Friday, August 26, 2011

Intelligence Dreaming of Magick -Part II

In the last installment I broke down much of Millennium season one, but I'm not quite finished with it yet. One final episode I must address before moving on is the season finale, "Paper Dove". But first, I must address a plot point that ran throughout season one that I've failed to mention up to this point: Frank had been receiving Polaroids of Catherine doing her day-to-day activities in envelops with no return address for several years. One of the main reasons why Frank moved his family to Seattle was to get away from the 'Polaroid stalker'. However, he received an envelope of pictures in the pilot episode, shortly after arriving in Seattle. They continued throughout season one until the unforgettable climax.

Up to this point Millennium had portrayed an America falling apart at the seems, with a darkness embodied by serial killers, cults, and other deviants slowly engulfing it. In "Lamentation" and "Powers, Principalities, Thrones and Dominions", it was hinted that there might be some kind of supernatural explanation behind this darkness. "Paper Dove" is arguably even more sinister in that it first introduces the notion that a more human evil could be guiding the collapse of America, and Frank is closer to it than he ever could have imagined.

"Paper Dove" falls into the serial-killer-of-the-week category, but very early it begins to deviate from the formula. Superficially the episode is built around the plight of the 'Woodsman Killer', called Henry Dion. Dion is based upon the real life serial killer Ed Kemper. Kemper is an interesting fellow -he was a part of the serial killer collective that formed around the San Francisco/Santa Cruz area of California in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Some of the more noteworthy members of this collective are Charles Manson (the murders of which attributed to occurred in southern Cali) and the Zodiac Killer. Ah, but there was so much more.
"...women began going missing from around the Santa Cruz area. As early as autumn of 1968, reports began surfacing of grisly occult sacrifices being performed in the surrounding mountains. By the summer of 1972, it was clear that Santa Cruz had a problem. Mutilated bodies began showing up in the hills. By the time 1973 rolled around, the bodies were piling up at an alarming rate. In just the first six weeks of the year, eight bodies were found, and women were continuing to disappear. What had once been an idyllic community had been radically transformed; the murder rate had quintupled and Santa Cruz had achieved the rather dubious distinction of having the highest homicide rate in the country. Many of the area's killings, were credited to two alleged serial killers, Edmund Kemper and Herb Mullin, who were said to be operating at the same time in the same city, though acting independently of each other. Kemper's bloody odyssey reportedly included eight victims brutally butchered between May 1972 and April 1973, most of them coeds whose corpses were cannibalized and sexually violated. Mullin was credited with dispatching thirteen victims in just four months, from October 13, 1972 through February 13, 1973...
"To briefly recap, no fewer than six serial killers/mass murderers -Charles Manson, Stanley Baker, Edmund Kemper, Herbert Mullin, John Lindley Frazier, and the Zodiac -were all spawned from the Santa Cruz/San Francisco metropolitan area in the span of just over four years, at a time when 'serial killers' were a rare enough phenomenon that they hadn't yet acquired a name... Remarkably enough, the crimes collectively attributed to these men did not even account for all the ritualized homicides that occurred in the Bay area during that time. For example, the murder of Fred Bennett, the captain of the Oakland chapter of the Black Panthers whose mutilated remains were found scattered in the Santa Cruz hills, was never solved. And many of the young students who were reported missing from the local campuses were never found, either dead or alive, and were therefore never listed as homicide victims."
(Programmed to Kill, David McGowan, pg. 135-136)

The connections between Kemper and Herbert Mullin are especially interesting. McGowan goes on to write:
"In their youth, both Herb and Ed received training in firearms from the National Rifle Association while at summer camp. Both would later be accused and convicted of killing with the cold precision of a professional assassin. Both were also labeled 'serial killer,' though both were convicted of crimes that evidence suggest they did not commit -at least not alone.
"Both of their alleged killing sprees began in 1972 in Santa Cruz, California and both were arrested in early 1973. Following those arrests, the two were assigned adjoining jail cells, appointed the same defense attorney, at least until Chang bowed out of the Mullin case due to a medical emergency. Kemper and Mullin were both found guilty, both determined to be sane, and both were sent to California's Vacville Medical Facility, which has been well documented as a hotbed of covert intelligence operations. Not long before their killing sprees began, both men spent a considerable amount of time in mental institutions, both voluntarily and involuntarily. In the two years leading up to the convictions of Kemper and Mullin, at least seventy-four men, women and children were killed in the state of California by released mental patients."
(ibid, pg. 149)

The links between the US intelligence community and the serial killer epidemic that began to emerge in the late 1960s and go into overdrive in the 1980s is one of the most controversial aspects of conspiracy culture. I have already addressed these links somewhat in my two part series on Charles Manson, which can be viewed here and here. Countless books, mail order documentaries, and blogs have been dedicated to UFO conspiracy theories, to say nothing of mainstream entertainment, but serial killers and PSYOPS tends to remain on the fringe. Millennium hinted at these connections, but rarely drew the viewer's attention to them until in the series finale in season three. But more on that later. For now, "Paper Dove."

In this episode the serial killer Henry Dion is the stereotypical loner variety, yet early on he is shown with a partner of sorts, a pale, dark-haired man in sunglasses who seemingly passes on Polaroids of Dion's future victim to him. This sunglasses dude also remarks that he wanted Henry's latest murder to occur while Frank was in the area visiting with his wife's family. The sunglasses dude is of course later revealed to be Frank's 'Polaroid Stalker' who later attempts to pass on a picture of Catherine to Dion as a potential victim. Henry initially passes because Catherine doesn't appear to be a 'good listener', but an interesting exchange occurs between Polaroid stalker and Henry after he passes along pictures of Catherine:
"Henry: To bad. These aren't right. I can spot a listener.
Figure: Keep them. You never know.
Henry: They'll work for someone
Figure: Yeah, there's always someone."
(Millennium, Season One, "Paper Dove")
the Polaroid stalker and Henry Dion

Frank of course goes on to apprehend Henry (but not before he kills his own mother in a fashion similar to Ed Kemper, one of several overlaps). Shortly before these events occur, Henry makes an even more interesting statement to Frank and a group of bumbling FBI agents he phones at Quantico:
"Kane, I'm not playing anymore in any way. Understand? I'll annihilate your sleep because I'm sure as hell going to let the public know that what's happening to them is because of you -your stupidity and Frank Black! I know about Frank Black, yes... I might as well let you know, Mr. Kane, that I intend to terrorize D.C. until there are soldiers on the street corners."
Two of the other agents are named Devlin and Emmerich. This is a reference to filmmakers Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich, the duo behind Independence Day and like films. Chris Carter reputedly loathed both -Mulder is shown pissing on a poster for Independence Day in the first X-Files film, Fight the Future. This seems to play into the theme of incompetence surrounding the FBI that first began to emerge in this episode, and would be explored much further in season three. In general the FBI is portrayed in a rather buffoonish light in "Paper Dove," with Frank almost single-handily solving the case while also freeing a man the FBI falsely convicted.

In several prior blogs concerning child sex trafficking I speculated that the FBI was engaged in a cover-up of this massive crime wave, in addition to others, either through incompetence, corruption, or a combination of both. These articles can be read here, here, and here. This take seems to be in line with what Chris Carter and other writers were trying to incorporate into Millennium at various times. Anyway, back to "Paper Dove."

When the Black family arrives back in Seattle, things get interesting. At the airport Frank takes a sleeping Jordan to pick up the car while Catherine waits on the luggage at the baggage carousel. Later Frank comes back to help Catherine with the luggage, but she's gone.

And thus ends the remarkable first season. The campy second season begins in fine fashion, picking up immediately where season one left off with Frank in the airport searching for missing wife. The episode, "The Beginning and the End", reveals that the Polaroid stalker abducted Catherine, shocking no one, including Frank. The big surprise comes a little later in the episode when Peter Watts and other members of the Millennium Group arrive on the scene: They reveal to Frank that they've known who the Polaroid stalker is all along. Watts later cryptically tells Frank that the Polaroid stalker's interest in Frank is due to the Millennium Group's interest in Frank. The Polaroid stalker himself implies that he may have been a member of the Group, or at least turned down an offer to join, in an intense monologue to Catherine. He remarks:
"Would you die for God? Would you, could you... Because I won't. No, they asked me to but I won't. They're gonna ask Frank and if he's willing to give his life for you, I know he's willing to give his life for God. Don't you think, Cathy? But I'm not gonna let him, okay?"
(Millennium, Season Two, "The Beginning and the End")
the Polaroid stalker

To recap: At the end of season one, it was strongly implied that a serial killer named Henry Dion was being guided by the Polaroid stalker. Later it is revealed both the Polaroid stalker and the Millennium Group are aware of one and other, and that they may have collaborated at one point. The implications here are boundless, but it would not be until season three that this plot thread was really explored again. The new creative minds behind the show, Glen Morgan and James Wong, had other ideas.

Essentially they recreated the Millennium Group as a Templar/Masonic secret society in this season, with a history that seemingly stretched back to the 10th century AD, if not earlier. Like the Templars, they seek various holy relics for the supernatural power that they confer upon the Group. In "The Hand of St. Sebastian", one of the first episodes to address this particular line of mythology, Watts convinces Frank to help him search for the episode's name sake, a la the Templar's quest to find the head of the Baptist. I have not found evidence of such a real life relic (though the Catholic Church reputedly has his bones, buried in the Basilica Apostolorum) exists. The use of St. Sebastian is interesting, however. He has been associated with the god Apollo, who has been closely associated with both the Mysteries and entheogens (a narcotic substance was inhaled by the priestesses at the Oracle of Delphi so that they could 'communicate' with the god).
"Plagues during the Middle Ages were due to causes unknown; hence various reasons were posited for their outbreaks, some dating back to ancient pagan beliefs, the most well known being recorded in the Illiad: that Apollo had sent forth poisoned arrows upon the Greek soldiers besieging Troy. During the god's onslaught, all the warrior's perish of plague. St. Sebastian, martyred by Diocletian as a human target for the emperor's archers, became the first saint beseeched against the epidemics of the later Christian era."
(The Apples of Apollo, pg. 218)

That St. Sebastian became a kind of talisman against the plague in Medieval Europe and is also the patron to the Millennium Group as the Baptist was to the Templars is highly ironic given the revelations surrounding the group in the season finale. But more on that later.

In general I am not a huge fan of conspiracy theories centering around groups or organizations that have been conspiring for centuries. Certainly their is compelling evidence linking the Templars to the modern Freemasons, for instance, but it is still very subjective. Then there are the numerous theories on the Internet surrounding the Illuminati, the Merovingian dynasty (which is later worked into season two), and so forth. Is is it possible that these various groups still hold sway over the course of human destiny? Certainly, but its not as plausible as various intelligence and military groups embracing the ancient techniques of brainwashing for their modern endeavours. In general, ideas tend to be more persistent than flesh and blood. Whether the Merovingian dynasty, or ruminates of the Illuminati or the Templars are shaping world affairs is not as important as the techniques and ideology these groups used and their applications to the modern world. But I digress.

"The Hand of St. Sebastian" also introduces what would become a rather annoying plot line in which the Millennium Group were portrayed in wars and conflicts with various other factions. The two-parter, "Owls" and "Roosters", would show the Millennium Group at war with ODESSA (a real life organization controlled by escaped SS officers after the fall of Nazi Germany) as well as its self. The Millennium Group, you see, is divided into two factions. One is seemingly a Gnostic Christian sect, while the other is a science oriented faction. This seems to be based around the theories surrounding the influence the Illuminati (whose inner teachings were atheistic) had on the Freemasons. What could have been a highly compelling story surrounding the occult origins and survival of Nazism is largely turned into a second rate mafia drama in which Millennium and ODESSA compete for a piece of the True Cross.


"Anamnesis" delves head first into Gnosticism, specifically that associated with Mary Magdalene. It also features an appearance by what is supposed to be a member of the Merovingian dynasty, here referred to as 'the Family.' A Black Madonna statue also appears in connection with said 'Family' man. Some researchers link the Black Madonna to a pre-Christian background where it represented the Earth Goddess and Isis, amongst other female deities associated with harvesting and soil.

Some aspects of season two are noteworthy, however. My favorite part about it is the moral ambiguity it attaches to the supernatural, especially angels. In Millennium season two angels are generally portrayed as terrifying and unfathomable beings. The reoccurring character of Lara Means, another Millennium Group 'candidate' Frank forms a close relationship with, has visions of an angel which are especially damaging to her -Her turn on the show ends with a total mental breakdown surrounding her 'gift.' In this season Jordan is witness to angels as well, as is Frank's mother, who later committed suicide in part due to her struggles with these visions, as is shown in the episode "Midnight of the Century". In "Goodbye Charlie" Frank and Lara investigate a curious man who is helping terminally ill patients check out. The show ends with strong implications that this individual was an angel in human form. In general they are not portrayed as being much better than demons. For more on the curious nature of angels, I will again direct my readers to a prior post I wrote on this subject here.

Lara's angel

There are a few interesting references to PSYOPS as well. Chief amongst them is writer Chip Johannessen's (who would take over running the show for Chris Carter during season three) "Sense and Antisense". In this episode Frank becomes involved in the search for 'Patient Zero,' a man Frank originally believes is infected with a deadly disease. Later, Frank discovers that Zero, and other homeless individuals, were not infected with a rare virus, but with a drug that tampered with their DNA, inducing violent behavior. As the episode progresses, Patient Zero leads back to the Department of Energy and the Human Genome Project. Frank begins to believe that an experiment is being conducted on the homeless in behavior control. In the final chilling moments of the episode when Frank and several police officers conduct a raid on a DOE building Patient Zero is found, and revealed to be a prominent doctor. As Frank glances around Zero's office he notes a picture of the man in combat fatigues in Rwanda circa 1994, shortly before the genocide broke out.

Another fascinating episode, "A Room with No View", brings back the notorious Lucy Butler, last seen in the connected episodes "Lamentation" and "Powers, Principalities, Thrones and Dominions" of season one. In those episodes we learned that Lucy is essentially a hermaphroditic demon. In "A Room with No View" she has set herself up in a massive rural house where she is essentially brainwashing numerous kids that have been abducted across the country and located in various rooms across the sprawling residence. For a demon, Lucy is especially partial to tactics used by modern intelligence agencies. For instance, she plays Paul Mauriat's "Love is Blue" on an endless loop throughout the house over and over again as a way of disorienting the kids. The FBI used such tactics at Waco, for instance. As the episode progresses it is revealed that Lucy is tipped off about the kids via a guidance councilor who went through Lucy's re-education program herself as a teen. Those that have followed conspiracy culture will notice the overlaps this episode has with many of the theories surrounding Satanic Ritual Abuse and Monarch programming.

Lucy with one of her victims

For the most part, however, season two is a series of missed opportunities, from the fumbled Nazi storyline in "Owls" and "Roosters" to the uber lame take on the Zodiac killer presented in "The Mikado". Ratings began to plummet by midway through the second season. By the time the season finale, "The Time is Now", rolled around a plot line that implied the whole world was wiped out by a viral outbreak engineered by the Millennium Group was introduced... One isn't left with the impression the producers expected there to be a season three. Ah, but there was, and it brought things all back home in fine fashion.

Millennium's take on Zodiac

Season three begins several months after the events depicted in the season two finale. In the season three two-part debute, "The Innocents" and "Exegesis", we learn that the world did not in fact end in a viral outbreak, and that only about 70 people died. One of them was Frank's wife, Catherine, which was depicted in the season two finale. Needless to say, Frank harbors quite a grudge against the Millennium Group. As season three opens we find Frank and Jordan back in the D.C. area with Frank rejoining the FBI as a consultant. Frank has yet to make it back into the field due to his obsession with the Millennium Group.

Now that the exposition is out of the way, we can get down to the real nitty-gritty. Season three is loaded with esoteric symbolism, as it makes apparent from the very first episode. The plot line of "The Innocents" initially revolves around the crashing of a commercial airliner. The plane was brought down by a combination of two women, one of them a passenger on the flight, the other a flight attendant. Both women are remarkably similar looking. The passenger heads into the restroom for a smoke, then pulls out a pistol stashed away in said restroom. In the process she trips the smoke detector, drawing in the flight attendant. After some hesitation on the part of passenger, the flight attendant picks up the pistol and fires several holes into the plane's ceiling, which leads to the crash.

The viewer is immediately bombarded with esoteric symbolism at the crash site itself in the form of butterflies, which Frank claims were drawn there due to the scent of blood. The butterfly is a major symbol in the Mysteries.
"The butterfly (under the name of Psyche, a beautiful maiden with wings 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 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)

A bit more of the symbolism of the butterfly:
"Another facet of butterfly symbolism is based upon its metamorphoses. Its chrysalis is the egg which contains the potentiality of being and the butterfly which emerges from it is the symbol of resurrection, or one might rather say of rising from the grave. The myth of Psyche employs symbolism of this order and she is depicted with butterfly wings. It recurs in the myth of the Immortal Gardener, Yuan-k'o, whose lovely wife taught the secret of the silk-worm and may have perhaps have herself been a silk-worm...
"Symbol of daylight and the solar fire -hence of the warrior's soul -the butterfly for the Mexicans was also a symbol of the 'Black Sun' which passed through the Underworlds during its nightly journey. It was thus a symbol of hidden chtonian fire and associated with ideas of sacrifice and resurrection. In Aztec carving, the butterfly became an alternative for the hand as the emblem of figure five, the number of the centre of the Earth."
(Dictionary of Symbols, Chevalier & Gheerbrant, pgs. 140-141)
The butterfly thus has a similar meaning the world over as a symbol of metamorphoses and resurrection. It is also closely associated with initiation into the Mysteries. In the case of Frank, he is being resurrected from the tragedies that he has endured over the past season and discovering his new calling. It could also be symbolic of his completion of initiation as the 'illuminated man.' In this case of Agent Emma Hollis (Klea Scott), who would go to become a partner of sorts to Frank throughout season three, it is the beginning of her initiation into the mysteries.


The butterfly, specifically the Monarch variety, is also the symbol of an alleged mind control operation run by various US intelligence agencies known as Project Monarch. The Internet is ripe with blogs detailing this program. One of the best is Vigilant Citizen, who writes:
"Although there has never been any official admittance of the existence of Monarch programming, prominent researchers have documented the systematic use of trauma on subjects for mind-control purposes. Some survivors, with the help of dedicated therapists, were able to “deprogram” themselves to then go on record and disclose the horrifying details of their ordeals.
"Monarch slaves are mainly used by organizations to carry out operations using patsies trained to perform specific tasks, who do not question orders, who do not remember their actions and, if discovered, who automatically commit suicide. They are the perfect scapegoats for high-profile assassinations (see Sirhan Sirhan), the ideal candidates for prostitution, sex slavery and snuff pornography. They are also the perfect puppet performers for the entertainment industry."
As to its association with the butterfly, VC goes on to states:
"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."

I'm not a huge fan of the Monarch theories -to my mind there has yet to be a truly credible source document the program. That said, its undeniable that the CIA and other US intelligence organizations were engaged in the search for the so-called 'Manchurian Candidate,' an individual that could be programmed to kill without their knowledge. Researchers such as John Marks reliably chronicled these efforts in books like The Search for the 'Manchurian Candidate' which was largely compiled from declassified CIA documents and interviews with individuals involved in various projects such the notorious MK-ULTRA. Regardless, the notion of programmed killers would be a theme that would subtly appear throughout season three.

Going with the Monarch interpretation, the butterflies could be symbolic of the conditioning Frank has been through, and that which Hollis is about to under go. Curiously, Jordan is shown with a paper butterfly in one of the final scenes of "Exegesis."

The Monarch interpretation also makes for an interesting perspective of the central revelation disclosed in "Exegesis": Namely, that the similarly looking women are half-sisters, all close to the same age, from the same mother. They were the product of a breeding experiment to recreate the talents of their mother: psychic ability. This woman was a member of Project Grill Flame, which I've chronicled here and here. Grill Flame was a part of a broader operation, known as the Stargate Project:
"The Stargate Project[1] was the umbrella code name of one of several sub-projects established by the U.S. Federal Government to investigate claims of psychic phenomena with potential military and domestic applications, particularly "remote viewing": the purported ability to psychically "see" events, sites, or information from a great distance.[2] These projects were active from the 1970s through 1995, and followed up early psychic research done at The Stanford Research Institute (SRI), The American Society for Psychical Research, and other psychical research labs.[3]"
"Exegesis" portrays these women as being bred for the ability their mother possessed, which would in theory make them idea candidates for Monarch programming, or something similar, to ensure their loyalty. Given that the Millennium Group is revealed to be assassinating them, they seemingly became a liability. Another interesting connection this episode has to the season one cliffhanger, "Force Majeure". This earlier episode focused on a eccentric old man who had genetically created about 40 super children to recreate the world after its destruction in 2000. "Exegesis" also focuses around attempts to create super kids with unique abilities. Both are ultimately linked to the Millennium Group.

Another interesting symbol used in "Exegesis" is the Eye of Providence, which appears casually in one of the old rooms where the Grill Flame psychics did their thing. Later, one of the Grill Flame psychics is seen sporting the eye on a bracelet. Of course the eye has historically been used as a symbol of psychic ability, but a similar marking as the one in the remote viewing room appears later in season three, just as casually in a most unusual place. In this sense it could also be symbolic of the constant surveillance surrounding Frank, or of the Millennium Group's presence at every step of his initiation.

Next week the final mysteries of Millennium and season three shall be revealed. Stay tuned.

the All-Seeing Eye of Grill Flame

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Intelligence Dreaming of Magick -Part I

In my series on PSYOPS and UFOs I noted X-Files creator Chris Carter's curious overlap with the intelligence community, especially the notorious Richard Doty:
"Years after his AFOSI involvement with saucer researchers, Doty's career reached an apotheosis of sorts when he was actually invited to become a consultant for The X-Files, a position he says he held from 1994 to 1996. In time, he also wrote the screenplay for an episode, 'The Blessing Way,' which aired on September 22, 1995, although producer Chris Carter received writing credit. Doty also appeared as an extra in two episodes: 'Anasazi,' which aired on May 19, 1995, and 'Paper Clip,' shown on September 29 of the same year. He tried to write another, but says that it was 'killed' by a government agency that he was required to run everything past before turning any of it in for production. After the final season of the show, X-File producer Chris Carter was reportedly spotted at the Los Angeles FBI shooting range, which makes one wonder who was courting whom."
(Project Beta, Greg Bishop, pgs. 82-83)

In early installments, which can be viewed here, here, and here, I noted the curious overlap between certain X-Files plot lines and aspects of the disinformation campaign the military and various intelligence organizations have used in the UFO community. In general, I believe Carter has much more of an insider's view than many in the blogosphere have been willing to acknowledge. As a disclosure, X-Files just happens to be the Recluse's all time favorite show -I still watch an episode every night before I go to bed. But now I mainly watch it as a marvel of mass manipulation, than actual entertainment.

As I have stated in my PSYOPS/UFO blogs and various other pieces, I am not a big believer in the extraterrestrial hypothesis. What is more, I believe the extraterrestrial hypothesis has been massively manipulated by the intelligence community for over half a century, largely creating the modern UFOlogy in the process. In the 1990s the X-Files made much of this disinformation mainstream, in addition to having an enormous influence on the zeitgeist of both mainstream and underground culture. I daresay Doty and company were most certainly pleased with this state of affairs. Subversive, The X-Files was not -like much science fiction, it was an exercise in mass conditioning.

The same cannot be said, however, of another series Chris Carter over saw during his 90s heyday, namely Millennium. Outside of season II, which frequently went over the top as it shamelessly pursued some of the more outlandish aspects of conspiracy culture, the series offered both striking insights into the Cryptocracy itself in addition to the remarkable symbolism of the Mysteries. It was the anti-X-Files, subtle and somber in its path to true initiation. Even the campy season II manages an apt jab at its beloved sibling via the enigmatic Millennium Group initiate and handler Peter Watts:
"Can you imagine the effect conclusive evidence of doomsday would have on a world in which millions actually believe they've been abducted and experimented on by aliens with the knowledge and cooperation of government officials? A country that obsessed for decades on Elvis sightings? Roswell?"
("Owls", Season II")
John Locke himself, the great Terry O'Quinn, as Peter Watts

Millennium would hint at, and at times overtly reveal, some of the darkest secrets of the Cryptocracy on a massive stage. One suspects it was tolerated for much the same reason confessionals such as Tragedy and Hope and Fire in the Minds of Men were finally made widely available by the 1990s... Because much of the broader public would have no interest in reading these dry and daunting books in an age of gluttony. Thus, the Revealation of the Method is accomplished with no real threat to the Cryptocracy.

For the carefree late 90s, with its boy bands and suburban pleasure dins, Millennium was as much out of place as a hippie at a Nazi rally. It took the ominous atmosphere of X-Files and Se7en and went into overdrive with it. But instead of providing the audience with at times outlandish plot points and dry humor (as Files did) and sexy leads (as both did), Millennium went with relentlessly grim story lines and grizzled character actors like the series star Lance Henriksen and the great Terry O'Quinn, who had an important reoccurring role (the above mentioned Peter Watts). Even when the series did attempt to lighten up a bit in season II under the direction of eventual Final Destination creators Glen Morgan and James Wong it felt forced, and even downright mean spirited at times... The season ended with what appeared to be the Apocalypse.

Lance Henriksen as Frank Black, the lead character

A cloud of darkness and gloom always seemed to linger over the show. Combine that with the enigmatic plot lines and undercurrents of the remarkable seasons one and three and you have a recipe the ADD-riddled populace of the US was sure to shun. Thus, Revelation of the Method always lingered, tentatively at first in season one, but then going into overdrive in season three when it was clear the show's fortunes were doomed.

For the many of you unfamiliar with this gem, I'll point you to a brief overview from Wikipedia:
"Millennium featured Frank Black, a freelance forensic profiler and former FBI agent with a unique ability to see the world through the eyes of serial killers and murderers, though he adamantly proclaims he is not psychic. Black worked for the mysterious Millennium Group, whose power and sinister agenda were increasingly explored throughout the series. 
"Black lived in Seattle with his wife Catherine and daughter Jordan. Jordan was eventually revealed to have inherited some measure of her father's 'gift', suggesting that Frank's abilities may in fact be at least partially psychic in nature, after all. 
"The first season dealt primarily with Black pursuing various serial killers and other murderers, with only occasional references to the Group's true purpose. The second season introduced more overtly supernatural occurrences into the show's mythology, with Frank often coming into conflict with forces that appeared to be apocalyptic or even demonic in nature. The final season showed Frank returning to Washington, D.C. to work with the FBI following the death of his wife at the hands of the Group, where he was joined by a new partner, Emma Hollis. Despite Frank's warnings and the evidence of her own eyes, Emma ultimately joined the Group. Frank is last seen escaping from Washington, having taken Jordan from school."
Frank with Catherine & Jordan, his wife and daughter respectively

Some fans have argued that the show was originally intended to be an especially dark crime drama without conspiratorial or supernatural elements. Along this line of thinking, these elements were only added after season one when Chris Carter virtually left the show to refocus his attention on X-Files. The after mentioned duo of Morgan and Wong is generally credited with taking the show firmly out of the 'crime drama' gerne, which apparently split Carter's Ten Thirteen Productions company into seperate factions. Eventually Morgan and Wong left and Carter returned in a diminished capacity to take Millennium back to its 'roots' in season three. But those roots were always far more grounded in the esoteric than many still realize.

To be sure, the conspiratorial and supernatural elements that would become comically direct in season two and mysteriously present in season three, were especially subtle in the first season. But they were none the less present, from the first episode. Look no further than the logo of both the Millennium Group and the series itself: the ouroboros. This ancient symbol is beyond loaded.
"A serpent biting its own tail symbolizes a closed cycle of development. At the same time this symbol enshrines ideas of motion, continuity, self-fertilization and, consequently, of the eternal homecoming. The image's circular shape gives rise to another explanation -the marriage of the chthonian world, represented by the serpent, and the celestial world, represented by the circle. Confirmation of this interpretation might be found in some examples in which the ouroboros is part black and part white. It would thus bear the meaning of the marriage of opposing principles, Heaven and Earth, night and day, the Chinese yang, and yin, and of all the properties possessed by these opposing elements...
"Another interpretation may see in the ouroboros the contrast between different planes of being. The serpent biting its tail falls into the shape of a circle, a break with its linear development which would seem to mark as big a change as emergence upon a higher level of existence, a level of celestial or spiritualized existence, symbolized by the circle. The serpent thus transcends the plane of brute life to move forward in the direction of the most basic living impulses. This explanation, however, depends upon the symbolism of the circle, the image of celestial perfection. An opposite image may be conjured up by the serpent biting its tail, ceaselessly revolving around itself enclosed within its own cycle, and that is the image of the Samara, the Wheel of Life. As one condemned never to escape its own cycle and raise itself to a higher plane, the ouroboros symbolizes eternal return, the endless cycle of rebirth and a continual repetition which betrays the dominance of a basic death-wish."
(Dictionary of Symbols, Chevalier & Gheerbrant, pgs. 728-729)

A closed cycle of development, good and evil, material and spiritual... All of these themes play heavily into the series. The final interpretation concerning the Wheel of Life and the death-wish that it implies is especially apt for the Millennium Group circa season three, but more on that later.

The episodes of the first season are generally dominated by what could be described as a 'serial-killer-of-the-week' format. This formula is established in the pilot in which a serial killer referred to as 'the Frenchman' prowls the strip clubs and gay hang-outs of the Seattle area on a mission to 'cleanse' the plague-infested city. As an added twist, however, this killer is plagued with hellish images of a lake of fire filled with the souls of the damned. And so to is profiler and Millennium Group consultant Frank Black (Henriksen) once he begins investigating the case on behalf of the Seattle police. Are the images that both the Frenchman and Frank see mentally simply signs of insanity, or do they point to something much deeper? The show would continue to toy with this notion till the end of its run.

But it is the second episode, titled "Gehenna" (and written by Carter himself), that initiation truly begins. Here Frank, working with the Millennium Group, is summed to San Francisco to investigate a most curious case: large quantities of human ashes are discovered in the flowerbeds of a local park. As the investigation progresses Frank uncovers an apocalyptic cult with a bizarre ritual in which disobedient members are fed doses of LSD in an abandoned factory yard, and then stalked by the cult leader who appears in half-human/half-beast form to the intoxicated victim. Eventually the victim is led into an industrial furnace in which they're burned alive. Consider the implications of this -a modern, entheogen-using cult involved in human sacrifice via immolation.

Carl A.P. Ruck and Blaise Staples in The Apples of Apollo, using the Greek myth of Ixion as a starting point, go on to connect the fiery sacrifices of the Druids and entheogens. Initially they argue that a particular kind of mistletoe can produce hallucinations and that it was used in the sacrifices of the Druids:
"Although mistletoe grows commonly on various trees, such as apple, poplar, and willow, it was only the much rarer form found on the oak that the Druids considered sacred... It was present at all their religious rituals, and they did eat it, sometimes making a potion from it. They were experienced herbalists, and may have had procedures for extracting the desired chemicals...
"It was fed as well to the victims for their rites of human sacrifice..."
(pg. 20)

Ruck and Staples go on to link the Greek myth of Ixion, who was bound to a burning wheel, with the wicker man of the Druids in which a victim was burned alive in a cage of wickerwood formed in the likeness of a giant human. Ruck and Staples note that the wheel of Ixion was described as being made of wicker. They go on to state:
"Ixion is the solar wheel, the sacrificial offering, fed on celestial fire and burnt for the winter solstice, perhaps the ceremonial purpose for such elaborate solar calenders or observatories as Stonehenge, where drawings have been detected that some identify as mushroom designs. In later European midsummer festivities, a similar ritual, without the victim, was still performed: burning wheels, in imitation of the solar disk, were set to roll downhill. And in Scandinavian countries, chaplets of flowers are worn, illuminated with a crown of candles. In England as late as the first half of this century, woven spheres of mistletoe and twigs were set afire on New Year's, and replaced with a new one to be kept in the house as a ward against evil and the fall of lightening until the following year's ritual conflagration. A token victim is often commemorated by placing a shoe in the brickwork of the hearth when it is constructed. Ceramic versions of such shoes would originally have had a similar symbolism."
(ibid, pg. 24)

Another instance of immolation and drugs (in this case opiates) appearing in Classical Greek culture in this institution of the 'pharmakos', a human scapegoat that was drugged before his sacrifice. Continuing with Ruck and Staples:
"...the Lotos, the stinging nettle tree, Celtis australis; to eat of its sweet opiate fruit induced such a stupor that one lost all desire to return home again. It is just such visions of paradise that the drugged victims of Apollo (and Artemis) are induced to see so that they hasten willingly to their immolation, singing joyously their last, most beautiful song, like the prophetic swan, that is the god's bird, standing on the threshold of death and seeing the world to come. Such victims were called the pharmakos, drugged upon the pharmakon or 'medicine.' As with the Druids, criminals were used as offerings, treated as if they were the god; but when the available supply of subjects wwas insufficient, others might have to be called upon to fill the lack."
(ibid, pg. 32)
Thus, by episode two, Millennium had already moved well beyond the boundaries of mere crime drama. Further, the Celts and the Greeks were hardly the only people with vague traditions linking entheogens to human sacrifice... Hints of similar customs can be found in the various Mesoamerican religions, for instance. Of course, modern cults convicted of human sacrifice (or mass murder, if you prefer), have also been heavily involved in drugs. Consider the cases of both the Chicago based Ripper Crew and the Matamoros/Mexico City cult based round the notorious Adolfo Constanzo. Then there's the Manson Family, whom I wrote on here and here.


The bizarre links to ancient cults do not end with "Gehenna". Episode four, called "The Judge", concerns a mysterious figure calling himself 'the Judge' who recruits ex-cons to carry out the sentences his 'court' imposes upon individuals who have seemingly beaten the system. In this case I am reminded of the Vehmic courts of Medieval Germany, secret tribunals in which the uninitiated were forbidden to attend upon pain of death. Wikipedia notes:
"The Vehmic courts, Vehmgericht, holy vehme, or just the Vehm, also spelt Feme, are names given to a "proto-vigilante" tribunal system of Westphalia active during the later Middle Ages, based on a fraternal organisation of lay judges called “free judges” (German: Freischöffen or French: francs-juges). The principal seat of the courts was in Dortmund. The proceedings were sometimes secret, leading to the alternative titles of “secret courts” (German: heimliches Gericht), “silent courts” (German: Stillgericht), or “forbidden courts” (German: verbotene Gerichte). The courts took jurisdiction over all crimes during the Late Middle Ages, and those condemned by the tribunal were done away with by secret means. After the execution of the death sentence, the corpse was hung on a tree to advertise the fact and deter others."

In the case of both "Gehenna" and "The Judge", the nature of the individual behind the killings is left ambiguous. Superficially they are only especially evil humans, yet the impressions Frank receives from his ability to see inside the mind of killers hint at something darker, and more supernatural. But more on that in a bit.

Another interesting cult depicted in season one is of the doomsday variety and appears in episode 13, "Force Majeure". In this one Frank and Peter Watts become involved in the investigation of the deaths of two girls in different parts of the country who are later revealed to be identical twins born seven years part. The twins also both have astronomical symbols of conjunction carved into their thighs. Both deaths are suicides, the first by self immolation, the other by diving into a waterfall. Interestingly, both fire and water are symbols of cleansing and regeneration.

The episode goes on to reveal that these blond-haired, blue-eyed urchins have other siblings of varying ages spread out across the country. All of these women, 20 in number, received phone calls from their 'father,' an old man confined to an iron-lung, summoning them to 'The Atrium' at Pocatello, Idaho. The old man believes that apocalypse is coming on May 5, 2000 and to this end he began breeding identical offspring through a complex fertilization process. The aura of Nazism is thick -the old man explains to Frank that the world had become corrupt beyond repair and that his blond-haired, blue-eyed creations were the perfect children for the next millennium, and a better world.

When authorities round the remaining girls into a school bus to remove them from 'The Atrium' it is revealed that the bus driver, a blond-haired, blue-eyed lad, is the male version of the old man's perfect children. Authorities later find the school bus abandoned, the children having completely vanished. Various aspects "Force Majeure" would later be worked into season three brilliantly, so keep it in mind.

Entheogens would also continue to play an illuminating (har har) role in the first season beyond the episode of "Gehenna". "Lion Like Hunting a Flame" features a sexually repressed serial killer who both drugs some of his victims with ecstasy in addition to taking the drug himself while performing the murders. The killer is later revealed to be a pharmacist, a word derived from the Greek 'pharmakeus', meaning a drug, druggist, spelling-giving potion, poisoner, and by extension magician or sorcerer -essentially the Greek equivalent of a shaman. This makes for an interesting continuation of "Gehenna", in which a kind of modern day pharmakos ritual was displayed. In this case, the killer acts as a kind of anti-shaman. In traditions the world over the shaman consumes entheogens in order to 'see' the illness afflicting his patients in order to heal them. Here the murderer consumes entheogens in order to fulfill his fantasies that climax in murder.

The definitive drug episode of season one, however, is "Walkabout." Here Frank unwittingly goes on a vision quest with several other people while participating in what they think is a test for an antidepressant dubbed 'Proloft' (modeled after Prozac and Zoloft). Instead, the water color in which the room was held was spiked with some kind of hallucinogen that amplifies Frank's 'gift,' leading to hellish visions. Frank's not the only one that has a bad trip -another participant gauges his eyes out with his own hands and ultimately dies.

Frank on a vision quest

Its ultimately revealed the a rogue member of the drug company behind Proloft is trying to dose the US populace with the 'Smooth Time' drug Frank consumed during the trial in order to 'wake up' a nation of zombies put to sleep by the same drug company the man works for. Besides predicting the epidemic of prescription drug abuse the coming decade would usher in, this episode is also especially noteworthy for its depiction of Frank's 'gift.'

In an earlier episode, "Sacrament", Frank's young daughter Jordan displayed abilities similar to Frank's. Both Chris Carter and Lance Henriksen have long denounced the notion that Frank is psychic, describing the visions he sees as a kind of visualization of how Frank's profiling abilities work. Yet "Sacrament" seemingly blew a hole in this interpretation when Jordan also experienced visions similar to Frank's. In "Walkabout" Frank overtly acknowledges the possibility that Jordan has inherited his 'gift' and states that he took the drug for her sake, attempting to find something that would spare her the images that appear in his own mind.

Some of Frank's visions

If the series tentatively dipped its toe in the pool of the supernatural initially in season one, it became much bolder with "Lamentation" and "Powers, Principalities, Thrones, and Dominions". The former, written by Chris Carter himself, marked the first appearance of the reoccurring character of Lucy Butler. The typical viewer would probably view Lucy as a demon, though in Millennium both demons and angels are a bit closer to the daimonic as we begin to glimpse by "Powers, Principalities, Thrones, and Dominions". For more on my concepts of daimons and angels, check here and here, respectively.

Lucy Butler

"Lamentation" begins as a some what conventional serial-killer-of-the-week type episode, with Frank and the Millennium Group being called in to investigate the escape of Ephraim Fabricant, a serial killer Frank's profile helped capture during his FBI days. Peter Watts soon discovers that Fabricant had a female pen-pal who eventually exchanged wedding vows with. This leads Frank and Watts to the after mentioned Miss Butler. Frank soon unravels a trail of bodies surrounding Lucy in addition to springing her hubby from the joint. Things don't go so well for Fabricant, however, when Lucy removes his only kidney without anesthesia. Lucy goes on to place said kidney in the refrigerator back at Frank's house in Seattle. Shortly afterwards she puts in an appearance in the flesh, relatively speaking. Catherine glimpses a long-haired male bearing a striking resemblance to Lucy standing at the top of the staircase.

Frank had already realized his family was in danger and dispatched Det. Bob Bletcher, an old friend of Frank's and a reoccuring character throughout season one, to his residence to protect Catherine and Jordan. After getting Frank's family out of the house safely Bletcher makes the fatal mistake of reentering to search for the invader.

In one of the most striking sequences of the entire series, Bletcher encounters Lucy still standing at the top of the staircase in the darkened house. As lightening flashes, she begins to descend. In that light the being walking down the stairs first appears as Lucy to Bletcher, then as the long-haired man Catherine witnessed earlier, and finally in a demonic form.

Bletcher's body is latter found hanging from a wall stud in Frank's basement with his throat cut. Frank goes to confront Fabricant one last time before he dies. Fabricant grips Frank's arm and howls that some unknown evil knows Frank.

Bletcher's corpse

While episodes like the after mentioned "Gehenna" and "The Judge" hinted at some kind of supernatural presence behind the monstrous human stand-ins, "Lamentation" gave a face to this presence in the guise of Lucy Butler. "Powers, Principalities, Thrones, and Dominions" showed other aspects of it. The title of course derives from the order of angels, more of which can be found here. In brief, the basic structure of the Christian order of angels broke them into three spheres. Thrones, who are charged with administrating divine justice, are of the first sphere. Interestingly, they are sometimes linked linked with the Ophanim, angels that appear as a fiery wheel double wheel covered in eyes.


Dominions are of the highest rank of the second order and regulate the duties of the lower angels. The Powers are also of the second order, at the lowest level. They are warrior angels charged with overseeing the distribution of power amongst human kind. The Principalities, who are of the highest rank of the lowest order, work closely with the Powers in carrying out the orders of the Dominions.

Anyway, back to the episode. In this one Frank is called to investigate a murder with heavy occult overtones with Peter Watts on behalf of the Millennium Group. Local police later take in a suspect named Martin after he slashes the neck of a nanny, a la Det. Bob Bletcher in the previous episode. Interestingly, the neck some times symbolizes the communication between the soul and body. Cutting it would obviously sever that communication.

The state's case against Martin quickly begins to fall apart, however, when a slick defense lawyer named Alistair Pepper (har har) arrives on the scene. As the case against Martin crumbles, Pepper offers Frank a mysterious job which he declines. Later in a court room appearance Martin stands up and confesses to the murder of Bletcher with Pepper at his side just as he seems poised to walk away a free man. Later he's transferred to Seattle where he slits his own throat with a razor blade in his jail cell.


Shortly thereafter a close colleague of Frank's in the Millennium Group helping with the investigation is found murdered in his hotel room with a ceremonial dagger protruding from his chest. Frank and Watts arrive just as the killer slips down a fire escape. Frank gives chase and follows him into a near by super market. As Frank follows the unknown man across the isles he appears at first as Pepper, and then later as Lucy Butler, before exiting the store.

This being, in the guise of Pepper, walks out of the store with his groceries and he heads for his car. In another one of the iconical sequences of the series, a young man named Sammael approaches Pepper with a gun and utters a strange on invocation:
"By Uriel, and by Raziel, powers, principalities, thrones and dominions, I bind and command you: Stand!"
He precedes to shoot Pepper, but Frank sees it what appears to be a bolt of lightening or pure energy pass out of Sammael's palm and into Pepper's chest. Sammael immediately drops the gun. When Frank goes to retrieve it, he sees that its still cocked, as if it was never physically fired. Later when Frank goes to visit Sammael in police custody he tells Frank that Pepper "suffered the consequences of his own error." It is strongly implied that Sammael is a being similar to Lucy and Pepper, but of a more benevolent nature -an angel, in other words. His name is most interesting, however.

Pepper and Sammael

In Jewish lore Sammael, or commonly spelled as Samael, is considered to be the angel of death -an accuser, seducer, and destroyer. He is morally ambiguous to say the least, and has at times been linked to Satan. His role in Gnosticism, which would play a major role in season two, is also interesting. According to The Nature of the Rulers Samael is the name of the Demiurge:
"The leader of the authorities is blind. [Because of his] power, ignorance, and arrogance he said with [power], 'I am God, there is no other [but me].'
"When he said this, he sinned against [the realm of the All]. This boast rose up to Incorruptibility, and a voice answered from Incorruptibility and said, 'You are wrong, Samael' -which means 'blind god.'"
(The Nag Hammadi Scriptures, Meyer, pg. 191)

As the show progressed, the moral ambiguity of these angelic beings become more overt, but more on that (and much more) in the next installment.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Dog Days Part II -The New World VI

So, what is it about Sirius that warrants monuments being built to it across the globe for centuries on end? Why does it pop up in some many arcane religious traditions? Why is the five-pointed star that symbolizes it appearing on our nation's flag and the badges of our cops?

The answer is quite a dozy. And naturally, it involves extraterrestrial contact. Robert Anton Wilson, writing on Temple's findings from The Sirius Mystery, states:
"Temple claimed that Earth had been visited by an advanced race from a planet in the system of the double star, Sirius, around 4500 B.C. Temple based this assertion on the fact that definite and specific knowledge of he Sirius system can be found in the mythology of the Babylonians, the Egyptians, and some surviving African tribes -knowledge which modern astronomy has only rediscovered with the fantastically delicate instruments of the last two decades."
(The Cosmic Trigger Volume I, pg. 9)
A depiction of Temple's 'Nommos', amphibious extraterrestrials

Wilson, citing both Temple's and his own research, goes on to trace this theory to the Sirius traditions appearing in various esoteric orders.
"Temple believes the Contact (which he tends to portray as physical, involving actual space-ships) occurred in Sumeria around 4500 B.C. The knowledge thus gained, he argues... was passed on via various secret societies of initiates in the Near East, Egypt, Greece and so on, at least until the time of the 5th century (A.D.) neo-Platonist Proclus. Thereafter, Temple loses track of it, and suggest that it appeared in 'such bizarre and fascinating figures as Giordano Bruno, Marsilio Ficino, John Dee and even Sir Philip Sidney and the Earl of Leicester -not to mention the troubadors of Provence, Dante in Italy, and the massacred tens of thousands of Albigensians in France, the Knights Templar and infinite range of hopeless causes over two and a half millennia...'
"...As we have already seen, Kenneth Grant traces the Crowley tradition back to 4500 B.C. in the Near East, and J.G. Bennett traces the Guurdjieff tradition back also to that time and that place. Neither Grant nor Bennett could have anticipated that Temple would demonstrate, with a great deal of archaeological evidence, that some sort of Contact with Sirius did occur at that time, at that place. Yet both of them assert secret teachings concerning Sirius were passed on by Crowley and Gurdjieff."
(ibid, pgs. 186-189)
Aleister Crowley

Temple even argues that these extraterrestrials left behind certain 'markers' for humanity to find as we evolved so that the knowledge these various esoteric orders handed down could finely be understood.
"But in considering the very origins of the elements of what we can call human civilization on this planet, we should now take fully into account the possibility that primitive Stone Age men were handed civilization on a platter by visiting extraterrestrial beings, who left traces behind them for us to decipher. These traces concerned detailed information about the system of the star Sirius which is only intelligible to a society as technologically advanced as ours today. Today was the time when we were meant to discover these coded facts, I feel sure. Today is the time we should prepare ourselves to face the inevitable reality that extraterrestrial civilizations exist, and are in all probability far more advanced in culture that we ourselves -not to mention in technology which would enable them to travel between the stars.."
(The Sirius Mystery, pg. 269)
Meanwhile the Old Ones are waiting patiently within our solar system for man to make that evolutionary leap too where we shall be worthy of further contact.
"All traditions seem agreed that they 'ascended to the heavens' and left the Earth. But there is no guarantee that they went back to Sirius. In fact, anyone capable of mastering the technology of suspended animation for an interstellar voyage would find it a simple matter to re-enter that state and then simply to stay put. So that the Nommos may very well still be somewhere in the solar system, either asleep or slowly bestirring themselves now that things are getting more interesting down here.
"Is there any clue in the traditions as to where any sleeping Nommos might be? There is in the Dogon tradition. For the Dogon differentiate very clearly between the fiery, roaring landing craft which they described as bringing the Nommos to Earth, and the new star which appeared in the sky while they were here which would seem to be a reference to their large base parked in orbit. This is called 'the star of the tenth moon...'
"...It didn't take me long to realize that the tenth main moon of Saturn is anomalous in the solar system, and is the only one which seems to have a smooth surface without craters or other lumps and bumps. Its name is Phoebe. It has a retrograde orbit around Saturn wildly different from all the other Saturnian moons, so that when our space probe photographed the moons of Saturn, Phoebe was the only significant one which was not close enough to give a good photo."
(ibid, pg. 32)

Saturn is of course hugely important in both the religions of Antiquity and alchemy, which also supposedly derived from Egypt.
"...the merry reign of Saturn, the god of sowing and husbandry, who lived on earth long ago as a righteous and beneficent king of Italy, drew the rude and scattered dwellers on the mountains together, taught them to till the ground, gave them laws, and ruled in peace. His reign was the fabled Golden Age: the earth brought forth abundantly: no sound of war or discord troubled the happy world: no baleful love of lucre worked like poison in the blood of the industrious and contented peasantry. Slavery and private property were alike unknown: all men had all things in common. At last the good god, the kindly king, vanished suddenly; but his memory was cherished to distant ages, shrines were reared in his honour, and many hills and high places in Italy bore his name. Yet the bright tradition of his reign was crossed by a dark shadow: his altars are said to have been stained with the blood of human victims for whom a more merciful age afterwards substituted effigies."
(The Golden Bough, James Frazer, pg. 630)

Another of the chief holidays in ancient Rome was the winter festival of Saturnalia, dedicated to the great ruler of the so-called 'Golden Age.' More on this festival can be found here. As to the Saturn's meaning in alchemy:
"In Hermeticism, while mere chemists regarded Saturn as lead, to philosophers Saturn was the colour black, the colour of matter after solution and putrefaction, or else of common copper, first of metals, or of Ramon Llull's azoic virtiol, which separates metals. All these things are images of the office of divider, which is both an end and a beginning, the halting of one cycle and the beginning of a fresh one, the stress being laid more strongly upon the break in or slowing of development."
(Dictionary of Symbols, Chevalier & Gheerbrant, pg. 829)
Anyway, back to Temple's theories concerning the Nommos. The only real problem, according to Temple, is the horrible bigotry we humans have shown toward the Nommos in regards to their appearance, dating back to first contact.
"For the creatures credited with founding civilization in the Middle East were frankly described by the Babylonians who revered them and built huge statues to them as being 'repulsive abominations.' If ever anything argued the authenticity of their account, it was this Babylonian tradition that the amphibians to whom they owed everything were disgusting, horrible, and loathsome to look upon. A more normal course for any invented tradition of the origins of civilization would have been to glorify the splendid gods or heroes who founded it. But instead we find specific descriptions of 'animals endowed with reason'... who made their awed and thankful beneficiaries want to be sick with revulsion. And what is more, the traditions admits this freely!
"The problem of revulsion is a difficult one. It seems to be partly a result of what we are taught when young. No doubt psychologists would have a great deal to say about it. But whatever origins it may have, it seems to be almost uncontrollable once a propensity to it has developed. If someone finds snakes or spiders repulsive, it would take a great deal of persuasion to get him to change his attitude, and hypnosis is generally required to overcome genuine phobia. As humans, we tend to dislike all slimy creatures, creepy-crawling creatures, creatures which ooze or slither or wriggle."
(The Sirius Mystery, pg. 278-279)

The readers is advised to be weary of Temple's theories for multiple reasons. An obvious one would be the 'visionary' that guided Mr. Temple to the Sirius mystery in the first place.
"(To show how convoluted this whole business is, I might mention that Arthur Young, founder of the Institute [for the Study of Consciousness], was the one who originally turned Robert Temple on to the idea of trying to find out how the Dogon tribe knew so much about the dark companion of Sirius..."
(The Cosmic Trigger Volume I, Robert Anton Wilson, pg. 242)

Regular readers of this blog should remember the name of Arthur Young, one of the major financial patrons behind the collective that formed around inventor, Fortean researcher, and sometimes intelligence asset Andrija Puharich. Young himself also has bizarre links to the intelligence world, which go all the way up to the Kennedy assassination itself. More information on the whole Young/Puharich/'psychic mafia' collective can be found here, here, and here. This makes Mr. Temple's own claims of persecution by various intelligence agencies all the more comical. Observe:
"But the sad part of the aftermath of The Sirius Mystery was the extreme and virulent hostility towards me by certain security agencies, most notably the American ones...
"In my opinion, based on both instinct and information, it was the Soviet Union which was most active in suppressing serious study of both extraterrestrial intelligence and paranormal phenomena. It may seem ironical that although the American CIA persecuted me for so many years, I lay much blame for this with the Soviet Union, acting through their agents, the Aldrich Ames types."
(The Sirius Mystery, pgs. 7-8)
Well, so long as it was 'godless' communism that was actually behind the persecutions... BTW, is it just me, or do a striking number of UFO researcher seem to adopt battered wives syndrome when addressing their encounters with various American intelligence services?

Another major problem I have with Temple's theories is how closely they mirror the fiction of legendary science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke. Temple acknowledges a friendship with Mr. Clarke in The Sirius Mystery, yet never addresses how closely his theories correspond to some of Clarke's most celebrated works, all of which came out before Temple's research seemingly would have begun.

Temple's 'markers' theory, for instance, could have almost been wholly derived from the plot line of Clarke's short story, "The Sentinel", which was later adapted into the novel and film 2001: A Space Odyssey. In these works humanity is guided a by a series of monoliths left by an unseen alien race, which they first encounter at the Dawn of Man in Africa. A later one is discovered on the moon, which in turn is sending a radio transmission across the solar system. In the movie the final destination of this transmission was Jupiter, but in the novel it is one of the moons on Saturn.

Another of Clarke's novels, Childhood's End, present an alien species referred to as 'the Overlords' who intervene in Earth's affairs to save the human race from extinction. The Overlords refuse to reveal themselves to humanity in person for 50 years while humanity is being conditioned. The wait is later revealed as being due to the frankly hideous, and demonic appearance of the Overlords.

Probably the biggest issue I have with Temple, however, is his insistance upon the Nommos being a flesh and blood extraterrestrial species arriving in physical spacecrafts. As much as Temple ridicules other researchers for their unwillingness to accept the extraterrestrial hypothesis, he seems rather rigid in his own belief system.

Temple seems to put a great deal of stock in the descriptions the Babylonians gave of the Nommos, yet he seemingly ignores their classification of these beings. Consider this account he gives of the legendary Babylonian historian Berossus:
"Berossus, according to the close account of Apollodorus, calls the amphibians by the collective name of 'the Annedoti.' They are described as 'semi-daemons,' not as gods."
(The Sirius Mystery, pg. 277)
The daemon is a tricky being to get a handle on. Here is a brief description:
"According to another line of thought, daimons were the souls of the dead, protective or malign spirits which acted as intermediaries between the immortal gods and living, mortal men. Each person had his or her own genius, which acted as a secret adviser by way of sudden intuitions rather than by thought process. They were in some sense the person's inner source of inspiration."
(Dictionary of Symbols, Chevalier & Gheerbrant, pg. 284)
According to Manly P. Hall, these daemons were closely linked to elemental beings, nature spirits. He states:
"The Greeks gave the name daemon to some of these elementals, especially those of the higher order, and worshipped them."
(The Secret Teachings of All Ages, pg. 330)
Further cementing this link, Temple himself likens the Nommos to mermaids and speculates that they inspired these mythical creatures. The mermaid in turn was derived from beings known as undines, water elementals, and did not have the cute and fuzzy trappings of The Little Mermaid.

I have often toyed with the notion that the extraterrestrial mythology that has sprung in the 20th century may have a far more Earthly origin that relates to these types of beings in Classical mythology. Several noted researchers such as Jacques Vallee and John Keel have devised fine theories concerning these ties which arguably do a much better job of explaining the more outrageous aspects of Fortean encounters than the extraterrestrial theory. For more on this topic, check here.

Further, Temple completely disregards entheogens and how they may relate to his research. He makes this abundantly clear early in the 1998 edition of The Sirius Mystery:
"I certainly met a lot of interesting characters through the Sirius Mystery. But others I avoided. For instance, the late Timothy Leary was very keen for me to join him in California for some joint grooving on the subject of Sirius, after he got out of prison, but the idea of such a thing was so repellent to me that it still makes me shudder. There is nothing I hate quite so much as drugs and the drug-culture."
(pg. 5)
Yet the 'drug culture' cannot be totally avoided as the oracle centers of Antiquity were themselves meccas of the Classical drug culture. Even Temple acknowledges this while describing the trances priestesses of Delphi went into while supposedly contacting the god Apollo for visions of the future:
"...the mantic bowl into which the priestess... will gaze as she goes into trance. A female attendant stands with a jug of water to refill the bowl as it becomes necessary. The bowl was filled with a hot steaming liquid containing powerful decoctions of narcotic herbs such as henbane, thorn apple and black and white hellebore, which helped induce a prophetic frenzy in the self-hypnotized priestess. The terrible smell was explained away to the public as 'fumes from the rotting corpse of the monster Python', supposedly oozing up through a chasm under the temple (although modern excavators have proved that there was no chasm).
(ibid, pg. 172)

It seems plausible all the oracle centers Temple describes had similar rites associated with entheogens. Further, he links his Sirius theory with certain myths of Antiquity that have also been associated with entheogens. For instance, Temple notes that Sirius B has a fifty year orbital cycle and goes on to link this with the appearance of the number 50 in certain myths such as the Argonautica as well as the Sumerian tale of Gilgamesh, arguing that knowledge of the Sirius system was preserved in this fashion for several thousand years.
"...the fifty Argonauts who accompanied Jason. 'His teeth are the teeth of a dragon', we are told -reminiscent of Jason sowing the dragon's teeth. And Gilgamesh also puts his teeth to the ground... Each of his fifty heroic companions carries a specially felled tree for the journey -and the only reasonable purpose to go around carrying a tree seems to be that these trees were used as oars, especially as there is an association with a boat. This again is like the Argonauts. We thus have found a Near Eastern tale from which the tale of the Argonauts was derived two thousand years or so later by the Greeks."
(ibid, pg. 135)

The myths of Jason and the Golden Fleece has also has compelling linked to entheogens.
"In the case of Jason, the Golden Fleece was ultimately Amanita muscaria. In such a quest, the hero is a shaman whose identity... becomes consubstantial with the drug of his shamanism so that many of his characteristics have ethnobotanical referents and some of the events are not only his experience, but that of the entheogen itself, that is his analogue. Hence, Jason was trained as a shaman and displayed symbolic features such as his single, muddy foot, his non-birth, and his name as a drug man. Amongst those who sailed with him on the quest were the Dioskouroi and their cousins, the Moliones, whose identities also are ethnobotanical, as Pillar, St. Elmo's Fire, Cap, Lotus, and hermaphroditic Sphere. Similarly, the Fleece has metaphoric characteristics of the quested entheogen, such as the Golden Apple, the fleecy Hide, the Shield, the tiny Man, the Egg, the Serpent, the horned Bull, the Bird, and the Ball of Eros. To initiate him for his heroic ordeal of consubstantiality, Medea anoints him wit the herb of Prometheus, whose theft of Fire was ultimately that of Vision and the sacred plant. The theme of the Fleece persisted in alchemical occult knowledge, becoming ostensibly the parchment on which was written the secret formula of chrysopoeia, although it, too, recalls the ethnobotanical original."
(The Apples of Apollo, Ruck, Staples & Heinrich, pg. 87)

Ultimately Robert Anton Wilson proposes a much more compelling and broad minded theory for the Sirius Mystery than Temple himself:
"Temple's evidence... could be interpreted to indicate the arrival of people from Sirius who had come here in a physical space ship 4500 B.C. According to Temple, information about this had been passed on through various initiatory orders in the ancient Mediterranean and in Africa to the present time. But the evidence could also be interpreted to mean that methods of interstellar telepathy between the Earth and the Sirius system had been discovered back then and that many have been tuning in on that channel ever since."
(The Cosmic Trigger Volume I, pg. 10)
Wilson goes on to link things back to entheogens nicely, which I believe cannot be avoided when one tackles all the aspects of Classical civilization (the oracle centers, the Mystery schools, the god Apollo, Jason and the Argonauts, etc) that Temple attempts to associate with extraterrestrial contact. Wilson remarks:
"... the beginnings of religion (awareness of, or at least belief in, Higher Intelligences) is intimately linked with the fact that shamans -in Europe, in Asia, in the Americas, in Africa -have been dosing their nervous systems with metaprogramming drugs since at least 30,000 B.C.
"The pattern is the same, among our cave-dwelling ancestors and American Indians, at the Eleusinian feasts in Athens and among pre-Vedic Hindus, in tribes scattered from pole to pole and in the contemporary research summarized by Dr. Waltar Huston Clark in his Chemical Ecstasy:people take these metaprogramming substances and they soon assert contact with Higher Intelligences."
(ibid, pg. 147)

So much for Temple. One final point to which I would like to draw the reader's attention to before wrapping up is the bizarre connection Sirius has had with the mystical number 72 during major political turmoil over the past few centuries. But first, a brief description of the mystical aspects of 72. Wikipedia states:
"The Shemhamphorasch is a corruption of the Hebrew term Shem ha-Mephorash (שם המפורש), which was used in tannaitic times to refer to the Tetragrammaton. In early Kabbalah the term was used to designate sometimes a seventy-two Letter name for God, and sometimes a forty two Letter name. Rashi said Shem ha-Mephorash was used for a forty two letter name, but Maimonides thought Shem ha-Mephorash was used only for the four letter Tetragrammaton. [1]"

72 is significant in numerous other religious and esoteric system, but for now that will have to do. While skimming through David Ovason's The Secret Architecture of Our Nation's Capital for material on Sirius I happened to stumble upon this curious passage:
"...modern astronomical observations have established that, due to the precession of the equinoxes, the stars appear to edge forward in the zodiacal belt by one degree every 72 years.
"Sirius, which today we recognize as a binary, is set in 14 degrees of Cancer. This means that the following 72-year tabulation is reasonably accurate:
"In 1992 Sirius was in 13.59 Cancer
"In 1920 Sirius was in 12.59 Cancer
"In 1848 Sirius was in 11.59 Cancer
"In 1776 Sirius was in 10.59 Cancer
"In 1704 Sirius was in 09.59 Cancer"
(pgs. 137-138)
The years 1776, 1848, and 1920, in which Sirius apparently completed a full degree's movement through the zodiacal belt, witnessed the rise of major political movements. 1776 witnessed the signing of the Declaration of Independence, which laid the ground work for our experiment in democracy. It also bore witness to the founding of the Bavarian Illuminati on May 1st, 1776. Much speculation surrounds this organization which is well beyond the scope of this article to address. That being said, the Bavarian Illuminati had an undeniable, if little understood and much sensationalized, political influence on the emerging socialist movements in Europe, beginning with revolutionary France. Rhodes Scholar, CFR member and former head of the Library of Congress James Billington reliably chronicled these events in his invaluable and heavily sourced Fire in the Minds of Men.

Bavarian Illuminati

1848 was a particularly turbulent year, witnessing a wave of revolutions that broke out across Europe and beyond, in addition to the publication of The Communist Manifesto. Both of these events would obviously go on to have major impact on world events. 1920 featured the unveiling of Hitler's German Worker's Party's manifesto which will lay the genesis for Nazism and its rise in Europe.

1992 did not feature many major political events aside from the ceremonial signing of NAFTA, but the year was ushered in on the heels of the dissolution of the Soviet Union on December 26th, 1991. In hindsight 1992 seems to stand as the beginning of what I like to think of as the 'Global Corporatism' era in which nation-states are slowly falling by the way side to multinationals. This era just featured another major victory recently when the United States lost its AAA credit rating from Standard and Poor's.

And it is here I leave you for now dear readers as the Dog Days burn on.