The Time Monk Project
By Duncan Burden | Arcadia
In the university city of Cambridge, England, a group of scholars discussed the increasing amount of research material being produced on Rennes-le-Château, the enduring mystery of a French priest who appears to have discovered a great treasure or secret while renovating his church in the early 1890’s. The focus of the discussion was the assessment of either the poor supportive evidence of the theories and conclusions offered at the time, or how subsequent publications simply propagated earlier weak theories or poor conclusive research.
The team concluded that the events of Rennes-le-Château warranted the public’s attention, and they themselves were fascinated by the existing oddities, although they believed that many readers’ efforts in making informed investigations were being hampered by having access to only the most easily available material - the mainstream ‘High Street’ publications.
The group resolved to attempt to offer such readers and researchers an alternative source of information. Using their access to academic resources, they could provide not only a database or publication that did not claim to offer the ‘Pulp Fiction’ solutions, but also direct and full background material on all the topics that the previous publications had failed to explain or research fully.
The project had no agenda or belief in solving any historic question or issue, but wished simply to provide information that was available to the breadth of disciplines represented by the members of the group. There was no general consensus to regard the events of Rennes-le-Château as either a true historic phenomenon or an intended (or unintended) hoax, although the scholars readily admit that they did have a fascination regarding the coincidences relating to the publicly known activities of priests of the region and the oddities in the design of the church’s refurbishment. Even so, the group remained open-minded that these were merely coincidences, which only fuelled later hoaxes and over-enthusiastic researchers.
The group also readily concedes that significant members of the group are/were members of certain known clubs and societies, and religious faiths, but at the beginning of the project these facts were not noted as any single point of significance. Neither were these individual memberships the source of any original interest in the subject matter.
From an academic background the project was not a difficult process to break down and research:
Cultural Historical Evidence – looking into the historical and theological sources of the material that is most commonly referred to in the existing investigations.
Historical Evidence – looking into physical evidence that can be sourced regarding the ‘Ground Zero’ of events; the lives of the priests and immediate supporting characters, and the modern characters that have ‘exposed’ the enigma.
Cross-Reference – confirming any genuine link that may exist between Cultural Historical Evidence and the ‘Ground Zero’ evidence.
With access to source Cultural Historical material and the academic credentials to access the Historical Evidence, the group made substantial steps in creating the central core of the database they were attempting to forge.
However, it was through the final process, the ‘Cross-Reference’, that an unexpected ‘discovery’ was made; a discovery that initially created an academic paradox, which the scholars could not answer. In essence, they had discovered that a piece of knowingly false information, which they felt had already been proven false without their research, was actually genuine, thus creating a paradox. A document that is believed to be a hoax does, in fact, contain solid clues to reveal a genuine ‘secret’ that has been protected for at least 400 years. Hence, the closing part of the academic paradox: how could the authors of the hoax be aware of the ‘secret’, which has been protected for 400 years, only to be discovered, ‘or exposed’, by the group?
From this point the group’s research focused on the confirmation of the discovery. Once confirmed, this academic anomaly changed the intent of the project. Although still intent on public awareness, they agreed they could not, even if only to protect their own academic standing, offer the information without fully understanding and explaining the paradox.
The Material Encoded in the Time Monk Publications
For the material encoded in the first publication it is ideal to focus on the two parchments that were claimed to be those of the Priory of Sion. These documents were publicly revealed to have ‘encoded’ messages themselves. The Cambridge Group intended to review the authenticity of the documents and to review their origins and content.
The entire aspect of the Priory of Sion’s presence in the events and exposure of the Rennes-le-Château story is commonly accepted to be a hoax. With various aspects being publicly denied and confirmed, the Cambridge Group followed the opinion that the Priory was indeed a hoax.
In one of the documents this encoded phrase existed, which the group reviewed:
BERGERE PAS DE TENTATION QUE POUSSIN TENIERS GARDENT LE CLEF PAX DCLXXXI PAR LE CROIX ET CE CHEVAL DE DIEU J’ACHEVE CE DAEMON DE GARDIEN A MIDI POMMES BLEUES
which is commonly translated as:
Shepherdess No Temptation That Poussin Teniers Hold The Key Peace 681 By The Cross and This Horse of God I Complete This Guardian Demon at Midday Blue Apples
The review of this encoded message created an academic paradox - and a discovery was made.
The first Maranatha – Et In Arcadia Ego publication focused on the first part of this encoded statement, up to and including the numbers 681. It was agreed that this segment was an ideal element to provide both a basis for readers to learn the fundamental material required for the full information of the series and, with the successful decoding of this first book, provide the public with evidence of the value of the material discovered and maintained by the Cambridge Group behind the series.
The Meaning of the Message and the Key
The opening part of the encoded message is commonly believed to refer to specific works of art by each of the stated artists, Poussin and Teniers. The actual works have been confirmed. The first is that of Nicolas Poussin’s The Shepherds of Arcadia (the second version). Although it shall be proven that the encoded message does, indeed, refer to Poussin’s second version of this particular scene, reference will be made to the original.
In investigating Poussin’s work, and especially regarding the letter to Nicolas Fouquet, attention was drawn to this painting. The group focused their research to see if any ‘discovery’ could be made within the painting itself. It was discovered that in numerous drawings by Poussin the paper or parchments he used contained ‘pin-pricks’, indicating that he used a set of compasses, or dividers, in the layout of his work. (It should be noted, however, that precise geographic layout and proportioning were common elements in classical art.) In addition, close inspection of the second version of The Shepherds of Arcadia revealed other anomalies, suggesting that this work of art was not completed in the standard fashion.
The investigation further concluded that the staffs of the shepherds appeared to have been painted before the depicted main tomb had been; especially the staff of the Red-Robed Shepherd on the right.
This is considered an extreme anomaly. In art it is standard, and ideally practical, to paint in layers, beginning with the background, then the mid-ground (the tomb) and lastly the foreground (the main characters), then returning to each to ‘touch up’ the finish.
The investigation showed that just behind the head of the Red-Robed Shepherd, where the staff should reappear and cross the tomb, the tomb is actually superimposed UPON the staff. It therefore appears (on close scrutiny) that the tip of the staff is emerging from BEHIND the tomb. This indicates that the tomb was painted after the staff was depicted.
In addition, a significant groove in the canvas was discovered running along the edge of the same staff. The way in which the paint covers this groove proves that it was made before the paint was applied, again indicating the significance Poussin placed on the location of this staff.
It is also worth stepping back to openly review, together, the two versions of The Shepherds of Arcadia completed by Poussin. Instantly, it is clear that they are completely different in appearance to each other. The original version is depicted in what could be termed a ‘soft’ and ‘fluid’ artistic style, while the second is ‘stark’ and ‘explicit’ in the way in which the characters and scene are portrayed.
It can also be noted that in the original version the classical hooked staff, in the centre of the painting, holds an anomaly. Where this staff is hidden by the shepherd’s body, the angle where it reappears is wrong, implying that there is a ‘kink’ in the shaft of the staff. It is also worth pointing out that none of the staffs of the three shepherds in the second version shows the same classically hooked staff, the standard anticipated emblem of a shepherd.
Read the full article at: andrewgough.co.uk
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