holding forth

Et in arcadia ego.

A few months ago there was a news article about some ex-Bletchley park people considering a mysterious inscription on a monument in Staffordshire, reputedly containing information about the Holy Grail. Well, they don't think so. This is entirely unsurprising. The Holy Blood And The Wholly Specious has a lot to answer for, even if it has managed to indirectly pay for the Roslin Chapel's restoration.

There's a page about the Poussin in question here.

Rather more practically, here's an article about a possible treatment for rabies, previously 100% fatal once it became symptomatic (bar one single person in the sixties, I believe).
  • Current Mood: skeptical
I would think that anyone would want a cryptic religious message to show the resting place of the grail - that is after all the most interesting thing that any cryptic message could say. Except for "We apologise for the inconvenience" of course.

So whenever you actually *find* such a cryptic message, people will inevitably postulate that maybe it provides the information necessary to recover said item of tableware. 'Tis a great work of optimism, is it not? Like anyone that knows where the holy goblet lies is gonna write down its position instead of going and getting it. Sheesh.
Maybe. The interest in the grail does seem to wax and wane, though. There's been a glut of conspiracy theory recently, ranging from the Good (Foucault's Pendulum) through the Bad (The da Vinci Code) to the Ugly (Holy Blood, Holy Grain, inevitably).
Whether the Grail is part of the local mindset depends enormously on where you are. Some churches and places do relics. Others don't. There's been a bit more interest in them lately than for a good while before, and of course they were huge in the middle ages. Take the Shroud, for instance. Relatively obscure for probably centuries until the seventies, when someone made a TV documentary abut it. Suddenly it was big business again.
Headline:
Code points away from Holy Grail

In that case all they need to do is follow the *opposite* of the instructions and they're bound to find it!
Good God, Holmes, that's amazing! I'll hail a hansom immediately.
I'm always slightly bemused by things like that; "We don't know what it says, but we think it's about the grail". Well, if you don't know what it says, what on earth makes you think you know what it's about? That's just bloody silly, that is.
In this case, it's the Poussin picture. Holy Blood, Wholly Bollocks says that the picture's about the Grail, because there was one just like it in Rennes-le-Chateaux, and they push the line that a priest there found treasure belonging to the Priory of Sion, who were guarding the bloodline of Christ's descendants et cetera ad nauseam. The fact that the priest got rich after it became well-known he was on the take doesn't seem to bother them. Neither does the fact that the tomb postdates the "finding" of "treasure" that they allege.

But yes, it's all bollocks. Apophenia in action. Apophenia still isn't in the OED, you know.
I don't know if you noticed but the Poussin page you ref is actually part of a site about the rather excellent Tom Stoppard play "In Arcadia" (which I've read but disappointingly never seen acted). Interesting site in fact, and after a little clicking about I found:

http://www.skidmore.edu/academics/lsi/arcadia/glossary.html

Click on the last link there and you get a "Congratulations! You found the target page. " thingy (which is disappointingly broken). The idea of burying an easter egg in a web site about "In Arcadia" greatly appeals to me.
Do we assume that the methods etc used by the Bletchley Gang to decipher it are Way Too Secret to explain ?

Without a little backplot or explanation, I find it difficult to believe that a dozen letters can be deduced to mean anything in particular. There may be valid reasons for it being likely that it's the sect they say, but without further details it could just as well be a careless sculptur's shopping list reminder.
I'd guess it'll be published somewhere. If I were them, I'd have been looking into the background of the people who built it for clues.
Notice that the rabies girl got infected by a bat in a church. That must be where the grail is. The girl found out, and the killer bats were sent to defend it.

You see, it all ties up!!!
Good thing we have free health care, as most insurance companies won't pay up for acts of God, which this clearly was.
(Did they pay up when York Minster was hit by lightning?)
I met the authors of HBHG once. I asked the if the book was some kind of obscure satire and they weren't too amused.

Using their unique methodology, here is the synopsis for my next blockbuster expose.

Roslin Chapel is owned by Baron Sinclair, who just happens to be a Police Superintendent. As all policemen are Masons, and Baron Sinclair is a descendant of the St Clair family, then Baron Sinclair is actually the current Grand Master of the Priory Of Sion.As Roslin Chapel has survived for 500 years without needing a protective canopy,it is obvious that the cover over Roslin Chapel must be serving some hidden purpose. I pondered for years what this hidden purpose could be, until one day, there it was - it had been right in front of me all along - Roslin Chapel lies near the curiously named Roslin Glen. Everyone knows that Glens only exist in the Highlands, so why was this little valley called a glen? It must be a code I thought, and after many long nights of study, I deciphered the hidden meaning. G.L.E.N - Grail Lies Extremely Near. My theory was confirmed when I went into the cafe in the Chapel and the dish of the day was poussin.

You want the rest, you'll have to buy the book. All it needs is a catchy title. Let me see, um, I know, 'The Roslin Shroud'

Convinced?
Yes - because of the missing link. There has been an astonishing lack of public discussion (indeed, a conspiracy of silence) concerning the amazing proximity of Rosslyn Chapel to the Roslin Institute, pioneering headquarters of cloning research. Clearly the secret Templar knowledge which was decoded from the Apprentice Pillar and used to clone Dolly the sheep (and doubtless many other secret endeavours also) was only a small part of the effort to maintain the bloodline of Christ's descendants by cloning when necessary to avoid the loss of the Holy Family from the world. The use of this knowledge by the illuminated élite will be used to bring in a new age of enlightened and sacred society where nature will be harnessed for the glory of God and the service of humanity. This clearly implies that informed investors will buy shares in the relevant biotech companies immediately in order to maximise return on their investment.

Here endeth today's sermon.