Last year, Philippa Faulks and W:.B:. Robert Cooper published The Masonic Magician: The Life and Death of Count Cagliostro and His Egyptian Rite, the story of the fascinating life of occultist Giuseppe Balsamo, better known to history as Count Alessandro di Cagliostro. After an amazing life of adventures, crimes, intrigues, and inventive tall tales, he was arrested in 1789 by the Inquisition and sentenced to death for the crime of being a Freemason. His sentence was commuted to life imprisonment by Pope Pius VI, and he died in the Fortress of San Leo in 1795.
De Raaf's song and video were inspired by the book. In fact, Philippa and her husband Martin Faulks of Lewis Masonic publishing both make cameo appearances in the video's photos.
Alan Butler and my friend Stephen Dafoe collaborated on two books about the Knights Templar over the years: The Warriors and Bankersand The Knights Templar Revealed. Eventually they parted company, and Butler went on to pen several books that curiously seem to include mildly obsessive chapters about sheep. How they are raised, sheep population, and how they are barometers of civilization. As the sheep go, so goes Man, apparently.
This Thursday Sept. 9th, the South East London Folklore Society presents Robert Stephenson speaking on "The Knights Templar in London." His illustrated talk will discuss places in London that were either occupied, owned or had some connection with the Knights Templar and their dramatic downfall, including the sites of their imprisonment and interrogation.