Thousands of pilgrims have been flocking to a public toilet in a remote French village, following reports that the face of Christ has miraculously appeared in the limescale in the bottom of one of its toilet bowls. “It is true, the Saviour’s face has appeared in the pan of the crapper in the left hand stall of the gents toilets – no matter how much toilet cleaner or bleach you put down there, or how hard you scrub, it always miraculously reappears once the toilet has been flushed,” reveals Jacques Coullions, who has been the attendant at the Rennes-le-Chateau public lavatory for over thirty years. “Many believe that it has healing powers – my own chronic constipation, for example, was completely cured after I sat on the sacred toilet. Many others have claimed that their piles, haemorrhoids and other rectal infections have been completely cured after baring their arses to the Saviour. I’ve even heard of extreme cases of blind people kneeling before the toilet and bathing their eyes in its water in the hope of a cure!” Indeed, a cult is rapidly building up around the toilet, with the holy cubicle becoming something of a shrine – a crucifix and burning candles placed atop the cistern and a picture of the blessed virgin and child adorning the wall above it.

However, Coullions believes that the whole business could be getting out of hand. “There are now so many pilgrims in here that it is becoming impossible for genuine visitors to the village to avail themselves of the facilities here – they’re resorting to pissing against the outside walls and crapping in people’s gardens instead. Its becoming a serious problem,” he says. “Its got to the stage that the cultists are even holding services in here, all kneeling down in front of the toilet chanting the Lord’s Prayer or singing hymns whilst one of their priests takes a holy dump in it! The whole thing climaxes when he flushes the crapper and they all shout ‘Hallelujah!’ They’re even baptising babies using the toilet as a font – that can’t be hygienic!” Some of these so-called priests have even taken to bottling water from the toilet as it flushes and selling it to pilgrims as holy water with curative properties. “People are drinking the stuff to cure internal ills, rubbing it into open wounds, and God only knows what else,” reveals a disgusted Coullions.

Even before the appearance of Christ’s face, the toilets had something of a reputation, according to villagers. “Many people have reported after using that particular stall, that it was the best crap they’d ever had – never before had they felt so content and at peace after evacuating their bowels,” comments Pierre Foutre, a local shopkeeper. “Apparently they never have to strain to get it out – it just slides out exquisitely and so cleanly that they do not even have to use toilet paper – truly a miracle!” There are many theories as to the origin of the toilet’s holiness, the commonest being that it is actually built over the site of Christ’s grave. “There is a strong body of opinion which believes that Jesus Christ did not, as claimed in the Bible, die on the cross, but that he had to flee Israel after he scandalously married a local prostitute – Mary Magdalene -who he’d got pregnant. Apparently he ended up in the Rennes-le-Chateau area of France,” says paranormal researcher and expert Wilson Collins. “The whole crucifixion story was invented by his disciples in order to try and protect his reputation. Meanwhile, Jesus and his offspring proceeded to establish the Merovingian dynasty – which later ruled France – in this remote hamlet. It is no coincidence that the Rennes-le-Chateau area has links with several sinister semi-secret religious groups, including the Templars, the Priory of Sion and the Freemasons. Significantly, this latter group frequently meets in, and recruits from, public lavatories!”

However, others dismiss the idea that the public toilet in a remote French mountain village marks the last resting place of the Messiah, although they do believe that it is the site of a miracle. “In 1723 three young children saw an apparition of Jesus Christ on that very site – bathed in golden light and accompanied by the singing of angels, he apparently squatted down and had a humungous dump. Before vanishing he imparted three secrets to the children – two of which are believed to have been an accurate prediction of the first indoor flushing toilet and the advent of softer quilted toilet paper. The third has never been publicly revealed and is known only to the hierarchy of the Vatican,” claims Clive Ponce, a writer and researcher on occult matters. “The huge turd he left behind was said to glow in the dark and be possessed of miraculous healing qualities. It was also claimed that, unlike mortal dung, it did not give off a foul odour, but instead had a pleasantly perfumed smell. Naturally, it quickly became an object of worship and was moved first to the local church, and then to the cathedral at Provence, where, along with several other holy relics, it can be seen to this day.”

According to Jacques Couillions in each succeeding century the anniversary of this amazing vision has been marked by further miraculous happenings in the village. “Back in 1823 the effigy of the crucified Christ hanging over the church altar was seen to urinate. At first it was just a trickle of yellowish liquid from his groin, then it became a continuous golden stream, which went on for over an hour. The priest tried collecting it in a bucket, believing it to have healing powers. However, when it was drunk by several local sick children, their conditions became far worse and at least one died. There was quite a furore when the priest said it was a judgement from God and that they must have been evil – he was run out of town by a mob,” recalls the septuagenarian toilet attendant. “Nevertheless, it renewed interest in the area amongst the faithful and the pilgrims who came to the church in their hundreds were financially very good for the village over the next few years! In 1923 a group of young village men – including my own grandfather – claimed to have seen the effigy of Christ actually climb down from his cross, stride outside, drop his loincloth and take a huge crap (coincidentally on roughly the spot now occupied by the toilet). He then wiped his arse on the end of the loincloth, did it back up and returned to his usual position in the church! My great grandfather and his friends consequently did very well charging pilgrims a franc a time to view a large pile of steaming flyblown crap in a field. For two francs they even let the fools roll around in it to cure their skin diseases. Like I said, it was very good business for the village!”