I’m getting a little bored by the ongoing saga of the Oak Island sword and its various problems. If you aren’t following the story, we have now learned that there are even more copies of the same sword, at least one of which, in Spain, is attributed to the Atenaea Workshop of Archaeological Reproductions, a Spanish manufacturer of decorative objects. Atenaea claims that the sword is a reproduction of one in a Neapolitan museum, but there is no specific information about what that original (if it exists) might be.
Yesterday I had a discussion on Facebook with Gary Wayne, the author of Genesis 6 Conspiracy, about his allegation that the so-called Rex Deus families believe in the Holy Bloodline of David and Jesus and are conspiring to manipulate world events out of their belief that they are God’s chosen bloodline. Wayne does not believe in the Holy Bloodline but asserts that European royalty, wealthy Jews, and world leaders do, and act on it. I asked Wayne to provide any evidence that this Rex Deus myth predates the 1990s, and he replied with a mishmash of conspiracy theories drawing on The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail and the Priory of Sion, and when I asked follow up questions about why we should believe either to be accurate and true, he offered some factual inaccuracies followed by a dismissive assertion that questioning conspiracy theories is an attack on his Christian faith, concluding with “God bless,” as though it were a substitute for evidence.
Wayne argues that the former prince consort of the Netherlands, Prince Bernhard, a co-founder of the Bilderberg Group, confessed to believing himself a member of Rex Deus. I can find no evidence of this, but it is a popular conspiracy theory among the Merovingian revanchists who have an entire pseudo-history of Europe called the “Black Nobility.” These conspiracy theorists argue that Bernhard, who died in 2004, had veto power over the College of Cardinals by dint of being a Habsburg-Merovingian hybrid and a lineal descendant of the last Roman emperor. (No, this makes no sense since the Roman imperium, in its Roman and Holy Roman forms, was elective rather than hereditary, but who’s counting?)
The actual Black Nobility were the aristocracy of Rome who sided with the clergy during the unification of Italy in 1870, and mourned the pope’s loss of sovereignty (thus, in mourning, were “black”). They retained their noble rank after unification and were given Vatican citizenship after the Lateran Treaty of 1929. But for conspiracy theorists, the Black Nobility are group of Venetian and Roman bankers who are in league with fake Canaanite pseudo-Jews to manipulate the world currency system. (Real Jews, of course, became good Christians.) None of the facts behind these conspiracies check out, but none of that matters because these conspiracies have become an element of faith among a certain species of conspiratorial Christian.
Wayne, however, managed to offer one interesting piece of information I did not know. He linked the Holy Bloodline conspiracy to a book produced by Louis Martin, a French socialist politician, in 1886, as part of the French atheist movement of the Belle Époque. This volume was called Les Évangiles sans Dieu (“The Gospels without God”), also published in his 1887 book Essai sur la vie de Jésus, but I have been unable to obtain a copy of the book to read it. I know it must contain some reference to the Holy Bloodline conspiracy since later accounts of the book state as much. Here is one by Maurice Vernes from 1888 in the Revue philosophique, vol. 25, in my translation:
Louis Martin’s thesis is certainly strange. […] At the root of this pretentious and bombastic essay, there is no specific knowledge of the texts or questions related to the beginnings of Christianity. It reads, in fact, as an exegetical discussion of assertions such as the following: “It is known that God does not exist,” and there is detailed information on the relationship of Christ with Mary Magdalene.
I’d like to just give Vernes the win and say that Martin’s text must have been nothing but speculation, but two years later the French architect and rationalist Hippolyte Barnout said the following in discussing the brothers of Jesus in his book The World without God, again in my translation:
But that is not all; because, if by his family, especially his brothers, Jesus enters the human order, he returned there also by the offspring attributed to him, a certain Saint Maximin, the fruit of his love affair with the Magdalene, a version accepted by Lacordaire himself in his beautiful book on Mary Magdalene and recalled recently by Mr. Louis Martin in the Gospels without God, a rigorous historical study, based on real facts, that he just released.
I’d very much like to know what Martin’s evidence of this Holy Bloodline was, and I’d be interested to learn whether the writers of The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail repurposed any of his book in creating their allegedly original conspiracy theory. According to a full text search of Holy Blood, Martin’s name does not appear. Nevertheless, this looks like another case where a seemingly modern fringe claim is really nothing more than a recycled Victorian one.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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