The Surrealists and the Priory de Sion

The Surrealists and the Priory de Sion

(Images: Marcel Duchamp. Andre Breton. Scene from Cocteau’s
move ‘The Eternal Return’. Joaquin Miller. Rougemont.
Cocteau’s ‘Beauty and the Beast.)

“Duchamp gave a “loose” translation of L.H.O.O.Q. as “there is fire
down below” in a late interview (Schwarz 203). Steefel points out
that, when spoken in English, L.H.O.O.Q. sounds like “LOOK” ”

I noticed that my post on “The Love of Beauty and Money” contains an
accidental, or, coincidental connection to Duchamp’s Mona Lisa
theme, were the word LOOK ( magazine) is below the fire (fire below)
at the Bohemian Grove, and Beauty (Rena).

Most artists see these connections, and find them profound. Most
normal people are threatened by these cosmic accidents that suggest
there is a subliminal and invisble higher power at work – for just a
few. They choose to believe most artists are mentally ill in some
fashion, yet, they enjoy the fruits of their labour, their alleged
illusion-making. Some movie directors play with these connections,
and poets always do. For this reason the Catholic church did its
best to wipe out Greek Poetry and the Romantic Languages, because of
its multilayered meanings that delved into the psyche and the
underworld, the afterlife, where poetic wariors were want to go
after meeting their death, then return to tell other of their
surrealistic adventure. Normal people have no problem demostrating
their Faith in the afterlife at a church, as long as the minister
does not discribe it. There is also a safety in numbers factor here,
as well as at the movie house and the museum.

It is an affirmation to the concious connections I have been making,
that Thomas Pynchon was influenced by the `White Goddess’ by the
poet Robert Graves, as I have been studying this book for six years.
The connections between Marcel Duchamp and Denis de Rougemont, are
extremely profound for, for here alas come together most of the
eliments of the Priory de Sion, that some have suggested was
invented by Surrealists as some kind of hoax .

I have exchanged heated e-mails with Steve Mizrach and Paul Smith
who discuss this alleged hoax from the viewpoint of scholars, who
like ministers enjoy their time behind the pulpit, and do not really
look forward to the return of Jesus, thus, anyone who associates too
closely with THEIR subject matter, is going to be titled deluded and
insane – even if they are a Surrealist Artist, and possible kin to
Rougemont. No one likes to be upstaged.

My famous sister was thrilled when she upstaged me, she gleefully
beginning her autobiogrpahy of this wonderous event. However, her
biographer did not include any material from this autobiography, he
saying they were “the ideations of a woman who was not well when she
wrote them”.

What goes around, comes around, aye?

We live in a world of dull ministers who are destroying the true
prophets so they can praise them, own righteous bragging rights –
because this is SAFE! No one wants to be compared to the dude who
walked into a cathedral on LSD, and declared he was Jesus Christ.
Most of western humanity sit in the pews fretting over our
Collective Guilt Trip, nurturing it, sitting on it and keeping it
warm and fresh like a hen her egg. Why not blame the Priory de Sion
hoax on the Surrealists and the Bohemians, the hallucinators, for
someone must be responcible for reality being askew, after God & Son
gave us Perfect Normality.

“Yet another theory,” offers The Priory of Sion Hoax, “proposes that
the Priory of Sion was an invention of the Surrealists. In his book
Cosmic Trigger III, Robert Anton Wilson gives strong play to his
wife Arlen’s theory that the Priory is really a pataphysical
conspiracy initiated by ‘grand master’ Jean Cocteau. (Pataphysique,
an art movement created by Alfred Jarry at the beginning of the 20th
century, had strong links to Surrealism, Dadaism, and Concrete
Poetry; in essence, it postulated that the main mission for art was
to bullshit people.) In essence, a massive hoax pulled off as sort
of a giant work of performance art.”

“Steven Mizrach claims that the Priory of Sion is ultimately linked
to the 19th century Parisian artistic circles the Symbolists and the
Surrealists [12] – without providing the slightest bit of historical
evidence to support that theory: so where does it originate from? We
know that Philippe de Chérisey was interested in surrealism, and his
surrealist ideas found expression in the Priory Documents that were
composed by him – but this cannot be used as `evidence’ that the
Priory of Sion has its origins in the Surrealist Art Movements of
19th century France! And Philippe de Chérisey was not even connected
with Plantard’s activities before the early 1960s. So this
particular theory by Steven Mizrach is very easy to debunk.”

“Among Continental conspiracy buffs, the Grand Loge Alpina has a
reputation for unspecified mischief rather akin to that of the
Bohemian Club in America. That is, although not even the most avid
critic has ever clearly demonstrated that the Grand Loge Alpina
engages in criminal or even unethical behavior, it is known to
include some of the richest men in Switzerland and the genera]
assumption is that, like the Bohemian Club, it is some sort
of “invisible government,” or at least a place where the Power Elite
meet to discuss their common interests. In a general sort of way,
the GLA (an abbreviation for the Grand Loge Alpina which I shall use
occasionally to avoid monotony) is more or less the group that
English Prime Minister Harold Wilson once characterized as “the
Gnomes of Zurich” – the cabal of bankers and financiers who, Wilson
claimed, have more power than any rival coalition in Europe.”

The Angelic Society: Three recent French books, Jules Verne:
Initiate and Initiator by Michael Lamy, Arsene Lupin: Unknown Master
by Patrick Ferte, and Fulcanelli and the Black Cat by Richard
Khaitzine, seem to suggest that the PoS came into being as a sort of
artistic society, uniting the Bohemian avant-garde artists of
Montmartre (the Symbolists, the Surrealists, and the Romantics).
Apparently, these musicians, writer-poets, dramatists, and painters
were interested in common themes, and in the Rabelaisian technique
of using Grasset D’Orcet’s “language of the birds”… creating puns,
rebuses, and riddles for the purposes of satire, social criticism,
and concealing knowledge. In the works of disparate creative people
such as Honore de Balzac, Maurice Leblanc, Jules Verne, Raymond
Roussel, Erik Satie, Pablo Picasso, Max Jacob, Valentine Gross Hugo,
Marc Chagall, Gerard de Nerval, Maurice Barres, Josephin Peladan,
Claude Debussy and “Les Six,” Comte Robert de Montesquiou, Victor
Hugo, Jean Cocteau, Charles Nodier, Stephane Mallarme, Maurice
Maeterlinck, Jean-Julian Champagne (Fulcanelli), and perhaps even
Pataphysician Alfred Jarry, can be found the techniques and
interests we today associate with the “Priory of Sion”. Lamy says
that many of these people belonged to a group he calls The
Brouillards (The Clouds) or the Angelic Society, of which the PoS is
a modern manifestation. They are descended from the Gouliards, or
medieval clerks and print-makers, whose mystical and heretical
Cathar watermarks so fascinated Harold Bayley. Robert Anton Wilson
also feels that a number of these people may have also belonged to
the Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor.

Sion: It’s not clear which Sion the Priory of Sion takes its name
from: Mt. Sion in Jerusalem, or Mt. Sion in Switzerland. In 1956,
the PoS registered itself at Annemasse, not too far from Sion,
Switzerland. Many of the first “prieure documents” seem to have been
released through the Swiss Grand Loge Alpina (GLA). The full name of
the group, according to its statutes, is the Priory of Our Lady of
Zion, or “Sionis Prioratus”, with the subtitle CIRCUIT, which is
said to stand for Chivalry of Catholic Rules and Institutions of the
Independent and Traditionalist Union. In the 19th century, Sion-
Vaudemont was the site of an unusual series of events: a restoration
effort of the Catholic shrines on the mountain by the Brothers
Baillard was “derailed” by the Church, only to be resumed by a
Norman Johannite mystic named Michel “Elias the Prophet” Vintras
whose Church of Carmel preached the Joachmite dispensation and said
the Magdalene would be the Mediatrix of the New Age.

In the early 1800’s, Charles Nodier and Victor Hugo organize a
literary salon at the Arsenal Library where Nodier worked, known as
the Cenacle. Nodier and Hugo were good friends, and are listed by
the “prieure documents” as successive PoS grandmasters. I believe
the Cenacle represents the earliest traceable root of the ‘real’
or ‘modern’ PoS, which I think began as a 19th century society of
Romantics, artists, surrealists, and Symbolists who may or may not
have had any real (more likely, it was indirect) connection to the
earlier OdS, and who adopted “Et in Arcadia Ego” as their properly
elegiac and romantic motto. It is possible that the librarian Nodier
may have discovered a number of key texts in the Arsenal library,
such as Flamel’s translated texts. As for Hugo, he dabbled heavily
in Spiritualism and arcana, and he is now an “ascended master” in
the Vietnamese religion Cao Dai.

Of course, Holy Blood, Holy Grail includes genealogies which allege
that the von Hapsburgs are descended from Jesus and Mary Magdalene.
However, the connection is through Dagobert and the Merovingians, so
if you would rather believe de Sede’s thesis, the von Hapsburgs are
actually descended from ancient Hebrews and extraterrestrials from
Sirius. Whichever theory you prefer, or even if you doubt both of
them, it is interesting that the von Hapsburgs have held the
honorary title of Kings of Jerusalem for nearly 800 years.The
current scion of the clan, Dr. Otto von Hapsburg, is President of
the League for the United States of Europe, a group which has played
a large role in creating the European parliament and is steadily
working toward greater unity between the European nations. He is
also a member of – hold your breath – the Bilderbergers, which gives
him two odd links with Bernhard of the Netherlands. Prince Bernhard
was the founder and prime mover behind the Bilderberger society, and
the same Prince Bernhard is, according to the Baigent-Lincoln-Leigh
genealogies, descended Merovingian kings and hence from either Jesus
or those ancient astronauts from Sirius.

The photograph opposite shows Winston Churchill obviously moved,
with almost the tears with the eyes. It is surrounded by three men
who look at it and applaud it. We are in May 1948, in The Hague. The
Congress of Europe gathers some 800 Europeans come from twenty
country. These three men, around Churchill, are the French Raoul
Dautry, administrator general of the Commissariat à l’ Énergie
Atomique, Denis de Rougemont, the Swiss convinced federalist, and a
Pole, Joseph H. Retinger. The Congress of The Hague was, according
to D. of Rougemont, “the personal work of Retinger, and perhaps the
crowning of its career”. This gathering opened a series of decisive
stages in the history of the unit of the continent, for which
Retinger was also committed: creation of the Council of Europe, of
the European Foundation of the culture and the College from Europe
in Bruges, implemented of the European Coal and Steel Community just
as of the Treaty of Rome, which will be followed by those of
Maastricht, Amsterdam and Nice.

To federate Eastern Europe
Less known are the efforts made by Retinger in order to create a
federation of the countries of Eastern Europe during the Second
World war. Retinger, then to advise close friend of the General
Sikorski (chief of the Polish government in exile in London),
initiated negotiations with Czech politicians also exiled in the
British capital. It planned to initially widen this future union
towards Hungary, then towards the Baltic States, Austria and
Romania. Talks were even committed with personalities resulting from
Yugoslavia, of Greece, the future Benelux countries (whose D. of
Rougemont says that the idea was born during one from these
meetings) and of Norway. One will find thereafter politicians and
intellectuals of these countries among the participants in the
Congress of The Hague.

Jeffrey Mehlman calls Emigre New York a “speculative memoir:” it is
an attempt to confront a past that both is and is not his own. The
past is a revealing moment in the history of the French intellectual
and literary culture whose charms and lures have inspired much of
Mehlman’s career (by now long and distinguished) as a critic. During
World War II, a stellar cast of French figures (accompanied by many
more lesser-known folk) lived, worked, plotted, and argued in
Manhattan, leaving traces that could still be discerned in the New
York where Mehlman grew up after the War. The notable French figures
on whose lives and writing he concentrates include Denis de
Rougemont, Simone Weil, George Steiner (born in Vienna, but living
in Paris with his family until the outbreak of the War, and a
student at the Lycee Francais in New York), Louis Rougier, Antoine
de Saint-Exupery, Saint-John Perse (Alexis Leger), and Claude Levi-
Strauss. Others, such as Andre Breton, make smaller appearances.

Mehlman deals with each of his major subjects in separate but
concise and well-focused chapters, all based on things they wrote
and did while living in New York, but he places these activities in
the larger context of each person’s career, as well as inside the
mesh of issues and debates that linked and divided the French exiles
from each other. Rougemont’s critique of the moral complacency of
the democracies shared some ground with what was in many ways an
opposite moral stance, Simone Weil’s tortuous ethical absolutism,
which condemned every connection between spirit and power as a fall
into total corruption.

Weil was even less sympathetic to modern democracy than de
Rougemont, but her reasons were ones that made her celebrate rather
than condemn spiritualist stances like Catharism. The latter stood
up for the unconditional, Manichean distinction between good and
evil, an opposition that the Jews were the first to confuse when
they identified God with the worldly well-being of their own state
and people. It was this poisonous alloy of goodness and worldly
power that the Jews had passed onto the Catholic Church, from which
it had found its way into modern political ideologies

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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