Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome – Esoteric Analysis

Original Film Poster

By: Jay
As with many 80s films I grew up with, they seemed quite innocuous on the surface level, but as you mature, you are able to reflect on the subtler messages and meanings in film and literature. My own and Peter Parker's reviews here have garnered quite a few thousand hits over the past couple years, so I can take that as further confirmation that we are certainly on the right track. Several sites will review modern films and point out the deeper meanings, hidden symbols and predictive programming, but very few do what we do - go back in time looking for it. Other sites tend to focus on the purely esoteric or 'Illuminati agenda' messages which may or may not actually be there. What we try to do is a real decoding, as broad in scope as possible, with a more holistic semiotic, as opposed to reading films through a singular "conspiracy" lens. Not everything is conspiracy. That said, there are some fascinating things going on in Mad Max 3 beyond the surface post-apocalyptic adventure tale. There are actually some very profound social critiques, symbols, philosophical theories and esoteric images used. So let's begin. Part 3 starts with Max on his own again, the ever-scorned, never appreciated, jaded hero. Max is the loner reduced to a state of survival: a Clint Eastwood type, who has given up on civilization (and not without reason). In fact, one of the chief themes of Thunderdome will be about the nature of civilization itself - is it really that civilized? Max is a Bedouin-esque wanderer now, with a caravan, having lost his trademark sports car in part 2. We begin with Max losing his caravan to the trickster airplane man (played by Bruce Spence). Max's goods are taken by Spence's character to Bartertown, the renewed version of "civilization." However, Bartertown is a cesspool of disgusting thugs, miscreants and savages. Not only that, it is ruled over by a rival faction of Aunty Entity (played by Tina Turner), and the ruler of its underworld which provides methane fuel for electrical power, Master Blaster. Underworld is also replete with hell imagery as a pit full of slaves and pigs. So immediately, we have statements being made about social structure and hierarchy. Aunty is an elitist, who lives above everyone in Bartertown, in a tent atop a tower. Aunty keeps the animal-like populace in line by providing food, sex, economics and entertainment. Underworld, however, is  run by a retarded giant (Blaster) who has a kind of humonculous midget who sits atop his back (Master). We have here the juxtaposition of baser bodily instincts embodied in Blaster, with reason, science and technology embodied in Master. Together they form a unit and represent technological power, which has survived the apocalypse. Aunty represents feminine machinations and scheming, wherein civilization is actually seen as a domesticating institution (contrary to many images of "civilization" wherein it is presented as a patriarchal, masculine logos structure).

So immediately after the apocalypse, men fall back into their same tendencies of creating competing power structures. This will be important because Thunderdome will present a cyclical view of history. In Bartertown, Max makes a deal to kill Blaster to get his caravan back. Max ends up in a duel in the famed “Thunderdome,” where the savages of Bartertown are kept entertained through a gladiatorial event wherein “two men enter, one man leave.” Max ends up sparing Blaster when he discovers he is retarded, yet this does not bode well for Aunty, who then persecutes Max, banishing him to the desert after Max loses to a game show. What is interesting here is the emcee for the Thunderdome and the deadly game show: He is a freemason. Notice his large, gold necklace:

The master of ceremonies for Thunderdome is a Freemason

This can be read on many levels. Aunty, as we said, represents the more covert media/control grid/intelligence community aspect of the elites. The message here is that the secret societies continue on, and continue on as a means of control. The Freemasons control the media and entertainment industry to brainwash the masses. The emcee wears a “G” and a square and compass, which in Masonry contains several levels of meaning. The “G” ultimately represent the generic deity of Masonry, embodied in human reason, and more or less synonymous with the deistic, contentless “god” of Freemasonry. Here, again, reason and technology and entertainment and covert action intertwine to control so-called “civilization.”

Max ends up banished to the desert, like Moses, to wander into death. Almost dying from lack of water, Max is almost miraculously rescued by a monkey and a band of innocent children, likened in many ways to the Lost Boys of Peter Pan. The children live in an Edenic, virtual state of “pure nature” as envisioned by some Enlightenment empiricist. Not that I accept that view, but that is the idea that seems to be presented. The children subsist on the basis of harmony with nature and belief in an elaborate myth they have created surrounding various mundane artifacts that survived a plane crash with them. Brilliantly, they read into images from a Viewmaster toy a story about their origins, as well as their coming deliverer, whom they call “Captain Walker.”  In liturgical fashion, they re-enact their story when Max arrives, believing him to be their deliverer. So Max takes on this role of Moses/Christ, who is a deliverer to a people who are a kind of innocent faith community grounded around an elaborate myth. They are the opposite of Bartertown, which subsists on greed, technology and lasciviousness. Max fits in here, because they also embody the noble savage myth, and Max is a rebel and enemy of “civilization.”  However, Max denies that he is their deliverer, yet his Captain Walker pilot’s hat presents has an interesting symbol. I am very much speculating here, but the imagery is interesting.

Captain Walker’s hat, functioning as the leader’s crown or headdress

Now this could possily be some airline’s logo from the 80s, but it just happens to have Star of David/kabbalistic imagery. The tri-force imagery here is not a stretch, if we consider the already present use of Masonic imagery we’ve seen. This could have many meanings, however, since this is a somewhat amorphous, prevalent symbol. It could be a reference to the Jewish and Christian traditions in terms of the upper 3 Sephiroth, or the Trinity, or it could have reference to pagan and wiccan imagery. This is possible, given that the lost kids adhere to a king of pagan, mythological worldview. As the new chief of the tribe, Max would wear this as his “crown,” (crown, or kether, is also the top sephiroth or emanation of the divine) having the triforce over his crown – the very place the high priest wore his crown in biblical law. Kether is ancient of days, or crown of white hair, and amazingly, when max shows up and has his hair cut and is given his “new name,’ he now has a white crown of hair.

Notice the imagery here where Captain Walker/max is imaged in their prophecy:

Science and technology are refered to by the lost kids as “the knowing.” So we have a cyclical view of history where civilizations rise and fall, losing and gaining advanced technology, due to self-destruction. This is very likely not a biblical conception, inasmuch as the deliverer is a kind of Christ figure or Moses, yet is unaware of his role. Indeed, we find that after a long battle/chase with Aunty Entity’s gang, Captain Walker does sacrifice himself so that the kids can get away, eventually finding the ruins of Sydney, Australia. Setting up camp in the ruins, they rebuild a new civilization yet again, and Captain Walker is eulogized as the great hero, much in the tune of ancient mythology. The great irony is that their myth proved true, though their details were skewed. And so begins the cycle again, as shown in the final scene. Note as well at  the architectural symbolism in the rafters that matches up to Captain Walker’s “crown”:

I’m not the only person to notice this. The poster of this video noted as well:

“I recommend that Kaballists take another look at the Beyond the Thunderdome movie. Remember that early Kaballah was an oral tradition passed on from mouth to ear, from generation to generation.

Two of the main Kaballistic themes are the Journey of the Soul and the Preservation and Transmission of Knowledge. One is an individual’s story, the other is the story of a group.

The archetypical Kaballistic legend is the story of Enoch, where he buries a cube with the Name of God inscribed on it. As the legend goes, when the Hebrews were in exile without a temple and nowhere to perform their Ritual, the Name of God was ‘lost’ or forgotten.

Upon returning from exile, and during preparations for the building of a new Temple, Enoch’s Cube was ‘discovered’.

In the movie, we see that the young people in the desert have lost the ‘knowing’ that others that went before had, even though they do ‘the tell’ nightly still. Max is the one who points them to the city which we see in this clip.

Please rewatch the end of the movie and consider it as a Kabllistic Legend. We see the individual, the group, and the themes of preservation and transmission of knowledge.”

The non-biblical elements, then, amount to the John Locke/Jean-Jacques Rousseau-like ideas of pure nature, set over against an inherently corrupt civilization. What we get in the end is the idea of an actual progress, after apocalypses and great battles, essentially propelled by the Nietzschian over man – Captain Walker. This reading, which I think is the most likely given the cyclical and pagan elements, is the most accurate. That said, it doesn’t make the symbolism and deeper meanings any less brilliant and profound. What was presented to most as a somewhat silly end-times adventure tale is actually an allegorical telling of history based on an esoteric understanding of history and society. The “Thunderdome,” then, represents entertainment and control through that means, and getting ‘beyond’ it is crucial to human progress. In this regard, it ranks as one of my favorite films.

12 Comments on Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome – Esoteric Analysis

  1. Some interesting theories for sure. You might be onto something here. Last time I watched it I noticed the masonic symbol around the game show host’s neck too. I’ll have to watch it again. I seem to remember thinking that there might be some kind of gnostic aspect. Going “Beyond the Thunder Dome” could be metaphoric for the soul ascending beyond the filthy and violent world of matter, by passing through the celestial spheres (or “Dome” of Heaven.) In the neo-gnosticism of Shelly’s Prometheus Unbound, the Greco-Roman God Jove, aka the “Thunderer” is used to symbolize a derisive, gnostic inspired version of the Judeo-Christian God. This contention doesn’t seem too over reaching when we consider even more blatantly Gnostic movies like The Truman Show, where the artificial world of breads and circuses, mass entertainment is also used to symbolize the subluniary material world. The Freemason presiding over this world, wearing the set square and compass reminds me of the gnosticism of William Blake (one of Shelly’s idols). Blake’s poems presented similar veiled gnostic myths. His character Urizen, effectively the gnostic Demiurge, is in Blake’s artwork represented holding a compass, symbolizing the cold, patriarchal laws that measure out and encircle space and time. The image of Blake’s Urizen is one of the many Luciferian symbols on Rockefeller center as this article by The Vigilant Citizen attests:

    Blake’s work isn’t just gnostic but highly Kabbalistic too. Featuring a primal Man Albion, virtually identical to Luria’s Adam Kadmon. Albion’s fall into disunity allows for the emergence of the Demiurgical Urizen. A good deal can be read on it here.

    I think, since at least the late Enlightenment, the various modern luciferians have psychologized the ancient Hypostasis of the Archons myth. It doesn’t matter to them, so much, that their soul literally separate from their body and escape the material world of the demiurge, so much as their minds escape what Blake called “the mind forged manacles” of the Judeo-Christian God, whom they consider a mere projection of their consciousness. Hence for the like’s of Neitzche, Blake, Shelly, Marx, Huxley and countless others, God, was first projected out by the undifferentiated human subconscious, providing man a self consciousness, this destroyed an Edenic pantheism by creating Ego, Law, the Ideas of Sin Guilt, Separation and all, that in their minds is “wrong” with humanity. Only by re-ingesting the projected image of God can man “rebecome” his own God or at one with God/Nature or some such nonsense. The theme of emanation from/return to is both gnostic and Hegelian to it’s core. This seems to be the central dogma of so many of modernity’s chief a-holes.

    I checked the meaning of the name Walker:
    Here’s what it said:
    Gender: Masculine
    Usage: English
    Pronounced: WAWK-ər [key]
    From an English surname which referred to the medieval occupational of a walker, also known as a fuller. Walkers would tread on wet, unprocessed wool in order to clean and thicken it. The word ultimately derives from Old English wealcan “to walk”.
    If the film makers were aware of this meaning of the name, then there are some compelling implications. As you have rightly pointed out, the messianic qualities of the Mad Max character are quite apparent. Combine this with a name that suggests the purification of wool and things get even more interesting. On the one hand garments being made white can be read in an orthodox Christian manner, where Christ washes away the sins of humanity. On the other hand it could also symbolize the the separation of the soul from the “uncleanness” of the body. It’s quite possible I’m over reaching with this and the writer just pulled any name out of a hat but given some of what you have unearthed here it’s also quite possible I’m right.
    Oh yeah, watching the clip just now, my brother has just pointed out to me that in The Who’s Rock Opera “Tommy”, Tommy’s father and mother are called Captain and Mrs. Walker. Tommy, from what I understand, also has esoteric and messianic underpinnings. Don’t know if the connection is intentional though. Maybe.
    Like I said, interesting for sure! As always, keep up the stellar work!

    • As usual, your insights always give new angles. Yes, I was aware of Blake’s gnosis and I’ve been to Rockefeller Center, even. It is possible that your points are correct, that since the macrocosm is the microcosm, it’s escape from the evil flesh. In fact, in the cave painting of Walker, he is a huge man – a macrocoprosopus, carrying the lost kids on his arms. Overall, I still think it’s cyclical history, and/or kabbalistic. But you are definitely onto something when you consider Underworld as piggish and fleshly, etc. In fact, who survives between Master and Blaster? Master – reason and knowledge – aka, gnosis.

  2. thelemalithium // September 28, 2010 at 4:24 pm // Reply

    past – religion oozes art
    now – art oozes religion

  3. Great post! It’s refreshing to see a post like this that I actually find myself nodding in agreement with the interpretations. A welcomed change from the prattle of oversaturated synchromystic psychonauts.

    I wonder who the script writer was?

  4. Another interesting question I didn’t tackle is the meaning of Aunty “Entity”.

  5. Yeah, I’ve often wondered about her name myself. It seems to be a pun but is that an actual expression, an anti-entity? I know there’s nonentity. I guess her name suggests she’s nonexistent but in what sense, I don’t know. Does it mean she’s not a legal entity, that she’s outside the law? This doesn’t seem to make sense, since in the crazy barbarian world of Mad Max she’s the closets thing to a beacon civilization.

    I think it’s also worth considering the Tina Turner Song “We Don’t Need Another Hero.”

    Out of the ruins
    Out from the wreckage
    Can’t make the same mistake this time
    We are the children
    the last generation
    We are the ones they left behind
    And I wonder when we are ever gonna change
    Living under the fear till nothing else remains

    We don’t need another hero
    We don’t need to know the way home
    All we want is life beyond the thunderdome

    Looking for something we can rely on
    There’s got to be something better out there
    Love and compassion, their day is coming
    All else are castles built in the air
    And I wonder when we are ever gonna change
    Living under the fear till nothing else remains
    All the children say

    We don’t need another hero
    We don’t need to know the way home
    All we want is life beyond the thunderdome

    So, what do we do with our lives
    We leave only a mark
    Will our story shine like a light
    Or end in the dark
    Give it all or nothing

    Man, I miss the days when soundtracks actually had to be about the movie instead of cynical attempts by the studio to shill some shitty band’s new single, which is entirely unrelated to the movie’s plot, just because both the band and the studio are both owned by Viacom or Sony or whomever. That aside, it’s kind of funny that the lyrics, which are meant to be sung by the children, are decidedly anti-messianic, despite the fact that they were the one’s awaiting Captain Walker/Max. Maybe it’s meant to be sung after Max denies that he’s their savior… of course he does end up being just that anyway. Who knows.

    • Yes – good point – I meant to include the song, and then it slipped my mind, but the song is definitley relevant to the overall thrust of the film.

  6. Dude, just checked out the link you posted to the film’s writer, George Miller and saw that he wrote “Happy Feet.” Funny, when you last asked me for any film recommendations I considered mentioning this one but then didn’t for some reason. It’s so-so at best and is easily lost amongst a small army of films featuring CGI penguins, that came out in the last 5 years. However it’s stuffed with New Agey environmentalism and anti-religious propaganda. It’s more to be seen than described by me. I see he also made the feminist occultist fest, The Witches of Eastwick. That one also might be interesting to take a look at.

    • John Vickrey // March 30, 2013 at 6:29 am // Reply

      Just reading you guys go back and forth. You both are genius in this conversation. I am really interested in learning what you both know. I love all the Mad Max films. I am curious to what the forth film will bring. I feel as I can relate to the character Mad Max. A very intriguing character. I noticed the masonic seal on the movie and that’s what brought me to this website. Thank you both for this great reading.

  7. The observation that the ‘Aunty’ character could equate with media and entertainment made me think that you might be interested to know that, here in the UK, The BBC (Britain’s state broadcaster) is also referred to (affectionately ?!) as ‘Aunty’ or ‘Aunty Beeb’.

3 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome – Esoteric Analysis | Illuminati Conspiracy Archive Blog
  2. Mad Max: Fury Road – The Inverted New Order | Jay's Analysis
  3. Mad Max: Fury Road – The Inverted New Order

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