It is getting harder and harder to separate the goofball claims of fringe historians from the horrific consequences that they have in the real world. Yesterday, I read a sad story about Christian discipline camps for unruly teenagers, mostly in the southern U.S., in which religious extremists allegedly use brutal methods to try to beat the “demon” of homosexuality out of gay teens. According to media reports, their methods involved beatings, isolation, verbal abuse, chokings, nude exercises, etc. But while these abuses are, sadly, nothing new in the Christian anti-gay conversion movement, what makes the story news today is that the governor of Alabama—himself under threat of impeachment over ethics violations related to allegations of sexual immorality, but with a woman—appointed the man who refused to prosecute such abuses, Luther Strange, as the state’s second U.S. senator. “These children are from out of state, and their parents don’t vote here, and I don’t want the churches mad at me,” Strange’s top deputy allegedly said to characterize his boss’s views, though Strange denies this.
What isn’t in dispute is that in his position as attorney general of Alabama, Strange took little action to stop the abuses, and he has devoted his career to opposing gay marriage and gay rights in the name of “Christian” tolerance and morality.
This reminded me of the horrific views that Christian Nephilim theorists and creationists have espoused in terms of gay rights, views that seem to be shared across a broad range of the fringe history community.
Most of you reading this will remember Nephilim theorist Steve Quayle’s disturbing views on homosexuality. He believes homosexuality was introduced by the evil giants, even though the Bible makes no mention of this. (It’s an unusual interpretation of Jude 1:6-7.) He has made a number of statements that imply that he supports the death penalty for homosexuality. He specifically claims that the Nephilim were gay, that God authorized genocide against them for that purpose, and that homosexuals today are possessed by the spirits of gay Nephilim. The obvious conclusion from those propositions, which Quayle is smart enough not to state explicitly, is that gay people should be executed as demons. Quayle’s colleague L. A. Marzulli has similarly expressed his views that “homosexuals” are trying to impose a “gay agenda” on America, and he has even gone on long anti-gay rants about how the gays are secretly trying to control his life. “Why is three percent of the population dictating to the rest of us?” he asked in January. Marzulli, you will recall, is less extreme than Quayle and does not support imprisonment or execution for gays, only “conversion” to heterosexuality via prayer. Because that worked so well for the Nephilim.
Other Nephilim theorists and creationists have been similarly eager to condemn homosexuality. Pastor Douglas Van Dorn equated homosexuality with incest and bestiality in condemning the “lifestyle” of the Nephilim. The late Irish Nephilim theorist Patrick Heron, for example, wrote in his The Nephilim and the Pyramid of the Apocalypse that homosexuality was a “perversion” that deserves a “penalty,” and he asked his readers to be “tolerant” of his anti-gay bigotry because “we are constantly being asked to be tolerant of the gay community.” Similarly, Christian writer David Heron, writing in 2014’s Questions, took Nephilim theorizing to bizarre extremes, identifying the Nephilim with the Sons of God in Genesis 6:4 and both with the angels of heaven. He numbered the Nephilim at 60,000, but in noting that the “Nephilim” (i.e., Sons of God) had to descend to Earth to find sex, he expressed concern that this means that heaven is an all-male gay orgy, which is, for him, unacceptable: “Even though Moses, who said God told him everything, never mentioned any women in heaven, I hope that there is. If not, would there be gay behavior in heaven with so many men and no women?” Fascinating, isn’t it, that he doesn’t even consider whether women have inherent value, only whether they will be there to provide sex?
Creationist Ken Ham offers pretty much what you would expect in his Answers in Genesis ministry. There, Chris Barney declares homosexuality a sin, punishment for “past sin,” and in need of correction through conversion to heterosexuality. But even Ham seems now to recognize that this isn’t really an attitude that brings in new believers. He also has an article on how to spread the “truth” about homosexuality “without appearing to be unloving.”
But enough of the creationists and Nephilim theorists. We know what they will say. But it’s also interesting to note that the creationist attitudes brought in from Christianity seem to seep into the less directly Christian fringe history.
Consider how conservative-aligned ancient astronaut theorists reflect the same beliefs. We have long known that ancient astronaut theorist Erich von Däniken is uncomfortable with anything but traditional sex and gender roles. In 2012, for example, he decried that in our era “women act like men and the men act like women.”
David Wilcock said in 2013 that his “Cabal” of evil alien collaborators and conspirators was composed of murderous homosexuals: “In fact, it is being openly discussed that a ‘secret gay group’ has been running the show -- with murderous effectiveness. I guess that’s one way to describe the Cabal. Fair enough.” In 2014, he linked gay marriage with Satanism and sin: “Now in 2014, the Grammys featured a Luciferian ritual with Katy Perry that was highly over-the-top, plus a mass gay wedding of (ahem) 33 couples -- intended to anger conservatives.” On the other hand, Wilcock has avoided explicit anti-gay claims, even while expressing discomfort: “I am not attacking homosexuals here. I have been told that accusing me of homosexuality is simply another way to try to stigmatize and slander my work.” Wilcock also claimed that the Western media unfairly attacked Russia for oppressing gay people. He announced his full-throated support of Russia in 2013 and denied that Russian laws criminalizing the “promotion” of homosexuality were immoral or unfair. Wilcock, at the time, stated that Vladimir Putin is on the side of the “good” aliens, the Alliance, against the homosexual liberal Democrat aliens known as the Cabal that ran the U.S. government until Donald Trump took office. I’m not one prone to conspiracy theories, but Wilcock’s support of Trump and Putin, as well as his paid appearance on a Russian anti-American propaganda show in 2013 and his use of dubious Russian “research” over the past few years almost begs us to see him as a stooge of the Putin government. It seems laughable that the Russians would even bother feeding a nobody like Wilcock propaganda, but it seems difficult to explain his consistent and outspoken Russophile beliefs.
I’m sure I could collect many more examples, but the bottom line remains the same: Weird ideas about the past continue to be proposed and used to justify political and social positions. Sure, at one level we could argue that the obsession with homosexuality is a consequence of focusing on demons and aliens as violations of the so-called natural order, but that would be to take these stories as literary rather than polemical. These claims about history aren’t just goofball rants or creative writing exercises but a serious program of propaganda aimed at creating a broader base of justification for specific social and political actions.
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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