In a Prieuré document called THE LAND OF THE WHITE QUEEN a curious connection between an imaginary white queen of Rennes-les-Bains [in the form of a statue] and a real once living historical white queen called Blanche d'Evraux is made. 

Using a play on the sound and spelling of the French and English words for white [blanche] and queen [reine/Rennes] a comparison is made about a tale of an underground Temple at Gisors with a similar tale of an underground Temple at Rennes-les-Bains. 

To truly understand why these comparisons are made we have to appreciate how language has been used and why. Once grasped it becomes easy to see what was intended and we are therefore better able to 'read' and hear the text. 

But how is all this related to Rennes-les-Bains?


'Au Pays de la Reine Blanche' was written by Nicolas BEAUCEAN. The identity of Beaucean is not definitively known but is the probable nom-de-plume of either Pierre Plantard or Philippe de Chérisey, the two main steering characters behind a group created in the 50's by Plantard called the Prieuré de Sion. In the main, Prieuré texts published anonymously use many literary tricks and sleights of hand to refer the alert reader to a supposed 'mystery' at Rennes-les-Bains and Au Pays de la Reine Blanche is one such text. 

Gerard de Sède, a colleague of Plantard for a few years before having a public fall out over money, discussed this policy of literary trickery saying his informant often created mystifications to conceal something. The linguistic gymnastics employed was to be able to speak of a 'mystery' in a guarded way. De Sède wrote;

' ... the maker of a stupendous discovery, would, if he were unable to reveal it, be the prisoner of an almost intolerable contradiction, between his pride that would ..... impel him to make it public, and his fear, which would constrain him to remain silent....' 

It has echoes of a sentence Chérisey wrote in a private letter;

 '... What do you believe ..... I will seek in Rennes-le-Château? If I succeed I will not have the right to speak about it'. 

As de Sède correctly observed in 'The Accursed Treasure of Rennes-le-Château… this enigmatic mystery, for his informants, seemed to be of great import …. and thus the literary tricks were not just used for deliberate obfuscation but to disseminate extraordinary information. 

LITERARY TRICKS

The Prieuré authors wrote in an ambiguous language - as we have seen, to promote and shield knowledge.They used circumlocution - which means literally to talk around a subject, using words or expressions that are difficult for others, or more precisely perhaps, outsiders, to understand. It is a special form of jargon, a word itself that harks back to the Anglo-French by way of Middle English and means the "twittering of birds". Jargon is derived from the Latin word gaggire, meaning "to chatter", which describes speech that a listener cannot understand. Chaucer, the great English poet and “first finder of ... language” referred to jargon as 'the utterance of birds or sounds resembling birds'

Perhaps this is our first hint that for Plantard and Chérisey the sound of words might be important as well as how one reads them. They adopted this mythical & magical language to communicate with the initiated. It is their esoteric language intended to be understood by a small number of people with specialised knowledge or those interested with ears to hear. 

Plantard and Chérisey and others in the Rennes Affair [including priest of Rennes-les-Bains Henri Boudet] utilised this bird-speak to great effect. To understand it, one has to hear the sound of the word rather than read the word. It is a question of no longer trusting "the written" but of hearing "the cries" [sounds] of the words. In this language "double meaning"  prevails, enabled by homophony (and other mechanisms). It is the sound, in short, that  "resonates". Thus the "Language of the Birds" is a metaphoric way of describing a way of reading a text in which language moves forward by means of puns and wordplay rather than being guided by a narrative. 

This kind of language reception harkens back to earlier times. When the great Byzantine abbey of Souillac was built [between 1075 and 1150] one of its magnificent architectural capitals in the great ambulatory depicted several doves putting their beaks in to an owl's ear. The owl is the famous Athena's owl and having the Owls ear represented to the ancients access to knowledge. The doves are unblocking the owl's ears to offer access to what the ancients called the "third ear" [a popular term for the use of intuition, which is the ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning, sensitivity and awareness. In our modern rational world of thinking this way of understanding has been lost to us, despite the fact that leaps in knowledge and science and progress have been made by just that use of intuition and imagination [remember Newtons apple falling from a tree to understand the scientific fact of gravity? Archimedes and his eureka moment in the bath to explain that displaced water is an exact measure of volume?] 

The third ear is also a concept in modern psychology, first advanced by Theodor Reik, and refers to the practise of listening for deeper layers of meaning in order to glean what has not been said outright. It is a particular way of hearing and seeing and it is difficult for some to grasp. This is because one could read in to words something that is not there. 

At the website Neologikon they write; 

'The Greeks linked the night vision of Owl's and particularly Athena's Owl with a special kind of sight, a kind of clairvoyance. It seems plausible, too, that [the] owls’ nocturnal vision suggests a kind of sight that, by lighting up the dark, was revelatory, or which is diametrically opposed to darkness, a kind of clearing [of vision], or, as some scholars say, an ability to see through the shroud of obscurity. 

... The owl stands for rational, inner knowledge because it, like a mirror, reflects the light ..... Perhaps it is their prophetic wisdom at work. Owls seem to know something we do not. They are symbols of inner-knowledge, of looking-inward. Being able to fly, to soar high above us, and to see in the dark, where everything appears concealed, owls have a perspective much more inclusive than ours: Owls have a bird’s eye view, an ability to look down ....., to ponder and perceive .... and therein lies the owl’s wisdom—to be patient and consider things from a grand point of view, with matters brought forth from the dark into the light, wide-eyed, all-knowing, and waiting until we are ready to receive their wisdom'

I suggest Plantard and Chérisey were acting precisely like the owl of Athena as described above when they wrote about the Two Rennes!  They viewed the enigma like an owl, soaring over the whole mystery with a Birds Eye view. They were publishing access to knowledge and matters brought forth from the dark into the light ..... and waiting until we [were] are ready to receive their wisdom'. The interesting question is where Plantard, the main player, got his knowledge from? This has been discussed by John Saul in his latest book [see HERE] and to which I review and discuss in the Articles section under Pierre Plantard. 

French researcher Jean-Claude Flornoy also wrote about Athena's Owl;

"With Athena's Owl at the Abbey of Souillac the expression is direct: you are told to stand up against the pillar in order to have your subtle ear unblocked so you can truly understand. If you try and fix on a "symbol" which explains this image you risk getting caught up in verbiage and entirely missing the event or point itself"

Plantard and Chérisey [and for that matter, Boudet] used a-lot of verbiage and put this to good effect. As Simon Miles reported in his new book in regards to the verbiage around the so-called Sauniere Parchments [i.e. the Pommes Bleues coded message] the point is missed about the real and actual mystery of the Parchments. He wrote;

' ... the Parchments were ... planned within the context of this complex multi-faceted game as a vehicle for the dissemination of a subliminal image, [that of] the emblem of the Martinists....the aim was to ensure that these materials were distributed as widely as possible ...to use the modern term they wanted the parchments to go viral ....while generations of seekers and searchers have obsessed about the 'Pommes Bleues' message .. they unwittingly fulfilled the goals of the puzzle-maker; to spread the image far and wide'.

One has to enter in to this kind of fantasy world of language, poetry, imagination etc to start to understand what the Priory was up to. Of course, not many have the Poets intuition or intellect, which is why so many miss the point or reduce everything to superficiality saying 'it is all a hoax!" 

Hearing and Seeing

'Hearing' and 'seeing' words rather than 'reading' language is as old as the Egyptian hieroglyphics. The Egyptians called their hieroglyphs “the words of God” and were used mainly by the priests. Unlike the simple elegance of modern writing systems, this early attempt at recording words used a number of techniques to convey meaning. The picture symbols represent a combination of alphabet and syllabic sounds together with images that determine or clarify the meaning and depictions of actual objects which are the spoken word of the thing they represent.

Much later in history when the analogy with birds was made it is because sounds were thought to literally fly from the letters of the words which remain fixed. The popular proverb "The writings remain the words fly" also testifies to this symbolism. 

Jean-Claude Flornoy again speculated that the expression 'language of the birds' may even be an historical phonetic distortion of the name of a secret and old brotherhood called the "language of the goslings " (in reference to the young goose, a term that has become archaic), so named because of the crow's feet worn by the builders of the Medieval cathedrals. These medieval Cathedral builders used on their construction sites a jargon allowing them to preserve the ancestral techniques of the "masons". However, after the “Strike of the Cathedrals” (following the proclamation of the Templars as non grata in France the March 19, 1314), most of these initiated builders and workers fled the French Inquisition, for northern Italy (where they would prepare for the Renaissance) and the Middle East. 

He continues;

"After this Inquisition, the initiates, back in France, disseminated their knowledge by means of secret coding systems quickly assimilated in to the occult sciences: for example, the Tarot de Marseille, the "goth art" (art of light, which will become Gothic art), alchemy and of course, the language of birds. The language can even be dated much earlier as it seems to have some relationship with Provençal poetry, from a time when the Medieval troubadours composed "cants" that were called "open" when they meant what they said and "closed" when they said one thing but meant something else. So in their poems words could seem to be almost magically linked by means of their aural or visual similarity. Once two words have been glued by this formal correspondence, we take the connection to be a form of "truth". 

As some have identified, we could consider the Language of the Birds as an imaginary folklore that links a whole lineage of poets, from the Provençal troubadours to Clement Marot, Rabelais, Gerard de Nerval, Alfred Jarry, Raymond Roussel, some of the surrealists like André Bretón, Michael Leiris and the elusive Marcel Duchamp. Most recently that lineage continued through the OuLiPo group',  ..... a group to which Chérisey was a member - the so-called French ’pataphysicians'. 

The Tarot Tradition

French tarologists have always found references to the language of the birds in the Tarot de Marseille. For example, the Maison Dieu card - illustrated in the arcanum XVI card, is not a Tower of God but a House of God. At the time of the origin of these cards a House of God could refer to either a sort of hospital run by the church; or it could even have some reference to the Knights Templar; or it could refer to a name given to the places where the Crusaders could stop overnight for sustenance and rest. But in any case it's NOT a Tower but a House, which is how the modern Tarot card is depicted. In Bird Speak LA MAISON DIEU  and  L'ÂME ET SON DIEU sound alike but mean very different things according to its aural understanding. Both interpretations therefore are correct. 

As Jean-Claude Flornoy wrote;

"...when we speak of the "language of the birds" we must articulate two periods: before the Strike, [of the Cathedrals, mentioned above] when this "tongue" is spoken in the language of goth art and is expressed in words and images on all the cathedral building sites, and after the Strike, when it goes underground.... We find ourselves in the play on words which characterises this "language". Of course the people of this time did not just focus on such foolishness. Their jargon, as sons of Mother Goose, subjects of the Queen Pédauque, as men "pattés" was that of baby geese (oisons) and not birds (oiseaux). We are in the tradition of "Maitre Jacque's children."  

Maitre Jacques in legend is one of the three characters of the construction of the first Temple of Jerusalem. The three are;

1] Hiram the master builder (architect today), bronze worker by profession, sent to Solomon by Hiram I, king of Tyre. 

2] Maître Jacques who was the leader of the Companion Stonemasons 

and

3] Father Soubise leader of the Companion of Carpenters. 

After his work in Jerusalem, Jaques is said to have arrived in France after the death of Solomon and the dispersion of the Temple Workers. His tomb is that of an unknown person located in the Sainte-Baume cave in Southern France. This is the same cave that Saint Mary Magdalene lived in for 30 years (or less, stories vary) in legends, and because of this sanctified the place by her presence, after her own departure from the Holy Land. Mary Magdalene by extension has been adopted as the patroness of the Compagnons du Devoir, the group in myth descended from Maitre Jacques. The Compagnons du Devoirhey - Mecca style -  make a pilgrimage to the tomb of their founder Maitre Jacques at Baume every year at least once in their lifetime, on 22 July, feast day of Mary Magdalene. 

It seems very strange that these legends and traditions are so closely linked!

In front of a large statue of Saint Magdalene in Baume is a reliquary, offered in 1886 by Mgr Joseph de Terris (bishop of Fréjus-Toulon), which contains part of the tibia and a lock of hair of the penitent saint Magdalene. The reliquary is the work of the Lyon goldsmith Armand Caillat and features in the work of Christian Doumergue in relation the the enigma of Rennes-le-Chateau. Doumergue interprets depictions of the Saint on the reliquary as indicating 'secretly' the removal of a mummified body under her control and auspices to Southern France. 

Above, the reliquary of St Mary Magdalene - who is the mummified body? 

Maitre Jacques through history has also been identified with other figures such as Jacques de Molay, Grand Master of the Templars (the Knights of the Temple), who were also great builders and also to Jacques Moler, one of the two master builders of the Sainte-Croix cathedral in Orléans. 

Orléans would be the place of the great split of the Compagnons du Devoir following the revocation of the Edict of Nantes; part of the Compagnons remained faithful to the Catholic religion. During the Middle Ages, the “Tour de France” of the Compagnons du Devoir was established, which offered apprentices a period of training while traveling to perfect their knowledge and technical mastery. This period of training, since the Middle Ages, ends with a pilgrimage to the Sainte-Marie-Madeleine cave, to the supposed tomb of “Maitre Jacques”, their legendary founder. And as noted above the legend has it that Maître Jacques “took refuge in Sainte-Baume on his return from Jerusalem , a cave where he was murdered and then buried” .[fROM Bernard Montagnes, “The Provençal pilgrimage to Mary Magdalene in the 15th century”[Revue des sciences philosophies et Théologique t.85, no 4, 2001, p. 679 to 695 ]. 

Plantard/Chérisey and the Tarot card Tradition 

Plantard & Chérisey used the Tarot card Tradition & its symbolism to show that they were on perhaps their own spiritual 'journey' [elsewhere in their writings described as a search for the tomb of Mary Magdalene in the environs of the Two Rennes] and in this journey they often depicted themselves as Fool's [Le Mat/Le Fou] in the sense of a kind of innocent on a pilgrimage. The Fool symbol was therefore a literary device used to describe the journey and give it a form and route to take. The Fool's Journey/Pilgrimmage should have a place to start out from and normally a destination, (you may know your destination before heading out, sometimes not). In the Tarot de Marseille card game, the Fool starts his journey at position number 1 [the source?] in the Card deck and lands up at number 21 (The World). 

For Plantard and Cherisey their Fools Journey is probably articulated through the poem Le Serpent Rouge. Thus using the staging posts in the landscape of Rennes-le-Chateau and Rennes-les-Bains they talk of this spiritual journey and in effect some kind of pilgrimage. 

Metaphorically on the Fools Journey in the Tarot deck the protagonist only becomes a Fool if he wants to. On his journey they find their divinity and realises that actually they never went anywhere. The Fool long ago abandoned all sense of logic and rationality. The Fool doesn't even have a card number! Try and give him a number (even the number zero), try and put him in a mathematical structure and he will just walk away without a backward glance. Not interested in the least. The Fool is what the Bateleur [Magician] - the "sleight of hand artist" seeks to be! 

The sleight of hand activity shows that we are to see in Plantard & Chérisey the 'sleight of hand' artists in the vein of Seneca the Younger. Seneca the Younger was a philosopher who famously compared rhetorical techniques with illusionist techniques and he defined rhetoric as "the faculty of observing in any given case the available means of persuasion", and since mastery of the art was necessary for victory in a case at law, or for passage of proposals in the assembly, or for fame as a speaker in civic ceremonies, or persuading someone about your ideas, he called it "a combination of the science of logic and of the ethical branch of politics". The five canons of rhetoric, or phases of developing a persuasive speech, were then codified in classical Rome as  invention, arrangement, style, memory, and delivery. From Ancient Greece to the late 19th century, rhetoric played a central role in Western education in training orators, lawyers, counsellors, historians, statesmen, and poets. 

Plantard & Chérisey fit the bill as this type of illusionist, using invention, arrangement, style, memory, and delivery to tell their story. It is ultimately to persuade you about a hidden mystery at Rennes-les-Bains. With all his heart, and an irresitable longing, the Bateleur inexorably goes through all the initiatory stages of the Card Game. And then he too can at last throw away all rationality and logic to the wind. He can go and meet his Fool. Chérisey's own poetic Fools' Journey is also found in his novel CIRCUIT! This novel is an amazing piece of work and not even the tip of the iceberg of its meaning has been scratched. 

The Earliest Tarot deck

The earliest surviving Fool card we have is from the Visconti-Sforza deck commissioned by the Duke of Milan in the 1450s. This card depicted the Fool with ragged clothing exposing his loin cloth, he’s feather-brained and he carries a long club to fend off dogs. His mouth is clamped shut because he has nothing sensible to say. At the time the original Tarot was invented, the mentally ill and foolish fell into two distinct categories: they could be dangerous, raving madmen who needed to be confined for everyone’s safety; or they could be an “Innocent”, child-like simpleton. These Fools so afflicted had no legal rights and no obligations to family or society. They were ultimate outsiders with no place in the social hierarchy. It is precisely this role that the Fool plays in the game of Tarot where he has no rank and no power, yet he can pop up anywhere to mimic any card making him, ironically, one of the most valuable cards in the deck. The Tarot de Marseille pack of cards conflate these two types of Fool. 

In many esoteric systems of the Marseille card interpretation the Fool, as we have seen above, is the protagonist of a story and follows a particular route around the cards in the card pack. This Fools Journey which Plantard & Chérisey embark on is that of a spiritual path/journey through the great mysteries of Rennes-le-Château. It is their testing pilgrimage in which they try 'to clear my [their] way using a sword through the tangled vegetation of the woods ... & in desperation of finding my way [their] ... the parchments of this Friend were for me, the thread of Ariadne'.

Chérisey only used the Tarot de Marseille symbolism in his writings [as did Plantard] and it was this pack only that was and is associated with occult use. Occult is from the Latin word occultus [meaning "clandestine, hidden, secret"] and means literally "knowledge of the hidden."  In the 16th century the occult later referred to astrology, alchemy, and natural magic. And this concept of the "esoteric" had its own origins in the 2nd century with the coining of the Ancient Greek adjective esôterikós ("belonging to an inner circle") and Gnosticism. That inner circle of the original designers of the Tarot de Marseille may well have been figures traced back to the Italian Renaissance

Sir Michael Dummett writes that the Fool and trump cards originally had simple allegorical or esoteric meanings, mostly originating in elite ideology in the Italian courts of the 15th century where the cards were invented. And a documentary, Les mystères du Tarot de Marseille, claims that the work of Marsilio Ficino can be credited as having inspired imagery specific to certain cards in the Marseilles deck. In the investigation the enigmatic game of Tarot turns out to be the vehicle of an esoteric teaching of ancient wisdom by Marsilio Ficino, one of the greatest philosophers of the Renaissance, who was passionate about astrology and who directed the Neoplatonic Academy of Florence. He was in touch with the major academics of his day and he was the first translator of Plato's complete extant works into Latin. Ficino's Florentine Academy, an attempt to revive Plato's Academy, influenced the direction and tenor of the Italian Renaissance and the development of European philosophy. His father, Diotifeci d'Agnolo, was a physician under the patronage of Cosimo de' Medici, who took the young man into his household and became the lifelong patron of Marsilio, who was made tutor to his grandson, Lorenzo de' Medici. Lorenzo later created the 'Shepherds of Arcadia’ society - consisting of painters and poets that Lorenzo surrounded himself with at his villa. 

The term 'Shepherds of Arcadia' of course is a very well known 'artefact' in the mystery at Rennes-le-Chateau. 

Cosimo de Medici's very good friend and patron [as he was with with Ficino and whom Ficino must have also known] was the very famous Rene d'Anjou"Good King Rene " as he was called, Head of the Royal House of AnjouKing Rene spent many years in Italy and became the greatest thinking salesman of all time. He alone inspired sponsorship from the ruling Sforza family of Milan and of course Cosimo de Medici and he persuaded them all to send their agents all over the world in a quest for ancient manuscripts [it is interesting here to observe that the oldest surviving tarot cards are the 15 or so Visconti-Sforza tarot decks painted in the mid-15th century for the rulers of the Duchy of Milan]. As a result, in 1444, Cosimo opened Europe's first public library, the Library of San Marco, which made available, for the first time, the thinking and ideas that had been suppressed for centuries. Translations of Platonic, Neo-Platonic, Pythagorean, Gnostic and Hermetic thought were now readily accessible. It set off the Renaissance. 

René was interested and steeped in esoteric tradition. His court included a wise Jewish astrologer, Cabalist and physician known as Jean de Saint-Remy who was the grandfather of Nostradamus on his mother's side. It is thought Jean introduced Nostradamus to the ancient rights of Jewish tradition and the celestial sciences of astrology, giving Nostradamus his first exposure to the idea of the heavens and how they drive human destiny. His paternal grandfather, Pierre de Nostra-Donna,  and in fact Jean de Saint Remi were professing Jews, but when Provence became a French possession in 1488, Charles VIII's anti-Jewish policy induced them to convert to Christianity. Consequently Nostradamus was born and raised as a Catholic.  Also, for some time, René employed the great Italian Admiral, Christopher Columbus. Both of Nostradamus' Grandfathers were Court physicians to King René along with the father of Leonardo Da Vinci, 25-year-old notary, Ser Piero d'Antonio who was a scion of a long line of notaries, in the little village of Vinci. These then were the type of individuals who would have frequented the 'shepherds of Arcadia' society of Lorenzo de' Medici or had access to their knowledge and interests. 

The actual origins of the specific theme of ‘Arcadia’ that Western culture later adopted and to which Poussin was heir in the later Middle Ages can be traced back to King René of Anjou. Rene's Arcadian theme included an underground stream and a tomb that connoted aspects of a ‘secret tradition’ or elements of ‘secret knowledge’. And this ‘Arcadian’ theme was promulgated by artists throughout the Renaissance and beyond. René may even have been the source and originator of that enigmatic phrase Et in Arcadia Ego We know he composed mottos. 

Plantard and Chérisey were preoccupied with a tomb of some importance, a tomb that was sacred to them and which engendered much mystery. Perhaps as per the Medici Arcadians, and King Rene, tombs connoted aspects of a secret tradition and it is pertinent to note here that King Rene himself is known to have looked for a tomb - that of Mary Magdalene, the very same as Plantard and Chérisey, both who searched for the tomb of Mary Magdalene in the region of the Aude. In this they seemed to be operating on information unknown to others. 

King Rene may have been carrying on a 'family tradition' because in 1279 Charles II of Anjou, King of Naples was supposed to have found the alleged body of Mary Magdalene at Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume. Charles founded the massive Gothic Basilique Ste. Marie-Madeleine in 1295 because of his find; the basilica had the blessing of Pope Boniface VIII, who placed it under the new teaching order of the Dominicans. 

It is famously reported that King Rene had a red porphyry cup which he told people was used at the wedding of Cana. The whole Anjou dynasty had adopted Mary Magdalene as their very extra special saint, probably since Charles of Anjou had found her tomb. Mary Magdalene was thought to protect their dynasty because as Counts of Provence they also protected the land that she came and evangelised. The scholar Ludwig Jansen even wonders why the Anjou dynasty had such a bizarre and obsessive love for the Saint. Jansen offered two sources of transmission for this devotion to Mary Magdalene. The first is via Charles of Anjou and his mother, Beatrice of Provence. Perhaps, Ludwig Jansen speculated, Beatrice traced her family back to the legendary ruler of Provence converted by Mary Magdalene, thus emphasising to her son her family's links to apostolic Christianity. Does this mean more or less for Jansen that the Anjou dynasty and family had inside information about the legends of the Saint and this ruler of Provence? Once again we are back to an inner circle of knowledge.

What is interesting is that Rene of Anjou and his line can trace back to Louis V of France (a so called 'do nothing king') who after dying in a hunting accident left no legitimate heirs, so it was his uncle Charles III of Lorraine who was advanced as the next legitimate hereditary successor to the throne. But the surrounding clergy, including both Adalberon and Gerbert (who later became Pope Sylvester III), argued that Hugh Capet, who was not only of royal blood but had proven himself through his actions and his military might, should be the next King. Capet was successfully elected to the Frankish throne and Adalberon crowned him, all within two months of Louis V's death. Thus the Carolingian dynasty ended and the Capetian began.

Godefroy de Bouillon was also a descendant of this Charles III of Lorraine and he, of course, much later was crowned first defender of Jerusalem during the First Crusade. As we shall see below the 'historical' White Queen of Chérisey and Plantard - Blanche D'EVREUX - was the 'white queen' who retired to the Tower of Neaufles at Gisors in 1359. Her ancestry was also very illustrious, being traced back to Ida of Lorraine, who was the mother of Godfrey de Bouillon. Ida was daughter of Godfrey III, Duke of Lower Lorraine and his wife Doda. Ida married Eustace II, Count of Boulogne and they were parents of not only Godfrey de Bouillon but also;

  • Baldwin I, King of Jerusalem &
  • Eustace III Count of Boulogne, patron of the Knights Templar. 

Therefore there is a family link to the Anjou dynasty with the White Queen, a dynasty possessed of inner knowledge about the fate of Mary Magdalene herself. Perhaps this dynasty were the root behind various legends associated with the Magdalene which they later encoded in their family knowledge and history via the Tarot cards and other vehicles. [See HERE]. The origin of the particular Tarot Marseille deck of cards as we see came from groups close to the Anjou dynasty and others such as Ficino. 

All these ideas have been used by Plantard and Chérisey to suggest that a sacred tomb, hinted at as being that of Mary Magdalene, linked to a mythical white Queen, in the vicinity of Rennes-les-Bains. 

In the poem Le serpent Rouge the authors wrote; 

"From her that I wanted to free, rose towards me the emanations of perfume which permeate the sepulchre. Once some called her: ISIS, queen of the beneficent springs, COME TO ME ALL YOU WHO SUFFER AND WHO ARE OVERWHELMED AND I WILL COMFORT YOU, otherwise: MADELEINE, with the famous vase full of healing balm. The initiates know the true name: NOTRE DAME DES CROSS".

These themes tie up to suggest that there might be some kind of occult knowledge, in the true sense of the word - those who possess "knowledge" belonging to an inner circle.  

This ancient history interested definitely interested Plantard. In 1947, to be exact on the 26th August - Plantard formed the "Latin Academy", replacing the Alpha-Galates group. Alpha-Galates was attested to at the time as follows;

Au Pilori, Number 123, 19 November 1942

The ‘Alpha-Galates’

 We have just received  Vaincre, the organ of the Alpha-Galate [sic], a ‘Grand Order of Chivalry’ registered with the police department, whose Governor-General is Pierre de France (management and administration: 10 rue Lebouteux, Paris 17).

Here are the degrees that make up the Temple, which, together with the City and the Arches, is one of the three subdivisions of the Order:

 1. Brother; 2. Worshipful Brother; 3. Very Reverend Brother; 4. Very Honourable Brother; 5. Very Venerable Brother; 6. Very Illustrious Brother; 7. His Druidic Excellency; 8. His Druidic Highness; 9. His Druidic Majesty.

We express our admiration, with complete impartiality, for this new Order of Chivalry, and wish His Druidic Majesty every success in the accomplishment of his Work'.

His Druidic Majesty is thought to be a reference to Pierre Plantard and a derogatory one at that. 

The president of this Latin Academy was Plantard’s mother, Amélie-Raulo. Amélie-Raulo has been claimed to have worked for a time for Genevieve Zaeppfel, a famous medium of the interwar period who divided her time between her residence in Paimpont (Ille-et-Vilaine), the Manoir du Tertre located on the edge of the Brocéliande forest and her house in Paris. She was very political and outspoken during World War II. 

It is unknown how the Zaeppfel family met Amélie-Raulo Plantard. Geneviève Zaepffel may have contributed to Pierre's intellectual development. Zaeppfel herself frequented recognised esotericists of her time such as Paul Le Cour (founder of the Atlantis magazine), Georges Monti and Oswald Wirth, often at her home. Zaepffel also practiced the art of Tarot and introduced Pierre Plantard to the art. Plantard must have met these people who visited Zaepffel and he certainly references them in publications he was associated with. This included Oswald Wirth who published his own well know Tarot designs and which Plantard later based his own Tarot designs on. 

Plantard, in his Latin Academy, mimicked the famous Platonic Academy. This was the group of scholars in mid-15th-century Florence who would meet under the leadership of the above mentioned Marsilio Ficino. They met to study and discuss philosophy and the classics. Although the group was never formally organised, its members considered themselves a re-creation of the Academy that had been formed by Plato in Athens. The most important members of the Ficino Platonic academy were connected with the courts of Cosimo and Lorenzo de’ Medici, such as Politian (or Poliziano), the poet and classical scholar of the Renaissance; the professor of poetry and oratory at the University of Florence, Cristofero Landino; and the scholars and philosophers Pico della Mirandola and Gentile de’ Becchi. In a neat little circle then this brings us back to the secret and occult language adopted by Plantard and Cherisey and the unblocking of the third ear. 

Plantard's TAROT 

We know that Plantard allegedly painted twenty-two paintings corresponding to the twenty-two cards of the Marseille tarot deck - and in these paintings there appears in the background landscapes and elements linked mainly to Rennes-les-Bains. Unfortunately, only five of these paintings are visible in the publication "Le Cercle" presented by his probable son Thomas in 1992. 

Plantard used the OSWALD WIRTH TAROT deck of 1889 to base his own paintings on. This was the deck that French occultists later also associated with the Hebrew alphabet and the cabalistic Tree of Life.

Below - the OSWALD WIRTH TAROT Fool Card of 1889

In the preface to his book, "Le Tarot, des lmagiers du Moyen" [Tarot  - Pictures of the Middle Ages - published in Paris in 1926 and translated into English as "The Tarot of the Magicians" by Samuel Weiser in 1985], Wirth attributes his blossoming knowledge of Tarot to another young occultist, Stanislas de Guaita. Guaita admired Wirth's artistic talents and "advised [him] to restore the 22 arcanas to their hieroglyphic purity... The ideal to be realised demanded a perfect unity of symbolism, so that everything fits into the 22 compositions, which must throw light upon each other and must contain no arbitrary detail which is not justified." 

De Guaita established his Major Arcana as an initiatory sequence to be used to establish a path of spiritual ascension and evolution. What is this, if it is not what Cherisey himself adopted about a journey to find a spiritual tomb? And Plantard also must have been utilising the deck of the 22 arcana to establish a path of initiatory sequence which must throw light upon each other and must contain no arbitrary detail which is not justified!

In Cherisey's ADDENDUM TO THE PREFACE in his novel CIRCUIT he writes;

"In accordance with the resolution previously taken, the 22 chapters of Circuit are being laid out in the accepted order of the Great Book of Massilia. 1 2 3 …etc. so that the pictures can been seen. The 22 verses of “Good King Dagobert” should be applied to the 22 former, but not in the order of Larousse, so that the reader who would like to discover a second “circuit” under Circuit can rearrange the chapters in the order of the verses

Other parallels that have been considered, and that will allow the reader the pleasure of discovering for himself, are: 

(a) The 22 stations of the Vincennes-Neuilly line

(b) The 22 volumes of the journal of the Goncourts.

(c) The 22 sections of the “Apocalypse of St John”

(d) The 22 paragraphs of “Menexène” of Plato that form a framework to the 22 books of the great work of St Augustine

(e) The 22 letters and half of “The Stranger” by Balzac

(f) The 22 chapters of the “Indes Noires” by Jules Verne

We would like to emphasise the great importance of the number 22 to Jules Verne, whose “Extraordinary Voyages” are 66 (3 x 22) and who having been turned down by twenty-one Editors, was finally accepted by Hetzel whose building today houses the Editions de Seuil.

THE AUTHOR"

Below - is the Fool Card designed by Pierre Plantard  

You can see in the background the church at Rennes-les-Bains, with the Fool descending some steps which may hint of going below ground, perhaps under the church or perhaps below ground in the cemetery as the orientation of the Church depicted on the card suggests that the Fool is in the cemetery at the side of the church [actually near the Fleury tomb]. This resembles a Beaucean remark, when he asks whether a statue of Isis, also known as Venus, came from a Roman Temple thought to be under the village of Rennes-les-Bains. He says the answer must be Yes because 'the discovery of a great charnel house under the main square seems to confirm it'. A charnel house 'under the town square' i.e under the Place Deux Rennes? And behind this main square Beaucean continues, is the church - to the South - where stood a huge pagan Temple from which the statue of an alleged Isis/Venus came from. The geography referred to fits with the very real large block Roman foundations witnessed by Boudet and others which many feel is related to an underground Roman Temple and to a main house by that central square. 

Plantard's Fool card also has other designs on it. For example what is the Cross in the Circle logo sitting atop his staff? Is it a reference to a local land mark detailed on geographical maps called La Croix de Cercle. Also, what is the design on the hat he wears, what is the meaning of the large triangle depicted? Is this an element of what Simon Miles' calls 'a subliminal image, [that of] the emblem of the Martinists'. It is, for him, this emblem which is of paramount importance for what it represents and what is found in the famous Sauniere Parchments

Four other painting composition's of these Tarot cards by Plantard were published in “Le Cercle” and published by his alleged son Thomas in the BNF in 1992. They carry details which relate to Rennes-les-Bains and Rennes-le-Chateau. Below are the illustrations from Le Cercle as well as the original Wirth Great Arcana;

Above - Plantard's designs for his Tarot, and below the Wirth card basic designs that Plantard adopted to re-design his own Tarot deck;

The French Occult Connection?

Oswald Wirth was the secretary of Stanislas de Guaita, a French occultist and poet, co-founder with Papus and Joséphin Péladan of the Kabbalistic Order of the Rose-Cross. In 1891 however, Péladan left to found the Order of the Catholic and Rose-Cross of the Temple and the Grail. Rather bizarrely it was these same circle of occultist's who believed in the presence of a burial of the historical figure of Jesus Christ in the South of France and they appear to have tried to even search for it! They were all associated in one way or another with the revived Gnostic Church at the end of the 19th century and one main figure, Dr Fugairon. Dr Fugairon showed a marked interest in the hidden life of the historical Jesus. He was responsible for converting the well known Déodat Roché [to Catharism and Gnosticism] who later became the Cathar expert par excellence in the Aude.

It was the father of Déodat Roché who, in his function as a notary, secured the land later assigned as a burial plot at a place called Les Pontils in the Aude. This Pontils tomb, situated close to Arques, bares a striking resemblance to the tomb in the second version of Les Bergers d’Arcadie by Nicolas Poussin - made famous in the Rennes Affair by Jean Pellet and Gérard de Sède, in an article called “Le Secret de Nicolas Poussin” published in 1972. Although this is thought to be the first reference to the so called Poussin Tomb of Arques - Plantard had published in 1965 a motto which quotes the phrase on Poussins' tomb, Et in Arcadia Ego, suggesting that it was important in some way to Plantard as early as 1965. 

This so-called Poussin Tomb was originally thought to have been built during Saunière’s lifetime - in 1903 to be exact - by a mason from Rennes-les-Bains called Bourrel for Mr Galibert, the grandson of American industrialist Louis Galibert, who had settled on the plot of land 20 years earlier. The Bourrel/Bourriel family are alleged to be key players in the story of the Rennes Affair. They are linked to Maison Chaluleau at Rennes-les-Bains, and a supposed diversion created at the site of the Moulin in Pontils. 

Pierre Plantard went as fas as to state that Abbe Delmas, author of a 1709 manuscript about Rennes-les-Bains also raised questions about this Pontils tomb. However this is untrue and it was only in the Priory document - The Circle of Ulysses [1977] - that Delmas was brought in to the issue. This document states that;

"...the question is not to determine whether Poussin made a journey to the Languedoc in 1635, but to find out if the picture 'Les Bergeres d'Arcadie', second version, really represents the tomb said to be that of Arques, such as it was at that period. In reality, the tomb is not at Arques - but situated on the zero Meridian between Peyrolles and Serres. This tomb, mentioned in an 18th century work by the Abbe Delmas, had on its north face a vertical stone which bore this motto 'Et In Arcadia Ego', and in 1789 it was transported to the cemetery at Rennes-le-Chateau. So it is correct that Poussin did depict this stone. It is also correct that Abbe Bigou took charge of a stone! In the bishops archives there exists a document in the priest's handwriting bearing on the transfer of this stone by Guillaume TIFFOU from Serres to Rennes-le-Chateau....'

French researchers maintain that Saunière's extended family were very well established around Rennes-le-Château. Members also lived in Arques. Allegedly on October 7, 1898, Saunière asked the father of Déodat, Paul Roché, in his position as the local notary, to search for some notarial acts. On the 10th October, Roché asked Saunière to investigate property boundaries. The Galiberts were in Pontils at this time. For some French researchers two questions arise;


1] - What property boundaries were the ones in question? The Saunière account books make no mention of this and there is little chance that the boundaries are those of his land in Rennes-le-Château and,  2] - Where are the notary fees owed by Saunière reported as being paid?

The Pontils property was purchased in 1880 by Louis Galibert, who came to live there with his wife Elisabeth. In 1903 they had a grave dug and a tomb [sépulture = burial place] constructed there by the stonemason Bourrel as noted above, on a hillock located some fifty metres from the road. Another French researcher, working with notes from the family archives of Bourrel quoted from them that 'it is useful to note, on this subject, that Louis Bertram Lawrence seemed particularly attentive to the "garden of the tomb", as Adrien Bourrel called it, and, above all, to a certain place on his property where there were, even at the time, "remains and traces of the quarry". 

What quarry? Where was it and how is it related to the tomb at Pontils or was it related more to the famous menhir of Pontils not far from the tomb location and not far from the old Pontils cemetery itself? If so this would raise many interesting connections. 

The famous Menhir of Pontils is the only legitimate Menhir in the area of the Two Rennes that Henri Boudet managed not to mention when he described all the false menhirs he found in his book La Vrai Langue Celtique. The historian Louis Fèdiè  in his "Le Comte de Razes" thought that there was a cavity close to this menhir, a natural cave or perhaps one originally carved out by man. He wrote that this standing stone exists in the territory of the municipality of Peyrolles and is shaped like a truncated obelisk and slightly inclined. It measures about 2 m 85 cm, and its circumference is 2m. He said "We must mention a circumstance which has greatly impressed us. Around and almost at the base of the monument, the ground seems firm and topped with inlaid stones, and presents a singular phenomenon. It sounds hollow under horses' feet, as if the rider has passed over a vault. Is it near a Celtic stone cave carved by nature? Or is it the hand of the man who searched on this and dug a cavity of a certain size?" 

Fèdiè also thought that the name Peyrolles, which is the name of the commune that Pontils and its vicinity are located on, stemmed from a barbaric Latin term - Peyra Olla - signifying 'stone funeral urn'.  French researcher Pierre Jarnac thought that the name was formed by the two terms "Peire ola" meaning "tomb stone".  Perhaps this suggests a funerary and sacred tradition of the place of Peyrolles/Pontils? 

Other origins for the name Peyrolles include the Occitan "peyre" which itself comes from the Latin "petra" meaning stone and the etymology of peyrolles could also be the place of the stones. As early as 1869, the menhir of Peyrolles was cited as a curious druidic monument: it was undoubtedly this straight stone, placed in the vicinity of the village, that gave the village its current name: it is even likely that in the 9th century, there were other menhirs in this region, because the oldest name of the place is village of peyrollis or petrolis, that is, village of straight stones. 

BOUDET himself described in The True Celtic Language, that "Peyre-Hole" [ie using homophony to suggest Peyrolles] meaning (hollow, cave, small dwelling) came from English word for a small dwelling and would mean "Pierre de Trou"[stone with a hole]. Later, BOUDET seems to link this to another area in the village of Rennes-les-Bains and tells us that a small cave exists quite close to the overturned menhirs of La Fajole "Fadge-Hole". He writes;

Toutes les pierres anciennement dressées à la Fajole sont aujourd'- hui renversées, et ressembleraient à des blocs erratiques, si les angles vifs de ces pierres ne démontraient clairement leur primitive destination. Ces pierres levées étaient trop rapprochées des maisons et du village celtique pour qu'on pût les laisser sur pied, car elles étaient placées au-dessus du Bugat, partie du village gaulois où vivaient les habitants les plus pauvres. Une petite grotte ou caverne existe assez près des ménirs renversés de la Fajole : elle est située vers le nord et regarde Montferrand, – to fadge (fadje), convenir, – hole, creux, caverne, petit logement –.

All the stones formerly erected at the Fajole are now overturned, and would look like erratic blocks, if the sharp angles of these stones did not clearly demonstrate their primitive destination. These raised stones were too close to the houses and the Celtic village to be left standing, because they were placed above the Bugat, part of the Gallic village where the poorest inhabitants lived. A small cave or cave exists quite close to the overthrown menirs of the Fajole: it is located to the north and looks at Montferrand, - to fadge (fadje), agree, - hole, hollow, cave, small dwelling -.

At the old rhedae sit- which no longer exist, an author [initials MF] wrote;

"In July 1896, Abbé Ancé made a study excursion on the megalith [ie the Menhir of Pontils/Peyrolles] for the Société d'Etude Scientifique de l'Aude (in bulletin de la SESA -1900 -Tome XI) and then in June 1924 it was G. Sicard (correspondent of the Historical Monuments Commission) who for SESA also makes an excursion to Arques and Fourtou. He concluded that: 

"This megalith is right on the meridian of Paris". 

For the addicts of modern IGN maps I specify that the Peulvan stands about 325 meters from the Meridian TOP 25 2347 OT map. So why make the Paris Meridian pass directly under/on the erected stone? Simply because we must take into account the imprecision of the staff maps ... of the time and the famous error of Méchain when he began measuring the meridian arc towards Barcelona at the beginning of the 19th century (an error rectified today). 

The Menhir of Pontils/Peyrolles is only about 200m from the road, in front of the kilometer terminal 65km 5h. It is made of old limestone, inclined S.S.O. and rises above the ground at 2m50. Its largest width is 0.75 m, its thickness of 0.60 m. It is claimed that a vast excavation exists under the monument, the earth resonating in hollows at the foot of the megalith (note of the late Abbé Ancé). It can be noted that Mr. Sicard is much less approximate on the measurement of the menhir than L. Fédié. This stone is called indifferently Menhir d'Arques or menhir de Peyrolles. However, it is on the territory of the latter municipality that the megalith rises. We can only question the lack of studies on this cavity while the technical means are simple to implement (Magnetometer), but it would seem that this is the case for the majority of sites of archaeological interest in the region. We are far from the means implemented in the departments of the South-East of France where there are many excavation sites. In 1894, Mr. Fédié praised Abbé Boudet in the "Memoirs of the Société des Arts et Sciences de Carcassonne" Volume VII, 1894-1895. Subject of this praise, his study on "remarks on the phonetics of the Languedoc dialect", an article of the same linguistic vein as "the True Celtic Language" where Boudet describes meaning of words by marrying Occitan and Anglo-Saxon elements. "We must praise Mr. Abbé Boudet for having proven to us that he had prepared himself through strong studies and patient research to treat the subject he had chosen as a competent man." It is difficult to deny the link between the two men, which highlights the strangeness of the absence of any mention of Peyro Dreito in "the True Celtic Language", which Louis Fedié could not fail to note. Especially since it was L.Fédié who signed Henri Boudet's diploma in January 1888 as a corresponding member of the Société des Arts et Sciences de Carcassonne. Should we, as Boudet and Mr. Patrick Ferté suggest, make a work of the Punich Language or the stenography of Abbé Trithème (from the Greek steganos: Hidden and grapho: writing) to find the menhir? Let us note in passing the strange spelling of this word by Abbé Boudet who omits the letter H. Does "Ménir" already point out a lack through this anomaly? As for the transformation of the H of the ghostly Cromlech into a K? Let's play a little the game of bird language with Boudet. So we have a "ménir" without H. H as Ache. On page 255, the abbot gratifies us with a chapter called "The Hole Stone or Celtic Axe", which begins with;

"The great stones erected throughout Gaul, contained a religious sense of an indisputable truth." While we would expect a development on this subject, he quickly switches to the Celtic axe that he seems to associate with menhirs. "The polished stone called Celtic axe, made of jade, serpentine or diorite, affects various shapes. The Languedoc dialect calls it a hole stone. It represents what must be believed, that is, the necessary teachings inscribed in the great stones raised... ". 

He also associates them with Celtic tombs: 

"The presence of flint and polished stones in the tombs of the Celts...". 

It is easy to quickly move on to other interesting elements without giving them a minimum of interest, as this work is so heavy and far from our Descartes-style rationalism. However, with a little application and intuition (a quality strongly denied nowadays), it remains possible to draw the "substantive marrow" so dear to Rabelais and .... by the play of words and ideas (methods also used by the society of the Gouliards). From the beginning of the chapter, Abbé Boudet challenges us on the raised large stones.

-To these raised stones, Celtic axes are intimately linked.
-Importance of the Languedoc dialect and the meaning of "Pierre de Trou" are keys to the teaching of erect stones.
-These hole stones - these peulvans designate a tomb.

We therefore have a stone raised in relation to Celtic, H. 

Let's note the author's call to apply the Languedoc dialect to "hole stone"[pierre de Trou]

- A "hole stone/pierre de Trou" would correspond to the Occitan element: "Peyro" and to "hole", the English element "hole" which gives us peyro-hole: Peyrolles. In his articles, Louis Fédié advocates the "hole stone - tomb", he considers that the name Peyrolles comes from Peyra-olla - a funerary urn stone - which gives us "tomb". In the following chapter of Boudet's book entitled: "Secondary meaning of raised stones. The Eubates ", Boudet designates to us, by association of ideas, that the Peulvan is a druidic stone, a name also given by Eugène Stüblein on his 1877 map to the peyro dreito de Peyrolles [another name for the Menhir of peyrolles] Nice coincidence. I understand that this type of analysis seems to be a matter of mental gymnastics, but it is difficult to approach Boudet without hearing his calls on the Punic language with so cryptic principles. 

In conclusion, Boudet could not ignore the existence of this erect Stone, and by his language play he put off more than one [researcher]. He invites us to take an interest in the only true megalithic monument in the surrounding area, that of Peyrolles, as a symbol of a tomb, which will be materialized in a more telling form by the tomb of Peyrolles in 1903 so dear to the Arcadians.." 

Of course, it is the view from this stone that gives perhaps the view seen to the left of the Poussin 'Shepherds of Arcadia' painting 2nd version that all Rennes enthusiasts are aware of!

And according to Abbe Mazieres one "M. Courtejaire had established that there, where can be seen the raised stone of Les Pontils, near the village of Arques, hence north-east of Rennes-le-Chateau, there is a fault. By deduction, he was persuaded that in this place there was an ancient Iberian-Gallic temple, volque and perhaps with caches...".  

Why does Courtejaire speak of an ancient underground Iberian-Gallic Temple in the place by the stone of Les Pontils? A rudimentary internet search brought up one other reference to Courtejaire: 

"What I mean is that the temple ...... was underground, windowless and therefore easily concealable and hard to find. Courtejaire knew Ernest Cros (polytechnician), who Berenger Sauniere [had] known and who Cros had criticised for his archaeological destruction ...., which is not surprising ... Indeed, Joseph Courtejaire (future professor at the University of Toulouse) had known in his adolescence the old Ernest Cross who communicated to him certain confidences. This led him to study the ground where was planted the only menhir of the region: the menhir of Peyrolles. He discovered a fault near the site. No one will know what he saw because he was convinced (for having discovered?) the existence in this place a Gallic temple of the Volques Tectosages - whose structure - [was of the] Ibero Gauls. Obviously he could not know what it was exactly. The "chance" he wanted all his life [?to investigate] never happened as he died early and his research "fell into oblivion".  

That is - the Tomb at Arques aka Poussin's Tomb! The 1903 Peyrolles tomb built by Bourrel. 

In light of the above discussion could these observations suggest that in this general vicinity there is an important tomb? The Menhir of Pontils, what is more, is associated with a marble quarry in the area which may or may not be the quarry referred to by Adrien Bourrel. To the north of this menhir, there are large blocks of cut pink marble that seem to come from a quarry which may be what Bourrel was referring to. 

In the VLC, Boudet devotes Chapter IV to THE HOLE STONE [PIERRE DE TROU] OR CELTIC AXE to "The polished stone, called the Celtic axe, made of jade, serpentine or diorite, affects various forms. The Languedoc dialect calls it Pierre de Trou. It represents what to believe, that is, the necessary teachings inscribed in the great raised stones - to trow (troh), believe -. 

What are we to think of this strange raised "stone" associated with a "hole" and in which Boudet invites us to believe?

All this may also have links with a reported 10th century document in the hands of the Maraval family - who obtained it perhaps from the Aniort/Marie de Nègre family archives. The document reveals a statement - "La pierre levée des Pontils regarde aux greniers et aux caves du roi" ["the raised stone of Pontils look[s] at the attics [granaries?] and the cellars of the king"] . When you stand by the raised stone of Pontils actually in the landscape your view is towards Cardou, Blanchefort and Rennes-le-Chateau! 

There may even be a link between the scrambled knowledge of the Anoint document from the Marie de Nègre family archives and the famous Marie Stele in the Rennes Affair as detailed in the diagram below. 

In an interview Antoine Captier [in reference to the early visitors to Rennes-le-Chateau and the restaurant that Noël Corbu ran in the 1950's] said that;

'The customer's then, were those such as the brother of Déodat Roché, who was interested in Bérenger Saunière and also his other brother who was the notary of the priest. There were plenty of neo-Cathar's who came here on pilgrimage at the time. Déodat Roché became interested in Rennes-le-Chateau but we do not know why'.

If Fugairon 'converted' Déodat Roché as we noted above, was it central to what was going on at the Two Rennes during the 19th central occult revival, of whom the Pope described as the revival of Manichaeism? Is that why Déodat Roché became interested in the Affair? 

Fugairon had wondered about the whereabouts of the historical Jesus after the Crucifixion and this is where Fugairon is brought to play in a fundamental way in "The Rennes Affair" [according to French researcher Christian Doumergue]. In June 1897, Fugairon published in the Martinist Journal, L'Initiation, an article where he defends the idea that Mary Magdalene, when she went to Provence, brought back with her the body of the historical Christ - and that it is therefore in the South of France that the body still rests.  Nothing to do with a bloodline or marriage but specifically the body of Christ.  

The members of the Gnostic Church even tried to find this tomb. In letters of Fugairon specifically, Doumergue, analysing correspondence and cross-checking found comments that attest to some members of church (Déodat Roché, Jules Doinel and Doctor Fugairon ...) carrying out research in the Rennes region. For example in a letter to Dr. Fugairon on August 20, 1899, Déodat Roché informs his correspondent that Fabre des Essart, bishop of the Gnostic Church since Jules Doinel left, was asking to communicate to him any and all discoveries ... nothing is said in this missive as to the exact object of the research being conducted. But another letter, addressed by Roché to Fabre des Essart on 7 May 1899, does.

"As for the body of J.-C. why would it not have been "stolen"...? Catholicism uses a little too much of its magic to convert or hold under its yoke the faithfu... ", writes the 'Cathar of Arques“.

J.C we assume is the name of Jesus Christ abbreviated. So Déodat Roché was involved in a search for the body of Jesus Christ? 

He had met Prosper Estieu, a poet and teacher in Rennes-le-Château in June 1900. Estieu was an ardent defender of the Cathars and was the founder of the review called Montségur [a magazine about the Cathars] which he published from the village of Rennes-le-Chateau when he lived there. Interestingly there was a known conflict between Estieu and Saunière at Rennes. It was probably because Estieu was a passionate champion of the Cathars and of what Saunière may have seen as the 'occult' [see below]. I mean, it surely wasn't conflict over both having knowledge of the last resting place of J.C, right?

In 1903 the Mayor of Rennes-le-Château sent a letter to the Prefect complaining that Prosper Estieu was “a very bad teacher”. Later there was another letter from the Prefect to the Sub-Prefect of Limoux wondering if the Mayor’s letter dated 8 February, which was not in his handwriting, had actually been forged by Bérenger Saunière!

Fabre des Essarts was an occultist, symbolist poet, politician and a theorist of gnosis and esoteric Christianity. He was Victor Hugo's friend and was crowned in a ceremony at the Toulouse Floral Games. Under the name of Tau Synesius, Bishop of Bordeaux, he was one of the first consecrated bishops of the Gnostic Church of France of Jules Doinel. After the latter broke with his church, he was elected patriarch in 1896 and collaborated with another Gnostic bishop, Dr Fugairon [already referred to above], to develop the same Gnostic Church. In 1900, he agreed to readmit Doinel into the Gnostic Church and to consecrate him again under the name of Tau Jules, Bishop of Alet and Mirepoix. He also hosted a synarchic Masonic lodge and collaborated on the occult review L'Initiation, which as we saw above is where Dr Fugairon wrote about his views on the last resting place of the body of Jesus.

As Christian Doumergue wrote; 

"Jules Doinel, the founder of the Gnostic Church, after his conversion to Catholicism - allowed him to approach Bishop Billard, with the purpose of conducting research in the region, and he stands out, among other things, for his publication of a life of ... Blanche de Castille! It makes you think that Noël Corbu, in one way or another, had inherited archives from the Gnostic Church, which later found themselves in the hands Pierre Plantard, who had arrived already well informed at Rennes." 

In the book by John Saul cited above, a plausible route to have Plantard gain these files and archives  is established. [See HERE].

For me it seems probable that something occurred around the time of Saunière within a group connected with the so called occult revival of the 19th century. It seems to stem from Jules Doinel. It was he who initiated the Gnostic Church of France as a French neo-Gnostic Christian occultist organization in 1890 and declared it as a religious association in 1906. It was Doinel, as an esoteric Freemason influenced by Cathar documents and by the theology of ancient Gnostics such as Simon the Magician and Valentin, and as the archivist of the Aude who as we saw above founded the Gnostic Church in 1890, a date that opens, for him and his followers, "the Year I of the Restoration of Gnosis”. Doinel was the self-proclaimed Bishop of Montségur [a priesthood he claims to have received from Jesus], and as patriarch of this new Church, Doinel took the mystical name of Valentin II and appointed eleven titular bishops, including a woman bishop, as well as deacons and deaconesses. Déodat Roché was a member of this Church and was allegedly searching for the body of the historical Jesus. Fabre des Essarts, member of the Gnostic Church, discussed these excavations with Roché!

Chérisey and Plantard and their coded information about the Two Rennes

All of these concepts and strands of esoteric history describe how the works of Plantard and Cherisey came in to being. We need to appreciate this before we can fully hope to understand Chérisey [and Plantard] and their coded information! 

Chérisey was above all an extraordinary and under-rated poet and fantastic story-teller and he put it to good use in collaboration with Pierre Plantard. Pierre Plantard had access to occult files that carried strange information and they, between them they used literary devices to convey deeper meanings and to highlight important themes they had found out about. 

We mentioned one device, circumlocution above but they also used transposition - a kind of time distortion and place distortion - and by changing the relative place or normal order of a thing, or altering a known sequence of events they were drawing us to some hidden knowledge they possessed. And using juxtaposition - they put two things [facts or ideas] together with contrasting effect to illustrate something else entirely. Chérisey did this supremely well in his novel CIRCUIT. And in the text 'In the Country of the White Queen' they did it to compare and contrast a similar legend between Gisors and Rennes-les-Bains about an underground Temple in both places, both solidly attested to in archaeology. 

Some of it is real history, other sections are symbolic history. From it one is to glean the true history!

IN THE COUNTRY OF THE WHITE QUEEN

Plantard and Chérisey transposed the local legend of an underground passage in the GISORS tower to one such legend at Rennes-les-Bains. The legend in Gisors involved the tower of Reine Blanche de Neaufles with its underground passage leading from it & which linked in some way with the town of Gisors. This transplanted legend to an 'underground' place in Rennes-les-Bains with a Temple will take us directly to Henri BOUDET. 

Blanche D'EVREUX is the historical 'white queen' who retired to the Tower of Neaufles in 1359. Her 'whiteness' was because when her husband died she was in mourning and she dressed in white as opposed to the later black colour tradition. Her husband was Philippe VI, first king of France from the House of Valois, reigning from 1328 until his death in 1350. Having died without leaving any male heirs, the throne fell to a cousin from another line: Philippe de Valois. Philippe therefore wanted to consolidate his perhaps disputed royalty by marrying his son Jean-le-Bon, who had become a widower, to a descendant of the illustrious Saint Louis, the lovely Blanche de Navarre (also called Blanche d'Évreux, i.e the White Queen of the Neaufles tower). 

In the legend of Neaufles the underground passage ends at the entrance of a cave of treasure guarded by a demon and access is granted on only one day of the year [December 25th]. In the collective memory of the locals, the links existing between Gisors and Neaufles are marked by belief in this underground passage which supposedly connects the two fortresses of Gisors and Neaufles.

Blanche of Navarre was indeed of an illustrious line being traced back to Ida of Lorraine, the daughter of Godfrey III, Duke of Lower Lorraine and his wife Doda. This Ida of Lorraine had married Eustace II, Count of Boulogne as we saw above and they were parents to Godfrey of Bouillon, Baldwin I, King of Jerusalem and Eustace III Count of Boulogne, later patron of the Knights Templar. 

This bloodline extended back to Charles (953 – 22 June 992-995) who was the Duke of Lower Lorraine from 977 until his death. This very same Charles [we met him above as an ancestor of King Rene of Anjou] was said by one Monsieur G [who i suspect is Plantard] in conversations with author Camille Bartoli [who was writing a book about the identity of the Man in the Iron Mask] to be the real reason why the Knights Templars existed. Monsieur G said that;

'the first part of the 'secret' Templars involved the reinstatement of the French monarchy - those Frankish kings called the Merovingian's – who ‘were kings by right of birth’. All dynasties which followed – the Capetian's, the Valois and the Bourbon were illegitimate. It was re-iterated: ‘The crown of France belonged by divine right to the descendants of Charles de Lorraine, who was the true heir when Capet usurped the throne at the end of the 10th century.’ 

When Philippe VI [as a widower himself for just a few weeks] tried to arrange this illustrious marriage for his son, he changed his mind, finding that this Blanche would suit him just as well and instead he married her on 29 January 1350 at Brie-Comte-Robert, being forty years her senior. As the chronicler Jean Le Bel recounts:

«...the father took the beautiful young damsel Blanche, whom his son had wanted as a wife. But the father took such a liking for her for as she was so beautiful and gracious that [he] married her, and gave his son in marriage to the first cousin of damsel Blanche.

But Philippe died a few months after his marriage and Blanche, young and  pregnant, dressed all in white as befits queens who go into mourning. She withdrew to her lordship in Normandy which constituted her dower and to her castle at Neaufles. From there, she is said to have walked the paths along the Levrière. Pious, chaste, beautiful, honest, gifted and with compassion, cultured and a fine politician, Blanche received the nickname Belle Sagesse. She took after another very illustrious ancestor of her own. A century before Blanche de Navarre lived in Neaufles, Blanche de Castile, the mother of Saint Louis, also stayed at the Tower after the death of her husband, King Louis VIII in 1226. Both could be said to be White Queens, all dressed in white during their mourning. Blanche number two took refuge in the tower during various wars - in one, when the enemy finally managed to enter the tower, it was found empty. Apparently Blanche of Castile had used an underground passage which, starting from the keep, allowed her to reach the castle of Gisors which was 4,000 meters away. 

The legend of this underground tunnel is reinforced by the presence in the town of a "monumental cross" in limestone, called the "pierced cross", carved in the middle of the 12th century.

Above - Pierced cross of Neaufles-Saint-Martin famously used by De Sede on the cover of his 'The Templars Are Among Us'. 

Another variation on this legend says that Neaufles & Gisors are at the centre of a mysterious knot of underground passages whose route, in the region, is marked by Templar crosses tracing their passage above ground. 

Is there an implied similar set of underground passages at Rennes-les-Bains?

In the 19th century, a worker was sent to inspect these underground areas of Neaufles to see if any consolidation work was required. He walked through the galleries for a long distance, before arriving in front of a heavy, rusted iron gate, behind which, at the back of a room, he could see glittering objects and gold coins. He decided to tackle this solid gate, kept closed not only by its strong lock, but also by the rust that covered it. While he was engaged in this operation, there was a terrible crashing noise, as if from hell, which filled the galleries and caused him to panic. He quickly turned back and, sure that he had crossed paths with the devil, refused to descend into the sinister trenches again.

This legend has an echo in those legends of Rennes, especially with the involvement of a demon or Devil. I think in particular of the Devil's Treasure at Blanchefort and/or the Shepherdess treasure of Le Serbairou. 

A slight variation on this same legend is one called Le souterrain de la Reine Blanche which reports that the underground passages of the Neaufles tower and it's ruined fortress are located one league from the castle of Gisors & that they communicate with each other, as usual, by way of an underground passage which passes under the river bed which separates the two places. The passage conceals a magical treasure, locked up under iron gates of marvellous workmanship. The legend also carries a report of the testimony of a worker who, having worked in the underground passages of Neaufles, claimed to have seen and touched these beautiful gates. They formed an impenetrable barrier which defended the entrance to a magnificent temple [my emphasis]. This temple was dedicated to the Golden Calf, whose resplendent image rose at the bottom of the sanctuary. A heap of riches, to put off the greedy, was spread at the feet of the impure idol. Gold, silver, diamonds & precious stones were displayed in profusion on the walls and ceilings of the temple. 

The legend continues reporting that workers who had received the order to clear the underground passages to get to this underground Temple at Gisors, tried to penetrate under the dark vaults, but were forced to interrupt their work: flaming chasms opened up under their feet; the air around them was impregnated with fetid vapours; hideous apparitions appeared before their eyes, and they heard a dreadful angry hell roar in their ears! On reading the genealogy of Christ at midnight mass, the iron gates of the underground Temple open silently, while the Golden Calf and its satanic riches are delivered, defeated and defenceless, to the hand that would dare to seize it!

For Beaucean, and by extension Plantard and Chérisey, using transposition they relate the legend of this underground Temple at Neaufles/Gisors with one at Rennes-les-Bains - also directly associated with a White Queen - but their white queen was in fact a statue! They also link a kind of astrological reading to the placement of the Gisors castle and Chateau and presumably a celestial zodiac, another feature linked by Plantard to Rennes-les-Bains. And a feature of the Poem Le Serpent Rouge in that images of the zodiac are associated with details in the local landscape of Rennes-le-Chateau and Rennes-les-Bains. 

There are also echos of flaming chasms ... under their feet; the air around them was impregnated with fetid vapours at Rennes-les-Bains, because as an ancient Roman spa town all sorts of hot water vapours are seen there, even to this day! 

Beaucean writes; "By collecting many documents, historians were able to establish the precise location of a white marble statue measuring over two meters in height & representing ISIS. Here the testimonies diverge. Some say that the tests carried out at the place indicated brought back dust of white marble, others that the exhumed goddess was immediately re-buried, others finally that the research is entirely imaginary. The owner of the Hotel has not been heard from because we are certain that a man has the right to bury ISIS in his yard without reporting it to anyone."

A WHITE MARBLE STATUE AT RENNES-LES-BAINS

Beaucean has taken this information from an historical work by Dr Paul Courrent. Courrent wrote a lot about the history of Rennes-les-Bains saying; 

"Paul Urbain de Fleury and his son Henri ... created a small local museum with the discoveries found at Rennes at different times but especially at the beginning of the eighteenth century, & they have long been kept in the cabinet of the Fleury's. They include: fragments of brick and tile edges which are Gallo-Roman; a beautiful white cornice fragment of marble and an ornament plate of 45 mm. There are also remains of statues, artistically made, including; 

i) a complete arm with a hand holding an egg, white Marble, 0.60 centimetres 

ii) an arm holding a snake wrapped in a patôre, white marble, 

iii) a hand gripping a cloth/linen, marble. The latter should be compared to an ornate hand with rings also holding a piece of cloth, of which other examples have been found in the ruins of a temple on the Seine. 

Marius CATHALA the learned archaeologist and palaeontologist, former president of the Society for Scientific Studies of the Aude, personally believes in the existence of the statue to which the hand with the egg belonged. He even locates the presence of this statue in the furnished hotel CHALULEAÛ at Rennes-les-Bains, in the middle of an exterior courtyard, where soundings carried out by himself, brought up marble dust which he believes to have come from this statue. This hotel is built on very old substructures. We do not want the owner of this hotel to continue to oppose any research - how interesting it would be, if it is true that the statue exists, to bring it to light and place it on the square of our station!" [i.e the Place Deux Rennes].

As we shall see below it is the complete arm with a hand holding an egg, white Marble, 0.60 centimetres which is of interest [as drawn by a local historian and shown below]

The interesting observation is that the owners of the Maison/Hotel Chaluleau at the time of Courrent appeared to obstruct the early wannabe archaeologists from excavating which he finds a source of great frustration - and this is even in the knowledge that the Fleury's themselves were already collecting artefacts and displaying them. The displayed artefacts actually came from this same hotel/maison/house. We do indeed wonder why the owners of the House would obstruct the archaeologists when finds were already being made and displayed in the Fluery cabinets!

Above -  Marius CATHALA

However, Courrent in his piece, seems not to be aware of the rumours of the finding of another statue, that of the goddess Venus, allegedly found in the same place and later sold off to an American. This statue of Venus has direct links to Henri Boudet.  

Courrent continues;

"The Chaluleau hotel also seems to be built on very old substructures. Repairs carried out in this house in 1928, revealed "large block foundations" that Mr. ROUZAUD, former president of the Archaeological Commission of Narbonne, attributes to ancient Roman buildings, temples or palaces'. 

These 'very old substructures' seen by Courrent and ROUZAUD were seen much earlier in 1862 by Monsieur Cumenge, who wrote:

"The temple of Rennes, of which I recognised the traces, the paving stones, the walls and various votive altars, still lay under a layer of plant soil at a depth of one meter and 50 centimetres. The pavement of the temple is made up of large slabs of 50 cent. thick, 25 wide by 35 long."

This testimony is fascinating because Cumenge calls the Roman remains the Temple of Rennes. This means that beneath our very own feet, when we visit Rennes-les-Bains approximately one meter down, these remains are still there! 

Cumenge could see votive altars associated with the Temple. He continues; 

"It was while digging foundations and clearing the ground that we found the arm of a woman, holding an egg in her hand [my emphasis] which she appears to be presenting to those present. It was the symbol of the divinity of these places dedicated to fertility, a belief which has continued to this day and which still makes people ask Rennes every year for the fulfilment of the dearest wish of a woman.... Aesculapius was still the God that people came to implore in Rennes. Certainly, if excavations were carried out in this place rich in archaeological treasures, we would find the body of this statue [my emphasis]. We would see to which foot a big toe in white marble, which was broken by an unskilled workman, belonged. We would find the rest of this inscription. For which altars did these marble mouldings serve as ornaments and bases? I promised myself that one day I would see again this land which is not yet invaded by the habitations."

Cumenge unfortunately does not explicitly state where 'digging of these foundations' took place and whereabouts in the village of Rennes-les-Bains he exactly saw the Temple of Rennes. But he is an eyewitness to the finding of the 'arm of a woman, holding an egg in her hand'. Cumenge published his account in 1862, therefore the excavations must have taken place earlier. We know another chronicler, Gourdon sited the finding of an arm holding an egg [and supplying a drawing as detailed above] on the site of a house that actually forms the last house of the village of Bains, to the South.

Gourdon writes about other finds associated with the arm - " ..... several sizeable fragments of capitals, columns, etc., of remarkable work, in which it is easy to recognise the debris of a temple, dedicated either to Aesculapius or Hygeia

This is virtually the same thing Cumenge wrote so perhaps Gourdon was there/saw it/knew Cumenge? And importantly, we know where Gourdon was talking about. It was the area of Maison Chalaleu and the church at Rennes-les-Bains and the main square of the village. We know that the Maison Aveilla/Chaluleau-Cathary was built in 1860 and so foundation excavations around that time must be associated with these archaeological findings. Both Gourdon and Cumenge were on hand, and were able to report what they saw a few years later. 

It is quite clear that the Maison Chaluleau area begins to be seen as the place where an underground Temple exists and I suspect where from its grounds a statue, of either Isis [for some] or Venus [in the eyewitness reports] was found. The arm with an egg was thought to come from this statue, or perhaps another statue in this same underground temple. 

Gourdon as local historian had already drawn a diagram of the statue's arm 'with a hand holding an egg' [as well as other items] as the illustration above shows. It is sometimes described as a votive offering but could it be possible that the hand holding an egg was part of a much larger statue as Marius CATHALA believed, and in fact as Cumnege believed? Cathala located the presence of the rest of the statue in the 'courtyard' of the maison CHALULEAÛ, in fact in the middle of its exterior courtyard.

Above - a marble statue of Venus/Aphrodite holding an egg/?apple [Louvre Museum]. Did the White Queen statue of Rennes-les-Bains resemble this?

As i noted above this seems to be related to a witnessing of the finding of another statue in the very same courtyard by Henri Boudet, our archaeologist priest. Boudet discussed this find with Henri ROUZAUD who was a friend of Cathala and who visited Boudet at Rennes-les-Bains in around 1911 -  these people were the same individuals interested in the Temple under Maison Chaluleau.

All of this is certainly the source of the literary output in the BEAUCEAN text. Therefore the paradigm we should be following is this information about a Temple UNDER Rennes-les-Bains, and in fact, under Maison Chalaleu. 

If you cross-reference this assumption with ideas promulgated by Plantard's Priory documentation one discovers that a juxtaposition is being made between a buried goddess/female figure associated with a fragrant tomb which is also associated with a white queen and a sacred sepulchre in the poem Le Serpent Rouge. Therefore would the pilgrimage of the traveler and poet in Le Serpent Rouge superficially appear to be a visit to this underground place and Temple at Rennes? 

Cherisey later wrote in his novel CIRCUIT the following;

"[...] CRITIAS – Il y a une statue d’Isis, ou de la Reine Blanche, ou de Notre-Dame, comme vous voulez. Elle a servi de modèle à la Vénus d’Ille décrite par Prosper Merimée qui l’a donné en bronze alors qu’elle est en marbre blanc. La statue mesure deux mètres de haut mais vous ne la verrez pas, enterrée qu’elle est dans une cour d’hôtel et prouvée seulement par la poudre de marbre que l’on a ramenée d’un sondage [...]"

 CIRCUIT de Philippe de Chérisey,cap. XIV – LA TEMPERANCE

"[...] CRITIAS – Revenons donc à ce chapiteau qui sera planté au sud du village, sur la rive gauche de la Sals, au-delà du cimetière, après la grand’place et l’église. Ici se tenait un temple paien haut de quinze mètres qu’incendia Charles Martel en l’an 737 lors de sa tentative d’invasion du Languedoc. Outre la statue d’Isis, alias Vénus d’Ille, qui en provient, les autres reliques sont une tête de Mercure et une de Jupiter, un bras tenant un linge, une main tenant un oeuf, sans compter le charnier sous la grand’place. Ces renseignements proviennent des « Mémoires de l’abbé Delmas qui, ayant fait couler beaucoup plus de salive que d’encore, sont perdus depuis plus d’un siècle. Ont-ils jamais existé, existent-ils encore ? Prestidigitation [...]" CIRCUIT de Philippe de Chérisey , cap. XV – LE DIABLE "[..]

 which is translated thus;

CRITIAS - There's a statue of Isis, or the White Queen, or Notre Dame, however you like it. She served as a model for the Venus of the Island described by Prosper Merimée who gave it in bronze while it is white marble. The statue is two meters high but you won't see it, buried in a hotel courtyard and proven only by the marble powder that we brought back from a survey [...]

Circuit of Philippe de Chérisey, cap. XIV - TEMPERANCE

"[... ] CRITIAS - So let's go back to this shrine .... planted in the south of the village, on the left bank of the Sals, beyond the cemetery, after the grand square and the church. Here stood a fifteen-meter-high Pagan temple that Charles Martel burned in the year 737 during his attempt to invade Languedoc. In addition to the statue of Isis, aka Venus of the Island, which originated from it, the other relics are a head of Mercury and one of Jupiter, an arm holding towel, a hand holding an egg, not counting the hinge under the grand square. This information comes from the "Memoirs of Abbot Delmas', which, having spilled much more saliva than ever, have been lost for more than a century. Did they ever exist, do they still exist? [...]. ]" 

Circuit by Philippe de Chérisey, cap. XV - THE DEVIL

There is so much Chérisey is imparting here. The statue is from a shrine, one on the left bank of the Sals 'beyond the cemetery, the grand square and the Church'. This Temple was burned down by Charles Martel. It is the Temple of Rennes currently beneath the ground. 

In 'The Land of the White Queen' Beaucean also proposed that this statue, this White Queen was associated with a mysterious perfume - a language uncannily similar to descriptions of a perfumed tomb described in the poem Le Serpent Rouge. Beaucean wrote that BLANCHE D'EVREUX, practised alchemy in the NEAUPHLES tower, in the company of Nicolas Flamel, a famous bookseller and manuscript copyist. Presumably the alchemical experiments were the source of this mysterious perfume? Flamel was not a religious scholar or even royal as were many of his predecessors and his entire interest in the subject of alchemy revolved around the pursuit of the philosopher's stone [in it's original form alchemy can be interpreted as the process of transmutation by which to fuse or reunite with the divine or original form]. In Le Serpent Rouge the mysterious perfume was not associated with alchemy but with a sepulchre [....sweet perfume rising towards you as it permeates the sepulchre"]. 

Using our Owl's inner ear and insight does this white queen somehow represent a sacred body of a female, and that if you can smell the sweet perfume emanating from her you are near her sepulchre? 

There is no doubt in my mind that Chérisey is referring to a 'shrine' found 'beyond the cemetery and after the grand square and the church' at Rennes-les-Bains. This shrine was originally perhaps to be found in a fifteen metre high Pagan Temple - probably the old Roman Temple - whose substructures Marius Cathala 'could make out' under the Maison Chalaleu during the building project at the time of Boudet. 

Chérisey says it was a pagan Temple, which was burnt down by Martel. The reference to Charles Martel is interesting, because as we know by now, Chérisey always says something for a reason!

It is in the Continuations of Fredegar  that Odo [or King Eudes] was defeated by the army of Charles Martel at the Battle of Tours. Martel had invaded the Languedoc as part of his plan to expel the Moslem occupation of the area and presumably Chérisey is linking this invasion to the burning of the Temple of Rennes to this?

This King Eudes is linked to the body of Mary Magdalene!  In legend he is the person who rescued her body from this Saracen Invasion. 

Eudes had called on assistance from the recently established emirate of al-Andalus, and it is likely that the invasion or raid by Charles Martel took place in revenge for Eude's support for rebel Berber leader Munuza. Eudes [or Odo] is a very interesting character. 

He was the Duke of Aquitaine by 700. His territory included south-west of Gaul and the Duchy of Aquitaine a realm extending from the Loire to the Pyrenees, with the capital in Toulouse. He fought the Carolingian Franks and made alliances with the Moors to combat them. He retained this domain until 735. He is remembered for defeating the Umayyads in 721 in the Battle of Toulouse. He was the first to defeat them decisively in Western Europe. The feat earned him the epithet "the Great". He also played a crucial role in the Battle of Tours, working closely with Charles Martel, whose alliance he sought after the Umayyad invasion of what is now southern France in 732. His earlier life is obscure, as are his ancestry and ethnicity. One theory suggests that he was of Roman origin as contemporary Frankish chroniclers refer to his father as an enemy Roman.

The historian Jean de Jaurgain cites him as fighting in 711 against the Visigoth Roderic. In 715 he declared himself independent during the civil war raging in Gaul. It is not likely that he ever took the title of king. In 718, he appears raising an army of Basques as an ally of Chilperic II of Neustria, where Mayor of the Palace of Ragenfrid may have offered recognition of his kingship over Aquitaine. They were fighting against the Austrasian Charles Martel but after the defeat of Chilperic at Battle of Soissons (718) he made peace with Charles by surrendering to him the Neustrian king and his treasures.  In order to help secure his borders against the Umayyads, he married his daughter Lampegia, to the Muslim Berber rebel lord Uthman ibn Naissa, called "Munuza" by the Franks, the deputy governor of what would later become Catalonia. Charles Martel denounced Odo's alliance with Uthman ibn Naissa, and crossed the Loire, so breaking the peace treaty held with Odo. Charles Martel ransacked Aquitaine twice, seizing Bourges, too, and Odo engaged the Frankish troops but was defeated.

The reason I mention much about Eudes/Odo is that he is indeed associated with the rescuing of the body of Mary Magdalene from the Saracens. And Chérisey appears to be adopting a transposition programme here! He writes about;

  • a statue of Isis, or the White Queen, or Notre Dame, however you like it. 
  • The statue is two meters high but you won't see it, buried in a hotel courtyard
  • this shrine .... is planted in the south of the village, on the left bank of the Sals, beyond the cemetery, after the grand square and the church. 
  • Here stood a fifteen-meter-high Pagan temple that Charles Martel burned in the year 737
  • In addition to the statue of Isis,  originating from this fifteen meter high pagan Temple, came other relics - a head of Mercury and one of Jupiter, an arm holding towel, a hand holding an egg, not counting the hinge under the grand square.

When you cross reference is history you find that Australian Charles Martel and King Eudes fought each other in battles in the South of France. In the context of this Martel burned and pillaged towns and villages in this corner of France, the Languedoc. For Cherisey, this included Martel burning down the Temple at Rennes-les-Bains. And in this Temple Chérisey is saying the statue was found and it was from a shrine, a shrine on the left bank of the Sals 'beyond the cemetery, the grand square and the Church'. A shrine of what? We will see when we investigate the 'invention of the relics by the Anjou family [already mentioned above the Renaissance] of Mary Magdalene in the Middle Ages the following; 

"Charles, Prince of Salerno, is the son of Charles of Anjou, Count of Provence, and therefore the nephew of King Saint Louis. He is himself the father of a saint, Louis de Brignoles, bishop of Toulouse. He wishes to update the evidence of the existence of the tomb of Mary Magdalene in Provence.

To carry out his research, he went to Aix, studied the history books and the annals. He also questioned the old men about the local traditions which provide the scout.

Charles II thus acquired the certainty that Saint Maximin had buried the body of Magdalene in the church of the small town which bears his name. He therefore went there with his suite, in December 1279. He gives order to make excavations, they visited the tombs, the walls and the floor of the church … They ended up reaching the crypt, walled and filled with soil.

Finally, on December 9, the prince, said the chronicler, "had stripped his chlamyde, and, armed with a hoe, he dug the earth with such ardor that he was inundated with sweat, those who were met a marble tomb worker ”. They tried to open it; immediately a wonderful odor escaped. And so, the audience think that the body they saw was the treasure they were looking for".

These are the facts which constitute the “invention” of the relics. The word comes from the Latin word “invenire”, that is to say to discover, find, and not to invent. 

In the dust of the tomb the Prince found a piece of old cork containing a small parchment with a Latin inscription

The year of the Nativity of the Lord 710, 6th day of December, at night and very secretly, under the reign of the very pious Eudes, king of the French, at the time of the ravages of the treacherous Saracen nation, this body of the very dear and venerable Saint Marie-Madeleine was, for fear of the treacherous nation, transferred from her alabaster tomb to this marble tomb, after having removed Sidoine’s body from it, because it was better hidden there ”.

The Prince drew up an act of relating these facts and sealed the tomb" [HERE]

So here are elements of the Chérisey's transposition;

  • the statue found in his Au Pays le la Reine text is a metaphor for a real body
  • the statue was found in the courtyard of Maison Chalaleu
  • Maison Chalaleu was built over the a roman Temple of Rennes, perhaps originally a pagan site which was burned down by Charles Martel
  • the context of the Martel flagaration was the Saracen invasion of the Languedoc in the 710's/720's
  • Charles Martel fought with King Eudes of the Aquitaine in these battles
  • King Eudes during the battles rescued the body of Saint Mary Magdalene from the Saracen invasion
  • Years later Charles, Prince of Salerno after carrying out a historical and archaeological survey found the tomb of Mary Magdalene and upon opening the tomb "immediately a wonderful odor escaped".
  • This odor is associated, by those present at the opening, with the perfume which St Mary Magdalene poured on the head and feet of Jesus before his death.
  • This odor and tomb is connected in the poem Le Serpent Rouge; From her that I wanted to free, rose towards me the emanations of perfume which permeate the sepulchre. Once some called her: ISIS, queen of the beneficent springs

The continued garbled references to Roman temples and statues seen by some, others by Henri Boudet, seem to be related to local village gossip. Local villagers have reported via oral legends that Boudet - together with his family - had started to hide artefacts under a house built in the middle of the village - a house that was associated with him. If correct, this suggests a deliberate policy by Boudet of looking for artefacts 'around Rennes' [i.e he found them during the course of his rambling walks or perhaps knowledge he was already aware of. Think of his comment in his book, La Vrai Langue Celtique. He wrote that he was: trying to penetrate the secret of a local history' ]. This activity may link Boudet to another verse in Le Serpent Rouge about the pillaging of artefacts viz: 

[Scorpio]
... But how many times have they sacked the HOUSE, leaving only the embalmed corpses and numerous metal objects which they could not carry? What strange mystery conceals the new temple of SALOMON built by the children of Saint VINCENT? [my emphasis].

In this scenario the sacked HOUSE would be Maison Chalaleu. 

It seems that Boudet was, in fact, not 'hiding artefacts under a house built in the middle of the village'. More likely that villagers were present when these artefacts were found when foundations to a house associated with him were being dug and which became the subject of village gossip. It makes one ask the question - where would Boudet be taking artefacts from, to hide under a house associated with him in the village? And how did he know about these artefacts? The house associated with Boudet at Rennes-les-Bains was and is in fact CHALULEAU as we shall see below. It is probably where Boudet got the famous gourd from the 5th or 6th century; with stamped Christian cross. Boudet offered this to Mr. ROUZAUD, member of the Archaeological Commission of Narbonne, an object discovered in the village. 

So how is it that Dr Courrent missed writing about the white statue found by the priest of the village of Rennes-les-Bains? The statue of Venus? Especially when he was a good friend of said priest as well as his personal doctor? And how is it that the Abbe Delmas [a prior priest of Rennes-les-Bains] did not talk of these artefacts at all, instead speaking of the tomb of a mysterious and grand Roman who had died in the vicinity of Rennes-les-Bains, which he linked to the great Roman general, Pompey!

Urbain GIBERT reported in his "Notes Historiques sur les Bains de Montferransd devenues les Bains de Rennes, Actuellement Rennes-les-Bains  about the statue of Venus associated with Abbé Henri Boudet. The incident was said to have occurred in the maison Chalaleau at the beginning of the century. It was a beautiful statue but Boudet found it 'demonic". Gibert writes;

"Boudet, did not not want to preserve it - an archaeologist from Beziers took it. It was later sold in America'. [The information was collected by Mrs. Martin-Duclos, of Rennes-les- Bains)". Another witness, a M. Certain (of the Mémoires de la Société des Arts et des Sciences, Carcassonne, 3rd series, t.VII) also recorded the find. He reported that "...40 years ago, the cure of Rennes-les-Bains, M. Boudet, found in the excavations at (maison Chaluleau) a statue of Venus.

There is a problem. 

The arm holding an egg thought to be related to a statue found at Maison Chaluleau - was drawn and reproduced in the work of Dr Jean Gourdon, Stations thermales de l'Aude which was published in 1874. Boudet arrived at Rennes-les-Bains in 1872, aged 35. If it is the same statue - the original finding 'of the arm of this statue' of Venus presumably would have taken place between 1872 and 1874! 

Gibert however reports that a/the statue was found 'at the beginning of the century ....." [ie 1900's] then M.Certain records the find as one that took place '40 years ago' - making the discovery in the 1930's - however Boudet was long dead by then! 

Are we talking about the same statues, or a muddling of events of the finding of different statues, or even deliberate obfuscation? However it would seem there were two statues of Venus as Jean-Luc Chaumeil and Jacques Riviere in “The Solar Alphabet” page 107 wrote;

"... around 1900, reports M.U. Gibert, in 1973, Abbe Boudet discovered in excavations a beautiful marble statue of Venus. The abbot found this demonic statue and did not wish to keep it. An archaeologist from Beziers took it. Another statue of Venus, naked, discovered in the excavations of the Maison Chaluleau in Rennes, remained buried on the orders of 'Abbe..."

So a Venus statue found by Boudet remained buried 'on the orders of Boudet'. We have no description of the Boudet statue of Venus. Cathala's arm of the[a?] statue found in Chaluleau - to be precise in the exterior courtyard of the hotel associated with Boudet - has similar details and information regarding the finding of the Boudet statue in the same property. Is it the same statue or a different find of another statue, or even several statues found in a Temple complex, perhaps from underground? 

Why would there be perhaps several statues of Venus in Rennes-les-Bains? 

Venus worship originated in Rome via worship of a prior Goddess, Aphrodite. She came to symbolise Rome's imperial power. Like her Greek counterpart Aphrodite, she was intimately associated with love and beauty, yet other elements were distinctive to the Roman goddess. Venus's first temples were erected in Rome during the 200s B.C. to solicit her assistance in battles, and individual leaders later allied themselves with the deity. Julius Caesar and his heir, Augustus, forged particularly explicit ties to Venus, claiming descent through her son, the Trojan hero Aeneas. The Iulia (Julian family), one of the oldest and most distinguished patrician families in Rome, also claimed their direct descent from Ascanius/Iulus (from whom they derived the name of their clan), thus making Venus their direct ancestor. Indeed, the Julian clan’s most famous member, Julius Caesar, prominently asserted his divine ancestry in a massive building project known as the Forum Iulium, which contained a temple to Venus Genetrix. Although it is presumed that Caesar’s forum was initially intended to function as a monument to his conquests in Gaul, it appears to have taken on new meaning following his victory in 48 B.C. at the battle of Pharsalus over his former ally Pompey the Great. Prior to this battle, Caesar is said to have vowed to build a temple to Venus Victrix (Venus the Victorious) in the event of his success. However, in 46 B.C., Caesar’s still-unfinished temple to Venus was dedicated not to Venus Victrix but rather to Venus Genetrix, a new epithet not previously assigned to the goddess. The appellation Genetrix not only retained the references to military victory associated with her epithet, but it also emphasised the goddess’s genealogical ties to both the Roman people and the Julian family.

The goddess was repeatedly represented in civic architecture and on coins, and her attractive figure became symbolic of Roman power throughout the empire.

In Roman religion, Venus acquired a more matronly character than Aphrodite, and empresses were regularly identified with her. Denoting wifely virtues of fertility and decency, Venus's figure types were used for portrait sculptures of both imperial and citizen women. A gem depicting Livia, wife of Augustus, demonstrates a way in which the Roman imperial family presented links to their mythical ancestor. The empress's gown slips off one shoulder in a manner that evokes images of the goddess, as does her hairstyle. Thus depicted in the guise of Venus, Livia is presented as a model wife and mother. She holds a male portrait bust, identified as either the deified Augustus, her deceased son Drusus, or Augustus's heir, Tiberius.

Anyway, Beaucean, after describing all this archaeology at Rennes-les-Bains, then observes that glottologists had arrived at the deplorable conclusion that the word “Reine” had been confused with the word “Rennes” and therefore a white bath of Rennes had in fact been confused with a White Queen of Rennes

This signals the use of the language of the birds and the beginning of a transposition. 

Nicolas Beaucéan just prior to this observations had written;

"The post cards which showed the bathing tub of Queen Blanche at Rennes-les-Bains were printed in their thousands. However, since the 39/40 war no more were published. The object itself has disappeared, but of the forty bathing tubs which are included in the furniture of the thermal station, no-one knows exactly which one received the precious body of the sovereign. Similar bathing tubs have been seen in all the thermal establishments. This one is in marble, squat, in no particular style - this allows it to be dated. A Celt could have sculpted it, but so could a manufacturer from the last century. This anonymity gives it a certain beauty and surrounds it with mystery ....."

He continues:

"... the grammarians proposed this deplorable conclusion, namely that "Reine" had been confused with "Rennes" and a white bathing tub [which the ancient curists had used - my addition] at Rennes with a bathing tub of la Reine Blanche (the White Queen), so the mystery turned to the thermal station's past. A work of 1886 proposed placing Rennes-les-Bains at the centre of a cromleck measuring 16 to 18 kilometres long. Here was situated one of the high spots of the Celtic civilisation.' So now this archaeology and bath tub somehow relates to Henri Boudet and his imagined and non-existent Cromlech. Not only that - it is the centre of this Cromlech - and we know Boudet describes to circles around Rennes-les-Bains. Which circle is the centre of importance? 

Beaucean is using homophony to get his point across. He describes the frequent bath tubs the curists used at ancient Rennes and he mentions postcards which represented at least forty of these bathtubs at Rennes-les-Bains. The postcards, he notes, stopped being published in 1939-40. There is even a reference that the bath tub that held a/the white Queen [a statue or a real female body?] could just as well have held the body of an ancient Celtic princess as well as our more modern queen because it was so well preserved and had a certain 'anonymity'.  

The aural connection to be made via the words reine/Rennes and transposition seems to be the idea that a buried white bath-tub of ancient times held a real historical white queens' body juxtaposed with a buried white queen which really was a buried statue at Rennes-les-Bains perhaps later associated with this bath-tub! But since when did the Maison Chalaleu have bath-tubs associated with it - surely this would be more associated with the spa areas of Rennes-les-Bains, of which there were several? And is the question, therefore, via wordplay - whether the buried white Queen/statue and buried white bath tub at Rennes still holds a body, whether real or a statue, of some great importance which marks the centre of Boudet's Cromlech?

Beaucean asks Was the statue of Isis originally in this temple? The discovery of a great charnel house under the main square seems to confirm it. 

There are several questions to ask here. We already know the statue of Isis was likened to the Statue of Venus, and that the Statue of Venus for Beaucean was found in the courtyard of Chalaleu. This statue seems to represent a very real but sacred other body. And Beaucean decided that the discovery of a charnel house under the main square at Rennes-les-Bains would confirm it! 

But why? Why does this confirm it and when was this great charnel house discovered? [A charnel house is a building or vault in which corpses or bones are piled up. It can be a place associated with violent death]. 

And it would seem Cherisey has been here because he describes his visit to it in the last chapter of CIRCUIT.

This old Roman Temple somehow housed a shrine - from the Latin scrinium which means a "case or chest for books or papers"; (Old French: escrin "box or case"). A shrine is also a sacred or holy space dedicated to a specific deity, ancestor, hero, martyr, saint, daemon, or similar figure of respect, wherein they are venerated or worshipped. Shrines often contain idols, relics, or other such objects associated with the figure being venerated. 

Above - the areas we are referring to in the text

The discovery of this charnel house is made 'under the town square' i.e under the Place Deux Rennes. And behind this main square and church - to the South - stood the huge pagan Temple from which the statue of alleged Isis/Venus came from. The geography referred to fits with Maison Chaluleau and the witnessing of this Maison's large block Roman foundations support this supposition that this house and its foundations are related to an underground Roman Temple. A Temple that used to conceal some kind of shrine.

There are two versions of the Beacean text

One is written by Anne-Léa Hisler and the other by Nicolas Beaucéan. 

It is interesting that Plantard's first wife may have written a version of this text, as she had certainly written about her husband Pierre Plantard before. [She may even be referred to in CIRCUIT via the Anne character, the novel by Cherisey]. 

It is the Anne-Léa Hisler text entitled 𝑇𝑟𝑒́𝑠𝑜𝑟 𝑎𝑢 𝑝𝑎𝑦𝑠 𝑑𝑒 𝑙𝑎 𝑅𝑒𝑖𝑛𝑒 𝑏𝑙𝑎𝑛𝑐ℎ𝑒 - 𝐻𝑖𝑠𝑡𝑜𝑖𝑟𝑒 𝑒𝑡 𝑙𝑒́𝑔𝑒𝑛𝑑𝑒 𝑑𝑒 𝑅𝑒𝑛𝑛𝑒𝑠-𝑙𝑒𝑠-𝐵𝑎𝑖𝑛𝑠 𝑒𝑡 𝑑𝑒 𝑅𝑒𝑛𝑛𝑒𝑠-𝑙𝑒-𝐶ℎ𝑎̂𝑡𝑒𝑎𝑢 (𝐴𝑢𝑑𝑒), where it is explicitly stated; 

"The thirst for mystery was about to be further disappointed when the REINE BLANCHE reappeared no longer in a bath, but under the earth of a hotel courtyard!"

The association is thus made between this white queen and a buried bath tub and a buried statue 'under the earth' of a hotel courtyard - and as we have seen the courtyard is that of Maison Chaluleau. 

Above - document in NATIONAL LIBRARY of France by Anne Le-Hisler about the 'country of the White Queen'.

Essentially the two texts tell the same story with some interesting variations. 

Beaucéan wrote: En rassemblant des foules de documents les historiens purent établir l'emplacement précis d'une statue de marbre blancmesurant plus de deux métres dehaut et représentant ISIS.

His reference for his statement was cited as Docteur J. GOURDON's - Stations Thermales de l'Aude - published in 1874 [& to which we have already mentioned] - you can see this detailed at the bottom of the page in this photograph below. 

Above - document in NATIONAL LIBRARY of France by ?Philippe de Chérisey about the 'country of the White Queen'.

Docteur J. GOURDON's - Stations Thermales de l'Aude 

In this book Gourdon wrote:

"... in several points of the village today, mainly in the part between Bain-Fort and the hamlet of Le Cercle it has been recognised, at various depths, a great quantity of remains of Roman buildings: constructions of buildings, fragments of mosaics, etc, which may have been part, either of private houses/villas or monuments of another order. The literal space occupied by these objects indicates an extended and fairly large city, in the Valley, spread out to the broader and more Southern area of the village. In this Valley, there was seen, in the middle of a cultivated field, the site of a square house, recognisable from the lines and 'crop marks' found in the vegetation where it was much less bushy than in the corresponding parts of older buildings. It is at this point especially there have been found in the ground raised by agricultural implements, a huge amount of debris of all kinds, most covered with a layer of ash and charred fragments, testifying to the destiny of this ancient city, which, at the time when the whole country was ravaged by barbarians, was destroyed by fire. From this its prosperity disappeared and so did its fame and its name'. 

Above - the general area Gourdon identifies as where the majority of the significant finds were made.

The 'barbarians' mentioned by Gourdon surely refer to the barbarian Arab invasion, under Al-Samh ibn Malik, who was the governor-general of al-Andalus at the time, and who swept up the Iberian peninsula by 719 and overran the area of Rennes. 

This is the historical event referred to when the Priory text mentions a pagan Temple [i.e pre-Christian] and that Charles Martel did not not burn it down which suggests it was still standing in the 8th century. Boudet also references it and includes a head he found and saved, on a local landmark, Cap de L'homme. 

Gourdon continues: 

"... Among the items discovered in the above cited circumstances, are objects of architecture, sculpture, pottery and various interior utensils, etc. The objects of architecture seem to be the most significant - they were found on the site of a house that actually forms the last house of the village of Bains, to the South; they consist of several sizeable fragments of capitals, columns, etc., of remarkable work, in which it is easy to recognise the debris of a temple, dedicated either to Aesculapius or Hygeia. One of these fragments is the base of a column that can be currently seen at the fountain of the Cercle, where it has been used as a capital/cornice, the dimensions allow us to consider that it formed the base of a column of more than 10 meters in height. Other remains are as follows: A beautiful white marble cornice fragment, forming a plate with a thickness of 45 mm, bearing letters carved in hollow of a rare elegance and of more than 10 centimetres, an antefixe [?] in white terracotta, of an an elegant model, fragments of tiles which were used by the Romans to cover roofs. An ancient inscription that Catel said existed during his time, in the Church of the village, & had originally been part of the buildings in the same vicinity [ie on the site of a house that actually forms the last house of the village of Bains, to the South - my addition]; Here is the text as this author: POMPEIVS QVARTVS. P. A. M. SVO. This inscription no longer exists in the Church of Rennes. We are told that it has been removed and is today located in a church in Perpignan. Also amid the debris of sculptures, there is especially noted: A complete forearm with the hand holding an egg, white marble; total length 60 cm, which implies that the statue to which that arm belonged, was of a height of 2 m, 50 at least, when one considers the proportional size of the arm in relation to the temple which we discussed and in which this statue would have had its place, a hand holding a snake in a patera, white marble; length 31 cm, which therefore, belonged to a statue of a much larger dimension again, another hand holding a cloth, made of white marble from Italy, and 18 cm long". [my emphasis]

All these artefacts and pieces of statues and buildings and even the cippe dedicated to POMPEIVS QVARTVS were for Gourdon found in a Temple associated with the area of houses south of the village, in the vicinity of Maison Chalaleau [which is near the Church at Rennes-les-Bains]. The artefacts were therefore not 'scattered' but found in one particular area or actually under this house. 

Boudet would appear to be protecting the artefacts instead, not gathering them from around the countryside! It is not difficult to see this must be the origin of the legendary underground Temple in Rennes-les-Bains and is probably the same Temple that Boudet refers to in his book La Vrai Langue Celtique. Boudet's book mapped a geological structure surrounding Rennes-les-Bains, his vast cromleck, with the inclusion of a secondary circle in it's centre. 

It would seem that this second circle structure sits not far from Maison Chalaleau and the area of this ancient Temple. And archaeologically speaking a Cromlech usually surrounds a dolmen or ancient underground tomb. So one could argue that Boudet and his Cromlech surround the underground Temple at Rennes-les-Bains, which may have housed a tomb associated with the resurrection and to which the authors of the Beaucean text considered equivalent to the resting place of a female Goddess who was exhumed and then re- buried in a 'hotel courtyard'. 

Later it seems to form the basis for the descriptions of the tomb referred to in Le Serpent Rouge

In Le Serpent Rouge this tomb is described thus: 

From her that I wanted to free, rose towards me the emanations of perfume which permeate the sepulchre. Once some called her: ISIS, queen of the beneficent springs, COME TO ME ALL YOU WHO SUFFER AND WHO ARE OVERWHELMED AND I WILL COMFORT YOU, otherwise: MADELEINE, with the famous vase full of healing balm. The initiates know the true name: NOTRE DAME DES CROSS.

So the buried white Queen statue is now a mysterious female associated with various Goddess's which initiates [ie the Priory] know the real identity of - Notre Dame des Cross. 

This is an interesting term written in French and English - the Marian Cross is a term to describe a symbolic representation of the close connection of Mary, with the redemptive mission of Jesus. The letter "M" below the cross indicates Mary's presence at the foot of the cross. The papal coat of arms of John Paul II features a cross shifted away from its usual central position to make room for a letter "M" in the sinister base quarter (lower right as seen by the viewer), which represents the Virgin Mary’s presence at Jesus’ death on the cross. However as John Paul wrote: "As is well-known, in my episcopal arms, which are a symbolic illustration of the gospel text John 19:25-27." 

But which Mary? John 19: v25-27 records several Mary's. ("Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, 'Woman, behold, your son.' Then he said to the disciple, 'Behold, your mother.'")

However it is not the only tomb of a biblical character hinted at. 

The mention above by Gourdon of the POMPEIVS QVARTVS. P. A. M. SVO. stone is a case in point. He mentions comments by Catel [in his Memoires De L'Histoire Du Languedoc, 1633] referring to the stone's current location during the time of Catel, but Gourdon indicates that this stone had originally been part of the buildings in the vicinity of the temple he has identified with the last house in the village which we shall see below is in the area of Maison Chaluleau. This means - if correct - that some of the Temple contents associated with Chaluleau were well known and discovered before 1633. 

What was going on in Rennes-les-Bains in 1633? Who was in the Rennes area? Viz;

23/11/1644 - the [in]famous testament of Francois Pierre d'Hautpoul is registered by the notary of Esperaza, Captier.
1646 - Blaise Hautpoul, son of Francois, has the church at Rennes-le-Chateau restored and in this endeavour is helped by Nicolas Pavillon, Bishop of Alet.
November 1661 - Blaise Hautpoul goes to court against Nicolas Pavillon, bishop of Alet, to prevent King Louis XIVth troops searching and trampling over his lands and mines at Rennes-les-Bains. Blaise's lands and possessions include Rennes [-le-Chateau], St Just, Le Bezu, les Bains (Rennes-les-Bains), Montferrand, Montazels and La Val Dieu. This long and complex trial will end in Grenoble in April 1666 to the advantage of Nicolas Pavillon, but [only] after the King breaks the judgments in favour of the bishop. This historical fact deserves to be noted as Louis XIVth and Nicolas Pavillon were particularly opposed to each other [He was one of the four bishops who refused to sign the formulary imposed by Pope Alexander VII, on the plea that the pope cannot pronounce on facts but only on rights. When Louis XIV commanded submission to the papal order, Pavillon in Lettre au roi" (1664) declined to recognise his interference]. Why then give a judgment in favour of his opponent?

Blaise Hautpoul is a very special case. Just after the year 1645 there was supposed to have been a discovery of a fabulous treasure on his lands. Remember this was around the time Pavilon, Bishop of Alet had helped him restore the church at Rennes-le-Chateau. Twenty years later we see they are at court as adversaries. Why?

There are two versions of the treasure at Rennes.

The first was discovered by a shepherd called Ignace Paris. Paris had lost one of his sheep. When he saw that it had disappeared, he decided to go looking for it and thanks to the bleating of the animal, he spotted it in the bottom of a hole. He cautiously descended into the hole and found himself in a cave. The animal was there but so too were many skeletons and then the shepherd noticed that the ground was covered with gold. Paris, without hesitation, filled his pockets, his wallet and his beret and immediately went to tell his story to the villagers. After many questions, he refused to reveal the location of his find, and the people were perplexed by this story of rapid fortune, and they, believing he had done some trading with the devil, stoned him. The treasure of Paris remained buried deep in a crevice. Henry Hautpoul, eager to know where the treasure was buried - had the shepherd tortured to answer questions about the find but the shepherd died of his torture/injuries without revealing his secret.

The second version has it that a shepherdess surprised the Devil one day when he was counting out his gold coins. By the time the villagers were called to see the spectacle the devil and the treasure had disappeared. The farmers appealed to a sorcerer in Limoux to enter into a relationship with Satan to recover the treasure, which was accepted only on the condition that he be assisted by his countrymen, but the 'sorcerer' could not count on their support because they fled frightened, after hearing the noise made by the demon. The treasure was abandoned. 

What is interesting is that this local shepherdess of Rennes-les-Bains and her treasure story is also associated with the Devil. Her name is Catherine Planel and it is this story which Labouïsse-Rochefort believed was the source of the Devils treasure legend at Blanchefort. All local legends about a treasure concern the Hautpoul family only, specifically Blaise Hautpoul and Henry Hautpoul, father and son respectively. Labouisse-Rochefort, told the legend of the treasure of Blanchefort that was protected by the devil. It dates back to at least the late eighteenth century and takes place in the castle of Blanchefort, located a few miles from Rennes-les-Bains. The devil's treasure was 19 and a half million gold coins and a shepherdess surprised him one day when he was counting out his gold coins. By the time the villagers were called to see the spectacle the devil and the treasure had disappeared. The farmers appealed to a sorcerer in Limoux to enter into a relationship with Satan to recover the treasure, which he accepted only on the condition that he be assisted by his countrymen, but the 'sorcerer' could not count on their support because they fled frightened, after hearing the noise made by the demon. The experiment was abandoned. Auguste de Labouïsse-Rochefort added [in regards to the legend]  - "The annoying thing about this affair was that M. de Fleury, then Lord of the villages of Montferrand, Bains, Rennes, as well as the ruins of Blanchefort, wanted to bring an action against them for having attempted to violate his lands…!' This suggest a literal event that did happen which later turned into a legend. De Sede dates the legend to at least 1767, when the Fleury family first arrived at Rennes-les-Bains. 

December 1669  -  Antoine Delmas ordained a priest by Nicolas Pavillon
November 1672   - Antone Delmas becomes priest at Rennes-les-Bains. 

So this Pompeius stone is famous, and was found in around 1633 from a house at Rennes-les-Bains at a time when the famous shepherd/shepherdess treasure story begins with a basis in historical fact at the same time. 

In an original manuscript dating from 1709 found in the "Archives de la Société des Antiquaires de France",  written by an ancient priest of Rennes-les-Bains, Delmas, there is a report that a tomb exists, which Delmas thought was the grave of an extremely important figure from the Gallo-Roman period which might be found in the vicinity of Rennes-les-Bains. Delmas called it the "grave of the unknown great Roman" and speculated that this Roman was a personality close to the famous general Pompey. Delmas also asserted that the Pompeius stone was the funerary stone originally located at the tomb. But Cherisey would seem to suggest that the Delmas tomb is in fact the tomb of Isis/Venus/the white buried statue/tomb of a female complete with a strange perfume circulating in the sepulchre - a grave, as we have seen and according to Delmas was of a great and important figure from the Gallo-Roman period. 

As we have seen, all these different and complicated strands keep returning back to the same source as it were, and this is the foundations and area of the vicinity of Maison chalaleu. Later Louis Fédié, erudite scholar of the local Aude area observed that this Pompeius stone was originally attached to a wall in the vicinity of the "Source de la Reine". According to Gourdon, for Catel it was associated with the church of the village but for Gourdon himself it was associated with the Temple around Maison Chalaleau. 

It is conceivable that the Pompeius 'cippe' did originally mark an important burial, associated with a Temple, consistent with it's association by Gourdon with the last house in the village, Maison Chaluleau. The witnessed large block foundation under this house were, as we saw above, identified by archaeologists as the remains of a Roman Temple or palace. 

Our chronology may fail us here. How can this cippe, described by Gourdon as coming from the Maison Chalaleu [he wrote in 1874] be also familiar to Delmas, who wrote in 1709? And also Catel, who was aware of it in around 1633 when he published his great work on the Languedoc but must have known about it earlier. [He died in 1626]. 

Abbé Delmas thought the inscription on the cippe was most likely a grave inscription. He rather bizarrely and out of the blue speculated that Pompey passed through the area on an expedition to Spain and one of his close friends or high ranking officers died there. For this friend Pompey built a mausoleum and a column above the grave. The plate with the inscription would originally have been attached to this column (or to its base). All this is very odd but not as odd as what Plantard decided to then write about this Pompeius stone of Rennes-les-Bains.

A letter from Plantard, sent to a researcher, reported; 

".....I have not undertaken any researches in the Caves de la Reine (in the Rennes district), nor in the Souterrains du Roi ("underground chambers of the King"), so there have not been any researches or investigations on my own property... This property ...has the following boundaries: to the South – chemin de Farres; to the North – Roc Pointu; to the East – the main road to Rennes-les-Bains; to the West – the mountain top. On my property are two mines: a copper mine and a gold mine... , the gold mine dates from the Roman era, from about 70BC. This piece of land is called Roc Nègre. You refer to the tombstone of Coumesourde. I'm sorry to have to disappoint you, but it simply never existed. On the other hand there IS a text dated 1880 or 1890 written by the engineer Ernest Cros based on the Zero Meridian of Paris and the English equivalent in Greenwich (the latter being situated at 9 metres 20.9 seconds west of the Paris Meridian). The triangulation for this study was based at Pontils, between Peyrolles/Serres, at the location of a tomb. The "secret location" to which you refer is the Roman tomb (50-48 BC) called the Tomb of Gnaius Pompey, which is located in Fangalots at a distance of 1 kilometre 500 metres from my property. It is located between two belfries – those of Rennes-les-Bains and Rennes-le-Château, at 500 metres’ distance from the belfry of Rennes-les-Bains. With all good wishes, and please do keep me informed of your researches." [my emphasis]

This area of Pontils mentioned by Plantard once belonged to the ancient noble family of the Aniorts of the Aude. Abbé Mazières, historian of the Aude, confirmed that the archives of this House of Aniort contained a family document dating from the tenth century which said that "la pierre levee Pontils regarde des attics et aux caves du roi" [the raised stone of Pontils looks to the cellars and attics of the king]. The famous 'et in arcadia..' tombstone of the Rennes affair was dissected by Noel Corbu - after information from Cros - as meaning; 'At Rennes, (a depot) of the King, in the caves (where is hidden) the citadelle of the Templars' which seems to have some bearing on the Aniort document suggesting a link! 

So for Plantard this Roman Tomb called the Tomb of Grand Roman was on his property and he thought, like Delmas, that it was the tomb of Pompey. To my astonishment though, while perusing the Secret Dossiers, i came across a statement in the text as follows;

"The decoration (to) the setting to the tomb referred to [i.e. the 14th station of the Cross at Rennes-le-Chateau] is ...of the necropolis of Fangalots at Rennes-les-Bains

This strange Secret Dossiers quote was placed next to a picture of Sauniere's 14th station of the Cross to remove all doubt [this 14th station represents the taking of the body of the historical Jesus, founder of Christianity - to his tomb.] Was Plantard intimating that the tomb of Jesus as depicted in Saunieres's 14th Station of the Cross represents a necropolis at Fangalots! 

Delmas' tomb of the Grand Roman then, has via Plantard, morphed into a tomb at Fangalots of Jesus Christ! Fangalots itself is just above the house of Chalaleau - in the landscape - a large forest and canopy overhanging Rennes-les-Bains. It affords panoramic views of the village from its elevated plateau. 

Couple this with Boudet's mysterious burial at the heart of his imaginary Cromleck which he associates with a resurrection, with a small 'r', we have some very strange assertions being made for this village! One can wonder if the central tomb of importance for Boudet, if it is not the Resurrection with a capital 'R' , is the resurrection with a little 'r' signifying perhaps that of Lazarus? This biblical character has legends of being buried in the locality. 

One further observation to be made is what the Pompeius stone of Delmas looked like. As far as i am aware Catel [who first mentioned the stone in 1633] does not provide an illustration of the stone. Neither does Delmas. However the first drawing of it that i have come across is in a manuscript by M. le Sage from the 22nd Septembre 1746 .. le Sage wrote about the extraordinary finds found at Rennes-les-Bains, suggesting the fame of Rennes was well known. He presents a drawing of the Pompeius stone, presumably because he had seen it. Le Sage's drawing is not at all like the stone found at Rennes-les-Bains, or indeed that drawn by Plantard in the Priory documentation. 

 Above - manuscript by M. le Sage from the 22nd Septembre 1746 .. le Sage wrote about the finds found at Rennes-les-Bains

I have above drawn attention to the text regarding Gourdon's assertion that 'architecture [&] sculpture' had been found at the site of a house that forms the last house of the village of Bains, to the South; this is almost word for word those used by Boudet when describing archaeology he had found to his visitor, Henri Rouzaud. 

Dr. GOURDON gives a drawing of a sculptured ‘head’ representing a female as a piece of architecture also found at Rennes. The sketch is reproduced by Courrent unfortunately not to scale, but the author says;

"It is a carved stone ornament of light colour and of an elegant design”. 

Gourdon calls it an 'antefix' and was found, once again, in one of the houses to the south of the village. The date of finding was probably around the building of the original house in the village [1860's?] - long after the time of Delmas, but definitely during the time of Gourdon, which is why Gourdon refers to it but Delmas [1709] does not! 

Again this caught the attention of Doctor Courrent, who wrote in his monograph about Rennes-les Bains;

"One can see, set into the wall of the presbytery, at the side of the garden, an elegant ornament represented by figure - 1 sheet 1 of our monograph - an image borrowed from the works of Doctor Gourdon'. 

Above - the sketched head referred to by Gordon, and inset the head in the presbytery wall of the church at Rennes-les-Bains

Local archaeologists in 1969 discussed this 'head' of Gourdon and felt it was NOT the same head found in the presbytery wall to which Courrent attested. They speculated that the ‘head’ from the Temple represented a Goddess icon - suggesting that the village of Rennes possessed its own goddess. They wrote:

"If she seems frustrated at first because of wear, it can be seen in the comprehensive review that the artist was clearly influenced by Roman provincial sculpture. The hair, split into two bands, but without a marked central line, is frequently encountered in our region from the early Roman Empire and the first century. Only the front part is shown and it is difficult to predict the presence or absence of the face, albeit in somewhat heavy character that is often found in indigenous works, seems treated conventionally .... What date could be assigned to this work? Do not forget that we have here a work that is indigenous and therefore does not interpret the cumbersome forms as a late sign, need only compare with certain Sculptures in the Museum of Narbonne, same style, carved in similar sandstone, and of the same epoch. If one refers to the test, that of the hair, we are led to consider it quite old: the statue of the captive trophy of St Bertrand de Comminges, as given before the start of our era is similarly capped. Geographically close, the statue of the deceased heroine Bourièges has a similar provision of the severed head of hair. It seems that we can locate it near the beginning of our era.... This coincides with the most flourishing period of the spa, which had great importance in the first century before our era. This prosperity, to its maximum, in the Augustan period, must extend to the early first century, if we believe the monetary findings. It seems that the Romanisation of a much older water cult should be considered the most likely".

Gourdon did not link his head to the presbytery but with the site of a house that again formed the last house of the village of Bains, to the South! 

We are surely building an image here of a large Roman Temple complex, buried now, probably after a fire, but to which the foundations have been seen, covering an expanse of space encompassing the south of the village, that is Maison Chaluleau and probably the modern town square [under which is some sort of burial crypt/vault is to be found] and to the church [hinted at by Cherisey in Circuit]. All the artefacts and finds associated with the Fleury's and their cabinets of 'curiosity' are the artefacts all found from this Temple complex associated with this area. An important part of the architecture involves a female head - probably of a local Goddess or Romanised Goddess, from the early Roman Empire and the first century

Perhaps Gourdon was right, the famous head of Rennes was originally found in the vicinity of the valley of Le Cercle, or the last house of Bains and represented a local Goddess and divinity of the spa town, or water cult, Romanised when the Romans took over the site and that it was indeed an antefix found on a public Temple building in the area. We already have eyewitness accounts to Temple remains in the foundations of Maison CHALULEAÛ. But ultimately, even if there is a Roman Temple beneath this house, it is simply just Roman archaeology, interesting though it is, why all the mystification?

The date of finding of these artefacts originally, including Boudet's Venus statue appears to have been before 1874 and Gourdon was aware of them. As we saw above the significant point Gourdon makes is that the objects of architecture - found on the site of this house that forms the last house of the village of Bains, to the South. This correlates with information given by Boudet to Henri Rouzaud. During the year Rouzaud visited [1910], he had been invited by Armand Bories, [former notary of Narbonne and member of the same Archaeological Commission of Narbonne since July 1885], to go to Rennes-les-Bains and meet Henri Boudet. Armand Bories is not completely unknown to us - he bought, along with MM. Coll and Satgé, during an auction in June 1889 the thermal baths and certain lands which at that time belonged to the Fleury family. It was this Fleury family who had all these archaeological remains originally.

Rouzaud wrote in his notebook about his visit the following: 

"September 2, arrive in Rennes at 7 am, visit in the morning to the Bain Fort where Mr. Bories showed me the arms of 2 large marble statues found in the past where it is believed that there was a temple from Roman times (blacksmith's house) at the end of the crossing which leads to Rennes-le-Château and almost on the current road, which goes from the Bains to Sougraigne. The parish priest of Rennes, who has been there for many years, and called Mr. ?B?o?u?s?q?u?e?t? Boudet, told us that he saw almost all the houses built which go from that of the blacksmith upstream, along the road and he said he saw the foundations and the large base stones of this Temple. Although in itself, one of the hands of this statue holds a very regularly coiled snake flat: the head of the snake, which alone was broken and is missing. This arm must have belonged to some statue of Aesculapius or Hygieia. The other arm under the hand is broken but has fingers and pieces of fingers, seems larger and must have belonged to a different statue. She held between the first 3 fingers a marble hen's egg, of natural size which has been preserved and which bears the circumference of the contact of each of the fingers. Of what deity was this egg the attribute? [September 2, 1910: visit of Henri Rouzaud to Rennes-les-Bains].

Above - a page from the diaries of Rouzaud - who wrote about his visits to the Two Rennes.

Rouzaud seems to adhere to Boudet's interpretations and Gourdons' too. Boudet does not hesitate to reveal to the former deputy that he saw the foundations and the base stones of an ancient Roman temple and even indicates its location; "at the house of the blacksmith at the exit of the crossing which leads to Rennes-le-Chateau on the current road, which goes from Bains to Sougraigne”. i.e Boudet is indicating the ancient carrefour of the village of Les Bains [see below - a rare word for crossroads or a public square, especially one at the intersection of several roads. The word origin is from Old French quarrefour, ultimately from Latin quadrifurcus - having four forks] - the actual cross-road of the Cardo Maximus and the Decumanus Maximus right by Maison Chaluleau! 

A French researcher followed this up and wrote on a French forum; 

'In order to locate the House of the blacksmith, I looked with precision at the census, the house of Cros is located at the 63rd place/family on 67 to Rennes-les-Bains, which lay at the end of the village at the time. By paying attention to the close vicinity of the Cros family, we can note the presence of the boarding school for girls run by nuns, who are at the 61st place, two houses before that of the blacksmith. The location of the boarding school is identifiable by its religious niche on the façade'. 

The researcher went on to say that the blacksmith's house is easy to establish: 

"The great Arch of the opening matches the type of activity of a farrier. It should be noted this building leads on the way to Fangalots leading to RlC, which fits the description of Rouzaud. This being established, [we] may therefore consider that from the Rouzaud notes: "Boudet said we have seen almost all the houses upstream that range from this blacksmith house, along the built road and he said he saw the foundations and the large base stones of this Temple & that the temple is located in this area".

So it seems this area of the Maison Chaluleau and its environs [i.e. the houses next to it] are vitally important. And it seems that the whole Priory literature is to do with this site. 

But again, why all the mystification?

This same type of mystification also seems to me to be at the root of the Roman Temple that Boudet describes and refers to in his book, La Vrai Langue Celtique. Boudet describes two cromlecks in his book, a smaller one within a larger one. Boudet's map illustrating the Cromlecks conceal surprises ... the larger cromleck begins with the confluence of the Rialsesse with the Sals, and then goes on to the castle of Blanchefort, the Cugulhou du couchant, the Roeselare, theTrinque Bouteille stream, the Dead Man, the Pic de la Roque, Goundhill, the Garosse, Ferrière, Cugulhou du Levant, le Fagole, the crosses of Montferrand, Bazel and Cardou. The smaller cromlech, more limited and included in the larger one, begins at the hamlet of Le Cercle. It continues with Trinque Bouteille, Serbaïrou and Roukats. But Boudet's perfect circles which are supposed to define cromlechs are not circles. Worse, the centres of the two cromlechs that he considers fundamental are not geometric centres. 

The environs of Chaluleau can be said to be in the vicinity of the smaller cromleck. Chalaleau itself includes parts of two possible other houses and several buildings in close proximity to each other which could have been over-lapping in earlier years. 

Cue an interesting comment by a researcher using the non de plume Michel Montbard. 

He wrote on the old Arcadia forum the following:

"...a few years back, there was a very interesting debate on a french forum. Someone had some bold theories, claiming information from a local villager. According to local legend there is a house in Rennes-les-Bains which for several generations belonged to a family with links to Abbe Boudet; the Cathary Family. … in this house there is a well called Puit du Cercle - it can be filled with water and emptied when needed. The Well gives access to a circular underground structure. This ancient structure only has half of it remaining, because the other half has collapsed as a result of flooding or landslides".

If this local legend is true then the Chaluleau house we seek is the Maison Chaluleau - Cathary [from 1900], prior to that known as or perhaps connected to the Maison Aveilla Etienne. We know that the original house was built in around 1860 so maybe some of these archaeological discoveries were made in relation to these building works? Gourdon published his book about these finds in 1874 - just 14 years after the house was built but again rebuilding occurred at the time of Boudet and perhaps even later. If the legend cited above is based on fact & the Puit du Cercle does give access to an underground structure, it most certainly will be the remains of the Roman Temple identified by witnesses and where most of the archaeological finds we have been discussing have been made.

Maison Chaluleau was for sale many years ago and while visiting with friend Rene Barnett - I was invited by some locals to look around the house. We visited all the floors, even looking out of windows of the house on to the main Square of Rennes. We went out to the back and down some stairs and we took pictures and saw the structure [with a lid] that was identified as the Well. Rene was even given some plans to the house. 

Two Rennes researchers have published a book identifying this well. The diagram below is one of it's illustrations of how the village may have looked in Roman times and the well is signified by the small black circle dot. 

The ancient well sits in the grounds of Chaluleau, towards the back not far from its presumed by its 'courtyard'. 

So the Priory have signified the existence of an underground Temple via transpostion. In historical literature this Temple may be the one associated mostly under the houses and their foundations at the old southern end of the village [before the building of modern structures], which includes under the main square of Rennes-les-Bains and probably towards the church and its cemetery. 

But why do the Priory want to signify this area in this way? 

Further they have transposed ideas of a Queen [Reine] and a fragrant tomb. This Queen is associated with a mysterious perfume, where the emanations and scent of the perfume permeate a sepulchre! The Queen of a lost realm associated with Isis or Venus?

Kings, queens, tombs, perfume? A fragrant and perfumed tomb? So to whose tomb then, does this belong?

There is a fragrant tomb associated with a 'special' female and this will be the subject of the next article in this series. And perhaps using transposition and other literary tricks already identified above we can have a guess at this important character? However is she the body buried in the tomb, or is the important burial the person she carried fragrant spices to anoint? How is it related to a crypt to be found under the Place des Deux Rennes [where i have sat many times and had lunch!] and how does it fit in with the rest of Priory mythology? 


Below: the ancient village of Rennes superimposed on to the modern village.

Above - a photo of the famous well referred to by Michel MONTBARD

Below: more concrete visualisations of some suggestions in this article: