Officially, the Order of the Knights Templar was created in 1129, but we have endured, under various appellations, since well before the 12th century. We were there when Cleopatra claimed her birthright, when Alexander the Great forged his empire, and when Xerxes sent his armies to crush the Greeks.
Over the centuries, many illustrious individuals have led our Order, but our most remarkable leaders have always been men of science, such as Sylvester II. Unfortunately, many men were often mistreated and, in Europe at least, branded heretics because of the knowledge they possessed.
When Bernard de Clairvaux came along, he understood our Order needed the Church as an ally. One of our most respected figures in the whole of Christendom, he sent nine trusted men to the Holy Land to search for the Temple of Solomon. Upon their return, nine years later, Bernard reinvented our Order.
With Grand Master Hugues de Payens, Bernard created the Latin Rule, gained the support of the Church, and ensured that the Order would be recognized and confirmed during the Council of Troyes of 1129. For the first time in our long history, our Order was made public, but its truest and noblest agenda remained secret.
Following the Council of Troyes, our Order flourished. For almost two hundred years, we played a critical role across Europe and the Holy Land. During this Golden Age, Templars were everywhere and our influence paved the way to a better future for all of mankind.
While the common man continued to believe our sole purpose was the protection of pilgrims in the Holy Land, our Order had in truth become so powerful that we now had the means to influence kings and popes. Unbeknownst to all save a selected few, the war we waged in the Holy Land was in truth neither political nor spiritual. It was a war of secrets, fought against our direst enemies, the Assassins.
Unfortunately, our Golden Age ended almost as abruptly as it had begun.
Throughout the centuries, several people and factions have opposed us, but one group in particular has been a constant thorn in our side: the Assassin Brotherhood.
Some say we were once brothers. Some even believe that we once shared the same ideals, the same dreams, the same hopes for humanity. That may be true, but if we once had a common purpose with the Assassins, it was long ago. For as long as history can recall, the Assassins have waged a secret war against our Order.
Like the Order of the Knights Templar, the Assassins became public during the Middle Ages. Also like us, the Brotherhood has existed under one form or another, since perhaps the dawn of humanity, and their operations span the entire globe.
Assassins work in small, isolated cells. Nevertheless, throughout the ages, one man – called the Mentor – has led the Brotherhood, but very few Assassins were aware of his existence. In 2000, one of our operatives infiltrated their ranks and killed the Mentor. The Great Purge that followed ensured the destruction of many Assassin cells, and the Brotherhood is now weaker than ever. However, the Great Purge has not eliminated all of them and the Assassins remain dangerous opponents.
They are well-trained, fearless murderers who would go to any length to oppose us. A single, isolated cell still has the means to disrupt our plans. Never forget that the Assassins are devious, sneaky and without scruples.
Never underestimate them.
Abstergo's research projects all share a single goal: the betterment of humanity. While many of these initiatives have been made public, some are known only to a selected few within our Order.
What follows is a list of our most important initiatives to date:
The Sophia Project studies information imprinted on living cells, passed biologically from one vessel to another. By analyzing what these cells contain and how they affect our development, we hope to gain a better understanding of ourselves. One day, perhaps, we may even learn to manipulate this process and prevent deadly diseases.
Project Legacy explored the memories of various subjects through the Data Dump Scanner program and used the population at large to analyze the data. The Initiative also allowed us to track, observe and isolate individuals who were particularly talented. Abstergo recruited some of these individuals. THIS PROJECT IS CURRENTLY ON HOLD DUE TO SECURITY CONCERNS.
The Animi Training Program is the ultimate training simulation for both recruit and veteran Templar agents. The program ensures that each participant continuously improves his abilities, while developing new skills and furthering their understanding of the past. The Animi Training Program also allows Abstergo to monitor the progress of its agents.
In place since 2008, the Akashic Satellite Plexus is a network of communications, weather and observation satellites orbiting the planet. (FURTHER INFORMATION UNAVALIABLE - See File0.19)
As we were struggling to bring civilization out of the Dark Ages, the Assassins – ever envious of our power and knowledge – managed to infiltrate our ranks and cause dissention among our leaders. Using lies, treachery and murder, our enemies shook the very foundation of our Order. By the end of the 13th century, we had been greatly weakened by the Brotherhood. To make things worse, we now had to face a new foe in King Philip le Bel. Unknowingly serving the cause of the Assassins, who manipulated him to conspire against us, King Philip made the Templars heretics in the eyes of the Church, thus turning our own Sword against us.
It was time to go back into hiding.
Jacques de Molay, the last publicly recognized Grand Master, understood our noble ideals would not survive unless the Templars were officially disbanded. He knew the Order was more important than any one man and he made the ultimate sacrifice. Jacques de Molay let himself be burned at the stake, not only to save the lives of his fellow brothers and their allies, but also to mislead our enemies into believing that the Order would die along with him.
Shortly before his death, however, the Grand Master selected nine of his most trusted men and, armed with the knowledge of the Ancients, sent them out into the world. From this day forth, the Templars would follow their magnanimous ambitions in the shadows of history's most influential figures, thus ensuring that our ideals would endure throughout the ages.
Despite state of the art computer security, a menace calling itself Erudito has managed to hack into our systems on several occasions, as we have seen from the Project Legacy incident.
It is unclear whether Erudito is a person or a group, but evidence suggests it is a number of individuals working independently, but who share a common purpose: to expose our secret agenda. Whether this Erudito Collective is in collusion with the Assassin Brotherhood or not remains unclear. However, knowingly or not, the actions of the Collective undoubtedly serve the cause of the Assassins.
Under the leadership of Dr. Warren Vidic, the Animus Project is rooted in the study of various fields, such as psychology, genetics and even metaphysics. As we know at Abstergo, works that once qualified as occult and hermetic were often concrete scientific breakthroughs misunderstood by a society blinded by superstition.
Modern science allowed us to understand the true potential of "genetic memories" locked inside our DNA. With the Animus device, we are now able to fully explore the genetic memories of our Animus subjects, allowing them to dig into their past, like archaeologists lifting stones.
However, this has not always been the case. At the onset of the project, we depended on psychoanalysis, hypnosis, as well as various chemical compounds to place our subjects in the desired state of mind, sometimes going as far to trigger schizophrenia-like states. Fortunately, the Animus has evolved over the years, and the safety of our subjects is no longer a concern.
Abstergo is a public company. As such, it has its own corporate charter. Behind this public face, however, lies the Order of the Knights Templar. While closely linked, there are major differences between the corporation and the Order. Abstergo is the Templars' public front, but not all of its employees are aware of the Order's existence. In fact, the great majority of those who work at Abstergo, including most of our scientists, engineers and CEOs, are, quite simply, employees. They do not suspect the Order exists, nor are they aware of the true purpose behind most of our work.
Inevitably, some Abstergo employees are also part of our secret organization. Dr. Warren Vidic, for example, is a senior member of the Order.
To learn more about Abstergo's public objectives, operations and structure, please consult our Corporate Charter.
Abstergo has hundreds of field agents working throughout the world. Many of these operatives have already infiltrated the ranks of antagonistic organizations and many more are ready to do so. In espionage vernacular, they are known as Moles. While they pretend to work for a particular group, enterprise or nation, they are in truth loyal only to our particular cause. Our Moles, however, are much more than simple informants: they are faithful brothers and sisters, ready to strike at our command.
Among our deep cover operatives is a small group of Sleepers. These men and women have given their lives to serve our cause and they are our fiercest and most dedicated agents. By willingly subjecting themselves to various thought repression and reform techniques, these individuals live falsified lives and no longer realize they are working for us.
The main goal of Abstergo's Lineage Discovery and Acquisition Division is to locate subjects whose ancestry might help us to shed a light on our past. This Division identifies descendants of people who have witnessed events or uncovered secrets we deem important enough to investigate, thoroughly.
Over the past few years, we have explored the genetic memories of many subjects through initiatives such as Project Legacy. In most cases, raw materials from the subjects' memories (gathered through various means) is enough to complete our research, but in some instances we find rare individuals whose ancestry is especially valuable enough to us. Those subjects are few, and usually best suited to Animus Project research.
Subject 17 is a perfect example. We have determined – from Animus research as well as data provided by one of our Moles – that at least two of his ancestors lived to become Mentors of the Assassin Brotherhood.
More importantly, it was discovered that Subject 17 was able to awaken a form of sixth sense, a rare ability which Assassins call "eagle vision". According to our specialists, he has gained this sixth sense, as well as other abilities seemingly locked within his genetic memory, through something we dubbed the "bleeding effect", as a result of time spent in the Animus.
This subject and others like him are highly valuable, for their genetic material might hold the key to better understanding mankind's origins.
Images: Surveillance footage of Subject 17; Geneaology chart
Subject 4 is one of our greatest successes to date. Among the pioneering subjects of our early Animus research, Subject 4 had a significant ancestry. Exploration of his genetic material allowed us to further our understanding of the 1908 Tunguska Incident as well as events that led to the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution – and most importantly the activities of the Assassin Brotherhood during these tumultuous times.
However, Subject 4 is much more than a man who happened to have Assassin ancestors. He became a Sleeper, and our second most successful undercover operative to date.
Using various thought-reform techniques, Subject 4's mind was imprinted with a false identity. Eventually the Assassins found him and, as we had anticipated, they almost immediately believed he was one of them. But the most crucial part of our plan was Subject 4's desire to shed light on his falsified past. To do so, he realized he would need the Mentor – the head of the Brotherhood, whose true identity was unknown, even to his own subordinates.
In 2000, Subject 4 met the Mentor. When the conditions for the command we had implanted in him were met, he killed him, thus delivering a devastating blow to the Brotherhood. When we retrieved Subject 4, he revealed the location of Assassin training camps throughout the world, including compounds in South Dakota, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.
In conclusion, Subject 4, Daniel Cross, is a true hero.
While our Order thrived in the Middle Ages, it fell into despondency during the Renaissance. Operating on the fringe of society, our leaders – led by Rodrigo Borgia – lost their way. Blinded by greed and personal ambition, they forgot the purpose of our Order. These were truly dark times for us.
Despite the mistakes of the Renaissance, the search for understanding continued. In the shadow of the Cross, greater men pushed on, becoming what we should have aspired to be: true pioneers of scientific research. It was because of them that the era came to be called the Renaissance.
Humanity was not lost after all.
Science has made tremendous leaps in the last decades, but none as great as we have made here at Abstergo. Thanks to many of our projects, we now hold indisputable evidence that the Bible, despite what any of us may believe, holds some truths. One of these truths is that we are descendants of what scientists have called mitochondrial Eve and Y-Chromosomal Adam. Eden, however, was a false paradise.
Ages ago, we were slaves of Those Who Came Before, an ancient race so advanced we have not yet even begun to fathom their technology. These beings created us in their own image by accelerating our own natural evolutionary process. However, through genetic manipulation they deprived us of our true heritage, to ensure mankind would remain enslaved. Compared to them, humans were – are – lesser beings. Nevertheless, we freed ourselves from their prison and survived, while they perished.
One day, through continued scientific advancement, we shall be able to reawaken the genes that lie dormant in all of us, the genes that our makers, the Ancients, Those Who Came Before, deprived us of. And thus give back to humanity the birthright it was wrongfully denied.
By the 17th century, humanity was finally ready. And so were we.
No longer would we tolerate savagery and ignorance. No longer would we stand idly by while men of science were made to suffer. No longer would we let mankind be led by selfish ambitions. The mistakes of the past – our mistakes – had to be rectified. Society's leaders and thinkers had to be influenced, not controlled. At the dawn of the 17th century, mankind seemed finally ready to be guided into a new age.
We would be that guide.
Those Who Came Before perished long ago, but their technology has survived through the ages. Although extremely rare, these artifacts, which we have dubbed Pieces of Eden, are immensely powerful. In the old days, people believed they were magical in nature. Some even imagined they were of alien origin. We know better.
Pieces of Eden are ancient, yet very advanced technological devices. For centuries, those of our Order toiled to acquire these lost treasures. While the Assassins would have you believe we seek these objects for the sole purpose of controlling humanity, the truth is that Pieces of Eden are not only incredibly useful, but they also hold knowledge that could help our cause – and thus humanity.
Perhaps more important than any artifact are the vaults of Those Who Came Before. Each of these vaults is a chamber housing what we assume to be some kind of First Civilization digital archive containing the knowledge of the Ancients. Despite our best efforts, we know the location of only too few of these vaults, and we have yet to understand how to extract the secrets they hold.
Once we understand the knowledge of the Ancients, we will be able to unlock our true potential. We will hold the key to a better future for humanity.
Only the best and brightest are invited to join the Inner Sanctum. We trust you will bear this responsibility with honor. Meet your brothers and sisters:
- Abstergo CEO Alan Rikkin, Management, Abstergo
- Laetitia England, Operations, Abstergo
- Dr. Warren Vidic, Research, Animus Project
- Dr. Mitsuko Nakamura, Research, Lineage Research and Acquisition
- Dr. Álvaro Gramática, Research, Future Technology
- Daniel Cross, Operations, Abstergo
- Isabelle Ardant, Operations, Historical Research
- Otto Schmidt, Operations, Lineage Research and Acquisition
For many, the word "Apocalypse" signifies the end of the world. This is not so. Apocalypses are events of great importance, turning points, which are followed by periods of renewal affecting all of mankind. These events and the cycles they initiate are hard to pinpoint and define with absolute certainty. However, based on archeological findings, various scientific researches and, most importantly, intensive analysis of raw data that we own, we were able to determine when some of these Apocalypses transpired.
One of these events is the Toba catastrophe, which occurred between 69,000 and 77,000 years ago. Following this cataclysm, Those Who Came Before became gradually extinct and what remained of humankind scattered across the planet. We estimate it took tens of thousands of years for Those Who Came Before to completely disappear off the face of the Earth, but the Toba catastrophe undoubtedly destroyed their society and ushered mankind into a new age.
Many such events occurred since, but our Order is more concerned with the future. Indeed, if our projections are correct, we are on the verge of another Apocalypse – one that will mark the dawn of a new age.
The latest reports pertaining to Earth and space weather, more specifically solar flare projections, suggest that December 21 remains the most opportune time to launch the EYE-ABSTERGO satellite. A minor setback might force us to reschedule, but we are confident the issue will soon be resolved. Since the EYE will be the cornerstone of our Akashic Satellite Plexus, we have mobilized all our resources towards that goal.
Upgrades for the Akashic Satellite Plexus have been completed and the network is now adequately shielded. Despite the rise in solar flare activity, the ASP should remain fully operational, even if the worse projections were to materialize.
Once in low-Earth orbit, the EYE, enhanced by an Apple of Eden, will boost our observation capabilities. More importantly, it will act as an amplifier for the Apple.
Furthermore, preliminary analysis suggests we will have the means to locate individuals with potential, but far less certain is the EYE's ability to harvest raw data or awaken in humans what should have been ours from the moment of our creation.
Little is known about the beings of the First Civilization, but recent findings have enabled us to ascertain several facts about them. Those Who Came Before were native to the planet. Like us, they were a product of evolution, a process that undoubtedly took hundreds of thousands of years. One theory is that the skulls from archeological sites around Boskop, South Africa, give fossil evidence of their existence.
These beings were anatomically similar to humans, though they were taller and their skulls approximately 30% larger. It is theorized that their larger skulls housed bigger brains, which could explain why they possessed six senses, allowing for a more sophisticated perception of space and time. Those Who Came Before also had a longer lifespan, and evidence of their passing can be found throughout the planet, not only in the ruins of their lost civilization but also in our own myths and legends.
Indeed, after the Toba catastrophe, the survivors of the First Civilization continued to interact with mankind, influencing many aspects of our societies. We suspect the ancient pantheons – such as the Greek, Roman, Etruscan, Indian and Mesoamerican pantheons, to name a few – were largely influenced by Those Who Came Before. The fact that myths and deities from different cultures share so many similarities only strengthens this hypothesis.
Furthermore, data gathered from Project Legacy and Animus research provides indisputable evidence that beings calling themselves Consus, Juno, Jupiter and Minerva were members of the First Civilization.
- All of the files were unlocked by reaching level 50 of in the multiplayer of Assassin's Creed: Revelations.
- Desmond Miles' geneaology chart was shown, identifying Sef Ibn-La'Ahad and Flavia Auditore as his ancestors.