Orange Room Supporter
Yes. To put it in a timeline:I don't understand, the thesis here is that knights templars turned freemasons?
Even before the Church turned on them, they were already a secret order (as they had met the Druze, Sufis, Assassins and others, and adopted their traditions). And had already built up some heresy towards the Church.
But after persecution in Europe, they solidified as underground groups and secret mystery cults. And such movements would pop up every once and a while leading up to the 1700s with the same ideas and traditions. An example would be Rosicrucians. Their founder Christian Rosenkreuz would even visit the Druze temples in Lebanon and the Sufi Temples in the Middle East.
The 1700s, if you like, was more of a formal representation. But those groups held the same old Pythagorean beliefs in sacred geometry (hence the compass) and the secret handshake / grip (which even the Druze have).