Esoteric Hollywood: Sex, Cults and Symbols in Film 
Walterville, Or.: Trine Day, 2016
Part Four brings us “007 and Hitchcock,” and here Dyer is really in his element, given that Ian Fleming was not only connected with intel through MI6, but also, through Crowley’s work with British intel, to the occult.
Dyer rightly notes that whatever value one might find in the Bond figure as a model of chivalry or manhood, the purpose of the Bond Mythos is to provide cover for the grimier world of actual intelligence operations, the dubious value of which has recently been highlighted by the infamous Trump Dossier (prepared, appropriately enough, by a former MI6 operative; did they think they were hiring some kind of rogue Bond rather than a grubby little man in a dirty raincoat?).
Unfortunately, this allows him to spend most of his time discussing real-world affairs supposedly “revealed” in the films, rather than the films themselves. It’s perhaps no surprise that his discussion of the classic Bond era is confined to two of the worst films, Diamonds are Forever  and Moonraker .
The discussion of the former is as lame as the film itself; he even makes the rookie mistake of confusing the Fleming novels with the movies. Thus, discussing the unexplained appearance of a Moon landing set at Blofeld’s HQ, he asks, “Is Fleming implying that the moon mission itself was a psychological operation?” Actually, “Fleming” isn’t hinting at the Moon landing being faked in the movie Diamonds are Forever, since the landing supposedly happened after his death and long after the book was published. 
Moonraker does at least give him a chance to discuss his favorite subject, the elite’s supposed plans to create a Promethean off-world utopia, and the evils therein:
[Drax’s facility is] reminiscent of Eden, and as Drax predictably brags about his plot to 007, we learn he is a radical eugenicist with distinctly dysgenic plans . . .
007 explains . . . that the real plan is . . . a breakaway civilization. Drax intends to become “a new god, whose progeny will all call him the new man, the new creator” through technology as he will re-seed the earth with his offspring, descending from the man-made “heaven” of the Moonraker, Drax’s covert space facility. All these images reflect Genesis – from creation, Adam and Eve, to Noah, with Drax as the representative Promethean/Luciferian figure who intends to use the secrets of nature and ancient mysteries (the Temple and the Genesis account) to become a god siring a genetically modified, superior race of immortal offspring.
But what really interests Dyer here is that fake Moon landing theme, which now gets further expanded:
Moonraker the film represents the second phase of the Operation Paperclip/NASA program that birthed the rocket and “UFO/foo fighter” aerospace technology.
We have the revelation that the real space program is a private one, not the public “government” front institution known as NASA.
In fact, it’s even worse than that:
Much of what we are seeing is a facade, a front plastered before us by Hollywood and mass media, while the real space program has operated privately, in secret, with the subtly revealed intention of creating a breakaway civilization that echoes the predictive programming we see in films like Moonraker or novels such as Atlas Shrugged .
And of course, the façade includes the event of 9/11:
The laughable line that the retard phony terrorists lurking in caves in Afghanistan were the masterminds behind not only the amazingly complex black operation of 9/11, but also the put options and insider trading.
But this is getting ahead of ourselves, into the world of Chapter Nineteen, “Bond Rebooted.” Stepping back a bit, Dyer admits that what first interested him in Fleming’s novels was that:
Back in the 50s and 60s, Ian Fleming was already predicting the transition from the communist threat to the international terrorist threat – something that gave me the indication that Fleming novels are worth a deeper look.
He also emphasizes that in the real world, the Powers that Be have long since ceased to be nation states and now more closely resemble entities like SMERSH or SPECTRE; as always, public cover is provided by projecting your actions on your supposed enemies.
Since Fleming’s day, things have only gotten worse:
The eternal “War on Terror,” as we can see in Fleming’s classic novels, was predicted and planned to replace the Soviet threat. The Cold War allowed for the installation of the global surveillance grid, and now, the script is flipped on the populace – we’re all potential terrorists, and only benevolent Skynet can save us! These classic scams never fail, of course, because the heedless public never catches on.
In reality, the hierarchical pyramid of global government is not a series of goodly nation states seeking to protect the “free world” from dastardly Manichaean dialectical manifestations, but rather is itself is a large interlocking system of crime syndicates. The world government that presently exists is one of covert, hidden rulership by various oligarchs.
Interestingly, the most striking example of predictive programming in the film’s plot is the revelation that global terror is being orchestrated by a single shadowy cabal. This cabal is also intent on bombing nation states behind the facade of radicalism to corral them into the joint intelligence apparatus being erected through the private “space program” of our film’s super villain, Ernst Stavro Blofeld.
This is SPECTRE’s big secret, building the global surveillance Panopticon around staged terror events, instituting a total information grid that will allow for the blackmail of all. Does this sound familiar? Is it possible that tin the real-world globo-terror is also orchestrated precisely for this purpose? That is our thesis.
The link is that the Global Cartel poses as the vanguard of “freedom” while pursuing total surveillance and control, just as the Hermetic tradition promises Promethean freedom while delivering slavery and death.
But all this leaves very little room for discussing the films themselves, and Dyer only fitfully remembers that something is happening on screen that may be of interest. Alas, a lot of good ideas get left behind:
Alchemy comes to the fore in Bond’s failed attempt to “bond” with the feminine. Quantum is the idea of matter or quantity.
[T]he Green Movement itself arose out of the Nazi-eugenics return to so-called “nature,” functioning under the guise of caring for the planet, while actually a corporate front for the control of strategic resources. That is exactly what Dominic Greene does in Quantum of Solace!
There’s also a bravura analysis of the symbolic imagery in Bond’s death and rebirth sequence at the start of Skyfall , where:
We are entering Bond’s subconscious, and sinking with him to the abyss of death. . . . Bond sinks to the ocean floor and is pulled into a black hole, where a blood skull appears, leading to bond shooting his shadow selves. The shots break the glass images indicating the fractured psyche Bond has due to his training, torture and numerous instances of trauma, and the images of pillars signify the deepest recesses and foundations of Bond’s archetypal subconscious . . . The sequence ends with the camera entering Bond’s left eye, or the left-handed path, where we will see more of the traumatic circumstances that have made 007 into the killing machine he is.
And this wonderful find: “Also noteworthy is the room 007 uses to work his mojo on the Mexican beauty before this operation – it just happens to be Room 327 (or 237), which echoes . . . the esoteric themes in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining .” Again, one wishes there were more of this sort of thing, esoteric as it may seem, rather than so much insistence on the “ripped from the headlines” aspects of the films.
In fact, something more like the way Dyer justifies his transition from Bond to Hitchcock, who is “often overlooked in spy culture.” He quotes Michael Minnicino on the connections between the “Hitchcock circles” with the Tavistock Institute and Aldous Huxley, who “would be instrumental in preparing the way for MKUltra and mass social engineering” of the sort SPECTRE is (fictionally?) perpetrating; quoting Minnicino: “It thus becomes clear how Hitchcock’s voyeurism and shock-value would be useful in the realm of psychological operations and propaganda. One need only think of our daily bombardment from the mass media in our ridiculous, perennial ‘war on terror.'”
More to the immediate point, “it was Hitchcock who would be highly influential in the creation of the cinematic icon of 007, particularly the imagery and expressionism found in North by Northwest  . . . [which became] the template for every 007 film”; its “sex-and-setpieces sensibility . . . could not have failed to influence Broccoli and Saltzman.”
The casting of Cary Grant is also a link, since Grant had been both a model for Fleming’s book Bond, as well as an actor considered for the film role. But over and above all that, Cary Grant was himself a British spy in Hollywood.
North by Northwest was also the first film to mention the CIA, and Dyer notes the connection between the spook agency and the ad agencies that serve as the film’s background,  then devotes the rest of his time to the “staged” news created by the agency in the film, and later examples such as Wag the Dog , all involving the now extremely newsworthy topic of “fake news.”
Vertigo  foregrounds these connections to trauma-based mind control, a la MK-Ultra, this time by wealthy elites (as I said, the puppet-masters are somewhat interchangeable). This was new to public awareness, despite Condon’s then-recent novel The Manchurian Candidate . Unlike that novel’s focus on the “brainwashing” of a single individual by the Red Chinese:
Vertigo is . . . a film about the manipulation of beliefs through large-scale staging and hoaxcraft, as we saw in [North by Northwest, and] is also the “master of suspense’s” deeper message about the psychological manipulation that can occur in our own lives, in society, and amongst the elite.
Thus, Madeleine’s dissociative episodes occur at the Presidio, which is known to have conducted mind control work, as well as a redwood grove, suggesting Bohemian Grove. Here, however, unlike the previous chapter, Dyer does pay close attention to the screen, and patterns and motifs begin to emerge, particularly in regard to espionage, mind control, and psychological manipulation.” Unfortunately, as we’ve seen before, Dyer really doesn’t get the Hermetic Tradition that he’s out to expose, so for him the rich pattern of spirals onscreen are uniformly symbols of doom.
The spiral has the significance here of alerting the viewer that we are trapped.
Scotty begins to fall in love with Madeleine, which only sucks him deeper and deeper into the spiral of insanity.
Madeleine appears to be “triggered” into her Carlotta alter when she sees the spirals in the cut redwood.
. . . Vertigo would foreshadow something like Mulholland Drive from the genius David Lynch [where] a young hopeful starlet [is] caught up in an occult spiral.
Dyer does raise an interesting point, that the spiral Scottie is trapped in is an example of what has been elsewhere called a “Batman Gambit,” asking the reasonable question, “Couldn’t a man powerful enough to arrange such a massively intricate manipulation and subterfuge of Scottie also simply hire a hit-man?” The answer is that the occult and/or power elite are just that bad: “The average guy cannot fathom men who live to play chess games with other men’s psyches.”
As Dyer has told us over and over, the Promethean or Faustian quest is just “dumb,” and anyone who falls for it will be ruthlessly eliminated: “The oligarchical plan which is not to heal man, but rather to end man, as the Royal Society openly states.”
As Goldfinger famously says, “No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die.”
The theme of unfathomably sinister and murderous occult business elites allows Dyer then to shift his attention to David Lynch, first with Twin Peaks . Although this is (originally at least) not a movie but a TV series, “Twin Peaks is aptly described as quintessential Lynch,” at least in his earlier period, which focused on “Americana” rather than Hollywood, while it “does share its deeper occult symbology with films like Lost Highway, Mulholland Drive and Inland Empire .” He foregrounds the unique figure of Agent Dale Cooper, who is configured “as both a classic pulp detective figure along the lines of Sam Spade, but also [with] a mystical side from which he will draw Cooper into the psychopsphere.”
Cooper is “more than a clever detective, but rather . . . an other-world traveling shaman.” This links Cooper to other gumshoes we’ve analyzed as shamans, such as Elliot Ness and Mike Hammer. “Cooper’s curiosity and desire for knowledge of the beyond, and in particular the dark side, would lead to his demise,” which links him to Fred Madison in Lost Highway , whose very name, Dyer points out, suggests madness.
Will our obsession with the Hollywood celluloid videodrome and its cousin, the now omnipresent surveillance society, bring us truth, or a descent into madness, depersonalization and dissociation, like Fred?
And so that brings us to Mulholland Drive , where the “story of Hollywood’s dark side” in Lost Highway gets a “new twist” involving occult brainwashing, the Manson murders, and the CIA’s MK-Ultra mind control program. Now the director himself “functions as a kind of shaman,” and the viewer is subjected to a version of the very same mind control techniques that Lynch is exposing, a perspective Dyer also gave to Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut : “Kubrick wants viewers to realize that The Occult Empire reality is run, like a show, by the showmasters behind the veil of the videodrome.”
In the last chapter, Dyer switches gears and returns to the themes, and even the text, of the Introduction, a way of tying the work together that certainly evades the usual “overture” approach, but did leave this elderly reader second-guessing his eyes and going back to confirm that, yes, I have read this part before: “Film noir is a fascinating genre and period as well as its later resurgence in Neo-Noir, including expansion into science fiction with Scott’s Blade Runner , or even surrealism in Lynch.”
Now there’s a book! One wishes Dyer would set aside his ideological preoccupations and devote his considerable talents to something like that.
Dyer’s modus operandi doesn’t lend itself to presenting long-range connections over a vast canvas (unlike someone we know), so the reader is best served by looking for the nuggets of interest that occur in every chapter.
The Kindle presentation is exemplary. There is an Index with hyperlinks to the corresponding pages, a Glossary of outré terms – from Aleatory to Vesica Piscis – and nifty little vignettes inserted on various pages giving biographical and historical details with color illustrations.
Occult Hollywood is an informative, yet frustrating, read. Often, Dyer seems more interested in pursuing and conveying the hidden historical background rather than what’s on the screen itself (Diamonds are Forever, North by Northwest); other times, his analyses are hampered by his inability to take the symbolism seriously as anything other than a seductive cover for a hidden agenda (Vertigo or 2001 ). Yet the information is fascinating and generally unknown (it’s not the sort of stuff Ben Mankowitz talks about on TCM), and when he does analyze the screen, he can be quite perceptive.
In the end, we can best return to the beginning, where the publisher contributes a Foreword with the wonderful title “Somatize a Great Nation.” While the assertion that Dyer “has been a prime mover of the film studies discussion on the Internet” is a bit of forgivable publisher’s hyperbole, he is certainly correct that, “You may not always agree, but his erudite articles invite your thoughts and appreciation.”
1. Again, see Spence, op. cit.
2. For which, see Jef Costello’s upcoming The Importance of James Bond (San Francisco: Counter-Currents, 2017).
3. See Lawrence Murray, “Look at You, You’re the Fake News Now .”
5. I also must note that he incorrectly attributes the phrase “the Fleming Effect,” describing Fleming’s use of well-known brand names and everyday details to support a sense of realism. It was Kingsley Amis who called this “the Fleming effect,” describing it in The James Bond Dossier  (London: Pan Books, 1966, pp. 111-12) as “the imaginative use of information, whereby the pervading fantastic nature of Bond’s world . . . [is] bolted down to some sort of reality, or at least counter-balanced.”
6. “Yep, a rice of super-pipple.” Joel mocking Bela Lugosi’s big speech in MST3k Episode 423, Bride of the Monster .
7. Just a passing reference, but is he suggesting Ayn Rand was “in on it”?
8. “Project every dark, secret, nefarious operation your side is engaged in onto the enemy.”
9. “In my analysis of Casino Royale, I noted . . . the real associations that can be made between LeChiffre’s secret organization and the real cartels that run the show.”
10. Another “ripped from the headlines” point: Bond is essentially a “programmed killer through his ‘00’ status. In On Her Majesty’s  we learn Blofeld is brainwashing young women under the auspices of treating allergies, ultimately plotting to attack England with a bioweapon, and in You Only Live Twice , Bond undergoes a blow to the head that wipes his mind and gives him amnesia. Thus, the ‘mind controlled assassin’ is very much an aspect of the Bond canon.”
11. Perhaps inevitably, the footnote reveals Minnicino to appear to be a LaRouchite.
12. Grant’s chief accomplishment was exposing Errol Flynn as an Axis agent. Dyer uses the modern term “outing,” which is interesting, since his MI6 control was Noel Coward. For more on the wartime Coward, see my “Sir Noël Coward, 1899–1973, Part 1 ” and “Sir Noël Coward, 1899–1973, Part 2 .”
13. Yet more reason for Matthew Weiner to require his staff to view the film before production began on Mad Men . See “The 10 Movies Mad Men Cast & Crew Were Required To Watch ” by Jen Carlson at Gothamist, March 4, 2015. “It is worth noting that Cary Grant is playing an Adman named Roger, who is forced to assume another man’s identity.”
14. “This is a motion picture,” as Crow says during a talky scene in MST3k, Episode 601, The Dead Talk Back .
15. See my “A Pattern Begins to Emerge: Thoughts on Rod Serling’s Patterns .”
17. Speaking of Batman Gambits, Dyers bluntly states that, “In reality, Project Blue Book was a cover story for advanced technological testing of aircraft.” For an alternate view, from someone one the inside rather than someone running a conspiracy Website, see Jorjani’s discussion of the conclusions offered by Jacques Vallee; Prometheus and Atlas  (London: Arktos, 2016), Chapter Twelve,”Mercurial Hermeneutics.”
18. Again, the Part titles don’t seem to reflect the contents, unless there is a subtle link here I’m missing.
19. For more on cinematic shamanism, see “‘ God, I’m with a heathen.’ The Rebirth of the Männerbund in Brian De Palma’s The Untouchables,” [yet more Sean Connery!] reprinted in The Homo and the Negro  (San Francisco: Counter-Currents, 2012), and “Mike Hammer, Occult Dick: Kiss Me Deadly as a Lovecraftian Tale ,” reprinted in Green Nazis in Space!  (San Francisco: Counter-Currents, 2016). Additionally, Cooper’s name links him to Bert Cooper, whose shamanic role in Mad Men (like Twin Peaks, a slice of Americana, this time urban rather than rural) was established in the first season with such oracular pronouncements as, “A man is, whatever room he is in,” and confirmed in the last, when – after dying during the Moon landing, a point that would interest Dyer – he reappears to Don from time to time to sing, dance, and provide advice. See “Don Draper’s Last Diddle ,” reprinted in End of an Era: Mad Men and the Ordeal of Civility  (San Francisco: Counter-Currents, 2016). My occult reading of Mad Men is rather mild compared to Dyer’s full-bloom thesis: “The American power elite is really like Ben Horne, subservient to preternatural forces they cannot control, and behind this veil of obscurity lies an occult elite, whose power seems to derive from a Black Lodge.”
20. And thus, again, the Mad Men of Madison Avenue.
21. See, for instance, the first chapter of Jorjani’s Prometheus and Atlas for an excellent example of the method.
22. One very useful bit of information pops up: apparently, John Carradine was a member of the OTO, and “is said to have read poetry at the opening of the Agapé Lodge of the OTO in Pasadena, California.” (“Author claims David Carradine’s father was Ordo Templi Orientis member ” by Kurt Nimmo, at InfoWars, June 7, 2009). This adds an entirely new layer to Carradine’s otherwise puzzling appearance in Coleman Francis’ magnum opus, Red Zone Cuba , where he both intones the movie’s theme (running all the way to Hell) and drives it home by singing the title theme. See my “Coffee? I Like Coffee!: The Metaphysical Cinema of Coleman Francis, Part Two .”
23. Which is not surprising, since until the Election Night meltdowns, I was completely unaware that Young Ben is not only a typical Red Diaper hack but an actual Young Turk, and a particularly vile one at that. See “TCM’s Ben Mankiewicz: Political Cheap Shots Damage Beloved Network ” by Leo Grin at Breitbart, 5 Jan. 2010. His career, typically random and failure-immune, is surely a triumph of political and ethnic networking. “Growing up in Washington, D.C.,” he says , “politics and sports were always a lot more important than movies. They still are, for that matter.” When pressed to name a film that has changed his life, he answers, “Hey, I love movies, but let’s not get carried away! I don’t think one has changed my life.” The clear choice to helm TCM, just as Elena Kagan is the best qualified judge to sit on the Supreme Court.