Today I learned that no good deed goes unpunished. As most readers know, I maintain a growing library of important texts related to fringe history and pseudo-archaeology. Since there is no full public domain translation of the Epic of Gilgamesh, and I certainly wasn’t going to pay thousands in licensing fees to use a modern one, I put together my own version from public domain material and my own editorial emendations and additions based on more recent translations. I started from the base of William Muss-Arnolt’s translations, published in 1904, and added in translations of fragments that were discovered and translated in the 1910s and 1920s. Because Muss-Arnolt’s material was in the wrong order, incomplete, and often wrong, I took a pretty strong editorial hand, and about 50% of the text is mine, though I tried to echo Muss-Arnolt closely enough that it isn’t always easy to tell. I don’t claim it as my own translation because, obviously enough, I don’t read cuneiform to work from the primary sources. That’s also why I don’t sell it for a profit; I don’t feel it is enough of my own labor to charge for. But it also isn’t in the public domain. I wrote half of it.
L. A. Marzulli Claims "Groundbreaking" New Documentary Has "Smoking Gun" Proving Fatima Apparition Came from Satan
Yesterday, Nephilim theorist L. A. Marzulli announced that he had discovered the smoking gun proving that the apparition of the Virgin Mary at Fatima in 1917 was actually the work of Satan as part of a carefully orchestrated plot involving the Catholic Church, UFOs, and demons. The announcement coincides with the beginning of his publicity campaign for Fatima 2: Electric Boogaloo, er, Fatima 2: Strange Phenomenon, a new documentary he is selling to evangelical Christians.
THE SLENDERMAN MYSTERIES
Nick Redfern | 2018 | 288 pages | New Page Books | ISBN: 978-1-63265-112-9 | $15.99
In 2009 a man named Eric Knudsen created photo art of a thin, mysterious supernatural man in a suit, and he posted these photo illustrations to Something Awful, where they became the fodder for countless online stories of a creature soon known as Slender Man, sometimes stylized as Slenderman. In this, it was not entirely different from the fictitious Blair Witch of 1999, or the Cthulhu Mythos of H. P. Lovecraft’s fiction. In each case, a fictitious creation came to be embraced as “real” by fans who should have known better. The story of Slender Man is important, however, because in 2014 two 12-year-old girls lured a third into the woods in Waukesha, Wisconsin and stabbed her 19 times in an effort to impress the Slender Man. The victim survived, but the perpetrators were found not guilty by reason of insanity. Each was sentenced to decades in a mental health facility. The incident undercuts the collective “fun” to be had from pretending a fictitious thing was real.
When I reviewed a book on the egregores of occult belief yesterday, I noted that the concept originated from Éliphas Lévi, an occultist and ceremonial magician of the nineteenth century. He first applied the myth of the Watchers to supernatural entities that watch over human activity in 1868, in his book The Great Secret, though this book was not published until 1898. I will confess to not having read Lévi's book, but I was intrigued enough by the references to the Watchers, Giants, and Nephilim to read the chapter about them. This, in turn, surprised me greatly when I saw how Lovecraftian the material was, anticipating by seven decades the idea of titanic supernatural entities beyond time and space and beyond human comprehension, whose random movements affect human actions but which are utterly indifferent to us, as we care nothing for ants and mites. It is no wonder, therefore, that ceremonial magicians suspected that Lovecraft had channeled the same magical powers as Lévi. The similarities are uncanny, but not inexplicable. Lovecraft knew of Lévi's writing from an English translation of some of his work, published in 1896 and 1897, though this book did not include The Great Secret. Drawing on similar source material, both authors had struck upon similar ideas, with Lovecraft bending toward Lévi both because of his reading of him and his reading of secondary sources that discussed his ideas. While The Great Secret was translated into English in 2000, the text is under copyright, so I have translated the relevant chapter for my Library. It is well worth the read, both because of its relevance to understanding the occult version of the Watchers myth and for its anticipation of Lovecraft. My translation can be found here.
EGREGORES: THE OCCULT ENTITIES THAT WATCH OVER HUMAN DESTINY
Mark Stavish | 160 pages | Inner Traditions | ISBN: 9781620555781 | (price not available)
I don’t usually review books of mysticism and New Age philosophy, but I make an exception where such books cross over into territory familiar to me, especially when they touch on either the Watcher angels from the Book of Enoch or H. P. Lovecraft. Occasionally, we find a book that mixes together both. Egregores: The Occult Entities That Watch Over Human Destiny (Inner Traditions, 2018) is one such book, and author Mark Stavish provides some confounding ideas about the relationship between Fallen Angels and the Cthulhu Mythos in a confusing book that is half book report and half New Age instruction manual. The book is due out in July, and this is an early review.
As I mentioned not long ago, the history of the Habsburg Empire is of particular interest to me, though I rarely have the opportunity to discuss it here. I learned the other day that a new book is going to be released last month on the death of Crown Prince Rudolf, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, who committed suicide after murdering his teenage lover on a hunting trip in January of 1889. The reasons for his death have never been satisfactorily explained, and conspiracy theories surround the events at the hunting lodge of Mayerling. What cannot be denied, however, is that Rudolf’s death set in motion events that culminated in the outbreak of the First World War, because his absence left a weakness at the center of the monarchy and deprived it of its most important liberal voice.
Jason Josephson-Storm Has Controversial Ideas about Secularism, Disenchantment and Magical Thinking in Western Society
Self-described Christian prophet Mark Taylor told an evangelical End Times radio show that Satan used the Illuminati and the Freemasons to send out a “frequency” that would alter conservatives’ DNA so they would be shunned and punished for loving Donald Trump. “I believe what happened on November 8 is the enemy has literally sent out a frequency and it agitated and took control, basically, of those who have their DNA turned over to [Satan],” Taylor said. “That’s what’s happening. The Illuminati, the Freemasons, all these people, their main goal is to change the DNA of man and they’re doing it through these frequencies.” He added that news media broadcast at the Satanic frequency of 440 Hz, which transforms Christian conservatives’ DNA to match that of the “Illuminati bloodline.” I think we have hit peak fringe. But more to the point, conspiracy theories that were once so bizarre that they were on the fringes of even conspiracy culture are now a dime a dozen and afternoon entertainment.
The Nazis are history’s archetypical supervillains, and there has long been a tendency to ascribe to them supernatural evil. Members of the Nazi Party used the occult for a variety of purposes. The ridiculous World Ice Theory found favor mostly because it could be used as an alternative to “Jewish” science. Atlantis and Thule were potential Aryan homelands, and the Holy Grail was supposedly an artifact of Germanic history. Heinrich Himmler, perhaps the truest believer, hoped to infuse pagan ritual into the SS to give an extra layer of emotional power to Nazi ideology.
Peter Tompkins's Son Describes His Father's Hunt for Atlantis and His Own Belief in Sex-Crazed Demons
A few days ago I mentioned that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos called for activists and government to stand up against professors indoctrinating students. Now in Arkansas a ridiculous new bill introduced by one extremist state legislator aims to ban all books by leftist historians Howard Zinn from public school libraries and classrooms for being, essentially, liberal. While likely unconstitutional, the bill is a reminder that government is never more than a minute from trying to legislate truth and corrupt history for political ends. Banning authors—and historians no less!—is the first step toward imposing official government truths. Fortunately, for now it’s just one legislator’s bad idea.
Since the advent of the Trump Administration, it’s like the craziness at the center of Washington has sucked all of the air out of the room and made it harder to find weird things that aren’t connected to politics. Fringe historians declared their political allegiances months ago, with characters like L. A. Marzulli, David Wilcock, and J. Hutton Pulitzer endorsing Donald Trump and others like Giorgio Tsoukalos and Scott Wolter risking their aggrieved audiences by opposing the House of Orange. Consequently, it was no surprise that again this year conservative extremists blasted the Super Bowl halftime show for promoting occultism, which seems to be conservative code for liberalism.
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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