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Book Review:

Rex Deus: The True Mystery of Rennes-le-Chateau and the Dynasty of Jesus

by, Marylin Hopkins, Graham Simmans and Tim Wallace-Murphy

Published by the same company that brought you Laurence Gardner’s Bloodline of the Holy Grail and Genesis of the Grail Kings, as well as Prince Michael of Albany’s The Forgotten Monarchy of Scotland comes the latest installment in the saga of the Grail family. Both Prince Michael and Laurence Gardner are used as sources throughout this book, and their primary informant is a man named “Michael” who seems to be part of the same milieu. He’s this guy who came up to the authors at a Sauniere Society Symposium and started spilling what were purported to be the “Rex Deus” family secrets. I don’t think that his “Michael” is the same as Prince Michael, but nothing that their informant told them differed in any way with the views of Prince Michael, so it doesn’t really matter. The authors coyly refuse to divulge any information about this informant, and took everything that he told them with absolute authority. He claimed to be the last living descendant of a particular line of this ‘Rex Deus’ family, a term that is not actually defined but which is used loosely to refer to those of the Grail blood. Michael said he was a direct descendant of Hughes de Payen, co-founder of the Knights Templar, and related through marriage to the St. Clairs of Roslin and the Dukes of Normandy. Michael knew nothing of the Rex Deus or he Grail blood until he became a teenager. Then one day, his father approached him privately and, “After taking the oath [of secrecy] ... he was informed that appropriate documentation in the form of family genealogies was hidden in a secret drawer in an old family bureau and that after his father’s death it would be Michael’s sacred duty to keep the genealogies up to date, and to pass on the secret to the most suitable of his children. He was also to prepare himself and his chosen child to act in collaboration with other members of the Rex Deus families when asked to do so. His obedience to their requests was to be total and unquestioning. All this under and oath of secrecy within which the penalty for transgression would be death. ... Sadly, Michael’s father died suddenly some years later, and be the time he returned to the family home he found that the bureau and all it contained had been appropriated by a brother. Bound by his oath of secrecy, he could never explain why he wanted it back and, despite his best efforts, he has not seen that piece of furniture nor its contents from that day to this...” What an intriguing introduction to what promises to be an intriguing book, right? Unfortunately, it isn’t.

There’s little that’s new or surprising in this book. For the most part, it tells the familiar tale of the “Apocryphal Christ”, the real Christ that the Roman church co-opted and perverted the teachings of for their own sick ends. This Christ is not a poor carpenter born in a manger from a virgin’s womb, but a high-ranking member of Jewish nobility, a scion of both the House of David and the House of Levi, and therefore a legitimate claimant to both the throne of Jerusalem and the High Priesthood of the Temple. Instead of the image portrayed by the Vatican, and its Protestant offshoots, as a god incarnate, the son of God sent to redeem us of our sins, this Jesus was more of a sorcerer and a mystic, an initiate of the Egyptian mystery schools and a member of the Jewish mystical sect known as the Essenes, the people who wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls. The authors continually stress that he came to reveal, not to redeem, which was a foreign concept in Judaism. Jesus was a contemporary of both John the Baptist and Simon Magus, and was very much influenced by both. He was also a revolutionary dedicated to overthrowing Roman rule, as all Essenes were. And of course, he was married with children, as all Jewish men were expected to be, especially Rabbis, and his wife was, predictably, Mary Magdalen. But the most interesting thing about this version of Jesus is how he was conceived. The authors explain that as a member of the Jewish nobility and the Tribe of Levi, Mary, mother of Jesus was sent to be educated at the Herodian Temple in Jerusalem. The authors explain:

“For some considerable time before the birth of Jesus, the Temple in Jerusalem had maintained two separate boarding schools, one for boys, and one for girls, which were administered and taught by the High Priests. The male graduates were destined to become priests at the Temple, rabbis or leading members of the community... . The traditions of these schools seem strange. The High Priests were not only responsible for the instruction of their highborn pupils, but when the young girls attained childbearing age, for their impregnation as well. The fate of the children of such unions is central to the story. Te pregnant girls would be found suitable husbands among the highborn of Israel, which apparently contradicted Jewish customs of the time. These marriages were arranged in one inviolable condition, that the children born of the union with the priest would, at the age of seven, be returned to the appropriate Temple school for education. In this manner the hereditary principle of the royal priesthood was ensured and the bloodlines were kept pure.
One pupil at the girls’ school was Miriam, or Mary as she is known to history, the daughter of an earlier pupil named Anne. Mary was impregnated by the High Priest known as Gabriel and, when her pregnancy was confirmed, a marriage was arranged for her. She rejected the first man chosen to be her husband, so another suitable candidate had to be selected by lot from among the appropriate families. This was a young man of Davidic descent, Joseph of Tyre, whose ancestor was Hiram, King of Tyre, known to Masonic legend as Hiram Abif; this wealthy young man is known to us as St. Joseph. The child of the union was Jesus who, after spending the years of his early childhood in Egypt, returned to Jerusalem and in his turn attended the Jerusalem school.”

The rest of the book just goes on to recount what should be mostly familiar material to students of Rennes-le-Chateau and the Holy Grail. There is an interesting chapter on the Shroud of Turin, which the authors believe to be a genuine artifact of Christ’s crucifixion. They differ from the mainstream view, however, in their claims that the Shroud contains evidence that he was alive when he was taken down from the cross. The samples that have been taken and analyzed from the Shroud show that he was not washed before burial, as Jewish custom dictates, but instead embalmed with therapeutic ointments, as though he was being nursed back to health. Afterwards, the family of Jesus split off in two separate directions - to the South of France with Mary Magdalen, his wife/widow, and to England with Jesus’ son, James. The church founded by Jesus was continued in Jerusalem by his brother James the Just, until he was murdered in a Roman conspiracy involving Saul of Tarsus. Saul later became St. Paul, upon whom the Vatican’s doctrine of the divinity of Jesus was based. >From there after, the true bloodline and the true Church of Jesus had to stay underground, while the Roman church perverted his doctrines and killed off his family from the public record. His descendants intermarried with the royal families of Europe, especially the Celts, the Saxons and the Visigoths, to become the Rex Deus families we all know so well: Merovingian, Habsburg, Plantagenet, Lorraine, Stewart, Savoy, Joinville, De Charney, St. Clair, etc. They have conspired throughout the centuries, and often even succeeded in controlling the fates of Europe via their secret societies. They’ve passed on their sacred knowledge, as well as their sacred relics from the Temple of Jerusalem, through such organizations as the Knights Templar, the Freemasons, the Rosicrucians, the Illuminati, the Order of the Garter, the Order of the Golden Fleece, the “Imperial and Royal Dragon Court”, the Compagnie du Sainte-Sacrament, ad even the OTO and the Theosophical Society. Results include the Crusades, The Holy Roman Empire, the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, the French and American revolutions, the downfall of feudalism, Democracy, the Industrial Revolution, the New Age movement, and all the recent campaigns for peace, tolerance, and environmentalism. At least, according to the authors of Rex Deus.

Another point of note is that they dismiss the Rennes parchments and the whole notion of the modern Prieure de Sion, based on the fact that an associate of Pierre Plantard, Philippe de Cherisey, has admitted publicly to having forged them. However, Gerard de Sede, another associate who help publicize Plantard and brought him to the attention of Henry Lincoln claims that they are not forgeries so much as copies of the originals, so the issue is still up in the air. Either way, though, the Prieure de Sion and Pierre Plantard were obviously trying to tell us something about the Grail line, something that’s been confirmed by hundreds of subsequent investigations, and it’s obvious that Berenger Sauniere and the Rennes-le-Chateau were integral to it all. So if you ask me, these authors are a bit to dismissive of the P of S, and to ready to dis the exhaustive work of Baigent et. al. in Holy Blood, Holy Grail, while still relying on it heavily for reference. The accuse Baigent, et. al. of having “no evidence” to support their claims that Berenger Sauniere ever bought a copy of Poussin’s painting, Les Shepherds d’Arcadie, so central to the story, not that he ever knew or received cash payments from members of the Habsburg dynasty. Despite the fact that this is hairsplitting to the point of ridiculousness, it’s also inconclusive, for the authors admit that there’s no evidence to the contrary, so these things could have happened, and in the case of the Habsburgs, it is even likely.

The only other truly interesting things in this book include the assertion that the leaders of the European Enlightenment, such as Isaac Newton and Robert Boyle were, “combined in a network known as the Third Force, who acted as a force for moderation [between extreme Catholicism and extreme Protestantism] in the troubled religious disputes of the Reformation and after.” This is a reminder to me of the ‘Third Position’, a political movement that started in Europe early last century and which offered a ‘Third Way’ between the extremes of Communism and Fascism. It also reminds me of the ‘Way’, the path of righteousness and of moderation practiced by the Essenes, and the fact that Pierre Plantard referred to himself as ‘The Way’ when he edited the so-called ‘French Resistance’ magazine Vaincre! during WWII. It seems to me that all these ‘ways’ are references to the path of the Middle Pillar in Jewish qabalism, a state of being that unites all opposites - good and evil, male and female, mercy and severity - to form a -potent and powerful transcendental force that can be used to accomplish anything you desire.

The other interesting thing in this book is about the apocryphal Book of Enoch in which it is said of Enoch:

“...that he taught the art of building... he feared that the real secrets would be lost - to prevent which he concealed the Grand Secret engraved on a white oriental porphyry stone in the bowels of the Earth.... The Book of Enoch was known to exist from very ancient times, and is continually alluded to by the fathers of the Church.” with the exception of the color of the tablet, which is white, instead of green, this sounds just like the Emerald Tablet of Hermes that’s supposedly buried in the center of the Earth, and Enoch is considered by qabalists to be the equivalent of Hermes.
For those who are unfamiliar with the subjects of the Merovingians, Rennes-le-Chateau, the Prieure de Sion, and the Grail bloodline, I would suggest that they read Holy Blood, Holy Grail by Baigent, et. al. first, followed by Laurence Gardner’s Bloodline of the Holy Grail. But for those who have already read these and other books on these topics, this is a good supplementary read.

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