Interest in the mystery of Rennes-le-Château,
revived by Dan Brown's book The
Da Vinci Code, has a much longer history. This section is
dedicated to students of the mystery and associated areas of interest.
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown, though a novel, draws heavily
on a theory made popular in the 1980s by three authors called Lea,
Baigent and Lincoln. Their book The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail
proposed that a secret society called the Priory
of Sion was dedicated to protecting a great secret. Jesus had
survived or avoided crucifixion. He and his wife Mary Magdelen had
sailed to Septomania - modern day Languedoc - and founded a dynasty
that would one day come to the throne of France supported (allegedly)
by the Cathars,
and the Knights
Although much of the supposed evidence supporting this theory
is known to have been fabricated by eccentric Frenchmen, there are
many curious threads that bear investigation. For example it is
true that there is an ancient local tradition that Jesus and Mary
did sail to the Languedoc. Even some Cathar
seem to have believed it. Catholic chroniclers were delighted that
the town of Beziérs fell on the feast day of St Mary Magdelene.
They took the Crusaders' massacre of the 20,000 inhabitants of the
town as suitable punishment for their beliefs.
It is also certain that the Roman
Catholic Church has for centuries been trying to suppress texts
from the Early
Christian Church, including Gnostic
Gospels and other evidence supporting
Dualist beliefs. The Gnostic Gospels also show that the Cathar
belief that Mary Magdalene had been the wife or concubine of Jesus
was not a medieval invention of the Cathars, but an ancient tradition
stretching back to the earliest days of Christianity.
Some other interesting circumstantial facts are that there were
indeed heavy Jewish influences in the area, possibly even a Jewish
kingdom based in Narbonne. Certainly, there were important centres
of Jewish learning here, and even more surprising it is from here
that modern Kabbalah
studies started in Europe.
Also, it is true that Rennes-le-Château
was once a great Visigothic city, and it is not impossible that
some great treasure was buried there. The area overflows with legends
of subterranean passageways and hidden treasure.
The whole subject is wide open to serious researchers and armies
of cranks, but whatever the truth, it is certain that the Priory
of Sion and its documents are fraudulent.
If you want to learn more about these questions from experts like
Henry Lincoln, on location in the Languedoc, you might be interested