Last week Alan Butler and Janet Wolter appeared on The Secret Teachings, a fringe podcast, to promote their book America: Nation of the Goddess, joining host Ryan Gable, who just finished raising $1,000 from his listeners to attend the Contact in the Desert ancient astronaut summit. Scott Wolter joined in part way through. The interview lasted three hours, and you will forgive me if I didn’t listen to every word. I don’t have that kind of time. I skipped most of the book summary and repeated claims to focus on what passes for new information in fringe world.
The interview started with Gable saying that he feels that feminine divine energy is unfairly “oppressed” by “the overt destructive qualities of the male.” As a male, I have never felt overtly destructive, and Alan Butler’s appeal to evolutionary psychology to explain supposedly inherent differences between male and female energy is annoying, particularly when Butler suggests that men developed an ideology of dominance after they learned through animal husbandry how babies get made and thus determined men were the active players in the fertility drama. (Is that so? How did babies get made before then!) Janet Wolter’s suggestion that spirituality is based on the cycle of the seasons, and thus the female’s role in bringing life, is also a bit facile, if for no other reason than the summer-winter duality is a northern European idea, while in the Middle East the duality of the wet and dry seasons was more important. “Spring” rebirth in northern Europe isn’t the same as the autumn arrival of the wet season in the Middle East. Therefore, the “spring” rebirth of life in Europe did not correlate to the August death of Tammuz in the killing summer heat, for example.
A large chunk of the interview is devoted to summarizing their book, to which they add little new and in fact seemed almost as though they were actually less informed than they were when writing the book. Mrs. Wolter is not a natural speaker, and she seems to struggle a bit in articulating her ideas, and from time to time she stops to ask Butler if she remembered mythology correctly. As she flails around in trying to describe the Washington Monument as a giant penis penetrating the Ellipse, she frankly sounds like she’s making things up thanks to her combination of a lack of detail and efforts to grasp at vague notions of the “sun god,” “the earth goddess,” and “eggs.” Butler discusses solar myths that were embarrassingly false when the Victorians were in their Solar Hero obsessive phase. For them, every myth and legend is the story of saving the sun from being extinguished.
Ryan Gable is just as nutty as the rest of them: He claims that the Kennedy memorial in Dealey Plaza has fourteen parts because it “exactly” mirrors the fourteen pieces of Osiris, which Butler finds “very significant.” Gable also thinks that Easter is the festival of Ishtar, despite there being no etymological connection between the two vaguely similar words.
Gable identifies the statue atop the Capitol building in Washington as Persephone, the Greek goddess of the dead, but Butler and Wolter do nothing to dispute this false claim. “She was kind of like a female version of the Attis myth,” Butler lies, assuming that planned Phrygian cap she was to wear would make her Attis, rather than its explicit association from Rome onward as the cap of freedom. (That’s why it appears on many coats of arms, symbolizing freedom.) Gable is particularly taken with Persephone and pomegranates (the food she eats in the underworld), and the three participants in the conversation, none of whom seems to have a detailed understanding of mythology, then speculate on the role of fruit in mythology (particularly the identification of fruits with immortality) until Butler and Wolter all but admit to being beyond their depth, forcing Gable to restrict himself to questions about their book.
I confess to being fairly confused when Butler suggests that the Holy Spirit is a “missing goddess” in a male-dominated Christian religion, and I can’t say I’ve ever heard anyone argue that position. Nor have I heard anyone argue that “George Washington” chose the site of Washington, D.C. based on its proximity to Maryland and Virginia because he believed the two states to represent the Magdalene and the Virgin respectively. Poor Queen Mary and virgin queen Elizabeth. It looks like they weren’t aware that the states named for them were frauds engaged in feminine subterfuge! Butler says it’s “unusual” to name territories after monarchs--pace ex-British places like Alberta, Prince Edward Island, Victoria, etc.; French places like Louisiana; Franz Joseph Land, etc., etc. Butler adds that Washington, D.C. uses neo-Classical architecture and female statues “beyond all proportion,” whatever that means. He says that when you are a believer in conspiracy theories, every female image becomes a goddess. Apparently other world capitals don’t have as many female statues (Is that even true? Who counted?), though this would seem to be more of an argument for Europeans’ historic veneration of masculinity than anything else.
About halfway through, Scott Wolter jumps into the conversation, and Gable asks them if the so-called Venus Families (the alleged descendants of Jesus’ imaginary children and other semi-Biblical figures) have ever contacted them. Bulter alleges that the Venus Families, who all go by the name “Michael,” send him messages. Scott Wolter agrees that many people, some named “Michael,” have emailed, called, and texted to tell him that they are part of the Holy Bloodline conspiracy and to encourage Wolter to continue plumbing the depths of conspiracy. All of them praised Wolter for being “on the right track.” The three conspiracy theorists say that the Venus Families are “warm” and friendly, and none have ever threatened them f or revealing the truth about their millennia-long effort to destroy conventional civilization. “We see what they’re doing, we agree with what they’re doing,” Scott Wolter said. “I support what they’re doing,” he adds, claiming that the Holy Bloodline is devoted to bettering the world and society. “I don’t know how you can say that’s a bad thing.”
If you found that convincing, then you likely would have loved Janet Wolter’s attempt to explain her hypothesis that baseball is an allegory for goddess-worship in Freemasonry. Her husband jumps in a few times to try to save her rocky relation of her and Butler’s ridiculous analysis, though this time they leave out the most ridiculous claim from the book—that the baseball diamond is a vagina. Instead, they claim this time that the diamond shape represents the Masonic square and compass.
This leads to numerological speculation, returning us to the number 14. Scott Wolter, who is a Freemason, praises Masonry and asserts that the story of Hiram Abiff, buried for 14 days, is identical with Osiris, cut into 14 pages, and Jesus, with the 14 stations of the cross. All of this, he says, is repeated in the Kensington Rune Stone, where numerological evidence—the number 14—connects the Rune Stone to ancient mysteries. More likely the “14 days’ journey” on the Stone is more likely due to the modern carver thinking about two weeks. Nevertheless, Wolter argues that the numbers on the Rune Stone are closely related to the initiation ceremonies of Masonry—the ones he just completed last fall—tracing a Mason’s journey. So that’s his new KRS secret: In addition to all the other codes Wolter already found in the stone, and which he believes remain valid, the KRS is also part of a Masonic tradition that he believes predates Masonry itself.
The group made a bunch of other claims, ranging from unsupported to absurd, and then Gable opened the show to callers. In response to one caller, a self-described descendant of the Merovingians and a Templar from the imaginary Priory of Sion, Scott Wolter agrees that the reference to fishing on the Kensington Rune Stone refers to Jesus commissioning his Apostles to become fishers of men, so therefore the carvers were part of a Christian conspiracy doing missionary work. This leads to a conversation about Fisher Kings, how astrology controls religion, the importance of Pisces, and why all of this refers back to the Babylonian figure Oannes, the fish-man civilizing hero. Scott Wolter finishes by saying that “academics” can’t possibly understand this material because they have no experience with the mythology, and none had been initiated in the mysteries that Wolter et al. explore. Given that none of the “mysteries” remain except for Freemasonry, I presume Scott Wolter thinks that Masonry gives him special insight. But as someone who has read all of the ancient texts that the Three Stooges know mostly from secondhand sources—often in the original language—I can’t help but disagree. Their ideas come from collections of secondary sources building on and amplifying one another, but they are founded on nothing solid. Trace any one of their ideas back, and they vanish into misinterpretation, falsification, and hoaxing. Their claims only work if you assume that Freemasonry holds special truths, and that their mythology recalls real events from medieval and ancient history. “They go back thousands of years,” Scott Wolter says, tracing them back to Akhenaten and “King Tut.” “This is an ancient craft,” Wolter added, saying that outsiders who have not been initiated into Masonry can’t understand how the emotion of Masonry’s rituals proves its antiquity.
The Masonic stories are made up. We can watch them evolve in the documentary record, and see where they came from. (See, for example, the Masonic texts on my Watchers page, which clearly grow out of corrupt and partial medieval legends.) Wolter’s own imagination and his emotional need to believe has led him to accept a mythology concocted in the Early Modern Period and to presume it to be objectively true in its appeals to an antiquity that the documentary record fails to support.
As the show comes to a close, Butler and the Wolters agree that academics and the education system are indoctrinating children, which is “programming” them through “classical conditioning” to reject the truth in favor of politically convenient lies.
But since this is a fringe show with listeners who are even more out there than the guests, the final question came from an ancient astronaut believer who feels that Martians “took us over” in the days of Lemuria and Atlantis. He wanted to know if space aliens were responsible for suppressing the goddess with their “masculine force.” I’d laugh, but this the same theory that the alien believer who shot a pastor in Idaho before delivering a manifesto to the White House also believed. Scott Wolter says that a Native American told him that “Jeremiah Sitchin” (i.e. Zecharia Sitchin) proved that one of our chromosomes is extraterrestrial. “I’m hearing about it, not just from this Native elder, but from other people,” Wolter said, while declining to endorse the idea. Butler, who once argued that the moon was built by time-traveling Freemasons, sidesteps the alien question and instead identifies Atlantis as North America’s Minoan colonies. He says that he and the Wolters believe that the Minoans mined copper in the Great Lakes after 2000 BCE, even though no evidence supports this.
In the last minutes, Wolter declares that the astrological change to the Age of Aquarius has led to a widespread change in human civilization. He announced an East Coast lecture tour for the Wolters, and Janet Wolter and Alan Butler conclude that they are going to explore new cities for more goddess symbolism. Scott Wolter is planning a new book to link the Kensington Rune Stone to the Talpiot Tomb. He says that he has pitched a new show to the History Channel and plans to hear back on that soon.
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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