Ultimately, it doesn’t matter because the meaning behind these powerful primordial images of transformation is so clear — we are in a post-linear reality defined by the Self-sufficiency of the inherently bisexual female after millennia of male domination.
The first impression is not an image but the sound of fire. We see a traffic light in flames. Linear time is being destroyed. Who is the perpetuator?
A figure appears holding a canister with a tank strapped on the back. We see behind a clear mask the face of a woman…Ema.
The proactively fearless New Woman is a foreground shadow against the dawn breaking over the port of Valparaíso. In a nonlinear sequence framed by the symbol of a sphere, the striking face of Chilean actress Mariana Di Girolamo repels negative projections from every direction; she is labeled a “bad mother” by the social worker in the state system that has provided and taken their son, her employer in the education system — and her lover Gaston, who projects his infantile needs onto the son they just gave away.
We first see Gaston lit up in red in the cavernous space of his avant-garde dance performance before taking a bow beside her to receive the applause. Played by the global superstar, Gael García Bernal, the choreographer is playing his native heritage as Mexican. Yet, is is every bit a stand-in for his screenwriter/director who cast his own actress wife as the onscreen partner of Garcia Bernal in their first film together: NO.
This nonlinear opening of Ema establishes a theme crucial to our times — moving beyond the male gaze to a New Woman born from the Chilean collective circling back through the decades of Neoliberalism to the early 1970’s Allende experiment of a new culture based in the autonomy of number.
The bow to applause is the present moment of convergence between the past and future primal struggle between Gaston and Ema encapsulated in an image of equality before the Observer. His muse twelve years his junior has adopted a mask of an impassive expression as she gathers the strength to repel her controlling husband’s negative projections from every angle of their interconnected lives.
This message is transmitted by Gaston whispering about a woman’s face. As the camera pulls back to the group, we see they aren’t whispering about Ema, but the woman in the bed with half her face disfigured. The voices inform us that Palo set the fire destroying the right side of her face. By way of letting us eavesdrop, the director transforms us from observers to participants in the transformation by fire. The right side of the body is ruled by the left brain. The destruction by the child of indigenous origin symbolizes the linear thinking that must die in order that a new reality can be born.
The right brain unleashed in the narrative by way of the inexplicable destruction of the child is the entry point into the feminine transformation into a bisexual proactive agent of change, the hero of her own adventure. This is enacted in Ema’s sexual affair with the female lawyer conducting her divorce proceedings.
Palo is the indigenous boy adopted by the couple. Without appearing onscreen until the end, Palo is a strong Third presence between the warring masculine and feminine polarities. Having been already sent back to the orphanage when the film opens, his memory of parental failure is tossed like a football between them. The theme of the film takes shape: as the dream of a nuclear family destroyed by the fire if collective transformation. Within this collective transformation, Ema the prominent role of the visionary artist.
Midway through the film, we return to the opening apocalyptic image of Ema. As we watch her wielding flames, we discover she is addicted to setting things on fire, the human personification of Shakti destroying egos. She is intent on destroying her own reality structure, manifested by her setting her car on fire. She seduces the fireman who puts out the fire and rewards her destruction of her past with rides in the fire truck, symbolizing her ride to her destiny as a liberated woman.
As they begin a love affair, he teaches her to control the firehose, a metaphor for Ophiocus handling the serpent power. She gets pregnant and returns to Gaston with the news they are expecting. But first, she lays the plan for her own hero’s journey against the system that has judged her as an unfit mother…
García Bernal nails what might be the most difficult performance of his career. In the devastatingly intimate scenes with his costar, he is a controlling husband dumbfounded by a feminine awakening that he had an integral role in creating. The weaving in and out between extreme states of attachment and detachment is key to the character, as well as the push-pull dynamic of the relationship. The tension creates an uncertainty that propels the images forward. Bernal transmits so many emotions at once — awe, bewilderment, hate, love…to name a few — that he takes the observer on this journey as a crucial participant this colossal shift out of the patriarchal culture defined by the male gaze.
The struggle for Ema to break out of the confines of muse to the genius dedicated to breaking into new terrain results in the break up of the marriage and her departure from the dance troupe. Without her partner, she surrenders into the free form of her emotion, taking reggaethon to the street with her girl posse.
With a female pop tune reminiscent of the primordial emotion of Chilean Violeta Parra, these street dances are the most powerful scenes in the film. They echo the Chilean women rising up against abuse in public street performance, the very embodiment of female awakening. Their organization is linear, as opposed to the circular movements of Gaston’s choreography for the troupe. The linear trajectory foreshadows a destination to Ema’s hero’s journey that measuring up to a reflection on the current zeitgeist by an artist friend who was in Chile during the female protests: “It is like men don’t exist.”
Indeed. The final scene where the men are in the kitchen looking overwhelmed by uncertainty of a new reality where the women are relating their self-sufficient narratives while self-sufficiently setting the dining table. This is the reversal reflection beyond the male gaze that Pablo Lorrain has guided us into — the post-patriarchal world where women not only set the table, but they have a place at the head.
The past now represents claiming the freedom to make the passage over smashed egos, but this crucial journey into a full-bodied consciousness liberation from the male gaze may be the most difficult…
Yet, how hard can it be now that the filmmaker delivers the screen icon who can propel herself there on her own fuel?
Ema is available on MUBI until midnight May 31. You can watch for free by signing up for a free trial @ https://mubi.com
“Martin (Lisa) Luther’s thesis tacked to the doors of the church of AICA” — Saul Ostrow.
GOING DEEPER: The Pluto-Saturn Astro-Portrait by LPS. The cosmic opportunity of STILLNESS with the 2020 Pluto-Saturn Conjunction linked with Coronavirus is proactively manifested a public departure for the Schirmacher Event of the Third originating this blog on September 9, 2014. The new public activist phase was launched by the 3/28/2020 submission of this article to the AICA-USA Call for Critical Responses to COVID-19. The Saul Ostrow naming of the project, “Martin (Lisa) Luther’s Thesis,” reflects the last time that Pluto-Saturn were conjunct: in 1518 when Martin Luther nailed his thesis to the church door in my German ancestral homeland.
In 2015, I initiated a lecture series in a Berlin with my presentation of a new modernist movement tracked globally as a blogger for Huffington Post Arts. A feminist American woman artist challenged me: “There has to be a global disaster before a new movement can emerge.” I pointed out the immigration crisis, but she wasn’t convinced and promptly exited. Paradoxically, her departure from the discussion allowed it to go deeper, as we probed into the spirituality missing in contemporary market.
The crisis brewing since the turn of millennium, when I became a newspaper critic on the Connecticut Gold Coast, had no name until 2011 when the Occupy Movement introduced the term: the one percent. Many of the elite lived in my reporting area. The creative use of number as exclusion (the unspoken 99 percent) is also indicative of how “art stars” of the twenty-first century bypassed the dismantled critical apparatus to be manipulated into being by insider trading among the exclusive network of dealers and collectors regulating supply, along with art world recognition.
A heated art market by way of capitalists seeking “real value” since the 2008 financial crisis served to repress critical voices that were eventually buried further by the 2010s identity politics and social justice dialectic, which sought to crush all opposing voices after #MeToo was ignited in the fall of 2017 through the Pulitzer Prize winning investigations on Harvey Weinstein. This was the situation that caused me to retreat into self-imposed isolation in Montreal since September 2018, returning to the USA only to deliver a #MeToo reflective paper at MIT where I was confronted with the animosity of identity politics that had acted as a pre-COVID virus on American campuses.
Paradoxically, the immigration crisis that rocked Europe in the past decade has been automatically resolved by way of the complete border shutdowns in 2020 under the threat of a global pandemic. While the crisis hasn’t changed the daily rhythm of my self-imposed isolation in Montreal, I am now experiencing my body attuned to the externally imposed quarantine of the collective body. This has brought the frenetic pace of the international art world screeching to a standstill, while more cultural events are migrating online. I can now watch an opera, a Shaw reading, a French film, SXSW shorts, attend an exhibition, and check out a library book — for free!
Germans use the word pause for a timeout. I have started referring to this indeterminate period as the Great Pause. The only news coming through my digital feed is that of the global pandemic. Within national borders, not only museums are closed, but cultural events are curtailed along entertainment and sporting competitions. Art fairs across the globe are cancelled while the stock market oscillates falling an initial free fall. With the center of the crisis switching from the traditional western cultural center of Italy to the international center of the art market, we are suddenly and dramatically faced with a revaluation of value.
I would like to use this opportunity to reflect extended by AICA to reveal my interpretation of the crisis and its impact on a new modernism. I have tracked this emergence, along with the timing, for two decades utilizing the tools that I have used for art interpretation but kept hidden. The 21st century hegemony of the art market made the art world an increasingly conservative place to reveal my secret.
Astrology as an Analytical Tool
My upbringing as the Aquarian daughter of the Neo-Reichian founder of the sixties Human Potential Movement worshiped personal transformation. In the early 1970s, my father became the first pop psychologist to appear in Life. He appeared on the Mike Douglas Show demonstrating the encounter group experience as the Third passage to transformation. In a sense, this is was the origin of the online social network, where processing with strangers has become a well established.
Since the crisis, I have retreated into my Facebook Mundane Astrology group because they are the only people I know who have the language to discuss the COVID-19 crisis at a deeper level. Astrology is both an art and a science based on numbers in the holistic 360-perspective of the zodiac. In 2016, I became the first doctorate using the occult sciences as hermeneutics in the Saas Fee Media Lab (1998-2015) of European Graduate School.
This year began as a return to writing about art after departing to write about film while doing my doctoral research in Europe. January 2000 marked the publication online, in New Observations, of my first art article revealing how my mystical experience alerted me to new modernist forms and content through the dream. I’m taking this opportunity offered by AICA, a group that I have been a member of for two decades, to “come out of the closet” and reveal my astrology and numerology in my art writing as the Science of Magic. My knowledge of astrology was crucial to predict the timing of arrival, which I just did in this posting on my FB astrology group:
This is the shift into the Age of Aquarius. When you consider how most of humanity doesn’t believe in astrology, and therefore understand the shift into a new astrological age, this Stellium in Capricorn eclipsed on January 10 is the huge reset button that will finally catalyze the paradigm shift into cyclical time. This will be the new value of digging deeper taking over from the superficial gains of the linear uninterrupted expansion of late capitalism destroying the planet. Capitalism doesn’t make allowances for a standstill caused by a natural calamity, and so the collapse.
Nature Restoring Balance
At the opening of the 2020 decade, nature has done what no artist movement can do — create the final revaluation closing the postmodern era. This provides a perspective of the post-postmodern dominated by the search for Third identity between the binaries externalized as the transgender movement. The pandemic is acting as this Third primordial force flattening the hierarchy and cutting away the layers of materialism under quarantine. In cutting down expenditures to absolute necessities and obeying the external command for personal distance, we retreat further into gadget love. But why should this prevent us from going inwards?
In February of 2000, my first art review was published in Southern Connecticut Newspapers. My drive through the woods from my house to see the multimedia exhibition of 22 artists Faith: the Impact of Judeo Christian Religion on Art of the Millennium at the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art was the embrace of uncertainty in which I discovered the seeds of a new modernism that transformed my professional life: I became a newspaper critic. Faithtook up where Sensation left off, the former opening on January 23, 2000 thirteen days after the closing of the latter at the Brooklyn Museum.
This progression — from Sensation to Faith — colored my personal view as a critic at the change of millennium that I knew but couldn’t write meant was the shifting to the Age of Aquarius. My search for a new modernism was actually a search for the configuration of the Aquarian archetype, which I discovered was referred to as the hieros gamos, the name of my art theory. The close of a decade defined by advertising, given that Sensation was collection of contemporary art owned by the advertising magnate Charles Saatchi, including many works by Young British Artists, (YBAs), which first took place 18 September – 28 December 1997 at the Royal Academy of Arts, then Berlin Hamburger Bahnh before arriving at the Brooklyn Museum to close the millennium.
After 20 years of efforts in bringing in a new modernism seeded in my first newspaper review, the art world is riveted by scandal pointing right back to the same geographical location, where postmodernism got its start and then stuck around to overstay its welcome. The only opportunity I had to present my ideas of a new modernism was “The Hermeneutics of New Modernism: Hermes’ Trans/Gender Third” delivered at an art museum in the last decade for “Crítica de Arte: Crisis y Renovación” organizado por la Asociación Española de Críticos de Arte, AECA/Spain.
The Celebrity Dealer in the Numbers Game
Inigo Philbrick. I had been noticing this name in the art newsletters coming through my emails. It took for me to realize that this news maker is the son of Harry Philbrick, subject of my first newspaper interview was the director of the Aldrich Museum. If I had been the writer, the family connection would have been in the lead, not buried in the story as biography. No article I have read digs deeper into the connection, so I will use the opportunity of COVID-19 to do it here. I have been thinking a lot about this art world scandal in terms of my trajectory from critic who couldn’t find laying work to philosopher for which laying work is impossible — within the context of the eclipse of the critic in the 21St century.
The numbers game as a market gimmick. Undoubtedly this is was what the son extracted from the father’s minimalist upholding of postmodern during his formative years in the Connecticut periphery of the global art center in New York City. In Connecticut’s fertile ground, I detected the seeds of an emerging modernism and the faith to commit to a narrative of extraction in my newspaper writing about local artists creating in the shadow of the global art market. Philbrick continued on the same trajectory of the postmodernism that initially gave the museum its status as star maker through such names as Cindy Sherman, Jane Hamilton, Elizabeth Payton and Janine Antoni (which I reviewed) as recipient of the Annual Larry Aldrich Contemporary Art Award, named one of the top ten international art prizes. By the time, I left my reviewing position for Southern Connecticut Newspapers in 2005, I was in agreement with a famous local psychologist who examined the works of an Aldrich exhibition and said. “Isn’t there anything here that isn’t a gimmick?”
While the rise social media would make gallery space for this type of conceptual art irrelevant — even as it continued to dominate the art fairs, Inigo Philbrick’s escalation of the Michel Cohen scam of selling works on the secondary market to more than one buyer, was a hyperactive response to a hyperactive market. In 1990, I met Michel at Ojai Hot Springs. I got the last room and he asked if he could share. No fun and games here. He was a perfect gentlemen and invited me to dinner where he demonstrated his hyperactivity through his gadget love — his hand held device tracking the markets as forerunner to the smart phone. I had never seen this in 1992 and indicated he was on the cutting edge of the zeitgeist. Sure enough, when I returned to Manhattan months later, visited his Madison Avenue gallery to find the work of Demian Hirst, who I has just seen at Serpentine Gallery in a London. He hated the art calling it “garbage on the walls” which just was the surface of his contentious relationship with his Generation X girlfriend — appointed as his gallery director.
How ironic that Hirst’s premiere American dealer only had interest in the secondary market, where the money is! He was trusted “runner” for the still exclusive world of uptown art dealers — who expected to have a physical encounter with the art they were purchasing! Michel offered me a cab ride as he carried an unprotected masterpiece. I didn’t bother asking how much the painting against my knee was worth, because the price was escalating with every block of our uptown movement.
Splitting an artwork onto shares is a conceptual activity, due to the fact that more than one owner can’t divide the actual work. So the value isn’t in beholding the aura of the art itself, but only the numbers it represents. The million dollar price tag is the value in the marketplace, not the value to a collector who has a personal connection to the art which can only grow, or lessen, with time.
As a fallout from the economic effects of nature’s revenge on human hubris, a revaluation of the art market in light of a global catastrophe, along with the Inigo Philbrick numbers gimmick taken out of his sheltered art world upbringing in the Connecticut woods and into the marketplace takes the Observe of his game out of the artwork and into the autonomous origin of number itself, subject of my Master’s thesis (Hermeneutics of New Modernism, Atropos 2014).
The new modernism that I was tracking globally for a decade (2010-2017) in my position as blogger critic for Huffington Post Arts, consisted of number as autonomous. The polarities of negative and positive numbers, prime and even numbers, are that of the gender opposites. An art work with this balance arrived unconsciously is the art-I-fact of the collective mission to DIG DEEPER.
The Hyperreal Reveal
Should we need a periodic scam to remind us that art value isn’t just about numbers as sheer quantity? Art value is also about quality. To understand the difference we have to look at numbers as autonomous, therefore having the dual characteristics of both quality and quantity. An original work of creation does this — numbers are qualitative in content in unexpected ways, just as they are in literature, as I demonstrated with my deconstruction of Alain Badiou’s essay “Some Remarks on Duchamp.”
What does have to do with the Coronavirus, in which the numbers of contagion and death formulate media headlines? From digging deeper in my exploration of the practical applications of my theorem this past year, it became apparent that conspiracy theories and the spiritual journey have something crucial in common: there is no coincidence. The occult interpretation of number in conspiracy theories reflects the symbolic language of autonomous number communicated in dreams. The conspiracy theorists see a man-made virus by way of the number in COVID-19 indicating a psyop due to the fact of the numerology of Coronavirus is 11 added to 19 is 9/11.
As I stated in my recent article, Eros as the Driving Force of a New Modernism, the crucial occult number 9/11 creates a Third perspective between the binaries (11). This Third space is the icon of a new modernism: the hieros gamos integration of opposites. This autonomous regard for number as a stand alone Signifier, which my deconstructionist professors never considered due to the repression of the occult in the western academy, made the use of number as hermeneutics my academic breakthrough. A theorem of number as autonomous entities rather than the quantitative left-brain tool calls into the valuation of art derived from the Philbrick exposure of the “insider trading” manipulations in the highly exclusive insider world of art dealing. Under late capitalism, the art market mirrored the stock market. Art was traded as tangible asset — yet Philbrick’s fall revealed it wasn’t.
Kenny Schachter’s expose about his pal Inigo Philbrick is not only about an adolescent quest to return to the eighties bubble through a post-postmodern aughts bubble. He has revealed a parallel here in the insanity of pre-crash (1987 vs. 2020) valuations through accounts of $500 bottles of wine and photos of hotel deconstruction. In both cases, the oscillation of opposites was manifested in the ridiculous figures of skyrocketing prices — until they crashed. How apt that the Rudolf Stingel hyper real painted portraits are the phenomenological source of the scandal. This illusion of the real, a quality provided to the reflecting mechanism of photography, was the focus of the scam to artificially inflate the market price of an artist which served to burst the illusion of invulnerability that Inigo Philbrick created with the aid Schachter’s free publicity, thereby reinventing the role of the critic as screenwriter during a time in which the dealers were the only art world stars remaining to play the numbers game.
Oedipus Strikes Again
The Philbrick junior game is a gimmick one could once find on the walls of Philbrick senior’s Aldrich Museum in the opening years of the 21st century. The director refused to dig deeper into the spiritual implications of his groundbreaking Faith exhibition but used his enhanced reputation to build a new building as an art showplace. He was particularly proud of the rear sliding door entry to massive works of sculpture for the premiere, an exhibition of British sculpture. This now global pursuit of trophies prolonging postmodernism in the same fertile soil of Connecticut that I had discovered to be so nurturing of new modernist forms turned the enviable position of the Aldrich as a pioneering laboratory blessed with such a generous endowment by the founder Larry Aldrich into the debt ridden institution in thrall to the global elite. At a Greenwich dinner party with the former director of the Bruce Museum, I asked why big is always better with museums. The reply was: “they are all doing it.”
Late Capitalism “bigger is better” with no end in sight necessarily needed reflection — not only in the art with stratospheric price tags, but the characters moving it. The psychology behind the Philbrick Monster haunting the father’s prolonging of postmodernism was speed: the booming cocaine fueled eighties all over again, with no stopping for breath long enough to engage discourse over a new modernism.
As the museum debt numbers mounted up, Harry Philbrick’s reign came to an end, along with his marriage, creating just the right degree of post-postmodern animosity (according to Schachter’s account) in his son to become the monster of market destruction puncturing the 2020s art bubble …just in time for COVID-19.
This is the critical takeaway from the Inigo Philbrick scam. The art world gadfly Kenny Schachter to find blockbuster movie material in becoming his accomplice by utilizing his outlet to glorify a secondary dealer, whose only aim for art celebrity stardom was himself. The Instagram messages Schachter shares reveal that Philbrick considers his deceptions an elaborate game. Indeed, Schaefer started that he is writing a movie script.
Junior is rebelling against Senior by embodying the ultimate gimmick art in his gleaming modern showplace. The minimalist to postmodern era that his father faithfully supported during his tenure as director of the Aldrich paralleled mine as the local critic at the turn of the millennium when postmodernism descended from authentic deconstruction of a masculine dominated modernist movement to an all-round use of gimmickry in pursuit of celebrity. That sums up his son, embittered by his parent’s divorce, and therefore his brilliant artist mother who once complained to me that her children, provided with clothing from the wealthy network, were so much better dressed than she was. He seemed to be driven by some Oedipal quest to destroy the postmodernism in which his father’s minimalist aesthetic managed to continue and take his place in providing his mother with the designer clothes which has now become the focus of her art practice.
The Numerical Case for the Revaluation of Value
The missing ventilators/masks needed to combat the virus ignites the post-COVID-19 revaluation of neoliberalism.
Inigo Philbrick made good on his art pretentious name to use number establish himself a global celebrity in a completely new context — a dealer who never discovered a new art star but made himself into a numbers star. He defined the post-postmodernism era in which value art is solely about the machinations of the marketplace, and these dirty practices exposed get global attention through the movie. Schachter was so intent on the movie deal, at the expense of digging deeper (his mother Jane Philbrick has an Internet profile as promoter of wearable art unexamined by the journalists covering this story), that he is far more intent in creating cinematic scenes at the expense of truth. What we get here is the critical reader bringing their own assessment if the end of an era by way of what this and other stories about Inigo Philbrick related about the “insider trading” in the art world behind the bubble.
The scheme failed when the multiple owners of a specific artwork wanted the reality to hold in their greedy hands, and it wasn’t available. How is that for numbers regarded strictly as quantity in the assessment of art, equating the use of numbers strictly as quantity in science? Disregarding the critical assessment of quality in their numbers meant the application of a left brain science to art appreciation.
A new understanding of the qualitative value of number enters the collective discourse by necessity: stock market figures are abstractions when there aren’t even masks or ventilators to fight the pandemic. Clearly, businesses striving to meet the incessant demands of quantitative profits are not going to stockpile items for an emergency (I was a financial reporter & analyst prior to turning my focus to art). The qualitative numbers are to be assessed by a government responsible for the public health.
This is precisely where the imbalanced approach to number has failed western culture. At this moment in time, the left brain dominance in the profit driven corporate culture comes down to this: too few ventilators and mask.
A Surrealist Resurrection by Number
STILLNESS demanded as a condition for combatting the global pandemic provides the necessity of a consensus for a qualitative approach to measuring value post-COVID-19. This is how the inner gaze affirmed by the Great Pause demolishes the past. Out of the destruction arises a new perspective of cyclical time. Within this context of Kairos, art valuation subject to new universalist criteria with inherent qualitative value of an evolving consciousness reflected in the quantitative value of the marketplace.
Cultural critics such as Naomi Klein are viewing this global crisis as the fall of neoliberalism. It is therefore time to look at “the Chilean Miracle” as the incubator again. My research during a 2008 art museum residency in southern Chile uncovered a crucial archeology of the 1970s Allende experiment: the revolution was based on number.
Number is the root of the unknown question we face with the destruction of COVID-19. Can artists and their critics regain their status as visionaries of a world unified by global pandemic through their prescient vision extending deeper the rest of humanity? Or have do artists, in counting their own losses from due to loss of exhibitions and therefore sales, fall victim into the externalization of number as value in science as well as the marketplace?
The solution is in the opportunity that comes with crisis: digging deeper. Just as the crisis was beginning to spread from Wuhan on February 8, the multimedia artist Ramuntcho Matta provided me with some unknown Surrealist history while gifting me with the invitation to write the text for 29 numbered artworks on paper comprising #RamuntchoMattaTarocchi.
This immersion into number was my reward for a year of self-imposed isolation: collaborating with a contemporary masterpiece reviving a six hundred year old card game crossing all borders. The penetration into autonomous number during a quarantine in which everything slowed down to reflect my stillness sums up my experience of quantum reality encompassing my art critical past, present and future.
As we can see now, even the American liberals who have lost their capacity for critical thinking, it has indeed required a global catastrophe for the signifiers of the New to arise. Take the Victory Gardens embedded in a paradigm shift of circular time catalyzed by the Great Pause of 2020 due to the focus on the breath by the lung attacking Coronavirus.
The lingering effect on the human corps and art corpus of humanity is a new paradigm of inner/outer reflection as a Möbius strip of interconnectedness between cosmos, psyche and life on planet Earth.
Dr. Lisa Paul Streitfeld is an American cultural critic tracking a new modernist movement around the globe. She is currently busy putting her findings in the context of COVID-19.
*This article was submitted to an AICA-USA call for writing on COVID-19 on March 28. AICA members have found reason to reject other essays I have written using my experience to sum up a new modernism in the context of what I termed a post-postmodernism. This retreated & uniform silencing of my experienced critical voice and from AICA -USA members and neglect of my global news by the AiCA-USA administration has led to my resignation. If AICA-USA cannot apply critical thinking to an extensive archeology of a new modernism movement around the globe, why do they persist in existing around the falling structures of COVID-19? Interested readers can find my AICA banned writings on my Patreon page. Thank you for joining the small but loyal ranks of my readers.
I was to deliver the treatise that I have been developing for two decades this past weekend at the McGill “Media & the Night” Conference in Montreal. It had to be postponed, of course, and this is ironic because the subject is particularly suitable for COVID-19.
Aldo Tambellini, a multimedia artist delivered this Plutonian aesthetic in his Black Gate Theater as the downtown alternative to the Warhol Factory. I just finished my 2020 application to the Warhol Foundation funded Arts Writer’s Grants Program to disseminate the dark energy aesthetic sourced in my critical penetration into Aldo’s multimedia.
…all under this Scorpio Full Moon…indicating the time has come to bring the occult into the light of academia.
What is interesting is that Aldo became good friends with Gerard Malaga, the Warhol superstar who executed the silkscreens at the Factory.
I met him at one of Aldo’s openings. He is still gorgeous!
What better sign — that the superstar Andy Warhol legacy can accept its Shadow!
When I saw a new generation of Italian art star Stefano Cagol BODY OF ENERGY in Berlin in 2015, I immediately thought of putting him together with Aldo Tambellini in an exhibition.
Thus, the paper I am writing for this Media in the Night conference.
Lisa Streitfeld’s New Observations article defining a New Modernism of gender balance and equality: New Observations issue #33 page 22!
Nothing is real
Nothing to get hung about…
— John Lennon
PAUL IS DEAD is a subject ripe for mediological excavation requiring occult tools that have always factored into interpretations of Beatles’ messaging. The time and place to introduce a new “Science of Magic” with its forbidden apparatus into the academy has never been better. Conspiracy theories surrounding Paul McCartney have been ramped up after the release of his new album Egypt Station and triumphant Freshen Up World Tour ending in July, while a virtual stream of mediology phenomenology (here is one from Revolver where the band’s transformation began) about The Beatles’ creative process keeps the online investigations fresh. There is always something new to discover, which keeps the discussion open-ended.
This article will examine the evolution of PID over the past half century to its current digital status in relation to other conspiracy theories: Sept 11 as an “inside job;” the JFK assassination; the ritual murder of Princess Diana; and QAnon examined by Ethan Zuckerman in the first installment of JoDS #6: Unreal. In order to make effective comparisons, hermeneutics apparatus (astrology, numerology, alchemy) pioneered in the European Graduate School laboratory will be utilized to explore eight topics: tech, bibles, origins, hermeneutics, semiotics, phenomenology, Gesamtkunstwerk and metaphysics.
The fiftieth anniversary of Paul is Dead (PID) brings a persistent urban legend into a new chapter by way of an ontological excavation based on clues — the analog forerunner to the digital exploitation of QAnon.
Analog recordings, for all of their imperfections, are being newly recognized as valuable relics meriting excavation and preservation. These are the depositif sacred relics of the sixties zeitgeist of cultural revolution personified by The Beatles — the rock n’roll band catalyzing ecstatic Dionysian rites transforming into musical innovators ushering in the psychedelic era via experiments in analog recording.
Excavating the “sacred reality” initiating a cultural awakening, we find The Beatles mediology as a brutal contest between life and death — Paul is Alive vs. Paul is Dead. Sourced in a treasure trove of artifacts circulating the web like an underground rejuvenating spring, the experimental New Media contextualized for PID/PIA merits critical examination. In effect, the boundary-smashing extra-academic pursuit of a narrative begun on the U.S. college campus evolved into a 21st century sacred marriage of analog and digital is a de facto eternal recurrence of the late sixties psychedelic revolution exploding the boundaries between right/left brain. This corner of the web is free and universally accessible — a ready invitation into quantum reality collapsing past and future into the present quest for truth free from Kulturindustrie control.
Faced with a digital storehouse of interactive PID creation in the absence of critical intrusion for a half-century, even the most intrepid cultural critic is at risk of being trapped in an ongoing interactive Gesamtkunstwerk. This is the cultural manifestation of the inevitable rabbit hole of the conspiracy theory operating in the absence of the organizing principle of central authority. While the mystery of origins is the strange attractor in all conspiracy theories, this particular case attracted me due to the quantum physics dilemma of Schrödinger’s cat thought experiment — the loss of critical perspective as participant (Streitfeld 2009, 2010) resolved by the proactive transition to observer opening the lid in order to make a final determination of whether Paul, as the cat is alive or dead.
In other words, the potential futures exist in two realities – the “real” as MSM consensus reality (PIA) vs. the “unreal” as an alternate reality (PID) explored in the UNREAL, risks observer entrapment in the struggle to overcome the opposites in the way to creating an ontology regarding the truth of origins. The quest for a 360 perspective beyond the binary has been the central focus of my writing and lecturing for two decades.
While conspiracy theories are born in divisiveness reaching an apex with QAnon, PID is the only one with a live individual at the center whose authenticity as a global icon is questioned within a mythical narrative of a dying and resurgent god. This figure, of course, is Paul McCartney, who disappeared in late 1969 only to be discovered on a farm in Scotland. A family photograph on the cover of Life magazine is summed up by Signifier— the fifth head in the picture is that of a serpent on a mystical staff symbolizing transformation.
C.G. Jung said that humanity will not survive unless individuals arise who can embody the opposites. The ontology of the Hieros Gamos, forecast by Jung and Wolfgang Pauli as the icon of the 21st century (Roth 2012) may well explain a Bracketted embodied meaning (Brackett 2016) of the Winged Beatle Bardo in which Paul McCartney’s extended reign as superstar coincides with a secret dedication to pioneering new avant-garde expression for the past half century, with his creativity spurred by PID.
Every new wave of technology in the digital revolution — from Internet community boards to blogging (2001), Facebook (2004), YouTube (2005) and Twitter (2006) — resulted in new interactions seeking the ultimate clue resolving the riddle of whether Paul McCartney died in 1966 and was replaced by an imposter. At the fiftieth PID anniversary, the bonanza of increased number of YouTube uploads of Beatles’ recording sessions is the experience of having an inside seat on the creative process of the band through their 1967-1969 transformation from teen idols to serious musicians innovating new forms of musical expression.
During our current epoch marked by a technology slowdown, a deeper examination of content means newfound respect for analog. This article examines the continual stream of New Media marrying analog and digital located online by means of a conspiracy theory. Yet, as a child of the sixties, my search for a new mediological method reflecting the quantum leaps of the spiritual journey has never been so applicable. How could an elaborate conspiracy theory about malefic engineering of Beatles production be created when the mere existence of such artifacts disclose the authenticity of a unique collaboration that unchecked conspiracy theories attempt to disprove? To believe The Beatles’ transformation was engineered, as later bands were in the attempt to replicate their enormous success, erases the authentic magical impact they had on the world.
In 2015, Dr. Nick Kollerstrom published The Life and Death of Paul McCartney 1942–1966: A Very English Mystery. Tina Foster’s newly published Plastic Macca was preceded by her text on public figures use of doubles. Promoting these authors along with other PID personalities is the newly established community stalwart, Mike Williams, an authentic personality with nothing to hide behind his real identity and search for the truth.
Williams is a musician respected as authority and gatekeeper in the community he has renamed the Paul McCartney Conspiracy (PMC). While proclaiming the divisiveness is more contentious than flat earth, another conspiracy community to which he belongs, he believes The Beatles were created at Tavistock Institute as a cultural engineering project, although neither he nor any other PID theorist he interviews on his YouTube Channel Sage of Quay (61 PID videos since 2016) can produce evidence. While the library of video interviews on his channel reveal that his focus on PMC is less than four years old, greatly accelerated in the past six month, his channel has become the source for conspiracy narratives plunging deep into the occult. His perspective after making over a hundred YouTube videos his Sage of Quay and Paul is Dead channels, is the ultimate conclusion of Adorno’s contention in his 1944 text The Kulturindustrie — there is no way out of the commodification of art. Williams relates the complete alternate reality he has constructed for his small but fiercely loyal following in Why the McCartney Conspiracy is Important, which opens with a concern about idol worship.
The connection between idol worship and Satanism is the black magic marketeers of the Kulturindustrie utilizing Eros for material gain. As a cultural critic who grew up as a child of the sixties revolution, my early immersion in the Neo-Reichian Human Potential Movement was catalyzed at home; my father became the first pop psychologist when he introduced the encounter group to MSM after experimenting on his family. Therefore, an early conflation between the external upheaval of the sexual revolution and my internal quest for the embodiment of an ever-evolving consciousness was an ingrown rebellion against the idol worship integral to Kulturindustrie commodification. My focus on inventing the methodology of a personal/professional trajectory incorporating the sixties therapeutic practice of opening the personal body to the collective soul (which The Beatles, like my father, pursued to India) refutes the western notion of magic as a polarizing force of good and evil (upward pentagram is “white magic” while inverted— two horns upwards — is for Satan worshippers) derived from Crowley’s cameo image on the front cover of Sgt. Peppers — along with Carl Jung and 62 other famous personalities. However elaborate the architecture of the McCartney Conspiracy, the foundation of the structure is the toxic assumption that The Beatles were satanists. An exhumation of Paul is Dead from this corroding poison calls for a nuanced approach to avoid the binary trap, leaving the attention free to uncover something new.
TECH: Analog vs. Digital
PID and QAnon derive their authority from interactivity and collaboration. Paul is Dead originated with students gathering on midwestern campuses for clue parties. The MSM explanation of a hoax is cynical consumerism: destroying a record to capture an audio clue wears out the vinyl, thereby prompting demand for more product. Thus, the Kulturindustrie controlled the legend in the academic sites of origin on two essential fronts that reinforced the authority of commerce: controlling marketplace demand and the establishment of a consensus reality parroted in MSM for fifty years. This began with the November 1969 Life cover of Paul McCartney in Scotland with his new family following his disappearance as the rumors were broadcast over much of America.
Scholars’ fascination with “Strawberry Fields Forever” combining two tapes at different speeds fails to place this analog innovation into the historical context — January 1969 when talk of a Beatles’ breakup were circulating around London with rumors that Paul had died. Therefore, the ontology being disclosed right here is an analog innovation combining tapes of two different speeds revealing/concealing the truth about an ontological change in The Beatles while sending the listener into a state of readiness of the corpus callosum transferring signals from one side of the brain to the other. This leap beyond the binary makes the splicing of analog tape an archival relic worthy of museum display.
The hand-to-needle gesture of start, stop, reverse, start again was the magical rite of the analog era. Here is an overview with backmasking “clues” via sound clips. The PID origin in the hand interacting with vinyl reflected The Beatles’ “handmade” evolution as a musical group; their immense early success and sheer quality of their impressive quantity of production granted them a home in the studio as a site of ongoing creation. With experimental studio operations now located in the range of digital technology available on a laptop, we must imagine an era when expensive studio time was meted by the hour for recording controlled by the music companies. The Beatles’ hermetic isolation in Studio One creating hit machine for EMI also served to innovate the album as a collaborative concept — from composition to recording — from its former distinction as a dumping ground for inferior product.
The Beatles used overdubbing, which means recording vocal tracks over the music tracks; both recordings were made repeatedly to get the intention in a single take. The collaborative process of a musical group channeling “the group mind” with daily rigour capturing magic moments of creation via analog recording has been lost in the digital era. I was privileged to experience the forefront of the transition in the early nineties with an invitation to the citadel of global collaboration, Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios in the ancient holy site of Bath, while Daniel Lanois was making his own record with a band. They demonstrated to me how any sound can be brought into the studio by way of new digital technology. Sitting in the loft during recording, aware my Aquarian vibration was being filtered by the band, I experienced this transition from analog to digital during a time when a real band was playing together for a recording — a rare experience at the height of the current digital era.
The manufactured sound and image in which the pop idol is a mere figurehead in the machinery of the Kulturindustrie with its controlled manufacture of sound and imagery is in direct contrast to The Beatles’ analog process. The online media archeology is the Gesamtkunstwerk depositif in which studio recordings are “sacred relics” preserving what is cherished about analog – the authenticity capturing the magical effect of innovative experimentation in “reel time” during the golden era of analog before digital technology replaced the need for live musicians. For example, when the Beatles recorded “A Day in the Life,” they brought an orchestra into Studio One of the EMI Abbey Road studios; and for “Yellow Submarine” they invited their friends to provide a sing-along. In 1977, Paul McCartney made a homage to the golden age of analog by making a live recording with an audience for Chaos and Creation at Abbey Road Studios.
“The only truth that you can say with certainty, as far as I am concerned, is that this person who proclaims to be Paul McCartney is not Paul McCartney,” says Mark Delvin, the former UK disk jockey turned independent journalist of a two volume expose of the sinister mind control mechanisms of the music industry, Musical Truth.
While some observers speculate that Paul McCartney made good on his declaration of retirement to David Frost in 1965, fading away does not make for a conspiracy. A ritual sacrifice does. This places a Paul McCartney murder conspiracy on par with JFK, Princess Diana and September 11.
The names of the PID activists are more descriptive than Q can fit into a 26 character Tweet. Paying inadvertent homage to the stream of uploaded video originating in analog crammed down the PID rabbit hole are activists with names like Old School Vibes, Dark Fruit Dolls, Flyingup, Joan Miss Quizzical, Silly Willy Shepherd, Astro Warrior, TruthneverchangesAwake, The Jacobite Prince7777, Silent Revolution and Litleneutrino.
With the heart of QAnon as digital Guy Fawkes mask of anonymity, Zuckerman points to an alternate reality via cryptic posts on image boards igniting a communal quest to decipher “Q Clearance Patriot.” In marked contrast, the backmasking preserved in analog has endured through digital for a PID revival by way of an individual wearing his heart on his sleeve while showing his real face through his extensive Sage of Quay social network, which include the Paul is Dead YouTube Channel. Mike Williams draws on his background as a musician and experience as a professional hypnotist to warn about the dangers of mind control through media manipulation.
Like all theories, Paul is Dead and QAnon utilize selected phenomenology to establish an overall narrative. However, the analog source and dissemination of PID gives it an authentic relationship to a “sacred space where eternal meets the temporal.” As the virtual fox in the rabbit hole immobilized by swallowing its prey, the QAnon quest for virility is a cause and effect scenario in search of the acausuality of the quantum leap. Zuckerman articulates a QAnon escapade indicating the extremes of the ego making trumped up “clues” capitalizing on widespread fear as an instinctual collective reaction to chaos. Is it any wonder that this digital enterprise has manifested its opposite in a grassroots boots to the pavement protest signifying the handmade sign as gesture of dissent?
Here we can crystallize the difference between two conspiracy theories with clue games originating in analog vs. digital. PID in its origins was about clue parties where the quest was grounded in the handling of real materials — in direct contrast to the disembodied alternate reality of QAnon created through a tide of binary code formulated into word missiles of 26 characters in reflection of the Twitter president. Only when the analog transitioned into digital did the PID game become divisive, thereby illuminating via code how the binary lacks the nuance of the in-between essential for the quantum leap.
Given this current demonstration of digital initiative and handmade reaction, the analog origin and digital evolution of PID can be interpreted as a quantum leap into the sacred marriage of opposites. On 17 September 1969, Tim Harper, an editor of the Drake Times-Delphic, the student newspaper of Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, published an article titled “Is Beatle Paul McCartney Dead?” Subsequently, first audio clue was broadcast on radio as “Turn me on dead man.” This illogical binary juxtaposition (how does a dead man turn on a live man?) introduces the paranormal into PID as an inquiry into whether consciousness transcends death.
In “A Day in the Life” following the “say two things at once” idea from Aleister Crowley, we blended the word Paul with Lord. “Nibidy was really sure if he was from the House of Paul” is under the recording “Nobody is really sure if he is from the House of Lords.” Since we hear the word we expect, we included lyrics on Sgt. Peppers for worshipful fans to hear “Lords.” That earliest album originated the association of“Lord” with Paul. We initiated each of you to Lord Paul in that subliminal message, and repeatedly since then. George, of all people, calls Paul Lord Krishna.
—Thomas E. Uharriet, The Nine After 9-09 Edition: The Memoirs of Billy Shears, 566
The glories of analog is commemorated by PID with a metareal contribution by Gregory Paul Martin. The son of the classically trained producer, George Martin, known as the fifth Beatle, claims to have used the original Beatles recording equipment for the audio version of Billy’s Back: The Memoirs of Billy Shears.
The holy bible of PID utilizes a title, along with digital links jpaulmccartney.com and the PID narrative to establish the alternate reality that has the backing (Billy’s Back) of its source, the Paul McCartney imposter (see dedication above) narrating his epic tale as through the Encoder. This confusion of author creates the opening to an alternate reality in which the supernatural guides creation through the spirit of the original Paul McCartney. In addition to The Beatles’ encoded “bible series,” Thomas E. Uharriett has penned several other books innovating mystical texts, such as The Gospel of Thomas in Haiku and The Haiku Gita, which explains Krishna in light of the teachings of Jesus (Paulism, Uharriet 552-573). It seems the Encoder has a good deal of practice organizing spiritual material in a nonlinear method inspired by Haiku. Evocative titles (many from The Beatles’ lyrics) serve as organizing principles for a self-contained chapters (below) with a structure reflecting the whole. This literary self-devouring Ouroboros is an invitation into a mystical immersion of a life transcending death.
The ontology of the warring opposites of the post-postmodern era is resolved through the metafiction of the PID bible. Let’s examine the difference as with the QAnon bible The Great Awakening. QAnon exploits the 0/1 code as binary politics without seeking a potential resolution in an opposing symmetry; in direct contrast, PID has a self-reflection in an acronym that is complementary in number and meaning. The Third factor between PIA/PID is Paul as the point of connection. A unified Paul marries the opposites. This is a noble outcome of a fifty year entanglement.
Paradoxically, the rise of QAnon demonstrates the collective awakening is not about such an individuation but extremes converging into the grand narrative of a spider web of authoritarian control as a new focus of quality journalism outside MSM and popularized by David Icke. The “Luciferian” agenda snakes through the Memoirs by way of an unusual apparatus for a work of literature: footnotes as footholds (the “All Seeing Eye” of occultism as the global elite’s electronic surveillance in Uharriet 297-298 ) on the literary climb into the mystical heights. The endurance of Memoirs as a literary magnus opus utilizing digital technology to stay fresh places into perspective the fleeting success of The Great Awakening on the bestseller list. With the inspirational genius that constructed the PID Bible, there is a oneness in duality promoting an emotional reaction to the protagonist as the Billy Goat Shadow that recreates the tale of Jesus and Judas. The tension is raised: will Billy betray the secret? The 2018 edition of Memoirs proclaims Billy as a 33 degree Mason groomed for the position of Paul’s replacement (Uharriet 213, 562) as an Illuminati infiltration into the music industry.
PLAYBOY: “But your songs do have messages.”
LENNON: “All we are saying is, ‘This is what is happening to us.’ We are sending postcards. I don’t let it become ‘I am the awakened; you are sheep that will be shown the way.’ That is the danger of saying anything, you know.”
PLAYBOY: “Especially for you.”
In his final interview before his murder, John Lennon made a hidden signifier in his grammar: “sheep” as object preceded by “I am the awakened” as subject, implying the biblical Shepherd. While this analogy was intentionally stated in the negative, the juxtaposition of opposites is common in Beatles’ wordplay, originating in their scouse jokes that delighted the world. As it can be difficult to decipher what is hidden in plain sight with left brain logic, hermeneutics penetrate deep into the origin of a text through right brain intuition. The ability to go high and low, at times simultaneously, is a characteristic of Hermes/Mercury. It is significant to hermeneutics that only the patron of alchemy could go from Mt. Olympus to Hades.
The Beatles lyrics interpreted through hermeneutics as “embodied meaning” (Brackett) provide a mythology of eternal recurrence of death and rebirth at the conclusion of an astrological age. The anima mundi of rebirth embodied in the Solar Hero who only needs to live for extraction into Being; masked in latex though he may be, the sacrificial Billy Goat Signified in RAM is the MACCA progenitor of the Black Sun.
The triplicity of names deconstructed here —Billy, Shears and Shepherd — are the hermeneutics of a pre-Christian mythology of the Sacred Marriage Rites at the cradle of civilization and towards into the Age of Aquarius. Carl Jung and Wolfgang Pauli proclaimed the Hieros Gamos (sacred marriage) as icon of the 21st century (Roth 2012). Applying hermeneutics to The Beatles locates this icon in the physical corps as well as their corpus, thus we have Apple Corps. Ltd.
Numerology as Phenomenology
A key identification among researchers of an Intel PsyOp (conspiracy lingo for Deep State Intel operations) is the use of numerology. When an accident happens on a date with significant occult numbers, there is a common understanding of pre-planning by theorists. If not the date, then the geographical coordinates. The data reveals how this played out for the Kennedy Assassination on November 22, 1963. The date is significant as the master builder number doubling 11 (November is the eleventh month) to 22, with the JFK murder taking place at parallel 33 in Dallas, the same as his brother’s murder in Los Angeles.
QAnon numerical correspondences are extreme in their disembodied isolation. This makes them antithetical to the wisdom of the autonomy of number — whether appearing in a dream, a tarot reading, geographical coordinates, sacred geometries or astrology degrees as measurement of time and space. When number appears as semiotics, meaning can be interpreted by correspondences on a scale that is autonomous, i.e. both qualitative and quantitative (Streitfeld 2014); this is how interpreting magical inner/outer correspondences (in the alchemist adage: “as above, so below; so within, so without”) informs free will in making crucial choices. This is particularly true when an initiate comes to the crossroads (see Yod section) and the tension has a physical effect on the environment. Jung referred to these magical moments in time as synchronicity, a term Sting brought into the pop culture.
The September 11 date in the Memoirs narrative (Uharriet lists history of Sept. 11 on p. 116) of Paul’s fatal car accident originates as phenomenology in a clue hidden on the face of the drum on the cover of Sgt.Peppers (above). Putting a mirror up to the image gives a reading: I ONE X HE DIE (Uharriet 119). This now familiar date appears in Memoirs as well as the fatal accident of Paul, discovered by researcher Mike Williams in an interview The Occultology of the Beatles to be key transition point in the occult calendar. Such a numerical correspondence is conspiracy researcher’s red flag for a pre-planned ritual sacrifice.
This number connects the McCartney conspiracy to the destruction of the Twin Towers tragedy on September 11, 2001. For conspiracy theory, this is a clear sign that 9/11 is not only an “inside job” but a ritual planned for that specific date to impose one world government. The symbolism of the dual pillars at the entrance of the Temple is an occult meaning of passing through the duality of the world into the spiritual unity of the Sacred Marriage.
The annual memorial of the September 11 The Tribute of Light, two columns six blocks south of the World Trade Center for six days reinforces this message of unity through number, as we shall see below. In the Kulturindustrie, the postgender (transgender) Aquarian icon of the Hieros Gamos has repeatedly has been projected through a succession of pop icons following in the wake of androgynous mop top appearance of The Beatles— from Boy George and Elton John to Madonna to Michael Jackson and the newest manufactured transgendered pop star, Billie Ellish.
Three is the number of creativity which can easily be viewed in the figure of three curved lines converging. Three is the only number in which linear sequence (1,2,3) is the same as mathematical sequence (1+2=3). This refers to the capability of the three to transcend linear time and leap into magical time known as Kairos . The most important occult number is 33 because it combines the 3 to get six, the number of balance in the marriage of opposites. In the Masonic hierarchy, 33 is the highest degree of mastery, where we get the term, “33rd degree.”
In PID the number 3 (Uharriet, 333) frequently arises as to be expected from a theory originating in creative genius. This begins with the three names for Paul’s Doppelgänger: Billy Shears, Billy Campbell and Billy Shepherd (a false connection with the Beatles imitation band Billy Shepherd and the Pepperpots, Uharriet 74). Combining these names we arrive at the mythology of the Shepherd with his Shears to cut the wool over the eyes (Uharriet 145-149).
Six is the number for the Sacred Marriage of opposites, and therefore harmony and peace. In Hamburg, I found 24 (2+4=6) on the door where the Beatles lived. This reveals the magic of the Beatles harmony in their early days, as does BEATLES VI (above) at number one for six weeks. The newest clue of the existence of McCartney doubles is PID phenomenology uncovering six toes.
Both editions of Memoirs have 666 pages in 66 chapters and sells for $33.33 3+3 = 3+3= 6+6 = 66 on billyshears.com. Six three times (Uharriet, “Six, six, six!” p. 331) is the Beast 666 (androgynous, horned, half man-woman/half goat bearded god Baphomat) as the six-pointed Star which geometrically and numerically (points, lines, triangles) translates into the self-proclaimed title of the wicked magician Aleister Crowley, whose commandment “Do As Thou Wilt Shall be the Whole of the Law” became the sixties cry “do your own thing.”
In the Sumerian religious practice of the Sacred Marriage Rites, Lucifer, the Bringer of the Dawn, was Venus at helical rise illuminating a new value. Venus makes a pentagram or rosette, the symbol of the Love Goddess, in an eight year cycle. While Christianity associated Venus with the Devil (lusty Pan to the Greeks and the biblical Bal in Babylon), Satanists use the inverted pentagram as their symbol for Luciferian worship, which mocks Christian repression by way of enslavement to desire (the horns representing the phallus) while appropriating the Kundalini for material power. This is how Crowley’s chaotic reversals inspire rock and roll rebellion, as author Gary Lachman, formerly of Blondie, explains here (Lachman 2014).
The Memoirs of Billy Shears: The Nine After 9/09 Edition was introduced on September 9, 2009 and revised exactly a decade later on 9/09/2018, maintaining the same numerology (9/9/11). The first edition release date happened to be the same numerical date as the release of the Beatles’ remastered material, and I didn’t pre-plan to revise this paragraph on 9/09/2019.
Synchronicity or cultural engineering? In the first of the two cases, the likely answer is the latter; in regards to my editing date for this section, it is the former; the difference is synchronicity, which indicates a powerful archetype is activated. To determine the difference, the researcher must first investigate as to whether there is a prescribed pattern of events. On the face of it, there is 9/09 as the stated birthday of the narrator who relates in Virgo detail his efforts to become Paul McCartney’s doppelgänger, complete with suffering latex masks and the concerted effort to master Paul’s high brow (Uharriet 297).
Their personal numbers reveal they are complementary opposites. Paul’s number is 666 and Billy’s is 999; 6 upside down is 9. Memoirs explains the significance: “To replace Paul, I had to allow upheavals throughout my whole life….My world turned from downside up, flipping over my 666 to become 999…the ominous message from the EMI engineer’s ‘Number Nine’ played backward sounded very much like ‘Turn me on dead man.’ McCartney (with nine letters) being the Dead man made it extra eerie in ‘Revolution 9’ (Uharriet 421-422).”
Aside from the reverse mirroring of opposites, The Beatles’ fixation on “number nine” is stated in the hypnotic repetition of “number nine” in Revolution 9. Here John Lennon explains the origin of the recording. Nine is the number of completion. In the figure, the upper circle extends into the lower half curve of the half circle, indicating the opening of completion to the beginning of a new cycle, which is enclosed circle of potentiality represented by zero.
Astrology as Apparatus
Astrology is a holistic language of symbols in which signs form the wheel of life — from birth to dissolution — through the twelve houses of the zodiac. Therefore, the study of correspondences between humans and the cosmos is about cycles. This is how time is measured in space through recurring relationships. By definition, the flat earth community does not subscribe to the mechanics of astrology which can be summed up in one word: rotation.
…I am two Pauls. The public Paul has the glamorous lifestyle; the private Billy-Paul is not so celebrity- minded. The public Paul is my career. The private Billy-Paul includes every aspect of my life outside my public career. When fans think of me,it is usually about the public image of the star, Paul McCartney. Paul is just a famous role I have adopted for my career. It is something I have more than something I am. I play the part. It is my job; and I do it well, there is always enough of me in that role to be successful. Music is real. It is from me. When my heart is in it, that is real. I am not merely channeling Paul’s material. My music is a blend of us both because we are blended. It has the private Billy-Paul in it.
—Thomas E. Uharriet, The Nine After 9-09 Edition: The Memoirs of Billy Shears, p. 395
Twins in Beatles semiotics is reflected in hermeneutics in Memoirs (Uharriet 2018, “The Two Pauls,” 391-397). This doubling effect is a reflection of Paul McCartney’s Gemini Sun sign. Gemini is ruled by Hermes/Mercury, with the winged sandals, father of Pan. Thus, we have the Wings signifier with the meaning of rebirth.
The adorable Paul with the world’s most cherished boy face had to die in order for the Gemini myth of the two Pauls — linked through the Wings Signifier — to live. This sentiment produced a hit song marrying the complementary opposites “Live and Let Die” written and performed by Linda and Paul McCartney with their band Wings for the 1973 James Bond film of the same name. Here a central figure in an Intel conspiracy theory scores the title song of a film about an M16 agent. What conspiracy theories have in common with the mystical journey: nothing is merely a coincidence.
Therefore, the Twin Towers follows the Gemini Paul McCartney as a symbol of duality targeted for destruction on September 11 (eleven representing the two pillars at the entrance of the temple). The destruction of the World Trade Center symbol as the modern Tower of Babel meaning the explosion of the binary system (capitalist vs. communist) into ONE WORLD unified by the global terrorist threat. The connection between meaning and symbol is in the semiotics.
QAnon is the Shadow seeking to expose the Deep State, with Trump as the Hero of the excavation. The ringed planet represents karma, and therefore limitations. The myth arising through ongoing explosive word missiles flying between PID and PIA is the angelic Paul menaced by Saturn, signifier of the personal and collective Shadow.
Paul McCartney was born on September 18, 1942 when Saturn was in Gemini casting a shadow on his life expression, the Sun. The struggle for enduring expression capturing the dynamism of opposites weighed on his shoulders. The cross-disciplinary scholar Margaret Starbird born on this day has devoted her life to a spiritual journey disclosing an ontology of Mary Magdalene as the wife of Jesus. Her research inspired the global phenomenon of The Da Vinci Code. Billy Goat (the symbol for the Saturn ruled sign of Capricorn) and the RAM Signifier (ram is a male sheep and Billy’s Saturn is in Aries, the sign of the ram) are major clues about McCartney’s Black Sun as the alembic of death and transformation for a mythology of two Pauls (Uharriet 391-397) as the contemporary version of Jesus/Judas signified in 1969 by Terry Knight’s “St. Paul.”
We have already gotten into Semiotics, revealing the overlap with hermeneutics. Anything can be a Signifier, even a text, but hermeneutics is confined to texts. What a media scholar seeks as Bracketted embodied meaning is signified through various methods of communication. Here are some of the semiotics found in The Beatles mediology:
“Our own secret hand gestures, veiled meanings, and all else on the album suggest that we too have made a a fraternity or religion to convey hidden truths. In our case, it is all of Paul…” (Uharriet 96). During a Paul McCartney 2009 appearance on Letterman’s Tonight Show, the host asks his guest about the rumor that Paul died and was replaced. His guest points to himself and says: “This is him!” Then something curious happens on camera: the guest drops the mask, and suddenly appearing unmoored from his signifier, looks around as if caught in a shattered illusion until he refocuses his awareness by slyly raising a finger to his lips. Copies of this video clip circulate around PID with the hand gesture interpreted as a Masonic signal of silence. This fits the PID conspiracy narrative of Billy Shears as a 33 Mason utilizing all sorts of magical practices to uphold the illusion he is Paul McCartney.
The PID Bible takes this narrative to occult conclusion by stating in the footnotes (Uharriet) that Billy is the son of Aleister Crowley who schooled him in magic as a child. Any conspiracy theory drawing a connection between Satanism and rock music has Crowley has a source (Uharriet 364), creating disorder through the perversion of backwards messaging.
Signaled by the left hand over the heart, the occult “left-handed path” is that of satan worship. This makes Paul’s left-handedness a key clue of a conspiracy in which he was replaced by a right-handed musician, who had to follow the middle path of ambidexterity. The doppelganger’s success required using both hands equally well; playing left-handed bass for the most successful band of all time imbeds the ending of right/left brain into the PID occult narrative.
In a photo of Paul meeting Linda at the Sgt. Peppers’ press conference (below), he is smoking with his right hand. Signified by this ambidexterity, Linda’s entrance into his life represented the surrender to the 21st century archetype — a love affair leading to a public iconic marriage of equals. Linda, recognized in her own right as a talented photographer, become Paul’s writing partner and member of Wings. Her astrological chart signifies this passage; she was born on the day of the Autumn Equinox when the Sun enters the sign of Libra, representing balance.
On the street I had my feet on the ground
Stood corrected, well protected, resurrected, had it my way
I’ve got my feet in the clouds, got my head on the ground.
—Paul McCartney, “Feet on the Ground”
Mike Williams Is This why Paul “Billy Shears” McCartney Likes to Show His Feet? interpreting his archeology of bare feet, originating on the Abbey Road cover, signaling the disembodied soul of Paul working through his double. In a previous video The Mystery of Paul McCartney’s Feet, the same PID researcher compiled phenomenology for a double through the feet.
The Paul is Live album for the 1993 McCartney New World Tour announces a Beatles retread by way of reversal: a cover image (above) reversing the PID clue of bare feet on Abbey Road. The lyrics of “Feet on the Ground” reveals how the creative process continually pushes through the complementary opposites as reversals (feet in the clouds/ head on the ground) integral to the story he wants to tell (stood corrected, well protected, resurrected, had it my way).
Tree of Life
The hit single was recorded in a November 24, 1966 session reuniting the band in Studio One after a five month hiatus. Without a record since “Yellow Submarine” and “Eleanor Rigby” in August (Turner, 512), EMI was expecting a single. By the time of “Strawberry Fields” February release when the video was filmed, there were rumors circulating London that Paul had died, providing new meaning to the lyrics: “Living is easy with eyes closed… misunderstanding all that you see…” Lennon’s wordplay is veiled hermeneutics crying out to bei apprehended: “That is the catch you know…”
In the video, Paul’s separation from the others reveals the instability of a new reality: “It’s getting hard to be someone…” His jumping into a tree is prescient of the wings in his future and having to straddle the Paul McCartney “high or low” brow during the January 1967 filming. This is the first time the physical characteristics confounding the memory of Paul harmonizing with John Lennon in stature and voice were on display, initiating the alternate reality presented in the lyrics: “you know when it’s a dream.”
The Tree of Life is a symbol of death and rebirth. Paul jumps onto this signifier of his mystical journey that will require his rising in a new constellation (the 13 bells Paul arranges as an addition to the 12 signs of the zodiac). Filmed in 35 mm and gorgeously remastered in 2009, Strawberry Fields Forever is where the Beatles’ invention of the music video met The Beatles experimental analog techniques to create a magical narrative of transformation through Paul’s leap that was both physic in stature and movement. Changing in size, like Alice through the looking glass, is a double signifier with the paradigm leap from the two to the three (two Pauls to the Third space of the constellation of the hieros gamos).
The tree that signifies the Beatles surprise 1967 transformation through Paul’s leap is the shape of a mystical yod, which means Finger of God in astrology. The Mircea Eliade formula for Sacred Reality (Force + Duration + Effectiveness) placed into this magical configuration of the Yod applies to the mystical journey of Paul McCartney as diagrammed below.
Genius Loci: Scotland, Templar Lineage and ETs
Mull of Kintyre
Oh mist rolling in from the sea,
Is always to be here
Oh Mull of Kintyre
The tree also refers to the bloodline. In 1966, Paul McCartney purchased a Scottish farm outside Campbeltown, the ancestral home of the musician known to perform as his double, Billy Campbell Shears, whose Scottish matriarchal lineage provides the Memoirs diversionary semiotics for a solar hero known as Braveheart (Uharriet, 409-420).
Written as a tribute to his home, The Mull of Kintyre seems to be the key to PID missed by the conspiracy theorists. This album provides the semiotics in word and image of a hidden Scottish heritage of Paul’s double which supported Paul’s spiritual transformation (Wings) after the 1970 death of The Beatles. The 1977 album was the Wing’s biggest hit in Britain.
Scotland is associated with the Templar legend through a bloodline lineage perpetuated through the Scottish Rites. Henry “The Holy de Saint Clair” (1060-1110) fought in the First Crusade in the Holy Land (1096-1099), where he met Hugues de Payens, the Founder and First Grandmaster of the Crusades to the Holy Land. Hugues de Payens later received Templar land grant from the Sinclair Rosslyn Estate and married Henry’s daughter, Catherine St.Clair. This association was brought into the film of the global phenomenon, The Da Vinci Code, unveiling the hieros gamos mythology at the heart of the mystery schools originating in the Templars and leaving a permanent mark in the mid 15th century Rosslyn Chapel, a circle above the opening to the crypt pointed out by the tour guide where the Seal of Solomon was placed for the final scene of the film.
The Scottish connection to the Templar lineage amplifies the Memoirs bloodline. David Icke’s grand conspiracy theory of aliens in the elite bloodline is derived from Zechariah Sitchen. This translator of the Sumerian cuneiform texts created a narrative of the biblical Elohim in his popular books beginning with The 12th Planet that the creators of human civilization in the Fertile Crescent were Annunakki astronauts from the planet Niburu whose intermarriage with humans prompted their angry god to create the flood to destroy humanity. Memoirs establishes Billy Shears as “chosen” by the Illuminati to infiltrate the music industry, Subject to ritual abuse as preparation (Uharriet 596). The illuminati symbolism in Paul McCartney’s 2018 video Who Cares completes this literary portrait of William being groomed to fulfill the Illuminati agenda, increasing suspicion among the PID bible thumpers that his secret avant-gardism is responsible for the entire enterprise as a method of controlled disclosure of origin.
The signifier of the biblical forbidden fruit connection with Paul’s death (Apaul Corps Ltd. as a wordplay on Apple Corps.) is another signifier of Saturn (corps limited: the physical limitations in the body indicated in Paul’s astrological chart) relayed through occult images and texts of Crowley here in #68 of Paul is Dead: The Rotten Apple.
Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn’t argue about that; I’m right and I will be proved right. We’re more popular than Jesus now. I don’t know which will go first, rock ‘n’ roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It’s them twisting it that ruins it for me.
— John Lennon (Evening Standard)
The Shepherd signifier is a reference to the myth of the eternal return, the christ of a new age. Memoirs connects this to Krishna, the Hindu God of Love (Uharriet 564).
When you hear, “Meet the new boss/ Same as the old boss,” listen to it carefully to hear, “Meet the new boss/ Same as the old Paul.” Since the brain can only process one thing at a time, it subconsciously selects the most reasonable message, favoring expected lines over unexpected overdubbed messages. That is one of the advantages of overdubbing.
—Thomas E. Uharriet, The Nine After 9-09 Edition: The Memoirs of Billy Shears, p. 309
Just like Yesterday. The Who’s “We won’t get Fooled Again” called up the most covered rock song in history (written by Paul McCartney and credited as Lennon/McCartney) in its 1971 anthem against the Kulturindustrie.
And the parting on the left…Are now parting on the right…And the beards have all grown longer overnight. In an analog forerunner to the Tweet, the band sent a missile through these lyrics: the Beatles’ communal beards as the ultimate metaphor for the band’s use of metaphor to communicate hidden meanings in their lyrics and imagery.
The band was staking their position on the centering between the (high and low) brow bearding the left-to-right opposition parting (if you are burning to understand this, jump ahead to focus your analytical attention on Fig. 8). In taking this middle stance, The Who achieved the esteemed position as the influential insider/outsider band of rock n’roll while participating in the exchanging of coded lyrics about OID with other bands. The McCartney new video “Who Cares” is a Signifier marking the fifty year anniversary of PID with a reply to The Who: “Who cares about you…I do.”
An American musician named Terry Knight recruited by Paul McCartney for Apple Corps proclaimed to have been present at the White Album session where Ringo quit the band. He subsequently got his single “St. Paul” released as the only non-Beatles record published by Maclen, the McCartney/Lennon firm. Now we know the Bracketted “embodied meaning” (Brackett 2016) of the long-buried Judas clue in Terry Knight’s “St Paul” beseeching: “Say there Paul what’s new? Did Judas really talk to you, or did you put the whole world on?”
Now you know the significance. This cryptic message on the “Saint Paul” full page Capital Records advertisement in Cash Box the day before the famous November 7 Life cover story. Knight was touring in the area wherePID rumor originated, revealing the signifier on the original record: A GOOD KNIGHT PRODUCTION.
These signifiers combining the knight with St. Paul , combined with John’s public views on Christianity, support Paulism (Uharriet, 552-573) as the model for equal partnership for the Age of Aquarius replacing the misogynist Paulism of Christianity.
Heather Mills’ Box of Evidence
During the media circus surrounding her 2008 divorce from Sir Paul after a two year separation. She claimed to have the truth hidden in a box of evidence that would be opened if anything happened to her. Here we have the signifier of a literal Schrödinger’s box suggested by its owner that opening with serve the quantum collapse of the wave function in which only one of two possibilities co-existing for fifty years is real. In this scenario, the co-existence in which consensus reality is limited against quantum reality is resolved. In quantum physics, this state of the resolution of opposites is the Wavicle.
Phenomenology as Proof of Identity
“It’s beginning again,” he said. “There is no end. I know I’m going to need a new set of rules and the new rule has to include the rule that there aren’t any rules”
—-Paul McCartney (Turner, 521)
It’s beginning again. The circular thinking in this statement is confidence to break the rules by way of the chief protagonist of a new Beatles’ era is another reason why the McCartney Conspiracy unique. The McCartney impersonator has a real identity with a name — or rather two or three names (four to include Wallace Braveheart, see Uharriet, ). The name of the imposter is William/Billy Shepherd or William/ Billy Shears. There is also a Scottish name, Campbell, the mother’s maiden name. Q is a respite of anonymity compared to the confusion of the multiple identities of PID: Paul, William, Billy, Faul, Beatle Bill.
Identity raises a conspiracy to the level of mythology. Q may be presented as the ultimate genius mastermind pulling the strings from the perspective of a grand worldview, but he may also be the Emperor without clothes. With an alternative reality sourced in digital code, how would we know?
Given her background as a lawyer, Tina Foster would expect a rule breaker to be punished. She doesn’t hold back her hatred of the “Imposter,” and this may be why she sees Paul’s murder on the final leg of the world tour in San Francisco in late August 1966. In this scenario, the double immediately takes over the position on stage — the show must go on — which implicates him in a ritual murder. Pressing her authority as an expert on doubles, she goes further than any other theorist in casting Billy Shears as a vampire who performed badly as a double.
The two distinct Pauls of the pre-1966/post-1966 (see above chart) reveal some contrasting characteristics. PID theorists say that the sheer size of the new Paul (“Paul, at that age, could not instantly grow a few inches taller.” Uharriet, 200) explains Epstein’s announcement the band would stop touring on November 10, 1966 (Turner, 578). The size of the ego also noticeably changed: “This incident hinted at a struggle that was taking place within the Beatles. John had been the original leader of the group, and it had been at his invitation that Paul had joined. But, almost imperceptibly, Paul had become his equal and was now taking over” (Turner, 509).
Aside from a distinct personality change into a workaholic and physical characteristics (above), there are crucial behavioral differences between Paul before and after his rumored death. There have been some crucial differences in behavior as well: Paul refused to take LSD, which excluded him from the group, and by 1967 was frequent user as well as a pothead, promoting the drug in this original unmastered 1967 BBC interview, where he is inhabiting the role of the Gemini Shadow — the vampire doppelgänger who stole the identity of the Beloved Beatle.
The McCartney conspiracy is also unique in that there is readily available methodology for proof of identity: phenomenology, forensics and a September 17 archeology by a Beatles’ insider creating subdivisions like this and this in the PID community.
In 1984, the McCartney conspiracy was revived in newspapers through the attempt to prove Paul McCartney’s paternity by his offspring through a German court. The DNA test with McCartney’s blood failed and the case was dismissed. The failure of Paul’s recognized German children, to whom he provided financial support in the early 1960s, to find a DNA match is proof of an imposter, according to PID. “I will let DNA do the talking is how Memoirs sums up the confusion in exploring this theme (Uharriet 44-53). This brings up the crucial question in the PID game: Paul McCartney win…or lose through public claims he faked the paternity test?
B). Italian Forensic Study
The PID quagmire captures how the rigorous scientists using reductionist forensics as a guide for the truth. When an Male/Female Italian team made a study for Wired Italia (translation here) on images of the two Pauls intending to dispel the rumor, they ended up as participants in the mythical disclosure in which PIA and PID claim for their side.
C). Doppelganger Ontology Excavated on Sept 17, 2019
In the 1969 film, Yellow Submarine, John asks Paul: “Why the long face?” Indeed, a remastering of Paul’s 1969 BBC interview (above) gave him the rounder heart-shaped face of Paul. In the end, the digital revolution made it possible for the two Pauls collaborating in analog behind closed doors to merge as one in public.
PID followers who have made the effort to examine the phenomenology to enter the alternate reality of two Pauls are incredulous that how the secret could have been maintained for so long. How is it that an insider never talked? The reality is that the ultimate insider Mal Evans, the Beatles’ former road manager, was murdered in 1976 before he was to publish his manuscript, “Living the Beatles Legend.” If this was, as conspiracy theorists insist, meant to be a warning, it was effective. No other insider has come forward with their story…
…Until now. Leading up to the 50th anniversary, Liam Steen (a pseudonym for a former Beatles’ manager) established a YouTube Channel to advertise his forthcoming book, “The Truth About Paul McCartney.” After my contacting him online (above), we exchanged emails. He sent me the first four chapters of his book that have a very detailed and convincing story about Paul struggling to carry in his role while living under the threat of CAD. His concern for his own legacy and the future of The Beatles promoted him to devise a plan for his replacement (Memoirs has a version of this account, see Uharriet pp. 116-132). This individual was present at the meeting Paul called with The Beatles, his family and the band’s management to announce he was drawing up a contract for Billy Campbell Sheers to move into his house and take his place. In just four chapters, questions such as how Paul’s family could have agreed to a replacement were answered. In fact, his father was against the plan, but Paul refused to reconsider.
Utilizing astrology as a tool of hermeneutics, I have examined the astrology charts and found all the correspondences accurate with the September 18, 1937 birthday Steen gave me for Billy Sheers. His character of a workaholic and natural illusionist is the effect of Neptune on his Virgo Sun, meaning he works very hard at the Unreal, so hard that he surrendered to the mythology excavated here. A mystery that cannot be resolved by any conspiracy is why his birthday falls a day after the public inauguration of the Paul is Dead rumor. Only the “Science of Magic” can explain it.
Interaction of discursive behavior (I.e. speech and thoughts) based upon a shared knowledge pool), non-discursive behavior (i. e. acts based upon knowledge), and manifestations of knowledge by means of acts or behaviors …. Dispositifs can thus be imagined as a kind of Gesamtkunstwerk, the complexly interwoven and integrated dispositifs add up in their entirety to a dispositif of all society.
Conspiracy theories are created, develop and evolve to discover or uncover a holistic worldview interpreting the human condition during a time of cultural, political and economic breakdown. In essence, researching a conspiracy is the initiation of the human quest for the totality of experience that the Beatles demonstrated in their trek to study to India. What has been demonstrated here is that the Depositif of the PID/PIA Gesamtkunstwerk which invites the viewer in at multiple portals through unexpected openings — to be devoured in the Ouroboros as participant— at the risk of never getting out. Along the path, The Beatles created the mediology of an epic narrative in NewMedia, fulfilling all the characteristics presented by Peggy Bloomer in her text Surfgeist: Narratives of Epic Mythology in New Media during the transition from analog into digital.
The Science of Magic views time as cycles; linear time roughly coincided with cosmological time over the turn of the millennium (Uranus/Pluto Conjunction of 1967/1968 and Saturn/Uranus Conjunction of 1989 catalyzing major events defining a new decade), allowing cultural critics to sum up cultural shifts by decades. The seventies was the time of a sudden expansion of consciousness reflected in the open door of gurus passing from east to west, their followers societies dropouts; the eighties was the personal quest of the New Age that became commercialized by spiritual materialism and the nineties was about facing the collective Shadow during the Culture Wars and the death of the patriarchal archetypes of the Piscean Age. Ever since, the task has been to open to a higher consciousness and ground the body for the quantum shift — the higher vibration and collective shift into the equal partnership model of the Age of Aquarius. The 21st century is about The Great Awakening, which is the collective embodiment of the archetype prophesied by the great metaphysical teachers, many of which I had as personal teachers.
It was the mystical journey of The Beatles’ at the first crash of the quantum wave newly interpreted here as a Depositif Gesamtkunstwerk in which “clues” were the residue of a collective Ouroboric self-devouring. The demands of holding the tension of the sacred center of this configuring archetype created the alchemical transformation of their mourning for Paul — and the world transformed with them. This containment is a guide we can use today.
Yet, to dig deep risks being caught in a quagmire. There is a renaissance of PID content along with a format that can be traced to every DYI digital invention, from message boards to blogs to Twitter and ultimately YouTube (launched in 2008) as the primary stage for the enactment of the PID/PIA discourse. Ready for your excavation — at the risk of falling permanently down the Rabbit Hole, these range from surrealist music video collages such as The Beatles – Free as a Bird in which commenters offer new clues.
Zuckerman writes: “The QAnon Anonymous team considers QAnon to be ‘an improvisational game’ where the players compete, ‘looking for an interpretation that will go viral within the QAnon community.’” This YouTube Channel the same goal, launching a self-declared “viral campaign on an unprecedented scale”with such videos as “The Rotten Apple – Paul is Dead.” The 2006 launch promoted the idea of officialdom through the creation of some 350 videos under 15 separate channels in the last dozen years utilizing a seemingly unlimited storehouse of digitized Beatles media to collage, blend and overlay subliminal messaging regarding an occult conspiracy with ominous association allegiances to Aleister Crowley, the Great Beast 666.
The culmination of this occult tide is Apaul Corps encapsulating a myth of death and rebirth originating in the signifier of the The Winged Beatle presented in five volumes uploaded on September 9, 2010. The Egyptian dung beetle transforming into scarab by eating its own shit became the official illicit symbol of the PID Emergent mythology. The root of the mystery appears to be the bottomless pit The Rotten Apple Series inviting interactivity by way of a contest to apprehend the kinesiology of a flying suitcase utilizing digital magic for Self-propelled adventure. The apparatus is reference to the missing suitcase of Mal Evans, the former Beatles’ road manager, carrying his manuscript “Living the Beatles Legend” that disappeared after he was shot and killed by the LAPD on Jan. 5, 1976.
The techniques to establish an eternal recycling of a circular Beatles’s narrative pioneered a multilayered collage of sound/image in the tradition of Harry Smith who entered the commercial art world a half century after his sixties transgender experimental videos.
THE RIGHT ALBUM
This offspring channel is the outcome of an experiment in PID media layering. The Right Album effectively sheds the Beatles media mother lode to do “right” from the purging of the Ouroboros and create original art influenced by the Beatles pioneering the marriage of image, words and sound.
Paul declared he wrote “Yesterday” in a dream and the song has become the most covered song in history as a result of an unconscious transmission of a simple lyric regretting the passage of linear time by a longing for the past, yet relayed from the knowledge of the future in the present. This was an early example of a chronicle of the quantum leap that lay ahead for the Beatles by way of bringing past, present and future together in a single
Now that it has been established that the PID theories were attempting at understand a conversion made real by the presence of a new band member in the alchemical alembic that was Studio One. We have made a new quantum leap from new evidence regarding whom this figure actually was — and is. This helps us to understand how an alternate reality absorbing the Ureal was created within a community attempting to understand the origin of the band’s sudden radical transformation from teen idol to idiosyncratic artists. The truth they uncovered created the conditions for the conversion. The secret enforced the holding of the tension between the opposites until something new emerged…in effect it was a new band. This is where form and content merged into a complete work of art forged out of a hidden necessity, with the outcome encapsulating the struggle even in title: Srgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band. The initiative launched was to comprise the three Beatles’ epics: the Real launched in Cavern Club to The Unreal of Beatlemania and the Metareal of their hermetic confinement in their final three years as a band.
This departure places The Beatles epochs into illo tempore as a ritual of life (The Real), death (The Unreal) and rebirth (The Metareal) continuing beyond the breakup: Paul growing Wings to express the hermeneutics of the 21st century icon in partnership with his Beloved Linda through evocative lyrics (Venus and Mars, Chaos and Creation in the Backyard, etc.) to Lennon’s passage with Yoko Ono (Imagine, Double Fantasy) into “God,” and George Harrison’s spiritual quest expressed through word and images such as this enthralling music video What is Life, which magically appeared on my Facebook feed as I was finishing this article.
At the 50th anniversary of PID which coincides with the anniversary of Abbey Road, giving meaning to the alternate reality of the PID community is the quantum reality of each part, each song, each album, revealing the contents of the whole. This is the metaphysics contained in The Beatles’ mediology evolved through the heights of the analog and digital epochs. If the PID theorists were obsessed with a literal truth about Paul McCartney’s replacement as a resolution to their search, it may have escaped their perception that they have been living the tension of the greater mystery — The Beatles’ magical feat of soul transformation — right before the eyes of the public.
While the Beatles were always regarded as an island unto themselves, the shared secret of Paul’s death and replacement required a hermeticism evoked in image and lyrics in their final film collaboration inviting others into their hermetic journey.
Music was the Möbius strip interconnection between interior grief for the loss of Paul and their exterior roles as The Beatles, the most influential musical group in the world. This excavation unearthed a hidden archeology sourced in the band’s secret: the hermetically-sealed production in their final epoch was a homage to Paul, who deeded his legacy in lyrics.
The hidden collaboration of the “Two Pauls” in Revolver had quantum effect. With stunning cover artwork of a Tree of Life Beatles’ mediology rooted in hair, the title inspired Evolver: Wakeup and Dream, a 2008 happening recycling psychedelics with the mythology of 2012.
The Beatles were the Holy Grail of a 21st century search for a new value of universal love. This quest for unity is the opposite of the division sowed by QAnon. While Truthers constantly flirt with the danger of becoming as disharmonious as the tactics of the Deep State they seek to expose, the return to the sacred rites of the early sixties is a passage out of this course of destruction. The embrace of the anima mundi, or world soul, by way of the Beatles’ Gesamtkunstwerk is a means of honoring the analog era by experiencing its capture of a unique moment in time and space leaping into our future from the past.
In the Grail legend, the proper question is the very one that Perceval neglects to ask: “whom does the Grail serve?” I asked this question to The Beatles’ insider whose archeology is revealed here for the first time and was told it was Paul. The hermeneutics of the Paul is Dead bible create an ontology of Paulism as the Third space between the polar opposites of life and death symbolizing the dying and resurgent god of the Age of Aquarius. With this 360 perspective, the opposing Pauls create a single millennial myth born out of technological innovation.
How many songs did The Beatles sing about Love? The answer is that ALL their early songs were about love. Yet, not once can I remember seeing love as a motivating force for the switch of Pauls in the hundreds of comments reviewed on PID videos.
In this excavation of Paul is Dead at fifty years, we disclose the resolution to the binary trap in what is arguably the most divisive conspiracy theory of the digital era, due to a single icon representing the digital binary — the 0+, on/off switch of digital code. Learning to be present in the tension between the opposites opens us to the new creation, the hermetic practice that kept The Beatles epic evolving for fifty years and will do so for a millennium. What analog captured of a cosmology in the making, the 21st century archetype of the Sacred Marriage of opposites, has been transmuted through digital processes marrying right and left brain in the tech rendition of the Surrealist cut-up technique. This sacred reality at the center of the PID/PIA opposition brings us to a few conclusions:
Primarily, this probe into a specific conspiracy theory regarding one of the world’s most enduring artists has gained traction through every new technical development of the past half century. Yet, this time of technological slowdown means a new emphasis on the authenticity of analogue as artifacts of mythical rites of a zeitgeist that pop music today can only hope to emulate. The origin of the McCartney conspiracy was vinyl passing from hand to turntable to hand; clues were exchanged mouth-to-mouth as a form of cultural gathering tearing down barriers, such as the Iron Curtain. Yet, the speed of technology also meant greater opportunities for doctoring images, thereby creating the binary division exiting today, demonstrated by both sides of PIA/PID using the same media to reflect their reality. What does this tell us about human nature only seeing what is familiar, taking us to the question Zuckerman poses in his introduction to Unreal: “How does the use of media to design unreality change our trust in the reality we encounter? My personal response to this question was introducing hermeneutics apparatus that opens new avenues of discussion. Right brain methodologies will allow institutional scholars to dialogue with the network of independent researchers interpreting the hypnotizing effect of occult symbols and negative archetypes in the Kulturindustrie that has dehumanized expression and alienated the public.
Secondly, analog recordings revolutionized by digital technology reconciling the PID/PIA binary inspires new collaborative inventions for methodologies by which analog may inform digital creations, and vice-versa.
Finally, Zuckerman opened his political dialogue with Masha Gessen with these words: “essentially constructing your own reality with these facts you are actually creating unreality.” The difference between culture and politics is that “creating unreality” has long been expected from the manufactured idols of the Kulturindustrie. The question is whether the expectation of the unreal in exchange for both worship and hard-earned currency will simply go elsewhere once the truth has been exposed. Isn’t the cyclical building up and tearing down of our idols what keeps media — from newspaper tabloids to YouTube tarot readers — in business? However, the sheer longevity of Paul McCartney raises the broader issues of shared unrealities erasing borders between culture and politics: could the tearing down of an illusion upheld by the world’s most endearing rock icon trigger en mass revaluation of idol worship enforced by corporate control?
Zuckerman asks: “Why is it so hard for us to live in tension? Why is it so hard for us to live with warring binary states?” During my six month immersion in Beatles mediology, I conducted an experiment to engage PIA/PID with an open mind and observe my reactions to the incessant binary. On this daily roller coaster of emotions, there was underlying dread of psychic dissolution as from a bad acid trip. While Zuckerman’s “main takeaway” from his dialogue with Gessen was to “embrace and cultivate complexity,” my discovery investigating the McCartney Conspiracy is that layers of complexity came with imbedded psychological attachments leading to an outright rejection of a much simpler explanation when it paradoxically popped up as a reaction to the toxicity imbedded within the complexities. As their discussion comes to a close, Gessen introduces Zuckerman to the Russian “Theory of Small Steps…toward normality and toward humanizing the situation.” This was my experience; only by surrendering to human compassion did the binaries give way, thereby allowing for a Third solution. The sudden opening was an invitation to participate in a great mystery; holding the tension at the center meant awaiting the birth of something new — this article.
The analog/digital opposition wedded through The Beatles’ evolving mediology is the reality that endures, not whether the embodiment of the 21st century icon physically died to be replaced with his double. While the mythology of the two Pauls serves our understanding of the present crisis of uncertainty, this secret origin of the extraordinary triumph of The Beatles’ Gesamtkunstwerk is the state of suspended unreality that makes it as alive today as it was yesterday and will be tomorrow.
Beyers, Steven, “Heidegger the Shaman,” Singing to the Plants, August 15, 2009. https://www.singingtotheplants.com/2009/08/heidegger-the-shaman/Accessed August 12. 2019.
Bloomer, Peggy, Surfgeist: Epic Narratives in New Media (Atropos, New York/Dresden, 2014).
Brackett, Donald, “Living With Limits: The Continuum of Consciousness” in Journal of Consciousness Exploration & Research, December 2016, Vol. 7, Issue 11, pp. 1064-1077.
—“Tomorrow Never Knows: The Private Music of Paul McCartney” https://www.criticsatlarge.ca/2017/08/the-private-music-of-paul-mccartney.html. Accessed online: August 2, 2019.
Cassirer, Ernst, Trans. Susanne K Langer, Mythand Language, (New York: Dover Publications, 1946).
Devlin, Mark, Musical Truth (Devlin, 2016).
Doyle, Tom, Man on the Run (Edinburgh, Polygon, 2013).
Eliade, Mircea, Trans. Willard R. Trask, The Sacred and the Profane: The Nature of Religion (New York: Harvest, Harcourt Brave and World, 1959).
Emerick, Geoff and Howard Massey, Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of the Beatles by Geoff Emerick (New York: Penguin Group/Gotham Books, NY, 2006).
Foster, Tina, Plastic Macca: The Secret Death and Replacement of Beatle Paul McCartney (Tina Foster, 2019).
—The Splitting Image: Exposing the Secret World of Doubles, Decoys, and Impostor-Replacements, e-book, 2017.
—“Gary Shepherd denies that father, Bill Shepherd, was Faul McCartney”, Sept. 7, 2017, https://plasticmacca.blogspot.com/2017/09/gary-shepherd-denies-that-father-was.html
Franz, Marie Louise von, Number and Time (Northwestern, 1974).
—Psyche and Matter (Shambhala, 1992).
Gebser, Jean, The Ever-present origin (Authorized translation by Noel Barstad with Algis Mikunas. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 1986).
Hillman, James, Alchemical Psychology (Uniform Edition of the Writings of James Hillman, Spring Publications, Inc. (2011-10-10).
Howard, Paul, I READ THE NEWS TODAY, OH BOY: The short and gilded life of Tara Browne,the man who inspired The Beatles’ greatest song” (New York:Picador 216).
Kollerstrom, Nicholas, The Life and Death of Paul McCartney 1942–1966: A Very English Mystery (Moon Rock Books, 2015).
Lachman, Gary, Aleister Crowley: Magick, Rock and Roll, and the Wickedest Man in the World (New York:Tarcher, Perigree, 2014).
McGowan, Weird Scenes Inside the Canyon: Laurel Canyon, Covert Ops & the Dark Heart of the Hippie Dream (London: Headpress, 2014).
Norman, Phillip, Paul McCartney, The Life (New York: Little Brian & Co., 2017).
O’Donnell, Jim, The Day John Met Paul: An Hour to Hour Account of How the Beatles Began (New York: Routledge, 2006).
Roth, Remo, Return of the World Soul: Wolfgang Pauli, C.G. Jung and the Challenge of Psychophysical Reality, vol. 1 & 2″ (Pari, Italy: Pari Press, 2012).
Samuels, David, Neil Young’s Lonely Quest to Save Music, The New York Times, Aug. 20, 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/20/magazine/neil-young-streaming-music.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share
Schaffner, Nicholas, The Beatles Forever (New York: McGraw, 1978).
Sheff, David, “Playboy Interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono,” January 1981 issue. ©1981 Playboy Press Jan. 1981, Interview on September 1980 p. 2. http://www.beatlesinterviews.org/dbjypb.int3.html. Accessed online June 20, 2019.
Starbird, Margaret, Woman with the Alabaster Jar (Rochester, VT:Bear & Co., 1993).
Streitfeld, Lisa, “Applying the Heisenberg Principle to 21st Century Art,” XLIIIRD AICA Congress AICA 2009: The Relations between Art and Science: complicity, criticality, knowledge, Dublin Castle, October 26-31, 2009.
—-Hermeneutics of New Modernism, (New York/Dresden:Atropos, 2014).
—-“HierosGamos and The Yod,”9 Hieros Gamos Journal, August 14, 2019 https://hierosgamosjournal.wordpress.com/the-hieros-gamos-the-yod/
—-“Overcoming the Heisenberg Principle: Art Theory Arising Out of Wolfgang Pauli’s Collapsed Wave,” Sixth International Conference on the Arts in Society, Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Berlin, Germany May 9, 2011.
Tether, Leah, “What exactly is the Holy Grail and why has its Meaning Eluded us for Centuries” in The Conversation, November 22, 2017.
Turner, Steve, The Beatles 66: The Revolutionary Year (New York:Ecco, 2016).
Uharriet, Thomas E., The Memoirs of Billy Shears: The Nine After 9-09 Edition (Billyshears.com, 2018).
Vigilant Citizen, The Meaning About Paul McCartney’s Who Cares: It’s About MK Ultra, April 11, 2019.
Warren, Jane, “Family feud of ‘Fifth Beatle’: Sir George Martin’s children in furious inheritance row,” Express, 9/26/2016. https://www.express.co.uk/comment/expresscomment/713193/family-feud-fifth-beatle-sir-george-martin-children-furious-inheritance-row. Accessed June 15, 2019.
Mark Delvin: Music, Mind Control and Billy Shears, January 27, 2017.
Neil Sanders – Mind Control, Tavistock & The Beatles, August 2014.
Why the McCartney Conspiracy is Important, June 2019.
To perceive, in the darkness of the present, this light that strives to reach us but cannot — this is what it means to be contemporary.
— Giorgio Agamben
The cusp of the third decade of the 21st century celebrates the underground survivors of the unabated domination of conceptualism in the art world which froze out organic expression arising from the human touch.
Not to be deterred, Zadik Zadikian made a heroic escape from behind the Iron Curtain to forge his own passage through Uncertainty as an artist. Drawing on his ancient heritage to breathe new life into the crucial matter of art as mater (Mother) birthing the spirit of a new age.
The triumph of this eternal quest is what makes Zadakian the standard bearer of a 21st century neomodernism.
By way of plunging into the archaic and denying the art world fashion of conceptualization for his alchemical pursuit of spirit in matter, Zadik Zadikian arises with a neomodernism celebrating the feminine power in organic forms that are remarkably alive in their stillness. Reflecting on the power of movement within stillness is how this contemporary is defining 21st century art.
“This work is about the outside. How does the outside impact us? We can fight against influence, we can shut our eyes and yet somehow there is a change,” states Zadikian. “Like a night sky, like countless worlds we cannot touch, this process is the attempt to find and see our foreign elements, our foreign ideas.”
The Human Touch
The Zadikian human touch dominates the focus of his awareness of his range of symbolic subjects presented here as a sample of his vast ouevre — his signature abstracted figurative portraits revealing traces of his fingerprint.
Reflecting on the power of movement within stillness is how Zadikian is defining 21st century art. “This work is about the outside. How does the outside impact us? We can fight against influence, we can shut our eyes and yet somehow there is a change,” he states. “Like a night sky, like countless worlds we cannot touch, this process is the attempt to find and see our foreign elements, our foreign ideas.”
The new emphasis on authenticity in the culture is encapsulated in the powerful visceral presence pregnant with meaning of the Zadikian oeuvre. Amorphous shapes are united in the artist’s Midas touch which placed his early classical works, informed formal training at Erevan Art Academy, into museums of contemporary behind the airing Curtain.
The artist’s intention to reverse his formal training to play with terra-cotta catalyzed his decades of perfecting a process of injecting spirit into matter (mater/mother) through various forms of collaboration with his audience.
Sourcing a Vocabulary in Gold
The artist entered the New York art world in 1969 after a daring escape from the Soviet Union which landed him in San Francisco beforehand, where he worked on large-scale public sculpture installations in the Brancusi lineage. In the New York art world of the seventies, the artist worked on projects with the legendary Tony Shafrazi, his lifelong friend and dealer.
In the New York art world of the seventies, the artist worked on projects with the legendary Tony Shafrazi, his lifelong friend and dealer. His 1978 project “1000 Bricks Gilded in 24 Karat Gold Leaf” distilled his alchemical vision of transformation within the minimalist focus on everyday material.
“Gold having become his unifying material, like an alchemist he transmuted everything into this noble metal — from ancient stone reliefs to alien like figures. These auric works recreated worlds beyond the realm of everyday thought, bordering on the threshold of the Timeless and the Eternal,” writes Shafrazi. “His concerns with art dive into nature’s most fundamental structures. Units of everlasting elegance on which higher forms are born, always paradoxically mixing the extravagant with the simplest of form.”
Working in gold leaf represents the crowning achievement — a solar consciousness bestowed on royalty — arising from the artist’s internal/external marriage of spirit/ matter in the tradition of the alchemical Great Work.
Reviving Ancient Symbols
Taking the ancient symbols and icons and reshaping them through his own vision is what every artist should be doing today on the cusp of an exciting new era of holistic art of the hieros gamos within/without.
Like Reuben Nakian, his fellow contemporary marking the middle ground between abstraction/figuration as a new modernism in the late 20th century, Zadikian draws on his ancient heritage to incorporate the eternal symbol with his timeless approach to sculpture.
The artist defines the 21st century contemporary infused with the archaic through a persistence with organic process and the reworking ancient symbols with new meaning defined through his materials. While rejecting the notion of formality, whether it be in the art or gallery presentation, the artist has returned onto the arts scene with a major personal statement timed to the present zeitgeist.
The ongoing hermeneutical motif arising throughout the works on display is the triad or triangle. This sacred geometry is manifested in varying degrees of figuration/abstraction returning the human as a central figure in art from the electronic obsessions of the past decades.
Zadik Zadikian Lady in Pink (Hydrocal 8 x 13 x 9 in)
With the neomodernist, the literal manifests as the marriage of form and content
Here the triangle points to/away, from The Birth...
Interlocking Triangles/Six-Pointed Star
The interlocking duality of light/shadow in Six Points (Double Triangle) incorporates the symbol of the 21st century icon of the hieros gamos (sacred marriage) by way of 22 unique triangular pieces, the number representing the mastery of the alchemist in transmuting the blackness of lead into gold.
The artist explains his use of magic in number (22 is the Master of form: 11 Master Number X 2):
Every single triangle was sculpted individually so that they can survive by themselves as of total finish work and together they form another pattern: the 11 black triangles versus 11 gilded with 24 karat gold leaf. Extreme black absorbs all the lights and pure gold reflects all light. The balance of this to like forms enter weave so perfectly that creates mystical pattern that has entrancing powers I can think of and those qualities are very important in this work.
— Zadik Zadikian
The mystical Yod, known as the Finger of God, is embodied throughout the Zadikian ouevre as the magical manifestation of spirit and matter, the inside/outside of a contemporary philosophical symbol: the Möbius strip.
Zadik Zadikian Inside/Outside (Bronze 2 x 1 x 1 in)
The Sacred Marriage of Opposites
Zadikian articulates his vocabulary of the sacred marriage in the complementarity of opposites. An example here is Stacks in gold (Sun) and aluminum/copper (Moon/Venus).
Zadikian also establishes the polarity of opposites in the erotic tension between his chosen materials. Botticelli incorporates sensuous curves by way of hydrocal mummified in red burlap for a personal signature incorporating feminine desire.
Zadik Zadikian Botticelli (Hydrocal Mummified with Burlap 81 x 123 x 9 in.)
Botticelli reflects the multiplying effect of the sensuous immersion into the 21st century neomodernist perspective.
The Birth of the Third
Zadaikian’s original perspective manifests in his corpus as embodied spirit and matter evoked through form, color and material.
This is past/present/future mater/mother giving birth to…
…the Third space of the in-between where the 21st century icon is made visceral as the inner containment of Eros, newly defined as the dynamic integration of the tension between opposites.
The marbleized pink coloration highlighted in Zadikian’s erotic shapes sensually merges the tension of hard/soft into a divine wedding of vertical/horizontal replacing the cross as an icon of soul surrender. The strength of his material yielding to the demands of form reflects a newfound personal power of the object as anointed subject arising from the embodiment of masculine/feminine.
The Master takes what is old as human civilization and makes in New. Zadikian’s sculpture are the emergent master forms of the 21st century symbol of the Möbius Strip in which interior is indistinguishable from exterior. The culmination of this half-century process makes Blossoming Lips the ultimate transexual champion of a new perspective of art as outer expression reflecting an inner quest for balance.
“Speculative Realist (Found) Object Intervention” at “Welcome to MIT Playtest” at MIT List Visual Arts Center on May 16 succeeded in bring a post-subjective dialectic simultaneously into the American art museum & the academy at the start of “MIT Media in Transition +10: Democracy in Digital Media” — where the Mother of all academic panels took place under Sultan Sharrief’s visionary art process.
The introduction to the conference in the rarified space of the MIT List Arts Center was an interactive/participatory Event delivering the new paradigm art that I have been exalting as a critic for two decades!
At the entrance was preconference organizer Sultan Sharrief’s invitation to participate in his VR multimedia project-in-process: “Ancestral Holograms.” Encountering his ancestor in VR had a haunting effect after I met his brother in the food line and experienced his mother’s powerful presence on the integrated panel offering valuable insights about authentic collaboration arising from the heart — with examples in the local community.
By way of this rooted authenticity, the ancestral tradition leaps from locality to the national stage of the art museum!
“Welcome to MIT Playtest” on May 16, 2019 was an invitation to conference participants bring projects for open discussion…
After my first participation in an authentic incorporation of VR as an interactive medium into a paradigm leap as the organizer’s prompt into “Welcome to MIT Playtest”…participants were led through a makeshift labyrinth in the basement of the building…