Yesterday I began my review of America: Nation of the Goddess, the new book by Alan Butler and Janet Wolter that accuses the Grange of being a pagan cult dedicated to suppressing the truth about Jesus and worshiping the Earth Goddess. I must admit that I am having difficulty reviewing this book because it contains no source notes, and the bibliography contains virtually no sources, meaning that the book is simply a series of opinion-based assertions predicated on the reader’s familiarity with and acceptance of Alan Butler’s earlier books and Scott Wolter’s TV show. As I continue my review, I’m going to need to be a bit more selective in my coverage since I realized that the book has 21 chapters, and yesterday 2,000 words covered only three.
This chapter covers the Merovingian conspiracy theory famous from the Da Vinci Code, which asserts that the Church killed Dagobert II in the early Middle Ages because the Merovingians knew that Jesus was Mary Magdalene’s husband and the father of her children, the true kings of the earth. The Merovingians, being the descendants of Christ, are therefore Butler and Wolter’s fetish object, and they want to look for the last Merovingians, presumably so they can either worship them or help them rule the world. Butler and Wolter tie this to the quest for the New Jerusalem in the Book of Revelation, which he says is “connected” to the Book of Enoch (because the Watchers must appear in all fringe history books) “even though their authorship may be divided by over a thousand years.” To take the most extreme dates for both texts, the divide is only about 400 years; if we prefer the more recent date for Enoch, 200 at best. Anyway, Butler and Wolter claim, on the authority of Christopher Knight, that Newgrange in Ireland was built by the Watchers and is one of the primal origins of the goddess-Mason-Venus cult. They also claim that Masons had Enochian rituals in 1740, before the recovery of the Book of Enoch in the late 1700s, and they show laughably little insight into how the Book of Enoch was transmitted to Europe, mistaking the arrival of the complete text in the 1700s for ignorance of its contents beforehand. The material appeared, in distorted form, in medieval Jewish texts, and fragments were preserved in George Syncellus’ work, available in the West from 1652, for example.
They talk about conspiracy theories around the Crusades, designed to acquire Enochian treasure from Jerusalem, and the other standard Templar conspiracies, but Butler (acknowledged as the guiding hand here) claims that this was all in service of creating the free enterprise system, clearly the goddess’s own preferred economic system. (Any change that makes society more like our own is necessarily good and part of the goddess-worshipers’ plans, whereas anything that deviates is retrograde suppression of such plans by the forces of evil.) They conclude with the foundation of the Templars as exemplars of the new world being born.
This chapter describes the Talpiot Tomb conspiracy, well known to readers of this blog, which alleges that a tomb in Jerusalem held the bones of Jesus. Butler and Mrs. Wolter disagree with Scott Wolter in denying that the skull and crossbones had anything to do with pirates until Robert Louis Stevenson made it so, instead arguing that the symbol always represented Jesus’ corpse rotting in a bone box. They claim that the Templars were privy to the tomb and passed on its secrets to the Freemasons. They argue that the Gnostic gospels are the true account of Christ and Mary Magdalene’s undying love, that Solomon worshiped the Goddess in the form of Astoreth, that the Ark of the Covenant (the Templar treasure) was proof of the Goddess’s worship, and that Judaism was inspired by Akhenaten. The last point they cite to Scott Wolter’s Akhenaten to the Founding Fathers, closing the circle of stupid. They then falsely assert that the Book of Enoch says that the Watchers told Enoch to build two pillars of wisdom, and that the Templars sought this wisdom. No version says that. Read it yourself; the text, first given in Josephus, isn’t in the Book of Enoch and has nothing directly to do with it.
It has always seemed likely to Alan that the “pillars” were probably the distorted and misunderstood name given to scrolls, which may have been placed in cylindrical containers to protect them, as indeed was a regular practice.
Butler, who never bothered to read the original texts (which I have helpfully provided) isn’t aware of the deep origins of the myth in the Babylonian legend of the pre-Flood wisdom tablets, so he’s free to reconstruct the story from the source he does know, the late Masonic version of the legend. He attributes to the wisdom that the Templars found in these texts the math skills needed for Gothic architecture, dismissing the claim that contact with Islamic scholars and architects could have contributed skills or knowledge.
This chapter attempts to link the Templars to the Freemasons, which I laid out in my article on the same. Butler (again the acknowledged force here) adds nothing to the earlier claims except to tie them to the theme of courtly love, arguing that all of chivalry and the medieval veneration of the Virgin Mary were outgrowths of suppressed Great Goddess worship, which he and Wolter suggest was the first and predominant human religion. Again, this suggestion of a prehistoric gynocentric world is a controversial claim famously advocated by Robert Graves but taken by our authors as a fact so obvious it requires no support. Butler also falsely asserts that Chretien de Troyes created the legend of the Holy Grail, which almost certainly had earlier antecedents. Butler asserts that the Grail symbolizes stars near the constellation Virgo and thus the goddess. He says this is based on a text by Marcus Manilius (Astronomica 5.234-250, not that Butler would tell you), referring to the constellation Crater (the Cup), located near Virgo and said in the poem to represent the cup of Bacchus (Dionysus), though the more common version relates it to Corvus and Apollo (Eratosthenes, Catasterismi 41; Hyginus, Astronomica 2.40). The authors conclude that the constellations movements in the sky were a mystical symbol of the Goddess and that this transferred through Rosicrucian beliefs into the occult layers of Masonry.
After this we move on to trying to connect the Templars to the so-called Venus Families. This begins with an account of the end of Templars, and Butler and Wolter assert as fact that the Templar fleet departed from La Rochelle in the middle of the nights, speculating on King Philip’s shocked response. The fact is that there wasn’t a fleet, and the story springs from a lie told under torture many months after the fact. Anyway, the Templars supposedly entered into the protection of the Venus Families, eco-friendly and libertarian Goddess worshippers, whom Butler had previously referred to as “Star Families,” “The Continuum,” “The Illuminati,” or “The Golden Thread” before falling under the Wolters’ spell. (Given all those names, forgive me if I just call them “Venusians” for short, since that both reflects their Wolter-given name and the Theosophical/Watchers origin that also gave rise to the Venusian space men of the 1950s, who share more than a little in common with these folks.) Despite failing miserably at their stated aim, these families, the authors believe, seek to establish libertarianism around the world by destroying oligarchy and dictatorship. They are also acolytes of Enoch and the Watchers. They identify Thomas Jefferson as a Venus Family member, and they assert that the United States as the ultimate embodiment of Venusian ideals, created to free the Venusians from the corruption of evil old Europe.
This chapter is about the Kensington Rune Stone, mostly because this is a Wolter family project, so it’s sort of a requirement. It has no immediate connection to the preceding chapter (indeed, transitions are almost nonexistent in this book), and it lionizes Scott Wolter for discovering the “truth” about the stone and accepts the claim that the hoax stone is not only a medieval artifact but contains a secret code from the Knights Templar claiming all of the Midwest for the Venusians. Along the way the authors note that Scott Wolter’s TV show brought the two authors together. They then repeat Wolter’s false claim that Thomas Jefferson ordered Lewis and Clark to find Templar/Welsh/Venusian survivors among Native American tribes. No such document exists to support this claim. The authors say that many of their ideas, and Scott Wolter’s, come from Freemason William F. Mann (not to be confused with William J. Mann), a fringe writer who became friends with Wolter at a conference in Nova Scotia in 1999—either contradicting Scott Wolter’s repeated assertion that he had no inkling of any conspiracy theories about history before he began working on the Kensington Rune Stone in 2001 or proving that everyone who befriends Mr. Wolter becomes a conspiracy theorist.
Anyway, Butler and Mrs. Wolter say that they gleaned knowledge from Mann’s novel The 13th Pillar, which they claim contains hidden truths about Freemasonry that can’t be given in nonfiction form. It’s warmed over material from Frederick Pohl’s old claims about Sinclair visits to Native Americans, dressed up in Andrew Sinclair’s rewrite to sub in Knights Templar.
In this chapter the authors decide to rope in Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis (1627) as a secret blueprint for the Venusians New World Order. The authors assert that Bacon’s book is nonfiction masquerading as an allegorical novel, with the inhabitants of the idyllic Bensalem being none other than the Venusians. Even though the novel omits many of the major claims the authors attribute to the Venusians, notably the worship of the sacred feminine, they claim the omissions were done on purpose to hide the truth. Thus, what confirms their story is evidence and disconfirming evidence is also made into confirming evidence! In this line of reasoning, they conspiratorially assert that the colony of Virginia was named not for the Virgin Queen but for the Earth Goddess as the constellation Virgo.
The authors also falsely assert that the Venusians and academics are working together to suppress the truth, the former to hide their power and the latter because they refuse to “accept any alternatives to the Christopher Columbus view” of the discovery of America. As I’ve shown countless times, this hasn’t been the case since the 1830s, but who’s keeping score? Textbooks of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries routinely ascribed the discovery of America to the Vikings, even before physical evidence was found at L’anse-aux-Meadows. Just one example should suffice: Charles H. McCarthy, writing in 1919 in his History of the United States, a then-standard Catholic school textbook, stated: “The first white men who ever came to America were Northmen. Our continent was discovered through accident in the year 1000, by a Northman named Leif, who was on his way to proclaim the Christian faith in Greenland.”
The authors conclude the chapter with conspiracies about Venusian influence on Colonial Williamsburg (via the Rockefellers) and the Declaration of Independence. They argue that the Venusians have “unbelievable patience” in waiting for their utopia to come to pass, seeing as it hasn’t for the past 500 years in which the authors feel they’ve been trying to create it. One might think that would mean they don’t exist, but who am I to judge?
This ends the first part of the book. The second part is on a completely different subject, Isis worship in Washington, D.C., so I will save that for the third and (I hope) final part of this review. I should be able to summarize it faster since it’s comprised largely of recycled material from America Unearthed.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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