Just the F/X, Ma’am
That evening back in the hotel room after the press conference, we settled into a fortuity of entertainment furnished by the house; the t.v., as it turned out, had a menu of theatrically contemporary movies to choose from most of which we hadn’t seen, a couple of which held interest, any of which simply needed to be called down to the lobby according to posted instructions to show up on one’s total at checkout time. As it turned out, the main features all seemed interestingly tied-in with the convention proceedings.
There was Hunt For Red October, Back To The Future III (the de facto biography of Al Bielek as it would turn out)…of special interest though was Arnie’s opus, Total Recall, which we hadn’t seen yet despite the immediate attention its campaign had drawn when the initial billboard appeared at the high-priority curve of ad space along the boulevard of narcissus, the block of Sunset that intersects Holloway. The first glimpse of that first, minimalist poster had secreted an internal certitude; like the savor of lemon when one merely thinks of it, the glands immediately reacted in such a way as to render that presence unmistakable at the outset, despite the deliberate tease of its sketchy clues.
The first ads, you’ll recall, had just the title: Total Recall. There was the stark black background, a futuristic “boomerang” or chrome arc-de-McDonald’s gleaming in the low center of the billboard with what was obviously a depiction of the “red planet” rising up to one side…there was no indication of possible cast, crew, producers, indeed one had to scan the premiere information to gather it was a movie at all. Arnold S.’s high-identity half-face hadn’t yet appeared by overnight magic on the succeeding sign that would render the sense of “progressive revelation” like a dim mnemonic device. There was just a one-line legend, (trailing away on a string of periods suggesting a “to-be-continued” cliffhanger atmosphere) in which it was stated that they’d taken everything, even his memory, and now…he was getting it back.
The Eye of Lower Mars
Perhaps one didn’t need to be wired into Intuitive wisdom at this point to get the message; one wondered how many instantly realized as well that yes, it was about to come out, probably the whole thing or virtually the whole thing—in character with the normal “disinformation” scenario the word had evidently been given: it’s already leaked, the pressure of it is too much to contain—so let it out under regulation of our control-valve. Yet this would have to be audacious even for them, if it turned out to be all that one suspected it would have to be at this point.
Looking at that first, looming Recall poster one had the feeling the ante was definitely being upped a geometric notch on the cat-and-mouse game covertly played with the public for several decades now. More sheer chutzpah was being added to the defiance that seemed silently to dare mass consciousness the recognition as to what it was being fed under the guise of fiction, i.e. the virtual narrative of what in fact was being done to it as it swilled Coca-Cola in the mezzanine.
Indeed that Martian sphere and the freefloating arch in which it was framed seemed in a sense the bloodshot eye of Consciousness itself, staring down on the traffic below like the remote overseer of all which took place, now willing to lift a little the long-stuporous lid on its drugged trancesleep so as to emit first sparks of some deep memory, a fateful glimmer of what was “known” in dream but heretofore denied in daylight; they were going to show it, virtually show it all—that seemed certain…and as the lid was lifted, in stutter-start tantalizing flickers like the shutter of a still camera emulating—yet not quite equalling—the fluidity of a moviefilm in its discrete succession of tableaus, enough single photons would be admitted through the gaps to stimulate the neurochemistry of long dormant memory-patterns.
The audience was going to be awakened, perhaps was supposed to awaken, a little at a time and still without the collected wits to quite realize it wasn’t—after all—a dream, awakened through the same medium that had routinely lulled it and assured it so successfully that all which most disturbed it was the stuff of imagination, altogether distinct from the workaday world of wife, job and home to which it was so smartly tailored…
When You Travel with Recall, Everything Is Perfect
Let’s plug into a scenario here for a minute, just for the fun of it. Remember, it’s only 300 more credits for an ego-trip, so let’s go on the all time egotrip, the biggest one we can “imagine”—patch in Matrix 62-B37. (Don’t forget we’ve got T-shirts, and we can take snapshots of you at the site…)
Let’s suppose you’re part of the secret power elite, in charge of unofficial finance projects…no, in charge of internal security, that’s it! Your job is to plug information leaks, make sure that the covert activities of your elitist team aren’t prematurely revealed to the larger public, that all the complex interconnected operations involved in successfully implementing your plans are run airtight and don’t suffer consequential ruptures at the sensitive joints and seals.
Naturally because of the enormous, costly character of the overall operations, many more are going to have to be hired and “work for the company” than can be taken into interior confidence; most of the real business of aircraft and computer parts, radar operations, electronics engineering, molecular research etc. can be efficiently buried as a matter of course, as a natural function of the division of labor, the blinders of specialization and bureaucracy, the differential destinies of one-and-the-same specific component, the preemptive power of a “need-to-know” system etc. Where a certain confidentiality in sensitive areas requires critical knowledge on the part of the Firm’s employee, there are modern means of coping with excess inquisitiveness, the quiddities of human emotion, the psychic-variable factor: intimidation, indoctrination/brainwashing (isolation, gradual value exchange, team identity) chemical and electromagnetic mind-modification, hypnotic gatekeeping (ensuring the timely opening and shutting of memory-banks when needed), separate programming of brain-hemispheres so as to effectually store multiple and independent identities possessing functional barriers between them…and when all of that fails as it occasionally must in even the best-laid plans, there’s the old standby assassination (usually faked as suicide, accident etc.), the infrequent but effective hot-job (microwave-induced “spontaneous combustion”) as well as the most generally effective technique, that of disinformation programming. The latter can be done according to any one of a number of our selected programs…would you like to come this way?
It was about to come out—
the whole thing.
Over here on the monitor we see a very popular model for disinformation-repair of the occasional leak: it’s the Cooper plan QB, seek to discredit the source in purely ad hominem argument—we call it the “Cooper” plan because of its current use in UFO Magazine (operated by one Vicki Cooper) as implemented against William Cooper, to wit, the ad which asks—re the alien-government revelations of the former Naval Briefing Team member—even if this information is true, would you accept it from this man? and then goes on to appeal to the reliable prurience of the public in offering a tape which alleges to be a tapped phone-conversation between Cooper and someone toward whom he’s reputed to be…uncivil, an orientation obviously ill-befitting a man of such public responsibility (the Puritan ethic should long have taught the public not to inquire into the moral character of those offering “tapped taperecordings” in the interests of a higher truth).
Over here on screen QT, we see a mockup of a methodology with which we’ve had variable success, i.e. the Majestic Model where the need of a persistent allegation to receive corroborative documenting is undercut by issuing essentially correct facts, corresponding point-for-point to those allegations, under clearly falsified seals as was done with the pseudo-“coming clean” of the Freedom of Information Act. Plan QT-2, a related method, is that of using strong influence with various of the popular media, t.v., magazines, newspapers etc. in order to circulate similar stories (on an even larger and preemptive scale than is available to those seeking to air the truth) which seem to resonate in close correspondence only to strike certain key false notes so as to throw the whole thing irreversibly off, down useless blind-alleys.
Our favorite of all, of course, may be seen in outline on monitor Qua-To: the idea here is to seed the undercurrents of occasionally-outcropping truth in the minds of fictioners and fantasists, who’ll turn such veiled truth into the stuff of books and screenplays ultimately delivered to the public in reassuring form as make-believe. Such writers can be subliminally programmed with sophisticated electromagnetic-technology even through their dreams, so as to receive sudden “inspiration” as if out of nowhere; they can be drawn, courted and fed the necessary data to churn out of the fiction mill by “controlled-environment” engineering (set-up meetings, cocktail parties, group vacations); or they can just plain be recruited, as one quite famous s.f. writer we know—who, when approached, couldn’t resist the appeal to intrigue, story-potentials, the sense of serving-his-country (a self-deluding rationalization of monumental proportions, considering his actual character) and the general enhancement it would inevitably impart to the interminable interior monologue of his grandiloquent self-narration (as his own favorite fictional character); and who therefore deliberately trapped a young lady of our acquaintance into a long-term tryst which exposed her—all unknowingly—to electronic-chemically governed mood-modification in a secret-government experiment on psychism that nearly left her dead or seriously deranged on a number of occasions (the generalities of such experiments, conducted during a very specific timeperiod of the ’60’s-’70’s, can be found with a description of the preferred personality-types to which our feminine acquaintance fit like textbook illustration, in the current “fictional” exposé The Power where it is characterized propagandistically as a “Russian”-conducted research! pages 302-3, Warner Books.)
Sorry, Quaid, your whole life is just a dream.
Or Almost Perfect
Now, in your capacity as Chief of Internal Security you are suddenly confronted with an exciting challenge—try as you might, you’ve failed to fully throttle the persistent muck-raking journalism of the British team who managed to piece together the information and all-but-damning interviews that came eventually to comprise the broadcast special Alternative III (you were only partially successful in that you ensured the prevention of its American airing). On top of that, the whole messy compilation was released in book form in Britain with even more extensive documentation, backup research, followup disclosures etc., dropping ultimately in the hands of Bantam Book Publishers USA who issued a fateful first printing before you could engineer its quiet retraction from American shelves…Now Cohaagen is hopping made, and he’s going to give you just one chance to redeem yourself before the largely ungovernable availability of the British version stirs too much notice to be handily reversed, and you are…terminated!
What to do?
Go down the menu on the QT monitor till you get to Qua-To. Now, is there a joint U.S.-Russian Mars-colonization project currently operational that’s been going on covertly since the early ’60’s, long before men were even supposed to have walked on the moon? and do you have to decisively muzzle the idea re its currency which is treacherously leaking through the “Alternative III” breach? Simple. Select your fiction writer(s) through one of the itemized methods, and see to it that their scenario thoroughly establishes in the public mind that these self-same details (Martian domes, memory-implants, mutant slave-labor, secret double-agents and top operatives under deep-cover thrall to a hierarchy of exploitation where they’re always “being used” as well as “using”) belong to a not-too-distant but still-removed future—take it out of the present context altogether so that, even should they hear the real facts of the matter it will already be pigeonholed as fiction and embedded in the conventional wisdom that such technology is still years out of practical reach. Orchestrate backup—but formally unrelated—factors in a synchronous timing so as to seed separate cues serving subliminally to reinforce the desired impression, i.e. at the same time the movie comes out, have NASA coincidentally implement a public-education campaign beamed over the airwaves on as many news and education shows as possible without any reference whatsoever to Recall, exhibiting their planning-board design for high-tech domes to be used in Martian colonization well past the year 2000.
Is there a possibility that too many may get wind of the fact, through the same or related sources, that the “current” descriptions of Mars were actually superseded in 1961 when Russia nuked the Martian surface (reported indirectly at the time in observatory accounts of a distinct—if inexplicable—thickening of the Martian cloud cover, followed by a clearing that disclosed substantial melting of the polar caps and the sudden presence of a broad, darkened band around the equatorial regions suggestive of vegetation), causing densification of the atmosphere from the release of gases formerly frozen in surface soil?
All that need be done to blur the real information re such long-range, “aerating” methods (that might randomly blow across the surface of attention) is free-associate its half heard features playing at the borderland of the collective sleep, along a line of similarities leading right down again to dreams—so that what is heard is heard in an oneiric noise of “alien reactors concealed in the trivinium mines” which, when started, furnish the nuclear solution of the monopolized air-supply by melting the icy Martian core and freeing “enough oxygen for the whole planet”.
As a correlated means of getting the public acclimated to a feasible “Martian climate” (engineered to support a viable ecosystem while being simultaneously colonized), there might be a concurrent acceleration or judicious seeding of scientific articles, magnifying interest in a managerial promotion of Martian “ecopoiesis”, i.e. the production of viable life-support on a lifeless planetary body (so as to gradually shift the common attention toward—subliminal—acceptance of the projected “new home” to be occupied on inevitable abandonment of abused “spaceship Earth”—where most would nonetheless assume the awaiting, ready-made roles of slaves for the “masters” who had secretly preceded them, and secured their own positions).
Such articles (an example of which currently appears on the last page of December’s  Scientific American, mirabile dictu!) would emphasize the need to warm the Martian climate, reduce reflectivity of the caps so as to liquefy its permafrost coat, release any trapped materials from the crust needed to participate in biogeochemical cycles, enrich the thickened atmosphere with trace-quantities of greenhouse gas, promote a self-sustaining microbial ecosystem mirroring Earth’s nitrogen cycle with revived or specially-engineered organisms…
The reason for all of this should never be directly addressed, of course—it should be presented as platonic speculation of the pure-science variety, and argued if at all simply from the “ethical” standpoint—i.e. whether what “is” defines what “ought to be”, and thus whether we have tacit Divine approval for our theoretical project.
Homer’s Odyssey Pilot
Has there been an unseemly upsurge of allegations, anomalous findings reported in a few too many journals and testimonies of uncomfortable character from experimental subjects re the existence of covert mind-manipulation programs, electronic brain-modification research conducted by intelligence agencies on an unsuspecting civilian populace or in a “Jacob’s Ladder” syndrome with control subjects serving tours of patriotic duty? Is there a chance the acronymic keywords of the Club could become casual household currency even before an inkling of their real implication disturbs the—apparently boundless—accommodation of consumer consciousness? so that Bart and Homer Simpson wind up bandying incidental reference to EDOM and MCULTRA like so much cartoon pingpong, the Agency only able to watch the dream-trawled terms of cultural kitsch go floating over the electron net in the embarrassing open of the public domain, exasperatingly beyond unobtrusive retrieval…like a reactor rod that’s somehow got loose and is being tossed around on the company baseball diamond?
No need to sweat what might happen if, in the unlikely event couch-potato Simpson took sufficient interest to inquire, the public found that EDOM was operational reference of certain procedures to which it was perilously subject, i.e. Electronic Dissolution of Memory or selective editing of mind-patterns (particularly fashionable as part of the whole ensemble which includes the popular RHIC, Radio-Hypnotic Intracerebral Control or multi-level trance-induction triggered with verbal or tonal codes through implanted brain transceivers).
Spy stuff. Just futuristic, James Bond high-tech spy stuff, easily muddled in the popular imagination so that the most potentially-volatile coverage of the occasional vet or ex-mental patient who happens to hit the street with a carbine (and thus hits the headlines as well) claiming he’s been victimized by “CIA experiment”, will be immediately classified as a cortical AWOL, regretably influenced by pure fiction in a disturbed state.
The actual procedure of nasal electrode-implantation, for instance, can be humorously portrayed and fantastically dispatched as an obvious exaggeration of the special-effects department, by having our filmic hero pull an ORB the size of his adenoids straight out of his face with a pair of techno-tweezers! Such outrageously camp and calculatedly-revolting portrayal is sure to leave an indelible impression of the desired type, i.e. the whole subject will stick in the mind as a physically-preposterous, hallucinatorily-squeamish figment of some screenwriter’s secret agent send-up that only the gullible could take seriously.
The bug’s in your skull. Don’t forget, wrap a wet towel ‘round your head to muffle the signal…
As a pièce de résistance, to burnish the buffoon-like impression the more brightly, we add the classic comic touch in the image of Arnie, the a-conerial Conan (“without a functioning pineal”, let’s save you the trouble of dictionary-searching in the midst of the punchline) looking like nothing so much as a drag-queen homage to Sophia Emerging from the Bath.
We feel confident Cohaagen will accord us co-chairmanship of the Nintendo version…
Withal, we feel this white-paper briefing of the Policy Committee in regard to the containment and pacification strategies of our field officers shows sufficient psychic keys to have been accessed, and inbuilt mind-warps of the playing screen charted, to warrant every confidence Cohaagen will accord us co-chairmanship of the Nintendo version…
* * *
So you’ve saved the day for the power elite. You’ve successfully provided the mind of the mass with a camouflage rationale for the little anomalies it nearly perceives at the twilight margins of perception, carefully containing those maverick thoughts and aberrative ideas stimulated (by who-knows-what subliminal cues) while the covert activity of the “parallel” order takes place in necessary, nocturnal contiguity with the slumbering brain of the Statistical Cross-section.
You’ve covered for it neatly, except for an inescapable residue of restlessness around the edges that probably acts as a control valve in any case. The collective state of consciousness as it averages out to its safety level has so far been completely convinced, for all practical purposes, that those faint impressions and dream-like scenes never quite retrieved from the turbulence of sleep (of interplanetary shuttle-tours routinely ferrying teams of priority technicians, military personnel, scientists and city planners along with mysterious cargo of crates and tubes in a night-version of Noah’s Ark) are subliminal previews of coming attractions, not a Pathè newsreel of current events. So thorough has this conditioning been accomplished, indeed, that there is negligible concern should the very same consciousness collide—as it occasionally does—with direct daylight evidence of the current/continuing program of “brain-drain” bleedoff; with random discards of the “batch consignment” program involving surgical-chemical alteration of shanghaied draftees (in reduction to interchangeable units of a slave-corps suitable for construction and menial Martian work); or the overall, elitist effort to transplant a swatch of alienated culture to the soil of an alien world as if such a virulent specimen might grow any redemptive form of refinement there.
There was a ready-made, futuristic camouflage for all such contretemps, a stressed cultural suggestion which the pleasant agreeability of the general mind willingly embraced, voluntarily donned so as to fit all refractory facts to the awaiting mold of programmed expectation. So it was all “seen before”, previewed as a trailer of times-future as far as consciousness was concerned: the zombified mass of a “mutant” labor-force indentured to work in the pyramid mines, high tech intracerebral tracking and mind-manipulation for both espionage and recreational purposes, the mighty tunnel-borers with toothsome drill-bits the likes of Messala’s chariot-wheels in Ben Hur, (never suspected to exist outside the dreams of Dream Quest except for puzzling presentations of “that Cooper fellow” with his curious photos from Rand…)
* * *
Yes, as project Chief of Internal Security you’ve done your job well—the occasional discontinuous anomaly, the unseemly burp of an embarrassing bit of data from the back of the hall, the inevitable random drifts through windows of parallel worlds (artificially “alternative” realities) all covered in comely fashions of the popular culture so that, for practical purposes, they may reveal to plain sight while satisfactorily smothering the operational existence of electrogravitic craft, faustian technologies and biogenetic projects of prodigious ambition presently producing, under cover of cognitive “night”, the demigod plans sown in the mass imagination as mere dream.
Amazing to think, then, that with the present if veiled reality of routine Martian junkets (in field propulsion disc-craft at a fractional cost of “official”, tincan technology of the diversionary NASA brand), with currently operative surgical, chemical and engineering procedures able to effect a phantasmagoria of programmed possibilities, it was still near-impossible to get the desk down in the lobby to patch in our selected movie according to the easy 3-step instruction on the set. We were finally able to achieve “Total Recall” only by ignoring the key-number codes with which we were told to tune both box and set, random-dialing an arbitrary combination that seemed to satisfy the arcane requirements of getting the tube to come alive—and only a few short minutes after the movie was actually underway so that, missing the credits, we were still able to see Quaid (Hauser) and Melina eye-popping a preview of the unoxygenated Martian surface…
Sure enough, as we’d suspected on first seeing that Sunset billboard, it was all basically there—the essential plot of “Alternative III” was grist for the popcultural mill, only this time it could truly be a case of “once too often to the well”…it was possible that this saturation-baptism in the abysmal details was a fateful case of overkill, an instance of such massive quantity changing quality—to some irretrievable degree—that it would finally begin to surface, seep up to the hotel lobby of consciousness from the subconscious levels of stationary “parking” below; the ballyhooed special effects, the high-impact direction of Paul Verhoeven may have unexpectedly joined to spark a combustion beyond the resources of the Controllers to handle—or, alternatively, in keeping with much else that seemed lately to be unaccountably “lax”, they were calculating such release upon the trigger of recognition for reasons having to do with a kind of ominous “fullness” relative to their own timetables.
Could it be long before certain other aspects of this deep-well project—already sounded by Initiated Insight—were dredged from the far end of the slimy rope placed in the public’s hand?
Motel Mars—Last Resort
The basis of Alternative III, of course, could be purchased theoretically for the price of a book—if one could find the book. The idea was stultifyingly simple: the international power structure, having determined as far back as the ’50s that the present planetary course was irreversible (owing to the intransigence of its own policies!) and ecologically fatal by the year 2000, brainstormed three “solutions”; the first was ruled unsound(!) i.e. blowing strategic nuclear holes in the ionosphere to allow the escape of greenhouse gases; the second and third were covertly implemented, and are operational to this day, i.e. (1) build or exploit underground tunnel-networks in the production of self-sufficient, subsurface cities suitable for a complete withdrawal at the appropriate time, to be staffed by elitist committees of privileged rule while being serviced by a necessary support-culture of workers and technocrats—the majority of the surface population to perish, of course, in the apocalypse of inevitable catastrophes; and (2) exploit the cutting edge of secret technologies in programs completely apart from common awareness, so as to make feasible as soon as possible the autogamous habitation of Mars—long-suspected to contain a viable atmosphere locked in its soil.
An implicit corollary of this, was that—outside the greenhouse domes—a self-renewing ecology for the red planet might not be workable for hundreds of years; this led to the inconvenient back-tracking that eventually ruled there would have to be a minimal survival-population on the Earth’s crust, to continue farming and husbandry for the subsurface and Martian colonists. Such a survival population of an unelite mass could be countenanced only if it was reduced to terms of manageable proportion; catastrophe couldn’t be counted on to weed the population in a “balance” satisfactory to the needs of the power structure. Such winnowing would have to be conducted on a “scientific” basis; the schedule of eco-disasters would have to be helped along. “Nature, unaided, always fails”, so say the alchemists—and so say the modern “alchemists” of programmed mayhem.
For we’ll find, if we turn to our “Alternative” textbooks, that preliminary reports of those early-’60’s US-Soviet junkets to the freshly-aerated Martian surface describe the release of an exotic variety of “unknown” bacteria from the long-range nuclear bombardment that had preceded direct exploration.
Crystallizing the Problem
The “Alternative” account ends with that observation. Long before the published disclosures of Messrs. Watkins, Ambrose and Miles, however, initiated Insight had tracked the actual genesis of the AIDS virus, and determined that it had no earthly origin. “Inside” or even “psychic” reports which suggest it was first synthesized in some lab at Los Alamos, or as a germ-warfare project in secret Haitian facilities, even if connected with some truth do not carry the subject far-enough back. Mark the counsel of the Spirit-eye; see what “random” facts it explains, and unifies so as to render an intelligible whole (where, formerly, none existed to the apparency of ordinary perception).
Whether the AIDS virus was a deliberate import or a stowaway hitching a ride on one of the return junkets, it originated as a Martian bacterium—yes, the reader’s read correctly: though it’s hardly known owing to the suppression of the scientific work of Royal Rife, bacteria and virus are interconvertable. This form-change was observed by Rife through his “super” microscope, which didn’t function on the principle of reflected light and reportedly magnified a specimen up to 60,000 times without killing it (the living processes of microscopic forms can’t be viewed by conventional electron microscopy, as that mode kills the specimen). Whereas this declaration of the interconvertability of virus and bacterium might be greeted as preposterous, the reader is equipped to make logical inference: infer, then, from the appearance of a providential piece in the Nov. issue of Scientific American (reporting on the most recent laser-light technology) how a virus, which is essentially a crystal, might “eventually” evolve from present successes in creating crystals as optic (rather than chemical) matter, through light patterns generated by laserbeams organizing various types of microscopic particle into unique crystalline structures; according to the article “Light Motif” (page 29) one such crystal composition was produced out of the bacteria Escherichia coli.
But, we hear the general objection—especially from masses of the scientific community who could never believe they were locked out of an even-more-exclusive club at the heart of their own enterprise—this is speculative science at best, since these simple synthetic crystals represent the advance-edge of what can currently be achieved.
The writers of Alien were presenting
a macroscopic version
of the viral mode.
There’s no sure way to convince otherwise; yet the answer to this is simply that the secret scientific core, having received an original infusion at the beginning of the modern era from sources about which more will be said, has since pursued a policy of keeping mainstream science methodically “apace” a few calculated beats behind, never allowing it to seriously lag and conversely never allowing it to completely catch up, quietly seeding suggestive input wherever necessary and emphatically deflecting wherever called for; this, in order to make sure that there was always a reserve pool of scientific braintrusts to draw on when replacement or replenishment was periodically required, who’d suffer no unbridgeable gap where catchup briefing had to take place (cf. the various taped and written accounts of Bob Lazar describing his introduction to the accelerated technologies of the Dulce and Los Alamos facilities—and if you can’t believe Bob, then perhaps an excerpt from the reliable Gung Ho mercenary mag—Feb. ’87—in an article on Stealth technology which quotes an Air Force officer involved in SR-71 development: “We are flight testing vehicles that defy description. To compare them conceptually to the SR-71 would be like comparing Leonardo da Vinci’s parachute design to the space shuttle”; and in the same article, a Lockheed engineer: “We have things flying around in the Nevada desert that would make George Lucas drool.” (excerpts courtesy of Matrix II, page 213A).
Back, then, to the AIDS virus genesis; whether here initially by accident or design, the designer-disease of the era was developed from the peculiarly promising properties of a particular bacterial form awakened, like Godzilla, from a millennial hibernation in the tundra of the red planet. It was transformed and tailored according to the capabilities of a highly advanced “spaceage” technology, part of the requirements of which involve controlled crystal cultures in a zero-gravity environment. It was styled to structural affinity for lymphocytes of the immunology system, coded for subtle anticipation or extemporaneous adjustment over natural defenses according to a variable value of its etheric infrastructure.
Thus it would go straight for the honor guard, exhibiting as it did a protean adaptability against all known immunological weapons not excluding total mutation making it a virtually perfect Engine of Destruction…
Breathtaking, Isn’t It?
Wait a minute—doesn’t this scenario begin to sound familiar, aren’t we again in the presence of a motion picture theme? Not “Recall” this time—but easy enough to recall the image of Alien when contemplating the specific features of our protein-package from hell…
What, after all, is a virus? It’s a simple pod of concentric capsids (i.e. protein coats) and, as in the case of HIV—human immunodeficiency virus—an enclosing viral envelope, containing a core of nucleic acids; it attaches itself by surface-landingpods to the host cell, injects itself into the “belly” of the cell where the capsids dissolve and the genetic material is released. The viral genomes commandeer the materials of the cell’s insides, synthesizing necessary enzymes for replication or appropriating the host’s chromosomal complement at the expense of the parasitized cell. The viral genetic material duplicates itself with the seized substances, each copy manufacturing a capsid of its own so that new, mace-like orbs or obelisks are interiorly generated and erupt from the tissues of the host cell at the appropriate time—damaging or destroying the host.
Does it not become persuasively apparent, once a good comparative look is taken, that the writers who brought us Alien were presenting us with a macroscopic version of the viral modus operandi—and indeed, the specific mode of a retrovirus such as HIV since the stowaway creature exhibited the same, protean adaptability and shapeshifting elusiveness as the microscopic counterpart on which it was obviously modeled; in fact the analogy is even more precise than all that.
The identifying peculiarity of the AIDS virus is that it diabolically converts the point of greatest conventional disadvantage, to its greatest advantage, i.e. it transforms what is potentially its greatest enemy into its greatest ally by specifically pirating the T-lymphocytes, thereby undermining any immunological effectiveness in ordering them to manufacture more virus in their own place. Similarly, when the protagonists in Alien attempt to terminate the creature by the most natural resort, they discover to their utter dismay that its blood is corrosive acid; any blow that may be dealt it is instantly turned around against the assailant! A conventional defensive weapon, in other words, serves to multiply its own destructive effectiveness—a sort of microbial jujitsu of quite problematic character.
There is something else of significance to note in passing; it may be a happy coincidence, a fortuitous bit of invention on the part of the writers (considering how little conventional science understands about the underlying mechanics) but the fact remains that the screenplay specifies the creature’s blood is corrosive acid. This points up a little recognized but significant condition for the maintenance and spawning of the HIV as well as myriad other viruses and bacterial forms: i.e. internal environments of the “host organism” (whether the individual cell or body as a whole) are most accommodating to microbial marauders when an implicit ratio of oxygen to carbon dioxide is sustained in the bloodstream beneath a certain minimum threshold. Such a ratio is a real variable in the system, and the levels to which such a ratio tends to stabilize in the statistical average of this world—at the present time and under the prevailing environmental and psychic conditions—fall far below the minimum vital threshold.
Thus a chronic excess of carbon dioxide-to-oxygen is produced through routine processes of inefficient metabolism, generally not recognized as such but quietly enforced through polluted atmospheres, partially oxidated foodstuffs, general stress on the sympathetic nervous system over-promoting forms of anaerobic activity (all of which furnish the interior environment supportive of negative emotions feeding the closed-loop etc.); carbon dioxide breaks down to carbonic acid in the blood; acid chemically contributes cations or positive ions of hydrogen to the system which, in excess, tip the biochemical scales to catabolic or destructive activity; surplus positive ions have long been associated with negative moods, behaviors, biophysical processes and have been identified with debilitating atmospheres such as that produced by the—hot, dry—“Witch winds” locally labelled “Santa Ana” etc. Surplus positive ions are present at, and often characterize the supportive condition of, pathological sites; they specifically depress the function of the immunology system. In terms of brain chemistry, the production of the neurotransmitter serotonin (as a function of debilitating mood or psychic stress) stimulates releasing factors in the hypothalamus to generate adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) from the pituitary which “turns on” hydrocortisone-chemistry of the adrenal cortex. Hydrocortisone has a depressive effect, in and of itself, on the immunology system; and while indispensable in the processing of carbohydrates, fats and proteins, if kept “on” by sympathetic overstimulation as is the general case with the culture at large, it has the effect of continuously pressing the immunological “off” button.
Thus having “acid for blood” almost literally describes the condition, the virtual “norm” under which humanity is generally functioning without realizing either the existence of such a sub-par state, or its implication.
Acidotic conditions of the bloodstream are immunodepressive (the Swedish radiologist Von Nordenstrom has convincingly identified the existence of a bioelectric circuitry of the bloodstream, closed through the capillary systems and independent of neurocircuitry, which by way of electrolyte processing plays a large role in the immune-functions; negative ion-particles are the targeting mechanisms of the leukocytes, and their efficiency is obviously impeded in an environment of surplus cations). Acidotic conditions are, psychically, associated with depressive, anxious, fearful or negative moods; and chemically they’re associated with inhibited or improper breathing patterns (note: the physiological accompaniment of depressed mood) such as are found in bronchial and pulmonary problems opportunistically associated with HIV etc.
Therefore in examining the curious connection between AIDS and ALIEN, we incidentally cross upon a primary reason for our initial promotion of Power Breathing and its basic unit, the Charger Breath (see next month’s Power Breathing column).
“Everybody Knows Everything”: Jack Kerouac
Lining their descriptive parts in parallel rows, we see that the characteristics of the movie-monster Alien (circa 1979) anticipated the public advent of the AIDS virus in a most uncanny way, and especially if we understand the extraterrestrial genesis of the HIV microbe. We see that Alien is an extraterrestrial stowaway—and so is the HIV virus (the latter “stows away” in the host-cell nucleus, also, and lies dormant for a time just as Alien could “lie low” and then suddenly spring forward, secreting itself in the internal organs or folding itself up under a console panel…). We see that (in the revelations of the sequel Aliens) “the company” back home had secretly programmed its onboard cyborg—not even known to be such, by the crew—to bring the alien specimen back to Earth at any cost, its potential use in biological warfare being coveted by the military and the crew itself being quite expendable; similarly, the “stow-away” bacterium from Mars was identified and deliberately brought Earthward for parallel purposes. The Alien has “acid for blood”, a unique weapon; and HIV uses the very immunology system to sustain and proliferate itself. Both are shapeshifters, changing form to suit the conditions.
Remarkable, then, that a mirror-depiction of the Mars-associated project of the secret government which incidentally brought the HIV virus to functional life, should be presented so blatantly in a Hollywood blockbuster; remarkable, too, that Hollywood once again seems to have successfully anticipated the very viral genesis which isn’t specifically depicted in Recall, even years in advance of its “public debut” at an Alabama clinic, through the blockbuster Alien. We’ve had occasion to note before (cf. the “Qabala Of Star Wars”, issue 2, Aug.-Sept. 1989 TNTC) how creative thinkers and especially writers or artists are naturally sensitive to the archetypal currents flowing through surface events, so that their work often accurately reflects from a subconscious level a larger reality than is generally grasped by normal consciousness; we’ve also had occasion to note how higher forms of (frequently discarnate) consciousness, whether positive or negative in basic alignment, use that subconscious sensitivity of the artist in a more deliberate and precise tailoring of archetypal materials so as to put forward through them, a more specific “message”; and of course we’ve here noted how certain, secret agencies of the perfectly-incarnate type have also enlisted, on a conscious or subconscious basis, the “talents” of the writer and artist to promote a particular impression for public consumption.
Recall, now, that due to the flawed technology of everyday life we missed the first few minutes—largely the opening credits—of Recall. Let’s check it out then, now that it’s available in video, put it on the VCR and see just what we missed.
Why, amazing to relate, we find on catching ourselves up that Total Recall is the work of Ron Shusett, who produced it and co-wrote the screenplay with Dan O’Bannon…who happens to be one of MT’s very favorite s.f. writers. And because he is one of MT’s favorite s.f. writers, it was hard to miss the fact that O’Bannon and Shusett also wrote..Alien.
Boys! You’re batting 1,000!
Next issue: We interview Al Bielek, Betty Andreasson, a too-live crew from Rigel, Col. Wendelle Stevens and more.