Rennes le Chateau Research Books and Links

maranatha i tego arcana deiAlthough I have loved puzzles and mysteries all my life, it wasn’t until I started working on the Maranatha Puzzle in 2005 that I became fully introduced and intrigued by the mystery of Rennes le Chateau.  Sure I had enjoyed reading Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code in 2003 which used theories and information involving Rennes le Chateau; but that was a fictional novel, and I tossed it quickly off as simply entertaining.

The Maranatha Puzzle book offered something unique and different.  The authors of this tale claimed to have discovered a genuine ‘secret’ while researching Rennes le Chateau material.  In attempt to effectively share their supposed incredible findings, they created a puzzle.  So now there was an actual mystery and a puzzle to solve.  Needless to say, I was charmed.

I previously wrote a brief summary on The Mystery of Rennes le Chateau, but for those interested in learning more about the twisted tangle with probable no end, I offer a few beginning books and links on the Rennes le Chateau enigma, and the reasons why I suggest them.   They all talk about and provide varying accounts, theories, or conclusions on different aspects of Rennes le Chateau. (Realize the below list is only a tiny fraction of the pages written on RLC).


Holy Blood Holy Grail by Baigent, Leigh, and Lincoln (1982):  I think most would agree this book first introduced the Rennes le Chateau affair to a wide audience and brought major attention to it. The book includes lots of research on the area and subjects involved.  It establishes there are definite strange happenings and mysteries gripping the region.  Even though conclusions of the book are not always agreed upon (but that goes for all these books), it is a must read to understand how some thoughts and ideas on Rennes le Chateau originated.

The Accursed Treasure of Rennes le Chateau by Gerard de Sede and translated by Bill Kersey (1967):  Reading this book is what actually initiated the research and writing of Holy Blood Holy Grail.  So again, for understanding background of the mystery, this is a must read.  Personally, I love the following story involving it:  When visiting the area, Lincoln (author of Holy Blood, Holy Grail) picked up this book, began reading, and noticed there was an unmentioned hidden code on a copy of a parchment contained in the book.  Lincoln was totally fascinated by such an omission and wondered why the code about treasure wasn’t revealed.  And so it began.  (I want to pick up a book and find an un-expecting hidden code that leads to a complete mystery..:) How cool is that!)

The Tomb of God by Andrews and Schellenberger (1996):  This book includes much of the known material surrounding the mystery of RLC; the history of Sauniere, discoveries in the church, the parchments, the codes, the paintings, the stones, the neighboring areas, etc.  It provides a nice overall account and gives lots to consider on how the many pieces could be used to fit together.

Inside the Priory of Sion by Robert Howells (2011):  I like this particular book for the chapter written on the mystical Red Serpent publication which is believed to have ties to the lost treasure (spiritual and/or physical).  As the quote at the beginning of the book’s section states, “Le Serpent Rouge encapsulates all aspects of the mystery” ~ Priory of Sion.  Howells’ interpretations of the 13 differing stanzas are impressive.  Whether a person agrees with the complete analysis, or not, doesn’t matter.  It is clear once delving deeper in the RLC mystery that allegorical and alchemical references could be at play, and Howells does a great job of introducing some of these to readers.

Web of Gold by Patton and Mackness (2000):  This book brings the historical richness of the Rennes le Chateau tale into consideration.   Legends, conspiracies, guardians of treasure, and more surface in this book.  I have to say, it’s an interesting read and offers thoughts on how power and gold hungry players may be involved.

The Fool’s Coat by VI Marriot (2005):  This book applies Occam’s Razor to the mystery. If a simple explanation exists for pieces of the puzzle, it just might be the reason.  🙂  Imaginations can run wild when dealing with RLC and so it is nice to read this book to keep it in perspective (at least for a little while).

The Priory of Sion by Jean-Luc Chaumeil (2010):  The author of this book communicated with key players who promoted the mystery of RLC in the late 1950’s onwards.  It gives a firsthand account to certain events of the claimed ‘Priory of Sion’.  Even though it causes doubt to the authenticity of these going on’s (much does really), it shows some of the lengths those players went.  As many other searchers have suggested, it seems they knew ‘something’ and it makes a person question their game and wonder what is the real mystery behind RLC.  The book also contains copies of documents, like Stone and Paper.

Lost Tomb of the Knights Templar by Ben Hammott (2008/2011ebook):  Although a lot of controversy surrounds the discovery of the tomb mentioned near the end of the book (because most believe it to now have been hoaxed), this book does contain notable images of the RLC area and the church’s interior, thoughts, and perspectives that may be inspire a real discovery some time.  Plus, it is good to be aware that hoaxes are part of the activity at RLC.

For a critical look into the Priory of Sion: The Evolution of the Priory of Sion: Captain Way by Spartacus Paraclete (2012 ebook)



Please feel free to offer your own in the comments below.


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20 Responses

  1. Reading this article reminds me of the eight years I spent researching the topic. The result was a four book series (the Caves of Etretat, the Four books of Etretat, The One book of Etretat, The Greyman), written around Maurice Leblanc and his link to Rennes-le-Chateau. I incorporated Sauniere, Rennes-le-Chateau, Leblanc, plus many more historical conspiracies to create an over-arcing theory to explain what Sauniere had been up to.
    I’ve made the first three books of this epic adventure free at smashwords dot com. After such effort writing these books, I would appreciate them being included in your list. I would also enjoy getting a response about the topics I raise in the series from a true aficionado of the Rennes-le-Chateau/Sauniere mystery. Does my series do Sauniere justice? Do I raise the right points? Does my series reveal the real truth behind it all?
    Thanks again for keeping Rennes-le-Chateau alive and in the media. Sauniere would have been pleased.

  2. Nate Beck says:

    I would definitely add to this list the book ‘Templar Gold: Discovering the Ark of the Covenant’ by Patrick Byrne, who is both a Freemason and engineer who offers many intriguing observations on the relationship of Rennes-le-Chateau, the Masonic rituals and the Paris Meridian. Plus Mr. Byrne actually explored the area himself.

    And also the DVD documentary ‘Exploring the Da Vinci Code’ with Henry Lincoln, who takes you on an exciting tour through Rennes and Carcassonne and other areas. This is the next best thing to actually going there yourself.

  3. Nate Beck says:

    I would also like to point out that Patrick Byrne’s book ‘Templar Gold’ came out in 2001. The ‘Maranatha Et In Arcadia Ego’ Puzzle didn’t come out til 2005.

    And in the Companion to the Maranatha Puzzle (which came out in 2006) by Duncan Burden, he actually references Mr. Byrne’s book more than once!

    Most everyone who contributes to this site and who worked on the Maranatha Puzzle already knows that Mr. Burden is also a Freemason, as well as Mr. Byrne.

    So, were the references simply one Mason tipping his hat to another fellow Mason, or is there something in ‘Templar Gold’ that the authors of the Maranatha Puzzle aren’t telling is important to what they found.

    Even more intriguing is the possibility that Patrick Byrne was himself a member of the research group behind the Maranatha Puzzle. Questions questions and so few answers….

    • haywardg says:

      Hello Nate, yes- the connection between Byrne’s discussion of Pech Cardou/Golgotha with Burden’s suggestion of looking for a skull on the mountain above the scene in Poussin’s Les Bergers d’Arcadie was one example that stood out prominently for me. An interesting read.

      The only part that left me disappointed was his suggestion that the rituals and degrees performed by the Templars and Freemasons were written only to locate the “word”, with specific clues to follow to the exact location. I always held the belief that their rituals were longer standing that the span of this particular branch of hypothetical history, but who knows, if the only materials available to read come from the same sources then no one would be the wiser.

  4. Nate Beck says:

    Thanks Hayward,

    Yeah I agree that Masonic ritual seems to span more than just the secret of Rennes-le-Chateau and I’m also not convinced it’s all just about the Ark of the Covenant either.

    It’s just sad that the team behind the Maranatha puzzle are being so stingy with the material. I believe this is because they are under Masonic threat to keep their mouths shut.

    Never forget Captain William Morgan, Abbe Antione Gelis and a handful of other victims of secret society violence!

    • HaywardG says:

      Thank you Nate,

      Regarding secret societies- another interesting subject Byrne talks about in his book is the rivalry or dispute going on between current “guardians” of the ark and others, such as PS; revealing tidbits of information to essentially play chicken with the other group to try to threaten them with exposing them.

      But then another curious thing is how Byrne interprets the small parchment text from RLC:
      “To Dagobert II, King, and to Sion belong this treasure and he is there dead.”

      -His take is that rather than “HE is there dead”, that it is “IT is there dead”; meaning that, if it is the Ark, it is now there just an empty box. He goes on to state briefly that this would indicate that the covenant would afterwards be further based on some other means. It is with this idea that I think (and perhaps this is the purpose of the author) that the Ark becomes a metaphoric or literary device and if the rituals are actually referring to an Ark, it isn’t a physical object hiding in a mountain somewhere.

  5. Nate Beck says:


    Also remember what the original Maranatha Puzzle website said. After the Key was revealed, we were to find the Lock to which it fits and then look into the Sacred Casket to behold the last of that which has been hidden for centuries.

    A good description of the Ark is a Sacred Casket! However, I think we are supposed to look for “An Ark” NOT “THE ARK”!

  6. Nate Beck says:

    Hi jenny,

    Another great book to add to this Rennes-le-Chateau Bibliography would be the 2007 updated version, with a yellow cover, of ‘The Sion Revelation: The Truth About the Secret Guardians of Christ’s Bloodline’ by Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince. This has tons of great information about Priory of Sion documents, Le Serpent Rouge (including a fantastic translation of the text, that’s the best and most accurate one I’ve ever read, in one of the Appendices) and all the major players of the Priory of Sion, quotations from many original documents and archaeological discoveries and the inner workings of the occult world. The updated book is jam packed with invaluable information!

  7. E* says:

    Jenny – I just HAD to share these links with you,…related to this topic,…I couldn’t help myself:

    • Jenny Kile says:

      Lol E*! Thanks for the links.

      Although maybe not highlighted, Rene d Anjou is a part of this blog…….he and his work are mentioned in the Maranatha/TimeMonk project and do hold some wonderful curiosities to consider and research.

      And since you bring him back into my focus, I just may do an article on him!! 🙂

  8. lia says:

    E* both of your links to Good King Rene’ were fascinating Historical references, but I loved reading the beautiful illuminated allegory. Thank you! I should think others who follow this ancient Templar mysteries and Christ’s bloodline would enjoy both posts.

  9. Maria Rigel says:

    I think all the modern material from the Priory of Sion is suspect, since so many sources agree on this. Still, it’s clear that they knew a few of the significant symbols. For example, it’s interesting that “The serpent rouge” has 13 stanzas. Thirteen is the number of the knights of the round table plus Arthur, or the twelve apostles plus Jesus, or the signs of the Zodiac plus the pole star. Also, look at the thirteen stars on the Great Seal of the United States, famously designed by masons.

  10. Nate Beck says:

    Hi Jenny,

    As I usually do every year, I’m starting to pick back up my research of Rennes-le-Chateau again.

    Wanted to add to the book list for this article one of my favorites which is ‘Secrets of Rennes-le-Chateau’ by husband and wife team Reverend Lionel and Patricia Fanthorpe. It is written from an Anglican Christian perspective and offers many interesting threads to the mystery. The Fanthorpe’s are very open minded researchers and Lionel is a bit of a Renaissance man being an Anglican priest, novelist, martial artist, teacher, Freemason and much else. I have a book review on if anyone is interested.

  11. Nate Beck says:

    Finally, after all these years, I read ‘The Accursed Treasure of Rennes-le-Chateau’ by Gerard de Sede today.

    I must say, I wasn’t that impressed with it. Left alot to be desired in my opinion. Looks like it’s a good thing I never started with that one. I kinda hate to say it, but ‘Holy Blood, Holy Grail’ is actually a much better book, even though I don’t agree with it’s main thesis.

    • Jenny Kile says:

      It is a bit strange. However, it is a MUST READ because it is what initiated the research for what is contained in the ‘Holy Blood, Holy Grail.’

      It was from reading that book that Lincoln (author of HBHG) pursued further and began asking questions.

      It’s always best to try and go back to the original or inspired sources. (Lincoln discovered there were codes from reading that book)

      • Nate Beck says:

        Right! I definitely give it credit where due. I think I’m too biased, really lol.

        Rennes-le-Chateau is a subject which has saturated my life. I even continue to have nightmares about it…today I actually dreamed that Sauniere buried a demon under the Church altar, and that I was digging through and blood and flesh began to ooze from the rock that turned out to be some sort of putty like mud that had been spread over the body and painted over! Also figuring in my dream was statues of upside down angels bound in chains in the Church….iconography which does not exist in Sauniere’s church, but does in Rosslyn Chapel!!!

        Books such as Secrets of Rennes-le-Chateau and The Tomb of God are infinitely more detailed than de Sede’s, so I think that’s where I was left wanting more lol.

        Talking about original sources Jenny, wouldn’t it be cool if we had access to the material that Plantard had??!!

  12. Nate Beck says:

    Sounds like a good plot for a Horror Short Story!

  13. Nate Beck says:

    ‘Genuine Secrets In Freemasonry prior to 1717’ by Castells is a MUST!!!!!!

    Add that to your list of books on Rennes-le-Chateau post haste!

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