The 'Parchment' Mysteries….

                 I was perusing my old copies of the Rennes Observers (the journal of the now defunct Rennes Group) and in Issue 52 there was a short article written by Stephen Anderson about the 'Original Parchments' [of the Sauniere affair] held by Jean-Luc Chaumeil. Chaumeil took great delight in bandying about these parchments in a BBC programme, the History of a Mystery, a programme which rubbished the research of Andrews and Schellenberger.  Although they are called ‘parchments’ this is misleading. The documents that Chaumeil produced are not parchment and are actually paper, and photocopies at that. But for brevity's sake i will continue to call the papers 'parchments'. 

The ‘parchments’ in the Rennes Affair take the form of two pieces of Latin text, on two pieces of separate paper. There is a smaller parchment and a larger one. It has recently been discovered that the Latin text of the smaller parchments was ‘lifted’ from a famous biblical manuscript called the Codex Bezae [you can read more about this manuscript below] - a codex which in its original form dating back to around the 5th century. [Incidentally i have located the text of the Lazarus text, i.e the Larger Parchment, see HERE]. 

Having seen the work of my fellow researcher Paul Karren i am persuaded and convinced that he has found a 'key' on the Smaller Parchment and therefore in light of Anderson's comments it became important which 'parchment' [especially the smaller one] in the saga of Rennes-le-Chateau was the 'orignal'. This is because there are several different variations in the reproductions of the Rennes parchments and if there are differing versions how can it be said that one has a code? And therefore which one is it? 

                   I had already touched upon this idea before. HERE i discuss the source of the Rennes small Parchment, which is of course the Codex Bezae. Obviously there is no 'code' on the original biblical manuscript but is there one expressed on the Sauniere Parchments? 

                   However, if there is a code implied by the dots on the Rennes parchments [as suggested by Karren] when were they placed there and who by?

                   Visual copies of the Codex Bezae only became available when the Codex was first printed - this would presumably represent the earliest date on when the relevant 'paragraphs' could have been manipulated/copied etc. While i have in the past speculated that in theory anyone who had access to the Bezae document when it first arrived at Cambridge University (1581) and, in fact, any of those who were guardians of the manuscript prior to this - could have copied the text out and 'added' the code at any time using their available implements - i chose to go with the more obvious theory if you will, which suggests that the earliest 'easy' way to copy the document would have been from 1899 when Scrivener edited the text and when photographic facsimile's of the manuscript were published.

                 There are those who that believe any possible codes were created by Boudet or even Sauniere and in that case the 1899 date would still fit these timelines. However, until proved otherwise, the working hypothesis of most researchers is that Cherisey is to be accepted at his word in this instance and his answer that the parchments were created by him for a radio show. I have always found this odd though as what use would created 'visual' documents be for a radio show?     

                       Anderson began by saying in his article: "In the Timewatch documentary 'History of a Mystery' Jean-Luc Chaumeil waved around what he said were the 'original parchments' along with a note purportedly from Pierre Plantard written in red ink on the smaller parchment where he allegedly gave these as the 'originals' of the 'false documents'. He doesnt mention that at the top of that note can clearly be read 'photocopie' (which makes Chaumeils assertion that he had these parchments tested and founded them to be modern ridiculously unnecessary, since photocopying did not exist in Bigou's time, of course)."    Anderson then went on to say: "In 'Le Testament du Prieure de Sion', Chaumeil reproduces the smaller parchment in the Plates section, but somehow the note from Plantard has disappeared. Examination of Chaumeils 'Manuscript II' has all the earmarks of a 'copy of a copy of a copy' (with successive generations of photocopying, the white spaces tend to get darker), certainly not the original he claims to have".    

                   This led me to actually take a closer look at the earliest renditions of the parchments (particularly the small one) and when they were first published and where. You can see my suggestions below (although of course the list may be incomplete and different in the case of French researchers, please up date me if you would like to).

                    The timeline of parchment publications that i am aware of are as follows:    

1967 - Both parchments are shown in de Sede's L'Or de Rennes. The first ever publication of the parchments

Both manuscripts are from the The Gold of Rennes - as i am mainly at this time concerned with the small Parchment here is de Sedes copy close up;Note here, that in its 'original' and FIRST publication - the dots etc are in place. Whoever supplied de Sede with the Small Parchment, the dots were already present and obviously intended to be in place and seen. In 2006 however Chaumeil published his 'Testament of the Priory of Sion". Here is a  photograph i took of the page in the book showing the same Small Parchment:    As one can see the copy seems to be a 'clean' version of the Small parchment with the extra dots and additions missing. How is it that in 1967 a version of this parchment is published with dots etc but that in 2006 a version was published which was clear of these markings and is said to be the original?   If this is the original - what is the purpose of the prior dots and dashes etc as published bey de Sede? Does it even matter?

   In 1971 Cherisey produces his novel CIRCUIT. In this novel, the small parchment is replaced by a drawing/diagram of the headstone of Marie de Negri's burial stone. The Large Parchment is the same as the one we are used to seeing (see below). 

   In 1978 Franck Marie then publishes his 'Critical Studies of Rennes-le-Chateau'. Here is his Small Parchment:

Ignore the circles around the + signs (i added those). This looks like the same parchment Chaumeil had, which unless Marie got his copy from Chaumeil, it would suggest that Chaumeil is not the only person to have the so called ‘originals'.

Then in 1986 Lincoln et al published their copies of the parchments in their book 'The Messianic Legacy'. Here they are: 

Here is a close up of the Small Parchment that Lincoln et al published:  Lincolns 'small parchment' also appears to be similar to Chaumeil's 'original'.

  As we see again, Chaumeil's 'orignal' seems to be the same 'parchment' that Franck Marie had and the very same that Lincoln et al later had. However, de Sede - who is the earliest and first person to publish the Small Parchment - has a 'copy' that has the extra marks mostly in the form of dots etc and these appear to be exclusive to de Sede.

   This means there were two copies of the small parchment 'doing the rounds' - one with the additions and one without. Which one is the more important, if any? For the likes of Andrews and Schellenberger and Karren the answer would be that the important one is the one with the dots and dashes. If this case were right, it would mean Lincoln had the key to the geometry but - perhaps not being an exacting mathematician - ended up down the route of the Koly Place and a large natural temple inhale area of the Two Rennes. Having said that Lincoln makes an interesting point in an interview with Andrew Gough on the old Arcadia website. In answer the the question put to him by Gough:

So, Putman and Wood for instance, have recently published a book that says that there is no mystery and that the geometry occurs within the probability of chance.

Lincoln replied: 

"Ya, I have had even a public debate, though most of it, the funniest part was left on the cutting room floor which I had with one of them in front of the cameras a few months ago.

You can find geometric designs in the landscape anywhere. You can find them made up by letter boxes or telephone both booths. You can find geometric designs anywhere. Yes Mr Putman and Mr Wood, I absolutely and totally agree with you. What you are ignoring and are wilfully continuing to ignore the fact that we are dealing with a fixed measure. Now if you chose to tell me that you can find a geometric design anywhere but which is yet still locked to a fixed measure, which happens to be, as a rule of thumb, 2 miles, 1618 yards, repeated over and over and over again, then bless you I will accept that what I have found is not genuine. But I am sorry; the mountains themselves define a measure which is 2 miles, 1618 yards in length. If you go to the church of Rennes-le-Château and measured its horizontal distance to Rennes-les-Bains church you will find that somewhere within that church there is a point which is 2 miles, 1618 yards form a point in the other church. If you then go to Arques church you will find that there is a point that is 2 miles, 1618 yards from Terroles church and if you go to Esperaza church you will find that there is a point that is 2 miles, 1618 yards from Les Sauzils church. No how many more times do I have to go over it before you will stop saying that it is another coincidence? This is lunacy. Within a square of 7 miles I could show you repetition after repetition of church’s which are separated by 2 miles, 1618 yards. Mr Putman and Mr Wood can squeak as much as they like about repetition of geometric designs. I am not talking about geometric designs. I am talking about designs locked to a fixed measure". 

The reoccurrence of the 1.618 figure and the parchment codes seem to have been lost on Lincoln

Are the versions held by Chaumeil, Marie, Lincoln not the originals? Is it possible that there was one standard 'clean copy' that Cherisey copied out from his source and another one that had the additions added. This would mean, i suggest, that the clean and simple copy is not that important but the one with the additions. This contradicts what Lincoln says below although i would have agreed with him if it wasn't for the fact that in 1967 the two 'originals' (one clean copy and one with added additions) were both available. I would further have agreed with Lincoln if de Sede had published the blank clean version and then the one Lincoln published in 1986 had the additions .....  

Lincoln  said: "The parchments, as reproduced in de Sedes book - and in every other book and film since (including my own) - have many dots, strokes and accents inserted into the spaces between the lines of text. Many researchers have spent much time in attempting to wrest some sort of sense from these marks. The photographs i am shown demonstrate that these are not present in the originals. They have been added in blue ink, clearly visible on the glossy surface of the prints. These are de Cherisey's 'confections'".         

Actually i have demonstrated here that Lincoln is wrong in his first statement - that 'The parchments, as reproduced in de Sedes book - and in every other book and film since (including my own) - have many dots, strokes and accents'. A look at the illustrations in this article proves that Lincoln did not get the parchments with the dots, strokes and accents

        There are several comments to be made about Lincoln's observations:     

1) When he refers to the photographs he saw, with the dots and strokes added on to the photos - how come what he finally published were the ones which did not show these dots and strokes? Why would he assume, if there are two versions, that the more important one is the 'clean' copy he was given? Did he make an assumption that Cherisey was tinkering about with the 'original' clean photo for no particular reason? What did he think the blue ink additions were?

2) The question then -  is how de Sede came by copies with dots and strokes on them because his was the first and the original? It just doesnt make sense. Logically the first that is published could mean this was the important one, and everyone else later got the 'blank' copies as it were. This must mean in 1967 the two versions were already 'available' and Plantard and Cherisey were perhaps dictating who got which version.     

3) It is clear from this that any code added to the Small Parchment was done by Cherisey, according to Lincoln’s observation. 

         This may be a little clearer when we look at the Large Parchment version Chaumeil publishes. Here is Chaumeil's version:
Now note the version we are all used to seeing below. 

As Anderson very ably pointed out in his article, Chaumeil's version of the Large Parchment has all the hallmarks of a 'worksheet'. Perhaps the Small parchment was used in the same way? And this is why there are different copies?  

                  If i was not confronted with the staggering information contained in the Small Parchment (from the research of Paul Karren) it would perhaps not be so important. I am still of the opinion that Cherisey (at this moment in time anyway, on the available 'evidence') couldn't have 'invented' this information identified by Karren alone so we remain with two possibilities:

                   1) That Cherisey was working from previous knowledge.

                   2) Or he obtained/was given information that he wanted to code into this Small Parchment. 

                  These are not the codes that lead to the famous 'hidden messages’ [bergere pas de dentition .. ] or the 'He is there dead'  message … Maybe Cherisey was copying from some other source of information but the upshot is, it would be the copies published in L'Or de Rennes that are important and useful version!