• Part 1 • Part 2 • Part 3 • Part 4 •
Even though Scott Wolter’s Akhenaten to the Founding Fathers: Mysteries of the Hooked X® is a scant 298 pages—including index, notes, etc.—it has more than enough evidence-free claims to fill a book three times its size. It’s fortunate then that Wolter simply assumes we believe his assertions and does not attempt to explain his claims or weave them into a story. Had he done so, we might be looking at a book on the order of the Mahabharata in size.
But what you really want to know about is the Oreo cookie conspiracy. You have to wait a bit. He makes it the nearly final revelation of his book.
Chapter 8: The “C” Document
I have to amend my earlier thought partially. It turns out there was good reason for Wolter to try to turn Quetzalcoatl into a white proto-Templar in the last chapter. In this chapter he introduces a metal disc of unknown manufacture bearing the name Quetzalcoatl in cursive writing, which the photograph clearly indicates to be English cursive secretary hand (as opposed to Roman cursive, used in the Middle Ages and before), meaning it was written sometime after 1500. The owners of the artifact show Wolter a piece of paper bearing what they call “Theban,” the secret code of the Templars. Wolter informs us that the owners refused to give him all of the details—for secrecy’s sake—dribbling them out over four years, to which I would add “as they invented them.”
Theban is an actual code script, but it is not Templar since it first appears in 1518, presumably printed from a code devised somewhat earlier.
But first we look at some apparently fake carved stones with Phoenician and Hebrew letters and what Wolter calls an image of a “vulva,” which we can add to the list of the conspiracy’s sexually-oriented material.
Back to the Theban script on a paper called the “C” Document. Wolter immediately identifies more than one Hooked X® on the document, blissfully unaware that (if genuine) the little hooks on the letters (not just the X’s) are the result of the motion needed to make the ink from a quill start to flow to form the strokes of the letters.
There are immediate problems: The paper is not medieval, and the hoaxers—I mean “owners”—say that the copy they showed Wolter was “redrawn” from an earlier text. Also, the translator never states the language supposedly coded in the document. “Theban” isn’t a language, so there must be some underlying language being translated. (Later we learn it is supposed to be written in Latin, though Wolter never sees the Latin text, only an assertion that the English version is based on Latin.)
An accompanying map (also “redrawn”) Wolter declares Old French through Google Translate. He translates “La Mere de Deus” as “Mother of Two,” which he interprets speculatively as Jesus and John the Baptist, though I’m guessing that “Deus” was meant not as deux (two, from the Latin duo) but as the Latin-derived Dieu (God, from the Latin deus), which in Old French was sometimes Deu or Deus, thus making the conventional phrase Mother of God.
But why waste time on this? Wolter examined only digital photographs of the “redrawn” map, and the picture in the book shows a very clearly modern image with sloppy twenty-first century handwriting and a design tailor-made to appeal to Wolter’s biases: it contains a Star of David near Nova Scotia and there is a hook on the first X. Without a genuine medieval document to examine, this is nothing but hot air.
Wolter and Steve St. Clair travel to Panther Mountain in the Catskills near Woodstock to look at “Egyptian” style carvings, since Wolter is such an expert on Egyptian art. Miraculously, wherever they went they stumbled across one ancient carving after another—Egyptian, Carthaginian, and more—all in a crude style best described as “postmodern homage to ancient art” to judge from the photographs. Trans-Atlantic travelers were such terrible artists. He claims to be unable to date the stones because they were weathered before they were carved, but he says that they felt old to him. To me they look like modern fakes that have been polished down with other rocks to achieve an “old” patina. Amazing, isn’t it, that archaeologists can take months or years to find artifacts, while Wolter finds one after another on the surface in an afternoon—but no trace of any other indication of occupation but chicken scratches on rocks.
OK, so you’re all wondering what’s in the “C” Document: Would you believe that by sheer coincidence the owners of the “C” Document, who brought Wolter to Panther Mountain discovered that the “C” Document describes in a first-person account how an original Templar dug up a treasure (unnamed but obviously the Ark of the Covenant) and brought it to—of all places—Panther Mountain (right here in upstate New York!) in the twelfth century? Surely it is beyond coincidence that the hoaxers—I mean “translators”—traveled to Europe and “discovered” a document that conveniently makes their hometown the center of a mysterious conspiracy to hide the Ark of the Covenant, and that they won’t let anyone see the originals, only translations of copies of copies.
I’ll be more impressed when someone finds evidence of a conspiracy that makes a place other than their own hometown or ancestral village the navel of the world.
(Of course, I can’t say for certain that the owners of the document are behind any hoax, which is why I am not using their names; rather, for legal reasons I will state that the circumstances behind the story raise suspicions and my expert opinion is that there is no evidence to suggest authenticity for the alleged carvings and documents.)
Wolter, to his credit, does not endorse the “C” Document but wastes two chapters on it anyway. He states his belief, though, that it is too long and complex to for anyone to bother hoaxing, which means that there are some Hitler diaries I could sell him.
Chapter 9: Montreal
At this point, is there even a point in repeating the same criticisms? Wolter goes to Montreal and sees more crosses and AVMs and ignores the French Catholic origins of the city and instead speculates about Templar cults. He sees the Hebrew name of Eve in the city’s Notre Dame basilica where he also identifies a painting of the Virgin and Child as Mary Magdalene and secret son; thus, he concludes that this suggests that a code is telling us the Magdalene is the “Mother of All” the Bloodline rulers. Whatever; the basilica only dates from the 1870s, and most of the art is from the 1970s, restored after a fire.
He, on the advice of Joe Rose, next identifies the letter M as the thirteenth letter of the alphabet and thus as symbolizing Mary Magdalene as the thirteenth apostle. I guess it depends on the language and time period; M was the twelfth letter until “j” was added after 1524. Therefore it can’t be a secret code before then, and it never is in Latin, where “j” doesn’t exist. Ethnocentric idiots that Wolter and Joe Rose are, they assume the English alphabet today is universal. Anyone depicted with hand with fingers spread apart but the middle and ring fingers together is therefore making a secret “M” for Mary, Apostle 13. It is actually close to the natural position the un-tensed hand opens into when fully extended, as observed by Renaissance artists.
Wolter therefore concludes that a small dot beneath the M in AVM on the Kensington Rune Stone is a secret acknowledgement of the Mary-13 code.
Next up is the New Hampshire “Mystery Stone” that Wolter says was discovered in 1972 and later changes to 1872. One of the dates is a typo in this largely un-copyedited book. The correct date is 1872. In 2006, the New Hampshire state archaeologist said that the egg-shaped stone was likely a modern fake, drilled with modern tools. Being polished stone, however, there is no reliable way to date it, leaving room for suggesting an otherwise unknown civilization with high technology. The art style, though, is decidedly Victorian and incorporates perspective on the teepee not found in art before the Renaissance.
Wolter repeats his conversation with Steve St. Clair about the Nova Scotia flag, and he adds that the Canadian maple leaf has 12 points, making it symbolic of the zodiac. No, your eyes do not deceive you: There are only eleven points. He’s counting the stem as twelve. The Canadian flag and its leaf were created by George Stanley—an academic and a historian—from the Royal Military College flag in the mid-1960s, and the design was debated and approved by parliament. Were they all in on it? In the 1960s? If so, doesn’t that mean that academia is part of the conspiracy, in which case Wolter’s argument folds in on itself?
Wolter then informs us that the “C” Document story doesn’t quite check out, that one of the central figures never existed. But he salvages this through—of course—another conspiracy. This time, the owners of the document say that they received a threatening letter warning them not to publish its secrets. The author of this letter, the missing central figure, has been scrubbed from the internet by the federal government after entering witness protection (but of course). Wolter confesses that this is plausible to him because his own father was a secret agent for the U.S. government and therefore, I suppose, part of the conspiracy to hide the truth.
At the end of the chapter he states that he doesn’t know if the “C” Document is real and, despite working with its owners for four years, wishes he could see the original text to prove it actually exists. I am beginning to see now how Joseph Smith managed to get away with never showing anyone his golden tablets. I’ll give the document’s owners credit for this: If a hoax it be, they did a brilliant job parlaying contact with Wolter into a financial windfall by using him to get on the alternative history circuit. If it is a hoax, they have strung Wolter along for years by dribbling out a little bit of “new” information every few months to keep him working to promote their ideas among his friends and colleagues. And now they have a book that Wolter is promoting in this book and, presumably, on America Unearthed.
Chapter 10: The Missing Piece: Jesus
Wolter starts this chapter by warning readers that he will be offending conservative Christians among them by questioning the traditional story of Jesus. He immediately blunders by telling readers that Akhenaten, one of the first monotheists, practiced “Monotheistic Dualism,” and he again confuses Ra with Aten. Akhenaten’s Aten cult had no dualism in the Gnostic sense. I will amend this by noting that “dualism” has several meanings. Akhenaten was a dualist in the sense that his universe was organized around two foci: the Aten and the king, heaven and earth. Since Akhenaten was legally a god, his world was not technically monotheistic but rather had two gods, and of them, only they were allowed to worship one another. This is not what Wolter means by dualism (if he can be said to have a coherent concept of it), for he means dualism to refer to unions of opposites: male and female, god and devil, light and dark, etc. Akhenaten saw himself and the Aten as being on the same page, with no opposition.
He then cites Ralph Ellis as his inspiration for understanding the true nature of Jesus. Ellis believes that Jesus was an (unrecorded) all-powerful king of Judea (covered up by the Romans) as well as King Arthur of the Britons. From Ellis’s King Jesus Wolter takes the century-old claim that history is governed by astrology, arguing that Jesus is symbolized by a fish because he was born to inaugurate the Age of Pisces. There is nothing so stupid that Wolter won’t adopt it uncritically as a revelation. He doesn’t quite understand the precession of the equinoxes as well as Graham Hancock (he confuses procession and precession at times, though this may be a copyediting error), and it’s clear he has derived all of his claims secondhand.
Things do not improve when he claims that Akhenaten recognized the change from the Age of Taurus to the Age of Aries (centuries before the invention of the Babylonian astrological zodiac, which originally made Aries a human, not a ram!) and used the crook and flail to unify the two religions—crook for sheep and flail for bulls. For Wolter, religions are keyed to constellations and every time a new constellation takes over the spring equinox, a new faith pops up to worship it. Sadly for Wolter, the crook and flail date back to the old god Andjety, even before the worship of Osiris, long before the Age of Aries and therefore have nothing to do with any “transition.”
He then adopts Sigmund Freud’s view that the Israelites adopted monotheism from Akhenaten, and that is as far as his understanding of the development of Judaism extends. His knowledge of Christianity is still worse, for he asserts that the Bible states Jesus was educated in Egypt, and he cites an 1890 book as his source for asserting Jesus traveled to India to learn “pure monotheism” from the Buddhists. Wolter wants to rewrite the history of Jesus without ever reading the Gospels, as he himself admitted in this book he has not done. Obviously, there is nothing in the Gospels about Jesus studying wisdom in Egypt or meditating with Buddhists; Wolter is utterly wrong that most “Christians seem to agree” that he did. Wolter is referring, without knowing it, to Matthew 2:13-23, where Joseph takes Mary and the infant Jesus to Egypt to escape Herod. At Herod’s death, God calls them back to Israel. Although the exact date is not specified, Jesus is still a “child” (Matthew 2:20), most likely no more than 2-3 years after his birth (Herod died in 4 BCE), and therefore was not training as Wolter asserts to be a high priest of Amun. He was a toddler, if we take the story at face value (which of course we cannot since it is a myth, and Wolter himself cites Ellis as claiming the whole Biblical narrative is a coverup).
I can’t bring myself to detail the stupid assertions Wolter borrows from Ralph Ellis, but they culminate in Wolter stating that the John the Baptist was a pharaoh bridging the Aries-Pisces divide, that Jesus was the descendant of the “matriarchal” (he means matrilineal) line of Akhenaten, and that the Freemasons secretly venerate John the Baptist as Jesus’ real father, and they are thus “analogs” for Akhenaten and his son, Tutankhamun. From this, he asserts that the Holy Bloodline perpetrated “the greatest plan of subterfuge in history,” to which hated “scholars” are blind: they infiltrated the Catholic Church, organized the Crusades, and founded the Cistercians and the Templars so they could seize the Temple Mount and retrieve lost technology, ancient scrolls, and Jesus’ bones. Wouldn’t it have been faster to infiltrate either the Byzantine government (rulers of Jerusalem down to the 700s) or the Caliphate (rulers thereafter) for quicker access? Byzantine architects built the Islamic Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount; surely they could have retrieved their technology then with a minimum of fuss.
Based on the Mary-13 code Wolter imagines in the alphabet, he claims that the Templars were suppressed on October 13, 1307 to send a signal about the Holy Bloodline. He then repeats his now-familiar complaint that the Templars fled to North America and spent more than 300 years establishing the United States (to which he now adds “and Canada”) as the “New Jerusalem.” He asserts that George Washington is a lineal descendant of Jesus and therefore became president as an assertion of Bloodline power. He asserts that the Age of Aquarius began on December 21, 2012, was known to the Maya, and inaugurates a new age when cosmic forces compel the war between traditional Christianity and Wolter’s—I mean the Templar-Freemason conspiracy’s—alternative Christianity to be resolved by venerating Mary Magdalene.
He then asks us to assume that the Talpiot Tomb in Jerusalem belonged to Jesus, which I have previously discussed when he made this claim on America Unearthed. He repeats all of that now, including the allegation that Byzantine-style crown on a Crusader-era coin is really a depiction of Jesus in the Talpiot tomb. He says that the only logical conclusion of a vaguely X-shaped carving on the alleged Jesus ossuary is that “Egyptian Monotheistic Dualism” is thus represented, tying Jesus to Akhenaten. Wolter then claims that the Templars entered the tomb, saw this X (and similar ones on other ossuaries) whose lower right legs have a curve to them, and therefore used them to create the “Hooked X®.”
Since Wolter acknowledges in the text of the book writing this chapter after March 2013, he therefore should have been aware of my criticisms of the Crusader coin, but he does not acknowledge them; instead, he cites only supporting blog posts by other writers, suggesting this is important confirmation that he is on the right track.
Anyway, he now asserts that in addition to the Hooked X®, the Cross of Lorraine, the number 13, M-shaped hand gestures, the colors red and white, the double-headed eagle, and more, the Templars also added an inverted V with a circle beneath as yet another secret symbol of their Bloodline Mysteries, this time representing the pediment of Jesus’ Talpiot tomb.
This is where Wolter asserts that Oreo cookies are conspiring against the Truth.
According to Wolter, the Oreo cookie was designed in 1952 by William A. Turnier, whom he says he is unable to prove was a Freemason. I’ll waste my last direct quotation to let Wolter tell you himself how Oreos are obsessed with Jesus:
The design includes twelve Maltese-style Templar crosses, likely symbolic of the twelve primary constellations of the zodiac, surrounding the Cross of Lorraine, which is attached to an oval shape encircling the Oreo name. Opposite the Cross of Lorraine is a stylized AVM. In this case it must surely be referring to Mary Magdalene. The “Double Stuff” [sic; it is actually officially Stuf] Oreo cookie [features] the Cross of Lorraine and the Talpiot chevron-circle design […]. The symbolism [represents] Templar knights surrounding and protecting the Cross of Lorraine, the bloodline descendants of the Royal Family through time.
He says that because these cookies were marketed before the Talpiot Tomb’s discovery, this is therefore proof that Nabsico was aware of the tomb from esoteric sources. He also suggests that since Oreo cookies look like coins, they represent the Crusader coins discussed above; because they are black and white they also represent the black and white robes of the Templars. Wolter humbly concedes that he is “probably right” about all of this speculation.
The Oreo cookie, invented in 1912, uses flowers and leaves on its cookie, not Templar crosses, as the original blueprint for the Oreo shows. The “crosses” are clearly botanical.
As you can see from the older Oreos below, the design is stylized from the original wreath of laurels on the first Oreos, the upside down triangle representing one of the ties or links holding together the original wreath. The twelve botanical icons carry over from the twelve bunches of laurels in the preceding version.
The “Talpiot Tomb” version is simply a further stylization of the original.
The central icon is actually the Nabisco logo, which originates in a fifteenth century printer’s mark, which in turn originated in a cross-topped royal orb, a standard part of medieval imperial and royal regalia. We know this because Adolphus Green, the chairman of Nabisco in 1900, showed everyone exactly where he got the idea for the logo from when he created it. Are Venetian printers in on it, too?
Wolter asked Alan Butler to help, and Butler suggested that Oreos were named for an abbreviation for the Latin phrase ossuarium regina eternus omnipotens, which he translates as “Tomb for the Eternal and All Powerful Queen,” but which Butler has screwed up by failing to match the Latin cases and genders correctly. Wolter fails to understand that Butler made this up and therefore takes it as proof that the “Queen” can only be Mary Magdalene.
Sadly, though, I can’t completely debunk this silliness since Nabisco does not know where the Oreo name came from. It’s probably just a made-up word meant to be short enough to lend itself to imitating earlier rival Hydrox.
Wolter speculates that Mason hidden-tomb rites reflect the Talpiot tomb and that early Christians were duped into believing in the Resurrection by Joseph of Arimathea hiding Jesus’ body in the Talpiot Tomb. He says that the St. Louis Gateway Arch is a Mary Cult symbol because its keystone is shaped like an equilateral triangle with one point facing downward, thus representing her womb (which I guess makes the arch her legs, and: ick). He concludes his discussion by admitting that he is repeating “facts” about Mary Magdalene from Ralph Ellis’s 2011 book on her, in which Ellis claims she was the Princess of Provence and the founder of the House of Orange. He says that Ellis’s work, arguing for a global conspiracy to suppress the truth that Jesus and Mary were reigning monarchs over much of the world, made good sense “to this pragmatist.”
I get that Wolter wants badly to be able to believe in the magical power of Christianity without having to believe in miracles, but he does not recognize even the most basic conventions of scholarship or what constitutes historical evidence. How can I even begin to detail his ridiculous forays into Renaissance art criticism (he sees the Magdalene making “distress” signals in some art) and other speculation that exists only because of earlier speculation, itself based on lies?
Wolter accuses the current pope of being a Mary Magdalene cultist because he made the “M” hand gesture, which Wolter said is an unnatural hand position. It is not unnatural. It’s how my hands extend when relaxed, and I have to put in effort to physically separate the middle and ring fingers. Maybe it’s just my Italian fingers, or maybe… I carry secret Jesus-Templar genes!
Wolter concludes by asserting that the Age of Aquarius will lead to full equality for women, derived from the Roerichs’ Theosophical prophecies. The Roerichs, you will recall, were twentieth-century gurus who believed that World War I marked the start of the Hindu Kali Yuga and who also believed they were in contact with extraterrestrial beings from another dimension. Wolter does not realize this and instead proclaims that the change in zodiac sign on the vernal equinox will somehow change human belief structures and pave the way for a New Age future of full equality for women because… the water-bearer is, I don’t know, an esoteric symbol for the womb bearing the Pisces child or some such nonsense.
The book then concludes with a 22-page outline of the entire book, summarizing each point in order. I guess I could have just used that and saved myself the trouble of reading.
In sum, Wolter makes two key errors: First, he assumes that the Kensington Rune Stone (and thus his home in Minnesota) is the center of world history and therefore reads all history through its lens, seeking out matches for its every aspect. Absent this assumed centrality, the conspiracy vanishes. Second, he is unconsciously seeking historical precedent to justify his New Age sacred feminine religious beliefs and is trying to wrap New Age mysticism in ancient clothes, much as some advocates of Wicca tried to paint it as descended from pre-Christian paganism. So, in essence, he’s no different than the ancient astronaut theorists seeking the gods in extraterrestrials; he just wants a goddess, and he would rather she be in the form of a nebulous gyno-centric mysticism rather than actual divinities.
As for the book, it’s an incoherent jumble of half-digested, Wikipedia-sourced claims that lacks anything approaching structure or argument until the last few chapters, when Wolter abandons virtually any connection to fact and instead delivers extended speculation almost untethered from the reality anyone outside the alternative history bubble would recognize.
Remember: He is confident about rewriting the history of Jesus and admits to not having read the Bible. That about says it all.
• Part 1 • Part 2 • Part 3 • Part 4 •
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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