William Mann knows his material. In this third installment on the Knights Templar in North America, he draws from every possible source he can to support his theory that the organization had influence in North America long before the “discovery” of the New World. The research is meticulous, the evidence compelling, the stories fascinating until at a hard to define point one leap becomes a leap too far.

Without reading the other books in the series, it’s hard to say whether Templar Sanctuaries completes concepts incomplete in Mann’s prior books. That may be the case; the Templar Meridians and the Knights Templar in the New World suggest that Mann does have plenty of evidence that the order was in northern United States and Canada, that they influenced indigenous cultures at the time, and that they left plenty of coded messages for the descendants of the organization to find.

Towards the middle of the book compelling evidence descends into mythic interpretation and code cracking. In some areas, it appears that Mann focuses so much on cracking hidden messages that he interprets coincidence almost as much if not more than he does evidence. By the end, it feels more like a tangle of notes on wild theorems than it does conclusions traced to documented evidence. While it’s understood that the belief Jesus was married is a key aspect of the Knights Templar belief system, it’s extremely difficult to believe someone that knew Jesus or his wife came to the new world and influenced a Canadian tribe.

Those that enjoy reading about Freemasonry and similar orders will likely appreciate Mann’s accessible tone and careful documentation. While difficult to buy into the research in some areas, Mann’s willingness to share his personal stake in the research – he himself is a member of a Canadian masonry organization – makes the book all the more worth reading, as you know that this book has deep meaning to him, even if the evolution of his research looks more like convolution to someone not quite as invested as himself.

~ review by Diana Rajchel

Author: William F. Mann
Destiny Books, 2017
pp. 397, $19.95