilization.

Also, it's possible that the Grail was not the only one valuable thing that the Crusaders hunted for. The Grail is just the most well-known, because it became an object of veneration by the Cathars. There could be other things of such kind, but that was few who had an opportunity to see them.

Where did the information about the Grail (and probably other treasures of such kind) come from? Something may have been known since the Antiquity. For example, in year 70 the Romans suppressed the Jewish revolt in Palestine, took the temple of Jerusalem, transported all its treasures in Rome, and destroyed the temple building. Many treasures were taken by the Romans in the other provinces of their empire as well.

What was the fate of Roman treasures after the collapse of their empire? Probably, most of them ended in the treasuries of the popes and other higher leaders of the church. But something may have been captured by the barbarians who plundered Rome at its end; one of those barbarians was Gursio, a Goth warlord who became the founder of the dynasty of counts of Toulouse.

Usually, the Romans did not care to study the minority languages of their empire; the only notable exception was Greek. All valuable trophies that they took in their campaigns were just kept in palaces and mansions, and nobody tried to read any of the inscriptions in “barbaric” languages on them. The same continued during the Dark Ages, when even in the native language the literacy level was near zero.

But since 11th century, when the schism between the Catholic and the Orthodox churches deepened, theologians from both sides started to work on proving that the true translation of the Christian Bible into Latin or Greek is theirs, and it required some studies of Hebrew and Aramaic languages. These languages one could encounter not only in the original text of the Old Testament, but also in some inscriptions on the treasures that the Romans took from the temple of Jerusalem. The library of the popes should have texts in those languages as well. Somewhere there the pieces of information about yet undiscovered ancient treasures, such as the Grail, were probably found.

But mere information is not enough. To be able to use this information practically, one needs also military force. In the Middle Ages, it was feudal lords and their knights who were the military force. However, they were not willing to adventure in obscure faraway lands without a serious reason. The church had to disclose some information to some of the lords in order to stimulate them. But that was only some information, not the whole of it, since the church wanted the warlords to follow the pope's orders in a hope to grab some valuable trophies for themselves. And that was only some of the lords, probably just the highest commanders, who got that piece of information; the rest of the knights had just to listen to sermons about Jerusalem.

However, life is not as simple as church priests wanted it to be. It was not only them who had the information, and the very nature of information is to spread beyond anybody's control. For example, Raymond IV de Saint-Gilles (1041–1105), count of Toulouse, must have known something that we don't know now. Even before the 1st Crusade, in 1070s, he traveled to Palestine. Historians say that it was just a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, but it's definitely possible that the count came to check the information on the ground. The fact that he was the most active organizer and leader of the 1st Crusade, but did not go to Jerusalem himself, is the evidence that for him the idea of the crusade was just a cover for a completely different business, and that was why he and his knights stayed in Tripoli while others marched on Jerusalem.

Raymond de Saint-Gilles never come back to Europe; he died in Tripoli. Soon after that, a new religion — Catharism — arose in the county of Toulouse, where Raymond's descendants now ruled. Really, its doctrine was not totally new; it was largely based on Gnosticism. The most prominent new element was a unique object of veneration that was known to be brought from Palestine by the Crusaders. The Cathars called it ‘Grail’, while their enemies, the Catholics, denoted it as ‘the treasure of the heretics’. Worth noticing is that neither of them said anything about “Christ's blood” and so on at that time. Seemingly, this interpretation was made up by the Catholic church later.

Anyway, in the Middle Ages it was inevitable for an artifact that no contemporary craftsmen were able to reproduce to be treated as something supernatural — either divine or diabolic, depending on the viewpoint. And, certainly, the Catholic church immediately started to draw plans, how to get this unique artifact into the church's possession. This is the explanation of the strange “tolerance” towards the Cathars in the very beginning: the Catholic leaders worried that if the Cathars faced brutal repressions, they would hide the Grail into such a secret place where nobody would be able to find it again. This is why the Catholic church had been playing with the Cathars like a cat with a mouse until an opportunity to steal the Grail arose in early 1200s. And, as soon as the Grail was put into the pope's treasury, they started to exterminate the Cathars for real.

But it was not only the Grail that interested Medieval treasure seekers. Something must have been actively searched in Edessa and around. This land is prominent by its many ancient ruins that last from Sumerian (and maybe even pre-Sumerian) times. Unfortunately, this region (at the border between present-day Turkey and Syria) is still almost unexplored by archeologists, because it's been a hot spot of conflicts all the time. But it was not accidental that, as soon as the news about the fall of Edessa came to Europe, the pope issued the “Quantum Praedecessores” bull that called for a new crusade to reconquer Edessa. Notice that the 1st Crusade started without any papal bull and was commanded by middle-rank lords: mostly counts and a couple of dukes. The 2nd Crusade, however, was led by three kings: of France, Germany and Sicily. It means that the 1st Crusade was viewed by the contemporaries as a dubious adventure, while by the time of the 2nd Crusade the European rulers knew already that the game was going for really high stakes. Something incredibly interesting should have been there in Edessa, if the things turned this way.

The kings of Jerusalem did not waste time either. Israeli archeologists discovered that the Knights Templar in their time led some archeological excavation works in Jerusalem too. The king of Jerusalem viewed this mission of the Templars as so important that he granted a part of his palace to the order for its headquarters. What else could the Templars’ mission be if not searching for ancient artifacts of the same kind as the Grail?

If so, the question of whether the Templars managed to find anything becomes actual. I cannot give a definite answer to it; some evidence exists in favor of both “yes” and “no”.

On the one hand, in 1129 Hugues de Payns, the Grand Master of the Knights Templar, made a speech at the council of Troies telling about the order's activities in Palestine and found unanimous approval from the church leaders. If he told instead: “We were looking for artifacts that should be totally contrary to the Christian doctrine, but did not find anything yet”, — I strongly doubt that he would get such a positive reaction. Probably, he had something more encouraging to tell them.

On the other hand, around 1170s the Catholic church lost any interest in Jerusalem and since that time mentioned it (if mentioned at all) only for propaganda purposes. Notice that in the 4th, 8th and 9th Crusades taking Jerusalem was not even proclaimed as a goal. In the 5th Crusade the knights had a comfortable opportunity to march into Jerusalem, but they ignored it. In the 7th Crusade Jerusalem was talked about as a future goal (like a carrot before a donkey), but the commanders of the crusade did not really intend to turn there.

The only exception is the 6th Crusade, but it's an exception that confirms the rule. Being excommunicated from the church, Friedrich Hohenstaufen was not aware of the pope's plans regarding the crusades, — and, therefore, believed in all those tales of Jerusalem as the main goal. But those who acted according to the pope's orders knew that it's no business for them in Jerusalem anymore. (The whole 6th Crusade was probably a purely political action of Friedrich Hohenstaufen with the aim to demonstrate the possibility to act without any support from the church.)

To sum up:
1) In 1118 everybody who knew the issue (the church leaders, the Crusader lords, the Templars) viewed the search for ancient artifacts in Palestine as a very promising business.
2) In 1129 Hugues de Payns had something optimistic to report about it at the council of Troies.
3) No real findings were demonstrated though (which does not mean that there was nothing to show at all; the church could well prefer to withhold such information).
4) By 1177 it became clear that there's no point to continue the search in and around Jerusalem (and this was actually why the king of Jerusalem started to plan a crusade on Egypt).
Judging by the later events, it seems that the Templars found some evidence that the object of their search did exist, but had moved to somewhere outside Palestine. Just like in the old comedy: “Everything is already stolen before us”. Then the scope of the crusades broadened, and Egypt became the primary (but not the only) target.

In the 4th Crusade Egypt as the main goal was openly proclaimed. To some extent, this can be viewed as indirect evidence of the existence of the Grail. It seems that at that time even rank-and-file knights were aware that the real goals of the Crusades were not the Christian relics of Jerusalem. However, really the Crusaders took over Constantinople instead. it's no surprise if we remember that earlier the whole Middle East (including Jerusalem, Tripoli and Edessa) belonged to the Byzantine Empire. The leaders of the Crusaders could expect that the Byzantines had found something valuable in that region before and (as it was common in the Byzantine Empire) stored all the treasures in Constantinople. However, Constantinople was one of largest cities of that time and known for its subterranean structures, which could be a perfect place to hide anything. Therefore, the Crusaders settled in the city for longer and established the Latin Empire. (This was the same strategy that they used before: to establish a puppet state on the conquered territory and use all its resources for treasure seeking. First it was the Kingdom of Jerusalem, the County of Tripoli and the County of Edessa, and now the Latin Empire.)

While one group of the Crusaders was searching through Constantinople, the rest of them gathered to march on what was then (after 1177) the main target of the Crusades — Egypt. However, they did not have a success on that way; for bad (because we don't know therefore what they were actually looking for) or for good (if this thing is still there and archeologists will find it in the future). The first attempt (in the 5th Crusade) ended in a total failure. In the 7th Crusade the knights managed to drive their offensive to some extent into the Egyptian territory and the direction of their movement seemed to head towards Giza and the Pyramids. it's fairly possible that it was the Pyramids they were striving for, since the Pyramids are undoubtedly the most prominent object in Egypt. On the other hand, the place near Giza, where the Nile starts to branch out into its delta, is such a nodal point of Egypt that is almost impossible to bypass. This means that the Crusaders would go via Giza anyway, even if it was some place in the south of Egypt (for example, Thebes or Elephantine) that interested them, rather than the Pyramids.

The last campaign when the Crusaders acted offensively and not just defended their possessions was the 8th Crusade. The strange maneuvers of their fleet across the Mediterranean: first from west to east, then back, seem to be evidence of their plans being changed on the way. At first, the knights from France and Catalonia arrived at Palestine and, probably, planned to do something in the Middle East. Could it have been a march on Jerusalem? By that time, the Catholic church had not been showing any interest in Jerusalem for about a century. Anyway, the Crusaders did not conduct any operations in Palestine and immediately turned back and sailed to Sardinia, to prepare for a “plan B”.

But what was their “plan A”? After two failed attempts of offensive on Egypt, one could expect that they would prepare better, recruit more men and make a third attempt. it's fairly possible that the Crusader fleet came to Palestine to call for reinforcements for the next campaign in Egypt. But the Crusader states in Palestine were themselves in a difficult situation then, because a new war against the Muslims was beginning.

Without any support from Palestine, it would be suicidal to march in Egypt, since the Crusaders were already defeated there twice with larger forces. Therefore, they turned to the “plan B”, which meant landing at Carthage.

The particular choice of Carthage as a goal gives away some more information on the aims of the Crusaders. First, it's now absolutely certain that their plans had nothing to do with the Biblical stories, since Carthage was destroyed long before and the Bible did not mention it at all. Second, it's now clear that the things they are searching for were made in the times well before the fall of Carthage. Probably the Crusaders hoped that some wealthy Carthaginians could have purchased some ancient artifacts and hid them before the Romans took over and destroyed the city. Was it just a gesture of despair? The Crusaders had been searching through the ruins of Carthage for some weeks, and it should have been overly optimistic of them to seriously hope to find something there that nobody had been able to find for a millennium. (On the other hand, we are not sure that anybody tried to find it before. And we are not sure that the Crusaders were just blindly searching through without a hint on a particular place.)

it's also possible that the knights worried that their reputation would be undermined if they would come back from the East without even having a single battle with the Saracens. But if this were so crucially important for them, they could well take part in the war between the Crusader states in Palestine and the Muslims (which they really did in the last, 9th Crusade). It definitely looks like the Crusaders in 1270 hoped seriously that the search in Carthage had chances for success.

In addition, another important aspect from the history of the Crusader states in Palestine needs to be noticed. As we remember, the Crusaders surrendered Jerusalem to the Muslims twice and did not show any strong desire to reconquer it. The same way they did not seem to be great patriots of Bethlehem, Nazareth and other cities related to the stories of Christ. However, there were other territories that the Crusaders really defended until the last breath, and that were the former Phoenician cities at the eastern coast of the Mediterranean: Acre, Tyr, Sidon, Byblos, Arad… These places are just mentioned a couple of times in the Old Testament, but really it was them that came to be the most important for the Crusaders. And, since Carthage was founded by the Phoenicians, it's more than probable that the expedition to Carthage in the 8th Crusade was a part of a broader treasure-seeking project on the former lands of Phoenicia. Certainly, it's a promising place: even the established history recognizes that all those cities already existed by year 3000 BCE; this means that they can almost certainly be a couple of millennia older. it's even hard to imagine, how many things can have been made, purchased, stolen, etc. for all this time, and how many of them can still be hidden in secret places since Antiquity — especially if we remember that the Phoenicians were the best seafarers of their time and traded with almost the whole known part of the world, from India to Britain…

So, what is the aftermath of the Crusades? At least one ancient artifact (known to us as the Grail), which had been made by an ancient civilization more advanced than the Medieval Europe, was stolen from the Middle East and, after changing several possessors, finally ended in the hands of the Catholic church. Probably, other artifacts of such kind existed too and had a similar fate. Now, it's worth to ask a question: what's happened to them later, and where can they be now?

First: do they still exist, and have not they been destroyed? What can be the point for the church to hide the things that disprove the Christian doctrine by their very existence in some secret storages? On the other hand, it's a strong temptation to possess unique ancient artifacts that no modern master can reproduce. The clergymen can have hoped to link these treasures with their religion, as they have done with the Grail. We know their skills in explaining everything with quotations from their Bible.

Then, it's interesting to think on where the artifacts stolen by the Crusaders can be now. Keeping them right in Vatican would probably be stupid. In the course of European history Rome have often been an attractive target for conquerors, and, certainly, the papal palaces looked like even more attractive target for plunder. I doubt that the popes could themselves believe that their sermons and prayers would be an effective countermeasure in such situation. Therefore, they should probably have chosen a less noticeable place for storing the really valuable treasures; it can have been, for example, an old, rusty and poor-looking monastery somewhere in the mountains of Italy.

The Grail can well have been kept in such a place until the early 20th century. But when bombers and missiles started to come on battlefields, this kind of place was no longer safe either. Therefore, the Grail is probably resting now in an armored safe in the underground vault of some Swiss bank…