Ten Thirteen: I Want to Believe, part 2

Abstract: The so-called "Mythology" of The X-Files centered on alien abductions, colonization and genetic experimentation. The feature film The X-Files: I Want to Believe did the exact same thing, only in a symbolic, allegorical fashion. Why the reverse-metaphor? What is the film trying to tell us? And what connections does this mysterious Mythology have with the mythology of the ancient Mysteries?

Read part one of this series here.

In I Want to Believe, the exiled Mulder and Scully are called back into the FBI by a young agent named Dakota Whitney and her skeptical partner Agent Drummy, who are searching for an abducted female comrade named Monica Bannon. In the midst of their search, a self-styled psychic named Father Joe cold-calls the FBI and leads them to a severed arm buried in a frozen West Virginia lake.

Despite the fact that Father Joe was a notorious serial pedophile, Mulder wants to believe that his psychic powers are real (if to vindicate his X-Files work, if nothing else). Joe then leads the task force back to the frozen lake, in which the severed body parts of multiple victims are encased. Another woman, Cheryl Cunningham, is abducted by Janke, a Russian emigre working as a courier for an medical transport service. He is working with a team of rogue scientists using abductees for grafting experiments in a grim, fenced-in compound.

Consumed with the care of a critically-ill boy named Christian Fearon (fascinating name), Scully begs off the case. She verbally attacks Father Joe upon meeting him, but later saves his life. Mulder and Scully are also growing apart, a situation not helped by Agent Whitney, who is boosting Mulder's ego in order to lure him away from his long-time partner (Whitney plays the Nephthys-seductress role here).

In classic X-Files "sympathetic villain" fashion, it's discovered that Janke and his employer Franz are lovers, and the abductees are being used in experiments to save Franz, who is dying of cancer. Using advanced stem cell technology, the doctors are trying to graft Franz's head onto the abducted women. The FBI's agent's body didn't take, so Cheryl is now being prepared for the transplant. Mulder follows Janke to the remote secret lab where the operation is being performed, but is taken down. With Mulder missing, Scully enlists Skinner's help and they discover the lab and rescue Mulder and Cheryl.

Not exactly a nail-biting plot, and if you're not familiar with the series (particularly the early seasons, of which the story draws upon extensively for mood and plot points) it won't mean all that much to you. Given the pitch black mood of the film and the thorny social and sexual issues raised by it, it's no surprise it got mowed down by The Dark Knight. But this is The X-Files, and all of the action in the film is beneath the surface. And there's a hell of a lot going on down there.

YES, IT'S ABOUT ALIENS

Now, let's cut to the core of the matter: some fans had complained that the film didn't deal with the show's Mythology- aliens, abductions and colonization- but in fact, it's about nothing else.


Janke's aerial POV signals alien identity

Skeptics have long dismissed alien abduction phenomena as the compensatory fantasies of victims of human abuse (particularly repressed memories of childhood sexual abuse*). Reflecting that, IWTB reverses the Mythology and sets it back in the real world. But are we merely looking at multiple layers of metaphors, masking one another?


Meaning: "I'm an alien."
We do see an alien conspiracy - Russian aliens, who have set up a colony to create hybrids.

These aliens are abducting people, and using their bodies for advanced genetic experimentation.

• In a gruesome twist on AAT, the aliens are trying to literally graft their alien "consciousness" onto the native women.

• All of this is going on in West Virginia, Ground Zero of the human/alien hybridization database in the original series.
We see other symbolic reminders tying back to alien identity from the previous Mythology:


The image of the dead woman's face trapped beneath the ice hearkens back to the images of abductees trapped in glass tubes in Fight the Future, equating the abduction metaphor in IWTB to that explicit motif. That ship was in the Arctic Circle, another tundra environment.

Just as Whitney and Drummy are Reyes and Doggett, Christian is obviously a stand-in for William. This circumvents having to retrace the tortured Mytharc of the final season. The actor even looks a lot like a cross between David (his coloring, hair) and Gillian (in the eyes, especially). Christian is dying of a brain disease (interesting metaphor there, itself), just as Mulder was before his abduction/death/resurrection.

Mulder's disease was the result of exposure to the radiation of the Godship, which William could control telepathically.† His bedsheets offer another clue in this context...


...the sky pattern reminding us of William's control over the star/planet mobile. Christian also seems to be psychic/intuitive. He realizes that Father Ibarra wants him to die, and later that Scully is afraid the treatment for his disease won't work. One of the results of exposure to the Godship radiation was psychic powers.


Also note basketball, sunflower seeds and jawbone (!)

Aside from "I Want to Believe" poster with the famous Billy Meier photograph that gives the film its title, we see little visual cues here and there, such as Mulder's large and ostentatious desk lamp, which just happens to be in the shape of a classic flying saucer.

And thrown into the midst of this is Father Joe, who represents the state-sanctioned institutionalization of mythology on one hand and the systematic perpetration of child abuse on the other. But he also is psychic, which in XF parlance is the primary indicator that a person's innate alien DNA has been activated. As co-writer Frank Spotnitz said of The X-Files, “all episodes are Mythology because mankind is part-alien.”

Pitted against him are Mulder and Scully, UFO believers who are themselves genetically alien (or immortal, as in Scully's case). Both sides of the argument as to the source of the alien abduction phenomenon- reality or repressed memory of abuse- play off each other in the frozen wasteland of post 9/11 America.

Which is the allegory?

Added to the strange, symbolic retelling of the Mytharc is the traditional use of ancient mythology within the X-Files Mythology. The Eleusinian Mysteries are the core narrative in IWTB, just as the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice was the core of Fight the Future and the Mysteries of Isis informed the AAT storyline in Seasons 7 and 8.


Monica Bannon is Persephone, abducted and brought down to Hell. Persephone is associated with Spring and was spotted by Hades while picking flowers, so accordingly Monica defends herself with a gardening tool. Given the exoteric narrative of the film, it's probably not an accident that the agent who plays Monica showed up before in Chris Carter's previous Frankenstein riff, "The Post-Modern Prometheus." That just shows you how he thinks.º

Cheryl is Persephone as well. Here we see her abducted amidst giant rolls of hay, tying back into the agricultural motif of the Mysteries. The constant backdrop of snow neatly parallels the barren earth of endless winter following Persephone's abduction.

Janke is Hades (with a bit of Set thrown in for good measure). The iconic shot of him underwater parallels Hades' place in the Underworld, looking up and spying Cheryl/Persephone. Janke is played by Callum Keith Rennie, who first appeared in the X-Files Universe in "Lazarus," an episode that also deals with consciousness being grafted onto another body (the title also references Osiris). The symbolism goes even deeper with this character...


...such as his menacing Ford pickup that makes a nice stand-in for Hades' chariot, and hence plays a major part in abductions. Cheryl drives a Subaru Outback, which opens a whole other can of worms.


Janke also has a two-headed dog, a gene-spliced modern version of Cerberus. Mulder encounters the dual-domed beastie after hopping the fence to the Russian compound, a Hell-on-Earth if ever there was one.


Inside the compound, we see Cheryl submerged into a vat of ice water, again symbolizing the descent into the Underworld. She's about to take her place as the Queen of Hell, once her head is removed and replaced with that of Franz, that is.


So what about our stars? Mulder repeats his role of Demeter seeking Persephone from the Samantha storyline, which Scully helpfully reminds us when she tells Mulder "this is about you trying to save your sister." We get some semiotic tips feminizing Mulder in the first half of the story, such as when enters "the woman's side."

Scully too is Demeter when she and Skinner rescue Cheryl/Persephone from Hell. Demeter was known as mater dolorosa in Eleusis, which means- you guessed it - "Our Lady of Sorrows."



Now what about Christian? In this scene the hospital staff decides to stop treating Christian and ship him off to a hospice to die (Father Ibarra claims it's God's will). Scully objects, saying his condition can be treated with stem cell therapy, but another doctor objects. Is "putting the boy through hell" another clue?

Like Isis, Demeter worked as a nursemaid during her search for Persephone and treated a sickly young boy by burning away his mortality. In both cases, their treatments ("putting them through hell," essentially) were opposed. And it goes with out saying that Isis is associated with Sirius, so DNA Scully must be Demeter here.

Here are the only characters Chris Carter acknowledges as symbols- the nuns are the Three Graces. It's worth noting that these scene takes place as the snow is melting outside, and Cheryl and Mulder have been rescued.

SO, WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

Modern scholars like Gordon Wasson and Terence McKenna have shown that the "mystery" behind the Mysteries was the use of powerful hallucinogens like LSA and amanita muscaria, which led to rituals including everything from wild dancing to group sex. Wasson has argued that Dionysus cultists actually used an admixture of powerful hallucinogens and herbs as their "wine," not the usual mix of fermented grapes, and that the kykeon of the Eleusinian Mysteries was made of rye ergot, itself a hallucinogen.

As we've seen in the "Alien Dreaming and the Widening Gyre" series, hallucinogens and alien contact seem to be connected in ways we don't yet understand. The liturgy of the Mithraic Mysteries- generally believed to be the most sober and conservative of the ancient sects - includes some pretty startling X-Files-type encounters with angels and snake-faced humanoids inside flying discs, which have doors and exhaust and artificial light fixtures and all of the rest of it. All of this follows the ingestion of a bitter mixture of herbs and other plant derivatives by the initiate. And strangely enough, the return of The X-Files after a six-year absence preceded an absolute explosion of UFO sightings all across the world...

As mentioned before, X-Files episodes that delve into AAT and alien identity were always preceded by unconnected stories about hallucination or hallucinogens, a pattern too consistent to be random. We don't have any explicit reference to either in I Want to Believe, but we do have a lot of parallels to several Mystery religions, the Eleusinian Mysteries being the most obvious. And what's more, there is an implicit connection to hallucinogens in the film's central message, "don't give up..."

While promoting the film in 2008, Chris Carter claimed that IWTB was initially inspired by a lecture he attended given by Huston Smith. The idea for IWTB was sketched out sometime in 2001, not long after Smith published Cleansing the Doors of Perception, a book of essays on Smith's experiences with entheogens. I'm not sure if the lecture Carter attended coincided with the book, but the timeline there is fascinating in light of the connections in the series itself.

I still haven't put the final pieces of this film together. The combination of the reverse-Mythology and the standard mythic allegories means something, but maybe not something that can be reduced to a soundbite. There's definitely a power in some of the myths that seems to speak to our unconscious, non-linear mind and the same certainly holds true with the UFO phenomenon.

I'd be perfectly happy if I Want to Believe is the final chapter of The X-Files, but if another sequel is due for 2012, I'd really like to hear something approaching a definitive answer regarding the strange connections we've been poring through around here. Well, as definitive as allowed within the Ten-Thirteen milieu.


NOTES

* The only time skeptics will acknowledge recovered or repressed memory of childhood abuse is when they are trying to explain alien abduction phenomena away.

† William may well have contracted such a disease because of Spender's magnetite injection. His adoptive family lived in Wyoming, not far from Calgary where the second Godship was found.

º From an article on Marco Niccoli, who plays Christian- Adding to the film's enigmatic nature, Benedet said she doesn't know why Carter specifically wanted someone with cerebral palsy. She added that Marco's character doesn't have the condition in the film; he's just "terminally ill."

"But with Chris Carter things are always related. Like Mulder, that's his mother's maiden name. And his production company, 1013 Productions, that's his birth date. So I am wondering why, but I'm sure gonna ask him."


29 comments:

  1. I really liked this X-Files film. It was as if Scully and Mulder went through 'portals' of their own. When we meet them, they are living in their now, which to us is an alt. reality. Together they both travel back into the 'us' we know and knew them as in the previous movie and tv show. It's a powerful translation on screen to let an actor revive a role by writing the revival into the script. It adds to the layering for sure.

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  2. Dia a post called DYNAMIC SYSTEMS FREQUENCY MODULATION about this film.

    I copped Joseph Fitzgerald Crissman [ Krissman] - so like Christ-man and JFK, making the 3 Nuns - the 3 Unworthy Craftsmen.


    When the doctor performs the operation of course he has a forehead light which doesn't look to different to the Uraeus on a Pharoah's head


    We see a mobile-phone with 4 names , one of which is BOWMAN

    Dakota Whitney's death , falling down the lift-shaft - she falls on to 3 prongs coming out of the floor.
    I felt this was 'in remembrance ' of those who fell to their deaths on 9/11

    Synch - just wrote a post containing many references to AUG 4. Came here which made me go back to my old post - posted on Aug 4

    Cheers

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  3. This is related yet off topic. I'm currently reading Jim Keith's Alternative 3. I picked it up after Buzz Aldrin's impassioned plea for a Mars exploration made my bullshite detector emit a loud whooping sound.

    Keith gives these earlier quotes from Buzz's book that explain, at least to me, why Buzz looked like a whacked out televangelist proselytizing for a trip to Heaven when he pushed a Mars trip on C-Span a while back.

    "We were to become public relations men for space exploration - in a sense, salesmen. The word made me terribly uncomfortable and self-conscious when it was first used."

    Looks like Buzz never retired from that little distasteful PR job, doesn't it?

    Then, speaking of his wife, Aldrin said, "I was incredulous...she had really believed all that crap that she had read about me - about her - about all of us? Suddenly all my life...became tinged with a crazy unreality."

    Then, when Aldrin was asked, by NBC newscaster Roy Neal, "Now that almost two years have gone by, why not tell us how it really felt to be on the Moon?"

    Buzz has this to say,"If any one question was anathema to me, that was it. Roy, I suppose, felt he had no choice. Yet it has always been almost impossible for me to answer that question with any sort of decent response.

    "My throat went dry and I became dizzy. Carefully I picked my way through a reply, thinking that all of the test pilots in the audience would burst out in laughter.

    "I remember little more of the interview...I signed a few [autographs] and when the shaking became uncontrollable, I grabbed Joan and ran for the door...In the privacy of an alley near the auditorium, I choked back my emotions and quietly wept."

    Sort of like space exploration via The X-Files, isn't it?
    So maybe it isn't as off topic as i first thought.

    I don't know, if I flew to the freaking Moon, I doubt that you would be able to shut me up about.
    But Buzz Aldrin, when queried, has a full blown panic attack and then weeps?

    Decidedly strange, to say the least.

    I've ordered Buzz's book from my local library. I'm curious to see if the quote is accurate or if there are any qualifiers attached to it by Buzz.

    By any chance, are you familiar with any of this?

    Are the quotes accurate?

    Keith also quotes Vito Saccheri, whose paper can be found here.

    Saccheri says :

    "As I was escorted back to the main room, I noticed a false panel that was slightly ajar and peeked inside. Floor-to-ceiling bookshelves were filled with white three-ring binders. Roger volunteered that most of the binders were filled with the details of NASA's scientific experiments conducted in space. The rest, he said, were simply transcripts of the manned space flights, including the moon landings. Since he had gotten to know us over the three days and had enjoyed seeing the photos himself, he gave me a wink and a nod and allowed me to enter the room unescorted.

    "I spent most of the remaining time poring over the scientific data, as I wasn't much interested in the transcripts. After all, along with four billion others, I had watched the first lunar landing on TV. Fortunately, however, I decided to browse some transcripts and flipped casualty through a few, killing the last 15 minutes of time. Then my eyes caught it- "Houston, we've got a bogey at two o'clock."

    "And there was more- "Roger that, Apollo. Switching to alpha. Roll eight degrees and begin sequence... "

    "Roger, Mission Control. Confirming alpha."

    Though I knew instinctively what it meant, I couldn't believe what I was reading. I raced through the pages and other mission transcripts and found similar dialogue-

    "Mission Control, we've got Santa Claus coming over the hill...."

    "Roger, Apollo. Hold your fix. Switching bravo. Do you copy?"

    "Roger, Houston. Bravo link...." "

    Is it all just wishful thinking by the conspiracy minded?

    Or something more sinister?

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  4. I just thought of something, Santa Claus is, according to Paul Devereux, the personification of amanita muscaria. Both Santa and the mushroom share the same characteristic red & white coloring.

    I'm not sure what that means, but I'm also reading a lot of Iain Sinclair, and synchro-mystic rambles are starting to influence my thinking.

    I also just read your Woodstock post. What I found interesting about it all was how Woodstock was everywhere last week. Even Dateline traced "that long strange trip."

    Yet, another anniversary passed without even a moments notice.
    Aug. 9 was the 35th anniversary of Nixon's resignation.

    Maybe we only examine anniversaries divisible by 10. I guess that means, in 5 years time, Nixon will be everywhere too.

    Or not.

    If Woodstock was the sugar coating on a psy-op experiment to derail real public dissent, it was a resounding success. The entire, other than punk rock, decade of the 70s is a very grim testament to that.
    Surprisingly, the system doesn't seem to like to memorialize its failures, does it?

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  5. WOW Even the Notice at the bottom of your page screams "17"

    In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without

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  6. Hi Chris,

    Thank you for more delicious brain food! This is the sort of stuff that makes you one of my favorite people in the whole world.

    I like reading your in depth posts like this more than once and sometimes twice to help me really resolve what you're writing.

    Your work and thinking is astounding!

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  7. Did we discuss that Father Joe had such a great head-of-hair because he's a Corybant, a self-gelded Priest of Cybele? A way to avoid Male Pattern Baldness.

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  8. You've definitely tied up quite a few loose ends with this post Chris, filled in a some gaps in my understanding of the themes in the movie, and how they are presented.
    But as you say, why the veiled alien mythos here, so coy?

    So we're back to your theme I guess, only questions provide the answers. Much like XF.

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  9. Looks like we do come from outer space:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/scienceNews/idUSTRE57H02I20090818

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  10. MH- Yeah, I think some people were thrown of by the fact that time passed and the characters changed. It upended that need for nostalgia that some people porjected onto it.

    Ferris- The Bowman is Rob Bowman, who was one of the director/producers on TXF. He also directed Elektra, Rein of Fire and the 9/11 ep of TLG. I noticed that light too- it made me think of the Cyclops. Here's the link to Ferris' post:

    http://aferrismoon.blogspot.com/2008/08/blog-post_04.html

    Yuggoth- You're not off-topic at all. What you're mentioning ties direct into the episode Space, which we looked at in the first installment. You were probably just subconsciously processing that with this crucial bit of info.

    As to your second posting, Santa Claus ties directly into the X-Files Mythology, particularly with the Walk-ins. The same discovery of buried bodies shows up in Closure- the serial killer in this case was "Santa Claus."

    Anony- That's a real law- look it up! =)

    Soapie- Cheers! Read it and then rewatch the movie. It will open up right in front of your eye!

    Ned- You got it- Joe is Attis and Franz is his Agdistis.

    Justin- There's a lot more where they come from, but I focused on the central themes. Watch it, you'll see.

    Anony- Great timing! Thanks.

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  11. You know Chris, I really hate people like you (not really). You fill a blog with all kinds of interesting shit to read, so now I have more competition for that stack of books on my coffee table.

    Just read Pt. 1, and found it highly amusing in a "hmmmm, that's strange" way.

    I just snagged Edwin Black's newest, Nazi Nexus, today. It's a condensed version of his other books, concentrating primarily on corporate America's love for Nazis during a time when average joes were getting their limbs blown off.

    Here's a trivia question:
    What does the Coke product Fanta have to do with goose-stepping psychopaths?

    I'm also reading Walter Abish's How German Is It?. Abish contends that postwar Germany papered over the horrors of the war with a nice shiny sheen of America worship.

    I guess love really is a two way street, eh?

    Again, I have no idea what it means, but it's making my palms sweat a bit.

    Then you mention Hubertus Strughold & his ties to MK-Ultra. Anymore, this brings to mind the whole Franklin Savings & Loan scandal, involving pedophilia & mind control. Just like the X-Files flick.

    This led me to Giordano Bruno. As you probably know, Bruno promoted the "many inhabited worlds" theory at a time when such views could get you sentenced to life as a human bonfire.

    Coincidentally enough, the book I just finished about Bruno mentions, only in passing, the Cenci clans attempted murder of their family's patriarch.

    From that book:

    "In 1599, when the wife and children of the noble Cenci family were plotting to kill their tyrannical, violent patriarch, they were all arrested, put into prison, and examined under torture.
    the investigators spared neither the teenage Beatrice Cenci, who had been molested repeatedly by her father, nor her younger brother, still a child. Their prosecution served to confirm, through an unforgettable public drama, that paternal rights were the only valid basis of family life. Each one of the Cenci was therefore sentenced to death by public execution. the spectacle took place, as it often did, in the piazza in front of the Tor di Nona prison. Beatrice and her mother were simply beheaded, although in the case of Beatrice the decapitation was not so simple-it took three blows of the ax. The males of the family were drawn and quartered, after having their flesh torn with hot pincers."

    So, even then, the Catholic Church didn't find pedophilia very distasteful.
    If I'm not mistaken, the very Catholic Boys Town played an integral part in the Franklin scandal.

    They apparently also didn't find Nazis very distasteful either, given their complicity in the rat-lines used by PaperClip to smuggle out Nazis.

    What did Phil Dick call it?

    "The black iron prison,' wasn't it?

    The more one digs, the blacker that prison seems to get.

    Fort was right, you can measure a circle beginning just about anywhere.

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  12. Wow- you learn something new every day- Cenci, eh? Well, that was the surname of the spiritual leader (IMO) of the underground Mithraic cult known as Boston Hardcore. I'm talking about Rockin' Bob Cenci, who kicked me out of the band I named, Jerry's Kids. The best Hardcore show I ever attended was in his family's basement. The Cenci house was a popular meeting place for Braintree's punk army, since Nona Cenci made fresh pizza for the kids every Friday night.

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  13. Christopher-thanks as always for this superb article! This has been the third time in as many days that I have seen a reference to Mary Shelley/Frankenstein and "Prometheus" not including you and Alex Robinson and others who have made reference to this. The latest "Prometheus" ref was in my "Daily Trivia" questions-haha yes I am that much of a nerd:) and I am starting to think this means something!best to you as always-great and thought provoking work you do! agree about "Fearon" that name "grabs" you to say the least!!WV=herlyso

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  14. Some more good timing for you:
    Tonight at 10 PM EST ABCs Primetime is covering alien abductions:

    http://abcnews.go.com/Primetime/story?id=8330290&page=1

    Sometimes I really do feel like we're being prepped for something.

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  15. What syncronicity, I was telling my friends under the apple trees last week the amazing mysteries of the Eleusis. God bless, here you are bringing up this late summer festival. Just what was in her hand? How could she transfer gnosis? Complete mystic syncro's for me my friend. I have tripped the light, many wonderous vistas we enjoy. Dennis

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  16. Interestingly, the son in Vince Gilligan's 'Breaking Bad' also has cerebral palsy. I don't know if this is purely a thematic connection as the actor RJ Mitte is afflicted in real life. Regardless of any intentional motive here, the contemporaneous inclusion by two X-Files co-collaborators of cerebral palsy into their works probably makes the topic worthy of deeper exploration. Just a thought . . .

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  17. Devin- Hmm- maybe that archetype is leading you somewhere. You should definitely see where it leads. Let us know if something interesting shows itself.

    Anony- Yeah, hmm. Looks like more of the same, eh? Thanks very much for the heads up though. I TiVoed it.

    Dennis- Another sync! Fantastic- it's good to see them popping up on this one. Cheers.

    Anony 936- Food for thought for sure. Interesting to note that BB is about drug dealing and Vince wrote a lot of those drug eps I mentioned that preceded the AAT stuff.

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  18. Talk about timing....
    "UFO 'X-Files' revealed" on the 17th no less!!!!
    http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/tech/2009/08/17/verjee.uk.ufo.archives.cnn

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  19. Hi Christopher, excellent article that should put to rest most of the grumbles i heard of people coming out of the theater -where are the aliens?

    I did catch the poster, and ufo desk lamp. The lamp brought a memory of Ken Russel's Mindbender film.
    That type of lamp has another 'ufo' symbolism, it's classic 'schoolboy' hoaxer technique, to aim it as a reflection on plate glass, so that it can be 'photographed' floating in the sky.

    This technique is seen in Ken Russel's Mindbender the Uri Geller story. The same Ken Russel that brought us Gothic, -shades of frankenstein, and Lair of the White worm.

    Every reader of Secret Sun knows Uri's main protector was Andrija Puharich, the sacred mushroom rediscover and member of the Nine cabal.
    In the film though i always thought the 'Luciferan' Father Ibarra, wasn't there simply as Scully's adversary. Googling Ibarra brings up Ecuador South America. South America is the underworld to North America. It also plays a part in Secret Sun knowledge of Indiana Jones kingdom of the crystal skull.
    Ibarra Equador is a city located in the north, and is called the 'white' city. Since i brought up this synch based on Father Ibarra.
    The Roman Catholic Diocese of Ibarra was founded December 29, 1862. In symbolism 29=11, 1862=17.
    11, 17. The city was found by the spanish mercenary conquistadors in 1606, the 17th century.

    I got a kick out of the Eleusinian Mysteries riff to the movie because while the 'soundtrack' could be Marilyn Manson's "i don't like the drugs but the drugs like me".
    Drugs may have played an exoteric part of the ancient ritual. To prepare the initiate for contact, to open the dreaming mind. Initiation, darkness ordeals, sacred knowledge were the foundations of these mystery rights.

    But a clue can be seen in your catching the "image of the dead woman's face trapped beneath the ice". This can also be a portal or 'gateway' to the dead.
    While the aliens are quite possibly the 'ancient' Archons after souls. The ancients had methods to contact these worlds.
    If i remember correctly, mirrors and windows played a good part in X files I want to believe. Mulder staring at himself in a mirror, the 3 nuns on the other side of the hospital door visible in the window.
    A pool of water is itself a 'mirror' to the night sky. The ancients did not crane their 'necks' to gaze at the sky. They used sacred pools or specifically created 'flat' pools like in the Isis/sphinx temple egypt to reflect the sky, and stars at night. To the ancient world the underworld was the sky at night, reflected in the sacred pools of water, they were worshiping heaven, and star gods literally.

    -to be continued 4096 character limit.

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  20. Part 2 of what i was writing, thanks.

    Now Greek myths and sacred rites dealt with contact with the dead who 'could see the future' on leaving their body. Necromanteion's like the Mysteries was a place to contact the dead for knowledge of the future. The rite was meant to be a journey into the underworld, the realm of Hades and Persephone.
    Now what most scholars agree is that like the oracles of Greece the rite ended with gazing into a mirror. The gateway to the dead, and waiting for images to come through and appear. The mirror or 'gateway' if outdoors a 'star gate' was often a polished bronze bowl filled with water, suspended over a tripod, with subdued lighting. Nostradamus used this 'method' too. The person seeking 'knowledge' or wanting to believe that the soul was immortal, would look into the 'bowl or mirror'.
    This is a non drug method of attaining contact with other realities, -mirror or pool gazing. It can also go into Walt Disney and Snow White's mirror mirror on the wall.
    Sitting in a darkened chamber looking into a large mirror so that 'no reflection' of yourself is shown, and -waiting for contact.
    My apology's Chris that this is getting kind of long but i also noticed you referring to the Ford as a nice stand-in for Hades' chariot. Since the 'stars' can be seen as the underworld as well as the world of the dead. That immortal souls were said to journey into the 'heavens' or the stars themselves.
    A vehicle, a chariot, a 'ship' was needed for the journey. I just recently read an interesting book by Peter Levenda, Stairway to Heaven. The same Levenda rumored to be Simon of the Necronomicon fame.
    Levenda has a modern take on the magickal journey to meet the 'gods' in heaven. I am going to savage his thesis with my unlettered take but in the book he says it is possible for common men and women to 'journey' to heaven, while 'still' alive,an then back to earth.
    The symbolism of the north, and pole star play important roles in the concept but as does the 'mental' and spiritual journey. Was this how contact was done in the past, with the 'telepathic' star gods? i'll leave you with a quote from Levenda's book Stairway to Heaven, page 216. "One did not simply leap from the earth to the Pole Star however; the voyage was gradual, and the seven gates and their respective guardians had to be passed before access could be enjoyed at the Throne of the Gods. So any reader of your blog Christopher can recognize the gnostic view of that, and the intriguing possibility that the 'method' Levenda writes about to reach the 'gods', and as has been hinted at by the ancient mysteries is still possible for us today.
    X-Files i want to believe was a dark film, but i saw it as the abyss, testing Mulder and Scully, seek the light or give up?

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  21. Thoth- Awesome! This is great stuff, and offers us all some excellent grist for our semiotic mills. The idea of the reflecting post ties in to Hancock and Bauval's theories as to the NIle as the refection of the Milky Way, as well as the water door concept of the Stargate. It's fascinating that Puharich was working with channeling and mushrooms, and it's important to note also all of the double dealings there as well- Puharich was definitely left out in the cold, as they say, and most people think he was assassinated. That's was very common with a lot of these guys who were into the weird stuff, particularly with the rise of the Religious Right in the 70s.

    You got me on this whole idea of reflection and water- note that Mulder shaves his beard in that scene you mention. It reminds me that the first time we saw the Godship in Biogenesis it was beneath the ocean waves. I'll definitely be watching out for that. I'll also take a look for that Mindbender film as well.

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  22. I've done my share of huffing and puffing over the film's lack instead of it's gain. It is my personal paradox as I try to negotiate as a thinking person's flick as a opposed to it sorta, kinda being marketed (to fans mostly) as a dated revival of Fight The Future.

    It's so laced with symbols that it even rendered me frustrated! But your posts always offer me much appreciated insight. More than you could possibly imagine.

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  23. It's true, Ashlee- this is probably one of the most symbol-dense films I've ever seen. It's so meticulous it borders on obsessive. Believe it or not, I only scratched the surface here. I could probably do a blog on this film alone.

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  24. I'm going to end up watching both Fight the future and this one back to back, after midnight. See what else turns up.
    Hancock and Bauval, Puharich, mirrors and water doors. Researchers and explorers whose works i have collected. I sometimes forget where this stuff comes from, it's something i've read and put back in the mind. At least the researchers keep this stuff out there. I'm picking your book up next Our Gods Wear Spandex. I'm embarrassed not to have picked it up after hanging out here on secret sun.
    The deaths of paranormal investigators or at least the banishment to the margins of society is quite common.
    If they don't kill you they make you poor is one of the main rules.
    But it's worth it, the quest for knowledge, and paranormal power, i want to believe has new relevance.

    One of the reasons i know of people that don't like x-files or scifi, horror the stuff 'secret sun' readers like is, -it scares them. Causes them to look at 'mirrors' shadows and alleyways different. That black van in the alleyway, or freezing computer. The strange buzzing on the phone. The 'dream' that was so real. It's like this stuff opens a doorway a boundary to let the tricksters into their lives.
    On a 'slight' x-files note, i was thinking of this post last night, on the way out the door, at the boundary of the hallway. I flipped on the light to find my shoes. White blue flickers of light shot down. I was stunned for a second, as i watched white blue waves of light flood the hallway, ramping up and down faster than the eye could follow. It was a laser/strobe bar show. The fluorescent spiral 'green' bulb, throw off waves of blue-white light so fast i thought at first a 'police' car with new strobes had shown up. The light show continued for over a minute, i 'knew' it was the bulb gone berserk, but it was an 'effect' worthy of a scifi picture. Waves of light pulsing through a fast frequency of light, -i guess like getting beamed up would feel like. The funny part is my friends outside the door were watching this mouth open, i was heading out with them to see District 9. Now -knowing how this stuff works, i had a 'sign' that the show was sold out. -it was. Even half hour early the show was sold out. I had my paranormal 'event', but hell, i wanted to see it.

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  25. Chris,
    Do you remember *Mazes And Monsters* w/ Tom Hanks from 1982? I watched it tonight w/ my kids and it was a trip. It might have been all personal syncs, but I don't know. Give it watch. Did you play D&D? This movie ruined the game for many of my friends, but then the film itself has more depth than just the surface warning.
    anyway, thought I'd share.
    doug

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  26. Just watched the film for a second time Chris. One thing, did you watch through to the very end of the credits? Interesting tidbit there that I can't quite reconcile with the rest of the film, almost hokey really; a ride into the sunset in a sense...

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  27. Well, maybe not a ride into the sunset but more like, "Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream..."

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  28. And what is the favourite metaphor for describing the Collective Unconscious, by Jung himself I believe?

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  29. IWTB was supposed to be the last XF film, which is why CC put in that scene. But now they're doing another one so they'll have to row back!!

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