The Arrivals documentary is dead on arrival. The opening scene doesn't inspire much confidence. It steals scenes from The Lord of the Rings (as it does throughout this seven hour video), integrating them with Islamic doomsday prophecy. This conspiracy filled movie attempts to be serious, but ends up being comical. It's a documentary that feels more like a mockumentary.

Why did I torture myself for seven hours? I have degree in Religion and specialized in Islam. My thesis was on eschatology. Thus, an Islamic documentary about the end of days naturally interested me. However, the more I watched, the more I giggled.

The "arrivals" refers to the beings who will arrive at the end of the time: Satan, the anti-Christ, and God's army. This video attempts to show that these "arrivals" are due any moment. Don't hold your breath.

The YouTube "conspiracy"

Some of the documentary's fans have argued that there's a YouTube conspiracy against The Arrivals. They believe that YouTube took the movie off the site because YouTube is anti-Muslim or part of the New World Order that wants to suppress "the truth."

Wrong. From first few seconds of watching the video, you could see why they banned several of its segments: copyright infringement. The film uses movie soundtracks and movie clips without the permission of the authors.

I made the video below with one song from The Lord of the Rings and other track from Berlioz's Requiem. I just adore the ending of the video with the music, as seen on Vimeo:

However, YouTube disabled the video because I was using copyrighted music. In some cases they let you keep the music, but they tell you that the music artist has the right to put ads on your video. That's fair. Unfortunately, in this case, I had no choice: I had to replace the soundtrack. YouTube gives you lots of choices. I didn't love any of them, but settled for this, which is not nearly as glorious as the original:

Therefore, fans of The Arrivals, I challenge you to make a video that declares that, "YouTube is best site ever!" However, do it using a famous soundtrack or song. YouTube will probably flag your video for copyright infringement, despite your pro-YouTube message.

Does this kiss indicate a transfer of power between ancient bloodlines or is it just a way to be controversial and sell music? Tough call.There are thousands of anti-Jewish and pro-New World Order videos on YouTube. Therefore, it's not the message of The Arrivals that YouTube has a problem with, but copyright infringement. YouTube is neither anti-Muslim nor pro-Israel. It's just a place to put legal videos.

But why isn't YouTube taking down all the copyrighted music and videos? Could it be that it's hard to check 100,000 videos every day (that's the average number of videos uploaded every day on YouTube)? Yes, YouTube has bots that seek out copyrighted material, but it's not perfect, which is why so much copyrighted material doesn't get taken down. But it's not a conspiracy.

Although you can see much of The Arrivals on YouTube, some of its 10-minute episodes are mute. Given how long and repetitive this documentary is, you won't be missing anything by skipping the muted segments. Unfortunately, when I was staying with a nice Muslim family in Bosnia, I was given the original movie on DVD. Thus, I had to suffer through the whole indoctrination.

The producer, Norega Produtions, is led by a young man who has spent way too much time watching sexy music videos and fantasy movies (The Matrix, Stargate, and The Lord of the Rings). He analyzes American pop culture more carefully than the Koran! It's hilarious that he believes there's a deep, hidden meaning to Madonna kissing Britney! So funny!

If buildings like this were everywhere, then I would believe in conspiracy theories

Pyramid, one-eye, checkered floors, and other "meaningful" symbols

The documentary doesn't just overanalyze kisses between two pop queens, it sees "meaning" in architecture. Although it's fun to look for symbols and imagine they mean something deep, the reality is that they're just symbols. The Arrivals is particularly obsessed with checkered floors, drawings of one-eye, and pyramids.

However, if the Koran said that the Anti-Christ would have three eyes (instead of one) and would associate himself with a bear or a diamond, then you could easily find images of bears, diamonds, and three eyes everywhere you look. If a blue floor (instead of a checkered one) is important, then you could find blue floors in many places.Mark Turner on Flickr took this photo of an inverted pyramid building

Pyramids and obelisks (and rectangular buildings) are the most economical way to make monuments--that's why they are all over the place. They're not channeling devices, as The Arrivals argues.

Simple physics doesn't let you construct other objects easily. If we saw unusual structures everywhere, then I would be worried about a conspiracy. Recently, we can make buildings that before were impossible.

However, physics limits us. If a king tells you to make a monument, a pyramid or obelisk is one of the few choices you have, that's why they're everywhere, not because there's some hidden meaning in them.

It would be more interesting to look at something that is much harder to build: an inverted pyramid. If our world had far more inverted pyramids than regular pyramids, then I would start wondering if there was a conspiracy, because the laws of physics make inverted pyramids much harder to make. Nevertheless, there are a few successful inverted pyramids.See the pyramid in the new World Trade Center! Obviously, this means something. I just don't know what.

It's fun to look for pyramids everywhere. Look carefully at the new World Trade Center and there's a few pyramids hidden there! But watch out! There are pyramids even hidden on the tops of Mosques (see photo below)! Finally, there are domes everywhere for the same reason: they look nice and are easy to make.

It's the conspiracy theorist's dream movie

The film links Freemasons with Christians, but it's quite the opposite: Christians and Muslims don't like Freemasons.

The movie has many facts that are wrong, but they sound convincing. Just one example of an error in the movie: it claims that the Louvre has 666 glass panels. Wrong.

The video's bloodlines theory is misleading. It claims that American Presidents are part of a ancient bloodline. However, you and I are related. I'm related to Obama and Stalin. It's easy to prove that you're related to Shakespeare, Hitler, and Muhammad. The movie talks about 9-degrees of separation, but often you only need 6-degrees.

The Arrivals rehashes the tired, old, boring, and unproven Jewish Conspiracy theory. The documentary is a complete sucker for the New World Order Conspiracy. Thank Allah that there are so many conspiracies to choose from!

OMG! This minaret has a pyramid on it!

I could invent a theory that Santa Claus really does exist and he is controlling us all with his elves. I could make a film to "prove" this. You might laugh, but you couldn't prove me wrong. The crazy person who believes that Santa Claus is behind everything thinks that you're crazy not to believe him.

"You're brainwashed," he says. "Santa wants you believe he's not real. But he is! Change the words of Santa and you get Satan!" See, more proof that Santa Claus and his elves are controlling everything.

There are some really amusing theories on WikiIslam that shows how you can invent a conspiracy about nearly anything. However, the best one is when someone took the time to "discover" hidden messages in Pixar's Monsters, Inc.The one eye on the dollar bill doesn't give a shit about you


If you like conspiracy theories and looking for "clues" in architecture, then read Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol. It, at least, has a few more facts correct (though it also has its share of fiction).

The pity of The Arrivals is that it misleads people about Islamic prophecies. I've read and studied the entire Koran. Like most religious texts, it is, at best, quite vague about the end of time. In fact, compared to the Bible, the Koran offers fewer details of the end of days. This documentary embellishes Islamic prophecy far beyond what is stated in sacred Islamic texts. I doubt most Muslims believe in the hoax that is The Arrivals.

Islam is a fascinating religion that is often misunderstood in the West. I enjoyed studying Islam when getting my degree in religion. I have many friends who are Muslims. Islamic prophecies are also interesting to examine. However, this movie does a terrible job at representing Islam and its prophecies.

In The Hidden Europe, I analyze many conspiracy theories that exist in Eastern Europe, especially in the Balkans. However, before you read it, perhaps I should confess that I'm a Freemason Jew who came from Sirius galaxy via a stargate that's under the World Trade Center.

BOTTOM LINE: 1 out of 5 stars.

P.S. For a good laugh about conspiracy theories, skip to minute 2:22 in the video below. 

Article first published as Movie Review: The Arrivals on Blogcritics. I've enhanced the article here with more photos, videos, and links.

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