Hollywood’s War on God represents the second documentary I have reviewed from Good Fight Ministries. With a runtime of 150 minutes, this 2006 documentary shows how some of Hollywood’s most memorable movies “are initiating the masses into a Gnostic worldview that will culminate in a ‘strong delusion’ as the world joins Satan and the final antichrist in their war on God” (back cover of the small DVD insert I have). Joe Schimmel, the president and founder of Good Fight Ministries as well as the pastor of Blessed Hope Chapel in Simi Valley, California, is the documentary’s host and main narrator (other people contribute on a few of the Bible verse citations). This review notes some of the many highlights and notable quotes this film shows.
Unofficially, this documentary has fifteen chapters. Some of the movies it covers include but are not limited to The Da Vinci Code, V For Vendetta, The Matrix trilogy, Fight Club, Dark City, Stigmata, Pleasantville, Vanilla Sky, Minority Report, Eyes Wide Shut, Harry Potter, A.I., The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and The Truman Show. One could argue this documentary spends the bulk of its time on The Da Vinci Code, V for Vendetta, The Matrix trilogy, Pleasantville, The Truman Show, Harry Potter and the subject of Scientology (said subject tying in with Tom Cruise and his movies Vanilla Sky, Minority Report and Eyes Wide Shut). The documentary does give adequate time to the other films, though.
Schimmel starts this documentary with both a citation of John 8:32 and an interesting fact on D-Con rat poison. He notes how D-Con rat poison is composed of 99.995% “other ingredients” (presumably non-poisonous based on the impression he gave) and 0.005% poison (specifically Brodifacoum 3, which was the most common active ingredient in this product at the time). Despite the product’s being only at 0.005% poison, it would still kill rats. He then ties this example to the book The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown as he explains how that book (which became a movie) has more poison than actual rat poison. Schimmel makes an excellent point in justifying refuting The Da Vinci Code; many people have bought (and perhaps are buying) that product. The Da Vinci Code is not some product that was sold to a select few; at the time the documentary was released, The Da Vinci Code had sold over 50 million copies. A book/movie sold in the public arena warrants a public response; it is certainly not a Matthew 18 issue (especially since Dan Brown is not even a Christian). Schimmel is totally justified in not only exposing The Da Vinci Code but also the other films he exposes in this documentary.
Schimmel then transitions into some information about Gnosticism, an ancient heresy that still has an impact today. He actually defines Gnosticism near the beginning of the film; he defines it as “a group of ancient heresies, stressing escape from this world through the acquisition of esoteric knowledge.” According to Webster, esoteric means “secret.” Schimmel appeals to some information from National Geographic about Gnosticism and the Gospel of Judas. He also notes how the Wachowski brothers (the directors of the Matrix movies, henceforth referred to as the Wachowskis) are proponents of Gnosticism.
Schimmel does an excellent job explaining the influence of satanist Aleister Crowley on the movie V For Vendetta (henceforth referred to as V). Alan Moore and David Lloyd wrote the movie (which was based on the 1988 DC/Vertigo comic of the same name). Schimmel notes how Moore was a practitioner of Crowley’s black magic. Crowley’s main motto, “Do What Thou Wilt”, is shown frequently in the comics for V. Furthermore, the first words from Vendetta (the main character in V) in the comics are the lyrics to the Rolling Stones song “Sympathy For The Devil.” This is significant because in the important rockumentary They Sold Their Souls For Rock And Roll, Schimmel shows how the Rolling Stones were influenced by satanism (as advertised by guitarist Keith Richards’ admission that he has some demons inside him that are friends). Among other highlights as it pertains to V, Schimmel shows how the film portrays Christians as the enemy. He also shows a quote showing Crowley’s anti-Christianity stance:
That religion they call Christianity; the devil they honor they call God. I accept these definitions, as a poet must do, if he is to be at all intelligible to his age…and it is their God and their religion that I hate and will destroy.Crowley, The World’s Tragedy, p. XXXI
Schimmel also shows an anti-Christianity quote from Alan Moore, as shown:
…The actual religion Christianity is obviously something that is completely soul-destroying.”Exact source unknown (more on that later)
It should be clear by now that both Moore and the late Crowley do/did not like Christianity. Interestingly enough, it seems Moore even admitted that “…there are references to Crowley in V For Vendetta.” Moore also seemed to hint he would talk to a presence surrounding his head. Please consider the following quote:
I found myself seemingly in conversation with an entity…[its]presence that surrounded my head, moving and speaking lucidly to me.Exact source unknown
This type of language reminds me of those musical artists from They Sold Their Souls For Rock And Roll who would interact with the entities inside them (like the aforementioned Keith Richards). I have to wonder how many others present-day have this same thing happening.
Schimmel next spends extensive time on The Matrix films (henceforth referred to as the trilogy if talking about all three films). He notes the Wachowskis’ connections to Friedrich Nietzsche, a man who claimed Christianity was a threat to human potential. Schimmel cites a quote made by the Wachowskis as follows:
It’s all there in Nietzsche, man. We dwell in the dominion of truth and are marshaling our armies of metonyms and anthropomorphisms into our future work.Peter Bart “Cracking The Wachowski’s Code.” Variety.com. May 25, 2003.
Schimmel also notes how the movies as a whole seek to bring down Christianity. He cites a quote that shows the trilogy’s ties to Gnosticism:
…The film itself is a breakthrough work in the propaganda-illumination program of the hidden rebel forces of “the future”…The Matrix deserves attention and respect. Beyond any other movie in recent memory…Perhaps one in a thousand of those who see the movie will recognize or even notice its gnostic tenets: but regardless of this, everyone who sees this film has effectively been exposed to them.Jake Horsley
At this point in the movie, one thing I started noticing was some claims being made (or quotes being shown) without clear source citation (i.e., a book/article/interview cited alongside a page, publication, date of interview, etc.). For example, in this segment of the documentary, Schimmel made mention of Keanu Reeves’ having “demon rides” (Reeves plays the main character in the trilogy films). While I find the claim interesting, it is not that strong because there was no clear source citation for the claim (the quote might have been from here). There’s a pro and a con to this. The pro is that it can lead the viewer to further research to validate the claim. The con is that if the claim is wrong or skewed a bit, credibility suffers (whether it be a little, a lot, or somewhere in between). An exact address of the quote/claim would make the citation stronger. This type of thing did not happen a lot throughout the documentary. However, it happened enough that I took notice.
Finally, as it pertains to the trilogy, Schimmel notes how the DC sniper was influenced by The Matrix. Schimmel also notes how the Columbine killers cited The Matrix as an influence of theirs. In light of this information, it would be naive to suggest movies do not have an influence on people.
After some information on the movies Assassins, Fight Club, Dark City and Stigmata (with liberation being a dominant theme), Schimmel cites one interesting verse (or perhaps a paraphrase of the verse in light of this) from the Gospel of Thomas (verse 114):
That women are unworthy to enter the kingdom of heaven and that the only way they can be saved is if they somehow turn themselves into men.
I have to wonder if the above quote has any strong influence on today’s culture. The above quote certainly is not a Christian quote.
Schimmel then cites two interesting quotes by New Age author Neale Donald Walsch. Unfortunately, Schimmel does not give the specific address for either quote. It can be assumed it was from his Conversations With God book (no page number is listed after the quote, though). The first quote pertained to Adolf Hitler. I won’t cite that one only because I could not recall the context of that quote. This second one, however, needs little context; it should be fairly easy to interpret:
There’s no such thing as the ten commandments….God’s law is no law.
I found the above quote interesting because I’ve been reading a couple books by Warren Smith, a former New Ager. Now a Christian (and he has been one for some time now), Smith makes mention of Walsch in a book I am reading called A Wonderful Deception. Walsch’s quote is obviously heretical. I unfortunately did not catch how it pertained to anything specific in the film. Nevertheless, it is a noteworthy quote.
Schimmel next spends some time on the movie Pleasantville. I have never seen the film. However, I was shocked to see its subtle celebration of rebellion against God’s moral law, for the movie on the surface seemed like a harmless one (it’s not harmless).
Schimmel next shifts his focus onto both Scientology and three films starring Tom Cruise, a practitioner (?) of Scientology. Schimmel notes how the founder of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard, was a disciple of Aleister Crowley. Furthermore, Schimmel cites a quote from Hubbard’s son that ends up being one of the more eye-opening quotes in this film:
Also, you’ve got to realize that my father did not worship Satan. He thought he was Satan. He was one with Satan. He had a direct pipeline of communication and power with him.Interview of L. Ronald Hubbard Junior, Penthouse: June 1983
I also found it interesting that Schimmel noted the birthdate of Scientology; that birthdate was 12/1/1947, the same day that Aleister Crowley died. Schimmel wraps up the “Scientology” part of the film with some other noteworthy information. This includes the fact that Battlefield Earth, a movie starring scientology practitioner John Travolta, was written by L. Ron Hubbard.
After showing the occult ideology of Harry Potter, Schimmel shows some brief information on the movies A.I., Total Recall (the one with Arnold Schwarzenegger), From Hell, The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Constantine. Some highlights include the inverted cross on the cover of Constantine (said symbol being of satanism these days). Schimmel also cites an interesting quote about Johnny Depp (the star of From Hell); Schimmel cites a quote about Depp’s being thirty different persons sometimes. Unfortunately, there was no clear address for the quote (but the quote seems to be legit). Nevertheless, it was interesting to see.
Schimmel nexts spends extensive time analyzing The Truman Show. He shows how the movie propagates the Gnostic view that people are trapped by a bad creator (said creator played by Ed Harris in the movie). It was an interesting and eye-opening segment.
In closing the film, Schimmel analyzes the early X-Men movies (X2: X-Men United and X3: The Last Stand, specifically). After that, he recaps what has been covered in the film as a bit of a summation. He then gives a bit of a Gospel presentation. He cites such passages as Psalm 19, Romans 1 and Revelation 21:8. He also gives an admonition to be discerning in what we watch with our eyes and hear with our ears. Finally, he says something to the effect of, “Somebody cared enough to have you watch this.” This shows the film’s evangelistic aim.
It should be obvious that Hollywood does have a bit of an anti-Christian agenda in the movie industry. Furthermore, Gnosticism certainly lies beneath quite a few of some of Hollywood’s more popular movies. Schimmel does a really good job in making the connection of satanist Aleister Crowley and Gnosticism to some of these films and filmmakers. While the film could have been a little more clear in some of its source citation, this is still a good and important documentary to view. As Schimmel states, may we as Christians be discerning in what we watch with our eyes and hear with our ears.
Perhaps you are reading this review and you have found some of the movies covered in the documentary to have had an effect on you. I would recommend this film to you. You can find it on the Good Fight Ministries website. You will certainly find more information about the films covered in the documentary than you would simply reading this review of mine.
Perhaps you are reading this review, have been impacted by the films covered in the documentary and are not a Christian. I do not do you any favors by simply recommending an important documentary to you. I have to explain some bad news for you; you are dead in trespasses and sins. Ephesians 2:1-10 (one of the New Testament books) explains (NASB):
2 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
The Bible is clear that people are born dead in trespasses and sins (2:1-3). God’s being rich in mercy makes one alive in Christ (2:4). Furthermore, it is by grace through faith that one is saved (2:5-9). It is not based on works (2:9).
If you do not believe what Ephesians 2:1-10 states, I would ask you please look at the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20:1-17. Have you ever told a lie? Have you ever stolen something, even if it was small? Have you ever used God’s name in vain? Jesus said that whoever looks upon a woman to lust after her has already committed adultery in the heart (Matthew 5:27-28). Jesus also said that if you ever get angry at someone, you’ve committed murder in the heart (Matthew 5:21-26). Just the mere thoughts of adultery and murder make you guilty of the very acts themselves.
Please understand that it only takes one murder to be a murderer, one lie to be a liar and so forth. David said in Psalm 51:5 that he was conceived in sin. Genesis 6:5 states that every intent of the thoughts of man’s heart is only evil continually. Clearly, man has a sin problem. Romans 3:23 states that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Man is in big trouble with God because of his sin. This is more amplified by the fact that perfection is the standard (Matthew 5:48).
Now, some people try to justify their sin by trying to balance it out with the good deeds that they have done. However, if you were to try that in a court of law, the judge would throw the book at you. A good judge would not accept a bribe. He would cast you off into jail. God likewise will not accept a bribe, for there is no partiality with Him (Deuteronomy 10:17; Ephesians 6:9).
Thankfully, Jesus came to solve the sin problem over 2000 years ago (Isaiah 53:1-12). You and I broke the law. Jesus paid the fine (Matthew 26:14-28:20). This means that the judge can do what’s legally right in dismissing your case. He can say, “This person has broken the law, but someone has paid his fine. He’s out of here.” This is good news.
There are two things a person must do. He must repent. This means to turn from his sin (Mark 1:16; Luke 24:36-49; 2 Timothy 2:19-26; Acts 17:30-31). He must also put his trust in the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31, 17:30-31; Romans 4:1-25, 10:1-17; Galatians 3:1-14; John 6:26-29). These gifts of repentance and faith are granted by God (Ephesians 2:8-9; 2 Timothy 2:22-26). If you repent and put your trust in the Savior Jesus Christ, He will forgive you of your sins and grant you everlasting life (John 6:47). Oh may you know His mercy and grace today.
If you are already a Christian and you have sinned today (which you have, as I have), repent and be forgiven, for Christ has bled and died for all your sins.
Perhaps as a Christian you have recommended some of the films in this documentary that promote that anti-Christian teaching of Gnosticism. Perhaps you have not exercised the best discernment as it pertains to what you watch with your eyes and hear with your ears.
Good news; there is forgiveness for that.
1 John 1:9 says if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Bear fruit in keeping with repentance (Matthew 3:8). Discontinue viewing films and any other programs that promote Gnosticism or any other anti-Christian teaching. Ephesians 5:11 states that we are not to partake in the deeds of darkness; we instead expose them. If you have friends or family being influenced by some of this stuff and you have not warned them, warn them today. Call them to repent and be forgiven. Proclaim the Gospel to them.
Thank you for reading, and may God bless you.
NOTE: I emailed this review to Good Fight Ministries. I also tweeted it. I tagged Good Fight in it.