I regret to inform you that after I posted my review of the first half of Alan Butler’s and Janet Wolter’s America: Nation of the Goddess, the publisher, Destiny Books (an imprint of Inner Traditions), deleted the galley proofs from their online review copy page on Scribd. As a result, I lost access to the text before I had a chance to finish writing my review of the book. (The text was only accessible online and could not be copied or saved, as per the publisher’s security settings.) However unlikely a coincidence it is that review copy access was revoked the moment a bad review was posted, the galleys may have been taken down because the book was about to go on sale. Unfortunately, that means that I am not able to go back to the book for specifics in reviewing the sections I had previously skimmed in preparation for writing about the book in sections.
The following discussion is based on some notes I made and my skimming of the chapters. If it should happen that I get access to a copy of the book sometime in the near future I may revisit this with additional details, if any of the claims deserve further discussion.
Part Two: Washington, D.C.: The City of Isis
Chapters 10-14 of the book discuss Masonic symbolism in the city of Washington, and this material is exceptionally familiar since it is the same set of claims that Alan Butler discussed with Scott Wolter on America Unearthed S02E07, and the same material that Butler had previously explored in previous books on Freemasonry and conspiracy theories. Accordingly, Butler and Wolter reiterate claims that Washington, D.C.’s layout was based on the imaginary prehistoric unit called the Megalithic Yard and then offer conspiracies about the Washington Monument, which they see as having astronomical and astrological significance. The duration of the section covers claims that various buildings in Washington are aligned to astronomical events that symbolize important dates. Even if we accept all of these claims at face value, they would only suggest that Freemasons who were involved in the construction of these buildings used astronomical knowledge known at the time to symbolize dates important to them in that era. There is no evidence that this has any genuinely ancient connection to prehistory, any more than Caesar’s Palace and the Luxor in Las Vegas imply Roman and Egyptian cults in Nevada.
Again, this material was all discussed on America Unearthed, and I explained back then why it was wrong. Before that, the material had appeared in Butler’s earlier books, and before that in Graham Hancock and Robert Bauval’s Masonic conspiracy book, and before that in dozens of earlier Masonic conspiracy volumes. There is nothing new here.
Part Three: New York: The City of Osiris
Chapter 15-21 shift the focus to New York City, where material from America Unearthed is again recycled in order to suggest that Manhattan is aligned in the sacred geometry of Egypt. This is based on the (very) rough correlation of three obelisks in the city with the belt stars of Orion. As I showed in my review of America Unearthed S03E10 when the show proposed this “correlation,” the math doesn’t work. The obelisks do not exactly align with the belt stars, and the obelisks chosen are not the only obelisks to be found in Manhattan.
But the real centerpiece of the book is the two authors’ efforts to tell us that the all-American sport of baseball is actually an occult effort to worship the Earth Goddess. According to the authors, the baseball diamond is an outgrowth of the threshing-floor, a known location of occult worship. This gets a little complicated, and it’s a shame that the publisher deleted the galley proofs so I can’t use the authors’ own words. The argument is essentially this: Solomon built his temple atop an ancient threshing-floor (2 Chronicles 3:1), beneath which Enoch deposited hidden wisdom, according to the Masonic rite of the Royal Arch of Enoch, a claim ultimately derived from the Watchers myth. (Butler proposed earlier this year that Oak Island was a threshing-floor Masonic temple, too.) So, because the threshing-floor symbolizes the Temple, and Europeans may have played some of the precursors of baseball on threshing-floors, then the baseball diamond is, by the transitive property, symbolic of Solomon’s Temple. Now, since the authors believe Solomon was a goddess worshipper that makes the Temple and baseball diamonds sacred spaces of the Goddess. Oh, and the threshing-floors became Greek theaters, so Hollywood is in on the Masonic/Venusian/goddess conspiracy, too. The threshing-floors, they claim, similarly were the model for Grange halls, in order to enact pagan goddess worship rites that Butler ties to Neolithic worship ceremonies at various Western European stone henges.
The authors assert that the baseball diamond is square because it evokes the Masonic square and compass. Both, in turn, they assert, represent the Goddess herself, with legs spread to expose her fecund vagina, which is being pulled open by her grasping hands. (They add that the “G” in the Masonic symbol doesn’t stand for God by Gaia, the Earth Goddess.) The Venus Families are apparently quite big on fertility symbols, hence their love of phallic obelisks, symbolically impregnating the Goddess wherever they thrust. This makes the Venusians about 70% less honest than the ancient Greeks, who carved statues of giant penises (herms), and the Romans, who decorated with metal and ceramic penises.
The book concludes with speculation on the role of the Venusians (identified as the Illuminati) and the importance of the Two Pillars in Venusian and Masonic thought. Butler and Wolter link the Two Pillars from Solomon’s Temple to the two pillars of wisdom carved by Enoch and assert that all of them are the same as the obelisks that sat outside Egyptian temples. This might have been mildly useless speculation until Butler and Wolter assert that the old World Trade Center’s Twin Towers in Manhattan were meant to evoke Freemasonry’s pillars, which is why evil Muslims tried to attack Freemasonry through flying planes into the “Enochian” or “Solomonic” constructions. I will repeat this: The authors assert that Al-Qaeda attacked New York because of an occult anti-Masonic agenda tied to the Watchers and the Pillars of Wisdom. Butler and the two Wolters (Scott joins in the speculation here) heavily imply (but never state explicitly) that Muslims are trying to suppress the Goddess out of patriarchal gender politics that have aligned them with the Catholic Church and set them at odds with the Freemason-Venusians, for in their view masculinity and oppression are as firmly linked as femininity and freedom. All three authors point-blank assert that One World Trade Center, popularly called the Freedom Tower (which they wrongly say rose up “almost as soon as the rubble could be cleared”—you know, 2006-2014, right after the 2001 attacks), is a symbol of the resurrection god Osiris and “looks uncannily like a modern version of an obelisk.”
Thus, for them Washington, D.C. is an image of Isis laid out on the ground, and New York the god Osiris. Consequently, Freemasonry’s occult origins in Egyptian religion are recapitulated in the United States—a “shocking” conclusion that Butler already laid out (by his own admission) in the book he recycles here, City of the Goddess: Freemasons, the Sacred Feminine, and the Secret beneath the Seat of Power in Washington D.C.
In sum, the book is a steaming pile of recycled material from Butler’s previous books and from Wolter’s husband’s TV show and books, and adding to them only two new claims: that the Grange, being modeled on Freemasonry was actually the purest expression of prehistoric goddess worship in the modern world, and second that baseball diamonds are occult temples to the Earth Goddess. The books is Robert Graves’s White Goddess rewritten by idiots who literalized its evocations of the poetic and are so consumed in their paranoid conspiracies that every symbol becomes sexual, and every sexual symbol evokes the primacy of the feminine. The authors even compare monotheism to an abusive marriage, and they conclude that the Goddess is reasserting herself again, to the benefit of all humanity: “She is once more coming into full focus in the minds of humanity.”
Weirdly, they don’t seem to have much more to say about the feminine or the sacred, or to care much about it beyond the smugness of thinking one has discovered a thrilling truth that will overturn dictatorships and religions and right the wrongs of history. “The time is out of joint,” Hamlet says in Hamlet 1.5, “O cursèd spite, / That ever I was born to set it right!” Our authors think themselves a sort of Hamlet, destroying the old order by threatening to bring down the Church, but our happy warriors are no band of brothers shedding blood for a gallant cause. Instead, to evoke yet a third play, theirs is “a tale / Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, / Signifying nothing.”
But don’t take my word for it. Butler and Wolter write that they are very concerned about how patriarchal powers will take their revelations about the Goddess: “The evidence of such a great conspiracy as is proved by our findings will not find favor everywhere, and it is certain that it will be used by pressure groups as supposed proof of devil worship and subversion of humanity that suits their purposes to propose.” Imagine how much power and influence they imagine themselves to have. I shudder to think of what they see when they look in the mirror.
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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