The frequent switchbacks and the severe pitch of the road made the
drive up the steep hill to Rennes a bit of a challenge.
Before I knew it, after all those years since college, I was finally
in Rennes-le-Chateau. It felt like entering a fairy tale village
complete with water tank and cozy stone cottages. There was even the
kirk-kur-kur of a cock, the bird of dawn.
It was showtime!
I crawled around the tiny streets in my car (which seemed totally
out of place here). I passed a bookstore (which got my heart
thumping), the restaurant Les Pommes Bleues, which happened to be
out of business (not exactly a good sign), and a few stone doll
house cottages. I could live happily ever after with mon amor in one
of these, I thought to myself. I parked the car in a central guest
Stepping out of the car I left the dawning of the age of Aquarius
behind and transposed into an earlier and simpler time. Delicious
wood smoke puffing from multiple chimneys and the erotic odor of
fresh-baked bread filled the air: an eerie quiet too.
I stood on the sheer cliff admiring the astonishing, no --commanding
-- view from Rennes and took a deep breath of icy fresh air that
gusted over me from the snow-white peaks of the Pyrenees to the
south. It felt like a breath of life had breezed through my soul.
No picture in any book, or even my wildest hallucination, could have
prepared me for the breathtaking beauty of la val dieu (‘the valley
of God’) spread out before me, its vastness cut by patches of small
gardens and fields of grass gently blowing in the wind.
To my right only a couple of feet away way was the bizarre neogothic
tower I had fantasized about duplicating on the sheer cliff
overlooking the lake at my home. Hanging over the enormous valley
below, it looks imposing, almost evil, like a bullet that was
stopped dead in its tracks before penetrating its target.
It is called the Tower Magdala. Feverishly, I strode to it. The
mid-day sun had baked it warm. My palms absorbed the energy
radiating from the tower. Oh, God! I felt my first Rennes epiphany.
La Tour Magdala was named after Magdala the hometown of Mary
Magdalene. It was completed in 1905 by Berenger Sauniere, the
mystery priest of Rennes, on the sight of an earlier building which,
according legend, had exploded into the skies in the fourteenth
century, long before the first recorded use of gun powder in the
In front of me was a strangely level mountain across the valley.
Funny, I’d never seen pictures of that mountain in books.
Down a narrow path the runs beside the Tour Magdala I found the Holy
of Holies of my search: the Church of Mary Magdalene.
Dedicated to Mary Magdalene in 1059, the church at Rennes was built
on foundations said to have been laid by the Aryan Visigoths c. 410
AD.1 However, there is evidence that they built on much more ancient
foundations. A clue to its earlier builders is given in the ancient
name for this site: the Temple of Isis, the Egyptian goddess of the
The strangely level mountain top across the valley is called the
Temple of Osiris, after her mate.
The combination of its ancient and modern history holds the key to
the secret of the Blue Apples.
The short version of the modern mystery of the Church of Mary
Magdalene has it that one day in 1891 while making repairs on the
badly decaying church altar, a dirt poor Catholic priest name
Berengere Sauniere allegedly discovered a cache of
parchments concealed in wooden tubes.
Two of these parchments are said to be comprised of genealogies, one
dating from 1244, the other from 1644.2 The other two were composed
in the 1780’s by the Abbe Antoine Bigou, one of Sauniere’s
predecessors as the parish priest of Rennes-le-Chateau.3
In January, 1781, on the eve of the French Revolution, Lady Hautpoul,
owner of the chateau and trustee of the Rennes secret was dying.
Having no sons to bequeath her secret to, she decided to confide her
family’s past history, its secret, and some top-secret papers
containing white-hot secrets, to her confessor the abbe Antoine
On January 17, 1781 the lady Hautpoul died, but not before asking
abbe Bigou to pass along the Rennes secret to someone who would
preserve it. The abbe was terrified by what he learned.5
Abbe Bigou decided to pass the buck. He concealed all four documents
(and possibly a fifth) in the hollow Visigothic altar pillar inside
the church of Mary Magdalene.6 Bigou then had to figure a way to
communicate his secret. For starters, he he devised a cipher, which
was inscribed on the tombstone of the Lady d’Hautpoul and a stone
slab (which was placed on her grave), with the secret.
Then he turned a large 8th century slab set in front of the altar of
the Church, the “Dalle des Chevaliers,” face down.7 The “Dalle des
Chevaliers,” the Knight’s Gravestone depicts two scenes, both of
which involve an arch or a gateway. The first is a knight on a horse
sounding a horn or tone while his horse drinks water from a trough.
The second shows the same knight, this time with a staff in his
hand, and a child. Did the knight go through the arch and return
with the child in tow? This scene is duplicated on the 12th century
seal of the Knights Templar (shown here).
William Henry at the door to the Church of Mary Magdalene.
With this discovery, and the secrets these scrolls contained, voila,
Sauniere soon went from rags-to-big time ‘nouveaux riche’ and from
lowly churchman to the highest echelons of occult Parisian society.
The two genealogies are claimed to concern the Merovingian dynasty.7
The Merovingians are reported to be ‘pagan kings of the cult of
Diana.’ Merovee, who gave his name to the dynasty, is said to be the
result of the blending of the genetic material of a half-man,
half-fish god-being and a his human mother.8 The authors of Holy
Blood, Holy Grail suggest this legend is an allegorical
representation of the intermarriage between Merovee’s bloodline and
the descendents of Jesus and Mary Magdalene that became the
bloodline of Jesus – the Meru or Merovingians.9 I will provide an
alternative identification for the half-man, half-fish being later.
Among these parchments was one we’ll look at in detail momentarily,
which I call the Blue Apples Parchment. It should be stated that
these parchments have never since seen the light of day. Copies
abound however the originals are missing.
There is enormous controversy over the alleged ancient pedigree and
authenticity of these parchments. Some claim they’re not ancient at
all. Rather they’re the modern work of the mother of all secret
the Priory of Sion, whose earliest members are reputed to
have founded the Knights Templar.10
Whatever their source or age, the parchments remain remarkably
instructive. In fact, the content of these parchments is
breathtaking in their possible meaning.
The first parchment, what I’ll refer to as the SION Parchment, tells
of Jesus and his disciples exploring a cornfield on the Sabbath. The
story has been pulled together from three separate sources; Matthew
12:1-8, Mark 2:23-28, and Luke 6:1-5.
Closer inspection reveals that this parchment contains a cipher
which contains the message:
TO DAGOBERT II KING AND TO SION
BELONGS THIS TREASURE AND HE IS THERE DEAD.11
This cipher has been used by
many seekers to pry open the Rennes mystery, in particular the
connection with the Priory of Sion.
For others, this message also revealed a treasure map. It is of
immense interest to those seeking gold and other treasure in the
area of Rennes.
The strange arrangement of its letters concealed also a sacred
geometry whose decoding ultimately revealed the existence of a
twenty square mile pentagrammal temple as a landscape feature of
Rennes to Henry Lincoln 12 and to mathematician
David Wood 13 for one
example. It also revealed the alleged location of the Tomb of Jesus
to Richard Andrews and Paul Schellenberger (authors of The Tomb of
God)14 for another.
The second parchment I call the Blue Apples parchment.
“What the hell did they think they were doing when they wrote this
parchment?” I asked myself over and over while looking at the
It looked Greek to me.
Actually it’s an archaic Latin text, an excerpt from New Testament
stories of Jesus.
The Blue Apples Parchment begins with the word ‘Jesus’. It tells the
New Testament story of Jesus having dinner (with wine I presume) in
Bethany with Lazarus and Mary Magdalene.
Sprinkled throughout this parchment are a number of extra letters
that form the basis for a coded message. These letters are from an
unidentified independent text, without which this message or key is
simply gibberish. A Frenchman, Gerard de Sede, however, claims to
have had the means to decipher this text provided to him by, the
Priory of Sion.15
The story of de Sede’s decipherment of this coded manuscript is a
fascinating (though complicated) tale best told by other authors.
Suffice it to say its decipherment required that the letters be laid
out on a chessboard (a favorite Templar symbol for the soul’s life
on earth). Then, the decipherer had to make a series of Knight
moves.16 On a chessboard a Knight moves in ‘L’ shapes. This made me
think of the directions to Never-Never Land: “second to the right
(two chessboard squares to the right) and straight on till morning.”
The proper moves revealed a strange message provided by de Sede.
The literal translations into English of this message vary. However,
they approximate the following message:
NO TEMPTATION TO WHICH
POUSSIN AND TENIERS KEEP THE KEY PIECE 681
WITH THE CROSS AND THIS HORSE OF GOD
I COMPLETE OR DESTROY THIS
Silly doodling? A red herring? A fraud? At first glance this cipher
does appear to be total gibberish, a bunch of throwaway one-liners.
That’s probably why most researchers don’t pay any attention to it.
Actually, once I found a new way to look at it, I discovered that,
no matter what it is, it is pure virtuosity.
The Blue Apples Parchment is not just any cipher. It contains the
most profound secrets of the Jesus, the means to open a gateway to
the land of Amor. The Blue Apples symbolize these secrets.
An answer for why the Blue Apples symbolize these secrets comes from
Harold Bayley who made a massive study of the history of European
paper manufacture. He also began collecting the earliest watermarks,
which he published in his book The Secret Language of Symbolism.17
Bayley concluded that, after their persecution by the Church,
the Cathars and other residents of the Languedoc region were among the
earliest paper makers of the Middle Ages. Their watermarks, he says,
are nearly all symbols of religious nature, the total comprising a
secret language shared by those ‘in the know’.
One of their most important marks was that of the Grail. Frequently
it was shown as a vessel with a cluster of grapes or Blue Apples.
From this we may conclude that the Blue Apples are interchangeable
with the Holy Grail.
After exploring the secrets of the Holy Grail for the better part of
ten years, I focused on the Grail in its esoteric sense. In addition
to being a ‘hardware’ container or device, I viewed it as a
mysterious body of spiritual teachings, the ‘software’ for making it
The key to elucidating Jesus’ secret teaching concerning the Grail
is to remember that, in esoteric terms, alchemists know the Holy
Grail as the ‘Stone of God’.18 It is equated with the Philosopher’s
Stone of Immortality.19 (Some believe its secrets --which enable the
transmutation of the elements -are literally written on a stone.)
I had long believed the Stone of God was actually a (S)tone or a
tone of healing. It is a chord (or cord) that links man and God.
In other words, the Key of Life and the Key (S)tone or
are the same thing as the Blue Apples or Blue (S)tones of Rennes.
Upon their discovery Sauniere showed the parchments to Henry Boudet,
the abbe at nearby Rennes-le-Bain. Abbe Boudet is described in The Rennes Visitor’s Guide as a “highly cultured and erudite man,
especially in the fields of archaeology and ancient languages.”20
Many consider Boudet the real brains behind the Rennes story.
Sauniere was his assistant.
Boudet suggested to Sauniere that he visit his superior, the bishop
of Carcassonne.21 Upon reviewing the parchments, the bishop
immediately dispatched Sauniere on an all expenses paid trip to
Paris.22 During his three weeks there Sauniere turned the parchments
over to Church palaeographic experts and decoders of medieval
Specifically, Sauniere allegedly offered his story to the mystery
men of St. Sulpice in Paris, the center of occult study for the
Catholic Church in France that was built on the foundations of a
temple of Isis in 1645.23 What did the masterminds of this sanctuary
Whatever it was it probably accounts for the reason why the skinny
church mouse from tiny Rennes was received like a fat cat by the
highest echelons of Church authorities and Parisian society.
Included among the admirers was the famed opera singer Emma Calve,24
a beauty who was the Madonna of her time and known to be the high
priestess of an esoteric Parisian occult society called the Rose
Cross of the Temple and the Grail.25 The priest and the opera singer
are reported to have grown quite amorous during her many visits to Rennes.
Also, Sauniere went to work tearing the Church of Mary Magdalene
apart for further clues, including some strange activities in the
graveyard of the Church.
No one is certain what Sauniere discovered when he parted the waters
of Rennes. Whatever it was it accounted for the source of his
wealth. The Church wrote nasty letters to Sauniere accusing him of
simony (the selling of pardons).26 The Church wished for the world
to know Sauniere as nothing more than the pioneer of the modern-day
televangelists whose mail-order religion is pure fraud.
Of course, this charge trivializes the secrets of Rennes-le-Chateau.
The Rennes mystery lives without Sauniere.
Along with his friend and comrade, Henry Boudet, he devised a plan
to preserve this mystery and encode its secret.
Perhaps taking a cue from the pyramid builders who etched the sacred
wisdom of ancient Egypt on the limestone casing stones of the Great
Pyramid, or the Egyptian scribes who encoded the Pyramid Texts
(hieroglyphic writings on the walls of the temples at Heliopolis
which contain the instructions for rebirth of the Pharaohs) on
ancient temple walls, or possibly even King Solomon, Boudet and
Sauniere concealed the instruction manual for the Rennes mystery
within the Church of Mary Magdalene.
The ancient name for this site: the Temple of Isis, suggests that it
is best studied in parallel to Egyptian Mother Earth cults known as
Black (meaning ‘hidden’) Madonna or Isis cults that are prevalent in
the Languedoc. In France the ‘Madonna’ is not the Virgin Mary.
Magdalene, the bearer of Jesus’ children (the Holy Grail) is the
The word Madonna brings clarity to the connection between Jesus and
Egypt. Madonna is composed of the elements M (mem is ‘water’) and
adon. Earlier we noted that adon means lord and is derived from the
Egyptian word aton, the sun disk channeled by the Key of Life.
Substituting the ‘d’ and the ‘t’ Madonna is M-atonna or M of ATON,
the waters or Key of Life. Allowing for this substitution, the
Madonna cult is the cult of the Key of Life.
If the Key of Life is the same as the Grail, then the M or waters of
life of ATON is the same as the Blue Apples.
The Blue Apples must be what is being channeled through the Key of
Life into the nostrils of Isis in the depiction on page 16. The
question is, what, exactly, are the Blue Apples?
The answer may be
found in Egypt.
Hints of the Egyptian mysteries are everywhere evident at Rennes. A
nearby mountain is called Seribouru or Sabaru. A statue of Isis was
found nearby in the 1800’s. The river Sals, which sounds similar to
the river Sais in Egypt, runs through Rennes-les-Bains the twin
village of Rennes-le-Chateau. There’s even a local village called
Luc Sur, Aude (phonetically similar to Luxor in Egypt).
In her formidable book The Refuge of the Apocalypse, Rennes resident
and author Elizabeth van Buren reveals the direct connection between Rennes and Egypt “Rennes is Egypt,” Ms. Van Buren directly.27
I put this nonsensical statement right up there with that bizarre
statement from Revelation 11:8;
“And their bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which
spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was
Jesus was crucified in Egypt, and not Jerusalem?
The word Egypt cloaks a confusing mess of meanings: black land, land
of the moon, land of alchemy, land of transmutation.
There is a definite connection between Rennes-le-Chateau and
The original name for Egypt was Ta-Mari, which means ‘Mother Love’.28
The Cathars of the Languedoc (whom we will meet again momentarily)
claimed they possessed the secret gospel of Jesus called the
of Love. They called the land of the immortals AMOR, love. They said
Jesus came from this place.29 He had come to lead his sheep out of
Earth or ROMA (the mirror image of AMOR).
This book was the foundation of the Church of Love. It is equated
with the Grail. This secret manuscript is attributed to Jesus who
gave it to John the Divine. The existence of the Book was revealed
when the Church subjected the Cathars to torture. Its contents were
said to transform ordinary men into supermen, or Homo sapiens into
Homo Christos. Its power was such that it could cause all hatred,
all anger, and all jealousy to vanish from the hearts of men. Once
ignited the Christ Light of Amor or Love, like a new flood, would
submerge all souls and never again would blood be shed on this
The German mythologist Otto Rahn believed the Pure One’s mastery of
the Book of Love enabled them to participate in the ultimate human
experience: transforming or metamorphosing themselves into beings
(or ‘flow-ers’) of light and becoming immortal inhabitants of the
indescribably beautiful world(s) of Amor.
The Buddhists called this realm ‘the Pure Land’. The Christians and
Hebrews called it ‘the Promised Land’. In addition, the Cathars were
concerned with the transmutation of matter, the transforming of the
elements from one form to another. The land of AMOR is said to be
far more beautiful than can possibly be imagined on Earth. Upon
awakening from a possible dream journey to this place, Jacob, an Old
Testament ancestor of Jesus, looked around him and exclaimed,
“Terrible is this place!” In comparison to AMOR, “Earth is ugly!”
Is it just me, or after we do the mythological math, does
‘Egypt/Amor’ sound like a spiritual place that might have deeply
interested Jesus? Do the activities that went on there,
i.e. alchemy and transmutation, have anything to do with that
mystery of all mysteries, the Holy Grail and the Blue Apples?
Yes they do. Furthermore, they pertain not only to Jacob’s
experience with the ladder reaching into heaven, but to the
Crucifixion since the Grail was present at both the Last Supper,
where the Grail secrets were revealed, and the Crucifixion, where the
results of these secrets were retrieved.
We shall unravel more of this perplexing
Egypt/Amor-Grail-Crucifixion-Rennes connection momentarily. First,
let us continue to follow the trail of Berenger Sauniere and the
clues to the Blue Apples this reveals.
During the restoration of the Church of Mary Magdalene Sauniere was
travelling throughout Europe bringing home large amounts of cash
wherever he went. Money orders also conveniently arrived by mail,
all in the name of Marie Denarnaud his eighteen year-old confidant,
girlfriend and housekeeper who always dressed in the latest Paris
It is believed Sauniere shared his secret with Marie, who promised
to reveal their secret before her death in 1953. Unfortunately, she
suffered a massive stroke which left her mute and paralyzed, and
therefore unable to communicate her secret.32
After the inauguration of the Church in 1905, Sauniere embarked on
major construction projects throughout the mountain top village.
While Albert Einstein toiled at his day job at the Swiss patent
office discovering the theory of relativity, and
Nikola Tesla was
attempting to build a stargate, and Edison was trying to construct a
machine for communicating with the dead, and Tesla’s former
assistant Marconi was intercepting messages from Mars (or so he
thought), Sauniere built:
the Tower Magdala, the neogothic
tower that housed a portion of his immense book collection
a spectacular Mediterranean-style house called the Villa Bethania
a semi-circular belvedere which
hugged the side of the cliff with a second tower at the end
of it, crowned with a conservatory and loaded with thousands
a park with fountains and a small zoo.
With brazen disregard for the Catholic faith, the renegade priests
Sauniere and Boudet also filled the Church of Mary Magdalene with a
bizarre collection of religious statues and paintings.
The 14 Stations of the Cross are depicted, each one slightly or
entirely twisted from its ‘official’ meaning. For instance, one
shows a Scotsman in kilts observing the crucifixion. Another statue
is of the Virgin Mary, with the word MISSION on the pedestal.
Strangely, the letters are separated to spell MIS SION. Does this
refer to M-Is Sion or M-Istory of Sion? Another, even more powerful
depiction, shows two thieves carrying an alive, but unconscious,
Jesus from his buriel tomb under moonlight.
Sauniere’s (or Boudet’s) brazen disregard (or merciless political
incorrectness) reached its zenith when he installed a demon guardian
at the front door; a stooped figure with fiery blue eyes and
sporting a green robe.
This figure’s strangeness is so high he has the propensity for
upsetting the apple cart of many Rennes visitors. In fact, many
Catholics go ballistic at the mere sight of this devil. In 1996 one
of the frantic faithful chopped off the poor guy’s head and
absconded with it. Fortunately, for posterity’s sake, the head was
soon recovered and glued back on the devil.
This is the only known devil to be found inside a Catholic Church
anywhere in the world. Many believe he is the devil for the fact
that his head is horned.
In the M-Istery tradition, however, the horns are rays of light, and
were symbolic of the highest initiates. For example, Michaelangelo
Moses with horns. We know Moses was not the devil.
Therefore, the possibility exists that this green-robed fella is not
the Devil either.
Devil or not devil, why is this figure here? Why is he wearing a
The SION parchment discovered by Sauniere is said to have a clearly
visible ‘hidden’ text sprinkled in 8 letters throughout the
document. It spells out REX MUNDI – ‘King of the World’. Rex Mundi
was the name of the Devil of the Cathars.33
“Cults can survive
without a belief in God,” says Eric Hoffer, “but never without a
belief in the Devil.”34
As far as devils go, this one got around.
The Buddhists also believe in the
King of the World, a figure who
lives in a paradise in the Inner Earth. Many people think he’s the
same as the demon Rex Mundi. (We all know Rex Mundi as the source of
the Rx found on our modern-day prescriptions.) If this is so, it
appears the Buddhist (Eastern) and Christian (Western) religions
converge at Rennes-le-Chateau. We will have more to say about this
devil in the next chapter.
In his pompousness Sauniere was not simply being ostentatious or
spiritually incorrect. He had a brilliant plan. All of the above
were Sauniere and Boudet’s objects d’art which attempt to conceal
and convey what may be the secret of the Blue Apples.
The idea was for people to come to Rennes (as they did in ancient
Egypt) and read the church like a book… or even a riddle.
The answer to the riddle, I believe, was placed above the entrance
to the church where Sauniere placed the inscription “Terrible is
This Place!” As noted, these are the exact words used by Jacob (c.
2000 B.C.) after his journey through the gate to heaven.
The words which follow in Jacob’s quotation from Genesis 28:17 are:
“This is none other but the house of
God, and this is the gate to
The combination of these three clues: the statues and paintings, the
demon guardian, and the inscriptions, I am convinced, reveal the
secret of Rennes.
Sauniere is telling us Rennes-le-Chateau is a is a terrible place, a
(star)gateway to Heaven. Like Jaocob’s ladder it is a place for the
soul to ascend to Heaven.