Eyes Forced Shut
Who killed Stanley Kubrick?

"If I told you their names, I don't think you'd sleep so well." -- Sydney Pollack, "Eyes Wide Shut"

To claim Stanley Kubrick -- arguably the finest film director ever -- was a major 20th century figure is an understatement. In a just world, his death this March would have received the same media attention as was unnecessarily heaped upon pea-brained pretty boy John-John's demise.

See also...
... by Robert Sterling
... in the Whoa! section
... from October 4, 1999

It's nice to know that some conspiracy lovers -- ready to challenge official reality -- question if Kubrick died from natural causes or was assassinated. It's quite refreshing, actually, after hearing countless theories over whether the supposedly significant death of JFK Jr. was really murder (amusing in its assumption that the "mastermind" behind wimpy political rag George was somehow a threat to the power structure).

Kubrick's swan song, Eyes Wide Shut, reveals kinky sex-magick and suspicious slayings that, in retrospect, hardly seem like Tom Cruise blockbuster material. Conspiracy rumors argue the film earned Kubrick his death certificate: Considering his career of anti-authoritarian auteurship, it may be a lifetime achievement award.

If anyone deserved to be whacked by The Man, it was Kubrick. Oliver Stone gets the "conspiracy" smear for his flick about the death of John-John's daddy, but it's Kubrick who was the true cinematic expositor of the secret and suppressed. It's incredible he was allowed to keep a camera.

His career was one of unequaled subversion: the anti-war Paths of Glory (1957), the homoerotic slave revolt celebration Spartacus (1960), and the mockery of the dark military machine Dr. Strangelove (1964). He warned of things to come way ahead of the curve: Lolita (1962) was a sexual taboo-smasher, 2001 (1968) anticipated Von Daniken's Ancient Astronaut craze, and A Clockwork Orange (1971) predicted the violently grim Brave New World Order police state.

Some also allege Kubrick filmed NASA's faked "moon landings" and wrote the "script" for the Apollo 13 disaster/hoax. This is unlikely -- not because the theory is far-fetched, but because the camera work on the moon landing lacked Kubrick's unique style.

Eyes Wide Shut, a sexual thriller about the decadent underbelly of the rich and powerful, has a creepiness that chills almost as much as his 1980 work The Shining. The film's highlight (besides showing Nicole Kidman naked) is a masked-ball orgy into which Cruise's character sneaks, barely evading punishment when his uninvited entry is discovered. What follows is an Antonioni-esque Blow-Up mystery: Are the death and the disappearance that follow cabalistic revenge killings? Or are they merely two unrelated events that randomly follow his attempted deception? Is it coincidence or conspiracy? The film presents no definite proof, but implies the events are indeed linked.

In light of Kubrick's death, watching a film in which two likely murders are explained away without investigation is disturbing. Kubrick warns that anyone who reveals upper-crust secrets can be snuffed without punishment. Was he predicting (and warning of) his own farewell?

Kubrick wouldn't be alone: As Uri Dowbenko's film review on Steamshovel Press noted, Mozart died soon after he revealed Masonic mysteries in "The Magic Flute," Stephen Knight, who wrote about Freemasonry and the Jack the Ripper slayings in two books, died mysteriously while working on a third, and 19th-century author William Morgan appears to have been murdered after he exposed Masonic activities.

The last major film to reveal occult secrets like Eyes Wide Shut was Roman Polanski's Rosemary's Baby. Soon after its release, Polanski's lover and unborn child were slaughtered by Manson's occult "family," and he was later run out of the States. (Polanski screwing a 13-year-old girl didn't help.)

The sex rituals in Kubrick's film appear inspired by the Hellfire Club, an 18th-century British Masonic offshoot founded by Sir Francis Dashwood. Founding Father (and high-ranking Freemason) Benjamin Franklin is said to have engaged regularly in these Satanic orgies. More recently, self-proclaimed Great Beast Aleister Crowley created similar rituals for his Masonic-inspired Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO).

Crowley's top American protégé, JPL rocket scientist Jack Parsons, was befriended by future Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard in the late 1940's. Hubbard supposedly admired Crowley obsessively, and some researchers claim secret Church of Scientology trainings are heavily influenced by OTO rites. Some Kubrick rumors note Cruise and Kidman are famous Scientologists, though the connection seems tenuous.

Is there anything to this? Was Kubrick knocked off? Perhaps. But maybe the truth is even stranger. Rumors swirled around A.I., another proposed Kubrick project. Officially, the idea was shelved, yet others allege it was being filmed, and it would continue over a 20-year period, using a young actor who would age over the years during filming. Certainly this was a fascinating concept, and the rumors even reached print in Wired.

Perhaps Kubrick did start this project, and, as he desired to keep it in utmost secrecy, faked his own death. That way, the film could continue without scrutiny, as any future A.I. rumors could be dismissed like crackpot Elvis sightings. Indeed, perhaps Kubrick is hanging out with Elvis right now (along with Jim Morrison, Hitler and Andy Kaufman, all on that secret island famous people go to after faking their death), while he slowly finishes his final masterpiece.

Implausible, you say? Perhaps so. Then again, Kubrick was a very well-connected guy. And, as Eyes Wide Shut suggests, those with power can arrange just about anything.

Robert Sterling is the editor of The Konformist, the Internet magazine dedicated to rebellion, konspiracy & subversion. He is easily bribed.