Wednesday Round-Up: Atlantis Found (Again), "Oak Island" Says Mi'kmaq Worshiped White Man as a God, and AltRight.com Teams Up with Red Ice Media
Yesterday, the publicists for the National Geographic Channel offered me the chance to interview Simcha Jacobovici and Richard Freund about their new documentary, Atlantis Rising, which will air on NatGeo on January 29. The two will be doing a series of interviews to promote the show, which will allege that a set of six Bronze Age stone anchors found on the Atlantic side of the Strait of Gibraltar is evidence of a wealthy maritime civilization that inspired Plato’s Atlantis. The documentary was produced with the help of James Cameron, who declined to make himself available for interviews. Jacobovici is the TV producer who famously alleged that Jesus did not die on the cross but was buried with his wife Mary Magdalene in Jerusalem’s Talpiot Tomb. Freund is the biblical archaeologist who previously “discovered” Atlantis in Spain in a 2011 NatGeo documentary widely criticized by archaeologists for false claims and for appropriating without proper credit discoveries others made.
The publicists said they would send me a screener this week, and I am dying to find out how Freund had allegedly discovered Atlantis again this time. I will be even more interested in how Freund reconciles this new discovery with his previous claim that the Greek Atlantis was actually the Biblical city of Tarshish, which he placed on the Mediterranean side of Spain.
Meanwhile, The Curse of Oak Island delivered another in its endless series of boring episodes about drilling pointless holes, but in so doing it stopped to share false claims about Henry Sinclair, the first Earl of Orkney. They are the same false claims that have been repeated over and over again, but it is worth listing the fake facts that are repeated so often that many mistake them for history:
Based on these fake facts, the Lagina Brothers have become convinced that Glooscap was Henry I Sinclair. Consequently, when Terry J. Deveau, the head of the New England Antiquities Research Association—a fringe history organization—announces that a rock that somewhat resembles a face is in fact a carving of the god Glooscap because of its supposedly distinctive and pure Mi’kmaq features (as opposed to, say, every other Mi’kmaq in the world that it could be, if it were a face), the show concludes that the carving is a representation of Sinclair, who, of course, was not a Mi’kmaq but a Scottish man who served the Norwegian crown. Deveau is described on the show as a historian, but his education is in acoustics and astronomy.
Finally, I want to say a few words about the launch of “alt-right” fringe history advocate and philosopher Jason Reza Jorjani’s new website, altright.com, produced in partnership with white nationalist leader Richard Spencer. The site launched on Martin Luther King Day, as promised, with white nationalist content drawn from Spencer’s publications and Jorjani’s publishing house, Arktos Media. But what I want to point out is that Jorjani and Spencer also drawing on a key purveyor of fringe history, Red Ice Media, an outlet that has welcomed both white nationalists and fringe historians. Now an a partner in altright.com, Red Ice Radio has played host in the past to the likes of Robert Bauval, Yuri Geller, Scott Wolter, David Icke, Richard Dolan, and Scotty Roberts, alongside programs devoted to “white genocide,” miscegenation, anti-Semitism, and the “genius” of Adolf Hitler. Its current program, listed on the altright.com homepage, is about the “war on whites.” It is a white ethno-nationalist media company that draws on fringe history and alternative archaeology in order to delegitimize mainstream history. The most obvious reason for doing so is to open space for white nationalist reimagining of history to take the place of hard-won fact-based conclusions.
Most major fringe historians seem to have gotten the message that Red Ice is a racist organization, and they have stayed clear for the past year or so. But Red Ice continues to promote fringe history, devoting a recent episode, for example, to conspiracies about the Knights Templar and the Assassin’s Creed video game series.
Yes, those Knights Templar, who are somehow part of both The Curse of Oak Island, where they had the brown-skinned people of Nova Scotia worshiping them as living gods, and white nationalism, where their esoteric wisdom has made them carriers of the magical spice that makes Western Civilization unique. I trust that I need not point how such conceptions are more or less two sides of the same coin.
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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