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Interview with Pierre Jarnac

Rennes le Chateau researcher for more than forty years

Beaucoup de mercis


Gazette de Rennes-le-Chateau

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 interview!

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 something?

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 Ables Nègre.

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".

Large parchment

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 some.

Various tracks

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 Bigou?

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 Poussin

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 the researchers!

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  Melt Captier-Corbu©

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 mainly.

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...?

Pierre Jarnac

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©

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