"America Unearthed" New Season Clip: Bees Are the Key to Finding the Holy Bloodline of Jesus
As part of the lead up to the new season of America Unearthed, which has been pushed back to a November premiere date, H2 has begun posting trailers featuring Scott Wolter’s trip to France. The first clip features new graphics with glowing lines forming spidery webs of “connections.” At Troyes Cathedral, Wolter and his friend Steve St. Clair (identified in the on-screen graphics as “Scott Wolter’s friend” rather than as an expert) discuss the fleur-de-lis, the lily which symbolized royal France. The clip, which is only two minutes long, is so jam-packed with misinterpretations and falsehoods that it will take several paragraphs to untangle.
Wolter explains that the fleur-de-lis, despite its clear derivation from a stylized image of a lily (and hence its name) instead could be a symbol of the Trinity. St. Clair adds that the fleur-de-lis was used by French royalty, which is true though incomplete. It was associated with a wide range of royal and noble families across Europe and indeed even beyond. Wolter then asserts that the fleur-de-lis is possibly a stylized bee, but this is not something that has wide support. Instead, the claim was most famously made by modern Rennes-le-Chateau speculators, derived from the work of the seventeenth-century French antiquary Jean-Jacques Chifflet. In his Anastasis de Childeric (1665), he fancifully argues that the French symbol derived from the heraldic device of Childeric, based on evidence of 300 gold “bees” found in the Merovingian king Childeric I’s tomb, opened in 1653. However, Bernard de Mauntfacon, in his Monumens de la Monarchie Françasie (1729), demonstrated a few decades later that the so-called bees were in fact studs used in the clothing of horses. According to other heraldic authorities, bees were not used as a heraldic device until the 1600s, long after the fleur-de-lis was in wide circulation.
All of this is complicated by the fact that Mauntfacon was probably wrong and the bees were in fact used on Childeric’s cloak, though not likely as a symbol of the king since heraldry had not yet developed in its medieval form. All but two bees (or cicadas—it is unclear) were destroyed by thieves in 1831. However, there is no evidence that bee symbols were used consistently (or at all) between Childeric and the first royal French use of the fleur-de-lis in 1336 on a coin of Philip VI de Valois—two decades after, incidentally, the suppression of the Templar order.
Udo Becker, writing in the Continuum Encyclopedia of Symbols (2000), endorses the bee theory of the fleur-de-lis, but most other experts in symbols do not, except for the cranks who write about Merovingian conspiracies, citing Chifflet. The bee had been an early Mediterranean symbol of the female divinity in the Mycenaean period (Potnia) and was associated with death and resurrection among the Mycenaeans (tholos tombs) and the Hittites (Telepinu myth), and prophecy as well for the Greeks (Homeric Hymn to Hermes 555f.) and Hebrews (Josephus, Antiquities 5.205). But this seems to have fallen out of favor before the end of the Classical period, and certainly after Childreric, not to be revived in France until Napoleon struck upon the bee as a substitute for the fleur-de-lis upon his assumption of the imperial dignity, though prominent on the arms of the Barberini in Italy.
Wolter says that the fleur-de-lis “does kinda look like” a bee when thinking of a bee facing head downward, and St. Clair vocalizes a “mm-hmmm” in agreement, followed by a “very much.” I don’t see it myself. It looks a lot like a lily to me.
Following this Wolter points to a statue on the cathedral of Bernard de Clairvaux, who the on-screen graphics bluntly and falsely claim “founded the Templars to keep the secret of Jesus’s bloodline.” Not only is this the most explicitly false statement that the show has yet made—no facetious qualifiers here!—it also flagrantly violates the old publishing rule that classical and biblical names ending in “s” do not take an extra “s” after the apostrophe in the possessive.
Wolter claims that Bernard used the beehive as his symbol and thus ties it to the fictitious beehive of the fleur-de-lis. The beehive had been a metaphor for all monks and for the church itself since the time of St. John Chysostom in the fourth century CE (see Homilies on the Statues 12). As far as I know, the beehive symbol was applied to Bernard after the fact, as a visual reminder of the Latin adjective used to describe his rhetoric--mellificuus, or honey-sweet. Steve St. Clair asserts that the “queen bee” of Bernard’s hive was Mary Magdalene, which goes against the explicit medieval identification of the beehive with the sweetness of the Virgin Mary, the heavenly queen—as, for example, in the fourteenth century writings of St. Bridget of Sweden, who in the years after the Templar suppression explicitly has Mary say “when you greeted me, you compared me to a beehive” and call Jesus the “Blessed Bee” (Liber Caelestis 6.12, trans. Denis Searby). So, if the bee is a “secret” symbol of Jesus, the Church certainly failed to “suppress” it since its saints wouldn’t shut up about it. But sorry Mary Magdalene, the beehive isn’t your symbol.
This leads to a discussion of Rosslyn Chapel (“of Da Vinci Code fame,” Wolter helpfully reminds us) in which St. Clair asserts that the top of the chapel contains the “oldest known example of a manmade beehive” which the bees entered through a hole in the center of a decorative stone rose. This is only partially true. As the BBC reported in 2010, the beehive itself was constructed by bees, but the tiny space they filled had been thoughtfully carved for them by stonemasons in an inaccessible part of the chapel’s roof. As the article itself reported, beekeeping had been going on for centuries. (The Egyptians had the first known artificial beehives around 2500 BCE, according to Egyptian wall art depictions, though the combs within were built by the bees. Similarly, actual remains of clay and straw artificial hives were found in the Levant dating back to 900 BCE.) What made this hive different was the fact that the space for the bees was inaccessible and impractical—it was for the bees, not for humans. For the record, the first artificial honeycomb, which I think is what Steve was getting at, was invented in the 1700s.
Wolter says that the Rosslyn five-petal rose represents a five-ray star and thus is the symbol of “the goddess, i.e. Mary Magdalene.” Wolter then asserts that the fleur-de-lis ties into this as an “important” symbol, despite not being a bee and despite the ancient goddesses not using a five pointed star. Ishtar and Astarte, for example, had an eight-pointed star—the famed Star of Venus—which was only stylized into a five-pointed star relatively late in the Islamic period, where it appears alongside the crescent moon as a symbol of Islam. The eight-pointed version was still current as late as 1963, when it still appeared on the Iraqi flag.
By contrast, the pentagram—five pointed star—was associated with the cosmos (Pherecydes of Syros), was a symbol of Pythagoreanism, served as a Christian symbol of the five wounds of Christ, and served as an alchemical symbol of Solomon (see Sir Gawain and the Green Knight 2.27—another fourteenth century work that makes problematic the claims of Scott Wolter!). It is pointedly not associated with goddesses or women.
Frankly, he should have stopped while he was ahead—real research rather than reading conspiracy books would have uncovered the old Mediterranean goddesses like Potnia and the Thriai and the priestesses of Apollo, Artemis, and Demeter who were all associated with bees, a much stronger connection to Wolter’s imaginary Magdalene-goddess conspiracy than a fanciful carving of a rose atop Rosslyn Chapel.
Of course, the rest of the episode might well make mention of these things, but H2 chose not to include them in its clip to promote the supposed truth the show is uncovering.
10/1/2014 02:58:39 am
If Wolter's going to make a bee/beehive connection to the Knights Templar, you might as well try to tie the Mormons in there too since they used a honeybee theme. Their proposed State of Deseret was named after their word for honeybee and the beehive symbol is used all over Utah, it's even on the state flag. Considering Mormons believe in Pre-Columbian trans-Atlantic colonization, you would Wolter would try to latch on to some their ideas. While he easily could, I don't think he will. The Mormons belief in the lost tribes of Israel coming here may conflict too much with his Templar idea.
10/1/2014 03:32:46 am
Exactly what I was going to suggest.
10/1/2014 07:30:42 am
Mormons believe Jesus Christ was married during their early existence to bolster their belief in and practice of polygamy (although nothing can be traced directly to founder Joseph Smith, only to his closest chums)
10/1/2014 04:57:48 am
Somewhere on his blog, Wolter alleges that he's been contacted by the Mormons who are very interested in having their religion featured prominently on the show. Wolter remarks: "Be careful what you wish for."
10/1/2014 05:19:54 am
Scott's work has been prominently featured in Mormon Apologetics before. Check it:
Not the Real Scot Wolter
10/1/2014 04:28:45 pm
Thanks for the ideas! I'll use them in my next book!
10/1/2014 04:27:25 am
This has to be within the TOP TEN list in terms of Jason's
10/1/2014 04:52:28 am
>>>possibly a stylized bee, but this is not something that has wide support
10/1/2014 04:55:22 am
The Bee is the "sacred symbol of the Merovingians" because 2 or 3 ornamental bee jewels were found in the grave of a Merovingian Monarch.
10/1/2014 04:58:22 am
Couple observations. Liungman and Zehren link the five pointed star to Ishtar, Venus, Inanna, etc. primarily due to the roughly five pointed form created when tracking Venus across the 360 degrees of the zodiac.
10/1/2014 05:10:38 am
Of course, the 5 pointed star is a bit of a problem, since it really should be the hexagram, the 6 pointed star that is the symbol of Judaism = the Royal Bloodline of Jesus
10/1/2014 05:38:06 am
Why do you say it should be the six pointed star? I don't follow you.
10/1/2014 05:43:43 am
>>>Why do you say it should be the six pointed star? I don't follow you
10/1/2014 05:53:16 am
"The Hexagram is the symbol of Judaism, not the Pentagram" ummm. Yeah.
10/1/2014 05:54:55 am
Byron, not following 666 is a sign of good mental health. Congratulatons! :)
10/1/2014 06:19:51 am
Following the Jesus Bloodline is to do with the Hexagram to do with the reasons I have outlined - but - but - but - gee, fringe occultists can wander from discussing parchments to colanders, hence the association between Mary Magdalene and the Goddess. There are no "boundaries" if it involves "thinking out of the box"
10/1/2014 06:21:40 am
>>>Byron, not following 666
10/1/2014 08:25:17 am
Okay 666, you seem to be stepping back your earlier statement that ,"Of course, the 5 pointed star is a bit of a problem, since it really should be the hexagram"
10/1/2014 10:21:01 am
>>>you'd know that the goddess
10/1/2014 05:16:02 am
its 20th Century
10/1/2014 05:18:05 am
Jesus's = 20th/21st Century
10/1/2014 05:20:11 am
The earliest Jewish usage of the symbol of the Star of David (hexagram) was inherited from medieval Arabic literature by Kabbalists for use in talismanic protective amulets (segulot) where it was known as a Seal of Solomon
10/1/2014 05:25:10 am
Gee, the Priory of Sion only really dates (according to the myth) from the time of Godfrey de Bouillon, major butcher of Jewish men, women and children who established an anti-Semitic state in Jerusalem during the Crusades.
10/1/2014 05:23:12 am
Funny you should mention the Chicago Manual. Up to the 15th edition, it still recommended the traditional omission of the final "s," but the 16th edition removed the traditional exception. However, many other style guides still retain the Classical and liturgical exceptions.
10/1/2014 05:52:47 am
I have a dream... of the day when English punctualtion makes logical sense... We're not there yet, but any victory for uniformity brings us closer... :)
10/1/2014 08:30:12 am
I'm the number one proponent in the world of getting the facts right even if the syntax presenting those facts is all mucked-up
10/1/2014 12:36:13 pm
Aw, 666, you silly sausage...
An Over-Educated Grunt
10/1/2014 06:07:26 am
You know, it's really hard to claim "bees are evidence of a sacred feminine bloodline suppressed by the Catholic Church" when one of the emblems of the Pope himself is, you guessed it, a beehive. If the Church is suppressing the bloodline, it's apparently doing so by owning the symbol outright.
10/1/2014 06:23:05 am
An Over-Educated Grunt
10/1/2014 09:26:12 am
Ah yes, a reminder of why I quit posting. Thank you.
10/1/2014 09:40:32 am
I'm relieved that it wasn't because I'd pissed you off...
An Over-Educated Grunt
10/1/2014 10:04:09 am
Yeah, I'm back. I'm trying to avoid our friendly local here, or Brother Phil's Traveling Man-Crush Show, though. After a while it just feels like yelling the same things over and over to no result. Though I admit that the recent anti-psychiatry rants were entertaining (and I should point out - social sciences are young sciences; hard sciences were just as hit-and-miss between about 1500 and 1800).
10/1/2014 10:16:49 am
>>> anti-psychiatry rants
10/1/2014 10:27:41 am
Then again, nothing can be done about absurdities that have fossilised themselves into the social strata of the U S of A
10/1/2014 05:16:01 pm
666, you're so wonderfully deluded.
10/1/2014 07:46:51 am
In the fictional movie, The X Files, Fight the Future, the main villains, the oil aliens, harvest killer bees to make a deadly corn oil, and never use it again in the series.
10/1/2014 07:50:35 am
>>Even Dan Brown said his book is a work of fiction
10/1/2014 09:43:16 am
I'm kinda shocked it took hours for someone to mention X-Files and Wicker Man.
10/1/2014 08:20:36 am
"the pentagram ... is pointedly not associated with goddesses or women."
10/1/2014 08:28:31 am
There's an obscure alchemical MS that links Mary Magdalene with the pentagram, this is another obscurity - not presented as an obscurity - that has become a "well-known fact" - the link between Mary Magdalene and the pentagram
10/1/2014 01:03:25 pm
The abstraction that is known broadly as the "goddess archetype" referring to Inanna, Ishtar, Astarte, Venus, etc. has connections to the pentagram as reported by Liungman and Zehren whose works have been translated into English. As previously mentioned, astrologers tracking the movements of Venus over the zodiac as contrasted with the Earth's position frame a five pointed figure that if made linear is a pentagram. The eight points of the Star of Ishtar can also be ascribed to astrological considerations. Venus takes a journey dancing inside the Earth’s orbit making its way around the zodiac returning to its original position after eight years. These eight points frame the iconic Star of Ishtar symbol. IMHO these are not merely symbols but rather a kind of astronomical formula.
10/1/2014 10:05:23 am
Napoleon used the bee as a symbol, which was a prominent part of 1st and 2nd Empire symbolism. I don't see him wanting to use symbols associated with the Bourbons. He (understandably) seemed to prefer to go back further in history to borrow symbols.
10/1/2014 10:11:10 am
>>>Napoleon used the bee
An Over-Educated Grunt
10/2/2014 06:58:44 am
My God! You're right - the eagle, the same symbol used by the Habsburgs, the Romanovs, the Duchy of Brandenburg and the Kingdom of Prussia both under the Hohenzollerns, the East Romans, the Romans before them! Philip K. Dick was right, the empire never ended! It's clear evidence that Bonaparte was the product of a Romanov-Habsburg-Hohenzollern conspiracy! It's an attempt to restore the Roman Empire and establish a New World Order superstate in Europe!
10/1/2014 12:45:28 pm
I just don't get this fixation on the bloodline of Jesus. Even if Jesus had a child or children his descendants today would number in the millions. And frankly by the time the Templar order was established in the hundreds of thousands at least. So just how would they select what members of the holy bloodline to guard and protect?
10/1/2014 12:58:54 pm
I know! I keep making the very same point because it pisses me off way more than it should and I need to vent!
Not the Comte de Saint Germain
10/1/2014 08:14:58 pm
Well, you know logic doesn't enter into it. I think there are two reasons. First, the bloodline concept plays on an age-old cultural emphasis on ancestry and the special significance of particular families. This way of thinking has mostly gone by the wayside as monarchies and aristocracies die out, but it still shows up sometimes – e.g., the continuing fascination with political dynasties in the US (Kennedy, Clinton, Bush). Second, if Jesus' secret children, or whatever organization supposedly kept the secret, have been shaping history for the past 2,000 years, it allows the theorists to feel like they're defying religious dogma while still clinging to the belief that Jesus was overwhelmingly important.
10/2/2014 07:48:35 am
Well, not sane logic, at least. I get the "natural history" of the phenomenon, so to speak. But it still a pet peeve of mine.
10/1/2014 01:26:42 pm
Scott Wolter really is good at seeing what he wants to see and not the alterntives.
10/1/2014 04:17:07 pm
Apophenia is a helluva condition.
10/1/2014 04:37:45 pm
So maybe this season we'll have a subplot of the bromance between Scot & Steve?
10/2/2014 02:21:10 am
All jokes aside, it's a possibility. Steve StC has been awfully silent recently. As much as I'd like to take credit for trolling him off the blog, I suspect it has to do with AU/H2 placing a gag order on him to avoid the liability of even a semi-regular cast member acting the way he was.
10/2/2014 05:48:42 am
I doubt a gag order is in place, he will show up just give it time.
10/2/2014 04:53:30 am
What I was trying to say, although not very clearly, was that if the bee and fleur-de-lis were related symbols, Napoleon would not have used the bee.
10/2/2014 10:58:04 am
Frankly, this upcoming AU episode sounds more boring than anything - which for Wolter is a big step-up from what he usually delivers.
10/5/2014 05:01:36 am
10/5/2014 12:53:07 pm
AWK! Please do not suggest any more Nicholas Cage or Harrison Ford type movies that suggest Templar or Masonic order conspiracies with a connection that frequently leads to the Sinclair name. Crazy type aficionados continue to come out of the woodwork attempting to connect with the name Sinclair. I've am tired of my historic old family name being connected to rubbish "Mission Impossible" type movies and this sure does ncludes "The DaVinci Code". Finally whenever first hand primary proof is uncovered about Prince Henry Sinclair, then we can believe he even existed, until then he is a fairy tale or aficionado's dream.
10/5/2014 04:01:08 pm
Aren't there Sinclair family members that promote these stories and connections? I don't follow it too closely, but I seem to remember Sinclairs being interviewed in some of the Da Vinci Code inspired documentaries, etc.
10/5/2014 04:59:27 pm
Seeking after worldly glory and fame, perhaps some do promote themselves and some are believers of slick web sites or other t.v. shows and writings but it is all rubbish. One needs proof to make this type of claim. Scotland does not allow the random digging up of the deceased to test their DNA for a supposed genealogy reason. Just about impossible to ever get a permit to start disturbing the grave of someone from the 1600s or prior years in British Isles. None of these people no matter what last name they carry have or can get to any primary source of information. Therefore if not from a primary source it would not hold up in a court of law. As for the Mormons toying with the Jesus blood line theory from time to time, perhaps an individual who terms them self a Mormon does this. But bottom line is that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints never has wasted time to do that and statements made by 666 regarding this church, it's founder and members are simple unfounded gossip and vicious rumors. Hey read The Book of Mormon, copies are free from the missionaries, and they can explain all about their church to you. Meeting the missionaries is a primary source of information. If you don't want to do that stop knocking the members of that church. This site has a lot of gibberish posted, I am delighted that Colavito is able to stick to the subject at hand.
10/5/2014 05:40:29 pm
Why on earth would anyone want to meet with Mormon missionaries?
10/6/2014 06:13:29 am
Then don't meet with a missionary from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it is your choice and I made that clear in my post. All have the right to choose not to learn. Very sad one would want to continue unknowing what the faith truly teaches and believe ignorant nonsense gossip about this church.
10/6/2014 06:33:01 am
Missionaries of how many different faiths have you learned from?
10/5/2014 08:08:41 pm
please read the following link:
10/5/2014 10:12:42 pm
What exactly is Scott's claim about the fleur-de-lis? I'm having a hard time understanding that whole fleur-de-lis part of this posting Jason, and it has me concerned as a former Boy Scout and retired ASM with the Boy Scouts that Scott might attempt to drag the BSA into his crap (seeing as the generic Boy Scout Class A uniform has 8 to 10 buttons with 4 fleur-de-lis on each, and a purple patch with the fleur-de-lis despaired in the center. And that is just the tan dress shirt of the uniform.) as some kind of secret sub chapter of the knights Templar or that there all goddess worshipers. (I'd love to see ole Monsignor Jack of Epiphany of the Lord Catholic church out of Katy Texas debate that with the good Rev. Phil when it happens (seeing as hoe BSA Troop 1146 is based out of his Church and most of its members participate with that churches functions.)
10/9/2014 01:23:26 am
I know I'm late to this party, but something about this reminds me of the Oreo.
10/10/2014 05:17:11 am
I don't really know if all of Scott's stuff is lagit 100% however I will not lie I like watching his show along with others from these channels and I keep an open mind for anything.
11/9/2014 12:10:51 pm
At least people are asking questions and not just settling for the BS history lessons in public education. #OpenUPYourEyes
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