One of the examples I always used -- if you want to teach the Civil War across the country, are you better off having, I don’t know, tens of thousands of history teachers that kind of know the subject, or would you be better off popping in 14 hours of Ken Burns’s Civil War tape and then have those teachers proctor based on that excellent video production already done? You keep duplicating that over all these different subject areas.
To be fair, Johnson’s basic idea is similar to some of the schemes schools have been trying to save money. He, for example, would be OK with having one professor per subject who would broadcast lectures across the country.
I’m sure everyone reading this can see the obvious problems with Johnson’s ideas: Videos are not interactive, leaving no ability for students to ask questions or discuss themes and issues beyond a list of facts. Lecturers do more than just read textbooks to students (or should—I had one professor who just read the textbook, and it was awful). Videos also are a product of their time and cannot easily change to accommodate new information, new analysis, or new applications. Ken Burns’s The Civil War debuted on PBS in 1990. Imagine a computer course taught by the intro video to Windows 95! I say this as someone who has met Ken Burns and had a very nice conversation with him: His documentary is not a substitute for studying the historiography or archaeology of the Civil War.
But the darker part of Johnson’s scheme is that he would have students substitute Google searches for curated facts. Perhaps there is a good reason for that. The internet is home to the wildest, wooliest, and most vile conspiracies you can imagine, and these conspiracies, especially around history, tend to pull in the direction of conservative prejudices.
We need look no further than Monday’s edition of InfoWars, the conspiracy theory show hosted by Alex Jones, a conspiracy theorist who has received support from Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who has appeared on the program in the past. On Monday Jones played host to gigantologist Steve Quayle and the founder of the Curves fitness chain, Gary Heavin, who is active in conservative politics. Both men were on to discuss paranoid conservative memes and ended up discussing how God is using Donald Trump to deliver judgment on humanity for failing to enact mass genocide against those who carry the Nephilim bloodline.
Here's the full episode:
“Steve’s taught me a lot about this,” Heavin said after a lengthy discussion of paranoid conservative talking points about everything from ISIS invasions to Hillary Clinton’s “literal” murder spree. “There’s no aliens. There’s demons.” Heavin went on to explain that Quayle has taught him the true history of fallen angels, their sexual liaisons with human women, and the giants that they birthed.
Heavin, Quayle, and Jones all agree that “the elite” are engaged in incestuous interbreeding with one another to preserve their satanic gene pool. The men explain that genocide is periodically necessary to “cleanse the DNA” of Nephilim blood.
Quayle said that while the Nephilim elite want him dead for revealing the “truth,” he is not dead because God is protecting him. Heavin adds that “we” Evangelical Christians can “take our country back,” though he does not say from whom. By implication, the enemy is non-Christians, liberals, sexual minorities—all those with Nephilim genes. The two men claim that 82% of Americans (all non-Nephilim Americans) will be killed off in the coming Nephilim-liberal genocide through poisoned vaccines, chemtrails, or “nanites” unless Evangelicals “take our country back” from the Nephilim-liberal elite first.
The great thing about these kinds of appearances is that they tear away the veneer of holiness that these pseudo-Christians cloak themselves with. Quayle has never been a holy man, but he plays one to shill his books, his merchandise line, and the “prepping” schemes he promotes. Here he casts off the persona he puts on for Jim Bakker on Bakker’s “Christian” infomercial show. Now he is simply a raving right-wing lunatic, fearful of impending social change and putting on the mantle of Jeremiah to justify his anger and outrage, but sounding less like Jeremiah than a reverse Howard Beale. He is explicitly a political actor engaging in explicitly political discourse, peppered with angels and demons to give supernatural support to his explicitly political points.
Alex Jones claims that Charles Darwin admitted to receiving the theory of evolution in a “hallucination” from demonic “entities.” He is referring, in a mangled way, to Darwin’s lifelong psychological health problems, which included pain, visual hallucinations, and what he described as 25 years of “spasmodic daily & nightly flatulence.”
Jones also believes that “the elite” are not atheists but secretly “worship angels while they sit in big bowls of feces. You can’t make that up. That’s mainstream news!” Quayle returned to the fecal imagery later, adding that Nephilim and liberals are obsessed with poop because it symbolizes death. Heavin adds that there is no release from earthly problems because the Rapture will not come before Satan has taken control of the Earth, which is why Evangelicals must not withdraw from politics to await the Rapture. Instead, they must take a stand against the Nephilim-liberal death cult, presumably by electing the chaos candidate Donald Trump, the mouthpiece of God.
Heaven help us all.
This just goes to prove that the Nephilim conspiracy theories are not, as so many claim, merely religious revival or even “fun,” but rather a justification for a specific political agenda whose explicit aim is political power for fundamentalist conservatives, and whose stated goal is a purge of all who disagree. How is it that the so-called Christians ended up being the ones promising to enact in the name of Jesus the totalitarian, violent campaign of fear they imagine led God to send the Flood against the Nephilim the first time around?