A Book by a Zecharia Sitchin Acolyte Covered the Same "New" Material as "Sekret Machines" Many Years Ago
Since I was on the subject of Peter Levenda yesterday, I thought I would take a moment to remind everyone that Levenda has placed a lot of weight on what he claims to be his surprising and new approach to the ancient astronaut theory. Specifically, in their recent Rolling Stone interview, Levenda’s coauthor Tom DeLonge emphasized that his discussion of human religion as a sort of cargo cult inspired by space aliens is a quantum leap forward in understanding space alien interaction with humans. As I pointed out in my review of their book Sekret Machines: Gods, this claim is not new or even special; it was first used in the 1970s in the TV movie In Search of Ancient Astronauts.
However, I was intrigued to see that the late Vine Deloria offered a nearly identical argument in one of his books, Evolution, Creationism, and Other Modern Myths (2002), and its parallels to Levenda’s are rather striking. He starts by describing cargo cults and space aliens:
Western religion may simply be the historical remnants of an ancient cargo cult. I do not believe the ancient astronaut thesis, contrary to what I’m sure many reviewers will insist. Following Occam’s razor, however, I am forced to admit that it ties up a lot of loose strings. I do believe that it has much to tell us and should be a topic for serious historical investigation rather simply the concern of flying saucer groups.
Regular readers know that I don’t think much of Deloria’s frequent forays into hyper-diffusionism and other fringe history staples, but I was rather struck to see Levenda’s major claims given quickly but succinctly here. The difference is that Levenda extends the same claim to Buddhism and other Eastern faiths, too.
Obviously, Deloria was simply aping a larger argument that has come and gone many times. After In Search of Ancient Astronauts, Dean J. J. Dunderstadt wrote of the “fascinating phenomenon” known as the cargo cult in 1977 in the Michigan Technic, relating it to ancient astronauts. It is a quite frequent ancient astronaut touchstone.
But what might be interesting is to note that Levenda’s fascination with claiming that modern religions are cargo cults echoes also a claim made by Neil Freer, the futurist and ancient astronaut theorist, a couple of decades ago in his book God Games. He specifically claimed that “religion as we know it is a cargo cult sublimation of the ancient master-slave relationship.” Now what is most important here is that Freer is an acolyte of Zecharia Sitchin, but his argument adds the weight of the master-slave relationship that is missing from the 1970s versions but is ever-present in Levenda’s version, one that goes to great pains to acknowledge and cite Sitchin as a source.
Remember how Levenda said that his book wasn’t trying to provide evidence, but that the whole Sekret Machines project was designed to assume the ancient astronaut theory was true and then work out the philosophical implications of it? Or, as he put it to Rolling Stone: “What we’re saying is, let’s proceed under the assumption that this is real. What does that mean for history, for medicine, for physics, for chemistry, for astronomy? What does it mean for us as humans if we accept that the phenomenon has always been real?”
Guess what Sitchin himself said of Freer in the introduction to God Games: “Neil Freer undertook a different kind of mind-boggling task. If all that I had concluded was true, he said, what does it all mean not to the human race and the planet in general--what does it mean to the individuals, to each one of us?” Hmm. Sounds familiar.
Sitchin also described himself in that introduction as having “an obsession to find out who the Nephilim were,” which seems about right. Those damn Nephilim/Watchers are always hovering over everything, oversized reminders that behind every ancient astronaut claim is someone struggling to make room for religion in scientific world. They also make their dutiful appearance in Sekret Machines.
Maybe the secret is that Sekret Machines contains nothing original.
4/12/2017 10:40:47 am
"but that the who Sekret Machines"
4/12/2017 10:50:24 am
Thanks. I fixed the typo.
4/12/2017 11:42:58 am
Exactly. He may not be familiar with anyone outside of Sitchin, but he has to see the repetition, if, he's done as much research as he says.
4/12/2017 02:50:42 pm
Not joining occult societies (they all want him don't you know) is basically a full-time job and doesn't leave much time for research.
4/12/2017 11:52:00 am
I'm sure this has been discussed to death, but I wonder how the ancient astronaut theorists explain the fact that the aliens haven't been back since Earth's prehistory to spread more religious inspiration and renew the "master-slave relationship"?
4/12/2017 12:09:17 pm
Well, you see what happened, is that the Grey's had an election. After the election was over, the winner convinced them to build a wall in outer space to prevent other species from coming to their planet. They then withdrew, wrapped themselves in a self-satisfied cocoon, and returned to the days of old.
4/12/2017 05:52:44 pm
See the works of Richard C.Hoaglund for the bridge over that gap.
4/12/2017 06:52:31 pm
All the pieces are coming together now. Egyptian-named spacecraft like Viking, Apollo, Orion, Atlantis, Challenger, Enterprise, and New Horizons, are really a salute to our Roland Emmerich-tinged ancestors!
4/13/2017 09:05:47 pm
Exactly. Hoaglund likes to cherry pick the few projects and whatever "symbolism" he can to peg NASA as an Egyptian cult, while ignoring all the distinctly non-Egyptian named projects and craft.
4/12/2017 02:29:03 pm
Considering the thousands of different religions known (let alone those forgotten) we must have been visited by different aliens every other weekend way back when.
4/12/2017 02:44:40 pm
I'm amazed that Sitchin didn't figure out the Nephilim. The Atlanteans brought a number American Indians and their sex apes to Egypt as servants and to teach the Egyptians Atlantean making-a-big-pile-of-stones technology and a few of them wandered away. That's pretty much what Plato said.
4/12/2017 04:52:55 pm
Hi Jason -
4/13/2017 03:27:18 am
So are you the Shawnee guy with all white ancestors? Asking for a friend.
4/12/2017 05:28:22 pm
PS - Percy Bullchild in his book "The Sun Came Down" predicted the success of "Ancient Aliens".
4/12/2017 06:23:47 pm
Inverse Occam's razor, the false stories of aliens being in the past do not mean that the alien stories are true stories now.
4/12/2017 11:22:38 pm
"Many of these fringe theories are about gold, which is one example, and can be found in a lot of places where there are no people, such as from asteroids or from other uninhabited planets"
4/13/2017 01:55:46 pm
I can think of basically one way in which "material wealth" might be a decent motivation, and that is an interest in trade--not in raw materials, but in finished goods. Those are the things that are likely to be unique to any given species--our art and entertainment and fashion and all those other things that are personally expressive are not likely to be something replicated throughout the university. Instead, each species is likely to have its own unique heritage of art, fashion, and entertainment, and much like humans, may well crave the new and unique.
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I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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