20 Apr

This site HERE often misrepresents information so it can fit their own bias about the story of Abbé Saunière and any prevailing mystery, such as it may be. One such piece of information is this;

"The Testimony of René Espeut (1911-1978) from Perpignan:

“...I would like to state that the Abbé Saunière never found any treasure. You see, I was actually born in Espéraza. My family knew the Dénarnaud family. In 1925, when I was 14 years old, I used to go up regularly to Rennes-le-Château. I used to go and see Marie Dénarnaud. She was living in rather pitiable circumstances. I did my harmony lessons on the organs in the salon, which have now disappeared. In the library of the Tour Magdala, I read all the correspondence of the priest with his ecclesiastical lawyer at the time of his trial at the court of Rome. It was by collecting money for saying masses that the Abbé Saunière was able to construct his estate. He published small ads in the Catholic press throughout the world. I was able to read their texts, and I have seen thousands of replies. I would also like to state that, between the ages of 15 and 20, I thoroughly searched the area within a 500-metre radius of the Villa and the Tour Magdala. I never found the slightest evidence of a hidden treasure. I am telling you this out of respect for the truth...” (Midi Libre, 13 February, 1973)" [HERE]

and again;

"Bérenger Saunière’s selling of masses activities only started to take off on a Grand Scale around August 1896.This is the beginning and the origin of Saunière's wealth. Everything and anything before 1896 just does not count and can only be described as wild and fevered speculations without the slightest shred of historical evidence to substantiate all the nonsense and the rubbish.

Sober explanations that explain Saunière’s wealth lie in the details of Saunière’s Trial 1910-1911 and for example, in the account of René Espeut (“It was by collecting money for saying masses that the Abbé Saunière was able to construct his estate. He published small ads in the Catholic press throughout the world. I was able to read their texts, and I have seen thousands of replies
”) [HERE]

So imagine my surprise when I read that these quotes were actually taken from a much larger quote  from an article originally published in a French newspaper, the Mide Libre. This fuller quote is also reproduced in a book by one of the webmasters favourite sources, Jean-Luc Chaumeil. 

This book is called 'The Solar Alphabet' and Chaumeil co-wrote it with Jacques Riviere. It is essentially about documents originally belonging to Henri Boudet, handed down within the family of Boudet after his death. On page 52 the authors talk about a search for these archives of Henri Boudet. They write;

"After meeting a great-grandnephew of the priest of Rennes-les-Bains, Mr. Jean-Claude Cathary, [who was] living in Paris, we learned of the existence of several unpublished studies transmitted in the Abbe's family. These documents that we were able to photocopy are widely reproduced and commented on in the rest of the work. In addition, Mr. Cathary showed us a remarkable manuscript on parchment, in twelve leaves, having belonged to Henri Boudet, but about which he remained very discreet".

Of course the authors were very interested in this manuscript on parchment and tried to gather more information about it. On pressing Monsieur Cathary the authors write:

"Jean-Claude Cathary via a letter dated January 27 1984 wrote to us:  

“...Since the death of the Abbe this piece has been kept by my grandfather and upon his death by my uncle Alfred Saurel. The latter confided it to me almost 15 years ago...... After having studied it in vain, I still managed to isolate place names locating the action mentioned. We obtain a quadrilateral: Narbonne-Mirepoix-Querigut [?Salsas]. Unfortunately not being a decryption specialist of this kind of writing, I cannot tell you much more about its content. However, as for the relationship that this document could have with the ... Boudet affair, no ... hypothesis can today be either ruled out or formally demonstrated...".

Cathary then offered the following;

"... in fact, it was around 1969, shortly after the publication of Gérard de Sède’s book Gold of Rennes I received a telephone call at my Parisian home from a certain Mr. Beyern! He was a man of around 40, with receding hairline. He spoke with a strong foreign accent, but correctly in French he asked me if I had a medieval parchment that belonged to Abbe Boudet and if so, if he could consult it?  At that date, I only had personal writings from the Abbe and family papers but no parchment. The interview ended there.  A year after this curious visit, I met my uncle Alfred Saurel and telling him about this circumstance, he replied: "But I have a parchment like that, I will give it to you." Back in Paris, I tried to get back in touch with this Mr. Beyern at the number he left me: my call was received by the Austrian embassy. There, I ..... was told that this Mr. Beyern had indeed been part of the embassy as part of a mission but that he had left". 

Jean-Claude Cathary said “I cannot affirm that this [the medieval parchment he held] is indeed the document sought by this Mr. Beyern but in any case, this curious circumstance has alerted me to the importance of this text and inclines me to don't trust it to anyone."

In of itself it is of course very interesting to read that Boudet may have had some sort of medieval document [in history the timeline of the medieval age is approx. AD 500 to 1500]. Presumably Cathary's mention of him not being a decryption specialist 'in this kind of writing' indicates ancient handwriting on this parchment? 

I translated the paragraphs and im no expert in French translation so it may be wrong - but I also wondered how Cathary knew Mr Bayern had a receding hairline if he had not met him, but only spoken on the 'phone?  Anyway Chaumeil and Riviere refer to a Mide Libre article which quotes René Espeut and it is here that I find the full quote. Recalling this curious article published in Le Midi-Libre on February 13, 1973, Chaumeil et al comment;

" ... we cannot resist the pleasure of reading it [the Mide Libre article] again as the curious revelations that appear there lend themselves to reflection. The newspaper had interviewed a Perpignan resident, René Espeut, who claimed to be part of a closed and powerful sect of 17 initiates...."

Chaumeil go on to quote via the article the full quote of René Espeut;

"You undoubtedly know that during the war of 1914 - 1918 Abbé Saunière was suspected of professional espionage said the Germans. The presence at the Bethany villa of Jean of Habsburg, cousin of the Emperor of Austria-Hungary, with other Parisian ?contacts of the priest, was not foreign to these suspicions. Without saying anything, I am authorised to make two revelations to you:

-The first, Baron Von Kron, head of the German secret services, resided in Barcelona during the war. The Bureau wondered afterwards if the estate of Abbé Saunière was not an ideal relay point for enemy agents between Germany and Spain. But of course nothing could be proven.

The second certainly concerns a state secret [my emphasis]. At that time, a convent near Rennes-le-Chateau had a German nun as its mother superior. She was the Kaiser's own sister".

The quote then continues with the familiar "I would like to affirm that Abbot Saunière never found saw the treasure. I was born in Espéraza. My family knew the Dénarnaud family..... It was by collecting money to say masses that Abbot Saunière was able to build his estate. He placed classified ads in the Catholic press around the world. I was able to read their text and I saw the thousands of responses..."

Whatever one wants to make of the claims of René Espeut [who is relying on his memories as a 14 year old [he was born in 1911, and the Midi Libri article was published in 1973. So his memories date to 1925, nearly 50 years earlier] I do not believe for one minute that he read thousands of responses from classified ads placed by Sauniere in the Catholic press when he was 14 years of age! But why is René Espeut claiming that the Sauniere Affair is not about any treasure but that it is about a state secret linked to the Habsburg dynasty? What to make of all this? Joke or not? If one part of the quote is laughable and dismissed, then why not all of it? The whole testimony therefore becomes irrelevant. And herein lies the rub. 

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