Guillermo del Toro’s Hellboy (2004) is grounded in a highly entertaining fusion of occult history and lore—including elements of Traditionalism, Esoteric Hitlerism, and even H. P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos—although cut and pasted and juggled around without any regard for truth.
Hellboy begins with the character’s origins. In 1944, the Nazis send a secret expedition, Project Ragna Rok, to a ruined abbey on Taramagant Island off the coast of Scotland. The abbey—probably based on Rosslyn Chapel, near Edinburgh—is built on an intersection of ley lines, meaning that it is a prime location for a portal to other dimensions.
“Ragnarok” is the Nordic name for the Apocalypse that will bring the present cosmic cycle to a fiery close. The project’s goal is to open a dimensional portal and release the “Ogdru Jahad,” the seven dragons of the Apocalypse or gods of chaos who slumber in crystal prisons in another dimension that seems to be identical to hell (or one hell among many).
It is not clear what the Nazis’ motives are. Do they think that releasing the Ogdru Jahad will merely tip the balance of the war in their favor? Or have they concluded that the war is lost and decided to destroy the world if they cannot rule it? Or perhaps destroying the world is not a second best alternative to winning the war, but their true aim all along.
I find this last interpretation most interesting, since it coheres with the branch of Traditionalism called “Esoteric Hitlerism” whose main exponents, Savitri Devi and Miguel Serrano, claimed that the goal of National Socialism was to bring about the end of the Kali Yuga and inaugurate a new Golden Age.
Whatever the Nazi agenda, the destruction of the present world and the creation of a “new Eden” (Golden Age) is the express goal of one of the central participants in Ragna Rok: Grigori Efimovich Rasputin, “the occult adviser to the Romanovs” who has returned from the other world with a bit of “the Master” (the Devil? the Ogdru Jahad?) inside him.
The project is headed by Karl Ruprecht Kroenen, “Hitler’s top assassin,” an SS officer, a formidable marksman and swordsman, and the head of the Thule Society. Kroenen seems rather odd at first glance. Perhaps it is the Darth Vader-esque gas mask he wears at all times.
Later, we discover that under the mask, Kroenen’s unbounded Nietzschean will to self-transcendence has transformed his body into a mere machine. He began by surgically removing his eyelids and lips, then never looked back. Tin Woodsman style, he progressively replaced his organs with intricate clockwork mechanisms as the blood in his veins turned to dust. Eventually, he becomes a mere puppet of Rasputin.
A third member of Project Ragna Rok is the beautiful blonde Ilsa Hauptstein, who first appears in a black SS cap (get it?). Rasputin grants her eternal life, youth, and the power to serve him. And she does.
Rasputin succeeds in opening the portal, but before the Ogdru Jahad can be released, it is blown up by a team of vulgar American GIs (where were the Brits?) guided by Professor Trevor “Broom” Bruttenholm, who is the paranormal adviser to President Roosevelt and the head of a top secret Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense.
Kroenen is apparently killed but his body disappears. Ilsa disappears as well. Rasputin is sucked into the collapsing portal and a baby boy is spewed out: a red demon with a huge stone right hand.
The GIs name him “Hellboy,” Professor Broom adopts him, and he grows up to be an agent of the BPRD, which “bumps back” at the things that go bump in the night. We learn, for instance, that the Occult War came to an end in 1958 with the death of Adolf Hitler. (Little do they know.)
It all sounds ridiculous, I know. It is a testament to Guillermo del Toro’s talent as a director that he took this absurd farrago and breathed it full of pure magic.
The main plot of Hellboy is set 60 years later, in 2004. Played by Ron Perlman, Hellboy has grown up to be a big strapping demon in the prime of life (they age differently we are told). His colleagues at the BPRD include Abe Sapiens, a psychic fish-man who looks like the creature from the black lagoon and talks like Niles from Fraser because, well, his voice is dubbed by Niles from Fraser; Liz Sherman, a woman who (literally) bursts into flame when she gets mad (played by Selma Blair [Beitman], Ahmet Zappa’s former Jewish Princess); Tom Manning, just a sweaty, pudgy, bald, priggish, passive-aggressive civil servant (Jeffrey Tambor); and the aged Professor Broom (William Hurt).
Rasputin has returned from the dead yet again, with even more of “the Master” in him. Aided by Ilsa and Kroenen, he again seeks to bring about the Apocalypse. He reveals that Hellboy is actually the Beast of the Apocalypse (Anung Un Rama). His right hand is the key to unlock the prison of the Ogdru Jahad, which he tries to force Hellboy to do. That’s all I’ll say about the plot. But I must add that the sets, costumes, and monsters are just wonderful.
Enjoyable though it may be, however, Hellboy also has a dimension of destructive propaganda.
First, there is the high-minded voice-over at the beginning and the end that raises the question: What defines a man? The answer is: A man is not defined by his origins—his race, his heredity, his cosmic destiny—but by his choices.
Sure, Hellboy may be the Beast of the Apocalypse. But that’s just his nature, just his destiny. Nothing that can’t be transformed by being raised in an environment of liberal democratic tolerance. So instead of causing the end of the world, Hellboy cheerfully spends his time fighting against various plots to bring it about.
Hellboy is such a well-“assimilated” demon that, in every aspect—his tastes, his personality, his ideals—he is just another ugly American. From hell. Talk about a melting pot!
Second, Hellboy and his team function as symbolic proxies for Jews. This claim should come as no surprise. Jews virtually created the superhero genre, first in comics then in movies, so it is no surprise that superheroes reflect Jewish sensibilities.
Superheroes are outsiders, “freaks” who have powers that make them superior to the majority. This, of course, is how Jews see themselves. As superior outsiders, superheroes, like Jews, must practice crypsis—not because they are up to anything wrong, mind you, but merely because the peasants are too stupid to understand all the benefits of having them around. The fools might launch a pogrom against their betters “just because they are different.”
Of course Jews think of themselves as perpetual outsiders, but in today’s society, they are the ultimate insiders. The top-secret, lavishly-funded, superhero-staffed Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense serves as a symbolic proxy for the Jewish cabals buried at the heart of Western governments—such as the Pentagon’s Office of Special Plans, where Jewish neocons cooked up the Iraq War.
These sorts of cabals are never that far from the popular consciousness. It is impossible to suppress all knowledge or suspicion of them. Hence the necessity of neutralizing such suspicions.
When one contemplates the exploits of Marx and Freud, Trotsky and Herzl, the Frankfurt School and the neoconservatives—not to mention George Soros and Bernie Madoff—“superheroes” is not the word that comes to mind. We are dealing with supervillains, who are also outsiders, superior freaks who practice crypsis and conspiracy in order to commit monstrous crimes.
To deflect the natural identification of Jews with supervillains, Jewish writers and those schooled by them tend to give supervillains very specific, non-Jewish ethnic identities. In Hellboy they are Nazis and . . . Russians. Rasputin, of course, is Russian. In a scene from the Director’s Cut, Rasputin makes a deal with a nationalistic Russian general who dreams of mother Russia’s glorious rebirth. The climactic scenes also take place in Russia. But this should come as no surprise, for the Russians are the new Nazis, as per neo-conservative propaganda (not to mention the last Indiana Jones movie).
The existence of supervillains justifies the existence of superheroes, and superheroes—as symbolic proxies—justify the existence of Jews as powerful, conspiratorial outsiders burrowed deep inside the power structures of Western societies . . . which allows them to act like supervillains. Why? For our own good, of course. To save us from the Nazis and the Russkis and the Ogdru Jahad.
Because awareness of Jewish conspiracies can never fully be suppressed from the popular consciousness, it must be muted and shaped by linking it subconsciously to images of strange, superior, conspiratorial, but benevolent saviors.
Guillermo del Toro is Mexican (of European descent). He is a lapsed Catholic. The Hellboy character was created by comic book artist Mike Mignola (an Italian Roman Catholic), and the defining stories were worked out in collaboration with John Byrne (an unlikely Jew given his game and origins), for publication by Dark Horse Comics run by Bill Richardson (another unlikely Jew given his name and origins). Both the comics and the movie have prominent Christian, specifically Catholic, images and themes.
Yet all the same, they so faithfully reflect and advance Hollywood’s Jewish cultural and political agenda that they provide an excellent case study in Jewish intellectual hegemony over non-Jews. Frankly, to me that is an “occult” phenomenon far scarier than anything hell can spit out.