Pierre Plantard and The French Police

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

Claude Charlot, and the Secret Service File on Pierre Plantard
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 Plantard’s 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 it’s necessary to deposit the Statutes of every new Association with the authorities. That’s 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).


Additional information

File GA P7. Secret Service Reports on Pierre Plantard dating from World War Two
Pierre Plantard In Prison
Letters from the French Police about Pierre Plantard’s 1953 conviction
The Statutes of the 1956 Priory of Sion
Pierre Plantard and Judge Thierry Jean-Pierre, 1993
Thierry Jean-Pierre about Pierre Plantard, 2004