L. A. Marzulli Turns Against Republicans Over Taxes, While "Jacobin" Magazine Blasts Jason Reza Jorjani for Space Aliens, Racism, and Postmodernism
Well, that didn’t take long. After a love affair with the Republican Party and Donald Trump, Christian Nephilim theorist L. A. Marzulli has turned against the party whose leader he recently said was God’s own choice for governance, and for the most banal of reasons: money. Marzulli is upset that Congress doesn’t work long enough, and when they do they find new ways to burn money. Specifically, Marzulli claims that “I’m furious about this as I pay upward of 50% of my income to the Feds and the state,” and he doesn’t want to keep paying. He had hoped that the Republicans would give him tax relief by cutting social programs. You know, like Jesus would. I have to ask: What is he doing wrong to pay so much since the average American has a total tax burden of less than 30% (excluding sales and property tax), according to The Motley Fool?
I’ve been trying to figure how one would end up paying 50% of income in taxes. The highest marginal tax rate in the U.S. is currently 39.6%, on income over $415,050. Let us assume a hypothetical taxpayer with a taxable income of, say, $500,000. The federal taxes for our hypothetical taxpayer would be about $154,170, or an effective rate of about 31%. State tax rates are much lower, with the highest being California at 12.3% for incomes over $526,444, with an additional 1% surcharge for incomes over $1 million. It is 11.3% for our hypothetical $500,000 income. Marzulli lives in Malibu, California, according to state records. Now, since California rates are marginal, that means that the effective state tax rate is much lower. Perhaps Marzulli is also counting property taxes, even though they are local and not state or federal? If so, he would need extensive real estate holdings to generate enough in property tax. Obviously, lower incomes would have much lower tax rates, and capital gains have lower rates as well, making it very hard to get up to 50%. If he’s paying 50% of his income in taxes, it would seem like he would have to structure his business as self-employment rather than putting his business into a corporation, meaning that he’s paying self-employment taxes and other business-related taxes out of his income instead of separating personal and business monies.
Based on this, I thought I’d see if Marzulli had a corporation, and it turns out that he does. According to the California Secretary of State’s office, Marzulli incorporated himself as Spiral of Life, Inc., and he is the sole officer of the corporation. It is headquartered at an address matching what Zillow.com says is a 2,700-square-foot private residence estimated by Zillow to be worth more than $2,500,000, down from a pre-crash estimate of $7 million. According to Los Angeles County assessment records, the house was purchased in 1987 for $190,000 but is given on official listings at just 1,300 square feet based on an assessment survey conducted in 1998. The house was placed on the market at $1.2 million in 2012 but was not sold. For Marzulli’s privacy, I won’t give the street address here. The California Secretary of State has online filings for Spiral of Life only back to 2016, when records state that it was first incorporated, but Marzulli’s blog first mentions it in 2009, when he said he lacked the money to fund its publishing deals.
In short, for Marzulli’s statement about his tax liability to be true, he would need to be making a lot of money and have a lot of assets to generate that kind of tax. It seems that Marzulli has inadvertently told us quite a bit about how much it pays to be a religious extremist selling the faithful fantasies about gay cannibal giants.
Even if Marzulli is exaggerating for effect, it’s clear that a whole ecosystem of rightwing “thinkers” agree that selling fake history with a side of polemic is a recipe for power and profit. In the new issue of Jacobin magazine, there is a piece about the fake history and postmodern irrationalism of the so-called alt-right, focusing first on the ancient astronautics of Jason Reza Jorjani, the doctor of philosophy who joined forces with white nationalist Richard Spencer to launch altright.com. “In one instance, he suggested that Yahweh and Allah were actually space aliens who enslaved their believers and tricked them into committing genocide. He has openly characterized certain high-ranking Nazi officials as akin to supermen with psychic powers.” Yup, all of that is in his book Prometheus and Atlas (2016) as well as in speeches he has given to promote rightwing causes. Some in the alt-right are ancient astronaut theorists now, and I’d love to see how the Moral Majority and the Christian Coalition manage to accommodate that alongside their hypocritical insistence on punitive Christianity.
Last month Jorjani advocated for an “Aryan Imperium,” which is only slightly more extreme than the “Aryan World Order” he praised in his 2016 book.
I call attention to the Jacobin article by Landon Frim and Harrison Fluss because it was written by some of Jorjani’s onetime classmates from SUNY Stony Brook, both now professors of philosophy, and their piece echoes my own concern that the media and polite society are too quick to dismiss extreme beliefs as aberrations that will somehow go away if ignored. This is not the case, and the authors note that wishing away Donald Trump failed to overturn his rejection of reality.
Second, Jorjani’s work participates in a significant philosophical tradition that combines antisemitism with occult beliefs. The long historical association between irrationalism and anti-Judaism suggests that they emanate from a common worldview. After all, the mystical, neo-pagan writings of Dietrich Eckart inspired much of the Third Reich’s racial policy. Houston Stewart Chamberlain, Hitler’s friend and mentor, proclaimed that “every Mystic is, whether he will or not, a born Anti-Semite.”
Jorjani’s opposition is different than that of the traditional anti-Semite because he opposes all Abrahamic faith (including Christianity) as derived from Judaism and therefore corrupt and evil, a product of a genocidal space alien who stands against humanity’s ability to achieve the status of Nietzsche’s übermenschen.
The authors echo the feelings I had in reading Prometheus and Atlas, particularly in noting the author’s fascination with Nazi philosophy, his embrace of the worst tendencies of the Ancient Aliens school of history, his embrace of the paranormal, and his postmodern attack on the Enlightenment and objective reality. At times, their review is virtually point by point identical to the one I produced for the Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature, and Culture, which is due to be published in a few months’ time. I am glad that my impressions have now been confirmed by accredited philosophers!
I urge you to read their article because it makes important points about the multiprong attack on the Enlightenment, and indeed the very idea that we can agree on an objective description of reality, that is currently occurring from the academic left and the white nationalist right because neither side likes that facts fail to agree with ideology.
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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