Friday, May 18, 2007

The Law of Fives



"Everything can be related to the number five if you try hard enough"


Sticking with the subject of that last post on the inclusion of elite symbolism in mainstream movies, for my sins, I saw The Good Shepherd last week.

Truth be told, it’s not a very good film; either as information or entertainment.

It is worth watching, however, as an example of Hollywood pretending to deal with a contentious issue, such as the role of the CIA in the post-WW2 world, and fluffing it.

Yup, there sure is a lot of fluffing, mental as opposed to physical, going on in that movie.

A few scenes in the film, as in Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut before it, attempt to grapple with the unsettling fact that members of our ruling elite are frequently members of the kind of fruity little clubs that make Scientology look rational. It’s hard not to watch the homo-erotic Skull and Bones rituals depicted in
The Good Shepherd and not be reminded of the persistent rumours over the years that kiddy fiddling features high on the list of that jaded elite’s favourite Saturday night pass-times.

But that’s not important right now.

One aspect of the movie that really caught my attention was the occasional inclusion of gratuitous pentagrams in certain scenes. For example …


And why not? After all, Washington itself is one enormous Great Pentagram anyway

The rather fetching Pentagram/ Pyramid/ All Seeing Eye combo anchored on the White House

I have yet to encounter anyone who seriously denies that the Founding Fathers of America were members of secret, humanist societies or that the symbolism of those societies was incorporated into emblems of state and even the very floor plan of the capital city of that state. It's so blatant as to be undeniable. So, people just don't talk about instead.

And that tradition of occult symbolism continued certainly until at least as recently as the middle of the 20th century, when the symbolism on the dollar bill was upgraded to be twice as fruity than before and the Pentagram Pentagon was built.

(It's worth bearing in mind that slapping occult symbols all over your money and government logos and waging war from pentagram/ goat's head-shaped buildings kind of hands over a fair bit of psychological ammunition to the sort of firebrand clerics who like to label America as The Great Satan)

There is at least a book’s worth of material on the subject of The Enlightenment and the historical role played by Masonic and other fraternal societies in furthering the aims of The Enlightenment through the subversion and eventual overthrow of existing ruling religious and royal elites.

And then there is another book’s worth of material concerning the motivations of these Enlightened reformers. Were they themselves elitists or were they truly egalitarian? Did they just replace one group of bastard overlords with another? Was their movement corrupted at some point? Are their successors still active today?

Whatever, I just enjoy looking for the symbolism and trying to figure out whether occurrences of that symbolism are conscious, unconscious or just coincidental

The amusing thing is that once you start rooting around the history of the last few hundred years looking for examples of members of fruity secret societies who overthrew established elites and then went on to adopt their club symbols as national symbols those examples start to come thick and fast.

Personal favourites include…

The two Joes, Mazzini and Garibaldi, who unified Italy much to the displeasure of, amongst other people, the Pope

The founder of the modern, emphatically secular, state of Turkey,
Kemal Atatürk

Sam Houston, the general who won the suspiciously easy Battle of San Jacinto and consequently carved Texas off from (Catholic) Mexico

As an aside, if you accept the traditional explanation of the symbolism of obelisks as being essentially phallic and the Pentagram as sometimes being representative of an out-stretched female form then, at 570 feet tall, the San Jacinto Monument in Texas arguably qualifies as the tallest (and most painful looking) example of free-standing pornography on Earth…

Going back to Kemal Ataturk and the Turkish national flag for a moment. One question that did bug me was how something as pagan as a pentagram
and a crescent moon!!! for God’s sake could have ever become associated with Islam – a religion not exactly keen on a) paganism, or b) iconography

It didn’t actually take much research to establish that, no, many orthodox Muslims haven’t embraced the symbolism of the crescent and star and, yes, they do consider it to be blasphemous.

But wait, there’s more. There’s a rather large, modern secular state that was founded by people who probably were members of fruity little clubs rooted in The Enlightenment that I haven't mentioned. And I find it quite amusing to place that country’s flag next to the Turkish one

So, if a crescent moon is a symbol of the feminine what does that make a hammer?

That doesn’t prove anything of course but it does remind me of the hoary old Universal Conspiracy Theory™, promoted by Orwell amongst others, which claims most countries are run by the same, closely allied group of people and most conflicts are acts of murderous theatre, cynically engineered by that group to keep the paeons, wherever they might be, down

Nah, way too far-fetched…



Tony said...

You know that the Pentagon has five side.

But did you know that:
- The Pentagon is composed of five concentric pentagonal rings?
- Each ring has five stories?
- Five ring corridors per floor?
- A five-acre pentagonal courtyard is located in the building’s center?

Tony said...

BTW: The Russian military is still using the red star, and so is currently Macy's.

Stef said...

And let's not forget that construction of the Pentagram officially commenced on 9th September 1941, exactly 60 years before someone tried to demolish part of it

re. continued star usage in the FSU - of course they are - how else could you tell friend from foe?

paul said...

How about this one?

Stef said...


Victorian cemeteries are my second *favourite* thing ever

Tony said...

There is a topic on BoingBoing about phallic objects in public spaces

Stef said...



You don't know how much I enjoy this kind of stuff

or maybe you do