Spartacus Paraclete wrote:
I'll read the review when it eventually gets onto the FT website, but I'd be interested to know who they got to write it.
Our good friend Mr. Barrett
Ah - makes sense. I do miss DVB on this forum.
Spartacus Paraclete wrote:
It's a real curate's egg of a book, but the good parts are good, and one can't help but be - or at least, I couldn't help but be - won over by the author's earnest and unbridled enthusiasm for his subject, and his genuine affinity for the landscape around Rennes.
Personally, I couldn't help but be disappointed by the numerous inaccuracies, misrepresentations, and lack of anything even close to 'revelatory'. I was also disappointed by the lack of anything even remotely close to a critical examination of the very implausible claims made on behalf of the Priory of Sion
. However, it does collect up, bring together, and discuss (with a narrative bias unfortunately) a large number of Sion themes. For that reason alone, it is worth a read, well worth owning by people like us, and worth the asking price IMHO.
Yes, you're right, it isn't a critical examination at all, and as such the subtitle "Inside the Priory of Sion" is highly misleading. This book may be many things, some of them good, but a work of investigative journalism it most certainly is not.
But I think, as I said before, one has to, in a sense, set aside this major deficiency, and the narrative bias you refer to, and accept the book for what it is, rather than what it might have been and isn't, in order to get as much as possible of value out of it. And again, to derive as much as possible from it, one has to, up to a point at least, set aside reservations one might have about Haywood, and concentrate more on what the man appears to think, rather than what he is pupporting to be. What I mean by that is that if one judges Haywood solely on the criteria of whether he is or is not a bona fide member of the PdS of 2012 (assuming there is such a thing, and for whatever that might be worth even if there was) then one will likely come to a very negative assessment. But if one instead chooses to see him as a high ranking freemason, steeped in hermeticism and the occult, fascinated by alchemy, esoterically minded, and with a long-standing interest in the Rennes affair, then it's not completely unreasonable to suppose that he might have the odd nugget of interest to offer. So I decided to go with the un
critical approach to the book, if you like, and see what I could get out of it.
So, for example, when I read the section on Le Serpent Rouge, which is perhaps the best part of the book, I really felt I understood that poem just a little bit better than I had previously. Now, bear in mind, I'm far less steeped in RLC lore than most here, and understand many of the historic, religious and esoteric themes much less, and I only have conversational French, not even that really, just enough to get by when I go down there without needing to speak English, so I start from a very low base, and I've always struggled with LSR. Still do. But I genuinely feel a little more confident with it after reading that book. The point of me recounting that is to note that if Howells is channelling Haywood, at least partly, in his interpretation of the poem, and if I feel I've got some benefit from that, then I kind of have to concede that Haywood's perspective is of some, albeit possibly small, value. At least to me.
Spartacus Paraclete wrote:
Well as I've already stated in an earlier post IMHO Mr. Howells wishes to position himself as the 'spokesman' of the 'spokesman' of the modern fantasy version of the Priory of Sion narrative. It's a reasonable move, given that less than a decade ago, that fantasy narrative was worth hundreds of millions of dollars. With that in mind, IMHO 'errors' in the book may be deliberate misrepresentations designed to uphold the fantasy narrative that is most desirable to Howells and Haywood, if not Gino Sandri. I think Roger/Tertius and Tim discussed who was leading who in this comic caper. IMHO that is an interesting question worthy of further discussion.
I'd be extremely interested to read your opinion of the book etc Richard, if you get the time, of course...
I don't know if I could add much more to what I said on Page 7 (2/11/11, 1412 hrs) and Page 8 (same date, 2347 hrs) of this thread, some of which I've probably repeated above. I am, however, going to read the book again this month, and hope to add some further thoughts.
On your point above about Howells setting himself up as a spokesperson for the "PdS", it's a perfectly valid line of argument, but I'd have to disagree with you. My impression is that Howells is a person who is absolutely consumed by his fascination for the Rennes affair, and desperate to find answers about it, and hence he's turned to someone he genuinely seems to believe in, in the hope that he might provide the answers that he's looking for. One might well question his choice, but I wouldn't personally question his motives. I honestly didn't feel I was being sold a line, as it were, by Howells, on reading his book; I think it's a completely honest book in that sense. I'm not quite so sure, however, that Howells himself isn't being sold a line by his star witness.
As I said on a previous post, I don't know Rob Howells, have never met him, never communicated with him (I did try to send him a little thank-you note through his website when I finished his book, but apparently you have to be on "Facebook" to do that, which I'm not, and never will be), but the impression I have gained of him is overwhelmingly positive - based upon his writing, interviews he's given, and most particularly what people who do know him, and whose judgement I completely trust, have told me about him privately. So I think he's a thoroughly good guy, a person of integrity, and he has an enthusiasm for his subject, and a lack of cynicism about it that I personally find very refreshing. But as I've said before, his book, worthwhile and enjoyable though it is, has been irretrievably compromised by its highly disproportionate reliance upon one rather questionable source. Why he should have so much faith in this source one can only wonder about. I would guess in part, it's because he may feel that by questioning Haywood too critically in his narrative, he might risk terminating a source of information he clearly feels is valuable to him. And also, I would think, based upon my impression of Howells, he might just be a bit too nice to take such an approach, and having befriended Haywood, feels a certain loyalty to him, and an unwillingness to properly interrogate much of what he tells him. If so, that speaks well of him as a person, if not as a researcher.
There are a few other things I'd like to talk about, concerning Haywood's apocalypse beliefs, his list of PdS Grandmasters, his motivation for adopting the Jesus bloodline argument, and various other things, but I've already gone on for way too long, so another time perhaps.