Scott Wolter Doubles Down on Portuguese Hooked X; Steve St. Clair Reveals "Proof" of His Templar Connection
As always, Mondays are a bit of a time crunch for me, and this Monday is made worse by the endless snowstorm that has had me out shoveling every few hours to try to keep up with the massive accumulation. I’ve run out of places to put snow, and the piles I’m shoveling into are now nearly as high as I am!
On his blog on Saturday, Scott Wolter doubled down on his claim that a Gothic (or blackletter) Roman numeral X in a Portuguese church is a “Hooked X®,” even though the photograph he posted clearly shows that the letter conforms exactly to blackletter style, with a thick line from the upper left to lower right and a thinner line from upper right to lower left, terminating on both ends with a curved “hook” representing the mark needed to start the ink when drawing the character with a quill on parchment. When asked how one could distinguish a “Hooked X®” from your run of the mill blackletter X, Wolter replied: “The one above that Janet found in Portugal is stylized for sure. However, it is the extension of the upper right arm creating the "v" at the top that makes it a Hooked X. The stylizing makes it easier to hide the symbolism and leave open plausible deniability.”
In other words, it’s only a Hooked X® if and only if Wolter declares it such! Otherwise, even experts could easily mistake it for being exactly like all the other blackletter X’s!
Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look.
Here is Wolter’s X from Portugal, which I have highlighted to show the letter more clearly, including the “hooks” on both the upper right and lower left staves. Note, too, that similar hooks and flourishes appear on the other letters of the inscription.
Here is the text of John 1:3-5 from the Santa Barbara Bible, written around 1250 CE—around the time of the Portuguese inscription—and now at the J. Paul Getty Museum in California. Note that many of the letters have flourishes and hooks in the blackletter style, and that the “x” in “lux” has the distinguishing “hooks” on the upper right stave each time it appears.
A clearer example of how this blackletter “X” appears can be found in the San Francisco Examiner logo, which displays—A HOOKED X®! Or, actually, a blackletter X that nearly any blackletter typeface based on medieval scripts will produce.
But all of this pales before Steve St. Clair’s latest claim, providing the “proof” he promised but failed to deliver on America Unearthed that the Sinclair family is intimately involved with the Templars through the Priory of Saint-Martin-des-Champs in Paris. It was… underwhelming.
St. Clair claims that modern DNA studies and genealogical research show that the Sinclair family had members who married members of other families, who in turn provided money for the medieval construction of the priory during the Templar period. He therefore claims that all of the people who funded the priory’s construction as a “superfamily,” and that the Sinclairs are part of this superfamily through marriage.
This is roughly as much “proof” as the fact that Barack Obama and George W. Bush are distant cousins, which naturally puts them in a conspiracy, too. It is no surprise that a small, insular group of nobles interbred over centuries in the search for suitable brides and building alliances. This proves no conspiracy or connection, though, any more than the fact that Holy Roman Emperor Otto II married a Byzantine bride named Theophanu somehow “proves” that the Byzantines were “involved” in a century-long conspiracy to create the Teutonic Knights. In fact, it signifies the exact opposite of close involvement: The marriage sealed a peace treaty to keep the two rival empires out of each other’s way, though Otto ignored this in trying to annex Byzantine Italy. Anyway, the point is: shared DNA does not suggest a shared conspiracy.
St. Clair still has no evidence that members of the Sinclair family were active supporters of the Knights Templar or served in the Order. It remains a matter of record that members of the family testified against the Templars during their trials.
I'm an author and editor who has published on a range of topics, including archaeology, science, and horror fiction. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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