666 = Satan’s Song?
Part 5: What’s in a name?
key part of “Satan’s Song” is Tom R’s exposure to
the world of intelligence, which happened through Van ‘t Sant, one
of the Netherlands’ most controversial spymasters. Hammer states that
Tom R. was speaking to Van ‘t Sant, Sefton Delmer and one “Billy”
in late 1940, which opened the doors of the intelligence community to him.
Specifically, it is said that it was Billy who, during a meeting on April
23, 1944 in Baker Street, London, proposed that Tom became a member of the
The identities of these people can be rather easily traced. And if Hammer’s version of events is true, then Tom R. was friends with the crème de la crème of the intelligence community.
Sefton – Tom for friends – Delmer is definitely a historical
figure. He was a British journalist and propagandist for the British government,
who was born in Berlin. After leaving university, he worked as a freelance
journalist until he was recruited by the Daily Express to become head of
its new Berlin Bureau. While in Germany, he became friends with Ernst Röhm,
who arranged for him to become the first British journalist to interview
Adolf Hitler – a veritable scoop, but also a feat that would have
resulted in Delmer being requested to attend a briefing of the intelligence
community, to learn details of Hitler that had not been seen fit, or made
it, into print.
Interestingly, Delmer largely worked as a disinformation agent. In September 1940, Delmer was recruited by the Political Warfare Executive (PWE) to organize black propaganda broadcasts to Nazi Germany. His first, most notable success was a shortwave radio station, Gustav Siegfried Eins, which came on the air shortly after the Rudolf Hess’ flight to England in 1940.
Hammer claims that Tom R. was also part of Soldatensender Calais, which was another clandestine radio station directed by Delmer for the German armed forces. Transmitting from Crowborough, Soldatensender Calais broadcast a combination of good music, “cover” support of the war, and “dirt” – items inserted to demoralize German forces.
seems likely to have been “Wild” Bill Donovan, who in June 1941
was nominated Coordinator of Information (COI) by US President Roosevelt.
It was Donovan who organised the COI's New York headquarters in Room 3603
of Rockefeller Center in October 1941 and asked Allen Dulles to head it.
Dulles would later become one of the CIA’s most notorious, controversial
and longest serving directors.
In 1942, when America entered World War II, the COI became the OSS and Donovan returned to active duty. For many years, the exploits of the OSS remained secret, but in the 1970s and 1980s, significant parts of the OSS history were declassified, making Donovan a household name to a new generation.
“Billy” is indeed Bill Donovan is confirmed by details Hammer
provides in the book. He argues that “Billy” was eventually
knighted by the pope in the Order of Saint Sylvester. Donovan indeed befell
Of interest to this distinction is that the inner group around Donovan in the OSS were often referred to as the “Templars”. Though never fully explained why these men were identified as such, the standard explanation argues that they were notorious for their secrecy and their ability to keep secrets, “like the Templars”. Of course, the Knights Templar were not specifically known for any specific secrecy – and definitely not in the 1940s.
Should, instead, the nickname be seen as a sign that these men were interested in Templar ideology? It would thus fall perfectly in line with the latter knighthoods bestowed upon Donovan and like. Of course, an interest in the Knights Templar might be in line with the interest Hammer argues these men had: the recovery of the Arma Christi.
Furthermore, and less known, is that in 1949, Donovan became chairman of the newly-founded American Committee on United Europe, which worked to counter the new Communist threat to Europe by promoting European political unity. This would lay the foundation for the Stay Behind Networks in Europe, which would, in France, link up with neo-templarism, and in Italy, with Freemasonry. These networks also largely used the Ratlines of the end of the Second World War, and re-engineered them for the new purpose. A “United Europe”, of course, is also an idea that many have linked as the ambition of those groups that have pushed the mythology of the Priory of Sion and related matters. And in light of Hammer’s work, the link between Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, the CIA and the Bilderberg group should equally not be underappreciated.
New York, New York
the spring of 1947, Tom R. went to New York, where he had a meeting with
Donovan, to discuss his future. He was introduced to one “Richard,
Paul and Henry”. Paul argued that they would like Tom to work for
the CIA, but he would have to resign from the British SIS. Specifically,
they had been interested in his report on the Arma Christi and desired that
he continued his analysis.
When he had enlisted, he was returned to the Netherlands, where Donovan and Henry had created a posting at a major university. As an academic, he would further the pro-American cause, while continuing to research the Arma Christi, which had become catalogued as “Project Easter Egg”.
argues that “Richard, Paul and Henry” were easy to identify,
and that Henry worked in intelligence as well as being a major New York
publisher. Thus, it seems, Henry was none other than Henry Luce, who with
Briton Hadden worked on the Yale Daily News and The Baltimore News before
founding Time Inc. Later, Luce would launch Fortune and Life. Luce was a
good friend of Allen Dulles and thus an intelligence insider.
Richard may have been Richard Helms, and Paul may have been Paul Mellon, who did work for the OSS in Europe. Helms too worked for the OSS. Helms remained in the OSS and in 1946 was put in charge of intelligence and counter-intelligence activities in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, which is consistent with the movements Hammer traces for Tom R.. The following year, Helms joined the recently formed Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and would later become its Director from 1966 to 1973.
of these names are well-known, if not notorious, people. To some extent,
working these people into a novel would be an easy task, as has been done
by several, including Normal Mailer – and this was equally accomplished
in a motion picture, “The Good Shepherd”. On the other hand,
if true, then it is clear that Tom R. was indeed part of a small group who
used the intelligence network for their own purposes.
Which option to choose? The safe option would definitely be to opt for the choice in which Hammer’s imagination takes preference. But… Interestingly, Maria de Roo noted that Henry Luce’s sister Molly Luce was married to Allan Burroughs. Of all things he could do, in 1927, he came to Ghent to perform X ray photographs of the Van Eyck painting. As this was before the infamous 1934 theft of The Just Judges panel, this meant that the original panel was x-rayed.
The results were published in a book, but even more interestingly, little is mentioned about the Just Judges, apparently because the photograph of that panel was a below par quality. Coincidence that of all the panels, only this one is “below par”? Might it perhaps be that the photograph was as good as all others, but in truth revealed something anomalous? Indeed, De Roo points out that it is rather bizarre that it is precisely this panel that was subject to “worse than expected” results and her research concluded that there was “something” wrong with the panel. Did, instead, the X ray reveal something underneath the paint – or inside the panel?
A hidden dimension?
notion that something was contained within the painting is not new. The
question is whether it was a visible key on the painting – à
la Da Vinci Code, and suggested by Hammer himself – or some form of
invisible marking that might be made apparent through some chemical or photographic
method, or whether the wooden panels themselves contained something hidden
inside the wood.
As bizarre as this may sound, the notion that something was literally hidden inside the panels should not be ruled out. And that people before 1927 thought as much, can be extrapolated from a curious incident that befell the painting.
The polyptych was originally meant to be closed during the week and opened on Sundays. However, this was deemed to be a problem from a tourist point of view, as this demanded that the entire painting was on display all the time. Of course, there was a simple solution: rather than place the painting against a wall, they could have placed the painting in the middle of the room, “half open”. Security could be provided by means of a railing and/or glass. But instead of this easy option, it was decided that all the panels would be cut in half. This was a highly dangerous intervention, which might have resulted in the total destruction of some of the panels. Though in the end successful, the success of this operation was not guaranteed before the cutting began.
The question is: why choose this highly dangerous intervention that might have led to the destruction of some of the panels? Of course, by cutting these panels in two, it would have allowed a detailed inspection of certain hidden caches inside the panel – if there were any. Did certain rumours circulate about a hidden cache long before 1927 – or 1934? Though history does not report such cavities, that does not necessarily mean they weren’t there. Would anyone expect official history to record such caches? Only the sceptics will argue they do.
1927 scan may place the 1934 theft of the painting in context – as
well as the powerbrokers of the CIA’s interest in Tom R performing
a detailed study of the painting.
What got stolen in 1934 were two panels, John the Baptist and The Just Judges, which in origin had been one panel – before being cut in half. It was one of these panels that had apparently revealed an anomaly on the X rays taken in 1927 – allowing for an interesting timeline, which does begin to make anyone ponder whether, even though these two outside panels were amongst eight panels that were the easiest to remove, it is perhaps too easy to conclude that convenience was the only motive why precisely these two panels were removed.
With this knowledge in mind, and with the Luce family connection, Hammer’s proposition for the first time reveals a key element, not part of his book, and likely not known to Hammer, which suggests that his account may be more in the bailiwick of reality than fiction.