“Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared” is a web series of six enigmatic videos that has grown into a “cult phenomenon”. Behind the weirdness, however, is a deeper message: It is about mass media brainwashing and MKULTRA.
Over the last few years, I’ve received quite a few e-mails regarding Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared, a web series involving puppets and a whole lot of creepiness. VC readers astutely identified symbols and messages in the videos that pointed towards a deeper and more disturbing meaning. Now that the final video has been published and the story is complete, I can wholeheartedly agree with these readers: Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared is not merely about random creepiness. It conceals a message about the effects of mass media on the world, how it shapes and molds people’s opinions, and how it preys deliberately on young, impressionable minds. Even more disturbing, it also depicts the manipulation of agents working in the media using actual MKULTRA brainwashing techniques until they are completely broken down. Pretty heavy stuff for a show about puppets.
The videos were created by British artists Becky Sloan and Joseph Pelling in 2011. Each episode is made to appear like a typical children’s television program, consisting of singing and talking puppets similar to those of Sesame Street, but eventually the story takes a dark turn, usually involving gore. The first episode was reportedly created with little to no budget. After the video gained popularity, a second video was commissioned by Channel 4, a British television station (note that this station also sponsored Viktoria Modesta’s “Prototype”, a music video that is full of MK symbolism – read my article about it here). The series then took off, with each episode going deeper into the depths of Monarch Programming (if you don’t know what that is, please read this article first). More than simply satirizing children’s shows, Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared paints a bleak picture of mass media and society as a whole. Let’s look at the episodes.
The first episode begins with the three protagonists of the show, Red Guy, Yellow Guy, and Duck Guy, sitting around a kitchen table. A few items shown in this scene will reappear throughout the series, notably the date of June 19th and the checkerboard pattern.
Then Sketchbook comes to life and explains to the friends how to “be creative”.
However, we quickly realize that there are strong contradictions in Sketchbook’s message.
When Sketchbook says: “Listen to your heart, listen to the rain, listen to the voices inside your brain”, things start to get dark.
This first episode therefore sets the stage for the rest of the series. It depicts three puppets being used somewhat unwillingly in a TV show that teaches unhealthy messages to children.
The second video is called TIME and features Tony the Talking Clock who teaches about the unstopping nature of time … and that everybody will be subjected to inevitable death and decay.
Although Tony the Talking Clock sings about time continually advancing forward, time is apparently still in the world of the puppets. Throughout the series, it is clear that it is always the same day.
The clock then takes the friends on a psychedelic journey through time from the past to the future.
It is during this episode that we first see Roy, Yellow Guy’s father. Every time we see him, an eerie music play in the background.
In each episode, a “friendly” character pops out of nowhere to sing an educational song. But it always ends up showing its true face: Evil, sadistic and manipulative. In short, they are sent by the handler to program the puppets, who are then used to program TV viewers. Through hypnotic and subversive songs, the singing “friends” lure the puppets into a dissociative state where trauma awaits them.
We then realize that this entire ordeal was all part of the friends’ TV show.
In the two short videos HELP and HELP #2, the puppets are held captive by assailants requesting money. Although this was primarily a way to promote the Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared Kickstarter campaign, the videos continued to reinforce the concept of the puppets as victims of trauma.
The third installment of the series revolves around the concept of love and gets deeper into the concept of mind control.
As MK slaves, the puppets are literally “missing” from reality, where time stands still (despite what Tony the Talking Clock was singing about).
The puppets are sitting, once again, on a dualistic checkerboard pattern surface. In occult symbolism, the checkerboard pattern is the ritualistic surface on which profound transformation occurs. In mind control, these occult properties are used during programming.
Then Yellow Guy sees something symbolic that indicates the beginning of programming.
As stated in multiple articles on this site, media that uses Monarch programming symbolism often indicates the beginning of a programming sequence with a butterfly that lures the slave into an alternate reality (such as in Pink’s Just Like Fire music video). In this case, the butterfly leads Yellow Guy to complete dissociation.
In each video, the handler’s programming is represented by a cute character who leads the puppet to trauma. In the above image, Yellow Guy is literally in the clouds with strange characters and even a mushroom, which might imply that he is being drugged.
As usual, things turn dark and disturbing very quickly. Yellow Guy (who is not the sharpest tool in the shed) is tricked in believing that nobody will ever love him … unless he does what the butterfly says.
“This is your chance to start anew. And all we’re asking you to do is to is change your name, and clean your brain and forget about anything you ever knew.”
Like the rest of the series, this episode comments on how media forces specific ideas upon the viewers. The same way Yellow Guy is asked to worship Malcolm and to feed him gravel in order to find love, the masses are asked to worship stupid things and spend money to feel happy and loved. On a deeper level, the episode also depicts the actual mind control programming of Yellow Guy, the star of the TV show for kids.
Episode 4 begins with the three friends playing a board game. Once again, there are several subtle details that confirm the presence of programming.
When a card from their game asks “What’s the biggest thing in the world”, the friends look at the globe. Studying the globe is indeed a great and wholesome way to learn about the real world. However, a slightly dumb computer interrupts their research.
Once again, we find here a comment about mass media. This TV show aimed for kids misleads them out of true information (learning from the globe) and lures them into learning pointless, big-brother-friendly information.
When Red Guy tells the computer to “shut up” and taps on it, the friends are transported to the “digital world”. In MK terms, they are taken to dissociation. Once again, this symbolically represents them being programmed by their handlers.
The show is not about teaching children about computers anymore: It is a confusing ordeal where the computer acts as an agent of the MK handler.
As they get deeper into the digital world, the puppets find themselves inside a hypnotic whirlwind of sounds and images. Red Guy, the most critical guy in the group, gets sick of it and attempts to break out from programming.
Red Guy is not supposed to be aware of this reality though – his head literally explodes. MK slaves cannot break from programming and, if they do, they are often programmed to “auto-destroy”.
Duck Guy and Yellow Guy are sitting in a kitchen and feel like something is “missing”.
While looking around, the friends look at a picture on the fridge two separate times. The image is slightly different the second time around.
In this episode, food starts singing about healthy eating. As usual, they give terrible advice. During the song, a phone call interrupts everything.
Meanwhile, a giant lamb chop sings about healthy eating. The song is confusing and full of contradictions, reminiscent of the mind games used by MK handlers to confuse and hypnotize MK slaves. Duck Guy cannot take this anymore and attempts to run away. He cannot go far.
It is at this point that we understand that Yellow Guy is the main focus of the MK programming. The other two were expendable – and probably not fully programmable. In this episode, Yellow Guy was exposed to extreme trauma: He was forced to lose his friend … and then eat him. He is being completely broken down so he can be reprogrammed.
In the sixth and final episode, things reach a disturbing conclusion.
At this point we realize that the entire series basically took place in a single day. The first episode was during breakfast, then each episode progressed through the day until bedtime. But why did everything take place on June 19, 1955, specifically? Is there something significant about that particular day?
First, June 19, 1955, was Father’s Day, which gives things a sad tenor considering that the handler in the story is the boy’s father. Second, the year 1955 was during the post-war period, an expansive time for MKULTRA experimentation, as well as subliminal TV programming. In the present day, both of these fields have reached a very sophisticated and almost imperceptible level. (Fun fact: The final episode was released on June 19, 2016).
When Yellow Guy is finally ready to go to sleep, the lamp besides him comes to life and sings about dreams. Yellow Guy screams in horror because he knows that the song will inevitably turn into trauma. And he is right: He is back into his dissociative state.
Meanwhile, Red Guy is apparently trying to live a normal life in the “real world”.
Red Guy gets on stage to perform for the crowd.
This scene is rather sad. It is basically a MK slave trying to express himself. However, all he knows is what he was programmed to know. So his “creative outlet” is to sing something he was forced to learn. Ironically enough, that song was about “creativity”.
Everybody in the crowd hates the song … except maybe one person.
Roy has apparently found Red Guy to bring him back to his programming. MK slaves cannot be left loose in the real world for long.
It’s a brand new day. Are these our friends? Are they free now? Not sure.
It’s the same story on a different day. For the kids watching the TV show, it is just another day of TV programming.
Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared is a strange and disturbing adventure that has lent itself to all kinds of theories and interpretations. However, it is difficult to miss the series’ scathing commentary on mass media that targets young children and brainwashes them into conforming to the elite’s will.
Through symbolism, the series also comments on the most direct and brutal form of brainwashing: Monarch mind control, also known as MKULTRA. Indeed, the series puts on display the entire world of MKULTRA, from its distinctive symbolism to the horrific techniques used to cause trauma and dissociation. We are shown these techniques being used on actors, hinting that the people we know and love in our mass media might also be brainwashed MK slaves.
So is Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared a warning against the evils of mind control or does it simply propagate more of elite’s sick culture to the masses? The answer depends on whether or not you’ve pulled the plug from the machine.