The Dark Dance

MK Ultra Image

In 2017 Scottish born Choreographer Rosie Kay produced a dance piece called MK Ultra– which has been described as a “thoroughly researched exploration of the rise of the Illuminati conspiracy in modern culture with filmmaker Adam Curtis’ documentary elements to create a new kind of dance work.”

Although the piece was on tour four years ago, the subject matter seemed to pre-empt an explosion in conspiracy theories about to come out of the closet and divide an entire populace. In case you are not aware, MK Ultra was a secret CIA operation developed to carry out mind control and behavioural modification experiments on an unsuspecting American Public from the early 1950’s to the early 1970’s. Much of the information has now been declassified and can be easily found through a simple search on Wiki… although most of the documents were destroyed in 1975. While the experiments apparently stopped in the early 70’s many people believe the project and others like it continue in ever more sophisticated forms and is particularly prevalent within the pop industry…hyper sexualisation being one of the chief features.

MK Ultra the show toured all the big theatres in the UK, receiving rave reviews in mainstream publications such as the Guardian and The Evening Standard. High school kids at GCSE level were interviewed about their thoughts on MK Ultra and some of the comments were used in the production… teenagers were encouraged to see the show. What I find interesting is that while most of the population were unaware of MK Ultra, the show easily entered mainstream performance & Art. When asked, many of the audience said they didn’t know if there was any truth to the story but had enjoyed a vibrant and dynamic performance, nonetheless. Ms Kay said she had taken her research ‘with a pinch of salt’.

The intention of this post is not to debate the truth or untruth of a continuing MK Ultra, but to consider the cultural phenomenon of a society divided between a growing number of people known as ‘truthers’, and those who refuse to tolerate what they consider to be ridiculous, crazy nonsense. There’s not much middle ground here it would seem, and this is reflected in the disparity between only a small section of society even knowing about MK Ultra and the show becoming a box office hit. I think that’s quite odd.

Whether MK ultra continues to brainwash society, or the experiments did indeed stop 50 years ago, I am in no position to say but from a psycho-spiritual perspective a deep strata in the human psyche has been awakened and is now alive in our consciousness.

There is much I could say about this… I’ve been looking into MK Ultra and other ‘black ops’ as part of my Chiron in Aries in research. But more personally, in 2012 I came within the orbit of these so-called conspiracy theories in a very real way when I was asked to help a woman who was ‘waking up’ from her programming. Through getting to know her and her husband I was ‘educated’ in the details of the operation; I met other women claiming the same thing. It blew my mind. The events and experiences of that time took me down a deep rabbit hole… I got lost in the mystery for years. I found no resolve, resolution, or answers to explain the experiences of these women and consequently my own experiences. Instead I was led on an incredible journey into a mysterious realm where things were not as they seemed and reality was not, as typically presented, a single thread but a multi-dimensional tapestry.

Perhaps these anomalous phenomenon have always existed, manifest in the Gnostic Archons, the Jinn of Islamic theology, or UFO’s, crop circles and alien implants- I am thinking here about the books written by Whitley Strieber and his remarkable account of alien communion. American college professor Jeff Kripal takes this on in his book with Strieber- The Super Natural: A New Vision of the Unexplained.  But the paranormal, black ops, and the supernatural are still relatively unexplored territory. I am guessing the reasons for this are 1. Because it’s so vast; 2. It is met with ridicule and not taken seriously… and people don’t want to be labelled crazy; 3. It is so hidden; 4. Our culture insists on the scientifically proven;  5. The unknown has always been feared with the gap liable to be filled with fantastic images from the human unconscious; 6. There is a very real danger of getting lost/going mad in the uncontained and endless space.

But we are curious. Is it not compelling to hear accounts of people who have crossed over to the other side, sailed even for a moment on the great abyss and lived to tell the tale?  

One day I will write about my own experiences- I know they changed me. I am grateful for developing a symbolic and shamanic perspective, it has allowed me to journey with this material much more deeply and richly that I might have done if I had chosen one side of the fence or the other. I came to realise that things can be both real and not real, that there can be a difference between what is real and what is based in reality… reality being consensual.

It is in the fertile middle ground of the imaginal that I have most benefitted from this anomalous and frankly intense experience. The MA in Myth, Cosmology and the Sacred programme at Canterbury Christ Church university was hugely beneficial to this regard; these subjects were not shied away from and in fact a whole module was dedicated to the exploration of such phenomenon. I know some people might disagree but for me the way to approach this strange territory is with a symbolic perspective; literalism and overly rational left-brain thinking doesn’t seem to take one very far. Neither it seems does fear where we can become paralysed or easily triggered.  

Still, Rosie Kay just went right in there and made a dance piece which I think was a bold move. Then again, maybe she was somewhat protected by her scepticism… or perhaps she wasn’t so sceptical afterall.

Here is a clip of the show-