The Da Vinci Code, a fictional thriller by Dan Brown, and a film starring Tom Hanks, has re-popularized
a number of real conspiracy theories concerning the Holy Grail: What is it? Why
would the Church conceal what conspirators claim is a lie that could bring down
the entire Christian Church?
main conspiracy points put forward are outlined below.
Claim: Leonardo Da Vinci was aware of the resting place of the Holy Grail
in his lifetime. He used a series of highly coded clues in his paintings to put
forward his agenda that the Holy Grail was in fact the secret that Jesus and Mary
Magdalen were married and that they had a baby. This was covered up by the Church,
keen to suppress the role of women.
and arguments: The Da Vinci Code uses Leonardo Da Vinci's The Last
Supper, painted on the wall of the Santa Maria della Grazie in Milan. The
Bible says that all of the apostles were men. However, in the Last Supper, Da
Vinci has left a strange V, feminine/chalice, shape between apostle John (who
looks like a woman) and Jesus. The two figures seem to be joined at the hip. But,
look again, is it a man at all? Is there the hint of breasts?
Does this imply the two had a particularly strong relationship separate from the
other apostles? Some have even argued that it was a homosexual relationship.
separating John (Mary?) and Jesus?
The character to John's right (Peter) is poking violently. Does this show that
this figure is seen as an outcast of the group? Or is he pointing for further
emphasis? Is the entire picture about this figure?
of pointing Peter and John
more bizarrely, Peter (who didn't like Mary) is holding a dagger...
and John (Mary?) with enlarged section, below, highlighted
of Peter's right hand, holding a dagger
the figure looks remarkably like the Madonna of the rocks also mentioned in the
Da Vinci Code.
Virgin Mary in Leonardo's Madonna of the Rocks
point out that Leonardo liked to paint androgynous figures. An example is this
picture of John the Baptist:
John The Baptist has a more than passing similarity to the figure in The Last
The Baptist, added next to the Apostle John in the Last Supper
Da Vinci Code argues that the letter V (for feminine, chalice or womb) is
clearly visible between Jesus and the figure to his right. The letter M, marital,
is also apparent...
Last Supper (left section)
possibly in the picture (probably others too)
suggest another explanation for the apparent letters in the Last Supper. It's
an alphabet soup! The initials of the official who commissioned the piece was
can read anything into it that you want.
Claim: The French term San Greal, the Holy Grail, is a term used in ancient
texts, however, split the word differently, and you get Sang Real, this has a
different meaning entirely...
Real has been seen in ancient texts... Does this prove that they are the same
According to The Real Da Vinci Code (UK Channel 4) it is a result of a simple
transposition error in a 15th book by John Harding.
Claim: The Priory of Sion is a bone fide organization.
Brown, in a forward to The Da Vinci Code, says:
Priory of Sion - a European secret society founded in 1099 - is a real organization.|
is also claimed in the book Holy Blood, Holy Grail by Michael Baigent,
Richard Leigh, Henry Lincoln.
It doesn't exist. The Priory of Sion is a hoax. This was discussed in 'The Real
Da Vinci Code' (UK Channel 4, Broadcast 3rd February 2005). The hoax was perpetrated,
it was alleged in the programme, by three individuals with different agendas:
de Sède (a surrealist - who subsequently wrote a book exposing his part
in this hoax - claimed he told the authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail that
it was a hoax while they were writing their book.)
Philip de Cherisey (who did it for fun).
Plantard allegedly did it to prove his claims that he was part of the Merovingian
dynasty (ie a blood relative of Jesus and Mary) - he denies this.
According to Jean-Luc Chaumail, a journalist, the Priory of Sion was set up in
1956 by Plantard, named after a local hill, Sion les Mines.
Claim: They've found Mary and Jesus's child, Sarah. Margaret Starbird presented
this in her book "The Woman with the Alabaster Jar". Mary fled
to France (Gaul) and there was a child on board. Her name was Sarah. Sarah means
princess in Hebrew.
'The Real Da Vinci Code', UK Channel 4 said:
Starbird may have
misinterpreted the legend. The documentary shows a religious procession celebrating
the boat arriving containing a Mary, however the two Mary's
on board were neither Mary Magdalen. It is possible that the Sarah on board was
the servant of the two Mary's. There is no real evidence Mary ever went
to France, it is the stuff of legend.
Claim: The Da Vinci Code maintains that the final resting place
of Mary Magdalen is under the pyramid at the Louvre, Paris. French president Mitterand,
who oversaw the creation of this piece of architecture, was instrumental in ensuring
that the pyramid
has exactly 666 panes of glass (the sign of the devil). The pyramid is on The
Rose Line which is the original line of world time, the Rose is another name for
the Holy Grail.
Claim: Da Vinci Code: X-rays of the Mona Lisa show she was originally
painted with a lapis lazuli pendant of Isis. This means that she was originally
seen belonging to one of the groups who knew of the Holy Grail's secrets.
Claim: Da Vinci Code: The last grail sighting was in 1447. Numerous
eyewitnesses described a fire which had broken out. The documents were carried
to safety in four huge chests which each required six men to carry.
Claim: The mountainous backdrop of Madonna of the Rocks matched topography
of a series of cave ridden hills in Scotland. This was a clue to the hiding place
of the Holy Grail.
it really possible to identify the rock formations in this picture, Madonna of
Claim: Rosslyn Chapel, Scotland,
has substantial underground burial chambers which we know exist but have not been
seen since they were sealed. Conservationists
refuse permission to dig up the church for a full investigation. Could Mary be
resting here? In Dan Brown's book this place is the subject of a plot point which
we won't detail here as it spoils the story. The church, however, has various
iconography in the walls and is a popular destination for Holy Grail enthusiasts..
In real life: The vaults under the chapel have not been investigated so it can't
be proved either way, although it was said that during the time when these vaults
were open to relatives, nothing was noted out of the ordinary.
Claim: Who compiled the bible? Was it an attempt to control society? and
specifically to control the position of women in society? It is alleged that whoever
compiled the New Testament chose 27 books, we know there were more books than
this, the rest were hidden. They were discovered in December 1945 Mohammed Ali
es Samman - Known as The Gnostic Gospels. Some of which claim to be the actual
teachings of Jesus.. In the newly found Gospel of Philip: "Jesus kisses Mary
on the lips"...
Nothing in these documents says Jesus and Mary were married. The Gospel of Philip
doesn't say Jesus kissed Mary on the lips. The scroll says 'Jesus kissed Mary
on the' then it stops as there is damage to the scroll... experts imply it is
Claim: It would have been very unusual
for Jesus, a Jew, to not be married at this time in history.
Jesus was an unusual man. He spoke up for the poor in society, itself a strange
thing to do at this time.
Claims about the Mona Lisa (La Joconde) in the book:
The background behind her face is uneven; Da Vinci painted the horizon line on
the left significantly lower than on the right. This makes Mona Lisa look larger
from the left than on the right.
top part of the Mona Lisa, supposedly showing the horizon line significantly lower
on the left.
Da Vinci was a fan of feminine principles, he made her look more majestic from
the left than the right
the image on the left look more feminine?
Mona Lisa is Da Vinci in drag. Computer analysis of Mona Lisa and Da Vinci self
portrait(s) confirm 'some startling points of congruence'.
have flipped Mona Lisa horizontally and adjusted her to match the pose of Da Vinci
in this self portrait. Are they the same person?
AMON (God of Fertility) L'ISA (corruption of Isis - Egyptian goddess of fertility)
- Reason for Mona Lisa's smile...?