by, Vivianne Petruveus
Guy Patton is the co-author, along with Robin Mackness, of the book Web of Gold: The Secret Power of a Sacred Treasure. This book offers a new take on the Priory of Sion and the lost treasure of the Temple of Jerusalem. Here, Mr. Patton discusses his research with us.
DR: What do you think Berenger Sauniere learned that made him terribly rich and made him refuse Last Rites on his deathbed?
GP: The wealth of Abbe Sauniere has been grossly exaggerated. As I mention in Web of Gold, it is most probable that he found the family heirlooms of the Hautpouls, hidden by the Abbe Bigou in the church crypt prior to the French Revolution. In addition, donations, dealing in various items, the genuine sale of masses, and probable financial support for his Monarchist stance from anonymous aristocrats would have been ample to fund his activities and lifestyle. It is also possible that he did find some documents which proved to be of value - but their contents have not been publicly revealed and can only be the object of speculation. Concerning Sauniere's last rites, the stories surrounding the extreme reaction of his friend Abbe Riviere who attended him, are only hearsay. Sauniere may well have been party to some great secret unacceptable to the Catholic Church, but to date there is no actual proof. Although only speculation, I think that it is possible that Sauniere's involvement with Martinism could have brought him into contact with Spiritualism. Despite being a good Catholic priest to his parishioners, a revelation of these esoteric activities may have been unacceptable, even shocking, to another priest.
DR: Why do you suppose Sauniere went on walks in the middle of the night collecting stones, and why did he construct a secret room in his sacristy?
GP: This is certainly one of the genuine mysteries of the Sauniere story, though actual details of these events vary. His walks were during the day when he would return with a knapsack full of rocks. He would then disappear into the secret room accesible through a false bookcase from the sacristy. It is of course possible that he had found something of value which he wished to remain secret. His nocturnal activities are documented and refer to clandestine diggings in the cemetery. I believe that he was looking for a particular grave/tomb, that of Marie de Negre d'Hautpoul, that may have contained precious artefacts or documents to supplement those he discovered in the church.
DR: What's the meaning of the number 681 in the encoded parchments at Rennes le Chateau? And what about the phrase, "This Horse of God"?
GP: There are at least 5 possible explanations of 681, one of which, found in the Priory of Sion's secret dossier, concerns the arrival of the infant Sigisbert IV at Rennes-le-Chateau, after the assassination of his father Dagobert II, in 681. This account is refuted by all historians and mainstream researchers who deny the existence of Sigisbert. However, another persuasive explanation has recently come to light. The phrase PAX 681 may refer to the founding of the nation of Bulgaria following a peace treaty in 681. This event is commemorated by an ancient rock carving in Bulgaria entitled the HORSE OF GOD, a phrase also found in the Rennes parchments. There are two specific links between Bulgaria and the Languedoc. Firstly, the Cathar faith was closely connected to that of the Bulgarian Bogomils. Secondly, the Celtic Tectosage tribe from Toulouse assisted their Bulgarian cousins in the sack of Delphi in 273BC. Legend and history relate that the Delphic treasure was brought back to the South of France where it disappeared in the region of the Pyrenees.
DR: Do you believe there is anything to Boudet's claim that English is the original Celtic language? Or did he just write Le Vraie Celtique et le Cromlech de Rennes-le-Bains as a means of transmitting an encoded message?
GP: At the time of Boudet there was a proliferation of Celtic studies throughout Europe that paralleled the great interest in Egyptology. Boudet was evidently a very learned scholar but didn't have the advantage of the mass of archaeological, anthropological and etymological research available today. At the time of writing, Boudet's theory may have seemed a great deal more credible than now and so we must accept the possibility that his book is a genuine study. I am equally persuaded, however, that the book may well contain coded information relating to secret locations probably within the valley of Rennes-les-Bains. The key to this theory is the map of the valley which undoubtedly contains some strange anomalies yet to be adequately explained.
DR: How much credence do you give to the Priory of Sion's list of Grand Masters?
GP: None. The list of Priory Grand Masters is a central part of Plantard's Priory mythology. The Priory of Sion did not exist before 1956. The Ordre de Notre Dame de Sion, with which the Priory of Sion is often confused, is a totally separate organisation. Undoubtably, the individuals chosen for the list indicate the mindset of those who fabricated the Priory mythology, and are worthy of further study. The list is best studied not as a whole, but in sections of 4 or5 characters and against the religious and political backgrounds of their times.
DR: What was the agenda and purpose of the Order of Alpha Galates? Was it similar to the Priory of Sion?
GP: An indication of the agenda and political ideology of Alpha Galates can only be ascertained by reading the articles published in Vaincre, the magazine edited by Pierre Plantard during the war. It appears to have strong leanings towards the synarchist view, that of government by an elite aristocracy with an emphasis on tradition and chivalry. This vision was shared by the original 1956 Priory of Sion which grew out of the ideology of Alpha Galates.
DR: Are the Priory of Sion connected to Grand Lodge Alpina and to P2 Freemasonry?
GP: The connections appear to be more by association rather than by direct links. In other words they have at times shared the same objectives and generally would be politically aligned.The result of my researches have led me to believe that the Priory of Sion is not a formalised group with initiations, rites, rituals etc., but rather a collective of like-minded individuals which would co-opt others when appropriate. Similarly, P2 was never a Masonic lodge in reality, but may have attempted to present itself as such to hide its true agenda. This agenda was quite clearly to establish a shadow government able to challenge and defeat the Communists should they manage to seize power in Italy. P2 was supported by the Catholic Church, Western Intelligence agencies, the financial and business sectors of Italy and high-ranking Italian army officers.
DR: What is the true purpose of the Opus Dei, and how much power do they have? Is there any connection between the Priory of Sion, the Knights of Malta, and the Opus Dei? Are they involved with the CIA and with MI5, and if so, why are these spy agencies interested?
GP: Opus Dei is a fundamentalist Catholic sect which is gaining increasing power in the Vatican. It is known to have supported and received support from Right wing dictatorships such as that of General Franco and the regimes in South America. They run their own educational establishments and banks through which they can wield influence and pursue their right wing Catholic agenda - that is, complete control of the Roman Catholic Church. A common denominator between the Catholic Church, Western governments, Right wing regimes, Synarchic groups and International capitalists is the fight against Communism. The Western Intelligence agencies set up networks after the war known as `stay behind operations' to monitor and counter Communist activities in several European countries. Despite their shared objective, the various participants in this anti-Communist alliance continued to pursue their own secret agendas. The full extent of the involvement of the Priory of Sion associates in this world is not yet known and is the subject of further research. With regard to the Intelligence activity, the story of Sauniere and Rennes-le-Chateau may well be a smoke screen hiding the true agendas of those involved, some of which have a past history of Nazi or fascist collaboration.
DR: You've said that a former British Intelligence agent, Michael Bentine warned the Rennes-le-Chateau Research Group that they "were getting into dangerous territory?" What was the danger? Can you elaborate on this story?
GP: Michael Bentine was probably alluding to the existence of the `stay behind operations' and the involvement of right wing politics. This aspect of the Rennes-le-Chateau story was first hinted at in The Messianic Legacy by Baigent, Lincoln and Leigh and has been further explored in Web of Gold. The stakes in European politics are very high and I think that there has been an attempt to dissuade research into certain critical areas.
DR: Are you convinced that the Pierre Plantard and other members of the Priory of Sion were involved with the Nazi movement and the Vichy government in France? If so, how does this reconcile with the Priory's seemingly Zionist agenda, supporting the restoration of monarchy based on the Biblical House of David?
GP: Plantard may not have been directly involved with the Nazi movement but he was certainly a supporter of Marshal Pétain and his Vichy government. The Vichy ideology was based on a belief in a national regeneration of France by an elite which would promote a blend of Christian and Chivalric ideals. This may have paralleled the Nazi agenda but was independent and strictly French. As to the Priory of Sion - Jewish question, a differentiation between political (and cultural) Zionism and the more religious Judaic tradition is crucial. The Priory of Sion does not support Zionism, but in its Dossiers Secrets does appear to acknowledge that Jesus Christ was of the biblical line of David. A bloodline of Jesus, in which they include the Merovingian monarchs, must therefore be Jewish. It is evident that the Priory of Sion have had to find a mechanism of reconciling their essentially Christian beliefs with Jesus's traditional Jewish roots. And this may well lie at the heart of the Priory's mythology. It should be noted that during the war, Vichy persecution of Jews was almost exclusively confined to the deportation of Askenazi Jews that had fled into France from eastern Europe. The resident Sephardic community was left largely untouched.
DR: You've said that the Priory's real agenda is right-wing politics, and that the story of the bloodline of Jesus is just a cover. Does that mean that they made up the whole "Grail bloodline" thing to begin with, and that they don't really care about it at all? And why would they use such an unorthodox cover anyway?
GP: It is entirely possible that those associated with the Priory of Sion do believe in a bloodline of Jesus, but in the absence of any genuine documentation they have created their own mythological evidence. However, I don't believe that the protection of a physical bloodline is central to the Priory's agenda. The symbolism of a Jesus bloodline is in fact another variation of the tradition of Secret Masters, Unknown Superiors etc., found in all synarchic groups that attempt to give a legitimacy to the imposition of a ruling elite. By convincing people of the actual existence of a bloodline of Jesus within a section of the nobility of France, the Priory may believe it will be easier to achieve their synarchist agenda, and at the same time, reduce the authority of the Vatican.
DR: Who's Roger-Rene Dagobert and what does he do, exactly?
GP: Roger-Rene Dagobert is a retired architect who lives in Nantes. He is of the same family as the famous General Dagobert and has spent twenty years researching his family. With some justification he has established a link back to the Merovingians, but I think one must remain cautious in accepting this as a proven fact. An ardent Protestant and Republican, he has made it his mission to expose corruption especially amongst those whom he considers to be a threat to the Republic. It is amongst these that he places the late Pierre Plantard, his friends, and members of the Priory of Sion.
DR: Was Francois Mitterand involved with the Priory of Sion? Do you think that they might have had a hand at putting him in power?
GP: Circumstantial evidence as outlined in Web of Gold certainly indicates that Francois Mitterrand had close friends that may have been directly connected to the Priory of Sion or at least were associated with some of its members. Some of these friendships were formed during the war and involved those who, like Mitterrand, worked for the Vichy government. It is from this circle that Mitterrand received support (including financial) for his presidential campaign.
DR: Did Mitterand protect newspaper publisher René Bousquet from prosecution for war crimes because they both shared the secret of the Priory of Sion?
GP: Mitterrand's Vichy past was always a source of embarrassment to him and he avoided discussion on it. Bousquet had been deeply entrenched in Vichy politics having been Chief of Police and responsible for the deportation of 76,000 Jews from France to Germany. As part of the inner circle he would have been aware of Mitterrand's interest in the treasure legends of the Corbieres and the strange history of Rennes-le-Chateau. It was remarkably fortuitous for Mitterrand and his cronies that just before Bousquet was to attend a judicial enquiry he was shot at his home. Since he was not the only one to suffer a sudden death at a convenient time, I think one can draw one's own conclusions.
DR: Did the members of the Order of the Solar Temple know the secret of the Templar treasure? If so, do you think this info was obtained from psychically channeling dead Templars, as it was claimed, or did they obtain it by more mundane means because of their descent from the Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem?
GP: The original Solar Templars founded by Jacques Breyer were probably not aware of the details of the Corbieres treasure since they concentrated their efforts at Arginy. It was here that they attempted to raise the spirits of the nine founding Templar knights. However, this original Order was infiltrated and brought into the occult right-wing world of other neo-Templar and so-called Chivalric Orders. It is this later manifestation of the Solar temple that becomes associated with groups such as the neo-Masonic lodge P2, the Sovereign and Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem, and those connected to the Priory of Sion.
DR: Was the Solar Temple most likely responsible for Grace Kelly's death?
GP: Not the membership as a whole, who were to suffer their own tragic ends, but the close knit hierarchy whose agenda was far from spiritual. It is known that many wealthy financiers, businessmen and women, and professional people were specifically targeted for recruitment merely to divest them from their money. It is possible that Princess Grace may well have been one of the earliest victims.
DR: To what extent did Opus Dei and the Knights of Malta manipulate the Serbian-Croatian conflict to their own advantage?
GP: Opus Dei and the Knights of Malta would have been acting on behalf of the extreme traditionalists in the Vatican. The conflict in the former Yugoslavia presented an opportunity both to halt the advance of Islam and for the Roman Catholic Croatians to suppress the Orthodox Christian Serbs. This was an easy conflict to manipulate since the Serbs had been persecuted by the Croats during the Second World War and were incited to exact their revenge.
DR: What precisely was Otto Skorzensky looking for at Montsegur and do you think that he found it?
GP: According to US Col Howard Buechner, Skorzeny was sent to Montsegur by Himmler, Bormann and Rosenberg, acting on their own account, to search for the Holy Grail following the researches of Otto Rahn. With the tide of war turning in the Allies' favour, they probably considered this a last opportunity to get their hands on such a priceless treasure. It is indeed possible that Skorzeny found something of value, probably a cache of ancient coins, but I doubt if the Ark of the Covenant or other ancient artefacts were discovered.
DR: What was St. Yves d'Alveydre's (founder of the fraternity known as the Polaires) vision of Agartha and how did this relate to his political concept of "Synarchy"?
GP: St. Yves believed that Agartha was an underground city in the centre of Asia which was the home to a population of millions governed by a spiritually enlightened elite headed by an Ethiopian `Sovereign Pontiff.' He believed that this Agarthan civilisation was both spiritually and technically more advanced than his. This form of elitist government is very typical of the Synarchist ideal.
DR: Do you think that the Priory of Sion shares this belief in the concept of Synarchy?
GP: The concept of Synarchy, that is government by an intellectual and spiritually- aware elite, is common to many right-wing orientated groups/sects.
DR: Do you think the core beliefs of the Priory of Sion include the concept of Agartha?
GP: Although there are differences in interpretation, the concept of Agartha is a symbolic archetype of this elite government. Plantard's wartime publication, Vaincre, the literary organ of Alpha Galates, forerunner to the Priory of Sion, certainly highlights the Agarthan concept.
DR: You said that St. Yves believed that the "Enlightened King of the World" would come from Agartha. Do you know of any other groups or people who believe this?
GP: There are a large number of groups, that in one way or another believe in Agartha, Shamballa, Unknown Superiors, Divine Monarchs, Hidden Masters and the many variations on these themes. But essentially they are all part of an elitist ideology that rejects popular democracy.
DR: What do you consider Martinism to be derivative of? Is it largely of Masonic origin, but pro-Catholic?
GP: Martinism is undeniably a branch of mystical Christianity. Founded by Martines de Pasqually and developed by Louis Claude de Saint-Martin, it was an attempt to find personal spiritual enlightenment through magic, the Cabala and the power of Christ. It never was, and still isn't, Masonic in the true sense but Papus, by association with other occult pursuits, brought Martinism into the neo-Masonic world. During the late 19th century occult revival, there was a proliferation of esoteric societies which have gradually been drawn into the neo-Masonic fold.
DR: Do the Martinists still embrace the concept of Synarchy?
GP: It is very difficult to compare the original Martinism with the later groups, often the result of splits or natural evolution, that carry the name, such as the OMS - Ordre Matiniste Synarchique. I certainly cannot reply for all Martinists, but it would be fair to say that many of those drawn to Martinism would probably support some sort of Synarchic model.
DR: Is it likely that Jules Verne was initiated into the secrets of the Merovingian Dynasty, and if so, by whom?
GP: I wouldn't want to comment on the extent of Verne's involvement with the Merovingian cause or associated sects, as I have never seen any direct proof. However, from his novel Clovis Dardentor, it appears that he was aware of the legends of treasure in the Corbieres and its possible link with the displaced Merovingian kings. Whether the allusion to these themes in his book is artistic licence or insider knowledge is open to debate.
DR: What do you think are the origins of the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion?
GP: A proto-type for the Protocols appeared in Martinist documents from the late 19th century. The Martinist leader Papus was anti-Semitic and believed in a Jewish-Zionist agenda to dominate Europe. It is believed that it was through his instigation that the first Protocols were concocted to discredit the Jewish community. Papus was a supporter of a Christian-based Synarchic government as a counter to his perceived Zionist plot.
DR: What is meant by the term "Great Monarch", which Charles de Gaulle believed himself to be..' What did you mean when you said that Mitterand was considered "more of a monarch than a president"?
GP: Both de Gaulle and Mitterrand considered themselves to have a specific and possible divine mission to restore a former greatness to France. Whatever their public political stance, they both subscribed to elitism in the Synarchist model. Just like the absolute kings of the ancient regime, they adopted a paternalistic attitude towards government, with a certain contempt for their electorate. It is in this sense they both saw themselves as the archetypal "Great Monarch" - a belief that dominated the style and nature of their politics.
DR: Do you believe that a new Temple of Jerusalem is in the works and that as Rabbi Ariel Bar Tzadok claims, the cornerstone has already been laid? If so, is it likely that the Ark and other paraphernalia will be returned once it is done?
GP: I have no reason to believe that preparations for the new Temple of Jerusalem are not well in hand and that the cornerstone has not already been laid. Rebuilding the Temple is one of the ultimate aims of both the religious orthodox Jews and the political Zionists. As to the restoration of the Jewish treasures there is no evidence that such artifacts have been found - other than the highly questionable statement by Pierre Plantard on behalf of the Priory of Sion.
DR: Can you elaborate on your idea that the World Jewish Congress is trying to destroy the Swiss banking system so that certain Jewish families can control more of the industry?
GP: The consistent attack on the Swiss banking system and demand for Holocaust-centred compensation orchestrated by the World Jewish Council certainly appears to have a hidden agenda. Many other countries, and even the Vatican, have been shown to have profited from so-called Nazi gold but have not been subjected to the same pressures. A collapse in confidence in Swiss banks would result in a transfer of enormous financial power from Europe to America. Whether one subscribes to conspiracy theories or not, it is a fact that control of global finance results in control of multi-national and global industries and ultimately of individual national governments. Of course not all American-based banks are controlled by Jews, but a number are, and would stand to gain from a reduction in power of Swiss banks.
DR: Is there any chance that we will see the return of "Divine Right" monarchy in our lifetimes because of the work of these secret societies?
GP: It is impossible to predict the future. If Western Capitalism were to collapse, the resulting power vacuum would give rise to unimaginable conflict and hardship. History has shown so far that the victors of these situations are usually dictators supported by the far Right or far Left. The concept of a spiritually benevolent "Divine Monarch" is probably only an idealistic dream which could never become a reality.
The late Pierre Plantard and his son, Thomas.