“The earliest gods were invoked by ritual act (dromenon = the thing done) such as a sacrificial dance, commemorating the fact that our life begins and ends when they call upon us. Subsequently the thing was said (legomenon) as well as done, and the dromenon was on its way to becoming the drama. Once speech within the temple precincts has been endowed with the power of word-magic, we have “the invocation” properly so called.” (Dudley Young, Origins of the Sacred: The Ecstasies of Love and War, pg. 413)
Hollywood is, as David Lynch titles it, an “inland empire” – a kind of covenantal city-state of its own, with its own religion, including all the trappings of neophytes, acolytes, servants, agents, star saints, hierophants and hierarchs and holy sites. It is a veritable polis of initiatory esoterica where the holy sites and rites of Hollywood are not the altars of mainstream religion, but another ancient religion, ultimately summed up in the epithet of the ancient mysteries. The ancient mysteries comprise the competing religious practices of the empires of old, but the one empire that seems to have achieved the most appropriate association with Hollywood is Babylon – the “gate of the gods”.
Babylon was the ancient pagan empire prominent in biblical prophetic works as an enemy of God’s people due to their idolatry. Hollywood is no different, functioning as the propaganda arm of the antichrist media establishment, intent on re-engineering society into its alchemical opposite, unleashing the destructive forces of cultural Marxism and death. This is why stories and narratives continue to emerge of Hollywood scandals, sex and murder rituals and occult crime, with no puzzle pieces ever put together from mindless denizens of talking head puppetdom. From the dozens of in-depth analyses on my site looking into the esoteric meanings in Hollywood films, it logically follows that this classic thesis of “Hollywood Babylon” is not far off. This title is not new, either: detailed accounts are found in insider researchers like Peter Levenda, and even older than his Sinister Forces trilogy, occultist Kenneth Anger’s book and documentary, Hollywood Babylon, which (documentary) I will include below.
From its beginnings, Hollywood has been an empire of tragedies, full of lost lives, drugs, and real life drama, but this troupe lifestyle is nothing new. The stage has long been the site of tragedy and something much darker – ritual invocation, all the way back to the ancient Greeks and Romans. For Greece and Rome, the stage was sacred, where the dramaturgical interactions of the gods were actually a form of magical invocation. The actors donned the costumes of the gods, with the playwright scripting the narrative to inculcate the masses into the appropriate morals of the state. Although the idea of the theater as explicitly sacred is foreign to the modernity, it was not for historic man, nor is modern man’s praxis any less religious in regard to the theater. Sir James Frazier elaborates the ancient belief in the magical character of dramaturgy and acting in his classic The Golden Bough:
“Here then at the great sanctuary of the goddess in Zela it appears that her myth was regularly translated into action; the story of her love and the death of her divine lover was performed year by year as a sort of mystery-play by men and women who lived for a season and sometimes died in the character of the visionary beings whom they personated. The intention of these sacred dramas, we may be sure, was neither to amuse nor to instruct an idle audience, and as little were they designed to gratify the actors, to whose baser passions they gave the reins for a time. They were solemn rites which mimicked the doings of divine beings, because man fancied that by such mimicry he was able to arrogate to himself the divine functions and to exercise them for the good of his fellows. The operations of nature, to his thinking, were carried on by mythical personages very like himself; and if he could only assimilate himself to them completely he would be able to wield all their powers.
This is probably the original motive of most religious dramas or mysteries among rude peoples. The dramas are played, the mysteries are performed, not to teach the spectators the doctrines of their creed, still less to entertain them, but for the purpose of bringing about those natural effects which they represent in mythical disguise ; in a word, they are magical ceremonies and their mode of operation is mimicry or sympathy. We shall probably not err in assuming that many myths, which we now know only as myths, had once their counterpart in magic; in other words, that they used to be acted as a means of producing in fact the events which they describe in figurative language. Ceremonies often die out while myths survive, and thus we are left to infer the dead ceremony from the living myth. If myths are, in a sense, the reflections or shadows of men cast upon the clouds, we may say that these reflections continue to be visible in the sky and to inform us of the doings of the men who cast them, long after the men themselves are not only beyond our range of vision but sunk beneath the horizon.” (pg. 651)
By the time of Shakespeare and the Renaissance, the tradition had not changed. Renaissance scholar Dame Francis Yates writes of the hermetic elements of the Globe Theater: “Thoughts occur to one of the possibility of using Fludd’s revelations, not only for the understanding of the actual staging of Shakespeare’s plays, but for an interpretation of the relative spiritual significance of scenes played on different levels. Is the Shakespearean stage a Renaissance and Hermetic transformation of the old religious stage?” (The Art of Memory, pgs. 42-3) For the Renaissance “masked ball” tradition, the ritual aspect of the theater was quite profound, with the political and market elites meeting on estates for the original, now-famous Eyes Wide Shut-style ceremonial celebrations. The point here is the stage as a ceremonial altar for religious invocation is not novel, but a genuine tradition that has continued unabated from Renaissance era to now. The 1972 Rothschild Masked Ball is now well-known in Internet alternative media circles, but it forms a perfect example of the elite ball as described. Roman Polanski’s occultic The 9th Gate and Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut were both filmed in Rothschild mansions, and all carry explicit occult themes.
That there is a dark side to Hollywood is generally known, given the numerous cases of bizarre deaths, yet the occult side is still lesser known. In his section from Sinister Forces Vol. III on “Hollywood Babylon,” Levenda includes a snippet from comparative religion writer Mircea Eliade: “Babylon was Bab-ilani, a “gate of the gods,” for it was there that the gods descended to earth….But it was always Babylon that is the scene of the connection between the earth and the lower regions, for the city had been built upon bab apsi, the “Gates of Apsu” – apsu designating the waters of chaos before the Creation.” (pg. 109)
And in Eliade’s The Sacred and the Profane, he explains of the ancient conception of the threshold or gate, which is peculiarly applicable:
“A similar ritual function falls to the threshold of the human habitation, and it is for this reason that the threshold is an object of great importance. Numerous rites accompany passing the domestic threshold – a bow, a prostration, a pious touch of the hand, and so on. The threshold has its guardians – gods and spirits who forbid entrance both to human enemies and to demons and the power of pestilence. It is on the threshold that sacrifices to the guardian divinities are offered. Here too certain paleo-oriental cultures (Babylon, Egypt, Israel) situated the judgment place. The threshold, the door show the solution of continuity in space immediately and concretely; hence their great religious importance, for they are symbols and at the same time vehicles passage from one space to another.” (pg. 25)
The “gate of the gods” is thus fitting for Hollywood, as is the Saturnalian ethos, where the medium is the method: the spirits and gods of old still find their servants and missionaries crossing the threshold of the artistic airwaves and celluloid chapels, but the spiral goes even deeper. In making this occult and religious association, one of the first prominent cases of Hollywood occult ritual psychodrama is the case of the Black Dahlia, which I have referenced elsewhere. Researcher Dave McGowan has written about the occult and Satanic connections to the murder and HolyHexes gives a summary of McGowan’s work on Hodel and Short:
“McGowan sees clearly how privilege works while noting accusations that came out during Hodel’s trial. “Allegations that the rich and powerful were dabbling in incest, hypnotism/mind control, pedophilic orgies, and Luciferian philosophies must surely have been shocking to Angelenos in the 1940s, as they would still be to most Americans today, but to these jaded eyes and ears, it just sounds like business as usual. Also sounding like business as usual is that Tamar was roundly vilified by both the press and the defense team (led by Jerry Giesler), and Dr. George Hodel was acquitted.”
“How it is that the fourteen-year-old daughter of a lowly probation officer fell into the orbit of the daughter of the wealthy and influential George Hodel (Hodel’s former home is currently valued at $4.2 million) has never been explained, but Tamar, described by Michelle as “the epitome of glamour,” quickly took the youngster under her wing, buying her clothes, enrolling her in modeling school, teaching her to drive, and providing her with a fake ID and a steady stream of prescription drugs – obtained, one would presume, from her father.”
Have you come to the conclusion McGowan leads the reader? The Black Dahlia was recruited by a daughter of a rich and connected doctor for a ritualistic slaying in an underground walk-in vault beneath the home, her death, dismemberment and missing organs facilitated by drugs and participated in by members of a cult engaged in satanic worship. This is McGowan’s premise in his book also on mind controlled serial killers, it’s a cover for satanic worship and the “serial killers” are mostly patsies!
This article doesn’t do complete justice to McGowan’s essay. McGowan, a native of Los Angeles, pins down Phillips as possessed of occult leanings, and successfully, shows how “The Black Dahlia” may be connected to occult practices in the shadows of a sixties’ Laurel Canyon.”
To bring this pattern into concrete examples, there is a curious Bacchanalian scene in The Big Sleep (1946) with Humphrey Bogart that shows a similarity to the underground porn and ritual imagery in The Black Dahlia (2006), as well as to scenes in David Lynch’s Lost Highway (1997). This revelation of the inside sexual and ritual aspects in the films themselves demonstrate the claims I’m making are not without basis. While noir would not be a place one would expect esoteric symbolism The Big Sleep was actually referencing a topic completely taboo to the audience of the day – sex, drug and ritual. It is Interesting to note that the camera’s eye in The Big Sleep shot is the third eye of the Buddha bust, suggesting a potential Tantric theme was involved in the porn at the flophouse. In The Black Dahlia, a secret flop house that resembles it can be seen above, where the porn was filmed, later to be followed by a grizzly occult murder. In The Black Dahlia, a wealthy family is involved in the ritual crime, bringing to mind the rituals performed in the estates in Eyes Wide Shut and 9th Gate. It also brings to mind the ritual porn murder film at the end of Lost Highway, which is an explicit tribute to noir.
At this point the question arises – what do ritual drama and these subtle examples of deeper sexual themes in noir and neo-noir have in common? Levenda’s analysis is crucial here, highlighting the shamanic elements of the actor in seeking to become an alternate persona. The similarity to The shaman was, of course, the walker between two worlds, who channeled the message from the spirit realm into ours. The father of method acting was none other than Konstantin Stanislavski, an occult practitioner who was explicit about the spiritual nature of his method. Levenda writes of Stanislavski, “The true Method actor is a kind of initiate, a voluntary madman, and opens himself or herself up to forces he or she does not understand, but which are potent nonetheless. And these forces being summoned then act upon those in close proximity.” (Ibid., 112) With this made evident, the evidence of Hollywood as an occult empire only mounts, and we can see the above film examples as an interesting juxtaposition of 40s crime with subtle occult undertones continues to suggest even more. In this shamanic context, Lynch’s quote I’ve cited in the past makes even more sense: “‘I learned that just beneath the surface there’s another world, and still different worlds as you dig deeper.”
Also worth mentioning is the point I made in my Mulholland Drive analysis, where the gorgeous starlet Candy Jones was a prime example, not just of an entertainment vixen surrounded by scandalous scuttlebutt, but as an actual mind-controlled victim of the newly-established MKULTRA program. I wrote:
“Hollywood is also no stranger to the notion of mind-controlled subjects with alternate personalities, programmed with key words and triggers, as the 1962 film The Manchurian Candidate made evident, based on Richard Condon’s 1959 novel of the same name. Another famous episode along these lines that relates to Betty is the story of Candy Jones, the famous model who was also a mind controlled subject, as Donald Bain’s 1976 The Control of Candy Jones argues. Betty/Diane, like Candy, seems to blend between the 50s and present day, in her descent into mental illness, depersonalization and dissociation. This will provide the key to understanding the blue key Betty is given that unlocks the blue box in Club Silencio. The box and key are Betty’s psyche and the key represents the key words and phrases her handler(s) possess. Before we progress further into the meat of the film, recall Levenda’s comments I cited in my Lost Highway analysis, as all Lynch films intersect and relate to one another:
“A recurring feature of David Lynch films is the flickering light, a result, we are told in the pilot episode of Twin Peaks – of a “bad transformer.” This flickering electric light will appear in Lynch films such as Mulholland Drive [and Lost Highway], to announce the appearance of the Cowboy, a bizarre character who speaks in gnomic riddles, like a cross between Gary Cooper and David Carradine. In Twin Peaks, it is the light in the morgue over the place where the body of Laura Palmer had been kept, and which is then visited by Mike, the one-armed man, who recites the famous poem:
“Through the darkness of futures past
The magician longs to see;
One chants out between two worlds
‘Fire walk with me.’”
There, in a strange little verse, we have the key to unlocking the mystery not only of Twin Peaks but virtually all of Lynch’s films: the suspension of normal laws of time (“futures past”) and the idea that the magician lives “between two worlds.” The suspension of normal, linear narrative event in favor of a dreamlike, hallucinatory set of images that are taking place all over the fourth dimension is part of Lynch’s appeal as a director, and part of what makes his films so frustrating to the film-goer. His realization that there are two worlds, and a place to stand between them, is what contributes to his aura as a modern, twenty-first century initiate of the Mysteries, for that is what “mystery” films are: elucidations of the core Mystery behind reality.” (Sinister Forces, Vol. III, pg 151)
Intrigue doesn’t stop there. Writer Craig Heimbichner sees the entire complex of Hollywood like Oz, calling to mind the most well-known film of all time, The Wizard of Oz. Heimbichner sees Oz as an occult allegory of Tinseltown itself: “We are in a universal lapse into a state of immaturity; a true indicator we are in some sort of “era of the child.” Hypnotized by computers, Tvs, DVDs, CDs, palm pilots, Prozac, Paxil, and pot, the average zombie has left behind considerations of others, as though “others” were a TV show which one could laugh and shut off. Zombies rise in the morning, watch morning TV shows, scan the newspapers and receive new programming, go to work, and come home to passively watch more programming. If the zombies have an original thought, it is almost invariably a selfish one. But the absurdity is even the selfish thought reflects the cradle-to-crypt programming from the television, that other Eye of Set.”
Continuing, Heimbicher elucidates,
“…the Wizards of Oz. Such shadow-players are the true OTO Templars, the real magicians whose wand of hypnosis exorcizes the powers of reason, and whose smoke-and-mirrors show obscures the true nature of the game. The OTO’s book proclaiming a pseudo-freedom is appropriately named Liber Oz (The Book of Oz). The word “Oz” is Hebrew for strength. The Zohar relates in 3:208a and 212a-b that all who learn magic must journey to “the mountains of darkness,” the abode of the rebel angels Aza and Azael, and learn under their auspices. Aza and Azael are phonetically related to Oz. Employing gematria, the branch of Kabbalah devoted to numerological obsession, Oz relates to 77: 7+7=14, a number of Venus; 1+4=5, the number of the pentagram, which masonically relates to the “Five Points of Fellowship,” chastely enacted in a regular lodge, but given a fully sexual initiatory significance in higher degrees.” (Blood on the Altar, pg. 132).
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