Thursday, 21 October 2010

Illuminati & Mercury Rising (1998)

The Meeting of Conspiracy Theory, Hollywood & Real Life NSA Recruitment

In writing the "Globalisation of Hollywood" series of diary entries, I did some research on conspiracy theory on the net. Conspiracy theory maybe a futile ground for the imagination, but the net is the fertile ground for conspiracy theories. Very fertile. You can frittering all your free time away by just exploring the conspiracy theories available on the net.

I like conspiracy theories very much because of how it fires my imagination. But I wouldn't call myself a conspiracy theorist. Most of the time, I just found myself debunking them. Not that conspiracies don't exist. They must! Conspiracies must exist the way there must be lives in another planets because the namesake astronomical size of the universe and the number of planets exist (according to the Drake Equation). But it's another ball game to say that aliens have visited earth simply because there're trillion of lives elsewhere. Conspiracies exist, but they're not anywhere as pervasive as the conspiracy theorists suggest. SETI have pointed their Big Ear radio telescope into space for decades and found only a singular blip of the Wow! signal. Could it possibly be a technical glitch? Maybe not.

Radio telescope at Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico
Small fraction of its viewing time is given to the SETI project

The whole conspiracy theory's investigation enterprise are ruined by very loose and tenuous associations that would be construed as real links. Any kind of correlation is automatically equated with causation. The "Illuminati" Youtube video clip I watched was one such numerous example, where it suggests every organisation with a logo that contains a star or circle or an eye would qualify as links to Illuminati. The mantra "Open your mind" reverberates throughout the clip. Good idea to open our mind, but wouldn't want to open it so wide that it falls out. Don't leave your critical faculty at home especially on an internet joy ride when it's needed the most. One netizen commented that if you type "Illuminati" spells backwards, you will get to THE secret US government website, if you're lucky. Thus constitutes a proof that Illuminati is a secret organisation that has links that tie to the above mentioned secretive US government agency.

I was curious, and so I did just that. I typed this URL into the address bar, and lo and behold, I was redirected to the NSA website. This is the sort of link (both figuratively and technically) that make some wide-eyed conspiracy theorist - an oxymoron - salivates. First off, this NSA website is a public official home page that is opened to all. Sure, it's a 'secretive' government organisation, but the address is no more a secret web address than, say, the official website of CIA, which anyone can reach by typing

So typing the Illuminati backwards isn't the only way to get there. In fact, is an indirect way. So why? The answer is simple, NSA wants to direct people who type this address into their website. Obviously. But why, still? Some of you may have already worked out why. For those who haven't, let me keep you in suspense a while longer before answering that question.

To begin my explanation, you need to watch Mercury Rising (1998) with Bruce Willis, and Miko Hughes.

*** spoiler alert ***

If you haven't, this is going to be spoiler.  You might want to stop reading the rest of this entry and watch the movie first.

In the story, Hughes played a 9 year old autistic boy who has an exceptional gift. A phone number appears in a puzzle book that if anyone solves the puzzle successfully, they should call this number.

An autistic boy solves the puzzle with ease, and innocently calls the number. The number is connected to, you've guessed it, NSA. The next thing you know, NSA sends its 'goons' to erase the kid who knows too much (just as the poster says. The boy is of course, the "someone").

What does he know that's so terrible that NSA would go as far as killing a 9 year old? As it turned out, anyone who can solve this puzzle would be able to crack the supposedly unbreakable code that the NSA takes years to develop. So the kid needs to be silenced to protect the unbreakable code. Whom can an autistic boy tells his "secrets" to when he has a fear of contact with anyone? And what would he tell since he has no clue that he cracks some unbreakable code? These are just 2 big glaring plot holes in the story. Never mind the sloppy writings. The whole thrilled chase starts with the calling of this number. No thrilled chase, no movie. The phone number is thus the key to the whole movie.

This Illuminati backward spelling address serves a similar function as the puzzle book phone number. That is, NSA wants to connect to specific group of people. In the case of the puzzle book phone number, NSA wants to discover who else knows how to break the code. In this case of Illuminati backward spelling web address, NSA wants these people come to their website, take an interest, and may sign up and be recruited as an agent of NSA. Anyone who works out this address has 2 desirable aptitudes,

1. They like conspiracies and secrets.
2. They have the talents to "crack the secret code".

Taken only these 2 criteria, I would be qualified if I'm not too old to be a rookie. Not to mention I'm not a Yank. NSA hopes that those people who got directed to this website would look around and may take an interest in working for NSA. Looks like NSA is in a desperate drive for recruitment. One should expect this after 9/11. More agents are needed while Hollywood aren't helping with their negative portrayal of NSA.

Apart from Mercury Rising, Enemy of the State (1998) is another example, interestingly made in the same year. 1998 isn't a good year for NSA's human resource department. But Hollywood has a way of making movies with similar theme at the same time. I guess after 9/11, Hollywood wouldn't like to paint NSA in such a negative light. NSA is needed to catch the terrorists. Fear of terrorists is now greater than fear of a loss of personal freedom and privacy. Movies like Unthinkable (2010) is now being made instead.

Is this a case of Hollywood cooperating with Uncle Sam? I leave that - conspiracy or not - conclusion to you.

I hope I didn't put a dent in their recruitment effort (not that I get too many page views). Come to think of it, I may have created extra traffic/interests for them. Now please ask the snipers to take their cross-hairs or laser beams away from my head now. Thank you very much. I don't want to walk around in my helmet in public. It mess up my hairs.

Crosshair, set, shoot !

Don't know if NSA gets the idea from Mercury Rising, or the other way round. One can find out who copies whom by looking which comes first - the redirection or the movie (1998). Or it is simply a case of like minds think alike (I doubt it). The idea of reverse spellings is nothing new. In fact, when I type the reverse name of another secret organisation - Bilderberg -, I was redirected to So play with the reverse names of all the 'secret' societies and organisations that are popular among conspiracy theorists like Free Masons, Trilateral Commission, CFR, Round Table, etc, and see how far the rabbit hole goes.

After you've typed that address, assuming if you're dared - next time if you think somebody is following you in a dark alley, it's very well be NSA agent who's coming to get ya! Watch your back, Jack. How do I know your name is "Jack"? Watch your back..................Boo!