11 February 2013
Excerpt taken from an American news item about The Priory of Sion shown on CBS News (60 Minutes) on 30 April 2006. The CBS News documentary is available on DVD
Images 2006 © CBS News
Narration: Pierre Plantard claimed to be the Grand Master of the Priory of Sion but evidence at the Police Headquarters in Paris tells a different story. Historian Claude Charlot who is Director of Police Archives says there is a File on Plantard who died in 2000 showing that during World War Two he was investigated by the Secret Services. So what was their conclusion?
Claude Charlot: The investigation said he is a young man whose mind we say in French is cloudy. He is a Fantasist. He is not a serious person.
Narration: One of Plantards fantasies was to set-up Right-Wing Anti-Semitic organisations similar in style to Medieval Orders of Chivalry. But in reality these organisations only existed on paper.
Claude Charlot: A pure invention.
Narration: After the War Pierre Plantard moved to the small town of Annemasse. In 1953 he was given a 6 month prison sentence for fraud but 3 years later he was setting-up again a new organisation. Under French Law its necessary to deposit the Statutes of every new Association with the authorities. Thats how a Government Official there was able to give us information about it. It was called you guessed it the Priory of Sion, named not for twelfth century Jerusalem, but for the local mountain close to where he lived. Ten years later and now back in Paris, Pierre Plantard gave the Priory of Sion a fictitious pedigree by drawing-up that list of Grand Masters and depositing it in the Bibliothèque Nationale. Claude Charlot says that apart from that list, no historian has found any evidence that the Priory of Sion existed before Plantard set-up his version in 1956.
Interviewer: So this organisation he set-up the Priory of Sion that was just another figment of his imagination?
Claude Charlot: Exactly (stated with emphasis).