As many readers already know, actress Roseanne Barr became an internet laughingstock recently when she praised Donald Trump for his heroic role in an imaginary effort to free thousands of children from a Democrat-run pedophilia network. This bizarre counterfactual belief is part of the so-called QAnon conspiracy, an internet-driven conspiracy theory which holds that Trump and Special Counsel Robert Muller are working together to take down Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, who are the masterminds of a global child abuse network and terrorism syndicate. Barr removed her tweets referencing QAnon but did not apologize for her belief in the conspiracy.
In lieu of a blog post today, I present my review of alt-right “intellectual” Jason Reza Jorjani’s Prometheus and Atlas, a book that, before his ouster from AltRight.com and retreat from public life, Jorjani had promoted as the intellectual foundations for the alt-right movement. I have covered aspects of the book on this blog because of Jorjani’s prominence among the white nationalist right, where he partnered with white nationalist leader Richard Spencer and delivered a speech a pro-Trump rally where fascist salutes were given. Recently, Jorjani joined a nonprofit dedicated to “Aryan cultural revolution” called Iranian (Persian) Renaissance, where he theorizes that Iran will deliver the “completion of human evolution” by reinstituting an “Aryan” shah.
I wrote this piece for the Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture last year. Its publication was delayed, but the journal has graciously made the review available for free. Now, whenever a student tries to find scholarly information about Jorjani, it will be my evaluation of him that they find. Below is the first paragraph. The remainder is available to read on the journal’s website.
Jason Reza Jorjani’s Prometheus and Atlas takes its title in imitation of Nietzsche’s division of tragedy into the Apollonian and Dionysian in Birth of Tragedy; however, while Nietzsche used his mythic references to link art to the divine, Jorjani has selected his Titanic title for a darker purpose, to link the human condition to those immortals victimized by the gods of Olympus. In myth, Prometheus is vivisected for giving fire to mankind, while Atlas must hold the heavens for rebelling against the Olympians. Jorjani wishes humankind to emulate the Titans’ stand against oppressive deities, but it is emblematic of the problematic nature of his scholarship that he conflates the Titan Atlas with the same-named son of Poseidon who was king of Atlantis (Plato, Criti. 114a), and then proceeds to build his framework atop that faulty identity, imagining the conflated Atlas as a ‘world-colonizing’ hero.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation came under fire yesterday for a new documentary on the Solutrean hypothesis that the network was scheduled to make available online today ahead of its Sunday television broadcast. Critics expressed concern that the network was promoting a fringe theory and giving it spurious credence without addressing the theory’s popularity with white supremacists. The network, for its part, said that it was aware of the controversy but didn’t care.
Yesterday, the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hatewatch ran an article by journalist Alexander Zaitchik exploring the close connections between fringe history and hate, notably the way that white nationalists, Neo-Nazis, and anti-Semites have incorporated claims as wide-ranging as ancient aliens, lost civilizations, and Bible giants into a narrative designed to promote a racist agenda. Zaitchik quotes me as an expert in fringe history’s darker themes, and I am pleased that he made good use of much of the information that I provided about some of the many ways hate groups have employed fringe history to craft narratives of racial supremacy.
As we approach the New Year, it’s time to take a final look back at 2017 in fringe history. This was a year when political news overshadowed almost everything else, but 2017 still managed to find new ways to use and abuse history, rivalling the historic low of 2016. This year in fringe history might not have been more extreme than last year, but it was certainly darker. It was the year when fringe historians rejoiced that they had an ally in the White House whose courtiers proudly flew the banner of “alternative facts,” but more than anything, it was the year of Tom DeLonge, the musician turned ufologist who published an ancient astronaut book, launched a UFO research company, was crowned UFO researcher of the year, and took credit for the year’s biggest UFO research flap. Let’s look back at what happened over the past twelve months.
L. A. Marzulli is asking for money to pay the costs of his weekly radio show because YouTube won’t let him sell commercials in the recordings he posts to their site. This is because his videos are about Islamic terrorism, mass shootings, and other topics explicitly prohibited from commercial sponsorship under YouTube’s very clear terms of service. However, Marzulli has spun YouTube’s longstanding ban on monetizing videos about current events, violence, and terror as an attack on conservatism. He implied a link between YouTube and “Antifa” (anti-fascists) and claimed that they were engaged in a war on conservatism. Oh, and he asked for cash money: “We are now looking for sponsors for Acceleration Radio or those of you who would consider donating on a monthly basis to help with the production costs. We have already had one sponsor—the makers of an amazing cleaner, JINGOS—offer to help.” Jingos is a brand of pet urine cleaning products. Insert your own joke here, and be sure to avoid Jingos. Any company that would sponsor hate radio to sell cleaning spray doesn’t deserve patronage. I do not begrudge a radio show looking for patronage or sponsorship; everyone needs to pay the bills. I do, however, dispute the idea that it is a conspiracy when he does not get the money he thinks he deserves.
Weekend Roundup: Marzulli's Vegas Shooter Freakout, Mathematician's Attempt to Google Noah's Flood into Existence, and More!
Nephilim theorist L. A. Marzulli has always been creepy with his weird combination of Christian extremism and recycled rightwing talking points, but he is slipping farther and farther into the realm of utterly, irredeemably paranoid. In his latest radio broadcast, he was unable to handle the fact that the Las Vegas mass shooter, Stephen Paddock, who killed more than 50 people last weekend, was a wealthy old white male. Because he didn’t fit Marzulli’s preconceptions about what a violent person should be (brown or black, Muslim, etc.), he proposed that Paddock was the victim of CIA mind control experiments, or else that there was a vast conspiracy fomented by the media to frame him. Marzulli turned the subject to himself and added that he is himself a former drug user who consumed copious amounts of LSD and other mind-altering substances, and he claims that the drugs he did before the age of 30 opened him to “the lower astral” where demons live. He then turned his radio show into a lengthy diatribe about the way the U.S. government is feeding drugs to mass shooters in order to take control of them and use them to shoot up America. He added that Islamic State has a “zombie drug” that removes free will, and he speculates that any conservative can fall victim to mind control from liberals, spy agencies, or Muslims.
Jason Reza Jorjani's Efforts to Expand Alt-Right to the Alt-White End in Predictable, but Satisfying, Failure
Fringe history, ancient astronauts, and UFOs have a long history with Nazis. A recent booklet explored how some of the earliest UFO researchers (who also wrote ancient astronaut material under the guise of ufology) were connected to Neo-Nazi groups. Jacques de Maheiu was a Vichy official who later headed a Neo-Nazi group and Miguel Serrano literally worshiped Hitler. Frank Joseph headed the American Nazi Party, and even Chariots of the Gods, officially credited to Erich von Däniken, was in reality largely rewritten and edited by Wilhelm Utermann, a Nazi author and editor who worked at the Nazi party’s official newspaper. It’s pretty much Nazis all the way down
There is no new episode of Ancient Aliens tonight due to the History Channel’s car-focused programming week. (What, no “Aliens and Automobiles” episode?) So, it looks like I get the night off! That would be great, except that I am bombarded with work today. Therefore, I’m going to keep today’s posting short.
Centralia College Offers Continuing Education Course Covering How Native Americans Bred Bigfoot to Battle Solutreans
The continuing education department at Centralia College of Centralia, Washington began offering an adult education course which claims that Bigfoot is a Native American and ape hybrid who was hugely “influential” in the culture of the Solutreans, whom educator Mitchel Townsend (a candidate for a doctorate in education) identifies as “the first Americans.” The course is called “The Old Ones, the Firsts Americans,” and it started running on Saturday, the first of four two-hour sessions. According to a newspaper article touting the course, it’s essentially a mishmash of various fringe archaeology claims woven together with the growing myth of Bigfoot
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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