• Part 1 • Part 2 • Part 3 • Part 4 •
Before I can begin reviewing America Unearthed host Scott Wolter’s new book, Akhenaten to the Founding Fathers: Mysteries of the Hooked X® (North Star, 2013), I must first confess my own contribution to the volume in question. It comes on the copyright page, where, as a result of A+E Networks’ efforts to force me to tell readers that my book about America Unearthed is not affiliated with them lest readers become confused, I goaded A+E into requiring Wolter to do the same in order to avoid charges of hypocrisy. Strangely, though, A+E didn’t require Wolter to place the disclaimer on the cover as they did with me, when they claimed that a copyright page disclaimer (which I always had in my book) was not good enough because readers never read that page.
On Wolter’s copyright page you’ll see an additional, ungrammatical sentence that caused a long delay in making the book available, as the publisher was forced to change the book before its original release date: “This book is not associated with America Unearthed™ television series not sponsored by, endorsed or authorized by A+E Networks®.” It’s quite the vote of confidence from a company Wolter previously praised for standing with him in the fight against academia.
With that out of the way, we can now start examining the book, which, coincidentally, begins with Wolter complaining at great length about nasty academics, starting with the very first line of the book: “So just what is going on with the academics anyway?” Wolter asserts that voluminous evidence of trans-oceanic, pre-Columbian contact exists, and he blames archaeologists for refusing to accept science (as though they were competing fields), which Wolter claims offers “hard” evidence of contact. He supports this by quoting Manly P. Hall, a twentieth-century mystic and Freemason conspiracy theorist, who, like Wolter, felt oppressed by academia. Hall believed, and Wolter has adopted, the idea that history is a conspiracy run by a nomadic herd of immortal elites, though Wolter replaces the deathless cult leaders with self-replicating Templars. As Hall wrote in 1928, history is driven by a secret esoteric doctrine and this doctrine “has been preserved in toto among a small band of initiated minds since the beginning of the world.” This, in a nutshell, is Wolter’s mission statement.
Wolter asserts that academics are working to support traditional religious hierarchies and power structures, who feel threatened by Wolter’s research. Wolter claims that having entered the “new day” which dawned with the “zodiacal calendar” on December 21, 2012, major cultural changes will occur worldwide, and he modestly suggests that while his book is “just my take on what likely happened, it is probably very close to the truth.”
Wolter then summarizes the major topics the book will discuss, which, by his own admission, include a recap of his last two books (The Kensington Rune Stone and The Hooked X®), additional arguments in support of his last two books, and finally some new material. He finishes the introduction by asking whether academics are merely obstructionists or whether they are serving a “larger” conspiracy to hide the truth and control perceptions of the past and thus humanity’s path to the future.
Please note: From here on out, I will be sparing in my use of direct quotations because Mr. Wolter is litigious (after all he had A+E try to sue me on his behalf), and I am staying far from the edge of fair use under copyright law. You’ll just have to take my word that I am paraphrasing accurately, and of course you are free to check any references with Wolter’s book. I will be going in order by chapter for easy reference.
In looking over the table of contents, I am immediately concerned that the book doesn’t seem organized to tell a coherent story; instead, it is divided into various areas of research with little obvious connection between them. I will withhold judgment until I have read further, but the contents imply that the book isn’t attempting to convince new readers so much as to reinforce for true believers what they already think they know.
But let me be plain: Scott Wolter is absolutely, ridiculously, obsessively devoted to his fantasy to the point that he believes, as we shall see later on, that Oreo cookies are Freemason-Templar codes that contain depictions of Jesus’ alleged tomb, the Talipot Tomb in Jerusalem.
How is one supposed to deal rationally with someone who sees Jesus Bloodline conspiracies in snack foods? I’ve heard of Jesus in a tortilla, but Jesus’ tomb in a cookie?
Chapter 1: New Kensington Rune Stone Evidence
Are there any words that make my heart sink faster than the title of this chapter? The trouble is that accepting the Kensington Rune Stone as genuine contributes almost nothing to the Templar-Sinclair-Holy Bloodline-Global Conspiracy unless one is willing to rewrite the stone to say what it does not say using a code whose only support is more conspiracy theories. On its face, the Rune Stone, putatively carved in 1362, talks of Norse, not Templars, who stopped to carve a stone while apparently in mortal fear of unnamed killers.
Anyway, Wolter’s chapter begins by changing what was just “probably very close to the truth” to simply “the truth” that he plans to reveal. He starts by offering new evidence for the authenticity of the Kensington Rune Stone (KRS), which only makes sense if one has already read Wolter’s preceding books. His first new evidence is two previously unpublished photographs of Olof Ohman, which… are described and then forgotten. Supposedly they prove that finding the Rune Stone made Ohman famous enough that neighbors wanted to pose for photos with him.
The second “new” piece of evidence was a hand-drawn map by Ohman, which Wolter found in a book he had owned for six years before opening. The map notes the location where the KRS was found, which contributes exactly nothing to the Templar-Sinclair-Bloodline myth. A third piece of evidence is a long, dull letter by Samuel A. Siverts which does little more than confirm the approximate date of the stone’s discovery, of little interest to the Templar conspiracy.
Or is it? Wolter is shocked—shocked!—to discover that Freemasons tried to buy the KRS in 1927, which confirmed to Wolter’s mind that the Masons were obviously trying to honor the “ideological followers” of the Knights Templar and their Gnostic belief system by (seriously) erecting a giant obelisk on the site of the stone’s discovery. Because that’s how they hide things. Wolter explains that he believes that KRS was shaped (badly) in the Golden Ratio of 1:1.62, or 1:2 (he is not exactly sure), and its twelve lines of text represent the twelve “primary” constellations of the zodiac. Wolter’s zodiac must have ancillary constellations from the separate universe he inhabits.
Wolter next asserts that the AVM on the KRS is the esoteric Freemason term AUM, which Wolter takes for an ancient secret symbolizing the Tetragrammaton but which is derived from the Hindu mantra “Om,” which was transliterated as “aum” in the nineteenth century, when esoteric Masonry adopted it. Indeed, it shows up in early Masonic dictionaries as a direct and explicit borrowing from Hindu practice, which they took over from early Sanskrit scholars, particularly Sir William Jones, who were already likening it to the Jewish Tetragrammaton before 1816. Helena Blavatsky took this over in her Secret Doctrine, and both sources contributed to the Masonic version, which indeed, was given the name of the “Secret Doctrine” by Frank C. Higgins after the original Masonic use of AUM as another name for God morphed into an esoteric doctrine modeled on Theosophy, clearly seen in the different uses before and after Secret Doctrine’s publication. Higgins believed that Masonry, rather than Theosophy, was the origin of all religion, and it’s fairly clear that he was attributing to Masonry claims originally made for Theosophy. His book, Hermetic Masonry, has a chapter devoted to “Theosophy and Masonry.”
Next, Wolter makes a loony pyramid claim. He says that if you draw a circle and quarter it, and inscribe an equilateral triangle in the northeast quadrant, the triangle will touch the circle at the “exact” position of the Great Pyramid of Giza. Oh really? Based on what line of longitude? What Wolter means is that the Pyramid is located at 30 degrees north latitude, which is not really amazing and also not exactly accurate. While the triangle will touch exactly 30 degrees, the pyramid is technically located at 29.98 degrees, which while a negligible half mile on the earth’s surface, is nevertheless slightly less than perfectly accurate. Wolter calls this “sacred geometry.”
What follows is numerology of the worst order, turning “Solomon” into a linguistic mixture of “Sol” (Sun), “Om” (midday sun), and “On” (rising sun) by assigning vowels to magic numbers and relating those to “eastern religions” based on nothing but a conspiracy theory about the ancient cultic origin of all faith. At any rate, this material, derived from Higgins, is all modern fakery and has nothing to do with ancient history. Nevertheless, Wolter turns to them to explain AUM as a 90-60-30 right triangle representing the sun’s passage across the sky. Contrary to Higgins, north of the tropics the sun does not hit 90 degrees in altitude (directly overhead).
This, Wolter says, is the only logical explanation for why Freemasons are interested in the KRS.
Wolter next repeats his 2009 “thesis” that the KRS is a land claim, which he says is proved by the fact that the stone does not say it is a land claim. This omission proves that it was conducted in secret, without papal authority, a claim whose historical grounding he sources to Laurence Gardner, the fabulist who believes Jesus was spawned by aliens who drank menstrual blood of genetically-modified humans as a substitute for a non-existent isotope of gold. In fact, Wolter’s bibliography contains no recent scholarship, relying only on outdated academic books from bygone centuries and recent alternative history books. His whole book has fewer notes and sources than just one chapter of one of mine.
Wolter reviews his claim that the KRS contains a code indicating that it hides the secret of the Holy Gail, which Richard Nielsen has rebutted at great length. Wolter relates this to the Merriam Park neighborhood, which a fan of his discovered while watching Wolter’s appearance in the 2009 Holy Grail in America documentary. The orthogonal streets can be drawn as two overlapping 2:1 rectangles, which Wolter reads as Jesus, Mary, and fetus. Any regular orthogonal street grid can produce the same shapes since they derive from starting with a rectangle and progressively subdividing it—the reverse of the Fibonacci series. The wilder numerological claims are too much to get into here; I will leave them for you to discover. But I will share one: One rectangle has 10 streets and another has 8. They share 4, so therefore that equals 22, the magic number of variant-A runes (Hooked X®) on the KRS! And you only have to double count a few! All of St. Paul is quickly folded into the “mystery” as a grand geometric puzzle creating a chalice (Mary’s womb) pointing at the KRS location, making the stone so incredibly important that no one ever thought to dig it up until some farmer stumbled on it.
Scott Wolter finishes by signing his name to a U-Haul truck whose side depicts the KRS and serves as a roving propaganda billboard for his ideas.
Chapter 2: Update on Artifacts and Sites
It became abundantly clear at this point that this “book” is less a book than it is the Scott Wolter newsletter, a series of largely unrelated material lumped together through the theme of the Holy Bloodline conspiracy. This chapter collects updates on Scott Wolter’s favorite anomalous artifacts, but mostly the material revolves around preservation issues, not interpretation and is therefore irrelevant unless you’re a Wolter super-fan wondering what he’s been up to in his spare time. Among the trivia of something like interest, Wolter found an 1888 print depicting Newport in 1730 and showing the Newport Tower as it looks today, prompting Wolter to argue that if the artist had old sources (obviously unproven) this casts doubt on the idea that Benedict Arnold built the structure since it wouldn’t have been a ruin in 1730. He neglects to note than in 1888, artists were under the spell of Carl Rafn’s pre-Columbian voyagers claim and therefore assumed (as Wolter does today) that it was pre-Columbian. No mystery here.
Wolter also claims, without a source, that the Chesterton Windmill, the likely model for Arnold’s, was converted to a windmill from an observatory. Without a source, this seems like back-construction of a claim to support the Newport Tower observatory theory.
He then claims that the egg-shaped stone in the Tower is a clitoris that achieves orgasm when the solar penis stimulates it. This, he says, is suppressed by modern scholars who fear human sexuality. Obviously, he has never been to a modern university or taken a literature class.
Following this he repeats most of the claims made in the Newport Tower episode of America Unearthed, which I dealt with then. To this he adds the claim that the Maya observatory at Chichen Itza is a “pre-Columbian analog” to the Newport Tower in that both have windows through which one can see Venus. This, he says, is “eerily” similar in that they are completely different in size, shape, and function.
Wolter cites Margaret Starbird—self-proclaimed inspiration for The Da Vinci Code—as explaining why the Newport Tower orgasms on the winter solstice. It is meant to parallel Acts 2:1-4, which Wolter declines to quote and seems to admit to not having read. In Acts 2, tongues of fire from the Holy Spirit descend at Pentecost and cause the Apostles to speak in tongues. The Tower, Starbird says, is similarly channeling the Holy Spirit through its solar alignment. Wolter calls this the likely “final nail” in the windmill theory of the Newport Tower, but Wolter specifically omits the fact that the events of Acts occurred at Pentecost because Pentecost occurs in the spring, not at the winter solstice, when the Tower allegedly achieves solar climax. Pentecost is not associated with astronomical alignments or phenomena.
Chapter 3: The Hooked X®
This chapter summarizes Wolter’s work on the Hooked X®, which I am sure all of you know about (penis of Christ, womb of the Magdalene with implanted fetus, etc.). Among the new claims, Wolter now suggests that REMAX real estate agents are Templar stooges because the A and X in REMAX cross, forming an upside down Hooked X®.
He also argues that because the sun illuminates the interior of the ancient site of Newgrange in Ireland at 9:00 AM local time, and Newgrange has X-shapes carved on it, it must therefore be connected to the orgasm stone at Newport, which also lights up at 9:00 AM local time. Of course, Newgrange was constructed so long ago that the earth’s axis has shifted some since then, and I can’t guarantee that the alignment would have occurred at precisely 9:00 AM when the site was new. 9:00 AM is, Wolter says, for some mysterious reason “critical” to Cistercian-Templar goddess-worship dualism. (Daylight or standard time? Is it 10:00 AM in the summer?) It seems to me he back-formed this claim from the Newport Tower, and that it has no basis in actual Cistercian practice. Wolter concludes the chapter by claiming that every medieval Hooked X® is associated with Templars or Cistercians, but this is circular logic; he just finished telling us that he attributed them to Templars and Cistercians based on his own beliefs.
Next time: New discoveries and more repeats!
• Part 1 • Part 2 • Part 3 • Part 4 •
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.
Enter your email below to subscribe to my newsletter, The Skeptical Xenoarchaeologist, for updates on my latest projects, blog posts, and activities, and subscribe to Culture & Curiosities, my Substack newsletter.
Terms & Conditions
Please read all applicable terms and conditions before posting a comment on this blog. Posting a comment constitutes your agreement to abide by the terms and conditions linked herein.