• An examination of the interactions of the Christian Knights Templar and their Muslim counterparts, the Assassins, and of the profound changes in Western society that resulted.
• Restores the reputation of the secret Muslim order of the Assassins, disparaged as the world's first terrorist group.
• Dispels many myths about the Knights Templar and provides the most incisive portrait of them to date.
A thousand years ago Christian battled Muslim for possession of a strip of land upon which both their religions were founded. These Crusades changed the course of Western history, but less known is the fact that they also were the meeting ground for two legendary secret societies: The Knights Templar and their Muslim counterparts, the Assassins.
In The Templars and the Assassins: The Militia of Heaven, occult scholar and secret society member James Wasserman provides compelling evidence that the interaction of the Knights Templar and the Assassins in the Holy Land transformed the Templars from the Pope's private army into a true occult society, from which they would sow the seeds of the Renaissance and the Western Mystery Tradition. Both orders were destroyed as heretical some seven hundred years ago, but Templar survivors are believed to have carried the secret teachings of the East into an occult underground, from which sprang both Rosicrucianism and Masonry. Assassin survivors, known as Nizari Ismailis, flourish to this day under the spiritual leadership of the Aga Khan. Wasserman strips the myths from both groups and penetrates to the heart of their enlightened beliefs and rigorous practices, delivering the most probing picture yet of these holy warriors.
James Wasserman is the author of several books, including The Templars and the Assassins,The Secrets of Masonic Washington, The Mystery Traditions, An Illustrated History of the Knights Templar, and The Temple of Solomon. A longtime student of the occult, the United States Constitution, and the writings of the Founding Fathers as well as a member of the Ordo Templi Orientis since 1976, he lives in New York City.
"A refreshing in-depth look at a critical point in the development of Western esotericism. Eschewing the speculations and wild imaginings with which much occult literature is rife, Wasserman weaves a fascinating tale based on factual data from the best scholarly sources. He is uniquely qualified to handle the subtleties and intricacies of the belief systems and dynamics of these two seminal secret societies."
– Christopher S. Hyatt, Ph.D., Magus of the Golden Dawn
"Against a sweeping historical backdrop, Wasserman sheds new light on the interrelationship of these two most powerful orders of the late mediaeval Middle East, their spiritual ideals, and the perennial appeal of their myths."
– Hymenaeus Beta, Frater Superior, Ordo Templi Orientis
"Wasserman adds profoundly to our understanding of the religious, ideological, and initiatory forces that shaped the development of Western civilization. [He] brings both impeccable scholarship and a rare gift for making even the most complex metaphysical concepts intelligible to his readers."
– Michael A. Aquino, Ph.D., High Priest Emeritus, Temple of Set
"James Wasserman has done us all a great service by allowing us to access further insights into the beliefs and relevance of these traditions. One always looks forward to such well researched and eloquently written expositions."
– Elias Ibrahim, New Dawn, September-October 2001
"This book provides a fascinating, if speculative, insight into the secret life of the holy warriors of Christendom and Islam. Recommended."
– The Cauldron, February 2002
"If you are interested in the factual stories of these extremely influential organizations, you will find this book fascinating."