Review of Lynn Picknett's “Rennes-le-Château Revealed”
UneXplained Rapid Reads Series (eBook, 2015)

Paul Smith

12 September 2015

The latest offering by Lynn Picknett about the subject matter of Rennes-le-Château seems more like a phantasmogoric dream than a historical reality. Full of discredited and out-of-date material to rational researchers, it ends with the following statements:

There was nothing strange about Alfred Saunière's activities (Bérenger Saunière's brother), who canvassed for donations and the selling of masses on behalf of his brother, acting as a go-between (both were anti-Republicans). It was only Gèrard de Séde in 1967 who first claimed that Saunière was visited by Archduke Johannes von Habsburg (L'Or de Rennes, page 44). There is no evidence that Bérenger Saunière was visited by Emma Calvé (a calvary in Rennes-les-Bains bears the inscription “E. Calvet” that may have inspired the modern myth). There is no reason why Bérenger Saunière should have been linked to the murder of Abbé Gélis (both priests were anti-Republicans). Bérenger Saunière's trips could have consisted of financially assisting anti-Republican priests that were suspended by the atheistic Republican government (Saunière's income from trafficking in masses was monumental). Bérenger Saunière was not accused of desecrating the churchyard or of exhuming bodies from graves.

Saunière's trafficking in masses activities coincided during the period in French history when political friction existed between atheistic politicians and religious priests that culminated in the separation of Church and State in France in 1905.

Quoting Roger Crouquet from the Belgian magazine Le Soir illustré, published in 1948: “At the end of the last century he [Saunière] had a rather original idea. He placed in foreign newspapers, especially in the United States, an advertisement announcing that the poor priest of Rennes-le-Château lived among heretics and had only the most meagre of resources. He moved the Christians of the whole world to such pity by announcing that the old church, an architectural gem, was heading for unavoidable destruction if urgent restoration work was not undertaken as soon as possible.

The reference to the “advertisement in the United States” may have been an Urban Myth, but the existence of Saunière's notebooks serving as primary source evidence of his trafficking in masses activities, is there for all to see.

Finally, Lynn Picknett fails to mention that the subject matter of the “mystery of Rennes-le-Château” is not taken seriously by mainstream archaeology or by academic historians.

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