Key to the Sacred Pattern

05 August 2012

A Lost Da Vinci Found in Scotland?

This week I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Stephen McGinty of The Scotsman. Mr. McGinty let me in on a bit of a mystery that is brewing in Perthshire. Fiona McLaren claims to be in possession of a lost da Vinci painting that depicts Mary Magdalene with two children. To up the ante, there is a Papal Bull attached to the back of the painting. Mr. McGinty's article, "Neglected portrait could be new Da Vinci Code painting" can be found by clicking the title's link. 

At the time I spoke with McGinty, I had not seen or heard of the find. McGinty was speaking to me for my initial impressions of the story. After seeing the image and the full story behind the find, I'm cautiously optimistic and hold to my comments in the article. If the painting isn't a forgery, and depicts McLaren's interpretation of the painting's subjects, it's big news to those who follow a bloodline interpretation of the Grail. Unfortunately, I have a feeling I know what will happen to this find. 

Assuming McLaren has a painting from the 15th Century, the art experts will come out of the woodwork with their opinions about the piece. No matter what the conclusion the experts come to regrading the providence of the painting, the subject matter will be branded as anything but that of Mary Magdalen. (Truth be told, when I first saw the image I thought the child on the left is wearing a hair-shirt. If that's the case, it would seem that the painting is of John the Baptist, Jesus, and either the virgin Mary or John's mother Elizabeth.) I would seriously doubt that anyone in the art community would go out on a limb to say Mary Magdalen with children was the subject of a painting commissioned by Francis I. If an art expert did go on the record that the female is Mary Magdalen, that expert would be branded "a Da Vinci Code nutter".

The controversy that is sure to surround the painting  will ensure the piece and Mrs. McLaren's theories will be pronounced dead on arrival. Dr. Kemp's statements in the article are only the beginning to those who will be in lockstep waiting to pass judgement before any evidence is seen. If you notice, Kemp's first thoughts  were of "secret codes"  embedded in the painting and thus dismissed any possibilities the painting holds out of hand. I don't really blame Kemp for jumping to conclusion that "all you people are stuffing ten pounds of conspiracy in a nine pound sack of logic". As a rule, our community does a poor job of representing itself to the mainstream. 

We've evidently done a good enough job of finding conspiracies under every bushel that an Oxford Art Professor showed no interest in a previously unknown da Vinci. Our tin foil hats would seem to have outshone a potentially masterful work of art. I'm by no means advocating that anyone out there stop questioning the accepted account of anything. There are hidden histories, secret societies, codes, and real/intellectual treasures out there. Those things are just not always out there.

I confess that I have my own moments of Pi-esque mania and there's nothing wrong with that. (At least I hope there's nothing wrong with that...) We all have a responsibility to do our due diligence before sounding off to the world. Half thought through theories, logical fallacies, poor scholarship, and outright fantasies harm every single one of us. I do hate to be a wet blanket, but I include myself in this terse rant. I can safely say I've never taken fictional license with a posting here, but in the other cases I'm sure I've fallen victim to my own enthusiasm. 

The point of the matter is that the better job we do in presenting our cases, the easier people like Mrs. McLaren will have in the future. She obviously has something that is worthy of scrutiny. I simply hope it is examined in such a way that the complete truth will be seen. If Mrs. McLaren doesn't get a fair shake, we have only ourselves to blame.

18 April 2012

Tales of the Grail on Night Vision Radio

Night Vision Radio
I just got a call from Rene Barnett of Night Vision Radio to be her guest this evening. We'll be discussing Grail lore and stories of different Grail Cups. There are dozens of different cups throughout the world that lay the claim to being the Holy Grail.  No matter if the Grail is actually the cup used at the Last Supper or some other object or idea, the stories behind the cups are fascinating on their own. So tune in tonight at 10PM CST to get in the discussion!

15 April 2012

The Disclose TV Hoax and Critical Thinking

Disclose TV's Home Page on 14 April 2012
Yesterday I became fascinated with the reports of Disclose TV's apparent demise. Facebook posts and tweeters were blowing up the streams with cries of the conspiracy themed website being taken down as part of a joint operation between the "United States Department of Internet Security Terrorism Task Force" and "European Allied Command Operations".  Among those crying foul were those claiming to be former government employees and "insiders" who had pipelines into the very heart of Washington DC. To read some of the posts, one would have thought the shut down of any alternative news source was just hours away.

As it turns out, the blackout of Disclose TV's web site was basically a publicity stunt. Why were thousands of people duped with a PT Barnum stunt? The answer is simple to describe, but difficult to stomach. No matter how suspicious and careful a human is, emotions will almost always trump intellect. Disclose TV's "seizure" was an assault on free speech and a dig at an organization whose goal is to pierce the veil of government coverups.The incident should be a wake up call to everyone in the conspiracy, paranormal, or esoteric community. As much as anyone in these communities would wish he/she was above tactics aimed at "sheeple", realize that you are not.

The previous statement is not designed to be an indictment of anyone in particular, but a lesson that needs to be learned if alternative thought folks are to be taken seriously by the mainstream. Co-author of Holy Blood, Holy Grail Henry Lincoln summed up my thoughts in a 28 March 2012 interview quite succinctly, "Don't believe anything that I or anyone else says." Lincoln then urged everyone to do their own homework and come to their own conclusions. We cannot rely on anyone to do our thinking for us.

Had one done just a few minutes of Googling yesterday, the Disclose TV "seizure" would have been an apparent scam. None of the government agencies listed on the seizure notice exist and the USC cited on the notice is a highway bill. I was lucky enough to do some background research on the seizure notice, but I have been duped in the past... To help combat the ever present BS in our universe, I try to go back to some steps in critical thinking. There are tons of critical thinking guides on the web, but this one comes from the Leadership Vibe site and applies quite well to those in "alternative thought".

  • What is the current problem? Make sure to identify what the current problem really is, not the emotional connection to the problem?
  • What are the symptoms of the problem? Identifying the symptoms will help you stay on course with the true problem and identify people or processes that are fueling the problem.
  • What assumptions are being made? Know fact versus assumptions, two very different realities.
  • Is the evidence reliable? To what degree? Make sure what evidence you are supplied with can be corroborated.
  • Is there critical information missing? Crucial for framing the entire picture.
  • Other explanations for problem? Step outside of the problem and try to identify other possibilities of cause.

Let Disclose TV be a cautionary tale for all of us and let the inscription on the Smoking Man's Zippo be ever close to the front of our minds... Trust No One.

12 April 2012

Two Poussin Paintings Discovered in France?

I received this comment on one of my older blog posts this week by someone calling themselves "Gasc": "2unkwown Poussin's paintings discovered :the key of Poussin's secret and Rennes le chateau mystery. How 2 family's paintings have given me the key of this mystery ? all is explained on there are 6 years, 2 paintings are given me at my mother's death and it's the beginning of my discoverings:2 coded paintings we discover Poussin's paintings ,which came from my priest ancestor . Priest near from Rennes le chateau ."

The comment was either from someone who doesn't speak English very well or uses a horrible translation program. I decided to check out the link and it directed me to a site in French called "Le Secret de Poussin".  Since my French is about as good as my Latin, I ran the site through Google translate.  From what I can gather from the site, the author is a relative of Henri Gasc a "pastor of Our Lady of Marceille near Rennes-le-Chateau. Mrs.Gasc is claiming that she inherited these two previously unknown Poussin paintings that are sure to blow the lid off the RLC mysteries. Below are the two paintings for your inspection...

"Previously Unknown Poussin" #1
"Previously Unknown Poussin" #2

There's a whole litany of explanations, whys, and wherefores on the site that I haven't had a chance to check out at the present time.  One of the more interesting items on the site is what appears to be a broadcast of a French TV show dated 26 Dec 2011 that deals with the discovery.  Since my French isn't up to snuff, I've only been able to pick out the odd phrase of the "broadcast".  If anyone would like to translate the broadcast, drop me an email.

Given the revelations of Ben Hammott this past month, I'm a little gun shy about anything new coming from Rennes-le-Chateau. If these are really previously undiscovered Poussin paintings, at very least they're a great find for the art community. However, that doesn't necessarily mean that these paintings are linked to the mysteries at Rennes-le-Chateau. That is if they are the genuine article at all.... As I find out more on this one, I'll let everyone know.

22 March 2012

Ben Hammott Discusses the Bloodline Tomb Hoax

Ben Hammott Bloodline Tomb
Picture of Ben Hammott's "Tomb"
Last night Ben Hammott appeared on Rene Barnett’s Night Vision Radio show to make his first public statements about his hoax of the “Bloodline tomb”. (You can download or listen live to the show here. Scroll down to the 21 Mar 2012 show listing.) Ben’s confession on air was basically a rehashing of the email he had sent out earlier this week with a number of other revelations. I’ll cover the highlights in bullet points below. If you’re interested in this developing story, listen to the interview and make your own determinations about Ben’s statements. Here are some of the highlights of Hammott’s statements:
  • He was the only party who knew of the hoax. Everyone involved with the Bloodline documentary had no knowledge on the hoax.
  • The “tomb” photos that were originally shown of Ben’s website were of a small scale model. A life sized tomb was constructed somewhere in the UK. Ben admitted that when he visited the tomb site in Rennes-le-Chateau with Bruce Burgess, he gave Bruce a bogus recording of the tomb set.
  • The skeleton used on the tomb set was a real skeleton purchased on eBay and doctored with a latex compound to simulate mummified flesh. Other items that were used to “point Ben to the tomb” were vintage items that dated to the late 1800’s to get around carbon dating.
  • Bruce Burgess and an unnamed American investor had visited France after the release of Bloodline to find the tomb. Burgess had told the French authorities that the illegal digging for the tomb was actually Hammott in an attempt to cut Hammott out of the glory of discovering the tomb.
  • Ben had fed information, via an unnamed third party, that led Andrew Gough to question the veracity of Hammott in general. Last week Gough broke the story of Hammott faking pictures of the Loch Ness Monster and indications that Ben had faked an Ark of the Covenant at the present time.
  • Ben further claimed that he had not been pressured or bought off to cover up the location of the tomb. There has been the suggestion that the tomb actually exists and the hoax confession was a ruse to cover up the existence of the tomb.
  • Ben also claimed that he was in Rennes-le-Chateau during last night’s interview. At another point in the interview Ben also stated that he would go back to Rennes-le-Chateau in the future.
  • The primary motivation for the hoax was to spotlight the Rennes-le-Chateau mysteries. Ben hoped to find something “real” relating to Saunière's inexplicable wealth and will continue to look in the future.
  • Hammott, whose real name is Bill Wilkerson, will continue using the pseudonym. (He has been referred to as Hammott in this article simply for simplicity's sake.)
In the popular vernacular, the whole situation is a hot mess. No matter how you come down on Ben Hammott’s situation, the affair is a black eye for the community. It’s time to lick our wounds and move to other business.

19 March 2012

Ben Hammott Confesses to Bloodline Tomb Being a Hoax

I don’t believe I have never come out and said it in public, but I have to admit that I took a leap of faith. I had the more than a glimmer of hope that Ben Hammott, of Bloodline documentary fame, had found a tomb in the wilds of France that would forever change the Rennes-le-Chateau mysteries. When I first heard about the story, I dug into the evidence that was presented and even went to New York to the Bloodline pre-release press conference. There I met the documentary’s principal movers Rene Barnett and Bruce Burgess, as well as the experts they had called in to authenticate the items found by Hammott. (The article about that trip was posted here) Hammott was not present at the press conference but since that time I had the chance to interview him on the Unraveling the Secrets podcast.

Following all that, I had faith. I had faith that there might have been some dramatic license taken with Hammott’s story, but the story’s essence was true. A little more than 24 hours ago, I found out that faith was ill founded.  This message appeared on Rene Barnett’s Facebook page:


Hello Rene,

This has been a long time coming and something that is long overdue. And to tell the truth, for once, I am glad it has all finally come out. I have thought many times about coming clean and telling you and others the truth, but lacked the guts to do so.

Everything I said I discovered is a hoax, planted by me and only me and no one else involved knew the truth, not even my brother.

I have no idea why I did it, or carried on what was at first a stupid prank that escalated out of control. My intention was never to deceive, but then of course it was by doing what I did. Perhaps I did it for the money, though very little was ever forthcoming and realised (sic) early on that it probably never would.

Did I do it for fame and attention? Perhaps. I did enjoy it at times but it wasn’t the driving force behind it.

Maybe I just carried on to see what I could get away with. I really don’t know. I know saying sorry to you and the many friends and acquaintances I have made and deceived over the years, can in no way make up for what I have done. There is probably nothing I can say or do now to right the wrong. But I am very, very sorry and know that many of them I will lose, which is perhaps the worst thing about this sorry and despicable act of mine.

I have had nothing since bad luck since I become involved with the Rennes-le-Chateau affair, bad karma, almost certainly. Today I have no money, no family life, no home and now probably very few friends. It is perhaps a well disserved (sic) outcome.

I apologize to you, someone who has supported and defended me over the years, I cannot say sorry enough for what I have done. I have lied to you and let you down in such a big way I cannot even hope for your forgiveness and so will not ask for it.
Ben [Hammott]

I was on the phone with Rene within 30 minutes of the posting.  Rene also indicated that she had authenticated that the email did come from Ben and was not some prank. Rene was devastated about Ben’s confession. Something she had placed her faith in had been taken away from her.

For those of you who think that Ben might be “taking one for the team”, I would ask that you consider that everyone has been duped at one time or another. If it be by a professional grifter, a duplicitous co-worker sacking work, or a cheating spouse, we’ve all placed our faith in someone who was not worthy of that gift.

Ben had lied directly to me on the Unraveling the Secrets show and to an entire world interested in the Rennes-le-Chateau mysteries. Furthermore, stunts of this magnitude go to discredit and dishearten those of us who try to find the truth in matters of the underground stream.  Do I feel badly that I had bought into Ben’s story? Yes. I acted on faith and isn’t any quest for the Grail built on the proposition of faith?  Sling stones and arrows if you will.

Today I found out that Ben will be appearing on Rene’s podcast, Night Vision Radio this Wednesday night at 10PM PST.  From what I understand, Rene will give Ben a chance voice his mea culpa to the world. Questions will be taken via Night Vision’s chat room. I personally will be glued to my monitor to see what Mr. Hammott has to say for himself and suggest that if you’re interested in this topic you do the same.