As many of you likely saw, Georgeos Díaz-Montexano, formerly known as Cuban researcher Jorge Díaz Sanchez, replied to my review of his appearance on National Geographic Channel’s Atlantis Rising documentary. In his reply in the comments section of my blog post, he alleged that there were many reasons that I did not understand the full scope of his argument, mostly revolving around the idea that the documentary failed to capture the complexity and depth of his reasoning. He directed interested parties to his multivolume published works, in Spanish, and to the single-volume English summary he published as a tie-in to profit from his appearance on Nat Geo. Needless to say, he did not offer free access to his evidence, but rather expects us to pay him to hear it. Given the quality of his response, it would seem to be a waste of money.
Nat Geo's "Atlantis Rising": A Stew of Fake Experts, Motivated Reasoning, and Weird Claims That Judaism Contains "Atlantean Theology"
Atlantis Rising is a documentary for people who don’t like documentaries. Slick and superficial, it cheerfully glosses over facts and subsumes logic beneath the siren song of personality. It is less a search for Atlantis than a chronicle of the filmmakers’ own ego-trips as they indulge in the fantasy that they are uniquely touched by genius in the effort to find the one true meaning behind the legend of Atlantis that has somehow escaped the notice of thousands of previous investigators over thousands of years. It is the kind of documentary where the audience is an afterthought. If you were not familiar with Plato’s Atlantis before the show started, you won’t come out the other side any the wiser, but you will have learned many false facts and come away with the impression that a cast of lunatics, obsessives, and frauds are actually respected and careful scholars. In other words, Atlantis Rising is full of “alternative facts” spouted by dilettantes and poseurs pretending at wisdom. It is the perfect show for our time.
Oh, and it also tells us that Judaism is really an Atlantean religion, born of the same wellspring as Classical civilization and the West itself.
Review of "Lost in Florence"; or, Brett Dalton's and Stana Katic's All-Expenses-Paid Tuscan Vacation
The PR firm for the studio behind the new movie Lost in Florence, Orion, sent out screeners for the movie a month ago, but they forbade reviews of the movie until this past week. Why? Probably because they were worried that critics wouldn’t be kind. Until yesterday, it was hard to really get worked up, though, about a movie that isn’t really there. Lost in Florence is almost certainly what the cast and crew considered to be a great excuse for a vacation to one of Italy’s most scenic regions, but it is also a movie that, at heart, would like to be a documentary about life in and around the city of Dante in the warm early summertime. However, after Donald Trump enacted his immigration restrictions yesterday, leading to chaotic scenes at airports worldwide, the story of an American idiot who assumes that foreign cultures should serve him and his will takes on a somewhat more relevant color as a portrait of American arrogance made by people who think they’re being good global citizens.
National Geographic Won't Let Me See Their "Atlantis Rising" Documentary But Will Let Entertainment Journalists Cover It as a Fluffy Celebrity Story
Tomorrow night the National Geographic Channel is airing Atlantis Rising, a new documentary by conspiracy theorist and filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici (of Jesus Holy Bloodline / Talpiot Tomb fame) and Titanic director James Cameron. It chronicles the efforts of the pair, along with zany Biblical archaeologist Richard Freund (who last claimed to have found Atlantis on Nat Geo back in 2011) to find the lost continent of Atlantis. As part of the publicity push for the film, PR agent Johanna Ramos-Boyer of JRB Communications, LLC, acting as agent for the National Geographic Channel, sent out press releases to journalists, including me, offering interviews with Jacobovici and Freund, as well as a screener of the upcoming documentary. Ramos-Boyer and her team, acting with the kind of moral cowardice that speaks volumes about the integrity of the claims to have found Atlantis, led me on about the interviews for a week before abruptly refusing to reply to my emails or return phone calls. JRB Communications and the National Geographic Channel declined to provide me with the screener they promised me in writing on January 17.
Almost everyone reading this knows L. A. Marzulli as the Nephilim conspiracy theorist who travels the world making evangelical DVDs about a lost race of Bible giants. Most also know that he does so in service of a radical conservative agenda, and that Marzulli is an outspoken supporter of Donald Trump. It makes sense. Like Trump, Marzulli lives in his own fantasy world of “alternative facts,” and like Trump he has difficulty getting past issues long after they have become moot. Yesterday Marzulli used his online Nephilim TV show, Politics, Prophecy & the Supernatural Report to revisit an obsession he has been harboring since last fall: Hillary Clinton’s long-ago claim that many Trump supporters were “a basket of deplorables.” Marzulli devoted half of the show to one specific issue, namely that he is homophobic. His self-refuting response must be seen to be believed. Let’s take a look (transcript below) and then break it down.
A British history magazine ran an article this week profiling Erich von Däniken and discussing the Swiss author’s longstanding belief that space aliens are the force animating human history. For an opposing view, the magazine turned to me, and I am quoted extensively in deconstructing von Däniken’s carefully crafted image as a nice old man who is just asking questions. He is, after all, the man who once said that Black Africans were a mistake that space aliens rectified by creating whites.
Minnesota Man Claims to Have Found a Medieval Norse Skull One Day's Journey North of the Kensington Rune Stone
A Minnesota man is requesting $10,000 to prove that a skull found in an old farmhouse is the remains of the one of the Norse men whose deaths were reported on the hoax Kensington Rune Stone. According to the fictitious story told on the stone, ten members of an expedition made up of eight Geats and twenty-two Norse died in 1362 while the others were fishing one day’s journey north of where the Rune Stone was found in 1898. As I learned from David M. Krueger earlier today, Elroy Balgaard, who is apparently the Minnesota graphic designer of the same name, posted a video to YouTube outlining his plans for a documentary to explore his unusual claim.
There is sad news from the world of fringe archaeology. Tour guide John Anthony West, who appeared in the 1993 Mysteries of the Sphinx documentary and inspired Graham Hancock, announced that he is suffering from Stage 4 cancer, and he is asking his friends and followers to give him $115,000 to pay for “alternative” cancer treatments. West chose to forgo mainstream treatments in favor of what Skeptical Inquirer had deemed the “unproven” cancer cure of Stanislaw Burzynski, who faced legal proceeding last year for “medical malfeasance.” “The Rogue Oncologist meets the Rogue Egyptologist, soon with your help,” states West’s crowdfunding page. West is asking for money because insurance will not pay for unproven treatments. I wish West the best and hope he will go into remission, but I fear that choosing a path in line with his belief that mainstream science is flawed will not produce his desired outcome.
It was that total loser John Adams who said in his defense of the enemy soldiers who conducted the Boston Massacre in 1770 that “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” Sad! It was that even bigger loser, Robert Burns, who couldn’t even speak English in his 1786 poem “A Dream,” when he said “Facts are chiels that winna ding, an’ daurna be disputet.” Double sad!
As you might have guessed, I’m going to talk about Donald Trump, who on Friday said that American students are “deprived of all knowledge.” This weekend his administration helped explain who is stripping knowledge from our culture.
Sorry to say that I don’t have much to write about today. Not only has Donald Trump sucked all of the oxygen out of the room, I also spent the weekend renovating my living room, which started out an icy shade of slate green with really old wine-colored furniture and black curtains. After two days of work repainting, repairing, and redecorating, it’s finally done, and I think it came out pretty well! I am just waiting on delivery of the new blue rug to tie it all together.
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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