Michael Baigent, best-selling author of Holy Blood, Holy Grail, former Freemasonry Today editor, and speculative theorist passed away last night.
Brother Christopher Hodapp, author of one of the best books on Freemasonry – Freemasons for Dummies, wrote that “Brother Baigent’s books literally changed the way the world thought, and was arguably responsible for Dan Brown’s success with the Da Vinci Code. His thought provoking works will be missed.”
Brother Baigent (February 27, 1948 – June 17, 2013) authored and co-authored a ton of of books that questioned the generally accepted perception we have of religion and history. One of his best known works is as co-author with Richard Leigh of The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail.
The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail
Published on 18 January 1982, The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail popularised the hypothesis that the true nature of the quest for the Holy Grail was that Jesus and Mary Magdalene had a child together, the first of a bloodline which later married into a Frankish royal dynasty, the Merovingians, and was all tied together by a society known as the Priory of Sion. These ideas were later used as a basis for Dan Brown’s international bestselling novel The Da Vinci Code.
The theory that Jesus and Mary were in a carnal (physical) relationship is based on Baigent’s interpretation of the Holy Kiss on the mouth (typically between males in early Christian times, thus signifying Mary’s emancipation), and spiritual marriage, as given in the Gospel of Philip. The theory was perpetuated by authors Laurence Gardner and Margaret Starbird.
The day after the publication the authors had a public clash on BBC television with the Bishop of Birmingham and Marina Warner. The book rapidly climbed the bestseller charts, and had a sequel, The Messianic Legacy.
The book has been described as “a work thoroughly debunked by scholars and critics alike” and it was called “one of the all-time great works of pop pseudohistory” in a review in the New York Times Book Review.
His published works include:
- Ancient Traces: Mysteries in Ancient and Early History (1998) ISBN 0-670-87454-X
- The Jesus Papers: Exposing the Greatest Cover-Up in History (2006) ISBN 0-06-082713-0
- From the Omens of Babylon: Astrology and Ancient Mesopotamia (1994) ISBN 0-14-019480-0
- Racing Toward Armageddon: The Three Great Religions and the Plot to End the World (2009)
With Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln:
- The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, 1982, UK ISBN 0-09-968241-9
- U.S. paperback: Holy Blood, Holy Grail, 1983, Dell. ISBN 0-440-13648-2
- The Messianic Legacy, 1986
With Richard Leigh:
- The Temple and the Lodge, 1989, ISBN 0-552-13596-8
- The Dead Sea Scrolls Deception, 1991
- Secret Germany: Claus Von Stauffenberg and the true story of Operation Valkyrie, 1994
- The Elixir and the Stone: The Tradition of Magic and Alchemy, 1997
- The Inquisition. 1999
With Nicholas Campion and Charles Harvey:
- Mundane Astrology: Introduction to the Astrology of Nations and Groups, 1984