I did not decide to write the book [Bloodline of the Holy Grail]. The book happened by accident, not by design. It happened by virtue of the fact that for about the last ten years I have been the appointed historian and sovereign genealogist to thirty-three royal families. It happened because during those early periods I was documenting evidence on the history of those royal families and their noble offshoots, and the chivalric archives of those noble and sovereign families.
What I was doing was putting together written chronological accounts of things that these families knew the substance of but did not necessarily know the detail of. It is the reason why in Britain and Europe I necessarily spend far less time on this biblical aspect, because there's a lot of what we'll talk about tonight that in Europe is taken as read. It was never any secret when my book came out, for the majority of these people, that Jesus was married and that Jesus had heirs, because it was written as such in very many family archives, not necessarily just private but in the open domain. The published papers of Mary, Queen of Scots talk about it at length. The papers of James II of England, who was wasn't deposed until 1688, talk of it at length.
In putting together the detail, generation by generation, of this story, we were actually compiling something for posterity that, at that point in time when I began the work, was locked away in boxes and cupboards, and I was actually in a position where I was presented with things and said, "Look, this says, 'Last opened in 1732!". So, some very, very old documentation, not only last opened in seventeen-whenever, but actually documented and written down hundreds of years before that.
The book happened by accident. Over a period of time-probably, looking back now, ten or twelve years ago-I began this work with separate commissions from separate families, doing work on these genealogies. What happened was they began to converge. It became very apparent-and it took a long time because genealogies have to be done backwards, put together backwards and constructed backwards-but what was happening was that a triangle, from a large top base with numerous family lines, was pulling in to a point.
I suddenly realised what this point was, and I said, "Wow, do you realise what I've found here?"; and they said, "Ah, you know the father of so and so?"; and I said, "No, no, no; I'm actually finding that this comes out of the House of Judah in the first century"; and they said, "Oh, yeah, we know all that; what we wanted you to do was for you..."; and I said, "Well, there are millions of people out there who do not know about it, so let's turn this triangle upside down and turn it into a book!". So that's how the book happened.
On top of that, for the last six years I have been Britain's Grand Prior of the Sacred Kindred of Saint Columba, the royal ecclesiastical seat of the Celtic Church. So I had, also, access to Celtic Church records dating back to AD 37. Because of my attachments to the families, to the knightly orders, I also had access to Templar documents, to the very documents that the Knights Templar brought out in Europe in 1128 and confronted the Church establishment with, and frightened the life out of them with, because these were documents that talked about bloodline and genealogy, and we'll get on to that.
So tonight we're going to embark on a time-honoured quest. Some have called it the ultimate quest. The Christian Church has condemned it as a heresy, and it is, of course, the quest for the Holy Grail.
A heresy is described in all dictionaries as "an opinion which is contrary to the orthodox dogma of the Christian bishops", and, in this regard, those other quests which comprise much of today's scientific and medical research are equally heretical. The word "heresy" is, in essence, nothing more than a derogatory label, a tag used by a fearful Church establishment that has long sought to maintain control of society through fear of the unknown. A heresy can therefore define those aspects of philosophy, research, which quest into the realms of the unknown, and which from time to time provide answers and solutions that are quite contrary to Church doctrine.
Quests are by their very nature intriguing; history and historical research are enlightening; but the findings from neither are of any use whatsoever unless there are present-day applications which, like science and medicine, can sow the seeds of a better future.
History is no more than recorded experience-generally, the experience of its winners. It makes common sense to learn from the experience of yesterday. It's that very experience which holds the moral, cultural, political, social keys of tomorrow, and it's in this context that the Holy Grail supports that which we call "the Messianic Code". This is the code of social practice instituted by Jesus when he washed his apostles' feet at the Last Supper. It pertains to the obligations of giving and receiving service; it determines that those in positions of elected authority and influence should always be aware of their duties as representatives of society, obligated to serve society, not to presume authority over society. It is the essential key to democratic government. This is defined as government by the people, for the people. Without the implementation of the Grail Code, we experience the only-too-familiar government of the people. This is not democratic government.
Now, in the course of our journey we'll be discussing many items which are thoroughly familiar, but we'll be looking at them from a different perspective to that normally conveyed. In this regard it will appear that we are often treading wholly new ground, but in fact it was only the ground that existed before it was carpeted and concealed by those with otherwise vested interests. Only by rolling back this carpet of purposeful concealment can we succeed in our quest for the Holy Grail.
So our quest will begin in the Holy Land of Judaea in the time of Jesus and we'll spend a good while there. I will not move from that era until we break, because it will take that long to set the emergent scene for the next 2,000 years of history.
We'll be travelling through the Dark Ages then, to spend some time in mediaeval Europe. The Grail mystery will then be followed into King Arthur's Britain and, eventually, in time, to the United States of America where the American fathers were among the greatest exponents of the Grail Code. Eminent Americans such as George Washington, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Charles Thompson, Thomas Jefferson were as much champions of the Holy Grail as were King Arthur, Sir Lancelot and Galahad.
Bloodline of the Holy Grail, the book, has been described as "the book of messianic descent". It was a radio interviewer who called it that; and it's an apt description because the book carries the subtitle, The Hidden Lineage of Jesus Revealed. This of course indicates that Jesus had children and, by implication therefore, that he was married. So was he married? Did Jesus have children? If so, do we know what happened to them? Are there descendants alive today? The answer to each of these questions is yes. We shall be looking at the emergent family in some detail. We will follow the story, their story, century by century; the story of a resolute royal dynasty, the descendant heirs of Jesus who struggled against all odds through the centuries to preserve the Messianic Royal Code down to date.
Tonight's story will be a conspiracy: usurped crowns, prosecutions, assassinations, and the unwarranted concealment of information from the people of the Western world. It's an account of good government and bad government; about how the patriarchal kingship of people was supplanted by dogmatic tyranny and the dictatorial lordship of lands. It's a compelling journey of discovery, a view of past ages, but with its eye firmly set on the future. This is history as it was once written but has never been told.
Let's begin with the most obvious of all questions. What is the Holy Grail? How is the Holy Grail connected with the descendant heirs of Jesus? The fact that Jesus had descendants might come as a surprise to some, but it was widely known in Britain and Europe until the late Middle Ages, just a few hundred years ago.
In mediaeval times, the line of messianic descent was defined by the French word Sangréal. This derived from the two words, Sang Réal, meaning "Blood Royal". This was the Blood Royal of Judah, the kingly line of David which progressed through Jesus and his heirs. In English translation, the definition, Sangréal, became "San Gréal", as in "San" Francisco. When written more fully it was written "Saint Grail", "Saint", of course, relating to "Holy"; and by a natural linguistic process came the more romantically familiar name, "Holy Grail".
From the Middle Ages there were a number of chivalric and military orders specifically attached to the Messianic Blood Royal in Britain and Europe. They included the Order of the Realm of Sion, the Order of the Sacred Sepulchre; but the most prestigious of all was the Sovereign Order of the Sangréal-the Knights of the Holy Grail. This was a dynastic Order of Scotland's Royal House of Stewart.
In symbolic terms the Grail is often portrayed as a chalice that contains the blood of Jesus; alternatively as a vine of grapes. The product of grapes is wine, and it is the chalice and the wine of Grail tradition that sit at the very heart of the Communion, the Mass, the Eucharist; and this sacrament, the Sacred Chalice, contains the wine that represents the perpetual blood of Jesus.
It is quite apparent that although maintaining the ancient Communion custom, the Christian Church has conveniently ignored and elected not to teach the true meaning and origin of that custom. Few people even think to enquire about the ultimate symbolism of the chalice and wine sacrament, believing that it comes simply from some gospel entry relating to the Last Supper. Well, it's the significance of the perpetual blood of Jesus. How is the blood of Jesus, or anyone else for that matter, perpetuated? It is perpetuated through family and lineage.
So why was it that the Church authorities elected to ignore the bloodline significance of the Grail sacrament? They kept the sacrament. Why was it they went so far as to denounce Grail lore and Grail symbolism as heretical?
The fact is that every government and every church teaches the form of history or dogma most conducive to its own vested interest. In this regard we're all conditioned to receiving a very selective form of teaching. We are taught what we're supposed to know, and we are told what we're supposed to believe. But for the most part we learn both political and religious history by way of national or clerical propaganda, and this often becomes absolute dogma, teachings which may not be challenged for fear of reprisals.
With regard to the Church's attitude towards the chalice and the wine, it is blatantly apparent that the original symbolism had to be reinterpreted by the bishops because it denoted that Jesus had offspring and therefore that he must have united with a woman.
But it was not only sacraments and customary ritual that were reinterpreted because of this: the very gospels themselves were corrupted to comply with the male-only establishment of the Church of Rome-much like a modern film editor will adjust and select the tapes to achieve the desired result, the result of the vested interest of the film-maker.
We're all familiar with the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, but what about the other gospels? What about the Gospel of Philip, of Thomas, of Mary and of Mary Magdalene? What of all the numerous gospels and acts and epistles that were not approved by the Church councils when the New Testament was collated? Why were they excluded when the choices were made?
There were actually two main criteria for selection of gospels for the New Testament. These were determined at the Council of Carthage in the year 397. The first criterion was that the New Testament must be written in the names of Jesus' own apostles. Mark was not an apostle of Jesus, as far as we know; nor was Luke. They were colleagues of the later St Paul. Thomas, on the other hand, was one of the original twelve, and yet the gospel in his name was excluded. Not only that, but along with numerous other gospels and texts it was destined and sentenced to be destroyed.
And so throughout the mediaeval world, Thomas and numerous other unapproved books were buried and hidden in the fifth century. Only in recent times have some of these manuscripts been unearthed, with the greatest find being at Nag Hammadi in Egypt in 1945, 1,500 years after the burial of these documents.
Although these books weren't rediscovered until this present century, they were used openly by the early Christians. Certain of them, including the gospels mentioned, along with the Gospel of Truth, the Gospel of the Egyptians and others, were actually mentioned in writings by early churchmen. Clement of Alexandria, Irenaeus of Lyon, Origen of Alexandria-they all mention these other gospels.
So why were the gospels of Mark and Luke selected if they were not Jesus' own apostles? Because Mark and Luke actually were apostles of Jesus, and the early Church fathers knew this. In those days before the New Testament was corrupted, they knew full well that Jesus survived the Crucifixion. In these early gospels there was no story of Resurrection; this was added later.
Why were other apostolic gospels not selected? Because there was a second, far more important criterion-the criterion by which, in truth, the gospel selection was really made. And this was a wholly sexist regulation. It precluded anything that upheld the status of women in Church or community, society.
Indeed, the Church's own apostolic constitutions were compiled on this basis. They state, "We do not permit our women to teach in the Church, only to pray and to hear those who teach. Our master, when he sent us the twelve, did nowhere send out a woman; for the head of the woman is the man, and is it not reasonable that the body should govern the head?".
This was rubbish, but it was for this very reason that dozens of gospels were not selected-because they made it quite clear that there were very many active women in the ministry of Jesus. Mary Magdalene, Martha, Helena-Salome, Mary Jacob Cleophas, Joanna. These were not only ministry disciples; they're recorded as priestesses in their own right, running exemplary schools of worship in the Nazarene tradition.
In St Paul's Epistle to the Romans, Paul makes specific mention of his own female helpers: Phoebe, for example, whom he called a sister of the Church; Julia; Priscilla, who laid down her net for the cause. The New Testament is alive with women disciples, but the Church ignored them all. When the Church's precepts of ecclesiastical discipline were drawn up, they stated, "It is not permitted for a woman to speak in Church, nor to claim for herself any share in any masculine function". But the Church itself had decided that this was a masculine function.
The Church was so frightened of women that it instituted a rule of celibacy: a rule for its priests, a rule that became a law in 1138; a law that persists today. Well, this rule has never been quite what it appears on the surface, because, when one reads the rule, when one studies history, one can see that it was never, ever sexual activity as such that bothered the Church. The specific definition that made this rule possible was priestly intimacy with women. Why? Because women become wives and lovers. The very nature of motherhood is a perpetuation of bloodlines. It was this that bothered the Church: a taboo subject-motherhood, bloodlines. This image had to be separated from the necessary image of Jesus.
But it wasn't as if the Bible had said any such thing. St Paul had said in his Epistle to Timothy that a bishop should be married to one wife and that he should have children; that a man with experience in his own family household is actually far better qualified to take care of the Church. Even though the Roman Church authorities claimed to uphold the teaching of St Paul in particular, they chose completely to disregard this explicit directive to suit their own ends, so that Jesus' own marital status could be strategically ignored.
But the Church's celibate, unmarried image of Jesus was fully contradicted in other writings of the era. It was openly contradicted in the public domain until the perpetuation of the truth was proclaimed a punishable heresy only 450 years ago in 1547, the year that Henry VIII died in England.
It's not just the Christian New Testament that suffers from these sexist restrictions. A similar editing process was applied to the Jewish-based Old Testament, and this made it conveniently suitable to be added to the Christian Bible. This is made particularly apparent by a couple of entries that bypassed the editors' scrutiny.
The books of Joshua and 2 Samuel both refer to the much more ancient Book of Jasher. They say it's very important, the Book of Jasher. Where is it? Not in the Bible. Like so many other books, it was purposely left out. But does it still exist? Yes. The nine-foot Hebrew scroll of Jasher still exists. It has been historically important for a long, long time. It was the jewel of the court of Emperor Charlemagne, and the translation of the Book of Jasher was the very reason that the University of Paris was founded, in the year 800. That was about a century before the Old Testament that we know was actually put together.
Jasher was the staff-bearer to Moses. His writings are of enormous significance. The accounts relate to the story of the Israelites in Egypt, to their exodus into Canaan. But these stories differ considerably from the way we know the story today. They explain that it was not Moses who was the spiritual leader of the tribes who crossed the Red Sea to Mount Sinai. The spiritual leader was Miriam.
At that time the Jews had never heard of Jehovah; they worshipped the goddess Asherah. Their spiritual leaders were largely female. Miriam posed, according to the Book of Jasher, such a problem for Moses in his attempt to create a new environment of male dominance that he imprisoned her; and the Jewish nation rose against Moses with their armies to secure Miriam's release. This is not in the Bible.
So let's move to where the Christian story itself began. Let's look at the gospels themselves and, in doing that, let's see what they actually tell us, against what we think they tell us, because we have all learned to go along with what we are taught about the gospels in schoolrooms and churches. But is the teaching correctly related always? Does it conform with the written scriptures? It's actually surprising how much we think we know, but we've learned it just from pulpits or from picture books, not from necessarily studying the texts.
The nativity story itself provides a good example. It's widely accepted, and the Christmas cards keep telling us that Jesus was born in a stable. The gospels don't say that. There is no stable mentioned in any authorised gospel. The nativity is not mentioned at all in Mark or John, and Matthew says quite plainly that Jesus was born in a house.
So where did the stable come from? It came from a misinterpretation, really, of the Gospel of Luke which relates that Jesus was laid in a manger-not born, but laid-and a manger was then, and still is, nothing more than an animal feeding box. One only has to study society history of the time to recognise the fact that it was perfectly common for mangers to be used as cradles, and they were often brought indoors for that very purpose.
So why has it been presumed that this particular manger was in a stable? Because the English translations of Luke tell us that there was no room in the inn. Must then have been in a stable! But the pre-English translations of Luke don't talk about any inn; the manuscript of Luke does not say there was no room in the inn. In fact, there were no inns in the East in those days. There are very few inns there now; and if there are, they're illegal! People lodged then in private houses. It was a common way of life. It was called family hospitality. Homes were open for travellers.
Come to that, if we're really going to be precise about this, there were no stables in the region, either. In fact, "stable" is a wholly English word and it specifically defines a place for keeping horses; horses of a particular stable. Who on earth rode around on horses in Judaea? Oxen, camels; the odd Roman officer might have had a horse, but even the mules and the oxen, if kept under cover, would have been kept under some sort of a shed or out-house, not in a stable.
As for the mythical inn, the Greek text actually does not say there was no room at the inn. By the best translation it actually states that there was no provision in the room. As mentioned in Matthew, Jesus was born in a house and, as correctly translated, Luke reveals that Jesus was laid in a manger, an animal feeding box, because there was no cradle provided in the room.
If we're on the subject of Jesus' birth, I think we ought to look at the chronology here, because this is important as well; because the gospels, the two gospels that deal with the nativity, actually give us two completely different dates for the event.
According to Matthew, Jesus was born in the reign of King Herod, Herod the Great, who debated the event with the Magi and ordered the slaying of the infants. Well, Herod died in 4 BC, and we know from Matthew that Jesus was born before that. And because of that, most standard concordant Bibles and history books imply that Jesus' date of birth was 5 BC, because that is before 4 BC and Herod was still reigning, so that's a good date.
But in Luke, a completely different date is given. Luke doesn't tell us about King Herod or anything like that. Luke says that Jesus was born while Cyrenius was Governor of Syria, the same year that the Emperor Augustus implemented the national census, the census which Joseph and Mary went to Bethlehem to be a part of.
There are relevant points to mention here, and they are both recorded in the first-century Jewish annals (such as The Antiquities of the Jews). Cyrenius was appointed Governor of Syria in AD 6. This was the very year recorded of the national census, put into operation by Cyrenius and ordered by Emperor Augustus. As Luke tells us, it was the first and only ever recorded census for the region.
So Jesus was born before 4 BC and in AD 6. Is this a mistake? No, not necessarily, because in the way it was originally portrayed we're actually looking at two quite specific births.
Both gospels are correct. We're looking at Jesus' physical birth, and we're looking at Jesus' community birth. These were defined at the time as the first and second births, and they applied specifically to people of particular groups and certainly to dynastic heirs.
Second births for boys were performed by way of a ritual of rebirth. It was very physical: they were wrapped in swaddling clothes and born again from their mother's womb. It was a physical ceremony. Second births for boys took place at the age of twelve.
So we know that Jesus was twelve in AD 6. Unfortunately, the latter-day transcribers of Luke completely missed the significance of this, and it was their endeavour to somehow tie in this event about swaddling clothes and being born then, that led to this mention of the nonsense about the stable.
So if Jesus was twelve in AD 6, this means that he was born in 7 BC, which ties in perfectly well with the Matthew account that he was born during the latter reign of King Herod.
But we now discover what appears to be another anomaly, because Luke says later in the gospel that when Jesus was twelve years old, his parents, Mary and Joseph, took him to Jerusalem for the day. They then left the city to walk home for a full day's journey with their friends before they realised that Jesus was not in their party. They then returned to Jerusalem to find him at the temple, discussing his father's business with the doctors. Well, what sort of parents can wander for a whole day in the desert, without knowing their twelve-year-old son's not there?
The fact is that the whole point of the passage has been missed. There was a wealth of difference between a twelve-year-old son and a son in his twelfth year. When a son, on completing his initial twelve years-that is to say, when he was actually on his thirteenth birthday-was initiated into the community at the ceremony of his second birth, he was regarded as commencing his first year. It was the original root of the modern bar mitzvah. His next initiation, the initiation of manhood in the community, took place in his ninth year, when he was twenty-one-the root of the age-twenty-one privilege. Various degrees followed, and the next major test was in his twelfth year-at the end of his twelfth year, at the age of twenty-four, on his twenty-fourth birthday. When Jesus remained at the temple in his twelfth year, he was actually twenty-four. Not surprising that they expected him not perhaps to be wandering around the desert with them!
So his discussion with the doctors related to his next degree. He would have discussed this at the time with the spiritual father, the father of the community; and indeed, he did. It was the father's business he discussed; his father's business. The father of this era is recorded. The spiritual father of the community at that time was Simeon the Essene, and if we look back a few verses in Luke we see that it was exactly this man, the just and devout Simeon, who legitimated Jesus under the law.
So can we trust the gospels? Well, as we can see, the answer is, yes, we can actually trust the gospels to a point, but what we can't trust is the way that they've been convoluted and distorted, and taught to us by people who don't understand what they actually said in the first place.
The present English-language gospels date back effectively to the Authorized Bible, compiled for the Stewart King James I of England in the early 17th century. This was published and set into print no more than 165 years before America's Declaration of Independence; only a few years before the first Pilgrim Fathers set sail from England.
The gospels of the early Church were originally written in second and third century Greek. Along with the Bible as a whole, they were translated into Latin in the fourth century, but it was then to be more than a thousand years before any English translation was made.
Bible translation was risky then, though. Fourteenth century reformer John Wycliffe was denounced as a heretic for translating the Bible into English. His books were burned. In the early 16th century, William Tyndale was strangled as a form of execution, in Belgium, and then burned, just in case he wasn't dead, for translating the Bible into English. A little later, Miles Coverdale, a disciple of his, made another translation; and by that time the Church itself had split up quite nicely, so Coverdale's version was accepted by the Protestant Church-but he was still a heretic in the eyes of Rome.
The problem was that as long as the printed text remained obscure (and it wasn't just ordinary Latin; this was an horrendous form of Church Latin), as long as only the bishops could understand it, they could teach whatever on Earth they wanted. If it were translated into the languages that other people could understand and maybe read for themselves, this would pose a problem because the Church could be called to question.
It was not until the early seventeenth century that the first acceptable English language Bible translation was made-for the Scots King James VI (Stuart), James I of England. This was the Authorized Version, upon which the majority of subsequent English-language Bibles have been based. But even this was not a direct translation from anything; it was mostly translated from the Greek, partly from the Latin, and to some extent from the works of others who'd made other illegitimate translations before.
In their rendering of the New Testament, King James' translators endeavoured to appease both the Protestants and the Catholics. This was the only way to produce a generally acceptable text, but their attempt to appease was not entirely successful. The Catholics thought the translators were siding with the Protestants and tried to blow up King James in the Houses of Parliament, and the Protestants said the translators were in league with the Catholics.
Anyway, the Bible survived but the translators tried as well for something called "political correctness". We know about it today; it applied then. Good examples of this are found in many instances-one in particular where the direct translation referred to a group of people called "heavenly soldiers". They didn't like this very much, so it's actually crossed out, and underneath it says "heavenly army". But somebody else came along and said, "No, this is still not good enough; it denotes an armed unit here; this is not politically correct," and so it was crossed out again, and they resurrected an old word that had not been written in the English language for centuries. They called it "the heavenly host". Nobody knows what the heavenly host is. In fact it's quite astounding how many obscure, old and obsolete words were brought back into use to provide political correctness for the King James Bible, but which nobody could understand. At the same time, William Shakespeare was doing likewise in his plays.
If we look at the reference books that existed prior to James and Shakespeare and at those that existed just after James and Shakespeare, we see that the English-language vocabulary was increased by more than fifty per cent as a result of words invented or brought back from obscurity by the writers of the era. The problem was that nobody, let alone the dictionary compilers, knew what most of these words meant. But they had somehow to be defined, and "heavenly host" emerged, quite ambiguously, as "a heavenly lot of people"!
So although eminently poetic, the language of the Authorized English Bible is quite unlike any language ever spoken by anyone in England or anywhere else. It bears no relation to the Greek or Latin from which it was translated. It was certainly not the language spoken by God, as some priests once told me. But from this approved canonical interpretation, all other English language Bibles have emerged in their various forms. Despite that, for all of its faults, despite its beautiful verse patterns and the new words, it still remains the closest of all English language translations from the original Greek manuscripts. All other versions, the Standard versions, the New versions, the Revised versions, the Modern English versions, have been significantly corrupted and they're quite unsuitable for serious study by anyone because they have their own specific agenda.
We can cite an extreme version of how this works in practice. We can look at a Bible currently issued today in Pacific Papua New Guinea where there are tribes who experience familiarity on a daily basis with no other animal but the pig. In the current edition of their Bible, every animal mentioned in the text, whether originally an ox, lion, ass, sheep or whatever, is now a pig! Even Jesus, the traditional "Lamb of God", in this Bible is "the Pig of God"!
So, to facilitate the best possible trust in the Gospels, we must go back to the original Greek manuscripts with their often-used Hebrew and Aramaic words and phrases. And in so doing we discover that, just as with the Nativity story, a good deal of relevant content has been misrepresented, misunderstood, mistranslated or simply just lost in the telling. Sometimes this has happened because original words have no direct counterpart in other languages.
We've all been taught that Jesus' father Joseph was a carpenter. "Why not? It says so in the Gospels." But it didn't say that in the original Gospels. By the best translation, it actually said that Joseph was a Master of the Craft. The word "carpenter" was simply a translator's concept of a craftsman. Anyone associated with modern Freemasonry will recognise the term "the Craft". It's got nothing whatever to do with woodwork. The text simply denoted that Joseph was a masterly, learned and scholarly man.
Another example is the concept of the Virgin Birth. Our English-language Gospels tell us that Jesus' mother Mary was a virgin; they keep telling us that she was a virgin. Well, let's consider the word "virgin". We understand the word; it tells us that this was a woman with no experience of sexual union. But this was translated not from the Greek initially but from the Latin. That was easy because the Latin called her virgo; Mary was a virgo. It didn't mean the same thing at all! Virgo in Latin meant nothing more than "a young woman". To have meant the same thing as "virgin" does to us today, the Latin would have been virgo intacta, that is to say, "a young woman intact".
Let's look back beyond the Latin text; let's see why they called her virgo, a young woman. Maybe they actually got something right which we've got wrong later on. We discover that the word translated to mean virgo, a young woman, was the old Hebrew word almah which meant "a young woman". It had no sexual connotation whatever. Had Mary actually been physically virgo intacta, the Hebrew word used would have been bethula, not almah.
So, have we been completely misguided by the Gospels? No; we've been misguided by the English language translations of the Gospels. We've also been misguided by a Church establishment that has done everything in its power to deny women any normal lifestyle in the Gospel story. The New Testament's key women are virgins or whores or sometimes widows-never everyday girlfriends, wives or mothers, and certainly not ever priestesses or holy sisters.
Notwithstanding that, the Gospels tell us time and time again that Jesus was descended from King David through his father Joseph. Even St Paul tells us this in his Epistle to the Hebrews. But we are taught that Jesus' father was a lowly carpenter and his mother was a virgin-neither of which descriptions can be found in any original text. So it follows that to get the best out of the Gospels we've really got to read them as they were written, not as we decide to interpret them according to modern language.
Precisely when the four main Gospels were written is uncertain. What we do know is that they were first published at various stages in the second half of the first century. They were unanimous initially in telling us that Jesus was a Nazarene. This is actually upheld in the Roman annals; and the first-century chronicles of the Jews and the Bible's Acts of the Apostles confirm that Jesus' brother James and St Paul were leaders of the sect of the Nazarenes.
This definition of "Nazarene" is very important to the Grail story because it has been so often misrepresented to suggest that Jesus came from the town of Nazareth. For the past 400 years, English language Gospels have perpetuated the error by wrongly translating "Jesus the Nazarene" as "Jesus of Nazareth". There was no connection between Nazareth and the Nazarenes. In fact, the settlement at Nazareth was established in the AD 60s, thirty years or so after the Crucifixion. Nobody in Jesus' early life came from Nazareth-it was not there!
The Nazarenes were a liberal, Jewish sect opposed to the strict Hebrew regime of the Pharisees and Sadducees. The Nazarene culture and language were heavily influenced by the philosophers of ancient Greece, and their community supported the concept of equal opportunity for men and women. Documents of the time referred not to Nazareth but to the Nazarene society. Priestesses existed in equal opportunity with priests, but this was so different from what the male-dominated Hebrew society wanted and what the later, male-dominated Roman Church required.
It has to be remembered that Jesus was not a Christian: he was a Nazarene-a radical, westernised Jew. The Christian movement was founded by others in the wake of his own mission. The word "Christian" was first recorded and used in AD 44 in Antioch, Syria.
In the Arab world, the word used today, as then, to describe Jesus and his followers is Nazara. This is confirmed in the Muslim Koran: Jesus is Nazara; his followers are Nazara. The word means "Keepers" or "Guardians". The full definition is Nazrie ha-Brit, "Keepers of the Covenant". In fact, the Brit aspect of that is the very root of the country name of Britain. Brit-ain means "Covenant-land". In the time of Jesus the Nazarenes lived in Galilee, and in that mystical place which the Bible calls "the Wilderness". The Wilderness was actually a very defined place. It was essentially the land around the main settlement at Qumran which spread out to Mird and other places. It was where the Dead Sea Scrolls were produced-discovered at Qumran in 1948.
Somewhere after the Crucifixion, Peter and his friend Paul went off to Antioch, then on to Rome, and they began the movement that became Christianity. But as recorded in the other annals, Jesus, his brother James and the majority of the other apostles continued the Nazarene movement and progressed it into Europe. It became the Celtic Church. The Nazarene movement as a Church is documented within the Celtic Church records as being formally implemented as the Church of Jesus in AD 37, four years after the Crucifixion. The Roman Church was formed 300 years later, after Paul and Peter's Christians had been persecuted for three centuries.
Through many centuries the Nazarene-based Celtic Church movement was directly opposed therefore to the Church of Rome. The difference was a simple one: the Nazarene faith was based on the teachings of Jesus himself. The guts of the religion, the moral codes, the behavioural patterns, the social practices, the laws and justices related to Old Testament teaching but with a liberal message of equality in mind-this was the religion of Jesus. Roman Christianity is "Churchianity". It was not the message of Jesus that was important: this Church turned Jesus into the religion. In short, the Nazarene Church was the true social Church. The Roman Church was the Church of the Emperors and the Popes; this was the Imperial hybrid movement.
Apart from straightforward misunderstandings, misinterpretations and mistranslations, the canonical Gospels suffer from numerous purposeful amendments. Some original entries have been changed or deleted; other entries have been added to suit the Church's vested interest. Back in the fourth century when the texts were translated into Latin from their original Greek and Semitic tongues, the majority of these edits and amendments were made.
Even earlier, about AD 195-one thousand, eight hundred years ago-Bishop Clement of Alexandria made the first known amendment from the Gospel texts. He deleted a substantial section from the Gospel of Mark, written more than a hundred years before that time, and he justified his action in a letter. "For even if they should say something true, one who loves the Truth should not...agree with them... For not all true things are to be said to all men." Interesting. What he meant was that even at that very early stage there was already a discrepancy between what the Gospel writers had written and what the bishops wanted to teach.
Today, this section deleted by St Clement is still missing from the Gospel of Mark. But when Mark is compared with the Gospel that we know today, even without that section we find that today's Gospel is a good deal longer than the original! One of these additional sections comprises the whole of the Resurrection sequence; this amounts to twelve full verses at the end of Mark, chapter 16.
It's now known that everything told about the events after the Crucifixion was added by Church bishops or their scribes some time in the late fourth century. Although this is confirmed in the Vatican archives, it is difficult for most people to gain access-and even if they do, old Greek is very difficult to understand.
But what exactly was in this section of Mark that Clement saw fit to remove? It was the section that dealt with the raising of Lazarus. In the context of the original Mark text, however, Lazarus was portrayed in a state of excommunication: spiritual death by decree, not physical death. The account even had Lazarus and Jesus calling to each other before the tomb was opened. This defeated the bishops' desire to portray the raising of Lazarus as a spiritual miracle, not as a simple release from excommunication. More importantly, it set the scene for the story of the Crucifixion of Jesus himself, whose own subsequent raising from spiritual death was determined by the same three-day rule that applied to Lazarus.
Jesus was raised (released or resurrected) from death by decree on the statutory third day. In the case of Lazarus, however, Jesus flouted the rules by raising his friend after the three-day period of symbolic sickness. At that point, civil death would have become absolute in the eyes of the legal elders. Lazarus would have been wrapped in sacking and buried alive. His crime was that he had led a violent people's-revolt to safeguard the public water supply which had been diverted through a new Roman aqueduct in Jerusalem. But Jesus performed this release while not holding any priestly entitlement to do so. What happened was that Herod-Antipas of Galilee compelled the High Priest of Jerusalem to relent in favour of Jesus-and this was regarded as an unprecedented miracle!
But there was more to the removed section of Mark, because in telling the story of Lazarus the Mark account made it perfectly clear that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were actually man and wife. The Lazarus story in John contains a rather strange sequence that has Martha coming from the Lazarus house to greet Jesus, whereas her sister, Mary Magdalene, remains inside until summoned by Jesus. But in contrast to this, the original Mark account said that Mary Magdalene actually came out of the house with Martha and was then chastised by the disciples and sent back indoors to await Jesus' instruction. This was a specific procedure of Judaic law, whereby a wife in ritual mourning was not allowed to emerge from the property until instructed by her husband.
There's a good deal of information outside the Bible to confirm that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were man and wife. But is there anything relevant in the Gospels today, anything that the editors missed that tells us the story? Well, there are some specific things and there are some ancillary things.
There are seven lists given in the Gospels of the women who permanently seemed to follow Jesus around, and these include Jesus' mother; but in six of these seven lists the first name, even ahead of his mother, is Mary Magdalene. When one studies other lists of the period which relate to any form of hierarchical society, one notices that the "first lady" was always the first name listed. The term "First Lady" is used in America today. The first lady was the most senior; she was always named first-and as the Messianic Queen, Mary Magdalene would have been named first, as indeed she was.
But is the marriage defined in the Gospels? Well, it is. Many have suggested that the wedding at Cana was the marriage of Jesus and Mary Magdalene. This was not the wedding ceremony as such, although the marriage is detailed in the Gospels. The marriage is the quite separate anointings at Bethany. In Luke we have a first anointing by Mary of Jesus, two-and-a-half years before the second anointing. It doesn't occur to many people that they are different stories, but they are two-and-a-half years apart.
Readers of the first century would have been fully conversant with the two-part ritual of the sacred marriage of a dynastic heir. Jesus, as we know, was a "Messiah", which means quite simply an "Anointed One". In fact, all anointed senior priests and Davidic kings were Messiahs. Jesus was not unique. Although not an ordained priest, he gained his right to Messiah status by way of descent from King David and the kingly line, but he did not achieve that Messiah status until he was actually physically anointed by Mary Magdalene, in her capacity as a high priestess, shortly before the Crucifixion.
The word "Messiah" comes from the Hebrew verb "to anoint", which itself is derived from the Egyptian word messeh, "the holy crocodile". It was with the fat of the messeh that the Pharaoh's sister-brides anointed their husbands on marriage. The Egyptian custom sprang from kingly practice in old Mesopotamia.
In the Old Testament's Song of Solomon we hear again of the bridal anointing of the king. It is defined that the oil used in Judah was the fragrant ointment spikenard, an expensive root oil from the Himalayas, and we learn that this anointing ritual was performed always while the husband/king sat at the table. In the New Testament, the anointing of Jesus by Mary Magdalene was indeed performed while he sat at the table, and with the bridal anointment of spikenard. Afterwards, Mary wiped his feet with her hair, and on the first occasion of the two-part marriage she wept. All of these things signify the marital anointing of a dynastic heir.
Other anointings of Messiahs, whether on coronation or admission to the senior priesthood, were always conducted by men, by the High Zadok or the High Priest. The oil used was olive oil, mixed with cinnamon and other spices; never, ever spikenard.
Spikenard was the express prerogative of a Messianic bride who had to be a Mary, a sister of a sacred order. Jesus' mother was a Mary; so, too, would his wife have been a Mary, by title at least if not by baptismal name. Some conventual orders still maintain the tradition by adding the title "Mary" to the baptismal names of their nuns: Sister Mary Theresa, Sister Mary Louise.
Messianic marriages were always conducted in two stages. The first stage, the anointing in Luke, was the legal commitment to wedlock. The second stage, the anointing in Matthew, Mark and John, was the cementing of the contract. And in Jesus and Mary's case, the second anointing at Bethany was of express significance. Here the Grail story begins, because, as explained in books of Jewish law at the time and by Flavius Josephus in The Antiquities of the Jews, the second part of this marriage ceremony was never conducted until the wife was three months pregnant.
Dynastic heirs such as Jesus were expressly required to perpetuate their lines. Marriage was essential, but the law had to protect them against marriage to women who proved barren or kept miscarrying, and this protection was provided by the three-month-pregnancy rule. Miscarriages would not often happen after that term, and once they got through that period it was considered safe enough to complete the marriage contract. When anointing her husband at this stage, the Messianic bride, in accordance with custom, was said to be anointing him for burial. This is confirmed in the Gospels. The bride would from that day carry a vial of spikenard around her neck, for the rest of her husband's life; she would use it again on his entombment.
It was for this very purpose that Mary Magdalene would have gone to the tomb, as she did on the Sabbath after the Crucifixion. Subsequent to the second Bethany anointing, the Gospels relate that Jesus said: "Wheresoever this Gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her."
In his famous rendering of the event, the Renaissance artist Fra Angelico actually depicted Jesus placing a crown on the head of Mary Magdalene. But despite the fact that Fra Angelico was a learned 15th-century Dominican friar, did the Christian Church authorities honour Mary Magdalene and speak of this act as a memorial of her? No; they did not. They completely ignored Jesus' own directive and denounced Mary as a whore.
To the esoteric Church and the Knights Templars, however, Mary Magdalene was always regarded as a saint. She is still revered as such by many today, but the interesting part about this sainthood, when we think about Grail lore, is that Mary is listed as the patron saint of winegrowers, the guardian of the vine-the guardian of the Holy Grail, the guardian of the sacred bloodline.
There is much in the Gospels that we don't presume to be there because we are never encouraged to look beyond the superficial level. We've been aided greatly in this regard in recent years by the Dead Sea Scrolls and by the extraordinary research of Australian theologian Dr Barbara Thiering.
The Dead Sea Scrolls have opened up a whole new awareness of jargon; we have a whole new enlightenment here. They set down the community offices of the Messiah of Israel. They tell us about the council of twelve delegate apostles who were permanently appointed to preside over specific aspects of government and ritual. This leads to a greater awareness of the apostles themselves. We now know not only what their names were-we always knew that-but we can understand who they were, who their families were, what their duties and positions were.
We now understand from studying the Gospels that there is an allegory within them: the use of words that we don't understand today. We now know that baptismal priests were called "fishers"; we know that those who aided them by hauling the baptismal candidates into the boats in large nets were called "fishermen"; and we know that the baptismal candidates themselves were called "fishes". The apostles James and John were both ordained "fishers". The brothers Peter and Andrew were lay "fishermen", and Jesus promised them priesthood within the new ministry, saying "I will make you to become fishers of men".
We now know there was a particular jargon of the Gospel era, a jargon that would have been readily understood by anybody reading the Gospels in the first century and beyond. These jargonistic words have been lost to later interpretation. Today, for example, we call our theatre investors "angels" and our top entertainers "stars", but what would a reader from some distant culture in two thousand years' time make of "The angel went to talk to the stars"? The Gospels are full of these jargonistic words. "The poor", "the lepers", "the multitude", "the blind"-none of these was what we presume it to mean today. Definitions such as "clouds", "sheep", "fishes", "loaves" and a variety of others were all related, just like "stars", to people.
When the Gospels were written in the first century they were issued into a Roman-controlled environment. Their content had to be disguised against Roman scrutiny. The information was often political; it was coded, veiled. Where important sections appeared they were often heralded by the words, "This is for those with ears to hear"-for those who understand the code. It was no different to the coded information passed between members of oppressed groups throughout history. There was a code found in documentation passed between the later Jews in Germany in the 1930s and 1940s.
Through our knowledge of this scribal cryptology we can now determine dates and locations with very great accuracy. We can uncover many of the hidden meanings in the Gospels to the extent that the miracles themselves take on a whole new context. In doing so, this does not in any way decry the fact that a man like Jesus, and, in fact, specifically Jesus, was obviously a very special person with enormously special powers, but the Gospels laid down certain stories which have since become described as "miracles". These were not put down because they were really miraculous supernatural events; they were put down because in the then-current political arena they were actually quite unprecedented actions which successfully flouted the law.
We now know other things. We now know why the Gospels are often not in agreement with each other. For example, Mark says that Jesus was crucified at the third hour, whereas John says he was crucified at the sixth hour. This does not, on the face of it, look too important, but, as we shall see, this three-hour time difference was crucial to the events that followed.
Let's look at the water and wine at Cana, following the story through what the Bible actually tells us, as against what we think we know. What was a very straightforward event is now dubbed with supernatural overtones. The Cana wedding, out of four Gospels, is described only in John. If it was so important to the Church as a miracle, why is it not in the other three Gospels? It does not say (as is so often said from pulpits): "They ran out of wine." It doesn't say that. It says: "When they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus said, 'They have no wine.'" The Gospel tells us that the person in charge was the ruler of the feast. This specifically defines it not as a wedding ceremony as such, but a pre-wedding betrothal feast. The wine taken at betrothal feasts was only available to priests and celibate Jews, not to married men, novices or any others who were regarded as being unsanctified. They were allowed only water-a purification ritual, as stated in John.
When the time came for this ritual, Mary, clearly not happy about the discrimination and directing Jesus' attention to the unsanctified guests, said: "They have no wine." Having not yet been anointed to Messiah status, Jesus responded: "Mine hour is not yet come." At this, Mary forced the issue and Jesus then flouted convention, abandoning water altogether. Wine for everyone! The ruler of the feast made no comment whatsoever about any miracle; he simply expressed his amazement that the wine had turned up at that stage of the proceedings.
It's been suggested often that the wedding at Cana was Jesus' own wedding ceremony because he and his mother displayed a right of command that would not be associated with ordinary guests. However, this feast can be dated to the summer of AD 30, in the month equivalent to June. First weddings were always held in the month of Atonement (September), and betrothal feasts were held three months before that. In this instance, we find that the first marital anointing of Jesus by Mary Magdalene was at the Atonement of AD 30, three months after the Cana ceremony which appears to have been their own betrothal feast.
The Gospels tell a story that although not always in agreement from Gospel to Gospel is actually followable outside the Bible. The accounts of Jesus' activities right up to the time of the Crucifixion can be found in various records of the era. In the official annals of Imperial Rome, the trial by Pilate and the Crucifixion are mentioned. We can determine precisely from this chronological diary of the Roman governors that the Crucifixion took place at the March Passover of AD 33. The Bethany second marriage anointing was in the week prior to that. We know that at that stage Mary Magdalene had to have been three months pregnant, by law-which means she should have given birth in September of AD 33. That, we'll come back to.
If the Gospels are read as they are written, Jesus appears as a liberating dynast, endeavouring to unite the people of the era against the oppression of the Roman Empire. Judaea at the time was just like France under German occupation in World War II. The authorities were controlled by the military occupational force; resistance movements were common.
Jesus was awaited, expected, and by the end of the story had become an anointed Messiah. In the first century Antiquities of the Jews, Jesus is called "a wise man", "a teacher" and "the King". There is nothing there about divinity.
While the Dead Sea Scrolls identify the Messiah of Israel as the Supreme Military Commander of Israel, it is no secret the apostles were armed. From the time of recruitment, Jesus checked that they all had swords. At the very end of the story, Peter drew his sword against Malchus. Jesus said, "I come not to send peace but a sword."
Many of the high-ranking Jews in Jerusalem were quite content to hold positions of power backed by a foreign military regime. Apart from that, the Hebrew groups themselves were sectarian; they did not want to share their God Jehovah with anybody else, specifically unclean Gentiles. To the Pharisees and Sadducees, the Jews were God's chosen people: He belonged to them, they belonged to Him. But there were other Jews-there were the Nazarenes, there were the Essenes-who were influenced by a more liberal, western doctrine. In the event, Jesus' mission failed; the rift was insurmountable. Gentiles, in modern-day language, are simply the non-Jewish Arab races-and the rift is still there today.
The sentencing of Jesus was by the Roman Governor Pontius Pilate, but Jesus was actually condemned and excommunicated prior to that by the Sanhedrin Council. It was decided to contrive a punishment, whereby Jesus would be sentenced by the Roman Governor who was already trying other prisoners for leading insurrections against himself.
As confirmed by the Supreme Judge and Attorney-General of Israel even today, it was quite illegal for the Sanhedrin Council to sit at night or to sit and operate during the Passover, so the timing was perfect. They had an ideal opportunity, and a reason to say: "Sorry, we can't do this ourselves. You, the Roman Governor, have to do this."
As for Jesus' death on the Cross, it is perfectly plain this was spiritual death, not physical death, as determined by the three-day rule that everybody in the first century reading this would have understood. In civil and legal terms, Jesus was already dead when he was placed on the Cross. He was denounced, scourged, prepared for death by decree. Today, we call this "excommunication". For three days Jesus would have been nominally sick, with absolute death coming on the fourth day. On that day he would be entombed, buried alive; but during the first three days he could be raised or resurrected. In fact, he predicted that he would. Raisings and resurrections (apart from the fact that Jesus once flouted the rule, and that was a miracle!) could only be performed by the High Priest or by the Father of the Community. The High Priest at that time was Joseph Caiaphas, the very man who condemned Jesus; therefore the raising had to be performed by the patriarchal Father. There are Gospel accounts of Jesus talking to the Father from the Cross, culminating in "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit", and at that time we know from the listings that the appointed Father was the Magian apostle Simon Zelotes.
We have been taught that Jesus' physical death was proved by the blood and water that flowed when he was pierced by the spear, but this has been very badly translated. The original word does not translate to "pierced"; it translates to "pricked" or to "scratched". This in turn was mistranslated into the Latin verb "to open", and into the English word "pierced".
They were not primitive times. They were times when there were doctors, medical men; there were even forms of hospital. And we can see that, just like today, the test for reflex action was scratching, prodding or pricking the skin with a sharp instrument.
I have in my possession a letter from a surgeon of the British Medical Council. It says: "Medically, the outflow of water is impossible to explain. Blood flowing from a stab wound is evidence of life, not death. It would take a large, gaping laceration for any drop of blood to flow from a dead body because there is no vascular action."
So let's look further; let's look at what the Gospels actually said. Joseph of Arimathea took down Jesus' body from the Cross. In fact, the word that was translated to the English word "body" was the Greek word soma, meaning "live body". The alternative word denoting "dead body" or "corpse" w ould have been ptoma.
Jesus very apparently survived, and this is explicitly maintained in other books. Even the Koran says that Jesus survived the Crucifixion.
During that Friday afternoon when Jesus was on the Cross, there was a three-hour-forward time change. Time was recorded then by sundials and by priests who marked the hours by a sequence of measured prayer sessions. In essence, there were daytime hours and there were night-time hours. Today we have a twenty-four-hour day. In John, Jesus said: "Are there not twelve hours in a day?" Yes, there were twelve hours in a day and there were twelve hours in the night, and daytime started at sunrise. From time to time the beginning of daytime changed; thus the beginning of night-time changed. In March, the beginning of daytime would have been somewhere round about six o'clock in the morning, as we know it. We know that Joseph of Arimathea negotiated with Pontius Pilate to have Jesus removed from the Cross after a few hours of hanging. The Gospels don't actually agree on the sequence of events here: some use the time before the time change; some use the time after the time change. But three hours disappeared from the day, to be replaced with three night-time hours. Daylight hours were substituted by hours of darkness. The land fell into darkness for three hours, we are told in the Gospels. Today we would simply, in a split second, add three night-time hours to the day. But these three hours were the crux of every single event that followed, because the Hebrew lunarists made their change during the daytime. The solarists, of which the Essenes and the Magi were factions, did not make their change until midnight-which actually means that according to the Gospel that relates to Hebrew time, Jesus was crucified at the third hour; but in the other, solar time he was crucified at the sixth hour.
On that evening the Hebrews began their Sabbath at the old nine o'clock, but the Essenes and Magians still had three hours to go before the Sabbath. It was those three hours that enabled them to work with, on and for Jesus, during a period of time in which nobody else was allowed to undertake any physical work whatsoever. And so we come to probably one of the most misunderstood events of the Bible, and from there we'll move on, beyond the Bible period through history, to tell what happened concerning the birth of Jesus and Mary's child in September AD 33. One of the most misunderstood events in the Bible is the Ascension, and in discussing it we will consider the births of Jesus' three children and their descendants.
We know from the Gospel chronology that the Bethany second-marriage anointing of Jesus by Mary Magdalene was in the week before the Crucifixion. And we know that at that stage Mary was three-months pregnant and therefore should have given birth in the following September.
So, what do the Gospels tell us about events in September AD 33? In fact, the Gospels tell us nothing, but the story is taken up in The Acts of the Apostles which detail for September the event which we have come to know as "the Ascension". The one thing that the Acts do not do, however, is call the event "the Ascension". This was a name given to the ritual when the Roman Church doctrines were established over three centuries later. What the text actually says is: "And when he had spoken these things...he was taken up, and a cloud received him out of their sight." It then continues that "a man in white" said to the disciples: "Why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus...shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go." Then, a little later in the Acts, it says that "heaven" must receive Jesus until "the time of restitution".
Given that this was the very month in which Mary Magdalene's child was due, is there perhaps some connection between Mary's confinement and the so-called Ascension? There certainly is, and the connection is made by virtue of the time of restitution.
Not only were there rules to govern the marriage ceremony of a Messianic heir, but so too were there rules to govern the marriage itself. The rules of dynastic wedlock were quite unlike the Jewish family norm, and Messianic parents were formally separated at the birth of a child. Even prior to this, intimacy between a dynastic husband and wife was only allowed in December, so that births of heirs would always fall in the month of September-the month of Atonement, the holiest month of the Jewish calendar.
Indeed, it was this very rule which Jesus's own parents (Joseph and Mary) had themselves broken. And this was the reason why the Jews were split in opinion as to whether Jesus was, in fact, their true Messiah.
When a dynastic child was conceived at the wrong time of year, the mother was generally placed in monastic custody for the birth so as to avoid public embarrassment. This was called being "put away privily", and Matthew states quite plainly that when Mary's pregnancy was discovered, "Joseph, her husband, being a just man and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily".
In this instance, special dispensation for the birth was granted by the archangel Simeon who at that time held the distinction of "Gabriel", being the angelic priest in charge. Both the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Book of Enoch (which was excluded from the Old Testament) detail that the "archangels" (or chief ambassadors) were the senior priests at Qumran, retaining the traditional titles of "Michael", "Gabriel", "Raphael", "Sariel", etc.
In the case of Jesus and Mary Magdalene, however, the rules of wedlock had been obeyed to the letter, and their first child was properly conceived in December AD 32, to be born in September AD 33.
From the moment of a dynastic birth, the parents were physically separated-for six years if the child was a boy, and for three years if the child was a girl. Their marriage would only be recommenced at the designated time of restitution. Meanwhile, the mother and child would enter the equivalent of a convent, and the father would enter "the Kingdom of Heaven". This Kingdom of Heaven was actually the Essene High Monastery at Mird, by the Dead Sea, and the ceremony of entry was conducted by the angelic priests under the supervision of the appointed Leader of the Pilgrims.
In the Old Testament book of Exodus, the Israelite pilgrims were led into the Holy Land by a "cloud"-and in accordance with this continued Exodus imagery, the priestly Leader of the Pilgrims was designated with the title "Cloud". So, if we now read the Acts verses as they were intended to be understood, we see that Jesus was taken up by the Cloud (the Leader of the Pilgrims) to the Kingdom of Heaven (the High Monastery). And the man in white (an angelic priest) said that Jesus would return at the time of restitution (when his Earthly marriage was restored).
If we now look at St Paul's Epistle to the Hebrews we discover that he explains the said Ascension event in some greater detail, for Paul tells of how Jesus was admitted to the Priesthood of Heaven when he actually had no entitlement to such a sacred office. He explains that Jesus was born (through his father Joseph) into the Davidic line of Judah-a line which held the right of kingship but had no right to priesthood, for this was the sole prerogative of the line of Aaron and Levi. But, says Paul, a special dispensation was granted, and he tells that "for the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law". As a result of this express "change of the law", it is explained that Jesus was enabled to enter the Kingdom of Heaven in the priestly Order of Melchizedek.
So, in September AD 33, the first child of Jesus and Mary Magdalene was born, and Jesus duly entered the Kingdom of Heaven. There is no reference to this child being a son (as there is for the two subsequent births), and given that Jesus returned three years later, in AD 36, we know that Mary must have had a daughter.
By following the chronology of the Acts, we see that in September AD 37 a second child was born; and then another in AD 44. The period between these two births to the second restitution in AD 43 was "six years", which denotes that the AD 37 child was a son. This fact is also conveyed by the use of cryptic wording-the same cryptic wording afforded to the AD 44 child-so we know that this third child was also a son.
In accordance with the scribal codes detailed in the Dead Sea Scrolls, everything cryptic within the New Testament is set up beforehand by some other entry which explains that the inherent message is "for those with ears to hear". Once these codes and allegories are understood, they never ever vary. They mean the same thing every time they are used, and they are used every time that same meaning is required.
For example, the Gospels explain that Jesus was called "the Word of God": "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us...full of grace and truth." John goes to great lengths to explain the relevance of this definition, and subsequent entries give details such as "the Word of God stood by the lake" and "the Word of God was in Samaria".
Messages conveying information about fertility and new life are established in the Parable of the Sower whose seed "bore fruit and increased". Thus, when it is said that "the Word of God increased", "those with ears to hear" would recognise at once that "Jesus increased"-that is to say, he had a son. There are two such entries in the Acts, and they fall precisely on cue in AD 37 and AD 44.
Probably the most misrepresented book of the New Testament is The Book of The Revelation of St John the Divine-misrepresented by the Church, that is; not by the book itself. This book is quite unlike any other in the Bible. It is dubbed with terrible supernatural overtones, and its straightforward imagery has been savagely corrupted by the Church to present the text as some form of foreboding or prophecy of warning! But the book is not called "The Prophecy" or "The Warning". It is called "The Revelation".
So, what does the book reveal? Chronologically, its story follows The Acts of the Apostles, and the Book of The Revelation is, in fact, the continuing story of Jesus, Mary Magdalene and their sons, particularly the elder son, Jesus Justus. It follows his life and details his marriage, along with the birth of his own son. This much-misunderstood New Testament book is not a foreboding or a warning as the fearful Church would have us believe. It is precisely what it says it is: a revelation.
As we saw earlier, ordained priests of the era were called "fishers"; their helpers were called "fishermen", and baptismal candidates were called "fishes". Jesus became an ordained fisher when he entered the Kingdom of Heaven, but until that time (as explained by St Paul) he held no priestly office.
In the rite of ordination, the officiating Levite priests of the Sanctuary would administer five loaves of bread and two fishes to the candidates, but the law was very firm in that such candidates had to be circumcised Jews. Gentiles and uncircumcised Samaritans were on no account afforded any such privilege. Indeed, it was this particular ministerial ritual which Jesus had flouted at the so-called "feeding of the five-thousand", because he presumed the right to grant access to his own new liberal ministry by offering the loaves and fishes to an unsanctified gathering. Apart from eventually becoming a fisher, Jesus was also referred to as "the Christ"-a Greek definition which meant "the King". In saying the name "Jesus Christ", we are actually saying "King Jesus", and his kingly heritage was of the Royal House of Judah (the House of David), as mentioned numerous times in the Gospels and in the Epistles of St Paul.
From AD 33, therefore, Jesus emerged with the dual status of a "Priest Christ" or, as is more commonly cited, a "Fisher King". This definition, as we shall see, was to become an hereditary and dynastic office of Jesus' heirs, and the succeeding "Fisher Kings" were paramount in the history of the Grail bloodline.
Prior to the birth of her second son in AD 44, Mary Magdalene was exiled from Judaea following a political uprising in which she was implicated. Along with Philip, Lazarus and a few retainers, she travelled (by arrangement with King Herod-Agrippa II) to live at the Herodian estate near Lyon, in Gaul (which later became France). From the earliest times, through the mediaeval era, to the great Renaissance, Mary's flight was portrayed in illuminated manuscripts and great artworks alike. Her life and work in France, especially in Provence and the Languedoc, appeared not only in works of European history but also in the Roman Church liturgy-until her story was suppressed by the Vatican.
Mary Magdalene's exile is told in The Book of The Revelation which describes that she was pregnant at the time. It tells also of how the Roman authorities subsequently persecuted Mary, her son and his heirs: "And she, being with child, cried...and pained to be delivered...and behold, a great red dragon, having seven heads...and seven crowns...stood before the woman...for to devour her child... And she brought forth a man-child...and the woman fled into the wilderness... And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war forever with the remnant of her seed...which...have the testimony of Jesus Christ."
It was to Gaul that Mary was said to have carried the Sangréal (the Blood Royal, the Holy Grail); and it was in Gaul that the famous line of Jesus and Mary's immediate descendant heirs, the Fisher Kings, flourished for 300 years. The eternal motto of the Fisher Kings was "In Strength"-inspired by the name of their ancestor, Boaz (the great-grandfather of King David), whose name similarly meant "In Strength". When translated into Latin, this became "In Fortis", which was subsequently corrupted to "Anfortas", the name of the Fisher King in Grail romance.
We can now return to the Grail's traditional symbolism as a chalice containing the blood of Jesus. We can also consider graphic designs dating back well beyond the Dark Ages to about 3,500 BC. And in doing this, we discover that a chalice or a cup was the longest-standing symbol of the female. Its representation was that of the Sacred Vessel-the vas uterus, the womb.
And so, when fleeing into France, Mary Magdalene carried the Sangréal in the Sacred Chalice of her womb-just as the Book of The Revelation explains. And the name of this second son was Joseph.
The equivalent traditional symbol of the male was a blade or a horn, usually represented by a sword or a unicorn. In the Old Testament's Song of Solomon and in the Psalms of David, the fertile unicorn is associated with the kingly line of Judah; and it was for this very reason that the Cathars of Provence used the mystical beast to symbolise the Grail bloodline.
Mary Magdalene died in Provence in AD 63. In that very year, Joseph of Arimathea built the famous chapel at Glastonbury in England as a memorial to the Messianic Queen. This was the first 'above-ground' Christian church in the world, and in the following year Mary's son Jesus Justus dedicated it to his mother. Jesus the Younger had in fact been to England with Joseph before, at the age of twelve, in AD 49. It was this event which inspired William Blake's famous song, Jerusalem: "And did those feet in ancient time, walk upon England's mountains green." But who was Joseph of Arimathea, the man who assumed full control of affairs at the Crucifixion? And why was it that Jesus' mother, his wife and the rest of the family accepted Joseph's intervention without question?
As late as the year 900, the Church of Rome decided to announce that Joseph of Arimathea was the uncle of Jesus' mother Mary. And from that time, portrayals of Joseph have shown him as being rather elderly at the Crucifixion, when Mother Mary was herself in her fifties. Prior to the Roman announcement, however, the historical records of Joseph depicted a much younger man. He was recorded to have died at the age of 80 on 27 July AD 82, and thus would have been aged 32 at the time of the Crucifixion.
In fact, Joseph of Arimathea was none other than Jesus Christ's own brother, James, and his title had nothing whatever to with a place name. Arimathea never existed. It therefore comes as no surprise that Joseph negotiated with Pilate to place Jesus in his own family tomb.
The hereditary "Arimathea" title was an English corruption of the Graeco-Hebrew style ha-Rama-Theo, meaning "of the Divine Highness", or "of the Royal Highness" as we'd define it today. Since Jesus was the senior Messianic heir-the Christ, Khristos or King-then his younger brother was the Crown Prince-the Royal Highness, Rama-Theo. In the Nazarene hierarchy, the Crown Prince always held the patriarchal title of "Joseph"-just as Jesus was a titular "David" and his wife was a "Mary".
In the early fifth century, Jesus and Mary's descendent Fisher Kings became united by marriage to the Sicambrian Franks, and from them emerged a whole new 'reigning' dynasty. They were the noted Merovingian Kings who founded the French monarchy and introduced the well-known fleur-de-lys (the ancient Jewish symbol of circumcision) as the royal emblem of France.
From the Merovingian succession, another strain of the family established a wholly independent Jewish kingdom in southern France: the Kingdom of Septi-mania, which we now know as the Languedoc. And the early princes of Toulouse, Aquitaine and Provence were all descended in the Messianic bloodline of the Holy Grail. Septimania was granted to the Royal House of David in 768, and Prince Bernard of Septimania later married a daughter of Emperor Charlemagne.
Also from the Fisher Kings came another important parallel line of succession in Gaul. Whereas the Merovingian Kings continued the patrimonial 'male' heritage of Jesus, this other line perpetuated the matriarchal heritage of Mary Magdalene in a 'female' line. They were the dynastic Queens of Avallon in Burgundy, the House del Acqs-meaning "of the waters", a style granted to Mary Magdalene in the early days when she voyaged on the sea to Provence.
Those familiar with Arthurian and Grail lore will by now have recognised the ultimate significance of this Messianic family of the Fisher Kings, the Queens of Avallon and the House del Acqs (corrupted in Arthurian romance to "du Lac"). The descendant heirs of Jesus posed an enormous threat to the Roman High Church because they were the dynastic leaders of the true Nazarene Church. In real terms, the Roman Church should never have existed at all, for it was no more than a 'hybrid' movement comprised of various pagan doctrines attached to a fundamentally Jewish base.
Jesus was born in 7 BC and his birthday was on the equivalent of 1 March, with an 'official' royal birthday on 15 September to comply with dynastic regulation. But, when establishing the Roman High Church in the fourth century, Emperor Constantine ignored both of these dates and supplemented 25 December as the new Christ's Mass Day-to coincide with the pagan Sun Festival.
Later, at the Synod of Whitby in 664, the bishops expropriated the Celtic festival of Easter (Eostre), the Goddess of Spring and Fertility, and attached a wholly new Christian significance. In so doing, they changed the date of the Celtic festival to sever its traditional association with the Jewish Passover.
Christianity, as we know it, has evolved as a 'composite religion' quite unlike any other. If Jesus was its living catalyst, then Christianity should rightly be based on the teachings of Jesus himself-the moral and social codes of a fair-minded, tolerant ministry, with the people as its benefactors.
But orthodox Christianity is not based on the teachings of Jesus: it is based on the teachings of the Roman Church, which are entirely different. There are a number of reasons for this, the foremost of which is that Jesus was deliberately sidestepped in favour of the alternative teachings of Peter and Paul-teachings which were thoroughly denounced by the Nazarene Church of Jesus and his brother James. Only by removing Jesus from the frontline could the Popes and cardinals reign supreme. When formally instituting Christianity as the state religion of Rome, Constantine declared that "he alone" was the true "Saviour Messiah", not Jesus! As for the Bishops of Rome (the Popes), they were granted an apostolic descent from St Peter-not a legitimate Desposynic descent from Jesus and his brothers, as was retained within the Nazarene Church.
The only way for the Roman High Church to restrain the heirs of Mary Magdalene was to discredit Mary herself and to deny her bridal relationship with Jesus. But what of Jesus' brother James? He, too, had heirs, as did their other brothers, Simon, Joses and Jude. The Church could not escape the Gospels which state that Jesus was the Blessed Mother Mary's "first-born son", and so Mary's own motherhood also had to be repressed.
As a result, the Church portrayed Mother Mary as a virgin, and Mary Magdalene as a whore-neither of which description was mentioned in any original Gospel. Then, just to cement Mother Mary's position outside the natural domain, her own mother, Anna, was eventually said to have borne her by way of "Immaculate Conception"! Over the course of time, these contrived doctrines have had widespread effect. But, in the early days, it took rather more to cement the ideas because the original women of the Nazarene mission had a significant following in the Celtic Church-women such as Mary Magdalene, Martha, Mary Jacob-Cleophas and Helena-Salome who had run schools and social missions throughout the Mediterranean world. These women had all been disciples of Jesus, and close friends of his mother, Mary, accompanying her to the Crucifixion, as confirmed in the Gospels. The Church's only salvation was to deny women altogether; to deny them not only rights to ecclesiastical office, but to deny them rights to any status in society. Hence, the Church declared that women were all heretics and sorceresses! In this, the bishops were aided by the words of Peter and Paul, and on the basis of their teachings the Roman High Church was enabled to become wholly sexist. In his Epistle to Timothy, Paul wrote: "I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp any authority over the man, but to be in silence." In the Gospel of Philip, Peter is even quoted as saying that "Women are not worthy of life". The bishops even quoted the words of Genesis, wherein God spoke to Eve about Adam, saying "He shall rule over thee".
The Church Father Tertullian summed up the whole Roman attitude when writing about the emergent disciples of Mary Magdalene: "These heretical woman! How dare they! They are brazen enough to teach, to engage in argument, to baptise... It is not permitted for a woman to speak in church...nor to claim...a share in any masculine function-least of all in priestly office."
Then, to cap it all, came the Roman Church's most amazing document, The Apostolic Order. This was compiled as an 'imaginary' conversation between the apostles after the Last Supper. Contrary to the Gospels, it supposed that Mary Magdalene had been present at the Supper, and it was agreed that the reason why Jesus had not passed any wine to Mary at the table was because he had seen her laughing!
On the basis of this extraordinary, fictitious document, the bishops ruled that, even though Mary might have been a companion of Jesus, women were not to be afforded any place within the Church because they were not serious! This sexist attitude has persisted within the Church to the present day. Why? Because Mary Magdalene had to be discredited and removed from the reckoning so that her heirs could be ignored. But things are now changing, and, in the Anglican Church at least, women are being restored to the priestly station.
Notwithstanding the avid sexist movement, the Messianic heirs retained their social positions outside the Roman Church establishment. They progressed their own Nazarene and Celtic Church movements and founded Desposynic kingdoms in Britain and Europe. They were a constant threat to the Roman High Church and to the figurehead monarchs and governments empowered by that Church. They were the very reason for the implementation of the brutal Inquisition because they upheld a moral and social code which was contrary to High Church requirement.
This was especially apparent during the Age of Chivalry, which embraced a respect for womanhood, as exemplified by the Knights Templars whose constitutional oath supported a veneration of "the Grail Mother", Queen Mary Magdalene.
Prior to the Middle Ages, the individual stories of this family were historically well-known. But when the Church began its reign of fanatical persecution (the great Inquisition), the whole Nazarene and Desposynic heritage was forced underground. But why the vengeful onset of the Inquisition? Because the Knights Templars had not only returned from the Holy Land with documents that undermined the Church's teachings, but they also established their own Cistercian churches in opposition to Rome. These were not just any churches; they were the greatest religious monuments ever to grace the skylines of the western world: the Notre Dame cathedrals of France.
Despite their present-day image, these impressive Gothic cathedrals had nothing whatever to do with the established Christian Church. They were funded and built by the Knights Templars, and they were dedicated to Mary Magdalene-Notre Dame, Our Lady-whom they called "the Grail of the world".
This, of course, defeated every dogma that the High Church had encouraged, and the bishops retaliated by re-dedicating numerous other churches to Mary, the mother of Jesus. But, in so doing, they made a strict decree that all artistic portrayals of Mother Mary, the Madonna, must henceforth show her dressed in "blue and white only"-so as not to grant her any rights to ecclesiastical office in the male-only priesthood.
Mary Magdalene, on the other hand, was being portrayed (by the world's greatest artists) wearing the red mantle of cardinal status or the black robe of a Nazarite High Priestess-and there was nothing the Church could do about it. The bishops' only option was to proclaim the practice sinful and heretical-because, in having previously elected to ignore Mary Magdalene and her heirs, she was outside their jurisdiction.
It was at that time that Grail lore was itself denounced as a heresy by the Vatican. The sixth-century writings of Merlin were expressly banned by the Ecumenical Council, and the original Nazarene Church of Jesus became an "underground stream", aided by such notable sponsors as Leonardo da Vinci and Sandro Botticelli.
In those days, the Church policed and controlled most literature in the public domain; and so, in order to avoid outright censorship, the Grail tradition became allegorical and its message was communicated by way of secret watermarks, esoteric writings, Tarot cards and symbolic artwork.
But why should Grail lore and the writings of Merlin have posed such a problem for the High Church? Because, within the context of their adventurous texts, they told the descendant story of the Grail bloodline-a bloodline which had been ousted from its dynastic position by the Popes and Bishops of Rome who had elected to reign supreme by way of a contrived "apostolic succession".
This apostolic succession was said to have been handed down from the first bishop, St Peter (and, indeed, this is still the promoted view). But one only has to study the Church's own Apostolic Constitutions to discover that this is simply not true. Peter was never a Bishop of Rome-nor of anywhere else, for that matter! The Vatican's Constitutions record that the first Bishop of Rome was Prince Linus of Britain, the son of Caractacus the Pendragon. He was installed by St Paul in AD 58, during Peter's own lifetime.
From the 1100s, the powerful Knights Templars and their cathedrals posed an enormous threat to the 'male-only' Church by bringing the heritage of Jesus and Mary Magdalene to the fore in the public domain.
The cardinals knew that their whole establishment would tumble if the Messianic descendants gained the upper hand. They had to be crushed! And so the brutal Inquisition was implemented-a hideous persecution of all who dissented from the rule of the bishops.
It all began in 1208, when Pope Innocent III sent 30,000 soldiers into the Languedoc region of southern France. This was the home of the Cathars ("the Pure Ones") who were said to be the guardians of a great and sacred treasure-a mysterious secret which could overturn orthodox Christianity. The Pope's so-called Albigensian Crusade lasted for 36 years-during which time, tens of thousands of innocent people were slaughtered-but the treasure was never found.
The main thrust of the Inquisition (or "Holy Office") was instituted by Pope Gregory IX during the course of this massacre, in 1231, and it was set against anyone who supported "the Grail heresy". By 1252, the torture of victims was formally authorised, along with execution by burning.
"Heresy" was a wonderful charge to level against captives, because only the Church could define it. The victims were tortured until they confessed, and having confessed they were executed. If they did not confess, then the torture continued until they died anyway. One recorded form of torture was to spread the victim, little by little, with fat (beginning with his feet), and then to roast him alive in sections, limb by limb, over an open fire.
These savage persecutions and punishments were openly waged for more than 400 years, and were also extended against Jews, Muslims and Protestant dissenters. But the Inquisition was never formally terminated. As recently as 1965 it was renamed "the Sacred Congregation", and its powers are theoretically still in force today. Undaunted by the Inquisition, the Nazarene movement pursued its own course, and the story of the bloodline was perpetuated in literature such as the Grand Saint Grail and the High History of the Holy Grail. These writings were largely sponsored by the Grail courts of France (the courts of Champagne, Anjou and others), and also by the Knights Templars and the Desposyni; and, at that stage, Arthurian Romance became a popular vehicle for the Grail tradition.
In the light of this, the Templars became a specific target of the Inquisition in 1307 when the henchmen of Pope Clement V and King Philip IV of France were set in their direction. The papal armies scoured Europe for the Templar documents and treasure-but, like the Cathar inheritance, nothing was found. However, many Knights were tortured and executed in the process, and their companions escaped to countries outside the papal domain.
But the Templar hoard was not lost, and while the Vatican emissaries were searching, the treasure and documents were locked away in the Chapter House Treasury vaults of Paris. They were under the protection of the Templar Grand Knights of St Anthony-"the Guardian Princes of the Royal Secret"-who loaded the hoard one night onto 18 galleys of the Templar fleet at La Rochelle.
By daybreak, the fleet had sailed for Scotland, and on arrival they were welcomed by King Robert the Bruce who, along with the whole Scottish nation, had been excommunicated by the Pope for challenging the Catholic King Edward of England. In Scotland, the Templars and their treasure remained, and the Knights fought with Bruce at Bannockburn in 1314 to regain Scotland's independence from Plantagenet England.
Subsequent to the Battle of Bannockburn, Bruce and the St Anthony Templars founded the new Order of the Elder Brothers of the Rosy Cross in 1317-from which time the Kings of Scots became hereditary Grand Masters, with each successive Stewart King holding the honoured Grand Priory title of "Prince Saint Germain".
So, why was it that King Arthur, a Celtic commander of the sixth century, was so important to the Knights Templars and the Grail courts of Europe? Quite simply, because Arthur had been unique, with a 'dual' heritage in the Messianic line. King Arthur was by no means mythical, as many have supposed. Far from it. But he has generally been looked for in the wrong places. Researchers, misguided by the fictional locations of the romances, have searched in vain through the chronicles of Brittany, Wales and the west of England. But the details of Arthur are to be found in the Scots' and Irish annals. He was indeed "the High King of the Celtic Isle", and he was the sovereign commander of the British troops in the late sixth century.
Arthur was born in 559, and he died in battle in 603. His mother was Ygerna del Acqs, the daughter of Queen Viviane of Avallon, in descent from Jesus and Mary Magdalene. His father was High King Aedàn of Dalriada (the Western Highlands of Scotland, now called Argyll)-and Aedàn was the British Pendragon ("Head Dragon" or "King of Kings") in descent from Jesus' brother James. It is for this reason that the stories of Arthur and Joseph of Arimathea are so closely entwined in the Grail romances.
Indeed, the coronation records of Scotland's King Kenneth MacAlpin (a descendant of Aedàn the Pendragon) specifically refer to his own descent from the dynastic Queens of Avallon.
King Aedàn's paternal legacy emerged through the most ancient House of Camulot (England's Royal Court of Colchester) in a line from the first Pendragon, King Cymbeline (who is well-known to students of Shakespeare).
By that time, Messianic descendants had founded Desposynic kingdoms in Wales and across the Strathclyde and Cambrian regions of Britain. Arthur's father, King Aedàn of Scots, was the first British monarch to be installed by priestly ordination, when he was crowned and anointed by Saint Columba of the Celtic Church in 574. This, of course, infuriated the Roman Church bishops because they claimed the sole right to appoint kings who were supposed to be crowned by the Pope! As a direct result of this coronation, Saint Augustine was eventually sent from Rome in 597 to dismantle the Celtic Church. He proclaimed himself Archbishop of Canterbury three years later, but his overall mission failed and the Nazarene tradition persisted in Scotland, Ireland and Wales and across the breadth of northern England.
An important fact to remember is that the Grail dynasts were never territorial governors of lands. Like Jesus himself, they were designated "Guardians" of the people. The Merovingians of Gaul, for example, were Kings of the Franks-never Kings of France. King Aedàn, Robert the Bruce and their Stewart successors were Kings of the Scots-never Kings of Scotland.
It was this implicitly 'social' concept which the High Church found so difficult to overcome, for the bishops preferred to have dominion over 'territorial kings', while the people's senior lord and master was supposed to be the Pope. Only by maintaining ultimate spiritual control over individuals could the Church reign supreme, and so whenever a Grail dynast came to the fore he was met by the wrath of the papal machine.
In 751 the bishops managed to depose the Merovingian succession in Gaul, and they established a new tradition whereby kings of the Carolingian succession (that of Charlemagne) had to be approved and crowned by the Pope. But the Church could never topple the Desposynic lines in Scotland, even though the old Celtic kingdoms of England had been dismantled by Germanic Anglo-Saxons from the sixth century.
Even into the Middle Ages-long after the Norman Conquest of England-the Nazarene Church and the long-prevailing cult of Mary Magdalene were prominent in Europe. Women's rights of equality were upheld throughout the Celtic structure-and this was an enormous problem for the male-only priesthood of orthodox Christianity.
The underlying principle of the Grail monarchs was always one of Service, in accordance with the Messianic code established by Jesus when he washed his apostles' feet at the Last Supper. And so the true Grail dynasts were kings and guardians of their realms, but they were never rulers.
This key aspect of the Grail code was perpetuated at the very heart of nursery tale and folklore. Never did a valiant cardinal or bishop ride to the aid of an oppressed subject or a damsel in distress, for this has always been the social realm of Grail princes and their appointed knights.
The Grail code recognises advancement by merit and acknowledges community structure, but, above all, it is entirely democratic. Whether apprehended in its physical or spiritual dimension, the Grail belongs to leaders and followers alike. It also belongs to the land and the environment, requiring that all should be "as one" in a common, unified Service.
Throughout the ages, parliaments and governments have had as much trouble as the Church in confronting the Messianic social code, and the position is no different today. Presidents and prime ministers are 'elected' by the people. They are supposed to represent the people. But do they? In actual fact, they don't. They are always affiliated to a political party, and they achieve their positions by way of majority party vote. But not everybody takes the trouble to vote, and sometimes there are more than two parties to vote for. Consequently, at any given time, more than half the people of a nation may not be represented by the political party in power. In this regard, even though a 'majority vote' has been applied, the democratic principle fails. What emerges is not "government by the people, for the people", but "government of the people".
Jesus confronted a very similar situation in the first century. At that time, Jerusalem and Judaea were under Roman occupation, with King Herod and the Governor, Pontius Pilate, both appointed by Rome. But who represented the people? The people were not Romans; they were Holy Land Jews-Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes and the like. Apart from that, there were large numbers of Samaritans and Gentiles (non-Jews, the Arab races). Who represented them? The answer is "no one"-until Jesus made it his mission to do so.
This was the beginning of the Grail code of non-affiliated princely service-a code perpetuated by the Messianic dynasts in their continuing role as "common fathers" to the people. The Grail code is based on the principles of liberty, fraternity and equality, and it was particularly apparent in the American and French revolutions, both of which discarded the lordship of despotic aristocracy. But what has replaced it? It has been replaced by party politics and largely non-representative government.
From the Middle Ages there were a number of chivalric and military orders specifically attached to the Messianic Blood Royal in Britain and Europe. They included the Order of the Realm of Sion and the Order of the Sacred Sepulchre. But the most prestigious of all was the Sovereign Order of the Sangréal-the Knights of the Holy Grail. This was a dynastic order of Scotland's Royal House of Stewart, the royal house which in the 14th century introduced the unicorn of the Cathars as the sovereign emblem of Scotland. Shortly afterwards, they introduced the prestigious Order of the Unicorn, which carried the Grail motto "All as One".
Like King Arthur, the Stewart Kings also had a dual Desposynic heritage from both Jesus and his brother James. In fact, from the 1370s they were the senior house of the Messianic line, and they were Europe's longest-reigning dynasty, holding their crown for 317 years until finally deposed by the Anglican Church in 1688. They were deposed because, in compliance with the Grail code, they claimed affinity to God and the nation before Parliament, the Church and the aristocracy.
Today, the senior legitimate descendant in this line is HRH Prince Michael Stewart, Count of Albany (whose own book, The Forgotten Monarchy of Scotland, is scheduled for publication by Element Books in May 1998).
And now to a question that I have frequently been asked in the months since Bloodline of the Holy Grail was published. The question is: why is all this information coming to light at this particular time?
The fact is that the information has never been suppressed by those whom it concerns. It has been suppressed by outside power-seekers who have sought to serve their own ends, rather than serve the communities they are supposed to represent.
Today, however, we are in a new age of 'questing', as many people grow more disillusioned with the establishment dogmas that prevail. We live in an age of satellite communications, sound-barrier travel, computers and the Internet-so the world is effectively much smaller than before. In such an environment, news travels very quickly, and the truth is far more difficult to restrain.
Also, the very fabric of the 'male-dominated' Church and governmental structures is being questioned, and it is generally perceived that the old doctrines of spiritual control and territorial management are not working. More and more people are searching for the original, uncluttered roots of their faith, and for their purpose in society. They are seeking more effective forms of administration to combat the all-too-apparent slide into social and moral decline. They are, in fact, questing for the Holy Grail.
This quest for new enlightenment is considerably heightened by the coming new millennium, and there is a widespread feeling that this should also present a new Renaissance, an era of rebirth wherein the precepts of the Grail code are acknowledged and practised-the precepts of liberty, fraternity and equality.
Grail lore spells out loud and clear that the wound of the Fisher King must be healed if the wasteland is to return to fertility. And so, given that I had been afforded privileged access over past years to the archives of the Knights Templars, the Celtic Church and the Messianic sovereign houses of Europe, the time arrived for me to play my own small part in trying to heal the age-old wound of the Fisher King. The result was my book, Bloodline of the Holy Grail.