Cleansing the doors of cinematic perception... for a better now

Monday, September 17, 2018

Erich K's HEREDITARY Witchcraft Conspiracy DSM-IV Reader

I'd forgotten about all about conspiracies, Saturn, Satan and schizophrenia until I finally saw HEREDITARY, which brought it all cascading back, buckling the thin walls of sanity I'd set barely nailed up after exiting the paranoid conspiracy zone writing some of the posts linked below. Not that this amazing new horror movie is just conspiracy paranoia-tingling, no, no no! It's also a deep character study that takes its time to get going and, true to the name, rides the raft of inherited mental illness all the down the DNA river into the tributary to the sea of true madness. There's a recently deceased mother with "a lot of secrets" and a whole family tree of suicides and despair and then Toni Collette, the daughter, and also the scariest yet most sympathetic mother in a horror film since Essie Davis in The Babadook, coming to terms with things like her son not trusting her just because he once woke up one night to find himself and his sister covered with turpentine and mom standing over them while they slept with a book of matches in her hand. She was sleepwalking! He doesn't believe her, not even now. We don't see it, but it's a haunting slow burn image that ranks with those moments in Paranormal Activity as far as making all our unconscious eight-hour stretches in bed suddenly seem so unsafe we wonder how we ever managed to sleep at all. (If you've ever encountered a sleepwalker, then you know how terrifying it is, that flat dilated black pupil look in their eyes). This movie does what great horror movies do, it takes these nuggets of forgotten uncanny everyday living and slowly compiles them alongside enough sudden calamities and random bits of disturbing 'accident' that it's much more than a mere thrill ride, it's something that slowly builds until it turns by extension your life into a horror movie, like a virus. While you were distracted by one narrative, it snuck around behind you with another, and pushed you out of your safe viewing distance into something like terrified rapture.

The debut feature from young Ari Aster, the film successfully gets the whole "there is no difference between inherited paranoid schizophrenia, manic depression, and witchcraft" route (the kind mastered in Rosemary's Baby and duplicated almost nowhere else since... until now). Treading so close on our actual fears it crosses the line where imagination becomes insanity, like that normal-seeming friend confiding in you all sorts of paranoid-sounding statements, like someone is breaking in at night to move boxes around in her closet (am I the only one with weird friends like these?). This is the kind of film wherein a roster of DSM IV-spiked beliefs start to dovetail with the Old Testament, making us wonder if the ultimate conspiracy theory paranoid schizophrenic manifesto might be the Bible. Is it so hard to believe that, once the blinders on our perceptions are opened through chanting, stress, sleepiness, magical potions, or prolonged trauma conditioning (PTC), the witchcraft can begin in earnest. Maybe we can only fly when no one who doesn't believe we can is watching. Maybe if we can let go of our bodies we don't need a broomstick; when no one is around to listen, the sound a tree falling in the woods makes is like music in the eye of a screaming demon.

Here lie some links to past conspiracy writing should you be a glutton for madness, or need more ideas for similar mind-benders afterwards:

The Goat of Menses and the Fox in the Atheist Hole: THE WITCH
(March 2nd, 2016)

"So see the movie and understand at last why patriarchal science and religion are both such hardheaded dicks about the unknown and supernatural, and why Christian zealotry has never not been on the rise and why women are always considered a zone outside of western rational objectivity. Only in one or two other films have we seen beautiful women materialize out of the darkness of the woods or the gleam of the bathtub, as irresistible as a warm slug of whiskey in an unfriendly wilderness, our willpower long gone, we lower our lips towards their hearth and then suddenly these figures grab onto us as if with clawed tentacles and thorny paws. They are not hot and young at all, but decomposing and very old. You've been tricked, son of Adam! The distance of time between that first kiss, the wedding bells, funeral chimes, cold ground worms boring through rotten pine box walls collapses into a single Donald Sutherland death rattle.

This powerful motif, the 'young-old predatory woman' reflects the tradition of the sidpa bardo in the Tibetan Book of the Dead, the level of purgatory where you see and notice only undulating lovers like flames in an otherwise all-consuming darkness. If you let yourself be drawn too close to them you run the risk of finding yourself stuck like a fly in the frozen web of the woman's newly-fertilized embryo, like being sucked over a waterfall. Then devouring demon rock below shreds your current construct of self into a million pieces which sink or scatter in the rapid current below; only the core I AM remains trapped in that sticky embryonic web- and soon you've forgotten you were ever anywhere else-- the 'you' you believed yourself to be is shaved away like your hippie hair under the electric razor of a FULL METAL JACKET barber." (more)

The Illuminati, Hypnosis, Paranoia, Schizophrenia, Kubrick, and Tom Cruise 
(DP - May 2016)

As per Zizek via Lacan (or vice versa), the Big Other's whole purpose is to remove the 'constituent anxiety," to make sure there is no "traversing" the fantasy which would dislocate the subject from its void-circumscribing orbit. In EYES WIDE SHUT, Ziegler's positing Dr. Bill as an outsider who will never be a member of this exclusive shadow society, no matter what mask he dons, is doing him a massive favor, because this forbidden society exists solely in order to exclude him, and thus perpetuate constituted (rather than constituent) anxiety. It's a gift, son! This lack of a gift is the best gift he can give.

A similar effect occurs with UFO crash sightings wherein the military steps in, harasses and bullies witnesses into silence, and reports it was a weather balloon or crashed satellite, then hauls it away never to be seen again. In doing this they perpetuate the revolution around the desire. They fan the flames of the need to know, and so perpetuate the illusion that they have this thing well in hand. If they announced a spacecraft was found, the world press would swamp them and create panic, but by simultaneously threatening witnesses and lying to the press they create a subliminal consolation. Instead of worrying about aliens (which is terrifying - coming with a sense of total powerlessness and vulnerability) we're angry at the government for not telling us the truth. We always feel protected when denied knowledge. It brings us full circle back to the feeling of invulnerability we had as five year-olds bugging our mom about where babies come from, free from any worry she might actually find out, that she'd lie to protect us from the whole bloody-terrible besital truth. (full)

Genealogy of Flies: LORDS OF SALEM (2013), HOUSE OF THE DEVIL (2008) + My own Salem Witch Connections
(September 2013)

 I have to mention, as always when discussing Salem and genealogy (characters here are descendants of the hung witches and/or judges and executioners) that all these descendant movies are fascinating on a personal level for me because the one side of my family tree that kept immaculate records is from Salem, having arrived in Boston in 1631 (with fellow passenger Roger Williams, founder of Rhode Island): This side of my tree includes nuggets like these (copied direct):
The family of John Perkins 1583-1654 - freeman 18th May 1631
Married Judith Gates, born Newent, Gloucestershire, England
1. "Quartermaster" John - b. 1614 0 d. Dec, 14, 1686
2. "Deacon" Thomas 1616-1686 (not the witch hunter, he died before that)
3.  Elizabeth 1618-1700 / married William Sargent (5 children)
4. Mary 1620-1700 - "She was accused of witchcraft, sentenced, but the execution delayed and the citizens recovered from the delusion." (+5 more)
The Family of Elisha Perkins (born - 1656 - Topfield) died - 1741 in Methuen
Married Catherine Towne - 1680
(9 total), including: John (third son) born Aug. 12, 1685 - died June 22, 1750
married Mary Easty (whose mother Mary Easty and Aunt Rebecca Towne Nurse were hanged for witchcraft) --etc.

Age of Asherah: ROSEMARY'S BABY (1968)
(May 2014)

"In conveying Rosemary's gradual awakening from compliance ("you're gonna think I really flipped,") Polanski exploits our willingness to grant power to unseen forces, and thus allows us to see the link between paranoia and pregnancy, and how the patriarchal condescension in the big city can completely dominate even a free spirited young woman from Iowa whose determination to be hip is both her saving grace and undoing. Taken in total, her story has devils of both the psychoanalytical interpretation variety (paranoia brought on by hormonal surges due to pregnancy) and the physical arrival, up from the subconscious realm, of a devil ("Hail Satan!"), in other words, Rosemary's Baby is the opposite of a film like Inception - which is a story about people invading other people's dreams. Baby is about a dream incarnated into living tissue, the rip in time is the rip in Rosemary's womb from which out claws the Elder God.

When we sense something is being kept from us, whatever it is gains in power as our fears project onto it and projection is exactly how the coven operates: they chant together and use combined mind projection to astral travel along an associative nine-dimensional curve via an item belonging to the victim into that victim's nervous system (like following a DNA print through space the way a cell phone signal follows a chip). This is the same 'reality' that paranoid schizophrenics and remote viewing agents live in (tiny microphones in their teeth, men following them in brown town cars, etc); it's an ocean wherein all dreamers are linked together, are as fish, surfers, sailors, drowners, whales, or dolphins, in a matrix of nonlocal consciousness. The Satanist sails on the surface (hence Rosemary's dream of being on a boat and seduced by a Naval officer, like Nicole Kidman's fantasy in Eyes Wide Shut - see Make-Up Your Mind Control); the psychedelic shamans surf until they're wiped out or transcend the ocean altogether; unconscious dreamers bob in the waves; and the schizophrenics drown but do not die, just hover in that agitated drowning panic until medicated or the spell subsides. Rosemary's dream begins on the ship and winds up bobbing, then sinking, before clawing her way back to land (finding the secret passage between the apartments). In the end she joins with the cult because her maternal instinct is too strong to resist. (Besides, she wasn't even invited before - that's what stings, being left out, when she's the most important part, like not inviting the kid with the fake ID who bought the booze to your party. But now, no one even has to ask her to come now - it's really her party, whether they like it or not). "What have you done to its eyes?!" she asks, horrified. "He has his father's eyes," Castavet answers. And its the eyes of Guy's rival for his coveted part that are affected by the telepathic sabotage of the coven - the windows to the soul. No one has their own eyes anymore, the souls are long since funneled. (more)

(October- 2013)

Cinema's pagan devil culture can't quite capture the ephemeral chain of cause-and-effect karma ouroboros-boomeranging to the point just watching a film creates bad luck, but it can generate a feeling of unease through depiction of the most sophisticated or banal of circumstances if it but tweaks them with little uncanny ripples of fatalistic coincidence that benefit or harm as befits 'the bargain.' With Satan there's usually a gruesome payoff after the subject sells his soul for a drink, where he learns he's "always been the caretaker," and so forth. Ask not whom is sacrificed on the ancient altar, because if no one told you else it's going to be, then it's you. You're doing both the killing and the being killed. Two ends of a scroll slowly rolling towards each other, when they meet, your text has disappeared.

So is there free will in a Satanic model of reality? Maybe the one who has 'always been the caretaker' can play Christian the way a closeted gay guy can play straight i.e. stunting his own potential and becoming far less than he was meant to be, or he can let go of the handrails and let Satan's vacuum suction pull him towards the full realization of his unholy destiny. If your Christian family would rather have you as a stunted straight than a fully blossomed gay person then they are the cursed, not you. Thus the devil exists only in advocate position --where there is hypocrisy he brings truth; where there is repression he brings exultation.

If we apply that logic to the actual making of these films, wife Sharon Tate is doomed the moment husband Roman Polanski helps her get the part in EYE; Polanski is doomed to exile the moment he shoots a scene wherein a woman is drugged and date raped by Satan. It all connects, from the devil's murky fatalistic machinations within the story--recreating itself through helping Guy get the part in that play (as, fittingly enough, a cripple)--to the reality of its makers (Castle's kidney stones, etc). The devil's happy to crib off your paper, so to speak, to make reality out of the image you made of him. It's as if film was little more than a halfway point, the equivalent of a pie cooling on the windowsill before its opened up and devoured, except the windowsill is a mirror, and the pie sliced open is a young and lovely actress -- an accident that becomes a rupture in the fabric of pop culture history. (More)

(October 2013)

CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG is on TCM in the background as I write about mind control, totally by chance. Onscreen: an audience of power elite have assembled to watch a demonstration. An automaton girl in German peasant attire is standing before a series of mirrors (which I've just learned they use in Monarch mind control programming mere minutes before this comes on), singing that she's under a spell and delivering an almost exact description of sexually subjugating mind control techniques (including having the demonstration occur before an assembled audience, which mirrors our standard dreams of being exposed naked at a school exam). Coincidence?

Maybe nyoets, for if there was a blueprint for mind control it would probably be geared to work towards reproducing--as close as possible--synchronicity, the iconography of normal subconscious dreaming, and the mechanics of sexual repression, allowing the programmers to tap into the unconscious' control state with maximum ease, 'speaking its language' so to speak. Programming their automaton women, the "standard pleasure model" ala BLADE RUNNER, DR. GOLDFOOT, etc. (see CinemArchetype #16 - the Automaton) to fall in love with whatever billionaire diplomat is breezing through town for a weekend, these girls wouldn't even know they had microphones in their teeth to record any business secrets that might get spilled in pillow talk, or which could be used for blackmail. They wouldn't even remember being there. Or suffocating him with a pillow and making it look like a heart attack.

I don't believe this was what CHITTY was trying to achieve (then again, Walt Disney was a 33-degree Mason) but it shows you that once you let this paranoid stuff into your mind, it mutates and transforms even dishwater dull children's movies into rabbit holes of horrifyingly vast circumference. (full)

Caretake Sparkle: ROOM 237
October 1, 2013

Call the critics in ROOM 237 paranoid, overreaching, seeing too deeply, perhaps mildly schizophrenic, but at least they know how to look deeply.... deeply... into the Kubrick's crystal ball. And as long as it’s well written I’ll read good crazy film deconstructive analysis over lifeless, if intellectually advanced, Bordwell style 'post-theory' any day. To the average academic, a crazy person is someone whose words must by definition have no meaning; to Acidemic, a crazy person is someone uniquely aware of how awfully close death and blood and pain is to the surface of our skin-thin reality at every given moment -- he goes crazy because he can’t shut it out of his mind; it doesn’t go away after eight hours like it does for the humble tripper, or fade with some deep breaths like it does for the anxiety attack sufferer. So if it makes him unusually aware of how everything is connected, to the point he even sees connections where there aren't any, well, maybe we're not digging deep enough. Maybe our teeth really do contain hidden microphones, but the dimension where that happens is far beyond ours. Somewhere advanced 8th dimensional beings are recording every human word and sigh for some massive Akashic library, using the teeth like crystal sets…. (full)

Daze of our Lies (or "As the Reichstag Burns"): SECRET HONOR, HITLER (1962), UFO HUNTERS, Lord Lhus!
(September '11)

If you surrender to Hall/Nixon's fever dream rant (and you may as well since there's nothing else going on in the film) you enter a pretty spooky world, a U.S. with the curtains ripped back to reveal giant white owls devouring a pile of gutted mice and money. Presidents like Nixon (and now Obama) are just straw dogs set up to take all the shit the manipulated American public cares to volley after being robbed and deluded by the previous office holders (who conveniently step down right before it hits the podium). Watergate was Nixon's way of reversing the straw dog parabolic mirror. Instead of the plan to throw Nixon to the wolves so his puppeteer overlords could sneak off to the inky darkness of the Bohemian Grove's towering redwoods, Dick snags up the strings by pretending to fall off the stage, derailing their entire evil plan... for now.

Meanwhile we see the paintings of Eisenhower, Lincoln, Jefferson on the oval office walls, and they all seem twisted and arcane, as if swirling reptilian pan-dimensional aliens were, even now, within the confines of a portrait on television on television, writhing and breathing and corrupting the deepest tissue of man's democracy with Martian spider eggs(full)

CinemArchetype V: The Human Sacrifice
(Feb. 28, 2012)
In the movies the sacrificial subject creates a great unease because it hits so close to home; the death is intrinsically tied into the act of viewing itself. The tribe always gathers to watch the sacrifice, otherwise what's the point? Watching these sacrifices now (i.e. slasher film killings, etc.) stirs up deep archetypal responses from our past lives still seeing through the two-way crystal ball eye. If the film is clever about it, the whole process sneaks up on us and suddenly, too late to do back out, we feel the big black body bag suddenly close over our heads and the credits roll us right into the cremation furnace; to our horror, our friends regard our anguished pleas with the same ambivalent mix of compassion, gratitude (better us than them), and morbid curiosity, we felt looking at all the other victims. Sometimes we're led by the nose ring of desire, sometimes we're manacled unwillingly to the Satanic altar, either way it's like a spin the bottle game where sooner or later the bottle is going to point to us... and then when it does we're always hoping for that last minute rescue and when that last minute's up we try one last gambit: take my wife, please. If that doesn't work, we try to substitute our children, our friends, anyone! And all those members we would have so willingly held down had the bottle not pointed at us now hold us down. We can't even complain it's not fair, since we've already killed so many in just this same way to avoid being killed ourselves. Every cult member knows this truth - every innocent drop of blood spilled is just another interest payment on the massive carnivorous debt we owe that dark insatiable thing below.

The Primal Scenesters: TWIN PEAKS
Nov. 2016

Consider the implication in a lot of these stories (THE INNOCENTS and THE HAUNTING in particular) that deep cover memory repression of dark events provides the current that activates the dark ghost 'residual energy' captured in the walls, so that traumatic moments in the past keep repeating. That energy stays there, up for grabs to anyone with the right wireless router to tap into. And who has that router? Free-floating demonic spirits--formless and powerless initially, like inactive ions or dried-up flies in the corners and basement doorways--the trauma recorded in the stone provides the energy jolt back into corporeal existence (on some higher or lower frequency from the spectrum of most human's perception). Be the energy coming from the trauma of past dark crimes or--in the case of poltergeists--boys or girls hitting puberty, the huge amount of psychic disturbance shocks the inert magnetic anomaly some choose to call Satan into our dimensional spectrum.

In other words, incest or similarly abominable crimes are like a wave generator that gets the boat of consciousness bobbing, allowing the usually unseen barnacles on the lower hull to rise above sea level. Thus the unseen barnacles whisper to sleeping seamen above them through the wood, bidding them to obscenely vile doings. (full)

Dentist Chair Don Juan: Love Radio and the Scaly Father
(C-Influence - March 21st, 2011)
...mystical visions can trick you... In September of 2006 I was meditating one afternoon after work, when I felt the sky and wall dilate open behind me an a giant electromagnetic hand touched my shoulder, enlightening me instantly in a profound holy 'beyond duality' glow. For two months I was completely egoless and in tune with love for my fellow man. But I got carried away, got cocky as  cult leader, and would up making a pass at this girl I was infatuated with, too soon, and who--rather expertly-- rejected me, depositing me in a vast swarm of subway commuters so that I couldn't get over her to try and kiss her goodbye--I saw her wry smile (though she was too deft to reject me directly to the point I might get violent or sullen-- a real pro!) and I felt that inner God voice I'd been following (and which had led me to all sorts of secret gifts prior to) sneering and laughing at me the whole subway ride home. I was so shaken and abashed I missed my stop and rode it to the end of the line. That laughter was heartless and terrifying. It was as if everything from the hand of God moment had been a way of conning me into risking my soul for this girl and getting shot down -  it was Trickster God 101 shit - and I'd fallen right into it (Hamlet's friends were, you may remember, worried the king's ghost was just such a trickster). Now that I was in such heartsick misery, I felt the god feeding off me, like I was a slot machine that he'd been rigging up and now was paying off big time - all that holy soul energy he'd cultivated he now stripped off me like he was expertly rolling a sleeping drunk.

Now maybe I was just 'imagining' all this - it was 'magical thinking' my shrink would say; but at the same time, so what? If she'd done any LSD she'd know it's all magical thinking, the whole damned show of 'perception' -- we have to go on what feels more than real, especially if we're writers and artists who want to depict more than the boring surface of the world. Whole months can go by these days that don't seem as real as that godly hand on my shoulder, or the glowing demon in the bookshelf. There's a certain assumption among left-brained scientists that hallucinations are somehow 'less' than reality, but it's the opposite: they're more. They spill through when our perceptions overheat and dilate, letting in more information than our egoic inhibitors would like - it's like we're five and our mom passed out drunk and left out her pornography stash all over the floor so as we wake up and go downstairs we see things we were never meant to, by her, that is, until we're much older. Our senses have built-in 'blinders' on them that filter out up to 90% or so of all the information coming at us. Our visible world is just a swath on a spectrum. Hallucinations and visions could be said to be moments when the blinders fail and dreams and reality leak into one another-- but isn't this in a way a much more 'real' situation? What about dreams, then? As we spend 1/3 of our life sleeping aren't we rather too quick to dismiss everything we experience with our eyes closed as just fluffy nothing? Are Van Gogh's electric color bands considered hallucinations since 'sane' normal people don't see them? Matter is just vibrating energy waves. The image of them as solid, permanent objects is what is the illusion. Meanwhile memory and reflection change even the most concrete experiences, shrouding and distorting the more we record, write, and relay them. (full)

Bad Acid's Greatest: 70s Paranoid Feminism Edition
(Oct. 2009)

Made at a time when psychedelic drugs had changed the face of American culture, LET'S SCARE .... DEATH (or LSD!) is nothing short of elegant in the way it blurs the line between subjective and the “real" to demonstrate how paranoia can bend the nature of reality itself, exposing even the most realistic objectivity as a paranoid conspiracy. Polanski set the bar high for this in ROSEMARY, by having Mia Farrow's paranoia be utilized to cast doubt on the reality of her situation, even though at the same time as we know the supernatural is behind it all. Rosemary and Jessica prove you can unsplit the difference between the real and the delusional, and that in fact, the difference is--as quantum physics proves--all in your head. (full)

(July 10, 2010)

Take it from me, the first time you run into 'The Lollipop Guild' (while astrally traveling the psychedeli-brick road) is enough to give even the gutsiest space cowboys the yips. They're like those little weird demon guys in the bottom corners of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band which scared me as a four year-old (back when first hearing the full alien weirdness of Harrison's sitar on side B, was terrifying beyond any palpable physical threat). When in college I began to read the work of the pioneering psychonaut Terence McKenna on 'the machine elves' -- common mushroom and DMT hallucinations-- small, elvin beings that exist in alternate dimensions but are nonetheless real, dancing in lockstep unison as they paint the plurality of worlds onto the time/space canvas like a curtain of slow motion paint bristle soft shoe that's hilarious yet terrifying, joyous yet disturbing. When I saw them during my own travels in college (and after), they were even wearing plaid, just like the Guild (which came first, is of course your immediate question - did I see them like that because of the movie or did the movie costume designers dress them based on patterns from their unconscious?!!) Mine had garden hoes instead of lollipops and lacked that terrible gold hair, but otherwise - yeesh. Good thing I'm a drinking man. Or was. I'd nah go down that road again unarmed. 
Thus as an LSD-quaffing college kid I found the living link wherein Eastern mysticism, indigenous shamanic vision quests, and Western schizo paranoia are all linked. When I learned that the Monarch 7 program used Oz imagery during their hypnotic programming, I wasn't a bit surprised. But in thinking about it, I also wonder where the line between hypnotic programming and mythic archetypal psychology intersect. Saying the iconography of Oz is used in a ritual that is itself possibly fiction, makes it the definition of myth (in my mind) come into focus as a narrative both true and untrue, a 'possible fiction' or a reflection of some truth so large normal reality cannot encompass it (full)


Blue Testament: History Channel's Hot Hot Hell. 
(DV, 2011)

Occult Streams of the Amazon: 13 Prime Witchcraft-y Recommendations:
Blood-Orgy of the She-Devils (1973), Haxan (1922), Southbound (2015), Witchouse (1999), Satan's School for Girls (1973), The Church (1989), Burn, Witch, Burn (1962), Voodoo Man (1944), Chandu and Magic Island (1934), Little Witches (1999), Mark of the Witch (2014), The Eternal (1998), etc.
(Oct. 2016)

Guide to Cable's Paranormal / Ghost-Hunting TV Shows

(DP - August 2012)

Rite of Passage - the Archons begin their Feb 2013 chi/soul energy harvest

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