FBI Investigating Russian Connection to InfoWars: Why Do So Many Outlets Tied to Russia Back Ancient Astronaut and UFO Conspiracies?
A few weeks ago, the Los Angeles Review of Books published a brief summary of the contents of a 2016 volume called The Age of Lovecraft, but it was reviewer and Ph.D. candidate Alison Sperling’s opening line that caught my attention: “As a feminist, I am reluctant, at times, to admit to friends and academic colleagues that I appreciate H. P. Lovecraft’s work.” I found that to be a bit of an astonishing statement, largely because it, and the sentences decrying Lovecraft’s racism and sexism which followed, suggest that even among academics who should know better there is a sort of perverse identification of reader and writer, as though one’s choice of literature reveals the darkest part of one’s soul. I’ve always found that to be strange because so many of works of great literature came from the pens of people who were, by contemporary standards, miserable human beings. But even leaving that aside, could you imagine an archaeologist, for example, saying that “As someone who values human life, I am ashamed to admit that I enjoy researching Aztec culture” because of their record of human sacrifice? Of course, on the other hand we might look askance at a film student who professes not just technical admiration but love for the works of Leni Riefenstahl.
This is one of those stories I didn’t think I’d ever need to write about. Seventeen years ago, the CIA declassified a silly transcript of a “psychic” probe of ancient Martian civilization, and no one paid it much mind until an online version was included in the CIA’s recent release of declassified material in its new Reading Room. I threw a copy up in my Library months ago because I thought it was amusing, but I didn’t bother to highlight it in my blog. However, thanks to the Mysterious Universe podcast, it attracted the attention of Slate magazine, and Slate decided to ask whether America really made contact with ancient Martians from a million years ago.
Peter Levenda Is Upset with Me. He Also Called Me "Arrogant" and Driven by "Personal Resentment." Yes, He's a Full-Fledged Fringe Writer Now!
Good news, everyone! Peter Levenda is mad at me again! Or, to be more specific, he finds it upsetting and outrageous that I reviewed his book, Sekret Machines (my review: • Part 1 • Part 2 • Part 3 •), from the utterly biased perspective that a book which claims to be setting the stage to change humanity’s very conception of itself ought, at a minimum, to provide evidence to support such a proposition and maintain, at a minimum, logical consistency within itself. Since Levenda states upfront in the book that he had no intention to follow either of these propositions (explicitly saying that those looking for evidence will find “nothing here” for them), it necessarily follows that my evaluation of the book will differ from Levenda’s less rigorous intentions. Or, rather, he would have made that claim if he had read the review, which he didn’t, because he decided I am biased against him based on his choice to use my site’s search box to look for his own name and those of his friends Jacques Vallée and Graham Hancock
It is getting harder and harder to separate the goofball claims of fringe historians from the horrific consequences that they have in the real world. Yesterday, I read a sad story about Christian discipline camps for unruly teenagers, mostly in the southern U.S., in which religious extremists allegedly use brutal methods to try to beat the “demon” of homosexuality out of gay teens. According to media reports, their methods involved beatings, isolation, verbal abuse, chokings, nude exercises, etc. But while these abuses are, sadly, nothing new in the Christian anti-gay conversion movement, what makes the story news today is that the governor of Alabama—himself under threat of impeachment over ethics violations related to allegations of sexual immorality, but with a woman—appointed the man who refused to prosecute such abuses, Luther Strange, as the state’s second U.S. senator. “These children are from out of state, and their parents don’t vote here, and I don’t want the churches mad at me,” Strange’s top deputy allegedly said to characterize his boss’s views, though Strange denies this.
L. A. Marzulli Turns Against Republicans Over Taxes, While "Jacobin" Magazine Blasts Jason Reza Jorjani for Space Aliens, Racism, and Postmodernism
Well, that didn’t take long. After a love affair with the Republican Party and Donald Trump, Christian Nephilim theorist L. A. Marzulli has turned against the party whose leader he recently said was God’s own choice for governance, and for the most banal of reasons: money. Marzulli is upset that Congress doesn’t work long enough, and when they do they find new ways to burn money. Specifically, Marzulli claims that “I’m furious about this as I pay upward of 50% of my income to the Feds and the state,” and he doesn’t want to keep paying. He had hoped that the Republicans would give him tax relief by cutting social programs. You know, like Jesus would. I have to ask: What is he doing wrong to pay so much since the average American has a total tax burden of less than 30% (excluding sales and property tax), according to The Motley Fool?
Today I will conclude my review of Tom DeLonge’s and Peter Levenda’s new ancient astronaut book Sekret Machines: Gods, which has proven to be a rehash of standard ancient astronaut material with a good deal of Graham Hancock’s fantastical universe of altered consciousness and lost civilizations thrown into the mix thanks to Levenda’s admitted fascination with Hancock’s ideas. This all culminates in the book’s full-throated descent into a paean for religious belief and spirituality to counter the supposed horrors of science, secularism, and materialism. It’s depressing how frequently ancient astronaut claims turn into religion by proxy.
Yesterday I began my review of Tom DeLonge’s and Peter Levenda’s Sekret Machines: Gods, and it bears noting that the misspelling in the title is intentional. The authors explain that they chose the spelling to recall simultaneously a punk rock aesthetic, the German meaning of sekret, Soviet secrets, and Greek mysticism. The word, for Levenda, is important as the German word for a secretion, or an oozing, which summarizes how the authors think UFO information will leak out. But more importantly, Levenda wants us to remember that the Greek word for secret is mystikó, related to mysticism. It is religion that is Levenda’s primary interest, and spirituality eclipses UFOs in this volume.
Yesterday, ex-Blink-182 member and current ufology-award winner Tom DeLonge released his new ancient astronaut book Sekret Machines: Gods, the first in a nonfiction trilogy covering what DeLonge believes to be the true history of space aliens’ involvement with earthlings. In a previous post, I explained some of my philosophical problems with the approach that DeLonge’s coauthor, Peter Levenda, took in developing the book, as well as my concern that Levenda is either duplicitous or wholly ignorant in claiming that his approach to the ancient astronaut theory is wholly new and unprecedented. In a nutshell, my criticism is that Levenda frames the early history of aliens on Earth as the story of a cargo cult, something he wrongly believes is unique to him. The claim was first made in the film version of Chariots of the Gods, broadcast in the United States as In Search of Ancient Astronauts in 1973, and it has been a common trope among ancient astronaut theorists since then.
Conspiracy Theorist Who Blames the Rothschilds for the Civil War Claims History Channel Is Paying Him to Hunt for Giants and Treasure
I’m sure many of you have probably listened to the Canadian paranormal podcast Grimerica. This week, the hosts interviewed Xaviant Haze, a DJ and researcher of the “pre-diluvian” world who has produced books about ancient giants, space aliens, “international bankers,” and other conspiracies. He takes influence from Theosophy (especially the fictitious Brotherhood of the Serpent) and is blithely unaware (or purposely ignores) the darker turn historic attempts at blaming global catastrophes on “international bankers” have taken, e.g., in his Suppressed History of American Banking (2016), he blamed the Civil War on the Rothschilds, a claim found among anti-Semites. His newest book is The Donald Trump Conspiracy, a book that alleges that Trump stands in opposition to an evil New World Order. Haze claims that his publisher offered him “a lot of money” to write an anti-Trump book, but when he turned in a pro-Trump screed, the publisher refused to accept it and he self-published the volume. It’s good to know that publishers pay “a lot of money” to crappy researchers who have nothing original to say.
L. A. Marzulli Launches New UFO-Hunting DVD Series, Claims UFOs Are Demons Enacting Satan's Master-Plan
For years now, Christian extremist L. A. Marzulli has hunted Nephilim giants under the banner of his Watchers DVD series. However, Marzulli is increasingly feeling the pressure from his competitors over at Ancient Aliens, and as a result, this week he announced a new line of DVDs called The Watchman Chronicles that will take on the subject of UFOs from the perspective that strange lights in the sky are the work of flying demons who intend to deceive humanity into believing in space aliens rather than demons. Demons have complicated plans. It’s usually best not to ask questions.
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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