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Tomorrowland 2017: Fantasy collides with reality

The occult global-unity festival linked up with Israel for the second year, but that tepid victory was offset by multiple troubles elsewhere. Yet this is not a reason to relax.

The official “Tomorrowland Unite” 2017 announcement was as bombastic as ever, declaring that “the love of the biggest gathering on the planet is about to be sent into the rest of the world.” The bravado ignored some serious setbacks in recent years, including the open-ended cancellations in the western hemisphere (“Tomorrowland Brasil” in South America  and “TomorrowWorld” in the USA). This year brought new challenges to Tomorrowland’s dream of planetary transformation.

While the 2017 festival ran for two weekends (July 21-23/28-30) at the “holy grounds” in Boom, Belgium, “the rest of the world” consisted of only eight other countries participating in a one-night stand (July 29). Still, expanding influence showed that things were looking up: along with Germany, Malta, Spain, Israel, Taiwan and South Korea, two Muslim-majority countries agreed to join the mystical bridge-building. These newcomers, Dubai (United Arab Emirates) and Lebanon, produced the first hiccup in the love-fest.

Although promoters billed Tomorrowland 2017 as “a show that allows you to escape reality,” festival organizers didn’t grasp one Middle East reality from which there is no escape. They’re new to our neighborhood. Tomorrowland’s prior experience was only with Israel, a westernized country grateful just to be included. How hard could it be to promote Middle East peace by adding a couple of westernized Arab countries?

They were probably advised about the cultural minefield. We might speculate that a concession to Muslim sensitivities against idols was the reason for replacing the Hindu-style deities towering over the festival in previous years with relatively neutral clown masks. In return, Tomorrowland must have presumed an equivalent Muslim concession: to dance at a party alongside Israel. Oblivious to the local geopolitics that prohibit any public chumminess whatsoever with the Jewish state, the SES site enthused thateach UNITE stage will be live-streamed to the other countries to enhance the connected experience [with] the other eight locations on a large screen.

So, while Tomorrowland’s Israeli fans looked forward to cheering at their neighbors via satellite, the weeks before the event saw the latter calling for a boycott of the entire festival, tweeting curses like: “May the art that would raise up the name of Israel fall.Festival promoters in Lebanon, once a Christian country but now 54% Muslim, dodged the controversy by refusing to identify the other “Unite” venues. Lebanese participants clearly ignored the boycott, and also ignored the Israelis. In the Gulf States, where relations with Israel are thawing, the censorship was milder but still observable. Gulf News diplomatically hid Israel in the closet with Taiwan and Malta: “The Dubai chapter of Unite will be accompanied by shows in Germany, Lebanon, Spain, South Korea and more.” But when accounting for all nine countries, the report obscured Israel’s presence by mentioning Spain twice.

Spain was the site of Tomorrowland’s second run-in with reality, when the main stage in Barcelona burst into flames from straying fireworks. The really scary part was the reaction of the fans. Video footage showed that a three-hour dose of Tomorrowland had so blurred the line between reality and fantasy that thousands stood there pointing their phones at the inferno instead of seeking safety.

Afterwards, Tomorrowland spokespeople had their own private meltdown. They announced the cause as “a technical malfunction,” and promised full refunds. But first they needed to escape behind closed doors and stall for half an hour in order to face the music. The fact that dazed partygoers had to be herded out of danger was hinted in their applause for the “professional intervention by the authorities” in evacuating all 22,000 of them. Eyewitnesses later disputed that claim.

Taiwan’s show was cancelled altogether when yet another reality hit home: a strong typhoon that shut down half the island. It’s the sort of thing that used to be called “an act of God.” Tomorrowland preferred to attribute the festival’s failure to a “government decision.

Meanwhile in Israel, no glitches were reported. In fact, Tomorrowland 2017 didn’t attract much attention here at all. The festival retreated from last year’s toehold in Jerusalem to the outskirts of Rishon Lezion, a town lamely exaggerated as “Tel Aviv” (which is really a half-hour to the north). But like last year, videos showed mediocre Israeli attendance, only half-filling the “gold ring” area in front of the stage.

Some will now ask: why should the Body of Messiah get upset about Tomorrowland, in Israel or anywhere else? Isn’t it just an elaborate, silly (and very expensive) outdoor trance-dance party that might collapse from its own woes?

Music fans have also criticized believers for what they see as an over-reaction to this festival. They point to the superficial nature of EDM (electronic dance music) which provides the excuse for Tomorrowland. And indeed, watching EDM dancers, you can sense their mood: friendly, carefree, mildly bored. It’s strictly about dancing (if you can call bouncing in place with upraised hands “dancing”). No underlying messages, and certainly no spiritual agenda.

Exactly! Why then does Tomorrowland insist on adding the dark, heavy trappings of occultic paganism year after year to a mindless dance party? This year’s theme took the enigma one step deeper.

Besides the above-mentioned ban on divine images, the 2017 concept also abandoned Tomorrowland’s traditional nature-worship and “book of wisdom”. Instead it mimicked a 19th-century American world’s fair, giving it an almost unpronounceable name: “Amicorum Spectaculum.” That’s Latin for “Show Friends.” Think of the typical EDM audience: could anything be more geeky, unimaginative, and irrelevant to a fun-loving dance-till-dawn experience? Yet it attracted them nonetheless. The artwork carried an esoteric flavor that whispered of secrets unrelated to music or dancing.

How does “the macabre theatre” of death obsession fit with the light-hearted ambiance of EDM? As KNI noted last year, it’s the opposite. Tomorrowland harnesses EDM to implant these dark aspects of spiritualism into the unguarded mind. If you think that’s hysteria, consider the evidence:

Trances or altered states are a time-honored gateway for allowing spirits free access to your soul. A mind put into trance mode (through drugs, sensory overload or mindless repetition) has deactivated its natural ability to resist unwanted spiritual intrusions. The pounding, trance-inducing elements in EDM are proven to control mental processes in ways that bypass human awareness. Some EDM DJs explicitly see themselves as modern shamans triggering altered states, but naively assume that all spirits are “friends.” Add to this Tomorrowland’s constant bombardment of dancers with strobe-laser lights (which can induce altered states even with your eyes closed), along with the habit of some to use mind-altering drugs, and you have the perfect recipe to override your God-given power of choice and open you to spiritual influences you would not otherwise accept.

Last year we traced how Tomorrowland has been using the EDM environment since 2012 to lure spiritually starved youth into the occult “madness” (their word). The official 2017 Tomorrowland trailer took a more civilized, rational approach… while dropping strange new hints about the “friends” and their “show.

The trailer began by addressing partygoers (“People of Tomorrow…”), only to switch abruptly to a different audience. The change was subtle; I didn’t catch it until I read the print version: “I am calling upon you, the greatest entertainers ever seen, to gather again and roam the earth. To create the most spectacular show in the universe.” That this is a veiled invocation to other-worldly “entertainers,” and not a glorification of professional DJs, is revealed by the call for them to “roam the earth.” It’s an unusual phrase lifted from Scripture… and used only by Satan (Job 1:7, 2:2 – NASB). The spiritual nature of these dazzling show-masters was also hinted with visual cues, as seen in this stage set.  

Equally weird was the trailer’s comment, “Our audience has been waiting patiently for many years since the last spectacle….” This isn’t about Tomorrowland’s own productions, which have run like clockwork in Belgium every year since 2005.

The nature and time of that “last spectacle” were never clarified. Instead the clip suddenly pulled viewers through surreal scenes resembling a kid’s nightmare (complete with sinister clown faces). The old-fashioned Western circus merged with the pagan Dawali festival honoring the fire gods. Among the more blatant occult images were a hypnotic Buddhist prayer-wheel, levitating Tarot cards, and the six-armed Hindu death-goddess Kali.  

Similar disturbing visuals were displayed on Tomorrowland stages. These were outnumbered by the subliminal images flying across the screens at lightning speed and viewable only in still-shots.  Even then, it takes time to notice everything captured by the camera. The subconscious, however, can effortlessly absorb everything.

Other subliminal cues were standing in plain sight. Occasionally the familiar Tomorrowland symbol (a butterfly topped by a crowned eye) was slightly altered to include a reverse image (focus on the light color to see the crowned eye thrusting an anchor downward – a reference to alien spirits embedding themselves in humans). Some imagery needed no explanation, like the fire-eyed dragon sheltering a stage with its bat-wings. Others defied explanation, like the cobra rearing up over this stage with its fangs bared – sporting a giant computer power-down button for a hat.

Compound subliminal messages directed at Christianity appeared in this mock-up of a cathedral pipe-organ. At the apex was the Tomorrowland symbol, with the stage flanked by drab wooden crosses (the one on the right was falling over); all of these suggested an abandoned, reused church building. As darkness fell, the crowning emblem transformed itself into a stylized Baphomet pentagram, symbol of the “church” of Satan. Within minutes this disappeared, replaced by the Anarchy-Chaos sign (a punk-music symbol out of place at an EDM show… or an occult symbol extolling lawlessness and violence).

In every case, Tomorrowland’s elaborate props have nothing to do with dance music. They have everything to do with pagan indoctrination. Even atheists should be opposing this spiritual manipulation, if only for reasons of personal freedom and mental health.

At the same time, we who follow Yeshua need to beware of too narrow a focus. Tomorrowland is only one front in a wider, age-old war for men’s souls. Its esoteric roots go back to the Great Flood. The account described in Genesis 6–9 is acknowledged by occultists as true; only they view it as a severe setback for humanity. A spirit-link between “enlightened” men and fallen angels was broken, and both sides have been trying to recover it ever since.

All the Tomorrowland symbols are expressions of the occultic last-day “Plan” to recruit mankind in rebuilding what YHVH had destroyed. First, however, the builders of the New Tomorrow must remove longstanding expressions of God’s authority:

“The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers take counsel together against the LORD and against His Messiah, saying, ‘Let us tear their fetters apart and cast away their cords from us!’” (Psa. 2:2-3)

They are determined to cut the cords that have governed our lives since creation. They are proclaiming increasingly bizarre new ‘freedoms’ from the distinction of male-female, the barriers between species, the definition of “human”, and the ultimate boundaries of lifeand death.

Of course, it won’t work. “Why are the nations in an uproar, and the peoples devising a vain thing?” (v.1) But the resulting desperation and chaos will furnish an excuse to defy the human-angelic barrier: recall the spirits banished at the Flood back to earth, and merge with them to ‘save’ mankind. Who is their leader? The Light-bringer, Lucifer, that “sacrificing angel” who was “unfairly maligned” by Biblical faith.

As a result, Christians and Jews who uphold God’s Laws are strategic targets for elimination. It helps explain today’s increasing global hostility against these two groups, and against the Bible, even in (or especially in) the most “enlightened” and “spiritually aware” circles.

Our God has decreed that the fantasy of global rebellion will run its course. We who have His Holy Spirit must learn to stand united in the reality that will ultimately defeat it:

“The accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night. And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.” (Rev. 12:10-11)

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Hannah Weiss
Hannah Weiss lives in Israel with her husband Hillel, their three children and two grandchildren. Besides writing on issues relevant for followers of Yeshua, she also works as an English writer, editor and translator for Israeli exporters and academics. Hannah is part of a small home fellowship, Restorers of Zion, which serves the Body of Messiah by focusing on neglected or dysfunctional areas of Scriptural teaching and practice.

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