Bérenger Saunière & Lyon
24 June 2017
Updated 26 July 2017
André Douzet has always claimed there was evidence that Bérenger Saunière travelled to Lyon – and by extension visiting a Martinist Lodge (the involvement of secret societies is always highly popular).
Even if this were true, there is no evidence for it because the various copies of receipts produced by Douzet mentioning “Abbé Saunière” may not be to the same person as Bérenger Saunière of Rennes-le-Château.
Antoine Captier, who possesses Saunière’s archives that were once owned by Marie Dénarnaud, has always disputed the authenticity of Douzet’s material relating to Bérenger Saunière because he doesn’t have anything in his archives relating to Saunière visiting Lyon.
Also, Douzet’s claims about Saunière travelling to Lyon fit in too neatly into the priest’s “quiet years” which is why it is essential to verify the authenticity of Douzet’s original materials. Douzet showing only copies of his materials is not good enough. The knowledge of Saunière’s “quiet years” could have inspired forgeries, if Douzet’s materials are forgeries.
André Douzet has promised in the past to show the originals of his copied material relating to Bérenger Saunière, but to date hasn’t done this.
Douzet’s claims need to be treated with the utmost of caution. Official departmental archives relating to Lyon that would clarify Douzet’s claims one way or the other are missing.
There are no references to Lyon (or the maquette) in Saunière’s Correspondence Record 1896-1915.
Below, a receipt that once belonged to Abbé Saunière, that may or may not have been the same person as Bérenger Saunière from Rennes-le-Château (or the receipt itself could be a complete forgery):
The embryo of Martinism was written in 1775 in Lyon by Louis Claude de Saint-Martin, DES ÉRREURS et de la Vérité, ou les hommes rappels au principe universel de la science, Par un Ph... In... (“Of errors and of truth, or men recalled to the universal principle of science”)