Ron Howard’s depiction of Dan Brown’s book was an eye-opener for the viewing public, in much the same way the book was for readers.
The idea that there might be a Sang Real (royal bloodline) from the union (marriage?) of Jesus and Mary Magdalene seemed so outlandish, unexpected and sacrilegious all at once that it caught the imagination of the world.
But for those who have been following the trail of leads through the South of France, this was old-hat.
The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail
This whole scenario started when Henry Lincoln picked up some summer reading material in the 1969:
The most casual and mundane of actions can sometimes change the course of one’s life. So it was for me in 1969 when idly I spun a pavement bookstand outside a papershop in a small provincial French town. I was looking for some light and entertaining reading, something undemanding to fill a holiday hour. I reached out and took from the rack Le Trésor Maudit (‘The Accursed Treasure’). As I handed over the few francs for the paperback, I had no inkling that I had just purchased twenty years of excitement, mystery and discovery. As haphazardly as a roulette wheel the spinning bookstand had presented me with a winner. (Henry Lincoln, opening paragraph from his book The Holy Place)
To some, it seemed like Lincoln had embarked on a wild goose chase, but what it really did was re-ignite a thousand year old heresy that had been extinguished when the Cathars were destroyed in the 13th century.
The Priory of Sion
This ‘fake’ organization was uncovered by Lincoln during his perusal of the Treasure book. They had planted (Plantard) some documentation which pointed to the fact of a continuing French bloodline descended from the Merovingian dynasty. These documents were aligned to a painting by Poussin which I featured in a previous post. The idea was that a secret tomb was located in the South of France, near Rennes-le-Château. Speculation as to whether this might be Jesus’ tomb is what makes it earthshaking, to say the least.
But Plantard’s purpose was not to re-open a heresy but to suggest that by divine right he himself was the true King of France. And that is where the story ends for the Priory of Sion. Charlemagne made sure of that when he became the first Holy Roman Emperor.
Plantard was exposed by Lincoln as highly suspect, but Dan Brown decided that the Priory of Sion was ‘real’, for literary purposes.
It was also inspired thinking that brought Ron Howard and his crew to include Rosslyn Chapel in the movie. The fact that the South of France is nowhere featured in the story except by having one of the characters named Saunière, this location brings the Knights Templar back to the Sinclair base in Scotland.
As has been noted in many publications about it, Rosslyn Chapel is a strange mix of many religious heritages. It may have been a way to hide heretical information under the very nose of the Roman Catholic Church. To say that it is an enigma would be an understatement.
Dan Brown’s use of Sophia (wisdom) as the basis of the name of his principal female character was wholly inspired. The Gnostics in the first century developed a theory that a first-born of God was wisdom and she mistook the reflected light from creation to be her father’s original light and fell into materialization.
Strange as that may sound, it makes a certain kind of sense when you think of the Holy Spirit as feminine. She is the Comforter promised by Jesus. And Mary Magdalene was said to embody that energy. Have we come full circle?
To have a fictional character who is good at code-breaking with that name was somehow satisfying, at least for me.
I watched the movie last night for the first time in years.
It visually tried to hammer home certain ‘truths’ which would make the Roman Catholic Church redundant in today’s day and age, whether or not they are true.
But people believe what they want to believe, so we shall never know for sure what is the Real Truth.