After the Knights Templar were defeated by the Muslims and expelled from the Holy Land, Jacques DeMolay, elected Master of the order, moved its headquarters to Cyprus while he sought European support for another Crusade. In 1306, he was summoned to France by Pope Clement V (installed in French "captivity" by Philip IV, "the Fair") to discuss combining the Templars with the Knights Hospitaller. DeMolay was soon dismayed to learn that Philip, who coveted the order's extensive property, had made spurious allegations of Templar homosexuality, heresy, and theft. Infuriated, DeMolay challenged the king to make the charges public. After weeks of plotting, Philip called DeMolay's bluff and arrested some 5,000 Templars, himself included. For seven years, Templars were tortured and executed until Philip felt he could eliminate DeMolay himself (along with Geoffrey de Charney, the Temple Preceptor of Normandy). Philip had both men taken to the Isle of Javiaux, a small island in the River Seine, and slowly roasted to death over a hot, smokeless fire.
[Throughout the ordeal, DeMolay shouted curses at Philip and the pope. His last words? "Let evil swiftly befall those who have wrongly condemned us -- God will avenge us." Seven months later, Philip met a nasty end in a hunting accident.]
[Following the Templars's demise, the secret order's vast hoard (rumored to include the genealogies of David and Jesus and other religious artifacts as well as gold and jewels) disappeared. Steven Sora's Lost Treasure of the Knights Templar speculates that the hoard is buried under Oak Island in Nova Scotia, Canada.]