Grail Danielle CROPPED IN SIZE 8-17  Mockup_5 Feb 2 2018The Grail. Not what we've been told it is, not where we've been looking.

Not a cup, not a bloodline.

The most powerful force ever known.

Waiting to be tapped . . . for good or evil.

At a concert in Berlin, simulcast around the world, Twisted Messiah, a nihilistic, destructive international rock group, calls on the world’s angry and alienated to regroup in a kind of world-wide quasi-political cult, under its leadership. Some journalists describe that concert as "a Nuremberg rally on steroids, updated to today's mindset and technology," and the Twisted Messiah worldwide "army" of misfits "a force looking for a target."

In Washington, a message arrives unexpectedly, inviting Greg Tapscott to a meeting in La Rochelle, France, with the promise that he will finally learn the "truth" about his uncle, an OSS agent, "alleged to have been killed in action in France in 1944, along with the secrets that he uncovered at that time." The family has long been convinced there was a government cover-up.

In Washington, a journalist claims the two strands--Twisted Messiah and its political ambitions, and what was turned up by Greg's uncle in 1944 are intimately linked. He is murdered before he can explain.

What did Paul Tapscott find?  Was it, as sources claim, "perhaps the deeper truth behind the Holy Grail legends . . . perhaps the most powerful force—or weapon—ever known: A technology for tapping the highest human potential?"


Welcome to my author's research blog for The Grail Conspiracies.

Plot spoiler: THE GRAIL CONSPIRACIES  is NOT about a legendary cup (the traditional myth of the Holy Grail), nor is it about an alleged blood-line of Jesus (the thesis of Dan Brown's THE DA VINCI CODE,  and HOLY BLOOD HOLY GRAIL  by Baigent, Leigh and Lincoln.)

Rather, it's about another very different--and very plausible--thesis: the "grail" in fact refers to a dormant power, or cluster of powers, within our human minds.

Want to know more of the background of this "alternate" Grail concept and the evidence supporting it? The blog posts below are drawn from my research in writing the book, as well as from what I’ve learned in keeping up with continuing developments in related fields. Topics include:To read more of these research topics, check the archives in the column on the right, or just scroll down.


To read more about the book, and to order THE GRAIL CONSPIRACIES

To read a brief synopsis

To read sample chapters

To view the book trailer (currently under development)




Indiana Jones, the Nazi Occult Bureau, and The Grail Conspiracies

 I stumbled on the article, “Did Nazis really try to make Zombies? The real history behind one of our weirdest WW II obsessions” by Noah Charney in Salon August 22, 2015.

I almost skipped it because Zombies never have been my thing, but I recognized Noah Charney’s name as a respected and prolific author on art and related history (more on him later) so I took a look.

Glad I did.  I was already familiar with most of the Nazi explorations in the occult and strange science from my own research on various of my thrillers, particularly The Grail Conspiracies.

But for the “normal” person (not so well versed in this stuff!) Dr. Charney provides a brief but fascinating summary of the background on the Abnenerbe, the Nazi Occult Bureau, and some of its operations before and during the war.

(I had forgotten that an organization like the Ahnenerbe appeared in some of the Indiana Jones movies. For that background alone, the article is worth a look if you’re fascinated by these things—or just liked the Indiana Jones movies.)

As to the question posed, Did the Nazis really try to make zombies? Charney’s response ranges over related issues, including the weird experiences  of Dr. Josef Mengele, as well as other research on various chemicals and pills to increase stamina.

There is also a segment on the background on the George Clooney film,  Monuments Men, as the search for stolen art linked in a weird way with corpses apparently hidden away to rise again with the rise of a new Nazism. (Yes, the whole range of Nazi occult obsessions are, collectively, beyond weird!)

Anyway, I recommend the article. As to Noah Charney, Ph.D.: I had first come on his name as I was researching my upcoming thriller, Infinite Doublecross, as he has written several books and articles on art theft and forgery. (Full disclosure: I’ve never met him.)  I think the best overview is via his book list on Amazon:  Noah Charney books




Why world leaders are scared of young people, the occult, and rock-and-roll; and the international threat of the rock group Twisted Messiah’s “army” of young followers.

In Zite (the app/news aggregator) this morning, I came on two interestingly interlocked quotations:

First quotation:

“There’s a generation of young people who still want some sense of meaning beyond what appears to be a world that’s not what they’d been promised.”

Second quotation:

[He cited a world of]"masses of young people"  . . . especially in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia—where "if these kids are left to no devices, or their own ... something is going to come along and say, 'The world is disappointing you, and we're a better alternative.' How else do you get young kids to strap themselves in suicide vests and think thing are better on the other side? But that's happening."

It struck me that both quotations said just about the same thing: that there are many young people from the emerging generations who are angry . . .  and malleable by those who make them the promises they want to hear.

The first quotation is from “Season of the Witch: How the Occult Saved Rock and Roll,” in Pitchfork. (another news aggregator, this specializing in the pop music world). Here's a link to that article  It's an interview with Peter Bebergal, author of the new book, Season of the Witch: How the Occult Saved Rock and Roll.

The second  comes from The Atlantic on-line, quotation pulled from an interview with Secretary of State John Kerry. "John Kerry explains why world leaders are scared of young people"

 Interestingly, the two articles also reminded me of this passage describing what’s happening via the efforts of the Twisted Messiah movement, a world-wide superstar rock group that has deliberately transitioned into an international quasi-political movement with a lurking undercurrent of potential terrorism, and an army of dead-end kids.

 ‘What’s in the mind of the people behind the Twisted Messiah movement? They already have a world-wide army in the mindless masses of kids who’re ready to follow their Twisted Messiah. It’s my impression that these kids have been brainwashed into believing that their lives are futile, that they have nothing to contribute, nothing to accomplish, and hence nothing to lose if they get into crime or drugs or whatever.  In that sense, they’re a lot like the Islamic martyrs of the middle-east, willing to die for the cause.”

 ”But there’s a difference, a crucial difference. The Islamic terrorists at least have a cause, a belief system that motivates them. These kids, the ones enthralled by the Twisted Messiah message, have no cause, other than destruction for its own sake. Worse, they’re among us, every race and nationality, not just identifiable men with Middle-eastern features.”

This third quotation is from my technothriller, The Grail Conspiracies, iwhich touches on, among other themes, the role of the occult and certain kinds of music, as well as the latent rage of some young people that is waiting to be tapped by those with the right message and the right medium. (To be clear, Twisted Messiah is a fictional group, so far existing only in The Grail Conspiracies.)

Here’s a link to some excerpts from   The Grail Conspiracies, relating to that theme.

Background:  (trying not to be a plot-spoiler):   In my book, theTwisted Messiah group is a world-wide force, first as rock superstars, then emergingh as an international quasi-political force.)

Pussy Riot and Jesse Cripes' Twisted Messiah --political protest rock

Sometimes fiction follows fact; other times the reverse -- a thought that came to mind as I was watching the  60 Minutes segment "Pussy Riot punk band remains defiant of Putin's Russia". To go to that 60 Minutes segment on Pussy Riot

The all female Pussy Riot music protests echo the group Twisted Messiah in my technothriller THE GRAIL CONSPIRACIES, with both similarities and differences.

Pussy Riot was formed to protest alleged election abuses and other anti-democratic action in Putin's Russia. The protests were apparently confined to Moscow. So far as I know, Pussy Riot was not in it for the money. Nor did the Pussy Riot members (or any allies) have political ambitions beyond cleaning up their own governments.

Both the real Pussy Riot and my fictional Jesse Cripes and Twisted Messiah have  names chosen to be deliberately offensive . . . in a variation of the old politician's slogan, "Say anything you will about me, good or bad, just spell my name right."

Pussy Riot (so far) is confined to Russia.  Twisted Messiah (fictionally) takes advantage of rock super-stardom to springboard into a world-wide politically-oriented force.  A (fictional) CIA agent says The Company has come up with the bureaucratic-speak term:  NGPF (Non-Governmental Political Force), a take-off on NGO (Non-Governmental Organization).

The women of Pussy Riot seem to have the aim of doing good for their country; Twisted Messiah and the powers behind it have a very different aim. As a CIA agent says in THE GRAIL CONSPIRACIES,

"The Twisted Messiah fans . .  .most of them, are totally dumb bastards. There's nothing constructive they want to do or build or achieve with their lives so they're choosing the other direction, to be destructive, to wallow  in anger, hatred, darkness.  That's why we consider them the world's worst nightmare.

"Twisted Messiah, the movement, is not just a fan club, it's the functional equivalent of a covert army with terrorist potential, scattered in cells all over the world. Millions of fans, most of them dumb shits with nothing to lose, an army of dead-end kids all around the world, all willing to drink the Kool-Aid. And they've got tons of money, and the contacts to obtain any kind of weapon, even WMD.

"Believe me, you don't want to think about those scenarios when you wake up in the middle of some dark night."

"Have we lost the will to live?"--opinion piece

That's the question raised in a recent USA Today opinion piece by Rebecca D. Costa.  Find it here

She says,

"Thriving, happy, connected human beings don't use guns to harm others, no matter how plentiful. They don't fashion fertilizer or airplanes into bombs. And they don't need the government to regulate these things. Nature has designed us so that the will to live acts as a deterrent against anything that threatens our continuation — including opening fire in a public place.

"Fix this, and it won't be long before gun control is superseded by self-control. And at the end of the day, isn't this a far more lasting alternative than surrendering hard-won liberties?"

I mostly agree.  Thriving, happy, connected human beings do notset out to harm others.  BUT what about those who are not happy, not thriving, and not connected with the rest of the world? What if they are connected only with a sub-culture of anger, hatred, envy and resentment?

And no, contrary to what you might be thinking, I am not (or at least not just) speaking of known terrorist members and groups.

Rather, I'm speaking of a force within the United States and countries of Europe where reside a potential "army" of young disaffected, looking for a messiah . . . or at least something exciting to do. (As in the London riots of summer, 2011.)

What if a non-governmental entity-- a would-be messiah, maybe headed by a charismatic rock group -- set out to enlist that army of the angry?  What if that messiah group, perhaps neo-Nazi in mindset, had access to today's technologies that go far beyond Hitler's Nuremberg rallies  in the power to entrance audiences  . .  . a world-wide audience?

-- That charismatic rock group with world-wide quasi-political ambitions is Twisted Messiah, led by lead singer Jesse Cripes, as in my technothriller, THE GRAIL CONSPIRACIES.


2 novels: one looking at pre-historic cave art in France; the other at the deeper meaning of the Holy Grail

My novel THE GRAIL CONSPIRACIES is a technothriller set in the present, with some plot loops back to World War II, mostly in France, and another loop even further back, to the era of the Knights Templar, alleged guardians of the Holy Grail.

That said, let me recommend another thriller (sort of a technothriller, which I’ll explain below). THE CAVES OF PERIGORD (by Martin Walker) is also set in the present, which also loops back to a good many scenes in the World War II era, mostly in France. And there is another loop even farther back– this time back 17,000 years to the time of the creation of the pre-historic cave dwellings in southern France.

Here the “techno” part of technothriller relates to finding and establishing authenticity of those prehistoric pieces of art.

Martin Walker (day job: foreign correspondent) clearly did heavy research, not just on cave art, but on the realities of life in France during the Occupation, and on the interplay of the various political factions within the Resistance. The German SS Panzer Division, Das Reich, also plays a (not-very-pleasant) role in the story . . . as it does in THE GRAIL CONSPIRACIES.

Interestingly, one of the most clicked-on pages in this blog is my reference to Max Hastings’ book, DAS REICH: The March of the Second Panzer Division Through France, which was one of the reference books I used in the background of The GRAIL CONSPIRACIES.

In a small coincidence, Max Hastings also wrote a newspaper opinion piece in a British paper at the time of the London Riots in the summer of 2011. I linked to that in a couple of earlier posts on this blog, as he describes, very astutely, the sad "army of feral youths" (his very apt term) who were immersed in those riots . . . who are also the same kind / mindset as the (fictional) worldwide army of angry misfits, followers of Twisted Messiah, the fictional rock group with political ambitions in THE GRAIL CONSPIRACIES.

My post at that time was "Twisted Messiah" fan riots improbable? Reality strikes in England!

Link to the Max Hastings article in London Dail Mail on the "army of feral youths" 

Da Vinci's "Vitruvian Man" and The Grail Conspiracies

Cropped cover for blog 2-22-12


When we were designing the cover of my speculative spiritual thriller, THE GRAIL CONSPIRACIES, a montage of Da Vinci's classic drawing, termed the "Vitruvian Man" on "The Eye of God," the NASA photo taken by the Hubble Space Telescope seemed a natural.

God + Da Vinci teaming up  on your cover? Of course! Go for it!

What triggered this blog was my happening on the review of a new book: DA VINCI'S GHOST: Genius, Obsession, and How Leonardo Created the World in His Own Image.

I only came on the review today, so haven't gotten to the book itself, but it sounds fascinating.

You'll find Don Oldenburg's   review  in USA Today.

The  book, in both print and Kindle versions,    is available at Amazon and other sellers . . . ESPECIALLY your local bookshop (which needs your business a lot more than does Amazon).

The book cover was designed by Russ Shoemaker JoinMirac431x650([email protected]) who also designed the cover for my related book, JOINING MIRACLES.


Young German Neo-Nazis, fans of Twisted Messiah, and other angry young people

I was in Munich in the spring of 1992, only a couple of years after the Berlin Wall fell and East and West were reunited into one Germany.

We paused for lunch at an outdoor cafe in the shade of the Cathedral, and happened to share a table with a German lady whose profession was as a specialized translator and tour guide, primarily for business and organizational groups that had a particular interest not just in seeing the landmark sights, but even more in understanding the changes taking place in the economy and society.

First she recommended a special beer that was still brewed by monks in a monastery not far away, beer that (as I recall) was sold only here at this Cathedral cafe and at the monastery.

Then the conversation moved to the changes in the former East Germany, and her concerns of a very significant cadre of angry, disaffected young people roaming and terrorizing. I hadn't heard about that aspect of life in the new Germany, as most of the media focus was on the positive sides of the unification, or on the financial sacrifices resulting as two very different economies struggled to merge.

That image--- of roaming bands of angry, rootless youths drifting and destroying --- stuck with me, and became the model for  the fans of the fictional rock group Twisted Messiah in what would become my speculative thriller, THE GRAIL CONSPIRACIES.

In fiction, I saw Twisted Messiah evolving from just another entertainment group into a world-wide political force, pulling together an "army" of disaffected young people in every nation  . . .angry young with no aims, just a craving for excitment and destruction. And I saw Twisted Messiah (and the powers behind) seeing it as the potential for a non-governmental quasi-political force.

By last summer, The Grail Conspiracies was finished and out in the world. Then life began following the book's plot, beginning with the riots in England.  I posted here in this blog:  ("Twisted Messiah" fan riots improbable? Reality strikes in England! )

"Last week across England it was as if the fictional Twisted Messiah's underground "army" had come to life in their "pre-celebrations". Fact can be at least as strange as fiction, and fiction can "pre-intuit" the facts that may come. One of the characters in The Grail Conspiracies even characterizes people like these: "those who choose to lose.""

In that same blog post I quoted some words from an article by Max Hastings, former editor of two different respected London newspapers, and author of a string of books on World War II and other political topics:

"The depressing truth is that at the bottom of our society is a layer of young people with no skills, education, values or aspirations. They do not have what most of us would call 'lives': they simply exist." And a bit later: "They have their being only in video games and street-fights, casual drug use and crime.

Another from that Max Hastings article: "So there we have it: a large, amoral, brutalised sub-culture of young British people who lack education because they have no will to learn, and skills which might make them employable. They are too idle to accept work waitressing or doing domestic labour, which is why almost all such jobs are filled by immigrants.

"They have no code of values to dissuade them from behaving anti-socially or, indeed, criminally, and small chance of being punished if they do so.

"They have no sense of responsibility for themselves, far less towards others, and look to no future beyond the next meal, sexual encounter or TV football game. "


Later in the summer came the various "Occupy" events. Initially, they were mostly peaceful sit-ins, and they did raise some valid points. (A wide variety of unformed points, some have said.) But then . . .

Now the word among the pundits of left, center, and right is that the Occupy movement has the potential of becoming a very significant force, but currently lacks direction and leadership.

Is Occupy waiting for a  leader with a direction in mind?  Let's hope that leader is not on the model of  Twisted Messiah.


Apropos the above: In Germany, a new film is causing much controversy. The title is HIDDEN HATRED and explores the world of young people in Neo-Nazi type groups. From an  article    on the young people as portrayed in the film,  in the German news magazine SPIEGEL:

"Disillusioned and disconnected, many young people are searching for simple answers, and find them and a sense of belonging in the far-right scene," [said the director of the film in an interview].

My comment: yes, exactly so.  But I think whether they go for the far-right, far-left, or far-out-whatever,  is up for grabs.  The answer may be different in different countries and different cultures.  But, again, I hope the leader (s) is/are not in the mold of Twisted Messiah.




Michael Talbot's books on the new physics, science, faith and the implications of holography

I've been posting some of the most helpful books I relied on as background for  my speculative thriller, THE GRAIL CONSPIRACIES.

Three are by the late Michael Talbot, who, sadly, died at not quite age 40.  This from his bio page on his Amazon author's page:

Michael Coleman Talbot (September 29, 1953 – May 27, 1992) was an American author of several books highlighting parallels between ancient mysticism and quantum mechanics, and espousing a theoretical model of reality that suggests the physical universe is akin to a giant hologram. According to Talbot ESP, telepathy, and other paranormal phenomena are real and are a product of his holographic model of reality.

His books that I used:

MYSTICISM AND THE NEW PHYSICS.  (I used the British edition, Rutledge and Keegan Paul, 1981.)

BEYOND THE QUANTUM: How the secrets  of the new physics are bridging the chasm between science and faith.  (c) 1987, Bantam in the US.

THE HOLOGRAPHIC UNIVERSE.  (c) 1992. New paperback version published in 2011.  This also touches on Karl Pribam's application of holography in his holographic theory of the mind.

Link to Amazon's overview page of Michael Talbot's books