Review of Ancient Aliens S06E05 "The Satan Conspiracy," in Which TV Tells Us to Worship Satan
So that happened. I think my TV just told me to fall down and worship Satan. So, um, hail Satan?
Just two weeks after Ancient Aliens devoted an hour to telling us that the rebel angels who fell from heaven during Satan’s insurrection were evil aliens who corrupted the human genome and nefariously plot to control the world, this episode tells us that their traditional leader, Satan, is a pretty cool dude who just wants us to be happy and really cares about us. That’s right, Ancient Aliens has done a full Aleister Crowley and is embracing Satan as humanity’s true hero!
Seriously: Ancient astronaut theorists are now Satanists. Apparently they read Matthew 4:8-9 in which the devil shows Jesus all the kingdoms of the world and says “All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me” and thought “Good deal!”
Now, I don’t really care one way or the other since the character of Satan is an artificial construct composed from a range of ancient parts, but for a show—and a “theory”—that has been extremely careful to exempt Jesus from alien parentage, it seems odd to suddenly alienate a chunk of the audience by embracing Satan. Oh, well, William Henry wants you to know that Lucifer is love.
Ancient Aliens S06E05 “The Satan Conspiracy” opens with a brief discussion of the character of Satan and traditional Christian views of demonic possession and exorcism, with some footage of the expelling of invisible demons at what appears to be a deliverance ministry conducted by Bob Larson. Then the assembled pundits tell us that Satan was originally the angel Lucifer, the most beautiful of God’s creations, that he rebelled in his pride, and that he was expelled from heaven. This story is an old one, but almost certainly one that was assembled from various spare parts.
One of those parts was the Hebrew figure of Satan, the adversary, who in the Hebrew Bible is God’s agent, satan, and is sometimes a supernatural figure (as in Job and Numbers 22) and other times a general term for any human God uses to block the actions of another (as in 1 Kings 5:4). In Job and Numbers, this figure is an angel. In Zecharia 3:1-2, the Satan (“the Accuser”) stands at the right hand of the presiding angel in the presence of God and the heavenly host.
Another part was the serpent in the Garden of Eden, who tempts Eve into sin. The Hebrew Bible does not identify the serpent as Satan; that occurs only much later, taking shape in last few centuries BCE and taking canonical form in Revelation (20:2), in the New Testament, whose authors were all familiar with the newish fallen angels story.
A third part was the material in Isaiah (14:12-15) about the Morning Star falling from heaven, referring poetically in context to a Babylonian king, but applied as early as the New Testament authors to the emerging idea of Satan. Isaiah’s imagery is in turn likely derived from a Canaanite myth of a lesser god or hero who attempts to overthrow El, the supreme god, and is hurled back to earth, something on the order of the Greek Bellerophon attempting to conquer Olympus.
After this, some pagan elements fold in, notably Greek conceptions of Hades and Pan.
This composite figure, the devil, emerges largely thanks to Jewish apocalyptic literature. Satan does not appear in the apocalypse of Daniel nor is he a main character in the fall of the Watchers in the Book of Enoch (canonical only in Ethiopia), yet because Satan was among the heavenly host—one of the benay Elohim, the sons of God—he could therefore be interpolated into the apocalyptic narratives once the sons of God from Genesis 6:4 were firmly declared fallen angels around the time of the composition of the Book of Enoch. From Enoch’s chief naughty angels Samyaza and Azazel, our Satan gains his rebellious character and his punishment to be bound beneath the earth until the Last Judgment. The last chapters of Enoch, probably composed long after the first section on the Watchers, significantly replace Azazel with Satan, reflecting the transition and fixing it in time, around 100 BCE.
I could go on to chronicle the further development of Satan and the fallen angels in Jubilees and among the New Testament writers (2 Peter 2:4, Jude 1:6, etc.), but, really, what’s the point? Ancient Aliens wants us to believe that ancient texts are firsthand reports of events; so, does that mean that Satan flew down in his spaceship in 100 BCE, or that somehow no one thought to mention it for a few thousand years? And if you, as an ancient astronaut theorist, refuse to recognize the literary development of the Satan figure, how can you make a logical case of any kind for knowing the true character of Satan? Instead, they go down the garden path trod by Kirk Cameron where he attempted to divine the mind of God from the “perfect” shape of the banana, unaware of human cultivation of the plant.
I find it interesting that two weeks ago, in covering the Anunnaki, we were instructed that ancient texts had to be taken absolutely literally, particularly the Book of Enoch, yet here we are told we must take the Biblical texts symbolically and interpret the serpent as Satan and Satan as the victim of anti-satanic propaganda.
Some biblical explication occurs next, speculating on the character of Eve and whether she wanted to “mature” from God-imposed infantilism. William Henry tells us that Satan is our benefactor, a Promethean figure giving us much-needed wisdom. Frankly, though, with all the discussion of God and God’s judgment, and all the commentary from priests and ministers and professors of Judaic studies, this segment—and indeed the whole show—would not be out of place on a religious channel. This only reinforces my refrain that ancient astronaut ideas are meant to substitute for or supplement traditional religion in the context of modern science.
We next discuss Satan in the Book of Job, and William Henry mistakenly identifies the “divine bureaucracy” of God’s heavenly court as “advanced humans” rather than angels, which of course contradicts the literal reading of the Genesis creation narrative, the whole Hebrew Bible, and Enoch.
A quarter of the way through, no sign of the ancient astronaut big guns: no Giorgio Tsoukalos, no David Childress. They only start to show up in brief cameos, and they take a back seat to priests and ministers and religious thinkers mainstream and extreme.
We move on to recapping the same material from the Book of Enoch about the Watchers that we last went over two weeks ago, though the pundits seem to confuse the material in Enoch with that of Jubilees, for it is in the latter rather than the former that the Watchers originally came down for noble purposes before falling prey to feminine wiles; in the former, they were always horny for human women. The show asserts that Samyaza is Satan, and it attempts to claim the name Samyaza (“shem,” fame, and “azaz,” rebellion) is also given as Shaytan-i-el or something like that. (I couldn’t quite make out what they said.) Giorgio Tsoukalos, in his first appearance, suggests that there are many versions of the Book of Enoch, and I can’t tell whether he is referring to the various manuscript traditions of the book we know as 1 Enoch, or whether he is referring to 2 Enoch and the unrelated 3 Enoch, which are much less developed in discussion of the Watchers. Tsoukalos claims that Watchers are aliens because they came from the sky.
Now we visit Mt. Hermon, where Enoch placed the descent of the Watchers and their unbreakable oath to rebel against God. He did so not because Satan actually fell onto the mountain but because it was long the cult site of Baal, where his palace was thought to stand, and a holy place by which Canaanites swore unbreakable oaths. Thus was it appropriate to put demons atop Baal’s palace and have them swear a mockery of pagan holy oaths.
Scott Roberts asserts that the angels provided “forbidden” knowledge and that “cross-culturally” many groups claimed that such knowledge was forbidden by god(s) and that the deliverers were “all condemned for it.” Oddly, the cultures don’t seem to agree on what was forbidden. Enoch singles out metallurgy, astronomy, and cosmetics as particularly awful, but the Greeks were content with claiming only that Zeus tried to hide fire. That’s really more of a physical item than a body of knowledge, though. Native Americans told similar stories of Coyote or Raven and fire. I guess you could extend this to Gilgamesh losing the plant of immortality to the serpent, but that was less the gods’ fault than his own clumsiness. I’m not really sure how to extend this further, for the idea of condemning a god for passing on knowledge to people isn’t really a widespread motif. No one spanked Osiris, Glooscap, Viracocha, or Quetzalcoatl for their efforts. (Osiris was killed, but not for sharing knowledge.)
Philip Coppens asserts that civilization is the gift of Satan, and we hear from another “thinker,” Kathleen McGowan, that we should praise Satan for his forward-thinking approach. David Childress tells us (again) of the supposedly parallel story of the Anunnaki, whom he claims were “half-god, half-man and came down from the stars.” All of that is false. Not a shred of evidence exists for that, for he is confusing them with the fish-men of the late Oannes myth. He then claims that Anunnaki instructed humans in civilization, which is again Oannes. He then says that the Anunnaki were reptilians with narrow eyes—again not found in any cuneiform text—and he asserts that the “Bible” calls the “Watchers” serpents, which is utterly false since the Watchers don’t appear in the Bible at all, let alone as snake-people.
William Henry asserts that Satan was a Seraphim (which is not canonical but rather a later gloss) and that Seraphim means “giant serpent.” More literally it means “burning ones” and is usually used to mean actual serpents. Only once is it applied to angels (Isaiah 6:1-3), and there it’s likely reflecting the golden serpents of Near Eastern cult practice. It’s only with Enoch that we see these inflated into heavenly dragons.
Now, halfway through the show, we decide to adopt John Bathurst Deane’s Worship of the Serpent, which attempted in the early 1800s to claim that all mentions of serpents in pagan myth were all mistaken worship of Satan from a corruption of the Genesis narrative. Henry says Quetzalcoatl is Satan because he’s a serpent.
Prometheus is held up as a parallel story of a noble fellow unfairly punished for sharing divine wisdom. Viracocha is claimed to be Lucifer on account of being a bringer of light, and they charmingly claim he is seen in “Inca” sculpture all while highlighting the Staff God on the decidedly non-Inca Gate of the Sun at Tiwanaku. (The Staff God may or may not be an early form of Viracocha.) The Egyptian god Set is claimed to be Satan because he ruled over darkness, which takes at face value late Egyptian myths. The earlier Set, still remembered in rural Egypt as late as Greco-Roman times, was not evil.
In short, the show managed to discover the concept of the culture hero, a well-known anthropological and folklore type, who is sometimes human and sometimes divine but always bringing the arts of civilization. But they somehow want us to be in awe of this fact and see it all as connected to Satan, whom they apparently venerate as a hero. How did they miss Osiris? He was a culture hero who ruled over the underworld—just like Satan! Oh well, we’re supposed to think that the devil is the “good” character, according to Philip Coppens, David Childress, and Erich von Däniken, and therefore to venerate Satan as our savior—“the god of hard work [and] the opportunity to do things ourselves,” as Childress says. I knew Ayn Rand’s Objectivism seemed suspiciously satanic.
Erich von Däniken claims that Prometheus, stealing fire, is Lucifer because Lucifer is Latin for bringer of light. Never mind that Lucifer was only invented by that name when Jerome translated the Bible into Latin…
In order to explain why Satan is seen as evil rather than as our savior, the show introduces the concept of demonic possession, which it treats—thanks to Adam Blai, for-profit demonologist, and Bob Larson, exorcist—as actual possession by supernatural creatures. I do not understand how this relates to aliens in any way, unless these are the same aliens that mind-project scientific formulae into human brains. Somewhere, though, we’ve lost the thread of aliens in the show’s quest to titillate us with Satan and ask us to fall down and worship him. Larson tells us that he enters a metaphysical realm to battle demons, and the show suggests that somehow our brains invite demons from an extraterrestrial dimension, something I guess like H. P. Lovecraft’s brain-swapping Great Race. But even the show can’t really sustain this as more than a throwaway line at the end of a segment that’s all about supernatural evil.
We conclude with a discussion of Revelation and the rise of Satan at the end of time. The show asks us to reject the literal interpretation of Revelation (there’s a first!) and instead asks us to imagine that this is rather a description of an upcoming return of extraterrestrials in a “galactic war […] waged over the ultimate fate of mankind.” In this, Satan is our hero because he stole UFO secrets to help humanity fight back against the Anunnaki, the Elohim, and that arch-fiend Yahweh. But at least it restores humanity to the center of creation. McGowan finally acknowledges that Satan isn’t one coherent figure but many, but Henry tells us that “in reality” Satan truly cares about and loves you. “Satan’s not such a bad guy,” Childress states. Satan, the narrator says, might simply seem evil because he’s angry at us for not respecting his contributions. Remember: Satan is love.
I can’t believe that I just sat through an hour of primetime major cable network television asking me to worship Satan. Where the hell is Pat Robertson when you need him? Seriously, Harry Potter novels get burned because religious extremists think they lead kids to Satan and network TV is routinely blasted for being satanically liberal, and nobody cares that the History Channel is all but advocating Satan worship?
10/29/2013 05:47:17 am
It's a little strange that Von Daniken can be both a conservative Christian and argue that Satan was right. Maybe he sees both positions as rebelling against authority? More Catholic than the pope, but also open-minded enough to love the devil?
10/29/2013 06:37:56 am
Frankly, we have no way of knowing what context Ancient Aliens excised his comments from. I'm just going to guess that like most ancient astronaut speculators, he's fluid enough to provide an ad hoc embrace of whatever weird idea the producers throw at him. Satanism? Sure, why not? That said, you're probably right that he's sympathizing with rebellion against the hated Powerful People.
10/29/2015 03:17:51 am
This guy is a die hard Christian that is pissed off because some guy made some awesomely questionable points about what he learned when he himself was in bible school. Not one episode of ancient aliens tells u to worship Satan, haha
8/1/2018 05:48:40 am
I enjoy Ancient Aliens and while they contradict themselves, Childress always “has to wonder...” and sometimes they really get ridiculous. I cannot help thinking it is not correct to disregard what Childress says about “Annunaki” being false due to zero shredded evidence, or saying things are incorrect because they are not in the bible.
Bluejayway: most interesting, friend. I am unsure who brought up the Annunaki or why you have to turn a consideration of AA into an attack upon the Bible. Considering that AA certain has a bias agenda, did you ever ponder whether AA is a collection of stories written down to keep people in line—or, get them to form a new line?
10/29/2013 07:37:21 am
"... but the Greeks were content with claiming only that Zeus tried to hide fire."
10/29/2013 09:01:49 am
I usually throw H2 on to fall asleep so rarely see full episodes, but does AA purport to be giving a unified ancient astronaut theory, or do they acknowledge it as differing and sometimes conflicting theories?
10/29/2013 09:48:51 am
That was the absolute oddest of the odd the programs have become. Even the wife who enjoys this series said after that she was confused by this one more than usual. How they can keep the series going is beyond me, they do have new ad spots for the "
10/29/2013 11:16:11 am
I am surprised that there was nothing in the show about the Yazidi, who are a religious sect in Northern Iraq that venerate Shaitan (the Islamic name for Satan). They essentially believe that when Shaitan was ordered to bow before God's new favorite creation, man, and refused, he was not expelled from Heaven (a la Satan/Lucifer) but became the new patron of mankind. It turns out the order to bow was just a test that all the other angels failed. This line of belief was heavily influenced by Zoroastrian tenants regarding Mithra as Ahura Mazda's chief lieutenant. In the Medieval period the Yazidi were often accused of being devil worshippers by Muslims and Crusading Christians, which they kind of were. It seems like Ancient Aliens' laziness in any actual research deprived them of a prime bit of evidence to argue for a conspiracy hiding Satan's awesomeness. Of course there's also the fact that the whole idea of this episode specifically and the series generally is stupid.
10/29/2013 11:20:18 am
I forgot to add in that the Yazidi appear in the "The Horror at Red Hook" by HP Lovecraft as the devil worshipping Yezidi.
10/29/2013 11:30:26 am
At this point, I think it's a given that they don't actually bother researching anything. I agree that the Yazidi would have been a good addition to the show, but that might have required buying stock footage or (gasp!) conducting research in Iraq. Cheaper to just pretend it isn't there.
10/29/2013 12:24:57 pm
I fell asleep watching this episode but can't wait for the comic book conspiracy edition, coming soon.
2/21/2014 07:20:32 pm
Interesting... BUT how can one (You) provide were, or how; this tribe had its huge Influence on the -solo-Sky god & the Zoroastrian beliefs??..........
10/29/2013 01:01:27 pm
10/29/2013 01:08:46 pm
Gah! I really need to proof read. There is no edit button!
10/29/2013 01:24:16 pm
Mandalore and Jason,
10/29/2013 01:56:43 pm
Look up McGowan, married to Coppens?
10/29/2013 02:00:52 pm
It's apostolic succession.
10/29/2013 03:02:56 pm
I didn't know about this part of the Bellerophon that he tried getting a place at Mt Olympus. However, the literature looking into what the Morning Star (Helel ben Shacher) character was from Isa 14 compares it to Phaethon, at least when considering Greek myths. But then again, the literature only agrees on the level of disagreement.
10/29/2013 11:28:28 pm
Sorry for the confusion... I was referring just to scaling Olympus, though many have speculated that before the Archaic revision of Greek myth his story might once have been about attempting to seize a place among the gods. G. S. Kirk, for example, emphasized the transgressive nature of Bellerophon's attempt to cross the boundary separating men and gods and thus become, in essence, a god himself--the ultimate in forbidden fruit for a Greek (though not a Roman).
10/29/2013 05:36:05 pm
The closest I ever came to Satan worship was playing the tabletop RPG Demon: The Fallen published by White Wolf games. The background story is a pretty intricately detailed combination of Biblical/Torah based sources as well as extra-canonical writings like the Book of Enoch. There is also an attempt to smooth out some of the bumps in in the narrative by adding in details based on inference and whole-cloth.
10/29/2013 06:48:34 pm
I never actually played Demon, but I read through most of the core book and the Earthbound book. I liked them both.
10/30/2013 02:40:24 am
I'm reminded of the scene in "Prophesy" where Satan (played by Viggo Mortensen) snarls, "I love you more than Jesus."
10/30/2013 02:03:26 pm
This program gets more pathetic with each episode. Those appearing on it must be mortified to have their names associated with such trash television. The only exception being Bob Larson, who is a notorious media hound. And should anyone want to know more on him, just visit my website and keyword his name on it. He'd be laughable were it not for the fact that he has so many people duped.
The Other J.
10/30/2013 05:35:12 pm
"a full Aleister Crowley"
11/3/2013 06:46:53 am
I don't know which is more infantile, Ancient Aliens or programming like Ghost Adventures. The best way to ignore such nonsense is not to watch it.
11/6/2013 03:53:48 am
The point of this episode is, if god and satan where a alien then we have to forget what the Bible says. Is all just history and nothing to do with religion. Just another story that got told in different ways and point if views.
12/5/2013 06:21:23 am
I believe the aliens are the fallen angels mentioned in Genesis 6. (Sons of God) Told of in Ezekiel of the vehicles used (UFOs) I think Aliens are in the Bible, and therefore, not nullified. But what AA does: is twist the truth, just like Satan...deceiving many people into believing that Satan is the Father, just as Revelation will foretell. It's Biblical that many of Gods children will be fooled for their lack of knowledge, the knowledge of God, not this knowledge of lies.
11/23/2013 02:34:18 pm
This might be the dumbest thing I've ever heard.
ancient aliens are devils advocate or even worse devil worshipers...they thrive in speculation and questions,they have no facts and everything that they cant understand ...is from other worlds.the fact is YAHWEH IS NOT LIKE THEM NEITHER DO HE THINK LIKE THEM.....thus they will never get answers.
2/6/2014 12:10:05 am
You go girl!
Smedley Butler Jr.
2/13/2014 11:04:51 pm
I'm not religious, but that episode of AA shocked me. I've suspected for a long time that the ancient astronaut theory is an attempt by the power elite to form a global religion that supersedes all existing religions. Especially over the last few years, we have people such as former astronauts, politicians and ex-military telling us that we've been visited by ET and that there is a cover up by our governments. TV shows about ET abound as do movies. Heck, even the Pope's astronomers (I never knew the Pope had astronomers) tell us that they would welcome ET. It almost seems to me as if this is all part of a greater agenda. Maybe I'm just paranoid and it's all about TV ratings.
Smedley Butler Jr.
2/14/2014 12:23:40 am
"....plethora of other examples' I could "cite...."
Smedley Butler Jr.
3/1/2014 06:21:56 am
Screw Satan. I trust no one but those few people that, over many years, have proven to me that they are trustworthy. If Jesus, Satan or ET were to knock at my front door tomorrow morning, I wouldn't shoot them, but I wouldn't invite them into my home either. Trust must be EARNED OVER TIME. To operate otherwise in this world is an indication that one is a chump.
Smedley Butler Jr.
3/1/2014 06:22:35 am
To hell with Satan. I trust no one but those few people that, over many years, have proven to me that they are trustworthy. If Jesus, Satan or ET were to knock at my front door tomorrow morning, I wouldn't shoot them, but I wouldn't invite them into my home either. Trust must be EARNED OVER TIME. To operate otherwise in this world is an indication that one is a chump.
5/9/2014 12:34:56 am
5/25/2014 12:19:50 pm
Jason: Thank you so much for doing all of the research on ancient texts and pointing out the glaring discrepancies of this program. Ancient Aliens is widely watched, but is has NO editorial continuity and is poorly researched. In my opinion, at times they get close to the truth, then they totally blow it, like with this episode. The viewer should be totally confused now whether the aliens are the good guys or the bad guys. These AAT's refer to the Bible when it serves their purpose, then do their best hatchet job on it when it doesn't suit their 'theory.' Let's just pray for discernment when the time comes, if it ever does.
Great to find your blogs. I like your critical thinking. I have had a good laugh to, as I see these charlatans and their absurd theories having their pants pulled down LOL
8/18/2014 02:36:10 pm
Imagine the gnomes at the Ancient Aliens studio bustling about their libraries and preferred internet sources in search of facts and information, cherrypicking from what they find, then, outline glowing before them, scripting what is most sensational or best represents the flavour of the week,
8/22/2014 05:49:19 am
Man...parts of this review were absolutely hilarious. I get a big chuckle out of this line for some reason: "Henry says Quetzalcoatl is Satan because he’s a serpent." Another absolute stinkburger of an episode.
12/2/2014 03:32:19 pm
IT'S A TRICK!
12/10/2014 05:04:29 am
Many thanks, Mr C. We've just got this series of AA in the UK and without repeating the comments already here, it really has gone past the point where it's too daft to even laugh at. At the risk of sounding patronising, the "ordinary" guys who fall for this I've come across, never have a specialisation, or skill in the areas that overlap the topic. They tend to be free to engage in confirmation bias: I've got a bit of theology and ethics so even if I forget details/exact references, I can see the red flags miles off with the pseudo religious babble. A medic would with the stuff on implants. A geologist would snicker almost continuously. AA-ites go first and foremost to the bank of people who will always confirm what they think: that everyone in mainstream academia is trying to fool them. The Childress/ Tsoukalos (et al) Kabbala have realised they can pretty much say what they like because that's what the audience expects them to champion above everything else. I once told an AA-ite that they seemed to me a bit like early church era Gnostics but with science instead of the supernatural.... only to have it explained to me that my eyes hadn't been opened to the "real" world and that was why I had such a closed attitude: most people aren't capable of dealing with the truth.... !
3/12/2015 10:20:19 pm
Actually, I disagree with the comments stating that AA is contradicting itself. I'm not saying that I necessarily agree with their point of view, but what they are suggesting rather is that there were two warring factions. That the fallen angels/Satan might've been the ones trying to enlighten humans with Satan possibly as their leader. And on the other hand we have God (extraterrestrial creator of our race likely by means of genetic manipulation) and his angels/army trying to keep us ignorant and from reaching our full potential. So to say that first AA claim that fallen angels are evil and later claim they are good is wrong. In the episode about fallen angels they claim that god/creator and his angels cast down an opposing faction and that these fallen angels were
11/25/2015 08:42:50 pm
Seems like everyone has their own opinions. I like facts, something tangible. I found evidence in paintings done around 1200 - 1600 BC. The most significant painting is known as madonna and saint giovannino and visoki decani monastery. These painting use very traditional ancient style, it uses scotomisation to tell the viewers some hidden messages.
M a t
6/5/2016 12:26:08 pm
I was really shocked after watching this AA episode... I looked up in google Is AA satanist?, and i found your article. Great article and I agree with you. Very dangerous épisode that can influence non intelligent people. I can't believe this episode is shown on a public channel!
I would say that AA is satanist in the sense of attributing the act of creation, manipulating DNA, etc. to "aliens." Also, AA can influence both intelligent as well as non intelligent people--however one wants to determine who is who. I mean, after all within very narrow parameters Richard Dawkins is intelligent but he has offered an AA style of concept to explain human origins even if as an option.
9/24/2016 04:23:00 am
I watched the episode and they did not at all say to worship Satan.
11/6/2018 12:08:46 pm
hey im a satanist I checked out your site would love to have you look into me. If you ever need it my number is either 5856109488 or 5853652025. Look forward to talking to you
9/30/2019 08:38:58 am
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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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