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Rat Scabies and the Holy Grail
September 16, 2005 12:11 PM   Subscribe

Rat Scabies and the Holy Grail. Best known as the drummer for 1970s punk band The Damned, Rat Scabies grew up with a father interested in the mysteries of the French town of Rennes-le-Château, which may or may not contain the Holy Grail and in the enigmatic priest Berenger Sauniere. Conspiracy theories surrounding the town first popped up in the 1970s book Holy Blood, Holy Grail and gained a certain amount of infamy in recent years from The DaVinci Code. Upon striking up a friendship with his neighbor, journalist Christopher Dawes, Scabies discovered common interests in conspiracy theories and all things paranormal and a shared hatred of the DaVinci Code. Now the pair wrote a book about their alcohol-sodden quest for the Holy Grail that asks the question: What happens when an ex-punk rocker goes looking for the Holy Grail?
posted by huskerdont (19 comments total)

 
What happens when an ex-punk rocker goes looking for the Holy Grail?

He pukes in it?
posted by reality at 12:25 PM on September 16, 2005


Danny Carey and Tool have been recently fascinated about this place too. In fact his website has a big walk-through of the castle.

For some reason those grand end-all Conspiracies have more draw than your everyday "Prescott Bush worked for the Nazis" or "Area-51 has Aliens" conspiracies...

But I must admit I'm a sucker either way.
posted by blastrid at 12:26 PM on September 16, 2005


Rat Scabies and the Holy Grail

Bar none, my favorite story title I've seen so far on MeFi.

And I'm with reality. What else good would a grail be? :)
posted by Floach at 12:30 PM on September 16, 2005


Ok, this is seriously awesome (and I mean that in every sense I can think of). Thanks!
posted by OmieWise at 12:34 PM on September 16, 2005


huskerdont, your username totally rules. Welcome!
posted by shoepal at 12:38 PM on September 16, 2005


I'm so cool, I was totally into this back when Gabriel Knight 3: Blood of the Scared, Blood of the Damned came out (awesome game). I thought the whole mystery was really interesting until I came across this which reduces it all to just a few scandals within the church that involved paying for masses. This wasn't some huge wealth the priest managed to conjure up either.
posted by geoff. at 12:41 PM on September 16, 2005


Please everyone run out and buy the book. I work for the publishing company that put it out and want a Christmas Bonus. Thanks.
posted by papercake at 12:42 PM on September 16, 2005


It's just the grail-shaped beacon.
posted by jokeefe at 12:59 PM on September 16, 2005


Haven't RTFA but I thought the legend was that the Grail was in the possessions of the Knights Templar in...I want to say England but something makes me say...Malta?
posted by Turtles all the way down at 12:59 PM on September 16, 2005


Ha. I love it!
posted by safetyfork at 1:01 PM on September 16, 2005


Turtles all the way down, the thinking is that the Knights of Templar (as in the knights of temple of Solomon) found the Holy Grail during excavations of Jerusalem during one of the crusades. Depending who you talk to this was the actual grail or evidence that Jesus had offspring (and thus making the Pope's position needless, why not put one of Jesus' kids up there?). Then through blackmail and church coverup the Templar's became exceedingly rich and powerful to the point where the church then killed them all (I think it was Friday the 13th to boot).

Legend also has it that they turned into the Priory of Sion who secretly kept the Holy Grail a secret and had every major European rennaisance figure in its membership. This is more or less proven to be a fraud by Pierre (the guy who planted a list of Sion members in some French library). To my knowledge that beyond this documnt there exists no further "proof" of the Priory of Sion.

The real story is much more benign and a classic medieval power struggle. The Knights of Templar guarded and taxed roads leading to Jerusalem, getting quickly rich in the process. They also had something akin to an ATM (you give us your money in Rome, when you come to Jerusalem we'll give you whatever you deposited in Rome). This allowed them to buy a lot of land and become big and wealth. A few kings (France and Italy I believe) were lent loans by the Priory they didn't want to repay so they had all Priory members, in typical dark age fashion, say they were sucking off Satan and then burned them all at the stake.

Oh and some guy in France years later got rich and tried to deflect attention by being vague about how it happened and erecting all these weird looking things around his church.
posted by geoff. at 1:09 PM on September 16, 2005


This is so awesome that I just kind of bounced up and down in my chair a little.


geoff:

Of course that is just what a member of the Priory of Sion would want us to think.

{!!Will no one help the widows son!!}
posted by Divine_Wino at 1:13 PM on September 16, 2005


Neat neat neat!

/someone had to
posted by scratch at 1:21 PM on September 16, 2005


Geoff: fascinating--thank you!

Oh and some guy in France years later got rich and tried to deflect attention by being vague about how it happened and erecting all these weird looking things around his church.

And, even better, now I understand the story completely!
posted by Turtles all the way down at 1:23 PM on September 16, 2005


Best. Username. Ever.
posted by dersins at 1:28 PM on September 16, 2005


I saw this on boingboing like a month ago, and i ordered the book on amazon.... still waiting on that shit to ship, although i ordered some brigitte bardot films too....
posted by sourbrew at 1:29 PM on September 16, 2005


great summary, geoff.
posted by mwhybark at 3:58 PM on September 16, 2005


Industrial experimenter Boyd Rice also went on the trail of the Grail there, recording a radio program called 'Rennes-le-Chateau' widely available on your friendly neighborhood P2P server. Very interesting, though much less well-spirited than Rat Scabies', being a Satanist and all.

Also, I can't recommend Foucault's Pendulum enough for a really, really learned and entertaining read about the occult mysteries of Old Europe. Umberto Eco is the fruit of many descendants of Jesus having babies together and should be made pope immediately.
posted by Spanner Nic at 4:17 PM on September 17, 2005


Second the recommendation of Foucault's Pendulum if you want to read a really good book about this stuff.

But I can't support him for pope until he repudiates The Island of the Day Before.
posted by Vidiot at 10:05 AM on September 18, 2005


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