Friday, February 29, 2008

Ten Thirteen: The Secret Identity of Isis

"Andrea returned to the United States and finished her studies in Forensic Chemistry and Criminology, only to find that her thesis papers had been brought to the attention of Dr. Elias Barnes, who offered her an immediate position with a criminological consulting team he was founding. Andrea accepted the offer, and thus was begun her challenging and exciting life as Andrea/Isis."

from The Secret Origin of Isis

Paying tribute to pop culture influences - especially old TV shows -was common practice for The X Files. The Night Stalker himself, Darren McGavin, appeared on an episode as the agent who originally discovered the X Files. Roy Thinnes, star of the 60’s UFO drama The Invaders, played the Christ-like Jeremiah Smith in various episodes. Two actors from Hill Street Blues, Bruce Weitz and Joe Spano, would appear as investigators in two separate Chris Carter-penned stories. Steve Railsback- who played Charles Manson in the Helter Skelter TV movie, played MK-ULTRA/UFO mind-control victim Duane Barry in the episode of the same name.

So given that there is a precedent for including references to old TV shows on The X-Files -especially those that had an influence on its creation - it makes sense that if Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz wanted to indicate that Scully was now an incarnation of Isis, they might draw upon earlier pop culture versions of the Goddess for appropriate semiotic signifiers. But, where would they look?

Well, as many of you out there know already, in the 1970’s there was a Saturday morning live-action series on the CBS network called The Secrets of Isis. The show dealt with an American woman named Andrea Thomas who travels to Africa, discovers a long-buried artifact and is then endowed with the powers of the Egyptian goddess. She then returns to America and uses her powers to fight for Truth and Justice.

The show was not a world-beater, even by 70’s standards. It was rendered only slightly less dreary than Shazam! because of the presence of Joanna Cameron (more on her in a later post). But you take your metatext where you can find it. And the parallels between this 70’s incarnation of Isis and The X-Files incarnation of Isis are both extensive and hilarious.

• In the original treatment for Isis, Andrea Thomas was originally a forensic criminologist. Yes, that is exactly what Dana Scully is in The X-Files.

• In Isis, Andrea was then recast as a science teacher, which, incidentally, Scully became in the last season of The X-Files.

• The timing of Scully’s career change plays like another Isis in-joke. Scully and Andrea Thomas were both secret identities of Isis. When she left work, Andrea became the superheroine incarnation of Isis. When Scully left work, she became the Divine Mother incarnation of Isis.

• In Isis, Andrea was assisted by an African-American woman named Rennie Carol, who looked remarkably like a younger version of the African woman Amina Ngebe from the pivotal episode “The Sixth Extinction,” where Dana Scully travels to Africa, discovers a long-buried artifact and is then endowed with the powers of the Egyptian goddess. Scully then returns to America and uses her powers to fight for Truth and Justice. Like Rennie in Isis, Amina also worked at a school.

• Seemingly to drive the parallel between Scully and Isis’ alter ego Andrea Thomas, Carter even had Scully wear her glasses, which were very seldom seen since the first season of The X-Files and were never worn in the field. And Scully also pulled her hair back, a la Andrea.

• This one cracks me up- also working with Andrea/Isis was a scientist named Doctor Barnes. Working with Scully in "The Sixth Extinction" was a scientist named Doctor Barnes.
The Dr. Barnes in Isis was an African-American, and the Dr. Barnes in The X-Files taught at the American University and was fluent in African languages.

• There’s even a visual juxtaposition- Scully’s position when she is piecing together the rubbings from the God-Ship is identical to Andrea Thomas’ position in the opening credits to Isis when she discovers the source of her own divinity.

So it’s not unreasonable to conclude that whereas “Biogenesis” depicts Mulder’s apotheosis as the alien Osiris, “The Sixth Extinction“ shows us Scully’s apotheosis as the alien Isis. Scully’s “origin” here as the new incarnation of Isis mirrors Andrea Thomas’ story in Isis. In Isis, Andrea Thomas travels to the African country of Egypt and discovers an ancient artifact that gives her the power of the goddess. In “The Sixth Extinction,” Dana Scully travels to the African country of the Ivory Coast and discovers an ancient artifact that ultimately transforms her into Isis, mother of Horus, whose coming is foreshadowed in the second part of the story.

Ten Thirteen: "The Search for God"

This past weekend, Chris Carter reiterated that The X-Files was "about the search for God." Interesting statement for a show about the search for extraterrestrial life. What did Chris Carter happen to discover about God in this search? Maybe there's a clue in some of his dialog...

from "Biogenesis"

SCULLY: Mulder, this, uh, artifact if I'm to believe what I'm being told about it...


SCULLY: It has a passage on it from Genesis.

MULDER: Scully, that artifact is extraterrestrial.

SCULLY: Mulder, it can't be.

MULDER: Did you know what that would mean?

SCULLY: No, it would mean nothing, Mulder.

MULDER: No, it would mean that our progenitors were alien, that our genesis was alien, that we're here because of them; that they put us here.

SCULLY: Mulder, that is science fiction. It doesn't hold a drop of water.

MULDER: You're wrong. It holds everything. Don't you see? All the mysteries of science, everything we can't understand or won't explain, every human behaviorism- cosmology, psychology, everything in the X-Files-- it all owes to them. It's from them.

SCULLY: Mulder, I will not accept that. It is just not possible.

MULDER: Well, then, you go ahead and prove me wrong, Scully.

from "The Sixth Extinction"

AMINA NGEBE: "The day of final judgment." On a spacecraft? Teachings of the ancient prophet Mohammed?

SCULLY: I found more, too. 24 panels... One for each human chromosome. A map of their makeup-- maybe a map of our entire genetic makeup... A complete human genome. I mean, it's like... it's the most beautiful... intricate work of art.

AMINA NGEBE: It is the Word of God.

DR. BARNES: You're wrong. There is no God. What's out there on the water... is only what we call "God"... What we call "creation"-- the spark that ignited the fire that cooked the old primordial soup... made animate from inanimate... made us.

AMINA NGEBE: I believe he is mad from the sun.

DR. BARNES: Mad? I'm perfectly sane... because today I understand everything, beginning and end, alpha and omega, everything in between. It's all been written. But the word is "extraterrestrial."

SCULLY: You're sick, Dr. Barnes. You need to get off your feet, lie down.

DR. BARNES: You think you're going to take the credit? This is my discovery.

SCULLY: I'm only here to help my friend.

DR. BARNES: You can't help him. You're wasting your time reading it.

SCULLY: It has power.

DR. BARNES: It IS power... the ultimate power. Your friend just got too close.

from "Requiem"

CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN: You misunderstand. I've great faith that Alex will find the ship. But if I told him how, he'd be... he'd be tempted to sell the information.

MARITA COVARRUBIAS: And you're certain it's there?

CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN: Oh, yes. But it won't be there forever. It's rebuilding itself.

MARITA COVARRUBIAS: If he finds the ship, then what?

CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN: To possess it is to possess the answer to all things. Every possible imaginable question.


CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN: There's no God, Marita. What we call God is only alien-- an intelligence much greater than us.

MARITA COVARRUBIAS: They're coming here, aren't they?

CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN: They're only coming back.

from "Provenance"

REYES: What I'm reading in your field report on these rubbings, Dana-- there's something I didn't understand. You say these were taken off a spacecraft. You determined they were words -- writings. You didn't tell us you knew what they said.

SCULLY: What little I read was through the help of an interpreter.

REYES: But you interpreted them as text from the Bible, from the Koran ... scripture from religions around the world. And science, too. The periodic table of elements.


REYES: And you wrote in your report they were millions of years old.

SCULLY: Based on radiometric readings from fossils that were encrusted on the surface of the ship.

REYES: Agent Scully, I know you've become more open-minded about these things ... but do you know what it is you're saying here? If it were true, these symbols wouldn't just be words ... they'd be the very Word of God on the surface of an alien spacecraft.

SCULLY: It'd mean that everything mankind believes in ... is in question.

REYES: And you believe this?

SCULLY: I didn't. I mean, I-I refused to believe it. But now I think ... I think there may be answers there.

"That poster on Mulder's wall, I think, says it all." - Chris Carter February 23, 2008

Thursday, February 28, 2008

As if Summoned...

First The X-Files and now this. The Apocalypse truly is at hand...


Finally, after numerous line-up changes through the years, all original Killing Joke members reunite for new album and world tour.

Drummer, Paul Ferguson, rejoins the line up for the first time since 1987 enabling a whole new generation of fans to see Killing Joke’s legendary original formation. Diehard fans have been waiting for this moment for two decades!

Bassist, Martin ‘Youth’ Glover also steps back into the live arena after a near 15yr hiatus, having not played live with Killing Joke since 1994’s Pandemonium tour.

The tour will see Killing Joke take up a two night residency in most venues offering a different set on each evening. On the first night, they will play their first two albums in their entirety, 1980’s self-titled album followed by the album ‘What’s This…For!’. Their second performance in each city will treat fans to 1994’s Pandemonium and the Island Records singles of ’79 to ’80.

Once described by Ferguson as ‘the sound of the earth vomiting’, Killing Joke is anthemic and grandiose in it’s evocation of nightmare visions. Taking a sarcastic jab at authority and perceived reality to a sonically charged mixture of post punk and metal, Killing Joke’s heavy guitars and pounding tribal drums conjure a primitive atmosphere of doom, gloom and resistance.

Notorious for their use of inflammatory imagery, a backlash against a world they perceived as ever more materialistic, unjust and conservative, Killing Joke, railed against the establishment and created a unique sound from their very conception.

Ironically, in the current musical climate with it’s obsession with rehashing eighties sounds, the 80s saw Killing Joke really pushing music forward, incorporating danceable elements with aggressive, grinding guitars and thumping drums. With elements of

proto-techno rock, their post apocalyptic vision has inspired bands as diverse and influential as Nirvana, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Foo Fighters, Soundgarden and Godflesh. Killing Joke have always been and continue to be more than just a band.

Godfathers of post-punk, Killing Joke return with their eagerly anticipated new album to coincide with their world tour. Album release date TBC.

I'm guessing that Geordie's demos will be adapted into the new album. From what I gather that's usually how it works. I had a very strong feeling that his "solo album" was going to morph into a new Killing Joke record.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

What Comes Around...

'Earth worship' on the rise among evangelical youth

Crouse cites an article in Religion Journal which said youth pastors in the Southern Baptist Convention were worried about large numbers of evangelicals taking part in Wicca, a religion that involves nature worship, stresses moral autonomy, and includes remedies and spells -- beliefs that Crouse points out are distinctly different from orthodox Christianity, not to mention incompatible with the Bible.

Nearly Half of Americans Left Their Childhood Faith

The U.S. religious marketplace is extremely volatile, with nearly half of American adults leaving the faith tradition of their upbringing to either switch allegiances or abandon religious affiliation altogether, a new survey finds.

Earth to Attack Moon

Scientists are priming two spacecraft to slam into the moon's South Pole to see if the lunar double whammy reveals hidden water ice.

The Earth-on-moon violence may raise eyebrows, but NASA's history shows that such missions can yield extremely useful scientific observations.

I'm not sure if this is an actual article or some writing exercise meant to jam pack as much symbolism as they can manage into a puff piece. Decide for yourself.

Wibbley Wednesday: Ba

Have you wibbled lately? You owe it to yourself.

Then you can read up on the Ba.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Ten Thirteen: Salome in the Air

One of the featured actors in the new X-Files film, Adam Godley, is set to also play in Al Pacino's upcoming Salomaybe, about a production of Oscar Wilde's Salome. Perfect.

Ten Thirteen: Millennium and the Song of Salome

Now that Ten Thirteen Productions is back up and running, making its grand re-entrance on the day before one of the more overtly Masonic Academy Awards ceremonies in recent history, I wanted to finish some long-brewing posts on the ostensible use of Masonic and Templar themes in Ten Thirteen programs. Though The X-Files was far better known, the other major Ten Thirteen show, Millennium, was just as subversive and just as jam-packed with conspiracy theories, sacred symbolism and apocalyptic imagery. Probably more so since it wasn't tied to the paranormal/UFO theme. In its second and third seasons especially, Millennium went off into the absolute deep end of the conspiracy research underground and touched upon nearly every theme then circulating on USENET at one point or another.

(Warning: This post contains spoilers)

The show took its title from the fictional Millennium Group, which began as a consulting group made up of ex-FBI agents and was based on the real-life Academy Group. Interestingly enough, the Academy Group uses a red dragon in its logo, associated with the 13th Chapter of Revelations, William Blake and the Hannibal Lecter stories.

As the show evolved, the conceit became that supernatural beings were manifesting themselves in the physical plane, ushering in the oncoming Apocalypse. In response, the Millennium Group went from being a consulting agency to a Masonic secret society made up of two warring factions (remember that the FBI was created by 33rd degree Freemason J. Edgar Hoover). The Owls believed that Apocalypse was coming but not imminent and the more militant Roosters believed it was at hand. The lead character in Millennium was Frank Black, played by Lance Henriksen. His handler within the Millennium Group was Peter Watts, played by "Mr. Ten-Thirteen" Terry O' Quinn, so named because he played a major role in every Ten Thirteen production aside from The Lone Gunmen.

Watts played a crucial role in the explicit use of Masonic/Templar Baptist imagery in Millennium when he was initiated into the inner circle of the Group in a riverside ceremony. His loyalties were never made clear and he was later revealed to be at odds with the more extremist faction of the Group, who became dominant in the third season of the show.

But Baptist iconography was hard-wired into the show from its very beginning. The search for the sexually-conflicted serial killer "the Frenchman" led to this iconic image of the police searching for the Frenchman's maimed and tortured victims in a river basin. One can't help but be reminded of the Templars' nemesis, the French king Philip The Fair.

Here, police lieutenant Bob Bletcher undergoes his own icy baptism, as he enters the apocalyptic worldview of Frank Black...

...which soon bears fruit when he discovered the severed head of one of the Frenchman's victims. Again, Templar parallels are tantalizing- the religious fanatic Frenchman murders women because he is unable to desire them and gay men because he feels guilt for his attraction to them. Remember that one of the charges brought against the Templars was sodomy. This severed head reminds us both of the Baptist and the legendary Baphomet.

That iconic image of flashlights searching in the dark (which is kind of phallic, come to think of it) was revisited in the episode "Darwin's Eye," which was the 17th episode of the 3rd season. Here guards are searching for an escaped mental patient whose father was a military intelligence spook.

The episode is filled with enigmatic voiceovers and symbolism. The episode's villain Cassie Doyle is obsessed with the image of crossed palm trees. Remember that the palm is a symbol of Christ, and some researchers believe that "Salome the Disciple" was the same Salome who demanded the Baptist's head from her stepfather Herod.

If you watch the show with the sound off the parade of sacred symbolism is striking, even more so since little of it is ever explained. Here the eye of a murdered girl is folded into an origami flower.

Here the severed head of a rapist falls from the ceiling in a men's room as a faucet drips.

Here Cassie Doyle stands by a river with a cop named Joe whom she kidnaps and then seduces. Part of her seduction is regaling her prisoner with conspiracy theories about men in suits we are meant to believe are the Rooster faction of the Millennium Group.

Here we see the never-explained decapitated bishop from a chess set, which came in the same box as the origami. The box is sent to Emma Hollis by her father, who is suffering from dementia. At the end of the episode he is seen making dozens of photocopies of a photo of a nuclear test. In it palm trees are being incincerated. Perhaps the destruction of a Christian symbol in light of the Baptist imagery of the show may have some greater meaning known only to the writers- or to the high initiates they might have been writing for.

Here Joe cryptically tells Cassie that a dim-witted hotel clerk thinks she is "Madonna. "Again, in light of the Salome themes at work here this reference is maddeningly enigmatic. In this context, Madonna could mean the mother of Jesus or the Kabbalah-obsessed singer, who in a 2002 portrait by Scottish painter was depicted as Salome, lying naked in a bed next to the severed head of the Baptist. Nice synchromystic touch, there.

Which of course brings us to the climax of "Darwin's Eye," where Cassie speaks to the severed head of her captive/lover, whom she kills after they have sex. Cassie is then recaptured and re-institutionalized.

One thing I've noticed with what I call ritual drama in general and Baptist-themed drama in particular is the reversal theme- the undoing of an unhappy historical outcome. Joseph was the name of Jesus' stepfather and his wealthy patron Joseph of Arimathea. For all I know, this story was never have been intended to be about the Baptist, but having a "Joe" suffer the fate of the Baptist might be desirable to a tradition that might be disposed to believe that the patrons of the Jesus Movement had John killed to remove the threat he posed to their cause.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Wonder Con X-Files Panel Video

Download the whole thing here!

Ah, yes...

Well, it turns out my weekend misadventure may well have had a larger purpose. Appropriately, it has a strong tie-in to The X-Files and other high weirdness besides. Can't talk about it now, but I promise to do so in the future. Of course, I found the key while looking for something else. It also forced me to confront a major problem I was too stupid to acknowledge on an conscious level.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Synch Log: Oscar/Osiris

I'm sure many of you will be tuning into the Oscars (aka the Ausurs) tonight, but perhaps after my recent post you can use your secret ritual decoder ring during the proceedings. My prediction for Best Actor is none other than Chris Kelvin himself. The rest of it? I haven't a bloody clue- I've yet to see any of those movies.

We took a trip down to New Hope today to escape my lingering depression over missing Wonder Con. A very wonderful-looking book named Ancient Mystery Cults practically flew into my hands at Farley's, and I had a photo op with ol' Ptah himself right across the street. What are the odds?

There's very little of the old Bohemian ambiance left in New Hope. Like everywhere else in the world, real estate developers and their toadies in the local government are sucking the life out of it, and tons of stores are shuttered. The plan was apparently to convert the place to luxury condos, but no one realized no one in their right mind would want to live there without the shops and the Boho ambience. There were vacant stores, empty condos and very light foot traffic on offer today. Just because you can turn Greenwich Village into a cold and miserable industrial park-slash-Soviet apartment block doesn't mean you can do so with these little enclaves outside of major metropolitan areas.

Driving down any commercial highway is always a treat for any semiotics buff, and I finally figured out the obvious- the new BOA logo is made up of three 11's, giving us the magic number 33. Surely just a coincidence, right?

Saturday, February 23, 2008

X Files 2 Teaser

God damn, that's Chris Carter. Each shot looks like it was taken from his nightmares. This thing is going to kill.

Did I say something about the Beatles? This is more like Jesus getting the apostles back together...

X Files Panel @ Wonder Con

For me, this is like seeing the Beatles get back together. I could have been there. I'll catch them next time, I suppose.

I'm still pretty messed up about this whole misadventure. But the New York con is coming up fast and furious and if that goes well, maybe I'll try doing a few more shows in the summer. Vicky and I will definitely be at Dragon*Con, but that will be for our vacation.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Fine Art Friday: Cassandra

Well, I spend most of the week running around getting ready for Wonder Con and then working on my presentation. Then my son comes down with a terrible case of the flu that requires antiviral meds. When I took him to the doctor we waited for an hour because there was only one doctor in the office. That night, I myself get a weird reaction to my own medicine, requiring me to go off of it, at least temporarily.

And last night, as we were packing I ran out to the store to get a couple last minute things. I looked towards the end of my street and saw this huge, dark-orange Moon sitting lower in the sky than I've ever seen it before. Not a terribly comforting sight. Then as soon as our issues seem to resolve themselves the first real storm of the winter hits, cancelling my flight.

The only real reason to study synchronicity or symbolism is so that you can use it for yourself. That's the ultimate mandate behind this blog. Part of that process may be to be aware of the hidden symbols in the media or the dubious connections in politics so you don't find yourself being sucked into someone else's crusade. Then there are these moments when random events seem to be warning you away from a possibly disastrous action. The hell of it you many never know for sure if your decision was correct.

I'm sitting here feeling sick about this, but I almost feel like something is intervening, throwing these obstacles in my path to change my course of action. Having a flight canceled is usually just an inconvenience, but given this particular sequence of events I found it best to err on the side of caution. And 6 other Continental flights to San Francisco were canceled today as well, so I'm sure the airport is a total basket case right now. And the storm is supposed to pick back up around 5 pm.

So in honor of bad omens, Evelyn De Morgan's Cassandra.

UPDATE: Or maybe it should be in honor of hysterical weathermen, who predict an icy apocalypse just so they can get more screentime. I hope my gut feeling was more reliable than those idiots' predictions, seeing how at the end of it all I canceled my trip based on the forecasts of Gotterdamerung this afternoon. It's actually quite pleasant out now and flights are back on schedule. Terrific.

But then again, maybe what was waiting had nothing to do with the weather. I'll say this, I've used synchronicity as a decision-making tool in the past, and I must say it has a pretty good track record. And like I said, you often never know when a crisis is averted, only when one hits.

Snow Day

Oh well, San Francisco will have to wait for the (secret) Sun. Flight canceled, ice storm on the way. Weather in the Bay Area reported to be pretty awful as well. Good day to stay home and blog.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Osiris, The Oscars and The Babylon Gate

The Academy Awards are being held this Sunday night. They don't seem to have the same cultural cache they once did, but we can say the same about Hollywood itself. But it wasn't always this way.

What we must remember is that Hollywood's Golden Age was a distinctly Freemasonic enterprise. Some of the biggest names in show business were Masons including; John Wayne, W.C. Fields, Oliver Hardy, Bud Abbott, Gene Autry, Irving Berlin, Nat King Cole, Cecil B. Demille, Duke Ellington, Douglas Fairbanks, Clark Gable, Walt Disney, Audie Murphy, and Danny Thomas. Most importantly, three of the most powerful Hollywood moguls -Louis B. Mayer (of MGM) Jack Warner (Warner Bros) and Darryl Zanuck (20th Century Fox) - were all Masons. The primacy of Freemasonry (remember, just a small part of the overall Masonic network) is reflected in the fact that the Academy Awards used to be held in the Shrine Auditorium, which is owned and operated by the Scottish Rite.

But is all this just another variation on the Eternal Ritual? A bit of deep background first...

What fascinates about the mysterious origin of Horus is the presence of very similar Sun gods in distant parts of the world, who seem to have echoes of Horus in both appearance and name.

One is Ashur, a Sumerian sky god who was also adopted as the head deity of the Assyrian pantheon. Ashur is pictured as a man riding within a winged sun disc that is almost identical to the one associated with the Shemsu Hor. It is worth remembering that the original Egyptian rendering of Osiris is Ausur, which for all intents and purposes is the same word as Ashur. Another Assyrian god bearing a remarkable physical similarity to Horus is Nusku, or Nisroch, the god of fire and the Sun. This deity was pictured as a large muscular man with the wings and head of an eagle.

There is also Ahura Mazda, the supreme Zoroastrian deity often pictured in a form identical to Ashur. Again we see the winged sun disk form first associated with Horus and Ra. And the name of the Hindu Sun god Surya echoes that of Ausur, as well as Horus. Surya is said to be the most powerful aspect of the god Shiva, and is depicted as riding in a chariot with seven horses. Another sun god associated with a chariot is the Greek god Helios, who is very much a counterpart to Horus. Helios too was associated with the eagle, and the horses that pulled his chariot were often pictured possessing the wings of eagles. Helios was also known as Helios Panoptes, meaning ‘Helios the All-Seeing’.

This daisy chain of connections between Asian sun gods may seem academic to some. And that's certainly true if by "academic," you mean "Academy Awards."

This shot is taken from the last Academy Awards at the Shrine. The stage design looks like something taken from a Masonic tracing board. We have stairways, checker board floors, a columned arch and an enormous solar object at center stage.

The lighting changes and the sun-form seems to become a Stargate, as the names of the dead are written into the Book of Life.

The Academy Awards have migrated from the overtly masonic Shrine Auditorium to the newly constructed Kodak Theatre, which is part of the Hollywood and Highland Complex. Even a cursory look at the inside of the Kodak Theatre will leave one trained to spot Solar motifs positively breathless.

The entire edifice is like a visual symphony of Sun motifs, from the red and gold color scheme to the enormous stylized sun-disk in the theatre’s ceiling.

Masonic iconography is alive and well in the Kodak, as we see in this checkerboard curtain and the pair of three Sun symbols ("33," which reminds that Stan and Patrick drink Rolling Rock in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind).

Red and gold circles, semicircles and ovals are ubiquitous in both the architecture and decor. And that’s just inside.

The rear entrance to the theatre is a massive recreation of the Babylon Gate from D.W. Griffiths’s Intolerance (Griffith was yet another Hollywood Freemason). On its facade are reliefs of the Ashur and the eagle-headed god Nisroch, both representing different aspects of Horus. Near the top rim of the gate is a border design made of 17 keyhole-shaped objects. It seems only appropriate that behind the Babylon Gate stands the Renaissance Hotel, located on the 1700 block of Highland Ave.

All well and good, right? Now ask yourself- what in Heaven's name is this doing in the courtyard of the venue where the World's most prominent awards ceremony is held every year? What connection is this alleged to have to the Oscars? I mean, the symbolism is obvious but what's the cover story?

And what of Oscar himself? Well, as others have pointed out, he bears a very strong resemblance to Ptah, the god of craftsmen (read: "masons") and often syncretized with Osiris. Oscar is also reminiscent of some depictions of Osiris himself, all the more fascinating when you consider his Egyptian name is the pseudo-homophonic Ausur. Or that no one can seem to agree where the name "Oscar" actually came from.

In a strange way, it makes me feel a bit nostalgic to see Hollywood, the Oscars and Freemasonry all recede from the national stage. Freemasonry has been in decline for some time, and the prominent role it once played within the Masonic network has probably been replaced by the senior societies like Skull and Bones and Scroll and Key, or perhaps by truly secret, invitation-only orders we will never know of. Hollywood sold the last shred of its soul a while back and exists only for the big ticket fantasy and sci-fi films it produces so masterfully. The Oscars reflect the split within Hollywood, where insiders are more concerned with celebrating the few quality films still produced there while people mainly go for the popcorn flicks that are never nominated.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Watch Out, People- Here Comes the Sun, Part 2

My post yesterday on the Solar imagery on my local megachurch's site prompted me to poke around seeing if other churches were following suit. I only spent a short time doing so, but even a hour or so poking around Google resulted in more than 100 church logos in which the Sun is featured prominently. I was astonished by how many conservative churches were using Solar imagery in place of traditional Christian imagery on their sites.

To be honest, I was hit by occasional flashes of fear seeing all of this unfold in front of my eyes. Corporate logos are one thing, but you don't expect to see such incredibly blatant symbolism used in what are supposed to be the last bastions of theological conservatism in this country. My usual disclaimer applies- I have no idea what is motivating these institutions to incorporate this imagery and I have no reason to believe to believe any of this is meant to promote Sun worship or subtly condition hundreds of millions of people to accept any rapidly approaching worldwide Solar regime.

That being said- are they f***ing kidding me?

Double-click to enlarge montages.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Emergence of the New Solar Church: King of Kings

Solar symbolism has become so ubiquitous in Christian circles, people are almost oblivious to it. This caught my eye today when I saw a sign for this local mega-ministry. Don't believe for a second this is accidental or unintended. My research has convinced me that we are being steered back to the "one true faith," and in the future the transitions between Christianity and outright Sun worship will be so seamless they will be taken for granted. That image above tells me that future may be already with us.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Week in Review: Subtlety

Gee, I wonder who our next president will be?

Ask the Huffington Post.