I have been to Montsegur. I left a white rose on a rock. To this day the atmosphere is redolent of sadness, injustice, and ignorance. I felt no glory there.
After this, there appeared to be no more organised Cathar resistance although the practice continued in secret, much as it is likely the Priscillianists had to take their conventicles out from the houses of adherents and elite to clearings in the forest, mountain retreats etc. But the Popes knew that the threat remained. By 1226, the second crusade against heresy had crushed the southern counts and the entire region had been annexed to France under the Capetian rule of St. Louis who had headed the Crusade in person. Meanwhile, in 1229, there emerges in the Languedoc a Spanish priest named Dominic, a religious fanatic and thoroughly unpleasant man, although it must be said that he cannot be held directly responsible for the deeds of the Dominican Inquisition which he founded as by then he was already dead.
For several years, now, I have spoken words of peace to you. I have preached to you; I have besought you with tears. But as the common saying goes in Spain: where a blessing fails a good thick stick will succeed. Now we shall rouse princes and prelates against you; and they, alas, will in their turn assemble whole nations and peoples and a mighty number will perish by the sword. Towers will fall and walls will be razed to the ground. And you will all of you be reduced to servitude.
Thus force will prevail where gentle persuasion has failed to do so.
These are the words of Christian "Saint" Dominic to the Christian"`heretic"`: the Cathars. The Lamb to the Wolves...
The Inquisition was charged to do anything at all they wished to force Cathars to recant. This stopped short of actual torture or death. They had to keep their souls pure for the Holy Office. Instead, they handed their victims over to the secular forces for that. Any and every means could and was used to exact the "truth" from these poor innocent men and women in order to save them from eternal damnation, the perpetrators never knowing that it was they themselves who already lived in hell. The atmosphere of distrust in towns and villages grew daily. Anyone could be arrested on the grounds that they carried on heretical practices, never knowing the exact nature of their so called crimes, not the identity of their accusers. Bodies of suspected heretics were dug up to be thrown to the flames.
By the middle of the 14th century, there was not a Cathar left.