I'm often amused and/or baffled and/or intrigued by conspiracy theorists. It must be a constant adrenaline rush to be continuously afraid of the Illuminati, Freemasons, Bilderbergers, little grey aliens, the Walt Disney company, and all those other things that go bump in the night.
At the root of conspiratorial thinking is the need to "tie things together" and put order into our lives. We live in a big, confusing world, and to psychologically survive and to explain why they don't feel in control of their own lives, some people get caught up in finding patterns and gestalts where they don't necessarily exist.
Or maybe some of the dark (or light) interrelationships do exist, and those who are unbelievers are, as the conspiracy theorists say, simply blind sheep.
Below you'll find one of my current favorite conspiracy videos. The "dark underbelly" of "serendipitous events" discovered by a man known as "Freeman" leads him down some wildly bizarre paths that, in a weird sort of way, sometimes almost make sense.
The word serendipity, coined by English author Horace Walpole, comes from Serendip, an old name for Sri Lanka. He explained that this name was part of the title of "a silly fairy tale, called The Three Princes of Serendip: as their highnesses traveled, they were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things which they were not in quest of...."
In this video, Freeman has made some curious "discoveries" as he followed his mysterious trail of bread crumbs through the dark woods.
He's convinced there is an "MK-Ultra trauma-based mind control" program going on in our country. It begins with Walt Disney, who was, he says, an FBI agent and a "high-ranking" Freemason, and involves child pornography and molestation, rape, murder and strange rituals. "Walt Disney is not who you think he is, and Disney World is not what you think it is," Freeman warns.
Freeman was led to these conclusions after viewing the movie The Butterfly Effect, which, curiously, was not a Disney-produced film. But fear not — he finds the initial correlation in the "fact" that the MK-Ultra program is called the Monarch Program, and monarch, of course, is a type of butterfly.
Anna Nicole Smith, Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan and others "aren't just pop stars trying to cry out for attention," he says, but are "people who have been abused all their lives."
In the world according to Freeman, the recent strange behaviors of Spears and Lohan are a result of their attempts to break free of their lifelong mind control programming.
Disney's Mouseketeer program was a supply pool of brainwashed children who were later to be manipulated into pop stars who would publicly perform ancient religious rituals, he says.
Freeman explains that the Superbowl XXXVIII wardrobe malfunction, when a bare female breast adorned with a solar disk on its nipple was ceremoniously exposed to millions of "shocked" viewers, was actually a reenactment of an ancient Babylonian sun-worshiping ritual, an interaction between the god Marduk and the goddess Ishtar. Justin Timberlake was a Mouseketeer, he says, and Janet Jackson was an abused, mind-controlled child star. Everyone has seen a bare female breast; was it really shocking?
The kisses between Madonna, a "professed kabbalist," and Britney Spears and then Christina Aguilera at the 2003 MTV Music Awards were a symbolic raising by the "Worshipful Master" (she was wearing a top hat and tuxedo-like costume) of the junior goddesses. It was a passing on of Madonna's "high priestess" status, raising Spears and Aguilera to a "higher place in the kabbalistic order."
Shortly after this passing of the flame, Madonna announced that she wanted to be called Esther, which is the Biblical version of Ishtar. The Biblical husband of Esther is Mordecai, the same god-concept as Marduk.
Esther, of course, is the "noble queen" of the Masonic Order of the Eastern Star.
And "Esther's" was the name of the hair-salon where Britney Spears recently went to cut off her hair, her attempt to "break away from the mothers of darkness" and her "handlers."
(Let me add my own personal "linking relationship" to this apparent madness. On the very same day that I stumbled upon this video a few weeks ago, another female Disney star made news by having acted in a very adult, un-Disneyesque way: A nude photo of High School Musical star Vanessa Hudgens hit the Internet, causing quite a stir, at least among parents of pre-pubescent Disney fans.)
Perhaps Walt Disney did have a thing for little girls. His first cartoon was not of Mickey Mouse, nor even of Mortimer or Clarabelle. It was a 1923 live-action blended with animation dance routine of a little girl based on Alice in Wonderland. [See video number 2 at avclub.com. Disney founded his company the same year, 1923, that he made this cartoon. For those who like to explore weird tie-ins and linking relationships, see also grouchogandhi.com for more on the number 23.]
According to Freeman, Anna Nicole Smith, who was abused as a child, was a sacrificial priestess, married off to an aged Nazi. The money she inherited when her husband died was intended for her child. Her firstborn, Daniel, was ceremoniously sacrificed according to ancient tradition to make way for her new baby, the Moon Child.
Freeman ties together Pepsi, NASA, Target Stores, Aleister Crowley, Nazi genetic experiments and ancient Aryan bloodlines, the brainwashing effects of Disney's "It's a Small World" ride, AT&T, Guy Fawkes, the "nefarious" nature of KinderCare and Boys Town, blues guitarist Robert Johnson's going down to the crossroads to make a deal with the devil, George H. W. Bush's "thousand points of light" as a symbol of the Illuminists, etc.
I'm tempted, as you probably are, to dismiss all of this as the musings of a stoner or the rantings of a paranoid lunatic. But amidst all his synchronistic madness, there are reasons to ponder more deeply.
Humans crave rituals. Most of us have morning and bedtime rituals: bathing, morning coffee, reading the paper or checking email. Freemasons and Eastern Star members perform odd rituals that make little sense to even most of those who perform them. Christians routinely reenact Jesus Christ's baptism and his final dinner, symbolically eating flesh and drinking blood. Some Christians have foot-washing and snake-handling rituals, and Catholics ritually make the Sign of the Cross and repeat catechisms and "mantras." Some people nail themselves to crosses on Good Friday. Muslims ritualistically face Mecca and pray five times a day. Millions of people have created rituals surrounding the Superbowl, the NCAA Final Four basketball tournament, and other sporting events. In fact, sporting events themselves are rituals, reenactments of ancient battles or tests of strength between young men coming of age. Rock concerts are rituals. Television shows often cause impromptu rituals to spring up among fans, such as when thousands of people would gather in small groups to eat cherry pie and drink strong black coffee while watching Twin Peaks back in the early 1990s. The Rocky Horror Picture Show inspired moviegoers to participate in all sorts of strange rituals, reenacting events in the movie. Perhaps even your regular reading of this or other blogs could be considered a ritual.
Rituals symbolize and bring to our minds something "greater" than our individual selves. All rituals at some level remind us of God, or the gods and goddesses, or the unifying spirit of mankind, or nature (usually the sun, moon and stars), or, perhaps most important of all, a simple, flowing continuity, or a hope for such a continuity, or a peace of belonging.
Many rituals are private affairs, like praying, meditating, or even just idle brain-chatter thinking while you drive the same routinely ritualistic way to work and back every day. Other rituals are enacted en masse, like attending church services, lodge meetings or sporting events.
Whether private or public, rituals serve to remind us of our faith in a god or in our higher selves, our desires perhaps for eternal life, or simply a regular, fluid continuity of earthly life.
But what happens when we're caught up in someone else's ritual unexpectedly or unknowingly, or if their ritual has a deeper or different meaning that we believe it has?
A few years ago, right after my divorce, facing the holidays alone for the first time in years, I was invited to a new girlfriend's home for her family's Christmas ritual. It was pleasantly awkward, to put it mildly, but ultimately disastrous to our relationship. I had stepped into a set of long-standing traditions that were, while superficially similar to my own, quite alien to me on a more deeply personal and spiritual level.
The same sort of disconnect happens when we attend a new church, or join a new club or organization, or watch a new TV show. Unless we're immediately repulsed by the experience, we seek ways to join in and become "one of the gang." Even when the event seems to be nothing more than entertainment, such as a ball game or rock concert or TV show, we want to partake of the feeling of "oneness" of the particular group already watching or in attendance.
I remember the 1980s when little girls wanted to dress and act like Madonna. Now, they want to be like Britney or Christina or Vanessa or whoever the current pop icon is. Little boys wanted to be their sports hero or favorite TV character or superhero. The influence on us, adult and child, by popular culture and religion is enormous. We overlook obvious flaws in our role models, or sometimes emulate those flaws, in our desire be like our heroes and to belong to a group that emulates, even worships, those "gods and goddesses." We wear our hair like they do, we dress like they do, sometimes we walk and talk like they do. Our transformation isn't always a conscious decision.
If our copying of their looks and mannerisms isn't always done at a conscious level, then what other values or beliefs do we perhaps pick up from those we look up to? Are our child sports enthusiasts learning the values of sports stars like Michael Vick and O. J. Simpson? Are our daughters learning to be pantyless coked-up vixens like Spears and Lohan? Are Masons blindly emulating less-than-honorable "high ranking" Masonic leaders? Are future politicians learning to work for the common good, or do our political leaders teach us only partisan bickering, backroom dealing, lying and how to have gay sex in public restrooms?
If the values of these role models can affect us and our children on such basic levels, what effect are these public rituals, if they are indeed public rituals, that Freeman talks about having on us? What purpose could they serve? Are there really "secret masters" (they're all Freemasons, according to Freeman) pulling strings that make Madonna, et al, perform these elaborate and ancient ceremonies before huge crowds? Are these acts just the product of songwriters and choreographers trying to entertain and earn money, or is there a deeper purpose? And if there is a purpose, who is served by it? Are we mind-controlled by these acts simply as a means for superstars and mega-corporations to make money, or is there a Higher Power (human, god or demon) controlling earthly events? If so, is this power benevolent, malevolent, or neutral?
I don't have answers, just questions.
Worship of and reverence for Nature, especially the sun and moon, date back into the mists of antiquity. Modern echoes can be found in many places, most noticeably in Christianity and in Freemasonry as well as more openly pagan rituals. Is this adoration of the heavenly bodies an intrinsic and intuitive part of our humanity? Does the cyclical nature of Nature draw us to take inspiration and hope in immortality and/or our own personal and group continuity? Other than warming us, nourishing crops, and controlling the tides, do the sun and moon affect us in a spiritual manner, or an astrological or even quantum way? Are there forces related to the sun and moon that we haven't yet discovered or labeled?
What is it that draws us to ritualize or attempt to put order into our lives? What power drives us and controls us? Does the Universe conspire for us, or against us?
Image: Madonna, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera at the 2003 MTV Music Awards ceremony
Watch the video here or on Google Video.
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