by Laura Knight-Jadczyk
When Holy Blood, Holy Grail was published in 1982, it aroused a
firestorm of controversy. The local St. Petersburg Times, Florida,
published a review that quoted the Rt. Rev. Montefiore as saying:
"Academically absurd... howler after
This was balanced by a quote from one of
the book’s author’s, Henry Lincoln saying:
"Is it more plausible that a man
should be married and have children, or that he should be born
of a virgin, attended by choirs of angels, walk on water and
rise from the grave?"
Excellent point, in my opinion.
The Duke of Devonshire who would be, according to the premise of the
book, one of Jesus’ descendants, pronounced it "absolutely
Quoting from the Times article:
Research began with Lincoln’s
preparation of a 1972 BBC documentary on a 19th century French
priest, Berenger Sauniere. The cleric reputedly amassed great
wealth after discovering and deciphering four parchments hidden
in a hollow pillar of his church at Rennes-le-Chateau, a hilltop
village in the south of France.
The authors say they have discovered those parchments, or
facsimiles, still exist and disclose the existence of a secret
society called the Prieure de Sion, founded in the 11th century
at the start of the Crusades. Its aim was to guard the Holy
Grail - according to medieval legend, the cup used by Jesus at
the Last Supper.
The authors claim the society remains active, and that its
adherents over the years included Isaac Newton, Andre Malraux,
Victor Hugo, Claude Debussy and Charles de Gaulle.
According to the authors, the words "Holy Grail" are a
mistranslation of early French words for "royal blood," and the
true purpose of Prieure de Sion is to protect alleged royal
descendants of Jesus and prepare the way for their accession to
To bolster their description of the society, they provide
several chapters of scholarly references from legends, romances,
paintings, documents and the Bible.
All this is controversial enough, but author Leigh said it led
the three to reexamine the conventional interpretations of the
New Testament. That study led them to propound a "hypothesis"
Jesus literally had a claim to
being "king of the Jews" and was descended from the royal
house of the Israelite King David.
He married Mary Magdalene and
had at least one child by her.
He and sympathizers staged his
Crucifixion and Resurrection and he survived into old age
somewhere outside the Holy Land.
Mary Magdalene and her offspring
made their way to southern France - then Roman ruled Gaul.
Jesus’ bloodline mixed with that
of the Franks and started the Merovingian dynasty of the
early Middle Ages.
The Merovingian line extends
into the modern noble houses of Europe, so Jesus’
descendants are alive today.
The book’s contentions have
started a religious firestorm.
"It is a sign of the degeneracy of
the times that a publisher like Jonathan Cape should take this
book," said Anglican Bishop Montefiore.
Montefiore catalogues what he calls "79 instances ... of gross
errors, vital omissions, gravely misleading statements or the
adoption of way-out hypotheses."
Another Anglican bishop, Rt. Rev. Mervyn Stockwood, was even
less reserved. "Let them write a second book suggesting that
Caesar married Boadicia and that the offspring is Ian Paisley,"
he was quoted by The Times of London as saying.
The authors say they are merely making reasonable suppositions
based on careful research and new evidence. They add that
serious work on medieval history has been obscured by the furor
over their conclusions. [St. Petersburg Times, January 19, 1982,
byline: Mark S. Smith]
Now, notice the remark that this
hypothesis is based on "careful research and new evidence."
WHAT new evidence?
Well, new evidence provided by the Priory of Sion, of course!
Now, we will find that most of the information presented in Holy
Blood, Holy Grail had already appeared in other French publications
devoted to the subject of Rennes-le-Chateau, as well as a great
variety of other sources.
In all fairness, it must be said that Lincoln, Leigh and
go back to many original sources of information and they DID
research the affair with care. They also took the time and trouble
to interview a number of people whose names and views had been
quoted by other writers with a great deal of license taken, thereby
sorting out some of the myths from the facts.
The conclusions reached by Lincoln, Leigh and Baigent are very well
presented and it is much easier to read it as they originally wrote
it than to attempt to summarize it, but the main point should be
that the whole thing started with Gerard De Sede’s book Le tresor
maudit de Rennes (The Accursed Treasure of Rennes), which Henry
Lincoln read on his previously mentioned vacation in France.
So, it is to Gerard de Sede that we must turn. It is M. de Sede who
provides most of the information about Berenger Sauniere and the
mystery of Rennes-le-Chateau. It is to M. de Sede that we owe the
rumor that it is "dangerous" to inquire too deeply into the matters
connected with Rennes. As proof of this, he cited a car ’riddled
with machine gun bullets’ which Lincoln and his colleagues
discovered was only an old wreck used by a farmer’s son for target
But, let’s back up a moment. In France, there is something called The Bibliotheque Nationale which is similar to the U.S. Library of
Congress or office of Copyright registration. This organization
holds in its archives a copy of every work published in the country.
In this way, it provides a more or less reliable record of published
works. Its "depot legal" system establishes a date of publication
for copyright purposes, yet there is no need to show that any copy
but the one deposited has ever been published. In other words,
anybody can write anything, deposit it there after filling out the
appropriate forms, and thereby claim to have "published" a book, or
to have "copyright" exclusivity.
Henry Lincoln records in his research journal published as Key to
the Sacred Pattern, the Untold Story of Rennes-le-Chateau, that the
mysterious M. de Sede suggested a visit to the Bibliotheque
Nationale where there was "deposited a considerable amount of
documentation relating to the story" of Rennes."
How nice of M. de Sede to bring this up! So helpful!
In Holy Blood, Holy Grail we read:
In 1956 a series of books, articles,
pamphlets, and other documents relating to Berenger Sauniere and
the enigma of Rennes-le-Chateau began to appear in France. This
material has steadily proliferated and is now voluminous.
Indeed, it has come to constitute the basis for a veritable
’industry.’ And its sheer quantity, as well as the effort and
resources involved in producing and disseminating it, implicitly
attest to something of immense but as yet unexplained
Not surprisingly the affair has served to whet the appetites of
many independent researchers like ourselves, whose works have
added to the body of material available. The original material,
however, seems to have issued from a single specific source.
(Emphasis, mine) Someone clearly has a vested interest in
’promoting’ Rennes-le-Chateau, in drawing public attention to
the story, in generating publicity and further investigations.
Whatever else it might be, this vested interest does not appear
to be financial. On the contrary, it would appear to be more in
the order of propaganda - propaganda that establishes
credibility for something. And whoever the individuals
responsible for this propaganda may be, they have endeavored to
focus spotlights on certain issues while keeping themselves
scrupulously in the shadows.
[...] In confronting the welter of data now available, the
reader may well feel he is being toyed with - or being
ingeniously and skillfully led from conclusion to conclusion by
successive carrots dangled before his nose. And underlying it
all is the constant, pervasive intimation of a secret - a secret
of monumental and explosive proportions.
The material disseminated since 1956 has taken a number of
forms. Some of it has appeared in popular, even best-selling
books, more or less sensational, more or less cryptically
teasing. Thus, for example, Gerard de Sede has produced a
sequence of works on such apparently divergent topics as
the Cathars, the Templars, the Merovingian dynasty, the Rose-Croix,
Sauniere, and Rennes-le-Chateau. In these works, M. de Sede is
often arch, coy, deliberately mystifying, and coquettishly
evasive. His tone implies constantly that he knows more than he
is saying - perhaps a device for concealing that he does not
know as much as he pretends. But his books contain enough
verifiable details to forge a link between their respective
themes. [Emphasis, mine] Whatever else one may think of M. de
Sede, he effectively establishes that the diverse subjects to
which he addresses himself somehow overlap and are
On the other hand, we could not but suspect that M. de Sede’s
work drew heavily on information provided by an informant - and
indeed, M. de Sede more or less acknowledges as much himself.
Quite by accident, we learned who this informant was. In 1971,
when we embarked on our first BBC film on Rennes-le-Chateau, we
wrote to M. de Sede’s Paris publisher for certain visual
material. The photographs we requested were sent to us. Each of
them, on the back, was stamped "Plantard." ...The appendix to
one of M. de Sede’s books consisted of an interview with one
Pierre Plantard. ...Eventually Pierre Plantard began to emerge
as one of the dominant figures in our investigation.
Henry Lincoln informs us that he had,
indeed, been "briefed" about certain "source materials" by de Sede.
These publications, referred to in Holy Blood, Holy Grail as the "Prieure
documents" give no indication of having been "published" in the
accepted sense of the word. They are, for the most part, duplicated
typewritten scripts, giving dates of publication and author, and it
seems that the only copies are the ones in the Bibliotheque.
The earliest of these documents, dated August of 1965, is entitled
Les descendants Merovingiens ou l’enigme du Razes Wisigoth, or
Merovingian descendants, or the enigma of Razes of the Visigoths.
Its purported author is a Madeleine Blancasall, and claims to have
been translated from German by a Vincent Celse-Nazaire, and
supposedly published by the Grande Loge Alpina. The document
describes the descent of the Merovingians from their alleged
biblical origin to the 20th century, by way of the family of Plantard. The genealogy is signed by a Henri Lobineau.
Now, of course, M. de Sede helpfully informed Henry Lincoln in
advance that he must not look under the name "Lobineau," but instead
must look under the name "Schidlof."
Henry Lincoln notes:
Madeleine Blancasall is clearly made
up from a reference to Rennes-le-Chateau’s patron saint,
Marie-Madeleine, linked with the names of the two rivers, the Blanque and the Sals which conjoin just to the south of
Rennes-le-Bains. [A town near Rennes-le-Chateau.]
And, of course, we note that the church
of Rennes-les-Bains is dedicated to the two saints Celse and Nazaire.
The Grande Loge Alpina, the main lodge of Swiss Freemasonry, denies
all knowledge of this little work.
Nine months after the deposit of this curious genealogy, in May of
1966, another document was deposited in the Bibliotheque Nationale.
It also bears the imprint of the Grande Loge Alpina and the title is
Un tresor Merovingien a Rennes-le-Chateau. The author is Antoine l’Ermite. The grotto of St. Antony the Hermit is only a short
distance from Rennes.
One month later, June, 1966, another document was deposited in the
Bibliotheque entitled Pierres gravees du Languedoc, and this was a
purported reprint of an earlier book published in 1884 by Eugene
Stublein. [Stublein DID exist and DID publish a book in 1877
entitled Description d’un voyage aux establissements thermaux de
l’arrondissement de Limoux. There is, apparently, no known REAL copy
of his 1884 book of which the 1966 version purports to be a copy,
but we will get to that.]
Then, in March of 1967, still another document was
deposited/published with the Bibliotheque Nationale. It was entitled
Le Serpent Rouge, and this one had three authors: Messieurs
Saint-Maxent and Feugere. There is some disagreement over the date
on which, after the necessary red tape had been gone through, the
document was considered to be officially "published." The Depot
legal states March 20th, but Lincoln et al gave it as January 17.
This matter was investigated by another researcher, Franck Marie,
who claims to have established the date of February 15. Whatever the
date of deposit, it is a fact that Louis Saint-Maxent and Gaston de
Koker were found hanged on 6 March, and Pierre Feugere the following
Were these three men victims of revenge or a suicide pact as de Sede
suggests? Their respective families all insist that the three were
absolutely unacquainted with one another and that their deaths by
hanging, so close to one another in time, are just horrible
coincidence. The obvious conclusion is that someone found the names
of three unrelated persons with suitable deaths in the French
newspapers, put their names on this document, and THEN deposited it
after falsifying the deposition slip and that the date of March 20,
as given by the Bibliotheque Nationale, is the correct date.
Henry Lincoln records a curious incident in his Key to The Sacred
The not very illuminating works by
[Madeleine Blancasall and Nicolas Beaucean] I am able to consult
with no difficulty. But [Un Tresor merovingien a Rennes-le-Chateau
by Antoine l’Ermite] proves altogether more elusive.
A Merovingian treasure at Rennes-le-Chateau is the book which I
had ordered during my visit to the Bibliotheque nationale with
Gerard de Sede. On that occasion, it had been communiqué -
unavailable as another reader was consulting it. I am surprised
to find, this few months later, that the book is still
communiqué. On each of my three working days in Paris, I reorder
the book. On each occasion I am informed that the book is
communiqué. This is very frustrating - but the fact that other
people, too, are delving into the Rennes-le-Chateau mystery is,
perhaps, not surprising. For the moment, I must accept the
frustration as ’part of the job.’
A month or so later, a friend tells me that she is about to take
a short holiday in Paris. Is there, she asks, any commission she
can undertake on my behalf? I ask her to pay a visit to the
Bibliotheque Nationale; to order up the evasive Antony Hermit
and, if possible to photocopy a page or two. But she returns
with the by now familiar lack of success. Communiqué. I am
beginning to smell the proverbial rat. At the next possible
opportunity, I must endeavour to trap it. Yet more months are to
pass before I can make the attempt.
At last I find myself back at the Bibliotheque Nationale. Again
I order the book. Again it is communiqué. I make enquiring
noises at the librarian’s desk. But - no, I am told, communiqué
means communiqué. There’s nothing I can do about it. Somebody is
reading it. ’For months on end?’ I query plaintively. But an
unhelpful shrug is the only response. What seems a not
unreasonable idea occurs to me. ’Can I, Madame, order it up now
for tomorrow morning, so that mine will be the first request of
the day?’ This suggestion is greeted by a glare of utter horror.
This is not part of the Bibliotheque Nationale’s routine. I must
present myself at the desk each day, put in my order and await -
with patience - until the other reader has finished with it.
...As a final desperate throw, I ask: ’Is it possible for you to
indicate to me the desk of the other reader?’ Total shock
renders the librarian speechless. Her eyebrows pole-vault toward
her hair line and her eyes close to block out the sight of such
...First it is necessary to track down the book in the library’s
main catalogue and make a a note of its reference number. In the
Reading Room, a form must be filled in, in triplicate, for each
book requested and then handed over at the librarian’s desk. One
is required to enter one’s name, the title of the book and the
catalogue reference number. A desk number is then assigned. In
due time, one’s book - or books - will be brought to the
indicated desk, where one is now free to begin work. Of the
three copies of the form, one is retained at the librarian’s
desk, and the other two disappear into the cavernous recesses of
the Library’s store. When the book is found on the shelves, the
second copy of the form is placed inside its cover so that it
may now make its way to the appropriate reader’s desk. The third
copy - known as the fantome - is placed in the space vacated by
the book, where its ghostly presence holds sway until the volume
is restored to its rightful home. If the book is communiqué,
then the fantome is duly marked and placed on the reader’s desk
as notification of the fact. Is there any way in which I can
take advantage of this elaborate routine?
’No’ seems to be the only answer to my question. Lengthy
discussions with functionaries of various sorts have always
found me butting my head against the solid wall of the rigid
rules and regulations. As I ponder upon this seemingly obdurate
scenario, I begin to wonder if my command of the French language
is not, for once, a disadvantage. I find myself remembering how
helpful people used to be in the days of my jeunesse, when my
fluency was less than adequate. Can I solicit aid by
’forgetting’ the French language and presenting myself as a
pathetically confused foreigner? Why not give it a try? Plainly,
it will not work here, in the Reading Room where Madame l’Ogresse already knows to the contrary. I abandon my desk and,
clutching my form emblazoned with the dread word communiqué, I
make my way back to the Catalogue Room.
Two or three officials are to be found manning the catalogue, to
provide assistance in case of need. I choose an elderly
gentleman with a genial smiling and helpful air. ...Taking
shameless advantage of his limited English and my for-the-moment
well nigh incomprehensible French, I laboriously explain that I
am a writer, attempting to research within his hallowed walls,
and finding difficulty in understanding the system. ...I show
him the communiqué form. He explains about communiqué and I
explain that the damn book has been communiqué for months. ...He
agrees that it is not habituel for a book to be communiqué for
so long. I ask in yet more painful and halting sentences, if he
could please confirm for me that the book is, indeed, with
another reader. As I had been desperately hoping, he decides
that it will be quicker and easier simply to make a physical
check, rather than engage in any more exhausting attempts to
communicate advice and/or instruction. Taking my form with its
needful catalogue number, he disappears. I wait.
At last he reappears, wearing a worried frown. The book, he
tells me, is not there. The fantome on the shelf bears, not
today’s date - but a date several months in the past. The book
has been stolen. Moreover, it appears to have been stolen by one
of my compatriotes. How does he know this I ask? The name on the
phantom is recognizably English, he tells me. Can he give me the
name? Well, of course, he shouldn’t. But my sterling efforts to
speak to him in his own language have, he thinks, earned me a
tiny bending of the rules. He gives me the name. And now I KNOW
that the rat I had smelled all those months ago is still alive
and lurking in the wainscot. The name he has so kindly provided
is that of my friend who had also been given the communiqué
story. Why? And why has her phantom been left on the shelf? What
game is being played? And by whom?
I decide, however, not to let the matter lie. Through my local
library in England, I eventually make contact with an official
of our library service who concerns himself with international
loans. I explain the curious story to him and he agrees to write
on my behalf to the Director of the Bibliotheque Nationale. To
my total astonishment, barely a week later, Un Tresor
merovingien a Rennes-le-Chateau by Antoine l’Ermite drops
through my letter-box. It proves to be a tiny pamphlet, just a
few pages long. ...The matter is growing curiouser and curiouser.
...As I scan the pages of my hard-won copy, I realise that I
have read it before. It is the chapter dealing with Rennes-le-Chateau
in a recently published book by Robert Charroux: Treasures of
the world. But not simply photocopied from the book. The pages
are completely differently set and there are very tiny
alterations in the text. ...Why should anyone wish to go to all
this trouble to publish a copy of a sketchy, incomplete and
garbled account of a story which is already in print? And why
make it so difficult for me to lay my hands on it? There is
never to be an explanation of this additional mystery.
I have quoted this lengthy and truly
bizarre little story for a reason. There seems to be no rationale
behind this obscuration of, in the end, nonsense. The circumstances
take on the quality of a dream in which the dreamer deals with a
bizarre, Kafka-esque, disconnected reality. The point is: we have
encountered this sort of activity before. In fact, the whole Rennes-le-Chateau
business is rife with this quality of "High Strangeness" as
Dr. Alan Hynek described it. And that is my point. Without factoring in the
extra-dimensional nature of the phenomena under discussion, it will
be impossible to come to a rational understanding of just what is
going on and just WHO might be behind it. And, after making such
determination, we may be able to come to some conclusions as to the
The reader may wish to read Passport to Magonia: On UFOs, Folklore,
and Parallel Worlds, by
Dr. Jacques Vallee, for an extensive
examination of the "High Strangeness" factor. Other books which deal
with very similar synchronicities and bizarre convolutions of events
are: Revelations: Alien Contact and Human Deception, again by
Dr. Vallee, and Our Haunted Planet, by John Keel as well as
World by Frank Edwards. Once you have read enough of this
literature, you begin to see the similarities between the Rennes-le-Chateau
mystery and many other events on our planet down through the
centuries. Further, you get a "feel" for what is and is not truth,
and how cleverly truth can be used to sandwich and promulgate lies.
Returning to the Priory of Sion documents, we can now consider the
case of the three hanged men with a little more perspicacity. We
KNOW we are being manipulated, and that the source of the
manipulation may not necessarily be HUMAN, though its agents ARE
human, as we shall see.
At about the same time of the publication of Gerard de Sede’s book
L’or de Rennes, another document attributed to Henri Lobineau was
deposited with the Bibliotheque Nationale entitled Dossiers secrets.
Lincoln et al say it was:
...a thin, nondescript volume, a
species of folder with stiff covers which contained a loose
assemblage of ostensibly unrelated items - news clippings,
letters pasted to backing-sheets, pamphlets, numerous
genealogical trees and the odd printed page apparently extracted
from the body of some other work. Periodically some of the
individual pages would be removed. At different times other
pages would be freshly inserted. On certain pages additions and
corrections would sometimes be made in a miniscule longhand. At
a later date, these pages would be replaced by new ones, printed
and incorporating previous emendations.
The main thrust of this odd collection
of items was the establishing of
Pierre Plantard de St.-Clair as a
direct lineal descendant of Dagobert II, who was assassinated in 679
and was not known to have had any legitimate issue. (Real history
buffs will already know that there is a problem with the story of
the assassination of Dagobert II as described in all these modern
myths, but we aren’t going to go there now.)
It seems that the name "Lobineau," was derived from the Rue Lobineau
near Saint-Sulpice in Paris, the church that plays a significant
part in the story of Berenger Sauniere.
Papers in the Dossiers suggest that Lobineau was a pseudonym for an
Austrian historian named Leo Schidlof, who had died in Switzerland
the previous year. Again, remember that Schidlof’s daughter has
insisted that he knew nothing of genealogy. So, again we find a dead
man’s name being used to give credibility to something with which he
probably had absolutely no connection. History is rife with such
Okay, we have had a few clues about this guy "Plantard," so what is
the story? Again and again these funny trails led back to him.
Pierre Plantard de St-Clair, as Lincoln et al explain, began his
career in the French Resistance where he edited a clandestine
journal titled Vaincre. He was said to have been imprisoned by the
Gestapo from October 1943 until he was released toward the end of
1944 though some researchers suggest a Nazi connection and that he
was really a collaborator and not a prisoner.
According to a character sketch written by his first wife Anne Lea
Hisler, who died in 1971, Plantard was "invited in 1947 by the
Federal Government of Switzerland, he resided for several years
there, near Lake Leman, where numerous charges de missions and
delegates from the entire world are gathered."
However, this may not be entirely true. Pierre Plantard was
sentenced on 17 December 1953 by the court of St Julien-en-Genevois
to 6 months in prison for breaking the French Law relating to "Abus
de Confiance" (fraud and embezzlement).
The Official Judicial Archives relating to Pierre Plantard’s
criminal convictions and prison sentences are to be found in the
Tribunal de Grande Instance de Thonon-les-Bains (this being the
information as provided by Le Directeur des Archives départementales
de la Haute-Savoie in the town of Annecy).
Supposedly, when Algeria revolted against France and De Gaulle was
running for president, Plantard was involved in organizing a
"Committee of Public Safety" which helped De Gaulle get elected.
Again, however, we doubt this.
The next Plantard "track" we find is as editor of a cheap little
"magazine" entitled Circuit which is described as the organ of the "Organisation
for the Defence of the Rights and the Liberty of Low-Cost Homes."
(Go figure!) This was published between May and September of 1956
and deals mostly with creating and registering statutes within an
unnamed society at Sous-Cassan, Annemasse, close to the Swiss border
at Geneva. A second series of this magazine was printed in 1959 and
was described as "the cultural periodical of the French Forces
Federation." The address of this organization turned out to be
false. (Why are we not surprised?)
The next Plantard "track" is found at Gisors, the ancient castle
connected to the Templars and Cathars and assorted other historical
doings. It seems that, back in 1946, a tour guide at the castle
reported that he had done some digging (unauthorized, of course)
down in the donjon, and had found 19 stone sarcophagi and 30 metal
coffers. Apparently the local authorities shut him down, claiming
that such excavations were dangerous, (not to mention illegal) and
nothing more was heard about this until our good friend, Gerard de
Sede, published his first major work Les Templiers sont parmi nous
(The Templars are among us). In this book he suggested that the
subterranean chapel contained the legendary lost treasure of the
Templars, and that the Order of Knights Templar still survived in
France. It seems that he got some of his information from Plantard.
The result of the publication of de Sede’s book about the donjon at
Gisors was a public demand that it should be further investigated.
One of Plantard’s claimed old cohorts in the Committees for Public
Safety, Andre Malraux, had become Minister for Cultural Affairs. His
initial reaction to this sort of public demand was to seal the
excavation. Then, six months later, he authorized further
excavations. Finally, in 1964, he declared that the excavation had
only been undertaken to satisfy the public demands and that the
results were negative. Naturally, this just made people believe that
some great treasure had been found and was being covered up!
Regarding the Gisors affair, in 1972, we find that Plantard later
gave an interview to writer, Jean-Luc Chaumeil in which he said, in
I have said, and repeated many
times, to Gerard de Sede: ’Why do you want to dig at Gisors?
They were forced to camouflage the crypt for precisely the same
reasons: the looting of the archives... Notice that in the
matter of Gisors, I have never believed in a material treasure:
there is no gold of the Temple... The Order of the Temple
disappeared in 1314. It has never been reconstituted; all the
societies that pretend to derive from it (and there are many)
derive purely and simply from the imagination of their
founders... There is a parallel branch: the Prieure de Sion...
The society to which I belong has existed a very long time, it
is very old. I myself am the successor of others, that is all.
We guard certain things faithfully, and without any desire for
Ooooh! His words just reek with mystery
and the possibility of the existence of vast, secret knowledge!
Aside from the fact that we here see Plantard playing both sides
against the middle, this was not the first mention of the Prieure de
Sion. De Sede alludes to it mysteriously in his book about Gisors.
But, for the most interesting details, we have to turn again to
Lincoln, Leigh and Baigent, who summarized the claims made in these
documents so cleverly planted in the Bibliotheque Nationale.
It boils down to this: The claim is that a secret order predates the
Knights Templar and that the Templars were actually created as the
military and administrative arm of this other group. Supposedly, the
heads of this Prieure de Sion, Grand Masters as they are called, are
nearly all people whose names are famous through history.
Supposedly, even though the Templars were dissolved between 1307 and
1314, the Prieure was untouched by this tragedy, and continues up to
the present day, playing a significant part in contemporary
international affairs. And, here’s the clincher: its declared
objective is the restoration of the Merovingian dynasty!!!
Now, hundreds of books have been published in France that tried to
prove that the Knights Templar were NOT destroyed between 1307 and
1314. Most of these books try to claim that this or that esoteric
tradition is derived from the Templars and that the Templars are, in
secret, behind all major political developments in Europe from that
time to the present.
Supposedly, the Templars, or a related esoteric group, were behind
even the French Revolution, though there is some confusion as to
WHICH side they were on, depending on which author you read!
In 1974, J. M. Roberts wrote a 500 page book entitled The mythology
of the secret societies, that pretty effectively demonstrated that
there was no foundation to this belief in the continuation of the
Templars as a viable political force, but still such books get
published and read.
Is there any evidence that a Prieure de Sion ever existed?
Yes. Of a sort, that is.
After Jerusalem fell to Godfroi de Bouillon in 1099, an abbey
devoted to Notre Dame du Mont de Sion was built on the hill of Sion
to the south of Jerusalem; it is referred to in later documents and
figures in several views of the city. A Father Vincent, writing in
1698, (notice that this is over 500 years after) says:
"There were in Jerusalem during the
Crusades... knights attached to the Abbey of Notre Dame de Sion
who took the name of Chevaliers de l’Order de Notre Dame de Sion."
R. Rohricht, in his Regesta regni
Hierosolymitani (Roll of the kings of Jerusalem), written in 1893
(over 800 years after the fact) cites two charters: one of 1116 by
Arnaldus, prior of Notre Dame de Sion, and one of 1125, in which
Arnaldus’s name appears with that of Hugues Payen, the first Grand
Master of the Temple. The existence of the Abbey of Sion, at least
until 1281, is attested to by E.-G. Rey in a paper in the
proceedings of the French National Society of Antiquaries (1887),
which lists the abbots who administered the abbey’s property in
All of these "proofs" were dug up by Lincoln et al, after great
exertions to discover the validity of the claims of Pierre Plantard.
But, these VERY LATE documents are the ONLY historical documentation
of the possible existence of a Prieure de Sion. Everything else that
refers to such an organization finds its origin in those highly
suspect "publications" deposited in the Bibliotheque Nationale that
all seem to lead back to a single source - possibly Pierre Plantard
himself - and handily brought to Lincoln’s attention by Gerard de
Like Mr. Henry Lincoln, we begin to smell a rat!
Nevertheless, the Dossiers secrets contain three lists of names. The
first reproduces Rey’s list, mentioned above, but with two
insignificant additions, and the second is a list of Grand Masters
of the Knights Templar between 1118 and 1190. It differs from the
list given by most historians, though different ones include names
that others may not include. It is still a matter of much debate.
Lincoln et al compared this list to all the other historical lists
from the English, French and German Templar experts, and,
additionally, they examined many of the chronicles of the time as
well as all the charters they could find, and they came to the
conclusion that the list in the Dossiers secrets was "more accurate
than any other." I am not precisely sure WHY they came to this
conclusion, but they felt it was valid.
But, Lincoln et al admitted:
Granted, such a list might perhaps
have been compiled by an extremely careful researcher, but the
task would have been monumental. It seemed much more likely to
us that a list of such accuracy attested to some repository of
privileged or inside information - information hitherto
inaccessible to historians.
My only question at this point is: if
such an "accurate list" is composed of information that has been
"hitherto inaccessible to historians," who is to validate the
accuracy? It is altogether unclear to me on what basis this claim is
Nevertheless, because this list was pronounced so "accurate,"
Lincoln et al take it as proof that the third list is also
And here we encounter a common trick of disinformation artists, not
to mention the mode of "Stalking," to wit:
"One of the tactics of liars is to
find a means of subtly allying their message with that of the
truth so as to generate confusion in untrained minds which would
tend on surface evidence to accept these actually contrary
messages as equivalent.
"Its usual strategy is to begin its work by adhering so closely
to the letter of the truth as to be virtually indistinguishable
to all but initiated awareness, installing itself through the
rhythmic lull of entrainment so as to catch the "congregation"
totally off guard when it finally diverges slightly or greatly
from the set pattern and so pulls a portion of the truth along
It seems that it is not just the
intention of having the "third list" accepted as valid that is the
intention, but the following events which were and continue to be, a
belief in certain concepts created and promulgated by this Priory of Sion.
But, the list was the foundation. And,
what is the third list? The Grand Masters of the Prieure de Sion.
Now, who was on this list?
Jean de Gisors 1188-1220
Marie de Saint-Clair
Guillaume de Gisors
Edouard de Bar 1307-
Jeanne de Bar 1336-1351
Jean de Saint-Clair
Nicolas Flamel 1398-1418
Rene d’Anjou 1418-1480
Iolande de Bar 1480-1483
Sandro Filipepe (Botticelli)
Leonardo de Vinci
Connetable de Bourbon
inand de Gonzague 1527-
Louis de Nevers
Robert Fludd 1595-1637
J. Valentin Andrea
Robert Boyle 1654-1691
Isaac Newton 1691-1727
Charles de Lorraine
Maximilien de Lorraine
Charles Nodier 1801-1844
Victor Hugo 1844-1885
Claude Debussy 1885-1918
Jean Cocteau 1918-
Thus, as a result of following the
dictum: "Its usual strategy is to begin its work by adhering so
closely to the letter of the truth as to be virtually
indistinguishable to all but initiated awareness, installing itself
through the rhythmic lull of entrainment so as to catch the
"congregation" totally off guard when it finally diverges slightly
or greatly from the set pattern and so pulls a portion of the truth
along with it," we find that Lincoln et al took the bait. They
The Prieure de Sion would seem to be
both modest and realistic. It does not claim to have functioned
under the auspices of unqualified geniuses, superhuman ’masters,’ illumined
’initiates,’ saints, sages or immortals. On
the contrary, it acknowledges its Grand Masters to have been
fallible human beings, a representative cross-section of
humanity - a few geniuses, a few notables, a few ’average
specimens,’ a few nonentities, even a few fools. Why, we could
not but wonder, would a forged or fabricated list include such a
Well, I can think of a LOT of reasons!
Actually, few of these names are NOT illustrious. There are a large
percentage of them who are connected to Alchemical matters (we have
encountered Nicolas Flamel already, but also Robert Fludd, J.
Valentin Andrea, and Isaac Newton were well-known for their interest
in Alchemy). Charles Nodier was a prolific author, a Master Mason,
and an active influence in the French Revolution; Charles Radclyffe
was the illegitimate grandson of Charles II. Rene d’Anjou was
associated with the conspiracy surrounding Joan of Arc. Andrea was
also reputed to have been behind the creation of the "myth of the
Rosicrucians." The other names are members of European noble
families, several of them in my own family tree. So, it is not
really a very difficult task to have assembled such a list without
Naturally, the successor to Grand Master Jean Cocteau, who died in
1963, is our good friend, Pierre Plantard, AKA Pierre Plantard de
Saint-Clair about whom author Franck Marie wrote:
...a very secret man who did not
like one to inquire into his affairs. He lived in a little room
on the sixth floor of 35 avenue - in the 16th arrondissement of
Paris. It was hardly comfortable: a table, a bed, some chairs,
very little furniture... He left these lodgings in January 1973,
forgetting to pay an important portion of his rent. His wife
Annie Hisler died in 1971... It seems he was frequently visited
by, and put up for the night, M. Philippe de Cherisey, who was
interdit de sejour (forbidden to stay) in Paris...
A fellow who is the "Grand Master" of an
ages old secret society, in possession of "deadly secrets," with all
kinds of purported connections to figures of government and
espionage, forgets to pay an important portion of his rent? And does
the "midnight flit," so to speak? Rather curious, don’t you think?
But, anyway, we now meet Philippe de Cherisey... Pierre Plantard’s
"collaborator," or, should we say, cohort in crime?
Jean-Luc Chaumeil, a French writer, describes him:
Born of a prominent family in the
Ardennes.... Philippe de Cherisey carries his 53 years well,
with the lively eye and gentle regard of a poet. First of all a
journalist for Belgian TV, he veered later to the theatre... and
then to the cinema, making films with Bourvil, Zavata and
Francis Blanche. He is responsible for several works: Gregoire
et Amedee (1961), Circuit (1969), and several publications on "l’affaire
de Rennes-le-Chateau" (1976 and 1978).
We should notice that the novella
Circuit has the same name as the pamphlets edited and published by
Plantard back in the 50’s. I cannot help but think of the "ten year
blank" in Plantard’s history, from 1947 to 1958. Just what was he
doing during those years? Were they friends and companions for that
many years, and did they spend their time together "cooking up" this
"drama?" As it happens, in the Novella, Circuit the plot is about
the discovery of the tomb of an ancient Roman somewhere near Rennes,
and includes an unobtainable treasure of gold.
Getting back to the point here, we find that the publication of
Gerard de Sede’s L’or de Rennes in 1967 was the culmination of the
deposition of some bizarre "publications" in the Bibliotheque
Nationale. Let’s just list them again by date:
August 1965 - Les descendants
Merovingiens ou l’enigme du Razes Wisigoth
May 1966 - Un tresor Merovingien
June 1966 - reprint of an
alleged Stublein book: Pierres gravees du Languedoc
March 1967 - Le serpent rouge
April 1967 - Le dossiers secrets
October 1967 - Au pays de la
November 1967 - Tresor au pays
de la reine blanche
Now, I expect many of you are asking:
WHAT is the TRUTH about Rennes-le-Chateau? What, if you please, are
the FACTS?! What can be documented, verified, confirmed?
Pierre Plantard claims that Rennes-le-Chateau was the home of his
undocumented ancestress, Giselle, supposed to have been the daughter
of the Count of Razes.
For the most part, we seem to be dependent on the writings of Gerard
de Sede. It is he who has told us that Sauniere’s constructions at
Rennes-le-Chateau and his grand lifestyle cost millions of francs.
(Some experts find it hard to value it at one fiftieth of this
De Sede has told us how mysterious the decorations of the church
are, yet upon examination, they are found to be cheap plaster
statues and reliefs supplied by the firm of Ane of Letouzey which
supplied similar statues and reliefs to other churches in the area!
De Sede handily points out to us that the gravestones that Sauniere
supposedly removed were reproduced in that cleverly deposited
Stublein book, Pierres gravees du Languedoc. But, it seems that only
the 1962 reprint of the purported 1884 edition contains these
drawings! There are supposed to be infra red photographs revealing
the erased inscriptions, but these are, according to some experts,
What about the three (or four?) parchments that Sauniere is supposed
to have discovered in the pillar of the altar (handily disclosed by
- you guessed it - Gerard de Sede?
After so many discrepancies were discovered in the various stories,
and serious questions began to be asked, Philippe de Cherisey wrote:
There were three parchments, not
These parchments were
genealogies, not ’faked’ gospels.
The gospels are of recent
manufacture, photocopies of two sheets of paper composed a
little before the publication of Gerard de Sede’s book, and
designed to produce an effect upon that author that has
exceeded the wildest expectations.
The text Jesu medela vulnerum
inscribed by Sauniere on a plaque situated at the foot of
the altar in his church has been put to good use by the
author of these pseudo-parchments with the intention of
giving them an air of authenticity.
This almost seems to be an attempt to
salvage SOMETHING of the fraud, using de Sede as the scapegoat. Note
that de Cherisey is NOT discounting the genealogical clues, only the
"Mystery of Rennes-le-Chateau" involving Berenger Sauniere. But, we
have to remember that it was de Cherisey, the good friend of Pierre
Plantard, (evidence: Plantard putting him up in Paris illegally),
who helped de Sede in the preparation of his book.
And, in point of fact, the hundreds of words written about Rennes-le-Chateau
since 1965, seem to all end up on Gerard de Sede’s doorstep. And
clearly, he was being manipulated by Plantard and de Cherisey.
Although Pierre Plantard "officially
retired" from Priory of Sion activities during the mid-1980s
following a conflict with the French author Jean-Luc Chaumeil,
who discovered details about Plantard’s past and published the
Statutes of the Alpha Galates, Plantard did not stop contriving
his schemes – he continued underground with his Priory of Sion
fantasies and later revived it in a different form with a
different myth and pedigree in 1989, claiming that Roger-Patrice
Pelat was one of its Grand Masters during the interim period of
When Judge Thierry Jean-Pierre became the presiding French Judge
heading the enquiry into the Patrice Pelat financial corruption
scandal of the 1980s, Plantard voluntarily came forward during
the 1990s offering evidence to the enquiry, claiming that Pelat
had been a "Grand Master of the Priory of Sion".
The Judge ordered a search of Plantard’s house which uncovered a
hoard of Priory of Sion Documents, claiming Plantard to be the
"true King of France" – the Judge subsequently detained Plantard
for a 48 hour interview and, after asking Plantard to swear on
Oath – Plantard admitted that he made everything up; whereupon
Plantard was given a serious warning and advised not to "play
games" with the French Judicial System.
This happened in September 1993 and it was all reported in the
French Press of the period. This was the reason for the final
termination of the Priory of Sion in 1993 and the subsequent
life-in-hiding for Pierre Plantard, never to reappear in public
again or to be involved with his Priory of Sion fantasy again.
Between 1993 and his death in 2000 Pierre Plantard shuttled
backwards and forwards from Barcelona, Perpignan and Paris. His
remains were cremated when he died in February 2000. [For more
details, see THE REAL HISTORICAL ORIGIN OF THE PRIORY OF SION by
So, what does that make the Prieure de
What the dickens is going on here? What was the point? Can we find
ANYTHING mysterious in Rennes-le-Chateau...? What about "The
Shepherds of Arcadia?" Wasn’t there a tomb found that exactly
matched the one in the painting? What about that? What about Poussin?
St Anthony, and all the claims to mystery from many sources about