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Tracy R. Twyman Book Da Vinci Code Decoded


Da Vinci Code Decoded Kljuc

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Tracy R. Twyman
Wrote in 2003
"The Davinci Code Decoded"
"Martin Lunn" Name Was a Cover

Tracy R Twyman December, 2009
Regarding
Peter Levenda
Papal Magic
Occult Practices Within the Catholic Church
HarperCollins Executive Editor VP

Peter Hubbard Peter.Hubbard@HarperCollins The Davinci Code Decoded Book By "Martin Lunn"

“I had HarperCollins, one of the largest publishers in the world, interested in my material. But when I sent them my sample chapters on request from one of the editors, they actually had one of their other authors (my former friend Peter Levenda, who had recommended me to them) steal my work and publish it as his own. The book Papal Magic by Simon (Levenda‘s pen name and the “editor” of the Necronomicon) was almost entirely ripped from one of my sample chapters, word for word. I can’t afford a lawyer and thus can do nothing about it.

The Da Vinci Code Decoded by Martin Lunn, an international bestseller, was essentially written by me as well. But at least I was in on that scam and agreed to it willingly. The publisher came to me and asked me to write it, but since I was already in a prohibitive contract with Weiser at the time, I couldn’t take the offer. So I let one of my friends take credit as the author and I only got a 10% agent commission. Then I lost my contract with Weiser because of Boyd’s [Rice] behavior, and that was it.”

Email Correspondences between
Tracy Twyman (Brian)
&
Disnfo Publications Company
Regarding The Writing of 
Da Vinci Code Decoded
2003-2004

From: "Gary Baddeley" <baddeley@disinfo.com>
Sent: 11/3/2003 6:23:55 AM
To: tracy@dagobertsrevenge.com
Cc: "Richard Metzger" <metzger@disinfo.com>
Bcc:
Subject: RE: HOLY BLOOD HOLY GRAIL recycled 23 years later

Hi Tracy, I thought that Red Wheel/Weiser only had a first look at your next book ... which of course could be something other than "Da Vinci Code Decoded". Anyway, we like those guys so don't want to pull you away, but should you feel that we'd be a better home for a book like that, remember that we'd love to do it and think we could do a great job for you.

Thanks,
gcb

-----Original Message----­From: Tracy Twyman [mailto:tracy@dagobertsrevenge.com] Sent: Saturday, November 01, 2003 6:45 PM To: Gary Baddeley Subject: Re: HOLY BLOOD HOLY GRAIL recycled 23 years later

Dear Gary,

I'm sorry I didn't get back to you about this earlier. Boyd and I are both under a contract with another company, and we are obliged to have the next books that either of us write published by that company. Unfortunately, that would preclude both of us from doing a book for disinfo.

Thanks very much for the offer, though.

Kind Regards,
Tracy Twyman

Gary Baddeley wrote:

>Tracy -you and Boyd really should do a quickie "Da Vinci Code Decoded" > - we could sell a boatload around the release of the paperback version >of the book and then again when the movie comes out. I already pitched >Boyd as you may have heard... > > >

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From: "Gary Baddeley" <baddeley@disinfo.com> To: <tracy@dagobertsrevenge.com> Cc: "'Richard Metzger'" <metzger@disinfo.com> Subject: RE: HOLY BLOOD HOLY GRAIL recycled 23 years later Date: Mon, 3 Nov 2003 09:23:55 -0500 Message-ID: <022501c3a216$1d4e0b20$6501a8c0@badgary>MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain;
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From: "Richard Metzger" <metzger@disinfo.com>
Sent: 11/7/2003 8:38:18 AM
To: tracy@dagobertsrevenge.com
Cc: "Gary Baddeley" <baddeley@disinfo.com>
Bcc: Subject: Da Vinci, etc

Thanks Tracy, that sounds great. Please have Martin contact me and Gary Baddeley (cc's above). 

Saw a wonderful lecture by "Hannussen" author Mel Gordon last night at Adam Parfrey's house. He even had films of Hannussen! Amazing stuff, you'd have loved it.

Best,
Richard

PS Thank you for the new issue. I always buy your mag on the newsstand (almost always at Tower) the moment I see it, but I appreciate that you sent me one. I shall pass it on to someone who *deserves* it. Can't think who that might be at this time, but I will figure it out.

-----Original Message ----­From: "Tracy Twyman" To: "Richard Metzger" Sent: Friday, November 07, 2003 8:03 AM Subject: Re: Phone number

> Dear Richard, > >

I have an alternative proposal for you. I have a friend named Martin, > who is a writer for the Financial Times of London. He currently lives > in Barcelona. He recently edited a book that I am having published > about the Grail bloodline. It was a major piece of work, and he did a > great job. He also makes regular trips to Rennes-le-Chateau, so he > would be able to do a lot of hands-on research. Why don't you have him > write the Da vinci book? I have already asked him, and he said he is up > to the task. >
> Let me know what you think.

> > Regards,
> > > Tracy Twyman (303) 308 8169

> Richard Metzger wrote:
> > >Hi > Tracy,

>Please send me your phone number. >> > >Best, >> > >Richard >> >> >> > > >

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Subject: Da Vinci, etc
Date: Fri, 7 Nov 2003 08:38:18 -0800
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From: "Gary Baddeley" <baddeley@disinfo.com>
Sent: 11/24/2003 12:17:14 PM
To: brian@dagobertsrevenge.com
Cc:
Bcc:
Subject: RE: da vinci code decoded

OK Brian. Martin hasn't read Davinci Code yet so there's not much to talk about until he does.

Best,
gcb

The Disinformation Company Ltd. 207
West 25th Street, 4th Floor
New York, NY 10001
Tel. +1.212.691.1605
Fax +1.212.473.8096
http://www.disinfo.com

-----Original Message----­From: Brian Albert [mailto:brian@dagobertsrevenge.com] Sent: Monday, November 24, 2003 3:13 PM To: baddeley@disinfo.comSubject: da vinci code decoded

Hello

Tracy printed out your e-mail for me. Our web host has worked out most of the e-mail bugs so you can now reach me at brian@dagobertsrevenge.com.

If for some reason that does not work you can use
ttwyman1774@earthlink.net.
Our phone number is 303-308-8169

Brian Albert
Dagobert's Revenge Magazine
brian@dagobertsrevenge.com
http://www.dagobertsrevenge.com
http://www.ordolapsitexillis.org

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From: "Gary Baddeley" <baddeley@disinfo.com> To: <brian@dagobertsrevenge.com>Subject: RE: da vinci code decoded Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2003 15:17:14 -0500 Message-ID: <006b01c3b2c7$f7477fc0$0baf573f@mischievous>MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain;
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From: <martinlunn@ftnetwork.com>
Sent: 11/25/2003 2:11:28 AM
To: brian@dagobertsrevenge.com
Cc:
Bcc:
Subject: Re: da vinci code

Hello Brian,

I spoke to Gary last week, and at that time I had not read the book. I am now reading it and should have completed it in a couple of days.

My understanding is that I write an expansion of the references to Rennes-le-Chateau and the Priory of Sion in an "authoritative" and non-fictional way.

If you could give me a more exact idea of what is required, it would be helpful. My computer is being repaired at the moment, so I am having to seize opportunities at work to email.

Best wishes
Martin

************************************************************ brian@dagobertsrevenge.com wrote on 11/24/03 9:50:34 PM ************************************************************

Hello

I wanted to know how your conversation with Gary Baddeley went. I just sent him a brief e-mail to see what is going on. I assume that you are reading The Da Vinci Code now or have already read it.

Please let me know what your ideas are so far so we make sure we're on the same page.
Tracy asked me to attach the recent article she wrote..

Brian Albert Dagobert's Revenge Magazine
brian@dagobertsrevenge.com
http://www.dagobertsrevenge.com
http://www.ordolapsitexillis.org

Visit the web site of the Financial Times at http://www.ft.com

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From: <martinlunn@ftnetwork.com>
To: "brian@dagobertsrevenge.com" <brian@dagobertsrevenge.com>Subject: Re: da vinci code
Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2003 02:11:28 -0800
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From: "Gary Baddeley" <baddeley@disinfo.com>
Sent: 11/25/2003 2:59:44 PM
To: brian@dagobertsrevenge.com
Cc: "Richard Metzger" <metzger@disinfo.com>, martinlunn@ftnetwork.com
Bcc
Subject: RE: da vinci code decoded

Brian, my thoughts on this are not fully formed, but loosely:


· A pop culture easy to read “guide to” the Da Vinci Code (DVC) to help all the purchasers of DVC (especially the mass market edition) who have no idea whether it’s based on accurate research or not.
· Focus on the “facts” underlying DVC and compare it to historical research in those areas (eg Priory of Sion, Templars, Roslyn, Grail, Opus Dei, etc.).
· Probably each of the various topics could be a chapter, with the gospel according to Dan Brown analyzed by Martin.
· Small format –may be even smaller than 8x5”
· No more than 200 pages, may be a bit less.
· Some illustrations and / or photos, but library or PD stuff as I don’t think we can afford to spend much in that area.
· I’d like to release it around the mass market paperback release date of DVC, which is 6/1/04. We’ re late on that of course, so I’d need to find out from Martin how soon he could turn it in. If he could do it really quickly, for delivery in the early part of 2004, I’d love that.
· Price of the mass market edition is $7.99, so I’d like to try to keep DVC Decoded low price too.

gcb

The Disinformation Company Ltd. 207
West 25th Street, 4th Floor
New York, NY 10001
Tel. +1.212.691.1605
Fax +1.212.473.8096
http://www.disinfo.com

-----Original Message----­From: Brian Albert [mailto:brian@dagobertsrevenge.com]Sent: Monday, November24, 20034:58PMTo: Gary Baddeley Subject: Re: davinci code decoded

Hello:

I'm sure Martin will get through the Da Vinci Code in no time. With his extensive knowledge of the subject matter he will have plenty to say about it. Tell me all you can about your specific needs for this book.

How long were you thinking it should be? What are the book dimensions going to be? Were you looking for a step by step explanation of plot elements in The Da Vinci Code, or more of abroad over view of the Priory of Sion / Rennes-le-Chateau / Grail saga?

What kind of time frame are you looking at? I know you would like the publication to coincide with the film, but when would you like to have the final manuscript in?

I got the impression from Richard that you wanted this to be a short book, perhaps about 200 pages. I assume you were thinking of printing in a smaller format than "The Book of Lies", perhaps 8x5" or 6x9". Is this correct?

Martin is supposed to get back to me in the next day or so with his ideas. When I hear from him I'll let you know. I'm glad we're getting this project up and running. It sounds like it is a great idea.

Regards,
Brian Albert

Dagobert's Revenge Magazine
brian@dagobertsrevenge.com
http://www.dagobertsrevenge.com
http://www.ordolapsitexillis.org

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From: "Gary Baddeley" <baddeley@disinfo.com> To: <brian@dagobertsrevenge.com> Cc: "'Richard Metzger'" <metzger@disinfo.com>, <martinlunn@ftnetwork.com> Subject: RE: da vinci code decoded Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2003 17:59:44 -0500 Message-ID: <01bf01c3b3a7$d42a2cf0$0baf573f@mischievous>MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/alternative;
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From: <martinlunn@ftnetwork.com>
Sent: 11/26/2003 7:35:19 AM
To: brian@dagobertsrevenge.com
Cc:
Bcc:
Subject: Fwd: RE: da vinci code decoded

Hello Brian, I went into a panic when I first read Gary's email as I thought he meant a deadline of 6th January and not 1st June. We read dates differently in England! Please confirm a deadline of 6th June 2004.

1. Should I be communicating through you or direct to Gary?
2. Can I use Tracy's article as an introduction?
3. How many words are required?
4. I agree to all the chapter headings that Gary suggests.
5. I should have my PC back tomorrow, and so shall be able to attend to emails at home.
6. I have pix of Rennes-le-Chateau that I can include. I have very nearly finished DVC, but have so far not come across any references to Rennes-le-Chateau, although the name of Saunière (Jacques) figures throughout.

Best wishes
Martin

********************************************* baddeley@disinfo.com wrote on 11/25/03 11:59:44 PM *********************************************

Brian, my thoughts on this are not fully formed, but loosely:

· A pop culture easy to read“guide to” the DaVinci Code (DVC) to help all the purchasers of DVC(especially the mass market edition) who have no idea whether it’s based on accurate research or not.
· Focus on the “facts” underlying DVC and compare it to historical research in those are as (eg Priory of Sion, Templars, Roslyn, Grail, Opus Dei, etc.).
· Probably each of the various topics could be a chapter, with the gospel according to Dan Brown analyzed by Martin.
· Small format –may be even smaller than 8x5” · No more than 200 pages, may be a bit less.
· Some illustrations and / or photos, but library or PD stuff as I don’t think we can afford to spend much in that area.
· I’d like to release it around the mass market paperback release date of DVC, which is 6/1/04. We’re late on that of course, so I’d need to find out from Martin how soon he could turn it in. If he could do it really quickly, for delivery in the early part of2004, I’d love that.
· Price of the mass market edition is $7.99, so I’d like to try to keep DVC Decoded low price too.

gcb

The Disinformation Company Ltd.
207 West 25th Street, 4th Floor
New York, NY 10001
Tel. +1.212.691.1605
Fax +1.212.473.8096
http://www.disinfo.com

-----Original Message----­From: Brian Albert [mailto:brian@dagobertsrevenge.com]Sent: Monday, November24, 20034:58PMTo: Gary Baddeley Subject: Re: da vinci code decoded

Hello:
I'm sure Martin will get through the DaVinci Code in no time. With his extensive knowledge of the subject matter he will have plenty to say about it.

Tell me all you can about your specific needs for this book. How long were you thinking it should be? What are the book dimensions going to be? We re you looking for a step by step explanation of plot elements in The Da Vinci Code, or more of a broad overview of the Priory of Sion / Rennes-le-Chateau / Grail saga?

What kind of time frame are you looking at? I know you would like the publication to coincide with the film, but when would you like to have the final manuscript in?

I got the impression from Richard that you wanted this to be a short book, perhaps about 200 pages. I assume you were thinking of printing in a smaller format than"The Book of Lies", perhaps 8x5" or 6x9". Is this correct?

Martin is supposed to get back to me in the next day or so with his ideas. When I hear from him I'll let you know. I'm glad we're getting this project up and running. It sounds like it is a great idea.

Regards,
Brian Albert

Dagobert's Revenge Magazine
brian@dagobertsrevenge.com
http://www.dagobertsrevenge.com
http://www.ordolapsitexillis.org

Visit the web site of the Financial Times at http://www.ft.com

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From: <martinlunn@ftnetwork.com>
To: "brian@dagobertsrevenge.com" <brian@dagobertsrevenge.com>
Subject: Fwd: RE: da vinci code decoded
Date: Wed, 26 Nov 2003 07:35:19 -0800
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From: "Gary Baddeley" <baddeley@disinfo.com>
Sent: 11/29/2003 10:12:34 AM
To: brian@dagobertsrevenge.com
Cc:
Bcc:
Subject: Re: da vinci code decoded

Thanks Brian. BTW, does Martin have a bio that I could look at?

gcb

on 11/29/03 8:54 AM, "Brian Albert" at brian@dagobertsrevenge.com wrote:

Hello
Martin says he "agrees to your points" and I asked him to write down a rough outline with chapter headings and descriptions for you to take a look at and make some suggestions.

Martin called the other day and talked to Tracy. He said he had just finished reading DVC. He also said he had some pictures of RLC, and lives close to where Opus Dei was founded and where one of the cups that is a candidate for the Grail is, both of which are mentioned in DVC.

Pictures shouldn't be much of an issue. I can take care of some graphics he needs.

regards,
Brian Albert
"Dagobert's Revenge Magazine"
brian@dagobertsrevenge.com
http://www.dagobertsrevenge.com
http://www.ordolapsitexillis.org

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Date: Sat, 29 Nov 2003 13:12:34 -0500 From: Gary Baddeley <baddeley@disinfo.com> Subject: Re: da vinci code decoded In-reply-to: <3FC8A505.10504@dagobertsrevenge.com> To: brian@dagobertsrevenge.comMessage-id: <BBEE4BC1.3652%baddeley@disinfo.com>MIME-version: 1.0 Content-type: multipart/alternative;
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From: "Gary Baddeley" <baddeley@disinfo.com>
Sent: 12/2/2003 1:41:37 PM
To: brian@dagobertsrevenge.com
Cc: martinlunn@ftnetwork.com, "Richard Metzger" <metzger@disinfo.com>
Bcc:
Subject: RE: da vinci code decoded

Brian: I just had a chat with Martin on the phone. I think we’re on the same page but as I have never seen any thing written by Martin he is kindly going to send an article or two for me to look at. Secondly, he’s going to write a sample chapter for DVC Decoded. I think we should wait for that and then if it looks good to everyone we should make our deal and get to work.

Timeline is going to be roughly this, I hope:

12/9 Sample Chapter delivered
12/16 Agreement reached / Martin starts work
12/17 Details of book sent to distributor for late off-cycle addition to spring / summer 2004 list
2/24 Manuscript delivered (with images, minimal editing required)
3/8 Editing completed
3/26 Layout completed / files to printer
4/7 Final proofs approved 4/23 Bound books ship
4/29 Books in distributor warehouse & NY office
4/31 Review copies mailed
5/17 Books ship to accounts
6/1 Books in most stores to coincide with paper back of DVC

This doesn’t allow for anything going wrong, so it will require everyone to pay attention and work fast and well, but I think it’s doable.

Martin raised the possibility of his traveling to take photos, etc. but as the timeline is so tight I think it will be faster and cheaper to refer to his

gcb

The Disinformation Company Ltd.
207 West 25th Street, 4th Floor
NewYork, NY 10001
Tel. +1.212.691.1605
Fax +1.212.473.8096
http://www.disinfo.com

-----Original Message----­From: Brian Albert [mailto:brian@dagobertsrevenge.com] Sent: Tuesday, December 02, 2003 7:05 AM To: Gary Baddeley Subject: Re: da vinci code decoded

Hello

Below is a rough idea of how Martin thought the book might go. We were estimating a date of the end of February to mid March to get the final manuscript into you.That should give Martin 2-3 months to research and write, and you 3-4 months for editing / printing etc.

He said he has several days off during the holidays and this project will be the focus of his time. The bio you asked for will come soon.

regards,
Brian Albert

Dagobert's Revenge Magazine
brian@dagobertsrevenge.com
http://www.dagobertsrevenge.com
http://www.ordolapsitexillis.org

Martin Lunn wrote:

I think that the following material should be covered, written in the order in which it is first mentioned in the DVC.
(Jacques Saunière). Perhaps the story of Bérenger Saunière should start the book off as theories connected to it resonate throughout the book.

*Opus Dei.
*They mention the New York and London offices, but the order started in Spain.
*The Priory of Sion and information on the Plantard St Clairs.
*Analyses of the Madonna of the Rocks and the Virgin of the Rocks.
*Holy Grail theories including the alleged Holy Grail chalice in Valencia Cathedral, Spain
*Emperor Constantine including details on the Donation of Conastantine
*The marriage of Christ including marriage customs of the time
*Mediterranean churches with Mary Magdelene references to the sea etc. (?Madonna of the Sea?
*Benjamin and Davidic bloodlines
*Dagobert story
*Atbash cipher
*Baphomet

Places ?visitied?:
*Eglise de Saint-Sulpice Rue Haxo in Paris
*Chateau Villette near Paris
*Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan Temple Church in London
*King?s College theological database in London
*Westminster Abbey
-Newton tomb
--Chapter House
-St Faith?s Chapel
-Rosslyn Chapel

Gary Baddeley wrote:

Great –can’t wait to hear his thoughts.

gcb

The Disinformation Company Ltd.
207 West 25th Street, 4th Floor
New York, NY 10001
Tel. +1.212.691.1605
Fax +1.212.473.8096
http://www.disinfo.com

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From: "Gary Baddeley" <baddeley@disinfo.com> To: <brian@dagobertsrevenge.com> Cc: <martinlunn@ftnetwork.com>, "'Richard Metzger'" <metzger@disinfo.com> Subject: RE: da vinci code decoded Date: Tue, 2 Dec 2003 16:41:37 -0500 Message-ID: <007701c3b91d$137ff950$0baf573f@mischievous>MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/alternative;
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From: "Gary Baddeley" <baddeley@disinfo.com>
Sent: 12/17/2003 10:53:42 AM
Bcc:
To: brian@dagobertsrevenge.com
Cc:
Subject: RE: contract

Yes but if it could mention something about him being an expert in all things Grail, Priory, etc. would be even better!

gcb

-----Original Message----­From: Brian Albert [mailto:brian@dagobertsrevenge.com] Sent: Wednesday, December 17, 2003 1:52 PM To: Gary Baddeley Subject: Re: contract

Hello

Will this work or do you need some more detail? I'm assuming the bio is for promo material and possibly for the back of the book.

"Martin Lunn" is English and has lived in Barcelona since 1997. He has lived throughout the Far and Middle East, and in the USA as well as several countries in Europe. He is a freelance journalist who was involved in the first elections in Kurdistan, and has written on a wide variety of topics. His interest in the truth behind western history dates back the 1980s, when a number of chance encounters inspired him to find out more."

-Brian

Gary Baddeley wrote:

Thanks Brian, I will revise and send a revised draft for Martin to sign and print out. He can fax the signature page and mail the originals so that we can get going. Can I get a short bio on Martin today?

gcb

-----Original Message----­From: Brian Albert [mailto:brian@dagobertsrevenge.com]Sent: Tuesday, December 16, 2003 8:12 PM To: Gary Baddeley Subject: Re: contract

Hello

I looked over the contract and it looks fine. There are just a couple of things:

1) Martin was concerned that the due date for the manuscript in the agreement is Feb.15th, but the time line you gave us earlier had a date of Feb.24th.

2)In paragraph 12 "Your Agent", commission is set at 15%, but Martin and I have a previous agreement of 10%. Please clarify the above and we can get it signed. It looks like Martin will have to express it to get it back to you by the end of the week.

If you can e-mail it tome, I'll forward it on and hopefully he can get it signed and sent back to you via next day air
on Thursday.

-Brian

Gary Baddeley wrote:

Brian: not to pressure you unduly, but if we care going to get the contract done this year it must be this week as I will be out for the following two weeks.

Did you look at that PDF download?

Best,
gcb

The Disinformation Company Ltd.
207 West 25th Street, 4th Floor
New York, NY 10001
Tel. +1.212.691.1605
Fax +1.212.473.8096
http://www.disinfo.com

Brian Albert Dagobert's Revenge Magazine
brian@dagobertsrevenge.com
http://www.dagobertsrevenge.com
http://www.ordolapsitexillis.org

Brian Albert Dagobert's Revenge Magazine
brian@dagobertsrevenge.com
http://www.dagobertsrevenge.com
http://www.ordolapsitexillis.org

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From: "Gary Baddeley" <baddeley@disinfo.com> To: <brian@dagobertsrevenge.com>Subject: RE: contract Date: Wed, 17 Dec 2003 13:53:42 -0500 Message-ID: <017501c3c4cf$1b66eb70$0baf573f@mischievous>MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/alternative;
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From: "Gary Baddeley" <baddeley@disinfo.com>
Sent: 12/17/2003 10:56:10 AM
To: "Martin Lunn" <lunn@london.com>
Cc: "Brian Albert" <brian@dagobertsrevenge.com>
Bcc:
Subject: contract
Attachments: Martin Lunn Agreement 2.pdf

Dear Martin:

I am attaching the contract for DVC Decoded with the two revisions Brian requested (Feb 24 delivery and Agent’s commission @ 10%).

Please print out two copies, sign them both, fax a copy to me and mail the originals.

Upon receipt of the fax copy I will send the first part of your advance to Brian. When I have the originals I will counter sign and send one to Brian.

Thanks and best wishes,
gcb

The Disinformation Company Ltd.
207 West 25th Street, 4th Floor
New York, NY 10001
Tel. +1.212.691.1605
Fax +1.212.473.8096
http://www.disinfo.com

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From: "Gary Baddeley" <baddeley@disinfo.com> To: "Martin Lunn" <lunn@london.com> Cc: "Brian Albert" <brian@dagobertsrevenge.com> Subject: contract Date: Wed, 17 Dec 2003 13:56:10 -0500 Message-ID: <017a01c3c4cf$72f1a7e0$0baf573f@mischievous>MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/mixed;
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From: "Gary Baddeley" <baddeley@disinfo.com>
Sent: 1/5/2004 12:32:40 PM
To: brian@dagobertsrevenge.com
Cc: "Martin Lunn" <lunn@london.com>, "Richard Metzger" <metzger@disinfo.net>
Bcc:
Subject: RE: [Fwd: Biography]

Martin– what I’d like is something that focuses on your qualifications as an expert on all the stuff in Da Vinci Code. May be you have a history degree, or you are an officer or member of historical societies, or you have been widely interviewed or quoted on the relevant topics, etc.

Although it’s interesting, where you have lived and your experience in Kurdistan is not really persuasive as to why you are THE authority on the topics in DVC.

You approach the issue in the third and fourth sentences, but they don’t give an air of authority. Perhaps you could get other recognized people in the field to say how great you are –Tracy and Boyd perhaps, and others too.

Don’t be scared to hype yourself. I don’t want fabrications of course, but make the very most of your expertise and get others to say what you may not be comfortable saying yourself.

gcb

PS I read the prequel to DVC, Angels & Demons, on holiday. He is such a schlocky writer! DVC is better, but it uses the same idea of basing a cheesy thriller around historical research –in this case the illuminati and the vatican.

-----Original Message----­From: Brian Albert [mailto:brian@dagobertsrevenge.com] Sent: Sunday, December 21, 2003 9:11 PM To: baddeley@disinfo.com Subject: [Fwd: Biography]

--------OriginalMessage-------­
Subject:BiographyDate:Thu,18Dec200300:18:13+0100 From:MartinLunn<lunn@london.com>

To:brian@dagobertsrevenge.com

Hello Brian,

Is this more what is required?

"Martin Lunn is English and has lived in Barcelona since 1997. He has lived throughout the Far and Middle East, and in the USA as well as several countries in Europe. He is a freelance journalist who was involved in the first elections in Kurdistan, and has written on a wide variety of topics. His interest in the truth behind western history dates back the 1980s, when a number of chance encounters inspired him to find out more. In particular, this led to his concentrated study of how history has dealt with the Davidic bloodline, and the resulting implications today."

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Brian Albert Dagobert's Revenge Magazine
brian@dagobertsrevenge.com
http://www.dagobertsrevenge.com
http://www.ordolapsitexillis.org

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From: "Gary Baddeley" <baddeley@disinfo.com> To: <brian@dagobertsrevenge.com> Cc: "Martin Lunn" <lunn@london.com>, "'Richard Metzger'" <metzger@disinfo.net> Subject: RE: [Fwd: Biography] Date: Mon, 5 Jan 2004 15:32:40 -0500 Message-ID: <00c601c3d3cb$2a7e7be0$6b01a8c0@mischievous>MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/alternative;
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"with my 10% of DVC Decoded, and my 25% of The Dragon Legacy"

From: <martinlunn@ftnetwork.com>
Sent: 2/18/2004 11:02:51 PM
To: tracy@dagobertsrevenge.com
Cc: Bcc:
Subject: Re: a personal request

Dear Tracy,

Thank you for your email. Yes, of course you may borrow the first part of my advance.

I have to say that I would never have had the opportunity to write this book if it had not been for you. Neither would the book turned out so well, had it not been for your valued contribution.

I hope that your problems resolve themselves, and am sorry that things seem to have come to a head all at once for you. Problems have a habit of coming along all at the same time. Let's hope they disappear at the same rate.

Warmly,
Martin

************************************************************ tracy@dagobertsrevenge.com wrote on 2/19/04 7:05:40 AM ************************************************************

Dear Martin,

I hope some of the pressure is beginning to subside. You've done a marvelous job on this book, much better than I would have done. I will get those pictures that Richard needs sent off tomorrow.

I am writing to let you know that, unfortunately, for whatever reason, the advance check Brian sent you several weeks ago did get returned in the mail. I don't know exactly what's going on, but as I believe he told you, a magazine we sent to the same address months ago just got returned to us as well. It may or may not be related that a package Nick sent me five weeks ago just now arrived, beaten up, with green tape around it stating that it had been opened and inspected by customs. Perhaps Big Brother is spying on the Dragon Court.

I am also writing to make a personal request, which you may feel free to accept or turn down as you see fit. The return of your check in the mail comes at a time when we are about to have our electricity, phone, and internet all shut off, because we have not been able to pay for them for the last few months.

The delay in the publication of The Dragon Legacy, the financial damage caused me by my former partner, Boyd Rice, and the fact that Dagobert's Revenge's biggest distributor, Desert Moon, will not pay the thousands of dollars they owe us -all of these factors have caused us to be in this slump.

My request is that you allow us to borrow the amount of the first half of your advance, to be payed back ASAP,with my 10% of DVC Decoded, and my 25% of The Dragon Legacy, put up as collateral. I believe that you will be getting the second half of your advance soon, and of course I will pass that along as soon as I get it. I should be able to pay back any remaining debt within the next two months.

If this is not agreeable to you, do not feel bad at all. I wholly understand, and will forward the advance to you immediately. But if you can do this for us, it would save us from certain destruction, and allow us to live and work another day, so that we may return the favor mutlifold in the future.

Kind Regards,
Tracy

Visit the web site of the Financial Times at http://www.ft.com

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From: <martinlunn@ftnetwork.com>
To: "tracy@dagobertsrevenge.com" <tracy@dagobertsrevenge.com>
Subject: Re: a personal request
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2004 23:02:51 -0800
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hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

DisInfo Publications Contract Document
2003

"the Agent is entitled to receive or retain as its commission (and is hereby irrevocably assigned) fifteen percent (15%) of gross monies paid to you hereunder"
Page. 6

AGREEMENT made as of December __, 2003 between The Disinformation Company Ltd., with an address at 207 West 25th Street, 4h Floor, New York, New York 10001 (“Disinformation”) and Martin Lunn, c/o Brian Albert, PO Box

18331, Denver, CO 80218-0331 (“you”).

1. THE BOOK

(a) You shall write and deliver to Disinformation a complete, original manuscript of the literary work with the working title “The Da Vinci Code Decoded” (the “Book”) in Microsoft Word format no later than February 15, 2004 (the “Delivery Date”). The Book shall substantially conform to the proposal attached hereto as Exhibit A and otherwise as requested by Disinformation (it being agreed and understood that the idea for the book Daoriginated with Disinformation). Disinformation shall have the right to request changes to the Book and you shall make and submit such changes expeditiously and in good faith. If you fail to deliver the Book by the Delivery Date or you fail to submit requested changes within seven (7) days following Disinformation’s request, then Disinformation may make such changes directly or Disinformation may elect to terminate this agreement by giving you written notice and you shall promptly return the Advance paid to you pursuant to paragraph 2 below and Disinformation will have no further obligation whatsoever under this agreement, to you or to any other person.

(b) You agree to read, revise, correct and return promptly all design, layout and printing proofs of the Book and you agree that alterations made at your request, the cost of which exceeds ten percent (10%) of the original cost of composition, exclusive of the cost of correcting other errors, shall be charged against any sums payable to you hereunder, and you shall pay in full for any corrections in the plates or approved digital files which you require or which are necessary for the correction of actual errors (excluding designer’s and printer’s errors) after the plates or approved digital files have been made in conformity with the last page proof as corrected by you.

(c) You agree that as between you and Disinformation, Disinformation (including but not limited to its affiliates, parent, subsidiaries, licensees and assigns) shall own and control all rights in and to the Book and any Materials (as defined in paragraph 8 below) created by or original with you and furnished to Disinformation for exploitation hereunder, including without limitation any illustrations and/or photographs created or taken by you. All such Materials shall be works made for hire by you for Disinformation and all rights in and to such Materials shall be owned by Disinformation from inception. If you shall be deemed to be an owner or author of all or any part of the Materials, by action of this agreement you shall be deemed to have assigned to Disinformation in perpetuity all rights therein and thereto, including without limitation worldwide copyright and any and all renewals and extensions of copyright. You agree to execute and deliver to Disinformation any document or instrument that Disinformation requires to evidence such assignment and, if you fail to do so within ten (10) days following Disinformation’s request, Disinformation shall have the right to do so in your name and on your behalf as attorney-in-fact.

(d) Disinformation may, at its sole option but in consultation with you, choose to license and/or commission photographs, illustrations and/or other art and design for inclusion in the Book. In such event, Disinformation’s out-of-pocket costs thereof shall be deemed an advance fully recoupable from your royalties hereunder.

(e) Disinformation shall have the right, throughout the universe, in perpetuity and in all media, to use and reproduce, and to license others to use and reproduce, your name, likeness and biography in connection with the advertising, promotion, sale and/or other exploitation of the Book, and/or the services of any distributor of the Book, and/or subsidiary and/or ancillary rights of any nature relating thereto, in any and all media, whether now known or hereafter devised, (including, without limitation, in connection with interviews, features, and other publicity). You agree that, upon Disinformation’s reasonable request you will perform promotion and publicity services with respect to the Book including, without limitation, television and radio interviews and in-store appearances/signings. Such services shall not be separately compensated, provided that Disinformation shall pay your actual, reasonable travel, meal and accommodation expenses in relation thereto in the event that you are required to travel more than fifty (50) miles.

2. ADVANCE

Disinformation shall pay to you the sum of two thousand, five hundred dollars ($2,500) as a fully-recoupable advance against any and all amounts payable to you under this Agreement (the “Advance”), payable one half (½) upon full

1

execution of this agreement and one half (½) upon commercial release of a print edition of the Book in the United States.

3. ROYALTIES/ACCOUNTING

(a) As full and complete consideration for the copyright ownership provisions herein, Disinformation’s right to use your name and likeness as provided herein, the services to be performed by you hereunder, and your other covenants, agreements, warranties and representations contained herein, Disinformation shall pay to you and you agree to accept the following royalties with respect to sales and other exploitations of the Book:

(i) On books sold, paid for and not returned in the United States and Canada:

(A) With respect to trade paperback editions, eight percent (8%) of the United States suggested retail list price on the first Fifty Thousand (50,000) copies, increasing to ten percent (10%) of the United States suggested retail list price on any copies sold in excess of Fifty Thousand (50,000) copies;

(B) With respect to hardcover editions, ten percent (10%) of the United States suggested retail list price on the first Ten Thousand (10,000) copies, increasing to twelve and one half percent (12.5%) of the United States suggested retail list price on the next Ten Thousand (10,000) copies and fifteen percent (15%) of the United States suggested retail list price on any copies sold in excess of Twenty Thousand (20,000) copies;

(C) With respect to ebook, audio book and mass market paperback editions, fifty percent (50%) of Disinformation’s Net Proceeds.

(ii) On books sold, paid for and not returned in the United Kingdom and Eire, fifty percent (50%) of the otherwise applicable United States royalty based on the United States suggested retail list price, except that if Disinformation ceases to distribute the Book directly in such territories and licenses publication rights to a third party, then Disinformation shall pay to you fifty percent (50%) of Disinformation’s Net Proceeds;

(iii) Fifty percent (50%) of Disinformation’s Net Proceeds on net sales in the rest of the world;

(iv) Fifty percent (50%) of Disinformation’s Net Proceeds on any exploitation of the following rights: book club and other direct marketing; corporate and/or institutional editions; textbook; foreign language/translation; and serialization in magazines, newspapers, web sites (other than on any web site owned or operated by Disinformation or any affiliate, which use shall be royalty free) and other similar formats, now or hereafter developed;

(v) Fifty percent (50%) of Disinformation’s Net Proceeds on copies that are sold above cost as overstock or as a premium.

“Net Proceeds” as used in this paragraph 3(a) shall be defined as the gross amounts actually received by Disinformation in the United States in United States currency, less all of Disinformation’s and/or its distributor(s)’ manufacturing and packaging costs, all advertising and publicity expenses, all amounts charged back to Disinformation by its distributor(s), and any and all commissions, fees and expenses paid or incurred by Disinformation, including without limitation materials and conversion costs, agents’ fees, shipping, customs clearance, insurance and collection costs. Notwithstanding the foregoing, no amounts shall be deducted more than once, such that if an expense has been charged back to Disinformation in reduction of the amount remitted by a distributor, such amount shall not be deducted from the gross amount received in computing Net Proceeds.

(b) No royalties shall be payable on copies furnished gratis for review, marketing, promotion, publicity or like practices, no royalties shall be payable on copies sold at or below cost as overstock or as a premium, and no royalties shall be payable on copies distributed as a sales inducement or otherwise and invoiced on a “no charge” or equivalent discount basis. With respect to copies sold at a discount of more than forty-nine percent, but less than sixty-one percent (61%), of the suggested retail list price, or the equivalent if prices are not expressed as a discount from suggested retail list price, (but not as overstock or as a premium) the royalties payable to you hereunder on such copies shall be at two thirds (2/3) of the otherwise applicable rate. With respect to copies sold at a discount of more

2

than sixty percent (60%) of the suggested retail list price, or the equivalent if prices are not expressed as a discount from suggested retail list price, (but not as overstock or as a premium) the royalties payable to you hereunder on such copies shall be at fifty percent (50%) of the otherwise applicable rate. Disinformation shall be entitled to withhold from payments otherwise due from time to time reasonable reserves against anticipated returns, rebates and credits.

(c) It is understood and agreed that Disinformation shall have the right, at its sole option, to calculate royalties payable to you on a wholesale price basis, in which event the royalty rates at which royalties are payable hereunder shall be adjusted by Disinformation such that, at the time of the adjustment, the royalty, in dollars and cents, payable on a wholesale basis shall equal the royalty, in dollars and cents, otherwise payable hereunder.

(d) (i) (A) Royalties will be calculated semi-annually and accountings demonstrating such Royalties will be rendered within ninety (90) days following each June 30h and December 31st in accordance with

Disinformation’s standard accounting procedures. Your first accounting shall be rendered with respect to the first period in which there are sales of the Book. Together with such accounting, Disinformation will include the payment to you of your royalties (as provided above) if any are due to you, subject to recoupment of the Advance and any other recoupable amounts hereunder. For the purposes of computing royalties if, as of the end of any semi-annual period, your account is in a negative balance, any such negative balance shall be carried forward to the subsequent accounting period.

(B) If Disinformation makes any overpayment to you, Disinformation may deduct it from any monies due or becoming due to you. If Disinformation pays you any monies on Books which are later returned or on other transactions which are reversed, those monies shall be considered overpayments.

(ii) Disinformation shall compute royalties in the same national currency in which Disinformation’s licensee(s) pay Disinformation for those sales, and Disinformation shall credit those monies to your account at the same rate of exchange at which the licensee(s) pay Disinformation. For purposes of accounting to you, Disinformation shall treat any sale outside of the United States as a sale made during the same six (6) month period in which Disinformation receives Disinformation’s licensee’s accounting and payment or credit for that sale. If any Disinformation licensee deducts any taxes from its payments to Disinformation, Disinformation may deduct a proportionate amount of those taxes from Income hereunder.

(iii) Disinformation shall maintain books and records which you may examine, at your expense. You may make those examinations only for the purpose of verifying the accuracy of the statements sent to you under paragraph 3(c)(i). You may make such an examination for a particular statement only once, and only within two (2) years after the date when Disinformation sends you that statement (which will be presumed to be the date when Disinformation is required to render such statement (solely for the purposes of this paragraph, the “Render Date”) unless you notify Disinformation in writing within ten (10) days following the Render Date that you have not received such statement. Upon the receipt of your notice, Disinformation will endeavor promptly to send you such statement and the Render Date will be deemed the actual date that Disinformation sends you such statement) under paragraph 3(c)(i). You may make those examinations only during Disinformation’s usual business hours, on reasonable written notice for a reasonably convenient time, and at the place where Disinformation keep the books and records to be examined. You may appoint a certified public accountant to make such an examination for you, but not if that accountant or that accountant’s firm has begun an examination of Disinformation’s books and records for any Person except you unless that examination has been concluded and any applicable audit issues have been resolved. The rights hereinabove granted to you shall constitute you sole and exclusive rights to examine Disinformation’s books and records.

(iv) You acknowledge that Disinformation’s books and records contain confidential trade information and you warrant and represent that neither you nor your representatives shall communicate to others or use on behalf of any other Person any facts or information obtained as a result of such examination of Disinformation’s books and records.

(v) If you have any objections to a statement, you shall give Disinformation specific notice of that objection and your reasons therefor within two (2) years after the Render Date regarding such statement. Each royalty statement shall become conclusively binding on you at the end of that two (2) year period, and you shall no longer have any right to make any other objections to the statement. You shall not have the right to sue

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Disinformation in connection with any accounting, or to sue Disinformation for monies on Books sold by Disinformation during any period an accounting covers, unless you commence the suit within one (1) year after the end of that two (2) year period. If you commence suit on any controversy or claim concerning accountings rendered to you under this agreement, you shall not have any right to seek termination of this agreement or avoid the performance of your obligations hereunder by reason of any such claim.

4. NEGATIVE COVENANT

Neither you nor any Person deriving any rights from you shall at any time do, or authorize any Person to do, anything inconsistent with, or which might diminish or impair, any of Disinformation’s rights hereunder.

5. YOUR RELATIONSHIP TO DISINFORMATION

(a) You are an independent contractor hereunder, and nothing herein contained shall in any way constitute you as the agent or employee of Disinformation. You do not intend any other Person to be a third party beneficiary of this agreement.

(b) You shall cooperate fully with Disinformation in connection with any controversy or litigation which involves Disinformation’s rights under this agreement.

6. RIGHTS AND REMEDIES

(a) (i) You shall not be entitled to recover damages or to terminate this agreement by reason of any breach by Disinformation of its material obligations, unless Disinformation has failed to remedy the breach within thirty (30) days following receipt of your notice thereof and provided that such breach is curable.

(ii) Disinformation shall not be entitled to recover damages or to terminate this agreement by reason of any breach by you of your material obligations, unless you have failed to remedy the breach within thirty (30) days following receipt of Disinformation’s notice thereof provided such breach is curable.

(b) Except as otherwise may be specifically indicated herein to the contrary, the rights and remedies of each party as specified herein are not to the exclusion of each other or of any other rights or remedies as each party may deem fit, without jeopardizing any other rights and remedies of each party; each party may exercise or decline to exercise any of its rights and remedies as each party may deem to fit, without jeopardizing any other rights and remedies of each party.

7. FORCE MAJEURE

If by reason of act of God or force majeure, such as war, fire, earthquake, labor controversy, civil commotion, acts of any government, or the unavailability of or delays in the delivery of materials and supplies, or similar or dissimilar matters beyond Disinformation’s control, Disinformation is prevented from or materially hampered in the production, manufacture, distribution or sale of the Book, Disinformation shall have the right, by written notice to you and without liability, to suspend Disinformation’s obligations hereunder.

8. WARRANTIES AND REPRESENTATIONS; INDEMNITY

(a) You hereby warrant and represent that:

(i) You are possessed of the full right to enter into this agreement, that you are and shall, at all times, remain possessed of all rights necessary for you to completely fulfill all of your obligations hereunder, and that your entering into this agreement and fulfilling such obligations does not and shall not infringe upon the rights of any Person whatsoever.

(ii) None of the Materials (as hereinafter defined), if any, created by or original with you and furnished to Disinformation for exploitation hereunder will violate or infringe upon the rights of any third party. As used herein, “Materials” mean all dramatic, artistic and literary materials, ideas and other intellectual properties contained in

4

or used in connection with the Book hereunder or the packaging, sale, distribution, advertising, publicity, or other exploitation thereof.

(iii) Except as expressly provided herein to the contrary, Disinformation shall have no monetary obligation whatsoever to you or any other Person for or in connection with this agreement or services performed hereunder by you or Disinformation’s exercise of its rights hereunder.

(b) You shall at all times indemnify and hold harmless Disinformation and any licensee of Disinformation from and against any and all claims, losses, damages, liabilities, costs and expenses, including, without limitation, legal expenses and reasonable outside counsel fees, arising out of any breach by you of any warranty or representation made by you in this agreement or any other act or omission by you. Disinformation shall notify you of any action commenced on such a claim. You may participate in the defense of any such claim through counsel of your selection at your own expense, but Disinformation shall have the right at all times, in Disinformation’s sole discretion, to retain or resume control of the conduct of the defense. Pending the resolution of any claim in respect of which Disinformation is entitled to be indemnified, Disinformation may withhold and reserve any monies which would otherwise by payable to you under this agreement in an amount consistent with such claim.

9. MISCELLANEOUS

(a) This agreement supersedes any and all prior negotiations, understandings and agreements between the parties hereto and sets forth the entire understanding between you and Disinformation with respect to the subject matter hereto. No amendment to or modification, waiver, termination or discharge of this agreement or any provision hereof shall be binding upon you or Disinformation unless confirmed by a written instrument signed by you and Disinformation’s authorized signatory. Each of the parties acknowledges and agrees that neither party has made any representations or promises in connection with this agreement or the subject matter hereof not contained herein. Any process in any action, suit or proceeding arising out of or relating to this agreement may, among other methods, be served upon you or Disinformation by delivering it or mailing it in accordance with paragraph 10 below. No waiver of any provision of or default under this agreement shall affect your or Disinformation’s right, as the case may be, thereafter to enforce such provision or to exercise any right or remedy in the event of any other default, whether or not similar. This agreement shall be construed under the internal laws of the State of New York applicable to agreements to be performed wholly therein, and both parties agree that only the New York Courts shall have jurisdiction over this agreement and any controversies arising out of this agreement shall be brought by the parties to the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York, or to the United States Court for the Southern District of New York, and they hereby grant jurisdiction to such court(s) and to any appellate courts having jurisdiction over appeals from such court(s).

(b) If any part of this agreement shall be determined to be invalid or unenforceable by a court of competent jurisdiction or by any other legally constituted body having the jurisdiction to make such determination, the remainder of this agreement shall remain in full force and effect provided that the part of this agreement thus invalidated or declared unenforceable is not essential to the intended operation of this agreement.

(c) Disinformation may, at its election, assign this agreement or any of its rights or obligations hereunder to any of current or future parents, subsidiaries or affiliated companies or to any Persons acquiring all or substantially all of its respective assets, or with whom Disinformation may merge. You shall not have the right to assign this agreement or any of your rights or obligations hereunder.

(d) The captions preceding the text of the various provisions of this agreement are inserted solely for reference and shall not constitute a part of this agreement nor affect its meaning, construction or effect. Every word or phrase defined herein shall, unless herein specified to the contrary, have the same meaning throughout. As used herein, wherever applicable, the singular shall include the plural and the plural shall include the singular, the masculine shall include the feminine and the feminine shall include the masculine.

(e) Disinformation shall not have any obligation whatsoever to make any investigation of the facts relevant to any warranty or representation herein made by you.

10. NOTICES

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All notices and other items from one Party to the other hereunder will, unless herein indicated to the contrary, be addressed as follows:

To you: At your address as set forth on the first page hereof, or if physical delivery is to be made:

c/o Brian Albert 2858 Marion Street Denver, CO 80205

To Disinformation: At Disinformation’s address as set forth on the first page hereof, directed to the attention of Disinformation’s President.

or to such other address may designate in writing. Any notice shall be sent either by certified or registered mail, return receipt requested (and in the case of notices sent to or from a location outside the United States, by air mail), or by personal delivery or air express requiring signature for receipt to the party to be served and shall be deemed complete when same (containing whatever information may be required hereunder) is deposited in any United States mailbox addressed as aforesaid, except that (a) all materials personally delivered shall be deemed served when received by the party to whom addressed, (b) air express materials shall be deemed served one (1) day after delivery to the air express company, (c) notices of change of address shall be effective only from the date of their receipt and (d) royalty statements shall be sent by regular mail and shall be deemed rendered when deposited in any United States mail box.

11. DEFINITIONS

(a) “Written Work” means an original literary work written in the English language.

(b) “Person” and “Party” mean any individual, corporation, partnership, association or other organized group or combination of any or all of the foregoing, and their legal successors or representatives.

12. YOUR AGENT

You irrevocably appoint Brian Albert as your sole and exclusive agent (the “Agent”) with respect to the Book and authorize and direct Disinformation to make all payments due or to become due to you hereunder to and in the name of said Agent, and to accept the receipt by the Agent as full evidence and satisfaction of such payments. As sole and exclusive agent, the Agent is hereby irrevocably authorized and empowered by you (a) to act on your behalf in all matters arising from and pertaining to this agreement and (b) to receive in the Agent’s name all monies due or to become due to you in connection with the disposal of any such rights. In consideration for services rendered, the Agent is entitled to receive or retain as its commission (and is hereby irrevocably assigned) fifteen percent (15%) of gross monies paid to you hereunder. If there is any inconsistency between the terms of this Section 5 and any other agency agreement between you and the Agent applicable to the Book, the terms of this agreement shall prevail.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties have executed this agreement as of the date first written above.

THE DISINFORMATION COMPANY LTD.

By: ____________________________ Gary Baddeley, President

_______________________________ Martin Lunn

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EXHIBIT A

Proposal upon which the Book is to be based

· A pop culture easy to read “guide to” the Da Vinci Code (DVC) by Dan Brown to help all the purchasers of DVC who have no idea whether it’s based on accurate research or not.

· Focus on the “facts” underlying DVC and compare it to historical research in those areas (e.g. Priory of Sion, Templars, Roslyn, Grail, Opus Dei, etc.).

· Each of the various topics could be a chapter, with the gospel according to Dan Brown analyzed by Martin. · Small format – maybe even smaller than 8x5”

· No more than 200 pages.

· Some illustrations and/or photos (at least one per subject), but library or Public Domain.

· The following material should be covered, written in the order in which it is first mentioned in the DVC:

o (Jacques Saunière). Perhaps the story of Bérenger Saunière should start the book off as theories connected to it resonate throughout the book.

o Opus Dei. They mention the New York and London offices, but the order started in Spain. o The Priory of Sion and information on the Plantard St Clairs.

o Analyses of the Madonna of the Rocks and the Virgin of the Rocks.

o Holy Grail theories including the alleged Holy Grail chalice in Valencia Cathedral, Spain. o Emperor Constantine including details on the Donation of Constantine.

o The marriage of Christ including marriage customs of the time.

o Mediterranean churches with Mary Magdalene references to the sea etc. (Madonna of the Sea) o Benjamin and Davidic bloodlines

o Dagobert story o Atbash cipher o Baphomet

o Fibonacci Numbers and The Golden Section in Art, Architecture and Music o Secret Societies and the Origins of Tarot

o The Vitruvian Man ­ Leonardo Da Vinci o Compass Rose

o Wind Rose

o Virgin of the Rocks & Madonna of the Rocks

o History of the Vatican Observatory and Its Castel Gandolfo Headquarters o Cryptology

o The Last Supper

o The Gnostic Gospels

o Definition of Sang Real ­ Royal Blood o Merovingian Bloodline

o Knights Templar & Priory of Sion o La Pyramide Inversee

o Places visited:

§ Eglise de Saint-Sulpice § Rue Haxo in Paris

§ Chateau Villette near Paris Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan § Temple Church in London

§ King’s College theological database in London § Westminster Abbey

§ Newton tomb

§ Chapter House

§ St Faith’s Chapel § Rosslyn Chapel

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Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC Contract
2002

AGREEMENT MADE AS OF THIS ___ DAY OF ________ 2002 by and between ______________, _____________FILL IN ADDRESS ("you") and Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC (the "Publisher") with respect to a manuscript tentatively titled _______________ (the "Work") and described as follows: _____________________

It is hereby understood and agreed as follows:

1. Grant

(a) You grant to the Publisher the exclusive right to publish the Work in the territory, which is [CHOOSE ONE world in all languages/the world in the English language/ the territories and languages set forth on Exhibit A to this Agreement] and to exercise rights to the Work set forth in paragraph 7.

(b) You agree that the Publisher may use all or parts of the Work for advertising or promotional purposes.

(c) You also grant to the Publisher the right to the use your name and likeness and/or biographical data in advertising and promotion for the Work. You also agree to assist in the marketing and promotion of the Work as may be reasonably requested by the Publisher.

2. Delivery

(a) You will deliver the completed Work to the Publisher no later than _________ in one word-processed printout entirely double-spaced with ample margins, as well as on an acceptable computer disk. You understand that the Work must be acceptable to the Publisher in content and in form. Along with the Work you will also deliver photos, illustrations, and permissions for all work not written by you at your expense, and all materials shall be acceptable to the Publisher in content and in form. Permissions shall contain a grant of all rights granted in this Agreement. You shall keep backup copies of the disk and hard copy sent to the publisher.

(b) If the Publisher requests, you agree to deliver to the Publisher within a time period requested by the Publisher a complete word processed copy for an index to the Work (completely double-spaced, within entries as well as between entries), satisfactory to the Publisher in content and form. If the index is deemed unsatisfactory by the Publisher and you cannot correct the problems within a time limit set by the Publisher, or if you fail to deliver the index at the time requested, you agree to reimburse the Publisher for its costs in bringing the index to satisfactory condition or creating the index. Such costs shall be debited to your account unless the account contains insufficient funds, in which case you shall pay such costs within 30 days of receipt of Publisher's invoice.

(c) If the Publisher finds the manuscript and/or other materials incomplete or otherwise unsatisfactory, but the Publisher believes satisfactory revision or rewriting is possible, the Publisher shall provide you with specific comments, and you agree to do such additional work as may be necessary to correct this condition to the satisfaction of the Publisher within a reasonable time period set by the Publisher. If you are unable to accomplish this for any reason, or if you fail to deliver the complete manuscript within 10 days of the delivery date set forth above, the Publisher may arrange for another party to revise the Work and any fees payable for such work shall be deducted from any sums due you under this Agreement.

(d) If you fail to deliver the Work on a timely basis or if the Publisher finds the Work unacceptable and not easily susceptible of satisfactory revision, or if the Publisher provides you with specific comments and you revise the Work, but the Publisher finds the Work unacceptable, the Publisher shall not be required to publish the Work and may terminate this Agreement. Upon termination, you shall immediately return any advance against royalties you have received.

3. Copyright

The copyright for the Work will be in your name; the Publisher will register it after the Work is published.

4. Revisions and Author’s Corrections

The Publisher agrees to show one copy of the copyedited manuscript to you and you shall have ten days to return the manuscript to the Publisher with all necessary changes marked clearly and legibly. The Publisher also agrees to show one set of proofs and finished artwork to you. Any changes that you make at this point may be made only with the consent of the Publisher and must be limited to the substance of statements of fact and the corrections of typographical errors. Because of the high cost of handling, you agree to pay for changes (other than the correction of the printer's or Publisher's errors) in and to the proofs in excess of ten percent (10%) of the cost of composition of the Work. If you fail to return proofs within five days after having received notice that they are needed, the Publisher shall be free to proceed with publication of the Work. You also agree to reimburse the Publisher for all expenses caused by your changes in and to the illustrations after illustration copy satisfactory to the Publisher has been incorporated in the Publisher's production planning and design.

5. Publication

(a) The Publisher shall publish the Work within 18 months of acceptance of the final manuscript. Publication shall be in such manner and style and at such price or prices as the Publisher may deem appropriate; advertising, number and destination of free copies and all details of manufacture, imprint, design, including cover design, distribution and promotion shall be at the sole discretion of the Publisher. If the Publisher fails to publish the Work or to cause the Work to be published within 18 month period for reasons other than first serialization, book club use, or the reasons described in Paragraph 15, and if at any time thereafter the Publisher receives written notice from you demanding publication, the Publisher shall, within sixty (60) days of its receipt of your written demand, either publish the Work or revert to you in writing all rights to the Work granted in this Agreement (subject to any outstanding licenses which shall be assigned to you, if permitted by the terms of such licenses) and you shall retain any advance payments made prior to such reversion as liquidated damages for the Publisher's failure to publish the Work.

(b) The Publisher shall give to you ten (10) copies of the Publisher's first edition of the Work upon first publication, and shall at your request, make available further copies at a discount of 50% from the Publisher's retail price for the your own use.

6. Royalties

In consideration for the grant of rights to the Work and the performance of your responsibilities under this Agreement, the Publisher shall pay to you the following royalties on sales, less returns of copies of the Work published by the Publisher:
(a) On all hardcover copies sold through ordinary channels of trade in the United States (except as otherwise provided below<MAKE SURE PERCENTAGES AND ESCALATIONS MATCH TERM SHEET.>

Retail price for royalty calculation purposes shall be the price shown on the Publisher's invoices from which discounts are deducted to calculate the net amounts payable to the Publisher by its accounts and not the suggested customers' price, if any.

(b) On all hardcover copies sold at discounts of 51% or more from the retail price (including copies sold at such discounts through ordinary channels of trade providing however that 51% shall not be the Publisher's standard discount) and on all hardcover copies sold for export throughout the territory; 10% of the amounts received by the Publisher.

(c) On all paperback copies sold under the Publisher's imprint through ordinary channels of trade within the United States (except as otherwise provided below);

(d) On all paperback copies sold under the Publisher's imprint at discounts of 51% or more from the retail price (including copies sold at such discounts through ordinary channels of trade providing however that 51% shall not be the export discount throughout the territory); 10% of the amounts received by the Publisher.

(e) On all copies of any of the Publisher's editions of the Work sold directly by the Publisher to the consumer in response to mail order campaigns sponsored by the Publisher; 5% of the retail price exclusive of shipping charges.

(f) On all copies sold as premiums, to book fairs or outside the ordinary channels of the book trade, 5% of the amounts received by the Publisher.

(g) On all bookclub or co-edition sales made on a royalty inclusive basis, 5% of the amounts received by the Publisher.

(h) No royalties shall be payable on copies furnished for review, promotion, sample and like purposes, or for any damaged or destroyed through any means whatsoever excepting copies supplied by the Publisher in payment for advertising;
(i) On all copies sold through remainder sales at more than cost of manufacture; 5% of the amounts received by the Publisher. No royalties will be due for any remaindered copies sold at less than the manufacturing cost. The Publisher will use its best efforts to give you notice of the Publisher's intention to remainder copies of the Work and give you a reasonable opportunity to purchase copies at the best remainder price. The Publisher's failure to do so shall not be considered a breach of this Agreement nor give you any cause for damages.

(j) Only copies sold under 6. (a), (b), (c), (d) shall be counted in determining the royalty escalations described in 6.(a) and 6.(c) respectively.

(k) The Publisher shall pay to you in advance and on account of all amounts which may become due to you under the provisions of this Agreement the sum of:

<insert sum>

Payable as follows:

50% upon signature of contract with complete delivery of the manuscript acceptable to the Publisher in content and form

50% upon publication

<OTHER PAY OUT OPTIONS>

50% due on signature of contract

50% due on publication

50% due on signature of contract

50% due on delivery of the manuscript acceptable to the Publisher in content and form

1/3 due on signature of contract

1/3 due on delivery of manuscript acceptable to the Publisher in content and form

1/3 due upon publication

7. Subsidiary Rights

You also grant to the Publisher the exclusive right to sublicense publication rights in the Work and such other rights listed below in the Territory upon such terms, as it deems advisable. The net proceeds of such licenses shall be divided 50/50 between you and the Publisher and paid, less the amount of any advances then unearned, at the time of the next accounting: first serial (use of serializations, condensations, excerpts, digests, etc. in newspapers, magazines, periodicals or books, print or in other media before publication of the Work in book form in the relevant territory); second serial, as above, following book publication; book club publication; publication of editions for premium or special use or for direct sale to consumers through mail order; paperback reprint editions; hardcover reprint editions; English language and foreign language editions; Braille, large-type and other editions for the handicapped (the Publisher may also grant such rights to recognized non-profit organizations for the handicapped without charge, not exceeding 20% of the work and without payment to the Proprietor); non-dramatic audio and/or visual verbatim recordings of the Work in whole or part by whatever means made or transmitted, whether now in existence or hereafter invented, including but not limited to microfilm, microfiche, cassettes, tape, wire recording, photocopying, and non-exclusive public reading rights; electronic reproduction of the Work in whole or part, including but not limited to mechanical, electronic or other technologies such as microprocessors, computers of all kinds, information storage and processing of all kinds; CD-ROM and other compact disc media, digital media, interactive media and or multi-media, output and reproduction of any such media and technologies, whether by screen display, print out, direct-to-disk transfer, photo reproduction, photocopy or otherwise, and whether stored on hard drives, disks, diskettes, remote or on-line data bases, magnetic tape, or other computer media or technologies or like processes now known or hereafter devised; and commercial and merchandising rights such as the use of a title or character for greeting cards, clothing, calendars.

If the Publisher itself exercises any of the rights described above, the amounts payable to you for those rights shall be subject to mutual agreement, except for those rights for which specific provision is made in Paragraph 6. All rights not specifically granted in this agreement are reserved by you, subject to Paragraph 11.

8. Accounting

(a) Following first publication of the Work by the Publisher, an accounting of all your earnings hereunder, accompanied by payment of any monies due, shall be rendered no later than March 1 and September 1 of each year for the periods ending the preceding November 30 and May 31, respectively. No payment for any accounting period shall be made until a sum equivalent of U.S. $100.00 has accrued to you.

(b) Upon written request, the Publisher shall furnish the following information as to any specific royalty period: the number of copies printed and bound in each printing of each edition; the number of copies distributed gratis; the number remaindered, destroyed or lost; and the cumulative total sales and disposals.
(c) If you receive an overpayment of royalty resulting from copies reported sold but subsequently returned, you agree to pay such amounts to the Publisher and those sums may be deducted by the Publisher from any further sums due you. Any sums owed by you to the Publisher, excluding unearned advances under another agreement, may be deducted from any sum due from the Publisher to you under this or any other agreement between you and the Publisher.

(d) Publisher will not request direct payment of an amount shown on a particular statement as an overpayment caused by returns earlier than one year following the date on which such statement is issued to allow for the possibility that such overpayment may be reduced by subsequent activity on the account.
(e) The Publisher may retain a reserve against returns from the amounts due you in any accounting period and the statement issued to you for any period for which such a reserve is held shall clearly indicate the amount of the reserve and the statement issued for the subsequent period shall clearly show how the amount previously held has been applied to your royalty account. The reserve for returns shall not exceed thirty (30)% of the total income received by the Publisher. It is not the intent of this provision that any particular amount be held for longer than the accounting period or that such a reserve shall be held in every accounting period; rather any reserve held shall be calculated with respect to each accounting rendered and any reserve shall be reasonably related to the Publisher's reasonable expectation as to returns at the time any statement is prepared. Publisher shall provide, upon request, a detailed explanation of any reserve held.

9. Examination of Records

You or your duly authorized representative shall have the right, upon reasonable written notice, to examine the records of the Publisher as they relate to the Work during normal business hours and under such conditions as the Publisher may reasonably prescribe. If an error is discovered as a result of any such examination, the party in whose favor the error was made shall promptly pay to the other the amount of the error. Any such examination shall be at your expense unless errors of accounting in the Publisher's favor amounting to 5% or more of the total sum paid to you hereunder shall be found, in which case the Publisher shall within thirty days of notification of error pay the amount of the error and contribute to the cost of the examination up to the amount of the error.

10. Author’s Warranty

(a) You represent and warrant you are the sole Author of the Work and sole and exclusive owner of the rights conveyed in this Agreement and that you have not previously assigned, pledged or otherwise encumbered those rights; that the Work is original; has never before been licensed for publication in whole or in part in any form in the Territory, does not infringe upon any copyright, contains no matter which is libelous, in violation of any right of privacy, harmful to the user or any third party so as to subject the Publisher to liability or otherwise contrary to law or upon any other proprietary or personal right; that the Work is not in the public domain in any country included in the Territory; that all permissions for artwork have been cleared and all permissions fees have been paid; and that you have full power to enter into this Agreement and to make the grants contained in it. You shall indemnify and hold the Publisher harmless from any loss, damage, expense (including reasonable attorney's fees), recovery or judgment arising from or related to any breach which, if sustained would constitute a breach of any of the foregoing warranties. However, if any claim, demand, action or proceeding is successfully defended, dismissed or withdrawn, then your indemnity shall be limited to 50% of the costs and expenses (including attorney's fees) incurred by the Publisher in the defense thereof.

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In witness hereof, the parties have signed this Agreement on the date first mentioned above.

_______________________ ______________________________
AUTHOR PUBLISHER
Red Wheel/Weiser

_________________________

AUTHOR'S WITNESS

AUTHOR'S CITIZENSHIP______________________________

DATE OF BIRTH_______________________________________

AUTHOR'S SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER____________________

Kiss Off to Boyd
2004

Boyd:

So you finally called me, I see. And just as I’ve predicted, you tried to pretend that the rift in our relationship was initiated by me, even though you know differently, I know differently, and you know that I know differently. It’s all part of a pattern of behavior that as of late has included a great deal of blatant lying. You think that as long as you stick to your lie, eventually the person will believe you, or you will at least get your way. Since you’ve done this at least a dozen times in the last few months, your latest move was quite predictable. What I did not predict was that you would try to drag the publisher into the conflict before you even spoke to me. I thought you were smarter than that. But apparently, alcohol abuse has eroded even your most basic common sense.

We both know that for months you have been planning on cutting off our friendship as soon as the book was done. You announced this openly to anyone who would listen, except for me, but of course, I quickly heard about it. Yet I had known this was coming for some time. I am quite “FRAMILIAR” with the way you treat friends who have loyally served you after they have outlived their usefulness to you; for instance, Michael Moynihan and Vadge Moore. I am quite “FRAMILIAR” with how you abandon people when your short attention span can no longer tolerate it, and the relationship becomes tedious; for instance, the way you abandoned your two sons, and the women who bore them. I know how you throw a tantrum when you can’t get your way, and how you attack people who don’t immediately gratify your desires: for instance, the way you treated Jamie, and the outrageous lies you’ve told about her.

Since the earliest stages of our friendship I have seen the writing on the wall. It started right around the time that I arranged a television interview and free trip to Rennes-le-Chateau for us both (originally offered to only me). AS a way of showing thanks, you schemed with the producer to upstage me and push me out of the show. It wasn’t enough that you got to be part of the show, but you had to be the star. You had to be perceived as the sole genius behind everything. You probably don’t remember it, but on the New Years Eve before last, when you were disgustingly drunk, you confessed this to me in front of four witnesses. I agreed at the time to forgive you, but I have known since that day that I couldn’t trust you in the slightest.

It was after the trip to Rennes-le-Chateau that the dynamic in our relationship was set. Prior to that, we were in the courtship phase. You wanted to be the author of a non-fiction book - to be thought of as scholarly and wise, and not just a Nazi Satanist drunk who dropped out of high school. You knew that you couldn’t achieve this on your own, but knew that I could do it for you. And so you showered me with gifts and praise, luring me into trusting you. But after I arranged the trip to France for you, you began to take me for granted. You began trying to control the content of my magazine, and to whatever extent you could, to control my life. You began demanding favors from me constantly. You always had these projects that you would essentially “assign” to me, sometimes requiring hours or days of my time. You demanded that I type things for you and look things up for you on the internet, then send them to you in the mail, so that you wouldn’t have to bother going down to the library that’s ten blocks from your house, or learn to use the computer that Kevin Slaughter so kindly gave you. You would even have me take dictation over the phone! Still, I was at first happy to do it, and then gradually less and less so, as your demands became greater, and your appreciation less. Then you convinced me to move here, one of your contentions being that if I was here, you could learn to use my computer, and the entire process of writing the book would be “easier” for both of us. As it turns out, the only person this made things easier for was you.

Once Brian and I moved in, you decided that we were both your personal secretaries. You would leave messages on our voicemail with instructions for what favors we were to do for you that day, and when we should drop the finished product off on your doorstep. Rarely was there a please or a thank you. You would have me print off lengthy documents for you, which you would then promptly lose, and demand a new copy. You even had us host a wedding for a friend of yours that you had originally agreed to host in your own home (one which required that my entire bedroom be painted black). You then tried to get us to entertain this friend for you throughout his entire stay, because you had grown tired of him but didn’t have the balls to tell him that yourself. Do you remember, Boyd, how we saved you from having Vadge Moore’s wedding turn into a total fiasco for you, and you never once said “thank you”? It didn’t occur to you, because your used to having someone else clean up your messes for you. You seem to think the world owes it to you.

After the first few weeks of us living here, you virtually ceased to grant us any favors in return. The slightest request from us was simply too inconvenient for you, and couldn’t be done. As for learning to use a computer, it was the furthest thing from your mind. You wouldn’t even touch the keyboard or mouse. But that didn’t stop you from writing. You began to demand more and more space in Dagobert’s Revenge to air your theories, while at the same time trying to control everything that I wrote in my own articles. You got lazier and lazier about your writing too. You would scribble out hundreds of illegible pages for me to type, and then complain rudely if I typed one of the words incorrectly because I couldn’t read it. You would include quotes that were incorrect, or for which the source was not cited, because you didn’t feel like crossing the room to pick up the book you vaguely remembered reading it in. In other instances, you would simply leave blanks where a name, date, or other fact was to be inserted by me. You simply assumed that I didn’t mind looking these things up for you; that I had nothing better to do than to facilitate your laziness. Knowing how megalomaniacal you are, you probably saw yourself as Hitler, and I your faithful Himmler, typing every pearl of wisdom as it dropped from your mouth.

But all of this was, to me, mere annoyance. It is not the real reason why I have grown to resent you so much. The real reason has to do with how you’ve appropriated the intellectual property of both Brian and I, not only making use of ideas, but completely remodeling your public image to incorporate ours. This would not be so much of a problem, for we didn’t at first mind sharing, except that you would then falsely accusing us of stealing from and copying you. After having heard you ramble on and on over the telephone about how every artistic or intellectual movement since the 1970s was the result of someone ripping you off, I already suspected that you had a compulsion to take credit for other people’s work. Therefore I was on my guard early on, as I knew that you would eventually begin doing it to me. This started, again, right after the trip to Rennes-le-Chateau. I remember mentioning to you while at our hotel in Toulouse a theory I had linking Dagon and the Quinotaur, and thus to the Merovingians and Dagobert. A couple of weeks later, you had written an article using this as a springboard, and when I told you I was already writing about the same subject, you became angry. You accused me of stepping on your toes, invading your territory, and stealing your ideas. I brushed it off, and agreed to publish both articles, even making efforts to change my own article so that it wasn’t quite as similar to your own. After all, I told myself, we’re in this together, and we really shouldn’t be competing with each other.

As time went on, this same dynamic occurred every time I mentioned a theory or idea of mine to you. At first I was happy that you liked my ideas enough to take them on as your own, but I sensed that a problem was developing. Then, when I came to stay with you for those three weeks while I searched for an apartment, I began to understand why this was occurring. Every night during my stay we both got uproariously drunk. And every night we would discuss ideas and debate things, but the next morning, your recollection of the conversation would be totally skewed. In addition to simply misremembering facts, you would, in your own memory, credit yourself with having come up with ideas that I had explained to you only the night before. When I would bring this to your attention, you would then accuse me of trying to steal from you. What was almost even more disturbing was that, after a few days of such binge drinking, you could no longer remember the basic tenets of the theory that you and I had come up with and agreed upon together. You couldn’t even remember things that you had written in your own articles, and there were many occasions in which you would deride me for touting a theory that you yourself had written about. Then you would deny ever having written about it.

Yes, as it turned out, the reason why you were so confused about the details of the theories we were developing, and whose ideas were whose, was because you are constantly drinking to excess, and you can hardly remember anything from one day to the next. This has been the case throughout the last three years of us working together. Several times I pointed out to you when you misremembered something, and several times I endured false accusations of the same coming from you, but I always chose not to start a fight about it, because I had the larger goal in mind: of us writing a book together and successfully promoting it. I knew it was important for us to appear as a united front, and so I compromised myself, over and over again, against all trusted advice from family and friends. I was always the bigger person, and always allowed you to be the asshole at my expense. I agreed to be selfless so that you could be selfish. I even dragged my husband into it, persuading him to be your personal graphic artist for any project you might be doing, and persuading him to bite his tongue when he received neither thanks nor credit for his work.

Your sense of entitlement towards those around you is one of your greatest personality flaws. You simply assume that people don’t mind doing your dirty work, and don’t expect any thanks in return. An excellent example is when we called you up to tell you about all of the cheap Cocteaus for sale on ebay. You immediately enlisted Brian to place your bids for you, and then complained to both him and I when he didn’t get back to you frequently enough about the progress of your bid. You were completely rude and out of line. It didn’t occur to you that Brian was doing you a favor, and that you wouldn’t have even known about the auction, much less been able to bid on it, without his help. And of course, at the end of it all, there hadn’t been a single thank you sent our way, but you got what you wanted.

Another example is your complete lack of appreciation for what I have done to help improve your writing, and therefore, your public image. In every single article of yours that I edited, I did everything I could to correct the many erroneous facts, to fix your at times abominable spelling, word choice, and sentence structure, and to make your argument consistent, rather than contradictory, throughout each piece. Instead of appreciating this, you were constantly complaining about how my corrections “ruined” your work. Yet you were obviously completely unaware of the extent to which I was saving your ass. Do you realize that in that entire 400-page manuscript, not a single one of your Bible quotations was correct? Not a one! You even had attributed entire scenarios as taking place in the biblical narrative that simply do not. Such errors were in no way confined to biblical subjects either. In fact, anything having to do with math or science was invariably incorrect also. When you talk about these subjects, your 9th grade education really shows through. If you didn’t have me correcting you, you would look like a verifiable idiot.

When I finally scored us a book contract and we started trying to put the book together, something snapped in you, and every remnant of courtesy or respectfulness towards Brian and I was abandoned. For the last six months, I have hauled ass trying to put our manuscript in shape for the publisher. As usual, you left all of the most tedious and difficult work for me, while still trying to maintain control of the project. You have spent most of your time in these months drinking and chasing girls, but when you did take time out for the book, you used it to harass me and nitpick at me, gratuitously challenging everything I wrote, even things that we had long agreed upon as true, or facts that could be easily verified by looking in the index of Holy Blood, Holy Grail. You made finishing this manuscript virtually impossible, and your approach to the work was so totally unprofessional, it would have been funny if it weren‘t for the fact that it was my career at stake, and it was me who had to work extra hard to make up for what you wouldn‘t do. A highlight was when you went around telling everyone that I had purposely tried to keep you ignorant of the deadline for your author questionnaire. Of course, I’m sure that when you finally got around to filling the thing out, you noticed that the due date was prominently displayed both on the first page of the questionnaire, and in the cover letter that came with it, even if you didn’t remember me specifically mentioning the due date to you when the questionnaire was first sent to us. Apparently, the “secretary” had not reminded you to do your job, and as usual, you blamed someone else for your own failure.

Over the last few years, I have really gotten to know the true character of Boyd Rice, and what I see is devoid of all decency: a rude, selfish and self-obsessed, ignorant, irresponsible, lazy, congenital liar, a disloyal friend, a deadbeat dad, and a drunk. The way you abuse the people most loyal to you is disgusting. Do these criticisms sounds “FRAMILIAR” to you? The reason why virtually everyone thinks of you this way is because this is truly what you are. You, Boyd Rice, are an ass. It is an embarrassment to be so closely associated with you. It is shameful to admit that I have spent the last 3-4 years of my life bending over backwards for you, trying to cover for you, trying to make you look smarter and more respectable than you are, making important business connections for you, scoring important media appearances for you, and receiving almost no thanks in return. I have endured untold amounts of abuse, insults, and humiliation. It is over now, and I intend to take no more.

You were wrong to assume that I have not called you because of anything Douglas has done. I felt that, after you so rudely snubbed both Brian and I at the Wax Trax in-store, publicly ignoring us in front of all of our mutual friends, the relationship was over, especially since you had already announced that the completion of the book meant the end of our friendship, and the book had been completed the day before. I didn’t even know that we weren’t on the list for the Death in June concert until you told me in your message, because I chose not to show up for it. I did not call you after sending the book off because I assumed you trusted me to handle this final step, as you have left me to handle most of the other tasks involved in creating this book. But for the record, you did not call me either. I have given you ample opportunity to sober up, and to realize how you have intentionally alienated one of your truest friends and greatest resources. That window of opportunity is now closed.

You said in your message that we had things to “discuss”, but I disagree. The book is done, and if your input is required for the editing or promotion of the book, either I or the publisher will contact you. I do not intend to be vindictive toward you, and I will at all times, when dealing with the public or the publisher, do nothing to indicate that there is any rift between us. I will at all times cooperate with whatever needs to be done to promote our work. I’m sure you would agree that this is the wisest approach for both of us. I wish you no ill will, and will happily allow you to go on your way with no bother from me, if you will afford me the same.

As for the return of the materials that you have left over at my house, I first require this: You must return to me the four books of mine that you have. Included are the two which you stole from my bookshelf while I was at work one day, and then made up some story about how you thought that Adam had given them to you and not me. These books are Language, Myth, and Man, and Babylon Mystery Religion. I have missed them since you took them, they are both out of print, and I want them back. The other two books you borrowed were The Labyrinth of the Grail, by William F. Mann, and Templar Gold: Discovering the Ark of the Covenant, by Patrick Byrne. You can drop all four of these books on my doorstep, and then we can make arrangements for the return of the rest of your stuff.

Sincerely,

Tracy Twyman

PS: It is funny that you are now finally getting a computer, after using Brian and I as your slaves for three years because you refused to even touch one. I’m sure the irony has not escaped you.

hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

The History of Dagobert’s Revenge Magazine
By Tracy R. Twyman, Owner, Editor

www.dagobertsrevenge.com
www.ordolapsitexillis.org

I started out my career as a journalist writing for my college newspaper at age 15. I was the editor of the Commentary Section for The Bridge Newspaper, and every two weeks I would crank out a lengthy, convoluted opinion piece based on various occult conspiracy theories that I was learning about at the time. They were ideas that are quite familiar now, regarding a network of secret societies - consisting of the Bilderberg Group, the Trilateral Commission, the Skull & Bones Society, Bohemian Grove, the Illuminati, the Freemasons, etc. - that allegedly controls the world, and manipulates world events for evil purposes. It caused quite a stir on campus, not only because the conspiracy theories themselves were controversial, but also because the positions I took on the issues I wrote about tended to be from a pro-conspiracy point of view. I found the idea of an elite brotherhood of chosen people ruling the world in secret to be very exciting, and rather than fighting the so-called “Illuminati”, I wished to join them. My pieces often expressed the opinion that the masses needed to be controlled from above, and deserved to have their freedoms suppressed if they were not willing to fight for freedom, or capable of using it responsibly.

My study of occultism, secret societies, and conspiracy theories progressed for the next couple of years, until, just a few months shy of my 18th birthday, I read the book Holy Blood, Holy Grail by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln. This book had a profound effect on me, for it seemed to tie together all of the loose connections I had observed on my own between secret societies and the history of Western civilization. The book proposed the now well-known theory that Jesus had a bloodline of descendants which had resulted in the Merovingian Frankish dynasty of kings. This bloodline, it was said, had been driven to near-extinction by a Catholic conspiracy intent on covering up the truth about Jesus’ descendants. Allegedly, Mary Magdalen was his wife. The truth about this bloodline had purportedly been preserved over the years by a group called the Priory of Sion, which had created the famed Knights Templar as their military arm. A secret, occult war was supposedly being waged because of this between the Priory of Sion and the Catholic Church, which had seemingly been the hidden impetus behind a number of historical events. I found this fascinating, because it implied a biological basis for why people from certain pedigrees connected to European nobility always seemed to end up in positions of power throughout vast spans of history. This was the case even long after monarchy had ceased to be a functioning political system and the royal families had lost all of their wealth. It seemed these people must have a Divine Right to rule, something in the blood that overrides other forms of recognized power, and propels them to positions of influence despite all opposing forces.

Then one day, not long after reading Holy Blood, Holy Grail, I was studying for my final exam in a Calculus class. I had been up all night studying math, and I was in a very peculiar state of mind. All of the sudden an idea came to me in a flash of insight, and I had to stop what I was doing so that I could jot down some notes. I conceived of a small pamphlet that I would leave lying around in various places for people to find. This pamphlet would promote the idea that there was a royal Grail bloodline descended from Jesus, and that these people should be returned to the thrones of the Earth to rule us all by Divine Right. I would use cryptic phrases and images throughout to create the illusion that it was the publication of a secret society dedicated to these ideals, perhaps even the Priory of Sion itself.

I was directly inspired by the vivid descriptions I had read in Holy Blood, Holy Grail of the magazines Vaincre and C.I.R.C.U.I.T., which had been created by the Priory of Sion’s Grand Master, Pierre Plantard, in decades past. At the time, I knew little of Portland, Oregon’s thriving ‘zine culture, which I was surrounded by but largely oblivious to. I didn’t think of it my creation as a contribution to underground culture. I simply wanted people to find it laying about somewhere and think “What the heck is this?” I was unaware at the time that what I was creating was a prime example of the French modern art tradition known as “Oulipo”, in which cryptic codes and obscure symbolism are embedded into art without any ultimate meaning or purpose. The idea is to make the consumers of this art look for the meaning themselves, and they are sure to find whatever suits them best. This is definitely what happened to the people who read the first issue of Dagobert’s Revenge Magazine, as I decided to call it – named after a Merovingian king who had been assassinated by a Catholic conspiracy in 679 AD.

The first issue was produced immediately, in the Summer of 1996. It was laid out by hand, reproduced on Xerox paper, then distributed for free in record stores, book stores and coffee shops around Portland. The circulation was 100 copies. It was more collage art than anything, with a little bit of poetry. I used pictures that I Xeroxed from books, and some that I printed off from the internet. (This was back when my only online access came from the computer lab at my school.) There was only one article in the ‘zine, cribbed off the internet from Jonathan Vankin and John Whalen. The sub-headline on the cover was “Committing quality copyright violations since bygone days.” I listed myself as the Editor under the pseudonym “Imogene Mutation.” Each copy had a business card stapled to it with a P.O. Box address for “Exalted Grand Master, Imogene Mutation”, next to the symbol of a crown. I did everything I could to give the impression that Dagobert’s Revenge was the publication of a secret society without overtly stating it. I was hoping that someone from the Priory of Sion would end up finding it, and I would be tapped to join the order. However, I never did get any mail at that PO Box, and the only reaction I ever got to that first issue I learned about years later, when I found a review of it in the online version of the ‘zine Ben is Dead.

After that first issue, Dagobert’s Revenge lay dormant until 1998, when I decided to revive it, with the help and encouragement of my friend, Brian Albert, who created a website for the magazine, and contributed some money to the publication. We decided that this time it would contain real articles, written by me, about issues like: the Holy Grail; the Priory of Sion; the Templars; Baphomet; the Ark of the Covenant; the mystery of Rennes-le-Chateau, France; Freemasonry; the Skull & Bones Society; ritual magick; and other occult subjects. Perhaps the most unusual aspect of our content was our emphasis on royal bloodlines, and the promotion of Monarchism as a form of government. I lived in Union City, New Jersey by this time, just across the river from Manhattan, and I had an internet connection in my apartment, so I was in a much better position to run a magazine than I had been in before. I discovered that there were actually quite a few people who were into these Grail-related occult subjects, and thus, I saw the potential for my ‘zine to have a national, niche audience. I was able to get interviews with representatives of something called the Royal House of Stewart, headed by a man who claimed to be the rightful heir to the throne of Scotland, the Grand Master of the Knights Templar, and a direct descendant of the Grail blood. This made up the prime content of the second issue of Dagobert’s Revenge. To this, we added record reviews for music with occult themes (Goth, Noise, etc.) I convinced a few record companies to send me promo material. This content allowed us to place the magazine in several record stores that otherwise would not have carried it. I listed myself under my real name as the Editor-in-Chief and “Exalted Grand Master.” I also wrote several articles under pseudonyms, including Imogene Mutation, as well as Vivienne Petruveus, Edouard de Legionnaire, Count Backwards, and Mason Dixon. Our tagline now was “Dagobert’s Revenge: Musick, Magick, Monarchism.”

This time with Dagobert’s Revenge, it wasn’t just an experiment. We had a plan. We wanted to create a new subculture revolving around the ideals of Monarchism and Grail mysticism, by infiltrating existing subcultures and introducing them to our new paradigm. We targeted the Goths, the Wiccans, the Crowleyites, the Satanists, the WWII aesthetes, the college intellectuals, the conspiracy theorists, the radical anarchists. We told some other people in the zine underground about our plans, including Fred Berger of Propaganda. They all thought we were nuts. They thought that the subject matter we’d chosen to concentrate on was way too obscure, and way too cerebral, for public consumption. (George Petros of Seconds later told me to concentrate on the record reviews and scrap everything else.)

But people did take notice. The 100 copies that I distributed throughout Manhattan ( made possible by an X-Mas gift from my parents) sold out immediately, and I had to run a second printing, which also sold out quickly. The zine store See Hear did particularly well for us, and the proprietor, Ted, told me that his customers were eagerly awaiting the next issue. One of his customers was Richard Metzger of The Disinformation Company, who quickly contacted me, and interviewed me for his online TV program, The Infinity Factory. I started to get enthusiastic, fanatical letters in the mail from people who couldn’t believe there was a magazine out there representing all of their obscure interests. People liked our non-hysterical, pro-elitist position on conspiracies. People sent money for subscriptions even though we weren’t selling subscriptions. People sent money for ads, even though we weren’t selling ads. So we decided to start selling subscriptions and ads. That, along with a $300 gift from my parents, is how we raised money for the next issue, which was actually a proper offset print run of 1000 copies.

Next we got an interview with author Peter Levenda, so we made Nazi occultism a theme for the third issue. We put a WWII propaganda poster of Hitler on the cover. We thought it was a good, striking image that would make it stand out on the magazine rack. Boy did it ever. Many people automatically thought that we were promoting Nazism, and became enraged. Bleecker Bob refused to take it, and chased me out of his record store. But I didn’t care. I was having fun. Tower Magazines and Desert Moon picked us up, so now we had national distribution. A brilliant artist and musician named James P. Bergman joined us to edit and lay out the “Musick” section. I sent interview requests to some of my favorite musicians, including Death in June and Rose McDowall, and they responded positively. I was so thrilled when Douglas P. of Death in June wrote me back a letter praising the magazine and agreeing to an interview. I started seeing Grail-related and Monarchist themes pop up more and more in underground music. It was as though we had suddenly made it safe to go there by being the first to venture forth into this area. It seemed like our goal of combining subcultures to create a new one was taking form more quickly than we had expected.

Affiliated with Death in June was a “noise musician”, Boyd Rice, whose work I was unfamiliar with. But I started hearing about him from different sources, including George Petros, and they recommended that I contact him for an interview for the Musick section. But then a funny thing happened. I got a letter from Mr. Rice in reply, saying that when my letter to him had arrived, he was already at the Post Office to send a letter to me, because he had heard about the magazine from Adam Parfrey and was interested in the Grail. It seemed like an extraordinary coincidence. After I interviewed Mr. Rice, he said it was the best interview he’d ever done, and that Dagobert’s Revenge was his favorite magazine. He began to call me frequently, and we would have long talks about occult subjects of mutual interest.

From the second issue of Dagobert’s Revenge onward, I began to study the subjects we covered very seriously, forming my own theories regarding the mystery of the Grail, the Priory of Sion, and Rennes-le-Chateau. The articles for Dagobert’s Revenge soon became more in-depth and full of more original material. I was now developing the concepts well beyond the core ideas that had been established by Holy Blood, Holy Grail in 1982 regarding a bloodline descent from Jesus, which I have already outlined. These ideas were radical enough, and had created a firestorm of controversy throughout the Christian world when Holy Blood, Holy Grail was first published. But to this Dagobert’s Revenge now added an even more controversial element. I proposed that the “Grail bloodline” was actually older than this: that if Jesus’ blood was special, it was because of his descent from King David, and if David’s blood was special, it was because of his descent from … something else. All of my research tended to indicate that royalty and kingship, along with all of the basic arts of civilization, had been brought to mankind by a superior race, called “fallen angels”, or “the Watchers” in Judeo-Christian tradition. They were called the Annunaki in ancient Sumeria, the Annedoti in Phoenicia, and similar names throughout the ancient world.

My research revealed that these people had at one time been the Lords of the Earth. They had interbred with human women to create a hybrid race – a royal race of supermen who had become the world’s first human kings. The original king was known as “Kan” to the ancient world, and was also called “Cain” in the Bible. These Watchers were described in the Bible as fallen angels, who had disobeyed God by breeding with human women, and were cast into Hell as punishment. A curse was put on their bloodline, and the Flood of Noah was brought by God to cleanse the Earth of their seed. But some of them survived the Flood, and their descendants continued to rule the world for literally thousands of years. In many ways, I said, they continue to rule to this very day, for most European royal houses can ultimately be traced back to the Watchers, and many people in positions of power have royal blood in their pedigrees.

This then, I felt, was the origin of the Grail bloodline. The Grail was both the bloodline itself, and an emblem for the superhuman origin of its royal power, which descended to man from Heaven, just as the Grail stone is said to have fallen from Heaven. Indeed, the Grail stone was said to have been a jewel that fell from Lucifer’s crown when he was cast out of Heaven. To me, it was a symbol indicating the descent of the Grail family from Lucifer, Cain, and the fallen angels. I purported that this was the origin of all royal power, including that of the bloodline that had resulted in, and then descended from, Jesus. This is why I chose the Cross of Lorraine to be the Dagobert’s Revenge logo: an insignia directly associated with the Grail bloodline, which is said to be the Coat of Arms for both the “blood of Jesus” and the “blood of Satan.” The Grail, and the Grail bloodline were both symbols of the same concept which lies at the heart of all occultism: combining the powers of good and evil to create a transcendental, omnipotent power that is beyond good and evil.

To suggest that Jesus was a descendant of the Devil himself was about the most heretical thing you could say, and it surely riled people up. What many people don’t realize is that blasphemy (outright denial of God) is far less threatening to the Church than heresy (suggesting an alternate interpretation of accepted religious concepts). The Inquisition burned more heretics than blasphemers in medieval times, and the same is true today with the modern Inquisition. Several Christian websites, mostly those already promoting “Illuminati” conspiracy theories, began to warn their readers that the Anti-Christ was coming, claiming to be a descendant of Jesus. They would quote our magazine for proof that the Grail bloodline was actually Satanic.

I knew I had truly arrived the day I heard Jack Van Impe quote me and my magazine as part of his Bible prophecy program on the Trinity Broadcast Network. Dagobert’s Revenge even showed up in the flow charts of several conspiracy theorists – you know, the charts that they always make connecting the banks with the mafia and the CIA and the Trilateral Commission and the International Congress of World Jewry, etc. I never considered myself a Satanist, but the smell of sulfur definitely permeated everything connected with Dagobert’s Revenge. One of our writers, William H. Kennedy, was a Traditionalist Catholic. His priest denied him Communion that week when he found out William was working with me. We also started getting tons of letters from prisoners – people who were in jail for horrible things like rape, murder, and brutal assaults. Some of them even paid to subscribe to the magazine, but if we sent it out, it would usually get sent back to us, rejected by the prison security personnel. One came back with a note that said it had been rejected because of “content related to Satanism.”

Throughout the issues, I made sure to keep the editorial position of Dagobert’s Revenge vague, confusing and contradictory, which assured that we would be regarded with suspicion and never fully accepted by any of the existing subculture groups. Liberals and anarchists found our Monarchist, pro-elitist stance to be “fascist.” The Wiccans and neo-pagans thought we were simultaneously left-hand path Satanists, and a conservative Catholic conspiracy to infiltrate the occult underground. The Satanists and Thelemites thought we were Christians, because we emphasized the importance of the bloodline of Jesus and explored Judeo-Christian mysteries. Freemasons were mad at us for exposing their “secrets.” Other secret societies that I had never even heard of before attacked us in public, accusing us of being agents of unnamed enemy forces. I already told you what the Christian militia types and Illuminati conspiracy believers thought about us. The racialist neo-Nazi aesthetes didn’t like us because they knew that we weren’t promoting any of their ideas. But a lot of outsiders assumed that our monarchist philosophy was based on neo-Nazi racialism, and lumped us into that category, much to my dismay. As a result, many of the underground ‘zine distributors wouldn’t touch us. The Independent Press Association took our money for membership, but refused to list us in their roster of members.

It didn’t help that I began to associate much more closely with Boyd Rice, who already had a sinister reputation for flirting with neo-Nazi symbolism. He told me that this was embarrassing to him, and he hoped that he could rebuild his public image in a more positive light by associating himself with Dagobert’s Revenge. He wrote a few articles for the magazine, and eventually he proposed that we write a book together, which I agreed to. Around the same time, I got invited to do an interview for a new Fox Television program called “In Search Of”, a revival of the program once hosted by Leonard Nimoy. They wanted to do the interview in Rennes-le-Chateau, France, the center of the mystery of the Grail bloodline. Seeing this as a tremendous opportunity to do first-hand research into the subject of our book, I arranged for Mr. Rice to come along as well. The trip to France yielded a wealth of information that enhanced my research. In the summer of 2001, I moved to Denver, along with my partner Brian Albert, to continue with the book and the magazine.

The rest of the story is publicly documented. We continued to publish for three more years, and Boyd & I wrote our book. I appeared on Coast to Coast A.M. a couple of times, and on several other shows as well. We learned that Danny Carey of the band Tool was a big Dagobert’s Revenge fan. James P. Bergman interviewed him for us, and wrote an article for Dagobert’s Revenge with the band’s manager, Blair Mackensie Blake. Things seemed to be going well. I scored us a book contract with a sizable publisher. Then, in 2003, before the book got published, Boyd Rice and I had a disastrous falling out. It seems he didn’t want to share credit for anything with anyone, especially a young woman less than half his age. For my part, I got tired of doing all of his work for him, letting him take credit for my ideas and covering up for his appalling ignorance of high-school-level math, science, and history. I went on to write and publish my own version of the book, entitled The Merovingian Mythos and the Mystery of Rennes-le-Chateau. I ended the magazine in 2004, and sold our subscriber list to an Australian New Age magazine called Nexus. Then I went on to work on other books and writing projects.

But there is another aspect to this story as well. Behind the scenes, there were some other forces at work behind Dagobert’s Revenge. I knew I was in contact with something from another world the day I came up with the idea for Dagobert’s Revenge, and I had felt as though I was being guided by that same force ever since: the spirit of the Grail. When Brian Albert and I decided to continue publishing Dagobert’s Revenge in 1998, we did so with the expressed intention of releasing a Grail-related zeitgeist upon the world, and creating a new subculture. In the year 2000, Brian, me, Boyd Rice, and a writer for Dagobert’s Revenge named Vadge Moore (formerly of the punk band The Dwarves) decided to form a secret society to promote this endeavor. Instead of just hinting that there was a secret order backing the publication of Dagobert’s Revenge, there really would be. We called it the Ordo Lapsit Exillis, meaning “The Order of the Stone That Fell From Heaven.” The OLE went on to evolve into a very weird shape that is beyond the scope of this essay, and ended without ever having accomplished anything tangible, or so it seemed. But I do think that the day we created the OLE, we released something into the atmosphere, or perhaps gave new strength to what we had already released. I believe there were supernatural forces at work helping me to discover the mysteries of the Grail, and to spread what I had learned to the rest of the world.

Perhaps a good piece of evidence for this is the Wolfzeit phenomenon. I vividly remember the day in 2001 that I received a package in the mail from Wolfzeit. A shiver that went down my spine when I saw what looked like a German-language version of my own magazine, complete with the Cross of Lorraine logo and a subtitle, “Mythos, Mystik, Minnesang” very similar to my own “Musick, Magick, Monarchism.” There was a letter from the Editor, Peter Felsch, which stated that he had started his magazine a few months earlier (and thus much later than Dagobert’s Revenge had started in 1996), but was unaware of my magazine until someone told him that his own magazine looked like “a German version of Dagobert’s Revenge.” He researched the name and, sure enough, there was already an American magazine almost identical in content and design to the one he had published. We both agreed that we must have been channeling the same muse.

But beyond Wolfzeit, I believe that what Dagobert’s Revenge released into the atmosphere has had a hand in creating many of the latest cultural trends. The obvious development to point to would be the huge success of The Da Vinci Code. Back when I started Dagobert’s Revenge, none of the gatekeepers in media believed that themes of the Grail bloodline and the Priory of Sion could have such mass appeal. Even though Holy Blood, Holy Grail had been huge in the ‘80s, for some reason nobody saw the potential for these ideas to catch on and transform culture. Dagobert’s Revenge softened up the appetites of the people it influenced, making these ideas palatable, associating them with other ideas already accepted as “cool” by the underground elite, and paving the way for the occult/secret society-related trends that now surround us. I’m not saying that Dan Brown owes me any royalties. But I do believe The Da Vinci Code, phenomenon is spiritually connected to the spell we cast upon Western civilization when we created the OLE and Dagobert’s Revenge. We were not only influence, but certainly we were at least an indirect yet nonetheless important influence. I definitely believe it is directly a result of my own endeavors that we now see the Cross of Lorraine used in all sorts of underground art and music.

In addition to my broader influence on various subcultures, and on the culture at large, my work has transformed the existing field of Grail studies, and broadened perspectives on the issue, forcing those who write about these subjects to consider the older, pre-Christian elements of the mysteries. I forced a new interpretation of the enigma of Rennes-le-Chateau, the antics of the Priory of Sion, the origin of the Grail bloodline, and the symbol of the Holy Grail itself. It is now common for writers on these subjects to interject ideas related to the Nephilim race, the Hollow Earth, the Black Sun, and the bloodline of Satan and Cain, but few people were doing this before Dagobert’s Revenge came around. I see my work quoted all the time by other authors, and even more often, I see my own ideas referred to indirectly, prefaced by the words “some authors suggest…” I have been interviewed as an expert on the Grail by National Geographic and the History Channel. My work has ended up as course material in university classes. It is funny to think that Dagobert’s Revenge started out as a crappy art zine, drifted towards yellow journalism, and ended up as weighty pseudo-scholarship that was taken seriously by other serious, successful authors.

However, I couldn’t have done it without my partner (and now my husband) Brian Albert, or without the generous support of our family, friends and fans, who on more than one occasion donated financially and helped in numerous other ways. For these things, we will always be eternally grateful.

The Da Vinci Code Decoded
The Truth Behind the New York Times #1 Bestseller
April 15, 2004 

Through our HarperGreen campaign, reducing carbon emissions has become paramount to how we conduct business. We want our business practices and employee actions to make a difference while at the same time encouraging consumers to participate as well. Through initiatives such as a corporate purchasing program and installing energy efficient equipment, the whole company is embracing measures to reduce carbon emissions.HarperCollinsUK was the first major publisher in the U.K. to take its operations carbon neutral—and has seen the percentage of its books made from FSC™ chain of custody certified paper rise from 70% in 2013 to 82% in 2014, with a target of at least 90% for 2015. All stationery paper used across the company in-house—for photocopiers, printers, letterhead and comp slips—is Chain of Custody certified (PEFC). The UK’s Distribution Centre in Glasgow, Scotland is a Zero Waste to Landfill site since March 2015. All general waste is incinerated and converted into energy.HarperCollins Australia's distribution center, based outside of Sydney, won the 2008 Southern Highlands Business Awards for Excellence in Environmental Sustainability. The center was applauded not only for the range of its initiatives, but also for investing in energy-efficient equipment and encouraging suppliers and customers to follow its lead.

The Disinformation Company (abbreviated as Disinfo) was a privately held, limited American publishing company until 2012 when it was sold to Red Wheel/Weiser/Conari[1]. It also owned Disnformation Books, which focused on current affairs titles and books exposing alleged conspiracy theories, occultism, politics, news oddities, and purported disinformation. It is headquartered in New York City, New York. Arguably, its most visible publications to date are 50 Things You're Not Supposed to Know and the Everything You Know About [subject] Is Wrong series, both by the company's editor-at-large Russ Kick.[2]

Richard Metzger (born July 28, 1965) is a television host and author.[1] He was the host of the TV show Disinformation (United Kingdom Channel 4, 2000–01), The Disinformation Company and its website, Disinfo.com. He is currently the host of the online talk show Dangerous Minds.

Martin Lunn
Da Vinci Code Decoded

"BTW, does Martin have a bio that I could look at"
Disinfo CEO

“...but, I have never seen anything written by Martin”
Disinfo CEO

"OK... Martin hasn't read Davinci Code yet so there's not much to talk about until he does"
Disinfo CEO

"your experience ... is not really persuasive as to why you are THE authority on the topics in DVC."
Disinfo CEO

Red Wheel Weiser Conari, also known in different periods in its history as RedWheel/Weiser, LLC and Samuel Weiser, Inc., is a book publisher with three imprints: Red Wheel, Weiser Books and Conari Books. It is America's second-largest[citation needed] publisher of occult and New Age books, behind Llewellyn Worldwide, and is also one of the oldest American publishers to concentrate exclusively on that genre. It publishes on average 60-75 new titles per year and maintains a large backlist, partly of books that it originally published, and partly of older public domain rare occult books.

Through our HarperGreen campaign, reducing carbon emissions has become paramount to how we conduct business. We want our business practices and employee actions to make a difference while at the same time encouraging consumers to participate as well. Through initiatives such as a corporate purchasing program and installing energy efficient equipment, the whole company is embracing measures to reduce carbon emissions.HarperCollinsUK was the first major publisher in the U.K. to take its operations carbon neutral—and has seen the percentage of its books made from FSC™ chain of custody certified paper rise from 70% in 2013 to 82% in 2014, with a target of at least 90% for 2015. All stationery paper used across the company in-house—for photocopiers, printers, letterhead and comp slips—is Chain of Custody certified (PEFC). The UK’s Distribution Centre in Glasgow, Scotland is a Zero Waste to Landfill site since March 2015. All general waste is incinerated and converted into energy.HarperCollins Australia's distribution center, based outside of Sydney, won the 2008 Southern Highlands Business Awards for Excellence in Environmental Sustainability. The center was applauded not only for the range of its initiatives, but also for investing in energy-efficient equipment and encouraging suppliers and customers to follow its lead.

Contents

List of photographs and illustrations

Introduction 3

Chapter One: Leonardo da Vinci -his life and art 5
+Overview: His art;--science, cartography and inventions 5
+Leonardo's coded messages and what importance they have for us today 7
+The Vitruvion Mon 11
+The Madonna of the Rocks 11
+The Mono Lisa 13
+The Last Supper 16
+The Adoration of the Magi 18
+The controversy over The Shroud of Turin 19

Chapter Two: The Priory of Sion, its Grand Masters and the Plantards 23
+The known history of The Priory 23
+The purpose and aims of the Priory of Sion 25
+The rise and fall of the Knights Templar 28
+The "Cutting of the Elm" 31
+The Nostradamus connection 33
+The Grand Masters of the Priory of Sion 34 -Nicolas Flamel and the Harry Potter connection 36 -Rene d'Anjou 37-Sandro Filipepi (a.k.a. Botticelli) 39 -Robert Boyle 39 -Sir Isaac Newton 39 +Charles Nodier 40 -Victor Hugo 40 -Claude Debussy 41 -Jean Cocteau 42
+The present situation 43
+The Algerian debacle 44
+CIRCUIT 45
+The "Truth" behind Pierre Plantard de Saint-Clair 46

Chapter Three: The Davidic and Merovingian Bloodlines 49
+Were the descendants of Jesus sitting on the thrones of Europe and what happened to them? 49
+The Holy Grail as the bloodline of Jesus Christ 49
+The Merovingians 52
+King Dagobert 55
+Conclusive Evidence 59
+The Australian "Royal Family" 62

Chapter Four: The Real Sauniere and Rennes-le-Chateau 67
+The choice of the name Sauniere by Dan Brown 67
+The "real" Sauniere -Berenger 67
+The Discovery at Rennes-le-Ch6teau 68 +History of Rennes-le-Ch6teau 68
+The Source of Sauniere's Wealth 74
+The Mystery Deepens 75
+Sacred Geometry 77
Contents


Chapter Five: Constantine the Great 81
+The blending of Sol lnvictus, Mithraism, and Christianity 81
+The Desposyni, the descendants of Christ 83
+Constantine changes the dates of Christmas and Easter to coincide with previous Pagan festivals 83
+Constantine presents himself as the Messiah ,34+The rewriting of the New Testament 85
+The Donation of Constantine and how this fraud affects our political systems to this day 86


Chapter Six: The Holy Grail in Europe 89
+The Grail as a physical~object 89
+King Arthur 90
+The Grail's home in Spain 95

Chapter Seven: Jesus Christ -the facts and fiction 97
+The schism between St. Paul and Jesus Christ's brother, James 97
+Details of Arian beliefs 98
+The origin of the word "messiah" and its interpretations 98
+Paul's rejection of the orthodox Jewish religion 98
+Paul's relationship with the Gentiles 98+How our perceptions of Christianity have been influenced by Paul 99
+The lack of mention of the Romans in the New Testament, and why 100
+Information on the Roman occupation was downplayed for political reasons 101
+The prophecy of the messiah being born of a virgin 101
+Why Jesus "had to" be born in Bethlehem and why the story of his "virgin" manger birth was fabricated 101
+The "betrayal" of Judas 103
+The re-writing of the Gospels 104
vii

Chapter Eight: Was Jesus Married? 105
+Dan Brown's comments on ABC's Primetime Monday on whether or not Mary Magdalene was a prostitute 105
+The wedding feast of Mary and Jesus at Cana 106
+The meaning behind the name of the character "Sir Leigh Teabing" 107
+The truth behind the Gospels of Philip and John 107
+The omitted part of the Gospel of Mark referring to Christ's marriage 107
+The truth behind the Lazarus story 108


Chapter Nine: Opus Dei 111
+The Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei 111
+Acult? 112 +Recruitment 113
+The Life of a Member 113
+Corporal Mortification 115
+The Cilice 116+Discipline 116
+Cold Showers 116 +Meals 116
+The Heroic Minute 117+Silences 117

Chapter Ten Other Themes Explored in The Do Vinci Code 119
+Cryptology and the Atbash Cipher -decoding the Do Vinci code 119
+The Cryptex -poetic license? 121
+Bophomet: Did the Templars worship the devil? 121
+Fibonacci Sequence and the Golden Ratio -sacred geometry and its place in the mystery of The Oa Vinci Code 123
+Secret Societies 125 -The Sovereign and Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem 127 -P2 128 -Compagnie de Saint-Sacrement
+The Origins of Tarot
+History of the Vatican Observatory and Castel Gandolfo
+The Gnostic Gospels

Chapter Eleven: Significant Parisian Locations Visited in The Da Vinci Code
+The Louvre
+L'Eglise de Saint-Sulpice
+Rue Haxo
+Le Choteau de Villette

Chapter Twelve: .. Rosslyn Chapter
+The Apprentice Pillar
+Hidden Treasure

Chapter Thirteen: London
+The Temple Church
+Westminster Abbey -The tomb of Sir Isaac Newton -The Chapter House -The Cloisters -St. faith's Chapel -The Pyx Chamber

CHAPTER ONE LEONARDO DA VINCI - HIS LIFE AND ART

DAN BROWN'S CHOICE OF LEONARDO DA VINCI AS THE ARTIST CENTRAL TO HIS BOOK AND ITS TITLE CHARACTER IS BOTH INTERESTING AND SENSIBLE . KNOWLEDGE OF LEONARDO HAS COME DOWN THROUGH THE CEN­TURIES TO PRACTICALLY EVERYONE IN THE WESTERN WORLD. HE IS PROBABLY THE GREATEST EXAMPLE OF UNIVERSALITY THAT THE WORLD HAS EVER KNOWN. LIKE ALBERT EINSTEIN, LEONARDO DA VINCI IS A HUMAN TRADEMARK INDICATING "GENIUS."

In his day it was by no means rare for people to dabble in more than one area of knowledge or expertise, but despite this there was not, even at that time, anyone who could match him as painter, sculptor, architect and engineer. Not only that, he explored nature so that he could gain an understanding not just of how things worked, but why. Dan Brown is right to say, therefore, that Leonardo was a "wor­shipper of Nature's divine order." While his contemporaries were painting plants from pictures in books, he was copy­ing directly from nature. His choice of plants in his paint­ings was symbolic. As Dan Brown tells us in shocked tones, he did indeed dissect corpses: about 30 in total, averaging roughly two per year while he was studying. It was illegal, but whether he actually exhumed the bodies himself is a different matter. The Church believed that the human body had to be buried intact so that it could be resurrected in the Last Day of Judgment. Nonetheless, Leonardo appears to have had the sanction of the Church in this practice; no doubt many influential people were impressed by the skill shown in his drawings presenting the human body in vari­ous layered forms. In other words, it was forbidden to dis­sect corpses, but nobody could be bothered to take action over Leonardo's doing so. (This apparent disregard for the law in some cases may ring bells with anyone familiar with the legal system in Italy today.) Leonardo's detailed draw­ings contributed greatly to the body of medicine from which we benefit today.

His inventions showed considerable vision. Be drew designs for tanks, the parachute, the car and the helicopter which would not be realized for centuries. He even designed a tele­scope 100 years before Galileo. To Leonardo, man's highest sense organ was sight because of its ability to relay with accu­racy. His philosophy was thus saper vedere -knowing how to see. For Dan Brown to say that Leonardo painted Christian themes as a means of commercial enterprise to fund his lavish lifestyle is, perhaps, unfair on the man. He executed everything that he did with unparalleled skill and came from an affluent back­ground. What is true is that he never painted an interpretation of the Crucifixion. He could also hardly be described as hav­ing created an "enormous output" of Christian art; of the mere seventeen surviving paintings that can definitely be attributed to him, several are unfinished.

He is referred to by art historians simply as "Leonardo." The name "da Vinci" is not a surname; it only describes where he was from. It is similar to referring to Alexander the Great just as "the Great." However "da Vinci" is in such common use that there is no ambiguity.

Leonardo was born in 1452, the illegitimate son of Ser Piero, a successful lawyer and landlord in Florence in Italy. His mother was a Florentine peasant who later married a local workman. Leonardo was brought up on his father's estate in Vinci, near Empoli, where he was treated as a legit­imate son, and it was there that he was educated in reading, writing and arithmetic. He studied Latin, higher mathemat­ics and geometry later on.

When Leonardo was about fifteen years old, his father apprenticed him to Andrea del Verrocchio, from whom he learned painting, sculpture and technical-mechanical arts. It was at this time _that he would have met another Priory of Sion Grand Master, Botticelli, who was also apprenticed to Verrocchio then. It is probable that he started his studies of anatomy at the neighboring studio during this period. He worked independently in Florence until 1481. Many of his works date from this time, including the largely unfinished Adoration of the Magi.

In 1482, he entered the service of Ludovico Sforza, a.k.a. Ludovico il Moro (The Moor), the Duke of Milan, where he was listed in the register of the royal household as pictor et inegarius ducalis ("painter and engineer of the Duke"). Sforza was a close friend of Rene d' Anjou, yet another Grand Master of the Priory of Sion. Leonardo spent the next seven­teen years there until Ludovico fell from power. In addition to painting, sculpture and designing court festivals, he was a technical adviser in-architecture, fortifications and military matters, even serving as a hydraulic and mechanical engi­neer. It was at this time that he developed his universal genius most fully.

During this period he completed only seven paintings, including the first version of The Madonna of the Rocks men­tioned by Dan Brown. This was an altarpiece which would be displayed at the church of San Francesco Grande in Milan. The magnificent The Last Supper, which is painted on the wall of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, was also paint­ed at this time.

Leonardo then started to develop his idea of a "science of painting." He concluded that painters, using their superior ability of sight, were the perfect mediums to transfer knowledge pictorially and he therefore used his art to teach. This is particularly important to an understanding of Leonardo da Vinci's role in The DaVinci Code. Leonardo did not just paint a pretty picture ofThe Last Supper. It was his way of telling us something of immense importance in a way that has come down the centuries to us and can be under­stood by anyone who has access to his code. When present­ing text and illustrations together, he gave priority to the illustration. The illustration does not express the text; the text serves only to explain the picture.

Between 1490 and 1495, he wrote treatises on painting and architecture and books on the elements of mechanics and human anatomy. He also continued studying in various sci­entific fields. He wrote and sketched detailed accounts of everything he did, which amounts to a total of thousands of pages, many of which survive to this day.

As Leonardo was left-handed, mirror-writing was not too difficult for him. It was not an easy style to read and his spelling mistakes and abbreviations compounded the diffi­culty. Nor were his notes always written in a logical order. He used mirror writing throughout his work, but his corre­spondence to others indicates that he was also at ease with conventional handwriting. Leonardo's main biographer, Serge Bramley, has examined all of Leonardo's surviving manuscripts and concluded that he wrote with both hands in both directions.

One of the consequences, if not the reason for his use of mirror writing, was that the ink did not smudge when he wrote with his left hand. He could also, of course, have had the intention of writing secretly as he did not want others to steal his ideas. An additional reason for security could have arisen from his unconventional ideas on Christianity. As Dan Brown points out, during Leonardo's time left­ handedness was associated with the "left-hand path" and satanic forces. Therefore left-handed people were regarded with suspicion; it was unusual back then to find someone who was as open about it as Leonardo. He wrote with the intention of publication and in the margins of one of his anatomy sketches he asks his followers to ensure that his works are printed.

By the beginning of 1500 Leonardo had left Milan and returned to Florence via Venice, where the governing coun­cil asked his advice on the impending Turkish invasion in Friuli. Leonardo recommended flooding the area. When back in Florence, Leonardo started a cartoon for the paint­ing Virgin and Child with St.Anne, and Madonna with the Yarn-Winder. 1 In 1503 Leonardo left Florence and entered the service of Cesare Borgia, the Duke ofValentinois, who was the natural son of Pope Alexander VI and the most feared person of his time. He was suspected of having murdered his brother, but the crime of which he was undoubtedly guilty was the murder in August 1500 of his brother-in-law Alfonso, Duke of Bisceglie, the second husband of his infamous sister, Lucrezia. Leonardo was fascinated by Borgia, who at 27 years old was only half Leonardo's age.
1 This painting was stolen from Drumlaring Castle in the South of Scotland in August 2003.

At this time, Leonardo engaged himself in making city plans and topographical maps. His work formed the foundation of modern cartography. In 1503, he returned to Florence and planned a canal that would run from the city to the sea. This was never actually carried out, but there is now an expressway connecting Florence to the sea and it runs on exactly the same route as that which Leonardo proposed.

Leonardo painted the Mona Lisa while he was working on a mural for the Hall of the Five Hundred in Florence between the years 1503 and 1506. He left this painting unfinished when he then returned to Milan at the request of Charles d' Amboise, the Governor of the King of France in Milan. He spent the next six years in Milan, concentrating on architec­ture and was paid the princely sum of 400 ducats a year. He painted the second version of The Madonna of the Rocks at this time.

When the French were expelled from Milan in 1513, Leonardo moved to Rome. Giuliano de Medici, the brother of Pope Leo X, gave him a suite of rooms in his residence, the Belvedere, which formed part of the Vatican. He was paid, but while others such as Michelangelo were working on various architectural and artistic projects, Leonardo was left with not much to do.

Leonardo was attached to the army of Charles de Montpensier et de Bourbon, the Constable of France, and the Viceroy of Languedoc and Milan, reputed to be the most powerful Lord in France in the early sixteenth century. He took over as Grand Master of the Priory of Sion after Leonardo da Vinci in 1519.

At the age of 65, Leonardo took up the offer of the young King of France, Francis I, to enter his service. He spent the last three years ofhis life living in a small residence at Cloux (later to be called Clos-Luce) near the King's summer palace on the Loire River. His title was "premier peintre, architecte et mechanicien du Roi" (first painter, architect, and mechanic of the King) . To a great extent he was treated as an honored guest at this time.The only painting that he man­aged to complete was St.John the Baptist, and much of the only other work that he did consisted of sketches of court festi­vals. He drew up a design for the palace of gardens for the King's mother, but these plans had to be abandoned because of a threat of malaria.

Leonardo da Vinci died on May 2, 1519 at Cloux and was buried at the palace church of Saint-Florentin. However, the church was badly damaged during the French Revolution and was eventually pulled down in the nineteenth century. His grave can no longer be found. His most devoted pupil, Francesco Melzi, inherited his estate.

Leonardo has been described as one of the first Rosicrucians and one biographer, Vasali, has described him as being of an "heretical state of mind." This heresy is thought to include his belief that Jesus Christ had a twin brother, Thomas. In his painting The Last Supper, there are what appear to be two almost identical Christ figures. The second figure from the left shows a distinct resemblance to Christ, shown seated in the center and it is suspected that this figure may represent Thomas.

Several of Leonardo's works are discussed by Robert Langdon, Sophie Neveu, Leigh Teabing and other characters in The DaVinci Code.The more important ones are:

The Vitruvian Man

One of the latest appearances of da Vinci's drawing The Vitruvian Man (and no doubt the most widespread) is on the Italian one euro coin, indicating that the popularity of this symbol is not diminishing. It is also featured on the cover of this book. Leonardo wrote of this drawing himself that:

Vitruvius, the architect, says in his work on architecture that the measurements of the human body are as follows: that is that 4 fin­gers make 1 palm, and 4 palms make 1 foot, 6 palms make 1 cubit; 4 cubits make a man's height.And 4 cubits make one pace, and 24 palms make a man. The length of a man's outspread arms is equal to his height. From the roots of his hair to the bottom of his chin is the tenth of a man's height; from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head is one eighth of his height; from the top of the breast to the roots of the hair will be the seventh part of the whole man. From tne nipples to the top of the head will be the fourth part of man. The greatest width of the shoulders contains in itself the fourth part of man.From the elbow to the tip of the hand will be the fifth part of a man; and from the elbow to the angle of the armpit will be the eighth part of man. The whole hand will be the tenth part of the man. The distance from the bottom of the chin to the nose and from the roots of the hair to the eyebrows is, in each case the same, and like the ear, a third of the face.

The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, Vol. l (of a 2 vol. set in paperback) pp. 182-3, Dover, ISBN 0-486-22572-0.

The Madonna of the Rocks

Dan Brown states that the original commission for the Madonna of the Rocks came from the nuns at the chapel of the Immacolata at the church ofSan Francesco Grande in Milan. It was, in fact, commissioned by monks from that organiza­tion. One of the versions of Madonna of the Rocks is in the Louvre and this is considered to be entirely Leonardo's work. Experts are not so certain that the other version, at the National Gallery in London, was painted only by him. It has a more "plastic" look to it, which has led to the theory that it was a collaborative effort. This painting not only depicts the Immaculate Conception, but reflects the fact that leg­ ends regarding St. John the Baptist were popular in Florence at that time. The painting is of the infant Jesus meeting John the Baptist for the first time. Both ducks are trying to escape Herod's infamous Massacre of the Innocents and John the Baptist is under the protection of Uriel, the angel. In fact, Leonardo had something of a lifetime obsession with John the Baptist. In the original sketches, Uriel is depicted as being very feminine but in the painting itself the angel has a much more androgynous quality.

The controversy this painting caused was not instigated by the "horror" that its imagery inspired. John the Baptist was Jesus Christ's mentor and there is awkwardness in the Gospels when describing the baptism of Christ by John. John the Baptist was a major figure in Jesus' life. The two boys were cousins, according to the author of the third gospel, St. Luke. As a descendant ofAaron, John could claim the title Priest Messiah. As Jesus is descended from both Aaron and David, he could claim the titles of both Priest Messiah and Royal Messiah. These two cousins, therefore, represented the answers to the Jews' prayers in uniting the spiritual and temporal aspects in the same family. Additionally this situation had occurred during the Maccabean dynasty -Israel's last monarchy. This would not fit in with the Roman Church's "plan" of presenting Jesus as the son of God. He could hardly be so if he looked upon another human being as his teacher.

John the Baptist was a prophet who predicted that a kingly figure would come and fulfill the prophecy that the Roman invaders ofJudea would be overthrown. He was considered by the Roman authorities to be so dangerous that he had to be executed. Whether or not this message comes out loud and clear through the painting is debatable. The pose of the ducks in relation to each other in the second painting is not markedly different to that in the first. The main problem in the composition of the painting relates to the fact that none of the holy characters have haloes in the first painting, and it was for this reason that the monks found it unaccept­able, demanding that another version should be made.

There are other differences between the two paintings, such as the second painting being much bluer in color. Uriel's hand, which Dan Brown describes as forming a cutting motion beneath Mary's talon-like hand, no longer points at St. John in the second painting. In the first picture this could have amounted to a prophecy ofJohn's future beheading.

Leonardo had been commissioned to execute the painting on April 2 5, 148 3. He was given the very tight deadline of completing it by the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8. Leonardo, typically, did not meet this deadline, resulting in two lengthy lawsuits. It is possible that Leonardo gave the copy that is now in the Louvre to the King of France, Louis XII, in gratitude for settling the legal problems that arose. This would have necessitated a second copy being painted. Ihe monks had stipulated exactly what they wanted in tqe picture:

Item, Our Lady is the center: her mantle shall be of gold brocade and ultramarine blue. Item, her skirt shall be of gold brocade over crimson, in oil, varnished with a fine lacquer.. .Item, God the Father: his gown shall be of gold brocade and ultramarine blue. Item, the angels shall be gilded and their pleated skirts outlined in oil, in the Greek manner. Item, the mountains and rocks shall be worked in oil, in a colorful manner....

Several changes were made to this, however. We now know that the painting was eventually displayed on August 18, 1508, and the final payment for it was made in October of the same year.

The Mona Lisa

This painting, which must be the most easily recognized in the world, was kept in the Salle des Etats (the Room of States) in the Derron Wing of the Louvre, until 2003. It was then moved to a room that is better able to accommodate the huge crowds that wish to see it. It is reported that it took Leonardo ten years just to paint her lips. It is the only one ofhis portraits that is indisputably by him although it is nei­ther signed nor dated. It also has more than one name. The French call the painting La Joconde and the Italians call it La Gioconda, meaning "a light-hearted woman." It may well have been Leonardo's favorite picture and that could be the rea­son why he carried it around with him all the time, as Dan Brown says. Another reason could be, however, that it was unfinished.

It was painted in oils on poplar wood and bought original­ly by the King of France for four thousand ducats. It was transferred to the Louvre after the French Revolution. Napoleon took it and used it to decorate his bedroom until his banishment from France, when it was returned to the Louvre. Originally it was much larger. The two panels that it originally had showed two pillars which revealed that Mona Lisa was sitting on a terrace.

Dan Brown's idea that Mona Lisa is an anagram of "AMON L'ISA," thus creating a union of the feminine and masculine is intriguing. However, it could equally be an anagram of "sol (and) anima." This means "sun and soul," and could refer to one of the major religions in the Rome of Constantine the Great, Sol Invictus ("The Invincible Sun") from which many of the Christian traditions were taken. There are several candidates for the identity of the Mona Lisa. Dan Brown's suggestion that it is Leonardo himself in drag could even be true. Computer graphic tests have revealed that there is a close link between the features of the Mona Lisa and a self-portrait of Leonardo. However, the paint­ing is widely believed to have been commissioned as a por­trait of Madonna Lisa, the wife of Francesco di Bartolomeo del Gioconda.

The reason behind the smile has proven to be just as enig­matic. An Italian doctor has suggested that she was the vic­tim of a disease called "bruxism" which leads to grinding of the teeth while sleeping or at times of stress. Leonardo certainly tried to keep his models as entertained as possible so any stress should have been minimal. He employed six musicians and kept a white Persian cat and a greyhound for company. The style of the smile itself was employed at the time both by Leonardo and other artists, including the master to whom he was apprenticed, Andrea del Verrocchio.

Some people consider the painting to be "boring" but Leonardo was exploring new stylistic territory in the work. One thing that sets the Mona Lisa apart from other portraits of the time is that she is wearing no jewelry. Leonardo also broke the conventions of the time by showing her as too relaxed for a traditionally stiff and formal pose.

The sfumato style of painting (which the character Sophie described as "foggy" in The Da Vinci Code) in which every­thing appears as if it were in a mist is one of the main char­acteristics of Leonardo's paintings. It was his way of express­ing "nature experienced." Dan Brown notes that the horizon line of countryside in the painting is uneven and that the left-hand side is lower than the right. According to some, this was Leonarcto's way of emphasizing the feminine, dark­er half of existence. There is a pool of water shown on the right-hand side of the painting, which is higher than the stream which flows on the left. For all we know, there could be a waterfall behind Mona Lisa's head, which feeds water from the pool into the stream. Perhaps nothing more should be read into it than that.

The painting was stolen from the Louvre in 19 11 as Dan Brown reports. The thief was an Italian who took it to Italy. It took twenty-four hours before the authorities realized it had been taken, as they assumed that it had been removed by the official museum photographer. It then took a week to search the Louvre, and all that was found was the frame in a stairway. Two years later, the thief, Vincenzo Perugia, offered to sell the painting to the Uffizi Gallery for $100,000, where it was exhibited before being returned to Paris.

In order to steal the picture, Perugia had waited in a small room in the Louvre until it had closed and then walked into the room where the Mona Lisa was exhibited. He removed the picture from the wall, and cut it out of the frame. In order to escape from the museum he had to unscrew the doorknob of a door that was supposed to be locked. Perugia had previously been employed by the Louvre to put the paintings under glass, and he therefore had a good knowl­edge of the layout of the museum.

In 1956 a mentally addled visitor threw acid over the painting and it took several years to restore it. The last time that the painting left the museum was in 197 4, when it was exhibited in Japan. As a mark of their gratitude for this, the Japanese pre­sented the Louvre with the thick triplex glass that now covers the painting in its bullet-proof box. It has now been agreed that the painting will never leave the Louvre again -the risks are just too great. It is kept at a constant temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit at a humidity level of 55 per cent. It has a built-in air conditioner and nine pounds of silica gel ensure there is no change in the air condition. The box is opened once a year to check the painting and service the air conditioning system. Nobody has dared to clean the painting for fear ofdamaging it, and the colors of the paint beneath the dirt may be far more brilliant than we can see now.

The Last Supper

Duke Ludovico commissioned Leonardo to paint The Last Supper on the refectory wall of his family chapel and burial place, the Santa Maria della Grazie in Milan. It measures 3 0 feet by 14 feet, and the work was finished in 149 8 after three years of labor. Breaking with convention, Leonardo seats all the apostles on the same side of the table, in groups of three, making them appear like small focus groups. The characters all appear larger than they are, as the table is too small to accommodate them comfortably. Christ is made the focal point by placing three windows behind him, the largest of which frames the upper part ofhis head and body. He is shown as being in a state of absolute calm while the apostles around him are clearly agitated.

Leonardo had the greatest trouble finding a person with a suitable head to portray Judas. Apparently it took him over a year to find a face of appropriate evil. As a last resort he said that he would use the face of the prior of Santa Maria della
Grazie as a model: "Until now I held off holding him up to ridicule in his own monastery." He never asked permission to use the faces of people in his paintings and they were not aware that he had done so. Judas is the only figure in the painting that is not leaning in towards Christ, and his hand is hovering over a dish, illustrating Christ's words in the Gospels : "He that dippeth his hand with me into the dish, he shall betray me."

The painting was extremely popular from the start. The King of France was so enthusiastic about it that he wanted the whole wall to be taken down and shipped to France, but the logistical problems were too great and it has therefore remained where it was originally painted.

Sadly, it is now in a bad state of repair. Part of the reason for this is that the chromatic colors which were used were unsuitable for painting onto a wall. It deteriorated quite rapidly, and in 1652, a door was actually cut through the center! The effects of this can still be seen.

The Napoleonic troops took over the refectory as a stable in 1796 and although Napoleon forbade any damage to the painting, the troops threw clay at the apostles. The room was then used to store hay and just to show that things could get even worse, a flood in 1800 caused the painting to be cov­ered in a green mould.

However, robust to the last, the painting went on to survive an allied attack on the church in 1943 which destroyed the refectory roof. The painting was protected by sandbags, but it was badly damaged. An entire restoration with the most painstaking detail was then carried out and completed in 1954. Very little of the original paint exists, and it has been impossible to recreate the original expression on the faces of the apostles, although the outlines of the figures were visible during restoration.

Despite the sustained devastation throughout the centuries, it appears that the person on Christ's right hand side is a woman. As Dan Brown said in his interview with ABC News' Primetime Monday host Elizabeth Vargas:

Paintings are symbolic by nature. The idea of the "V" in the paint­ing, the "V" being the symbol, long before Leonardo da Vinci, the symbol of the feminine.The symbol here is essentially the womb, in its very strict, symbolic sense.

In addition to forming this "V" symbol, the mirror images of the Magdalene and Christ can be seen to form the letter "M" for "Magdalene." This is seen more clearly in the copy of the painting by an unknown sixteenth century artist, kept at the Museo da Vinci at Tongerlo in Belgium. However, Bruce Bucher in his article "Does 'The Da Vinci Code' Crack Leonardo?" (New York Times, August 3, 2003) disagrees. He points out that in other contemporary Florentine depictions of the Last Supper, not only was the betrayal emphasized more than the Eucharist and the chalice, but, "St. John was invariably represented as a beautiful young man whose special affinity with Jesus was expressed by sitting at Jesus' right."

The Adoration of the Magi

Leonardo was commissioned in 1480 to paint this work for the monastery of San Donato a Scopeto, near Florence. Leonardo was to be paid through a complicated land deal, in which there was a penalty clause that stipulated that he would lose everything if he failed to deliver the painting on time. As ever with commissioned works, Leonardo was unable to fulfill this obligation.
The painting represents the Three Wise Men visiting the newborn Christ and his mother Mary. Among the large crowd of sixty-six people and eleven animals, there is a shepherd boy standing alone on the extreme right of the painting and this figure is thought to be a portrait of the young Leonardo. The ruins in the background represent the decline of Paganism. This symbolism is typical of that time. However, on closer inspection of the painting using infrared light, it was found that there were figures constructing a staircase, representing, according to some, the Renaissance.

As the painting was unfinished, it was possible to see the sketching underneath the ochre paint and therefore to reveal how Leonardo worked. The Adoration had always been considered to be one of Italy's most important paintings. That is until Maurizio Seracini came along. He is an eminent art diagnostician, who has spent nearly thirty years examin­ing works of art. He was asked by the Uffizi Gallery to assess whether Adoration of the Magi was too fragile to be restored. He then announced to a startled world through New York Times reporter Melinda Henneberger on April 21, 2002, that results of his extensive test revealed "None of the paint we see on the Adoration today was put there by Leonardo. God knows who did, but it was not Leonardo. The guy was not even a very good artist." Some thought that he was simply trying to cause a sensation. As Dan Brown writes in The Da Vinci Code, Seracini maintains that the grey-green lines were drawn by Leonarda.and was highly indignant that Leonardo could ever have been held responsible for some of the lines painted in brown. He stated that the Madonna's right foot, for example, has pointed toes and heel, the baby's little foot looks as if it were carved out of wood, and the child's hair looked like a "baby toupee." Seracini felt that Leonardo, with his detailed knowledge of anatomy, had been insulted over the centuries with the belief that this was considered to be his work entirely.

His theory has been backed up by one of the world's lead­ing Leonardo scholars, Carlo Pedretti of the University of California at Los Angeles. He has known Seracini for 3 0 years, and says there is no doubt that the results ofhis recent tests are correct. "From what he showed me," Pedretti says, "it's clear that Leonardo's original sketch was gone over by an anonymous painter."

The Shroud of Turin

One of the most fascinating theories regarding Leonardo involves the Shroud of Turin, which is alleged to be the image of Christ imprinted on the shroud that covered him after his death. It is an odd fact that Leonardo never painted the Crucifixion, which was one of the major artistic themes of the time, and some believe that the Shroud ofTurin was created by him as his own idiosyncratic interpretation of it. The Catholic Church allowed scientists access to the Shroud for extensive investigation for only a single period of five days and five nights in 1978. The cloth itself has been car­bon dated and found to have been made between 1260 and 1390, with 95% certainty. The Church announced this, probably much to their embarrassment, on October 13, 1988. One of the arguments against Leonardo having creat­ed it is that this was a considerable time before Leonardo was born in 1452. However, cloth from that earlier period was widely available in Leonardo's time, as it had been brought back to Europe during the Crusades. It is possible that Leonardo would have used this material if he wanted to convince others that it was Christ's shroud. It is impossible to say when the image itself was placed on the cloth, as car­bon dating will not reveal this.

The face on the shroud seems to closely resemble that of Leonardo in his self-portrait. As discussed previously, Leonardo also appears to be the model of the Mona Lisa. Similar to Alfred Hitchcock, he seemed to enjoy playing cameo roles in his works. There is no doubt that he had the skills to produce a work such as the Shroud ofTurin and to disguise how it was achieved.

For 500 years the Shroud of Turin belonged to the royal family of Italy, the Savoys. The remaining heir to the family donated it to the Catholic Church in 1983. Also in the palace of the Savoys in Turin is the only known self-portrait of Leonardo. It is likely that the Shroud would have been com­missioned by either the Duke of Savoy or the Pope, or pos­sibly both of them in league. The theory is that they wanted a substitute of the existing Shroud of Lirey made. The Shroud of Lirey was first exhibited in 1389. and was denounced as false by the local bishop of Troyes, who declared it "cunningly painted, the truth being attested by the artist who painted it." This could obviously not apply to the Shroud of Turin, which to this day we are unable to ascertain how it was created. We do know that Leonardo Leonardo da Vinci -his life and art experimented constantly with new painting techniques. For example an x-ray of his painting John the Baptist reveals no brush stokes and appears to be painted like a mist. No painter has managed to replicate this skill.

In 1976 a photograph of the Shroud was put through a V-8 Image Analyzer, and it was discovered that three-dimension­al information was encoded into it. It revealed a perfect relief of a human form, which would be impossible to cre­ate through painting. In fact, the modification of the fibers that create the image suggests some sort of burning process has taken place. This could have been achieved through a bas-relief made in an oven, and then the image would have been burned onto the cloth. It was common in the Middle Ages for bas-reliefs of the dead to be made and put on the top of graves. Leonardo certainly had the knowledge to do this and had receivtd training in sculpture.

There is also the convincing argument that the Shroud was created using a camera obscura which is a darkened box with either a convex lens or an aperture. The image of an external object is projected onto a screen inside the box. There are drawings of such a camera by Leonardo. He was familiar with the necessary chemicals, such as silver nitrate, that would be necessary to achieve this and he studied optics. This theory also explains why the back side of the body of the shroud appears taller than the front side. It takes only a slight difference in distance between the subject and the camera to make such a difference in size.

This whole issue, together with the fact that generations of pil­grims have worshipped the Shroud as being the image of Christ, not knowing that it was possibly Leonardo's own image, would have amused him greatly. The Shroud is perhaps the greatest riddle that we have inherited from him.

Leonardo was close to King Francis I -in fact so much so that there is a painting of Leonardo dying in his arms. Francis was a Savoy who married into the Medici family and therefore Leonardo was as well connected as it was possible to be.

Leonardo would be the obvious choice for someone to create such a work as the Shroud of Turin. There was also the advan­tage of Leonardo's unconventional attitude to religion. He would have had no fears of eternal damnation for the blasphe­my of the act. As a scientist and homosexual, he was already beyond redemption in the eyes of the Catholic Church. He saw no reason why he should not work on Sundays. He never once mentioned God in the 13,000 pages of the notes that he wrote. In particular he despised the flourishing relic trade in which merchants made fortunes selling supposedly holy objects to the gullible. He was charismatic, handsome, amusing and popular. In his repertoire of humor was included what he referred to as "Pope Frightening." An example of this was when he once told the Pope, probably Leo X, Giovanni de Medici, that he had a dragon in a small box. When he had worked the Pope up to a sufficient level of terror, he opened the box and out jumped a small lizard, painted silver, with wings attached to its back. In short, the hoax of the Shroud ofTurin would have appealed to his deep enjoyment of the sacrilegious.

The nails in the palms on the Shroud are positioned precisely where they should be if it truly represented a person who had been crucified. People were always crucified in this way, since nails driven at other points through the hands (as the Crucifixion of Christ has always been depicted) would not have been able to support a human body upon a cross. Assuming the Shroud is a fake, its creator would have had a precise knowl­edge of the crucifixion process. It is probable that Leonardo crucified some of the corpses that he had at his disposal and there is evidence that he studied the process.

CHAPTER TWO THE PRIORY OF SION, ITS GRAND MASTERS AND THE PLANTARDS

IN THE DA VINCI CODE, ROBERT LANGDON INTERPRETS THE INITIALS "P.S." ETCHED ON SOPHIE NEVEU'S SAFE DEPOSIT KEY, AS INDICATING THE PRIORY OF SION. THIS ABBREVIATION ALSO APPEARS ON ONE OF THE DOCU­MENTS THAT BERENGER SAUNIERE, WHOM WE SHALL LEARN OF IN CHAPTER FOUR, FOUND INSIDE THE CHURCH AT RENNES-LE-CHATEAU AND APPEARED ON THE TOMBSTONE E>F MARIE DE BLANCHEFORT WHICH WAS ONCE IN THE CHURCH GRAVEYARD.

The subject of the Priory of Sion is the basic undercurrent run­ning throughout the plot of the Da Vinci Code. although unaware of its existence before she met Langdon, every aspect of Sophie's life had been dominated by it. this puts her in pre­cisely the same situation as many readers, who, while raised christian, were unaware of the real historical forces at work behind Christianity. Ann Evans, the researcher that Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln employed while writing their book about the priory, The Messianic Legacy, had thirty-five years of experience in the field and yet she stated that she had never before encountered so many obstacles and contradictions while conducting research. the uncertainty of the so-called "evidence" creates a nebulous atmosphere which makes the priory all the more intriguing. and the truth which is known is decidedly murky.

From the beginning

Most of the actual "evidence" of the existence of the Priory has been deposited in the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris, which, say many researchers, has made obtaining the rele­vant documents quite difficult. such claims tend to indicate that at least certain administrators at the french national library are in league with the Priory of Sion, which since the 1950s has enjoyed leaving tantalizing tidbits of information there for researchers to stumble across.

There are two documents that were of particular interest to Baigent, Leigh and Lincoln when they were writing their authoritative 1982 book Holy Blood, holy grail, concerning the Merovingian bloodline. the first is the enigmatic dossiers secrets, a collection of seemingly unconnected papers which were mysteriously added to and taken from periodi­cally. the second is a work known as Le Serpent Rouge (The Red Snake), perhaps written by Jean Cocteau, as it echoes his style. it contains a genealogy of the Merovingians, a ground plan of l'Eglise de Saint-Sulpice and thirteen poems relating to the signs of the zodiac (including a thirteenth sign inserted between Scorpio and Sagittarius: Ophiuchus, "the Serpent Holder"). the attributed authors of both of these documents (four men in all) have died in unexplained circumstances.

The Priory of Sion, or the "Prieure de Sion" as it is known in french, is said to have its ultimate roots in a hermetic or gnostic society led by an Egyptian sage named Ormus in about 46 ad. "Ormus" is also the subtitle that the Priory of Sion adopted in 1188 when it changed its name from "Order of Sion." at this time they also referred to them­selves as the "Ordre de la Rose-Croixveritas" ("Order of The True Rose-Cross"), indicating that the Priory of Sion may have in fact been the original Rosicrucian order.

Not until the Middle Ages does an organization relating to Sion become known to historians The Abbey of Orval in Stenay ( once called "Satanicum"), located in the Ardennes in northern France, was founded by a group of monks from Calabria in Italy in 1070, led by the Merovingian "Prince Ursus" (rumored to be Dagobert II's great-grandson, Sigisbert VI). These monks formed the basis of the Order of Sion into which they were absorbed, along with Godfroi de Bouillon's Templar order in 1099 -the year that he cap­tured Jerusalem. Godfroi de bouillon was not only the Duke the of Lorraine. as a descendant of Dagobert ii, he was, as a Merovingian, a rightful king (see chapter three for a full discussion). Stenay was one of the two capital cities of the Merovingians. it was in the nearby sacred forest of Woevres that king Dagobert II was assassinated while hunting on December 23, 679, as Dan brown states, stabbed in the eye while sleeping under a tree. It is thought that his godson had assassinated him under the orders of Pepin the fat, the turncoat mayor of Dagobert's palace.

It appears that the remit of the Priory of Sion has always been the restoration of the Merovingian dynasty and blood­line to the thrones of Europe, having lost their birthright after Dagobert's assassination. through various political pacts and marriages, the line eventually came to include var­ious noble and royal houses, such as the Blanchefort, Gisors, Saint-Clair, Montesquieu, Montpezat, Poher, Luisignan, Plantard and Habsburg-Lorraine families. It is confirmed by records of the time that the headquarters of the Order were the Abbey of Notre Dame du Mont de Sion, which lies to the south of Jerusalem. it was well-fortified and built on the ruins of a byzantine basilica. according to a 1990 issue of Biblical Archaeology magazine, Mt. Sion seems to have been the headquarters of the Ebionites of Jerusalem. these followers of Jesus considered his brother james, and not the Apostle Paul, to be the rightful leader of the Christian church.

What is perhaps not so certain is the claim that the Priory of Sion, as Langdon puts it, "has a well-documented history of reverence for the sacred feminine," and reveres Mary Magdalene, whom they hold to be Christ's wife, as an embodiment of that feminine principle. As Tracy Twyman of Dagobert's Revenge Magazine writes:

Mary Magdalene is held up by many grail researchers as some feminist heroine and they claim that she was "written out of the bible" because the church was threatened by her femininity. but neither Magdalene nor the church fathers thought in such lan­guage, nor would they even have conceived of such a notion. Magdalene was a threat to the church not because she was a woman, but because she was the mother of Christ's ducks -the heirs to his royal and priestly lineage. By all rights they should have been the proper inheritors not only of Christ's church, but of his royal throne in Jerusalem (which in the eyes of some should have also held hegemony over the entire world). Both of these claims were a threat to the Church, which not only wished to rule the world spiritually, but secularly as well, for the Church proclaimed that it had the right to make kings, regardless of their birthright.

Godfroi de Bouillon was well aware that he was a member of a Grail family, and therefore a Merovingian and de facto King of Jerusalem who could trace his family origins back through .the Davidic line. After capturing Jerusalem, he founded the Templars. Even though there were three other Christian armies bound for Palestine, Godfroi seemed to know that he would be chosen to be the King ofJerusalem. He had, after all, sold everything before leaving, and made clear that his intention was to stay in Jerusalem for life. However, he refused the title of "King," and accepted only that of "Defender of the Holy Sepulchre." Baigent, Leigh and Lincoln put forward the idea that the aforementioned group of Calabrian monks, which disappeared without explanation from Orval, is the same group of non-militant advisers who are known to have accompanied Godfroi to Jerusalem. They also suggest that it was this very group of people who selected the King of Jerusalem.

The Order of Sion appears to have been based in the Abbey of Notre Dame du Mont de Sion from the public foundation of the Templars in 1118 until 115 2. The Templars were rec­ognized as a religious-military order in 1127 at Troyes by the court of the Count of Champagne and Hugues de Payen was selected as the Grand Master.

When Louis VII of France returned from the second crusade he brought back ninety-five members of the order. Seven of them entered the military force of the Knights Templar and the rest re-established their French connection in Orleans. The documents with which Louis VII established the order in France are still in existence.

The Abbey of Orval became a house for the Cistercian order in 1131 . This order had been seriously impoverished in the past, but their circumstances improved along with those of the Templars. Both acquired huge wealth and areas of land.

The name of the Ordre de Sion has appeared on documents from at least July 19, 1116. A further charter dated 1178 was found, bearing the seal of Pope Alexander III and con­firming the Order's land holdings not only in the Holy Land, but throughout continental Europe.

In 1956 the Copper Scroll from Qumran was deciphered at Manchester University. This revealed that the Ark of the Covenant and an enormous treasure of gold bullion had been buried under the Temple of Solomon. In 1 9 7 9, Pierre Plantard de Saint-Clair, -the last known Grand Master of the Priory of Sion, told. Baigent, Leigh and Lincoln that the Priory of Sion possessed the treasure from the Temple of Jerusalem, which had been plundered by the Romans dur­ing the revolt of 66 AD. The scene is depicted on the Arch of Titus in Rome. When the Visigoths later plundered Rome, the treasure was taken, perhaps to the south of France, near Rennes-le-Chateau. M. Plantard went on to say that the "treas­ure" would be returned to.Israel when the "time was right." He did not specify whether this is treasure in the traditional sense or a collection of documents, or -as Dan Brown sug­gests -a map to indicate the hiding place of the Holy Grail.

There is also a legend stating that the Cathar "heretics" were in possession of this treasure. The Cathars (or "Albigensians") were headquartered in the Languedoc area of what is now southern France, where Rennes-le-Chateau is situated. In 1209 they were subjected to a massacre, the scale of which amounted to ethnic cleansing at the hands of 3O, O O O soldiers. Languedoc was a center of great learning at the time -at the expense of Roman Catholicism. It was the Cathars' casual attitude to religion in general, and their lack of respect of Roman Catholicism in particular, that was more responsible than anything for the hatred they spawned within the ecclesiastical authorities. Among the many "transgressions" of which they were accused, it is thought that they practiced birth control and abortion. The treasure that was reputedly in their keeping was thought to tran­scend that of "mere" gold, and could have been either the Grail chalice itself or knowledge that would bring about unimaginable riches.

The Rise and Fall of the Knights Templar

The reason for the existence of the Templars was ostensibly to protect the roads to Jerusalem for the pilgrims journey­ing there. However, as Robert Langdon tells Sophie in The Da Vinci Code, their real mission was to investigate what was hid­den beneath the foundations of the Temple of Solomon, which not coincidentally, was the location of the Templars' living quarters in Jerusalem.

The Templars were the heroes of their time. The sons of noble families joined in droves. They became political advisers to monarchs at the highest level, and everyone wanted to bask in their reflected glory. They wallowed in generous donations and their influence grew enormously. They owned their own sea­ports and founded hospitals. Their fleet was the first to use a magnetic compass. Ironically, every member had to sign over all his possessions to the order and take a vow ofpoverty. They had to cut their hair, but were not allowed to cut their beards. They were not allowed to retreat in battle, and were obliged to fight to the death. Pope Innocent II issued a Papal Bull in 113 9 which stated that they were totally independent of any authority and were, effectively, a law unto themselves.

It was the Templars who founded the first international banking system. They built the most graceful and elegant Gothic cathedrals of Europe, such as Notre Dame in Paris, at this time. The word "Gothic," in fact, has no connection to the Goths, but derives from the Greek goetic which means "magical (action)." This reflects the sacred geometry that Templar stonemasons used to build these cathedrals.

By 1306, the Knights Templars' wealth had grown to such an extent that the King of France, Philippe IV (also known as Philippe the Fair), became decidedly nervous. He owed them a large amount of money and was painfully aware that their influence from every point of view was greater than his own. He was restricted from taxing the clergy through a Vatican edict. This did not put Philippe off however and he had the Pope, Boniface VIII, caught and murdered. The next pope, Benedict XI, fared no better -he died suspiciously soon afterwards. At last Philippe's favored candidate, Bertrand of Goth, became Pope Clement V Then Philippe went to work against the Knights Templar, leveling charges of heresy, to which they were particularly vulnerable. The Knights Templar refused to share the accepted Christian views of the Crucifixion and their business activities neces­sitated them mixing with Jews, Gnostics and Muslims, including a secret relationship with the notorious Muslim equivalent to the Templars -the Hashashin or Assassins. They were also said to worship a devil named Baphomet, the bearded male head that Langdon speaks of, which supposedly spoke to the Templars and gave them magical powers.

Philippe's plan was carried out on arguably the original "Friday the 13th": Friday, October 13; 13 0 7. Since then, Friday the 1 3th has always been considered to be a bad day in Western culture. Philippe had issued orders to his governors throughout France, which were opened by his seneschals at precisely the same time. All Templars were to be arrested, their preceptories taken over, and their goods confiscated. After imprisonment, interrogation and torture, they were burned at the stake. Witnesses testified that the Knights Templar were guilty of a variety of crimes, including necromancy, homosexuality, defil­ing the image of Christ and witchcraft. However, despite these extreme measures, Philippe did not achieve his objective of securing for himself the treasure of the Knights Templar.

Perhaps the attack was not such a surprise. Just before the massacre a new contingent of Knights Templar troops was sent from Rossillon in the Spanish province of Aragon to Rennes-le-Chateau in southern France, where they estab­lished a stronghold on the mountain called Bezu. Out of all the Knights Templar, it was only they who were not targeted.

This may be because Pope Clement V (a.k.a. "Bertrand de Goth") was the son of Ida de Blanchefort, from the same family as a former Templar Grand Master, Bertrand de Blanchefort. It seems more than likely that these family con­nections saved the skins of this Templar contingent on the day the arrests took place.

In all probability, the Grand Master of the Knights Templar at that time, Jacques de Molay, was also aware of what was coming, as he arranged for the treasure to be shipped out of France. It is said that most of the ships went to Scotland, but Philippe knew nothing of this. He continued his persecu­tion by trying to persuade other European monarchs to hunt down the Templars in their own countries. He arranged for Clement V to outlaw the Knights Templar in 1312 . Eventually Jacques de Molay was burned at the stake in 1 3 14. As a parting gesture, he prayed out loud through the torture of the flames that his persecutors, Pope Clement and Philippe, would join him in death within a year and explain their deeds to God's court. It seemed to work. Pope Clement died within a month and King Philippe died under mysterious circumstances within the year. Their deaths were possibly caused by poison, which the Templars were adept at using.

Edward II of England was in an awkward position. He was the son-in-law of Philippe, but he did not share Philippe's obsessive loathing of the Templars and had no desire to per­secute them. Against his better judgment he implemented the Inquisition and had a large number ofTemplars arrest­ed. However, they were given comparatively light sentences and were not subjected to the continued persecution that Philippe meted out to the Templars in France.

In Scotland, the Papal Bull was disdainfully ignored and the Templars flourished. Each Bruce and Stewart King from the time of Robert the Bruce has been a Knight Templar from birth, so there wasn't much chance of Philippe's orders being carried out there.

The Cutting of the Elm

The Order of the Temple (Knights Templar) and the Priory of Sion shared the same Grand Master and were two arms of the same organization until something called the "cutting of the elm," which took place at Gisors in 1188. This falling out between the two orders was supposedly caused by the so-called "treason" ·of Grand Master Gerard de Ridefort, which according to the Dossiers Secrets, resulted in Europe's loss of Jerusalem to the Saracens.

There is an historic record of the "cutting of the elm" at Gisors in 1188, although no source except for the "Priory Documents" connects this event to the Templars or to the Priory of Sion. It is one of those apparently silly, medieval tales which one suspects hides a greater and more solemn truth. There was, in fact..,an elm in the Champ Sacre -the sacred field which had been deemed as such for centuries. The tree was said to have been over eight hundred years old and so large that nine men could hardly link hands around its circumference. The field was used for meetings between the kings of England and France.

According to one account, matters reached boiling point on one occasion between Henry II of England and Philippe II of France. In an example, perhaps, of the eter­nal antipathy that exists between the English and the French, Henry II and his entourage took refuge from the Sun that was beating down on the field, leaving the French victims to the unremitting heat. Unable to bear it any more and possibly humiliated by the jibes of the English, the numerically superior French attacked the English, who retreated into the city of Gisors. In an act of belligerent defiance, Philippe II had the tree cut down and returned to Paris in a vile temper, saying that he would never again play the part of woodcutter.

Another account says that Philippe told Henry that he intended to cut down the tree. Henry was enraged by this and put hoops of iron around the tree trunk to reinforce it. The French attacked and Henry's son, Richard the Lionhearted, and his men protected the tree, but with great losses. The French won and the tree was cut down.

Both of these accounts are probably allegorical tales point­ing at something altogether different than what is apparent. However, it does seem that at this point in history the Order of Sion and the Knights Templar parted company. The Order was to continue its dedication to the Merovingian line and was known as the Priory of Sion from this time foreword, while the Knights Templar appear to have allied themselves with the Scottish royal bloodline, the House of Stuart, an offshoot of the Merovingian house. The Stuarts later, when exiled in France, became deeply involved in Freemasonry and founded what is known as the "Scottish Rite," which has more degrees than other Masonic organizations and promises knowledge of mysteries that are essentially Scottish.

There are records deposited in Orleans which suggest that members of the Priory of Sion misbehaved there, angering both the Pope and the King of France, Louis XIV, with vari­ous decadent practices. By 1619 the authorities lost patience and the Priory of Sion was forced to leave their premises at Saint-Samson in Orleans. It seems unlikely that this was of any great importance in the total history of the Priory of Sion. Rather, it suggests that Orleans by that time was an outpost of little consequence and the main thrust of the Priory's activities was being conducted elsewhere.

One thing that in turn annoyed the Priory of Sion about Louis XIV was his decision to give France a new national Meridian, as calculated by the astronomer Cassini, to pass through the Paris Observatory. Dan Brown mentions that the "Rose Line" (supposedly the original, ancient meridian) runs through l'Eglise de Saint-Sulpice. Le Serpent Rouge and other "Priory documents" maintain that this older meridi­an on the north-south axis ran through several hermetic churches in France, including Saint-Sulpice in Paris, the Lady of the Roses cathedral in Rodez, St. Vincent's in Carcasonne and the Church of St. Stephen's in Bourges. Significantly, it also ran through Rennes-le-Chateau, whose name itself comes from Rhedae, the name of one of the Celtic tribes that considered the Rose Line sacred. Louis XIV replaced romanticism and religious significance with a mun­dane line with the intention of facilitating commercial life. 2
2 It has been pointed out that the meridian line in Washington, D.C. was also moved when Greenwich in England became the International Meridian. Capital Street is Washington's present meridian line on the North-South axis. Until it was changed, the "zero meridian" line was on 16th Street, on which you will find a Scottish Rite Temple and other eso­teric churches and monuments.

The Nostradamus Connection

In the sixteenth century, the Lorraine and Guise families made repeated attempts to take over the French throne, which was at that time in the hands of the Valois family. Their efforts, as Holy Blood, Holy Grail hints, were coordinated by the Priory of Sion. Francois de Guise was on the point of achieving this in 1563 when he was assassinated. This did not deter them however, and by the end of the century the Valois family disappeared. The Guise family also suffered considerably from the feud and they were no longer able to realize their ambition.

One of those suspected of helping the Guise and Lorraine houses is Nostradamus. As he was astrologer to the French court, ideally positioned to advise the two families on mat­ters of state that concerned them, he could have acted as a spy on their behalf. It is also thought that many of Nostradamus' writings are not the prophecies that they are generally considered to be, but codes of various kinds revealing the secret plans of the Priory of Sion.

Some of Nostradamus' "prophecies" referred not to the future, but to the contemporary past and present and specifically to the Merovingians and the Knights Templar. According to Gerard de Sede, who wrote extensively on the Cathars, the Templars, the Merovingian dynasty, Sauniere and Rennes-le-Chateau, Nostradamus spent time in Lorraine. He is said to have been shown a mysterious book upon which he later based his writ­ings. This book was kept at the Abbey of Orval which, as we have seen, was the place where the Priory probably originated.

The same families have been consistently involved in the reli­gious disturbances of the sixteenth century, the French civil war known as the Fronde of the seventeenth century and the Masonic conspiracies of the eighteenth century They have also featured prominently in the history of the Priory of Sion. They owe their heritage to the Merovingian line, which passed through Dagobert II and his son Sigisbert II.

The Grand Masters of the Priory of Sion

The list of Grand Masters that Dan Brown provides in The Da Vinci Code appeared originally in the Dossiers Secrets. The list consists partly of those who one would expect to be involved in a clandestine organization. Many of them had connections with such places as Rennes-le-Chateau and Stenay and many were also connected in various ways to the influential Lorraine family.

On the other hand, there are individuals who are well­known in other contexts, but apparently incongruous in this one. One thing that they all had in common were their unorthodox religious beliefs. Baigent, Leigh, and Lincoln have concluded that the title of Grand Master of the Priory has been passed down through families of Merovingian descent, but if there is nobody available through these means for some reason, an outsider is invited to take over the position. This would explain how Leonardo da Vinci, Isaac Newton and Jean Cocteau were listed.

One curious "coincidence" concerns Cocteau. After the "cutting of the elm" in 1188, the first Grand Master of the Priory of Sion was Jean de Gisors. Since that time, every male Grand Master has adopted the name "Jean" and each of the four females who took on the role became "Jeanne." However Jean de Gisors was listed in the Priory documents not as "Jean I" but as "Jean II" bringing about speculation that Jean I was either John the Baptist, John the Evangelist (John the Beloved of the Fourth Gospel) or St. John the Divine, the author of The Book of Revelation. John the Baptist was the prophet who predicted the arrival of the Messiah, a royal figure who would defeat the Roman invaders. John the Baptist presented a great danger to Herod-Antipas of Galilee who had him executed later. Jesus Christ was, in fact, a disciple of John the Baptist. Christian scholars have always found it difficult to explain why Jesus Christ should appear subordinate ·to John the Baptist and some heretics throughout the years have even proclaimed that it was John,. not Jesus, who was the Christ. These peo­ple are known as "Johannites."

Jean Cocteau, according to the Dossiers Secrets, was Jean XXIII, as he was the twenty-third male to hold the position. When Pope Pius XII died in 195 9, Jean Cocteau was still the Grand Master. The new pope, Cardinal Angelo Giuseppe Rancalli, caused considerable consternation when he chose his papal name to be John XXIII. This was the same name taken by the infamous "antipope," who set himself up as a rival to the papacy in'the fifteenth century. It was inexplica­ble that the new pope would want to adopt this name.

In 1976, a collection of poems was published which were said to have been written by Pope John XXIII. It is not certain that they were really penned by him, but the introduction throws an interesting spanner in the works. It suggests that John XXIII was a member of the "Rose-Croix." As we have seen, the sub­title that the Priory of Sion adopted in 1188 was "Rose-Croix Veritas." Does this mean that Pope John XXIII was a member of the Priory of Sion? It certainly seems beyond coincidence that the election ofJohn XXIII of the Priory of Sion would coincide with that of a pope who chose, against everyone's wishes, to call himself John XXIII. It is impossible that the list was con­trived since it was deposited in the Bibliotheque Nationale in 1956 and the Pope was not in power until 1958.

Pope John XXIII went on to bring about the greatest changes to the Roman Catholic church that had ever been seen. He reversed the church's position on Freemasonry; for two hundred years previous, Catholics had been forbidden from joining. Now that sanction was lifted. In his apostolic letter of June 1960, he attached particular significance to "The Precious Blood of Jesus." He said that what had actu­ally redeemed man was Christ's suffering and the shedding of his blood. These two aspects of Jesus' story thereby extended to assume greater significance than either the Resurrection or the Crucifixion itself It has been said that it changes the whole basis that supports Christian belief In other words, it was not necessary for Jesus to die for the purpose of redeeming man's sins. This effectively rendered the Crucifixion and the Resurrection as irrelevant.

Some of the Alleged Grand Masters

Nicolas Flamel born circa 1330, probably in Pontoise, France, died circa 1418, Paris

Nicolas Flamel was the first Grand Master of the Priory not to have a family connection with the other Grand Masters. His name is perhaps familiar to aficionados of Harry Potter. It was Flamel who was said to have worked with the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Professor Albus Dumbledore, on alchemical matters such the changing of lead into gold. His posthu­mous fame comes from his life-time interest in the magi­cal arts and some people are certain that he never died! In Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone he was said to be about 665 years old. This would more or less make sense as he was actually born in 1330. He was a copyist of illuminat­ed texts and a bookseller in Paris. Flamel educated himself through the books that passed through his hands. It is said that one night, Flamel had a dream in which an angel appeared to him, showing him a book which seemed to consist of pages made of thin wood and a cover of well­-fashioned copper. He was unable to take the book from the angel as he awoke from the dream.

However, that was not the last of the matter and so began a phase of his life that would change everything for him.

Some time later a visitor came to his bookstall, desperately in need of money. He offered to sell him a book. Flamel was able to identify some of the characters on the copper cover as Greek and the pages seemed to be made from the wood of tree saplings instead of the more us.ual parchment. Flamel bought the book immediately recognizing its similarity to that he had seen in his dream. He could make out that the book had the rather snappy title of The Sacred Book of Abraham the Jew, Prince, Priest, Levite,Astrologer and Philosopher to that Tribe of Jews who by the Wrath of God were Dispersed amongst the Gauls.

At that time there were no Jews in France as they had all been driven out. Flamel realized that only a Jewish scholar would be able to help him translate the book so he copied out a few pages and set off for neighboring Spain in 1382. At first he had no luck as all the Jews that he met were suspicious of him. He was about to head back home to France when he happened to meet a converted Jew by the name of Maestro Canches who lived in Leon . Canches was initially suspicious of him too, until Flame! mentioned that the book was by Abraham the Jew who was well-known to him. He was able to translate the few pages that Flame! had brought with him, but was unable to return to France to translate the rest because of the persecution and the fact that he was too old to travel. However, as a result of the pages that Flamel could now understand, it is reported that he conducted the first successful alchemical transmutation at noon on January 17. Soon thereafter he became spectacularly wealthy and devoted much of this wealth to the foundation of charitable organizations such as hospitals and churches.

Rene d' Anjou born Jan. 16, 1409, Angers, France, died July 10, 1480, Aix-en-Provence

Rene d' Anjou was also known as "Good King Rene." Among his many titles, he was nominally King of Jerusalem. He lived a colorful life and although he was one of the first to codify the rules of chivalry, the "Good King's" sense of val­ues was at times at odds with what we would consider hon­orable behavior. He was taken prisoner at Bulgneville in 1431, and handed over to Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, but was released on parole in 1432, after giving his sons John and Louis as hostage.

He became Grand Master at the age of ten, which according to the Dossiers Secrets was not unusual. He was later admitted to several other orders including the Order of the Crescent, which for some reason displeased the Pope. Rene used the Cross of Lorraine as his own personal device which symbol­ized his royal house. The Cross was later used by the Free French Forces in World War II under Charles de Gaulle. It was also used by Godfroi de Bouillon and the Knights Templar.

Rene had a great influence on the advent of the Renaissance and one of his daughters married Henry VI of England. He also apparently had some kind of liaison with Joan of Arc whose mission was to save France from the English. Rene is said to have been with her when she went to the Dauphin's court at Chinon and was possibly by her side at the siege of Orleans. Her sudden success in achieving her aim of ensuring that the weak Dauphin would become King was, it seems, largely due to the influence of Iolande d'Anjou, the mother of Rene. Many feel that the sit­uation was manipulated and that there was a secret organization operating behind the scenes -the Priory, obviously.

Rene was a poet, and illustrated his own literature. He had a deep interest in esoteric and mystical matters. Although many paintings have been attributed to him, some of them may not actually be his. They bear his arms, but may have been done by court painters. He had a great influence on the Medici family of Florence who were responsible for many significant works of the Renaissance. The classics were translated at this time and Greek was taught at the University of Florence for the first time in centuries. The first public library in Europe, the San Marco Library, was founded in 1444 in Florence. Rene introduced the theme of Arcadia, the Greek pastoral paradise which signified for the Priory the "Golden Age" that they believed would occur once the Merovingians were returned to their thrones. The concept of an "underground stream" became something of a fixation to Rene, symbolizing the "subterranean" move­ment among occultists to hasten the coming of the new Arcadia. These ideas spread quickly throughout Europe via the art and literature of the time.

Sandro Filipepi born 1445,Florence (Italy),died May 17, 1510,Florence

Born in 1444, he is better known as the painter Botticelli, who was a great influence on Pre-Raphaelite painters of the nineteenth century. He is the second on the Priory of Sion list not to have a blood connection with the families whose genealogies are detailed in the Dossiers Secrets, but he was well­connected to some of these royal houses. Among his illustri­ous patrons were ·the Medicis. As testimony to his interest in the esoteric, the design of one of the first Tarot packs is ascribed to either him or his tutor, Mantegna. His paintings Primavera (Spring) and The Birth ofVenus are based on the dream­like concepts ofArcadia and the underground stream.

Robert Boyle born January 25, 1627, Lismore Castle, County Waterford,Ireland, died December 31, 1691, London, England

Robert Boyle was the youngest son of the Earl of Cork. He is best known for ms experiments with the air pump, which led to a law of physics being named after him. In his youth, he went to Florence where the Medicis were still influential in artistic and esoteric circles. He also stud­ied demonology in Geneva, where he spent twenty-one months of his life. He was one of the first to support the Stuarts when Charles II returned to the English throne. While living in London, one of his visitors was Cosimo III de Medici, who became the ruler of Florence. One of his closest friends was Isaac Newton, to whom he taught the principles of alchemy, which was a life-long interest of his. He wrote two treatises on this subject between 1675 and 1677: Incalescence of Quicksilver with Gold and An Historical Account of a Degradation of Gold.

Sir Isaac Newton born December 25, 1642 [January 4, 1643, New Style], Woolsthorpe, Lincolnshire, England, died March 20 [March 31], 1727, London

It is interesting that Dan Brown concentrates so much upon Sir Isaac Newton in The DaVinci Code. Best remembered in the twenty-first century as a mathematician and as the greatest influence on theoretical physics until Einstein, Newton was a Priory of Sion dark horse of the highest order. He was educated at Cambridge and elected to the Royal Society in 1672, becoming president in 1703. He formed a close rela­tionship with Nicolas Fatio de Duillier, who was a Genevan aristocrat leading a peripatetic life throughout Europe, and was possibly a spy against Louis XIV of France. Newton became Master of the Royal Mint in 1699, and in 1701 became the Member of Parliament for Cambridge University. He was also a close friend of Jean Desaguliers, who was responsible for the rapid spread of Freemasonry throughout Europe. Although he was perhaps not a Freemason himself, Newton was a member of an associa­tion known as "The Gentleman's Club of Spalding" of which Alexander Pope was also a member. Newton started what he considered to be his greatest work, The Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms Amended in 1689. He believed that much of the divine wisdom contained within Judaism had filtered down to Pythagoras. In addition to practicing alchemy through his association with Robert Boyle, he also studied sacred geometry and numerology.

Charles Nodier born April 29, 1780, Besoncon, Fronce, died Jon. 27, 1844, Paris

Nodier had neither noble blood nor contact with any of the families who figure in the Priory of Sion documents. He fell out of favor with the authorities in his youth after writing a satirical poem about Napoleon.3 ' Upon moving to Paris in 1824, he became one of the leading lights in Parisian liter­ary society, entertaining such fellow writers as Victor Hugo and Alfred de Musset, who were to become important in the Romantic movement. He was a prolific writer, known best these days for his short stories. His admission to the Academie Francaise in 1833 consolidated Romanticism as a respected style of literature.
3 There is evidence that Abbe Seiyes encouraged Napoleon to marry· Josephine Beauhamais because she was of Merovingian descendant.

Victor Hugo born Feb. 26, 1802, Besoncon, Fronce, died Moy 22, 1885, Paris

Victor Hugo was a poet, novelist, dramatist and the most important of the French Romantic writers. He is best known outside France for his novels Notre-Dome de Paris and Les Miserables. His father was in Napoleon's army, but had great sympathy with those who conspired against him. Victor Hugo knew Nodier from an early age and Nodier's knowl­edge of Gothic architecture inspired the setting for The Hunchback of Notre-Dome. Charles Nodier and Victor Hugo founded a literary salon at the Arsenal Library where Nodier worked, known as "the Cenacle." It is possible that the Cenacle was a cover for the Priory of Sion. It included Romantics, artists, surrealists and Symbolists and they adopted "Et in Arcadia Ego" as their properly elegiac and romantic motto. Hugo married in 1822 at l'Eglise de Saint-­Sulpice. He traveled for some years with Nodier and was pall-bearer at Nodier's funeral in 1845. Although deeply religious, Hugo had highly unorthodox views on the Catechism and was deeply attracted to Gnostic, Cabalistic and Hermetic philosophies. He respected Napoleon, but Hugo was a strong monarchist and in favor of the Bourbon line being reinstated. He saw this only as a temporary meas­ure however. He supported in particular the constitutional King, Louis-Philippe, who had risen to power in the July revolution of 1831. Louis-Philippe was married to the niece of Maximilian de Lorraine, a previous Priory of Sion Grand Master and member of the Habsburg-Lorraine line. Much of Victor Hugo's verse was overtly political, but he also want­ed to be the "sonorous echo" of the time and wrote of the social problems of his day.

Claude Debussy born Aug. 22 , 1862, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France, died Morch 25, 1918, Paris

Although he was from a poor background, Debussy rose to prominence quickly. During his youth he came under the patronage of a Russian millionairess, Nadezhda Filaretovna von Meck, who employed him to play duets with her and her ducks. He traveled extensively with her and met many influential people at that time. He was of a very secretive nature and it has therefore been difficult to establish how strong his connections were with the Priory of Sion fami­lies. The main musical influence in his life was Richard Wagner. He said of Wagner that he was "a wonderful sunset that had been mistaken for a dawn." His work was the musi­cal equivalent of Impressionist and Symbolist painting and writing. His best-known works include Clair de Lune and Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun. He set a number of Victor Hugo's works to music. Amongst those he got to know were Emile Hoffet, and through him, Berenger Sauniere, as well as the eminent singer Emma Calve, who possibly had a romantic relationship with Sauniere. Debussy was heavily involved in the occult scene of Paris. At the soirees of the symbolist poet, Stephane Mallarme, he also met Oscar Wilde, WB. Yeats, Paul Valery, Andre Gide and Marcel Proust.

Jean Cocteau born July 5, 1889, Maisons-Laffitte, near Paris, France, died Oct. 11, 1963, Milly-la-Foret, near Paris

Jean Cocteau was a French poet, librettist, novelist, actor, film director, and painter. He was known by the nickname ofThe Frivolous Poet for years after a poem he had written by the same name at the age of fifteen. He was later given the nickname "King of Poets" by his friend Apollinaire. It was Apollinaire who first used the expression "surreal" referring to Cocteau's work on the Ballet Russe. Cocteau had a justified reputation as a libertine, however the fact that he came from an affluent and influential family would have helped him to be selected as Grand Master. He was also good friends with Jean Hugo, the great-grandson of Victor Hugo and Claude Debussy, his predecessor as Grand Master of the Priory. His films Orpheus and Testament of Orpheus have strong Priory of Sion undertones and his murals in the churches of Notre Dame de France in London and the Chapel of St. Peter in Villefranche-sur-Mer also appear to contain Priory secrets. In fact, some of his works may have been made at the request of the Priory of Sion. He was a favorite with the French president General de Gaulle and de Gaulle's brother asked Cocteau to make a national address on the general state of France. Charles de Gaulle is suspected to have been a member of the Priory of Sion at some point.

Jean Cocteau was the Grand Master until his death in 1963. When Pierre Plantard de Saint-Claire spoke to Baigent, Leigh and Lincoln in 1979, he was Secretary-General. He apparently took up the office on January 17, 1981, and apparently stepped down in 1984. It is not known who was in office between Cocteau's death and Plantard's Grand Mastership, although Baigent, Leigh and Lincoln were told in 1979 that it had been an influential ecclesiastic named Abbe Francois Ducaud-Bourget, although he denied it.

The Present Situation

When the Priory of Sion was evicted from Orleans in 1619 it faded from history. The next time there is a record of the Priory of Sian's existence is in 1956 when it was listed in the French Journal Official, a weekly government publication in which all societies and organizations declare themselves. 4 However, the Priory of Sion claims to have been involved in various historical events in which it appeared to have an interest throughout the intervening period. It is certain that at least one organization, the Compagnie de Saint­Sacrement of seventeenth century France (discussed later on) operated in the background.
4 The Priory of Sion statutes published in I 9 5 6 state that the Priory of Sion had a total of 9,841 members divided into nine grades. It consisted of 729 provinces, 27 commanderies, and the top level of hierarchy was an Arch referred to as "Kyria." The Grand Master is known as the "Nautonnier."

Baigent, Leigh and Lincoln conducted a series of interviews with Pierre Plantard de Saint-Clair when researching their books. Many of these took place at a brasserie called La Tipia on the rue de Rome in Paris. Plantard's answers were enig­matic and sometimes misleading, as is typical of much Priory of Sion information. For instance, he told them that he had been imprisoned by the Gestapo from October 1943 until February 1944 for his involvement in the French Resistance, but no record has been found of this.

They were able to establish that he had run a magazine named Vaincre during the Second World War. It dealt not in French Resistance matters, but mythology and various eso­teric subjects and appeared to serve as the publication of an organization known as "Alpha Galates." The prime interest of Alpha Galates was chivalry and in structure it seemed to be identical to the Priory of Sion. Indeed, it probably was the Priory of Sion. Vaincre ostensibly supported the Vichy government of the time and included a hymn to Marshal Henri Phillippe Petain in its first edition. It has to be borne in mind, however, that all publications were subject to the scrutiny of the Nazi censorship machine and Plantard later claimed that the magazine was a secret Resistance journal containing messages and codes that only Resistance mem­bers could understand. As M. Plantard was a later associate of General Charles de Gaulle, who did not tolerate Nazi col­laborators, it is unlikely that his apparent support of the Vichy government was genuine.

One of the main objectives of Alpha Galates/ the Priory of Sion was the formation of a United States of Europe which would be a bulwark between the United States of America and the Soviet Union, as well as a separate entity of great power. Perhaps they have succeeded: Europe now has its own currency and to a large degree, its own federal govern­ment. The emblem for a United Europe that was suggested by the Priory of Sion as early as the 1940s was a circle of stars, which is what is now on the European Union flag.

In the United States the newly-formed CIA had the same idea. Millions of dollars were poured into Europe by the American government during the 1950s and 1960s to prevent the "spread of the reds" and to popularize the idea of a united Europe. The CIA and the Vatican have always had a strong relationship. CIA money was freely dispersed to bishops and monseigneurs, including Giovanni Montini, the future Pope Paul VI, to fund various cultural activities and enterprises towards these ends.

The Algerian Debacle

In 1957 France was in turmoil because of the war for inde­pendence in Algeria. To protect French interests in Algeria, the Comites de Salut Public (Committees of Public Safety) were formed. The person considered suitable to head these com­mittees was Charles de Gaulle and from that time on they worked to make de Gaulle president of France by any means possible. They received support from many influential sources, including Marshall Alphonse Juin, reputedly a member of the Priory of Sion. De Gaulle allowed the Algerian Committees to believe that he supported their cause.

In 1958, the newly elected French government said that the only way to get out of the crisis in Algeria was to grant Algeria independence. The Committees appealed to de Gaulle to take over the government but he remained detached from the situation.

The Committees for Public Safety then began to assert their position in France. The word on the street was that a mili­tary coup in France was imminent. The government then resigned and de Gaulle stepped into power. At this point there appears to have been a conflict of interest between the Committees in Algeria, who wanted Algeria to stay French and the Committees ill, France, who saw the installation of de Gaulle as muche important.

De Gaulle was in awkward position. He had achieved the Presidency by supporting the continued colonial status of Algeria and yet he was about to negotiate independence with the Algerian leaders. Because of this decision, for the rest of life he lived in fear of assassination at the hands of former Algerian committee members who considered de Gaulle's actions to be treacherous.

The main danger was, however, from the French Committees of Public Safety whose opposition could have caused much more trouble. The public relations operation to prevent this from happening was conducted by Pierre Plantard de Saint­Clair, who formed the Central Paris Committee with the intention of taking over the other Committees.

CIRCUIT

Later on, two series of a new magazine were published by the Priory of Sion. It was called CIRCUIT, which was the acronym for "Chevalerie d'Institutions et Regles Catholiques, d'Union Independante et Traditionaliste" ("Chivalry of Catholic Rules and Institutions of the Independent and Traditionalist Union"). It was the subtitle which the Priory of Sion identified itself as to the French police when it registered in 1956. The first series consisted of an array of esoteric material similar to that in Vaincre, as well as what appears to be information regarding a low-cost housing association. The later 1959 series of CIRCUIT, how­ever, lists its director as Pierre Plantard. It says that it is the magazine for an organization called the "Federation of French Forces." But no information on such organization has ever been found. Interestingly, however, the contact details given were those which Anne Lea Hisler -the first wife of M. Plantard -said were those of the Secretariat­General of the Committees of Public Safety in metropolitan France. It therefore appears that the Federation of French Forces was the administrative arm of a continuation of the Committees.

In addition to sharing many of the themes of Vaincre, there are also articles in CIRCUIT about vines, viticulture, and the wine trade which could clearly be a coded reference to a genealogy, as wine, in the Christian tradition, represents blood, and vines, a bloodline. As Jesus identified himself as the Vine, it is reasonable to suppose that this specific use of the symbol represents his progeny.

The "Truth" behind Pierre Plantard de Saint-Clair

Whether the Priory of Sion exists today after the resignation of Pierre Plantard de Saint-Clair as its Grand Master is a matter of speculation. He told Baigent, Leigh and Lincoln that he resigned in 1984 because of the intractable situation caused by an infiltrating "Anglo-American" contingent, which wanted to move the Priory's goals in another direction.Another reason for his resignation had to do with inflammatory information that was about to be published in a book called The Scandals of the Prieure de Sion, written by "Cornelius." Baigent, Leigh and Lincoln received a tract regarding this book, which purportedly detailed various shady financial transactions involving the Priory of Sion, a prominent Italian politician and bankers in the USA. Cardinal Jean Danielou, an erstwhile friend of Jean Cocteau who had probably met Pierre Plantard, was found dead in mysterious circumstances in 1974. "Cornelius" wrote that Danielou was involved financially with the Priory of Sion. He also suggested links between the Priory of Sion, the Italian Mafia, and a secret society known as "P2" (see Chapter Ten for more on P2) . He also says that two days after Plantard was elect ­ed Grand Master, a high-ranking member of the Priory had a meeting with Licio Gelli, the Grand Master of P2, at the previ­ously mentioned "La Tipia." However, although the tract writ­ten by "Cornelius" was widely distributed, none of the allega­tions were substantiated and could possibly be challenged successfully in a libel court.

Although Pierre Plantard maintained that he was descended from the Merovingian King Dagobert II, some think that Plantard's royal lineage was based upon a forgery. According to the BBC television program Timewatch, his name was simply inserted into a geneal_ogy that had been copied verbatim from a history magazine. Some say that he was descended from a six­teenth century wilimt farmer and that he only added the par­ticle "de Saint-Clair" to his name in 1964. There is also specu­lation that the revived Priory of Sion was purely of his own invention. Certainly since his resignation, nobody has laid claim to the organization. Dan Brown says that the Priory of Sion is still based in France, but some suspect that it has re­emerged in Barcelona.

It is difficult to see the truth through the all-pervading smoke­screen that has shrouded the Priory of Sion for centuries. But given its history to date, there is no reason to believe that it has packed its bags and gone away. It is more likely that it is play­ing a caretaker role behind the scenes and could rise again in any form at any time.

Chapter Three The Davidic and Merovingian Bloodlines

AFTER DETAILED AND LENGTHY RESEARCH, THE AUTHORS OF HOLY BLOOD, HOLY GRAIL (MICHAEL BAIGENT, RICHARD LEIGH AND HENRY LINCOLN) REACHED SOME FASCINATING CONCLUSIONS ABOUT THE CHRISTIAN FAITH AND WESTERN HISTORY IN PARTIC­ULAR. THEY DO NOT MAINTAIN THAT THESE CONCLU­SIONS ARE l 00% ACCURATE, BUT THE EVIDENCE THAT THEY MARSHAL IS COMPELLING.

The concept of the Holy Grail being the bloodline of Jesus Christ is one of the basic themes of The Da Vinci Code. Belief in it negates the purpose of the present-day Christian hierarchy and it would be a matter of no surprise that efforts would be made to suppress proof of its existence at any cost. If accepted, it destroys the fabric of the Church itself, challenging not only its doctrines, but its legitimacy as the minister of Christ's church. Monarchies and governments, past and present, legit­imized throughout history by representatives of the Christian denominations, would be rendered invalid.

Some of the Priory of Sion documents state that the Merovingian pedigree can be traced back to the Old Testament and ancient Troy. They are suspected of being from one Israelite tribe in particular -that which was head­ed by Benjamin. Their territory embraced what is now the area around Jerusalem before the city became the capital of David and Solomon.

However, the Benjamin tribe fell out with the other tribes of Israel who were then forbidden from giving their daughters to a Benjamite man in marriage, because of the Benjamites' support for the worshippers of the heathen god Belial. This god is often associated with the bull or calf, similar to the Golden Calf that the Benjamites are said in the Bible to have worshipped. The tribe recovered from this problem eventu­ally and went on to supply Israel with its first King, Saul.

Despite their restored position, . by this time it appears that many of the Benjamites had gone into exile, and some evi­dence shows that the place they chose to land was the cen ­tral area of Greece: Arcadia. From there they progressed into present-day Germany and intermarried with the Teuton tribes. Eventually these became the Sicambrian Franks, from whom the Merovingians descended. As discussed in Chapter Two, before Godfroi de Bouillon left on the First Crusade, he was so confident that he would be asked to become King ofJerusalem that he rid himself of all his property. This con­fidence would have arisen through his knowledge that his Merovingian ancestry would place him in a better position than anyone else for the title.

The Benjamites would no doubt have asked their sea-faring allies, the Phoenicians, for help in a~hieving their exile. In The Greek Myths, Robert Graves writes about the myth Belus and the Danaids: "This myth records the early arrival in Greece of the Helladic colonists from Palestine by way of Rhodes, and their introduction of agriculture into the Peloponnese." The cult of the Mother Goddess Ishtar (known in Phoenicia as Astarte), which originated in Sumeria, became the estab­lished cult of the Arcadian, and thrived for centuries.

Other evidence points to the similarities of the Spartans to the Merovingians. They both believed that their long hair gave them their strength upon reaching manhood, a trait also attributed to the Biblical character Samson. Also, it states in Maccabees 1 that: "It has been found in writing con­cerning the Spartans and the Jews that they are brethren and are of the family ofAbraham."

Trade routes throughout southern France and up the Rhone had been established by the Phoenicians. Semitic objects found in this area indicate the dynastic alliances that had arisen through the intermarrying of the Phoenician kings and those of Israel and Judah in the ninth century BC.

A Jewish colony was established in Rome between 106 and 48 BC and after the sack of Jerusalem in 70 AD, a large num­ber of Jews escaped to both Italy and France. Additionally, there were many Jewish slaves who had accompanied their masters throughout Europe and who were eventually freed to form their own communities.

The first time that the Magdalene appears in the New Testament with any real significance is when she is described as being the first person to see Christ after the Resurrection -one reason why she is revered as a saint in France and other places where churches are dedicated to her. One of the most persistent stories about the Holy Grail is that it was brought by the Magdalene to France where, according to fourth century legend, she landed at Marseilles. This is the French port city on the Mediterranean where the river Rhone, an established Phoenician trade route, reaches the sea.

The original Grail romance was written by Chretien de Troyes. He was associated with the court of the count of Champagne and his story was called Le Roman de Perceval or Le Conte del Graal. The tale was written in about 1 1 8 8, which was also the year, of course, that the Priory of Sion divided from the Order of the Temple, and the year that Jerusalem fell.

In Le Conte de! Graal, the main character, Perceval, described as the "Son of the Widow Lady," leaves his mother in search of fame and fortune. He meets a mysterious fisherman, the "Fisher King," who invites him to stay in his castle for the night. During the course of the evening, the golden Grail appears, studded with gems, carried by a damsel. Perceval does not realize that he is supposed to ask the Grail a ques­tion and the question that he is supposed to ask is "Whom does the Grail serve?" In fairness, he can be excused for there was no way of knowing that this is what was expected of him. However, when he wakes up in the morning, as a result of his omission, which had clearly been taken very seriously, he discovers that the castle is deserted and the sur­rounding land has been destroyed. He also discovers that the "Fisher King" is his own uncle. At this point, it is hard to believe that anyone could blame him for feeling disillu­sioned with just about everything and Perceval says that he can no longer continue loving or believing in God.

Chretien died before the poem was completed. Some say that he died mysteriously in a fire that broke out in Troyes that year, 1188. During the next few years the idea of the Grail spread quickly throughout Europe and became most closely associated with the legend of King Arthur. Until this time, however, it had not been associated with Jesus.

The Merovingians

The Merovingians ruled much of present-day France and Germany between the fifth and seventh centuries. The beginning of this time coincides with not only the Grail sto­ries, but with the era of King Arthur, who was so central to many of these tales. There was never any question that the Merovingians were the rightful rulers of the Franks. They were not "created" as kings. The sons who were entitled became kings automatically on their twelfth birthdays. Their role was not to govern -that was left to the "Mayors of the Palace." They were simply expected to exist as representa­tives of the role, holding similar power and status to a twen­ty-first century constitutional monarch. They were also allowed the delights of polygamy and sometimes took great advantage of this privilege.

The origin of the Merovingian family name comes from that of their progenitor, Merovee ( also styled "Merovech" or "Meroveus"). The name is reminiscent of both the French word for "mother" and the French and Latin words for "sea." The legend is that Merovee was born of two fathers ­the story that is told is no doubt allegorical and refers to the alliance of two dynasties through his birth. It was said that his mother was already pregnant by her husband when she went swimming in the sea. She was seduced by a sea crea­ture who impregnated her for a second time. When Merovee was born therefore, the blood of two sources, that of his Frankish father, the ruler, and that of a "sea animal" ran through his veins.

From that time on, the Merovingians had a reputation for the occult and the supernatural. They were looked upon as priest-kings, much as the Egyptian pharaohs were regarded. The healing powers they were said to have possessed extend­ed even to the tassels of their robes, which were believed to be of particular curative powers. As we shall see in Chapter Four, after the death of Berenger Sauniere a procession of people passed by his robed corpse, each removing a tassel from it. The Merovingian kings were said to have had a cer­tain birthmark that took the form ofa Templar type red cross, either over the heart or between the shoulder blades.

King Childeric I was the son of Merovee and the father of Merovingian King Clovis. When his tomb was found in the seventeenth century in the Ardennes region of Belgium, it contained such items of sorcery as a severed horse's head, a golden bull's head and a crystal ball.

One of the abiding symbols of the Merovingians was the bee. Hundreds of pure gold bees were found in King Childeric's tomb. The custom endured through the centuries. When Napoleon was crowned emperor in 1804, he made sure that golden bees were attached to his coronation robes. He was fas­cinated by the Merovingians and commissioned their genealo­gies to be compiled in order to find out whether the dynasty had survived after it had been deposed. These formed the basis of the genealogies found in the Priory of Sion documents.

The Merovingians claimed two different origins: from Noah, and from Troy. The latter would explain place names in France such as Troyes and Paris. Also, according to Homer, there were a number of Arcadians at Troy. The bear was considered to be sacred in Arcadia and the forbears of the Merovingians, Sicambrian Franks, also held the bear in great esteem. Another possible connection is that the Welsh word for "bear" is "arth" which may explain the origin of King Arthur's name.

By the time the Sicambrians had moved into present day France to escape the invasion of the Huns, they had already established themselves as a sophisticated society which had developed along Roman lines. Therefore the Merovingians, who inherited their culture, could be perceived to follow the Roman imperial modal. The culture of the Franks thrived and prospered under the Merovingian dynasty from this point onwards. The Merovingians accumulated enor­mous wealth during this period, and the equal-armed cross that their coins bore was exactly the same as that used dur­ing the Crusades for the Frankish Kingdom of Jerusalem.

Clovis I is perhaps the most famous of the Merovingian monarchs, as it was he who introduced Roman Christianity into France. His Catholic wife had given him more than a little encouragement to go in this direction, but it is likely that there was another reason for his being won over to the idea.

Christianity at this time took many different forms. The Roman Church was in constant conflict with the Celtic Church. In 496 AD, Clovis had a number of secret meetings with Saint Remy. This led to a deal being struck between Clovis and the Roman Church in which Clovis would act as the strong arm of the Church. In return for this, he was to rule over what had been Constantine's Holy Roman Empire, which the Visigoths and Vandals had destroyed.

It was of enormous importance to the Roman Church that this should work as it would mean a new Roman and Christian Empire, administered by the secular Merovingian dynasty. And so Clovis was baptized by Saint Remy at Rheims in France. In this way, the Roman Church was mak­ing a pact not only with Clovis, but with all ofhis descendants.

Clovis carried out his side of the bargain enthusiastically. He increased the size of his empire to embrace much of what is now France and Germany. He was particularly keen to defeat the Visigoths and eventually did so at the Battle of Vouille. The Visigoths were turned further and further back and they finally established themselves in the Razes area, at Rhedae -the present village of Rennes-le-Chateau.

After Clovis' death, his realm was divided, according to the tradition at the time, amongst his four sons. This led to a breakdown of the cohesion that had previously existed, and gave the Mayors of the Palace the perfect opportunity to gain more power. However, they had Dagobert II to contend with.

Dagobert was born in 651 and when Clovis, his father, died in 656, all efforts were made to prevent him from inheriting Austrasia, the north-eastern realm of Clovis. The leading Mayor of the Palace of the time, Grimoald, kidnapped Dagobert as soon as his father died and managed to persuade the court first that Dagobert was dead, and second that Clovis had wanted Grimoald's son to inherit the throne. So convincing was he that even Dagobert's mother believed him.

However, Grimoald had been unable to bring himself to murder Dagobert and had taken him to the Bishop of Poitiers, who had the child King exiled to Ireland. Here he grew up and was educated at the monastery of Slane near Dublin. He married a Celtic princess, Mathilde, and moved to York in northern England, where he got to know Saint Wilfred, the Bishop of York. At this time, the Merovingian alliance with the Roman Church was not as strong as it had been at the time of Clovis.

Wilfred was very keen to bring the Celtic and Roman churches together, which both sides had agreed upon at the Council of Whitby in 664. However, it seems that Wilfred also recognized the valuable potential of Dagobert -the rightful King ofAustrasia -returning to France and reclaim­ing the land as the militant representative of the Church.

Dagobert's wife died in 670 and Wilfred was swift to ensure that Dagobert's next wife was chosen with care. She was Giselle de Razes, the daughter of the Count of Razes-and the niece of the King of the Visigoths. This alliance between the Merovingians and the Visigoths would not only have brought much of France under the same rule, it would have empowered Rome over the Visigoths.

They married at the church of St. Magdeleine in Rennes-le­Chateau. Having had four daughters through his two mar­riages, Dagobert now became the father to a son in 676 -Sigisbert IV.

After living three years at Rennes-le-Chateau, Dagobert was proclaimed the King of Austrasia. He quickly set about re­establishing order throughout his new kingdom and in so doing greatly increased his wealth.
He did not, however, live up to Wilfred's expectations, angering the Roman Church by attempting to limit its influ­ence in his realm. Through his marriage into the Visigoth dynasty, he also acquired much of what is now the Languedoc region in southern France. The Visigoths had never felt allegiance to Rome. They _preferred the heretical "Arian" form of Christianity which insisted that Christ was an ordinary human being who had been born as all other men and Dagobert seemed to be following their example.

Therefore, inevitably, with his new-found wealth and lands, he developed enemies. He also caused the resentment of the rulers of neighboring Frankish lands, some of whom had connections in Dagobert's court that could be dangerous to him. One of these was his Mayor to the Palace, the treach­erous Pepin the Fat.

The larger of Dagobert's two palaces was at Stenay in the Ardennes. Nearby was the Forest ofWoevres, where, as we learned in Chapter Two, Dagobert went hunting on December 23, 679. It was while he was sleeping under a tree that his godson supposedly crept up to him, and under Pepin's orders, lanced him in the eye, killing him. The mur­dering band then returned to Stenay where, it was believed, they slaughtered the rest of Dagobert's family. The Roman Church wasted no time in commending the action. However, perhaps through guilt, they canonized Dagobert in 872, when his remains were moved to the graveyard of a church which was renamed "the Church of Saint Dagobert." They 'even gave him his own feast day, on December 23rd. This day also happened to be sacred to the Benjamite tribe. The Roman Catholic Church has always been unable or unwilling to explain why he was canonized.

From the day of his burial in the Church of Saint Dagobert, his grave has been a destination of pilgrimage for various significant historical figures including the Duke ofLorraine, the grandfather of Godfroi de Bouillon. The church was destroyed during the French Revolution and most of the relics of Saint Dagobert disappeared. Today only what is believed to be his skull remains, and it is held at a convent at Mons. Curiously some years later, a poem entitled "de Sancta Dagoberto martyre prose" appeared. Its message was that Dagobert had been martyred for some reason and it was found at the Abbey of Orval.

Dagobert's assassination effectively marked the end of the Merovingian era. After the death of Dagobert, the Merovingian dynasty fell into decline, although they man­aged to hang onto much of their status for nearly a hundred more years. However, many of the monarchs were too young to b·e effective, and were unable to defend themselves against the relentless ambitions of the Mayors of the Palace. Childeric III died childless in 754 and that was the clearest sign that the dynasty's flame had expired.

Pepin the Fat, who ordered the assassination of Dagobert, had his son Charles Martel placed in a position of leader­ship. Despite his excellent military reputation, and the fact that the opportunity was there for him, he seems to have avoided claiming the throne, perhaps through respect for the rights of the Merovingians. After Charles Martel died in 741 , his son, Pepin III who was Mayor of the Palace to King Childeric III, went to the Pope with a delegation and asked the question, "Who should be King? The man who actually holds the power, or he, though called King, has no power at all." The Pope agreed that Pepin should be made King and thus broke the agreement that had been established with Clovis. Childeric was sent to a monastery, where he died four years later and Pepin was established firmly on the throne of the Franks.

Pepin Ill's coronation in 754 was conducted according to new rules which ensured kings would be created instead of simply acknowledged. This was done in accordance with the fraudulent document called the Donation of Constantine, which is discussed fully in Chapter Five on Constantine the Great. The Carolingian dynasty started at this point, named after Charles Martel, although it is more closely associated with his descendant Charlemagne, who in 800 was pro­claimed Holy Roman Emperor -a title that had previously belonged solely to the Merovingian kings.

Just before Pepin III was crowned, he married a Merovingian princess, presumably to legitimize himself in his own eyes, propelling the Merovingian genes once again in their rightful direction. Charlemagne married similarly. In fact his misgivings even seemed to affect his coronation. He seemed determined to give the impression that he was bashful about becoming Holy Roman Emperor. The ceremo­ny had been fixed so that it appeared that the Pope was crowning him without Charlemagne's prior knowledge. Charlemagne accepted the crown expressing the mock shock that film stars show when being awarded an Oscar. To add credence to the performance he insisted that he would never have entered the Roman cathedral if he had known that was going to happen.

The betrayal of Clovis by the assassination of Dagobert II has been the greatest source of anguish for the Priory of Sion and the Merovingian descendants. However, there seems to have been an attempt to mitigate the insult. Thus the Carolingian royal family (the family of Emperor Charlemagne) married Merovingian princesses in order to legitimize themselves. Dagobert's son, Sigisbert, was the ancestor of Guillem de Gellone, ruler of the Jewish king­dom of Septimania in southern France and later of Godfroi de Bouillon, who captured Jerusalem during the Crusades. Thereby the bloodline of Jesus Christ, the Davidic line, was restored back to the throne that had been rightfully its own since the time of the Old Testament.

The Conclusion

There ·can be little reasonable doubt that Jesus was actually married. As we see will in Chapter Eight on the marriage of Jesus Christ, the heir to the Davidic line was required by law to marry. Not only that -they were required to sire at least
two sons ( an "heir and a spare," as they say about the British royal family.) Such present-day lifestyle choices as live-in partners or single-sex relationships simply did not exist in first century Judea. Marriage for those of the Davidic line was ritualized to the extent of making redundant any necessity for romanticism. The necessity of continuing the survival of the line in such a rural and, at the same time, persecuted communi­ty was paramount to all. Jesus and his wife, Mary Magdalene, after fleeing from the Holy Land, had several ducks who were brought up in a Jewish community in southern France. Jesus had been known as a "fisher" from the time that he was admitted into the priesthood in the Order of Melchizedek, as described in Hebrews 5. In this way the House ofJudah became a dynasty of Priest-Kings who were referred to in the Grail mythology as the "Fisher Kings." The line of descent from these. Fisher Kings became the French House de! Acqs. The name "Acqs" comes from aquae meaning "waters" and the fam­ily was a major influence in the French area of Aquitaine. The Merovingian dynasty came from this line and were the Counts ofToulouse and Narbonne and the Princes of Septimania Midi in what is now south-west France. In the fifth century, it seems that the descendants of these ducks married into the royal line of the Franks, bringing about the Merovingian dynasty.

As we have seen before in this chapter, the Roman Catholic Church made a pact with Clovis, one of the Merovingian kings, in 496 AD, in which it pledged itself for all time to the Merovingian bloodline. This was presumably because they recognized the true identity of the Merovingian blood­line. Clovis was offered the title of Holy Roman Emperor (or "New Constantine," as the title was then phrased), and there­fore did not become King, although of course, by Merovingian succession traditions, he was recognized as such.

It seems conclusive that the Church played a part in the assassination of Dagobert II and was never able to forgive itself for this. This resulted in the betrayal of the Merovingians and it was vital to the Church that this knowl­edge was not widely known, as it would have played straight into the hands of Rome's enemies. Rome was, how­ever, unable to suppress the truth completely and one of the ways in which the truth of the matter was revealed was alle­gorically, through such literature as the romances of the Holy Grail.

Thus the Holy Grail had two simultaneous identities. The first was that of the "Sang Real": the "Real" or "Royal" blood of which the Knights Templar were guardians. Second, it would have been the vessel or receptacle of]esus' blood (or rather semen) -that is, the womb of Mary Magdalene. Thus many of the churches that are supposedly dedicated to the "Virgin" Mary in the form of "Black Virgins" or "Black Madonnas" were in fact been dedicated to the Magdalene.

The Holy Grail may also have been, literally speaking, the treasure that had been taken in 70 AD when the emperor Titus plundered the Temple of Jerusalem. This vast wealth eventual­ly found its way to the Pyrenees mountain range, and is today reputed to be in the hands of the Priory of Sion. As well as this treasure, the Temple of Solomon is likely to have contained birth certificates, marriage certificates and other documents relating to the royal line of Israel. It would no doubt also give evidence of Jesus Christ's claim to be King of the Jews.

There is no evidence that Titus or his soldiers found such documentation. Logic, however, would lead us to believe that the soldiers would have been happy to carry away the copious amounts of gold and jewels that were available, thus leaving the way clear for the more sensitive documentation to be hidden away.

The descendants of Jesus Christ had reached positions of influence and importance by 1100 in Europe and also, through Godfroi de Bouillon, in Palestine. Even though they may have been well aware of their ancestry, they may not have b~en able to prove it without the documentary or other proof that remained at the Temple of Solomon.5 This would explain the excavations that the Knights Templar made around the area of the Temple at that time. On the basis of the evidence that Leigh, Baigent, and Lincoln found, it appears that not only were the Knights Templar sent to Jerusalem to find something, but that they did, in fact, suc­ceed, and returned with it to England. It is unclear what happened to it then, but it is known that the fourth Grand Master of the Order of the Temple, Bertrand de Blanchefort, concealed something near Rennes-le-Chateau and German miners were brought to construct a hiding place. There is speculation over what this "something" may have been, ranging from Jesus' marriage certificate and/or birth certifi­cates of his ducks to his mummified body. Any of these may have been passed to the heretical Cathar sect in the area ofLanguedoc near Rennes-le-Chateau, who were massacred mercilessly by 30,000 of the Pope's soldiers in 1209. Treasure was hidden at the Cathar stronghold of Montsegur, which was under siege for ten months until March 1244.

5 There was a royal tradition that the bloodline of both Godfroi and Baudouin de Bouillon was "founded upon the Rock of Sion" and equal in status to the foremost of European dynasties. Both the New Testament and later Freemasonry maintain that the "Rock of Sion" was in fact Jesus.

Once the Merovingians re-established themselves in Jerusalem, they could better afford to make the facts known. This explains why the Grail romances, which were associat­ed so closely with the Knights Templar, started appearing at this time. Eventually no doubt the full truth of the Merovingian kings would have come out and they would have ruled extensively over Europe, replacing the Pope and making Jerusalem the capital of the Christian world. If Jesus had been accepted as a mortal prophet, a priest-King and the descendant of the Davidic line by Christians, he may also have been accepted by the Muslims and Jews. That would obviously have changed Middle East history drastically.

However, this was not the course of history and the Frankish kingdom of Jerusalem did not succeed. With the loss of the Holy Land in 1291 to the Muslims, the Merovingians were sidelined and the Knights Templar rendered redundant. Since that time, the Roman Catholic Church has continued to strengthen at the expense of the truth.

The Australian "Royal Family"

On January 3, 2004, Britain's Channel 4 TV showed a docu­mentary, Britain's Real Monarch, in which Tony Robinson, per­haps best known for playing "Baldrick" in the BBC TV series Blackadder, presented evidence that had been discovered by the historian Michael K. Jones regarding the ancestors of the pres­ent British royal family.

On the death of Edward IV, his young son, also called Edward, reigned briefly but was never crowned. He and his brother Richard, Duke of York, were taken to the Tower of London, where their uncle Richard, who was to become Richard III, acted as their Lord Protector. It was then pronounced, on dubious grounds, that the young princes were illegitimate. Shortly afterwards, they disap­peared and were never seen again. The accusing finger of history has pointed at Richard III ever since, although there is no conclusive proof of his involvement. However, he is alleged to have had his two young nephews smoth­ered to death and in 1674 two skeletons of boys were found in the Tower and believed to be those of the young princes. The depiction of Richard III as a hunchbacked and evil man is largely the responsibility of Shakespeare and is thought to have originated as Tudor propaganda. For cen­turies the English King Richard III has been the subject of controversy. Some claim that as he was the last Plantagenet King, he was the last "Grail King" of England. This could explain the propaganda in Tudor times, as both Henry VIII and his daughter Elizabeth I were painfully aware of their comparatively humble ancestry.

The true story, according to Tony Robinson, is quite different. He maintains that Edward IV himself was illegitimate and therefore the crown should have gone to his brother George, Duke of Clarence. The implications for both British and American history are enormous.

The mother of Edward IV was Cecily Neville. She was called "Proud Cis" because of her legendary feisty temper. Dominic Mancici, who was visiting London in 1483, reported that Cecily "fell into a frenzy," making the incredible, self-depre­cating accusation that Edward IV was illegitimate and that she would be prepared to swear to that effect before a public enquiry. It was an extraordinary thing for a mother to admit to. There had been a rumor that she had had an affair with an English archer named Blaybourne, who may have been the real father. Edward IV was tall and bore no physical resem­blance to either his siblings or his ancestors. He looked, in fact, like a well-built archer. Blaybourne was based in the gar­rison at Rouen in Normandy, France, which is where Cecily and her husband, Richard, the Duke ofYork, lived. According to conclusive evidence in the archbishopric records at the cathedral of Rouen, Cecily's husband, Richard, was away fighting at Pontoise in another part of France during the five weeks period in which the future Edward IV would have been conceived.

The future Edward IV therefore appears to have been the result of the relationship that Cecily had with Blaybourne. However the matter was never taken very seriously and historians have said that the incident arose because of two reasons. First, Cecily wanted to blacken Edward's name because she hated his wife, Elizabeth Woodville. Second it is said that she was bullied into the admission by her other son, also called Richard, to enhance his chances of becoming King Richard III.

Edward was born in Rouen on April 28, 1442, and although he was the eldest son, he was not legitimate, and therefore not entitled to inherit the throne. Edward IV had his younger brother George, Duke of Clarence, tried for treason and he is thought to have met his end by drowning in a vat of malmsey wine in order to avoid the shame of execution. This means that Richard was the only true heir and succes­sor to the throne immediately following his brother George's death and it helped clear the way for Richard to come to the throne. His cause was therefore a source of inspiration to his soldiers on the field of battle.

The descendants of George, Duke of Clarence were treated despicably. His daughter, Margaret Pole, who should have been Margaret I of England, was beheaded at the age of 68 during the reign of Henry VIII in 1541, based on trumped­ up treason charges. Other members of her family were left to waste away in the Tower of London. Her last words were: "Blessed are they who suffer persecution for justice's sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." At the time, the regu­lar executioner was unavailable. His unskilled deputy was unable to perform the execution properly and cleanly, and so just chopped away at her neck until she was dead.

Despite this unseemly death, her bloodline has continued in a direct line from this point on. Non-regal names such as Edith, Barbara and Ian abound in their family tree and the present "King" of England is, in fact, Michael Hastings, a portly Australian man who voted against the continued British constitutional monarchy in Australia, and for a repub­
lic. He was neither fazed nor excited upon Tony Robinson telling him of his illustrious title. He left England in 1960 for Australia at the age of seventeen and joined a stocking station agency that traded in livestock and property. He has lived in Jerilderie, New South Wales, which has a population of 1100, since 1966. These days he works at the Australian Rice Research Institute. He and his wife Noelene have five ducks and five grandducks -all, like their father, staunch repub­licans. Michael's eldest son, Simon, is his heir.

We have to consider and accept the fact that monarchy can exist only as a bloodline in modern times. Otherwise it has no significance whatsoever and certainly no connection with what we understand to be democracy. As if the damag­ing legacy of the Donation of Constantine were not enough to contemplate, the illegitimacy of Edward IV means that none of the monarchs of Britain have reigned legitimately!
For example, George III, who was the monarch of Britain at the time of the American War of Independence, was in no position to lose the war in his name. However, since previ­ous monarchs had been unable to hold the colony in their name for the same reasons, perhaps the argument is merely academic.

In turn this means that none of the laws that British monarchs have rubber-stamped or endorsed have any legal meaning. The monarchy has a rough ride in the British press at times but nobody has seriously suggested before that their presence is not valid from the point of view of their bloodline! They should perhaps be grateful that the "legal" occupiers of the British throne are, ironically, so anti-monarchist that their position is likely to remain unthreatened.
It would be interesting, perhaps, to see what Dan Brown would make of this story.

Chapter Four The Real Sauniere and Rennes-le-Chateau

LATE NINETEENTH CENTURY SOUTHERN FRANCE WAS NOT A PLACE TO MAKE A LOT OF MONEY. NOR WAS IT A PLACE OF GREAT EXCITEMENT. YET IT WAS TO BECOME THE CENTER OF SUCH MYSTERIOUS ACTIVITY AND BAFFLING SUDDEN WEALTH THAT HISTORIANS ARE STILL PUZZLING OVER IT. THE CHIEF PROTAGONIST OF THE EVENTS THAT UNFOLDED THERE WAS BERENGER SAUNlERE AND THIS IS A NAME THAT WILL RESONATE LOUD AND CLEAR WITH READERS OF THE
DA VINCI CODE.

Dan Brown names the curate of the Louvre who is found murdered at the beginning of the novel, "Jacques Sauniere." No mention is made in the book of any family connection between Jacques and Berenger Sauniere. It is unlikely that Berenger had a son -at least one that bore his name -as he was the Catholic parish priest of Rennes-le-Chateau and therefore forbidden to marry.

Rennes-le-Chateau is a village situated on a mountain peak 25 miles from Carcassonne in southern France. After Dagobert II was assassinated on December 23rd, 679, his son, Sigisbert IV; took refuge at Rennes-le-Chateau where his mother, Giselle de Razes, came from. A few miles away is the imposing mountain Bezu, on which stand the ruins of a former center of the Knights Templar. About a mile east from Rennes-le-Chateau lie the ruins of the castle of the Blanchefort family and the home of Bertrand de Blanchefort, the fourth grandmaster of the Knights Templar. The Knights Templar are the so-called "Warrior Monks" who were proclaimed by Pope Innocent II in a Papal Bull in 1139 to owe allegiance only to the Pope and therefore under no obligation to kings and princes. Effectively they constituted an autonomous international empire.

The Discovery
Berenger Sauniere, the priest of Rennes-le-Chateau, decided to partly renovate the crumbling village church in 1891. It had been consecrated to Mary Magdalene in 1059 and was built on the site of a Visigoth church that dated back to the sixth century.

When the altar stone was removed, Sauniere found that one ofits supporting pillars was hollow. Inside this column were four parchments kept in two sealed wooden tubes. Two of them appeared to be genealogies. One dated from 1244 and the other from 1644.

The latter two had been written in Latin by one of Sauniere's predecessors, Abbe Antoin Bigou, who had been personal priest to the Blanchefort family -important landowners in the area. These parchments dated from the 1780s, and seemed to be written excerpts from the New Testament in Latin. However, in one of the parchments the words were written without spaces, with extra -and at first sight unnecessary -letters added.

In the second parchment some letters were raised above the others. The following decipherment has appeared in French documents written about Rennes-le-Chateau; the book Holy Blood, Holy Grail by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln; and the BBC films that Henry Lincoln made about the subject:

BERGERE PAS DE TENTATION QUE POUSSIN TENIERS GARDENT LA CLEF PAX DCLXXXI PAR LA CROIX ET CE CHEVAL DE DIEU J'ACHEVE CE DAEMON DE GARDIEN A MIDI POMMES BLEUES.

which translates as:

SHEPHERDESS, NO TEMPTATION THAT POUSSIN, TENIERS, HOLD THE KEY; PEACE 681, BY THE CROSS AND THIS HORSE OF GOD I COMPLETE (OR DESTROY) THIS DAE­MON OF THE GUARDIAN AT NOON, BLUE APPLES.

Rather more obvious in the second parchment is the following, spelled out in raised letters:

A DAGO BERT II ROI ET A SION EST CE TRESOR ET IL EST LA MORT.

which translates as:

TO DAGOBERT II, KING, AND TO SION BELONGS THIS TREASURE AND HE IS THERE DEAD.

Sauniere was at a loss to understand the parchments, but thought that he could have happened upon something important and therefore took them to the Bishop of Carcassonne. Life was not to be the same for him from that point on. Some speculation suggests that he had been directed to the documents by the Priory of Sion, who enlist­ed him to act on their behalf.

He was immediately ordered to go to Paris, at the Bishop's expense, where he was told to meet various important authorities of the Catholic Church. He spent three weeks there showing the parchments to Abbe Bieil, the Director General of Saint-Sulpice and his nephew, Emile Hoffet. Hoffet was in his twenties, training for the priesthood and a well-respected scholar of linguistics, cryptography and paleography. He was also involved in occult groups which included . the writers Stephane Mallarme and Maurice Maeterlink, as well as the composer Claude Debussy. The famous opera singer, Emma Calve, also mixed in these cir­cles and is reputed to have had an affair with Sauniere, or at least a very close friendship with him. In Rennes-le-Chateau there was once an inscription that read "E. Calve" on a rock near the "Lover's Fountain," along with a heart with an arrow running through it.

While in Paris, Sauniere bought reproductions of three paintings from the Louvre. One was Les Bergers d' Arcadie -The Shepherds of Arcadia by Nicolas Poussin, one of the painters mentioned in the coded parchments. The other two repro­ductions were a painting by David Terriers, the other painter mentioned in the parchments, and a portrait of Pope St. Celestin V (Petro de Morrone) who had reigned in 1294.

When Sauniere returned to Rennes-le-Chateau, he contin­ued renovations on the church, discovering a burial cham­ber in the church that, it is said, contained skeletons. He also turned his attention to the sepulchre of Marie, Marquise d'Hautpol de Blanchefort. This had been designed by Abbe Antoin Bigou and the rearranged letters on the inscription formed an anagram of the code above referring to Poussin and Terriers. Sauniere, for no explained reason, obliterated the inscription, but did not realize that it had been copied elsewhere. He thereafter developed the habit of wandering around the countryside with his housekeeper, Marie Denarnaud, collecting stones and rocks. He was also in cor­respondence with various unknown people all over the world and spent a large amount of money on postage.

Needless to say, this was abnormal behavior for a humble priest in the French countryside. He was extravagant in many other ways too. Nowadays there is a well-paved road leading up the mountain to the village, but in those days a simple dirt track would have been sufficient for the vil­lagers' needs. Sauniere, however, paid for a road to be built leading to the village. He also paid for a tower -the Tower of Magdaia -to be built on the very edge of the mountain. One of the windows in the Tower is long and slender and the bricks around it form a Cross of Lorraine.

A new mansion was built -Villa Bethania -which Sauniere never occupied. Lazarus and his sister Mary (who some believe to be synonymous with the Magdalene) came from Bethany and this was also the name that the Priory of Sion had given its "arch" at Rennes-le-Chateau.

Sauniere's most significant changes took place in the church itself, which was decorated in an opulently bizarre way. Over the porch entrance was placed the inscription: "TERRIBILIS EST LOCUS ISTE," which translates as: "THIS PLACE IS TERRIBLE." Tracy Twyman explains in Dagobert's Revenge magazine that:

. .. this is a quote from Genesis, in which Jacob foils asleep on a stone and has a vision of a ladder leading up to heaven, with angels ascending and descending upon it. This, of course, is the same Stone of Destiny brought to Scotland by Joseph of Arimathea, and became the stone upon which British monarchy are crowned, even today. What's noteworthy is that beneath the words "This Place is Terrible" is etched the rest of Jacob's statement in Genesis:" ...This is none but the House of God and the Gateway to Heaven," making it not a curse, but a comment upon the dual nature of divinity.

Immediately inside the entrance to the church, Sauniere placed a statue of the demon Asmodeus. This is hardly what you would expect to welcome you when you enter a church. Traditionally, he is in charge of secrets, guardian of hidden treasure and according to Judaic tradition, the builder of the Temple of Solomon. He was known as "the Destroyer" as well as "Rex Mundi," a Cathar term meaning "Lord of the Earth."

Inside the church, brightly painted Stations of the Cross were placed on the walls and in some there are inconsisten­cies. For example, Station XIV depicts Jesus' body being car­ried at night under a full moon in the vicinity of a tomb. It could mean that his body was being carried to the tomb at night, several hours after the Bible would have us believe. It could, however, mean that the body is being carried out of the tomb instead, perhaps because Christ was actually alive.

Elsewhere in the church, two statues of Christ can be found just a few feet apart from each other, one slightly above the other. They are not identical. Both are pointing upwards, and the upper one appears to be pointing up towards a cupola on the wall above him, at the top of which is the rosy cross. The lower one holds the Papal authority in his hand and is surrounded by disciples. The upper Christ is pointing downwards, directly at the lower one. Perhaps this suggests an alternate Christian tradition above that of ortho­dox Christianity.

On either side of the altar are statues of Mary and Joseph, who are each shown carrying a Christ child. Could one of the ducks be the disciple of Christ, Thomas Didymus, who is thought to be Christ's twin? The words "Thomas" and "Didymus" both mean "twin."

Along the wall there are statues of five saints whose initials spell out G.R.A.A.L. (as in Holy Grail) -St. Germain, St. Roch, St. Anthony de Padoue, St. Anthony the Hermit and St. Luke are all placed in the shape of an "M." This "M" has been supposed to stand for "Magdalene," the patron saint of the church and matriarch of the Grail family whose legend is so important to the Priory of Sion.

The predominant motif throughout the church is the Rosy Cross. The symbol of the fleur-de-lys, the former royal arms of France, occurs everywhere too. This strengthens the evi­dence of a link between a Grail family and the French royal family. Reference is also made for the first time in Dagobert's Revenge by Tracy Twyman that "the church wall featured the telltale marking, a yellow stripe embedded in the founda­tion, which was used in those days to indicate that someone of royal blood was buried inside the church."

Even after completing his renovations, Sauniere continued to spend. He had a magnificent library installed in the Magdala Tower. He built an orangery and a zoological gar­den and accumulated valuable collections of china, fabrics and antiques. His parishioners were treated to huge ban­quets and received visits from various well-connected fig­ures. The most noteworthy of his visitors was Archduke Johann von Habsburg, a cousin of Franz-Josef, emperor of Austria. According to banking records, the Archduke paid Sauniere considerable amounts of money.

The number 22 occurs with more than reasonable coinci­dence in connection with Sauniere's renovations. It was, in .fact, one of Sauniere's secret codes. There are 22 steps lead­ing to the roof of the Magdala Tower, which has 22 merlons circling its top. Underneath the "Glass Tower" there are 22 more steps which go down to an inaccessible basement. There are two sets of 11 steps that lead into the garden. The Templar and Masonic symbol of a Skull and Crossbones placed above the gate to the graveyard has 2 2 teeth. There are inscriptions in the church that have been deliberately misspelled so that they will contain 22 letters. No suitable explanation has been given for this, but there are 22 cards in the Major Arcana "'of the Tarot and 2 2 letters in the mysti­cal Hebrew alphabet.

Although the church turned a blind eye to these goings-on, it reached a point where the Bishop of Carcassonne had to act and he summoned Sauniere to make an account of him­self and his dealings. He accused Sauniere of simony, that is, the selling of masses. Sauniere flatly refused to reveal any­thing and the Bishop therefore suspended him. Sauniere appealed to the Vatican and he was re-instated. Then on January 17, 1917, at the age of 65, Sauniere had a sudden stroke. The date is of interest. It is the same date as the death of Marie, Marquise d'Hautpol de Blanchefort, whose tomb inscription Sauniere had obliterated. It is also the feast day of Saint Sulpice, who crops up again and again in this account and figures prominently in The Da Vinci Code.

It is said that Sauniere acted against the instructions of the Priory of Sion in late 1916. Of particular significance, per­haps, is that ten days before his death, on January 12th, Sauniere appeared to his parishioners to be in good health. But this was the day that his housekeeper, Marie Denarnaud, ordered his coffin. The priest who heard Sauniere's deathbed confession, according to some, "never smiled again" and he refused to give Sauniere the traditional Roman Catholic last rite of Extreme Unction. Sauniere died on January 22nd. His body was sat upright in an armchair on the terrace of the Magdala Tower. He was dressed in an ornate robe with scarlet tassels attached. Mourners, who have never been identified, walked past his body and took tassels from the robe. No one has ever been able to explain this odd procedure. To the astonishment of everyone when the will was read, Sauniere was discovered to have died pen­niless. Shortly before his death he transferred all of his money to his housekeeper. It is possible that she had been in charge of the money all along.

After the Second World War, the French government intro­duced a new currency and all citizens were obliged to exchange their old francs for the new ones. Large amounts of money had to be accounted for in order to trace "black" money saved by collaborators, tax-evaders and the like. Marie Denarnaud would not reveal the source of her money and was to be seen later burning large amounts of cash in the garden of the Villa Bethania. She eventually sold the house to Monsieur Noel Corbu and lived off the proceeds for the rest of her life. She told him that before she died she would tell him a great "secret" which would make him rich and "powerful." Unfortunately, much to the chagrin of Monsieur Corbu, on January 2 9, 1953, she, like Sauni ere, suffered a sudden stroke and was rendered speechless and prostate on her deathbed.

The Source of Sauniere's Wealth
The obvious question that springs to mind is: Where did Sauniere's money come from?The village and the surround­ing area had been the center of considerable activity from the time that the Celts designated it to be a sacred site to the time when the Cathars were persecuted in the eleventh cen­tury. There had been tales ofhidden treasure throughout this time and the Cathars especially were suspected of being the possessors of the "Holy Grail." The Knights Templar also were thought to have hidden treasure in the area and Bertrand de Blanchefort organized excavations there. The Merovingian kings ruled much of modern France from the fi fth to the eighth centuries and Dagobert II, who was one of them, married a Visigoth princess. Rennes-le-Chateau was at that time one of the major centers of the Visigoths. The Visigoths themselves had considerable treasure accumu­lated from their pillaging of Europe and in particular most of the wealth of Rome in 410 AD Sauniere could have dis­covered any of these but the nature of his treasure appears co be more that of a secret. This explains certain factors such as the introduction he received to the Parisian intelligentsia from Hoffet and the intense interest that the church took in the matter. It also may explain why the priest refused to give Sauniere the sacrament of Extreme Unction, and why he was visited by, for example, the Archduke Johann Salvator von Habsburg.6 Treasure of mere monetary worth would also not explain the codes in the parchments and on the tomb of Marie, Marquise d'H:i.utpol de Blanchefort. Marie Denarnaud said that the secret she took with her to the grave involved not only money, but "power." The money that Johann Salvator von Habsburg paid over to Sauniere perhaps came from another source. The Vatican treated Sauniere very carefully in the latter years of his life. Could it be that the money came from the Vatican in order to silence him?

The Mystery Deepens
When Holy Blood, Holy Grail first came out the authors received a letter from a retired Anglican priest who claimed that he had "incontrovertible truth" that Jesus Christ did not die on the cross and could have lived to as late a date as 45 AD. On being interviewed he claimed that he had been told the information by another Anglican priest, Canon Alfred Leslie Lilley. Throughout his life, Lilley had maintained contact with the Catholic Modernist Movement that was based at Saint Sulpice in Paris and he had known Emile Hoffet. The authors felt that this connection added authenticity to his claim.

6 The archduke renounced rights to his titles in I 8 8 9 and was banished from the Austrian Empire.

Nicolas Poussin, the previously mentioned French painter, also appears to have been privy to this secret. He was visit­ed in Rome by Abbe Louis Fouquet, the brother of Nicholas Fouquet, the Financial Superintendent to Louis XIV of France, in 1656. After the meeting the Abbe wrote to his brother. Part of the letter reads: "He and I discussed certain things, which I shall with ease be able to explain to you in detail -things that will give you, through Monsieur Poussin, advantages which even kings would have great pains to draw from him, and which, according to him, it is possible that nobody else will ever be able to rediscover in the centuries to come. And, what is more, these are things so difficult to discover that nothing now on this earth can prove of better fortune nor be their equal." Nobody has been able to explain the rather cryptic message in this letter, but the fact is that shortly after receiving this letter, Nicholas Fouquet was imprisoned for life in solitary confinement. It has been suggested that he was the model for "The Man in the Iron Mask." All his correspondence was confiscated, and handed over to Louis XIV, who read it only in private. Louis XIV went to great lengths to buy Poussin's painting, Les Bergers d'Arcadie, which he had hidden away in his private apartments at Versailles.

You will recall that it was a copy of this painting which Berenger Sauniere bought at the Louvre during his visit to Paris. The painting depicts a large ancient tomb, with three shepherds and a shepherdess in the foreground. The setting is of a rugged landscape that is typical of Poussin. The inscription on the tomb reads: "ET IN ARCADIA EGO." The landscape had long been assumed to be a product of the artist's mind. However, in the 1970s, an actual tomb was located which was identical in shape, dimensions, vegeta­tion, background and setting. There is even a rocky outcrop that is identical to the one upon which one of the shepherds rests his foot. If you stand just in front of the tomb you will see that the view is exactly the same as the one in Poussin's painting. The corresponding peak in the background is that of Rennes-le-Chateau. The tomb is located just outside a vil­lage called Arques, six miles from Rennes-le-Chateau and three miles from the chateau of the Blanchefort family. There is no indication of the age of the tomb. The village records state that the land surrounding the tomb belonged to an American, who opened the sepulcher in the 1920s and found it to be empty. He died in the 195 Os, and was later buried in it with his wife. This brings us back to the inscription on the tomb in Poussin's painting. It appears not to make much sense, as it lacks a verb. "Et in Arcadia Ego" translates to "And in Arcadia I .. . " However, an anagram of the inscription reads "I TEGO ARCANA DEI," which means: "BEGONE! I BEHOLD THE SECRETS OF GOD." Perhaps the mayor of Rennes-le-Chateau was correct when he said to the editors of Dagobert's Revenge, "This place is the center point of the world."

Sacred Geometry
Dan Brown rightly emphasizes the importance of the sym­bol of the pentagra!!l in The Da Vinci Code. In the 197Os, Henry Lincoln discovered an almost mathematically perfect penta­gram shaped out of the five mountain peaks which sur­round Rennes-le-Chateau. Other monuments such as churches and chateaux throughout the Aude Valley around the village also created perfect mathematical geometry, forming a network of pentagrams and hexagrams made with even measurements of the "Megalithic Yard." This was the measurement used when such megalithic monuments as Stonehenge were constructed in prehistory. This geome­try appeared to have been put there by someone quite delib­erately. Lincoln's investigations into these mysteries have so far resulted in two books, The Holy Place, and Key to the Sacred Pattern, as well as two video documentaries, The Secret: Investigating the Rennes-le-Choteau Mystery with Henry Lincoln and Henry Lincoln's Guide to Rennes-le-Choteau and the Aude Valley, both distributed by Illuminated Word. Another book, The Templars' Secret Island, was co-written by Erling Haagensen, and deals with a similar pattern of geometry found on the Danish island of Bornholm.

When asked in an interview with Dagobert's Revenge magazine how he thought this geometry could possibly occur, Henry Lincoln said that at some point in ancient history someone noticed the pentagonal configuration of the mountains, deemed it to be holy, and then constructed the rest of the geometry around it. He went on to say this:

It is not beyond the capability of homo sapiens actually to con­struct an artificial high point in order to perfect the geometry. You only have to look at the size of Silbury Hill, for instance, which we all know is man-made, or the Great Pyramid. So it is possible that the actual high spots which indicate the pentagon of mountains could have been refined, as it were, though I think that the origi­nal mountains in their natural state were already sufficiently close for it to be astronomically unlikely to have originated by chance. But it did. Then around that natural formation, people began to construct a geometric layout. A thousand years later, perhaps, we eventually come to that later period, in the twelfth century, when the geometry is now being laid out in the Baltic. And there it is very consciously done, and with much, much more precision. It's a development of what was begun at Rennes-le-Chdteau and is now extended at Bornholm.

The figure that is projected by the mountains surrounding Rennes-le-Chateau is a perfect pentagram -the same figure that is traced out by the orbit of Venus every four years. Venus is personified by the Magdalene, to whom the church at Rennes-le-Chateau is dedicated.

In the same interview, Lincoln repudiates the Priory of Sion as a reliable source of information, going so far as to deny the validity of the information that he has presented in Holy Blood, Holy Grail and The Messianic Legacy: "The Priory of Sion I know nothing whatsoever about. It is purely hearsay. We don't know whether it ever existed in the form which Mr. Plantard suggested, or not. We only have their words for it. ... I don't know who the Priory are."

Lincoln states that the only reliable aspect of whole subject is the geographical geometry which surrounds Rennes-le­Cha.teau and he was led to this discovery by the geometry hidden in the parchments of which the Priory of Sion were custodians.

It is also difficult to dismiss the theory that there is a link between the Judaic Davidic line and the Merovingians. The evidence for this connection throughout history is too strong to ignore. The Priory of Sion has claimed to be the factor that has kept these theories together. Furthermore, according to the Priory ofSion's own literature, their secrets originated no~ with Christ, but in an area we have not looked at -the antediluvian world. This is the same conclu­sion that other respected researchers into the mystery of Rennes-le-Chateau have reached.

It is possible that Baigent, Leigh and Lincoln were acting as the spokesmen for the Priory of Sion when they wrote Holy Blood, Holy Grail and The Messianic Legacy. Now that this relation­ship has been severed, the messenger may have turned on his employer.

Whatever the case, Henry Lincoln gave another interview after this one which thickens the mystery. In an ABC News special Primetime Monday, Lincoln told host Elizabeth Vargas something quite different. The transcript reads as follows:

Vargas: So the first Merovingian queen was impregnated by a sea
creature, a fish, which you theorize could symbolize Jesus. So the
Merovingian bloodline would be descendants of Jesus.

Lincoln: Mmm hmm.

Vargas: ...and this bloodline was threatened by the Orthodox Church...

Lincoln: Mmm hmm.

Vargas: .. .so the Priory of Sion was established to protect this
bloodline, the Merovingian bloodline.

Lincoln: Beautiful. That's very good.You've done it.

Clearly, the truly enigmatic nature of the mystery of Rennes­le-Cha.teau is impossible for even a hardened skeptic like Lincoln to ignore.

Chapter Five Constantine the Great

CONSTANTINE THE GREAT IS CONSIDERED BY PRESENT ­DAY CHRISTIANS TO BE THE INTERMEDIARY BETWEEN THE DARK PAGAN AND HERETICAL PAST AND THE ENLIGHT­ENED CIVILIZED CHRISTIAN ERA. THE RECEIVED HISTORY IS AWASH WITH MISCONCEPTIONS. ONE THING THAT IS TRUE IS THAT CONSTANTINE WAS WELL DISPOSED TOWARDS CHRISTIANS, AS HIS FATHER HAD BEEN.

In addition to being the person who first brought Christianity to Rome, Constantine was the chief priest of the state religion, Sol Invictus (the Invincible Sun) which involved sun worship, as Dan Brown relates in The Da Vinci Code.At that time there was another sun-worshiping cult that was popular in Rome -Mithraism. It also promoted a belief in the immortality of the soul, Judgment Day, and the res­urrection of the dead. Both Sol Invictus and Mithraism, like Christianity, worshipped only one god. Sol Invictus had originated in Syria and had come to Rome about 100 years before. Constantine saw a perfect opportunity to blend the three together, achieving the political and religious unity that he saw as being vital to his own success. Conveniently, Sol Invictus, Mithraism and Christianity were similar enough from various points of view to become one.

Constantine lived in a time when political success resulted from religious piety, so despite his undoubted devotion to Christianity, there was a pragmatic reason for Constantine's favoring the religion. The number of Christians in Rome was growing and Constantine looked upon them as good support in his struggle to keep the imperial throne from his rival and brother-in-law, Maxentius. When Constantine beat him at the Battle of Milvian Bridge, just outside Rome, in 312 AD, the problem was resolved. According to the fourth century bishop and historian Eusebius of Caesarea, Constantine had had a vision before the battle in which he had seen a luminous cross hanging in the sky with the leg­end In Hoc Signo Vinces, meaning "In this sign, conquer." We are told that Constantine then ordered the Greek letter Chi Rho, which was the Christian monogram, to be displayed upon the shields of his troops. Because of this vision, his victory was seen to be a victory of Christianity over Paganism. Constantine thus became Emperor in the West and he ruled jointly with Licinius in the East. One of the first things he did was order that the nails from Christ's cru­cifixion be brought to him and he had one of them attached to his crown. He met with Licinius shortly after his victory against Maxentius and in the "Edict of Milan" which resulted, they agreed that there should be toleration of Christians and that the property that had been confiscated from them would be restored. Constantine would go on to defeat Licinius and rename Byzantium "Constantinople," the present day Istanbul in Turkey. By 313 he had donated the Lateran Palace to the Bishop of Rome, where a new cathedral was built, the Basilica Constantiniana, now S. Giovanni in Laterano.

From this point onwards, Christianity became acceptable. Contrary to tradition, Constantine chose an associate of his, Sylvester, to be the next Pope and the practice of Emperors selecting Popes was to continue. This also marked the end of the persecution of Christians. They could now live openly and worship freely. However, many felt an atmosphere of such opulence ran counter to the teachings of Christ and that the Church had been thrown badly off course. Some Christians therefore felt that Christianity had been sacrificed for the purpose of maintaining Constantine's success. As if to validate their doubts, Constantine confirmed his sacred status by proclaiming that the Christian God was his spon­sor. By bringing together Christianity, Sol Invictus, Mithraism and certain elements from Syria and Persia, Constantine had indeed created a universal ("catholic") and hybrid religion.

The vision he had, in fact, took place in a Pagan temple and it was of the sun god, Sol Invictus. He had been accepted into the cult of Sol Invictus shortly before. After the victory at Milvan Bridge, the triumphal arch of Constantine was erected in Rome which states that the victory was won through the intervention of the Deity, referring not to the Christian god, but to Sol Invictus.

According to the historian Eusebius, the Desposyni, who were descendants of Jesus' family, if not his actual descen­dants, sent a delegation to Pope Sylvester in 318 AD. They stated that various bishoprics should be given to them, that the Mother Church should be considered to be their own Desposyni Church in Jerusalem and that the Church of Rome should continue to make financial contributions to it. Pope Sylvester rejected their demands, saying that salvation was a matter for Constantine and not Jesus Christ. This rather frosty encounter seems to have been the last time that the former Nazarean tradition had any communication with the Church of Rome that was by then committed to follow­ing the Pauline tradition.

In 321 AD, Constantine declared that the law courts should no longer close on the Jewish Sabbath, but on the "venera­ble day of the sun" -Sunday. In this way, Christians changed their day of rest from Saturdays to Sundays and increased the distance between Judaism and Christianity. Additionally, the birth of Christ had been celebrated traditionally until this time on January 6. This date is still important in parts of Europe as "Kings' Day." However, Christianity adopted the Sol Invictus and Mithraic festival of December 25 instead as the traditional birth date of Jesus Christ. This festival cele­brated the rebirth of the sun, the resulting lengthening of the days and the sun's influence on the world. Therefore all sects celebrated together on the same day. Conveniently Mithraism also believed in other important tenets of Christian belief such as life after death and the immortality of the soul. It was now expedient for Jesus Christ to represent the Sol Invictus at the same time that Christian churches were being built. Statues of Sol Invictus were also created, bearing a resemblance to Constantine. By promoting himself, Constantine effectively demoted Jesus.

So that was Christmas dealt with. However it was not until the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD that the dating system of Easter was decided, by committee voting, to be the first Sunday after the first full moon following the northern ver­nal equinox (March 21). They could not agree on a specific date. The Christian festival replaced the old Pagan festival which went by the name of Eastre, the name of the goddess associated with spring, and who was also responsible for the origin of our word for the female hormone, estrogen.

The Council of Nicaea was the first ecumenical council of the Christian Church and met in ancient Nicaea, which is now Iznik in Turkey. Dan Brown ignores the main reason the Council was formed: to solve the heresy problem that had arisen because of the Arian belief in the Eastern Church that Christ was not divine, but a human being. The Council decided, again by a vote, that Jesus Christ was a god, not a man. This was of particular value to Constantine in his con­stant striving for unity, as Jesus Christ as a god could be associated directly with Sol Invictus. Under this new arrangement, Jesus Christ would be the mortal representa­tive of Sol Invictus in case any awkward questions were asked. Pope Sylvester did not attend the Council, but sent representatives. Constantine himself exiled Arius, thereby emphasizing his prominence in ecclesiastical matters.

The Pauline Christians were still expecting the Second Coming of their Messiah and Constantine had to find a way to deal with this. Concentrating on the fact that Jesus Christ had failed in his mission to get the Romans out of Jerusalem, Constantine started to sow seeds of doubt that Christ had ever been the Messiah. He pointed out that it was Constantine and not Christ who had brought about the acceptance of Christians. Surely, therefore, it was he who was the Messiah? Christians who chose to hang on to the disproved idea that Jesus Christ was a Messiah were written off as heretics.

It has to be understood that Jesus, as a devout Jew, would have recoiled from the idea of creating a new religion sep­arate from Judaism and regarded it as heresy. As we will see in Chapter Seven concerning the facts and fiction of Jesus Christ, there was a split in the Christian Church about 25 years after Christ's death between James, the brother of Christ, and St. Paul.
In order to maintain this status quo, Constantine ordered the destruction of all works that contradicted this new reli­gion, including all writings about Jesus Christ by Pagan writers and even Christian writers who lacked the "fore­sight" of how history was to be rewritten. This was con­ducted with efficient zeal with nearly all Christian docu­ments, especially those in Rome, disappearing to make way for their replaceme11ts. In 331 AD, Constantine seized the opportunity of conducting this whitewashing of history and ordered new versions of the New Testament to be writ­ten. The writers were free to say whatever their Christian masters thought appropriate.

What this means is the New Testament that we have today was rewritten in the fourth century with a political spin that was desirable for Constantine at the time. It is as if a US President had Shakespeare rewritten to fit in with his polit­ical agenda.

Constantine went further than this. The awaiting of the Messiah was a major part of Judaic religious tradition and the deification of monarchs has also appeared in other civ­ilizations such as Egyptian and Roman. This person would have healing powers and correct the ills of the world. This applies, of course, not only to our received reputation of Christ, but also that of the Merovingians. For Constantine, however, the Christian god was no more than another per­spective on the familiar Sol Invictus. The role he saw for himself was that of Messiah. He considered that Christ had attempted -and failed -to be what was expected of him: a person who was warrior, spiritual leader, and a unifier of politics, religion and territory. In other words, someone like Constantine himself. And he considered that he could do the job a lot better.

Surprisingly, the Roman Church did not object to this percep­tion. Perhaps it was aware of the fact that his mother, Helena, the British Princess Elaine of Camulod, the daughter of King Coel ll, was of Arimathean descent and therefore of genuine Grail extraction. Constantine could therefore justify his elevat­ed position through the Merovingian bloodline. The church was also ready to acknowledge that the purpose of a Messiah was not to be that of a benign humanitarian savior, but a force­ful, strong, militant leader. From this point onwards, the founder of Christianity as we know it is not Jesus Christ of the first century, but Constantine the Great of the fourth. Eusebius was also convinced of Constantine's quasi-divinity and his additional belief that he was effectively the thirteenth apostle.

However, this smokescreen is as nothing compared to the Donation of Constantine and the effects and repercussions that it has had on all of us in the western world, Christian or not, since its "discovery."

Constantine was not baptized as a Christian until he was dying in 337. He wanted to be baptized in the river Jordan but circumstances did not allow this. For the baptism he took off his purple imperial robes and wore the white gar­ments of the neophyte.

The Donation of Constantine
Once Constantine was made Holy Roman Emperor, he clearly had the world at his feet, in every sense of the word. A docu­ment appeared in the eighth century called the Donation of Constantine. This meant it was supposedly four hundred years before it was found. Considering its implications, it is odd that it was not found sooner. Its purpose was to confirm that the Popes were God's representatives on earth. But that was not all.

The Roman Church claimed that it had been written in the fourth century, presumably before Constantine's death in 3 3 7 AD, as a result of the gratitude that Emperor Constantine the Great had to Pope Sylvester for curing him of leprosy. In recognition and acknowledgement of his thanks, he transferred the entire power of the Holy Roman Empire to the Church. This included the right to select and deselect monarchs.

The Roman Church set to work immediately, implementing it in 751 AD when they made Pepin the First King of France. This is when the Merovingian kings were first deposed by the Church and replaced by their servants, the Mayors of the Palace. The Church offered to support the ensuing Roman Catholic puppet monarchs, the Carolingians. There can be little doubt that the Merovingians would have been suspi­cious of this document. After all, Constantine was of the same blood as them and they could only marvel at his idio­cy at having signed away their centuries of birthright. We are also expected.to believe that Constantine signed away all his robes and royal regalia, but the Pope, being a gentleman, refused to accept them.

This was the Church's way of usurping the rightful Royal bloodline for itself. From the public's point of view, the rights were Constantine's to give as he saw fit.

From that time the Church of Rome has risen with meteoric force. Every European monarch has been in power as a result of coronations conducted by the Church's representa­tives. All laws in monarchies that have been passed by their governments have existed by virtue of this document. The Church's power was therefore absolute.

The problem was, however, that the Donation of Constantine was a fraud and the Church has never legitimately had the power to wield such rights. This is a known fact since Lorenzo Valla tested its authenticity during the Renaissance. He found that the New Testament wording in the references that appear in the Donation came from the Vulgate version of the Bible and had not existed before. This version had been compiled by St. Jerome, who was not born until about twenty years after Constantine was supposed to have signed the Donation.

Furthermore, the Latin in which it is written, Pig Latin, was not in use until the eighth century. The Latin that was used in the fourth century was classical. Also the ceremonies that are mentioned in the Donation did not exist in Constantine's day. However, this has not stopped arguably the biggest fraud in history, the Donation, being used to this very day!

The Church wasted no opportunity to assert its authority in the Middle Ages on the back of this lie. A letter from Pope Gregory IX to Emperor Frederick II entitled "Si Memoriurn Beneficiorum," dated October 23, 1236, says:

... . that as the Vicar of the Prince of Apostles (the Roman Pope) governed the empire of priesthood and of souls in the whole world so he should also reign over things and bodies throughout the whole world; and considering that he should rule over earthly matters by the reins of justice to whom -as it is known -God had commit­ted on earth the charge over spiritual things. The Emperor Constantine humbled himself by his own vow m~d handed over the empire to the perpetual care of the Roman Pontiff with the Imperial Insignia and scepters and the City and Duchy of Rome ...

In Britain, through application of the Donation, coronations have been performed, wrongly, by Archbishops of the Church of England. When Henry VIII split from the Roman Catholic church because of his marriage requirement, he retained the right of Archbishops to create monarchs through coronation and thereby perpetuated the fraud through every British monarch since. Of course, he should not have been there in the first place anyway. As we know from the parentage of Edward IV covered in Chapter Three regarding the Bloodline, no Tudor should have even glimpsed the throne.

If we take the matter to its logical conclusion, the implica­tions of this fraud are enormous: All laws that have been passed in Britain and ratified by monarchs who have been wrongly crowned by Archbishops as a result of the Donation of Constantine are invalid.

Chapter Six The Holy Grail in Europe

IN CHAPTER THREE WE CONCENTRATED ON THE INTER­PRETATION OF THE HOLY GRAIL AS A SYMBOL FOR THE DESCENDANTS OF CHRIST THROUGH HIS WIFE, MARY MAGDALENE. WE HAVE EXPLAINED AT LENGTH THEIR ROLE IN PROVIDING THE BLOODLINE OF THE ROYAL FAMILIES OF EUROPE. DAN BROWN SPENDS MUCH TIME ON THIS THEORY IN THE DA VINCI CODE. HOWEVER, THERE IS ALSO A BELIEF THAT U:-tE HOLY GRAIL IS ACTUALLY A VESSEL OF SOME SORT AND SO THERE ARE POSSIBLY AT LEAST TWO REAL "HOLY GRAILS" TO CONTEMPLATE.

When the Celts arrived in Western Europe, having traveled across the Alps and central Europe, they brought with them not only iron, but the horse. One of their customs was to throw their swords (to which they attributed magical powers) , along with bits of jewelry, into what they perceived to be sacred lakes. As King Arthur lay dying, one of his closest followers is said to have thrown his sword, Excalibur, into such a lake in accor­dance with Celtic tradition. Lakes were believed to be the entrance to the underworld, the kingdom of the Dead, which was thought to be situated at the center of the earth. Arthur is said to have died on the island ofAvalon. It is not clear where Avalon was. Some say it was at Michael's Mount off the south­ern English coast, others at Mont St. Michel off the French coast. The area around Glastonbury is also thought to have been the possible location, as legend has it that Arthur is buried there. The name "Avalon" is associated with apples, and Excalibur is said to have been forged at Glastonbury.

Excalibur served King Arthur well; it could defeat any foe and it is said that Arthur became King only because he was able to take Excalibur from the stone in which it was fixed. Others say that this story refers allegorically to Arthur's abil­ity to extract iron from rock which was one of the skills that the Celts brought with them.

In addition to sacred swords, there are many ancient tradi­tions regarding sacred vessels, such as the "Horn of Plenty," which could purportedly provide a never-ending supply of food and comfort. This notion must have been appealing to those living in often hunger-stricken times. Many contain­ers such as bowls, jugs, chalices and cauldrons were consid­ered to have supernatural powers. Similarly the Grail was thought to bring nourishment and salvation.

According to a Celtic tradition, King Arthur and his men engaged themselves in a quest for a magical cauldron. It was not until the Middle Ages that the story was removed from its Pagan background and given a Christian significance. Arthur was a popular king, believed to be the only person who could defeat the invading Scots after the departure of the Romans in the fifth century, and he heralded a long period of calm prosperity afterwards. In his time, Christianity was taking hold in a Britain still heavily influ­enced by Paganism. Legends from this time have both Pagan and Christian influences.

The Celts believed that nature was divine and that every­thing within it communicated with man. The countryside was alive with fairies and elves who mapped out man's for­tunes. The good were rewarded, the bad punished. Warriors were believed to be resurrected at Judgment Day unless they had been beheaded, which was the typical fate of enemies captured.

One of the most common rituals in the Christian religion is communion in which the blood of Christ, represented by wine, is drunk. The basis of the Arthurian version of the leg­end is the story that the Roman captain, Longinus, pierced the side of Christ when he was crucified to make sure that he was dead. Then Joseph of Arimathea collected the blood in the same chalice that Christ had used for the wine at the Last Supper. This chalice is generally thought to be the Holy Grail. The corpse of Christ was then said to be put into the family vault of Joseph of Arimathea. Upon the return of the English soldiers from Palestine to England in 1274, after the nearly-failed Crusade of Edward I, English morale needed a boost. King Arthur's knights were depicted as simple war­riors in search of a cause. The quest for the Holy Grail ful­filled this purpose perfectly.

As Joseph of Arimathea was a follower of Christ, he was imprisoned by the Romans shortly after the Crucifixion. He is supposed to have kept the chalice, and to have taken it with him on his journeys to Rome and the south of France, where he lived for some time in the Languedoc province with Mary Magdalene and some of the other disciples. He (possibly along-with the Christ himself) is thought to have then gone to England where he spent the rest of his life in what is now the southern English town of Glastonbury. The first Christian church in Britain was founded there, on the spot where the present ruins of the abbey now stand and where the Holy Grail was perhaps kept. It was then lost and the quest by King Arthur and his knights to find it started from this point.

Arthur's quest for the Holy Grail is thought to have started at a lake (where he intended to enter the underworld) near Camelot, if, indeed, Camelot existed. He was initially denied entry, but managed to persuade the various ghosts and demons to let him in. He then managed to take the vessel from them. If it did exist, it would have been taken to Arthur's headquarters, which would most likely have been a · collection of rough wooden huts, lacking the palatial grandeur of the Hollywood version. It could have been in any one of several possible locations. One of the most like­ly is the hill-fort of Cadbury in Somerset in southern England, where there was a large fifth century settlement. It was not until the eleventh century, 500 years after Arthur's death, that interest in him and his knights started. By tradi­tion they conformed to the qualities of chivalry and honor in creating a classless utopian society. It was an age of right­eousness in which communication with the supernatural was thought to be possible. King Arthur and his knights served as a reminder of Christ and his disciples. The Arthurian court was, however, torn apart by the love that Lancelot had for Arthur's wife, Guinevere. She was con­demned to death and Lancelot banished. Lancelot was even­tually overcome by remorse and joined a monastery, where he lived for the rest of his life.

The Middle Ages was a period of great piety and this was when the age of the pilgrimage started. One of the present­day major Christian pilgrimages to Santiago de Compostela started at this time and there are many small churches on the route that was (and still is) used. In about 1200 the Catholic Church accepted the idea of Transubstantiation ­that is, the turning of wine into the actual blood of Christ. Chretien ofTroy wrote his Grail romances at this time, cre­ating a Christian story from a Pagan concept.

Not everyone agreed with the way that the Catholic Church was developing. The Cathars, advocating a life of poverty and simplicity, rejected the opulence that was characteristic of the Church at that time. In true Dan Brown-style coding, they preferred to think of their Church as AMOR ("Love") rather than ROMA ("Rome"). The Pope launched a persecu­tion of the Cathars and they were besieged at Montsegur in southern France, where it is thought that they kept the Grail, among other treasures, although there is no clear evi­dence to suggest this. They managed to have it all smuggled out before the two week siege, which ended with many of them being burned alive.

It is believed that the Holy Grail was kept in Italy for 300 years, where it was guarded by the monk St. Lawrence, deacon of the Church of Rome. He is thought to have had it taken by two Spanish legionaries to his home town of Huesca in the Spanish Pyrenees towards the end of the third century. His life ended unpleasantly -he was roast­ed on a gridiron a few days after his friend Pope Sixtus II was executed. The Grail was kept at the church of San Pedro el Viejo until 711. There are several examples of Grail imagery in the Romanesque cloister, including an angel passing a cup to Jesus.

Wolfram von Eschenbach, who died in 1230, is generally considered to be the greatest of the medieval German nar­rative poets. One of his major works was Perceval, which was later the subject of the opera by Richard Wagner. One of his main sources was Chretien's work, written in conjunction with other material that Wolfram claims was provided by Kyot of Provence. Kyot may have based his stories on those that he had heard in Spain, where there were both Muslim and Jewish philosophers, and in Toledo in particular which was a center of science and literature at this time. Wolfram maintained that the,Grail was a stone which had magical powers and, like 1he Horn of Plenty, offered a constant sup­ply of food and eternal youth.

King Alfonso I of Aragon and Navarra used to go to San Pedro el Viejo in Huesco for contemplation. The name Alfonso is closely related to the Latin name Anfortius, and is clearly connected to the Grail story King, Anfortus. It is probable, therefore, that Alfonso was the model for the Grail King. At the end of his life he retreated to San Pedro el Viejo where he was fatally wounded. Likewise, in the Grail leg­end, the Grail King Anfortus waited at his castle for Parcival to bring him the deliverance from his wounds, but it was many years before Parcival reached the castle ofAnfortus. It is likely that Alfonso's cousin, the Spanish count Perche de Val (1100 -1144) was the model for Parcival.

The Knights Templar are reputed to have been the keepers of the Grail. The Grail castle was said to be visible only in a state of grace and otherwise hidden from sight. These are not the customary characteristics of castles, which were tra­ditionally intended to be conspicuous, dominant and built on high ground to oversee the surrounding land. The con­cept of a hidden castle would have been difficult for the medieval mind ta understand.

However, there is one perfectly hidden place in Spain which fits the description, and that is the monastery of San Juan de Pena. It is considered to be built on the sacred ground where the Spanish province of Aragon originated. The anchor, which was Parcival's coat of arms, is seen in the bur­ial niches in the large courtyard. It was necessary to move the Grail from place to place in the Pyrenees because of the constant threat from the Muslims. The Monastery of San Juan de la Pena is one of these places where the Grail was kept, and it was from here that it was transferred to its present location.

There is an entry in the Royal Register in the library of Barcelona, Spain, which tells of a fortified abbey and a gift that was made to it. The gift is described by a half-Spanish, half-Latin phrase, calice lapideum, meaning "stone chalice" and refers to the same one that was said to be at the chapel, which is constructed like a temple, in San Juan de la Pena. The Grail would have been kept either in one of the vaults that are hewn out of the stone or else on the altar. This chapel is the room that Parcival was searching for and it is described as a chapel within a castle. The story tells us that when Parcival arrived there, he saw the procession in which the Grail Maiden carried the Grail to the Grail King. A carri­er behind her brought the lance that Longinus used to pierce the side of Christ, which magically continued to bleed from its tip. Following them came a female bearer who carried the platter on which the head of John the Baptist had been presented.

Some readers may remember a book called The Spear of Destiny by Trevor Ravenscroft, which purports to be an historical account of the rise of Hitler to power based on his belief in the magical powers of the spear of Longinus. It is built on the premise that Longinus, who pierced the side of Jesus, held the future of the world in his hands for a brief period. Charlemagne was known to have carried this spear in battle as a lucky talisman. However, a skeptical approach to the book is advised.

The final resting place of the Holy Grail (where we may see it to this day) is in a side chapel in Valencia Cathedral in Spain. Although the Catholic Church has never acknowl­edged it to be a holy relic, they recognize it as the chalice that Christ blessed at the Last Supper and which was used by Popes in Rome until it was taken to Spain by St. Lawrence. It is now kept behind bullet-proof glass.The King of Navarre took the Grail to Valencia Cathedral on March 18, 143 7, and it has remained there ever since, except for two brief peri­ods when it was removed for safe-keeping during the War of Independence against France and during the Spanish Civil War.

Its pure gold base is decorated with 28 pearls, two red gem stones, and two emeralds. Its height is 5.5 cm, diameter 9.5 cm, thickness 3 mm.. Including its base, it measures 17 cm by 14.5 cm. The eminent archaeologist Antonio Beltran says that the Grail as we see it today was made in San Juan de la Pena, probably by goldsmiths from Byzantium. The upper part of the chalice comes from the Near East and was made in either Alexandria or Antioch. Beltran says that it is beyond doubt that the chalice was made sometime between the lat­ter half of the last century BC and the first half of the first century AD. This dates it precisely to the time of Christ.

Antonio Beltran explains that it is the stone base of the com­position that is the actual Grail. On this part, which forms the foot of the vessel, there is an inscription in Arabic which nobody has been able to translate with complete certainty. Various interpretations include "For Him who Gives Splendor"; "Glory to Mary"; "The Merciful One" (which is how the Arabs refer to Allah); and "The Flourishing One." According to some legends the inscription LAPIS EXCILLIS appeared on it at times.

We shall perhaps never know the true identity of the Holy Grail, but this small and beautiful object, which we can actually visit today, is likely to be the actual cup used by Christ 2000 years ago which has formed the basis for so much of Western mythology and romanticism. The Holy Grail continues to intrigue; it is part of our cultural fabric and the expression itself now has a common slang meaning denoting something which is sought after. The quest for the Holy Grail, then, involved not necessarily the discovery of the physical object itself, but identifying what the Grail is and what it means.

Chapter Seven Jesus Christ -the facts and fiction

ABOUT 25 YEARS AFTER CHRIST'S CRUCIFIXION, A SCHISM OCCURRED IN THE MOVEMENTS THAT WERE TO FORM WHAT WE KNOW AS PRESENT-DAY CHRISTIANITY. THIS WAS A RESULT OF ST. PAUL'S VERSION OF CHRISTIANITY BECOMING THE MORE WIDELY ACCEPTED FORM OF THE RELIGION. THERE IS NOW NO TRACE OR WRITINGS OF THE OTHER FORM WHICH WAS, IN FACT, THE ONE THAT JESUS CHRIST'S FAMILY AND FRIENDS WERE MEMBER'S OF.

Paul was born in Turkey. His parents were wealthy and Jewish. He also happened to be a citizen of Rome which occupied Palestine at the time. This was to prove crucial in the development and success of his version of Christianity.

The leader of the other faction, the Jesus movement, was James, who is widely believed to be the eldest of Christ's four brothers. Despite his strong relationship with Jesus, James does not appear anywhere in the New Testament dur­ing the narration of Christ's life and appears only after his death. He was as orthodox a Jew as was possible. It was said that he spent so much time praying that he developed "camel's knees." On the death of Jesus he became the head of the Jerusalem Church.

Paul was a persecutor of Christians until his vision of the risen Christ on the road to Damascus. He positioned him­self to become one of the major Christian leaders. However, unlike St. Peter who was a bona fide disciple of Jesus and who was considered to have founded the Roman Catholic Church as Rome's first bishop, Paul never actually met Jesus.

Despite this, however, he was convinced that his views on Christianity were correct. After all, he had received his message spiritually in a vision whereas James and the rest of his _family had only known Jesus personally! Paul thought that to compen­sate for having persecuted Christians, he would devote the rest of his life to spreading Jesus' word throughout the world.

Unfortunately his ideas conflicted seriously with those of James. They could not agree on Jesus' birth, his message and whether or not he was divine.

After Christ's death there was considerable debate on Christ's actual identity. As we saw in Chapter Five on Constantine the Great, the Arians (led by Arius) believed that he was simply a man who had been born of a woman in the normal way. For this heresy, they were eventually exiled. Jesus was not the only healer and miracle worker of his day. But it was only he who spoke of the kingdom of God. When Jesus asks Peter who he thinks Jesus is, Peter replies that Jesus is the Messiah. To Peter this meant that Jesus was the King, the one who had been anointed as had all kings who descended from the Davidic line. He recognized that Jesus' role was to liberate the Jews from the Romans and bring about a state of heaven on earth. The mean­ing of the word Messiah in the first century was quite specific and meant one who would defeat God's enemies and bring back God's justice. The word Messiah comes from ancient Egyptian. The Egyptians used crocodile fat, which symbolized sexual prowess, when anointing their kings. The Egyptian word for "crocodile" is "messeh.'

James considered that Paul was destroying the good inherent in the message. Paul had allowed Gentiles (non Jews) to join his movement with no regard for Jewish law. For example, James felt that the Gentiles should observe such fundamental tenets as eating only kosher food and circumcision. They were, howev­er, under no obligation to do so according to the doctrine pro­moted by Paul.

In about 50 AD, the dispute reached the point at which it had to be resolved. James and Paul met to discuss their differences. James insisted that the Gentiles should eat kosher food if they were in the presence of Jews. Paul was indig­nant and saw this as an outrageous encroachment on his and his followers' freedom. He referred to James and his fol­lowers as his "enemies in the Church." Eventually Paul, who comes across in all accounts as being on the hysterical side, agreed to a compromise: that the Jesus Movement would remain Jewish in principle, but non-Jews would be allowed to eat non-kosher food and not have to be circumcised.

For the next few years Paul continued delivering his mes­sage throughout the Roman Empire to the Gentiles. He promised to leave the James led faction of the movement well alone.

Then James started hearing stories about Paul.

Furious, James summoned Paul to Jerusalem in 58 AD. Paul had not been back to Jerusalem for a long time and we can imagine his apprehension •of the potential danger he was in. Because of this, he had come well-prepared with a sizeable financial contribution. But this had little effect on James. He angrily dismissed Paul's offer of money, accusing him of encouraging Jews to break Jewish law as Paul had told them that they need not .observe it any longer. Paul was unable to deny the charges, but he did try to assure James of his loy­alty. James, rather naively, asked Paul to prove this by going to the Temple to take part in the purification ceremonies. Paul must have rubbed his hands at what appeared to be an easy way out and agreed to it immediately. Manipulative liar to the last, he freely admitted in one of his letters that he was all things to all men: "I am a Greek to the Greek, a Jew to the Jew, a law-keeper to the law-keeper, and will do what­ever I have to do to win."

Other Jews were not as gullible as James and they recognized Paul's hypocrisy. They rioted in protest, and in the melee that ensued, Paul pulled out his trump card, declaring himself to be a Roman citizen. This meant the Roman soldiers were obliged to rescue him from the clutches of the angry mob.

Our perceptions of Jesus are all drawn from the information that has been passed down to us directly from this one man, Paul, and filtered through him. He influenced the writing of the four gospels with a decidedly political spin, giving the impression that there was no such thing as Jewish patriotism. Most scholars believe that the gospels emanated from the Pauline epistles in particular, and were all written after Paul's death. According to Mohd Elfie Nieshaem Juferi's essay, The Influence of the Pauline Epistles Upon The Gospels of The New Testament: Study and Criticism, "Paul is also claimed to be the author of the Epistles to the Romans, 1 and 2, Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 and 2, Thessalonians, 1 and 2, Timothy, Titus, Philemon and Hebrews."This meant that he wrote all of the New Testament except for the gospels, which were based upon his writings.

The Romans are hardly mentioned in the gospels -odd considering that there was so much ongoing Jewish resist­ance against the Romans at the time. However, bear in mind that the word "gospel" means "good news" which could also be interpreted as "propaganda." Paul's intention was to create a religion that was non-Jewish, inoffensive, palatable and digestible throughout the Roman Empire.

Palestine at the time of Jesus was a boiling, angry place sub­jected to the evil horrors of the Roman occupation. The Romans invaded about 60 years before Jesus' birth and pun­ished the Jewish insurrection with thousands of crucifix­ions. The Jews conducted a full-scale rebellion against the Romans in 66 AD, and this struggle lasted until 74 AD. At Masada, at the south-western corner of the Dead Sea 960 Jewish men, women, and ducks committed suicide, after holding out against the Romans long after the rest of Palestine had been crushed. The area of Galilee, where Jesus came from, was governed by Herod Antipas, a cruel and sadistic despot. The only Jews that prospered were the col­laborators. The Jewish peasants lived in abject poverty and great fear. The Dead Sea scrolls that were found at Qumran in 1947 are strongly militant and indicate the desire to eradicate Romans throughout their Empire.

According to the Pauline version of history, Jesus was the son of God and not man. The real story had to be rewritten therefore, and meant that he had to be born of a virgin. Matthew wrote his gospel based upon the prophecy in the Book of Isaiah, "Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a child." Meanwhile, inconveniently, James, the leader of the now defunct Jerusalem Church was continuing to relate sto­ries of his ordinary childhood with Jesus in the family home to anyone willing to listen.

The Pauline faction recognized that it was important to spread the story that Jesus was born in Bethlehem as that is where David had been born and where it had been prophesized that the next Messiah should come from. A reason had to be found for Mary and Joseph to be in Bethlehem for the birth. The New Testament tells us that Mary and Joseph had to be there as a
C result of there being a Roman census at that time. There is no such census on record. It is also doubtful that Jesus was from Nazareth as no records appear of a town by that name at the time. The confusion may have arisen from the name of the Nazarene or Nazarite sect of which Joseph was a member. Also, the modern Arabic word for "Christians" is Nasrani and the Christians are referred to as Nasara or Nazara.

Undoubtedly, the real Jesus Christ was a very different fig­ure to the images that have come down to us from the Pauline camp. He was a revolutionary whose purpose was to get the Romans out of his land. His concepts of religion and politics blended together to achieve this end.

After John the Baptist was executed, Jesus recruited his own disciples. These without doubt included Mary Magdalene. She was to stand by him for the rest of his life. The Gospels say that it was she who went to Jesus' tomb to anoint him. The debate on whether she was, in fact, his wife, is covered in Chapter Eight, but we should establish now that it would only be acceptable for a wife to carry out this procedure.

Paul did not recognize that Jesus' role as King was to liberate the Jews from the Romans. To him the word "Messiah" meant that Jesus was the son of God who had come down to earth to die on the cross to redeem man. Jesus had not filled the role of Messiah as had been expected of him as he had not delivered his people from oppression, but through his resurrection he effectively redefined the term. His followers believed that only God could have been responsible for the miracle of the resur­rection. This meant that the term "Messiah" adopted a charac­teristic of someone who was divine.

The whole Messiah issue was highly inflammatory. The Romans had abolished the Jewish monarchy and therefore anyone who even hinted at making the claim to be the Jewish King was contravening Roman law at its highest level.

Jesus entered Jerusalem on the back of an ass, as every King from the Davidic line had come to his coronation in this way from the time of King Solomon. The custom not only indicated the humility of the King, but was also a sign that he was a monarch who did not rule but served in true Messianic (later Merovingian) tradition.

Again according to tradition, Jesus entered on the day of the Passover. By following these customs, Jesus was leaving no room for doubt of his intentions. Pontius Pilate, the Roman prefect, was not the benign ruler that the New Testament would have us believe. He ruled with a merciless rod of iron and would have appreciated the potential explosiveness of
the situation.

When Jesus entered the Temple and overturned the tables of the money lenders, it was not an attack on the Jews. It was the Romans who were in ultimate charge of the Temple, although it was the House of God as far as the Jews were concerned. What it represented was the center of the collab­oration that occurred between the Romans and some Jews. The attack upon it was therefore an attack upon . the Romans. The incident alarmed the Roman authorities who realized how the problems Jesus was causing were escalat­ing out of control.

Another misconception that we have been fed is the supposed betrayal of Jesus by Judas. It would have been self-destructive for Judas to have done so as it would have highlighted the fact
that he was a disciple of Jesus. The reason he was chosen for this role is the close association that his name has with the Jewish people who were accused of being responsible for
condemning Jesus, an anti-Semitic ploy.

The New Testament tells us that Jesus was tried first by the Jewish priests for the blasphemy of calling himself the son of God. Then he was tried by the Romans for subversion and Pontius Pilate was persuaded by the Jews to execute him. In the eyes of the New Testament, it is the Jews who conspired against Jesus. That flies in the face of not only history, but logic. It was the Romans who executed their victims by cru­cifixion ­the Jewish punishment for blasphemy, of which we are led to believe they found him guilty, was stoning. One of the purposes of crucifixion was that the bodies were left hanging to be eaten as carrion by vultures and dogs to act as a visible form of Roman justice. This also meant, of course, that tombs were neither necessary nor used. In fact, out of the many thousands of crucifixion victims in the area at that time, only one crucified skeleton has ever been found.According to the New Testament, an exception to this
rule was made in Jesus' case.

The most significant aspect of Jesus ' life, as far as Paul was concerned, was his death and resurrection. Therefore details of his life are scant and have not had to stand the test of time
in order to uphold the Pauline tradition. On the other hand, to the Jerusalem Church, Jesus' death was a sign of failure. However, Jesus' followers believed that he was resurrected
and therefore not dead. In their eyes he would continue his work of liberating them and restore the earth to the king­dom of God. There is no facility in Judaism for a human to be deemed divine.

As Paul's story gained momentum, James and the other members of the Jerusalem Church were sidelined. They developed into a small sect known as the Ebionites by the second century and were regarded as heretics.

The Pauline church is now recognized as the precursor of all the various denominations of present-day Christianity. Ironically it is a 2000 year old example of the Darwinist and "unchristian" principle of the survival of the fittest. The New Testament has not come down to us intact. Some Gospels were discarded as they did not fit in with the "offi­cial line" of Christianity. The original conflicting gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John have been translated and rewritten according to the fashion and political whims of the day. There are about five thousand manuscript versions of the New Testament in existence and none of them is from earlier than the fourth century. But some still believe that although the ancient handle and blade of the Christian axe have been replaced time and time again, we are still being shown the original, when this is demonstrably untrue.

Chapter Eight Was Jesus Married?

ONE OF THE BIGGEST QUESTIONS RAISED IN THE DA VINCI CODE IS WHETHER OR NOT JESUS CHRIST WAS MARRIED. HIS MARRIAGE, IN FACT, FORMS THE BASIS OF THE WHOLE MEROVINGIAN THEORY, SO IT IS CRUCIAL TO FORM AN OPINION ONE WAY OR THE OTHER.

As Dan Brown stated on the ABC News show Primetime Monday, nowhere in the Bible does it say that Mary Magdalene was-a prostitute. The confusion has arisen through her being mentioned immediately after a story of a prostitute. The story was given credence in 591 when Pope Gregory the Great stated in his Easter sermon that Mary Magdalene and the prostitute were the same woman. This was corrected by the Vatican in 1969. Gregory the Great also stated that Mary Bethany and Mary Magdalene were the same woman.

It does not state in the Bible that Jesus was married. However, it would have almost certainly have stated the fact if he was not, if that were the case. It was as much a duty for a father to ensure that his son married when he reached a cer­tain age as it was for him to ensure that he was circumcised when a baby. Furthermore there was a legal requirement for the heir to the Davidic throne to marry.

The rules that governed dynastic marriages, such as Jesus would have taken part in, differed greatly from those fol­lowed by ordinary Jewish people. The only reason that a sex­ual relationship was permitted to take place was to procre­ate. The whole marriage/sex custom was strictly regulated. Laurence Gardner goes into the subject in detail in Bloodline of the Holy Grail. There was a period of betrothal of three months and a First Marriage with anointing took place in September. This marked the beginning of the espousal peri­od. However, it was not until the first half of December of the same year that a sexual relationship was allowed. This was to ensure that a baby would be born in September, the month of Atonement. If this liaison resulted in conception, the marriage was legalized by a Second Marriage which took place in the following March. If there was no concep­tion, the sexual relationship could only resume in the fol­lowing December. Until the Second Marriage, the woman was considered to be an almah. This meant "young woman," which had no sexual connotation. It is also interpreted as "virgin," meaning, obviously incorrectly in this case, "virgo intacto." At the time of the Second Marriage in March, the bride would therefore be three months pregnant. The rea­son for this three month delay was to allow for a possible miscarriage. It also meant that the husband could withdraw from the marriage if the woman proved herself to be infer­tile. Apart from the time in December when sexual relations were allowed, husbands and wives lived apart.

At the point at which they separated, the wife was referred to as a widow which was one rank below an almah. She was required to weep for her husband, described in Luke 7:38 when she "stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears." If Christ had been conceived dur­ing this "widow" period (and it does seem that he was con­ceived at some point before Mary and Joseph's wedding was complete) that would make Christ the "son of a Widow."This, of course, is how Hiram Abiff is referred to in Freemasonry; what Perceval is referred to as in the Grail legends; and what Horus is referred to as in Egyptian mythology.

One of the aromatic ointments used in the marriage rites was spikenard, which is used by Mary of Bethany, otherwise known as Mary Magdalene, to anoint Jesus. She anointed his head at the house of Simon Zelotes, better know as Lazarus. In June, 30 AD, she anointed his feet with spikenard at the wedding feast at Cana.

John does not mention the actual wedding at Cana -only the feast. Among the guests were the disciples and "unclean" Gentiles. It seems clear that it was Jesus who was the bridegroom on this occasion. When the incident con­cerning the lack of Communion wine arose, Jesus' mother told the servants to do whatever he told them to do. It would be out of the question for a guest at a wedding to be allowed this right. The actual ceremony would take place the following September. Mary Magdalene anointed Jesus' feet again in March, 33 AD, and wiped them dry with her hair. The only person who was allowed to anoint with spikenard was a Messianic bride and the only times that it was permit­ted were at the First and Second Marriage ceremonies.

It was the custom of the Egyptian kings to marry their sis­ters. The Kings of Judah did not follow this practice but con­sidered that the regal succession went down the female line. John the Baptist was of the Zadok male line and the wives of this line always took the title Elisheba (Elizabeth) . The wives of the Davidic line, which Jesus belonged to, took the title Mary. This explains why both Jesus' mother and wife are called Mary.

In one of the Gnostic Gospels, the Gospel of Philip, which the Christian Church repressed and which The Da Vinci Code's Sir Leigh Teabing (whose name is a play on Holy Blood, Holy Grail authors Leigh and Baigent, of which Teabing is an ana­gram) considers to be "always a good place to start," the affection between Mary Magdalene and Jesus is described, as Dan Brown tells us:

And the companion of the Savior is Mary Magdalene. But Christ loved her more than all the disciples, and used to kiss her often on the mouth.The rest of the disciples were offended by it and expressed disapproval. They said unto him, "why do you love her more than all of us?" The Savior answered and said to them, "Why do I not love you like her?... Great is the mystery of marriage -for without it the world would not have existed. Now the existence of the world depends on man, and the existence of man on marriage:•

Kissing on the mouth was a practice reserved exclusively for those who were married. What Mr. Brown does not mention is that in the Gospel of Thomas, when Peter says "women are not worthy of life," Jesus responds, "I myself shall lead her in order to make her male ... For every woman who will make herself male will enter the Kingdom of Heaven."

The Church has done everything in its power to suppress information about Christ's marriage. In 1958 a manuscript of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople was found in a monastery near Jerusalem by Morton Smith, Professor of Ancient History at Columbia University.

He discovered a letter from Bishop Clement of Alexandria ( 150 AD to 215 AD) to his colleague Theodore in a book of the works of St. Ignatius of Antioch. Included was part of the Gospel of Mark which had previously been unknown. He stated that this part of the Gospel should be omitted as it did not conform to the teachings of the Church. The Gospel of Mark was significant as it was the first to be writ­ten and formed the basis of all the other gospels!

The part that was repressed has Lazarus, whom Christ is said to have miraculously raised from the dead, crying out from the tomb, indicating that he was not dead when Jesus saw him. Lazarus had, in fact, been excommunicated and this was considered as being on a par with death. The period that excommunication took to complete was four days. On the third day Martha and Mary sent a message to Jesus that Lazarus was about to lose his soul to eternal damnation. Jesus was there to reinstate him even though it was techni­cally out of his power to help. In addition, the part that was suppressed did not mention the resurrection and ends with the women running out of the empty cave. The last twelve verses of the version of Mark 16 that we have today were added at a later date.

When the arrival of Jesus at the house where Martha and Mary live is described in John, it gives the impression that Mary is hesitant to leave the house. However in the part of the Gospel of Mark that was cut out, it explains that Mary came out of the house with Martha to greet Jesus, but the disciples told her to return indoors. The reason was that as Jesus' wife, she was only permitted to leave the house with his permission.

Roman Catholics claim that St. Peter was the founder of the Catholic Church. The name Peter comes from the Greek pet­ros, meaning stone, which was the name Christ gave to him. He had a reputation as a misogynist, or as Dan Brown would say, "a sexist," and if that is true we can understand why the Church that he was instrumental in founding has disregarded women throughout history. However, if we are to believe that Mary Magdalene was good enough not only to be Jesus' most faithful disciple, but also his wife, we have to ask ourselves such questions as why women are not allowed to be Roman Catholic priests? Furthermore, we must ask ourselves why the Church is unwilling to admit to the marriage of Christ? Given the evidence, we can only conclude, as Dan Brown does through the character of Sir Leigh Teabing, that the Christian Church wished to "declare itself the sole vessel through which humanity could access the divine and gain entrance to the kingdom of heaven."

Chapter Nine Opus Dei

THE DA VINCI CODE, AS A DETECTIVE/ADVENTURE NOVEL, NEEDS TO REFLECT BOTH GOOD AND BAD IN AN "US" VS. "THEM" SCENARIO. WE ARE LED TO BELIEVE THAT WE SHOULD SUPPORT THE PRIORY OF SION AND ITS MEMBERS' RIGHT TO PROTECT THEIR "SECRET." HOWEVER, TO COUNTERBALANCE THIS WE ARE PRE­SENTED WITH OPUS DEI, A SUPPOSEDLY FANATICAL AND FABULOUSLY WEALTHY ROMAN CATHOLIC CULT CON­SISTING OF INDOCTRINATED DRONES WHO CARRY OUT ITS DIRTY WORK.

A visit to the Opus Dei website (www.opusdei.org) shows priests grinning from ear to ear at the thought of the good works they perform. You could be excused for thinking that you are on some kind of cyberspace Sunday School trip which is unconnected to the murky organization that Brown depicts. Opus Dei means "Work of God" in Latin and its motto is "Finding God in Work and Daily Life." It con­trols Vatican Radio and owns huge tracts of land and indus­try throughout the western world.

The full title of Opus Dei is "Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei." It was founded in Spain in 1928 and remains strong there. In fact, many aggressive religious orders, for example the Dominicans and the Jesuits, have their origins in Spain, perhaps partly as a result of its long struggle against Fascism and its historical role as a geographical bul­wark against its spread.

Although officially a part of the Catholic Church, Opus Dei bears many of the hallmarks of a sect. Many top leaders of the Spanish military are said to be Opus Dei members. They no doubt feel at home in it. The organization is run with brutal efficiency; nobody is indispensable and orders are obeyed without question. Opus Dei in Spain has always targeted the most intelligent people from universities for recruitment. Because of the cloak-and-dagger atmosphere surrounding it, Opus Dei is often referred to there as the "Holy Mafia."

Despite controversy surrounding irregularities in the eccle­siastical processes and testimonials from thousands who had been harmed by Opus Dei, its founder, Msgr. Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer, was ordained as a saint on October 6, 2002 after one of the shortest waiting times in history -he died in 19 7 5. This suggests that the current Pope, John Paul II, is either a supporter of Opus Dei or is unaware of its true nature. Accounts of Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer's life make clear that he was not even remotely pleasant to deal with. He was subject to fits of temper and was intolerant of anyone who was even faintly suspected of being anti-Opus Dei, including Pope John XXIII and Paul VI. The opinion was aired that his beatification could damage the whole ecclesiastical system.

Although some of the members are no doubt good natured and hold the best of intentions, it is indisputable that Opus Dei takes over the lives of its adherents in ways that its critics find most sinister.

There are an estimated 80,000 members worldwide, con­sisting of laity and priests. "Numerary" members of Opus Dei take an oath of celibacy and live in Opus Dei houses. They commit themselves to "the spirit of Opus Dei'' with­out, perhaps, understanding the implications.

You do not have to be a Catholic or a male to join Opus Dei. Women are recruited from poor, rural and uneducated backgrounds as Numerary Assistants and also have to make a vow of celibacy. They are also responsible for the upkeep of the Opus Dei residences and are no doubt grateful for recent permission to wear trousers. Non-Catholics may join
Opus Dei as Cooperators. This means that in exchange for perhaps a little Divine Grace in the manner of medieval indulgences, they pay large sums of money to Opus Dei.

Recruitment
The methods of recruiting are aggressive and underhanded. If a potential member is keen on a particular activity, Opus Dei members will organize a weekend centered on this activity to encourage him to join the "brethren." The Opus Dei-sponsored student group UNIV sometimes organizes trips to the Opus Dei headquarters in Rome during which the pressure for potential recruits to join is ratcheted up.

Members are encouraged to have a pool of twelve to fifteen friends, a number of which are likely candidates to "whis­tle" (join). They have.to submit detailed statistical reports on the progress of the recruiting of these friends. Lonely, intel­ligent, attractive Catholics are the social profile most hunt­ed down. Not only will they be best able to attract new members, but they are also likely to earn more for Opus Dei's coffers than other recruits. (Readers of The DaVinci Code no doubt feel that recruiting would perhaps not be one of the Silas character's strong points.) Recruitment is also achieved through "front groups" at universities and other youth organizations. Often Opus Dei members do not reveal their identities as such. Pressure tactics are used to "close the deal." Potential recruits are encouraged to believe that they are at a crisis point in their lives and if they refuse to "whis­tle" they will lose God's grace.

The Life of a Member
Once they have joined, the Numerary Members are morally blackmailed into obeying all that they are told to do through the constant reminder of "the spirit of Opus Dei" to which they have agreed. From this point their lives are no longer their own. They are told about the idea of"childhood in front of God." Thus they hand over all decision-making to Opus Dei in the same way that ducks leave responsibil­ity to their parents. This particularly appeals to the "eternal victim" type of personality, such as Silas in The Da Vinci Code.

Numeraries are usually college students or young profes­sionals. They are housed in affluent city neighborhoods. These centers are staffed by a Director, an Assistant Director and a secretary.

This is the daily life that Numerary Members can expect:

-They take a vow of celibacy and practice "Corporal
Mortification," which we will look at in a moment.

-In the manner of a playground bully asking a child for his lunch money, Opus Dei demands members to hand over their earnings. The members then have to request some of it to be returned to them for per­sonal needs and they have to explain in detail how they spend their own money. They are usually not allowed to manage their own bank accounts. There is never any record of how Opus Dei spends the money it receives from its members in this way.

-Correspondence with the "outside world" is secretly monitored.

-All forms of entertainment are strictly controlled and censored, whether it be private or public enter­tainment. Members can watch television only in the company of a chaperone. Books must be pre­approved by the Director and usually only those written by the Founder, an Opus Dei member or a pre-Vatican II writer are permitted. In Article Number 339 of "The Way," the spiritual book of 999 articles mentioned in The Da Vinci Code, Josemaria Escriva writes, "You shall not buy books without the advice of an experienced Christian. It is so easy to buy something useless or mischievous. Often people believe they are carrying a book under their arm...but they only carry a load of mud."

-All movements in and out of the Opus Dei residency are subject to permission from the member's Director.

-Members have to confess weekly, preferably only to an Opus Dei priest. They have to confess not only the normal run of misdemeanors, but any doubts that they may have on any aspect of Opus Dei. If not, in the charmingly poetic way that Opus Dei has of expressing such instances, "the mute devil takes over in the soul."

-Members' relationships with their families are dis­couraged on the grounds that they "will not under­stand." Members are supposed to destroy old family photographs. They are told what they can write in letters to relatives and what to say to them on the telephone. After telephone calls, they are interrogat­ed on their content. Sometimes parents do not learn for months or even years that their ducks have become members. Similarly, friendships with those who are not marked for recruitment are difficult to maintain and the contact with their personal life in the outside world thus begins to become increasingly remote, eventually falling away entirely.

-All members must learn Spanish and Latin. Spanish is the language of the founder and Opus Dei prayers are recited in Latin.

Members are free to leave whenever they like, but the psy­chological tools that Opus Dei uses go into overdrive to ensure that this does not occur. Members are told that they will never lead a satisfying life if they leave and perhaps after all the indoctrination that has been inflicted upon them, that is correct. It is doubtful that Josemaria Escriva himself could have borne a life of such restraint -the palace where he lived in Rome had 24 chapels alone. The present prelate of Opus Dei, Bishop Javier Echevarria (not to be confused with the fictional Manuel Aringarosa in The Da Vinci Code) was born in Madrid on June 14, 1932.

Corporal Mortification
Many of the painful practices involved in corporal mortifica­tion were common in the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages, but, with the exception of fasting, they are now considered anachronistic. Ironically, it's considered that over-zealous attraction to pain can lead to pride and self-satisfaction.

The Opus Dei practices described in The Da Vinci Code are not exceptions. They form a routine part of the Numerary's daily life.

The Cilice
Brown cleverly uses the "cilice" to depict Silas as a typi­cally indoctrinated Opus Dei member. A cilice is the spiked chain Silas wears around his upper thigh in The Da Vinci Code. It is obligatory to wear it for two hours a day, on Sundays, and at other prescribed times. Opus Dei is quite reluctant to talk about this. It leaves small prick holes in the skin, which makes Opus Dei members shy to undress in front of non-members. To prevent a member from getting masochistic pleasure out of this, he/she uses it under the spiritual supervision of a Director. Silas uses this instrument to dispel his "guilt" and it is one of the focuses of his obsession. It is perhaps difficult for us to believe in the twenty-first century western world that people in our midst are using the cilice in exactly the same way as Silas does, to willingly inflict physical dam­age upon themselves for religion's sake, but this is indeed what happens.

Discipline. A knotted cord is used as a whip on the buttocks or back once a week. Members have to ask permission to use it more than that. Many do.

Cold Showers. Many members take cold showers every day, which they offer up in honor of the prelate.

Meals. Numeraries usually abstain from at least one thing that they would consider to be a luxury at meal times. For example they may not take sugar in their tea, they eat unbuttered bread or toast or forgo a dessert. Members fast on certain days and apart from those obligations, have to ask permission to do so voluntarily. Again, many do.

The Heroic Minute. When they receive the wake up knock on their door in the morning, members are encouraged to jump out of bed, kiss the floor, and say "servium," which is Latin for "I will serve."

Silences. Members are not allowed to speak, even to say "Good night" or "Good morning" from the time that they make their confessions at night until after the Holy Mass of the next morning. In the afternoons, they generally do not speak until dinnertime. It is not a normal practice to listen to music on Sundays, especially in the afternoons.

There are gender differences in the corporal mortification that is used. For example, women sleep on boards which are laid on a mattress. Men sleep on the floor once a week. Both males and females sleep without a pillow once a week. Women are not _allowed to smoke or enter bars. Men may smoke and are allowed to enter bars only for the purpose of recruiting new members. As a general rule, the founder, Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer, considered women to have stronger passions than men and must be tamed accordingly.

In summation, for better or worse the true nature of Opus Dei is harsh and cruel, as revealed by its own literature. The following quotes are taken from the Opus Dei Awareness Network, Inc. website -www.odan.com:

"Blessed be pain. Loved be pain. Sanctified be pain... Glorified be pain!" (The Way, 208)

"No ideal becomes a reality without sacrifice. Deny yourself It is so beautiful to be a victim!" (TheWay, 17S)

"Obey with your lips, your heart and your mind. It is not a man who is being obeyed, but God." (Furrow, maxim 374)

"And be watchful, for a spark is much easier to extinguish than a fire. Take flight, for in this it is low cowardice to be "brave"; a roving eye does not mean a lively spirit, but turns out to be a snare of Satan. Yet human diligence, with mortification, the cilice, dis­ciplines and fasting are all worthless without you, my God." (Furrow, 834)

"They [Opus Dei numeraries] shall maintain the pious custom, for the purpose of chastising the body and reducing it to servitude, of wearing a small cil­ice for at least two hours daily; once a week they shall take the disciplines as well as sleeping on the floor, providing that health is not affected." (Opus Dei Constituciones, article 147)

"To defend his purity, St. Francis of Assisi rolled in the snow, St. Benedict threw himself into a thorn­bush, St. Bernard plunged into an icy pond... You... what have you done?" (TheWay, 143)
"What has been lost through the flesh, the flesh should pay back: be generous in your penance." (The Forge, 207)

"If you realize that your body is your enemy, and an enemy of God's glory since it is an enemy of your sanctification, why do you treat it so softly?" (The Way, 227)

"Your worst enemy is yourself." (The Way, 225)

"You have come to the apostolate to submit, to anni­hilate yourself, not to impose your own personal viewpoints." (TheWay, 936)

There is no doubt that Opus Dei performs a useful and char­itable function in society, but it is tempting to conclude that it is better to be a beneficiary of the organization than a par­ticipant. Ultimately, it is not hard to see why Dan Brown chose members of Opus Dei to fill the role of villains in The DaVinci Code; in a sense the organization is an easy target, but perhaps that typecasting is justifiable.

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