The Priory of Sion's Aims

 Jerusalem, the ancient Sion

 Jerusalem, the ancient Sion

Assuming that the Priory of Sion is not some kind of hoax and that - whether or not its historical claims are reliable - it exists as a recognisable organisation, what kind of society is it? How many members does it have? And what are its aims?

Even the meaning of its use of the name 'Sion' is –characteristically - unclear. Is it a reference to Jerusalem, or the town of Sion in Switzerland, or the village of Sion-Vaudémont in France? All three locations are given prominence in the 'Priory documents'. Another suggestion is that it relates to the name 'John' – a name emphasised, for reasons that are unclear, by the Priory. 'Sion' - pronounced in the same way as the Irish 'Sean' - is the Welsh equivalent of 'John'.

Some researchers regard the term 'Priory' as significant, suggesting that this indicates that it is only a part of a larger organisation. For example, modern Templar societies organise themselves into priories - roughly the equivalent of the Masonic lodge - usually on a national basis.

André Malraux

André Malraux

The set of statutes accepted as most genuine - the 'Cocteau statutes' of June 1956 - describe a small organisation consisting of 121 members and 243 'Free Brothers' or associate members. Other Priory-related documents claim a membership of over 1,000 - in one case nearly 10,000 - but these seem extremely unlikely. Some sources state that the membership dwindled to as few as 43 in the 1960s and 70s.

On the other hand, sceptics argue that the entire membership of the Priory of Sion never consisted of more than Pierre Plantard and a handful of his friends.

Certainly, apart from Plantard and his confederate Philippe, Marquis de Chérisey, it has been hard to positively identify any other modern members.

Marshall Juin

Marshall Juin

The Black Madonna Statue of Notre-Dame de Lumière at Goult in Provence, which is said by the Priory of Sion to be an especially important icon to them

The Black Madonna Statue of Notre-Dame de Lumière at Goult in Provence, which is said by the Priory of Sion to be an especially important icon to them

Plantard claimed two prominent figures in post-war French politics - André Malraux and Marshall Alphonse Juin - as members, although both were dead by the time that he made his statement in the mid-1980s. However, Plantard's association with Malraux in the 1950s is documented.

According to the Priory's own sources, it has members in Britain and the USA, although again it is difficult to identify any individuals. Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince claim to have met British members, and to have knowledge of several more, most of whom are either in the publishing industry or the international banking fraternity.

The Black Madonna Statue of Notre-Dame de Lumière

The Black Madonna Statue of Notre-Dame de Lumière at Goult in Provence, which is said by the Priory of Sion to be an especially important icon to them

Even in its own writings the aims and purpose of the Priory of Sion is contradictory. On its official registration in 1956 it stated itself to be a Catholic organisation, but most of the material that has emanated from it concerning religious and spiritual matters has been of a distinctly unorthodox, not to say heretical, character.

According to the Dossiers secrets, the primary aim of the Priory of Sion is the protection and advancement of the descendants of the Merovingian dynasty, their ultimate objective being placing them on the throne of - or at least in positions of power and influence in - France.

In meetings with the authors of The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail in 1984, Pierre Plantard made some astonishing claims.

The first was that the Priory of Sion had, in some way, been behind François Mitterand's rise to the French Presidency in 1981. Strange as this may appear, researchers have established genuine connections between Plantard and Mitterand. Significance has also been attached to Mitterand's visit to Rennes-le-Château during his 1981 election campaign.

François Mitterand at Rennes-le-Château

François Mitterand at Rennes-le-Château

It may therefore be significant that the promotion of the Priory of Sion to the public began immediately following Mitterand's election. By 1984, however, Plantard was stating that Mitterand's job was done and that he was now 'expendable'.

In 1984 Plantard stated that the Priory's immediate objective was not the restoration of the Merovingians, but the creation of the United States of Europe. This, he said, was regarded as vital in order to preserve the European nations' economic independence from the USA and, at that time, the USSR. It advocated expansion of what was then the European Economic Community - in ways that have since come to pass.

Plantard declared that the Priory of Sion are the guardians of more secrets than that of the Merovingian survival, secrets that would have a much greater immediate impact in the modern world. One of his most thought-provoking claims in that the Priory possess the legendary Jerusalem Temple treasure - the sacred ritual objects looted from the
Roman relief showing the capture of the Jerusalem Temple treasure

Roman relief showing the capture of the Jerusalem Temple treasure

Temple by the Roman army, and which disappear from history after having been in turn pillaged Rome by the Visigoths, who brought the priceless artefacts to France.

If true, the treasure would have more than mere financial significance, as it would have an immense symbolic and even political importance for today's state of Israel. The connection between the Temple treasure and the Priory of Sion is explored in Guy Patton and Robin Mackness's Sacred Treasure, Secret Power (2000).

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