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.
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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