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Review: Michael Harscheidt - The Templar Code, God's Secret Elite
From Masonic Wiki    -   Author: Triangle
  The reader likes to cry: "Yet again another book about the Templars and their alleged machinations! Another book about the Holy Grail, the Ark, the Turin shroud, the Templar treasure and the various conspiracy theories!"
Correct! And yet this book is completely different from others (actually a special kind of hard work), and above all it is more entertaining than many other books on the subject and it does without grandstanding.
Author Michael Harscheidt, retired senior teacher, literary scientist, sociologist, theologian and historian, uses a simple but effective trick to present his research discoveries about the history of the Knights Templar:
He invents Fabian Jaspers, a young trainee of a Paris newspaper, and along with a trio of journalists and a monk from the monastery of Cîteaux, he tries to operate the rehabilitation of the Knights Templar. Fabian, the alter ego of the author, is to gather and present the so called misdemeanours and the arguments pro and contra the Knights Templar throughout the book. Mainly, he will deal with the representatives of the different theories about the Templars, he will disprove them, but in some aspects also confirm some details.

This ever is the strength of this book: It does not exhaust in a reproduction of known (conspiracy) theories, but adds news to the general researches, goes to the bottom of its conspiracies, explains the origins, discovers misinterpretations of history and stories, and commits where the protagonists of the theories are right or where there is no evidence for or against the theory. The pros and cons are verified with a huge number of sources. Thankfully, the author has not placed any hints in a source grave at the end of the book, but directly on the page on which the source is used or mentioned in the text.

Fictitious lawsuits
Everything starts with the "mental capture" by the young Fabian Jaspers, thus the actions by which he is enthusiastic about the history of the Knights Templar and where he becomes an ally in their rehabilitation proceedings at the European Court of Human Rights.
There the five figures accuse for redress and repeal of the judgements against the Templars. Accused is the French State. It is dealing with five indictments:
- The obligatory spitting by the Templars at the crucifix with simultaneous designation of Jesus as a false prophet; - the three ritual kisses by the preceptor on rump, navel and mouth of the newcomer; - the mystical worship of a bearded head icon (Baphomet) as idol; - the magical consecration of a white belt cord at this mostly metallic head idol; - the secularization of religious acts (heresy).
Problem: The Judges of the Court can not actually sit in judgement, they are not competent. Because the state being accused is not the actual successor of that body that has arranged the injustice against the Templars. So the judges resort to a trick: they advise only on the charges. In doing so, they assume the identity of famous people: Dante, Thomas Aquinas, Albertus Magnus, Jalal ad-Din al-Rumi, Nachmanides, Marco Polo and Erwin von Steinebach. These characters represent the countries where the knights lived and were followed.
Journey through Europe following the footsteps 
      of the Knights Templar
After the hearing, in which the Committee of the Five has given many comments about the wrong indictments concerning the Templars, the three journalists and the young Fabian Jaspers start a journey through Europe:
Due to a fictitious contract for a TV series on the Templars and their related conspiracy theories, Fabian researches for each record the facts of the concerned conspiracy theory.
During each broadcast, Fabian, alias Michael Harscheidt, becomes the advocatus diaboli, who gives his view even to the most obscure theories. The opponent is always a representative of the group that represents this theory or in its vicinity the origins are suspected. Here, the author does not shy away to address sensitive subjects such as the pronounced racism of Rudolf Steiner, to unravel the Grail legend and its absurdity, or the alleged evidence of gold discoveries, or to unmask Molay’s engravings  in the dungeons of Gisors as a fake.
In the end, Michael Harscheidt has assembled a plethora of sources. The footnotes on the pages bear witness to the author's enormous source of work and provide the reader with enough material for his own further reading about the legendary knights.
Wisely selected plot
The great merit of the author is that he offers no desire to please and no whitewashing solution or interpretation of his enormous hard work. His book ends open, a collection of cleverly selected references, a dismantling of conspiracy theories and an impulse for your own thinking.
Another advantage is the didactically well-chosen all round story: The book could make a plot for a radio play or a fiction film about the Knights Templar. Despite some added length it is not tiring, it challenges and surprises not only by its fresh and partially irreverent approach. Even the sometimes surprising facts about the Knights Templar, the correction of formerly unusual viewpoints and the open end make this book entertaining and worth reading. After the reading, it stimulates to conclusions of the own independent thinking.
Remark for even those who already know a lot about the Knights Templar: This book should be read under all circumstances. It is entertaining and interesting. I had some very entertaining and instructive days.
The Templar Code - God's secret elite Michael Harscheidt 
(Cover image: Jens Rusch, Brunsbuettel)
ISBN 978-3-95529-177-8
Price: 18.99 EUR (Paperback) - 24,99 € (Hardcover)  - 12,99 € (Kindle Edition)