In this commentary, Harry Koza explains that the history of the suspicion surrounding Friday the 13th stems from an old sovereign debt crisis back in the fourteenth century.
French King Phillip IV was faced with great debt when he came into power. To pay it off, he debased his country’s currency, but it wasn’t enough, so he taxed the Church, too. Pope Boniface VIII issued a Papal Bull in 1302 forbidding the clergy to pay these taxes. Phillip retaliated, and Boniface VIII issued another Bull which stated that the Papacy was superior to all secular rulers. The monarchy itself was at risk. Phillip was forced to seek refuge from his own subjects by hiding out in the Knights Templar headquarters in Paris.
The Templars were rich, but the Papal Throne was their authority. Phillip grabbed their assets by accusing them of heresy, removing them from the Vatican’s protection. On Friday, October 13, 1307, with the blessing of Pope Clement, Philip IV attacked the 15,000 Knights Templar in France with a dawn raid. All the Templars were arrested and charged. Phillip’s debts to the Templars were wiped off France’s balance sheet, restoring the Treasury to fiscal stability. That day became so infamous that Friday the 13th has ever since been a synonym for ill fortune.
In Friday the 13th, Koza explains that Phillip IV solved his debt problems by persecuting the Templars and stealing their wealth. There’re no Templars around anymore, so that solution is out this time around, but there are still plenty of taxpayers around to be squeezed. Be afraid.
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