10 Movies You Didn’t Know Contained Illuminati Symbolism
The Illuminati. It’s a name that strikes fear and dread in the hearts of some and laughter and mirth in others, but whatever your opinion of the reality of this decidedly sinister organisation, there’s no denying that it has become a part of the cultural landscape.
While there’s no denying the historical existence of the Order of the Illuminati as established by Adam Weishaupt in Bavaria in 1776, the evidence for their continued existence to this day is rather more difficult to come by. It’s perhaps immaterial whether or not they exist under that title – it’s become a convenient term for many relating to the perceived shadowy group of powerful individuals at the heart of banking, politics and corporate interests which exert their control over much of the world.
The existence or otherwise of the Illuminati hasn’t stopped plenty of people from seeing their presence in Hollywood movies. When judging the “Illuminati stamp” in films often all it takes is for something vaguely occult or esoteric to be featured – a pyramid here, an all-seeing eye there – and conspiracy theorists will declare it the work of this shadowy organisation Of course, it’s just as likely to be production designers including this imagery because it fits the film, or even to wind up those who see signs of the Illuminati in every movie.
Here are ten movies which some have claimed feature Illuminati symbolism – whether or not you believe that to be the case is entirely up to you.
10. Hydra Is A Metaphor For The Secret Society – Captain America: The Winter Soldier
When most people watch comic book movie adaptations they tend to think of the stories as entirely works of fiction. While for the most part this is the case, more than a few people soaked in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and came up with some in-depth conspiracy-minded conclusions.
The first thing that most people noticed about The Winter Soldier was how much of an improvement it was over the previous film – perhaps less noticed was what many called a clear comparison between Hydra and the Illuminati and their New World Order agenda. Tying the Illuminati to the post-war actions of the Nazis – many of whom did actually become integrated into the American system via programs such as Operation Paperclip – they suggest that the entire movie is a metaphor for secret society infiltration into the upper echelons of American miltary and intelligence agencies.
Another Illuminati-related theme often cited is the secretive CIA mind control program, MK-Ultra – here, both the Winter Soldier and Captain America himself are said to be products of such programs. Perhaps none of these comparisons are surprising, given that the writers themselves have said the script was influenced by 1970’s conspiracy thrillers.
9. Mind Controlling Children And The Power Of Eyes – Coraline
Another movie which some believe to be loaded with hidden Illuminati symbolism is Coraline, which on the surface you’d be forgiven for thinking was little more than an animated movie for children – albeit one with a rather dark undercurrent.
Coraline tells the story of a young girl who moves into a remote house and starts to explore after feeling neglected by her busy parents. She soon discovers a portal to an unusual parallel home featuring strange versions of her family. While most see this as a fairy tale, others believe that it is a coded representation of mind control programming as carried out in secretive experiments in which a child is manipulated by a handler into becoming a mind control slave.
From the removal of eyes (the windows to the soul) and black cats to the All-Seeing Eye on the movie posters, occult symbols often linked to the Illuminati are thought by some to be prolific throughout Coraline. Of course, there’s every chance they were included simply because fairy tales often draw upon such symbols, and this could be a simple cautionary tale about appreciating what you have.
8. All-Seeing Eyes Are Hidden In The Background – Tomb Raider
References to the Illuminati are sometimes considerably more heavy-handed in the first Tomb Raider than most other movies – just half an hour into the movie Lara Croft reads a note from her deceased father which says, “The world will be in great danger, with a secret society known as the Illuminati, devious dangerous men who seek to fulfil an ancient prophesy…”
Much of the other occult and esoteric symbolism allegedly relating to the Illuminati is a little trickier to spot, however: from the discreet All-Seeing Eyes in the background, often out of focus, to the use of the skull and bones icon – often associated with the secret society from Yale university named after this symbol – Tomb Raider is stacked with “Illuminati easter eggs” for the keen-eyed conspiracy theorist to hunt down.
Of course, given that this is a film about a treasure hunter searching for ancient artefacts, it’s perhaps to be expected that such symbols and imagery will appear. Although when asked if Jay-Z was in the Illuminati Angelina Jolie responded with “Perhaps,” so maybe there’s some truth to it after all.
7. Ritual Sacrifice Is Used To Control The Real World – The Cabin In The Woods
But beneath the surface – both of the knowing references and the ground under the cabin – lies a cautionary tale about the use of ritual sacrifice by the shadowy elites of the real world. At least, according to some. From the nameless organisation which controls the annual sacrifices to the old gods to the archetypal victims – the whore, fool, virgin etc. – The Cabin In The Woods in said to be replete with Illuminati symbolism.
It’s an interesting theory, although no evidence of widescale human sacrifice to the old gods has emerged in recent centuries to support these comparisons. That said, if the Illuminati are doing it in secret you’d never get to hear about it anyway…
6. It Was A Ritual Powered By Ledger’s Death – The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus
Heath Ledger’s final performance drew particular attention from Illuminati-seeking conspiracy theorists – not only did The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus feature a treasure trove of occult symbolism, it was also tainted by the untimely death of its star.
Director Terry Gilliam is no stranger to the weird and esoteric and The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus is no exception – from the scene which introduces Ledger’s character hanging from a bridge relating the the Hanged Man in Tarot to the more obvious All-Seeing Eye mounted top centre on Parnassus’s traveling stage, the film is replete with the symbols of the occult.
Some people have even gone so far as to suggest that the film was written with prior knowledge of Ledger’s suicide and that the entire process was part of an elaborate ritual – needless to say this stretches credulity for even the most conspiracy-minded person.
5. The Dolls Are The New Age Illuminati – 9
Another animated movie ostensibly aimed at children but featuring plenty of symbolism for the conspiracy theorist/occultist to spot is 9, Shane Acker’s feature based on his award-winning short film.
With its PG-13 certificate it was obvious that this wasn’t intended for tiny tots, which becomes immediately clear from the post-apocalyptic setting and the dictator which rules over the land. With its self-recreating robots hinting at transhumanism and the presence of homunculi – tied to ancient alchemy – the esoteric references come thick and fast.
Alchemy and its ties to occult secret societies – which in turn are heavily featured in Illuminati-based literature – leads some believe that 9 is a reference to the “New Age” of the Illuminati in which humans transition from the old religions to the age of Luciferianism. Or maybe it’s simply about the negative effects of technology – the viewer can choose which for themselves.
4. The Monarch Mind Control Program Was The Cause Of The Trauma – Hide And Seek
Robert De Niro and Dakota Fanning star in Hide And Seek, which aside from anything else is perhaps De Niro’s worst film of all time. That aside, some have claimed that it is also the most blatant movie about Illuminati mind control programming – otherwise known as the Monarch program – ever made.
On the surface, Hide And Seek’s subject matter is about a young girl who experienced a traumatic event and, with the help of her father is trying to recover some semblance of normality. On a deeper reading, some believe that this traumatic event is really about mind control experimentation. From the Mockingbird song which plays throughout the film to the Monarch butterfly she follows to the cave, mind control symbolism is thought to permeate the film from start to finish.
Is Hide And Seek simply a movie about a young girl traumatised by a horrible experience in childhood? Or is it a coded representation of mind control programming? That depends on how you interpret symbolism – which, let’s face it, is open to various interpretations by its very nature.
3. The Illuminati Control The Media – Now You See Me
The Illuminati is thought – by those who believe in it – to control virtually every aspect of our lives. One aspect of this, which is said by some to be covered in great detail in Now You See Me, is its control of the entertainment industry.
Ostensibly about magicians attempting to get one up on each other and prove themselves the best in the business, Now You See Me was mainly criticised at the time of its release for its implausible, hole-ridden plot. Others saw it another way, believing that it was a coded way of revealing the Illuminati’s hand in the media. From associating the key characters to members of the Tarot pack to the mysterious organisation known as The Eye (not a tricky reference to get) it’s no surprise that the All-Seeing Eye itself manifests in various forms throughout the film.
Some see Now You See Me as simply a movie about magicians grouping together to carry out an elaborate heist; others see it as a coded visualisation of the Illuminati’s control of the entertainment industry…
2. Overt Mind Control Experiments – A Clockwork Orange
Movies thought to feature Illuminati symbolism aren’t a new phenomenon – way back in the early 1970s one of the greatest directors of all time, Stanley Kubrick, is thought to have directed one on his own, A Clockwork Orange.
Adapted from the book of the same name by Anthony Burgess (more than one cover for his book depicted the main character Alex with just one eye showing), A Clockwork Orange quite openly deals with the idea of government-backed mind control experiments, as they try to “cure” Alex of his criminal behaviour. The Ludovico technique used it certainly reminiscent of trauma-based MK-Ultra experiments conducted by the CIA, while Freemasonic chequerboard floors and pyramids can be seen at various points in the movie with varying degrees of obviousness.
Kubrick was no stranger to symbolism and his films have been heavily interpreted in the years since his death – from the awakening of mankind in 2001: A Space Odyssey to the many interpretations of The Shining outlined in the documentary Room 237. And his final movie was no exception…
1. The Entire Cult Mirrors The Illuminati’s Operations – Eyes Wide Shut
Stanley Kubrick’s swan song, Eyes Wide Shut, received mixed reactions from the critics upon its release and was considered by many general viewers as overlong, muddled and more than a little boring. Few people made any mention of the film’s subject matter beyond the shaky status of the relationship between the two central characters, played by real life husband and wife (at the time) Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman.
More recently, however, focus has moved away from the sexual politics and towards the weird ritualistic party Tom Cruise’s character Dr. Bill Harford attends towards the end of the movie. While Wikipedia’s entry for the film’s thematic elements discusses Kubrick’s unconventional approach to the erotic thriller genre, Christmas and Venetian masks, others suggest that Kubrick was far more concerned with illuminating the secret rituals of all-powerful secret societies, not simply through their orgies but in the way they instruct Harford to remain silent once he starts digging too deep into their activities.
From mind control sex slaves overdosing on heroin during the opening party – where the Christmas decorations are said to correspond to occult symbols – through to the orgy itself, filmed at a mansion of the Rothschild family (a name synonymous with Illuminati conspiracy theories), Eyes Wide Shut is considered to be the most occult-laden movie Kubrick ever made.
By Andrew Dilks, What Culture