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Flourishing mainly in Languedoc and Italy, the Cathars taught that the world is evil and must be transcended through prayer, poverty and simplicity. They completely rejected the Catholic Church and all its trappings as the 'Church of Satan'. The Church's response was the founding of the Inquisition and the launch, in 1209, of the Albigensian Crusade against the heretics. Sean Martin offers a lively account of the Cathars, their suppression and the myths associated with them.