For many the mystery of Rennes-le-Château Sauniere, remains only a legend, which belongs to the world of myth, of fantasy sometimes of secular propaganda, which precedes the Orthodox tradition, the charm of heresy. In reality according to many experts, Sauniere as well as Boudet were only simple, ignorant and mentally closed country parishions who devoted themselves passionately to the simple administration of traditional Catholic worship. But is that really the case? At a careful and prejudice-free study, Sauniere (and also Boudet, Gelis and Bigou) appear deeply complex and ambiguous, suspended between heresy and sincere devotion. The question that arises is what, in reality, were they really devoted to? And what is actually hidden and hidden in Rennes? 

A question that is still difficult to answer as there is a huge amount of material that unfortunately often turns out to be partly tampered with, manipulated, when not hidden and censored. Nevertheless, at an albeit approximate examination of the data, a labile certainty emerges: contrary to what is expected of a faithful member of the Holy Mother Church, Sauniere and others for him, built a real epic, relating to a fabulous and mysterious treasure that would seem to oscillate between the material and the spiritual. Numerous researchers, esoterics, mere curious, have tried their hand at solving the mystery, venturing hypotheses that, sometimes, are placed at the limit of human reason, and that alternate between political conspiracy and ufological hypotheses. Among all the various theories and conflicting voices, some certainties remain: the obvious presence of symbols that recall, in an almost obsessive way, the heretical tradition. This revival contains several elements: alchemical, rosicrucian, hermetic, Masonic, Gnostic and Templar doctrines. As well as hints of the ancient traditions of the Egyptian mystery schools. Regardless, therefore, of the presence or not of a treasure, Rennes attracts above all for its being a centre of alternative knowledge. This force of mystery acts as a symbol, attracting all those who seek, those in possession of solid certainties, to those who ask questions and those who do not, to those who are satisfied with the everyday and to those who assiduously seek a way to reach the absolute. And this is perhaps the true potential of Berenger Sauniere's story, having created voluntarily or in good faith, a pole of attraction that conveys the millennial aspirations of man, his religiosity and the sense of the sacred.

As he claims in his book, Mario Arturo Iannaccone - il-tesoro-di-renne-le-chateau-leggenda-o-realta-a-cura-di-alessandra-micheli, Rennes becomes a myth of the postmodern, a postmodern in crisis that, like it or unwilling, re-evaluates the cultural assumptions of tradition, reworking them and above all rejecting consolidated traditions almost with hatred. The myth of Rennes pushes the search, the formulation of questions, irresistibly attracts with its symbolic force, to its being, after all, eternal archetype: the search for knowledge and the ultimate Truth about the origins of man. Therefore, it cannot be ignored how, in that mystery, in that church, a sort of amalgam of sacred knowledge is codified that pose itself as an alternative to the religious paradigm dominated. It preserves and hands down ancient concepts such as the royal priesthood, (impersonated by the Merovingians) the inner revelation as a path of salvation, (the gnosis) which, according to Cathars, Rosicrucians, Freemasons and hermetists, could achieve resurrection in life and finally, the rediscovery of the sacred Feminine and the sacred sexuality as a means of reuniting with God (as the alchemical theory theorises). These doctrines never disappeared definitively, despite the antagonism of the Roman Church, but they went beyond the history similar to an underground river, which emerging at times, showed (despite differences related to the historical period in which they moved) common elements that united them in a system, all in all, coherent almost impossible to break. A system that reminds us how, perhaps, there are other truths, other forms of thought, perhaps ignored by the majority but endowed with destructive force capable of inducing a change, not only in man, but also and above all, in our historical, cultural and religious perspective. For example, if, as was believed in the fourth century, she was the Madgdalene depository of the authentic message of Christ, all the apostolic and mythical tradition of the Roman church should be revised and corrected. This is because, every religious system, is based on widely shared assumptions of thought, in particular not so much on historical facts, as on mythical traditions and acts of faith. When these fail, either the aforementioned system adapts to the context by changing its cultural and theological assumptions like the collective consciousness, or it finds itself overwhelmed, progressively losing legitimacy and support. And this is the threat of the alternative Church, the replacement of the original symbolic material with a new one that, however, has its roots in a mythical, sacred and imaginary heritage that the official Church has eradicated, often with violence. A heritage that belongs to the heart of humanity. That of Rennes undoubtedly represents an anti-Christian legend that is mixed and confused with the ethnological heritage of the stories of the Grail, of sacred femininity as a veneration of a Goddess Prigenia.

In search of the treasure

Over the years, numerous assumptions have been made about what Sauniere had really found. It is a treasure that belonged to Blanche of Castile, Alaric and the Cathars. In fact, the idea was proposed that, under the floor of the church, the Holy Grail, the ark of the covenant or the treasure of the temple in Jerusalem should be buried. Some researchers speculate that the whole story with his church, the quirks, the inconsistencies, hide a map of the treasure, and that in the surroundings of Rennes the tomb of Jesus Christ is hidden. And it is this burning secret that, by belying the foundations on which Catholicism is based, allowed the curate to blackmail Rome by making him immensely rich. A fascinating hypothesis but one that does not take into account the ups and downs experienced by the curate. In fact, if it was thanks to blackmail that he enjoyed that extraordinary wealth, it is not explained why the change of the bishops found himself in difficulty. Such a secret would have terrified every faithful member of the Holy Mother Church. No one would have dared to oppose him. Rather, it seems to be faced with two opposing and hostile currents with each other: a let's say orthodox strand headed by Monsignor de Beausejor and a heretical strand led by Billard and Boudet, which followed a precise but mysterious drawing whose active arm was Berenger Sauniere. And it is in line with these reflections that other authors claim that the curate had found a secret place of worship, considering that in the decorations of the church there are many alchemical and rosicrucian symbols. Stir and interest then aroused the book by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, Henry Licoln The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail.

The thesis supported by the authors, which is the raison d'etre of the phantom Priory of Zion, concerns the nature of the scrolls found by Sauniere. These would contain important genealogical information proving the survival of the Merovingian dynasty. Therefore, following this logical thread, there would still be a legitimate heir to the throne of France.

Not only that. The same scrolls would support another fact of capital importance: the Merovingian dynasty, wearing a legendary magical halo of importance is because of the fact that they descend from nothing less than from the union of the Magdalene with Jesus. In my opinion, this thesis has nothing magical or mystical in my opinion; it is fully part of the field of the power struggle that has always crossed man. A descent of Christ would not only call into question the entire political edifice of the Vatican, but is part of the corpus of theories of political power, theories that are committed to explaining and finding a more or less rational legitimacy, to the authority that some exercise over the multitude of citizens. Let's say a variant of the divine right of kings (although the interesting theory therefore, contains in itself a greater hereticity). And sincerely applying it to the entire Rennes affair diminishes its initiatical and magical value. According to Massimo Introvigne, finally, the whole Rennes affair is a skillful machination, exploited for economic and tourist purposes. Yet, such a statement risks being deeply biased, dictated by an Orthodox mind that refuses to take note of the numerous quirks and inconsistencies present in the church and the entire region. However, one fact is certain: Sauniere was individually careful to introduce elements of a symbolic and allegorical mold as well as to disseminate the architecture of clues that are strongly out of tune with the dominant orthodoxy. There is, without a shadow of a doubt, the certainty (at least that) of a deep interest in esotericism and alternative truths.

It is a fact that the cathedrals are a mixture of elements of various traditions able to provide the faithful, in a syncretic way, with the opportunity to approach the dominant cult while not feeling too disappointed by their cultural roots. Roots that, however, the church of Rome tried to eradicate. The presence of pagan elements responds, therefore, to a sociological and practical need; a means of easily converting the faithful, making the traditions and messages of other forms of spirituality their own. What makes the church of Rennes-le-Château unique and fascinating, however, is the feeling that the symbols are not at the service of the dominant orthodoxy but remain disturbingly visible, almost to show the faithful the existence of an alternative way to the one with the divine. Never had a Catholic priest shown that he adhered so openly to pagan-gnostic heresy. What did Sauniere find so shocking? And most importantly, did he actually find anything? And was that something in the crypt or was it part of an oral tradition, handed down by generation and generation?

Legend has it that Sauniere discovered a treasure, whose value oscillates between the material and the spiritual and which had the power to upset the assumptions of Christianity itself. Whether it is proof of a descent of Jesus, of his marriage to the Magdalene, of the continuation of the Davidian dynasty, where the very blood of God would flow in the veins of the alleged heirs, it is certain that we are faced with a possible allegory. The first hypothesis that can be easily formulated, and which seems more logical to formulate, and leads back to the Cathar and Gnostic ideas that rework and re-interpret the events of Jesus. Yet, deep down, these heretically ideas were not so much secret. They were traditions that, although in exile, although opposed, persecuted, fought, were part of the local culture of the region, ideas that yelled in silence but gave a sign of their presence. Ideas that, although apparently hidden and underground, occasionally emerged and which had given life to the esoteric movements and the secret sects. Like Freemasonry and Rosicrucians but also Wicca and Neopagan movements. Although ignored by the many, by the masses, they were the main protagonists of the intellectual life of the time, as well as became bulwards of political claims and revolutionary and reformist anxieties. Politics and religion, esoteric knowledge and hegemonic aims, these are the two extremes between which the mystery of Rennes moves. Between mystifications, manipulations and half-truths, an important and fundamental reality shines: the eternal search for the gnosis. The desire to challenge the dogmas and the predominance of every institution that poses itself as the sole holder of Truth and power. It was the cursed and blessed gift at the same time of the fall/ascension of our progenitors when, not fully satisfied with their daily reality, they had the daring to appropriate the gift of the knowledge of good and evil, overcoming and challenging the limits imposed by the God of being and forms. If Sauniere was connected to these considerations, his discovery was not, perhaps, a real discovery; it was an attempt to defy the status quo, to seduce curious minds, and why not, to use such clues to induce a change of perspective. All this was made possible precisely by the mysterious halo that made the treasure capable of attracting, of pushing to research, to hypotheses. Therefore increasingly dangerous, insidious and suitable for manipulation of mystifications.

It was secrecy of the real secret, the winning force of the underground current. Our parish priest was certainly so intelligent and crazy to do it and brave to the extreme, to be at odds with authority. But he was also, perhaps, protected by those who saw in such a stance an excellent tactic of radical political change. The union of political and magical, was the daughter of a certain intellectual elite that strangely, while placing itself outside the usual legitimacy, still had its own peculiar legitimacy, that of the return to tradition. And the return to tradition had a wide range of options: from pagan anarchy to the esoteric monarchy, the sole holder of the covenant between God and men. And here are the ancient principles of the royal priesthood, to merge or regain their place in history, a place usurped by the disastrous democracy that was complicit in secularism and scientific rationalism, had broken the original ties between the sacred and men. Yet, ironically, secularism was the right ground for the re-emergence of such trends. Thanks to Enlightenment secularism it was possible to liberate oneself from the tyranny of Catholic authority, from superstition and dogmas and to immerse oneself in the study, in metaphysical speculations, in search of alternative hypotheses, giving the underground current new energy. As the strange arrangement of statues and pagan elements seems to suggest.

Reproduced from HERE