Last night I watched two Disney movies, National Treasure and The Sorcerer's Apprentice, both with Nicholas Cage, and I was immediately struck with an observation that had not occurred to me before: these were alchemical movies. The observation was brought on by a curious scene in National Treasure towards the very end, when Cage and actors Justin Bartha and John Voigt find the "treasure" room.

The movie is a typical "treasure hunt" yarn... with a twist, the twist in this case being that Cage & Co. go off searching for hidden Templar treasure hidden somewhere in the USA by following a series ofintricate clues left by Freemasons. This in itself is an indicator that the Disney staff did their homework, for there are those who argue that the Sinclair family in Scotland did indeed take some of the Templar treasure and hide it in the new world. Some even argue that Franklin Roosevelt - himself a Mason - went in search for it prior to becoming President.

And Disney is, of course, no stranger to the theme of magic, for the whole point of "the Magic Kingdom" was "imagineering," as Walt himself called it: the use of advanced engineering to achieve the effects of magic.

But even with all this background, the scene in the treasure room is, to say the least, odd. Indeed, the scene is so odd that it forms no essential part of the storyline at all, and would, in my opinion, have ended up being editted out under normal circumstances, for there is nothing leading up to it, nor away from it. It is just there, without preliminaries, without explanation.

The scene occurs when Cage & Co. have entered the fabulous treasure room and discovered, among other things, that it contains scrolls from the lost Library of Alexandria... in other words, it contains ancient lost wisdom. Well, that's predictable enough,and it fits the storyline. But then comes the scene, with Justin Bartha.

Finding a tall, blue-green Egyptian statue of a man, Bartha says, in effect, "a tall blue-grean man with a strange goatee. I'm guessing that's significant." And then, even more inexplicably, Bartha smiles and hugs the statue, as a child would hug a parent. I have to admit, the first time I saw this scene it disturbed me, and the feeling has never left me. As I said, there is no preparation for it in the storyline, it adds nothing to the plot, and would under normal circumstances have made the director's chopping block. There is nothing leading away from it, and there is no further explanation.

Someone, therefore, wanted the scene to be in the movie. The question is, why?

I think the answer may lie in alchemy, in the goal to implant a "meme", a "minimum unit of meaning," into the public consciousness, and thereby, to effect a form of magic. Magic is, after all, essentially the bending of another's will to one's own. It is, in its truest form, social engineering, the transformation of consciousness, and that, after all, is the goal of esoteric alchemy. Merely to leave the movie-going audience guessing as to the meaning of the scene is itself already a powerful form of social transformation and propaganda.

My own personal guess as to the meaning intended by the otherwise unnecessary scene is that someone in the Disney staff was saying "look to Egypt." But the symbolism of the scene runs much deeper. Blue and green had, of course, certain specific symbolic meanings within Egyptian lore. The size of the statue - dwarfing Bartha - also suggests something else: giants, the ancient race spoken of so often in ancient texts, including the Bible. It was, as most of us know, allegedly a hybrid race, the chimerical offspring of "the gods" and humans. There is even a Mesopotamian reference, though this may be stretching things, and that is once again symbolized by the blue-green color of the statue, and Bartha's comment, "I'm guessing that's significant."

In Babylonian and Sumerian mythology, civilization was taught to mankind by a chimerical being called Oannes, half fish, half man. The blue-green color might be suggesting a Mesopotamian connection.

In any case, the real lesson here is that the symbolism was carefully chosen, the unnecessary scene was carefully plopped into the climax of a movie where it deliberately hovers in the consciousness of the movie-goer, working its effect, as it did on me, through the symboism employed.

This alchemical "meming" is much more overt in Disney's The Sorcerer's Apprentice, who in this case is played by actor Jay Baruchel to Cage's "Balthasar," the master magician and adept. The scene that lodged in my mind, again, was a short exchange of dialogue that otherwise was not entirely necessary to the storyline. Someone wanted to communicate information, not advance the story.

The short exchange begins as Baruchel and Cage are hurtling down a street in Manhattan. Baruchel, who has thus far been feted to awesome displays of mind-boggling magic between Cage and his nemesis (played by Alfred Molina), asks Cage whether all the awesome displays are magic, or science. Now, it is worth mentioning at this point, that Baruchel, the young apprentice, is a physics student whose project just happens to involve - you guessed it - Tesla coils.

That may seem the wildest sort of connection, but stop and consider: Tesla himself made no secret of the fact that he received his inspiration for alternating current in a vision in which he saw the generator apparatus to produce it. Tesla, in other words, was as much a mystic as an engineer and physicist.

In response to Baruchel's question if it is magic, or science (I think I'm getting the order correct), Cage responds "Yes, and yes." In other words, it's some peculiar blend of both. Then, Cage goes on to "explain" that the reason sorcerers are able to do what they do is because they use more than the normal 10% of the brain that the rest of us use. They use all the brain, implying that old doctrine "mind over matter" might indeed be true if we could but access all of our mental potential.

This too, as I have suggested in my books, is an alchemical doctrine, for the physical medium - at least insofar as alchemy views it - is an nformation-creating medium, par excellence (q.v. my The Giza Death Star Destroyed; The Philosophers' Stone). As such, there is a direct connection between consciousness, and the medium, a connection that modern physics is only just beginning to explore.

So, the bottom line, as far as I'm concerned, is that while these are enjoyable movies, pure fun and entertainment, they are also subtle messages, and alchemical ones to boot.

Joseph P. Farrell

Joseph P. Farrell has a doctorate in patristics from the University of Oxford, and pursues research in physics, alternative history and science, and "strange stuff". His book The Giza DeathStar, for which the Giza Community is named, was published in the spring of 2002, and was his first venture into "alternative history and science".


  1. laserblue on September 18, 2012 at 9:57 am

    “Passages occur in ancient authors which seem to indicate a profounder knowledge than we are wont to ascribe to those nations.” Ernst Mach, The Science of Mechanics

    The Interpretation of Radium (1909) by Mr. Frederick Soddy
    Pp. 241-245
    “It is curious how strangely some of the old myths and legends about matter and man appear in the light of the recent knowledge…Some of the beliefs and legends which have come down to us from antiquity are so universal arid deep-rooted that we are accustomed to consider them almost as old as the race itself. One is tempted to inquire how far the unsuspected apt ness of some of these beliefs and sayings to the point of view so recently disclosed is the result of mere chance or coincidence, and how far it may be evidence of a wholly unknown and unsuspected ancient civilisation of which all other relic has disappeared. … By a single mistake, the relative positions of Nature and man as servant and master would, as now, become reversed, but with infinitely more disastrous consequences, so that even the whole world might be plunged back again under the undisputed sway of Nature, to begin once more its upward toilsome journey through the ages. The legend of the Fall of Man possibly may indeed be the story of such a past calamity.”


    From Alchemy to Atomic War: Frederick Soddy’s “Technology Assessment” of Atomic
    Energy, 1900-1915
    Author(s): Richard E. Sclove
    Source: Science, Technology, & Human Values, Vol. 14, No. 2 (Spring, 1989), pp. 163-194
    Published by: Sage Publications, Inc.
    Stable URL:

    Coffee with Joe,_Virtual_Wealth_and_Debt
    Thaddeus J. Trenn: “The Central Role of Energy in Soddy’s Approach” (Kauffman, Ed.,’Frederick Soddy (1877-1956)’) p.185

    Requiem for Methuselah

  2. Raust Black Dragon on January 19, 2012 at 9:10 am

    well golly gee guys! maybe the scene in the movie wat put their just for a little added humor for the character dude with the the glasses or whatever you all make very interesting points but come on now fellas! disney may have certain hidden things in their movie but I dont believe they meant for it to be taken so seriously its ajust a single scene! and sure i may just be talking outta my poopie hole but im sure you guys all make interesting points, just dont think too hard here remember it is a kids movie for the kiddies and whatnot so dont take one little thing and blow it out into a huge mess of random information that may make sense but isnt what the producers of the movie intended for people to notice, look back in yout thoughts about this movie and remeber it was intended for the kiddies and not for hard thinking adults who want to make sense of every little detail, well im glad i could share my thoughts on this subject fellas, but i must get back to the reading/writting of my novel! OH BOI!!! TERRY YOU BEAUTIFUL MAN YOU!!! OH BOI!!!…………Fire Emblem………….

  3. Kurofune on February 4, 2011 at 7:38 am

    Yes, he was there. He had a cold.

    By the way, your apparent optimism regarding Japan might benefit from taking into account what many consider to be a coup by the old guard. The current PM, Kan, has turned even more slavish toward the US than the old Liberal Democratic Party was. The attempts to destroy Ozawa and his allies are most definitely hardball. It’s a long topic, but the entire focus of the government has turned into one big America-first frenzy, with lots of anti-China propaganda for good measure. This is tragic. For one thing, Japan has lots of great technology that can’t be released. As an example, a company in Osaka had a car that ran on water a couple of years ago. Now, it’s gone.

  4. Kurofune on February 4, 2011 at 1:46 am

    Cage attended the Alchemy Conference in Las Vegas a few years ago, and it has been widely rumored that he has a serious interest in little known matters.

    • Joseph P. Farrell on February 4, 2011 at 3:17 am

      We are talking Nicholas Cage here, the actor?

  5. Justina on February 1, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    The fish headdress in Roman Catholicism didn’t come in until
    many many centuries later, even after The Great Schism
    of AD 1054.

    I think you are drawing on The Two Babylons by Hislop,
    who was a very sloppy researcher. It is ironic that he
    is so popular with anti Catholics, yet he weighs in on the
    matter of The Holy Trinity as well.

    It never occurred to him that some of the similarities in
    paganism were from two causes. (a) the original truth
    was once known, and warped as paganism replaced it,
    so some traces remained. (b) a lot of the Christ similar
    details in pagan legends, seem to date from years AD,
    when paganism had to compete with Christianity for
    the public minds and hearts, and started borrowing from
    it! There is some interesting research online about that.

    I used to bu

    • Scott on February 2, 2011 at 9:45 pm

      The source is simply visual observation of an oddity in sacramental garb, as well as the knowledge of so many other unoriginal symbols being taken in by Rome. Theological debates as they relate to Christianity, the Roman Church, and just about any organized religion are something I rarely venture into as the tedium tends to muddy otherwise clear waters. There are universal truths, and to claim any singular way to what may be termed “God”, negates the reality of truth as a perspective. You find many paths to the same end, as well as many obstacles.

      “The World’s Sixteen Crucified Saviors” A.K.A “Christianity Before Christ”
      by Kersey Graves is an interesting read. Great debates rage over the historical authenticity of the works of Flavius Josephus as he is a source heavily drawn upon, see Barbiero’s translated work on the subject. Not sure what you mean by you “used to be me”. Veritas

  6. Scott on February 1, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    The green man you mentioned is also a suggestion/ allusion to Osiris, who happens to bear a goatee. You can understand the importance of his personage in a literal and archetypal sense as it relates to Disney, in that both films are references to the “Great Work” of alchemy, which in its many facets includes the “Great Work of Masonry”. Disney, like NASA was at one time riddled with Masons. I can’t attest to the current situation as its a publicly traded entity like any other, although the two films you mentioned represent a departure from the works produced under Eisner, in that they return to tradition. We should all be at least somewhat aware of Walt’s position in the order of things in that he was ranked as a Mason of the 33rd Degree, which is only bestowed through high merit.

    The Osirian mystery cults and the progeny thereof can of course be found in modern Masonry, among other places. The highly venerated star of Masonry, the Star of the East, is Sirius. The connections are there, if you have eyes to see.

    Oannes is also akin to Dagon, which of course references the Dogon tribe of Africa, whose cosmology refers to the half fish beings who came from the trinary star system Sirius to teach mankind civilization among other things, see Robert Temple’s work. The Sumerian fish priests of Dagon, with their unique garb and fish headdress, can curiously be found amalgamated into the costumes of Bishops in the Catholic Church. As Templarism and its offspring sprang forth from the Roman Church, which would later beget Modern Masonry, one has to wonder why such importance is placed on Sirius in both. It even begs the question as to why the astrotheological archetype in personified form appears in the recent version of “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”, which is produced by a “formerly” Masonic company.

  7. evermore on January 2, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    Thanks Dr Farrell, I’d be thrilled to find out your opinion of the scenes in many of the so called animated childrens movies done by Disney!
    One in particular is what the hell was (is) going on in one of their originals “Fantasia” – totally weird and very dark scenes for a kids movie!
    Happy New Year to everyone, regards

    • Joseph P. Farrell on January 2, 2011 at 5:14 pm

      Well….needless to say I don’t have much time to watch movies…that was kind of a fluke a couple days ago when I did, but normally I’m so busy I don’t have much time for them and even keeping up here reading everyone’s comments can be a bit overwhelming at times, much less trying to reply to some of them, which I attempt to do. But in the main, yes, I would agree with you about Fantasia, though it has been many years since I’ve seen it and thus would not be able to comment in detail. Anyway, thank you for the input

  8. MattB on January 2, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    We are definatley being conditioned. take Stargate for example. The Go’auld are actually alien inhabiting humans who are the origin for Egyptian, Babylonian, Greek Gods etc.

    We have a high tech device (the Stargate) connected to archaeological investigations in Egypt and…..Antarctica

    We have an ‘ancient’ race-the Atlanteans

    We have a ‘zero piont module’ as an ultimate power source ( but no mention of Tesla

    We have random mentionings of current alternate science theories (quantum loop gravity etc)

    And after 10 seasons plus 5 of Stargate Atlantis, I could go on and on with the little data points that come up. Someone has been doing the reading!

    • Joseph P. Farrell on January 2, 2011 at 3:23 pm

      Agreed… the messages in those series were overt. Startgate was ok, Stargate Atlantis, in my opinion, really was bad.

  9. Christopher on January 2, 2011 at 7:11 am

    Something I thought I’d throw in here on the “Magic or Science?” statement…

    You might want to check out the trailer for the new Thor movie coming out. The same exact thing is said.

    Keep up the phenomenal work Joseph!

  10. MattB on January 2, 2011 at 12:49 am

    Or one to be insidious.

    The new series ‘V’. The aliens have a resistance group fighting secretly with the humans against the visitors and the are know as:


    If I recall correctly that was the term used for the Nazi spy network in the U.S prior to and during WW2


    • Joseph P. Farrell on January 2, 2011 at 12:53 am

      lol….so it would seem

    • Jim on January 10, 2011 at 10:05 pm

      Also the letter “V” is the Roman numeral “5”

  11. MattB on January 2, 2011 at 12:23 am

    What about the sci-fi series Babylon 5?

    You have the universe begining with ‘a word’.

    An original immortal sentient being

    The concept that the universe is sentient but below ‘God’

    Ancient races millions of years old that fought and left the galaxy

    The very ancient war(s) being recorded as religious mythology by various younger races

    2 ancient races the Vorlons (order) and the Shadows (chaos) left to sheppard the younger races (Minbar, Centauri, Narns, Earth etc)

    The ‘balance’ between the two becomes a war of ideology over a million years with the Vorlons and shadows manipulating th younger races in order to follow their way

    A sequence of very ancient Cosmic wars over a million years between the Vorlons and the Shadows using younger races to fight according to ideology and gaining technological and philosophical growth

    A race of ‘technomages’ who use high tech to simulate magic

    Most younger races have been genetically altered to see the Vorlons as images of their own concept of ‘God’-manipulation to follow order against the chaos and destruction of the Shadows

    The very strong concept of super high tech millions of years old left over from the ancients having an affect on the ‘younger races.

    Story sound familiar?

    • Joseph P. Farrell on January 2, 2011 at 12:52 am

      Believe it or not, Babylon 5 is my favorite Sci-Fi series…I own all five seasons plus the movies on DVD

      • MattB on January 2, 2011 at 3:31 am

        The last two ‘lost tales’ episodes were very interesting as well.

        To be frank, the ideas in B5 actually stimulated me to start researching the areas you have written about Joseph. Coupled with my interest in Luftwaffe secret weapons this led me to discover Reich of the Black Sun and down the Farrell rabbit hole I went 🙂

    • Justina on January 2, 2011 at 4:27 pm

      Sounds to me like the Vorlons and the Shadows are both
      rather evil and unethical and uncaring. The Vorlon assigned
      to Babylon 5 seemed to be better than some, his replacement
      was a jerk.

      But either way, they specialize in deceptions and promoting
      a sense of exaltation and special role appeal to the sin of
      pride, let’s say the Shadows are overtly demonic and the
      Vorlons are more luciferic, satan transforming himself into
      the likeness of an angel of light.

      These people play with peoples’ ideas of God while offering no
      direction toward the Original that the ideas derived with lots of
      alterations to being nearly unrecognizeable from, in the first

      None of the them are nice guys.

    • Ben on February 4, 2011 at 9:47 am

      I think it is clear that in writing B5, J. Micheal Straczynski did his homework.

  12. lordshandor on January 1, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    An article idea this brings up is what limited the brain of man to require alchemists to look for ways to restore that which was lost and how does this tie in with the idea of the fall?

    • Joseph P. Farrell on January 1, 2011 at 11:10 pm

      Eventually I do have a book planned in my next four books to address such topics but thanks for the suggestion.

      • Justina on January 2, 2011 at 4:24 pm

        I think the idea that we only use 10% is a half truth ergo a lie.
        the rest of the brain has to do with maintenance operations
        and memory stash, processing stuff, etc.

        While we’re talking sci fi, Star Trek had an interesting idea,
        “false transcendence.” that is all that the alchemic stuff offers
        you, and one line of information from people who had to do
        with it, was that to get the philosopher’s stone you had to sell
        your soul to the devil.

        maybe some stuff is better left alone. And maybe a hyper active
        brain is a short lived one.

  13. Justina on January 1, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    “In Babylonian and Sumerian mythology, civilization was taught to
    mankind by a chimerical being called Oannes, half fish, half man.
    The blue-green color might be suggesting a Mesopotamian
    connection.” from your article on the Disney movies

    It has always struck me, that God used Jonah, because He
    knew that Jonah would run, it being his nature, and this put
    him in range of the fish. (Giant Grouper more likely than whale.)

    This means that Ninevah would get a message from a man
    belched out of a fish, whose name, Yonah, is similar in sound
    to Oannes.

    • Joseph P. Farrell on January 1, 2011 at 6:09 pm

      A very intriguing opbservation Justina…. to me, this would tend to argue orsupport the idea that maybe the biblical text is an edited version of the story. But if not, as you argue, a culturally conditioned story nonetheless

  14. Walter on January 1, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    Another level in the Natl Treasure/Sorcerer’s Apprentice alchemical analysis: Did you notice that both actors playing second fiddle to Nicolas Cage have the initials ‘JB’ Justin Bartha and Jay Baruchel… Now these are also the same initials as ‘James Bond’ which brings in BOTH Ian Fleming and his baggage AND the 007 number which was John Dee’s number, thus…alchemical indeed…

    • Joseph P. Farrell on January 1, 2011 at 6:07 pm

      Wow! Intriguing insight Walter! Thanks!

    • Bigbomb654 on January 1, 2011 at 11:18 pm

      To add on to this insight, if I may:




      The Twin Pillars of Masonic Lore!

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