Running around the auditorium was producer Rene Barnett making last minute arrangements and jolly-glad-handing the media heavy hitters. Requests from reporters were flying past Rene, and from a distance sounded like adults talking in a Peanuts cartoon. I had to just sit back and observe the spectacle of the pre-event simply as an exercise in people watching.
Chest found in the Cave of the Magdalene
In making my way to introduce myself to Rene, I caught tid-bits from the media moguls gad-flying about the room. Their timbre was less than excited about what might be presented. One local reporter was grousing about having to be there. “Yea, I’ve got this to do then I go to the Met for the Superhero as art exhibit. But that kind of ties in, Jesus was the original superhero wasn’t he?”
Finally I got over to Rene and introduced myself. The rather gracious, if not harried native Oklahoman, thanked me for coming and offered to spend some time with me after the event was over. Almost before I could accept, she was drawn over to the stage for requests to take pictures of the relics.
Reverently, Victor took the chest from the panel’s table and laid it open for everyone to see. This slightly larger than a shoe box sized chest was opened and contained: 29 coins ranging in date from 100 BC to the Crusades (30 were found in the chest originally, but only 29 were on display), a small cup, an alabastra phial, a rolled parchment and long necked jar. Could I really be looking at the Holy Grail was all I could muster in my thoughts in observing the contents of the chest.
Shortly thereafter, the press conference began. Below is the video of Bruce Burgess’ presentation. I would urge you to go to the Bloodlines web site and check out the other video clips from the news conference. I’ve looked at them all and they give a good representation of what was presented.
I was impressed with the tone of Burgess’ message. The subtext to everything was that this is a beginning point. Burgess made clear that the finds need to have further examination. He is quite sure that the relics that were presented at the conference were from the marriage of Jesus and Mary Magdalene because of the Bérenger Saunière documents found by Ben Hammott. As to the Templar Tomb, Burgess believes that someone of importance is buried there. Is it Mary Magdalene? Burgess believes it could be, but is waiting for further excavations to make a claim of the identity of the corpse.
I asked the question in the conference what was to become of the relics and the stance of the French Government on the finds. Burgess’s answer was that everything has been done with the full knowledge of the French authorities and he would like to see all the relics on display for full public access.
After the conference was over, I ended up having lunch with producer Rene Barnett. In between phone interviews Barnett and I talked about everything from the process of “birthing” the film to the Priory of Sion. It was clear from our conversation that she and Burgess had sunk every last dime they had in getting this story out. “There were times Bruce was flying to
On the film’s detractors, Barnett was not too worried. In recent articles, the veracity of the film’s claims and the authenticity of the finds have come into question. Not batting an eyelash, Barnett said they had e-mails, pictures, and video to document each part of their story. Her tone was one of a person that would not associate her name with an elaborate hoax. “The film is dedicated to my daughter that passed away as filming began. Do you think I would dedicate this film to her if this were a hoax”, she said.
I then asked her about the Priory of Sion and the allusions in the trailers to their lives being in danger during the filming. “Oh, Ben’s brake lines were cut on his rental car at one point and film was stolen out of his camera. Not the camera itself, just the film.” Barnett said. I then ask if she thought they were in danger in
I parted with Rene heading to another interview and I was left with the feeling I had just talked to a true believer. With the rest of the day on my hands, I made my way to play country come to town in the Big Apple. During my sightseeing, I was contacted by Erika Jones from the production company inviting me to dinner with Barnett, Burgess and a majority of the panel from the press conference. Well, who was I to say no?
I made my way to
Which brings me to my conclusions about everything I had seen that day. I have no doubt that everyone I came in contact with, that had anything to do with the film, are open and honest. Everyone had the air of acting on the good faith of the evidence that had been presented to them and what they had found and examined. Now the possibility exists that Burgess and Barnett have been duped by outside forces. Then again, that’s always a possibility when dealing with anything in the underground stream. Never once did my spider sense tingle that I was being led down the primrose path by Burgess or Barnett.
So I will take the same approach that Burgess did in the press conference. Bloodlines should be a beginning point and not the final solution to the Rennes-le-Chateau mysteries. The Templar tomb, when excavated might very well be that ending point. But for now, I will wait with the rest of the world to see what the next chapter in the Bloodline story holds.