Janet Wolter and Alan Butler Make False Claims about Templars, Pyramids, Gothic Architecture, and More in Podcast Interview
Since you can read about Wolter’s and Butler’s goddess claims in my review, I won’t repeat them here. Suffice it to say that the cover their bonkers ideas about the Grange, baseball diamonds, goddesses, the planet Venus, obelisks, the “occult” layout of Washington, D.C., and the like. I have discussed the problems with these claims in my review, so it isn’t really worth trying to laugh again through their claims that baseball diamonds are secret goddess temples and monuments to Freemasons and vaginas. To this, they add new claims, derived from Scott Wolter’s tie-in episode of America Unearthed, alleging that the Vanderbilt family are conspirators and guardians of forbidden Masonic secrets. But I’ve already covered that, too. This material takes up the majority of the podcast.
You have to admire, I guess, their commitment to rigorously refusing to say anything they haven’t said before. With the precision of authoritarian propagandists, they understand that repeating the same claims over and over, often in the same words, drives home their message. A lie, repeated often enough, becomes indistinguishable from the truth. Occasionally, though, they said something new(ish).
Butler makes an unusual claim, asserting that the builders of stone circles in Thornbury, England, were the “mathematicians” who traveled to Egypt and laid out the plans for the Giza pyramids, to be built a thousand years later. This reverses the Victorian notion that the U.K. had Egyptian heritage (when Princess Scota brough the Stone of Scone to Scotland), but it is nevertheless a troublingly racist development in seeking to whitewash the pyramids as the work of the ancient British instead of the indigenous Egyptians.
Butler also asserts that the Templar/Freemason/Shemsu Hor conspiracy of goddess-worshiping master-builders has no need to respect time, so “they don’t care” if it takes 10 generations to achieve their master plan for any particular monument or site. This is a convenient way of avoiding any responsibility to prove one’s claims, since it allows for connections where no temporal relationship exists, and if a correlation isn’t complete, then the plan just hasn’t been brought to fruition yet. That’s why they can claim that elements of Washington, D.C. added only in the last few decades are somehow part of a master plan dating back to the 1700s, despite manifest evidence to the contrary.
An hour into the podcast, Scott Wolter joins to add his two cents. The hosts, the Wolters, and Butler share pleasantries and laugh with one another until one of the hosts asks Butler about Oak Island, a subject where Butler and Scott Wolter disagree. Butler has appeared several times on Curse of Oak Island and promotes the “mystery” of Oak Island as a genuine puzzle of cosmic proportions. Scott Wolter discounts both the show and the mystery, preferring to refocus Templar conspiracies onto his more favored locations, including Rhode Island and Minnesota. “I reserve my judgment and won’t say any more on the subject,” Butler says to avoid causing a scene. The most interesting part of the discussion is the way the hosts and the guests can’t separate Curse of Oak Island from the actual history of Oak Island, such that whatever is said on TV automatically becomes part of that history, and the real history becomes nothing more than fodder for TV. Their belief in whatever theory of Oak Island they discuss is contingent on how Kevin Burns from Prometheus Entertainment depicts it on Curse. It is a fascinating example of how pseudohistory and cable TV have inexorably merged.
It is probably also quite telling that once again Scott Wolter discusses the National Treasure movie franchise in terms of his research, and he claims that an official told him that parts of the franchise’s depiction of the secrets of Washington, D.C. are true.
Wolter goes on to claim that the “secret of the Ark of the Covenant” is “how to make one,” strongly implying that he has bought into the false Graham Hancock / Erich von Däniken idea about the Ark as a technological device or weapon of electrical power.
Near the end, Butler makes a wildly uninformed claim that the Gothic cathedrals were “so different” from anything that came before that they “might as well have been brought by aliens.” He has apparently never seen a Romanesque cathedral or noticed how the Gothic style developed from it. Instead, he alleges that the Gothic cathedrals appeared in only one generation and were invented by “the building arm of the Knights Templars.” In reality, scholars on the nineteenth century expended enormous effort trying and failing to draw a firm line between Romanesque and Gothic, and many churches were simply classified as being transitional between the two. Georg Dehio and Gustav von Bezold wrote about it in their famous five-volume 1901 analysis of church architecture in which they traced the growth of Romanesque into Gothic. It is not new information. According to art historians, the transition took about a hundred years. Some buildings began in one style and finished in the other. Many combined elements of both. Alan Butler speaks out of his depth.
Near the end, Janet Wolter claims that so-called “Venus families” are behind major movements in history and “the goddess” is “always present” in Masonic rituals. That will be news to the Masons, I imagine. Wolter offers some more blather about his new fixation on Venus’s crescent shape, and he now argues that crescent shapes are all references, not just to the planet Venus, but to “the goddess.” The awe with which all of them speak of the “goddess” makes me think that, like Robert Graves before them, they have become enamored of an imaginary deity they wish they could worship openly. It takes no particularly deep analysis to see in their rhapsody over the imagined grace of the matriarchal mother goddess a repudiation of the patronizing elements of Judeo-Christian patriarchal society they dislike.
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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