November 14, 2004: Perillos goes Dutch
Symposium 2004 was held at the Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky in Amsterdam, this
for the third consecutive time. With a capacity audience of 500 people,
the 12 hour conference kicked off with a specific focus on Perillos. The
conference was opened by Klaas van Urk, a Dutch author of a book on the
mystery of Rennes-le-Château, in which Perillos plays an important
role in the finale. The second speaker of the day was André Douzet
– the first and only non-Dutch speaker ever to speak at the conference.
In a 1h15 presentation translated into Dutch, André Douzet gave an overview of how Saunière’s model mapped onto Perillos’ landscape, including the “cistern” featured on the model. For the first time ever, two photographs of the locations identified as “Tomb of Joseph of Arimathea” and “Tomb of Christ” were shown in public. The audience could also gasp at various close-ups, projected by a live camera feed onto the giant screen, of many of the artefacts recovered from inside the location of “Joseph’s tomb”. During the lunch break and at the other afternoon intervals, members of the audience could look and sometimes even touch some of the artefacts.
The Frontier Award 2004 was won by the late Bram Vermeulen. At the speaker’s dinner, his widow recounted how Bram and she had, last June, enjoyed the magic of the area, one of the last trips they had made together before his death.
October 18, 2004: German television descends on Perillos
For the last three days, German television has been making a documentary on the mystery of Rennes-le-Château, Vicdessos and Perillos. In recent years, the mysteries of the South of France have not received any attention in Germany, though much has changed. German television felt that the work of André Douzet was a perfect introduction for a renewed effort to bring these mysteries to the viewer. An entire day of filming in Perillos occurred on Saturday, with the main components once again being filmed: the chapel, the Roc Redon, Opoul castle, etc. As the team possessed an 8 metre tall extension for their camera, some very impressive shots of the area were made - shots that are otherwise impossible to make. We hope that in the near future, we will be able to bring some of the still photography that was made during this shooting to our readers.
October 1, 2004: St Michaelmas in Perillos
On Wednesday evening, approximately 30 people gathered in Perillos, for the feast of the village's patron saint, St Michael. Former inhabitants of the village spoke of the traditions they celebrated on this feast, whose description will be entered on this site later. Some of the local superstitions, involving St Michael and his battle versus Lucifer, were also remembered.
August 20, 2004: Fire drama near the Caune
Tuesday, August 17, a terrible fire hit the section of Perillos close to
the Caune cave. Fire fighters had to roll out the heavy equipment, including
helicopters, to bring the fire under control. Approximately 30 hectares
were consumed by the fire, with smoke plumes to be seen for tens of miles
around, as far away as Durban-Corbières.
The land is very dry this time of year and discarded cigarette stubs can easily cause fires. Non-smoking members of the Société Perillos were inside the cave for a guided visit at the time and upon exit were confronted by the fire, being able to just escape while the fire began to progress in the area between the cave and the road.
July 16, 2004: Perillos open for business
With summer in France in full force, Perillos is once again open for business, with the local artshop plus cafe now also offering a wide range of our publications on the village. With the recent upgrade of the streets of the village, there is nothing to stop tourists from enjoying a pleasant day in the abandoned village.
June 18, 2004: Société Perillos not in “scam” with BBC
has come to our attention that certain rumours allege that our organisation
is involved in illegal excavations (nature, location or goal apparently
unspecified). However, the seriousness of the accusation is that the rumour
suggests that the illegal excavations occur in the presence of a BBC (British
national television) team who are filming these excavations for an upcoming
We deny either activity is occurring: no illegal excavation is occurring – in fact, no excavations by our organisation are occurring at all. As such, the BBC is not involved in any such activity either.
We do not know where this rumour originated from, but we felt that because we were asked about it twice in one week, that this unfounded rumour should be firmly denied. Our organisation has also informed the local authorities, so they can give due care and attention to any further developments.
June 3, 2004: The last Pentecost mass of Perillos?
Visiting Perillos over the Pentecost weekend is a remarkable experience. Though you would expect an abandoned village to be deserted, the truth of the matter is that its status is exactly why Perillos attracts many visitors. Still, on Saturday, these visitors did not come, in spite of the wonderful weather. By Sunday afternoon, though, the visitors were pouring in. On Monday morning, the village had almost reached it capacity of holding visitors – for the mass of Pentecost.
Saturday, the mayor of Opoul Perillos was officially presented with the
first copy of the English language guidebook.
The guide will acquaint visitors with an overview of the village’s
history and its enigmas. There is a major demand for this information, as
was proven on Sunday, when two copies were sold – even though it was
not even on sale in the village!
A brief inspection of the site revealed two new aspects: one were partial remains of a hand grenade lying about in rubble in the centre of the village, the other that the enigma of the mysterious “tube” might soon be solved. More will follow on this later.
over the past few months, the village has gone through tremendous changes.
Two of the three streets leading to the church yard have been completely
resurfaced. The work has been done to the highest quality, but why the state
would want to invest in this work, is a total enigma. Inhabited villages
in the region do not receive such attention… and it is clear that
the inhabitants of Perillos could not have asked for it.
Strangely, during the works, one of the two holes along the main access road was completely filled. Whereas the other one received a grill so that no-one would fall in, the most notorious one, known as the “Whistling Hole”, was completely filled in.
On Sunday, several members of the French branch of the organisation gathered in Perillos. The group included Alain Feral, former owner of the Rennes-le-Château bookshop, but better known as an expert on the subject. He entertained the group with several anecdotes and insights and was intrigued by how Perillos fitted within the enigma. Alan Scott, webmaster of Rennes Discovery, also joined the meeting and many of the other events that occurred over this weekend and was equally intrigued by the charm of the village.
traditional Pentecost mass on Monday was attended by hundreds of people,
including several pilots who had come in remembrance of the plane crash
that had happened over Perillos on January 11, 1963. On the Saturday, we
visited the monument ourselves, its exact location and nature underlining
the enigma of how this crash (or fall) could ever have occurred.
Once again, the Black Madonna (now white) formed the centrepiece of worship and after the mass, we were able to briefly talk with its owners, both of whom were born in Perillos. So many people stayed on for the barbeque that it was held in two separate locations. And so many people came to see Perillos alive, that one unfortunate had to be taken away by ambulance after injuring himself in the area around the chapel – which for the occasion was dressed up with flowers and candles. As the French government might no longer class Pentecost as a holiday, it is possible that this was the last ever Pentecost mass… let us hope it is not…
joy of the event was overshadowed later that evening when we learned that
Gérard de Sède, the man who had placed the mystery of Rennes-le-Château
on the map, had died the previous night, at the age of 82 – apparently
after battling with cancer. We can only wonder whether he was there in spirit
with the rest of the celebrants, attending the Pentecost mass.
As a final step, it felt only apt to go to Rennes-le-Château, if only because it was on a Pentecost in 1891 when Saunière unveiled his redecorated church to the congregation – and the queries about his mysterious funds slowly began to surface. Preparations are underway to move the body of Saunière from the cemetery to a newly constructed mausoleum, which in good tradition has heightened the controversy – though we fail to understand why this should create any controversy at all, specifically when many people had previously identified how his tomb was in a dire state – and the likely target for future plundering, seeing how the tomb is implicated in some of the theories surrounding the man and his wealth. But it seems that the tombs of the dead are always able to become the cornerstones of controversy…
April 12, 2004: Good Friday with Pontius Pilate
Fortingall church with Yew tree to the left
Was Pontius Pilate Scottish? The question might seem ludicrous, but over the centuries, there has been a persistent legend that Pontius Pilate was born in the small village of Fortingall, the son of a local woman fathered by a Roman ambassador. Fortingall is situated in Perth & Kinross, near Kenmore (Aberfeldy), at the entrance of Glen Lyon, the Valley of Lugh, the sun god. The village is surrounded by groups of standing stones, attesting to an ancient past, which is underlined by the ancient yew tree, estimated to be at least 5000 years old, making it the oldest living object in Europe – if not the world. A Samhain fire festival occurred here until 1924 and Celtic rituals of May 1 were performed in Glen Lyon until only a few years ago.
Pilate is believed to have been connected with the Pilat region, near the
French city of Lyons. It is clear that Pontius Pilate and areas dedicated
to the sun god go hand in hand. Both legends could be true: he could have
been of Scottish origin, and could have retired to the Pilat region, where
legend has it he died – some say of old age, others say by committing
It shows that the ancient world was much larger than we often think – definitely in legend: Mary Magdalene is believed to have retired to France, as did Herod, the man who asked for Jesus’ death. All key players of the Passion seem to have ended up in France, in an area stretching from Lyons to the Pyrenees. The obvious question is whether these legends and their possible historical foundation lay at the origin of Saunière’s interest in the landscape of the Passion – Jerusalem… and his several voyages in that region. Read more in Saunière’s Model and the Secret of Rennes-le-Château, here and here.
We visited Fortingall on Good Friday – the day when Pontius Pilate sentenced Jesus to death. Though the legend of Pilate is well-known, the village did not attract more than its usual share of visitors. The yew tree no doubt knows the truth…
March 29, 2004: 1666, underground bases and Revelation in Amsterdam
The English branch of Société Perillos was the prime mover behind last weekend’s Nexus Conference in Amsterdam. No surprise therefore that a few speakers had topics of interest, specifically Stuart Urban and Richard Sauder. Stuart Urban is the writer and director of the movie Revelation, released in 2002, and currently available on video/DVD. This 7 million pound budget movie was filmed in several locations, including Rennes-le-Château. It features the quest throughout the ages to experience the divine nature of Jesus, including figures such as Isaac Newton and the “Grand Master” of the Knights Templar. Urban stated that when filming on location in St John’s Co-Cathedral in Valleta, Malta, the team was amazed to see the many alchemical symbols on the tombstones of the Grandmasters of the Order. Of course, Ramon de Perellos y Roccaful was one of these grandmasters. When the church officials realised what they were exactly filming, the crew was asked to stop filming. Urban noted how the movie revealed the first account of this alchemical imagery being used on those graves. The movie itself also revolves around the “loculus”, an object specifically made for the movie, which Urban had brought with him to show to the audience and to explain the alchemical imagery that had gone into the design.
Sauder has investigated the US government’s involvement with underground
tunnels and bases. Though focused on the US, Sauder made it clear that such
structures exist in all countries – including France. Of course, you
can wonder whether some of the modern enigma of Perillos, such as the mysterious
power supply, monitoring stations, etc. might have to do with this, specifically
as a military base is nearby. At the speakers’ dinner we asked Sauder
whether the military had any preference for a specific type of rock formation
to build these bases in. He stated limestone and granite were their favourite
types of rock, but with money being no issue (costs of an underground base
have been estimated at approx. 3 billion dollars), they can be located anywhere.
Finally, though Valery Uvarov did not speak on a related subject, he did mention how Cassini, the man behind the Zero Meridian and the French observatory, had observed a mystery celestial object in the sky in 1666… a number well-known to Perillos! He observed it again, and other astronomers in the 17th and 18th century did the same, before the object, possibly another planet in our solar system “hiding” behind the sun, “disappeared”.
Any further developments on these or other topics will, of course, be reported on as they happen…
March 5, 2004: Further developments in the Carmain saga
one minor error crept into last week’s report. The letters from Tim
Carmain were not postmarked “London”, as they were sent as emails.
Also, because of the extreme nature of the complaint, certain local police stations felt ill-equipped to deal with the complaint, which as a result was only officially submitted on March 2, 2004. The complaint was submitted solely against Tim Carmain, and not against other individuals in London (as was understood to be the case, in the assumption we were dealing with letters being posted from there). The police have now begun their enquiry, which will hopefully reveal whether these are the actions of a single person (Timothy Carmain), or are part of a concerted effort to discredit the activities of the Société Perillos and some of its members, particularly André Douzet.
Carmain claims he “obtained” his title from the “Imperial
government of Vietnam”. Vietnam is currently ruled by a communist
regime and this “Imperial government” is apparently trying to
seize power in that state and restore it to the descendants of its ousted
leaders, the Nguyen dynasty (removed from power in 1945). Should the Vietnam
war have been successful, the family would have been one of the prime claimants
One “colleague” of our count de Perillos in this organisation is one Joseph Crisp II, who is the front man for the Royalist Party of America! George Bush, beware – he is after your job! Others live in Spain, Eastern Europe and Great Britain (London). In 2002, this Vietnamese family also resurrected the “Imperial Order of the Dragon of Annam”, which seems to be a new methodology to gather interest for their cause.
to this modern extravaganza, it should be noted that the official title
of Perillos became extinct in the 16th century. The title passed through
the lords of Durban, as noted by the research done by Dr. Courrent in the
20th century. Courrent was also the doctor who attended Saunière
late in life. After the lords of Durban, another local family passed on
the title through their generations. No doubt, they will not enjoy the fact
that someone from America is now trying to lay claim to it!
As in the case of “Perellos y Roccaful”, the title of the grandmaster of the Order of Malta, that title was purchased, and not transmitted by any bloodline. In such cases, the hereditary value of the title is void. Timothy Carmain has invented a series of illusionary descendants, through an alleged female line, which are both unknown to all genuine genealogists, but which by default would prove he has no right to claim the title – which is specifically reserved for male descendants, as centuries of French history attest.
Of course, the “Imperial government of Vietnam” has no authority to distribute this title and might itself be a victim in this sherade. See however http://www.geocities.com/vietmonarchy/imperialstaff.html [link no longer active - SP] and other pages on their site for details of their activities.
Finally, we should add that it is not the first time that Timothy Carmain has made wild accusations against our organisation. Last year, he made a complaint with the local authorities that André Douzet was planning to steal the “treasure of Perillos” (nature unspecified) and “disturb the dead”. He added that he alone could lay claim to that treasure, this because of his title of count de Perillos! The mind boggles…
February 27, 2004: Project Proposal under review
Recently, Societe Perillos gave a project proposal of the work it envisions to perform over the next few years to the local authorities. These are currently reviewing the proposal before feeding back. Ideas include an exposition, walks, and restoration/preservation work in and around the village, including the cave Oursu. We will keep you informed of any further developments in our efforts to preserve the village and promote its history.
February 27, 2004: Wild accusations from California
It is not news, but we think it is interesting information, if only because
it seems our previous news item was the direct cause for this development.
Following the news that the church of Perillos was pillaged, one “Timothy
de Carmaing de Perillos” claimed that André Douzet and the
mayor of Opoul-Perillos were behind the crime. Together with an aide in
London (United Kingdom), “de Carmaing de Perillos” wrote to
all mayors of the department, “informing” them of this allegation,
which of course did not hold up as most of the allegation was actually not
conform with the known details of the crime – it needs no further
elucidation that the allegation itself is preposterous.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the gendarmerie (national police) were informed, but by the mayor and Mr. Douzet and a complaint was made against “de Carmaing de Perillos” and associates. Because “de Carmaing de Perillos” and aide are not French residents, the complaint will at the moment have no further effect, until either party decides to visit France, when the police will “invite” them to a private audience, or until the nature of their allegations reaches a more serious (in the sense of litigious) nature.
“Timothy de Carmaing de Perillos” is in reality one Timothy B. Carmain, until recently a clerk at a Californian University, working as an admission administrator for an MBA programme (now apparently working as a set designer in the Los Angeles movie and theatre scene). After trying to lay claim to the title of “de Foix” in the mid 90s, he was quickly nicknamed “de Faux” by expert genealogists; as a result, he tried to lay claim to other estates before, from 2000 onwards, trying to lay claim to the title of “count of Perillos”. Carmain is one of several people involved in a growing trend of trying to lay claim to various titles, most often in France (fertile ground as all noble titles were done away with during the French Revolution), in what is in all cases nothing more than a money-making scheme, or as seems to be the case with Carmain, attention seeking. One interesting claim of Carmain is that he claims to be a genealogist, with his area of expertise French medieval genealogy. Amazingly, Carmain has not only never visited France, he is not even able to speak or write French, let alone medieval French. Of course, he has also never visited Perillos. More recently, he has allied himself with people seeking to lay claim to Vietnamese nobility. If it is attention “de Carmaing de Perillos” wants, then we wanted to give him his 3 minutes of glory. Enough said…
February 15, 2004: Perillos church broken into
During the first week of February, the Perillos church was broken into. Minor damage to furniture occurred and a cross from the altar were stolen. The authorities believe they know who is behind the crime, but knowing and proving are two different things.
As a result of this crime, access to the church out of season can only occur via the Societe Perillos or via the mayor of Opoul-Perillos, provided staff are able to accompany the visitors. Unaccompanied access is no longer possible.