“The grid. A digital frontier. I tried to picture clusters of information as they moved through the computer. What did they look like? Ships? Motorcycles? Were the circuits like freeways? I kept dreaming of a world I thought I’d never see. And then, one day, I got in.” -Flynn
One of the elements I’ve sought to analyze here is the convergence of technology and esoterica, which is a connection generally overlooked. Despite modernity’s religious obsession with technology as the god of its own hands, the mythological nature of techne is largely unknown and forgotten. Having reached a point of godlike abilities, the power and exponential growth of technology is both wondrous and ominous. Disney’s 1982 Tron is directly relevant to this topic, though it’s often only remembered for its advanced special effects (for the time) and spectacular art direction, while the deeper elements of its story have remained hidden. In this article, I intend to highlight the many revelations Tron gave us about the future, especially in light of the open sourced information we have seen in the last few years revolving around DARPA and the Pentagon’s black projects.
As most of us are now approaching two decades of familiarity with the Internet, it becomes fuzzier and fuzzier trying to recall those bygone days when we needed to find an actual phone line to make a call. It is even more difficult to think of the close of the 70s and the early 80s and what must’ve been in the minds of most viewers in 1982 after seeing Tron. As a child of the 80s, I recall seeing it as a young guy, yet nothing stuck with me other than its surreal mix of German Expressionism and Atari-style visuals. Lurking below all of this was actually a highly sagacious form of predictive programming and acclimatization, something now evident upon review. Disney has long been united with the Pentagon and of more recent alliance, the Siemens Corporation, in implementing the latest technological advances for its films and theme parks. I have highlighted this dark alliance here, detailing the revelation of its vast psychological warfare prowess.
Since 80s films are some of my most popular articles, upon reviewing Tron (after many years), and having analyzed the recent sequel, I was struck by how much more was subtly revealed in the original. Since the film references Artificial Intelligence, the Internet, virtual worlds, game theory and video gaming, the shadow military establishment, and much, much more, we can begin to gain a picture of the reality of the whispered notion that the technological elite truly are 30-40 years ahead of the public. Again, it is crucial to keep in mind as you read and perhaps review the film, you are watching something that was in theaters in 1982! While people were playing Pac-Man and Atari arcade games, the establishment tech elites were integrating the already-existing Internet across the US to form the emerging Skynet tech grid we are in 2014 going under. Long before The Matrix, a similar plot had already described the heart of the coming “new world order.”
In fact, it is not well-known that video games themselves arose from Pentagon military training ideas, combined with high level mathematics and game theory. Thinkers from the Rand Corporation as well as the work of John Nash would come together to produce the foundation for the rise of the virtual and its social engineering application. Also significant was James Bamford’s 1982 book The Puzzle Palace, which revealed the existence of the NSA at that time. Meanwhile, the public has only now come to realize there is such an organization, while the media was denying the existence of such an entity into the late 90s! Tron was truly a preparatory acclimatization to the coming aeon like few films were, and it has been largely missed (but not by JaysAnalysis). The movie-going public of 1982 had been awestruck by sci-fi spectacles like 2001: A Space Odyssey and Star Wars, both of which are superior films to Tron, yet neither epic had revealed what Tron would reveal. On top of all this, Tron is not merely a revelation of secret, advanced technology, but is in fact laced with occult, gnostic and Platonic ideas, which I will now examine.
The film begins with Flynn (Jeff Bridges) coming together in a new creation sequence, where the virtual world emerges from a point of light, like an alternate version of the creation story of Genesis 1. Here the narrative is inverted, as Flynn is the “programmer” or “User” as they are called in the film, becomes the new Logos for the alternate world of “Master Control,” known as the Grid. Master Control is the demiurge created by ENCOM, the private tech giant that seeks to implement in the “real world” the level of control it exercises in the Grid. In the opening sequence the pathways of the circuits and chips fade into a large “real world” city, cluing the viewer into the idea that the two worlds are flip sides of the same “reality.”
Flynn, who formerly worked for ENCOM, had all of video game ideas stolen, relegating him to the lowly status of arcade owner. With a renegade band of programmer buds, Flynn plans to hack back into Master Control to gain his vindication. Like Neo in The Matrix, Flynn is tricked by Master Control, who zaps him into the virtual world, which is, of course, an autocratic dictatorial police state (is there ever a sci fi story where it isn’t?). Interestingly, the elite guardian class of MCP (Master Control Program), and MCP itself, are all red, hinting at a possible Cold War connection, and uniting it to Plato’s guardian class of The Republic. Indeed, it was under the guise of the Cold War that the secret shadow technological grid of our world was erected, and this is part of the film’s point: The Grid world is actually what is being erected in our world.
Once inside the Grid, Flynn cannot remember anything from his real life. In Platonic fashion, he has forgotten his origins and his “higher self,” known in the Grid as a “User.” AI programs are all “alive” in the Grid, but they are unsure of the existence of their creators, the Users. While Master Control knows the Users are real, and seeks to gain control of the real world, in the Grid, MCP enforces atheism and mandates that no programs may accept the existence of the Users. Meanwhile, MCP in the real world has a plan to hack the governments and banks for a takeover – a 1982 reference to the Internet! Amazingly, this is exactly what has happened in our own world, as the major tech companies have all built back doors into the world’s web and PCs. I needn’t even cite the countless articles to prove this, as it is now well-known, but what Tron demonstrates is that the Pentagon and its shadow tech establishment knew decades ago where we were headed.
Tron even mentions within the Grid “STRATCOM” and its purpose as a “war gaming” central command, where the entire Grid is surveilled to locate and destroy dissent. I regret to inform you that this is the big secret in our real world – Shadow military entities like STRATCOM and CENTCOM and the regional control grid established under the auspices of the Cold War have now been revealed by one of our world’s Flynn’s, William Binney, to be real. While “activists” scurry about fighting ridiculous and pointless battles, few and far between are the warnings about the real danger – the Skynet Grid being erected all around us. Only PKD, William Binney, Alan Watt, Elon Musk and a handful of others have consistently been warning about the incremental, creeping tech terror that is rising.
While Tron was likely intended to be read in a gnostic way, we can speculate that it is not as heterodox as one might suppose. Since MCP’s Grid is an atheistic dictatorship built around the idea of a strata of mundane programs, the guardian class that fights in the gladiatorial games, and MCP at the top, we can read it as a genuine warning. However, the fact that the Users function like gods, or the idea of the “higher self” of occult lore, it is more likely a gnostic fable. The teaching of multiple realities in which our “higher selves” are battling a great architect or demiurge is pure Platonic gnosis.
The Platonic presuppositions are also evident in the structure and architecture of the Grid. The similarities between the Grid and the real world are constantly compared in the film, as Flynn seeks to liberate a select few programs, and this explains why Flynn’s name in the Grid is CLU. “CLU” is a clue to the fact that more is going on here. The hexagonal and pyramidal structures are particularly significant as emblems of the platonic and possibly kabbalistic basis for the construction of the GRID. It suggests a deeper meaning in the fact that our world is structured according to the platonic solids, as I have written elsewhere. Since the world is infinitesimally ordered and structured, the entire basis behind the ability to construct virtual worlds proves the structure of our own world. In other words, as I’ve argued many times, the Darwinian narrative of ultimate chaos and disorder is completely false. World atheism is basically like MCP in the film – intent on keeping everyone “programmed,” while hiding real metaphysics.
CLU, functioning as a kind of philosopher king from the Allegory of the Cave, sacrifices himself to destroy MCP by diving into its power center (hacking it, in other words), but in this scene the formal structure around MCP has now shifted from hexagonal to pentagonal (see below), and gives the impression of the pentagonal imagery actually being inverted. Considering that the hexagon can also be a pentagram, it makes this usage all the more significant, suggesting a connection to kabbalistic conceptions of metaphysics and the nature of the control grid. This creates an opening in MCP’s firewall, and TRON is able to destroy MCP with his electrical life frisbee. Flynn’s sacrificial death brings him back to the real world, where ENCOM’s CEO is outed as a fraud, and Flynn gains the evidence he needed to vindicate his ownership of the programs. Unfortunately, our real world is not as happy-ever-after, as the military industrial complex’s shadow tech grid has a virtual life frisbee version of all humans, tracking and tracing them from womb to tomb, gathering all this data for the future Skynet/Grid takeover. Remember the words of William Binney:
“The ultimate goal of the NSA is total population control”, Binney said, “but I’m a little optimistic with some recent Supreme Court decisions, such as law enforcement mostly now needing a warrant before searching a smartphone.”
We are willingly in the Grid, and we willingly accept our PROGRAMming. Let’s break free from the virtual gaming casino gulag. Tron is about forging our way into a new frontier, the nano frontier. However, the establishment is not interested in you forging that frontier, but in trapping man in a virtual matrix of synthetic reality.