- Religion and Philosophy
Modern Hollywood. As a classic film buff watching TCM with my husband every weekend, I could go into a hundred page rant about what Hollywood has become these days, but that is not the issue here. Rather it is what films have been stuffing down kids throats for the past decade. Vampires, magic, sorcery & gods, this is what kids' eyes have been seeing over & over & over –their minds literally glued to the worlds of magic & ancient civilizations (including my own daughter). (Not to mention all of the sexually based movies aimed at children.) “Harry Potter”, “Twilight”, those are the series obsessing society. Their influence is unprecedented –studies finding character names from Twilight being the top names for newborns in the United States is telling. It is the things going on in the films that escape the eye that is the problem –a literal propaganda machine of subliminal messages & delay-response imagery that is flooding the big screen.
Let's begin with a film focused on gods:
“Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief” was released in February 12th 2010 throughout the nation, based on the novel series authored by Rick Riordan. Conveniently rated PG, this 1 hour 59 minute film begins with the Greek gods Poseidon & Zeus (in human form –even wearing modern American clothing) bickering in the standard mythological way; blaming one another, threatening & complaining about there limits. I would call it a mock divine-comedy if it weren't portrayed in a serious light.
(To be clear, the following analysis –on this specific movie– was not made after reading about the movie on Wikipedia or watching someone's commentary on YouTube. Rather, I watched the movie twice. Once without pause and a second time over a two-day period for constant pausing, rewinding & note-taking. The TV in front of me, laptop ironically on my lap while ancient Greek texts and books on mythology, symbols & Greek circumvent me. Also, when I said “this specific movie”, I am not saying that I used YouTube or the like for the others. Rather it took the stated time period for this movie and a different time period for the others. Okay, let's continue.)
Next we meet little boy Percy, sitting in a pool, holding his breath like some meditation guru. Nancy pantcy Percy holds his breath under there for “seven minutes”. He says under the water is just the only place he can think. To cut to the chase: his powers are derived from the water because Percy is the demigod son of Poseidon.
Now this demigod –as a summarization– discovers he is such, goes to some training camp for demigods & demigoddesses, fights mythological characters like some prepubescent Heracles (Hercules) & eventually (and predictably) wins the day with his superhuman powers & whatnot.
It is two hours of teen enjoyment showing a boring high-school life transitioning to an exciting powerhouse of blasting immortal fun. It grabs the young mind and keeps their eyes glued to the screen. People are portrayed as constrained a-holes while the divinities (even the 'evil' ones) are shown as awesome beings with freedom & superpowers. Instead of the transition taking a story-building thirty minutes or more, it takes a mere 13 minutes (including the beginning credits) until mythological creatures begin blasting onto the screen. The film becomes loaded with great CGI & special effects –good luck on your kids getting you a soda refill. There is no doubt that it is made to show Percy's existence as a demigod as fun, exciting & a way to get-the-girl (in this case, Athena's daughter).
In the Old Testament, the children of the B'nai Elohim (Angels) are filled with evil and cause all sorts of destruction & distress to mankind –i.e. they are bad news (morally & socially). These are the Biblical equivalent to the demigods of Greek mythology. In Greece they are seen as great, in Israel bad. The film goes the pagan route and makes them good beings with lives to envy. (People watch as the demigods enjoy feasts, play video games, battle villains, build positive relationships & save the world after a series of high-five warranting quests.)
So what's wrong with kids wanting some superpowers and to dream of fantasy –especially when kids had Superman & Batman back in the day? Nothing is wrong with some fantasy during childhood (I myself wanted to see through walls like Superman), however, there is a big but here. In Christianity, there is one Son of God and only one, forever. This film is diametrically apposed to the Christian faith, showing that there are many (“hundreds”) of divine children. Not to mention that the movie shows a polytheistic universe rather than the monotheism of Judeo-Christianity. (Also not to mention the anti-Christian morals such as sex appeal in this PG film when the “daughters of Aphrodite” woo characters there way.)
The main precepts of Greek pagan beliefs are witnessed in the film. They even say “Remember all the myths about Greek gods and goddesses. Well, they're not myths.”
Bringing back the pagan ideas of old to replace those of the Christian faith are connected to the Liberal agenda (partly due to Christianity being connected to Conservative ideals). In the movie, when Percy's best friend (who is half-goat) is explaining about there being many demigods in the world, he says that some are famous, “like White House famous” –no, that's not pointing to President Obama... But who am I to judge what was meant?
The negatives of Greek mythology are corrected in the film. In Greek mythology, when the gods come to Earth to copulate with people, it is usually an act of out-right rape or rape via deception (i.e. a deity taking the guise of one's husband to have sex with that one's wife). The myths show the divine-human matings as actions of lust & desire. In the movie, instead, it explains the demigods as products of loving relationships (love is specifically stated) which were mutual events.
Besides for the 'corrections', the film sticks close to the myths of ancient Greece –such as the Hydra sprouting two heads to replace one lost.
The movie bluntly attacks or replaces Biblical ideas of God & other topics.
Poseidon, in the beginning, calls Zeus omnipotent (“omnipotence has blinded you”), even though Zeus is classically not seen as such. Not until Zeus becomes transformed into a monotheistic styled being after Jewish influence in Alexandria is such a title / attribute granted to him by his loyal worshipers. Funny that he is called omnipotent right before it is told he had his precious lightning bolt 'jacked' from him (and blames a high-school teen –which I think I'd want to deny). The God of Israel holds this title. (It is also kind of funny that Zeus is called omnipotent and yet he has no clue where his precious bolt is.)
(The demigod that first befriends Percy is named Luke, name of the third Gospel of Jesus. However, I personally do not believe this was intentional. You can be the judge on that one.)
Jews fought out of necessity and Jesus said to turn the other cheek while the film says that violence, quote, “is the best part” –minute 34 if anyone wants to check.
Percy has to make contact with water –part of nature– to unleash his powers (“the water will give you power”). This ties into the whole 'Earth is Power' deal of the New Age Movement while Judeo-Christian concepts focus power on God himself.
The movie again & again shows the gods themselves; Poseidon, Zeus, Hades, Athena, etc –several of which come down to Earth from their high-horse. In Judaism, God has either never come to Earth or hasn't since ages & ages ago. In Christianity, God (as Jesus Christ) has not been amongst man since Paul or around that time period. But in the film, the gods are going back & forth, showing themselves –saying (per-say) that they are here & the God of Israel is nowhere to be seen. It likewise shows Poseidon & Athena talking to their demigod teens over & over. Again implying that they have interaction with people while Christians' God is silent (per-say again). Skeptics say there is no visible evidence of God while the film shows Zeus forming unexplainable storm clouds around the globe for all to bare witness to. And then there are mammoth waves occurring throughout the world via Poseidon. The movie implies that if Percy fails in his mission, the world will be destroyed by the powers of the gods, including water. This is shown despite the God of Israel promising in Genesis that he would never again destroy the world with water.
The movie shows negative things, like Percy's step-father, as actually positive things done by the gods. This is a Judeo-Christian concept here being replaced.
Back to speaking of the children of god: many Christians & Jews consider all people as sons / daughters of God via creation. Meanwhile in the movie, people are literally fathered (or mothered) by divine beings, taking the creation aspect of fatherhood away from the God called Father.
In the film, several times I might add, Percy –as Poseidon's son, god of water– with his powers forms a wall of protecting or attacking water. This mastery over water replaces an attribute / power connected to Judaism & Christianity's God. In the Book of Exodus, God forms a wall of water through the Red Sea (or Sea of Reeds) to protect his people and then destroy Pharaoh's army. In the Gospels, Jesus calms the Sea of Galilee & walks upon its waters. Again we have the God of Israel being replaced –just as the O.T.O. of Aleister Crowley wants to do & has a game-plan for. (At 1 hour 39 minutes, Percy is seen parting a thing of water like Moses.)
When our hero group goes to the “Lotus Casino” in Las Vegas, it is all about physical excess, fun & happiness (constant partying, women galore, etc). The casino's “signature dish” (which is a magical charm to keep them there) is a Lotus flower –an ancient sign of cosmic life (immortality), sexuality, physical pleasure & divine power. When they eat it, they begin laughing spontaneously & hallucinating like they are on drugs (Magic Mushrooms, Peyote or something). Despite showing the 'high' as generally negative in the end, they sure depict the narcotic-influence as enjoyable. It would be like telling today's 'live-for-the-day' generation that doing drugs is awesome, but will later be bad. Also, if it weren't for the group being on a mission and needing to move on, there does not seem to be any negative consequences if they were to remain high for the rest of their lives –rather it looks like it would be a great time.
(It is very ironic –or genius– that they place the entrance to Hades –Hell– in Hollywood, California.) They gain entry supposedly via stating a phrase in Greek, like a magical charm (verse) which is all too common in New Age magical circles and ancient magical texts (cf. Greek Magical Papyri).
When the group has to pay the ferry-man to gain access across the Styx, goat-boy gives his American money which he bursts into flames and will only except Greek coins. Granted, this is keeping with Greek myth, however, the New Age Movement is pro one-world government & one-world currency and so looks down at American currency.
“All lives end in suffering and tragedy” says the ferryman (1:24). This, again, keeps with the Greek idea of the afterlife, yet is directly opposed to Christian theology of punishment and reward in the hereafter.
Persephone, unwilled wife of Hades, makes an obvious sexual remark at her opening –which is then clarified to not be of a sexual nature (i.e. it was another sexually based comment in a PG film). Not to mention (even though I am mentioning it) that she is dressed like a Gothic harlot with knee-high boots, a corset accentuating her bosom and fishnet leggings. At her closing, she again makes sexually based comments and gives seductive looks –which are not clarified.
Hades –who strongly mimics the iconography of Christian Satan– is made out to be a poor soul which was unjustly banished to Hell. This attitude is common in the New Age Movement & true Satan worship where Satan (Lucifer, Azazel or whomever) is said to have been the good guy in heaven who was unjustly attacked by a tyrannical divinity (i.e. the God of Israel).
“I say it's time for our generation to take over”, says Luke after stating that the gods “have been in power for too long” –1:36. This is an iconic 60's statement; the replacement of the traditional foundation with the 'New-Age.' Luke also says at this scene that it is time to “re-mold the world in our image”, “a world of new heroes.”
Mount Olympus, home of the gods, has its entrance at the top of the Empire State building in New York City. This is the same building that celebrated the anniversary of the Communist Revolution in China. A coincidence? Maybe not when most of the New Age Movement's following is pro-Communism.
The elevator to heaven (Mount Olympus) has a gold plaque at the rear. What is on that plaque? The last of the Greek letters, omega. Meanwhile Jesus is who said that he was “alpha and omega” in Revelation 1:8. Omega symbolizes the end result, mission-accomplished so-to-speak. Yes, it is the end of the characters' mission, but yet I think there is more to it there. Though again, you can be the judge on that one. However, the letter omega is seen within the sun as the plaque. The sun is very important in both ancient & New Age theology (Crowley being a worshiper of the Egyptian sun-god Horus & Ra for an example).
And in the classic fashion, Percy saves the day, gets the girl & lives the life of a demigod in demigod camp.
Making kids envy pagan gods, having them want to be children of Greek deities; this is a subtle way for Neo-Paganism to further seep its influence into modern mainstream society. It is easier for someone to become a religious follower of a pagan god when he or she was wide-eyed over their world as a child. A child's mind is very easy to influence and pattern. And again, this film was rated PG, not PG-13 where most of the audience would already be mentally ripe (per-say). Rather, it was made sure that the younger fruit would witness the message and be imprinted (even if the impact was slight) upon their minds of soft clay. How many kids choose a specific life path because of a childhood hero? (Actually that was more of a statement.) I, for example, wanted to be a Police Officer for a long time seeming that my hero (my father) was a Cop (though, granted, I did not become one –however, my brother did). (When I was in Middle School, I was obsessed with the Egyptian & Greek deities via History class –even writing page after page in ancient Greek letters– and I later became a stout neo-pagan and I can honestly say the obsession helped me become one.) There is no doubt that this is a kid's movie, being filled with comic situations, pal accomplishments ending with pride & glory & regular situations kid's today can relate to.
If they do make a sequel or prequel or whatever, I hope that you, your family & your friends will boycott the film. (Though I will see it to notify you of what other anti-Christian ideas they have blasted into the population's eyes. I hope you understand that this would not be hypocritical.)
There are other films I wanted to detail, but working 40 hours a week & caring for my family limits what I can do, obviously. Adults too are experiencing this painless onslaught. “Gladiator”, the series “Spartacus”, “Clash of the Titans”, “The Eagle”. Where are the Biblical films? Many Jews operate Hollywood and yet I see no movie of the Maccabee Revolt despite it having all the elements for an epic film. (It's pathetic that the last truly epic Biblical film –“The Ten Commandments”– dates back to the 50's. Yes, “The Greatest Story Ever Told” was an excellent film, but you see my point –hopefully.)
Movies aren't their only route of transmitting their ideas. Television advertising has joined in. “POM” (the 'O' as a heart), the Pomegranate drink product, has a commercial (that I literally just saw while typing this article) which shows the Greek goddess Aphrodite and tells the story of her introducing the fruit to the world via Cyprus and its thought of being an aphrodisiac. Could swear that the pomegranate was also a fruit used in early Christian symbols as one of hope. The Jews also incorporated pomegranates in their artwork & the Jewish High Priest even had pomegranate shaped things of fabric on his dressing. Yet those are not shown. (I am now boycotting the product even though I loved it.) (Another commercial of theirs speaks of “Persian Mythology” –which also was just on. It is like God is literally handing me the info to type.)
Video / computer games have been another big avenue for the pagan stuff. “Age of Mythology” by Ensemble Studios & Microsoft Game Studios, for a solo example, is completely focused around pagan ideas –the title kind-of hints at that. In this real-time strategy PC game, one can play as the Norse, Greeks or Egyptians, picking their patron gods or goddesses & using “god powers” –earthquakes, lightning storms, magic (which turns people into swine), healing springs, meteors, locusts, animal luring stones, raising the dead, summoning serpents, eclipses, etc, etc, etcetera. People can choose from Aphrodite to Apollo, from Thor to Zeus, from Hades to Isis, from Hel to Set, from Freyja to Dionysus; depending on what civilization they pick, each with special powers & abilities. In addition to divine powers, players can produce “myth units” such as Medusas, the Kraken, Phoenixes, Mummies, super-animals, Dragons, soldiers of Anubis, Frost & Fire Giants, Cyclopeses, Valkyries, etc, as well as “heroes” including Heracles, Odysseus, Ajax, Pharaohs, etc. Active participation in paganism is pretty-much a requirement. As the Greeks, you need to have villagers pray to the gods at temples to gain “favor” which is used to create myth units & heroes. As the Egyptians, one needs to build multiple idols to gain favor. Thus, some kid or teen sends all his villagers to bow down to Zeus (literally) so that his army of Cyclopeses can hurl people through the air –and into a forest causing trees to tumble. Part 14 of the game's campaign is called “Isis, Hear My Plea”, where you are granted all sorts of favors by the goddess after the main character prays to her. (Earlier, in part 10 I believe, you escape the underworld after the main character prays at the temple to Zeus.) A large chuck of the campaign is dedicated to you resurrecting the dead god Osiris. I could go on & on further still (like there being a god-power giving you a son-of-god).
To wrap this up rather than turn it into a mini-book, Hollywood & other entertainment venues are pushing paganism into the mind of the newest generation, your kids.