Thanks to a cable outage, I did not have internet for much of the day, so you’ll have to content yourself with some short thoughts for today.
You’ll recall that last week America Unearthed host Scott F. Wolter claimed that the Knights Templar sent word to the Mississippian city of Cahokia announcing their coming, which triggered the Mississippian collapse due to an undisclosed prophecy that required all Native Americans to give up civilization and “go wild” to survive the coming of White People.
I’ve been trying to puzzle out exactly how Wolter came to believe that the Knights Templar sent word to Cahokia to abandon the city before the awesome white guys arrived to take it from them in the name of the Holy Bloodline of Jesus and the Goddess of the Cistercians. I am coming up close to empty-handed. There isn’t anything in the literature to suggest that the Knights Templar had anything to do with Cahokia, not even in the crazy Templar conspiracy literature. The only connection I found was one writer who claimed that the Templars and the Mississippians both built sacred structures because they were the joint inheritors of sacred geometry and ley lines from the advanced culture that inspired Stonehenge.
In 1787, Benjamin Smith Barton claimed that mounds like those found at Cahokia were the work of Vikings, and we know that Scott Wolter has re-assigned the imaginary voyages of the Vikings and the Norse to the “Norman French” Templars, so I guess that’s one connection—but Wolter doesn’t say that the Templars built Cahokia, but rather that they caused its collapse.
With that line of inquiry coming up dry, I next tried to turn to legends about Cahokia. Wolter claimed that his Native American informants provided him with oral histories that are hitherto undisclosed. This would be an interesting trick since there is no way to tie a modern tribe to the original inhabitants of Cahokia given the extensive population shifts of the post-Collapse and post-Contact periods. But there are relatively few legends of Cahokia. One, a Siouan tale, doesn’t actually mention the city but talks about a “mountain” near St. Louis, which archaeologists say refers to Monk’s Mound. Another, the legend of Red Horn, is thought to reflect a late form of Mississippian cult beliefs about an all-red god.
The only connection I can find in fact comes from alternative literature where an imaginary “white” god with a beard and a tunic is imagined to have wandered across the Americas teaching Native people how to be civilized. Derived from Spanish misconceptions of Aztec and Peruvian myths, alternative writers, particularly the credulous anthropologist Pierre Honoré, who fabricated false quotations to support his idea of white master race that ruled the ancient Americas, later writers have imagined a “White God” (from the title of Honoré’s 1964 book In Quest of the White God) all across the Americas. Terry J. O’Brien matter-of-factly asserted that such white gods were present at the construction of mound sites like Cahokia in Fair Gods and Feathered Serpents (1997). That said, a few references to a single recitation of the Sauk myth of Getci Mu’nito suggest that this fellow was “an old, white-headed man of majestic appearance” who taught the art of civilization and vanished into the north. But I’m pretty sure it referred to white hair, not white skin.
Weirdly enough, the foreign man who wandered into Cahokia and became a god was a brief allusion in a 2010 short story by Kurt Anderson called “Human Intelligence” in Neil Gaiman’s anthology Stories: All-New Tales. Anderson placed the visitor in 1317.
The only prophecy I can find is the one related of the allegedly “white” Quetzalcoatl and later applied to the Spanish at the Conquest. I am skeptical of any oral traditions that have left no trace in the ethnographic literature until 2012-2013. As we have seen before, old Native American myths of monsters were transformed into dinosaurs as soon as dinosaurs became popular. We have also seen how genuine Micmac oral traditions about the French colonization of Nova Scotia have been backdated to become “proof” of Henry Sinclair’s imaginary voyage to Canada.
Burrows Cave "Templar" with beard, boat (right) and menorah (top). Theoretically, this photo and image would be under copyright if the rock is a fake, but since it is claimed to be hundreds or thousands of years old, a faithful reproduction of a two dimensional work of art that old can't be copyrighted. So do you want to admit it's a fake?
Here’s the only Templar connection I can find. Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas claimed in The Hiram Key that the Knights Templar found a manuscript in Solomon’s Temple that promised a prosperous land in “Merica” to the West and therefore discovered America. I do not have time to trace back the Merica name tonight, so that will have to wait until tomorrow. According to conspiracy literature, the fabricated stones of Burrows Cave show Knights Templar, proving that they had invaded Illinois. The stone above shows what Rixon Stewart called a bearded Templar with a boat. Clearly, it’s a modern fake based on what looks like a standard image of Jesus, much like the one that used to hang in my grandmother’s living room.
Could this be the origin for the claim that the Templars reached the Mississippian lands and caused the Cahokia collapse?
9/16/2013 12:10:12 pm
I gotta stop reading your headlines. They're killing me.
9/16/2013 01:20:56 pm
Merica, f*** yeah!
9/16/2013 04:19:58 pm
I have a question: on a scale of one to ten, how important were menorahs to the Knights Templar? Because I wasn't aware that the Knights Templar were very strongly associated with Jewish symbolism.
The Other J.
9/16/2013 05:43:40 pm
Are there wendigo stories associated with those particular instances of cannibalism?
9/16/2013 06:52:37 pm
I was thinking the top and bottom characters of the vertical text look a bit like "D" and "T" in the Ogham alphabet. Pseudo-Phoenician seems more likely, though.
9/16/2013 07:02:25 pm
Oh, and as far as the wendigo thing, I didn't hear of any in connection with that story, but then, wendigo aren't really a Winnebago thing.
9/16/2013 07:04:02 pm
There's definitely supposed to be some Egyptian or "proto"-Egyptian influence on this stone too. After all, the vertical "box text" on the left of the stone resembles a a cartouche, which is a means of designating a royal name in Egyptian hieroglyphs.
9/16/2013 11:35:15 pm
I think that the Burrows Cave stone was carved to be an ancient Jew or Levantine person and that the later writers who have made it into a Templar are pretending that the menorah represents the Temple.
9/16/2013 11:59:40 pm
Jason, isn't the base of the Menorah odd- the triangle? Have you seen this rendition of base anywhere else?
9/17/2013 12:16:06 am
In art? No. As an attempt to render in 2 dimensions that three-dimensional base of real menorahs, sure. This one might be stylized from the one appearing on the Roman Arch of Titus, The Burrows Cave art is all fake, so I wouldn't read too much into it.
9/16/2013 04:30:24 pm
9/16/2013 06:56:35 pm
I know, right?! Who knew that you named the continents before you were even born. And between 300 and 3,000 years before too. Man, I wish *I* was that kind of famous.
9/25/2013 10:15:17 am
****New Conspiracy Alert*****
9/16/2013 04:37:27 pm
I found something that relates, I think, to this "Merica". There is a book titled La Merica, written by Arthur Faram. Here is a relevant excerpt of the synopsis:
9/16/2013 11:31:19 pm
I saw that, too, but I think it's a new book from this year.
9/16/2013 06:01:51 pm
"This book is made possible by the re-discovery of an ancient science handed down to the Portuguese, by successive secret societies, within the important ancient cultures that preceded them."
9/17/2013 04:13:41 am
"Some Ancient Astron- I mean Templar theorists believe that the Knights Templar had access to secret, advanced knowledge." Really now? Is there any evidence of this, or even any suggestion of it outside fringe, Templar-glorifying conspiracy literature?
9/17/2013 12:15:38 pm
No, I will not refrain, since you will not restrain your own self, and since you started any foul wind. I would much rather call you a name like Blog Rat if I think it will do any good. Don't worry, names are only as good as the fit goes.
Gunn Is A Bully
9/17/2013 01:34:55 pm
"You overlook one thing: For what reason did the Templars achieve their rocketing popularity and power? It wasn't for no reason, if I may use a double negative. I've read a lot of speculation about why the Templars' star rose so fast...there must be a reason."
Gunn is a Bully to Bullies
9/18/2013 03:24:26 am
You got that part right. I will not proceed undefended when attacked. I meet Bullies head-on. Others, I'm peaceful toward. On guard!
9/18/2013 03:43:20 am
Yeah, banking later...but what, at first? Why the SUDDEN rise in popularity? One reason: banking? Some questions can't be answered with one simple answer, but go ahead and oversimplify if you want to.
Gun bullies EVERYBODY
9/18/2013 08:00:50 am
There are VAST numbers of examples of people and organizations rising to power quickly, WITHOUT needing "secret knowledge" of any kind. JK Rowling rose to vast heights of wealth and popularity in the space of about two years when she published the beginnings of the Harry Potter series, for instance. Microsoft rose to heights of political and economic power in less than two decades and has remained there ever since.
Gunn Is Great, But Goes After Scoffers
9/18/2013 01:30:05 pm
What's in a name? Scoffers are a type of Blog Rat. They bite from the side, instead of directly head on. They are somewhat sneaky and harder to recognize as attackers at first, but they soon enough declare what they are: Blog Rats. Here's their main problem, put into their own words:
9/17/2013 12:37:44 pm
Some believe… it's not much of an extrapolation… perhaps this could explain… Perhaps Columbus was… Are you sure you don’t write for AU?
9/18/2013 03:49:17 am
...and subtracted from by your own "fuddy-wuddiness."
9/18/2013 04:46:39 am
9/24/2013 05:17:02 pm
First, I'll address Isaac:
So then, religious influence was a reason, besides banking? That's what I thought, although someone on the blog here went on and on about there being a singular reason: banking. The Scoffer was wrong, and thank you for pointing it out, Only me.
9/17/2013 04:36:19 am
Let us know what you find regarding Merica --- if memory serves, the story was supposed to originate with a trove of ancient manuscripts that were found by the Templars hanging out in Solomon's stables or something located today in Old Jerusalem. They were digging around the ruins of the temple, which by then was being used as a garbage heap by the earlier Muslim occupants of Al Quds (Jerusalem) --- is there another source to the Merica story you've found?
9/17/2013 05:07:45 am
Again white men come to the Americas and teach the natives nothing useful from the old world (like metalworking). The Amerindians had their own advancements of course (especially in breeding foodcrops) but how could these white people be seen to have 'civilized' the natives without bringing to them any of the things whites thought important?
9/17/2013 09:55:01 am
An interesting article about Cahokia was published yesterday, discussing new evidence brought to light in recent digs which suggest the decline and eventual demise of the city was triggered at least in part by a large fire which destroyed "perhaps as many as 100 buildings".
9/22/2013 05:23:10 am
I saw an episode of america unearthed from last season on Friday night. The episode was the burial in Arizona of an English,an. Besides the over dramatic staged reactions of Scott Wolter I could not fathom that Scott would ask the obvious the rock with the runes which had no weathering and wasn't reported in the state investigation in the 80s. It's obvious a fake. What a sorry excuse for an episode.
9/25/2013 10:20:44 am
I thought the same thing the first time I watched that episode. Here is a guy, Wolter, whose sole claim to fame is that his expertise allows him to date the carvings on the KRS to the time period denoted in the text on the KRS. And yet, he seems totally unaware that the Arizona carving is less than 30 years old? I scream "Shennanigans"!
9/22/2013 05:25:59 am
Cities rise and fall all the time. I doubt a supposed warning of the white gods struck fear in 30k inhabitants and caused them o flee from the nine foot white Nordic stud giants....
9/29/2013 10:46:42 am
Jason, just discovered your blog and I like your critical (in the good sense) review of what's out there. Just moved recently to the STL area and have visited the mounds. I'm surprise Wolter has yet to include the tale of Madoc. One word I've learned is "conflation." Sloppy research will equivocate different ideas as the same. I recall an online article called the "Spanish Imposition" which detailed how the Spanish used Native legends to their advantage - an early version of PsyOps. This required conflation of legends. Peer review is very important to identify conflation and other errors. What peer review is used for these programs? I would think that HC would be willing to air a series that "fact checks" and challenges programs' claims, making a better reality show than what's out there.
12/17/2018 12:26:07 am
All the templars would have to do to cause a colapes would be to establish contact and let the deseases do the rest .
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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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