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Unusually for a supposed secret society, the Priory of Sion has allowed its statutes to be published. However, these exist in at least two versions.

The first version was published in the French Journal Officiel in 1956, following a declaration made to the sub-prefecture of Saint-Julien en Genevois. A similar version occurs in the Dossiers Secrets. Pierre Plantard and Phillipe de Cherisey, however, claimed these to be fradulent - the product of a short-lived splinter faction in the group, and in 1981 they sent the authors of The Holy Blood & The Holy Grail what they claimed to be the society's genuine constitution.

According to de Cherisey, these statutes were determined at a convent of the society held in Paris on 5th June 1956. They bear the signature of Jean Cocteau, supposedly Grand Master of the Priory at the time; the Holy Blood authors claim that this signature is either genuine or the work of a highly skillful forger. The text of the statutes, as presented in Holy Blood, Holy grail, is presented below.

Article I
There is formed, between the undersigned to this present constitution and those who shall subsequently join and fulfill the following conditions, an initiatory order of chivalry, whose usages and customs rest upon the foundation made by Godfroi VI, called the Pious, Duc de Bouillon, at Jerusalem in 1099 and recognized in 1100

Article II
The Order is called 'Sionis Prioratus' or 'Prieuré de Sion'.

Article III
The Prieuré de Sion has as its objectives the perpetuation of the traditionalist order of chivalry, its initiatory teaching and the creation between members of mutual assistance, as much moral as material, in all circumstances.

Article IV
The duration of the Prieuré de Sion is unlimited.

Article V
The Prieuré de Sion adopts, as its representative office, the domicile of the Secretary-General named by the Convent. The Prieuré de Sion is not a secret society. All its decrees, as well as its records and appointments, are available to the public in Latin text.

Article VI
The Prieuré de Sion comprises 121 members. Within these limits, it is open to all adult persons who recognize its aims and accept the obligations specified in this present constitution. Members are admitted without regard to sex, race or philosophical, religious or political ideas.

Article VII
Nevertheless, in the event that a member should designate in writing one of his descendants to succeed him, the Convent shall accede to this request and may, if necessary in the case of minority, undertake the education of the above designated.

Article VIII
A future member must provide, for his admission to the first grade, a white robe with cord, at his own expense. From the time of his admission to the first grade, the member holds the right to vote. On admission, the new member must swear to serve the Order in all circumstances, as well as to work for PEACE and the respect of human life.

Article IX
On his admission, the member must pay a token fee, the amount being discretionary. Each year, he must forward to the Secretariat General a voluntary contribution to the Order of a sum to be decided by himself.

Article X
On admission, the member must provide a birth certificate and a specimen of his signature.

Article XI
A member of the Prieuré de Sion against whom a sentence has been pronounced by a tribunal for a common-law offense may be suspended from his duties and titles, as well as his membership.

Article XII
The general assembly of members is designated the Convent. No deliberation of Convent shall be deemed valid if the number of members present is less that eighty-one. The vote is secret and is cast by means of white and black balls. To be adopted, all motions must receive eighty-one white balls. All motions not receiving sixty-one white balls may not be re-submitted.

Article XIII
The Convent of the Prieuré de Sion alone decides, on a majority of 81 votes out of 121 members, all changes to the constitution and the internal regulation of ceremonial.

Article XIV
All admissions shall be decided by the 'Council of the thirteen Rose-Croix'. Titles and duties shall be conferred by the Grand Master of the Prieuré de Sion. Members are admitted to their office for life. Their titles revert by right to one of their children chosen by themselves without consideration of sex. The child thus designated may make an act of renunciation of his rights, but he cannot make this act in favour of a brother, sister, relative or any other person. He may not be readmitted to the Prieuré de Sion.

Article XV
Within twenty-seven full days, two members shall be required to contact a future member to obtain his assent or his renunciation. In default of a deed of acceptance after a period of reflection of eighty-one full days, renunciation shall be legally recognized and the place considered vacant.

Article XVI
By virtue of hereditary right confirmed by the preceding articles, the duties and titles of Grand Master of the Prieuré de Sion shall be transmitted to his successor according to the same prerogatives. In the case of a vacancy in the office of Grand Master, and the absence of a direct successor, the Convent must proceed to an election within eighty-one days.

Article XVII
All decrees must be voted by Convent and receive validation by the Seal of the Grand Master. The Secretary-General is named by Convent for three years, renewable by tacit consent. The Secretary-General must be of the grade of Commander to undertake his duties. The functions and duties are unpaid.

Article XVIII
The hierarchy of the Prieuré de Sion is composed of five grades:

1st Nautonnier  number:   1  Arche of the
2nd Croise      number:   3  13 Rose-Croix
3rd Commandeur  number:   9
4th Chevalier   number:  27  The nine
5th Ecuyer      number:  81  commanderies
         total  number:  121 of the Temple

Article XIX
There are 243 Free Brothers, called Preux or, since the year 1681, Enfants de Saint Vincent, who participate neither in the vote nor in Convents, but to whom the Prieuré de Sion accords certain rights and privilege in conformity with the decree of January 17th, 1681.

Article XX
The funds of the Prieuré de Sion are composed of gifts and fees of members. A reserve, called the 'patrimony of the Order', is settled upon the Council of the Thirteen Rose-Croix. This treasure may only be used in case of absolute necessity and grave danger to the Prieuré and its members.

Article XXI
The Convent is convoked by the Secretary-General when the Council of the Rose-Croix deems it useful.

Article XXII
Disavowal of membership in the Prieuré de Sion, manifested publicly and in writing, without cause or personal danger, shall incur exclusion of the member, which shall be pronounced by the Convent.

Text of the constitution in XXII articles, conforming to the original and to the modifications of the Convent of June 5th, 1956.

Signature of the Grand Master:

Jean Cocteau

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