“They shall call the people unto the mountain; there they shall offer sacrifices of righteousness: for they shall suck of the abundance of the seas, and of treasures hid in the sand.”
Deuteronomy 33:1

This mystery ‘called’ me what seems a lifetime ago, in 1982. Back then, I was an innocent sophomore at a small, very southern Baptist college in Nashville, Tennessee; the kind where dancing and chewing bubble gum were forbidden.

I’ll never forget one particular bright and crisp fall morning. There I sat, minding my own business in my sociology class. Suddenly, my professor -- an ex-Marine and Bible-thumping former Texas marshal --took a long sip of coffee, and without warning, assigned us to do a book report. “Review a current book whose theme would affect Christianity,” he said.

I answered the call like a wise-assed kid, and wrote a 44 page, John Lennon-inspired ‘review’ based on the controversial bestseller Holy Blood, Holy Grail.1 (It was that or a report on a book that solved the puzzle of William Shakespeare’s identity and what’s really hidden in the bard of Avon’s tomb.)

Boom! It was the end of innocence for me.

In 1982 John Lennon’s Imagine was the song for me. He asked us to imagine a world without devisive religion. In their blasphemous work Holy Blood, Holy Grail authors and BBC documentary-makers Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln asked us to imagine no Crucifixion, too.

In gripping fashion they presented astonishing, supposedly incontrovertible, evidence to support their heretical hypothesis that the Crucifixion of Jesus was actually a cruci-fiction, a carefully scripted drama!

After the Crucifixion, say legends, an alive and well Jesus traveled to Egypt, India2 and perhaps even America.3

Mary Magdalene traveled with Philip the Apostle and other early Christians, and landed at Ratis, a place now called Les Saintes Maries de la Mer, near Marseille, France. 4

According to the legends that spread through the grapevine of Southern France, Mary Magdalene was a temple priestess of royal lineage. The Midi and Languedoc regions were her ancestral lands. Mary lived in retreat in Rennes le Chateau, then at St. Baume (Aix en Provence) where she died (AD 63).5

The same authorities say that when Mary arrived in France she was pregnant with Jesus’ child. As Mssrs. Baigent, Leigh and Lincoln keenly observed, if one breaks the word sangraal, “holy grail,” after the ‘g’ it renders the word as sang raal, which means “Royal Blood” in Old French.6

From this perspective, the Holy Grail is not a simple carpenter’s cup. It is the children of Jesus and Mary Magdalene, the royal bloodline of Israel. The offspring of this royal bloodline spawned the Merovingian dynasty that ruled France from 476 to 750 AD. For those who subscribe to this belief, the search for the Holy Grail ends in the royal houses of Europe.

The theory that Jesus survived the Crucifixion combined with the notion that he had children formulate the core of the Grail heresy.

Though I’m not sure I was convinced of everything in Holy Blood, Holy Grail – I later learned the author’s took poetic license with one of their key facts – I was convinced that large portions of the evidence they presented upheld this heresy. I was hooked. Rennes-le-Chateau and the mysteries of Jesus and Mary Magdalene became a subject of a now decades long fascination for me.

Rennes-le-Chateau is place of enormous intrigue. Simply, I have found no other place like it on Earth. Tucked away in the shadows of the snow-capped peaks of the Pyrenees in the rugged wine country of Southern France, Rennes is one of the most mysterious parts of France and all of Europe. The air of this place is vibrant with secrets.

Rennes-le-Chateau is approximately twenty-five miles ‘as the heron flies’ from Carcassonne. The many natural and man-made landmarks including castles, chateaus and mountains that form the backdrop for this historic landscape, quickly mesmerized me as I travelled along the Aude river valley road D118 through Limoux headed for Rennes to investigate the Grail heresy.

A hundred years or so ago Napoleon Bonaparte ordered the narrow straight away from Carcassonne built. He planted trees to shade his troops as they sped along. The further one drives the more one sees vibrant people of all ages fishing, hiking, climbing, canoeing, and biking.

There’s only one word to describe the people of Southern France and their home: it’s tres exhilarating!


“A city that is set on hill cannot be hid”.
Matthew 5:13

Strong word of mouth (and the stir caused by Holy Blood, Holy Grail) has served as the powerful undertow which causes 20,000 people to make pilgrimages to Rennes each year, all seeking something of immense personal meaning. Rennes is not on tourist maps. Many of them arrive just as I had, wondering where the hell is the turn?!

Somewhere down the road was the turn-off to the mountain top village. My only clue to its whereabouts was a sign for a restaurant called “Les Pommes Bleues” and the help of locals.

Finally I entered the quaint town of Couiza, the village neighboring Rennes. Amidst the bakeries, cafes and markets there isn’t a single indication of a tourist information bureau. To make matters worse, the local shop owners were scurrying around, closing for their l-e-n-g-t-h-y lunch hour. The welfare of a wayward spiritual tourist was not on their mind.

At times like this I wish I had learned to speak French, was connected to a global satellite positioning system, or, and especially, was in the company of mon amor, that scintillating, French-speaking, blond woman I missed at the frozen yogurt shop back in the USA.

As my thoughts drifted to the two of us dirty dancing to Bruce Springsteen’s song In Gloria’s Eyes blaring on the car radio in a parking lot on a hot, moonlit mid-summer’s eve…

Out of the blue a road sign that sat at the base to a steep mountain road screamed “Blue Apples!” over the blasting music in my mind.

That’s the sign! I’m a true believer in two things: love and miracles. To me, finding that inconspicuous and weathered wooden sign was practically a miracle.

I put my rental car in neutral parallel to the sign and marveled at its depiction of a hard guy-looking priest holding a light as if revealing a long-held holy secret. Beside him, big as day, were the holy words, ‘Les Pommes Bleues’: Blue Apples.

The priest is Berenger Sauniere, “the mystery priest of Rennes.” The sign portrays him discovering a secret of immense value. We’ll become acquainted with him and his secret momentarily.

I remembered the directions given to me by a colleague in the United States. “Go left at the Blue Apples sign and straight on till Rennes-le-Chateau.” The directions reminded me of those to Peter Pan’s Never Never Land, which is second to the right and straight on till morning.

“Blue Apples” is the last line of a mysterious parchment that appeared at Rennes at the turn of the twentieth century. Since ancient times the apple has symbolized the science of immortality. Like Eve’s apple of knowledge of the Garden of Eden.

But there’s no such thing as a blue apple, you say? Your’re right. Like the blue rose it is an alchemical symbol for the impossible.7

At Rennes the French said forget about apples, we’ll symbolize this secret knowledge by a cluster of our large, beautiful grapes, or Blue Apples.

Actually, the French word pommes comes from op om, the Sun Ball.8 The English apple, says Webster’s Dictionary,9 also means eye, stone or anything round. Rolling these definitions together reveals that the Blue Apples can refer to the ‘Blue Eye of the Sun’. It could also refer to ‘Blue Stones’.

I slid my car into gear and began the slow, serpentine crawl up the steep mountain road to Rennes. The enchanted countryside spread out before me reminded me of a fairy tale kingdom.

In the distance I could see the splendid ruins of Coustassa, a Knights Templar castle. The Templar were formed in 1100 AD. Among their earliest purposes was the recovery of the treasure hidden within the tunnels under the Temple of Solomon.10 These ‘Knights of Christ’ are also reputed to have guarded the secrets of Jesus.11 I felt the Templar history as if it were alive all around me. Any second I expected to see Templar knights on hard-charging big white horses emerging from a hyper-reality wearing their trademark white tunics with red crosses.

I continued to ascend the twisting pathway to Rennes. If taken at great speed the turns could be stomach lurching. So, I crept along.

Legend and scientific proof hint humans have been hiking up this hill and stashing the white-hot secrets of the ages here ever since the Stone Age.

The Celts and Druids, followed in succession by the Visigoths, Romans, Christians, Cathars, Knights Templar, Troubadours and Nazis came and left.

Even the Egyptians are implicated in this mystery.

Billions of dollars in gold, priceless ancient documents, the secrets of the gods, the bones of Jesus,12 the library of Jesus, all are thought to be buried in these shifting sands.

Rennes-le-Chateau is a mystery wonderland because of the prospect of these and other mysteries.

Illustrious men of genius such as Leonardo da Vinci, Isaac Newton, and Jules Verne have come and left this stage sharing company with such illustrious mystic titans as the 17th century painter Nicolas Poussin, Voltaire, Richard Wagner and Claude Debussy.14 All came to Rennes seeking her light.

All left clues as to the real secret treasure of Rennes-le-Chateau: the secret of the Blue Apples.

Where there are apples in myths there’s usually serpents or dragons. The Celts called Eve’s paradise Avalon, or Apple-land, the land across the western sea where heroes and gods fed on the apples of immortality. The famous winged serpent or flying dragon that many heroes of yore have sought to slay guarded these apples.

The power the secret Rennese conceals may explain why darkness does a thriving business here, too. This tiny village has dark elements of top secret U.S. military installations such as Area 51, Nevada; Pine Gap, Australia; Los Alamos, New Mexico; Michael Air Force Base, Utah; and the basement of the Vatican all rolled into one. The day before I arrived three C-130 military aircraft circled Rennes for three hours at 1,500 feet. What were they doing there? What were they looking for?

Looming large over this terrain is lore thick with superstition, thieves and even evil. If you believe half of this propaganda you probably ought to be institutionalized.

On the other hand, if you believe and discover the other half of the Rennes mystery lode, you might just join the immortals.

Certain religious and political authorities would prefer that whatever esoteric tidbits are hidden at Rennes never see the light of day. These authorities aggressively protect this desire. For once the secret of Rennes is revealed, say the legends, it will wreak hell on the existing world order. That is why this sandbox is usually covered with deep (shark-infested) water, and why its secret wisdom is so closely watched.

Before further exploring the potential nature of this wisdom I’d like to divert this stream of consciousness for a moment to discuss one of its most important metaphors: water.

Water has always been a big word and a big mystery to me. Ever since I was a kid growing up near Detroit, Michigan I have always loved big mysteries. The incredible ability water has to conceal and protect mysteries has always puzzled me.

My determined fascination with water started when my parents took me and my (beautiful!) sisters to Bar Harbor, Maine for a vacation.

We arrived at night. In the morning, I could see our hotel room overlooked the bay and the tall ships that had gathered for a Fourth of July festival. I crouched in the sand bar outside our room mesmerized by the shells and the assorted beach creatures. When we returned that afternoon the tide had come in and covered everything up! I was in shock. This was my first experience with the concept of high tide and low tide, and with our planet’s interaction with the moon.

When I was twelve, my dad owned an interest in a salvage company that salvaged sunken ships on the Great Lakes of Michigan. On summer weekends he’d cut me loose with his diving team of frog men and former Navy SEALs searching for sunken galleons laden with treasure. (That’s a bit romantic. Actually we hauled steel and copper ingots off of sunken freighters).

These early water lessons would become immensely valuable to me when I grew up. In my twenties I designed and produced subliminal self-help audio tapes with disguised positive messages. The messages were embedded beneath surface sounds so as to arouse and attract the attention of the subconscious mind and allow them to sail past the censorship of the conscious mind. The most effective sound for disguising these messages, we learned, was the sound of ocean waves gently crashing on a shore.

Later, when I became an investigative mythologist and began exploring the deep waters of wisdom of esoteric mythology, I encountered a similar concealment technique. I learned that ‘water’ was frequently used as a literary scarecrow device to protect ancient mystic secrets (including those of Rennes-le-Chateau).

A good analogy of how this literary concealment process works is revealed in the burial practices of the ancients.15 It was customary to bury kings surrounded by their royal treasures in secret chambers concealed below riverbeds.

The process begins with damming the river, diverting its course, and then excavating and preparing the burial chamber. Then, with the dead king and his treasures safely tucked away, the chamber would be sealed, and the river released. In seconds a transparent wall of water would protect the treasure for eternity. The only way to recover the treasure would be to part the river once more. (That is, unless a secret passage was built into the chamber.) The original manuscripts of William Shakespeare were believed to have been concealed in a similar underwater vault in the Wye River in southeast Wales. Shakespeare himself -- or Sir Francis Bacon -- wrote of a king buried beneath the River Soar in England.

Myths and stories conceal wisdom-bearing secrets in a similar manner to the way the ancients buried their kings. Stories and myths act like water to conceal and protect hidden secrets below. Most of the biblical stories, for example, are merely the ‘water’ that covers and protects hidden, esoteric truths that only the most determined seekers discover.

As Moses and Jesus knew, ‘stilling the waves’ or ‘parting’ or ‘walking upon’ the waters of myth enable us to cross over to get to the other side -- the land of immortality.

These ‘waters of life’, the primal waters of cosmic energy, are the waters of wisdom (the Holy Light) which separate the mortals from the immortals. In seeking this Holy Light my goal is to cross the real ‘Great Lake’ and join the great story-tellers on the other side.

I have made it my business to seek and understand ancient tales of men (and women):

  • who crossed or poured out this water (as did the Sumerian goddess Mari/Inanna)

  • who watched over these waters (as did Osiris)

  • who sailed these waters (as did the Sumerian god E.A.)

  • who walked on this water (as did Jesus and the Mayan Peacemaker Quetzalcoatl)

  • who parted this water (as did Moses and Alexander the Great)

  • who were destroyed by this water (as was Atlantis)

  • who were saved from drowning in this water (as was the Iroquois Peacemaker Deganawidah)

  • who flew through this water in a resurrection machine (like Elijah’s Whirlwind)

  • or bore through it via stargates or wormholes (which legends claim the mysterious beings we’ll talk about momentarily did).

One thing I know, these ‘waters’ are the same as those which conceal the mysteries at Rennes-le-Chateau. They are not necessarily those you drink (although they may be). They are the living waters, the waters of immortality prophesied to appear in our time by the prophet Isaiah who said “the Earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” 16

The person responsible for diverting these waters to Rennes was Jesus and Mary Magdalene, his chief apostle and spiritual partner. (Incidentally Mary’s name comes through the Latin mare, meaning ‘sea’.)

In the Grail tradition, Mary emerges as a lightning rod of brilliant, focused, religio-political thought and action who had little resemblance to the diminutive and repentant prostitute portrayed by the Church. She constantly questioned Jesus, as if she were checking his work, and was the benefactor of his most advanced and secretive scientific teachings concerning the universe.

One of the tenets of the Grail heresy holds that the marriage of Jesus and Mary Magdalene was a dynastic union between a son of the royal House of David, and a royal daughter of the Benjaminites, one of the original twelve tribes of Jacob/Israel. Their union was intended to solidify the political aspirations of these two families. Mary and Jesus’ children (twin boys, one of whom became St. John of the Light, or a girl named Sarah, depending up the story) assured its future.

Upon his death, it is believed Jesus gave his personal possessions and most secret oral teachings to his ‘apostle of the apostles’, Mary Magdalene, who secreted them away to await the return of their owner.

The exact nature of these secrets is unknown. However, the Knights Templar may have provided a vital clue. The Languedoc region --which stretches from Provence to the eastern Pyrenees and includes Rennes --was home to the highest concentration of Knights Templar in Europe. The ruins of their castles and commanderies haunt this land. Many believe the secrets of Solomon’s Temple are to be found in the Languedoc.

In their book In Search of the Holy Grail and the Precious Blood,18 Ean and Deike Begg tell of the bizarre graffiti found in the chateau at Domme, France, where Knights Templar were imprisoned after the persecution by the Catholic Church in 1307. Here is found a depiction of the Crucifixion that is slightly twisted from the accepted Church version (or the Church version is twisted from the original event). Joseph of Arimathea (Jesus’ wealthy uncle) is shown catching precious droplets of Jesus’ (royal blue) blood (presumably with the Holy Grail).

On Jesus’ left is a pregnant woman holding a wand or a rod.

According to the Gnostic legends, and early Christian art, Jesus possessed the Egyptian ankh or Key of Life (Light). This is both an advanced technology, a Rod of Miracles which once belonged to Moses, and a spiritual teaching which enables one to raise their spiritual bandwidth to master this technology.

The myths I accumulated in my book The Peacemaker and the Key of Life 19 record that the Key of Life may be used to transfer souls from one dimension to another, level mountains, control natural phenomena, and for healing. In this work I will show it is also the key piece to opening ancient stargates.

The Key of Life was also present at the Crucifixion of Jesus. We know this because the Key of Life was made from a branch that grew on the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden.

According to medieval Christian legend, Adam was buried on Golgotha (‘the Skull’).20 His son Seth returned to the Garden of Eden to retrieve a branch from the Tree of Life. He planted it on Golgotha where it grew into Christ’s Cross, the Tree of Crucifixion. Before the Flood Noah dug up the Tree for safekeeping in the Ark. After the Flood, he buried Adam’s skull under Mount Cavalry, where Jesus was later Crucified.

The knowledge of the branch or Key of Life was handed down through the line of Shem, son of Noah, from generation to generation, until it reached Abraham, Jesus’ ancestor. Abraham’s great-grandson Joseph brought it with him to Egypt where he rose to highest rank in the Pharaoh’s court. There, the Key of Life remained among the treasures of the Egyptian kings until it passed to the hands of Moses.

According to Exodus,21 after his conversation with God in the midst of the burning bush Yahweh himself taught Moses to ‘make’ (a police term for ‘identify’) his Rod of Miracles which was able to bring water (wisdom) out of (s)tone22 and part the waters of the Red Sea (the blood).23

After failing to properly glorify God the second time he struck the rock, Moses was barred from the Promised Land.24 He planted the Rod (and presumably the Grail Pillar) in the hills of Moab, near Jerusalem. According to legend, after a massive search King David retrieved it.25 His son Solomon installed it in the Temple of Solomon.

Moses removing his sandals and striking or loosing water from a rock.

Catacomb of St. Callixtus, Rome, fourth century.

What did David, a musician and poet, and Solomon, also a poet discover and install in the Temple? Insight is found in the fact that Moses was raised in the Pharaoh’s royal court26 and was, therefore, likely trained in all the wisdom of the Egyptians. Assuredly he would have known that the Key of Life was an Egyptian technology most closely identified with Thoth, the ibis-headed god of magic.

Thoth (right) resurrects Osiris with the Key of Life.

Isis is receiving the breath of life from Ra and transferring it to Horus via her breast. Standing before her, ankh or Key of Life in hand, is Amon-Ra the Egyptian ‘Lord of Eternal Light’. Standing behind her is Thoth. The second chapter of Genesis offers a similar description of the Key in use: “And Yahweh, Elohim (Shining One), fashioned the Adam of the clay of the soil;and He blew in his nostril the breath of life, and the Adam turned into a living Soul.”

It is vital to note that following a strict genealogy, esoteric Egyptologists believe Thoth reappeared in the form of an Egyptian pharaoh named Akhenaton, who ruled Egypt from 1364-1347 BC. This coincides with the time of Moses.

Akhenaton and his bride Nefertiti receive the Key of Life from the Aton disk.

Akhenaton was called the ‘Heretic King’ because he defied the power of the establishment priests.27 He introduced a monotheistic Mystery religion based upon the principles of light from a hidden Central Sun that he called Aton, or simply ‘the Disk’. He is frequently depicted receiving the Key of Life from Aton.

Aton is the root for Adon or “Lord,” a title later given to Jesus. Later, though it is not widely known, the first Christians believed Jesus acquired the Key of Life, using it to perform many of His miracles.

Jesus uses the Key of Life or wand of miracles to raise Lazarus from the dead.

Vatican Museum

The early Christian belief that Jesus possessed this branch or wand was profusely demonstrated in their characterizations of him found in the catacombs of Rome with wand in hand performing miracles, including turning water into wine and raising Lazarus from the dead.

It is quite apparent from the connection between these names and the continuity of the depictions of Thoth, Akhenaton and Jesus above that the secrets of Peace (the Grail/immortality) had something to do with music (tones or keys).

It also suggests Jesus perpetuated the Egyptian teaching of not only Moses, but also Thoth and Akhenaton.

Aton is a word play for a tone or a tune.

Interestingly, when, in the Bible, Zecharia prophesies that the Lord will be carried into Jerusalem on an ass he uses the word ATHON, so close to ATON. In Hebrew the male ass is called the hamor (‘H-AMOR’), the she-ass ATHON.28 It would make a staggering difference if the Hebrew scribes, fond as they were of word play, used the word athon as a pun for Aton or a tone, the Key of Life.

Was the Templar grafitti on the cave walls at Domme indicating that Mary Magadalene brought the Key of Life to France? A cipher found at Rennes says that Mary Magdalene holds ‘the Key Piece’. Is this the Key of Peace or the Key of Life?

Is the Rod of God or the Key of Life of the Peacemaker at Rennes?

We will begin to answer this question in the next chapter.


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