For Liturgy in Hagia Sophia (cecc4c) wrote,
For Liturgy in Hagia Sophia

Chariots of Blood on the Way of St. James

Rennes-le-Château is a village in the foothills of the Pyrenees on the border of France and Spain. Through this village runs one of the most important pilgrimage routes of the Middle Ages – from the Languedoc to Santiago de Compostela, the city to which according to legend the relics of St. James of Zebedee, after having been put in an empty boat, floated at will from Palestine. In this regard, Santiago de Compostela became a destination of Christian pilgrims when Palestine appeared to be out of reach because of the Moslem conquests and the reliquary of St. James in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela became the most revered shrine in Western Europe after the relics of St. Peter in Rome. That explains why this road running from France through Rennes-le-Château to Santiago de Compostela was called the "Way of St. James".

This village was built on the site of a prosperous Roman (Gallic) city called Rhédae, whose name is derived from the Gallic name for the four-wheeled chariots that during Roman times ran in the famous chariot races held in this city. Rhédae greatly increased in size, becoming very prosperous in the fifth century after it became the northern capital and “Fort Knox” of the kingdom of the Visigoths, who had just looted Rome in 410, hypothetically seizing the so-called Jerusalem Treasure of Emperor Titus Vespasian, which he brought to Rome after his armies plundered the City of David and the second Temple, build by Herod.
After the Visigothic Kingdom was defeated by the Frankish King, Clovis I, followed by the capture of Spain by Moslems, trading routes were closed and the city of Rhédae lost its importance as a commercial crossroads. After that, the city became something like a coin, changing hands in a series of feudal deals between the kings of Aragon, the counts of Toulouse and the viscounts of Trencavel, finally coming under the administration of one of the vassals of Viscount Trencavel, Bernard Sisimondi de Albezuno, lord of Bezu.
The Albezuno family possessed a castle 12 kilometers south of Rhédae, and when in 1116 the lord of Bezu, Bernard Sisimondi Albezuno, became a Crusader and a Templar, this castle became a commandory of the Order of the Temple, thus exposing Rhédae to the management of the Templars. Four kilometers east of Rhédae stood another castle, which belonged to the family of Blanchefort-d’Hautpoul, the latter originally from the city of Mezame, 49 kilometers north of Rhédae. One Blanchefort-d’Hautpoul accompanied Roger I Trencavel on crusade, while another d’Hautpoul became the Bishop of Albi. This didn’t prevent Simon de Montfort from accusing both the Albezuno and Blanchfort-d’Hautpoul families of being Albigensians, putting the city of Rhédae to the torch and destroying the castle and nearby strongholds, as well as giving all the property of these families to his seneschal, Pierre Voisins, who came from Ile de France.
Map of Rennes-le-Chateau and surroundings , mountain Bezu and ruins of Templar's commandorie on it.

One victim of the Albigensian Crusade, Guillaume d’Hautpoul, grandson of the crusader who accompanied Roger I Trencavel, escaped from that genocide to Italy and thereafter became a very famous troubadour at the court of Aragon King James the Conqueror, who had earned this title by taking Spain back from the Saracens. It is no surprise that Guillaume d’Hautpoul, as well as many other troubadours of Languedoc, found refuge in Aragon. Most of them had something in common with James the Conqueror, King of Aragon, who also had lost his father to the crusaders of Simon de Montfort in the Battle of Mureu, his kingdom barely escaping invasion. Guillaume d’Hautpoul became famous at James' court not only as the author of a poem criticizing Pope Innocent III for organizing crusades against Christians, but also for the outstanding poetic properties of his lament on the death Louis the Saint, King of France.
Another branch of the d’Hautpoul family fled from the Albigensian Crusade to Scotland and Normandy, where one of them – Hugh d’Hautpoul – became a French privateer and played a fairly prominent role in the Scottish War of Independence (1332-1357), which basically started the Hundred Years War. It is very interesting that in spite of persecution the d’Hautpouls, as opposed to many other Languedocians, never served in the army that fought against France.

In 1361 the city of Rhédae was again sacked and put to the torch and sword – this time by Henry of Trastamarre – after which it was never repopulated, subsequently becoming the village known today as Rennes-le Château and continuing to belong to Viscount Voisins. In the fifteenth century the d’Hautpouls partially regained their ancestral home when a descendant of Hugh d’Hautpoul, Pierre d’Hautpoul, married the heiress of Seneschal Voisins Marrie d"Abli Negore di Noir Roquefeuil Blanquefort.

But it was not until after the Great French Revolution that the Blanchefort-d’Hautpoul family, like many other descendants of the Albigensians and Templars, regained their former influence and titles. For once the first wife of Napoleon, Marie Josèphe Rose Tascher de La Pagerie, also known as Josephine, was closely connected with both the Albezuno and Blanchefort families through her mother’s family, the Lafond-de-Sannois, who came from modern Château Lafont in Bagnères-de-Luchon, fifty miles to the west of Rhédae. Besides that, at least four descendents of the original d’Hautpouls became generals in Napoleon’s army and thereafter peers of France. Jean Michel Brandoin d’Hautpoul, Count de Beaufort, a distant descendant of the Italian refugee from Languedoc and Aragon’s troubadour, became Colonel of the Corps of Engineers for Napoleon’s expedition to Egypt and commanded a battalion in which the famous Pierre-Francois Bouchard served as a lieutenant. It was exactly Colonel d’Hautpoul who chose the location for fortifications at Port Rashid and sent Lieutenant Bouchard there to begin its construction. When during execution of his order Lieutenant Bouchard discovered the Rosetta Stone, Colonel d’Hautpoul made the initial examination of it, as “absolutely accidentally” ancient languages appeared to be his hobby as one of his ancestors had been a Templar knight and had crusaded in that particular area.

His son, Edouard d’Hautpoul Beaufort, followed in the footsteps of his father and became an engineer in the Napoleonic army, subsequently becoming a peer of France, the Minister of Defense and the Chief Engineer of Paris in the time of Louis XVIII. The son of Edouard and grandson of Jean Michel Brandoin, Charles-Marie Beaufort d’Hautpoul, also became a general – under Napoleon III – and continued the enterprise of his distant ancestor who had accompanied Roger I Trencavel on crusade, taking charge of the French expeditionary corps in Syria that had been sent to protect Roman Catholics and Maronites in the Ottoman Empire from massacre. It is quite characteristic of the Crusades in general that this expedition provided the pretext for a major war with Orthodox Christians in the Crimea, a war that radically changed European politics.

Another descendant of the crusading Commander of the Templars, Jean-José Hautpoul, became a brigadier general of the heavy cavalry in the Napoleonic army and senator of France. He was mourned by the whole army, including the Emperor, after he was killed in 1807 while leading the attack of 7,000 cuirassiers against the Russian infantry, which brought victory to Napoleon at the battle of Eylau. His cousin, Hautpoul"Alphonse Henri d’Hautpoul, who served as a junior officer in Napoleon’s army in Spain, was wounded and taken prisoner by the English and remained a POW until the end of the war. In 1814, after the first fall of Napoleon, he returned to service with the rank of colonel, and after Napoleon returned from Elba very wisely was not too hasty to rejoin his army. Instead, he continued to serve as an adjutant to the Duke of Angouleme, and as a result he managed to have not only a military career but also a political one, becoming a Peer of France, Minister of War, President of the Council of the Second Republic and Governor-General of Algeria.

But no matter what wars and revolutions were storming France and the rest of the world, members of the Blanchefort-d‘Hautpoul family were guarding the well being of what was left of the city of Rhédae, in spite of the fact that after the devastation of Albigensian Crusade most of Rhédae’s population was dead and buried and there was nobody left to rebuild it. Due to its described historic and geographical circumstance, the mountains surrounding Rennes-le-Château are decorated with the ruins of Cathar castles and commandories of the Order of the Temple and that helped a lot, when towards the end of the 19th century the village became an attraction for people fascinated by occult speculations about treasures that hypothetically had been hidden somewhere in the vicinity of Rennes-le-Château by either Albigensians, Templars or Visigoths. This happened after a local priest, François Berenger Sauniere, during the restoration of his church, which had been established by Visigoths, allegedly found four parchments in the hollow column supporting the altar stone. Indeed, the church of which he was in charge was built in the eighth to ninth centuries, but the basement of this church can be traced back to the fifth century, when Visigoths were in possession of Jerusalem Treasure looted by the Roman army in Jerusalem. Three of the parchments found by Sauniere contained genealogical trees. The first was dated 1243 and was sealed by Blanche of Castille; the second was dated 1608 and was sealed by Francois Pierre d’Hautpoul; and the third was dated April 24, 1625 and was sealed by Henry d’Hautpoul. The fourth parchment contained an encrypted message that was signed by Canon Jean-Paul d’Negr d’Fondragon and was dated 1753.

Parchment "Dagobert".

Parchment "The Shepherd girl".

This last document contained passages from the New Testament in Latin, but on one side of the parchment the words were written inconsistently, seemingly out of order, and contained letters that had no meaning. Obviously in different reports by the media about the mystery of Rennes-le-Château these passages would be presented as an encrypted message, and in the programming aired by the Discovery Channel and the BBC it was presented as:


The Shepherd girl cannot be seduced by the fact that Poissin and Teniers keep a key and with this horse of God I am killing this demon who is guarding in the afternoon blue apples.

This text is confusing and the only thing that one can extract from it without serious decryption is the name of two famous artists, Nicholas Poissin and David Teniers. But on the other side of this parchment there is a pretty clear message, which says:

Translation: “Dagobert II, the King and to Sion this treasure belongs, and it is death.”

It was later revealed that the famous collector of antiquities discovered and copied that same inscription from the gravestone of Marie de Negre d’Hautpoul. Unfortunately, Sauniere allegedly destroyed this gravestone once he had found the parchments.

These discoveries and puzzles of Sauniere were intertwined with the publication in the late 19th century of a set of apocrypha and occult theories speculating that the greatest treasure of the Templars, who – rightly or wrongly – had been convicted by the Catholic Church for the worship of evil, was the so-called “Holy Grail.” This “Holy Grail” of the Templars had been allegedly found at the “Temple of Solomon” when this historic site, today occupied by the Al Aqsa Mosque, was granted to Hugo de Pain by the King of Jerusalem, Baldwin II. Subsequently, this location became the headquarters of the Order founded by Hugo de Pain and St. Bernard of Clairvaux, and when they discovered there something that allowed identification of this location as the second Temple built by King Herod, they bestowed upon the Order its historic name.

The meaning and etymology of the word “grail” remains unknown, but in 1956 the general public, due to several publications that had become extremely popular, suddenly became aware of a similarity between the medieval Old French “sang réal” (royal blood) and “San Gréal” (Holy Grail). The old medieval temptations of the Franks came out of the darkness of the past and this linguistic similarity was interpreted in an absolutely “salic” manner, but also in an absolutely anti-Christian one. They were saying that the Holy Grail is none other than the blood (or, if you want, genes) of Mary Magdalene and Jesus Christ, who, as it turned out, didn’t die on the cross, paying with his life for the sins of all mankind, but rather married Mary Magdalene and together with Joseph of Arimathea sailed either to the British Isles or to Marseille. Thus this blood, running in the veins of Visigothic kings in the south of France, or possibly the Celts of Cornwall, appeared to be the fateful secret of Albigensians and Templars, making them friends in trouble and subject to absolutely horrific attacks by the papacy and the French monarchy. Indeed, it is obvious that this myth about the genes of the “descendants” of Christ as the true monarchs of Europe was very dangerous to the papacy and the French monarchy, which had established itself in Europe as a dynasty of usurpers, the Carolingians.

But in the late 19th century when Sauniere found the parchments, these theories were anachronistic and unable to attract an audience, as people who believed in Christ would never seriously discuss the hypothesis that salvation never happened, and atheists would not care in whose blood the genes of Christ might run. Only after two world wars destroyed the real, not virtual, monarchies of Europe, which historically had associated themselves with Christianity, and because of that considered it necessary to maintain in Western Europe the Christian education system, did Europeans not just turn away from Christ, they forgot who He is. It took the slaughterhouses at Marne and post-war nihilism, the “vertical invasion of barbarians” and the Russian Revolution, Buchenwald and Hiroshima, the transformation of atheism into the “new age” and the crisis of the scientific method, “Nanterre la rouge,” and “Lucy in the sky with diamonds” to achieve the result that grown-up people would seriously discuss the idea that the genes of Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene were running in the veins of true monarchs of Planet Earth, the Galaxy and maybe even the whole Universe.

Meanwhile, in the beginning of the 20th century the main direction of intellectual activity was an attempt to synthesize the remnants of Civilization Christianity and atheistic science, while the latter already had begun its incredible upward thrust, that later in the 1960s “mooned” a bunch of U.S. astronauts but in the 1970s appeared to be the swan song of the scientific method, if not its death rattle. It is obvious that when Sauniere discovered these parchments, the legends about the pagan and Arian kings of Europe could not have failed to come to the attention of European occultists and gnostics, who saw in these myths an opportunity to return to the roots of Christianity in Western Europe, and to the time when King Clovis decided to be baptized and thus become the Christian King of Europe. By doing so they wanted to prove that Christianity, like any other knowledge, developed according to the laws of Hegelian dialectics, and that just as Christ on the Cross denies this world, thus his bride denies this denial, crying: “Kill them all – God will recognize his own.”

The most characteristic attempt to synthesize the scientific and religious points of view was the antinomy between the anthroposophy of Rudolf Steiner and the theosophy of Madame Blavatsky. Anthroposophy in a quite international, if not cosmopolitan, manner was calling people to brotherhood (fraternité), thus synthesizing Indo-European karmic spirituality with the Abrahamic tradition for the sake of building heaven on earth, utilizing application of the scientific method to “things unseen.” Meanwhile, Madame Blavatsky was openly preaching racial theory and proclaiming Western spiritual tradition to be exhausted, because it was a mechanical mixture of Hellenistic paganism and Semitic Abrahamic monotheism, considering the latter to be a degraded form of the “true” Indo-European proto-religion. She was going to reconstruct this proto-religion on the basis of Buddhism and Zoroastrianism, but mostly, of course, based on “personal spiritual experience, disclosed only to those worthy to know the sacred secrets,” that is, belonging to the inner circle of the followers of the Great Mahatma.

One must not forget that French occultism had a long tradition, as the hermeneutics of the Marseilles Tarot cards, which flourished at the time when the disaster of the Franco-Prussian War and the crash of the Paris Commune shocked the collective psyche of France. It was a time when demoralized Frenchmen were opposed to each other by the consequences of confessional wars while trying to find in their common past a source of unity, as well as the reasons for divisions, in order to overcome them. This was particularly pressing, as for the first time since the end of the Hundred Years War the French were forced to face the impossibility of defending their country on their own when the German giant, twice the size of France both economically and militarily, suddenly appeared on their eastern border. This quest for unity and cause of divisions led them to the Albigensian Crusade and the persecution of the Templars, But perhaps the most important factor that determined the attitude of French intellectuals toward the findings of Sauniere at the end of the 19th century was that, not being able to openly admire Napoleon, who was hated by the rest of Europe, they began to admire the humanitarian and scientific achievements of the Napoleonic Empire, one of which undoubtedly was the discovery of the Rosetta Stone and the decryption of the hieroglyphs by Champollion. Despite the fact that participation of the d’Hautpouls in these events has been forgotten, the results of these studies had led French intellectuals to the Hellenized Egyptians who inscribed the Rosetta Stone, as well as to the Marseilles Tarot cards that were supposedly based on the secret knowledge of Egyptian priests, and which according to legend had been brought to the Languedoc either from Renaissance Italy or by the Knights Templar during the Crusades.

If we discard the quite common, if not trivial, desire to find in our own yard a so-called dead man’s chest full of golden coins, then the intense interest among Frenchmen and the hierarchs of the Catholic Church toward the discoveries of Sauniere and rumors about the alleged treasures of Rennes-le-Château can be categorized as stimulated by one of the following hypotheses:

1. Knowledge about the transcendental and/or how to penetrate the realm of the dead while staying alive, entrance to which was allegedly located in the vicinity of Rennes-le-Château. It is worth mentioning that the hypothetical objective of this transcendental journey was to gain some quite worldly power and/or some knowledge of martial arts; while for Gnostics and occultists this hypothesis is valuable only as a means of achieving these worldly goals, for the Christian mind it can be a source of apophatic theology.

2. The genealogy of the European monarchs of the Merovingian dynasty, the hereditary succession of which according to Sauniere’s documents has never been interrupted, despite all the efforts of the Carolingian usurpers. Besides its political implications for Christians, this can be a source of knowledge about human history which, after all, remains the history of salvation.

3. The treasures of Rennes-le-Château can be a shrine of Christianity, for example, the hypothetical Spear of Longinus in Armenia, and this kind of shrine can only be used for the common good of humanity, for instance, to achieve victory over Nazi Germany. Gnostics also can use such a shrine, but then it becomes just an occult device, such as the hypothetical Spear of Longinus in Nazi Germany, in which case it should be referred to as a variant of Hypotheses No 1.

4. Evidence that Jesus Christ did not die, but married Mary Magdalene, and their descendants – hypothetically the Merovingian dynasty – are still alive and living among us. As shown above, this hypothesis was an anachronism in the late 19th century and was of no interest to French intellectuals of that time.

5. The Ark of the Covenant, brought to Rome by Titus Vespasian from Jerusalem after the destruction of the second Temple, and later taken as booty by the Visigoths when they sacked Rome in 410. This hypothesis is undoubtedly of great interest to Jews and Zionists, who at about this time began their efforts to rebuild the state of Israel, as well as to those who were determined to prevent these plans from coming to fruition. This hypothesis can also be of great interest to Christians, but in this case it is a variant of Hypothesis No. 3. For anti-Abrahamic Gnostics, such a hypothesis can be interesting only for occult reasons and appears to be a variant of Hypothesis No. 1.

6. Cultural and historical artifacts, hinting to Europeans on how to rethink European history to find an answer to today’s and tomorrow’s challenges. In this case, it is a variant of Hypothesis No. 2. Interest raised by the commercial value of this hypothetical cultural treasure is a variant of the dead man’s chest full of gold and is of no interest from a cultural and historical point of view.

Thus it appears that the possibility of a continuous succession of the Merovingian dynasty was the only hypothesis of interest to all Frenchmen, but particularly to European anthroposophists, who at the time were trying to find justification in the past for their attempts to synthesize religion and science and to rethink the past, thus changing the future. The fact that France had paid with Alsace-Lorraine for its attempt to recall its crusading past and the consequences of their attempt to protect Christians in Syria made it clear that unpronounced shadows of the past sitting in the nonverbal public subconscious have the ability to grab the present by the throat, thus strangling the future. Indeed, it was exactly the Syrian expedition of Charles-Marie d’Hautpoul Beaufort that provoked the conflict with Russia, the traditional protectors of Christians in the Ottoman Empire and the spiritual heir of Byzantium. This conflict resulted in the Crimean adventure of England, France and Turkey, the primary the result of which was Russian support for the imperial ambitions of Bismarck. As was already mentioned, the German empire, unified by the Ministerprasident of Prussia and much bigger militarily and economically than France, suddenly made the French realize that from then on, even under the most favorable circumstances, France would be unable to independently defend its borders and would need allies. At that time anthroposophy had already begun to daydream about a unified Europe, but didn’t understand that this in itself was promoting an agenda for pan-European war, because the French search for allies was competing with the inferiority complex of the Germans, who in spite of their victory felt themselves to be a “latecomer nation” that had lost the train of nation-building, and were forced to create a national state in an already occupied Europe and look for resources in a world that had been divided without them.

While Bismarck, who understood the dangers of fighting a war on two fronts, continued to serve as Chancellor of the German Empire, peace in Europe was likely to continue, but after his resignation the possibility of World War began to become more and more real. It is no secret that the resignation of Bismarck, as well as the aggressiveness of Wilhelm II, were inspired by the Theosophists of Madame Blavatsky, who thought that the problems of rebuilding the Arian nation could be solved only by the methods of Charlemagne. When these inspirations rusted the Iron Chancellor, the theosophist fantasies of Wilhelm II, energized by the militarism of the new elite of the German Empire, together with recollections of the Teutonic Knights of Prussia, began to develop not only into the reality of World War I, but also into the reality of World War II, the Third Reich and the Holocaust. From that point of view, it is obvious that the Second World War was just a continuation of the First and correspondingly both were one and the same war, albeit with an intermission. It follows that the Third Reich was designed not only by Hitler but also by Wilhelm II as a reincarnation of First Reich of Charlemagne. Considering this, it is important to remember that Charlemagne, being a man who understood the importance of strategic planning, in order to create the First Reich assembled the Frankfurt Council, which was anti-Orthodox, anti-Byzantine and in some sense established Roman Catholicism as a tool for building the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. This allusion of the Frankfurt Council to the pseudo-Buddhist theosophy of Madame Blavatsky and the establishment of Ahnenerbe in the Third Reich forces one to look from another point of view on the “Reichconcordat” as well as on the prohibition of anthroposophy in Hitler’s Germany. In this light even the Holocaust and the 22nd of June, 1941 begin to look different, acquiring some religious overtones and historic allusions.

It is likely that anthroposophists in the late 19th century were interested in Rennes-le-Château primarily because they saw in the pan-European myth of the Merovingians a way to oppose the “Tibetan” theosophy of Madame Blavatsky and secondarily they believed this pan-European myth could heal not only the political but also the mystical foundation of the future European Union, which they were beginning to plan at that time. Further, they believed that this legend could heal the trauma of the national psyche of the French – as well as of the Germans – and thus prevent world war. But retroactively the very fact that the daydream of the anthroposophists – Pax Europe – when it took form in 1993 as the European Union, did not mention the Christian roots of the European civilization in its Constitution, forces one to make far-reaching conclusions about what was the religious background of the anthroposophists’ daydreams about Rennes-le-Château and the registration of the Priory of Sion in 1956 by Pierre Plantard in the subprefecture of Saint-Julien-en-Genevois. Indeed, the fact that the latter event took place two years before the creation of the European Economic Community and five years after the establishment of the European Coal and Steel Community, the boundaries of which almost exactly coincided with the borders of the Merovingian kingdom at the time of Dagobert II, makes politically significant the Priory of Sion’s declaration of the sacred nature of the kingship of the Merovingians, based on the anti-Christian belief that they are descendants of Christ and Mary Magdalene. But even more politically significant is the fact that the Orthodox baptism of the grandson of King Merovech, Clovis, was ignored both by the Constitution of the European Union and Pierre Plantard’s Priory of Sion. These findings could be advanced even further if we recall that in the 2000 election campaign, George W. Bush, while arguing for the priority of U.S. national interests over pan-Western interests, positioned himself as a descendant of Henry III, while Al Gore, speaking in favor of closer cooperation between the U.S. and the E.U., positioned himself as a descendant not only of the Holy Roman Emperor Louis I the Pious, but also of the great artist Nicolas Poussin, who is mentioned in the documents allegedly found by Sauniere in the late 19th century. No wonder that the outcome of this vote appeared to be so close that the fate of the West was decided by the Supreme Court of the United States.

Al Gore’s reference to Nicolas Poussin, as well as the presence of Poussin’s name in Sauniere’s parchments puts a shadow of doubt on the alleged forgery by Pierre Plantard of Dossiers Secrets d'Henri Lobineau, and gives rise to speculation that the books by Henry Lincoln and Dan Brown were not only a way of discrediting serious attempts to rethink European history, but also a factor in International politics. Meanwhile it becomes even more intriguing considering that at the beginning of the 20th century meticulous researchers noticed that Nicolas Poussin’s painting “Arcadian Shepherdesses” plays in the background view of Mount Bezu from a certain point in the vicinity of Rennes-le Château, and together with the found manuscripts contains a cryptic prediction or indication of how the possible restoration of the true monarchy in Western Europe – the Merovingians, who allegedly were the only ones able to prevent world war in Europe, can take place.
"Les Bergers d'Arcadie: Et in Arcadia ego."
The comparison of the landscapes on Poissin's 1639 picture with the surroundings of Rennes-le-Chateau (click).
First of all one should remember that the famous artist Nicholas Poissin indeed had a very close relationship with the descendants of King Dagobert II of the Merovingian dynasty, and this fact has been discussed by art historians quite often in reference to his paintings. Even before Sauniere found the parchments, one of the topics discussed in art history was the decryption of two of his pictures entitled, “The Shepherds of Arcadia: Even in Arcadia I Exist,” the first of which was painted in 1627, and the second in 1638. In this regard it is important to keep in mind that most of Nicholas Poissin’s paintings appear to be a kind of synthesis of science and art, an expression of mathematical formulae in color. Even the smallest details of Poissin’s compositions utilize the golden section and are inscribed into the general composition on the basis of extremely complicated drawings, whose symbolic meaning gives credence to the legendary “sacred geometry”.

It cannot be a coincidence that the landscape depicted in the 1638 “Shepherds of Arcadia” is similar to the countryside surrounding Rennes-le-Château, especially if one considers that the artistic manner of Poissin and his rock solid compositions exclude the possibility of intuitive brush strokes. This characteristic feature of Poissin’s paintings is so well-known in the art world that in many cases any deviation in the composition makes it possible for an expert to tell whether it is forgery.

The analysis of paintings of Teniers, who appears to be an heir to the Flemish esoteric tradition of Peter Brigel and possibly Bosch, is too complicated and requires a separate article. But even analysis of Poissin’s paintings alone, and their comparison with the parchments found by Sauniere, brings one to the conclusion that all these artifacts are unified by some kind of encrypted message. Besides, if the parchments could be carrying encrypted information about some kind of real treasure hidden somewhere, the paintings – and particularly their titles – point out that this encrypted information has rather a symbolic, if not sacred, meaning. From that point of view it is important that both paintings share the same plot – two men and one woman opening up a mausoleum or a tomb in some idyllic country setting, but in the earlier painting, the other man is probably a symbolic figure. The fact that these paintings still arouse interest in a lot of different people even today, and not necessarily lovers of art but rather lovers of politics, supports the hypothesis that the landscapes of Rennes-le-Chateau in Nicolas Poissin’s pictures are somehow connected with his membership in some esoteric society, which from now on we will call the Priory of Rhédae to avoid confusion with the very well known, and even famous, Priory of Sion, which may or may not be related to the Priory of Rhédae. In the exact same way as the Priory of Sion, the Priory of Rhédae should be connected with Visigoth Kings and with Merovingians, as well as with Albigensians and the Templars. It is almost certain that the family of Blanchefort-d’Hautpoul was part of this hypothetical esoteric society, as after Sauniere’s parchments were found it became obvious that the Blanchefort-d’Hautpouls are related to the Merovingians and Visigoths at least by the fact of the geographical location of their ancestral home .

It is a very well known fact that Sauniere managed to extract from his discoveries some fairly significant financial support, and that implies that at the end of the 19th century somebody was willing to pay for either possession of these artifacts, or for their absence. The last hypothesis can be excluded, as it contradicts the very careful, if not homeopathic, leakage of this information, reminding one of Wikileaks, which took place shortly after Sauniere’s discoveries. These leaks cannot be attributed to Sauniere himself, as he was very secretive about his findings, but rather were used by the Priory of Rhédae for propaganda, targeting very limited, elite groups, who were capable of understanding even then that the coming World War had a mystical aspect determined by the fact that European civilization was losing its Christian roots. The famous Russian poet, Alexander Block, expressed this intuitive aspiration that was torturing the souls of some Europeans at the beginning of the 20th century better than anyone else:

The XX age… The man is homeless
Life comes more gloomy after night
And every day is growing darkness
That’s shadow of the Lucifer’s flight.

Двадцатый век… Ещё бездомней,
Ещё страшнее жизни мгла
Ещё чернее и огромней
Тень Люциферова крыла.

It is particularly interesting that the most famous European philosopher, Heidegger, expressed similar ideas: We grow more thoughtful and ask: What is happening here¬ with those driven from their homeland no less than with those who have remained? Answer: the rootedness, the autochthony, of man is threatened today at its core! Even more: The loss of rootedness is caused not merely by circumstance and fortune, nor does it stem only from the negligence and the superficiality of man's way of life. The loss of autochthony springs from the spirit of the age into which all of us were born. . . .”

The spirit of the age – that’s the main reality and mystery of the 20th century, the one that brought from the gloom of the past the glory of the Blanchefort-d’Hautpouls, the Rosetta Stone and the secret place in the 5th century column supporting the altar piece of the Visigothic church that was witness to St. Remigius baptizing the Frankish King Clovis. All these memories could have become a way to strengthen the roots of European civilization, while this oak was still preparing for the approaching storms of the 20th century that were threatening to uproot it. But the spirit of rootedness remained because the real mystery of the spirit of the age was not the genealogy of the Merovingians, but the disappearance of the very idea of legitimate governing authority in Europe as a gift coming from God, rather than arising from brute force. In this regard it is impossible to overlook the fact that Christians are given the ability to discern spirits, including the spirits of the age, and no genealogical tree can replace this gift. That was the reason why anthroposophy, by denying the common faith of Europeans and thus losing this ability, failed to make the roots of Christian civilization stronger and thus prevent world war. That was why they failed to change or reject the spirit of the age, the one prophesized by Alexander Block at the beginning of the 20th century and the one that we have to face in the 21st century again.

Horrific coming as a lie
Of old ideas and old faiths
The first flight of an airplane
Into unknown spheres of space
And life that is for us disgust
But one that is so crazy loved
And motherland that hate we must
Heart running black but earthly blood
That veins expand when promise us
All states and borders melted molds
By unimaginable changes
And unbelievable revolts.

Сознанье страшное обмана
Всех прежних малых дум и вер,
И первый взлёт аэроплана
В пустыню неизвестных сфер…
И отвращение от жизни,
И к ней безумная любовь,
И страсть, и ненависть к отчизне…
И чёрная, земная кровь
Сулит нам, раздувая вены,
Все разрушая рубежи,
Неслыханные перемены,
Невиданные мятежи…

Today, the spirit of another age brings Europeans back to the same choice, like a teacher who forces poor students to do their homework again so that they will learn the lesson they failed to learn the first time. It brings us back to the paintings of Nicolas Poissin and Teniers, to the parchments of Sauniere and the altar piece in the church of St. Mary Magdalene in Rennes-le-Château. We failed the exams in spite of the fact that in 1993 the dreams of Nicolas Poisson and Rudolf Steiner about a unified Europe came true, while the Priory of Sion in 1956 “materialized” as a non-profit organization, registered in the subprefecture of Julian-en-Genevois by Pierre Plantard, who declared that its aim was to restore the only legitimate monarchy in Europe – the dynasty of the Merovingians. Today the question of the legitimacy of power in unified Europe became even more urgent and dangerous than it was 100 years ago, pressing to rearticulate the sacred nature of power, and even the descendants of Christ and Mary Magdalene” cannot help Europeans to do so.

Historically, before baptism salic Franks thought that the power of the people proceeded from royal blood of Kings, not the other way around, and that’s why their devotion to the Merovingians prevented the all-powerful Carolingians from becoming Frankish kings for almost a century. According to one of the pagan myths, this power of Frankish kings belonged to Merovingians as the descendants of the god Odin, and this sacred genealogy was signified by the exclusive privilege of descendants of Кing Merovech to wear their hair long, never cutting it. According to another variant of this myth, the legitimacy of the Merovingians was caused by the fact that the legendary originator of the dynasty, King Merovech, was born from an even more legendary sea monster, sometimes replaced by an overseas traveler – either Eney from Troy or the King of Troy, Priam. The alternative, but historically substantiated foundation, for the right of Merovingians to be the kings of Western Europe is determined by the fact that King Merovech saved Europe from the hordes of Attila on the Catalan Fields when the unified army of Franks, Gallo-Romans and Visigoths defeated the army of the Huns. But one shouldn’t forget that Visigothic kings and Roman leaders claimed to be the organizers of this victory too, and that these claims are very well substantiated.

Meanwhile, from the Christian point of view, the source of Merovingian legitimacy undoubtedly was the fact that King Merovech’s grandson, Clovis, was baptized together with his people in 498 by the Orthodox Christian Saint Remigius, the bishop of Rheims. This is particularly important considering that most other peoples of continental Western Europe, including the Visigoths and the Langobards, were baptized by the Arian missionaries when the Arians were in charge in the Roman Empire, and that’s why the Merovingians claimed the Nicene Creed to be the source of their sacred power. Meanwhile, Roman Popes, who understood the catholicity of the Church as an admission that the Roman bishop is not “the first among equals” but rather the “prime among subordinates,” identified Nicean Christianity as Catholicism. But even they wouldn’t be able to claim that Clovis was baptized into Christianity interpreted in this way, considering the role played by Roman Popes in the Carolingians’ rise to power.

After the baptism of Clovis, the Franks became acquainted with Biblical literature and couldn’t help but notice the similarity between the Merovingians and the Judaic group called the Nazarenes who, like Frankish kings, never cut their hair and whose most famous member was the Biblical hero Sampson. Considering that Nazarene also means a man coming from the City of Nazareth, and that salic Franks often expressed somewhat excessive interest in the problems of the blood/gene relationship, the temptation to declare Frankish kings to be descendants of Christ probably appeared to be too strong, but the genuine fascination of the Merovingians with the beauty of Christ, proved by the great number of saints among them, as well as the propagation of Byzantine schooling, were able to neutralize the venom of this temptation.

It was already mentioned that the belief of Franks in the sacred nature of power of the Merovingians was extremely strong, but when the Frankish throne became occupied by the so-called (obviously by Catholics and Carolingians) “lazy kings”, the increasing power of mayordomes (mayors of the palace), who were supposed to perform as heads of administration of the kingdom, in combination with the disappointment of Roman Pope Zachary with the iconoclastic activities of Byzantine Emperor Leo III the Isaurian, gradually began to overcome the loyalty of Franks to Merovingians, as well as the loyalty of Roman popes to the descendants of Constantine the Great. The sacred force of power appeared to be in direct contradiction with the power of force, and when in 751 Pope Zacharius received a letter from the mayor of the palace, Pippin the Short, asking what is more important, power de facto or power de jure, in his response he declared the coronation of Pippin the Short as King of the Franks to be legitimate and necessary, expressing the point of view that the source of King’s power should be the will of people, sacralized and legitimized by the Church, represented by its head, the Roman pope. Thus, in this letter, Pope Zacharius put himself and all his successors in a very complicated situation that required double infallibility ex cathedra - as head of the Church and as a source of secular power. But even more than that, this letter denied the very idea of the legitimacy of power in Western Europe as something coming directly from God, as was the case with Roman Emperor Constantine the Great. Meanwhile the legitimization of royal power by the Popes continued, and after the Byzantine Emperor refused to help Pope Stephen II, the successor of Pope Zacharius, stop the advance of the Arian army of Langobards toward Rome, the Pope turned for help to the King of Franks Pippin the Short. However, at that time, asking for protection was connected with declaring homage, which according to the laws of that time meant changing allegiance to another state and correspondingly committing treason toward the Byzantine Emperor. Later, when Pippin the Short promised to return to the Papacy the land taken away by the Langobards, the Pope anointed him to be a Roman patrician, and this procedure later was interpreted by the descendants of the Merovingians as a blessing by the papacy on the Carolingian usurpation of the Kingship. Thus the denial of the Imperial Power of Byzantium that can be considered the birth-statement of Catholicism simultaneously appeared to be a sanction for Carolingian usurpation of Frankish kingship, and that alone makes the statement that Clovis was baptized into Roman Catholicism absurd, as Roman Catholicism appeared as a denial of the Merovingian dynasty and usurpation of their power..

One shouldn’t forget that Pope Stephen II’s decision was influenced by the fact that the Byzantine Emperor refused to help him resist the advance of the Langobards, because at that moment Byzantine soldiers, under the order of Emperor Constantine V Copronymus, were occupied with cutting to pieces the icons of the Most Holy Theotokos. But, as was already mentioned, later history showed that it was exactly in that moment that the very idea of authority coming from God in Western Europe received its first blow from the seemingly justified decision of Pope Stephen II. The subsequent coronation of Charlemagne by Pope Leo III in 800 as Emperor of not only the West but of the entire “ecumene” caused the idea of legitimacy of authority to lose its connection not only with the Frankish tradition, but also with that Voice that told St. Constantine Equal to the Apostles to draw the labarum on the shields of his army. Thus, the legitimacy of power in Western Europe was taken hostage by the political powers in the investiture contest or became the concubine of Gnostic theories about the descendants of Christ and Mary Magdalene.

It is only natural that after all these events the supporters of the Merovingians and especially the descendants of legitimate Кings represented a real danger to the all-powerful Carolingians. They were forced to go underground, where they met Gnostics and Manicheans from Marseille, Arian Visigoths and Langobards unified by the same trouble. The power of the Frankish kings became a consequence of the will of the Frankish people, who were enemies both of Celts and Gallo-Romans and thus the legitimacy of power appeared to be dependent on the fate of the Frankish conquerors, who were particularly admired in Aquitaine, Languedoc and Provence. Only the appearance of a third force, the Normans, who initially were alien in equal part both to Franks and to Gallo-Romans, as well as the much more important influence of Irish Christianity on these Normans and other nations, began to pull Western Europe out of a state of anarchy and barbarism.

The second crisis of power in Western Europe happened in the 12th century, when nationalism, the meaning of which then was quite opposite to the one that it had in Germany after World War I, began to turn citizenship into a product not of ethnic but of cultural self-identification. This process, nurtured by Abbot Suger, turned the King into the personification of nation, country and monarchy, while simultaneously turning a mixture of Celts, Normans, Franks and Romans into French. Unfortunately, the same idea was not only creating a nation out of all these peoples, but it also was separating them from the English and the Languedocians, who were made out of the same components but mixed in slightly different proportions and prepared in a slightly different climate and geography. From that point of view, both the Albigensian Crusade and the persecution of the Templars became the first battles of the Hundred Years War, when the all-powerful heavenly but earthly love of French Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine to the Duke of Normandy, who later became the King of England Henry II Plantagenet, turned the English and the Languedocians into one nation and subjects of one King. From that point of view, both World Wars of the 20th century also appeared to be the continuation of the Albigensian Crusade and the Hundred Years War as wars for the right of Western European nations to exist. Indeed, these wars broke out because Germany finished the process of forming itself as a nation only in the 19th century, thus ending the process of European nation building that started in France and Britain in the 12th century. Besides, in Germany this process became particularly difficult because of the cultural peculiarities of salic Franks that made the concepts of nation and ethnicity in Germany to be practically indistinguishable.

Thus Pierre Plantard was right when he declared that the question about the power of the Merovingians was crucial for the European Union, as it was a meeting point of ethnic myths, the platonic world of ideas, the dialectics of Hegel and the cognitive approach of Rudolf Steiner, completed by the poverty of the stimulus of universal grammar discovered by Haim Chomsky. Unfortunately, all this intellectual power appeared to be another Tower of Babel, in spite of the fact that the Merovingians indeed appeared to be a symbol of the legitimacy of power in Western Europe. But the source of this legitimacy in Christian Europe couldn’t be Odin, the sea monster, the King of Troy, Priam nor even the “san greal” of the descendants of Christ and Mary Magdalene. The latter statement cannot be characterized as even paganism or heresy, because heresy is something that has logic and intention, meanwhile if someone by the name of Jesus Christ did not die on the Cross to pay tribute for the sins of the world, then by definition he is not the Son of God of the New Testament. Indeed, Judaic sectarian teachers in the Roman Empire at that time were crucified every year by the dozens, and the supposition that one of them survived, married, arrived in Marseille and became a relative of Visigothic kings means nothing from a religious point of view, no matter what his name or title might have been. It is impossible on such a basis to build the unity of European peoples. The only source of the sacred power of the Merovingians as a conceptual reason for legitimacy of power in the European Union can be the baptism of Clovis, as in paganism every people had their own god and their own corresponding legitimacy, while building the genius of the emperor using cognitive linguistics, universal grammar and microchips in people’s brains is of course possible, but before executing this plan one should read the Apocalypse of St. John the Theologian, as the success of it will last only three years and six months, and it has a force majeure built into it. Besides, this question cannot be separated from the question of the faith of Clovis, as the catholicity of Clovis and Pippin the Short are opposite to each other and mixing them adds only cognitive dissonance, if not schizophrenia, to the European consciousness. Indeed, as was already mentioned, the Roman Popes stopped being subjects of the Emperor of Byzantium precisely in the process of legitimizing the power of the Carolingians, and that alone makes the Catholic Church, which admits that Pippin the Short usurped power from the last Merovingian king, Dagobert II, considered a saint by some Orthodox Christians of Western Europe, guilty of dual treason – both to Byzantium and to the Merovingians – and thus attributes double sinfulness to Roman popes ex cathedra. And that is exactly what has always been the claim of both the Orthodox Church and the Church.of England.

© 2010 Alexander Brodsky

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