Monday, December 5, 2016

MLM and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them?

I recently took my wife for a date night which entailed dinner and a movie. We were originally planning to see Bad Santa 2, but got held up at the house and ended up switching to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. I must side track for a moment and reveal that I am a big J.K. Rowling fan, and enjoyed most of the Harry Potter (HP for short) series. I also believe she has done something magical for books (all pun intended), and deserves every penny she has made from that franchise. Also, the reviews of the movie were relatively good with 75% positive from top critics on Rotten Tomatoes, and an 83% fan score. I usually agree with Rotten Tomatoes, and have found them to be a very good source of unbiased reviews in the past.

The movie itself was awful, in my not so humble opinion, and looked like a clear money grab. However, upon further thought about the movie, there were some significant undertones that suggested a darker meaning. The movie was extremely poorly written, had far too many CGI effects, and basically ripped off Pokemon and Star Wars. It was utterly lacking in all of the qualities which made HP great.

The weirdest parts were the choice of hero, and the creation of the "Good Guy" wizards versus the evil wizard. The main character, Newt Scamander, was the polar opposite of HP. He was weird, uncharismatic, and extremely conformist to the regime. The "Good Guy" wizards were a totalitarian regime that obeyed unbreakable laws, and punished those who did not conform to their laws extremely harshly as well as inconsistently. They do not have a proper judicial system, and instead had one person act as judge, jury, and executioner. The worst part about this is, the one person in charge of doling out the punishments turned out to be the evil guy in disguise who had infiltrated the system. They basically verified the need for checks and balances within a system, and showed the system was easily corrupted.

At one point in the movie, Tina (a main witch), was trying to report Newt for breaking a rule, but was unable to proceed because the main "Good Guy" wizards had already ostracized her for an unknown reason. However, this does not deter Tina from trying again, and this ultimately leads to a death sentence for her and Newt. The offense was non-violent and the punishment was dealt after a weird 10 minute interrogation in which the judge had already made up their mind in advance. This seems preposterous for a children's movie, let alone a HP related movie, and it only gets worse and creepier from there.

After being sentenced to death, they are led into a white room with a chair floating in the middle above some water-like liquid. The room looks like something from an insane asylum, and the chair is similar in design to an electric chair. The nurse wizard then proceeds to show the audience how they execute people, and this is really grizzly. Let me start by saying this death scene was extremely long and far too graphic to be considered normal. The female nurse begins by essentially lobotomizing Tina, and puts her fondest memories into the water-like substance. Then they get her seated in the chair, and it slowly drops her into the liquid which melts and destroys all forms of matter. As she is being lowered, she is crying and smiling because the audience sees all of her favorite memories.  Let me finish this thought by saying, there is never a need to emphasize death in movies, especially movies for younger folks, and this one took the cake for being overly twisted.

That wasn't the only point in which death seemed "normal" as the "Good Guy" wizards also killed a misunderstood boy that had the potential to be very dangerous. Again, there was no trial, no representation, just a snap judgment as they decided it would be more appropriate to pass an execution. This still boggles my mind, and on top of that, they ended up catching the main bad guy from the beginning of the movie. This guy had a series of crimes and murders, was the most wanted wizard in the community, infiltrated their government and assumed a high ranking role, executed a kill order earlier in the movie on the two main characters, and ended up being arrested.

The worst part about the "Good Guy" wizards is there obliterate curse which makes humans lose their memory. Toward the end of the movie, there were many humans that witnessed the wizards. In an effort to keep themselves safe from literal witch hunts, they decide to obliterate (I'm not using hyperbole, that is actually what they called the spell with some weird latin twist) the humans minds. As if that isn't bad enough, there is a main human character that befriends the other main characters, risks his life with no special ability against supernatural creatures and beings, and never asks for anything in return. What is his reward? He gets obliterated, and forgets everything that happened.

The "Good Guy" wizards that everyone is supposed to look up to are a ridiculous totalitarian regime focused on mind control and destruction of anything and everything that does not conform to their ideals. This movie is atrocious in its philosophy, and is a weird propaganda piece for government control.

This movie had so many weird parallels to MLMs and cults, it felt like a twisted documentary. The mind control, lack of information, inability to have a voice when addressing the governing body, and the outrageous punishments for insubordinate behavior, left me genuinely numb.

I'm sure I will get some flack for this interpretation, but it is important to be critical of everything, especially entertainment targeting younger minds. I'm curious to hear if anyone else has seen the movie, and even came close to the same interpretations.

If you have a story involving abuses from your upline and would like me to share it on this blog as a guest post, then please e-mail me and I will be more than happy to post it! Your stories are not as unique as you may think, and your stories are some of the most impactful resources we have to fight MLMs. I will keep your anonymity upon request.


  1. I haven't seen this film, but from what you describe it would seem to be a satire on the modern world, and the tendency towards totalitarian control in the name of benevolent liberalism.

    The "Good Guy" wizards are, pretty clearly, the real villains in this movie. They are being presented as the obnoxious corporate control-freaks who are increasingly taking over the world.

    The fact that they destroy all their enemies and have no serious opposition is the sign of a very dark satire, rather than an ordinary cinematic melodrama.

    1. Anonymous,

      Absolutely! The way the government manipulates popular terms and phrases to get people to agree to lose their rights is completely obscene. The idea of liberalism has been completely warped and has strayed far away from John Locke's, "An Agreement of the People". The fact that he promoted smaller government, and several inalienable rights, such as life, liberty, and property, tells us the liberals of today don't really understand the philosophy.

      I would agree that the "Good Guy" wizards were villains in the movie, but they weren't the only ones. Honestly, everyone except for the main four characters were villains and the lines were extremely blurred. Especially since the main bad guy had infiltrated the system and assumed a high ranking position throughout most of the movie. It makes me wonder how this type of movie affects younger minds as well as the subconscious views of its attendees.

      Thank you for the way you phrased this as a dark satire! I didn't know how to refer to this experience with good terminology, but that is spot on! This was my problem with the original HP movies and "The Ministry of Magic", because that governing body was also obtuse, and had very little resistance besides Dumbledore and the "Death Eaters".

      One important thing to point out, and the reason for why I felt this film really veered off course from being a great representation of the HP movies, is the use of capital punishment and control as something normalized. This is vastly different from HP as no criminals were sentenced to death, and they were actually tried in a wizard court (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban). There was also an attempt to control the student population and make them conform to a totalitarian leader in the 5th movie called Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Dumbledore is replaced by a robotic order taker that has a harsh black/white view of the rules. Eventually she makes a bunch of rules, the children rebel, and she ends up losing the battle for control. However, in Fantastic Beasts, the "Good Guy" wizards have no problem using magic to manipulate people's minds, and use force/coercion to keep other wizards in line whereas punishments in HP are strictly monitored and most are forbidden. It is an interesting duality that is quite striking to a philosophical perspective.

    2. You are quite correct -- the early "liberals" like John Locke and Thomas Jefferson and Tom Paine were deeply distrustful of all government, and fought ferociously to keep government limited and unobtrusive. Today's liberals are the exact opposite. They are maniacal control-freaks who want to regulate every single aspect of human life and behavior.

      The original liberals said "That government is best which governs least." Today, such a statement would only be made by libertarians or quasi-anarchists.

      This is why the most dangerous and malignant force on the planet today is paternalistic, globalist liberalism.