Today I’d like to talk about a crappy movie I just saw, but before I do, I want to share a little bit more about a recent flap over Nazis and fringe history.
I did it! I didn’t think I’d be able to squeeze my entire anthology of ancient texts used by fringe historians into the publisher’s limit of 125,000 words, but after completing the first draft of the full text, I clocked in at 124,800 words, which includes the texts, commentaries, book overview, and the chapter introductions. I’ll probably do some trimming here and there, but I thrilled that I managed to get everything in without having to sacrifice any texts.
Eclipses of the moon happen so regularly that even astrologers think of them as regular features of the heavens. However, the appearance of four “blood moons,” or eclipses where the moon seems to turn red, in an eighteen month period beginning early this morning have led to bizarre prophecies that this marks the end of the state of Israel or even the Second Coming of Jesus. According to Pastor John Hagee, who previously announced that Hurricane Katrina was God’s punishment for a planned gay pride rally in New Orleans, the blood moons fulfill the prophecy of Joel (2:31), reiterated in Acts 2:20: “The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.” There will be a solar eclipse on April 29. He isn’t sure that this is the Second Coming, but he believes a “world-changing” event is upon us and that it is intimately connected with the Jews.
This morning in a comment on my blog Brien Foerster accused me of libeling him for, essentially, taking him at his word. (The comment came from an email address associated with Foerster’s business, so I believe he was in fact the author.) In reporting that the Purdue Rare Isotope Measurement Laboratory refused to conduct destructive testing on a sample of rock allegedly from Puma Punku, I said that Foerster had chipped fragments from some of the stones at the site and had removed them from Bolivia. Foerster accused me of making false and libelous statements:
No artifacts were chipped from, nor were they taken from the Puma Punku site, as in, within the fenced area. Your allegations are both false and libelous...
Remember how I’ve been discussing the hallmarks of conspiracy culture? Well, according to Michael Barkun’s Culture of Conspiracy (2006), one of the most important markers of what separates a conspiracy theorist from your run of the mill zealous advocate of an unusual idea is the simultaneous rejection of mainstream academia while creating methods for appropriating its prestige and approval. The zealous advocate pushes his (and it’s almost always his) ideas through traditional channels and respects the foundations of scholarship (even if he is blind to his idea’s weaknesses), but the conspiracy theorist rejects the traditional channels and demands that his ideas be exempt from the types of review and scrutiny given to all others. Typically, this is due to a deep distrust of academia or the belief that there is a system-wide conspiracy designed to suppress the truth that the conspiracy theorist is somehow uniquely poised to reveal, if only the guardians of orthodoxy would let him.
You might be interested to know that according to an April 4 Facebook post on a page devoted to a solstice alignment in a Kentucky cave, a couple of weeks ago the crew from America Unearthed traveled to Kentucky to film the Red Bird Petroglyph, a chunk of sandstone that broke off of a formation in 1994. It is better known as the Manchester Marked Rock. The stone allegedly contains single-character carvings in eight Old World languages, including single letters in Punic, Libyan, South Semitic, Egyptian, etc., and a rebus in Ogham and a Christian monogram. In reality, the carvings bear little to no resemblance to the alphabets they supposedly represent and are geometric inscriptions. They could be Native or colonial or both; they have yet to be studies to determine their origin. Fringe theorists have simply scoured various Old World scripts looking for similarities, and didn’t do a very good job of it, either.
The stone head uncovered in a flash flood that the show is allegedly investigating according to that same post looks, from the art style, like an eroded architectural embellishment from the nineteenth century, though of course it is not possible to be definitive from a photograph.
Anyhow, moving on…
As I’m working on editing various texts for my anthology of ancient material used by fringe writers, I was writing commentary for material I will use from the Qur’an and the Arabian Nights to discuss the mysterious city of Iram of the Pillars, which was destroyed by the breath of God to chastise the ‘Adites for their hubris and sin (Qur’an 89:6-14 with Arabian Nights 276-279). This seems like as good a time as any to spare a few words for how H. P. Lovecraft inverted and parodied the Islamic legend of Iram in “The Nameless City” (1921), the story of a pre-human city of reptiles lost beneath the desert sands of Arabia.
Last week I reviewed PBS’s “Carthage’s Lost Warriors,” an episode of Secrets of the Dead produced by the German company ZDF. The program profiled the hypothesis of Dr. Hans Griffhorn, who claims that a boatload of Carthaginians and Celts traveled to South America where they influenced native cultures and became the Chachapoya. Both Dr. Griffhorn and another participant on the show, archaeologist Dr. Warren Church, commented on my review and were not happy about, for the same reason.
Earlier today the Costa Rican Times published a grammatically-challenged piece under the byline of Paul Dale Roberts, a self-described “esoteric detective” for Hegelianism Paranormal Intelligence, a California-based Fortean investigation group that claims to base their operations on the philosophy of Hegel. If I am parsing the poor formatting correctly, Roberts took a statement from a woman named Vanessa Harris, a nurse in Ontario who claims to have been abducted by aliens and who was interested in joining the group. He had previously published her statement on the Ghost Place online forum, and on the Knight Talk Radio website.
I hesitated about using her name since it was not clear that she had given permission for Roberts to publicize the information, but since it was published online and internationally, readers would of course find her name easily.
Star Trek Actress Fronts Geocentric Documentary for Apologist who Accuses Jews of Occult Conspiracies
A while back Bill Nye got booed by some biblical fundamentalists when he mentioned that the moon reflects the light of the sun because those fundamentalists felt this was a grievous insult to a literal interpretation of Genesis 1:16: “God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars.” Accordingly, the moon must therefore emit rather than reflect light or else it would not conform to God’s design.
This was small potatoes compared to a new movie that has Star Trek: Voyager actress Kate Mulgrew inadvertantly promoting geocentrism on behalf of the conservative Catholic extremist Robert Sungenis, a geocentrist best known for his controversial views on Judaism that are often described as anti-Semitic. Aw, heck: They are anti-Semitic, as we shall see. (Sungenis denies being anti-Semitic, arguing that he does not hate Jewish people, only the actions of Jews.) The film, called The Principle, is based on Sungenis’s blog Galileo Was Wrong, based in turn on his doctoral dissertation of the same name, written for his PhD in religious studies earned from a correspondence school in the Republic of Vanuatu. His work holds that the sun goes around a stationary earth.
Mulgrew wrote on her Facebook page that she had been hired to narrate the trailer without knowing the content of the film or of Sungenis’s controversial views: “I do not subscribe to anything Robert Sungenis has written regarding science and history and, had I known of his involvement, would most certainly have avoided this documentary.”