This week, Graham Hancock appeared alongside his self-described protege, author Brian Muraresku, on The Joe Rogan Experience to discuss spirituality, archaeology, and psychedelic topics. Truthfully, I don’t really have a lot to complain about in the general thesis that ancient people were aware of and used mind-altering substances, or that such substances may have impacted their experiences of the divine. However, I feel like Muraresku overstates the case, particularly when he argues that scholarship has forbidden any discussion of the subject since a damnatio memoriae pronounced on the 1978 book The Road to Eleusis and its argument about psychedelics in Greece. For decades, dozens of books have covered the subject, so it is not a forbidden topic, or at least hasn’t been in thirty years.
Janet Wolter and Alan Butler Make False Claims about Templars, Pyramids, Gothic Architecture, and More in Podcast Interview
If you can believe it, this is my 3,000th blog post. What better way to mark this milestone than with an episode of a cable TV pseudohistory show featuring ancient astronauts, lost civilizations, Nephilim, the occult, and glowing descriptions of Nazis? It’s everything we have criticized and debunked over the past ten years in capsule form.
During the nineteenth century, a craze emerged for claiming the medieval Norse as the first Europeans to visit the Americas, long before Columbus. The core of the claim turned out to be true. Vikings reached eastern Canada around 1000 CE, though the Victorians had no real physical evidence of this, only a few medieval texts and some hoaxed stones. But advocates soon expanded the claim beyond the evidence and beyond logic, turning the Vikings into an early version of European imperialists, imagining them colonizing both North and South America and bequeathing European culture to the natives. The French writer Eugène Beauvois was perhaps the most extreme advocate, imagining the entire civilization of ancient Mexico the work of the Norse. In South America, the twentieth century Nazi sympathizer and Peronist collaborator Jacques de Mahieu pushed a narrative that Vikings were the first Aryan colonizers of South America, and their early efforts paved the way for the Knights Templar.
The Nielsen ratings held mixed news for Ancient Aliens in its second Saturday broadcast. The show’s viewership remained steady at 1.046 million, but the composition of the show’s audience is changing. Steep declines in the number of younger viewers have pushed it out of the top 50 broadcasts in the advertiser-favored 18-49 demographic for the day it airs. When the show aired on Fridays, it typically cracked the top 10 and to the best of my knowledge was always in the top 20.
I'm an author and editor who has published on a range of topics, including archaeology, science, and horror fiction. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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