Ever one to play the Devils advocate, a fellow researcher discussed with me the possibility of Saunière faking the list of donors and other information to essentially 'cover-up' where his money was coming from. Viz read the comments below:
"It is true that the diaries of Sauniere cover the "request for Masses", "Sending masses", "acknowledgment", "no longer masses," and "promises of Masses". I counted 4660 "mass mailings" from 1896 to 1908, an average of one per day. That's a lot but it is far from the reported "hundreds of orders he received every day."
"The number of "donors" of the Abbe's amounts to tens or hundreds. That's a lot, but at the same time, it is less than what I initially feared. How has the Abbe got in touch with them, and how did he convince [them to send money] ..."
"The same people finance Sauniere - largely from beginning to
Corjan de Raaf said:
"Did anyone ever wonder why Saunière received all his mass requests in alphabetical order? Rather odd don't you think? The priest literally copied an annuaire (the Yellow Pages of the age) to fake a justification for all the money he received. Yes Saunière put adverts in papers, but not the hundreds or thousands that are claimed. I have been a fanatical document searcher for many years and never have I come across one of these adverts".
On December 11, number 13 of the local magazine The veilles des Chaumières, there appears an advertisement signed by Sauniere in which he is advertising for a mass for 1 franc. The priest will deny ever having sent the ad to the magazine - and in fact the operation has the air of a maneuver of libel against Sauniere".
Corjan de Raaf also reported: "Curiously enough, although hords of researchers have been looking for it for a long time, no-one has ever found an advert in any magazine of paper from Saunière in which he requests money to say mass. Nor has there been found one written request to any of his benefactors".
But the main witness is Saunière himself. Had he lied and prepared fake documents in the past? On some websites it is reported that: In February 1903, the Mayor of Rennes-le-Château wrote an official complaint to the Prefect of the Aude saying Estieu was a very bad teacher – the Sub-Prefect later suspected (on 15 February) whether or not that letter, not in the Mayor's handwriting, had really been written by Saunière."
If Sauniere did fake that complaint letter - one must ask, if he has done it once, could he have done it again?
Welcome to the blog of Rhedesium
My name is Sandy Hamblett, inspired and passionate researcher of the mysteries at Rennes-les-Bains.