MASS MEDIA MATRIX
It’s hardly controversial to suggest that the 24/7 mass media matrix in which untold millions are immersed might be doing much more harm than good. But what if this addictive, obsessive diet of gaudily-lit screens and never-ending noise was actually the core of an agenda to mesmerize and manipulate humanity toward much darker ends? With our collective disconnect from reality already well underway, trash culture – sometimes disguised as art – is creating a subspecies for whom the distinction between fact and fiction will soon no longer exist. People with a susceptibility to being programmed – or even possessed – by outside influences. And the purpose? The harvesting of human sentience for the seeding of machine intelligence.
In his latest book The Kubrickon: Attention Capture and the Inception of AI author Jasun Horsley explores these ideas using the work of film director Stanley Kubrick as a starting point. Far from being the unadulterated genius of the screen so many fans and critics like to believe, Horsley portrays Kubrick’s work and the man himself as part of an agenda to propagate artificial intelligence through ‘attention capture’, the smoke-and-mirrors magic woven by mass media and the global network through which it spreads. While much of this may be familiar to regular readers, current developments in AI are creating a dark new dimension to the technological takeover of our lives, one that reaches beyond the merely physical. It is the colonization and transformation of human consciousness.
“You can’t really avoid having heard about Kubrick,” says Horsley, “and even having some opinion about him if you’re in the Western world, certainly if you’re into mass media anyway, culture. He’s a big fish. The fish that I’ve gone after in the past, they’ve been of varying sizes. Whitley Strieber, for example, is a big fish in a small pond. Aleister Crowley, he’s a very big fish in terms of influence, but he’s still fairly marginal. Kubrick’s just a big fish in a big pond. He’s a worldly influence. He’s considered one of two or three most influential film-makers. Film is considered the most influential art form in the 20th century, and to me, most influential means most effective and most useful as propaganda. My first books were about movies, as a film critic, but even in those days I considered those books Trojan Horses. I wanted not just to express and explore my love of film, but I was also aware of the hidden metaphysical evil that was underneath the system, including Hollywood.” (1)
The words ‘metaphysical’ and ‘evil’ can begin to point us toward the ‘dark new dimension’ mentioned above which, in the end, may be revealed as something ancient and primordial. The study of myths and archetypes taps into these shadowy realms, hinting at hidden depths within the human mind. Many of these myths and archetypes resonate repeatedly throughout culture, in whatever form it takes. While many creators are unconscious channels for external forces, in Kubrick’s case, Horsley believes him to have been not only aware of such forces, but actively working for or with them. Reading The Kubrickon, one is struck by a sense of Kubrick on occasion having something like contempt for his audience, if not for the art of movie-making itself.
“I’ve never said that he was contemptuous of the art form itself,” says Horsley. “Kubrick obviously took a great deal of care with his movies. As far as the audience, I think there was an element of contempt, or at least – which isn’t the same at all – a desire to confound the audience, and that’s often associated with a serious artist. And I understand why, and I would agree, but I don’t interpret it that way with Kubrick. I think he was up to something else. The general view of Kubrick, at least among film makers, but also among these ‘synchromystic’ (2) types is that he was attempting something and succeeding at something that other film makers don’t do, and there I agree. However, as far as what [else] he was involved in, I disagree. First of all, I don’t think it was him individually. I think he was part of some sort of think tank and that he and his films were being used instrumentally to further this agenda, which is the creation of artificial intelligence through harvesting of audience attention, attention capture.”
An ironic aspect of Kubrick’s work, which can be applied to thousands of other cultural artefacts across the spectrum, is that, beyond the average cinema goer, his films engender extreme attention capture from the conspira-tainment field, the conspiratorial subculture within which movies, music, books et cetera are scanned for hidden meanings, coded messages, and secret symbols. In this way, those involved in ‘decoding’ messages instead become hyper-programmed, ceding much more psychic energy in the process.
“[Kubrick’s] movies themselves weren’t meant as ordinary movies or works of art,” says Horsley. “They were meant to be disguised as that and definitely meant to be received as that, and this is where we get the emperor’s new clothes thing. They don’t really work that well the way that movies are supposed to work. You have to reconfigure your perceptions to enjoy a Kubrick movie. Why would you do that? A major part of the con is persuading masses of people, but mainly the gatekeepers and the intelligensia. And now we have the lower level on the Internet who are just self-appointed. Not exactly gatekeepers, but they’re defining the narrative around Kubrick, trying to get people to constantly reinforce or repeat the idea that Kubrick is a great film maker and that these are great movies and that there’s more going on to them than meets the eye. You watch the movie and you think, what’s going on? What is it? This isn’t doing what I wanted. You smoke a cigarette and you go, oh, it’s made me feel sick. But if you’ve got all your peers, your friends telling you, ‘No, no, keep trying! Smoking’s great!’, you want to be part of the club. So you keep trying until you get over that natural aversion and you end up addicted. I would say in that sense, Kubrick’s movies are like a gateway drug [to] general cultural addiction. Kubrick is taking the viewer into a deeper layer, into a second matrix where a viewer becomes not just addicted to the entertainment value, but personally obsessed with the art form. So the person will watch The Shining hundreds of times. Imagine all of that energy and time that’s going to an artefact that basically doesn’t change. It’s the same each time you watch.”
COVID 19: THE MOVIE
Whatever one made of the recent Covid crisis, the propaganda, manipulation, and fear-mongering of that period was nothing less than an assault on the collective human psyche, further weakening already faltering morale and cognitive ability. To those of us who didn’t swallow the official narrative, the entire episode was surreal. Suddenly, something that existed primarily on TV and the Internet spilled over into five-sense, three-dimensional reality, a zombie apocalypse B-movie playing in real time, with neighbours, family members, and soon-to-be former friends the unwitting stars. None of this is new and in fact we have a name for it: LARPing – live action role-playing – gameplay that is conducted in the physical world. And so the aforementioned distinction between fact and fiction was dealt yet another blow. And we were primed for all this. By movies, by television, stories about plagues, pandemics, outbreaks, mass hysteria, mass vaccinations, government crackdowns, societal collapse. The list goes on. Despite an apparent return to relative normality, a much more subtle and subliminal campaign is now underway, on multiple fronts, deploying proven techniques from the past, honed by the technology of the present, toward a plan for the future. What else are we being primed for?
“The whole global agenda, which became so visible with Covid, is about uncoupling human beings individually and collectively from the bedrock of reality, and their sense of reality. You can’t be connected to reality without having a sense of it. So, you can’t actually disconnect people from reality, although they’re trying to do that with the infiltrations into the human body and transgender mutilations and all that. But you can hack into or interfere with their sense of reality and then they’ll behave in ways that are more and more disconnected from reality. And eventually they’ll be cut adrift. And then you have complete control. If people are completely disconnected from any reference or any conscious way of referring to reality, then of course you can completely dictate their reality to them. People moved into mass formation around the Covid narrative and then around the mRNA pseudo-solution because they had been primed in a number of different ways that we could talk about. But here we’re talking about Kubrick and movies. They’ve been primed by movies and fictional narratives, TV shows about pandemics, the zombie thing being the obvious thing that really has captured several generations now. But there’s not an obvious correlation between Covid and zombies, but it’s plague at least, and the response, the state of emergency, the martial law. and the clampdown… I was just seeing the irony of this, that they were enjoying being immersed in a fake narrative. They just got swept into it. It wasn’t simply fear, it was the enjoyment of dramatising the fear and stepping up as citizens and conscientious people. They were motivated by desire to be virtuous and seen as virtuous, and to engage in this collective drama. But the irony that occurred to me was that most of what these people were doing to show that they were on board, that they were participating in the grand drama and being responsible citizens, was staying at home and watching TV and movies and scrolling on their phones. It’s very symmetrical. The cult of Kubrick [or] the cult of Covid, just take your pick. Everything is cults essentially in terms of masses forming around some belief and they signal back and forth. We believe the same, we believe the same. But there’s no cult of Kubrick or Covid or anything without capturing people’s attention. But those two things feed into each other. More people, more attention is captured, the bigger the cult, the more attention’s being captured. The [other] thing, which isn’t obviously connected, is the inception of AI. It’s more and more apparent that masses that are forming into cults and having their attention captured around whatever image or narrative or belief system, they’re doing so more and more on the Internet and on devices. And that’s where AI is feeding, being informed, being infused, gathering data and directing it, harvesting, concentrating it into something that is potentially moving towards sentience or at least some simulation of what people will accept as artificial intelligence.”
DISNEYLAND OF THE MIND
The mass formation relationship with mass media and culture displays curious dualities. The Disneyland of the mind beamed into our brains is, on one level, designed to convince us that what’s outside Disneyland is ‘real’, that social, political and economic systems and the entire fabric of reality can safely be taken at face value. On the other hand, the recent glut of ‘superhero’ movies is like a lightning rod, drawing our vital energy (attention) away from its source, neutralizing it in the process. The worlds portrayed on screen seem somehow more real than real, the muscle-bound protagonists surrogate role models for (particularly at the present moment) men for whom the very concept of manhood is being cancelled. So billions of people now hold opinions which are not their own and devote what remains of their passion to distractions. ‘Life’ is fading into the background, in more ways than one. ‘Life’ is being redefined.
“It’s just being on a rollercoaster of existence,” says Horsley. “It’s ironic that movies or Disneyland simulate the rollercoaster experience. But that’s exactly my point. People wanna be able to have a rollercoaster. They know how long it will last and that they control when they get on and they know when they’re gonna get off and they compartmentalise the experience of intensity rather than just being in life, which is constantly shifting from bored – not boredom because I think you have to have something wrong with you already if you get bored – but just nothing-much-going-on contemplative to intense engagement, even threats, even crisis. That’s just a constant process. So the trap is, it’s in everything. Everything that we use and turn to to stimulate and simulate interior states of being and recreate them, we discover, like I say about comic books. I discovered those comic books would give me a certain feeling of excitement and belonging. And then I collected them in a box and I would go back to them. Even specific comics gave me specific feelings. Well, later that becomes movies and later that might become books and that becomes drugs and that becomes sex. Whatever it is we use to mood alter we get trapped into their repetition patterns. The very nature of them, I would say, is evidence of something that is anti-life and non-human. Because human beings, like animals – I didn’t wanna say other animals, I think we are different, but we have an animal side – but in common with animals, human beings have cycles of course. So there’s a certain repetition in terms of sleeping and eating. Those are just natural. You can’t avoid them, and it would be inhuman to try and break them. These [cultural phenomena] are inhuman because they’re trying to regulate and regiment our moods, which no animal ever had a need for.”
If culture is supposedly what sets us apart from the animals, the idea that it’s all somehow corrupted or compromised may be difficult to accept. It’s easy to mock mindless mass culture whilst occasionally indulging in it as a form of escapism (escape from what?), but surely authentic art must exist? What of culture and media that satirises and criticises culture and media? Can we really write it all off? What, if anything, would fill that void if, indeed, it is a void? Crucially, can we still think clearly enough to decide? Or is our collective consciousness already too accultured to the worsening mass psychosis?
“Well, I am at the point actually where I am ready to write it off, if not give it up,” says Horsley. “Obviously we’re using the internet, you’re creating podcasts. I’m publishing books. So are we complicit with this system even though we’re not obvious assets to the military entertainment complex? I would say to some extent we are. We can’t not be. If you have to use those instrumentalities, and when I say instrumentalities, I don’t just mean publishing or printing or the internet. I mean also language itself. If all of this has come from ‘the devil’ – we can put quotes on or not – then it’s all compromised. But what’s the alternative? If you’re trapped in – I can’t use The Matrix analogy anymore – but if you’re trapped in a false analogy, which is illustrative of the point we’re making, I mean, that movie franchise was so tainted, even just with the sequels, but then with the transgender film makers self-mutilating and all the rest of it. It’s just part of something truly horrific. But also because it’s become a cliché for a number of reasons. It exemplifies what I’m saying, that if you rely on these things to provide meaning, or even to give context, or use them as metaphors, or just reference points, then there’s a price. It’s kind of mission creep. If you mention the Nazis in an argument, you lose the argument, right? Because it’s too easy. There’s a kind of egregore (3) around that and you just get sucked into some low level, low awareness egregore, where you’re just calling somebody a Nazi to win the argument. Well, that’s true with The Matrix. It makes your point more tainted than useful. It’s an ironic paradox because we’re here to talk about my book and my book’s about culture. But anyway, the point I wanted to end on was that I do think that all of culture, even though some of it clearly has more value and meaning – well, first of all, there’s a trap that’s trapping that because we’re using our taste and discernment. I could say The Good, The Bad And The Ugly or even Jaws or I could be more arty and pick some more marginal work and say ‘that’s pure cinema art but Kubrick isn’t’. But I can’t do that in good faith because I know that my faculties for discernment have been impaired, have been compromised by my own exposure to these things. So that’s one point. The other is that it’s all pervasive anyway, so it is like ‘the medium is the message’, maybe that it isn’t merely the corporate, military, industrial entertainment, the powers behind these artefacts that makes them clearly to be identified as propaganda. It’s the medium and the media itself, which has been shaped by these invisible metaphysical forces. So, what’s a full divestment from the influence and the interference of this hidden entity-based energy harvesting grid? It seems to me that it actually is a complete uncoupling from the culture. Once we go into these things and we’re willing to keep going, we have to at least consider the possibility that it’s all tainted. It’s all no good. That even the urge, the drive to create art itself is a symptom of The Fall.”
It is towards the nature of the ‘metaphysical evil’ and the organised malevolence behind machine intelligence that we will turn in part two.
(1) See Horsley’s 2021 book 16 Maps of Hell: The Unraveling of Hollywood Superculture.
(2) Synchromysticism is the practice of attributing mystical or esoteric significance to coincidences.
(3) An egregore is an occult concept representing a non-physical entity that arises from the collective thoughts of a distinct group of people.