Figures of two Templar knights.

Secrets of the Knights Templar: The Knights of John the Baptist

(Read the article on one page)

Soon after the Knights Templar founded their order in the Holy Land in 1118 AD they assimilated into a very ancient gnostic tradition and lineage known as the Johannite Church, which had been founded by St. John the Baptist more than a thousand years previously. The ruling patriarch of this ancient tradition when the Templar Order first formed was Theoclete.

The Johannites and St. John the Baptist

Theoclete met the first Templar grandmaster, Hughes de Payens and then passed the mantle of his Johannite authority to him. Hughes de Payens thus became John #70 in a long line of gnostic Johannites (the “Johns”) that had begun with John the Baptist and included: Jesus, John the Apostle, and Mary Magdalene. John was not just a name, but also an honorific title meaning “He of Gnostic Power and Wisdom.” It is related to the Sanskrit Jnana (pronounced Yana), meaning “Gnosis.”  

 BaldwinII ceding the location of the Temple of Salomon to Hugues de Payns and Gaudefroy de Saint-Homer. The fourth person is Warmund, Patriarch of Jerusalem.

   BaldwinII ceding the location of the Temple of Salomon to Hugues de Payns and Gaudefroy de Saint-Homer. The fourth person is Warmund, Patriarch of Jerusalem. ( Public Domain )

The acquisition of the Johannite Church by the Knights Templar was later alluded to in Isis Unveiled by the nineteenth century esotericist Madam Blavatsky. While claiming to have learned it from ancient Kabbalistic records, Blavatsky stated: 

“The true version of the history of Jesus and early Christianity was supposedly imparted to Hughes de Payens, by the Grand-Pontiff of the Order of the Temple [the Johannite sect], one named Theoclete, after which it was learned by some Knights in Palestine, from the higher and more intellectual members of the St. John sect, who were initiated into its mysteries. Freedom of intellectual thought and the restoration of one universal [Gnostic] religion was their secret object. Sworn to the vow of obedience, poverty, and chastity, they were at first the true Knights of John the Baptist, crying in the wilderness and living on wild honey and locusts. Such is the tradition and the true Kabbalistic version.”

Saint John the Baptist in the Wilderness

Saint John the Baptist in the Wilderness ( Public Domain )

Blavatsky’s history was echoed by no lesser authority than Pope Pius IX, the nineteenth century pope, who made a public statement regarding the Templars and the beginning of the Johannite “heresy” in his Allocution of Pio Nono against the Free Masons: 

“The Johannites ascribed to Saint John the foundation of their Secret Church, and the Grand Pontiffs of the Sect assumed the title of Christos, Anointed or Consecrated, and claimed to have succeeded one another from Saint John by an uninterrupted succession of pontifical powers. He who, at the period of the foundation of the Order of the Temple, claimed these imaginary prerogatives was named Theoclete; he knew Hughes de Payens, he initiated him into the Mysteries and hopes of his pretended church; he seduced him by the notions of Sovereign Priesthood and Supreme royalty, and finally designated him as his successor. ” 

Two Doctrines

Then the Order of the Knights of the Temple was at its very origin devoted to the cause of opposition to the Tiara of Rome and the crown of Kings, and the Apostolate of Kabbalistic Gnosticism was vested in its chiefs. For Saint John was the Father of the Gnostics…. 

“The Templars, like all other Secret Orders and Associations, had two doctrines, one concealed and reserved for the Masters, which was Johannism; the other public, which was the Roman Catholic. Thus they deceived the adversaries whom they sought to supplant.”

Pope Pius’ announcement made it clear that the Church had been aware of the existence of the Johannites for many centuries. The early Templars were also aware that the Vatican knew of their existence; Vatican spies were always swarming the Middle East.

A painting of the Pope Pius IX

A painting of the Pope Pius IX ( Public Domain )

They tried – albeit unsuccessfully- to keep their Johannite affiliation hidden by restricting entrance into the Johannite Mysteries to only the inner circle of the Templar hierarchy. Meanwhile, the lower rank and file Templars remained primarily Catholic in their beliefs. Eliphas Levi explains: 

“The tendencies and tenets of the [Templar] Order were enveloped in profound mystery, and it externally professed the most perfect orthodoxy. The Chiefs alone knew the aim of the Order; the subalterns followed them without distrust.”

While attempting to keep their veil of secrecy tightly drawn, the Templar elite organized their order into a concentric arrangement - consisting of outer and inner circles of initiates. The Johannite hierarchy comprised the three inner circles, while the rest of the knights occupied the seven outer circles. According to Jean Robin, another French occultist of high repute, only those advanced Templars of the three inner circles were aware of the Orders’ gnostic practices. He states: “The Order of the Temple was indeed constituted of seven ‘exterior’ circles dedicated to the minor mysteries, and of three ‘interior’ circles corresponding to the initiation into the great mysteries.”


How’s that messiah stuff workin’ out for ya now? Seems the same people who took down Jesus and John (the Pharasees) are now ransacking the world with wars and financial skullduggery.


John the Baptizer was murdered by Herod.

And don't be such an anti-Semite.

Where to start? The first picture is already wrong, the cross was on the shoulder and not on the chest (only crusaders wore it on the chest but it wasn't the same cross. John had doubt about JC being the messiah, this is why he named Simon Magus his heir. Hugues de Payens had his trip prepared by Cistercian monks years before he realize he was going to the Holy Land to create a new order of fighting monks.

Actually the first image of the article are not of templar knights but of the Knights of Malta - Originally known as the Knights Hospitaller (Order of Saint John of the Hospital of Jerusalem).

Well all I can say is 'the plot thickens' !! All this tale does is confirm in my mind that humans are really, really creative and think that their imagined 'truths' are inspiration from 'god' - this is why we have so many groups all convinced they have the 'real truth' - good grief we are insane !


Register to become part of our active community, get updates, receive a monthly newsletter, and enjoy the benefits and rewards of our member point system OR just post your comment below as a Guest.

Top New Stories

Salmonella bacteria, a common cause of foodborne disease, invade an immune cell.
Architectural investigations of the Grand Plaza resulted in the unexpected discovery of a large epidemic cemetery associated with the 1545-1550 cocoliztli epidemic. The cemetery was found to contain numerous mass burials, attesting to the catastrophic nature of the epidemic

Myths & Legends

Constantine TV Series logo
Constantine is an American TV series that centers around the character of John Constantine, a British exorcist and occult detective who hunts supernatural entities. The entire Constantine series is based upon a vast mythology that encompasses the legends and folklore of many different cultures throughout history.

Our Mission

At Ancient Origins, we believe that one of the most important fields of knowledge we can pursue as human beings is our beginnings. And while some people may seem content with the story as it stands, our view is that there exists countless mysteries, scientific anomalies and surprising artifacts that have yet to be discovered and explained.

The goal of Ancient Origins is to highlight recent archaeological discoveries, peer-reviewed academic research and evidence, as well as offering alternative viewpoints and explanations of science, archaeology, mythology, religion and history around the globe.

We’re the only Pop Archaeology site combining scientific research with out-of-the-box perspectives.

By bringing together top experts and authors, this archaeology website explores lost civilizations, examines sacred writings, tours ancient places, investigates ancient discoveries and questions mysterious happenings. Our open community is dedicated to digging into the origins of our species on planet earth, and question wherever the discoveries might take us. We seek to retell the story of our beginnings. 

Ancient Image Galleries

View from the Castle Gate (Burgtor). (Public Domain)
Door surrounded by roots of Tetrameles nudiflora in the Khmer temple of Ta Phrom, Angkor temple complex, located today in Cambodia. (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Cable car in the Xihai (West Sea) Grand Canyon (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Next article