Monday, 18 June 2012

The Priory of Sion is back

Readers of Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code will remember the Priory of Sion.  This is said to be a powerful group behind certain family interests - guardians of the so-called "bloodline of Jesus". In a new book on the Priory of Sion, the author makes some "revelations" as to the intentions and plans of this secret society.  Certain people who present themselves as members of the Priory of Sion, worked with author Robert Howells to reveal a "more tangible aspect of that same truth" to the world.  It seems that certain powerful groups want to build on the success of The Da Vinci Code to promote a particular worldview based on "esoteric and heretical information". Since I myself have written a whole book on the subject matter (Discovering the Keystone, solving the riddle of the Red Serpent after 40 years), I will in this article only focus on a few important issues related to current world events.  

The Priory of Sion made its first appearance on the scene of secret societies with the publication of its official journal, the Vaincre, in the 1950's. Although the expression "Sion" appeared some decades earlier in the name of a secret society called "Realm of Sion", it was the first appearance of this particular name. It was mentioned again in certain French documents deposited in the French National Library during the second half of the previous century.

The Priory of Sion came to the attention of the English-speaking world when the authors of The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail (1982) discussed the society in more detail after making contact with their supposed Grand Master, the Frenchman Pierre Plantard. Since that time many books have been written on the topic. During the late 1980's, certain powerful role players (including the BBC) tried to downplay the whole affair, calling it a "hoax".  As I have shown in my book Discovering the Keystone, solving the riddle of the Red Serpent after 40 years (2009), it is all but a hoax (the "Preface" and "Background" chapter of this book can be viewed on my blog, In it I discuss their claim that they are in possession of the temple treasures of Jerusalem.).

What makes Inside the Priory of Sion, revelations from the world's most secret society - guardians of the bloodline of Jesus by Robert Howells (2011) a book of some importance, is that it is said to have been written (as was the case with The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail) with the consent of the Priory of Sion.  One member even wrote the foreword. According to this member, even Thomas, Pierre Plantard's son, said to be the current Grand Master of the order, approved of the book. Members of the order are said to have provided the author with information in many e-mails, documents and images. Their aim with the book is to provide "the next piece, unique to us at this time, a proportional release".  Although a large part of the book is just a rehearsal of well-known stuff, it is none the less interesting to see which aspects are accentuated anew. 

The secret society and its aims

Although the Priory of Sion is a modern invention, it seems that the occult grouping behind the order had been active for many centuries in the West.  From time to time they felt the need to establish definite orders to promote their interests. In this regard, they mention the Templars, the Rose-Croix, the Compagnie du Saint Sacrament and the Hieron Val d'Or as visible manifestations of their ideal through the centuries. As an occult grouping, the Priory of Sion is a "loose and unstructured organization". They incorporate three strands, namely Rosicrucians/alchemists who are primarily occultists, a Catholic/Christian element who is embedded within the Roman Catholic Church (and some other churches) and the "bloodline families". The members that worked with Howells are from the Rosicrucian grouping. The order is ruled by a small hierarchy of 22 core members headed by a "helmsman", with the three strands and many other satellite groups beneath.  It is said to have considerable influence in Continental Freemasonry.

The reason why some members went public after the Second World War, was to summon members and would-be members back into the fold.  The old families had lost contact with each other and many members had been killed or were incarcerated during the war when France was under Nazi occupation. The secret documents placed in the French National Library were leaked to facilitate communication between members.  Inside the Priory of Sion is clearly intended to extend the recruitment drive even wider. At a time when old-time Freemasonry is in decline, it seems that the Priory of Sion is growing and incorporating new members (possibly recruited from various contemporary occult groups). Another reason for their going public was the conviction that the time was right to reveal their goals to the public.

According to Inside the Priory of Sion the Priory of Sion wants to bring about "cultural, spiritual and political" change in the world. To do so, they work according to a "plan" of which some aspects are accentuated:

1. On a political level, the eventual formation of a "United States of Europe" is (as before) on the agenda. It seems that this has been the one major project of the Priory of Sion for many centuries.

2. Their explicit aim is to bring about a "synthesis of East-West culture".  They work towards a marriage of Eastern and Western philosophies. In this regard it is worth mentioning that it is quite clear from the book that the Rosicrucian grouping who worked with Howells includes a Sufi component - this is a mystical grouping in Islam similar to Rosicrucianism in the West.  It is said that the Priory of Sion is also involved in Middle-Eastern politics.

3. The eventual aim is to bring about the "unification of mankind by means of engendered cultural and spiritual shifts in perceptions and values".  They work towards altering and "elevating" culture. In this regard, it is clear that they use alternative versions of the Jesus narrative as a major tool to accomplish this change. They not only propagate the hypothesis that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene, but also that he survived the cross and eventually died like all other people. Howells, who mentions that he is not a Christian, writes: "In undertaking to find the truth we have stumbled upon what appears to be the greatest lie in history: that Jesus was without a wife and an heir, and that he died upon the Cross... Jesus will not return in person, for in all likelihood he is dead and buried".

4. It seems that the Priory of Sion has in the past use "historic events of great magnitude - such as world wars - to engender a spiritual vacuum in which cults and new movements emerge in response to loss of faith in established religions".  They see this as opportunities to infiltrate and influence culture and bring about the change that they want. "Mankind's despair is the rich, black, saturated and corrupted soil in which the vine of spirituality and hope can take root". The Priory of Sion used the spiritual vacuum created by the Second World War to establish itself on the world scene. Howells writes: "Sadly, it will take such a major event to bring about a widespread shift in consciousness".

5. It is from such a vacuum that a messianic leader will arise. He will be a scion of the bloodline families - "heir to the holy family of Jesus". Howells writes further: "A post-apocalypse civilization will need a uniting leader, and having been simmering in the background for 2000 years it is here that the bloodline will find its purpose".  He mentions that the timing of this move will be crucial.

Current events

What shall one make of this? If the Priory of Sion really exists as I argue in Discovering the Keystone, solving the riddle of the Red Serpent after 40 years (2009), then it is quite possible that these aims are real and that "things are going according to plan". The economic crises since 2008 have propelled the project of European integration forward.  The first step towards fiscal integration by the Eurogroup of countries occurred with the signing of the fiscal compact in March 2012 (see my article on this blog on 6 March 2012: "The euro countries move towards a fiscal union – an eschatological perspective").  Although this is only a small step on the way, it is nonetheless an important one. More steps towards an eventual "political union" are planned for this year.

As for their aim to bring together East and West, it is possible that the countries where the Arab Spring occurred would eventually develop into democracies, allowing for some form of integration with the European world. One can even envision these countries eventually being incorporated in some way within the structures of the European Union. The Rosicrucian-Sufi (Muslim) connection seems to find visible expression in the political sphere during the Libyan War in 2011 when France and Qatar worked closely together.  

The way that they view war is interesting. The current explosive situation in the Middle East could easily develop into another great war sucking in many of the surrounding countries (see my article on this blog on 19 February 2012, "Predicting a war against Iran? - an inquiry into war and peace cycles"). If this happens, it could be an important catalyst leading to closer integration between the Western world and the Sunni faction of the Muslims after they fought together against the Shiite rulers of Syria and Iran. Such a war could create another spiritual vacuum that the Priory of Sion foresees, further enhancing the proses of spiritual transformation.  There can be no doubt that the process of cultural transformation is already in full swing, with many books, popular programs on satellite TV etc. promoting ideas similar to those of the Priory of Sion.

I do not believe that the time is already ready for the appearance of a messianic figure.  But if the European Union goes on with enlargement and further economic and political integration, it is possible that such a person will eventually arise to become the leader thereof. But this will take time. In my book Die Arabiese Opstande (The Arabic Uprisings), I discuss the issue of a messianic figure from the so-called "bloodline families" in more detail under the heading "Die Rooi Slang Familie en die Tempel Skatte" (The Red Serpent Family and the Temple Treasures).

From a Christian perspective, the goals of the Priory of Sion - together with corresponding developments on the world scene - correspond to a remarkable agree with Bible prophecies about the end times. Christians will view the Priory's goal of cultural alteration and unification - especially their use of alternative versions of the Jesus narrative to accomplish this change - as part of an orchestrated effort undermine Christianity. They will view this as part of the religious "falling away" (2 Thes. 2:1-3) that will occur in the last days.

I have explained in my article posted on 6 March 2012 how the ongoing integration of the European Union could eventually lead to the fulfillment of the prophecy about the "ten toes/horns" (Dan. 2, 7; Rev. 17:7-18).  If a powerful grouping of ten of these countries, who continue along the path towards full integration, establish a political union, it will correspond with the "kingdom of ten toes/horns".  According to the prophecy, such a "kingdom" - which will arise in the framework of the old Roman Empire (Dan. 7:24) - will occur on the world stage in the end times and the Antichrist (symbolized as another "horn" between the ten) will become their leader.  It is immediately clear that the messianic figure that the Priory of Sion wants to establish as leader of the European Union corresponds to a remarkable agree with the Biblical Antichrist.


In this short article, I focused on the Priory of Sion, and its workings behind the scenes. I discussed both the order as well as its aims for the world. It is clear that the Priory of Sion has not totally faded from the scene. There are at least some people who find in the Priory of Sion an attractive vehicle to promote their ideas, building on the legacy of The Da Vinci Code. Although Inside the Priory of Sion is just a rehearsal of well-known stuff, it is nonetheless interesting to see which aspects are accentuated anew.  But most importantly - it seems that current world events follow the "plan" ascribed to the Priory of Sion.

If the Priory of Sion is indeed a powerful secret organization, capable of manipulating world events, we can expect that some of the other aspects of the "plan" will also come to fruition. It is, however, clear that it will take many years for the world which they envision to evolve.  In the meantime, Christians have every reason to feel uneasy.  They should pay attention to future developments on the world stage.  Will things evolve according to the goals set by the Priory of Sion?  We have to wait and see if it come to pass.

Author: Dr Willie Mc Loud (

Read also the introduction and first two chapters of the book Discovering the Keystone, Solving the Riddle of The Red Serpent after 40 years. Chapter 1 focuses on the parchments that the priest Bérenger Saunière is said to have discovered in the church of Mary Magdalene in Rennes-le-Château as well as the Plantard genealogy.  Chapter 2 focuses on Pierre Plantard.

The Red Serpent: Background
1. The Manuscripts 
2. Pierre Plantard

For an eschatological perspective, read
The rise of the final world empire: the different views

Monday, 4 June 2012

Is Bybelse wetenskap 'n pseudo-wetenskap?

In 'n brief in die Maart uitgawe van die tydskrif Markplein het ek genoem dat Bybelse "wetenskaplikes" hulle na my mening met 'n pseudo-wetenskap besig hou. Daar was heelwat reaksie op die brief en die hoofartikel in die Mei uitgawe het spesifiek op wetenskap vs pseudo-wetenskap gefokus. Na aanleiding van daardie artikel het ek my probleem met die Bybelse "wetenskaplikes" verder uitgelig in 'n brief wat pas in die Junie uitgawe verskyn het. Ek plaas die brief hier.

Dit lyk of my verwysing na "pseudo-wetenskaplike" metodiek asook na "sogenaamde Bybelse 'wetenskaplikes' wat hulle na my mening met 'n pseudo-wetenskap besig hou", in Markplein (Maart 2012), behoorlik die tonge aan die gons het. Soveel so dat Diek dit goedgedink het om met die hoofartikel in die Mei uitgawe daarop te reageer. Ek wil graag op my opmerkings uitbrei en sommer op my beurt op sy artikel reageer.

1.    Soos Diek tereg noem, moet ons eerstens oor die uitdrukking "wetenskap" besin. Hoe moet ons die term "Bybelse wetenskaplikes" verstaan wat deesdae gereeld in die media vir mense soos Sakkie Spangenberg gebruik word? Daar kan na my mening geen twyfel bestaan dat hierdie geleerdes (hoofsaaklik in navolging van die Duitse positivistiese tradisie) 'n modernistiese aanslag tot die ontleding van die Bybelse teks volg waarvolgens daar gepoog word om hierdie vakdissipline op 'n empiries-wetenskaplike basis te plaas nie. Dit is waarom hulle byvoorbeeld nie wonderwerke - wat 'n groter werklikheid as die wetenskaplik-toeganklike aspek van die kosmos veronderstel - in hul perspektief kan akkommodeer nie. Daarom glo daardie geleerdes nie in die maagdelike geboorte of die opstanding nie. Ek wil hierdie vertrekpunt ten sterkste kritiseer - ek dink nie ons moet enigsins so met die Bybelse teks omgaan nie. As ons "wetenskap" eerder as "sistematiese studieveld" (Diek se "kennis-paradigma") definieer, kan ons altyd 'n groter werklikheid veronderstel en op 'n sistematiese wyse van byvoorbeeld Kant se "praktiese rede" in ons hermeneutiese studie van die teks gebruik maak. Op hierdie wyse kan ons vir wonderwerke ruimte maak (sien in hierdie verband my artikel in Pomp.
2.    Indien die empiriese wetenskap (implisiet of eksplisiet) as vertrekpunt tot die studie van die Bybelse teks geneem word, dan moet die maatstaf van empiriese toetsing en verifikasie onderskryf word soos in die natuur- en sosiale wetenskappe. En hier lê die probleem. Ten spyte van die ensemble van geleerde opinies, is daar geen manier waarop hierdie "wetenskaplikes" hul teoretiese modelle aan gekontroleerde empiriese toetsing kan onderwerp en dus enige wesentlike kennis-uitsprake kan maak nie. Die ontstaansgeskiedenis van die Bybelse teks is vir altyd verlore wat impliseer dat geen van hul hipoteses hieromtrent sinvol getoets kan word nie - die JEPD hipotese oor die bronne vir die Ou Testament wat vir lank aanvaar is, het byvoorbeeld in die laaste tyd heeltemal verkrummel. Voorts is die argeologiese data feitlik nooit genoegsaam verteenwoordigend nie (dit is nie 'n gekontroleerde steekproef nie!) en ook nooit sonder interpretasie nie (wat soms wyd uiteenlopend is). Ons kan niks anders doen as om ruimte te maak vir verskeie narratiewe nie. Ek bring juis binnekort 'n boek uit waarin ek 'n totaal ander narratief as die heersende "wetenskaplike" beskouing omtrent die vroeë Genesis-verhale verdedig, naamlik dat ons met baie ou Israelitiese tradisies te doen het wat deur die Abrahamse familie uit Sumerië saamgebring is (Op soek na Abraham en sy God. 'n Studie oor die historisiteit van die vroeë Genesis verhale, Griffel). Dit beteken dat Abraham 'n historiese figuur was - ek toon dan ook dat daar goeie argeologiese getuienis is wat so 'n siening ondersteun. Verder is daar Sumeriese bronne en argeologiese data wat die historisiteit van die pre-patriargale verhale breedweg ondersteun.
3.    My grootste probleem met die gebruik van die benaming "Bybelse wetenskaplikes", is dat daardie geleerdes hierdie term gebruik om gewig aan hul uitsprake te gee. Hulle probeer daardeur hul narratief teenoor ander narratiewe as die "wetenskaplike" narratief voorhou - waarby hulle na my mening 'n empiriese wetenskap bedoel (dit is ook hoe die term in die volksmond verstaan word). Dit is nie alleen onwaar nie (hul studieveld voldoen glad nie aan die vereistes daarvoor nie), dit is inderwaarheid misleidend. Dit mislei die publiek wat dink dat hulle "wetenskaplikes" in die empiries-wetenskaplike sin is en wat op grond daarvan hulle uitsprake hoog aanslaan. Hierdie is tipies die situasie wanneer ons met 'n pseudo-wetenskap te doen het. Alhoewel daar 'n voortdurend-veranderende grys area tussen wetenskap en pseudo-wetenskap bestaan, vereis wetenskapsfilosowe tipies dat toetsbaarheid in die afbakeningskriteria wat tussen die twee onderskei, ingesluit word. Die wiki-definisie vir pseudo-wetenskap wat Diek aanhaal beklemtoon ook dat dit nie "betroubaar getoets" kan word nie. Hyself lê klem op "bewyse". Dit is ongelukkig presies wat in die "Bybelse wetenskap" ontbreek - daar is geen manier waarop hul hipoteses op 'n empiries-betroubare wyse getoets kan word nie. 

Ek is dankbaar dat Markplein vir ander opinies ruimte maak. Alhoewel Coenie in die laaste uitgawe van Markplein wonder of godsdienstige gesprek oor uiteenlopende standpunte heen sinvol kan plaasvind, wil ek hom bemoedig: Markplein skep so 'n gespreksruimte en ek is seker dat ons mettertyd 'n ware "oop gesprek" hier sal sien.

Klik by "onderwerpe" (regs op die blog) op die woord "Markplein" om die ander brief ook te lees.