Tag Archive: politicians

Six silver roses – part 2

There are almost never premonitory dreams about happy events.  And this is one of the troubling aspects of the phenomenon.  Doctor Geley, who was Director of the international Metapsychical Institute, said:

“Why do visionaries only see appearing, through the thick fog which veils the future from us, images of catastrophes?  Do these tragic events emit stronger vibrations than the others, which permit them to pass through time and be seen by the percipients?”


The American lady’s dream is known to us through Miss Sarah Dawson who, having become Mrs Morgan-Dawson, made a detailed account of it to numerous people, notably Camille Flammarion who reported it in his work L’inconnu et les problemes psychiques.  This account was confirmed to the astronomist by Doctor Davidson’s own daughter and by Mrs Thilton, herself.


Schopenhauer reports an unquestionable case of premonitory dream.

Premonitory dreams are very often slightly “arranged”, sometimes unconsciously, by those who recount them.  One, the authenticity of which cannot be doubted, is reported by a very reliable witness.  It is Schopenhauer.  This is what he writes:

“One morning, I was in my study in Frankfurt and was writing a business letter in English.  At the third page, I took the inkpot instead of the sand, and poured it over the letter;  the ink ran from my desk to the floor.  The servant who came when I rang took a bucket of water and started to clean.  While performing this operation, she said to me:  “Last night I dreamed that I was cleaning up ink stains here by scrubbing the floor.”  I replied:  “That’s not true!”  She said:  “It is true and I told the other servant who sleeps with me.”

“Then, this other servant arrives by chance.  She is perhaps seventeen and comes to call the one who is scrubbing.  I advance towards her and ask her:  “What did she dream last night?”  Answer:  “I don’t know.”  I, again:  “However, she recounted it to you when she woke up”.  The young girl then:  “Ah! yes, she dreamed that she would clean an ink stain here on the floor”.

“This story, the authenticity of which I absolutely guarantee, puts the reality of these sorts of dreams out of doubt.  It is no less remarkable by the fact that it was about an act which can be described as involuntary since it happened completely against my wishes, as a result of a very insignificant mistake made by my hand.  And this act was so necessary however and so inevitably determined that its effect existed, several hours in advance, in the dreaming state of another’s conscience.  It is here that the truth of my proposition:  “All that happens, happens necessarily” appears in the clearest of fashions.”


While waiting for Science to succeed in demonstrating the co-existence of the past, the present and the future, the duty of researchers is to accumulate witness statements.  Here are two, extremely important because of the personality of the “witnesses”.  The first, which concerns the famous General Daumesnil, the hero with the wooden leg, is reported by Doctor Foissac who published it in 1876.

“Madame the Baroness Daumesnil recounted to me that, as Adjutant with the Guides, stationed at the Little Luxembourg, Pierre Daumesnil (the famous defender of the Vincennes Castle) had had the fantasy of consulting Mademoiselle Lenormand, who was then at the height of fashion.  The devineress had hardly spread out her cards when she cried out:  “Ah!  My God, what misfortune!  Today, you are going to fight a duel and kill a man!”  Daumesnil, having no affair of honour engaged, only laughed at the unlikelihood of this prediction;  but Mlle Lenormand persisted in maintaining that she was not mistaken and that this deadly event was going to happen.

“The young Adjutant left her, perfectly incredulous, and, hearing the tatoo, set off for the Little Luxembourg.

It was the middle of the night.  He had arrived at the middle of Rue Garanciere, when a field officer, who was violently jealous of the elite corps, blocked his path and provoked him to fight immediately with him.

Daumesnil’s courage in all situations was known to everyone.  In Egypt he was called The Brave;  Napoleon said of him:  “What a soldier!”  But, thinking of Mlle Lenormand’s prediction, he pretexts that he cannot fight today, that the tatoo being sounded, he has to return to the Corps.  The officer accepts neither excuse nor delay.  “Silly man!”  Daumesnil shouts at him.  “If I fight, I’ll kill you!”  The officer insulting him, declares that he will not pass without fighting.  Daumesnil is obliged to draw his sword to defend himself, and despite all precautions, he kills his adversary.”

The second “witness statement” concerns a Minister of France’s IIIrd Republic.  On 21 May 1911, Monsieur Berteaux, the War Minister, was presiding over the start of the Paris-Madrid aeroplane race at the Issy-les-Moulineaux airfield.  The fifth contestant, the aviator Train, took off.  At this moment, a squad of cuirassiers crossed the runway.  The aviator, wanting to avoid the horsemen, veered into the official tribune and crashed onto Mr Berteaux who was killed instantly.

Eight days later, a weekly newspaper in Saint-Etienne, La Revolution sociale, published the following letter sent by a reader:

“The accident that occurred at Issy-les-Moulineaux obliges me to make the following declarations:  I was one of young Berteaux’ friends in the Latin Quarter when he was a clerk with the stockbroker Lambert, while he was studying Law.  One evening, after our usual dinner, at Laveur’s, one of us proposed going for a while to the fair at Neuilly.  So we took off for the fair at Neu-Neu!…  There, we landed in the tent of a cartomancian who, getting to Berteaux, predicted:  “You will become rich.  But you will die, fairly late, as Army Chief  (sic) crushed by a flying cart (sic).  That is my statement.  When we finished our studies, Berteaux having married Mademoiselle Lambert and soon afterward succeeding his father-in-law as stockbroker, it is useless to say that we never had the opportunity or even the desire to see each other.  I never saw him again.”

Doctor Osty from the Metapsychical Institute having learnt of this article, resolved to investigate it and addressed himself to Mr Berteaux’ family to find out if all this was true.  The Minister’s widow was firm:

“Right from our engagement, my husband recounted to me his story of the flying cart, which was supposed to crush him when he was Army Chief…”


The great physicist, William Crookes, one day said, on the subject of psychical phenomena:

“I do not say that this is possible.  I say that this is!”…



Blanche Orion with French President Rene Coty

Clairvoyants “see” in extremely diverse ways.  Certain see the event as if they were watching a film;  others have a “symbolic” vision of things;  others again have only an “impression”…  One example:  one day in 1949, Blanche Orion, the famous clairvoyant who had as clients Jean Cocteau, Sacha Guitry, Georges Duhamel, Leon Daudet, Maurice Dekobra and a quantity of politicians, receives the visit of the Directrice of a great House of couture whose family lives in Cuba.  This lady is upset:  her cousin, Mademoiselle Baudriere, a ravishing young girl, has just been a victim of a serious car accident.  She has broken legs and injuries to her face.  Her life is in danger.

Blanche Orion asks to see a photo of her, takes it in her hand, and immediately feels very unwell.  The same feeling that takes her in its clutches each time that she is in the presence of a very serious case.  The couturiere wants to know if the girl will live, if she will be amputated.  Blanche Orion replies:

“She will recover from this accident and will not be amputated.  But I sense a tragic destiny for her.  I’m afraid that she will not live long.  I fear a violent death for her…  and in a fairly near future…”

The visitor says that it would probably be better for her if that happened for her injuries are such that, if she survived, she would remain disfigured, which would cause her intolerable suffering.

The months pass.  And one day, Blanche Orion receives another visit from the same lady.  This time, she is smiling and full of optimism about her young cousin’s future.  She says:

“She has been admirably cared for and there remains no infirmity.  It is a real miracle.  Not only does she walk without crutches, but thanks to plastic surgery, she is almost as pretty as she was before her accident…”

Blanche Orion listens to this good news;  but she has the same very unwell feeling that she had at the first visit.  She says:

“But, however, I see her coming to a tragic end…”

A few weeks later, her visitor telephones her to tell her that Madame Baudriere had come from Cuba to fetch her daughter and that they would be leaving the next day by aeroplane.

And the next day, 28 October 1949, this aeroplane, carrying also Marcel Cerdan and Ginette Neveux, the famous violinist, on board, crashes on a mountain in the Azores…


Certain clairvoyants have “symbolic” visions.  They receive images in the form of parables.  An example:  one day in 1953, Marie Vedrine, who is at home with friends, suddenly stands up and, in a sort of trance, says:

“Look at the mirror, there, over the fire-place…  You see that map of France?”

Naturally, the others see nothing.

“In front of this map, there is a soldier…  I recognize him, it’s General de Gaulle.  He is holding a sponge in his hand and he is cleaning the map of France…  Then he squeezes the sponge and dirty water comes out of it…  At the same time, the map is moving as if there is an upheaval in the country’s interior…  Now, the map of France is brightening…  I am sure that this vision means that General de Gaulle will come back to power one day…”

The clairvoyant’s friends shrug their shoulders.  General de Gaulle is finished.  No-one’s even talking about him…

Who, apart from a clairvoyant, could have predicted in 1953 that, five years later, General de Gaulle would come back to power?


Madame Fraya

Guy Breton collected these stories from different sources.  He personally knew a few clairvoyants, like Blanche Orion for example;  and he used investigations carried out by journalists, notably Monique Beckeriche, and dug into the archives of a great specialist on the subject, Madame Simone de Tervagne…  Mme de Tervagne wrote numerous works about clairvoyants, principally the famous Madame Fraya.  Mr Breton particularly recommends a book packed with astounding revelations entitled:  Une voyante a l’Elysee.  In it can be seen most of the great politicians of France’s IIIrd Republic, Aristide Briand, Albert Sarraut, Georges Clemenceau, Jean Jaures (to whom Mme Fraya predicted in 1910 a violent death in the street – Jean Jaures, who had himself gifts of clairvoyance, added:  “I am going to complete your prediction…  It will be on the eve of a declaration of war…”), Louis Barthou, Edouard Daladier, and even President Raymond Poincare, who consult Mme Fraya in the most difficult hours of their careers or at the moment of ministerial crises…  She recounts, among other extraordinary things, how, while the German armies are approaching Paris in September 1914, Mme Fraya is convoked in the middle of the night to the War Ministry.  Aristide Briand is there, along with Malvy in pyjamas, an overcoat around his shoulders, Theophile Delcasse, Albert Sarraut and the War Minister, Alexandre Millerand, in slippers.  The clairvoyant writes that an indescribable atmosphere of anguish is hovering over these men.  Malvy is pale and shaky.  He asks her if she thinks that the Germans are going to enter Paris.  Mme Fraya is categoric:

“No, the Germans will not enter Paris.  Their victory is going to come to nothing…  Around the 10 September, they will be obliged to retrench over the Aisne…  This will be the collapse of their plan for a rapid campaign…”

All of the ministers, on whom the greatest responsibilites weigh, then avidly question the clairvoyant about the war’s development.

She reassures them, stating once again that the Germans would not enter Paris and that the French would be the victors.

After which, she leaves them relieved and relaxed.  A few days later, between 10 and 12 September, the victory on the Marne makes the Germans pull back to the other side of the Aisne, and Paris is not occupied…

The most extraordinary thing in this story is these politicians, completely panicked and not knowing what to do in the face of the enemy advance, who call a clairvoyant in the middle of the night so that she can reassure them.  We must admit that this scene has something about it that is both burlesque and grandiose…

To be continued.

Right at this particular moment, I am proud to live in the Australian Capital Territory.

Since returning to Australia, I have often been puzzled, not to say annoyed, by the continual waffling of Australian politicians, as they try to avoid doing anything constructive about the environment.  Reams of paper have been devoted to all sorts of studies and surveys.  Experts have given advice.  Scientists have suddenly found themselves on national television, blinking in the unaccustomed light of public scrutiny, only to be shot down (figuratively, at this stage) by politicians spouting stuff where the words “feasibility”, “working families” (always a favourite with Labor) and the now rarer “not proven” are to be heard.

The scientists scurry back to the safety of their relative anonymity (they are often very well-known and respected in their own scientific circles) and politicians get back to more “serious” issues, like how much space should be allowed on footpaths for al fresco meals.  This last issue being important enough locally, to warrant quite a lot of Canberra journalists rushing out to interview a wide range of cafe and restaurant owners, and give them all a bit of free publicity in the local news.  Several days in a row.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the same Legislative Assembly which is so concerned about footpaths, in the places which actually have footpaths – we could do with a lot more of them – has been quietly setting up something wonderful in local schools.  We have yet to see how it will function, but the principle is something which, since returning Down Under, I have been screaming at my television set, every time that the word “environment” returns to the forefront in the news.

“Why on Earth don’t you work with our Aboriginal peoples?!”  I shout.  “It’s their speciality!  Their whole culture is about environmental conservation!  They have thousands of years of experience with Australia’s different environments!  Why are you all so stupid?!”  Sadly, the people inside the television set don’t hear me.  This must be the way that ghosts feel.  Ignored, as if they don’t exist.

Then, this wonderful thing happened.  On 24 May 2010, the ACT Government put out a media release, entitled AUSTRALIAN FIRST SEES ACT STUDENTS LEARN ABOUT ABORIGINAL LANDCARE.  Not a catchy title, but the contents of the release made me want to sing.  I didn’t, though.  I just shrieked “yes!” and forwarded the release on to other like-minded people, as we now say.  However, I did add a few gushing sentences.  No-one has yet answered, and today is 7 June.  They are obviously not as like-minded as I had thought.  “Alone, again.  Naturally.”

Simon Corbell, who is the ACT’s Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water, announced that, for the first time in Australia (which saw European settlement in 1788) students will be taught about the traditional landcare practices of our local Aboriginal Elders, the Ngunnawal People.  Minister Corbell said:

“Aboriginal communities in the local region have a rich history of landcare and there is a lot we can learn to better our current practices and strategies in Canberra.

“Our younger generations are the environmental advocates of the future and giving school students this valuable knowledge can only have a positive impact on the local environment into the future.”  Commas are often rare in Government media releases.

The programme is called Understanding the Land through the Eyes of the Ngunnawal People – A Natural Resource Management Programme for ACT Schools.  Another not-very-catchy title.  Governments specialize in them.  The programme will be taught in ACT schools from Pre-School to Year 10.  The Minister also said:

“The information provided in this curriculum will help our children understand, respect and value special sites and areas around Canberra, places like Sandwash and Tidbinbilla.

“The programme will also support Aboriginal children with a continued sense of pride and give them an opportunity to teach fellow students some of the landcare practices of their elders.

“Schools will be given a range of resources supporting the programme, including specific information and photographs on local Aboriginal flora and fauna, audio interviews of local Aboriginal Elders, a booklet for teachers and a DVD.

“I am pleased to have the opportunity to launch such an important curriculum for ACT students and look forward to seeing some of the results in our local environment over coming years.” 

Nice one, Minister.  Now, may I draw your attention to the fact that, according to Jessica Good on WIN News, the ACT has just experienced its wettest Autumn in twenty years?  The Territory’s rooves, unaccustomed to so much rain, have been leaking to such an extent that my roofer is two months overdue in his running repairs to mine.

With all this water, could you possibly see your way clear to having another look at our Stage Three Water Restrictions status?  It would be nice to pop down for a visit to Stage Two for a while.

While we’re on the subject, should the ACT Government really be putting all that time and effort, not to mention taxpayers’ money, into advertising the joys of Living in Canberra, in the hope of encouraging people from overseas and interstate to move here, when we are still on Stage Three Water Restrictions?  Wouldn’t it be more intelligent to fix the water supply first?

In the meantime, congratulations to the ACT Government on this Australian First with the First Australians.  How long will it be before all of the States and Territories follow this example?  Five years?  Ten?  Twenty?  At least the ball is rolling.

And, right now, I am very proud to be living in the Australian Capital Territory.

All of the extravagances which we have seen up until now, are nothing compared to the Monaldeschi scandal which will definitively stain Christina’s reputation.

The Queen is convinced that the secret of the expedition which she had decided to undertake towards Naples, was revealed to Spain by her Grand Equerry, Monaldeschi.  He is supposed to have imitated Santinelli’s writing so that he would be accused instead of himself.

Accompanied by four men, by two guards and by Santinelli, Christina summons her Grand Equerry.  He tells her that he had acted to save her reputation.  By copying the letters written by Santinelli and giving them to her, he was keeping her informed.

Christina doesn’t believe him, and leaves him in the hands of the seven men, with Father Le Bel to take care of his soul.  The priest takes pity on the condemned man and begs the Queen to pardon him.  In vain.  The Queen refuses.  She is calm and without anger.

Santinelli gives him the first sword thrust and wounds him in the hand.  Perhaps anticipating the danger, Monaldeschi had worn a coat of mail.  Unfortunately, it prolongs his execution.  Because of it, the sword thrusts badly wound him, but don’t kill him.

In the end, one last blow to the throat makes him fall.  He turns toward the wall and, after a few more minutes, he dies.  The massacre had lasted three hours.

Mazarin has immediate knowledge of the assassination, and advises Christina to cover it up.  Why not talk about a duel between gentlemen which ended badly?

But the Queen, sure of the justice of her act, makes it known.  Still full of  her royal prerogatives, she thinks that she has acted like a queen.  She possesses a sovereign right (noted in the act of abdication) and intends to use it.  Even if she is far from her country, she considers herself to be absolute sovereign in her household.

She seeks neither to hide it, nor to justify herself, and will strongly criticise all those who try to take the blame away from her.  “I intend to render account only to God, who would have punished me if I had pardoned a traitor for his enormous crime, and may that be sufficient for you!”

She will remain another few weeks in Paris, to the great despair of the court and in particular Mazarin, who is incapable of sending away such a prestigious guest, but wants to see her disappear fast.

In spite of different diets, Christina ages and her health degrades.  She becomes fat.  Her voice is more masculine and her pilosity more abundant.  Never clothes-conscious, she is now scruffy, but she still has her beautiful eyes and majestic carriage.

She has frequent migraines, accompanied by insomnia, which she attributes to her too great assiduity for work.  She only wants to take viper powder for her headaches, which does not help much.

She has periodic spurts of temperature, strongly resembling paludism, which is then rife among her little court.  She also complains of rhumatism.

She continually puts off being bled because she is afraid of the operation.  Many times, she sends for the barber, who comes, waits, and finally goes away again, without having taken out his lancet.

She also suffers from intercostal neuralgias, which her doctors do not at all understand.  She treats herself with milk, convinced that it is the best remedy for her illness.

She finally consents to having a few palettes of blood drawn and declares that she feels much better.  But the pains in her side still persist, alternating with pains in her back, in spite of enemas, apoplexy balm, hellebore and other more or less active drugs.

Her strength of character allows her to resist for a long time the assaults of both the illness and the remedies.  But the hour arrives when she has to admit that she is beaten.

She passes gently from life on 13 February 1689.  She is sixty-three years old.

She is transported on a ceremonial bed, her face uncovered, to Saint Peter’s Church, at the Vatican, then inhumed in the sacristy, an honour reserved, until then, only for cardinals.  The Pope will not live long enough to build her the monument he wanted to raise to her memory.

Tenth and last part tomorrow.

Dressed as a man, the Swedish Queen’s appearance is remarkable by her negligent attire and her physical imperfections, but also by the glow of her eyes.  According to Christina, her sunken shoulder is due to a female servant who threw her down a flight of stairs, by order of an enemy sovereign who wanted to take her throne.

In a letter kept at the Harley Library, Christina’s physionomy appears deformed to the point of caricature.

“Her body is completely irregular:  she is hunched, she has a hip outside architecture, she limps, she has a nose longer than her foot, her eyes are fairly beautiful, but her sight is not good;  she laughs with such bad grace that her face wrinkles like a piece of parchment that is put on hot coals;  she has one tit lower than the other by half a foot and so buried in her shoulder that it seems that half of her chest is absolutely flat.  She stinks so honestly as to oblige those who approach her to take precautions and protect themselves with one hand.

“The way that she is dressed is no less extraordinary than her person, for, to distinguish herself from her sex, she wears very short skirts, with a jerkin, a hat, a man’s collar or a handkerchief which she ties like a cavalier going to a party;  and when she wears a cravate like the ladies, it doesn’t stop her closing her shirt to the chin and wearing a small man’s collar with cuffs like the ones that we wear, so that, seeing her walking with her black wig, her short skirt, her closed breast and her raised shoulder, she looks like a disguised face.”

In 1654, she puts on men’s clothes so as to travel more easily throughout Europe.  In Rome, she surprises everyone by mounting a white horse like a man.  In Paris, she is also on horseback, still astride.  In Venice, she mounts in pants, and in Vienna, she appears with Turkish trousers.

Star attraction for the court and the people of France, Christina is awaited with a certain amount of impatience.  Her reputation has preceded her, and everyone wants to see her and speak to her.

Mme de Motteville describes her arrival at Compiegne with her “straight wig, her man’s shirt, her slightly hunchbacked body, her quite well-made hands, but so dirty that it was impossible to notice any beauty”.  The lady’s remarks are indulgent compared to the reports of Brienne and particularly la Palatine.

During the first days of September 1656,  Christina arrives at Fontainebleau.  En route, she is greeted by Mlle de Montpensier, daughter of Gaston d’Orleans, brother of Louis XIII.  La Grande Mademoiselle was on her way to Essonne to see a ballet.

She says that she had heard so much about the way that Christina dressed that she was worried that she would die of laughter on seeing her.  Suddenly she hears:  “Get out of the way!”  and the crowd is invited to let the Queen’s carriage through.  That’s when the King’s niece is able to examine the noble foreigner and describe her silhouette.

“She had a grey skirt, with gold and silver lace, a street merchant’s jerkin, the colour of fire, with lace the same as the skirt;  at the neck, a point de Genes handkerchief, tied with a fire-coloured ribbon, a blond wig and round at the back, like women wear, and a hat with black feathers which she was holding… ”

With her usual perspicacity, Christina could not avoid noticing the ascendant exercised by Mazarin over the Queen.  But she remained persuaded that, “in the friendship of these two people, there is nothing criminal…  gossip has wronged the virtue of this princess”  the most virtuous in the world, of an exemplary piety and incapable of disobeying the rules of honour.

It is at Compiegne that she speaks to the Prime Minister about her projects.  She asks France to help her become Queen of Naples and promises to take a son of the French royal line as her successor.  Mazarin’s answer is evasive enough for her to not insist further.

This will be the constant attitude of Mazarin toward Christina.  As diplomacy demands, he will never reproach her with anything, but will carefully avoid her whenever he can, and when her scrapes become too compromising.

She gets on better with the young King who, although very timid, talks to her freely and not without some enjoyment.  As for the Queen, she is unable to hide her surprise when she sees Christina.  Although she had been warned about her originality, she is still astonished by her.

This woman dressed as a man, who looks like a man dressed as a woman, possesses a gift which has always conquered the French, the gift of seduction.  But her nature rapidly takes over and, as in Rome, her impertinence, after having amused, shocks.

Eighth part tomorrow.

The burial took place at night.  The official minutes place this event the day after the autopsy, but the official enquiry ordered by Count Angles in 1817, places it three days after the autopsy.

The child’s body was put into in a whitewood coffin, and the convoy left by the main Temple gate at half past eight, on its way to Sainte Marguerite Cemetary.  Exactly where was he buried?

The commissionaries Simon and Petit claimed that the coffin had been buried in the common grave.  The widow of the gravedigger Bertrancourt said that it had later been removed from there.  Dusset, Voisin and Lasne all agree that it was buried in a separate grave.  However, it has never been possible to find agreement on the exact spot.

In 1816, the Restoration Government wanted to undertake a search for the Dauphin’s body.  The search was called off before it began.

In November 1846, workmen digging in the old Sainte Marguerite Cemetary, found a lead coffin at a shallow depth, at the left pillar of the side door of the little church.

Father Haumet, priest of Sainte Marguerite’s, had organized the work.  The workmen were digging  foundations for an outhouse, which the priest said was necessary for casting a bell.  However, the priest later confided to one of his fellow priests, Father Bossuet, that the construction of the outhouse was only a cover for much more secret diggings.

Father Haumet called another of his friends, Dr Milcent, in whose presence the coffin was opened.  It contained a child’s skeleton.  Having carefully examined it, Dr Milcent wrote a report saying that all of the bones of this skeleton were weak and delicate.  From which, he appears to have concluded that the skeleton could only be that of the Dauphin.

Dr Milcent’s original report has never been found.  However, a report by Dr Recamier, also called to examine the remains found by Father Haumet, can be substituted for it.  It was countersigned by Dr Milcent.  In this report, it is said that “the bones of the arms and legs, and the teeth, seem to belong to a subject roughly fifteen or sixteen years of age at most”.

The skeleton was also examined by Dr Bayle who, after looking at the skull, estimated that “the subject must have been fifteen or sixteen at most”.  Professors Lallemand and Andral were of the opinion that he was twenty years old because of the wisdom teeth.

It appears evident that the Sainte Marguerite Cemetary bones were not those of a ten year old child, although there are still people who think that it was Louis XVII.  The proof that it wasn’t, turned up half a century later.

On Tuesday, 5 June, 1894, Maitre Laguerre, armed with all of the necessary authorisations, was supervising a dig in Sainte Marguerite Cemetary, when he found the coffin which had been reburied after the examinations of 1846.

Doctors de Backer and Bilhaut, later assisted by Doctors Manouvrier and Magitot, examined the bones.  This took place inside a cellar built in 1846, on a wobbly table.  The worm-eaten coffin bore the inscription L….XVII.  The conclusions were the following:

“The result of the detailed examination which we have just practised is:

“1.  That we are in presence of a subject of masculine sex (shown by the particular state of the iliac bones)

“2.  The subject had reached fourteen years old – and could have been older.  The state of the epiphyses, the humeri, the femurs, the tibiae, as well as the examinaton of the skull, permit us to conclude this.  The state of the maxillae, their development and their spacing, the dental system all corroborate this assertion.

“3.  Certain modifications in the direction of some of the bones, show a special weakness, which has resulted in a slight scoliosis, a slowing of the development of the thorax and a slight degree of genu vulgum on the left.”

This was signed by Doctors de Backer and Bilhaut.

Doctors Magitot and Manouvrier of the School of Anthropology then gave their opinion, which mostly concerned the teeth.  There was a complete absence of milk teeth and the last milk tooth usually falls around the twelfth year.  The two experts resumed their findings like this:  “The skeleton that we have examined is that of a subject, probably masculine, with the height of roughly 1.63 metres, and certainly aged between 18 and 20 years.  Our observations relate in no way to a child like the historical skeleton which would have been aged ten years and two months at his death and inhumation.”

One last proof that the  child who died at the Temple was not the Dauphin, comes from his hair.  The hair taken by Damont was eventually tracked down and analyzed.  The results were compared to those made on a lock of the Dauphin’s hair cut by Marie-Antoinette before she was separated from her son.  Louis XVII’s hair has a particularity:  the medullary canal is not in the middle, but on the side;  on the other hand, the hair kept by Damont did not possess this characteristic.

Other strange details are that the Dauphin’s sister, who was in the cell next-door, was not called to identify her brother’s body.  Madame Royale, having become the Duchess of Angouleme, always avoided speaking of her brother.  Louis XVIII never wanted to accept the heart of Louis XVII when Pelletan tried to give it to him, and suspected its authenticity.

In light of all of this, we can fairly safely conclude that the child who died in the Temple Prison was not Louis XVII.

On 8 June, the young Temple prisoner was dead.

Immediately, a rumour started to circulate about a plate of spinach containing a slow poison.  It is true that an illness that had evolved so rapidly, with symptoms such as violent colics, vomitting and cold sweating, looked suspiciously like poisoning.

People remembered that Representative Mailhe, in the name of the Legislation Committee, had ended his report on the trial of Louis XVI with these menacing words:  “This child is not yet guilty;  he hasn’t yet had time to share the iniquities of the Bourbons.  You have to weigh his destiny with the interests of the Republic.  You will have to make up your minds on the question raised by Montesquieu: “In the States which value liberty the most, there are laws which violate it… and I admit that the customs of the most liberal peoples on Earth, lead me to believe that there are situations when liberty should be veiled, the way we once veiled the statues of the Gods.””

It was also remembered that on 1 August 1793, Barere, in a report on the attitude of Europe toward France, had cried out:  “Is it our indifference toward the Capet family which has deceived our enemies like this?  Well!  It is time to extirpate all of the royal offspring… ”

Chabot had said loudly at the Convention:  “It is the pharmacist’s job to deliver France from the Capet son”.  And, a few months before the death of the young king, Brival, a Convention colleague of Chabot, had said in a speech:  “I think that, after having cut down the tree, we must dig up its roots, which can only bear poisoned fruit, and I am surprised that, in the middle of so many useless crimes committed, we have spared the remains of a race… ”

On top of this, the death of the Dauphin helped the negotiations with Spain, which was demanding the child in exchange for peace.  As soon as he was dead, the treaty was rapidly signed.

However, the Commune, which had several times obtained poison – a pharmacist having received one hundred thousand ecus for the secret of a slow, efficient poison – was not necessarily responsible for an actual poisoning .

Public rumour spread the poisoning story.  The Commune and the committees were sufficiently shaken to order an autopsy, as much to quieten the rumour as to prove their own innocence.

The operation was carried out by the doctors and surgeons Pelletan, Dumangin, Lassus and Jeanroy.  All of these names were highly respected at the time.  Pelletan and Dumangin were hospital doctors.  Lassus had been part of the Health Service of Mesdames de France, aunts of Louis XVI.  Jeanroy had been attached to the House of Lorraine.

It was said that the last two had been purposely chosen by the Convention, because they had known the Dauphin as a small child.  As far as we know, Lassus had never claimed to have seen him.  Jeanroy admitted that he had only rarely seen him.  When he was shown the portrait of the young prince, he is said to have exclaimed, while dissolving into tears:  “You cannot be mistaken, it is he, and you cannot mistake him.”

However, the year of his death, the child, or the one who had replaced him, had arrived at such a degree of emaciation, that it was impossible to recognize in this skeletic body, the pretty Dauphin whom Jeanroy may have glimpsed.  It seems evident that the exclamation attributed to this doctor, aged over eighty, has been invented to advance the cause.

The same could be said of Pelletan.  Here is what the Duchess of Tourzel wrote about it:

“This statement was supported by that of Pelletan who, called to my home in consultation a few years after the death of Jeanroy, had been struck with the resemblance of a bust of the dear little prince, which he saw on my chimney and, although there was no sign by which he could have recognized him, he exclaimed when he saw it:  “It is the Dauphin; ah!  It so resembles him!”  and he repeated the words of Jeanroy:  “The shades of death had not altered the beauty of his face.”  He added that he had not seen him very much, that he was dying, unconscious to everything, except to the treatment he was being given, for which he was still grateful.

“It was impossible for me to have the least doubt about the statements of two such respectable people.  The only thing left for me to do was to mourn the loss of my dear little prince.”

Pelletan’s behaviour is rather ambiguous.  He will steal the heart of the child, which leads us to believe that he thought him to be the Dauphin.  On the other hand, he will be rebuked by Napoleon for having been indiscrete enough to talk about the evasion of Louis XVII, about which he appears to have had pertinent knowledge.

Seventh part tomorrow.

Around 6 am, the day after the fall of Robespierre, his successor, Barras, arrived at the Temple Prison.  He saw the young prince lying in a sort of cradle for a bed.  His knees and ankles were swollen, and his room was in a state of repulsive dirtiness.

Barras asked the child to get up, but his request was ignored;  “then he told the municipal officer and the service officer to raise the child with precaution, and to place him on the ground so that he could see him walk.  The child reluctantly complied with the efforts to place him upright.  He was no sooner on his feet than he wanted to lie down again in his cradle where he threw himself head-first.  Barras ordered that he be put on his feet again by holding him underneath his arms;  but, at the first step, he appeared to feel such vivid pain that he was instantly made to sit down.  He was wearing a waistcoat and trousers of grey broadcloth;  the trousers were tight and seemed to hurt him.  Barras, to see what was wrong, had the trousers cut on both sides, from bottom to top, above the knees, which he found to be extemely swollen and of a livid colour.  He learned that the child neither slept nor ate” (Account dictated by Barras to Lombard de Langres).

Barras made his report to the Committee, which decided that doctors would be asked to examine the prisoner.  The prisoners were given into the keeping of one of Barras’ creatures, a gentleman by the name of Laurent, a young creole whom Josephine had recommended as being a safe and devoted man.

Five weeks after Laurent took up his duties, on 31 August 1794, the powder magazine at Grenelle blew up:  the rumour immediately ran through Paris that the Temple prisoners had escaped during a royalist plot.  Their guardian Laurent was accused of having relaxed his surveillance.  “We didn’t know if we were guarding stones or anything else”, wrote a service aide, who probably never saw the prisoners.

In October, Laurent had to reply to insinuations made about him by citizens via several official complaints to different committees.

On 8 November 1794, the General Security Committee decided to choose Citizen Gomin to assist Laurent as Temple guardian.  Gomin had never seen the Dauphin, and said so to Laurent.  It probably didn’t matter as, it was said at the time, the Dauphin had already left the prison.

Fourth part tomorrow.



In the heart of the Year Thousand that comes after Year Thousand

Roads will go from one end of the earth and the sky to the other end

Forests will be dense again

And the deserts will have been irrigated

The waters will have become pure again.


The earth will be like a garden

Man will watch over everything that lives

He will purify that which he has soiled

He will feel as if all the earth is his home

And he will be wise in thinking of the days to come.


This description of our Earth, and of our relation with it, must be balm to the hearts of environmentalists everywhere around the world.  Their efforts will not have been in vain.  Finally, our technology will have been used to clean up the mess we have made and restore the Earth to good health.

However, the only way that we are going to get there, is to let our politicians know that that is what we want, and “get on with it immediately” – please.  Let us remain polite.

Before that can happen, mentalities need to change.  Fast.

Thirty-eighth prophecy tomorrow.



When the Year Thousand that comes after Year Thousand begins

Man will have entered into the dark labyrinth

He will be afraid and he will close his eyes for he will no longer want to see

He will be wary of everything and afraid at every step

But still he will be pushed onward for no halt will be allowed him.


Even though the voice of Cassandra will be loud and strong

He will not hear it

For he will want to possess more and more and his head will be lost in mirages

Those who govern him will deceive him

And there will be only bad shepherds.


In this prophecy, John gives us a last disturbing picture of our life today.  He tells us that we have entered a dark labyrinth and are afraid, but that we just close our eyes and keep rushing forward.

Our lives do not allow us to stop and reflect on which direction we should be taking.  As individuals, we have stopped thinking.  We go where we are pushed, and we are continually being pushed.

According to the Iliad, Homer’s epic work about the Trojan wars, Cassandra was the daughter of Priam, the last king of Troy, and of Hecuba, his wife.  Hector and Paris were two of her brothers.  She was a priestess of Athena, Greek goddess of Thought, the Arts, the Sciences and of Industry, for whom Athens was named.

Cassandra was desired by Apollo, god of Beauty, Light, Prophecy and the Arts, who gave her the gift of prophecy.  She refused his advances and, although he couldn’t take back his gift, he modified it so that, even though she was accurately predicting the future, no-one ever believed her.

Kidnapped from the temple of Athena by Ajax, the Locrian King’s son, she warned the Greeks that, if they attacked Troy, it would end in disaster.  No-one listened to her, the attack went ahead, and the subsequent wars dragged on for years, killing off the cream of Greek and Trojan young men.  A few natural disasters also contributed to the catastrophe.  (If anyone is interested, Athena punished Ajax for kidnapping her priestess, by having him drown in a shipwreck.)

By evoking Cassandra, John is reminding us that, even though there are people warning us about the disastrous road we are travelling, we don’t believe them.  He tells us that we want more and more possessions, and that we are caught up in artificially created, or modified, images.

He tells us that our politicians are lying to us and that we are not being properly guided.

We are now starting the tenth year of this millenium, and already we can see some signs that things are beginning to change.  Even a few of our politicians are starting to show some signs of more responsible behaviour.

Tomorrow we will start on John’s ten predictions for our future.  Unlike other prophets, Biblical or otherwise, John refuses the theme of the end of the world.  He is totally optimistic.

After these last thirty days of doom and gloom, join me tomorrow to watch the Light starting to spread over the Earth.

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