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.
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.
David Wilcock Claims an Evil "Cabal" of Aliens and Democrats Are Trying to Stop Trump from Defeating Evil, Revealing Truth about Atlantis
It’s been a couple of weeks since we last had Atlantis news—back when National Geographic turned the lost continent into a proto-Jewish paradise—so we are about due for more Atlantis claims. This week we have two of them. The first, and less bonkers of them, comes to us via Ancient Origins, where Phil Flambas tells us that he believes that Atlantis was located in the Caribbean, in the parts of the sea floor that were above water during the last Ice Age. We’ve heard this claim before, and there is really nothing new to it except that Flambas wants us to believe that he reached his conclusion by taking Plato literally. “I have spent six years researching all of Plato’s descriptions in the Timaeus and Critias as being true and precise.” That’s great, but Plato said that Atlantis had elephants in it, and the Caribbean, so far as I know, has no evidence of elephants, or even mammoths and mastodons, in it. I assume he would argue that we simply haven’t found them yet, or that Atlantis extended into the mammoths’ Mexican range, but it would be helpful for there to be some sort of evidence for a lost city in the area c. 9600 BCE.
Orthodox Christian Occult Conspiracy Theorist Boards Trump Train, Calls for a Rejection of the Enlightenment and the Establishment of Autocracy
This week we’ve been looking at some of the looney tunes who have embraced Donald Trump as cover for a range of fringe agendas, from reactionary pseudo-archaeology to reactionary white nationalism to reactionary … well, everything. Today’s entry is Jay Dyer, a Trump supporter who advocates for a return to the Byzantine Empire’s Orthodox cultural traditions, as embodied in modern Russia. Dyer, naturally, has followed Vladimir Putin’s lead in celebrating Trump as an avatar of Christian civilization, alongside other extreme right politicians like Geert Wilders and Marine Le Pen. Would it surprise you to know that Dyer thinks that modern science is a Satanic conspiracy to destroy Christendom, one that Donald Trump can stop? Consider his recent screed on why he has jumped on the Trump Train:
Russian president Vladimir Putin signed a new law that reduces penalties for domestic violence, and his enablers in the media defended his partial legalization of domestic abuse by turning to pseudoscience. Citing the work of Satoshi Kanazawa, a disgraced evolutionary psychologist who once claimed that African women were “objectively” unattractive, a Russian newspaper now claims that domestic violence is a net benefit for society because it promotes the birth of more males. Yes, the article is both immoral and sexist! I say this as preface for today’s topic, which also offers an astonishing claim about gender.
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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