Silence of the Lambs stands as one of the most important films of its era, in addition to a genre defining work. In much the same way all 'gangster' movies are judged by the standards set by The Godfather films, so goes the serial killer subgenre and Silence. It also happens to be a film absolutely loaded with esoteric significance. By all accounts, the Thomas Harris novels on which the popular 'Hannibal' series are based are a gold mine of 'Revelation of Method' type information. Unfortunately, Recluse has only read one Harris novel, Hannibal, and that was all the way back in the Dark Ages that were high school. Needless to say, the significance went well over my head at the time, and thus I will not be able to draw from the Harris books for further support of this piece. Pity, but I believe the film has more than enough symbolism and hints to work with.
Within conspiracy circles one of the most controversial claims revolves around the ever growing phenomenon of serial killers. As violent crimes in American society progressively declined (until recent years), the rise of serial murders since the 1980s is a major deviance from the trend. This has led several researchers over the years to suggest that the rise in serial murders in the modern era is a form of covert terrorism being carried out by the Cryptocracy. Of course, conspiracies surrounding serial murders stretches all the way back to one of the originators, namely Jack the Ripper. Those of you that have either read Steven Knight's Jack the Ripper: The Final Solution, and/or have seen the films Murder by Decree or From Hell are aware of the links between the Ripper killings and Freemasonry. Those of you unfamiliar with these materials can find a somewhat biased synopsis of these theories at Wikipedia here.
In the modern era researchers such Michael A Hoffman, Adam Gorightly, and David McGowan have suggested that several of the most notorious serial killers, in addition to assassins and spree shooters, were products of covert mind control programs to wage a war of domestic terrorism against the peoples of the United States for the sake of bringing about a police state.
The above statement is of course a lot to swallow, and Recluse is even feeling a little silly about writing it presently. But it is something that I plan on pursuing in depth in future blogs as there is far more merit to this theory than many of the more seemingly 'practical' conspiracy theories floating around the web. That the CIA and other like organizations have actively been looking for ways to 'program' assets is not, however, a conspiracy.
"For intelligence purposes, what was required of MK-ULTRA was the ability to manipulate memory, and to relax the inhibitions of captured enemy agents so that they would reveal their secrets. Thus, what the Freudians call the 'superego' had to be bypassed, allowing the controller direct access to the contents of an enemy agent's mind. That was step one. Step two would involve erasing specific pieces of information from the subject's memory and replacing those pieces with new bits of memory, thus permitting the Agency to send that agent back into the field without any knowledge that he or she had been interrogated and had given up sensitive information. Step three was a potential bonus: Could the enemy agent then be 'programmed' to commit acts on behalf of the Agency, without knowing who gave the commands or why? This was the essence of the Manchurian Candidate. It is also the essence of what we know today as hypnotherapy and 'depth' psychoanalysis, for the psychiatrist or psychotherapist in this case is looking for access to the patent's unconscious layers, to extract important information (such as childhood trauma) and to neutralize the effects of that trauma, in some cases replacing certain unwanted or negative behavior patterns with new, approved patterns. Persons going to hypnotherapists for help with a drinking problem, or smoking, or over-eating, go through a similar process, with the important difference that the entire treatment is voluntary. What the Agency was looking for was a key that would unlock these secrets and allow unfettered access to the human mind, with or without the voluntary cooperation or submission of the 'patient.'"
(Sinister Forces Book One, Peter Levenda, pgs. 218-219)
The major debate is not whether the US intelligence community has actively been looking for ways to 'program' assets, but to what lengths this programming can be taken. I have already laid some background on this topic in my blog on 'Cults, Gangs, Dope, and Intelligence' as well as my series on Charles Manson, which can be read here and here. For those of you that really want to play connect the dots, read my three part child trafficking series here, here, and here, and take in my two part documentary on the Brotherhood of Eternal Love here and here. For the purposes of this blog I will not be delving into the possibility of an actual 'MK-Serial Killer' program, but the possibility that the film Silence of the Lambs is a thinly veiled account of such a program. Now, to the main event.
Lambs centers around a would be FBI agent named Clarice Starling, who is played by Jodie Foster. Foster is of course an apt choice as she was the obsession of would be presidential assassin John Hinckley Jr., who is himself widely suspected of being a 'Manchurian Candidate.' Hinckley in turn was obsessed with Foster on account of her role as a prostitute in Taxi Driver in which Robert De Niro stars as an unhinged Vietnam veteran who attempts to assassinate a rising politician before going on a shooting spree intended to save the prostitute played by Foster from her pimp. Taxi Driver, with its memes of political assassination, child prostitution, and general conspiracy is itself big on 'Revelation of Method.' 15 years after its release Foster would find herself starring in yet another mind control-soaked masterpiece.
In Lambs Foster finds herself entangled in the web of two separate serial killers, one dubbed 'Buffalo Bill', the other the legendary Dr. Hannibal Lecter character played by Sir Anthony Hopkins. At the onset of the film Lecter is incarcerated in a Baltimore mental facility while the so-called 'Buffalo Bill' murderer, one Jame Gumb, is in the midst of his rampage. The head of the Behavior Science Unit, a character named Jack Crawford (Scott Glenn) who is based upon legendary profiler John E. Douglas, sends Starling to interview Lecter in Baltimore. Starling is under the impression that she is being sent simply to convince Dr. Lecter to fill out a questionnaire when in fact Crawford is hoping that Lecter may provide some insight into Buffalo Bill. Hannibal picks up on Crawford's play but opts to help Starling anyway.
Not so subtle hints that Buffalo Bill is in fact a Manchurian Candidate are dropped liberally throughout. At one point Hannibal himself blatantly tells Starling, "Our Billy wasn't born a criminal, Clarice. He was made one through years of systematic abuse." Bill is given a background common of many serial killers, namely one featuring years of sexual abuse. As with several high profile serial killers such as Jeffrey Dahmer, David Berkowitz ('Son of Sam'), and Leonard Lake, Bill is also a veteran, having served in the U.S. Navy. And yes, I gleamed this detail from reading several synopsises of the book, and not from the movie, so I'm cheating ever so slightly. Anyway, whether Bill was groomed from early childhood for the role he eventually plays, or whether he was simply recruited while serving in the Navy due to his background, we can not know.
What we can know is that Bill links himself throughout the film with both the butterfly and the moth, two insects with heavy esoteric significance in the occult. This is especially true of the butterfly, which along with scarab, the scorpion and the bee, are the chief insect symbols.
"The butterfly (under the name of Psyche, a beautiful maiden of opalescent light) symbolizes the human soul because of the stages it passes through in order to unfold its power of flight. The three divisions through which the butterfly passes in its unfoldment resemble closely the three degrees of the Mystery School, which degrees are regarded as consummating the unfoldment of man by giving him emblematic wings by which he may soar to the skies. Unregenerate man, ignorant and helpless, is a symbolized by the stage between ovum and larva; the disciple, seeking truth and dwelling in meditation, by the second stage, from larva to pupa, at which time the insect enters its chrysalis (the tomb of the Mysteries); the third stage, from pupa to imago (wherein the perfect butterfly comes forth), typifies the unfolded enlightened soul of the initiate rising from the tomb of his baser nature."
(The Secret Teachings of All Ages, Manly P. Hall, pg. 270)
Those of you familiar with the concept of the 'Monarch Project' will also recognize the significance of the butterfly, as the project derives its name from the Monarch butterfly. The Monarch Project is another controversial aspect of conspiracy culture as their is limited evidence to its actual existence, though its objectives (to create a 'programmed' intelligence asset) are very similar to official CIA programs such as MK-ULTRA. Here I will only briefly define Monarch, and delve into its legitimacy. To that end, former Republican Nebraska state senator and CIA asset John DeCamp notes:
"'Monarch' refers to young people in America who were victims of mind control experiments run either by US. government agencies such as the Central Intelligence Agency, or military intelligence agencies.As to the butterfly itself, Vigilant Citizen's Secret Arcana blog notes:
"The story by Monarch victims...is that they were tortured for the purpose of creating 'multiple personalities' within them. These multiple personalities could then be programmed as desired -as spies, 'drug mules,' prostitutes, or assassins."
(The Franklin Cover-Up, pg. 323)
"Monarch mind control is named after the Monarch butterfly – an insect who begins its life as a worm (representing undeveloped potential) and, after a period of cocooning (programming) is reborn as a beautiful butterflies (the Monarch slave). Some characteristics specific to the Monarch butterfly are also applicable to mind control.
'One of the primary reasons that the Monarch mind-control programming was named Monarch programming was because of the Monarch butterfly. The Monarch butterfly learns where it was born (its roots) and it passes this knowledge via genetics on to its offspring (from generation to generation). This was one of the key animals that tipped scientists off, that knowledge can be passed genetically. The Monarch program is based upon Illuminati and Nazi goals to create a Master race in part through genetics. If knowledge can be passed genetically (which it is), then it is important that parents be found that can pass the correct knowledge onto those victims selected for the Monarch mind control.'"
Curiously, after Starling has killed Buffalo Bill the camera cuts to the image of a butterfly on a wind ornament (after a cut to a newspaper clipping proclaiming 'Terror') in the killer's lair. Further, when Starling informs Lecter that an insect has been found in the throat of one of Bill's victims he immediately asks if its a butterfly.
The moth, especially the death's head moth depicted in the film, is another insect with esoteric significance.
"Night moths typify the secret wisdom, because they are hard to discover and are concealed by the darkness (ignorance). Some are emblems of death, as Acherontia atropos, the death's-head moth, which has a marking on its body somewhat like a human skull."
(The Secret Teachings of All Ages, Manly P. Hall, pg. 270)
In some traditions the death's head moth first appeared in England during the beheading of Charles I, though I have yet to find reliable collaboration of this. Another significant aspect of the death's head moth are their relationship to bees. The death's moth is also notorious for raiding beehives which it manages by mimicking the scent of the honey bees. The beehive is of course a major symbol in Freemasonry and other occult orders. In essence the beehive describes the natural order of the world from the view of the Cryptocracy. The death's head moth upsets that order, making it a kind of terrorist to the worker bees. Buffalo Bill operates in much the same fashion, mimicking the actions of normal people to blend in, yet terrorizing the order of the world by his seemingly random attacks.
And that brings us to the supposed 'randomness' of Bill's victims. As the FBI fumbles blindly trying to make Bill fit into one of their legendary profiles, Hannibal immediately guesses both Bill's identity, and his selection of victims. He tips off Starling to the location of Bill's lair with a note scribbled on a case file that states: "Clarice, doesn't this random scattering of sites seem desperately random - like the elaborations of a bad liar?" From this, Starling is able to deduce that Bill's first victim was not chosen at random, but was someone that he already knew, in contrast to the profile Crawford and the rest of the BSU boys were working from.
And if Bill's first victim was not random, is it possible that he had some familiarity with his other victims? If so, this opens up a major can of worms concerning Bill's final victim, one Catherine Martin, daughter of the fictional Republican senator Ruth Martin. In the film a TV anchor is heard in the background assuring the audience that the abduction is not politically motivated, but the circumstances are most peculiar. It seems a bit of a stretch that Bill, who is based out of Ohio, would just happen to randomly abduct the daughter of a US senator in Memphis, TN. The actual abduction itself, as presented in the film, seems to indicate that Bill at least had some familiarity with her routine before carrying out his assault. It seems possible that his familiarity with the Martins went beyond simple stalking.
In the second part of this series we shall examine the choice of locations, the FBI and psychiatric fields, and even Lecter himself. Stay tuned.