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Rennes le Chateau, Alfred Saunière

About the Model known as "Sauniere's Model"

 


Picture caption: The model, general view

Copyright - Private collection

Having acquired an indepth knowledge of the books of correspondence of Abbé Saunière, many people often ask me if there exists amongst these documents anything which would confirm or deny the thesis of the so-called “Saunière’s Model”, on which a large part of Mr André Douzet’s research about Rennes le Château [1] relies.


Picture caption: The label on the model

Copyright - Private collection

REVIEW OF THE FACTS

It was at the conference which he gave in the grounds of Saunière’s house at Rennes le Château in August 1995, that Mr Douzet presented this model and his first work on it. He claimed to have found the object at the home of a metal-founder, together with several letters in Saunière’s own hand. Although the model clearly illustrates holy sites such as they were shown at the beginning of our [Christian] era, he presented this model more or less as a “Treasure map of Rennes le Chateau” which would have been left behind by the priest at the end of his life.
There were numerous speakers, of whom M. Boumendil, M. Tappa and M. Feral launched a real scandal, accusing the author of being a forger and, in short, of producing convincing elements to prop up his statements. A meeting was arranged for the presentation of certain items but Mr Douzet did not appear at this meeting and did not find it convenient to arrange a new meeting to clear the serious accusations brought against him [2].
The matter seemed therefore to be agreed for the followers of Rennes le Chateau, all the more so when Patrick Mensior succeeded in proving that the so-called model, if it really did date from the 1900’s, had nothing to do with Rennes le Château and that it could not have been ordered by Abbé Saunière (see the section of the conclusion in his article published by the “Amis de l’Insolite”). To come to this conclusion he relied on elements of correspondence known at the time, namely the correpondence of 1915-1917, published by Pierre Jarnac [3].
In comparison, through a completely personal interpretation, Mr Douzet recognised, in the reversed relief of a mould of the so-called model, a region closer to his home [Durban-Corbières] and continued his work in the area of Périllos (in the Pyrénées Orientales). He recently created an association [according to the French law of 1901] in order to promote this research, amongst other activities. To this day Mr Douzet has never produced the documents requested which would be able to clear the serious doubts which overshadow the sincerity of his research.


Picture caption: The model seen from above

Copyright - Private collection

ABBE SAUNIERE’S FILES

Since the annoucement of the discovery of the files of correspondance and financial accounts of Abbé Saunière, many people have asked if there was any mention of the famous letters which were supposed to have been exchanged between Abbé Saunière and the designer of the model.
From the beginning, Mr Douzet has stated that he preferred not to make these letters available because they contained information which he wanted to keep to himself; I therefore asked him to inform me of the dates of the letters, to see whether they were recorded in the priest’s files.
This solution would be advantageous because it would not require him to produce the documents, just for him to provide the details of their dates, and if the information was confirmed, he would no longer be the target of the accusations which had followed him for more than 10 years.
Therefore, with methods which to me have seemed to be delaying tactics (in particular his tendancy to respond with incredibly convoluted answers to simple questions which would normally only require a Yes or a No), and in spite of the formal promise which he had made to me in public, Mr Douzet did not finally wish to provide me with these dates. Since then I have completed my study of Abbé Saunière’s files and I can state that I have not found a trace of any element which would be able to confirm the M.Douzet’s statements.

In relation to the accounts books:

* There exists no invoice relating to the supposed model.

* There exists no invoice for the measuring tools or optical tools such as those described by Mr Douzet, which Abbé Saunière would have needed in order to create the topographic model.

* There exists no invoice for the hire of a carriage or for a property rental in Lyon, in particular in the Rue de Macchabées.

* There exists no trace of an invoice for a voyage to Lyon, Durban-Corbières or Périllos.

In relation to the files of correspondance:

* There exists no trace of the letters cited by Mr Douzet relating to a supposed topographic model.

* There exists no trace of the journeys to Lyon which Abbé Saunière is alleged to have made, although his journeys to other destinations are often very clear.

* There exists no trace of his supposed journeys to Durban-Corbières or to Périllos, nor the maintenance of a continued connection of any kind with this place.

* There exists no trace of an order for optical or measuring equipment which Abbé Saunière would have needed for the creation of his topographic model.

* There exists no trace of an order for a carriage or for accomodation rental in Lyon, especially on the Rue de Macchabées. 

 

Additionally, I have not found any link between Bérenger Saunière and the real people who ordered this model, which had originally an educational purpose and which had been created in reality in many tens of examples at that time.
To the anticipated objection that, as these matters were secret, Abbé Saunière would not have mentioned them in his notebooks, I reply that from his trial, Abbé Saunière denied having kept such notebooks and that this had worked against him during his sentencing. As a result, that which the priest wanted to hide from the inquisitors of the time is more than likely written in his notebooks

.
One of the other examples of the model such as used in Jerusalem for its educational purpose

Copyright - Private collection

CONCLUSIONS

Mr Douzet has been for very many years the target of criticisms and of accusations which seriously endanger the credibility of the works which he has carried out based on the study of the so-called “Saunière’s Model”.
He has not wanted to do what was required to try to eliminate these doubts and has even excused himself from the various offers which have been made to him to support his thesis after having publicly given his agreement to do so.
The work carried out in a documented and reasoned way by M. Patrick Mensior seem to me completely conclusive. They invalidate the theories of Mr Douzet.
My own research has not at any time allowed me to eliminate the doubts which weigh upon the credibility of the works of Mr Douzet.
My advice is therefore, that in the current state of the justifications, it is necessary to consider these creations as a work of the imagination.

 

(1) As the theories of Mr Douzet have occupied a sizeable book, this article only relates to the so-called model and its supposed implications. I state again that the elements on which I have relied are essentially taken from the close study of the notebooks of Abbé Saunière.

(2) On the subject of the events of 1995, read Rennes le château, le secret de SAUNIERE (Editions Sud Ouset - 2005), by Jean-Luc ROBIN, - page 102 onwards.

(3) Editions Couleur Ocre [publisher]

Copyright - Octonovo april 2005

Originally published on : http://www.octonovo.org

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