Part 2 of 3 (Part 1 here)
Esoteric Hollywood: Sex, Cults and Symbols in Film
Walterville, Or.: Trine Day, 2016
The same explains the proliferation of “Gnostic” or “Illuminati” symbolism in filmed entertainment. Just as directors and screenwriters love surrealism (since it absolves them of any need to create a coherent plot), they love throwing together random bits of “symbolism.” Add in a certain level of laziness (“Hey, it worked for Kanye/Gaga/Kei$ha”), and it’s irresistible.
Of course, one could still point out that all this playing around with symbolism is dangerous in itself. In his Bible-thumping mode, Dyer probably thinks it’s all just stupid, the “vain repetitions” of the pagans, dangerous only as a tool of manipulation, but for someone who thinks magick is real, having it flaunted about by Kanye West is perhaps scarier than some vast occult conspiracy.
When taken individually, the symbols described above can be simply considered as “cool-looking” . . . [but] the packing all of these signs and symbols in one comprehensive 13-minute performance cannot however be dismissed as “random images”. Quite to the contrary, the combination of all of these symbols form a whole and define with great depth the underlying philosophy and Agenda of those in power – the Illuminati.
No, since magick is real, the untalented are able to access, channel, and manipulate these real symbols. No need for an occult hand behind the scenes.
What of the analyses themselves? Dyer does well to begin with Kubrick, devoting his Part One (after the Hollywood Babylon section, which is rather oddly stuck in here rather than standing alone) to Eyes Wide Shut, The Shining, and 2001 (“An Alchemical Spatial Odyssey”). I say he does well because Kubrick is the most obvious target for this kind of analysis, since while having long-rumored ties to intel, it’s even more obvious that “Kubrick’s perspective was that all details are crucial and significant – the placement of everything is deliberate, often fraught with symbolism.”
This would seem to call out for my own paranoiac-critical method, but the effect here seems to be to force Dyer to rein in his institutional paranoia and concentrate on the rich symbolism on the screen itself. Eyes Wide Shut is identified as an initiation ritual in itself: “Not only is it supposed to be an initiation for the couple, the intention is to initiate the viewer, through revelation of the method, to the nature of this cryptocratic underground, assuming one is willing to see.”
And Dyer is forced to follow along the path, pointing out the presence and role of pillars, mirrors, gardens, and hexagrams from beginning to end. Even so, he can’t resist a little anti-Gnostic dig when forced to acknowledge that “[g]ardens also bring to mind Eden, and the expulsion of Adam and Eve due to sin; or, it could refer to their coming initiation into the ‘garden of the gods,’ so to speak.” And ultimately, the cryptocracy reasserts its hold on his imagination:
The real story is the ritual journey of coming out of the dream state, with the result being the “awakening” [note the scare quotes] to grasp the reality of the occult elite, the social power structure as it really is – rich elites who are into bizarre cults and aberrant sex magick. This magical surrealism as an initiatory rite is the true intention of the film.
Dyer also does well with The Shining, identifying both broad themes – “the spectral haunting of America itself, in terms of its dark past in relation to the Native Americans” – and the personal focus on Jack, where the “indigenous animistic spiritualism . . . manifest[s] as a form of generational curse.” Jack is attempting to write a book, but the “book” is his life, especially his family life, and the method is the use of simulacra to harness the power of synchronicity to enable him to create his own new future; in short, a Promethean taking charge of his own life, which must – so Dyer thinks – result in failure and death.
In this philosophy, mastering the inner world leads to a mastering of the outer world as the initiate or “enlightened one” meditates to achieve a perceptive unity between the subconscious dream realm and the phenomena of waking experience. . . . His gruesome reenactment of spiritual, ritual sacrifice . . . is required for his imagined entrance into the hall of fame – the abode of the “beautiful people.”
Especially galling to this Judeo-Christian is the rejection of wholesome Family Values by the apprentice mage:
Jack’s demonic bidders offer him a place among the privileged (he thinks), if he is willing to rid himself of his family.
Jack has come to despise his family, who he thinks are his stumbling blocks to greatness
Jack is . . . seeking to traumatize and sacrifice his family for entrance into greatness, which he believes is being stalled due to his family duties.
Dyer despises the titanic quest, and its disdain for “family values,” so much that he even stoops the “homosexual” canard, arguing like some SJW that Jack must be secretly gay, “despite his masculine appearance,” since we come upon him glancing through an issue of Playgirl at the Overlook. 
And behind it all must be the inevitable Pedophiliac Elites: “[T]he satanic occult elite that rule the West [are] of pedophilic generational bloodlines [that] parasitically manipulate the underclass through the false promise of worldly prosperity.”
All this comes together in the overarching symbol of the maze, which is both the Underworld and Jack’s psyche, or rather, “Jack’s own psyche is plunging into the underworld maze of his dark persona.” Here again, Dyer’s Judeo-Christian bias creeps in, presenting us with this (deliberately?) false dichotomy: “[[I]t is a cyclical process of a time-bound, emergent deity arising from within the kosmos itself, and not an eternal deity who alone subsists outside time and space who creates ex nihilo.” And so, although he can grasp that, “eternal return will be the punishment Jack concocts for himself in his psychical prison for failing to complete his task as ordered by Grady.”
He completely fails to notice that Danny is able to escape Jack, and the maze, by retracing his steps and jumping sideways out of the maze entirely; along with Will Graham’s leap through the plate glass window into the Tooth Fairy’s kitchen in Manhunter, one of the greatest symbols of Passing the Buck in cinema.
Along the way, there’s plenty of scope for the paranoiac-critic, such as the significance of a room numbered 237 as well as the recurrence of 42; and above all, the return of those pillars, in the form of the infamous ghost twins; Dyer even allows himself to wonder if these twin/towers, combined with 2001, have any relation to the events of 9/11.
This leads us to the Big Enchilada of cinematic symbolism and of movie metaphysics: 2001: A Space Odyssey. Again, as with Jack and Danny, the return of the astronaut Bowman as the Starchild in 2001 is not correctly understood: “Bowman breaks free of Plato’s’ cave to cheat death and rise to rebirth among the gods, and the process repeats in eternal return, with a new Genesis.”
We see that what is at stake is Dyer’s Judeo-Christian blinders, which reduce everything to a false dichotomy: “It is a cyclical process of a time-bound, emergent deity arising from within the kosmos itself, and not an eternal deity who alone subsists outside time and space who creates ex nihilo.”
Evolution is indeed the key term. There is not only a recurring cycle of entrapment (Jack), but a spiral of escape (Danny). Bowman evolves to a higher level (Starchild, apotheosis); if there is a new Genesis, it is not a return to the same point.
I keep emphasizing blinders, because Dyer is by no means unintelligent or unperceptive. He certainly grasps the essence of the film, and also begins to sound like Jorjani:
The monolith is consciously “Luciferian.” Promoting man to a Promethean new aeon each time it appears, and always connected to technological advance through the “sacrifice” of warfare. . . . “[C]onsciousness” [is] correlated with techne, but not merely techne, it is technology as an extension of space and power – warfare.
He has perceived the element of Atlas here as well as Prometheus, in this brilliant insight:
As a form of a cube, the monolith seems to embody space itself. This is partly my unique thesis on the monolith. . . . [The] six directions are thus a geometrical box or cube . . . So the cube, and in particular the black cube form outer space is space. 2001 is therefore about this dimension, in totality, that expresses itself primarily in two fundamental ontological realities – time and space.
Techne is the extender for this endeavor, providing the ship and means by which he may project himself further in space.
Part Two is “Spielberg’s Android Space Brothers.” At this point I will confess that apart from his TV movie Duel, and his version of “Kick the Can” in The Twilight Zone movie, I have never seen a Spielberg film, and have no intention of doing so now or ever. Like I said, I’m a Lazy Bastard. Let’s move on.
Part Three is the far more interesting “70s-80s Fantasy Dystopia,” an admittedly subjective and idiosyncratic selection. The period certainly did give us a bumper crop of dystopian symbolism, but with titles like Labyrinth, The Neverending Story, and Prometheus (a 2012 film which somehow sneaks in), you can imagine that he’s not very happy.
Nevertheless, there’s some interesting things here, but by far the most successful analysis deals with Zardoz (John Boorman, 1972), a much-derided film that is also (perhaps inevitably) a personal favorite. Dyer manages to rehabilitate the film by tying it in with Kubrick’s contemporaneous 2001, making it a kind of handcrafted, artisanal version of the big-budget epic.
I am here to declare Zardoz as part of that company of actual “Illuminati” films.
[Zardoz is a] philosophical allegory, replete with esoteric symbology and archeo-futurism that culminates in a Nietzschean LSD-trip cavalcade of existential nihilism, where death is “natural” and itself God.
Boorman accurately captures the nihilistic character of the technocratic age, where the quantification and so-called “perfecting of nature” so adamantly sought by the trans-humanists ends in meaninglessness.
Dyer finds the message of the film, like 2001, to be the Promethean claim of archeofuturism: we shall be as gods because we have been gods; “the gnosis of the ancients in fact contains the secrets of the future.”
[A]ccording the masonic mythos Boorman will employ, the secrets of nature are merely the secrets of science [and] the real “God” is thus an artificial deus ex machina, an emergent deity forged in the labs of ancient scientists who had since purposefully erased the secrets to the “Tabernacle.”
[T]echnology itself is the secret of God, and God Himself is nothing more than a kind of vast, imprisoning Matrix-style demiurge.
As usual, Dyer thinks this is all very bad ju-ju, and wants to warn his good, white Christian readers away from this threat.
Zed is thus a new Satan or Lucifer, invading the Edenic Garden of potentially immortal man, a Prometheus embodying the alternate version of the Genesis narrative as told by the Hermeticists and gnostics, where Satan becomes a liberator.
Again, Dyer is unable to see, or believe, the spiral nature of this archeofuturist doctrine, and he presents it as a kind of circular archeofutilism:
History is the cyclical turn of the wheel of time, where civilizations rise and fall and at the apex, man discovers technology, which was a secret inside himself all along, as he projected these phantasms of his own forgotten genetic memories into externally existing metaphysical realities (think Bruno Bauer). Again, Nietzsche dominates Boorman’s narrative, from the notion of decadent elites, to the ouroboros of eternal return.
Dyer thinks he’s revealing the horrible secret of Prometheanism, but since, as noted above, it amounts an implausible claim that no intelligent person could have fallen for in the first place, the reader must decide whether Dyer misunderstands it, or is deliberately distorting it, perhaps for pastoral purposes (can’t let the lambs go astray!).
2. Contrast the painfully earnest little stories that even Hair Metal bands would concoct for videos in the classic ‘80s, which still persists in the stubbornly retro world of “country” music.
3. Also, making the sign of Horus is less likely to get a bitch cut than the wrong gang sign.
4. “He becomes a myth, a spook story that criminals tell their kids at night. Rat on your pop, and Keyser Söze will get you.” And no one ever really believes.” Verbal Kint, The Usual Suspects (Bryan Singer, 1995).
5. “In this connection, one can speak of a ‘transcendental realism’, which is confirmed also in the conception of the objective effectiveness of the Initiatory rite: it is admitted that its power is, on the spiritual plane, as objective and impersonal, and as detached from morality, as, on the material plane, actions of a technical nature are. Like such actions, the rite only requires that certain objective conditions are satisfied; then the effect will follow of its own accord by necessity, whoever the subject….” Julius Evola, “The Concept of Initiation.”
6. “Madonna’s Superbowl Halftime Show: A Celebration of the Grand Priestess of the Music Industry,” at The Vigiliant Citizen.
7. “The paranoiac critical method of Dalí is an attempt to systematize irrational thought. When asked why the centaurs in his painting, Marsupial Centaurs, were riddled with holes, he replied, ‘The holes are like parachutes, only safer.’ This response is often used as an example of Dalí being Dalí, purposefully obscure, self-absorbed, and downright snotty. The reader might interpret this comment as a nose thumbing, coupled with an ‘If you don’t know why the holes are there, you Philistine, I will never tell you.’ The fact is, however, that Dalí is simply stating the reason for the holes, which upon examination, becomes unmistakable, true to its Paranoiac Critical ancestry.” “THE PARANOIAC CRITICAL METHOD” by Josh Sonnier. As an example of the transition from irrational to inevitable, consider my discussion of Clifton Webb’s Mr. Belvedere as an incarnation of Krishna in “The Babysitting Bachelor as Aryan Avatar: Clifton Webb in Sitting Pretty.” One might compare my use of the Chakravartin symbolism there with Dyer’s rather more literalistic use here, where the circles are literally women dancing at the film’s famous orgy. Here as well, Dyer says that “Nightingale is chosen because he’s an old friend of Bill’s,” but, Nightingale being a fairly odd name, I would like to know if this forges a link with A Dandy In Aspic, where the assassination of the agent named Nightingale leads to Eberlin being sent off on his own initiatic journey; see my review, “Passing the Buck: Spy, Dandy, Übermensch.” I’ve tried my hand with Kubrick and a film Dyer mentions only in passing, in “From Odd John to Strangelove,” reprinted in Green Nazis in Space! (San Francisco: Counter-Currents, 2016).
8. A term used by Michael Hoffman II, cited several times by Dyer; Greg Johnson has expressed Hoffman’s idea as “[t]he intentional revelation of the designs of the rulers for essentially magical, irrational reasons.” See his comment on Gregory Hood’s “Why Argo Won Best Picture.”
9. One might compare the methods of the Tooth Fairy in Manhunter; See my “Thanks for Watching: Awakening Through Repetition in Groundhog Day, Point of Terror, & Manhunter, Part 1” and “Phil & Will: Awakening Through Repetition in Groundhog Day, Point of Terror, & Manhunter, Part 2.”
10. A better question might be why the Overlook displays such supposedly risqué publications in its public areas (or does Dyer think Jack brought it along with him to whip out if he needed to pass the time?). In the Seinfeld episode “The Jimmy,” Jerry is disgusted about the Penthouse magazines he found in Tim Whatley’s (Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston!) dental office, although admits he did take a peek.
11. But of course, the “new aeon” is the next level.
12. Hence his chapter is entitled “2001: An Alchemical Spatial Odyssey.”
13. Again, Jorjani: “Reflection on modern science allows a return to the primordial. Not a return to the past, but a movement into the future from out of the primordial – a development wherein the vital force of evolution becomes consciously self-directing.” Prometheus and Atlas (London: Arktos Media, 2016), Chapter Six, “The Occultation of Supernature.”
14. As Jorjani emphasizes, in the post-Christian age, Prometheus can only return as Lucifer; op. cit., Chapter Twelve.