Da Vinci Code
Opus Dei and Priory of Sion

In the Dan Brown book Da Vinci Code, there are all sorts of comments about the Priory of Sion and their shadowy attempts to hide or discover the truth about Jesus and Mary M. Just what is going on here?

Many people have pointed out the great fiction of the conspiracy with the Priory of Sion. This is clearly fiction. Not only is it fiction, but it is a fiction which a thief deliberately created to bilk people out of money. That guy was sued in French court and the entire sham was made quite public. It's a bit irresponsible for Dan Brown to resurrect this whole falsehood and give it the appearance of truth. It would be as if an anti-Indian guy went around to Indian reservations and convinced them all they had money coming to them, then was prosecuted and thrown into jail ... but a few years later a famous author put together a book that tried to convince people that money was really out there for them.

Priory of Sion
The ORDER of Zion is an organization that has been around since the middle ages. But the PRIORY of Sion is a brand new group that was just out for fun.

In 1956, four guys decided to have some fun, and created their own little group called the "Priory of Sion" (Prieure du Sion). They named it after a nearby mountain with that name. As was required by law, they filed papers to create their group. The French Government listed them as a known organization in 1956 as a result. The president at the time was André Bonhomme, and another member was Pierre Plantard. In 1996, Andre told the BBC: "The Priory of Sion doesn't exist anymore. We were never involved in any activities of a political nature. It was four friends who came together to have fun. We called ourselves the Priory of Sion because there was a mountain by the same name close-by. I haven't seen Pierre Plantard in over 20 years and I don't know what he's up to but he always had a great imagination. I don't know why people try to make such a big thing out of nothing."

However, Pierre Plantard was a con-man who in fact went to jail for 6 months for his games. Back in 1942 he'd formed the Order of Knighthood called the Alpha Galates, to take advantage of people. He decided to do the same thing with his new Sion group. While the group was really about low-cost housing and put out a little leaflet called "Circuit" to talk about it, Pierre decided to do bigger and better things with his newly formed group.

Pierre developed a whole storyline, claiming he was descended from kings and that there were secret documents in the Rennes-le-Château. Unfortunately for him, he ran completely afoul of the law in his forged documents and was brought to court. Here he admitted that they were forgeries. In fact, his genealogy that tied him to French kings was stolen word for word from a history article.

So while an Order of Sion existed back in the 1600s, the group active from the 1900s onwards was a "joke group" incluing a con man who has admitted to his misdeeds.

Order of Zion
The original middle-ages group of the Order of Zion was part of the Knights Templar, i.e. the Holy Crusaders. The group is also sometimes known as "The Order of the Rose Cross Veritas", i.e. Rosecrutians. The Knights Templar were formed to help protect pilgrims who wanted to go to the Holy Lands to visit. Some put the foundation of the Knights Templar in 1118, while others say it was earlier.

Founded in 1090, by 1099 the Zionists were led by Godfroi de Bouillion. Some day that during the next 100 years the Zionists and Templars acted as a unit. Others say no. In any case, the two groups split up for political reasons in 1188.

By 1307, King Phillipe of France had enough of the Templars and decided to take care of them. In a famous action, on Friday the 13th of October, 1307, King Phillipe and Pope Clement rounded all of the Templars up and tortured them. The grand master, Jacques de Molay, was burnt at the stake and is the last known ruler of the Templars. "Philip the Fair" broke the group's power. There's a claim that enough were still around in 1314 to help out Robert the Bruce during one of his battles - but whether they were really Knights Templar or just fans of the Templars cannot be proven. In any case, this is why Friday the 13th is considered to be an unlucky day.

In any case, the Da Vinci Code claims this was all happening in Italy for some reason. But the Pope was actually in France during these years, and the burnings were taking place in Paris.

The Zionists kept going and were greatly involved in French politics, trying to influence who held the throne at any given point in time.

In 1619 that King Louis XII of France became angry with the Order of Zion's troublemaking and kicked them out of Orleans. The group disbanded at that time.

Visitor Comment -
I just finished the book, and I made more research on the book. I have been disapointed by the end, but my findings were even more so. The Priory of Sion is not a true society and all what is said in the book is just a bulk of fake stories made up by a creazy frenchman. If you can read the French go to :


This is an article from the most famous Swiss french speaking newspaper.

My Response -
Yes the whole Priory of Sion has been through court systems and journalistic exposes and is completely made up - the guy who made it up admitted it in court. He was trying to take advantage of people and his fake documentation was OBVIOUSLY fake when researched. It is very sad that those falsehoods were embedded into this story and propagated. It would be like someone taking advantage of 9/11 to bilk widows out of cash - and then that fake story then circulated as "truth" for fun in a novel. It wasn't true - and the situation was pretty slimy.

Visitor Comment -
I also wish to underline that Dan Brown's humour in choosing a name for the last Grand Master of the priory of Sion... The surname "Saunière" indeed is not very common in France, and it was borne by a certain Abbot Bérenger Saunière, parish priest of the village of Rennes-le-Château in the south of France who, at the end of the 19th century, apparently discovered a large treasure in the church (judging from the extravagant monies he spent over the following years), but also various documents related to Mary Magdalene, Joseph of Arimathea, etc. Those documents led many people to believe that the Grail was hidden in or around Rennes-le-Château, and to this day the village is still the most popular "Grail place" in France. Many websites, some of them in English, speculate at great length on that story.

Surely, and even though Rennes-le-Château is never mentioned in the book, Borwn's choice of the Saunière surname couldn't have been coincidental... :o))

My Response -
Oh certainly, a lot of where Dan Brown got his information is in these legends, because they were often at the root of the fake Sion organization. If only we got a real accounting from Sauniere about what happened back then ... heck, if he was selling off treasures, shouldn't we be able to trace those treasures back to him? I.e. it is now over 100 years later - wouldn't the people who owned these things be willing to say the history of them, in order to prove they were "real"?

Visitor Comment -
I have just come across an article published in last week's edition of "Le Nouvel Observateur" (a French weekly magazine) that absolutely trashes the Da Vinci Code and all its mistakes. Here is the link, if you can read French: Le Nouvel Observateur. The basic premise of the article is that the Prieure of Sion is a fraud set up by the con artist Pierre Plantard (as mentioned in your website). In particular, the documents found at the National Library (deemed as "facts" by Dan Brown in its opening page) are apparently well known forgeries created by Plantard and his friends. The article also mentions three "Anglo-Saxons" (Richard Leigh, Henry Lincoln and Michael Baigent) who became fascinated by Plantard. They wrote a book titled "Holy Blood, Holy Grail" that became popular in 1982. Apparently the idea that the Merovingians descended from Jesus and MM comes from that book. According to the article, this book is part of Teabing's library and Teabing describes it as "essentially correct" (I don't have the book with me, I am at the airport!) The article is interesting but goes a bit overboard. It hints that Dan Brown may have a purpose in propagating these false claims. I just think he wrote a best seller!

My Response -
That's a fascinating article, and a definite must-read for anyone who feels the Dan Brown material is "new" :)

Visitor Comment -
Page 260 mentions Pierre Plantard Saint-Clair, the last known Grand Master of Priory de Sion after Jean Cocteau's retirement. What Brown forgot to mention is that Plantard's claim as to be the direct lineal descendant of Dagobert II was proved to be false. His real ancestor was a 16th century peasant who grew walnuts ("The History of a Mystery", TimeWatch, BBC - 1996).

On page 326 Dan Brown gives us an impressive list of Grand Masters of Priory of Sion (from 1188 - 1963). However, an aristocrat the Marquis Phillipe de Cherissy, Gerard de Sede and Pierre Plantard had faked and deposited the Dossiers Secrets into the Bibliotheque Nationale according to library records. Eventually Plantard, de Cherissy and Gerard de Sede had a falling out over money. In 1971 Pierre Jarnac author of The Archives of the Treasure of Rennes-le-Château, received a letter from Phillipe de Cherissy implying that he was the author of the parchments published by Gerard de Sede. Jarnac produced the documents for the BBC camera. A note on Parchment 1 in Plantard's handwriting stated "This is the original document faked by Phillipe de Cherissy which Gerard de Sede reproduced in his book L'Or de Rennes-le-Château."

My Response -
Yet another great reference, thanks!


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