I hope you will forgive me if this episode’s review is a bit shorter than some of my earlier efforts. I injured my wrist today when I slipped on some ice and fell while trying to clear some snow. I’m trying not to aggravate it too much with excessive typing.
In keeping with that, I was trying to think of how I could possibly condense three years’ worth of discussion of the Knights Templar, the Holy Bloodline of Jesus, and the other threadbare “mysteries” of Scott Wolter’s world to compile a background section for this two-part season finale. It seemed ridiculous to rewrite the same background I provided as far back as the season one episode “Tracking the Templars” and as recently as the Templar-themed episode of Curse of Oak Island a few weeks ago. So, rather than devote excessive space to something that most readers already know, I collected my previous coverage of the Templar and Holy Bloodline claims as a nearly 8,000-word compilation that covers pretty much everything about the groundless speculation that Jesus and Mary Magdalene had children, that the Knights Templar protect their bloodline, and that the Templars traveled to North America.
The only thing that isn’t in there is material about the Hooked X®, the variant “A” Norse rune that Wolter believes represents the penis of Jesus penetrating the womb of Mary Magdalene to implant a Jesus-baby (the “hook”) within. That material I covered in my review of “Tracking the Templars,” for which the current episode is a more or less direct sequel.
We open with a disclaimer that the H2 network (or rather, “this network,” since the show also re-airs on History and other global broadcasters) doesn’t share Scott Wolter’s “controversial” theories. If there is ever better proof that the H2 network is starting to regret the problems caused by the dumb ideas broadcast over their air, this is it. I am frankly shocked to see such a disclaimer, especially since Ancient Aliens has never warranted such a disclaimer. But for a channel whose parent, History, makes a good chunk of its money off Bible-themed programs, anything that smacks of insulting a core audience has to be dealt with.
After the disclaimer we watch some Templars burn in the raids of 1307 followed by an assertion that some escaped by ship. Then we cut to the opening credits. After this, Wolter says that he believes that the Knights Templar brought the Holy Bloodline to America.
In southwestern Pennsylvania, Wolter rides through the woods on a yellow ATV and then hops off, grabbing his trusty backpack. He stops through some trees to look at a rock on which a tipster informs Wolter that there is a carving of a Hooked X®. The crude Norse-style engraving shows a Christian cross within two concentric circles forming the body of a serpent. Several runes fill the space between the two circle, along with the Roman numerals for 1206 (MCCVI). The tipster, Bill Carney, and his friend Bill Laney tell Wolter that he just found the stone in May 2014. Laney tells Wolter that he is a true believer in hyperdiffusionism (“Good for you,” Wolter says).
Wolter bizarrely states that the Templars “used runes” and therefore are the most likely to be the real carvers of the stone if it were real. The Templars are not known to have written in runes. The connection to the Templars comes entirely from Wolter’s claim that the “Hooked X®” is a symbol of Jesus impregnating Mary Magdalene. Wolter tells the tipsters that there is “a lot of truth” to the Da Vinci Code, and he explains that the existence of the Holy Bloodline would undermine the Roman Catholic Church, necessitating the extermination of the Templars to keep the popes in power.
Immediately after trying to clean the runes, Wolter discovers that they are packed with mud and glue. He declares the stone a hoax. The question then is whether the stone was hoaxed to draw Wolter’s attention. We go to commercial without an answer.
During the break a promo informs me that Hangar 1: The UFO Files is returning for a new season even after they were caught fabricating government documents last year. Where is the disclaimer on that one?
After a recap, Wolter explains the crude fakery of the hoax runes, and the tipsters deny being involved in fabricating the carving. Wolter explains that the carving is less than four years old, and he suspects that someone intended to fool him. “I know some people are scared of what I think is the truth,” Wolter said. He claims that the hoax was designed to combat Wolter’s Holy Bloodline theory by trying to make him “look stupid and therefore cast doubt on the work that I’ve done.” I’d imagine that the intention was probably to get attention rather than to carve a symbol that would take down the Hooked X® once and for all.
Wolter keeps pressing the tipsters to find out who was responsible for this attempt to humiliate him. “It motivates me even more,” Wolter says, to prove that the Templars were responsible for creating the United States as a sanctuary for Jesus genes.
We go to another commercial, having accomplished nothing but a thorough stroking of Wolter’s ego.
After the break, Wolter is back on his ATV. He returns to his SUV to talk to Steve St. Clair and to report to St. Clair that the stone is a fake. He tells St. Clair that he has another artifact lined up, and St. Clair tells Wolter that he is in France researching St. Clair family ties to the Templars. St. Clair tells Wolter that he “maybe” has changed his mind about whether Henry I Sinclair, Earl of Orkney had a connection to the Knights Templar, something St. Clair has denied for years.
In Troyes, France, Wolter tells us that St. Clair has a “credible Templar connection” and he heavily implies that St. Clair is a descendant of Jesus Christ. Wolter discusses the founding of the Templar order, and St. Clair describes that Templars as a medieval police force aimed at keeping the Holy Land safe. The two men talk about Bernard de Clairvaux, who secured papal recognition for the order, and Hugues de Payens, who wrote the Latin Rule followed by the order. St. Clair tells Wolter that he has found evidence that the Sinclair family gave money to Templar-affiliated organizations. Wolter reviews the Season 1 finale, which sought the Holy Grail in Nova Scotia, but he seems to have very little understanding of the intellectual underpinnings of his “research” into the “physical bloodline of Jesus and Mary.” Wolter claims that the Templars found scrolls in Jerusalem that proved that Jesus was married and that the Church covered it up to protect its power.
I’m not quite sure (a) why the Eastern Church didn’t seem to care for the three centuries it controlled Jerusalem before the Islamic conquest of 637 and (b) why the Islamic rulers of Jerusalem didn’t publicize this information to help prove that the Qur’an’s version of Jesus (human, survived crucifixion, etc.) was in fact the correct one.
This segment opens with a repeat of the disclaimer that Wolter’s opinions “are not shared by this network, but are ideas to be explored.” Wolter then gives a verbal recap of his journey so far, but in doing so he sounds like a street preacher ranting about conspiracies on the street corner.
Steve St. Clair tells Wolter that he thinks he has evidence of the Holy Bloodline. He shows Wolter a church that was constructed atop a Merovingian necropolis. The Merovingians, overthrown by Pepin the Short, were accused of being Jesus-spawn in the Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, but it was all based on Pierre de Plantard’s Priory of Sion hoax. Once again, Wolter seems unware of the history of his own ideas. Sadly, if there is ignorance to be had, Alan Butler has to be on hand. He, after all, is the man who believes that time travelers founded the Freemasons and constructed the Moon.
Butler recaps some of the same material he provided to Curse of Oak Island a few weeks ago, and he seems to enjoy traveling across Europe on History/H2’s dime. In a year he’s gotten free trips to Washington, D.C., Scotland, France, and more.
Butler, at least, recognizes that Wolter’s implication that the Templar order’s suppression on Friday, October 13, 1307 is not the origin the fear of Friday the 13th. Sadly, though, Wolter asserts that the number 13 is the symbol of the “goddess.” He says that Mary Magdalene is the goddess because her name starts with the thirteenth letter of the alphabet, a neat trick considering that the “J” (letter 10) was only added to the alphabet in the Middle Ages (as a variant of “I”), and only distinguished as its own letter in 1524. On the other hand, Butler tells us that after the commercial he’s planning to tie Leonardo da Vinci into his Templar fantasies.
After an onscreen recap, Butler tells Wolter that “we are led to believe” that Leonardo da Vinci visited the Knights Templars’ training grounds in France. Leonardo lived two hundred years after the Templars were suppressed, so Butler’s only connection is the “symbolism” from the novel The Da Vinci Code, in which he sees Leonardo as encoding the “goddess” Mary Magdalene in his art. This isn’t logical, since even if Leonardo’s paintings had crypto-women in them, it does not follow that such women were goddesses or symbols of Holy Bloodlines. “You know what, guys? Dan Brown’s book, The Da Vinci Code, may be more fact than fiction,” Wolter says.
Wolter tells us that only the Templars could wear white uniforms. Butler tells Wolter that the red cross of the Templars represents “the feminine,” presumably because of menstrual blood. Otherwise, I can’t fathom why this red would be feminine, but not, say, the red field on which the gold lions of the English arms prance, or the red dragon that symbolizes King Arthur and Wales. From the Middle Ages to the twentieth century blue was associated with women, while men were associated with red. (This was because the Church began depicting the Virgin Mary in blue, the color worn by Byzantine empresses.)
In this segment, Wolter declares that he is interested in another letter of the alphabet, because this is some horrifying film noir version of Sesame Street. Wolter claims that he and he alone can see that a completely normal hand gesture is in fact an M, for Mary Magdalene. The gesture is formed by the middle and ring fingers staying together while the index and pinky fingers are spread away from them. The thing is, as I noted in my review of Wolter’s book, Akhenaten to the Founding Fathers, the M-shaped hand gesture is natural, and my hands automatically form it without trying. My middle and ring fingers are closer together than those two fingers are to the index finger or pinky. As a result, I can’t make any other hand gesture, and it’s the same gesture many people of Latin (Italian, French, Spanish, etc.) descent make without trying. Wolter, who is not Latin, claims that such a gesture can’t be done naturally.
The show concludes with Wolter triumphantly revealing a sculpture from the 1500s that he claims represents a pregnant Mary Magdalene. Everyone then pretends to forget that it was also a dramatic revelation halfway through “Tracking the Templars” back in season one and then promptly forgotten.
As we end the first half of the season finale, Wolter promises to pick up next week with more “proof” that a statue made in the 1500s tells the real story of a pregnancy from around 30 CE.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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