Wizards First Rule
I wanted to title this, “Why the KGC (Knights of the Golden Circle) just won’t die and how to kill it and legends like it.” but…
I think Brooks captured this best with Wizards First Rule.
Goodkind, author of Wizards First Rule1, came up with a nice name for a common mental trap. He called it Wizards First Rule. The name succinctly captures the essence of a common judgement flaw we can easily fall prey too.
The rule is this:
“Because people are stupid, they will believe a lie because they want to believe it’s true, or because they are afraid it might be true.” -T Goodkind
With treasure hunting, we very much want our suspicions to be true. Be aware of this when researching, keep your feet solidly on the ground and don’t start believing your theories are true unless evidence corroborates you. Keep your perspective in check.
Wizards First Rule is why the KGC treasure myths are alive and kicking. Even I want to believe in secret societies, confederate gold, mysterious hoards in secret bunkers and elaborate triangulation methods that require surveyors to find them. Unfortunately, it is just bullshit fiction.
Yes, there was a KGC. Good research can easily prove it. There were KGC documents2, ephemera, primary source books3, sister castle groups advertisements (so much for secret!), and court cases to prove it. Some members did try to fight the Union subversively, there were even paramilitary actions. However, eventually they were just a fifth columnist group that simply petered out. The historical record even shows that they were underfunded, which is ironic given the billions folks claim they buried.
The idea they had a massive gold hoard given to them by a broke government to be buried for the South to rise again and protected by dirt poor country hillbillies. That…. is….well…. ummm…. entertaining?
At best, Confederates paymaster officers with payrolls, buried their payroll to avoid Union forces obtaining it. The vast majority were dug up later by these officers or corrupt companions for personal use. A small percentage are still buried, but these will likely be only a few hundred dollars in face value.
The lesson here — DO NOT fall in love with a lead. If it does not corroborate with other evidence and conditions, then it fails the smell test.
1 [Wizards First Rule: Sword of Truth, 1994, Terry Brooks]
2 [An Authentic Exposition of the KGC, Knights of the Golden Circle, 1861]
3 [Treason History of the Order of Sons of Liberty, by Felix Stidger, 1864]