Skull & Bones: The Parapolitics of Ten Thirteen's Millennium, Part 2

The ”Grillflame” remote viewing program at the “Stanton Research Institute” was based on a real-life program of the same name that was a very hot topic indeed at the time in the conspiracy underground (we looked at it here a few years back).

From the article “CIA-Initiated Remote Viewing At Stanford Research Institute” by H. E. Puthoff, Ph.D., we read the following:
In July 1995 the CIA declassified, and approved for release, documents revealing its sponsorship in the 1970s of a program at Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park, CA, to determine whether such phenomena as remote viewing ‘might have any utility for intelligence collection.’ Thus began disclosure to the public of a two-decade-plus involvement of the intelligence community in the investigation of so-called parapsychological or psi phenomena.

The words ‘threat assessment’ were often used to describe the program's purpose...much of the remote-viewing activity was carried out under conditions where ground-truth reality was a priori known or could be determined, such as the description of U.S. facilities and technological developments, the timing of rocket test firings and underground nuclear tests, and the location of individuals and mobile units.
The woman above is a stewardess in "The Innocents."
Later, her sister remote-views in her hospital bed.

The RV director in 'Exegesis' is based on Russell Targ, who ran the program at Stanford. Targ believes that RV could be explained through the concept of "non-locality":
Non-locality is a description of the space-time we live in which under certain conditions twin particles and twin people have much more connectivity that you would think they have... In quantum mechanics we say the emission of two photons or two elementary particles from a common source are entangled even though they travel away from one other at the speed of light.

If you grab one of them, the other one shows the effect of that. Einstein’s special relativity said that things traveling away from each other at the speed of light are disconnected and there’s no way to communicate between them so the idea that non-local connections permit such a connection between the elementary particles contradicts special relativity. General relatively pertains to gravity and has nothing to do with this. Special relativity pertains to the connection between things traveling at the speed of light and the nature of space-time. This has now been well demonstrated.

David Baum, one of the pioneers in modern quantum mechanics, called this quantum interconnectedness. Henry Stapp, who is chair of the physics department at UC-Berkley, said that non-locality may be the most important discovery in all of science because it shows that we misperceive the world we live in.

Grill Flame subject 512, their mother

Targ also believes that RV is a skill that anyone could learn, under the proper conditions:
The teaching of remote viewing is principally giving people permission to do it. Society says it’s nonsense, there is no such thing. What the remote viewing teacher has to do is use his conviction to convince a person to suspend their disbelief, quiet their mind, and describe their mental impressions of whatever the remote viewing teacher is offering as a hidden target.

People quickly learn to separate out their mental noise -- the memory, imagination and analysis -- from the information that’s surprising and unfamiliar looking in order to do remote viewing.
Given that one of the main tasks remote viewers were given was to locate missile sites, it’s interesting to note that ‘Exegesis’ ends with a shootout in an abandoned missile silo in Virgina. There, the target of the group-- an elderly woman who was the most prodigious of the fictional Grillflame remote viewers-- reveals the Group want to kill her because she has seen that they want to bring about the Apocalypse. This would be a thruline with the retooled mytharc.

Remote viewing had a strange connection to apocalypticism in the Ten Thirteen Universe. In The X-Files episode Pentagon operative Michael Kritschgau is called in as exposure to an alien virus is causing Mulder to lapse into a psychotic state when triggered by radiation embedded in an alien artifact.

Kritschgau was enlisted by Skinner to help, which he does by injecting Mulder with an anti-seizure drug he claims was used to medicate CIA remote viewers.

'The Sixth Extinction' where Mulder's alien RV abilities manifest

All of this takes place while Mulder's blood was being used to create a vaccine against an virus intended to kill off most of humankind, yet another sub rosa connection between the mythologies of The X-Files and Millennium. In many ways, the ‘Sixth Extinction’ three-parter can be twinned with ‘The Innocents’/’Exegesis’, in which a family of remote viewers are the only thing standing in the way of the radicalized Millennium Group.

Obviously, the issues raised in the Millennium two-parter seemed to get under Chris Carter’s skin.

Coincidentally, the themes in Season Three of Millennium preceded a real-life report released by the FBI in October of 1999 called Project Megiddo, that dealt the Bureau’s concerns about the militia movement, the “Christian Identity” movement and other apocalyptically-obsessed groups. Quoting from the report:
Apocalyptic cults see their mission in two general ways: They either want to accelerate the end of time or take action to ensure that they survive the millennium...(an) analysis of millennial cults by the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit describes how rhetoric changes depending on whether the leader's ideology envisions the group as playing an active role in the coming Apocalypse or a passive survivalist role...

Under these ideologies, many extremists view themselves as religious martyrs who have a duty to initiate or take part in the coming battles against Satan.
That last point would be brought to bear in the Season Three mytharc in a particularly dramatic fashion.


In their first work for Millennium since the first season, TEOTWAWKI (an acronym for ‘the end of the world as we know it’), Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz took on both the survivalist meme inspired by the Y2K hoax and the rash of high school shootings across America which peaked with the Columbine High School Massacre in Littleton, Colorado a few months after the episode was aired.

As with the episode that followed (‘Closure’, based on a 1997 standoff between extremely well-armed bankrobbers and the LAPD), Millennium was taking story ideas directly from the headlines, in much the same way that The X-Files had done in its earlier seasons. And by combining the Y2K scare, survivalism and school shootings, the Millennium writers were also tapping into and recombining then-current issues obsessing the extreme conspiracist right. First, survivalism...

Unable to cope with the fact that the very same military, economic and political overlords that they were so submissive to during the Cold War were now selling them out and leaving many of them in considerable financial straits, many on the fringes of the Religious Right found comfort in a new combination of political and religious extremism based more in comic books and Hollywood thrillers than established political theory.

“Survivalism” became a passion and organizing principle for the militia movement that arose from all of this ferment, and many within the movement actually openly hoped for the end of civilization at the millennium, an event only they would be prepared to survive.

Ultra-right Christian polemicist (and former Ron Paul staffer) Gary North worked tirelessly to spread terror about the mythical bug in which computers would be unable to recognize dates starting with 20- and instantly crash and bring all of technocratic society to a grinding halt at the stroke of midnight, 2000 AD. North was quoted as saying in 1997, "Of course I want to see Y2K bring down the system, all over the world. I have hoped for this all of my adult life."

North typifies the paranoid, xenophobic mindset of the far Religious Right in parts of America. His basic philosophy—Christian Reconstructionism, which seeks to establish a government based on Old Testament principles—is functionally indistinguishable from the Taliban or Al-Qaeda, and his social, political, sexual and economic agenda is identical as well.

Quoting North from “Gary North, Y2K, and Hidden Agendas” by Mike Lorenz:
"When I began writing about Y2K, hardly anyone had heard of it. Today, the media cover it sporadically. In a year, there will be a tidal wave of articles. And, month by month, fear will spread. Doom and gloom will sell, as it has never sold before. I have positioned my name, my site, and Christian Reconstruction in the center of this fear. All I have to do now is to report bad news.

That's just about all the Y2K news there is. One by one, the media sources will move in my direction, for two reasons: (1) it's as bad as I say it is; (2) the public will begin to panic, and then there will be a feverish demand for more and more information. The ‘moderates’ -- whose position cannot square with the facts of Y2K -- will be drowned out in a wave of panic.”
And it was all a hoax. North was never called into account for his lies.

North believes that reconstructionists-- like jihadists-- must take advantage of the rights and freedoms of an open society so they can sieze power and deny those rights to their enemies. As North writes in "The Intellectual Schizophrenia of the New Christian Right: The Failure of the American Baptist Culture”:
”So let us be blunt about it: we must use the doctrine of religious liberty to gain independence for Christian schools until we train up a generation of people who know that there is no religious neutrality, no neutral law, no neutral education, and no neutral civil government.

“Then they will get busy in constructing a Bible-based social, political, and religious order which finally denies the religious liberty of the enemies of God.”
Frederick Clarkson detailed the rise of the Christian Reconstruction movement in the March 1994 issue of Public Eye Magazine in an article entitled “Theocratic Dominionism Gains Influence.” (The founding father of the movement was R.J. Rushdoony, who we discussed here a couple years back). Working from their own writings, Clarkson outlines the vision of America that Reconstructionists continue to work towards:
Generally, Reconstructionism seeks to replace democracy with a theocratic elite that would govern by imposing their interpretation of "Biblical Law." Reconstructionism would eliminate not only democracy but many of its manifestations, such as labor unions, civil rights laws, and public schools. Women would be generally relegated to hearth and home.

Insufficiently Christian men would be denied citizenship, perhaps executed. So severe is this theocracy that it would extend capital punishment beyond such crimes as kidnapping, rape, and murder to include, among other things, blasphemy, heresy, adultery, and homosexuality.
In other words, an America no different from Iran or Saudi Arabia. Maybe even worse.

Now, to the shootings: rather than understanding the rash of school shootings as the inevitable result of readily-available weapons of war and a provincial culture that still actively condones bullying of the weak and the unpopular (particularly if the kids being bullied are perceived to be sexual or religious minorities), the school shootings were explained as the work of the “New World Order,” (which morphed into a term denoting a cabal in the conspiranoid lexicon, rather than what it actually is--a corporate plan for unfettered global dominance) for reasons never made clear.

How were all of these shootings orchestrated in all of these different locations? The prevailing theory across the Internet had it that the school shooters were all the targets of a government mind control program. From a December 1999 piece by one “Newshawk” on
There IS a reason why people-- to an increasing degree, often teenage boys--who've never given the slightest indication of being capable of such behavior suddenly go homicidal with deadly weapons on defenseless people.

The reason in MANY, though of course not ALL, cases is MIND-CONTROL PROGRAMMING; of which there are a staggeringly great number and variety--operated primarily by malevolent, clandestine units of the intelligence, law enforcement and military agencies of both the "overt" federal government AND the "covert", globalist, crypto-Nazi New World Order government.
Obviously familiar with these theories (theorists like Newshawk may well have gotten their theories on the school shootings from X-Files episodes like ‘Blood,’ ‘Wetwired’ and ‘Three of a Kind’ in the first place), Carter and Spotnitz lead the viewer in ‘TEOTWAWKI’ to believe that there was a deeper conspiracy behind the shootings, but finally undermine the conspiracy narrative by ascribing the motive to the personal turmoil of a teenage boy who believes so thoroughly in an inevitable apocalypse that he decides it’s better to kill the object of his desire--as well as his classmates-- rather than let them suffer in a post-civilized world. And since all of the adults in his life-- employees of a computer company-- were in full panic mode, he had every right to be.

Never mind that the Y2K hoax had already been debunked
since all of the banks had no problem issuing credit cards with "2000" expiration dates two years prior.


Lance Henriksen made it known that he was unhappy with the new directions Millennium had been taking after Chris Carter had left the series to work on the first X-Files movie. In fairness, however, there were a lot of complaints over the “serial killer of the week” (SKOTW) format during the first season, and the Legion mytharc had not yet established itself despite the enthusiastic reception given to the ‘Lamentation’/’Powers, Principalities, Thrones and Dominions’ two-parter.

Those were followed by a derivative SKOTW (‘Broken World’), an unremarkable Legion entry (‘Maranatha’) and yet another SKOTW which merely acted as a setup for the kidnapping of Catherine by the stalker known as the “Polaroid Man.”

When the Wongs took over, their obvious disinterest in both the SKOTW format (despite having written three of the very finest entries in the genre; ‘Dead Letters’, ‘52666’ and ‘The Thin White Line’) and the Polaroid Man storyline (which they used merely as a pretext to bring back Doug Hutchinson, who played Tooms in The X-Files) was merely a preamble to the radical makeover they had in mind for the series.

As mentioned before, the Wong dispensed almost entirely with the Legion mytharc (‘Room With No View’ was handled by the second-line production team of Ken Horton, Chip Johannessen and Michael Perry that also offered up “Luminary’, ‘The Mikado’ and ‘In Arcadia Ego’) to make room for the Owls/Roosters/Odessa mythology. All of this culminated in the Marburg virus outbreak in ‘Horseman’ and ‘Time’

Given these grave events, it made sense to retool the Group as a villainous conspiracy, along the lines of the Syndicate in The X-Files. It also facilitated the obvious need for conspirators when dealing with conspiracy-themed episodes. With that in mind ‘Skull and Bones’ not only worked to put the conspiracy in stark relief, it also presented an actual conspiracy theorist through which the audience could measure the new face of the Group.

Veteran character actor Arye Gross played the theorist, a brilliant yet extremely paranoid man who witnessed the Group do away with a dissenter outside his apartment building and began tracing its footsteps through news stories and obituaries.

The “caper” of the episode dealt with the discovery of human remains dug up during a highway excavation in Maine. Hollis and Baldwin are tasked with leading the investigation and soon Peter Watts mysteriously shows up as well. Frank suspects that one of the victims was Cheryl Andrews, the Millennium Group pathologist played by CCH Pounder first introduced in ‘The Judge.’

The investigation eventually leads Emma to a literal chopshop- a rural farmhouse in which human remains were dismembered by a contractor hired out by the Group. Watts shows up there too, rather suspiciously, if only to demonstrate that he has drunk deep from the Rooster Kool-Aid. To the newly-converted Watts, “The End” justifies all means, and anyone who stands in the way of the mission of the Group to save the world from itself will soon find herself rotting under the blacktop in the backwoods of Maine.

The title itself is a statement of purpose- it’s taken from the extremely powerful secret society based at Yale University, which has tapped the “best and brightest” to its ranks, including both Presidents Bush, Senator (and multimillionaire) John Kerry, plutocrat Stephen Schwarzman of the Blackstone Group and several other members of the ruling elite. Excerpted from the book The Legend of Skull and Bones by Alexandra Robbins:
Sometime in the early 1830s, a Yale student named William H. Russell - the future valedictorian of the class of 1833 - traveled to Germany to study for a year. Russell came from an inordinately wealthy family that ran one of the United States' most despicable business organizations of the nineteenth century: Russell and Company, an opium empire.
While in Germany, Russell befriended the leader of an insidious German secret society that hailed the death’s head as its logo. Russell soon became caught up in this group, itself a sinister outgrowth of the notorious eighteenth century society of the Illuminati. When Russell returned to the U.S., he found an atmosphere so anti-Masonic that (Phi Beta Kappa) had been unceremoniously stripped of its secrecy. Incensed, Russell rounded up a group of the most promising students in his class … (and) out of vengeance constructed the most powerful secret society the United States has ever known.
Fast-forward 170 years. Skull and Bones has curled its tentacles into every reach of American society.... Skull and Bones, in fact, has been running the United States for years. There is a Bones cell in the CIA, which uses Skull and Bones as a recruiting ground because the members are so obviously adept at keeping secrets....(Skull and Bones) control the Council of Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission so that they can push their own political agenda.


The words of real and fictional conspiracy theory collided again in the mytharc episode ‘Collateral Damage’, which starred James Marsters as an embittered Gulf War veteran named Eric Swan who kidnaps the daughter of Frank’s former Millennium Group partner Peter Watts in order to force a confession from the government concerning germ warfare testing on US troops in Kuwait.

During the investigation Frank discovers that Swan used to call into the real-world AM radio talkshow Coast to Coast AM, hosted by Art Bell. Bell put the wildly popular Coast to Coast on the map in the 90s as a clearinghouse for all kinds of conspiracy and paranormal-related topics. Frank arranges to appear on the show to try to coax Swan onto the air and locate his hideout.

With this appearance, a kind of snapshot of the 90s conspiracy culture zeitgeist was taken, with the mighty Ten Thirteen Productions joining forces with Art Bell, though Millennium was nearing its end and Bell’s own career had become marked with controversy and mysterious absences from the airwaves.

But here again, Millennium was reaching into the deepest recesses of the conspiracy underground. An inflammatory tract of uncertain provenance titled "A Lecture by Captain Joyce Riley on Gulf War Syndrome, Biological Warfare Conducted on US Military Members, and Corporate Bio-genocide Levied on the Planetary Population" made the rounds on conspiracy newsgroups at the time (and seemed to be the primary inspiration for the episode), but so did a more cogent essay titled “The Gulf Bio War: How a New AIDS-like Plague Threatens Our Armed Forces,” by Alan R. Cantwell, Jr., M.D.:
A year later, in 1996, the Department of Defense finally admitted that 400 soldiers (later changed to 5,000; still later to 20,000) may have been exposed to toxic agents when, after the war had officially ended, the military blew up an ammunition storage depot in Kamisiyah in southern Iraq on March 4 and again on March 10, 1991.

After the bombings, a U.N. inspection team informed Pentagon officials that the buildings contained chemical weapons. However, the Pentagon immediately classified the U.N. report and the troops were never alerted about possible exposure to toxic chemicals. Despite the cover-up, exposure to chemicals cannot account for so many sick soldiers.

In the search for a cause of GWS, epidemiologists have been looking for a common factor that could have exposed so many Gulf War vets. ...(o)ne factor common to all the troops is that they were given experimental and potentially dangerous drugs and vaccines employed to protect them against Iraqi chemical and biowarfare agents. As early as December 1990, there were warnings about using our servicemen as medical guinea pigs...(s)oldiers who rejected the injections were given them forcibly.
And just to show how canny and sophisticated the Millennium writing team was in their understanding of the deep, dark corners of the conspiracy underground, the subplot of the FBI using Art Bell’s show to smoke out a genuine dissident spoke to a deep and abiding fear among the militia factions of the movement: that Bell was a shill being used to discredit and expose any dissent against the New World Order, which in the mind of the true believer was a conspiracy to install a one world government and an (imaginary) one world "new age" religion which would exterminate the white, middle-aged, conservative Fundamentalist males who made up the bulk of the now-waning militia movement.

Christian Fundamentalist -- and self-confessed ‘former’ Naval Intelligence asset-- Milton William Cooper (author of the landmark conspiracy text Behold a Pale Horse, which Chris Carter cited as a favorite source for story ideas) summed up these fears best in his 1997 online tract Majesty Twelve:
(Art Bell’s show) dish up nightly servings of ridiculous, outrageous, and fantastic conspiracy fantasies. Occasionally Bell stirs in legitimate, real and dangerous conspiracies. Although Art Bell pretends to be serious, the mix of incredulous fantasy with fact serves to debunk all conspiracies. Bell effectively implants the idea that anyone who believes in any conspiracy is a whacked out nutcase that should be locked up in a mental institution. He is a most effective change agent operating on behalf of our enemies.
The layers of subtlety at work here are so dense as to be nearly Byzantine. But it shows a level of sophistication unseen on network TV when dealing with these esoteric topics. Except, of course, for The X-Files.



  1. Best series of blogs on these shows as related to conspiracies I've seen yet. Outstanding!

  2. We see the influence of Christian Dominionism in the GOP primaries. Dark times are headed our way.

    ~ Susan

  3. Another great series of posts. Just finished watching Millenium all the way through recently, getting a couple of discs at a time in the mail from Netflix. Took me back to high school, which really wasn't a good time, although I do miss the nineties.

  4. Catastrophism is a plague on a lot of aspects of society and civilization. The "End is Nigh" mentality is used to justify a lot of extremist ideology from religious apocalyptic craziness to wild ecological madness. Crisis philosophy has really overtaken our economic system. Watch the movie "Too Big To Fail" where Paulson (Wm Hurt) claims our economic system was on the verge of shutting down because of excessive insanity in the financial institutions of the country. "Next thing you know, no more milk on the shelves in grocery stores."

    That movie in particular was like the same joke repeated over and over. First, they would deny that there was a crisis. Second, they would admit there was a crisis, but that it was completely against their values or authority to do anything about it. Third, they would do exactly what they just said they couldn't do... and it wouldn't work requiring them to go through the same process all over again to do the same thing they just said they couldn't and wouldn't do.

    In the end, you are left with the sense these guys "saved" the world from collapse when, really, they were responsible for the crises they supposedly "solved."