One day in the early 2000s, I received an unsolicited email from someone I didn't know; if you had an email address then, you probably did too, daily, and most of the time ignored such notes. But there's spam, and then there's spam. It began: "If you are a time traveler or alien disguised as human and or have the technology to travel physically through time I need your help!"
And it continued:
My life has been severely tampered with and cursed!!
I have suffered tremendously and am now dying!
I need to be able to:
Travel back in time.
Rewind my life including my age back to 4.
I am in very great danger and need this immediately!
I was a little hurt when I discovered that the sender had a pretty long list of recipients for his note. And in the months and years that followed that email, media consolidation seemed to affect the Internet as much as it did print and broadcasting, making it harder for the average user to chance upon the thrilling manifestos of singular visionaries like my correspondent, which is why I was so excited to find The Vigilant Citizen.
The first VC post I read was a look at Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" video, presented to me by the tireless content "recyclers" at Oh No They Didn't. I'd seen the video and already thought it was a fairly dark depiction of human sex trafficking (plus dance routines); little did I know it's actually about "the dark and ritualistic inner-workings of the entertainment industry."
In the first paragraph, the author refers to previous posts describing Lady Gaga as an "Illuminati Puppet," so for VC, this video fits that narrative perfectly. Gaga begins in a sensory-deprivation tank (of the sort used on victims of mind-control techniques). She's drugged (ditto). She's eventually delivered to a room in which a bed is flanked by taxidermied gazelle heads (which "symbolically refer to Baphomet, the horned idol of Western occultism"). And she doesn't set her master on fire to escape her fate as a sex slave, as it might have appeared to me: she presents him as a burnt offering to Baphomet in exchange for her fame.
Her final dance scene finds her costumed in red as a sign of her initiation into the Illuminati-and in case that sign wasn't clear enough, her "eye in the triangle" gesture should eliminate all doubt. You know, eye in the triangle? Freemasons? That thing on money? …Right?
Here's the genius of VigilantCitizen.com: it combines the urgency of apocalyptic paranoia with the eggheaded fun of semiotic analysis. Conspiracy theories are hard to resist; you probably know otherwise normal people who, despite the evidence to the contrary, believe that 9/11 was an inside job, or that the moon landing was faked, or that vaccines cause autism. Conspiracy theories involving the U.S. government are all the more believable given that it spent the 20th century screwing up its citizens both intentionally (Tuskegee syphilis experiment) and through its negligence (Love Canal). Plus there's all that business around America's founders and their connections to Freemasonry-and when you start thinking about whether Freemasons run the country, it won't be long before you're on to the Illuminati and the New World Order and the secret ways in which our government controls us without our even knowing it. Vigilant Citizen has taken this sort of thinking-popular amongst intense undergrads around 3 a.m. in a dorm common room-and turned it into an impressively detailed website.
A word about our guide. The Vigilant Citizen is, of course, anonymous. From the site's FAQ, we learn he is male; he has a fiancée; he lives in Eastern Canada; and he identifies himself as a "mystic Christian." The "About" page also informs us that he holds a B.A. in Communications and Politics, and has worked as a producer in the music industry, in which capacity he learned things about show business that the rest of us will never see: "Through my experiences and my contacts, I have discovered some of the darker aspects of the entertainment industry which I found were in direct connection with my studies in occultism. My understanding of the state of mind that prevails in the higher levels of the ladder makes it probably easier for me to decifer [sic] the symbolism in music videos than it is for everyday people."
What makes VC so fascinating to me is that even though his general point seems to be that we need to be on our guard against indoctrination by the Illuminati, so that they can't enact their plan to bring about a New World Order via mass genocide that would sufficiently thin out the world population and thus clear a path for a one-world government (obviously), his writing doesn't suggest a tremendous amount of anxiety about the imminent destruction of our freedoms or our way of life. He's way more interested in outlining the symbolic evidence for his worldview. Any number of commentators have already dealt with the various monuments in Washington, DC, and VC gives some attention to those as part of his series on "Sinister Sites" which also include the Supreme Court of Israel, Rockefeller Center and the Manitoba Legislative Building. But I'm pretty sure the only person to see Illuminati symbolism in the video for Paramore's "Brick By Boring Brick" is VC.
VC's thesis with music videos tends to be that the artist is using the medium to send viewers coded messages about the occult-tinged rituals in which he or (usually) she secretly had to participate in order to become famous. For instance: Rihanna. VC presents several recent photos in which she is covering one of her eyes, and explains: "[T]he occult meaning of hiding one's eye… can be traced back to the 'eye of Horus' of Egyptian mythology. This symbolism seems to have evolved into a kind of 'signal,' flashed by the artists who have been initiated into the select circle of Illuminati pop stars." So therefore, Rihanna's video for "Russian Roulette" isn't a stylized representation of the notion that love, like Russian roulette, is a dangerous game; it's actually a depiction of Monarch programming and Illuminati mind control. Or: Beyoncé. Her reinvention as Sasha Fierce is not just an artistic experiment or a marketing gimmick but a symbolic representation of an artist taken over by evil to obtain success. (On the related subject of Chris Gaines, VC has, so far, kept silent.)
VC is somewhat less convincing when, for example, he takes on Walt Disney's Pinocchio. For one thing, his interpretation of nearly any entertainment targeted toward children is tainted by his belief that Monarch programming, in which Disney movies or The Wizard Of Oz are used to calm mind-control subjects and induce a dissociative state, is still practiced by the Illuminati today. (It's why VC is so alarmed by Lady Gaga's video for "Paparazzi," at the end of which she's wearing sunglasses that evoke Mickey Mouse ears as she poisons and kills her lover.) In the case of Pinocchio, VC starts with the biographical detail that Carlo Collodi, author of the book on which the film is based, was an active Freemason, and uses that to inform his reading of the film. So Geppetto doesn't pray to the regular old God to make Pinocchio a real boy; he prays to "the greater God (the great Architect of the Masons)." Pinocchio's transformation into a donkey is a reference to Apuleius's Metamorphoses, "a classic work studied in Mystery schools such as Freemasonry." Also in Comp. Lit. courses in any university anywhere!
And maybe the episode in which Pinocchio ends up in Stromboli's puppet show has nothing to do with the way the Illuminati use entertainers as their "puppets"; maybe it's a way to suggest to children that it's less important to be famous than it is to be good.
This is one of the problems with VC's symbolic analysis: certainly, it is possible to read occult themes into artistic works if that's what you're looking for. But it's possible to read nearly any theme into an artistic work if you have a basic working knowledge of a culture's most enduring story elements. I'm sure Forrest Gump is beneath VC's notice, but I remember when that came out that both liberals and conservatives considered it a scathing indictment of their opponents, and both factions could use the events of the film to make convincing arguments. The reason "There's no place like home," from The Wizard Of Oz, might be used in Monarch programming (if you believe Monarch programming really happened-or is happening all around us right now) is that "There's no place like home" is a theme that goes back to The Odyssey.
VC writes: "Pinocchio went through the hardships of initiation and came out of the darkness of ignorance. He emerges from tomb [sic] resurrected, like Jesus Christ. He is now a 'real boy', an illuminated man who broke the shackles of material life to embrace his higher self." Sure-or, he undertook The Hero's Journey, which underpins nearly every work of fiction from The Aeneid to The 40-Year-Old Virgin.
But look, VC isn't trying to get an A on an English paper; he's trying to help his readers to an awareness of the ways our country's secret rulers use mass culture to control us, and he's well prepared to answer your dubious questions. Like, if all this Monarch business happens in secret to fulfill our overlords' evil ends, why would they allow hints to pervade music videos? VC answers in the FAQ:
This is a great question and it can only be explained by understanding the way the occult elite thinks. They firmly believe (as well as all ancient civilizations) that symbols can deeply affect the human psyche. Many occult exercises focus on meditation through symbols, which they believe leads to a higher state of consciousness. The same knowledge is applied to the masses through movies and videos but to attain another result: to dumb down and to deshumanize [sic]. Sounds terrible, but these are the times we live in.
So in other words, the Illuminati think we're too dumb to catch on-but the Illuminati didn't count on VC not only to find out there is an artist called Kerli (or a band?), but to submit her (their?) "Walking On Air" video to the most rigorous possible scrutiny. Foiled!
Another question: if whistleblowers in movies like The Constant Gardener and Michael Clayton end up dead, how is VC allowed to continue dropping all this truth on the Internet, exposing all these shadowy figures' nefarious plots? Well, last year he wrote about the way big-budget movies like National Treasure and Angels & Demons revolve around real secret societies, and act as propaganda, to spread disinformation about their actual rites and ends and lull the public into complacency about them. If the Illuminati are aware of VC-and it's impossible to think they're not; surely, they follow him on Twitter!-maybe they're letting him continue in his work because forcing him into silence would just prove to his readers exactly how right he is.
Quibbles aside: I really do love reading The Vigilant Citizen. His posts are so well and carefully crafted that when I find myself getting convinced and/or creeped out by them, I'm forced to do my own research in order not to give myself apocalyptic nightmares. And since I am also someone whose training as an English major means I came out of 2012 certain it was a stealth Socialist text, and the vampire "thriller" Daybreakers impressed by its allegory on responsible resource management, I appreciate that VC respects the topics of his posts enough to subject them to rhetorical deconstruction.
Last week, several hours after the news of Alexander McQueen's suicide had hit the wires, VC tweeted, "His last creations were secret society/mind control/occult themed." So first of all, VC isn't finished scrutinizing Lady Gaga and all her known associates (McQueen having designed many of the costumes in the "Bad Romance" video). And second of all, maybe this means he's going to do a post soon on McQueen's work and death, and if he does, it will be a mesmerizing masterpiece of WTF, and will finally answer the question of what the collections of Alexander McQueen have in common with the Denver International Airport.
And you guys, seriously, what is up with the Denver International Airport?