The famous intro
The late great Patrick McGoohan’s cult classic “The Prisoner” – one of my childhood favourites – is today 50 years young. It reminded me to share this interview by fellow Ulsterman, Michael Tsarion, discussing the symbolism and hidden messages within the series.
Well worth a watch!
The series is replete with disguised knowledge and is worth watching again if you haven’t seen it before. Amazingly, in the 60s, there are clear messages about the CCTV police state, left-fascism (disguised as ‘Globalism’, the ‘global village’, ‘internationalism’ which are all international communism / cultural Marxism), the illusion of democracy and the faux left-right paradigm, the influence of secret societies, the corruption of society through corporatisation, psychological manipulation, the Illuminati and other occult influence. If only the incredibly private McGoohan were around today to expand on his views, which he chose to share with the world by disguising as fiction, and subtly injected into pop culture via symbolism and dialogue.
Like this scene:
Glad to see also that Twitter has plenty of people who seem to be aware of the importance of this work, which probably would not be possible today.
The village is seemingly idyllic on the surface, everything runs like clockwork. But it is still a prison, and beneath superficial surface, it’s unwitting citizens are controlled, monitored and psychologically manipulated by forces that are only alluded to. But once you know it is a prison, you can never see it as anything but.
Here is another article covering the symbolism which will hopefully persuade you to track down and watch the original.
The first scene in the opening are thunder clouds and thunder represents something that comes from above and into this world. The book called, the Thunder, the Perfect Mind has that meaning and it is being repeated here. The car that the main character has the letters KAR on it. These letters represent the Ka from the ancient Egyptian religion and that represents the soul, what the ancient Egyptians called the vital spark. Perhaps the 120C could represent 33, because the 1 and 2 add to 3 and C is the third letter of the alphabet, but that is speculation, although there are some apparent Masonic references in this series.
At the bottom of this tunnel is the boss of the organization he is quitting. The man has a map of the world behind him, this represents the physical world and this man is the god of this world, or the Demiurge as the Gnostics called this god.
The last part is very interesting. A man arrives in a hearse to put sleeping gas through the main character’s door. The hearse represents death and the sleep and being carried to the village represents the soul entering this world. Death and sleep go together as this page mentions. The name St. Mary on the bin may have a symbolic representation as well, this series has a religious metaphor to it.
The X that is over his face and made up of X’s represent death and this applies to what this series is about.
The number 6 in numerology represents man and it also represents man as an animal. That’s a perfect name for the main character in this series and what he represents in it. The numer of the boss of this village is called Number 2, which represents all the polarities of the physical world. Number 2 is a prisoner, is a prisoner like everyone else in the village and he is answerable to Number 1.
This scene shows a card that says, “Welcome to your home from home”. He is lost from his original home of the real world and now has a home in this prison. Episode two calls him a Prodigal Son and this is a theme that appears in a lot of occult shows and songs.
The All Seeing Eye makes appearances in numerous places in this series. In this scene it appears in this episode about an election in the village. This village is a democracy and not authoritarian
The symbolism of the square and circle are important in the occult. The square represents the Earth and the circle represents the spirit. In this scene, they enter into this third eye and then he gets knocked out. He is a merger of both, while he is unconscious and this is what he represents in this prison.
The control room has an interesting setup. On one side is a map of the Earth and on the other side is a map of the constellations. In the middle is a moving eye that goes around in circles over a map of the prison. In Masonic lodges, there are two pillars, on one pillar is the Earth and on the other pillar is the sky. This represents the world, or as above, so below.
The last episode is very hard to understand for anyone who hasn’t figured out that this series is a Gnostic metaphor. This Wikipedia page mentions that most of its fans were left wondering about what was going on in this episode. The last episode becomes clear if people can identify the symbolism used here.
Number 6 has overcome the hardest test and he has maintained his individuality while in the prison. Number 1 is inside a rocket and there is an eyeball underneath the number on it. Number 1 in Numerology represents the soul and it represents God. This is the All Seeing Eye.
Behind the judge who’s called The President are people with black and white masks on who have names of various ideologies and sectors of society in front of them. Their masks represent Yin and Yang, they are of this world and they control society. Everytime Number 6 tries to speak, they all interrupt him and this represents that society with all its sectors interrupt the individuality of the individual.
The scene where he meets Number 1 is lost on most people, but it has the most important meaning in the series. Number 1 shows Number 6 a crystal ball showing him with his face been put behind bars in the village, like what is shown at the end. Number 6 drops that crystal ball and then he begins to unmask Number 1. The crystal ball represents the insight he is getting and now he will see the identity of the one he has been searching for. The first mask is the Yin and Yang symbol which represents the world. It can also represent the two sides of the brain. The second gorilla mask represents the animal nature of Man, it can represent the Reptilian brain as well. The human face is the soul and when that is revealed, he goes up into the nose of the rocket and closes the hatch so Number 6 can’t follow him. Number 1 in numerology represents the soul and God and Number 6 has uncovered the soul underneath the Yin and Yang of this world and underneath the animal. When the soul is uncovered, it can rise up into the sky, which is what happens at the end. He has been liberated and can rise up into the Heavens.
The main character of this series, Patrick McGoohan, stated in 1977 that Number 1 represented himself, “No. 1 was depicted as an evil, governing force in this Village. So, who is this No. 1? We just see the No. 2’s, the sidekicks. Now this overriding, evil force is at its most powerful within ourselves and we have constantly to fight it, I think, and that is why I made No. 1 an image of No. 6. His other half, his alter ego.”
The village gets evacuated and Number 6 escapes with some other village residents, including the butler and Number 2 from early on in the series. The door on Number 6’s real house closes automatically, just like in his house in the village, which is saying the real world is like the village. This goes back to the first episode, where he was asking for the bigger map. There is no outside this village.