The Cruxifixion of Grünewald, or: J.K. Crucified

This is the first chapter of what could become a historical mystery novel about the writer Joris-Karl Huysmans and his descent into 19th century Satanism, together with the demonic chaplain of the Holy Blood in Bruges Louis Van Haecke, and abbé Saunière of Rennes-le-Château:

When I look into the mirror, I see the portrait of a sinner painted by a Flemish Primitive, pictured in the authentic setting of his bedroom, surrounded by the symbols of suffering and substitution: a reproduction of a Grünewald Crucifixion or a photograph of Catherine Emmerich, showing her stigmatized hands. From the ugly but powerfully evocative physiognomy of this man with the perforated throat - ghostly-pale, hollow-cheeked - acute anguish and spiritual turmoil are emanating. The illusion is compelling and sure, manifesting a purity of vision, transforming the material world, affording an escape from the senses.

I still can see, you know. The tumor has closed only one of my eyes.

I still can see you all through the smoke of the cigarettes I’ve smoked all my life, in brothels and in monasteries. I still keep them obstinately rolling between the bloodless bones that are my fingers.

I still can see the doctors who prolonged my life and agony through operations on my eye and on my neck, swollen by cancer. They improved my eye sight but did not ease the pain, while my cancerous jaw turned eating into an excruciating task.

I still can see the doctors. They extracted most of my remaining teeth in an exceptionally painful way, as the anesthetic wore off before the end of the surgery. Some of them tried to halt the tumor’s progress through treatments with the new X-ray technology, but eventually they all confined me to this deathbed, where I grow rapidly weaker now, working with a secretary on Crowds of Lourdes, describing the rites of the grotto and the horrid afflictions of those who come to pray here, the haemorrhage of bad taste, the vileness of the church of the Rosary.

I’ve seen no cures there, but I’ve observed great faith. And I do believe in miracles, although I can authenticate none.

Oh yes, I still can see you. And so I watch you as you silently move through my sleeping room - the spirits of the present and the past. And I remember. How naturalism came as a revelation to me. How, afterwards, I grew weary of the fin de siècle silliness.

I still know how I found what I was seeking, down there, in Germany, before Grünewald’s Crucifixion. Let me shudder again in this deathbed of mine, let me close one of my eyes to revisualize the picture with the extraordinary lucidity of someone’s last hours on this earth.

Full first chapter here:


Bruges = Jerusalem Transposed: a 15th century panel for the Bruges Market shows it!

A fifteenth-century Christ Bearing the Cross has been attributed to the Utrecht painter known as the Master of Evert Zoudenbalch. However, scholars have noted details that link the panel to the city of Bruges and its Procession of the Holy Blood. This essay provides new evidence in support of these Bruges connections and links the painting to Passion plays staged in Bruges’s Procession. Known as the “City of Jerusalem,” and seen alongside the relic of the Holy Blood, these plays would have served as a focus for devotions, helping explain why an Utrecht painter might make such allusions to Bruges:



Up There, With Joris-Karl Huysmans

Up There, With Joris-Karl Huysmans:

"From the black magic and the occult horror of 'La-bas' (translated as 'Down There' of 'The Damned'), for the French 'decadent' writer Joris-Karl Huysmans arose a vision of a new field of research: the beauty and the ancient majesty of Christian religion, its mysteries and rites, its art, architecture and music..."


Some Black Magicians in 19th Century Paris...

Eugène Vintras was informed by spirits he had to found a new religious order together with the true king of France, Louis XVII, who had to be Nostradamus' Great Monarch. And Joris-Karl Huysmans was writing a book on satanism with a defrocked priest in it, who performed black masses and was not inspired by the infamous abbé Boullan, but by the chaplain of the Holy Blood of Bruges...

Image Source, Used With Permission

Just click on the title to check them out!


The Satanist Chaplain of the Holy Blood Chapel in Bruges

In 1891 Joris-Karl Huysmans published his novel "Là-bas" in which he paints a fantasy of Satanism and the occult, such as it was reportedly still practiced at that time in Paris. One of the most sinister figures however, the so-called "canon Docre", turned out to be Louis Van Haecke, chaplain of the Holy Blood Chapel of Bruges...

Click on the title to get the full story!


The Internet Sacred Text Archive (click here!)

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Laurence Gardner's Chronicles of the Holy Grail (click here!)

Laurence Gardner is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. Distinguished as the Chevalier de St. Germain, he is a constitutional historian, a Knight Templar of St Anthony, and is Presidential Attaché to the European Council of Princes. Based in England, he is author of The Times and Sunday Times bestseller, Bloodline of the Holy Grail. This was serialized nationally in the Daily Mail and gained Laurence a UK Author of the Year award in 1997.

In the artistic domain, Laurence has been Conservation Consultant to Britain's Fine Art Trade Guild and in the world of music and performing arts, his libretto compositions have been performed at London's Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. His writing career has included collaborative projects with national institutions such as the British Tourist Association, the National Parks Authority, The Queen's Bays Regimental Museum, the Government of Ontario and the Russian Ministry of Culture. Moving into the world of screen entertainment, Laurence is now executive producer for a London and Hollywood based movie production company.

With Top-10 chart listings, translations into many languages, and publishers such as HarperCollins, Transworld, Barnes & Noble and Penguin, Laurence Gardner's books (along with Bloodline of the Holy Grail) include Realm of the Ring Lords, Genesis of the Grail Kings, Lost Secrets of the Sacred Ark, The Magdalene Legacy, and The Shadow of Solomon.

Laurence Gardner


New Dawn Magazine

In more than 17 years, New Dawn has published hundreds of mind-expanding articles on a broad range of subjects. Here you will find a small selection of our articles....

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A recently translated manuscript, lost for 1,700 years, presents an alternative account of Jesus’ alleged betrayer.

The Da Vinci Code suggests there is something lost in Christianity, some secret that Jesus may have passed to his disciples. Richard Smoley goes in search of the “lost teachings” of Jesus.

After nearly 2,000 years, only now are we learning the truth about
Mary Magdalene. This is her story with a message for today.

Gnostic Texts and Books (click here!)

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The Pistis Sophia Unveiled

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Recounts Jesus’ last teachings which he gave 11 years after his resurrection. Samael unveils the meaning behind this advanced text.

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The Gospel of Judas

Gnostic Christianity

The most recently discovered, and perhaps most controversial of the Gospels, in which the story is told from Judas' point of view.

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Gnostic Christianity

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The Gospel of Thomas

Gnostic Christianity

This book records many sayings of Jesus not found in the traditional gospels.

The Gospel of Phillip

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Refers to the mysteries of marriage, baptism and the sacred ‘bridal chamber’.


The Code of the Holy Blood

In 1890, the French writer Joris-Karl Huysmans wrote to a young Dutch novelist he was searching for "a demoniac sodomite priest" who performed the black mass. Joris-Karl - "J.K." for the friends - needed this man for a new book about satanism which would become "Là-bas" (translated as "Down There" or "The Damned"). J.K. did find the priest... It was the Chaplain of the Holy Blood Chapel of Bruges, Louis Van Haecke. Now this "Super Satanist" also wrote a book... about the Precious Blood of Bruges!

There is undoubtedly a Code in it. Question is: a Da Vinci... or a Nostradamus Code?


The Black Mass, as described by J.K. Huysmans in "The Damned / Down There" - Part One

They came out into a court and stopped before an old house. She rang. A little man advanced, hiding his features, and greeted her in an affected, sing-song voice. She passed, saluting him, and Durtal brushed a fly-blown face, the eyes liquid, gummy, the cheeks plastered with cosmetics, the lips painted.
"I have stumbled into a lair of sodomists. -- You didn't tell me that I was to be thrown into such company," he said to Hyacinthe, overtaking her at the turning of a corridor lighted by a lamp.
"Did you expect to meet saints here?"
She shrugged her shoulders and opened a door. They were in a chapel with a low ceiling crossed by beams gaudily painted with coal-tar pigment. The windows were hidden by great curtains. The walls were cracked and dingy. Durtal recoiled after a few steps. Gusts of humid, mouldy air and of that indescribable new-stove acridity poured out of the registers to mingle with an irritating odour of alkali, resin, and burnt herbs. He was choking, his temples throbbing.
He advanced groping, attempting to accustom his eyes to the half-darkness. The chapel was vaguely lighted by sanctuary lamps suspended from chandeliers of gilded bronze with pink glass pendants. Hyacinthe made him a sign to sit down, then she went over to a group of people sitting on divans in a dark corner. Rather vexed at being left here, away from the centre of activity, Durtal noticed that there were many women and few men present, but his efforts to discover their features were unavailing. As here and there a lamp swayed, he occasionally caught sight of a Junonian brunette, then of a smooth-shaven, melancholy man. He observed that the women were not chattering to each other. Their conversation seemed awed and grave. Not a laugh, not a raised voice, was heard, but an irresolute, furtive whispering, unaccompanied by gesture.
"Hmm," he said to himself. "It doesn't look as if Satan made his faithful happy."
A choir boy, clad in red, advanced to the end of the chapel and lighted a stand of candles. Then the altar became visible. It was an ordinary church altar on a tabernacle above which stood an infamous, derisive Christ. The head had been raised and the neck lengthened, and wrinkles, painted in the cheeks, transformed the grieving face to a bestial one twisted into a mean laugh. He was naked, and where the loincloth should have been, there was a virile member projecting from a bush of horsehair. In front of the tabernacle the chalice, covered with a pall, was placed. The choir boy folded the altar cloth, wiggled his haunches, stood tiptoe on one foot and flipped his arms as if to fly away like a cherub, on pretext of reaching up to light the black tapers whose odour of coal tar and pitch was now added to the pestilential smell of the stuffy room.
Durtal recognized beneath the red robe the "fairy" who had guarded the chapel entrance, and he understood the rôle reserved for this man, whose sacrilegious nastiness was substituted for the purity of childhood acceptable to the Church.
Then another choir boy, more hideous yet, exhibited himself. Hollow chested, racked by coughs, withered, made up with white grease paint and vivid carmine, he hobbled about humming. He approached the tripods flanking the altar, stirred the smouldering incense pots and threw in leaves and chunks of resin.
Durtal was beginning to feel uncomfortable when Hyacinthe rejoined him. She excused herself for having left him by himself so long, invited him to change his place, and conducted him to a seat far in the rear, behind all the rows of chairs.
"This is a real chapel, isn't it?" he asked.
"Yes. This house, this church, the garden that we crossed, are the remains of an old Ursuline convent. For a long time this chapel was used to store hay. The house belonged to a livery-stable keeper, who sold it to that woman," and she pointed out a stout brunette of whom Durtal before had caught a fleeting glimpse.
"Is she married?"
"No. She is a former nun who was debauched long ago by Docre."
"Ah. And those gentlemen who seem to be hiding in the darkest places?"
"They are Satanists. There is one of them who was a professor in the School of Medicine. In his home he has an oratorium where he prays to a statue of Venus Astarte mounted on an altar."
"I mean it. He is getting old, and his demoniac orisons increase tenfold his forces, which he is using up with creatures of that sort," and with a gesture she indicated the choir boys.
"You guarantee the truth of this story?"
"You will find it narrated at great length in a religious journal. Les annales de la sainteté. And though his identity was made pretty patent in the article, the man did not dare prosecute the editors.--What's the matter with you?" she asked, looking at him closely.
"I'm strangling. The odour from those incense burners is unbearable."
"You will get used to it in a few seconds."
"But what do they burn that smells like that?"
"Asphalt from the street, leaves of henbane, datura, dried nightshade, and myrrh. These are perfumes
delightful to Satan, our master." She spoke in that changed, guttural voice which had been hers at times when in bed with him. He looked her squarely in the face. She was pale, the lips pressed tight, the pluvious eyes blinking rapidly.
"Here he comes!" she murmured suddenly, while women in front of them scurried about or knelt in front of the chairs.
Preceded by the two choir boys the canon entered, wearing a scarlet bonnet from which two buffalo horns of red cloth protruded. Durtal examined him as he marched toward the altar. He was tall, but not well built, his bulging chest being out of proportion to the rest of his body. His peeled forehead made one continuous line with his straight nose. The lips and cheeks bristled with that kind of hard, clumpy beard which old priests have who have always shaved themselves. The features were round and insinuating, the eyes, like apple pips, close together, phosphorescent. As a whole his face was evil and sly, but energetic, and the hard, fixed eyes were not the furtive, shifty orbs that Durtal had imagined.
The canon solemnly knelt before the altar, then mounted the steps and began to say mass. Durtal saw then that he had nothing on beneath his sacrificial habit. His black socks and his flesh bulging over the garters, attached high up on his legs, were plainly visible. The chasuble had the shape of an ordinary chasuble but was of the dark red colour of dried blood, and in the middle, in a triangle around which was an embroidered border of colchicum, savin, sorrel, and spurge, was the figure of a black billy-goat presenting his horns.
Docre made the genuflexions, the full-or half-length inclinations specified by the ritual. The kneeling choir boys sang the Latin responses in a crystalline voice which trilled on the ultimate syllables of the words.
"But it's a simple low mass," said Durtal to Mme. Chantelouve.
She shook her head. Indeed, at that moment the choir boys passed behind the altar and one of them brought back copper chafing-dishes, the other, censers, which they distributed to the congregation. All the women enveloped themselves in the smoke. Some held their heads right over the chafing-dishes and inhaled deeply, then, fainting, unlaced themselves, heaving raucous sighs.
The sacrifice ceased. The priest descended the steps backward, knelt on the last one, and in a sharp, tripidant voice cried:
"Master of Slanders, Dispenser of the benefits of crime, Administrator of sumptuous sins and great vices, Satan, thee we adore, reasonable God, just God!
"Superadmirable legate of false trances, thou receivest our beseeching tears; thou savest the honour of
families by aborting wombs impregnated in the forgetfulness of the good orgasm; thou dost suggest to the mother the hastening of untimely birth, and thine obstetrics spares the still-born children the anguish of maturity, the contamination of original sin.
"Mainstay of the despairing Poor, Cordial of the Vanquished, it is thou who endowest them with hypocrisy, ingratitude, and stiff-neckedness, that they may defend themselves against the children of God, the Rich.
"Suzerain of Resentment, Accountant of Humiliations, Treasurer of old Hatreds, thou alone dost fertilize the brain of man whom injustice has crushed; thou breathest into him the idea of meditated vengeance, sure misdeeds; thou incitest him to murder; thou givest him the abundant joy of accomplished reprisals and permittest him to taste the intoxicating draught of the tears of which he is the cause.
"Hope of Virility, Anguish of the Empty Womb, thou dost not demand the bootless offering of chaste loins, thou dost not sing the praises of Lenten follies; thou alone receivest the carnal supplications and petitions of poor and avaricious families. Thou determinest the mother to sell her daughter, to give her son; thou aidest sterile and reprobate loves; Guardian of strident Neuroses, Leaden Tower of Hysteria, bloody Vase of Rape!
"Master, thy faithful servants, on their knees, implore thee and supplicate thee to satisfy them when they wish the torture of all those who love them and aid them; they supplicate thee to assure them the joy of delectable misdeeds unknown to justice, spells whose unknown origin baffles the reason of man; they ask, finally, glory, riches, power, of thee, King of the Disinherited, Son who art to overthrow the inexorable Father!"

Here is Part Two!

Joris-Karl Huysmans and The Damned / Down There: A History of Satanism

In 1890, the already famous French “decadent” writer Joris-Karl Huysmans wrote to a friend that he was looking for “a demoniac sodomite priest” who performed the black mass. He needed him for a new book, now known as “Là-bas” or “Down There”...

Was Louis Van Haecke, Chaplain of the Holy Blood Chapel of Bruges (on the photo above ready for the Procession of the Holy Blood) the demoniac sodomite priest Huysmans was looking for?

Click on the title and read the full story!


Joris-Karl Huysmans and the Essence of Decadence

Joris-Karl Huysmans and the Essence of Decadence

The French writer Joris-Karl Huysmans started his career as a naturalist, but with "A Rebours" ("Against Nature") he wrote "the bible of decadence" and with "Down There" a history of satanism, facts turned into fiction, and a masterpiece of occult horror...


The Holy Sepulchre of Bruges-la-Morte

Visiting the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Bruges-La-Morte, the Venice of the North, is a strange and morbid experience. Not only because the Holy Grave is to be found here, or a statue of the dead Christ, but also because of another well hidden treasure: a Splinter of the True Cross.

Full story: click on the title!


We All Live In A Haunted Submarine!

In Germany a submarine was called an U-boat, or "Unterseeboot". At the outbreak of World War One, Germany had 33 of them. With the possibility of rich prizes off the British and Irish coasts and in the Channel, in early 1916 an entire flotilla of 24 U-boats was launched in the North Sea. One of them was the U-65, and from the very beginning there was talk about "jinxes" and "hoodoos".

Click on the title to get the full story.

Treasures of Orval

I visited the abbey of Orval (Belgium) together with Kathleen McGowan, who writes extensively about Countess Mathilde of Tuscany in "The Book of Love". Mathilde founded the abbey in the 11th century, and she - as the abbey itself - are shrouded in mystery. Want to hear about the lost treasures and the prophecy of Orval? And was Nostradamus here - really?

Click on the title and find out all about it!