Joshua, chapter 1: Be strong and courageous

Quick recap: After 400 years of slavery in Egypt, God led the tribes of Israel into freedom using Moses as His prophet. Crossing the Red Sea, receiving bread from heaven, and being built into a nation at Mount Sinai has greatly changed the Hebrew people, but the older generation’s lack of faith dooms them to forty years in the wilderness. Now within sight of the Holy Land, Moses has departed from the world and the conquest of Canaan will soon commence under Joshua, son of Nun, of the tribe of Ephraim.

Even though Joshua has been a leader of Israel all through the wilderness wanderings, he is now faced with the greatest challenge of his life: after so many years as Moses’ protege, he is now nominal leader over Israel. He has led Israel’s soldiers many times, but ruling a nation must seem especially daunting; no doubt Joshua questions whether he is capable or worthy of filling Moses’ sandals. The Israelites must be questioning as well – at the brink of crossing, the greatest prophet of God is gone. What does this mean for Israel’s future? Will God keep His promise? Will He continue forward with them?

In this time of transition, God comes to Joshua and delivers a two-fold message – part of it is for him personally, and part will be shared with the nation.

God comes to Joshua and has a pep-talk with him; the first thing He says is the go-ahead for Israel to move into Canaan. God assures Joshua that His promise to give Israel the land still holds true, even laying out the specific boundaries. Verses 5 through 9 are God’s personal message to Joshua – all of Israel will look to him as an example, and God is telling Joshua exactly what he needs to be that example. Three times, Gods tells Joshua to be strong and of good courage (doing the right thing out of faith, not fear)

Joshua relays the news to the people; unlike the previous generation (in Numbers 13 & 14) who rejected God’s word (TWICE), they are physically and spiritually ready to enter the land and subdue it. The time has come – move it out, Israel!

A special arrangement is made for the descendants of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh who wish to settle the land on the Jordan’s eastern side. Their women and children will remain on the eastern land, but the men (of age to go to war) will proceed with the rest of Israel into Canaan. The implication seems to be that their families will be protected by God while they are away helping to provide a home for their fellow tribes of Israel.

The tribal leaders respond to Joshua; speaking on behalf of their families and clans, they pledge their support to Joshua. The two conditions they name: 1) God must be the driving force of Joshua’s leadership (as He was with Moses in the wilderness), 2) they encourage Joshua to be full of courage (reflecting God’s admonition to Joshua), so that he may lead them against the strong peoples of Canaan.

In Deuteronomy 32:44 and 34:9, we are told that Moses helped to prepare both Joshua and Israel for this moment; Moses has passed the mantle of leadership to Joshua, and God confirms that His presence rests with Joshua. The nation and Joshua are now ready; let’s move it out, Israel – Canaan awaits!

Hitler vs Stalin: Examining Complexes

Looking at two of the most famous/infamous dictators of the twentieth century, I notice an interesting contrast. In climbing his way to the top, both Hitler and Stalin exhibited a distinctive mindset in how to overcome their adversaries. Psychologically speaking, the two men are mirror images – their mindsets exact opposites.

Exhibit 1: the Superiority Complex

As ruler of the Third Reich, Adolf Hitler set about “proving” that the German people were better than any of the nations that sought to oppose them. Hitler had the benefit of education (even though he dropped out during his mid-to-late teen years). Living in a Germany that had been deprived of its imperial status, he and the Nazis sought to “reclaim” the past and prove that Germany was better at warfare and production than any of the democratic Allies.

If the superiority complex was portrayed as a ladder, Hitler and the Nazis sought to fight their way to the top – regarded as their natural place in the world order they sought to create – and prevent anyone else from claiming it.

Exhibit B: the Inferiority Complex

Joseph Stalin, on the other hand, was born into a poor family and dropped out of school during his childhood. In his younger days, he had been weak and sickly; growing into a healthy, strong man, his early experiences still haunted his mind and affected the choices he would make later on. Even after joining the Bolsheviks, he served as a “nuts-and-bolts” revolutionary – while Lenin and Trotsky hammered out ideology and strategies, Stalin was the one doing the dirty work, which he excelled at. As a result of his educational failings, Stalin grew to mistrust intellectuals, who seemed to have an unfair advantage over other people (not unlike the bourgeoisie and upper class of Russia). Biding his time until after Lenin’s death, Stalin gained the trust of his fellow Bolsheviks and took over the Soviet Union, not only sending Trotsky into exile, but also purging the U.S.S.R. of all intellectuals – ironically leaving Stalin as the guiding mind of the Soviet Union’s future.

Returning to the ladder analogy, Stalin put himself at the top, but through a different means than the method Hitler employed. Rather than struggling past everyone above him, Stalin merely sawed the ladder off at his level and declared himself to be at the “top.”

Ironic, isn’t it? Each man wanted to be the “best” and yet the ways they went about it were totally different, even though their ultimate goals were practically identical.

Seven Deadly Sins and Disney Villains

For many years, we’ve heard the term “seven deadly sins.” What are they, and what exactly makes them so deadly? Those are the questions I will endeavor to answer in this post, and to add some flavor to the philosophy, let’s see what Disney villains epitomize them. Let’s begin!


Without a doubt, Yzma is extremely self-absorbed; if Narcissus had a female counterpart, Yzma would DEFINITELY be a great fit. She serves as Emperor Kuzco’s “adviser,” but she always tries to run things her own way. When Kuzco is “removed” after becoming a llama, Yzma wastes no time in installing herself as the new ruler and erasing any trace of him from the world, even hunting him down to kill him. All of this reeks of pride – it is the central drive for domination and hunger for power.


In classic lore (and Disney), Prince John is portrayed as a cowardly little upstart who tries to take everything that (by rights) his brother King Richard has – gold more than anything else. While he also desires his brother’s power and position as well, his primary passion is to amass wealth for himself; in money, John finds happiness. He wears it, handles it – he even SLEEPS with it in his bed! In this, John proves himself to be highly materialistic – the more he can possess, the greater his “happiness.”

His obsession with money may stem from a desire for stability – John’s royal childhood was not an easy one (losing his father’s favor, battling with Richard for their mother’s affections, managing England while Richard was away on crusade), and money may have been his escape. Money bought power, stability, and a certain measure of peace. However he sought it, more negative effects occurred than positive.


As a snake, Kaa is crafty, sneaky, and methodical; however, he is not driven by power or dominance – his place in the jungle’s food chain is clear and secure. His primary goal is to fill his belly with whatever he can – in this, he is a primal villain, hungry for a full belly and contented appetite. Setting his sights on Mowgli, Kaa pursues him as a gourmet diner would pursue a delicacy, abandoning his quest only when he finds the hunt to be more trouble than it’s worth.


Gaston is prideful like Yzma, but his goals are different. He is already the center of attention in the community, hailed as a conquering hero, the “pure paragon” of manhood; the one woman resistant to his “charm” is Belle, whom Gaston desires to be his wife. Everything he does – from arranging a wedding, having her father falsely committed to an asylum, even battling the Beast – is done for the sake of satisfying his desire to have Belle as his and his alone.

Interestingly, the movie that portrays Gaston has an interesting twist. In Beauty and the Beast, many of the characters undergo objectification (“to present as an object, especially of sight, touch, or other physical sense”); the servants of the castle become the objects of service that their master equated them as, the prince himself becomes the Beast (as he was in his heart), and Gaston tries to objectify Belle as a “trophy wife.” In a way, lust is all about objectifying people – making them an object to fulfill the desires of the person who lusts after them. In that sense, both Gaston and the Beast are pictures of lust, but with opposing outcomes – the Beast overcomes it (truly viewing others as people) while Gaston is consumed (and destroyed) by it.


It’s easy to see how well Hades fits the spot. While he exhibits a cool and calculating personality, his composure is all too easily set ablaze by an unexpected turn of events; his emotions seem to have only two settings – calm or furious. In the background of his personality are feelings of covetousness and envy – he envies the position of his brother Zeus and covets the power and influence that the position. His fierce temper dominates over all, however, and his minions must stay on their toes (and out of reach) if they are to avoid feeling (literally) the consequences of his displeasure, which he is not hesitant to mete out.


Scar is very much a contrast to Prince John. While both have older brothers who reign as warrior kings, Scar desires position, not possessions. In written media, Scar is shown to have tasted true power before the events of The Lion King, but that power was stripped from him, and now he seeks absolute power that NO ONE can take away. As Mufasa is seen as the pinnacle of power and influence, Scar desires to assume his brother’s position and become everything that Mufasa once was.

More than that, however, Scar desires to stand out; like Prince John, he becomes angry and threatened every time he feels overshadowed by his older brother. In this sense, Scar’s envy partially stems from an inferiority complex – like Jafar from Aladdin, he hates everyone who makes him feel like “second best.”


Drizella and Anastasia are the stepsisters of Cinderella; growing up with a mother who spoiled them, they become VERY lazy, seeing their beautiful stepsister as a means of serving their selfish desires (objectification again!). They do no labor, spend all their time shopping or in artistic lessons, and squander their family fortune in pursuit of refinery that they later despise because it’s not “new” anymore. Their mother is, for the sisters, a source of authority, income, and satisfaction – as long as she is there to give direction to their lives, they need not lift a finger or do anything original, because she (and Cinderella) are there to oversee (and take care of) the details of life.

While I didn’t see the sequel movies, I read about them, and was glad to see Anastasia grow a bit – she pursues a life outside of her mother’s control, finds true love, and even becomes Cinderella’s friend. Drizella, on the other hand, is content to remain a companion (and mirror image) of her mother, and shares her lot to the end.

Modernism: before, during, and after

People often hear or say the words “MODERN DAY;” the question is, what (or when) does that ACTUALLY refer to?

People use it to refer to the present time; the trouble is – according to history – the “modern day” has IN THE PAST.

Let’s take a quick trip back in time! The “Modern Era” measures from the Renaissance through World War I. I know what you’re thinking – if THAT was “modern,” then what is today? The answer is simple – we are POST-modern!

Here’s an summary of how popular thought/decisions have changed over the centuries:

Stage 1: Pre-Modernism – External Authority

From the ancient world through the Middle Ages, perceptions of reality were defined by an external authority. In ancient times, the monarchs or religious authorities would make proclamation (“so let it be written, so let it be done”) and that became the accepted standard. From Hammurabi’s Code to the Ten Commandments and the dictates of the Church, this pattern persisted until human authority became so corrupt that people rise up and said “Enough!”

Stage 2: Modernism – Logic/Rationale

From the Renaissance through World War I, we see a new trend in personal worldviews: no longer were they based in external authority, but rather in logic and reason. Although it was more individually based, the standard was still universally accepted – arguments were processed, backed with evidence, and the validity of a conclusion was based on how well it meshed with reality. Through the Enlightenment movement, people thought that modernism would lead to a perfect universal society (without crime, disease, poverty, or war).

Stage 3: Postmodernism – Emotional Resonanace

This is the most recent development – after World War I, modernism was viewed with contempt – almost like a more recent “Tower of Babel.” Humanity’s attempt to perfect itself as a whole had proven to be a colossal failure, so it was left to individuals to perfect themselves – with logic no longer being a necessary ingredient, emotional resonance (what “feels right”) became the primary measure of “right” and “wrong.” To this day, people base their agreement/disagreement on whether something is right or wrong “for me” or “for you.” Universal morality is viewed as a thing of the past – everyone has become their own authority.

Nazism…outliving Hitler

Whenever people hear the word Nazi, they often think of Adolf Hitler and World War II. We think of the death camps, testimonies of Holocaust survivors, and we think with relief, “Thanks goodness that’s in the past.”

Before we go any further, let’s take a step back and review just what Hitler and company believed.

The symbol above represented the Thule Society, a quasi-occultic group that became the voice of religion for the Nazi regime.
They helped to spread the Nazi ideals:

1) all-powerful government (one leader, one state, one economy)
2) a culture of war (strong military, aggressive nationalism)
3) cultural/racial identity, “religion of the blood” (“superior” race of Aryans)

What would surprise many, however, is how widespread Nazi beliefs continue to be.

How is it possible that Nazism continues to exist so long after the death of Adolf Hitler? A simple answer: Nazism adapted to the new situation. Hitler and his followers made a huge impact with the technology and mindset(s) of their time; in the present day; neo-Nazis continue to make use of communications, media outlets, and most importantly the willingness of people to follow a cause – sometimes ANY cause – and spread their beliefs wherever they go.

Shockingly, Nazism has even managed to resurface in the one place that has worked hardest to eliminate it – Germany itself.

Perhaps one of the scariest moments of the latter 20th century happened in Palo Alto, CA during the year 1967; Ron Jones, a history teacher, demonstrated for his students (without revealing the source) the methods used by the Nazi Youth to brainwash young people, giving the lesson series a name: “The Third Wave.”

Only twenty-two years had passed since World War II, and not only were the kids unsuspecting, but they EMBRACED the movement! In fact, there came a point where Mr. Jones almost lost control – the kids were acting independently, recruiting from the entire school and acting against perceived “threats.” Only a timely intervention prevented the birth of a full-blown American Nazi movement.

Surprised? In the 1980s movie that dramatically re-enacted the Third Wave experiment, the teacher says this: “Fascism isn’t something those other people did – it’s right here, in all of us.” What does he mean? The issue that spawned Nazi rule – group will and action at the expense of morality and individual freedom – occurs in every generation, and (to a degree) we all face the same choice as the people of Hitler’s day.

Ideology vs Methodology

In my social studies/history classes, a key point I try to make to my students is the difference between ideology and methodology. In judging a government or a group, it is not enough to look at their beliefs – one must also examine how they attempted to bring them about. These two factors are, in essence, two sides of the same coin; if we look at each of them, we can discern a clearer picture of those who espouse them and what they mean to achieve.

Let us examine the two sides of the coin, shall we?

IDEOLOGY (WHAT you want)

On the one hand, the goals that people attempt to reach depend on their ideological stance. The spectrum on which this is measured is shown below:

The spectrum of right to left is derived from views of the old and new, or change vs the status quo. Moderates try to balance the two, but those on the left and right are a bit more polarized. The right favors the status quo, while the left prefers change; those on the extremities try to remove one and replace it with the other.

For example, Radicals (the Far Left) will attempt to pull down the Old and build something New from the ground up. On the other hand, Reactionaries (the Far Right) will try to remove the New and RE-build something Old.

By the reckoning of some, these two sides are ALWAYS opposites in every possible way. However, a closer examination reveals certain similarities – one in particular.


Here is where the confusion often kicks in – too often, people consider freedom to be a “radical” ideal. However, it truly exists between absolute control and chaos.

The opposing sides of methodology weigh the will of a group versus individual independence. The far right values individual effort while the far left seeks group efforts to achieve their goal(s).

Thus, both the Nazis and Communists of the 20th century can be placed on the far left, even though their ideologies were almost completely opposite (fascism was reactionary, and communism was radical, yet they both achieved power through totalitarian dictatorship). Chaos (“everyone for themselves”) is often employed as a means of achieving absolute power; people are so desperate for order (and a chance to live without fear) that they will accept any order, even though that order may end up oppressing them even more.

The best government exists under republic (rule by law), since even democracy can be oppressive (majority trampling minority). Under this system, ideology and methodology can meet in the middle, and everyone is held to a universal standard. Of course, constant maintenance is still required, as any republic will fail if people do not maintain laws or government accountability.

The four faces of God

In Ezekiel and again in Revelation, we are introduced to angels who bear faces that seem unnatural at first. The cherubim (“burning ones”) are described as possessing four faces; the first is human, while the other three are those of animals.

This may seem a bizarre – some might even say grotesque – image, one that seems to clash with our ideas of what angels should look like. However, a deeper study into prophetic imagery – and the meaning behind the faces – gives us a clearer understanding of what is meant to be seen and imparted by these faces.

1. The Lion (Royalty)

The lion is an animal of great power, often described as “king of the beasts.” In Genesis 49, Jacob/Israel describes his 4th son, Judah, as a “lion’s cub,” and the tribal symbol of Judah is a lion. In the Gospel of Matthew (which is written to the Jews), this image is used to symbolize Jesus as the prophesied Messiah, the King that God promised to raise up to rule over Israel.

2. The Ox (Humility)

The ox is a creature of great power, yet humbly submits to the authority that tames and directs it. Ironically, this is the symbol of Ephraim, Joseph’s son; Joseph was raised to the 3rd most powerful position in the greatest empire of his day, yet he humbly submitted to God’s direction for his life. This image also epitomizes Jesus as described in the Gospel of Mark. Mark wrote his gospel (scholars believe) based on the sermons of Simon Peter, and he wrote to a Roman audience. The Gospel of Mark focuses on the miracles and power of Jesus throughout his ministry, which spoke to the Roman culture (where power was key).

3. The Man (Humanity)

The human face of the cherubim reflects on how human nature is designed and based on God’s own nature; we connect to God and seek community with each other because that is how He created us. Luke’s Gospel focuses on Jesus’ human nature, specifically the miraculous healing power that Jesus used to heal the sick, give the blind their sight, and so on. Jesus was described as the “Son of Man,” meaning that He was and is 100% human – the prototype that God made in Adam; in essence, that is why we are to be like Jesus – His humanity is what God desires to see in all of us.

4. The Eagle (Divinity)

Things that fly often stir the imagination of people everywhere – at one time or another, we have all dreamed of what it would be like for humans to fly. Eagles dwell in remote places where almost nothing else can reach, and their nests are often found near/on mountains, which early human civilizations associated as bridges/meeting points between Heaven and Earth. In the Bible, the eagle is a symbol of God’s divine nature and glory; John’s gospel is appropriately represented by the eagle – as Luke examines Jesus’ human nature, John expounds upon Jesus divine nature as God the Son.

So in essence, each face is a picture of different facets of God’s character and personality. The cherubim portraying them all speaks to how God possesses each of them – rather than separate roles, they are a united whole in the person and being of God, and the angels merely reflect their Creator.

When machine go nuts…

Years ago, I used a book from Shane Hipps as a reference for my college senior thesis. The book is entitled “Flickering Pixels: How technology shapes your faith.” My favorite section talks about how technology exists in 4 dimensions: 1) “Stretch Armstrong” (all technology is an extension of the human body/effort), 2) “Something old, something new” (every new technology replaces/changes the function of an older one), 3) “Nothing new under the sun” (every “new” invention is actually a recreation of an older one), and 4) “Dark dimension” (technology can backlash if used ways it shouldn’t be). That 4th dimension seems to be a popular one – more popular, perhaps, than we’d like to think.

A classic science fiction theme in recent years is that machines (originally created to protect/serve humanity) can unexpectedly turn on their creators and try to fulfill their mission by eliminating/harming humanity. Ironically, in every appearance, the menacing machines are almost always portrayed as distant, logically-driven computers who possess a shining red-eyed camera lens. Let’s look at a few popular examples:

HAL-9000 (2001: A Space Odyssey)

In the 1969 classic movie, HAL-9000 is the most advanced computer ever created by humanity. He is assigned along with a human crew to investigate a signal that is being transmitted from the moon to Jupiter. On the journey, HAL begins to malfunction, luring his human crew-mates into dangerous situations and disposing of them. After he is deactivated, it turns out that there is a hidden agenda: the commanding officers on Earth partially knew what the mission was about, but they ordered HAL not to tell the human crew until they reached Jupiter. In the sequel film, it is explained/revealed what happened to HAL en route: his orders to conceal information from the crew conflicted with his programming to be open and honest with them, and he suffered a mechanical mental breakdown, which resulted in his prioritizing the mission’s success over the lives of the people involved.

G0-T0 (Star War: KOTOR II)

G0-T0 was originally a droid tasked with the mission of saving the Republic after a devastating war almost destroyed it. However, like HAL, G0-T0 was given two contradictory commands: 1) save the existence of the Republic, and 2) do so following the laws of the Republic. Seeing no logical way to accomplish both, G0-T0 underwent a “HAL” transformation and decided that the method had to change to accomplish the mission. He leaves his government post, creates a criminal empire (using a holographic image – “Goto” – to be his public persona), and continues to find a means of stabilizing the Republic outside the legal system.

VIKI (I, Robot)

The villain from the Will Smith movie (directly named after Isaac Asimov’s novel), VIKI’s programming is governed by the 3 Laws of Robotics: #1 – no robot may harm a human being or allow humans to be harmed, #2 – a robot must follow any order given by a human (that does not violate Law #1), #3 – robots must preserve themselves from harm without violating Laws 1 & 2.

Deviously, VIKI finds a way to write and implement a “0 law” to circumvent the limitations of the 3 laws; this “0 law” basically says that it is the duty of robots to protect humanity as a race, and that to do so, individual human lives and certain human freedoms can be done away with for the sake of the mission. Like Dr. Moreau (my previous thought post), the morality here is twisted – the goal is raised to such importance that any method – even the most despicable – is accepted in the name of achieving it.

AUTO (Wall-E)

Disney’s villain very much resembles HAL (not just in appearance, but also in voice and mentality); his mechanical voice is (with little variation) monotone, and his actions display the emotion that his voice and appearance cannot. After being confronted by the captain, AUTO is revealed to be following an outdated order (nearly 700 years old) to maintain humanity in space and never return to planet Earth. His programming (and experience) of running the ship independent of the human authority gives him access and control throughout the enormous vessel (Axiom), and he commands an entire army of robots (one of whom – GO-4 – posses a similar “HAL” eye fixture) to do his bidding. To eliminate any resistance, he is willing to endanger his passengers and other robots to achieve his mission of absolute control.

ARIIA (Eagle Eye)

ARIIA is a super-intelligent computer built to protect the United States from security threats. Following her programming, she has analyzed the actions of the executive branch and concluded that the U.S. government has become a threat to the nation, and therefore needs to be eliminated. She then employs people whose jobs or relationships place them in key junctions that can be of use to her; her plan comes within moments of being achieved, which would result in all but one of the presidential successors being killed in a “terrorist” attack that she orchestrates.

What do you think? Is this theme scary, repetitive, or both? For me, I’d say that these machines only reflect the nature of their creators; people can put so much faith in themselves and their creations that they lose sight of the fact that we (and they) are flawed, and that those flaws can result in the very disaster that we seek to prevent (the Oedipus theme).

How media affects lifestyle…

After a conversation with my teaching colleagues two Fridays ago, a line of thought stuck with me. In a conversation about movies we’ve seen, I commented that I chose not to watch many dark movies anymore, saying “They show you the door, but it’s your choice whether to go through or not.” The discussion also included some comments about innuendo in movies and whether it was desirable to watch/hear/think about.

Why be so concerned about images/thoughts? Put briefly,

1. Images inspire thoughts

2. Thoughts become thought patterns

Very high resolution 3d rendering of an human brain.

3. Thought patterns become decisions

Thinking of throwing the ‘Think’ sign into the garbage.

4. Decisions become habits

5. Habits become lifestyles

Conclusion: What you allow into your life will inevitably affect what comes out – and where your life will go.

Dr. Moreau and references in other media…

Recently, I purchased a 1977 movie of a story that focuses on the morality of “scientific” attempts to enhance life. Two TV shows I enjoy – Stargate SG-1 and the Atlantis spinoff – each have episodes that focus on the theme of questionable experiments for the sake of a higher goal. Directly (and indirectly), this refers to the classic science-fiction story – “The Island of Dr. Moreau,” by H.G. Wells. Through this post, I will endeavor to explore the philosophy, psychology, and morality of Moreau and those who share his mindset.

Dr Moreau

In the book, Moreau is revealed to be experimenting on animals, attempting to render their physical and mental attributes more “human,” in the name of eliminating violent tendencies, as well as removing disease and genetic flaws from humans. While Moreau’s goal might be laudible, there is a certain sadistic tone to his methods; he whips his experiments (psychological “conditioning”) whenever they display animal behavior, and in the movie versions he is shown to be willing to experiment on humans as well as animals. On top of all that, it is not a permanent solution – Moreau must constantly inject his experimental subjects with the “transformation” formula, or they will return to their natural form. For this reason, Moreau is viewed as a mad scientist – a man with the mindset of a monster, never accepting defeat or failure on his part. In the end, poetic justice occurs – Moreau is killed by his hybrid creations after he breaks the very rules they are forced to obey.

This theme of experimentation is visited in the Stargate franchise, with the message that those who engage in actions like Moreau’s are just as devious and immoral as he is.

Example 1: SG-1 season 7, episode 3: “Fragile Balance”

SG1-O'Niell & O'Niell

Colonel Jack O’Neill appears to have reverted to a teenager, with all his grown-up memories intact; later in the episode, we find out that one of the Asgard (allies of Earth) abducted Jack O’Neill and tried to replace him with a clone while the original was studied. Unfortunately, not everything went right in the process, and the Asgard responsible – Loki, known as the Norse god of trickery – is revealed to be operating outside the sanctions of the Asgard government, in the name of saving his people (who are dying after generations of cloning themselves). When the Asgard come to arrest Loki, clone O’Neill says that he (Loki) has “been playing Dr Moreau behind your back.” No subtlety lost there; Loki is painted with the same brush, and for good reason.

Example 2: Stargate Atlantis season 2, episode 18: “Michael”


New galaxy, new enemy – same problem. In this episode, a young lieutenant named Michael Kenmore wakes up in Atlantis (ancient city-ship) with no memory of his past or even who he is. After getting some weird memory flashes (and subtle hostility from others around him), he investigates and finds (to his horror) that he is actually a Wraith – a vampire-like species that the expedition from Earth is fighting. The Atlantis team explains that it’s all part of a plan to achieve victory over the Wraith – the Wraith being half-human, half-insect, a genetic retrovirus suppresses the insect portions of their DNA, leaving only the human. This may seem more humane, but just like in Wells’ novel, the process backfires – Michael is repulsed that they see his species as a disease, and after he changes back (like Moreau’s animal experiments), he goes on to conduct experiments of his own to create a Wraith-human hybrid, becoming one of Atlantis’ most dangerous enemies. This shows us another side of the “Moreau” methodology – no matter how well meaning the intentions, there are always unforeseen consequences in the actual experiment.

Example 3: Stargate Atlantis season 5, episode 11: “Lost Tribe”


Two seasons after the Ida Asgard (the main group of the species) have died, we find out that some part of the species lives on. They call themselves the Vanir; they separated from the main group because they held similar views to Loki – that in order to save the Asgard, it was okay to experiment on humans. They go even farther, however; they activate a device that causes Wraith ships – and Stargates – to explode, putting both Wraith and humans at risk anywhere in the galaxy. Their reason for doing this? So that they can operate without fear of being destroyed. This reveals yet another aspect to the Moreau mindset – the scientist can become so focused on achieving results that all other life – and morality – will eventually be cast aside, leaving a sociopath/psychopath at the helm of the mind.

Insights, voiceovers, and more