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TRACY R. TWYMAN | Between the Swastika and the Cross of Lorraine: The Ambivalence of the Priory of Sion During World War II

By Tracy R. Twyman

Originally written for Dagobert’s Revenge Magazine, Copyright 2001
(Does not necessarily represent author’s current viewpoint.)

During World War II, Pierre Plantard, destined to one day become Grand Master of the Priory of Sion, began editing a magazine called Vaincre, the official publication of Alpha Galates, an order of chivalry which he had apparently joined only recently. Yet strangely, he would soon be elevated to the status of Director of that order. The structure and beliefs of Alpha Galates, however, indicate that it was mainly a front organization for the Priory of Sion itself, a subject that was first discussed in the book The Messianic Legacy by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln. And unlike this author, the authors of The Messianic Legacy actually managed to track down copies of six issues of Vaincre, which they described as “printed on high-quality paper, which was difficult to obtain in France at the time.” It was published by the company of Poirier Murat, a French Resistance hero and friend of Plantard. The first issue had a press run of 1,379, which had grown to 5000 by the sixth issue. “On the whole,” the authors concluded, “Vaincre represented a venture that could not possibly have been undertaken without some knowledge on the part of the authorities. It also represented a venture with substantial money behind it.”

Pierre Plantard told the authors of The Messianic Legacy that Vaincre had been a French “Resistance journal,” and indeed Plantard, as well as several of the writers featured in Vaincre, are recorded as having been very active on the part of the Resistance. But on the surface, it appears to be nothing of the kind. Indeed, the political bent of Vaincre would seem to be considerably right-wing. For instance, one of its frequent contributors was Professor Louis le Fur, who had been a well-known writer and journalist during the Occupation, and was appointed by Petain to a prominent educational post. He also boasts, in an essay titled In the Service of the Alpha, of his involvement in the Spanish Civil War on behalf of General Francisco Franco, who after the war took control of Spain, and who had been supported militarily in this cause by both Hitler and Mussolini. Le Fur states in one of his articles in Vaincre that he has belonged to Alpha Galates for eight years.

Even more damning is the content of the magazine itself. It is decidedly pro-Vichy government, pro-Occupation, and pro-Petain. The very first issue contains a short piece by Pierre Plantard, then using the name “Pierre de France,” called Philippe Petain: Father of His People. In it, he writes:

“For us, our most cherished desire is to be able to convey our admiration and our loyalty to this ‘Father of the People,’ whom Providence sent us … Admiration and loyalty towards the savior of the country should tomorrow become the motto of all true French people… That is why we should remember the words: ‘Admiration and Loyalty,’ for they are synonyms for the safeguarding of our country and represent for the first time since the fall of the monarchy the strength through unity of the French people gathered around the same chief… .”

In the same issue of Vaincre, in an article called “Our Goal…,” by Jean Falloux, it states that Alpha Galates is “devoted solely to the service of the Fatherland alongside the Marshal [Petain.]” It further goes on to say that, “To put our Fatherland back where it belongs, at the service of its ‘true mission,’ we must eradicate from its soul the dominant pathogens, the hate-filled resentments and false dogmas such as secularism, godlessness, and the corrupt principle of the old democratic Judeo-Freemasonry.”

This fear of Freemasonry, if it is to be taken as a literal statement of opinion, is one that was shared by the Nazis and other anti-Semitic right-wing groups, including those that survive today. The subject was taken up again in the third issue of Vaincre, printed in November of 1942. In that same month, a pro-Vichy and pro-Nazi publication called Au pilori published an attack on Pierre Plantard, Alpha Galates, and Vaincre, which would have been unlikely had they in fact been on the same side politically.

The commentary from Au pilori was obviously taken very seriously, for Vaincre dedicated an entire issue to rebutting it. The minutes of a supposed “Council of the High Court” of the Alpha Galates were published, the Council having been convened “at the request of our Director [Pierre Plantard] himself with a demand to investigate his membership in Freemasonry as alleged by the journal Au Pilori.” The Council concluded that, “Pierre de France is not a Freemason and has never been one,” and that the allegations were utterly false. It was reported that a member of Alpha Galates had been removed from the order, supposedly for leaking information to Au pilori. This was none other than Francis Sadot, who went by the pen name of Jean Falloux, and who wrote the anti-Judeo-Masonic tract in Vaincre quoted previously. The High Council declared that, “it is proven that Francis Sadot, known as Jean Falloux, did not precisely fulfill the requirements for admission, that he has never fulfilled the duties entrusted to him as Secretary of the Order, and that he has made false statements in a self-interested spirit.” Because of this, it was declared that, “he shall be struck from the list of members of the order… .”

It will probably have occurred to all readers that it is extremely suspicious for an order which proclaims itself pro-Vichy and anti-Judeo-Masonic to be accused by another pro-Vichy group of being influenced by Judeo-Freemasonry. It is also extremely suspicious that these two groups would then air the details of their infighting in their respective official journals. Even more suspicious, it seems, is the article France Will Survive, by “Pierre de France-Plantard,” as he was now calling himself, written a month after the Germans had begun occupying France, provoked by the arrival of the British and American forces in North Africa. Plantard writes:

“France may have been conquered, but she is not dead… Have two thousand years of struggle not opened our eyes to the danger of foreign influence? … What can Europe do, when confronted with an America that is seeking to expand territorially in Africa? What can Europe do, faced with the menace of Russia, though Russia is, to be sure, partly under the control of Germany? France has only one path that it can follow between these two threats: consolidating all its forces and defending its endangered civilization… Do the fathers of today not have a duty to defend the blood of their sons, at the same time as defending the memory of the spiritual civilization that forms the glory of our Western world? This is why the immediate mobilization of all French forces is necessary to defend the Country and the empire.”

What is unclear here is who, exactly, is the foreign influence whose threat France and Europe as a whole must be defended against, and what “empire”? Russia and America have been mentioned specifically, but so, in a somewhat more subtle way, was Germany. Is it possible that Germany was beginning to be seen as a threat instead of a kindred Fatherland? And what of Petain, the “Father of His People”? He is not mentioned specifically, but a cryptic jab appears to be made at him, and his loyalty questioned. His significance no longer appears to be thought of as monumental, as in past issues of Vaincre. Plantard writes:

“… this mobilization can only be achieved through the will of a dynamic leader with a pure heart… who is not like certain puppets one could mention, who are ready to betray their fatherland in order to assuage their thirst for gain, but is a leader worthy of France and of the confidence that the people will place in him. But I have not seen this new man emerge yet.”

Clearly, Plantard and the Order of Alpha Galates are dissatisfied with Petain’s leadership, and are now looking for a new figurehead to rally around. And from the previously quoted paragraph, Plantard clearly feels that France is no longer safe in the hands of the Germans. However, the British, American, and Russian threat is still considered to be the main danger. In the same issue, in a short piece called By this Sign You Will Conquer (about the meaning of the Celtic cross), Plantard writes:

“This insignia is dedicated to you, the new man… I know that you will come to me and that my mission is to help you in your task to save France, but from now on, take care that the Allies do not recognize you, for they know as well as us that your coming is nigh.”

In issue #5 of Vaincre, in a “Declaration” by Pierre de France-Plantard, dated December 27, 1942, the alignment between the interests of Alpha Galates and that of the Nazis is again reconfirmed. He writes:

“People know that we, the watchful guardians of Christianity, are spiritualized, and that one of our aims is to prevent the reformation of the freemasonries; also a certain newspaper, subject, no doubt, to a certain Masonic influence, has adjudged us to be dangerous (!) and, in plain language, has announced that our Order was merely ‘a reconstituted Freemasonry.’ I want Hitler’s Germany to know that every obstacle to our own plans does harm to him also, for it is the resistance put up by Freemasonry that is undermining German might.”

In a prologue to a new bulletin called Here is the Truth in the same issue, Auguste Brisieux makes an astonishing claim dating the alliance between secret French orders like Alpha Galates and similar groups in Germany back to the mid-30s, and claims that these alliances had something to do with Hitler’s take-over of France. He writes:

“Preparations for the coming of Hitler to France had been going on since 1934, following the setback of February 6 - already at that time people wanted to sweep away this rabble of F… M… [Freemasonry] because by then the temple had already been built, but the F… M…, frustrated the manoeuvres of their masters on February 6, as they did once again in June 1940.

At present, there are three great movements:

F… M… proper, the Masonic Temple, and finally the ‘High Initiates of the West.’

1° The reconstituted F… M… (mixed forces), starting up its little schemes again and trying to sabotage all the Temple’s initiatives.

2° The Temple (the dark forces), formed in full agreement by the masters of the old Franco-Anglo-German Masonries, and struggling vigorously against, on the one hand, F… M… (which has become useless, e.g. the Templar Marques-Riviere) and on the other the excessively European ideal of Chancellor Hitler (thus rendering impossible any entente with National Socialist Germany while appearing to be in agreement with such an idea.

3° The ‘High Initiates of the West’ (the white forces), whose knowledge enables them to prevail easily over the masters of the Masonic Temple, and whose goal is to free the West from the Judeo-Masonic yoke and thus participate in the work of renewal by combating with all their might both F… M… and the Masonic Temple.”

It is obvious that Alpha Galates identifies itself with the third group of initiates, that which is anti-Masonic. What is not clear, however, from the words that I have emphasized in bold type, is the nature of the relationship between Alpha Galates and National Socialist Germany. Even though these words are said to apply to the second group of initiates, “the Temple,” one can easily imagine them applying to Alpha Galates.

The news bulletin which follows recounts, in cryptic language (no doubt to be understood only by insiders) a series of struggles and political machinations involving the three groups described in the prologue, including members of Alpha Galates who have betrayed them to the Freemasons. Various public officials and leaders of rival political organizations are accused of being Freemasons and Jews, the latter being described as “the Accused Ones.” For instance, it is said that Edouard Drumont, author of a book called La France Juive (Jewish France) had the copyright and the profits from his book stolen by “F… M… Bernard Lekah,” who the bulletin says is known as “Lecache the Jew!” A curious mention is made of the all-important date January 17, the Feast Day of St. Sulpice that crops up repeatedly in regards to the Rennes-le-Chateau mystery. It says: “… on January 17 a string of Jews ‘expelled’ from the Midi were skillfully ‘distributed’ in the villages of the Creuse, after being officially assisted by the Government.”

The meaning of all of this is not made clear, but a queer illustration accompanied the bulletin. It depicted France, over which was superimposed a drawing of a suspicious-looking Frenchman wearing a black cloak and bearing a sheathed sword, with an equilateral cross hanging around his neck. Lurking behind both him and the shape of France, with one hand on the man’s shoulder and the other on the northwest corner of France, is a spooky-looking shadow with a pointy hat, and on his eyes are written the letters A and G - the initials of Alpha Galates. Below the picture is a caption reading: “Those who believe themselves to be the masters.” Was Alpha Galates trying to depict itself as a shadow government secretly controlling the French state, unbeknownst even to its official leaders?

The authors of The Messianic Legacy theorized that the apparently right-wing, pro-Vichy, anti-Semitic bent of Vaincre might have been just a front, a cover for Vaincre‘s real intentions. And Pierre Plantard, when confronted, told them the same. As they described it, “He hinted that beneath its pro-Vichy Petainist patina, Vaincre contained coded messages that would have been decipherable only to the Resistance.” Indeed, it is hard to reconcile the exoteric messages of Vaincre with the fact that so many of its contributors, and so much of the membership of Alpha Galates, including Pierre Plantard had been closely allied with the Resistance. Furthermore, Pierre Plantard later served as an assistant to Charles de Gaulle, who is on record as having refused to work closely with former collaborators. But the statutes of the Alpha Galates, which established the order, and which were purportedly submitted to the Prefecture of the French Police on Dec. 27, 1937 state explicitly that “The Order is rigorously closed to Jews and to any member who is recognized as belonging to a Judeo-Masonic order.” The Germans had not invaded and the Vichy government had not formed until 1940. There goes that excuse.

Furthermore, a former associate of Pierre Plantard and the Priory of Sion, Jean-Luc Chaumeil, who has since become one of their greatest enemies, claimed in one of his numerous exposes of the Priory that Plantard’s association with right-wing causes was quite sincere. In his 1994 book, The Templars of the Apocalypse, he wrote that:

“In 1937, M. Plantard attempted to form an anti-Jewish and anti-Masonic movement with the aim of ‘purifying and renewing France.’ … On December 16th, 1940 he wrote a letter to Marshal Petain, which on the pretext of denouncing a Jewish Masonic plot seemed rather more designed to draw attention to himself. Finally, in May 1941, he formed an association known as ‘French National Renewal,’ which never became active as authorization was refused by the German authorities on September 3rd, 1941.

On October 24th, 1942, Plantard was investigated by French secret services at the request of the German authorities, after he had requested authorization… to form the above-mentioned association. These various requests, and perhaps his attitude towards the occupying authorities, earned him a four-month prison sentence in Fresnes prison.”

This, then, is the reason for Plantard’s “imprisonment by the Gestapo” which he and his associates frequently have cited as proof that he was loyal to the Resistance during the Occupation and was considered a threat by the Nazis. However, he was apparently not considered a serious threat by the French secret service, who wrote in their report that:

“According to information gathered, this association has shown no activity to date. There are approximately 50 members, which resign in turn, as soon as they have sussed the President of the association, and have realized that the association does not have a serious purpose.”

It is possible, however, if Alpha Galates really did represent some secret influence (the Priory of Sion) on the French government, that this report was a cover for Plantard’s real activities, meant to ensure that the Germans did not treat him harshly.

It is true that several of the supposed members of the Priory of Sion/Alpha Galates have been associated with right-wing causes. One was Abbe Ducat-Bourget, who is said to have inducted Pierre Plantard into the Priory, and who may have acted as Grand Master between the death of Blood of a Poet in 1963 and the election of Plantard to the post in 1981. Abbe Ducat-Bourget had been trained as a priest at St. Sulpice, and was both a conventual chaplain of the Vatican’s Templar-like Sovereign Order of Malta and a well-known Resistance hero. He was an accomplished poet who had been admitted, like other members of Sion, to the Academie Francsaise. But he was also known to lean to the right politically. He liked Mussolini and once voiced his desire for France to, “recover its sense of values under the guidance of a new Napoleon.”

Another Priory member with reactionary views was Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, a fanatically traditionalist Catholic who openly defied Pope Paul VI, labeling as too liberal, resulting in a brush with excommunication. Abbe Ducaud-Bourget was a member of Lefebvre’s Traditionalist camp, even leading protests against the current leadership of the Church. He was also threatened with excommunication. Lefebvre had been a member of Action Francsaise, considered to be an extremely right-wing organization, and had complimented Argentina’s fascist regime publicly. However, in 1976, when he appeared to be on the brink of excommunication, the Pope changed his mind. According to an article from London’s Guardian, on August 30, 1976:

“The Archbishop’s team of priests in England… believe that their leader still has a powerful ecclesiastical weapon to use in his dispute with the Vatican. No one will give any hint of its nature, but Father Peter Morgan, the group’s leader… describes it as being something ‘earth-shaking.’”

Jean Cocteau himself is another person worth mentioning in this regard. While acting as Grand Master, he had for a close friend a man named Arno Breker, Hitler’s official sculptor, who actually executed both a bust and a standing statue of Cocteau, discussed in the article “The Prophet” in Dagobert’s Revenge Vol. 4#2. Cocteau’s attitude towards the Nazis during WWII has been described by biographers as “ambiguous,” and he once made the statement: “If [the Dadaists] are on the extreme left, I am on the extreme right. The extreme right used not to exist. I invented the extreme right.”

Besides the activities of its individual members, the Priory of Sion has as a group associated with a number of other groups that one would certainly describe as right-wing. These include extremely conservative Catholic organizations such as Pro-Deo, Opus Dei, and the Knights of Malta, who, by the admission of Pierre Plantard himself, have heavily infiltrated the Priory of Sion. Another shadowy organization with which the Priory has been linked is the pro-Catholic, anti-Communist, pseudo-Masonic lodge known as “P2,” which allegedly has lodges not only in Italy, its headquarters, but also in France, Portugal, Switzerland, the U.S., Nicaragua, Bolivia, Paraguay, Argentina and Venezuela. All of this came out in the Italian press when a massive banking scandal broke involving the official Vatican bank, Banco Ambrosiano, and P2. The main figures implicated were P2 members Michael Sindona (a high ranking official in the bank and P2′s financier) and the lodge’s Grand Master, Licio Gelli, a man with far-right viewpoints who, after the scandal broke, was found hanging from the Blackfriar’s Bridge in London in 1982, in a manner consistent with Masonic ritual. (2) It also lead to the murder of an Italian investigator, Giorgio Ambrosoli, and later that of Michael Sindona himself, who was the chief suspect in the other two murders. Supposedly, “P2″ stands for “Propaganda Due,” the meaning of which is not elaborated on. But readers have suggested to us that “P2″ simply means “Priory 2,” and that it is a break-off group of the Priory of Sion.

Each of these groups - Pro-Deo, Opus Dei, the Knights of Malta, and P2 - have several things in common. They have all been involved in funding and organizing right-wing political movements in Europe, the United States, and South America; they are all staunchly Catholic; and they have all been linked with both the CIA (as well as its cousin organization, British Intelligence) and the Italian mafia. The same links have been drawn to the Priory of Sion. In fact, the Priory has been involved with the CIA since that agency’s inception, and some even claim that the Priory might have been involved in its creation, since certain Priory members were friends with the CIA’s first chief, Allen Dulles.

Illustration from the magazine Vaincre showing Pierre Plantard and Alpha Galates overshadowing France.

But how does one reconcile this with the fact that so many of the Priory’s members were involved with the French Resistance and other anti-German groups during WWII? Even Hans von Moltke - a key figure in the German resistance movement and cousin to Count Helmut James von Moltke, one of the collaborators in the plot to assassinate Hitler in 1944 - is quoted in Vaincre as pledging “Gratitude to the Alpha [Galates] and loyalty to its chief [Pierre Plantard].” Furthermore, how does one reconcile anti-Semitism with a group like the Priory of Sion, which exists for the purpose of restoring the Merovingian dynasty to the thrones of Europe, a line whose ancestry they trace back to the Jewish patriarchs of the Bible? How does one reconcile anti-Semitism with a desire to recreate the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem and to reconstruct Solomon’s Temple? Or with the statement made by then-Priory spokesman, Jean-Luc Chaumeil, to the authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail that, “not all members of the Prieure de Sion … were Jewish,” implying that the majority of them in fact were? How can one reconcile anti-Judeo-Masonry with a Priory of Sion that describes itself as “a Hermetic Freemasonry,” and which places great emphasis on Jewish mysticism and apocryphal Jewish mythology? Or with a Priory of Sion whose former Grand Master, Nicholas Flamel, made a lifelong study of Sacred Book of Abra-Melin the Mage, as delivered to Abraham the Jew, Prince, Priest and Levite to that Tribe of Jews Who by the Wrath of God were Dispersed Amongst the Gauls?

Paul Smith, who has translated the Vaincre articles into English, and who has placed the articles, as well as his own interpretation of them, onto his website, priory-of-sion.com, believes that, “There was no ‘contradiction’ in Pierre Plantard’s later claims to having been descended from the Jewish Tribe of Benjamin if one bears in mind the metamorphosis from Judaism to Christianity…” That is, Smith believes that the Priory embraces a form of Christianity which they do not consider to be Judaic in nature. Smith has interpreted a famous line from the parchments found by Berenger Sauniere at Rennes-le-Chateau in this light. He writes:

“‘By the Cross and Horse of God I destroy this Demon Guardian at Midday’ would be an allusion to the conversion of St. Paul from Judaism to Christianity… and the conversion of St. Paul is generally regarded as having occurred at midday.”

To substantiate his argument, Mr. Smith quotes an article from the November 1936 issue of the magazine Atlantis, published by Alpha Galates/Priory of Sion member Paul le Coeur, in which the author, le Coeur himself, states:

“If the first temple was Jewish (the Temple of Solomon), the second after the conquest of Jerusalem by the crusaders was Christian. It would therefore be a retrograde step only to reconstruct the Jewish temple.”

Paul Smith’s interpretation notwithstanding, this quote from Atlantis may point to a way of reconciling the previously-mentioned contradictory points regarding the politics of the Priory of Sion/Alpha Galates.

Given what we know, it is my contention that the confluence between the beliefs of the Priory/Alpha and those of the Nazi hierarchy is spiritual and philosophical, but not necessarily ideological in nature. In a lot of ways, the Nazi movement, and the sub-movements that spawned it, such as the Thule Gesellschaft and the Order of New Templars, sprang from the same spiritual source as that of the Priory/Alpha, what Vaincre called the “Galatian tradition,” in their view the oldest tradition in the world and the very definition of tradition itself. This tradition originated, they believed, in Atlantis, the same place where the Nazi hierarchy claimed their Aryan tradition and race had originated. Both movements sought keys to their heritage in the myths of Greece, Sumer, and the Orient. Both believed in the existence of secret underground kingdoms such as Agartha, and in the concepts of the Black Sun, the Green Ray, and the Lord of the Earth, all supposedly located in the center of the Earth. (This is demonstrated amply in the pages of Vaincre and is discussed in my article “The Flowering Tomb” in Dagobert’s Revenge Volume 5 #1.) Both groups believed in a form of blood mysticism, and in a semi-divine race of beings who had built Earth’s early civilizations. Both the Nazi ideal of the “Aryan race” and the Priory of Sion’s “Grail bloodline” were thought by these groups to be the descendants of this semi-divine race. Both the Nazis and the Priory held the Grail as their preeminent symbol, and both also maintained interest in the Ark of the Covenant, the Spear of Destiny, and other holy relics. Both had, at their core, a secret “Luciferian” doctrine, with the Priory’s being Hermetic and Cabalistic, and the Nazis’ being more Nordic and Runic. Both groups apparently practiced ritual magic and other occult sciences. Both held the unity of Europe as a political goal, with the Nazis envisioning a German-dominated Europe, and the Priory a French-dominated one. Both placed great importance on youth movements and chivalry. Both were essentially conservative and elitist, with an emphasis on tradition and spiritual values.

One of the essential differences lies in their varying approaches towards government. The Nazi movement was very much a product of its time, an extreme approach to governing born in an era of extreme points of view, dominated by the various hysterical populist movements that had been tormenting the ruling class since the French Revolution. The Priory’s political vision, however, has always remained the same throughout the centuries: a united European empire ruled over by priest-kings of Merovingian blood. Their views might not always be in style, but they have at least been very consistent, even though they have supported other movements as well for the furtherance of short-term goals. In contrast, the Nazis were resolutely anti-royalist, anti-aristocratic, and totally against the old world order. (In fact, it was Hitler who coined the term “new world order.”) Their most powerful enemies in Germany were a group of aristocrats known as the “Kreisau Circle.”

In contrast to the Nazis, the Priory abhorred populist movements, although they would certainly make use of them whenever expedient. Things had been going as planned for them until the French Revolution, when the values of the people that the aristocrats had so comfortably ruled over were suddenly turned upside-down. One of the goals of the Priory, then, was to undo the damage that the Revolution had brought - damage that many people in France believed was the fault of Jewish Freemasons. The November 1936 issue of Atlantis included an article stating that, “There had been the Masonic Congress of Wilhelmsbad in 1782, and the malign influence of a German Jew called Weishaupt, who set in train the rationalist movement in the lodges and brought about the bloody revolution of 1793.” Likewise, an article in issue #5 of Vaincre announces that the Alpha Galates has already done away with the effects of the French Revolution when it says: “The Alpha, which is present everywhere, has abolished its ’1793′ through its resurrection of 1937.”

What the Priory wants, then, is an abolition of any form of mob rule and a definite resurrection, in some form, of divine right monarchy. But what form, exactly? In the article What is the Alpha, by Dr. Camille Savoire in issue #4 of Vaincre, the author asserts that, “our members are… resolute believers in synarchy (joint sovereignty), opposed to all forms of anarchy, whether they be imposed from above or from below.” Synarchy is a form of government first written of in the works of Saint-Yves d’Alveidre, described by Guy Patton and Robin Mackness in Web of Gold as “a triparite government comprising three essential functions based on education, justice, and economy… a vision that demands a much reduced and decentralized government with local semi-autonomous regions in which political decisions are guided by ‘spiritual’ principles.” This was the form of government that d’Alveidre believed was being practiced in the underground kingdom of Agartha. D’Alveidre maintained, as Joscelyn Godwin wrote in Arktos: The Polar Myth, that, “When our world adopts Synarchical government, the time will be ripe for Agartha to reveal itself and to shower its spiritual and temporal benefits on us.”

Synarchy became an ideal adopted by the semi-Masonic Martinists, who branched off into a society called the “Ordre de Martiniste-Synarquique.” Synarchy also influenced the ideas of writer Rene Guenon, who wrote about the “Lord of the Earth” and underground kingdoms. By 1942, the year that Vaincre began publishing, Synarchists had, according to Web of Gold, “a plan to exploit the turmoil in French politics of 1942 and to infiltrate the Vichy administration. The Synarchist order, in sympathy with the Resistance, had also established close contact with British Intelligence… .” This plot, which was discovered by the Vichy secret police, lead to the execution of the order’s Grand Master, Martin Chevillion, by Klaus Barbie.

Could this help explain the behavior of the Alpha Galates/Priory of Sion during WWII? Feigning anti-Semitism and pro-Vichy sentiments would have been essential if they had planned to infiltrate the Vichy government and destroy it. But they also probably found it advantageous that during the Nazi era, ideas such as super-human races, underground kingdoms, Atlantis, and the Black Sun were quite fashionable all of the sudden, and one could speak out publicly about them without fear of scorn, as long as they were sprinkled with the pre-requisite amount of Judeo-Masonic conspiracy theory. So by publishing Vaincre, they were publicizing their own ideas and promoting the bits of their own agenda that the Nazis had in common with them. But more than anything else, self-preservation must have been a motive. The more they infiltrated the Vichy government, and the more their ideals appeared to mimic those of the Occupiers, the greater the likelihood that both they and their friends would receive favorable treatment. So if the members of the Priory/Alpha Galates belonged to some of the same secret societies as members of the Vichy government and Nazi hierarchy, all the better.

Ultimately, though, the ambiguous stance of the Priory of Sion/Alpha Galates during WWII cannot be boiled down to mere political expediency. It must be viewed in the light of the historical involvement of occult societies in global politics. Throughout history, various secret societies have found themselves promoting political movements that seem at odds with their own espoused views for the furtherance of a transcendent ideal that has nothing to do with politics. At its core, the ideal promoted by the Priory/Alpha and the Nazis was the same, and it transcended Judaism, Christianity, left-right politics, and all other contingencies in favor of something spiritual. They shared a vision that was beyond good and evil, one that lay in the midst of things - between the Swastika and the Cross of Lorraine.


(1) The title for this article has been taken from a book of the same name by Sam Houston Goodfellow, Northern Illinois University Press; ISBN: 0875802389; (January 1999).

(2) When initiated, the Masonic candidate takes an oath swearing his loyalty and secrecy on penalty of ritualized murder such as this.