Opening the Ark of the Covenant
By Frank Joseph and
It is remarkable that the Ark of the Covenant should have such an enduring,
popular allure, when so little is known about it. In my research, I did “follow
the bread-crumbs,” and they led me to many of the places described in my
book—Tenerife, Delos, Delphi, Ilios, Giza, Cuzco, Teotihuacan, Nara, and dozens
more besides—largely unfamiliar names spread around the globe, but all known at
one time or another as "the Navel of the World."
The term surfaced early during my research (a cover word for "obsession")
into the lost civilization of Atlantis, beginning spring 1980. At that time, few
believed the place had actually existed, and I was not entirely sure myself. In
the years since then, my four books on the subject were published in a dozen
foreign editions, joining more material released about Plato's sunken city since
he first spoke of it twenty three hundred years ago. These numerous volumes,
compact discs, magazines, lectures, television productions, and feature films
reflect unprecedented, international interest in Atlantis.
During late 2006, sociologists at Baylor University's Institute for Studies
of Religion, in Waco, Texas, conducted “by far the most comprehensive national
religion survey to date,” according to Cathy Lynn Grossman, a writer for USA
Today. Their survey revealed that 40 percent of Americans now believe Atlantis
actually existed before the dawn of recorded history.
Well, what has all that got to do with the Ark of the Covenant? Atlantis is
one of the “bread-crumbs,” an unsuspected clue to the mystery, like so many
others—a Jesuit priest, the Great Pyramid, a deformed pharaoh, Canada, a
Japanese scuba diver, a thousand-year-old tree, a famous Russian painter, a
famous French painter, an infamous French cardinal, American Indians, secret
societies, an Illinois woodworker. Individually incongruous, they nevertheless
comprise a vast mosaic spanning not only the world, but the entire history of
man. The image emerging from their combined inter-relationship is wonderful and
horrible, filled with transfiguration, heroism, genius and beauty contrasted by
deceit, terror, madness, and mass-murder. It is an unexpected picture I did not
paint. I only found it after twenty six years of continuous investigation.
This book is the summary and outcome of that long labor of love. I was aided
in its discovery by someone without whom my work would have been woefully
incomplete. If there is such a thing as destiny, her appearance was perfectly
timed. While in the midst of researching the man who established the Order of
the Knights Templar in Jerusalem, both Laura Beaudoin, co-author of Opening the
Ark of the Covenant, and I learned that she is his linear descendant. We then
found that she is directly related to several other key players in the Ark
drama, from a figure in the Old Testament to what may have been the sacred
object's 17th Century steward. Never interested in genealogy, and emotionally
incapable of boasting about her family tree, she provided absolutely unique
insight into the darkest corners of medieval politics.
Laura Beaudoin, co-author of
Opening the Ark of the Covenant.
Despite the implications of this photograph, her new book is
a non-religious investigation of the controversial artifact.
Laura also owned a rare document, a privately published Beaudoin family
history, preserved by her mother, Dolores. Thanks to this one-of-a-kind
manuscript, we may read a hitherto unknown chapter in the lost history of the
Ark of the Covenant. That, in essence, is the result of our combined effort: the
first history of this supremely enigmatic artifact, its pre-biblical origins,
true identity, and impact on the world.
Where is the Ark of the Covenant?
During the quarter of a century I spent researching "Opening the Ark of the
Covenant", I was continually pestered by the problem of its whereabouts. I felt
reasonably sure I knew what it contained --- a specimen of solid-state technology
far in advance of the ancient times in which it was created. And its application
as a conscience-altering electronic quartz crystal seemed credible. As the Aron
ha Berit, it had passed to the Israelites from Egypt, where it had been known as
the Ben-Ben, Bennu Stone, or "Phoenix Stone" for its random outbursts of static
electricity. In brief, the Ark was a gold-lined, wooden box housing a kind of
capacitor that accumulated, amplified and discharged various forms of energy in
its immediate vicinity.
Looking down on a recreation of the ark of the Covenant
reveals the so called
"Mercy Seat", a kind of platter where Yahweh appeared as a static-electrical
discharge between the positively and negatively polarized "cherubim".
Like the ancient Hebrews, the Egyptians falsely claimed the "Stone of
Destiny" as their own. Instead, its origins stretch back into the mists of
prehistory and myth. Edgar Cayce, the Sleeping Prophet of the 20th Century, said
it was earlier known as the Tuoai, or "Fire Stone", it its own tower at the
center of Atlantis. With the cataclysmic destruction of that civilization, its
custodians brought it to the Nile Delta, where it was placed atop a tall obelisk
in An, referred by the Greeks as Heliopolis, the City of the Sun.
The famous Luxor Pyramid of Las Vegas, Nevada in a
that resembles its Egyptian counterpart during the ancient past whenever
Giza's Great Pyramid transduced seismic energy into a beam of
During a period of foreign wars and civil upheaval, the refugee Israelites
escaped with Ben-Ben inside their traveling Ark, until Solomon installed it in
Jerusalem's holy-of-holies. There it sparked Israel's Golden Age, until
Babylon's King Nebuchadnezzar II conquered the city in 587 B.C., and laid the
Temple flat in his fruitless search for the Ark of the Covenant. Just before his
conquest, the Levite priests lowered it into a vertical shaft 150 feet through
solid limestone. There it remained hidden for the next seventeen centuries,
until it was excavated by the Knights Templar in 1127. They removed it in secret
to France, handing it over to another religious order, the Cathars. In his
effort to seize the Ark, Pope Innocent III launched a crusade that eventually
pushed the Cathars to their ultimate stronghold, the mountain fortress of
Montsegur, in the Pyrenees. In March, 1244, it fell to a French Catholic army,
but not before a quartet of Cathars smuggled the Ark of the Covenant --- now
known as the Holy Grail --- out of the doomed castle. From that moment, its
trail splits into every direction of the compass.
Some investigators believe the four Cathars traveled by Templar ship to
Scotland, where the Ark-Grail was set up Rosslyn Chapel, under the protection of
Henry Sinclair, the Earl of Orkney.
Author Graham Phillips wonders if the sacred object went to the so-called
"Grail Chapel" at Whittington Castle, in Shropshire, England. Former journalist,
Graham Hancock, believes the Ark is still attended by the single caretaker of a
small church in Axum, Ethiopia.
A strangely credible version of events has them bringing the Ark of the
Covenant to distant Japan, specifically, to the top of Tsurgi, or "Sword
Mountain", an oral tradition still preserved by local people.
Remarkably, a number of theories place the Ark/Grail in North America. The
Cherokee Indians of the Middle West claim the Ark was worshiped by their people
for time out of mind, until the Tennessee Valley Authority's dam projects forced
them to relocate it to Indiana, where it was venerated at least into the early
1970s. Abundant documentation establishes the efforts of the Villa-Maries, an
association of unconventional mystics, who left France in the mid-17th Century
for Montreal, Canada, where they attempted to establish what they called the
"New Jerusalem", with the Ark of the Covenant at the centerpiece of their
While all of these theories have merit, and are investigated in my book, I
tend to conclude that the Ark/Grail did not travel very far from Montsegur in
1244. More likely, the four Cathars who saved it from the clutches of the Pope
concealed their sacred charge in one of the innumerable caves that virtually
honey-comb the Pyrenees. In this natural hiding place, the holy artifact was
preserved against all attempts to possess it. Then, in 1858, Bernarde-Marie
Soubirous, a teenage sensitive, happened to stroll in its vicinity just when it
was being energized by the seismic pressures which characterize the mountain
range separating Spain from France. Her receptive mind responded to the
frequency resonance emitted by the Ark/Grail, culturally concretizing her
experience in visions of the "White Lady".
Thus was born the curative site at Lourdes, where St. Bernadette unwittingly
accessed the mind-altering power of the Grail. It continues to radiate its
healing energies for many millions of sufferers from all over the globe, none of
who realize that the singular magic of this place is generated by mankind's
oldest, most precious object --- the Ark of the Covenant.
Copyright 2007 by Frank Joseph
All rights reserved.
Reprinted with permission.