Thursday Roundup: Megan Fox Hunts "Mysteries and Myths" on TV; Plus, Two Weird Claims about Freemasonry
Today, I have three quick stories to share. Regular readers will remember that actress Megan Fox is an Ancient Aliens super-fan and had expressed interest in either joining that show or hosting her own version of it. Well, the brain trust at the Travel Channel, recently added to the Discovery Networks’ roster of channels, have awarded Fox her own mystery-mongering show. According to a press release, the network has greenlit a new four-episode series called Mysteries and Myths with Megan Fox, in which Fox will travel the world in an attempt to rewrite history.
“We are as delighted to have her fresh and unbiased perspective on these events as we are to have Megan in our Travel Channel family,” the suit in charge of the corporate division housing the Travel Channel said, proving that division leader Henry Schleiff doesn’t know what “unbiased” means, and also implying by default that actual historical investigators are unfairly omitting bonkers ideas.
Fox seconded Schleiff’s slight by claiming that academics are suppressing the truth out of fear for their jobs.
“History only gives us a one-sided view of the truth,” she said in a prepared statement. “That’s something I know from personal experience. My own history has been rewritten by other people who had a vested interest in changing the narrative. I haven’t spent my entire life building a career in academia so I don’t have to worry about my reputation or being rebuked by my colleagues, which allows me to push back on the status quo. So much of our history needs to be re-examined.”
The tough talk about history being wrong, however, seems to be largely for show. The press release says that the series will cover topics of Greek mythology, including the Trojan War and the Amazons, and will employ archaeologists and undefined “experts” to ask whether Greek myths were real.
I am more concerned about the trend this represents.
We have been in a fallow period of the past five years, since the first wave of Ancient Aliens-fueled pseudohistory knockoffs burned itself out. But now, with celebrity-fueled programs like Zachary Quinto’s In Search Of and Megan Fox’s Mysteries and Myths revisiting the same material, I fear that if these shows succeed, we will see a return to a full-time cable schedule of “alternative facts,” this time more persuasively presented by celebrities, whose fame will garner greater attention to bad ideas.
Speaking of bad ideas, take a look at this chart that has been making the rounds on Facebook. It compares corporate iconography to Masonic and Satanic symbolism in order to imply that major corporations are participating in a conspiracy of evil. There isn’t much to say here—the symbols are largely geometric, and given the thousands of icons and logos used by America’s corporations, it is hardly a surprise that some would share similar shapes and colors.
But on that note, I wanted to share a bizarre passage I discovered in the autobiography of one of the founders of Theosophy, the psychic medium Emma Hardinge Britten, who wrote about her 1859 tour of Ohio, when she claimed to have been possessed by a “Fire Spirit” that predicted a blaze that burned down part of Columbus that year. Anyway, she had been invited to Columbus by some friends who introduced her to a fellow medium, a certain Dr. Fowler, a physician in that city—I haven’t been able to determine who he was (the more famous Dr. Fowler of the New York Circle was 7 at the time)—and this Dr. Fowler had some odd ideas. Here is Britten speaking:
During the evening Dr. Fowler, whose singular experiences formed a leading topic of conversation, not only avowed his belief in, and intercourse with, Elementary Spirits, but, he added, pointing to me, “that young lady is also aware of the existence of the Spirits of the elements, and will this night be controlled by one.” The Doctor at this point broke off into a long address in an unknown tongue, a phase to which it would seem he was frequently addicted. At the close of his singular outpouring, addressing me in our own tongue, he ordered me to translate what he had been saying to the company. Under a new but most powerful influence, I was made to give the translation of Dr. Fowler’s speech, which was to the effect that if the party then present would visit the mysterious ruins at Newark, a place a few miles distant, and hold a circle by moonlight, amongst the works attributed to the lost races, or “ Mound builders of America,” they should find an evidence that the unknown people who had founded those strange works were “freemasons.”
Whatever you do, do not tell Scott Wolter about this!
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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