Wednesday Roundup: History Channel "Investigating" "Earhart" Photo; Plus: Gaia Claims New Alien Mummies and Marzulli Claims Demons Pretend to Be the Virgin Mary
According to a new poll from Pew Research, a clear majority of Republicans, 58%, now view higher education as bad for America. While the poll did not distinguish between Republicans who view education itself as bad and those who are angry at colleges and universities for being too “liberal” and therefore bad, the results are overall disturbing for anyone who cares about education and scholarship.
Perhaps this is one reason why the History Channel doesn’t even pretend to do real research anymore. On Sunday, History tried to pass off a blurry photograph of a person’s back, with no face visible, as a picture of Amelia Earhart taken after her 1937 disappearance. As was widely reported yesterday, a blogger quickly discovered that the photograph was published in a Japanese book 1935. This failure to do a basic literature review or consult with relevant experts on a subject is part and parcel of History’s slipshod approach to history. Earlier this year, its show Hunting Hitler produced a similar boner when its facial recognition “expert” wrongly identified a photograph of Three Stooges member Moe Howard, who was Jewish, as one of genocidal Anti-Semitic tyrant Adolf Hitler twenty years after he allegedly faked his death. History covered that one up, by editing it out of future broadcasts, but the Earhart mistake can’t be covered up as easily. History says it is “aware” of the reports and is “investigating.”
“We will be transparent in our findings,” a press statement from History said on Tuesday. “Ultimately historical accuracy is most important to us and our viewers.” Those viewers laughed heartily when the Ancient Aliens and Hunting Hitler broadcaster pretended to care about historical accuracy for any other reason besides being caught promoting false claims about a subject the mainstream media care about, unlike space aliens.
NBC News, which partnered with History to promote the Earhart story last week, reported the facts on the Today show this morning and online, but did not apologize for its role in promoting a story that they did virtually nothing to investigate or confirm before spilling across multiple broadcasts. NBC cast the controversy as entirely the fault of History, as though they bore no responsibility for verifying material they put out on the air to a national TV audience.
Meanwhile History’s online frenemy Gaia, which employs many Ancient Aliens talking heads as hosts and actively promotes itself as an unofficial spinoff of the History series, is now claiming that there are “multiple” alien bodies in Peru and claims that it will show viewers these bodies for a fee. You know: Science! But seriously: The patent absurdity of multiple extraterrestrial “mummies” emerging simultaneously and known only to profiteers from a subscription New Age service ought to make us very suspicious, particularly when the first alien “mummy,” revealed a few weeks ago, has been roundly debunked.
If that weren’t enough, Nephilim theorist L. A. Marzulli has found a new way to express his Protestant hatred of Catholics without coming right out and standing up against a fellow Christian group. As part of his ongoing embrace of ufology as a way of Christianizing the occult, Marzulli announced on his blog his belief that the vision of the Virgin Mary at Fatima in 1917 was neither a mass hallucination as skeptics believe nor a genuine appearance of the Virgin as Catholics maintain. Instead, he alleges, following midcentury ufologists, that the vision was actually of a flying saucer and its occupants. He differs, however, from his secular counterparts in declaring that the space aliens behind the vision were actually demons impersonating the Virgin Mary. His evidence? Among other things, the fact that “Mary” was wearing a skirt that exposed not just her ankles but also part of her legs below the knees—“something not even prostitutes of the time were seen in.” Consider the implications for Marzulli’s view of paradise: Apparently, there is a dress code in heaven, and it is not particularly forgiving for women. Burqas for eternity!
Marzulli’s discussion of Fatima comes in connection with a new video, titled Fatima, that Marzulli is hoping to sell to his audience for $15.
For Marzulli, the fake “Mary” had the appearance of a whore (with exposed ankles!) and acted with the intent to deceive because she’s really a slutty alien/demon. To that end, Marzulli tries to establish that common beliefs about Mary are false in order to show that visions incorporating them must be satanic He specifically claims to oppose all of the Catholic teachings on Mary based on biblical literalism: “There is no mention of her being without sin, having an immaculate heart, being a perpetual virgin or being a go-between from us to Jesus. All of these dynamics were added over the centuries. I’ll state it again here that I have the highest respect and admiration for Mary but she’s not the queen of heaven.”
While officially Marzulli’s logic is intended to demonstrate the demons are trying to deceive humanity, the undercurrent is especially clear: Catholics aren’t just theologically wrong but are actually acting under the sway of Satan, and only evangelical Christianity has the purity to see Christ’s truth.
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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