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The Priory of Sion
60 Minutes ^ | 4/30/2006 | Jeanne Langley

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.

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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.


TOPICS: Apologetics; Current Events; History
KEYWORDS: 60minutes; artbell; conspiracytheories; davincicode; fraud; latinvulgate; prioryofsion; tinfoilalert
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1 posted on 05/01/2006 8:39:59 AM PDT by conserv371
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To: conserv371
The original Lincoln works are "Holy Blood, Holy Grail" and "The Messanic Legacy"

Both reflect concepts kicked around for a very long time and systematically suppressed by the RCC since very early on.

The Messianic Legacy is a very interesting work that extend some of the concepts of the earlier Holy Blood Holy Grail.

While not truly scholarly, they are not pure fiction like Di Vinchi.
2 posted on 05/01/2006 8:50:33 AM PDT by bert (K.E. N.P. Slay Pinch)
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To: conserv371

Any shred of truthfulness the story may have had went out the window when CBS picked it up..


3 posted on 05/01/2006 9:06:22 AM PDT by cardinal4 (Kerry-Mcarthy in 2008!)
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To: conserv371

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.


4 posted on 05/01/2006 9:15:19 AM PDT by Argus
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To: conserv371

Here's the tower.

5 posted on 05/01/2006 9:33:31 AM PDT by cloud8
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To: bert
"Both reflect concepts kicked around for a very long time and systematically suppressed by the RCC since very early on."

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.

6 posted on 05/01/2006 10:04:41 AM PDT by Eastbound (If ignorance is bliss, no wonder so many democrats are in a trance.)
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To: Eastbound

.....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.


7 posted on 05/01/2006 10:18:38 AM PDT by bert (K.E. N.P. Slay Pinch)
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To: bert
I haven't seen any of the movies on this, but I'm sure there are/were several made through the years that tried to unravel the mystery of the 'Holy Grail.' I wonder if any of them, especially the ones that are coming out today make any mention of the reason the RCC wants/wanted to keep the 'rumor' supressed -- and if that reason could be what our replies are referencing concerning authority over the church?

Along with the possiblity that the 'manuscripts' may contain information that the church may be in error on some points.

8 posted on 05/01/2006 10:36:32 AM PDT by Eastbound (If ignorance is bliss, no wonder so many democrats are in a trance.)
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To: Eastbound

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.


9 posted on 05/01/2006 10:46:38 AM PDT by bert (K.E. N.P. Slay Pinch)
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To: cloud8
Here's the tower.

That's the big tower produced by his massive fortune?

Doesn't seem very impressive.

10 posted on 05/01/2006 11:05:18 AM PDT by siunevada (If we learn nothing from history, what's the point of having one? - Peggy Hill)
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To: siunevada
"My researches have thrown up several times the name Priory of Sion. Could this be the meaning of 'PS?'" Lincoln wondered.

More like BS.

11 posted on 05/01/2006 11:09:45 AM PDT by Nihil Obstat
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To: Eastbound; bert
especially the ones that are coming out today make any mention of the reason the RCC wants/wanted to keep the 'rumor' supressed -- and if that reason could be what our replies are referencing concerning authority over the church?

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.

12 posted on 05/01/2006 11:20:34 AM PDT by Campion ("I am so tired of you, liberal church in America" -- Mother Angelica, 1993)
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To: bert
"The twins were thus able to rule it all with the status of king and head priest."

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. ;)

13 posted on 05/01/2006 11:39:37 AM PDT by Eastbound
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To: siunevada
> That's the big tower produced by his massive fortune?

> 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.

14 posted on 05/01/2006 11:43:14 AM PDT by cloud8
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To: conserv371

Pierre Plantard
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).
Contents
[hide]
1 Early life
2 1956 version of the Priory
3 Development of the Priory story
4 Later life
5 External links and references
[edit]
Early life

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).
[edit]
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.
[edit]
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.
[edit]
Later life

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.[1] Plantard lived in obscurity until his death on 3 February 2000 in Paris.


15 posted on 05/01/2006 11:45:07 AM PDT by x5452
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To: Campion

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.


16 posted on 05/01/2006 11:48:21 AM PDT by Eastbound
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To: Eastbound

Sane folks object to giving credence to the delusions of gradure of crazy frenchmen, and their attempts to have themselves crowned king.


17 posted on 05/01/2006 11:51:28 AM PDT by x5452
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To: x5452
"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.

18 posted on 05/01/2006 12:03:33 PM PDT by Eastbound
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Comment #19 Removed by Moderator

To: cloud8
The Grail legend is one of the best stories in history, and it has developed into the greatest conspiracy theory.

The variations on the Grail legend can be entertaining.

20 posted on 05/01/2006 12:24:24 PM PDT by siunevada (If we learn nothing from history, what's the point of having one? - Peggy Hill)
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To: Eastbound

The guy and his group have fessed up in court to planting false records in french libraries for YEARS.


21 posted on 05/01/2006 1:05:19 PM PDT by x5452
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To: x5452

Well, that's important information. Thanks for looking that up!


22 posted on 05/01/2006 1:15:50 PM PDT by Eastbound ("I've got a right for them. It starts with "You have a right to remain silent . . " -- MarkyD)
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To: Eastbound
contributed by the Vatican to keep Sauniere silent about the bloodline.

*Obviously. The Vatican is all about the money and we wouldn't be raking in scads of dough if word got out that Jesus was married and whatnot

The bloodline can be traced to the English Colonies in America; especially the Bush family who were loyalists. In any event, one of the Bush family members (long-ago disowned because he owned slaves) extended the bloodlines into the slave population and, generations later, we, lucky enough to be alive when he played at Winston-Salem State University and in the NBA in Baltimore and New York, wegot to witness the Jesus-Mary Magdalen blood coursing through the veins of the Black Jesus, Earl Monroe

23 posted on 05/01/2006 2:35:09 PM PDT by bornacatholic
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To: bornacatholic

LOL! I just about spit coffee all over my keyboard!


24 posted on 05/01/2006 2:54:35 PM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: Eastbound
Do you object to free- thinking?

I believe it was G.K. Chesterton who said that an open mind was good only to be closed on something solid.

Nor do they have the exclusive claim on truth that the church presumes.

The church presumes "no exclusive claim on truth," but that doesn't make it wise or responsible for the rest of us to prate about foolishness like this.

I have no patience for "big nasty conspiracy theories". They are intellectually lazy. Look, I can play, too:

"Jesus was a space alien from the fourth planet around Zeta Reticuli. The true way of salvation is for all of us to fly there on spaceships we can build in our backyards. I have the plans, which can be yours for a small free-will contribution of say, $200. Don't believe me? Well, the only reason you don't believe me is that the big bad Roman Catholics have destroyed all of the evidence that would make my position inescapably obvious. Most of it was done by albino monks from Opus Dei at the Council of Nicaea, led by their leader, Constantine."

See what I mean about intellectually lazy? "Dog ate my homework" lazy? Hey, maybe I can write a book and sell 40 million copies and get rich, off an intellectually lazy society that doesn't want to hear the real truth: "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, for the remission of sins." (Acts chapter 2)

25 posted on 05/01/2006 3:16:27 PM PDT by Campion ("I am so tired of you, liberal church in America" -- Mother Angelica, 1993)
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To: bornacatholic; x5452
"*Obviously. The Vatican is all about the money and we wouldn't be raking in scads of dough if word got out that Jesus was married and whatnot"

Well, you said that, not I. I didn't even infer it. My remarks were on the book I read, the point of which was the claim, (later followed by a confession of falsehood, according to x5452) if true, would have placed the Prior of Sion in competition with the RCC with respect to apostolic succession and the authority of the church.

I did not say that was my belief, for I wasn't there to witness all those happenings. However, I will take issue with anyone who attempts to squelch my right to speculate on someone else's ideas or to discuss their value. That 's what this thread and topic is about -- someone else's view of some possible historical events.

Of course, you have the same right. But if I was a member of the RCC interested in protecting and preserving the 'faith' and to present it in an acceptable manner to a non-RCC, I think I'd take another tack.

Personally, it would make no difference to me whether or not Jesus was married and may have had children. It is not relevant to my salvation, which hinges on the revelation and understanding that he was, is, and ever shall be the Son of God, begotten of the Father, conceived of the Holy Spirit, unjustly crucified for my sins, revealed himself to many after His resurrection, baptized many with His Holy Spirit (the attributes and personality of God, the Father) through the person of Christ), ascended, and sits on the right hand of the Father in heaven.

All else to me is vanity. Even this thread. But it gives opportunity for interchange of perspectives and for 'witness', and that is fruitful.

NBA, eh? Hey, that's almost believable. ;>

26 posted on 05/01/2006 6:07:51 PM PDT by Eastbound ("I've got a right for them. It starts with "You have a right to remain silent . . " -- MarkyD)
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To: Campion
""Repent and be baptized, every one of you, for the remission of sins." (Acts chapter 2)"

Excellent admonition!

27 posted on 05/01/2006 6:30:34 PM PDT by Eastbound ("I've got a right for them. It starts with "You have a right to remain silent . . " -- MarkyD)
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To: cardinal4
Any shred of truthfulness the story may have had went out the window when CBS picked it up..

Such cynicism! Don't you know that 60 Minutes has a typewritten memo from Judas to Paul in Rome stating that he was present at the graduation ceremony of Jesus' son from Oxford?

28 posted on 05/01/2006 8:36:51 PM PDT by Petrosius
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To: bert

"Twin Brother"? the only thing factual here is that Thomas means twin.


29 posted on 05/01/2006 8:50:55 PM PDT by RobbyS ( CHIRHO)
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To: conserv371
thanks for the post. Dan Brown is debunked again:
After the war, Plantard moved to the small French town of Annemasse. In 1953 he was given a six-month sentence for fraud — but three years later, he was again setting up a new organization. Under French law, it’s necessary to deposit the statutes of every new association with the authorities. That’s how a government official there was able to give us information about it. It was called "The Priory of Sion," named not for 12th-century Jerusalem, but for the local mountain close to where he lived. Ten years later and now back in Paris, Plantard gave the Priory of Sion a fictitious pedigree by drawing up that list of Grand Masters and depositing it in the Bibliotheque Nationale. Charlot says that apart from that list, no historian has found any evidence that the Priory of Sion existed before Plantard set up his version in 1956.

30 posted on 05/01/2006 9:04:55 PM PDT by D-fendr
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To: conserv371

I met an Israeli woman reading that thing in Hebrew.


31 posted on 05/01/2006 9:21:19 PM PDT by onedoug
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To: Eastbound
I will take issue with anyone who attempts to squelch my right to speculate on someone else's ideas or to discuss their value

*Far be it from me to be a right-squelcher. As Polonius advised, "Neither a borrower nor a rights-squelcher be"

But if I was a member of the RCC interested in protecting and preserving the 'faith' and to present it in an acceptable manner to a non-RCC, I think I'd take another tack

*We are doing prety wel, thanks. I'll guarantee weh welcomed more converts into the Catholic Church during Easter than did you community

Personally, it would make no difference to me whether or not Jesus was married and may have had children. It is not relevant to my salvation,

*Nor is this thread relevant to your salvation yet you are participating in it and making malign assumptions about the Church. About Jesus and the truth of His life you seem rather indifferent though.

Is Jesus God?

Did God die on the Cross

32 posted on 05/02/2006 7:56:05 AM PDT by bornacatholic
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To: Eastbound
However, I will take issue with anyone who attempts to squelch my right to speculate on someone else's ideas or to discuss their value.

Okay, and when someone tells you that vague mumblings about conspiracies and sly insinuations that various people were "paid off" by the Vatican (care to show us the cancelled checks?) are worthless dreck, will you continue to repeat such foolishness because you have the "right" to do so?

You don't have a moral right to engage in slander, whether you think you do or not, and whether the object of that slander is the Vatican, or anyone else.

33 posted on 05/02/2006 8:07:29 AM PDT by Campion ("I am so tired of you, liberal church in America" -- Mother Angelica, 1993)
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To: Eastbound
I agree with the essentials that you list as necessary to salvation. You mention the word "revelation" by which I assume you mean the Bible.
In no place is the "thread" (Jesus married, father Holy Grail etc.) even vaguely alluded to therein.
Of course one is free to speculate on anything that comes to mind. However, that same "revelation" warns believers not to .."set your mind on things that are on earth." (Col.3:1-4).
It is at the very least poor stewardship to spend one's time playing with preposterous conspiracy theories that can be so easily debunked by both secular and religious sources.
If you want fun and mysteries, stick with things that do not risk offending the Lord.
34 posted on 05/02/2006 8:16:34 AM PDT by Bainbridge
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To: Bainbridge
"You mention the word "revelation" by which I assume you mean the Bible."

As confirmed by Peter before the Bible (NT) was written, but later included in the NT as a witness.

35 posted on 05/02/2006 11:26:20 AM PDT by Eastbound ("I've got a right for them. It starts with "You have a right to remain silent . . " -- MarkyD)
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To: american colleen; Lady In Blue; Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; ...
DAVINCI CODE FRAUD EXPOSED - THIS IS A MUST READ

* * * * *

The Priory Of Sion

April 30, 2006
(CBS) 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.

"There's Mary Magdalene to whom the church is dedicated, holding the cross. She's supposed to have brought it to France, the cross and the grail," says Lincoln.

Lincoln's theory was that Mary Magdalene had married Jesus and the Holy Grail that she allegedly brought to France was not the cup from the Last Supper but the child that she and Jesus had together.


This was the theme of a book he co-authored in the 1980s called "Holy Blood, Holy Grail" which was an international bestseller and on which Dan Brown acknowledges he drew for "The Da Vinci Code." Just how many dozens of other books it also inspired can be seen in the bookshop at Rennes Le Chateau. So does Lincoln still believe in that story today?

"I can't say that it's a fact because it isn't. It's an idea. But it fits the facts that we have, very few though they be," Lincoln says.

One of those alleged facts is featured prominently at the beginning of "The Da Vinci Code." On a page headed "Fact," Dan Brown says that the Priory of Sion, which is central to the secret at the heart of his book, is a real organization. He says that at the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris — the French National Library — you can find proof that it was founded in Jerusalem at the time of the Crusades. That proof is in some documents known as the Dossiers Secrets or Secret Files.

So 60 Minutes decided to check out those Secret Files. The Bibliothèque Nationale made exact copies for the 60 Minutes team to look at because they said the originals were too fragile to handle.

We soon found what we were looking for. One document gives the history of the Priory of Sion dating back to the 12th Century, and there's a list of Grand Masters that includes such illustrious names as Sir Isaac Newton and Leonardo Da Vinci. This information would be astounding — except for one thing.

"I do know what was going on in Jerusalem in the 12th Century, I do know. I spent 40 years working on it and what these people say — did not happen," says Jonathan Riley-Smith, the former professor of ecclesiastical history at Cambridge University and a leading authority on the Crusades.

French researchers have also questioned the authenticity of these secret files ever since they were deposited in the Bibliotheque Nationale in the 1960's. Their attention came to focus on a man named Pierre Plantard, who claimed to be the current Grand Master of the Priory of Sion. But evidence at the police headquarters in Paris tells a different story. Historian Claude Charlot, who is director of police archives, says there’s a file on Plantard, who died in 2000, showing that during World War II he was investigated by the secret services. So what was their conclusion?

"The investigation said, 'He is a young man whose mind — as we say in French — is cloudy. He is a fantasist; he is not a serious person,'" Charlot said, with the help of a translator.

One of Plantard's fantasies was to set up right-wing, anti-Semitic organizations, similar in style to medieval orders of chivalry. But in reality these organizations existed only on paper.

"I noticed that in one of the police reports it was noted that his organization 'French National Renewal' was described as a ‘phantom group.' That he claimed it had 3,000 members and the police found it had only four," Bradley remarked.

Charlot says it was a pure invention.


After the war, Plantard moved to the small French town of Annemasse. In 1953 he was given a six-month sentence for fraud — but three years later, he was again setting up a new organization. Under French law, it’s necessary to deposit the statutes of every new association with the authorities. That’s how a government official there was able to give us information about it. It was called "The Priory of Sion," named not for 12th-century Jerusalem, but for the local mountain close to where he lived. Ten years later and now back in Paris, Plantard gave the Priory of Sion a fictitious pedigree by drawing up that list of Grand Masters and depositing it in the Bibliotheque Nationale. Charlot says that apart from that list, no historian has found any evidence that the Priory of Sion existed before Plantard set up his version in 1956.

"In other words, all that Plantard tells us, or what other people tell us about the Priory of Sion — that the Grand Master was Victor Hugo or Leonardo Da Vinci — is sheer invention," says Charlot.

The Priory of Sion, says Charlot, was just another figment of Plantard's imagination.

But if the Priory of Sion was just a figment of Pierre Plantard's imagination, what about those parchments that mentioned Sion and were supposedly found by the priest in his church at Rennes Le Chateau? Bill Putnam and John Edwin Wood who have written a book about the mystery say the text in one of the parchments precludes them from being genuine.

"This one uses a Latin version of the Bible, the Vulgate. There are a number of known versions of this at various times in history and by looking exactly at which words are used and which words are not used you can tell which version it is," Putnam explains.

Putnam says this is the version of the Bible used. The only trouble is, it wasn't published until 1889, and Sauniere was supposed to have found these centuries-old parchments well before that date.

"So it could not possibly have been around had these parchments really been discovered by Sauniere prior to that date," says Putnam.

Putnam says it was all just an elaborate hoax.

Putnam and Wood say once again it was Plantard who was responsible for that hoax. Hearing of the story of Rennes Le Chateau, he decided to use it for his own ends and turned to a friend named Philippe de Cherisey for help in creating those parchments.

"Philippe de Cherisey was a different character altogether. He was something of a joker. He’d actually been an actor and had played parts in French television and he was fond of puzzles. And he invented the parchments because he liked puzzles," says John Edwin Wood.

Like Plantard, de Cherisey is now dead. So where are those parchments today? French writer Jean-Luc Chaumeil, who knew both men well and inherited many of their papers, says he has them.


Chaumeil says he got the parchments from de Cherisey and had them analyzed by two experts, who found that they are maybe 40 years old.

Chaumeil also has a document, handwritten and signed by de Cherisey in which he describes how he created the parchments to produce what he calls "a good hoax."

"But if the parchments are a hoax, if the parchments are forged, what does that do to the story of Rennes Le Chateau and the story of the Priory of Sion?" Bradley asked.

"If the parchments are wrong, no, the story is finished," Chaumeil replied.

None of this evidence has deterred Lincoln or his supporters, who refuse to accept that the story is finished.

"I am not a naïve innocent who was hoaxed by Monsieur Plantard and Cherisey. No, I am a very, very careful researcher," says Lincoln.

As for Brown, he declined 60 Minutes request for an interview. But on his official Web site, there's a page entitled "Bizarre True Facts from The Da Vinci Code," where he continues to claim that the Priory of Sion is a European secret society that since 1099 has been guarding "a shocking historical secret."

Asked where they would place this hoax in the list of hoaxes that have been perpetrated throughout history, Putnam and John Edwin Wood both say "at the top."

"This is undoubtedly the most magnificent — we take our hats off in admiration to the achievement. It's really quite extraordinary," says Putnam.

But one mystery still remains, and it's the one that began this story: Where did the priest of Rennes Le Chateau, Bérenger Saunière, get the money to build his estate? In 1910 he was summoned to appear before the bishop's court in the local, medieval-walled city of Carcasonne.

In Carcasonne, Sauniere was tried and found guilty of trafficking in masses. Priests are allowed to accept money for saying up to three masses a day. But what Saunière had done was to solicit and receive money for thousands of masses, which he couldn't possibly have said. In fact, he didn't even try. So the source of the wealth of the priest of Rennes le Chateau was not some ancient, mysterious treasure — but good old-fashioned fraud.

Catholic Ping - Please freepmail me if you want on/off this list


36 posted on 05/03/2006 8:32:25 AM PDT by NYer (Discover the beauty of the Eastern Catholic Churches - freepmail me for more information.)
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To: bornacatholic
wegot to witness the Jesus-Mary Magdalen blood coursing through the veins of the Black Jesus, Earl Monroe

BWHAHAHAHAAAA!!!!

37 posted on 05/03/2006 8:42:21 AM PDT by bourbon (he who marries the spirt if the age will soon be a widower.)
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To: Eastbound
Personally, it would make no difference to me whether or not Jesus was married and may have had children.

It should make a difference to you b/c the "theory" that Jesus was married and fathered children is patently false.

38 posted on 05/03/2006 8:45:15 AM PDT by bourbon (he who marries the spirt if the age will soon be a widower.)
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To: NYer

I saw part of the 60 Minutes segment on Sunday night. I laughed. Alot.


39 posted on 05/03/2006 9:11:21 AM PDT by Jaded (does it really need a sarcasm tag?)
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To: bert; Eastbound
In 1910 he was summoned to appear before the bishop's court in the local, medieval-walled city of Carcasonne.

In Carcasonne, Sauniere was tried and found guilty of trafficking in masses. But what Saunière had done was to solicit and receive money for thousands of masses, which he couldn't possibly have said. In fact, he didn't even try. So the source of the wealth of the priest of Rennes le Chateau was not some ancient, mysterious treasure — but good old-fashioned fraud.

So much for the Vatican payoff theory.

40 posted on 05/03/2006 9:51:13 AM PDT by Campion ("I am so tired of you, liberal church in America" -- Mother Angelica, 1993)
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To: bourbon
"It should make a difference to you b/c the "theory" that Jesus was married and fathered children is patently false."

It may be false, but that was not the point. True or false, it wouldn't diminish his Messiahship nor his glory. Why would it be important to you that Jesus would not have married?

41 posted on 05/03/2006 10:01:35 AM PDT by Eastbound ("I've got a right for them. It starts with "You have a right to remain silent . . " -- MarkyD)
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To: conserv371
From The Da Vinci Hoax website:

"Brown’s site states that this cryptic message “hints at a shocking historical secret which allegedly has been guarded since 1099 by a European secret society known as the Priory of Sion.” Nevermind that the Priory of Sion was founded in the 1950s in France by a political radical, that its mysterious history is an admitted fabrication, and that it has been proven more than once to be a complete hoax. And yet the Priory of Sion is a central element in the plot and logic (so to speak) of The Da Vinci Code."



This is an excellent book for anyone who wants to know the true FACTS behind Dan Brown's "fiction".
42 posted on 05/03/2006 10:29:44 AM PDT by Antoninus (I will not vote for a liberal, regardless of party.)
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To: conserv371
Hey, well lookee here....

Is this the mainstream media giving prime time FREE prime-time publicity to The Da Vinci Code? Well, I'm shocked. SHOCKED.

Here I thought if only we Christians stayed quiet, this movie wouldn't generate any buzz. Guess that was a pretty dumb idea.
43 posted on 05/03/2006 10:31:51 AM PDT by Antoninus (I will not vote for a liberal, regardless of party.)
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To: Eastbound
Do you object to free- thinking?

I object to thinking which is free of facts--which is what all this Duh Vinci stuff is.
44 posted on 05/03/2006 10:36:13 AM PDT by Antoninus (I will not vote for a liberal, regardless of party.)
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To: Eastbound
First, it IS false, and that is the point.

People like Dan Brown who broker lies about Jesus do so to achieve their own nefarious ends. Giving credence to the falsities which underlie the Da Vinci Code only serves to promote error and confusion about Christ and his teachings.

Furthrmore, if it were true that Jesus married Mary Magdalene (which it manifestly is not), it could diminish his "Messiahship" and his glory as revealed to us in the historical Christ. For one, a non-celibate Christ undermines the image of Christ as the bridgegroom of the Church, which was discussed by Christ (Mark 2:19) and by John the Baptist (John 3:29).

45 posted on 05/03/2006 10:56:38 AM PDT by bourbon (he who marries the spirt if the age will soon be a widower.)
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To: Antoninus
"I object to thinking which is free of facts--which is what all this Duh Vinci stuff is."

'Duh Vinci.' :> Good one!

Would it be more accurate to say you object to the phenomena which causes people to believe a lie after the truth is established? Well, maybe that phenomena has something to do with the way the truth is presented. Everyone has the right to be pursuaded in their own mind what the truth is. Though truth never changes, our understanding of it does. The Spirit of Truth must be present to enlarge upon that understanding. To encourage the desire for it.

Could it be that is what is lacking here? But even so, who here is a parent who presumes the authority and responsibility to instruct a neighbor's child?

But then, this thread is not a classroom. It is a marketplace of ideas. Want to out-sell your competitor? Better merchandising is the key. Talk up the unique features and benefits of your own product rather than ridicule the product in the next booth.

For myself, I'm just window-shopping and asking questions.

46 posted on 05/03/2006 12:00:47 PM PDT by Eastbound ("I've got a right for them. It starts with "You have a right to remain silent . . " -- MarkyD)
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To: NYer
Ten years later and now back in Paris, Plantard gave the Priory of Sion a fictitious pedigree by drawing up that list of Grand Masters and depositing it in the Bibliotheque Nationale.

LOL! Thanks for the info.

47 posted on 05/03/2006 12:25:20 PM PDT by Aquinasfan (When you find "Sola Scriptura" in the Bible, let me know)
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To: Eastbound
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.

Read the article. The priest's wealth came from plain old-fashioned fraud. He was selling masses.

48 posted on 05/03/2006 12:27:39 PM PDT by Aquinasfan (When you find "Sola Scriptura" in the Bible, let me know)
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To: bourbon
"For one, a non-celibate Christ undermines the image of Christ as the bridgegroom of the Church, which was discussed by Christ (Mark 2:19) and by John the Baptist (John 3:29)."

Do you think the church, as the bride, should be barren? Spiritually speaking of course. As I think about it, you present a valid reason for Jesus to have been married and a father, for it establishes a natural happening upon which the spiritual allegory can rest.

49 posted on 05/03/2006 12:27:54 PM PDT by Eastbound ("I've got a right for them. It starts with "You have a right to remain silent . . " -- MarkyD)
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To: bert
>The original Lincoln works are "Holy Blood, Holy Grail" and "The Messanic Legacy" ... While not truly scholarly, they are not pure fiction ...

I liked those books, but
I found "The Di Vinci Code"
boring beyond words.

50 posted on 05/03/2006 12:32:04 PM PDT by theFIRMbss
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