Esoteric Messages in Arcade Fire’s Bizarre “Reflektor” Video

At 9:00 p.m. on 9/9, Canadian band Arcade Fire released a music video for their song ‘Reflektor’ from their newly-released album of the same name.

In numerology, the number 9 is the expression of  mankind attempting to achieve divine perfection which is in the form of the number 10.   Nine is the product of three trinities (3 x 3), and its repeated use by Arcade Fire in Reflektor is overt.

The symbol utilized to promote the album and song is a diamond in the form of a Haitian veve with 9 squares, containing the nine-lettered word “REFLEKTOR,” a corruption of the world “reflector.”  It is therefore no accident that the video was released on that date and at that time.


In Haitian voodoo, veves represent spiritual figures of the astral forces and in the course of voodoo ritual ceremonies, the reproduction of the astral forces represented by the veves obliges the loa spirits to descend to earth.

For example, the veve for the voodoo spirit Ogun, who presides over war, is below:


Therefore, the intentional arrangement of the nine letters R-E-F-L-E-K-T-O-R in a stylized Haitian veve is designed to call to mind a spirit that is a corrupted “reflection” of the human.

Apparently, in September, graffiti with this veve began to show up on walls around the world, leading some critics to accuse the band of using vandalism as a form of self-promotion:


The bizarre video for Reflektor was directed by Dutch photographer Anton Corbijn, an immensely accomplished visual artist who is credited with some of the most memorable music videos of the last three decades, including Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy the Silence” (1990), U2′s “One” (version 1) (1991), and Nirvana’s “Heart-Shaped Box” (1993).

The scene in the Reflektor video begins at night, with the band’s members  inside a desolate warehouse located in a dreary neighborhood in a former Eastern bloc nation.

A rolling gate with the nine-squared REFLEKTOR veve spray painted on it slowly rises, and the band’s members immediately place large, caricature-like paper mache masks over their own heads.   They board the back of a truck with their instruments, which then proceeds down a dark, lonely country road.

The depressing implications are that life (and perhaps the entertainment industry as a whole) is a dark, lonely path and the band must wear a mask to the outside world to hide our true identities.

The English language lyrics sung are “It’s just a reflection of a reflection
of a reflection of a reflection.  Will I see you on the other side?
  We all got things to hide.”

Some of the lyrics are sung entirely in French, and are translated “between the night, night and dawn, between the kingdom of the living and the dead.” It is in this  purgatory that the band finds itself.

The band continues down the dark and lonely road, and we eventually see the back of the truck is painted with the word “NINE.”

We also see a man in a tophat covered in small mirrors standing by the side of the dark road.  The tophat could be intended as a signal of Masonic influence, as the  Master of a Masonic Lodge wears a top hat as a symbol of his authority.

A mirror-covered coffin is then loaded into the back of the truck.  It seems that the identity inside of the band has died.   A disco ball with a thousand tiny mirrors also appears repeatedly.  First, it is seen hanging from the rear-view mirror of the truck.  Eventually, the disco ball becomes huge and levitates behind the mirror-covered man.  Vigilant Citizen readers will immediately identify the use of many fragmented mirrors as commonly used to suggest the broken psyche.

The band wanders through a dark field at night, seeking the mirror-covered man.  Eventually, in the daytime, the band carries the large disco ball and then crawls (still wearing the large heads) across a barren field and down to a stream.  They peer into the water only to see their own reflections, as the lyircs repeat over and over “reflection of a reflection of a reflection…”

The band is confronted with the reality that its identity has been hidden behind multiple personas.  The band then all stands in front of the disco ball, which casts thousands of dots of light on each of them, as it hovers mysteriously.

Each  masked person takes a shard of mirror and holds it up to the sun, reflecting the light.  The mirrored man also creates a crude parabolic mirror out of branches, emulating a satellite dish pointed at the heavens.  Is he receiving a crude signal from space/the heavens?

Finally, the band confronts “mirror” images of themselves in the form of the distorted images.  The coffin is closed, and the band’s members hold mutilated baby dolls up for inspection.  The dolls are strange and appear broken.

The band fills the mirrored coffin with the broken dolls and celebrates the slaughter of innocence by dancing in the field.  The coffin is ceremoniously carried off by the band, as other band members throw the dolls out of the back of the moving truck.  Innocence is not only dead, it is being unceremoniously tossed out of the back of a moving truck.

Finally, the truck and band arrive “on the other side,” and approach a similar warehouse.  As the gate closes with the same REFLEKTOR veve on it, the singer’s face without a mask appears shockingly distorted.  It seems he has been actually transformed into an actual monstrosity by this journey.

The message from the video appears to be that in order to fully participate in this world (and in the music industry writ large), one must deliberately wear a mask and ultimately destroy all one’s innocence.

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