Manipulating the evidence, or when fiction
is moulded into reality
de Sède is generally regarded as the pioneer who brought the mystery
of Rennes-le-Château to public attention. For innumerable researchers,
he is “the source” of the revelation, the man who laid the foundation
and showed inroads into how to crack this secret. However, it should be
noted that other researchers and writers - such as Robert Charroux -, before
him, had also studied the past of the small village of Rennes-le-Chateau
The result of the investigation of Gerard de Sède was the first book solely on the subject and became very quickly, and still remains, a true work of art. Without any doubt, it is a work of colossal importance, whether you are friend or foe.
Of course, the competence and the integrity of de Sède, as a researcher have been questioned by other alleged specialists. It should be admitted that all researchers and writers make errors – inevitably… These become perceptible when, after the publication of the work, new discoveries show they are a contradiction to previous statements or that certain nuances need to be made. For a pioneer, the work is always more difficult than for those who follow in his footsteps and have something to build from – whether it is defence or attack.
A man of disputes
It is difficult to check the entire book of de Sède… Those who have (like Rene Descadeillas, conservator of the Library of Carcassonne), raised several astonishing errors. However, Gerard de Sède did not hesitate to reply and did not shine away from redressing the balance. It is necessary to acknowledge that the response was effective and persuasive, and often showed how his interlocutor, in his turn, was at fault. However, we want to focus our attention on the visual aspect of the book, which shows “errors” that Descadeillas apparently did not feel worthy to address, or was not aware were “errors”. At the same time, they are extremely “curious” errors – and seem to reveal they were made intentionally.
Playing with the devil
will start, within the framework of this small validation exercise of his
work, with the book “The gold of Rennes or the strange life of Béranger
Saunière”, by – of course – Gerard de Sède,
published by Juillard, in 1967 – “the Bible”.
But we must look at a republication of this book, published under the title “Signé Rose+Croix” (Edition PLON - 1977). We have, on this site, in a preceding chapter, already considered how Gerard de Sède handles, for this work, the “front cover”. On the latter work, not only does he reverse the direction of the subject, but he changes the appearance of the writing on the wing of Asmodeus. The result obtained shows something that can be read, straightforwardly, as Hebraic letters.
Let us repeat once again that manipulation of images, at that time, was much more difficult to obtain than nowadays, where one easily can alter a photo using a computer, which almost all have at their disposal. In 1967 and 1977, the manipulation of the images was impossible without the intervention of a true professional in photographic manipulation. And we must admit that, even if Gerard de Sède is at the origin of this `modification’, it is almost certain that he could not do it alone…
Especially in 1967, the publishing industry largely relied on artisan techniques to create covers and images in general. The images of covers, even now, are almost always the object of certain manipulations… of modifications… of alterations. Indeed, the front cover is the “shop window” of a work and it is what needs to attract the potential reader’s attention. It must thus be of a certain appeal and summarize the contents of the work.
However, this is only relevant to one aspect of this modification: turning Asmodeus around. But the alterations to the writing on his wing can only be seen as a deliberate attempt to instil meaning, to alter something that does not need to be altered from an artistic or commercial point of view. The important question is why he did it…
The cross and stone
illustrations contained in a book represent, generally, the visual component
of the explanation argued for in the book. At this point, there cannot be
question of artistic “changes”… One must remain strictly
objective and make the text of the work more comprehensible. The only “decent”
handling is to make such changes that illustrate the contents: highlight
details, do inversions so that comparisons can be more clearly seen, etc.
Moreover, a caption normally accompanies the illustration, explaining the
alterations and reasons… (if not immediately obvious to the reader).
In short, the purpose of a photo section is there to illustrate the argument that “an image speaks a thousands words”. But an image that is altered, without informing the reader of its manipulation, that is lying to the reader… intellectual fraud.
Stop at the third station
at how de Sède presents the famous stations of the Way of the Cross
in the church of Rennes-le-Château – an obsession which he introduced.
In the caption to station III, we can read how Jesus “kneels to move
a stone”. Indeed, the station shows Jesus kneeling. The cross at this
moment in time is apparently held upright by Simon the Cyrenean. On the
left of the depiction stands a Roman centurion, closely observing the scene.
The station does indeed seem to suggest that Christ is worried about a stone
crossing his path, and which seems to require all his attention… which
can appear to be anachronistic, considering the circumstances in which this
transpires! Perhaps he had or was about to stumble over this rock, hence
decided to remove it from his path, while Simon held the cross for him?
researchers have claimed that de Sède faked this image. So we compared
this image with other photographs – which were furthermore largely
contemporary with de Sède – of this station. At first sight,
they appeared identical. Were these researchers wrong? But one can observe,
if one carefully inspects the image, that de Sède indeed was “lying”:
Jesus does not move a stone… there is no stone. What de Sède
describes as a stone, is actually the bottom part of the cross! There is
only the cross… nothing else.
Perhaps we do need to give de Sède some leniency; perhaps he was the innocent victim of a man who had taken a photograph with the use of his flash, which then exposed that area so that it appeared to him as if it was a stone. This could have happened… but if this is the case, then we should note that de Sède was a poor researcher, who made contentious observations from photographs without verifying them on site.
No respect for the dead
the logic of this conclusion does not seem to match the reality of the facts.
Let us look at the next victim of this author’s manipulation: the
War Memorial of Couiza.
On page 158, one can read: “Since the alignment learnedly arranged by Father Boudet invites us there, let us leave Rennes-les-Bains for Rennes-le-Château. Only one road carries us to it, that of Couiza. In this small borough, let us quickly glance at the War Memorial that is placed in the church, which is not very common. To our great surprise, we will see the same rebus there as on the strange Deposition: here, the arm of the dead man indicates a stone, round like a round bread loaf.”
While checking, and comparing, the image of Gerard de Sède with the true monument, one notes two manipulations of the image… And, in this case, there cannot be any question of an error or an incorrect interpretation on our part: furthermore, there is no possibility that de Sède was mistaken through his flash either…
First “improvement”: the removal of a wheel, below the cross of Christ. There were two wheels, but in de Sède’s work, only one remains… Why?
But, there is worse: he notes “the stone, round as a round bread loaf “. This is clearly “retouched” by someone: the shape of the rifle is changed, and a stone, more or less square, becomes “round like a round bread loaf “. At this time, one can only shout “fake!” … because we are faced with the handling of an image, with an aim that this one proves a theory which, actually, is denounced by the famous image in question!
One notes, nevertheless, a predisposition in de Sède to change stones, especially stones of “dead men”… or, other stones, as on the third station, of those who will die… Jesus.
Christ with Hare
let us read and check the analysis of de Sède on the famous “Christ
with Hare”. This is a painting that can be found inside the church
of Rennes-les-Bains. In this work, the author establishes the link with
the War Memorial of Couiza, which we find in the text as follows.
One pages 147, 148 and 149, one reads: “Dedicated to the saints Celsus and Nazaire, the humble church of Rennes-les-Bains seems, at first glance, completely unworthy of our attention. The place, however, is of a worthy antiquity since a church existed there, under the same patronage, in the year 1162. [… ]
When we enter, we are at once taken by a strange painting. It is a painting offered at the beginning of the last century by the marquis Paul François-Vincent de Fleury de Blanchefort, who was very interested in the mines of this area. The Son of Man has died and lies in a cave whose opening looks onto a rock. On his left knee, the anonymous painter, to the attentive eye, has placed a hare head. The left arm of Christ indicates a plate on which rest a kind of ball. Above the plate an enormous spider appears. This table intrigues the researchers who […]are interested in the enigma of Rennes: in the autumn of 1966, Mgr Boyer, the vicar-general of the bishopric of Carcassonne, Mr. Descadeillas, conservator of the library of the city, and a group of scholars went in pilgrimage to this fabric, without successfully being able to grasp its finest meaning. This was because they had not contemplated the book of Henri Boudet and especially because they did not have a spirit that carried a somewhat childish joviality which makes it possible to appreciate without false shame the puns […]. If such had been their mood, and if they had known the topography of the area well, the odd painting would quickly have delivered its message to them: Rennes, which was previously called Règnes, is flanked in the west and the southwest by a plateau from where the brook of the Dead Man runs. The rebus of the painter is thus read quite easily: With Reigns (araigne [which is French for spider]) close to the arm of the Dead Man who moves towards the plateau, the hare lies.”
Of course… but, does one really see a spider close to Christ? Is a hare really visible in the knee of our Lord? … Or is it simply the case that there is something extremely discrete and hidden in the painting, which can be interpreted as a spider, but which it really is not… For the remainder of the explanation, we will merely show the image, with the explanation of Gerard de Sède. The reader will be able to form his own opinion.
A false track can hide the truth…
Why this manipulation? For sure, with regard to that of ‘Christ with Hare’, there is not so much a question of manipulation as an image that has been “taken by its hair” – and if we apparently don’t see it de Sède’s way, well, then we are just not clever enough. But we could argue that de Sède just has bad eyesight? For the other changes, it is clearly manipulation of the material, accompanied by judiciously selected captions, aimed to push the researcher to become engaged on the line of enquiry that the author wants his reader to be on. A track which the author wants to lead us until we reach his goal…. But… what precisely is this goal? Again, we note that the track of Gerard De Sède does not correspond to the reality of the places which he shows, but is constructed through skilful manipulation – alteration – of evidence. So does de Sède want to lie to us? Or is he trying to pass off his imagination as valid?
already exposed, in the preceding article, that
de Sède is actually an integral part of the efforts of the “Priory
of Sion”, in order to fulfil its goals. If we continue to accept this
context, we can wonder which course our “friendly” researcher
wants us to follow.
Let us try to find the goal by analysing the indications he has spread about the road – the track – the “circuit”, which just happens to be the name so cherished by the Priory itself. Initially, there is question of a “round” stone. Then, we find a “dead man”. Also, there seem to be constant references to Jesus and the end of his life. Lastly, we need to add Asmodeus…
Is de Sède trying to direct us to a “stone”? A stone which is somehow closely linked with a dead man, whom could be Jesus? In this case, is it not interesting to look, in spite of the usual objections, into the enigma of Saunière’s model? Where one can find a “Tomb of Christ”, which is closed off by a round stone… which is nothing but the traditional shape the Jews used as the blocking stones for the tombs in Israel. And in order to reveal the final destiny of Saunière, it is essential to move it…
We would like to thank René Mayer, for his pioneering role in pointing out the various anomalies in the photographs.