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.
i have not read the book of Butler, but my own conclusion is probably the same as him(Butler) although my analysis came upon these questions:
1. Why the Templars Cross
2. Why are the swiss guards still in charge of protecting the Pope as in the old days.
3. In the early days, one would hire the swiss mercenaries in order to put down a n existing power of government just like they did in the early years. The temp[lars are famous for that.
4. Why is the banking system of switzerland as secretive and confidential as in the riches of the wealthy family’s around the world is kept and deposited to their banks the same system as is when they were in the crusade.
5. The swiss mercenaries reminiscent of the templars style and ways were used and employed in the tactics they use.
6. In the days of the crusade, the Pope dictates to the templars and the templars protect and execute the wish of the pope but the pope itself is subject to the powers of the templars.
And a lot more questions i have as to the Templars existence undisturbed upon the founding of the swiss state and their relationship to the pope where as the pope was (abducted) under the protection of by the king of France and collaborated to the surrender of Jacques de Molay and his knights to be given Clemency(Clement V) on a Friday the 13th was a diversion for the other Templars to flee to Switzerland and form their own state in comformity with the pact between the Templars , Philipp IV and Pope clement!
THIS ANALYSIS IS JUST A PRODUCT OF MY OWN IMAGINATION. IT MAY BE SOMETHING OR NOT, BUT IT IS MY HUMBLE CONCLUSION.
I came to this interview intrigued, unfortunately the author has a childish attitude of promoting his book. “You can read my book or take a plane to switzerland” and does not answer any question but pushes the entire interview to “you should buy my book”. I have never seen anything like it. I lost completely credibility on the author despite the topic, which is fascinating.
I would suggest to never interview this person again
I had the same conclusion ever since I read about the Templar guards about 15 years ago. The templar guards were protecting the pilgrims from west Europe to Jerusalem. They later invented the modern system of prepaid credit cards. Along the way they came into wealth of the pilgrims who died en-route or even vanished for some reasons and also due to some miscreants amongst the Templars. When they started to be persecuted by the rulers of France etc. and they vanished, they suddenly re-emerged in what is modern day Switzerland…this I could deduce from various sources including researchwork of Dan Brown.
Philip IV was deeply in debt to the order, and thus the Templars were well aware of becoming unwelcome in France. It musn’t be forgotten that Templar Knights were recruited from wealthy nobility, and took an oath of poverty (thus relinquishing all their wealth to the order) which coupled with conquest, and political connections, gave the Templars an enormous amount of wealth and power to draw from. They had one of the most powerful armies/navies in the world at that time, and to think that they were all rounded up by the Philip’s men when their empire literally spanned from Ireland to the Persian Gulf would be silly. Part of secret societies and knightly orders are cyphers, and symbols. These are often hidden in plain sight, invisible to the untrained eye. There is evidence that suggests the pirates we have come to know and love in pop culture were probably, a good number of them, the remnants of the Templar fleet, (skull and crossbones also a Templar symbol) and their army became the Swiss mercenaries that were often employed in conflicts throughout Europe for many years to come. The other parallels between the Templars and Switzerland include international banking practices, their flags, neutrality, and location. I have never read this guys book, and even though I’d be interested in it, he sounds like kind of a dick in this interview, so I definitely won’t be buying it, even if I do end up reading it at some point, but I have long thought on my own, without any outside information, or someone giving me the idea that it might be, that Switzerland was a Templar nation-state.