Not Illuminati, but illuminatus
By my reference to "illuminatus," I am not talking about the Illuminati, that Bavarian Order created by Adam Weishaupt (1748-1830) in 1776 that was stamped out in 1784. I am not a John Bircher, heaven forbid.
Look, the enlightened have been around for a long time.
Galileo's buddies in the Alumbrados had their run-ins with the Roman Catholic Church, and Weishaupt's Illuminati members had to deal with being banned by Karl Theodor after he became ruler of Bavaria.
Of course, revivals of groups using the name have taken place. These include the "Revived Bavarian Order of the Illuminati," established on March 12, 1901, by Leopold Engel (1858-1931). Then there are Aleister Crowley's sex-magick revivals. The Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO) was founded by Theodor Reuss (1855-1923), and later restructured by Crowley (1875-1947), who used the word Illuminati as a grade of initiation within the organization.
John Carradine/David Carradine: OTO?
Here is where the Carradine name pops into the story.
In Craig Heimbichner's Blood on the Altar: The Secret History of the World's Most Dangerous Secret Society, it notes that the cofounder of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory Jack Parsons was the OTO's Agape Lodge cofounder. The OTO, he characterizes, as a group involved in sex-magick, pedopilia, and other tales of power and perversion. (BTW, agape is Greek for "brotherly love.")
Heimbichner observes (p. 121), "His Agape Lodge was affiliated with many Hollywood writers and actors, including John Carradine, father of [David] the star of "Kung Fu" and the cinematic blood-geyser Kill Bill. The elder Carradine read one of [Aleister] Crowley's poems at the inauguration of the Agape Lodge No. 2 in 1935." (Author Heimbichner also mentions actors Dennis Hopper and Dean Stockwell, and filmmaker Kenneth Anger, as Thelemites, the term for OTO members.)
Two of the OTO's most famous: Jack Parsons's girlfriend, Marjorie Cameron and Dennis Hopper.
Indeed, the Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.) is easily researchable online, as clearly having ties with many people, from the actor John Carradine to the gay activist Harry Hay.
The groundbreaking 2000 book, Sex and Rockets: The Occult World of Jack Parsons by John Carter and the 2005 copycat work, Strange Angel: The Otherworldly Life of Rocket Scientist John Whiteside Parsons by George Pendle, give more details, especially in the realm of "following the money."
The Parsons books note that the stimulus for the Agape Lodge came from a visit to the Vancouver branch of OTO, in which Wilfred T. Smith met Aleister Crowley. Soon Smith was sending money to Crowley for the Hollywood OTO. It was Smith who registered and incorporated The Church of Thelema at 1746 North Winona Boulevard in 1934. With Parsons in the background, Smith asked Crowley's permission to form a branch of OTO under the name Agape Lodge.
John Carradine visited the house perhaps because he was a member of OTO, or, as Pendle wonders, for "research purposes: He was soon to play the organist of a satanic cult in the film The Black Cat."
John Carradine (1906-1988) appeared in The Black Cat (1934), playing the "cult organist" who was killed in an explosion (along with the rest of the cultists) when the Bela Lugosi character blows up the cult's headquarters. Lugosi is shown activating the bomb, followed by an exterior shot of the house exploding.
John Carradine's wild sexual ways, as one of The Bundy Drive Boys, is also discussed in Hollywood's Hellfire Club (2007) by author Gregory William Mank and contributors Charles Heard and Bill Nelson.
So, was the father to the clan a dedicated OTO member in the 1930s, or in stereotypical Hollywood fashion, merely getting closer to his topic, as Heath Ledger would do recently with the Joker role, to more deeply understand the forbidden subject matter being researched? Was David Carradine doing something similar in Bangkok and elsewhere?
The elder Carradine, we now know, worked with those who were trying to understand the modern versions of the Illuminati. John Carradine is listed as the narrator for Gary Allen's cassette recording of the tape, "The Establishment - C. F. R." It is noted as an "in-depth look at the 'invisible government' that controls the United States. C.F.R. as a modern manifestation of the conspiracy begun by the Illuminati." ("C.F.R." stands for the Council on Foreign Relations.)
Did the Carradines play the dangerous game of double-agents?
Revelation of the Method
In decoding the alchemical process of this, needless to say, we have to go more deeply into what Michael Hoffman in Secret Societies and Psychological Warfare calls the "Revelation of the Method."
Shall we move onward? The hints are all around, and the story is unfolding. Let's look with open eyes.
On June 4, 2009, David Carradine was found dead in his room (#352) at the Park Nai Lert Hotel in Junfan Mulay, Bangkok, Thailand. Police said he may have been dead for at least 12 hours, dying probably on June 3, 2009.
The early versions of how he was found, tied up with ropes around his neck, hands, and penis, have been revised, changed, and grown more confusing with each retelling of the story. The fact that photographs of the dead are published routinely in Thai newspapers has lead to Americans being shocked to see the images of David Carradine hanging from his hotel room closet.
While this image may be graphic, it seems to have certainly thrown into doubt the "cover story" by local law enforcement in Bangkok that this was a clear-cut suicide. Carradine's hands, bound, are shown over his head, and how one could tie up their own hands is now being questioned.
The news service at Infowars has also added a new wrinkle that flashes back to thoughts of the OTO mind-set. Here's what they have revealed, in part:
During a segment that aired on the Larry King Show, CNN correspondent Jerry Penacoli says the death of David Carradine “was abnormal, the death was not natural. And the evidence shows that there were ropes tied around David’s neck and around his genitalia and that they were tied together. And that there is a report — several reports that there were ropes tied around his wrists.”
* * *
Later in the segment, Penacoli says a filmmaker and director named Damian Chapa, who worked with Carradine, said he “believes that there was foul play” in Carradine’s death. “And he said that no one else knows this but his family — Carradine’s family and friends and people closest to him, but David was very interested in investigating and disclosing secret societies.”
“So whatever that means…”
It means you can end up dead.
Secrets of Place
One aspect of this story that seems to have been under-investigated is where David Carradine died. What of the specifics of this site?
Why would I ask? As Secret Societies and Psychological Warfare notes (p. 54): "Mystical toponomy and alchemical cant language are part of a process which hinges on a marriage between action in time [or recorded history] and physical locations on the earth regarded as 'places of power' by the cryptocracy's magical-geographical vision of the earth as a giant chess board."
The mystical toponomy of obelisks at places like Dealey Plaza and near the Lorraine Motel may be mirrored in a similar overt form of symbolism near the site of Carradine's death.
David Carradine appears to have very carefully picked this spot, or had someone pick it for him. A 5-star luxury hotel in Bangkok, Swissotel Nai Lert Park offers a unique city retreat in Thailand’s bustling capital, with award-winning restaurants, a beautiful eight-acre lush tropical garden, and nice executive rooms, such as the above example shows. Or so the tourist literature reads at first glance. But we must search more deeply.
The hotel's location is key. One of Bangkok's most unique animist shrines resides under the large banyan tree circled in the upper left corner. Here, favors are asked of Tubtim, a water spirit that lives in the adjacent canal. If a wish is granted, devotees leave phallic offerings of all shapes and sizes. Hundreds of colorful examples are lined up around the shrine. And from the hotel parking lot, along a walkway, to the shrine.
The building at right, shown on the above map, is the former Hilton Hotel, which at one time attempted to stop visitors from accessing the shrine. Subsequently they lost their lease. The hotel is now named after the original property owner, Nai Lert. This is the Swissotel Nai Lert Park, or as given in the English-speaking media, the Nai Lert Hotel or the Park Nai Lert Hotel.
Literally hundreds of penises (phalluses) - from small wooden carvings to big stone sculptures that stand ten feet tall and decorated with ribbons - make this shrine quite unique. Sexual imagery, as a matter of fact, is not uncommon in Thailand. The red, of course, relates to engorgement and attraction. The shrine, offerings, and walkway honor Chao Mae Tubtim, a female fertility spirit.
Chao Mae Tuptim image (about 20 cm high) is located in the spirit house.
Women visit this shrine when they are trying to conceive, leaving offerings of lotus and jasmine. Rumors say the shrine has a good success rate. Women will return if their wish is fulfilled, and place yet another phallus at the shrine in thanks. Little is known about the origins of the shrine, which now stands on the grounds of the Swissotel Nai Lert Hotel in the heart of Bangkok. It can only be recalled that a spirit house was built by Nai Lert, for the spirit who was believed to reside in the large Sai (Ficus) tree.
The directions to this area is even given on the hotel website: "Use the main entrance of the Nai Lert Hotel, walk straight through the lobby and enter the quite large garden with swimming pool in front. Exit through a gate on the right to enter parking lot. Exit through the gate and turn right. Walk about 100 meters."
Was David Carradine a victim of murder? A victim of homicide turned inward, suicide? Or an accidental casualty of sex magick?
David Carradine was born John Arthur Carradine, the eldest son of John Carradine. The elder Carradine we know was involved with OTO. What David Carradine was into, investigating, or in pursuit of remains unknown.
Intriguingly, one of his first roles, when he decided acting was going to be the path he took was in a television production for the Armstrong Circle Theater called "Secret Document."
After "Kung Fu," David Carradine would take on a starring role (still above) in the mysterious underground Roger Corman production - a new kind of action movie - Death Race 2000 (1975).
His final role would be the most enigmatic, however.
Carradine’s family has asked the FBI to investigate if the actor died from auto-erotic asphyxiation or murder. They also are having a second autopsy conducted.
Will new answers lead to more questions? Or merely silence examining further this bizarre "hanging" death, and give some pause to others investigating several questionable "hanging suicides" that may have clues via names and places?
On Friday, June 5th, the Carradine family lawyer Mark Geragos spoke on Larry King Live and dismissed claims of suicide, stating instead that David Carradine could have been murdered by a "secret sect of kung fu assassins," after it was revealed that Carradine had been attempting to uncover groups working in the martial-arts underworld.
The Carradine family released further comments suggesting that David Carradine was killed because he was investigating "Kung Fu crime lords' secret societies."
His ex-wife, Marina Anderson, who has been shopping a book contract about David Carradine, told the media, "If he was involved in secret societies, it was a secret that even I didn't know about. But he did have some big secrets."
Why Thailand, which would mean he was looking into the Muay Thai gangs, right? Or was he doing a more broad-based bit of research on the Hung Society (Society of Heaven and Earth), Chinese Triads and Japanese Yakuza?
The assassin conspiracy theory has remarkable similarities to notions about Bruce Lee's death in 1973. Lee's death reportedly rumored to be heart failure by popular sources like Yahoo News, while most talk was of cerebral edema; there are still others who believe that the martial arts legend was murdered by Chinese Triads. Considering that the "Kung Fu" role was Bruce Lee's before he was replaced with David Carradine by Hollywood politics, it would be an intriguing coincidence.