Rennes-le-Château Tunnel Vision
The French Believers (léa rosi)

Paul Smith

15 November 2017
Put online at: 4:10 PM GMT
Revised 20 November 2017

You wouldn’t think that with all the essential evidence about Saunière’s activities – published over the decades – beginning with the French regional 1960s newspaper articles debunking Gérard de Sède's book L’Or de Rennes – that there would be any French believers in the mystery and treasure of Rennes-le-Château.

Such is not the case. The village of Rennes-le-Château has become one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world, based on slanted and dishonest accounts about the life of Bérenger Saunière.


The recent publication of Le Journal de l'abbé Saunière 1901 à 1905 – containing the priest’s entries in his diary for that relevant period of time (making a good argument against the existence of a “treasure”) – still nevertheless contained a chapter “Un trésor à Rennes-le-Château” (pp.233-240) by the well-known French mythologist, Patrick Mensior, who believes Saunière discovered assortments of valuable items hidden by various priests before the French Revolution – that this was the source of Saunière’s wealth – and that one of the key locations was an underground cache covered-up by a landslide on 4 and 5 March 1905 (if you’ve got Rennes-le-Château Tunnel Vision, you can see the treasure of Rennes-le-Château everywhere – such books also satisfy Tourists, giving them false realism when they witness primary source documents).

The definition of Tunnel Vision in the context of thinking is “the fact that someone considers only one part of a problem or situation, or holds a single opinion rather than having a more general understanding” – meaning – in simpler terms – not letting unpopular facts get in the way of a good story (the stripping of Saunière’s priesthood, Saunière’s admission during his Trial that he trafficked in masses as presented by the prosecution, his desire to sell his Villa Bethania and Tour Magdala through Banque Petitjean following his Trial and stripping of his priesthood, etc).


Although only representing a tiny minority of French people – and although the messages on the various French online discussion groups have dwindled down recently over the last few years – the very existence of believers in the treasure and mystery of Rennes-le-Château in France, where all the essential evidence exists that shows the subject matter is bogus, is interesting from the psychological perspective. Christiane Amiel covered this aspect in her article “L’abîme au trésor, ou l’or fantôme de Rennes-le-Château”. Amiel compared the treasure of Rennes-le-Château with Fairy Gold: “which, in the popular fables, turns into manure as soon as a human being touches it, it remains impalpable. It can only exist as long as it remains on the distinctive level of the dream, between the real and the imaginary” (in Claudie Voisenat, Editor, Imaginaires Archéologiques, Cahier Number 22, Ethnologie de la France, Éditions de la Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, 2008).

The translated French messages below contain many errors and incendiary devices.

Some Examples:

* Abbé Grassaud advised Marie Dénarnaud about the sale of Saunière’s Domain in 1918, not in 1933.

* Jean Girou reported the inhabitants of Rennes-le-Château believed Saunière discovered a treasure (L’Itinéraire en Terre d’Aude, 1936) – but he did not take the accounts seriously because he sarcastically concluded: “or so the locals say anyway!” – Girou did not send teams of archaeologists to Rennes-le-Château to dig for the treasure.

* Lea Rosi’ claim that “the mythology of Rennes started in the corridors of the Society of Arts and Sciences of Carcassonne under the presidency of R. Descadeillas in 1957” is contradicted by René Descadeillas: “In November 1956, Monsieur Cotte of the Société des Arts et des Sciences de Carcassonne asked the membership during its monthly session about the treasure of Rennes-le-Château, which led to an investigation of the subject matter. Two members conducted on-the-spot research in March 1957 that lasted for one year. Local historian René Descadeillas commented: “They found no evidence anywhere to support the assertion that, down the ages, any individual, family, group or clan could have accumulated a precious treasure-hoard at Rennes and then concealed it in the locality or its environs. What is more, the activities of the Abbé Saunière were undoubtedly eloquent of the sort of stratagems that he was accustomed to using in order to enrich himself” (Mythologie du Trésor de Rennes, pages 57-58, 1991).

* Abbé Maurice-René Mazières’ article about the Templars at Bézu is historical conjecture, not historical fact (La Venue et le Séjour des Templiers du Roussillon à la Fin du XIIIè Siècle et au Début du XIVè Siècle dans la Vallée de Bézu (Aude), 1962). Abbé Mazières’ name has been sucked into the vortex of Fantasy Saunière Treasure Land despite his publishing a booklet co-authored with Abbé Bruno de Monts during the mid-1980s giving his position on the subject matter – Abbé Mazières reiterated that Saunière obtained his wealth by trafficking in masses and he outlined the information about Saunière’s Ecclesiastical Trial 1910-1911: the stripping of his priesthood, etc. Abbé Mazierès did not refer to the dalle de Coume Sourde in this booklet.

* The chit-chat relating to Yves Maraval and Marcien Fondi de Niort is just that – unfounded chit-chat devoid of any historical sources and involving a most dodgy treasure-map

* Abbé Mazières and Ernest Cros knew each other – but they were ignorant about the existence of the dalle de Coume Sourde – the existence of which was mentioned for the first time by Noël Corbu on a 1962 French Radio interview.

* There is nothing special about Henri Montfried in relation to Rennes-le-Château, he was merely a member of Robert Charroux’s Treasure Seekers Club (Club des Chercheurs de Trésors).

Lots of Tunnel Vision
No Historical Facts





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