Nicolai Levashov
About Spirit, Mind and many other things...
Svetlana de Rohan Levashov
Part 1. Childhood. Vol. 1. Awakening

41. Isidora-7. The Cathars

Sever’s story flooded my heart with sorrow again. I asked myself over and over – were all these irreparable losses really inevitable? Was there any way to liberate the world from evil and spite?! This terrible machinery of global killing made my blood curdle, leaving no hope of rescue, but at the same time a powerful stream of life-giving force flowed into my wounded soul from somewhere, opening its every cell and filling my every sigh with resolution to fight against betrayers, cowards and scoundrels – those who killed pure and brave people, destroying anybody they thought might be dangerous for them...

– Tell me more, Sever! Tell me, please, about the Cathars. How long did they live without their Guiding Star – Magdalena?

Suddenly Sever became agitated and tensely answered:

– Forgive me, Isidora, but I think I’ll tell you about it later. I cannot be here anymore. I ask you, hold on, my friend. Whatever betides, try to be strong.

He softly thawed and "wafted"...

Caraffa appeared on the threshold.

– Well, Isidora, have you come to any sane conclusion? – Caraffa asked without even greeting me. – I hope very much that you’ll come to reason this week and I shall not have to resort to extreme measures. I told you quite sincerely that I did not want to harm your wonderful daughter; rather on the contrary, I would be glad if Anna could continue studying and cognizing new things. She still acts too tempestuously and is too categorical in her judgements, but she has enormous potential. One can only imagine what she will be capable of if correctly developed! What do you think, Isidora? I just need your consent for this to happen and then everything will be well with you again.

– Save for the death of my husband and father, Your Holiness? – I bitterly asked.

– Well, it was just an unforeseeable complication (!). But you still have Anna, don’t forget that!

– Why must I "still have" somebody, Your Holiness? I had a wonderful family which I loved so much and which was everything to me! But you destroyed it just because of an "unforeseeable complication", as you put it! Do people really mean nothing to you?!

Caraffa unhurriedly took a seat and pronounced with icy calmness:

– I am interested in people insofar as they conform to our holy church or their minds are exceptional and uncommon, which, unfortunately, can be found very rarely. An ordinary crowd does not interest me at all! This assemblage of ignorant meat is no good for anything except for fulfilling somebody’s will and orders, because their weak brains are unable to grasp even the most primitive truth.

I knew Caraffa well enough, nevertheless, I felt dizzy. How can one live, thinking the way he thought?!

– What about gifted ones? In fact, you’re afraid of them Your Holiness, aren’t you? Otherwise you would not kill them so brutally. Tell me, if you burn them in the end, then why do you subject them to those inhuman tortures before they go to the stake? Is the atrocity you do when you burn those poor things alive really not enough for you?

– They must repent and confess, Isidora! Otherwise their souls will not attain purity despite my committing them to the holy flames. They must be rid of the original devil in them. They must be purged of their dirty Gift! Otherwise their souls will come on Earth from the darkness and will again submerge into the same darkness... And I will not be able to do my duty – to join their fallen souls to God. Do you understand it, Isidora?

No, I did not understand... because to me it all sounded like the ravings of the maddest madman! Caraffa’s incomprehensible brain still was a riddle under seven seals for me. In my opinion nobody could guess it. Sometimes the Holy Pope seemed to be the cleverest and most intelligent person who knew much more than any ordinary well-read and well-educated man. As I told earlier, he was a wonderful interlocutor and his brilliant, tenacious and sharp mind totally captivated the audience, but sometimes... the things he "uttered" were very far from something normal or clear. Where was his exceptional mind in those moments?

– I beg your pardon, Holiness, but you are talking to me! Why pretend?! What "God" are you talking about? And to what "God" do you wish to join the souls of these poor "sinners"? Besides, would you care to tell me what God you believe in? If, of course, you believe in anything at all...

Contrary to my expectations he did not explode in anger. He just smiled and pronounced in a tutorial tone:

– You see, Isidora, a person does not need God to believe in something. – He laughed on seeing my dumbfounded face. – It’s rather funny to hear it exactly from me, isn’t it, Isidora? But truth is truth, although I understand that it sounds extremely strange coming from the Roman Pope’s mouth. But, I repeat, man does not need God. Another man is enough for this. Take Christ, for instance... He was simply a very gifted man, but, nevertheless, he was a MAN! He just needed to walk on water, bring back to life a half-dead person and to perform several other examples of "hocus-pocus", and well, we just had to announce in the right way that he was a son of God (and therefore almost God), and all went exactly as always – after his death the crowd joyfully followed its Redeemer... without having the least idea what it was that he had redeemed for them...

Radomir (Jesus Christ) could walk on water...
Radomir (Jesus Christ)

As I already told you before, one should know how to direct and prevail over people, Isidora. Only then can you have them under your total control.

– But you will never be able to control whole nations! You’ll need armies for that, Holiness! And even if we assume that you will subordinate them somehow, I am sure there will be brave people who will lead others to reconquer their freedom.

– You are absolutely right, Madonna. – Caraffa nodded. – Nations do not submit voluntarily. It is necessary to subdue them! But I am a not warrior and I hate militating. It causes huge and unnecessary inconvenience. Therefore in order to subdue them peacefully, I use a very simple and reliable method – I destroy their past, because man is vulnerable without his past. He loses his ancestral roots, if he does not have his past. And exactly then, confused and unprotected, he becomes a "tabula rasa" on which I can write any history I wish! Believe me, dear Isidora, I make people so happy, because, I repeat, they cannot live without a past (even if they refuse to admit it to themselves). And when they don’t have their past, they are willing to accept any, if only not "to hang" in uncertainty which is much more terrible for them than any alien fictitious "history".

– Do you really think that nobody sees what is truly happening? In fact there are a lot of clever and gifted people on Earth! – I exclaimed indignantly.

– Why "nobody sees"? The Chosen do see and even try to show it to others. But we "eradicate" them from time to time and everything again falls into its corresponding place.

– The same way you once "eradicated" the family of Christ and Magdalena, or today – gifted ones? What is this "God" you pray to, Your Holiness? What is this monster which needs all these victims?!

– Well, since we begin to talk frankly, I don’t pray to Gods, Isidora. I am guided by REASON. Well, only the helpless and poor in spirit and those who got used to beg for help, benefit and who knows what else, need God. They’ll do anything, just to avoind fighting themselves! They are small fry, Isidora! And they are well worthy of being controlled! The rest is a matter of time. Therefore I ask you to help me to live long enough to have complete power over this insignificant world! Then you’ll see that I was not joking and I shall have total control over Earth! I shall turn it into my own empire. Oh, I just need time! And you will give it to me, Isidora. You just don’t know it yet.

I looked at Caraffa punch-drunk, once again realizing that he is much more dangerous than I had thought. I knew exactly that he had no right whatsoever to exist further. Caraffa was a Pope which did not believe in God!!! He was worse than I could imagine! It is possible to try to understand when a person does evil in the name of his ideals. It cannot be forgiven, but at least it can be understood somehow... But Caraffa lied here too! He lied in everything. And this was frightening...

– Do you know anything about the Cathars, Your Holiness? – I asked him. – I am almost sure that you read a lot about them. It was a wonderful Faith, wasn’t it? Much more truthful than that of which your lying church boasts so much! It was something real unlike your today's gabble.

I think I made him angry on purpose (as I often did!) disregarding the consequences. Caraffa was not going to set us free or spare us. Therefore I permitted myself this last inoffensive pleasure. But it appeared that Caraffa was not going to be offended. He heard me out patiently, ignoring my caustic remark. Then he rose and calmly pronounced:

– If you are interested in the story of these heretics, do yourself a favour and go to the library. I hope you still remember where it is, you do? – I nodded. – You’ll find a lot of interesting things there. Till we meet again, Madonna.

He suddenly stopped at the door.

– Yes, by the way. Today you can meet Anna. The whole evening is yours.

He turned on his heels and left the room.

My heart sharply shrank. I missed my dear girl so much! I desperately wanted to hug her! But I was in no hurry to rejoice. I knew Caraffa. I knew that he could cancel everything just like that, if his mood changed a tiny bit. Therefore I mentally gathered myself and, having little faith in the Pope’s promise, decided to take advantage of the permission and visit the papal library which once had impressed me so much.

I wandered a bit in the familiar corridors and found the door I was looking for. I pressed a diminutive elegant lever and found myself in the same enormous room with books and handwritten scrolls up to the ceiling. Everything looked just as before, as if nobody ever took the trouble to use this amazing well of somebody else’s wisdom; although I knew that Caraffa carefully studied everything, even the plainest book and each manuscript which got into this astonishing book treasury.

I did not hope to find quickly that in which I was interested in this chaos and therefore I used my favourite method, that being "blind vision" (I think now we call this process scanning) and at once saw a corner with piles of the manuscripts I was looking for. There were thick and single-page ones, plain and embroidered with golden threads. It seemed that they invited me to have a look at them and dive into the captivating and mystic world of the Cathars about which I knew almost nothing, but which implicitly attracted me even now, when Anna and I were threatened with imminent danger without the least hope of rescue.

A plain and well read book, sewn together with rough threads caught my attention. It looked weather-stained and lonely among the great number of thick books and gilt scrolls. I looked at the cover and saw unknown letters which surprised me, because I knew many of the languages known at that time. This raised my curiosity even more. I carefully took the book, sat on a free from books window-sill, "tuned" in to the unknown hand and began to "look at" the content...

The words lined up in a very unusual way, but they emanated such pleasant warmth, as if the book truly spoke to me. I heard a soft, tender and very tired female voice which tried to tell me her story.

If I got it right, it was somebody's short diary.

– My name is Esclarmonde de Pereille. I am a child of Light and a "daughter" of Magdalena. I am a Cathar. I believe in Good and Knowledge, just as do my mother, my husband and my friends. – The story of a stranger sounded sadly. – Today I live my last day on this land. I cannot believe it! The servants of Satan gave us two weeks. Tomorrow at dawn our time will come to an end.

I had a lump in my throat. It was exactly what I was looking for – the story of an eyewitness!!! It was the story of a person who experienced the horror and pain of extermination, who knew what the death of family members and friends was, who was a true Cathar!

Well, as it appeared, the Catholic Church lied unscrupulously about everything and Caraffa was not the first to do that...

The church restlessly threw mud at the stranger faith, but at the same time the catholic priests (highly likely following papal orders) secretly collected any information they could get – the shortest manuscript or any humble looking book – about the faith they hated so fiercely... They grabbed everything they could get by killing in order to study it secretly, as carefully as possible, to use any information they could comprehend to their advantage.

However they lied to people saying that all "heretical" books had been burned to the last sheet, because they brought the most dangerous teachings of the Devil.

The "heretical" manuscripts of the Cathars,
philosophers and scientists are thrown on fire...

Here was where the true records of the Cathars were kept!!! They were hidden in the den of the "holiest" Popes together with other "heretic" riches after their owners had been brutally killed.

My hatred of the Pope grew stronger with every passing day, although, it seemed, it was impossible to hate even more strongly. Exactly now, on seeing these shameless lies and cold and calculating violence, my heart and mind boiled with indignation! I could not think calmly, although once (it seemed a very long time ago!), when I had only got into cardinal Caraffa’s hands, I promised myself never to yield to emotions in order to survive.

Well, I did not know then how terrible and merciless my fate would be... And now, despite confusion and indignation, I forced myself to summon my strength and come back to the story from the sad diary.

Esclarmonde’s voice was very quiet, soft and infinitely sad! But at the same time it was full of unbelievable resolution. I did not know her, this woman (or girl), but something very familiar was in her resolution, fragility and doom. I understood what it was. She resembled my daughter – my dear brave Anna!

Suddenly I felt an irresistable wish to see this strong and sad stranger. I tried to tune in. My reality disappeared, giving way to extraordinary images which came to me from her distant past.

Right in front of me I saw a poorly lit, enormous ancient hall and an exhausted pregnant young woman, almost a girl, on the wide wooden bed. I understood that it was Esclarmonde.

People crowded along the high stone walls of the hall. They were all very thin and exhausted. Some conversed in whispers about something, as if they were afraid of frightening off a happy delivery with their loud conversation. Others nervously walked to and fro, being obviously worried about the young woman’s as yet unborn child.

A man and a woman stood at the head of the enormous bed. Perhaps they were Esclarmonde’s parents or the nearest family members, because they looked very like her. The woman was about forty five years old, very thin and pale, but she carried herself with a proud and independent air. The man’s state was more evident. He was frightened, confused and nervous. He endlessly wiped beads of perspiration from his face (although it was damp and cold there!). His hands were shaking but he did not hide it, being absolutely oblivious of his surroundings.

A long-haired young man knelt on the stone floor next to the bed. His attention was nailed to the young woman. He saw nothing around and, fixing his eyes on her, continuously whispered something to her, desperately trying to comfort her.

I tried to have a good look at the future mother, as suddenly, acute pain slashed through my body! I felt with the whole of my self how terribly

Esclarmonde suffered! Probably her child which was just about to be born caused her seas of unknown pain for which she was not yet ready.

She impetuously grasped his hands and quietly whispered:

– Promise me. I beg you; promise me you’ll save him... no matter what ... promise me.

The man answered nothing, only stroked her thin hands tenderly. He obviously could not find any consoling words appropriate to the moment.

– He must be born today! He must! – Suddenly the girl cried in desperation. – He cannot die with me! What shall we do? Tell me, what shall we do?!!

Her face was incredibly thin, exhausted and pale. But neither her leanness, nor frightful emaciation could spoil the exquisite beauty of her surprisingly tender and light face, in which now only the eyes lived. They were pure and enormous, like two grey- blue springs. They shone with endless tenderness and love, fixedly looking at the alarmed young man... and black despair was hidden in the depth of these wonderful eyes.

What was that?! Who were all these people who came to me from somebody's distant past? Were they the Cathars?! May be that is why my heart shrank painfully, because of the inevitable and terrible misfortune that awaited them?

Young Esclarmonde’s mother (and it certainly was she) was anxious to the limits of endurance, but she did her best not to show it to her exhausted daughter who sometimes "went" away to the non-existence, feeling and answering nothing. She lay like a sad angel, leaving her tired body for some time. Her long, moist and silky hair scattered over the pillows, glittering with gold... The girl was truly very unusual. She shone with some strange, spiritually-doomed and very deep beauty.

Two thin and severe, but pleasant women approached Esclarmonde. They tried to convince the young man to leave the room, but he negatively shook his head and again turned to the young woman in the bed.

The illumination in the hall was very poor – just a few smoking torches hung on the walls on both sides, casting long swaying shadows. Once, this hall had been very beautiful. Skilfully embroidered beautiful tapestries proudly hung on its walls. Merry multicoloured stained-glass protected high windows, enlivening the last dim evening light. Something truly bad must have happened to the owners so that the once wealthy looking room now appeared so neglected and uncomfortable.

I could not understand why this strange story entirely captivated me?! What was the most important in it: the event itself? A person or persons who were there, or that tiny unborn man? Unable to tear myself away from the vision, I thirsted to know the end of this strange and certainly unhappy story!

Suddenly the air in the papal library began to thicken. It was Sever.

– Oh! I felt something familiar and decided to come back to you. But I did not think that you would look at that. You should not read this sad story, Isidora. It’ll just bring more pain to you.

– Do you know it? Then tell me Sever, who are these people? Why does my heart ache for them? – I asked, being surprised by his advice.

– They are the Cathars, Isidora... Your beloved Cathars the night before their execution. – Sever pronounced sadly. – The place you see is their last and dearest fortress which held out longer than others. It’s Montsegur, Isidora... The Temple of the Sun... It is the Home of Magdalena and her descendants..., one of which is just about to be born.

– ?!.

– Don’t be surprised. The child’s father is Bieloyar’s descendant and correspondingly, Radomir’s. His name was Svetozar or the Light of Dawn, if you like it more. It is a very sorrowful and cruel story (just as all their stories). I don’t advise you to look at it, my friend.

Sever was concentrated and deeply sad. I understood that he did not find any pleasure whatsoever in the vision I was seeing at that moment, nevertheless, he was patient, warm and quiet as usual.

– When did it happen, Sever? You are not saying that we will see the real end of the Cathars.

Sever gave me a long look, as if he pitied me... as if he did not wish to wound me more. But I persistently continued to wait for an answer, giving him no opportunity to avoid it.

– Regrettably, I am, Isidora; although I would like very much to tell you about something more joyful. What you are looking at now happened in 1244 in March, in the night when the last Cathars’ refuge – Montsegur – fell. They held out ten long months, freezing and starving, driving the army of the "santissimo" Pope and His Majesty king of France mad. There were just one hundred real knight-warriors and four hundred persons including women and children, and more than two hundred of the Perfect ones. They were besieged by several thousand professional knight-warriors, real killers who got carte blanche for the elimination of disobedient "heretics" and the pitiless murder of all the innocent and unarmed... in the name of Christ and the "most holy" and "all-forgiving" church.

Nevertheless, the Cathars held out. The fortress was almost inaccessible, and in order to beseige it the Crusaders had to know the secret subterranean passages or passable paths, which only the inhabitants of the fortress or the helpers from the neighbouring settlement knew.

Castle-fortress Montsegur
I think a few were lucky enough to see this picture. This is exactly what Montsegur
looked like in 1244
withstanding a cruel and long seige. The model is a reconstruction
by a French architect Pelerin who used drafts of 1204. It achieved the highest
appreciation from the Historical Monuments of France (Reconstitution copyright L. Derrien).
Today's Montsegur is the third castle which was built in 1845 by a new owner Guy de Levis
and was destroyed in the end of the 18th century. Regrettably, the
Cathars never lived
in Montsegur-III. Therefore it would be terribly wrong to
imagine that its ruins witnessed the tragic events of 1244.

But, as usually happens, treachery came "to the stage"... The army of killer-knights lost all patience, going mad from the irritating inactivity, and applied to the church for help, which of course helped using its most reliable method – bribery. It gave a considerable amount of money to a local shepherd to show the way to a "platform" (the nearest ground where it was possible to place a catapult). The shepherd sold himself, destroying his immortal soul... and the sacred fortress of the last Cathars.

The ruins of the last Montsegur III
The ruins of the last Montsegur III
Montsegur seizure
Montsegur seizure

It aroused my indignation so my heart began to pound with mad speed. Trying not to yield to black despair, I continued to ask Sever as if I still resisted, as if I still had enough forces left to look at this pain and barbarity...

– Who was Esclarmonde? Do you know something about her, Sever?

Great Esclarmonde, Lady de Foix
Great Esclarmonde, Lady de Foix

– She was the third, the youngest, daughter of the last seigniors of Montsegur – Raymond and Corba de Pereille. – Sever answered sadly. – You saw them at the head of Esclarmonde’s bed in your vision. She was a merry and tender girl loved by all. She was bubbling and lively like a fountain... and very kind. Her name meant the Light of the World, but all who knew her tenderly called her "flash", because of her seething and sparkling temper, I think. But don’t confuse her with another Esclarmonde. The Cathars also had their Great Esclarmonde, Lady de Foix.

It was people who called her Great for her firmness and steadfast confidence, for her love and helping hand, for protection and the Cathar’s Faith. But it’s another, very beautiful and (again!) very sad, story. The Esclarmonde you "saw" became Svetozar’s wife, being very young. And now she delivered a child, who his father, due to the agreement with her and all the Perfect ones, had to take away from the fortress the same night to save his life. That meant that she would see her child only for several short minutes, while his father would be preparing for the escape... But as you have already seen, the child still refused to be born. Esclarmonde lost forces, which made her panic more and more. The two weeks which everybody thought were sufficient for her son to be born came to an end and the child refused to come into the world for some reason... Becoming absolutely frenzied and emaciated by attempting, Esclarmonde lost almost all hope that she would succeed in saving her poor child from the terrible death by fire. Why should he, still unborn, go through that?! Svetozar did his best to assuage her anxiety, but she could not listen, falling into a deep well of despair.

I concentrated on her again and saw the same room. About ten persons gathered around Esclarmonde’s bed. They stood in a circle; all were identically dressed in dark gowns, and a golden shine flowed softly from their extended hands straight into the woman in childbirth. The stream was gradually thickening, as if they poured their remaining Vital energy into her...

– They are the Cathars, aren’t they? – I asked quietly.

– Yes, Isidora, they are the Perfect ones. They helped her to endure. They helped her child to be born.

Suddenly Esclarmonde uttered a wild cry... and in the same moment the baby cried too! Gentle joy lit people’s faces. They laughed and cried, as if they saw a long-awaited miracle! But perhaps it really was. In fact the descendant of Magdalena, their beloved and reverent guiding Star, was born! Radomir’s blessed descendant came to the world! It seemed that the people in the room absolutely forgot that all of them would go to the fire at dawn. Their joy was sincere and proud, like a rush of fresh air on the expanses of Occitania scorched by the fires of the Inquisition! One by one, they welcomed the newborn and, happily smiling, abandoned the room util only Esclarmonde’s parents and her beloved husband were left there.

The young mother looked at her boy with shining happy eyes, unable to pronounce a word. She understood perfectly well that these moments would be very short, because in order to protect his newly born son, his father would have to take him away to try to escape from the fortress before dawn... before his poor mother would go to the fire together with others...

– I thank you! I thank you for our son! – Svetozar whispered. Tears rolled down his tired face. – My fair-eyed joy... come with me! We all will help you! I cannot lose you! He does not know you yet! Your son does not know how kind and wonderful his mother is! Come with me, Esclarmonde!

He begged her, knowing the answer beforehand. He just could not leave her here to die. Everything had been calculated so well! Montsegur surrendered but asked two weeks, allegedly to prepare for death, but in reality they waited for the descendant of Magdalena and Radomir to be born. They hoped that after that Esclarmonde would have enough time to recover. Well, as they correctly say: "man supposes, fate disposes"... So it cruelly disposed... letting the newly born come to the world in the last night. Esclarmonde did not have any strength left to go with them.

And now she was going to end her short unlived life in the terrible fire of the "heretics".

The Pereilles sobbed, hugging each other. They wanted so much to save their dear light girl! They wanted so much that she should live!

I had a lump in my throat. This story looked so familiar! They had to see how their daughter would die in the fire, just as perhaps I will have to watch the death of my beloved Anna...

The Perfect ones appeared again in the stone hall. It was time to say goodbye. Esclarmonde cried out and tried to get up from the bed. Her legs gave way. Her husband caught her, preventing her from falling down, firmly holding her in one last embrace.

– See, dear, how can I go with you? – Esclarmonde whispered. – You go! Promise me that you will save him. Promise me, please! I shall love you there too... and my son.

Esclarmonde burst into tears... She wanted so much to look brave and strong! But her fragile and tender female heart let her down... She did not want them go! She did not even have time to know her little Vidomir! It was far more painful than she had naively supposed. It was a pain from which there was no rescue. It was so superhumanly painful!!!

Finally she kissed her little son for the last time and let them go into uncertainty. They left to survive and she stayed to die. The world was cold and unfair. There was no place even for Love in it.

Four severe men wrapped themselves in warm blankets and stepped into the night. They were her friends, the Perfect ones: Hugo, Amiel, Poitevin and Svetozar (his name is not mentioned in any original manuscript. It is simply said that the name of the fourth Perfect remained unknown).

Esclarmonde wanted to see them off, but her mother did not let her. There was no sense in that. The night was dark and the daughter would just hinder them.

The way the four Perfects escaped with the newborn
The way the four Perfects
escaped with the newborn

This was their fate and they should meet it with head proudly lifted, no matter how difficult it might be.

The slope which the Perfect ones chose for their journey was very dangerous. The rock was slippery and almost vertical.

They went down on ropes tied to their waists to free their hands in case of something being wrong. Only Svetozar felt unprotected, because he carried the child who he tied to his body and gave him a poppy decoction (so that he would not cry). He slept peacefully on his father’s broad chest. Did he manage to know what his first night in this cruel world was? I think he did.

Jacques de Molay
Jacques de Molay

He lived long and difficult life, this little son of Esclarmonde and Svetozar. His mother, who saw him only a short while, called him Vidomir, knowing that her son could see the future, that he would be a very gifted Vidun (a seer).

– The church spread slander about him, just as about other descendants of Magdalena and Radomir, and he ended his life in the fire. But unlike many, who passed away long before their time, he would be seventy years and two days in the moment of his death. His name will be Jacques de Molay... and he will be the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar and also the last head of Radomir and Magdalena’s Light Temple, the Temple of Love and Knowledge which the Roman Church was unable to destroy, because there always were people who piously kept it in their hearts.

(The Knights Templar died, slandered and tortured by the servants of King and blood-thirsty Catholic Church. But the most absurd thing was that they died in vain, because by the moment of their execution Pope Clement had acquitted them! Only the document was "mislaid" for some reason and nobody saw it till 2002 when it was "miraculously" discovered in the Vatican Archives under number 217, instead of the "correct" 218... This document was called the Parchement of Chinon, from the name of the city where Jacques de Molay spent the last years of his incarceration and tortures.).

The Vatican Archives
The Vatican Archives
Pope Clement's seal on the Parchment of Chinon
Pope Clement's seal
on the Parchment of Chinon

(Read the details of the real fate of Radomir, Magdalena, Cathars and the Knights Templar in the Addendum after the end of Isidora’s story or in the book The Children of Sun when it will be posted on the web-site for free downloading.).

I was absolutely punch-drunk, like I had almost always been after Sever’s next story...

Could it really be that this tiny newly born boy was the Jacques de Molay?! How many different legends I heard about this enigmatic man! They told me about the many wonders which were directly related to his extraordinary life!

(Regrettably, any truthful information about this enigmatic man, or even legend, did not come down to our days. Like Radomir, he was depicted as weak, cowardly and spineless, a Grand Master "incapable" of saving his great Order.)

– Can you tell me more about him, Sever? Was he indeed a very powerful prophet and wonder-worker as my father told me?

The original of the Parchement of Chinon
The original of
the Parchement of Chinon

Sever smiled at my impatience and nodded.

– Yes, I shall tell you about him, Isidora. I knew him for many years and spoke to him a great number of times. I loved this man... and missed him very much.

I did not ask why he did not help him during his execution; there was no sense in that, because I knew his answer beforehand.

– You what?!! You spoke with him?! Please, you’ll tell me about it, won’t you, Sever? – I exclaimed.

I know my delight looked rather childish, but it did not matter. Sever understood how his story was important for me and patiently helped.

– But before that, I would like to know happened to his mother and the Cathars. I know that they died, but I would like to see it with my own eyes... Help me, please, Sever.

Our reality disappeared again, returning me to Montsegur where wonderful brave people, Magdalena’s students and followers, spent their last hours...

Esclarmonde quietly lay on the bed. Her eyes were closed. It seemed that she slept exhausted by losses. But I felt that it was just her defence. She simply wanted to be alone with her grief. Her heart terribly suffered. Her body refused to obey... Just some moments ago her hands held her newly born son and hugged her husband. Now they went into uncertainty and nobody could say whether they would manage to escape from the hatred of the "hunters" which flooded the foot of Montsegur and the whole valley. The fortress was the Cathars’ last bulwark. There was nothing beyond it. They suffered a crushing defeat... Exhausted by hunger and winter cold, they were helpless against the stone "rain" of catapults which was pouring down from dawn to dusk.

Stone balls for catapults which destroyed Montsegur. Archeological excavation of 1968
Stone balls for catapults
which destroyed Montsegur.
Archeological excavation of 1968.

– Tell me, Sever, why did the Perfect ones not defend themselves? As far as I know nobody knew how to use "motion" (I think she was talking about telekinesis), "waft" and very many things like that better than they. Why did they surrender?!

– There were several reasons for it, Isidora. When the Crusaders began to attack, the Cathars did not give up, but after the cities of Albi, Beziers, Minerva and Lavours were wiped out and thousands of their habitants died in the process, it occured to the church to use a trick which could not fail. Before they onslaught of a city, they would promise the Perfect ones, that if they surrendered, nobody else would be touched. Of course, the Cathars surrendered... From that day the fires with the Perfect ones began to blaze throughout Occitania. People who had devoted their whole life to Knowledge, Light and Good, were burned like garbage, converting beautiful Occitania into a desert scorched by fires.

Look, Isidora... Look, if you wish to see the truth...

Sacred horror seized me! What Sever was showing to me exceeded the limits of normal human understanding! It was Hell, if it truly existed somewhere...

Thousands of killer-knights vested in shining panoplies coldbloodedly wielded their swords against the people, who rushed about in horror – women, old men and children... They killed everybody who found themselves in the way of the faithful servants of the "all-forgiving" Catholic Church... Young men trying to resist fell dead being slashed by long knight's swords. Heart-breaking screams sounded everywhere... the clank of swords was deafening. The suffocating smell of smoke, human blood and death hung over the city. The knights ferociously butchered everybody, whether it was a newly born baby who her poor mother held in her outstretched hands, begging for mercy, or a feeble old man... They were all mercilessly slashed to death... in the name of Christ!!! It was sacrilege. It was so wild that my hair began to stand on end. My whole body trembled. I was unable to accept or simply comprehend what was going on. I wanted to believe so much that it was just a dream! I wanted to believe that this kind of thing could not happen in real life! Regrettably, it was reality...

HOW could they explain this atrocity?!! HOW could the Roman church FORGIVE(???) those who committed such a frightful crime?!

Before the beginning of the Albigensian Crusade, in 1199, Pope Innocent III "kindly" declared: "Anyone professing their faith in God, which is not consilient with the church dogma, must be burned without the least regret". The Crusade against the Cathars was named "For the cause of peace and faith"! (Negotium Pacis et Fidei)

Right near the altar a handsome young knight tried to crush an elderly man’s skull... The man wouldn’t die, his skull did not yield. The young knight calmly continued to beat until the man twitched for the last time and became silent – his thick skull cracked at last...

A horror-stricken young mother held out her child to a knight in supplication. A second later she held in her hands two even halves...

A little girl, crying in fear, offered her doll, her most cherished treasure, to a knight. The head of the doll was off and a moment later her owner’s curly head rolled on the floor like a ball...

I could not stand it anymore and, bitterly sobbing, I fell on my knees... Was it HUMANS doing this?!. WHAT is the word (is there one?) for those who commited this evil?!

7000 inhabitants of Bezier were burnt in Maria Magdalena’s church on July, 22
7000 inhabitants of Bezier were burnt in Maria Magdalena’s church on July, 22
It was the Golden Maria’s birthday. They were executed together with
222 Perfect ones. Altogether more than 20 000 inhabitants of the city were exterminated,
which was all the population of the city. When a confused Crusader asked the
Papal Legate Arnaud-Amaury how he could distinguish the Cathars from the Catholics,
the Legate uttered his famous phrase: "Kill them all! Surely the Lord discerns which
ones are his". It happened exactly in Bezier.
A mosaic in the re-built St. Magdalena’s church, Bezier.
A mosaic in the re-built St. Magdalena’s church, Bezier.

I did not want to look at it further! I had no strength left... But Sever cruelly continued to show some cities and burning churches in them... These cities were absolutely empty. Thousands of the dead bodies covered their streets and rivers of human blood run through them. Wolves feasted on the streets of the deserted cities, sinking in human blood.

I was frozen in horror and pain, unable to breathe or stir.

The animal cruelly. The inhabitants of Bezier being exterminated.
The animal cruelly
he inhabitants of Bezier being exterminated.
Albi. June, 27, 1209. Total extermination of the population with the Perfects.
Albi. June, 27, 1209. Total
extermination of the population
Minevra. June, 15. 1210. All inhabitants of the city including 140 Perfects were killed
Minevra. June, 15. 1210.
All inhabitants of the city were killed
A faithful servant of the Church is «blessing» the killed
A faithful servant of the Church
is «blessing» the killed.

What must "people" who gave similar orders feel?

I think, they felt nothing at all, because their ugly and stale souls were darker than the blackest night.

The King of France Philip August and Pope Innocent III calmly observed the burning of The King of France Philip August and Pope Innocent III calmly observed the burning of
The King of France Philip August and Pope Innocent III calmly
observed the burning of "heretics", i.e. the Cathars.
Is it not an irony that the Pope’s name was Innocent?

Suddenly I saw a very beautiful castle the walls of which were ruined by catapults in some places, but mainly it remained intact. The courtyard was stuffed with dead bodies drowning in pools of blood. They all had their throats cut.

What was left of the fortress of Lavaur What was left of the fortress of Lavaur
What was left of the fortress of Lavaur – only
the tower and old bess still mourning for the deseased...

– This is Lavaur, Isidora... a very beautiful and rich city. Its walls were the most unassailable. But Simon de Monfort, the ringleader of the Crusaders, was so enraged by unsuccessful attempts to take the city that he called on all the rag tag and bobtail he could find for help and... 15,000 "soldiers of Christ" which had responded to his call attacked the fortress... Lavour fell, unable to withstand the onslaught; all its habitants, including 400 (!!!) Perfect ones, 42 troubadours and 80 knight-defenders were brutally slaughtered by the "holy" executioners. Here, in the courtyard, you see only the knights who protected the city and those who could handle a weapon. Others (except for the burned Cathars) were simply left to rot on the streets after they had been massacred... The killers found 500 women and children in the municipal basement of the city. They were all atrociously killed right in there... without letting them come outside.

A handsome well dressed young woman was brought into the courtyard. She was shackled. Her appearance provoked drunken whooping and loud laughter. Somebody coarsely took her shoulders and threw her into a well. Muted moans and screams were heard from its depth. They went on until the ringleader of the Crusaders ordered the well to be heaped with stones...

– This was Lady Giralda... a proprietress of the castle and the city... All subjects without exception loved her. She was soft and kind... and carried her first child under her heart. – Sever cruelly finished.

Then he looked at me and understood at once that I had no strength left to go on...

Terrible scenes ceased at once.

Sever sympathetically came to me and, on seeing how strongly I trembled, affectionately laid his hand on my head. He stroked my long hair, softly whispering soothing words. Gradually I began to come back to life after the terrible shock...

A swarm of questions obtrusively spun around in my tired head, but they all seemed now empty and inappropriate. Therefore I preferred to wait for what Sever would say.

– Forgive me for causing you pain, Isidora, but I wanted to show you the truth... in order that you understood the load that the Cathars had... that you did not think that they had lost their Perfect ones easily...

– I don’t understand it all the same, Sever! Just the way I could not understand your truth... Why did the Perfect ones not fight for life?! Why did they not use what they knew? In fact almost any of them could exterminate the whole army in just a single move! Why did they surrender?

– Probably it was what I told you so often, my friend. They simply were not ready.

– Not ready for what?! – I exploded by old habit. – Not ready for saving their lives? Not ready for saving other people?! It’s all so wrong!!!

They were not warriors like you are, Isidora. – Sever pronounced quietly. – They did not kill, considering that the world must be different, considering that they could teach people to change. They thought they could teach people Understanding, Love and Goodness. They hoped to give Knowledge to people... Regrettably, not all people needed it. You are right saying that the Cathars were strong. Yes, they were perfect Magicians and posessed enormous force, but they did not wish to fight using FORCE, preferring to use WORDS. Exactly that destroyed them, Isidora. That is why I tell you, my friend, that they were not ready. More precisely, it was the world that was not ready for them. It was exactly force that Earth respected then. The Cathars carried Love, Light and Knowledge. They came too early. People were not ready for them.

– Well, what about those hundred of thousands who carried the Cathar Faith all over Europe, who did reach for Light and Knowledge? There were very many of them!

– You’re right, Isidora... They were a lot of them. But what became of them? As I already told you, Knowledge can be very dangerous, if it comes too early. People must be ready to accept it, without resisting or killing. Otherwise this Knowledge will not help them, even worse – on getting into some dirty hands, it will destroy the Earth. I am sorry, if I upset you...

– Nevertheless, I don’t agree with you, Sever... The time you are talking about will never come on Earth. People will never think the same way. It’s normal. Look at nature. Every tree and flower differs from each other. And you want people to be similar! Too much evil and too much violence were shown to man. Those with dark souls don’t want to work and KNOW when they easily can kill or lie to get what they want. One must fight for Light and Knowledge and win! A normal person should aspire exactly to this. Earth can be wonderful and pure, Sever. We just should show it HOW...

Sever was silent, watching me. I again tuned in to Esclarmonde, unwilling to prove anything more to him...

How could this girl, almost a child, endure such a terrible ordeal? Her courage amazed me, making me respect and be proud of her. She was worthy of Magdalena’s line, although she was just a mother of her distant descendant.

My heart again ached for the wonderful people whose lives were broken by the church which mendaciously proclaimed "all-forgivingness"! Suddenly I remembered Caraffa’s word: "God will forgive everything done in His name!" My blood froze thinking of such a god... I wanted to run wherever my feet would carry me, if only not to hear and see what was done "for the glory" of this monster!

Young exhausted Esclarmonde again appeared before my eyes... the inconsolable mother who lost her first and only child...

Nobody could clearly explain to her why they had to go through this... why they, kind and innocent, had to die...

Suddenly a thin breathless boy ran into the hall. He obviously came straight from the street because I could clearly see his breath.

– Madam, Madam! They are safe!!! Good Esclarmonde, there is a fire on the mountain!

Montsegur viewed from Bidorta
Montsegur viewed from Bidorta

Esclarmonde jumped out of bed, trying to run, but her body appeared weaker than the poor thing had thought... She fell straight into her father’s arms. Raymond de Pereille caught his feather- light daughter and ran outdoors... And there, on the top of Montsegur, all inhabitants of the castle gathered. Their eyes looked only in one direction – at the enormous fire which burned on the snow top of the mountain Bidorta! That meant that the four runaways got to the point they had planned!!! Her brave husband and newly born son were safe from the savage claws of the Inquisition and could happily continue their lives.

Now everything was all right. Now everything was well. She knew that she would go to the stake calmly, because her most beloved people lived. She was immensely satisfied that fate had mercy on her, allowing her to know that and die in peace.

At dawn all the Perfect ones and the Cathars gathered in the Temple of the Sun in order to enjoy his warmth for the last time before departing to eternity. People were exhausted, frozen and hungry, but they all smiled... The most important thing was done – the descendant of Golden Maria and Radomir lived and there was hope that one fine day some of his distant great-grandchildren will reshape this monstrously unfair world and nobody will have to suffer anymore. The first sunray appeared in the narrow window! It merged with the second one, than the third... and finally a golden column began to shine in the centre of the tower. It gradually broadened, embracing everybody standing in it until the golden luminescence seized the whole space.

A sunray in the Temple of the Sun
A sunray in the Temple of the Sun
The Temple of the Sun today
The Temple of the Sun today

It was a farewell... Montsegur said goodbye to them, tenderly seeing them off to another life...

Meanwhile down, at the foot of the mountain, an enormous terrible fire was prepared; or rather it was a structure in the form of a flat wooden area with thick posts...

More than two hundred Perfect ones began solemnly and slowly to go down on the slippery and very stony path. The morning was windy and cold. The sun peeped from the clouds only for a short instant... for the last time to display its kindness to its beloved children, its Cathars going toward death... The leaden clouds crept up again in the sky. It was grey and unfriendly... and alien. Everything around was frozen. Wet air saturated thin clothes with moisture. The feet of the walking people froze to the bone, sliding on wet stones...

The snow still remained on mount Montsegur.

Montsegur. The descent.
Montsegur. The descent.

Down the mountain a short man, mad with the cold weather, hoarsely shouted at the Crusaders, ordering more trees to be cut down and thrown onto the fire. The fire did not want to burn properly for some reason, and the man wanted it to blaze to the skies! He deserved it. He had waited for it ten long months and now it finally came true! Yet yesterday he dreamed of returning home as quickly as possible, but malice and hatred toward the godamned Cathars won and now he wanted only one thing – to see the Perfect ones, these children of Devil, burn at last! And only then, when they were turned into hot ash, would he go home with a peaceful conscience. This short man was a seneschal of Carcassonne. His name was Hugues des Arcis. He acted on behalf of His Majesty the King of France, Philip August.

The Cathars continued to descend. Now they moved between two sullen armed rows. The Crusaders were silent, sullenly watching the procession of thin emaciated people whose faces for some reason shone with unearthly incomprehensible delight. It frightened the guards. They considered it not normal. These people went to their death. They could not smile. There was something disturbing and incomprehensible in their behaviour, which made the guards feel extremely uneasy and want to be far from this place and as quickly as possible, but duty did not permit. They had to obey.

The piercing wind blew about the threadbare and moist clothes of the Perfect ones and made them shiver and press close to each other; the guards prevented that, pushing them to move one by one.

Esclarmonde went first in this terrible funeral procession. Her long hair covered her thin figure like a silk cloak. The dress of the poor thing was terribly wide and hung like a sack. But Esclarmonde went with her beautiful head up and..., smiling as if she was about to meet her greatest happiness, not the most terrible death. Her thoughts roamed far away, behind the high snow mountains, where her dearest – her husband and her newly born son – were... She knew that Svetozar would watch Montsegur. She knew that he would see the fire when it cruelly devoured her body, and she wanted very much to look fearless and strong... She wanted to be worthy of him... Her mother was right behind her. She was calm too. Only salt tears glimmered in her eyes from time to time grieving about her beloved girl; but the wind snatched and dried them, preventing them from rolling down her thin cheeks.

The mournful procession moved in complete silence. Finally they reached the ground with the raging enormous fire. It burned only in the middle, perhaps waiting for the living flesh to be tied to the posts to devour it merrily and quickly despite gloomy windy weather, despite human pain...

Esclarmonde slipped on a hummock, but the mother caught her, preventing her from falling down. They were a very sad couple, mother and daughter... Thin and freezing, they walked erect, proudly carrying their bare heads despite cold, tiredness and fear. They wanted to look sure and strong in front of the executioners. They wanted to be brave and unbending, because both husband and father were watching.

Raymond de Pereille remained to live. He did not go to the fire with the others. He was to help others who remained to live and had nobody to protect them. He was an owner of the castle, a seignior, who by his honour and word was responsible for these people. Raymond de Pereille had no right to die. But in order to stay alive he had to renounce everything in which he had sincerely believed for so many years. It was much more terrible than the fire. It was a lie. And the Cathars never lied... They did not lie under any circumstances for whatever price. Therefore his life ended now with all... because his soul was dying; what remains will not be him. It will be just a living body, but his heart will go with his nearest and dearest – with his brave girl and his sweet faithful wife.

The Cathars executed in Montsegur
The Cathars executed in Montsegur

The same short man, Hugues des Arcis, stopped in front of the Cathars. Impatiently stamping his feet (it was obvious that he wished to be through with all this as quickly as possible) he began the selection procedure with his hoarse cracked voice.

– What is your name?

– Esclarmonde de Pereille.

– I am Hugues des Arcis. I act on behalf of the King of France. You are accused of the Cathar heresy. As you know, according to our agreement which you accepted 15 days ago, in order to be free and save your life, you must renounce your faith and sincerely swear to be loyal to the faith of the Roman Catholic Church. You must say: "I renounce my religion and accept the catholic religion!"

– I believe in my faith and will never renounce it... – a firm answer followed.

– Throw her in the fire! – The man complacently cried.

Well, that was all. Her fragile short life came to its frightful end. Two persons grasped and threw her on the wooden tower where a sullen insensible "executor" waited for her with thick ropes in his hands. The fire blazed there too... Esclarmonde felt a strong pain, but then she bitterly smiled to herself – very soon she would feel much more pain...

– What is your name? – Arcis continued his inquiry.

– Corba de Pereille...

In a short while her poor mother was thrown next to her.

Thus, one by one, the Cathars went through the "selection" and the number of sentenced increased. They all could save their lives. They "just" had to tell a lie and renounce what they believed in. None agreed to pay that price.

The fire crackled and hissed. The moist wood wouldn’t kindle properly. But the wind became stronger and from time to time burning flames managed to lick at the convicts. Their clothing flashed, converting a person into a torch... Heart-rending screams resounded through the valley. It was obvious that not everybody could endure such pain.

Stained-glass windows in a church of Limoix depicting the Cathars' history Stained-glass windows in a church of Limoix depicting the Cathars' history
Stained-glass windows in a church of Limoix
depicting the Cathars' history

Esclarmonde shivered with cold and fear. No matter how hard she pretended to be brave, she was shocked by the view of her burning friends. She was very exhausted and desperate. She wanted to call someone for help so much. But she knew perfectly well – nobody would come to help her.

She thought of her little Vidomir. She’ll never see how he grows up. She’ll never know whether his life will be happy. She was a mother just once. She hugged her child just a few minutes. And she will never give other children to Svetozar, because her life was over right now in this fire... next to others.

Esclarmonde breathed deeply, trying to ignore the beastly cold. What a pity that there is no sun! She liked so much to warm up under its tender rays! But that day the sky was sullen, grey and heavy. It said goodbye to them...

Doing her best to hold the salt tears, Esclarmonde lifted her head high. She wouldn’t show how truly hard it all was for her! Not at any price!!! She will stand it somehow. It won’t keep her waiting too long.

Her mother was near and was about to blaze up.

Her father stood like a stone sculpture, looking at them both. His hardened face was deathly pale. It seemed that life had left him, speeding away where they will go very soon.

She heard a heart-rending scream. It was her mother seized with flames.

– Corba! Corba, forgive me!!! – Her father let out a cry.

Suddenly Esclarmonde felt a tender touch. She knew it was her Light of Dawn, her Svetozar. He stretched his hand from far away to say the last farewell... to say that he was with her... that he knew how scared she was ... how painful it would be... He asked her to be brave...

Wild sharp pain slashed her body. Here it was! It finally came!!! Burning roaring flame touched her face. Her hair blazed up... In a second her whole body was seized with fire... A sweet, light girl, almost a child, accepted her death in silence. Sometimes she heard her father fiercely crying her name. Then everything disappeared... Her pure soul went into the kind and right world, without giving up or breaking, exactly the way she wanted to go.

Suddenly, and absolutely out of place, singing was heard... It was clergymen who sang to muffle the screams of the burning "convicts". Their voices, hoarse from the cold, sang psalms about God’s all-forgiving kindness...

At last, the evening sun set on the walls of Montsegur.

The terrible fire burnt out, here and there flashing with dying red embers. Over the day the wind increased and now raged, spreading all over the valley black clouds of soot and cinder, seasoned by the sweetish smell of burnt human flesh...

A queer apathetic man rambled lost at the funeral fire, stumbling through the people... From time to time he cried out somebody's name, grasped his head and began to sob loudly and heart-rendingly. The crowd parted, respecting his grief. The man plodded slowly, seeing or hearing nothing... He was grey-haired, hunched and tired. Sharp gusts of wind blew about his long grey hair and tore his worn dark clothes... For an instant the man turned around and – oh, Gods! – He was a young man!!! His emaciated thin face breathed pain... His wide open grey eyes looked with surprise. It seemed that he did not understand where he was and why. Suddenly he gave a wild cry and... Jumped straight into the fire! Or rather what was left of it...

People tried to grasp his hand but failed. The man tumbled face downwards onto burning out red cinders, clasping to his bosom something coloured.

And then he stopped breathing.

Finally they dragged him out of the fire and saw what he held firmly clutched in his thin hardening fist... It was a bright hair ribbon which young Occitan fiancees wore before the wedding... which meant that several hours ago he was a happy young groom... The wind still ruffled his long hair which had became grey over a day, softly playing with scorched strands... but the man already felt or heard nothing.

He again found his sweetheart and went with her, hand in hand, along the shining star road of the Cathars to meet their new star future... He again was very happy.

People, with their faces hardened in grief, still roamed around the almost extinguished fire... They did not feel the piercing wind and cold. They searched for the remains of their nearest and dearest, here and there rolling out from the ash the burnt bones of their sons, daughters, sisters and brothers, wives and husbands... or friends... Weeping was heard from time to time when somebody picked up a ring darkened in the fire... a semi-burnt boot... or even the head of a doll which rolled aside and had not burnt away...

The short man, Hugues des Arcis, was enormously pleased. At last everything was over. The Cathar heretics were dead. Now he could go home with a peaceful conscience. He cried to the freezing knight on guard to bring his horse over and turned to the warriors who sat at the fire to give them their last orders. He was in a much elevated mood. The long mission had at last come to its "happy" end... He fulfilled his debt and could honestly be proud of himself. A minute later the horse’s hooves rapidly clattered on the road. The seneschal of Carcassonne hurried home, where an abundant hot supper and a cosy fire-place to warm his frozen and tired body were waiting for him.

Loud and sorrowful weeping resounded on the peak of mount Montsegur. It was the eagles. They saw off their true friends and owners on their last journey... The eagles cried very loudly... In the village of Montsegur people fearfully closed their doors; the eagle weeping spread all over the valley. They grieved....

The eagles of Montsegur The eagles of Montsegur
Loud and sorrowful weeping resounded on the peak of mount Montsegur.

It was the terrible end of the Cathar’s outstanding empire – the empire of Light and Love, Good and Knowledge...

Somewhere in the depth of the Occitan Mountains the fugitive Cathars remained. They hid with their families in the caves of Lombrives and Ornolac, unable to decide what to do next... On losing the last Perfect ones, they felt like children without support and guidance.

They were persecuted.

They were the prey for which large sums of money were paid

A «living room» in caves of Lombrives, where once the Cathars hid A «living room» in caves of Lombrives, where once the Cathars hid
A «living room» in caves of Lombrives, where once the Cathars hid.
There is a small «fire place» in the corner of a cave, where the fossiled embers of a fire are stil «going out»

Nevertheless, the Cathars did not give up yet... They moved to the caves and felt at home there. They knew every turn and every crevice; therefore it was almost impossible to hunt them down, although the servants of king and church tried with all their might and main, hoping to get the promised rewards. They poked about in the caves, not knowing where to search. Many of them were lost and died there... Some of the lost went mad, failing to find the way back into the open and familiar sunny world...

The pursuers especially feared the cave of Sacani (Russian spelling of the cave’s name-E.L.). It ended in six separate entrances which zig-zagged downward. Nobody knew their real depth. There were legends that one of them led straight to the underground city of Gods where nobody dared to descend.

A path in Sacani
A path in Sacani

The Pope waited a bit and then went mad. The Cathars refused to disappear! This little group of exhausted people, who he was unable to understand, wouldn’t give up! Despite the losses and privations, in spite of everything, they still LIVED. The Pope dreaded them... He did not understand them. What was it that moved these strange, proud and impregnable people?! Why did they not give up, perfectly knowing that they have no chance of rescue? The Pope wanted them to disappear. He wanted that not a single damned Cathar be left on Earth! He could not invent anything better than ordering them to be bait in the caves...

The knights were absolutely delighted. Everything now seemed simple and easy. They did not have to rack their bains as to how to catch the "heretics". They went to the caves "arming" themselves with dozens of trained hounds which had to lead them to the heart of the refuge of the Cathar fugitives. Everything was very simple. They just had to wait a little. It was nothing compared to the siege of Montsegur.

The caves accepted the Cathars, folding them in their dark moist embrace... The life of the fugitives became difficult and lonely; it was rather, simply survival... However there still were a lot of people who helped them. The Cathars still lived in some places of Occitania like the principality de Foix, Castellum de Verdunum and others under the protection of local seigniors. Only now they did not gather openly, trying to be more careful, because the Pope’s bloodhounds had no rest wishing by all means to exterminate this Occitan "heresy" which was still hiding all over the country...

"Be assiduous in the extermination of the heresy by all means! God will inspire you!" – The Pope appealed to the Crusaders. And the messengers of the church really did their best...

– Tell me, Sever. Did any cave dweller manage to live long enough to see the day when he could go out to the surface without fear of being caught? Did anybody manage to keep his life?

– Unfortunately, nobody did, Isidora. The Cathars of Montsegur did not live that long..., although, as I just told you, there were other Cathars who existed in Occitania for a long time. The last Cathar was exterminated only a century later. But their life was already completely different, more secret and dangerous. The people frightened by the Inquisition betrayed them, wishing to save their own lives by treachery. Therefore some Cathars moved to the caves and some settled down in the forests. But that happened much later and they were more prepared to live this kind of life. As for those Cathars whose relatives and friends died in Montsegur, they did not want to live long with their pain. Deeply grieving for the deceased and being tired of hatred and persecutions, they finally decided to join them in another, more kind and pure, life. There were about five hundred persons, including old men and children. Also four Perfect ones came from the neighbouring town to help them.

In the night of their voluntary "leaving" the unfair and wicked material world all the Cathars went outside to breathe the wonderful spring air for the last time and once again to glance at the familiar shining of their beloved distant stars... to where their tired exhausted Cathar soul will fly very soon.

The night was tender, quiet and warm. Earth smelled of acacias, blossoming cherries and mother-of-thyme. People breathed the heady aroma, feeling almost a child's delight! It had been almost three long months since they had seen the pure night sky or breathed fresh air. But it was their land, despite everything that happened on it! It was their beloved Occitania. Only now it was invaded by the Devil’s own hordes leaving no chance of escape.

To a man, all the Cathars turned to Montsegur. They wanted to look at their HOME for the last time. They wanted to visit their sacred Temple of the Sun once more. A strange long procession of thin emaciated people went up to the highest Cathar castle with unexpected ease, as if nature itself helped them! Or could it be the souls of those with whom they were going to meet very soon?

A detachment of Crusaders was still encamped at the foot of Montsegur. Obviously the "holy" fathers were still afraid of the "mad" Cathars as they decided to return and kept watch... The sad processsion passed the sleeping guards like silent ghosts. Nobody even stirred.

– Did they "cloak themselves" then? – I asked in surprise. – Could all the Cathars really do that?

– No, Isidora, they could not. You forgot that the Perfect ones were with them. – Sever answered and calmly went on.

People reached the top and stopped. In the moonlight the ruins of Montsegur looked ominous and unusual, as if every stone, saturated with blood and pain of the executed Cathars, called for revenge...

Despite the dead silence it seemed to people that they heard the death screams of their family members and friends who had burnt in the horrific "purifying" papal fire.

Montsegur towered above them threatening and useless… like an injured beast abandoned to die alone...

The walls of the castle still remembered Svetodar and Magdalena, Bieloyar child's laughter and golden-haired Vesta... The castle remembered the wonderful years of the Cathars, filled with joy and love. It remembered kind and light people willing to be under its protection.

Now it had all vanished. The walls were naked and strange, as if the huge and kind soul of Montsegur flew with the souls of the burnt Cathars...

The Cathars looked at the familiar stars
The Cathars looked at the familiar stars

The Cathars looked at the familiar stars. They were so big and close from here! They knew that very soon these stars would be their new Home.

The stars looked down from above on their lost children and tenderly smiled, ready to receive their lonely souls.

The next morning the Cathars gathered in the enormous low cave which was right above their favourite "cathedral" one... A long time ago Golden Maria taught KNOWLEDGE there, new Perfect ones gathered and the Light and Kind World of the Cathars was born, grew and matured in this cave.

And now, when they returned here, only like "splinters" of this wonderful world, they wanted to be nearer to their irreplaceable past... The Perfect ones gave a consolamentum to each of them tenderly laying their magic hands on their tired drooping heads until all those leaving were at last, ready.

In complete silence people lay down right on the stone floor, crossed their thin hands on their chest and calmly closed their eyes, as if they were going to sleep... Mothers pressed their children to themselves, reluctant to part with them. A minute later the enormous hall turned into a quiet burial vault of five hundred good people ... The Cathars... Radomir and Magdalena’s Faithful and Light followers... who fell asleep for good...

Their souls flew where their proud and brave brothers waited for them, where the world was tender and kind, where there was no need to be afraid that somebody wicked and blood-thirsty will cut your throat or throw you in the Pope’s "purifying" fire.

Sharp pain squeezed my heart. Tears rolled down my cheeks like hot brooks, but I did not even notice that. Light, beautiful and pure people left life... of their own free will. They went away in order not to surrender to the killers. They wanted to go away the way they wanted it, instead of dragging out a miserable wandering existence in their proud and native land – Occitania.

– Why did they do it, Sever? Why did not they fight?

– Fight what, Isidora? They lost their fight. They simply chose HOW they wanted to go away.

– But they chose suicide! Is that not punished by karma? Did they not have to suffer likewise because of it, there, in another world?

– In this case no, Isidora. They just "left", removing their souls from their physical bodies. It is the most natural process in fact. They did not use violence. They simply "left".

In deep sadness I looked at this terrible burial vault submerged in the cold absolute silence which was occasionally broken by falling drops of water. Slowly nature began to create their eternal shroud, paying tribute to the dead... Thus, over the years, drop by drop, each body gradually turned into a stone tomb, preventing anyone from desecrating them...

The caves of Lombrives The caves of Lombrives
The caves of Lombrives

– Has the church ever found this burial vault? – I asked in a whisper.

– Yes, Isidora. It has. The servants of the Devil found this cave with the help of dogs. But even they did not dare to touch what nature had accepted into its hospitable arms. They did not dare to make their "purifying" and "sacred" fire there. Probably they felt that somebody else had done this work already for them. Since then this place was called the Cave of the Dead. Much later, in different times, other Cathars and Knights Templar came to die there. Their followers persecuted by the church hid there too. Even now you can see the old inscriptions left by the people who took shelter there once... You can see many different names mixed with the enigmatic signs of the Perfect ones. There is the glorious House of Foix and the persecuted proud Trencavels. There sadness and despondency are adjoined to desperate hope...

The inscriprions on the walls deep down the caves of Lombrives The inscriprions on the walls deep down the caves of Lombrives
Íàäïèñè íà ñòåíàõ ãëóáîêî â ïåùåðàõ Ëîìáðèâ The inscriprions on the walls deep down the caves of Lombrives
The inscriprions on the walls deep down the caves of Lombrives

There, for centuries, nature has been creating its stone "memory" of the sad events and people who deeply touched its huge loving heart. There is a statue of a wise eagle-owl at the entrance of the Cave of the Dead which has been guarding the peace of the passed away for centuries...

An eagle-owl in the Cave of the Dead
An eagle-owl in the Cave of the Dead

The Cathars' amazing «caskets» The Cathars' amazing «caskets»
The Cathars' amazing «caskets»
The Cathars' amazing «caskets»
It is highly likely that this casket
belongs to a young woman
because a beautiful rose is on it...
The Cathars' amazing «caskets»
Some of the caskets are in water which
fluded them much later

Nature gave the most incredible shrouds to Her dead
Nature gave the most incredible shrouds to Her dead...
A guarding dog or a mournful figure at the foot of the tomb...
As if the Great Creative One knows everybody who is lieing there...

Even Montsegur is in the Cave of the Dead Montsegur
Even Montsegur is in the Cave of the Dead...
The resemblance if heart-breaking

– Tell me, Sever, the Cathars believed in Christ, did they not? – I asked sadly. Sever was sincerely surprised.

– No, Isidora, it’s a lie. The Cathars did not "believe" in Christ. They appealed to him. They talked to him. He was their Teacher, but not their God. One can believe blindly only in God, however until now I still fail to understand why one may need a blind faith? It was the Church that once again distorted the sense of others’ teachings... The Cathars believed in KNOWLEDGE, in honesty and helping other, less lucky, people. They believed in Good and Love. But they never believed in one man. They loved and respected Radomir and adored Golden Maria who taught them, but they never made a God or Goddess out of them. For them they were symbols of Mind and Honour, Knowledge and Love, but they were PEOPLE, who, yes, fully gave themselves to others.

Look, Isidora, how foolishly the clergymen garbled even their own theories. They alleged that the Cathars did not believe in the Christ-man but in his cosmic Divine spirit which was not material. At the same time the church says that the Cathars declared Maria Magdalena the wife of Christ and accepted her children. Then how could a non-material creature have children, if we ignore, of course, the nonsense about Maria’s "immaculate conception"? No, Isidora, regrettably there is nothing truthful about the Cathar studies left... Everything that people know about it is fully perverted by the "most holy" church to show it as foolish and worthless. But the Cathars taught what our ancestors had taught, what we teach, and that was precisely what the Church found the most dangerous. They could not allow people to know the truth. The church had to destroy even the least recollection about the Cathars, otherwise how could it explain what it had done to them? After it had wiped out the whole people, HOW would it explain to its followers why and who would need this terrible crime? Therefore there is nothing left from the Cathars teachings. I think it will be even worse in the following centuries.

– But what about John? I read somewhere that the Cathars "believed" in John and even kept his manuscripts as a sacred object... Is there is any truth in this?

– Only that they indeed deeply honoured John, despite the fact that they never met him. – Sever smiled. – Well, and also that the Cathars preserved the real Christ’s Revelations and John’s diaries after Radomir and Magdalena’s death, which the Catholic Church tried to find and destroy by hook or by crook. The Pope’s servants fiercely tried to find out where those damned Cathars hid their most dangerous treasure! Because, should it appear openly, the story invented by the Catholic Church would suffer a total defeat. But no matter how hard the church bloodhounds tried, they failed and found nothing save a few manuscripts.

That is why the only possibility for the Church to somehow save face in the case of the Cathars was to pervert their faith and teachings so strongly that nobody in the world could tell truth from lie, just as they easily did with Radomir and Magdalena’s life.

Also the Church alleged that the Cathars had worshiped John even more than Jesus- Radomir. Only here they mean "their" John with his false Christian Gospels and false manuscripts... The Cathars honoured the real John, but, as you know, he had nothing to do with the church’s John the "Baptist".

– You know, Sever, I have an impression that the church garbled and destroyed the WHOLE world’s history. Why did they do that?

– They did that to prevent man from thinking, Isidora, to make obedient and insignificant slaves out of people who the "most holy" fathers could "forgive" or punish at their own discretion; because, if man knew the truth about his past, he would be PROUD of himself and his Ancestors and would never put on a slave collar. Without TRUTH free and strong people became "slaves of God" and did not try to remember who they are in reality. This is our present, Isidora... and frankly speaking, it does not show much promise of changing for the better.

Sever was very quiet and sad. Perhaps watching human weakness and cruelty for so many centuries and seeing how the strongest died, his heart was poisoned with bitterness and disbelief in the forthcoming victory of Knowledge and Light... I wanted so much to cry out to him that I did believe that people would wake up soon! Despite spite and pain, treachery and weakness, I believe that Earth finally will not endure what is done to her children and will wake up... But I understood that I would not be able to convince him, because I must die soon myself fighting for this awakening.

But I had no regrets... My life was just a grain of sand in the boundless ocean of suffering. And I had to fight to the very end no matter how terrible it might be, because even small water drops, dropping constantly, could wear away the strongest stone. The same thing could happen to EVIL: if everybody destroyed even one grain of evil, it would finally disappear. And it is of minor importance if it does not happen in their current life, they would return to the Earth again and see that it was THEY who helped it to withstand! It was THEY who helped it to become Light and Faithful. I know that Sever would say that man was unable to live for the future yet... I know that was the truth for the time being; but in my opinion exactly this stopped many from making their own decisions, because people got used to thinking and acting "like everybody else". They are reluctant to be different or daring. They just want to live calmly.

– I am sorry that I made you go through so much pain, my friend. – Sever’s voice interrupted my thoughts. – But I think it will help you to meet your fate. It will help to stand to the end...

I did not want to think about it... Just a little bit more! I shall have enough time to think of my sad fate; therefore I changed the painful subject and began to ask questions again.

– Tell me, Sever, why Magdalena and Radomir and many Volkhvs wore the sign of the royal "fleur-de-lis"? Does it mean that they were Franks? Could you explain that to me?

Vedunia Maria wearing the crown with a Three-leafed plant
Vedunia Maria wearing
the crown with a Three-leafed plant
Christ lays the Crown of the Teacher on Magdalena's head
Christ lays the Crown of the
Teacher on Magdalena's head
There is a Three-leafed plant in the center of the Crown

– To begin with, Isidora, it is a wrong understanding of the symbol. – Sever answered, smiling. – It was not a lily, when the Meravingly brought it to Frankia.

A Three-leafed plant is a battle symbol of the Slavs-Aryans
A Three-leafed plant
is a battle symbol of the Slavs-Aryans

– ?!.

– Did not you know that it was they who brought the symbol of a "three-leafed plant" to the then Europe? – Sever was sincerely surprised.

– No, I did not. I never heard of it and you surprised me again!

– Long-long time ago the three-leafed plant was a battle symbol of the Slavs-Aryans, Isidora. It was a magic grass which miraculously helped in the battle. It gave unbelievable strength to the warriors, healed their wounds and facilitated their departure to another life. This wonderful grass grew far away to the north. Only the Volkhvs could pick it. It was always given to the warriors who went to defend their Motherland. When a warrior went to a battle, he pronounced the usual incantation: "For Honour! For Conscience! For Faith!" accompanying it with a magic motion. He touched his left and right shoulder and at last the middle of his forehead with two fingers. This is what this three-leafed plant meant in reality and this was the initial meaning of the symbol which the Meravingly brought. Well, after the Meravingly dynasty was exterminated, new kings appropriated it, just as everything else, declaring it to be a symbol of the royal house of France. And the ritual "was adopted" by the Catholic Church which added to it a fourth, lower part... the Devil’s part. Regrettably, history repeats itself.

Yes, indeed history does repeat itself... I felt bitter and sad. Was anything real in what we knew? Suddenly I felt that hundreds of unknown people looked demandingly at me. I understood, they were those who KNEW, those who died protecting the truth... I felt that they bequeathed it to me to carry the TRUTH to the unknowing ones, but I could not. I was leaving... just as they did once.

Suddenly the door swung open and smiling merry Anna ran into the room like a hurricane. My heart jumped up and then sank to the precipice. I could not believe I saw my dear girl! And she smiled widely, as if nothing happened and she was absolutely fine and the terrible danger did not hang over our heads.

– Mother, dear, I hardly found you! Oh, hello, Sever! Have you come to help us? Tell me, you will help us, won’t you? – Anna asked confidently, looking right into his eyes.

Sever just smiled affectionately and very sadly...

* * *


The archeological excavations of Montsegur were laborious and thorough and lasted thirteen years (1964-1976). On their completion the French Group of the Archeological Reseach on Montsegur and the outskirts (GRAME) came to their final conclusion: No traces of the ruins of Montsegur I which was left by its owners in the 12th century were found, just as the ruins of Montsegur II which Raymond de Pereille, the owner, built in 1210.

(See: Groupe de Recherches Archeologiques de Montsegur et Environs (GRAME), Montsegur: 13 ans de rechreche archeologique, Lavelanet: 1981. pg. 76.: "Il ne reste aucune trace dan les ruines actuelles ni du premier chateau que etait a l'abandon au debut du XII siecle (Montsegur I), ni de celui que construisit Raimon de Pereilles vers 1210 (Montsegur II)...")

According to a deposition given to the Inquisition on March 30, 1244 by the captured co-seigneur of Montsegur, Raymond de Pereille (b.1190-1244?), the fortress was "restored" in 1204 at the request of Cathar Perfecti Raymond de Mirepoix and Raymond Blasco.[Source: Doat V 22 fo 207]

However, something was left to remind us of the tragedy which happened on this small blood-stained plot of land... The foundations of the houses of the irremeable village still "hung" over the precipice tightly clutching at Montsegur.

Old stones still remember the Good People Old stones still remember the Good People

There, the wind plays on those old stones, just as before, carresing the young crass
which grew through the narrow crevices. The mountain birds screech and make their fragile
nests in the windless corners of the mountains, just as before. There, the old stones still remember
Good People who once warmed the brave village with the warmth of their hearts...

Download the Book

1. The beginning
2. A friend
3. The first "swallows"
4. The loss
5. Reality
6. The first contact
7. A test
8. The farewell
9. The awakening
10. Everyday life
11. The neighbours
12. Cookies
13. The fire that did not warm up
14. Loneliness
15. Giving eating up
16. The second contact
17. The result
18. Anesthesia
19. The neighbour
20. Unusual salvation
21. Unexpected guests
22. The poltergeist
23. A car accident
24. An angel
25. Stella
26. Stella-2. Harold
27. Stella-3. Axel
28. Stella-4. The astral world
29. Stella-5. Svetilo. The hell. Izolda
30. Stella-6. The mental world
31. Vaya. Other worlds
32. My parents
33. The surprise
34. Sorrow
35. Isidora
36. Isidora-2. Rome
37. Isidora-3. Meteora
38. Isidora-4. The Loss
39. Isidora-5. The Darkness
40. Isidora-6. Svetodar
41. Isidora-7. The Cathars
42. Isidora-8. The Key of Gods
43. Isidora-9. The loss of Anna. The woman Warrior
44. Isidora-10. Vidomir. The sleeping Kings