Staff Writer, DB HolmesSymbolism / Film Industry
Writer and Historian Robert Sullivan uses his vast knowledge of Masonic rituals and symbols to decode hidden imagery in some of Hollywood’s most successful movies.
He says he began to closely look Masonic symbols and themes appearing in films during 2003-2004. While working on his book Cinema Symbolism, he discovered many hidden themes and imagery that kept appearing in blockbuster films including The Exorcist, Back to the Future and The Matrix.
“If you pay attention to The Da Vinci Code, you’ll notice the number 13 popping up all over the place – and this is deliberate in my opinion,” he said about the movie based on the Dan Brown bestseller. “And it ties into again this Royal Arch of Enoch ceremonial or ritual – the restoration of Antediluvian Wisdom.”
Sullivan says there are reasons the symbols are placed in film, such as advancing certain necessary plot objectives.
“You’ll find this in The Da Vinci Code, wherever a clue is needed, or knowledge is needed the number 13 pops up on screen. You’ll find this paralleled precisely in National Treasure 2, when they need information about the secret book – the president’s secret book.”
He also reveals some of his conclusions about the many hidden symbols discovered in the 1985 sci-fi film Back to the Future.
“You have the concept of the Egyptian solar family being retold and you have a lot of solar iconography,” he said. “You really have a whole Egyptian retelling of the Assyrian Cycle, with the solar family. George McFly being sort of this Assyrian sun god. The family lives at Lion Estate, which is Leo the Lion, the sole house of the sun. Then you’ve got Isis – his wife Lorraine.”
Sullivan addresses one of America’s most iconic motion pictures, The Wizard of Oz, which he says contains three levels of symbolism going on. He says he views the film’s themes as a political allegory. “That the Wizard of Oz is an allegory – politically, from 1895 to 1905 – of the United States of America.”
It is pointed out that the author of the children’s book (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz) the movie is based on, L. Frank Balm, dabbled in a mystical organization headed by Russian philosopher and occultist Madame Blavatsky. “It’s essentially neo-gnosticism, for lack of a better term.”
When asked whether the symbols seen in film and literature are intentionally placed or just occur by chance, or through the collective unconscious, Sullivan said he believes in most cases, they are intentionally placed. “I believe these movie makers are masters with this stuff. I agree with you that a lot of them are very well-versed in arcane mythology.
“In the heart of the movie making industry, we have Manly Palmer Hall’s Philosophical Research Society literally a stone’s throw from Burbank – the heart of the Hollywood movie making machine, and television making machine – because you’ll find some of this in TV shows as well,” he said.
Watch the full interview for more on Masonic symbolism in society and to hear Sullivan explain his book The Royal Arch of Enoch – an extensive look at all aspects of Freemasonry.