Secret Societies News ArticlesExcerpts of key news articles on secret societies
It is time again for the annual Bohemian Grove encampment. Here, in 1942, the Manhattan Project was conceived. Here, in 1967, Richard M. Nixon and Ronald Reagan were said to have settled on who would first seek the presidency. And here, in 1981, Caspar Weinberger, then the secretary of defense, gave a “lakeside talk” that seemed to hint strongly of the military buildup to follow. Yet the ritual on this day includes only one protester, bearded, lanky Brian Romanoff, 28, who has been working mostly alone since the two-week encampment began on July 16. He says he has adopted a nonconfrontational approach, better to spread the truth about the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings. Two words: controlled demolition. But why has interest flagged in the goings-on at Bohemian Grove, where the likes of the singer Jimmy Buffett, Colin L. Powell and former President George W. Bush are said to assemble? The answer, boys: Mary Moore, 75, the area’s silver-haired earth mother of activism, is focused on other matters. So it’s just not the same. A former beauty queen from San Luis Obispo, Ms. Moore moved to a wooded Sonoma County enclave in the mid-1970s. Although active in liberal causes, she knew nothing of the annual elite-male getaway in her community until she read The Bohemian Grove and Other Retreats: A Study in Ruling-Class Cohesiveness, by the sociologist G. William Domhoff.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on other powerful secret societies, click here.
The thing about the Bilderberg group’s top secret meetings: you never know quite what is going on behind the police checkpoints. Across the world, secretaries to the rich and the powerful have blocked out the next three days in their bosses’ calendars for their annual gathering, this time at the Dolce in Sitges, one of Spain’s most exclusive resorts. Normally, every minute of their working lives is accounted for but, each year, a couple of hundred of the world’s financial elite and the more business-friendly members of the political class disappear from view. It is all terribly confidential — breathe a word about it and you’re out of the club — but the Bilderberg watcher Daniel Estulin claims to have a copy of the agenda. The big question this time around is whether the euro will survive. “They are afraid that the countries in trouble will leave and the euro will fall apart,” said Mr Estulin. The Bilderbergers are nervous that the erosion of the euro could nudge the world back into recession while public services cuts could trigger unrest and radicalise the political climate.
Ten years ago, when Jon Ronson dared to report on Bilderberg, he found himself "chased by mysterious men in dark glasses through Portugal". He was scared for his safety. "When I phoned the British embassy and asked them to explain to the powerful secret society that had set their goons on me that I was essentially a humorous journalist out of my depth, I wasn't being funny. I was being genuinely desperate," he wrote. I know exactly how he feels. Only out of sheer desperation did I try to arrest one of the goons following me and then follow my flimsy leads up the Greek police ladder, finally catching one of the goons wet-handed in the lavatory of the department of government security. And only then did I know the extent of Bilderberg's paranoia: they had set the state police on me. So who is the paranoid one? Me, hiding in stairwells, watching the pavement behind me in shop windows, staying in the open for safety? Or Bilderberg, with its two F-16s, circling helicopters, machine guns, navy commandos and policy of repeatedly detaining and harassing a handful of journalists? Who's the nutter? Me or Baron Mandelson? Me or Paul Volker, the head of Obama's economic advisory board? Me or the president of Coca-Cola? Publicity is pure salt to the giant slug of Bilderberg. If the mainstream press refuses to give proper coverage to this massive annual event, then interested citizens will have to: a people's media. Find the biggest lens you can and join us for Bilderberg 2010. No idea where it's going to be, but there's usually a few days' notice. Email me at [email protected] and we'll start prepping. Meanwhile, petition newspapers to send a correspondent.
Note: For the entire revealing series by Guardian reporter Charlie Skelton, who was sent to report on the ultra-secretive Bilderberg meeting, click here. And for more on the machinations of the Bilderberg Group and other secret societies which wield powerful, unseen influence on global politics, click here and here.
For the next two days ... the Bilderberg illuminati hold their private conclave in [a] five-star Greek hotel. Every year since 1954 a club of about 130 senior or up-and-coming politicians gather at the fireside of a secluded hotel with top bankers and a sprinkling of royalty to discuss burning issues. No lists of participants are disclosed, no press conferences are held; spill the beans and you’re out of the magic circle. This year the club is going to talk about depression. “According to the pre-meeting booklet sent out to attendees, Bilderberg is looking at two options,” says the Bilderberg-watcher Daniel Estulin — “either a prolonged, agonising depression that dooms the world to decades of stagnation, decline and poverty — or an intense but shorter depression that paves the way for a new sustainable economic world order, with less sovereignty but more efficiency.” Since Bilderberg does not officially exist, it cannot deny anything and is therefore manna from heaven for the conspiracy theorist. The meetings were started in the Netherlands, in the Hotel de Bilderberg, near Arnhem, by the Polish exile Joseph Retinger. He was worried about growing anti-Americanism and the advance of Communism in Western Europe. Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands agreed to sponsor the idea. The head of the Central Intelligence Agency, Walter Bedell Smith, threw his weight behind it and so did the White House. The Bilderberg consensus is that national problems are best solved by an internationally oriented elite ... and that the boundaries are fluid between the monied and the political classes. And so there has been a natural bias towards inviting conservatives and market liberals. The only socialists invited are those who “understand money”.
Note: Although the list of attendees at Bilderberg conferences are closely guarded secrets, researchers with key inside contacts have managed during the last few years to compile accurate lists. For this year's list of attendees at the conference in Greece, click here. For other key media articles revealing some of the astonishing secrets of the world's power elite, click here.
Among prominent attendees at this year's conference of the Bilderberg group, a secretive society that includes some of the world's most powerful people: Jacques Aigrain, CEO of Swiss Re. Ahmad Chalabi, former deputy prime minister of Iraq and long-time opponent of Saddam Hussein. George A. David, chairman of Coca-Cola. Paul Desmarais, CEO of Power Corporation. Richard Holbrooke, key American negotiator for 1995 Bosnian peace accords. Vernon Jordan, friend and onetime presidential aide to Bill Clinton. Henry Kissinger, foreign-policy guru and secretary of state under Richard Nixon. Ed Kronenburg, director of NATO's private office. Bernardino Leon Gross, Spain's foreign minister. Ronald S. Lloyd, chairman of Credit Suisse First Boston. Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands. Gordon Nixon, Royal Bank of Canada president, CEO. George Pataki, governor of New York state. Richard Perle, senior foreign policy adviser to U.S. President George W. Bush. David Rockefeller, retired banker, heir to oil fortune. Dennis Ross, former Clinton Mideast negotiator. Giulio Tremonti, VP of Italy's chamber of deputies. James Wolfensohn, U.S. Mideast envoy, former head of the World Bank. Robert Zoellick, deputy U.S. secretary of state.
Note: If the above link fails, click here. For those who know about the pre-war manipulations involving weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the participation of Ahmed Chalabi speaks volumes. And for a revealing three-minute video clip on CNN about this highly secretive group, click here.
A secretive group of elite power brokers is meeting in the US state of Virginia for closed-door discussions over four days. The Bilderberg Meetings have 131 participants from 21 countries in Europe and North America, the group said in a press release. A couple of top advisers to President Donald Trump are to attend the forum, 30 miles (48km) from the White House. The shadowy group is a lightning rod for conspiracy theorists. This year's group includes Mr Trump's Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, his National Security Adviser HR McMaster and Peter Thiel, the billionaire Paypal creator who has been a vocal supporter of the president. The forum - at a Westfields Marriott hotel in Chantilly - is also being attended by Trump critic Eric Schmidt, head of Google's parent company. "There is no desired outcome, no minutes are taken and no report is written," the group's rules state. "Furthermore, no resolutions are proposed, no votes are taken, and no policy statements are issued." Other guests include Dutch King Willem-Alexander; David Rubenstein, head of private equity juggernaut the Carlyle Group; and former CIA director John Brennan. Several journalists are joining this year's forum, including London Evening Standard editor George Osborne. A full list of participants is here. Some critics have accused the group - which has met every year since 1954 - of plotting to impose a one-world government.
Note: An article in the U.K.'s Guardian mentions that Chantilly, VA, is the headquarters to the highly secretive National Reconnaissance Office, which has a budget of $10.3 billion. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the Bilderberg Group and other secret societies.
Politicians and business leaders gathering in the Swiss Alps this week face an increasingly divided world. Just 62 people ... own as much wealth as the poorest half of the entire world population and the richest 1 percent own more than the other 99 percent put together, anti-poverty charity Oxfam said on Monday. The wealth gap is widening faster than anyone anticipated, with the 1 percent overtaking the rest one year earlier than Oxfam had predicted only a year ago. Rising inequality and a widening trust gap between people and their political leaders are big challenges for the global elite as they converge on Davos for the annual World Economic Forum, which runs from Jan. 20 to 23. Edelman's annual "Trust Barometer" survey shows a record gap this year in trust between the informed publics and mass populations in many countries, driven by income inequality and divergent expectations of the future. The gap is the largest in the United States, followed by the UK, France and India. The next wave of technological innovation, dubbed the fourth industrial revolution and a focus of the Davos meeting, threatens further social upheaval as many traditional jobs are lost to robots. "Far from trickling down, income and wealth are instead being sucked upwards at an alarming rate," the report says. It points to a "global spider's web" of tax havens that ensures wealth stays out of reach of ordinary citizens and governments.
Note: Read about the annual Davos forum and other more secretive meetings where global elites make decisions with far-reaching implications. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing income inequality news articles from reliable major media sources.
New members of an infamous Mexican drug cartel were forced to eat children's hearts as part of a gruesome initiation rite, informers told authorities in the western state of Michoacan. Officials investigating an organ trafficking ring allegedly run by the Knights Templar cartel said there is evidence the late gang boss Nazario Moreno demanded that recruits proved their loyalty through an act of cannibalism. "At [an] initiation ceremony they used the organs, in this case the heart, and forced people going through this initiatory process to eat it," Alfredo Castillo, the federal government's envoy to Michoacan, told a local radio. "There are statements from some people who were present when Nazario Moreno (El Chayo) came and told others, either as initiation or as part of a ritual: 'Today we are going to eat a person's heart'," Castillo told Noticias MVS. Authorities said they have reason to believe the hearts were mainly taken from local children who were kidnapped and had their organs harvested for trafficking purposes. Moreno, known as El Chayo ("The Rosary") or El Más Loco ("The Craziest One"), was shot dead by security forces earlier this month. Moreno, who founded La Familia cartel before starting up the Knights Templar, was first declared dead by the Mexican government in December 2010 after a shootout with federal police, even though no corpse was found.
Note: For powerful information from a former member of "The Family" on the gruesome rites they were forced to endure and more, click here. Note that Moreno was allegedly declared dead in 2010, which was later found to be a blatant lie, likely caused by corrupt officials paid off to state this.
"Weaving Spiders Come Not Here" is the motto of San Francisco's Bohemian Club. The motto is supposed to represent the club's edict against doing business during its annual Bohemian Grove retreat, which commences Thursday on 2,700 acres 75 miles north of the city. The "weaving spiders" motto also provides cover for a club that discriminates against women. Business titans have long bankrolled the retreats. A roster of 2010 members released by norcaltruth.org - the club does not release its membership list - includes a couple of Rockefellers and the ubiquitous Koch brothers. Hence conspiracy theories about sinister deals cut amid the redwoods. Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt is a member. William R. Hearst III, trustee of the Hearst Corp. ... is a member. Sonoma State sociology Professor Peter Phillips attended the retreat in 1994. The club was the subject of his doctoral dissertation. "They're very clearly talking politics and business constantly." No weaving spiders? "I proved the opposite, quite clearly. I heard conversations about business. 'If GE comes in on the deal, we can get the Japanese to join' - three men walking down a trail together." Phillips' summation [is] that the retreat presents powerful "men celebrating their male eliteness, which is kind of how the world works."
Note: For more major media articles on powerful secret societies that work secretly to gain control, click here.
[Little] is known about this secretly organized, unofficial meeting of some 100 powerful figures, slated to take place June 9 to 12 in a luxury hotel in the Grison station [in St. Moritz, Switzerland]. Indeed, not even the dates of the gathering are confirmed. The Bilderberg group is one of the world's most famous clubs. It gathers bankers, politicians, industrialists, media movers and shakers, scholars and billionaires in a different location each year, usually in Europe. All the attendees share one condition of membership: discretion. Decade after decade, the Bilderberg group has fueled all kinds of speculation. Multiplied on online forums, these hypotheses, sometimes denounced as conspiracy theories, spread the idea that a powerful minority is carrying out its plan for a new world order. The idea is that important political and economic decisions are being made behind closed doors, with no democratic control. In March, the national counselor Dominique Baettig [denounced] "supra-national and non-transparent governance." The politician justifies his action: "This kind of gathering of powerful people of the globalized world goes against our principles of sovereignty." Criticisms about circumventing democracy are especially sharp this year in the context of the Arab revolutions.
Note: For many highly revealing articles on secret societies of the global elite, click here.
Fidel Castro is showcasing a theory long popular both among the far left and far right: that the shadowy Bilderberg Group has become a kind of global government, controlling not only international politics and economics, but even culture. The 84-year-old former Cuban president published an article [on August 18 to quote] from a 2006 book by Lithuanian-born writer Daniel Estulin. Estulin's work, The True Story of the Bilderberg Group, argues that the international group largely runs the world. It has held a secretive annual forum of prominent politicians, thinkers and businessmen since it was founded in 1954 at the Bilderberg Hotel in Holland. Estulin's book, as quoted by Castro, described "sinister cliques and the Bilderberg lobbyists" manipulating the public "to install a world government that knows no borders and is not accountable to anyone but its own self." The prominence of the group is what alarms critics. It often includes members of the Rockefeller family, Henry Kissinger, senior U.S. and European officials and major international business and media executives. Castro -- who had an inside seat to the Cold War -- has long expressed suspicions of back-room plots. He has raised questions about whether the Sept. 11 attacks were orchestrated by the U.S. government to stoke military budgets and, more recently suggested that Washington was behind the March sinking of a South Korean ship blamed on North Korea.
Note: For lots more on secret societies like the Bildergroup, click here.
Gov. Rick Perry is flying to Istanbul, Turkey, today to speak at the super-secret Bilderberg Conference, a meeting of about 130 international leaders in business, media and politics. The invitation-only conference was started in 1954 and named for the Dutch hotel where the conference was first held. Those who attend promise not to reveal what was discussed, security is tight, and the press and public are barred. The conference has been the subject of conspiracy theorists and even Christian groups who wonder about its influence. Robert Black, the governor's press secretary, said the governor was invited to attend and speak about state-federal relations. Mr. Black dismissed the conspiracy theories. "He's looking forward to learning the secret handshake," Mr. Black joked. He said that Mr. Perry is paying for the trip and host hotel, usually among the top in the world, out of campaign contributions from his Texans for Rick Perry committee. Previous speakers at the conference have included such GOP stalwarts as outgoing World Bank chief Paul Wolfowitz and former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Last year, the conference was held in Ottawa, and the Toronto Star reported that it had received an unsigned press release saying that the 2006 group included David Rockefeller, Henry Kissinger, Queen Beatrix of Holland, New York Gov. George Pataki, media moguls, high-level officials from Spain and Greece, and the heads of Coca-Cola, Credit Suisse and the Royal Bank of Canada.
Note: Bill Clinton and Tony Blair both attended the Bilderberg Gathering before they became world famous. For more on this and other secret societies of the power elite, click here. If this group of most powerful global elites has favored Perry, it will be interesting to see how he fairs in the coming elections. This article has been removed from the Dallas News website, but you can still view it online at this link.
In a case that has horrified Americans way beyond the Bible Belt, Louis Lamonica ... and eight members the Hosanna Church are accused of being members of a Satanic paedophile ring who ritually raped up to 25 children, as well as performing animal sacrifices. Police say some of those charged - who include Lamonica's wife and a deputy sheriff - have already admitted devil worship inside the now defunct church. The discovery of badly rubbed-out pentagrams on the floor and eight boxes of hooded black costumes - allegedly used both in the abuse and in "morality tales" performed to prepare the young victims - bear out some of the claims. Lamonica himself astonished police by walking into a neighbouring sheriff's office a few weeks ago and confessing out of the blue that over five years he and other church members had sexually abused boys and girls aged between one and 16 and taught them to have sex with each other, as well as with a dog. Local police say his claims have been confirmed by some of the victims, of whom half a dozen have so far been interviewed, and by some of the fellow abusers, whose names Lamonica freely gave to police. Lamonica ... claimed the abuse began in 1999 and stopped in 2003 when the Hosanna Church closed. But police believe it may have continued in members' homes. Most of the accused have been charged with aggravated rape of a child under 13.
Note: The US military accepts avowed Satanists in their ranks. Watch an excellent segment by Australia's "60-Minutes" team "Spies, Lords and Predators" on a pedophile ring in the UK which leads to the highest levels of government. A second suppressed documentary, "Conspiracy of Silence," goes even deeper into this topic in the US. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.
Global power-brokers have a penchant for siting their get-togethers in inaccessible places. Since Seattle 1999, Washington and Prague 2000, the calendar of global get-togethers has attracted lively anti-globalisation demonstrations. Davos this year had unusually tight security to try and keep protestors well away, leading to allegations of unnecessary heavy-handedness by the Swiss police. This weekend, it is the turn of Bilderberg, perhaps the most secretive (or as the organisers would prefer to claim, discrete) club for the global elite. It holds its weekend on Stenungsund, an island off the Swedish west coast. The group was created by Denis (now Lord) Healey, Joseph Retinger, David Rockefeller and Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands (a former SS officer) - the group aimed to [bring] together financiers, industrialists, politicians and opinion formers; the press have never been allowed access. There is a growing perception that globalisation is a process which is being managed for the benefit of a small proportion of the planet's residents and at terrible cost to many more. There is a perception of illegitimacy about unaccountable corporate power and governments elected on low turnout: sooner or later global power-brokers will have to recognise this crisis of legitimacy, and engage with protestors rather than run away from them.
A woman has spoken out about the torture she endured for years as a child at the hands of her abusive father. Maude Julien, who is now 60 and a renowned psychotherapist, was forced to hold onto an electric fence for 10 minutes at a time without showing feeling. The ritual, which she endured twice a week, was considered to be a test of her willpower by her father, who wanted to make Ms Julien “superhuman”. Decades later, Ms Julien, who now lives in Paris, has recorded her cruel childhood in her memoir The Only Girl in the World. She says she was subjected to 18 years of controlling and manipulative behaviour by her father. Louis Didier ... was an alcoholic and belonged to an esoteric lodge of Freemasonry which believed in the occult. Didier reportedly believed his daughter had been chosen as his protector, so sought to indoctrinate her and make her withstand torment by making her participate in cruel experiments. Once a month, Ms Julien writes, she was locked overnight in a rat-infested cellar to “meditate about death”. Didier, who died aged 79 in 1981, adopted a six-year-old girl called Jeannine in 1936, who he groomed to become his wife. In 1957, Jeannine gave birth to his child, Ms Julien. The three lived in a remote mansion in northern France, which Ms Julien was forbidden to leave. Ms Julien says she was sexually abused between the ages of three and 13 by a labourer working in the estate. She eventually managed to escape her father when he allowed her to take music lessons.
Bechtel - a behemoth among closely held companies - has been the world’s builder, benefiting from vast government contracts for engineering and infrastructure work in difficult places while it nurtured relationships with power brokers in Washington. In The Profiteers, journalist Sally Denton seeks to unravel the history of Bechtel. Her story is one of “how a dynastic line of rulers from the same American family conducts its business” and how its system of networking now pervades US capitalism. Anecdotes of Bohemian Grove, the secretive retreat that became an all-male “summer camp” for US corporate, political and military elites to toast marshmallows, skinny-dip in the river north of San Francisco and dress in drag for skits, elucidate the chummy nature of big business. As of 2014, [Bechtel's] reported revenue was $37bn, with projects and employees in 37 countries. The corporation’s embrace of Saudi Arabia as a lucrative client and its decades-long and contorted experience in Iraq also makes sense of some aspects of US foreign policy - as well as its intelligence-gathering operations. The life and times of John McCone, a former Bechtel executive who later served as CIA director in the US administrations of Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, is chronicled deftly here. It is worth noting: McCone was and is critical to Bechtel’s dominance today. He devised the idea of “cost-plus contracts” for the toughest jobs sought by government. Contractors are guaranteed a profit in such deals.
Note: Bechtel was at the center of a major Iraqi reconstruction scandal in 2007. More recently, major defense contractors have been publicly congratulating themselves for steering US policy towards militarism. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the corporate world.
In the annals of the sexual abuse scandals in the Roman Catholic Church, most of the cases that have come to light happened years before to children and teenagers who have long since grown into adults. But a painfully fresh case is devastating Catholics in Kansas City, Mo., where a priest, who was arrested in May, has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of taking indecent photographs of young girls, most recently during an Easter egg hunt just four months ago. Bishop Robert Finn of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph has acknowledged that he knew of the existence of photographs last December but did not turn them over to the police until May. A civil lawsuit filed last week claims that during those five months, the priest, the Rev. Shawn Ratigan, attended children’s birthday parties, spent weekends in the homes of parish families, hosted the Easter egg hunt and presided, with the bishop’s permission, at a girl’s First Communion. The case has generated fury at a bishop who was already a polarizing figure in his diocese, and there are widespread calls for him to resign or even to be prosecuted. Bishop Finn, who was appointed in 2005, alienated many of his priests and parishioners, and won praise from others, when he remade the diocese to conform with his traditionalist theological views. He is one of few bishops affiliated with the conservative movement Opus Dei.
An elite and secretive gathering of senior government officials and captains of industry is wrapping up a weekend confab at the chic Swiss resort of St. Moritz. The annual Bilderberg meeting's Web site said its annual conference ending Sunday dealt mainly with challenges for growth, security and democracy in Europe, the Middle East and China. The 130 attendees from Europe, North America and other countries -- among the invitees were EU President Herman Van Rompuy, members of European royalty, former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt -- keep up an informal, off-the-record tradition that conspiracy theorists consider almost a shadow world government. This year's conference was held at an Alpine luxury hotel patrolled by private security guards that drew a left-wing demonstration Saturday.
Note: This secretive meeting of some of the most powerful people in the world has come under increasing scrutiny in recent years. Possibly as a result of this, they finally established a simple website in 2010 at http://www.bilderbergmeetings.org. The website claims that "the names of the participants as well as the agenda are made Public and available to the press." This was most definitely not true until just recently. For other highly revealing articles on secret societies of the global elite, click here.
Some of America’s leading billionaires have met secretly to consider how their wealth could be used to slow the growth of the world’s population. Described as the Good Club by one insider, it included David Rockefeller Jr, the patriarch of America’s wealthiest dynasty, Warren Buffett and George Soros, the financiers, Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York, and the media moguls Ted Turner and Oprah Winfrey. They gathered at the home of Sir Paul Nurse, a British Nobel prize biochemist and president of the private Rockefeller University, in Manhattan on May 5. The informal afternoon session was so discreet that some of the billionaires’ aides were told they were at “security briefings”. Stacy Palmer, editor of the Chronicle of Philanthropy, said the summit was unprecedented. “We only learnt about it afterwards, by accident. Normally these people are happy to talk good causes, but this is different – maybe because they don’t want to be seen as a global cabal,” he said. Some details were emerging this weekend, however. Taking their cue from Gates they agreed that overpopulation was a priority. [A] guest said there was “nothing as crude as a vote” but a consensus emerged that they would back a strategy in which population growth would be tackled as a potentially disastrous environmental, social and industrial threat. “This is something so nightmarish that everyone in this group agreed it needs big-brain answers,” said the guest. “They need to be independent of government agencies, which are unable to head off the disaster we all see looming.” Why all the secrecy? “They wanted to speak rich to rich without worrying anything they said would end up in the newspapers, painting them as an alternative world government,” he said.
Note: This very secret private meeting of billionaires planning to "solve" the world's "overpopulation" problem occurred just a few days before the latest Bilderberg meeting. For an ABC article on the same, click here. Is this a more positive twist on the Bilderberg Group of the worlds' power elite, or more of the same?
The reality of the saga of the Knights Templar is almost as amazing as the myths that embellish it. The tale of the Templars remains a gaudy thread woven through the religion, politics and literature of Western civilization. Almost from their founding, the Templars have been rumored a.) to still exist; b.) to be impossibly rich, and; c.) to guard the Holy Grail (the cup from which Jesus drank at the Last Supper) and other Christian relics. For 150 years in the high Middle Ages, their order was incontestably one of the most powerful and creative military and economic forces in the world. The Templars developed a system whereby they left their wealth and lands at the disposal of a Templar institution at home, in exchange for a coded invoice that was then redeemed at the group's headquarters in Jerusalem. Researchers believe the Templars kept any revenues generated by the estates, effectively accruing interest — a practice otherwise forbidden as usury by the Church at the time. The journal American Banker wrote in 1990 that "a good case can be made for crediting [the Templars] with the birth of deposit banking, of checking, and of modern credit practices." It certainly made them some of Europe's richest and most powerful financiers. The Templars have been described as taking crown jewels and indeed entire kingdoms as mortgage for loans, and they maintained major branches in France, Portugal, England, Aragon, Hungary and various Mid-Eastern capitals. The group controlled as many as 9,000 estates, and left behind hundreds of buildings great and small.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on secret societies, click here.
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