An Interview with Alan Butler co-author of The Warriors and the Bankers
To answer the question, Did the Templars found Switzerland, brought forward in The Warriors and Bankers written by Alan Butler and Stephen Dafoe, we called Alan Butler at his Seaside home in Saltburn, England.
THM: Thank you for talking with us Alan. Since this is a long distance call, let me cut to the chase. You are the co-author of a book, which puts forth a new theory regarding where the Knights Templar went after their suppression. You claim that place was Switzerland. Did the Templars found Switzerland?
Butler: Well of course if you really want to know the ins and outs of this conundrum you will have to read The Warriors and the Bankers, written by Stephen Dafoe and myself. The book is available from Templar Books of Canada or you could get it through Amazon.com. Like most subjects (when you really get down to looking at them closely) there is no short answer. What we can say is that, on a balance of probabilities it seems most likely that they did.
THM: And why is that. What makes up the balance of probabilities?
Butler: There are a few important reasons why this is likely to have been the case. For example:
- The founding of the embryonic Switzerland conforms exactly to the period when the Templars were being persecuted in France.
- Switzerland is just to the east of France and would have been particularly easy for fleeing Templar brothers from the whole region of France to get to.
- In the history of the first Swiss Cantons there are tales of white coated knights mysteriously appearing and helping the locals to gain their independence against foreign domination.
- The Templars were big in banking, farming and engineering (of an early type). These same aspects can be seen as inimical to the commencement and gradual evolution of the separate states that would eventually be Switzerland.
- Even the Swiss don’t really know the ins and outs of their earliest history (or suggest that they don’t.) They are famous for being secretive and we don’t have to tell interested readers that this is something they share absolutely with the Templars.
- The famous Templar Cross is incorporated into the flags of many of the Swiss Cantons. As are other emblems, such as keys and lambs, that were particularly important to the Knights Templar.
- The Swiss were and are famous for their religious tolerance – and so were the Templars.
THM: Of course many would say that these are but coincidences and this is perhaps another case of conjecture.
Butler: Of course the story is much more complicated than this. However both Stephen Dafoe (my friend and co-author) and I know that to try and half-tell a story is probably a waste of time. Quite naturally we want to sell you a copy of our book The Warriors and the Bankers. But if you can’t afford it – ask your local library to get hold of it. Without re-telling the book I wouldn’t be able to convince you of our surprising and seemingly unlikely suggestions here.
THM: I’ve had an opportunity to read the book and the premise of your theory is surprisingly simple. I was really amazed that I had not read of it before.
Butler: We encounter this opinion all the time. Stephen and I remain positively astounded that nobody has ever come to these conclusions before, particularly since the evidence base is so broad. There isn’t any doubt that the Templars went somewhere. Nor should we run away with the idea that they were taken by surprise in 1307 when their order was attacked by Philip IV of France.
THM: Recent books on the Templars would seem to be swaying the opinion that they were all arrested and taken completely by surprise on that fateful day.
Butler: You are quite correct. Anyone who still truly believes that this was the case needs to read our next co-operative venture ‘The Templar Continuum’, which is now available. We believe we can show that the Templars had been well aware of what was coming and were taking measures to counter the effects of their troubles with France and the Church long before 1307. Their problems actually started as early as 1280 and were directly related to (of all things) sheep scab.
THM: Sheep Scab?
Butler: (Laughing) It’s a very long story.
THM: Sorry I interrupted you. You were saying?
Butler: Quite all right. In addition the Templars had lost control of their Western European Headquarters and founding city of Troyes in France. This region had fallen to the French Crown, another reason why the Templars knew their days in the region were numbered. Philip IV of France hated the Templars – and they don’t seem to have had much regard for him either.
THM: No probably not. But to bolt East when everyone anticipated that they would escape by Sea is sheer genius on their part. Will we ever really know?
Butler: So – Did the Templars found Switzerland? Well you can either get yourself on a plane to that mountainous region and ask someone there (though we doubt you would get a reliable answer) or you can read our book. The idea is quirky, unlikely and even (to some) unbelievable. But we remain confident that when you have read our reasons you will probably agree with us that they did.