Thursday, August 30, 2018

Bathory and the Scandinavian Metal Attack PT I - Myths and Legends

"the more times you tell a lie, in the end people will believe in it and it becomes the truth." -Quorthon, Bathory.nu site

For those who are not aware, Bathory was a Swedish band which existed from about 1983-2004, and are widely regarded as the inventors of modern Scandinavian black metal. Scandinavian black metal of the 1990s became a somewhat international topic when major news media began sensationalizing the deaths, church burnings, and extreme political views of some of the more notorious individuals of the relatively small [at the time] Nordic black metal scene - most of whom pretty much worshipped Bathory universally. Bathory is also considered the pioneer of a 2nd musical genre called VIKING METAL, which then lead to endless other sub genres all falling loosely under the banner of FOLK or PAGAN METAL.

Bathory was a very interesting group, not just due to their profound influence upon heavy metal, but also because of the fact that it really wasn't a band at all, but a single individual who called himself Quorthon.

"Bathory is a one-man band, if you wanna call it like that, but I’d like to refer to Bathory as a studio project, rather than a one-man band." - Quorthon

We never really got a clear explanation as to why band members were never permanent [if they existed at all], and on top of it, Quorthon often contradicted his own already questionable explanations regarding it. This makes it very difficult to find many things out about "the band" despite a seemingly endless sea of interviews and articles which were done before Quorthon's untimely death in 2004. But with the recent passing of Quorthon's father, Stig Börje "Boss" Forsberg late last year, some new information has become available via his "2nd wife" Klaudia, who now runs Black Mark Productions. There is also a vast sea of fragments Quorthon left behind in the form of interviews, which I have sifted through and categorized, in order to put the Bathory puzzle together more cohesively, if that can even be done at all.

In this first blog on Bathory, I will take a look at some of the common "myths and legends" regarding the group and see if we can gain some insight using either Quorthon's own remarks, remarks made by others close to the band, or materials otherwise produced by the "BathoryCorp" itself. [note - BathoryCorp is a term I made up myself as a way to reference the apparent protocols behind the group at any given time in history. For example, the protocol which stated Quorthon was not to reveal to the public his blood relation to his father, who produced every album and seemed to own the label his band was on for his entire career. Reading some interviews, one might get the impression this was Quorthon's idea, to keep things secret. However there is evidence that it was his father, BOSS, who was more likely the one who came up with this unwritten rule. But since we don't really know, we can simply say it was "the will of BathoryCorp" that the father and son relationship remain a secret to the public while the band exists]

NOTE - All quotes contained within the rest of this blog will be of Quorthon, unless otherwise notated. All sources should be included at the bottom of this page or within the quotation itself, but as usual, I welcome any corrections.

SECTION 1 - THE VENOM INFLUENCE

"I must have been the first maniac to know about Venom in Sweden. Cronos has done a lot for this evil thing and I thank him for that, but he didn't inspire me to sing this way as some seem to think."

..."I'm not a Venom fan but I love the Black Metal LP."

"I don't think there are any similarities musically between Venom and Bathory at all. But I do think 'Black Metal' - which I heard for the first time 3 months after we formed Bathory - is one of the best albums ever made because it has genuine feeling."

"we dedicated a song "Woman of Dark Desires" to Elizabeth Bathory mainly because everone was asking us "why the name Bathory?" And because they wanted to know more about Elizabeth Bathory...I read a book about you know, Vlad Tepes and Gilda Reyes, and everybody and...Elizabeth Bathory was in that book and I was just fascinated by her life story."

"When I was 14 I went to London Dungeon for the first time...I put her name in my memory Countess Elizabeth Bathory.... 2-3 months after the band had formed, Venom released the album Black Metal and on that album was a song about Elizabeth Bathory. But then we already had made homemade shirts and stuff... we didn't know how big Venom was in England then."

- Quorthon - various responses to the reason for naming the band Bathory, and whether Venom was an influence

As pointed out by Dayal Patterson, and any number of researchers on this topic, there are numerous dead giveaways that Bathory borrowed heavily from Venom. First dead giveaway is the name of the band. COUNTESS BATHORY is the title of a song on the album BLACK METAL - which came out in 1982, and took the underground by storm [Metallica, Slayer, and Exodus' debut albums all have a strong Venom influence for starters].

The first image above is Venom's first demo, "Demon," released in 1980. Notice there is a song on it called "Raise the Dead." Take note of the black and white goat head inside a pentagram. Bathory's first album, which came out in 1983, also has a song on it called "Raise the Dead" and also features a black and white goat head, [minus the pentagram, although the album has a huge pentagram on the back of it!] The 2nd image above is Venom's first album, "Welcome to Hell," which came out in 1981. This album has a gold goat head on the front, inside a pentagram. Well if you skip down a couple images, you'll see the infamous Bathory "Yellow Goat" record. Quorthon has said he intended the original debut Bathory album cover to feature a GOLD goat [gee, wonder where he got that idea????] but apparently GOLD was too expensive, so they went with the closest color they could afford, "canary yellow." So something like 1000 copies of Bathory's first album were printed in CANARY YELLOW. All pressings after were switched to black and white.

Venom's "Black Metal" album [1982] is also pictured above, featuring [surprise!] a goat head, in grey/silver. The track listing includes a re-recording of "Raise the Dead," and another song called "Sacrifice." Bathory also has a song called "Sacrifice" on their first album. Finally, note the old English font on the cover of Venom's "Black Metal." Venom was obviously influenced by Motorhead. Bathory used this same Olde English font for their logo. So it appears Bathory's first album was basically copying all visual concepts from Venom's first 2 albums, and probably the first demo [ok, we'll give them Motorhead as well, a band Quorthon was always quick to cite as an influence] So now that we've established that Bathory was clearly copying Venom's artwork and song titles, possibly even from the first demo, let's take a look at some lyrical similarities.

Lyrics to "Raise the Dead" by Bathory...

"Dust to dust"...
I gasp for air
I scream for sight
And fight against
Torment and dread
Calling the vengeance
I tear at the lid
And promise to raise
From the dead

Now let's look at the lyrics to Venom's "Buried Alive/Raise the Dead"

[intro] Earth to earth
Ashes to ashes
Dust to dust

I tear at the lid, my fingers they bleed...My lungs gasp for air, my eyes scream for sight

Between the torn shirts, the black dyed hair, the spandex, and the explorer shaped guitars - I think it is fair to assume, especially given the other information cited above, that Bathory was largely modeled after Venom. This is not a criticism! Plenty of bands were influenced by Venom, and most are quick to admit it. What was strange about Quorthon was not just his denial that Bathory was copying Venom's lyrics and image, but the next level he often went to in order to disprove their influence [rather unsuccessfully.] In one particular interview, which is partially quoted above, Quorthon gets audibly annoyed while speaking about this topic and proposes [rather absurdly] that Venom got their history wrong regarding Elizabeth Bathory's name. You can hear a tape edit, followed by a completely different 2nd response to the question in a more calm voice tone. So he provides 2 completely different answers to the same question within the same interview! Obviously, he intended one of the responses to be edited out. But since it was not, we get a window into Quorthon's world of fiction [I recommend people check this interview out - YOUTUBE user gabalgabow Interview 30/10/1987]

SECTION 2 - THE FATHER AND SON TEAM

"Another rumor hard to kill, and occasionally still believed in, is the rumor that insists there is a blood relation between Quorthon and Black Mark president Boss." - Bathory.nu [Quorthon's defunct website, still searchable online as of this writing]

In the above, Quorthon is referring to himself in the 3rd person. But anyone who reads enough Bathory interviews can tell that every word written within those biographical bathory.nu pages was all Quorthon. Sitting at a computer, hour after hour, trying to control the perception of his band by "setting the record straight" on whatever topic he decided needed straightening. And when it came to his relationship to his father - you can often feel his extreme frustration as he types to furiously dispel this "myth" which has since been confirmed to be true.

[Question - ace was quorthon right?] "logically I find it difficult to call him that, that was just his stage name. Borje's paternity was officially known a few days after Ace's death in an evening paper by Jonas Akerlung (Bathory drummer, today a well-known video producer - ed) who wrote there about Thomas Forsberg. Borje was quite angry about that because later he would gladly had done it himself if necessary. Thomas was just the birth name he loves to rename. Ace was on his ID. that is how he is officially known to all Swedish authorities. As a musician, he was so self-sufficient and independent that his relationship with the producer of Bathory did not matter. But Because the media could have seen it differently, he kept it secret"

The above is a rough translation I did from Rock Hard magazine, which is in German. The person answering the question is "his [Börje's] second wife Klaudia Scharein-Forsberg, who is currently continuing the business of Black Mark." Borje is Quorthon's father, Stig Börje "Boss" Forsberg. Most fans know him simply as "Boss," producer of all Bathory albums. Quorthon's birth name was Thomas Börje Forsberg, but Klaudia reveals in the above that he changed his first name legally to ACE. Quorthon was a big Kiss fan, so no big secret where he got that one. Probably the most interesting bit of information from the above is the fact that Boss got angry about Jonas revealing his relationship to his son in the press. This shows that BOSS also didn't want the public knowing - further contributing to the possibility that it was HIS idea to begin with.

[Borje Forseberg (on the left) at Quorthon's 1986 in store appearance at Heavy Sound. Next to him is Quorthon's mysterious side-kick, possibly a Paul Lundburg or Jonas Åkerlund. He says nothing and stands around trying to look creepy the entire time, while Quorthon interacts with fans and signs autographs]

"Back in the early days, maintaining secrecy about myself and the band was all-important" -Quorthon

...[in 1984] "We lived in a sort of Metal community in the house of the Tyfon label boss, together with his son that everybody knows as Quorthon of Bathory. That was a big secret back then he threatened to kill anybody who would talk about that." - Jay C. Blade [OZ]

"...and the one who talked me into the serious part of it was BOSS. If we hadn't been in contact with him we would have been one of the heavy metal bands in Sweden that never get the attention they need." - Quorthon

In the above we have a member of OZ, who were on Tyfon before Bathory, revealing in one short statement that BOSS was literally "the boss" of Tyfon Grammofon. He also reveals that BOSS was very serious about keeping his relationship to his son a secret. This was very early on, again supporting the idea that it was a decision made from the start, probably by BOSS/BathoryCorp - not necessarily Quorthon, who was probably around 17 at the time Bathory formed.

Within that last quote, Quorthon conveys that BOSS was pushing him to do Bathory, but he was careful not to make it sound like there was a blood relation between them. He also leaves out the part about already working at the label [Tyfon] he pretends to only be distantly "in contact" with [more on that later].

Quorthon seems to be playing 2 roles here. He is playing "Quorthon the musician," but also "Ace Forseberg, employee of BathoryCorp." Ace Forsberg, BathoryCorp, and to a degree BOSS, must all remain as invisible as possible to the public. QUORTHON is a character which was acted out by Ace Forsberg for the public in order to sell Bathory's music. Part of this act may have been Ace's REAL personality, but varying degrees of it seems to have always contained fiction. Over the years, we watch him struggle to balance both sides, but he slips here and there, then constantly tries to "set the record straight" again, only to contradict himself in other interviews. That is why he often seemed so confusing. Over time, Quorthon grew to resent this character he was supposed to be, and that is why he felt the need to do the Quorthon "solo albums" [or so it seems].

None of this is really that unusual in rock history, it really just comes down to selling records in the end. But often it seemed Quorthon went out of his way to confuse fans, leaving them wondering what is true and what isn't on all sorts of levels. It could be that he was simply a "bad actor" and had a hard time keeping his "script" straight over the years. But BOSS was always there hovering in the background to make sure certain things were done a certain way.


[Stig Börje "Boss" Forsberg, lower right, with his 60s Swedish pop band Ghost Riders]

"Boss then told us if we really really wanted double bass drums on a track [during the recording of the debut album], or if there was a double bass drum passage we felt was absolutely crucial to a particular song, we could then always try out playing that short passage on that single bass drum placed over one of those cardboard boxes using regular sticks wrapped up in pieces of cloth...There were only two passages recorded in that way that we chose to keep on tape."

It's no big secret that Bathory utilized all sorts of studio trickery on their albums. That's not to say they are any less brilliant, but the point is that much of what is heard on Bathory albums was artificially produced in the studio. The first album in particular is the one usually regarded as the most "raw" and least "artificial." But the above reveals a very early example of unorthodox studio trickery initiated, not by Quorthon, but by his father, Boss. Boss was, in fact, a drummer himself. He had a very interesting, not to mention successful, musical history dating back to the 60s. [more on this later]

To conclude this section, let's review some of the key things established here - BOSS was indeed Quorthon's father and BathoryCorp had a rule about keeping it secret [seemingly from the start, and even after Quorthon's death]. BOSS was a [successful] drummer/producer with studio experience dating as far back as the 60s. BOSS seems to have owned or headed Black Mark Productions and Tyfon Grammafon. His 2nd wife [who he presumably divorced at some point] now runs Black Mark Productions. Lastly, Quorthon was a character created by BathoryCorp very early on to be the "face" of Bathory. Thomas "Ace" Forseberg often struggled over the years to keep this character consistent, without revealing whatever it was BathoryCorp did not want the public to know - which was usually something to do with his personal connection to BOSS. It was often Quorthon's own failed attempts to keep his character convincing in front of the public that contributed both to his mystique and confusing image.

SECTION 3 - LIVE SHOWS/TOURING/MUSIC VIDEO

"Yeah, sure [I've played live before]. I had an oi punk band [Strudskuk] prior to Bathory. If you translate the name it would be "Battle Dick.""

[ever played live?] "No, we have been close several times, but then always when I tell them what we do onstage...we have played in front of friends sometimes and thrashed around the rehearsal place. That gave us the reputation as being the most outrageous, craziest, and wildest thrashing band in Stockholm....no wonder the people who had arranged the show did everything to get us off the bill!"

"In Sweden, there's absolutely nothing, no bands, no kids! When we are playing over there, we cannot count upon more than two hundred people at our shows. Same goes for Finland, where our friends of Oz are meeting the same metallic desert..."

"When the real heavy hitters began playing in Finland, we left for Stockholm, where world of music was completely different (from that of Finland). In the 80s Stockholm was the rock city, and still is!" - Mark Ruffneck, OZ [yourlastrites.com]

"I did all that [playing shows] in 1983/84 and beginning of 85 it's...really boring...and besides, 50% of all the material that Bathory recorded on albums is impossible to reproduce onstage anyway...I remember the first couple of times...it was just for friends. At party's you know, and playing in cinemas and stuff like that...Bathory wasn't a big band or anything like that and...it was great fun..."

"We had never made a tour simply because Sweden is a rotten place when it comes to try to find people suitable for something like Bathory"

"Alot of people say the same thing. That I could make a million bucks literally if I would take Bathory out on the road right now. But I am not a performer and I hate concerts."

"We couldn't bring our stage with us here in Scandinavia and still can't. For Bathory it is important to have a impressing stage show so that the audience get something in return for the ticket they have paid for. I think it is boring just standing there with no effects or pyro-technics.

The above is probably a mixture of truth and flat out fiction. Quorthon obviously wanted to play live on some level, at least to give the fans what they want. But clearly BathoryCorp had a "no live shows" rule for most of Bathory's existence. Quorthon always had explanations as to why the band could not play live. But as you can see above, he changed the reasons all the time - and some of them didn't even make sense! In this section we will explore why the "no live shows" rule existed.

BATHORY/CELTIC FROST/DESTRUCTION TOUR

"...Important Records asked us to come over and do some kind of tour together with Celtic Frost and Destruction in summer of '86. While all of this was happening, I of course didn't have a lineup together..."

"There were plans for BATHORY to tour the US in ‘86-’87 together with some other bands like Destruction and Celtic Frost. But those plans just never materialized. So I said, "-To hell with it all….let’s just make records from here on!"

"It was meant that we should go out with Destruction and Celtic Frost in the states then...I asked if the Sodom drummer could come up and play with me in Stockholm to see if it could work out. We were in the rehearsal place for 2 weeks and we came to the conclusion that the fans might think it was a bit weird if we went together on tour."

"Both of our fans could be confused in the end and also Sodom and Bathory are two bands that received the most shit because we sound the way we do and we were very early and we started this whole death metal thing, but we are not having huge organizations behind us"

"Chris came up to Stockholm early ’86: the reason was, we have been offered by Combat Records to join a tour across United States together with Destruction, Possessed, and Celtic Frost, during the summer of 86, or something like that, and all of a sudden, I realized that the guy who was playing drums in Bathory at the time, I wasn’t sure he was gonna be in it or not: also he did the army, which is in Sweden voluntary, but he was in the army...I called Chris, and I said: “Why don’t you come up, and we’ll see what we can come up with. If things turn out well, could you, would you consider, you know, helping us out on this tour?,”...he stayed for two weeks, or something, this was exactly when Chernobyl nuclear pant in Russia accident. And I told him: “Hey, you better go to the German embassy to get your pills,” and he said: “Whaat?” “Well, you’re gonna die from cancer: I got my pills this morning,” you know, and he was so damn… (laughs), he was so scared that he took a fucking train to Germany immediately the next day...But we had a lot of fun for two weeks anyway. He snores like, you know, pig."

I don't think there is one fan of 80s extreme underground metal who's jaw would not drop to see Bathory, Celtic Frost, and Destruction on the same bill [Quorthon even throws POSSESSED into the tour within that last quote!] As far as underground metal goes, this would have been as hot a ticket as a Slayer or Metallica tour. We're talking legendary. So I would think that pressure for Bathory to finally get out there and play live must have been great for BathoryCorp to consider breaking the "no live shows" rule. But as you can see above, Quorthon again gives confusing answers to explain why it did not work out.

One of Quorthon's "go to" statements as to why he could not find band members was that it was too hard to find dedicated musicians into that type of music. And yet he can pick up the phone, in 1986, call Sodom's drummer, and Sodom's drummer flies out and jams with Quorthon for 2 weeks! Quorthon had no problem finding suitable musicians. The idea that he did was pure bullshit.

Take note of this thing he says above, "we are not having huge organizations behind us." He made similar statements to this in quite a few interviews I came across, and in this case he says it out of context. Why does he throw this seemingly inapplicable bit of information in with his response to the question of why the tour didn't work out? It's kind of like when a child is home alone and his mother walks into the door and asks "how are you, did you miss me?" and the child responds, "I didn't take the cookies from the jar that are missing!" He's volunteering information which was not asked for, inadvertently suggesting what nobody is thinking to begin with! Nobody asked him "hey, does Bathory have a big organization behind it?" No, the questions was - "what happened with Witchhunter and that amazing tour?" In what way does "we don't have a big organization behind us" answer this question? If it is part of a larger answer, fair enough. But Quorthon does not offer a larger answer, that WAS his entire answer! This is a typical example of the "canned responses" he threw out to interviewers in order to shut down a line of questioning he didn't like. But he didn't always seem to realize, or care, how illogical and odd his answers often were.

Clearly, a tour was seriously considered, but something happened which destroyed these plans, and Quorthon would not tell the truth about it. He gives several different reasons in different interviews. When police interrogate a suspect, they ask the same questions several times, because they are seeing if the suspect sticks to their story. Someone who can't stick to their story is generally lying. That's what Quorthon is doing here. No crime in that, but a curious fan can't help but ask, why?


"If I decide to do something, it has to be done my way."

"I'm totally comfortable when I have my 60 cigarettes a day, some wine and whiskey, a cunt to fuck and a guitar to crank up really loud."

"In January/Feb 85 we went into the studio and recorded "the return"...We were utterly drunk every bloody day while recording it"

"I can't even stand the smell of beer and prefer a bottle of fine old wine or very clean and pure Vodka."

"I'm a vegetarian so I wouldn't be able to slaughter lambs on stage (as has been hinted in the past)."

"Thomas "Quorthon" Forsberg is dead. The head of legendary cult band Bathory and son of Black Mark Records owner Börje "The Boss" Forsberg was found dead in his Stockholm apartment on Monday, June 7th. Cardiac arrest was identified as the cause of death, Quorthon suffered for years from an incurable heart disease. He was just 39 years old." -Rockhard.de [translated from German]

From the above, we can gather a few different possibilities as to why Bathory could not play live shows, and why they seemed to suddenly back out of the above mentioned tour.

The quote where Quorthon states "it has to be done my way" was probably mostly fact. Quorthon probably did get his way, since his father owned Tyfon/Black Mark. So why bother with band members, or anyone else who might have opinions about how things should operate within Bathory? Maybe Quorthon made planning the tour too difficult by being demanding?

[You were at L'Moure. L'More is sorta the big place for Heavy Metal in New York what did you think of it?] "I went with a couple of people and I told them, "don't tell anyone I'm here because I won't be able to walk around and just be anybody." After about 45 minutes people started to turn around and take my picture and I tried to cover my face. We came up in the street, we had our limousine...afterwards and there's hundreds of fans surrounding the car. We signed autographs and tits and ass and posters and everything, and its great."

"In the last ten years I've attended only two shows, a bit forced to do it. I hate being surrounded by people."

"I was head of security, and I was doing my very best to sorta like, sneak around in the shadows, cause, I mean, 80% of everybody there had my picture on their walls back home..."

"He just didn’t look like what you thought the guy that penned “Equimanthorn,” “Through Blood By Thunder” and “A Fine Day To Die” would look like – unless he also had been a member of the Cold Lake lineup of Celtic Frost. Quorthon looked a lot more like a hair metal dude than one of the forefathers of black metal – cowboy boots, ironed jeans and a black muscle shirt. I think after years of seeing him standing in a pentagram in that famous press picture I just didn’t expect him to be a sort of funny guy, who really liked to call almost everybody by the same name: Frank" - www.decibelmagazine.com/2013/04/17/black-metal-at-the-pickle-barrel-a-night-with-quorthon/

Quorthon's appearance often contradicted this notion that he was a "recluse" who hated crowds of people, shows, and playing live. For starters, his earliest promo pics show a guy pretty in love with posing in front of a camera. Also, anyone can watch the video referenced above from Heavy Sound in 1986 and see how Quorthon gobbles up all the attention he can from a crowd of fans - it's almost as touching, as it is absurd, to watch Quorthon acting like Yngwie Malmsteen alongside his silly silent sidekick, doing his best to appear creepy and vampiric, and failing in an almost comic manner. The person quoted above who said Quorthon looked like a "hair metal dude" wasn't the only one to notice this about him. Dead [later of Mayhem] was present at the signing referenced above and famously made similar statements, even expressing disappointment in his idol's horribly "rockstar" attitude. And this thing about "hating crowds" and "hating shows" makes it really hard to understand why he'd roll up to New York's hottest Metal Club [at the time] in a Limo or decide to be "head of security" at a Death Metal show where everyone would know who he is! Not to mention the bizarre events which occurred there, but we'll get into that later in more detail.

Perhaps Quorthon made all of that up because his health was an issue. The quote about being a "vegetarian" is from a pretty early interview. Unless he was making that up [which is possible] this shows he was health conscious early on - even if he did drink tons of alcohol and smoke "60 cigarettes a day". Quorthon was very skinny most of his life, this backs up the idea that he was careful about what he ate - though it doesn't really prove that a serious health issue was the reason. The above image with the caption stating he quit smoking around Twilight of the Gods [1991] indicates again that he was concerned for his health. Quorthon also stated in some interviews and on his own website that he'd planned to end Bathory after Twilight of the Gods. That's 2 pretty big decisions made around the same time. Did some health scare occur which provoked these decisions? Although Quorthon was pretty open about drinking, he was always quick to exaggerate his hatred for drugs and how stupid people who did them were.

"you’re gonna die from cancer: I got my pills this morning”

This was part of one of Quorthon's more absurd, and obviously fictional explanations [quoted earlier] as to why things didn't work out with Witchhunter, who obviously wasn't the only drummer he could have rehearsed with. We're supposed to think Quorthon scared Witchhunter away by making him think he needs to go to the German embassy and get some anti radiation pills from the "Chernobyl fallout." Despite the fact that this makes no sense at all, it does reveal something interesting about Quorthon's thinking at that time. He makes specific reference to DISEASE and PILLS. Was this him accidentally revealing part of the REAL reasons he could not tour? His obituary stated he long fought an incurable heart disease. Perhaps he had this disease longer than people realize, and perhaps he took prescription pills for it. If true, the real reason things didn't work out was because Quorthon's health problems became obvious to the point where a tour was ruled out.

If I am correct, this is clearly something Quorthon/BathoryCorp probably wasn't at all comfortable with people knowing. Shows and tours can be brutal on one's body. Witchhunter himself later died of liver failure at 42. Jeff Hanneman, of Slayer's "official cause of death was announced as alcohol-related cirrhosis." Most underground metal musicians deal with the brutal lifestyle of touring over the years through drugs, alcohol, therapy, coaches, or some other sort of vice. BOSS probably didn't want his son, who liked to drink and smoke, exposed to it for his own safety. This is the best reason I can guess why Bathory never played live and declared no more shows would be planned ever after dropping suddenly from the Celtic Frost/Destruction/Bathory tour.

OKAY WELL, LET'S JUST MAKE A VIDEO THEN!

"...we intend to record a live video as soon as possible to give all our fans, wherever they live, an equal chance to see our stage show. But to go on the road touring and putting on the type of show we have would cost a lot of money which we don't have right now...It will have about six or seven tracks and we will probably incorporate a little bit about the history of the band as well."

"Well, we will be making 2 videos. The first one will be a promotion video which will be shot outdoor in a deserted place here in Sweden that looks very Scandinavian. Next up we will do another video that will last about an hour or so, with loads of unreleased material on it - rare stuff. There will also be some live songs with our stage show for people that haven't seen us live."

Quorthon was talking about doing a video in interviews as early as 1987. That would be a short time after Bathory's big tour with Destruction and Celtic Frost was aborted. It seems this was BathoryCorp's way of placating fans who were anxious to see Bathory live. Professional music videos were not cheap to make in the 80s - yet Quorthon uses finances as an excuse as to why the band cannot tour in the above. Most of what he describes above in 1987 did eventually materialize, but not at the same time.

The "Road to Asa Bay" video provided the only footage the public ever got of Bathory "playing live," which isn't even them really playing live, it's just Quorthon playing air guitar with a fake band and fake members. The documentary/biography aspect Quorthon describes is something he was working on, but was only ever released in partial text form, via the now defunct Bathory.nu [which pages can still be partially recovered from on google] and the "In Memory of Quorthon" release, which contained an extensive booklet that can also be mostly found online. The "outdoor deserted place" manifested itself also on the "One Road to Asa Bay" video, which was very high quality in the end [and cost tons of money according to Quorthon]. Finally, the "unreleased material" he speaks of appeared in the form of the Jubileum series, of which there were 3 full albums.

"Music is so unimportant live. We want to do something different, not what the fans have already seen, so we decided to do a big video which will cost a lot of money and have everything that we want in it, exactly how we want it!..There'll be a huge stage show, for all the fans to see the songs the way they want. We'll have bombs...they've been done before, but ours will go 30 feet. We'll have big mountains as a backdrop and horses, naked women...everything."

Now Quorthon gives us something like a combination of the first idea - a video featuring the band playing LIVE, but also specific hints of what would become the "One Road to Asa Bay video." He says it will "cost a lot of money." Why does he think people care how much money it will cost? Again, here he is offering up information nobody seems to have asked for. He seems to be responding to the question, "Hey Quorthon, what are you doing with all the money from album sales if you never tour or play shows?" He probably felt guilty because he's sitting on his ass writing letters all day and drinking tons of booze and banging chicks while fans are begging for a live show! So he wants them to know that he is going to USE that money to give back to them. That is my guess as to why he brings up the money thing there.

"Among others we went to viking graves, but a lot of the things we filmed are apparently not in the video according to those who saw it. We poured five hundred liters of gasoline in a big lake and gasoline is thicker than water, so it spread like a thin membrane over the surface...But all of this was for fun. Not a fraud, just to have some fun."

"I spent 25000 SEK out of my own pocket...If I had known that I wasn't going to be able to see a second of the 19 hours we shot for the video...I have never seen it and I never will. But I managed to get back the original master copies from assorted video channels in Europe and managed to burn them."

"I spent between $3,000 and $5,000 on that video out of my own money, and we had 16 hours of film. Once, the whole thing was supposedly mixed together. There was so little time because I was going on a promotion tour in Europe for six weeks. We had so little time to do the video properly before we went out. So I said, "O.K. Let's wait. I'll take care of all that when I get back to Stockholm." but sometime when I was out there, someone put the whole thing together and just started to distribute it - and it was not meant to be that way. I should say first that I have never seen the video myself. I refuse to see it. the guy who was filming that thing - six months after recording that video, nobody heard from him anymore. He owes us alot of money and all that. I spent two weeks organizing - renting horses, uniforms, armor, swords, people, food, driving people - everything. I paid a lot of money and I wasn't even allowed to be there when the whole thing was mixed. We had 16 hours of film, and I wasn't even allowed to see one second"

This all gets very Spinal Tap here, but I think the bottom line is that BathoryCorp was following through on their plans as described by Quorthon in the earlier quote from 1987, but he probably didn't have as much control of everything as he would have liked. Again, Quorthon brings focus on the vast amounts of money it all cost because it is important to him, and I think this is genuine actually, that the fans know the money they have spent on Bathory is going back to the fans in some way.

Being that BOSS was involved in so many other projects, his time to devote to Bathory was probably somewhat limited. So I do buy the idea that Quorthon probably ran Bathory by himself to a large degree. But this entire business of how the video was shot, then taken away, then sent back, then destroyed by Quorthon after never bothering to watch it is all a bit too much. Something wacky happened here, and it's not being explained fully. However, the video itself is far from the "hack job" Quorthon makes it out to be. In fact, it seems quite meticulously edited and shot. If Quorthon was concerned whether his vision was interpreted correctly, I think it is clear that SOMEONE's vision was clearly interpreted in it. We'll take a closer look at the video in a future blog.

"We poured five hundred liters of gasoline in a big lake and gasoline is thicker than water, so it spread like a thin membrane over the surface...But all of this was for fun. Not a fraud, just to have some fun."

Maybe Quorthon was upset because he needed the fans to know how much money he spent on the video and he needed to prove to them that he was "not a fraud" by creating these awesome visual spectacles? Without scenes such as the one he describes above, he figures people would be asking "where's the bombs and fires and explosions Quorthon was bragging about?" He then goes on to state it was "Not a fraud, just to have some fun." So here he seems to be speaking to people he believes are calling him a "fraud." I can only assume people were, otherwise, why would he hint at a desire to disprove this accusation, seemingly out of nowhere? Creating a high budget video was again, his way to show the public that "here's where your Bathory dollars are going! Bathory is a real band, not a fraud!" Albums weren't enough, he needed to give them something more, and touring was out. So when certain key [expensive] scenes were edited out of the video, Quorthon was livid because these scenes were probably THE WHOLE POINT of doing the video from his perspective! By stating he "never saw it" he's probably trying to get out of having to discuss details within it, which was a topic that likely made him furious. I actually feel kind of bad for Quorthon, if this is all true. He must have been under tremendous pressure - and to make it worse, he couldn't vent his true frustrations to the pubic, he could only do it through the limited character of "Quorthon." Perhaps I am wrong, but this would explain almost every ridiculous detail of Quorthon's otherwise impossible to make sense of quotations above, regarding the final version of the video.

THE MANOWAR THING

Swing your hammer to crack the sky
Lift your cape so that you might fly

- "Thor (The Powerhead)" by Manowar (1984)

God of Thunder
Who crack the sky
Swing your Hammer
Way up high

-"Valhallah" by Bathory (1990)

BLACK CLOUDS on the horizon
Great thunder and BURNING RAIN
His CHARIOT pounding
I heard the heavens scream his name

- "Thor (The Powerhead)" by Manowar (1984)

In CHARIOT of gold
Ride across the clouds
The BLACK STORM is unfold
BURNING MIST is but a shroud

-"Valhallah" by Bathory (1990)

God of thunder, God of rain
Earth shaker who feels no pain

- "Thor (The Powerhead)" by Manowar (1984)

God of thunder
Lightning rain
The winds of glory
Whispers your name

-"Valhallah" by Bathory (1990)

Above we can clearly see that Bathory was again modeling themselves after a band that they felt was on the pulse of something. It is not my goal here to lessen Bathory's impact as the "innovator of Viking Metal," but the bottom line is that they copied a hell of a lot of it directly from Manowar!

"[on Enter the Eternal Fire] we copied the rhythms thing, I mean, the rhythm beat from Manowar, cause the drummer who was at the band at the time was a big Manowar fan, and he introduced that way of playing for me, you know, that (sings) “doo-doo-dah-duh”, 3/6th , or whatever it’s called..."

"About me talking about people probably making comparisons with Manowar was simply not an excuse for not putting it [Blood on Ice] out, but mainly to show that I was aware of the fact that the comparison was gonna be made by allot of people, not to piss on "Blood On Ice" as an album or Manowar as a band."

"I teamed up with Joey Demaio. We were in the same hotel or something. A good encounter...I was introduced to Manowar by the drummer we had in 1987. He was very much into them."

Quorthon always avoided saying that HE was a Manowar fan [while also avoiding saying ANYTHING bad about them]. Instead, he would say that his DRUMMER was a Manowar fan, and that is how the influence crept in. The album "Under the Sign of the Black Mark" was released by Under One Flag, a sub label of Music for Nations, in 1987. Manowar was also on Music For Nations at one point, but apparently left the label just before recording "Sign of the Hammer" in 1984. This encounter with Quorthon was likely the result of a business connection via Music for Nations, but we never really get enough information to determine the full details. However he does state his "drummer" introduced him to Joey Demaio and that his "drummer" was the big Manowar fan.

"Twilight… is entirely drum machine"

"The drums are a mix of drummachine and real drums. I think it's 75% drummachine and the rest is something I do afterwards when you feel no, the beats should have been harder there."

"I just enter the studio, I’m calling him up, I’m sending him tapes of the songs, where I play bass and guitar and I have a drum machine, and, you know, how to play the songs to go into the studio, we record the stuff, and he goes back home."

"For the past 11 or 12 years it's been a two man project situation which I have no intention whatsoever to bring onto a stage or even further than what it's all about today. I am much too happy about the present situation."

"Well, it’s not a band, actually for the last fifteen years it’s been a two-man project"

"I do not deny that earlier in our career I played most of the instruments on our records and produced much of the material."

"Someone called Palle Lundburg we have NEVER HAD IN THE STUDIO. QUORTHON PLAYED THE DRUMS HIMSELF on “Under the Sign of the Black Mark." - BOSS

After reading the above, it is clear that Quorthon either was the drummer, or the drummer was a drum machine which he programed, possibly with the help of someone else. Quorthon's father was a drummer, he was in the studio for every Bathory recording, he was the one watching the NWOBHM trend in the early 80s, and he was probably the one watching Manowar and deciding to incorporate their style. Boss would have had the connections to introduce his son to Demaio, probably not some non-existent "assistant" who helped him program drums which he already programed himself! Boss is probably the one Quorthon was secretly referring to as the "drummer" who introduced him to Joey Demaio.

Invincible in battle, wargods hear my deathwish cry
I'll laugh in the face of death, I into glory ride

-Bathory "Equimanthorn" from Under the Sign of the Black Mark (1987)

If we go back to Bathory's 3rd album, the phrase "Into Glory Ride" pops up in the lyrics. This happens to be the title of Manowar's 2nd album! Given that Quorthon admitted above they were already borrowing Manowar's drum beat - it seems Quorthon was thinking of them when writing his lyrics as well!

We have read your letters, we have heard your call
We were brought together cause we've got the balls

Manowar "Army of Immortals" [1984, Music for Nations]

You kept your faith, you mailed us your hails
You spread our name and commotion
You are the ones who believes and supports
and that's called shear bloody f*cking devotion

-Bathory "Of Doom" [1987, Under One Flag/Music for Nations]

In the 70s, KISS had a fan club called "The Kiss Army." It was great marketing and it's fun for the fans to sort of "play act" this "us against the world" attitude. Manowar took this same concept when addressing their "Army of Immortals." They continued this theme with their "Warriors of the World" album - which was largely influenced by the events of 9/11. Bathory obviously took their own awkward first stab at this marketing technique, in their otherwise pretty badassed song "Equimanthorn." When we consider that Bathory's first appearance was on a compilation called "Scandinavian Metal Attack," we get hints that Bathory was merely an extension of a larger marketing plan, whose think tank existed before the band did. Again, BOSS was in the business, and was successful, for many years before Bathory formed. It would be naive to assume he did not apply his wealth of wisdom when it came to marketing Bathory's music early on. Quorthon was a teen still when Bathory formed. He didn't "accidentally" become one of the the most successful/influential extreme metal artist of all time without lots of help.

I'm not suggesting any of this is necessarily positive or negative, but that this was already a well known marketing technique by the time Bathory was formed. There is a term most of you may have heard, where a band may be described as having a "cult like" following. Ghost [also from Sweden], in particular, is a modern example of a group who are so blatant in their attempts to market themselves as a "cult band," it tends to put a lot of people off because of it's obvious commercial motivation. A band who can develop a "cult like" following, basically creates a small society within society. This then gives the band a degree of power within larger society - who are largely DIVIDED, which is why large record corporations end up either creating, owning, or destroying these types of bands. Bands like this are profitable, but beyond that, they can have a profound influence upon society. One need only consider for a moment, the social impact that the viking/folk/pagan metal movement has had upon societies internationally to begin to understand the potentially profound importance of what Bathory was doing from the start.

[Varg Vikernes is probably regarded as the most influential, and infamous, "Black Metal musician" of all time. He continues to post videos to this day on his "thuleanperspective" youtube channel. You may have to tap on the above image to blow it up, if you are on a smartphone]

A BIT MORE ON THE VIKING THING

"In 1984-1985 I came to the conclusion that Satan and Satanism was created by the Christian church itself, so here we had a hoax made up by another hoax to terrify people into the arms of the Christian faith. It's all religious bullshit anyway...I went further back in time to see what was there before Christianity came around to become the dictatorial way of life and death. I didn't need to go too far from my front door, to be reminded of the rich culture and history in Scandinavia before the Christian church came around."

Bathory was formed in 1983. So if he had this "awakening" that early, why did he write 2 or 3 albums of "satanic music" before making the switch to the Norse theme? As much as I want to believe the above, it is hard to buy it given BathoryCorp's obvious marketing strategies driving the band's musical direction from the beginning. It seems Ace's job here was to play the role of Quorthon, now as the evolving artist - fed up with the contradictions of both Satan and God, deciding to embrace his own country's pagan culture. This is great marketing because it allows their "anti christian" fanbase to follow along without feeling alienated - but also takes them on a new musical journey, closer to their own world [if you were a Scandinavian fan especially]. What is more interesting is that it also brought them closer to a heated social/political territory. The unfortunate fact is, Neo Nazi organizations have a history of appropriating Norse themes and symbols, making this a much more sensitive topic in parts of Europe, than here in America. And the truth is, Sweden had a well documented history of problems with Neo Nazi Skinheads - particularly in the late 70s/early 80s, and through the 90s. Some of them were in Oi! punk bands.

"Ultima Thule (Latin for "Farthest North") was founded in early 1984 in Nyköping, Sweden... Their style is based on what they call Vikingarock ("Viking rock"), which combines occasional folk melodies with rock, mixed with Oi!, street punk and Teddy Boy...The band's first EP was sponsored by Bevara Sverige Svenskt ("Keep Sweden Swedish") and was used as a campaign theme by Sverigepartiet. Some of their songs were included on compilation albums with bands like Skrewdriver and Brutal Attack...Their first vocalist, from 1984 to 1986, Bruno Hansen, was the leader of the Nyköping "action group" of the Nordic Reich Party, and some music critics classify the band as White Power music...Between 1984 and 1987 the band played at about 30 skinhead concerts. On 6 June 1987 they played together with Agent Bulldogg, Vit Aggression and Dirlewanger at a white power concert in Södertälje. On 30 November 1991, the band played at a white power concert with Vit Aggression and Division S...Ultima Thule has sold one certified platinum and three gold albums in Sweden, and managed to have three singles on the 20th-best hits list at the same time. Their lyrics are mostly in Swedish, with only a few songs in English, including covers of bands such as Sham 69 and Ronettes" - Wikipedia

I should first state that this band has actively attempted to distance itself from "Neo Nazi" groups more recently, and does not seem to agree that they ever were "Neo Nazis." Nevertheless, they formed about the same time as Bathory, and were in the Swedish Oi! punk scene. Although not from Stockholm. Oi! punk originated in England, mainly London. According to Quorthon himself, he was in Oi! punk bands just before Bathory [2, in fact], and visited the "London Dungeon" around 1981. So I am sure he knew very well, as did BOSS, what a Neo Nazi Oi! punk skinhead was. Given Ultima Thule's controversial history and their eventual mainstream success - I find it very hard to believe Quorthon and/or Boss did not know who this band was, which called itself "Vikingarock," BEFORE they decided to "go full Viking" with Bathory. It also begs the question, what motivated the young Quorthon to suddenly jump from Oi! punk misfit to "cult heavy metal icon?" I am not accusing Bathory of being a politically motivated band, but it would be very naive not to at least consider it. We will go into possible political motivations behind the creation of Bathory, or lack thereof, in a future blog.


[a young Thomas "Ace/Quorthon" Forsberg on the left, in this advertisement for Marillas "Grammofonteater"]

QUORTHON'S "DAY JOB"

"...he [BOSS] gave me an opening to get my head off school at the age of 14 when he gave me that quarter time job back in 1980."

"I quit school, or, more or less, I was thrown out of school back in ’82...we had something called, whatever you could translate...uhm…you would go to school 2 days a week, and you would work a regular job..they sorta like got me this 2 days, or 3 days a week kinda job at the record company"

If he was working at his father's record label, Tyfon Grammafon, in 1980 - this would have been before Quorthon says he was "thrown out of school in '82." That kind of messes up his story a bit!

"Borje [BOSS] was very rich at the end of the seventies because of his success as a hit producer" - Klaudia Forsberg [Boss' 2nd wife]

At the beginning of this section is an image I found at www.blodelddod.se which shows Quorthon as a child, presumably in a commercial for a toy which involves a vinyl record. This was a really cool "toy" put out by Marilla Grammofon - which was owned by BOSS's friend, Hans Edler. BOSS worked for Marilla and was also a band mate of Edler in the group I pictured earlier, Ghostriders. Was young Quorthon paid for this appearance? I'd imagine so. If he was, this would be the earliest job he had that I know of, a "child actor" of sorts?

My guess is that Quorthon really didn't have to go to school because his dad owned a successful business, which he was eager to work at from an early age. I've read various stories about Quorthon being present as a child during some of his father's recordings, and even some stories claiming he played here and there on some of them. I don't know exactly what the truth is, but I think it is safe to say Quorthon did work at the family business fairly early, and he was just trying to make it all sound cooler by stating he was "thrown out" of school. I don't imagine he ever worked a "real job" by the time he formed Bathory in 1983, because he was already working at the family business AND playing in the band which would quickly become the label's top seller. So why would he need to get a "real" job?

"...I'll tell you why I've never driven a cab: I don't have a driver's license."

"I get my money only 3-4 times a year. But it is enough, it really is. But I do some other work every now and then. Like for instance as a security guard at concerts etc. I don't know if it counts as a job because you are mostly standing there with your arms folded and a button that says security. So its like getting money for nothing."

"There's a curious thing, and it's that the whole BATHORY discography is selling quite well. I think it's maybe because of the 'legend' that has been created behind the band's name...the albums sales increase year by year."

"In the 80's we would receive up to 100 fan letters every week. Now a days I spend most of the days answering fan email."

"So now, about 6 years ago, I started getting money that I was supposed to have been receiving during the ‘80s, so I wasn’t making a single cent during the entire ‘80s, and now I’m getting all those money—I haven’t had to take a work or have a job in 6 years"

"Bathory has sold over 1.4 million records, we don’t spend any money on tours or videos, I haven’t had to flip burgers down at McDonald’s for twenty years"


[Karlstad-Örjans ‎– I Hennes Blåa Ögon, Produced by Börje Forsberg, Tyfon Grammofon 1987 - POP/Schlager]

If Quorthon's dad owned Tyfon and Black Mark - both companies he worked for, how is it he wasn't ever paid during the 80s? Tyfon was producing bands through the 80s right up until Blackmark was established in 1991. Are we to believe BOSS was so clueless as to operate his business in the 80s without making sure Tyfon/Blackmark was getting the money due to them? And if he was, why would he NOT pay Quorthon, his son, forcing him to "flip burgers" and take on these dangerous "head of security" gigs at death metal concerts for bands getting death threats [Gorefest and Deicide] where bombs are going off at a venue known to contain the Neo Nazi headquarters of Stockholm?

"20 feet away from there you have the militant Stockholm neo-Nazi organization have their headquarters, 20 feet away…from the concert, and they have been placing bombs just about everywhere, 2 times a week for the past 12 months or so, but, I mean, you couldn’t say it straight out"

In the quote from 1997, he says he hasn't had to work a job in 6 years. Another quote has him stating he hadn't had to "flip burgers" in 20 years. Bathory only existed for 21 years! The security gig which was mentioned earlier would have fallen within 6 and 20 years of both interviews quoted above. There were many witnesses who saw him doing security at the 1992 Fyshuset gig where a bomb went off. This sounds like a guy who never worked a "regular" job, but who's trying very hard to sound like he has! Seems to me he wanted to create an image of himself as a young misfit who was thrown out of school, who struggled in the working class [the history of Oi! punk is based in working class youth of London], dabbled in the occult, built up this occult band with the help of a producer [BOSS] who believed in the band. This is part of Quorthon's role. But Quorthon was a character whos story was not entirely based in reality.

"writing for Bathory is work. Because I do so many other things, I write sixties’ pop, classical music, I’m just now completing my fourth string quartet"

None of what we are discussing here is meant to detract from the impact of Bathory's music. But when you leave a trail of question marks behind, as Quorthon did over the years, some day people are going to start to pick them up and ask "just what is this?"

This blog was researched, written, and maintained by 1 person. If you enjoyed it and would like to encourage more of them, donations of any amount can be made by clicking the button below.

SOURCES - http://m.bathoryhordes.com, STORBERG Heavy Metal zine (2002), HELL AWAITS (2001), Menelaos Megariotis (2001), Twilight (2001, )Vampiria (2001), Metalunderground.com Phone interview with Quorthon by CROMCarl (1997),Phone interview with Quorthon by Oliver Ueck, KILL YOURSELF 1997, Hard Rock Magazine (1987), Power Metal (1987), Metal Hammer (1987), Metal Forces (1987), RAW! (1988), Morbid (1988), Loud Zine (1988), drunkinagraveyard.com April 24, 2003, MTV (1990), Tales Of The Macabre (1997), Victim (1997), YOUTUBE user gabalgabow Interview 30/10/1987, Slayer Magazine, Black Metal "Evolution of the Cult", Wikipedia Germany, Descend Magazine/96 (Metallian diaries), Ian Christie 96, Slayer Mag 1986, Slayer Mag 1995, Decibel Interview, 2013, kick ass 1985, http://www.maelstromzine.com/ezine/interview_iss12_99.php 2001, https://www.decibelmagazine.com/2013/04/17/black-metal-at-the-pickle-barrel-a-night-with-quorthon/ (1986), Lords of Chaos, Bathory.nu

You might also like to read the blogs I wrote about the Murder of Dimebag Darrell.

Monday, March 19, 2018

The Last Jedi: A Divine Comedy

"...it was visual storytelling. The characters and the plot were not as important as the metaphor and the symbolism...and the emotional connection between the movie image and the audience." - George Lucas on his early College Films

As one can gather from the quote above, visual and symbolic elements within the original Star Wars films were likely of great importance to George Lucas, who created them. How then, is this basic element being carried on by Disney, who now produces the films?

I recently got into a conversation with a young Disneyworld employee on his way to work. A Star Wars fan. We got into discussing "The Last Jedi", when at some point he launched into what at times sounded like a prepared speech on the problems "he" had with "The Last Jedi." As he was speaking, it occurred to me that this young man was simply repeating the criticisms he saw/heard online and he didn't seem to have any original observations of his own. I know this because I had watched and listened to all of those same videos he was drawing his specific conclusions from! You can imagine the glossy eyed expression on his face when I attempted to bring up words like "propaganda" and "symbolism." And yet, these are terms George Lucas has thrown around many times when talking about the creation of Star Wars. Why should they be so utterly foreign to a "serious" Star Wars fan? As we shall see, Disney did not abandoned this tradition of symbolism and propaganda when they purchased the rights to the films. If anything, it's even more in use than it was when George Lucas was "in charge."

Rian Johnson does not strike me as an unintelligent man. And after pulling in a billion dollars worldwide within 3 weeks of release, Disney clearly knows what they are doing with these films. Nobody involved in the making of these are "stupid." And yet, we assume the "flaws" within the films were probably "blunders of corporate interests interfering with artist/director." Perhaps the problem is that people are looking at this film as a STORY with some interesting symbolism thrown in. But maybe they are more accurately described as visual/thematic SYMBOL collages, with a story thrown in. Perhaps the story, plot, character development, etc is SECONDARY to the visual/symbolic. Again, these concepts are not at all strange to anyone who has studied the words of George Lucas regarding the creation of this series. When we view the films with all of this in mind, a completely different story appears.

"Only General Leia Organa's band of Resistance fighters stand against the RISING tyranny, certain that Jedi Master LUKE SKYWALKER will return and restore the SPARK of hope to the fight." [opening title]

RISING = RISING SUN. LUKE = Latin Lucius ("the bright one" or "the one born at dawn") SUN, LIGHT. SKYWALKER = WHAT STARS DO. SPARK = LIGHT created by friction/resistance.

"...we are the SPARK that will LIGHT the FIRE that will restore the republic. That SPARK, this resistance, must survive. [Admiral Holdo]

[strikes tree with lightening bolt, laughs as Temple containing last Jedi texts is set afire] "Time it is...for you to look past a pile of old books" [Yoda]

LIGHTNING = LIGHT = "TO LIGHT" = FIRE.

"SKYWALKER. Still looking to the HORIZON. Never here. Now. The need in front of your nose!" [Yoda]

HORIZON = HORUS = GOD OF THE RISING SUN.

Admiral Holdo: "Hope is like the SUN. If you only believe in it when you see it," Poe: "You'll never make it through the night."

Reference to the "invisible sun" or "inner eye of illumination."

"She was more interested in protecting the LIGHT than she was in seeming like a hero." [Leia]

"I see him turning the LIGHTSABER to strike true. And now he IGNITES it, and kills his true enemy!" [Snoke, before he is slain by a lightsaber turned on by the Force]

LIGHTSABER = Symbol of the phallus/will in the form of light. IGNITE = Set afire, to light.

LEIA: The galaxy has lost all its hope. The SPARK is out. [Luke walks in]

"He's stalling so we can escape...we are the SPARK that'll light the FIRE that'll BURN the first order down. SKYWALKER's doing this so we can survive!" [Poe Dameron]

LIGHT = SAVIOR.

Above are numerous references to light which border on parody at times in their redundancy. With "The Last Jedi" we don't get the delicate storytelling style of J.R.R. Tolkien, we get something which feels more like a High School drama skit which tries too hard to cram too many metaphors down our throats. What is the point of these seemingly "dumbed-down" metaphors repeated over and over? Perhaps our minds are being purposefully overwhelmed so that we unknowingly submit to perceiving the film in a certain light.

If you've ever seen old footage or pictures of a lion tamer using a chair [as shown above], you might have wondered how this works. Its simple psychology, actually. The mind of the lion wants to focus on 1 thing. But the 4 legs of the chair occupy the lion's mind with 4 points of reference. This confuses the lion because she cannot decide which leg to deal with first, so her brain sort of "short circuits" and becomes submissive. This is similar to what this film is doing to you. You are the animal being "tamed."

A square and compass, like the Star of David, is composed of two triangles. One pointing up, one pointing down. This represents reflection. As above, so below. As below, so above. As within, so without, etc. The square and compass is known to be the symbol representing Freemasonry, but it is a very old symbol probably predating ancient Egypt. These concepts of reflection and balance are constantly associated with "The Force" in the Star Wars films. Are we slowly being indoctrinated into Freemasonry covertly by these movies? It's a logical question.

If you follow the green lines above, you will find that Rey and Kylo Ren's lightsabers form lines which intersect to form an upper triangle right about at the bottom of Rey's lightsaber handle. The use of Kylo Ren's lightsaber cross hilt to trace where the upper and lower triangles intersect is the same way it functioned in the billboard for "The Force Awakens," which also contains a square and compass [I cover this in a previous blog] The lower triangle is suggested by C3PO's arm and Captain Phasma's spear - which trace out 2 lines which intersect near the bottom of the poster, forming a lower triangle.

The idea of reflection is exaggerated by a 2nd Square and Compass, formed by Luke's hood at the top, partially unfolded First Order ship wings at the bottom. Notice that the top of the upper pyramid comes to a point in the invisible "space" above the billboard. This then makes an incomplete pyramid, or a truncated pyramid, or a trapezoid.

Most reading this will recognize the symbol above, as it is on the back of every U.S. $1 bill. Here is the mainstream definition:

"The Eye of Providence (or the all-seeing eye of God) is a symbol showing an eye often surrounded by rays of light or a glory and usually enclosed by a triangle. It represents the eye of God watching over humanity (or divine providence)." - Wikipedia

I won't go too much into the above symbol because there is plenty of information out there already regarding it, but as it applies here I think a few things are important to keep in mind before going forward. Luke is thought to represent the Egyptian god "Horus," who was, among other things, the hawk headed [Skywalking] god of the RISING sun. Many occult scholars refer to this "all seeing eye" as the "eye of Horus." It has also been suggested that the "Illuminati" uses this symbol because they ultimately worship Lucifer, which means "light." Is light evil in and of itself? No, but neither is darkness in and of itself. I'm not looking for "right and wrong" in this example, the point for the moment is that there is a very strong connection between the LIGHT references in this film and the LIGHT references within Freemasonic Illuminism. The square and compass embedded twice within the poster doesn't exactly DETRACT from this assumption.

As we have already established above, Luke's head forms the upper point of a square and compass hidden within the poster. But why does the upper tip of this triangle come to a point above the poster? Because his head represents a TRUNCATED PYRAMID [or a trapezoid], just like the one pictured in the "Eye of Providence" symbol [the truncated pyramid is the section BELOW the eye]. The "missing point" is supposed to represent the invisible "all seeing eye of god." [Lucifer/Light] The best way to grasp this is to think of it in an extremely literal manner. The space above the poster is EMPTY. In order to complete the pyramid, we must use our imagination to add the tip/eye back (using our inner eye). It is your inner divine "SPARK of light" which renders this eye visible, if you will. This is why the EYE is always pictured slightly above the lower truncated pyramid. It is part of the whole structure, but a separation between the Eye and the rest of the structure is an important part of the symbolism, and represents the dark space separating the profane man from divinity, which is often thought as being physically invisible.

Luke means "light." The stars are "Skywalkers." The word illumination has at least 2 meanings. One means literally "to shed light upon," but another means to "impart or reveal knowledge." One can be seen with the physical eye, one can only be seen with the inner eye of knowing. "As within, so without." The rays of light surrounding the eye of providence represent the same "rays of light" which form a King's crown, worn upon his head. This symbolizes a King's divine right to rule. Similarly, the "invisible eye" sits upon Luke's head, in empty space. The eye also rests about where Luke's "3rd eye" might theoretically be located. So this idea of Luke's head being not just the upper part of a square and compass, but an actual "Eye of Providence" is enforced on several levels, and is also reflected at the bottom of the poster.

As pointed out earlier, this ship [pictured above] forms the lower triangle completing the larger square and compass shape of which Luke's head forms the upper triangle, so we know that it is a triangle pointing downwards. But again, this lower triangle also seems to have the "point" deliberately cut off. This time it is not the border of the poster which "cuts off" the point, but the ship itself which forms the truncated pyramid. What are the chances of a truncated pyramid being reflected at the top and the bottom of a poster with such a perfect vertical alignment? This lower pyramid is formed within metaphorical HELL, represented by the color red and the fact that it is at the bottom of the poster. [where is hell supposed to be? Down below, in the fire] This First Order ship represents "the Dark side," so we have the idea of "as above, so below" reinforced again - this being the "below" part of that phrase.

Finally, take a look at the letter "A" in the Star Wars logo. Not only is it yet another truncated pyramid, but its invisible tip touches the invisible tip of the one just above it! I'm not suggesting that the letter A in the Star Wars logo was originally meant to represent a truncated pyramid. But I am suggesting this poster design was organized in such a manner as to suggest viewing this letter A as a truncated pyramid. The placement of an upside down truncated pyramid just above it is what gives this away.

Other recent films are playing around with these same symbols. You may recall the above image from my blog on "War for the Planet of the Apes" occult symbolism. I go into detail there regarding this image, but it isn't very hard to see that clearly behind the chimp man we see an "A" representing a truncated pyramid, who's tip is "cut off" by the top of the poster, the same way it was done in "The Last Jedi" poster above. That film has a more racial undertone, whereas this one is more of a sexual, magical nature. But the powerful occult intelligence behind both films becomes obvious to anyone who looks closely enough. The creators of these films know that, like the lion in the circus, WE will become overwhelmed with the abundance of symbols and generally only acknowledge the easiest element to grasp in the film, which tends to be the surface plot.

THE FORCE = LIBIDO?

One very interesting aspect of "The Last Jedi" is the incessant sexual undertones everywhere in the film. I'd like to attribute some of the more clever instances of this to Rian Johnson, but early on in the film "comedy" crosses a line and gets into disturbing territory, so I can only assume a profoundly dirty mind is at work here - clearly beyond the bounds of entertainment and entering the realm of WTF? I realize I run the risk of seeming to "have a dirty mind" by pointing these things out, but I believe this is how the film hides its "dirty secrets" if you will. If one points these things out then people will say "you have a dirty mind!" But that isn't a fair judgement if the symbolism is legitimately there in the film, and one is simply calling it out. If it is there, why pretend it isn't? Obviously someone wanted the public to see it, or it would not have been put there!

"I'm holding for general hugs." [Poe Dameron to General Hux]

This starts out as a really funny scene placed early in the film. Hux, who we have come to know as the "Nazi guy" from "The Force Awakens" immediately gets mocked for being too serious by Poe Dameron's absurd statement that he is "holding for General Hugs." By changing the word HUX to HUGS, he's playing with words and adding a subtle homosexual element to the scene. He's basically saying, "I am waiting for a hug from Hux." Of course, Hux gets very angry at this and is told "I think he is tooling with you, sir" by one of his crew members. A "tool" is a euphemism for a "penis," so this merely augments the homosexual charged humor. Poe follows up by making a joke about Hux's mother. Let's stop there and skip forward to the moment where the Resistance has just jumped hyperspace and blew up the First Order's Dreadnaut. Hux is told that Supreme Leader Snoke wishes to speak to him. At this point, we figure Hux is in DEEP SHIT for losing a Dreadnaut and allowing much of the Resistance to escape. As Hux departs to speak with Snoke, he says:

"Excellent, I'll....take it in my chambers."

What he is saying metaphorically is, "I'll take it in the ass since we screwed up and I am responsible." Look at the image still above. That is the face and the body language of a man being RAPED. Here is what Snoke says at that exact moment:

"My disappointment with your performance cannot be overstated."

Snoke is metaphorically raping Hux for screwing up and telling him he "performed" badly. When someone asks, "how did I perform last night in bed?" What they mean is, "how was my SEXUAL performance?" Snoke is saying that HUX is a "bad lay." I suggested that SNOKE is a reference to SNAKE in a previous blog. A snake as a symbol is phallic, so this seems to fit with this scene. Hux then says "they can't get away, we have them tied on the edge of a string." This word STRING is the last thing Hux says before the film switches to the next scene.

When Hux tells Snoke that "we have them tied on the edge of a string," this is a very metaphorically charged moment. In the first sense, he is referencing the fact that they are tracking the Resistance through hyperspace [metaphor #1]. More literally, it connects one scene to the next [metaphor #2]

We then see a ship speeding through hyperspace, which Finn is inside of. If you picture a string trailing behind this ship as it speeds through hyperspace, it kind of resembles a sperm cell rushing through a fallopian tube [metaphor #3]. The very next thing we see is some symbols projected onto Finn's holding capsule. We don't really see the symbol long enough to contemplate it much, but it is a line inside a 3D circle, which has a hole in it [I circled the line in the above image] . The line represents the ship moving through hyperspace [in the shape of a line/stretched out string - metaphor #4]. The 3D circle represents outer space, in which the ship/sperm cell is moving, but also the female womb. The hole in the womb is where the sperm cell/phallus/line got in. Also, recall that the Resistance went into hyperspace immediately after the giant explosion [big bang/orgasm] of the First Order dreadnout ship. So really, all of the ships going into hyperspace can be symbolically seen as little sperm cells which "shot out" after the giant explosion, which was caused by BLACK BALLS [bombs] being dropped upon a ship [ships are female], even though no gravity exists in space! After a brief shot of this symbol on Finn's capsule, The camera then scrolls down and we see Finn immersed in a fluid sack, sleeping like an infant. He awakens violently and stumbles around like a baby learning to walk as fluid from his "body sack" sprays all over the place. Chords/strings trail behind him and stick out all over his body.

"Finn naked? Leaking bag? What?" [Poe to BB-8 as Finn appears]

The quote above at first seems like nothing more than another pointless jab of comedy relief during this extremely confusing and unflattering re-introduction of Finn into the film series. But the reason for this quote is to make it clear that Finn is naked. It's there to enforce the "birth" metaphor. The "fluid bag" represents the fluid surrounding a baby inside its mother's womb. Once the mother's "water breaks," this means the baby is coming out. The umbilical chord is what feeds him and is also the last thing that keeps a baby attached to its mother until it is cut. So there's another "string" metaphor to ponder. Finn was "born into" the First Order. He then "cut his ties" as we saw in "The Force Awakens." This was when the "Force Awoke" inside of Finn [string = umbilical chord].

So let's recap starting where HUX "takes it in his chambers:" Homosexual humor, BLACK BALLS which cause an explosion/orgasm, followed by the metaphorical ejaculation [ships/sperm cells rushing away from the explosion] followed by the metaphorical rape of Hux by Snoke, a symbolic depiction of a womb being penetrated by a phallus [projected onto Finn's capsule], and finally Finn's metaphorical rebirth. Finn is "born again" into the film. As an idiot, apparently. Besides the crudely metaphorical homophobic/birth depiction - this is probably also an intentional mockery of the Christian concept "born again."

As I said already, whoever made this film is far from stupid. They know how gravity works and they know someone without a protective suit can't survive being blasted out into space, even if they do have the flying powers of Mary Poppins. The SYMBOLISM is more important than the story/realism here, as referenced in the earlier quote by George Lucas. With this film, the perceived "flaws" and "comedy" seem to be red flags indicating an important deeper symbolic significance. This is not as unprecedented as it may sound. Stanley Kubrick used a similar technique when he made "The Shining." [see documentary "Room 237."]

REY: Something inside me has always been there. But now its awake..and I'm afraid. I don't know what it is or what to do with it. And I need help. LUKE: You need a teacher.

What is the last thing Rey does in "The Force Awakens?" She hands Luke his lightsaber [penis, phallic symbol.] What is the first thing Luke does in "The Last Jedi?" He throws this phallic symbol over his shoulder. Rey then spends the rest of her time on that island trying to get Luke to USE his PHALLUS [which Luke mockingly refers to as a "laser sword."

There is a reason why I posted the above image twice. Look at Rey's face and look at Luke's face. Luke is behind her. This entire "training scene" is nothing more than Luke ending Rey's virginity, or just having rough sex with her. Read the quote above. She may be talking about "the force," but it also sounds exactly like a virgin talking about her first sexual experience or her first orgasm. Luke then tells her she needs a "teacher" [meaning HIM!] Recall Luke being trained by Yoda. Did Luke say things like this when he was first learning the ways of the force? There was nothing "sexual" about Luke's training. So why is Rey's training so filled with symbolic references to sex? A different mind is at work here.

REY: [gasp] I feel something! LUKE: You feel it? REY: Yes I feel it! LUKE: That's the force! REY: Really? LUKE: Wow, it must be really strong with you! [smack!]

Ok so that feather-like leaf Luke is holding in the above image to tickle Rey's hand? This is a metaphor for "foreplay." As soon as he tickles Rey's hand she IMMEDIATELY gasps, as if he is tickling her vagina. She then says "I felt something!" And Luke says "You feel it?" And they both start acting really excited. This is bad porn movie acting, is what it is. Luke then slaps her hand and she kinda gasps again, not really in pain but the way a woman gasps when you slap her butt or her clitoris and she kind of likes it. This is a sexual metaphor. This entire scene. Luke is having sex with Rey, metaphorically.

Luke means "light," as we stated earlier. Rey sounds like Ray. Ray of light. RE was the supreme Sun God in ancient Egypt. Luke and Rey represent 2 lights which are about to "come together" here. This spot is also the place Luke dies and the last thing he sees is 2 suns. LIGHT + DUALITY + SEX + DEATH. This is ritual sex magic.

REY I'll try again. LUKE: [pushes Rey's hand flat on the ledge with his hand on top of hers] Just...breath...reach out with your feelings...

When Rey says "I'll try again" she's talking about taking Luke's "force/penis" inside of her. Luke then puts his hand on top of hers and presses it down onto the stone "altar" or "meditation slab" and tells her to "just...breath." He's behind her and he is pressing down on her hand. What do you think he is doing behind her at this point? He's not riding behind her piggy back style like Yoda did when he trained Luke!

LUKE: and between it all? [behind Rey] REY: Balance. Energy. A force. LUKE: And inside you? REY: Inside me [grins, breathes as she speaks] that same force. LUKE: And THIS is the lesson!

When Luke asks Rey what she sees "between it all," he's talking about THEIR BODIES. He even asks if "the force" is "inside" her. She acknowledges this: "Inside me." Right after she says "inside me," Luke then says "THIS is the lesson!" The film makers know you'll miss this metaphor even though it is being shoved into your face. It is mocking you. Because you are looking for some GRAND spiritual lesson, not the most obvious and crude instant meaning. If this is all true, Luke is saying that his PENIS/orgasm is "the force." Rey's "lesson" is not about how the Jedi suffered from "vanity" and thought they "owned" the Force or whatever Luke says is the reason the "Jedi need to end," although I am not discounting the importance of that element of his story.

As Luke is "screwing/training Rey," he asks her what she sees. The image above is what she eventually sees. What does it look like? A hole. What kind of hole? Well, it doesn't really look like a vagina hole to me. Let's just call it "a black hole" for now.

REY: [Breathes heavily, gasping, on all fours, slaps hand down on rocks/water] LUKE: [shocked] You went straight to the dark. REY: [breathing heavy] That place was trying to show me something. LUKE: It offered something you needed...and you didn't even try to stop yourself [backs away] REY: I didn't see you. Nothing from you. You've closed yourself off from the force.

As all of this sweating and screaming and gasping is going on, we see a bunch of "sea water" shoot out of this black hole "below the island." The "sea water" represents Semen. Just after this water explodes out of the hole, we see Rey on all fours, slam her hand down on the rock/altar where this "sea fluid" is shooting out. She's sweating and breathing very heavily exactly as if she just had very intense sex. Luke then DEGRADES her: "You didn't even try to stop yourself." Why is he degrading her? Obviously this is all a metaphor for sodomy. He sodomized her and he is now telling her she should be ashamed. "You went straight to the dark...You didn't even try to stop yourself!" He's blaming her for the shameful act he performed upon her. Then Rey criticizes him back: "Nothing from you. You've closed yourself off from the force!" If "the Force" is being represented by "sodomy" here, it means when Rey is telling Luke he "closed himself off" what she really means is that he stopped taking it in the ass! At this point, Rey is teaching Luke, not the other way around. Rey is encouraging Luke to get back into sodomy!

Luke then says:

LUKE: I've seen this raw strength only once before. In Ben Solo.

SNOKE: When I found you, I saw what all masters live to see...raw, untamed power. And beyond that, something truly special. The potential of your bloodline.

Rey is a strong woman who had to fight and earn her own living from a very young age. Romance doesn't seem to be a concept she has had much interest in so far. You could say she is a "Tomboy." We haven't really gotten a clear sense of where she stands "sexually." I'm not saying this means she is a lesbian, I am saying she is presented as somewhat NON-sexual. [In fact, if you pay close attention, you will notice many ASEXUAL minor characters in this film, some who's sex is difficult to determine] Take note of the fact that Rey's hair is tied back and she looks a little bit like a young boy in the above scene when viewed from the front. Her petite build encourages this from certain angles. If this whole scene was a metaphor for sodomy, it means the reason Ben Solo turned to the "Dark Side" is because his teacher, Luke Skywalker, raped him. I mentioned in my last blog that Kylo Ren displayed traits of one who was ritually abused. This is the first place where "The Last Jedi" confirms this, or at least hints heavily at it. I just didn't think Luke would be one of his abusers! This explains the real reason Luke is in hiding as well. To be clear, I am not stating this all occurs in the film, but I am stating that this is what is symbolically represented in the film.

In the comment by Snoke to Ren where he degrades and shames him, we get a similar tone of what Luke said, speaking about the "raw strength" they both saw in him. By this they mean an attractive "sexual" force. This is followed by one of Kylo's famous "violent fits of anger" where he actually destroys his helmet against the side of the elevator. Snoke also references Kylo's [presumably royal] bloodline as a point of significance. As I said in an earlier blog - this is how serial killers, mass shooters, and twisted politicians can be deliberately created in the REAL world. Right here with Kylo Ren. And the audience is being tempted to identify with him. It's pretty sick actually, what Disney did to this film series.

KYLO: [to Rey] Did he tell you what happened that night?

LUKE: I saw darkness....I looked inside and it was beyond what I could ever imagine...for the briefest moment of pure instinct I thought I could stop it. It past like a fleeting shadow, and I was left with shame...and the last thing I saw were the eyes of a frightened boy who's master had failed him.

The first picture above shows Luke's hand reaching to grab Kylo Ren as he sleeps. You can call this a metaphor, but it's plain enough what this represents. Luke intended to violate Ben Solo as he slept. We then see Ben sleeping and the light from Luke's saber reflects upon his face. We see a look of pure evil in Luke's eyes and we see the look of a scared child in Ben's eyes, who knows exactly what his abuser's intent is. Then we see Luke holding his lightsaber with both hands, the hilt exactly where his crotch is. If you recall earlier, I mentioned that the lightsaber is a "phallic symbol of light/will." This is Luke's penis, and it is erect. He is staring at Ben and we know what his intentions are. As Ben defends himself, we see the two "phallic symbols of light" [lightsabers] clash to form a cross. So now we have religion subtly brought into the scene. Luke himself calls the Jedi a "religion" in this film. This makes him a former representative of a religious order, attempting to abuse one of his young apprentices. I spoke of anti religious symbolism in my blog on "the Force Awakens," and we see it continuing here - depicting Luke as a "pedophile priest." This is why Kylo Ren's lightsaber is an inverted cross. Because he was raped by a priest [his uncle] of the religion he grew up with. The Jedi Religion is a metaphor for Christianity or Catholicism, or probably all religions in general. The Christian cross just happens to be the most well known religious symbol. So if you have to pick one symbol to mock all religions, I'd imagine the cross would be a good starting point. There is more to this, which we will discuss shortly.

When Kylo [Ben Solo] asks Rey if Luke told her what happened "that night," this has a very obvious "sexual abuse confession" undertone. This is why Rey listens to him and this is why she attacks Luke. Because she believes Kylo Ren. I mean Adam Driver's delivery here is chilling - you almost feel like he isn't even acting. I felt that even before I discovered all this symbolism. It's all the more heavy when you know what is REALLY going on symbolically. When Luke recounts the same event, he says "I saw Darkness." Hes not talking about the "darkness" in Ben Solo [except for maybe in a very literal "black hole" sort of way], he's talking about the "darkness" within himself. The compulsion within him to rape. Luke says "I thought I could stop it." He's not talking about Ben's "dark tendencies," he's talking about his OWN urge to rape. Luke then says the urge subsided and he was "left with shame." This shame he felt was the shame of knowing he almost went through with this sexual act. He then refers to Ben as a "frightened boy." Look at the expression on Ben's face above. That's not the look of fear for his life, its the look of fear of being violated sexually by his master. So now we have the idea of pedophilia being suggested. This entire scene is not what it seems on the surface. It's a thinly disguised metaphor for a teacher molesting a student. A priest molesting a choir boy. An uncle molesting his nephew. This is somewhat reminiscent of what Ben Kenobi says to Luke in "The Return of the Jedi. "Your father was seduced by the dark side of the force and became Darth Vader." The word "seduce" has a sexual undertone. Ben Solo is the grandson of Darth Vader. Ben Solo gets "seduced" by "the light" in the form of Luke. Then he probably gets seduced by the dark as well [in the form of Snoke] This is why he becomes "Kylo Ren" and eventually decides to kill EVERYONE. Deep down, most of us have felt a sort of "pity" for Kylo Ren. As if we sense that there must be a logical reason justifying his behavior. We've just seen what that reason is.

DJ: If the price is right I can break you into old man Snoke's boudoir.

"DJ" is the character played by Benecio Del Toro. He is the codebreaker that helps Rose and Finn breach the First Order shield barrier, just before betraying them. He doesn't have very many lines in the film, but most of the lines he has are very cryptic and loaded with suggestion. In the above he calls Snoke an "old man" and refers to his "boudoir." What is a boudoir? According to Webster's Dictionary, "a woman's dressing room, bedroom, or private sitting room" Now if you think I am just imagining this whole "homosexual theme" in this film, here we have DJ talking about Snoke's FEMALE bedroom. Look at the above image. Snoke is wearing a DRESS. DJ is saying that Snoke is an old gay cross dressing pervert! In the scene above, he is degrading Kylo Ren. Look at his face. That is a young man who has been terribly abused, and now we are seeing how Snoke does this to manipulate him, and has for a very long time apparently. Immediately after this scene, Kylo Ren [who has already killed his father] goes out and tries to kill HIS MOTHER, but can't do it. Snoke tells him his greatest weakness is the fact that he felt bad about killing his father. This is basically what Kylo tells Rey later in the film, that her greatest weakness is her attachment to her parents. So we have abuse by an "old pervert," followed by Kylo Ren [the abused] trying to kill his parents and then telling others to do so. Obviously Kylo Ren was "trained" to respond this way through regular ritual/sexual abuse. First he was "abused" by the light side [Luke] now we see him abused by the dark side [Snoke.]

So if the "Black Hole" that Rey sees in a vision as she is metaphorically sodomized represents "the dark side," what explains her experience when she went down into the hole? Obviously, this hole looks kind of like an open anus. But the rim also appears to be composed of plant matter of some kind, or roots. This is a little bit how the under side of a tree might look, after being torn out. Higher on this island is where the Jedi Temple Tree sat. Notice how the Jedi Temple Tree was dry and dead looking, while this "black hole" feels strangely alive with roots of a dark tree we cannot see. So this hole can also be viewed as the "reverse" of the Tree of light. Rather than growing toward the light of day, it is upside down, and grows towards the darkness within the earth.

This corresponds very closely to the concept of the "Typhonian Tradition" or the "Tunnels of Typhon," of which Crowley was heavily associated with. It has to do with the warping of practical Kabballah, which is an ancient Jewish mystical science involving the process of balancing lifeforce energy into perfect union or "one-ness." The concept of the "Typhonian Tradition" is a REVERSAL of this Tree of Life. Rather than ONE-ness, it strives for perfect DUALITY. In other words, perpetual resistance. Perpetual friction. Perpetual division. This "tree" is depicted as growing underground, rather than above ground. And what does Rey find when she goes down there? She asks the dark forces to show her her parents. She then sees an image of two shadows, which eventually come together to form her own reflection. The two shadows represent duality, her own ego split into two halves. In this sense, she represents "Lilith," who is specifically depicted at the lower level of this "reverse Kabbalistic Tree." in place of Malkuth, or the Earth Mother. "Lilith (/ˈlɪlɪθ/; Hebrew: לִילִית‎ Lîlîṯ) is a figure in Jewish mythology, developed earliest in the Babylonian Talmud (3rd to 5th centuries). Lilith is often envisioned as a dangerous demon of the night, who is sexually wanton, and who steals babies in the darkness." She is associated with abortion and death at birth.

In my blog on "The Force Awakens" I mentioned the anti christian symbolism represented by Kylo Ren's red light saber, which is an upside down cross when held upright. These films are being released in December, just before Christmas. Is this being done for some symbolic reason? "The Last Jedi" was supposed to be released earlier, but got delayed. Was that just an excuse so that people wouldn't wonder why these films keep getting released close to the most important Christian holiday? This "inverted crucifix" can also represents the inverted tree which Rey explores in the previous section. This is why Kylo and Rey have such a deep and dark spiritual connection in the film. Are they part of the same dark ritual sex magic that is being called "the Force" in this film?

LUKE: "The original Jedi texts. Just like me, they are the last of the religion..."

KYLO REN: "Did you come back to forgive me? To save my soul?"

Although the Jedi have been called a religion in previous episodes, it is done sparingly. But here Luke really exaggerates the point by referring to the texts of the Jedi, in this Sacred Temple made from a tree. If the Jedi are a "religion," then these texts must be that religion's bibles. The Tree might as well be a Church. It's hard to escape this symbolism because it is so literally referenced. Also, there were some terrible brush fires which occurred in California during the months before this film was released, so the sight of a burning tree mixed with burning holy books is a symbolic representation that I think is coincidentally traumatic to Californians particularly.

The quote above by Kylo Ren is directed at Luke, when Kylo is met with Luke's "Force Ghost" on the planet Crait. Kylo says "did you come back to forgive me? To save my soul? " in a mocking tone. The reference to Jesus is pretty obvious there, not to mention all the Horus/Sun symbolism already associated with Luke, who tells Ren "No" in a dismissive tone, subtly acknowledging the insulting comparison to "The Savior." Luke then proceeds to martyr himself in order to save the last of the Rebellion. And although he doesn't "die upon a cross," he dies shortly after Kylo Ren passes his inverted cross/weapon through Luke's "Force ghost" several times. If we combine the idea of Kylo's inverted cross with Luke's "martyr/Jesus/horus" symbolism , we get a reversed crucifixion - corresponding again to the "reversed dark tree of life" on the island. The last thing Luke sees is 2 suns in the sky. 2 lights, perfect duality. This is brilliant and profound use of metaphor, but just slithering with hidden motives nobody will address!

If you've seen the 80s film 2010 [sequel to Stanley Kubrick's 2001], that film ends with Jupiter becoming a 2nd sun [originally, this planet was supposed to be Saturn, as it was in the 2001 novel] This 2nd sun is called "Lucifer" in the Arthur C Clark book. This is not stated in the film, it's only in the book. So this idea of light, duality, and Lucifer is not limited to 1 or even a few films, or even the film medium.

LUKE: "I'm ending all of this. The tree, the texts, the Jedi. I'm gonna burn it down." YODA: [lights tree with bolt, laughs] "Time it is...for you to look past a pile of old books...page turners, they were not."

Luke has decided to "end the Jedi religion," but hesitates just before lighting the tree/temple on fire. Yoda then appears, strikes the tree with a lightning bolt, then laughs playfully as it burns. Yoda then sarcastically says "time is for you to look past a pile of old books."

KYLO REN [to Rey]: "It's time to let old things die."

So here we have Yoda and Kylo Ren saying something similar. "Let the past die." "Just burn the old teachings and manuals and bibles and start over." This film is speaking to the young and impressionable. Its telling them not to read history and not to pay attention to whatever traditions, be they religious or cultural, that are being passed down to them. They are also being sent the message that their elders are child molesters, divided about their beliefs, and unsure of their sexuality. It's telling them "just forget all that crap." It is speaking to them as if they are ORPHANS in a world without reliable guidance. In fact it even suggests "killing/destroying" the past and anyone associated with it. Why? Obviously because this film wants to teach these youths something NEW. And by youths I don't just mean the kid down the street - this film is targeting youths in 3rd world countries [more on this later]

The symbolic gesture of "burning holy books" is a powerful metaphor which has been used throughout history to defy a specific religion. All religions have their holy books. The bible, the Qur'an, the Sefer Yetsira, and so on. Think of the burning of the Library of Alexandria. Or to bring things into a more modern context, imagine if all of Google's servers were destroyed at once. Facebook's servers. Imagine if the IRS computer database was completely destroyed. I'm not asking you to decide if that is "good" or not, I'm just trying to illustrate the destruction being demonstrated metaphorically in this film. I am not religious, so this is not a personal knee jerk reaction, but it's a valid question: Why does Star Wars hate religion so much all of a sudden? The reason is that this film is propaganda being used to introduce a NEW RELIGION. But before you can do that, you have to destroy the attachment people, youths, have to the old religions and the teachers of them.

"the crudest part of that in terms of the religious/spiritual thing is some people have taken those ideas and distorted them and you end up in a cult where they're using the psychological tools to make you adhere to their society. And part of it is they have to keep it closed...." - George Lucas

In the above quote, George Lucas is referring to the power that creators of blockbuster films such as these have over society, through their ability to influence the minds of millions of people. As an artist, the challenge is to resist using that power at the expense of "artistry," and to continue to pursue one's own vision, whether it be profitable or not. But what has happened is huge entities such as Disney have taken the power away from "the artist" and made sure that THEY have the strongest voice in these films, so that the "correct" message is sent out into society and the highest profit is returned. Rian Johnson didn't "make" this film, the Freemasonic "Illuminists" who own Disney did. That is why they implant their signature into the posters.

The character of Rose seems intentionally made to be awkward on a number of levels. She looks exceedingly homely, unsexual, and almost like an Asian immigrant sweatshop worker from the 50s - but speaks with a contemporary American accent. Her acting is spot on, for what it is. The problem is her character just isn't that interesting at all. The forced chemistry between her and Finn borders on gross - as illustrated by Finn's expression in the scene where they kiss. Who's going to look for anything deep within her character when all anyone is doing is going on and on about how annoying and lame her role is?? This is exactly why one of the deeper occult symbols in the film is right there embedded within her name.

The 18° degree of the Scottish Rite [Freemasonic Order] is called the Knight Rose Cross. Above you will see the cross, the word INRI, a rose embedded within the cross, a crown, a pelican bleeding for its young...The colorful Rose Cross is on the back of every Tarot card of the Crowley deck, at least the one I own. Crowley was said to have 5 or so pages of Masonic titles. Notice the RED, WHITE, and GOLD everywhere. But what I really want to point out here is the colorful, iconic representation of the rose on the cross. Does it look like a rose we'd see in nature? Obviously not, but that is what it represents metaphorically. Now look at this:

This is what identifies the "Master Codebreaker" to Rose and Finn when they go looking for him in the Casino. Is it fair to say this COULD represent a metaphorical rose given what we saw above? Who initiates the SECRET MISSION to Canto Bight? Actually, it's Rose. After Rose has her "fan girl" moment with Finn, and after "enlightening" him [sending an electric bolt through his body - there's that LIGHT again] because she thinks he is deserting the ship, he tells her why he needs to leave and about the "string" which the First Order has tied to the Resistance ships. Rose, using her obvious mental faculty for technical engineering, then states that they could only be tracking the Resistance from one ship, which is the lead one. Rose's voice gets louder, as if a LIGHT just went on in her mind. The same LIGHT then goes off in Finn's head, triggered by what Rose just said, and he then starts acting as if he came up with it to Poe, but is interrupted several times by Rose, who obviously thought of it first. So the "secret mission" is initiated by ROSE and is kept "sub rosa."

"The Latin phrase sub rosa means "under the rose", and is used in English to denote secrecy or confidentiality, similar to the Chatham House Rule. The rose as a symbol of secrecy has an ancient history" - Wikipedia

After a conversation with Maz Kanata, the secret mission is planned. They will fly down to Canto Bight and locate the Master Codebreaker, who's identifying feature is some sort of red bloom on his lapel. Now I've watched this film way too many times, and I still cannot make out what in the hell that "bloom" on Master Codebreaker's suit is called. You can probably read it in the "closed captions" if you have the DVD, but regardless of what it might say, they seem to be calling it a "plahmbloom." That is not a word, it's probably more "babble" indicating that a "secret" or "easter egg" is hiding under the nonsense. Are you beginning to see how this film hides things behind elements which seem to be either pointless, or blatant flaws on the surface?

Well what do we have here? If you blow up the "plahmbloom" Maz Kanata shows to Finn, Rose, and Poe - it has a RED CROSS of Malta embedded right in the middle of it! I don't want to spend too much time on the RED CROSS because you can look this up on your own, but for now let's just say that for starters, Kylo Ren's lightsaber is a RED CROSS. Although his seems to be an inverted "Latin Cross," The Knights Templars wore a "red cross of malta" symbol on their shields and banners. We are told Christopher Columbus also flew a red cross upon one of his ship's banners. There happens to be a very old Freemasonic Order called the Masonic and Military Order of the Red Cross of Constantine and the Appendant Orders of the Holy Sepulchre and of St John the Evangelist. Since Freemasonic symbolism is embedded within "the Last Jedi" poster, AND Kylo Ren's weapon is a RED CROSS, I figure this film is trying to tell us something about Freemasonic Red Crosses.

There is also an old Fraternal order called the Rosicrucians, of which Benjamin Franklin, Francis Bacon, Isaac Newton, Crowley, and countless other historically important individuals were members of. The word "Rosicrucian" is a combination of ROSE and CROSS. "The Rose Cross is said to be a cross with a red, golden or white rose at its centre and symbolizes the teachings of a western esoteric tradition formed within the [somewhat] Christian tenets."

The above is from a pictorial dictionary based upon "The Last Jedi." Notice how natural Master Codebreaker's pose is. But notice also how he is hiding the Red "Plahmbloom" on his lapel. Now why would such a prominent symbol in the film, one which is supposed to IDENTIFY this man, be concealed in this pictorial dictionary? Because everything about him is to be kept "sub Rosa" or SECRET. And it remains that way for the duration of this characters brief and seemingly pointless appearance. In fact, we are never quite sure if he even is THE Master codebreaker, because Finn and Rose meet another one down in the jail cell. A guy who also has a secret identity that the film never explains! Forget about the symbols for a moment, and you still have layers upon layers of secrecy here for no apparent reason! That is why Master Codebreaker's facial expressions are so charged with ironic humor. He knows you don't get it, and he thinks its amusing. He's ultimately a symbol of the secrecy within the film. Let's look at HIS name.

The title "Master Codebreaker" represents the gatekeeper of the occult symbols and themes encoded within this film. In other words, if you can break through the metaphorical "shield" hiding the occult symbols here, you become the "Master Codebreaker." And who does the Master Codebreaker hang out with?


[Mr Penis Head makes an appearance here, 3rd from the right, his hair representing semen dripping down]

"The movie business is exactly like professional gambling, except you [the studio] hire the gambler [director]...you give him 100 million dollars and you say "go to the tables, and come back with 500 million dollars." That is a risk...They say "well maybe if we told him that he couldn't bet on red"...so they try and minimize their risk..." - George Lucas

Many people have commented on the "pointlessness" of this entire Canto Bight scene, and plenty of people have theorized that these gamblers represent "the Illuminati." In fact, the film itself almost directly confirms this.

ROSE: ...and who do you think THESE people are? [gamblers] There's only one business in the galaxy that will get you this rich. FINN: War. ROSE: Selling weapons to the first order.

DJ: This guy is an arms dealer. Made his bank selling weapons to the bad guys. Oh! And the good. Finn, lemme learn ya something big. It's all a machine partner. Live free, don't join.

The film goes out of its way to make it clear that these rich gamblers make their money from Wars. In fact, DJ discovers that at least one of these people, the one who's ship he stole, is selling weapons to the First Order AND the Resistance. Who funds both sides of a war in the REAL world? The only ones who can, the bankers. The Rothschilds, the Rockefellers, the Morgans, the Warbergs. Who are these people, if not the elite 1% inhabiting that little triangle floating above the truncated pyramid in "The Eye of Providence?" These gamblers are the "controllers of society" and they aren't even really being presented in metaphor, other than the ghoulish/otherworldly Star Wars facade. I'm sure I am not the only person who watched this scene and got a little bit of the feeling from "Eyes Wide Shut," with the creepy masks and the stark red and white colors everywhere [Stanley Kubrick died just before completing the final edit of "Eyes Wide Shut." He died exactly 666 days before the year 2001. Some think he was murdered because he was intending to reveal Illuminati secrets in the final edit of the film, which he never completed]. There is a subtle feeling of something very wicked floating in the air. That maybe these people represent the individuals behind the film. Mocking you ultimately in the form of "Master Codebreaker." Again, this is all subtly contained "under the rose."

When we meet D.J.,he is sleeping in a prison cell, where Finn and Rose are thrown for parking in the wrong place. D.J. ends up being a code breaker too. So although we sorta think the guy upstairs gambling with the rich people is "THE" Master Codebreaker, we get a little bit of a mixed message here as to who the "real" codebreaker is. As I mentioned earlier, the real code breaker here is the person who can "crack the code" of the symbolism within this film, and the "game of life" in general. D.J. actually directly addresses this in the film: "It's all a machine partner." He's got it all figured out. The difference is, he's in jail and the other "code breaker" is playing upstairs with the elites. The guy upstairs knows what is going on but keeps it "sub rosa." Therefore, he's playing the game with the elites in society. D.J. doesn't have any allegiance to anyone, so he doesn't get to play with the elites, he gets thrown in jail. So if YOU have it all figured out and you don't keep it "sub rosa," then YOU will get imprisoned. This is why the film gives us 2 code breakers to choose from, should you "figure it all out." So what does this say about everyone else in the world? Blindly serving the interests of the elites, mostly without being aware.

In the above image, D.J. says "Don't let the wrapper fool you friend" as he makes this hand gesture. He says this to Finn because he just dismissed him as a "pickpocket." This statement of DJs is a parable. In the first sense, he's talking about his appearance. He looks like a homeless man who got thrown into jail for some petty crime or public drunkedness. So he's referring to his appearance as "a wrapper." D.J. also has a somewhat clever and oddly rhythmic way of speaking, despite his exaggerated stutter. [Benicio Del Toro, the actor, is known for using unique accents although he speaks perfect English] He's constantly speaking in "deeper truths," parables, and double meanings - but always delivered in a subtle street wise sorta tone. You might say he "raps." And who is every Rapper's right hand man? The DJ [Disc Jockey] So when he says "don't let the rapper fool you" he could also be warning Finn and Rose not to trust him. DJ betrays Finn and Rose later, which results in the taking down of Resistance escape ships by the First Order while they are fleeing to Crait.

DJ is pointing at Finn in this scene because Finn was the one who just accused him of being a petty thief. So he could also be calling FINN a "rapper." Finn is obviously black and uses an American accent [actor John Boyega is actually from England, his accent in the film is fake] Rap was more or less created in black American urban areas. So this statement can also be a racial pun directed at Finn, who is technically a traitor who abandoned the First Order. By "don't trust the rapper" he could be saying in parable "don't trust the black guy." [If you think that is offensive, check out my blog on "War for the Planet of the Apes."]

Later, when the 3 are escaping Canto Bight in the ship DJ stole, he says "Finn, lemme learn you something big. It's all a machine partner. Live free, don't join." Again, he's offering free advice to Finn in subtle street talk, a slight hint of ebonics thrown in. This is where his name supposedly comes from [D.J. = Don't Join] The message is, "abandon alliances/morality the minute it suits you," which is exactly what DJ does. How bout these positive messages coming from this ethnically/sexually diverse cast?

In every corner of the galaxy, the downtrodden know our symbol - and they put their hope in it... - Admiral Holdo

"My sister and I grew up in a poor mining system. The First Order stripped out ore to finance their military, then shelled us to test their weapons" - Rose

Kylo Ren: Do you wanna know the truth about your parents? You know the truth. Say it...REY: They were nobody. KYLO: They were filthy junk traders. Sold you off for drinking money. They're dead in a pauper's grave in the Jakku desert. You have no place in this story, you come from nothing. You're nothing...but not to me."

Above are quotes throughout the film referencing abused, exploited, orphaned, 3rd world children and the oppressed in general. These messages are coming from several very different characters on both sides of "the force." Combine this imagery with the anti Christian/anti religious themes and symbols. Now mix in a whole lot of LIGHT worship and the concept of "hope" in the form of a secular symbol [the Resistance symbol in this case]. Let's not forget sex and magic [the force seems to be "sex magic" in this film particularly.] The film ends with a 3rd world slave child wearing the symbol of The Resistance on his finger as if it is a talisman of power as he stares up at a light flash in the sky [depicted by a ship going into hyperspace]. This film is one giant piece of propaganda to recruit the young, from all over the world, into the Illuminati's ideal future society. It is saying "Behold! Everyone has failed you, look at the bombings! Look at the abuse! the mass shootings! Look at the environment! Your old religions have failed you! The framework of morality has failed! But reach out to this new LIGHT and you will find a "new hope" and a new god! In this symbol, you will triumph!" YOU are the spark that will ignite the dawning of the new golden age of Lucifer!"

Freemasonic Lodges do not advertise. In order to be recruited YOU are supposed to initiate contact. Thus, Freemasonic membership is said to have declined substantially over the years as the old die and youths have an increasing number of distractions from generation to generation. So by glorifying "Illuminism" covertly in the media, Freemasonry is presented as something "cool" and "sexy" and "hip." The increase of occult masonic imagery and themes found in music videos, mainstream films, books, and TV shows are tools by which to condition society to accept, and even desire, the New World Order described by Adam Weishaupt, who established the Bavarian Illuminati on May 1st 1776. [see Weishaupt's own writings, the work of Manly P Hall, Albert Pike, and Jordan Maxwell for more on this subject]

"The final scene on the planet Crait features some striking imagery that I recall being impressed with while viewing previews of this film. Where could they possibly be and why those colors? Again, white and red, in stark contrast, stirring our imagination. But why these colors? Why a mineral planet with red salt? Why are these ships stirring the earth in this way to leave red streaks behind them? Seems to be on the verge of visual art on the level of Lucas' original college art films." - Production designer Rick Heinrichs [ascmag.com]

the RED KING and the WHITE QUEEN

The union of Red King and White Queen is often called the chemical marriage. In illustrations, it is depicted as courtship and sex. Sometimes they are garbed, as if they have just been brought together, offering each other flowers. Sometimes they are naked, preparing to consummate their marriage which will eventually lead to an allegorical offspring, the Rebis [the end product of the alchemical magnum opus or great work.]

The Red King is sulfur-- the active, volatile and fiery principle, while the White Queen is mercury--the material, passive, fixed principle. Mercury has substance, but is has no definitive form on its own. It needs an active principle to shape it. - Thoughtco.com

This scene on the planet Crait is so loaded with occult symbolism, I almost have to leave it for another blog entirely. In short, I believe this entire "last stand" scene on Crait is a complex allegory for some form of the Alchemical wedding. [Rosicrucianism, which we brought up earlier, happens to be synonymous with alchemy] This is allegorical when we speak about a "wedding." It's a metaphor for the joining of elements. These can be actual substances merging [such as melting down iron and gold to form a new alloy] or of 2 thoughts - such as passion mixed with anger. So if we are imagining Kylo Ren getting married to Luke's "force ghost" here, that is not the correct way to view this whole thing! It is about the colors, minerals, themes, and concepts symbolized on all levels to accomplish some form of "great work" as the alchemists call it - and is the purpose of all alchemy. Perhaps some day I will come back to this, but for now I'm going to have to leave it here to chew on.

You may be interested in the blog I wrote about Star Wars: THE FORCE AWAKENS

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