The Knights Templars: God's Warriors, the Devil's Bankers

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Taylor Trade Pub., Jan 1, 2003 - History - 304 pages
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The history of the Knights Templars, the medieval order of warrior monks who fought in the Crusades, is a centuries-spanning epic that encompasses such conflicting elements as idealism and cynicism, valor and cowardice, piety and depravity.
Officially, they were The Order of the Poor Knights of Christ, and their mission was to create a safe passage for pilgrims visiting war-torn Jerusalem in the early twelfth century. Despite their vows of poverty, the Templars turned out to be brilliant businessmen, renowned for their honesty. Their monasteries served as "banks" in which Europe's rulers and nobles felt safe enough to deposit their money. The Templars also operated highly regarded medical schools, invented cashier's checks, and commanded a naval fleet that allowed them to engage in trade throughout the Atlantic and Mediterranean.

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About the author (2003)

Author and journalist Frank Sanello has written about film and world history, cultural anthropology, politics, and substance abuse. His 30+ books are available on,, and in bookstores. They are also in the library collections of Harvard, Yale and Temple Universities. Sanello's most prominent work is "The Opium Wars: The Addiction of One Empire and the Corruption of Another," about the two 19th century conflicts over the British importation of opium into China which was devastating Chinese society. The book was also published in China, a rare honor because the Chinese typically reject Western historians as biased. Other historical works include "The Knights Templars: God's Warriors, the Devil's Bankers"; "Invisible People: History's Homosexuals Unhidden," and "Victims and Victimizers: Gays and Lesbians in Nazi Germany." Sanello cowrote "Saving America: Solutions For a Nation in Crisis," with Adel N. Shenouda, M.D., professor emeritus of nephrology at the University of Tennessee. "The Addict Next Door: The Epidemic of Prescription Painkiller Abuse and Other Contemporary Plagues," coauthored with Jayson A. Hymes, M.D. assistant professor of anesthesiology and pain management at the University of Southern California's Keck School of Medicine. will be published in early 2013. Sanello's solo effort about substance abuse, "Tweakers: How Crystal Meth Is Ravaging Gay America," was made into a feature-length documentary. "The Autobiography of Frau Adolf Hitler" is the author's first novel. An investigative journalist for the past 35 years, Sanello has written articles for the Washington Post, the New York Times Syndicate, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times, the Boston Globe, the San Francisco Chronicle, USA Today, Redbook, People, US Weekly, and Penthouse. Cosmo and other magazines have excerpted his books. Sanello was formerly a film reviewer for the Los Angeles Daily News and a business reporter for UPI. The author graduated cum laude with a bachelor's degree in English literature from the University of Chicago and earned a master's degree from UCLA's film school. He also holds a purple belt in Tae Kwon Do and has volunteered as a kickboxing instructor at AIDS Project Los Angeles where he taught self-defense classes for HIV/AIDS patients who had been AIDS- or fag-bashed. A former instructor of English at the University of Phoenix, Sanello lives in Los Angeles and can be contacted at

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