A Spanish connection?
Part 2: The Magic Dance
Saunière, the magician
For those who have problems accepting that Saunière travelled a lot – suggesting it was the mystery of Saunière, rather than of Rennes-le-Château – the possibility that Saunière was an active magician may come as an even harder pill to swallow. Nevertheless, that is precisely what Isaac ben Jacob and his team have put forward in a series of articles (available on the French Perillos website, subsection The Rise). In their analysis, they explain a “cult of the dead”, in which certain rites were performed on the dying and the dead, very much in line with the enigmatic consolamentum of the Cathars, was practiced by the likes of Saunière. That Saunière was aware of this tradition can be seen in symbolism worked into the statue of Asmodeus, as explained by the authors in their work.
A magical talisman
several people knew, and I had personally seen, for a long time, there was
no hard evidence publicly available of Saunière’s “magical
workings”. A key document was in the possession of Graham Simmans,
who only posthumously revealed his story. In short: in early 1993, during
a visit to the Villa Bethania, in the company of Henri Buthion, the owner,
Simmans and Buthion noticed how wooden skirting board on the right side
of the second floor landing had become loose. Inside, they found a small
book. It consisted of 70 pages of Arabic handwriting, later identified as
medieval Arabic. When subjected to more detailed analysis, the Director
of the Cairo Islamic Museum stated that binding with string was a very ancient
tradition. The book could be as old as eight hundred years. He explained
that it was replete with symbols of djinns and demons and that the material
was sensitive to the Muslim faith and included black magic symbols. They
considered the book to be a tiwas, a talisman, written in Arabic, and probably
originating from Cairo at the time of the Crusades.
A tiwas is a religious prayer book invoking the help of Allah and Muhammad to alleviate the complaint of an ill person and was usually kept in the vicinity of the person in need of protection. The pages of the book seemed to be set out in the form of prayer, with much repetition for chanting. It was meant to offer protection for the place and its holder: the Villa Bethania and Saunière.
It is unlikely that Saunière knew medieval Arabic, so it is more likely that he was given this precious tome for protection – magical protection, against demons – perhaps Asmodeus? And with this discovery, it is clear that the possibility that Saunière was interested in magic and may have practiced it – or at least believed in it – is yet another element that needs to be added to the puzzle of this priest.
© Patrice Chaplin.
information Patrice Chaplin has been able to recover in Girona provides
additional information that Saunière was indeed interested in magic.
The group of people he was involved with at the time, as well as their descendents,
seem to have continued performing certain intriguing magical ceremonies.
One story involves a ring, with the inscription BS, cherished by Maria Tourdes throughout her lifetime. It seems the ring was thrown into a fire as part of some ceremony (performed by Saunière) and was used by Tourdes not only as a precious memory of good times past, but also as a good luck charm.
the correspondence Chaplin has unearthed, there are further references to
Saunière’s occult workings and interests. For example: “The
French priest must have trusted her not only in terms of investment but
also on a scientific level. I saw a note he left her on the energy produced
between two towers. She was there when the ring was thrown into the fire.
She has seen so much… he frightened her to death.”
The energy produced between two towers, according to Chaplin, involved the twin towers of Girona and Rennes-le-Château – a subject we will return to imminently.
In a letter to Genevieve, dated May 13, 1897, we read: “Guillem showed me a piece of paper that had been left here and was covered with signs and words revealing a message ‘I know Sion’, Bérenger did talk about North and South, explaining how they must be unified.”
tour Magdala is so special that many fail to see that a carbon copy of this
tour sits on the other side of the Belvedere – this time made out
of glass and no doubt used to grow some of the more precious exotic plants
that Saunière was so fond of. It would take us too far to go into
detail here, but we do need to highlight the symbolism that “towers
of glass” have had. And ever since September 11, 2001, a glass, twin
tower, has of course become a very powerful talisman.
According to Chaplin and the information she was able to recover, Saunière built the Tour Magdala as a “balance” to the “House of Canons” in Girona. From what little we know at present, Saunière became immersed in a magical experiment, practiced by this group in Girona and apparently previously practiced by Bigou – either when in exile in Spain, or before, when he was still an acting priest in Rennes-le-Château. For Saunière, the construction of the Tour Magdala was a key factor in an experiment he intended to perform… and we can only wonder whether the destruction of the “House of the Canons” in the 1960s may have had more meaning attached to it than “just” a desire of the local municipality. Let us not forget the reaction André Malraux got at the time from the Spanish government when he requested the plans of the castle of Salses, north of Perpignan. Let us also not negate the possibility that some of the players involved in Girona seem to have done well in political life too – like that hazardous turn of fortune of Roncalli, the future pope John XXIII, when he chanced upon Noel Corbu in Rennes-le-Château?
Again according to Chaplin, our group of initiates often came together to perform magical rituals, linked with the Grail. The most interesting incident probably occurred on February 4, 1976, when the group was performing a ritual and near the house, in the street, an apparition manifested itself. A statue of the Virgin Mary still marks the spot, but locally, the apparition was known as “La Dama de la Copa”, or “The Lady of the Cup” – an obvious reference to the Grail. Apparently, over a hundred people witnessed the event.
has a strong connection with the Cabbala and the Zohar, the Book of Light,
the latter which was penned down in Spain. It is said that one of the principle
Cabbalists of the town, Nachmanides, was able to open up another dimension
when he performed certain ceremonies. An apparition, of course, could best
be described as the veil between two dimensions being disturbed, opening
up a portal from “another reality”, coming through, materialising
into this realm.
Elsewhere, we have spoken in detail about the apparitions of the Virgin, specifically at La Salette, and the secrets the Virgin – the apparition – gave to the people witnessing the event.
In the aftermath of the publication of The Templar Revelation, Clive Prince and I spoke at length about how it seemed as if a group of people were able to “stage manage” apparitions such as Lourdes, Fatima and La Salette. The experiences of Chaplin in Girona suggest that this is indeed the case. Furthermore, as some of these apparitions have come with apparent messages from the “Otherworld”, which were then passed on to the Pope and other Church authorities (e.g. La Salette, Fatima), we can see why Roger Mathieu may indeed have been a plant of the Vatican – as was locally believed.
The Virgin Mary
Let us also note that Saunière was greatly interested in the apparitions of Lourdes, a place he visited, even late in his life. He had an obvious devotion to the Virgin, for he placed her in a prominent location in his garden in front of his a church – a garden which we know was linked with Saunière’s model and yet another riddle left in plain sight – yet seen by few. And what to make of the fact that the estate at Carol, built by Louis de Coma, that other enigmatic priest, was used as a template for the church at Lourdes?
provides further detail as to the context of such apparitions, noting that
in Talmudic times, mystics aimed to get a vision of God. The Cabbala was
a system where the nature of God was explained through ten Sefirot, or emanations
mediating between God and the World. Mastery of this system allowed a mystic
to achieve assistance in the reunification of God with his exiled bride,
the female principle – the Virgin Mary of the Christian faith –
the Shechinah of the Hebrew faith – and so to mend the universe and
bring about a new age. Such dualistic thinking is also at the core of the
Gnostic doctrine – which in turn influenced the Cathar religion that
was so prominent in this region during medieval times – and which
became the victim of one of the most brutal crusades organised by the Church.
In modern parlance, the Church squashed this insurgency.
The ceremony transcended the native dualism that is present in our reality, the ying and the yang, or, to quote Saunière: the north and the south. Chaplin furthermore rightly points out that such experiments were deemed to attack the core of the Christian faith, which stated that no direct contact of the divine was possible. You had to pass by the Vatican… and pay.
Chaplin questioned her source, she asked “What did Saunière
find?” “A secret.” When they spoke about the Grail, she
asked “What does the Grail look like?”
“He described it as being made of the most remarkable physical matter in the universe. It was purported to give powers beyond human reach including physical longevity, immortality, and invisibility. Who holds this, holds the world. It has power of projection and takes the bearer out of time. It produces levitation. Objects move out of the dimensions as we know them and reappear elsewhere. They’ve not disappeared. They’ve just travelled beyond our sight and come back. He mentioned transmutation, teleportation. It’s a gift from paradise, known since the beginning of time.”
This answer should hardly come as a surprise and it is lifted characteristic by characteristic from Wolfram von Eschenbach’s description of the Grail in Parzival. From what Chaplin learned, the ceremony of the Grail opened up a “portal”, linking North and South. Irrelevant of the possibility whether such magic works or not, it is equally clear, from Saunière’s notes and Tourdes’ writings, that Saunière aimed to complete such a ritual.
North and South was interpreted by this group as an experiment involving
the twin towers – though Chaplin’s book does not provide evidence
that suggests that Saunière himself saw any direct relationship between
this experiment and the twin towers.
A key focus of this group’s obsession was Mount Canigou, the “sacred mountain” of the Catalan region. Indeed, it appears that a member of this occult society was found dead on top of the mountain during the 1980s. For Chaplin, the ritual of the Grail involved a ceremony, various devices used in the ceremony, and a unification of North and South – Rennes-le-Château and Girona; Mount Canigou is precisely located in the middle of the two locations and it was felt that when the two engines (towers) were activated, a type of dimensional portal would open on Canigou. This is what Chaplin has gathered from her local contacts, though it is unsupported by published writings that underline that Saunière believed this. Nevertheless, that mountains played an important role in Saunière’s magical workings, is underlined by the research of Isaac ben Jacob, who considers Bugarach, not Canigou, the summit of Saunière’s ceremonies. There is, of course, no reason why for one group, one mountain can be important and for another group another mountain; or whether one ritual requires one mountain, and another ritual, another mountain.
have elsewhere touched upon the importance of Mount Canigou, which remains
the focus of Catalan devotion – very much like other cultures, such
as the Inca in Peru, continue to worship their mountain spirits.
The first recorded ascent is by Peter III of Aragon, in 1285. An Italian monk would write how the monarch came upon a lake, guarded by a dragon. It is believed that the lake were the étangs des Estanyols. It brings back memories of other dragons in the region, specifically the Babaos that haunted the region of Perillos and Rivesaltes – an event which occurred around 1300, hence largely coinciding with Peter’s conquest of the dragon on Canigou. Or did he perhaps merely chase the dragon away, it ending up haunting the vicinity of Perillos? We note that a bone of this beast was also given to Prats de Mollo, a town not only linked with de Perillos family, but also with the nearby Mt. Canigou. Coincidence?
It was, of course, another Ramon de Perillos who went to Ireland following the death of King John of Aragon, his trusted and close friend, in the 1390s. And it was upon his return that he stated that now he realised that on his territories, there was a “door to another world”. The exact same words used by the group of occultists in Girona so many centuries later! But let us note that Girona was largely still within the sphere of influence of our count… who is also known to have had a magnificent library – largely stocked by occult books. Coincidence?
In more recent times, Perillos has seen its fair share of plane crashes, the most infamous one that of January 11, 1963, involving the Constellation. On October 7, 1961, a Dakota, flying from London to Perpignan crashed on Canigou. As in Perillos, of the 31 passengers and 3 crew members on board, no-one survived.
We have checked and Patrice Chaplin has never heard of Perillos. She does not have internet access at home. But when one speaks of connecting “North and South” and one believes South is Girona, we should note that Rennes-le-Château is not really North of Girona; it is Northwest. As intriguing as the link Rennes-le-Château-Canigou-Girona is, specifically as the Canigou was symbolically placed on the Paris Meridian (the grandest of all North-South lines), this line does not run North-South. If one considers North-South to be literal, then a meridian through Girona runs through… Opoul-Perillos… if not the area mapped on the infamous model, ordered by Saunière at the end of his life to transfer an ultimate knowledge.
Little by little
her interviews in Girona, Chaplin was told that Saunière knew a lot,
but was only surrendering it a little at a time. Apparently, he knew that
if he gave it all, they would kill him. Shadows of Gelis’ brutal –
and ritual – assassination?
Furthermore, he told people in Girona, including Juli Tarres, that he was in it too deeply to get out. He spoke of a ritual, “the ceremony”, uniting North and South.” “It transcends time and space as we know it.” A portal. A work he had to accomplish. Perhaps the greatest magical working any magician could aim towards?
Asking about the preparation required for this ritual, she was told: “The initiates fast and practice rites of purification and sit in meditation for days. They recite texts and incantations endlessly. Their breathing changes and they reach a state of near disembodiment, of sheer consciousness, exalted, and then they call up the highest level, the bearer of the cup.” It almost reads like the preparation people in St Patrick’s Purgatory in Ireland had to undergo before meeting the souls of the dead – a rite performed by Ramon de Perillos, who spoke of the existence of such a “portal” on his territories. Let us also not forget that upon his return, he engaged the help of Pope Benedict XIII (his friend Pedro de Luna) and Vincent Ferrer, who went around Europe, preaching that if the people wanted to, the Apocalypse could be achieved.
North and South. Let us also note how unique it is that all the churches of Perillos are still orientated north-south – or at least were, until the 18th century, when the main church of St Michael was orientated “properly” – east-west, conform with the notions of the Church. Coincidence? Or evidence of the area’s importance in certain “alignments”?
Girona, it was felt that Saunière surrendered his “secret”
piece by piece. Surely, he would hold his dearest cards last? If so (and
we can be practically certain of this), then his “ace” was his
model, identifying an area of Perillos where he located two sites: one “Tomb
of Joseph of Arimathea”, a saint linked with the Grail, the other
“Tomb of Christ”, a site known in local legends as “Tomb
of God”. If this was one part of the equation, did Girona hold the
other part of the equation? Or were there even more sites involved?
We know that Saunière was willing to pass on his knowledge of “ground zero” at the end of his lifetime, via the model. A group of people made contact with André Douzet after 1995, when the model went on display in the Villa Bethania (indeed), stating and showing that they had been the group who had been, decades before, expecting the reception of the completed model. But Saunière’s death prevented this transfer of knowledge – the Great Work, it seems, stopped there.
Was this another group with whom Saunière was involved? Or the same group as the one in Girona?
Echoes of Poussin
found a letter in 1968, written on paper from the Hotel Eden au Lac in Montreux.
It reads: « Since the death of my grandmother, I have decided that
the wisest solution is to transfer the materials to FD.
I understand that this is perhaps not what she would have wanted, but in today’s world that can hardly enter my considerations.
GT has assured me that the Vatican was always aware of its existence. ‘The friends’ here as well as in Girona have advanced the theory that it involves one of the biggest secrets of our time, of all times and I am intent on burying it. Upon my word, let someone else find it. Furthermore, they’re challenging my rights.
Consequently, could you see that the attached instructions and documents are transmitted to the person named above.
Your friend, CCC and Marie Corvese.
P.S. The scandal that could break wouldn’t be good for anyone.”
letter underlines an inherent disagreement within the organisation, with
one faction arguing for public disclosure, the other trying to make sure
that the secret remained secret, and burying and destroying all clues.
Chaplin too has underlined how much this reads like the infamous letter from Louis Fouquet to his brother Nicolas, about a meeting with the painter Nicolas Poussin in Rome, involving a secret that would lead to certain advantages that could be gained from kings. Experts who have studied this document agree that it most likely involved an archaeological discovery; in the case of Perillos, we know that the Courtade register referred to “ground zero” as a “sacred and royal tomb”; the locals knew it as the “Tomb of God”. And wasn’t it God whom the Cabbalist tried to reunite with the Schekinah? And when one speaks of Twin Towers… what about Twin Tombs?
before the Chronodrome, that modern time-travel experiment that occurs in
Opoul-Perillos, breaking the boundaries of time was paramount for many civilisations.
Chaplin learned from her sources that “In early cultures, it was believed
that gaps existed on the planet, and that in these places entry from other
realms was possible as well as exits from this one.”
Asking for further detail, she was told: “You have to unite the north with the south. Once they are brought together there is super-consciousness and a higher plane is within reach. Then, the other realms can reach us.”
As to the experiments performed by this group, her source said: “But Saunière failed.” “He couldn’t find the portal. He didn’t finish what he had started.” As it was believed by this same source that Saunière give up his secret knowledge piece by piece, perhaps Saunière had indeed found the portal… but simply had not told him yet? Still, it seems to be the case that he indeed did not finish what he had started. The question is: did others since try to complete his “Great Work”?
With thanks to Corjan de Raaf for additional illustrations.