On the occasion of the tragic international situation relating to the conflict in Ukraine, we interviewed Marco Rigamonti, Grand Master of the Prieuré de Sion – Ordre de la Rose-Croix Véritas, a cultural and spiritual association of chivalry inspiration, protagonist of the famous novel by Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code.

According to chronicles, the Prieuré de Sion is a cultural association founded by Pierre Plantard dissolved in 1956 and dissolved by the same in 2001 to be reconstituted in 2015 and made its first public appearance after 14 years, in Rennes Le Château, an occitan, french village, traditionally linked to the Priory, during an event in which the current Grand Master, Marco Rigamonti, made a donation to the Municipality on behalf of the association, in order to contribute to the restoration of the vandalized churc’s statue.

As the spiritual leader and President of a cultural association extended throughout Europe, with offices also scattered outside the European Union itself, Marco Rigamonti felt the desire to express his testimony and chose the Washington Mail to do so.

IN: Welcome and thank you for releasing this interview.

MR: Thank you for the opportunity, you are one of the US newspapers that I follow with the greatest interest, it is therefore a real pleasure to be hosted on your pages.

IN: Grand Master, as you had anticipated, you felt the urge to issue declarations regarding the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

MR: Exactly, as a representative of the Priory of Sion, which in addition to being a cultural association that has a very strong sense of tradition, is above all a spiritual communion, I could not remain silent in the face of what is happening and the repercussions I see look out on the horizon.

IN: Are you referring to the social and economic costs that a world conflict could bring?

MR: Yes, because I see two great threats on the horizon, one more immediate, which consists in an international escalation of the conflict, and on the other side, the threat that together with this tragedy, a culture of war is established, as a better and more efficient response aimed at stemming disagreements and conflicts of a political nature. This combination of intentions and actions would leave no way out for today’s society as we know it and could drag us all into a world war of proportions and duration impossible to quantify.

IN: What do you think the solution would be?

MR: Carl von Clausewitz, General of the Prussian army, once said that “War is nothing but the continuation of politics by other means. War is therefore not only a political act, but a true instrument of politics, a continuation of the political procedure, its continuation by other means. ” I would add that it is a continuation of a failed political procedure, and it is precisely in that failed conjuncture that action must be taken before it degenerates and crystallizes into a real war conflict.

IN: In your opinion, how could be facilitated a process of dialogue and detente in this sense?

MR: I think the first step would be to recognize each other, at least to some extent, the reasons of the counterpart , in order to begin a process of “humanization” towards the other party, no longer seen as a cruel and ruthless enemy, but as political entities made up of persons who want to protect their people and their security. Only by giving each other this possibility, the necessary predisposition for a dialogue can occur, which has a real possibility of being effective in resolving the conflict and of laying the foundations to act as an antibody against the possibility of future conflicts.

IN: What do you think of the fact that several European countries are sending weapons to Ukraine to help it defend itself in the conflict?

MR: Ukraine is a country now ravaged by war, which will bear the scars of the ongoing conflict, for who knows how long, yet. The current risk, however, is that this conflict could be fueled precisely by the sending of weapons and that it may even extend rapidly to other countries, bringing more war, more death, more destruction and increasing the number of active participants to the conflict, in a destructive spiral that it will no longer be possible to control.
I don’t think you can put out a fire with petrol, just as you can’t dampen a conflict by intervening with a constant and massive dispatch of weapons.

IN: On the other side, we know the international institutions reiterate that there are solidarity pacts between Western nations, whose values have been recognized by Ukraine through its President, besides that, observing the situation from an ethical perspective, the political institutions believe that the attacked country, therefore Ukraine, cannot be left alone to face a conflict against a military power like Russia. What do you think about this?

MR: At this point, responding as someone who has peace and well-being for the peoples as the primary interest, I believe that the prolongation of the dispatch of weapons will make it impossible to calm the conflict, and possibly, it will cause an expansion of the same, therefore beyond any other consideration, the concrete consequences will be these, therefore more and more victims and more and more destruction. If President Zelenskyi continues to receive weapons and military support, he will be less and less inclined to a peaceful resolution, indeed, he will cultivate in himself a hope of ever greater and more direct intervention in his favor by the military forces of the countries he considers friends. because they are currently sending him weapons.

IN: Let me understand, are you therefore proposing to leave Ukraine to itself?

MR: By my perspective, i do think that a moral responsibility increase exponentially if actions and choices has the expansion and worsening of the conflict as a direct consequence.

IN: But according to your perspective, what would be, concretely, the meeting point that could lead to a resolution of the peace crisis?

MR: I think that concreteness is a good and right thing, always if it takes into account the vast field of interests and temporal perspectives at stake.
We observe our cities, our historic centers, some neighborhoods have existed for hundreds of years, through which they were built, then maintained through the work and effort of all and a few bombs and a few days of conflict are enough to raze historic cities to the ground.

Physical security is also linked to well-being and economic stability and everything we own as private and individual property is also the result of the work of others. The car, the house that you own, is due to the well-being of the whole economy, which then allows the individual to spend to the extent that actully is enable to do so. Individual wealth is never just individual, but is a reflex of the general wealth belonging the society in question, we should never forget it.
Therefore the war affects everyone, being able to practically raise to the ground the economic, commercial and industrial resources of a country in a very short time and leaving no way out for anyone, because the losses will reverberate on everyone, even on those who believe they could come out of it unharmed.

Even more important, I believe it is to take this terrible opportunity to relaunch the culture of peace and love among peoples, so that all this never happens again.

IN: Thank you very much, Grand Master Marco Rigamonti, for your testimony as a contemporary spiritual leader and we hope that other exponents of religious or spiritual societies will have their say on what is happening, because understanding always passes from the debate on the points of view more disparate, but having a deep awareness under the anthropological and social perspective.

MR: Thank you for giving me voice about this crucial historical conjuncture, and it was a pleasure for me.