Within medieval Europe, a new power was rising. A heresy had infiltrated the hierarchy of the Catholic Church almost to the very top, and begun what would become a centuries-long campaign of altering the Church’s original teachings to make them conform to its own. The heresy was a “penitent movement,” the underlying doctrine of which was based on a Babylonian cult of the dead. The bizarre public spectacles they displayed (and still do today in the streets of Europe) including acts of penance and self-mortification were originally but smokescreens to draw attention from the movement’s true workings. Authors ben Jacob and Fishberg lead a team of researchers that has identified and tracked this movement from the Middle East to Italy, Germany and France. Eventually, they realized that the mystery of Rennes-le-Château, linked with the extraordinary fortune of one Bérenger Saunière, was but another episode in the long and intriguing tale of this heretical movement. The Rise reveals that within the world of religion there have long been secret battles between the Church hierarchy and various movements that have tried to penetrate and take it over—sometimes successfully! Includes photo section.