On July 10, Ancient Aliens pundit and prolific conspiracy author Jim Marrs appeared on William Henry’s Revelations radio show to discuss ancient aliens in advance of the Contact in the Desert symposium currently going on in Joshua Tree. Marrs was promoting his new book, whose name I refuse to publicize thanks to HarperCollins’ refusal to provide me a review copy. Marrs’s book detailed his belief that world governments are conspiring to cover up knowledge of ancient astronauts, and in so doing, Marrs recycled century-old anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, exchanging the Jews for aliens and in one case making the Jews into aliens trying to suck the gold and lifeblood from Christian America.
(Full disclosure: Last year Henry, who believes that telephone booths are esoteric symbols of the wormhole through which Jesus travels the universe, asked me on his radio show, and I recorded an episode that he decided not to use after discovering that I am in fact not a believer in ancient astronauts.)
Marrs said the evidence for ancient aliens is “compelling…almost overwhelming,” but says that he is most interested in what the aliens are doing today. Like other alternative writers, he is angry about “what we were taught in school” sometime in the last century and mistakes midcentury schoolbooks’ discussion of general processes of social development for modern academia’s absolute declaration that human societies move gradually and linearly from hunter gatherers to farmers to empires. Obviously, while social complexity has increased over time, it is not a linear process but one of stops and starts, development and collapse and reformation. This was understood by the late nineteenth century so it really shouldn’t surprise Marrs, who thinks there is a conspiracy to hide the fact that social complexity and political integration are non-linear. Apparently the Middle Ages have escaped him. Instead, he finds “compelling” evidence against his straw man in the form of Ezekiel’s vision and the Tower of Babel and crop circles. These prove the aliens jump-started civilizations and destroyed civilizations as they saw fit.
Marrs says that he is the first person to tie together ancient astronauts with the New World Order, apparently because he doesn’t know who David Icke is, despite using Icke’s ideas later in this very interview. Marrs and Henry agree that Edward Snowden’s NSA revelations show that the New World Order is trying to destroy individuality to make us better prey for the aliens and, as Henry says, may put at risk our eternal souls because the NSA spying is a digital Judgment Day presaging the New Heaven and the New Earth. Somehow Paula Deen is involved because Marrs says computers are scary and can’t be trusted (no, I have no idea how it ties to computers since Deen was not exposed by computer spying), and Henry tells us that the U.S. government (all others need not apply) plans to use “the cloud” to create immortality at the Judgment by “making a holographic copy” of our consciousness while our “flesh bags” are left to rot.
It gets worse from there.
Marrs then asserts that “we know” that “They” are behind 9/11 and the 2008 banking crisis, and he asserts that “They” are American politicians under the influence of the aliens. Yes, Marrs claims that 9/11 was an inside job. He also complains that “aspartame” and “fluoride” are tools used in alien-NWO conspiracies, and that non-human aliens masquerading as human politicians and elites, including Prince Philip of England (“one of the bloodlines trying to control everything”), are trying to kill us all to make room for more alien hybrids. He bases this on Philip’s long ago statement that he wished to be reincarnated as a virus to help stop overpopulation. This was in 1986, and repeated in 1988, and cannot seriously be taken as proof that the aliens “want us dead,” as Marrs asserts.
Marrs next claims that the Rothschild family of financiers are the masterminds behind the alien conspiracy—because, Jews!—and that the Rothschilds assert that they are descended from the “ancient Sumerian Anunnaki god Nimrod.” This manages to combine a number of deeply disturbing ideas. The first is Zecharia Sitchin’s claim that the Anunnaki were aliens. Next is David Icke’s claim that the Rothschilds are lizard people descended from Nimrod—a claim derived from twentieth century anti-Semitic literature. The last is the ancient anti-Catholic claim by Alexander Hislop (The Two Babylons) that Catholicism is a Satanic cult of Babylonian Nimrod worship. Thus does Marrs marry anti-Catholicism with anti-Semitism in service of anti-government activism. Jews! (By the way: Nimrod is a Biblical figure and cannot be securely identified with any Mesopotamian king or god.)
So why don’t the Anunnaki just kill us all and end the farce? Why because other races of aliens are holding them in check! It’s a “Cold War” he says, unintentionally revealing the outdated paradigm he is projecting into the sky. Marrs argues that George Orwell, a known socialist (and therefore evil), explained the aliens’ master plan in 1984, to divide the world into three political blocks for perpetual war and control. Socialism, as you know, is a Jewish...no, alien...conspiracy. Henry chimes in to add that the “otherworldly entities” are obsessed with gold and money. The Bible, he says, “is about profits […] Why does it boil down to money?” Because you’re using anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about gold-hungry Jews, that’s why.
I can’t believe this ranting old fool and hippy-dippy New Ager are blissfully repeating anti-Semitic conspiracies with aliens substituted for Jews without apparently understanding any of what they are doing.
Marrs’s ideas are a bizarre mixture of right-wing anti-government paranoia and left-wing anti-corporate and environmental panic, all tied together with an alien-conspiracy ideology that papers over the political contradictions in his ideology. Marrs thinks that Obama is restricting gun ownership in order to leave America defenseless in the face of “15,000 Russian troops” he’s hired to impose martial law. How does that even make sense? How would 15,000 Russians impose anything on America’s nearly 1.5 million active duty military personnel? Marrs wants us to “fight back” against the government and its alien overlords by refusing to comply with Obama’s laws.
Henry hates “Islamo-Fascism” and Marrs thinks “They” (the aliens) have a hidden agenda that involves arming Muslims to promote apocalyptic war. He darkly hints that in “a year or so” the world will have ground to its end, the aliens having destroyed our civilization, stripped us of our rights, and left us in the hands of the NSA, Obama, and the alien-hybrid Rothschild Jews. He also thinks an asteroid or a flood will destroy the coasts, forcing us to huddle under Obama’s protection in the American interior, just as the Chinese have built countless “new” cities in the interior to house their displaced population when the aliens strike. (Remember: The Chinese are communists, which are like socialists, and therefore are part of the alien-Jewish conspiracy.) He worries about George Zimmerman race riots, nuclear bombs, and, of course, Obama declaring an imaginary “three day bank holiday” to destroy the financial system and send control of our world to the aliens/Jews.
Marrs said he was excited to meet up with Michael Tellinger at Contact in the Desert to discuss the claim that Tellinger had actually found the physical laboratory of Enki, the Sitchin-influenced alien “god.” He said he was hopeful this would prove that human DNA was manipulated by aliens, which is why, he said, scientists can’t find—and I quote—“the Missing Link between Neanderthal and Cro Magnon. That’s because there isn’t one.” He’s wrong twice, first in that the “missing link” refers to the connection between modern Homo sapiens and earlier ape-like species—of which many such human ancestors are now known; and second: Neanderthals and early Homo sapiens apparently interbred (according to actual DNA studies), as he ought to know since his fellow conspiracy theorist Michael Bradley has written extensively about how modern Jews (as opposed to the true Jews chosen by Yahweh) are actually sexually deviant Neanderthal hybrids. Man, these guys love to recycle anti-Semitic conspiracies.
He finishes up by saying that the Thirteenth Amendment (banning slavery) was illegitimately passed without representation from the southern states, and therefore Lincoln is wrongly hailed as an emancipator and hero when in fact “his plan for the black race” was to “ship them all to South America.” Marrs says that he suspects Lincoln is getting “all this publicity” because “he violated the Constitution” and “They” (Obama, the Rothschilds, and the aliens) plan to use that as justification for Obama’s extra-constitutional actions.
So, let me get this straight: Jim Marrs is saying that he is pro-slavery, anti-Jew, anti-Obama, anti-Muslim, and prepared to “fight back” to preserve the rights of old white Christian men? He makes Glenn Beck look like a moderate for supposing that Anglo-Saxons are a Lost Tribe of Israel.
MAKE IT STOP. If you are listening, HarperCollins (owned by Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch) and Prometheus Entertainment (producers of Ancient Aliens): STOP THIS MAN. STOP PAYING HIM. STOP PUBLISHING HIM AND LETTING HIM ON TV. This is racist, anti-Semitic, paranoid nonsense and needs to stop masquerading as historical analysis.
On a happier note, an episode of Funny or Die’s Yo, Is This Racist? asked if “the Ancient Aliens bullshit” is racist. Nick Thorburn and Andrew Ti say that they’ve never seen Ancient Aliens but note that multiple people have asked the two if the show is racist because it attributes the wonders of the ancient world, primarily found in areas occupied by Native American, African, or Asian peoples, to extraterrestrials. The two note that a “pervasive subtext” suggests racism, but that Ancient Aliens isn’t racist in origin because it deals with time rather than geography. Nevertheless, its current form is functionally racist because it focuses heavily on the accomplishments of non-white peoples and compares their historic achievements unfavorably to their current cultures, which were destroyed by contact with Western people and technology.
“Probably the idea just started out as some kooky, weirdo, ‘this is our weird idea about technology’ ignorance,” says Ti. However, the reverse is actually true. The idea started out with the explicitly racist imperial and colonial ideologies of the nineteenth century and has actually become less racist over time as the ancient alien idea has expanded from explaining only conquered non-white people to encompass all peoples, even white ones. Today, ancient alien speculators happily assert that the Greeks (though not usually the Romans), the Vikings, the Germans, and the Celts were all overrun with aliens.
But as we see with Jim Marrs, it may not be entirely racist but it is apparently still anti-Semitic.
“Fuck people who think the ancient world couldn’t do shit,” says Ti.
8/11/2013 08:19:03 am
1. Everyone needs to read Michael Barkun's book A Culture of Conspiracy, which is specifically about how fantastic fiction allows one to completely erase the lines between conspiracy theory and radical/racist politics. Both the left/right lines (he focuses on Icke, but as the above is similar to Icke it applies), but more importantly, how UFOs, Reptilians, etc., act as a gateway drug in a sense. They're all labeled "forbidden knowledge," so once you are down in the sewer, it is all too easy to keep going. He and others have noted some specific attempts by neofascists to use UFOs and other esoteric topics to recruit people, but it also just more generally happens. It's a great book, and of interest to anyone who reads this blog (I have no tie to Dr. Barkun, btw, other than liking the book). In a sense, it is sort of a sequel to Jason's Lovecraft/Theosophy/AncientAliens book, in that it focuses more on how these ideas developed once they were established.
The Other J.
8/11/2013 02:06:16 pm
Agreed on Barkun's book. I've used that book in a course on argument and conspiracy theories.
8/11/2013 03:41:26 pm
Such panics are not unique, of course. But this has gone on for 40 years now, because it isn't just a panic. It's a series of panics, revolving around a broader conspiratorial worldview. That's also not new.
The Other J.
8/11/2013 03:57:11 pm
"What's new, or at least different from a lot of the other times in American history, is how it has been embraced by the political establishment, and we've seen in the last few years how it is coming close to completely taking over one of the two major parties in the US."
8/12/2013 11:46:56 am
The Other J, I don't know if the internet is the issue. I would argue that it is responsible for a great deal of the cross-pollination you see coming up from the grassroots (the Christian-UFO fusion I mention above).
The Other J.
8/12/2013 08:26:55 pm
8/13/2013 02:32:22 pm
Other J writes
6/9/2015 07:34:13 am
Found this site by accident. Your blog entry makes you come off like an angry hasbarat. But is there any other kind?
8/11/2013 08:21:43 am
PS: I also should add, that the death of ufology around 1973 is more or less one half conspiracy theory, one half abduction. That's where much of this soul stuff and other horror stories come from.
8/11/2013 09:54:41 am
There is also a paranoid & pathological mindset which consists of interpreting everything from an antisemitic perspective.I am sorry to say but the universe is not orbiting around the Jewish question.This morbid fixation exists both inside antisemitic circles and the Jewish community.Pathological antisemites are obsessed with Jews,& Jews are more than often obsessed with their own "Jewish identity" & the idea of being the target of permanent or imminent persecution.These 2 communities need each other in order to exist.Antisemites see the world as dominated & controlled by Jews,Jews believe that the very fabric of the universe is antisemitic. The concept of "Jewish Semitism" is ludicrous as the doctrine of Aryanism.More than 80% of Jews are not even Semites.I think it is about time we start to see people as individuals,not as members of particular ethno-religious communities.
8/11/2013 10:11:25 am
There's something kind of fascinating about someone generalizing about "the Jews" and uncritically repeating anti-Jewish propaganda, then claiming they want us to "see people as individuals."
8/11/2013 10:37:10 am
I was expecting this type of accusation,& to be honest,it doesn't make me sweat.I couldn't care of less.The antisemitic accusation is a canard but you are welcome to stick to it,especially since I am Jew by "birth & blood".According to the Halakha, Jewishness is passed through the mother.Although I have always rejected the religion & the idea of my own "Jewish identity",both my grand mother & mother are Scandinavian secular Jews.We could continue this conversation in Hebrew if you wish so?.
8/11/2013 10:54:48 am
"There's something kind of fascinating about someone" throwing baseless accusations from the safety of his computer.Unfortunatly you picked a fight with the wrong person.What do you know about Jewishness,Judaism & Jewish history?.Do you speak Hebrew,have you ever visited Eretz?.If not,I would respectfully suggest you to keep your childish retorts to yourself.The last thing you want,is to be humiliated on a public forum.
8/11/2013 12:31:59 pm
Scott, That was just Tara's way of bringing the conversation around to her favorite topic: Tara. U.R.
8/11/2013 01:15:41 pm
8/11/2013 02:22:37 pm
So, Tara, are you advocating that the US should have mounted a large-scale invasion of another country because it was doing something they didn't like? You know, JUST LIKE was done in Afghanistan and Iraq that I have seen you bitch about before? Oh, but it's DIFFERENT when it's YOUR ancestors, right?
The Other J.
8/11/2013 03:45:11 pm
I don't want to step in the middle of a budding fight, but there was the 1939 Slattery Report about developing Alaska through European Jewish immigration there. U.S. Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes came up with the plan in the weeks after Kristallnacht, and suggested the U.S. accept European Jewish refugees and re-settle them in Alaska -- which could have meant Alaska becoming a Jewish homeland. So it was possible, and suggested, but the proposal was nixed.
8/11/2013 07:15:11 pm
8/12/2013 05:49:46 am
8/12/2013 04:15:25 pm
8/11/2013 07:33:07 pm
8/12/2013 05:01:48 am
5/21/2015 02:34:57 am
What's absurd about your comment is that interest in an ethnic or cultural identity is not the rational or moral equivalent of bigotry- nor is it "pathological." Additionally, the Jews have, in fact, been persecuted by both of their daughter religions since the ascension of those religions to power. Periods where Jews have been (or were) allowed full social and civil rights represent a tiny fraction of the time where Islamic and Christian rulers held power over Jewish populations; with almost the entirety of that period being in the last 100 years. Accordingly, a failure to incorporate that persecution into Jewish ethno-cultural identity would be a denial of reality. Quite frankly, had Jews been offered actual social "salvation" by conversion the religion would likely cease to have existed hundreds of years ago. However, ghettos, anti Jewish pogroms and the cunning switch of seeing Jews as members of a religion or a race (whichever was convenient to justify oppression) forged the Jews into an ethnicity as well as a belief system.
8/11/2013 10:48:53 am
That mindset is taking the next step by claiming that the phrase 'conspiracy theory' did not exist before the 1960s, in the same way that Mike Barra (A guy claiming to have proof AncientAliens left evidence of their visitations on the Moon.) states that Pareidolia did not exist until the 1990 when 'skeptics' cooked up the term.
8/11/2013 03:48:50 pm
Bob Blaskiewiscz just covered this question.
8/11/2013 01:32:20 pm
There's an old saying that fits Jim Marrs to a tee:
The Other J.
8/11/2013 02:21:14 pm
Marrs is really troublesome because his grandfatherly Miner 49'r appearance and folksy ways seems to take the edge off what he's actually saying.
8/11/2013 03:52:07 pm
Back when I followed CTs as a topic more closely in the early 2000s, there were CT sites that after awhile I just couldn't visit because the racist and other appalling material there started to get to you. The crap Marrs is spewing up above would have fit in very nicely.
8/11/2013 02:24:42 pm
"plans to use “the cloud” to create immortality at the Judgment by “making a holographic copy” of our consciousness while our “flesh bags” are left to rot."
Jason, I think you're a great writer and enjoy reading your blog, but I think you need to lay off the "I'm not mentioning this book because they wouldn't send me a review copy" stuff.
8/12/2013 11:45:00 pm
No one is obliged to send me a copy of anything, and they are within their rights to refuse to send me a copy. But so far they are the only publisher to whom I have made a formal written request on letterhead (as per their rules) who refused to even acknowledge the request, even if they chose not to send one. I have piles of books that publishers have sent me, including major publishers and publishers of alternative books. So for a while I'm not going to do Harpers' publicity work for them. Why should I help them make money off that particular title when Marrs gives his ideas away for free? When the book has failed (it's sales apparently weren't very good), I'll go back to using its title.
9/5/2013 11:55:32 pm
"Obviously, while social complexity has increased over time,"
9/5/2013 11:59:07 pm
It's an interesting question, but in terms of what I was referring to, modern society is clearly more complex than Paleolithic hunter-gatherer tribes, and relative to the individual, the modern world of 7 billion people is perforce more complex than a life where you might interact with fewer than 100 people your whole life. Now whether society is today more complex than it was 50 or 150 years ago is a different question and much less clear.
5/23/2016 09:05:51 pm
An anti-Semite used to be someone who hates the Jews.
6/9/2016 03:49:31 pm
Well, I doubt there was much appetite for Alaska amongst Jewish populations. The process of buying land to settle back in Palestine was already underway and had began in WW1. The promise had already been made by Britain and the US to aid the Jews in establishing a Jewish homeland that included Jerusalem back then.
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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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