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The Prieuré de Sion, translated from French as Priory of Sion, is a name given to multiple groups, both real and fictitious. The most notorious is a fringe fraternal organization, founded and dissolved in France in 1956 by Pierre Plantard. In the 1960s, Plantard created a fictitious history for that organization, describing it as a secret society founded in the Kingdom of Jerusalem in 1099, which serves the interests of the Merovingian dynasty and its alleged bloodlines.[2] This myth was expanded upon and popularized by the 1982 controversial book The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail,[1] and later claimed as factual in the preface of the 2003 conspiracy fiction novel The Da Vinci Code.[3]

After becoming a cause célèbre from the late 1960s to the 1980s, the mythical Priory of Sion was exposed as a ludibrium created by Plantard as a framework for his false pretention to the French throne.[4] Evidence presented in support of its historical existence and activities before 1956 was discovered to have been forged and then planted in various locations around France by Plantard and his accomplices. Nevertheless, many conspiracy theorists persist in believing that the Priory of Sion is an age-old cabal that conceals a subversive secret.[5]

The Priory of Sion myth has been exhaustively debunked by journalists and scholars as one of the great hoaxes of the 20th century.[6] Some skeptics have expressed concern that the proliferation and popularity of books, websites and films inspired by this hoax have contributed to the problem of conspiracy theories, pseudohistory and other confusions becoming more mainstream.[7] Others are troubled by the romantic reactionary ideology unwittingly promoted in these works.[8]

History

The Priory of Sion was a fraternal organization founded in the town of Annemasse, Haute-Savoie in eastern France in 1956. As with all associations, French law required that the Priory of Sion be registered with the government; the registration took place at the subprefecture of Saint-Julien-en-Genevois on 7 May 1956 and was noted on 20 July 1956 in the Journal Officiel de la République Française. The founders and signatories inscribed with their real names and aliases were Pierre Plantard, also known as "Chyren", and André Bonhomme, also known as "Stanis Bellas". André Bonhomme was the President while Pierre Plantard was the Secretary General. The registration documents also included the names of Jean Deleaval as the Vice-President and Armand Defago as the Treasurer. The offices of the Priory of Sion and its journal Circuit were located at Plantard's apartment.[9] The choice of the name "Sion" was based on a popular local feature, a hill south of Annemasse in France, known as Mont Sion, where the founders intended to establish a retreat center.[10] The accompanying title to the name was "Chevalerie d'Institutions et Règles Catholiques d'Union Indépendante et Traditionaliste": this subtitle forms the acronym CIRCUIT and translates in English as "Knighthood of Catholic Rule and Institution and of Independent Traditionalist Union".

The statutes of the Priory of Sion indicate its purpose was to allow and encourage members to engage in studies and mutual aid. The articles of the association expressed the goal of creating a Traditionalist Catholic chivalric order.[11] Article 7 of the statutes of the Priory of Sion stated that its members were expected "to carry out good deeds, to help the Roman Catholic Church, teach the truth, defend the weak and the oppressed". Towards the end of 1956 the association had planned to forge partnerships with the local Catholic Church of the area which would have involved a school bus service run by both the Priory of Sion and the church of Saint-Joseph in Annemasse.[12]

The bulk of the activities of the Priory of Sion, however, bore no resemblance to the objectives as outlined in its statutes: Circuit, the official journal of the Priory of Sion, was indicated as a news bulletin of an "organization for the defence of the rights and the freedom of affordable housing" rather than for the promotion of chivalry-inspired charitable work. The first issue of the journal is dated 27 May 1956, and, in total, twelve issues appeared. Some of the articles took a political position in the local council elections. Others criticized and even attacked real-estate developers of Annemasse.[11]

The formally registered association was dissolved some time after October 1956 but intermittently revived for different reasons by Plantard between 1961 and 1993, though in name and on paper only. The Priory of Sion is considered dormant by the subprefecture because it has indicated no activities since 1956. According to French law, subsequent references to the Priory bear no legal relation to that of 1956 and no one, other than the original signatories, is entitled to use its name in an official capacity. André Bonhomme played no part in the association after 1956. He officially resigned in 1973 when he heard that Plantard was linking his name with the association. In light of Plantard's death in 2000, there is no one who is currently alive who has official permission to use the name.[13]

Myth

Plantard's plot

Primarily motivated by delusions of grandeur, a romantic reactionary ideology, and the prospect of financial gain,[14] Plantard set out to have the Priory of Sion perceived as a prestigious esoteric Christian chivalric order, whose members would be people of influence in the fields of finance, politics and philosophy, devoted to installing the "Grand Monarch", prophesied by Nostradamus, on the throne of France. Plantard's choice of the pseudonym "Chyren" was a reference to "Chyren Selin", Nostradamus's anagram for the name for this Great King.[15]

Between 1961 and 1984, Plantard contrived a mythical pedigree for the Priory of Sion claiming that it was the offshoot of a real Roman Catholic religious order housed in the Abbey of Sion, which had been founded in the Kingdom of Jerusalem during the First Crusade in 1099 and later absorbed by the Jesuits in 1617. The mistake is often made that this Abbey of Sion was a Priory of Sion, but there is a difference between an abbey and a priory.[14] Calling his original 1956 group "Priory of Sion" presumably gave Plantard the later idea to claim that his organization had been historically founded by crusading knight Godfrey of Bouillon on Mount Zion near Jerusalem during the Middle Ages.[5]

Nicolas Poussin - Et in Arcadia ego (deuxième version)

The tomb inscribed with the cryptic phrase "Et in Arcadia ego" in Nicolas Poussin's late 1630s painting Arcadian Shepherds was appropriated for Priory of Sion myth-making.

Furthermore, Plantard was inspired by a 1960 magazine Les Cahiers de l'Histoire to center his personal genealogical claims, as found in the "Priory of Sion documents", around the Merovingian king Dagobert II, who had been assassinated in the 7th century.[16] He also adopted "Et in Arcadia ego ...", a slightly altered version of a Latin phrase that most famously appears as the title of two paintings by Nicolas Poussin, as the motto of both his family and the Priory of Sion,[17] because the tomb which appears in these paintings resembled one in the Les Pontils area near Rennes-le-Château. This tomb would become a symbol for his dynastic claims as the last legacy of the Merovingians on the territory of Razès, left to remind the select few who have been initiated into these mysteries that the "lost king", Dagobert II, would figuratively come back in the form of a hereditary pretender.[18][19]

To give credibility to the fabricated lineage and pedigree, Plantard and his friend, Philippe de Chérisey, needed to create "independent evidence". So during the 1960s, they created and deposited a series of false documents, the so-called Dossiers Secrets d'Henri Lobineau ("Secret Files of Henri Lobineau"), at the Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris. During the same decade, Plantard commissioned de Chérisey to forge a series of medieval parchments. These documents contained encrypted messages that referred to the Priory of Sion. They adapted, and used to their advantage, the earlier false claims put forward by Noël Corbu that a Catholic priest named Bérenger Saunière had supposedly discovered ancient parchments inside a pillar while renovating his church in Rennes-le-Château in 1891. Inspired by the popularity of media reports and books in France about the discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls in the West Bank, they hoped this same theme would attract attention to their parchments.[20] Their version of the parchments was intended to prove Plantard's claims about the Priory of Sion being a medieval society that was the source of the "underground stream" of esotericism in Europe.[5]

Plantard then enlisted the aid of author Gérard de Sède to write a book based on his unpublished manuscript and forged parchments,[20] alleging that Saunière had discovered a link to a hidden treasure. The 1967 book L'or de Rennes, ou La vie insolite de Bérenger Saunière, curé de Rennes-le-Château ("The Gold of Rennes, or The Strange Life of Bérenger Saunière, Priest of Rennes-le-Château"), which was later published in paperback under the title Le Trésor Maudit de Rennes-le-Château ("The Accursed Treasure of Rennes-le-Château"), became a popular read in France. It included copies of the found documents (the originals were of course never produced), though it did not provide translations. One of the Latin texts in the documents was copied from the Novum Testamentum, an attempted restoration of the Vulgate by John Wordsworth and Henry White.[21] The other text was copied from the Codex Bezae.[22] Based on the wording used, the versions of the Latin texts found in the parchments can be shown to have been copied from books first published in 1889 and 1895, which is problematic considering that de Sède's book was trying to make a case that these documents were centuries old.

In 1969, English actor and science-fiction scriptwriter Henry Lincoln became intrigued after reading Le Trésor Maudit. He discovered one of the encrypted messages, which read "À Dagobert II Roi et à Sion est ce trésor, et il est là mort" ("To Dagobert II, King, and to Sion belongs this treasure and he is there dead"). This was an allusion to the resting place of a cult hero seen as a buried treasure belonging to both Merovingian king Dagobert II and the Priory of Sion.[1] Lincoln expanded on the conspiracy theories, writing his own books on the subject, and creating a series of BBC Two documentaries in the 1970s about the mysteries of the Rennes-le-Château area. In response to a tip from Gérard de Sède, Lincoln claims he was also the one who discovered the Dossiers Secrets, a series of planted genealogies which appeared to further confirm the link with the extinct Merovingian bloodline. The documents claimed that the Priory of Sion and the Knights Templar were two fronts of one unified organization with the same leadership until 1188.[1]

Letters in existence dating from the 1960s written by Plantard, de Chérisey and de Sède to each other confirm that the three were engaging in an out-and-out hoax. The letters describe schemes to combat criticisms of their various allegations and ways they would make up new allegations to try to keep the hoax alive. 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 was part of the Priory of Sion hoax ring during the 1970s, and wrote books and articles about Plantard and the Priory of Sion before leaving it during the late 1970s and exposing Plantard's past in French books. A letter later discovered at the subprefecture of Saint-Julien-en-Genevois also indicated that Plantard had a criminal conviction as a con artist.[23][24]

The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail

After reading Le Trésor Maudit, Lincoln persuaded BBC Two to devote three episodes in their Chronicle documentary series to the topic. These became quite popular and generated thousands of responses. Lincoln then joined forces with Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh for further research. This led them to the pseudohistorical Dossiers Secrets at the Bibliothèque nationale de France, which though alleging to portray hundreds of years of medieval history, were actually all written by Plantard and de Chérisey under the pseudonym of "Philippe Toscan du Plantier". Unaware that the documents had been forged, Lincoln, Baigent and Leigh used them as a major source for their 1982 controversial non-fiction book The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail,[1] in which they presented the following myths as facts to support their hypotheses:[7]

However, the authors re-interpreted the Dossiers Secrets in the light of their own interest in undermining the Roman Catholic Church's institutional reading of Judeo-Christian history.[25] Contrary to Plantard's initial Franco-Israelist claim that the Merovingians were only descended from the Tribe of Benjamin,[26] they asserted that:

The authors therefore concluded that the modern goals of the Priory of Sion are:

The authors also incorporated the antisemitic and anti-Masonic tract known as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion into their story, concluding that it actually referred to the activities of the Priory of Sion. They presented it as the most persuasive piece of evidence for the existence and activities of the Priory of Sion by arguing that:

  • the original text on which the published version of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion was based had nothing to do with a Zionist conspiracy. It issued from a Masonic body practicing the Rite of Strict Observance which incorporated the word "Zion" in its name;
  • the original text was not intended to be released publicly, but was a program for gaining control of Freemasonry as part of a strategy to reorganize church and state according to esoteric Christian principles;
  • after a failed attempt to gain influence in the court of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, Sergei Nilus changed the original text to forge an inflammatory tract in 1903 to discredit the esoteric clique around Papus by implying they were Judaeo-Masonic conspirators; and
  • some esoteric Christian elements in the original text were ignored by Nilus and hence remained unchanged in the antisemitic canard he published.

In reaction to this memetic synthesis of investigative journalism with religious conspiracism, many secular conspiracy theorists added the Priory of Sion to their list of secret societies collaborating or competing to manipulate political happenings from behind the scenes in their bid for world domination.[27] Some occultists speculated that the emergence of the Priory of Sion and Plantard closely follows The Prophecies by M. Michel Nostradamus (unaware that Plantard was intentionally trying to fulfill them).[28] Fringe Christian eschatologists countered that it was a fulfillment of prophecies found in the Book of Revelation and further proof of an anti-Christian conspiracy of epic proportions.[29]

However, professional historians and scholars from related fields do not accept The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail as a serious dissertation,[30] and regard it as one of the best examples of "counterknowledge".[31] French authors like Franck Marie (1978),[32] Jean-Luc Chaumeil (1994),[33] and Pierre Jarnac (1985),[34] (1988),[35] and more recently Marie-France Etchegoin and Frédéric Lenoir (2004),[36] Massimo Introvigne (2005),[37] Jean-Jacques Bedu (2005),[38] and Bernardo Sanchez Da Motta (2005),[39] have never taken Plantard and the Priory of Sion as seriously as Lincoln, Baigent and Leigh. They eventually concluded that it was all a hoax, outlining in detail the reasons for their verdict, and giving detailed evidence that the Holy Blood authors had not reported comprehensively.[40] They imply that this evidence had been ignored by Lincoln, Baigent, and Leigh to bolster the mythical version of the Priory's history that was developed by Plantard during the early 1960s after meeting author Gérard de Sède.[40]

As a consequence, in 1989, Plantard tried but failed to salvage his reputation and agenda as a mystagogue in French esoteric circles by claiming that the Priory of Sion had actually been founded in 1681 at Rennes-le-Château, and was focused on harnessing the paranormal power of ley lines and megaliths in the area, rather than protecting the Merovingian dynasty.[20]

Pelat Affair

In September 1993, while investigative judge Thierry Jean-Pierre was investigating the activities of multi-millionaire Roger-Patrice Pelat in the context of the Pechiney-Triangle Affair, he was informed that Pelat may have once been Grand Master of an esoteric society known as the Priory of Sion. Pelat's name had been on Plantard's list of Grand Masters since 1989. In fact, Pelat had died in 1989, while he was being indicted for insider trading - "délit d'initié" in French. Plantard may have been naive about financial terms and interpreted the word "initié" esoterically, to mean "initiate". Following a long established pattern, Plantard "recruited" the "initiate" Pelat soon after his death and included him as the most recent Priory of Sion Grand Master.[41] Plantard had first claimed that Pelat had been a Grand Master in a Priory of Sion pamphlet dated March 8, 1989, then claimed it again later in a 1990 issue of Vaincre, the revived publication of Alpha Galates, a pseudo-chivalric order created by Plantard in Vichy France to support the "National Revolution".[42][43]

Pelat had been a friend of François Mitterrand, then President of France, and at the centre of a scandal involving French Prime Minister Pierre Bérégovoy. As an investigative judge, Thierry Jean-Pierre could not dismiss any information brought to his attention pertaining to the case, especially if it might have led to a scandal similar to the one implicating an illegal Masonic lodge named Propaganda Due in the 1982 Banco Ambrosiano bank failure in Italy. He never considered it worthwhile, however, to meet Plantard, but did order a search of Plantard's home. The search turned up a hoard of false documents, including some proclaiming Plantard the true king of France. Plantard admitted under oath he had fabricated everything, including Pelat's involvement with the Priory of Sion.[41][44] Plantard was threatened with legal action by the Pelat family and therefore disappeared to his house in southern France. He was 74 years old at the time. Nothing more was heard of him until he died in Paris on 3 February 2000.[45]

Sandri revival

On 27 December 2002, an open letter announced the revival of the Priory of Sion as an integral traditionalist esoteric society, which stated that: "The Commanderies of Saint-Denis, Millau, Geneva and Barcelona are fully operative. According to the Tradition, the first Commanderie is under the direction of a woman", claiming there were 9,841 members.[46] It was signed by Gino Sandri (who claims to be Plantard's former private secretary) under the title of General Secretary,[47]</blockquote> and by "P. Plantard" (Le Nautonnier, G. Chyren). Sandri is a well-versed occultist who has spent his life infiltrating esoteric societies only to get expelled from them.[48] After interviewing Sandri, independent researcher Laurent Octonovo Buccholtzer wrote:

I’ve personally met this Gino Sandri on one occasion, and I had the opportunity to have a really good talk with him, but I think that he's simply seeking attention. He seemed to me to be something of a mythomaniac, which would certainly be an excellent qualification for being Secretary of the Priory of Sion. During our conversation he said something in passing that I found quite extraordinary. He said, “Ultimately, what is the Priory of Sion? It's nothing more than a well-known brand name, but with goodness knows what behind it?” He gave a good brief account of the phenomenon of the Priory of Sion. Thanks to Dan Brown, hundreds of millions of people now have “brand awareness”, and several million of them seem to take it seriously.[45]

The Da Vinci Code

As a result of Dan Brown's best-selling 2003 conspiracy fiction novel The Da Vinci Code and the subsequent 2006 film,[3] there has been a new level of public interest in the Priory of Sion. Brown's novel promotes the mythical version of the Priory but departs from the ultimate conclusions presented in The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail. Rather than plotting to create a Federal Europe ruled by a Merovingian sacred king descended from the historical Jesus, the Priory of Sion initiates its members into a mystery cult seeking to restore the feminist theology necessary for a complete understanding of early Christianity, which was supposedly suppressed by the Roman Catholic Church. The author has presented this speculation as fact in a non-fiction preface, public appearances, and interviews.

Furthermore, in their 1987 sequel The Messianic Legacy,[49] Lincoln, Baigent and Leigh suggested that there was a current conflict between the Priory of Sion and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, which they speculated might have originated from an earlier rivalry between the Knights Templar and Knights Hospitaller during the Crusades. However, for the dramatic structure of The Da Vinci Code, Brown chose the controversial Roman Catholic prelature Opus Dei as the Assassini-like nemesis of the Priory of Sion, despite the fact that no author had ever argued that there is a conflict between these two groups.

The Sion Revelation

Further conspiracy theories were reported in the 2006 non-fiction book The Sion Revelation: The Truth About the Guardians of Christ's Sacred Bloodline by Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince (authors of the 1997 non-fiction book The Templar Revelation, the principal source for Dan Brown's claims about hidden messages in the work of Leonardo da Vinci).[50] They accepted that the pre-1956 history of the Priory of Sion was a hoax created by Plantard, and that his claim that he was a Merovingian dynast was a lie. However, they insist that this was part of a complex red herring intended to distract the public from the hidden agenda of Plantard and his "controllers". They argue that the Priory of Sion was a front organization for one of the many crypto-political societies which have been plotting to create a "United States of Europe" in line with French occultist Alexandre Saint-Yves d'Alveydre's synarchist vision of an ideal form of government.

Bloodline movie

The 2008 documentary film Bloodline by Bruce Burgess, a filmmaker with an interest in paranormal claims, expands on the "Jesus bloodline" hypothesis and other elements of The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail. Accepting as valid the testimony of an amateur archaeologist codenamed "Ben Hammott" relating to his discoveries made in the vicinity of Rennes-le-Château since 1999; Burgess claims to have found the treasure of Bérenger Saunière: several mummified corpses (one of which is allegedly Mary Magdalene) in three underground tombs created by the Knights Templar under the orders of the Priory of Sion.[51]

Alleged Grand Masters

The mythical Priory of Sion was supposedly led by a "Nautonnier", an Old French word for a navigator, which means Grand Master in their internal esoteric nomenclature. The following list of Grand Masters is derived from the Dossiers Secrets d'Henri Lobineau compiled by Pierre Plantard under the nom de plume of "Philippe Toscan du Plantier" in 1967. All those named on this list had died before that date. All but two are also found on lists of alleged “Imperators” (supreme heads) and “distinguished members” of the Ancient Mystical Order Rosae Crucis which circulated in France at the time when Plantard was in touch with this Rosicrucian Order. Most of those named share the common thread of being known for having an interest in the occult or heresy.[14]

Leonardo self

Leonardo da Vinci, alleged to be the Priory of Sion's 12th Grand Master

The Dossiers Secrets asserted that the Priory of Sion and the Knights Templar always shared the same Grand Master until a schism occurred during the "Cutting of the elm" incident in 1188. Following that event, the Grand Masters of the Priory of Sion are listed in French as being:

  1. Jean de Gisors (1188–1220)
  2. Marie de Saint-Clair (1220–1266)
  3. Guillaume de Gisors (1266–1307)
  4. Edouard de Bar (1307–1336)
  5. Jeanne de Bar (1336–1351)
  6. Jean de Saint-Clair (1351–1366)
  7. Blanche d'Evreux (1366–1398)
  8. Nicolas Flamel (1398–1418)
  9. René d'Anjou (1418–1480)
  10. Iolande de Bar (1480–1483)
  11. Sandro Filipepi (1483–1510)
  12. Léonard de Vinci (1510–1519)
  13. Connétable de Bourbon (1519–1527)
  14. Ferdinand de Gonzague (1527–1575)
  15. Louis de Nevers (1575–1595)
  16. Robert Fludd (1595–1637)
  17. J. Valentin Andrea (1637–1654)
  18. Robert Boyle (1654–1691)
  19. Isaac Newton (1691–1727)
  20. Charles Radclyffe (1727–1746)
  21. Charles de Lorraine (1746–1780)
  22. Maximilian de Lorraine (1780–1801)
  23. Charles Nodier (1801–1844)
  24. Victor Hugo (1844–1885)
  25. Claude Debussy (1885–1918)
  26. Jean Cocteau (1918–1963)

A later document, Le Cercle d'Ulysse,[18] identifies François Ducaud-Bourget, a prominent Traditionalist Catholic priest who Plantard had worked for as a sexton during World War II,[14] as the Grand Master following Cocteau's death. Plantard himself is later identified as the next Grand Master.

When the Dossiers Secrets were exposed as a forgery by French researchers, Plantard kept quiet. During his 1989 attempt to make a comeback and revive the Priory of Sion, Plantard sought to distance himself from the discredited first list, and published a second list of Priory Grand Masters,[52] which included the names of the deceased Roger-Patrice Pelat, and his own son Thomas Plantard de Saint-Clair:

  1. Jean-Tim Negri d'Albes (1681–1703)
  2. François d'Hautpoul (1703–1726)
  3. André-Hercule de Fleury (1726–1766)
  4. Charles de Lorraine (1766–1780)
  5. Maximilian de Lorraine (1780–1801)
  6. Charles Nodier (1801–1844)
  7. Victor Hugo (1844–1885)
  8. Claude Debussy (1885–1918)
  9. Jean Cocteau (1918–1963)
  10. François Balphangon (1963–1969)
  11. John Drick (1969–1981)
  12. Pierre Plantard de Saint-Clair (1981)
  13. Philippe de Chérisey (1984–1985)
  14. Roger-Patrice Pelat (1985–1989)
  15. Pierre Plantard de Saint-Clair (1989)
  16. Thomas Plantard de Saint-Clair (1989)

In 1993 Plantard acknowledged that both lists were fraudulent when he was investigated by a judge during the Pelat Affair.[41][53]

Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Henry Lincoln, Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, Corgi, 1982. ISBN 0-552-12138-X.
  2. Pierre Plantard, Gisors et son secret..., ORBIS, 1961, abridged version contained in Gérard de Sède, Les Templiers sont parmi nous. 1961.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code, Doubleday, 2003. ISBN 0-385-50420-9.
  4. Pierre Plantard, Gisors et son secret..., ORBIS, 1961, abridged version contained in Gérard de Sède, Les Templiers sont parmi nous. 1962.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Bill Putnam, John Edwin Wood, The Treasure of Rennes-le-Château. A Mystery Solved, Sutton Publishers, 2003.
  6. The Secret of the Priory of Sion, '60 Minutes', 30 April 2006, presented by Ed Bradley, produced by Jeanne Langley, CBS News
  7. 7.0 7.1 Damian Thompson, "How Da Vinci Code tapped pseudo-fact hunger", Daily Telegraph. 2008. Retrieved on 2008-03-28.
  8. David Klinghoffer, "The Da Vinci Protocols: Jews should worry about Dan Brown’s success", National Review Online, 2006. Retrieved on 2008-03-28.
  9. Bernardo Sanchez Da Motta, Do Enigma de Rennes-le-Château ao Priorado de Siao - Historia de um Mito Moderno, Esquilo, 2005, p. 322, reproducing the Priory of Sion Registration Document showing the group was based in Plantard's apartment.
  10. Bradley, Ed (2006). The Priory Of Sion: Is The "Secret Organization" Fact Or Fiction?. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/04/27/60minutes/main1552009_page2.shtml. Retrieved 2008-07-16. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Les Archives du Prieuré de Sion", Le Charivari, N°18, 1973. Containing a transcript of the 1956 Statutes of the Priory of Sion.
  12. J. Cailleboite, "A Sous-Cassan et aux pervenches un missionnaire regarde la vie ouvriere", Circuit, Numéro spécial, October 1956.
  13. Pierre Jarnac, Les Archives de Rennes-le-Château, Tome II, Editions Belisane, 1988, p. 566.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 Introvigne, Massimo (2005). Beyond The Da Vinci Code: History and Myth of the Priory of Sion. http://www.cesnur.org/2005/pa_introvigne.htm. Retrieved 2008-07-16. 
  15. Marie-France Etchegoin & Frédéric Lenoir, Code Da Vinci: L'Enquête, p.61 (Robert Laffont, 2004).
  16. Jean-Luc Chaumeil, La Table d'Isis ou Le Secret de la Lumière, Editions Guy Trédaniel, 1994, p. 121–124.
  17. Madeleine Blancassall, "Les Descendants Mérovingiens ou l’énigme du Razès wisigoth" (1965), in: Pierre Jarnac, Les Mystères de Rennes-le-Château, Mélanges Sulfureux, CERT, 1994.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Jean Delaude, Le Cercle d’Ulysse (1977), in: Pierre Jarnac, Les Mystères de Rennes-le-Château, Mélanges Sulfureux, CERT, 1994.
  19. A photograph of a young Thomas Plantard de Saint-Clair standing next to the Les Pontils tomb was published in Jean-Pierre Deloux, Jacques Brétigny, Rennes-le-Château - Capitale Secrète de l'Histoire de France, 1982.
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 Jean-Luc Chaumeil, Rennes-le-Château – Gisors – Le Testament du Prieuré de Sion. Le Crépuscule d’une Ténébreuse Affaire, Éditions Pégase, 2006.
  21. Bill Putnam, John Edwin Wood, The Treasure of Rennes-le-Château, A Mystery Solved, Sutton Publishing, revised 2005 paperback edition, p.189–192. ISBN 0 7509 4216 9).
  22. Bill Putnam, John Edwin Wood, The Treasure of Rennes-le-Château, A Mystery Solved, Sutton Publishing, revised 2005 paperback edition (ISBN 0 7509 4216 9). This book mentions Dr Wieland Willker’s identification of the smaller “parchment” with the Codex Bezae.
  23. The History of a Mystery, BBC 2, transmitted on 17 September 1996.
  24. The Secret of the Priory of Sion, CBS News '60 Minutes', transmitted on 30 April, 2006, presented by Ed Bradley, produced By Jeanne Langley.
  25. Conspiracies On Trial: The Da Vinci Code (The Discovery Channel); transmitted on 10 April 2005.
  26. Pierre Jarnac, Les Mystères de Rennes-le-Château: Mèlange Sulfureux (CERT, 1994).
  27. Doug Moench, Factoid Books. The Big Book of Conspiracies, Paradox Press, 1995. ISBN 1563891867.
  28. Marie-France Etchegoin & Frédéric Lenoir, Code Da Vinci: L’Enquête, p.61 (Robert Laffont; 2004).
  29. Barbara Aho, "The Merovingian Dynasty. Satanic Bloodline of the Antichrist and False Prophet", watchpair.com, 1997. Retrieved on 2008-03-29.
  30. Martin Kemp, Professor of Art History at Oxford University, on the documentary The History of a Mystery, BBC Two, transmitted on 17 September 1996, commenting on books like The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail: "There are certain historical problems, of which the Turin Shroud is one, in which there is 'fantastic fascination' with the topic, but a historical vacuum - a lack of solid evidence - and where there's a vacuum - nature abhores a vacuum - and historical speculation abhors a vacuum - and it all floods in...But what you end up with is almost nothing tangible or solid. You start from a hypothesis, and then that is deemed to be demonstrated more-or-less by stating the speculation, you then put another speculation on top of that, and you end up with this great tower of hypotheses and speculations - and if you say 'where are the rocks underneath this?' they are not there. It's like the House on Sand, it washes away as soon as you ask really hard questions of it."
  31. Damian Thompson, Counterknowledge. How We Surrendered to Conspiracy Theories, Quack Medicine, Bogus Science and Fake History. Atlantic Books, 2008. ISBN 1843546752.
  32. Franck Marie, Rennes-le-Château: Etude Critique (SRES, 1978).
  33. Jean-Luc Chaumeil,La Table d'Isis ou Le Secret de la Lumière (Editions Guy Trédaniel, 1994).
  34. Pierre Jarnac, Histoire du Trésor de Rennes-le-Château (1985).
  35. Pierre Jarnac, Les Archives de Rennes-le-Château (Editions Belisane, 1988). Describing The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail as a "monument of mediocrity".
  36. Marie-France Etchegoin & Frédéric Lenoir, Code Da Vinci: L'Enquête (Robert Laffont, 2004).
  37. Massimo Introvigne, Gli Illuminati E Il Priorato Di Sion - La Verita Sulle Due Societa Segrete Del Codice Da Vinci Di Angeli E Demoni (Piemme; 2005).
  38. Jean-Jacques Bedu, Les sources secrètes du Da Vinci Code (Editions du Rocher, 2005).
  39. Bernardo Sanchez Da Motta, Do Enigma de Rennes-le-Château ao Priorado de Siao - Historia de um Mito Moderno (Esquilo, 2005).
  40. 40.0 40.1 Miller, Laura (2005). The Last Word; The Da Vinci Con. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B07E0DD103AF931A15751C0A9629C8B63. Retrieved 2008-07-16. 
  41. 41.0 41.1 41.2 "Affaire Pelat: Le Rapport du Juge", Le Point, no. 1112 (8–14 January 1994), p. 11.
  42. Les Cahiers de Rennes-le-Chateau, Nr. IX, Éditions Bélisane, 1989.
  43. Jean-Jacques Bedu, Les sources secrètes du Da Vinci Code, Editions du Rocher, 2005.
  44. Philippe Laprévôte, "Note sur l’actualité du Prieuré de Sion", in: Politica Hermetica, Nr. 10 (1996), p. 140–151.
  45. 45.0 45.1 Laurent "Octonovo" Buccholtzer, "Pierre Plantard, Geneviève Zaepfell and the Alpha-Galates", in: Actes du Colloque 2006, Oeil-du-Sphinx, 2007.
  46. Bulletin Pégase N°06, Janvier/Mars 2003.
  47. Laurent "Octonovo" Buccholtzer, Rennes-le-Château, une Affaire Paradoxale, Oeil-du-Sphinx, 2008.
  48. Laurent "Octonovo" Buccholtzer, Rennes-le-Château, une Affaire Paradoxale, Oeil-du-Sphinx, 2008.
  49. Henry Lincoln, Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, The Messianic Legacy, Dell, 1987. ISBN 0-440-20319-8.
  50. Lynn Picknett, Clive Prince, The Sion Revelation. The Truth About the Guardians of Christ's Sacred Bloodline, Touchstone, 2006. ISBN 0743263030.
  51. Cinema Libre Studio, "Tomb Discovered in France Considered Knights Templar - When Excavated, Findings May Challenge the Tenets of Christianity", earthtimes.org, 2008. Retrieved on 2008-04-17.
  52. The second list appeared in Vaincre No. 3, September 1989, p. 22.
  53. Philippe Laprévôte, "Note sur l’actualité du Prieuré de Sion", in: Politica Hermetica, Nr. 10 (1996), p. 140–151.

Further reading

bn:প্রায়োরি অফ সায়োন bg:Орден на Сион cs:Převorství sionské da:Sions Prioratet:Siioni prioraatfa:دیر صهیونhr:Sionski priorij id:Biarawan Sionka:სიონის პრიორატი hu:A Sion-rend nagymestereinek listájaja:シオン修道会 no:Sionordenenpt:Priorado de Sião ro:Prioria din Sion ru:Приорат Сиона sq:Paresia e Sionit sl:Sionsko priorstvo fi:Siionin luostari sv:Prieuré de Sion th:ไพรเออรี ออฟไซออน tr:Sion Tarikatı zh:郇山隐修会

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