Warning: Enormous spoilers ahead!
Described as a “Netflix event”, Black Mirror: Bandersnatch is an interactive film that allows viewers to “choose their own adventure”. On several occasion during the film, viewers are presented with two options and are given 10 seconds to decide. Upon selection, the option plays out and the narrative adapts accordingly. Consequently, the choices made by the viewers lead to different scenes, story paths and, ultimately, to different endings. However, once an ending is reached, the film loops the viewers back to unselected choices, making it easy to view the entire film and analyze it as a whole.
The viewers are making the decisions for Stefan Butler, a young computer whiz who is adapting a fantasy choose-your-own-adventure book into a video game. The film appears to be heavily inspired by this 1984 BBC documentary that follows the creation of a “mega-game” named Bandersnatch by the London software company Imagine before the holiday season. That game was never released.
Black Mirror: Bandersnatch takes the context of this fascinating period of British tech history and adds a whole lot of creepiness to it. And, considering the fact that this is a Black Mirror episode – a series about the potentially perverse effects of modern technology on humanity – things get very meta, very quickly. In fact, several levels of meta end up leaving most viewers’ minds looking like this.
As Stefan attempts to create an innovative game that allows multiple narrative paths, he’s also the protagonist of an innovative film that allows multiple narrative paths. As things progress, Stefan realizes that he is not in control of his own mind – the viewer is. This realization triggers a descent into madness as Stefan begins obsessing about a specific symbol (named the “White Bear”) and a demon named Pax.
In short, the viewer controls Stefan’s mind. In shorter, that’s mind control. Appropriately enough, the film is replete with symbolism relating to MK-ULTRA and trauma-based mind control. Furthermore, in some story paths, Stefan discovers that he’s was drugged, studied and monitored since birth.
While several news sources analyzed Bandersnatch, nearly all of them missed an obvious point: It is about trauma-based mind control. From the backstory of the protagonist to the MK-symbolism peppered throughout, Bandersnatch is an “adventure” in the mind of a slave. And it all starts with the title of the episode.
The book Bandersnatch and its author Jerome F. Davies are totally fictional. However, the origins of the name Bandersnatch leads us deep into mind-control lore.
Bandersnatch is the name of a fictional creature in Lewis Carroll’s 1872 novel Alice Through the Looking-Glass, the sequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
As discussed in many articles on this site, the story of Alice in Wonderland is an actual programming script used in trauma-based mind control. The same way Alice “goes through the looking glass” to Wonderland, MK slaves are told to dissociate, mentally leaving the real world to retreat to the internal world created by the programmer. For this reason, symbolism associated with Alice in Wonderland is constantly used in mass media to illustrate mind control. Obviously, Bandersnatch is no exception. The name itself is a direct reference to Alice in Wonderland. Furthermore, Stefan even ends up looking for a white rabbit by going through a mirror (more on this later).
Early MK-Related Clues
Before learning about the dark truth about Stefan, we see several clues relating to his mind control. However, it is only on second viewing that these scenes take on their full meaning.
As Stefan embarks in the creation of his video game for the software company Tuckersoft, he also takes interest in the dark story of the author of the book Bandersnatch.
Soon enough, Stefan finds himself obsessing over the same symbols as Davies. And the White Bear is one of them.
White Bear Symbol
In Black Mirror, the White Bear symbol has several layers of meaning. As illustrated above, it represents the branching narratives in the video game Stefan is developing. On a wider scale, it represents free will – the ability to make decisions – and, in Stefan’s case – the lack thereof. For this reason, the symbol ends up representing a higher force that is in control of Stefan’s mind.
The White Bear symbol appeared in previous episodes of Black Mirror and, every time, it refers to a “force” controlling people. Indeed, the symbol has been used to refer to government conspiracy, high-tech monitoring, mind control, and dark spiritual forces. Does this symbol represent the occult elite?
As Stefan loses his mind, he starts seeing a lion-like demon named Pax.
Pax and PACS
While watching a documentary about the life of Jerome F. Davies (the author of the book Bandersnatch), Stefan learns about Pax.
“Davies became convinced he had no control over his own fate because his wife was spiking him with psychoactive drugs at the behest of a demon called Pax, a sort of lion figure he claimed he’s seen in a vision”.
As seen above, in Lewis Caroll’s Alice in Wonderland books, Bandersnatch is a horned lion. If one goes through the many story branches of Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, lions start appearing in several significant places.
In one story branch, Colin – a “superstar” video game programmer at Tuckersoft – gives Stefan LSD to help him get out of his creative rut.
At the height of their acid trip, Colin explains the dark implications of the game Pac-Man.
“There are messages in every game. Like Pac-Man, do you know what PAC stands for? P-A-C. Program and Control. He’s program and control. The whole thing is a metaphor. He thinks he’s got free will but really, he’s trapped in a maze, in a system. All he can do is consume, he’s pursued by demons that are probably just in his own head. Even if he does escape by slipping out on one side of the maze, what happens? He comes right back on the other side”.
Not unlike Pac-Man, Stefan has to constantly consume pills to keep going. And, as his madness grows, he is also followed by demons. Actual demons.
After Colin’s death, Stefan leaves the apartment in a panic. However, he is stopped short by something quite scary.
In Monarch mind control, slaves are actually assigned demons to enforce programming.
“Programming involves an organization system, established by horrendous trauma, for the alter personalities involving internal mental imagery, which is driven by demons, who provide the power. Undoing it requires an understanding of the mental processes involved, the imagery or blueprint used, and the spiritual dynamics.”
– Fritz Springmeier, The Formula to Create a Mind Control Slave
As stated above, programming involves a system established by “horrendous trauma”. If the viewers select the right options, the backstory of Stefan is revealed: He’s a product of trauma-based mind control.
Stefan Butler: MK Slave
When Stefan manages to go inside the mysterious locked room of his father, he discovers the dark truth about his life. The viewers also discover the meaning behind the symbols Stefan was obsessing about.
At this point, Bandersnatch ventures deep in the world of trauma-based mind control – also known as Monarch programming. The goal of this practice is to cause slaves to dissociate from reality as a coping mechanism to extreme trauma. Once dissociated, slaves become extremely suggestible and easy to reprogram.
Towards the beginning of the film, Stefan’s therapist insists that he discusses the death of his mother at a young age – a traumatic event that deeply affected the rest of his life. Stefan claims that his mother died because of Rabbit – his favorite toy.
So the “trauma inception” was caused by a white rabbit. In Alice in Wonderland, Alice is lured to the looking glass by a white rabbit.
The White Rabbit is a programming figure for Alice In Wonderland Programming who will allow you to go to otherwise inaccessible places for adventure. He represents the master. The White Rabbit is an important figure to the slave.
When Stefan watches the “Trauma Inception” tape, he discovers the truth about his mother’s death.
With Stefan’s backstory, Bandersnatch covers some of the core principles of trauma-based mind control. The omnipresence of Pax and the White Bear indicate the pervasiveness of the programming that controls all aspects of his life.
This leads us to wonder: If Stefan is an MK slave and that he’s not in control of his fate, what does that makes us, the viewer? Answer: The handler. Indeed, as the story progresses, Stefan becomes aware of the fact that he is controlled by the choices made by the viewer and he attempts to resist them. But that doesn’t work.
At a critical moment in the film, the viewer is presented with two options: To kill Stefan’s father or to back off.
Depending on the choices the viewer makes, one can end up viewing wildly different endings. In one ending, Stefan goes back in time, embarks with his mother on the train and dies with her. In another one, Stefan discovers that he’s in a Netflix series and things get weird and even more meta. However, in most endings, Stefan ends up either creating a badly rated game and/or in jail.
Is there a happy ending somewhere in there? Not really. It is all very depressing. However, there is a path that allows Stefan to complete his video game and to get a 5/5 rating. The path: Stefan has to kill his father and chop up his body. After completing this gruesome task, Stefan appears to be at peace with himself and manages to create the perfect game. However, shortly after that, he gets arrested and his game gets taken off the shelves.
Did Stefan get rid of his MK programmer? Or did he lose his mind and kill his own father? It’s your choice. Or is it?
As highlighted in previous articles on this site, mass media has taken a specific direction in the past few years. Indeed, nowadays, most entertainment seems to be dark, sinister, depressing, and laden with fear and paranoia. Also, entertainment is increasingly replete with imagery and storylines relating to Monarch mind control -as if there was an attempt to normalize it. Netflix, the streaming service that is now at the forefront of popular culture, has been hard at work producing content that fits this agenda. In the past months, I’ve explored the MK symbolism of the Netflix series Stranger Things and the occult messages in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Black Mirror: Bandersnatch is yet another entry in this growing library of agenda-friendly content on Netflix.
However, contrarily to other series available out there, Bandersnatch ventures in the uncharted territory of interactive entertainment. Instead of simply viewing MK-related “entertainment”, the viewers actively take part in it. In fact, the viewers end up playing the role of the MK handler. And, like actual MK handlers, the viewers can order Stefan to kill himself or to kill others. One could argue that giving viewers this little power-trip over an MK slave makes the entire world of mind control seem less horrifying and even “entertaining”.
However, since we’re dealing with Black Mirror, we need to take another step back and see the meta going on here. As the viewers bask in the god-like feeling of deciding Stefan’s fate, they are also being carefully guided by the narrative. Furthermore, all the while, the viewers are monitored and analyzed by Netflix. Indeed, there are already several articles out explaining the data-mining of decisions made by viewers.
In short, the true subject of the “Program and Control Study” is not Stefan … it’s you.
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