HOW did Nostradamus hide his Prophecy?

According to 16th century cypher experts, the best cyphers are those which do not allow their readers to realize that they are reading an encyphered text. The reason for this is obvious: if one doesn't suspect that your text is hiding something, he/she won't try to find it, and your secret shall be safe.

Therefore, the first problem Nostradamus had to solve in encyphering all of his published texts was to make sure that his contemporaries would never guess that they were reading a text hiding other texts.

But Nostradamus was also facing another problem: if everyone, for centuries, would never guess that he had indeed hidden his Prophecy inside his published texts, how could he make sure that his Prophecy would be discovered in time to assist those for whom he had so laboriously encyphered his secret?

Or, to put it simply: if you hide something too well, nobody shall ever find it. If you don't hide it well enough, someone will find it and will report you to the authorities.

How did he make sure that his secret would not be discovered too soon, but would be discovered at the appropriate time? By using a very clever trick described below.

Knowing his future until the Summer of 2017, Nostradamus also knew who would want to suppress his Prophecy and be able to do so. If his secret were to be revealed to such a person, he knew that it would be suppressed. So, he made sure that this villain would be dead before his hidden texts could be revealed. The last villain of the bunch? Adolf Hitler. The year of his death? 1945. So, he made sure that his secret would be impossible to discover before Adolf Hitler's death. In so doing, to his great sorrow, he prevented the Jews of Europe from knowing ahead of time about the Shoah.

Knowing also that -- to be of any use -- his Prophecy had to be discovered before August 13, 2017, when Paris is destroyed, he had to engineer his texts so as to allow their readers to be able to discover his Prophecy well before 2017. So he did.

For the period 1557 to 1945, Nostradamus had to maintain an interest in his published texts by allowing his readers, only after the fact, to see that he had indeed foreseen his future. Those who would eventually understand his obscure texts would also see that these could not have been understood before the events they describe had happened or were about to happen. This determined the style he would have to use: something meaningful, but also something not meaningful enough to allow anyone to see what it was about before the fact.

For the period 1945 to 2017, during which he wanted his secret to be discovered, Nostradamus had to insert an additional ingredient into the mix. Not only would his texts have to be meaningful but obscure, they would also have to contain an element leading the reader into seeing that they were hiding something. This he did by deliberately using false clues. So, once the event would be in the past, his readers would know that there was something wrong with the text. Or, to state this more clearly, his readers would know that the text ought to have been written differently, but was not. This would then lead to the question: why was the text written that way?

We now have the form in which Nostradamus would write, something I like to call meaningful gobbledygook, i.e., a text which did have some meaning (so as not to allow its reader to guess that it was a cryptogram), but which did not have enough meaning to allow anyone to discover the future by reading it as is. We now know that no one has ever done so.

What about the contents of his published texts? How were they to be encyphered? Nostradamus knew that -- for his secret to be eventually discovered -- he had to allow his published text to show what they were about. The encyphering method had to allow this to happen. But to lead his decypherer into finding his secret about a still future event, he also had to use a method which could allow more than one text to be hidden inside the very same published text; for instance, one text about the event apparently described in the meaningful gobbledygook, and one text about the destruction of Paris. And by endlessly repeating the circumstances of the destruction of Paris in all of his published texts, Nostradamus knew that -- through the mere law of averages -- that version of his hidden text would eventually be found by the one looking for the other version.

And one simple, portable, easy to decypher, method of encyphering his texts was... the cryptic anagram. In addition, if he absolutely had to use numbers, then a simple letter-for-number substitution could be used. There you have it: the line-based cryptic anagram, coupled with a letter-for-number substitution, is the method used by Nostradamus to hide his secret throughout his some thirty books.

An example of the above? In May 1555, Nostradamus published this poem:

-------------- C E N T V R I E   P R E M I E R E.
---------------------- (édition de 1555)

---- 25 - Perdu,trouué,caché de si long siecle
--------- Sera pasteur demi dieu honore,
--------- Ains que la lune acheue son grand cycle
--------- Par autres veux sera deshonoré.

Meaningful gobbledygook, until??? Until the day a French chemist named Louis Pasteur receives universal recognition and the title of Humanity's Benefactor for his long study of the link between bacteria and certain infectious diseases. After the fact, the poem comes to life: it speaks of something found, something which had been hidden for centuries; it speaks of someone, someone who shall be revered almost as a demi-god; someone who -- before the end of the great cycle of the Moon, would be dishonoured by others.

After the fact, Nostradamus' readers realize that he gave them quite a clue: the name of that person, Pasteur. But by not using a capital "P", Nostradamus also allowed for the possibility of the word 'pasteur' to be taken as meaning... a pastor, guiding his flock.

Using the line-based cryptic anagram, we can find one version of the hidden text:

--------- Louis Pasteur cure la rage des chiens
--------- quand Paris rira de cest Homme
--------- si génial qui a eu la chance de nous ayder
--------- à nous arracher de la rude peste.

Indeed Louis Pasteur did vaccinate a dog against rabies while the Paris medical establishment was laughing at this genius who had the opportunity to lead Mankind to be saved from the plague.

And what about Nostradamus' secret, the one about the destruction of Paris? The very same poem can be used to produce yet another set of cryptic anagrams, this time speaking of...

--------- Ce si Cher Claude trouue ma rude prose
--------- et Mon Paris rira de cest Homme
--------- si génial qui a eu la chance de nous ayder
--------- à nous arracher de la rude peste.

This time, what was hitherto hidden and is now found (line 1 of the original poem) is not the invisible bacteria seen by Pasteur under his microscope, but the hidden prose: a rude prose, says Nostradamus, designed to help Paris flee from the rude plague.

In both cases, Paris ia laughing at the man attempting to help the city. In the first case, to rid her of infectious disease, in the second, to allow her people to escape the unintended atomic hell due to fall upon her.

In this case, only two anagrams differ. The last two remain the same. Their meaning, though, is quite different. And this is one example of how Nostradamus did hide his Prophecy.

Claude Latrémouille

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Copyright Claude LATRÉMOUILLE © 2004, tous droits réservés, reproduction interdite

Last updated on 2004-02-25
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