Georgian Scholars Claim I Support Their Claims in Book I Have Not Yet Finished or Published
Today I have a few short but silly things to share.
Georgia’s Psychic Scholars
First, I’m sure you’ll remember that last week I wrote about the efforts of Georgian scholars to rewrite the Argonaut myth to support claims about the Georgian origins of Greek culture and Greek myth. Well, did you know that Georgian scholars are also psychics? If you look at this recently published document by Tiblisi University linguist Nana Shengalaia on Tiblisi University professor and “famous Georgian scientist” Gia Kvashilava’s alleged decipherment of Linear A as an early form of the Georgian language, you’ll find something interesting. (Actually, I’m not sure who really wrote the piece since it isn’t particularly clear.)
Take a look at what Shengalaia says about “scientific” support for Kvashilava’s claims:
Decipherings [of] these inscriptions by Dr. Gia Kvashilava were internationally approved and commented in the scientific circles: […] 9. Jason and the Argonauts: The Epic History of a Greek Myth by Jason Colavito. New York, 2012. (emphasis in original)
In Georgia (which, to clarify, is the country, not the U.S. state), scholars are so insightful that they can actually read books before they are written or published.
I can’t imagine what gave them the idea that I supported Kvashilava’s claims. Kvashilava had in fact contacted me several times over the past few years to send me updates on his research, and I consistently told him that I was not convinced by his claims but that I did not have the linguistic training to offer any substantive critique. I did, though, briefly quote Kvahilava on my Jason and the Argonauts website, but it was an entirely neutral quotation related to a claim made by still other Georgian researchers, who argued that the Argonauts traveled to Colchis to study the art of illuminating vellum manuscripts.
This did, however, lead me to include a brief line in my book specifically stating that Kvashilava’s claims find no support outside of Georgia.
The Sinclair-Shakespeare Conspiracy
Second, did you know that Shakespeare was in on the Henry Sinclair conspiracy? It’s not exactly true but a Norwegian thinks it is and got the History Channel to fund a documentary about it. Petter Admunsen claims that he has discovered a secret code in the First Folio of Shakespeare’s works that proves that Shakespeare was not the author of the plays that carry his name. Instead, the plays form an elaborate treasure map that leads to Oak Island in Nova Scotia, home to the famous Money Pit, where various conspiracy theorists have assumed Freemasons, Templars, or Sinclairs have buried fabulous treasures up to and including the Ark of the Covenant and the Holy Grail. Admunsen says that “Shakespeare” was a pen name for a shadowy brotherhood of conspirators linked to the Rosicrucians and, of course, Freemasons… long before there were actually Freemasons. He suspects Francis Bacon of being in on the plot.
Admunsen doesn’t look for the code in anything so pedestrian as the words or ideas in Shakespeare; pshaw! No, he draws pictures between the position of the same capital letters on facsimile pages of the First Folio to reveal occult shapes and hunt for special words “revealed” by the shapes. I suppose that makes the typesetter part of the conspiracy; imagine writing in longhand all of Shakespeare’s plays for the purpose of imagining how the typesetter would format them on a printed page decades later so you could plan out where to put your capital letters. Perhaps telling, Admunsen’s co-author writes that he (the co-author) became interested in the code because he complained of being “sick” of Shakespeare, tired of hearing he was “great,” and hoping for “fresher” theater. The Norwegian felt it was a “failure of imagination” for a theater to stage Hamlet yet again. Admunsen himself mentioned that he had no interest in Shakespeare outside of searching for shapes and hidden words in the text.
I’ll leave it to my readers to see whether you find shapes drawn on the pages convincing. I don’t.
A Bizarre New Attack
Just when I thought I’d been called every name in the book, I got a new one today in my email. An upset and seemingly paranoid reader complained that I am “not good at disinformation” and accused me of being a “worthless government hack” for hiding the truth about aliens at Puma Punku. If I were working for the government, I’d surely have more job security and a steady paycheck. Plus: Why would anyone send such a message to an alleged government agent if they were truly worried about creeping government intrusion into their private communications? In the conspiracy theorist’s mind, all unwelcome messages are orchestrated by a single massive conspiracy.
9/23/2013 12:50:25 pm
The answer to your question is easy: $$$$$
9/23/2013 01:21:14 pm
Dave is right, of course, though there is a little more to it. Broad audiences aren't useful to advertisers anymore, and they pay extra to reach a small, demographically homogenous audience. These kinds of programs attract a larger than average number of males with large disposable incomes and low skepticism, which is what upscale advertisers and people who hawk male-oriented scams like "genuine" fake gold coins want to see.
9/23/2013 10:58:09 am
The Norwegian dude has a new take on the Bible Code, at least. I mean, they only make up imaginary prophecies by skip-counting letters. Drawing PICTURES, well.
The Other J.
9/26/2013 03:00:36 pm
BIBLE CODE! That's the first thing I thought of. Then I remembered someone who was debunking the Bible Code by showing how you could do the same thing with Moby Dick (or really probably any other work). The Bible Code believers responded by suggesting that Melville was divinely inspired.
9/23/2013 12:48:59 pm
It is unfortunate but any time we state a fact or express an opinion there is someone ready to harass us.
9/23/2013 01:55:38 pm
Okay, I get that the money pit contains the Holy Grail, the Ark of the Covenant, Shakespeare's manuscripts, Jimmy Hoffa's body, and the Loch Ness monster, or whatever, but why would the super secret treasure map be deliberately and exclusively placed in a published work?
9/23/2013 02:14:17 pm
>>but why would the super secret treasure map be deliberately and exclusively placed in a published work?<<
9/24/2013 06:16:34 am
Nice try, but ever since I finished reading The Complete Works of Agatha Christie, plain view is always the FIRST place I look!
9/24/2013 12:56:30 am
Maybe Dan Brown can write "The Shakespeare Code." I actually investigated some of the arguments against Shakespeare writing his plays, and found that the "evidence" in favor of those theories falls apart about as easily as an episode of America Unearthed.
9/24/2013 01:10:02 am
Probably, except that the book isn't done, and Shengalaia has no way of knowing what would be in it since Shengalaia has never read the manuscript, nor does the book's website talk about the Linear A arguments!
9/25/2013 12:01:10 am
Unless "2012" is merely a typo, Prof. Shengalai evidently believes that you already published the book, but has not yet read it. So, he or she does not appear to be an impressively careful scholar. Lacking any psychic abilities myself, I can only ask: who knows what other faulty assumptions the good professor might have about the content of your book? And I wonder which, if any, of the other works on that list actually support Dr. Kvashilava's work?
9/27/2013 10:37:06 pm
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