The Sins of the Father, or Meltdown Gibson

It's a surefire bet that Mel Gibson's father Hutton didn't speak with either his son's agent or accountant when he decided to appear on the white nationalist radio program The Political Cesspool and let loose with the Francoist song-and-dance routine, declaring the uber-orthodox Pope Benedict to be a Freemasonic homosexual satanist.

Because it couldn't have possibly come at a worse time for his son's career - or divorce proceedings. Despite what some gossip columnists have reported, it appears that Mel's wife Robyn (whom Mel charmingly declared was hell-bound because she was raised Anglican) is no rush to reconcile with the troubled former screen idol. I'm sure she can think of countless ways to spend all of Mel's millions, and her lawyers are downright priapic with the prospect of playing Oksana's tapes in court.

And now dear old dad threw a pot of kerosene on the bonfire of Mel's vanity- and life and career and finances. But something tells me that the timing is by no means accidental.

Hutton's pronouncements are shocking if you're unfamiliar with the fascistic fringe of the old Right, which unfortunately is responsible for a lot of the memes and tropes out there in Conspiracyland. There's a movement within paleoconservative circles to rehabilitate people like Gibson, hence the Cesspool appearance. They have a lot to gloss over, including a murderous intolerance for Protestants, mainstream Catholics and pretty much everyone else outside their very small circles. Christopher Hitchens has been a Gibson gadfly for years now and does a pretty good job illuminating Hutton's weltanschauuang in Slate:
I have some of old man Gibson's books on my shelf, including his self-published classics Is the Pope Catholic? and The Enemy Is Still Here!, which essentially accuse the current papacy of doing the work of the Antichrist. My favorite sample of his prose style is the following: "Our 'civilization' tolerates open sodomy and condones murder of the unborn, but shrinks in horror from burning incorrigible heretics—essentially a charitable act."
Hutton did the same routine before The Passion of the Christ was released, but in that case it probably helped. The controversy over antisemitism helped make that movie a blockbuster, just as the controversy over The Last Temptation of Christ made that movie an arthouse smash. In both cases the controversy galvanized audiences and made them feel they were making a bold political statement simply by seeing a film. Of course, Passion was also released during the apex of the Religious Right's revival under Bush's patronage.

But I have a funny theory about Passion- the real object of Mel's rage is not the Jews, but Jesus himself.

It's very revealing to me that Mel chose to film himself driving a nail in Jesus's wrist. It's just as revealing as the intensity of the relentless, mind-numbing brutality that Mel inflicts on his ostensible savior. It seems to be as if a very old score is being settled, all the more brutal because of its subconscious nature.

After all, Mel was the the Sexiest Man Alive, and could have spent his free time running around boozing and whoring with the second, third and fourth sexiest men alive, not sitting there moping in some gloomy, schismatic church, hating himself for his primal urges. He could have gone and chased after harlots when he was in his prime, and not in his alarmingly rapid decline.

Every night he wasn't sharing his bed with a Cindy Crawford or a Madonna or a Claudia Schiffer was all because of Jesus. Every party he missed, every drink he never drank was all because of Jesus. All of that pain and rage we see Jesus on the receiving end of in Passion -- well, call me crazy but I think it was a long time coming.

And just look at Mel's behavior over the past few years - we're talking Corey Haim/Dana Plato kind of meltdown stuff here. I'm not seeing much saving going on as a result of his film. His taste in women has run pretty damn spicy as well. I mean, I'm sure this Oksana girl is very nice and all, but she looks more like a gangster's moll than a Maryknoll.

What's more, I very much doubt that growing up with a guy like Hutton as your father made for a lot of smiles and sunshine. I wouldn't be surprised if that belt didn't come off at the slightest possible infraction. Growing up in a neighborhood with a lot of people raised in the pre-Vatican II church, I got to know the mentality.

Hell, it wasn't just Catholics. My mother had a habit of ascribing every stubbed toe or pitfall to God punishing me ("oh, you fell down the stairs- that's God punishing you for not taking out the trash"), but she never burned with the white-hot religious rage that Hutton Gibson does. That's Torquemada, burn-the-midwives, drown-the-kittens kind of stuff that he's nursing. The stuff that even Opus Dei fanatics think is a little over the top.

Would I be at all surprised if Hutton didn't decide to stick the Longinus spear in Mel's side in order to punish his transgressions? Would I be at all surprised if he burns with jealousy over Mel's onetime superstardom? Hardly.

Either way, Hutton- you sure done fixed Mel's wagon. I'm sure Ari Emmanuel savored every second of your Cesspool slot and burned CDs of it for every producer, manager and agent in Tinseltown. If Mel's career was dying before, now it's well and planted.

In a strange way Mel's whole story reminds me of an episode of Millennium from the first season, Sacrament. In it Frank Black's sister-in-law is kidnapped during her daughter's baptism by a recently paroled psychopath. But Frank gets flashes of the psychopath's mental torment, in which he believes he's being tortured by demons.

It turns out that the psycho's father is the demon, and that he has his troubled son kidnap women for his father to torture to death. In the end, the psycho is arrested but Frank realizes who the real demon is.

I can't help but think of it whenever I read about Mel and his dad. Mel gets all of the grief but is he in fact a tormented soul? What's the real source of all of this rage and self-destructiveness? Is this the classic case of the sins of the father being visited on the son?

I'm certainly not losing any sleep over Mel's troubles, but I can't help but wonder. I think Hitchens pretty well nailed what Mel grew up having his head filled with. And of course, all of Europe once had its head filled with it before the Renaissance.


  1. Chris My friend -
    good to read you this early Friday A.M. Know what I noticed bout Mel's torment? I noticed that when we hear him rave on the phone to Oxsana, he's completely Out Of Control. It's not ordinary anger. It's just wild, naked, unhinged rage. She seems to have planned the calls, so she could record them. She pushes his button about a specific topic, then off he goes. He's a sick, sad guy. She knows this, and knows how to make him spew. I do NOT defend him. Actually, I suspect from what I've heard and read, he may have a couple of different personalities rattling around in there. But it's a sorry mess. A shame guys like this, and his dad, have so much influence in popular entertainment and culture. Thanks for the insightful notes. And I think you're dead on about Mels' Rage At The Christ. It's sad. Most people never caught that. My Christian friends ate up that movie like it was candy. I couldn't bring myself to go see it, and glad I never did. Sometimes there's so much lurking beneath the surface, you just don't even want to dip your toe in the pond.
    Thanks again,

  2. Wow Chris,
    You forced me to look at this Mel Gibson thing in a whole new light, without the knee jerk response to his drama that I initially had. I did see The Passion of the Christ and was horrified at how brutal it was and like Thrace I had friends and family members swearing to get their lives right after they saw the movie. I, for one, thought it was a hell of a way for him to really teach Jesus' words. I always thought there was something going on with him that went deeper than the surface picture he presented (isn't it that way with us all?) and thanks to you I have a new way of exploring that now.
    Great Blog!

  3. I have to agree with the article in general and Thrace above. Gibson's bouts of rage do seem to indicate something uncontrollable is disintegrating his personality. I've heard his father is far beyond extreme but some of these details are very worrying. It does seem a trigger (obviously the mid-life kind) has let loose a vault of horrors in Gibson's life.

  4. Not one of your better posts. Seems decidedly off-topic and extremely snarky. A lot of unfounded pop psychology going on here.

    I'm fairly certain that what the world needs right now isn't another rant about Mel Gibson's rants.

    We're drowning in snark.... which isn't surprising, as snark is so much easier than compassion and empathy.

    Anyway, just my $.02. You're good at what you do and have a lot to offer, but I just don't see this as an example of it.

  5. Thrace- Yeah, the punishment Jesus goes through is so over the top it strays into torture porn territory. I have no idea how anyone can find any inspiration in it. Thank you very much for your kind words and for your very, very keen insights on Mel's behavior. It's overkill, which speaks to long years of repression.

    Califia- Thank you very much! And again I'm glad other people sense it.

    John- You know I didn't even think about the midlife crisis aspect of this- thanks for bringing it up.

    Anonymous- Well, thank you for your kind words but I really think you've missed the point of the piece. As to off-topic if you look at the tags you'll see it's very much on-topic. Maybe give it another read- maybe you see some of the compassion and empathy you missed the first time around.

  6. I agree with the anon comment above. A swing and a miss on so many levels. This is almost a tabloid like indulgence compared to your usual work. Odd. Intentional?

  7. Nope- really a look at a psychology I'm familiar with. Again, give it another read and see past the surface details.

  8. An excellent post! One of the most interesting things about your blog is how you go beneath the surface of all levels of our current culture . This iceberg aspect of our world is fascinating and disturbing. thanks for shining a flashlight into the murk!

  9. john lash (of gnostic commentary analysis fame) has some interesting words on this whole gig: patriarchal persecution and its attendant madness, the tyranny of belief.

    apparently the ancient gnostics had the 'big 3' pegged from the get go. although i view their gaia mythos as more metaphor.. they hit the nail on the head w/the utter psychopathy that is the 'big 3'. read up. and further, even if 'mel' is cultural flotsam/jetsam, the reasons for his/his father's insanity are more than germane to any discussion on collective society and contemporary culture.

    "Terror is error spelled with a cross. Gnostics warned of a tendency to mental deviance in our species, which they called plané, "error, going astray." In salvationist belief, they detected the evidence and agency of this deviance. The seers of the Mysteries were accomplished theologians who opposed the Judeo-Christian idol of the divine redeemer because it glorifies suffering and undermines our rapturous bond with the earth, Sophia embodied. Salvationist faith is the mainstay of global terrorism. "

    another snip:

    At the time of the rise of Christianity, Pagans (i.e., those who lived close to nature and thus preserved the bond to Sophia, the earth goddess) rejected belief in the redemptive value of suffering as a perversion and a lie. Not in His Image, Ch. 19, A Unique Message of Love:

    "The divine victim mirrors to humanity, not the solution to our suffering and a way to overcome it, but our total, consuming enslavement to it. Victimage works because it makes the force of suffering look stronger than the life force itself.."

  10. To come to Chris's defense, I have to agree with the piece. I saw the The Passion once, and it's the last film I would want to have a child see to learn about Christ. I'd rather have a child see an older, European film like The Gospel According To St. Matthew that artfully conveys the story better than Gibson's religious torture porn.

    While it might be a surprise, some people use, or abuse, their faith as an excuse to act out their own pathologies. This issue with Gibson isn't new, have people forgotten about the anti-feminist / anti-intellectual elements within his film The Man Without A Face? There has been warning signs for years.

  11. I have always thought of the cross as an instrument of torture and psychosis. My mother always leaves some plastic cruxifix when she visits. To adore the Adoni is real. This plastic cruxifix stuff is the inquisition, and the glorification of mans inhumanity to man. What dreams old Mel must have. I had not heard Mel's rant before, methinks he does not have an affinity with wo-man. The bloody terror of xtians never ceases to amaze me. Hail Isis. Dennis

  12. Califia's Lap said...
    "...I did see The Passion of the Christ and was horrified at how brutal it was and like Thrace I had friends and family members swearing to get their lives right after they saw the movie. I, for one, thought it was a hell of a way for him to really teach Jesus' words.(Great Blog!)" - Great thouths cali, I couldn't agree more.

    Now who is this Jesus guy?

    Mel's ideas wasn't art by a normal human being, what he presented was repugnate. It was an excuse for Mel to show just how brutal the Jews are! He clerarly reflected that in the FASCT that Mel potraited the Jews as very much in POWER, FEAR and JUDGED Jesus to caused his brutal death.

    This so called Christ, didn't exist. aka HORUS...the All Seeing Eye or Ra as in Egyptian Sun God or Son(Sun) of God...all made up.

    And Mel Gibsen is an idiot!

    Oasis – Isis Mother – Horus Son – Osiris Father!

    The word Oasis comes from the Egyptian word ‘oiuh’, meaning ‘dwell’. With a little sound/shape association applied to the word ‘oiuh’, the similarity with the French word for ‘yes’ is ‘oui’, pronounced ‘we’. The English word ‘yes’ is simply a subliminal word that means ‘eyes’ or ‘Isis’. Likewise the French word ‘oui’, also sends a similar subliminal thought, by pronouncing ‘oui’ as ‘oye’ or ‘eye’.

    The word Oasis comes from the Egyptian word ‘oiuh’, meaning ‘dwell’. With a little sound/shape association applied to the word ‘oiuh’, the similarity with the French word for ‘yes’ is ‘oui’, pronounced ‘we’. The English word ‘yes’ is simply a subliminal word that means ‘eyes’ or ‘Isis’. Likewise the French word ‘oui’, also sends a similar subliminal thought, by pronouncing ‘oui’ as ‘oye’ or ‘eye’.

    These eye words are referring to the ‘eye’ of Isis, Osiris & Horus, the All Seeing Eye of the energy light atom. Also insinuated in the word Oasis, is the link between the Eye and Water. The Eye is the energy light atom. Energy is measured in watts. The word watts comes from water. This method of linking one thought process with another is the foundation of hypnotic suggestion. One thought from the mind suggests something just beneath the conscious level, & the incredible ability of humanities awareness fills in the blanks.

    Corruption & deceit don't naturally occur in the awareness state, therefore wisdom ingests all suggestion innocently, as deception is a totally foreign concept. In comprehending this subliminal suggestion technique, the very idea of creation becomes obvious. Creation of the 3 dimensional space, the physical world, is only a massive hypnotic trance established through thought, maintained and perpetuated through subliminal messaging.

    Hmm..Mel MADE ME WRITE THAT...Enjoy! :) ds888

  13. A really terrific post, and very insightful, IMHO. Anons are calling this "extremely snarky"? Sigh. Personally, never much listen or reply to anons, since they seem to love to dish it out but can't take it.

    Considering the filmography of Mr. Gibson, this post could not be more on target for the Secret Sun. It also betrays a certain willingness to engage in empathy for a modern media "villain" rather than simply demonize.

    My hat's off, and this is the reason why I still come back to the Secret Sun.

  14. Well, I'm not sure what Mr. Gibson's major Melfunction is but I thought Passion was an uncompromising artistic triumph, not to mention it moved the shit outta me. I know I'm in the minority here, but I usually am, so no big. Torture porn? Perhaps, on some levels, but it was a damned accomplished piece of torture porn. Though I'm not a Christian in any kind of orthodox sense, I still find some inspiration and nobility in the idea that an innocent man would be willing to suffer and perhaps die for his freedoms and the freedoms of others. I AM SPARTACUS!

    Anyways, on Futurama: It started out as a sort of satirical anti-anti-Darwinist polemic (Farnsworth debates a simian professor who happens to be a creationist) then ended up as a satirical anti-anti-AAT polemic (advanced robots arrest Farnsworth for insisting the 'bots evolved from a handful of nanobots Farnsworth threw into a pool of chemically-charged sludge millions of years ago). I missed part of the episode including the logistics of the time discrepancy but I think I got the highlights correct...

  15. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Neither do nuts. This post really resonated with me. I recently saw "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" in which the topic of ritual abuse and, perhaps, even an underlying them of trauma based mind control with Nazism.
    Hannibal Lecter explains the phenomenon succintly when he gives Clarice Starling clues to finding Buffalo Bill: "Look for severe childhood disturbances associated with violence. Our Billy wasn't born a criminal, Clarice. He was made one through years of systematic abuse.
    Billy hates his own identity, you see, and he thinks that makes him a transsexual. But his pathology is a thousand times more savage
    and more terrifying".
    Well obviously, I a not saying that Mel Gibson is a serial killer. I am suggesting that his crazy ass father made a crazy ass son. And I would bet my crazy ass that somewhere in that relationship there was some horrible abuse.
    Great change of pace Chris with a post on the secrets of sons and their fathers.

  16. Oh, I don't think such Mellucinations ended with the Renaissance. If anything they were "refined' to an altogether transcendent level. Hieronymus Bosch, anyone?

  17. Kikz- Interesting quotage there. There's an interesting parallel in some Mesoamerican death cults who made human sacrifices to bring the gods back or delay the death of the Sun.

    Matt- Indeed. I lost interest in Mel ages ago and I can't even remember how I realized he'd gone off the rails. As to Jesus on film, I'd recommend the Jesus of Nazareth miniseries from 1978.

    Dennis- A lot of commentators have pointed out how Gibson fits the classic profile of the abuser. What I find interesting is how odd he looks now- how his illness or his torment seems to be written into his face.

    Dark Star- Interesting insights there- food for thought.

    Michael- Thank you Michael- it's always a pleasure to have you.

    Ben- Interesting. I only see rage and hatred in that film, but I certainly don't need others to have to agree with me. I'll have to check out that Futurama.

    Ddare- Yeah, I think there is a terrifying undercurrent of sadomasochism in extremist Catholic circles and I'm not the first to say so. Extremist religious circles in general, really. Sexual repression strikes me as being the primary culprit there. But that's a whole other discussion.

  18. Mel Gibson is a very strange guy, Hollywoodland really works on these people. Anywhere you could makethe worst film ever made like "What Woman Want", is really twisted!

    I thought you'd find this amusing check the Engine number on this! A.C. all the way? 0:50mins

  19. From HuffPost: Advanced Military Satellite Launches Into Orbit

    The rocket launched at 7:07 a.m. Saturday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. It took into space the first of a series of new satellites that will be used for advanced military data.

    Hello Skynet?

  20. lost my last post..
    thx, i'm sure the meso-deathcults get some mention on lash's site, although i'm not completely thru it..

    the vector for the psychopathy, lash surmises is the sect that apparently authored the dead sea scrolls, the zaddikim, whose ideology was then adopted for political reasons by constantine and its viral takeover began...

    Melchizedek is the secret agent behind the Zaddikite ideology of divine (read: impossible) perfection, which also implies divine retribution for all those who do not meet the Transhuman Ideal, or who harm and oppose those who revere the Transhuman Ideal, the faithful ones who look to it for their salvation, for their release from the human condition. Here is the source of what George Steiner has called "the blackmail of transcendence," the inhumane belief system that arose, not from Judaic religion, but from the Zaddakim. (Bluebeard's Castle, cited in Paul Shepard, Nature and Madness, p. 58.) Steiner wrote that "the creed of Sinai tore up the human psyche by its most ancient roots," (p. 38) but the Zaddikite ideology of perfection was even more devastating than the guilt-complex incurred by the divinely ordained rules of the Mosaic Code. "The Judaic summons to perfection" (Steiner again, cited in Shepard, p. 106) has put a curse upon the entire world.

    The Transhuman Ideal is the main psychological tool of the Dominator mindset (cf. Terence McKenna, Riane Eisler) that operates in the religious-governmental alliance of the global power game. Whether those who propogate the Ideal are Nazis or Neocons — and lately it is pretty hard to tell the dfference — the effect is the same: dissociation from the human condition and alienation from the body ("the basic schizoid position," Sherpar, p. 85) Melchizedek lurks in the long dark shadow of patriarchy.

  21. I liked the analysis about The Passion being an expression of rage and hatred. You have indicated something which explains why I feel uneasy when seeing images from it.

    Some people were greatly moved by the film, because they say it made them appreciate what incredible sufferings Jesus endured, in order to secure our means of salvation. As a theological point, I don't agree with that at all - I don't believe in the doctrine of the atonement.

    However, this theological doctrine brings us back to the topic of your post. For the church teaches that God sent His Son to die, as a perfect sacrifice, which frees us of the burden of sin. The same suggestion was made by dozens of pagan cults, where the angry Father God kills his son, and then raises him to life again. The sacrificial son (Dionysius - he who turned water into wine) then becomes an object of worship. For one thing, he looks more attractive than his bloodthirsty, vengeful father, the creator God.

    Fathers and sons, and the price paid by the son for being younger and more attractive than his father, is the script here. In the theology, and also, in Mel's life.

  22. one quick thought.
    2 christian god/christ combos in the bible?

    there seems to be a gnostic christ from a great creator source; and on the other hand, a "false" vengeful god with a son simply destined as a sacrifice.

  23. When this was first posted, I didn't read it because I was repulsed at the idea of a torture movie which Christians felt was an expression of "love". I came back to read it via a link from one of your links.

    You are very insightful.

    The beatings were the candles on the cake as far as I'm concerned. The best way to explain the cake ingredients come from Ezri Dax's words to Miles explaining what happened to her brother, a frustrated artist found guilty of murder, during their childhood,

    "the constant drumbeat of criticism, the endless humiliations, the way his heart was carved up into a million pieces..."

    Ezri's brother apparent was not physically beaten however what he endured is (in my experience) part and parcel of the abuse. This is why I think it is far more likely that a talented and abused child is searched for, targeted and exploited by the people eaters. I do not discount the possibility of deliberately-created multiple personality humans BUT coming from an Irish-Catholic upbringing in the 50s and 60s, I know that there are plenty of abused ones out there who have all the symptoms of being multiple personalities. Give them a drug, or fame and fortune, and eventually there will be an explosion of one sort or another.

  24. Apocalypto,in my opinion,was Mel's opus.I really love that film,and I even thought "The Passion..." was a well made film about one of history's greatest
    (to me,mythological) figures.
    Despite all of the loose talk that gets him into so much trouble,he's still a great filmmaker,and I can't wait for his next one.
    And that's coming from an old
    "oven-dodger" like myself.-)