This is the English translation of French historian Regine Pernoudís book Les Templiers, originally published in France and written to debunk various fictional and unhistorical books and movies about the Templars, including Walter Scottís Ivanhoe, Dan Brownís The Da Vinci Code and others.
Pernoudís short history of the Templars discusses how King Philip the Fair of France and others of temporal and spiritual realms concocted lies to gain the Templarsí wealth and property for themselves. King Philip died within a year after the Templars were suppressed (and some executed).
The Templars were founded to do good; over time they became rich from the gifts given to them for their good deeds, and others envied their wealth. Many religious orders were poor at their foundings, but people of wealth would give them gifts of property and other treasure which over time grew.
Some of the Templars were tortured to make bizarre confessions to please their oppressors. When they could, they recanted such confessions which, gained under duress, were illegal and should not have been accepted as proof against the Templars. Those who wanted them destroyed did not care. In the end, one could say that God took his vengeance on the king and others who perpetrated this crime.
Pernoudís book is highly recommended to those interested in the Knights Templar.