Book Two - The Grail Tale
The Grail Tale I - How to look for the Grail
And now at last I will try to seriously lay my Grail Theory before you.
Again, I wish to stress that the whole thing is based on suppositions and wild
leaps of imagination, and I have very little "material proof" for any of it.
That's what makes it so much fun (:-).
So, we must start by briefly summarizing what do we actually know about the
Grail, and also what we have learned about it from our Caper so far. Or rather -
what I myself had learned, because this "little journey" is something widely
disputed in the field of Grail Research.
We shall have to leave aside for the moment the most important yet highly
controversial question of what the Grail actually is. It will have to be dealt
with later of course, but shall possibly be easier to handle as we discover and
agree about other aspects of this concept.
Sifting through the vast amount of Lore and Legend surrounding the Grail -
we notice first of all, that a "Grail-like" quest has been recorded in the Myths
of many cultures since dim antiquity. The actual term "Grail" came into wide use
during the late Middle Ages with the publication of several heroic epics that
referenced it as a magical artifact. But many other Seekers before that had
reportedly gone looking after "that special something" - whether it was
Alexander the Great with his "Spring of Youth", or King Gilgamesh in Ancient
Sumer with his Quest for Knowledge and Immortality, or Setne son of Raamses II
in Ancient Egypt, who went after the Book of Thoth (following in the footsteps
of an earlier explorer.) (See excellent article from Fillip Coppens,
"The Book of Thoth: the original and true Grail?" http://www.philipcoppens.com/egypt_grail.html
Even Abraham's journey from Haran south to Canaan as described in the Book of
Genesis can be seen as a type of a similar Spiritual Quest.
Several common features of the "Grail Concept" stand out in all these
tales. Originally it appears to have involved mostly Knowledge and
Enlightenment, spiritual or intellectual (in the past the two were considered
the same by most schools of thought.) The knowledge thus gained was to be
used in order to better oneself and others, leading to what can be called
"progress" and positive development. Later the element of Morality was added
into the story, and one's personal ethics became very important, based on making
a Choice between several possible roads to follow, both physically and
spiritually. These Ethical struggles became possibly the most prominent feature
of the Medieval Grail Myth and the Arthurian Legend. This had led to the Grail
in modern times having become identified entirely with the struggle of Good
against Evil, and there, we must assume, it resides today.
The Grail Quest itself is basically identified with the "Hero's journey",
widely encountered in all folklore. It is a search for Personal Enlightenment -
but the kind that should be used only to help or heal, and generally for the
betterment of all mankind, in other words, "others". If instead it is used
strictly for selfish purposes of attaining personal power and wealth, then the
knowledge gained on this Quest is said to lead to the spiritual downfall or
actual physical doom of the hero.
As we embark on this Quest then, we therefore first of all have to assume
that there IS, in fact, such a thing as "The Grail". Let's say that we do. Then
the next thing we must postulate, is that regardless of what the Grail is or may
have become in Modern Times - there simply must exist some type of a
"secret society" intent on keeping the Grail and its secrets safe since
antiquity. Without the existence of such a group, all our findings in this
regard are strictly coincidental and don't really mean much. "Somebody" would
have had to have moved the Grail to all these different locations, somebody
must've safeguarded it through generations, somebody left those hints, and so
on. To continue from here the way I propose, we have to agree that such a group
exists, regardless of what they may actually be called (if anything.)
Whether all such "secret groups" throughout history knew where or what the
Grail is or not - is immaterial, because all such groups were primarily
concerned with perpetuating a tradition of Ancient Mystical Knowledge, in
the face of many attempts by various surrounding forces to suppress or destroy
this knowledge for different reasons. As such, all these groups were initially
supposed to be following the "Grail Path", whether with the "actual" Grail
itself, or merely with the idea of their own "Grail".
Most of these organizations had been professional guilds (like priests,
architects, and stone-masons) who kept their professional secrets hidden from
laymen for various reasons. (Like, they didn't want competition, or their
knowledge falling into hands of people who would misuse it.) And most if not all
of them were created with the expressed goal of bringing Spiritual Enlightenment
and Progress to the world in various forms. All the known modern Secret
Societies, from the Freemasons to the Skulls and Bones fraternity at Yale
University, go back to such origins, regardless of what they had later
turned into. A similar society was also involved in safeguarding the Grail
itself through the ages, and for want of a better name, I shall call them the
"Grail Brotherhood" in our story.
Having accepted the above, our search for the actual Grail will begin by
accepting the Postulate put forward in recent times by the writers Baigent,
Lincoln and Leigh in their 1982 non-fiction bestseller "Holy Blood, Holy Grail"
(HBHG). Their theory was strongly supported by other notable Grail
specialists like Laurence Gardner, and in 2003 was entirely incorporated into
Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code" (DVC). Two of the authors of HBHG even tried
suing Brown for plagiarism - but his book was adjudged as "fiction", and thus
exempt from such a charge.
According to the premise expounded by these researchers, the Grail is
"something" which the Knights Templar brought to Europe from Palestine
sometime in mid 12th century CE. And this "something" afterwards
suddenly made them become for two hundred years the most powerful organization
Europe has ever had, rivaled only by the modern European Union. The
Templar wealth and power in its day superseded that of the Vatican, which
understandingly felt very threatened by this, and with the help of the French
King eventually managed to destroy the Templar Order in 1307 in a
But it appears that most of the Knights were never caught, and they
basically vanished into thin air - along with the entire (and reportedly
formidably large) Templar Fleet, and along with their fabled "Templar Treasure",
none of which was ever found. In my opinion, HBHG *proves* that these
"missing Knights" found refuge in Scotland, and their treasure was buried in the
place which later became the famed Roslyn Chapel.
Here we shall part from Dan Brown's story, and I only mention him because
this is the most popular version of these events. You'll recall that according
to his theory as presented in the DVC, the Grail was later removed from Roslyn,
and brought back to France, where it now reposes under the glass pyramid in the
Louvre in Paris.
This conclusion just doesn't seem reasonable to me. After the demise of the
Templars in France, nobody in his right mind within the Grail Fraternity would
think of going back there.
The Myth of the Grail demands, that if this "object" is moved anywhere at
all - it should be moved Forward to a Better Place, and not Back, to the Bad
Place where it came from. One can go back to an old place only if some Major
Change occurs there to overturn the old regime, which had persecuted you in the
past. This did happen in France during the Revolution of 1789 - but it was too
late. The Grail had to be moved from its location in Roslyn a century and a half
before that, when France was ruled by the ruthless Louis XIV and selfish Marie
Antoinette. There was no question that their land did not "deserve" the Grail at
that time - so it was never brought back there, not then, and not afterwards.
The fact that the Grail is not in France today is further strengthened by
the fact that his country had basically ceased to be an important player in
world affairs after World War II. But if the Grail didn't go to back to France,
then where was it moved to from Roslyn, and indeed had it been moved at all?
The above authors and others had named the Scottish royal dynasty of
Stewart/Stuart as the "hereditary heads" of our Grail Brotherhood during its
stay in Scotland. ("Stuart" is the French spelling of the name, which came into
usage when Mary Stewart Queen of Scots was hiding in France from Queen Elizabeth
I of England, in mid 16th century.) Accepting that this is so, the fate of this
dynasty would be deeply intertwined with the Grail Story. As it
happens, a most prominent member of this dynasty, namely King Charles I,
was the only King of England *ever* to be publicly executed while in office.
This significant exception means that his execution must have been a MOST
crucial turning point in the fate of the Grail. It occurred in January
Something like the public beheading of their Chief by what can be termed a
"Popular Revolutionary Government", would have certainly sent the rest of the
Grail Fraternity into a frenzy. It would seem just like the days when the
Templars were being routed in France and their leader Jacques de Molay murdered
by the Inquisition three hundred and forty years earlier.
As has often been noted, a time of Revolution in one's country is a time
when one simply does not know whom to trust. It is always a war of brother
against brother, and when kinsmen fight among themselves - one's best
friend can suddenly go over to "the other side" one day. Charles I himself was
the best example of this trend, when fleeing from Cromwell's forces he
surrendered to the Scottish Parliament, hoping to get help from his old
comrades. Instead they handed him right back to Cromwell, to be tried and
It seems plainly obvious to me that the surviving lieutenants of Charles I
from the Brotherhood had to have realized at that time, that the Grail simply
cannot be left in its former hiding place in Roslyn. In fact I believe that they
realized this and first moved it even earlier, around 1646 or 7, when it was
already painfully obvious that Cromwell is staging an Armed Rebellion, while the
Scottish Presbyterian Parliament is likely to turn against the Catholic Stuarts.
To understand what probably happened at that point, I used my "Holistic
Detection" method and combined two completely unrelated sources, which
nonetheless both deal with the two King Charles's. The first was Arthur Conan
Doyle's short story "The Musgrave Ritual
", which deals with the crown
of Charles I that was buried by "supporters of Charles II" and never found - as
outlined in my article on the subject (at http://www.book-of-thoth.com/article1537.html
One of the most curious aspects of that story, is that a woman whom
Holmes set out to find in the beginning still remained missing at the end -
something which very rarely happened to Sherlock Holmes. He never finds out what
became of her, and the story ends with Holmes musing that she must have carried
her secret to some "land beyond the seas". And it's a very good guess that he
was talking about America - the land where so many Englishmen carried their
secrets and dreams for several centuries.
Due to the Stuart connection and other blatantly "Masonic" features of
"The Musgrave Ritual", it became fairly evident to me that this
apparently innocuous detective mystery is describing nothing less than the
actual fate of the Grail itself during the period of the succession transition
between the beheaded Charles I and his son Charles II. Doyle was basically
telling us here that the Grail was transported to the new colonies in America,
when the troubling events of the English Revolution were taking place.
The "Grail in America" theory is by no means new today, nor was it in
Doyle's time (though certainly much less known then.) Its most famous proponent
in modern times has been the noted mystic Manly Hall, who aptly argued in his
"Secret Destiny of America" (1958) that the idea of the United States was
created by members of the "Grail Brotherhood" who sought to build a Modern
Utopia in a new, "virgin" territory. The existing "utopian" writings of noted
16th and 17th Century English mystical philosophers like John Dee and Francis
Bacon greatly strengthen Hall's arguments in that regard.
There is of course also all the hype surrounding the "Oak Island Treasure"
in Nova Scotia, Canada. The trove was supposedly buried there by a member of the
Sinclair (St. Clair) family, whose ancestor had built the Roslyn Chapel. This
Scottish clan is connected with the "missing Templars" and especially their
missing fleet, as has been aptly summarized in the excellent sequel by the
authors of HBHG, "The Temple and the Lodge" from 1989. More pertinently, the
Sinclairs have been recently named in the DVC as nothing less than the actual
descendants of Jesus himself, modern carriers of the "sacred royal blood", which
that book identifies as the Holy Grail.
We shall largely leave that controversial issue aside in this work, as I
feel that it makes little difference to our story whether they "really" are
such, or are not. Because what clinched the "Grail in America" theory for me,
was of course that curious reference in the history books of the State of
Virginia. Which history books, if you recall, all say that the territory known
as the Northern Neck in northern Virginia, was granted by Charles II to his
loyal Seven Barons in the year 1649. The crucial year in English history, the
year in which everybody knows that Charles II was not the King at all, and had
no authority to make land grants.
I summarized my ideas about this matter in a later article called "Yes
Virginia, there is a Sanity Clause" (http://www.book-of-thoth.com/article1597.html
The bottom line there is what I have already repeated here many
times: Based on all the "Grail in America" theories and my findings from
the "Musgrave Ritual", I had decided that the mentioned very strange reference
in the history books, was the Big Hint which these people had purposely (or
maybe even subconsciously) left for future researchers like myself, who still
want to know whatever happened to "the Grail". This Hint was supposed to tell us
that during Cromwell's Revolution the Grail was indeed taken to America, and
hidden somewhere in Virginia.
To get a better idea of exactly where this may have been, I began studying
the history and geography of Virginia and the surrounding region, trying to look
for the type of "strange anomalies" which would ordinarily point the way to
something as elusive and mysterious as our quarry. I learned that the land
holdings of the Seven Barons were soon all bought out by the Culpeper family,
and in early 18th Century were eventually inherited through marriage by one
Thomas Fairfax, the Sixth Baron of Cameron. This man must therefore be
considered to be at least the "local head" of the Grail Brotherhood, who would
at least be "in the know" about where the Grail was hidden in Virginia.
That this is a very important player in our story becomes evident from the
fact that Thomas Fairfax went on to become the patron of such notable Americans
as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, whom he employed as land surveyors.
He can thus be seen as nothing less than one of the leading forces behind the
eventual establishment of the United States. Our town of Reston is of course
located in Fairfax County, emphasizing the significance of this name and person
in this overall story.
It is well known to anybody who has read stories of treasure hunters and
hunts, that whenever an actual "treasure" is buried anywhere, many stories about
buried treasure arise in the vicinity. This happens because something like that
is very hard to keep under wraps - even the people most sworn to secrecy are
liable to get really drunk one day and inadvertently mention something. The
larger the trove and the more people involved in burying it, the larger the
chance of serious rumors being spread.
During the time of the Parliamentary Wars in England, there were several
stories of buried treasure going around the general region of
Worcester, where many Charles I supporters lived and Charles II hid during
his ill-fated attempt to win the crown back from Cromwell. The "Musgrave Ritual"
takes place around that area as well, which greatly strengthens my theory about
the Grail actually being kept hidden there at the time. Because prior to its
transport to America, it was first necessary to get it out of Presbyterian
Scotland and out of harms way there.
There are also many notable treasure stories from Virginia - going as far
back as the buried treasure of the Spaniards and the hidden cache of
Captain Francis Drake. (And actually even earlier, to the local Indian tribes.)
Then there is the famous "Lost Vaults of Francis Bacon", which a group known as
"Sages of the Seventh Seal" is convinced is buried under the Bruton Church in
Williamsburg. This was believed to be true even by such people as Manly
Hall and his wife Marie (http://www.ccgm.org.au/Articles/ARTICLE-0088.htm
Later there is the well-known "Beale Treasure" (http://www.roanokeva.com/stories/beale.html
Still later from the Civil War period, there is the story of the "lost treasure
from Seven Corners" (http://www.roanokeva.com/stories/seven.html
Such a large abundance of treasure stories leaves little doubt that
"something big" was definitely buried in that area, and possibly moved once or
twice afterwards. Exactly where it was hidden is another story, which we shall
have to leave for the next chapter.
We'll be back soon,