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The Secret of Blanchefort.

Foreword.

In 1982 Henri Lincoln, a BBC journalist, published his book "Holy Blood, Holy Grail", the result of years of reseach into a mystery taking place in the south of France. This website describes the Mystery and a number of discoveries made by Lincoln and others: discoveries which formed the reason for my own quest. I discovered a Mystery guarded by a select group of "initiates", not only in the Middle Ages but also in our own time.

Introduction.

During the summer holidays of 1989 we visited Rennes-le-Château. The village was very quiet. While strolling around we were able to have a close look at the church, the Villa and the prominent tower on the edge of a steep rock. At night we had dinner at the restaurant. On the wall there were pictures, among other things of a statue at the entrance of the church. It appeared to be the devil Asmodeus, the guardian of all secrets. Not realising what exactly the meaning was of what we had seen, we returned home. Only after having read various books on the subject did its meaning dawn upon us. Two years later we visited the village again but now better prepared. Unfortunately the village was no longer quiet. It had received much publicity and business was booming. Of course we had a look at all the details we had read about and visited the museum but the atmosphere had changed. Back again in the Netherlands I read still more books about the Mystery. Among other things there was a reference to geometric patterns in the region. New publications followed. In the autumn of 1998 we made plans to visit the region again. In preparation I studied the map of the region. It proved to be the beginning of a new search…

Part 1: The Mystery of Rennes-le-Château. 

 The beauty of a mystery
is the secret concealed in it
not the truth it hides

Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt (1998) 

It is essential that I first tell you the Story which forms the basis of the Mystery. Many sources contradict each other but what follows is the generally accepted version.

Chapter 1: Bérenger Saunière’s Life Story.

In 1885 Bérenger Saunière was appointed parish priest of Rennes-le-Château. As the church was in bad repair, he started on the urgently needed restorations after a few years. During these operations he found some parchments in one of the pillars of the altar. In these documents he found genealogies, as well as Bible texts in Latin. The latter are said to have been written in 1780 by Antoine Bigou, one of Saunière’s predecessors and at the time the personal chaplain to the Blanchefort family, who lived in the neighbouring castle. Saunière showed the documents to the bishop in Carcassonne who sent him on to Paris. After a few days he returned, with reproductions of three paintings which he had bought at the Louvre.

After his return to Rennes-le-Château, his life changed completely. He had many contacts with people abroad and was regularly visited by many celebrities. It turned out that he possessed considerable sums of money. He continued the restoration of the church. He added all kinds of bizarre decorations, such as the statue of the demon Asmodeus; also every Station of the Cross reveals an unusual phenomenon. The churchyard also underwent a facelift. Saunière is said to have destroyed the inscriptions on the tomb of Marie de Negri, to which action there were many objections. Marie de Negri was the last remaining descendant of the Blanchefort family living in Rennes-le-Château. She died in 1781. The designer of her tombstone was the curé Antoine Bigou, the author of the documents.

From 1896 Saunière started to spend more and more money. He spent the equivalent of millions of Dollars. He built the "Villa Béthania", a library called the "Tour Magdala", had the road to the village asphalted and had a mains supply laid on. The new bishop of Carcassonne wanted to know how Saunière had come by such large sums of money; however Saunière refused to mention names, so he was suspended in 1909. He remained in the village but was no longer allowed to celebrate mass. In 1917 Saunière died. All his possessions proved to be in the name of his housekeeper, Marie Dénarnaud. She went to live in the Villa which she sold to Noël Corbu, the hotelier. In 1946 she had promised to confide the Secret to him before her death but she died suddenly in 1953 without being able to reveal the truth. Corbu became interested in the strange history of the curé and in 1956 he called in the local newspaper. That is how the Story was first made public.  It was through Henri Lincoln especially that the Mystery of Rennes-le-Château eventually became known worldwide. However, is there an answer? Had Saunière really found a treasure? Or is this theory totally unfounded?

Part 2: Background information.

Chapter 2: History.

The possibility that Saunière had indeed found a treasure of course made the Mystery attractive to treasure seekers, many of whom came to the village and its surroundings but did not always work with care. As early as 1965 a sign was placed at the entry of the village saying; "Excavations prohibited". Yet the possibility of there being a treasure is not so strange. I shall prove why on the basis of the history of the region.

The region, the Razès, has always had powerful inhabitants. The Celts regarded it as a sacred place; then because of its natural springs the Romans built their bathhouses here. In the year 70 AD the Romans plundered Jerusalem and removed the Temple Treasure, mentioned in the Dead Sea Scrolls, to Rome. In 410 Rome in its turn was plundered by the Visigoths who later settled in the south of France and northern Spain. In 507 the Visigoths were defeated by the Franks and retreated to the region around Narbonne. Did they bury their treasure while on the run?

Clovis I was the king of the Franks. He was the descendant of Merovech, the forefather of the Merovingians. During Clovis’ reign the Frankish kingdom expanded considerably and the Catholic faith spread. In 671 Dagobert II, a descendant, married a Visigoth princess in the church at Rennes-le-Château. (We shall hear more of Dagobert II.) In 679 Dagobert II was assassinated. His son was secretly returned to his mother in Rennes-le-Château. Through this son the Merovingian dynasty was continued. Although the power passed on into other hands the dynasty spread among many families including the Blanchefort and Sinclair families. A famous descendant is Godfrey of Bouillon.

Chapter 3:  Knight Templars.

In 1096 Godfrey of Bouillon undertook a crusade to the Holy Land in order to liberate it from the Turks. In 1099 he founded the "Order of Sion", at the head of which was Hugues de Payen who in 1118 founded the order of the "Templars". In 1099 the order of the Hospitallers, for the care of pelgrims was founded. In 1127 the Templars returned to France. The order grew immensely and its members donated their possessions to the order. Envious of their wealth, Philip the Fair decided to seize them all in 1307. In 1312 the order was dissolved by the Pope. Their estates were passed on to the Hospitallers, but their other possessions have never been recovered...

Chapter 4:  Cathars.

Around 1200 a number of stories were written about the Holy Grail. It is almost certain that the Templars were involved in the revival of these stories. Montségur, at the foot of the Pyrenees is mentioned as the possible "Grail Castle". It was one of the leading Cathar castles. Catharism originated in the Languedoc at the end of the tenth century. It is a doctrine that teaches that everything spritual has been created by the God of Good and everything material by the God of Evil. That is why the spiritual life of the Cathars was so important. There were many followers among the nobility. The ruins of their castles can still be visited today. The Cathar doctrine clashed with that of the Church of Rome. In 1209 a crusade against these "heretics" was undertaken. Simon de Montfort was at the head of one of the bloodiest operations in the history of Europe. The Cathar bastion of Montségur fell in 1244. Over 200 people were burnt alive. Ten years later the last castle, Quéribus, was seized. The Dominican Inquisition continued to eradicate the movement slowly but surely.  There were rumours about a Cathar treasure which was said to have been taken to safety just before the fall of Montségur. Did it include the Grail? If so, nothing has ever been found...

Chapter 5: Blanchefort.

So within a short period there was the rise and fall of the Cathars, the Grail legends and the Templars. Only one group of Templars was spared: the garrison that was encamped in the castle of le Bézu, south of Rennes-le-Château. In all this the Blanchefort family played an important role. It was clear that this family enjoyed protection... The Blanchefort family was said to be in possession of a secret that had been passed down for centuries. Its last descendant was Marie de Negri. She passed the secret on to le curé Antoine Bigou who wrote the secret down in code on her tombstone and in the documents. This secret was discovered by Saunière. Was there a connection between the secret and one of the treasures mentioned? In search for the answer to this question, you will find in part 3 a number of discoveries made in the past century.

Part 3: Revelations. 

Chapter 6: Priory of Sion.

After Corbu had Saunière’s story printed in the newspaper in 1956, more and more about the subject was published in France. Responsible for this flow of information was the so-called "Prieuré de Sion" ("Priory of Sion"), resulting from the Order of Sion. Among its leaders are many familiar names. The goal of the Priory was said to be the rehabilitation of the Merovingian dynasty. In order to achieve this, small amounts of background information about the mystery have slowly been released. Part 3 describes a number of revelations and findings by others which have led to discoveries of my own. I shall start with the parchments Saunière was said to have found.

Chapter 7: Parchments.

The parchments found by Saunière supllied information about the Lords of Rennes-le-Château: a genealogy dating from 1244, one from 1608 and a will from 1695. It is not known where these documents are now. The other documents were published in the booklet "Le Trésor Maudit" in the 1960s. The small document has a code in French. The translated text reads: "For king Dagobert II and Sion is this treasure and he is there dead". There are also the letters "PS", which according to many stand for "Priory of Sion". Various signs in the documents seem to be an invitation to construct certain geometric patterns.

The large document also contains a code, hiding a text in French.Translated it reads: "Shepherdess no temptation that Poussin and Teniers keep the key peace 681 by the cross and this horse of God I complete (destroy) this demon guard at the noon hour blue apples". Also here signs seem to indicate certain geometrical patterns. The writers Andrews and Schellenberger claim that parts of the text refer to locations around Rennes-le-Château. By means of a complicated construction they then discovered that the "treasure" must be hidden on the slopes of the Cardou mountain; a spot which is also referred to in a different way...

Chapter 8: The tomb of Marie de Negri.

The location on the Cardou is also indicated, according to Andrews and Schellenberger, on the tomb of Marie de Negri. Although Saunière had removed its inscriptions, these had already been published in a booklet in 1906. Later the texts were also printed in the above mentioned booklet "Le Trésor Maudit". The tomb of Marie de Negri, Lady of Blanchefort, consists of two stones. The text on the standing stone has various typographic abnormalities. The letters concerned form a word, with which the coded text of the large document can be deciphered.

However, for my own research the horizontal stone appeared to be of greater importance… This stone contains a number of Latin words, each having various meanings. Andrews and Schellenberger interpreted the text as being references to the castles of Blanchefort and Arques. According to them the vertical line represents the Prime meridian of Paris which runs through the area. They discovered that a line which connects the two Templar crosses intersects the above mentioned vertical line at an angle of 60° . When you draw a line on the map from the castles of Arques and Blanchefort, at 60° to the meridian, the lines intersect near their previously found location of the "treasure". If this interpretation is correct it is not so surprising that Saunière removed the text. Finally there is also a vertical text on the stone: "Et in Arcadia Ego". In the Story we come across this text more than once, e.g. on the painting "Les Bergers d’Arcadie", by Nicolas Poussin.

Chapter 9: Paintings.

The Story tells us that Saunière brought home from Paris copies of three paintings. The first painting could be determined thanks to the text of the large document: "Les Bergers d’Arcadie" by Nicolas Poussin. There are two paintings by Poussin with this title. The first version dates from 1630, the second (and best known) from 1640. In England there is a monument which is a mirrored copy of this. In the early 1970s it was discovered that Poussin had used geometric patterns in his work. In 1994 it was also discovered that the original painting had been taller. In 1971 a tomb was discovered near Arques, strongly resembling the tomb in Poussin’s painting. The location shows resemblances too. When this find became known, it attracted many people. In 1988 one of the "researchers" had used explosives so the owner had the remains of the tomb removed.

The second painting of which Saunière had bought a copy was not found until mid 1990s. It had been painted by David Teniers the Young in the 17th century. Henri Lincoln had already found a copy of this same painting in the 1970s. However this copy is smaller and differs in some details. The third painting was also discovered in the 1990s. The artist is not known. Everything points to the fact that geometry plays an important part in the Mystery.

Chapter 10: Geometry.

Traditionally geometric patterns were used as symbols and for the handing down of occult knowledge. Lincoln mainly concentrated on the pentagram, the 5-pointed star, which he found in Poussin’s painting as well as in the small document. In the landscape surrounding Rennes-le-Château Lincoln also came across geometric patterns, for the greater part formed by churches and castles. Not only did he find a pentagram, he also found more complex figures.

Dalle de Coume Sourde.

A reference to the geometry is also mentioned in the booklet "Le Trésor Maudit": the "Dalle de Coume Sourde". It is an inscription, consisting of a geometric pattern with a Latin text. Its freely rendered translation reads: "The line in the middle where the small line intersects the M". This "Dalle" was to play a key role in my later search. The most beautiful geometric pattern that was discovered (more than 700 years later after its composition! ) is the triangle, of which the angles consist of the castles of Blanchefort and Arques, and the church of Peyrolles. With this I end this series of discoveries made by others for this last pattern was unintentionally the starting point of my own research.

Part 4: My Own Research. 

 The mirror is the symbol of la veritá
For it is she who speaks the truth

Cesare Ripa (1593) 

Chapter 11: Geographical geometry.

The triangle Peyrolles-Blanchefort-Arques attracted my attention because of the accuracy with which it was constructed. The angles are exactly 30º –60º -90º, in spite of the fact that the castles of Blanchefort and Arques are almost 5 kilometres apart. But the accuracy goes further, for within this triangle there is an equilateral triangle. In this triangle, in a beautiful spot the castle of Serres is situated. What I did next was to look for still more striking constructions on the map using Blanchefort as a starting point. This led to my first major discovery, for indeed I found yet another triangle. The castle of Blanchfort formed a perfect 45º – 45º- 90º triangle with the castle of Serres and the church of Cassaignes. When I continued the line Cassaignes-Blanchefort it appeared to pass through the mountain Cardou, very near to the spot which Andrews and Schellenberger had ascertained to be the location of the "treasure". This was food for thought.

After a long search I found a second line running very near: the bisector of the angle BPS (Blanchefort-Peyrolles-Serres). The intersection of the two lines I had found I called "Point X". Could this be the real location? I then realised that there was still another line: the 60º-line of the tomb of Marie de Negri. After I had drawn this line in on the map, I was amazed to find it passed right through "Point X". Three lines passing through this one point!! This could not be accidental. Mathematical calculations confirmed that it was indeed so. I called the pattern which I had discovered the "Blanchefort-geometry".

Chapter 12: The Blanchefort-geometry.

For weeks I continued looking for proof of the existence of this pattern. I found the perfect proof in the "Dalle de Coume Sourde". In a moment of inspiration I decided to look for a connection between the inscription in this Dalle and the pattern I had found. I realized that in the Story there are also many clues concerning mirror images, such as the painting in the church at Rennes-les-Bains which is a mirrored copy of a painting by Van Dijck. As the drawing of the Dalle was composed symmetrically I placed a mirror on the Blanchefort-geometry, from the castle of Serres northwards. I could not believe my eyes when I looked in the mirror and the drawing of the Dalle appeared. At long last I had revealed the function of the Dalle. Now it also became clear what the letters "PS" meant: "Peyrolles-Serres", not "Priory of Sion".

As the upper line is smaller, this line must be the "Linea Parva". When I drew an "M" through its centre (in other words a line parallel to the meridian of Paris) this line intersected exactly the "Secret Place". This was the most perfect confirmation of the existence of this spot I could could have wished for. In the Dalle itself the "M" is indicated as well; but there is yet another line in the Dalle, leading directly to "Point X". This the "mirror line" running from Serres to the church at Rennes-les-Bains.

There were still two words which I had not yet decoded: "SAE"and "SIS". Or perhaps they were meant to be "S…AE"and "S…IS". My elementary knowledge of Latin aided by the dictionary gave the answers: "S…AE" comes from the word "specula" (watchtower) and "S…IS" from "speculum"(metal mirror). So "speculae speculis" means "the watchtowers with their mirror images".

In the Dalle the "M" runs not only through "Point X" but also exactly over the grave of the mother of Boudet (a friend and colleague of Saunière’s) in Rennes-les-Bains. Apart from the meridians there was also a line through the centre of "PS" as well as through "Point X". Possibly this was the so-called "Rose Line" mentioned by Grandmaster Plantard of the Priory of Sion.

Now, the inscription on the tomb of Marie de Negri became clear as well. The vertical line which represents the meridian, runs between P(eyrolles) and S(erres). The line running through the Templars’ crosses is the 60º-line. The line running through the "X" of the letters "APX" is the 50º-line. This line runs, as the 60º-line does, through the centre of the vertical line. When you mirror the 50º-line and draw in this mirror image on the map, the 60º-line runs from "Point X" to Arques and the 50º-line to Blanchefort.

I decided to measure the lines of the Blanchefort-geometry in relation to the meridian and the parallel. They are all beautiful triangles but one of them particularly attracted my attention. This was the triangle from Peyrolles through "Point X". This triangle intersects the meridian at an angle of 85º.

Chapter 13: The paintings.

It was an angle which I had seen before in a painting by Poussin, in which the staff of the shepherd on the right is at an angle of 85º, just as the line from Peyrolles to the Secret Place is. Could it be really true that Poussin had painted his picture on the basis of the Blanchefort-geometry? It would be too fantastic if I could find out. It took me months to discover how Poussin had worked but I succeeded. Poussin had not only used the pattern in the way it was "placed" on the map but had linked it as well with a second version by means of the 60º- line. All this only fits in with the "enhanced" version of the painting, which, as a result, is in the proportion of 3:4. It is possible that in later times the painting had been shortened to conceal the Secret. In order to compose the staff of the shepherd on the right, Poussin had used a mirrored version of the pattern. The real "Point X" coincides with the middle of the three (three?!) fingers on his right hand. On the painting the "Rose Line" runs throught the carvings on the tomb. The shepherd on the right points to it. In a mirrored version of the painting this shepherd points to the real "Rose Line". From the point where the "Rose Line"intersects the bottom edge of the painting there is a line which runs parallel to "Peyrolles-Serres". It is along this line that Poussin has painted the staff of the shepherd in the middle. Clearly Poussin was an insider. Was David Teniers an insider as well?

David Teniers.

Of course I very much wanted to know if the painting by David Teniers had also been composed with the help of the Blanchefort geometry. Small differences with the "English" copy gave me a clue of how this painter had worked. Taking the shepherds’ staffs as a starting point I found after some time the pattern used by the painter. Also in this painting the painter had used a double pattern, both of the same size. In one pattern the extension of the staff (leaning against the stone), ends up, at the top edge of the painting, so as to form the side of the above mentioned copy. For me this was of course the ultimate proof that my theory was right. The other pattern had been composed by Teniers in such a way that "Point X" is situated exactly on the bottom edge of the painting. One thing is now clear: David Teniers knew about the Secret. Would the painting of Celestinus V also……?

Pope Celestinus V.

Of course it was more than a guess that the third painting too had been composed with the help of the Blanchefort-geometry. The pattern which I also found here eventually (again starting from the staffs) was a double version but more complicated than the previous two. The painting is full of incongruous details, such as various oblique pillars and a "hanging" leg of the throne. These legs end in the form of rosettes. The line through its centres proved to represent the "Rose Line". Thanks to this line I was able to draw in the the first pattern. The two staffs on the left are part of the second pattern. The left point of the platform on which the throne is placed, is a "cardinal point", which is the key to this second pattern. So far no one has been able to discover who is the maker of this painting, but he was clearly an insider too. My next step was to study the documents.

Chapter 14: The documents.

If the Blanchfort-geometry was concealed in the paintings, why would the same not be true for the documents Saunière found? I decided to find out first how the two documents "matched". After all it was said that originally they had been written on a single piece of vellum, with one text on the front and the other on the back. After I had found the link I knew how the meridian ran and then I could construct the pattern on the small document using the crosses and the triangle at the top. As I knew how the documents had to be matched I could, with the help of transparences, see how the pattern had been incorporated into the large document. Again I was amazed, as I had been at the time with my mirror: in the document, where Arques was, there was the letter "a" and where "Peyrolles" was, there was the letter "p". You will understand that the above discovery was the umpteenth proof of the accuracy of my theory. There indeed was a place which had been kept secret for centuries by certain "initiates". It seemed pretty unlikely that everything I had found was just pure chance. Who could be behind all this?

Part 5: Back to the beginning.

In part 4 I revealed the disclosure of a "Secret Place". This secret has been handed down for centuries using occult signs and I have discovered that for this purpose a geometric pattern was used. This pattern, which I called "Blanchefort-geometry", can be found on the map as well as in the paintings and documents which play a role in "The Mystery of Rennes-le-Château". Moreover, the pattern had been hidden in a unique way in the drawing of the "Dalle de Coume Sourde" in "Le Trésor Maudit". In part 5 I will trace the Secret still further. You will be able to witness new disclosures.

Chapter 15: More paintings.

It isn't important for the story whether the documents were genuine: they conceal the Blanchefort-mystery just as the paintings do. My next step was to find out if there were still more paintings through which the Secret had been passed down. First of all I focused on the first version of "Les Bergers d’Arcadie" by Poussin. Again starting from the staff of a shepherd I soon found the pattern. It appeared to be a simple pattern, in which the leaning tree and the arms of the person at the bottom on the right function as meridian and parallel. But there were more paintings involved in the Story.

René d'Anjou.

An image that comes back again and again in the various books is a miniature by René d’Anjou. René is mentioned as one of the Grandmasters of the Priory of Sion. "King of Jerusalem" is one of his many titles. Because of the angle formed by the lance and its shadow I could find the pattern. The meridian and the parallel have been clearly marked too. Starting from the sun three patterns can be constructed. From each pattern there is one line going to one of the corners of the painting. A pattern of the same size as the first one can be found if you use the sun, the fingers of the persons standing, plus the boot of the person lying down. Finally I found a fifth pattern. Striking in this pattern was that the "Rose Line" ran exactly alongside the monument. All in all it was clear that René d’Anjou too was an "initiate". In 1437 René d’Anjou was imprisoned in Lille. Here the painter Jan van Eijck, whose work is also worth studying in this light, paid him a visit.

Jan van Eijck.

Jan van Eijck’s most famous painting is to be seen in the church of St. Bataaf in Ghent (Belgium): "The Adoration of the Lamb". One of the many remarkable stories about this painting mentions a "secret of the Templars". Studying the bottom row of panels it appeared that all diagonals were at an angle of 70°, one of the angles of the Blanchefort-geometry. The central panel proved to be composed as a double Blanchefort-geometry: two triangles of 30°, 60°, and 90°. The centre of the picture is the statue. The centre of the aureole is on the frame at the top of the panel. Finally I could, again starting from some of the staffs, draw in the pattern and ascertain the meridian.

But there was yet another painting by Van Eijck which had attracted my attention, called "The Madonna with Canon Van der Paele". Here it was the staff of St. George that helped me to draw in the pattern. So Jan Van Eijck was an initiate too. What might he have discussed with René d’Anjou, when he visited him in prison? But the trail led still further back in time….

The Map of Jerusalem.

The last and oldest manuscript which I studied (though I am certain that still more paintings have been made on the basis of the Blanchefort-geometry) was a miniature representing the map of Jerusalem. I could find the basic lines, using the street plan and the crosses on the shield and the banner of the Templar. Also the oblique cross on the "church of the tomb of Mary" was helpful here. After drawing in the pattern the "Secret Place" proved to be situated just under the (empty) Tomb of Christ. In a second pattern one line pointed to "Béthania", determining the form of the plaza. I also found a third pattern. In this pattern the "Secret Place" was on the back of the horse. In all patterns the various lines are directed towards striking details in the miniature. All three patterns are of such a size, that in one way or another, they "are connected". Here for the first time I happened on the triangle Blanchefort-Serres-Cassaignes in a painting. The makers of the map were monks from a convent in St. Omer in the north of France. From whom had they received the information enabling them to make this map? From the Templars? Is the Secret of Blanchefort a Secret of the Templars as well? It was time to go and find out on the spot.

Chapter 16: Research on the spot.

In August 1999 we spent our holidays in the Rennes-le-Château region. The surroundings were beautiful and we went for many lovely walks. The walk from Rennes-les-Bains to Château Blanchefort is especially rewarding. Of course we visisted all the places we had been reading about for so many years, such as "Fontaine des Amours". At many locations there was a story to be told. We returned to the village itself more than once, also on the day of the eclipse. What struck me in the local museum was the amateurish way in which objects had been exhibited (fortunately, this was greatly improved later). It is a pity that many buildings are falling into disrepair, as is the case with the home of the Denarnaud family and the castle. Yet a visit to the village is always a wonderful experience. Much time was spent in the local bookshop. One of the things I bought was the book "Clef de Royaume des Morts" by a certain Alain Feral. On paying, the bookseller turned out to be the author himself. In the book he repeatedly refers to the alpha and omega. Omega is like the small letter "w", which is the letter "m" upside down: like the mirrored "N", the "AM-sign" is a symbol of the Mystery. But my search drove me on. My first plan was to visit all the churches which play a role in my story.

Churches.

Most of the churches appear to have been built in the 12th century. They are all similar in form. In most of them there is a round apse at the end. Nowadays these churches are hardly ever used for worship so it is as if time has stood still in them. Many objects have been left untouched for a long time. In the church at Cassaignes you can find the same painting of Mary as in the church at Peyrolles. The only difference is that here a skull has also been painted. This skull reminds me again of the depictions in the church at Rennes-le-Château. On the tabernacle in the church at Serres an equilateral triangle has been depicted with in Hebrew the letters "JHWH", meaning "Jahweh", or "Jehova". Triangles are very popular in the region and can be found everywhere. I have been unable to discover the meaning of the cross with a circle as depicted on the tabernacle in the church at Peyrolles.

Castles.

After the churches the castles were next on the list. The castles of Blanchefort and Arques were destroyed by Simon de Montfort during the Albigensian Crusade in 1209. His vassal Pierre de Voisins took up the reconstruction later. Château Blanchefort must have been deserted from very early on. Arques on the other hand was lived in by the family for a long time. Their coat of arms can still be seen in the castle. In 1280 Gilles I, Pierre de Voisins’ son, started building the "donjon". With this information it becomes clear that the De Voisins family is responsible for the construction of the pattern. The De Voisins family also ordered the castle of Serres to be built later on as the presence of Guillaume de Voisins’ coat of arms shows. My research, done at home, showed that the castle of Montferrand just missed the line Cassaignes-Blanchefort. But when there, at the castle itself, I discovered a Calvary which was exactly on that same line, pointing in the direction of Blanchefort, so proving yet again that the line really does exist.

As regards the Secret Place, I found out that it is essential to stand on the intersection of two lines: the one going from Blanchefort across the small bridge crossing the river Sals, the other one running between the big rock on the Cardou and the Roque Nègre. Unfortunately I found nothing spectacluar. (One year later I would be able to ascertain the position much more precisely so that I would actually find something of interest.) Now I knew who had composed the pattern and when, yet I felt that there was still more to discover. I suspected that the similar forms of the churches within the pattern might also play a role. However, the only thing I could do was to define their positions on the compass. This proved to be a lucky move...

Chapter 17: The Churches-pattern.

The church at Peyrolles was built in such a way that it points towards Arques. The church at Serres was built parallel to this church. In its turn the church at Arques points in the direction of Serres. It is only with the church at Cassaignes that I found nothing special. I started to study the position of the churches on the map more closely. I discovered that the distance Cassaignes-Peyrolles and the distance Cassaignes-Serres is the same. To put it more strongly: the perpendicular line from the central point on the line Peyrolles-Serres leads to the church at Cassaignes. During my search I extended this line as far as the line Peyrolles-Arques. To my surprise this distance proved to be twice the distance Peyrolles-Serres. Was this a complete "Cross of Churches"? On the vertical axis of the cross I drew a circle starting from its centre. On this circle Blanchefort was situated. This again was food for thought. From the top of the vertical axis of the cross I drew a line through Peyrolles and one through Serres. Then the Secret of this "Churches-pattern" revealed itself to me: the line through the two intersections with the circle, leads directly to the "Secret Place"!! This was yet another confirmation of my "Point X". It all started to get exciting.

Coats of arms.

I continued "experimenting" and a pattern arose before my eyes that I had already seen before. From my holiday album I took the brochure of Château d’Arques and what did I see?: I had composed a pattern that had been the coat of arms of the De Voisins family since 1350. Besides, with the same "Churches-pattern" the pattern that had been the coat of arms of the village of Arques since 1696 could be inserted.

Not only do these coats of arms prove that the Churches-pattern does exist, I found still more instances of its use. I found a picture of it as an example of an 18th-century Talisman which could generate unprecedented powers in its bearer. And in the book by Alain Feral, which was mentioned earlier, pictures can be found which lead back to the Churches-pattern. Through his illustrations Feral shows that he was well-informed. His books belong to the category which includes "Le Trésor Maudit". So the way in which the the Secret was handed down varied: in our time through drawings in books, centuries ago through painting, and originally through architecture.

Chapter 18: The constructors.

The ground on which the churches were built belonged to the Templars who had returned from the Holy Land around 1127. From 1153 till 1169 Betrand de Blanchefort was their Grandmaster. The "Château des Templiers" in Le Bézu looks out on to the mount Cardou. The castle and the Secret Place are situated in one line with the church at Serres. The longest part of the Churches-pattern runs through the church at Cassaignes. The extended part of this axis leads to the "commanderie" of the Templars in Campagne-sur-Aude. These above-mentioned factors gave me the strong notion that the order of the Templars was behind the construction of the 12th century pattern.

The De Voisins family.

The Blanchefort-geometry dating from the 14th century had been constructed by the De Voisins family. Pierre de Voisins, Simon de Montfort’s vassal, had been assigned the area around Rennes-le-Château. Either he knew about the Secret of the Churches-pattern, or discovered it later. His descendants later created the Blanchefort-geometry and took on the old pattern as their coat of arms. In the 17th century descendants adopted the title of "Lord of Blanchefort". When the last baron with this title died, he left behind a wife who was still young. Her name was Marie de Negri. On her deathbed in 1781 Marie de Negri d’Ables, Dame d’Hautpoul de Blanchefort, told her parish priest, Antoine Bigou, about a secret. So, the "Secret of Blanchefort" is the Secret of the De Voisins family, namely the Secret of the Churches-pattern and the Blanchefort-geometry. In other words: the Mystery of Rennes-le-Château is the mystery of the treasure in the "Secret Place"!

The Secret Place.

In the church at Serres, over a door which has been bricked up there is a stone with an inscription. The inscription is a variant on the Templars’ cross. A key of the castle of Serres has been made in the same shape. The meaning of this inscription would become clear to me later. In Pezens I found a number of graves of descendants of Pierre de Voisins. One of the graves had a decoration which reminded me strongly of the inscription on the stone at Serres. Was this to be a reference to the Secret Place? Thanks to the aerial photographs of the Institut Géographique National, the detailed TOP25 map of the area, my own pictures and the Blanchefort-geometry, I could ascertain the Secret Place to within a metre. At the location itself I happened upon a stone track at right angles to the mountain. It was a "path", one metre wide, dozens of metres long, which passed over the exact location of the Secret Place. Was this what the stone at Serres and the grave in Pezens refer to? Thanks to my research I knew the location of the "treasure" and had been able to find out in which way the Secret had been passed on. But what in fact is the Secret?

Part 6: The Secret. 

 The salvation of mankind
Is acquired through the suffering of Jesus
And the shedding of his blood

Pope John XXIII (1960)

I am certain that the discoveries of my quest are "real" and not fabrications of my mind or other people’s imagination. However, how much I would like to, I still haven’t been able to ascertain what the Secret actually is. What I am able to do is offer a solution to what the "treasure" might be.

Chapter 19: Religion.

In spite of all the possible treasures, mentioned in part 2, one thing seemed clear to me: it cannot be a material treasure. After all, any ordinary treasure would never have been worth all the pains, which this Secret has incurred for almost 900 years. So it must be a secret with a spiritual value, important for all people. A treasure in which religion is an important aspect. But what aspect? I went in pursuit of the answer.

Jesus was a Jew who fought the Roman rule of his country. He was the leader of the Nazarenes. After the crucifixion, his brother James took over the leadership of the resistance. It was Paul, a former Roman commander-in-chief, who started the worship of Jesus as God. This resulted in a breach with the Jewish community of James. Paul spread the belief in his own way and mixed the original teachings with those of other cultures. This new doctrine of his rapidly grew in popularity. In Rome however this led to terrible persecutions. These stopped only when the emperor Constantine converted to the new faith in 312. The doctrine of the catholic church was laid down and Jesus was declared God by vote. For the Jews however Jesus was not (the Son of) God.

Chapter 20: The empty Tomb.

Did Jesus survive the crucifixion? This question occupies many people’s minds and some say yes. A possible indication for this is perhaps an 18th-century copy of the Map of Jerusalem. The copy is very accurate, however the (empty) Tomb which was on the original has vanished on the copy. The empty Tomb refers to the Resurrection. By leaving the Tomb out the copier implies that it was unnecessary...

There is still another indication. Around 1357 a cloth was exhibited in Lirey with the depiction of a person on it. It was said to be the cloth in which the Body of Christ had been shrouded after he had been taken down from the cross. Since 1578 this cloth, the so-called "Turin Shroud", has been exhibited in Turin. The catholic Church however regards this cloth as a medieval forgery. In their book "The Jesus conspiracy" the writers Kersten and Gruber demonstrate however that the effigy on the cloth originated from a still living person, and cannot possibly be a forgery.

Chapter 21: Rosicrucians.

From 1637 till 1654 Johan Valentin Andreae was Grandmaster of the Priory of Sion, the guardian of the Secret. Andreae stood at the foundation of the Rosicrucian Movement which had originated, according to some people, from the Grail Movement (Cathars) and the Templars. The Rosicrucians are often mentioned in the Story. Grandmaster Pierre Plantard, had already mentioned the "Rose Line" passing through the Secret Place. The Rosicrucians too frequently use geometric patterns, as the composers of the Blanchefort-geometry did. Is there a possible connection? Saunière too, together with his colleagues Henri Boudet and Antoine Gélis, had connections with the Rosicrucians. I found proof of this in a book dating from 1625. It is the coat of arms of a German Rosicrucian, Henricus Madathanus Theosophus. The same letters are used by Saunière in his church in the same way. "BS": not only "Bérenger Saunière, but also "Beneficentia Sapientia".

Chapter 22: Conclusion.

I realised that the coat of arms of the village of Arques has been made up of two letters: the "A" and "M". So the Secret of the Churches-pattern is related to the "Alpha and the Omega". In other words: the Secret of Blanchefort is the Mystery of Christ. Furthermore, the histories of the "Turin Shroud" and the copy of the "Map of Jerusalem", on the original of which the Blanchefort-geometry had been based, give the possible conclusion that the "Secret Place" is Christ’s Tomb. Only archeological research on the spot can produce any answers. Should permission ever be granted to allow excavations there, the future may teach us how the Story ends...

 

Epilogue.

During my investigations, I have asked constantly asked myself if it is true what I have found. Did I see things that were not there or was there really something at hand? This question kept me busy, especially during the period that I was analysing that paintings. Did the pattern really exist or did I just want it to contain the Blanchefort geometrics? Did I allow myself, as sober as I am, to get swept up in thethe many speculative stories that the Mystery brings with it? But especially the discovery of the function of the Dalle de Coume Sourde strengthened me and pushed me to continue. The connection of the double patterns in the paintings also gave me the feeling that I was on the right track. There was to much coincidence to be coincidental. One of the certainties that I now have is the positioning of the Secret Place. For sure, five lines point the way to this place. Also the existence of the coat of arms cannot be questioned. And above all the Talisman confirms that importance of the patterns of the family of Voisins. These are so many indications that I can say without a doubt that there is something about this place. The location of the treasure is definite and I am sure that the Secret is linked to Christ, the Alpha and the Omega. Only – and I have to admit that there is some doubt in my voice here – what is the Secret? I have indeed given a solution, but I do not (yet) have proof. Proof can only be delivered after extensive archeological study. Therefore we wait patiently for the permission to allow this to happen.

Jan Rijerse, 2001.