"In France, the pioneers in the field of Radiesthesia have been, in the majority of cases, Catholic Priests who invariably have a strong aversion to spiritualism, occultism and all kinds of magic. Is it conceivable that if, in the course of their experiments, they had discovered some suspicious element, they would have continued their researches? The constancy of physical laws, their neutrality in regard to any religious or philosophical question, constitute criteria showing that we are confronted with purely natural forces. Therefore, if there is co-operation with any misleading influence, it is a question of pure science.

"It has always been a fatal mistake to oppose real progress in Science, affecting not only those responsible for such an attitude, which is of little importance, but also those whose authority was unquestioned and whose supporters they gratuitously decided to become. But this is not the first time that men with a religious vocation, like shrewd detectives, have shown the way to a discovery useful to humanity.

"There is no need to get alarmed in the present case. I am not to be held responsible for the occult practises, more or less unconscious, to which some people might become addicted under cover of my method. I should like to make it quite clear that I submit my work to the judgment of those in authority in the Roman Catholic Church who are not in the least likely to be led astray by unwarranted claims on the part of any individual. In this work it seems to me that I have written a supplementary chapter to the old text-books of classical physics.

"It may take many years before all the phenomena of Radiesthesia are elucidated and its nature completely understood including the range of wave-lengths involved, their periodicity, their influence on the environment, and the best method of capturing them and controlling their effects so that they may be used to give beneficial results.

"This work, therefore, is but an outline, an accumulation of material intended to build, one day, a cathedral. I hope it will also inspire other radiesthetists to reveal their own secrets and thus create a fraternal link between all those devoting their efforts, hitherto too individualistic, to the progress of Radiesthesia.

"I must also express my deep gratitude to all those who have [6] helped me in this work, first to the members of L'Association des Amis de la Radiesthesie who have urged and encouraged me to write this book, and particularly to my friend Father de Belinay, S.J. (Jesuit) whose great knowledge has guided me at all times and prevented me from falling into scientific heresies.

"The reader will find here facts and experiments, and certain laws, or rather constant manifestations of radiesthetic forces, based on tentative hypotheses necessary for the explanation of facts. But he will no theory accounting for them. This is quite intentional and the reason for it is obvious for no theory would account for all the facts. Any explanation would be more obscure than the particular fact to be explained. It is better, therefore, to remain silent and frankly admit that we do not know.

"In Radiesthesia some discover various things while others discover explanations. In the practical field of discovery we can distinguish those who find something from those who never find anything. But as far as discussion is concerned we are all equal and different views are often expressed in radiesthetic circles.

"It is a natural tendency of the mind to find out the cause and explanation of any phenomenon. But when this is impossible, the scientific attitude should be one of benevolent curiosity, patient, obstinate; controlling one's work, repeating, varying and multiplying experiments in order to establish future theories on sound scientific foundations. Actually, in Radiesthesia, it is only facts that are of primary importance.

"Aristotle differentiated physics from metaphysics. It would seem that Radiesthesia takes an intermediate place between the two. By reason of its obvious similarities with the elements and laws of classical physics, gravitation, light, heat, electricity, magnetism and Hertzian waves, Radiesthesia is closely linked up with the group of sciences which studies the laws and forces of Nature. On the other hand, owing to certain results which might be regarded as supernatural, the apparent disproportion of the means employed, and the mysteries associated with it which it is not yet able to elucidate, Radiesthesia appears to be concerted with the suspect domain of forces transcending those of Nature.

"Among radiesthetists I have observed two tendencies. Some, endowed with a really scientific temperament, see and seek in Radiesthesia a new branch of physics of waves and radiations. Others possessing psychic and metaphysical tendencies, attracted by the wonders of occultism, aim at linking up Radiesthesia with phenomena of abnormal hyper-sensibility or spiritism.

"Personally, I must make my own position quite clear. I regard Radiesthesia as being purely scientific. If it had not been so, I should have given it up long ago. All the facts I have observed, whether explicable or not, appear to be purely natural and the mystery associated with them is of the same kind as that characteristic of luminous, calorific and Hertzian waves. Hence my endeavors have always been to discover the points of contact between these branches so closely akin to the same science and I [7] hope that those more learned than I will continue to investigate on the same lines.


"My own conviction is that those who try to associate Radiesthesia with occultism are doing a great deal of harm to it. I formally decline any solidarity with them, any responsibility for their theories and explanations and terms they use. Of course, one cannot stop anyone from calling himself a radiesthetist but it would be most unfair if the misconceptions of misguided enthusiasts should bring discredit to Radiesthesia.

"And now let us discuss the subject of distant prospection or Teleradiesthesia which is very topical. Having practised it for over twenty years I may venture to give a word of advice. A comparison may help us to see the subject in its proper light. Let us imagine the case of a surgeon who has discovered a new method of operating for cancer. In performing 100 operations, he achieved success in 80, leaving 20 failures. The president of a society of surgeons suggests that he should perform two controlled operations. Result: two failures. It would be fair to conclude: 102 operations 80 successes and 22 failures. But the reckoning in this case is different: two operations, two failures. All the facts involved, confirmed by the cured patients themselves as well as by the professional staff, are ignored so that the final impression is falsified.

"Where would science be today if only controlled experiments had been taken into account? And if, in the case mentioned above, a generalised statement condemning the operation in question had been made consequent upon two failures?

"If students of Radiesthesia will only proceed to work as explained in Chapter XIII, on a map or photograph, they will find that it is not more difficult to succeed at a distance than on location. Personally, after having surveyed a certain site, I never give a final opinion without having controlled my work on a map or plan in the quiet atmosphere of my own study.

"There is a demand for results. In the first edition of the present work, we gave 20 results. It is easy for anyone to verify them. Dates, testimonies, references, are all there. Surely, that should be enough.

"Practical conclusion; when you are asked to make a prospection, begin by making a study of the map or plan representing the site. If you find nothing, do not go on the site. If you feel any thing, you should go, if possible, in order to check up on the site. On returning, another control should be made on the plan, map or photograph. Later on, with greater experience, it will be unnecessary to go on the site but useful only to indicate to those concerned where digging operations should be done to obtain good results.

"It is, of course, understood that to achieve a successful prospection on a plan, it is essential that it should be properly made. An ordinary piece of paper is not a plan. In Chapter XII [8] the necessary conditions to be fulfilled for making a good plan are indicated. They may be briefly summarised here. The plan should be so detailed (altitude, water streams, forests, hedges, ditches, houses, etc.) that the teleprospector should feel he is actually on the site itself. Black or white lines which may stand for roads, paths, streams, tunnels, etc., are not sufficient indications.

"Moreover, and this is also essential, one must choose to work on a favorable day and at a favorable time. Thus, to give an example, the teleprospectors who worked on the plans put forward for the Congress of Paris (June 1933) a fortnight before the date of the Congress must have encountered insurmountable difficulties as during that time the atmosphere was highly charged with parasitic radiations.

"One day I had to go to the South of France to make a prospection but on that particular day parasitic radiations were so strong that from nine o'clock in the morning until five o'clock in the afternoon I found it impossible to detect a single stream.


"For those who are feeling sceptical about these radiesthetic phenomena capable of disturbing and even preventing any kind of work, either on the site or on paper, I will mention a case in which I was both a witness and a victim. On 4th March 1933 I was called to make a prospection in the small town of Penthalaz, near Lausanne (Switzerland) with a view to increasing the water supply. Accompanied by a pupil, I arrived on location at 1:30 p.m. We began to work right away. All was going well when suddenly the pendulum stopped and refused to function. I said that it must be due to fading and advised waiting for a while but at 5 p.m. we were still waiting for the end of the fading.

"In spite of all our efforts, and surveying the site at different points, sometimes with the rod and sometimes with the pendulum, we failed to detect anything at all. The pendulum remained motionless for three hours both in the hands of my companion and in my own. As this happened in the presence of the local council and the schoolmaster who had brought his pupils to witness a demonstration of our radiesthetic powers, our embarrassment may well be imagined.

"When it was time to leave I said to my audience: 'There is something very serious happening in the atmosphere today. It may be an earthquake or a volcanic eruption but I do not know for certain.' The next day I had a phone call from Penthalaz: 'Have you seen the papers this morning? You were right yesterday.' And that morning papers gave a full account of the terrible tidal-wave catastrophe in Japan.

"It is also worth noting that as soon as I arrived home I tried to do my prospection on a plan with the same negative results. It was only at 6:40 p.m. that suddenly the radiations reappeared and the pendulum began to move again.


"This somewhat sensational example serves to stress the fact that there are certain times and days when the pendulum cannot be used.

"And now little book, bearer of proven truths, go wherever you find welcome in the five parts of the world. Sustained by the indulgences of the learned, by the sympathy of colleagues, and by the sole desire of doing good, with a prayer, too, that Heaven may not withhold its blessing, go, teach all who seek with good will, to discover and use those treasures that the earth hides from us, and through the observation of beneficent laws, to relieve the sufferings of humanity."

* * *


Who could disagree with the good Abbe Mermet? The art of radiesthesia should be used to "relieve the sufferings of humanity". But methinks he doth protest too much that this art is a science! Science of Mind, perhaps, in the sense of the meaning given to it a hundred years ago by Phineas Parkhurst Quimby, but certainly not orthodox science of the Twentieth Century, which still hasn't come up with an acceptable definition of consciousness. Radiesthesia, dowsing, radionics are arts which come within the definition of magick: "The art of affecting a change of consciousness at will."

Abbe Mermet was a devout Roman Catholic and rector of the Chapel of St. Madeleine in France. To have written and published his book, "The Principles and Practice of Radiesthesia", as the art or magick of dowsing, with the pendulum, would have breached the wall of silence which the Church erects about its own magickal operations. It would not have received the Apostolic Blessing of the Vatican, nor the approval of his Jesuit teacher, Father Belinay.

Yet it is readily understandable why the Church encouraged the publication of this book and why, as Abbe Mermet said himself in France the pioneers in the field of Radiesthesia have been, in the majority of cases, Catholic priests . . ."For they are literally looking for treasures in the earth", vast deposits of gold, silver and precious jewels buried there by their predecessors. This always happens when an enraged and starving peasantry finally wakes up, realizes who their real oppressors are, throw off their chains by destroying the local priesthood -- and live free of dogma for a while.

Consider Cluny in central eastern France. When the rebellious peasants levelled that vast complex of monasteries, seminaries, cloisters, temples and so on in 1790, it had been a center of Roman Catholic power for 800 years! Imagine the vast wealth that had been accumulated there by the Abbots in all that time. Is it likely that the last abbot succeeded in getting it all out before the Judgment Day? No, much of it probably had to go into the ground to keep it from the hands of the pillagers. And this was going on all [10] over France at that time of the Revolution. Much Clerical treasure must have gone into the ground in England 350 years earlier when that hallowed Isle purged itself of papish influence under Henry VIII. Today we see the same thing going on in Vietnam, where some of the treasures of Catholic Church and Buddhist Temple must be going into the ground as the hordes of the Viet Cong move inexorably southward.


Enthusiasm for reform fades, of course, and succeeding generations of priests worm their way back into the confidence of the people, and into control through their mastery of hypnotic power. The problem then for the false gods worshipped by the priests, on the Lower Astral plane, is to get that wealth out of the ground again. Those in the flesh must be inspired and guided to look for them. It is quite likely that the soul of Mermet volunteered for this kind of mission before he chose rebirth in France from the Catholic heaven. The study and practice of dowsing via the pendulum was part of his soul-plan, also the encouraging of other priests to take it up and look for treasure themselves. Of course non-Catholics can also respond to the treasure-hunting fever. That's the chance the false Christ, Kabalactes, has to take.

Clyde Browne's illustration of San Luis Rey Mission, as seen in Cloisters of California, page 110.

Here in Vista, California the late. Dr. Leonard Chapman was inspired by Mermet's book to make a prospection of a map of San Diego county. This was several years before your editor spent hours with him discussing and learning about the occult science of radionics, the therapeutic branch of radiesthesia. The good doctor tole me he worked with another dowser on this project. Their efforts indicated a likely spot several miles inland from Oceanside, California along along Highway 76. They had high hopes when they drove over there, but imagine their chagrin when their dowsing instruments led them to an open field behind the San Luis Rey Mission. It was on the property of the Church! So no dig was made there, by them at least, to verify the accuracy of their radiesthetic work.

The history of the Mission indicates there is a strong possibility of a cache of precious metals and jewels there in the ground; for San Luis Rey owned and operated thousands of acres of land here 150 years ago, with Indian labor. The land on which your editor's home is built, in Vista ten miles from Oceanside, was Church land and part of that Mission, which extended on inland and northward as far as Temecula.

From Clyde Browne's "Cloisters of California", privately printed in Los Angeles in 1918, we can set the scene for the possible "buried treasure of San Luis Rey de Francie." In the early 1600s the Pope and the Father General of the Society of Jesus were eager to make California another Papal State. Viscaino established the first outpost at Monterey Bay south of San Francisco in 1602. But it wasn't until the early 1700s that Jesuits began their missionary work in Baja California. Similar efforts toward the total [11] conversion of all Asia were already under way in Indo-China, China and Japan. Fifty years later, in California, the Jesuits were supplanted "by the Gray Friars of the Order of St. Francis". The Spanish Viceroy in Mexico sent Conquistadores Portolo and Serra northward, with a thin column of troops, to clear the way for the Church. San Diego Mission was founded in 1769, San Juan Capistrano in 1775, some two days march apart. For convenience and protection, another Spanish style "motel" was needed in between. The Friar President of the California Franciscans, Father Junipero Serra, had already passed to his honored position at the right hand of St. Peter in the Catholic Heaven in 1784. It remained for his successor, Fra. Lausen to authorize the establishment of San Luis Rey. "The natal ceremony occurred on the 13th of June, 1798. Present Fra Santiago of Capistrano, Fra Peyri, Commandante Grajera and a guard from San Diego, and many gentiles, the letter presenting fifty-four children for baptism."


The false-Christ, Kabalactes, and the Order of St. Francis could well be proud of the administrative abilities of Father Peyri. "The first seventeen days one hundred Indians sought Christianity," writes Browne, "among them being the three principal chiefs of the region, so it is little wonder that conversions were rapid thereafter. In 1805 there were 900 enrolled, in 1811, 1500; in 1820, 2605; and in 1830, 2776!"

With all this slave labor Father Peyri was free to exploit thousands upon thousand of acres of land for the glory of the Church By 1816 it was necessary to establish "the beautiful Assistencia of San Antonio de Pala for the convenience of those in charge of his distant herds." Pala is forty miles inland, at the edge of the Palomar Mountains! It was from there he obtained the huge pine beams to support the roof of his church, carried to San Luis Rey on the backs of the Indians, no doubt.

Where was the market for all this produce, hides, tallow, wine, grain and oil produced by the Indians? Aside from the local Spanish populace there was the rapidly expanding trade with Yankee Clippers and other vessels plying the Alta and Baja California coast. The Fathers preferred gold and silver, of course, but trade goods would do for exchange if nothing else.

"The best picture of San Luis in its greatness is furnished by the merchant Robinson," writes Browne, "who said the main buildings around the great patio were stretched some ninety veras each way. A fountain stood in the center with plenty of water which was brought from up the river. The fachada looked to the south. Around the patio was an arched cloister upon which opened rooms for the missionaries, and mayordomos, storerooms, workshops, hospital and dormitories for the unmarried of both sexes. Outside were buildings for the families of the superintendents and also a guardhouse for the dozen soldiers of the garrison. Behind were the granaries filled [12] with wheat and other produce, also enclosures for carts, plows, etc. Great gardens adjoined the mission proper, walled and well tilled, and fields stretched afar with growing grain."

If Robinson saw and described the usual prisoner stockade and stakes for executions Browne passed over them in his paraphrase of the merchant's visit. It is a matter of fact that rebellious Indians fleeing the oppressive control of the Padres were ruthlessly hunted down by garrison soldiers and brought back in chains, to be publicly tortured and in some cases executed, to maintain the power and authority of the Church. Father Peyri also maintained the flow of tribute, "40% off the top", to Mexico City and to Rome.


Mexico itself had had this kind of treatment for over 300 years and they were getting fed up with it. In 1644, for instance, wealthy Mexicans petitioned Philip IV of Spain to "stop the foundation of religious houses" which already held half the property of Mexico. They also asked him to stop the ordination of priests as there were already over 6,000 unemployed priests requiring public support! The rich man's revolt of 1820 put Iturbide on the throne as Emperor of Mexico in 1822, and the shock was felt all the way to Mission San Diego!

"Hearing at the presidio that the Spanish King had been supplanted by the Emperor Iturbide, the Indians of a nearby tribe burned their arrogant chieftain alive and chose another. When remonstrated with, they laconically observed, 'He no be good, burn him too.'"

Mexico for the Mexicans, and the stopping of the flow of gold to Rome, wasn't to be fully achieved for another fifty years, under Diaz. As the endless fighting for control of the nation ground on, church properties were confiscated or destroyed. The priests saved or shipped out what they could, and put the rest in the ground. It was during the sunset of clericalism here in Southern California that "Two Years Before The Mast" Dana, a Yankee sailor, rode up to Mission San Diego de Alcala from the harbor: "Entering a gateway we drove into the open square, in which the stillness of death reigned. On one side was the church; on another, a range of high buildings with grated windows; a third was a range of smaller buildings, or offices, and the fourth seemed to be little more than a con meeting wall. Not a living creature could we see. We rode twice ground the square, in the hope of waking up someone; and in one circuit saw a tall monk, with shaven head, sandals, and the dress of the Gray Friars, pass rapidly through a gallery, but he disappeared without noticing us . . . At last a man showed himself . . . with a Silver chain round his neck supporting a large bunch of keys . . . We received an invitation to walk into his room . . . containing a table three or four chairs, a small picture or two of some saint, or miracle, or martyrdom, and a few dishes and glasses. 'What have you to eat,' I asked . . . He went off to another building across the court [13] and returned in a few minutes with a couple of Indian boys bearing dishes and a decanter of wine, the most sumptuous meal we had eaten since we left Boston. We took out some money and asked how much we were to pay. He shook his head and crossed himself, saying that it was charity -- 'that the Lord gave it to us'."

Yes, the Padres and the Conquistadores brought the mixed blessings of civilization to Baja and Alta California, serving the larger purposes of the Ever-Present Creator, even as they served the narrow interests of Rome and Spain. But it wasn't part of the Creator's plan that this portion of the Americas remain within the Holy Roman Empire. What the rebellious Mexicans started in 1820 the damned Yankees finished in 1850 when hordes of them swarmed into California in the search for gold and overwhelmed the local Spanish administrations by sheer numbers.

But Father Peyri and his fellow priests had already given up and gone home. As Browne describes it: "In 1832 Fr. Peyri saw desolation and chaos approaching as the politicians began their confiscations, and could not bear to witness the destruction of his thirty-four years of labor; so he quietly stole away to a vessel and returned to the College of San Fernando in Mexico to spend his last days among his brethren. He was sixty-seven years of age then, a sad old man, and he said farewell to no one of the thousands he ministered to . . ."

Had he also already said farewell to the hoard of wealth accumulated in those 34 years of service? More than likely, and there it awaits some prospecting priest of future generations as the Church returns to claim its own. It was the custom of the times to execute the laborers who dug the treasure hole, on the location. The worldly reason was to silence tongues which might lead robbers to the spot. The occult reason was to make a blood sacrifice to the elemental gods created for the occasion to guard the gold until its rightful owners or heirs should come for it. One should realize that the curses of priests, trained in occult science, are quite as effective as their blessings! It is quite possible that there is a quantum of unexploded occult or psychic "ordnance" in the fields behind San Luis Rey, just waiting for the uninitiated to trip it off.

A timeless "bomb" of considerable malevolent power was touched off by Howard Carter when he first peered into King Tut's tomb in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt, Nov. 26, 1922. Carter's sponsor, Lord Carnarvon, was dead of pneumonia -- so they said -- within four months. Col. Aubrey Herbert, Carnarvon's half-brother, and Evelyn-White, who also entered the tomb, were both dead within a year, one by suicide. Sir Archibald Douglas-Reed, the radiologist who X-rayed Tut's mummy, was also dead within a year of doing it. The first American scientist, Prof. Laffleur of McGill University, to examine the death chamber, never left Egypt alive. Jay Gould was taken ill within the tomb and later died. The first seven French journalists to visit the tomb were all dead within two years.


So the warning in the preceding paragraphs shouldn't be taken lightly. There is no better proof of mass control and the hypnotic power exercised by the priests in their ritual magick than the behavior of the Indians after the iron-willed Padre left. Freed of their slavery they fled to the mountains in droves, while Echandia and his party "looted the mission of the vast riches, all the products of Indian toil . . . In 1832 100,000 sheep roamed the hills of San Luis Rey, along with great herds of cattle and horses, and 14,000 bushels of grain were harvested, but in 1834 under paisano control, Administrador Portilla complained that the 'freed' Indians would not work. He got the plows ready, but they would not plant the crop. All had gone off to the mountains.

"He sent for them, but they sent back word that they were free and did not want to work. And they came no more to San Luis Rey where many were born and wedded and had reared their families, building a great estate the while, and without them the administradors were powerless, so they sold and ate and gave away everything movable, then abandoned the desolate hills for more genial surroundings.

"The great mission was tenanted mostly by the wild things of the mountains from 1846 to 1892 . . . It was bombarded during the Mexican war, shaken by earthquakes, washed by storms and robbed by vandals. Residents for leagues around blasted down the arches and hauled the bricks away for chimneys and milkhouses . . . Now it is a monastery, a branch of Santa Barbara, and is peopled by the Friars Minor of the Order of St. Francis . . ." and visited daily by throngs of tourists; for the Franciscans have restored the church and the convent. Do you suppose that Mermet's little masterpiece on radiesthesia has found its way into their hands, and that brown-robed friars have made prospections of the fields of San Luis Rey?

* * *


London (AP) - "Black Magic is spreading across England, upsetting village vicars and serious witches alike. 'All this devil worship is attracting people to the wrong sort of cult,' complained Mrs. Eleanor Bone, a 'white' witch who says the only spells she casts are good ones that help in such ways as trying to remove warts. Mrs. Bone runs a coven -- six couples, plus Mrs. Bone as priestess -- in the London suburb of Tooting Bec. Evil spells, she says, have no place in their monthly dances around a fire, but amateur dabbling in the black arts is getting them a bad name.

"Church leaders are similarly worried about the growing interest in the occult. 'We are frightened of what seems to be a steady and continuing growth in the popularity of witchcraft and devil worship,' said a Church of England spokesman, 'and it is frightening to realize it is attracting young people . . . People are turning away from things like cars and refrigerators . . . The supernatural is gaining ascendancy . . . Priests are having to cast out devils and evil spirits . . .'"


  1. Mermet, Alexis. Principles and Practice of Radiesthesia. London: Vincent Stuart Ltd, 1935. Print. [Reprints are available through BSRF in our classic xerographic format: <#B0410, "Principles & Practice of Radiesthesia">]
  2. Browne, Clyde. Cloisters of California. Los Angeles: C. Browne, 1917. Print. <http://amzn.to/1uIm8gq> [Digital: <http://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/011725104>]