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Holy Blood, Holy Grail: The Secret History of Christ & The Shocking Legacy of the Grail Holy Blood, Holy Grail: The Secret History of Christ & The Shocking Legacy of the Grail

Holy Blood, Holy Grail: The Secret History of Christ & The Shocking Legacy of the Grail Holy Blood, Holy Grail

From the Inside Flap

Is the traditional, accepted view of the life of Christ in some way incomplete?

  • - Is it possible Christ did not die on the cross?
  • - Is it possible Jesus was married, a father, and that his bloodline still exists?
  • - Is it possible that parchments found in the South of France a century ago reveal one of the best-kept secrets of Christendom?
  • - Is it possible that these parchments contain the very heart of the mystery of the Holy Grail?

According to the authors of this extraordinarily provocative, meticulously researched book, not only are these things possible -- they are probably true! so revolutionary, so original, so convincing, that the most faithful Christians will be moved; here is the book that has sparked worldwide controversey.

"Enough to seriously challenge many traditional Christian beliefs, if not alter them." -- "Los Angeles Times Book Review

"Like "Chariots of the Gods?...the plot has all the elements of an international thriller." -- "Newsweek


About the Author

Michael Baigent was born in New Zealand in 1948 and obtained a degree in psychology from Canterbury University. At one point he gave up a successful career in photojournalism to devote his time to researching the Templars for a film project. Since 1976 he has lived in England.

Richard Leigh is a novelist and short-story writer with postgraduate degrees in comparative literature and a thorough knowledge of history, philosophy, psychology, and esoterica. He has been working for some years as a university lecturer in the United States, Canada, and Britain.

Henry Lincoln is an author and filmmaker and has written for television.

Paperback: 496 pages
Publisher: Dell Trade Paperbacks (January 6, 2004)

The Holy Place: Sauniere and the Decoding of the Mystery of Rennes-le-Chateau The Holy Place: Sauniere and the Decoding of the Mystery of Rennes-le-Chateau

The Holy Place: Sauniere and the Decoding of the Mystery of Rennes-le-Chateau The Holy Place: Saunière and the Decoding of the Mystery of Rennes-le-Château

Continues the investigation, reported in "Holy Blood, Holy Grail," into accursed treasure, the Knights Templar, Jesus, and the existence of a megalithic masterpiece.

Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: Arcade Publishing; 1st edition (November 1, 2004)

Secrets of Rennes-Le-Chateau Secrets of Rennes-Le-Chateau

Secrets of Rennes-Le-Chateau Secrets of Rennes-Le-Chateau

Here are the basic outlines of the mystery of Rennes-le-Château. It was clear that Berenger Sauniere, the parish priest of the small village during the late 19th and early 20th century, had been receiving vast sums of money to refurbish the local church and also to build many structures in the area, such as his Tower of the Magdalene. Sauniere died in 1917, leaving the secret of where he got his fabulous wealth to his housekeeper, Marie Dernaud, who promised to reveal it on her deathbed -- but sadly she had a stroke which left her paralyzed and unable to speak before her death in 1953. Speculation was rife on the source of the parish priest's money. Was it the lost treasure of the Templars or the Cathars in the area? Might it have been buried Visigothic gold? Or was he blackmailing the Church with some terrible secret? The evidence that points to the last possibility is that Sauniere's confession before his death was so shocking that the priest who heard it denied him absolution and last rites.

Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Red Wheel/Weiser; 3rd Print edition (May 1, 1992)

The Urantia Book The Urantia Book
The Urantia Book The Urantia Book

Love

Love is truly contagious and eternally creative. (p. 2018) “Devote your life to proving that love is the greatest thing in the world.” (p. 2047) “Love is the ancestor of all spiritual goodness, the essence of the true and the beautiful.” (p. 2047) The Father’s love can become real to mortal man only by passing through that man’s personality as he in turn bestows this love upon his fellows. (p. 1289) The secret of a better civilization is bound up in the Master’s teachings of the brotherhood of man, the good will of love and mutual trust. (p. 2065)

Prayer

Prayer is not a technique of escape from conflict but rather a stimulus to growth in the very face of conflict. (p. 1002) The sincerity of any prayer is the assurance of its being heard. … (p. 1639) God answers man’s prayer by giving him an increased revelation of truth, an enhanced appreciation of beauty, and an augmented concept of goodness. (p. 1002) …Never forget that the sincere prayer of faith is a mighty force for the promotion of personal happiness, individual self-control, social harmony, moral progress, and spiritual attainment. (p. 999)

Suffering

There is a great and glorious purpose in the march of the universes through space. All of your mortal struggling is not in vain. (p. 364) Mortals only learn wisdom by experiencing tribulation. (p. 556)

Angels

The angels of all orders are distinct personalities and are highly individualized. (p. 285) Angels....are fully cognizant of your moral struggles and spiritual difficulties. They love human beings, and only good can result from your efforts to understand and love them. (p. 419)

Our Divine Destiny

If you are a willing learner, if you want to attain spirit levels and reach divine heights, if you sincerely desire to reach the eternal goal, then the divine Spirit will gently and lovingly lead you along the pathway of sonship and spiritual progress. (p. 381) …They who know that God is enthroned in the human heart are destined to become like him—immortal. (p. 1449) God is not only the determiner of destiny; he is man’s eternal destination. (p. 67)

Family

Almost everything of lasting value in civilization has its roots in the family. (p. 765) The family is man’s greatest purely human achievement. ... (p. 939)

Faith

…Faith will expand the mind, ennoble the soul, reinforce the personality, augment the happiness, deepen the spirit perception, and enhance the power to love and be loved. (p. 1766) “Now, mistake not, my Father will ever respond to the faintest flicker of faith.” (p. 1733)

History/Science

The story of man’s ascent from seaweed to the lordship of earthly creation is indeed a romance of biologic struggle and mind survival. (p. 731) 2,500,000,000 years ago… Urantia was a well developed sphere about one tenth its present mass. … (p. 658) 1,000,000,000 years ago is the date of the actual beginning of Urantia [Earth] history. (p. 660) 450,000,000 years ago the transition from vegetable to animal life occurred. (p. 669) From the year A.D. 1934 back to the birth of the first two human beings is just 993,419 years. (p. 707) About five hundred thousand years ago…there were almost one-half billion primitive human beings on earth. … (p. 741) Adam and Eve arrived on Urantia, from the year A.D. 1934, 37,848 years ago. (p. 828)

From the Inside Flap

What’s Inside?

Parts I and II

God, the inhabited universes, life after death, angels and other beings, the war in heaven.

Part III

The history of the world, science and evolution, Adam and Eve, development of civilization, marriage and family, personal spiritual growth.

Part IV

The life and teachings of Jesus including the missing years. AND MUCH MORE…

Excerpts

God, …God is the source and destiny of all that is good and beautiful and true. (p. 1431) If you truly want to find God, that desire is in itself evidence that you have already found him. (p. 1440) When man goes in partnership with God, great things may, and do, happen. (p. 1467)

The Origin of Human Life, The universe is not an accident... (p. 53) The universe of universes is the work of God and the dwelling place of his diverse creatures. (p. 21) The evolutionary planets are the spheres of human origin…Urantia [Earth] is your starting point. … (p. 1225) In God, man lives, moves, and has his being. (p. 22)

The Purpose of Life, There is in the mind of God a plan which embraces every creature of all his vast domains, and this plan is an eternal purpose of boundless opportunity, unlimited progress, and endless life. (p. 365) This new gospel of the kingdom… presents a new and exalted goal of destiny, a supreme life purpose. (p. 1778)

Jesus, The religion of Jesus is the most dynamic influence ever to activate the human race. (p. 1091) What an awakening the world would experience if it could only see Jesus as he really lived on earth and know, firsthand, his life-giving teachings! (p. 2083)

Science, Science, guided by wisdom, may become man’s great social liberator. (p. 909) Mortal man is not an evolutionary accident. There is a precise system, a universal law, which determines the unfolding of the planetary life plan on the spheres of space. (p. 560)

Life after Death, God’s love is universal… He is “not willing that any should perish.” (p. 39) Your short sojourn on Urantia [Earth]…is only a single link, the very first in the long chain that is to stretch across universes and through the eternal ages. (p. 435) …Death is only the beginning of an endless career of adventure, an everlasting life of anticipation, an eternal voyage of discovery. (p. 159)

About the Author

The text of The Urantia Book was provided by one or more anonymous contributors working with a small staff which provided editorial and administrative support during the book's creation. The book bears no particular credentials (from a human viewpoint), relying instead on the power and beauty of the writing itself to persuade the reader of its authenticity.

Leather Bound: 2097 pages
Publisher: Urantia Foundation; Box Lea edition (August 25, 2015)

The Messianic Legacy The Messianic Legacy

The Messianic Legacy The Messianic Legacy

From the Inside Flap

"Holy Blood, Holy Grail rocked the very foundations of Christianity. Now four more years of research have uncovered shocking material -- and its earthshaking consequences.

  • - What extraordinary meaning lies behind Jesus' title -- "King of the Jews"?
  • - Was there more than one Christ?
  • - Who really constituted Jesus' following -- and what were the real identities of Simon Peter and Judas Iscariot?
  • - Who now has the ancient treasure of the Temple of Jerusalem?
  • - What is the true source of today's Christian "Fundamentalism"?
  • - What links the Vatican, the CIA, the KGB, the Mafia, Freemasonry, and the Knights Templar?
  • - What is the stunning goal of the European secret society that traces its lineage back to Christ and the House of David?

"The Messianic Legacy. Here is the book that reveals the answers to these intriguing, potentially explosive questions. Utilizing the same meticulous research that catapulted their first book onto the best seller lists, the authors again bring an enlighteneing message of truth -- and urgent importance -- to Christians and non-Christians the world over.

About the Author

Michael Baigent was born in New Zealand in 1948 and obtained a degree in psychology from Canterbury University. At one point he gave up a successful career in photojournalism to devote his time to researching the Templars for a film project. He lives in England and is the author of numerous books on ancient Christianity and conspiracy.

Paperback: 456 pages
Publisher: Delta; Complete Numbers Starting with 1, 1st Ed edition (December 30, 2003)

Dead Sea Scrolls Deception Dead Sea Scrolls Deception

Dead Sea Scrolls Deception Dead Sea Scrolls Deception

The oldest Biblical manuscripts in existence, the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in caves near Jerusalem in 1947, only to be kept a tightly held secret for nearly fifty more years, until the Huntington Library unleashed a storm of controversy in 1991 by releasing copies of the Scrolls. In this gripping investigation authors Baigent and Leigh set out to discover how a small coterie of orthodox biblical scholars gained control over the Scrolls, allowing access to no outsiders and issuing a strict "consensus" interpretation. The authors' questions begin in Israel, then lead them to the corridors of the Vatican and into the offices of the Inquisition. With the help of independent scholars, historical research, and careful analysis of available texts, the authors reveal what was at stake for these orthodox guardians: The Scrolls present startling insights into early Christianity -- insights that challenge the Church's version of the "facts." More than just a dramatic exposé of the intrigues surrounding these priceless documents, The Dead Sea Scrolls Deception presents nothing less than a new, highly significant perspective on Christianity.

About the Author

Michael Baigent graduated from Canterbury University, Christchurch, New Zealand, Richard Leigh followed his degree from Tufts University with postgraduate studies at the University of Chicago and the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Together the authors have also written Holy Blood, Holy Grail; The Messianic Legacy; and The Temple and the Lodge. Both writers live in England.

Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (April 12, 1993)

Key to the Sacred Pattern: The Untold Story of Rennes-le-Chateau Key to the Sacred Pattern: The Untold Story of Rennes-le-Chateau

Key to the Sacred Pattern: The Untold Story of Rennes-le-Chateau Key to the Sacred Pattern: The Untold Story of Rennes-le-Chateau

Some thirty years ago, Henry Lincoln first learnt about a strange mystery set in the tiny French village of Rennes-Le-Chateau where a secretive and flamboyant priest, Berenger Sauniere, became fabulously rich after finding some ancient documents in his church. Thus became Henry Lincolns trail to discover the truth behind his unexplained wealth. Three BBC television documentaries followed, culminating in the publication of the worldwide bestseller THE HOLY BLOOD AND THE HOLY GRAIL in which a hypothesis was put forward that perhaps the priest had stumbled across a fact known only to the initiates of a secret society the Priory of Sion. Here was a secret that seemed to turn history on its head. Is it possible that Jesus was married? Did he father a blood line which still survives today. The mystery also seemed to involve the Knight Templars and their fabled treasure. Clue after amazing clue was uncovered by the author and, in KEY TO THE SACRED PATTERN, he sets down for the first time the dramatic and entertaining story of his search. Henry Lincoln presents the unarguable facts behind this strange and gripping mystery far older than Christ and stretching back into an undreamt past.

About the Author

Henry Lincoln is a highly-respected historian and broadcaster. His previous books include the worldwide bestselling THE HOLY BLOOD AND THE HOLY GRAIL.

Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Weidenfeld Nicolson Illustrated (May 9, 2002)


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Prieure Of Sion
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The Mystery Deepens

by Steve Mizrach

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Like many Americans, I first became aware of the mysterious Priory of Sion by reading about them in the book Holy Blood, Holy Grail around 1987 or so. Although the organization had gotten quite a bit of European attention in the 60s and 70s, authors Baigent, Lincoln, and Leigh first brought it to U.S. awareness with their bestselling book in the early 1980s. The book caused a firestorm of controversy, especially among the clergy, not so much for its discussion of secret societies and medieval history as for its frank assertion that Jesus Christ might have had children and might not have died on the cross. I was interested in the book for two reasons: the first was that, as a Fortean, I thought it detailed an interesting alternative (and somewhat conspiratorial) look at history which was worth considering and investigating.

The second requires some degree of confession. I don't wish to offend people's religious beliefs by stating my own. I am essentially a secular Jew that distrusts most forms of organized religion. I long believed that the essential narrative of Christ's life as given in the New Testament was inaccurate, and the way it was given was especially redacted to place blame and guilt on Jewish people for his death. Thus, HBHG (how I shall heretofore abbreviate the book Holy Blood, Holy Grail) suggested to me a possible explanation of the life of Christ and the origins of Christianity that I found more plausible— that Christianity really began among a sect of Jews (known as the Nasoreans or Ebionites) who saw Jesus as a Messianic figure, but did not deify him.

I first wrote about HBHG around 1990, focusing on the mystery of Rennes-le-Chateau as described in that book and in Lionel Fanthorpe's book (Secrets of Rennes-Le-Chateau), and only tangentially mentioning the Priory of Sion. Here, I will not repeat what I wrote, which was essentially a summary of the mystery of that village along with what I saw as some bizarre tangential leads in Fanthorpe's books. Those interested in the basic outlines of the mystery are directed toward reading those two books. What I intend to do here is to explain what new directions the authors have taken since then, as well as what new books have been released on the subject, and what some of the threads were that emerged while I was on the Priory-of-Sion (abbreviated as PoS) discussion list in Fall of 1998. In many ways, the mystery has become even more curious, encapsulating (like Danny Casolaro's Octopus) increasing amounts of time and space within its tentacles. Some PoS listmembers insisted that the 'bloodline' of the Priory went back millennia.

Baigent, Lincoln, and Leigh wrote a sequel to HBHG entitled the The Messianic Legacy. This book goes into further detail about early Christian heresy, and suggests that the true 'heretics' (that is, those who deviated from the original message or mission) may have actually been the 'orthodox' and 'catholic' Church Fathers like Iraneus, whereas the people who held the actual truth of Christ's life were the persecuted Gnostics, Ebionites, and 'Desposyni'. In the second section, it examines the Messianic ideal throughout history, and some of its negative and positive impacts, especially in European history. The third section examines some of the PoS' curious entanglements with modern crypto-political forces, such as the Knights of Malta, P2 Masonic lodge, Kreisau Circle, Swiss Grand Loge Alpina, and various advocates of Pan-European Union. The Messianic Legacy contains some hints that the trio were beginning to become skeptical of the Priory, while continuing to believe there was "foo" in the fire it had started over the village of Rennes-le-Chateau. Afterwards, they divided paths, with Henry Lincoln joining in a geomantic quest with David Wood, and Baigent and Leigh writing books on the Dead Sea Scrolls and Freemasonry.

Lincoln's books, The Holy Place: Saunière and the Decoding of the Mystery of Rennes-le-ChâteauThe Holy Place: Saunière and the Decoding of the Mystery of Rennes-le-Château and its sequel Key to the Sacred Pattern: The Untold Story of Rennes-le-ChateauKey to the Sacred Pattern: The Untold Story of Rennes-le-Chateau, pick up where David Wood's GENISIS: The First Book of RevelationsGENISIS: The First Book of Revelations and Geneset: Target EarthGeneset: Target Earth leave off. Although Wood goes into the far more bizarre territory of goddesses, sexual magick, alien origins for humankind, and planetary-destroying comets whose arrival was predicted in ancient monuments, he was the first to suggest that the "treasure" of Rennes-le-Chateau might consist of a network of ley-lines in the area forming a massive geomantic cosmic diagram— in essence a "temple" writ large on the entire landscape. Lincoln follows his lead, discarding some of his more bizarre ideas, and actually produces a diagram of what the 'Temple' might look like— a sort of pentagram-hexagram combination whose points seem to include many of the major towns, sacred sites, and natural features of the area.

Esperaza Circle of Churches

Esperaza Circle of Churches by Henry Lincoln
Esperaza Circle of Churches by Henry Lincoln

Using as markers churches, castles, calvaires, tops of mountains, and megaliths, as pinpointed on official surveyor maps, investigators have found a number of exact circular, triangular, pentagonal, and hexagonal formations in the Rennes-le-Château region. Above is one from Henry Lincoln called "The Esperaza Circle of Churches" in which within the circle a hexagram (solid black lines) is placed over a pentagram (dotted lines). Most and possibly all of the sites chosen for this diagram, currently occupied by churches, seem to have been ancient pagan holy sites, perhaps Druidic-Celtic. This means the patterns must have been established by ancient surveyors, who remarkably used the proportions of the Golden Section in laying out their intricate geometry, which further meant that they had employed what was considered "sacred geometry," geometry that pointed to the brilliant, mystical perfection that lies behind the seemingly chaotic outward aspect of the physical world.

A listmember on the PoS' list brought something to my attention which was fairly significant: this diagram's nodes actually form the Qabalistic Tree of Life when connected.

Esoteric Tree of Life
Esoteric Tree of Life

This is significant because the Qabalah is thought to be, at its oldest, only 2 millennia old; whereas some of the sites in the 'temple' of the Rennes region appear to be of the megalithic era, and should thus be twice as old...

One author that seems to have been inspired by Henry Lincoln is British Mason Patrick Byrne, who offers his theory through an 'e-book' which can solely be downloaded through the Internet. Byrne believes that the key to the mystery may lie in the Masonic Degree of the Holy Royal Arch. Suffice to say, in the interests of brevity, Byrne believes that Masonic symbolism seems to also link up to a geomantic diagram in the area, and that in essence the root of the story seems to be that the Templars found the Ark of the Covenant underneath Solomon's Temple and brought it to the mountain known as Pech Cardou in the Languedoc as a hiding place. Pech Cardou seems to be pointed to as the key node of this geomantic network, however, Byrne thinks that the Ark might no longer be there since some Allied Masons may have moved it to prevent it from falling into the hands of the Nazis. He seems to suggest that the French national cartographic authority— the IGN— is in some way descended from the Knights Hospitaller— and is further (aren't they always?) blocking further inquiry into this area.

Baigent and Leigh's research has been to further probe the history of early Christianity and specifically the controversy surrounding academic censorship of the Dead Sea Scrolls in the Dead Sea Scrolls DeceptionDead Sea Scrolls Deception. They have helped a mass audience appreciate the work of maverick Biblical scholar Robert Eisenman, who has suggested that Jesus' brother James may have led his 'Nasorean' sect after his death, that the Essenes, Zadokites, and "Nasoreans" may have been different labels for the same 1st century Judaic nationalist movement, and that Paul of Tarsus (yep, that Paul) may have been the Liar and persecutor of the Qumran community referred to in the Dead Sea Scrolls. In The Temple and the LodgeThe Temple and the Lodge, they probe the possible origins of Freemasonry in fugitive Knights Templar fleeing to Scotland and creating their new rituals of secrecy and mutual protection in the Rosslyn Chapel of the Sinclair Family, and they even allude to curious legends that the Sinclairs and the Templars may have brought the Grail (although whether this is a bloodline or an artefact is not specified) to the New World prior to Columbus in the 13th century (a la Michael Bradley). Those interested in more of these New World connections should check out Bradley's book Holy Grail Across the Atlantic: The Secret History of Canadian Discovery and ExplorationHoly Grail Across the Atlantic: The Secret History of Canadian Discovery and Exploration, or Andrew Sinclair's The Sword And the GrailThe Sword And the Grail.

Some other recent books on this subject have been Picknett and Prince's The Templar Revelation: Secret Guardians of the True Identity of Christ and a duo of books by Masons Knight and Lomas. TR deals with Picknett and Prince's theory that the Shroud of Turin was created by Leonardo de Vinci as a quasi-photostatic self-portrait, and they link the so-called "Shroud Mafia" (the Lirey family and others who possessed the Shroud) to the Priory of Sion, which they see as ultimately being a "Johannite" organization which venerates John the Baptist as a superior figure to Jesus and has its roots in Egyptian religion. Knight and Lomas' first book (The Hiram Key: Pharaohs, Freemasonry, and the Discovery of the Secret Scrolls of Jesus) suggests that the origins of Freemasonry lie in the ancient Egyptian ritual of phaoronic resurrection, and that the murder of Hiram of Abiff is actually a mask for the historically documented murder of phaoroh Seqenenre Tao. Their second book (Second Messiah: Templars, the Turin Shroud and the Great Secret of Freemasonry) offers their own unique take on the Shroud of Turin— that it is in fact the shroud in which Jacques de Molay, the final Grand Master of the Knights Templar, was wrapped when he was tortured (in a mock re-enactment of the crucifixion) by the French royal torturer; and that the Shroud was seen as affirming deMolay's Messianic status to followers of Joachim of Fiora (who proclaimed a third age of the Holy Spirit was immanent) in the 13th century (hence the Church's decision to distance itself from the relic.)

Laurence Gardner's Bloodline of the Holy Grail: The Hidden Lineage of Jesus RevealedBloodline of the Holy Grail: The Hidden Lineage of Jesus Revealed recapitulates some of Barbara Thiering's "barking mad" theories of New Testament interpretation (she believes that scions of the Judaic royal houses had to abstain from having sex with their spouses for six years between each conception) with efforts to track the Grail lineage in British (as opposed to French) history. Gardner seems to have the strange dual goals of anointing Prince Michael of Albany the current Stewart (and hence Grail-Messianic) king, and to convince Americans that they were once (and probably should thus be again) willing to accept a Stewart constitutional monarchy as a viable form of government. Gardner's motives seem tied up with the mysterious Dragon Order which he is a member of— a chivalric group which may or may not be in some way allied or tied into the PoS. In recent articles in Nexus magazine, Gardner has suggested the secret of the Grail bloodline may be some sort of mysterious elixir, "StarFire," which provides immortality and the ability to travel through space and time. He has also hinted that the Grail 'bloodline' may, in fact, consist of albinistic elflike extraterrestrial beings that feast in a vampiric fashion on pineal glands. Gardner's writings seem to be getting stranger and stranger— I wish I was making that last sentence up.

Andrews and Schellenberger's book The Tomb of God: Unlocking the Code to a 2000-Year-Old MysteryThe Tomb of God: Unlocking the Code to a 2000-Year-Old Mystery returns to the mysterious mount of Pech Cardou and offers a different suggestion as to what might be found underneath. (Considering how many people think something is buried under this mountain, I don't know why anyone has yet to excavate there— unlike Rosslyn Chapel, the mountain is not private property.) The Tomb of GodThe Tomb of God: Unlocking the Code to a 2000-Year-Old Mystery hints that Jesus was not in fact resurrected— and that his body was mummified and entombed beneath Pech Cardou and remains there to this day— it was the "treasure" discovered by Abbe Sauniere through the parchments he found and his knowledge of its existence (which led to a concomitant renunciation of his faith) was one of the reasons he was denied absolution by his superiors on his deathbed. (They hint that the other tomb— which is in Poussin's painting and was, until recently, part of the real Rennes landscape before being dynamited — is a red herring.) Along more bizarre lines, Laidler's book The Head of God: The Lost Treasure of the TemplarsThe Head of God: The Lost Treasure of the Templars suggests that Jesus' body was lost but his head was embalmed and preserved and buried beneath Rosslyn Chapel. (It apparently had a short stint as the totemic "Baphomet" head of the Templars.)

Ean Begg's The Cult of the Black VirginThe Cult of the Black Virgin is mostly about the origins of the mysterious Black Virgins of Europe and their connections to esoteric saints, goddess traditions, the Cathars and other heretical sects, and Jungian depth psychology. However, Begg also discusses the Priory of Sion and notes that in most records, the full name of the organization is the Order of Our Lady of Sion. He hints that that Lady might not be the Virgin Mary, Mary Magdalene, or even Isis, but instead the goddess Rosmerthe, associated with the Mount Sion found in Switzerland, and the female embodiment for the Celts of their ideal of sovereignty. Two other interesting (if dubious) books (which I have not read) include Elizabeth Van Buren's Refuge of the Apocalypse: Doorway into other DimensionsRefuge of the Apocalypse: Doorway into other Dimensions (which hits hard on the Merovingians-as-extraterrestrials theory) and Martha Neyman's the Horse of God, which seems to investigate more deeply the symbolism of Sauniere's exceedingly bizarre Church, and suggests the Ark is buried beneath the Church. Also worth noting is Robinson's Born in Blood: The Lost Secrets of FreemasonryBorn in Blood: The Lost Secrets of Freemasonry, Graham Hancock's Sign and the Seal: The Quest for the Lost Ark of the Covenant, and Wallace-Murphy's Rosslyn: Guardian of the Secrets of the Holy GrailRosslyn: Guardian of the Secrets of the Holy Grail, which also deal with Masonic-Templar links.

The indefatigable Robert Anton Wilson weighs in on the mystery of the Priory in Cosmic Trigger III: My Life After DeathCosmic Trigger III: My Life After Death (which is not the first time— he has written about them in Gnosis magazine and elsewhere.) Wilson is fascinated by the Priory's claim to be descended from beings from Sirius— which ties in to his work, as well as that of Robert K. Temple and the hallucinations (visions?) of late sci-fi author Philip K. Dick. However, one of the overarching meta-themes of CT III seems to be the borderlands where truth and fiction overpower each other (such as the possibility that one man, "Elmyr," may have painted most of the 'masterpieces' currently hanging in European galleries supposedly created by 'old masters'), and Wilson gives strong play to his wife Arlen's theory that the Priory is really a pataphysical conspiracy initiated by 'grand master' Jean Cocteau. (Pataphysique, an art movement created by Alfred Jarry at the beginning of the 20th century, had strong links to Surrealism, Dadaism, and Concrete Poetry; in essence, it postulated that the main mission for art was to bullshit people.) In essence, a massive hoax pulled off as sort of a giant work of performance art.

Tired of theories from authors testing the limits of human imagination? Well, you've yet to meet the unpublished 'Sion wonks' that populate the Priory of Sion mailing list. During my brief time on the list, I met "Idris," who suggested the conspiracy hid an ancient malevolent Sumerian extraterrestrial virus and the search for an antidote, "Fastcat," who asserted that the Merovingians were alive and well in California and were also part of the foundation for Mormonism, and "Online.Design," who thought that the PoS hid secret geometry in the Great Pyramid which could predict any event which had happened in human history. "DasGoat" (aka Hawthorne Abendsen) saw the PoS at the heart of patriarchal, Catholico-fascist, cryptopolitical P2/Opus Dei/Knights of Malta-style conspiracies. "Stella Maris" described harassment at the hands of rogue elements from the Dragon Order because her abilities of 'psycho-navigation' helped her unlock the puzzles sponsored by their website, Entropic Arts. And then there was "Queribus," who took her name from the last stronghold of the Cathars in France, who was ever so interested in Begg's Black Virgins. (Although deeply mystical, she also had a great deal more sense than some of the others.)

Not everyone used the ubiquitous pseudonyms. (As always, I went by "Seeker1".) Alan Harmony (who as far as I know used his own name) suggested that the true basis of Jesus' teaching was the prophetic power of dreams, and that his own dreams led him to believe (like David Wood and Ian Campbell) that a disastrous comet was heading to strike the Earth which could only be deflected by the Ark of the Covenant, which he asserted was hidden from the Priory in Canada. We even had posters claiming that the PoS had hidden treasure troves buried in the U.S., that Jesus was actually a Celtic Druid, that the PoS "bloodline" originated with the godlike 'Nephilim' of Andrew Collins' book From the Ashes of Angels: The Forbidden Legacy of a Fallen RaceFrom the Ashes of Angels: The Forbidden Legacy of a Fallen Race, and that the PoS had been taken over (at least in Europe) by the Sicilian Mafia (themselves descended from the Carbonari and the Risorgimiento.) And, to no one's surprise, we entertained two people who claimed to be members of the Priory of Sion— "Daemon Magus" (an occultist who wrote for a magazine for homeless people) and "Count Roman Alexandre Umberto Guelfi," a neo-Templar Knight who seems to actually go by (in everyday life) the name "Roman A. Gibbs."

Both were, not surprisingly, cryptic and unforthcoming about the organization, although Guelfi indicated that the 'wellspring' of the Priory's bloodline began (long before David, Jesus, Merovech, or Godfroi de Bouillion) in the Middle East around 3500 BCE, and hinted but never verified that the source of the 'wellspring' was extraterrestrial. Daemon Magus asserted that the successor to the Grand Mastership of the PoS, which was held until 1984 by Pierre Plantard, was a Canadian, Carl LaFleur. Msr. LaFleur, claimed Daemon Magus, made him head of the Gnostic Patriarchate of North America (and he showed me a letter verifying this), which, he indicated, was really the "front" for the 'secondary' order of the Priory (which, with some deliberateness, he called "P2") in North America. However, LaFleur was driven out, he claimed, by more sinister elements within the Priory (people more interested in power and wealth than esotericism), and Magus thought he could have been kidnapped or even murdered. At this point, he really didn't know who was in charge of "P1" (the European Priory.) Is any of this true? I have no way of knowing. If anyone can verify the identity of this individual (LaFleur) for me, it might go a long way. I can't find a biography or anything about him.

Although I was skeptical of both, I still had the strange dilemma of facing the fact that they seemed to know too much to be trolls. I told both of them I thought they were either frauds or disinformers, but for all I know we on the list may have entertained 'Sionites' unawares. Perennial topics of discussion on the PoS listserve were, not surprisingly and in no particular order, the authenticity of the Shroud, the origins of Gnosticism, early Christianity, whether the PoS had a New World or American "branch" operating in the U.S., the fate of the Templars after their dissolution, the validity of 'Merovingian' origins for modern European royal houses (such as the Stuarts and Hapsburgs), the role of Freemasonry in Europe and the U.S., and the location of the Ark of the Covenant and the Holy Grail. (At least one poster thought the two artefacts were, in fact, one and the same.) One thread that seems to stick in my mind is the mysterious survival throughout history of skull and crossbones symbolism, and what it might or might not have to do with the PoS.

The skull and crossbones seems to have been used as an emblem first and foremost by esoteric and heretical groups as a symbol of rebirth. It later became the battle flag of the Knights Templar (and a nasty rumor about the Templars claimed they chose it because of a horrific necromantic ritual) and, in the 17th century, the "Jolly Roger" flag of British and French pirates. Most mysteriously, it is the emblem of the secret society Scull N' Bones at Yale, which George Bush and so many other members of the American elite have been initiated into. (Yale's graduating classes, according to some authors, seem to have provided the rich white young men of distinction which formed the early OSS and, later, the CIA.) What are the connections here? Did some of the post-dissolution Templars eventually turn their naval skills toward the service of pirate fleets? (We know many in Portugal eventually joined the Knights of Christ who, with Prince Henry the Navigator, circumnavigated the world's oceans.) Why does the secret society S & B use a skull in its ceremonies which supposedly belongs to, of all people, the Native American Geronimo? Is it to commemorate, in some sinister ritualistic way, the "piracy" and plunder of Native lands in the U.S.? Is there a link between Scull N' Bones and the (less secretive) academic honor society Phi Beta Kappa?

And, of course, there was the lingering doubt that behind all of this might be nothing. There is no definitive proof that the PoS existed prior to 1956, when an organization by that name appeared in French official records, although it claims (through its secretly deposited documents in the French national library) to have originated from an earlier organization, the Ordre du Sion, founded by Godfroi de Bouillion, Hugh de Payns, and a Calabrian monk named Ursus in 1099. And there has been at least one book suggesting that all of Father Sauniere's illicit wealth came from selling masses (simony)— thus, he may have made up all the business about parchments and hidden treasure in Rennes-le-Chateau to cover up his ill-gotten gains. Other authors insist that Sauniere found a Visigothic gold stash or a gold mine belonging to the Dagobert family (take your pick); end of story. So— ask yourself this. Why would Sauniere have redecorated his church with such garish and odd symbolism? Why do the families that seem to comprise the PoS seem to have acted against the French monarchy earlier in history? And, according to Ted Cranshaw, even if Sion forged the Rennes parchments in the 1950s, the "code" contained therein must date back to the 18th century. Is the PoS just a modern 'artwork' tying together disparate figures in history (Poussin, Lord Shugborough, etc.) or are their paintings and monuments really part of a mystery which goes back (at least) several centuries?

For people interested in pursuing further leads on the Prieure du Sion/ Rennes-le-Chateau mystery, I think there are several directions that could use more research. There seems to have been a veritable explosion of neo-Templar organizations within the last decade— one of the most famous may have been the Order of the Solar Temple, whose members committed mass suicide shortly before the Heaven's Gate sect did (promptly attracting far more media attention.) As one listmember put it, Templar organizations are "popping up out of the woodwork." While there have been chivalric societies claiming (however falsely) Templar pedigrees in the past 500 years, they seem to be sprouting up like mushrooms now. One of the notions that is alluded to in The Messianic Legacy is that there may some sort of conflict between the Priory of Sion and the Knights of Malta— a conflict thought to originate from the original rivalry between the Hospitallers and the Templars during the Crusades. Conspiracy watchers will note that the Knights have a number of interesting honorary American members, such as Alexander Haig.

Another interesting question is whether or not the Templars and/or Sion and/or the Sinclair family of Rosslyn may have established some sort of presence in the New World prior to Columbus. Does Sion's grasp extend to the New World? Bradley thinks they may have sequestered the Grail— or something else of value — in the famous "Money Pit" of Oak Island near Nova Scotia... whereas Fanthorpe thinks there is some sort of mysterious link between the Cajuns of Louisiana and "Arcadia" (as opposed to Accadia). (There is a curious Cajun folk song about Good King Dagobert... sort of an unusual ballad.) 'Fastcat' thinks that some of Mormon doctrine (although, he suggested, the majority is erroneous) arose out of 'Templar Masonry'. And of course there are the curious hints of Masonic influence in both the creation of the American government as well as even the layout of the streets of its Capitol. Is it possible the more "left wing" of Sion may have committed itself to republicanism (as opposed to the monarchist goals of the other wing) and sought to realize it through the American experiment?

There is the curious question as to whether Chris Carter's mysterious Millennium Group from his TV show Millennium is based on the Priory of Sion. In one episode, it was revealed that the group controlled (or protected) a 'bloodline' which according to 'DNA schematics' was 'proven' to be the offspring of Jesus and Mary Magdalene. There seems to be some hints that if Sion has some sort of 'plan' for European unification under Merovingian rulership, that it is about to pass one of its major milestones around the turn of the millennium. There are hints that one or more republican countries in Europe may be restoring their monarchies soon (although only for ceremonial purposes, as Spain did with King Juan Carlos I)— with 'Merovingians' at the throne? Of course, the riddle of Sion already had Christian eschatologists going apeshit, since they see the whole scenario as coming straight out of the Book of Revelations (although others think it more closely follows the prophecies of Nostradamus, who may have been a Priory agent.) If the group exists, and it has connections to the existing power structure in the French government, some of the things going on in connection with France's Millennial plans (which include highlighting the Paris Meridian, something Lincoln and Byrne find highly significant) may need to be examined more closely.

If the PoS is a hoax, it is one of the best orchestrated ones of all time. If it really exists, it may be one of the most powerful secret societies of all time. Sion's goals may include a reunification of the world's major monotheistic faiths and/or a unification of all of Europe. On the other hand, this all-powerful secret society— according to its own documents— never once managed, through the course of several centuries, to topple a single French king and put one of their 'bloodline' on the throne. So we should be cautious. "Members" of Sion such as Pierre Plantard and the Marquis de Cherisey have already admitted that they rely on disinformation to accomplish their objectives. Any strategy of that kind always tries first and foremost to make a group appear more all-powerful than it really is. Also, there is the possibility that the PoS is a fraud exploiting a nonetheless genuine mystery at Rennes-le-Chateau. Whichever the case may be, the mystery deserves closer scrutiny by people of a Fortean persuasion, for as far as I can see, it remains "case not closed."



    Rennes Le Chateau Series    


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Disclaimer

Disclaimer:
Some material presented will contain links, quotes, ideologies, etc., the contents of which should be understood to first, in their whole, reflect the views or opinions of their editors, and second, are used in my personal research as "fair use" sources only, and not espousement one way or the other. Researching for 'truth' leads one all over the place...a piece here, a piece there. As a researcher, I hunt, gather and disassemble resources, trying to put all the pieces into a coherent and logical whole. I encourage you to do the same. And please remember, these pages are only my effort to collect all the pieces I can find and see if they properly fit into the 'reality aggregate'.

Personal Position

Personal Position:
I've come to realize that 'truth' boils down to what we 'believe' the facts we've gathered point to. We only 'know' what we've 'experienced' firsthand. Everything else - what we read, what we watch, what we hear - is what someone else's gathered facts point to and 'they' 'believe' is 'truth', so that 'truth' seems to change in direct proportion to newly gathered facts divided by applied plausibility. Though I believe there is 'truth', until someone celestial who 'knows' all the facts parts the heavens and throws us a scroll titled "Here Are ALL The Facts And Lies In The Order They Happened," I can't know for sure exactly what "the whole truth' on any given subject is, and what applies to me applies to everyone.
~Gail Bird Allen

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