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Old 12-20-2008, 07:02 PM   #1
ProfessorChaos
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The Wizard of Oz has a Dark Side

Well, it's that time of year again. The Wizard of Oz is on T.V.! But how many are familiar with the original novels by Frank L. Baum? I have actually read them all, and found them to be quite different from the movie.

Lately, I've been doing research into the connections between mythology,
fairy tales, and psychology. The results, when applied to The Wizard of Oz, are interesting. Everyone imagines Oz in the cute style of the movie, but the original novels hinted at darker things than most people realize.

The Scarecrow:
The Scarecrow worked in the field for the Munchkin Boq. One day, Boq was unhappy with the Scarecrow's work and he hung him up on a pole to scare the crows away. However, the crows were not afraid of him, and instead tormented him.

The Scarecrow was a farmhand treated like a slave. His "master" was unhappy with his work so he had him stuffed, his brain removed, and hung from a pole like a Scarecrow. Since this is Oz, the poor fellow is still alive and because his brain is gone he has now begun to think of himself literally as a Scarecrow, and doesn't see the real horror of what has been done to him by Boq. Why aren't the crows afraid of him? Because he is a dead man. Dead flesh attracts carrion birds. Thus, they aren't afraid of him, and torment him.

Nick Chopper, The Tin Woodsman:
In the original novel, the horror of this man's fate is told clearly. He was a woodcutter who lived in the woods near Munchkinland. He was in love with a Munchkin girl, but the Wicked Witch of the East was jealous and enchanted his axe. Every time the woodcutter went to use it, the axe would cut off one of his limbs. Each time this happened, he had the limb replaced by one made of tin. Eventually, his entire body was made of tin. When the Munchkin girl saw this, she was horrified and no longer loved him. The Tin woodsman then retreated to his cottage until one day it rained, rusting him right where he stood. The Wizard revealed to him that his heart had become "kind" but not at all "loving", indicating that his feelings for his lost love changed.

The Witch was jealous, clearly because no one loved her at all. She responds by putting a curse upon a man who *is* deeply in love with someone. She curses him to dismember himself, and he replaces all his lopped limbs with mechanical replacements. Eventually, he is more a machine than a man. A cyborg actually, who is afraid he has lost his heart (feelings) because he cannot bring himself to mourn the loss of his love. But why doesn't he feel bad that she has left him; what was it about their relationship that deep down he knew was wrong? She was a Munchkin girl. A girl, not a woman. So we have a man in love with a child who is cursed by the Witch to punish himself for what he, deep down, feels is a wrong relationship. Realizing this, he can't mourn. His feelings changed through guilt and remorse.

The Cowardly Lion:
All we know about the Lion is that he was living in the forest, trying to scare people to compensate for the fact that he wasn't ferocious at all. Eventually, he discovers he can be brave, but *very* reluctantly.

I see the "Lion" as a man who is in touch with his feminine side but doesn't like it. He has this wild, overly masculine exterior. Hairy, manly. But it's all over-compensation. He thinks to be manly he has to be primitive and cruel because he doesn't know *how* to be manly due to his feminine side's hyper-dominance of his inner self. He doesn't know the meaning of "Middle of the Road" and is the perfect example of a person being totally out of balance.

Ozma, Queen of Oz:
The daughter of the former King of Oz, Ozma was given to the witch Mombi by the Wizard of Oz, who worried that she would someday be a threat to his illegitimate rule. Mombi changed the infant Ozma into a boy and called him Tip. Ozma, in the form of Tip, was raised as a boy and had no memory of ever having been a girl. Tip had no company, so "he" built Jack Pumpkinhead. Eventually, the good witch Glinda changed Tip back into a girl again, and installed her as Ozma, the rightful queen of all the lands of Oz.

Many children don't learn the difference between boys and girls until their parents tell them. In Ozma's case, it took Glinda to "tell" her. Ozma, as "Tip", was obviously a girl... but a girl who didn't know what a girl was, compared to a boy. This was becase Mombi was keeping her in a state of complete gender ignorance while leading her towards living a boy's lifestyle. Clearly, her upbringing with Mombi was traumatic, and this pushed her into her own fantasy world in which pumpkins can talk and other wonders can occur. But all this is of her mind's making, showing how disturbed the poor girl became under Mombi's "care".

Princess Langwidere:
Langwidere is the niece of the late king of Ev, who committed suicide while the rest of the royal family was held prisoner by the Nome King. The princess possessed 30 interchangeable heads, and she would decide each day which one she wanted to wear. She spends every minute admiring the beauty of her current look, and thinks *only* of herself.

In reality, we have a woman driven insanse by the tragedy that befell her family. She kills people whom she thinks are more beautiful than she is, keeps their heads, and tries to make herself up to look like her victims because she secretly hates herself and what she has become. Her vanity is an illusion that masks a true self-loathing, made worse since she is allied with the very Nome King who caused her life to be destroyed to begin with. Eventually, she betrays his location to Ozma's people, showing she feels *some* remorse.

The Wicked Witch of the West:
In the original novel, the Wicked Witch of the West was said to be dried up inside to the point where she carried an umbrella instead of a broom. When Toto had bitten her, she did not bleed, supposedly because her wickedness had dried her up long ago. She is very evil in the novels. She enslaves Dorothy and tries to force the Lion to serve her by starving him. Dorothy kills her by throwing a bucket of water at her, which dissolves the Witch's dry body entirely.

In certain myths and legends, evil wizards can become totally immortal by removing their heart or soul and placing it in a container known as a phylactery, or soul jar. Their body continues to dry out like a dead corpse until all that is left is a mummy-like skeleton. This terrible creature is called a Lich and can only be killed by the destruction of the phylactery and the use of holy water to dissolve the Lich's body. The Wicked Witch of the West is a modern re-telling of the Lich legend. The Wicked Lich of the West.

The Patchwork Girl:
She is a living doll made of patchwork, button eyes, brown yarn hair, a felt tongue, and pearl teeth. She was originally brought to life by a magician who lived in the Munchkin Country named Dr. Pipt by means of his Powder of Life formula to be a servant for his wife.

But in reality, there is a dark side. You see, the Powder of Life only gives life to something that itself is either "innately alive" or once had been alive but now was dead. In Jack Pumpkinhead's case, he is made of living or once living things. Branches, a Pumpkin, etc. And in the case of the Gump, we have the head of an animal attached to several inanimate things; the head granting it the capacity for life. So, for the Patchwork Girl to exist, something about her must have been at one time alive. So, what was the patchwork? Probably human skin, like the Frankenstein Monster. In D.C. Comics' Swamp Thing, there is a creature called the Patchwork Man, and he was such a creation. Thus, I have no doubt in my mind that the Patchwork Girl was a dead girl, Pipt's wife's servant, brought back to life by the doctor's experiments.

Oz: Great Good Place, or Dark Fantasy?
Dorothy must have seen real horrors in her own life to cause her to seek a place like Oz to live in. In the novels Oz is a real place, not just a dream like in the movie! So the question isn't how sane or crazy Dorothy is but how tragic her life must have been for her to find Oz (filled with it's own horrors) better than life in Kansas. We don't know details behind the death of her parents, only that she is an Orphan being raised by her aunt and uncle. The poppy field in Oz indicated Opium addiction, which was common in those days. Dorothy fell asleep there, so was she subconsciously remembering that drugs killed her parents? Perhaps. Eventually, in the novels, she brings her aunt and uncle to Oz to live there with her. They weren't the cause of her distress. Likely, traumatic memories of her parents' demise coupled with the harsh reality of life on the prairie was the cause. That would make it seem better to be someplace else, even if that other place is just as dark. Oz may be dark, but it's the place Dorothy discovers for her family to live in, and that makes it magical to her. Dorothy's feelings towards Oz can be summed up as making the best of a hard lot in life no matter where it takes you. So a lot of the magic is just making do. Dorothy is deluded by the fact that she sees life as a child. When the time comes that she grows up, she'll see Oz's darkness just as she saw it's light. That is why the Oz novels never talk of her life past childhood: because that's when magic isn't quite so magical anymore, and the horrors of the world become obvious.

So, what begins as a cute fairy tale about one girl's adventures in a fantasy world ends up also revealed to be a dark coming of age story about how a girl with a tragic past is trying to cope, through fantasy, with life being just as horrible no matter where she travels. In that respect, it is not unlike the movie Pan's Labyrinth, which I'd highly recommend for anyone interested in the dark side of fairy tales. For an Oz movie truer to Frank L. Baum's novels, Return to Oz is ideal, and for a modern update of that I recommend Tin Man.
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Old 12-20-2008, 09:05 PM   #2
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The first thing that popped into my mind after reading the part about the Tin Woodsman:



'Tis but a scratch...
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Old 12-20-2008, 09:15 PM   #3
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Man I wanna read this book series now. I knew they dulled it down but D@&#.

REVISED LIST of books must read before I die:

1. The Hobbit
2. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
3. Lobster Johnston series
4. BPRD Series
5. Indiana Jones and the Spear of Destiny
6. Indiana Jones and the Peril at Delphi
7. Indiana Jones and the Tomb of the God
8. Indiana Jones and the Army of the Dead
9. Indiana Jones and the Iron Phoenix
10. Abe Sapien Series
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Old 12-21-2008, 07:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goonie
The first thing that popped into my mind after reading the part about the Tin Woodsman:



'Tis but a scratch...


Good, I was worried it was just me
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Old 12-21-2008, 08:30 PM   #5
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yeah i read the scarecrow part and realized i wanna read them.
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Old 12-22-2008, 10:01 AM   #6
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I don't know where that Scarecrow part came from. I've read the whole series, including the original The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The Scarecrow is a suit of clothes stuffed with straw. He was never a live farm worker.

These are interesting interpretations, Professor Chaos, but many of these are not "facts" (as in, true in the fictional world of Oz).
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Old 12-22-2008, 10:52 AM   #7
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Dark Side of the Oz

Quote:
Originally Posted by ProfessorChaos
So, what begins as a cute fairy tale about one girl's adventures in a fantasy world ends up also revealed to be a dark coming of age story about how a girl with a tragic past is trying to cope....

Ever hear of MONARCH?
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Old 12-26-2008, 04:14 PM   #8
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My anazlysis of Wizard of Oz was regarding the unspoken subtexts of the novel. In other words, what they did not say, but because of that what was implied. For instance, yes, the Scarecrow on the surface is just a suit of clothes and straw. But what kind of Scarecrow attracts crows? Crows are carrion birds, and everyone knows what carrion birds are attracted by. Plus, everyone who traveled with Dorothy was looking for something that they lost. She: a Home. Lion: Courage. Tin Man: A Heart. And what did the Sacrecrow lose? A Brain! Since Scarecrows don't have brains, how could he know what it was he was missing? Unless he had a brain at one time, which he only could have if he was a person, not a sacrecrow. So, what do we by simple logic determine about the Scarecrow? A. He had a brain, which clearly was removed. and B. He attracts crows, rather than frightens them away. C. It was Boq who put him out in the field, and he has little or no memory of his life prior to that. All of which indicates his horrific fate at Boq's hands... but without saying outright a single detail of it. Talk about being carefully written!

Kids reading the novel would never pick up on any of that, but a lot of adults who (like me) know about psychology and subtext *would* get that meaning out of it. It is this interpretation, in fact, that inspired this peculiar illustration showing Dorothy meeting the Scarecrow, who is portrayed in it as a corpse:



As well as this figure, which depicts him as an almost Grim Reaper-like being:
The figure was by Todd MacFarlane, creator of Spawn.



And, many people say that Frank L. Baum was influenced by this picture, when he was coming up with the character of the Scarecrow. Interesting, since it depicts a farmer being literally hung up on a pole like a scarecrow:



The same thing with the Tin Man secretly loathing himself, the Lion being in the closet and afraid to come out, and the Witch being an undead creature. It's not what the characters *do*, per se, but the way they do it and why that reveals the hidden horrors, traumas, and tribuations they must endure.
It's like how in Xena, they never said she and Gabrielle were lovers but you just *knew* they were because of the way they felt towards each other.

Here is a figure depicting the darker "Cyborg" aspect of the Tin Man:
The figure was also by Todd MacFarlane.



This brutal image of the Lion shows just how dark some interpretations go:
The figure was also by Todd MacFarlane.



And here we have the Wizard portrayed as a drug addict breathing in vapors via a gas mask that gives him powers. A similar idea was in the movie Tinman.
You can bet that's supposed to be Opium harvested from the poppy field that sits just outside the Emerald City, which itself is *hardly* just a coincidence.
The figure was also by Todd Macfarlane.



For a modern interpretation of the Wicked Witch as a Lich outside of the Oz tradition, the movie Kull the Conqueror depicts the "Witch Queen of Acheron" as being a demonic Lich who can only be destroyed by purified, holy ice. Just like how the Wicked Witch of the West can only be destroyed by water. A child who doesn't know what a Lich is certainly would not ever connect the Wicked Witch of the West with the Liches of myth, legend, and folklore... but it is intended for an adult to recognize this. That is the magic of all fairy tales.

Here is a picture that portrays the Winged Monkeys as actually being demons.
Their status as such is implied in the novels where the Wicked Witch made a pact with the King of the Winged Monkeys, who serve anyone willing to make such a pact, the details of which are not stated specifically. At one point in the story, the Winged Monkeys serve Dorothy (briefly) as their new mistress.
In Hindu Mythology, the Monkey King is a god named Hannuman, who is also revered in Buddhist tradition as a trickster-hero. Other "divine" monkeys are servants to Hannuman, and typically aid heroes who are on important quests.
Clearly, that was the original inspiration for Oz's Winged Monkey King and his servants, the Winged Monkeys. Often, fairy tales are continuations of myths.



And as for Ozma/Tip being a girl made to think she was a boy, here is one of the very scenes from an *old* comics adaptation of the story to prove it:

"Tip" is hypnotized by Mombi whenever "he" takes a drink that makes "him" fall alseep. As a result, "Tip" who is really Ozma believes herself to be a boy:



Glinda, later on, awakens "Tip" from Mombi's spell, and "Tip" is revealed to be Ozma, the rightful queen of Oz. Here is the truth, from Ozma's own mouth:



Of course, Ozma might still be a little bit confused, as we can see here. Yep!
She is often depicted in *some* of the novels as almost going to marry this prince or that, but she always seems a lot closer with girls than with boys. I won't go so far as to say the Queen of Oz is bisexual, but given how Mombi brainwashed her for so long into thinking like a boy... it is a distinct possibility.
Ironically, Ozma grows up to look a *lot* like Glinda. Since Ozma would have idolized Glinda as a role model, this characteristic of hers is *not* surprising.



And as for the Patchwork Girl, here is a picture showing her skin as being a corpse-gray color. Gray, green, and blue were (and are) colors used in art to symbolize decay. Another hidden fact most kids wouldn't be aware of.



As for Princess Languidere and her habit of chopping off peoples' heads and wearing them in place of her own, it was depicted in the movie Return to Oz, in which she is mistakenly called Mombi, even though Mombi was *another* Witch character in the novels. Here is a scene from Return to Oz showing how the horror aspect was intentional. Bear in mind, most people consider this movie to have been the truest to the novels of Frank L. Baum and how he actually envisioned the Land of Oz to be: a bit on the dark and gothic side.



Even the Nome King being deathly affected by chickens or eggs... that is all based on a real-life illness (my grandmother suffers from it) in which the one who suffers from it is so allergic to chicken and eggs that they could die if they ate too much of either. Most people aren't aware of such illnesses, but clearly they were known to Frank L. Baum when he wrote these stories. It is said that some fairy tales contain hidden allusions to real world things. The case of the deadly chicken/egg is one such allusion I myself would be totally unaware of, were it not for a family member *actually* being afflicted by it.

So, as you can see... although it isn't spelled out as such in the stories, the sometimes brutal and dangerous nature of Oz is there if you look for it. It all depends on how deep you are willing to look, and at what characters and situations you are looking at. All in all, it shows the depth in these works!

For adults... some consideration must be given to how one analyzes a story.
To begin with, never take the text simply at face value unless the author in fact states this is to be the case. Often, there is a lot just below the surface that is intended for certain audiances to notice, but not for others to. This is what is often called the Subtext of a story. An intended, but unspoken, truth that is not widely *known* to be the hidden "fact" at the heart of the story.
The Luke being in love with Leia (before learning she was his sister) subtext in Star Wars is one example. The Big Bad Wolf in Little Red Riding Hood being a sexual predator is another. (Grimms' Fairy Tales are *filled* with subtext!)

Subtext must always be part of a psychological analysis of literature, since in the old days (like back when Wizard of Oz was written) there was a lot that couldn't be said outright, so they said it without actually saying it, if you get my meaning. The Wizard of Oz, along with Grimm's Fairy Tales, has the most huge amount of hidden meanings I've ever encountered in children's literature and for that reason it is recommended reading for adults as well, who could well see things differently becuase of maturity and understanding of life (both the light and dark sides of it). The casual reader won't get much out of any fairy tale, Oz included, but a patient analysis *can* reveal the darker things.
Fairy tales are designed like the Matrix. There is the innocent world you see with your eyes, and then there is the not-so-innocent reality that exists as it's counterpart. It is there, but not everyone is able to notice that it is there.

For the casual reader simply seeking enjoyment in a good read, it is not really necessary to go that deep. But for those familiar with a story, and who have pondered the subtler points of it, there are sometimes fascinating meanings hidden between the familiar lines. One just needs to know how to look.
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Old 12-26-2008, 05:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProfessorChaos
For the casual reader simply seeking enjoyment in a good read, it is not really necessary to go that deep. But for those familiar with a story, and who have pondered the subtler points of it, there are sometimes fascinating meanings hidden between the familiar lines. One just needs to know how to look.

Has it occurred to you that some subtexts that people read into literature are not only unspoken, but entirely unintended? That some apparent references are not allusions but accidents? That one might distort the actual meaning of a work and the intentions of its creator through playing games of hunt the allusion? How much evidence is there of Baum having read some of the sources you cite? How much of what you're putting forth is from other interpreters of his characters and world, rather than him himself? It's pretty easy to lose the forest for the trees, especially if you're doing some transplanting of your own.

I don't know the Oz books, so I can't say with much certainty, but some of this feels like it's reaching a bit.

Last edited by Attila the Professor : 12-26-2008 at 06:51 PM.
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Old 12-26-2008, 11:42 PM   #10
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Hmmmm all these facts are very interesting


What is your take on the Lolipop Guild?



Are they really a band of psychotic mass murderers that grind up their victims flesh and mold them into lolipops?
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Old 12-27-2008, 07:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nurhachi1991
Hmmmm all these facts are very interesting


What is your take on the Lolipop Guild?



Are they really a band of psychotic mass murderers that grind up their victims flesh and mold them into lolipops?

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Old 12-29-2008, 01:52 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Attila the Professor
Has it occurred to you that some subtexts that people read into literature are not only unspoken, but entirely unintended?

I have to side with my esteemed colleague on this one. But if you want to continue this fascinating journey (you're very well read), look into the associations Baum had and the philosophy he was raised in.

Then, go back and read my first reply in this thread.
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Old 12-30-2008, 06:34 PM   #13
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Actually, my personal take on Oz is that it's similar to Middle Earth but with a wild west sensibility to it. The horror elements I pointed out came from the notion that Dorothy was a disturbed child. There's a reason for that, tied with one of Frank L. Baum's influences for Dorothy's character. Perhaps we've all (myself included) strayed far from anything Baum had in mind, but it's no different from certain artists or Hollywood.

Example: one poster mentioned killer Munchkins. Todd McFarlane saw the Munchkins as murderous. So did the makers of the movie Tinman in which they were also savages living in the trees. I don't fully agree with those depictions but I must consider that there are people who view it that way. That's, how one kind of subtext starts. No, it need not be the author's doing, but how some people over time percieve things. Then, the collective mass of human thought called Popular Culture adds it's own monkey wrench into the works when each generation has it's own way of looking at classic literature, fairy tales, myths, legends, and even religion. Todd McFarlane isn't Frank L. Baum. None of us are! So, no matter our own "takes" on the subject, we will all be wrong unless we know more about the author's intentions and thoughts.

If we're to learn how the original author intended things to be known, we must know the psychology of the author himself. His mind, his thinking, his faith, and his outlook on life.

For instance: Lewis Carrol was strange. He took (sometimes nude) photos of little girls. Some thought it was for innocent reasons (photography, art, etc.) but others said he was obssessed with those girls, especially Alice Liddel for whom he wrote Alice in Wonderland. Today, Marilyn Manson believes Lewis Carrol was a man haunted by dark obssessions, and is preparing to film a horror take on the man's life and it's relation to Alice in Wonderland. I don't necessarily agree with that idea, but it does raise a good point: what kind of man was Lewis Carrol; how did his mindset affect his writings? An author puts some of himself into his works. That is a fact. To this day Alice in Wonderland is called an incomprehensible work. Frank L. Baum stated that about it, too. So, we know the mind behind it must've been a bit incomprehensible. A lot of political satire was in the Alice story. Painting the White Roses Red was a reference to the English War of the Roses. The Mad Hatter was a reference to how certain hats used to be lined with mercury, which drove their wearers mad and killed them over time due to mercury exposure. Clearly, Lewis Carrol was not a fan of the political institutions of the Victorian age or their bloody monarchial history. His Queen of Hearts was fond of beheading. So was Elizabeth I, carrying on the tradition from Henry VIII. It's possible that, if Lewis Carrol did have a thing for Alice Liddel, his hatred of the laws of his day could've been caused by his feeling that they didn't allow for his idea of love. (Or rather, perversion as we would call it legally today!) Lewis Carrol was like Oscar Wilde, from that perspective.

So let's just take a look at Frank L. Barm and see what we can discover...

From a wikipedia entry on Frank L. Baum and his intensions with Oz:
"Baum's avowed intentions with the Oz books, and other fairy tales, was to tell such tales as the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen told, bringing them up to date by making the characters not stereotypical dwarfs or genies, and by removing both the violence and the moral the violence was to point to. Although the first books contained a fair amount of violence, it decreased with the series; in The Emerald City of Oz, Ozma objected to doing violence even to the Nomes who threaten Oz with invasion. His introduction is often cited as the beginnings of the sanitization of children's stories, although he did not do a great deal more than eliminate harsh moral lessons. His stories still include decapitations, eye removals, and various other nastiness, but the tone is very different from Grimm or Andersen."

So... fact number 1. Frank L. Baum was going in a different direction with Oz when he began writing than when he really got going. He started emulating Grimms' tales, which were quite violent, dark, and nasty in their era to teach lessons. He removed the lessons, sometimes forgetting to remove the violent, dark atmosphere associated with them. Much later, he made the atmosphere brighter and more cheerful for kids. Shifting creative directions can cause a subtext to come about. George Lucas shifting from A New Hope to Empire Strikes Back created the Luke and Leia subtext. No subtext is intentional, but it can come about in exactly this way: accidentally as the author's doing.

This is also from the wikipedia entry on Frank L. Baum:
"Some of Baum's contacts with suffragists of his day seem to have inspired much of his second Oz story, The Marvelous Land of Oz. In this story, General Jinjur leads the girls and women of Oz in a revolt by knitting needles, take over, and make the men do the household chores. Jinjur proves to be an incompetent ruler, but a female advocating gender equality is ultimately placed on the throne. His stories depict girls and young women engaging in traditionally masculine activities."

Remember what I said about Ozma/Tip? She too was from that story, the theme of which Baum intended to be female equality: the feminist movement. Some people compare that with gay rights, today, and that's the reason I said there are people who view Ozma as bisexual. Baum's intention was to present females in controversial and unconventional roles for those days.

Now, Baum himself was not a strange or "distrubed" man like Lewis Carrol, but in one account it's said he met a girl in a Kansas classroom who was, in fact, mentally disturbed. Supposedly, the girl was abused by her aunt and uncle, and she made up her own fantasy worlds to live in, to compensate for it. One account says her name was Dorothy, and that she inspired to a degree the character in the Oz stories. Another account says that that he chose the name Dorothy becuase his niece's name was Dorothy, and she died as an infant. So let's put 2 + 2 together! Baum was a good uncle who missed his dead niece. He met another girl with the same name, only her uncle was cruel to her. He felt bad so he created the Dorothy Gale character based on an amalgamation of his niece and the disturbed girl. This was the subject of the novel "Was", to a degree, and although a work of fiction, it cites all it's sources as being true historical facts.

So... fact number 2. Frank L. Baum partly based the character of Dorothy on two girls named Dorothy: his dead niece, and a mentally disturbed girl he met in Kansas. Also, being an advocate of women's sufferage and equal rights, he often portrayed women in traditionally masculine roles for that era.

Religiously Baum was a Methodist who became an Episcopalian. He then broke with organized religion and became a member of the Theosophist movement. Baum wrote that he reflected his beliefs firmly in his writings. As Theosophist, what were Baum's religious beliefs? Thusly:

"Theosophy is a doctrine of religious philosophy and metaphysics originating with Helena Petrovna Blavatsky. In this context, theosophy holds that all religions are attempts by the "Spiritual Hierarchy" to help humanity in evolving to greater perfection, and that each religion therefore has a portion of the truth."

Blavatsky was the leading occultist (until Aleister Crowley) of that era! The occult has light and dark to it; good and evil. Black magic and white magic, none of which is evil save in how it's used. The Wicked Witch on one end, and Glinda the Good on the other. The Wizard representing the middle ground between good and evil, light and dark. Gray; Neutrality. All of this is obvious within a Theosophical context and intended by Frank L. Baum since he was a Theosophist. Some say that Blavatsky was a charlatan, and they argue that in Oz, the Wizard was representative of the character of a charlatan. This is noticable in the fact that the Wizard is himself a fake, which could've been a sly nod at Blavatsky's shady reputation. Some occultists of that era used Opium to go into trances. Opium comes from Poppy seeds. There is a poppy field outside the Emerald City in Oz. All of that is complete fact.

In closing, we see that Oz is intended to be a light and dark place with no moral to teach (an immoral place?), ruled at first by a charlatan and then by a woman who had won equal status to a man. A place that possibly, in part, originated from the dreams of a girl whose sad life affected Baum's creation of Dorothy. Bearing all this in mind, I would classify Oz as a place like Middle Earth more than anything. A place where good or evil can happen, just as in real life. That's why Baum wrote Oz as if it were a real place, not a dream or hallucination. Oz is the opposite of Wonderland, and Dorothy is the opposite of Alice. Alice looked for her rabbit hole to fall into. Dorothy was caught up by circumstances beyond her control, like Frodo. I'd call that a mature story. Not necessarily a dark story, but given the true nature of Oz there is an equal measure of dark and light that Baum did intend in it. I wouldn't call Oz immoral, either. I'd call it a wild and free country, not unlike America in it's early days where adventures in both friendly and frightening places alike can occur. The movie Tinman used the wild west idea, too, and that made sense.

Oz was written as a fairy tale. All fairy tales become re-interpreted again and again over the years, since there's no right or wrong view of them. There's room for killer Munchkins, undead Scarecrows, and even Wicked Liches. Who knows what things were dreamed up by a disturbed girl in a Kansas classroom way back then? That alone gives one pause for thought.
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Old 12-31-2008, 11:17 AM   #14
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Now you're getting somewhere (though I wouldn't necessarily use Wiki, as proof, only support).

Given that...why do you think Oz is used as a primary model in the Monarch programming model?
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Old 01-03-2009, 11:39 PM   #15
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It took me a while to do a little research on just what Monarch was. Nasty bit of business, by the sound of it. Here's some of the Oz-related info that pertains to it, from the following web page about the subject:
http://kassandraproject.wordpress.co...e-programming/

"MONARCH programming is a trauma-based form of controlling human behavior without the subject’s knowledge. As a result of ritualistic sexual abuse, human and animal sacrifice participation (blood rituals), electro-shock, and other more technologically modern techniques, the mind splits off (or dissociates) into programmable personalities separate from the core. Further conditioning involves pleasure/pain reversals, food/water/sensory deprivation, hypnotism, double-bind coercion, and the administration of drugs to the subject. The victims of this form of mind control are deployed as assassins, drug mules, prostitutes, serial murders, or agent provocateurs.

Trauma-based mind control dates back at least to the ancient Egyptians. Ritualistic methods were employed to induce trauma through torture, hypnotism, and the use of drugs to as a way to fracture the initiate’s mind creating alters (or multiple personalities). This occult practice migrated to the West and was utilized by the British Tavistock Institute and the NAZIs. This knowledge of this practice landed in the hands of the U.S. intelligence community in the 1940’s through the importation of NAZI scientists after WWII (See Operation Paperclip and the ODDESSA rat lines),

Another way of examining this convoluted victimization of body and soul is by looking at it as a complex computer program: A file (alter) is created through trauma, repetition and reinforcement. In order to activate (trigger) the file, a specific access code or password (cue or command) is required. The victim/survivor is called a “slave” by the programmer/handler, who in turn is perceived as “master” or “god.” About 75% are female, since they possess a higher tolerance for pain and tend to dissociate easier than males. Subjects are used mainly for cover operations, prostitution and pornography; involvement in the entertainment industry is notable. (Source: Project Monarch by Ron Patton)

Many MONARCH slaves are often selected from families that have engaged in multi-generational sexual and psychological abuse. Former CIA/DIA MONARCH slave Cathy O’Brien’s book Trans Formation of America went into great detail describing the different programming methods used by her government handlers to manage her alter personalities. In addition to Wizard of Oz programming, the other scripts used are: Alice in Wonderland, The Tall Book of Make Believe, Alien abduction, Island of the Blue Dolphins, and The Lesser Key.

The author of “The Wizard of Oz”, Frank Baum, was an ardent occultist and an initiate in the Theosophic Society. The fairy tale of Dorothy and her little pup was rich in esoteric knowledge and occult symbology. In the 1940’s, the story was chosen by those in the U.S. intelligence community to provide a thematic foundation for their trauma-based mind control program.

Below are a few examples of Oz programming from the book “Total Mind Controlled Slave” by Fritz Springmeier and Cisco Wheeler:

The close relationship between Dorothy and her dog is a very subtle connection between the satanic cults use of animals (familiars). A Monarch slave as a child will be allowed to bond with a pet. The child will want to bond with a pet anyway because people are terrifying by this point. Then the pet is killed to traumatize the child.

Rainbow–with its seven colors have long had an occult significance of being a great spiritual hypnotic device.

Dorothy is looking for a place where there is no trouble which is a place “over the rainbow.” To escape pain, alters go over the rainbow. (This is a.k.a. in Alice In Wonderland Programming as “going through the looking glass”.)

Monarch slaves are taught to “follow the yellow brick road.” No matter what fearful things lie ahead, the Monarch slave must follow the Yellow Brick Road which is set out before them by their master."

One aspect of Oz programming is to instill a return home programming device to prevent the slave from escaping their psychological prison. Ritual abuse victim Eliana Hephzibah recalls how whenever she felt her mother’s house was unsafe, her mind would be flooded with the memory of Dorothy saying “there really is no place like home, is there?” Hephzibah attributes this to her mind control programming that prevented her from successfully operating outside of her artificial pseudo-reality. “Home is the only answer; the only place to find predictability and security.”

"It is unfathomable to think that Frank Baum (or Lewis Carroll) consciously created works that would later play a central role in the abusive psychological programming of unwitting individuals. Instead, these author’s knowledge of the occult allowed them to incorporate esoteric concepts, archtypes, and symbols that are generally hidden from most, yet are prevalent in the universal psyche. The fact that their works were used for incredibly nefarious purposes should not indict the authors, or their great literary contributions to humanity."

"It [The Wizard of Oz] was pure inspiration….It came to me right out of the blue. I think that sometimes the Great Author has a message to get across and He has to use the instrument at hand. I happened to be that medium, and I believe the magic key was given me to open the doors to sympathy and understanding, joy, peace and happiness ~ Frank Baum"


If the story of Frank L. Baum gaining some inspiration for Dorothy from an actual traumatized little girl, as mentioned in my previous post, was true as I suspect it was... then that is indeed one of the strongest reasons why Oz would be perfect to use for mind control. Since it partly came from an already-traumatized mind (the little girl's), a mind control plan like the one mentioned above, which works through trauma, would find such a concept useful to incorporate into it's concepts. Which proves there had to be that certain element of darkness present for the programming to work, thus also proving the existence of such within Oz. And, just enough light to entrace the mind into longing for a better place beyond that darkness! Since in many of the more sinister occult circles there have always been stories regarding brainwashing, it isn't surprised that something like MONARCH would use a partly occult-inspired method. Which also proves the existence, in Oz, of an occult system and symbology, as incorporated by it's author for a far less sinister purpose: entertainment. Thus proving the existence of a very fine line between entertainment and brainwashing! Some examples include:

Subliminal images within commercials. Though illegal, a method was developed in America some time after T.V. became colorized whereby through the use of certain colors, symbols, or other visual stimuli a person could be persuaded that they were hungry during a food commercial, or that they did indeed want to purchase a certain product as opposed to another. I learned about that in my eighth grade psychology class, so it isn't so big of a secret.

Inserted Imagery within movies. In the movie Flash Gordon from 1980, there is a part where Dr. Zarkov is being brain-scanned by Ming the Merciless. The irony is that the exact method of speeding up random images that is used during the scan sequence is precisely how subliminal imagery works. Here is a link to a YouTube recording of the scene itself, slowed down so you can see what the actual images consist of: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GA6FLe82TNI Movies/T.V. can be used for brainwashing by those insidious enough to do such a thing. The Heaven's Gate cult only allowed it's members to watch the X-Files, Star Trek, and other such T.V. shows (like Babylon 5). This was done to convince the members of cult that the "reality" of those shows was close to the "reality" of the cult's doctrine.

A connection between human moods and certain audio stimuli. Certain kinds of music are known to produce certain effects on the brain. Peaceful music puts the mind into a trance-lace state of relaxation. Peaceful sounds, such as raindrops, ocean surf, or crickets can produce similar effects. Opposite of that is loud music, which makes the mind feel more excited. There are also types of music or sounds designed to disturb the mind. A mild example is the stereotypical ghost moan we hear on a lot of Halloween recordings that can make kids feel scrared or "spooky". A far more intense example is that used by the ATF when they besieged David Koresch's compound in Waco: they blared extremely loud music aimed directly at the compound itself, in a vain attempt to use that to get those within to give up and come out.

Identification with Archetypes. In Jungian psychology, archetypes exist with which individuals invariably identify. The Everyman, the Hero, the Rebel, the Villain. Once you know the archetype a person identifues with, you can gain their sympathy by evoking the archetype when the sympathy is required. A person who identifies most with the villain in movies will react strongest to a film that portrays a fully sympathetic villain. The more sympathetic you make the villain, the more likely people who never identified with a villain before will do so now. On a lighter note, this can cause us to challenge our notions of good and evil. Milton's Paradise Lost is a classic example of a poem that has this effect. On a darker note, religions can portray their God as the Hero while portraying your God as the Villain in order to sway you to their beliefs.

It all goes to show how sometimes a subtext can be a subliminal, or hidden, meaning that some more intuitive folks might pick up on, while others do not.
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Old 01-05-2009, 12:30 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProfessorChaos
...If the story of Frank L. Baum gaining some inspiration for Dorothy from an actual traumatized little girl, as mentioned in my previous post, was true as I suspect it was... then that is indeed one of the strongest reasons why Oz would be perfect to use for mind control. Since it partly came from an already-traumatized mind (the little girl's), a mind control plan like the one mentioned above, which works through trauma, would find such a concept useful to incorporate into it's concepts...

Your research is well done...however I have to interject:

The girl's name Dorothy \d(o)-ro-thy\ is pronounced DOR-a-thee. It is of Greek origin, and its meaning is "gift of God". It was the number one name for girls in the early 1900's.

Quote:
The name of the character comes from Baum's own niece, Dorothy Louise Gage, who died when she was an infant. Baum's wife was deeply attached to the little girl and deeply grieved by her death, so he inserted her into his story as a memoriam. - The Annotated Wizard of Oz, Michael Patrick. p. 38. ISBN 0-517-500868. "The secret of Alice's success lay in the fact that she was a real child, and any normal child could sympathize with her all through her adventures. The story may often bewilder the little one--for it is bound to bewilder us, having neither plot nor motive in its relation--but Alice is doing something every moment, and doing something strange and marvelous, too; so the child follows her with rapturous delight."
– (it’s a fascinating read, to be sure. I highly recommend it.)

This however is questionable, too, for in the same source, Frank Joslyn Baum, his eldest son, recounts that Dorothy was only chosen by his father due to his desire to have a daughter at the time of writing. I doubt that in his determination, L. Baum critically chose his protagonist to assert an occult programming.

Kudos to you though, PC...you're a like minded individual.
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Old 10-15-2010, 06:03 PM   #17
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The first thing that popped into my mind after reading the part about the Tin Woodsman:



'Tis but a scratch...
One of my favourite movies.
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Old 10-16-2010, 04:04 AM   #18
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I got onto a site, The Money Masters, and found they have a doco called The Secret of Oz in which they propose an intentional subtext in The Wizard of Oz drawing on monetary issues of the US in the later 1800s. Sounds interesting.
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Old 10-16-2010, 12:57 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Mickiana
I got onto a site, The Money Masters, and found they have a doco called The Secret of Oz in which they propose an intentional subtext in The Wizard of Oz drawing on monetary issues of the US in the later 1800s. Sounds interesting.

There's a thread about that somewhere on this very site.

Looking for sub-texts, even if they weren't intentional (consciously or otherwise) is a great way of deconstructing works, as you peel them away layer by layer. Often it becomes an exercise in expressing opinions using the primary text as examples. Most works can usually be read in different ways, depending on the motivation of the critic.

In the end the argument can be made that the author of the work in question was, at worst, responding sub-consciously to contemporary attitudes. At best, the work can be presented as an intended treatise.

Last edited by Montana Smith : 10-16-2010 at 01:04 PM.
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Old 10-16-2010, 12:58 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Mickiana
I got onto a site, The Money Masters, and found they have a doco called The Secret of Oz in which they propose an intentional subtext in The Wizard of Oz drawing on monetary issues of the US in the later 1800s. Sounds interesting.

This has been around for some time. Here's one I was able to come up with on google pretty quickly.
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Old 10-16-2010, 01:03 PM   #21
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This has been around for some time. Here's one I was able to come up with on google pretty quickly.

Here's that thread I was thinking of:

http://raven.theraider.net/showthread.php?t=20153
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Old 10-16-2010, 01:16 PM   #22
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There's a thread about that somewhere on this very site.

Looking for sub-texts, even if they weren't intentional (consciously or otherwise) is a great way of deconstructing works, as you peel them away layer by layer. Often it becomes an exercise in expressing opinions using the primary text as examples. Most works can usually be read in different ways, depending on the motivation of the critic.

In the end the argument can be made that the author of the work in question was, at worst, responding sub-consciously to contemporary attitudes. At best, the work can be presented as an intended treatise.

Ah, got that in just before I did.

At any rate...I agree with this. A lot of deconstruction is bull, as far as an accurate representation of the author's intention goes, but then there are implications that must be followed through on and that can lead to very interesting and fruitful analysis.
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Old 10-16-2010, 02:16 PM   #23
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Ah, got that in just before I did.

At any rate...I agree with this. A lot of deconstruction is bull, as far as an accurate representation of the author's intention goes, but then there are implications that must be followed through on and that can lead to very interesting and fruitful analysis.

That's exactly what I was getting at. Even if it's wrong, it has the potential to uncover interesting ideas.

After I ditched the Marxist approach to texts, I turned to the postmodern approach, and it even works well with the likes of Shakespeare.
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