Spoilers ahead if you want to read / watch The Da-Vinci Code and haven't done so yet.
Triggers ahead if you're a feminist with Twitter issues
I've just finished a fascinating book. Guess what it is? The Da Vinci Code? No.
The Da Vinci code was a fictional story but many of the art and history references in the book were claimed to be true. I had my smart phone with me while I read that book so I could Google the references. The book challenges the Christian faith, so it would have be wrong of me to accept those challenges on faith.
The story claims that the Holy Grail is not in fact the cup of Christ, but a reference to the bloodline of Jesus following his marriage to Mary Magdalane. A shadowy group called The Priory of Sion apparently protect the secret of the marriage and the subsequent family tree, as this has been excised from history by the church who do not want the secret revealed, as the religious idea of Jesus is that he was the Son of God, not a mortal man with a wife and children.
As a fictional story, I found it really good (and the film, pants). It troubled me a bit though. Although the story about the main character discovering these secrets was fictional, the secrets themselves were told as the truth.
I read a text when I was twenty four that suggested Jesus never existed at all. Apparently historical writings from about one to two hundred years after Jesus did not mention him or his life and influence at all, at least in their original versions. Later versions had the bible story of Jesus added by the church, but the few remaining original texts that survived the purge of the church at that time, did not make any reference to Jesus at all.
This suggested that he never existed and was a fabrication of the church in order to further the cause of Christianity.
That 'revelation' simply confirmed what I have always believed. The Da Vinci code suggested that my beliefs may actually be incorrect and that Jesus may actually have been a real person. I had to know more.
My dad gave me a copy of that book a few years ago. I had no idea what it was supposed to be about and gave it up after a few boring pages. Fortunately I rarely get rid of books and it was still sat there on one of my bookshelves. That is the book I've just finished.
Whereas the Da Vinci talked heavily about symbolism and how certain clues to the mystery have been hinted at by various people throughout history, The Holy Blood and The Holy Grail looks at the historical evidence.
According to the authors they were not looking for the conclusion they found, they were simply trying to unravel an historical mystery about a church in France that they had stumbled on, and their research took them in surprising directions.
The book runs through the mystery they were investigating and subsequent mysteries and questions they dug up, by looking at and referencing documented history. Their conclusions cannot be proven beyond doubt and they do not claim to, although enough evidence is provided to make their conclusions seem a lot more than just plausible.
In a nutshell, the book tells us the following:
The New Testament:
Jesus was a mortal man. Jesus married Mary Magdalene and had at least one child.
Jesus modelled his life on the teachings of the Old Testament and the prophecy that the Jews would be sent a saviour or messiah. The miracles were not in fact miracles, but were stage managed to perpetuate the impression of Jesus being the prophesied messiah.
Jesus was royalty; a descendant of the House of David and an actual King of the Jews.
The crucifixion may have been faked and Jesus may not have died on the cross (This is only mooted as a possibility with some evidence to support it).
After the crucifixion, Mary Magdalene and her child(ren) went into exile for their safety, eventually settling in France.
The Priory of Sion:
The Priory was created to protect the descendants of Jesus and to protect the secret that the church excised from history.
The priory still exists today (this is true as they spoke with the present Grand Master of the Priory).
The Priory created the Knights Templar around 1000ad
The Knights Templar:
The Knights were created to go to Jerusalem and recover evidence of the secret. A task which they appear to have accomplished.
They were then to protect the secret as the military arm of the Priory.
The priory split from the Knights at a later date and eventually the knights were almost wiped out by the church in one carefully planned assault.
Jesus and Marys bloodline continued on after Mary settled in France.
Their descendants eventually became the French Merovingian family who were the rulers of the French provinces and also intermarried with other French noble families.
Godfroi De Bouillon of the Merovingian dynasty co-led the crusade to the Holy Land in 1096 and took Jerusalem from the Muslims. He was voted King of Jerusalem, placing a descendant of Jesus back on the throne of the King of the Jews.
After Godfroi De Buillon became King in Jerusalem, the idea was to solidify his power in the region and eventually come clean with the truth of his ancestry, bringing the Christian power base back to the Holy Land and away from Rome.
After a series of errors and blunders, the Muslims eventually retook the Holy Land bringing an end to that scheme.
The secret of Jesus bloodline and the Merovingian Dynasty has remained with the Priory every since, apparently waiting for the right time for a Merovingian descendant to gain enough power in Europe for the secret to come out.
Apparently they were to make an attempt that was thwarted by the French Revolution and another one that was stopped by World War One. Stopped in a way that might be permanent due to WW1 ending monarchy rule throughout Europe.
And there you have it. All these ideas are heavily supported by historical evidence in the book. Do I believe it? I believe it's at least possible, even likely.
There was one part of the book that made me sit up and say "Shit!" out loud.
Apparently when Godfroi De Bouillon was King in Jerusalem and the Priory wanted the secret to come out as soon as their power was sufficient to hold their own against the church, they had a plan.
Apart from Christianity, there were two other dominant religions of the time, Islam and Judaism. Both religions believed in Jesus, but as a mortal man, a human prophet, not the Son of God. If the secret of Jesus actually being mortal were to be revealed at the time, this scenario would have been compatible with both Islam and Judaism.
When the time was right, the plan was to unite all three religions.
The time just never became right.
What kind of world would we be living in today if the plan had worked? I see two possibilities:
1) Christianity has become very watered down in the past 1000 years. The church has no authority and the bulk of 'beleivers' are part timers, many of whom only go to church to get their kids in a good school. If the three religions had combined, would we have seen the same kind of diminishing of the one religion? Would we be living in a largely religion free world? Would the Middle East be at peace? Would humans have grown beyond Gods and started to work together and believe in themselves?
2) Would the combined new religion have become so powerful that we would all now be living in a world of religious fundamentalism? Would the new church have become so powerful that it could not be challenged?
We can only speculate.
One of the unanswered questions in the book is why the Priory of Sion is still active now. There appears no chance of monarchy rule returning to Europe and Christianity no longer has the power to appoint rulers or to decide the fate of countries. What do they still hope to achieve?
**The above is simply me repeating the book. It's all backed up by historical evidence. What follows is simply me wildly speculating.**
What do the Priory Still hope to achieve? The book was written a while ago. What has happened since?
The European Union.
Monarchy rule is no longer a viable possibility in Europe, yet another version of autocratic rule has sprung up in it's place. The EU has the illusion of democracy in that individual member states can vote for their own rulers, but on the top level there is no democracy and ultimate control is in the hands of people not much different to the monarchies of the last few centuries. Rule not by mandate, but imposed.
There is also another pervasive change in Europe that has sprung up around the same time - Islamification.
The Priory seem to require two things in order to place the bloodline of Jesus in control - Power and religion. Islam has been deemed compatible with the idea of Jesus being mortal. Maybe that will do?
If the Priory have tried to gain power and reveal the secret a number of times in the past, could they be doing it again? Are they at the top of the EU food chain pulling the strings and are they trying to reintroduce religion into their domain?
As I say, this is mere speculation, I'm no conspiracy theorist. Something to think about though?
Or it could just be bollocks. Either way, it looks as though the wheels may be coming off the EU project anyway. Hopefully. If I'm right, maybe this next attempt will result in failure just like the others.
Enjoy your weekend!
(And I recommend that book)