This filled in pieces of Western history that have always been just outside my areas. I was always uncomfortable with the Knights Templar and their downfall. The closest area that I have worked in linked to the Masonic groups that were a background to the Enlightenment and the American Revolution. That was connected to Western occult and mystery religions originating in the early Roman Empire based on Classical Greek philosophy as spiritual knowledge developed from Egyptian traditions.
The two lines of development from the Roman creation of Greek and Egyptian sources produced Christianity as a new state religion and the other surviving mystery cults as a counter balance usually attributed to Hermes Trismagistus with alchemy, astrology and the foundations of science.
The Renaissance was the result of this combined with the reintroduction of the wider ancient Greek philosophical writings with discovery of Arabic knowledge through the Crusades. And, thus, to the Knights Templar.
All of this led to the Masons and the 19th century expansion of the occult up to the Theosophists, spiritualism, and the Tarot with blended African animism and then Chinese Taoism and Chinese influenced Mahayana Buddhism.
The Baphometh image has become more important in the modern, post industrial collapse of Western paradigm. In one sense, at least, this marks a full return to a long tradition of vitalism/animism, and ‘difficult’ knowledge that is and always has been decentralized. And that is now the fully networked potential of planet wide knowledge without centralized knowledge “management”, e.g. block chain.