There is no doubt that the new book by Paul Saussez is an interesting and fascinating read. There is also no doubt that it will become some sort of reference book in the Affair of Rennes.
I review the book in more depth HERE.
But there have been other recent publications on the Rennes Affair. An interesting question arises. Why do certain books published get 'championed' more than others? What promotes the difference in attitude and perception between the French and English in their respective approaches to the Rennes-le-Chateau Affair?
Many years ago when i started my website i used to carry a 'Mission Statement' on its front page. It read as follows;
"What do we do on Rhedesium?"
French researcher Jérôme Choloux said of his website that it was created out of a passion for Rennes-le-Château research. And so to is this Rhedesium site created out of a passion for research into Abbé Saunière and his 'mystery'. Rhedesium.org is unpretentious. It does not purport to have solved anything but only reveals the work of mine and research of those who have the same passion and who have something interesting to say. I just want the truth about Rennes-le-Château to be told.
It is to provide translations of documents to make them accessible to the English speaking world of that rather small field and genre of research - the mystery of Rennes-le-Chateau!
“What value are we bringing?"
The value will be for the English speaking world to be opened up to the world of the French view of the mystery, as well as to expand, review and perhaps re-establish an English point of view. I am sure that all of us are grateful to Henry Lincoln for alerting the English speakers to the local story of the 'priest with billions', but i would argue that there is a great divide between the English view of the Sauniere story [Bloodline from Jesus] and the French view [The historical Jesus is buried in France]. And in between these assertions is a whole load of other theories - some banal, some whacky.
I think English researchers miss out hugely because of this.
Therefore the value, hopefully of this site, is that in a very small way, however clumsily perhaps, the imbalance is redressed.
Paul Saussez, many years ago, kindly wrote an article for that website. It was called 'The Frenglish Chasm'. He wrote;
"I have been struck, over a period of now almost 20 years, by what appears to be a gap, nay a chasm, between the British and the French perception and understanding of what the "affair" is all about".
Paul seemed to hit the nail on the head regarding the aims of my website. I wanted to try close that chasm and still want to today.
Saussez went on to say in the article, rather sympathetically, that;
"I felt sorry for my listeners and addressees, who - despite the critical reviews published in English or aired on British and American TV shows - were also unaware of the wealth of information dug out by a number of French researchers who had long since debunked ... falsehoods."
The falsehoods are essentially anything to do with Plantard, Cherisey and de Sède.
To try and close the chasm and get better acquainted with all information I began to contact various French researchers, including Paul - for information, permission to translate, to use texts, to interview etc. I found most of the serious French researchers to be very friendly, amenable, always giving permission and generally - despite the language barrier - to be very helpful.
And there is indeed a language barrier.
I cannot speak French. I can read it better. Marginally. It is an uphill struggle and certainly the many English researchers i know are not prepared to put in the leg work i have to understand all facets of the mystery. For example i buy almost all of the French books. I then have a rather spectacularly good photo translation app which I use to translate and transcribe ext on to paper - or nowadays on to a file on the computer - then I read the transcription side by side with the original French text to arrive at a general understanding of the text and its meaning.
It is a laborious job and obviously not perfect.
In the article i mentioned above by Saussez he ended by writing;
"let us hope that in a very near future, more and more intelligent computerised protocols will be available over the Internet to translate online and instantly any document written in any language. Anglophones shall then have no trouble translating such French twisters as "attaché-case", "sexy", "strip-tease", "disc-jokey", "bulldozer" or "airbag", while Francophones will stop biting their nails at such English idiosyncrasies as "cherchez la femme", "hors d'oeuvre", "au pair", "coup de grâce" or "concierge" !"
Bingo. I am at that stage!
But Paul was right - "If only 1% of French novels get translated into English, why should their books, articles, websites, blogs and other Internet-based communiqués - let alone the narrowness of the subject - deserve to be translated? On the other hand, would it be reasonable to ask the Anglophones to speak French, since the French themselves are the more reluctant Europeans to learn a foreign language?"
But there does seem to be a peculiar attitude by some French researchers towards English research. I can hardly blame them for this I suppose. What with some of the whacky theories and hoaxes that have been perpetrated in the Affair by the English how could it not be so? Given all that though i am sure there is a particular kind of snobbery - it is a French Affair so therefore any other theory that does not originate from the French is not taken seriously.
For example Saussez has a section in his book criticising English books on the mystery - mainly related to the fact that he [and other French researchers] feel the English take too seriously the works of Plantard and Cherisey. Saussez takes the English researchers to task for believing in the idea of a Jesus and Mary Magdalene marriage and bloodline theory [not inherently impossible] but which [to my mind anyway] is an obvious red herring in the RLC Affair. Saussez also criticises the English Tomb of God authors for speculating about the historical Jesus being buried in France and their theories that are, shall we say, geometrical. And yet, one of the most common theories championed by French researchers, in particular Christian Doumergue, is that the historical Christ is buried in France [ie the same theory as English researchers], or at least Mary Magdalene! Christian Doumergue writes the preface to this new book by Saussez and is a good friend.
I understand this continued push of the 'facts facts facts' mantra because it is important. It was a list of facts that Saussez put together in his Tomb of the Lords CD about the activities of Saunière which showed me in the cold light of day that Sauniere was indeed working to a strategem and was obviously looking for something. Reading those facts one can see Saunière was working to a design. Saussez speculates that Saunière was looking for an ancient crypt thought to be situated beneath the church. But his summations about how the crypt got there and what could be in it are theory and opinion.
Saussez mentions Sauniere's monetary gains through his traffic in masses - but also speculates that money could have come from looting a stolen religious or hidden treasure from a local Bishopric [perhaps dated to the 17th and 18th century and that of Alet-les-Bains] - discussed by another good French researcher, Patrick Mensior. I have referred to Mensior's theory on my website. I guess that Mensior and Saussez together would argue that their listed facts and opinions as we currently know them better fit the scenario of what Sauniere must have been up to.
Saussez also mentions a quote found at the front of Gérard de Sède's first book about Sauniere;
"There is a resemblance between the facts reported in this book and an imaginary construction, but it is the result of pure chance. This is not the least strange, because the resemblance is striking."
Paul writes "The many authors who, thereafter, will draw their inspiration from the book of Gérard de Sède will not take this warning into account, which encourages them .... Clearly, he warns them not to take it literally. But hardly anyone - will follow this recommendation".
So Paul thinks de Sède is saying that what he writes is a load of old nonsense and one must not take it seriously. I dont read it that way. The problem I also have with this is that de Sède wrote many other things. Which to believe more than the other? Can you pick and choose which bits of de Sède suit your purpose? For example Gerard de Sède writes in the same book about a man who knows a big secret that he cannot reveal directly. He has to tell of it in a coded way, to be sure that we cannot understand him. And so de Sède writes;
“He has to create a sea in which to throw the information without too much risk, for example like a ‘message in a bottle’ i.e the message which he holds in a bottle”.
So can i argue that the 'message in a bottle' has been created by de Sede to resemble the facts reported in this book and an imaginary construction? That is the whole mystery he created in his book on Sauniere is to be a cover for certain information which is in his books?
All these questions have been raised in my mind because of another recently published book about Rennes. This is an English publication called THE MAP AND THE MANUSCRIPT. It is written by Simon Miles.
I have been trying to encourage the French to take notice of this new book because it is the story and journey of a spectacular discovery. The section regarding Boudet and the decipherment of the map his brother designed in LA VRAI LANGUE CELTIQUE is nothing short of extraordinary.
The 'facts' reported are indisputable - the facts that the serious French researchers go on about are actually there - but it is in a different language that they are not used to. That language is geometry. [You can’t have spatial perception or spatial reasoning without geometrical presuppositions. Just as you can’t think without presupposing some language, so you can’t geometrise without presupposing some geometry].
But because so may authors and researchers 'have drawn lines on maps' that lead to nowhere the whole idea of geometry and mapping is therefore dismissed. Potential readers and Rennes researchers don't want to give it a chance. And it is a real shame! They bring their prejudices about Lincoln's theories to the table and dismiss anything new without realising that Lincoln is but a cog in a chain of continuous research which has led to Miles correcting and continuing the thread. Every part of the book by Miles has made me think, made me wonder, made me appreciate Boudet more.
Boudet - who was bi-lingual - had a Masters degree in English and he used English to encode his book. If Boudet wanted his theory to 'get out there and survive' he must have realised that English was a world language and current lingua franca [which must annoy the French] so his encoding would survive only by using that language.
As Simon has found - the key was the English term INCH - hinted at by De Sède - a ruler but in Boudet speak Rouler.
The title of this little post 'Give them an inch Boudet' will only be understood for the French if they make the effort to read the new book by Miles in the English language - and they might learn something! It reflects the quote Saussez has at the front of his book;
"It is true that one cannot find the philosopher's stone, but it is good that one seeks it. By looking for it, we find very beautiful secrets that we were not looking for". [Bernard le Bovier de Fontenelle].