The Astonishing Predictive Programming in ‘Alias’
It’s as if we have entered some kind of time rift, with Twin Peaks, X Files, and now possibly Alias making a comeback to TV. On top of that, The Prodigy has a new album, so I wonder if I should be heading to first period class tomorrow, as if it’s 1996. Although Alias isn’t 90s, it seems to fit roughly in that era for me.
Reviewing the series recently, I was struck by how much real-life, predictive programming conspirana was present in the series, and should it get a reboot, we can expect a good deal more. With that in mind, it is time for an analysis of the über conspiracy-laced J.J. Abrams classic, Alias.
Early on, as Sydney Bristow is recruited into a secretive section of what she believes is the CIA, her unit, SD-6, operates under the cover of a bank, Credit Dauphine. This interesting cover may have some basis in reality, since according to Stephen Dorril’s massive MI6, the Bank of England, “had a considerable intelligence staff of its own and was ready to use Thompson’s information [Joint Intelligence] information but was unwilling to pool its own. The JIO also had a coordinating role in respect of the work of its own security and intelligence agencies” (pg. 727). Dorril continues in regard to the Royal Bank of Scotland, according to Richard Tomlinson:
“MI6 passes on such sensitive intelligence to several clearing and merchant banks, including Midland, alleged by Tomlinson to be a ‘complete MI6 bank,’ the Royal Bank of Scotland and Kleinwort Benson. Tomlinson adds that ‘the primary intelligence requirement against Germany…is economic intelligence,’ and such spying is ‘accorded the same level of secrecy and need-to-know indoctrination as highly sensitive Russian casework” (pg. 779)
We can think as well of the BCCI scandal from the 80s, which functioned as a CIA shell bank that diverted funding to cartels and terror networks. It also recalls scandals involving Credit Suisse, which recently plead guilty to tax evasion and appeared in the midst of a ‘dark pool’ trading scandal. Sydney Bristow’s cover operation Credit Dauphine thus mimics reality far more than most would assume. While Alias is full of assassinations and shell companies that result in numerous deaths, the real global banking world has seen a plethora of suspicious banker deaths in the last couple years that defies belief. (See my analysis of Tykwer’s film The International as possibly foreshadowing this phenomenon).
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