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England and Wales High Court (Chancery Division) Decisions
You are here: BAILII >> Databases >> England and Wales High Court (Chancery Division) Decisions >> Baigent & Anor v The Random House Group Ltd (The Da Vinci Code)  EWHC 719 (Ch) (07 April 2006)
Cite as:  EWHC 719 (Ch)
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Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
| Michael Baigent
|- and -
|The Random House Group Limited
Mr John Baldwin QC and Mr James Abrahams (instructed by Arnold & Porter (UK) LLP) for the Defendant
Hearing dates: 27th, 28th February, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 17th and 20th March 2006
Crown Copyright ©
|SETTING THE SCENE||A|
|Writing and Publication of HBHG||3|
|HOLY BLOOD HOLY GRAIL||B|
|Analysis of HBHG||5|
|A Central Theme||6|
|DAN BROWN AND THE DA VINCI CODE||C|
|Researching and writing DVC||8|
|Analysis of DVC||9|
|Complaints by Claimants||10|
|Defendants Seek Clarification||12|
|Lewison J Order||13|
|Changes in Pleadings||14|
|Significance of Central Theme||16|
|Treatment of Central Theme||17|
|Copying a Substantial Part of HBHG||22|
|Green v Broadcasting Corporation||24|
|Authorities in Non Textual Infringement Cases||25|
|APPLICATIONS OF LEGAL PRINCIPLES TO THE FACTS||H|
|The Defendants Contentions||28|
|Use of Books in Writing The Synopsis||30|
|Criticism of Dan Brown on Books Available when Synopsis written||31|
|Absence of Blythe Brown from the Trial||32|
|Use of HBHG by Blythe Brown/Dan Brown||33|
|THE CENTRAL THEMES AND ANALYSIS||I|
|Non Protection for Ideas and Facts alone||35|
|Baigent on Central Themes||36|
|Destruction of Baigent's Evidence||37|
|Change of Course by the Claimants||38|
|Claimants Closing on Central Themes||39|
|Claimants Difficulties of Formulation||40|
|CONCLUSION ON CENTRAL THEMES||J|
|Reason for rejecting Central Themes||41|
|The Task of Analysis||42|
|Central Themes, What are they?||43|
|Natural Chronological Order||44|
|Conclusion on Rejection of Central Themes||46|
|INDIVIDUAL POINTS ON CENTRAL THEMES||K|
|Use of HBHG||47|
|Central Theme 1||48|
|Central Theme 2||49|
|Central Theme 3||50|
|Central Theme 4||51|
|Central Theme 5||52|
|Central Theme 6||53|
|Central Theme 7||54|
|Central Theme 8||55|
|Central Theme 9||56|
|Central Theme 10||57|
|Central Theme 11||58|
|Central Theme 12||59|
|Central Theme 13||60|
|Central Theme 14||61|
|Central Theme 15||62|
|CENTRAL THEME IN DVC||L|
|REFERENCES TO HBHG IN SOURCES USED BY DAN AND BLYTH BROWN||N|
|THE CENTRAL THEME||R|
Peter Smith J :
A SETTING THE SCENE
2 The Claimants
3 Writing And Publication Of HBHG
4 The Mystery
B HOLY BLOOD HOLY GRAIL
5 Analysis Of HBHG
1 There was a secret order behind the Knights Templar which created the Templars as its military and administrative arm and it was known as the Priory of Sion.
2 The Priory of Sion had been directed by a sequence of Grand Masters whose names are among the most illustrious in western history and culture.
3 Although the Knights Templars were destroyed and dissolved between 1307 and 1314 the Priory remained unscathed but acted in the shadows behind the scenes and orchestrated certain critical events in western history.
4 The Priory of Sion exists today and is still operative it is influential and plays a role in high level international affairs as well as in the domestic affairs of certain European countries.
5 The avowed and declared objective of the Priory of Sion is the restoration of the Merovingian dynasty and bloodline not only to the throne of France but the thrones of other European nations.
6 The Merovingian dynasty is sanctioned and justifiable both legally and morally via Dagobert, Godfroi De Bouillon and other royal families throughout Europe.
6 A Central Theme
C DAN BROWN AND THE DA VINCI CODE
7 Dan Brown
8 Researching And Writing DVC
9 Analysis Of DVC
D THE CLAIM
10 Complaints by the Claimants
12 Defendants Seek Clarification
13 Lewison J Order
14 Changes In Pleadings
E CENTRAL THEME
16 Significance Of The Central Theme
17 Treatment of Central Theme
F DEFENDANT'S STANCE
19 The VSS
G LEGAL MATTERS
22 Copying A Substantial Part Of HBHG
23 IPC Media
24 Green v Broadcasting Corporation
25 Authorities In Non-Textual Infringement Cases
"It is common ground that there can be an original work entitled to protection although the subject matter is not original, but is for example, as in the present case, some well-known event in history. The precise amount of knowledge, labour, judgment or literary skill or taste which the author of any book or other compilation must bestow upon its composition in order to acquire copyright in it within the meaning of the Copyright Act, 1911, cannot be defined in precise terms: per Lord Atkinson in Macmillan & Co. Ltd. v. Cooper. There is, however, no dispute that Mrs. Woodham-Smith displayed all these qualities in amply sufficient measure and acquired copyright in her book, whilst the plaintiffs' title to the film rights by assignment is also not disputed. What is much more difficult is whether the plaintiffs have made out a sufficient prima facie case of infringement, or rather intended infringement, and before considering the facts, I must refer at some length to the relevant law.
There is no copyright in ideas or schemes or systems or methods: it is confined to their expression……
One must, however, be careful not to jump to the conclusion that there has been copying merely because of similarity of stock incidents, or of incidents which are to be found in historical, semi-historical and fictional literature about characters in history, see Poznanski v. London Film Production Ltd. In such cases the plaintiffs, and that includes the plaintiffs in the present case, are in an obvious difficulty because of the existence of common sources, as was emphasised in the case of Pike v. Nicholas…"
"Mr. Laddie, for the defendants, rightly says that an author has no copyright in his facts, nor in his ideas, but only in his original expression of such facts or ideas. He submitted that in deciding whether copying is substantial there are four principal matters to be taken into account. First, the volume of the material taken, bearing in mind that quality is more important than quantity; secondly, how much of such material is the subject-matter of copyright and how much is not; thirdly, whether there has been an animus furandi on the part of the defendant; this was treated by Page-Wood V.C. in Jarrold v. Houlston (1857) 3 K & J. 708 as equivalent to an intention on the part of the defendant to take for the purpose of saving himself labour; fourthly, the extent to which the plaintiff's and the defendant's books are competing works.
Copyright protects the skill and labour employed by the plaintiff in production of his work. That skill and labour embraces not only language originated and used by the plaintiff, but also such skill and labour as he has employed in selection and compilation. The principles are clear from the cases. There is a helpful summary of the authorities in Harman Pictures N.V. v. Osborne ( 1 W.L.R. 723). For my purposes it is sufficient to cite two passages from that case which are taken from earlier authority:
... another person may originate another work in the same general form, provided he does so from his own resources and makes the work he so originates a work of his own by his own labour and industry bestowed upon it. In determining whether an injunction should be ordered, the question, where the matter of the plaintiff's work is not original, is how far an unfair or undue use has been made of the work? If, instead of searching into the common sources and obtaining your subject-matter from thence, you avail yourself of the labour of your predecessor, adopt his arrangements and questions, or adopt them with a colourable variation, it is an illegitimate use".
This appears at page 730 of the report.
There is also this passage:
In the case of works not original in the proper sense of the term, but composed of, or compiled or prepared from materials which are open to all, the fact that one man has produced such a work does not take away from anyone else the right to produce another work of the same kind, and in doing so to use all the materials open to him. But as the law has been precisely stated by Hall V.C. in Hogg v. Scott, .the true principle in all these cases is that the defendant is not at liberty to use or avail himself of the labour which the plaintiff has been at for the purpose of producing his work, that is, in fact, merely to take away the result of another man's labour or, in other words, his property"': see page 732.
In this case the judge was confronted with the well-known book by Mrs. Cecil Woodham Smith entitled The Reason Why and also the script for a motion picture written by John Osborne. The question which the judge posed was this (at page 736):
... did John Osborne work independently and produce a script which, from the nature of things, has much in common with the book, or did he proceed the other way round and use the book as a basis, taking his selection of incidents and quotations therefrom, albeit omitting a number and making some alternations and additions, by reference to the common sources and by some reference to other sources?
That is the same test as was stated by Buckley L.J. in Elanco Products Ltd. v. Mandops (Agrochemical Specialists) Ltd.  F.S.R. 46 which was heard on motion for interim relief. The facts, briefly, were that the plaintiffs had invented a herbicide and had carried out trials in order to discover how the product could best be used. Various research establishments had also conducted their own field trials. The results of both the plaintiffs' trials and of the independent trials had been published in certain scientific journals. The plaintiffs marketed the herbicide in tins with which they included a leaflet compiled by the plaintiffs which set out detailed instructions on how the herbicide should be used, upon what crops and when, and what weeds it would best control. The plaintiffs claimed copyright in the leaflet and asserted that it was a compilation of what they regarded as relevant information extracted from all the available literature and especially from their own. After the patent had expired the defendants began to sell the same herbicide with a leaflet which was alleged to be similar to the plaintiffs'. The substantial defence raised by the defendants was that they were entitled to take any information available to the public including that contained in the plaintiffs' literature provided that they did not adopt the same form or the same language, that is to say provided that they did not just copy the plaintiffs' literature. Buckley L.J. said this at page 57:
"As I understand the law in this case, the defendants were fully entitled to make use of any information of a technical or any other kind, which was available to them in the public domain, for the purpose of compiling their label and their trade literature, and they were not entitled to copy the plaintiffs' label or trade literature thereby making use of the plaintiffs' skill and judgment and saving themselves the trouble, and very possibly the cost, of assembling their own information, either from their own researches or from sources available in documents in the public domain and thereby making their own selection of material to put into that literature and producing their own label and trade literature".
The main thrust of Mr. Laddie's argument was that the plaintiff intended his book to be read as a factual account of historical events, that the defendant accepted it as fact and did no more than repeat certain of those facts. The plaintiff cannot claim a monopoly in historical facts. The law of copyright does not preclude another author from writing upon the same theme. It is perfectly legitimate for another person to contrive a novel about the Hofburg spear, even about its supposed ancestry and supernatural powers. Otherwise one would be driven to the conclusion that the plaintiff has a monopoly of the facts. Members of the public are entitled to use The Spear of Destiny as a historical work of reference. Mr. Laddie conceded that if the plaintiff had research and selected which facts to use, and had expended substantial labour in making that selection, and a substantial amount of his labour had been taken by the defendant, then there might be infringement. In the present case, he submitted, the plaintiff's facts were selected by history or by Dr. Stein and not by the plaintiff. In the result, there had been no reproduction of the plaintiff's book in relation to a substantial part thereof. In the course of his copying the defendant confined himself to those matters which are represented in the plaintiff's book as historical facts, whether their origin is to be found in documented history or in the meditations of Dr. Stein.
In developing his argument Mr. Laddie drew a distinction between historical works and works of fiction. He said that if any author writes a history book he obtains copyright, but what amounts to an infringement of that copyright, i.e. substantial reproduction, depends to a great extent upon whether all the defendant has taken is historical facts or amounts to more than that. The degree of user which would amount to an infringement is different in the case of a historical work than in the case of a work of fiction. There is more freedom to copy in the case of the historical work.
I am inclined to accept that a historical work is not to be judged by precisely the same standards as a work of fiction. The purpose of a novel is usually to interest the reader and to contribute to his enjoyment of his leisure. A historical work may well have that purpose, but the author of a serious and original historical work may properly be assumed by his readers to have another purpose as well, namely to add to the knowledge possessed by the reader and perhaps in the process to increase the sum total of human experience and understanding. The author of a historical work must, I think, have attributed to him an intention that the information thereby imparted may be used by the reader, because knowledge would become sterile if it could not be applied. Therefore, it seems to me reasonable to suppose that the law of copyright will allow a wider use to be made of a historical work than of a novel so that knowledge can be built upon knowledge."
"In my judgment, Mr. Laddie's proposition must not be pressed too far. It is, I think, clear from the authorities that an author is not entitled, under the guise of producing an original work, to reproduce the arguments and illustrations of another author so as to appropriate to himself the literary labours of that author: see Pike v. Nicholas (1870) L.R. 5 Ch. App. 251, Ladbroke (Football) Ltd. v. William Hill  1 W.L.R. 273 and the passages, which I have already read, from the Harman Pictures N.V. case.
Mr. Sheridan, for the plaintiff, invites me to view the matter in a different light. He submits that the plaintiff's work is not a historical work of the conventional type, because it is not a chronology. It is not a continuous methodical record of public events (which is the primary dictionary definition of "history"). The plaintiff's book is poles away from history. It is disjointed and unmethodical (no offensive criticism is intended of the literary technique that he employs) being composed of a variety of different events, recollections, quotations, philosophy, meditations and so on, designed to support the theory in which the plaintiff had come to believe. Vast areas of history are left out by the plaintiff in his attempt to persuade the reader that the Hofburg Spear has the ancestry and attributes which the plaintiff believes are to be ascribed to it. The book is a very personal insight into history. What the plaintiff has done is to select events from history and from his recollection of the meditations of Dr. Stein in order to present to the reader the credentials of the Hofburg Spear.
I accept Mr. Sheridan's analysis of the nature of the plaintiff's work.
There was a suggestion by Mr. Laddie that some distinction should be drawn in the present case because much of what the defendant copied from The Spear of Destiny was merely information derived by the plaintiff from Dr. Stein. I do not think it matters whether the source of the plaintiff's book was painstaking research into documented history or painstaking recording and recollection of what Dr. Stein had told him. It was also suggested that a distinction should be drawn on the ground that The Spear of Destiny was, since the death of Dr. Stein, the only possible source of certain of the facts brought to light by the meditation of Dr. Stein. It does not, however, seem to me that the paucity of sources of information excuses the defendant from taking the trouble of assembling his own information and making his own selection of material. If that is not practicable, he can always apply to the plaintiff for a licence".
27 Designers Guild
"Ideas and expression
23 It is often said, as Morritt L.J. said in this case, that copyright subsists not in ideas but in the form in which the ideas are expressed. The distinction between expression and ideas finds a place in the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) ( O.J. L336/213), to which the United Kingdom is a party (see Article 9.2: "Copyright protection shall extend to expressions and not to ideas ..."). Nevertheless, it needs to be handled with care. What does it mean? As Lord Hailsham of St Marylebone said in L.B. (Plastics) Ltd v. Swish Products Ltd  R.P.C. 551 at 629, "it all depends on what you mean by 'ideas"'.
24 Plainly there can be no copyright in an idea which is merely in the head, which has not been expressed in copyrightable form, as a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work, but the distinction between ideas and expression cannot mean anything so trivial as that. On the other hand, every element in the expression of an artistic work (unless it got there by accident or compulsion) is the expression of an idea on the part of the author. It represents her choice to paint stripes rather than polka dots, flowers rather than tadpoles, use one colour and brush technique rather than another, and so on. The expression of these ideas is protected, both as a cumulative whole and also to the extent to which they form a "substantial part" of the work. Although the term "substantial part" might suggest a quantitative test, or at least the ability to identify some discrete part which, on quantitative or qualitative grounds, can be regarded as substantial, it is clear upon the authorities that neither is the correct test. Ladbroke (Football) Ltd v. William Hill (Football) Ltd  1 W.L.R. 273 establishes that substantiality depends upon quality rather than quantity (Lord Reid at 276, Lord Evershed at 283, Lord Hodson at 288, Lord Pearce at 293), and there are numerous authorities which show that the "part" which is regarded as substantial can be a feature or combination of features of the work, abstracted from it rather than forming a discrete part. That is what the judge found to have been copied in this case. Or to take another example, the original elements in the plot of a play or novel may be a substantial part, so that copyright may be infringed by a work which does not reproduce a single sentence of the original. If one asks what is being protected in such a case, it is difficult to give any answer except that it is an idea expressed in the copyright work.
25 My Lords, if one examines the cases in which the distinction between ideas and the expression of ideas has been given effect, I think it will be found that they support two quite distinct propositions. The first is that a copyright work may express certain ideas which are not protected because they have no connection with the literary, dramatic, musical or artistic nature of the work. It is on this ground that, for example, a literary work which describes a system or invention does not entitle the author to claim protection for his system or invention as such. The same is true of an inventive concept expressed in an artistic work. However striking or original it may be, others are (in the absence of patent protection) free to express it in works of their own: see Kleeneze Ltd v. D.R.G. (U.K.) Ltd  F.S.R. 399. The other proposition is that certain ideas expressed by a copyright work may not be protected because, although they are ideas of a literary, dramatic or artistic nature, they are not original, or so commonplace as not to form a substantial part of the work. Kenrick & Co. v. Lawrence & Co. (1890) 25 Q.B.D. 99, is a well-known example. It is on this ground that the mere notion of combining stripes and flowers would not have amounted to a substantial part of the plaintiff's work. At that level of abstraction, the idea, though expressed in the design, would not have represented sufficient of the author's skill and labour as to attract copyright protection.
26 Generally speaking, in cases of artistic copyright, the more abstract and simple the copied idea, the less likely it is to constitute a substantial part. Originality, in the sense of the contribution of the author's skill and labour, tends to lie in the detail with which the basic idea is presented. Copyright law protects foxes better than hedgehogs. In this case, however, the elements which the judge found to have been copied went well beyond the banal and I think that the judge was amply justified in deciding that they formed a substantial part of the originality of the work."
"34 The Court of Appeal began by making a visual comparison of the two designs. Their initial reaction was that it did not look as if the defendants' design involved the copying of a substantial part of the copyright work. As Morritt L.J. put it at para. 30:
On the broadest level they just do not look sufficiently similar.
Recognising that it would not be right to reach a concluded view "on so subjective and unanalytical approach alone", they proceeded to conduct a detailed analysis of the judge's findings of fact and recorded the many differences of detail in those features of the defendants' design which the judge had found to have been copied from the copyright work. This only served to confirm their initial impression. They concluded that, while the defendants had copied the idea of the copyright work and adopted the same techniques, they had not copied a substantial part of the expression of the idea. They accordingly allowed the defendants' appeal.
35 It is difficult to avoid the impression that the Court of Appeal were not persuaded that the defendants had copied the copyright work at all. Unable to reverse the judge's unchallenged findings that they had, they thought that if the defendants had copied any features of the copyright work they could not have copied very much. By adopting this approach they not only went behind the judge's unchallenged findings of fact, which they were not entitled to do, but rejected his finding of substantiality which, being essentially a matter of impression, an appellate court should always be very slow to do".
"38 An action for infringement of artistic copyright, however, is very different. It is not concerned with the appearance of the defendant's work but with its derivation. The copyright owner does not complain that the defendant's work resembles his, his complaint is that the defendant has copied all or a substantial part of the copyright work. The reproduction may be exact or it may introduce deliberate variations--involving altered copying or colourable imitation as it is sometimes called. Even where the copying is exact, the defendant may incorporate the copied features into a larger work much and perhaps most of which is original or derived from other sources. But while the copied features must be a substantial part of the copyright work, they need not form a substantial part of the defendant's work: see Warwick Film Productions Ltd v. Eisinger  Ch. 508. Thus the overall appearance of the defendant's work may be very different from the copyright work, but it does not follow that the defendant's work does not infringe the plaintiff's copyright.
39 The first step in an action for infringement of artistic copyright is to identify those features of the defendant's design which the plaintiff alleges have been copied from the copyright work. The court undertakes a visual comparison of the two designs, noting the similarities and the differences. The purpose of the examination is not to see whether the overall appearance of the two designs is similar, but to judge whether the particular similarities relied on are sufficiently close, numerous or extensive to be more likely to be the result of copying than of coincidence. It is at this stage that similarities may be disregarded because they are commonplace, unoriginal, or consist of general ideas. If the plaintiff demonstrates sufficient similarity, not in the works as a whole but in the features which he alleges have been copied, and establishes that the defendant had prior access to the copyright work, the burden passes to the defendant to satisfy the judge that, despite the similarities, they did not result from copying.
40 Even at this stage, therefore, the inquiry is directed to the similarities rather than the differences. This is not to say that the differences are unimportant. They may indicate an independent source and so rebut any inference of copying, but differences in the overall appearance of the two works due to the presence of features of the defendant's work about which no complaint is made are not material. In the present case the disposition of the flowers and (except in one instance) the colourways of the defendants' design are very different from those of the plaintiffs' design. They were not taken from the copyright work, and the plaintiffs make no complaint in respect of them. They make a significant difference to the overall appearance of the design, but this is not material where the complaint is of infringement of copyright and not passing off.
41 Once the judge has found that the defendants' design incorporates features taken from the copyright work, the question is whether what has been taken constitutes all or a substantial part of the copyright work. This is a matter of impression, for whether the part taken is substantial must be determined by its quality rather than its quantity. It depends upon its importance to the copyright work. It does not depend upon its importance to the defendants' work, as I have already pointed out. The pirated part is considered on its own (see Ladbroke (Football) Ltd v. William Hill (Football) Ltd  1 W.L.R. 273 at 293, per Lord Pearce) and its importance to the copyright work assessed. There is no need to look at the infringing work for this purpose".
H APPLICATION OF LEGAL PRINCIPLES TO THE FACTS
28 The Defendant's Contentions
29 The Synopsis
30 Use of Books in Writing The Synopsis
"the mass of evidence assembled by Baigent, Leigh and Lincoln in the Holy Blood Holy Grail for the historical existence of the Priory is unassailable. And yet more evidence – which has been amassed by other researchers – was published in the 1996 revised and updated edition of their book. (This is essential reading for anyone interested in this mystery.) "
31 Criticism of Dan Brown on Books Available when Synopsis Written
"MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH: Before you do, can I ask you to look at page 48 of Templar Revelation, second paragraph at the end. Do you see what they say about Holy Blood, Holy Grail?
A. The second paragraph?
Q. It starts: "The mass of evidence".
A. On page 49?
A. "The mass of evidence", yes. (Pause for reading) Yes.
Q. How did you miss it?
A. How did I miss it?
Q. Templar Revelation tells you Holy Blood, Holy Grail is
"essential reading" for anyone interested in this mystery and
yet that is the only book you did not look at.
A. Actually, I am sure there is an enormous bibliography here of material that we did not look at. In fact, on page 39 there is an actual note that says go and look at the Holy Blood Holy Grail.
Q. That would not really help you. The two things would suggest that you would actually go and get Holy Blood, Holy Grail as "essential reading", it says.
A. And, as I have said, yes, it was essential reading we used it at some point. The question here is when it entered the mix.
Q. You get Templar Revelations around May 2000, you are preparing the synopsis ultimately leading to its release in January 2001. The Templar Revelations is a book that you heavily rely upon and it tells you that HBHG is essential reading. Yet when leading up to the synopsis you want me to believe that you did not look at it?
A. That is exactly what I want you to believe. It is a very short period of time. I am dealing with broad strokes. I have everything I need in the books in my synopsis, in that bibliography. I would not have been eager to pick up a book this thick about specifics when Templar Revelation so beautifully outlines the points I needed; the same with Margaret Starbird. I am in a synopsis phase. I am looking at the big picture, not the details".
32 Absence of Blythe Brown from the Trial
33 Use of HBHG By Blythe Brown/Dan Brown
I THE CENTRAL THEMES AND ANALYSIS
34 General Observations
35 Non Protection For Ideas And Facts Alone
36 Baigent On Central Themes
37 Destruction of Baigent's Evidence
38 Change of Course By The Claimants
39 Claimants Closing on Central Themes
40 Claimants' Difficulties of Formulation
J CONCLUSION ON CENTRAL THEMES
41 Reasons for Rejecting Central Themes
42 The Task of Analysis
43 Central Themes, What Are They?
44 Natural Chronological Order
45 False Creation
46 Conclusion on Rejection of Central Themes
K INDIVIDUAL POINTS ON CENTRAL THEMES
47 Use of HBHG
48 Central Theme 1
49 Central Theme 2
50 Central Theme 3
51 Central Theme 4
52 Central Theme 5
53 Central Theme 6
54 Central Theme 7
55 Central Theme 8
56 Central Theme 9
57 Central Theme 10
58 Central Theme 11
59 Central Theme 12
60 Central Theme 13.
61 Central Theme 14.
62 Central Theme 15.
L CENTRAL THEME IN DVC
M LANGUAGE COPYING
N REFERENCES TO HBHG IN SOURCES USED BY DAN AND BLYTHE BROWN
63 Jesus Survived
64 Langdon Reveals
66 Mr Leigh
67 Mr Brown
68 Blythe Brown
69 Mr Ruben
70 Mr Janson-Smith
P OTHER MATTERS
Q END GAME
R THE CENTRAL THEME
|Central Theme Point|
1. Jesus was of royal blood, with a legitimate claim to the throne of Palestine
2. Like any devout Jew of the time, and especially like a Rabbi and any royal or aristocratic claimant, he would have been married.
3. As expected of any Jew at the time, he would have children.
4. At some time after the crucifixion, Jesus' wife, the figure known as Mary Magdalene, fled the Holy Land and found refuge in one of many Judaic communities then scattered around the south of France. When she fled the Holy Land, the Magdalene might have been pregnant with Jesus' offspring, or such offspring might already have been born and brought with her. We concluded from studying the Grail Romances and early manuscripts that Mary Magdalene fled the Holy Land with the Sangraal and that by turning Sangraal into 'Sang Raal' or 'Sang Réal' we suggested that Mary Magdalene fled with the royal blood.
5. We considered what the Holy Grail was, whether the Holy Grail was a cup or whether the Grail was in some way related to Mary Magdalene and the Sang Real. We concluded that the Grail would have been at least two things simultaneously. On the one hand it would have been Jesus's bloodline and descendants and it would have been quite literally the vessel that contained Jesus's blood. In other words it would have been the womb of the Magdalene and by extension the Magdalene herself.
6. In a Judaic community in the South of France, the bloodline of Jesus and the Magdalene would have been perpetuated for some five centuries - not a particularly long time, so far as royal and aristocratic blood lines are concerned.
7. Towards the end of the 5th century, Jesus' bloodline intermarried with that of the royal line of the Franks. From this union, there issued the Merovingian dynasty.
8. In the meantime, the Roman Empire in the fourth century AD, under the auspices of Constantine, had adopted "Pauline" Christianity as its officially sanctioned and tolerated form of Christianity. This was done as a matter of convenience to foster unity; and once "Pauline" Christianity became the official orthodoxy, all other forms of Christianity became, by definition, heresies. By the end of the century Christianity had become the official religion of the Roman Empire. The Church's dogmatic religious stance thus benefited from the support of secular authority.
9. When the Merovingian dynasty grew weaker under Clovis' successors, the Church reneged on its pact and colluded in the assassination of Dagobert II, last of the Merovingian rulers. Although Dagobert died and the Merovingians were deposed, Dagobert's son, Sigisbert, survived and perpetuated the Merovingian bloodline through a number of noble houses. Towards the end of the 11th century, the Merovingian blood line emerged on the central stage of history in the person of Godfroi de Bouillon, Duke of Lorraine.
10. When Godfroi embarked on the first crusade in 1099, he was, in effect seeking to reclaim his birthright and heritage, the throne of Palestine to which his ancestors had possessed a claim a thousand years before.
11. Godfroi surrounded himself with a circle of counsellors, who were endowed with the Abbey situated on Mount Sion in Jerusalem and became known as the Ordre de Sion, or, subsequently, the Prieuré de Sion (Priory of Sion).
12. The Ordre or Prieuré de Sion created the Knights Templar as their administrative and executive arm.
13. In the mid-12th century, members of the Ordre de Sion established themselves in France, from where they subsequently spread out to own properties across the whole of Europe. When the Holy Land was lost, France became the Prieuré's primary base and headquarters.
14. The Prieuré continued to act as protectors and custodians of the Merovingian bloodline, the "blood royal" or "sang réal", the so-called "Holy Grail".
15. During its early history - until the 14th century - the Grand Masters of the Prieuré were drawn from a network of interlinked families, all of whom could claim Merovingian descent. From the 14th century on, the Prieuré (according to its purported statutes, which Brown would appear not to have seen) would, for complicated reasons, move outside the family. Grand Masters would then be, on occasion, illustrious names - Leonardo, for example, Botticelli, Sir Isaac Newton, Victor Hugo, Debussy, Cocteau. Sometimes, however, the names would be rather more obscure, like Charles Nodier. In any case, all "outsiders" listed as Grand Masters still have close connections with the network of families claiming Merovingian descent.