Site for Esoteric History 

Dossier on the "Priory of Sion"

Organized by form




Source Materials



Resources by Paul Smith

The Richardson-Smith discussion




Since late 2003 Alpheus received much internet traffic by people looking for information on the Priory of Sion (PoS) and finding Robert Richardson's article The Priory of Sion Hoax. This is probably caused by Dan Brown's best-seller The Da Vinci Code, in which the author affirms (correctly) the existence of the Priory of Sion as a "Fact" (p.2), but posits (erroneously) its exalted status, overlooking all the existing indications of its fraudulant nature.

Robert Richardson's research finds ample confirmation in the research done by Paul Smith, but also receives some critical comments from him. The point of disagreement betweeen the two researchers is about the status of Pierre Plantard, the alleged grand Master or grand inventor of the PoS. Richardson makes the case that Plantard is a "front man" for more mature and older Catholic groups and individuals, while Smith thinks that Plantard was an inventive, megalomaniac "lone nut".

Find below a collection of links relevant to the historical truth regarding the "Priory of Sion," including articles by, and a discussion between, the two PoS-experts, Robert Richardson and Paul Smith.


The Priory of Sion Hoax
Article exposing French extreme right-wing forces behind the Priory of Sion myth. A plausible answer to the many questions raised by Michael Baigent et.al. in their bestseller Holy Blood, Holy Grail. Originally published by Gnosis (No. 51, Spring 1999).

The Priory of Sion Secret and The Da Vinci Code [96 KB]. Article on the "illusory society" the Priory of Sion, its roots in Ultra-Traditionalist Catholicism and its efforts to take over the esoteric scene by way of a compelling, though fabricated, overarching narrative.

Priory of Sion Fake Parchments: History of a Hoax
History and analysis of the two parchments allegedly found by Sauniere.

Source Materials

Priory of Sion
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Good start.

Beyond The Da Vinci Code: History and Myth of the Priory of Sion. By Massimo Introvigne. Thorough paper by a leading scholar on new religious movements. Paper presented at the 2005 conference of CESNUR (Center for Studies on New Religions)

An enquiry into the sources of ‘The Da Vinci Code.’ By Marie-France Etchegoin for Le Nouvel Observateur (9 September 2004).

The Da Vinci Crock. Article by Laura Miller for salon.com (12/29/04). Author points out the many ideas Brown lifted from the 1982 bestseller Holy Blood, Holy Grail, the authors of which are suing Brown for "breach of copyright." (worth wading through the ads)

Ruling in the Baigent & Leigh vs. Random House Case
Judgment in the case of Holy Blood, Holy Grail authors suing Dan Brown for copyright infringement.

Judge: 'Da Vinci Code' did not breach copyright laws
AP article on the judgment, its background and consequences. Baigent & Leigh appealed, but lost again.


"Bibliography on The Priory Of Sion, Rennes-Le-Château, The Da Vinci Code, Rosslyn Chapel, Landscape Geometry and other modern myths" by Paul Smith


A film by Bruce Burgess (director) and René Barnett (producer) adding some more fabricated twists and turns to the Priory of Sion / Rennes-le-Chateau / Jesus' bloodline issue.

The Da Vinci Code
Review by Alain Jourdan, who tracked the "old swindle" of the Priory of Sion from early on and was one of the first to interview Pierre Plantard.

The Ruins of a Mystery
Review of Henry Lincoln's The Holy Place: The mystery of Rennes-le-Château: Discovering the eighth wonder of the ancient world for Times Literary Supplement by Paul Bahn.

The Da Vinci Con
Review of Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code for the New York Times by Laura Miller.

Bloodline of the Holy Grail: The Hidden Lineage of Jesus Revealed. By Laurence Gardner. Reviews from Publishers Weekly and Charles W. Evans-Günther. See also a critical look at Gardner's Grail King pretender "Prince Michael of Albany" and a report commissioned to investigate his claims.

Resources by Paul Smith

Priory of Sion Debunked.

The Real Historical Origin of The Priory of Sion.

Pierre Plantard the Traditionalist Roman Catholic.
Exposing the founder of the Priory of Sion.

Michael Baigent. Critically examining the main author of Holy Blood, Holy Grail.

The Richardson-Smith discussion

The discussion between Richardson and Smith went in the following chronological order:

"The Priory of Sion Hoax" by Robert Richardson (4/23/03)

"Priory of Sion Misconceptions: Robert Richardson and Steven Mizrach" by Paul Smith (Summer 03)

Response by Robert Richardson (9/7/03)

"The Robert Richardson Hoax" by Paul Smith (9/8/03)

Response to Paul Smith by Robert Richardson (9/10/03)

My Reply to Bob by Paul Smith (9/10/03)

Response from Robert Richardson to Paul Smith's "The Robert Richardson Hoax," analyzing five specific criticisms Paul Smith leveled against him. (1/6/05)

More Robert Richardson Hoaxes by Paul Smith (n.d.)


The Priory-of-Sion.com website . Collection of smaller and larger papers and documents on the mysteries surrounding Rennes-le-Château, Bérenger Saunière, Priory of Sion, Alpha Galates, Pierre Plantard, etc. Edited by Paul Smith. See also sister web site rennes-le-chateau-rhedae.com.

Gazette and portal of de Rennes-le-Château. "This portal offers a set of themes to you starting with the history of the proceedings and the life of Berenger Saunière." Edited by webmaster "Johan."

Rennes-le-Château Research and Resource. "This website is dedicated to giving all the available sources and insights to everyone with an interest in the Mystery of Rennes-le-Château." Edited by Corjan de Raaf. He also runs Radio Rennessence.

Andrew Gough's Arcadia. "Arcadia provides a perspective on history's mysteries" including much on Berenger Sauniere. Edited by Andrew Gough.




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