A New Book on Nephilim-Government Evil; Plus: Scott Wolter Speculates on the Numerology of American History
I came across a press release yesterday for a recently published book called The Return of the Nephilim by Alan Dean Paul. The book blames the “merchant” class—i.e., international bankers—for all of humanity’s problems since the dawn of time, and it identifies these bankers as Nephilim. But I found it particularly interesting that Paul has absorbed more than a little of the right-wing paranoid view of history, and in so doing has created a Nephilim-centered conspiracy that is hardly any different from David Icke’s Reptilians, or the anti-Semitic claims of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion:
Ask yourself, “Who really has kept the wheels of progress moving? Who were the people that benefitted humanity?” Then ask yourself, “What institution has been responsible for the slaughter of millions, or perhaps billions, in history?” When you do, it becomes clear that our elites control history and manipulate the masses. They want you to think government, the institution they work to influence most, is necessary.
It doesn’t take much to see that Paul has an ideological viewpoint on who the good guys and bad guys are in history. In Paul’s view, government is evil and abridges the perfection that might occur should the church manage human affairs rather than the state. He goes on to say that Christianity can protect “us” (presumably white people) from “the genocide of multiculturalism.” So, in short, Paul checks all the usual boxes: recycled nineteenth century racist and/or anti-Semitic conspiracy, intimations that one’s perceived enemies are not human, paranoia about government manipulation of history, and a sinister supernatural explanation for the author’s perception that his culture is under siege.
This idea that there is a pure version of American culture that is somehow being destroyed by sinister forces undergirds so very much of fringe history claims. It seems that many writers in the genre are trying to create elaborate proofs that their preferred cultural values have the sanction of supernatural or divine authority. But what amazed me is that the recently acquired power of conspiracy theories to elect presidents and govern White House actions has finally caught the attention of academics, who expressed utter surprise that there is an entire alternative network that spreads conspiratorial views of history and politics around the internet. “It was so fringe, we kind of laughed at it,” University of Washington professor Kate Starbird said recently of conspiracy theories swirling in the wake of every major news event. She apologized for failing to recognize that that these were not random bursts of nuttiness but part of a self-reinforcing and growing alternative worldview, one centered on a deep fear of economic and social connections to the rest of the world—xenophobia and anti-globalist economics.
Starbird, who says that the reality of the paranoid fringe has destroyed her faith in “techno-utopianism,” notes that these ideas don’t fall neatly into rightwing or leftwing politics but rather appeal to extremists on both ends who are united in their desire to shut out the rest of the world.
“To be antiglobalist often included being anti-mainstream media, anti-immigration, anti-science, anti-U.S. government, and anti-European Union,” Starbird told the Seattle Times.
Those of us who study fringe history already knew all this, and we long recognized the iron triangle of social media, cable TV, and talk radio that promotes and protects paranoid worldviews.
Speaking of worldviews that are not supported by mainstream facts, science, or the normal processes of epistemology: I received notice over the past few weeks, from a couple of different readers, that former television personality Scott Wolter has begun including Templar conspiracy theories in his corporate newsletter, the one sent to clients of his American Engineering Testing geological services company. In the Fall 2016 and Winter 2017 issues, Wolter rehearsed his familiar conspiracy theories about his belief that the Kensington Rune Stone contains secret Freemason numerical codes. While the first article offered nothing we haven’t seen before, the most recent one makes a few strange and somewhat new claims (or at least variations) that are worth reviewing.
Wolter begins his second article with the rather imprecise claim that the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet and the numerological total of the numerical values of the Hebrew letters spelling the name of God symbolize the megalithic yard, a fictitious unit of measurement invented in the twentieth century. The four letters of God’s Hebrew name can be expressed as numerical values because Hebrew letters carry numerical value, much as Greek letters do, because of the lack of numerals in those languages. This system is called the Gematria. Thus, God’s name adds up this way: Yod (10) + Heh (5) + Vuv (6) + Heh = 26. This magically becomes 8 because magical thinkers add the two digits of a number together to produce its essential magical value, so 2 + 6 = 8. Try that with Roman numerals and you can see how culturally based such numerology is. In Roman numerals, you’d have XXVI, which reduces to the essential value of … 26. The magic only works with systems that have base ten units, such as Arabic numerals, and it is complicated further by the fact that there are dozens of different methods for calculating numerological values in Hebrew. (One manuscript lists 75 different versions.) The oldest Jewish references to Gematria date back to about the second century CE, and it appears to have entered Judaism as a borrowing from Greek culture, where it had been in use centuries earlier. Plato, for example, makes reference to it.
Personally, I find the word gematria much more interesting that the actual numerology involved, since it is a seventeenth century anglicized version of the Aramaic word gīmaṭrĕyā and/or the Hebrew gematriya, itself a borrowing of the Greek geometria, referring of course to geometry.
It is my understanding that most versions of gematria do not add the digits of the resulting sum together until only one digit remains. That seems to be a modern numerological practice rather than a traditional Jewish gematria practice, at least so far as the sources I have read explain it. I claim no special knowledge of fanciful numerology, but the Jewish mystical sources I researched give Yahweh’s number as 26, not 8.
Anyway, using these numbers, Wolter divides 22 by 8 to achieve 2.75, which he declares “pretty darn close” to 2.72, which is the length of a Megalithic Yard as expressed in American customary feet, derived from English feet, themselves assigned a fixed length only between 1266 and 1303 in the Compositio ulnarum et perticarum. Prior to that, England’s two systems of measurement were different: The Anglo-Saxon foot had been more than 13 of our current inches, and the Roman foot 11.7 inches. The modern foot, incidentally, has no special relationship to reality. It was defined by fiat at 10/11 of an old Anglo-Saxon foot. It didn’t catch on among the Continentals for centuries. In short, the coincidence of numbers is meaningless for the time when Wolter imagines it had relevance.
Wolter adds a new wrinkle: that the Kensington Rune Stone is itself an attempt to seek God’s blessing on the “Templar’s (sic) land claim” by being “pretty darn close to a Megalithic Yard.” According to the majority of researchers, the stone is 36 inches long, which makes it 3.00 feet, significantly longer than a Megalithic Yard of 2.72 feet. (A number of sources alternately give the length at 31 inches, or 2.5 feet; I do not know the cause of the discrepancy.) Apparently, the same people Wolter credits with being able to calculate longitude to within a fraction of a degree could not or would not cut down the stone to within four three inches of the required length.
The silliest of all the claims comes at the end, when Wolter attempts to link the lunar cycle to goddesses, menstruation, and American colonial history. While menstruation and goddesses have long been associated with the lunar cycle, American colonial history has not.
Here’s where all of this gets really interesting. It appears our own government considers 13 to be sacred, as evidenced by subtle details on the backside of the one-dollar bill. Take a moment and count the number of horizontal beads on both ends of the bill, rows of stones in the pyramid, letters in the Latin phases “Annuit Coeptis” and “E Pluribus Unum,” fig leaves and berries in the eagle’s left claw and arrows in its right claw, stripes in the flag, and stars in the shape of the Seal of Solomon over the eagle’s head. Many believe these symbolic references to 13 give homage to the original 13 colonies. While this may be true, have you ever wondered if the number of colonies was simply a matter of chance, or was it intentional all along?
Wolter says he will provide further conspiracy theories to answer this question in his next quarterly newsletter, but it’s worth noting that the number is due mostly to the random fluctuations of history. The Thirteen Colonies were not the only British possessions in North America, and it is only a quirk of geography that Nova Scotia and other parts of what is now eastern Canada were separated just far enough to see themselves as different. But even within the Thirteen Colonies, the number fluctuated from year to year as politics intervened. For example, New Jersey was two colonies (East Jersey and West Jersey) down to 1702, while North and South Carolina were a single colony until 1712. From 1685 to 1689, the northern colonies were united as a single Dominion of New England. In 1777, one year into the Revolution, Vermont, under the leadership of New Hampshire colonists, declared itself a co-equal state, though the American government did not recognize this for decades. If the colonial elite were really all about preserving the number thirteen, you’d think someone would have told the Vermonters, or made better plans for dealing with Vermont.
The problem, of course, is that it is impossible to disprove the existence of a vast conspiracy, no matter how little evidence we find for it. Even today, many people see the even numbers of 50 states and 100 U.S. senators as somehow natural and sacred, even though those numbers have been in place only since 1959. So much magical thinking and numerology is based on the way things happen to be at one given moment, even though those numbers are neither changeless nor eternal.
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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