An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural
Introduction | "R" Reading | Curse of the Pharaoh | End-of-the-World Prophecies
Index | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z
Saint Germain, Claude Louis, Compte de (1710?-1784) Attached to the court of Louis XV of France, Saint Germain claimed he was two thousand years old. More sober, but not more convincing sources put his age at either 188 or 223 when he died in 1784.
It was believed that he had mastered alchemy in all its facets, could make himself invisible, knew the secret of eternal life, and could speak all languages. He said he'd known Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.
British author Horace Walpole (1717-1779) reported that Saint Germain was in London in 1743, after which he was in France in the service of Louis. In France he had some political problems and fled to St. Petersburg. In Germany he claimed to have founded freemasonry and to have initiated Cagliostro into that brotherhood.
An amusing anecdote about Saint Germain has survived: Since he claimed to have discovered the secret of immortality, his valet also claimed to share that treasured knowledge with him. When asked by a visitor whether it was true, as his master had claimed, that he'd been present at the marriage at Cana in Galilee when Jesus Christ turned water into wine (John 2:1), the valet responded, “You forget, sir, that I have only been in the Comte's service for a century.”
The Rosicrucians claim that Saint Germain is still alive and that he was once known as Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626).
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Copyright (C) 1995-2007 James Randi.
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