Partiality means 'unfair bias in favour of one person or thing; favouritism'. It is a very apt word to use for Rennes-le-Chateau researchers because we all practise partiality in one way or another, whether we realise it or not. For example, for me, i have a particular bias towards the possibility of the legendary Visigothic treasure being buried in the environs of the Languedoc, the old Septimania. I think it is entirely possible, in archaeological terms that it can exist, however remote or fanciful it might seem. However, i also discuss other researchers and their ideas and the other 'evidence' on the ground via this website. One might saying 'looking at the bigger picture'.
I note HERE that this website, run - i believe - by someone writing under the pseudonym of Paul Smith - may have looked at the last entry on this blog and then added an article to his website with the headline - 'Did Bérenger Saunière and Marie Dénarnaud have a baby?' [A hilarious claim in the article “Les Démons du Midi” by Pierre Sourbès was published in L'Indépendant of 3 December 1967]. If Smith did look at my entry [after all, he hadn't heard about this article before & it wasn't referenced on his website before my blog post] the information was possibly new to him. I myself only found out about the newspaper article recently when i was looking for information on Caminade, Sauniere's architect].
I always thought Smith practiced an extreme form of bias [that of Sauniere being a crooked priest who sold masses and that Plantard was a fake - Smith never entertains any other possibilities in the Rennes Affair]. His article - once again - exhibits that. Why? Because he chose to ignore any other parts of the entry i made [for example Genibrel, his information about his relative Bousquet etc] for the sole purposes of championing the 'selling of masses' idea and ridiculing any other scenario. Smith chose to go with an idea he felt was being hinted at by the journalist [although i do not think the article claimed it] which was a baby of Sauniere and Denarnaud being buried under the Tour Magdala! Where on earth did Smith get that from? It appears just from one line in said article; "And, more than ever, tongues wagged about Marie, the curé's ever-so-pretty maid..."
Smith also reported the quote - "Marie Dénarnaud had unreasonably been described as Saunière's mistress in the early accounts of the Rennes-le-Château myth during the 1960s – and this 1967 article developed the claim to its most ridiculous level. The said article also contained references to drunken near-orgies in the Villa Bethania and to bawdy priests". I think these press articles are sensationalising the Sauniere 'enigma' in unsavoury ways - and Smith, in his quest to continue to present Sauniere as a crooked priest who trafficked masses, uncritically accepts all these debunking treasure 'articles'. If Sauniere was meant to be one of the 'bawdy priest' ridiculed - well, even i know that isn't true. I know he was loved by his parishioners [evidenced by the parishioners being loyal to Sauniere even when he was no longer official priest of Rennes] and officially - when the Prefect of the Aude entrusted the Sub-Prefect of Limoux to conduct an official investigation into Bérenger Saunière following his name being put forward by Mgr Billard for promotion as personnat - they concluded that "His conduct is good".
Then Smith writes: But people just didn't get it – the story about Saunière's wooden box the size of a baby was soon transformed into Saunière “depositing a treasure chest beneath the Tour Magdala”.
No, that isn't what happened. The idea of something being buried by Sauniere under Tour Magdala which might be some kind of treasure came from family knowledge held by the Genibrels, and in particular a relative named Bousquet who signed Sauniere's death certificate [apparently]! Then Smith says 'This story [about the treasure] only originated in this 1967 article – Noël Corbu didn't know anything about the story during the 1950s and the early 1960s – and the story certainly doesn't date from Bérenger Saunière's lifetime".
Smith suggests here that because Corbu didnt know about it then it cant be true!! Why should whether Corbu knew about it have anything to do with it? New information is found out all the time, it does not always start and finish with Corbu!
Smith prefers to believe that the treasure under the Magdala Tower claim begins with the journalist in that 1967 article poking a bit of fun at a priest with a pretty young maid servant. And of course the silly idea put forward by Smith is just that, silly, as Smith already knows - because he has discussed the strict rules Sauniere wrote in his diary and letters on how relations with female maid servants should be conducted [on his own website].
No, the so-called treasure story under the Magdala Tower came from Genibrel and private family information. Smith writes: Anyhow, things escalated about this to such a degree that moves were undertaken to officially excavate the Tour Magdala (sponsored by the John Merrill Foundation) to seriously look for “Saunière's treasure chest” .
Yes, directly on information given to them by Genibrel! Not because they read this 1967 article!
Smith finishes with the following; However, the article by Pierre Sourbès in L'Indépendant wasn't entirely a damp squib because amongst other inaccuracies it concluded that Saunière did not discover a treasure, but that his wealth originated from the selling of masses.
Smith reports this as if it was something new & amazing that yet again someone was reporting the 'selling of masses' scenario. But its the year 1967, when de Sede published his books and de Sede also reported that many felt Sauniere's financial gains came from selling masses - its just that de Sede didn't believe that was the whole story!
Welcome to the blog of Rhedesium
My name is Sandy Hamblett, inspired and passionate researcher of the mysteries at Rennes-les-Bains.