According to the authors of this extraordinarily provocative, meticulously researched book, not only are these things possible, they are probably true! So revolutionary, so original, so convincing, that the most faithful Christians will be moved; here is the book that has sparked worldwide controversey.
©1982, 1983 Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln; (P)2006 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.
"Has all the elements of an international thriller." (Newsweek)
"Enough to seriously challenge many traditional Christian beliefs, if not alter them." (Los Angeles Times Book Review)
This book is chiefly about research into documents deposited in the National Library of Paris from the 1950's-1970's detailing the existence of a Secret Society known as the Priory of Sion which has orchestrated major events in world history, preserved mystical secrets of immense power, and counted among its Grand Masters some of the most important figures in Western culture.
The research extends to the grand claim that Priory serves also as guardian over the bloodline of Jesus Christ who may not have died on the cross but rather survived to bear children with the Magdalene.
The authors piece together the information in the documents using erudite scholarship combined with brazen sprees of speculation. And the existence of Priory itself has by now been written off as an elaborately orchestrated hoax.
Yet there still exist historical mysteries that made the hoax possible in the first place. These indicate not only secret machinations behind some of the most significant events in world history, but unknown sources of immense wealth and power accessible to the story's key players that cannot be ignored regardless of the Priory's existence or non-existence.
This book also formed the historical or mythological framework behind the plot of The Da Vinci Code.
Taken by itself and without the "lens" of pre-conception, this is fairly fascinating stuff. It is this work that contains the basis of much that is in Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code ... but this is the real deal. It is unconventional research by people who write documentaries for British Television. The big problem is that Pierre Plantard, the source of Priory of Sion lore, has, since the publication of this book, been proven to be a hoax and a forger. That discovery almost completely takes the wind out of the sails of the hypotheses presented by these authors. It reduces this work to a curiosity rather than the "big deal" it was 25 years ago (when published).
First I want to say this book is a great read (or listen). I give it 5 stars because it REALLY is enjoyable. The thing is, a lot of the stuff in here time has shown not to be true. I think it's very important going into this book knowing that them Priory has been proven to be a hoax, and on top of the the person(s) that purported that never meant to imply that he (they) were decedents of Jesus.
There are a lot of real facts and history in this book, but it ends up incredibly mixed with personal opinion and flawed leaps of logic. Even with all of that in mind, I still can't bring myself to call this book "fiction", I believe the authors wrote in sincerely and at the time of writing believed what they wrote. I think the best way to deal with this book is read it, enjoy it, and take the points that interest you and read other books about the subjects, perhaps ones that are more historically accurate.
Make no bones about it, this book is absolutely trash. It was iffy history when it came out thirty years ago and it's even wonkier now, with respected historians covering many of the topics inside with a greater availability of information.
That doesn't change the fact, however, that this book is entertaining as all hell, and the fact that the authors are essentially falling for someone else's hoax in pursuit of making their own is golden. An absolute favorite and guilty pleasure.
It's has added a new detention to my understanding. I understand that there is a certain amount of assumption in their lesser important suggestions. The bulk, however, is fascinating!
Even the authors admit this is simply a story about a process of discovery. The discovery itself is still questionable but how they came to their conclusions was a interesting journey. If you care more about the destination rather than the journey to get there, this book is not for you.
The first chapter or two is very interesting the last two or three chapters very interesting as well.
The middle part slows down with all the details.
Overall I really like the story
For any student of the western esoteric tradition this is a transformative and near initiatory work. The performance of the book is also top notch. can't recommend enough.
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