The Templars were put down by the French King and the Catholic Church in order to seize their wealth, similar to what Henry VIII did to the Catholics. That makes all the story lines highly suspect and also highly unlikely.
At the same time Hashish had a long history at the esoteric level and since this lineage always operated through spiritual seekers, it was always there and never really went away. thus suggesting that it was actually discovered then is not convincing at all.
At the same time, the Templars were a military brotherhood hardly open to corrupt practice except perhaps in extremis. At the same time they were clearly spiritual seekers and would certainly have used hashish from time to time for this purpose in a disciplined manner.
There can be no doubt that the use of hemp as an intoxicant was encouraged by the Ismailians in the 8th century, as its effects tended to assist their followers in realizing the tenets of the sect:
“We’ve quaffed the emerald cup, the mystery we know,Who’d dream so weak a plant such mighty power could show!” (Dymock, 1890)
….I will therefore place this hashish in my cup of wine and thus I will strangle the serpent of my grief.
The drinker alone can understand the language of the rose and of the vine, and not the faint-hearted, and the cheap of wit. To those who have no knowledge of hidden things, ignorance is to be pardoned, for the drunkard only is capable of tasting the delights which are an accompaniment thereof.**as translated in (McCarthy, 1889).
…[C]onsider that Khayyam was no Arabian, and much less a Turk, but a Persian whose not very remote ancestors were followers of Zoroaster… And while there is little reason to believe that Khayyam, scholar though he was, had a knowledge of…[the language]of ancient Persia, he had, no doubt, read the History of Tabari, which had been translated into Arabic and was a standard work in all libraries and gave some account of the Avesta. If he had not listened to the recitations of the Parsees, whose bloody persecution at the hands of the Seljuq conquerors he may have witnessed, he must have had some knowledge of their meaning and of the sentiment of the ancient faith of his people. The Gathas, or hymns of Zoroaster, may have arrested his attention, particularly the Haoma Yasht, which might supply a source of the “spiritual wine” of the Sufis, and of the hasheesh of his alleged friend, Hassan ben Sabbah, the chief of the Assassins, as well as offer an excuse, perhaps, for Omar’s devotion to “the cup” … [I]t may be assumed that such an inquiring mind as that of al-Khayyami would have studied every line he could obtain. (Bramhall, 1918)
…[T]he nickname, and with it, the drug’s extended use, appear to have surfaced during the late eleventh century, and both may have been promoted by the real or alleged use of cannabis by sectarians who were engaged in spreading a vast network of open and secret influence over the Muslim world… (Rosenthal, 1971)
In those days Conrad King of Jerusalem was killed by the treachery, it is said, of the king of England and of some Templars. At any rate the prince of the mountain, who is called Old Man on account of his supremacy, sent for a price two of his followers, who killed him. I shall now relate things about this elder which appear ridiculous, but which are attested to me by the evidence of reliable witnesses. This Old Man has by his witchcraft so bemused the men of his country, that they neither worship nor believe in any God but himself. Likewise he entices them in a strange manner with such hopes and with promises of such pleasures with eternal enjoyment that they prefer to die than to live. Many of them even, when standing on a high wall, will jump off at his nod or command, and, shattering their skulls, die a miserable death. When therefore any of them have chose to die in this way, murdering by craft and then themselves dying so blessedly in revenge for him, he himself hands them knives which are, so to speak, consecrated to this affair, and then intoxicates them with such potion that they are plunged into ecstasy and oblivion, displays them by his magic certain fantastic dreams, full of pleasure and delights, or rather of trumpery, and promises them eternal possession of these things in reward for such deeds. He sent two from this sect to kill the marquis, bribed it is said, by those who conspired in his death. He died and they died, but I do not know whether or not they were deified. (Arnold of Lubeck Chronica Slavorum 4.16)** As translated in (Pages, 2007)
Having embraced Gnosticism while in Palestine, and in touch with the sect of the Assassins, the Templar order degenerated, and some of its members, under the influence of that sect, were said to practice Phallicism, or sex-worship and satanism and to venerate “The Baphomet”, the ideal of the Luciferians. (Queensborough, 1933).
Upon their return to their homelands these knights continued their debaucheries. Their orgies and carouses were of a disgusting nature that even the French of those days had never heard of and could not condone. Sadism, masochism, voodoo rites, homosexuality, and every kind of perversion men were able to ferret out in their sick imaginations, were practiced by these returning cavaliers of the cross. These cavaliers had brought home the deadliest of narcotic weeds, hashish, Cannabis Indica, the use of which changes men into ferocious beasts. Under its influence the kindest individuals become monsters and murderers. (Bercovici, 1929).
After contact with the Assassins… the Knights Templar developed some very peculiar doctrines. In 1307, the grand master of the order and 122 members were burned at the stake for heresy, blasphemy, sodomy and various other charges that seem to have been tacked on just to disgrace them utterly. The Templars had been trying to introduce sex into the Christian sacraments and ambiguous references to a sacred plant or herb appear in their surviving manuscripts. (Wilson, 1973)
…[T]he Sufis, Assassins, and most probably the Knights Templar, smoked or consumed hashish, a compressed cannabis resin that was referred to in the Middle East as the “Flesh of Khadir.” [Khidr] Through the sacramental consumption of Khadir’s own flesh they were able to adequately expand their consciousness into the presence of the Green Man. Their experience of Khadir… a tangible feeling of an all pervading consciousness or an eternal Witness who perpetually watches all third-dimensional existence from a transcendental realm…
….Apparently a cult of hashish flourished in Europe after the Knights returned to France… (Pinkham, 2004)
The Alamut formula (for want of a better name) was a legendary brew containing hashish. It was prepared at [the mountain top fortress]Alamut… established in the eleventh century by Hassan Ibn Sabbah, the leader of the Assassins, a fanatical sect that had declared war on Crusaders and other Muslims. ‘Assassin’ originally meant “consumer of hashish”… members of the sect drank or smoked hashish in order to become immortal… the fortress was ransacked in 1256. It is said to have contained a large library, an alchemical laboratory and a collection of astronomical instruments. In other words: this was a research facility in the ancient Greco-Egyptian style that somehow survived, in an isolated spot, into the Middle Ages.
The idea behind theriac (based on opium) and the Alamut formula (based on hashish) may give us a clue to the concept of the Holy Grail, which came into being during an era of transition between antiquity and the middle-ages. It was supposed to be a substance, or an object, sometimes associate with the body and blood of Christ, that vouchsafes happiness on earth and bliss in heaven to a chosen few. If you consider the linguistic connection between “holy” and “whole” and “healing” you can understand the Holy Grail both as a mystic (or magical) remedy and sacrament. (Luck, 1985; 2006)
L.J. Ringbom in Graltempel und Paradises [(1951)]… attempts to establish the core of the legend as stemming from a Persian tradition…. Ringbom… tried… to show that the idea of the idea of the Grail Castle… came to Europe from Persia and that this castle or temple—a mandala shaped structure—represents Paradise, or spiritual Beyond, whose prototype he sees in the Parsee [Zoroastrian] sanctuary of the holy fire at Siz… Ringbom also compares its structure with the mountain sanctuary of the Moslem sect of the Assassins, a secret brotherhood under the authority of an ‘Old Man of the Mountain,’ with which the Templars cultivated particularly close relations.
…. F. Von Suhtshek [(1926; 1930; 1931; 1936)]…. also tries to trace Wolfram’s Parzival back to an Iranian national epic, Barzu-Name, and equates Monsalvatsch, for instance with sal-wadsche, a famous Parsee holy place. (Jung & von Franz, 1960/1970).
The Templars created a mixture with pulp of Aloe, pulp of Hemp and wine of palm, called Elisir of Jerusalem, with therapeutic and nourishing property, they used the Arborescens Aloe for its antiseptic, bactericidal and fungicide action and for its capacity to penetration in the deeper layers of the skin….
….Interestingly cannabis is the safest natural or synthetic medication proven successful in the treatment of most forms of epilepsy.
The esoteric inheritance and the alchemical-spagyrics acquaintances were handed from the Templars to the Crocifers. From these Orders, that one of Saint Giacomo or Jacobite managed many Hospitals during the XV° century. To the Jacobite monks, in quality of experts in the cure of the diseases of the skin, the task was entrusted to cure the wounded soldiers during the Crusades, in the Hospitals of Malta and Cyprus. To them, in fact, was attributed the capability to create miraculous ointments.
In such historical context it must estimate the work of the Templars concluding with recognizing that they, anticipating the times, had a modern vision of the Medicine and, although were considered heretics and consigned to the fire. (Di Cicco, 2012)*
*Di Cicco also made this claim in a 2008 article, ‘Medicine of the Templars’.
The initiation into the medicinal virtues and powers of aloe and hemp were a part of the teachings of the Ismaelien sect, one of whose most illustrious representatives was the doctor and philosopher Avicenne.
According to legend, Hasan ibn al-Sabbah, the old man of the mountain and chief of the brotherhood of “assassins”, was inspired by Avicenne. Their doctrine included the apprenticeship by degree of the secrets of the “seven sebayahs” or “knowledge of the right road” by which the Ismaeliens conferred magic powers to their adepts. The aloe plant and hemp grown around the Alamut fortress (northern Persia) were considered by the Ismaeliens as a kidney vech, an antidote and an elixir of long life. It is said that one of the secrets of the longevity of the Templer [sic] Knights was found in the famous Jerusalem elixir composed of hashish, aloe pulp and palm wine. (Schweiser, 1994)
. . . Take of red colewortes, fengreke Percely, sothernewod, tansey, strawbery leaues, and suet, brere leaues, plantayn leaues, hempe, redmadder smallage, cransebill, Alam, nuttes, before al thynges let them be sodde~ together in pure whyte wyne, & put therto a lytle hony, giue it vnto the pacient early & late, and anoynte ye wound wtout when he hath dronke of ye sayd potion, & lay theron a lefe of red colewortes & keape the same co~tynually ouer it, it openeth it and hath ben often prouyd.
However, this is not the first time the cross was rejected by the followers of Jesus. Some ancient Gnostics rejected the concept of Jesus’ literal resurrection, which they termed the “faith of the fools”. The Second Treatise of the Great Seth, (3rd century AD) describes this belief as “ludicrous…. an imitation… a doctrine of a dead man”. The Gnostic differences on this are brought to light in The Apocalypse of Peter (2nd century AD);
They will cleave to the name of a dead man, thinking that they will become pure. But they will become greatly defiled and they will fall into the name of error and into the hand of an evil, cunning man and a manifold dogma……there shall be others of those who are outside our number who name themselves bishop and also deacons, as if they have received their authority from God. They bend themselves under the judgment of the leaders. These people are dry canals.
…he [the Abbot] sought out a powder of marvellous virtue, which he had gotten in the parts of the Levant of a great prince who avouched it to be that which was wont to be used of the Old Man of the Mountain,* whenas he would fain send any one, sleeping, into his paradise or bring him forth thereof, and that, according as more or less thereof was given, without doing any hurt, it made him who took it sleep more or less [time]on such wise that, whilst its virtue lasted, none would say he had life in him. Of this he took as much as might suffice to make a man sleep three days and putting it in a beaker of wine, that was not yet well cleared, gave it to Ferondo to drink in his cell, without the latter suspecting aught; after which he carried him into the cloister and there with some of his monks fell to making sport of him and his dunceries; nor was it long before, the powder working, Ferondo was taken with so sudden and overpowering a drowsiness, that he slumbered as yet he stood afoot and presently fell down fast asleep.
The abbot made a show of being concerned at this accident and letting untruss him, caused fetch cold water and cast it in his face and essay many other remedies of his fashion, as if lie would recall the strayed life and senses from [the oppression of]some fumosity of the stomach or what not like affection that had usurped them. The monks, seeing’ that for all this he came not to himself and feeling his pulse, but finding no sign of life in him, all held it for certain that he was dead. Accordingly, they sent to tell his wife and his kinsfolk, who all came thither forthright, and the lady having bewept him awhile with her kinswomen, the abbot caused lay him, clad as he was, in a tomb; whilst the lady returned to her house and giving out that she meant never to part from a little son, whom she had had by her husband, abode at home and occupied herself with the governance of the child and of the wealth which had been Ferondo’s. Meanwhile, the abbot arose stealthily in the night and with the aid of a Bolognese monk, in whom he much trusted and who was that day come thither from Bologna, took up Ferondo out of the tomb and carried him into a vault, in which there was no light to be seen and which had been made for prison of such of the monks as should make default in aught. There.they pulled off his garments and clothing him monk-fashion, laid him on a’ truss of straw and there left him against he should recover his senses, whilst the Bolognese monk, having been instructed by the abbot of that which he had to do, without any else-knowing aught thereof, proceeded to await his coming to himself.*
*The Decameron of Giovanni Boccacci, Villon society, (1886).
The well-known chief of the Assassins (properly Heshashin, i.e. hashish or hemp eaters).’ The powder in question is apparently a preparation of hashish or. hemp.’ Boccaccio seems to have taken his idea of the Old Man of the “Mountain from Marco Polo, whose travels, published in the early part of the fourteenth century, give a most romantic account of that chieftain and his followers.
…[T]he doctrine of the resurrection…serves an essential political function: it legitimizes the authority of certain men who claim to exercise exclusive leadership over the churches as successors of the apostle Peter. From the second century, the doctrine has served to validate the apostolic succession of bishops, the basis of papal authority to this day. Gnostic Christians who interpret resurrection in other ways have a lesser claim to authority: when they claim priority over the orthodox, they are denounced as heretics.(Pagels 1979).
It is not hard to connect the significance of this action taken by Hasan with the fulfillment of the duty of the Hidden Imam who will appear at the end of time. Ismailis perhaps felt that the Qiyamat amounted to the manifestation of prophecy, and yet for the mainstream Shi’ite the whole affair amounted to a vile and contemptible heresy….
Jabir Ibn Hayyan… foresaw Hasan’s declaration of the Qiyamat when he describes the Glorious One. The Glorious One was said to be an ex-patriot come from afar who would require no long initiation or Master. He proclaims the esoteric meaning of the end of religion and the end of linear time with the announcement of Eternal Life, spoken in an immaterial diction. (Eberly, 2004)