Happy New Year, and all that malarkey. Rejoice, for yet again, Armageddon hasn’t taken place, the Great Flood II hasn’t swept us away, asteroids haven’t crashed into Dublin, and this Blatherskite is pretty healthy, not a sign of plague nor pestilence. Now, on with the show… oh please maestro, please…
In last week’s Blather, mention was made of a controversial documentary on the life of actress Grace Kelly, (High Noon, To Catch a Thief, Dial M For Murder, The Country Girl) a.k.a. Princess Grace of Monaco. Blather has thrown an eye over the ‘Secret Lives’ programme, shown on the British T.V.’s Channel 4 on Monday December 29th, and so for those who haven’t seen it, or perhaps won’t see it, here’s the bones of the story.
Apart from all the daft silhouettes of ritual, and irritating shots of incense burners swinging by candles, the documentary claims that the princess was a member of the Swiss based Sovereign Order of the Solar Temple, her initiation consisting of a ‘sexually loaded’ ceremony, and she is alleged to have died in a car crash in 1982 ‘as testimony of her commitment to’ the Order. The documentary delves into her background, with a clear emphasis on the promiscuity and religious fervour of her Hollywood life, and juxtaposes this with her pressurised and routine existence as the Princess of Monaco.
Various people are interviewed, ex-fiancÃ©s, sisters, nephews, nuns who taught her, movie critics and so forth. The more interesting interviewees are people such as Roger Bianchini, author of ‘Monaco Behind the Scenes’, Thierry Hugenin, an ex-member of the Order, George Laroux (not his real name), an ex-employee of the Order’s head honcho, Joseph Di-Mambro, and an anonymous Chinese acupuncturist, who allegedly prepared the Princess for her initiation rites. The Order’s Monaco meeting place was at the home of Jean-Louis Marsan, a personal friend and aide of Prince Rainier.
It was later moved over the border to France, and it was then that Di Mambro, a hypnotist and convicted fraudster took the helm from Marsan. He drew many distinguished people into the Order, striving to convince them that they were the ‘spiritual elite’, the bearers of righteousness and knowledge, and that the salvation of the planet was in their hands. Hugenin told ‘Secret Lives’ of his having witnessed manifestations of the Holy Grail, Exalibur and the Ark of the Covenant – apparently all later discovered to be holograms, but somehow convincing enough to fool many intelligent members. The documentary showed ‘private’ video excerpts of the Orders ‘seminars’ with attendees faces pixilated beyond recognition, the rituals appearing to be a cornucopia of Catholicism, western ‘occultism’ and sword waving ceremonies, presumably an affection of rites of the Knights Templar. An interview with a Franciscan friar whose order *leases* a building from the Solar Temple, told of objects they left behind – for instance, a huge concrete table, marked with Christian and cabalistic imagery. Not, I would think, very competent behaviour for an organisation supposedly shrouded in secrecy.
The story goes on to tell of the Princess’s ambition to ‘achieve harmony with the universe’, and how she travelled, with singer Colette DeReal to a villa in Beaujolais country, where she was brought to an acupuncture orgasm by the aforementioned anonymous acupuncturist. She was then initiated into the Order in a bizarre rite performed by Belgian doctor Luc Jouret, Di Mambro’s aide-de-campe, involving the transferral of gold dust from his forehead to hers. Not exactly expensive stuff, but Di Mambro wasted no time in requesting the immediate handing over of 20 million Swiss Franks, which she was unable to to acquire, at least at short notice.
Several months later, Grace was dead, in a car crash. At this point, the documentary veers into even more unsure territory, by postulating that her death was either not an accident, or that it was suicide to to prove her loyalty to the Order (Other Sources: Sunday Independent [Ireland] December 28th, thanks to Barry Kavanagh)
Hardly damning evidence – especially was the only witnesses providing Secret Lives with information are withholding their identities, but it’s interesting to see that Swiss police recently stepped their surveillance of the Solar Temple, in anticipation of the December 21st winter solstice. Since 1994, 74 members have perished through either suicide or murder, including several children, in Canada, France and Switzerland. The police announced the elevated surveillance after ‘unusual activity’ had been noticed at the home of a known Solar Temple member. (The Financial Post 16th December 1997)
AN ORANG PENDEK UPDATE
A few issues back, Blather carried the Sumatra Special Report #1 by cryptozoologist Loren Coleman, concerning the latest news and disinformation on the extremely elusive orang pendek. Blather is carrying this report to help clear the air of the confusion and inaccurate news coverage that the matter
1st January 1998
Sumatra Special Report #2
An Orang Pendek Update
The continuing news out of Sumatra calls for a new year’s review. The orang pendek might become the next “official” large primate discovery during the coming decade, and the unfolding drama deserves our ongoing attention.
Several researchers have been conducting research in Sumatra for years, and their underpublicized efforts should be noted. Claude Petit, professor and biologist, has been looking into the reports since 1980. As the personal friend of Kerinci National Park Director Kurnia Rauf, Dr. Petit was able to examine the plaster casts that were held by the national park office before it was burned. (This unfortunate fire was the result of arson, and status of the “orang pendek footcast collection” is now uncertain.) Petit writes me that this cast was “about 30 centimeters long, 6-7 cm broad, the toes were not noticeable and no arch of the foot was evident.” Petit was not overly convinced it was a “real” artifact, feeling instead in might be “for the tourists.” On the other hand, he gathered a fair amount of good testimonies that agreed on the descriptions of the four feet tall, bipedal orang pendek in the forests east of Lake Kerinci. Additionally, south of Lampung, in the area of Liwa, a huge earthquake in 1995, caused some disruptions in the wildlife. Petit found the local people reported that animals looking like orang pendek came out of the forest briefly, frightened by the seismic activity.
Meanwhile, Debbie Martyr, recovering from the incorrect “discovery” reports of October 1997, notes the several times she has found footprints that are valid, the same individual orang pendek appears to be the maker. Various people showing off “footprints” of the orang pendek, Martyr cautions to me, may, in fact, be looking at
“handprints.” She is now on her way back into the same area where she and one of her expedition members saw a large primate in a tree.
Another researcher, French botanist Yves Laumonier also has collected convincing reports from the area.
Martyr, Petit, and Laumonier remain interested and involved with the quest, and our hopes are with them for more good news out of Sumatra in 1998.
[Due to the sensitive nature of this information, all users of this news should please contact Loren Coleman before reproducing or redistributing this data. All rights reserved. Copyright 1998 Loren Coleman. Republication or redistribution of content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Loren Coleman. Thank you.]
Dave ‘daev’ Walsh
2nd January 1998