As you probably read yesterday, Ancient Aliens pundit and entrepreneur Jason Martell threatened to sue me to prevent me from criticizing him. He also requested that his fans send me hate mail, which resulted in one death threat. I have forwarded Mr. Martell’s hate mail request to officials at History and H2, the networks that air Ancient Aliens, to ensure they are aware of his actions. Although H2 does not directly employ Mr. Martell (the show is produced by an outside production company, Prometheus Entertainment), I expect the network to categorically condemn any action by one of its personalities to engage in harassing behavior.
Mr. Martell accused me of poor research, but he himself appears to have mistakenly claimed that I was responsible for Ancient Aliens Debunked, Chris White’s documentary film with which I am not affiliated in any way: “he only causes negative views with his ancient aliens debunked.” However, his meaning is not entirely clear since the poor grammar and capitalization makes the sentence ambiguous.
So, I thought I’d share a few facts about Jason Martell, taken entirely from publicly documented sources. The following facts are derived entirely from Martell’s own statements in interviews he gave to the media and linked to on his personal website as well as statements from his several different web sites. Remember: Everything discussed below comes directly from Martell himself.
Note first that on his website Martell erroneously describes a PR Newswire press release republished on Forbes magazine’s website (as they used to do with hundreds of press releases before their policies changed) as a write up in Forbes magazine proper. Forbes did not write the article and does not endorse republished wire content that circulated through its site. This was a press release produced by GodTube.com, one of Martell’s own companies, and submitted to PR Newswire.
“When people come to a site, they don't necessarily know why they’re coming. They don’t know what they're looking for,” Martel told CIO magazine in 2008, “so hold their hand. Tell them who’s checking them out and how to check other people out. […] The important thing is to keep experimenting with what we know about people and technology.”
GodTube.com received tens of millions of dollars thanks to a hefty 2008 investment from GLG Partners, a London hedge fund, now part of Man Group. Media reports have put this investment at anywhere from $17 million to $30 million. According to Forbes, shortly after the investment GLG saw a decline of 40% in funds under management, leading to the hedge fund managers being placed on probation with $1 in pay. (The decline was due to the financial crisis of 2008, not GodTube.com, despite Wikipedia claims to the contrary.) GodTube’s user base and revenue declined after losing 75% of its users in just one year following the GLG investment.
Interestingly, GodTube.com, founded by Martell, prohibits Martell’s own ancient astronaut claims from being reported on its website, as given in its original terms of service (since changed by Salem), which forbade any claim “contrary to the evangelization of Jesus Christ and His teachings, or constitutes blasphemy, or is otherwise offensive to our online Christian community.” Martell wrote that the “original source” of the Bible’s stories, like Noah’s Ark, was “Sumerian,” and that the Bible stories were really tales of the “Anunnaki,” whom he identified as extraterrestrials. He even asked readers to imagine if Jesus were “an Anunnaki” (plurals confuse him). GodTube.com also forbids members from engaging in online harassment and threatening behavior.
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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