A Shockingly Blunt Admission from Theosophy That Hyper-Diffusionism and Atlantis Theories Are Racist
Most of the world paused yesterday for the inauguration of Donald Trump as the first post-fact president. In coverage of his grim inaugural address, many pundits focused on the portrait of what Trump called “American carnage,” in which he described “rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation,” among other horrors. The pundits, ranging from George F. Will to Stephen Colbert, in their quite justified shock that Trump would paint such a doom-laden picture, took issue with the idea of a run-down, decaying America. But that is the privilege of people who live in expensive gated communities and tony condo towers. I couldn’t help but think of the long series of decaying post-industrial towns that dot upstate New York, where I live, peeling paint and untamed lawns scattered around the giant hulks of old factories, most shut up and falling down. A former factory burns down or collapses quite regularly around here. It may not be visible in Washington, or New York City, or most of the newly built postindustrial cities of the South and West, but where there once was industry but no longer, it can look a bit like a wasteland.
In the trove of recently digitized CIA documents, I found an unusual document. It was a U.S. Commerce Department bulleting from June 1960 containing a digest of Soviet science writing from popular and scholarly journals. Within this digest I found a bizarre claim made in the Soviet newspaper Pravda in which a Soviet researcher asserted that he discovered Lemuria off the coast of India. V. Bogorov, surveying the Indian Ocean for the International Geophysical Year, reported:
Did Henry Sinclair Inspire the Creation of Ice Hockey During His Fictitious Voyage to America in 1398? These Self-Described Hockey Historians Say Yes!
The CIA has released online some 13 million declassified files, most of which were declassified a decade or more ago but which were previously unavailable in digital form. One document stood out as potentially interesting, but sadly there wasn’t enough information in the file to do more than tantalize. A memorandum for the Office of Special Activities from February 12, 1963 is entitled simply “Egyptian Pyramids” and indicates only that a set of “duplicate positives” had been forwarded. It looks like it was a request to forward some photos of the pyramids, possibly aerial photos like those referenced in 1952 CIA documents, but wouldn’t it be fun if it were something else? The Special Activities Division is the CIA’s covert operations division.
Wednesday Round-Up: Atlantis Found (Again), "Oak Island" Says Mi'kmaq Worshiped White Man as a God, and AltRight.com Teams Up with Red Ice Media
Yesterday, the publicists for the National Geographic Channel offered me the chance to interview Simcha Jacobovici and Richard Freund about their new documentary, Atlantis Rising, which will air on NatGeo on January 29. The two will be doing a series of interviews to promote the show, which will allege that a set of six Bronze Age stone anchors found on the Atlantic side of the Strait of Gibraltar is evidence of a wealthy maritime civilization that inspired Plato’s Atlantis. The documentary was produced with the help of James Cameron, who declined to make himself available for interviews. Jacobovici is the TV producer who famously alleged that Jesus did not die on the cross but was buried with his wife Mary Magdalene in Jerusalem’s Talpiot Tomb. Freund is the biblical archaeologist who previously “discovered” Atlantis in Spain in a 2011 NatGeo documentary widely criticized by archaeologists for false claims and for appropriating without proper credit discoveries others made.
Would you be surprised if I told you that a man with Indian ancestry “discovered” that India once colonized the Middle East and exercised decisive influence over the region in ancient times? It’s almost humorous how the world-conquering superheroes almost invariably reflect the ethnic origins of the person making claims on their behalf. Our latest claimant is Subhash Kak, an Indian American computer scientist at Ohio State University who is also known for his writings on the history of Indian science. Mathematician Alan Sokal once identified Kak as a Hindu nationalist.
Jason Reza Jorjani Adopts Hancock-Schoch-West Fringe Claims about Egypt, Falsely Implies Nineteenth Century German Philosopher Believed Them
Since today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and also the planned launch date for the new altright.com website of white nationalist Richard Spencer and so-called “alt-right” “intellectual” Jason Reza Jorjani (which as of this writing has not happened), this seems like a perfect time to explore some of Jorjani’s views on Africa in his 2016 magnum opus, Prometheus and Atlas, which is based on his doctoral dissertation in philosophy. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately), he doesn’t address sub-Saharan Africa in his universal theory of human achievement [update: I found a brief mention of West African weights and measures], but he does touch on the part of Africa most important to those who glorify the Aryan race, Egypt. Does it surprise you to learn that he casts his lot with fringe writers who don’t think that the Egyptians were responsible for developing their own culture?
Remember how A+E Networks, the owner of the Ancient Aliens trademark, said that they had hoped to turn Ancient Aliens into a “lifestyle brand”? Well, it seems that some of the show’s competitors have latched on to the bandwagon, rolling out new merchandise and lifestyle opportunities, both for believers in ancient astronauts and for believers in Fallen Angels.
Jason Reza Jorjani and Richard Spencer Got an Apartment Together in Virginia to Turn into a Salon and Party Pad for the So-Called "Alt-Right"
It wasn’t my intention to revisit the saga of Jason Reza Jorjani again until I had finished reading his book Prometheus and Atlas, but events have overtaken me, and I think it’s worth talking about him some more. Regular readers will recall that Jorjani became the subject of controversy late last year after his alma mater raised questions in a private faculty meeting about his affiliation with the so-called “alt-right,” prompting him to angrily and publicly deny that he is a white nationalist when the school accidentally emailed him the meeting minutes. Jorjani, who embraces the deceptive “alt-right” moniker, which the Associated Press advises is a euphemism for white nationalism, fancies himself an intellectual force reshaping radical rightwing ideology in favor of his particular version of the Aryan race, which he defines as including most white Europeans and also the people of his family’s ancestral homeland, Iran.
New Book Claims to Be Rediscovered Ancient Text Written by Egyptian God Thoth. It Is Actually "Channeled" New Age Mysticism
So, this one was a big “No” from me. I started to take a look at an upcoming release from Bear & Company called The Tablets of Light: The Teachings of Thoth on Unity Consciousness (2017), which appears under the byline of Danielle Rama Hoffman and the copyright of Danielle Lynn Hoffman, who are presumably the same person. I did not make it very far. Mostly I wanted to give up when the acknowledgements thanked the Egyptian god Thoth, to whom the book is pompously dedicated, and to “the Council of Light, Isis, Sanat Kumara, Venus Beings of Light, and all the Light Beings I have the blessing of multidimensionally communicating with.” But I did give it a go into the first chapter. It was a mistake. I had expected at least a passing familiarity with Egyptian, Greek, and Hermetic sources; I received rambling New Age mumbo-jumbo.
Aliens vs. Nephilim: Competing Claims for the Sarcophagi of the Apis Bull at the Serapeum of Saqqara
I wasn’t going to say anything about this because it seemed too stupid to write much about, but now that Google News has decided to index the fringe religious conspiracy site Christian Truther alongside British tabloids like the Express, the same bizarre claim about the sarcophagi of the Apis Bulls in Egypt is spreading across the internet. It’s also a bit disconcerting that Google News thinks that the Christian Truther is a “real” news source while blogs like my own don’t count. Google has issues when it comes to evaluating what counts as “news.”
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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