The Box (2009): Esoteric Analysis – Shadow Government Revealed

Film Poster. Cameron will be sacrificed to Mars.

"You are the experiment." By: Jay As I often lay out here, fictional films can show you more about what is really going on that the fictional mainstream news outlets  The Box is one of the most striking examples.  The Box (2009) is Richard Kelly's most recent film—Kelly of Donnie Darko and Southland Tales fame. All of Kelly's films contain deep esoteric themes, and The Box is no different. In fact, it's one of the most, well, “illuminist” films I'd seen since Eyes Wide Shut. The Box also contains hints and homages toward Kubrick, in fact. On the surface, the viewer is presented with a moral dilemma: It's a film about compromising morals and suffering the consequences. On another level, it describes the elite worldview and control system with stunning detail—but not just the elite perspective—it also contains an even deeper, initiatory quasi-masonic level, as I will argue. The film was not a critical success, but I suspect its meaning went over the head of most. The story takes place in 1976, where NASA Viking Mission camera engineer, “Arthur” (James Marsden) and his wife “Norma” (Cameron Diaz), have just purchased a large, new home. They are the typical middle class suburban family, pictured as overwhelming mediocre, in fact (on purpose). We then learn that a certain “Arlington Steward” (Frank Langella) has been resuscitated and released from the burn unit. Early one morning Arlington arrives in a black Lincoln, a “man in black,” and mysteriously drops a box off at Norma's door, while Arthur heads off to NASA to privately construct a prosthetic foot for Norma, who is slightly crippled. Recall, of course, that in many purported “UFO” experiences the so-called “men in black” arrive on the scene, etc. Note that I am not advocating aliens and the assorted myths attached thereto. This will be relevant later in the analysis, however. Norma discovers the box has another box in it with a large red button on top, and Norma is astonied. Meanwhile, Arthur finds out he has been rejected from acceptance as an astronaut, a longtime personal goal. Presumable funding for the new house and car would come from the astronaut position he was counting on. Norma teaches English at a local Catholic private school, and significantly, they are studying Jean-Paul Sartre's play, “No Exit.” A certain miscreant in class has appeared who attempts to embarrass Norma by asking her to show the class her club foot. Norma acquiesces. This is relevant to those in the know concerning Sartre's philosophy—Sartre proffered that as we mature, it becomes evident we are simply hiding behind various “masks” as a kind of cloak to escape the radical freedom we are condemned to.

Jean-Paul Sartre. Someone should have made him wear a mask.

For Sartre, Norma's clubfoot is an imperfection she hides because it's a reminder that her beautiful appearance which masks the clubfoot is a facade. It's not real. Were Norma to embrace her defect, she would actually be free from the stigma such defects produce in our psyches. Indeed, for Sartre, we even hide behind such roles as “suburban middle class wife,” because there is a kind of ease in accepting this pre-programmed role handed on from the previous batch of middle class suburban forebears. Sartre calls this “being in itself,” and likens it to inanimate rocks. Those who become “free” realize that reality presents “radical freedom,” and when this is accepted, one becomes “being for itself”-being that is free and undetermined. This will be relevant for the later “initiatory” reveal.

"Table for two, dude."

Norma mentions to another student in class the famous Sartre quote that “hell is other people,” because it would be like others “knowing all your faults.” We also note that Arthur's young son doesn't believe in Santa when the subject comes up in the kitchen, because Arthur is a “scientist.” It is also relevant that this is Christmas time. This is relevant because we are supposed to understand that “scientism” is another mask, Sartre would contend. The “scientist” hides behind the mask of “rational inductionist,” and when presented with mystery or radical freedom, he timidly avoids the fearful conclusion by resting his faith in the imagined totality explanatory power of “science.” Arthur and Norma are about to encounter something they could never have imagined.

Shadowy shadow government figure no one is aware of, who watches as Watchers do.

The next day NASA gives a press conference for the upcoming Viking Mars Probe and curiously interjects statements about the expected discovery of “alien life” and “ancient alien civilizations.” In fact, this is precisely what Arthur C. Clarke and the NASA videos at the time were promoting. Isn't it somewhat obvious that you will find what you're looking for? It's not very scientifically “neutral” to be so completely sold on the idea of alien life. Instead, we are being given a larger clue as to the meaning of where the film is going—the underlying new mythology that the supposed “science establishment” has predetermined we will “discover.” The new “discovery” will be that there is “life” elsewhere in the galaxy, thus exotheology. Exotheology is the planned new cosmology that replaces man's origins and telos with aliens and apotheosis. However, The Box is going to give us a veiled clue as to who the “aliens” really are. During the press conference, one reporter asks why NASA is working closely with the NSA, which goes unanswered.

Norma too loses her job, and Arlington arrives and offers them both one million dollars if they push the button on the box, which will result in the death of someone whom they do not know. They have 24 hours to make a decision. Arlington leaves as abruptly as he came, and the couple find themselves in a quandary. Arlington, we notice, is disfigured in his face from the burn, and Norma begins to sympathize with him. Then, oddly, we see an image of a surveillance camera at NASA looking down on the workers with a strange man in a suit looking into the camera. This figure is crucial, but he only shows up in the film a couple of times, purposefully looking on from the background. He is in the shadows, another “man in black,” and represents the shadow government, controlling the NSA and NASA. We never learn his identity, other than that he is the “employer” of Steward. “Steward,” is his name obviously because he is a representative. If you are incredulous, bear with me, as I will show this beyond any shadow of a doubt as we proceed. Norma ends up deciding to slap the button, after coaxing a still doubtful Arthur over their need for money, yet who isn’t willing to push it, but allows Norma to. Here we have an echo of the fall of Adam and Eve in Genesis 1-3, where the woman is particularly at fault. The have now fallen. The couple then goes to see the play her English class had been working on, which is Sartre’s “No Exit,” where three people discover they have been escorted to hell by a valet who is a kind of devil, and the rest of the drama takes place in the same room (and a room is a box), where the torment ends up being each other, fulfilling Sartre’s quip that hell is “other people.” We start to see that Arthur and Norma and their son are the ones being escorted into their “hell.” The box they have been imprisoning themselves in is their own life and lies.

The “man in black,” Arlington Steward, the “steward” of the gods, in a Kubrick-esque scene.

It is also important that intermittently throughout the film the television is on in the couple’s home, and almost every time what is briefly seen is relevant on an esoteric level. The television, you see, is a box, too. The first time you hear someone saying that “people are causing pollution,” the next time it mentions NBC and then “Barry Goldwater.” Now, all of these are relevant as setting the timing of the film, but also the deeper meanings. In 1976, the modern globalist “environmental” movement was fresh on the scene, but keep these things in mind as we progress through the film. The couple then attends a Christmas party with co-workers and fellow townsfolk where things begin to get strange, when random persons in the crowd ogle the couple, and give them dirty looks. They all play a game where you pick random presents under the tree, and Arthur picks a box which he discovers has a blurry photo of Arlington in it.

Meanwhile, a new babysitter had been staying with , and notices they are being watched by a random stranger through the window. She takes him to the basement after a discussion of comic books, and it’s interesting to notice that the covers of the comics she looks at feature an alien, a casket floating in space, and a skull imposed over a gateway. The babysitter Arthur’s Arthur C. Clarke poster, and says “My dad knows him.” Arthur C. Clarke’s “third law” emblazoned on the poster now comes to the fore, which becomes a clue to another deeper esoteric theme: that “magick” is indistinguishable from science. The lesson that Arthur will learn as he experiences the events is that science isn’t the end-all be all of existence, and in fact, what he will undergo is a magickal initiation, constituting his gnostic process of apotheosis, as he and his Eve have now “fallen.” This is why many viewers were confused as to the meaning of some of the scenes during the film’s final 30 minutes.

The science fiction casket.

We then transition back to the Christmas party where a certain creepy waiter provokes Arthur by laughing at him, and who is the same student who embarrassed Norma in class. A waiter escorts Norma to the phone, while suddenly going mute and forgetting what he was doing, as his nose suddenly begins to bleed. Arlington knows Arthur has been trying to track down who he (Arlington) is, and warns them that they made a deal which cannot be broken. No one can know who has selected them, nor what the deal was. Arthur ends up punching the student from Norma’s class, while he (the student) merely laughs and also has a nose bleed, after flashing a peace sign/two with his fingers. As Arthur and Norma leave the party, someone has etched into the ice on their car’s windshield “NO EXIT,” and as they drive away, another waiter flashes the “two sign” with his fingers. Now it is starting to make sense, as Arthur also finds out that Arlington’s car is registered to the NSA. Arthur begins to think he understands how his family is being constantly surveilled.

“The Day of the Moron”: destruction and death at the gates of the two pillars.

Next, a bizarre scene appears on the family’s television: the Twin Towers! Seemingly out of place, yet recall that the several other television references appear to have a subtle significance. Global pollution, Barry Goldwater, NBC and now the Twin Towers. The year is 1976, so the towers had just been finished a couple years beforehand. This is no accident.

The intentionally-placed twin towers on a “box.” It was on a box that most people saw these come down in a psy-op.

The towers came down in 2001 of course, and films and intelligence warnings and operation manuals such as Operation Northwoods, as well as others, had long contained those very scenarios. What few are aware of are the occult and magical correspondences of the destruction of the towers, which extend beyond merely political ends.

Arthur C. Clarke’s famous “third law,” from the Ten Commandments of Psience

The twin pillars “falling” has a relevance to kabballah, as well as Freemasonry, which have, as their “gateways” the twin pillars, Jachin and Boaz, as well as the notion of the “middle pillar.” Recall that on 9/11 three towers fell, not just two. In the occult, and in the Golden Dawn in particular, the middle pillar signifies equilibrium between the two side pillars of mercy and severity, as well as being the “pillar of initiation and integration.” It is the balance between the yin and yang, dark and light, male and female, etc. It is the product of Arthur and Norma—their son, the child of the union. The middle pillar is also the “wand” of the magician, and has a phallic connection, and this is exactly what is happening to the “scientist” Arthur, as he undergoes his initiation. The middle pillar also has reference to the six-sided cube of space (all directions), which many associate with the Holy of Holies in the Levitical temple, from which all of this is borrowed because the numerical gematria of the middle pillar is “26” (6 sides, 8 points and 12 edges), which is a perfect cube. And a perfect cube is a box. The destruction of the towers has the significance of the production of the new order of the ages, since all initiatory theories include the idea of the death of the old, and resurrection into the new. This is what will happen to Arthur, too.

The Masonic “middle pillar” of initiation.

Back to the story: Arthur begins to freak out, and takes the babysitter home, and while driving, she realizes he has blood on his hands, and comments to that effect, bringing to mind the idea of guilt. The babysitter makes a strange reference to looking into the “light” and passes out after a nose bleed. We have seen this constant appearance of red blood now, which is relevant because Arthur is working on the Mars mission. Mars is the “red” planet, and corresponds to the “god of war,” and the devil, if you will. So we have more hints as to who is running this show. Arthur discovers that she isn’t really a babysitter after finding her ID, and we then are shown the fact that Arlington is building what appears to be a “Stargate” of some kind at the NASA facilities. We hear again the television that “the eagle has landed,” and the Mars mission will show us definitively that there is “life on other planets.” So, the NSA is tied in with NASA, and we then find out that Arlington is brainwashing his “employees” who are also “test subjects” into mindlessly submitting to his magical techno Stargate “light.” We then are told that Arlington died in the E.R. from a lightning strike, and when he awoke, he was a different “entity” who now serving a new “employer.” The surface level meaning of the story is that his consciousness is now invaded by a kind of invasion of the body snatchers alien, as are all the others who pass through Arlington’s employers’ “light.” This is the “light” of gnostic and Freemasonic initiation. You thought it was crazy so far—well, it only gets crazier.

The human resource exploitation intelligence manual that shows the three-pillared gateway.

Arthur and Norma are busy tracking down Arlington and the secret government testing they have now been clued into, and end up at the large public library, which is to become a church/lodge. This makes sense, as a library is a house of knowledge, or gnosis, and this is where Arthur in particular will undergo his ritual initiation. Arthur is led in a liturgical procession to the “holy of holies” of the library, in whose doorway appears Arlington’s wife, who grants him a occultic liturgical “blessing.” We are then shown a large painting on the wall above the “holy entrance way” that is the same as Arthur’s poster, which shows a magus being initiated.

Now Arthur has understood that science and magick are indistinguishable. In the room, Arlington’s wife reveals herself as “Clymene,” who was, in fact, one of the Titanis and a goddess, and whose name is reminiscent of Klymenos, or Hades. Arthur is then shown three pillars that are watery, aetheric gateways. He must choose one, as the rest result in “eternal damanation,” he is told. He recalls that everyone had held up the number two, so he chooses the middle pillar. He is then taken up into the light and sees what he later describes as “heaven.” Simultaneously, Norma had been ushered elsewhere in ritual fashion to see Arlington, whom she tells she “loves.” Arlington says “take my hand,” which is reminiscent of marriage, and we then see Norma laying on her bed, and as she awakes, floating above her in a watery cube is Arthur, who awakes and “the water is broken,” and he falls onto the bed. Arthur has gone through a baptism of sorts, inside a watery casket, and is now reborn. Remember that we had seen skulls and caskets already, and caskets and death are common in religious initiation ceremonies.

Welcome to the Most Holy Church of the Library Gnosis. Please place your late fees in the collection plate.

We then learn see that Arlington has been doing all this as a “test,” and the test is a massive experiment conducted by the shadow government, who are now revealed as his employers. Not only is this the shadow government, we are even shown a striking reference to the actual layout of the shadow government where Arlington looks at a large screen that has flapping tiles that alternate to show a map of the entire globe. It’s a kind of early Google maps, and amazingly what is revealed briefly on the map is the actual layout of Northcom, Centcom, etc.! You see, this is the real shadow government, and not only is this film throwing it all in your face, 99% of its viewers would have been utterly clueless. This is why the film confused so many.

Arlington’s NSA lackey asks him why is all this happening, and he responds that the test is being conducted to see who is allowed to survive, and whether the earth should be depopulated! The test involved being presented with federal reserve notes – fake money, and the moral dilemma of whether one will choose to support the greater good of humanity, or choose a selfish path of killing another human to obtain paper money. Note that Arlington didn’t bring anyone a bunch of gold bars. Instead, it is paper currency, and for those in the know, this is how the shadow government maintains control—through control of the issuance of currency. Now we understand the previous references to pollution and the green agenda and NBC. We then see that Arlington is lining everyone up secretly in a police state setting and sending all his actors through the brainwashing stargate, preparing for the next test scenario. We are then shown a brief scene where the grid displays a magic square! This only further confirms that those running the shadow government are an occult magical-minded, scientific banking elite. Their grid has long been in place, and we are, in their estimation, a huge psychological test ward.

Arlington’s grid shows the actual shadow government – Northcom, Centcom, etc.

After a bit more paranoia and attempting to run, Arthur is apparently caught by the men in black and we see him enigmatically emerge from Arlington’s luminous brainwashing-stargate. This confused many people, because it seems to be out-of-place and out of sequence. But this is done on purpose, because Arthur’s senses have been altered, as he has passed out of time and space into the aether for initiation, and emerged back on earth. However, his purgation is not finished, as he is now made to sacrifice his wife or child to continue on, as Arlington’s employers are not happy with Arthur’s opposition to their plans.

The actual Pentagon Northcom, etc., map.

Arthur ends up killing Norma so that their son can live on, but ultimately it means Arthur must give them both up. We think that Arthur is going to be nabbed by the police, and when they arrive after he has shot his wife, it should be noted that he is not led into a police car. The men in black arrive to take him away, not the police. Arthur is one of them now. He has been initiated and has sacrificed all he previously held dear. His son is now under the care of the shadow government, they tell him, and we see him in a window with who appears to possibly be our mysterious “employer” who has only appeared briefly in the background.

Peculiar shot with the magic square, showing the google-earth-like matrix spy grid.

It is important to call attention to the fact that his name is “Arthur,” which conjures up images of the Arthurian tales, where the king is seeking the magical holy grail. That is present here, too, as Arthur has found his “grail,” which is truth of the magical shadow government. His wife was “Norma,” which sounds like “normal.”  Her mundane existence was the result of his fall, but her “sacrifice” to Mars allowed his redemption and “deification” to occur. By following the clues and hints found all around him, Arthur discovered the truth, and exited the hell of his own making, as Sartre would say. The box has a layered meaning, but the most crucial have been outlined already—it is, Arlington says, the object we spend most of our time in—cars, which are metal boxes, houses, caskets, etc. The film takes the box, the cube of space-time and the holy of holies, and transforms it into the object of elite scientific envy—to master this realm and become gods. This is what Arthur C. Clarke often wrote about and is the paradigm from which the transhumanists and technocrats operate. And it is they who make up the shadow government. Thus, The Box not only displays this worldview, on a deeper level, it is telling you—as you watch a box (a TV screen or a movie screen), that this is precisely what is actually happening: does the shadow government see all this as a test.

“You are the experiment.”

30 Comments on The Box (2009): Esoteric Analysis – Shadow Government Revealed

  1. Wow, Jay! Thanks a lot for the article – this is by far the best movie review I’ve read recently. Especially taking into account that “The Box” is a far more difficult movie for interpretation than the majority of the occult Hollywood crap. When I watched it several years ago, I had big trouble with understanding its true message. Though one thing was clear to me immediately – this is one of the most disgusting movies I have ever seen. Made me wanna puke when I watched it. Now I know why I had such a strong gutter reaction to the film.

  2. Thanks! Richard Kelly is a talented guy, and I “tweeted” my analysis to him. No other blogs or sites have any reviews worth much, and I think I really hit on some esoteric realities here.

  3. Jay, who wrote the script? And is this significant? or, was the alleged writer not the real writer?

  4. Interesting analysis!
    After watching the movie, I had the impression though, that Arlington Steward’s employers are some kinds of deities rather than a shadow government, because:

    1. He got resurrected after getting struck by lightening (he also said something like: “My employers have a morbid sense of humour”, which coincides with characteristics of gods, like in the greek mythology)
    2. It seemed like those gods were testing morality through the hands of Mr Steward whether the human race was worthy surviving, (the Deluge comes to mind)
    3. He was speaking of the afterlife (in a cryptic way)

    But maybe that was just how the movie wanted those employers to be portrayed; as distant almighty godlike characters.

  5. Daniel Brasil // January 5, 2013 at 7:40 pm // Reply

    The best analysis of all times. Don´t forget the scene with Marlboro cigarettes on the table, and the 5 occult masonic symbols. There´s a shadow governement in The Adjustment Bureau (Adjustment Team)? Richard Kelly suffer influence of Philip. K. Dick? I have sincere doubts.

    I´m using your rewiew to see the movie. Great Job, man.

  6. Daniel Brasil // January 6, 2013 at 12:11 am // Reply

    I forgot, Marlboro cigarettes and the 5 occult symbols, Pentagram is a five-pointed star and Arlington Steward was a victim of lightning strike 5 times hotter than the sun.

    • 5 is also Geburah in the Tree of Life which is asociated with MARS. MARSlboro.
      The first version i saw of this film was the Twilight Zone episode I think it was from the 1980s. Though in that tv version all these other elements were missing.
      The Box is shown in Atu XV of the Tarot: The Devil or the Matrix.
      It is called the Lament Configuration by Clive Barker: Opens Doorways to HEAVEN OR HELL. The Cosmic Cube of the Avengers. It Opens Doorways to Heaven, Asgard, or Hell, Thano’s Realm.
      Steward Swerdlow has written about the cube, 13x13x13 as the Matrix Cube [Mother Box of Kirby’s The New Gods]. Swerdlow says its used as a model for programming-this symbolic representation of created reality. So people can have up 13x13x13 different Alters, I reckon. Or at least programming compartments.
      My Father’s House has many Mansions. And it’s represented by this “Rubik’s Cube” or “Cosmic Cube”.
      Axis Mundei.

  7. Another sci fi writer wrote about astronauts who teleported experienced the afterlife as a result of the period of time they were disassembled. Arthur ask Arlington about that afterwards and says he has viewed the afterlife but Arlington is coy in his response. Strict conformity and moral behavior is all Arlington wants which is not the same as morality or religion.

  8. Terrific article. I may have missed it, but did you mention that the Cube is a Saturn symbol? Also, have you seen “Duplicity”? It is FULL of cubes. Many times, it seems to me, the Cube is used to suggest that perspective is to be analyzed. In “Crash”, for instance, where there are a ton of narrow perspectives, the camera zooms up at the last scene after an accident, to reveal a Cube in the middle of an intersection. And in “Thor”, the hammer is surrounded by a Cube when the military take possession of it.

  9. Just finished watching this for the second time.. First time I saw it was about 5 years ago… With a new perspective I saw much of the Therese touched upon in this analysis.. Especially in regards to the gnostic themes and initiation… The analysis cleared a lot of things up… But also created much curiosity within my mind.. #kudos

  10. Reblogged this on Jay's Analysis and commented:

    One of my most popular analyses, full of mind-blowing esoterica in this over-looked film.

  11. Pressing a button that will kill a anonymous human being in some far away land and getting rewarded for it – like a drone strike or perhaps a metaphor for the corporatist Anglo-American imperial order. I must admit much of the movie’s esoteric message was lost on me when I first watched it. But then again I was pretty ignorant of the Occult and its significance to the national security state. As I have researched false flag terrorism and other Deep State intrigues I have gained a greater understanding of such things.

    I interpreted the box as representing the Faustian bargain that modern life offers us. The tragedy is if we simply told the Devil to take a hike and did the right thing (the Golden Rule), humanity would be spared so much suffering. Great review! Thanks,

    • It’s also all double binds all the way down. The whole story is constructed around them, and of course there are no winners in that type of contradiction, only schizoid transition awaits the one who tried to understand a double bind. That is the point as understood and disseminated to guys like Alan Watts by Gregory Bateson. The whole double bind thing in the context of this film also serves to shunt people into the elites secret dialectic for the power players and the people they rope into their evil, in my opinion.

  12. When I first heard they were called Arthur and Norma I immediately thought of Arthur Miller and Norma Jean Mortenson

  13. Then, of course, several times on the TV in the background you have the image and voice thirty-third degree mason and Warren Commission member President Gerald R. Ford.

  14. I watched this last night for the first time and was astonished at the blatant illuminati references. However, your analysis has made it even clearer and I missed a lot of what you have pointed out. Thanks for that. If ever there was a movie giving away clear messages of what’s going on this is it.

  15. What happens if the couple does not participate? They opt out by not pushing the button.

  16. Good review; however, there’s one inconsistency…the person with the son in the window is Norma’s father.

  17. i saw this movie twice now… it is so full of symbolism to esoteric background, I also think in terms of pressing the button on the box, the “stage” is already set up, be it financial problems, job loss, health issues, or whatever catastrophe is used to entice the button pusher… … very good article! thanks for the tid bits that I missed, !!!

  18. Thank you. I watched it for the first time last week and was excruciatingly lost. Now I can watch it again without wanting to rip off my own head.

  19. i, finally., saw this film. Thanks to a fortuitous appearance at the Tilly (a christian thrift store). If it was me, I would have shot myself (Arthur) before Cameron Diaz. Thanks!, Jay. this overview helped.

  20. They interviewed Matheson on the DVD, but his ss had, really, nothing to do with this film.

  21. Great interpretation of this film Jay hats off to you. I own the DVD of this film, and each time I’ve watched it, I get the feeling the director is presenting us with a grand symbolistic puzzle for the viewers to solve. I have a couple things to add though. There seems to be a layer which is consistant in all three versions of the “Button Button” story. That is that Norma and Arthur are symbolic to Adam and Eve. Only in this story, Norma and Arthur are tempted to press the red button for money, instead of a red apple for the knowlege of good and evil, which ultimately is the same thing they receive here as the plot unfolds. Just like the biblical tale, Eve takes the first bite of the red apple, and in all three versions of the button, Norma is the one who pushes the red button. In the biblical tale they are tempted by the serpant in the tree of life. In the button the serpent is represented by Arlington. Or, is Arlington the one casting them out of Eden after they press the button? Anyway this seemed like a blatant connection to me and I’m surprised no one mentioned it.

    One other thing I discovered early on, that is just plain creepy. At the party the moment before Arthur gets into the fight. There’s a scene of a snowy landscape and the music in the background tells us “Can’t you see?” right at the same moment. Take a screenshot of that scene, its at 49:29 on the DVD and squash it horizontally together. I believe there is a super creepy anamorphosis face hidden, blended into the landscape. Also who’s the guy flashing the flashlight there? By the way the man standing in the scene makes up the left eye of the face. This almost reminds me of some of the tricks Kubrick did with landscapes in The Shining, or even something akin to David Lynch style effect.

    Finally, one last thing… There are license plate numbers on Arlington’s vehicle that seem to stand out in the scenes, begging for the viewer to research them. Googling the numbers gets back some pretty strange results, including this page. from this number AQ71-942. Try googling this one as well E76-80M, which stands out in red at the end of the movie. I’m really not sure what to make of the plate numbers and what comes up, but seems to me to be no accident since they are so clear and stand out of the scenes, plus the number changes throughout the film. Am I correct about this or am I stretching things? I think the director really likes Kubrick and tries to use many of the same types of tricks Kubrick used, specifically in the shining.

  22. While I definitely see much of the symbolism you refer to throughout the film, I have to wonder if Arlington’s superiors are an alien race rather than the shadow government you speak of. Arlington was initially struck by lightning and killed when he was on the roof of the NASA building, just as the first transmissions from the Viking probe were sent back to earth from Mars. He died and later came back to life, as they say, a vessel with extraordinary capabilities.

    Arlington doesn’t just speak of depopulation, he talks about the continued existence of the human race if they fail the test: “my employers with be compelled to extradite your extinction.” I understand the nexus to the shadow government but that only seems to be because of the chosen location in Langley, where he even admits the employer has access to incredible amounts of data and information via the location at Langley. The alien species appears to be using all the various resources of the government, putting the people and technologies under their control, perhaps using the resources of the shadow government for their own ends.

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