by David Gardner
Misuse and Abuse of Esoteric Symbols
'Signs and symbols rule the world,
not words nor laws.'
Symbols are a universal language, and such a part of our lives that once we are exposed to them we process them on a subconscious level, our actions guided by them without us having to think about it.
We automatically stop at red lights and know which button turns on the TV because of the common symbols used to represent them. But the power of symbols goes far beyond their day-to-day to use.
Esoteric symbols are those with a hidden meaning, likely to be understood only by a small number of people, and have been used throughout time in the great spiritual traditions to guide truth seekers. Depending on how they're used they can represent and attract either forces of darkness or forces of light.
Increasingly esoteric symbols are making their way into popular culture, especially in high profile places like the music industry.
A Brief Introduction to Esoteric Symbolism
Many who study the use of esoteric symbolism in popular culture approach their analysis from a religious perspective, and as such consider all esoteric symbols to be part of a Satanic, anti-Christian agenda.
While it's understandable that symbols may be perceived in this way because they are often used in sinister contexts associated with darkness, it appears that entrenching the idea that all esoteric symbols are "evil" is part of the agenda behind their misuse.
What is often overlooked is that many esoteric symbols have a positive spiritual meaning in their original use and that the majority of what we witness in the public view is an inversion of symbols of light, turned into symbols of darkness.
Understanding that symbols can represent either forces of light or forces of darkness can broaden our understanding of the agenda behind their use in popular culture, and the agenda towards spirituality as a whole.
To get a better understanding of the way symbols are being misused and abused in the music industry let's take a quick look at the meanings - both positive and negative - of a number of the most common esoteric symbols on display.
The All-Seeing Eye
Symbol of the all-seeing eye
In recent years the symbol of the all-seeing eye has become prolific in music videos, photo shoots and live performances, represented either by artists covering one eye, or making a triangle shape with their hands, frequently also covering one eye with it.
Often these symbols are built inconspicuously into sets or shown on screen so quickly as to have a subliminal affect on the viewer.
Many cultures throughout time have used the symbol of the eye, either on it's own or within a pyramid as a symbol of protection, representing a benevolent and all-seeing spiritual force watching over us.
Over the last century however, as negative forces have increasingly infiltrated the world and spiritual schools, the meaning and use of this symbol has been hijacked and distorted, coming to represent sinister conspiracies, secret societies with dark undertones and elitist surveillance and control.
Marilyn Manson looking down
from an all-seeing eye shaped throne?
Does the increasing use of the all-seeing eye in the music industry reflect an increasing control that the elite members of society - often involved in secret meetings like the Bilderberg group and occult gatherings at Bohemian Grove and colloquially referred to as the "Illuminati" - have over performers?
Jay-Z who popularized
the all-seeing eye symbol in the music industry
This theory is corroborated in the actions, videos and lyrics of many popular artists.
Take for instance rapper Jay-Z who has popularised the use of this symbol.
Jay-Z started a record label named Roc-A-Fella, which can be interpreted as a loosely-veiled reference to the Rockefeller family, who are considered to be among the most powerful people in the world (some also believe this family is one of the alleged "13 Illuminati Bloodlines").
Jay-Z's signature hand sign is the symbol of the triangle placed over one eye. Following suit, his wife Beyonce and close associates Kanye West and Rihanna have also frequently used this symbol, leading to a culture of other celebrities using it too.
While many may think this represents a diamond, which Jay-Z raps about, it may also represent the all-seeing eye as used by the Illuminati, which he also raps about:
Jay-Z, Kanye West and Rihanna
making the all-seeing eye sign
Just in case you had any doubts about who they might be promoting, check out the following still from one of Rihanna's video clips.
Subliminal text reads
"Princess of the Illuminati"
Of course, rap stars who frequently use symbolism associated with the Illuminati just as frequently deny it.
However Jay-Z has also created a clothing line called Roc-A-Wear, which features many esoteric symbols and references to dark forces as well as Freemasonry - an institution many believe is linked to the "Illuminati" (historically the Bavarian Illuminati secret society was known to have infiltrated Freemason lodges in Europe).
Symbols on clothing
from Jay-Z's Rocawear brand
Rocawear clothing with the number of the beast concealed on it.
Confused? Maybe that's the idea.
Interestingly this isn't the first time this symbol has been used as can be seen in this photo of Anton LaVey, founder of the Church of Satan, who most likely wasn't rapping when this picture was taken.
Anton LaVey, founder of the Church of Satan,
making the sign of the all-seeing eye
Assuming that on one level this symbol signifies the control the ruling elite have over the masses, we can easily see how incorporating these symbols into popular culture could serve to signify and exalt the elite's power, with people essentially saluting their servitude.
Here's just a tiny sample of the use of the all-seeing eye in the music industry:
Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All (OFWGKTA)
– a rap outfit who use many dark symbols in their videos and photo shoots
Celebrities in the music and film industries
making the symbol of the all-seeing eye
The Symbol of the Cross
The symbol of the cross is almost universal in the Western world and for most people represents Christianity and the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
The inverted cross typically represents either St Peter - who was said to have been crucified upside down out of reverence for Jesus - or more typically, and particularly in popular culture, dark forces and a rebellion against the Christ.
An Egyptian Ankh
Looking further into the past however, the symbol of the cross is much older and wide-ranging, with spiritual uses predating Christianity.
We can see examples of the cross in the Egyptian Ankh, the Swastika in Eastern traditions - a kind of dynamic cross - and in Druidic and Pagan traditions: all cultures where it was esteemed as a symbol with deep spiritual meaning.
Interestingly Hitler was very interested in the occult and took the Hindu symbol of the swastika - representing the positive power of the creative force - and inverted it for his own negative use, an excellent example of how the meaning of a symbol can be distorted for people throughout the entire world.
Sadly inverted crosses are becoming commonplace in popular culture, often also associated with darkness in other ways.
Where once they may have been used for shock value and rebellion, they are now becoming a new norm in fashion accessories as society moves further and further away from an understanding of spiritual values.
Have a look below at some of the examples of inverted crosses in video clips and clothing worn by popular artists.
Upside down cross concealed on
costume in live performance of Die Young by Ke$ha
Still from Die Young video clip
An upside down cross that controls minds?
Beyonce and Amber Rose,
ex-partner of Kanye West
Tyler the Creator from the rap group Odd Future,
whose artwork contains many dark esoteric symbols
The Pentagram / Pentacle
The upright pentagram drawn by Eliphas Levi
Due to frequent appearances in the heavy metal scene (both upright and inverted) and its association with witchcraft, the pentagram has got a really bad rap, and is widely thought to be a symbol that is satanic or "of the devil".
Looking to the past however, the pentagram has a long heritage as a powerful positive symbol.
The pentagram contains the golden ratio/fibonacci sequence - a universal principle that creates beauty and harmony in nature. Used by Pythagoras in his teachings, the pentagram came to be used as a secret symbol identifying Pythagoreans to each other when their school was driven underground.
16th century philosopher Paracelsus said of the pentagram:
In Christianity the pentagram was seen as the star of Bethlehem that led the three magi to the birthplace of Jesus.
It was also seen to represent the five wounds of Christ and was used as a symbol of protection. In Arthurian legend the knight Gawain displayed the pentagram on his shield as a symbol of the five knightly virtues (generosity, courtesy, chastity, chivalry and piety).
When used correctly with single point upwards (like a person standing with their legs and arms spread into the shape of a star) the pentagram represents the ascension of a spiritual seeker towards enlightenment. It works as a powerful symbol of protection that repels the forces of darkness.
It wasn't until the witch hunts of the Inquisition that the pentagram publicly began being viewed as a symbol of darkness - many people were burnt at the stake for displaying them.
It was understood by philosophers and magicians of the time that the connection between symbols and the world of actions could be manipulated for evil purposes.
Giordano Bruno, warned of such misuse of the powerful pentacle by Black magicians.
Slipknot singer wearing a clown mask
with upside down pentagram carved into it - a recipe for nightmares?
Later in the 1800's esotericist Eliphas Levi was the first to popularize the understanding of the upside down pentagram as a symbol of evil.
When inverted with two points up and one point down the pentagram represents a person descending into darkness and towards the abyss, the hells that are represented in the different religions and in Dante's Inferno.
When inverted the pentagram attracts the forces of darkness.
There are many references to upside down pentagrams in the music industry, some concealed, others out in the open.
Inverted cross and inverted pentagram - doubly evil
Ke$ha wearing an inverted cross,
supported by dancers wearing upside down pentagrams.
The iHeart Radio Ultimate Pool Party
was full of negative esoteric symbols
There are other examples where the upside down pentagram and forces of darkness are referred to without directly being shown.
For instance there are many female performers who appear to have drawn inspiration for their costumes from the character Maria from the black and white film Metropolis.
Maria is an innocent woman who has an "evil" double created after she is kidnapped and her likeness is given to a robot, with the intent that the robot Maria will control the masses, driving them to commit animalistic acts through lust.
The robot is brought to life under an upside down pentagram.
The robot made to control the masses
through lust, birthed under an inverted pentagram
Just some of the female pop stars
portraying the character of "Evil Maria" from Metropolis
The commonly known depiction of the symbol of Baphomet - the androgynous goat with an upright pentagram on its forehead - was from the book Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie by esotericist Eliphas Levi.
Levi said of this symbol:
While the symbol of Baphomet as drawn by Levi bears an upright pentagram and contains elements that seem to point towards a spiritual transcendence beyond the material world, it has often been seen throughout the ages as a negative symbol, again featuring in the persecution of the spiritual practitioners in the persecution of the Inquisition.
The negative view of this symbol has been reinforced in modern times largely by the Church of Satan who have adopted the "sigil of Baphomet" - a goat's head contained within an upside down pentagram - as their official symbol.
It can also be seen to represent Aleister Crowley (the self proclaimed "wickedest man alive") who was born in the same year that Eliphas Levi died, and therefore thought he was Levi's reincarnation.
Despite studying Levi's teachings, Crowley appears to have deliberately inverted some of Levi's concepts.
For example, Crowley adopted the use of the inverted pentagram. Crowley also took the nickname Baphomet in the secret order of the O.T.O which he popularized. Many celebrities are, or have been, participants in this order.
We will look further into the relationship between Aleister Crowley and popular artists in a future part of this series, as many artists appear to be strongly influenced by his teachings.
It seems that Crowley initially tried to awaken spiritually in light, but then turned to the dark side, and began to promote things like child sacrifice and using one's will to obtain spiritual power.
Album cover from HEWDAT
Notice the inverted crosses and pentagram on forehead
Lady Gaga, associating Baphomet with the all-seeing eye symbol
Lady Gaga's many Baphomet referencing costumes
Beyonce sporting a Baphomet-style ring
Kanye West sporting
an upside down pentagram and Baphomet head on his pants
Other Symbols of Darkness
There are many other ways that esoteric symbols from the dark side are used in the music industry; from celebrities making their hands into the shape of devil horns, to the frequent usage of the "Okay" sign, often covering one eye and having 3 hidden sixes concealed in it.
The symbol of three sixes is a reference to the number of the beast in the Book of Revelation.
The Book of Revelation is an esoteric text that was left in the bible when most other esoteric teachings were removed (even direct teachings of Jesus that were labeled "blasphemous") because of a passage it contains stating that "If any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city".
The beast is said to come from the abyss at the end of days, to be worshipped by all.
The punishment from the powers of darkness for not worshipping the beast is death, but not worshipping the beast leads to salvation. The number of the beast adds to 18, a significant number in esoteric numerology as it represents attacks from the forces of darkness.
There are also many direct references to demons and possession which will be covered in much more detail in future articles.
Rihanna on the set of a Kanye West video
showing why he's recession proof?
who regularly uses dark esoteric symbology
Actor and musician
Lil Wayne again
(Afrikaans for "The Answer")
A screengrab from the
Die Antwoord facebook page
Is The Use of Symbolism Deliberate?
By now you're probably getting the idea that this symbolism is quite common.
Maybe you're wondering how these symbols got so thoroughly entrenched in our culture, or,
While those elements probably play a part in the widespread usage of symbolism we see today, in at least some cases there appears to be a deeper understanding of the symbols being used and the affect they might have on fans and viewers.
Lady Gaga, who is possibly the most prolific user of esoteric symbolism in her videos, made the following comments on her 2009 VMA performance, which many believe represented a ritual blood sacrifice:
So what movement was Lady Gaga trying to inspire on her "Monster Ball" tour when she made quite a deliberate sign of the beast right in front of the all-seeing eye symbol worn by her backing dancer, just after after asking the audience "Who is a monster?" to cheers from her fans (who are known as "little monsters", and Gaga the "Mother monster").
Lady Gaga making the sign of the beast,
in front of the all-seeing eye on her backing dancers shirt
If you want to see the live version of the screenshot the hand signal is at 1:44.
I would recommend NOT watching the rest of the clip which is pretty vulgar:
Then there are videos like Ke$ha's Die Young, which contains a confusing mix of dark and white esoteric symbolism (more on that in a minute) and glorifies mindless violence, partying and, as the title states, dying young.
Even the live performance of this song is packed with negative symbolism, with Ke$ha wearing an upside down crucifix outfit and her backup dancers having cleverly concealed upside down pentagrams and all-seeing eyes on their pants.
When confronted about this song and the message it is presenting to young fans Ke$ha tweeted:
Forced by who? What was their motive for creating a video loaded with symbolism that serves to turn people against spirituality, and that carries such a fatal and destructive message?
There are many instances in photo shoots and videos where the use of symbolism appears very deliberate.
There appears to be some power in the world that wants our culture infiltrated by negative symbolism and it is using every means it can to achieve it's goal.
It's So Obvious it Can't Possibly Be Real…
You might have heard the phrase "hidden in plain sight" before. It refers to things that are so obvious they are overlooked. In this sense it could refer to negative symbolism so thoroughly infiltrating popular culture that anyone who questions its origins are considered crazy conspiracy theorists.
Many commentators speculate that the "Illuminati" are behind the masses of symbols that are being used.
This in turn has led a number of celebrities and powerful institutions to mock those who think there is more to the use of esoteric symbolism than meets the eye.
Weird Al Yankovic has made his own take on the issue, and Katy Perry - who's 2014 Grammy performance was steeped in negative symbolism - has also joked about wanting to be invited to the Illuminati "if it exists".
MTV have also chimed in, publishing two articles with "concrete" reasons (which don't make much sense if you research this sort of thing) that prove and disprove the idea that the Illuminati are behind much of the symbolism of the Video Music Awards (VMAs).
MTV VMA performances are widely analyzed for their frequent use of dark symbolism which often feature things like Jack Black leading the audience in a prayer to the "Dark Lord Satan" for the continued success of those in the music industry, re-enacted masonic rituals (many believe the freemasons are linked to the Illuminati) and, as recently as last year, a performance by Katy Perry depicting the burning at the stake of a member of the Knights Templar, an ancient esoteric order of light that was persecuted.
Are these articles a way of drawing attention away from what's really happening?
All of this mockery serves to prevent people questioning what's really going on with the music industry's use of esoteric symbology, as who would want to be called crazy?
People who are interested in understanding esoteric symbolism and the effect it has on the masses are then relegated to a land where everyone who questions things is wearing a tin foil hat.
This ridicule allows the use of negative symbolism to continue spreading unquestioned and unhindered.
What's the Motive Behind Symbols in the Music Industry?
Sadly we live in a society that has almost entirely been turned against positive esoteric spirituality through an ongoing smear campaign by governments, the anti-cult movement and mass media establishments.
This is not a new occurrence. Spiritual seekers throughout the ages have been oppressed by society's institutions and there is already a high degree of suspicion towards any form of spirituality that is not in the mainstream (think established religion and commercialized, socially acceptable spirituality).
Devil hands and halo in Jay-Z's clip for "Onto the next one"
This suspicion (and sometimes outright hatred) is fuelled through the negative use of symbolism in popular culture as this promotes the idea that spirituality is either satanic (for believers of established religions) or something dangerous and elitist that is used to control the masses.
Here we begin to see a dual agenda, where symbols of darkness are promoted as "cool" to the unsuspecting general public so they come into common usage throughout the world as fans emulate their idols.
Symbols as we've seen are powerful, and the common usage of inverted esoteric symbols attracts the forces of darkness into the lives of those who unwittingly use them.
At the same time the search for truth is confused and it becomes harder to distinguish light from darkness as negative symbols are mixed with positive ones, subconsciously creating an association for people that all symbols and esoteric spirituality as a whole are evil and to be avoided (or just something to be mocked with irreverence).
There are many examples of this, often used in a subliminal fashion.
In Jay-Zs "Onto the next one" he makes gestures of the devil hand sign with what appears to be a halo around his head.
In this still from Lady Gaga's Bad Romance we see the word "monster" above a cross.
A crucifix under the word "monster"
In this photo shoot, Rihanna was portrayed as Medusa - a mythical monster - while showing the tattoo she has of the Egyptian Goddess Isis, who represents the divine feminine principle which has been represented in many cultures as a destroyer of the darkness that binds an individual.
Rihanna photo shoot confusing a mythical female monster
with the divine feminine aspect
represented by the symbol of Isis
In Ke$ha's Die Young video she arrives at a church in a black hearse with the word "EVIL" on the side.
Dressed in black and red (the colours of the hierarchy of darkness), Ke$ha is carried into a church housing an upright pentagram, where she proceeds to participate in a strange orgiastic type dance ritual with her backup dancers before trashing the church.
The whole video is full of pyramids, all-seeing eye symbols and upside down crosses.
arrives in a vehicle of "evil"?
Dancing in a church with upright pentagram
before trashing it later in the video
For people not interested in spirituality this creates an association between death, evil and the image the upright pentagram. For anyone who understands what an upright pentagram represents we are mocked with an image of evil destroying a temple of positive spirituality.
Incidentally, Ke$ha is often seen wearing inverted pentagrams, and the only upright pentagram that seems to be associated with her is the one in the church that gets trashed in the Die Young clip.
Upside down pentagram earring
Upside down pentagram necklace
A New "Religion" of Materialism?
Apart from creating confusion and negativity towards esoteric spirituality there may be a greater agenda at play.
It appears the music industry is working towards creating its own form of "religion": a way of life based on the worship of popular artists, mindless materialism and socially destructive behaviours.
Artists mocking religion and placing themselves in positions of worship is not a new phenomenon.
As far back as 1966, John Lennon boasted that the Beatles were more popular than Christ and that Christianity would pass away.
More recently Marilyn Manson stated that he would be remembered as,
When you begin to look it is amazing to see just how many artists mock religion, particularly Christianity, raising themselves to the status of gods:
Jay-Z produced an album titled Jayhovah - a play on what many consider to be the name of God.
Jay-Z's wife Beyonce stirred controversy when she posed for a picture in front of a painting of the last supper, her image covering that of Jesus.
Beyonce has also posed as the Virgin Mary in a replication of Michaelangelo's La Pieta, a scene where Mary holds Jesus' body just after it has been brought down from the cross.
Kanye West - who's nickname is Yeezy - produced an album called 'Yeezus' on which there was a song called 'I am a god'.
Kanye West posing as "Yeezus" Christ
The Passion of Who?
Responding to criticism about this he simply said,
The artwork created for Yeezus contains much negative esoteric symbolism.
Upside down crucifix on "Yeezus" album artwork;
this was not the final cover design
Mixing positive and negative symbolism
on another version of "Yeezus" artwork;
also not the final cover design
Lily Allen produced a song called Sheezus that incorporates direct references to Christianity and ends with her as "Sheezus" with a pair of devil horns.
Lily Allen as "Sheezus"
Rapper Lil B, who's popular song "Look Like Jesus" contains the lyrics 'I'm God, I look like Jesus' and states that women are interested in him sexually because he looks like Jesus. The song is full of profanity and many crude references to Jesus and caused controversy by being filmed in a church.
He has also adopted an alter ego known as "The Based God" and said of the nickname:
Lil B's alter ego "Based God" crucified
Lil B has a fanatical following, with male fans practically worshipping him and "offering" him their wives, mothers or girlfriends.
Even people who live in the hip hop scene were taken aback by the treatment of him:
Here are some other examples of stars depicting the passion of Christ or associating themselves with Jesus in some way.
Rapper Lil Wayne crucified
Madonna with crown of thorns
P Diddy dressed in white and walking on water
Lana Del Ray with crown of thorns symbolism
Still from Beyonce's "Run the world" videoclip
Marilyn Manson crucified
Now while it might seem like I'm getting all religious on you at this point I personally feel that the agenda here goes beyond mockery of Christianity and religion and affects spirituality as a whole, and its place in society.
By depicting themselves as spiritual figures in association with material and sometimes demonic values it appears that popular artists are slowly creating a new "religion":
Whether or not artists are acting through their own means or as puppets of more elite forces, it seems that popular music - which plays such an important role in identity creation in the lives of so many people - is being used to create a culture that is completely divorced from spiritual values.
What's your opinion?
It's amazing just how many examples of inverted symbols there are out there. The images in this post are just a small selection of what could have been included.
So now that you've seen some of the evidence, what do you think? Is it all just a big coincidence? Are there dark forces and a dark agenda behind the symbols we are seeing?
I'll leave you with a commentary on the state of society in regards to hidden truths in the words of rapper Lupe Fiasco, who seems to take a keen interest in the truth movement (expletives removed):
The Agenda to Promote the Dark Side
Nicki Minaj depicted as a dictator
and flanked by figures of darkness from her videoclip "Only"
Music directly represents the passions of the soul.
If one listens to the wrong kind of music,
he will become the wrong kind of person.
The first article in this series investigated the huge amount of dark esoteric symbols being promoted in the music industry.
This article explores how references to darkness in popular music extend well beyond the use of symbols, creating a culture where the forces of evil are celebrated and practically worshipped by proxy throughout the world.
Music makes up a huge part of our lives. We listen in our spare time, to entertain us while we're going to work, to motivate us - we might even have songs from our favorite artists stuck in our head all day long!
Popular musicians undeniably hold a powerful position in our lives, having a big impact over the direction of our thoughts, emotions and actions. For many people they are life's biggest role models.
There have been numerous scientific studies that show how we as a species are prone to imitating and conforming to the requests of powerful people and how easily we go along with social norms.
Recently there has been much concern about the effect celebrities have on the values of adolescents who often mimic adult behaviors they witness in the media without fully understanding their consequences.
Collectively the videos of popular artists have billions of views on YouTube, and vast numbers of fans buy albums and visit concerts every year.
That's a lot of influence to have on the impressionable minds of future generations.
When we start to look deeper into the popular music industry we can begin to see an undercurrent opposed to the values of spirituality and inner development, in which popular artists in their own words are "fascinated" and "obsessed" with things of darkness.
This then spreads throughout society due to their influence.
Are we seeing the beginning of a new social norm at the expense of the values required to awaken spiritually?
Promoting acts of evil
Beyond glorifying excessive materialism, substance abuse, eating disorders, murder and sexual violence - often to cheers from the audience - many popular artists promote shocking acts with links to dark occultism.
Take for instance Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All - a young and heavily promoted rap outfit who have been described as "giddily nihilistic" (nihilism is a belief that life holds no meaning and therefore all moral principles are rejected) and whose album artwork, video clips and performances are packed with references to evil.
Odd Future frequently reference and seem to idolise serial killers, including lyrical references to Jeffrey Dahmer and David Berkowitz (Son of Sam), and song titles referencing Richard Ramirez (and his nickname "Night Stalker") and Albert Fish.
Their cover for album Goblin (a type of evil demon or monster) depict occultist Buffalo Bill, and Tyler the Creator with upside down crucifix and with the black eyes of a demon, both covers alluding to their familiarity with the occult.
Odd Future are not the only ones to reference serial killers.
Jeffrey Dahmer is referenced in songs by
...and many others with artists either referencing or comparing themselves in some way to the killer.
It's such a common trend that Jeffrey Dahmer has been labelled rap's favourite serial killer.
Marilyn Manson who is signed to Interscope records along with Lady Gaga and many mainstream musicians was so taken by serial killer Charles Manson that he adopted his surname as part of his public persona, the first part coming from the actress Marilyn Monroe.
His band members followed suit, taking their stage names from a combination of the names of Hollywood stars and serial killers.
The line up for album Antichrist Superstar included band members who took their last names from David Berkowitz and Richard Ramirez.
While many would think it's bad enough that anyone promote acts such as mass murder, rape, dismemberment, necrophilia and cannibalism, there is an even darker side to these acts not commonly known about.
Jeffrey Dahmer's father, when interviewed by Larry King said that his son had set up a satanic alter in their house and had dabbled in the occult.
Jeffrey himself thought he would gain a supernatural edge socially and financially by building an alter from his victims body parts and would have began using occult rituals in his crimes if he had not been arrested.
He identified with the total dark power of the emperor in the Return of the Jedi and,
During his arrest Jeffrey screamed at a police officer that he had supernatural powers and that he would eat his heart.
David Berkowitz, the "Son of Sam" initially claimed to have murdered his victims because he was commanded to by an ancient demon that was possessing his next door neighbor's dog.
Berkowitz said he had tried to kill the dog but couldn't because the demon possessing it was too powerful. Later he amended his claim, testifying that he had been part of a Satanic group and his killings were organized ritual murders.
While these claims are disputed, he is said to have worshipped Satan and been obsessed with the occult prior to his murders. Source
There are possible ties between the Son of Sam murders and the song Yonkers by Tyler the Creator. In Yonkers an "evil voice inside his head" contradicts everything Tyler says and eventually leads to his suicide.
Yonkers was the town in which Berkowitz committed his crimes.
Richard Ramirez, known also as the "Night Stalker" left upside down pentagrams on his victims.
After being convicted in court he only had one word to offer: "Evil".
Charles Manson is possibly the most well known of recent serial killers and has come to be synonymous with evil. He boasted that he had killed 35 people and was convicted for ordering the ritualistic murder of seven people, including Sharon Tate - the wife of Roman Polanski - and her unborn baby.
Charles "Tex" Watson, a follower of Manson told one of his victims:
Manson was quoted as saying:
Manson, Berkowitz and Ramirez all have links to Anton LaVey (the founder of the Church of Satan) and satanism.
Recently there have been references to Hitler's totalitarian Nazi regime that were only thinly-veiled. Hitler is said to have had a great interest in the dark side of occultism. Initially elected, the Nazi regime converted Germany into a repressive police state dictatorship. It was responsible for the deaths of millions of people.
In Nicki Minaj's recent video Only her peers in rap outfit Young Money appear to take the place of dictators in scenes very reminiscent of Nazi Germany (the inane lyrics actually have nothing to do with this).
As she sits on a throne dressed in black before a militarized police force she is flanked on either side by faceless figures in hooded black robes.
Are these figures a possible reference to a dark hidden influence behind the scenes of popular music?
Alter Egos and the Dark Side of the Personality
Were the serial killers mentioned above simply unleashing darkness that was already in their personality, or were they being influenced by forces of darkness outside themselves as some of their statements seem to indicate?
Is there any correlation between their acts (despite being incredibly extreme) and the manifestation of "alter egos" - a term which in Latin can literally be translated as "demonic self" - that so many popular artists embody in their music?
Alter egos are often used to excuse negative behaviors and are said to sometimes take over the performer, causing them to act in ways that the artist normally would not be capable of themselves.
Just a small selection of stars that have alter egos include:
Often it is the artist's alter ego that we see in stage performances or who play a part in the production of music videos.
Two of Nicki Minaj's alter egos
Roman Zolanski and Barbie from the song "Monster"
While some people believe that these alter egos are a form of split personality brought on by trauma based mind control - part of a covert government mind control program known as MK ULTRA (which isn't as far fetched as it sounds when you start to look into it) is it possible there is something even darker at play?
One of Nicki Minaj's many alter egos is named Roman Zolanski, a reference to film director Roman Polanski.
He directed the film Rosemary's Baby, which depicts a woman being raped by the devil and giving birth to the AntiChrist as part of a secret plan by a group of society's elite.
Minaj's alter Roman is said to have been birthed through rage, she doesn't want him to be there but he won't go away and he speaks through her without her control.
As we'll see later in the article Minaj represents her alter Roman as a form of demon possessing her.
Tyler the Creator of Odd Future refers to his alter ego Wolf Haley as the "evil voice in his head".
Wolf Haley is the producer of most of Odd Future's videos and is represented as a version of Tyler who has blacked out eyes - a reference to demon possession and possibly also to "Sleep Paralysis Demons", which are negative beings sometimes encountered in the stage between wakefulness and sleep.
Tyler the Creator's alter ego Wolf Haley
Are popular artists creating these "demonic selves" subconsciously, or are they consciously channelling demons?
By disassociating themselves from their negative behaviors through the use of alter egos popular musicians could conceivably be teaching their fans - many of whom are likely to be young and impressionable despite the frequently explicit content of the music they are consuming - that it's okay not to take responsibility for your actions, and that it's socially acceptable to indulge the darker aspects of the personality, or even to allow darker forces from outside of a person into their body.
Celebrating the Macabre
Blood on Ke$ha's face after drinking
from a "real" heart on stage.
Some artists also appear to glorify the ancient practices of blood and human sacrifice, which were practiced in old civilizations that degenerated.
These dark rituals were used in the invocation or worship of demons and were believed to grant powers or long life to those conducting the sacrifice.
In 2012 while performing her song Cannibal on stage in Australia, Ke$ha appeared to pull a heart out of someone's chest before drinking blood from it (to cheers from the crowd of her fans who are known as 'animals').
She finished the set with blood all over her face and chest. When questioned about it afterwards she said that she was really inspired to do it, and that it was real.
Later in the same year a fan sent her a bloody knife in the mail.
Similar imagery can be seen in the cover art of Die Antwoord's (Afrikaans for "The Answer") album Ten$ion which features an image of their female vocalist Yolandi Vi$$er with pitch black eyes holding a heart with blood running from her mouth.
What makes this reference even more compelling is that she is dressed to represent an angel with white hair, pale skin, and white wings.
This is a device seen in other areas of the music industry where positive esoteric symbolism is confused with negative symbolism so it is all made to seem dark.
In the video clip 'I Fink U Freeky' from the Ten$ion album the same imagery is shown with the black eyed "angel" pulling the heart out of a man with horns before eating it.
This clip also contains references to black magic in the numerologically significant number 16 which represents influence by black magicians.
In the video clip for 'Love Me' by Lil Wayne women are shown in cages and rolling around on the floor covered in blood with allusions to mind control programming, while we see Lil Wayne depicted as soulless and demonic.
Arianna Grande, a young and upcoming star, who began her career in Nickelodeon and has many young fans, took this picture of herself and co-stars covered in blood for Halloween. The image on the right was originally posted upside down so it looked like she had been hung up.
In a different Halloween costume she posed as a blood-covered vampire.
And we can't forget Lady Gaga who also often ends up covered in blood on stage, and recently stated that she might be a Vampire.
In one harrowing experience for hotel staff - who were told to put the incident out of their minds - she left large amounts of blood in a hotel bath, leaving many of the staff to speculate that she was using the blood as part of some sort of ritual.
Various appearances of Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga in her own words is obsessed with death and sex. Her debut perfume 'Fame' - the world's first black eau de perfume which Gaga wanted to represent the "dark heart of fame" - sold 30 million bottles.
Maybe not so out of the ordinary, except that the perfume contains synthetic pheromones based on a sample of Lady Gaga's blood and what is rumored to be Marilyn Manson's semen. The scent also includes atropa belladonna, a deadly nightshade with a history of use both as witches ointment and poison.
Gaga's perfume was advertised with a commercial that plays like scenes from a horror film, and was promoted by posters around the world featuring Gaga wearing a black face mask.
Aleister Crowley (the "wickedest man alive") once wrote in his diary:
Perfume or potion, 30 million 'Little Monsters' (the name for Gaga's fans) around the world have now been "anointed" by this product.
Lady Gaga is also plagued by recurring nightmares, possibly due to her obsession with horror films, and her habit of,
Gaga uses her nightmares as inspiration for her songs and video clips, a course of action that - strangely - is promoted to some degree by the commercial spiritual movement.
Demonic and Ghostly References and Experiences
A depiction of a demonic encounter while asleep
If you've ever had a bad dream or nightmare you may have encountered demonic beings of some sort or other.
Nightmares occur when the psyche enters infernal regions - commonly known as hell in different spiritual traditions. Some feel that certain kinds of music can emit infernal vibrations, lowering the resonance of a person's psyche and contributing to them having nightmares.
With so many artists fascinated by the macabre and forces of darkness, for many popular artists the reality of demonic experiences appears to extend to the physical world.
Ke$ha - who has stated that 'dead entities cling to her' - caused controversy in a series of national interviews on television, radio and in print when she revealed that she had engaged in intimate sexual acts with a "ghost" and that as a result she had had her private parts exorcised.
Ke$ha drew inspiration for her song 'Supernatural' from this experience in which she sings:
Stull cemetery, rumored to house
one of the 'seven gateways to hell on earth'
Arianna Grande stated in an interview with Complex magazine that she began having demonic experiences after visiting the infamous Stull cemetery, said to be one of the seven gateways to hell on earth, and a place that is considered so evil that the Pope won't even fly over it.
After driving to the cemetery with friends, Grande said:
Grande continues to describe what sounds like a common scenario experienced by many people throughout history in the sleep paralysis (atonia) stage of the sleep cycle - a natural phenomena which paralyses our muscles as we go to sleep to stop us from sleep walking (somnambulism).
During this transition dark beings are often seen or heard, frequently causing a great deal of fear in the person having the experience.
In Nicki Minaj's 2012 Grammy performance she is possessed by the spirit of her alter ego Roman Zolanski only to be 'exorcised' on stage in a very ritualistic performance complete with a fake priest and backup dancers wearing robes.
As part of the performance a video of Minaj is shown titled 'The Exorcism of Roman' where we see Minaj possessed and looking disoriented before flying up to the ceiling screaming 'Roman' in a demonic tone.
possessed by alter ego Roman
In the video Yonkers produced by Tyler the Creator's alter ego Wolf Haley (the evil voice inside his head) we see Tyler in silhouette with the brim of his cap appearing as a horn on his forehead.
He begins rapping while playing with a large cockroach. He eats the cockroach, vomits, his eyes turn pitch black and then he hangs himself.
Both the cockroach and black eyes are direct references to the movie the Exorcism of Emily Rose, which was loosely based on the real events of the possession of a young farm girl who died at the hands of her exorcists.
Interestingly Tyler's eyes turn pitch black when he begins rapping about his alter ego Wolf Haley, and in the extended version of the video clip black-eyed Wolf Haley survives after Tyler dies and continues to rap saying that Tyler's conscience is dead.
Tyler the Creators eyes turn black
representing his alter ego Wolf Haley
These are just some of the references to demonic forces in Odd Future's music.
In the song Goblin Tyler raps that he's "not even human, [he's] a body shaped demon" and in the lyrics of Tron Cat on the same album is the line "Satan's getting jealous of the wolves (Odd Future), the demons say they preferring us".
Vocalists from Die Antwoord in video for Ugly Boy.
In this video the female vocalist is depicted as a demon
complete with black eyes and black wings
Demonic symbolism is also fairly blatant in Die Antwoord's work.
While Die Antwoord appear to initially have been interested in positive esotericism in some form (this video from an early incarnation of the group talks about demon hunting, not harming anyone and developing psychic faculties), their recent work is very dark, mocking white esotericism, and including references to spell casting, the number of the beast and demonic imagery.
Die Antwoord sample Aphex Twin in their music, another artist involved with dark magic arts whose track Come to Daddy is comprised mainly of the following lyrics repeated over and over:
Darkness glorified and promoted
Although many people are waking up to the dark undercurrent that is increasingly becoming mainstream in popular culture, the majority of society glorify and celebrate artists who promote values of darkness rather than values of light, and the more extreme these acts become the more publicity artists seem to gain.
Music news site NME had this to say about Ke$ha's on stage stunt in Australia where she drank blood from a heart:
Odd Future have been referred to as "the future of the music business", and won MTV best artist of the year award for the video clip Yonkers mentioned above (it was also nominated as best video of the year).
Best artist of the year is a category that often brings massive media exposure to its winners, previously helping to skyrocket the careers of artists such as Lady Gaga, Eminem and Justin Bieber.
As part of the performance a woman walks around the stage resembling the evil child in the horror movie The Ring.
While Odd Future are performing on the Jimmy Kimmel show,
a girl walks around the stage looking like this
David Letterman has hosted Die Antwoord on his show, promoting their album Ten$ion.
On the Letterman show the female vocalist again had completely blacked out eyes.
With all this publicity and so many people around the world consuming and sharing these performances the messages being spread are being gradually but firmly embedded in our culture. Darkness becomes increasingly commonplace and socially acceptable with more and more people emulating their onstage idols.
Take for example this school worksheet from a fan of Tyler the Creator.
As a final extreme example of the influence these values can have on people, especially those who may already be somewhat unstable, one of Lady Gaga's fans, apparently inspired by her many bloody on stage appearances, killed her family cat and cut it open, smearing its blood on her face and arms to create a costume for the Lady Gaga concert she was planning to go to.
Where are we headed?
A depiction of the birth of evil from Lady Gaga's Born This Way video
As a society we have been conditioned for many years to consume acts of violence and darkness as entertainment, to indulge desire and take pleasure in feeding lower emotions.
This is part of a vicious cycle where artists who promote darkness are themselves promoted by the music industry and elsewhere in popular culture, leaving people with little alternative to the dark messages and imagery being embedded through repetition in our subconscious.
We know that celebrities have a major influence on the masses who idolize them.
As the glorification of darkness becomes more and more entrenched in popular culture, it is likely to spread further in wider society as well.