Graham Hancock appeared on the Mysterious Universe podcast today (S14E15, October 9, 2015) to discuss his new book Magicians of the Gods, but in so doing he spent far more time on a subject apparently much more dear to him: himself. Hancock is feeling sorry that his wildly profitable books have only earned him millions of dollars, the opportunity to travel the world, and a gigantic mansion because “academics” just don’t like him. “We all want to be liked,” Hancock said in explaining why he is so deeply hurt by attacks on his work.
Hancock, who speaks somewhat faster in this interview than his sage-like pronouncements on television, began by saying he had no interest in returning to the question of prehistory and lost civilizations because of the vast amount of “insult” and stress caused by battling academia. “With every book, I had to brace myself for the ugly and threatening psychic attack that would follow” from archaeologists “and their buddies in the media.” He calls it a “blast of hatred and vilification.” Hancock claims that there is a universal academic instinct to destroy anyone who dissents from orthodoxy. “It take a bit of backbone to put up with years and years of continuous attacks,” Hancock said. Hancock says he prefers writing novels because he doesn’t have to cite sources and doesn’t have to worry about “academics” attacking him. He is particularly upset about “professional academics who call themselves archaeologists,” because he feels that the title of “archaeologist” ascribes to them too much authority.
Hancock claims that “very few of my critics have ever read my books,” and therefore he feels that academic arguments and media criticism of him are invalid due to a lack of familiarity with his work. (Fortunately, I have read his books and therefore can sign on to Hancock’s caricature of his critics as calling his work “a crock of shit.”) Hancock claims that the British press tried to paint him as a believer in angels and aliens to discredit him—right before he told the MU hosts that he does speculate that ancient aliens may have existed! (He thinks aliens had nothing to do with megalithic architecture so they are “not relevant.”) And we know from his 2005 book Supernatural that he thinks he’s been in touch with godlike beings from another realm, which one might reasonably liken to angels. Somehow these points, which he conceded, are inappropriate to mention when they reflect poorly on his perceived credibility.
Hancock also seems unaware of the fact that those who disagree with him refer to his life story, particularly his drug use and claims to have battled demons in another dimension while on drugs, because Hancock himself has made them an essential part of his narrative and his claims. He has admitted, for example, that his use of marijuana while writing Fingerprints of the Gods made him paranoid to the point that it affected his judgment. While today he would like us to see his drug-aided exploration of consciousness as separate from his archaeological speculation, the two are inherently connected because he asserts that access to other dimensions helped kick off the prehistoric religions that allegedly inspired the lost civilization’s work. More to the point, if we follow the conclusions of David Lewis-Williams, the lost civilization itself might be an unnecessary hypothesis if Hancock’s claims about altered states of consciousness were true.
Aside from his pity party, Hancock went on to complain that academics are hiding things, specifically he doubts that Göbekli Tepe could have been built around 9,500 BCE by Stone Age people who invented agriculture. He feels that archaeologists are asking us to accept that the people of that area invented monumental architecture “overnight.” He calls this a “fairy tale” and says that the better explanation is that people from Atlantis taught the Anatolians how to carve rocks and plant crops several thousand years after the loss of their civilization. Where were they hiding between 10,500 BCE and 9,500 BCE? Who knows? I’m not sure why it is more logical to argue for a secret preservation of architectural knowledge for a thousand years but not for the development of architecture skills over that same period.
Hancock further states that the same process occurred in Egypt, where Atlantis built the Sphinx, the Sphinx Temple, and the Subterranean Chamber of the Great Pyramid and then went into a holding pattern for anywhere from five to seven thousand years before “Egyptian civilization was switched on” by these twice lost Atlanteans, who chose to wait in some far-off location until around 2500 BCE when they gave the Egyptians a giant info-dump of impractical cultural detritus on astrology and building uselessly large piles of rocks. This is precisely the myth invented by Late Antique Christians and inherited by Muslims: that Egypt was once home to a fabulous advanced culture, that the Flood wiped them out, and that the survivors turned to ancient texts on astrology and architecture to reconstruct the lost work in historic times. It was a made-up lie then, and it still is today, even if we swap out “end of the Ice Age” for “Noah’s Flood.”
Hancock also came out as a full-fledged diffusionist, not just of prehistoric times but also modern ones, arguing that ancient peoples were forever traveling around the world and remained in contact across the globe down to the time before Columbus. Thus, Bronze Age, Classical, and medieval civilizations were always in touch with each other. He probably didn’t think that through all the way, since if this were the case it would undercut his argument that cultural similarities across time and space could only be due to a lost civilization.
Hancock called for an end to government spending on weapons of mass destruction (which he wrongly estimates to cost “trillions” each year; the U.S., for example, did spend $5.5 trillion on nuclear weapons, but over sixty years) and demanded that we turn our attention to focusing on astronomy, cosmology, and world peace. To that end, after the publicity tour for Magicians of the Gods he plans to remove himself from the “insults” and “attacks” of academics for the foreseeable future and will return to writing novels until more evidence for a lost civilization emerges. This, of course, means that he admits that he isn’t generating that new knowledge, however much the hosts try to credit him with “archaeological research.”
10/9/2015 02:52:29 pm
I don't like Hancock either but he is correct that hate blogs like this one incessantly make unfair and vicious attacks. Maybe the author of this hate blog should come up with something original rather than recycling the criticisms others previously wrote.
10/9/2015 02:57:35 pm
I wrote 10,000 words of original criticism in my review of his new book. You have stopped by to use a pejorative to insult me. Please do explain how my analysis is unoriginal. Also: If something is true, why would it be wrong to repeat it anyway?
10/9/2015 03:30:24 pm
Herm, are you a moron? I have read all of the writing Jason has written about Graham Hancock. I don't remember, at any time, that he has attacked Graham Hancock on a personal level. He, as other critics have, attacked his lack of research, his use of other fringe writers as sources, his passing off as facts things that have not been proven or even verified and his conclusions. Graham Hancock needs to realize that as a writer and a public figure he will be subject to critics. It goes with the territory. If he cannot accept that, then he should cease writing and appearing on tripe such as Ancient Aliens.
10/10/2015 11:18:23 pm
"Are you a moron?"
10/15/2015 10:31:02 pm
JW, and just what does Herm referring to Jason's blog has a "hate blog" prove?
10/9/2015 08:12:59 pm
Maybe people like Herm, who visit this blog, should come up with something original, rather than recycling the lame accusations others previously wrote.
10/10/2015 01:07:53 pm
I do not think you understand the words that you are using.
10/10/2015 05:27:51 pm
Using the term "hate" Herm is using agit-prop designed to inflame and create a certain psychological response it also serves to distract attention from the substantive issues in Jason's post.
10/10/2015 11:19:14 pm
Snobbish derision. Herm's point proven again.
10/11/2015 12:00:17 am
Just a reminder to anybody who may be using multiple screen names to appear to be more than one person: The administrator (Jason) can see what IP address the posts are coming from.
10/9/2015 04:18:00 pm
Hancock is another con artist snake oil salesman who's in love with himself.
10/9/2015 04:23:57 pm
A.D. You mean Colavito not Hardrock. Typo.
10/9/2015 06:07:25 pm
Heh. This would have been the most ironically stupid comment I've seen posted on the Internet on almost any given day, but it got edged out by the clown show going on over at the official FFG forums for Warhammer 40K: Conquest, where the guy who won nationals was caught cheating in the finals via video, created a sock puppet to defend himself, then forgot which account he was using and posted a statement from his real identity on the sock puppet account. But a valiant effort, nonetheless.
10/9/2015 07:11:35 pm
Scott: thanking you for the kind thoughts. It make me know I successes.
10/9/2015 07:49:01 pm
Herman is actually Hancock on weed :)
10/9/2015 08:18:02 pm
>>>It make me know I successes.<<<
10/9/2015 08:30:36 pm
Thank you two Only Me for kind word. You name odd.
10/9/2015 05:39:51 pm
I won't be listening to Mysterious Universe any time soon, but the general tone of the episode sounds like a slightly less painful version of Michael Cremo's appearance on Richard C. Hoagland's "The Other Side of Midnight" Tuesday night.
10/13/2015 06:22:42 pm
C2CAm on Saturday had a guy named Patrick Fox Chouinard who claimed to have written several books on giants, etc. He couldn't speak more than one sentence on anything. It was really embarrassing.
10/9/2015 06:11:26 pm
I was planning on listening to the MU episode, but listening to a millionaire self-pity himself is not high on my list of things to do. So does Hancock ever explain how he knows the exact politics of the lost civilization? I mean that they're in sync with universe and hate weapons, etc. I'm trying to figure out where he's getting that, short of drug use.
10/9/2015 08:34:54 pm
Thanks for good comments in hate blog. Me bed time now. By.
10/10/2015 03:23:52 am
Dr. John Ward- Templar Extraordinaire
10/10/2015 09:40:42 am
He whines almost as much as my mate Scotty Roberts.
10/10/2015 10:05:08 am
Hancock is well on the way to becoming the New Velikovsky. He has duplicated to perfection both Velikovsky's vast ego and his persecution complex and masses of self pity.
Not the Comte de Saint Germain
10/10/2015 12:59:22 pm
Well, at least Hancock hasn't tried to undo the laws of physics. To my knowledge, anyway.
10/10/2015 11:53:20 pm
"Hancock claims that the British press tried to paint him as a believer in angels and aliens to discredit him—right before he told the MU hosts that he does speculate that ancient aliens may have existed!"
10/11/2015 12:16:09 am
Anyway I like this blog because I want to see the legit criticism, it's alright.
10/11/2015 05:42:11 am
It's too bad your idea of legit criticism is subjective.
10/12/2015 07:58:20 am
Hancock's books have no basis in fact. He posits "theories" and "speculates" on things, but offers no evidence to back up his claims. When people who have spent many years conducting real research call him on this, he shouts about personal attacks and how academics are using their positions to suppress his work. I'm sure they'll be happy if he just sits in his mansion drying his crocodile tears with $100 bills.
11/18/2015 06:27:32 pm
If you say he doesn’t present evidence, you haven’t read his books. I’m no advocate for or against any ancient-civ theories (I’ve read a couple of Hancock’s books to harvest place names and ideas for an oddball sci-fi screenplay, which is the extent of my investment in all this), but I do take offense when someone is wrong on the internet.
10/12/2015 01:56:18 pm
Why not just write a refutation book, call it Facts of the Gods or some such, have it displayed next to Mr Hancock's stuff, and allow a bit of the gravy to splash your way ?
3/11/2016 08:43:00 am
I'm a tad late to the party (just listened to the MU episode), and I think a few things are patently obvious with this (quite snide) blog post.
3/26/2018 03:24:27 pm
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I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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