In the last installment I broke down much of Millennium season one, but I'm not quite finished with it yet. One final episode I must address before moving on is the season finale, "Paper Dove". But first, I must address a plot point that ran throughout season one that I've failed to mention up to this point: Frank had been receiving Polaroids of Catherine doing her day-to-day activities in envelops with no return address for several years. One of the main reasons why Frank moved his family to Seattle was to get away from the 'Polaroid stalker'. However, he received an envelope of pictures in the pilot episode, shortly after arriving in Seattle. They continued throughout season one until the unforgettable climax.
Up to this point Millennium had portrayed an America falling apart at the seems, with a darkness embodied by serial killers, cults, and other deviants slowly engulfing it. In "Lamentation" and "Powers, Principalities, Thrones and Dominions", it was hinted that there might be some kind of supernatural explanation behind this darkness. "Paper Dove" is arguably even more sinister in that it first introduces the notion that a more human evil could be guiding the collapse of America, and Frank is closer to it than he ever could have imagined.
"Paper Dove" falls into the serial-killer-of-the-week category, but very early it begins to deviate from the formula. Superficially the episode is built around the plight of the 'Woodsman Killer', called Henry Dion. Dion is based upon the real life serial killer Ed Kemper. Kemper is an interesting fellow -he was a part of the serial killer collective that formed around the San Francisco/Santa Cruz area of California in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Some of the more noteworthy members of this collective are Charles Manson (the murders of which attributed to occurred in southern Cali) and the Zodiac Killer. Ah, but there was so much more.
"...women began going missing from around the Santa Cruz area. As early as autumn of 1968, reports began surfacing of grisly occult sacrifices being performed in the surrounding mountains. By the summer of 1972, it was clear that Santa Cruz had a problem. Mutilated bodies began showing up in the hills. By the time 1973 rolled around, the bodies were piling up at an alarming rate. In just the first six weeks of the year, eight bodies were found, and women were continuing to disappear. What had once been an idyllic community had been radically transformed; the murder rate had quintupled and Santa Cruz had achieved the rather dubious distinction of having the highest homicide rate in the country. Many of the area's killings, were credited to two alleged serial killers, Edmund Kemper and Herb Mullin, who were said to be operating at the same time in the same city, though acting independently of each other. Kemper's bloody odyssey reportedly included eight victims brutally butchered between May 1972 and April 1973, most of them coeds whose corpses were cannibalized and sexually violated. Mullin was credited with dispatching thirteen victims in just four months, from October 13, 1972 through February 13, 1973...
"To briefly recap, no fewer than six serial killers/mass murderers -Charles Manson, Stanley Baker, Edmund Kemper, Herbert Mullin, John Lindley Frazier, and the Zodiac -were all spawned from the Santa Cruz/San Francisco metropolitan area in the span of just over four years, at a time when 'serial killers' were a rare enough phenomenon that they hadn't yet acquired a name... Remarkably enough, the crimes collectively attributed to these men did not even account for all the ritualized homicides that occurred in the Bay area during that time. For example, the murder of Fred Bennett, the captain of the Oakland chapter of the Black Panthers whose mutilated remains were found scattered in the Santa Cruz hills, was never solved. And many of the young students who were reported missing from the local campuses were never found, either dead or alive, and were therefore never listed as homicide victims."
(Programmed to Kill, David McGowan, pg. 135-136)
The connections between Kemper and Herbert Mullin are especially interesting. McGowan goes on to write:
"In their youth, both Herb and Ed received training in firearms from the National Rifle Association while at summer camp. Both would later be accused and convicted of killing with the cold precision of a professional assassin. Both were also labeled 'serial killer,' though both were convicted of crimes that evidence suggest they did not commit -at least not alone.
"Both of their alleged killing sprees began in 1972 in Santa Cruz, California and both were arrested in early 1973. Following those arrests, the two were assigned adjoining jail cells, appointed the same defense attorney, at least until Chang bowed out of the Mullin case due to a medical emergency. Kemper and Mullin were both found guilty, both determined to be sane, and both were sent to California's Vacville Medical Facility, which has been well documented as a hotbed of covert intelligence operations. Not long before their killing sprees began, both men spent a considerable amount of time in mental institutions, both voluntarily and involuntarily. In the two years leading up to the convictions of Kemper and Mullin, at least seventy-four men, women and children were killed in the state of California by released mental patients."
(ibid, pg. 149)
The links between the US intelligence community and the serial killer epidemic that began to emerge in the late 1960s and go into overdrive in the 1980s is one of the most controversial aspects of conspiracy culture. I have already addressed these links somewhat in my two part series on Charles Manson, which can be viewed here and here. Countless books, mail order documentaries, and blogs have been dedicated to UFO conspiracy theories, to say nothing of mainstream entertainment, but serial killers and PSYOPS tends to remain on the fringe. Millennium hinted at these connections, but rarely drew the viewer's attention to them until in the series finale in season three. But more on that later. For now, "Paper Dove."
In this episode the serial killer Henry Dion is the stereotypical loner variety, yet early on he is shown with a partner of sorts, a pale, dark-haired man in sunglasses who seemingly passes on Polaroids of Dion's future victim to him. This sunglasses dude also remarks that he wanted Henry's latest murder to occur while Frank was in the area visiting with his wife's family. The sunglasses dude is of course later revealed to be Frank's 'Polaroid Stalker' who later attempts to pass on a picture of Catherine to Dion as a potential victim. Henry initially passes because Catherine doesn't appear to be a 'good listener', but an interesting exchange occurs between Polaroid stalker and Henry after he passes along pictures of Catherine:
"Henry: To bad. These aren't right. I can spot a listener.
Figure: Keep them. You never know.
Henry: They'll work for someone
Figure: Yeah, there's always someone."
(Millennium, Season One, "Paper Dove")
|the Polaroid stalker and Henry Dion|
Frank of course goes on to apprehend Henry (but not before he kills his own mother in a fashion similar to Ed Kemper, one of several overlaps). Shortly before these events occur, Henry makes an even more interesting statement to Frank and a group of bumbling FBI agents he phones at Quantico:
"Kane, I'm not playing anymore in any way. Understand? I'll annihilate your sleep because I'm sure as hell going to let the public know that what's happening to them is because of you -your stupidity and Frank Black! I know about Frank Black, yes... I might as well let you know, Mr. Kane, that I intend to terrorize D.C. until there are soldiers on the street corners."Two of the other agents are named Devlin and Emmerich. This is a reference to filmmakers Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich, the duo behind Independence Day and like films. Chris Carter reputedly loathed both -Mulder is shown pissing on a poster for Independence Day in the first X-Files film, Fight the Future. This seems to play into the theme of incompetence surrounding the FBI that first began to emerge in this episode, and would be explored much further in season three. In general the FBI is portrayed in a rather buffoonish light in "Paper Dove," with Frank almost single-handily solving the case while also freeing a man the FBI falsely convicted.
In several prior blogs concerning child sex trafficking I speculated that the FBI was engaged in a cover-up of this massive crime wave, in addition to others, either through incompetence, corruption, or a combination of both. These articles can be read here, here, and here. This take seems to be in line with what Chris Carter and other writers were trying to incorporate into Millennium at various times. Anyway, back to "Paper Dove."
When the Black family arrives back in Seattle, things get interesting. At the airport Frank takes a sleeping Jordan to pick up the car while Catherine waits on the luggage at the baggage carousel. Later Frank comes back to help Catherine with the luggage, but she's gone.
And thus ends the remarkable first season. The campy second season begins in fine fashion, picking up immediately where season one left off with Frank in the airport searching for missing wife. The episode, "The Beginning and the End", reveals that the Polaroid stalker abducted Catherine, shocking no one, including Frank. The big surprise comes a little later in the episode when Peter Watts and other members of the Millennium Group arrive on the scene: They reveal to Frank that they've known who the Polaroid stalker is all along. Watts later cryptically tells Frank that the Polaroid stalker's interest in Frank is due to the Millennium Group's interest in Frank. The Polaroid stalker himself implies that he may have been a member of the Group, or at least turned down an offer to join, in an intense monologue to Catherine. He remarks:
"Would you die for God? Would you, could you... Because I won't. No, they asked me to but I won't. They're gonna ask Frank and if he's willing to give his life for you, I know he's willing to give his life for God. Don't you think, Cathy? But I'm not gonna let him, okay?"
(Millennium, Season Two, "The Beginning and the End")
|the Polaroid stalker|
To recap: At the end of season one, it was strongly implied that a serial killer named Henry Dion was being guided by the Polaroid stalker. Later it is revealed both the Polaroid stalker and the Millennium Group are aware of one and other, and that they may have collaborated at one point. The implications here are boundless, but it would not be until season three that this plot thread was really explored again. The new creative minds behind the show, Glen Morgan and James Wong, had other ideas.
Essentially they recreated the Millennium Group as a Templar/Masonic secret society in this season, with a history that seemingly stretched back to the 10th century AD, if not earlier. Like the Templars, they seek various holy relics for the supernatural power that they confer upon the Group. In "The Hand of St. Sebastian", one of the first episodes to address this particular line of mythology, Watts convinces Frank to help him search for the episode's name sake, a la the Templar's quest to find the head of the Baptist. I have not found evidence of such a real life relic (though the Catholic Church reputedly has his bones, buried in the Basilica Apostolorum) exists. The use of St. Sebastian is interesting, however. He has been associated with the god Apollo, who has been closely associated with both the Mysteries and entheogens (a narcotic substance was inhaled by the priestesses at the Oracle of Delphi so that they could 'communicate' with the god).
"Plagues during the Middle Ages were due to causes unknown; hence various reasons were posited for their outbreaks, some dating back to ancient pagan beliefs, the most well known being recorded in the Illiad: that Apollo had sent forth poisoned arrows upon the Greek soldiers besieging Troy. During the god's onslaught, all the warrior's perish of plague. St. Sebastian, martyred by Diocletian as a human target for the emperor's archers, became the first saint beseeched against the epidemics of the later Christian era."
(The Apples of Apollo, pg. 218)
That St. Sebastian became a kind of talisman against the plague in Medieval Europe and is also the patron to the Millennium Group as the Baptist was to the Templars is highly ironic given the revelations surrounding the group in the season finale. But more on that later.
In general I am not a huge fan of conspiracy theories centering around groups or organizations that have been conspiring for centuries. Certainly their is compelling evidence linking the Templars to the modern Freemasons, for instance, but it is still very subjective. Then there are the numerous theories on the Internet surrounding the Illuminati, the Merovingian dynasty (which is later worked into season two), and so forth. Is is it possible that these various groups still hold sway over the course of human destiny? Certainly, but its not as plausible as various intelligence and military groups embracing the ancient techniques of brainwashing for their modern endeavours. In general, ideas tend to be more persistent than flesh and blood. Whether the Merovingian dynasty, or ruminates of the Illuminati or the Templars are shaping world affairs is not as important as the techniques and ideology these groups used and their applications to the modern world. But I digress.
"The Hand of St. Sebastian" also introduces what would become a rather annoying plot line in which the Millennium Group were portrayed in wars and conflicts with various other factions. The two-parter, "Owls" and "Roosters", would show the Millennium Group at war with ODESSA (a real life organization controlled by escaped SS officers after the fall of Nazi Germany) as well as its self. The Millennium Group, you see, is divided into two factions. One is seemingly a Gnostic Christian sect, while the other is a science oriented faction. This seems to be based around the theories surrounding the influence the Illuminati (whose inner teachings were atheistic) had on the Freemasons. What could have been a highly compelling story surrounding the occult origins and survival of Nazism is largely turned into a second rate mafia drama in which Millennium and ODESSA compete for a piece of the True Cross.
"Anamnesis" delves head first into Gnosticism, specifically that associated with Mary Magdalene. It also features an appearance by what is supposed to be a member of the Merovingian dynasty, here referred to as 'the Family.' A Black Madonna statue also appears in connection with said 'Family' man. Some researchers link the Black Madonna to a pre-Christian background where it represented the Earth Goddess and Isis, amongst other female deities associated with harvesting and soil.
Some aspects of season two are noteworthy, however. My favorite part about it is the moral ambiguity it attaches to the supernatural, especially angels. In Millennium season two angels are generally portrayed as terrifying and unfathomable beings. The reoccurring character of Lara Means, another Millennium Group 'candidate' Frank forms a close relationship with, has visions of an angel which are especially damaging to her -Her turn on the show ends with a total mental breakdown surrounding her 'gift.' In this season Jordan is witness to angels as well, as is Frank's mother, who later committed suicide in part due to her struggles with these visions, as is shown in the episode "Midnight of the Century". In "Goodbye Charlie" Frank and Lara investigate a curious man who is helping terminally ill patients check out. The show ends with strong implications that this individual was an angel in human form. In general they are not portrayed as being much better than demons. For more on the curious nature of angels, I will again direct my readers to a prior post I wrote on this subject here.
There are a few interesting references to PSYOPS as well. Chief amongst them is writer Chip Johannessen's (who would take over running the show for Chris Carter during season three) "Sense and Antisense". In this episode Frank becomes involved in the search for 'Patient Zero,' a man Frank originally believes is infected with a deadly disease. Later, Frank discovers that Zero, and other homeless individuals, were not infected with a rare virus, but with a drug that tampered with their DNA, inducing violent behavior. As the episode progresses, Patient Zero leads back to the Department of Energy and the Human Genome Project. Frank begins to believe that an experiment is being conducted on the homeless in behavior control. In the final chilling moments of the episode when Frank and several police officers conduct a raid on a DOE building Patient Zero is found, and revealed to be a prominent doctor. As Frank glances around Zero's office he notes a picture of the man in combat fatigues in Rwanda circa 1994, shortly before the genocide broke out.
Another fascinating episode, "A Room with No View", brings back the notorious Lucy Butler, last seen in the connected episodes "Lamentation" and "Powers, Principalities, Thrones and Dominions" of season one. In those episodes we learned that Lucy is essentially a hermaphroditic demon. In "A Room with No View" she has set herself up in a massive rural house where she is essentially brainwashing numerous kids that have been abducted across the country and located in various rooms across the sprawling residence. For a demon, Lucy is especially partial to tactics used by modern intelligence agencies. For instance, she plays Paul Mauriat's "Love is Blue" on an endless loop throughout the house over and over again as a way of disorienting the kids. The FBI used such tactics at Waco, for instance. As the episode progresses it is revealed that Lucy is tipped off about the kids via a guidance councilor who went through Lucy's re-education program herself as a teen. Those that have followed conspiracy culture will notice the overlaps this episode has with many of the theories surrounding Satanic Ritual Abuse and Monarch programming.
|Lucy with one of her victims|
For the most part, however, season two is a series of missed opportunities, from the fumbled Nazi storyline in "Owls" and "Roosters" to the uber lame take on the Zodiac killer presented in "The Mikado". Ratings began to plummet by midway through the second season. By the time the season finale, "The Time is Now", rolled around a plot line that implied the whole world was wiped out by a viral outbreak engineered by the Millennium Group was introduced... One isn't left with the impression the producers expected there to be a season three. Ah, but there was, and it brought things all back home in fine fashion.
|Millennium's take on Zodiac|
Season three begins several months after the events depicted in the season two finale. In the season three two-part debute, "The Innocents" and "Exegesis", we learn that the world did not in fact end in a viral outbreak, and that only about 70 people died. One of them was Frank's wife, Catherine, which was depicted in the season two finale. Needless to say, Frank harbors quite a grudge against the Millennium Group. As season three opens we find Frank and Jordan back in the D.C. area with Frank rejoining the FBI as a consultant. Frank has yet to make it back into the field due to his obsession with the Millennium Group.
Now that the exposition is out of the way, we can get down to the real nitty-gritty. Season three is loaded with esoteric symbolism, as it makes apparent from the very first episode. The plot line of "The Innocents" initially revolves around the crashing of a commercial airliner. The plane was brought down by a combination of two women, one of them a passenger on the flight, the other a flight attendant. Both women are remarkably similar looking. The passenger heads into the restroom for a smoke, then pulls out a pistol stashed away in said restroom. In the process she trips the smoke detector, drawing in the flight attendant. After some hesitation on the part of passenger, the flight attendant picks up the pistol and fires several holes into the plane's ceiling, which leads to the crash.
The viewer is immediately bombarded with esoteric symbolism at the crash site itself in the form of butterflies, which Frank claims were drawn there due to the scent of blood. The butterfly is a major symbol in the Mysteries.
"The butterfly (under the name of Psyche, a beautiful maiden with wings of opalescent light) symbolizes the human soul because of the stages it passes through in order to unfold its power of flight. The three divisions through which the butterfly passes in its unfoldment resemble closely the three degrees of the Mystery School, which degrees are regarded as consummating the unfoldment of man by giving him emblematic wings by which he may soar to the skies. Unregenerate man, ignorant and helpless, is symbolized by the stage between ovum and larva; the disciple, seeking truth and dwelling in meditation, by the second stage, from larva to pupa, at which time the insect enters its chrysalis (the tomb of the Mysteries); the third stage, from pupa to imago (wherein the perfect butterfly comes forth), typifies the unfolded enlightened soul of the initiate rising from the tomb of his baser nature."
(The Secret Teachings of All Ages, Manly P. Hall, pg. 270)
A bit more of the symbolism of the butterfly:
"Another facet of butterfly symbolism is based upon its metamorphoses. Its chrysalis is the egg which contains the potentiality of being and the butterfly which emerges from it is the symbol of resurrection, or one might rather say of rising from the grave. The myth of Psyche employs symbolism of this order and she is depicted with butterfly wings. It recurs in the myth of the Immortal Gardener, Yuan-k'o, whose lovely wife taught the secret of the silk-worm and may have perhaps have herself been a silk-worm...
"Symbol of daylight and the solar fire -hence of the warrior's soul -the butterfly for the Mexicans was also a symbol of the 'Black Sun' which passed through the Underworlds during its nightly journey. It was thus a symbol of hidden chtonian fire and associated with ideas of sacrifice and resurrection. In Aztec carving, the butterfly became an alternative for the hand as the emblem of figure five, the number of the centre of the Earth."The butterfly thus has a similar meaning the world over as a symbol of metamorphoses and resurrection. It is also closely associated with initiation into the Mysteries. In the case of Frank, he is being resurrected from the tragedies that he has endured over the past season and discovering his new calling. It could also be symbolic of his completion of initiation as the 'illuminated man.' In this case of Agent Emma Hollis (Klea Scott), who would go to become a partner of sorts to Frank throughout season three, it is the beginning of her initiation into the mysteries.
(Dictionary of Symbols, Chevalier & Gheerbrant, pgs. 140-141)
The butterfly, specifically the Monarch variety, is also the symbol of an alleged mind control operation run by various US intelligence agencies known as Project Monarch. The Internet is ripe with blogs detailing this program. One of the best is Vigilant Citizen, who writes:
"Although there has never been any official admittance of the existence of Monarch programming, prominent researchers have documented the systematic use of trauma on subjects for mind-control purposes. Some survivors, with the help of dedicated therapists, were able to “deprogram” themselves to then go on record and disclose the horrifying details of their ordeals.
As to its association with the butterfly, VC goes on to states:"Monarch slaves are mainly used by organizations to carry out operations using patsies trained to perform specific tasks, who do not question orders, who do not remember their actions and, if discovered, who automatically commit suicide. They are the perfect scapegoats for high-profile assassinations (see Sirhan Sirhan), the ideal candidates for prostitution, sex slavery and snuff pornography. They are also the perfect puppet performers for the entertainment industry."
"Monarch mind control is named after the Monarch butterfly – an insect who begins its life as a worm (representing undeveloped potential) and, after a period of cocooning (programming) is reborn as a beautiful butterflies (the Monarch slave). Some characteristics specific to the Monarch butterfly are also applicable to mind control."
I'm not a huge fan of the Monarch theories -to my mind there has yet to be a truly credible source document the program. That said, its undeniable that the CIA and other US intelligence organizations were engaged in the search for the so-called 'Manchurian Candidate,' an individual that could be programmed to kill without their knowledge. Researchers such as John Marks reliably chronicled these efforts in books like The Search for the 'Manchurian Candidate' which was largely compiled from declassified CIA documents and interviews with individuals involved in various projects such the notorious MK-ULTRA. Regardless, the notion of programmed killers would be a theme that would subtly appear throughout season three.
Going with the Monarch interpretation, the butterflies could be symbolic of the conditioning Frank has been through, and that which Hollis is about to under go. Curiously, Jordan is shown with a paper butterfly in one of the final scenes of "Exegesis."
The Monarch interpretation also makes for an interesting perspective of the central revelation disclosed in "Exegesis": Namely, that the similarly looking women are half-sisters, all close to the same age, from the same mother. They were the product of a breeding experiment to recreate the talents of their mother: psychic ability. This woman was a member of Project Grill Flame, which I've chronicled here and here. Grill Flame was a part of a broader operation, known as the Stargate Project:
"The Stargate Project was the umbrella code name of one of several sub-projects established by the U.S. Federal Government to investigate claims of psychic phenomena with potential military and domestic applications, particularly "remote viewing": the purported ability to psychically "see" events, sites, or information from a great distance. These projects were active from the 1970s through 1995, and followed up early psychic research done at The Stanford Research Institute (SRI), The American Society for Psychical Research, and other psychical research labs.""Exegesis" portrays these women as being bred for the ability their mother possessed, which would in theory make them idea candidates for Monarch programming, or something similar, to ensure their loyalty. Given that the Millennium Group is revealed to be assassinating them, they seemingly became a liability. Another interesting connection this episode has to the season one cliffhanger, "Force Majeure". This earlier episode focused on a eccentric old man who had genetically created about 40 super children to recreate the world after its destruction in 2000. "Exegesis" also focuses around attempts to create super kids with unique abilities. Both are ultimately linked to the Millennium Group.
Another interesting symbol used in "Exegesis" is the Eye of Providence, which appears casually in one of the old rooms where the Grill Flame psychics did their thing. Later, one of the Grill Flame psychics is seen sporting the eye on a bracelet. Of course the eye has historically been used as a symbol of psychic ability, but a similar marking as the one in the remote viewing room appears later in season three, just as casually in a most unusual place. In this sense it could also be symbolic of the constant surveillance surrounding Frank, or of the Millennium Group's presence at every step of his initiation.
Next week the final mysteries of Millennium and season three shall be revealed. Stay tuned.
|the All-Seeing Eye of Grill Flame|