Published by Arrow in the UK and Element in the USA
The Hiram Key is the result of the mutual curiosty of two Freemasons, Robert Lomas and Christopher Knight. Over nine years ago we decided to try and find out the origins of Freemasonry just for our own amusement. What we discovered was so interesting that we decided what we had found had to go into a book and the International Best-seller The Hiram Key was the result. Here is a brief summary of what the book contains.
When we set out to investigate the origins of Freemasonry we quickly found that the only feasible source of its odd and pointless rituals, of living resurrection, had to be the Knights Templar. We found clear evidence that these Knights had excavated the ruins of Herod's Temple and recovered both writings and treasure. From the Copper Scroll, discovered at Qumran we were able to reconstruct what sort of items they may have found.
We then set out to answer why there should be scrolls containing living resurrection rituals hidden under Herod's Temple. This led us into the study of the Qumran Community, which produced and hid the Dead Sea Scrolls, and to look closely at the Nag Hammardi Library. Here we found clear evidence of a political row over the importance of the resurrection of Jesus as a source of authority for the early Roman Church and so we then looked at how it had been set up.
It soon became clear that the Roman Church was a political creation of Constantine, who himself remained a high priest of Sol Invictus, at the Council of Nicea and incorporated the legends of Mithra suitably coloured with overtones of the Greek mystery tradition.
The early Jerusalem Church established by Jesus and James seemed to have died out almost completely with the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD and so in order to attempt to recreate the thinking of those Church founders we went back to investigate the origins of religion in the land of Sumer. Here we found precursors of the Old Testament Creation myths and the story of the origins of Moses but most importantly we found the first references to the Pillar as a link between man and God. Tracing this myth down through Egypt we found that it formed part of the creation myth of the Two Lands of Egypt and was used as part of the kingmaking ritual of Egypt in ensure the stability of the Kingdom under the lintel of God.
From the story of Abraham we found that he had arrived in Egypt during the time of the Hyksos invasion, when Egypt's original kings were confined as puppet rulers in Thebes. Looking closely at Egyptian records, Masonic ritual and legend, and the Book of Genesis we found the very odd story of the resurgence of the New Kingdom, when the Hyksos were driven out of Egypt and the Theban Kings restored. We also found that the origins of the story of Hiram Abif, the hero of the main Masonic myth, could be explained by the circumstances of the death of Seqeuenre Tao II. Here, we believe, was the origin of the Masonic living resurrection story which the Knights Templar had rediscovered from the Qumran Scrolls.
We could now easily trace the story of the two pillars down through the line of Moses via Gideon, Abimelech and Samson to the establishment of Boaz and Jachin outside the original Temple of Solomon.
By studying the writings of Ezekiel we found how the Egyptian king making rituals of the line of David had been fully converted to the service of Yahweh, by the Jews during the Babylonian Captivity. From Ezekiel's writings about the building of a spiritual temple we discoverd the main preoccupation of the Essenes, who founded the Qumran Community, even their name, in Arabic Qumran, translated as the people of the two pillars and the arch. The concept of the two pillars of the Jewish faith, the Kingly Messiah (Mispat) of the line of David and the Priestly Messiah (Tsedeq) of the line of Levi working together to support the lintel of Yahweh to ensure the establishment of the Kingdom of God (Shalom) in Israel became very clear.
Using this knowledge we were able to reconstruct the period of Jesus' attempt to establish an independent Jewish state as the Kingly Pillar to John the Baptist's Priestly Pillar. After the execution of John, Jesus took on both roles and but met with opposition from his brother James. We rebuilt their story from Jewish sources as far as the crucifixion of Jesus and the speech of James immediately afterwards.
At this point Paul attempted to take over the followers of Jesus and James to found his own religion based largely on the mystery cult of Mithra but drawing on some of the spiritual heritage of James and his followers. The strong opposition of James to the Macabees lead to his killing when he, like his brother before him, tried to take control of the Temple. The resultant uprising ended with the destruction of the Herod's Temple and the eventual wiping out of the Qumran based Judaism at Masada. The 'Assumption of Moses' gave clear instructions that the most important scrolls and tithed treasure of the group were to buried under the Temple. The Copper scroll gave an inventory of what was buried where, it was made of copper so that it could be cleansed before handling by a priest when the treasures were recovered at some future date. With the destruction of the followers of James there was nobody left to contradict the misinterpretations of Paul.
At this point the original teachings of Jesus and James along with the rituals of the Jerusalem Church were lost, buried under the ruins of Herod's Temple, until 1118 when the Templars dug them up. A copy of one of the documents they recovered was made by Lambert of St Omer and survives in Ghent University, it shows James as both the pillars of the New Jerusalem.
The scrolls were taken to Scotland for safe keeping and passed into the care of the St Clair family of Rosslyn. When the Templars were destroyed in 1307 a sizeable remnant fled to Scotland and became firmly established at Rosslyn, where the St Clair's became hereditary Grand Masters. In 1446 William St Clair almost lost the scrolls in a fire at the castle and so he decided to build a permanent home for them in a copy of Herod's Temple which is now known as Rosslyn Chapel. The ground plan of the chapel is an exact copy of the ground plan of Herod's Temple, which was not known to archaeologists until the Wilson expedition of 1890. Above ground the building is a copy of the Heavenly Jerusalem shown in Lambert's copy of one of the scrolls. Sir William founded Freemasonry to preserve the secrets of the hiding of these scrolls and to carry the clues for their eventual recovery. He hid these clues within the verbal ritual he developed for Freemasonry, from the rituals the Templars had learned from the scrolls of Jesus and James.
We have every reason to believe that the scrolls are still buried where Sir William put them and we continue to support an archaeological excavation to recover them .
In tracing the history of the scrolls we have been able to deduce some of their possible contents from the effects they have had on the development of society.
1. The growth of science stems directly from the instruction to better know God's work by studying the hidden mysteries of nature and science. This led to the founding of the Royal Society by Freemasons.
2. The development of democracy via Magna Carta, the Declaration of Arbroath, the founding of Parliament and the writing of the American Constitution all stemmed from the type of organisations developed by the Templars and improved by their successors the Freemasons, using the knowledge of the teachings of the scrolls about equality in the sight of God.
3. The encouragement towards self improvement, by building within oneself a spiritual Temple to the glory of God, and the encouragement of charitable support for the needy is the basis of the teaching of Ma'at which has characterised the transmission of these secrets from Seqeuenre Tao via the Line of David to Jesus and James and finally to the Templars/Freemasons.
For many scientifically trained people the supernatural overtones of the Christian story detract from the spiritual lessons the Church has to offer. A God who can and does interfere with the laws of physics has to be omnipotent and hence cannot also be a loving God.
The teachings of Jesus, we have found during this research, show him to be greatest prophet to have ever lived but that even he did not believe himself to be God. He has provided the insights and teachings which have led to the present development of scientific democracy but these teachings have survived not because of the efforts of the Church but despite its attempts to suppress them since the Council of Nicea.
For a loving God who wishes to encourage the spiritual development of people whilst still allowing the freedom to reject Him this seems to be a very effective way of influencing and encouraging people without forcing conformity.
The Jewish model of the two earthly pillars of king and priest working together to provide the stability of the heavenly keystone of God stills seems to have a lot to offer and we suspect that if we ever uncover the scrolls of the Jerusalem Church of Jesus and James this is one of the possible insights into the nature of God that they will provide us with.