November 30, 2008: Going French
It is with great pleasure that we can announce that the book “La Quête de Saunière” is published in France. The book provides an overview of the mystery of Rennes-le-Château and reveals how the “old ways” of explaining the mystery have, for the past forty years (if not more), resulted in nothing, and that it is hence more than time to walk new paths, and explore new avenues of research – as highlighted in this book.
July 25, 2008: Just the facts
appears that on some forums, Saunière’s model is once again
the topic of debate. Part of it seems to be its inclusion in the French
encyclopaedia, “l’ABC de RLC”. Whoever wrote the entry
is – as with dozens of other entries – alas helplessly out of
date. One might even ponder whether the entries were written years ago,
and without being updated, simply published (or receiving updates that are
ad hoc and without any depth to them; again, this fate not only befell the
model’s entry, but various subjects. Indeed, compared to some other
entries, the model is quite well-off, at least not having any horrendous
factual errors attached to it).
At the beginning of the model controversy, in 1994-5, it was the model itself that was deemed to be a fraud, a hoax perpetrated by André Douzet. Then, it was agreed it was a genuine artefact. But it was then “agreed” that it had no importance to the mystery whatsoever. In short, confronted with the genuine nature of the artefact, those ill-pleased with its arrival felt that they could pretend everything was fine, for even though proven to be genuine, it was “unimportant” – allegedly part of a series of such models – though no-one was able to ever produce any evidence for it. Indeed, our discovery of a second model – though different from the first – was then used to pretend “they” had somehow been able to prove this invalidated “our” primary evidence! The mind boggles.
same with the two letters, which make clear that this model was a specific
commission by Saunière. It is not that Saunière merely bought
a model like one goes to Lourdes and buys a reproduction statue of the Virgin
We note that in 1995, we released ten lines of one letter, and these lines were made available in several formats and publications. We note we published ten lines, as the experts said that it takes ten lines of a text to show whether something is genuine or not. Then, some wanted to see more, so a second letter was released, with the removal of key information, but nevertheless once again containing more than ten lines, which allows experts to do their expertise. Now, some argue they need to see “everything” before being able to judge. This is simply an unscientific approach.
We note that the release of this second letter has been largely disregarded – just like what occurred with the first. Why? If fraudulent, then surely it is an excellent opportunity to expose it?
Let us note that we don’t expect anyone to take us on faith. We’ve given the evidence and it’s been out there for more than a decade. We will never be able to prove – by its very nature – that the model maps on the landscape of Perillos and reveals two tombs. We can merely conclude that is a fact. The evidence of our argument to do with Saunière lies in the model and the accompanying letters. The importance of the Perillos tombs, we can easily prove with the Courtade document alone. Initially, these two books were labelled a fraud too, before anyone had seen, touched or opened them. At present, those documents too are accepted as genuine. I will merely quote one person who saw them and stated that if ever there was a genuine artefact he’d ever seen or held, this was it. Alas, for so many, the Courtade is an inconvenient reality, which upsets the cherished status quo, so it is disregarded, or mocked.
Some are screaming vociferously about this or that about Perillos, but most if not all is biased, erroneous, or simply ridiculous – toddlers throwing their toys out of the pram. There has been hard evidence on the table for more than decade, and we have invited everyone to do an expertise of these letters. Oh why such silence, if all of this is fraud? Isn’t it time to become serious, or shut up?
May 15, 2008: Malta and Perellos
has come to our attention that modern tourists on Malta are getting more
than a normal dosage of Perellos on their visits to the Mediterranean island
that was once the headquarters of the Knights Hospitallers, aka the Order
of Malta, of which Ramon de Perellos y Roccaful was a grandmaster.
The billboard for the Grandmaster’s Palace State Rooms in Valletta feature the name of Ramon de Perellos prominently on the display – as his name adorns a painting above one of the main entrances to these rooms. As soon as the floor on which the state rooms are located, the blazon that greets the visitor is that of Ramon – though the pears are black, rather than green. Between this blazon and his name above the doorway, is one state room that is covered with some of the Perellos’ famous wall tapestries, featuring elephants and often exotic scenes.
In the nearby St John’s Co-Cathedral, almost all of the rooms of the Museum are also adorned with de Perellos’ wall tapestries – including the one of The Last Supper, which was based on a cartoon by Nicolas Poussin. Inside the cathedral, the bust of Ramon de Perellos is in a prominent location, and one of the highlights for the passing tour guides. One German tour guide was able to identify that the pears were chosen because Perellos was derived from the word pear – though she claimed it meant as such in Italian… while standing in the side-chapel of the Aragons.
Indeed, with so much Perellos on offer, it will no doubt not come as a surprise that some of the postcards on sale in Malta are of Perellos-related material, especially his bust in the cathedral, and that the wall tapestries are often used in various articles in international publications, often written to entice people to the islands. Indeed, for the thousands of tourists that visit the palace and the cathedral, a confrontation with Perellos is largely the theme that runs through their visit, and some of the guides indeed use him as such, to knit the story of the Palace and the Cathedral together. Little do they know, or highlight, though, the origins and the mystery connected to this family.
has been at least three years in the making, and at one time was hoped to
star as a real-life alternative to The Da Vinci Code, when that hit the
movie theatres worldwide in the spring of 2006. After an embarrassing year
of publicised yet missed deadlines, Bloodline has finally seen something
of a release – in two theatres, one in New York, one in LA. It is
billed as “BLOODLINE investigates the popular belief that Jesus married
Mary Magdalene, who fled to southern France with their child. In an adventure
worthy of ‘Indiana Jones’, filmmaker Bruce Burgess and team
crack the shadowy secret society, known as the Priory of Sion. Their investigation
follows clues linking the Knights Templar and the legend of Mary Magdalene
with messages imbedded in the decor of the famed church at Rennes-le-Chateau
in France, leading ultimately to stunning discoveries: a buried chest with
artifacts dating to 1st century Jerusalem and a hidden tomb filled with
treasure and a mummified corpse draped in a shroud bearing a distinctive
What might be a clever reference to Indiana Jones, of course, is time-wise an unfortunate misstep, for what is amongst the smallest releases of the year, goes up against Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull – the largest release Paramount has ever seen, and possibly the largest revenue earner in the history of cinema. Already, it underlines how far the Rennes-le-Château subject seems to have fallen since The Da Vinci Code hype three years ago, when Bloodline began its journey.
also how the billing uses all the Da Vinci Code buzzwords: Priory of Sion,
Mary Magdalene… and a hidden tomb – a mummified corpse. Sounds
familiar? Alas, that is the problem. When Bloodline first entered the Rennes-le-Château
scene in November 2005, it was with press-releases how its producers, Bruce
Burgess, and 1244 Films (named after the year in which Montségur
fell), were willing to spend almost 200,000 Euros to excavate the crypt
underneath the chapel. It was also the first time that DRAC, the French
civil administration in charge of archaeological discoveries, entered the
debate, as they had been asked their opinion about the possibility of such
an excavation: “We are not completely against [the idea]. We will
not block it just on principle.” It is the type of claim that is often
made to attract investors into the project, but whatever happened or was
intended, not a single further step was ever made in trying to find out
what the crypt of Rennes-le-Château contained. One can only surmise
that the money – and the investor(s) – was not found and hence
the scope of the production had to be drastically reduced.
Instead, a large number of people were interviewed, and some of these interviews were placed on the Bloodline site – which rather bizarrely was active before anything of substance, film-wise, had been created. A specifically entertaining video excerpt was Alain Féral, who in an atypical statement claimed that the crypt was almost 30 metres below the church – totally at odds with what is known about the crypt, whose location is after all no mystery; the mystery is merely what it might contain. Worse, Burgess was then seen interpreting on camera that Féral likely had entered it and knew more – despite Féral denying he had ever set foot in it. After internet reports that this claim and interpretation was pure, well, rubbish, the interview disappeared from the site.
wherever one turned, it seemed Bloodline had interviewed one person or the
other, begging the question what specifically this movie was going to be
about… and it seemed this was its main problem. The problem with Burgess
was also that by 2005, with Da Vinci fever at a high, all primadonnas of
Rennes and the Priory had been interviewed at least five times over. Being
original was more and more difficult… and Burgess was thus faced with
the realisation that he had to focus on what was really the bottom of the
barrel, those bits no-one else wanted, or knew were fake. Hence, enter Gerard
Thom, Bill Kersey, Nicolas Haywood… and Ben Hammott, previously known
as Tombman, a man who had claimed he had found a tomb site but actually
couldn’t remember himself where he had found it.
Kersey is a man who had been trying to get attention for his material for decades. First, in the 1970s, he tried with Henry Lincoln and the BBC, and more recently, he tried to interest the Israeli president, stating he knew where the Menorah and other artefacts from the temple of Jerusalem were. He claimed there were three caverns in which this treasure resided – a claim that in the Bloodline movie would be echoed by “Priory member” Haywood, claiming Hammott’s tomb was actually one of three tombs.
back to a chronological approach. By 2006, Burgess faced two choices: do
a documentary like so many others, or try and do something “unique”.
For the latter, Burgess had to try to make scraps of food left rejected
by others into a Michelin star-winning recipe. It’s a tall task, and
it will fail by default, but Burgess nevertheless went on.
First of all, Burgess decided to stick to his usual format of documentary making, rather than change approaches. Parts of the movie are hence meant to be like the Blair Witch, especially Burgess’ “video dairies”. But already, that is rather dated, and the claims Burgess makes in these video dairies sometimes seem to be that of a man who should turn in, rather than do a video diary. Others are… well, best described as bordering on the paranoid-delusional.
Then, in early 2006, after a rather public display on the January 17 gathering in Rennes-les-Bains, it became clear – though not immediately to Burgess – that Thom as the main line of his documentary would – could – go nowhere. But in February 2006, Thom nevertheless took Burgess on a wild goose chase – or, rather: a wild Temple of Solomon chase, the location of the site shifting by the day.
This is where, in my opinion, Bloodline went wrong: the producers could now have made a documentary that would expose some of the lies and intrigues of the Rennes-le-Château mystery that so typify it. Not doing so, I believe, was a missed opportunity, seeing how well-received and simply brilliant documentaries like Anna Broinowski’s Forbidden Lies are.
If there had been a clear script (there wasn’t), Bloodline would, in 2006, have been in its third rewrite. The “quest for a positive ending” – which somehow, of course, should still correspond with the title of the movie! – led into the direction of Bill Kersey and an unknown English researcher “Tombman”, who then claimed his name was Ben Hammott, but which is still a pseudonym for one Bill Wilkinson. As mentioned, some years before, he wrote on internet forums how he had discovered a tomb, while dragging his camera over the ground, while walking somewhere “near” Rennes-le-Château. Only later, replaying his recording, did he realise what he had found – if only he could relocate it – which apparently he seemed able to do after a period of time. He then showed up at a meeting of “The Rennes Group” and opened a bottle, claiming to be a bottle hidden by Saunière (how he knew this in advance is not exactly clear, seeing he’d never opened the bottle and Saunière’s mystery had never been connected with bottles). When he showed the bottle, few at the meeting were impressed, some claimed it was an outright fraud – though, of course, “Ben” might merely have been the victim of a hoax.
The producers had obviously been praying to St Clara of Assisi – patron saint of television – for a “hidden tomb” untouched by documentary makers so far was the perfect way out. Better was still to come. In rapid succession – and on camera – Hammott was able to find no less than three – or was it four? – more bottles. As is on show on the Bloodline website, one of these bottles is opened in what some observers have labelled as non-conform to how archaeology should be practiced, but which, actually, seems to be done as such to create a spectacle for the camera. So much so, you might miss how one person of the Hammott team claims the bottle has a key inside… and it does. The only problem is that at the moment she claims the bottle contains a key, there is no way, unless she has x-ray vision or is psychic, that the bottle contains a key, wrapped up as it is in paper; indeed, when you watch the unwrapping of the paper, that it will – or even could – contain a key is so unlikely. But not, it seems, to her mind. And if members of the team knew what was inside, it might explain the extremely nonchalant manner in which the entire team treat this discovery. Indeed, the entire opening is treated as a joke – the people around the table being such bad actors that they cannot come across a genuine seekers who want to know what is on that piece of paper. Paper, by the way, which contains scribbles in bad Latin and bad French.
Bloodline had its tomb. And the problem of the tomb was that it had been
found but that there was no real link to Rennes-le-Château –
except through physical proximity. Hence, no doubt, the “need”
to “decode” Saunière’s church, as well as the messages
in the bottles that were conveniently found – but then the Lord does
work in mysterious ways.
Alas, though a tomb the documentary had, with The Da Vinci hype now seriously gone, no-one – read: distributor or television network – seemed all too interested that a “real tomb” of Mary Magdalene, not located under Rosslyn Chapel but apparently in France might have been found. More praying to St Clara seems to have paid off, for after a year of missed deadlines (which the world knew about because the producers somehow proclaimed them to the world without having any signed distribution contract in place) the movie was scheduled for release. The movie might as well have been called Calvary, for it had indeed been blood, sweat and no doubt tears.
on April 17, 2008, a press release was issued, implying – though never
explicitly stating – that this was likely the tomb of Mary Magdalene,
and that the French authorities were soon going to excavate. If true, that
was not only major news, but it is also contrary to what one would expect
of such organisations, knowing that if indeed the body of Mary Magdalene
was identified as being in France, the French government would just have
upset about a billion Christians worldwide.
Take One: “the team was able to extract a few hair strands from the corpse, which have undergone testing by the Paleo-DNA Laboratory at Lakehead University in Ontario, Canada. ‘Like most ancient or degraded samples, we knew our best chance for successful results would be to focus our efforts on mitochondrial DNA,’ said analyst Renee Praymack Fratpietro. ‘We were able to determine a Middle Eastern maternal origin of the individual based on haplotyping information. After we found out where this hair sample came from, we realized the significance of this work.’”
First of all, we only have the producers’ word for it that the hair submitted for analysis came from the tomb. No officially-appointed archaeologist was present during the removal of this hair (and why not?), immediately invalidating any line of evidence. As such, any hair from the tomb might never have been taken or might, along the way, have been substituted with – say – the hair of an Egyptian waiter or waitress in an Oklahoma diner. But wait… when contacted by journalist Joseph Brean, Steve Fratpietro, stated the results were inconclusive: “Even the corpse's gender is uncertain, although it was traced to a genetic grouping that originated in the northern Middle East and spread into Europe.”
Take Two: “The DRAC Commissioner in the region, Jean-Pierre Giraud said, ‘This is certainly a very intriguing discovery, but it's just too early to tell how important it is. We need to do a full survey of the site to determine the age of the corpse and the other items in the tomb. The archaeology department of the DRAC-LR [Languedoc-Roussillon] will be carrying out an examination of the site as soon as access has been made possible.’” It was the second time that Burgess apparently made contact with DRAC, but this time, few people believed DRAC was involved, so contacts with Giraud revealed a somewhat different picture than the nice quote. Giraud stated that Bruce Burgess and “Ben Hammott” came to see him, showed him a short video, then left. The next thing he heard, was a request whether he could make a statement – the above. Since, he had not heard from either, and he confirmed a dossier had not been opened, nor had he made a site inspection. It is somewhat at odds with Burgess’ claim elsewhere that “plans are now underway for a full scale archaeological examination”.
here we are: we are led to believe that this site “might” be
the tomb of Mary Magdalene – or at least a very important one –
but despite its discovery several years ago, Hammott never informed any
authorities. But that is actually not the main problem. Only in 2007 did
they visit the local authorities, because he was now part of a movie, and
rather than fully inform them – a claim Hammott made on internet forums
– they showed them a video, asked for a quote, and never returned.
Does this sound like the actions of a man who believes that this is potentially
the most important find about the true origins of Christianity? Instead,
it has all the tell-tale signs of a quote chase: you hit people with something,
then ask them for a comment, purely so you can use the quote – then
toss them aside.
Contacted for comment about the above material involving DRAC, the Bloodline producers stated: “Our dealings with the DRAC are not for public discussion, either from them or us. The important thing is the excavation and analysis of the tomb itself which you will learn about in due course. Surely you understand this is how things must be done, and we are rightly cautious about what we say because there seem to be those in the RLC community who will go to any lengths to destroy research and work that is not their own. Ben's discovery deserves to be fully examined by the DRAC, and others, without interference from anyone.” If true, we can only wonder why the Bloodline producers specifically put a statement from DRAC in a press release, which is surely intended to be “for public discussion”? But perhaps some are less equal than others…
brings us to the Priory of Sion – the final buzzword. Indeed, early
on, Bloodline seemed to be all about the Priory, as even its title suggested:
the Priory as protectors of the Bloodline, which we all know they protect
– if you adhere to Brown’s fictional account.
So what went wrong? There was the usual interview with Gino Sandri – hardly a scoop, in fact, these days, a documentary without him is more rare than one with him! – and a mysterious, unidentified individual claiming to be a member of the Priory of Sion. However, by the time of the movie release, he was identified as Nicolas Haywood. For an organisation supposed to be top secret, that was obviously out of character. As there is no Priory, Haywood, of course, cannot be a member – though as there is no priory, everyone can claim to be a member of one, or even create one, if one so desires. Thus, Haywood once hung around a Scottish individual who pretended to be its Grand Master, and it seems it inspired Haywood to do the same. When you listen to the interview – again, on the Bloodline website – it is clear that the Priory will go along with anything you want to attribute to them, as long as it makes Haywood more mysterious. It’s a technique he may have learned indirectly from Gino Sandri.
that, it seems, was not all. In an interview, Burgess states how he “took
on the study after associates told him that much of Brown's compelling Da
Vinci Code story was true, and that ‘a body of evidence’ proves
the bloodline of Jesus and Mary exists in a tomb beneath a French church.”
These might be the same type of dreamers who come to Rennes-le-Château
and ask the locals to point out to them in which house exactly Mary Magdalene
But then: “And when he thought he'd made a breakthrough after Lord Lichfield offered to show him ‘vital’ documents that would aid the documentarian's research, the royal was found dead in November, 2005.
In the thrilling new movie, which is released in America next month (May 08), Burgess says, ‘A man we were going to meet, Lord Lichfield, died last night at a party. Apparently he died of a cerebral haemorrhage.
‘He was going to show us some papers he had connected to the Priory and this whole mystery.’”
We have, of course, only Burgess’ word for that. And for all we – and Burgess – knows, the vital documents might have been proof that the Priory never existed. But then: “Burgess confesses he has no idea if Lord Lichfield was actually a member of the Priory of Sion, but the late royal did have a copy of Nicolas Poussin's The Shepherds of Arcadia in his study. The painting is believed to be a coded picture that all Priory members hold dear.” Anyone with some understanding of Rennes-le-Château history will know this is not true and invented for the occasion. But noting I have a painting of Leonardo Da Vinci’s John the Baptist in my living room, which according to The Templar Revelation, which formed the basis for The Da Vinci Code, holds even more keys and importance to the Priory than the Poussin painting, what does this make me within the Priory hierarchy?
myth, but the Rennes mythology more so than anything else, is based on innuendo;
take this one: “The documentary maker, who discovered his cellphone
and hotelphones were bugged during his investigation, also learned that
three men who recently handed over revealing paperwork connected to the
Priory of Sion to a French library were all found dead within 24 hours of
each other.” There is, of course, good reason why Burgess’ phone
might be bugged, for all the normal reasons, including intelligence agencies
pondering what this man – who previously flew into Area 51 to get
some footage for a UFO documentary that rode on the wave of another movie
blockbuster, Independence Day – might be up to now. “Three men
who recently handed over revealing paperwork” is of course a reference
to the “Serpent Rouge” documents, deposited in 1967 –
thirty years ago not quite being “recently”. Furthermore, it
is known that these dead men’s names were afterwards linked to the
story, the deposition itself having occurred after their death – making
it quite impossible they did the deposition themselves!
So, in the end, “the director admits Lord Lichfield's sudden death gave him pause for thought: ‘If members of the Priory had been killed to stop information being revealed then it was possible that they would try and stop me too.’” So all of a sudden, Lichfield has apparently become a member of the Priory – earlier, Burgess didn’t know – and rather than an accident, it now seems he was indeed murdered – all evidence of the case to the contrary.
Well, seeing Burgess took several years to make this documentary and there was ample time to kill him, especially in 2007, when he searched for a distributor, it seems “they” are not out to get him. The basic problem, of course, is that there is no “they” – and any other “they” that is “out there”, no doubt realised that this documentary was far from going to expose anything whatsoever.
to whether Indiana Jones – I mean, Bill Wilkinson – found a
tomb or not? Following the press release, DRAC offices in Montpellier were
inundated with phone calls, leaving staff not all too pleased. Noting the
tomb has been publically linked with Mary Magdalene, archaeologists will
likely give any sequel a wide berth. That hair has been removed in an unauthorised
and especially unsupervised manner, that the scene has been disturbed –
purely for featuring in a small-time documentary – will go down even
worse with the authorities.
So, whether there is a tomb or not, we are likely not to know in the near, or perhaps even distant, future. That, of course, doesn’t really matter. The documentary has succeeded – and will succeed even more so as time goes by – in adding a new intriguing story to the mythos of Rennes-le-Château. That might be all Wilkinson was after. And if French authorities never investigate… well, perhaps that might be explained because the Priory of Sion leaned on them, to protect the secret? For if the Priory really is there to make sure this secret never comes out – dixit their alleged spokesman Nicolas Haywood – they have obviously been making some serious blunder which someone should soon set straight. But if this documentary ever gets screened in only two theatres, perhaps that too is no doubt part of the Priory of Sion’s power, leaning on distributors to make sure “the secret” doesn’t get out – too much? And as one reviewer commented about the documentary: “It is also never explained why a secret society would place letters and documents in public archives if they are, in fact, a secret society.” There might be a reason, but it seems Bloodline is not interested in finding out.
April 7, 2008: Billy: Donovan or Casey?
Satan’s Song, Karl Hammer-Kaatee relates
a story in which the CIA – or at least some of its employees –
are hunting for sacred relics. One key individual is “Billy”,
who in the article on this site, is identified as “Wild Bill”
New information has now come to light, which suggests that “Billy” is William “Bill” Casey. Like Donovan, Casey too was decorated by the Vatican. Casey’s career and influence extended much further and longer after World War II, whereas Donovan largely withdrew – at least officially – from the world of intelligence at the end of that war.
Casey came to prominence as Ronald Reagan began to have presidential ambitions.
He headed up the presidential campaign and served on the transition team
following the election. After Reagan took office, he named Casey Director
of the Central Intelligence Agency (DCI).
Casey is often seen as being responsible for shaping Reagan's foreign policy, particularly its approach to Soviet international activity. Based on a book, The Terror Network, Casey believed that the Soviet Union was the source of most terrorist activity in the world, in spite of CIA analysis stating that this scenario was in fact black propaganda by the CIA itself. Casey remained DCI until 1987, when he died.
Casey remained active as an "asset"
and operated under the cover of various international businessmen organisations
between the end of World War II and 1980. Casey had a close working relationship,
not very often reported upon, with the head of the French SDECE, Alexandre
de Marenches. He was about as dedicated to the Vatican service as he was
to the Elysee Palace. In his memoirs, de Marenches wrote that he suggested
to Reagan and Casey in 1980 that the US led coalition should plant drugs
amongst Soviet forces in Afghanistan to weaken them. De Marenches said both
liked the idea. This happened while Nancy Reagan was leading a "just
say no to drugs" campaign in the US.