Amateur Archeologist Believes He Knows Location of Holy Grail
The search for the Holy Grail—has the ancient relic been located in England?
The Holy Grail is thought to have been the legendary cup of Christ used by Jesus at the last supper. Treasure hunters have searched for it for centuries, and hundreds of people have claimed to possess it. Now, U.K.-based amateur archeologist Barrie-Jon Bower, tells the Sun newspaper he knows where it is.
Bower, who says he has studied the grail and the Knights Templar for years, believes the grail is hidden in a secret chamber beneath a manmade river in the Hounslow Heath area of London. But how could one of the most sought-after relics of the holy land make its way to an underground hiding place in London? Bower tells the Sun the Knights Templar trained in this area and claims they built this secret underground crypt to hide treasures from the holy land. Bower told the Sun, “[f]inally, I am certain this is the right spot. I am certain there will be a vault beneath the surface, with the Grail inside and other treasures from the Crusades.”
Freemason Secrets: Ancient Masonic Rites, Rituals, and Myths
My father, uncle, and grandfather were Freemasons. My grandfather held the title of Worshipful Master (akin to a president) at a New York City lodge near the turn of the century and had some fascinating clothing and accessories — his ring was beyond cool.
I remember asking Pop about his lodge when I was in kindergarten. Replying in his thick German accent, he said, “There is nothing for you to know at this time, boy.” I love that answer.
“George Washington was a Mason, along with 13 other presidents and numerous Supreme Court Justices. Benjamin Franklin published a book about Freemasonry on his own printing press. Nine signers of the Declaration of Independence were Freemasons, including the man with the biggest signature: John Hancock.”
— “Secrets of ‘The Lost Symbol,” MSNBC 10/27/09
The History of Masonry
The Masons most likely grew as extensions of the membership rules of Scotsman William Schaw’s stonemasonry tribe and The Knights Templar — a secretive group of Christian warrior-monks that protected the aspirants who traveled along the pathways to the Holy Land.
At the turn of the 16th Century, William Schaw developed his own club-like culture, housed within a lodge, and infused with a set of rules for sworn members, including, “They shall be true to one another and live charitably together as becometh sworn brethren and companions of the Craft.”
When diplomats and politicians joined the organization in the mid-1600s, the stonemason lodge movement began its climb as a stealthy phenomenon. If you were politically active and wanted to connect with the power structures of the times, you would do just about anything to become a member of The Masons.
In 1717, Masonry created a formal organization in London, when four lodges united to form the first Grand Lodge. This gave the organization credibility and added to its membership’s mystical allure. Men flocked, begged, coerced, and maneuvered to become members. Everybody wanted in.
The Freemasons of The United States
The United States Masons, otherwise known as The Freemasons, were a highly political society in the 1700s. The first US lodge was opened in 1730 in New Jersey, where they initiated early plans and strategies used to fight the British. With its growing vault of secrets, expanding political influence, and stealth missions, it was an exciting time to be a Freemason.
Initially, the Freemason creed declared anti-Catholic, anti-Royalty, and Republican virtues, including self-government, personal freedom, and free enterprise. The basic tenet was that no person or organization should be controlled or oppressed by a government or religion, or their respective laws and doctrines. At their start, and for centuries, The Freemasons were a feisty, calculating, and powerful coalition.
Much to the chagrin of the Catholic Church, the early Masonic organization’s philosophy evolved from Deist ideology, which believes God does not interfere with creation, as it runs itself according to the laws of nature.
If you were a Mason in Europe in the 1700s, you stood against the notion of natural selection as it pertained to royalty. As Masonry developed and grew, you rooted for the wild, unruly kids across the pond – the Americans.
In 1870, The Shriners, a group of elite Freemasons, created their first rituals, emblems, and costumes based on Middle Eastern themes, when 11 Master Masons were initiated into the organization.
And while it seems they were rigorously involved in politics, Freemasonry describes itself as a “beautiful system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols.”