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In a small village not far from Carcassonne in Southern France, a unknown priest collapses, struck by a possible heart attack at the age of 65. It is the 17th January 1917! He is in the tower that adorns his magnificent property, a tower that he had specially built which he called Magdalene. His lifelong confidante and maid, Marie Dénarnaud, found him collapsed. She has him carried to his bed where he will agonise for a further 5 days before dying on the 22nd January.

This priest became the famous Bérenger Saunière and this is the end of his life - a life full of tales and intrigues, a life, it must be said, which was very strange. With his death there begins to be told a wonderful story among the surrounding villages and villagers: that a country priest with much energy and colourful behaviour found a treasure or a secret which made him a rich man, which allowed him to realise all the astonishing architectural arrangements he made on the land he was able to buy and where he built his domain. His domain was at Rennes-le-Château. His story has developed for years and years after the death of Saunière. And today the modern 'mystery' of Rennes-le-Château is set against an even more astonishing historical backdrop.

The general region of the Aude where Saunière lived is littered with stories, legends and folklore about the mysterious Cathars and other persecuted religious sects, the Knights Templar [or perhaps we should say, the Roussillon Templars] and their related families and patrons, the wandering secretive Troubadours and the exile of important New Testament biblical figures to the area, particularly members of the Herodian family during Roman times. There are legends of biblical figures coming ashore in the area carrying with them the Holy Grail or another fascinating artefact  -  the 'mummified body of Christ'. Does the area also conceal the lost Treasure of Jerusalem?

Could any of these legends and oral stories be connected in some way and relate to the famous priest Bérenger Saunière? If exiled Herodian family members died in the local area did they bring knowledge and information  regarding the life of the historical Jesus - particularly as the Herodian family and their court were key leaders in the society that Jesus lived in. The Herodian family as well as the Herodians were also members of his early entourage and and formed part of the Jesus movement which later became Christianity.

All this certainly became fodder for the machinations of a bizarre and not so secret Secret Society, the Priory of Sion. The original Priory consisted mainly of two steering characters - Pierre Plantard and Philippe de Chérisey. They were later joined by Gérard de Sède. 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 three of them make up all sorts of stories and add to the existing mystery?

If so, for what reason?

Chérisey often depicted himself on an initiatic journey and used Tarot metaphors to describe his quest. He could be a Bateleur he said - 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. Both can indeed be associated with trickster-wizards, both creating deceptive appearances or impressions 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!

Gérard de Sède was also an important person in his own right. He was Baron de Lieoux and came from a Comminges family ennobled in 1657 by the capitoulate of the city of Toulouse. It is this village under the reign of Caligula that Herod Antipas was exiled along with his wife Herodias, and her daughter Salome.

Plantard 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. She allegedly told Corbu that she knew a secret pertaining to religion and promised Corbu that it would make him very powerful.

This may be related to an anecdote often repeated. Denarnaud herself, after the death of her beloved priest, gave religious lessons in the village & taught Catholicism in the Sunday school at Rennes. A village elder who attended one of these readings recalled one lesson in particular, saying that Marie, when she had finished the lesson, closed the Bible, looked at the children and said ‘my poor kids, if you only knew.’

This anecdote was reported by the then 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?

Rhedesium is unpretentious. It does not purport to have solved anything but only reveals the work of researchers who have something interesting to say.

“How do we do it?”

Researchers offer their ideas and theories and this website will endeavour to respectfully 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 however obscure. This is what i like to call the Ariadne Thread of Rennes. The ancients called this intuition sometimes the 'third ear' - a popular term for the practice of listening for the deeper layers of meaning in order to glean what has not been said outright. It stems from medieval thought often illustrated on medieval Cathedrals where, for example, 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 see as well as hear! Like Newton's 'eureka' moment - that sudden moment of triumphant discovery, inspiration or insight. You suddenly understand a previously incomprehensible problem or concept.

For Rhedesium it is also imperative to keep an open mind because we do not always have all the information required to 'solve' the mystery. What information we do have is scrambled and disparate, deliberately so. This means we are invariably trying have 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].

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'. 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, while the non-believers believe the 'mystery' can be explained by asserting that Saunière was a liar and a fraudster.

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. 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. Then 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! Paul Saussez was right - Saunière was looking for something! No researcher can explain satisfactorily these actions and what Saunière was up to.

So this site has various sections - navigatable along the top of the pages. The main section - ARTICLES - is sub-divided into 39 sections and covers every conceivable angle about the Mystery of the Two Rennes. I hope you find something of interest and enjoy the site and fall in love with the mystery that is Rennes-le-Chateau!

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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