Ancient Aliens received a bump in the ratings after moving from Friday to Saturday for its fifteenth season, but the surge in Saturday ratings was short lived. The show has seen its viewership continue to decline, though not yet to the historic lows it reached at the end of its Friday run. This week, the show fell to 928,000 viewers, down from last week and down markedly from its season premiere. That’s still a cut above the 750,000-800,000 watching in its last few Friday episodes, but the trend line isn’t positive, despite the History Channel making Ancient Aliens the de facto face of its network across its multiple platforms, including its lucrative line of fan conferences, such as Alien Con and History Con.
Wolter mostly repeats the same things he always says about the Knights Templar, whom he wrongly believes to be a mercenary force for oxymoronic freedom-loving pagan aristocrats, but he adds a few more specific claims that are increasingly disturbing as he pushes his ideas in a more extreme direction. In the video, Wolter alleges that powerful forces are conspiring to suppress the “truth” about the pre-Columbian history of the Americas, and he specifically claims that the Roman Catholic Church and “some elements of our government” are working to support the primacy of Christopher Columbus.
The historical record argues otherwise since the celebration of Columbus saw significant opposition in the nineteenth century, notably from white Anglo-Saxon Protestants, who feared that recognizing Columbus as important would embolden Italian and Spanish immigrants and cut into white majorities, since at the time “Latin” Europeans were not considered true whites. The U.S. government’s strong anti-Catholic bias is a well-known historical fact, from the politicians who were openly anti-Catholic down to the fact that John F. Kennedy’s Catholicism was a major political liability during his campaign for president, to the point that he had to proclaim his loyalty to America above the Pope. The idea of the U.S. government of the nineteenth century working hand in glove with the hated papists is ridiculous.
Wolter does not explain how the Catholic Church can impose its conspiracy of silence on countries that are not Catholic, including those that were violently opposed to Catholicism following the Protestant Reformation. Instead, he engages in some historical revisionism in which he attributes the founding of the United States to “my brother Masons” as part of a Masonic master plan and places himself in the role of a true American and true heir to the land, the government, and the power of the United States.
More ridiculous still is Wolter’s claim that the Founding Fathers were “all Knights Templar,” a claim that fails on its merits. They could not be actual Knights Templar, since that order was disbanded in the 1300s. They cannot be “successors” since there is no evidence of the Founders holding knighthoods in the Portuguese, Maltese, or other knighthood orders that absorbed the Templars. And they couldn’t have been Masonic Knights Templar because that Templar fan club emerged only in the 1780s in Ireland, wasn’t formalized in the British Isles until the 1790s, and did not spread into America until later. (An earlier Templar-inspired masonry, under a different name, fizzled out in the mid-1700s but did not spread much beyond the Germanies.) There is, of course, no evidence of the Founding Fathers in Templar Masonic orders.
Wolter’s conspiracy theories reek of the worst Victorian-era anti-Catholic intolerance, and he happily embraces nineteenth century fantasies without understanding their origins or their consequences. But Wolter also alleges that the “dynastic families” in charge of the conspiracy are “very patient” and are willing to wait a couple of thousand years to put their plans into motion. I have to say, if you need to wait from Akhenaten to today to organize a government, you just aren’t that good at it. Just think of all the people they let suffer and die under tyrants because they were too slow and lazy to get anything done. What good is your eternal genius if its fruition is always coming but never arriving?
Halfway through the interview, Wolter discusses his family’s multi-generational involvement in Freemasonry going back at least three generations. He also speaks of the “Enochian mysteries”—the parts of Masonry derived from Judeo-Christian legends about the patriarch Enoch saving knowledge on tablets or pillars before the Flood. Although Masonry’s version is quite distorted and corrupt, it is still recognizably the Jewish story recorded in the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Book of Enoch, and Flavius Josephus. (Masonry’s version is derived from medieval retellings of Josephus.) Yes, it’s the whole Watchers narrative again. They are everywhere.
Wolter finishes by alleging that those who doubt his wild conclusions are incapable of explaining their disagreements. “It’s never a calm, reasoned discussion,” he says, though admitting no role in escalating disagreements into hostility with his insults, both ad hominem and to logic and reason. “It’s not about me; it’s about getting the right answer. […] I’m easy to get along with! We’ll have a great time, but don’t do stupid things. I’ll push back.” Wolter, who reminds viewers that he was a football player in his youth, doesn’t quite recognize how his jock-ish banter sounds, with its implied threats woven into the superficial bonhomie. After waxing eloquent about how open he is to correction, he ends interview by nearly choking on the word “academics” as he asserts that they are all wrong and he is right.
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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