From time to time even fringe writers can surprise me, and that was the case with “ethno-psychologist” Christine H. Hardy’s new book, The Wars of the Anunnaki: Nuclear Self-Destruction in Ancient Sumer (Inner Traditions, 2016). This is not because the book has any shocking new proof of ancient atom bombs but rather because it carries an inscription dedicating the Sitchin-inspired text to “Martin Luther King and the courageous and daring people of Selma’s march.” This must be a first: comparing, implicitly, advocacy of fringe history to the Civil Rights Movement! Will wonders never cease? Hardy additional thanks Linda Moulton Howe for her assistance, which must be the first time that Martin Luther King, Jr. and Howe have ever received shout outs at the same time.
Hardy, who published primarily in French before this millennium, claims to hold a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology, but she does not provide information about this degree. I could not find a dissertation for her in ProQuest, but who knows what her name was or what country she resided in when she earned her degree decades ago.
In terms of the book itself, I probably don’t need to offer any more of a review than to note that it begins with a list of abbreviations used for ten (!) of Zecharia Sitchin’s collected works, forming as they do the bulk of what passes for “research.” The volume is clearly derivative of Sitchin’s faulty ideas, and it does little to build anything new atop the ruins. However, because of this false start, Hardy asserts that various Mesopotamian figures are identical with those of other cultures: Noah with Xisuthrus, Marduk with Ahura-Mazda, Heaven with Nibiru, Tiamat with Eve, etc. Tiamat the chaos monster with Eve? Sure, why not. We’re making stuff up anyway.
The book opens with the claims, aired last year on Ancient Aliens, from John Brandenburg that Mars had been destroyed by nuclear weapons. Hardy then explains that this is an important fact for understanding what the Anunnaki did to the Earth. She believes that the Anunnaki were “Giants,” the Sons of God and Nephilim of the Bible, and yet also Yahweh and the Elohim. Hardy makes no effort to defend her summary of Zecharia Sitchins fantasia of prehertoric divine family drama among the Babylonian gods, nor does she evince even a passing familiarity with the ancient texts she claims is referencing secondhand through Sitchin. She fails, like Sitchin, to distinguish between Sumerian, Babylonian, and Assyrian tablets and cultures. Indeed, as her argument (no—“description”—“argument” is too strong) begins to expand beyond Mesopotamia, she remains similarly blind to primary sources. She uses David Childress’s Technology of the Gods to describe nuclear war in the Mahabharata, referring to the same false quotation I debunked five years ago.
Hardy claims that her original contribution to Sitchin Studies is to bring Semantic Fields Theory (sic) to bear on the Bible in order to psychoanalyze the three different authors she believes composed Genesis. Semantic Field Theory, derived from earlier work in linguistics, refers to the idea that words and expressions work together to represent a world view, and these therefore can be analyzed to make comparisons between cultures. Hardy believes that applying this to Genesis can reveal the differing world views of its various redactors across time. This is not controversial, but she then concludes, somewhat illogically, that comparing this to Sitchin Studies can prove that the original semantic field referred to the actions of hostile giant space aliens who hated us and who were gradually etherealized into the Judeo-Christian God.
Even this seems relatively logical, within its crazy paradigm, but Hardy also feels that the Bible is evil, calling it “blinkered” and full of “dire lies and shadows” that gave her a sense of “liberation” to overcome. Therefore, she wants to destroy the Biblical narrative by proving earlier Mesopotamian accounts to be the true original in order to combat what she fields is the stranglehold of Genesis over the Western psyche. Hardy experienced her rejection of religion at age 17 and has apparently been dealing with the consequences ever since.
The trouble with the book, of course, is that Sitchin was wrong and always has been, so any book derived from his work is necessarily incorrect, too. His mistakes become Hardy’s mistakes, and she is singularly uninterested in looking for physical evidence of her outrageous claim than in the third millennium BCE aliens used nuclear weapons against most of the cities of the Levant. Surely some trace of this would remain in the archaeological record.
Hardy thinks she’s writing a startling new account of how the authors of the Hebrew Bible misunderstood prehistoric contact with aliens, but she really wrote a book about how she hates her childhood faith and wants to use paganized aliens to replace the God she stopped believing in many decades ago while allowing her to maintain a belief that the events and people of the Bible were real.
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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