War of the Worlds, Orson Welles
The wake up call came on hallows eve on the night of October 1938 when a brilliant young amateur by the name of Orson Welles tapped into the subconscious fears of a nation and convinced thousands of people (perhaps many more) that Martians were invading the United States.
Incredibly, the cause of this mayhem was a dramatic presentation of The War Of The Worlds, a seminal novel written 40 years previously by H. G. Wells. So how and why did this all happen?
And The Invasion from Mars
This article appeared in the New York Times on Oct. 31, 1938.
A wave of mass hysteria seized thousands of radio listeners between 8:15 and 9:30 o'clock last night when a broadcast of a dramatization of H. G. Wells's fantasy.
"The War of the Worlds," led thousands to believe that an interplanetary conflict had started with invading Martians spreading wide death and destruction in New Jersey and New York.
The ability to confuse audiences en masses, may have first become obvious as a result of one of the most infamous mistakes in history.
It happened the day before Halloween, on Oct. 30, 1938, when millions of Americans tuned in to a popular radio program that featured plays directed by, and often starring, Orson Welles.
The performance that evening was an adaptation of the science fiction novel The War of the Worlds, about a Martian invasion of the earth.
But in adapting the book for a radio play, Welles made an important change: under his direction the play was written and performed so it would sound like a news broadcast about an invasion from Mars, a technique that, presumably, was intended to heighten the dramatic effect.
As the play unfolded, dance music was interrupted a number of times by fake news bulletins reporting that a "huge flaming object" had dropped on a farm near Grovers Mill, New Jersey.
As members of the audience sat on the edge of their collective seat, actors playing news announcers, officials and other roles one would expect to hear in a news report, described the landing of an invasion force from Mars and the destruction of the United States.
The broadcast also contained a number of explanations that it was all a radio play, but if members of the audience missed a brief explanation at the beginning, the next one didn't arrive until 40 minutes into the program.
At one point in the broadcast, an actor in a studio, playing a newscaster in the field, described the emergence of one of the aliens from its spacecraft. "
Good heavens, somethings wriggling out of the shadow like a gray snake," he said, in an appropriately dramatic tone of voice. "Now it's another one, and another.
They look like tentacles to me. There, I can see the thing's body. It's large as a bear and it glistens like wet leather. But that face. It is indescribable. I can hardly force myself to keep looking at it. The eyes are black and gleam like a serpent.
The mouth is V-shaped with saliva dripping from its rimless lips that seem to quiver and pulsate. The thing is raising up. The crowd falls back. They've seen enough. This is the most extraordinary experience.
I can't find words. I'm pulling this microphone with me as I talk. I'll have to stop the description until I've taken a new position. Hold on, will you please, I'll be back in a minute."
As they listened to this simulation of a news broadcast, created with voice acting and sound effects, a portion of the audience concluded that it was hearing an actual news account of an invasion from Mars.
People packed the roads, hid in cellars, loaded guns, even wrapped their heads in wet towels as protection from Martian poison gas, in an attempt to defend themselves against aliens, panic ensued, with people fleeing the area, and others thinking they could smell the poison gas or could see the flashes of the fighting in the distance.
oblivious to the fact that they were acting out the role of the panic-stricken public that actually belonged in a radio play. Not unlike Stanislaw Lem's deluded populace, people were stuck in a kind of virtual world in which fiction was confused for fact.
News bulletins and scene broadcasts followed, reporting, with the technique in which the radio had reported actual events, the landing of a "meteor" near Princeton N. J. killing 1,500 persons, the discovery that the "meteor" was a metal cylinder containing strange creatures from Mars armed with death rays to open hostilities against the inhabitants of the earth.
Despite the fantastic nature of the reported occurrences, the program, coming after the recent war scare in Europe and a period in which the radio frequently had interrupted regularly scheduled programs to report developments in the Czechoslovak situation, caused fright and panic throughout the area of the broadcast.
News of the panic (which was conveyed via genuine news reports) quickly generated a national scandal. There were calls, which never went anywhere, for government regulations of broadcasting to ensure that a similar incident wouldn't happen again.
The victims were also subjected to ridicule, a reaction that can commonly be found, today, when people are taken in by simulations. A cartoon in the New York World-Telegram,
for example, portrayed a character who confuses the simulations of the entertainment industry with reality. In one box, the character is shown trying to stick his hand into the radio to shake hands with Amos n' Andy.
In another, he reports to a police officer that there is "Black magic!!! There's a little wooden man Charlie McCarthy and he's actually talking!"
In a prescient column, in the New York Tribune, Dorothy Thompson foresaw that the broadcast revealed the way politicians could use the power of mass communications to create theatrical illusions, to manipulate the public.
"All unwittingly, Mr. Orson Welles and the Mercury Theater of the Air have made one of the most fascinating and important demonstrations of all time," she wrote.
"They have proved that a few effective voices, accompanied by sound effects, can convince masses of people of a totally unreasonable, completely fantastic proposition as to create a nation-wide panic.
"They have demonstrated more potently than any argument, demonstrated beyond a question of a doubt, the appalling dangers and enormous effectiveness of popular and theatrical demagoguery.
"Hitler managed to scare all of Europe to its knees a month ago, but he at least had an army and an air force to back up his shrieking words.
"But Mr. Welles scared thousands into demoralization with nothing at all."
In the 1950s, America had another taste of the power that simulations have, to draw people into a world of delusional fantasy, when paired with mass communications.
This time it was revealed that a number of television game shows were simulations, in which contestants who knew the answers ahead of time were pretending to guess at their responses.
But unlike the invasion from Mars, here the fakery was unambiguously intentional; it was the work of producers who had concluded they could create fictional game shows that would be more exciting than the real thing.
Once again, there was a shocked reaction from the public. Once again, those involved became objects of public anger.
And, as happened with the Orson Welles broadcast, an effort was made to ensure that such manipulations wouldn't recur.
But in 1990, it happened again. Audiences around the world discovered that they were taken in by the ultimate Hollywood illusion in which two performers faked their own talent, lip-syncing, to create the impression they were singing.
What millions of fans had believed were two talented singers was actually a composite, another seamless interweaving of sensory simulations in which two people provided the visuals, while vocalists provided the audio.
As in the previous two instances, there was a stunned response. But unlike the experience of 1938 or even the 1950s, the social context was different because simulations had become commonplace, and attempts to use them to trick the public were the rule rather than the exception.
Also by this time, a global culture had developed, which meant that tens of millions of people around the world were drawn into the same illusion.
One might say that War of the Worlds and the game show scandal foreshadowed the age of simulation that was still to come.
Allowing for a little poetic overstatement, the Milli Vanilli scandal served as a rite of passage or symbolic marker, making clear that we now live in an age of simulation confusion in which our tendency to mistake fakes for what they imitate has become one of the characteristic problems of the age.
More to the point, we live in a time in which the ability to create deceptive simulations, especially for television, has become essential to the exercise of power. And the inability to see through these deceptions has become a form of powerlessness.
Those who let themselves be taken in by the multiple deceptions of politics, news, advertising and public relations, are doomed, like the more gullible members of the radio audience in 1938, to play a role in other people's dramas, while mistakenly believing that they are reacting to something genuine.
When Mr. wells aired the program, he had no intention of harming anyone or scaring people out of their wits, but because people didn't tune in at the RIGHT time, they missed the part when he said it was just a halloween scary story, not to be taken LITERALLY.
It was announced at the beginning of the show and then every 40 minutes thereafter, until the end, when it was repeated that it was simply a play, which came again at the end of the show.
By this time there was no one left to listen to his words, they were already in their cars jamming freeways, calling friends and relatives, gathering up food an water, loading shotguns and hunkering down for the impending doom.
So get a copy of the broadcast, dim the lights, gather your loved ones around you and prepare to be transported back to October 1938, not to a simpler era, for life was every bit as complex and uncertain as it is today, but to time when people were ready to believe that what they heard from a trusted source was the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
We interrupt this program to bring you the TV evangelists, and the religious institutions of the earth.
Does Religion strike fear into peoples hearts today, just as Mr. wells radio show did in 1938?
So dim the lights, gather round and be prepared to be transported to a different time, a time when Mythologies were the order of the day.
Religion is not unlike Mr. wells mythical radio show that literally scared thousands of people who were tuned in that hallows eve in 1938.
Today if you tune your TV set to any of the religious broadcasting networks such as Tbn, Abn, the 700 club, or any of the hundreds of such broadcasts. What do you hear?
People who call themselves preachers, deacons, pastors and priests all proclaiming that everything you read in the bible is TRUE and that there is an pending doom looming in the future for those who are not prepared, and that if anyone receives a mark on their foreheads or their hands they will go to hell.
They teach that all those that come to christ will be saved, and his chosen sheep will fly to heaven and abide with him.
They say that a beast with SEVEN heads and TEN horns will come out of the SEA, and that a THIRD of the stars will fall to EARTH. That's zillions of SUNS, falling to earth? No, NOT LITERALLY as Mr. Welles said.
But most of the people were not tuned in, at the time he said this is NOT LITERAL.
Just as the people of the earth were not tuned in, when the very bible they carry under their arms, says the letter (LITERAL) killeth. Don't be a minister of the LETTER (Literal), But they didn't hear it.
When you Listen to the so called religious ones, you will here the same message that scared all those people in 1938.
And it’s FALSE, because it’s MYTHOLOGY!!!! It never happened. But it does happen WITHIN you.
You See? I told you, you weren't tuned in. The frequency is 4.555 mgz.
THE BIBLE AS SYMBOL
Our first order of business in this quest is to see if we can justify considering the Bible as symbolic rather then literal. We must use the Bible itself.
1.2 Corinthians 3:6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. So here is the Bible itself telling us not to take it literally.
God hath made us able ministers of the New Testament, not of the letter, but of the spirit; for the letter (literal interpretation) killeth, but the spirit (allegorical or symbolic interpretation) giveth life. (II Cor. 3.6)
We use great plainness of speech. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost (materialistic). (II Cor. 4.3)
If our earthly house of this tabernacle (the physical body) were dissolved we have a building of God (the astral and mental bodies) a house not made with hands (but constructed by the angelic builders) eternal (the causal body) in the heavens (the superphysical planes). (II Cor. 5.1)
Awake thou that sleepest and arise from the dead (the physical plane) and Christ shall give thee light. (Eph.5.14)
WE HAVE BEEN TAUGHT THAT THE BIBLE IS THE LITERAL WORD OF GOD. But it is all mythology, it’s all symbolic, but you have to understand the meaning of the mythology, in order to grasp what the bible is saying.
2. Galatians 4:24 Which things are an allegory: the definition of a myth includes the term allegory. Here again the Bible tells us it is symbolic.
3. Matthew 13:34 All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them: The Bible is saying that all of Jesus statements were symbolic.
4. Mark 4:11 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:
5. Psalm 78:2 I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old: Here the Bible states that GOD speaks in parables . And what are dark sayings of old. Obviously they are symbolic statements.
6. In the Book of Proverbs describes wisdom. It explains how one becomes wise. Proverbs 1:6 To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings. Dark sayings is mythology
7. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 2 cor.4:3
8. But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. 2 cor. 3:14
9. We should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter." (Romans 7:6)
10. Then said I, Ah Lord GOD! they say of me, Doth he not speak in parables? EZ:20 Here God speaks in parables
11. 1Cr 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, [even] the hidden [wisdom], which God ordained before the world unto our glory. Here it says god ordained the hidden wisdom, even before the world
12. Eze. 17:2 Son of man, put forth a riddle, and speak a parable unto the house of Israel. God orders riddles
13. Jdg.14:19 And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he went down to Ashkelon, and slew thirty men of them, and took their spoil, and gave change of garments unto them which expounded the riddle. And his anger was kindled, and he went up to his father's house. Here it says god was pleased when they cracked the riddle, and rewarded them.
14. Proverbs 25:2 It is the glory of GOD to conceal a thing: but honor of kings is to search out a matter. And here its Gods honor to conceal things, and make you figure it out.
15. 2Cor.4:3,4 "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them."
16. Isaiah 9,10 And he said, Go and tell this people, hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes
17. Col 1:26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints.
18. JOB 27:11 I will teach you by the hand of God: that which is with the Almighty will I not conceal.
19. MAT 11:25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.
20. psalm 89 might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world."
21. Proverbs 1:6 To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.
22. 1 cor 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
23. IS. 48:6 Thou hast heard, see all this; and will not ye declare it? I have shewed thee new things from this time, even hidden things, and thou didst not know them.
24. Eziekel 3:5 For thou art not sent to a people of a strange speech and of an hard language, but to the house of Israel;
25. exodus 4:11 And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?
26. exodus 4:12 Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.
27. "You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God." (Jesus Christ, The Holy Bible: Matthew 22:29)
28. Hebrews 5:13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. 5:14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Here God is saying that his word is like milk to you, as a babe must drink milk before it can eat solid food. God is saying his word is for the the one who is ready for meat, in other words, when one is ready for the deeper meaning, this is the meat, for the one full of age (wisdom). Reading Gods word literally is MILK, it is for the unskillful, and they will not understand.
Here the fact that this is all consciousness is made clear. It says to know the mystery of the Kingdom of God. Where is the Kingdom of God ? . (Luke 17:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.)
The statement concludes by saying that "unto them that are without". Outside of the meditative state. Outside of the inner realm of consciousness where exists the Kingdom of God..
Here we see that God speaks in mysteries, riddles and parables, He puts riddles in peoples mouths, he shuts their eyes and ears, he sends strange and hard speeches, he sends dark sayings, and that is Gods glory that he conceal a thing, he imparts secret wisdom and make you and I search it. His word is as milk to the unskillful, without age (reason).
There's no doubt that the bible is showing you that, you can't read it at face value, you have to look for the deeper meaning, the secret wisdom, the dark sayings, the hidden and so forth.
The problem with christianity as a whole, including all the pastors and TV evangelist pay no attention to these verses and read and teach the bible literally, which is an abomination unto god.
His word is mysterious and wants you to search it out, the truth is not given to the vain, to the once a week jesus mercenary.
There's no doubt is there, about what is being said here, the Bible was written in a certain metaphorical, symbolic language of old, which is mythology.
ITS ALL A MYTH
Now stay tuned into the proper frequency next time.