Chapter 12: Edgar Allan Poe and the Mystery of Rennes le Chateau
It appears that all of these myths, legends, and geographic schemes have been carried out by a distinct Norman bloodline that may also include a merger with the much written of Merovingian bloodline. This includes the Lee family and their associations with the Washington’s and many other directly linked genetic relations. We may see the one of the furthest roots of this family line in the Hautepol family associated with Chateau Hautepol of Rennes Le Chateau.
This is a form of the Hauteville name of Normandy, which many powerful families sprang from including the Anjou’s, Stewarts, and many other names involved in this saga. Both Frederick II and the Anjou’s were directly descendant of the Hauteville family. Many of these family lines manifested themselves in all of Europe, Russia and beyond. They seemed to have a family legacy and tradition that helped to guarantee their success through time. They used generational plans designed to benefit each era while those in power laid the way for the future. One learning tool they used may have been these temples that established a prime meridian of their own. Over time secret societies and family fraternities may have applied their own mythology and interpretations to these places. Some of these geographic systems were used to hide family secrets, information, and possibly valuables. Being able to solve the mystery left by a forebear may have contributed to a person’s legitimacy in any dispute between family members. This may have been one of many reasons these occult landscapes have been created.
Edgar Allen Poe may have been aware of the Rennes le Chateau mystery 37 years prior to the mystery being exposed in the exploits of Bérenger Saunière. Again portions of Poe’s book “The Gold Bug” including illustrations in an early edition of the book may give one pause to wonder if somehow Poe was aware of at least certain aspects of what would become the Rennes le Chateau conundrum.
In his story Poe gives a clue that involves imagery present at a familiar site to those who are fascinated by Rennes le Chateau:
“A good glass in the bishop's hostel in the devil's seat twenty-one degrees and thirteen minutes northeast and by north main branch seventh limb east side shoot from the left eye of the death's-head a bee line from the tree through the shot fifty feet out.”
One of the attractions in Rennes le Bains near Rennes le Chateau includes the “Devils seat.” As far as any of the local people know the Devil’s Seat has always been there since any of them can remember. Some note a well worn path from Rennes le Chateau to the Devil’s Seat. Other sources have the Cassini family being responsible for the placement of the Devil’s Seat in the eighteenth century.
The site the Devil’s Seat is seen on the Famous Cassini Map of France as “Les Bains de Monferan le Cercle.” There are no designations on this map entitled the “Devil’s Seat” though this feature is part of the site marked on the map. Had Poe been inspired to use the concept of the Devil’s Seat from some other source? At second glance it appears Poe was speaking of the very same Devil’s Seat known of by those who study the mysteries of Rennes le Chateau.
The Cassini map depicted France with great accuracy and detail for the first time. Portions of this map overlain on Google Earth match the contours of the coast of France nearly perfectly. Still there are some minor imperfections when compared to modern methods but this map was an amazing feat of its era. This map was completed over four generations of the Cassini family with members actually surveying the countryside with instruments. This may be an example of family traditions in an activity that exposed them to all of the mythology and history of each place they worked including possibly Perillos, Rennes le Bains, Rennes le Chateau, and Hendaye.
Their working map shows them having a point from which to measure very near Rennes le Chateau. They are known to have worked from Perillos, which includes a sort of mystery of its own that some speculate is associated with Rennes le Chateau. Undoubtedly during the course of their labors the Cassini’s worked in the vicinities of many strange local myths and historical facts. Land surveyors are many times fountainheads of unknown historical information.
In this way it is at least possible that the Cassini’s became aware of some of the historical mysteries that still fascinate us today. It is possible that they turned this information into a sort of game or quest to identify other similar places around the world. A similar activity and philosophy was likely at work in the building of three Tower of the Winds replicas at Shugborough Hall, West Wycombe, and Mt. Stewart in England. Each of these Tower of the Winds possess amazing spatial relationships with other places of mystery and intrigue. These Tower of the Winds were produced in association with James “Athenian” Stuart who was a noted architectural historian credited with the popularity of the Greek revival movement in architecture.
It is even possible that the Cassini’s and their cohorts created a few landscape mysteries of their own based on what they had learned. Alternately they were already aware of the significance of this tradition and were adept and finding and analyzing any new finds in this realm. These types of treasure myths and quests have many spiritual and alchemical overtones given the era in which they developed. One man’s Christian interpretation of a given array of art and architecture may point to the apocalypse or even something more technical or rational to an initiate of a different school.
This use of the term “Devil’s Seat” by Poe is very interesting and displays a specific connection between him and what would become the mystery of Rennes le Chateau. Interestingly the Devil’s Seat is very near the famous Paris Meridian (1 mile west) that was obviously valued by the Cassini’s who had elected to include “Les Bains de Monferan le Cercle” on their famous map of France. This reference to a feature located in such an area near the ‘Rose Line’ is indeed fascinating. Is the Devil’s Chair the only association between Poe, “The Goldbug,” and Rennes le Chateau?
So far the use of the term “Devil’s Seat” does not show a direct link that shows Poe knew the details of what would become the Rennes le Chateau phenomena. These links do suggest that all of the mystery of this area may ultimately be associated with the Cassini’s and other’s who held the skills to understand such a scheme.
Ultimately it may mean that the Cassini’s had figured out what the Blanchefort’s and Hautepol’s had been saying by leaving clues as to the existence of a star shaped pattern in the landscape around Rennes le Chateau.
What does this say about the involvement of the Cassini’s in the development of the mythology and lore we see being expressed at Rennes le Chateau or Hendaye? The same distant associations between the Great Cyclic Cross of Hendaye and the Cassini’s exists as that of their possible knowledge of and propagation of the mythology of both places. It seems to be a family tradition. Did they know about the Rennes le Chateau mystery or did they create the Rennes le Chateau mystery?
Many of the people involved in this tradition during this era are familiar with astronomy and cartography including Jefferson, the Cassini’s, d’Abbadie’s and others. In addition there are known correspondences between many of these people. Is there something about Rennes le Chateau that these people are trying to tell us beyond the metaphor of hidden treasure and lost riches? Something important happened here and someone is sending us on a quest to find out what it is the mystery hides. How did Edgar Allen Poe know about all of this? Is it possible someone left a path of evidence that tells us what all of this really means in the end? Or is the quest itself the lesson and value of this tradition?
Really what this infers is that Poe was somehow aware of the Devil’s Seat and had included a similar concept in his story. But how had Poe come across this story? Had this information also been part of what had been told to Poe by his confident Zaccheus Lee? Then how had Lee known about it? It is clear that Lee’s family was privy to this type of information. It may also make sense that other related First Families of Virginia would also be privy to these secrets. Specific members of the Lee family were also part of the Society of the Cincinnati whose membership was comprised of Revolutionary War officers and their descendants. “Lighthorse” Henry Lee had been a hero of the war.
It is also interesting that this information may have been imparted to Poe while he was a student at the University of Virginia. The University of Virginia was created by Thomas Jefferson who also seemed to be initiate of these mysteries. It is likely that a copy of the Cassini map was even at the University of Virginia at that time that Poe would have had access to. Even so Poe would have had to have a more detailed story than simply looking at the map to inspire his story. The Devil’s Seat is not even named on the Cassini map. There is a tantalizing six month overlap between the time of Poe’s attendance at the University of Virginia on February, 14, 1826 and the death of Thomas Jefferson on July, 4, 1826 (The same day as President John Adams). Is it possible that this information was given to Poe by President Jefferson himself?
Jefferson was a contemporary of Jean-Dominique Cassini who completed the Cassini map. In fact Jefferson and Cassini corresponded with each other as to the correct method of using a timepiece to establish a meridian! (June, 13, 1787; July, 3, 1789). Had Poe somehow gleaned this story from Jefferson via his friendship with Z. Lee? Is there a version of this tale written by Jefferson lost somewhere in the dusty archives of the University of Virginia that Poe had found? It is possible that if Poe had access to the above two letters from Jefferson to Jean-Dominique Cassini then had his imagination filled in all the rest of the blanks? It seems he would have to be better informed than he was to have arranged all the commonalities between “The Gold Bug” and all of these other famous treasure stories. Again a possible meeting between Poe and Jefferson would explain all of this.
As discussed earlier Thomas Jefferson had once travelled within a few miles of Rennes le Chateau and Rennes le Bains and could have easily been aware of the story and mythology of the Devil’s Chair. It could have easily been imparted to him at some point by one of his clique’ in Paris. If true does this mean that Jefferson had visited the Devil’s Chair? Jefferson could have easily heard of this in personal conversation or correspondence with Cassini himself. Jefferson may have also acted as a kind of spy himself and learned this information via a network sympathetic to his cause. Still there is a great deal of suggestion that Lees could have been exposed to some inside information in this sphere via their relation to the Washington family and other First Families.
Jefferson seemed to be part of a group of people that understood the geographic relationships of these sacred places. The source of this information ultimately had come from Constantine and made its way to the Holy Roman Emperors. Most of these men and women had been trained in the art of cartography, navigation, and astronomy. So there is some evidence that even if Jefferson did not visit Rennes le Chateau he may have heard of and noted the Devil’s Chair in his journal. Given R.E. Lee’s planning of Ft. Carroll and its associations it is clear that this family could have easily been aware of the truth of many of these types of questions including the truth of Oak Island. There is ample evidence that even George Washington was aware of this tradition. He had also been trained in land surveying. There is also a great deal of octagonal imagery associated with Washington and his estate of Mt. Vernon.
Jefferson’s trip as Secretary of State was even a sort of clandestine trip. Jefferson does note being very near Rennes le Chateau and travelled to places adjacent to the Canal du Midi. If he had visited the environs of Rennes le Chateau then he may not have cared to note a visit to the “Devil’s Seat.” While on his trip down the canal Jefferson wrote to his daughter that it was good to be “in the land of corn, wine, and oil.” He also noted his presence in southern France but ceased to take notes or make them public on the second leg of his trip to Italy. Some speculate that he was visiting Bonnie Prince Charlie in Rome at that time. Jefferson was Secretary of State at this time.
One of the early editions of Poe’s “The Goldbug” even includes an illustration that matches the imagery of Mary Magdalene and the mysteries of Rennes le Chateau. This artwork includes a prominently displayed skull in a tree as part of the story. The landscape present in this engraving does not resemble the site of Sullivan’s Island where the story takes place. The description of this area in the story resembles the Rennes le Chateau area, which does not resemble the true setting of the story in South Carolina. It is almost as though at this point in the story one has been magically transported to Rennes le Chateau/Bains and had entered the realm of mystery so prevalent there.
The illustration depicts a mountainous scene somewhat reminiscent of the rocky knob seen in Poussin’s painting “Et in Arcadia Ego.” It also resembles a view of Chateau Blanchefort from the valley near Rennes le Bains. The piece also includes a skull hanging from a branch of a tree with a mountainous backdrop. The skull in the tale is integral to finding the exact location of the treasure. The Death’s Head theme is repeated throughout the entire story even relating that the “Gold Bug” itself having this design on its back. The story also relates the importance of the death’s head in Pirate imagery and lore. If one that was aware of the imagery of Mary Magdalene did not know this illustration was from the “Gold Bug” then it may easily be mistaken as having the feminine theme.
The main character of “The Gold Bug” Legrand is undoubtedly meant as a metaphor for Thomas Jefferson. This character is an intellectual naturalist who is also adept at reading maps and following the clues on the parchment he finds. Some of the references made by Legrand in the story also suggest he is a student of Alchemy. Legrand is the one bitten by “The Goldbug.”
One other possible coincidence may involve the fact that Legrand’s employee (freed slave) in the story is named Jupiter. It is commonly known that Thomas Jefferson also had a slave that was a personal servant who was named Jupiter. Here again Poe is presenting us with the scantest of clues that do serve to conjure the image of President Jefferson. One who is familiar with the character and life of Thomas Jefferson may notice these hints right away. Is Poe telling us that President Jefferson had once visited or been aware of the secrets of Renne le Chateau and other mysteries?
It is starting to look as if Poe’s knowledge in this realm may have came from Jefferson or those he was closely associated with. Poe may have heard of Jefferson’s affinity for what some would term “Personal Meridians.” All of this may point to the fact that Thomas Jefferson was put through an initiation which involved sitting in “The Devil’s Chair” while he was in France. In personal correspondence we even see Jefferson discussing how to establish a meridian with Jean-Dominique Cassini. In fact we also see Cassini being made a foreign honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Cassini came to the United States for a prolonged stay. Who knows what mysteries he may have imparted to those in the U.S. that were capable of understanding at that time. Some evidence suggests that Cassini was sympathetic towards the American ideal and a republican form of government in France.
So here is a scenario in which Jefferson could have become privy to the story of the “Les Bains de Monferan le Cercle” and the associated “Devil’s Seat.” He was both associated with Cassini and had traveled in the area. In turn this lore made its way to Edgar Allen Poe. This line of reasoning may uncover actual knowledge of both the Rennes le Chateau mystery and the Great Cross of Hendaye on the part of Thomas Jefferson.
As stated in the Hendaye chapter The templum of the Great Cross of Hendaye points the way to Jefferson’s octagonal estate Poplar Forest. Poplar Forest represents yet another site involving an octagon and a lost treasure or historical mystery. Poplar Forest is located very near to where the Beale Treasure is supposed to be hidden. Jefferson may have been initiated into these mysteries via the octagonal Powder Magazine in Williamsburg. The Powder Magazine is likely associated with the Bruton Parish Church Vault. Later Jefferson would be associated with both Alexander Von Humboldt and Cassini. Both men who were directly associated with the tradition of the Tower of the Winds in Athens.
From Jefferson to Cassini (Jefferson thanks Cassini for helping to establish a meridian using some new clocks):
“Mr. Jefferson, Minister Plenipotentiary of the united states of America, asked a thousand pardons to Count Cassini, though without having the honor of being known to him, he dares ask him the grace to put the watches he instructed the bearer of this note on the hour average time according to the clock of the Observatory. With that, and using the equation of time, it proposes to start the trace of a meridian line at home, which (despite the small inaccuracy that may occur in the course of returning watches Observatory home ) will be fair enough for ordinary use. At solstice hyver he will ask for permission to use once again the goodness of Count Cassini, because it will be in assembling, by a straight line, then the trait noon he done to the man that aujourdui it will be compleat his chaise. It has the honor of a thousand apologies for the trouble he dares to give the Count Cassini, and ask him to accept the assurances of his most distinguished consideration.
Edgar Allen Poe even mentions Cassini in one of his short stories entitled “The Unparalleled Adventure of one Hans Phall” (1850). In addition to this reference to the Devil’s Chair in “The Gold Bug” there are other geographic associations that may add to the speculation that Poe knew of these tales long before they were made available to the public seemingly 37 years later at the earliest. In turn we may assume that if this information came from Jefferson that he also had knowledge of these secrets. Cassini had come to America before Poe was born (1809) so they did not meet personally.
One of the people who has written a great deal about Rennes le Chateau and other sacred landscapes is author and film maker Henry Lincoln. Lincoln is known for supposing that a pentagonal pattern of landmarks is present in the landscape surrounding Rennes le Chateau. Points that define this star shaped pattern include places of importance in the tale of Rennes le Chateau and the surrounding region. The family history and relations of the owners of places used in this manner may have originally arranged this array as part of a tradition upheld by specific family groups. This pattern of significant points may also be used to form the shape of a pentagon surrounding the pentagram.
In our analysis here the pentagram identified by Henry Lincoln may also be used as a sighting device that projects arcs on the globe to significant talismanic locations or architecture that is directly related to the people who created the entire scheme or plan being carried out. One such alignment that includes the Rennes le Chateau Chapel and Chateau Blanchefort creates an arc on the globe that leads to Ravenna Italy and Basilica San Vitale. The octagonal Basilica San Vitale is somewhat of a millennial monument and exhibits and octagonal plan. San Vitale was built by Justinian I who was emulating Constantine just as Jefferson would in the octagonal forms of Monticello, Poplar Forest, and Barboursville Mansion.
If one creates an arc on the globe using a line and direction connecting the southernmost tips of Lincoln’s pentagram an azimuth on the globe may be extended at this heading that transects the Atlantic Ocean to Sullivan’s Island South Carolina. This would correspond to one of the directions suggested by the pentagon surrounding the star. Henry Lincoln’s star points to Sullivan’s Island South Carolina the location where Poe’s story “The Gold Bug” takes place.
Given the association with the Devil’s Chair in relation to the date of the Cassini map and this information it may indeed be true that Edgar Allen Poe had intimate knowledge of what the Rennes le Chateau mystery involved long before the exploits of Saunière. Is it possible that Poe knew about the Star in the landscape in 1837 well over one hundred and twenty-five years prior to it being made public by Henry Lincoln? Had he situated the site of his story to reflect this knowledge?
Rennes le Chateau was somehow already valued by a braintrust that Poe had been connected to. Given the chronology of the “Les Bains de Monferan le Cercle” site being present on the Cassini map, the life of Poe, and the exposure of this story to the public we may assume that Poe was privy to all the secrets both Jefferson and the Lee family and had even taken part in the propagation of similar stories as fiction in the view of the pubic. This information was likely known by other Virginia First Families including the Beale’s, Moncure’s, Washington’s, and more.
Via these associations he was also privy to the knowledge of the Cassini’s. It seems that Poe was writing these stories into his prose concealing a hidden way to communicate them to those that were aware of how to recognize the hints that something else was being told. This may include the facts that involve versions of a cipher he made popular being used in solutions to the Beale Treasure, Oak Island, and now Rennes le Chateau. For instance if someone was aware of what the “Devils Chair” was they may then associate the metaphor of President Jefferson as being the main character Legrand in the “Gold Bug.” To the trained eye this is what Poe is telling us in his story. Poe may even be telling us that Jefferson had visited the Devil’s Chair himself.
In the Gold Bug he may be referring to the Oak Island Treasure, the Beale Treasure, and Rennes le Chateau all in one piece of literature. Along the way he is telling us that Thomas Jefferson as Legrand in the story knew all of this and that he is likely the source Poe used to write this tale. We may also being informed that President Jefferson had solved a mystery of this type just as the main character in the story had.
There are legends and myths existent in Williamsburg that Jefferson was one of the last people to see the contents of The Bruton Parish Church Vault a.k.a. “Bacon’s Vault.” This means that if true he had solved this mystery long ago explaining why no vault has ever been located in modern times. This still begs the question: “Did Jefferson sit in the Devil’s Seat at Rennes le Bains?” Jefferson may have been a cloistered treasure hunter!
This entire scenario is possible but there may be other explanations as well. Here again we have the involvement of the Cassini family associated with other like minded individuals at the Paris Observatory including Arago, d’Abbadie, Jefferson and even possibly Alexander Von Humboldt. All of these men were members of the same international scientific organizations such as the Linnean Society.
It would have been absolute child’s play for these men to arrange such geographic schemes and mysteries during an era when only the elite were aware of the function of a surveyors instrument, sextant, or astrolabe. Many sources state these skills as being hobbies of rich and influential people. It would have been equally as effortless for these men to decipher other more ancient mysteries that involved the same tradition. It appears as if they had almost in part been trained to do exactly that. It is possible that the star in the landscape of Rennes le Chateau had already been found by these men including Edgar Allan Poe.
It may be that the story of the Devil’s Chair is associated with the Cassini’s and the Paris Meridian and that the Rennes le Chateau story is a byproduct of their involvement. This tradition had somehow been exposed to Edgar Allen Poe. This is amazing in light of the Cassini story at Perillos and other similar activity associated with the Great Cross of Hendaye and geographer Antoine d’Abbadie. The star of Henry Lincoln also points very close to Perillos so that is notable as well. There are too many common threads in all of these stories to ignore.
It is entirely possible that all of this Poe imagery was added to these mysteries after the fact. At Oak Island this may be exactly what happened if the treasure had been found and a false story had been left behind. If at Rennes le Chateau the name of the Devil’s seat was actually inspired by Poe’s stories then this would make sense as well. Poe was very popular in France. The naming of the Devil’s Seat according to some is the year 1800 37 years before Poe penned “The Gold Bug.” It would have been possible for this name to have originated in the Poe story so that should not be ignored either. Some stories about the Devil’s Seat even suggest the Cassini’s had been behind its placement.
What is suggested also is that Poe did not know anything about Rennes le Chateau but did know about the Devil’s Seat via a study of the Cassini family and their famous map. Even this solution is a kind of remote possibility. The only other answer would be that this is all a fluke that displays similar imagery. Given his description of the site of the treasure, the use of the Devil’s Seat, the possible association of Sullivan’s Island and the Rennes le Chateau Star, and a possible association with information left by Jefferson it appears that he did know about at least some of the factors involved in the Rennes le Chateau mystery as we see it today. So in the end the question still lingers:
“Did Edgar Allen Poe know about Oak Island, Rennes le Chateau, The Beale Treasure, The Bruton Parish Church Vault and more?”
All of this infers that the Cassini family had knowledge of the truth of Rennes le Chateau and much more. It appears that they had unlocked some ancient information using astronomical methods that had been employed long ago.
There is no hard evidence and only associations and speculation contribute answers to these mysteries but the Poe associations with all of these stories may be true or being applied to them for a reason. For many reasons all of these tales resemble the work of Poe who may have been inspired by an exposure to the truth of these mysteries. Many standard biographies of Poe state that he never left the United States. Conflicting this view are a few facts including the correspondence of a famous author.
The best evidence that Poe spent time in France includes the fact that famous author of “The Three Musketeers” Alexandre Dumas claims to have met and known Poe in Paris when no records or biographies of Poe state that he ever went there. Dumas goes as far as to say that Poe stayed in his house in Paris during this visit. This claim derives from a letter Dumas wrote to an Italian Police official claiming he knew Poe in France in 1832.
“It was about the year 1832. One day, an American presented himself at my house, with an introduction from ... James Fenimore Cooper. Needless to say, I welcomed him with open arms. His name was Edgar Poe. From the outset, I realized that I had to deal with a remarkable man. Two or three remarks which he made upon my furniture, the things I had about me, the way my articles of everyday use were strewn about the room, and on my moral and intellectual characteristics, impressed me with their accuracy, and truth.” –Alexandre Dumas
Here is further proof that Poe had now actually gone to France during an era when Cassini IV was still alive. 1832 is a full thirteen years before Cassini’s death in 1845. Given this information if true Poe could have even visited the Devil’s Chair himself prior to penning “The Gold Bug” in 1837. Poe was said to have ravenously devoured any information having to do with science and technology so it is no surprise the he would have been aware of and appreciated the work of the Cassini’s.
Further evidence suggests that Poe may have been involved in intelligence gathering activities. The entire course of Poe’s life was interwoven with characters and organizations that would easily lead one to the conclusion that there was a great deal more to the life of Poe than what is exposed in narratives of his life that paint him as drunkard and tortured artist.
It is likely that his involvement in this sphere of activity started around the time he was a student at the University of Virginia. Some sources do state that at this time Poe and President Jefferson did indeed meet each other, as Jefferson was fond of meeting and speaking with students of his new University. At this time Jefferson was still President of the University of Virginia. It is possible that Jefferson was also aware of Poe’s father’s service during the Revolutionary War.
Other influences on Poe with regard to intelligence gathering activities would include a possible association with the Society of the Cincinnati. This organization was comprised of United States military officers during the Revolutionary War and their descendants. This would have included Poe whose grandfather was instrumental in providing the Continental Army with hardware and supplies from Baltimore. Poe’s father was under the command of the Marquis de Lafayette during this time. The Society of the Cincinnati also included French military officers as well as a few from Sweden and Prussia. This would have also associated Poe with Pierre L’Enfant who who was also an engineering officer under Lafayette at the beginning of the war.
Given his association with Lafayette it is likely that the elder Poe was also associated or knew the Buchanan and Rodgers family of Druid Hill. Nicolas Rodgers was said to have worked directly for Lafayette at this time and it is likely the men knew each other via Baltimore society prior to the Revolution. It is also notable that later while Poe was enlisted in the Army in Richmond that he led an honor guard that welcomed the visiting Lafayette. Some speculate that he was enlisted by Lafayette at this time to do the bidding of the Society of the Cincinnati.
Lafayette as well as other French, German, and Swedish officers of the Revolution were also members of the Society of the Cincinnati. So this organization also had a strong presence in Europe and was involved in any revolution of the day such as the one in Poland where they were attempting to institute a Republic. This philosophy pitted the Society of the Cincinnati and the American way against the Royal interests of Europe whom also employed spycraft and subterfuge in their efforts to retain power. The Society of the Cincinnati was named for Roman military leader Cincinnatus. Cincinnatus gave up his dictatorial powers and returned them to the Senate of Rome. This made him a good figurehead for an organization dedicated to the preservation of the republican ideal in the United States and beyond.
The aim of this group was in part to preserve the new Republic of the United States of America through time using any means necessary. The Society of Cincinnati was also said to have its own spies and intelligence apparatus on the continent to help further their goals. The Marquis de Lafayette himself led the French branch of the Society of the Cincinnati. The Society in France worked towards the establishment of a Republic there.
Many popular authors and artists of the day may have been sent to Europe to gather data under the auspices of the Society of the Cincinnati. Part of their duties may have been to analyze any cultural activity that may be used for or against them. These men knew that both elements of the European monarchies and the Church would stop at nothing to prevent the ideals of the Constitution from succeeding. During this time it may be that knowledge of many of the myths and legends of Europe became a point of interest for use in a kind of occult psychological warfare. This would apply if a specific caste of royalty valued the placement of talismanic architecture in an esoteric manner as well. Added to the mix would be the Church and its associated organizations such as the Jesuits and scholars of St. Sulpice.
This may be among the reasons that places like Rennes le Chateau and The Great Cross of Hendaye came on to the radar screens of any spies of this nature in Europe at that time. The people and families behind many of these mysteries seem to be rooted in some form of monarchy and associated gentry that would have opposed the concept of a republic for obvious reasons. Knowledge of the family and secret society mysteries of this caste of people would be very useful in crafting countermeasures to combat the elite’s efforts to maintain their control on society at large.
Members of this elite group that happened to read the “Gold Bug” would recognize that Poe was aware of something they valued and also be informed where he came across this information. This type of concept is even involved in the politics of Pierre Plantard who seemed to be using the mythology of Rennes le Chateau to claim that he was the true King of France. Given the influence of spies and intrigue in this realm it is no surprise that the famous “dossier secret” may indeed be a fake produced by those wishing to muddy the waters of the entire phenomena intentionally. Spy vs. Spy.
This spy network of the Society of the Cincinnati may indeed be what Californian “Poet of the Sierras” Joaquin Miller would be involved in later in the nineteenth century during his stay in Europe. Joaquin was an early pioneer of Northern California and Oregon. He was an author and playwright who wrote of the American west that was more popular in England than his native country. Miller was from Cincinnati, Ohio and his real first name was Cincinnatus Heine Miller belaying a possible connection to the Society of the Cincinnati. If Miller was a member of the Society that may explain why he chose to change his name to Joaquin prior to his trip to Europe. While in Europe he was said to have hobnobbed with the elite of Europe and even became associated with famous artist’s guild the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. In reality Joaquin also known as Cincinnatus was likely spying on them!
Today the main office of the Society of Cincinnati is located in Cincinnati, Ohio. Miller fits the mold of how Poe is described in certain accounts. Joaquin Miller also led a life that displayed an appreciation for arrays of arranged architecture. This included a two year stay living on the White House Meridian in Washington D.C. then returning to Oakland California and developing similar concepts on his estate there in the form of architectural follies. (More on Cincinnatus a.k.a. Joaquin Miller in a subsequent chapter here).
The life and times of Miller though slightly later than Poe do seem to support the notion that the Order of the Cincinnati did have an intelligence gathering apparatus designed to ferret out the secrets of the elite factions of Europe who were threatened by the notion of a Republic as opposed to the dictatorial regimes of the monarchies of Europe. Part of what the Society did was to infiltrate European society with American artists and writers. Joaquin Miller was likely also a spy for the Society of Cincinnati and ultimately the United States of America.
During the era of Poe France had become a Republic again in no small part due to the efforts of a now elder Lafayette. It is likely that the European branch of the Society of Cincinnati was also working to establish other Republics on the model of the Untied States and France in other places like Poland. Poland also had a revolution aimed at dethroning a monarchy at that time. Additional evidence that supports Poe going to Europe includes a letter from him to the commandant of West Point to be dismissed from duty so he could seek a commission as an officer in the Polish army. Yet another clue that Poe may have actually gone to Europe at some point.
Other American artists involved in this activity may have included James Fenimore Cooper, Washington Irving, and painter and inventor Samuel F.B. Morse (Morse code, inventor of the telegraph).
Poe was noted by many as having a highly developed sense of analysis and observation. It seems that Poe, due to his intelligence and talent as a writer, may have been recruited via a combination of his association with Lafayette and Jefferson while at the University of Virginia. He subsequently may have been sent to West Point for further training. After this he may have been deployed domestically or sent to Europe under an assumed identity.
It is odd and notable that Dumas noted Poe’s presence there even including fact that Poe stayed at his residence for an extended period and that they became friends and took walks together. It may be that Poe’s real identity being known by Dumas would also indicate that the French author was also a patriot of France and the Republican ideal.
Opposing this group of truly American artists was another literary faction known as the transcendentalists. This faction included Emmerson who may have even had a kind of rivalry with Edgar Allan Poe. It seems that Poe had been none too gentle in his critique of Emmerson’s work. Here we may be seeing an example of two opposing groups using the media as a battle ground in pre Civil War America. During this era the media was comprised of books and magazines. All of the same techniques used in hiding concepts in TV and music in the modern world were employed during this era via writers and artists. The written word and traditional media still held a great deal of sway on the psyche of the public at this time.
Emmerson and some of his other cohorts may have been part of a group of artists that favored monarchies and the “ancient regime” of old Europe. Ultimately the goal of both sides of this literary battle would be to effect the views of the public with regard to their goals and beliefs. Viewed in this context many odd and occult happenings and beliefs may be seen in their true light. These are the same sentiments held by the d’Abbadie’s in a longing for a more peaceful well organized time from the past that included monarchies and a landed class of gentry to support it.
Some speculate that the transcendentalist artists were even associated with the Habsburg family or other royal interests in Europe. The same Hapsburg family many point to as having created the architectural follies at Rennes le Chateau via exiled King of France Henri V (Artois). This longing for the “ancient regime” is a sentiment that is repeated by the D’Abbadie family who are associated with the Great Cross of Hendaye mystery in their philosophy and management of Chateau Abbadia.
So in a very real spy vs. spy scenario we have the Republican creators of the United States locked in secret espionage combat against the “ancient regime” of old line monarchies and landed gentry of Europe. It is not clear where Jacobite interests would fall in this conflict though they were instrumental in the establishment of the United States of America. The use of artists and entertainers as spies is nothing new to history. President Lincoln would later be assassinated by an actor. Jusinian I wife Theodora was a “dancing girl.” It is possible that Theodora introduced a Coptic form of Christianity into the Byzantine court.
To effectively defeat one’s enemy Poe and others would have been looking for the deep cultural roots that drove the psyche of their opponents. This may have included research into the lore and mythology of the many secret societies and family fraternities that existed in the world of the landed gentry. People like Poe and Morse would have been especially adept at understanding any technological secrets that they would have been exposed to during this time.
Poe would have been adept at noting cultural manifestations that would be useful and it appears some of these concepts would also later make a good story. His fascination with science may have led him to a study of the work of Cassini or to even have sought him out to talk personally. The Cassini’s may have actually been opposed to the new politics of the Republic given their history and disassociation with the French Revolution. Here again we have more reason to believe that somehow Poe had known about the legend of Rennes le Chateau long before it was exposed later. It is possible that the significance of Rennes le Chateau was known of by Jefferson and this information had been further investigated if not by Poe then by Morse or Cooper and shared with the Society of the Cincinnati for their own uses.
Given all of this information the question of the modern Rennes le Chateau story may be viewed in a different light. What role or which side was Bérenger Saunière representing. The story of his association seems to indicate a break with traditional Catholic beliefs that may have included a belief in Mary Magdalene and a living post resurrection Christ. The introduction of this concept would likely challenge the old line beliefs of loyalists and ardent Catholics alike. Is it possible that this entire scenario was schemed in order to attain a political goal via the manipulation of the truth of history? In other words was it a byproduct of some sort of silent war between factions wishing to spin history in a particular direction? Is the entire story even true? There is likely something to each mystery that contains a kernel of truth. Rennes le Chateau may represent a lost treasure myth that was spun in many ways to resemble the story we see today for political reasons.
Still many questions and holes in this story exist that can’t be ignored. If Poe was a spy then it makes sense that his true exploits would not have been told of until much later if at all. If he had been working for the Society of the Cincinnati then this organization may have chose to withhold these facts for political or security reasons. His profession, intellect, and talents would fit the profile of many of the other artists suspected as being spies here. Undoubtedly there is still a version of this particular silent war going on throughout the entire world.
Notes on Rennes le Chateau Star.
The Rennes le Chateau Star Points to Sullivan’s Island
The Rennes le Chateau Star Points to Basilica San Vitale.
Basilica San Vitale was built by Ostrogothic ruler Theodoric and Justinian I. This octagonal structure was built in the tradition of the octagons of Constantine over one hundred years prior to the construction of the Dome of the Rock. The Dome of the Rock may have been built by Constantine and he may have once been buried beneath it. His remains and documents that disputed the cannon of the Church were likely included in his burial. Later Charlemagne would create a similar mystery associated with his remains that showed he was aware of the mystery Constantine had left behind. A byproduct of this is noted in the similarities of Aachen Cathedral and The Dome of the Rock. (See “Sacred Towers of the Axis Mundi”).
The Rennes le Chateau Star points to Fortress Salvatierra and Montesario Montesion in Spain and Fortress Salvetierra near Perillos
The Star in the landscape of Rennes le Chateau creates an arc on the globe that leads to both Perillos and Fortress Salvetierra near there and another arc that leads to Fortress Salvatierra and the Montesario Montesion (Mount Sion).
This association is interesting in league with the Cassini’s operations in Perillos. This part of France was once part of Spain. The fortress of Slavtierra is located near Perillos and is part of the existant lore of the Perillos conundrum. The title of Salvatierra is given to commanders of the Order of Calatrava. The Order of Calatrava is a Spainish Order created by the Cistercian Order of monks just as the Knights Templar were.
It is possible that both of these fortresses were once home to Commanderies of the Knights of Calatrava. It is known commonly that Fortress Salvatierra and Montesario Montesion were indeed controlled and built by the Knights of Calatrava.
This involvement of the term “Salvatierra” is also related to Palacio de Salvatierra in Ronda Spain. Ronda is a location that may be associated with the Great Cyclic Cross of Hendaye. Ronda is included in the templum or places pointed to by the Great Cross of Hendaye.
The Rennes le Chateau Star Points to the Kings Knot
The octagon of the Kings Knot is oriented to point to the Star in the Landscape of Rennes le Chateau and the star points back. This alignment also includes the Tower of the Winds at Shugborough Hall. Shugborough is the home of the famous Shepherd’s Monument with its “Et in Arcadia Ego” inscription. The Shepherd’s Monument displays this relationship in theme and its location. Some of the follies at Shugborough may be visible in the altar painting at the Rennes le Chateau Chapel. (See later Chapter for more)
The Rennes le Chateau Star Points to the Peace Arch.
The Maryhill Stonehenge of Samuel Hill points an arc on the globe to the Peace Arch situated on the border of the U.S. and Canada. The Peace Arch is associated with the International Peace Garden which is also located on the 49th parallel on the U.S. and Canada border. Mr. Hill was also instrumental in building the Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco. This building points an arc on the globe to the octagon of the International Peace Garden. It is notable that the Rennes le Chateau Star also points to the Peace Arch just as Mr. Hill’s Stonehenge replica in Washington State does. Mr. Hill is a descendant of the same Washington family as the first President.
The Rennes le Chateau Star Points to Heliopolis, Egypt.
The Brotherhood of Heliopolis is spoken of in Fulcanelli’s “Mystery of the Cathedrals.” Heliopolis and later its namesake “Heliopolis” now known as Baalbek were the temporal axes mundi of their respective cultures of Egypt and the Roman Empire. The Brotherhood of Heliopolis may be composed during the era of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries by people like the Cassini’s, Jefferson, d’Abbadie’s, and Von Humboldt’s.
The axis of Heliopolis has many secrets including pointing an arc on the globe that includes Saqarra and many other significant Egyptian sites. The arcs on the globe extending from what is left of Heliopolis may have also contributed to millennial beliefs and the indication that Egypt was somehow related to the development of South and Central American Native cultures. (See “Sacred Towers of the Axis Mundi” for detailed analysis).
An illustration from and early edition of Poe’s “The Gold Bug” that seems to depict the environs of Rennes le Bains and Rennes le Chateau and not the landscape of Sullivan’s Island South Carolina where the story place.
The following poem by Poe is thought by many to refer to Atlantis. A closer inspection reveals he may be talking about the town of Migdal (Magdala) or original home of Mary Magdalene located on the edge of the Sea of Galilee. Magdala is a Hebrew word for tower that inspired the name of the town. The position of the tower or Magdala next to the sea by Poe may reference this place. This in conjunction with the other Magdalene imagery in the “Gold Bug” may show how much Poe was actually aware of in this sphere.