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©© P.Silvain, www.rennes-le-chateau-la-revelation.com Tuesday July 3rd 2001

THE AFFAIR

On 1st November 1897, All Saints' Day, in Coustaussa, a small village in the Aude départément, a few kilometres from Rennes-le-Château, news broke out of an abominable crime committed on the person of the Abbé Gélis, the village priest.

The body was discovered the same day by his nephew, worried at not having seen him:
"He went into the kitchen, calling out again when, tripping on a shapeless mass, he nearly fell; then looking at his feet, by the light filtering in through the closed shutters of the kitchen, he saw and recognised his uncle lying lifeless in a pool of blood. In a panic over what he had seen, he went out to the street, where he nearly fainted."

Given the horror of the crime, measures were taken immediately:
"The mayor immediately had the doors of the presbytery closed, and sent an express to Couiza in order to alert the law and the police. Also alerted, Monsieur Pugens, justice of the peace in Couiza, travelled immediately to the scene of the crime where, while awaiting the arrival of the parquet
of Limoux, he proceeded to affix the seals."

It would appear that the victim defended himself:
"Lying in a pool of blood, his cassock lugubriously soiled, the victim's hands were placed on his chest and one of his legs was bent and turned inward...The struggle must have been terrible and the blows violent,
judging by the victim's many wounds. Spots of blood were seen on the furniture, the walls and even the ceiling."

The murderer, who persevered, tried and succeeded in killing:
"On a table temporarily installed in the kitchen using planks resting on two trestles, the body of the victim was placed and Doctor Benoît carried out the autopsy. The Abbé Gélis, hit by his murderer with extraordinary violence and determination, bore no fewer than fourteen* horrible head wounds, just above the nape of the neck; the cranium was fractured in several places, and the brain exposed. Three* wounds of lesser importance spread over the ashen face of the corpse."

The authorities used all means possible to catch an unknown assassin:
According to "le courrier de l’Aude", cited by Patrick Ferté:
"All the police brigades were out; they received the order to survey the roads and the countryside. The police of Perpignan watched the border; those of Limoux, Couiza and the environs intensified their zeal and vigilance."

The assassin searched the house, but not in order to steal:
"Theft does not appear to have been the motive of the crime. Drawers partly opened still contained écus (crowns) and even 1,500 Francs in cash. However, the assassin must have searched, but for other motives that the
inquest will no doubt establish."

 

* Note: "14 and 3", or 3.14 (p), secret of the angle of 17° hidden in the Gnomon of the St Sulpice church...


2

The newspaper confirmed the next day:
"The drawers were open, all the furniture had been searched! Why, if it wasn't to steal money, shares or other assets? Did the assassin, who snooped so meticulously everywhere, have by chance an interest in removing a paper, a letter of exchange, the acknowledgement of a debt? This is a simple supposition among the many that are circulating in the streets and that we report without attaching further importance."

The Abbé Gélis must have believed he was safe, because the newspaper noted:
"The presbytery is in the heart of the village and is surrounded v

 

 

ept with his shutters closed, surprising above all in summer, and he had a bell put in at the entrance of the presbytery to announce any visitors."

Patrick Ferté comments:
"But then what was he afraid of in his barricaded presbytery, opening only
after a password? What document was he hiding in his drawers, more
preciously than his money and his chandeliers?"

On 9 November:
"The rumour of the arrest of the assassin continues to circulate in our town. According to our personal information, we can affirm that no arrest has yet occurred...all we can say is that the law has its suspicions and that it is carrying out its inquest actively but secretly."

The discovery of an encoded document marked the turning point in the inquest:
On 21 November, returning to this affair, the Courrier de l’Aude specified:
"A precious document in this affair has just been sent to Paris to be
submitted for appraisal."
If the document was "sent to Paris", this was to limit to the maximum the
number of people likely to have knowledge of it; in fact, it contained the encoding of the Great Secret...

Patrick Ferté added:
"What is certain and disturbing, is that with this dispatch, IT WAS NO LONGER A QUESTION of the inquest on the Coustaussa crime."
In fact, the authorities, knowing the motive for the crime, had deducted from it the identity of the murderer(s)
.
And to conclude:
" - Le courrier de l’Aude
- had asked this question from the outset:
God only knows who is guilty. But will God allow this guilty person to remain unpunished?
Apparently God allowed this; in any case, somewhere in the wings, THEY seem to have managed to obtain His permission."

AN AFFAIR OF STATE OR AN AFFAIR OF "ETR’ETAT"?...


3

INQUEST FOLLOW-UP:

According to two lawyers, Maîtres J. Coudy and M. Nogué, who carried out an inquest in 1975:
"The Abbé Gélis opened [the door] late. For whom did he open it? And why did he take the precaution, underlined by the police reports, of releasing the ad hoc string, the alarm bell that didn't ring, that night?"

Patrick Ferté adds:
"Some have suggested that the assassin came to borrow money from the priest, or that he came to retrieve a promise of debt: this doesn't wash. Because the mysterious visitor was not received as someone in obligation, a dominated debtor, but on the contrary as a "master", since he smoked in front of the Abbé, who was known to detest tobacco, since he drank, as witnessed by the tobacco odour, the Tzar cigarette paper and two opened
bottles of Banyuls and Porto."

The accounts of the curé Gélis, who received 900 Francs per year, were analysed by the examining magistrate:
"It was not Peru...he lived on 700 Francs a year. Apart from his wages, the Abbé Gélis had a few farm rents. Nothing important."

To everyone's surprise, it emerged that the victim had important sums of money:
The inquest revealed (see P. Ferté, p.93) that the curé-dean of Trèbes received during the previous three years, 1,000 Francs per year from the Abbé Gélis, to invest in railway bonds:
"The dean received a visit from him on 24 September 1897. On this occasion, Gélis again gave him 1,200 Francs for the same purpose, adding that HE MUST NEVER WRITE TO HIM ON THIS SUBJECT. Always secrecy."
P. Ferté underlines (p.94), that the curé's house was stuffed with hidden treasures:
"However, these were only trifles, compared with the examining magistrate's discoveries, transported to the presbytery of Coustaussa on
4 November 1897:
"The judge found something written by the Abbé pinned to an expense note dated 24 September 1897, drawn up the same day as his visit to the curé-dean of Trèbes. This document revealed that the Abbé hid 13,000 Francs (or enough to live on for twenty years!) in gold coins in various places in the house and sacristy."! The document was coded."

The judge made an inventory:
"4,000 F under a tabernacle, 2,000 F under a ratchet. This in the sacristy "buried in the earth in the second cellar". Then "in the presbytery were discovered 1,000 F in jaunets (gold coins) in the
fireplace mantelpiece in the bedroom; the same amount in the prayer stool, the same amount under a stone in the privy, the same amount under the attic floor; the same amount in an outbuilding, without mentioning the various sums in the books in the library. There were 11,400 F all over the place, in napoléons (coins) of 20 and 10 F contained in old bits of a stovepipe, or in white iron tubes."

Why on earth would the Abbé Gélis have encoded the location of his hiding places?
"According to Maîtres Coudy and Nogué, only the 1,000 F reported in a cellar were not found. They are undoubtedly still there. Amateurs take note." And to crown their interesting article on these crucial questions: "Since when has this treasure existed? Why? How? What hidden language had the priest used so that the judge understood the indicated places of the caches only after their discovery?...The affair will remain mysterious forever."

The answer is simple: he didn't do this; the encoded document contained another Secret!


4

DISCUSSION:
The assassin would have made a surprise attack on the Abbé Gélis, with the tongs used to stir up a chimney fire; then, given his resistance, would have pursued him fiercely in order to kill him with a hatchet...(= l’erminette (adze) = aire mine Alet: Alet mine area).
According to the examining magistrate, Raymond Jean, having carried out a savage murder, "violent and bestial", the murderer must have suddenly changed attitude and shown, according to the official report of 2 November
, "an unbelievable presence of mind".
Since the murder had been committed on 1 November, it was clearly premeditated, because the phonetic cabal details one of the secrets (no. 3) hidden on the tomb of the Abbé Boudet. (Eccl. 1.11).
The Abbé Gélis had to die on a 1 November...

Gélis* 1 Nov. = Je lis 1.11 (I read 1.11)

Having restored order in the kitchen, the murderer dragged the corpse to the centre of the room and placed the hands on the chest, like a recumbent statue. This attitude could lead one to believe that this involved a cleric.
He put his signature to the crime as a warning for the use of initiates,
counting on the Press to report it:

"Viva Angelina", a reminder of the mysterious "Angelic Society"...

This was written on one of the leaves of a book of cigarette paper that he had brought with him, a very little known brand, "Tzar**",

"in a hand little used to writing" = griffonnée = griffon nez... (scribbled) (griffon nose)

Patrick Ferté reported (p. 103) that according to Maîtres Coudy and Nogué:
"The preliminary inquiry made this - silent witness - talk to the maximum. They interrogated all the tobacconists in the département. No one sold, no one had ever sold, cigarette paper called "Le Tzar". It had come from beyond the département with its holder. Our research has not allowed us to know who made it and where?"
It would be necessary to associate the name of this brand of cigarette paper with the existence of a bank account of the Abbé Saunière, in Hungary...
In our view, the Abbé Gélis, having used financial blackmail on his
colleagues Saunière and Boudet, could have been "executed" in order to preserve the secret... The large sums of money found at the Abbé Gélis' premises were spurned by the assassin, who had paid them to him, in order to show that the money was not the motive of the crime. (He was that wealthy...)

 

* The sceptics should compare this with the false date of death of the Abbé Jean Vié: Jean Vié, 1 7bre = 17 January...
** We should note, with Patrick Ferté (p.106), that Maurice Leblanc alluded in his novel "813", which we decoded in "THE FIRST REVELATION",
to an assassination linked to a cigarette case, containing Russian tobacco and bearing a mysterious inscription designating Alet: "813".

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