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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Inner Worlds, 27 Sep 2010
This review is from: Refuge of the Apocalypse: Doorway into Other Dimensions (Hardcover)
Inner Worlds

`Refuge of the Apocalypse: Doorway into Other Dimensions' is another book that is difficult to rate accurately. If the narrative is taken at face value and read literally, it seems little more than nonsensical gibberish. Van Buren uses astrology, numerology and gematria to support her claim that the tiny French village of Rennes-le-Château will be a place of safety during an impending period of global tribulation. As `evidence' she compares words phonetically from numerous different languages. Unfortunately she does this with no regard for age or etymology. She confuses modern symbols associated with neo-druidism and neo-Catharism with more ancient genuine lore. She also uses extremely vague `simulacra' as `evidence' to support her claims. Critics will of course argue that only she can `see' these `simulacra'. All of this can, and does, make it a tedious read.

For example, Van Buren states that:

`...those who gave the town [Stenay] its name were initiates with knowledge of man's lost estate. `Sten' suggests the German word for stone (stein), and `ay' is phonetically like eye. The stone, or petrified eye, is the stone on which Christ established his Church'.

Here, she uses modern English and German words and casually relates them to a French town that was named many centuries ago. This is typical of how Van Buren makes her case.

When writing about `the druids' she claims that:

`...the symbol of [the druid] deity is three rays of light, and every Druid wore this symbol on his mitre in gold'.

Unfortunately, she fails to note that the three ray druidic symbol, referred to as the Awen, is not an ancient symbol, but is instead a symbol concocted during the neo-Druidic revival of the 18th and 19th century.

She also makes claims that are patently untrue, such as:

`The Rose Croix, the Knights Templar, and the Cathari were behind the construction of most of the churches in the region'.

Even those with an extremely limited knowledge of the groups involved know that the Rosicrucians and the Cathars did not build churches. She also repeats as fact the Priory of Sion claim that the Merovingians were descended from the Jewish tribe of Benjamin.

Critics of Van Buren will perhaps argue that she suffers from a bad case of apophenia, which can be defined as a tendency to see `abnormal meaningfulness' across a wide spectrum of data.

However, for fans of the Rennes-le-Château enigma there is lot on offer in this book. Van Buren goes into detail about certain aspects of the mystery, particular in her descriptions of the local church and its numerous enigmatic characteristics. Other aspects of the Rennes mystery are also examined, with an emphases on topographical features of the surrounding countryside. The work of Jules Verne and Maurice Leblanc is also examined, which might interest those researchers who don't read French. Much of what she discusses ties in with other Rennes-le-Chateau authors such as Ean Begg, Roy Norvill, Gérard de Sède, and David Wood.

In common with Begg she claims that `the Magdalene, the adulterated matter of the alchemist, was the Black Madonna'.

In common with Norvill she examines the claims of the alchemists, with Fulcanelli most prominent. `Only that which is pure can withstand the fire'.

In common with de Sède she claims that `the Israelites were those who had co-habited with the space people, and had created a blood-bond between the two races. The name Israelou signifies the men that were allied to the gods'.

Like Wood, Van Buren examines the topography around Rennes and claims to see the `hand' of extra-terrestrial terra-formers, although perhaps there is a hint about her literalness in her description of Wood's contribution ` his book [Genisis] [David Wood] indicates the giant effigy of an ass lying over close to Arques...This terrestrial geometry appears to commence, indeed to be expelled, from the annus of the ass'.

Unfortunately there is no index in `Refuge of the Apocalypse', and references direct the reader to a book title but not to relevant chapter or page.

It is difficult to be sure whether Elisabeth Van Buren was writing allegorically or if she was writing literally. Pages of seeming gibberish (extremely tenuous word associations etc) are interspersed with high level alchemical knowledge, occult consciousness, and meta-programming awareness.

To the `fundamentalist materialist' most of this book will seem nothing much more than inane nonsense.

However, for the student of the Rennes-le-Château enigma there is much of interest, not least because 'Refuge' is one the earliest English language books to appear after the publication of 'Holy Blood, Holy Grail'.

Others might be interested in the mass of data of the sort find in books such as `The White Goddess' or `The Golden Bough'.

Finally, the modern Alchemist might discover something of interest. Much of what Van Buren has to offer has been influenced by that elusive `master' Fulcanelli...

Perhaps it might be most appropriate to finish with a 'Refuge' quote:

`It is the stone that one may find "even in a dung heap" if one is wise enough'.
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Refuge of the Apocalypse: Doorway into Other Dimensions
Refuge of the Apocalypse: Doorway into Other Dimensions by Elizabeth Van Buren (Hardcover - 31 Dec 1986)
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