by Dr.Vincenzo Chiodo, PhD
The Prieure du Notre Dame du Sion, or
Priory of Zion, is said to be the cabal behind many of the events
that occurred at
Rennes-le-Chateau. According to the Prieure’s own
documents, its history is long and convoluted. Its earliest roots
are in some sort of Hermetic or Gnostic society led by a man named
Ormus. This individual is said to have reconciled paganism and
Christianity. The story of Sion only comes into focus in the Middle
Ages. In 1070, a group of monks from Calabria, Italy, led by one
Prince Ursus, founded the Abbey of Orval in France near Stenay, in
These monks are said to have formed the basis for the Order de Sion,
into which they were "folded" in 1099 by Godfroi de Bouillion. For
about one hundred years, the Order of the Temple - Knights Templar -
and Sion were apparently unified under one leadership, though they
are said to have separated at the "cutting of the elm" at Gisors in
1188. (The Templar order was then destroyed by King Phillipe Le Bel
of France, in 1307.) Sion appears to have been at the nexus of two
French antimonarchical movements, the Compagnie du St.-Sacrament of
the 17th century - acting on behalf on the Guise-Lorraine families -
and the Fronde of the 18th, as well as behind an attempt to make the
Hapsburgs emperors of all Europe in the 19th -- the Hieron du Val
d’Or. It appears that there are vast connections between Sion and
numerous sociocultural strata in European thought -- Roscicrucianism,
Freemasonry, Arthurian and Grail legends, "Arcadianism," Catharism,
Yet this mysterious secret society
brought itself to light in 1956 and is listed with the French
directory of organizations under the subtitle "Chivalry of Catholic
Rules and Institutions of the Independent and Traditionalist Union,"
which in French abbreviates to ’circuit’ -- the name of the magazine
distributed internally among members. Depending on what statutes one
considers, Sion either has 9,841 members in nine grades, or 1,093
members in seven, with the supreme member, the "Nautonnier" or
Master of the Order being, till 1963, Jean Cocteau.
While it is believed the head has been Pierre Plantard de St.-Clair
up until recent times, he claims to have left that post in 1984, so
it is not clear who runs the organization at this time. But whoever
he is, he has had illustrious predecessors:
Plantard, in any case, seems to have enjoyed the ear of many
influential persons in contemporary French politics -- deGaulle,
Marcel Lefebvre, Francois Ducaud-Bourget, Andre Malraux, and Alain
Poher, and others, many of whom appear to know him from his efforts
with the Resistance during the Vichy occupation. Despite its
registry, however, the organization remains untraceable, its given
address and number leading to dead ends -- which might lead one to
wonder why the government never bothered to verify the information.
Some interesting things have come to light about the Prieure
recently. One is that the Swiss Grand Lodge Alpina (GLA), the
highest body of Swiss Freemasonry (akin to the Grand Lodge of
England), may have been the recruiting body for the Prieure. But the
GLA is also said by some to be the meeting place of the "Gnomes of
Zurich" who are said to be the Power Elite of Swiss bankers and
international financiers. The GLA is said by David Yallop to be the
body which controlled the P2 Masonic Lodge in Italy.
(P2 controlled the Italian secret police in the 1970s, took money
from the CIA and KGB, may have had a hand in the kidnapping of
Moro by the Red Brigades, had 900 agents in other branches of the
Italian government and the highest positions of
the Vatican, bombed
a train station and tried to blame it on the Communists, used the
Vatican Bank to launder Mafia drug money, fomented fascist coups in
South America, and is most likely linked to the arch-conservative
Knights of Malta and Opus Dei in the Vatican.)
P2’s Lucio Gelli may
have had a role in the death of John Paul I, and perhaps even the
assassination attempt on John Paul II.
One of the most interesting people to write about the Prieure may be
Michael Lamy. He claims that Jules Verne was a member of both the Prieure and the Illuminati. Further, he maintains that the Prieure’s
politics must be understood as "Orleanist," which he describes as
"aristocratic, anarchistic, and Nietzchean." Perhaps it all becomes
most clear when Lamy reveals to the reader that the true secret of
the village of Rennes-le-Chateau is that the extinct volcano
Mount Bugarach leads down into the hollow earth to a realm of supermen.
Ean Begg feels it is connected with many of the Black Virgin sites
all over Europe. Certainly, if the organization’s full name is the
Prieure de Notre Dame du Sion, and if it is site of Orval is
connected to the worship of the bear-goddess Arduina, venerated by
the Sicambrian Franks of the area and their
Merovingian kings, then
this may be the case. There are hints, of course, that "Notre Dame"
is not the mother of Jesus, but Mary of Bethany AKA "Magdalene" a
princess of the tribe of Benjamin, which is itself notorious for an
outbreak of goddess-idolatry in the period of the Judges. That Mary
may also be the one also known to the Gypsies of the south of France
as one of the three "Maries-de-la-Mer," whom they call "Sarah the
Egyptian," the sun-burnt one. Sailing and Grailing Across the
The most bizarre chapter in the story of Rennes-le-Chateau may have
to do with the Money Pit mystery on Oak Island just off Nova Scotia.
According to Michael Bradley, some of the keepers of the Grail may
have come to the New World long
before Columbus. He believes that
some of the Templars may have fled to Canada after the dissolution
of their order, carrying the Grail. The Money Pit has more often
been associated with pirates’ buried treasure, but as many know, the
"Jolly Roger" flag’s skull-and-crossbones icon has long been
associated with Masonic and Templar legend.
The so-called Venetian "Zeno Map"
(above image) of the 15th century shows a knight
with a sword standing where Nova Scotia is.
(The Sinclairs of
Scotland are "hereditary lords of Rosslyn Chapel" and are said to be
descended from the Scots Guards, a clique loyal to the Stuart
dynasty, which in turn are thought to have contained converted
members of the Templar Order who fought with Robert the Bruce at
Bannockburn, and to have provided the basis of Freemasonry.)
Money Pit on Oak Island, a mysterious stone inscription was found:
"Forty feet below - two million punds are buried." Every company
that has tried to locate this treasure has failed.
Along with the supposed visits of Prince Madoc of Wales and
Brendan of Ireland, Prince Henry the Navigator’s trip to the New
World with the Zeno brothers makes it one of numerous European
pre-Columbian voyages. The Zeno map, along with those culled by
Viking travelers, may have even helped Columbus make his way across
the Atlantic. Recently, a UFO "contactee" in Canada who calls
himself only "Guardian" speculated wildly about some "Brotherhood of
the Grail" being operative there for centuries.
Geographically speaking, there are in fact two Oak Islands,
surrounding a central river, at the confluence of which is a
mysterious ruin, which appears to be a fortress or old castle. It
does appear that there may be strands connecting Rennes-le-Chateau
and the New World. Ultimately, the Rosicrucian ideas behind the
American experiment (as documented by Manly Palmer Hall) may have
deeper "Arcadian" roots. Bradley hints, but does not come out and
say, that what is beneath the Money Pit may be the Grail.
It is not the only weird trail in the Rennes mystery. One researcher
insists that the inventor Barnes Wallis was one of the most recent
Grand Masters of Sion. Yet another feels it is worth pursuing the
origins of the Cajun people of Louisiana.
Others have even found connections to the so-called "Baconian"
theory, which suggests that Sir Francis Bacon authored Shakespeare’s
plays. Bacon’s works suggest a Rosicrucian experiment taking place
in the New World.
Fanthorpe seems to believe that ultimately Rennes-le-Chateau may be
a "doorway unto the invisible" - a gateway to other dimensions,
through the Emerald Tablet which he speculates may have been a tesseract (3-dimensional representation of a 4-dimensional figure).
Lincoln and his co-authors fashioned a theory that Christ
had descendents who "legged it to the south of France where they
intermarried with the royal Franks to found what eventually became
the mystical Merovingian Dynasty. Ergo, the real mission of the
Templars and Priory of Zion: to safeguard not just the treasure of
the Crusades, but to preserve the Grail, which appeared in medieval
texts as ’Sangraal’ or ’Sangreal’, and which Lincoln et al.
translated to mean sang real, or ’royal blood’. In other words: the
dynastic legacy of Christ, literally. The Merovingians were
considered in their day to be quasi-mystical warrior-kings vested
with supernatural powers." The Merovingians traced their ancestry
back to the Benjamites who, according to legend, has fled from
Israel to Arcadia in Greece.
"Pierre Plantard de Saint-Clair
[was] apparently the source behind much of the recent literature
devoted to the hilltown and its enigmatic priest. Shepherded to
Paris’s Bibliotheque Nationale, our trio of historical
investigators discovered there a genealogy purporting to link
Pierre Plantard to King Dagobert II and the Merovingian dynasty.
"Throughout these dossiers secrets at Paris’s national library
were tantalizing historical references to a mysterious and
ancient secret society called Prieure de Sion, or Priory of
"Lincoln and company checked with the French authorities and
discovered that there was indeed a contemporary organization
calling itself Priory of Zion. And who do you think was
registered as the group’s secretary-general but none other than
"The earliest roots of the Prieure de Sion are in some sort of
Hermetic or Gnostic society led by a man named Ormus. This
individual is said to have reconciled paganism and Christianity.
The story of Sion only comes into focus in the Middle Ages. In
1070, a group of monks from Calabria, Italy, led by one Prince Ursus, founded the Abbey of Orval in France near Stenay, in the
Ardennes. These monks are said to have formed the basis for the
the Order de Sion, into which they were ’folded’ in 1099 by
Godfroi de Bouillion."
"The Order of Sion was founded in the 1090’s by Godfroide
Bouillon, one of the leaders of the First Crusade who had
recaptured Jerusalem. They claim that it was this Order that lay
behind Hugues of Champagne and the founding of the Templars."
From - Baigent, Leigh & Lincoln,
The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail
"The avowed and declared objective
of the Prieure de Sion is the restoration of the Merovingian
dynasty and bloodline - to the throne not only of France, but to
the thrones of other European nations as well. By dint of
dynastic alliances and intermarriages, this line came to include
Godfroi de Bouillion, who captured Jerusalem in 1099, and
various other noble and royal families, past and present."
Godfroi was, by legend, a member of the Grail Family, and by
lineage a Merovingian and apparently, rightful King of Jerusalem
by his descent from David. It is clear that he was aware of
this. When he left for the first crusade, he sold all of his
property. He intended to stay in Jerusalem. Godfroi was close to
de Payen and the count of Champagne, and Baudoin [his brother]
was integral to the founding of the Templars."
"One might therefore term Godfroi de Bouillon as a sort of
of kings’, or at least a maker of kings, since he founded the
Order of Sion that could crown Kings of Jerusalem."
"To the south of Jerusalem looms the ’high hill’ of Mount Sion."
By 1099 an abbey had been built on the ruins of an old Byzantine
basilica at the express command of Godfroi de Buoillon.
"According to one chronicler, writing in 1172, it was extremely
well fortified, with its own walls, towers and battlements. And
this structure was called the Abbey of Notre Dame du Mont de
"In 1979, M. Plantard had said to us, quite categorically, that
the Prieure was in possession of the treasure of the Temple of
Jerusalem, plundered by the Romans during the revolt of A.D. 66
and subsequently carried to the south of France, in the vicinity
of Rennes-le-Chateau. The treasure, M. Plantard stated, would be
returned to Israel ’when the time is right.’"
"At some point, according to Lincoln et al., the treasure had
passed from the Merovingians to the Priory of Zion----> Templars
took the treasure from the Holy Land to the
French Cathars, who,
on the eve of their destruction by the church, squirreled the
lucre away in the Pyrenees."
For about one hundred years, the Order
of the Temple (Knights Templar) and Sion were apparently unified
under one leadership, though they are said to have separated at the
’cutting of the elm’ at Gisors in 1188.
Near the end of the thirteenth Century a separate detachment of
Templars was sent from the Aragonese province of Rossillon to the
Rennes-le-Chateau area in southern France [the old Cathar
stronghold]. This fresh detachment established itself on the summit
of the mountain of Bezu, erecting a lookout post and a chapel. Alone
of all the Templars in France, they were left unmolested by Philippe
le Bel’s seneschals on October 13, 1307.
On that fateful day the commander of the Templar contingent at Bezu
was a Seigneur de Goth. And before taking the name of Pope Clement
V, the archbishop of Bordeaux - King Philippe’s vacillating pawn -
was Bertrand de Goth. Moreover, the new pontiff’s mother was Ida de Blanchefort, of the same family as Bertrand de Blanchefort [the
fourth Grand Master of the Order of the Temple]. Was the pope then
privy to some secret entrusted to the custody of his family?"
Whether is was the intrigues and the Wars of Religion in the
sixteenth century, the insurrection known as the Fronde in the
seventeenth century or the Masonic conspiracies of the eighteenth
century, successive generations of precisely the same families were
implicated, operating in accordance with a single consistent
pattern. In documents dating from 1619, it was stated to have
incurred the displeasure of King Louis XIII of France, who evicted
them from their seat at Orleans and turned the premises over to the
Jesuits. After that, the Prieure de Sion seemed to vanish from the
historical record, at least under that name, until 1956, when it
appeared again, registered in the French Journal officiel.
The castles of Templar Chateau of Bezu, the Chateau of Blanchefort
and Rennes-le-Chateau are each located on a mountain top. Together,
with the high spots of two other peaks, the locations form a perfect
pentagon (five equal sides) some fifteen miles in circumference.
Like Rennes-le-Chateau "the village church dates back to at least
the time of the Visigoths, some thirteen centuries ago. The church
is dedicated to Saint Magdalene.
The early astronomers saw the earth as the center of the universe,
around which the Sun, the stars and the planets revolved. Each
planet forms its own pattern of movement around the Sun as seen from
the Earth. For the ancient watchers of the heavens, those differing
patterns of movement allowed them to draw geometric shapes based on
the positions of each planet when it was aligned with the Sun. Only
one planet describes a precise and regular geometric pattern in the
sky - and that planet is Venus, the heavenly counterpart of the
earthly Mary Magdalene - and the pattern that she draws as regular
as clockwork every eight years is a pentacle.
There can be no doubt that churches, calvarias, castles and obscure
ruins - almost every structure of note upon the map -form an
intricate web of alignments which intersect with perfect regularity
on the zero Paris- meridian. The distance covered by three of those
division is the circle radius measure. Each point is separated from
the next by exactly one third of 933.586 poles!
The accepted definition of a pole - also known as the Rod or Perch-
is now 5.5 yards.
All of the measurements and placements of the buildings follow the
patterns of the sacred geometry.
This all leads back to the hermetic theories - Hermes - who was
Thoth - the ancient Egyptians - Alchemy - Ark of the Covenant - Tree
of Life / Qabalah.
Here are some
of the theories/ mythologies that follow
The boat of Isis was positioned in
the constellation of Argo. Specifically, in Egypt this
constellation was named Sothis or Soth-Isis, the Star of Isis.
Furthermore, in the Egyptian legends this vessel represented the
female organ of generation. The Ark of the Covenant of the
ancient Israelites is believed to have been modelled after the
ceremonial ark of Isis.
It has been alleged that Hughes de Payens, first Grand Master of
the Knights Templar, had been inducted into the Johannites, a
sect which chose John the Baptist as their prophet. According to
the dossiers secrets, each of the alleged Grand Masters of the
Prieure de Sion took the name Jean in succession (supposedly
influencing the name chosen by Pope John XXIII). One of the
Grand Masters on the list, Leonardo da Vinci, displayed a strong
interest in John the Baptist. Another, Sir Isaac Newton, became
preoccupied with the writings of the Apocalypse, then attributed
to John the Evangelist.
According to the dossiers secrets, the following individuals
were amongst the Grand Masters:
d’Anjou (1418-80) -
a major impetus behind the Renaissance
through his literacy and influence on Cosimo de’Medici setting
up bastions of esoteric, Hermetic principles - the ’underground
stream’. Legend records that the d’Anjous were descended from
Ann the Jew, daughter of Joseph of Arimathea, who supposedly
carried the Davidic blood line and settled in western France.
Later, the D’Anjou branched into the Houses of De Guise and De
Renč d’Anjou "was related to the king of France by marriage and
remained a trusted ally during the war with England. On paper,
Renč was one of the most powerful men in Europe. Unfortunately,
after the failure of his Italian campaign, he was nothing more
than a patron of the arts and collector of books. Rene was
co-sponsor of the Arcadia revival in the late 15th century."
Through his patronage of art, literature and the advancement of
knowledge Renč is one of the most important figures of the
formative years of the Renaissance. It was directly as a result
of Rene’s influence that Cosimo de Medici sent agents out to
look for ancient texts, which resulted in the revival of
Neoplatonic and Hermetic thought.
Nicholas Flamel (1330-1418),
the most famous of the alchemists
said, "the Paris notary Nicolas Flamel claimed that he dreamed
of an occult book, subsequently found it, and succeeded in
deciphering it with the aid of a Jewish scholar learned in the
mystic Hebrew writings known as the Kabbala. In 1382 Flamel
claimed to have succeeded in the ’Great Work’ (gold making);
certainly he became rich and made donations to churches.
One alchemical symbol that is widely acknowledged by modern
scholars is that of an old bearded man, the back of whose head
shows a young woman looking into a mirror. A statue with this
image graces the exterior of Nantes cathedral, as does a bearded
king with the body of a woman, in the porch at Chartres that
depicts the Queen of Sheba.
"The hermaphrodite is a pure
alchemical symbol, representing the perfect balance achieved
in the Great Work, and the perfect being, in which the
alchemist himself is transformed and transmuted spiritually
- and, as many believe, physically as well. It was a
’consummation devoutly to be wished’ and had little, if
anything, to do with sexuality as we understand it today.
The Great Work was an explosion of the potential into the
actual, where they mystical quest takes on concrete form. As
the alchemists said, ’as above, so below’ - this process was
believed to make spirit into matter and transmute one sort
of matter into another. It made a man into a god.
Revered by men like Newton, Flamel
was the discoverer of The Sacred Book of Abraham the Jew,
Prince, Priest, Levite, Astrologer and Philosopher to that Tribe
of Jews who by the Wrath of God were Dispersed amongst the Gauls
which became one of the most famous works in Western esoteric
Leonardo de Vinci (1510-19) -
Having little formal education,
Leonardo enthusiastically accepted Nicholas’s [of Cusa] new
worldview [of an universe with no limits in space, no beginning
or ending in time] as a justification for rejecting the outmoded
authority of the ’pharisees - the ’holy friars’ and of his
’adversaries’ Plato and Aristotle. For the first time since the
Ionians, he put forward a conception of science that was wholly
secular, in no way based on religious doctrines or philosophy.
In Leonardo the craftsman, scientist, and inventor are merged
Leonardo was left-handed; he was a strict vegetarian- he sought
the company of alchemists and necromancers; he worked on a
Sunday and only attended Mass when at court. The only surviving
sculpture that involved Leonardo in its making is the statue of
John the Baptist in the Baptistery in Florence, on which he
collaborated with the utmost secrecy with Giovan Francesco
Rustici, a known necromancer and alchemist. And Leonardo’s last
painting was ’John the Baptist’, showing him with the same
half-smile as ’The Mona Lisa’, and pointing straight upwards
with the index finger of his right hand. This in Leonardo’s work
is a sign always associated with John: in the ’Adoration of the
Magi’ a person stands by the elevated roots of a carob tree -
John’s tree, symbol of sacrificial blood - while making this
gesture. In his famous cartoon of St. Anne the subject also does
this, warning an oblivious Virgin. The disciple whose face is
perhaps accusingly close to Jesus’ in ’The Last Supper’ is also
making this gesture. All these gestures are saying ’remember
Johann Valentin Andrea (1637-54) -
"the creator of the semi-secret
Christian unions and author of the Rosicrucian manifestos, a
Hermetic allegory which also evokes resonances with the Grail
Romances and the Knights Templar. At this time, with the eclipse
of the House of Lorraine, the Priory transferred its allegiance
to the more influential Stuarts after Frederick of the
Palatinate married Elizabeth Stuart, daughter of James I of
England. Frederick "created a culture, a ’Rosicrucian’ state
with its court centered on Heidelberg."
Robert Boyle (1654-91) -
part of the "Invisible College" of
dynamic English and European minds which became the Royal
Society after the restoration of the monarch in 1160 with the
Stuart ruler, Charles II as its patron and sponsor. His two
closest friends were Isaac Newton and John Locke who met
regularly with him to study alchemical works.
In the ancient world alchemy was referred to simply as
sacred art’. It flourished in the first three centuries A.D. in
Alexandria, where it was the combined product of glass and metal
technology, a Hellenistic philosophy of the unity of all things
through the four elements (earth, air, water, fire), and
’occult’ religion and astrology. The essential principle was
that all things, both animate and inanimate, were permeated by
spirit, and that the substances of the lower world could,
through a synthesis of chemical operations and imaginative
reasoning, be transmuted into higher things of the spiritual
world - things not subject to decay.
Napoleon Bonaparte -
Sion appears to have been at the
nexus of two French anti-monarchical movements, the Compagnie du
St.-Sacrament of the 17th century (acting on behalf on the
Guise-Lorraine families) and the Fronde of the 18th, as well as
an attempt to make the Hapsburgs emperors of all Europe in the
19th- the Hieron du Val d’Or.
In 1796 Napoleon was one of three revolutionary
heading the government. Another ’Director’ was Abbe Sieyes, who
knew of certain genealogical researches that had been undertaken
by one Abbe Pichon. Pichon had access to the royal archives
captured by the revolutionary government, where some important
genealogies had been hidden away, and he discovered that a
direct descent from Dagobert II had been maintained up to then.
Abbe Seiyes urged Napoleon to marry Josephine Beauhamais because
she was a Merovingian descendant, and to adopt her two children
by a previous marriage who were of this anciently royal stock."
In 1798 "on the way to Egypt, Bonaparte detoured to capture
Malta and the treasure held by the
Knights of Malta.
During second world war in France, a recent grand master of the
Prieure de Sion, M. Plantard, was grand master of Alpha Galantes.
"He hinted that beneath its
pro-Vichy and Petainist patina, Vaincre [the journal of
Alpha Galantes] contained coded messages and instruction
which would have been decipherable only to the
Resistance....Vaincre had been printed by Poirier Murat,
Chevalier of the Legion d’Honneur, holder of the Medaille
Militaire and officer in the French Resistance."
"According to Vaincre and Alpha
Galantes, chivalry was to be the instrument of national
renewal for France: ’...a chivalry is indispensable because
our country cannot be reborn except through its knights.’"
In the fifth issue of Vaincre, dated 21
January 1943, a great German, one of the Masters in our Order" is
quoted as saying:
"It is therefore with total
confidence that I depart to perform my mission; for while not
deluding myself about the perils I run in discharging my duty, I
know that until my last breath my watchword will consist in
recognition of Alpha and fidelity to its chief.
This statement is ascribed to Hans von Moltke, a career diplomat" and "also a cousin of
Claus von Stauffenberg.... Helmut James von Moltke, together with Peter Yorck
von Wartenburg, was the leader of the so-called Kreisau Circle, the
civilian wing of the German Resistance to Hitler.
Both Alpha Galantes and the Kreisau Circle,
"were intent on youth
movements and on mobilizing the resources of European youth. Both
insisted on a moral and spiritual renewal - an opposition, in Moltke’s words,
’based on fundamental principles’. Both were
essentially chivalric in their orientation. And both were dedicated
to the eventual creation of a United States of Europe."
During the Second World War, while Poher was doing something heroic
in the Resistance to win the Resistance Medal and the Croix de
Guerre, and while Plantard [future Nautonnier of the Priory of Sion]
defied the Nazis and suffered torture for it, the Cross of Lorraine
was adopted as the symbol of the Free French forces under Charles de
Gaulle. This cross, having two cross-bars instead of one, originated
with the ancient French house of Anjou, where Guiot found his tale
about Percival. It was later adopted by the Merovingian-descended
rulers of Lorraine in the old Sicambrian heartland on the Rhine.