Order Opening the Ark of the Covenant From Amazon.com.
By Frank Joseph and Laura Beaudoin
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: New Page Books
I must confess that my skin is a little thin these days with respect to the number of books flooding the market; each claiming to reveal the truth about the Templars and whatever relic the author has selected from the Chinese Menu that is Templar speculation. However, this one seems to top them all blending the crusades, Atlantis, the pyramids and a variety of other esoteric subjects.
The back cover tells the potential reader that the authors, one of who claims to be a direct descendent of the first Kings of Jerusalem, have “amassed an almost staggering amount of scholarly research.” Indeed, the bibliography for the work runs to 12 pages; however, only two sources are ones who can be considered as true scholars – Malcolm Barber and the late Sir Steven Runciman. That fact aside, I remain doubtful that either source was consulted; for if they had, it is doubtful that we would learn of the Templars that:
Hugh, Count of Champagne was the founder of the Order and operated under the alias of Hugh de Payens to cover the Order’s secret mission of looking for the Ark.
That during all the years the Templars were in the East, they never guarded a single road, nor attempted to recruit any members outside the original nine members.
Fulk de Chartres, King Baldwin’s court historian was ordered to strike all mention of the Templars from the historical record.
After discovering the Ark of the Covenant, Baldwin II was so affected that he abdicated the throne and spent the rest of his life as a monk. Of course this metamorphosis is compared to Amenhotep IV’s conversion to Akhenaton.
If you are looking for a book of Templar fiction, read Jack Whyte’s “Knights of the Black and White.” However, if you are looking for a non-fiction book on the Templars, you will be disappointed by this one.