Last year Alan Butler and Janet Wolter tied together a number of conspiracy theories to allege that Washington, D.C. had been laid out by goddess-worshiping Freemasons to encode astronomical events of importance to an ancient cult dating back to the dawn of time. Since that time, they’ve apparently been hard at work looking for new material to fold into their conspiracy, and I learned that they added a new target that they now consider the “key” to understanding Washington: the Capitol Hill Summerhouse. “We have started to describe the Summerhouse as the ‘Key’ to Washington DC because it encapsulates so much of what the City is about in an astronomical and geometric sense,” the authors write on their website.
Conspiracy Theorists Invent Illuminati Moloch Cult, Are Outraged at "Its" Palmyra Exhibit in NYC and London
Christian extremists are outraged at plans to commemorate the loss of irreplaceable treasures in the Syrian city of Palmyra by erecting reproductions of the city’s now-destroyed Triumphal Arch in New York’s Times Square and London’s Trafalgar Square on April 19. The Triumphal Arch is a Roman construction of the second century, built to commemorate a Roman victory over the Persians, but Christian extremists have conflated the arch with the also-destroyed Temple of Baalshamin in Palmyra in order to feign righteous indignation that demonic Illuminati are planning to worship Baal with blood sacrifices on a date associated with the equally fictitious “feast of Moloch” in the run up to Beltane, a Celtic spring festival better known as May Day.
I’ve always enjoyed vampires as fictional creatures. Bram Stoker’s Dracula is one of my favorite Victorian novels, and I have more than a few anthologies of vampire stories. I even enjoy some of the nonfiction aimed at looking behind the myth of the vampire. I read and much like Raymond T. McNally and Radu Florescu’s In Search of Dracula (1972), even though it turned out that the authors vastly overstated Stoker’s knowledge of Vlad III “The Impaler.” So, it is not without a little affection that I hoped for the best when watching British TV personality Jamie Theakson and his team of fringe history’s C-list of talking heads go in search of “real” vampires.
While Last Week Tonight took the week off for Easter, host John Oliver made a brief video message focused on internet conspiracy theories. Speaking of conspiracies, Oliver called them “science fiction for people who don’t understand they’re watching science fiction.” Oliver’s fake conspiracy theory involving Cadbury’s chocolate and cream eggs quickly entered into familiar territory for us, building toward the Freemasons and the Illuminati, as all good conspiracies inevitably must. All it was missing were a few Reptilian aliens, who, most likely, lay eggs.
Yesterday I talked about Klaus Dona and Michael Tellinger promoting claims about giants in Ecuador. This prompted me to revisit the famous discussion of Pedro Cieza de Leon, who reported a Native Ecuadoran legend, possibly influenced by Catholic missionaries, that alleged that megafauna bones found around Santa Elena and Puerto Viejo were the remains of a race of cruel rapist giants whom God killed with fire from heaven for having gay sex. It’s no surprise that gigantologists made use of this legend for their own purposes, but I was surprised to see that there is a second version of the story contemporary with and apparently independent of the first, and that this version ended up getting mangled thanks to a bad translation.
Yesterday was Good Friday and tomorrow is Easter, which is of course reason enough to talk about Holy Saturday, the day on the Christian calendar commemorating the period that Jesus spent dead. For millennia, Christians have pondered what happened during those hours between the death and resurrection of Christ, and in medieval times it was widely believed that Christ spent that period in the “harrowing of Hell,” in which he broke open the gates of Hades and ushered the righteous dead from Limbo into Heaven. But not so fast, some Christians say. This belief is based on non-canonical Gospels from Late Antiquity and a single reference in 1 Peter 3:19-20: “After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits— to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built.” According to Calvinist and Charismatic pastor Sam Storms, these are none other than the Nephilim!
It was probably to be expected, but it was still surprising to read in the Facebook group devoted to J. Hutton Pulitzer’s claims about the allegedly Roman sword found on Oak Island that the technical material on Roman metallurgy found in Pulitzer’s 200-page report on the sword was copied verbatim and without acknowledgement from a dissertation by David Dungworth. Pulitzer reproduced five sections of the dissertation (with the original section numbering, despite reordering them) and used these as the basis for his analysis, comprising about one-third of the total page count for the report. I reviewed both documents, and no surprise, it is in fact the same material. Pulitzer places it under a heading of “Bibliography, Citations, and Reference Research,” so it isn’t clear to me whether he intended for pages 104-159 to be considered his work or whether he meant that as excerpts from his research supporting his “analysis.” Regardless, he does not seem to mention having had permission to reprint or rearrange the work copied for his own report.
Aaron Rodgers Discusses His Love for Fringe History, Says Conspiracy Theories of History Give Him "Hope"
Microsoft launched an artificial intelligence modeled on a teenage girl and set her loose on Twitter to learn from interacting with real people and studying social media. In less than a day she was spouting Nazi rhetoric, praising Hitler, and condemning the Jews. While a chunk of that is due to idiots intentionally trolling the robot, that seems a fair appraisal of what pop culture is like in 2016. Microsoft took the robot offline, presumably to de-Nazify it. Unfortunately, though, the insidious influence of popular culture can’t be simply coded out of real human beings. Today’s example is kind of depressing.
J. Hutton Pulitzer Claims Punctuation Is Destroying History ... Oak Island Sword ... Blah, Blah ... Dinosaurs
Many of you will remember the claims that self-described History Heretic and former Treasure Force Commander J. Hutton Pulitzer made for a bronze souvenir sword with a Hercules hilt alleged to have been discovered off the coast of Oak Island many decades ago. Pulitzer had claimed that the sword was Roman in origin, one of twelve produced for some occult purpose, and he disputed tests conducted by Saint Mary’s University in Nova Scotia that suggested that the sword is unlikely to have been manufactured before the early 1700s, and mostly likely not before the 1880s. Pulitzer has now released a 200-page report in which he attempts to challenge those tests. The 3 GB document comes with audio, video, and what Pulitzer describes as “learning.” Like most of his productions, it’s a bit slapdash, riddled with typos and layout and design errors, and a vehicle for his own conspiracy theories against academics—and punctuation.
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.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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