Lady Gaga: Puppet of the Illuminati?
Dorian Lynskey The Guardian
Lady Gaga's music videos are undoubtedly elaborate – but is there any truth to one blogger's claims that they are loaded with occult references and masonic symbolism?
You might think that by know you've read more than enough online exegesis of Lady Gaga's videos but you haven't even scratched the surface until you've read the work of The Vigilant Citizen. This anonymous Canadian blogger explained last year's Paparazzi video with reference to the CIA's MK-ULTRA mind-control programme, Fritz Lang's Metropolis, the Eye of Horus and the goat-god Baphomet, concluding that Gaga was indubitably an "Illuminati puppet". Bad Romance apparently "offers a chilling description of a music industry ruled by the elite". In Alejandro, she "flashes in her fans' faces the symbols of their own oppression".
The Vigilant Citizen has a good claim to be the world's most distinctive music critic. On his website, vigilantcitizen.com, he describes himself as a graduate in communications and politics and a producer for "some fairly well-known 'urban' artists". He has spent five years researching "Theosophy, Freemasonry, Rosicrucianism, the Bavarian Illuminati and Western Occultism". All of these interests converge in his insanely detailed analyses of the symbolism of pop videos and lyrics. Thus Pink's MTV awards performance mimics a Masonic initiation; Jay-Z's Run This Town trumpets the coming of the New World Order (NWO); and the video for Black Eyed Peas' Imma Be Rocking That Body advances "the transhumanist and police state agenda".
What's surprising is the methodical, matter-of-fact, occasionally humorous tone of his essays. He does not write like a swivel-eyed loon rambling about Obamunism (although, inevitably, there's an unsavoury fascination with Jewish influence). To those who don't study occult symbolism, he concedes, it might all seem "totally far-fetched and ridiculous", but for those in the know "I was simply stating the obvious". His examinations are certainly exhaustive. Scrolling down his densely illustrated posts, you may find yourself thinking, "Say, Lady Gaga really does very often cover up one eye. And a lot of pop stars really do pretend to be robots."
But the Vigilant Citizen can't encounter a predictable pop trope without interpreting it as part of an occult music-industry plot to brainwash the masses. The ostensibly meaningless "Bum bum be-dum" refrain in Rihanna's Disturbia, for example, is decoded as: "You good-for-nothing, idiotic person, let yourself become dumb, stop thinking and let yourself be hypnotised and possessed." It's something of a stretch.
Nonetheless, his eccentric readings have attracted a large and passionate following: several posts have received more than 1,000 comments. Some readers recently took it upon themselves to analyse Muse's seemingly sympathetic album The Resistance, with its references to the "third eye" and MK-ULTRA, concluding sadly that the band were "definitely tools of NWO", assigned to make real conspiracy theorists look ridiculous.
Although the Vigilant Citizen insists he is neither a political conservative nor a religious fundamentalist, he is heir to such off-piste 60s pop critics as the Reverend David A Noebel, author of Communism, Hypnotism and the Beatles, and Gary Allen, who theorised that post-Rubber Soul Beatles material was so technically sophisticated that it must have been "put together by behavioural scientists in some think tank". Leftwing thinkers at the time had their own take on pop as mind control. Peter Watkins' 1967 movie Privilege starred Manfred Mann's Paul Jones as a puppet of the state, pacifying the populace with catchy patriotic tunes. In such analysis, the villains may change but the mechanisms remain the same.
The Vigilant Citizen's work is a fascinating glimpse into the current resurgence (witness the Tea Party movement) of what academic Richard Hofstadter diagnosed in 1964 as "the paranoid style", with its obsession with plots and "refusal to accept the ineluctable limitations and imperfections of human existence". To the Vigilant Citizen, a pop star appearing "vacuous, incoherent and absent-minded" must be "a tribute to mind control" rather than them actually being vacuous, incoherent and absent-minded. Sometimes, surely, pop music is just pop music. Or is that what the Illuminati want us to think?