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‘THEY LIVE!’ – An Esoteric Film Analysis

picJay Dyer
21st Century Wire

I have only analyzed two John Carpenter films, Big Trouble in Little China and Prince of Darkness (while Branko Malic covered The Thing), but it’s admittedly absurd to have not covered They Live! on a site dedicated to deep state connections and film.  For most of the audience, the meaning and message of They Live! will likely be obvious, but aspects of the film may have been missed and as our world spirals more and more into total insanity, Carpenter’s classic is becoming more and more of a reality – we really are living in a dystopic B sci-fi film!

Our film begins with Banksy-style graffiti, exemplifying the “underground” movement of the anti-establishment proletariat, replete with its own subculture of signs and symbols.   Graffiti culture is unique, insofar as it exists in every city, generally dismissed as trashy (it often is), yet hidden within this mystic symbols is another language – a language of codes and ciphers that alert other gangs “in the know.”  Signaling gang territory and other black market operations, graffiti embodies a crude form of something akin to the NSA’s advanced cryptography. Listverse relates (see whole article!):

“Gang graffiti in Los Angeles is not random vandalism. To those who know how to decipher the secret language, these markings are the “newspaper of the street.” They reflect territorial boundaries, rivalries, and allegiances. Law enforcement officers have even used the secret messages to solve crimes.

Often the names of the gangs themselves are shrouded in code. The monikers are often written abbreviated, such as “ES DKS SGV” for the Eastside Dukes of the San Gabriel Valley. In some cases, gangs have disguised their names by using Roman or Mayan numbers.

Gang graffiti began in Los Angeles with the emergence of Latino factions over 70 years ago. Initially, it was simply a way of glorifying the organization and marking “turf.” Black gangs quickly contributed to the language. The ‘70s and ‘80s saw the peak of the gang graffiti movement in Los Angeles.


They Live! graffiti.

There is a marked difference between gang graffiti and the work of taggers. The latter also engage in a coded language of vandalism, but theirs is based more in outsider art than the criminal underworld. However, differentiation is complicated by the fact that taggers often paint on gang-controlled walls, and city authorities have recently used gang injunctions against tagging crews. To those fluent in the visual cryptolect of L.A. gangs, though, they are worlds apart.”

Now when it comes to Rowdy Roddy Piper, I am reminded of a dude I went to high school who had jacked up teeth we called Rowdy Rotty Tooth.  That has no relevance to the analysis, but I still think it’s funny. As for wrestlers, the 80s and the American path to power and glory, think no further than Jesse Ventura and our likely future president, Donald J. Trump.

The smooth transition from Hollywood to politics - one theater to another.

The smooth transition from Hollywood to politics – one theater to another.

In case you were unaware, Trump was a WWE figure for a bit, and lest you laugh at this pedigree, consider how many actors have become politicians – notably Reagan, Arnold, Ventura, and now Trump.  Indeed, Piper in his latter days was also “speaking out” when it comes to political issues (appearing on Alex Jones), prompting knee-jerk YouTuber idiots to cry foul as “Illuminati Sacrifice.”  I’m just waiting for the Coco Beware/Irwin R. Schiester Presidential ticket, and maybe then my confidence in voting will be restored.

Piper is also interesting as the star of another conspiratorial themed 80s B movie called Hell Comes to Frogtown.  This gem is a lot of fun, too, with the surprisingly accurate plot centering around a future dystopia where mankind has been sterilized and Roddy happens to the last virile chap about.  Watching this as a teen in puberty on USA’s Up All Night, I recall thinking how great this idea actually was, since, as you can guess, Roddy stumbles upon a colony of gorgeous women seeking a fecund male.

USA's Up All Night!

USA’s Up All Night!

Back to They Live! – as with many Carpenter flicks, the omnipotent street preacher appears with foreboding messages of doom.  Here, the message is about a shadowy elite that have engineered the economic collapse that has wiped out the working class.  Piper plays “Nada,” the aimless drifter looking for work who refuses to join a union.   Similarly, the “underground” works with the churches to establish a resistance that can “hack the signal” to awaken the masses (a staple of every dystopian film).   The hacked transmission states:

“…our impulses are being redirected. We are living in an artificially induced state of consciousness that resembles sleep… …the movement was begun eight months ago by a small group of scientists who discovered, quite by accident, these signals being sent through television… …the poor and the underclass are growing. Racial justice and human rights are nonexistent. They have created a repressive society and we are their unwitting accomplices… …their intention to rule rests with the annihilation of consciousness. We have been lulled into a trance. They have made us indifferent, to ourselves, to others, we are focused only on our own gain. We ha… …please understand, they are safe as long as they are not discovered. That is their primary method of survival. Keep us asleep, keep us selfish, keep us sedated… …they are dismantling the sleeping middle class. More and more people are becoming poor. We are their cattle. We are being bred for slavery. The revolution…we cannot break their signal, our transmitter is not powerful enough. The signal must be shut off at the source. We have…”

Consumerism. Mindless consumerism.

While tainted with a bit of Marxism and class warfare, the overall message of la resistance is correct and does accurately describe our world.  The modern social engineers and Pentagon planners have worked for decades through the large foundations and think tanks to direct culture into a toxic sludge that feeds mindless consumerism.  Much of this involves the directing of the passions through mass advertising and marketing.

These techniques were perfected, as has been stated, by figures like Edward Bernays and analyzed by thinkers like Jacques Ellul in his classic work, Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes. The intention of “annihilating consciousness” is almost directly parallel to the infamous statement of Bertrand Russell.  As is often the misguided narrative of so many dystopian stories, however, there is no real “resistance” or underground guerilla movement (apart from the Church) that can combat this system.  Yet, if read as a metaphor or allegory, Carpenter’s film is still appropriate as a picture of our system.  Ellul writes of film (perfectly exemplifying the message of They Live!):

“When the American producer makes a film, he has certain definite ideas he wants to express, which are not intended to be propaganda.  Rather, the propaganda element is in the American way of life with which he is permeated and which he expresses in his film without realizing it.   We see here the force of expansion of a vigorous society, which is totalitarian in the sense of the integration of the individual which leads to involuntary behavior.” (Propaganda, pg. 64)

Ella's Propaganda.

Ella’s Propaganda.

Amazingly, Carpenter’s film even reveals the core psy op of “Hollywoodism,” that the narcissistic indulgence of fame and the camera lens can bring fulfillment – palpably demonstrated in the television scene with the woman describing her fantasy of being “famous” and thereby attaining meaning in her life.  As a profound form of revelation of the method (one could argue), They Live! Centers around the television and Hollywood as the means of control – something JaysAnalysis certainly concurs with.

In fact, we even get the sense the “news” broadcast signal and the entire entertainment complex are the nexus of control by the human-looking “aliens.”  Through both the overt propaganda and subliminal signals beamed out alongside the consumerist-driven mind control, the “signals” seems to also affect brain waves and induce a walking sleep state.  This is precisely what television was designed and engineered to do.  The reference hearkens to something akin to Brzezinski’s famous statements concerning ELF/VLF waves, as well as Col. Aquino’s PsyOps claims. I wrote previously:

“Back in 1973, longtime Washington geopolitical strategist Zbigniew Brzezinski described the usage of Tesla technology for the dystopian control of large masses of populations in his Between Two Ages:

“In addition… future developments may well include automated or manned space warships, deep-sea installations, chemical and biological weapons, death rays, and still other forms of warfare–even the weather may be tampered with.

In addition, it may be possible–and tempting–to exploit for strategic-political purposes the fruits of research on the brain and on human behavior.  Gordon J. F. MacDonald, a geophysicist specializing in problems of warfare, has written that timed artificially excited electronic strokes could lead to a pattern of oscillations that produce relatively high power levels over certain regions of the earth…. In this way, one could develop a system that would seriously impair the brain performance of very large populations in selected regions over an extended period…. No matter how deeply disturbing the thought of using the environment to manipulate behavior for national advantages to some, the technology permitting such use will very probably develop within the next few decades.

Brzezinski's Between Two Ages.

As one specialist noted, ‘By the year 2018, technology will make available to the leaders of the major nations, a variety of techniques for conducting secret warfare, of which only a bare minimum of the security forces need be appraised.  One nation may attack a competitor covertly by bacteriological means, thoroughly weakening the population (though with a minimum of fatalities) before taking over with its own armed forces.  Alternatively, techniques of weather modification could be employed to produce prolonged periods of drought or storm….(Gordon J. F. MacDonald, “Space,” in Toward the year 2018, p.34).” (pg. 57 with fn)

…Modern scientism is something I have written about at length, and one of the greatest dark secrets is revealed precisely in the figure of Tesla.  Like the Brzezinski quote above, not only has Tesla tech been used for weather warfare, Army psychological warfare expert and founder of the Satanic Temple of Set, Col. Michael Aquino describes the actual usage of Tesla’s ELF/VLF radio frequency attacks upon mass populations.  In his “From PsyOp to Mindwar: The Psychology of Victory,”  Aquino writes in the footnotes towards the end:

“Atmospheric electromagnetic (EM) activity: The Human body communicates internally by EM and electrochemical impulses. The EM field displayed in Kirlian photographs, the effectiveness of acupuncture, and the body’s physical responses to various types of EM radiation (X-rays, infrared radiation, visible light spectra, etc.) are all examples of human sensitivity to EM forces and fields. Atmospheric EM activity is regularly altered by such phenomena as sunspot eruptions and gravitational stresses which distort the Earth’s magnetic field. Under varying external EM conditions, humans are more or less disposed to the consideration of new ideas.

05_everettcollection_theylive-141229“There are no countries anymore. There are no good guys.”

MindWar should be timed accordingly. Per Dr. L.J. Ravitz:  Electromagnetic field constructs add fuel to the assumption unifying living matter harmoniously with the operations of nature, the expression of an electromagnetic field no less than non-living systems; and that as points on spectrums, these two entities may at last take their positions in the organization of the universe in a way both explicable and rational … A tenable theory has been provided for emergence of the nervous system, developing not from functional demands, but instead deriving as a result of dynamic forces imposed on cell groups by the total field pattern. Living matter on has a definition of state based on relativity field physics, through which it has been possible to detect a measurable property of total state functions. (Ravitz, State-Function, Including Hypnotic States” in Journal of American Society of Psychosomatic Dentistry and Medicine Vol. 17, No. 4, 1970.)”

The infinite fight scene. The infinite fight scene – I’m here to chew bubble gum and kick ass.

And,“Ionization of the air: An abundance of negative condensation nuclei (“air ions”) in ingested air enhances alertness and exhilaration, while an excess of positive ions enhances drowsiness and depression.  Calculation of the ionic balance of a target audience’s atmospheric environment will be correspondingly useful. Again this is a naturally-occurring condition – caused by such varying agents as solar ultraviolet light, lightning, and rapidly-moving water – rather than one which most be artificially created. (Detonation of nuclear weapons, however, will alter atmospheric ionization levels.) Cf. Soyke, Fred and Edmonds, Alan, “The Ion Effect”. New York: E.P. Dutton, 1977.

Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) waves: ELF waves up to 100 Hz are once more naturally occurring,but they can also be produced artificially (such as for the Navy’s Project Sanguine for submarine communication). ELF-waves are not normally noticed by the unaided senses, yet their resonant effect upon the human body has been connected to both physiological disorders and emotional distortion. Infrasound vibration (up to 20 Hz) can subliminally influence brain activity to align itself to “delta”, “theta”, “alpha”, or “beta” wave patterns, inclining an audience toward everything from alertness to passivity. Infrasound could be used tactically, as ELF-waves endure for great distances; and it could be used in conjunction with media broadcasts as well. See Playfair, Guy L. and Hill, Scott, The Cycles of Heaven. New York: St. Martin’sPress, 1978, pages 130-140.”

Perpetual and total panopticon surveillance. Perpetual and total panopticon surveillance. They Live! surveillance drones.

The other interesting insight in the film concerns the mass surveillance the alien establishment covertly operates, keeping tabs on “who is awake.”  Once fingered, “Nada” is portrayed on television as a “terrorist,” a theme often appearing in dystopic films, and amazingly real, as we have recently been vindicated concerning the “staged terror” narrative now being admitted.  In fact, the Pentagon hired a PR firm, paying 540 million for the production of fake terror videos.  This immediately brings to mind the last two years of glaringly ridiculous “ISIS” videos.  Shawn Helton explains:

“Following the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the Pentagon reportedly paid PR firm Bell Pottinger $540 million to produce fake terror videos used to steer Western political interests.

If this latest report by the The Bureau of Investigative Journalism is accurate, the public is once again privy to another startling example of how deep-state social engineering impacts and propels larger geopolitical war campaigning.

This latest Pentagon public relations scandal comes after an onslaught of summertime war propaganda images were found to have been fabricated by the George Soros and US-UK government-backed pseudo NGO known as ‘The White Helmets.’”

Patsy and faux-terrorist. Patsy and faux-terrorist, John Nada.

Our aliens are said to be interdimensional entities that seek to “make earth’s atmosphere like theirs,” hinting at geoengineering.  While I don’t believe in aliens, we can make the connection to the demonic here, echoing my analysis of Invasion of the Body Snatcherswhere I wrote:

Like the space jockey of Ridley Scott’s Alien and Prometheus, the gnostic reconstruction of ancient mythology and science is a likely scenario for uniting the world under a global faux religion.  In fact, panspermia has been promoted by top scientific luminaries, such Stephen Hawking, Sir Fred Hoyle and  Francis Crick.  There have been numerous hints at just this scenario, but here I am only speculating.  Ironically, whether one accepts the existence of aliens or not, the actual out working of the cryptocracy’s worldview, like the aliens in Invasion, looks strangely similar to the biblical description of the demonic.  In Scripture, the demons seek to enslave man through mind control (possession), and the inducement to idolatry and self-destruction. Deuteronomy 32:16-18 reads:

“They provoked him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they him to anger. They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not.  Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee.”

And St. Paul writes in Ephesians 6:12:

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

Television entrances and propagandizes the masses. Television entrances and propagandizes the masses.

The other interesting aspect of They Live! Is the revelation of a breakaway civilization, which I spoke about last year.  The idea of the breakaway civilization is prevalent in fiction, and is based on the principle of mass depopulation and the creation of a new order, or new civilization of the superclass or super elite.  I tend to believe this breakaway plan is not concerned with off-world colonies (at least anytime soon), but rather with earth itself.   A much more sensible candidate for the breakaway civilization are the masses of underground bases owned by the military industrial complex, as I covered here.  Indeed, we have recently seen mass occult ceremonies that mark the opening of these tunnels, showing They Live!’s scenario of an underground base/breakaway civilization operated by the elite is accurate.

Truly they live, while we sleep, as the television entrances and programs the masses through contrived spectacles – the key message of Carpenter’s film.   Critical theorist Guy Debord is appropriate here, as he noted in his famous Society of the Spectacle:

“The spectacle cannot be understood as an abuse of the world of vision, as a product of the techniques of mass dissemination of images. It is, rather, a Weltanschauung which has become actual, materially translated. It is a world vision which has become objectified. The spectacle presents itself simultaneously as all of society, as part of society, and as instrument of unification. As a part of society it is specifically the sector which concentrates all gazing and all consciousness. Due to the very fact that this sector is separate, it is the common ground of the deceived gaze and of false consciousness, and the unification it achieves is nothing but an official language of generalized separation.”

thumbnailimage“We’ll have Global Government by 2025,” the elite aliens state in the film.

Stream or download audio analysis here.

: 21st Century Wire Hollywood Files

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Jay Dyer is the author of the forthcoming title, Esoteric Hollywood: Sex, Cults and Symbols in Film from Trine Day.  Focusing on film, philosophy, geopolitics and all things esoteric, JaysAnalysisand his podcast, “Esoteric Hollywood,” investigates the deeper meanings between the headlines, exploring the hidden aspects of our sinister synthetic mass media matrix.



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