I have covered these documents many times before (e.g. here), and there is no reason to rehash the underlying implausibility of the documents and the second-rate spy thriller passing for their provenance.
Wolter claims that the documents prove that the Knights Templar excavated under the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, where they found four ossuaries covered in lambskin. One contained the body of John the Baptist (!), the second clay tubes filled with scrolls, the third gold bars stamped with the Seal of Solomon, and the fourth five scientific instruments. Wolter says that one of the instruments measured Venus for use in navigation and another was a device for decoding secret codes.
In this interview, Wolter is more explicit about claiming that the Knights Templar directly influenced the United States Constitution via Freemasonry, but his understanding of Freemasonry and the Templars remains in distinct contrast to the historical record. Many Founding Fathers were Freemasons, but Freemasonry has no direct connection to the Templars, who were not, pace Wolter, goddess-worshippers, matriarchal, or democrats. Wolter repeats many claims about Native Americans from his last two books, but his evidence remains as faulty and sketchy as it was back then. He routinely places his trust in people rather than evidence and mistakes his friends’ beliefs for documented traditions or facts dating back to antiquity.
Wolter has begun incorporating more of Jacques de Mahieu’s bad ideas about Vikings and Templars in South America (a process he started, with explicit citation of the neo-Nazi writer, in 2013), and he tells the interviewers that he thinks there may be even more evidence of Templar influence in South America. He repeats, too, his more recent ghost story claiming to have experienced a paranormal event at the Newport Tower when a woman appeared and spoke to him before vanishing.
Honestly, so much of the interview is repeats of previous claims we’ve heard so many times before that it’s hard to evaluate whether there is anything new worth discussing. Halfway through, the hosts open the discussion for questioning from other Freemasons, and things break away from the script a little bit. That’s when things got strange.
In response to the first question, he references Hermetic philosophy, and he compares it to Göbekli Tepe, which he assumes had been constructed with “advanced” science and technology. He alleged that the Neolithic builders of Göbekli Tepe were Freemasons from an “high” culture practicing “the Craft,” whose origins he now imagines to stretch back more than 12,000 years. As a reminder, modern Freemasonry emerged in its current form in the 1700s from stone masons’ guilds of the preceding couple of centuries. It doesn’t have medieval occult roots, much less connections to an “advanced” civilization from before the Ice Age. Wolter’s conflation of Templar conspiracies and Graham Hancock’s Atlantis speculation produces strange results.
In response to another question, Wolter complains that television “frustrates” him because he can’t go into the depth that he likes on his topics. This is rather frustrating to me because there is no actual depth to Wolter’s sand castles of speculation, whose foundation is old books of bad information.
I was rather surprised when Wolter admitted that his Templar claims in the Pirate Treasure of the Knights Templar were unplanned and unsystematic. “We were making it up as we went along,” he said. That must be the “depth” that he had just finished discussing.
Wolter also gave a long answer about the relationship between the Templars and the Islamic world, none of which is important to us since it is familiar ground, but I was struck by the sense of grievance that permeated his discussion. He kept hammering the point about the Templars being treated badly so they had to start a new country to avoid being picked on and oppressed. I don’t mean to suggest a psychological explanation, but it’s hard not to see parallels between the fictitious version of the Templars Wolter has created in the past few years and his growing resentment of academics, scientists, government officials, and the media for allegedly treating him badly and not giving him the respect he imagines his speculative ideas deserve.
As the Zoom call comes to a close, a viewer asks Wolter about the mounds of North America, the subject of my most recent book. Wolter cites one of his friends’ ideas that the mounds—built over millennia across the continent—were all part of a single program to recreate the entire heavenly sphere on Earth, each mound representing a star. Wolter says we can “barely comprehend” the mounds’ complexity, and he asks “Who were these people? Were they part of this high culture that I talked about?” Yes, he asked if Freemasons from Göbekli Tepe built North American mounds 8,000+ years later. As you can read in my book The Mound Builder Myth, Wolter is here parroting nineteenth century falsehoods invented to justify genocide, and though he tries to turn this on its head by ascribing the global high culture to Native Americans (just like Graham Hancock), it doesn’t change the fact the ideas have no connection to reality, only to fantasy.
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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