Recycled Rock N Roll

Recycled Rock N Roll

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

The Stranger Things 2 Autopsy, Part III - The Weird

"In this book it is spoken of the Sephiroth and the Paths; of Spirits and Conjurations; of Gods, Spheres, Planes, and many other things which may or may not exist. It is immaterial whether these exist or not. By doing things certain things certain results will follow..."

-Aleister Crowley
Book VI: Liber O

"The gate. I opened it. I'm the monster."

Stranger Things, Episode 6, "The Monster"

"...I learned a terrible truth. If you investigate deeply enough, sometimes you become part of the conspiracy."

-The Reverend Ivan Stang of The Church of The SubGenius
The Big Book of Conspiracy Theories

"Who is Number 1?"
"You are, Number 6."

-The Prisoner


I mentioned before that there were no conspiracy theories for me to mention in regards to Stranger Things 2 to entertain your brain in my last couple of blog posts. I was wrong, there are several. First of all, and I have to admit this was new to my mind, one of the themes I've found in reviewing the zany, crazy theories surrounding The Montauk Project is that the scientists working for the government there were trying to do something very important to our discussion: mass mind control.

Apparently the big chair scientists were placing disposable psychics in (study the original conspiracy theory if you need to catch up) had another allow the psychic to control massive populations of people at once. This wasn't the original intent of the work, it is just that by the end of the project's run (according to conspiracy theorists and supposed whistleblowers) having a way to mass mind control a population using technology developed by scientists with a window into the future is kind of what happened.

An actual photo of Montauk at Long Island, New York.

From a government perspective, I could imagine how having a chair that allowed a single psychic to make an entire enemy military, or even nation, stand down in the event of a war is pretty amazing. You wouldn't have to kill anybody to win the war if you had such a weapon. Of course, only a fool believes that evil people working for the government wouldn't use mass mind control on their own population. Only a fool believes that the government isn't trying to control your mind, right now.

My personal problem with the concept of placing a psychic into a mind control chair to amplify his powers is...what if he mind controls the people working in the entire military facility? Or just the scientists in charge of the project? Seems like a great way to escape to me, like something Dr. Who would do...use incredibly powerful technology created by the bad guys against them to destroy their evil plans. So I just can't imagine that part of the theory being true, compared to summoning a rampaging id monster from deep inside a psychic's mind to destroy a military base from within, which is equally bonkers.

Inside the plot device, I mean, The Pandorica.

There are actually many, many other splendid theories regarding our government, and other government's, studies into people with paranormal powers. In one instance a scientific study conducted by Dr. J.B. Rhine back in 1941 centered upon a gambler he met who claimed to have an ability to mentally affect the tumble of the dice roll. After numerous experiments designed by Dr. Rhine to eliminate any mechanical bias, it was determined that the gambler could change the dice rolls using his mind. The chances of the man being able to affect these chances was determined to be about 10115 to 1.

In another instance, experiment after experiment has been conducted to figure out why a person can detect when another person is staring at them from behind. In 1989 two separate experiments were conducted on children in public schools, one in America and the other in Germany. In both instances children could detect being stared at 56.9% of the time, with some children able to individually detect being stared at from behind at an even higher rate. The probability of the children being able to do that by chance is 3 in 1,000,000.

A recent document declassified by the CIA and released to the general public reported that China has been studying super powers in humans for decades. Chronology of Recent Interest in Exceptional Functions of The Human Body in the People’s Republic of China” makes it clear that people can perform incredible feats such as psychokinesis, clairvoyance and telepathy. According to the report the Chinese military have been working on repeating these feats since 1984.

Another declassified document released under the Freedom of Information Act reported that the Air Force figured out that people can both teleport, and teleport objects at will, decades ago.

Another CIA document reports that back in the 80's our own government conducted studies to determine how and why some people, including children, had the ability to see small objects in containers with their mind, and somehow move these objects through space and physical barriers. The CIA even created a film to record these miracles being performed. Why isn't that on YouTube?


It all started in Stranger Things, when Eleven was asked to make contact with the Demogorgon. Where did it come from? From the Upside Down, the infinite blackness that seems to exist in her mind. What happened when Eleven made contact with the Demogorgon? It turned around, roared, Eleven screamed, and a rift opened up between this world and a nasty, horrible place called The Vale of Shadows.

Two for Eleven, one for The Monster.

Eleven and The Monster escaped. When The Monster followed Will, it took him into the Vale of Shadows while Eleven appeared in the real world. Will hid from The Monster for a while but it eventually found him, and he ended up unconscious with a strange, animal tube stuck in his mouth. The Sheriff took the tube out of his mouth and got Will back to our world.

After The Monster was banished Eleven ended up in The Vale of Shadows, but later escaped back into our world. Will came back, but he started to barf up little slugs that went down the sink and became Pollywogs. These slugs were similar to the slugs that came out of Barb's dead body in The Vale of Shadows. These slugs seemed to be able to teleport back into the other world, even in their larval state, which makes sense when you think about what The Monster could do instinctively.

An obvious Alien reference.


At the beginning of Stranger Things 2 the problems left over from the first section are haunting the next section of the series. The Pollywogs Will is coughing up escape from the sewer and begin to burrow into the earth around the town, eating animals for their blood and leaving behind a waste that rots and corrupts the soil, causing plant death and leaving behind strange, seemingly biological tunnels rife with fleshy tendrils and nasty fungal plant life that sprays poison and seems to be a bridge between The Vale of Shadows and this world.

The rot and corruption seems to form a dark cloud that Will can only see everyone later calls The Thassalhydra. It possesses Will (because it is biologically related to him since the entity came from the waste the Pollywogs left after he coughed them up) and slowly starts to turn him into Something Else. Fire eventually drives it out of Will while Eleven simultaneously closes the portal into The Vale of Shadows where all of these nasty things come from.

Notice how the Thassalhydra resembles weather...a cloud without rain.

Eleven has her own problems. She escaped from one bad place where she was imprisoned by a dubious father figure. Now she's in a cabin, seemingly held hostage by the Sheriff, a dubious father figure. I don't think Eleven had the supernatural power, or psychic self-awareness, to close the portal at the beginning of the second season. She had to go through an epiphany, a series of enlightening events, before she could do so.

At the end the portal is closed, Will is saved, Hawkins Energy closes and all seems well. Except that Will can still sense the Thassalhydra, still able to perceive our world from the next, probably because while the Pollywogs are dead and burned, the rot is still in the land. The tunnels are still there, forming portals into the next world. The invasion is not over because there is still another connection, causing the problem.

This seemingly simple story belies a massive amount of supernatural and cinematic references connecting the work to a long series of similar works that reveal a profound, deep connecting mythology that exists in horror, sci-fi and other sources from decades ago. Art in film does that. It ain't literature unless it is somehow connected to something else from somewhere else, including mythology, featuring a bildungsroman about growing up enough to appreciate your own power so you can defeat evil in the world around you, which is what Eleven had to do before she closed the portal. She probably could not have just pulled it off in the first episode of season two.

If Will was The Mind Flayer did he mentally blast Eleven?

I have a question...what would have happened to Will if he had continued to become possessed? Since he would have basically been a vassal for the Thessalhydra (in the same way that the little girl in The Exorcist is a vassal for the demon Pazzuzu), what would have been his purpose, then? Perhaps he would have been like The Yellow King, another Lovecraftian, Antichrist, Harbinger of Cthulhoid Doom type character. By the way, Prince of Darkness features possessed characters, too. So does Ghostbusters

He'd predict a horrible future for everyone, and then start doing everything he could to make the tear in reality Eleven fixed worse. His job would be to help the other evil dimension (what the kids call The Vale of Shadows) invade, probably using the leftover rotting tunnels in the earth to do it. This is, of course, my prediction regarding one of the characters in Season 3. We've already seen someone nearly possessed. Next we shall see someone absolutely possessed. Remember, the rot is still there, the tunnels remain, and the Sheriff sure got a big blast in the face from something Not of This World. Will the Thessaldydra attempt to control him, next?

I must admit at this point that I don't quite understand the relationship between the Demogorgon in Stranger Things and The Vale of Shadows, including the denizens that dwell there like the tentacles, the slugs and The Thassalhydra. Maybe the Demogorgon is the Thassalhydra, leftover from when Eleven blew it to bits. The fact is we never see another Demogorgon in Stranger Things 2. We still don't know where the tentacles come from. We do know that Barb got taken, and ended up with slugs coming out of her mouth. Will got taken, and ended up with slugs coming out of his mouth. 

Where did the tubes come from? Probably The Thassalhydra, since that is exactly what the creature of the same name does in Dungeons & Dragons. I'm beginning to think that Eleven's monster was totally new, and it was as alien to The Vale of Shadows as it was to our world since it came from The Upside Down in Eleven's mind. Why do some people end up being eggs when The Demogorgon gets them (like the Russian spy in the first season) while some people end up with tubes in their mouth, or a dead corpse with slugs coming out of them? Weird.

A doorway to another evil dimension (whether it's Hell or the antimatter universe discussed in John Carpenter's Prince of Darkness) that is going to open up and release demons/zombies/etc. in order to kick our dimension's ass is a common theme in horror films going back through the decades, so of course that is a theme in Stranger Things. The 90's horror science fiction film Event Horizon featured a stranger Hell dimension mirror universe that corrupted and drove insane the dumb humans from our dimension that ended up there, although it wasn't trying to invade our own dimension. It did, however, feature a possessed character, similar to Will.

Next time I'm going to focus on Eleven, her mental journey, and how coming to terms with her own darkness through personal visions is actually a big part of 80's film psychology. Why was Will called The Mind Flayer? Who is Kali? Who is King Mob? What is Barbelith? We'll find out more in Part IV!

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