By Boyd Rice
has been much speculation as to whether the Priory of Sion
is a shadowy secret society made up of some of the worlds
most illustrious figures, a paranoid delusion, or an elaborate
(but baseless) hoax. The men and women said to be its Grand
Masters are certainly real, most of them key players in science,
the arts, and the occult. Yet certain names seem to jump out
from the list, seeming at first glance to be so absurdly inappropriate
as to cast doubt upon the rest. Two such names would no doubt
be those of Leonardo da Vinci and Jean Cocteau. Both Da Vinci
and Cocteau were men of genius, and both evinced an interest
in the occult/religious matters, but... guardians of the
bloodline of Christ?
I offer a strange new piece of evidence which seems to link
together Jean Cocteau, Leonardo da Vinci, and John the Baptist
(and, by implication, the Priory.) It is a sculpture
of Cocteau done by none other than the most famous sculptor
of the Nazi regime, Arno Breker, and it is called Der Prophet.
Now, it confounds all reason that the foremost Nazi sculptor
would even do a sculpture dedicated to a leading French intellectual,
not to mention a homosexual French artist and poet - and then
have the audacity to christen it The Prophet. But thats
just for starters.
In the sculpture, Cocteau strikes the pose made famous in
Da Vincis well-known painting of John the Baptist, raising
his overturned hand, with a single finger curling skyward.
This is remarkable for a number of reasons. Firstly, because
John the Baptist was a figure of key importance to both the
Priory of Sion and the Knights Templar, and no one can seem
to satisfactorily explain why. Secondly, because all Grand
Masters of the Priory assumed as a mantle of their leadership
the title John (or Jean), and both Da Vinci and Cocteau were
Grand Masters. And thirdly, because the figure represented
in Da Vincis painting of the Baptist was, in fact, Da
Vinci himself. So here we have two famous artists, separated
by centuries, both alleged Grand Masters, and both presenting
themselves in the guise of John the Baptist, the prophet.
But why John the Baptist? This is a conundrum that has seemed
to baffle more than a few researchers into the Priory/Templar
mystery. And most who take up the challenge to delve into
the mystery seem to come away with little more than baseless
speculation or elaborate theories that are never wholly satisfying.
I suggest that the answer to John the Baptists pivotal
importance for these groups and individuals may well be found
within the title of Arno Breckers Cocteau sculpture,
The Prophet. It may be something so simple and
straightforward that everyones missed it entirely, looking
instead for something occult, complex and secret.
What do we know of the Baptist? Little beyond the fact that
he was related to Christ, and that he was the prophet
who set the stage for the emergence of Christ as Messiah.
Could it be that just as the first John facilitated the emergence
of Christ, the Priory of Sion saw themselves as guardians
of a secret tradition that would eventually facilitate the
re-emergence of his bloodline, and so adopted his name
as a title symbolic of their role and function? The Ochams
Razor approach to the Grail mystery is very rarely of any
use, but in this instance it seems altogether appropriate.
This may well explain only one small facet of the John the
Baptist mystery. And it certainly presents us with another
mystery altogether. Namely, how did a sculptor infamous for
immortalizing the likes of Nietzsche, Wagner and Hitler even
come to sculpt the likeness of a decadent French poet like
Believe it or nor, Breker and Cocteau had a very close relationship
for nearly four decades. The two first met in 1924, at the
time of Brekers first visit to Paris. When the sculptor
returned to Paris to exhibit his work, he found Cocteau his
most vocal advocate; extolling the virtues of Breckers
heroic realism at a time when such neo-classicism was decidedly
out of favor with the modernist demi-monde of pre-war Paris.
Even a skeptical Pablo Picasso came to the exhibition at Cocteaus
insistence, and was indeed impressed. Still later, at the
height of WWII, Cocteau remained a strong proponent of Brekers
sculpture. If his enthusiastic support of such work seemed
merely unfashionable prior to the war, during the occupation
it was perceived by most French intellectuals as tantamount
to treason. The French resistance was livid - yet many members
who knew Cocteau secretly attended Brekers wartime exhibit
The bond between Cocteau and Breker seems to go deeper than
mere art appreciation. Its one thing to play the enfant
terrible during peacetime, but to adopt a stance as politically
disadvantageous as Cocteau did during wartime can be downright
dangerous. And Arno Breker too put himself in no less danger.
Breker personally intervened with the S.S. just in time to
prevent Picasso from being sent to a concentration camp. Upon
hearing of the incident, Albert Speer strongly advised Breker
to mind his own business if he knew what was good for him.
Yet when Cocteaus leading man, Jean Marais throttled
a pro-nazi journalist, Breker again stepped in to save him
from the camps. Marais never even knew how close he had come
to spending the war engaged in hard labor, and only learned
of his timely reprieve after Cocteaus death.
To put this all in clearer perspective, it cannot be over-emphasized
that Arno Breker was a member of Hitlers inner circle.
He was a houseguest of Hitler and can even been seen flirtatiously
frolicking with Eva Braun and her sister in Evas home
movies. The Nazis presented his art as being a manifestation
of values that were diametrically opposed to those of modernist
degenerate art (such as, for instance, the cubist abstraction
of Picasso). For Hitler, Brekers work was a cultural
manifestation of the same ideals he was trying to implement
through political means. But beyond even that it was felt
that the role of art fulfilled a spiritual function as well,
embodying eternal values such as strength, beauty, tradition,
heroism, and the will to power. Theres no real evidence
to indicate that this isnt exactly the light in which
Breker, too, saw his work.
why would a man like Arno Breker put his career on the line
to save friends of Jean Cocteau, or for that matter, be involved
with him to begin with? It would all seem to beg the question
of whether or not Breker knew of Cocteaus involvement
with the Priory of Sion. And if he did know, was he too involved?
His connections to France are strong, having lived there from
1927-1934. He is said to have been initiated into a resistance
movement called "The White Dove" by Cocteau, yet
never exhibited any signs of being a "reformed"
Nazi. After the war he neither renounced with past affiliations,
nor altered the style of his art. In a strange way, despite
their seeming differences, the art of these two men seems
to share a common ground. Despite his modernist tendencies,
Cocteaus art seems rooted in some abstract notion of
neo-classicism. When he stated that he "detested originality,
and tried to avoid it at all costs", Cocteau wasnt
being facetious. Both men shared an appreciation of the sacred
as subject matter, and likewise, of themes rooted in mythology.
Both, for instance, addressed the theme of Eurydice and Orpheus
(Cocteau repeatedly.) It may well be that these two shared
a far more fundamental accord with one another than their
respective politics or lifestyles would lead one to believe.
It has been alleged that Cocteau headed a powerful secret
society - the Priory of Sion. We know that Breker moved within
a circle of powerful men whose regime had its roots in an
equally powerful secret society - the Thule Society. The intrinsic
similarities between these two societies make their apparent
differences seem superficial by comparison. Bothers were obsessed
with the Holy Grail. Both saw the Black Sun as an important
symbol. And both believed that certain people were
the descendants of a race of antediluvian gods. Though the
Priory reflected an innately French character, and the Thule
Society an innately Teutonic one, both groups would essentially
seem to be on the same page, so to speak. If they werent
outright sister organizations, they would seem to have derived
their secret doctrines from the same initial source.
We cannot say with certainty that Arno Breker was a member
of the Thule Society, and some deny that Cocteau was a member
of the Priory of Sion. Some even deny that the Priory even
existed. But secret societies use very specific symbolism,
and for very specific reasons. They wish to harness and manipulate
certain archetypes. In so doing, they are tapping into and
harnessing the ancestral memories of those whom they are attempting
to impact. The principle symbols of National Socialist Germany
are symbols connected to the Knights Templar: the equilateral
cross, the Deaths Head, the Maltese cross, and so on.
All these symbols have their roots in the ancient civilization
of Sumer. And National Socialisms central icon, the
Swastika, likewise can be traced to Sumer, as can the "eagle
as a sun" symbol. Some have maintained that Hitler believed
in an ancient Sumerian prophecy that there would arise a "Third
Agade" in Europe, to be ruled by a "Third Sargon."
Did he see the Third Reich as that "Third Agade",
and himself as the new Sargon? Certainly the symbols he employed
would tend to support such a thesis. To fully explore the
possibility would require an article much lengthier than this
(if not a book.) And what of Cocteau and Breker? Were they
members of the same secret society? Was the Thule group a
Germanic franchise of the Priory?
There are a few more stunning correspondences that suggest
the possibility. First, weve discovered that Himmlers
"Grail castle", the Wewelsberg, can be shown to
embody the same pentagonal sacred geometry that is found in
the landscape of Rennes-le-Chateau (and elsewhere.) Plans
drawn up for the massive construction of a city to have been
built around the Wewelsburg would have incorporated the same
geometry on a much larger scale. Additional buildings adjacent
to the castle would have mimicked the shape of the Spear of
Longinus, with the castle as its tip. That this was intentional
and not merely some bizarre coincidence can be gleaned from
the fact that for a time, the Spear of Longinus was actually
kept in the Wewelsbergs north tower, and was intended
to be housed there on a permanent basis after the war. Furthermore,
the symbol of the Black Sun, emblazoned on the marble floor
of the very same north tower, is not a symbol designed by
Heinrich Himmler, but is in fact an emblem used by the Merovingians
in early medieval times. Authors Nicholas Goodrich-Clarke
says that this symbol and its connection to the Merovingians
was discussed in a number of scholarly publications during
the period of the Third Reich. This is rather amazing, considering
the fact that this symbol is said to have represented the
esoteric secret doctrine of the S.S., and it can be tangibly
linked to the family of the Grail bloodline. As previously
suggested, groups or organizations which use symbols as a
means of communication chose their symbols with a very specific
intent. The notion that the choice of this sigil was at all
arbitrary, accidental or coincidental seems highly unlikely.
The stunning confluence of so many ultra-esoteric ideas and
symbols sees to permeate this saga on any number of levels.
And as examples of these correspondences multiply, it appears
possible that the ideological similarities in these groups
worldviews may considerably outweigh any perceived differences.
Perhaps the most we can say with certainty is that, at least
on the surface, the figures of Jean Cocteau and Arno Breker
seem to comprise one of the most unlikely alliances of the
20th century (or at least WWII.) We may never know the whole
story, but at least for now, weve formed an interesting
new wrinkle on an oft-told tale.
An Arno Breker sculpture adorns Cocteaus tomb in the
Church of St. Pierre. It is a bust of Cocteau in his later
years, and it incorporates his signature. It was a pet theme
of Cocteaus to depict living statues, or to present
the concept of death and resurrection as being identical to
that of turning into a statue. The notion seems to
be that the living attain immortality by being transformed
into icons that survive death, and continue to serve as the
emblems of the ideas that they embodied in life. That Cocteau
chose Arno Breker to create the statue that would preserve
his memory is a testament to the high regard in which he held
this man. That Cocteau recognizes his own mortality is beyond
a doubt: the inscription on his tomb reads simply: I remain