An Online Journal by Richard Stanley
(Originally appeared in R. S.' MySpace, December 9th, 2007.)
Brethren, I have invited you here to this ancient, invisible theatre with the intention of not only unmasking the killer God responsible for these crimes against 'reality', but more cogently, to provide an unambiguous solution to two or perhaps three long running esoteric enigmas!
I salute those who have stayed with the program from the top. For late joiners I include an index to conjure order out of the scrolling chaos and serve as an aid memoir for those hardy few who dare read further. I have very little keyboard time at present and less in the months to come. Until we meet again this strange saga is my gift to you.
Be warned the completed text contains 'spoilers' and may be hazardous to your belief systems.
A memorial slab
Stand in the covered hallway that is in front of the church of Rennes-les-Bains, and you will find that the community indeed had respect – more so than for the other priests that served the community, it seemed – for Boudet. That in itself should be remarkable. However, there is also another name on the memorial slab: Rescanières.
The interesting thing is that Rescanières only served as priest of Rennes-les-Bains for one year: 1914 to 1915. It left him little time to leave an impression, it seems, but apparently he did. And the reason why and how he did so, has to do with his sudden, unexpected – and premature death: Rescanières was only 47 years old when he died. Might it therefore come as a surprise that some believe that he was murdered?
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.