Yesterday I wrote about the Sinclair/St. Clair family and the zealotry with which some members of the family promote the mistaken belief that their ancestor, Sir Henry Sinclair, First Earl of Orkney, sailed to Rhode Island and built the Newport Tower in 1379. According to Sinclair myth-making, Henry Sinclair was a secret Knight Templar (fifty years after the order was dissolved) and led the charge that made the Templar land claim to the continental United States, as marked by a secret code in the Kensington Rune Stone of Minnesota, to which Scott Wolter believes that Tower is mysteriously “aligned.” Conveniently, the Rune Stone code also says that the Templars guard the Holy Grail, the blood descendants of Jesus, who are the Sinclairs. Although no one says so explicitly, the upshot of this line of speculation is that the head of the Sinclair family is therefore the legitimate heir of Christ and the rightful Grail King of America.
Today I’d like to look at a rival claimant to the Grail Throne whose pseudo-history is as elaborate and unfounded as that of the Sinclair pretenders. This rival claimant is Michel Roger Lafosse, who styles himself “Prince Michael of Albany,” pretender to Scottish throne, which Jacobite historians claim was illegally seized from the last Stuart king, James II, during the Glorious Revolution of 1688. Born in Belgium to a shopkeeper and a minor business functionary in 1958, he started calling himself Michael James Alexander Stewart of Albany in 1979, when he first began claiming that he was the rightful king of Scotland. (This is the name he took legally upon becoming a British subject in the 1990s.) He retroactively claimed his parents were a baron and a princess, and he offered as proof a new birth certificate; but government officials in Brussels issued a statement in 2002 declaring his second birth certificate a forgery. His original birth certificate is on file in Brussels.
“Prince” Michael asserted that he was the last legitimate Stuart, descended from an unattested “secret” child of the last Stuart pretender, Henry Benedict Stuart, who conventional history says died in 1807 without a male heir. Thereafter, any Stuart claim to the throne of Scotland passed (eventually) to the House of Savoy and to the Wittelsbachs of Bavaria. Instead, “Prince” Michael asserts that the pope annulled Henry Stuart’s marriage (without any record, of course), allowing Stuart to remarry, producing an imaginary child, of whom there is no record, who became Michael’s ancestor. At the height of his popularity, Michael had thousands of followers in Scotland as well as two charities accepting thousands of pounds to help him pursue his cause and fund his lifestyle.
To defend these claims, Michael began working with a stockbroker named Laurence Gardner who had taken to calling himself a genealogist and a historian. With Michael’s pseudo-royal blessing, Gardner styled himself the Historiographer Royal to the Royal House of Stewart. He also had grandiloquently proclaimed himself a knight, the “Chevalier Labhran de Saint Germain,” as well as the head of several noble organizations whose existence could not be confirmed outside of his own involvement with them.
Gardner produced a book called The Bloodline of the Holy Grail (1996), which—surprise!—concluded that Michel Lafosse was the legitimate claimant to the Scottish throne. But more interestingly, Gardner married Lafosse’s claim to the decade-old Holy Blood and the Holy Grail claims about the bloodline of Jesus to conclude that Lafosse was the last direct descendant of the secret marriage of Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene. Needless to say, Lafosse was thrilled and wrote a glowing preface for the book. Gardner’s book was serialized in the Daily Mail, became a British bestseller, and was even republished by Barnes & Noble in 1997 and distributed to every Barnes & Noble store in a America—with front of the store displays—back in the days when that was a big deal. That’s where I found the book in 1997.
From there, Gardner began writing more books exploring the mystery of religion. He concluded (by borrowing from Zechariah Sitchin) that Jesus was the descendant of a race of extraterrestrial beings, the Anunnaki. Further, these creatures needed something called “monatomic gold” in order to maintain their immortality, so they mined regular gold on earth and used the Ark of the Covenant to create monoatomic gold. When the monoatomic gold supply failed, they substituted human menstrual blood, which he called “Star-Fire,” whose “hormonal secretions” could indefinitely extend life should it be consumed regularly. He felt that Judaism was an offshoot of Akhenaton’s monotheistic worship of the sun disc, that Akhenaton was Moses, and that he had uncovered the true nature of the being later called Yahweh. He died in 2010.
In 1998, “Prince” Michael wrote his own book, The Forgotten Monarchy of Scotland, presenting fabricated accounts of Michael’s supposed ancestors, who cannot be shown to exist outside of his and Gardner’s books. He has claimed various imaginary honors and currently styles himself the Fons Honorum and Grand Protector of the Imperial and Royal Dragon Court and Order in Britain. In 2006, he faced deportation from Britain and loss of citizenship when the British government discovered that he had used his forged “noble” birth certificate to apply for British citizenship. To avoid humiliation, he voluntarily returned to Belgium to live with his (real) mother. He lost his British citizenship, and two charities affiliated with him were investigated for their role in raising thousand upon thousands of pounds so Michael could pursue his claim to the Scottish throne. (Yes, it is always about money.)
Unlike the Sinclairs, who claim the Templars and the Freemasons as their patrimony, “Prince” Michael believes that the Knights Templar and Freemasons were created by Islamic forces (based on the equation of the alleged Templar idol Baphomet and Mohammed) as a secret fifth column to infiltrate Western civilization. He and the Sinclair pretender ought to get together and debate whose mutually-incompatible imaginary claims should be believed. It would be interesting.
What I didn’t know is that there are thousands—thousands!—of people who participate in a parallel world of imaginary orders of knighthood (including one with “Prince” Michael that was founded in Missouri!), pretenders to various thrones, and fictive nobility. Apparently the mystical allure of aristocracy is not yet dead, and a disturbing number of people are happy to play in a fantasy world where they are all princes and princesses, knights and chevaliers, longing for a glorious, glittering world that passed away long, long ago.
3/14/2013 05:02:31 am
Calling it now; I'm Saint Flynn de Chevalier, last of the true blooded Kings and Scions of Keystone and Atlantis probably. Gimme money!
3/14/2013 05:25:07 am
I am Lord Fibble-dee-bibble of the land of Oz, heir to the throne of Narnia! I reject your claim and challenge you to a duel by fish!
3/14/2013 07:54:38 am
I'm not so sure that claiming to be Templars is all that a good idea. There is a Mexican drug cartel that uses the name.
3/14/2013 07:55:45 am
I'm not so sure that claiming to be Templars is all that a good idea. If these so called grail kings attempt to do so..There is a Mexican drug cartel that uses the name.
3/14/2013 06:19:19 pm
Also, if that's not weird enough, a mixed-race/non-Nazi skinhead band "from NY" (although I seem to recall them described some years ago as a NJ band, maybe they've done well enough to cross a bridge or tunnel...)
3/14/2013 08:04:45 am
The people behind the Priory of Zion also have a candidate for this, if I recall correctly.
3/14/2013 09:13:27 am
Well, since it has proven so easy to claim these fictive knighthoods, why don't I get into the action. I have now learned I am the rightful heir of Winterfell and King of the North. I also own all the gold in the Lonely Mountain.
3/14/2013 02:07:30 pm
Hmm... just up the road from my home town is Castle Rock. Castle Rock, Casterly Rock, not a coincidence. I lay claim to all Western Lands. As is my birthright.
Let me introduce you to Mensur Omerbaschich: crank-physicist, and pretender to the thrones of Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia, and England (as King Arthur's heir): http://irna.lautre.net/His-Royal-Highness-Prince-Mensur.html and http://bosniafordummies.blogspot.fr/search?updated-max=2010-02-18T18:35:00%2B01:00&max-results=50 . His tweets as "H.R.H. Crown Prince of Bosnia, head of the Bosnian Royal Family | Comes Illyricum, princeps Bosniae, dux Dubocsaczi" are quite hilarious https://twitter.com/KingdomOfBosnia
The Other J.
3/14/2013 01:58:14 pm
I was wondering why the Scottish were singled out for crank historian genealogists. Happy to see they're not the only ones, but not sure that's a good thing.
8/29/2017 07:21:49 pm
I own investment property in Barstow so that's off the table. Mine all mine, and I've returned it to the heirs of Maximilian of Mexico.
4/2/2014 04:34:11 pm
Hey anonymous asshole, long time no hear in the blogosphere. How's that smear campaign going on, still busy playing a character-assasin? After all these years, why won't you come out of your little chamber of shadows and pseudonims, and finally use your real name and location so I can show you personally who's real and who's pretending? What are you afraid of, I won't be playing -- promise.
3/14/2013 06:14:33 pm
I unfortunately have been on the receiving end of a great deal of internet abuse the past few years from people, most of whom I've never met in person, who positively refuse to accept even the fact that Scotland is part of the UK, and that the UK is a country. It's much like arguing with creationists. Some people have watched Braveheart a few too many times.
3/15/2013 03:29:08 am
Well, not to pile on, but this guy, Raymond Elwood, a former Guardian Angel from Chicago, takes it to a whole new level. His claim is that he, Lord Rayel, is the second coming of the messiah, and, dressed up like a Templar reenactor, is the head of the "Holy and Apostolic Order of the Temple."
10/4/2013 07:09:17 pm
BS about Ra-El being the resurrected Christ. There are currently four + men in the world with the same claim. They all have a significant following based on fear of going straight to hell if they aren't followed into the new age.
11/30/2013 02:49:48 pm
Not Christians in Fear but Catholics because there's not that much that read the warnings in the bible because not all are allowed to read the bible there more susceptible to the lies of both the Vatican, the world and satan the leads them astray that's why they think that RaEL OR Raymond Elwood is the Messiah but he is not
11/30/2013 02:22:16 pm
3/16/2013 04:01:02 am
I lived in Scotland for a few years and I actually met "Prince Michel". My description would be an unfunny but still eccentric Martin Short.
Stuart Bradford Underwood Exon
8/21/2013 03:58:20 pm
Does a direct lineage to Mary queen of Scots count? How about the code I found in the bible? Secrets of the universe? I already made genuine overtures denouncing shallow scots onerous nuances.
10/29/2013 12:15:03 pm
In no way is having a direct lineage with a royal family glorious as a result my genes are stagnated from inbreeding due to royalty and if you don't believe me research I.G.G. Human Immune Deficiency it blow as a result I will likely have painful I.V. treatments monthly for the whole of my entire life
Darry Shane Hayes Short
11/16/2016 07:14:39 pm
This is the time for prince Michael James Alexander to come forward to the Scottish national party for independence from Great Britain since Great Britain is leaving the European Union you will be symbol for the Scottish independent party to rally behind and stay in the Eu this is in the scriptures and it is time . Your future has been told by Nathan the prophet from hazard on the treatise of the dragon if you read this it will tell you of your future and also in the Dead Sea scrolls this is your prophecy this is your time to come forth in the world and fulfill scipture sincerely Darryl Shane Hayes Short
Darryl Shane Hayes Short
11/16/2016 07:20:13 pm
The Nathan of Gaza in the 13th century and the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Bible prophecy of the last world ruler sincerely Darryl Shane Hayes Short
10/11/2018 01:38:48 am
These comments are a hoot. Jesse James and Upton Sinclair had more royal blood in their little finger than poser Michael. When the Stuart brothers were thrown out of the Palace at Naples they sold the buttons from their great grandfather's (James Francis Stuart) royal garments to pay for passage to America. The ship's steward was a Scotsman still loyal to the cause, when Charles Edward signed the passenger list, the ship's steward laughed and said damn son the only royal name you forgot to write down is Arthur. The ship's steward informed the Stuart brothers that there was a writ barring passage of anyone belonging to the Royal Stuart line on any ship flying the British flag. So he told them to use an assumed name. Charles Edward Saint Claire de Stuart signed Arthur Sinclair and James Francis signed as Frank James. Charles Godfroi was adopted by his grandfather James Francis Stuart and renamed James Francis (Bruno) Stuart. King James disowned Charles Edward I after Charles Edward kept getting drunk and beating his wife that King James Francis had arranged for Charlie to marry. King James Francis named his grandson as his heir. Henry (cardinal of York) got Charlie to dispute the claims of James Bruno and used his influence with the church to usurp his nephews inheritance. James Bruno threatened to beat them both to death. So James Bruno was placed under house arrest at the Bourbon Palace in Naples where he lived out his days. When James Bruno died, Ferdinand de Bourbon threw the two sons of James Bruno out on the street with a trunk full of their fathers royal garments. The claim that Michael was a decendant of Henry IX. Is bogus because Henry was a second son pledged to the service of the church of Rome.
James Lee Hall
3/30/2020 09:14:12 am
It doesn’t pay the bills. Who really cares. I’m trying to honor my father by proving his ancestry. It’s not about money. It’s about knowledge
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