When I was researching the way Nephilim theorists have decided to embrace the Book of Enoch, I looked into some of the ancient attitudes toward the non-canonical text. It’s rather a complex story, but the general trend is that before 1 CE, many Jews embraced the myth of fallen angels having relations with human women to spawn giants, but over time, attitudes changed and the new theology that the “Sons of God” mentioned in Genesis 6 were actually the human descendants of Seth took hold. Christians, however, were divided between those who favored the old view and those that preferred the new. The Church Fathers struggled with this for centuries, and you can see the differing opinions in their various writings.
Between “fake news” and “alternative facts” and gag orders on scientists, it feels a bit like we’re watching the lights go out one by one in the intellectual world. I read through the news coverage of Sunday’s National Geographic Channel documentary Atlantis Rising, and it was astonishing how little anyone cared about the fake experts, ethical problems, and misleading claims. I couldn’t find a single critical review. Have we really become so inured to fakery that there is no outrage left to spare when a respected name like National Geographic openly engages in it? A supine media, beholden to celebrity, plays along, and as long as the fake experts are out-and-out lunatics like on the History Channel, everyone smiles and nods and pretends it’s OK as long as James Cameron gives his multimillion-dollar seal of approval. To be fair, when NatGeo did the same thing back in 2011, the only reason there was critical uproar is because the archaeologists seen in the film at alleged to the media that Richard Freund had hijacked their findings. By contrast, when NBC aired ancient astronaut documentaries in the 1970s, there was outrage in newspapers, magazines, and even academic journals. Today, we simply expect that everything on TV is a lie that the rubes will believe and the sophisticates will ignore.
Would you be surprised if I told you that a man with Indian ancestry “discovered” that India once colonized the Middle East and exercised decisive influence over the region in ancient times? It’s almost humorous how the world-conquering superheroes almost invariably reflect the ethnic origins of the person making claims on their behalf. Our latest claimant is Subhash Kak, an Indian American computer scientist at Ohio State University who is also known for his writings on the history of Indian science. Mathematician Alan Sokal once identified Kak as a Hindu nationalist.
Egyptologist Gaston Maspero Wrote a Largely Overlooked 13,000-Word Treatise on Medieval Arabic Pyramid Lore. I Translated It.
As most of you know, I became very interested in the medieval Arab-Egyptian pyramid myth several years ago after Giorgio Tsoukalos cited the work of the Arabian historians of the Middle Ages as evidence for space aliens in Old Kingdom Egypt, 3,900 years earlier. This culminated in my translation of the Akhbar al-zaman, the oldest surviving version of the fully developed myth of the fantastical history of Egypt, as it was known in medieval times. This account included the founding of Egypt by the Nephilim-Giants, the building of the pyramids by the giants, particularly King Surid, to preserve the wisdom of the Watchers from Noah’s Flood, and the magical spells and talismans by which the Egyptians after the Flood mastered the dark arts of sorcery. Historically, most scholars have dismissed the book as a medieval flight of fantasy, though a growing contingent recognize in it shadows of early Hermetic literature and some borrowings from Byzantine Greek literature.
You might remember that a year and a half ago I discussed the story of the 85 statues that Hermes Trismegistus allegedly built at the Mountains of the Moon in order to regulate the flow of the Nile. In reading a book about the history of Hermes Trismegistus, I found that the author made reference to this story, but seemed to know it only from its appearance in the Picatrix, a Latin translation of an eleventh century Arabic text called Ghāyat al-Ḥakīm. The book has an odd history, having been written sometime in the 1000s before being translated into a now-lost Spanish text by order of Alfonso X around 1256-1258, and then from Spanish to Latin sometime thereafter. As a result of its retranslation, the book acquired some odd readings, but what is more interesting is that, like its near-contemporary, the Akhbar al-zaman, it is not an original work so much as a composite of older material.
One of the minor notes of the 2016 U.S. presidential election was the exposure of the Religious Right’s utter hypocrisy in happily abandoning their claims to moral and ethical superiority in order to gain the momentary political advantage of aligning themselves with the hedonistic Donald Trump. But even I was surprised at the lengths that these pious hypocrites will go to in order to justify the frisson of joy they feel that a sexually amoral vulgarian has become their strength and shield. And they plan to use bizarre efforts to rewrite ancient history in order to glorify Trump as the harbinger of Christ’s Second Coming
Christian Extremist Behind Ohio Abortion Bill Believes Gay Marriage Caused Noah's Flood, Will Destroy World Again
It turns out that the Nephilim are at it again. Last night, the CW series Supernatural identified angel-human hybrids as Nephilim, and the back half of the season will involve a hunt for the Nephilim fetus of Lucifer and the U.S. president’s girlfriend. But that is small potatoes compared to the pernicious influence of the Nephilim from the “Days of Noah” on U.S. public discourse. According to media reports, Ohio’s new highly restrictive anti-abortion legislation was spearheaded by none other than Janet Folger Porter (a.k.a. Janet L. Porter and Janet Folger), a Christian extremist who has promoted a number of faith-based conspiracy theories, ranging from allegations that Barack Obama planned to open concentration camps for conservatives to claims that gay people cause natural disasters by having sex. But Folger isn’t just a standard-issue Evangelical extremist. She also believes that the Nephilim were gay and caused the Flood of Noah, so therefore the world will end soon because gay marriage is now legal.
I guess there is a theme to my blog posts this week. Over on Live Science there is an interesting article on the cultural debate that arose after the BBC aired a documentary alleging that the terra cotta warriors unearthed near the tomb of China’s first emperor were the work of a Greek artisan, or produced under the influence of Greek sculpture. One of the archaeologists involved, Li Xiuzhen immediately backtracked in the face of criticism, distancing herself from art historian Luckas Nickel, who made the claim that the sculptures were directly created by Greek artisans or by Chinese workers under a Greek supervisor. Li alleged that the BBC had misrepresented her and made her out to be a believer in the Greek origin of Chinese sculpture. “The terracotta warriors may be inspired by Western culture, but were uniquely made by the Chinese,” she said. Other Chinese scholars were even more dismissive, with the official in charge of the emperor’s tomb, Zhang Weixing, bluntly stating that there was no evidence for contact with Greece at all.
Media reports yesterday indicated that the incoming Trump Administration is considering Dr. Ben Carson for the role of Secretary of Education, presumably as part of Donald Trump’s stated aim of eliminating the Department of Education. During the presidential primary season Carson became the subject of ridicule of alleging that the pyramids of Egypt were silos built by the Biblical patriarch Joseph to hold Pharaoh’s grain. Recalling this idiocy, last night Stephen Colbert joked that we’ll soon be seeing the Trump government distribute new history textbooks, Shit I Made Up about Egypt by Dr. Ben Carson. The accompanying graphic was hilarious—and be sure to note the UFO and alien accompanying Jesus.
This week the BBC announced that it would screen a new documentary next week that will allege that the famous terra cotta warriors found in the tomb of China’s first emperor were the work of ancient Greek artisans who traveled to China in the wake of Alexander’s conquests. Alexander’s armies reached as far as India before his death in 323 BCE, and a Hellenistic Greek-Indian kingdom existed in what is now Afghanistan down to perhaps as late as the first century CE. The terra cotta warriors were sculpted in the years leading up to Qin Shi Huang’s death in 206 BCE.
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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