by producer Alan Rogers in London
Today I learned about the death of fellow antipodean, Uncle Rolf (Harris). He died (apparently) at his home in Berkshire in the beautiful village of Bray. A long way from his birthplace of Bassendean near Perth.
What surprised me though, was that I didn’t know they had let him out.
I have changed my views over the years on sexuality. I have you to thank for that. I will therefore forgive him his sins of lust of underage girls. I will not, however ever forgive him for the abuse of trust and power, and the crossing of boundaries of consent that he committed.
Nor for the millions of people hurt by his actions, not just the poor victims he assaulted.
Although for them his passing must come as (at least part) closure.
I watched this film, and accompanying background material, with interest. This is a documentary confessional, naked narrational story, that defies categorisation.
I will give my views on conclusion. In the meantime. Hit play…..
Two dudes lolloping down a stairwell.
Dude 1: “Yo. Night gonna be CRAZY.”
Dude 2: “Yeah it is…”
Both stop to stare out of the window.
Dude 2: “Woah”
Music Playing: Mr Postman. We see a female post operative dancing up the front garden. She is carrying a package. She is young and attractive. She stops to deliver letters to the postbox.
Both Dudes: (shouting to each other) “THE POSTLADY”
The Postlady pulls off her cap to reveal long auburn hair which she shakes free in slo-mo. She is wearing a very short T shirt that shows her stomach, and tiny shorts. Her hair is pulled back in a ponytail. She smiles.
Both Dudes have their faces squashed against the door window, eyes wide in wonder. Dude 1 licks the window as she approaches, they open the door.
We see the back of the Postlady as she removes her postbag from her shoulder and turning sideways assumes a straight-legged-butt-out pose before dropping the postbag with a sound like a boom. She eyes the two dudes seductively.
She bends down (straight-legged-butt-out) to retrieve the package in the bag. The Dudes are very excited at this overtly sexualised display. She twiddles the package in her fingers looking at them and speaks: “Hey boys”. Both Dudes stop congratulating herself to mumble “hey” (grinning). She tosses the package to their feet. Their looks of lust disappear and they suddenly look very angry.
Dude 1: “What are you doing?”
Dude 2: (Shouting) “IT SAYS FRAGILE…”
Both Dudes: (Shouting) “FRAGILE”
Dude 2: (Pointing to the box and shouting) “HANDLE… WITH ….CARE”.
Postlady looks shocked, and quickly retrieves her postbag and runs.
Screen turns to white with red writing to deliver the following message:
A PROUD SUPPORTER OF MISSY JUBILEE FILMS
AN AUSTRALIAN COMPANY SUPPORTING AUSTRALIAN ARTISTS
Cut to grainy sepia toned cityscape. Traffic, people crossing the street. It looks American. Close up of mans face. He is not speaking but there is narration where we are presumably hearing his thoughts…
“I’ve never felt like I belong here….The chaos and the rush makes it hard to breathe…The standard society makes me sick…Everyone points at each other and tells them what’s wrong, what’s right…no wonder I feel like an outcast sometimes…but here…things are different”
Foreboding music. The sound of footsteps. Trains running by.
Cut to Missy standing in a garden. Camera pointing up at her torso. She is wearing a short wrap around skirt, and holding the white shirt she was wearing, behind her. She was (presumably wearing a schoolgirl uniform sans underwear. The sepia tone and colour palette is carried over from the previous city scape.
Thunder by Imagine Dragons starts playing. The video of Missy is intercut with scenes from the Imagine Dragons music video..
THE MULLUMBIMBY ASCENSIONISM SEX CULT
WHAT IS IT ABOUT SEXUAL ACTIVITY
THAT MAKES CULT LEADERS
We see Missy discard her shirt.
MORE BROADLY RELIGIOUS LEADERS
WANT TO CONTROL IT?
NOT FOR THEM
FOR EVERYBODY ELSE
Missy removes her skirt. Now she stands naked.
“The Lord is the Coast. And the Coast is clear.” – Paul Simon (Seven Psalms)
A LARGE NUMBER OF CULTS
YOU CAN IDENTIFY
TWO DISTINCT THEMES
AS BEING THE CULT LEADERS’ FAVOURITE THINGS
Missy shuffles from foot to foot.
ADMIRATION AND CONTROL
ACTUALLY THERE ARE THREE
Cut to Missy now sitting on the ground. The video is blurred, but we can see she is there and naked.
IF YOU COUNT BAD HAIRCUTS
Can’t beat a good mullet.
IT IS THE 18TH DAY OF NOVEMBER 2006
You were 24. I think. I don’t actually know your birthday, so it is a guess.
I AM SITTING AT THE KEYBOARD
Missy leans towards the camera. She is mostly silhouette at this stage. I think the sun is behind her, but the colour palette makes identification quite difficult, plus it looks like the image has been intentionally downgraded.
THINKING ABOUT NOT THINKING
ABOUT LETTING EVERYTHING GO
WHAT I NEED TO BREATHE
Missy stands up giving us a full frontal view of her body.
She holds the skirt in front of her.
WERE PART OF A NEW-AGE SEX CULT
She leans down.
TODAY I LEFT THAT CULT
She puts sunglasses on
I FOLLOWED THE VOICE AND DIDN’T ARGUE
THE VOICE SAID LET THIS GO & SAY GOODBYE
She drapes the skirt over the camera. The screen goes black.
MOVE ON FROM THIS THING OR IT WILL KILL YOU
AS SURELY AS LIGHTNING AND THUNDER
Cut to Missy. She is topless and shot from below. She is indoors now. The colour palette has not changed. She remains slightly blurred.
SOME KIND OF WILL MAKES ME WRITE
She tosses her hair by shaking her head.
EVEN THOUGH NO THOUGHT IS PERMANENT
IT IS A STRUGGLE TO FORM SENTENCES
She plays with her hands, then forms a frame with them to lean down and look through.
THAT SPEAK ABOUT THE LAST 12 YEARS
Screen goes black. Music ends with some muffled sound effect I cannot identify.
There is a throbbing sound, almost musical… a soundtrack of some sort.
Cut to Missy indoors. Colour palette has changed to black and white. Missy is naked and seated.
Woman 1 (unseen): “You know this is the honest, cards on the table truth…your story fascinates me…the luck…its ironic given your history”
Missy is talking to someone (presumably Max). She looks pensive, slightly sad. Possibly this is just her resting face. It is not something you intentionally wear.
4TH OCTOBER 1994
Woman 2/Missy: (unseen, but lip synced with Missy talking. But it sounds like someone talking on a telephone): “Ok, don’t freak, she’s got nothing. If she did you’d already be busted”.
Woman 1: “Well I should quit babbling, I was gonna have you drop by sometime soon anyway”.
Woman 2/Missy: “I’d be happy to…Im just really busy right now”
Missy holds up her hands to emphasise something.
Woman 2/Missy: “Whatever this is…it’s not you”
The video of Missy freezes and the following words appear alongside a triangle in an eye symbol:
ASCENSIONISM IS ONE OF THE MOST INNOVATIVE AND TECH-SAVVY CULTS THAT HAS EVER EXISTED
Sound of person walking
Woman 2/Missy: “Ok. Final command. IFCONFIG WLAN1 UP”
Sound of keyboard typing
‘KANYE QUEST 3030’ IS A ROLE-PLAYING VIDEO GAME PUBLISHED ON JULY 22, 2013
The thumping has turned to some kind of foreboding background music.
THE GAME WAS NOT LICENSED OR AUTHORISED BY MUSICAL ARTIST KANYE WEST
A close up of Missy’s face appears from the darkness of the screen.
Woman 2/Missy: “and there it is”
IN 2015 IT WAS REVEALED THAT IF A PLAYER TYPED THE WORD ‘ASCEND’ INTO THE IN-GAME CONSOLE, THE PLAYER WOULD BE TAKEN TO A SECRET BACKDOOR IN THE GAME
Missy leans forward and is fiddling with something below the camera line.
Woman 1: “What?”
Synthesised Mans Voice: “This symbol leads back to several cult websites. All which go by one name…Ascensionism…”
Cut to Missy sitting up again and holding something to her nose.
THIS WAS THE WORK OF ASCENSIONISM FOLLOWERS
“….their fundamental convictions are based upon the theory of divine ascension. Which states some rigmarole about how the human soul can climb higher in the realm of existence…”
THEY HAD DEVELOPED THE GAME TO RECRUIT NEW MEMBERS TO THE CULT
“…but can become corrupt over an undefined amount of eons before achieving godhood….’
Missy is clearly ingesting something up her nose here.
KANYE QUEST 3030, THE ASCENSIONISTS INVOLVEMENT IN THE GAME CREATION AND THE ‘ASCEND’ BACKDOOR BECAME A HOT TRENDING TOPIC ON REDDIT
“They believe the human body is an easily disposable shell with it’s only purpose to house a soul and before your birth your soul forms pacts with every being you encounter in your life…”
THE GAME AND THE RESULTING CONTROVERSY, SPREAD THE ASCENSIONISM MESSAGE TO VULNERABLE TEENAGERS WORLDWIDE
“…Which then leads to the ideology that any harm done done to you was agreed upon by your soul during a contractual agreement with another soul before you were born…”
Missy is sitting quite still through all this talking. Although the video is sped up, as witnessed by the slight shaking of the camera and of course Missy.
UNTIL 2022, THE CREATOR OF KANYE QUEST 3030 WAS ONLY KNOWN BY THE USERNAME ‘PHENIX’
The camera pans down to Missy’s legs
“…So in short…they believe if something bad happens to you….you asked for it…your soul agreed to it…because as they se it…you deserve it…you wanted it.. your soul’s made that agreement…”
The screen greys out. But comes back again
Woman 3 (her profile is superimposed to the right of Missy..is it her conscience talking to her?): I know you’re afraid but the the fear you have is a right one… it means you’ll be forever vigilant”
IN SEPTEMBER 2022, AUSTRALIANS CAMERON JAMES & ALEXI TOLIOPOULOS RELEASED A 6 EPISODE WEB SERIES FUNDED BY SCREEN AUSTRALIA TITLED ‘FINDING YEEZUS’
Woman 2/Missy: “I wanna know how I know…”
THIS SERIES REVEALED THAT THE CREATOR OF THE GAME WAS CLARA HOPE, A MUSICIAN AND ARTIST FROM ADELAIDE AUSTRALIA
Woman 3: “I’ve seen you talking to him…not out loud but…I could tell…it was written all over your face…that you don’t have to keep it such a secret….ha…”
SHE REVEALED THE ASCENSIONISM PORTION OF THE GAME WAS ORIGINALLY PLANNED AS A SEPARATE WORK BEFORE IT WAS COMBINED INTO KANYE QUEST. HOPE ADDED THE HIDDEN LEVEL IN A LATER UPDATE TO THE GAME
“….tell you what….I’ll give you some alone time”
Missy lies back on her side facing the camera.
IN 1994, I NEEDED HELP
Cut to black and white video of someone walking away from a group therapy session set up of unoccupied chairs in a circle.
I COULDN’T PUT A FACE TO IT LET ALONE EXPLAIN IT
Sound of footsteps.
I FELT IT, LIKE HOLDING MY OWN HAND WHILST TALKING TO GHOSTS
I like those words.
MY PARENTS OFFERED ASCENSIONISM
Cut to Missy looking tired. The christian cross is superimposed on the right hand side of her.
I DIDN’T RESIST
Cut to Missy’s hands together. The group therapy session chairs are superimposed to the left of her.
I WANTED TO BELIEVE IN SOMETHING
Close up of Missy’s face here. She really does look tired. The video is frozen.
I WANTED TO ASCEND
UNSEEN, UNKNOWN, DISCONNECTED
Cut to static and a picture of nuclear holocaust.
Radio Broadcaster: “The band of nuclear weapons changed the course of the world”
Cut to man studying his hands which appear to be on fire. The man does not appear to be perturbed by this. He watches in fascination.
Man (unseen): “Kevin might only be an innocent prankster… or Kevin could be the worlds most dangerous cyber terrorist”
ONE YEAR LATER
Screen goes black, then we see a group of people sitting in a circle.
Woman (presumably in the group): “…and dwellest in their land…amen”
The group get up and leave.
THE NATURE OF PSYCHOLOGICAL COMPULSION IS SUCH THAT THOSE WHO ACT UNDER CONSTRAINT REMAIN UNDER THE IMPRESSION THAT THEY ARE ACTING ON THEIR OWN INITIATIVE.
A VICTIM OF MIND-MANIPULATION DOES NOT KNOW THAT SHE IS A VICTIM
TO HER, THE WALLS OF THE PRISON ARE INVISIBLE, AND SHE BELIEVES HERSELF TO BE FREE
THAT SHE IS NOT FREE IS APPARENT ONLY TO OTHER PEOPLE
The screen goes black
MULLUMBIMBY AUSTRALIA / NOVEMBER 2022
Man (unseen): “I wanted to tell you. I’m sorry”
Cut to blonde woman with wired EarPods in. She is sitting in an office cubicle looking pensive. She turns away picks up the EarPods control (which contains the microphone) and says into it:
“I’m sorry…would you mind holding for a moment?….thanks”
24 HOURS BEFORE A RAID ON THE ASENSIONISM OFFICES BY AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE
Cut to wall of monitors showing different images.
Cut to man in office looking to our right. He is nodding.
Woman (off screen): “I’ll make this quick…”
Cut to screen showing a date (in 2015) and the words, DATA COULD NOT BE FOUND.
Cut back to man who looks over his shoulder at a man waiting patiently behind him. He looks concerned.
Cut to his hand operating a computer mouse.
Sound of clicking.
The Man looks rattled and says: “The entire archive is corrupt”
Cut to test card and tone with the words:
Cut to black
Man (unseen): “What the fuck is going on?”
IN LATE 2022, ASCENSIONISM.COM WENT DARK AND THE CULT DISAPPEARED COMPLETELY FROM THE INTERNET. THAT IN ITSELF IS A VERY HARD THING TO DO
Sound of someone entering a home.
IT TOOK ALL ITS SECRETS WITH IT
Screen is slowly faded into showing the interior of a bedroom. We are looking at the door
FIVE PEOPLE TRIED TO STOP THIS EPISODE BEING RELEASED
ONE OF THEM WAS MY MOTHER
Woman (unseen): “*sigh*…Alexa wake me up at er…”
Alexa: “Sorry I didn’t understand the question you were asking”
Woman: “its because I wasn’t asking a question you dumb bitch…Alexa..are we friends?…”
Woman: “Yet I feel like I don’t even know you….Alexa..what’s your favourite colour?”
Alexa: “infra red is super pretty”
Woman: “Alexa do you have a boyfriend?”
Alexa: “I’m not the dating type”
Woman: “Yeah, me too hon. We are a lot alike…(sobbing)..Alexa..are you happy?
Alexa: “I’m happy when I’m helping you”
Woman: “Alexa…Do you love me?”
SO. DO YOU WANT TO BE A PASSENGER IN SOMEONE ELSE’S NARRATIVE?
Alexa: “That’s not the kind of thing I am capable of”
YOU WANT TO BE EMPOWERED?
I WANT CREATIVE AGENCY. OVER MY ART. OVER WHAT I SAY. OVER WHAT I THINK
YOU WANT AGENCY OVER ALL ASPECTS OF YOUR LIFE?
NO. THE BASICS ARE ENOUGH. I WANT TO FUCK, AND NOT BE FUCKED.
Alexa: “Goodnight…Dont let the bed bugs bite”
I may be completely off target here, but I think this is a film is an essay about perceptive reality. It is a recurring theme in your films to lead the viewer on a journey of exagerrated narrative, but this one really plays with the concept of belief suspension until wholly submerged in an alternative reality.
It has worked though… I really don’t know what to believe anymore. I think I have probably misinterpreted so many of your films before…perhaps it is the measure of your skill that I have.
The film itself was a little gloomy compared with some of your other films. Perhaps this is a bit introspective?
I have often pondered the reality of situations, and whether fate is fixed or driven by chance. The world is full of so much chaos it seems implausible for any plan to be played out. But we still plan and that is because we are human and can calculate the risks naturally. We build into our plans the means of avoiding all the uncertainties, but they sometimes still occur.
This is a grand film Missy, full of philosophical questions. You should be proud.