Here is an interesting fact I found in researching Hermes Trismegistus and his pyramids of wisdom. An old Arabic text by Ibn Wahshiyya called Kitab Shawq al-Mustaham (Ancient Alphabets) (c. 863-930 CE), a book purporting to decipher the hieroglyphs of Egypt, makes reference to a creature named Bahumed, which some have claimed to be the same as Baphomet, the demon allegedly worshiped by the Knights Templar. According to Washiyya, Bahumed was “the most sublime secret” and “the secret of secrets,” “the beginning and return of everything.” The secret of Bahumed, he said, was known to the Hermetic occultists, and it was the secret of the hieroglyphs, encoded in inscriptions which unlock secret magic so powerful that none but the Hermetic followers know of it. This secret knowledge was attributed to Hermes, who was Enoch and Idris, and to his ancestors Seth and Adam, as was typical in Islamic lore.
Based on this, the 1806 English translator of the book, Joseph von Hammer-Purgstall, concluded: “Bahumed or Bahumet is related in the History of the Templars to have been one of their secret and mysterious formulas, with which they addressed the idol of a calf in their secret assemblies. Different etymological explanations and descriptions of this word have been brought forward, but none surely so satisfactory as this, which proves that the Templars had some acquaintance with the hieroglyphics, probably acquired in Syria.” An astonishing early Templar conspiracy theory—that they had secret Hermetic knowledge of Egyptian wisdom! We’ve seen that before… not least in the conspiracy theories of former television personality Scott Wolter.
Alas, Ibn Wahshiyya’s text is not as certain as it seems. According to Mark Fraser Pettigrew, citing Martin Schwartz, the book contains at least one illustration from the Egyptological works of Athanasius Kircher, seven centuries after Ibn Wahshiyya allegedly wrote. The illustration can’t be more ancient because Kircher got hoodwinked by an Italian forgery, and the forged artifact he copied cannot be old enough to support a date of c. 900 CE for the Kitab Shawq al-Mustaham. If all of that is true, that means that the text we have is a Renaissance forgery, probably drawn from Arabic Hermetic documents known at the time and gussied up with Kircher’s hieroglyphic speculation.
Meanwhile, Wolter continues to promote unusual Templar fantasies.
Last week, Wolter took another step toward embracing a full-on Da Vinci Code fantasy when he announced in comments on his blog that he believes that the Shroud of Turin had been created by Leonardo da Vinci: “The Shroud of Turin is likely a relic created (likely by Leonardo Da Vinci) for the Roman Catholic Church in exchange for relief of persecution of certain individuals that helped begin the Age of Enlightenment.” He added that the shroud was made using a primitive photographic technique and a cadaver. You will recognize that claim as one that dates back to the 1990s when Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince presented the claim in their 1994 book The Turin Shroud. The silliness of the claim is evident in the fact that history documents the existence of the Shroud of Turin at least as far back as 1390, when Bishop Pierre d’Arcis wrote to Antipope Clement VII that the shroud was a hoax. Leonardo was born in 1452. The “Age of Enlightenment” began centuries later. Presumably he is confusing it with the Renaissance. He later added that he believes that current shroud is a replacement made by Leonardo for the 1390 shroud. Conspiracies atop conspiracies!
Speaking of the endlessly amplifying feedback loop of conspiracy, this past week The New Republic published a piece called “The New Paranoia” in which Colin Dickey, the author of a book about haunted houses and a forthcoming book on conspiracy theories, alleges that liberals and leftists are now susceptible to the same type of conspiracy theories and paranoid delusions that have long been the bread and butter of rightwing ringmasters. Unsurprisingly, Dickey centers the argument on Donald Trump, about whom liberals are willing to believe conspiracy theories that, applied to anyone else, would be obviously false, but in Trump’s special case of malevolent zaniness take on a spurious plausibility simply because reality itself has bent before the forces of fake news, alternative facts, and the total rejection of objective knowledge.
Dickey argues that liberal conspiracy theorists are unwilling to accept that Trump is irrational and incompetent and therefore read into his actions and behavior a “long con,” all part of a master-plan. “When you begin to treat evidence supporting one conclusion (that Trump’s administration is staffed with ideologues and novices who don’t know what they’re doing) as though it supports the exact opposite conclusion (that this apparent incompetence is a masterpiece of misdirection), you have moved away from logical fallacy and into deep-seated paranoia.” However, it was unclear to me that Dickey’s argument extended as far among liberals as the documented permeation of conspiracy theories into rightwing discourse, from elite publications through cable news straight down to grassroots activists and candidates for office. All of Dickey’s liberal examples were drawn from the internet, where conspiracy theories are a dime a dozen, while conservative examples had broad play on the pipeline from hard right internet forums to Fox News and talk radio.
That said, Dickey is correct that everyone is now potentially part of a paranoid world of designer conspiracy theories, each carefully tailored by internet shills, con-artists, and nut-jobs to reach specific audiences in pursuit of the almighty dollar. But it’s hard for me to believe that the American people are somehow more irrational and paranoid than they were six months ago. Human psychology doesn’t change that quickly. Instead, Dickey is seeing a reflection of the political moment, in which seemingly derogatory material about Trump gets passed around online as easily as anti-Obama propaganda did over the past eight or nine years. As we have seen on this blog and elsewhere, there has been a consistent audience for conspiracy theories for decades, on all manner of subjects, and I doubt that Trump suddenly caused formerly rational people to lose their marbles; rather, those already susceptible to the lure of conspiracy simply shifted their paranoia from less visible targets (GMOs, vaccines, etc. are all popular liberal conspiracy fodder) to Trump, the giant black (orange?) hole that sucks in all attention.
6/14/2017 10:55:26 am
So Wolter makes an ignorant comment, gets informed that it's an impossibility and then creates more fiction rather than admit his obvious error. That's really him in a nutshell. It's also why he'll never be taken seriously ever again by anyone outside of his target audience of ignoramuses. He is forever relegated to the fringe. And you know what? That's his niche market.
6/15/2017 01:38:02 am
You seem to be angry, Joe... unhinged even. Go on over to YouTube.com and watch some episodes of Mr. Roger's Neighborhood.
6/15/2017 10:35:07 am
Minion, be gone. I'll not banter with the likes of you.
An Over-Educated Grunt
6/15/2017 04:13:42 pm
HANDY HINT from Mama Sinclair's Cookbook: Shake all the crumbs out of your keyboard and use the sweat to mold them into a wafer. This salty treat is an acquired taste, but will give you all the energy you need for that big meeting with the Templar Mason Ascended Masters!
6/16/2017 05:36:27 pm
Glad to see everything here is just as I left it.
An Over-Educated Grunt
6/17/2017 10:04:33 pm
Wait, you left? Apparently it didn't take. Try it again!
6/17/2017 11:14:49 pm
STC = SweaTy Crumbs
6/15/2017 12:22:19 pm
Steve might have a point. You might do well to take a page out of Andre Kovac's book.
6/15/2017 01:07:54 pm
I miss Lesley the most.
6/15/2017 01:21:01 pm
You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
6/15/2017 03:19:40 pm
Dog poop works well too. I've never had much interest in catching flies.
6/14/2017 11:00:25 am
Trump is not only the object of conspiracies, he is a charter member of the two great conspiracies of our time : 'greed' and 'stupid'. These are true conspiracies because members will never voluntarily admit to their membership, thereby keeping their 'secrets' safe to all except those who actually open their eyes and look.
6/14/2017 11:23:47 am
Perhaps I am in the minority here, but I figure that any politically slanted news is "fake news". And I don't mean the pundits who are naturally going to spin the news to their slant, but actual news people The reporters. The news anchors. When their political slant has them picking and choosing what news stories to promote. When they will condemn one political party's actions when they excuse the same behavior from their preferred side. When confirmation bias has them assuming the worst from those they oppose and shows in their language. Those they oppose are highlighted negatively for their "possible" actions, whereas for the other side accusations of possible malfeasance become "unfounded" or "baseless" allegations. This is fake news.
6/14/2017 11:43:32 am
In the context of Baphomet, the Templars were said to have worshipped a mysterious black head, said by some to be the head of John the Baptist. What was the name of the commanding general of Operation Desert Storm? Schwarzkopf.
6/14/2017 11:48:08 am
I believe the head you're thinking of is Zardoz:
6/14/2017 12:41:23 pm
No, Zardoz is explicitly derived from the Wizard of Oz so it's a 20th century innovation. Baphomet is mentioned in Idries Shah's The Sufis and in Forrest Jackson's The Baphomet in History and Symbolism:
6/14/2017 02:19:02 pm
"Keep it no-shtick, won't you?"
6/14/2017 11:48:04 am
Speaking of Templar fantasies, Christoph Friedrich Nicolai wrote in 1782 the following:
6/14/2017 02:39:37 pm
I would challenge the author quoted on how he got from Point A to Point B in the translation in Item #2.
6/14/2017 03:29:56 pm
According to Peter Partner, author of "The Knights Templar and Their Myth":
6/14/2017 03:39:53 pm
So a forerunner of Sitchin. Excellent! Thank you.
6/14/2017 01:46:44 pm
I keep hearing people refer to anti vax being a liberal idea but several studies have show this to not be the case. It is pretty much evenly spread across all political affiliations with a slight leaning toward Republicans and Independents. Here is a Pew study. The last paragraph and chart detail the pertinent facts.
6/14/2017 01:56:34 pm
Bahumed, maybe derived from Behemoth?
6/15/2017 11:06:31 pm
According to Hugh Schonfield, "Baphomet" refers to "Wisdom" by the common use of Greek and the Hebrew AThBSh cipher, interchanging the first letter for the last, the 2nd letter for the penultimate, and so on.
7/5/2017 12:15:03 am
Schonfield's books are excellent. THE MESSIANIC LEGACY, where he discusses the Atbash cypher and the translation from Baphomet to Sofia especially so.
3/18/2018 11:47:24 pm
Unfortunately, your info re: Ibn Wahshiyya & Kircher has been damaged in transmission. I have been working with Prof. Schwartz on this for many years and introduced him to the material in the first place. The important point is that that a mysterious figure we've dubbed "the Bugman" appears independently in only two known places: 1) in Ibn Wahshiyya's manuscript, where it is called "B'hwmyd", from Harran c. 1000 AD; and 2) as a seemingly minor figure in the margin of the Bembine Tablet, from Rome, c. 100 AD. How it appears in such disparate places is a mystery. A further mystery is why Kircher zeroed in on this figure and described it at length in his Oedipus Aegyptiacus c. 1650 AD as the summit of all Egyptian wisdom! A third mystery is why he then says that, "The Greeks portrayed this same figure like this..." and shows a figure with a human form, but goat legs, a goat's head, and wings, looking much like Baphomet! What's going on? Who was the Bugman? What did Kircher know? We don't know and we're still working on it.
4/3/2021 11:06:39 am
The works of Ibn Wahshiyya, Hammer & Kircher are all now online, provided one knows where to look. Kircher had access to both Ibn Wahshiyya's manuscript, as well as the Bembine Tablet, and while his design resembles the latter, his explanation is based on the former, although it further becomes embellished in later iterations of his explanation. See Hammer’s book for a translation of Ibn Wahshiyya’s brief description, largely enough to lead Kircher down the rabbit hole as far as the importance of the scarab-man figure is concerned. There are at least 4 extant MSS of Ibn Wahshiyya’s text, and seemingly no one has thought of consulting them...
4/3/2021 01:51:31 pm
Thanks for this info. I will investigate further.
4/3/2021 10:38:51 pm
4/4/2021 01:15:49 pm
Thank you! I can be reached through the Adocentyn Research Library at email@example.com
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