According to one saying “without the Merovingians the Prieuré de Sion would not exist and without the Prieuré de Sion the Mérovingian dynasty would be extinct”. However the name Prieuré de Sion does not appear in any Chivalry reference book. The first time the name appears in writing was in 1956 in the “livre des Constitutions” published by the “Editions des Commanderies de Genève”. (o)
Its present members affirm that this secret society results from the fusion of three orders: the monks of the Notre Dame of Mount Sion Abbey founded in Jerusalem in 1099 by the head of the first crusade, Godfrey de Bouillon, a Sicambre; the six (or thirteen) Wise men of the Light, disciples of Ormus with the “Rose-Croix” as an emblem; the last Esséniens (Jewish sect from which Christianism originated and responsible for the writing of the Dead Sea documents). The aim of the Prieuré de Sion is to diffuse the esoteric Christianism according to St John and to defend and to assure the continuity of the Merovingian dynasty. The order of the Templar founded in 1118 was its secular arm to which it gave its Official and secret Grand Masters. In 1187 when the Moslems took back Jerusalem the Prieuré de Sion went to the Saint-Samson Abbey in Orléans, France. The following year the Prieuré de Sion and the Templars separated in Gisors in Normandy. As a symbolic gesture they cut an elm tree. Afterwards the Prieuré de Sion went into clandestinity and this prevented them to suffer the same fate as the Templars. All its Grand Masters are given the name of John or Joan as women have been chosen for this post. The first Grand Master was Jean de Gisors was called John II. The name John I was reserved to Jesus. The list of Grand Masters includes such names as Nicolas Flamel, Leonardo de Vinci, Newton, Victor Hugo, Claude Debussy and Jean Coctaux who is known as John XXIII. According to the same story Joan d’Arc, Gilles de Rais, the High Constable de Bourbon, Cagliostro, … were Ambassadors of the Prieuré de Sion who talked to the Kings on behalf of the “Lost king” or “Grand Monarch”. According to the latest documents the Merovingian dynasty is now alive in the Plantard family (we must remember that Saint Dagobert II’ son, Sigebert IV was also known as “Plant Ard or Rejeton Ardent”). In 1659 Mazarin took their castle of Barbarie and their wealth and was then reduced to the level of “simple peasant”. The documents presented show that this genealogical line is not very convincing from a historical point of view. The same can be said for those that Bérenger Saunière found in Rennes-le-Chateau (see next chapter). Some so called proofs were soon revealed as false. For instance Jean-Luc Chaumeil published photographs of the treasure presented as found by Saunière and supposedly hidden somewhere in a villa in Switzerland. They were in fact pictures of the Visigoth treasure of Petroassa, Rumania. If the aim was to create a legend they were very successful. It is also a fact that the legend of the “Lost King” or “Grand Monarch” is not new and has appeared many times before in different places. The people who led Hitler to power claimed too that he was this lost king! However this legend is also based on real and proved facts mixed with a lot of invented ones. The authors of this legend are well-qualified persons. Some of them had a sad end as the three of the “Serpent Rouge”. They committed suicide the same day less that one month after the legal deposit of their book at the National French Library. Although, here again, it is not obvious that these three persons were the real author. Probably they were chosen as author after their death to show that it is dangerous to profane the “secret of Rennes” or of the “Lost dynasty”. (n)
The Plantard family had a castle called “de Barbarie”. Jean XVI Plantard met Saint Vincent de Paul in the Razès. The Saint lived in his castle for two years. Unfortunately the 10th century castle was burned by Mazarin in June 1659. The Cardinal also took all the properties and wealth of the family. This castle was the last refuge of the Merovingians and as a result the Plantard family, having lost everything, was reduced at the level of simple peasants. There is no historical corroboration of this story. (n)
One of the more unbelievable legend linked to Le Prieuré de Sion is the assumption that Jesus was married to Madeleine and had some children. After the crucifixion Madeleine came to the South of France where she lived as well as her descendants. After more than four centuries this family got linked to the Francs by marriage and from this came the Merovingian dynasty. The assumption that Jesus was married is not new. It is mentioned in the St Thomas Gospel found in Egypt in 1897. However the Gospel said that his wife was Salomé. The conclusion of this story would be that the Plantard family descend from Jesus through Dagobert II. One assumption about the importance of the documents found by Bérenger Saunière is that among them he found Jesus’ wedding certificate! It is, of course, difficult to believe this story if only because at that time wedding certificates were probably non-existent. But all the legends require sometimes to believe things that otherwise are not believable. (n)
The structure of the Prieuré de Sion is a bad copy of the well-known masonry structures. It is supposed to be as follows:
-27 commanderies with 729 Knights, 243 Equerries and 81 cavaliers.
-729 provinces each with 6561 novices and 2181 crusaders.
-The “Kyria” Arch with 9 high Constables, 3 Seneschals and 1 Nautonnier.
It is difficult to believe that the Prieuré had so many members even if recruitment was made without distinction of nationality, language, social origin, class and political ideology. No equivalent exists in other Orders like the Order of Malta for instance. The only explanation is that the order was created in 1956 in Annemasse, France by someone -Plantard- with a vivid imagination. If it is true that Godfrey de Bouillon founded an abbey called Mont Sion in Jerusalem. There is not historical evidence that he founded an order known by this name. This abbey existed in Jerusalem until 1187 and was then transferred to saint Léonard in Acre. In the same way Louis VII took back with him from the crusades some religious from Mount Sion and installed them in Saint-Samson in Orleans where they stayed until 1519. In 1617 their church and properties went to the Jesuits. (o)
The instigators of the Prieuré de Sion do not hesitate to praise people for what they were supposed to have said or done even if this was not true. This procedure gave an appearance of truth to what was pure invention. Moreover some people fell for it in good faith and helped spreading the mystification. So much work, money and care have been invested in this story that it must be true that important unknown interests must be involved. As an example we will limit ourselves to one story.
The 22 October 1966 Lionel Burrus wrote in the “Semaine Catholique Genevoise”, a periodical printed in 250 copies, the following article:
“Why does the Vatican attack Henri Lobineau alias Léo R. Schidlof who died in Vienna in the 17 October 1966 when he was 80 years old? The Vatican attacked him the 20 October 1966 with a pamphlet against the man and his writings. Rome accused him to be pro-URSS, mason and preparing a left wing regime in France. In 1956 Lobineau wrote a study in the German language on the Merovingian dynasty and Rennes-le-Chateau. It deals mainly with the lineage of Dagobert II and the origin of Godfrey de Bouillon. Rome waited 10 years and the death of the author to attack him on a historical fact that is well known to the Vatican. However even this powerful organisation did not dare to attack him when he was alive. They did not want to admit, for instance that the Count of Paris was paid by the Americans. In France the Merovingian propaganda progresses slowly. Even a petrol firm like Antar uses a Merovingian king and his symbols as an emblem. According to Rome the Merovingians have always been behind every heresy such as Arianism, the Cathars, the Templars and the Masons just to mention a few. The Roman paper states that Lobineau did not receive his information from the priest Hoffet as he stated in 1956. Lobineau was a good man and not a liar”.
This apology of a mason that did not exist by a non-existent catholic periodical, as we will see, shows the methods used to discredit the truth. This periodical was supposed to be financed by the father of the author but this well-known Geneva person denied this fact and said that somebody used his son’s name to give credibility to the assertions. The Geneva periodical is also unknown to the local catholic bishop. Lionel Burrus died in a car accident in November 1966. Here again the unknown people involved use dead person’s name to spread their views. This is also the case with Schidlof also known as Lobineau. In this case we have good reason to believe that it was the count Henri de Lénoncourt who died in 1978 at 87 years of age to use this pseudonym. Lobineau-Schidlof-Lénoncourt visited the Razès from 1958 to 1964 and created some perturbations among the local people according to Philippe de Chérisey. The aim of all these activities is of course to give a seal of authenticity to the continuity of the Merovingian dynasty and the parallel story of France that it implies. All methods to arrive to that end are good. Lobineau is described as a near genius and Lionel Burrus as an irresponsible young man. The Merovingian message is clear. The Merovingians are of Jewish origin and have defended any type of heresy and have fought the established royal power. It looks as if there is an occult conspiracy organised by what is known as the Judeo-masonic coalition. The simultaneous appearance of a left wing government in France in case of victory of the Merovingians as well as the increased power of the masons is totally unbelievable. It is well known that the Communist regimes in URSS and elsewhere cancelled the masonic lodges and killed the masons when they took the power. It is most probable that this was also put forward by the same people to discredit their opponents. The only conclusion that seems credible is that a kind of important conspiracy is on the way to reach an aim that is not yet clarified but that it is organised and financed by important groups of interests. (o)
As Henri Rollin said it seems that most of the documents were written in Paris in 1897 or 1898 when the atmosphere was anti-Jewish and anti-Mason. We have already mentioned the presence of the unknown Archduke Jean-Stephane de Habsbourg with Saunière and Boudet. In 1975 another Habsbourg, the Archduke Rodolphe of Austria, younger brother of Otto de Habsbourg, visited Rennes-le-Chateau and Carcassonnes after seeing Mgr Boyer and the Templar specialist, the priest Mazières. He was asked who Jean-Stephane was in relation to his family and the answer was definite: he was not a member of the family. Mgr Boyer said that the Archduke who visited Saunière was the Archduke Orth who wanted to build a home for the old artists with Saunière. This last one was born in Florence and renounced to his title. The Emperor François-Joseph cancelled his Austrian nationality. He travelled a lot and he was reported as dead when his boat capsised at the Cape Horn in 1890. However the legend goes on that he escaped. An explanation of the presence of this Archduke in Rennes could be linked to his membership of the masonry. As we know the masons claim to carry the Templar heritage and also that of the Saint Empire. However the Habsbourgs have always denied any interest in Saunière and in Rennes-le-Chateau and they must be believed. The story at this point becomes more and more unbelievable. (o)