[Editor’s Note: This is the second part of a series of articles on this subject from David Gardner, who contributes to ConsciousReporter.com. Subscribe to their newsletter to be alerted when future parts in the series are published. Read part I here.]
It’s no secret that the music industry has a huge impact on the direction of our culture. When the industry’s biggest stars are “obsessed” with the macabre, and their performances and music videos promote evil acts, demon possession and darkness, what kind of culture will be created? Will spiritual values survive in a world where darkness is increasingly embraced and glorified?
“Music directly represents the passions of the soul. If one listens to the wrong kind of music, he will become the wrong kind of person.” ~Aristotle
The first article in this series investigated the huge amount of dark esoteric symbols being promoted in the music industry. This article explores how references to darkness in popular music extend well beyond the use of symbols, creating a culture where the forces of evil are celebrated and practically worshipped by proxy throughout the world.
Music makes up a huge part of our lives. We listen in our spare time, to entertain us while we’re going to work, to motivate us – we might even have songs from our favourite artists stuck in our head all day long! Popular musicians undeniably hold a powerful position in our lives, having a big impact over the direction of our thoughts, emotions and actions. For many people they are life’s biggest role models.
There have been numerous scientific studies that show how we as a species are prone to imitating and conforming to the requests of powerful people and how easily we go along with social norms. Recently there has been much concern about the effect celebrities have on the values of adolescents who often mimic adult behaviours they witness in the media without fully understanding their consequences.
Collectively the videos of popular artists have billions of views on YouTube, and vast numbers of fans buy albums and visit concerts every year. That’s a lot of influence to have on the impressionable minds of future generations.
“Celebrity worship now provides an important reference point for growing up. It’s part of the transfer of attachment from parents to peer group. Also, whereas in past times family, friends and teachers were influential role models, celebrities now fulfill that role.” – John Maltby, co-author of a study on the attitudes of youth towards celebrities Source
When we start to look deeper into the popular music industry we can begin to see an undercurrent opposed to the values of spirituality and inner development, in which popular artists in their own words are “fascinated” and “obsessed” with things of darkness. This then spreads throughout society due to their influence.
Are we seeing the beginning of a new social norm at the expense of the values required to awaken spiritually?
Promoting acts of evil
Black magic appeals to the mass mind. It appeals to the principles of our civilization. It offers something for nothing.
– Manly P Hall, Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics
Beyond glorifying excessive materialism, substance abuse, eating disorders, murder and sexual violence – often to cheers from the audience – many popular artists promote shocking acts with links to dark occultism.
Take for instance Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All – a young and heavily promoted rap outfit who have been described as “giddily nihilistic” (nihilism is a belief that life holds no meaning and therefore all moral principles are rejected) and whose album artwork, video clips and performances are packed with references to evil.
Odd Future frequently reference and seem to idolise serial killers, including lyrical references to Jeffrey Dahmer and David Berkowitz (Son of Sam), and song titles referencing Richard Ramirez (and his nickname “Night Stalker”) and Albert Fish. Their covers for album Goblin (a type of evil demon or monster) depict occultist Buffalo Bill, and Tyler the Creator with upside down crucifix and with the black eyes of a demon, both covers alluding to their familiarity with the occult.
Odd Future are not the only ones to reference serial killers.
Jeffrey Dahmer is referenced in songs by Ke$ha (Cannibal), Katy Perry (Dark Horse), Lil Wayne (Eat You Alive), Eminem (Must be the Ganja) and many others with artists either referencing or comparing themselves in some way to the killer. It’s such a common trend that Jeffrey Dahmer has been labelled rap’s favourite serial killer.
Marilyn Manson who is signed to Interscope records along with Lady Gaga and many mainstream musicians was so taken by serial killer Charles Manson that he adopted his surname as part of his public persona, the first part coming from the actress Marilyn Monroe. His band members followed suit, taking their stage names from a combination of the names of Hollywood stars and serial killers.
“I want to make a point of saying that many Charles Manson references are our references to his strange-yet-genius gray matter….. I’m bringing his strange thinking into the real world. And sometimes it’s neither a tribute nor a criticism; it’s just putting it back where it belongs.”– Marilyn Manson (aka Brian Warner) Source
The line up for album Antichrist Superstar included band members who took their last names from David Berkowitz and Richard Ramirez.
While many would think it’s bad enough that anyone promote acts such as mass murder, rape, dismemberment, necrophilia and cannibalism, there is an even darker side to these acts not commonly known about.
Jeffrey Dahmer’s father, when interviewed by Larry King said that his son had set up a satanic alter in their house and had dabbled in the occult. Jeffrey himself thought he would gain a supernatural edge socially and financially by building an alter from his victims body parts and would have began using occult rituals in his crimes if he had not been arrested.
He identified with the total dark power of the emperor in the Return of the Jedi and “became enamored, overwhelmed, caught up in the character in the (horror movie) ‘Exorcist III.’ The character was Satan because he was the personification of evil,”. Source During his arrest Jeffrey screamed at a police officer that he had supernatural powers and that he would eat his heart.
“I have to question whether or not there is an evil force in the world and whether or not I have been influenced by it.”
“Am I just an extremely evil person or is it some kind of satanic influence, or what? I have no idea. I have no idea at all. Do you? Is it possible to be influenced by spirit beings? I know that sounds like an easy way to cop out and say that I couldn’t help myself, but from all that the Bible says, there are forces that have a direct or indirect influence on people’s behavior. The Bible calls him Satan. I suppose it’s possible because it sure seems like some of the thoughts aren’t my own, they just come blasting into my head… These thoughts are very powerful, very destructive, and they do not leave. They’re not the kind of thoughts that you can just shake your head and they’re gone. They do not leave.”
Jeffrey Dahmer – Source
David Berkowitz, the “Son of Sam” initially claimed to have murdered his victims because he was commanded to by an ancient demon that was possessing his next door neighbour’s dog. Berkowitz said he had tried to kill the dog but couldn’t because the demon possessing it was too powerful. Later he amended his claim, testifying that he had been part of a Satanic group and his killings were organised ritual murders. While these claims are disputed, he is said to have worshipped Satan and been obsessed with the occult prior to his murders. Source
There are possible ties between the Son of Sam murders and the song Yonkers by Tyler the Creator. In Yonkers an “evil voice inside his head” contradicts everything Tyler says and eventually leads to his suicide. Yonkers was the town in which Berkowitz committed his crimes.
Richard Ramirez, known also as the “Night Stalker” left upside down pentagrams on his victims. His trial was attended by black clad Satanists to whom he made the “devil” hand sign. He “claimed to be a “minion” of the Dark One” Source when he was arrested. After being convicted in court he only had one word to offer: “Evil”.
Charles Manson is possibly the most well known of recent serial killers and has come to be synonymous with evil. He boasted that he had killed 35 people and was convicted for ordering the ritualistic murder of seven people, including Sharon Tate – the wife of Roman Polanski – and her unborn baby.
Charles “Tex” Watson, a follower of Manson told one of his victims:
‘I am the Devil and I am here to do the Devil’s business.’
Months later at the trial, Manson’s “disciples” were said to have been utterly under his power. Source
Manson was quoted as saying:
“Jesus Christ is for real and so is that other guy [Satan]” Source
Manson, Berkowitz and Ramirez all have links to Anton LaVey (the founder of the Church of Satan) and satanism.
Recently there have been references to Hitler’s totalitarian Nazi regime that were only thinly-veiled. Hitler is said to have had a great interest in the dark side of occultism. Initially elected, the Nazi regime converted Germany into a repressive police state dictatorship. It was responsible for the deaths of millions of people. In Nicki Minaj’s recent video Only her peers in rap outfit Young Money appear to take the place of dictators in scenes very reminiscent of Nazi Germany (the inane lyrics actually have nothing to do with this). As she sits on a throne dressed in black before a militarised police force she is flanked on either side by faceless figures in hooded black robes. Are these figures a possible reference to a dark hidden influence behind the scenes of popular music?
Alter Egos and the Dark Side of the Personality
Were the serial killers mentioned above simply unleashing darkness that was already in their personality, or were they being influenced by forces of darkness outside themselves as some of their statements seem to indicate?
Is there any correlation between their acts (despite being incredibly extreme) and the manifestation of “alter egos” – a term which in latin can literally be translated as “demonic self” – that so many popular artists embody in their music? Alter egos are often used to excuse negative behaviours and are said to sometimes take over the performer, causing them to act in ways that the artist normally would not be capable of themselves.
Just a small selection of stars that have alter egos include:
- Beyonce (Sasha Fierce)
- Lady Gaga (male alter ego Jo Calderone)
- Nicki Minaj (Barbie, Roman Zolanski, Roman’s mother)
- Eminem (Slim Shady)
- Lil Wayne (Weezy)
- Lil B (Based God)
- Tyler the Creator (Wolf Haley and many others).
Often it is the artist’s alter ego that we see in stage performances or who play a part in the production of music videos.
While some people believe that these alter egos are a form of split personality brought on by trauma based mind control – part of a covert government mind control program known as MK ULTRA (which isn’t as far fetched as it sounds when you start to look into it) is it possible there is something even darker at play?
One of Nicki Minaj’s many alter egos is named Roman Zolanski, a reference to film director Roman Polanski. He directed the film Rosemary’s Baby, which depicts a woman being raped by the devil and giving birth to the AntiChrist as part of a secret plan by a group of society’s elite.
Minaj’s alter Roman is said to have been birthed through rage, she doesn’t want him to be there but he won’t go away and he speaks through her without her control. As we’ll see later in the article Minaj represents her alter Roman as a form of demon possessing her.
Tyler the Creator of Odd Future refers to his alter ego Wolf Haley as the “evil voice in his head”. Wolf Haley is the producer of most of Odd Future’s videos and is represented as a version of Tyler who has blacked out eyes – a reference to demon possession and possibly also to “Sleep Paralysis Demons“, which are negative beings sometimes encountered in the stage between wakefulness and sleep.
Are popular artists creating these “demonic selves” subconsciously, or are they consciously channelling demons?
“There are two kinds of black magicians: (1) those who use the demons of the astral plane for their villainy, which they invoke through necromancy and invocation; and (2) those who create their own demons and launch them against the world. The first group does the greatest harm to the world, but the second injure themselves more. The first group is composed mostly of conscious black magicians, while there are many in the second group who are totally ignorant of what they are doing. Some never learn their mistake until the demons they have created come back to the persons who sent them forth.”
– Manly P Hall, Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics
By disassociating themselves from their negative behaviours through the use of alter egos popular musicians could conceivably be teaching their fans – many of whom are likely to be young and impressionable despite the frequently explicit content of the music they are consuming – that it’s okay not to take responsibility for your actions, and that it’s socially acceptable to indulge the darker aspects of the personality, or even to allow darker forces from outside of a person into their body.
Celebrating the Macabre
Some artists also appear to glorify the ancient practices of blood and human sacrifice, which were practised in old civilisations that degenerated. These dark rituals were used in the invocation or worship of demons and were believed to grant powers or long life to those conducting the sacrifice.
In 2012 while performing her song Cannibal on stage in Australia, Ke$ha appeared to pull a heart out of someone’s chest before drinking blood from it (to cheers from the crowd of her fans who are known as ‘animals’). She finished the set with blood all over her face and chest. When questioned about it afterwards she said that she was really inspired to do it, and that it was real. Later in the same year a fan sent her a bloody knife in the mail.
“Realizing that life is maintained by the aid of a mysterious universal life force which is the common property of all creatures, the black magician often becomes an occult vampire, stealing this energy from others.”
– Manly P. Hall, Secret Teachings of All Ages
Similar imagery can be seen in the cover art of Die Antwoord’s (Afrikaans for “The Answer”) album Ten$ion which features an image of their female vocalist Yolandi Vi$$er with pitch black eyes holding a heart with blood running from her mouth. What makes this reference even more compelling is that she is dressed to represent an angel with white hair, pale skin, and white wings. This is a device seen in other areas of the music industrywhere positive esoteric symbolism is confused with negative symbolism so it is all made to seem dark.
In the video clip ‘I Fink U Freeky’ from the Ten$ion album the same imagery is shown with the black eyed “angel” pulling the heart out of a man with horns before eating it. This clip also contains references to black magic in the numerologically significant number 16 which represents influence by black magicians.
In the video clip for ‘Love Me’ by Lil Wayne women are shown in cages and rolling around on the floor covered in blood with allusions to mind control programming, while we see Lil Wayne depicted as soulless and demonic.
Arianna Grande, a young and upcoming star, who began her career in Nickelodeon and has many young fans, took this picture of herself and co-stars covered in blood for Halloween. The image on the right was originally posted upside down so it looked like she had been hung up. In a different Halloween costume she posed as a blood-covered vampire.
And we can’t forget Lady Gaga who also often ends up covered in blood on stage, and recently stated that she might be a Vampire.
In one harrowing experience for hotel staff – who were told to put the incident out of their minds – she left large amounts of blood in a hotel bath, leaving many of the staff to speculate that she was using the blood as part of some sort of ritual.
Lady Gaga in her own words is obsessed with death and sex. Her debut perfume ‘Fame’ – the world’s first black eau de perfume which Gaga wanted to represent the “dark heart of fame” – sold 30 million bottles. Maybe not so out of the ordinary, except that the perfume contains synthetic pheromones based on a sample of Lady Gaga’s blood and what is rumoured to be Marilyn Manson’s semen. The scent also includes atropa belladonna, a deadly nightshade with a history of use both as witches ointment and poison. Gaga’s perfume was advertised with a commercial that plays like scenes from a horror film, and was promoted by posters around the world featuring Gaga wearing a black face mask.
Aleister Crowley (the “wickedest man alive”) once wrote in his diary:
“Magically speaking, blood and excrement attracting spirits, sperm keeping them alive.”
Perfume or potion, 30 million ‘Little Monsters’ (the name for Gaga’s fans) around the world have now been “anointed” by this product.
Lady Gaga is also plagued by recurring nightmares, possibly due to her obsession with horror films, and her habit of “bulimically eating and regurgitating monster movies”. Gaga uses her nightmares as inspiration for her songs and video clips, a course of action that – strangely – is promoted to some degree by the commercial spiritual movement.
“When Gaga gets really stuck over the meaning of a dream, she turns to her pal, spiritual advisor Deepak Chopra.
The singer asked him to help her interpret a dream in which she’s eating a human heart.
She adds, “I was freaking out… I was like, ‘The devil’s trying to take me, Deepak. I’m a good girl!’ And Deepak goes, ‘You are so very creative, my Gaga. You should make this into a video.’ And I guess, in his own way, he spoke to me about learning to respect and honor my insanity. It’s part of who I am.” Source
Demonic and Ghostly References and Experiences
If you’ve ever had a bad dream or nightmare you may have encountered demonic beings of some sort or other. Nightmares occur when the psyche enters infernal regions – commonly known as hell in different spiritual traditions. Some feel that certain kinds of music can emit infernal vibrations, lowering the resonance of a person’s psyche and contributing to them having nightmares.
With so many artists fascinated by the macabre and forces of darkness, for many popular artists the reality of demonic experiences appears to extend to the physical world.
Ke$ha – who has stated that ‘dead entities cling to her’ – caused controversy in a series of national interviews on television, radio and in print when she revealed that she had engaged in intimate sexual acts with a “ghost” and that as a result she had had her private parts exorcised. Ke$ha drew inspiration for her song ‘Supernatural‘ from this experience in which she sings:
I feel it in my blood, want the darker side
Poison me with love, I’ll bring you back to life
Arianna Grande stated in an interview with Complex magazine that she began having demonic experiences after visiting the infamous Stull cemetery, said to be one of the seven gateways to hell on earth, and a place that is considered so evil that the Pope won’t even fly over it.
After driving to the cemetery with friends, Grande said:
“I felt this sick, overwhelming feeling of negativity over the whole car and we smelled sulphur, which is the sign of a demon, and there was a fly in the car randomly, which is another sign of a demon.
“I rolled down the window before we left and said, ‘We apologise. We didn’t mean to disrupt your peace.’ Then I took a picture and there are three super distinct faces in the picture – they’re the faces of textbook demons,” Source
Grande continues to describe what sounds like a common scenario experienced by many people throughout history in the sleep paralysis (atonia) stage of the sleep cycle – a natural phenomena which paralyses our muscles as we go to sleep to stop us from sleep walking (somnambulism). During this transition dark beings are often seen or heard, frequently causing a great deal of fear in the person having the experience.
“As soon as I closed my eyes I heard this really loud rumble right by my head,” Ms Grande told Complex. “When I opened my eyes it stopped immediately, but when I closed my eyes it started again with whispers.
“Every time I closed my eyes I started seeing these really disturbing images with, like, red shapes,” she said. “And then I scooched over to the left side of my bed, because that’s where the best service is in my room, and there was this massive black matter. I don’t know what it was.” Source
In Nicki Minaj’s 2012 Grammy performance she is possessed by the spirit of her alter ego Roman Zolanski only to be ‘exorcised’ on stage in a very ritualistic performance complete with a fake priest and backup dancers wearing robes. As part of the performance a video of Minaj is shown titled ‘The Exorcism of Roman’ where we see Minaj possessed and looking disoriented before flying up to the ceiling screaming ‘Roman’ in a demonic tone.
In the video Yonkers produced by Tyler the Creator’s alter ego Wolf Haley (the evil voice inside his head) we see Tyler in silhouette with the brim of his cap appearing as a horn on his forehead. He begins rapping while playing with a large cockroach. He eats the cockroach, vomits, his eyes turn pitch black and then he hangs himself. Both the cockroach and black eyes are direct references to the movie the Exorcism of Emily Rose, which was loosely based on the real events of the possession of a young farm girl who died at the hands of her exorcists. Interestingly Tyler’s eyes turn pitch black when he begins rapping about his alter ego Wolf Haley, and in the extended version of the video clip black-eyed Wolf Haley survives after Tyler dies and continues to rap saying that Tyler’s conscience is dead.
These are just some of the references to demonic forces in Odd Future’s music. In the song Goblin Tyler raps that he’s “not even human, [he’s] a body shaped demon” and in the lyrics of Tron Cat on the same album is the line “Satan’s getting jealous of the wolves (Odd Future), the demons say they preferring us”.
Demonic symbolism is also fairly blatant in Die Antwoord’s work. While Die Antwoord appear to initially have been interested in positive esotericism in some form (this video from an early incarnation of the group talks about demon hunting, not harming anyone and developing psychic faculties), their recent work is very dark, mocking white esotericism, and including references to spell casting, the number of the beast and demonic imagery.
Die Antwoord sample Aphex Twin in their music, another artist involved with dark magic arts whose track Come to Daddy is comprised mainly of the following lyrics repeated over and over: I want your soul, I’m going to eat your soul.
Darkness glorified and promoted
Although many people are waking up to the dark undercurrent that is increasingly becoming mainstream in popular culture, the majority of society glorify and celebrate artists who promote values of darkness rather than values of light, and the more extreme these acts become the more publicity artists seem to gain.
Music news site NME had this to say about Ke$ha’s on stage stunt in Australia where she drank blood from a heart:
“Is Ke$ha a vampire? Who’s to say! We have some logistical questions, though. Where’d she get the heart? Was it human blood? Did the tasting the crimson sweetness on her lips make Ke$ha feel more beautiful and powerful than she’d ever imagined? These are important things to ask, Brits.” Source (original article this is quoted from appears to have been updated)
Odd Future have been referred to as “the future of the music business”, and won MTV best artist of the year award for the video clip Yonkers mentioned above (it was also nominated as best video of the year). Best artist of the year is a category that often brings massive media exposure to its winners, previously helping to skyrocket the careers of artists such as Lady Gaga, Eminem and Justin Bieber.
Odd Future have appeared on the Jimmy Kimmel show – a show that appears to have been used previously to push dark agendas – wearing a ski mask with upside down cross on it. As part of the performance a woman walks around the stage resembling the evil child in the horror movie The Ring.
David Letterman has hosted Die Antwoord on his show, promoting their album Ten$ion. On the Letterman show the female vocalist again had completely blacked out eyes.
With all this publicity and so many people around the world consuming and sharing these performances the messages being spread are being gradually but firmly embedded in our culture. Darkness becomes increasingly commonplace and socially acceptable with more and more people emulating their onstage idols.
Take for example this school worksheet from a fan of Tyler the Creator.
As a final extreme example of the influence these values can have on people, especially those who may already be somewhat unstable, one of Lady Gaga’s fans, apparently inspired by her many bloody on stage appearances, killed her family cat and cut it open, smearing its blood on her face and arms to create a costume for the Lady Gaga concert she was planning to go to.
Where are we headed?
We must disabuse our minds of the idea that the black magician cannot injure us because we are in the right, or that he is weak because he is evil. This is a foolish concept, taught to prevent man from strengthening himself, and is propaganda of the black path itself. It is just as foolish as to say that if a prize fighter were boxing a baby, the baby would win the fight because he had no ulterior motive, or because his soul is undefiled.
– Manly P. Hall, Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics
As a society we have been conditioned for many years to consume acts of violence and darkness as entertainment, to indulge desire and take pleasure in feeding lower emotions. This is part of a vicious cycle where artists who promote darkness are themselves promoted by the music industry and elsewhere in popular culture, leaving people with little alternative to the dark messages and imagery being embedded through repetition in our subconscious.
Is there a deliberate agenda behind this pattern? As popular artists continue to push the boundaries further and further into the realms of darkness will they drag society and their millions of fans along with them?
Will we see the end of spiritual values and inner development as the yearning for positive states such as inner peace, happiness (vs. short lived fulfilment of desires and pleasure), care for others and love is replaced by the indulgence of animalistic states and vibrations of darkness?
We know that celebrities have a major influence on the masses who idolise them. As the glorification of darkness becomes more and more entrenched in popular culture, it is likely to spread further in wider society as well.
Join us to hear when the final installment of this series is released, where we will delve deeper into the forces behind the darkness in the music industry.
About the Author
David Gardner has a deep interest in spiritual development, but has discovered there are many forces in the world working to keep people asleep. His recent interest has been researching the psychological tactics and techniques used to limit people’s spiritual potential, writing about his discoveries here at The Conscious Reporter.
**This article first appeared on TheConsciousReporter.com.**