L. A. Marzulli and Graham Hancock Talk Spirituality, Anger at Mainstream Scholars on Jimmy Church Radio Show
Last night Scott Wolter appeared on Jimmy Church’s Fade to Black radio show for a three hour discussion I have not heard since the episode isn’t up online. I expect it will be posted sometime in the next day or so. The Wolter interview caps a week of Church’s conversations with heavyweights (Oct. 6-8 episodes) in the world of fringe history. On Monday he interviewed Nephilim theorist L. A. Marzulli, and on Tuesday he devoted three hours to speaking with Graham Hancock.
I’ll be honest with you: I couldn’t stand listening to the L. A. Marzulli interview for a multiplicity of reasons, but primarily for two: (a) The Nephilim-Giants are among the most boring of all fringe history mysteries, and (b) Marzulli’s approach, rooted in Biblical inerrancy, leaves no room for investigation in any real sense—he merely asserts that because the Bible is inerrant, the Giants therefore existed. End of story.
“Dariwinism sets up an intellectual vacuum. Where did we come from?” asks either Marzulli or his filmmaking partner, Rick Shaw. I think it was Marzulli speaking, but either way the point is that the Giants are of interest not for their existence but for their propaganda value in promoting a fundamentalist Christian worldview.
Marzulli tells Church that the Anunnaki and the Nephilim are “the same,” so it looks like the Nephilim researchers and ancient astronaut theorists have even more in common than they pretend, especially when we remember that the Anunnaki in Mesopotamian myth are nothing like the elaborate Watchers-Nephilim myth except in Zecharia Sitchin’s version. In Mesopotamian texts, the Anunnaki are anonymous gods of heaven and hell, whose do pretty much nothing. In the Enuma Elish they build the temples of Babylon out of mud bricks and then whine about it before the creation of humanity, and in the Descent of Inanna they pass judgment on the dead goddess. This isn’t really very similar to anything in the Biblical or Enochian narrative. Marzulli accepts the ancient astronaut theorists’ wrong identification of the anonymous Anunnaki with images of the winged demon-griffin of Babylonian art and therefore concludes that the “Anunnaki” are “the Fallen.” He also accepts Sitchin’s wrong identification of the Anunnaki with the Mesopotamian pantheon in general, calling them all the Fallen, in keeping with the ancient Christian idea that the pagan gods were demons (1 Corinthians 10:20; Augustine, City of God 7.33; etc.).
“What’s funny,” Marzulli (I think) says, “is that people like Zecharia Sitchin and the whole Ancient Alien (sic) crowd, looks at the Anunnaki and that’s what they, they’ll say this is far older than the Biblical narrative. But what they don’t understand is no, it’s not. It’s just that the Biblical narrative kicks off with Moses’ writings and then goes back. The Anunnaki, I believe, are basically another name [for] the Fallen Angelic Host, came down, and did what they did.” Marzulli attacks Sitchin and then endorses the Book of Enoch as a great guide to understanding the “real” prehistory of the earth even though Enoch’s claim that God killed all the Giants in the Flood and left them only as disembodied spirits (15:10-12) directly contradicts Marzulli’s belief that Giants were still alive “after” the Flood (Genesis 6:4), as recently as the Middle Ages. The Book of Jubilees similarly describes that these disembodied Nephilim exist only as spirits, their bodies having perished in the Flood (7:21-25).
Marzulli asserts that Moses wrote Genesis with his own hand “hundreds of years after the Flood,” following Deuteronomy 31:24-26 and ancient tradition (e.g. Mishnah, Sanhedrin 11:1). So how then did Moses know of events from hundreds of years before his time? God. It’s a wonderful out for any difficult question. God just wanted it that way.
When challenged by Church to explain how Fallen Angels coming down and teaching humans was really any different from Sitchin’s aliens coming down and teaching humans (slightly misunderstood—Sitchin argued that they created humans), Marzulli couldn’t really say how there was a difference except in whether you view the beings as angels or aliens, the latter of which he calls a “twisted mythos” that we know is wrong because (and I wish I was making this up), it lacks divine prophecy that would prove that the story was dictated from “outside space and time” by God Himself.
By contrast, Graham Hancock was more interested in talking about parallel universes and spirit beings who are not necessarily Fallen Angels but rather general interest otherworldly beings in a quasi-pagan, semi-animist view of shamanic transcendence. Hancock suggests that there is a spiritual force beyond our consciousness that is lying in wait to judge us after we die, “and therefore you have to be very careful” about how you live your life. It is somewhat surprising, though, that the bogeyman at whose windmills both Marzulli and Hancock tilt is Richard Dawkins, whom both condemn for being an atheist and a materialist in the face of what they see as overwhelming evidence for their (contradictory) views of the supernatural. This is doubly strange, first because it exposes the fact that neither is truly interested in ancient history or culture except as a wedge to lead audiences to a rejection of materialism (Dawkins is not an archaeologist), and second because Dawkins accidentally endorsed the idea of godlike ancient astronauts a few years ago!
Hancock asserts that Dawkins will have a “shocking experience” after death, and he demands to know what “experiments” Dawkins has run to prove that the afterlife doesn’t exist, in opposition to claims of near-death experience survivors, whose anecdotal reports Hancock pluralizes as data.
Church bashes Dawkins for marketing himself as a brand rather than conducting real research, and the irony becomes so thick that it threatens to suffocate the show. Each of Church’s guests markets himself as a brand, but no one seems to notice this. “He’s a huge industry,” Hancock says, adding that his “guru-dom” is meant to “persuade people” that there is no life after death. Church adds that Dawkins is a cult leader who uses no facts to support his diktats.
Hancock discusses his view of the ancient astronaut theory and ufology, and that “other entities” or “other intelligences” can be accessed more readily through hallucinogenic drugs that would allow us to enter “parallel” realms where our brainwaves can contact extraterrestrials that might not otherwise be able to cross the vast gulfs of interstellar space. I am not sure I understand how extraterrestrials would exist simultaneously in our universe and in a parallel universe for us to meet up. Is this sort of like cyberspace on a cosmic level? “This to me is a promising avenue for future scientific research,” he said. Later, he expressed amazement that some of these entities had the form of animals yet could speak intelligently—almost like they were figments of his own imagination!
Hancock further states his agreement with Ancient Aliens that humans do not generate their own ideas. He suggests that ideas instead come from (a) the non-Theosophical equivalent of the Akashic Record, a universal bank of knowledge; (b) the computing power of all sentient beings who in turn share a single super-consciousness, parts of which are channeled by our brains; or (c) past lives. “How much more interesting it would be to have many incarnations, as many ancient traditions maintain,” Hancock said.
All the quasi-spiritual talk bored me, not least because Hancock doesn’t recognize his own budding “guru-dom” as part of his rebranding as a warrior for the New Age.
Hancock asserts that a comet broke up and hit North America, ending the Ice Age almost instantly 13,000 years ago. This claim emerged a few years ago, but more recent research from David Meltzer earlier this year demonstrated that the comet theory—famously proposed by Ignatius Donnelly in his Ragnarok as an explanation for Atlantis and the Flood—is false. But interestingly, in adopting Donnelly’s claims, Hancock finally concedes that Fingerprints of the Gods was really about Atlantis by using the A-word to describe his lost civilization, something he once studiously avoided in an effort to be taken seriously. Today he calls his proposal “a lost civilization—Atlantis by any other name.” He says that the comet is the “smoking gun” that proves how the cataclysm that destroyed “that civilization” occurred. Hancock expresses an uncertain understanding of plate tectonics in asserting that the mid-Atlantic ridge might once have been Atlantis when North America was “pressed down” by ice, so the rising of North America after the melting of the ice led to the sinking of Atlantis, which Hancock cites to Plato, taking his account as truthful.
Hancock then mangles his Plato, falsely asserting that Plato said that the destruction of Atlantis caused humanity to have to “begin again like children” who remember nothing of the past. He is misremembering what the fictitious Egyptian priest supposedly told Solon in reference to the Egyptian records:
Whereas just when you and other nations are beginning to be provided with letters and the other requisites of civilized life, after the usual interval, the stream from heaven, like a pestilence, comes pouring down, and leaves only those of you who are destitute of letters and education; and so you have to begin all over again like children, and know nothing of what happened in ancient times, either among us or among yourselves. (trans. Benjamin Jowett)
Pointedly, the Egyptian priest meant that the Egyptians have never had to begin again and were never affected by deluges, natural disasters, or plagues, the sorts of things that stymie lesser peoples. Plato says nothing about the drowning of Atlantis having any impact on the rest of the world.
Hancock then endorses the zany ideas of Randall Carlson, whom he calls “one of the great unsung geniuses” of our time and a man who sees much of history as a reaction to meteor and comet strikes, like Immanuel Velikovsky but without all the hurtling planets. As I wrote in comments on an earlier blog post, “He’s a ‘geomythologist’ who was on the Joe Rogan Experience, apparently, and sells website subscriptions and ‘courses’ to his ‘students.’ He spent some cash on his website, though. The graphics look professionally designed c. 2008, with all the gradients, but, man, the writing is terrible. I read his post on the Holy Grail as a stone from heaven, and it was nearly incoherent, not to mention missing the most important source for identifying the Grail as a meteor: Der Wartburgkrieg 143, which I translated into English for my forthcoming book” on ancient texts used by fringe writers. The poem, often wrongly attributed to Wolfram von Eschenbach, who is actually a character in it, claims that a stone fell from Lucifer’s crown during his rebellion against God, and this stone became the Grail.
This was six hours of my life I will never get back. And soon I can add three hours of Wolter to the deficit!
10/9/2014 07:19:03 am
Jason, Hancock's interview "is to be listened to more than once"! Quit slacking off! :P
10/9/2014 08:20:28 am
When Graham Hancock first began claiming his drug-addled hallucinations were scientific evidence for the afterlife, I thought he was straight up joking. I guess it would pointless to try to engage him on what he means by "scientific," and what evidence he would accept that would disprove his theories (the backbone of all scientific inquiry).
10/9/2014 08:37:08 am
Actually, that quote from Timaeus offers an interesting, albeit coincidental, description of the collapse of Bronze Age Greece.
10/9/2014 08:56:35 am
The Greeks had some awareness of the Bronze Age collapse and recognized that there had once been early writing (Linear B) that could no longer be read, so it might well reflect this awareness of the end of what they called the Heroic Age.
10/9/2014 09:17:01 am
Wasn't Goliath a giant and David killed him with a rock slingshot in the Bible? Then there was at least one giant still around. Or was it that David was just a very short young man, and Goliath was just 7 feet tall? Some say he was 9 feet tall. I bet he was closer to 7 and David was also short, maybe 5 feet tall. So there was at least one giant left. Also there are very tall people today and they're considered giants. Do these older stories claim that the giants were much, much taller? No real evidence exists for giants taller than 8 feet something. I tend to thin that ancient people found mastodon or horse bones and mistook them for people bones, a leg here, an arm there, and said wow, a giant, it must have been 8 feet tall.
10/9/2014 09:24:30 am
Goliath was a "Little" Giant :)
10/9/2014 11:24:03 am
The Dead Sea Scrolls, Josephus, and some Septuagint manuscripts give Goliath's height as 6'9", but this was later edited to 9'9" in the Bible as we have it now.
Not the Comte de Saint Germain
10/9/2014 11:47:53 am
Sorry if I'm asking a question you've answered in previous posts, but how does the presence of Nephilim in Numbers 13:32–33 jibe with their implied destruction in Genesis?
10/9/2014 12:22:38 pm
It doesn't. Unless you remember that we have to guess which mention (if any) is meant to be literally descriptive.
Not the Comte de Saint Germain
10/9/2014 12:37:46 pm
Fair point, but I was thinking of how various commentators have interpreted those passages. Jason mentioned in his "Who Were the Nephilim?" post that Simeon bar Yochai supposedly endorsed one interpretation of the Genesis passage and cursed all other interpretations. Has one interpretation of the Numbers passage become mainstream in Jewish tradition like that? Have any fringe figures, or non-Jewish pre-modern writers, tried to explain the discrepancy in the course of their speculations? Like I said, Jason may have answered some of these questions before, but the Nephilim/Watchers/flood traditions are so numerous and confusing, I can't remember, or easily look it up again.
10/9/2014 12:47:37 pm
It's a great question. Some take them to be the same, thus proving some Nephilim survived the Flood, though this contradicts God's claim that "Everything on earth will perish" in the Flood save the Ark (Gen. 6:17) and makes a liar of Him. Others argue that these are new sons of angels spawned after the Flood, while still others prefer to claim that the two Nephilim groups are unrelated. Take your pick!
10/9/2014 01:37:29 pm
Your question is addressed here:
Not the Comte de Saint Germain
10/9/2014 01:58:14 pm
10/9/2014 02:40:22 pm
The interpretation that stuck in my head of how Nephilim is used in Numbers is that it was a descriptive term (men of great physical stature that were like Nephilim) instead of referring to actual Nephilim. The context is a false report by spies that that were using exaggeration to cover up their cowardice.
10/9/2014 02:47:25 pm
Genesis, on the other hand, is unclear about which of the giants, the sons of God, and the heroes of old are one and the same.
10/10/2014 11:29:54 am
T͏͉̮̭̯o̫͟ ͍̼͍͉͇ị͔̭̦̩͝n͈̝̬v̡̞͖̯̝o͉̪͍̜̦̲͡k̮e̛̹̜ͅͅ ͈ṭ̝͈̗̦̕h̟̺̳e̴̙̺̱̙ ͈͚̺h̛̗̘̱̦͇͔͇i͙̺̖͡v͚̮e̤͜-̵m͎͔̠̙͕̺͇͠i̛̥̻̳ṋ̙̙̤d̷̻͎̙ ̘͍̀r̹e̤̱̼p͘r̲͈̱͚̮̜e̜̪͕̹̞s̩̳͉̜̬̠e͔͙̫n̗̗̟̬͕͖t̩̹̫i̸̼̮̗̩ͅǹg͉͢ ̴̱̫̥̗ć̻̺̤̥̖h̖a̧͉̩̹̩̦̟o͚̠̘̠͉s̠.͍͎ͅ
10/10/2014 04:02:01 pm
In fairness to Hancock it should be mentioned that his conjecture that the destruction of Atlantis caused a world wide disaster is not just a perverse reading by him.
10/10/2014 04:15:28 pm
"It is important to remember that Plato intended Timaeus and Critias to be parts 1 and 2 of a three part dialogue with the third called Hermocrates."
10/11/2014 02:48:51 am
I agree that Cornford's speculation about what Hermocrates would talk about is debatable. However my main point was that Hancock's idea about Plato's Atlantis and its fall being a disaster that affected lots of other peoples is not his alone.
10/11/2014 04:34:09 am
I fully accept that Plato's Atlantis was a fiction and that Cornford thought that also. What I was saying was that Hancock's idea that in the dialogues the fall of Atlantis was supposed to be a disaster that affected much of the world outside of Atlantis is a notion that other people besides Hancock have.
10/11/2014 10:13:24 am
One should be equally wary of taking words of characters in Plato's dialogues to express Plato's intentions. He may or may not be speaking through his characters in a given instance - we just don't have a way of knowing for certain.
10/11/2014 11:17:29 am
It is not speculation in the slightest to think that Plato intended to write three dialogues it is supported by the dialogues Timaeus and Critias. Just why would Plato have had Socrates say that Hermocrates would eventually speak if he Plato didn't have at one time that intention? I see zero philosophical purpose in doing so. Further the dialogues involve 4 people and in the Timaeus it is made clear that all three who are not Socrates would speak and in Timaeus and Critias two speak so logically the third will eventually speak, aside from merely agreeing with the plain statements in both dialogues.
10/11/2014 11:51:56 am
There are other purposes beside philosophical: political, literary, etc. It's like asking why the Critias is unfinished (I had this conversation with someone on this blog). Did Plato change his mind, never get around to it, or leave it unfinished on purpose? We just don't have any way of knowing given the historical evidence we have.
10/13/2014 04:42:05 pm
Does anyone else find it curious that the interview with Wolter hasn't been posted yet?
10/13/2014 04:49:09 pm
I can see it there right now... not sure what you mean...
10/13/2014 05:55:50 pm
I don't know why but the last few times I tried to find it it wasn't showing up for me. Weird, but whatever.
10/13/2014 11:40:36 pm
It was just added last night. I think episodes are added when the next one airs, and there hasn't been a new one since last Wednesday.
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