Like Saunière's colleague Henri Boudet we are all trying to penetrate the secret of a local history.

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The famous 'mystery' at Rennes-le-Château is set against a historical backdrop encompassing many centuries which may trace back to the greatest religious and archaeological treasure of all, the lost looted Temple of Solomon treasure. These key symbols of the Jewish faith - including the golden candelabrum [Menorah], the silver trumpets and the bejewelled Table of the Divine Presence
were ransacked from the Temple by the Roman emperor Titus, along with written scrolls and other items, vividly described by the historian Josephus, who was a witness to the events. The spoils were paraded through ancient Rome in a triumphal procession to be deposited in the newly built [by Vespasian] Temple of Peace for all Roman citizens to marvel upon.

The treasure was both powerful and symbolic!

Around 400 years later it was stolen from the Temple of Peace by the Visigoths and was hidden by them somewhere in their Kingdom of Toulouse and it is where historians lose track of its whereabouts. The Visigothic Kingdom of Toulouse was in the region of ancient Gaul [modern Aude].
As time went on this Aude region became littered with stories and folklore about mysterious medieval knights, persecuted religious sects and heresies in high degree along with the rise of the Troubadour poets and minstrels. It harboured legends about the lost Treasure of Jerusalem.
Other strange legends concerning the last resting place of the 'mummified body of Christ' and, indeed, other biblical characters appeared.

Alongside these very old and popular stories handed down for generations in an aural fashion [and popularly believed to have a historical basis] are other 'facts' about high ranking Roman families from New Testament times [particularly the Herodian family] who were exiled to the general area of the Aude during Roman times. Could any of these legends and facts be connected in some way? Did information known by certain Herodian family members who ended their days in the Aude region still be remembered - information that may have a bearing on the historical Christ - especially as the Herodian family and their court were key leaders and players in the society that the historical Jesus lived and preached in?

It is in to this backdrop that the famous priest Saunière was born. He became priest of the village of Rennes-le-Château at the end of the 19th century. Did Saunière know anything about these legends - or was it perhaps his estranged colleague Henri Boudet, fellow priest at the twin village of Rennes-les-Bains who knew certain things? Or was Saunière just a local fraudster, as others claim, with a history of criminal activity as the Church [his employer] at the time asserted?

All this became fodder for the machinations of a bizarre and not so secret Secret Society, the Priory of Sion. As far as our current knowledge dictates this Priory consisted mainly of two steering characters - Pierre Plantard and Philippe de Chérisey. They had, between them, added more information to the Saunière drama. But was this inside information about the Affair of the Two Rennes or did the two of them make up all sorts of stories and add them to the existing mystery? If so, for what reason? Was it for effect or did they want to impart clues to their audience? Who were their intended audience? Where did they get their information?

Chérisey often depicted himself as a type of ancient fool character [adopted from the le Fou/Le Mat  card as found in the Tarot card decks] on an initiatic journey. Chérisey certainly used Tarot metaphors to describe his quest. He could also more precisely be a Bateleur - a "sleight of hand artist" and a "Personne qui amuse le public, en plien vent, par de bouffonneries, des tours de force ou d'adresse', the English translation being 'A person who entertains the public, literally .... by great energy or by great stretches of the imagination or mode of speech'.

This fits Chérisey to a 'tee'. He was an actor, an author, a radio personality and an extraordinary literary wit and fabulous writer, much under-estimated in my view. But to my mind it also fits Plantard. He too was an author, poet and a visionary if you will. He was perhaps not as talented as Chérisey in writing terms [interestingly Plantard once described Cherisey's writing as 'deathless' prose!] but both can be associated with the Bateleur/Magician imagery and iconography, suggesting they were "trickster-wizards". They are tricksters because they create a deceptive appearance or impression, so as to speak of something else entirely! In this guise both Plantard & Chérisey were able to throw off superficial researchers .... and this has in nearly all circumstances worked! Because of this, it is my firm view, that both Plantard and Chérisey have been grossly misunderstood. They are labelled fakes, charlatans and hoaxers by those who did not know them and who do not want to understand them and by those who exercise their own agenda.

Plantard and Chérisey did - in their own individual styles, different yet so complimentary - tell us things we did not know regarding the mystery of the two Rennes and to which, in the end, many have chosen not to listen.

This site attempts to re-dress the balance.

Plantard had met Noel Corbu, the person who inherited the Saunière estate directly from Marie Denarnaud. Denarnaud was Saunière's lifelong companion and confidante. She was by his side when he made his 'discoveries', she was by his side when he was digging in the cemetery of the church at Rennes and upturning graves in the dead of night. She was the one who covered for him by sending out pre-prepared fake letters when he was missing from the village, to make it look like he was still in the village! She said to Corbu that she knew a secret pertaining to religion and promised Corbu that one day she would tell him and it would make him very powerful. This may be related to a anecdote often repeated. Denarnaud herself, after the death of her beloved priest, gave religious lessons in the village & often taught Catholicism in the Sunday school at Rennes. A village elder who attended these readings recalled one lesson in particular, saying that Marie, when she had finished, closed the Bible, looked at the children and said ‘my poor kids, if you only knew.’ This anecdote was reported by Mairie of Rennes-le-Chateau contender, Jean Luc-ROBIN, before his untimely death.

What could she have possibly meant by that statement?

What do we do at Rhedesium?

French researcher Jérôme Choloux said of his website that it was created out of a passion for Rennes-le-Château research. So to is this site. Rhedesium was created out of a passion for the area of Rennes-le-Château and its history. Rhedesium is unpretentious. It does not purport to have solved anything but only reveals the work of researchers who have the same passion and who have something interesting to say. However, as many of us have certain biases the Rhedesium website and Journal declares that it has a personal interest in the archaeology of the region, but especially the legends of the historical Christ and other biblical characters said to have arrived in the Aude in Roman times.

Rhedesium would like the truth about Rennes-le-Château to be told. It does not subscribe to the elitist attitude that any religious or holy mystery is not 'for the dogs'. I say religious or holy mystery only because the 'modern' mystery starts with a priest. I believe that in 2012 and beyond, nothing within this mystery has a right to be kept secret, whatever it may turn out to be and regardless of how others might view it based on their own religious or political or personal/family views.

“How do we do it?”

The information on this site is given freely – because any information given to me was also given freely. Many researchers offer their ideas and theories and this website will endeavour to present them in a way for all those who are interested in the subject to read about. This website does not champion one theory to the exclusion of all others. Contemporary texts are looked at, reproduced and at times translated. Links are provided. All manner of resources are utilised - British and French libraries, internet forums, local and contemporary archaeological societies, newspapers, blogs, discussion forums etc.

Rhedesium advocates the use of intuition. Not that type of intuition where one just sits in a chair and trusts without exercising intelligence. Not the intuition where one links one idea to another with no logic and then progressively ends up with wild fantastical and illogical theories. One must study the subject deeply, cover all the numerous possibilities and scenarios of  'truth' because a chance exists that odd links which do not seem to fit may very well be correct, however obscure. This is what i like to call the Ariadne Thread of Rennes. The ancients called this intuition the 'third ear' - a popular term for the use of intuition, sensitivity, and awareness. It stems from medieval thought illustrated on medieval Cathedrals where doves can be seen putting their beaks in an owl's ear. This is Athena's owl and represents access to knowledge. It is the way of getting your subtle ear unblocked so you can hear!

When your gut instinct tells you what is - and isn't - important this produces a feeling of apprehension regarding the true nature of that information. I kind of liken it to Newton's 'eureka' moment - that sudden, triumphant discovery, inspiration or insight. This is the common human experience of suddenly understanding a previously incomprehensible problem or concept.

For Rhedesium it is imperative to keep an open mind because we do not always have all the information required to 'solve' the mystery. What information there is, is scrambled and disparate, deliberately so. This means we have to try to understand an incomprehensible problem or concept from limited information. We must also enter the minds of poets who have written on this subject and the way they are trying to communicate to us [this is richly described in my article HERE]. Because of this we must empty ourselves of pre-conceptions and start from the beginning and think how our protagonists thought through history. It is sometimes supremely difficult to grasp this aspect, even for trained modern historians. By utilising these insights it is hoped that there will be a penetrating mental discernment where we may see the inner character or underlying truth of the issue. Like a 'birds eye' view - it will give us the ability to have a clear, deep and sudden understanding of this complicated mystery.

Einstein said; "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honours the servant and has forgotten the gift". Rennes researchers seem to have given way to the servant by the adage that 'if it isn't written down and provable, it isn't true'. The sacred gift of insight is forgotten - and they ignore the power or act of seeing into a situation or penetrating a deeper issue. They ignore the inner nature of things or refuse to see intuitively just for the benefit of the servant.

Both approaches in and of themselves are legitimate but the total exclusion of one or the other is probably not the best way to delve in to this mystery! These two types of thinking accurately describe the different 'seekers' in the Rennes Affair. Commonly known as the believers and the non-believers. The believers think more is happening than meets the eye in the affair of the Two Rennes, while the non-believers believe the 'mystery' can be explained by asserting that Saunière was a liar and a fraudster. Some researchers aggressively accuse all associated in the entire 'mystery' as being liars, or fraudsters or hoaxers or criminals and that includes the researchers! It is not difficult to see that this attitude belies a hidden agenda by those that promote it.

There are elements of the Saunière story that cannot be 'explained away' by the assertions made by the 'non-believers', for example, the simple 'traffic in masses' theory. Intuition should tell you that Saunière digging tombs up in the cemetery at night with Denarnaud was odd behaviour and a red flag - suggesting something not quite right was happening. Prepared letters sent out by Denarnaud when Saunière was away from the village to make it look like he wasn't away from the village is odd behaviour and a red flag. The actions Saunière took inside his church were odd. The altar to the Virgin not far from the original pulpit was removed and Saunière built concealed recesses here. Why? A red flag! The famous discovery of a tomb on 21/9/1891 culminates at the end of all his actions trying to control access to the church and cemetery and after he had been digging around in the cemetery and church. After Saunière wrote this specific entry in his diary, he recorded that he left for a retreat, visited various priests and then returned back to the village. There is a visit from 4 unknown colleagues to see him at Rennes and then Saunière begins new work in the church with a new set of workmen. All of these actions intuitively should be a red flag to you! No researcher can explain satisfactorily these actions and what Saunière was up to.

“Whom do we do it for?”

The magic of research and learning and discovering in relation to Rennes-le-Château has left some of us jaded. The genre has become littered with charlatans and money makers and unsavoury characters which make it easier for the non-believers to cry 'hoax' for the mystery. Being directly associated with the worst charlatan of all - under these circumstances i decided that it would be best to work alone - hence this website and the creation of the magazine. As one fellow researcher told me [one who i totally respect and who in my opinion had 100% integrity] during this particularly horrific time, i might be 'redeemed' [ i.e do something that compensates for poor judgement in the past] through the website and magazine.

The website is here for other researchers to use as they see fit and to avail themselves of the information that is here. It is to provide ideas and points of view perhaps not considered before by researchers. It is to provide translations of documents to make them accessible to the English speaking world. It is to foster good relations with French researchers and others. It is for those researchers who are responsible, do not break the law [in the process of their research] and for those who respect the villages of Rennes-le-Chateau and Rennes-les-Bains and the locality, the people who live there and the history of the area.

This site does not advocate trespassing and carrying out illegal activities on private property in the name of 'research' in any way.

It is for those who genuinely seek the truth and would like to know the truth for truths sake.

“What value are we bringing?"

The value will be for the English speaking world to be opened up to the world of the French view of the mystery, as well as to expand, review and update their own ideas with new knowledge. I would argue that there is a great divide between the English view of the Saunière story [Jesus married Mary Magdalene and had offspring which - to me - seems a total red herring even if the scenario is possible historically] and the French view [which seems predominately to be about a tomb of Christ or at least an important biblical character buried in the area]. Therefore the value, hopefully of this site, is that in a very small way, however clumsily, the imbalance is redressed for English researchers and a more accurate truthful image of the Affaire de Rennes is obtained.

As well as this site there is a magazine also published - which you can view HERE.

I am currently working on a new analysis of LE SERPENT ROUGE

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