Skip to comments.The Priory of Sion
Posted on 05/01/2006 8:39:53 AM PDT by conserv371
Since it was published three years ago, Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code" has become one of the most popular novels of all time, with more than 30 million copies in print worldwide. With a major movie based on the book due out soon, the book seems assured of a place on the bestseller lists for a considerable time to come. What has attracted readers to "The Da Vinci Code" is its central theme, which Dan Brown claims is not fiction but fact that a mysterious European society, known as the Priory of Sion, has for centuries guarded a momentous secret. That secret, which is the theory at the heart of the novel, is that Jesus Christ married Mary Magdalene and today their descendants are living in France. It's not surprising that this has incurred the wrath of many Christians, including the Vatican, while others have wondered if there might not be some truth to all of this.
Well, wonder no more. Correspondent Ed Bradley reports on the real secret of the Priory of Sion.
To follow the trail of the Priory of Sion, you first need to go to a small, remote village in the foothills of the French Pyrenees called Rennes le Chateau and to go back in time more than 100 years. It was here that the Priory was said to have had a mysterious influence on the village priest, Berenger Sauniere, who spent money on a scale that was way beyond his means.
After lavishly redecorating the interior of the church, Sauniere built a grand estate for himself, with a promenade that stretched along the edge of the village. At one end he constructed a tower, where he entertained guests and housed his extensive library. Saunière died in 1917, but the mystery of his wealth lived on. In the 1950's, newspaper reports suggested that Sauniere had discovered a fabulous treasure and soon Rennes Le Chateau began to be invaded by treasure hunters from all over the world.
One of those treasure hunters who now gives tours of Rennes Le Chateau and has become a major player in this story is Henry Lincoln, a British scriptwriter. Lincoln says his interest was first aroused when he came across a book containing reproductions of two parchments. These had supposedly been found by Sauniere behind the altar in his church and had led him to that treasure. Each contained a passage from the Gospels, written in an ancient script, and was said to contain a secret message.
"Ah, I thought, I've got the makings of a film here. Don't forget that was my career. I was a writer for television and I thought 'this is a damn good subject for a documentary,'" says Lincoln.
But in the three documentary films that Lincoln made for the BBC, no treasure was ever found. He suggested that Sauniere, the priest of Rennes Le Chateau, had acquired his mysterious wealth through his association with a shadowy organization, and the clues were in those parchments.
"My researches have thrown up several times the name Priory of Sion. Could this be the meaning of 'PS?'" Lincoln wondered.
Lincoln decided that it was, and he went on to suggest the secret Sauniere took to his grave was that the Priory of Sion's role was to protect none other than the descendants of Christ.
Any shred of truthfulness the story may have had went out the window when CBS picked it up..
The Priory of Sion was long ago exposed as a hoax cooked up in the 50's.
Holy Blood, Holy Grail, from which Dan Brown obviously cribbed his whole thing, is an enjoyable piece of fiction, but that's about it.
Here's the tower.
I forget which book I read it in, but part of this whole 'mystery' was the mention of the source of Berenger Sauniere's wealth -- contributed by the Vatican to keep Sauniere silent about the bloodline.
According the story, the Prior De Sion, if in fact there was any truth to the 'grail' mystery, the living descendent of Jesus (who was recognized by Pontius Pilate as the 'King of the Jews') would have legal claim even today as King of Israel -- a claim that would supersede the apostolic authority of the Church over Christianity because of the royal blood relationship between Jesus and the current Prior.
Could have been the reason Herod was intent on eliminating any contender to the throne at the time when the order went out to kill all the infants, hoping the kill would have included Jesus, the one he was really looking for because he knew of Jesus' lineage and the bloodline of both parents.
Can't remember the book.
.....Could have been the reason Herod was intent on eliminating any contender to the throne.....
The assertion was that Matthew presents two lineages for Jesus. He and perhaps his twin brother Thomas traced back along the priestly lineage and were eligible for controlling the priests of the temple and also back to David thus establishing the claim to the throne. The twins were thus able to rule it all with the status of king and head priest.
Jesus thus was feared by not only Herod but also Caiphus the priest.
Along with the possiblity that the 'manuscripts' may contain information that the church may be in error on some points.
I'm not aware of any movies but there are several TV series. There are also numerous books both pro and con discussing the HBHG and Messaniac Legacy. The TV works are superficial and can't begin to delve into the extreme depth of the subject.
There are several on TV representing the RCC and although they are unbiased scholars, their bias toward the church party line always comes strongly across.
There is tremendous evidence that something is amiss that has been for suspected for hundreds of years. The various historical threads were picked up and made current by the two books.
That's the big tower produced by his massive fortune?
Doesn't seem very impressive.
More like BS.
We wanted the "rumor" "suppressed" because we have this strange predilection against lying and in favor of the truth.
You guys are a hoot, though. What an obvious appeal to pride: "You, too can be one of the initiated few who know the truth that the bad old 'RCC' [sic] has swept under the carpet lo these many years".
It would be funny, if it weren't so pathetic. No, strike that, it's still pretty funny.
Jesus Christ is Lord and God, and the Holy Catholic Church is His pure and immaculate Bride. Stick that in your "conspiracy" pipe and smoke it.
A fitting allegory and harbinger for the 'kingdom not of this world' and the 'temple not made with hands.' Who enters the 'holy of holies' but the high priest -- the twin. ;)
> Doesn't seem very impressive.
Oh, but it is in Fwance. And Dan Bwown would say it's meant to be the Dome and Temple Mount.
The Grail legend is one of the best stories in history, and it has developed into the greatest conspiracy theory.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Pierre Athanase Marie Plantard (born March 18, 1920, died February 3, 2000) was the principal figure associated with the known history of the Priory of Sion, and is widely believed to have been the main creator of many of the claims about the Priory's supposed past history that later inspired the books Holy Blood, Holy Grail and The Da Vinci Code among others.
He used the surname Plantard de Saint-Clair from 1975 onwards, a constellation he made up himself following a published interview with Jean-Luc Chaumeil in the magazine l'Ère d'Aquarius. The surname Saint-Clair was adapted to his own surname on the basis that this was the family name associated with the area of Gisors, and Plantard began his mythmaking activities of the 1960s with Gérard de Sède in relation to the Gisors story as previously begun by Roger Lhomoy (see below).
1 Early life
2 1956 version of the Priory
3 Development of the Priory story
4 Later life
5 External links and references
Pierre Plantard from 1937 onwards began forming phantom associations with the aim of "purifying and renewing France" showing his anti-semitic and anti-masonic inclinations. On 16 December 1940 Plantard wrote a letter to Marshal Pétain expressing his belief in a "terrible Masonic and Jewish conspiracy" against France and warned that Pétain should act quickly to counter this threat with Plantard offering "a hundred reliable men who are devoted to the cause."
Plantard's phantom associations included the French Union (1937), the French National Renewal (1941) and the Alpha Galates (1942 and 1946). The German authorities had refused permission for Plantard to form the French National Renewal, and when Plantard disregarded another prohibition in the case of the Alpha Galates it earned him a four-month sentence in Fresnes Prison. Police Reports (entitled File Ga P7) relating to Plantard's pre-war and wartime activities are contained in the Paris Prefecture of Police, and from this early stage on in Plantard's life it was observed about him that: "Plantard, who boasts of having links with numerous politicians, seems to be one of those dotty, pretentious young men who run more or less fictitious groups in an effort to look important and who are taking advantage of the present trend towards taking a greater interest in young people in order to attract the Government's attention" (Police Report on Plantard's French National Renewal dated 9 May 1941).
1956 version of the Priory
Plantard founded the Priory in 1956 with Andre Bonhomme, both of them being signatories to the 7 May 1956 Priory of Sion Statutes and Registration Documents that had to be deposited at the Sub-Prefecture of Saint-Julien-en-Genevois to conform with the 1901 French Law of Associations (all French associations, groups and clubs must register with the authorities). Pierre Plantard at the time was working as a draughtsman for a company in the town of Annemasse, in the Haute-Savoie département of south-east France. Devoted to the "Defence and Liberty of Low-Cost Housing", the association attacked the property developers of Annemasse through its journal Circuit. Plantard's group published a periodical called "Vaincre" (Conquer), which was frequently laced with anti-Semetic, anti-Masonic and pro-Nazi remarks.
Development of the Priory story
During the early 1960s, Plantard put himself forward as a Merovingian claimant to the throne of France, descended from King Dagobert II. This position was apparently influenced by an article that he had read by Louis Saurel in the French magazine Les Cahiers de l'Histoire Number 1 (1960). Louis Saurel's article had argued that Dagobert II was the last effective independent Merovingian King before the "Mayors of the Palace" began taking control. There is no prior evidence that Plantard or his family claimed descent from the Merovingian dynasty, and the format of Louis Saurel's 1960 article in Les Cahiers de l'Histoire was later copied in a 1964 Priory Document ascribed to "Anne Lea Hisler" entitled "Rois et Gouvernants de la France". Plantard in reality was the son of a butler and a cook, who had no recorded links to the Merovingians.
This period of Plantard's activities coincided with his meeting French author Gérard de Sède, who with the collaboration of Plantard published in 1962 the book Les Templiers sont parmi nous, which related to the Gisors story that was begun by Roger Lhomoy (Lhomoy was de Sède's pig-farmer during this time). The book seems to have been the genesis of what was soon to become the popular version of the Priory of Sion, with the well-known ingredients Godfrey of Bouillon, the Knights Templar, and so on: all of which can be easily proved to be historical fiction because the various claims as found in the Priory Documents never existed before the early 1960s in any shape or form, and cannot be substantiated from the known historical records. Furthermore, letters in existence dating from the 1960s written by Pierre Plantard, Philippe de Cherisey and Gérard de Sède to each other confirm that the three were engaging in an out-and-out confidence trick, describing schemes on how to combat criticisms of their various allegations and how they would make-up new allegations to try and keep the whole thing going - these letters (totalling over 100) are in the possession of French researcher Jean-Luc Chaumeil, who has also retained the original envelopes. Jean-Luc Chaumeil during the 1970s was part of the Priory of Sion cabal and wrote books and articles about Plantard and the Priory of Sion before splitting from it during the late 1970s and exposing Pierre Plantard's past in French books. The Priory, Plantard claimed during the mid-1960s (but not before, and certainly not in 1956), was a secret inner circle of the Templars, which had survived the extinction of the original order, and had been manipulating events in Europe over centuries to keep alive the "rightful" Merovingian royalty.
Influenced by the hotelier Noel Corbu who claimed that a treasure had been discovered by the previous occupant of his hotel, Father Bérenger Saunière, Plantard claimed that this treasure included parchments that substantiated his descent from Dagobert. Plantard began writing manuscripts, and produced "parchments" (created by his friend, Philippe de Chérisey) that Saunière had supposedly discovered whilst renovating his church. These documents purportedly showed the survival of the Merovingian line of Frankish kings. Plantard manipulated Saunière's activities at Rennes-le-Château in order to "prove" his claims relating to the Priory of Sion. He, or an associate, also planted "arcane" home-made documents produced by a cheap stencil kit in the Bibliothèque nationale in Paris. These documents purported to corroborate the Priory's version of history.
Plantard later rejected these claims during the late 1980s when he revised the mythological pedigree of the Priory of Sion, claiming it had nothing to do with the Knights Templar, that the "Dossiers Secrets" was written under the influence of LSD, and that the Priory of Sion had in fact been founded in 1681 at Rennes-le-Château by the grandfather of Marie de Negri d'Ables. This revised version of the Priory of Sion had been influenced by the opening of the "Sauniere Museum" in Rennes-le-Chateau in May 1989.
In September, 1993, Plantard claimed that Roger-Patrice Pelat had once been grandmaster of the Priory of Sion. Pelat was a friend of the then-President of France François Mitterrand and center of a scandal involving French Prime Minister Pierre Bérégovoy. A French court ordered a search of Plantard's home, turning up many documents, including some proclaiming Plantard the true king of France. Under oath, Plantard admitted that he had fabricated everything, including Pelat's involvement with the Priory of Sion. Plantard lived in obscurity until his death on 3 February 2000 in Paris.
Thank you for your reply. I believe we were discussing possibilities, not realities. Do you object to free- thinking? You have to remember that not everyone in the world has a background in catholicism or is a catholic. Nor do they have the exclusive claim on truth that the church presumes. Give a little, huh? Thanks. Wanna win converts? Be nice.
Sane folks object to giving credence to the delusions of gradure of crazy frenchmen, and their attempts to have themselves crowned king.
Me too, if we're talking about deluded folks. But even if the story were true, it wouldn't bother me as long as they didn't claim they were MY king. I already have a King.
The variations on the Grail legend can be entertaining.
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