Rennes-le-Chateau pt2

Two years before Henry Lincoln bought his copy of Le Tresor Maudit, a man named Philippe de Cherisey declared that the parchments reproduced in the book were fakes, and that he was the faker.  We can assume that Henry Lincoln was unaware if this fact, for he pursued his research on the assumption that Berenger Sauniere came into his newfound wealth as a direct consequence of his discovery of the parchments.  Then it turns out that the hollow in the so-called Visogoth pillar that Sauniere allegedly found the parchments in was most likely too small to have housed them, if such a hollowed out pillar existed at all.  Also it turns out that de Cherisey and Pierre Plantard knew each other beginning in the 60’s, and both have admitted to forging documents related to the Rennes-le-Chateau and Priory of Sion “hoaxes.”  De Cherisey announced that he had forged the Rennes-le-Chateau-related parchments in 1967 and, when Holy Blood Holy Grail was published in 1982 Pierre Plantard dismissed it as “fiction.”  In subsequent years he revised his statements a number of times, confusing the issue until finally in 1993, after being connected to an investigation related to the ‘Pechiney-Triangle Affair’ whereby a search of his home turned up a large volume of evidently fabricated papers, Plantard admitted to forging the ‘Priory of Sion’- related Les Dossiers Secrets under oath.

It’s pretty clear that Philippe de Cherisey, Pierre Plantard and Gérard de Sède, to varying degrees, acted in concert to perpetrate an elaborate hoax revolving around Rennes-le-Chateau and the alleged history of the Priory of Scion.  All interest in the topic should have died out 20 years ago … but it hasn’t, interest in these mysteries not only persist but have intensified. Why?

Despite the bad press Holy Blood Holy Grail received, anyone who has read the book should know that Henry Lincoln and his co-writers located original documents dating to the early 12th century bearing the seal of one or another prior of ‘Notre Dame de Sion.’  A photo of another such seal of the Order dated 1289 is reproduced in their book.  One of the Order’s important preceptories from the 14th to the early 17th centuries was in Orlean, at Saint-Samson.  The authors found numerous references in a number of documents pertinent to Saint-Samson in which the Priory was repeatedly reprimanded for flaunting the edicts of the King and the Pope until, in 1617 the authorities finally got fed up, threw the knights out and transferred possession of the property to the Jesuits.  In virtually all cases where the authors were able to find requisite historical documents pertaining either to the Priory of Sion or other specific information contained in the Priory documents and ‘Les Dossiers Secrets,’ the claims were confirmed to be true.

This leads one to suspect that, while Plantard was admittedly part of an elaborate prank, he appears to have had access to a wealth of privileged information related to the “Priory,” the Templars and the blood-lines that are referred to in the forgeries … which prods us to ponder the pedigree of his co-prankster, Philippe de Cherisey.  Philippe was a Marquess of Cherisey, Marquess being a title of nobility somewhere between a Count and a Duke.  Cherisey is a commune in Lorraine, the region from where Godfrey de Bouillon, leader of the 1st Crusade, hailed.  Not only was that whole area the stomping grounds of the Dukes of Lorraine and their cadet branches of Bar and Guise, roughly speaking the area was regarded by every dynasty of Frankish or French kings from the Merovingians to the Capetians as their ancestral home.  (The Merovingians ruled from the Ardennes, the Carolingians from Aachen, while the Robertians and Capetians originated in Hesbaye — all in the historical region of Lorraine.)  That in and of itself tells us nothing, but it might be relevant and Pilippe de Cherisey may have been more than just your average prankster.

Tim Wallace-Murphey, Marilyn Hopkins and Graham Simmans wrote two books on a related subject, the first of them titled Rex Deus: the True Mystery of Rennes-le-Chateau and the Dynasty of Jesus, the second Guardians of Truth.  While they don’t try to prove the existence of the Priory of Sion in their books, they speak to and elaborate on what the Priory was allegedly created to protect – an extended blood-line descended from the families of the High Priests of the Temple of Jerusalem, the Davidic family of Jesus among them.  This pair of books seem to independently confirm what Holy Blood Holy Grail alluded to – an elite ‘Grail’ blood-line that persists to the present day — and, the authors even name names.

Then you have Rennes-le-Chateau itself.  The bizarre modifications Saunier made and the Tour de Magdala addition to the church are real and are there for all to see.  If the parchments were forgeries (and apparently they were), what other explanation can be given for Sauniere’s sudden rise from abject poverty to lavish abundance?

When the bishop of Carcassonne, who had turned a blind-eye to Saunier’s activities and conspicuous accumulation of riches, died and was replaced, the new bishop, Paul-Felix Beurain de Beausejour called on Sauniere to account for his wealth.  Sauniere refused and was accused of simony, that is, the selling of masses.  The official explanation of how Sauniere gained his wealth is from this selling of masses, and indeed it appears he solicited such revenue.  However, Sauniere apparently spent the equivalent of hundreds of millions of dollars on the church, the surrounding property and the town.  At an estimated 1 franc-per-mass, that’s a lot of masses by any standard.

Gee, seems like there must be something else going on here …

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