Without a doubt, Stanley Kubrick’s film, ‘The Shining’ is steeped in mystery and has sprouted numerous conspiracy theories. There is even a documentary called Room 237 based on all of the conspiracy theories surrounding the film. I decided I should go through the film and present some of my own ideas, while pointing out others in the process.
First- you can skip all of the reading and watch the video on my YouTube channel if you prefer:
Let’s get into it…
At the beginning of the film, Kubrick shot a yellow Volkswagen Beetle cruising up the mountainside. This contradicts Stephen King’s book, in which the Beetle is red. Some might dismiss this as an error, but Kubrick was an obsessive film maker (and genius; especially at chess), notorious for repeating shots and takes until the final product was exactly to his liking. If something shows up in his films, it is meant to be there. Could the Beetle be yellow to contrast with the mountainside? Perhaps, but like I mentioned above, I’ll point out as much as possible to familiarize everyone reading this.
The Overlook Hotel in the film is actually the Timberline Lodge in Oregon, not the original Stanley Hotel in Colorado, in which Stephen King was inspired to write the novel. The interior shots were filmed on a set in Britain, but there were a few exteriors taken of the Timberline Lodge. King later went on to film a mini-series at the actual Stanley Hotel (and on an unrelated note, so did the film Dumb and Dumber).
There are several shots of Native American architecture in the film, and the hotel is littered with Native American décor. The plot line is that the hotel is built on an Indian burial ground, and Kubrick must’ve been trying to emphasize the point. One theory is that the film is built around exploring the early American settlers’ exploitation and killing of the Native Americans. There will be another shot later in the film too.
Jay Weidner claims there is a lot of sexual reference in the film. He says at this point in the movie when Jack is shaking property manager Stuart Ullman’s hand, it appears that Ullman has an erection due to the precise location of the paper file on his desk. There’s some more on this later also.
Weidner also points out the overabundance of the use of red, white and blue in the film. This must be to play on the American theme some more. No matter what theory you believe, it’s quite obvious there is a message and it is in regards to the U.S.A.
Stuart Ullman (who Weidner points out looks just like JFK), has an American flag on his desk, his suit is red, white and blue, and there is also a bald eagle (it’s behind his head in this shot).
Here is a shot where you can see the eagle in the window. Notice the amount of stuff on the desk. This will come up again later.
Now I’d like to get into the real nitty gritty on the conspiracy theories surrounding the film. Jay Weidner is most famous for making the hypothesis that the film is about Kubrick’s expose of how he actually helped film the ‘fake’ moon landings of Apollo 11. Kubrick was filming 2001: A Space Odyssey concurrently at the same time he was filming the fake moon landings. There is a ton of information out there about this, but to keep things brief, that’s the basic tenet to the theory. Here is an image where you can see what appears to be a shuttle or rocket on the refrigerator. I believe I’m the first one to spot this, I haven’t heard or seen this elsewhere.
Here is another shot of Danny wearing red, white and blue. He wears a combination of red, white and/or blue throughout the entire film. The ENTIRE film. Notice that these stars are upside down, like pentagrams found in the occult and Satanism.
In this shot, Danny is laying on a teddy bear. The bear is a symbol from other Kubrick films. Some say it is symbolic of the Soviet Union during the Cold War. You can see it in the other films, like right at the end of Eyes Wide Shut when Cruise and Kidman are walking through the toy store.
Danny wearing blue and red.
Weidner asserts that Jack is looking at a Playgirl magazine in this scene, and at first I didn’t believe it because it looks like a woman on the cover, but after you zoom in on it, you can most definitely see it is:
Commenter Lex gave us a good image of the cover; and astoundingly enough there is an article in this particular issue about ‘sleeping with children’. There is more to come on that situation with Jack and Danny later on. Was Kubrick foreshadowing?
Here Danny is wasting time while Jack and Wendy get a tour of the hotel. I noticed the American flag is actually reversed in orientation. It is supposed to have the union (stars) to the flag’s upper right-which corresponds to the viewer’s upper left corner. Did Kubrick have the flag reversed on purpose? This could be more of an attempt to convey to the viewer that something is not quite right with America, and if they did in fact hire him to film the fake moon landings then this could be so. The next scene in the Gold Room, Jack reunites with Danny and asks if he’s got tired of “bombing the universe.” This doesn’t make sense in this context at all, because Danny was just shooting darts in the room where the US flag is being displayed backwards. I propose that Kubrick was mocking the U.S.A. and their “bombing of the universe” and held an anti-war stance. His film Full Metal Jacket appears to be an anti-war film also, and Dr. Strangelove most definitely showed the perils of war.
Something else that I noticed (and I think this might be an original too; which is difficult since there are already a million theories out there) was the visual assault of ladders found in the scenes where the Torrances are getting a tour of the hotel. This could also support Weidner’s Apollo 11 theory. It requires a leap of faith in the idea that NASA has roots in Freemasonry. Ladders in Freemasonry are symbolic of progression from the lower ranks to the upper echelons of the secret society.
The Gold Room has two ladders-the one is hard to see but it’s in the left side of the frame, towards the back.
Where is this ladder even reaching to?
Here you can see the Native American on the can of Calumet baking powder (and it’s elsewhere in the film), further taking the Native American genocide theory in the film. Another part of the film worth bringing up at this point is when Jack is talking to the ghost bartender and says, “White man’s burden,” which is a term for the white man’s ‘need’ to imperialize and improve the lives of others; similar to what happened to the Native Americans.
Bob commented and mentioned that during the filming of The Shining the incident known as the cult of Jonestown was occurring. Even though the cult killed themselves by drinking FlavorAid, the term ‘drink the KoolAid’ has been prevalent since. This term means to just take things at face value; as you’re told. Perhaps another Kubrick mark of defiance…
More red, white and blue.
The typewriter is a German Adler. ‘Adler’ mean ‘Eagle’ in German. In the novel, Jack is using an Underwood typewriter. This is one of the arguments for The Shining being a film about the Holocaust. Kubrick himself was Jewish, and married Christiane Harlan, who was the niece of German filmmaker Veit Harlan. Veit Harlan was recruited by Nazi Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels as the leading propaganda director.
Commenter; Lex, mentions that the German symbolism of the Eagle (seen on Nazi regalia) is played out elsewhere in this film. That includes on Jack’s shirt:
Lex also gave us a juxtaposition of two scenes that are eerily similar:
You can see that Lex has quite an argument compiled on a page she created, so check that out as well.
There is also argument on the number 42 which appears throughout the film. Danny wears a shirt with it, Wendy swings the bat 42 times at Jack, and the Nazi Final Solution began in 1942. Wendy and Danny are also watching ‘Summer of ’42” on the television. Also, 2 x 3 x 7=42. And 42 is the “answer to everything” in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. That film has a scene with the Twin Towers (a feature of Saturn Worship). Is it a coincidence? (*Commenter Lex also points out that there are exactly 42 vehicles at the Overlook in the first scene of the film; adding to the ’42’ mystique). Or is there some kind of occult knowledge held by Kubrick?:
Here is a good article with much more on the Holocaust theory: http://www.tabletmag.com/scroll/89719/kubrick%E2%80%99s-holocaust-film I’d also like to contribute the idea that 42 comes with a much deeper, esoteric-occult meaning with the gematria of the Kabbalah with the ancient Egyptian basis of the 42 Negative Confessions of Maat. From Wiki:
The doctrine of Maat is represented in the declarations to Rekhti-merti-f-ent-Maat and the 42 Negative Confessions listed in the Papyrus of Ani. The following are taken from public domain translations made by E. A. Wallis Budge in the early part of the 20th century; more recent translations may differ in the light of modern scholarship.
42 Negative Confessions (Papyrus of Ani)
I have not committed sin.
I have not committed robbery with violence.
I have not stolen.
I have not slain men and women.
I have not stolen grain.
I have not purloined offerings.
I have not stolen the property of the gods.
I have not uttered lies.
I have not carried away food.
I have not uttered curses….
Of course I stopped at 10 because you get the point. It proceeds through all 42; and raises the question of the influence on the 10 Commandments. Could both the ancient Hebrews and Egyptians have been communicating to the same God but with two similar yet different messages? More Native American symbolism; Jack is violently throwing the ball against the Native American décor on the wall.
Here is some over Native American symbolism. Danny and Wendy are racing to the maze and she says “Loser has to keep America clean.” Why would she say that? Because there was a ‘Keep America Beautiful’ public service announcement that released in 1971 with the iconic crying Indian.
Here Jack throws the ball down the hall and it disappears, only to show up later…
Lots of red, white and blue.
This color motif also runs in with the infamous Grady-ghost twins of the film (when Danny sees them dead in the hall they’re wearing white and blue and covered in red blood). Besides the Gemini-twins aspect (Gemini-Grady name change maybe?…) commenter Lex points out that Kubrick actually spent some time studying a photographer named Diane Arbus who was known for taking photos of ‘freaks’. You’ll notice the twins also represent the red, white and blue, but also look for the inversion of smiles compared to the original Arbus twins (a subtle reference to inversion of Satanists or perhaps duality with Freemasons):
Another aspect of colors includes Lex’s idea that there is a theme of ‘morgue’ green throughout the film (she supplied all of these images so you can thank her). Take a look:
First we see it in Danny’s bathroom; perhaps where Jack started abusing Danny:
Then we see it in the infamous room 237 (which we’ll re-explore a little later). It’s on the carpet which has phallus/vagina patterns all over:
And here is a bathroom full of duplicitous symbolism:
Going back to the Grady twins theory; perhaps Kubrick made them identical twins because he was referencing the NASA Gemini program, which was used to prepare for the Apollo program (all of that would support Weidner’s theories on Kubrick filming the fake moon landing).
The classic room number 237. In the novel the room number was 217, but rumor has it that Kubrick changed it to 237 so that people at the hotel wouldn’t be afraid to stay in 217 (I’m guessing there’s no room 237 in reality). Weidner says that the 237 corresponds to 237,000,000 miles that it takes to get from Earth to the Moon. Thanks to commenter mercury; the gematria/numerology could shed some light on this since 2x3x7=42, tying us back into the 42 we mentioned just a couple of paragraphs above here.
Don’t forget; red, white and blue.
Remember that shot from the beginning where we see the clutter all over the hotel manager Stuart Ullman’s desk? Take a look at the desk again. He managed to leave the US flag and eagle on the window sill.
That all seeing, one eye; more Freemasonry symbolism.
Red. White. Blue.
Here’s the uncomfortable creepy part that I’d rather not discuss… Weidner claims Jack has deviant child abuse desires. When Wendy talks about the physical abuse, we are to think it is sexual in nature; not physical. If that is the case, this scene can be viewed from a totally different context. Super creepy. But if that is what’s going on, it could be sort of like David Icke’s theories where these Illuminati types are into the pre-pubescent hormones because that is what the reptilian shape shifters feed off of for sustenance. That’s a rough one to take in, but it’s out there. If you look at the Playgirl cover with the story of the incest sex abuse and lump in the fact that Danny appears to be suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder (a common trait of victims of mind control; particularly Project MONARCH); it all seems to add up. Here’s commenter/Watcher Lex’s take on it:
Also, Danny collapses in the bathroom and loses time after talking to Tony in the bathroom. In the Stephen King novel Tony is seen as a hallucination or vision of an older boy standing in the distance, but in “The Shining” Danny’s demeanor changes, his voice changes and he “becomes” Tony. Is Kubrick suggesting he has dissociative identity disorder (previously called multiple personality disorder?). Apparently sexual abuse early in life is one of the biggest causes for dissociative identity disorder. (I haven’t heard other people talk about Danny as having DID, so please be gentle with me). He collapses and “blackouts” are also common with DID. Another question is… if Danny has “alters” (DID/MPD alters) is Tony his ONLY alter? Could the twin girls be alters of Danny’s? Yes, Grady really did bring his daughters up to the Overlook, and yes Danny may be psychic, but they weren’t twins and many people have commented that the girls might represent Wendy. “Come and play with us forever… and ever… and ever…” Is that a reference to dissociation?
Lex went further to provide images from the start of the film that includes the materials Wendy is reading on her coffee table:
Lex posits that this may have a deeper meaning; one in which Wendy is avoiding giving Danny the help he needs:
In 1978 Susan Sontag wrote Illness as Metaphor, a classic work described by Newsweek as “one of the most liberating books of its time.” A cancer patient herself when she was writing the book, Sontag shows how the metaphors and myths surrounding certain illnesses, especially cancer, add greatly to the suffering of patients and often inhibit them from seeking proper treatment. By demystifying the fantasies surrounding cancer, Sontag shows cancer for what it is — just a disease. Cancer, she argues, is not a curse, not a punishment, certainly not an embarrassment and, it is highly curable, if good treatment is followed.”
Could the Susan Sontag article be in regards to Wendy needing to address what is happening with Danny and quit living in denial about what Jack is doing to their son? I think so. It is implied Wendy knows what is going on, but doesn’t want to think about it. For instance, there is a goofy doll hanging in Danny’s bedroom, and Wendy is dressed similarly.
I go further into this with a post about Kubrick, Nicholson, Polanski, & Illuminati child abuse.
Here’s where that ball that disappears shows up again. This is the pivotal scene where Danny is playing on what Weidner asserts is a launch pad for Apollo 11.
Danny stands up and ‘launches’ the Apollo 11 into ‘space’ and travels down the hall to room 237 (remember, 237,000 mile journey from Earth to the Moon). This is where the awful secrets are kept, similar to how Kubrick had to keep the Illuminati secrets from the masses.
The tag says “Room No. 237,” which Weidner tells us could be rearranged to only two words; “Moon” and “Room.” Thus, Danny travels to the “Moon Room.”
In this same room, Jack is tempted by a beautiful woman who he begins to make out with. When he looks in the mirror, he notices that the woman is in fact not all she seems. Almost all of the ghosts in the house are revealed through the use of mirrors.
The Volkswagen Beetle we see here is red and is crushed under the tractor trailer. The Beetle in King’s novel was red, so this could be viewed as a hostile move on Kubrick’s part. Why he did it, I’m not sure, because King was initially excited that Kubrick was making a film about his novel. King submitted a screenplay to Kubrick, which he actually turned down, so perhaps at this point some words were exchanged and prompted this scene.
This creepy scene where Wendy finds that Jack has been simply typing the same phrase over and over is supposed to be another shout out to the Apollo 11 ordeal. Weidner says that the ‘All’ is actually ‘A11’ which is obviously Apollo 11.
Jack throwin’ up the ‘666’ at Wendy before he tells her he’s going to bash her brains in.
Jack axes down Dick Halloran on the same spot that he throws that ball down the hall and it later reappears at Danny’s feet.
Classic scene from the film where Wendy starts to see all of the supernatural horrors inside of the hotel. Here we see the bear (remember the bear from earlier, and also in the other Kubrick films), and he’s have some deviant sex with one of the elitist party goers.
Commenter Lex was generous enough to provide a decent thought on Germany and the bear; tying the Bush family in with the Nazis and the bear (read the comment at the bottom). Here’s an image Lex put together and provided a link to:
The final shot of the film shows Jack as what appears to be the manager of the hotel from the July 4th, 1921 ball. In the novel, Jack aspires to become the manager, and in the film it seems that he was always the manager. Although in the film Grady tells Jack, “You’ve always been the caretaker.” My main argument for the film is that Kubrick would be trying to expose the elites who he must’ve met while setting up the Apollo moon landing filming. The hotel manager tells the family that presidents and movie stars have stayed there. Wendy asks, “Royalty?” and the manager replies with “All the best people.” That is a pretty smug statement to make that royalty, presidents, and movie stars are the “best” people, unless Stuart was being sarcastic in some way. Take a look at the stance Jack is in, you’ll notice he’s in the stance of the Baphomet, a classic occult pose. This is also the pose in George Washington’s statue, which is yet another nod to the idea of an American secret Illuminati control group. Also, notice the piece of paper in his right hand, what could that be?
UPDATE: Not even one day after publishing this analysis, the Overlook Hotel released the original image in which Kubrick placed Jack’s head, and it appears that it is not a Baphomet stance at all. The original photo shows the man with arms in a similar manner.
If you watch the film you can concoct a variety of theories and you’ll be able to re-watch it from a new perspective, which makes it even more exciting. I’ve seen the film at least ten times, probably closer to 20 and I’m still finding new things each time.
I’ve got a comprehensive e-book and 2+hour documentary video that compiled several of Kubrick film analysis’ (A Clockwork Orange, The Shining, Eyes Wide Shut AND the exclusive 2001: A Space Odyssey) into a downloadable PDF & video project I called KUBRICK’S CODE. Check it out here:
Or pick up one of the bundled packages with KUBRICK’S CODE in it: