The Daughter of God:
The Real Story of Joan of Arc
By Boyd Rice
the church of Mary Magdalen at Rennes-le-Chateau, there is
a curiously neglected statue. It is obviously the work of
the same Marseilles craftsman who created all of the works
which dominate the church's interior, yet it is essentially
abandoned. It is stored on a patio outside the Villa Bethania,
exposed to the elements. Paint cracks and peels from it, and
tourists have seemingly chipped off bits of it as souvenirs.
It is a statue of that intrinsically French saint,
Joan of Arc.
When we visited the church, the tour guide could not satisfactorily
explain to us why this particular statue has been exiled to
this seemingly insignificant location. Neither did she know
if it was ever originally within the church, or indeed anything
whatsoever of its original whereabouts. This statue is a genuine
anomaly. It is a piece of history relegated to insignificance
in a place where virtually everything is perceived to be pregnant
with potential significance. How did this statue, which, even
in its present state of decay, retains the essence of its
original beauty and elegance, come to attain such a poor status
in relation to the other objects within the church? It is
Another question might be: “What relationship can be
shown to exist between Saint Jean and what is known of the
Rennes-le-Chateau mystery?” In fact, there are quite
a few connections, but to explore them in any meaningful manner
entails a reevaluation of Joan of Arc and her legacy. The
standard notion that she was a young girl who heard voices
(and may have been crazy) seems very inadequate. Even the
most superficial inquiries into the life of Joan of Arc indicate
that her real story has never been revealed. Her relationship
with the prominent Angevin Grail dynasty suggests that there
is much more than meets the eye.
For ages before the appearance of Joan of Arc on history's
timeline, there was a popular tale in French folklore that
in the nation's darkest hour, “The Maiden of Orleans”
would appear, unite its citizens and vanquish its foes. So
popular was the legend that certain leaders attempted to manufacture
such "Maidens" to serve their own ends. Invariably,
a skeptical public saw through such ploys, and all of these
attempts came to naught. Until Joan came along.
Most tellings of the story of Joan of Arc don't begin to
reveal the full extent of how she was perceived in France
in her day. She was thought to be the “Daughter of God”,
a sort of feminine French Christ sent to Earth by the primordial
patriarch to save the monarchy of France. Pretty wild stuff,
but not at all inconsistent with what you would expect of
an Angevin/Merovingian conspiracy. René de Anjou's
ancestors were masters at manipulating archetypes and reviving
old myths with new emanations. Also, both René and
Joan were so close that many presumed them to be lovers.
In more recent times, an ancestor of René d'Anjou
was said to have been married to a woman named Melusine who
was half-serpent, half-human. This is an obvious recapitulation
of the cabalistic tradition which states that Cain's mother
Lillith was also a mix of serpent and human. René's
distant ancestor Jesus Christ seems to have had a very conscious
strategy to fulfill Messianic prophecy, detail by detail.
A prophecy existed promising a Messiah, and a man appeared
who embodied that prophecy, or certainly appeared to. He wasn't
the first of his bloodline to recycle old myths and present
himself as their embodiment, nor was he the last. Just as
Christ had reconstituted the myth of Osiris, Joan of Arc has,
in a way, reconstituted the myth of Christ. She was the “Daughter
of God”, sent to save her people. Had all not
gone awfully awry, she would have been worshipped as a living
goddess. In fact, her martyrdom, which she wholeheartedly
embraced, lead to essentially the same result. The real question
in all of this seems to be: “To what extent was Joan
consciously aware of the process in which she was involved?”
As an illiterate girl of age 19, she exhibited a cleverness
above and beyond that of her learned prosecutors and judges.
She was glib, enigmatic, and poetic whilst facing her accusers.
They tried repeatedly to trick her and trap her, yet repeatedly
she out-thought them. How does a simple peasant girl become
a master of rhetoric, a victor in debates with scholars conversant
in Hebrew, Latin, Greek, and Old English? Was she divinely
inspired or simply well-tutored?
No one disagrees that Joan's tutor and mentor was René
d'Anjou's mother Iolande. As asserted in Holy Blood, Holy
“It was Iolande who provided the feeble, weak-willed
Dauphin with incessant transfusions of morale. It was Iolande
who inexplicably appointed herself Joan's official patroness
and sponsor. It was Iolande who overcame the court's resistance
to the visionary girl and obtained authorization for her
to accompany the army to Orleans. It was Iolande who convinced
the Dauphin that Joan might indeed be the savior that she
claimed to be.”
Iolande de Bar was held in such high regard that the Dauphin
immediately married her daughter. The influence of Iolande
cannot be overestimated. Her impact on the politics of France
(and in turn, Europe) is undeniable.
The most difficult aspect of the Joan of Arc story is trying
to ascertain the degree to which she may have been a mere
pawn of the Angevins, and the degree to which she was a conscious
and willing co-conspirator. There are, of course, compelling
arguments on either side. But for a dynastic family so obsessed
with blood, does it seem likely that they would choose an
obscure peasant to occupy a position with such potential politico/religious
authority? Of course not. Joan of Arc must surely have been
a natural Angevin (i.e., illegitimate.) It is altogether possible
that Joan was the bastard offspring of René's father,
who was the Duke of Bar, where René was born. This
would make René and Joan brother and sister. We needn't
belabor the archetype of the divine couple as brother and
sister. (Isis and Osiris are the most obvious example.) Could
it be at all possible that, had not everything gone hopelessly
awry, Joan and René might have married and become the
focus of a new national cult in France? Ponder it for a second:
René was a descendant of Lohengrin, Godfroi de Bouillon,
and ultimately of Christ. Joan was perceived as the Savior
of France, sent directly by God. Such a couple would have
been viewed as a modern Adam and Eve: a divine couple whose
offspring would be divinely ordained to rule. The monarchical
ideal would have been born anew.
But history is messy business, and things don't always go
according to plans. In the France of Joan, René and
Charles VII, Catholic and British influences were seen as
being threatened; so the Brits and Rome garnered their cumulative
forces to crush the threat. Joan of Arc was the symbolic “heart”
of the French nation. France, used to the tradition of the
French national goddess Marianne, as well as the Magdalen
cult, saw Joan as an emanation of the French spirit, of their
very race-soul. Therefore, she and her influence had to be
brought to a halt and discredited. Otherwise Rome and Britain
stood no chance. They would have been defeated by a young
girl perceived to be the embodiment of an eternal ideal. Their
only recourse was to demonize her and label her a heretic,
or to entice her into their fold and convince her to recant,
to deny her past proclamations. But Joan was a tough nut to
crack. She told her inquisitors that even should they “separate
[her] soul from her body”, she would not recant. Her
judges, learned and scholarly men all, felt impotent in the
face of this bizarre young woman. So strong was her will,
her belief, that she refused to give an inch.
The transcripts of her trial (never accurately reflected
in modern films about Joan) reveal the true modus operandi
of these court sessions. It is not a trial of a heretic, it
is a trial in which one historical tradition is being brushed
by another. It is, yet again, the bloodline of the Grail being
suppressed by orthodoxy. It is France being subjugated by
Britain and Rome. What one immediately notices in the testimony
of Joan at her trial is how closely her responses seem to
match those of the Templars and Cathars tried for heresy.
She is asked essentially the same types of questions, and
her answers are at times so identical as to match word
for word. When accused of having been sent by the Devil,
Joan replied: “No, it was you who were sent
by the Devil, to torture me.” Interestingly, many years
later, another woman related to the Angevins gave a very similar
response in a trial related to the attempted overthrow of
Louis XIV's monarchy. She was the Duchess de Bouillon, and
when a magistrate inquired as to whether or not she had ever
seen the Devil, she stared him in the face and replied: “I'm
looking at him now.”
A true window into Joan's history can be glimpsed in the
remarkable Carl Dreger film, The Passion of Joan of Arc.
This is a film that was thought to be forever lost, and then
was “miraculously” rediscovered. All known copies
of the movie had, like Joan herself, been “destroyed
by fire.” Then, in 1981, a negative of the film was
discovered in (of all places) a Norwegian mental institution.
The film is most well-known perhaps for its use of “Theatre
of Cruelty” advocate Antonin Arteau, acting as a monk.
But this is the film's least compelling offering, although
Arteau gives a brilliant performance. The most compelling
aspect of the film is that it documents the trial of Joan
word for word, based on manuscripts still held at
a library in Paris. As the film opens, it proclaims these
manuscripts to be the “most important” documents
in the history of the
Important, obviously, but “most” important? Is
someone trying to convey the idea that the Joan of Arc drama
represented a crossroads in history? One in which the True
Faith was (yet again) suppressed by
orthodoxy? It certainly seems likely.
One notices in the title sequence that certain members of
Jean Cocteau's inner circle seem to be involved in some capacity,
for we see the names of Jean Hugo and Valentine Hugo. Mr.
Hugo was a close associate of Cocteau, and son of the Priory
of Sion's former Grand Master, Victor Hugo, whose time in
office immediately preceded that of Cocteau himself. In fact,
the whole film seems to emanate the Priory of Sion ethos.
That Catholics are all fat, debauched, decadent, and have
faces covered with ugly warts. Joan represents the French
race-soul as it should be: pure and unyielding.
The upshot of the narrative is never that she was a heretic,
but that she refused to submit to the authority of Rome, that
one who experiences a direct connection with God has no need
of the Church. This was also the message, essentially, of
the German mystic Meister Eckart, who proclaimed that God
lives in and through all things; therefore, to experience
communion with God required no church and no priesthood. Eckart's
fate, not surprisingly, was not much different than Joan's.
He too was a mystic, a visionary, and a prophet far beyond
his times. In consequence, he is remembered as a heretic and
not a saint. Joan, in fact, received sainthood, as did other
key Merovingian “heretics” such as King Dagobert
II. The Church, recognizing the futility of opposing public
opinion, attempted to incorporate all that they couldn't entirely
expunge from public memory. This is by no means anything new.
The building of cathedrals on ancient pagan holy sites was
an early example, as was the co-opting of ancient holidays.
Right or wrong, the Church knows what it's doing, just as
it knew that Joan of Arc was a viable threat. Here was the
“Virgin of Orleans”, a warrior and a reputed “Daughter
of God”, a French Christ in feminine form. Given the
proper circumstances, a figure of this magnitude might well
have overshadowed the Church of Rome. She could have made
France (and not Rome) the focal point of global religion,
and indeed, the center of the world.
Was Joan a mere pawn of the Angevins, or a conscious co-conspirator?
We opt for the latter, because Joan was always conscious of
the bigger picture, and fanatical in her devotion to her ideals.
She embraced her martyrdom, as Christ did his, understanding
full well that she would exercise far more power living on
as an ideal than she ever could in the course of
her day-to-day life. She told her accusers that she would
win a “great victory” over them. A monk, preparing
her for death at the stake, inquired as to what had happened
to the “great victory” her God had promised her.
Where was it now? Unhesitatingly, she replied: “My martyrdom.”
And she was correct.