Interview with Pierre
Rennes le Chateau researcher for more than forty years
Beaucoup de mercis
Translated From French
Pierre Jarnac: "I am a researcher!"
In August 2004, the writer and researcher, Pierre Jarnac, received the
drafting of the Gazette of Rennes le Chateau. We were pleased to meet an
impassioned and enthralling man. Among all the authors and researchers, he is
undoubtedly one of the best references, even if he has defended some. With an
aim of following the topicality, exchanges of courriels supplemented the
The course of the researcher Pierre Jarnac
La Gazette of RLC:
Pierre Jarnac, how did you catch the virus of the research of the treasures?
Pierre Jarnac: I had been for approximately sixteen or seventeen years, I was
interested by the treasures and the wrecks, underwater archaeology more
especially. I read the books of Jean de Kerdéland and Robert Charroux. At 17
years, "Treasures of the world" captivated me and it is in this book that I
first found knowledge of Rennes le Chateau... In 1968, I had in my hand "the
Gold of Rennes" which I read. In March 1969, I started my adventure towards...
Rennes le Chateau. Traditional course: Paris-Carcassonne, then the rail-car
until Couiza and climbing of the hill! I stayed one week at Henri Buthion's; I
was his only customer. His reception was exceptional. I benefited from him to
discover the area: the Armchair of the Devil, Roulers, Serbaïrou (all that on
foot). In the church, the wood plate "Jésus. Medèla" was still under the high
altar and the arm of the centurion of Station 10 of the 'Way of the Cross' was
not yet broken. Lastly, the basin of the old baptismal font always enthroned in
the garden beside the church. At the time, one came to Rennes le Chateau for the
treasure! During following years, I met Gerard and Sophie de Sède, Franck Marie,
Alain Châtillon and Henri de Lens; then, in 1972, I came to know Jean-Luc
Chaumeil. We exchanged information on Philippe de Cherisey and Pierre Plantard
(who agreed to meet me in 1976). Except professional context, I published in
1977 the "Guide of the treasure hunter" under the pseudonym of Géraud de Cayron
(a pseudonym which was not innocent). I worked then in Paris, within two steps
of the National Library, which allowed me to go there almost daily. After having
made some other works (devoted mainly to the underwater excavations), I
published, finally, in 1985 my "History of the treasure of Rennes le Chateau" to
the Bélisane editions. The following year, I worked as a freelance journalist
for the review "Treasures of the history" (which supported me there for fifteen
years, until 2000).
The Treasury which 'cursed of Rennes le Chateau'
of Gerard de Sède
Gazette of RLC: Many Net surfers as writers, but did you know you give up
your research [to them]?
Pierre Jarnac: My vocation is rather that of the researcher. It is an
annoying current drift to believe that there is nothing to find. I am persuaded
that there is something to discover and that it is palpable! The book of Gerard
de Sède, "the Gold of Rennes", is written to seek and one can find! It acts of a
book with keys. All the first researchers agree. His book besides was published
and republished with more than 200 000 specimens. Currently, submerged by
apocryphal books, false documents and misled by false tracks, many researchers
discourage certainly and think that all this history is only one assembly, a
lure and that there is nothing to find and, not gold. Some choose however
stories of interesting hidden documents the Vatican, even an improbable
discovery (vis: "the tomb of Christ"; besides it was necessary to await the
arrival of Henry Lincoln to hear a similar assumption), the whole, obviously,
under the crook of secret societies.
At the time of Bérenger Saunière
Gazette of RLC: Which is the origin of the funds perceived by Saunière? Or,
rather, origins? Was this a traffic of masses? Was it paid to do or have done
Pierre Jarnac: I do not believe in the traffic of masses. When Saunière is
questioned by its bishop, he confesses to have honoured all the received
requests and his bishop believes it! Before the lawsuit, the money comes from
religious congregations; after, private individuals and the noble ones. It is
also necessary to hold account of various periods. Sometimes, they are requests
for masses, sometimes for other things... The part played by the Abbé Boudet is
not clearly known; on the other hand, the priest of Rennes les Bains is at the
origin of the choice of the decoration of the church (and it is not an
assumption). It is not even sure that Saunière included/understood the true
direction of its implication, even if he realized that he was used. But
that was appropriate to him since what one awaited from him corresponded to his
own options (at least with regard to the restoration of the parish church).
However, there is not a doubt that Saunière and Boudet were two temperaments
which were opposed. I think that Boudet did not intervene any more after 1897,
after having obtained what he had awaited from his fellow-member. Saunière also
discovered a oule (a pot) containing gold coins and a chalice of the 17th
century, in a hiding-place arranged behind the high altar. At the time of the
discovery, a kind of certificate was written; among the signatures, appeared
that of one of the close friend of Marie Dénarnaud, Mrs. Talamas (I saw the
original of this document). Saunière also sought, raised questions, wrote (in
particular in Ernest Cros; there still, I saw the original document).
Gazette of RLC: Is the decoration of the church coded? Detail (corner lower
right) of the high relief of the church of Rennes le Chateau - Johan©
Pierre Jarnac: Aesthetics only did not only guide its originator; in fact, it
dramatizes the course of the researcher (attention, nothing esoteric in the
step). One finds there the elements met on the ground. Obviously, one would seek
a connotation in vain there implying to it French-Masonry or Rose+Croix, less
still only one ounce of heresy.
The Gazette of RLC: The Abbé Saunière excavated the cemetery of the village
during the night. Two complaints were deposited besides by the municipality. He
engraved and makes the flagstone disappear and the stele from Marie de
Pierre Jarnac: Pierre Plantard and Philippe de Chèrisey bring together the
two, but without justifying it. With my direction, the stele never existed as
such with respect to the burial of the Marchioness of Blanchefort d' Hautpoul.
On the other hand, I then have to say that both are complementary; insulated,
they do not have any value. They are useful for the researcher.
The business after 1950
The Gazette of RLC: The Abbé Saunière dies and it is silence until the
arrival of certain Pierre Plantard. What wished by revealing the business?
Pierre Jarnac: Pierre Plantard launched a bottle to the sea in the hope that
somebody would find the solution and would come to help make him a share of it.
During the inter-war period, a monk inquired into Saunière and constituted a
file which was abandoned. This fell into the hands of Plantard, but the man was
not able to carry out this business until his term. In despair of cause, he
delivered to the public a falsified history according to the principle which the
forgery should be preached to know truth. But much of essential points escaped
him. Collaboration between Pierre Plantard and Philippe de Chérisey was
undoubtedly not so homogeneous as it is thought. It is Philippe de Cherisey who
brings the two manuscripts into this business. Plantard seems to have been
rather indifferent to their existence. Plantard needed the media; de Sède agreed
to being handled. About 1985, as he had done with Jean-Luc Chaumeil, Plantard
tried to recruit me. He sent to me an internal document of the Priory of Sion
comprising of the inconsistencies that I announced to him. He rectifies them! He
made the Priory of Sion go up to the 17th century and not to the Crusades... I
refuse to collaborate, the exchanges however continue, but it turns short. He
sent a last note to me: "the initiate can keep silent himself".
Gazette of RLC: The authenticity of the parchments returns regularly ahead of
of the scene. You have first hand information! Large parchment reproduces in the
book "the Gold of Rennes" of Gerard de Sède®
Pierre Jarnac: I always had with regard to these parchments a certain
retreat. In my book, in 1985, I speak about it but do not reproduce them. I did
not manage to convince me that they were false. But still is necessary it to get
along on their character apocryphal book. Philippe de Cherisey said and writes
that he was the author. But same information Jean-Luc Chaumeil had showed amply
that it could not be the case. Moreover, "Pierre and Papier" largely prove that
Philippe de Cherisey tried to include/understand them. If he had been the author
of these documents, why in particular would he have screened the analysis of
each word of the message of the First Manuscript "Shepherdess not of
temptation..."? Conceived on a corner of kitchen table, why then harness itself,
for forty pages, to interpret a meaningless message?
Gazette of RLC: You thus confirm the existence of the text "Pierre and
Papier"! Which is the contents?
Pierre Jarnac: This document exists. I never have it laminated, but I could
see it during a few moments viewed in a film of the BBC in 1998 (refuting the
book of Andrews/Schellenberger, "la Montagne sacrée"). Moreover, Mr. Chaumeil as
spoke to me about this document as he envisages to publish in his next book
denouncing the imposture of the priory of Sion. For this document, it acts of
forty pages written by Philippe de Cherisey, in whom this one explains word
after word the message "Shepherdess not of temptation". I think that that will
have only one value of curiosity, Mr. Philippe de Cherisey having passed beside
the true interest of these two manuscripts known as of the Abbé Saunière. Recent
discovered Bezae Codex of it is a proof besides, no matter how incredible say
The Gazette of RLC: The church was excavated very often and the possibility
of a crypt re-appears a little like the monster of Loch Ness!
Pierre Jarnac: It exists. The register found by the Captier-Corbu family
attests it. In the same way, it is implicitly evoked in the will of Henry d'
Hautpoul, April 24, 1695. Besides I envisage to publish soon certain parts of
the files of the family D Hautpoul.
The Gazette of RLC: Certain researchers attribute the enigma to the Abbé
Pierre Jarnac: I am sympathetic with much of this, but, in my opinion, it is
not related to the business, if it is not the oule hidden by his care and
found by Saunière. I owe you this note: however: one will object to me that he
is the author of the funeral inscription of the Marchioness, deceased in 1781
(register of the deaths). That is to say! But let us not forget that the first
parchment is deciphered by adding the text of this epitaph to it such as it is
restored to us in 1905. However, the parchment in question is 19th century. It
is thus easy to date the epitaph in question.
The tomb of les Pontils attributed to Nicolas
La Gazette of RLC: One quotes of many painters in this business: Nicolas
Poussin, Eugene Delacroix, Emile Signol! Are they useful for the comprehension
of the enigma? The tomb of the Pontils, photograph of 1974 Jean Brunelin©
Pierre Jarnac: For Nicolas Poussin, incontestably! Delacroix and Signol
return us as for them towards Saint-Sulpice and, there, it is another history.
There is undoubtedly a direct relationship with our business, but certainly not
that which one tries to inculcate to us. The report/ratio is as obvious as
between Rennes le Chateau and Saint-Sulpice, as Emma Calvé and the Abbé
Saunière. It is more a question of symbolism.
The Gazette of RLC: In the same way, the writers are the subject of decoding:
Jules Verne, Maurice Leblanc. Is their track reliable?
Pierre Jarnac: Oddly, I never truly succeeded in being interested in this
option. But when well even Jules Verne and Maurice Leblanc would have known
something, force is to note that that does not carry out far. And to
include/understand them, still would be necessary it to know what to interpret.
One endeavours for the moment to find in their works words or passages vaguely
being able to point out what one knows about the business of Rennes le Chateau.
The case of figure is identical for prophecies of Nostradamus, one can
include/understand them only afterwards.
Fall from the Abbé Antoine Gélis in the old
cemetery of Coustaussa
La gazette of RLC: The Abbé Gélis is often quoted like a stooge. His
assassination perpetrated in atrocious circumstances remained unpunished. The
most absurd tracks were considered. Which is your point of view? Fall from the
Abbé Antoine Gélis in the old cemetery from Coustaussa - Johan©
Pierre Jarnac: Serious question which I will not have the impertinence to
answer. Much more than the culprits, it is the mobile which imports us. Did the
Abbé Gélis know something in connection with a hidden secrecy or a history of
treasure? Did it lend itself to a blackmail? One can say that he was killed
because he seems to have been opposed to its assassin whom it knew.
Difficult to know however if Gélis held something that he did not want to
restore or if the assassin wanted to seize something that Gélis kept from him.
The Gazette of RLC: Monseigneur Arsène Billard was the bishop of Béranger
Saunière during the first part of his ministry with Rennes le Chateau. His
course was also chaotic!
Pierre Jarnac: I had announced in his time (in "the Files of Rennes le
Chateau", 1988) the not very orthodox practices of this bishop (picking up of an
inheritance, clientelism), but without drawing arguments concerning the business
from them from Rennes. To know some more from now on, it will be necessary to
take into account the book of Franck Daffos, who brings very revealing elements
on the actions of Mgr Billard.
Gazette of RLC: The former owner of the field of the Abbé, Henri Buthion was
a tasty character. Which memory do you keep of him?
Pierre Jarnac: At the beginning of the Sixties, coming from Lyon, Jean Pellet
"initiated" with the magic of Rennes le Chateau. There was this joke that and me
were the two only ones to him to still believe in a history of hidden treasure.
Rennes le Chateau at the third millennium
Gazette of RLC: Gerard de Sède is deceased in May 2004. It is a loss for all
Pierre Jarnac: Undoubtedly, a page has been just turned! Even if I sometimes
fought it, he was always honest and without any animosity. Gerard de Sède
designed his book starting from a large manuscript of a thousand of pages of
Pierre Plantard; he then completed a work of checking. Accounts Department of
the Abbé Saunière
La Gazette of RLC: What do you think of the notebooks of the Abbé Saunière
rediscovered by Octonovo?
Pierre Jarnac: I had found them by chance with the Departmental records of
the Aude in 1999, under the heading of "correspondences and accounts of the
masses of a priest of Rennes le Chateau, 19s-20s.-20s." It is true that they
were indexed in the medium of references except context. They were microfilmed
documents, but whose films were damaged and non-communicable. Then, I deigned to
consult them two years later when the support was restored. In his time, Rene
Descadeillas had seen them (I speak here about the originals). I did not want to
publish them without comments because they could have created confusion and have
suggested false tracks. Octonovo did very good work; I was charmed to attend his
conference of August 2004. Page of the accountancy of the Abbé Saunière
Gazette of RLC: The displacement of the tomb of the Abbé Saunière of the
cemetery in his field made run much ink. What is your feeling?
Pierre Jarnac: I do not have truly an opinion on this subject. I find damage
that one modifies places [ A my opinion, one could perhaps have made the saving
in a translation, by making profitable the fact that the burial of Saunière was
just behind the enclosing wall of the field. It was enough to practise an
opening in the wall and to make available fall it by the field. ] One has
attended for a few years regrettable transformations: the martyrdom, the pillar
of the Virgin, the vault, etc.
Gazette of RLC: Isaac Ben Jacob found bonds between Saunière and the Confrery
of Sanch. This track had never been evoked; do you have information additional
on this subject?
Pierre Jarnac: I do not know sufficiently the arguments of this researcher to
have an opinion. However, it would be necessary to make a distinction between
the incomes of Saunière and the knowledge of a secrecy. What we seek starting
from Manuscripts, of the tomb stones and certain tables does not have, with my
direction, any relationship with the funds whose the priest had Rennes le
Chateau. Saunière had a secret, but certainly not that which interests us
Gazette of RLC: You attended with the evolution of the business, its skids,
its flights... Which is your glance on this one in 2004?
Pierre Jarnac: Indeed, one can interrogate on the mystery of this continuity
and the metamorphosis of the business. At the beginning, it is a little
particular history of treasure. Will then come to be grafted with all kinds of
elements. Many people are attracted, all social and intellectual categories
confused. The flame is maintained contrary to other places... People bring their
own phantasms and lose sight of the fact the subject first - the existence of a
deposit, and they fall down in through about which one spoke.
The Gazette of RLC: You've known the business for forty years. What council
would you give to the neophytes?
Pierre Jarnac: Initially, knowledge what one seeks. Then, any lira. Lastly,
not to let itself deaden by beautiful symbols or astute analyses as Graal in the
church which are all the more brilliant as they do not carry out to nothing. One
should not harness the plough before the horse. To start from a theory and to
want to find evidence are contra-indicated. I acknowledge however that it is not
simple. With "the Gold of Rennes", there is all. One can solve much things.
There are traps, but it is sometimes desired. Certain keys will be
included/understood later. And the continuation...?
Gazette of RLC: Do you consider the publication of a new book on Rennes le
Chateau? Pierre Jarnac at his place Johan©
Pierre Jarnac: I have certain new information; but, by honesty towards the
reader, I do not envisage any publication which would not be complete and
sincere. On the other hand, I support the book of Franck Daffos
"Rennes le Chateau: le secret dérobé [the concealed secrecy] ", which will
appear in two or three months. He contacted me in 2003 and told me the result of
his research. Even if I do not agree always with him, he fills many "blanks" and
brings logical answers. He drew upon the history of the last centuries and
stated certain disconcerting "anomalies" . He succeeds in giving a
comprehensible role to the protagonists of the business, in particular the Abbé
Bérenger Saunière, Henri Boudet and Antoine Gélis, like Monseigneur Billard. His
book is based on historical facts and uses precise places to support his book.
The word of the end!
Gazette of RLC: How to explain the longevity of the secrecy?
Pierre Jarnac: A secrecy, to be well kept, should not be known of a multitude
of people; already three or four people, it is much. It is thus a prowess which
the secrecy was kept during three hundred and fifty years (at least since
Nicolas Poussin painted his painting) without to be thrown in grazing ground on
the public place. Those who know never do not doubt to be in measurement to pass
the torch to the appropriate authority, then why sow with any wind with the risk
to be ousted.
Do not hesitate to pose to your questions with Pierre Jarnac about the forum
"Researchers"! The drafting thanks Pierre Jarnac for his reception, its kindness
and its professionalism!
March 10, 2005, Johan©