Cathars | Otto Rahn Memorial
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Cathars

Catharism (from Greek: καθαρὀς, katharos, pure), a name of Christian religion in the Languedoc region of France and other parts of Europe in the XI-XIII centuries. The Paulicians of Armenia and the Bogomils of Bulgaria can be also called Cathars. Self-identification term Good Men (Bons Hommes) or Good Christians. Also known as Albigensians.
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Otto Rahn (Dutch)

Otto Rahn werd geboren in Michelstadt (Odenwald) op 18 februari 1904. Na zijn middelbare studies (en de eerste wereldoorlog) trekt hij naar de universiteit waar hij aanvankelijk rechten studeert. Maar al spoedig gaat zijn belangstelling uit naar de literatuur en laat hij zich inschrijven aan de faculteit der letteren in Heidelberg. Zijn droom is literair recensent te worden voor een krant of tijdschrift.

Als muziekliefhebber dweept hij met Wagner. Diens "Parsifal" brengt hem in contact met de graallegenden en hun Duitse auteur Wolfram von Eschenbach. Die studie zal hem nooit meer loslaten.

Otto Rahn Biography

CHRONOLOGY 1904-1939
 
18 Feb 1904 Otto Rahn born, Michelstadt. Parents Karl & Clara (nee Hamburger)
 1910-1916 Junior school at Bigen
 1916-21 Secondary school at GrieBen
 1922 obtains Baccalaureat
 1924 obtains Bachelor in Philology and History
 1930 Rahn begins his European travels (Paris, Provence, Switzerland,
 Catalonia, Italy)
 1931 Rahn visits French Pyrenees. Visits "Spion" in Pyrenees with Himmler and Abetz
 1932 Rahn leads a Polaires expedition in Pyrenees
 13.12.33 Rahn joins the German Writers Association
 1934 publishes "Kreuzzug gegen Gral" (Crusade against the Grail)
 1935 appointed to personal staff of Heinrich Himmler
 29.2.36 Rahn joins Allgemeine-SS, member 276 208
 1936 Rahn visits Iceland with 20 men
 1937 publishes "Luzifers Hofgesind. Eine Reise zu denguten Gelstern Europa" (Lucifer's Court in Europe; Rahn sent back to Languedoc (Montsegur), says he will return in 1939. Time of alleged Corbieres visit?
 20.4.37 promoted to sub-lieutenant (Untersturmfuhrer)
 Sep-Dec1937 military service for "disciplinary reasons" at Oberbayern Regiment, Dachau

The Cathar Myth: Church of the Holy Grail

The first to create the Cathar myth referred to in The Da Vinci Code was Napoléon Peyrat, a bourgeois and talented fabulist, concocted in the 1870s an account of the Cathars, which, though largely made up, still passes as truth in esoteric circles today . Another equally influential is Jules Doinel (Jules-Benoît Stanislas Doinel, a Freemason  and Spiritist (See "The Making of Spiritism" in the first part of  Da Vinci Code Matrix). He claimed that Gnosticism was the true religion behind Freemasonry. Thus it is in the second half of 19th century France that the Cathar-myth was born, to which Joseph Péladan was the first to add to this a mention of the Holy Grail in his short treatise From Parsifal to Don Quixote, the secret of the Troubadours.

Rennes-le-Chateau

Here, on the northern edge of the Pyrenees some 110 years ago, a Catholic priest named Bérengier Saunière became unbelievably wealthy overnight, seemingly after discovering something of immense value or significance in his church. He is said to have spent lavishly redesigning the tiny hill-top structure, building a strange belvedere tower called Tour Magdala and constructing a guest house known as Villa Bethania. He is also reported to have started acting oddly, erasing inscriptions on tomb stones, carrying out nocturnal excavations in both the church and churchyard, and receiving visitors totally beyond his standing as a parish curé in a rural part of southern France.

Otto Rahn – Otto Skorzeny Raiders of the Found Ark?

The founders of the Third Reich were esoterically involved with matters which unavoidably skirt the mysteries associated with the valley of Rennes-le-Chateau. Their interests were not however, confined to the ephemeral, there is evidence of the tenacity with which they pursued the material associations of the valley. Many assorted books on Rennes-le-Chateau mention that a battalion of German mining engineers made excavations in the area during World War Two.

Rumors around the Otto Rahn death

Initially it was stated that the cause of Rahn's death was either "exposure" or "pneumonia", notwithstanding the fact that he was young and vigorous and an experienced mountain climber who had once spent an entire snowbound winter in the Alps.

A subsequent account of Rahn's demise related that he drank a bottle of rum, fell asleep in the snow and froze to death while climbing a mountain known as the "Wilde Kaiser". (Die Welt Newspaper, May 1:t, 1979)

Later rumors claimed that Rahn had committed suicide by swallowing a cyanide capsule while on the mountain.

Another report by Gerard de Sede ("The Treasure of the Cathari", 1966) postulates that Rahn did not die on a mountain top in 1939, but was arrested and imprisoned in solitary confinement at the Dachau concentration camp. He was beheaded in 1945 just before the compound was liberated by American forces.

There is a real, existing mountain in the south of France which is rumored to house the Holy Grail...

There is a real, existing mountain in the south of France which is  rumored to house the Holy Grail. In fact, local legend says that the Grail has always been there, ever since a dove from Heaven descended upon the mountain, split it open with its beak, and dropped the Grail inside. This is the mountain of Montsegur, which was the last Cathari stronghold defeated by the Albigensian Crusade. (This was the only crusade waged by Christiandom against people who were Christians themselves.) The term “Cathar” was a catch-all term used by the Catholic Church for the numerous Gnostic Christian cults that proliferated across the Languedoc region of France during the Middle Ages. As they grew in numbers, they gradually became a threat to orthodox Christianity.

Is a deserted village the best clue to the whereabouts of the Grail Castle?

The Grail and the story of King Arthur is a myth, in the sense that things got added to it. The first Grail account did not mention the nature of the Grail, whereas Wolfram von Eschenbach particularly identified it with a black stone, speculated by some to be a meteor, by others to be a cousin of the Ka’aba stone.

The story of the Grail is like the myth of Jesus: From an interesting person, believed to have resurrected, he grew into the son of god, to the child of a virgin birth, its father the Holy Spirit. One aspect of the Grail mythology is the addition of the “Grail castle” to the original mythology.

The Holy Grail: Imagination and Belief

At the climax of the French prose romance, The Quest of the Holy Grail, Sir Galahad looks into the dish that was the object of the long and perilous search by himself and his companions, Sir Perceval and Sir Bors. This is his report:

For now I see openly what tongue cannot describe nor heart conceive. Here I see the beginning of great daring and the prime cause of prowess; here I see the marvel of all other marvels.

Fascination with the Grail

The reality behind the myth...

Sagas describe the Holy Grail as a chalice with fairy-tale powers; it’s been the inspiration for countless tales, legends and also works of art. And it is both a stranger to the Christian body of thought -- and yet somehow connected with Christianity in mysterious ways. What is it about the "Holy Grail"? Why is it still the subject for mainstream movies like Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and The Fisher King? Is there something more substantial behind the Grail than simple legend? If we can delve deeper into the true meaning of the Grail, the core of many poems, legends, novels, and fairy tales may become apparent.

The more seriously someone undertakes to approach the subject "Grail" -- because he feels touched personally by it -- the more certainly will he come up against questions such as whether or not the knowledge about the Grail can be traced back to some revelation… A revelation handed down out of a mythical distant time, but weighed down, proliferated and falsified on its way through time, through the world and the life of countless generations. Let us begin at the beginning...