Last week, I reviewed the Forbidden History fourth season episode on the Knights Templar, and today I follow that up with a review of the next episode of the fourth season, “The Real Mary Magdalene.” If the topic sounds familiar, it’s because the show already covered Holy Bloodline conspiracies in other episodes (specifically S01E03, un-reviewed by me), and because the topic has been the subject of almost every fringe history series broadcast since 2003. But since the Templar episode repeated content and ideas first seen in the first season episode on the Knights Templar, it seems that Forbidden History has entered Ancient Aliens territory, recycling old material with slight variations to justify another hour of TV. This is sad because Forbidden History has so few episodes (just six per season) that there is no reason to recycle topics quite this much. Worse, in 2013 the show had host Jamie Theakston conclude that there was no truth to the Holy Bloodline claims. Made the fool, he now presides over an episode that simply assumes the Bloodline myth to be true. On the plus side, it gave Theakston an excuse for a nice vacation in the south of France
Nephilim Theorists and Ancient Astronaut Believers React to Charlottesville; Plus: David Wilcock Plots Return After Three-Month Hiatus
Over the past several months, I have chronicled the fact that Nephilim theorist L. A. Marzulli is a right-wing bigot with a mockingbird’s ability to repeat whatever slime the alt-right noise machine has thrown against the wall that day. His favorite targets are liberals, gays, and Muslims, and he has used his blog to condemn all three groups for every act of violence undertaken by a member of them. It goes without saying that when a Nazi sympathizer killed a woman at an anti-racist counter-protest in Charlottesville this weekend, Marzulli remained silent. He did not condemn the Nazis marching for white power, nor did he condemn the anti-Semites marching to eliminate “Jewish influence” from America. What he did complain about, however, was the media’s treatment of Donald Trump after Trump initially failed to condemn by name the white supremacist groups marching.
"The Atlantic" Chronicles American Unreason, Including Ancient Astronauts; Plus: "The Week" Condemns Americans for Eschewing "Realist Fiction"
I want to start by pointing to an excellent article by Kurt Andersen in the forthcoming edition of the Atlantic in which he traces the roots of American irrationalism back to the founding era, placing blame for our current explosion of insanity on the 1960s and the rise of the counterculture and postmodernism. It’s not entirely that simple—the weakening of elite institutions as part of a general hollowing out of civic culture in the name of capitalist profit plays a role too—but overall he is quite right. For our purposes, this paragraph is probably the most important, tracing the rise of conspiracy and even Trump to the forces unleashed by the spread of the darkest forms of UFO belief:
Conspiracy theorist Jim Marrs died yesterday of a heart attack at the age of 73, according to an announcement his family posted to social media last night. Marrs had suspended updates to his website in June due to health issues, and his health had been in decline for several months. We are told not to speak ill of the dead, but it is difficult for me to find much else to say about him. He was, in private life, apparently loving and devoted to his family, but publicly, for decades Marrs promoted a noxious brew of rightwing conspiracies that danced around anti-Semitic themes, and he happily embraced ancient astronaut theories and wove them into a dark vision of a genocidal Obama government hellbent on mass liquidation of conservatives, a vision that never came to pass and whose predictive failure Marrs never acknowledged. Seriously, he used to claim that Obama and the Chinese and/or Russians were working together to launch a coup against white Americans.
Review of Forbidden History S04E02 "The Secrets of the Vatican"; Plus: Ben Radford Has More Reasons He Thinks I'm Wrong about Chupacabra
I was planning to review Forbidden History today, but then Benjamin Radford responded to my recent response to his recent response to an article I wrote about the Chupacabra six years ago. So, I will append the Forbidden History review below. Meanwhile, in the latest piece, Radford accuses me of purposely misrepresenting him and engaging in straw man arguments to promote a wacky, evidence-free hypothesis. As much as I respect Radford’s work, at times he is that tiresome type of skeptic who demands everything be spelled out in syllogisms and tends toward blindness in the weaknesses of his own arguments. He adds little new in the most recent piece, so I have very little to say about it except to point out some of those aforementioned weaknesses:
In a few days self-described psychic, former Ancient Aliens talking head, and longtime conspiracy theorist Sean David Morton will be sentenced for a series of crimes that included filing false tax returns and creating and cashing fake U.S. Treasury checks. Morton joins convicted embezzler Erich von Däniken and the other rogues’ gallery of ancient astronaut theorists who have had run-ins with the law. Fringe history, like other fringe fields, attracts a number of frauds, con artists, and unscrupulous snake oil salesman looking to exploit extreme beliefs for cash.
I wasn’t going to mention Nick Redfern’s recent article on Neil Armstrong and the “Men in Black,” mostly because it is beyond my area of interest, and also because it was remarkably light on content, even for Redfern. But I saw the piece pop up a few times on social media and across the internet, so it seems like I had best point out the article’s biggest and most glaring flaw.
Alex Jones's Lawyer Says He's "Playing a Character"; Plus: "TruNews" Host Rick Wiles Calls Ivanka Trump "Kabbala Practicing Evil Woman"
The lawyer for InfoWars conspiracy theorist Alex Jones argued in a court filing that his client is “playing a character” and that his poisonous conspiracy theories (which range from ancient aliens and Nephilim to Pizzagate) are part of his act as a “performance artist,” not a truth-teller, according to news reports published yesterday. I wonder how many of his fans would be surprised to learn that Jones is not actually a rightwing truth warrior but instead now admits to being a false-flag fake-news crisis actor making things up for cash payments. It does make one wonder how many more of his ilk are intentionally engaged in profitable “performance art” vs. having true belief in the lies they inculcate among their devoted followings.
A New Book on Nephilim-Government Evil; Plus: Scott Wolter Speculates on the Numerology of American History
I came across a press release yesterday for a recently published book called The Return of the Nephilim by Alan Dean Paul. The book blames the “merchant” class—i.e., international bankers—for all of humanity’s problems since the dawn of time, and it identifies these bankers as Nephilim. But I found it particularly interesting that Paul has absorbed more than a little of the right-wing paranoid view of history, and in so doing has created a Nephilim-centered conspiracy that is hardly any different from David Icke’s Reptilians, or the anti-Semitic claims of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion:
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.
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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