As coronavirus continues to shut down much of global life, there isn’t a lot of news from the world of fake history, space aliens, and other imaginary things. The real virus commands much more attention than fictitious threats. So, today I am going to devote some of my time to making progress on revising the chapters for my upcoming book on pyramid legends. I’m not sure what will happen when the deadline hits since the publisher currently has its offices closed and the staff are working remotely, though not consistently. In the meantime, here are the latest ratings figures for Rob Riggle: Global Investigator and Ancient Aliens in a week when people are stuck inside and watching more TV.
Diana Walsh Pasulka is back with a new article in Tank magazine following her unceremonious exit from social media a few weeks ago. That’s when she said that a hacker had infiltrated her social media accounts and posted wild conspiracy theories in her name, some of which she conceded had been taken from her private emails. In her new piece, Pasulka returns to the subject of her expertise, religious belief, and outlines the many ways that Americans have dealt with the decline of traditional religion by creating an alternative spirituality mediated through technology and centered on “improbable coincidence” as signs from the divine.
The Conscious Life Expo is one of the leading gatherings New Agers in the United States. Earlier this month, 12,000 people came to listen to lectures on Reiki, tarot, astral projection and all manner of alternative spiritualities. It also draws a roster of cable TV conspiracy theorists, YouTube speculators, and professional New Age believers. Wandering the halls of the Los Angeles Airport Hilton, you will find members of the Ancient Aliens cast, Gaia TV personalities, etc. The Conscious Life Expo this year made quite clear that the UFO movement and its ancient astronaut appendage is inexorably intwined with a desperate search for God in a world where traditional religion has lost much of its power.
Weekend Roundup: Ex-Ancient Aliens Researcher Spills Very Few Beans; Plus: Matt Sibson Recycles More Pyramid Claims
Let’s start today with the Archaeological Fantasies podcast interview with Annelise Baer, an archaeologist and former staffer for Ancient Aliens, whom readers with long memories will remember for writing a 2014 blog post proudly discussing how she sold her integrity to Ancient Aliens for the “fun” of going off the “deep end” in making the anti-scientific show. (Baer blocked me on Twitter in 2014 for publicizing her blog post.) In the new interview, Baer laughs about how she hated Ancient Aliens until they offered to pay her, saying she took the job because she was unemployed. I can’t say I find her current interview reassuring since she continues to take no responsibility for the ethical and moral issues created by the show, or the deep impact its lies and fraud have on audiences.
I'm an author and editor who has published on a range of topics, including archaeology, science, and horror fiction. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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