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The Hidden Symbolism of “Stranger Things”



The Hidden Symbolism of "Stranger Things"

The immensely popular series Stranger Things puts in the forefront of popular culture the disturbing world of MKULTRA, mixed with a heavy those of fantasy and science fiction. Through its story and symbolism, the series tell a deeper truth about its subject matter, one that not many might believe or accept. We’ll look at the deeper meaning of Stranger Things.

Warning: Monumental spoilers ahead!

Praised for its gripping story and stellar acting, Stranger Things quickly became a monster hit. Starring a group of Dungeon & Dragons playing kids who bike around their neighborhood while communicating on their Realistic™ walkie-talkies, the series brought a heavy dose of eighties nostalgia with a rare authenticity. More importantly, Stranger Things also brought to the forefront of popular culture a subject that has been taboo for decades: The world of MKULTRA and its horrifying practices. (If you don’t know about MKULTRA, please read this article first).

Continuously opposing truth with fiction, the horror of reality with the bliss of fantasy, the ugliness of mankind with the innocence of children, Stranger Things has a strong dualistic undertone. This is epitomized by the fact that the adventure takes place on two separate realms, the “real world” and the “Upside Down,” a dark, evil version of reality. Although separate, these realms are connected through a gateway, one that nearly nobody knows about. The existence of this gateway is hidden from the public, yet affects it in several ways. Stranger Things is about how those who rule us are involved in “stranger things” than most can even fathom. Through its story, characters and symbolism, it reveals the darker side of the elite … some of it. Let’s take a deeper look at the story.

Between Reality and Fiction

The series begin with four friends, Mike, Will, Dustin and Lucas, playing Dungeons & Dragons. Mike, the dungeon master, sets up the premise of his friends’ quest. He also sets up the premise of the entire series.

“Something is coming. Something hungry for blood. A shadow grows on the wall behind you, swallowing you in darkness. It is almost here.”

The Hidden Symbolism of "Stranger Things"

Mike’s Dungeon & Dragons campaign lasts almost ten hours. The first season of Stranger Things lasts almost ten hours.

While the boys are ultimately faced with the horrifying world of government mind control, their adventure is constantly compared to a Dungeons & Dragons quest. Will, the boy who gets abducted by the government, is the wizard of the party. The strength of wizards reside in their minds as they are capable of magic and other paranormal things such as teleportation and telekinesis. As we’ll see later, this is what Theta MKULTRA programming is about.

In this sense, the dark, disturbing aims of the occult elite is directly contrasted with the innocence and playfulness of children.

The Hidden Symbolism of "Stranger Things"

Will’s being abducted by the government is likened to the wizard stuck in the Vale of Shadows with the Demogorgon.

Essentially, the series’ creators are the dungeon masters taking the viewers on a 10-hour quest. But while D&D is about fantasy, the events happening in Stranger Things are based on some very strange things that actually happened.

Based on the Montauk Project

“Honey, we have to trust them. This is our government. They’re on our side.”

Considering what happens in the series, the quote above, said by a clueless father, takes on a deeply ironic meaning. The story indeed describes a shadow government that exists no matter who is in office and that evolves entirely out of public view, partaking in programs, experiments, and missions that are completely beyond public knowledge while controlling the country’s entire resources and networks. In Stranger Things, the main organizations named are the CIA, the NSA and the Department of Energy.

The Hidden Symbolism of "Stranger Things"

The MK programming site and the gateway to the ‘Upside Down’ are located in a National Laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy.

The actual U.S. Department of Energy is one of those gigantic organizations that are massively funded by the federal government (it received 24 billion dollars in 2014) and operates a massive infrastructure all over the country. Yet, very few people truly know what happens inside those laboratories.

The United States Department of Energy (DOE) is a Cabinet-level department of the United States Government concerned with the United States’ policies regarding energy and safety in handling nuclear material. Its responsibilities include the nation’s nuclear weapons program, nuclear reactor production for the United States Navy, energy conservation, energy-related research, radioactive waste disposal, and domestic energy production. It also directs research in genomics; the Human Genome Project originated in a DOE initiative. DOE sponsors more research in the physical sciences than any other U.S. federal agency, the majority of which is conducted through its system of National Laboratories.
– Wikipedia

Stranger Things takes place in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana, where a National Laboratory acts as an MKULTRA programming site.

It is interesting to note that the series’ original title was Montauk and that it was supposed to take place in Montauk, NY. For those who have done some research on CIA mind control, this name should ring a bell. Montauk is the site of Camp Hero, the military base where the infamous and widely speculated Montauk Project took place.

The events on Long Island have come to be known as The Montauk Project. This phrase refers to a series of top-secret experiments in mind control, time travel, psychotronics, and the creation of black holes. These experiments were based out of an old Air Force radar station, or more accurately, in a vast complex hidden in the earth beneath this radar station.

The military focused the efforts of the Montauk Project primarily on mind control experimentation. They gathered young males with psychic sensitivity, and in some cases, they supposedly even kidnapped these test subjects. These boys would sit in a specially developed chair aimed at enhancing their latent psychic abilities. This chair was being blasted with energy waves that allowed scientists to control their young subjects’ minds. Amazingly, it was discovered that the most adept of these young psychics were able to focus on objects so intensely that the objects would momentarily physically materialize. (…)

According to legend, the base actually lost its funding in the late 1960s because the radar technology was obsolete, but was open until 1983. The area is now a New York state park, but the buildings are intact and radar equipment remains standing. Also, from what I learned, what is really strange is that while the government gave the land to the state, it still owns the land beneath the base.

Apparently there are many levels beneath ground that were used for research and the base was really a cover-up. Some people say that is absolutely documented that there is a subterranean city beneath the base that is still being used today by secret branches of the military. People say that the radar equipment was built as a cover up so that the military could conduct experiments in time travel and mind control and this is what all the electronics equipment was for. The Montauk Air Force Station was said to have carried out numerous terrible experiments in cooperation with many research laboratories on Long Island. Apparently, this base was also in cooperation with Mitchell Air Force Base on Long Island.
– Weird US, Military Mayhem in Montauk, Long Island

The Hidden Symbolism of "Stranger Things"

Camp Hero Base in Montauk, NY.

The creators of Stranger Things were clearly inspired by the Montauk project “legend”. The creators however ultimately chose to base the series in a fictional town in Indiana. While the location is different, the same shadow government is behind the action in Stranger Things.

The Hidden Symbolism of "Stranger Things"

Inside the National Laboratory, phone calls made by citizens are monitored.

The Hidden Symbolism of "Stranger Things"

The government uses Hawkins Power and Light trucks to move around the community unnoticed, while they tap into phones and search houses.

The Hidden Symbolism of "Stranger Things"

While the MKULTRA project was supposedly killed in the 1970s, it is still going strong in Stranger Things.

In Stranger Things, the shadow government takes all of the necessary steps to cover its tracks: It spies on citizens, kills those who know too much (making it look like a suicide), fakes the death of abducted children, and hinders investigators searching for the truth.  In short, the shadow government operates above the law and supersedes all levels of government.

Jim Hopper, the chief of police of Dawkins, slowly uncovers the scheme of the federal government.

“I know you do experiments on kidnapped little kids whose parents’ brains you’ve turned to mush. And I know you went a little too far this time”.

Things definitely go too far. Not unlike what is claimed about the Montauk Project, the experiments at the National Laboratory in Stranger Things lead to the opening of a gateway to a dark dimension and the spawning of a faceless monster. Tapping into the darkest forces on Earth never leads to good things.

The Upside Down and the Demogorgon

The intense and dangerous experiments at the National Laboratory engender the creation of a portal leading to the Upside Down – a dark, evil version of the real world. The kids compare it to the Vale of Shadows in Dungeons & Dragons.

“It is a place of decay and death. A place out of phase. A place of monsters. It is right next to you and you don’t even see it.”

The portal leading this other dimension is so powerful that it alters the magnetic field of the area around it, causing compasses to point away from true North. Symbolically, this represents how the occult elite’s dealings are indirectly affecting the entire population.

The actual world of MKULTRA taps into the metaphysical realm, the esoteric and the occult – and not for benevolent purposes. Constantly and intensely drawing power from dark forces ultimately unleashes byproducts, which have an effect on the unsuspecting masses. In short, people lose their “true North”.

In Stranger Things, the byproduct that emerges from the Upside Down is a faceless monster – a creature the kids dub “Demogorgon”.

The Hidden Symbolism of "Stranger Things"

Demogorgon abducts children and takes them to the Upside Down.

Although this monster is pure science fiction fodder, it symbolically represents the beastly, monstrous side of the “scientific” experiments of the occult elite. Attracted by the blood of children, Demogorgon makes them disappear from the surface of the Earth and takes them to Upside Down, which represents the dark, evil, dissociated world of the occult elite. When describing Demogorgon, the characters of the series all say that “it has no face” (much like the real-world MK system has no face). The name given to this monster, Demogorgon, is significant. It refers to a powerful demonic force:

In the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, Demogorgon is a powerful demon prince. He is known as the Prince of Demons, a self-proclaimed title he holds by virtue of his power and influence, which, in turn, is a title acknowledged by both mortals and his fellow demons.
– Wikipedia

The origins of the word Demogorgon itself refers to an evil entity mentioned by occult scholars.

Demogorgon is a name used to refer to a pagan deity or demon, associated with the underworld and envisaged as a powerful primordial being, whose very name had been taboo.
– Ibid.

In the series, Demogorgon represents the satanic elite that feeds on the blood of innocents, abducting children and using them to gain power.

At one point, Brenner, the MK handler, says a significant phrase:

“Six … six … six people have been taken this week.”

Although this appears random, Brenner does repeat the word “six” three times while referring to those who were abducted in Hawkins. It is a coded way of saying that the missing children are fed to the 666 system? One thing is for sure, Will Byers is one of them.

The Hidden Symbolism of "Stranger Things"

Trapped in the Upside Down, Will Byers is progressively being taken over by a disgusting thing penetrating his body. Another child being destroyed by the MK system.

Another victim of the system is Eleven, an MK slave who was abducted at birth.


The Hidden Symbolism of "Stranger Things"

Eleven bends a can using her mind.

Eleven is a young girl that escaped the National Laboratory using her “superpowers”. Through bits of information and flashbacks peppered throughout the series, the viewers eventually piece together the tragic story of Eleven – one that mirrors the fate of thousands of children who disappeared over the past decades. Indeed, through the story of Eleven, Stranger Things describes parts of the real-world MKULTRA program.

Eleven is the daughter of a woman named Terry who willingly took part in MKULTRA-related experiments.

“- She was part of some study in college.
– Yeah, that’s the one. Was started in the ’50s. By the time Terry got involved, it was supposed to be ramping down, but the drugs just got crazier. Messed her up good.
– This was the CIA that ran this?
– The Man with a capital M. They’d pay a couple of hundred bucks to people like my sister, give ’em drugs, psychedelics, LSD, mostly. Then they’d strip her naked and put her in these isolation tanks.”

Terry is convinced that Eleven was stolen from her by the CIA after a “miscarriage” in the third semester.

As stated in previous articles, female MK slaves are sometimes made to suffer through “miscarriages” to cause trauma. Babies born from these situations are easier to program because they’ve already been traumatized.

Families who wanted dissociative children learned that dissociative babies could be born if the child in the womb is tortured. Thin needles are inserted through the mother into the fetus to prick the preborn child. Mothers, who are pregnant with children to be programmed, are also severely traumatized during their pregnancy with a whole assortment of traumas, which simultaneously traumatizes the babies which they carry.
– Fritz Springmeier, The Illuminati Formula to Create a Mind Control Slave

The Hidden Symbolism of "Stranger Things"

While visiting the room intended for Eleven at her mother’s house, the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland is prominently displayed. It is an important symbol in the world in mind control. The same way the White Rabbit lures Alice into the looking glass, MK handlers lure slaves to the dark side of mind control.

In Stranger Things, Eleven is born with a specific set of skills.

“Says she’s born with special “abilities”. Telepathy, telekinesis. You know, sh*t you can do with your mind. That’s why the big bad Man stole Jane away. Her baby’s a weapon off fighting the commies.”

In MK terms, Eleven is a product of Theta programming, which is centered around extrasensory perception (ESP). There is nothing “science fiction” about this, however. It is documented that the CIA invested tens of millions of dollars into researching this field.

THETA – Considered to the “psychic” programming. Bloodliners (those coming from multi-generational Satanic families) were determined to exhibit a greater propensity for having telepathic abilities than did non-bloodliners. Due to its evident limitations, however, various forms of electronic mind control systems were developed and introduced, namely, bio-medical human telemetry devices (brain implants), directed-energy lasers using microwaves and/or electromagnetics. It is reported these are used in conjunction with highly-advanced computers and sophisticated satellite tracking systems.
– Ron Patton, Mind Control

Theta Programming got its name just as the Alpha, Beta, and Delta Programming in part from the four types of EEG brain waves. Theta waves are frequent in children. Psychic warfare became a branch of the Monarch Programming. This is the Theta Programming. It is the marriage of occult practices with state of the art science. The idea to be able to copy what Elisha did to the King of Syria (2 KG 6:11-12) when he “telepathically” spied on the enemy, discovered their plans, and thereby ruined their chances of success. Today this has been called “ESPionage”, and the U.S. Army’s term is “psychotronics”. Of course, the CIA’s position is that they couldn’t find anything that worked, but that is simply not true, because the co-authors know of many Theta alters and Theta model systems which have Theta programming which is successful. Black magicians have been honing their skills on how to deflect magical attacks for centuries. Are their efforts superstition and empty nonsense, or do they really have efficacy? The Illuminati and Hitler believed in black magic. And in recent times, the other groups involved in trauma-based mind-control have also looked into magic based psychic warfare.

The military and the Illuminati are using telepathy, psychic warfare, astral projection and other occult sciences with their programmed slaves. The ability to carry out some of these occult sciences (psychic abilities) can be greatly enhanced by certain drugs, brain wave patterns, training, and demonology.
– Fritz Springmeier, The Illuminati Formula to Create a Mind Control Slave

Although Eleven has “superpowers” that are deemed “pretty awesome” by her friends, they are clearly the product of years of abuse. Since birth, she has been programmed by a handler she calls “Papa” (an actual word used in MK programming). After spending her life confined inside the walls of a laboratory, Eleven can barely communicate and shows numerous signs of past trauma.

The Hidden Symbolism of "Stranger Things"

Eleven gets scared when hearing thunder – maybe it reminds her of electroshock therapy?

The Hidden Symbolism of "Stranger Things"

When Eleven did not do as told by her handler, she is taken somewhere to be punished while her Papa watches. There are no boundaries to the abuse MK slaves go through.

The Hidden Symbolism of "Stranger Things"

When she performed well (she actually killed two guards by using her mind), her Papa “rewards” her with some affection. This is how MK handlers work.

Devoid of a core personality (it was denied by her handler), Eleven temporarily takes on an “alter” to evolve in the “real world”.

The Hidden Symbolism of "Stranger Things"

In Monarch programming, MK slaves are often made to wear wigs (often blonde) when in the real world.

It is however inside the little house Mike built for her that Eleven gains some of her humanity back.

The Hidden Symbolism of "Stranger Things"

Provided with a sense of security, Eleven becomes less of a machine and more human. Her shelter can represent being in touch with her core persona, the “real” her, safe from the harm of the outside world.

Other characters in the series are seen hiding in small shelters as well.

The Hidden Symbolism of "Stranger Things"

Joyce manages to communicate with her son Will through Christmas lights once she sits inside a small storage space. Being in tune with her core self allows her son to contact her.

The Hidden Symbolism of "Stranger Things"

Will Byers went to Castle Byers – a small shed he built – to “hide”. In other words, he went there to feel safe and be in tune with his core persona.

Despite several allusions to abuse peppered throughout the series, Eleven is nevertheless portrayed as a “superhero” with cool superpowers (she is compared to X-Men and Green Lantern).

The fact that her friends call her El (short for Eleven) is also significant. El is a Semitic word meaning “god” or “deity”. As seen above, there is a spiritual, metaphysical dimension to the entire series. The fact that El is in touch with the metaphysical confers her a “godly” aspect.

The Hidden Symbolism of "Stranger Things"

El is the only “savior” capable of taking on Demogorgon, the representation of evil. However, the overuse of her powers leads her to commit the ultimate sacrifice – giving her life for her loved ones.

In the end, Eleven’s ultimate fate is kind of a mystery. After using her powers to destroy Demogorgon, she disappears with him. Did she die with it or did she go back in the hands of the MKULTRA system?

We do know that the police chief Hopper agreed to give up Eleven’s location in exchange for the government liberating Will. Hopper also promised to never talk about anything he discovered about the MK system. He tells Will’s mother:

“Look, everything that’s happened here and everything that’s gonna happen, we don’t talk about. You want Will back? This place had nothing to do with it. That’s the deal”.

The Hidden Symbolism of "Stranger Things"

Hopper leaves Eggos (Eleven’s favorite) in a box in the woods. Did he leave those for Eleven, knowing that she is back in the MK system (because of him)? Or is it an offering to a dead deity?

In the end, Eleven is back where she “belongs” and the secrecy of the MK system is preserved. So, did the good guys truly win? Well, at least Will was rescued and went back to his family. That’s a good thing, right?

The Hidden Symbolism of "Stranger Things"

After going back home, Will celebrates Christmas with his family. When he goes to the bathroom, Will “vomits” a disgusting creature and finds himself momentarily back in the Upside Down.

Although he was rescued from the Demogorgon and the MK system, Will’s ordeal will have lasting effects on him. Indeed, mind control programming and the elites’ demonic system disturb the mind, body, and soul forever.

Other than Will and Barb, who were physically abducted, other characters appear to be affected indirectly by the MK system. Indeed, through subtle clues, the series establishes a strong connection between Eleven – the MK slave – and Nancy – the perfect suburban girl.

The link between Eleven and Nancy

Although MKULTRA is a top-secret operation, the series implies that it has repercussions on the entire population. As stated above, the gateway causes compasses to point away from true North and, well, maybe, it does the same to moral compasses.

While Eleven is a strange, unique and enigmatic product of a fringe government experiment, Nancy is the exact opposite: A regular girl from a regular family living in a regular suburban neighborhood. However, both characters are linked through various scenes.

The Hidden Symbolism of "Stranger Things"

Eleven, who is wet from the rain, is given a change of clothes. She immediately undresses in front of her friends, causing them to freak out. This scene portrays the lack of privacy and boundaries in the minds of MK slaves and might imply sexual abuse in her past. Michael then sends her to the bathroom to change and tells her: “Privacy. Get it?”.

The Hidden Symbolism of "Stranger Things"

After being pushed into the pool, Nancy is given a change of clothes by her boyfriend. She then tells him “Some privacy maybe?”. She ultimately undresses in front of him.

The series mirrors Nancy’s relationship with Steve – a guy who is kind of a jerk, kind of pushy and kind of manipulative – with the plight of Eleven, an MK slave programmed by a handler. Although Nancy is not forced to do anything, the series draws a strong parallel between her losing her innocence (having sex with Steve) and mind control – as if saying that the entire population is “under the spell” of this system.

The Hidden Symbolism of "Stranger Things"

The scene of Nancy having sex with Steve is juxtaposed with her friend Barb being captured by the monster and taken to the Upside Down.

The Hidden Symbolism of "Stranger Things"

By closing in on Nancy’s hand during sex and Barb’s hand while she is taken by the monster, the series once again compares her losing her “innocence” to a girl being abducted by the MK system.

The Hidden Symbolism of "Stranger Things"

The next day, Nancy feels kind of ashamed and tells Steve that “everybody’s looking at her”. He tells her that it is not a big deal. Then, for no apparent reason, he points to a butterfly on her locked and says “Hmmm”. If you are new to this site, butterflies represent Monarch programming.

Throughout the series, characters observe that, since she’s been with Steve, Nancy is a “different person”, the same way MK slaves become different persons. Dustin observes that “she used to be cool”. Barb tells Nancy: “This isn’t you”. Jonathan says about Nancy: “I saw this girl, you know, trying to be someone else”.

Nancy’s ultimate fate is also identical to Eleven’s. While she appeared to be breaking away from Steve’s apparently irresistible spell, she ends up going back with him.

The Hidden Symbolism of "Stranger Things"

Did Steve truly change or is this an act to get back with Nancy?

In Conclusion

While most critics focus on the “nostalgia” factor of Stranger Things, the series is about much more than 80’s aesthetics. It addresses a disturbing aspect of American history and, through overt and subtle symbolism, reveals the deeper, metaphysical implications of the elite’s never-ending quest for power.

Stranger Things is not a documentary, however. It is a “science fiction” show that ends up depicting MKULTRA as a weapon against communism. While subtly alluding to abuse, the series presents a rather whitewashed version of MKULTRA, one that is devoid of its more gruesome aspects. This might lead viewers to believe that MKULTRA is “not so bad” or worse, that it is all fiction.

In the end, the series accomplishes what symbolism does: It reveals to those in the know while concealing to those in ignorance. Either you believe that the story is an apt reflection of the powers that be and the dark forces that rule them … or it is nothing but a creepy Dungeon & Dragons quest told by masterful dungeon masters.

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The Hidden Symbolism of "Stranger Things"

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