Cathar expert Déodat Roche may not be the only modern
Cathar. Another candidate put forward for such a distinction
is “Raymond Abellio”. Raymond Abellio is the pseudonym
of French writer and political activist Georges Soulès.
Already, in his choice of nom de plum, there is a direct reference
to the solar deity of the Pyrenees, often linked with Apollo
– and Lucifer. It was, in fact, Otto Rahn himself who
made the link between Lucifer and Abellio.
Abellio was a deity of Soulès’ homeland, especially
the Garonne Valley in Gallia Aquitania. His existence is known
through a number of inscriptions that were discovered at Comminges.
He may have been a god of apple trees. Equally, though Raymond
is a name of Germanic origin, composed of the elements ragin
(“counsellor”) and mund (“protector”),
the name was, at the time of Catharism, specifically linked
with the counts of Toulouse. The choice of protector and counsellor
of the deity of light is an apt choice to describe what Soulès
envisioned to be his mission in life.
was born November 11, 1907 in Toulouse, and died August 26,
1986 in Nice. His parents came from Ax-les-Thermes, in the Ariège
valley, only 16km from the ancient Cathar castle at Montségur.
Soulès was a brilliant student, and during his engineering
studies, discovered an interest in politics and became a staunch
supporter of Marxism. He joined the Étudiants Socialist
of the XIV arrondissement of Paris, affiliated to the French
Socialist party (SFIO). Here he befriended the celebrated political
philosopher, Claude Lévi-Strausse. Amongst his tutors
was Marcel Deat, the politician and philosopher who formed his
own party, the Parti Socialiste de France, under the motto “Order,
Authority and Nation”.
In 1931, at the age of 24, he joined the Centre Polytechnicien
d’Études Économiques, popularly known as
X-Crise. The aim of the group was to study the political and
economic consequences of the 1929 Wall Street crash. One of
the results of this study was his adoption of “Planisme”,
a political philosophy that embraced centralised control of
the economy and key services, such as power and transport, which
today remain pillars of most socialist governments.
According to Guy Patton, author of “Masters of Deception”:
“It appears that the Planist approach offered the best
route to a French national renewal and a change in France’s
economic fortune. He wanted to replace the famous Republican
slogan, ‘Liberty, Equality, Fraternity’, with ‘Prayer,
War, Work’, to represent a new society built on an absolute
hierarchy led by a king-priest.” It is therefore apparent
that Abellio did not want to stop with bringing socialism to
power, but had a much greater vision for France.
was also on the board of the Atlantis magazine, founded, in
1926, by Paul Le Cour. Le Cour was to be an inspiration for
Pierre Plantard’s political and esoteric philosophy –
the illustrious Priory of Sion. Le Cour himself was the heir
of the Hiéron du Val d’Or movement, which campaigned
for the return of a priest-king to rule France. All of these
organisations, however diversified they might appear to be,
had one common denominator: the return of a New or Golden Age,
and it is here that they link up with Abellio’s vision
In 1947, Abellio’s “Vers un prophetisme nouveau”
specifically called for the formation of “a grand order
consisting of a community of initiates under the direction of
a man with a sense of mission”. The question, of course,
is: initiates of what?
wrote two books in the Gnostic genre, entitled “Manifeste
de la nouvelle gnose” (Manifestation of the New Gnosis)
and “Approches de la nouvelle gnose” (Approaches
of the New Gnosis). He was also interested in the possibility
of a secret numerical code in the Bible, a subject that he developed
in “La Bible, document chiffré” (which could
best be translated as “The Bible Code”!) in 1950,
and later in “Introduction à une théorie
des nombres bibliques” (Introduction to a theory of biblical
numbers), in 1984. He proposed in particular that the number
of the Beast –i.e. the Devil – 666, was the key
number of life, a manifestation of the holy trinity on all possible
levels, material, animist and spiritual.
Abellio’s writings all underline his ideology, which is
that there is an ongoing process whose final term he called
the “assumption” of the world’s multiplicity
into the “inner Man”. Man was supposed to be able
to achieve the complete unification of that multiplicity, a
unification that would end up providing the subject with a “gnostic
consciousness”, also called “secondary memory”,
by the same token leading to the “transfiguration of the
there is little evidence that Abellio might have been a Cathar.
Whenever his ideology is explained, there are references to
the influence of Pierre de Combas on his thinking, as well as
his interest in Oriental philosophy, the Vedas, and eschatology.
Indeed, it is only in Jean Parvulesco’s “Le Soleil
Rouge de Raymond Abellio” (The Red Sun of Raymond Abellio)
– and then even in a somewhat secretive manner –
that the notion that Abellio likely had Cathar allegiances rises
to the surface.
Parvulesco was a writer and French journalist, who argued that
he was heir of the “Traditional thinking”, in line
with other esoteric authors like René Guénon and
Julius Evola. He knew Abellio personally, and was thus a person
who could penetrate into his inner world – see his “true
self”, which was an important part of Abellio’s
It is in
the chapter “The Final Secret of Raymond Abellio”
that we find – unexpectedly – two direct references
to Catharism. But before doing so, Parvulesco opens the chapter
by underlining that Abellio died in an “immense solitude”.
He then writes how “Raymond Abellio never stopped to be,
secretly, and whether he himself knew or not nevertheless is
important, the ecstatic and suicidal ecstatic of Montségur,
whom carried inside himself the mission for this life and for
all lives to come.” He continues: “And, on the other
part, he, so long amongst us as the confidential agent of the
other world, is going to try to be, now, our confidential agent
in the other world.”
The first paragraph is a rather awkward method of writing and
it is almost as if Parvulesco is about to fall over his own
words, trying to express something that is very intense. Parvulesco
nevertheless makes it clear that Abellio had a mission, which
he links with Montségur, and though some might argue
that Parvulesco used the castle’s name because it was
near to where Abellio’s family originated from, that actually
doesn’t work within the context, with references to suicide
– noting that suicide was specifically linked with the
Cathars besieged at that castle during the Siege of Montségur.
Even more specific: Parvulesco implies Abellio’s mission
is specifically linked with Montségur – known for
one thing only: the symbolic demise of Catharism.
Two pages later, and totally out of sorts with the tone of the
book and chapter, Parvulesco introduces the consolamentum. Parvulesco
is at odds to explain the end of Abellio’s life, why he
died in total isolation, and is unable to come up with a logical
answer – except one: “the only answer that I can
support is not the least: […] it is in the mystery of
this sacrament instituted by the consolamentum of the very perfect
that it is where we need to search the reasons of his mystic
complicity with the arrest of death that concerned him, and
about which he did not ignore the promises of deliverance, the
suspension of the movement of the penitential wheel of the blind
lives. But let us not talk about that which is so savagely prohibited
to be spoken off.”
read this sole paragraph for what it truly states. Not only
does it refer directly to the fact that Parvulesco knew what
Catharism meant – the end of the series of incarnations,
accomplished through the consolamentum –, not only does
he reveal that such things should not be spoken off, but he
specifically does note that it is in this framework and especially
in the sacrament of the consolamentum that one should search
the reason why Abellio died in the manner that he did. In short,
Parvulesco states that Abellio died in total solitude, as he
died after receiving the consolamentum; the total isolation
being nothing else but his endura.
paragraphs are powerful evidence, by a person who knew him,
that Abellio was indeed a Cathar. In two paragraphs, Parvulesco
sums up the life of his friend as that of a man who was born
with “the mission of Montségur” and who died
conform to the Cathar rituals.
These paragraphs also put another episode in Abellio’s
life in context: a theatre play entitled “Montségur”,
which was about the Cathar Crusade. In the play, he set off
the conflict between knowledge and power on the one hand, as
well as an awakening and the part it played in a particular
mindset. Was it his awakening and his mindset?
all of his interests in the Bible, as well as Oriental philosophy,
should be seen for what they were: the interests of a Cathar,
who realised that the Bible and these philosophies contained
ideas that were similar to his own – those of Catharism.
These interests should not be seen – as most interpret
them – as those of a social activist who went in search
of a larger religious framework. It was a confirmation of his
belief, rather than exploration of beliefs, to eventually pick
one that suited him best.
Equally, as Parvulesco underlined, perhaps we should see his
social activism and his strife for a New Europe as his “mission”
– to once again quote Parvulesco – a mission that
equally was part and parcel of the Cathar social agenda of medieval
Europe. Though Abellio has often been labelled a synarchist
(i.e. a man who proposed that the world was ruled by a secret
elite – his “initiates”), it may be that he
realised that after the fate that Catharism befell in the 13th
century, rule by secrecy might have been the only method through
which his – if not their – social reform could ever
be accomplished. Hence, we need to ask whether his strife –
and that of those like him – as another Cathar revival.