I was recently perusing my old copies of the Rennes Observer (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. The documents that Chaumeil produced for the BBC Timewatch programme in 1996 are not parchment but paper and photocopies at that.
These ‘paper documents’ carried the famous Latin texts which are found at the heart of the Rennes-le-Château mystery. One of the Latin texts [the smaller of the two and known as the Dagobert parchment] was 'lifted’ from a biblical manuscript called the Codex Bezae which dates to around the 5th century AD. The other text, possibly copied from a 19th century academic publication, is actually taken from/based on a 5th-6th century manuscript called the Codex Brixianus [See HERE]. This larger text encodes the 'bergere' cipher.
Having seen the work of my fellow researcher Paul Karren on the small Dagobert document i am convinced that he has found an important 'key' & because of this 'key' it became important which Dagobert circulating document was the 'original'. There appears to be two different reproductions of this document, one 'clean' as it were, the other has dots and dashes etc added to the text. For Karren it is the dots and dashes and other additions to the text on the 'Dagobert' document that carry a code.
This must have been intentional by those who released this information. This would mean that the first and original publication was the important version and this copy was given to, and published by Gerard de Sede in the L'Or de Rennes.
Henry Lincoln later claimed to have seen photos of the original documents. He said there were blue ink additions - but does not elaborate if these were on both photos of the documents, or one or the other. He also does not describe what these blue ink additions were. Was it the dots and dashes? Or did he see something else? Lincoln also said later that it was the blue ink additions which were the Cherisey 'confections' - claimed by Plantard to have been added to the photo. Lincoln went further - he said if the 'confections' were removed then what was left was the original documents.
If this is the case is it somehow suggestive that Cherisey and Plantard had photos of the documents and added the additions on the actual photos? Where were the original photos? Indeed why were there even photos? And were the documents, in whatever form, different from the paper copies waved about on the BBC programme by Chaumeil?
When were the additional features added or placed on this smaller document and who by? Was it as recent as Cherisey? What was Cherisey working from? Prior knowledge or his own invention as he claimed? Or could the information and codes really be from the time of Boudet & Sauniere as some French researchers are beginning to claim? I have my suspicions about the origin of these parchments [which will appear in a future issue of the Rhedesium magazine].
Can it be supposed that the original photo of the small document was a straightforward photograph of the relevant page of the Codex Bezae text and then Cherisey proceeded to add the text the dots and dashes which really was a goemetrical code? Or had Cherisey designed the documents on paper and then had photographs made? If so shouldn't the additions be on the originals?
Plantard said much else in respect of the documents. For example he said the fourth parchment found by Saunière was the original on which de Cherisey had devised a modified version. According to Plantard, there was one coded message on each side of the page. In some way the two texts interacted together, for example, when they were held up to the light and viewed in superimposition. Of these many interesting assertions, Plantard is saying the following;
1] The absolute original parchment of importance was one single pieces of parchment/paper and that the two texts were back to back. As Lincoln had surmised, all Chérisey had done was somehow separated the two texts and probably not to scale.
2] It was this original and 4th document that interacted. Plantard's assertion that the texts were super-imposed means that the images were placed on top of each other to add to an overall image effect, or to conceal something. I found out that this technique is used in cartography to produce photomaps & for superimposing grid lines & contour lines & and other linear or textual mapping features over aerial photographs. Andrews & Schellenberger independently came to this assertion and in their book showed how the 'parchments' should be viewed;
Plantard would surely have known about these ideas, because as we know, he was apparently a trained draughtsman. It reminds me of a quote from the preface that Plantard wrote in the 1978 re-edition of Boudet's LA VRAI LANGUE CELTIQUE. He wrote;
"I disapprove of the treasure hunters who keep ransacking properties. It is not by making holes in Roc ‑ Nêgre, Blanchefort, La Madeleine, the mines of Jais or Le Diable that they will discover something. There are only reference points allowing to geometrize certain places".[my emphasis].
The Dagobert document carrying a code is definitely geometrical in nature and allows 'geometrization' of certain places!
"we were told that both ciphered texts were forgeries ...we challenged this assertion,.... M. Plantard conceded that the forgeries were closely based on the originals. In other words Cherisey hadnt 'concocted' them, but had copied them and Cherisey had only made a few additions. When these additions were deleted what remained were the original texts".
So what additions does Plantard refer to? The dots and dashes etc? The extra biblical words and phrases added to the internal text?
The authors Andrews and Schellenberger in the process of their researches had a revelatory experience when they realised that the two sides of the documents were to be read together i.e. to interact with each other. From this they were able to deduce just what Chérisey had added with respect to additions to the documents.
They claimed with certainty that Chérisey had added the actual internal textual bergere-cipher message to the larger document. They felt that he had devised this written cipher message internally in the larger document to produce the same information already encoded in geometrical form in both documents [the larger document carried the 'tilted square' geometry and the smaller document carried the 'triangle' geometry] - for use on the ground physically and geographically. Cherisey's devised text message was to reinforce the geometry and geographical message! They felt this supported their idea that the cipher information was much older, Chérisey had just, in effect, added a new cipher to reinforce the older cipher!
The tilted square discovered on the larger document was deduced from the documents' internal markings by Andrews & Scellenberger [also assumed to be added by Chérisey]& they suggested that it mapped out a specific area. These authors believed that to ensure this coded geographical area information was not lost Chérisey added the 'cipher square' to essentially re-inforce what the internal markings encoded. For Andrews and Schellenberger they felt the tilted square geometry was too difficult to figure out without the additions of Chérisey. They went on to prove the same geometry existed via the 'chateau geometry' - ie certain chateaux in the area signalled the geometry in the smaller and larger documents/parchments. Perhaps Lincoln had been on the right track with his geometry in the area of Rennes but somehow missed the bigger picture?
The idea of the documents being geographical codes or 'geometrizing of certain places' [as Plantard put it] is not as preposterous as it might seem. In August 1965 a document known as Les descendants mérovingiens ou l’énigme du Razes Wisigoth appeared. The deposition notes claim that the document was published at Genève: Alpina, in August 1965.
It was written by an annoymous Madeleine Blancasall, perhaps a name in honour of Mary Magdalene and the two rivers called the Blanque & and the Sals which flow through the village of Rennes-les-Bains. The document was deposited in the Bibliothèque Nationale of Paris and states that it is translated from the German by Walter Celse-Nazaire, again probably named after the patron saints of the church of Rennes-les-Bains. There are several important 'developments' in this early 'text'.
For example - part of the 'tresor de Rennes' in this Blancasall story is attributed to Dagobert II and the money he had access to as King of Austrasia in the 7th century. This is an early attempt at associating Dagobert with a 'treasure'. The other second part of the treasure is a secret pertaining to Blanchefort and its guardians which presumably means the Hautpoul family and their descendants. We already have the involvement of the funerary stones of Marie de Negre in the affair from at least 1905.
What we also have, back in 1965, in this document, is the person of Abbe Boudet. It suggests he has a much more important role.
Blancasall says that "assisted by Marie Denarnaud, his [Sauniere's] first concern will be to obliterate the tombstone of the Marquise de Blanchefort. Then, he takes walks alone in the countryside - on the hill of Patiaces and Pla de la Coste. After a few days, he found the trail signs leading to the famous menhir called cheval de dieu and the cross on the ?stone of crete [or ?stone ridge] 681 yards from the shepherdess [large chair?] of the church of Rennes-les-Bains. He then goes to Abbe Boudet for advice on this daemon de guardian". [my emphasis & my additions].
Another translation is as follows:
Assisted by Marie DENARNAUD, first he [Sauniere] will smooth out the tombstone of the Marquise de BLANCHEFORT, then he walk's alone in the countryside on the side of "Patiacès" and "Pla de la Coste". In a few days he found the trail signs: "The famous raised stone called the Cheval de Dieu [Horse of God], the Cross on the stone ridge/crest "at 681 toises from the bergere [?Shepherdess/armchair] of the church of Rennes-les-Bains", the priest then goes to BOUDET to ask him for advice "on this half-way [midday?] guardian daemon of the blue apples", an agreement is undoubtedly concluded, because in March 1891, the life of Abbot SAUNIERE changes completely".
In 1965 then - a snap shot of the so-called Priory of Sion information as it was being disseminated then - described elements of the 'bergere' cipher message in a geographical context. This 'bergere' cipher message is precisely the cipher square encoded by Cherisey.
The second translation is interesting because it suggests that Sauniere required further information on this geographical circuit he was completing on foot. To understand it all depends on the myriad different interpretations of these key words in the texts. For example the word daemon can be reduced down to meaning;
following, or waiting' on the guiding spirit [ie Boudet] to provide further information. The 'a midi' could mean in a half tour [or turn] and pommes can refer to any spherical or round shape, in this context a tour/circuit around a geographical rebus in Rennes-les-Bains?
In its totality this section could mean, according to Blancasall that Sauniere, to complete his tour and search of the country of Rennes-les-Bains he required the input and help of the guardian/guardien of the place and its sanctuary, Henri Boudet.
Were Andrews & Schellenberger right when they suggested the cipher invented by Chérisey was to encode the same 'hidden information' in the parchment text via the tilted square? What about other elements of the cipher?
Chérisey refers to several "cheval de dieu's" throughout his writings and interviews on the subject of Rennes. But he is notorious for deliberate obfuscation - usually for a good reason. It is the obscuring of the intended meaning of his communications which makes the message difficult to understand, usually because of this confusing and ambiguous language [but that is the very point of it all!].
Chérisey says that " ... Berenger Sauniere found various signs left by Father Bigou. He often wandered in a land called 'Le Pla del Coste' and a strange chess game started between Roc Noir [Rokko Negro] and the Rocher Blanc [White Rock]. The priest found the famous standing stone, known as the Cheval de Dieu, and the thirty-five centimetre stone cross on a ridge mentioned by Father Boudet, located 681 toises [one toise equals 6 feet or 1.949 metres] from La Bergere de l'eglise de Rennes-les-Bains".
The only famous standing stone in the Rennes-les-Bains area is the Peyro-Dreito stone, the Menhir de Pontils. The Bergere of the church of Rennes-les-Bains is 681 toises from the Cheval de Dieu and the stone ridge or crest of Boudet? This stone cross Boudet wrote about was found near the; "plateau called the Cap de l'Hommé.... to the left of the menir of the Cap de l'Homme looking at the spa and its parish church, one could discover on the neighbouring rocks Greek crosses deeply engraved by the chisel and measuring from twenty to thirty and thirty-five centimeters. These crosses, with equal branches and five in number on this single point, must have been engraved by order of the first Christian missionaries sent to the region".
Chérisey later says the Horse of God [cheval de dieu] relates to the Knights Tour on a chessboard, and also to the Greek legendary Chiron, and also to an area in Rennes-les-Bains - Mount Serbairou. It was on this mountain that a shepherdess [bergere?] noticed the reflection of a treasure, Chérisey remarked, and who had also found two beautiful white standing stones very similar to a horse.
Chérisey also associates the Horse of God with the 9th Station of the Cross in the church at Rennes-le-Chateau. Another time he says that the most important Horse of God is the one that Eugene Delacroix painted in the Chapel of the Angels in Saint Sulpice church in Paris in 1861. Cherisey alludes to the text on the stele of the Marchioness of Blanchefort being created in 1861 and he says the text can only be decoded through Eugene Delacroix!
"Therefore the inscription engraved on the stele of the lady of Blanchefort, who died in 1781, was made between 1860 and 1910, and not, as some allege by Father Bigou. I do not know who wrote these texts, but one must admit that in those days there were people with real genius..."
For me the only person associated with the story at these times [i.e 1860 - 1910] with a demonstrable 'real genius' was indeed Henri Boudet, the priest at Rennes-les-Bains!
Chérisey then has a bit of a giggle with us all saying Cheval de Dieu refers to his name because Philippe means 'lover of horses' [Philip is a male given name, derived from the Greek Φίλιππος Philippos, lit. "horse-loving" or "fond of horses", from a compound of φίλος (phílos, "dear", "loved", "loving") and ἵππος (hippos, "horse"] and that his surname, Cherisey means 'friend of the Gods'. Although in actual fact Cherisey does not mean friend of the Gods, the nearest is Cherise: dearly held, precious. The straight translation of Cherisey into Greek is χαρούμενος which means happy, cheerful, joyful, merry. His name i guess means happy lover of horses!
But we know Philippe de Cherisey is a master word manipulator and actor - after all, he once also said his name Cherisey came from the Cherusci who were the most celebrated of all the German tribes, and are mentioned by Cæsar as of the same importance as the Suevi, from whom they were separated by the Silva Bacensis.
Be that as it may there are several accounts of Sauniere wandering the countryside alone, usually in the vicinity of the land called 'Pla del Costa' - below is an old photo of the Cheval de Dieu - which looks remarkably like the Peyro-Dreito stone [photo as depicted in The Testament of the Priory of Sion].
Above - Menhir de Pontils - looking rather similar to the black and white picture of the Cheval de Dieu
It was in Boudet's book, La Vrai Langue Celtique - on page 244 that it says that by a square rock [the De?] there is the entrance to a cave and dolmen. It is also confirmed on page 245 that directly above the dolmen is a rock crest/crest of a ridge that bears a Greek cross carved in stone, the largest cross of all! So it seems confirmed that Henri Boudet felt the most important cross was this Cross of Crete, and as it was the 'largest of them all' it must be the 35cm Cross, & that it was on or near a dolmen near Serbairou/road to Sougraine. He says;
"A second cromleck, of a smaller extent, is enclosed in the one we have tried to trace. Starting from the hamlet of Cercle, towards the middle of the side of the mountain, it follows the Illète to the Trinque Bouteille stream, then emerges on the slope of the Serbaïrou closest to the rivers of Blanque and Sals, resumes at Roukats, to end in front of the hamlet of Cercle, its starting point. One might be rightly surprised not to find any dolmens among these Celtic monuments. We found seven; five on the flanks of Serbaïrou, and two in Roukats. The most remarkable is located opposite the Borde ‑ neuve, very close to a large square stone, strangely balanced on a rock. This dolmen, closed at one end, offers the image of a cave. By standing on the path leading to Sougraignes, the eye easily distinguishes the structure of all its parts. Quite at the top, directly above the dolmen, a rock of the crest[ridge] bears a Greek cross carved in stone: it is the largest of all those that have been given to us to recognize. Approaching the old path of Bugarach, at the same height as that of the dolmen, an enormous rock is adorned with a fairly strong stone having the round shape of bread. [pierre du pain!]
The same information pops up in a later Secret Dossier File, in a much more famous file called Le Serpent Rouge. In the verse of Libra it says:
"At the window of the ruined house I gazed across the trees stripped by autumn to the summit of the mountain. The cross of crete stood out under the midday sun, it was the fourteenth and the biggest of all with its 35 centimetres!"
According to Madeline Blancassal this Cross of Crete is 681 toises or 4086 feet from the 'shepherdess' [bergere] of the church of Rennes-les-Bains. As 'beregere' can also mean an armchair, and we are talking about a landscape - surely the Cross of Crete then is 4086 feet from the Devils Armchair? With all these landmarks being in the area of Rennes-les-Bains this perhaps explains why Sauniere [according to Blancassall] visited Boudet.
In fact according to Blancassal Sauniere - after his walkabout decides to visit Henri Boudet for further advice. Boudet is described as the daemon de guardian 'of this place'! This suggests that the daemon de guardian is some kind of circuitous route in the landscape of Rennes-les-Bain as well as in parallel referring to [as in Classical Mythology] a god, or a subordinate deity, or the genius of a place [as in the classical Roman religion, a genius loci - the protective spirit of a place. It was often depicted in religious iconography as a figure holding attributes such as a cornucopia, patera or snake] or a person's attendant spirit or finally an actual demon. Therefore, within our context, Boudet surely is the actual 'daemon guardian' of 'this place'?
Daemon comes from the Latin daemon & itself is borrowed from ancient Greek δαίμων [daímōn] which designates different things according to the authors and the times but generally refers to a kind of spirit of the supernatural world. Among other meanings it also denotes "divine power". The ancient Greek name may have come from the Greek root dai- & the verb δαίομαι daíomai; "to divide, distribute" and the suffix; -mōn. In popular Greek culture, a demon referred to a kind of ambivalent genius, a being endowed with supernatural powers, capricious and unpredictable, present in strange places at particular times and at work in the frightening events of nature and human life, but capable of being appeased, controlled at least by magical means. The Romans had gods, goddesses, manes (souls of the dead), lares (tutelary spirits protecting houses, etc.), genii (spirits presiding over the destiny of a place, of a group, of an individual), lemurs ( specters of the dead) etc...
Démon gardiens are also known as Les veilleurs. What we call watchmen or sometimes guardian demon's is actually a higher entity; these are most often the demons of goetia, fallen angels or, sometimes, pagan deities.These higher entities impart their occult and spiritual teaching to people who have already reached a certain stage in their evolution. In Homer the term is used almost interchangeably with theos for god. The distinction here is that theos emphasises the personality of the god, and demon his activity. Hence, the term demon was regularly applied to sudden or unexpected supernatural interventions not due to any particular deity. It became commonly the power determining a person’s fate, and a mortal could have a personal demon.
In contrast a GARDIEN is a keeper [conservateur, surveillant, geôlier, ] or [protecteur, ange gardien] or a custodian [conservateur]. The Collins French-English dictionary writes:
gardien [ɡaʀdjɛ̃ ] Word forms: gardien, gardienne
1. (= garde) guard 2. [de prison] warder ⧫ 3 guard. [de domaine, réserve] warden 4. [de musée] attendant 5. [de phare, cimetière] keeper [d’immeuble] caretaker 6. (figurative) (= protecteur) guardian
So it is quite clear for Blancassell - Boudet, is the person able to maintain & preserve something. He was the guardian of the tradition of the area. That is - Boudet was the guardian of some local mystery at Rennes-les-Bains. Daemon as the guardian spirit of a place - certainly describes Boudet. Gardien as a person who has custody, or who is responsible for protecting or monitoring someone or something [in Boudet's case, the secret of a local mystery in Rennes-les-Bains which he actually admits to in his book The True Celtic Language & the Cromleck of Rennes les Bains'!] or one, who protects & preserves something - which some say Boudet did and to which he also gave credence to in his famous book 'The True Celtic Language'! In this book are the keys to a local mystery at Rennes-les-Bains - usually interpreted as an important and mysterious burial in the area, centrally located in his imaginary Cromleck. But that imaginary Cromleck is the route to finding the burial i suspect.
So in 1965, 2 years before de Sede published his book, we find references to the existence of a Menhir called the Horse of God, and a mysterious cross of crete carved on a stone. The 'cheval de dieu' was part of the secret message discovered once the Sauniere parchments had been deciphered. [Later, in Cherisey's CIRCUIT novel, finally published in 1971 or thereabouts but known to have been written much earlier the 'cheval de dieu' also becomes the 'Horse of God' in the Delacroix paintings at Saint Sulpice, and in some strange way a reference to a car, a Citroën 2CV - French "deux chevaux" i.e. "deux chevaux-vapeur" (lit. "two steam horses"].
The fact that we must be on the right track is signalled by Chérisey himself. In Stone & Paper he writes; the disposition of the characters in the ...small document ...illustrates the section of a mountain where the cave of the treasure is represented by an almost inaccessible opening. Yes, the sinkhole above the cave's entrance provides INTROIT IN DOMUM, meaning 'he enters the house'".
This area [INTROIT IN DOMUM] described by Chérisey [when mapped in the geographical landscape] sits on the Paris Meridian. Heading in the general direction of Pébrières and Carduassel. This is when both parchments have been put back together and 'read in super-impostion!
Visual copies of the Codex Bezae on which the small Sauniere document was based on only became available when the Codex was first printed - this would presumably represent the earliest date on which 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 - if indeed a code is to be found! But the code itself is not on the biblical manuscript of course!
It is easier to choose to go with the more obvious and easier 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. And this is despite Chérisey saying the text on Marie's tombstone was created between 1860 and 1910! He is of course suggesting that the priests - within a span of 60 years - could have composed the text!
There are those who believe however that any possible codes could also have been created by Boudet or even Sauniere and in that case the 1899 date would still fit these timelines. This is an interesting hypotheses [see HERE].
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 found them to be modern ridiculously unnecessary, since photocopying did not exist in Bigou's time, of course)." What Plantard was effectively saying to Chaumeil via the note he wrote in red ink was that 'you have the two documents separated out as Chérisey did, these are the false documents but they will be no good to you as to be useful you need the priginal fourth document which is the single document where these two texts interact'.
Anderson 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 documents (particularly the smaller one) and when they were first published and where. You can see my suggestions HERE (although of course the list of the available copies/photos of the document may be incomplete and different in the case of French researchers).