Series - Laura Knight-Jadczyk
Grail Quest and The Destiny of Man
When Holy Blood, Holy Grail was published in 1982, it aroused a firestorm of controversy. The local St. Petersburg Times, Florida, published a review that quoted the Rt. Rev. Montefiore as saying:
This was balanced by a quote from one of the book's author's, Henry Lincoln saying:
Excellent point, in my opinion.
The Duke of Devonshire who would be, according to the premise of the book, one of Jesus' descendants, pronounced it "absolutely obnoxious."
Quoting from the Times article:
Now, notice the remark that this hypothesis is based on "careful research and new evidence."
WHAT new evidence?
Well, new evidence provided by the Priory of Sion, of course!
Now, we will find that most of the information presented in Holy Blood, Holy Grail had already appeared in other French publications devoted to the subject of Rennes-le-Chateau, as well as a great variety of other sources.
In all fairness, it must be said that Lincoln, Leigh and Baigent DID go back to many original sources of information and they DID research the affair with care. They also took the time and trouble to interview a number of people whose names and views had been quoted by other writers with a great deal of license taken, thereby sorting out some of the myths from the facts.
The conclusions reached by Lincoln, Leigh and Baigent are very well presented and it is much easier to read it as they originally wrote it than to attempt to summarize it, but the main point should be that the whole thing started with Gerard De Sede's book Le tresor maudit de Rennes (The Accursed Treasure of Rennes), which Henry Lincoln read on his previously mentioned vacation in France.
So, it is to Gerard de Sede that we must turn. It is M. de Sede who provides most of the information about Berenger Sauniere and the mystery of Rennes-le-Chateau. It is to M. de Sede that we owe the rumor that it is "dangerous" to inquire too deeply into the matters connected with Rennes. As proof of this, he cited a car 'riddled with machine gun bullets' which Lincoln and his colleagues discovered was only an old wreck used by a farmer's son for target practice!.
But, let's back up a moment. In France, there is something called The Bibliotheque Nationale which is similar to the U.S. Library of Congress or office of Copyright registration. This organization holds in its archives a copy of every work published in the country. In this way, it provides a more or less reliable record of published works. Its "depot legal" system establishes a date of publication for copyright purposes, yet there is no need to show that any copy but the one deposited has ever been published. In other words, anybody can write anything, deposit it there after filling out the appropriate forms, and thereby claim to have "published" a book, or to have "copyright" exclusivity.
Henry Lincoln records in his research journal published as Key to the Sacred Pattern, the Untold Story of Rennes-le-Chateau, that the mysterious M. de Sede suggested a visit to the Bibliotheque Nationale where there was "deposited a considerable amount of documentation relating to the story" of Rennes."
How nice of M. de Sede to bring this up! So helpful!
In Holy Blood, Holy Grail we read:
Henry Lincoln informs us that he had, indeed, been "briefed" about certain "source materials" by de Sede. These publications, referred to in Holy Blood, Holy Grail as the "Prieure documents" give no indication of having been "published" in the accepted sense of the word. They are, for the most part, duplicated typewritten scripts, giving dates of publication and author, and it seems that the only copies are the ones in the Bibliotheque.
The earliest of these documents, dated August of 1965, is entitled Les descendants Merovingiens ou l'enigme du Razes Wisigoth, or The Merovingian descendants, or the enigma of Razes of the Visigoths. Its purported author is a Madeleine Blancasall, and claims to have been translated from German by a Vincent Celse-Nazaire, and supposedly published by the Grande Loge Alpina. The document describes the descent of the Merovingians from their alleged biblical origin to the 20th century, by way of the family of Plantard. The genealogy is signed by a Henri Lobineau.
Now, of course, M. de Sede helpfully informed Henry Lincoln in advance that he must not look under the name "Lobineau," but instead must look under the name "Schidlof."
Henry Lincoln notes:
And, of course, we note that the church of Rennes-les-Bains is dedicated to the two saints Celse and Nazaire. The Grande Loge Alpina, the main lodge of Swiss Freemasonry, denies all knowledge of this little work.
Nine months after the deposit of this curious genealogy, in May of 1966, another document was deposited in the Bibliotheque Nationale. It also bears the imprint of the Grande Loge Alpina and the title is Un tresor Merovingien a Rennes-le-Chateau. The author is Antoine l'Ermite. The grotto of St. Antony the Hermit is only a short distance from Rennes.
One month later, June, 1966, another document was deposited in the Bibliotheque entitled Pierres gravees du Languedoc, and this was a purported reprint of an earlier book published in 1884 by Eugene Stublein. [Stublein DID exist and DID publish a book in 1877 entitled Description d'un voyage aux establissements thermaux de l'arrondissement de Limoux. There is, apparently, no known REAL copy of his 1884 book of which the 1966 version purports to be a copy, but we will get to that.]
Then, in March of 1967, still another document was deposited/published with the Bibliotheque Nationale. It was entitled Le serpent rouge, and this one had three authors: Messieurs de Koker, Saint-Maxent and Feugere. There is some disagreement over the date on which, after the necessary red tape had been gone through, the document was considered to be officially "published." The Depot legal states March 20th, but Lincoln et al gave it as January 17. This matter was investigated by another researcher, Franck Marie, who claims to have established the date of February 15. Whatever the date of deposit, it is a fact that Louis Saint-Maxent and Gaston de Koker were found hanged on 6 March, and Pierre Feugere the following day.
Were these three men victims of revenge or a suicide pact as de Sede suggests? Their respective families all insist that the three were absolutely unacquainted with one another and that their deaths by hanging, so close to one another in time, are just horrible coincidence. The obvious conclusion is that someone found the names of three unrelated persons with suitable deaths in the French newspapers, put their names on this document, and THEN deposited it after falsifying the deposition slip and that the date of March 20, as given by the Bibliotheque Nationale, is the correct date.
I have quoted this lengthy and truly bizarre little story for a reason. There seems to be no rationale behind this obscuration of, in the end, nonsense. The circumstances take on the quality of a dream in which the dreamer deals with a bizarre, Kafka-esque, disconnected reality. The point is: we have encountered this sort of activity before. In fact, the whole Rennes-le-Chateau business is rife with this quality of "High Strangeness" as Dr. Alan Hynek described it. And that is my point. Without factoring in the extra-dimensional nature of the phenomena under discussion, it will be impossible to come to a rational understanding of just what is going on and just WHO might be behind it. And, after making such determination, we may be able to come to some conclusions as to the intentions.
The reader may wish to read Passport to Magonia: On UFOs, Folklore, and Parallel Worlds, by Dr. Jacques Vallee, for an extensive examination of the "High Strangeness" factor. Other books which deal with very similar synchronicities and bizarre convolutions of events are: Revelations: Alien Contact and Human Deception, again by Dr. Vallee, and Our Haunted Planet, by John Keel as well as Strange World by Frank Edwards. Once you have read enough of this literature, you begin to see the similarities between the Rennes-le-Chateau mystery and many other events on our planet down through the centuries. Further, you get a "feel" for what is and is not truth, and how cleverly truth can be used to sandwich and promulgate lies.
Returning to the Priory of Sion documents, we can now consider the case of the three hanged men with a little more perspicacity. We KNOW we are being manipulated, and that the source of the manipulation may not necessarily be HUMAN, though its agents ARE human, as we shall see.
At about the same time of the publication of Gerard de Sede's book L'or de Rennes, another document attributed to Henri Lobineau was deposited with the Bibliotheque Nationale entitled Dossiers secrets. Lincoln et al say it was:
The main thrust of this odd collection of items was the establishing of Pierre Plantard de St.-Clair as a direct lineal descendant of Dagobert II, who was assassinated in 679 and was not known to have had any legitimate issue. (Real history buffs will already know that there is a problem with the story of the assassination of Dagobert II as described in all these modern myths, but we aren't going to go there now.)
It seems that the name "Lobineau," was derived from the Rue Lobineau near Saint-Sulpice in Paris, the church that plays a significant part in the story of Berenger Sauniere.
Papers in the Dossiers suggest that Lobineau was a pseudonym for an Austrian historian named Leo Schidlof, who had died in Switzerland the previous year. Again, remember that Schidlof's daughter has insisted that he knew nothing of genealogy. So, again we find a dead man's name being used to give credibility to something with which he probably had absolutely no connection. History is rife with such incidents.
Okay, we have had a few clues about this guy "Plantard," so what is the story? Again and again these funny trails led back to him.
Pierre Plantard de St-Clair, as Lincoln et al explain, began his career in the French Resistance where he edited a clandestine journal titled Vaincre. He was said to have been imprisoned by the Gestapo from October 1943 until he was released toward the end of 1944 though some researchers suggest a Nazi connection and that he was really a collaborator and not a prisoner.
According to a character sketch written by his first wife Anne Lea Hisler, who died in 1971, Plantard was "invited in 1947 by the Federal Government of Switzerland, he resided for several years there, near Lake Leman, where numerous charges de missions and delegates from the entire world are gathered."
However, this may not be entirely true. Pierre Plantard was sentenced on 17 December 1953 by the court of St Julien-en-Genevois to 6 months in prison for breaking the French Law relating to "Abus de Confiance" (fraud and embezzlement).
The Official Judicial Archives relating to Pierre Plantard’s criminal convictions and prison sentences are to be found in the Tribunal de Grande Instance de Thonon-les-Bains (this being the information as provided by Le Directeur des Archives départementales de la Haute-Savoie in the town of Annecy).
Supposedly, when Algeria revolted against France and De Gaulle was running for president, Plantard was involved in organizing a "Committee of Public Safety" which helped De Gaulle get elected. Again, however, we doubt this.
The next Plantard "track" we find is as editor of a cheap little "magazine" entitled Circuit which is described as the organ of the "Organisation for the Defence of the Rights and the Liberty of Low-Cost Homes." (Go figure!) This was published between May and September of 1956 and deals mostly with creating and registering statutes within an unnamed society at Sous-Cassan, Annemasse, close to the Swiss border at Geneva. A second series of this magazine was printed in 1959 and was described as "the cultural periodical of the French Forces Federation." The address of this organization turned out to be false. (Why are we not surprised?)
The next Plantard "track" is found at Gisors, the ancient castle connected to the Templars and Cathars and assorted other historical doings. It seems that, back in 1946, a tour guide at the castle reported that he had done some digging (unauthorized, of course) down in the donjon, and had found 19 stone sarcophagi and 30 metal coffers. Apparently the local authorities shut him down, claiming that such excavations were dangerous, (not to mention illegal) and nothing more was heard about this until our good friend, Gerard de Sede, published his first major work Les Templiers sont parmi nous (The Templars are among us). In this book he suggested that the subterranean chapel contained the legendary lost treasure of the Templars, and that the Order of Knights Templar still survived in France. It seems that he got some of his information from Plantard.
The result of the publication of de Sede's book about the donjon at Gisors was a public demand that it should be further investigated. One of Plantard's claimed old cohorts in the Committees for Public Safety, Andre Malraux, had become Minister for Cultural Affairs. His initial reaction to this sort of public demand was to seal the excavation. Then, six months later, he authorized further excavations. Finally, in 1964, he declared that the excavation had only been undertaken to satisfy the public demands and that the results were negative. Naturally, this just made people believe that some great treasure had been found and was being covered up!
Regarding the Gisors affair, in 1972, we find that Plantard later gave an interview to writer, Jean-Luc Chaumeil in which he said, in part:
Ooooh! His words just reek with mystery and the possibility of the existence of vast, secret knowledge! Aside from the fact that we here see Plantard playing both sides against the middle, this was not the first mention of the Prieure de Sion. De Sede alludes to it mysteriously in his book about Gisors. But, for the most interesting details, we have to turn again to Lincoln, Leigh and Baigent, who summarized the claims made in these documents so cleverly planted in the Bibliotheque Nationale.
It boils down to this: The claim is that a secret order predates the Knights Templar and that the Templars were actually created as the military and administrative arm of this other group. Supposedly, the heads of this Prieure de Sion, Grand Masters as they are called, are nearly all people whose names are famous through history.
Supposedly, even though the Templars were dissolved between 1307 and 1314, the Prieure was untouched by this tragedy, and continues up to the present day, playing a significant part in contemporary international affairs. And, here's the clincher: its declared objective is the restoration of the Merovingian dynasty!!!
Now, hundreds of books have been published in France that tried to prove that the Knights Templar were NOT destroyed between 1307 and 1314. Most of these books try to claim that this or that esoteric tradition is derived from the Templars and that the Templars are, in secret, behind all major political developments in Europe from that time to the present.
Supposedly, the Templars, or a related esoteric group, were behind even the French Revolution, though there is some confusion as to WHICH side they were on, depending on which author you read!
In 1974, J. M. Roberts wrote a 500 page book entitled The mythology of the secret societies, that pretty effectively demonstrated that there was no foundation to this belief in the continuation of the Templars as a viable political force, but still such books get published and read.
Is there any evidence that a Prieure de Sion ever existed?
Yes. Of a sort, that is.
After Jerusalem fell to Godfroi de Bouillon in 1099, an abbey devoted to Notre Dame du Mont de Sion was built on the hill of Sion to the south of Jerusalem; it is referred to in later documents and figures in several views of the city. A Father Vincent, writing in 1698, (notice that this is over 500 years after) says:
R. Rohricht, in his Regesta regni Hierosolymitani (Roll of the kings of Jerusalem), written in 1893 (over 800 years after the fact) cites two charters: one of 1116 by Arnaldus, prior of Notre Dame de Sion, and one of 1125, in which Arnaldus's name appears with that of Hugues Payen, the first Grand Master of the Temple. The existence of the Abbey of Sion, at least until 1281, is attested to by E.-G. Rey in a paper in the proceedings of the French National Society of Antiquaries (1887), which lists the abbots who administered the abbey's property in Palestine.
All of these "proofs" were dug up by Lincoln et al, after great exertions to discover the validity of the claims of Pierre Plantard. But, these VERY LATE documents are the ONLY historical documentation of the possible existence of a Prieure de Sion. Everything else that refers to such an organization finds its origin in those highly suspect "publications" deposited in the Bibliotheque Nationale that all seem to lead back to a single source - possibly Pierre Plantard himself - and handily brought to Lincoln's attention by Gerard de Sede.
Like Mr. Henry Lincoln, we begin to smell a rat!
Nevertheless, the Dossiers secrets contain three lists of names. The first reproduces Rey's list, mentioned above, but with two insignificant additions, and the second is a list of Grand Masters of the Knights Templar between 1118 and 1190. It differs from the list given by most historians, though different ones include names that others may not include. It is still a matter of much debate. Lincoln et al compared this list to all the other historical lists from the English, French and German Templar experts, and, additionally, they examined many of the chronicles of the time as well as all the charters they could find, and they came to the conclusion that the list in the Dossiers secrets was "more accurate than any other." I am not precisely sure WHY they came to this conclusion, but they felt it was valid.
But, Lincoln et al admitted:
My only question at this point is: if such an "accurate list" is composed of information that has been "hitherto inaccessible to historians," who is to validate the accuracy? It is altogether unclear to me on what basis this claim is made.
Nevertheless, because this list was pronounced so "accurate," Lincoln et al take it as proof that the third list is also authentic!!!
And here we encounter a common trick of disinformation artists, not to mention the mode of "Stalking," to wit:
It seems that it is not just the intention of having the "third list" accepted as valid that is the intention, but the following events which were and continue to be, a belief in certain concepts created and promulgated by this Priory of Sion. But, the list was the foundation. And, what is the third list? The Grand Masters of the Prieure de Sion. Now, who was on this list?
Thus, as a result of following the dictum: "Its usual strategy is to begin its work by adhering so closely to the letter of the truth as to be virtually indistinguishable to all but initiated awareness, installing itself through the rhythmic lull of entrainment so as to catch the "congregation" totally off guard when it finally diverges slightly or greatly from the set pattern and so pulls a portion of the truth along with it," we find that Lincoln et al took the bait. They write:
Well, I can think of a LOT of reasons! Actually, few of these names are NOT illustrious. There are a large percentage of them who are connected to Alchemical matters (we have encountered Nicolas Flamel already, but also Robert Fludd, J. Valentin Andrea, and Isaac Newton were well-known for their interest in Alchemy). Charles Nodier was a prolific author, a Master Mason, and an active influence in the French Revolution; Charles Radclyffe was the illegitimate grandson of Charles II. Rene d'Anjou was associated with the conspiracy surrounding Joan of Arc. Andrea was also reputed to have been behind the creation of the "myth of the Rosicrucians." The other names are members of European noble families, several of them in my own family tree. So, it is not really a very difficult task to have assembled such a list without "monumental" effort!
Naturally, the successor to Grand Master Jean Cocteau, who died in 1963, is our good friend, Pierre Plantard, AKA Pierre Plantard de Saint-Clair about whom author Franck Marie wrote:
A fellow who is the "Grand Master" of an ages old secret society, in possession of "deadly secrets," with all kinds of purported connections to figures of government and espionage, forgets to pay an important portion of his rent? And does the "midnight flit," so to speak? Rather curious, don't you think?
But, anyway, we now meet Philippe de Cherisey... Pierre Plantard's "collaborator," or, should we say, cohort in crime?
Jean-Luc Chaumeil, a French writer, describes him:
We should notice that the novella Circuit has the same name as the pamphlets edited and published by Plantard back in the 50's. I cannot help but think of the "ten year blank" in Plantard's history, from 1947 to 1958. Just what was he doing during those years? Were they friends and companions for that many years, and did they spend their time together "cooking up" this "drama?" As it happens, in the Novella, Circuit the plot is about the discovery of the tomb of an ancient Roman somewhere near Rennes, and includes an unobtainable treasure of gold.
Getting back to the point here, we find that the publication of Gerard de Sede's L'or de Rennes in 1967 was the culmination of the deposition of some bizarre "publications" in the Bibliotheque Nationale. Let's just list them again by date:
Now, I expect many of you are asking: WHAT is the TRUTH about Rennes-le-Chateau? What, if you please, are the FACTS?! What can be documented, verified, confirmed?
Pierre Plantard claims that Rennes-le-Chateau was the home of his undocumented ancestress, Giselle, supposed to have been the daughter of the Count of Razes.
For the most part, we seem to be dependent on the writings of Gerard de Sede. It is he who has told us that Sauniere's constructions at Rennes-le-Chateau and his grand lifestyle cost millions of francs. (Some experts find it hard to value it at one fiftieth of this amount.)
De Sede has told us how mysterious the decorations of the church are, yet upon examination, they are found to be cheap plaster statues and reliefs supplied by the firm of Ane of Letouzey which supplied similar statues and reliefs to other churches in the area!
De Sede handily points out to us that the gravestones that Sauniere supposedly removed were reproduced in that cleverly deposited Stublein book, Pierres gravees du Languedoc. But, it seems that only the 1962 reprint of the purported 1884 edition contains these drawings! There are supposed to be infra red photographs revealing the erased inscriptions, but these are, according to some experts, crude forgeries.
What about the three (or four?) parchments that Sauniere is supposed to have discovered in the pillar of the altar (handily disclosed by - you guessed it - Gerard de Sede?
After so many discrepancies were discovered in the various stories, and serious questions began to be asked, Philippe de Cherisey wrote:
This almost seems to be an attempt to salvage SOMETHING of the fraud, using de Sede as the scapegoat. Note that de Cherisey is NOT discounting the genealogical clues, only the "Mystery of Rennes-le-Chateau" involving Berenger Sauniere. But, we have to remember that it was de Cherisey, the good friend of Pierre Plantard, (evidence: Plantard putting him up in Paris illegally), who helped de Sede in the preparation of his book.
And, in point of fact, the hundreds of words written about Rennes-le-Chateau since 1965, seem to all end up on Gerard de Sede's doorstep. And clearly, he was being manipulated by Plantard and de Cherisey.
So, what does that make the Prieure de Sion?
What the dickens is going on here? What was the point? Can we find ANYTHING mysterious in Rennes-le-Chateau...? What about "The Shepherds of Arcadia?" Wasn't there a tomb found that exactly matched the one in the painting? What about that? What about Poussin? St Anthony, and all the claims to mystery from many sources about Berenger Sauniere?
Well, let's continue with our examination and see just what DOES emerge...
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