Scorcese’s The Aviator – Howard Hughes, Hollywood & the CIA

Film poster for The Aviator. Image: Wikipedia.com

Film poster for The Aviator. Image: Wikipedia.com

By: Jay Dyer

I thought we’d take a rest from the usual sci fi/transhumanist series of films I generally focus on and do something a bit different – Martin Scorcese’s 2004 The Aviator.  While most viewers probably found the Howard Hughes story a captivating dramatic portrayal, reviewing this film I was reminded of a lot of background dot connecting I had done in the ten years since it premiered related to Hughes.  As readers can probably imagine, the rabbit holes around Hughes that Scorcese only hints at are in fact much deeper and darker than Martin’s meta-narrative production revealed.

The Aviator was nominated for 11 academy awards, won five, and is undeniably a well-made film, yet in my estimation leaves out many key details in relation to the real story of Hughes.  Thus, in considering the nexus of intelligence, Hollywood and the occult, The Aviator and Hughes are key intersects for JaysAnalysis style material.  With that in mind, this analysis will not solely focus on the film, but aspects of Scorcese’s film and Hughes’ secrets in relation to the deep state shadow government.

In this regard, we can posit that Scorcese, being a longtime Hollywood insider, may have even chosen the meta aspects of The Aviator with Hughes’ film directing period to mirror the control of Hollywood by the establishment.  In other words, directors themselves are “directed,” as I’ve highlighted many times.  If that sounds outlandish, consider that Scorcese’s 2011 Hugo contains the theme of old Hollywood and the freedom and creativity director’s had in the silent era contrasted with the elite controlled, cookie-cutter simulacra that would come to characterize modern Hollywood.

Hugo is, in part, about the loss of creativity and the demise of Hollywood, so we can speculate that Scorcese is conveying that message earlier in The Aviator, as the film opens with Hughes filming his 1930 war (propaganda) epic, Hell’s Angles (the most expensive film of its day).  Hughes was a Hollywood outsider who filmed his work largely form his own pockets, and as a result, the military picked up on his skills for propaganda much like the establishment did with Kubrick and his collaboration with NASA.  The dark marriage comes to the fore once again!

Hughes’ engineering work also contributed to his contracts with the Air Force, as well as deals with Lockheed-Martin, leading to his rise in the formation of TWA.  Hughes would prove instrumental in the airline companies becoming global, but his rise also makes more sense given his intelligence connections he acquired, as we shall see.   Buddying up with the military industrial complex and working on a number of covert engineering and spy plane projects, Hughes became a source of danger for the establishment, given his knowledge.

Hughes' 1930 war propaganda film, Hell's Angels.

Hughes’ 1930 war propaganda film, Hell’s Angels.

His eccentric behavior and extreme obsessive-compulsive tendencies combined with extreme paranoia didn’t help, either, with the CIA encircling Hughes in the form of Mormon bodyguards.  The Mormon mafia connections with Hughes would become evident in his death, bequeathing a billion and a half dollars to Mormon institutions.  Consider as well that the Mormon Church has a large CIA contingent, deriving many of its rituals from Freemasonry.

While all of this can be teased out from Wikipedia links, still deeper connections remain.  The CIA’s Robert Bennett had lucrative ties to Hughes through his front company (for the Agency), The Mullen Company, which included many connections to later Watergate figures, such as Chuck Colson.  Another crucial player was a former Mullen Company man and former boss of Bennett, the infamous E. Howard Hunt, who confessed on his death to a role in plotting the JFK assassination.

Thus with Bennett and Hunt, the Hughes circles were peopled by major elements of the deep state apparatus, and to make things even creepier, the Mullen Company was intimately connected to the J. Walter Thompson advertising agency, which would be instrumental in utilizing Bernay’s Pentagon psychological warfare tactics in their ad strategies.  We can also see a window into the hidden history of the CIA’s connections and relations to the airlines, which I have written about here, as well as when we consider Air America or Evergreen.

Hughes and Hepburn

Hughes and Hepburn

Scorcese’s film also highlights Hughes’ intimate period with Hollywood starlet Katherine Hepburn.  While Hepburn was known for her outspoken feminism and decision to don masculine clothing, it is not widely known that Hepburn’s mother, Mrs. Thomas Hepburn, was a crusader for Margaret Sanger.  To this day, Planned Parenthood honors Hepburn for her promotion of women’s “rights” and abortion.  The reason I highlight this is the fact that The Aviator and Hughes’ circles of establishment figures give the impression of an outsider who was not fully aware of what he stumbled into.  Being brought on board with the establishment’s grand goals includes preeminently the implementation of mass dysgenics/eugenics strategies, and his pairing with Hepburn was yet another sign of his collusion with the military industrial complex’s plans.  The crucial point to grasp here is that the WW2 and Cold War buildup of “national defense,” of which Hughes was a central part, was much, much more.

The military industrial complex’s Cold War defense apparatus was the means by which the transition to the future technocracy would come about.  In this regard, the Atlanticist establishment’s goals of mass depopulation, mouthed through operations like Planned Parenthood, are part of the same agenda as the Cold War tech and arms race.  Thus, with families like the Rockefellers, entities like Hollywood, the CIA, Hughes Corporation and Planned Parenthood all find common ground and interconnect.

This is why at the end of the film, a paranoid Hughes fears intelligence agents have infiltrated his company, and Scorcese leaves us with the open interpretation of whether these agents were real or a figment of Hughes’ imagination.  Given Hughes’ mysterious 1970 “disappearance,” some have concluded he was kidnapped by the Agency due to fears of his psychological issues resulting in leaks.

I was reminded of A Beautiful Mind, where the figure of John Nash is portrayed as a paranoid schizophrenic working in some capacity for this same establishment.  However, in Nash’s case, he too had deep state connections that may have justified his paranoia.  Perhaps Hughes was justified in his paranoia, given the intimately details of secret plans he had, but the curiosities do not end there.  The occult comes into play with the figure of Crowleyan figure Jack Parsons, who worked for Hughes.  Parsons is famous for inventing the jet-propulsion engine, which Scorcese has Hughes reference towards the close of the film, deeming rockets the “future.”  Hughes was thus intimately aware of the esoteric and occultic principles Parsons based his rockets on, including a desert ritual attempting to invoke the Antichrist known as the Babalon Working.

Another neat tidbit worth considering is that Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane was originally intended to center around Hughes, and not William Randolph Hearst.  Welles, however, did include a section of his masterful F for Fake on the hoaxed biography of Hughes by Clifford Irving, adding more mystery to the mix.  For readers interested in more details about Hughes and his deep state connections, my primary source was Levenda’s Sinister Forces, Volume II, pages 74-80, but I’m sure much more could be dug up.

Regardless, Hughes is emblematic of the intelligent, hard-working driven country guy who fell into the ranks of the establishment, only to find his life ruined.  This is not to say he was a pure victim, but the contradictions and paradoxes around Howard Hughes are like the contradictions and paradoxes of America itself – like a sincere child that signs onto a dark establishment with nefarious ends, and signing on to evil always results in self-destruction.  Scorcese’s film is an accurate depiction of that paradox, and hints at all the connections I’ve outlined above.

10 thoughts on “Scorcese’s The Aviator – Howard Hughes, Hollywood & the CIA

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  3. You said,”…Parsons is famous for inventing the jet-propulsion engine…”

    It was solid fuel rockets. I’m sure you know this because in the next sentence you talk about rockets but it’s a small error. “Sex and Rockets” is a decent book on Parsons which includes his adventures with the psychopath Hubbard.

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  7. You’re right, Jay, there’s a lot about Howard Hughes that isn’t known publicly to a wide extent. You’ve opened up some interesting avenues here. I’ll mention a few that have been skipped over by the movies and most articles about him.

    He was not only a well known womanizer, but a bisexual that lived an active and secret gay life.

    His extra eccentric behavior that got worse as he aged was most likely significantly moved along from brain damage he suffered from a number of private plane crashes. The last one, in 1946 in Beverly Hills was near fatal and started him on a lifelong dependence to codeine. He managed to built up such a tolerance to the opiate painkiller that his daily dosage would have killed several normal persons. He obtained the pure codeine by buying off unscrupulous doctors and using some of as assistants as fronts.

    Hughes inherited his wealth from his father, who has invented and patented a special type of drill bit for oil drilling. He had the mind of an excellent engineer, but a terrible day-to-day businessman, contrary to his reputation. He lost tons of money and had to call in expert business minded people to bail him out numerous times.

    As a filmmaker, he was independent and willful to a fault, because he had his fortune to fall back on, but he wasn’t any great talent. When he owned and ran RKO from 1948 to 1955, he literally ran it into the ground, His constant interference with Directors and Producers ruined most of the films. The ones that were successful artistically and financially were the ones where he stayed away from the set and let the filmmakers alone,

    Hughes was also a cold blooded individual, an avowed atheist with little or no scruples or morals, unless it was to his advantage. His so-called “boyish charm” when he was in his younger years was a put-on job, not genuine. He used and abused many women and men, romantically, sexually and business wise,

    From what I’ve read, he had heavy security around him and it’s hard to believe he could have been kidnapped. But, maybe something strange did happen.. He was involved with politics and dark money, especially to Richard Nixon. Also, he had dealings with the Mafia. No doubt he was wrapped up with the CIA. His ruthlessness combined with his brain damaged eccentricity and drug addiction would have given him no limits as to what he would have been involved with, if it benefited him, I’ll have to read more on his dealings with the intelligence community.

    Thanks, Jay, for the enlightening article.

    Reference: “Howard Hughes: Hell’s Angel” by Porter Darwin

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