Today, I thought I would turn my attentions to the strange – and undeniably controversial – story of a man who is alleged to have achieved an incredible lifespan; maybe even immortality. His title: the Count of St. Germain. Precisely who, exactly, the count really was is a matter of deep debate among those that have studied the extraordinary life of this very mysterious man. So far as can be determined, it was in the very early years of the 18th century – around 1705 to 1715 – that the Count of St. Germain first surfaced publicly, quickly inserting himself into the world of the rich and the powerful of Europe. He did so with amazing ease, too. Those who met the count at the time suggested that he appeared to be in his late thirties. Or, at the very most, in his early forties. The count seemingly preferred to keep his real age – and his true origins – to himself, something which ensured that an air mystery and intrigue quickly surrounded him. And, as history has shown, it never left him.
Rumors soon began to circulate to the effect that the Count of St. Germain was possibly of an elite, royal bloodline. Maybe, even, the ostracized son of a powerful and ancient European family. The count carefully chose to remain enigmatically tight-lipped on such claims. High-society figures flocked to him, women were immediately entranced by him, men envied him, and he soon became the subject of deep interest. That he appeared to have endless amounts of money, which permitted him to travel the globe, seems undeniable. He was clearly very well read, had an expensive and lavish wardrobe, and told of his adventures in Persia (today, Iran), where he learned the secrets of alchemy – the ancient ability to transmute base metals, such as tin, into nothing less than priceless gold. Further rumors swirled around, all pointing in one direction: namely, that the count’s exposure to the mysterious domain of alchemy had allowed him to tap into the world of immortality.
While such a scenario is certainly controversial, from the early 1700s to the latter part of the century, the Count of St. Germain did - so we're told - appear to maintain his youthful state, while all of those around him aged, withered and, finally, died. Indeed, throughout the 1740s, the story goes, the count traveled widely: throughout Scotland, England, and France. Reportedly, those who met the count three decades earlier maintained that by the mid-1700s he had not changed. Age-defying or ageless, the count, by now, had taken on legendary status. And his ability to stay young, vigorous, well-connected, and rich continued.
An extensive trip to India in 1755 took up much of the count’s time, as did a growing friendship with the French king of the day, Louis XV. Officially, the count died on February 27, 1784 – still appearing no different to how he looked in 1705. Students of his life, however, have suggested that his death was simply a convenient and ingenious way for him to adopt a new identity – something which, perhaps, he routinely and regularly did to ensure that no-one ever learned of his secrets and his immortal life. Unless, of course, he specifically chose to share his story with others. There was something else, too: one of the strangest of all claims was that the count rarely ate food; instead, he preferred a mysterious drink, allegedly some kind of tea, as doubtful as that most assuredly sounds.
The tale of the Count of St. Germain lives on. Whether or not he literally lives on, however, is very much a matter of debate - and something driven primarily by legend, myth and tales that, centuries later, don't prove anything. Unless the count knows better...