The hierarchy of influence:
Artists, labels, company owners, international councils and secret societies, the powers of darkness
One might ask whether all the darkness witnessed in the music industry today can be attributed to the artists themselves or whether there is a hierarchy of influence which leads to the overwhelming promotion of negative values. Let’s take a closer look.
It may seem like pretty much all artists nowadays are interested in the dark side of the occult, but is this really the case? Why are we bombarded repeatedly by the same songs by the same artists that seem to be pushing the same agenda? Are we witnessing a phenomena where artists who do obviously have an interest to varying degrees in the occult are promoted and lauded throughout society while those who want their morals to remain intact are overlooked and discarded?
What we don’t often see are the stars who speak out about the industry. Those that do are often ostracised, ridiculed or worse.
When grammy award singer Lauren Hill spoke out about oppression in the music industry a judge ordered her to undergo counselling for her “conspiracy theories”.
When Michael Jackson – who held a deep interest in the occult – died prematurely many drew the conclusion that he had not died by accident, and that his death was seen as necessary as he was beginning to expose what was really going on in the industry. Of some coincidence, Michael Jackson’s doctor Conrad Murray, who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter as a result of Michael Jackson’s fatal drug overdose, was a Freemason. He only served 2 years of a 4 year sentence.
Not too long ago Ke$ha publicly stated that she was forced to sing Die Young, which displayed a lot of occult symbolism in the music video.
Recording artist Nicole Scherzinger said in an interview with The Independent:
“This is such a tough industry, you know. To make it, you really have to sell your soul to the devil”. Source
When asked if she had sold her soul she replied:
“No, I haven’t. That’s probably why I haven’t quite reached the top of my mountain. I mean, where’s my Tony Award, my Grammy, my Oscar? Why don’t I have any of those things yet?” Ibid
Many other stars have made very revealing statements about the industry:
“Man! I really wish I could tell you guys what the industry really is and what stars are apart of destroying this world. The stars who worship satan,and those who have killed to get the respect they have now. You’d be verrrry surprise. Some of your favorite people pretend to worship God but they only do that to save face. Or seem innocent.
Satan was head of music in heaven. He uses influential people…to help influence the world. Think about that. Once u make a certain amount of money. Just know that that’s when they ask u to join. To get in you have accept the beast, worship. Once you join they assist u with ur career.make u huge.only if u agree and obey to destroy Gods word.and his children.
Ppl listen and pay attention. Its a war going on right now between Good and Evil. Evil will rule this world for a min. The people that have this power are the people that RULE the whole world. I’m done I won’t say anymore before I get in trouble”.
– Singer Tiffany Evans Source
“I think there’s a very dark and very sinister part of the entertainment business and I think it’s very visible … This is something that a lot of people don’t look at … there is a [time as an artist] where there’s going to be a choice … With God and the industry, it’s really dark. The dark side is having to get in, there’s a certain submission you need to have. Just like a gang [initiation], so to speak. You might have to do something against your moral code. I’m not saying that it’s always this way, but when you’re someone that is young and you’re coming up in the industry and you really don’t have a grip on your morals it can be very dark.”
– R&B singer Omarion Source
“There’s forces that are going on that I don’t think a lot of m***********s that make music today are aware of,” he says. “It’s deep. I’ve felt it. I’ve felt other forces puling at me … This is a very powerful medium that we are involved in … I learned at an early age that what we were doing in the choir was just as important as the preacher. It was a ministry in itself. We could stir the pot, you know? The stage is our pulpit, and you can use all of the energy and that music and the lights and the colors and the sound. But you know, you’ve got to be careful.”
– R&B singer D’Angelo Source
It is clear that many artists have an interest to some degree in the occult. Ke$ha has an eye tattooed on her hand, wears upside down pentagrams in her fashion choices (assuming they are her fashion choices) and has costumes inspired by the “all-seeing third eye”. Katy Perry participated in some spell casting at the Salem Witch Walk and has joked about wanting to join the Illuminati. Lady Gaga, beyond everything already discussed in part one and two of this series, talked about swearing to Lucifer live in an interview on the Jimmy Kimmel show. Jay Z owns a clothing company called “Roc-A-Wear” that use many occult symbols in their designs.
The music industry appears to support and promote artists like this with an interest in the dark side of the occult who are willing to support and promote darkness in their work. What might artists get for promoting the values of darkness? Fame, riches, influence, airtime? The MTV poster shown above may give us some indication both of the source and outcome of promoting dark agendas.
Whilst coming from a religious perspective, this quote from a letter to URB magazine by rapper Prodigy may also indicate why some artists might be willing to support a dark agenda:
“(Jay-Z) J.Z. knows the truth, but he chose sides with evil in order to be accepted in the corporate world. (Jay-Z) J.Z. conceals the truth from the black community and the world, and promotes the lifestyle of the beast instead” Source
Taken in isolation, are the artists themselves influential enough to immerse our culture in darkness? Not without others pulling strings and making decisions behind the scenes it seems.
Producers, Directors, Stylists, Choreographers
Just as artists who seem drawn to the dark side are promoted, many of the most in-demand producers, directors, stylists and choreographers also have a recurring theme of dark occult symbolism in the work they produce. Which makes one wonder what came first, whether they are in demand because they’re happy to support the cause of darkness, or if the darkness itself is the reason why they are in demand in the first place?
Let’s look at a few examples to see how deep this goes.
Jonas and Bea Akerlund
Jonas and Bea Akerlund, who have worked as music clip director and stylist respectively with many artists who use dark references – including Lady Gaga, Madonna, Rihanna and more – appear to be practising Satanists. Jonas’ website contains upside-down pentagrams and the loading image is the head of a demonic looking goat akin to the symbol of baphomet – a symbol now synonymous with evil. His previous band Bathory – who’s name was inspired by an infamous serial killer countess, and who used the goat’s head as their logo – sang about having a place reserved in hell and being in conspiracy with Satan. Jonas’s wife Bea is the stylist behind the dark costumes used by many popular stars including the widely critiqued “Baphomet” costume of Madonna at the 2012 Superbowl. Most recently Bea styled Madonna’s costume worn at the rather demonic 2015 Grammy performance.
Hannah Lux Davis
Up and coming female director Hannah Lux Davis also appears to have a intense interest in the occult. She directed the video clip Love Me for Lil Wayne, which includes subliminal images of Lil Wayne as a demon, and even includes a subliminal shot of a demon shaped head in a lighter flame (remember what we said before about the impact of negative subliminal messaging?).
She also directed Cher Lloyd’s With Ur Love, a video clip about women bewitching men and the use of magic to create a golem (an animated model, usually made from clay), an inclusion that indicates more than a passing interest in magic (interestingly look at the hand sign that Cher Lloyd makes when singing she is on top of the world). Davis was also responsible for directing the video for Super Turnt Up where Ciara is dressed in boots and a cloak adorned with the references to the Golden Dawn mentioned above.
Darren Craig – Uprising Creative
Ke$ha is another star well known for overloading her videos and performances with occult symbolism including the all-seeing eye, inverted crosses and inverted pentagrams, often hidden or displayed in a subliminal way. Could it be that Darren Craig, the co-director of her video for Die Young is the influence behind a lot of that symbolism?
It is rumoured that Ke$ha had a relationship with Darren Craig, a point that becomes important when we begin to look at Craig’s occult interests and the possible effects that may have had on Ke$ha if they shared a close connection. Craig works for a company called Uprising Creative. Their official website displays the number of the beast, and says that 27 indentured servants work for them (and that they are out of their minds). This is a screenshot from their homepage. Who are they indentured to?
The company’s CEO appeared in a picture on facebook wearing a baphomet-style goat mask, and the company has produced a line of shoes known as “hooves” complete with inverted pentagrams. The shoes come in three styles: “The Beast”, “White Witch” and “The Black Soul”.
On Twitter, Craig refers to images of his children as “demon spawn” and “demon seed” and made the following tweet about a video that repeats over and over “I want to kill everyone, Satan is good, Satan is my pal”.
Beyond Ke$ha’s Die Young video, Uprising Creative have also worked with Snoop Dogg who claimed in his autobiography to have agreed to sell his soul to the devil in exchange for fame and riches, and groups like the Black Eyed Peas who promote a lot of “Illuminati” symbolism in their work.
Chris Applebaum, the other co-director for Ke$ha’s Die Young video – who interestingly withdrew his name from the credits (so people couldn’t connect his work there with other dark videos?) – also directed Rhianna’s Umbrella video clip which includes digitally-altered demonic subliminal messages. The lyrics refer to a “Rain Man”: an entity referenced by many artists in a way which makes it seem they see him as some form of demon. The two altered images are of a baphomet style head in a water formation, and – if you look closely – in the shape of a demon’s head made from Rihanna’s body position (which is anatomically impossible) when she is inside a huge pyramid. This image was also displayed on her website. Alterations like this are a strong reminder that nothing we see in video clips is accidental – it has all been filmed, altered and edited to a precise degree to convey a particular message.
Steven Klein and Nathan Crowley
As well as Jonas Akerlund, Lady Gaga has worked with some other interesting figures. Her video clip for Alejandro was directed by photographer Steven Klein. It contains many inverted symbols and was considered by many to be blasphemous.
In response to criticism about the dark nature of the clip, Klein stated:
“The religious symbolism is not meant to denote anything negative, but represents the character’s battle between the dark forces of this world and the spiritual salvation of the Soul,” Klein wrote. “Thus at the end of the film, she chooses to be a nun, and the reason her mouth and eyes disappear is because she is withdrawing her senses from the world of evil and going inward towards prayer and contemplation.”
Klein added that the scene in which Gaga ingests the rosary beads is meant to represent “the desire to take in the holy.” Source
Is it possible that Klein – who not too long ago, photographed model Kate Moss depicted both as a demonic nun and baphomet – is trying to gloss over the truth to protect his public persona?
Klein has also worked with Madonna on her Re-invention world tour – which was initially going to be called the Whore of Babylon tour – and directed a promotional commercial for Lady Gaga’s “Fame” perfume which has horror movie tones and included the work of production stylist Nathan Crowley who is related by blood to Aleister Crowley.
Ceremonies and Performances
Next to video clips possibly the most public promotion of dark values in music is through award ceremonies such as the Grammys, the MTV VMAs and the Superbowl half time show.
In recent years at the MTV VMAs we have seen Lady Gaga appear in an act that has been interpreted as a blood sacrifice and Pink re-enact a masonic ritual. At the Grammy’s we have witnessed the possession and exorcism of Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry burnt at the stake as a Knights Templar in a ritual watched over by four huge demons, and most recently Madonna’s 2015 performance of “Living for Love” where, dressed in black and red (colours often associated with the forces of darkness), she dances surrounded by dancers with devil horns. What do Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj and Katy Perry have in common? Laurieann Gibson.
Gibson worked to realise the vision of the Grammy performances of Minaj and Perry in choreography and creative direction. She has also worked with Lady Gaga as choreographer, creative director and video clip director, in her own words modelling Gaga’s image after Madonna – who’s work has been known to reference the “Illuminati”. Gibson worked with Gaga since she was signed to Interscope Records in 2007, a brand that as we’ll see has the highest concentration of acts promoting dark values.
Here’s what Gibson had to say about Nicki Minaj’s Grammy performance:
“For me, it was about the theatrical aspect of being able to create something like that. It’s about always inspiring people and extract that negative from them and believe in what they can do and empower themselves in a positive way and not be afraid to look at those things that are evil.” Source
Despite describing it as a fight between good and evil, and saying there was nothing negative in the performance or mocking religion, the Catholic Church disagrees.
In another interview with Rolling Stone she said:
“A choreographer deals with the movement that you create,” Gibson explains, “and with a creative director it’s about the story, the stage, the lighting, the costuming, executing someone’s idea, choosing how far to go or how little to go, and blending it so that you feel it, you’re emotionally effected.”
Asked if she feels she is molding the pop stars she works with, Gibson says, “Molding them from a place of love and wanting to see their dreams come true. With Lady Gaga I really stretched myself as a creative director, and because I was with this artist from before she got signed I was able to really take control of the opportunity and execute as a creative director.” Source
One wonders what dreams (nightmares?) she is helping to come true for pop stars.
Interestingly Gibson, who co-directed Gaga’s music video for her song “Judas”, once said in an interview that “she almost walked away from co-directing the music video because of its heavy use of religious themes.
‘I was like, “Listen, I don’t want lightning to strike me!’ ” Gibson told the Hollywood Reporter.” Source
Gibson played a pivotal role in Gaga’s Monsters Ball tour where Gaga’s backup dancers wore all seeing eye symbols and Gaga deliberately made the hand sign of the beast. She has collaborated on videos that include negative symbolism such as Lady Gaga’s Telephone and Alejandro, providing choreography and creative input despite professing to be Catholic.
Is her quote above another example of an industry figure trying to protect their reputation while at the same time helping to fill the world with darkness?
It’s important not to look at the performances of artists in these types of ceremonies in isolation, but to look at the overall trend and direction in these shows.
A clear example is the most recent Grammy awards which appeared to be dedicated to all things dark. They opened with AC/DC playing Highway to Hell, while the audience wore glowing devil horns that had been handed out. At one point during Madonna’s performance two huge demon looking figures were projected behind her, looking down over the performance and audience, a scene reminiscent of the four huge demons watching over Katy Perry’s performance last year. (Two years prior to this performance Katy Perry warned that her music was “about to get real f****** dark.”). But there are also many other examples such as Jack Black’s prayer to the dark lord Satan at the 2012 MTV VMAs for the continued success of the artists in attendance.
It is obvious that a lot of careful planning has gone into the production of these shows and that they are darkly inspired. Award ceremonies and other mainstream performances are a powerful medium to promote the message of darkness to millions of unsuspecting viewers who probably see it as nothing more than a night’s “fun” entertainment.