French fascist who did prison time for association with an anti-Semitic, anti-Masonic group called Alpha Galates; also did time for fraud and embezzlement. Plantard posed as an expert on the Knights Templar; when he was interviewed by the authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail, his claims to be a Grand Master of the Priory of Sion were made public. These claims were based upon documents (called Les Dossiers Secrets, buried deep within the National Library in Paris) that were actually forged genealogies discreetly planted in such a way as to appear hidden. In 1993 Plantard confessed to having created both the documents and the entire Priory of Sion hoax.
Plantard and his friend Andre Bonhomme had organized the small group known as Priory of Sion, in 1956, to endorse affordable housing; they published a pamphlet entitled Circuit to promote their ideas. They abandoned their cause in 1957, and in the years after the breakup, Plantard created documents that would later be placed in the Bibliothe`que Nationale as proof that a secret society guarded the identity of a royal bloodline, beginning with Mary Magdalene and Jesus and continuing through the French Merovingian kings to the present Saint-Clair family. The current descendants of Jesus supposedly included Plantard himself.
In 1989, Plantard revised some of the forged documents, adding to the list of Grand Masters the name of Roger-Patrice Pelat, a friend of French President Franc¸ois Mitterand. During a financial scandal involving Pelat, Plantard, called to testify, swore under oath that he had invented the Priory's entire history and existence. When the judge had his home searched, more false documents were discovered that purposed to show Plantard as the true heir to the French throne. This time Plantard was not sentenced to prison.
In 1975, Plantard had begun to associate himself with the Saint-Clair family, who were associated with the Freemasons who had built Rosslyn Chapel. This false name provided Plantard with a "bloodline" to prove he was descended from Jesus and Mary Magdalene; when he was forced to recant on the entire fabrication, this too was discounted.
Holy Blood, Holy Grail, which relied heavily upon Plantard's "evidence," served as the basis for much of Dan Brown's information concerning the Priory of Sion. See also Alpha Galates; Bibliothe`que Nationale de France; Dossiers Secrets, Les; Holy Blood, Holy Grail; Knights Templar; Priory of Sion.