Janet Wolter Makes Solo Radio Appearance, Offers Conspiracies about Goddesses, Templars, and America
Last night Janet Wolter, the co-author of America: Nation of the Goddess, appeared on the Euphomet podcast in order to promote their book. (You can find my multi-part review linked on my Book Reviews page.) There was rather little new material in the interview, which covered the claims made in the book, often in the same words as the book itself. For example, the first section of the interview recapitulates their allegations about the Grange, just as the book had done. She even repeats false claims from earlier radio appearances, like the alleged importance of the date September 17 (Constitution Day, which is not the same day as the Eleusinian Mysteries), and false claims from her husband like the claim that the letter M is the thirteenth letter of the alphabet and thus symbolizes Mary Magdalene, the thirteenth apostle. (In the Roman alphabet, before the addition of the letter J in 1524, it was the twelfth letter.)
After that, Wolter describes her views on the so-called “Venus Families,” which she defines, as in the book, as a cult of aristocrats who “preserved” an ancient religion in which “the goddess was paramount.” She says that the cult “has an Egyptian aspect” and “a Druid aspect” but might be older. Presumably she is referring back to Neolithic cultures like Çatalhöyük, as filtered through middle twentieth century feminist claims about supposedly “matriarchal” pre-Indo-European cultures that were destroyed by the Indo-Europeans and their patriarchal culture and gods. Or, given the research skills of Wolter and Butler, they’re probably just talking about Robert Graves’s White Goddess and a bunch of Mary Magdalene conspiracy books from the 1990s.
Wolter repeats Templar conspiracy theories that were first proposed by Eugène Beauvois in 1902, specifically that the Knights Templar fled France in 1307 and went to Scotland, Scandinavia, and the northern fringes of Europe to escape persecution before traveling from those areas across the northern Atlantic to America. To this old claim she adds material taken over from Baigent and Leigh’s The Temple and the Lodge and Baigent, Leigh, and Lincoln’s Holy Blood, Holy Grail which alleges that the Templars carried the bloodline of the descendants of Jesus with them. Since the conspiracy theories about Templar journeys to America were first proposed in 1902, and the Bloodline conspiracy in 1887, not a single shred of proof has emerged to support either, but the initial claims instead became “proof” later writers used to build the cathedral of assumptions that forms the Templar-Bloodline complex.
Wolter’s big idea is that the Templar-Bloodline-Venus Families are goddess worshipers, but her ideas remain confusing and a bit contradictory. Her first allegation is that the Venus Families have been goddess worshipers since ancient Egypt or earlier, yet the second allegation is that the “sacred feminine” is embodied in Mary Magdalene, the Queen of the Earth. But, as should be plain, Mary Magdalene did not exist before roughly 1 CE (if she were a real person at all) and therefore cannot be a goddess or the feminine aspect of god. Wolter makes no claim for her akin to what Christians say of Jesus—that he was literally god incarnate—so what, pray tell, are these Venus Families worshiping when it comes to the Magdalene? Wolter’s idea seems to be that the Magdalene is the ancient goddess wrapped in human guise to hide her from the Church, but this is rather an odd assertion since the Catholic Church long claimed the Virgin Mary as the Queen of Heaven, and granted her supernatural attributes (immaculate conception, intercessory power, etc.) more befitting of a goddess. The importance of the Magdalene to the cult stems entirely from her supposed role as the mother of the Bloodline, and yet Wolter wants to downplay the Bloodline as only one aspect of a cult that long predates it.
If I understand correctly, Wolter also believes that wealthy people become new members of the Venus Families and thus enter into the cult of secrecy after they make money, which is why the rich and powerful have never used their money to expose the secrets of the cult.
I have to stop here and point out the ridiculous Eurocentrism of these ideas. There is a whole world of five billion non-Christians. What of them? Did not a single one encounter this apparently all-powerful Magdalene cult and say, “Wow, that’s really stupid,” and do anything against it? Why, for example, did the Muslims, who already hold many of the beliefs about Jesus that Wolter implies are Venus Family state secrets (Qur’an 4:157), never mention even once that there was a group of crazies in Europe who were running around spouting nonsense about the Qur’anic view of Jesus’ crucifixion? Surely people who are opposed to European power might have had an interest in exposing these claims.
To judge from her statements, Wolter is laughably ill-informed about history, and she alleges that America was the first country to have neither king nor queen but government of the people, which she attributes to the Cistercian monastic rules. Seriously? Had she never heard of the democracy of Athens, or the Republic of Rome? Had she never considered the dozens of medieval republics and commonwealths? America did not emerge ex nihilo but developed from earlier models.
Instead, Wolter claims that the Templars’ gold and silver funded the American Revolution, which must have been quite a surprise to the Continental Congress, since it printed worthless paper money to cover their debts. If you care, the states paid £64 million and Congress £46 million, in addition to which the various governments took out £165 million in debt. You can read about it here and see that there was no room for chests of Templar gold, which wouldn’t have been enough to cover the costs anyway.
After this, Wolter recites many of the claims about shadows and sexual penetration around U.S. government buildings, and conspiracy theories about obelisks in New York City.
What’s evident, though, is that Wolter’s own personal preferences about spirituality and faith have influenced her recreation of the past. She attributes to the Templars and Venus Families claims that have no basis even in pseudohistory, and can only come from her own preferences, which to judge from her words are a mix of Protestantism, feminism, and American exceptionalism. For example, she alleges that the Venus Families disagree with the Catholic belief that the Church is the intermediary between humanity and God and therefore established America to make sure everyone could approach God individually. This is a Protestant article of faith, and a mainstream one, no secret to anyone born after Martin Luther. She similarly expressed outrage at the Inquisition, another Protestant target, and claims that the Venus Families were behind freedom of speech and thought. She calls America the “New Jerusalem,” as though the English hadn’t done so in the colonial era. She rhapsodizes over “all this freedom” in America, which she attributes to a secretive feminist blood cult that refuses to make its presence known for fear it would destroy the Christian faith of millions of believers. You know: Freedom and Truth!
Do New Zealanders, who also have “all this freedom” (and actually more), according to the Human Freedom Index published by Canada’s Fraser Institute, Germany’s Liberales Institute, and America’s Cato Institute, suffer from the same secretive manipulation of goddess-worshiping elites? Or the Dutch, or the eight other countries that rank above America on the Freedom Index?
Wolter also claims that “science was against Church doctrine at the time—they weren’t supposed to be doing science,” so any evidence of scientific advancement in the Middle Ages is prima facie proof of cult activity. Methinks someone has misunderstood the history of science, and the Church. Just for instance: The writ of the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages did not extend beyond northern Spain to the West or the Danube to the East (leaving aside the brief reign of the Latin Empire of Constantinople), and sat uneasily on Outremer during the slow decline of the Crusader States. The point is that even if we concede Wolter’s point entire, “science” had plenty of places to develop outside of Catholic Europe, including among the enemies of Catholicism. Only a Eurocentric perspective would imagine that central Europe was the world, or that medieval Catholic Europe was powerful enough to control the “truth” on behalf of the whole world.
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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