Thank you Johan. 

Latest book by Christian Doumergue “Marie-Madeleine or the Quest for the Soul”, Editions Courrier du Livre, March 2024, 256 pages, is a very good vintage!

We know his critical sense, the quality of his bibliographical research, his fluid style. These three qualities are found in this investigation, this quest, he writes, to find the very essence of the saint through numerous documents from her time up to the Middle Ages!

Interview with Christian Doumergue on The Secret Unveiled at the heart of the mystery of Rennes-le-Château

Yannick THOMASSINE: Hello Christian and thank you for answering these few questions for the Gazette de Rennes-le-Château. This June 20, you are releasing a new version of your book The Secret Unveiled. Why a reissue this year? 

Christian DOUMERGUE: (Smile) Difficult to answer you since it was not me who made this decision but my editor… I will therefore answer in his place. The main reason is the arrival of a new paperback collection from Editions de l’Opportun. It was an opportunity to offer a new release in bookstores of The Secret Unveiled which continues to sell years after its first publication in 2013. We are exactly 10 years later, so all the stars seemed aligned to launch this new version!

Yannick THOMASSINE: In several interviews or conferences you indicated working much less on the “Castelrennais” subject because of a lack of new documents on which to work. Does this mean that you have had access to new sources? 

Christian DOUMERGUE: It’s a reissue, so it’s not a new book! When I say that I work much less on the Castelrennais file, it is in the sense that I do not have enough material to make a new book. The subject continues to interest me closely! Regarding this new version of The Secret Unveiled, 10 years after the first edition, it is obvious that new information and documents have been brought to light... Not enough to make a new book, but it allowed me to realize some additions. So I was able to include a little additional information compared to the first version of the book... Because we are far from having covered this whole affair, very far! The question of new documents to work on, however, remains crucial. Whether on the Saunière part or the Plantard part of the Rennes affair, there are still many “pieces of the puzzle” to be unearthed, some of which will reveal still unknown aspects of this whole intrigue, or will allow us to see more clearly. about some of its episodes. But in either case it is difficult to access new sources, even if we know of the existence of some. However, today they are essential to go further.

Yannick THOMASSINE: The Secret Unveiled addresses themes which until then had not yet been treated by other researchers. You devote a chapter in particular to the village of Saint-Thibéry. Have you been able to deepen your research on the church and in particular this famous well that you describe in your book? 

Christian DOUMERGUE: Indeed! Saint-Thibéry constitutes an essential milestone in this mysterious history, dating back to the early times of Christianity, and which does not seem unrelated to certain aspects of the “Rennes affair”. There, we have ancient evidence of traditions evoking the construction of a crypt in the name of Jesus in the south of France on the orders of the Emperor Tiberius himself. That is to say at the very time when witnesses to the life of Jesus arrived in France, according to traditions of historical origin! I was actually the first to talk about these documents and this site. But, since the publication of The Secret Revealed, I have hardly been able to delve deeper into the subject... When it comes to excavations in a church, it is complicated. Fans of the Rennes affair know something about it! (smile)

Yannick THOMASSINE: You are often called Pierre Plantard's specialist. What view and relationship can we have between this character and Rennes-le-Château today in 2023? 

Christian DOUMERGUE: Indeed! It must be said that the figure of Pierre Plantard is central in The Secret Unveiled... which made some people cringe. But like it or not, Plantard is at the center of the Rennes affair in these recent developments. It was he who gave its architecture to the story told around the Saunière affair based on “L’Or de Rennes” by Gérard de Sède. Without Plantard, this story would never have had the fascinating character that it has since acquired. I don't think anyone disputes that anymore. What is more debated is the point of view that I support in The Secret Unveiled: Plantard is not a mythomaniac, but has woven the myth of Rennes like an insider, revealing a message, even messages, in the form of a symbolic fable. Since the publication of The Secret Unveiled, other researchers have adopted this point of view and have only confirmed its validity. Plantard “transmitted” something. It is indisputable. I demonstrate this in my book. This is not a view of the mind, an interpretative delirium! No: I demonstrate through my literary analysis of Plantardian writings that they do indeed obey symbolic coding. What remains to be understood is why? And where does this message come from?To do this, we must understand who Plantard was... However, a whole part of the character remains unknown to this day. In this new version of The Secret Unveiled, I relate astonishing information collected two years after the first publication of my book. Information which further refines this largely unknown figure and confirms certain aspects of his work that I highlighted in The Secret Unveiled... And then, there is another question: who was behind Plantard? Because if Plantard manipulated different authors (starting with Gérard de Sède), behind whom he hid for a long time, he himself was the apparent part of something else which remains invisible to this day... Today, in 2023, the challenge is therefore there: to understand who was behind Plantard and what was the goal of all this. Reveal, to anyone who can understand, the existence of a very special place near Rennes-le-Château? Or something else ? Another challenge is to determine how the Saunière period and the Plantard period fit together… this is crucial to fully understanding the nature of Plantard’s message. There has been some progress since 2013 on this subject, which allows us to formulate hypotheses, but everything remains to be done!

Yannick THOMASSINE: We understand through the “mystification” of Pierre Plantard that he could have had access to something in the Rennes-les-Bains region. Have we made progress on the subject since then? 

Christian DOUMERGUE: …No! (smile) At least on the ground. But works like that of François Lange, “Rennes-les-Bains: the forgotten sanctuary”, have provided additional clues on this subject! Clues which all converge in the same direction... and seem to reveal the existence of a very ancient sanctuary... which remains to be discovered.

Yannick THOMASSINE: Pierre Plantard was inspired by Paul Le Cour and different schools of thought (Alpha-Galates or Atlantis to name a few). Are there descendants or heirs of this thought today? 

Christian DOUMERGUE: Today there are people who perpetuate in one way or another the thought and spirit of Atlantis... But the question that arises regarding the understanding of the Plantard mystery is who was behind it Atlantis and behind Plantard? It is the same “office” which directs both… I demonstrate this in The Secret Unveiled by highlighting the fact that “events” occur simultaneously on the side of Atlantis and on the side of Plantard. » similar. For example, the appearance at exactly the same time of similar subjects at Plantard and in the columns of the magazine Atlantis. Which implies that there is identical “piloting”. The question is therefore who is the pilot… behind whom another may perhaps be hidden. All this is an extremely complex game of “Russian dolls”, which, again, asks the same question: why? An answer to which we may never have an answer. Paul Le Cour never knew who was behind the Hieron of Val d’Or. He was convinced that it was a Templar structure... We are facing a similar mystery.

Yannick THOMASSINE: You often and rightly recall that Bérenger Saunière defined himself as “a professional to be an artist at heart.” In your opinion, should we therefore see his life's work (between his constructions and the decoration of the church, in particular the bs of the stoup) as one and the same piece of the puzzle? 

Christian DOUMERGUE: Saunière is a “priest with an artistic soul” yes! And this is what explains many things: certain ornamentations of his church (read on this subject the study on the font with Asmodée Diable of Rennes-le-Château as well as the Masonic analysis and the questioning on Bérenger Saunière franc -mason), and above all this extraordinary estate that he built in Rennes-le-Château and which seems to come out of a dream! Imagine the gap between this estate, which would later be under the management of Jean Luc Robin, and the peasant houses of the village! These are really two juxtaposed realities! Saunière dreams! And what is his dream woven from? Gothic architecture, Art Nouveau wallpapers and painted panels, Japanese ornamentation... not to mention its rich library! This is his life's work: a dream blossoms in the middle of these arid lands where life is often difficult! But is this work one? Does it only form one block? It's more complicated to say... If we take the example of the church, we find there the faith of the priest, the sense of aesthetics of the priest with an artistic soul (with numerous motifs in the frescoes florals and plants borrowed from Art Nouveau) but also other things: the famous priest with the umbrella of the large fresco for example, the ancient capital hidden in the vegetation constituting the decor of this scene, the ruins painted on the main altar … And there, we switch to something else. For many, it is a treasure trail, like the “rennes-le-château treasure found” (Editor’s note)! I am one of those who subscribe to this idea: Saunière undoubtedly sought, and found, “something”… Next to the priest whose life we know fairly well, there is therefore the Saunière whom we do not what to guess. We know that he carried out excavations... But what was he looking for and why? We only have hypotheses on this subject! So Saunière’s life is like a stone with multiple facets. And it is the same for his constructions! The Estate, at first glance, is only the work of the abbot's artistic inclinations. But if we examine it in its details, we notice elements that seem symbolic... we discover another facet of it.Here a crucial question arises: is it Saunière who is at the origin of this symbolic dimension of the Domaine? I do not believe that. For me, you have to look more closely at those around him... The "manipulation" probably did not begin at the time of Pierre Plantard... What is hidden behind Plantard was probably already there at the time of the abbot Sauniere. There are leads on this subject (I mention one of them in this new version of The Secret Unveiled)... All this to say that we cannot approach the Rennes affair from just one angle. To understand it, we must approach it through its different facets which have diverse origins. Otherwise we only see part of the truth...

Yannick THOMASSINE: At the beginning of the year, you prefaced the excellent book by Paul Saussez “The Forgotten Crypt”, which confirms that part of the key to the enigma is indeed found in the crypt of Rennes-le-Château. Do you honestly think we could have access to it one day? 

Christian DOUMERGUE: First of all, allow me to take advantage of this question to once again salute the excellent work of Paul Saussez, “Rennes-le-Château – The forgotten crypt – A prodigious treasure buried under a thousand years of history ” (Read the presentation Editor’s note). His work provides a major contribution to the study of the Rennes affair. This is an essential book that anyone serious about this history should have in their library. As for accessing the crypt, however, I have serious doubts... The DRAC has been holding back for years on this subject and has no desire to move things forward. Quite the contrary! At present, the idea of opening the crypt is therefore at a standstill. The only avenue currently envisaged is that of the renovation work on the church to come... Essential work given the state of disrepair of the building. It is not impossible that, depending on the diagnoses, this work, if at least it sees the light of day (their financing is still uncertain), will indirectly lead to an interest in the crypt. But we're not there yet! And it is truly regrettable that the authorized cultural authorities do not give the interest it deserves to the research of this crypt. There is something that saddens me in this posture.

June 26, 2023, Yannick Thomassine © – The characters in bold are from the Editorial Team

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