Book TWO - The Falling Man

A Taste of What Lies Ahead – A Further Dip into Book 2

Msgr. Cone

“I will share with you some aspects of the work that we do here. You will have to bear with me. It is a story of a period in history which could change the future, as you would expect with scientific progress. We are beginning to upset a few people out there, with what we are now doing, that is true. It may all appear completely crazy to you, but remember – that is what they said about Ian Stevenson, before the recording you saw, and since then…well both sides of the pond shall we say, think that there is something we are tapping into which we need to be able to control, for our mutual benefit you understand. Like owning a patent, in a way. Everything had gone silent until buildings were being destroyed and records lost. But I need to start at the beginning, as it were. Do you know what happened at Monte Cassino during the second world war at all?”

“Of course” they both said. “It was flattened” said Monas.

“By the Americans” said Nargess.

“This business “ Ward continued, “ was a joint enterprise founded by myself and Max Becker way back  in 1970. Max and I met in Los Angeles at a conference on “spirituality and evolution” which was supposed to be all about exploring the relationship of Darwinians and religion, but it turned out to mean a whole lot more. We met at a discussion group outside of the conference agenda if you like, where we both discussed our interest and childhood reading of Aldous Huxley‘s book The Doors of Perception. Do you know it?” Before waiting for the answer, Ward spoke “If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite’… It’s a quote Huxley took from William Blake” he added. “The Doors, as in the rock band, was all that we used to listen to in Los Angeles, back then, as a recall. The band took their title from the book, you see. It’s before your time, Nargess but Father Monas will have an idea of what I am talking about?”

“Thank you” said Monas.

Ward said “Max was at the monastery at Cassino during the war. Yes, indeed, my dear and beloved friend  Max Becker, a young officer and a gentleman was a medical doctor in the Herman Goering Division of the Luftwaffe ( which actually was a tank division at this time and place), who came up with an idea to move the art out of Monte Cassino before it was bombed to hell.  He was motivated by the love of art, but he had this fascination with human evolution, the past, present and future. He had been friendly before the war with some crank in New Mexico, you may have heard about him Father, Edmond Szekely? Everyone thought he was a fraud, back then and some still do nowadays. Max’s boss during the war was Julius Schlegel, a committed career Nazi who was a transportation officer with the HGD, who subsequently took credit for organizing the movement of the monks, documents, and art to safety. Max always said that Schlegel’s motive was completely mercenary, to loot the art collection for the perfect gift for Field Marshall Goering’s upcoming birthday.  So, Max devised a plan to publicize and itemise the removal of the art works, so that any looted art work would be known to the world.”

Ward pointed at a framed document which was positioned above his desk. “Do you see that? That, my friends, is a scroll formally presented to Max and his boss by the then Abbot of the monastery at Monte Cassino, written on parchment in Lombard, thanking them for rescuing the monks and treasures of the Abbey of Monte Cassino.

“The story went that Schlegel had the refugees housed at the monastery summoned to the central cloister and, through an interpreter, he told them they would either have to work on the evacuation or leave the abbey. Most of the refugees left, as he had anticipated—to the relief of the monks—but a few stayed on to work. Schlegel provided these workers with a daily ration of food and twenty cigarettes. The massive job of evacuation centred on the library and archive, with their 70,000 documents. Many of these were hand-lettered parchment scrolls stored in large wooden drawers and they represented many centuries of careful labour by generations of monks. At the end of each scroll the monk recorded the date and his name, and sometimes his further comments. You will like this bit, Father, one such notation read, in Latin: “The transcription of this volume was completed on May 19, 1676, by Father Bartholemeo adding ‘inasmuch as Father Bartholemeo was promised absolution of one sin for each letter, he thanks God that the sum total of the letters exceeds the sum total of the sins, though by but a single unit.’ Max was a Protestant Father, and he would often tell me that story to remind him of why!”

“Forgive me again Mr Ward, but so what…?” said Monas.

“Please, be patient. If this part of the world teaches you anything Father, it is that. Max was, unbeknown to his Nazi colleagues, a British citizen. Born of an English mother and German father, he had grown up with dual citizenship. In 1939, with the storm clouds gathering, a British consular official in Berlin told Becker that if he was ever to leave, now was the time. Becker was almost through medical school, but the University of Edinburgh, to which he had applied, would not accept his German credits. Becker stayed in Germany, war came, and soon he was a soldier fighting his mother’s people; fortunately she did not live to see that.

“Now, to turn to the key point in all of this. When the friendship between Max and myself developed further, he confided in me, something which only he and one other person knew. Before the bombardment of Cassino, Max received a cable from Szekely who was clearly in a state of despair. There was one document that had been seen by this guy when he was carrying out research into Saint Francis and it led him to taking a look at the archives at the monastery in Cassino. The way Max described it to me, I thought at first that he was mad. He said it was manuscript that was one of two documents that described the true nature and belief of Jesus Christ. It contained the actual thoughts of Christ as never elaborated upon before. If you like, it was the thoughts of Christ before the established church got their hands on what became Christianity. In the wrong hands, it would demonstrate that western civilisation has been constructed on a false premise. Forgive me father, but what Max said was that in the wrong hands, it would be an instrument for blackmail against the church.”


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