Templar Lore

Web of Gold – The secret history of a sacred treasure – by Guy Patton and Robin Mackness

According to these guys, the Romans sacked the Temple of Jerusalem and carted off its goodies to Rome whence it was again plundered by the Visigoths. This people eventually settled in an area comprising southern France and northern Spain. And when they in turn were threatened by the expanding Franks, the treasure was secreted around about their last great fortress at what is now Rennes-le-Chateau.

The authors believe this was the first of no less than three treasures (the other two being those of the Knights Templar and the “heretical” Cathars) to be hidden in this region and that over the intervening centuries various interested parties, with varying degrees of success, have sought to recover them. The list includes British Intelligence, the Nazis, a whole range of bizarre individuals and last, but by no means least, certain factions within the French government who, the authors assert, have altogether unwholesome links to the wartime Vichy regime. A tangled web of gold indeed !

The book traces the history of the treasures and investigates the stories behind those who may (or may not) have unearthed all (or part of) any of the three. The story of Bérenger Saunière, the impoverished parish priest of Rennes-le-Chateau is told, of how his renovations in the church with Visigothic foundations unearthed something of world-shattering implication. The involvement of the Priory of Sion is discussed, as well as the alleged dabbling and skulduggery perpetrated by other sinister underground movements.

As its title implies, this is a very complex book covering as it does not only the history of the treasures supposedly hidden in the Languedoc, but also the modern day implications of what those treasures might symbolise were they to be recovered and returned to their rightful owners.

There are so many fingers in this pie, there’s no room for the filling !


The Tomb of God – by Richard Andrews + Paul Schellenberger

Entranced by the story of Rennes-le-Chateau, a small village in southern France where the local priest, Bérenger Saunière, is reputed to have discovered documents of world shattering consequence during renovations of his rundown parish church, the authors embarked upon a quest to find a solution to the mystery.

They ended up with a whole heap more than they initially bargained for. What started as a localised treasure hunt eventually led to a conclusion that, if proved right, will shatter the belief structure of millions of Christians and destroy the very foundation on which the Church in Rome is founded.

Initial analysis of the alleged documents found in the church at Rennes-le-Chateau led to the involvement of the eminence gris that permeates the entire mystery, the Priory of Sion, an organisation claiming not only descent from the Knights Templar but also guardianship of a secret knowledge that could shake the world.

The trial leads through a study of various renaissance paintings the authors feel have been precisely constructed to encode a secret.

This one’s got the lot ! Ancient tombs located on geographical lines; an intellectual treasure hunt through topographical features; coded latin inscriptions carved into headstones that stand above empty graves; the involvement of the Knights Templar and last, but by no means least, a map that purports to pinpoint the burial site of someone (or something) that will turn the world on its head.

Oh lordy, this one’s a cracker !

Holy Blood, Holy Grail – by Michael Baigent, Henry Lincoln, Richard Leig

This is the one that started the whole thing off. It began as a simple investigation into the mystery of Rennes-le-Chateau and how an ostensibly impoverished rustic priest, Bérenger Saunière, became rich seemingly overnight. So poor he had to conduct renovations on his rustic parish church himself, he appears to have discovered something hidden in a pillar dating back to Visigothic times that supported the altar. Trips to Paris followed soon after and Bernard Saunières was suddenly a very wealthy man. What did he find ?

Enter the Priory of Sion, an eminence gris that would figure hugely as the formerly localised mystery went global. This shady organisation contacted the authors on several occasions and put obscure hints and clues (or were they red herrings) in their path.

Claiming to be an off-shoot of The Knights Templar and the guardians of a secret that could rock the Christian world to its very foundations, the information provided by these people would take the authors on a roller-coaster ride of investigation and discovery, leading them to a startling conclusion.

And would it be capable of shaking the Christian world to its very foundations. Oh yes. You bet !

– Also published as The Holy Blood & The Holy Grail

Key to the Sacred Pattern: The untold story of Rennes-le-Chateau – by Henry Lincoln
April 24, 2009, 10:28 pm
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This is a thoroughly entertaining book and is probably best read (as I did it) immediately after the book mentioned above, Gerard de Sede’s Accursed Treasure of Rennes-le-Chateau. It documents the history of Henry Lincoln’s involvement in the mystery at Rennes right from the very beginning (his reading of de Sede’s book) through all his cloak-and-dagger dealings with the Prieure de Sion and culminating with his latest take on what he considers the Treasure of Rennestrue nature of the treasure to be.

The story of his journey includes not only a cast of the usual suspects, many of whom we are already familiar with, but also some complete and utter nutters who have been attracted to the Rennes-le-Chateau mystery by the prospect of buried gold. Lincoln relates his dealings with all of them. It is very interesting to watch his ideas and speculations on what lies behind the mystery evolve from the initial material dream of hidden treasure to the now more spiritual view that sacred geometry is reflected naturally in the very topography of the mountains surrounding Rennes itself.

What the reader has to decide is whether or not Henry Lincoln is now tarred with the Prieure de Sion’s brush. That is, have his dealings with them and their predilection for red herrings and word games, tainted the books that Lincoln now puts out ? How much of what is in this book can be taken at face value ? Are his theories what they seem ? It’s all getting very confusing, but it’s damned good stuff. Oh yes indeed !

The Accursed Treasure of Rennes-le-Chateau – by Gerard de Sede

This is the English translation of the book that got the whole Rennes-le-Chateau show on the road. It’s the book that Henry Lincoln (co-author of The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail) picked up in some grotty old bookstore for “holiday reading” and then realised it contained far more than the ramblings of a French journalist down on his luck and after a quick buck by trotting out a sensationalist story of buried treasure. This is the book in which were first printed the copies of the documents supposedly discovered by Berenger Sauniere in the Visigothic pillar of his parish church at Rennes-le-Chateau. Lincoln reportedly spotted the “code” latent in the documents and everything took off from there.

The book itself is quite cute, taking us through the by now familiar story of Sauniere’s discovery and his subsequent (and highly suspicious) meteoric rise from rags to riches. Because it is, in essence, the first book in the Rennes Mystery genre, it is uncluttered with all the other speculation that has since jumped on the bandwagon and is therefore a good opportunity to focus solely on the events surrounding Sauniere at Rennes-le-Chateau.

But be warned ! Cute is deceptive ! It transpires that the author, Gerard de Sede, was put up to publish the book in the first place by none other than that wonderful cloak-and-dagger mob, the Prieure de Sion. According to de Sede, he published the book under the Prieure’s instructions in the hope that “someone like Lincoln” would spot the clues that lay scattered through its pages and bring the mystery of Rennes to the eyes of the world. A strange way of going about it ? I’ll say ! Read the book and make up your own minds.

Cracking The Da Vinci Code – Simon Cox

The huge success of Dan Brown’s “The Da Vinci Code” will come as no surprise to anyone whose quest has taken them to study the events surrounding the enigma of Berenger Sauniere and Rennes-le-Chateau. Although a work of fiction, the book has served to bring to the public arena the issue of the Magdalene Deception perpetrated by the Catholic Church. Many other themes are woven into the fabric of the story that will be familiar to any visitor to this website genuinely interested in its content.

Simon Cox, the editor-in-chief of Phenomena a magazine dedicated to challenging accepted dogma, has produced one of the many books spawned from the Da Vinci Code’s success, attempting to enlighten any interested party as to the facts behind the fiction.

Cox’s book is laid out alphabetically (it starts with “Adoration of the Magi” and ends with “Vitruvian Man” with roughly a page or two on each subject in between) and although a little short on really meaty detail it does serve as a good reference source and contains an extensive bibliography for further reading.

We’d probably recommend reading the Da Vinci Code first though.

The Lost Treasure of the Knights Templar – Steven Sora

The Lost Treasure of the Knights Templar: Solving the Oak Island MysteryWell, well, well. What’s this one all about then? A very, very strange, very, very cleverly constructed shaft on an island in a bay in Nova Scotia that has so far defied all attempts at excavation. Who would sink such a cunning shaft and what lies at the bottom?

The author thinks it would have to be something pretty damn valuable for it to be worth going to all that trouble for. Pirate gold perhaps? There are some links in the area to Sir Francis Drake, Elizabeth the First’s legitimised high seas thug. Could he have sequestered away some of his hard earned pillaging from the Spanish bullion fleets here? Or maybe some other pirate’s bounty sits at the bottom of the so-called money-pit awaiting someone clever enough to overcome the booby-traps?

There is another candidate. It is rumoured that the Knights Templar had advance warning of the issuance of the Papal Bull announcing the demise of the order on Friday 13 th October 1307, and spirited the treasure of the Paris Temple away to their ships before Philip the Fair could lay his grubby hands on it. The Templar fleet left their base at La Rochelle and sailed out of history, never to be heard of again. Amongst other things, the treasure was said to include the lost hoard from the Temple of Jerusalem as well as whatever Messrs. Hugues de Payen and co. had uncovered during their highly dodgy excavations under the Temple Mount between 1118 and 1127.

Did the treasure find its way via a specially constructed chapel in southern Scotland to Nova Scotia’s Money Pit? Rosslyn Chapel, an edifice we have visited personally, does have some exceedingly weird carvings amongst which are depictions of plants which at the time could only be found on the North American continent. So what, you might say? Well, the strange thing is that these carvings were made several decades before Columbus is accredited with the discovery of America. Is this evidence that the Sinclair family (some members of which are known to have participated in voyages of discovery) removed the hoard buried beneath Rosslyn to a place of greater safety? The author certainly thinks so.

To back up his hypothesis, Steven Sora fills in a lot of background, much of which will be familiar to regular visitors to this website; the story of the Templars after their forced dispersal, their subsequent involvement in the Scottish Independence movement, and the mystery of Berenger Sauniere and Rennes-le-Chateau.

So, what’s down the pit? It’s a very clever piece of engineering. Who’ll be smart enough to outfox the designer?