Customer Review

54 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Book, Let the Reader Decide: Fact vs Fiction, 25 July 2004
This review is from: The Holy Blood And The Holy Grail (Paperback)
Anyone who read "The Da Vinci Code" by Dan Brown would benefit from reading this unusual book that researches the themes and topics which made "Da Vinci Code" such a hot best-seller ...
The Knights Templar and their secret ceremonies, the "Rose Croix", i.e., the "Rosicrusican organiztion", "the Priere de Sion" who are believed to be behind the activities of these "fighters for justice", the Cathars, Secrets from Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem, the list of Grand Masters, secret parchments and headstones of graves with encrypted messages, possible information about the origins of Christianity and what really happened during and after the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ, actions taken by the Catholic Church in the early years and during its delineation of religious doctrine --- can anyone unravel the mysteries and secrets contained within? Knowing that these organizations and secrets have remained *exactly* *that*, "secret" for about 2,000 years or likely much longer ... dating back from ancient Egypt -- the intrigue and allure of the possible revelations ... contained within this book just grow more mysterious and enticing ...
This book begins with a mystery of its own, it grabs the readers attention and is the hook that keeps you hanging in there. At times, "hanging" is the operative word because the long list of names and places which are needed to provide authenticaiton become tedious reading indeed. Through no fault of the authors, there is a great deal of detail, these details add up to repeatable research for anyone who has the time and inclination to delve further into the subject for themselves. First, the "hook" --- the story of Berenger Sauniere, a parish priest from a tiny village in Rennes-le-Chateau discovers parchments, old documents, and mysterious headstones during the renovation of the old church. The documents are passed on to the local Bishop who passes them up the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, some of whom meet with Sauniere. After this point the priest begins to show signs of wealth and starts living a more lavish life-style, also consorts with people who have esoteric knowledge and interests. After his sudden death from a stroke, an odd death cermony occured where the priest was seated in an unusual garb, a robe with tassles, and unidentified mourners who attended, plucked a tassle off the robe as they bid hin adieu into the next world ... Sauniere's housekeeper received some knowledge of a "secret" which she was going to confide, but she too died before it was revealed. After their deaths, many questions arose pertaining to their odd activiites, the discovered encrypted messages, and the source of their wealth -- the belief was that they discovered "hidden treasure" which was taken by the Knights Templars from the Temple in Jerusalem during the Crusades. Yet, there was more than this to consider, what messages were disguised by encrption? These authors have been researching this subject for over 30 years. In 1972, when the authors made their first film, it was about the basic story as described above about the parish priest in France and the mysterious discovery he made, as well as the unusual activities he engaged in ... After it was shown on British television, they received a huge deluge of correspondence -- one of from a retired Anglican priest, had the oddest but most preposterous claim of all, that it was *not* gold or jewels which was the treasure of the Knights Templar, but "incontrovertible proof" that Jesus survived the Crucifixion ... that it was a fraud. The authors turned their quest in another direction --- researching another claim, that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene, and they had children. They examined the legend which states Mary Magdalene and her children by Jesus arrived in France, sometime after the Crucifixion ... and are related by blood to the old Merovingian dynasty, who became kings and queens in France. Therefore, the quest for the "Holy Grail" is not a physical item, such as the cup from which Christ drank but is instead, the quest for the "san greal", "sang royal" ... that is "royal blood". Jesus having descended from King David of ancient Israel, is of royal blood. The final and last secret is that there are today blood relatives living who are related to Jesus in France ... of course, this claim is based on a lot of "ifs".
I enjoyed this book for the many questions it raised and the many avenues of research the authors took to arrive at information. They name names, the provide a list of genealogical dynasties, they provide information about places, temples, monuments,gravestones, mysterious paintings and messages contained within them -- which can all be examined. One reason this book is so fascinating is the assertion and conclusions the authors arrive at --- is not "cut and dry", "black and white", since there is no solid and authentic document that can be dated and with total certainty to "prove" the authors assertions. The many "if this then that" explantions they provide leaves room for healty scepticism, as well as the remote possibility they hae stumbled onto the greatest "hoax" of all time. I highly recommend this book for anyone who has an open mind, is interested in a good mystery and can look at alternative explanations, that also require some stretch of "faith" but not of a religous variety. Erika Borsos (bakonyvilla)
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