Who is Pierre Plantard?
As Dan Brown’s Angels&Demons is soon to be coming to a theatre near you, i watched a very interesting documentary on the Da Vinci Code on National Geographic TV.
The documentary curiously deconstructs the book and all the foundations in it such as marriage of Jesus and Mary Magdelena, Opus Dei, Vatican, Priory of Sion etc.
What caught my interest is the guy behind the idea of Priory of Sion. His name was Pierre Plantard and he had been an extreme right wing fanatic through all his life.
He was even sentenced to 6 months of prison due forgery in historical documents and trade of these fraud artifacts.
In 1956 he registered the Priory of Sion in a small town in the border of Switzerland. Then he met Noel Corbu who owned a hotel nearby and trying to attract some tourists with the story of a man called Berenger Sauniere. He was a priest and made a fortune out of praying as he got a frank per each prayer and he was really popular back then.
Plantard along with his friend Philippe de Cherisey started to write a story with all the possible documents and created the hoax of Priory of Sion. They even created the leaders line of the priory that included Da Vinci, Newton and even themselves. They planted the documents in French National Library and then refound them as if they were a big secret.
The files were used in the Holy Blood Holy Grail in 1982. This publicized the Priory of Sion. Dan Brown used it in Da Vinci Code as well. But decent French historians searched throughly for this historical mystery and found out that the documents were created no earlier than 40 years ago.
Plantard died in the year 2000. Da Vinci Code made Dan Brown a world known author and a very rich man. Today there is an industry dwelling on this book that includes tours to locations mentioned in the book.