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The Hidden Meaning of Half-Life 2

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Having earned thirty-nine Game of the Year awards when it was released in November 2004, Valve’s Half-Life 2 is one of the most celebrated video games of all time. As of February 2011 it had sold twelve million copies worldwide. It’s a first-person shooter game set in a dystopian future where a technologically advanced alien empire known as “the Combine” has conquered Earth. With its Eastern European setting ruled by a tyrannical alien police state, it’s notable for its anti-Communist and anti-imperialist themes and imagery.

Charles Jansen has written an excellent essay on Half-Life 2‘s anti-Semitic undercurrent here at Counter-Currents that I can recommend. However, some may question his findings. Marc Laidlaw, the lead writer of both Half-Life games, flaunts his liberal values by virtue-signaling on social media against President Trump. He’s also made philo-Semitic remarks on Twitter and wrote several Jewish characters into the Half-Life universe, perhaps including the protagonist Gordon Freeman. Furthermore, the Half-Life 2 expansion episodes were co-written with at least one Jewish writer.

It’s therefore reasonable to assume that the Combine is an allegory for fascism and/or the Third Reich, and that the human resistance is made up of Jewish heroes. For example, in the lead up to Nova Prospekt, the player finds several Combine bunkers similar to those built by the Nazis overlooking the beaches at Normandy, and there are supporting characters with Hebrew names like Eli and Judith. However, I argue that this reading is fundamentally flawed, and I will pry open the game to thoroughly validate Jansen’s take on it.

Left: Saturn holding a sickle and scythe. A half-human, half-fish figure pouring water from a vessel represents Aquarius and a goat represents Capricorn; from a series of seven woodcuts. (Image: British Museum [CC BY-NC-SA 4.0]) Right: Saturn eating his children. Note that Saturn is wearing the “Jew hat,” which was mandatory for Jews in some parts of medieval Europe. The image also refers to anti-Semitic accusations of child sacrifice (blood libel). (Image: Almanach of Peter Wagner, 1492)

The Combine is Saturn/Cronus

The most important detail Jansen and many others have overlooked regarding the Combine is its esoteric association with Saturn, the “Reaper and Castrator” and god of the harvest. This is indicated in at least three ways. Firstly, the alien empire takes its name from the modern combine harvester, which “combines three separate harvesting operations – reaping, threshing, and winnowing – into a single process.” This is suggestive of both the Combine’s multifaceted approach to genocide – a “harvest” of human souls similar to the Grim Reaper – and Saturn as Reaper and god of the harvest. Originally Saturn was depicted with a sickle, and later the scythe as it came into common usage, so it makes sense that he’d become associated with a combine harvester in a modern allegory. Secondly, the Combine chemically castrates all of humanity, just as Saturn castrates his father Caelus/Uranus. Thirdly, and rather tellingly, the Combine conquered Earth in the “Seven Hour War.” The number seven is synonymous with Saturn due to its position among the classical planets. These clues leave little doubt that Laidlaw has intelligently encoded his work.

If the Combine is Saturn, what does that tell us? Quite a lot, as it turns out. Significantly, Saturn is understood to be a Jewish god, as revealed by Tacitus, who alleged that the Jews worshipped Saturn.[1] Indeed, Mark Brahmin (The Apollonian Transmission) argues that modern Jewish esotericists understand Saturn to be a synonym of the Jewish god when encoding their own work.[2]

If this seems like a stretch, consider the following. Saturn’s numerical connection with seven and Judaism is made explicit in the menorah: “According to Clement of Alexandra and Philo Judaeus, the seven lamps of the menorah represented the seven classical planets in this order: The Moon, Mercury, Venus, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn.”[3] It wasn’t until a Talmudic prohibition (Menahot 28b) against the use of the seven-lamped menorah outside the temple that it grew two additional branches. This seems to me to be a failed attempt by Talmudic scholars to conceal or obfuscate their reverence for Saturn in any public-facing displays of Judaism after the fall of the Greco-Roman pantheon and the rise of Christianity.

Furthermore, the Sabbath year occurs on the seventh year of the seven-year agricultural cycle mandated by the Torah, and there are seven Great Holy Days in the Jewish calendar.[4] Saturday is, of course, named after Saturn, and it’s from Friday evening through Saturday that observant Jews are compelled to perform the Sabbath. Arguably, Saturn worship was surreptitiously inserted into Christianity by its early Jewish founders via the Saturnalia, which we celebrate as Christmas. You have to wonder if the New Testament’s accusation that Jews belong to the “Synagogue of Satan” was a misprint, or intentional obfuscation of Saturn as Satan.[5]

A section of a modern replica of the Arch of Titus shows the original menorah with its seven branches, as looted when Rome sacked Jerusalem and Herod’s Temple in the year 70 CE (Photo: Wikimedia [CC BY 3.0]). Perhaps Titus specifically chose the year 70 CE for his campaign for its symbolic value to Saturn worshipping Jews, it being a multiple of seven?

The G Man’s identity

That Laidlaw casts a synonym for the Jewish god as the enemy of mankind is extraordinary, and corroborates Jansen’s reading of the game, but is obviously fraught with peril. Laidlaw gives himself an alibi through the mysterious “G Man,” the prime mover of the Half-Life universe (pictured in the header image of this essay). Saturn and Cronus are the same god, though it would later come to be conflated with Chronos, the god of time, due to the similarity of their names. The original distinction between Cronus and Chronos is important here, as the G Man can manipulate time and space at will, while the Combine cannot. He uses this power to position the protagonist, Gordon Freeman, when and where he will be most effective in combating the Combine, holding Freeman in stasis for twenty years. Note the “g” in the G Man’s name is also the seventh letter in the alphabet, and has a Freemasonic connection to the Jewish god Yahweh.[6]

These clues would allow Laidlaw to rationally argue that the Combine is an imposter or rival of the G Man, whose role is much more ambiguous. That, or he’s setting up a duel between Saturn/Cronus/the Combine versus Chronos/Yahweh/the G Man, where only the latter is able to control time. In the Half-Life 2 expansion, we learn that the G Man’s powers can be psychically blocked by the combined mental power of a dozen Vortigaunt aliens, implying he’s not all-powerful after all.

Gordon Freeman’s identity

Some have proposed that Gordon Freeman is Jewish. This may be the case, as “Gordon” can be taken from the Hebrew variant of the name, which stems from the river Jordan (one of several possible origins, including the Scottish “fort”). In that case, his surname may be an anglicized form of Friedman, in which case it’s another possible alibi (if needed) for the first Half-Life. The G Man appears in that game as the first inkling of a meddling Saturnian god, an idea that hypothetically became fully fleshed out with the Combine in Half-Life 2. In both instances, having a Jewish protagonist would help offset this esoteric insult. In any case, Gordon Freeman’s ethnicity is unclear (it doesn’t help that he’s a mute protagonist).

I take his surname literally: Freeman is a “free man” who refuses to bow before the Combine, whoever or whatever it represents. If he’s Jewish, as some suggest, then he’s a racial Jew who rejects organized Judaism given the Combine’s esoteric connection to Saturn. Detractors might argue that Freeman doesn’t oppose Jewish power but is a stand-in for a Babylonian, Egyptian, Roman, or Nazi empire, an argument covered in detail below. It’s worth noting that the name Freeman is of Anglo-Saxon origin and predates the Norman Conquest of 1066, and therefore also the first major Jewish settlements in England. This finds a parallel in Freeman being born prior to the Combine’s invasion of Earth.

Religious references in Half-Life 2

Freeman is an accomplished theoretical physicist who earns an unsolicited messianic stature among the liberation movement as the “One Free Man.” His Hazardous Environment Suit gives him a supernatural level of protection against injury, radiation, fire, and bullets, and he can manipulate objects with the Gravity Gun, like a member of the X-Men. In contrast, his nemesis, Dr. Breen, espouses gnostic principles in his propaganda broadcasts. Breen is the Combine’s puppet governor, who resides in the Citadel, which stands one-and-a-half miles tall and could easily pass for a futuristic Tower of Babel.

Returning from the first Half-Life is Barney Calhoun, a white security guard who formerly worked at the Black Mesa research facility. His given name is a pet form of the biblical Barnabas, “an early Christian who undertook missionary journeys to defend gentile converts against the Judaizers.” Significantly, he reappears as part of the Combine’s Civil Protection service (as in Orwell’s Big Brother, its name inverts its function). He’s secretly working for the human liberation movement and provides cover for Freeman during his screening upon arrival at City 17. He teaches us how useful it can be to have a man on the inside.

Dr. Eli Vance, a scientist spearheading the development of human teleportation technology, takes his name from the Hebrew bible. In the Books of Samuel, we find a high priest named Eli whose failure to adequately discipline his sons resulted in his lineage being forever cursed by the Jewish god. Here, the fact that Vance is a black man may be a factor, as they’re commonly stereotyped as bad fathers (belied by Vance’s close relationship with his daughter Alyx). It’s therefore possible that Vance is a descendant of or stand-in for the biblical Eli, who would understandably carry a personal grudge against the Jewish god and work to oppose him.

As an amputee, Vance would also share an antagonistic relationship with Saturn/Cronus:

Whom should a peg-leg blame but the Cronus who presides . . . over melancholics and cripples, a god who superintends psychic and physical maiming? Why should his hatred for that god not be as fierce as Captain Ahab’s for Moby Dick . . . whose “sickle-shaped jaw reaped away his leg.”[7]

Saturn became a patron of amputees after his forceful exile by Jupiter. Vance, however, has designed a cybernetic prosthetic to overcome his handicap.

Dr. Eli Vance in Half-Life 2, and Saturn, with amputated lower legs (Photo: etching dated 1528, British Museum [CC BY-NC-SA 4.0]). Another clue related to the Combine’s true identity, Saturn/Cronus being a “patron of cripples.”

Vance also builds a robotic guardian for his daughter, which may be interpreted as a modern version of a golem. The robot proves essential to Freeman’s mission as it tears open a path into the Combine Citadel. Again, this detail could be used to shore up Laidlaw’s defense, should the need arise. The surname Vance simply means “Dweller of Bog,” and indeed, Freeman must traverse a dangerous marshland/water treatment plant to reach Vance’s laboratory.

The biblical references extend to a Judith, whom we’ll examine later, but it seems Half-Life 2 is, if anything, anti-religion. If religion is the opiate of the masses, then Ravenholm is a fitting metaphor: It’s completely overrun by headcrabs, an alien species similar to the facehuggers from the Alien films. These creatures latch onto human heads and bloat up like ticks, reducing their victims to staggering zombies. Are these headcrab victims a metaphor for the souls of the damned – or the religiously indoctrinated? If the latter, the Combine’s weaponization of the headcrabs becomes a metaphor for Jews developing a religion with which to brainwash and control the European peoples.[8]

Venturing into Ravenholm, Freeman hears a madman sermonizing in the buildings above who introduces himself as Father Grigori. His name means “awake” or “watchful,” stemming from the Grigori “watcher angels” in the Book of Enoch, and these meanings apply. He says Freeman has met his “congregation” and that he’s “stirred up hell.” The pastor helps him navigate this valley of death, tosses him a twelve-gauge shotgun, and encourages him to use his booby traps. He also fights alongside Freeman, leading him through a cemetery to a secret exit. Is this a metaphor for death being the only reprieve from earthly suffering? Grigori stays behind, stating “a shepherd must tend to his flock.”

Father Grigori sermonizes above burning corpses, and humans infested with headcrabs stagger towards Freeman, screaming unintelligibly.

The Combine as foreign occupier

At a glance, the Combine makes an excellent cipher for any faction seeking world domination, such as the dreaded Nazis. However, as an alien race that conquered the Earth, the Combine has more in common with Judeo-Bolshevism and its takeover of Russia and Eastern Europe than any war among indigenous Europeans. Even the Jewish role in Mao’s China would be a better fit. If we take the Second World War as an example, the Allies’ claim that Hitler sought to “conquer the world” is a buffoonish propaganda lie, which in retrospect appears to have been a projection. His goal was to unite his people, who had been arbitrarily divided by the Treaty of Versailles; prevent the spread of an invading Judeo-Bolshevik terror that had already killed millions of Russians; and permanently oust a hostile foreign population at odds with European interests and values. This aligns with the goal of the human liberation army in Half-Life 2, which seeks to overthrow the alien empire.

The Combine’s slavery

Inside the Combine Citadel Freeman finds an assembly line manned by emaciated and surgically modified human slaves. It could be a simplistic critique of capitalism, or we’re arguably being reminded of the Nazi slave labor camps. (However, the Communist gulags preceded them and ensnared far more victims.) Tellingly, we’re overtly reminded of America’s history of slavery through Half-Life 2‘s human resistance network, which operates an “Underground Railroad,” and by extension the disproportionate – some say dominant – role of Jews in the Atlantic Slave Trade (see The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews) and the anti-abolitionist movement.

The Jewish role as merchants and middlemen in the slave trade goes back centuries, if not millennia, and is well documented, including the Barbary slave trade[9] and the Arab slave trade. So, too, are usury and central banking cabals – those other Jewish specialties – forms of financial slavery. This brings us full circle to the Jewish veneration of Saturn: male captives were at times castrated before being sold into slavery.

The enslaved “Stalkers” take Saturnian castration to its limit, severing every extremity of the body but the head, which is shorn of ears and nose.

The Combine’s mechanized mass murder & torture

The Citadel contains an automated zip line system that transports prisoners in casket-like cells. Some of these stop momentarily in cradles to execute the occupant with a monstrous electrical discharge. Mechanized mass execution may be primarily attributed to the Nazi gas chambers, but the Soviets made use of similar methods years earlier. As early as 1937, Isai Davidovich Berg’s mobile gassing vans suffocated dozens of people at a time with engine exhaust.[10]

The Communists were equally guilty of executing and burying prisoners en masse by lining them up and machine-gunning them into pits, as during the Katyn massacre. Just as the chosenites scapegoat whites as “supremacists,” and the modern Left projects its vices and crimes onto its political opponents, we must consider the possibility that the Soviets projected their crimes onto Germany in the aftermath of the Second World War. Indeed, Holocaust revisionists have won numerous victories, and an objective examination of the Nuremberg trials reveals that it was a shameful travesty of justice.

Freeman finds blood-splattered restraints inside the Combine’s facilities. Torture is not unique to any regime; indeed, Nazi prisoners of the London Cage accused the Western Allies of torture. In Thomas Goodrich‘s Hellstorm: The Death of Nazi Germany (1944-1947), he lists four Jews as “torture-inquisitors”: Shlomo Morel, William Perl, A. H. Rosenfeld, and Harry Thon. More recently, America flouted international law as part of its so-called “enhanced interrogations” of “enemy combatants.” Despite that, in the twentieth century the most brutal and sadistic forms of torture have consistently been attributed to the Communists in Soviet Russia, China, Cambodia, and North Korea, particularly where inter-ethnic hatreds had long simmered between Jews and their Russian hosts.

A Combine Overseer. Given the Combine’s relationship to Saturn as Castrator, its agents’ grub-like appearance takes on a phallic quality.

The Combine’s castration of humanity

Earth’s human population lives under the Combine’s genocidal “suppression field,” which sterilizes them, demoralizes them, and leaves little hope for the future. The youngest people Freeman meets were born twenty years earlier; when he walks near an empty playground, we hear the haunting echoes of children playing. The scenario was possibly inspired by P. D. James’ The Children of Men.[11] In Half-Life 2: Episode One, Dr. Kleiner explains how it worked: “Certain protein chains important to the process of embryonic development were selectively prevented from forming.”

It’s alleged that the Nazis sterilized approximately four hundred thousand of their own citizens as part of their eugenics program, and euthanized approximately seventy thousand who were deemed mentally unfit. Assuming these numbers have not been exaggerated, they add up to less than one percent of Germany’s population at that time (0.6 and 0.2 percent, respectively). Also, the National Socialists’ eugenics program wasn’t one group forcefully sterilizing another; it was an attempt to improve native fitness in coordination with programs that encouraged childbirth.

If that program was the epitome of pure evil, what do we then make of the Communists’ typical takeover strategy, wherein the native intelligentsia was first targeted for extermination? To the Khmer Rouge, anyone who wore glasses was assumed to be educated and bourgeois, and thus had to be murdered, lest they mount a counter-revolution. This practice has had a highly dysgenic effect wherever Communists took power. The latter finds a parallel in Half-Life 2, as the Combine’s puppet governor Dr. Breen attempts to stop the human revolution by rounding up the world’s top scientists.

Disregarding the Communists’ crimes, indiscriminate sterilization programs have been the product of Jewish thinkers. Before anyone had ever heard of the Second World War’s Holocaust (they had perhaps heard of others), Theodore N. Kaufman penned the genocidal Germany Must Perish! (1941).[12] Or take the Jaffe Memo (1969), which proposed measures to reduce fertility in the United States. More recently, Israeli doctors covertly injected Ethiopian women with a sterilizer, which is likely responsible for the almost fifty percent decline in the birthrate of Israel’s Ethiopian community between 2003 and 2013.[13] It seems this was an official government policy – which would qualify as a genocide according to international law.

More insidiously, in the 1960s the disproportionately Jewish second-wave feminist movement called for ubiquitous abortion, birth control, and the dissolution of the nuclear family and traditional sexual mores. When it comes to abortion, a 2011 survey of the fourteen percent of American ob-gyns willing to perform them found that Jews were the most likely religious group to do so, with forty percent responding affirmatively. Atheists came a distant second, at a mere twenty-five percent. Many of the leading intellectuals, non-governmental organizations, and mainstream media outlets aggressively promoting the anti-natal and miscegenation agenda in white nations appear to be disproportionately Jewish. We also find both a historical (Institut für Sexualwissenschaft, Magnus Hirschfield, Harry Benjamin, etc.) and contemporary (Hollywood, Judith Butler, Mauro Cabral Grinspan, etc.) Jewish hand in the advancement of transsexualism – a particularly harmful and disturbing echo of Saturn the Castrator. For more on this, see “The Culture of Sterility.”

A tiny sampling of the anti-natal propaganda aimed primarily at white women by mainstream media outlets. Keep this in mind when the media simultaneously suggests that mass immigration is necessary to shore up declining white birthrates.

The Combine’s poisoning of the well

Upon Freeman’s arrival at City 17, a citizen warns him not to drink the water, and complains he can’t remember how he arrived there. There’s also prominent vending machines stocked with water labeled “Dr. Breen’s private reserve.” This overtly stokes the old accusation of Jews poisoning the wells, and plays on widespread paranoia about the effects of fluoride in the drinking water. The latter practice is prevalent in the West but was temporarily banned in Israel, and has been ended in many countries. These fears are bolstered by research suggesting that pregnant women harm the IQ of their babies by drinking even “safe” concentrations of it. Isn’t it time the West banned it permanently? To say nothing of the estrogen and hormone dysregulators now polluting the water supply, which is observably feminizing the population.

Other studies, such as “Oxytocin-enforced norm compliance reduces xenophobic outgroup rejection” (Nina Marsh et al., August 29, 2017, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America) do little to quell conspiracy theories. It includes the ominous line, “Given the right circumstances, oxytocin may help promote the acceptance and integration of migrants into Western cultures.”

The Combine’s crypsis, front-men, and spies

In the finale of Half-Life 2, we overhear Dr. Wallace Breen complaining that his “host body” won’t survive if he’s sent to an inhospitable dimension to flee Freeman. This suggests the real Breen may have been assimilated by an alien consciousness that wants to maintain the continuity of his puppet’s body and thus “Breen’s leadership.” This theory is somewhat borne out by Wallace meaning “foreigner,” and it possibly being the Americanization of the Ashkenazic surname “Wallach.” The surname Breen is a form of the Gaelic-Irish name “O’Braion” or “descendant of Braon,” where Brian means “high” or “noble,” fitting his position at Black Mesa and later as Earth’s overseer.

Aliens, androids, and other non-humans controlling or mimicking us is a recurring motif in stories suggestive of Jewish and/or Communist infiltration of gentile societies (e.g. Resident Evil 4, the Alien franchise, They Live, Dark City, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, V, The Thing, Star Trek: The Next Generation “Conspiracy,” The Puppet Masters, I Married a Monster from Outer Space, Quatermass 2, Andromeda Stories, The Brain Eaters, etc.). In nature, species that have evolved or utilize a form of camouflage to avoid predation are engaged in crypsis.

Jews have historically practiced crypsis to fool their host populations into thinking they were fully assimilated citizens, while secretly maintaining their ethno-religious identity. They have a long history of adopting local names and altering traditional Jewish ones to blend in, and falsely converting to Christianity and other religions (see the Marranos). There’s even a tradition among Jewish parents to gift a nose job to their children upon high school or college graduation! Also note the prevalence of Jews on social media prefacing their anti-white activism with the duplicitous words “fellow white people.” They, of course, decry whites who use the same tactics against them, and Israel goes to extraordinary lengths to screen diaspora Jews claiming the right of return, lest any filthy crypto-goyim try to sneak in.

Whether the Combine has assimilated him or not, it employs Breen to placate and govern the masses. The National Socialists did employ Jewish kapos in the ghettos and concentration camps, but – as Prof. Kevin MacDonald documents in his book The Culture of Critique – this tactic is writ large across Jewish movements throughout history. Typically, a handful of gentiles would be allowed into the inner circle of Jewish leadership only to mask what was an explicitly alien movement at odds with its host society. The Bolsheviks did it in Russia and Eastern Europe, the Frankfurt School and neocons did it in America, and the Jewish-dominated media does it wherever it can.

On the topic of Jewish crypsis, we don’t even need to look to the Combine for examples, as Half-Life 2 gives us Judith Mossman. Judith’s given name is Hebrew for “she will be praised” and “woman of Judea,” while her surname is derived from the biblical name Moshe. Her role fits the treacherous archetype of the biblical Judith, which can hardly be a coincidence. Freeman meets her at Eli’s lab, where she lays it on thick with him, but amusingly, Eli’s daughter Alyx reveals she can’t stand her.

The Combine bombs Eli’s lab and he’s taken prisoner. Freeman and Alyx team up to rescue him at a prison complex called Nova Prospekt, where the latter hacks into the prison’s communication system. Intercepting a video call between Judith and Breen, we learn she’s a double agent working for him, and that she’s stolen the lab’s teleportation technology. This is an enormous betrayal, as despite the Combine’s inter-dimensional travel, the aliens must rely on traditional means of transportation inside dimensions. The experimental teleporter is the one tool that might sway the destiny of mankind, and she has delivered it into enemy hands.

When confronted, Judith claims she was only trying to protect Eli, but once Eli is freed from his casket-like prison cell, Judith kidnaps him and teleports to the Citadel. In the final act, Freeman is trapped inside a force field and taken to Breen’s office, where slippery Judith turncoats yet again. Either she was really working for humanity all along, or she has a crisis of conscience at the last minute. She frees Eli, Alyx, and Freeman, allowing the latter to chase after and kill Breen. Unless I’ve misinterpreted things, it’s unclear why the Combine didn’t simply assimilate Judith as it had Breen – perhaps it felt it didn’t need to!

The Judith Mossman/Rosenberg connection

Not only does Judith’s name and betrayal evoke the biblical Judith’s betrayal of Holofernes (and Judas’ betrayal of Jesus), but her treachery mirrors that of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. They were a pair of Jewish-American Communists who, working together with a cadre of mostly Jewish-American spies, provided information on American nuclear weapons development to the Soviets. They were justifiably sent to the electric chair for that, but later Jewish spies like Jonathan Pollard – one of the most damaging spies in American history – got off lightly. An earlier Half-Life expansion even introduced a “Dr. Rosenberg” character who never reappeared; is Judith Mossman his replacement to avoid directly stirring up the Rosenberg spying scandal in the plot of Half-Life 2?

The Combine’s architecture

Wherever the Combine asserts control, its jagged, metallic architecture and border walls intersect with man-made structures, seeping in like a cancer. This “Smart Barrier” arguably serves as another form of psychological warfare, demoralizing the populace in the same way postmodern obscenities vandalize the Old World with soul-sucking boxes of cement and glass. Given that City 17 passes for many European locales, it seems like a criticism of distinctly Semitic architecture on the part of Half-Life 2‘s art directors. Compare its intrusive angular lines to the eyesores of Jewish architect Daniel Libeskind, for example.

The Michael Lee-Chin Crystal, an addition to the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto by Studio Libeskind (Photo: Alex Maxim); concept art from Half-Life 2 showing the Combine’s alien encroachment into human architecture; and a screenshot from Half-Life 2.

The Seven Hour War in which the Combine conquered Earth is also suggestive of the Six Day War that saw Israel defeat its Arab neighbors. Here we note that the Combine’s intrusive walls and checkpoints resemble those of Israel’s open-air prison (otherwise known as the Gaza strip). In addition to the presence of walled checkpoints, the silence is often broken by Breen and other intermediaries droning over loudspeakers in the background. This cleverly communicates aspects of Half-Life 2‘s setting without interrupting the player, while simultaneously reminding us of the Combine’s omnipresence. It reminded me of a scene from Martin Scorsese’s Kundun, in which loudspeakers issue Communist propaganda, to which His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama solemnly remarks, “They have taken away our silence.”

Half-Life 2 and 9/11

Half-Life 2 began development sometime in 1999, more or less at the same time as Valve’s Source game engine. It wouldn’t be shown publicly for the first time until May 2003, making it difficult to pin down if the Combine was invented before or after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks. Supposedly, the Combine replaced the alien enemies from the first game sometime in the year 2000, but it’s unclear when the Combine was named and how it evolved.[14] One pertinent detail we do know is that City 17 was originally an industrialized version of New York City before it became a nameless Eastern European city, likely to avoid a direct reference to the terror attacks.

A note on 9/11 itself: The date 9/11 evokes the American emergency telephone number 9-1-1, and may have been chosen specifically because of this psychological and memetic connection. Assuming the Jews did it, it could also be a symbolic reversal and revenge for 11/9 on the Jewish calendar. That’s the Tisha B’Av, a date Jews assign to various calamities, including Rome’s sacking of Jerusalem in 70 CE and Rome’s crushing of the Bar Kokhba revolt in 135 CE. Indeed, the felling of the World Trade Center towers was a symbolic castration of American power via two of its tallest buildings (short of the Willis Tower), followed by America’s apparent subservience to Israeli interests. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has referred to America as “the new Rome,” suggesting he and other Israelis view America as the modern equivalent of its most hated historical enemy.

Additionally, while the Twin Towers became the focus of 9/11, there was a third building that fell that day: World Trade Center building seven. Eerily, a corresponding terror attack occurred in London on July 7, 2005 – often simply referred to as 7/7 – again bringing Saturn to mind (though occurring after Half-Life 2‘s publication in 2004). This had the effect of shoring up Britain’s commitment to the global “war on terror.” Regardless of who you believe is responsible for these attacks, it’s worth remembering that Israeli agents have a long history of perpetrating terror attacks on both American and British targets to get what they want.[15]


For many years Half-Life 2 ranked in the top ten video games of all time on review aggregator Metacritic. As of this writing, it sits comfortably in the top twenty-five. Any game in the top fifty can be considered culturally significant to a large demographic of white men. Surprisingly, a quick Google search didn’t bring up any other fan theories connecting the Combine to Saturn/Cronus. If I’m somehow the first to bring this detail to light, I’m delighted to do so. Like Resident Evil 4 and Shadow of the Colossus, which were conceived in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, I argue that Half-Life 2 is an example of “art imitating life.” With each member of this “Triforce” already considered a classic in its own right, these three video games are destined to become valuable time capsules of millennial art for future generations looking back on the period.

That the Combine takes over an Eastern European setting and is symbolically associated with Saturn is highly suggestive. That it also engages in slavery, torture, population control, crypsis, and well poisoning leaves little doubt as to who it is meant to represent. As such, Half-Life 2 should be recognized and celebrated by the Dissident Right as the rarity it is. Indeed, the use of the lambda in its logo – a symbol appropriated by the identitarians for its connection to Sparta – uniquely positions it as “our game.” Further, Breen’s ironic euphemism for the Combine Overseers (“our benefactors”) could be adopted by identitarians where censorship curtails naming the Jews or our hostile elite outright.

Though its anti-Semitic themes went largely unrecognized by the industry press, which ironically doesn’t treat its subject very seriously, it’s unlikely that it flew under the radar completely. This might explain why an additional pair of writers (at least one of whom is Jewish) was assigned to work with Laidlaw on Half-Life 2‘s expansion episodes, as well as his recent virtue-signaling on social media. In 2013, the Jew J. J. Abrams optioned Half-Life for a film adaptation, so we can expect that its anti-Semitic themes will be reversed or neutralized if the film is ever made. It’s also possible that Abrams optioned the rights simply to prevent someone else from making a faithful adaptation. Marc Laidlaw has since retired from Valve, and it’s unclear if he’ll be involved in the project.

If you’re new to the Jewish Question, watch this ten minute explanation by Counter-Currents founder Dr. Greg Johnson for an excellent primer.


[1] See Tacitus, Histories 5.2 and 5.4.

[2] Mark Brahmin, REM: Racial Esoteric Moralization, Book 2 (Arlington, Va.: Washington Summit Publishers, 2019), chapter: “Christmas, the Saturnalia, and the Jewish Saturn.”

[3] Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry (Richmond, Va.: L. H. Jenkins, 1871), p. 10.

[4] These seven-year periods are baldly referenced in Star Trek, where Vulcans share a connection to the number seven through the “pon farr” endured every seven years, and traditionally had marriages arranged for them at age seven. Vulcans like Mr. Spock hail from a planet which takes its name from the metalworking god Vulcan. Brahmin argues Vulcan is understood by Jewish parabolists as a synonym for the Jewish volcano god Yahweh. Hence the planet Vulcan’s destruction by the “Romulan Nero” in the J .J. Abrams film is an obvious allegory for Rome’s sacking of Jerusalem. With this understanding, fans of Star Trek should recognize many other details indicating Vulcans as Jewish ciphers.

[5] Amusingly for video game aficionados, the similarity between “Saturn” and “Satan” also occurs in the name of the Sega Saturn video game console, where its name is transliterated into Japanese via romaji as Satān (サターン). Here it is worth noting that in the Zodiac, Saturn rules the houses of Aquarius and Capricorn, where the latter is represented by an animal associated with Satan and Satanism in the inverted pentagram.

[6] A “G” is often found in the center of the Freemasonic square and compass logo. A Masonic slogan gives us the connection to Yahweh: “By letters four and science five, this ‘G’ aright doth stand, in due Art and Proportion; you have your answer, friend.” According to this Website, the “letters four” stand for “YHWH,” the name of the Jewish god and “the great architect of the universe.” The fifth science is geometry. Hence the G Man may represent Yahweh.

[7] Victor H. Miesel, “Begin the Beguine by Max Beckmann,” Bulletin: Museums of Art and Archeology, The University of Michigan, 1984, Vol. 6, p. 12.

[8] For more on this, see Mark Brahmin, REM, ibid., chapter: “The Logical Proof of Jewish Control over the Church.”

[9] Giles Milton, White Gold (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2004).

[10] Komsomolskaya pravda, October 28, 1990; this source has been cited by several authors: (i) Catherine Merridale. Night of Stone: Death and Memory in Twentieth-Century Russia (New York: Penguin Books, 2002), p. 200; (ii) Timothy J. Colton. Moscow: Governing the Socialist Metropolis (Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press, 1998), p. 286; (iii) Солженицын А.И., Two Hundred Years Together (Двести лет вместе) Volume 2, (Москва, Русский путь, 2002); p. 297, (iv) Yevgenia Albats, KGB: The State Within a State (1995), page 101; (v) Е. Жирнов. «По пути следования к месту исполнения приговоров отравлялись газом». Коммерсантъ Власть, № 44, 2007; (vi) Н. Петров. «Человек в кожаном фартуке». Новая газета, спецвыпуск «Правда ГУЛАГа» от 02.08.2010 № 10 (31). Archived 2010-08-06 at the Wayback Machine.

[11] P. D. James, The Children of Men (London: Faber & Faber, 1992). Notably, Half-Life 2 preceded Alfonso Cuarón’s film adaptation of the novel by two years.

[12] Theodor N. Kaufman, Germany Must Perish! (Newark, N.J.: Argyle Press, 1941).

[13] Talila Nesher, “Israel Admits Ethiopian Women Were Given Birth Control Shots,” Haaretz, January 27, 2013.

[14] The “Nihilanth” enemy from the first game has a name combining the Latin word nihil, meaning “nothing,” and anth, which is the first part of the Greek Anthropos, meaning “human being.” Thus the Nihilanth is “not man,” or a “nothing being,” perhaps simply an elaborate word for an alien or non-human. This is referenced when the Nihilanth telepathically warns Freeman about the G Man: “You are man . . . He is not man” (my emphasis); and, “Deceive you . . . He will deceive you . . .” The Nihilanth inhabits an inter-dimensional “Borderworld” called “Xen,” abbreviated from the Greek xenos, meaning “stranger, foreigner, alien.”

[15] See Jewish terrorist groups Irgun, Lehi, Etzel, and Haganah; the assassination of British Minister Lord Moyne; the bombing of British administrative headquarters at the King David Hotel in 1946; the bombing of the British Embassy in Rome; the Sargeant’s affair; the Lavon Affair; letter bombs sent to the Truman White House; the unprovoked attack on the USS Liberty; and so on.

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  1. Posted October 7, 2019 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    I haven’t played the second Half-Life, so I’ll refrain from commenting on it, but I have seen this Yahweh-as-Saturn theory floating around elsewhere and it looks a bit questionable. Tacitus may have speculated that the Jews venerated the number 7 because Yahweh corresponds to Saturn (note that he is aware this is hearsay and gives rival explanations), but why should we trust his account in an era when the relevant Jewish mythology is available in every hotel room?

    Looking at the attributes of Yahweh, surely a more correct correspondence can be drawn between him and Uranus, the Greek primordial sky-god, who gets overthrown and castrated (i.e. superseded by other cults) in Greek tradition but not in Jewish tradition. And the Roman equivalent of Uranus is Caelus, whose Wikipedia page informs us that Roman writers such as Juvenal were indeed aware of this correspondence, and used Caelus as a synonym for the Jewish Yahweh.

    • Hugo Adrian
      Posted October 8, 2019 at 5:11 am | Permalink

      In antiquity the most powerful deities were the ones associated with celestial objects naked to the human eye (the Moon was considered one of the classical planets and deified as a result). One reason why Caelus/Uranus would take a back seat to Saturn is because the Ancients did not realize Uranus was a planet, and therefore Uranus was something of a lesser god for millennia. Uranus was only recognized as a planet in the late 18th-century, and was only named Uranus because it neighbors the planet Saturn, mirroring a father-son relationship. The same thing happened with Neptune, and then Pluto; as the planet farthest from the Sun, it was natural to name it after the god of the Underworld. Also, that Saturn is associated with castration applies to cults that ritually castrated adherents, which would evolve into circumcision. Obviously this would relate to the Jewish practice of circumcision.

      I got the whole Saturn-as-Jewish thing from Mark Brahmin. His research suggests that Jewish esotericists understand Saturn as Semitic. The same applies to Vulcan (see footnote #4). On the topic of Vulcan, I could add that in the new Star Trek films, Spock breaks off a relationship with Uhura out of a sense of racial duty to his people. After his home planet was destroyed, few Vulcans remain, and so he chooses to end his romance with a human to look for a Vulcan partner to carry on the Vulcan bloodline. Does this not sound like a Jew rejecting assimilation to marry within the tribe, and thus keep it alive, following the Holocaust? Further, Spock is himself a mixed race Vulcan-human hybrid, where his Vulcan father “stole” a human female. This fits Brahmin’s observations of Jewish-Aryan racial sexual competition / bride gathering. Add to that, Spock’s human side is often the source of problems in his life, encouraging mischlings to value their Jewish roots. I haven’t seen the new Star Trek Discovery show, but from what I have gathered there is a time-travelling element in season two. This is perhaps another example of a god-masked Chronos/Saturn.

      • Posted October 8, 2019 at 11:21 am | Permalink

        The superficially “traditional” name of the planet Uranus, which as you say was discovered far too late to have any effect on ancient religions, acts as a red herring here. The names Uranus and Caelus originally refer to the sky or heavens: this is one reason to draw a correspondence between these gods and the Jewish monotheistic god, who is primarily a sky-god or celestial god, and another reason is their common primordial status. In addition, as I mentioned, there is at least some Roman textual support for this if Wikipedia is to be believed.

        Obviously the parallel is far from exact, as Uranus/Caelus’s role in creation is much more limited than that of Yahweh, and there are other Greco-Roman gods (like Aether and Zeus/Jupiter) who could also claim the main “sky-father” role – but that’s Interpretatio Romana for you. I’m not trying to argue that there is any classical European god that corresponds precisely to the Jewish one, but the idea of Yahweh’s equivalence with Cronos/Saturn just strikes me as bizarre, because he is primarily an earthly or chthonic god associated with agriculture, time, the seasons, etc.

        I will certainly take a good hard look at Brahmin’s site. From a cursory glance, it looks like he has assembled quite a lot of research in places, but it all seems to be stacked on this precarious notion that the Jewish Yahweh corresponds to the Roman Saturn – not to mention the even stretchier idea that this alleged equivalence exists because a number of classical gods, not only Cronos/Saturn but also Hephaestus/Vulcan and Hermes/Mercury, are inherently “Semitic”! Why would the Greeks and Romans have devoted half their Pantheon (including, as far as I can see, any male god who isn’t a martial or kingly type) to representing a race of foreign barbarians? I will be interested to see what factual evidence he offers for all of this – assuming, of course, that he is not just trying to repurpose the mythology to modern political ends.

        • Hugo Adrian
          Posted October 8, 2019 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

          Saturn is only one of the Greco-Roman gods that Jewish esotericists identify with. It is important here because Laidlaw seems to understand this, either from Tactitus or Freemasonry or occult sources.

          Brahmin is attempting to decode Jewish esoterica; His definitions of the racial identities of the archetypes is based on a pattern developed by Jewish authors. Therefore they aren’t his “opinions” any more than Joseph Campbell inserted personal opinions into the monomyth. If Jewish authors had demonstrated that Caelus/Uranus was an important archetype, Brahmin would write about it.

          I guess I will have to write an introduction to REM for people who haven’t taken the time to look at Brahmin’s writings. I can’t speak to everything he has ever written, but I have validated quite a bit in analyzing a handful of video games by Jewish authors (Brahmin is not interested in video games). This came as a huge shock to me, and was very convincing. One is a loose retelling of the Eleusinian Mysteries, where Saturn becomes the hero, helping Demeter find Persephone. Literally dozens of other details align with Brahmin’s thesis. Caelus is nowhere to be found.

          • Posted October 9, 2019 at 6:19 am | Permalink

            I’ve no difficulty in grokking Brahmin’s theory of cultural interpretation. What I’m saying is that it rests very heavily on this proposed identity of Yahweh and Saturn, and the consequent “Jewishness” of Saturn (which in turn rests on other assumptions, such as the absolute truth of Interpretatio Romana and the one-way direction of theological transmission from Semites to Aryans, but let’s not even go there). If this Saturn-as-Yahweh idea can be shown to 1) originate from a passage in Tacitus that is clearly recounting various items of hearsay, 2) flout the traditional forms of Interpretatio Romana, which would normally assimilate sky-gods to sky-gods and earth-gods to earth-gods, and 3) be directly contradicted by at least three other Roman authors who assimilated Yahweh to Caelus instead (see the link in my original comment), then I’d say it makes a pretty insecure foundation for the theory. And just as any edifice, no matter how big and ornate, has to stand or fall on its foundations, in no way can the larger details of the theory make up for this fundamental lack of certainty in it.

  2. Steven JW
    Posted October 7, 2019 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    Great article keep up the great work. Very much enjoyed the Shadow of the Collosus article as well. Interesting and intelligent takes on games, its nice to see someone analyzing them in-depth. Video games are a very powerful creative and influential outlet, its nice to finally see intelligent articles on their symbolism the way we see it done for film.

    • Hugo Adrian
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 8:32 am | Permalink

      Thanks, man. I’m doing this for free as a way of paying it forward and contributing to the discussion, so if you or anyone else reads this and can drop a few shekels into Counter-Currents’ cup to help keep the site going, we’d all appreciate it!

  3. Rob Bottom
    Posted October 8, 2019 at 12:31 am | Permalink

    Black Mesa, black cubes in the architcture concept, is this related to black cube of Saturn? Seems like it.

  4. Razvan
    Posted October 8, 2019 at 3:29 am | Permalink

    “Perhaps Titus specifically chose the year 70 CE for his campaign for its symbolic value to Saturn worshipping Jews, it being a multiple of seven?”

    I thought that the Romans numbered the years since foundation of Rome (ab urbe condita).
    Seriously, it’s impossible that Titus to have numbered years since the supposed birth of a jew.

    • Hugo Adrian
      Posted October 8, 2019 at 6:38 am | Permalink

      I realize that sounds stupid, it was poorly worded but the point is the date is symbolic. The Christian Dionysus Exiguus invented the Anno Domini era. Of this, Wikipedia states:

      “When he devised his table, Julian calendar years were identified by naming the consuls who held office that year; he himself stated that the “present year” was “the consulship of Probus Junior”, which he also stated was 525 years “since the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ”. How he arrived at that number is unknown.”

      What is more plausible: That Exiguus, living in the sixth century AD, somehow knew Christ’s exact date of birth (something modern historians cannot agree on, dating it sometime between 6~1 BC) resulting in the sacking of Jerusalem lining up with a multiple of seven (or) that Exiguus chose to assign a symbolic number to one of the most important events in Jewish history from which to track backwards to Christ’s birth? Given modern historians disagree with Exiguus, it seems he may have fudged the numbers specifically to align the sacking of Jerusalem with 70 AD for its symbolic value.

      See this article about the importance of the number seven in Judaism:

      • Razvan
        Posted October 8, 2019 at 11:28 am | Permalink

        Exiguus might have played with the numbers. But not Titus, which was my point.

        Anyway, the entire theory is dubious.

        Equating Saturn, which was a Roman ancient god before the Greek imports, with the jewish god, saying that Socrates was semite, saying that the Pelasgian were proto-semites is, in other words, saying that the ancient Greek philosophy, the Roman Republic, and the most ancient race of european people were of semitic origin.

        This is not serious. It is jewish suprematism akin to “we was kangs” suprematism. Sorry.

        • Hugo Adrian
          Posted October 8, 2019 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

          No need to apologize, I’m ambivalent about the role that Jews may have played in this or that culture / civilization. There are two tracts to Brahmin’s work. One is to decode Jewish esoterica in art and myth, revealing a hidden symbol language (REM). The other uses knowledge of this symbol language to trace an invisible Jewish hand in “non-Jewish” myth by comparing how archetypes, tropes, and symbols are deployed across the spectrum.

          REM is supported by the consistency with which Jewish authors encode their work, and can be confirmed by closely examining their stories. The latter is speculative but interesting and potentially informative. Brahmin could easily turn the argument around and say you’re the one engaging in “kangism” by stubbornly denying Jews their due credit in shaping civilization.

          Disagreeing with the latter should not preclude an understanding of REM. It is incredibly valuable and informative to know which gods Jewish parabolists identify with, and which ones they assign to their enemies in their stories. This reveals a surprisingly consistent subtext of racial sexual competition. Nothing you’ve said discredits REM because it’s backed by a mountain of evidence. I have now found some in video games, which Brahmin doesn’t explore.

          In any case, I question how you can be so sure Jews did not play an active role in Greece or earlier groups. Jews or Proto-Jewish peoples have certainly lived with a broad range of people going back to ancient times and are masters of crypsis. It seems plausible to me that Jews may have influenced cultures and civilizations where one would not expect to find them. Examining myth would be one way to discover this. For example, most people don’t even realize that a Jew is responsible for creating almost all of the important American superhero comic book characters, let alone that he encoded specifically Jewish angles in his stories. Yet you claim to know with absolute certainty that Jews were not involved in any capacity in cultures from thousands of years ago?

          • Razvan
            Posted October 9, 2019 at 1:32 am | Permalink

            How can one be sure that they were not the “kangs” of Europe?

            The ethnogenesys of jews took place in the middle east. They thrived around and inside Empires usually leading to their downfall. There was no chance for them to live inside small communities which had to work really hard in order to survive the harsh winter of Europe. Those communities were built on trust, hard work, and fighting. What could a jew/proto jew do there?
            Have you evere saw a levantine living after simple principles like
            – “you work, you eat; you don’t, you starve”
            – “you chop wood, you make fire; you don’t you freeze”
            – “you have make reserves you survive the winter; you don’t you die”

            A jew will trade and will make a profit by hypnotizing you by fast talking and window dressing.

            They manifested themselves with the first Empires of the Orient (Hittites, Persian, Assirya) establishing a behavioral pattern of parasitism, bribe, whoring, lie, theft, you name it.

            But most important is the cultural theft. Because the jew steals an ideea it doesn’t mean it is his ideea or that specific ideea is proto jewish.

            It’s really simple. Because the different European races and subraces were loving their heros and were telling stories about them it doesn’t make them protojews. Because jews created Superman it doesn’t mean Hercule was protojew as Mark Brahmin says. It means that the jews are exploiting an European need for heros, slipping some of their stuff along with the story.

            If a paleolitic man draw a square it doesn’t mean that the man was jewish because the square.

            You have to understand that the Roman religion was different from the Greek religion, yet they had a common root – proto indo-european root. This made some to search after similar traits between different gods in order to make the Empire more tolerrable. This trick of the imperial talking class (Tacitus as prime example) simply backfired with the christianity. Because christianity draws some traits from european mitologies it doesn’t make these jewish.

          • Razvan
            Posted October 9, 2019 at 2:58 am | Permalink

            A second response.
            “Brahmin could easily turn the argument around and say you’re the one engaging in “kangism” by stubbornly denying Jews their due credit in shaping civilization.”

            Now I think the purpose of Brahmin is to prove that the original Europeans are the jews and that the Europeans are imposters, violent and incapable of civilisation.

            As Petronius said this theory is simply bullshit.

          • Steven JW
            Posted October 9, 2019 at 9:50 am | Permalink

            I’ve often read Brahmin’s works and thought it tried a bit too hard to attribute so much of European history to Judaism. Some of it could be true but he does go on about it in such a way that it just makes me question his motives. Being paranoid of such a thing is certainly justified given everything else you read these days does the same except attributes European history to Africans or some other similar insanity.

            I do however appreciate his work on JEM and REM though. It’s very viable given that Jewish people have always been a parasite to a host. It makes sense they would have encoded their work intentionally or unintentionally in such a way that it can be consumed by the host population but also the Jewish population and only the Jewish population will pick up on similar cues. Through similar history, similar views, Torah study, Jewish history, etc, or simply just similar biology they will view Jewish made works differently than gentiles. It almost feels as if it is an organic survival instinct.

            I mean, even on a natural level when you’re discussing something with another White person you will intentionally or subtly unintentionally change your words/discussion when an African American walks in. Even the most staunch Liberal progressive does this.

            It seems very valuable to be cognizant of it. Leaving bread crumbs and messages for your kin in something consumed by hostile eyes is a great way to communicate when you can’t.

  5. no
    Posted April 5, 2020 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    The fact I’m reading about this that says its nazis vs jews is hilarious, I don’t know where you got this from, but that’s some serious dedication that has nothing to do with HL2. And you realize Jews have done many many crazy things over the course of centuries.

  6. Steve
    Posted October 28, 2020 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    Oh how I miss these types of articles on Counter Currents. Video games have become MASSIVELY political in just the last decade. Ubisoft alone is like a single-minded propaganda machine for youth.

    The most recent AAA game Watch Dogs; Legion and their absurd narratives of fascist neo-London oppressing immigrant minorities is such blatant manipulation.

    An article (from a Left-wing game review website) even acknowledges how ingrained their political motives are.

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