Hoaxes and Misunderstandings on the Order of the Solar Temple - Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco and Dr. Heide Fittkau-Garthe

©Dr. Massimo Introvigne and CESNUR, January 1998

After the homicides and suicides of 1994, 1995 and 1997 the Order of the Solar Temple (OTS) haunts the press and the anti-cultists. New "revelations" are offered almost every month. Two recent cases of false information have surfaced.

The first concerns Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco (1928-1982). On December 21, 1997 Channel Four in the UK aired a special by investigative reporters David Carr-Brown and David Cohen. The substance of their argument appeared in the US in an article published on December 28, 1997 by the same Carr-Brown and Cohen in the New York Post ("Mystery of Princess Grace & the Temple of Doom"). A man who claimed to have been the driver of Joseph Di Mambro (1924-1994) sold to the two British reporters a story on Princess Grace and agreed to appear on Channel Four. According to the man, disguised under the alias of "Georges Leroux", Princess Grace was initiated into the OTS on June 15, 1982 in the Priory of Villié-Morgon, Southern France. She further contributed -- according to "Georges Leroux" - $ 10 millions to the OTS and agreed to pay other $ 6 millions. She then became disillusioned with Di Mambro and threatened to expose him. On September 13, 1982, she died in a car accident, and "Leroux" implies that fool play orchestrated by Di Mambro may have been involved.

There are two problems with this story. The first is that the OTS was only established in 1984 and Princess Grace died in 1982. She could not have been initiated into an order not yet created. What did exist in 1982 was an order with a similar name, the Sovereign Order of the Solar Temple (OSTS). OSTS'origins date back to the so called "Arginy Renaissance", a mystical experience of June 12, 1952, when French esoteric author Jacques Breyer (1922-1996) and two companions were contacted by secret "Masters of the Temple" and asked to establish a "Templar Renaissance". The "Renaissance" eventually materialized -- after many years of esoteric activity by Breyer and his friends -- into the OSTS, established on June 24, 1966 and incorporated under Monaco law in 1967. Monaco was selected because the Grand Master hand-picked by Breyer for the OSTS was Jean-Louis Marsan (1923-1982), a Monaco socialite and a friend of Prince Ranier III. While Ranier and Grace did know Marsan, there is no evidence that they were members of the OSTS or ever set foot in the OSTS center of Villié-Morgon. Even if they did visit Villié-Morgon, this does not make Grace a member of the OTS. OSTS and OTS were two different organizations. It is true that Marsan and Di Mambro knew each other and that on March 21, 1981 they met in Geneva in order to discuss a merger between the OSTS and still another neo-Templar order, the Renewed Order of the Temple (ORT). The latter had been originally incorporated in 1970 by Raymond Bernard (b. 1923), at that time a prominent leader of the Rosicrucian order AMORC. Since 1972 the leader of the ORT was Julien Origas (1920-1983). OSTS and ORT both recognized the "Arginy Renaissance" as genuine and kept in touch with Breyer. Eventually after the death of Origas (1983) the ORT experienced a schism. The faction who recognized Luc Jouret (1947-1994) as Grand Master did not have the legal right to use the name ORT and eventually re-incorporated under a succession of names leading to "Order of the Solar Temple". Since 1982 Jouret , a Belgian homeopathic doctor, was a close associate of Di Mambro. It is easy to confuse the different neo-Templar orders. What is clear is that in 1982 Di Mambro, although he knew Marsan, was not authorized to initiate anybody into Marsan's OSTS, and certainly cannot initiate Princess Grace into the not yet existing OTS.

The second problem is that the "Georges Leroux" who appeared on Channel Four is unknown to all surviving ex-members of the OTS. He is, on the other hand, not exactly unknown in Switzerland and nearby France. His real name is Guy Mouyrin. A former Customs officer, he is an ex convict and a professional con artist with a significant criminal record. His offer to sell his story (occasionally spiced with an alleged rape of the Princess by Di Mambro) to a number of French and Swiss newspapers had been repeatedly turned down due to both his record and the fact that no former member of the OTS has a recollection of having ever met Mouyrin (let alone Princess Grace) in the company of Di Mambro. Swiss historian Jean-François Mayer, who has participated in the Swiss official investigation and had access to all surviving OTS papers, confirms that both Mouyrin and Princess Grace are never mentioned there. The whole story appears to be a brilliant hoax. Brilliant it is, since one wonders where Mouyrin learned the details about the OSTS, Marsan, and Marsan's relations with both the Princes and Di Mambro. But it is also a hoax, carelessly repeated by countless newspapers around the world who should have known better.

Another Solar Temple hoax concerns Dr. Heide Fittkau-Garthe, the German psychologist arrested on January 8, 1998 in Tenerife, Canary Islands, where she lived in Barrio La Salud with a number of followers. She was accused of preparing a mass suicide based on what relatives of German followers told the German and Spanish police. While it would be inappropriate to comment on the pending investigations, it is interesting to note that even prominent Spanish anti-cultists have expressed their doubts that a mass suicide was really being prepared. What is clear, in the meantime, is that the information published by many newspapers on January 9 that Dr. Fittkau-Garthe was the leader of "a branch of the Solar Temple" is inaccurate. She was never a member of the Solar Temple. A prominent leader of the German branch of the Brahma Kumaris, she left the Indian movement (or was excluded from it) and eventually became one of the most prominent self-help motivational speakers in Germany. She lectured on behalf of a number of German large corporations and was hailed as a "star psychologist". The esoteric doctrines of her core group of followers involved references to both Western and Eastern occult lore. Her name -- like Princess Grace's -- has never surfaced in any document on the Solar Temple.

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