June 2022

Solved? Can that be right? The mystery of Rennes-le-Château is one of those topics which seems to have been thoroughly discredited.

This story has launched literally hundreds of books, many of which have become well-known. 

It began when a penniless priest in an obscure tiny village in the south of France in the last decade of the nineteenth century became rich beyond his wildest dreams.

From the original classic, The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, to works of fiction like Kate Mosse's Labyrinth, it has inspired writers, dreamers, readers, treasure-hunters and tourists.

Dan Brown used it as the basis for his fictional Da Vinci Code, but somewhere in the journey from a minor local mystery to a global phenomenon, it became a cliché and a byword for dubious history.

Just last month, Tom Hanks, who starred in the movies made from Dan Brown's books, described it all as "hooey".

Undoubtedly, Hanks has a point. But is that the last word?

All that smoke and no fire?

What if, all along, the wrong questions were being asked? What if it was nothing to do with riches, or treasure, or some explosive secret hidden by an all-powerful shadowy group?

What if there was something true, and genuine, and real, concealed beneath layers of misdirection and obfuscation?

There have been many so-called solutions to this mystery put forward over the years. For the most part, they all share the same qualities: they are not terribly convincing, they don't lead to anything of value, and they leave most of the story untouched. Also, they are wrong.

This is not one of those books.

Many years ago, I was drawn into the orbit of this nest of stories, but I was never even remotely interested in the sub-plot of the priest who became insanely wealthy overnight.

Ignoring the legends and rumours of buried gold and treasure, I had other reasons to immerse myself in this puzzle.

Now after more than two decades of quietly thinking, reading, walking and writing, I have something to share with the world.

It includes the solutions to the core riddles at the heart of the Affair of Rennes. 

This sounds preposterous, I will be the first to agree. Who am I to "solve" the mystery? What qualifications do I have to make such claims? 

The proof of the pudding, as they say, is in the eating. 

In this case, the proof of the solution to the riddle is in the reading.

On 22.7.22, I set my results before the world. I can hardly wait.