There is sad news from the world of fringe archaeology. Tour guide John Anthony West, who appeared in the 1993 Mysteries of the Sphinx documentary and inspired Graham Hancock, announced that he is suffering from Stage 4 cancer, and he is asking his friends and followers to give him $115,000 to pay for “alternative” cancer treatments. West chose to forgo mainstream treatments in favor of what Skeptical Inquirer had deemed the “unproven” cancer cure of Stanislaw Burzynski, who faced legal proceeding last year for “medical malfeasance.” “The Rogue Oncologist meets the Rogue Egyptologist, soon with your help,” states West’s crowdfunding page. West is asking for money because insurance will not pay for unproven treatments. I wish West the best and hope he will go into remission, but I fear that choosing a path in line with his belief that mainstream science is flawed will not produce his desired outcome.
Jason Reza Jorjani Adopts Hancock-Schoch-West Fringe Claims about Egypt, Falsely Implies Nineteenth Century German Philosopher Believed Them
Since today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and also the planned launch date for the new altright.com website of white nationalist Richard Spencer and so-called “alt-right” “intellectual” Jason Reza Jorjani (which as of this writing has not happened), this seems like a perfect time to explore some of Jorjani’s views on Africa in his 2016 magnum opus, Prometheus and Atlas, which is based on his doctoral dissertation in philosophy. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately), he doesn’t address sub-Saharan Africa in his universal theory of human achievement [update: I found a brief mention of West African weights and measures], but he does touch on the part of Africa most important to those who glorify the Aryan race, Egypt. Does it surprise you to learn that he casts his lot with fringe writers who don’t think that the Egyptians were responsible for developing their own culture?
Jason Reza Jorjani and Richard Spencer Got an Apartment Together in Virginia to Turn into a Salon and Party Pad for the So-Called "Alt-Right"
It wasn’t my intention to revisit the saga of Jason Reza Jorjani again until I had finished reading his book Prometheus and Atlas, but events have overtaken me, and I think it’s worth talking about him some more. Regular readers will recall that Jorjani became the subject of controversy late last year after his alma mater raised questions in a private faculty meeting about his affiliation with the so-called “alt-right,” prompting him to angrily and publicly deny that he is a white nationalist when the school accidentally emailed him the meeting minutes. Jorjani, who embraces the deceptive “alt-right” moniker, which the Associated Press advises is a euphemism for white nationalism, fancies himself an intellectual force reshaping radical rightwing ideology in favor of his particular version of the Aryan race, which he defines as including most white Europeans and also the people of his family’s ancestral homeland, Iran.
Why Is the Alt-Right Into the Middle Ages? Plus: Scott Wolter Claims Ice Age Peoples Held Intercontinental "World Conference" Meetings
The Economist had an interesting blog this week speculating on why far right Americans have come to embrace the Middle Ages. Specifically, the blog post – anonymous, like most Economist pieces – looks at why far right advocates seem to have moved the center of their intellectual interest from Classical Antiquity to medieval times:
Happy New Year! As we start 2017, I thought I would continue my annual tradition and look back at 2016 in fringe history. It was probably one of the most depressing years for fringe history in decades.
Alt-Right Supporter Uses Atlantis and ESP to Defend "Aryan Heritage," Blames Muslims for "White Genocide"
Today I intend to discuss the flawed intellectualism proffered by the so-called alt-right, a term I use here in contravention of recommended media usage because the example I will discuss comes from an intellectual of the alt-right school who denies being a white nationalist while writing approvingly of “Aryan heritage” and of “my support for the Alt-Right’s struggle to prevent another white genocide.” I will forestall efforts to dismiss my critique with arguments over the terminology of white nationalism in order to focus on the faulty arguments and bad history used to erect an alt-right philosophy.
White Nationalist Richard Spencer Uses Diffusionist Fringe History in Speech Praising Trump, White America
Cast your mind back to that far-off distant year of 2009, when conservative thinkers were outraged that an elementary school teacher in Chicago led her students in a chant praising Barack Obama. Fox News pundits decried what they alleged was an incipient communist cult of personality, and Sean Hannity devoted several segments of his various programs to red-face outrage. Then-GOP chairman Michael Steele said at the time “Friend, this is the type of propaganda you would see in Stalin’s Russia or Kim Jong Il’s North Korea. I never thought the day would come when I’d see it here in America.” Yesterday white nationalists held a meeting in Washington, giving fascist salutes and shouting “Hail Trump!”, led by the man that Trump’s chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, through his Breitbart website, hailed as a great “intellectual” of compelling brilliance. You get no points for guessing that Fox News downplayed the event, or that Ann Coulter dismissed it as merely thirty people in a room, or that Sean Hannity devoted his time instead to praising torture and begging Vice President-Elect Mike Pence to use the power of his office to silence criticism.
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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