Tonight Ancient Aliens is going in search of “The Satan Conspiracy” and will attempt to argue that Satanists have it right, that Satan is misunderstood, and that he was a heroic alien freedom fighter trying to help humanity against the evil Yahweh-Elohim-Anunnaki. This will be quite a trick to pull off since Satan traditionally leads the Fallen Angels, whom the show christened evil gods just two weeks ago. But at least it goes toward proving my point that the ancient astronaut theory is intimately tied to religion.
This, in turn, brings me to today’s topic: A bizarre religious documentary about ancient aliens and how they are really fallen angels who are hiding in our DNA.
Nephilim: Origin of Genetic Evil, a two-hour YouTube video by religious extremist Trey Smith with video supplied by Ancient Aliens pundit Brien Foerster and commentary from messianic rabbi Brian Hall, made my head hurt. Over-produced with a nasal narrator (Smith) and brain-searing music, the opening minutes set the stage for an amateurish attempt to scour the ancient astronaut literature for evidence in favor of the giants from Genesis 6:1-4, the children of the sons of God and the daughters of men. I can’t think of a single passage in all the Bible that gets more play among the alternative history crowd than this heavily redacted acknowledgement of a traditional semi-divine hero mythos among the pre-monotheistic Hebrew people.
I have difficulty reviewing this two hour video because so much of it is simply random words and sentences that Smith has spliced together from several takes without, seemingly, any rhyme or reason. There is no through-line, no attempt to form a coherent argument, just assertions that are meant, by their sheer volume, to overwhelm the viewer into belief in God simply by throwing at the viewer as much material culled from internet Google searches and badly misunderstood from physics and history as possible—a sort of What the Bleep Do We Know for Fallen Angels.
There is really no arguing with Smith’s biblical literalism. He simply takes every word of the Bible at face value insofar as it supports his views. Either you believe that Methuselah really lived for 969 years and died seven days before the Flood, or you don’t. He does. But like the ancient astronaut theorists, he also believes in the literal truth of everything in Mesopotamian mythology, except where it disagrees with Genesis.
Smith is quite taken with the idea of elongated skulls, which he simplemindedly believes are literal genetic hybrids of human beings and fallen angels. Such skulls had been observed in the making by the Greek doctor Hippocrates (in “Of Air, Water, and Situation”) and by scientific observers down to the present day. Hippocrates well-explained this admittedly bizarre but not supernatural custom: “The Custom stood thus. As soon as the Child was born, they immediately fashion’d the soft and tender Head of it with their Hands, and, by the use of bandages and proper arts, forc’d it to grow lengthwise; by which means the sphærical figure of the Head was perverted, and the length increas’d” (trans. Francis Clifton).
Smith starts by explicating the Hebrew phrase benê hā Elōhîm, the “Sons of God,” which is parallel to the Ugaritic polytheistic group of El’s sons, the bn il, the sons of El. This has been known ever since Sanchoniathon recorded in his Phoenician cosmology, “But the auxiliaries of Ilus, (who is Kronus), were called Elohim, (as it were) the allies of Kronus; they were so called after Kronus.” Smith prefers to assert that the sons of God should be translated as “fallen angels” and/or “Watchers,” obviously under the influence of the Book of Enoch where they are identified as such.
In an ungrammatical sentence, Smith asserts that “authentic texts” tell us that fallen angels are “extremely powerful entities.” Yup, these terrifying monsters were so horrific that they were into holding classes on the art of making “bracelets, and ornaments, and the use of antimony, and the beautifying of the eyelids, and all kinds of costly stones, and all colouring tinctures.” They also enjoyed encouraging “fornication,” love potions, herbal medicine, and astrology (1 Enoch 8:1-3). So, in short, they were pretty much modern liberal arts college professors. No wonder Smith is horrified! HIPPIES!
In exploring the “authentic” accounts of angels, Smith is correct in asserting that the Biblical texts do not give the angels wings. (He needs this to be so to justify claiming wing-free human corpses are “really” angel-hybrid bodies.) Yet he also wants us to believe that the book of Enoch preserves accurate records of how hippie angels caused global terror and death through too much sex, drugs, and astrology. So how would he account for 1 Enoch 61:1 in which the angels “took to themselves wings and flew”?
He identifies the Neanderthals as ancient humans who each lived for 300 years or more, thus accounting for their robust bones, since they simply kept working out and growing stronger as they kept on going. This will be a surprise to scientists, I suppose.
He further suggests that God ordered the Hebrews to commit genocide against tribes like the Canaanites, Rephaites, and Ammonites because they had a “gene pool problem” derived from descent from the Nephilim. Rabbi Hall identifies the Amalekites as originating in a Semitic word for “vampire-like demons,” which he seems to derive from aluka, referring to a drinker of blood, but which first meant “leech” rather than “vampire,” an appropriate term of derision for an enemy. That said, I can’t find an etymology of Amalekite that relates it specifically to aluka, but I am no expert in Hebrew. Hall asserts in an impeccable bit of circular logic that the Amalekites must have had vampire characteristics (such as fangs) and spawned the Romanian vampire myth because otherwise how could we use the vampire myth to apply it back to the Amalekites’ blood-drinking?
Smith next tries to make the case for real giants, and he adopts David Childress’s classic bait-and-switch. He shows a human jawbone (the whole mandible) and compares it to a modern dental impression of just the teeth and therefore declares that the ancient (normal sized) jawbone (with slightly above-average teeth) was “gigantic” because how else can one explain that the whole jaw is larger than just the teeth? He makes the comparison still more dramatic by showing the mandible at a slight angle, emphasizing the larger three-dimensional presence of the mandible versus the dental impression, seen flat.
Smith hits all the high points of the Ancient Aliens and creationist classics: Akhenaten, UFOs, suppressed finds of skeletal giants, the Great Serpent Mound, serpent worship, Flood geology, shells on mountains, etc. Seriously? Shells on mountains? I thought that went out with the Renaissance. I guess if you don’t believe in plate tectonics then you can’t accept that mountains form from old ocean beds being pushed upward. Smith doesn’t accept geology, biology, astronomy, chemistry, zoology, history, or pretty much anything ending in a “y.” He wants to know how geologists can claim India is “tens of millions” of years old if Indian history only begins with Alexander the Great—oblivious to the difference between the geographic and political terms for India, as well as the long history of peoples who lived on the sub-continent. (Geologists believe the Indian plate attached itself to Asia around 10 million years ago, and the Indus Valley civilization was coeval with Mesopotamia.)
At this point, I had had enough. The music was too loud, the ideas too stupid and frankly too utterly falsified to warrant any more suffering. In Smith’s view all of world history is a demonic conspiracy spawned—and here I can’t fathom how—by the occult bloodline of the Watchers after the Flood. If the Flood killed everything on earth but Noah and his Ark, where did this antediluvian genetic bloodline return from? Here, I suppose, is where Smith wants us to see the Nephilim as a genetic mutation hiding sinfully in our God-given DNA, ready to manifest whenever sexual sin produces an unholy child. Thus can we reconcile the Bible with Eupolemus who reported that the Nephilim were saved from the Flood and founded the occult capital of Babylon before God spread them all across the earth at the collapse of the Tower of Babel (Eusebius, Praeparatio Evangelica 9.17).
But all of this is akin to counting the angels dancing on the head of a pin. The real problem is that Smith’s entire worldview is built on three assumptions that must be accepted to even begin to understand his incoherent ranting:
If you don’t share these three assumptions, Smith’s body of work comes across as the random ravings of madman, for they are understandable (and perhaps somewhat coherent) only by adopting these three assumptions. I imagine that’s how someone at The Berean Report, a Biblical fundamentalist website, could watch two hours of this soul-sapping misery and declare it “one of the best documentaries ever!”
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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