Arrival and Doctor Strange, or Breaking Saturn's Spell


Yes, sir. 

What can you say about 2016? 

I've noticed that after eight solid years of relentlessly attacking and ridiculing anyone who questioned the press-release version of reality that we get from our mainstream media, that people on the left side of the spectrum are starting to see conspiracies under every rock. 

There are, of course, but still. 

We're just at the starting gate here- we'll be seeing so-called "real news" sites absolutely bursting with conspiracy theorizing in 2017.  Hold on to all those hit pieces we've seen in the Times and The New Republic et al over the past few years; you know, the ones with the ghoulishly unflattering photographs and the unfunny jokes about tinfoil hats and trailer parks.

Marijuana legalization is now a major states' rights issue, pretty much in defiance of the whims of elected officials. The brain needs food and our microevolution is going to carve its own path, kind of like a leak in the national roof. 

Ayahuasca tourism is a bonafide growth industry, so much so that there may be a need to regulate the market, in light of concerns over the purity of the product and basic ethics.

Magic continues to mainstream in a way we haven't seen in 40 years-- if not actually since the glory days of Alexandria-- and "meme magic" (meaning the art of conjuring through internet memes) practically became a household word after being taken up by Trump fans on sites like Reddit and 4Chan.

Thanks to Wikileaks we've gotten a look at the intersection of occultism and transgressive art and how these tendrils reach into the very highest reaches of political power. 

The connections all this may have to darker and more disturbing activity is still highly controversial but the connections between highly placed officials and art that would have gotten you arrested forty years ago are beyond dispute.

A major candidate for office promised to take up the cause of UFO disclosure and found herself subjected to the most relentless covert operation since Nixon's secret machinations were exposed by a cabal of intelligence operatives centered in the FBI and the Washington Post. Surely a coincidence, no? 

Her campaign manager- who has been banging the disclosure drum since the 1990s- has been raked over the coals as well.

Even so, UFO sightings have become so routine this year that even the debunkers seem to have given up trying to shame people into looking the other way. This of course doesn't mean these are alien spaceships- recent mass sightings in Turkey may well point to a more conventional origin point for at least some of these objects. 

But something strange is going on.

It makes sense then that this year rang in with a tsunami of hype for the X-Files revival, whose kickoff unleashed some of the most radical rhetoric ever heard on network television. The conspiracy community lit up like a Christmas tree and excerpts from 'My Struggle' popped up all over social media. 

The revival's momentum seemed to founder with a string of routine monster-of-the-week episodes (and an inexplicable decision to air not one, but two, comedy episodes) but the seeds were planted, nonetheless.

They bore fruit in the summer with Netflix's nostalgic Stranger Things miniseries, which took on MK ULTRA and experiments undertaken in the 1980s by the Department of Energy (which the DoE would at first deny, then admit to). The series seemed to set off a depth charge in the collective unconscious, speaking to those who were there as strongly as those who were not.

It should be noted however that sources with TenThirteen Productions- which produces The X-Files- report that plans for a new season were suddenly cast into doubt the day after the US elections...

I've had a very strange 2016. And not in a good way, either.

It also seems to be getting stranger in ways I can't really talk about now. But I very much wonder if this process of unveiling, of illusions of normalcy falling away and revealing a much weirder reality underneath, isn't just a macro-process. 

What about you?

All I can say is that I've been having what I can only describe as flashbacks, incredibly powerful and anomalous experiences that threaten to pull me back into a situation I thought I'd clawed my way out of. (There, is that vague enough for you?)

So I guess I was looking for answers of some kind when I decided to catch up on my movie-going and see two films that are directly connected to themes we've discussed in-depth here over the past 10 years.


Arrival and Doctor Strange might both tackle topics broadly familiar to those in the loose Synchromystic community but could not be more different: tonally, thematically, cinematically, temperamentally. 

Arrival is a long, slow, quiet tone-poem, sci-fi in the Solaris mold (perhaps the remake more than the original) and Doctor Strange is a fairly traditional Marvel superhero origin movie with some cinegenic Hollywood metaphysics tacked on for seasoning.

I haven't been to the movies in some time, having been on a provisional boycott. I'm still very much interested in the form, but the intellectual vapidity of mainstream media-- conjoined with the persistent social engineering agenda evident in nearly every form of commercial entertainment-- is keeping me away. 

I want to be entertained, rather than indoctrinated by a radically dumbed-down version of Soviet Socialist Theater.*  

Doctor Strange touched all the tentpole bases-- apocalypse-sized threat, cities aflame, multiculti heroes banding together under a militaristic regimen-- but added themes roughly parallel with the wilder expressions of Tibetan Buddhism and psychedelic culture (according to this writer, DMT culture, specifically). 

It's a fascinating admixture, especially given how closely it in fact lines up with the Mithraic Mysteries that were the power base of the Roman Praetorian Guard, a theme Secret Sun readers have seen well up in the wake of the election.

Timing, as they say, is everything.

The most surprising thing about Doctor Strange was how closely it followed the plotline of the animated Doctor Strange DVD, a film I quite enjoyed at the time.

The arc is essentially the same (and roughly hews to the original story, briefly sketched out by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko): Strange is a hotshot surgeon whose hands are damaged beyond repair when he wrecks his sports car. 

Searching desperately for a cure Strange eventually finds the Ancient One and his/her disciples, who are essentially raising a magical army to battle an existential threat from another dimension and its human agents. 

As with the animated film, and as distinct from the original comic book stories, the emphasis here is on collective action, on a magical collective acting in the service of all humanity.

It's not necessarily the way I'd personally treat the material. I'd go smaller and darker, and try to create a world in which it all felt very real. That there really were supermagi fighting it out all around us and we were essentially oblivious to it, because it all worked on a much more limited scale. Think a grown-up Harry Potter, but even more scaled down and realed-up.

Given that Doctor Strange is a major international hit, this shows ($618 Million in box office so far) how out of step I am with what the movie-going audience is looking for these days.

The extradimensional threat is depicted in a similar manner to the way it is in the animated film and as such is distinct from its depiction in the original comic stories. I'm not sure how I feel about that. I think the traditional depiction is actually more threatening (or could be, depending on how it was handled), since it exists in a spatial context we can wrap our heads around-- sort of-- in our mundane reality. 

Sometimes things can be so big that we can't really see them anymore.

It was the original strip's intimacy that crawled under my skin when I read the original comics- Doctor Strange was a kind of Kolchak, a weirdo loner solving occult crimes before eventually getting drawn into a globetrotting occult conspiracy. 

It was kind of like The X-Files in that regard, starting small and self-contained, growing somewhat but staying intimate, dark and paranoid.

What I found especially interesting in the wake of the election-- and the work I've been out on a limb alone exploring-- is the presentation of Time as a malevolent force. And in the perspective of the film's main antagonist, as the great existential evil and threat to all human striving. 

Which, of course, it is.

There's no readily-apparent parallel to be found in the film but this is practically orthodox Mithraism. In his incarnation as Aion, Mithras represented Infinite Time, who freed men from the ravages of Finite Time. The great scholar of the Mystery cults, Walter Burkert, observed that Mithraists saw the limitations of time as the source of all evil.

There's an interesting parallel in the original comics as well, since in battle with this great evil Doctor Strange was instructed to see the aid of Eternity himself, a kind of superheroic analog to Aion.

Now I've seen some of the more imaginative speculations as to this film being filled with MONARCH triggers and being an MK ULTRA training film and so on and so forth. 

Um, no.

There's really nothing here that you can't find in the comics (I've seen speculations about the hand poses, for instance; actually those come straight from the original Ditko comics, being one of the artist's idiosyncratic trademarks), so I wouldn't look too hard for kitten programming or whatever those kooky kids are into these days.

But if you're looking for deeper subtext in the Doctor Strange character himself you might want to look into the "Wizards, Workings and Walk-Ins" series, which delves into the fascinating evolution of magical superheroes (starting with my beloved Doctor Fate) that eventually bore fruit in the good doctor. 

All of the Secret Sun hobbyhorses are there for you to ride: Jack Kirby, ultradimensionals, Aleister Crowley, Jack Parsons, ancient astronauts, Egypt, Mars, Salem, Mass., and on and on and on.

You may also want to read this Wizards installment, which traces the otherdimensional landscapes that Ditko drew so well to an obscure Jack Kirby story that may in fact be based- somehow or other, don't ask me- on the Babalon Working (they also bear no small similarity to art created by Marjorie Cameron).

Arrival was a surprise. That it's done comparatively good box office is probably encouraging news. 

It's slow and languid, and is fueled more on dream-logic than standard Hollywood octane. Doctor Strange goes big and stagey for the dream imagery, drawing heavily on Christopher Nolan's Inception but also on Winsor McCay's Little Nemo in Slumberland. If you don't get the reference, google it before you see the film. Or better yet, afterwards.

If you've been tuning out the media entirely let me bring you up to speed: Arrival is a film about a mass alien contact event- giant UFOs appear across the world overnight. As may well happen, the authorities discover they are completely unable to communicate with the aliens so an American college professor- who also happens to be a languages prodigy- is enlisted to try to decipher the random grunts uttered by the visitors. 

Other countries do the same but a crisis erupts when the aliens' complex, symbolic language is misinterpreted.

As with Doctor Strange the plasticity of time is a central conceit in Arrival, but all that will sneak up on you in ways you can't anticipate. I'm not going to say too much about that because I don't want to spoil it. But also because I'm not entirely sure I could spoil it. 

Doctor Strange is a movie about spells- Arrival is a movie that strives very much to cast one.

Interesting to note also that Arrival featured a major player on loan from The Avengers (who are referenced in Doctor Strange), none other than Hawkeye himself, Jeremy Renner. He's capable enough but I'm not sure I completely buy him as a physicist so brilliant that the government would choose him above his peers to initiate contact with an alien race (both films also feature character actor Michael Stuhlbarg in roughly-similar bureaucratic pest roles).

Amy Adams- an actress I've had limited exposure to- is very good. It's a complex, challenging role, filled with hairpin emotional and narrative turns, and she pulled it all off, nary a seam to be seen. She conveys the sense of terror and awe (plus, more terror) one would experience in her situation.

The aliens themselves- as you've probably heard- are cephalopods, or as we called them back in the old days, giant octopi. This jibes quite with recent scientific discoveries about these fascinating creatures:
Octopuses are aliens — or, at least, so vastly different in their genetic makeup that they might as well be considered out of this world. Scientists recently sequenced the first genome in the Octopus Genome Project, a huge undertaking to map out the entire DNA structure of the complex cephalopod. What they found was simply incredible.

Octopuses have 33,000 genes, roughly 10,000 more than a human. This alone sets it apart from any other invertebrate in the world. They are also uncannily clever, with the ability to open jars, solve puzzles, and even use tools. It’s no wonder that some might think this creature is from another planet.
In uncovering the sequence, scientists found that octopuses have a similar set of genes to those found in humans, that make up a neural network in their brains, which accounts for their quick ability to adapt and learn. We also share a large brain, closed circulatory system, and eyes with an iris, retina, and lens. All of these independently developed in another species vastly different from our own mammal origins.
The film's aliens communicate by spraying ink in the dense atmosphere they exist in, and it's their complex form of communication that becomes the central McGuffin of the story.

Let me just say that while I found all this to be theoretically fascinating (exactly how we'll get to in a moment), as a tentpole experience it was a bit lacking. Anticlimactic. I'm not exactly sure what I was looking for in place of the film's central conceit, but definitely something a bit less writerly, a bit less film-school. 

Writers love to imagine that words themselves will save the world and rewrite history at its core. It's an inspiring idea, to be sure, but unfortunately it tends to be action and not words that decides the direction that events will take.

There's some real theory behind the sci-fi here, though, a theory dealing with the transformative effects of language:
The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis is the theory that an individual's thoughts and actions are determined by the language or languages that individual speaks. The strong version of the hypothesis states that all human thoughts and actions are bound by the restraints of language, and is generally less accepted than the weaker version, which says that language only somewhat shapes our thinking and behavior. 
So Alan Moore's truisms about "spells are spelling" and "grimoires are grammars" aren't quite as facile as they sound, are they?

But you can read all that anywhere, can't you? What's the Secret Sun angle? 

I'm glad you asked.

Over the years I've mentioned a guy I used to know who kind of got me started on this whole Synchromystic business, some 20 years ago now. He was a genius when it came to breaking down words and numbers and finding parallels in history that people wouldn't even sense, never mind connect. 

We got to know each other through email and were stunned to discover that he once lived a short distance from where I do know, off the very same highway.

Stunned, but not surprised, really.

I lost touch with him several years back. He worked under psedonyms and seemed to vanish back into the electronic fog. I thought I found him time and again, but could never be certain.

But before I lost track of him he came to hold very radical- some might say extreme- ideas about Synchronicity. Where some people might take a quantum physics-based approach to the phenomenon, if not a spiritually-based one, he took a more specific approach. 

He came to believe that we were all being manipulated by extraterrestrial, interdimensional beings of unimaginable scope and power, beings who exist outside of time and space. 

He came to take a profoundly paranoid interpretation of meaningful coincidence, and quite probably a malevolent one.

It reminds me in a way of John Keel, whose research into paranormal phenomena was second to none, and the paranoid worldview he came to hold. No one can accuse Keel of jumping to conclusions, of failing to do his homework or show his math. He knew the material better than anyone, forgot more than most people will ever know. 

So if nothing else, we should take his POV under careful consideration, if we do nothing else.

But it may be more complicated than all that. Maybe we are not in fact bound by time and space, as both Doctor Strange and Arrival come along to tell us.

There are scientists like Rick Strassman who took people to realms like those we see Strange travel and there were scientists like Wolfgang Pauli who flirted with ideas about the transformational effect of reframing time as something other than a fixed constant.

Is there a way of recording our experience that will in fact work to help us transcend the nature of those experiences? Is Synchronicity itself a kind of language, one we haven't even begun to map? 

Those who work with Synchronicity can't help but notice how it seems to communicate with the experiencer, how it responds to thought. And it can do so the more rigorous and analytical you are in approaching it, which certainly seems counterintuitive to many people.

Just don't pretend that that process is always going to be easy or pleasant. The deeper the waters go, the colder they get. And the pressures can become intolerable. 

Anyone who tells you otherwise has never been there.


Space is not the final frontier, Time is. Learning to break Saturn's spell might well be the true Grail. We're hardly at the beginning of that journey, but we may finally be beginning to realize that there may be ways out of Chronos's cosmic concentration-camp.

Time is our jailer, it's the great taskmaster. It's the ultimate destroyer. It takes everything away from us. But only if you choose to play by the very reductive and incontrovertible rules you are taught when approaching it. 

Does Synchronicity play a role in breaking this spell? I don't know. But it certainly usurps conventional models of time and causality, and that is definitely a good place to start.


One thing I found fascinating was the choice of sneak previews frontloaded before the features. I told my wife just before Doctor Strange began that I felt like I'd seen eight films already. 

The previews for Arrival focused on the increasingly rare standalone feature, meaning a movie whose title isn't bisected with a colon or numeral. The only previews that stood out were for the creepy new M.Night Shamalayan movie, Split (a movie on DID Dissociative Identity Disorder aka Multiple Personality Disorder) that is certain to raise a ruckus on social media from the "multiple community." (If one doesn't exist, it will by the time the film is released)  

And I hasten to add Split comes across as creepy in ways that the filmmaker may not have intended. I should also add that I'm currently living a LARP of Shamalayan's ecodisaster film The Happening, which starred my old Braintree neighbor Mark Wahlberg. It's even less fun than it sounds.

The other was for a Jennifer Lawrence SF vehicle that is milking the corporate space exploration megatrend. I'm certain a lot of these projects were greenlit in the wake of Interstellar- there was a teaser-trailer for a spacepic before Doctor Strange as well. 

There was a preview for a new Will Smith picture that seems to completely misread his appeal and presents him as a low-energy depressive who is either in communion with embodied archetypes (Death, Love, etc) or is suffering from pharmacological hallucination, take your pick.

The previews before Doctor Strange were all genre, explosion-laden junk. Was a time when that might have appealed to the puer aeternus in me but really; enough is enough. You're starving the mind while feeding the eye (and the adrenal gland). 

I'm glad to see I'm not the only one burnt on the pabulum- audiences have been staying away in droves from the noisy garbage constantly foisted on us.

*I have been exploring some of the independent films on Amazon Prime, though I haven't had a great deal of luck so far. I admire the industriousness of the new independents, if nothing else. It's grueling hard work, particularly when there's not much of a payoff on the other end.

Mithras Rising: W, Hey Xe, and Cincinnatus

Trump hasn't even taken office yet and already the country feels vastly different. You can literally feel the presence of the new Praetorian Guardsmen, the alpha-male's alpha-males who are insinuating themselves into the corridors of power.

It feels like a different country because it is one.

A handful of names for the Cabinet have been released, and they're all quite revealing in light of the symbolic recital we've been looking at here.

Remember now that "Jersey" stems from "Caesarea" and that we're positing that the Praetorian Guard- meaning the military/intelligence command component of the Deep State- has taken the reins of power, using Trump as their frontman in the same way the Roman Legions used Julius Caesar (who was himself a celebrity due to his Gaul campaign, as well as his position as Pontifex Maximus) as theirs in their struggle against the Patrician classes of Rome.

White House Chief of Staff: Reince Priebus, the Chairman of the Republican National Committee.
Chief Strategist: Stephen Bannon, Trump’s former campaign CEO and chairman of conservative website Breitbart News.
National Security Adviser: Retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.
Attorney General (nominated): U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama).
Secretary of Education (nominated): Betsy DeVos, a philanthropist and Republican donor.
CIA Director (nominated): U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kansas).
Ambassador to the U.N. (nominated): South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.
Secretary of Commerce (nominated): Wilbur Ross, billionaire investor.
That's a very interesting list.

Both Preibus and Ross are New Jersey natives. Bannon, Flynn, Sessions and Pompeo are hardcore, headkicking Praetorians through and through; every jot and tittle of their CVs speaks to that. Both Haley and DeVos are stolid Republican women, priestesses of Cybele in all but name, both linked to the Praetoreum through family connections (brothers, in both cases).

In DeVos's case, her brother is Erik Prince, founder of the Blackwater/Xe mercenary empire and self-declared modern Knight Templar. Prince hasn't played a direct role in the campaign, but had been feeding information to right-wing media all along.

Which makes perfect sense given who we're dealing with here. Prince's lingering presence seems like a symbolic acknowledgement of the immense, unprecedented power of private armies in the Warfare State. A process begun in the George W. Bush Administration and reaching its fullest flowering now.

From The Atlantic, "The Return of the Mercenary: How private armies, and the technology they use, are changing warfare" : 

America's reliance on private military companies in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past decade hasn't just expanded the industry; it's also started to change the conduct of international relations. In theory, armed forces for hire give private actors the option to wage wars where governments can’t, or won’t. 
In 2008, for example, actress and activist Mia Farrow explored hiring Blackwater to intervene in Darfur, telling ABC News at the time, “Blackwater has a much better idea of what an effective peace-keeping mission would look like than Western governments.”

Private military companies also allow governments to disclaim involvement in politically controversial activities. “Putin is using Chechen mercenaries in Ukraine, allegedly,” McFate said. “Who’s going to tell him you can’t do that after 10 years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan?”

The parade of high-ranking military officers to Trump's court in Bedminster has become so conspicuous that someone in mainstream media finally sat up and took notice:
The Military Parade for Donald Trump Has Come Early 
Two months before Inauguration Day festivities, an extraordinary number of recently retired generals, including a few who clashed with President Barack Obama’s administration, are marching to the president-elect’s doorstep for job interviews.  
It's not unusual for an incoming administration to consider a retired general for a top position like CIA director. But Trump has turned to retired officers so publicly and in such large numbers that it raises questions about the proper balance of military and civilian advice in a White House led by a commander in chief with no defense or foreign policy experience.

Robert Goldich, a retired government defense analyst who has watched administrations for 44 years, says Trump's focus on retired generals might be unprecedented. 
The only one announced for a top job thus far is Michael Flynn, (who) was forced out as Defense Intelligence Agency director in 2014. Afterward, he strongly criticized the Obama administration's approach to fighting the Islamic State group and threw his support to Trump. 
Among others under consideration are two retired four-star Marine generals — James Mattis for defense secretary and John Kelly for homeland security secretary. Other names surfacing include retired Army Gen. Jack Keane and David Petraeus...
"I think it's time maybe, it's time for a general," Trump said, suggesting he favors a military mindset. "Look what's going on. We don't win, we can't beat anybody."
Petraeus (even sounds Roman, no? Praetorian, even?) is a major story, now in the running for Secretary of State. He's got a lot of explaining to do if he gets the nod, given that he's had his own scandals to contend with.
Gen. Petraeus resigned as CIA director in 2012 following an extramarital affair with his biographer. 
It later emerged he had shared classified material with her. 
He served as a senior officer under Presidents Bush and Obama. He was the commander of US and Nato forces in Afghanistan, before retiring from the military to take the top position in the Central Intelligence Agency.
Trump's cozy relationship with the Praetorians is already paying off. He's promised to undo reforms of the Central Intelligence Agency and to massively expand the Navy's bluewater flotilla, the largest such expansion in thirty years. Plus, all those job openings.


In the lead-up to the election Erik Prince went on a Trump-friendly radio program to leak information about the Anthony Weiner investigation undertaken by the NYPD, an investigation that was later overruled by the FBI. Prince not only made reference to the emails and the server issues, but hinted at deeper and darker connections.

These intimations and the strange phrasing in some of the hacked emails released by Wikileaks erupted into the Pizzagate scandal, which still rages on Internet forums, despite numerous efforts to quash it by moderators at sites like Reddit and 4Chan. But was this all part of a much bigger story?

Shortly before Prince took the air with his intimations another shadowy figure popped up in the alt-media, claiming that what we were about to see was no less that a real-life game of thrones, played by elements within the Clinton campaign and their adversaries in the Praetorian Guard.
A Clinton Obama Coup And Counter-Coup By Intelligence, Law Enforcement? (Dr. Steven) Pieczenik says that on November 1st, 2016, the Clintons engaged in a “civilian coup.”...  
He continues, “The Clintons have been involved in co-opting our White House, our judiciary, our CIA, our Federal Bureau of Investigation, our Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, and our Director of the FBI, James Comey, for some time now. What they’ve done is to make sure that they were part and parcel of a group of people who were interrelated through political cronyism.” 
“However,” says Pieczenik, “in order to stop this coup, we in the intelligence community and others involved have informally gotten together and, with their permission, I am beginning to announce that we’ve initiated a counter-coup through Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.” 
‘We have your number. Not only do we have your number, we’re going to stop you from making Hillary the president of the United States …"
Crazy, retroactive claims made about the election after the fact? Not quite: the story was originally posted a week before the election. How exactly did this alleged coup/countercop go down then?
(Pieczenik) notes that both the original Clinton Coup and the subsequent counter operation were completely silent and took place online. He says it was conducted by “the brave men and women who are in the FBI, the CIA, the Director of Intelligence, the military intelligence, and men and women in fifteen other intelligence organizations who are sick and tired of seeing this corruption in the White House and in the Justice Department and the intelligence system..."
The Praetorian Guard, to make a long story short.

Well, that all sounds rather batty, amirite? Who the hell is this guy anyway? Obviously some doublewide-dwelling alt-media nutcase looking for attention, no?
(Dr. Steven Pieczenik is a) Harvard University-trained psychiatrist who also holds a doctorate in international relations from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). 
He served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State under Henry Kissinger, Cyrus Vance and James Baker in the Ford, Carter, Reagan and Bush administrations.    
Oh. Guess not.

I wonder if any of this has anything to do with "Spirit Cooking" and "Chicken Lover(s)" and all the rest of it.

There's been strike and counterstrike on the Pizzagate front, with a major media pushback fronted by a puffpiece published on Comet (that completely ignored all of the information gathered in the Pizzagate dossier, such as the large payouts and the repeated use of pedo-code) in The New York Times and the subReddit banned and removed.

There's also been a massive, highly coordinated campaign launched on alternative media by the MSM under the banner of an anti-"Fake News" crusade, which is to say there's an assault currently underway on the sites that take Pizzagate seriously.

No one is saying as much but this very much feels connected to a deeper, more covert war.

Why would I say such a thing? Because at the same time the Pizzagate story went dark we've seen major strikes taken against international pedophilia, which actually is a global conspiracy, with its own networks, secret codes and moles within established centers of power such as schools, police departments and governments.  

And all of a sudden, there's been a major assault on this conspiracy, all over the world.

In the past week alone, we've seen international rings broken up in Norway, arrests in Australia and a new inquiry into a VIP ring in the UK. Also in the UK, we're seeing a major scandal emerging involving football clubs, including many of the top teams in the country. This is like the Penn State scandal on steroids:
Football sex abuse scandal: Top clubs 'made secret payments to keep victims quiet'

Top football clubs made secret payments to buy the silence of young players sexually abused by coaches, The Telegraph can disclose, as the growing scandal threatened to engulf the sport
A well-placed source said a number of clubs, including at least one Premier League team, had paid compensation to footballers but only after victims had signed confidentiality agreements so strict that along with their families and lawyers they are banned from saying publicly if the cases even existed.  
The revelation will fuel concern that the national game has covered up historic sexual abuse for years. 
Yes, I think it's safe to say there is a major, coordinated assault on international pedophilia underway. Is it coincidence then that we also saw the death of this man this week? 
Paris (AFP) - French investigators probing the death of controversial British photographer David Hamilton believe he committed suicide, just weeks after he was accused of rape, sources close to the inquiry said Saturday. 
The 83-year-old, known for his widely published nude images of underage girls, was found dead in his Paris home on Friday with a plastic bag over his head, one source told AFP, adding: "There is nothing at this stage to suggest anything other than suicide." 
Hamilton, who rose to fame in the 1970s and whose photography books sold millions of copies, had been drinking alcohol and another source said drug tests would be performed on the body as medication was found in the photographer's bathroom.
Yes, because everyone commits suicide by placing a plastic bag over their heads. 

If there is a global, coordinated attack on these networks taking place, and it's hard to imagine there isn't, who is behind this attack? And is this somehow connected to the larger power struggle playing out in plain sight?

The media exists to lull the masses to sleep, at least when it comes to worrying about the reality of people who behave and believe differently than they do. Anyone who happens to notice that things are not the way the media presents them is labeled as a "conspiracy theorist"and anyone who discusses it with others is accused of disseminating "fake news."

Unless, of course, those pesky Russkies are behind the conspiracies:
THE WASHINGTON POST ON THURSDAY NIGHT promoted the claims of a new, shadowy organization that smears dozens of U.S. news sites that are critical of U.S. foreign policy as being “routine peddlers of Russian propaganda.” 
The article by reporter Craig Timberg – headlined “Russian propaganda effort helped spread ‘fake news’ during election, experts say” – cites a report by a new, anonymous website calling itself “PropOrNot,” which claims that millions of Americans have been deceived this year in a massive Russian “misinformation campaign.”
The group’s list of Russian disinformation outlets includes WikiLeaks and the Drudge Report, as well as Clinton-critical left-wing websites such as Truthout, Black Agenda Report, Truthdig and Naked Capitalism, as well as libertarian venues such as and the Ron Paul Institute. 
Orwell spins. Spins.

But what do we do when the candidate who we can now link to real-life Knights Templar (the kind that go out and kill a lot of people for the faith, not some LARPer in a robe) starts touching symbolic bases connected to them, or to their spiritual forebears (the Praetorian boys, that is)?

Are we no longer allowed to notice such things, even then? Like this?
Donald Trump has scheduled a campaign rally in Cincinnati on Oct. 13 – the day after early voting starts in Ohio.

The rally will be the first by the Republican presidential candidate in Cincinnati proper. He held rallies in West Chester in March and Sharonville in July. He last visited Cincinnati to speak to an American Legion convention on Sept. 1.
No Republican has ever won the White House without winning Ohio.
October 13th, eh? I mean, what the heck does that have to do with the Knights Templar, right?

Or the Freemasons: you may think Cincinnati is another Native American place name, but it's actually Roman. And there's actually a Masonic Lodge named after the Cincinnati not 20 miles down the highway from Trump's imperial court (in Morristown, where the Continental Army was headquartered).

And the Mithras statue was halfway smack-dab between the two when the Trump Country Club was installed. Gotta love those coincidences, eh?

Is there any reason why anyone might want to rub some of Cincinnati's symbolism off on Trump, throwing in some day-magic borrowed from the Templars for good luck? Judge for yourself:
Cincinnatus (c. 519–430 BC) was a Roman patrician, statesman, and military leader of the early Republic who became a legendary figure of Roman virtues—particularly Roman manliness and civic virtue—by the time of the Empire.

Despite his old age, he worked his own small farm until an invasion prompted his fellow citizens to call for his leadership. He came from his plough to assume complete control over the state but, upon achieving a swift victory, relinquished his power and its perquisites and returned to his farm.
His success and immediate resignation of his near-absolute authority with the end of this crisis (traditionally dated to 458 BC) has often been cited as an example of outstanding leadership, service to the greater good, civic virtue, lack of personal ambition, and modesty. As a result, he has inspired a number of organizations and other entities, some named in his honor.
I can't possibly see why someone like Trump would want to identify with such a character, can you? And this October 13th thing, right; I mean, what do the Knights Templar possibly have to do with Rome? Or with Cincinnati, for that matter:
The Society of the Cincinnati is the nation's oldest patriotic organization, founded in 1783 by officers of the Continental Army and their French counterparts who served together in the American Revolution. 
French...oh. Right.


There's a longstanding misconception, understandable in theory but still myopic, that the world is divided into the esoteric good guys and the exoteric bad guys. That anyone who delves into weird symbolism and ritual magic is "on our side" somehow.

I hope the MK-OFTEN series dashed such superficial interpretations of the evidence, as should a serious look at groups like Skull & Bones or a study of how Burning Man is evolving into the new Bohemian Grove.

I'm working on a post, provisionally titled "Nothing is 'Occult' Anymore and Everyone Practices Magick," which is already threatening to bulge into a series. Different religions may label their magic with more socially-acceptable designations but it still boils down to the same thing: petitioning unseen forces for advantage.

The more powerful you are, the more likely it is that someone is practicing magic for you.

My time prowling the streets of midtown Manhattan opened my eyes to an entirely different reality, in which the fabulously rich and powerful were openly conjuring in ways some dopesick shithead in ancient Alexandria or Babylon could only dream of, building open-air temples to the weirdest gods in the catalog. It was rather stunning.

 NASA does the same- I mean do you really think "OSIRIS-REX" made any sense to anyone in any context but magic? If so, you have a lot of research to do, partner.

I'll be keeping my eyes open as the new order unfolds before us. I trust you all to be my eyes and ears in the days to come.

UPDATE: Uh, what's that about Cincinnati again? 
Trump to launch 'thank you' tour with Thursday rally in Cincinnati 
Donald Trump’s presidential transition is looking more and more like Donald Trump’s campaign — now complete with a massive rally in the Rust Belt. 

The president-elect has been firing off daily broadsides on Twitter just as he did as a candidate -- attacking CNN, making false accusations about widespread voter fraud, and launching veiled attacks at his old nemesis Hillary Clinton, for participating in a recount.

Now, the president-elect is set to return to the heart of a state that helped deliver him his unexpected victory earlier this month. On Thursday evening, Trump will kick off a “thank you” tour in Ohio, with a massive rally at the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, according to a source familiar with the planning.

Mithras Rising: Nova Caesarea

As I said before, I've been expecting something big to come out of New Jersey for several years now. And it makes sense that it's happening when and where it is for a number of reasons that I've been tracking for a long time now as well.

Trump is holding court in Bedminster, which is named after a British town of Roman origin. It's where his country club is located, right across the highway from the old AT&T building. That building will play a central role in this story.

Roman symbolism is on the ascendant, which makes sense when you look at the coterie of military, intelligence and military-intelligence bonecrackers that make up the bulk of Trump's entourage. So be keeping an eye out for it.


But why New Jersey, you may ask? Well, this is where the Name-Game comes in. The Jersey comes from the Channel Island, which is itself is a corruption of another name. Which name, do you ask?
The name Caesarea has been used as the Latin name for Jersey (also in its French version Césarée) since William Camden's Britannia, and is used in titles of associations and institutions today. The Latin name Caesarea was also applied to the colony of New Jersey as Nova Caesarea.
Ah, now it makes sense, no? New Jersey, New Caesar. Get it?

NJ's largest city is Newark, another interesting place name. It comes from another Roman British city but also comprises "New" and "Ark". 

As in a new covenant

Then there's Atlantic City, the famous gambling hub now fallen on rough times. But it doesn't take a etymologist to pull "Atlantis" out of there, does it?

Atlantic City also features this fascinating conjunction- Caesar's Palace cheek-by-jowl with Trump Plaza. I mean, do you need someone to spell it out for you? I don't think so- I'm betting you're a pretty smart cookie, otherwise you wouldn't even be here in the first place.

But you gotta wonder: how long has all this been in the works, exactly?

We've been slouching towards Caesarism for some time now in other ways as well. But before we proceed we need to define what exactly Caesarism is. I'm using the term as defined by Oswald Spengler over a century ago in his landmark work, The Decline of the West: 
By the term "Caesarism" I mean that kind of government which, irrespective of any constitutional formulation that it may have, is in its inward self a return to thorough formlessness. It does not matter that Augustus in Rome, and Huang Ti in China, Amasis in Egypt and Alp Arslan in Baghdad disguised their position under antique forms. the spirit of these forms was dead, and so all institutions, however carefully maintained, were thenceforth destitute of all meaning and weight. 
Real importance centered in the wholly personal power exercised by the Caesar...
Sounds oddly familiar.

We haven't heard a peep from the mainstream media about it but Barack Obama has overseen the greatest expansion of executive power this nation has seen in a very long time, perhaps since the Second World War.

Congress has been largely sidelined since Obama's re-election in 2012, when rule-by-executive-order became how business seemed to get done in Washington. 
And as Glenn Greenwald writes, that has set a discomfiting precedent for Trump's political opponents:
Glenn Greenwald: Trump will have vast powers. He can thank Democrats for them. 
Liberals are understandably panicked about what Donald Trump can carry out...Trump will command not only a massive nuclear arsenal and the most robust military in history, but also the ability to wage numerous wars in secret and without congressional authorization; a ubiquitous system of electronic surveillance that can reach most forms of human communication and activity; and countless methods for shielding himself from judicial accountability, congressional oversight and the rule of law — exactly what the Constitution was created to prevent. Trump assumes the presidency “at the peak of its imperial powers..."
Yet, beginning in his first month in office and continuing through today, Obama not only continued many of the most extreme executive-power policies he once condemned, but in many cases strengthened and extended them. 
His administration detained terrorism suspects without due process, proposed new frameworks to keep them locked up without trial, targeted thousands of individuals (including a U.S. citizen) for execution by drone, invoked secrecy doctrines to shield torture and eavesdropping programs from judicial review, and covertly expanded the nation’s mass electronic surveillance.
Why discomfiting? Because Democrats said absolutely nothing about any of this, except to label critics of these moves, "conspiracy theorists." Drunk on that sweet, sweet identity-politics wine, too many people in this country allowed themselves to be bamboozled while Obama continued- and indeed, accelerated-- Bush's imperial agenda.  

Well, guess what? The Praetorocracy aren't even waiting for Caesar to take his throne before removing Obama's velvet glove from the iron fist: 
A global conference of senior military and intelligence officials taking place in London this week reveals how governments increasingly view social media as “a new front in warfare” and a tool for the Armed Forces. 
The overriding theme of the event is the need to exploit social media as a source of intelligence on civilian populations and enemies; as well as a propaganda medium to influence public opinion. 
Participants in the conference—chaired by Steven Mehringer, Head of Communication Services at NATO—will include military and intelligence leaders from around the world, especially “social media experts from across the armed forces and defense industry.”


This is merely very old dogs learning new tricks. Or creating them, more accurately- military intelligence has been at the cutting edge of information technology for a very long time. Similarly,  the Praetorians were a formidable information gathering service in their day.
 Speculatores and other members of the Praetorians would disguise themselves as ordinary citizens at gladiator contests, theatrical performances and protests to monitor and arrest anyone who criticized the emperor. They also kept tabs on suspected enemies of the state, and in some cases they even secretly executed those judged to be an imminent threat to the emperor or his policies.
The Praetorians were much like our own secret services in that they were also heavily involved in secret societies, in this case the bloody, drug-drenched Mithraic Mysteries. Pay close attention to this bit of history now:
Written sources and the archaeological testimonies give evidence that from Domitian on Rome always remained the most important centre of the Sol Invictus Mithras institution, which had become firmly entrenched at the very heart of the imperial administration, both in the palace and among the Praetorian Guard.

The followers of the cult of Mithras included the customs officers, who collected a tax on every kind of transport dispatched from Italy toward central Europe and vice versa; the imperial functionaries who controlled transport, the post, the administration of finance and mines; and last, the military troops of the garrisons scattered along the border.
Now, don't get sucked into the tendency to glamorize ancient pagans or see them all as righteous dudes and dudettes done dirt by Christians or whomever. The Druids really were bad news, for instance. They really did like to sacrifice people. A lot. The child sacrifices to Molech really did happen. Things were different back then.

You can't project our understanding of paganism 0n the past because the ancients wouldn't recognize it. Life was very different then.

If you're looking for a parallel for the Mithraists, for example, look at a group like Skull and Bones, that likes to get their freak on but wouldn't piss on you if you were on fire.

The Mithraists were badasses in the conventional understanding of the term, and hardasses to boot. Which is not to say they weren't freaky as hell, a lot freakier than you might imagine a bunch of Roman alpha males might get. But they were also dark. 

Really, really dark. 

They worshiped in caves and cellars cause they really liked the dark. They didn't baptize their converts with holy water, they baptized them with the blood of a freshly-killed bull, while the initiate stood naked in a specially-designed pit. While this went down, the rest of the cult tripped balls and screamed nonsense syllables and magical spells. While wearing animal masks. 

And probably nothing else.

The one surviving liturgy we have from this cult reads a hell of a lot like Duane Barry's worst nightmares.


Since Mithraism was closed to women, its cultists' wives most often joined the cult of Cybele, the extraordinarily complex Phrygian goddess adopted into the Roman Pantheon after the Punic Wars. 

As we've seen, this event was extremely weird, as weird in its own way as Fatima, and conservative Romans continued to look askance at Cybele's screaming eunuch priests (who often initiated themselves into the cult in gory public rituals). But eunuch priests were probably a selling point for Mithraists as it probably ruled out any immaculate conceptions with their wives.

Well, that's all fucking fascinating, I hear you say, but what the hell does this have to do with Donald Trump?

Well, I mentioned that he's been holding court at Bedminster.

His country club is right across the highway from the old AT&T building where our old friend Golden Boy, aka the Genius of Electricity aka the Spirit of Communication was located before its move to the new AT&T headquarters in Dallas.*


Well, ol' Goldie is nobody else but our old friend Mithras, given a minor facelift for a 20th Century audience.

What's more AT&T is about to undo a 35 year-old mortal blow delivered to it by the Reagan Administration (which broke up the telecom's monopoly) with its pending acquisition of entertainment behemoth TimeWarner (formerly known as AOLTimeWarner). It's not quite the reconstruction of the old monopoly but it's bloody well close.

OK, you say, what the hell does this have to do with Mithras and Cybele? Well, I'm glad you asked.

TimeWarner headquarters sits on Columbus Circle (Columbus stemming from the word for dove, doves being sacred to Cybele). Also sitting on same circle is the USS Maine Memorial (which fed to the whole concept of "yellow journalism" back when it sank), which is topped by a goddess astride a chariot driven by seahorses.

But wasn't Cybele's chariot driven by lions? Sure, but probably not in her incarnation as a sea goddess. I don't think lions can swim.

OK, OK, I get it, you say. But do you really think Trump has a clue about any of this, you ask? Well, probably not. But who exactly do we believe is really steering the ship at this point? 

And if you're going to "make America great again", that's a tall order. Reconstructing iconic companies like AT&T (which nearly vanished after its breakup) might be high on your list.

But didn't Trump threaten to kill the merger?

Well, yes. But since when do we take anything any politician says on the campaign trail seriously? We're already seeing serious walk-back on that, in fact it's looking like the deal will go through.

And since we're looking at a new Praetorian Guard taking power, and since the Praetorians were at the core of the Mithraic secret societies, we need to remember how important symbol and ritual were/are. 

What could be more potent than a chemical marriage (merger) of Mithras (the actual friggin' corporate symbol of AT&T) and Cybele? Millionaires might not practice ceremonial magic, but I'm starting to think billionaires do. And probably a lot of millionaires too, actually. 

And the ones that don't, hire out.

The symbolism is really starting to pile up, isn't it? Believe me, I'm as surprised as you are.

Now, back to this Chris Christie thing. I've heard a number of different stories as to why he was booted as transition chief. But could there be a symbolic undercurrent to that as well? Let's see…
 In 306, the Praetorians tried to play the role of kingmaker one last time when they installed the usurper Maxentius as the western emperor in Rome. Following a dizzying chain of civil wars and rival claims to the throne, Maxentius and his Praetorians were confronted by the Emperor Constantine at 312’s Battle of Milvian Bridge. While the Praetorians supposedly made a valiant last stand along the Tiber River, they were soundly defeated, and Maxentius was killed. 
Ah yes, the Milvian Bridge. Quite a trauma for the Mithraists and the Praetorians.

But I repeat myself. (Oddly enough, Trump's court in Bedminster sits atop the township of Bridgewater).

For those of you who might not remember, this is the "In this Sign, Shall You Conquer" battle, that led to the eventual adoption of Christianity as official Roman religion. But it had more immediate consequences for the Praetorians: 
Convinced the Praetorians could no longer be trusted, Constantine disbanded the unit once and for all, reassigned its members to the outskirts of the Empire, and oversaw the destruction of their barracks at the Castra Praetoria.
I'm sure the summary discharge of Chris Christie is purely coincidental.

UPDATE: OK, you want to see some retroactive "meme magic?" A sculptor named Charles Keck worked on the USS Maine National Monument, which is topped by Cybele.