The second student project video from this year's Forbidden Archaeology class is now posted on YouTube. In this video, three students discuss some of the evidence that's bandied about for the extra-terrestrial origin of the Anunnaki. They've already gotten their first thumbs down. Enjoy!
Tomorrow I'll be posting one on the Nephilim, but I won't write a blog post about it. Check my YouTube channel tomorrow morning if you're interested. [Update: here it is.]
If you heard the "tick . . . tick . . . tick . . ." of another dumb Nephilim story yesterday, you're not alone: less than 24 hours after the report of the discovery of a "graveyard of not-so-tall 'giants'" excavated in China, the 5'11" remains have been interpreted as those of the Biblical Nephilim.
There was at least one individual that broke 6', but most were shorter.
Nephilim. Under 6'. Go figure.
If you have anything more than a passing interest in understanding the "fringe" world, you're familiar with the Nephilim. These offspring of angels and humans, despite being mentioned by name only three times in the bible (Genesis 6, Ezekiel 32, and Numbers 13), are a growth industry. Their resume is no longer limited to serving as the whip hand of the conspiracy-rich bowels of occult Christianity but now also includes significant penetration into popular culture. They've been adopted by vampire enthusiasts and they've got their own band and a role-playing game. The concept of human-supernatural sex was given some good PR by this Katy Perry song.
While the Nephilim haven't reached Ancient Aliens and Atlantis status yet, they're clearly going in the right direction. At this rate, they'll probably be openly fielding political candidates by the time the 2020 election cycle begins.
Expanding the Nephilim franchise won't be without it's tensions. In traditional circles, Nephilim (at least in Genesis 6:4) are thought to be the offspring of male angels and female humans. Those "mighty men" apparently continued to pass on the supernatural genes, corrupting the human bloodline with their Nephilim DNA (albeit in a more diluted form as time went on). While I'm not sure what Nephilim fundamentalists think of the possibility of female Nephilim in this scenario, market realists will immediately recognize that limiting the illicit/supernatural Nephilim sex fantasies to males on females (and males on animals, as the case may be) will constrain growth. For those of you worried about the stagnation of Nephilim market capitalization, I'm happy to report a data point that suggests the forces of democratization continue to gain ground:
One could write a book about this topic, but I'm going to limit myself to a few paragraphs. The kids were up early, I've already had three cups of coffee, and it's still not light enough to go outside and play.
One of Jason Colavito's readers made this comment on his blog post yesterday about L. A. Marzulli:
This issue came up in my Forbidden Archaeology class this week during our discussion of the Nephilim, when one student noted the apparent logical disconnect between (1) the idea that angel-human matings produced the wicked offspring at the root of a long Nephilim bloodline and (2) the idea that those wicked offspring were homosexuals.
I've watched several Nephilim-centric videos during the last week that I've never seen before, including this 2015 presentation by Joe Taylor, a portion of the round table discussion from that same conference (I'm still working my way through that one), and this 2013 video by Discover Ministries titled "Nephilim Among Us: Human-Animal Hybrids, Eugenics, GMOs & Transhumanism."
I think the content of these videos provides an answer to Ken's question: for Nephilim enthusiasts, it's all about what constitutes a "normal" mating and what constitutes a "wicked" mating. Human males and human females? That's normal. Angels and human females? Wicked. Angels and animals? Wicked. Males and other males? Wicked. The Nephilim are constantly doing things that go against nature and, therefore, against God. I'm guessing that homosexuality is thrown into that "wicked" basket as part of the generalized bundle of "unnatural" matings from which the Nephilim arose and subsequently partake in. That's my theory right now.
Without going through these videos again to carefully build and support an argument about what they mean, I'll make the following broad observations:
I'm guessing that this "hybrid theory" and its attendant capacity to suck all of human mythology into the Nephilim whirlpool is not new. Having only just been exposed to it, its hard to know where and when it started or how long it has been brewing. The ridiculousness of Nephilim fetishists bears watching not because of the absurd claims related to non-existent physical evidence but because of the way it connects with various political, social, and religious agendas. One doesn't have to look too far back in history to find examples of how definitions of "natural" and "unnatural" matings articulated with policies used to define and oppress human populations in this country.
My Forbidden Archaeology class will have its first meeting this Friday morning. As usual, I've waited until almost the last minute to attempt to finalize the syllabus. But that attempt has now been made, and I still have a day to spare. Go me.
As anyone who has ever created a syllabus from scratch knows, there comes a point when the rubber meets the road and you have to cease thinking vaguely and start nailing down the specifics. I've still got a few more nails to drive in (you'll notice some "TBA's" in the day-by-day readings, and I'm still working on a couple of additions to the guest list), but this is more or less what we'll be driving this semester. Yes, I know I'm mixing metaphors. It's been a long day. One of my kids woke me up at 2:30 and then again at 3:30 and I wasn't able to get back to sleep afterwards.
I got several offers of guest participation that I won't be able to fully capitalize this time around. If you emailed me about the class and I haven't gotten back to you yet, I sincerely apologize. As I've mentioned before, the students will be writing several blog posts. I hope that several of you that I was not able to include as formal "guests" of the class will perhaps be willing to work with one or more students individually. I'll be in touch!
Finally, I'm sure some of you out there will, for whatever reasons, be unhappy with what the students will be reading. And I'm sure some of you will tell me about it. Keep in mind that I did not chose readings to provide "answers." I chose them to illustrate points, show contrasts, spark questions, and provoke arguments. While we will be discussing and dissecting some of the readings quite closely in class, others are there simply for background. I'll learn a lot about what works well and what doesn't as I get to know the students and we work our way through the course.
What's the Problem with Nephilim-Pigs (and Re-Packaging Someone Else's Content)?
I wasn't planning on writing a blog post today. If I did get around to writing one, it was going to be about sea turtles and coastal hunting-gathering economies. But then I found a link to the story "The Problem with Nephilim-Pigs" (published by SkyWatchTV, which bills itself as performing "Investigations into prophecy, discovery, and the supernatural") as I was going through emails and it seemed important that I pass it on to those of you who, like me, have your antennae up for something other than what you're supposed to be doing on a Friday morning.
As a fan of both giants and pigs, I was disappointed to see that the Nephilim-pig story was much less exciting than the headline suggested. It consists of a single paragraph stating that our ability to manipulate the genes of animals is running ahead of our discussions of the ethical issues raised by such behaviors. That's it. There's no direct mention of Nephilim, angels, the End Times, super soldier pigs, or any of that stuff in the actual text. What actually is the problem with Nephilim-pigs? You left me hanging, SkyWatchTV. Yawn.
So what was the point?
Most of my readers will be unsurprised to learn that the listed author of the piece ("SkyWatch Editor") simply copied, pasted, and rearranged content from a legitimate story, modified the headline, and slapped the mess on a page as "news." The "read more" link takes you to a June 3rd article in Slate titled "The Problem with Super-Muscly Pigs." Here's a side by side comparison:
Given all the jibber-jabber circulating in the Nephilim whirlpool about genetic engineering, etc., our friend SkyWatch Editor didn't have to do anything to earn his/her paycheck but crib some technical-sounding sentences from the original and insert "Nephilim" into the headline. Genetic engineering = satanic . . . message sent with no need to expend precious calories producing anything original. Pack up your CopyCat and head home for an early lunch!
I'm sure there's a technical term for this strategy of producing "original" content via copy/paste and a headline change, but I don't know it. So I'll just call it what it is: lazy and deceptive.
SkyWatchTV gets an F on this assignment. Please write something original about Nephilim-pigs and resubmit for partial credit.
Mennonite Pastor Says Demon-Human Sex Created Nephilim, But It's a Waste of Time to Think About It
I've often been curious what mainstream Christianity has to say about the Nephilim-centric Christian fringe that espouses a worldview revolving around human-angel interbreeding and the giants that resulted from those supernatural dalliances. Steve Quayle and L. A. Marzulli have made careers from the idea, after all, and promote themselves as prophets (here Quayle says he "has been blessed to receive prophetic visions").
I haven't had much time for giants lately, but a link to this podcast sermon from the North Peace MB Church popped up in my email this morning. I listened to it while going through my other emails, prepping more Kirk points for scanning, and getting another set of computer experiments running. In the podcast, titled simply "The Nephilim," Andrew Eby and Don Banman spend about a half hour discussing the familiar passages from Genesis 6 that mention the Nephilim.
If I understood them correctly, the agree with many if not all of the main points of the supernatural-intercourse-wicked-Nephilim-flood narrative that is Quayle and Marzulli's stock in trade. Pointing to a supernatural world that is part of human existence, they accept that sex with fallen angels played a major role in making humanity wicked (starting about 15:00 in):
"It seems like the whole mankind at the time just got polluted in this perversion . . . This could even be an attempt to pollute the human race."
Where they diverge from Quayle and Marzulli, however, is in their position on what it all means for today's Christians:
"In my opinion, it's a waste of time to sit around and go 'well how do demons have intercourse with women?' Who cares? It happened."
They point out that God has intervened several times to save humanity from corruption, implying, I think, that it will happen again. They discuss the emerging science of genetics and its potential to extend the human life span as something potentially sinister. And that's about as scary as it gets -- no quest to identify and eliminate corrupted bloodlines, no clandestine engineering of giant super soldiers, no giants frozen in underground chambers waiting to be unleashed upon the planet, etc.
This book recommendation is also relevant.
Okay . . . back to work.
I spent a few hours today adding links to the Argumentative Archaeologist website that I maintain. I did a tour through the active skeptical websites that I know of, adding links to Jason Colavito's relevant posts from the last couple of months, some podcasts from Archyfantasies, posts by Michael Heiser on his Paleobabble page, a post by Carl Feagans about cranial deformation, some new stuff on the Ancient Aliens Debunked blog, a bunch of posts about Oak Island on the Oak Island Compendium site (those folks have been writing a lot!), some things from this blog, and a few other odds and ends. I also added a new page for Lemuria.
Please let me know about other sites and posts that I should be aware of.
I'm about to get on airplane for some holiday travel. I'm hoping to spend much of the coming week not doing much work, but I've been working hard over the last few weeks to finish a "beta" (i.e., mostly complete) version of The Argumentative Archaeologist website. It's done! Go have a look! Please spread the word.
I don't have time to write much about it now, so I'm just going to paste in the content from the About page:
The Argumentative Archaeologist is a website that organizes and compiles links to fact-based information and analysis related to fantastic claims about the human past. While not all "fringe" (i.e., non-mainstream) claims have been shown to be untrue, many have (some of them over, and over, and over again . . .). The goal of this site is to provide road maps to information that will help you both identify what's BS and understand the history and context of some of the many claims about the past that can be shown to be false. They can't all be true, right?.
Who Are the Intended Audiences?
This site was conceived and designed with three main audiences in mind:
How Do You Choose the Content?
The content in this site was not chosen to give "equal time" to skeptical and "fringe" voices. As mentioned above, the "fringe" side of the equation has developed a powerful set of tools to communicate its various messages: it does not require any assistance. This site is intended to serve as a counterpoint to "fringe" claims, providing links to critical analyses of components of those claims, links to critical reviews of "fringe" media, and a structure that lets the user explore and understand how various components of "fringe" claims are inter-connected.
During the initial construction of this site (October-November 2015), I mined the blogs of several of the major skeptical online voices of which I am aware: Jason Colavito, ArchyFantasies, Bad Archaeology, Glen Kuban, Skeptoid, Le Site d'Irna, Michael Heiser, Ancient Aliens Debunked, Hot Cup of Joe, and my own website (Andy White Anthropology). This site does not link to all posts on those websites, of course, but it links to many that are related to the topics of interest here. My plan is to monitor those sites and add links to new posts (and new topics) as they become available. I would love to hear about articles, posts, and other skeptical sites of which I am unaware (please use the Suggestion Box).
Why Do You Present the Content the Way You Do?
The work of critically evaluating "fringe" claims about the human past is being done by very few individuals. I hope that this site brings attention (and web traffic) to their efforts. My guess is that most of us who take the time to investigate and write something about the nonsense that's being sold as knowledge aren't making any money by doing so (in stark contrast to the "fringe" side, which has a large commercial component). Credit should go where credit is due: write an email and thank your favorite skeptic for his or her hard work.
I have used block quotes to introduce many of the topics, artifacts, and sites for which I have created entries. Many of those quotes are from Wikipedia. I chose to do this not because it is the best source of information, but because it probably reflects a reasonable consensus view. And it's designed to be "open." I've attributed the textual quotes that I use, and I've attributed the sources of images that I use by linking to my sources. I have added internal links (i.e., links pointing to other pages within this website) and indicated those changes with the designation [links added]. I do not believe that I am violating any copyrights or other prohibitions by presenting the material the way I do. If you disagree, please let me know via email (email@example.com).
What Do I Do Now?
Begin your search for information by Topic, by Person, by Geographical Area, by Title of a book, film, or television program, by Meme or Image, or Alphabetically. Please use the Suggestion Box to offer topics or links to information, and please sign the Guestbook.
The anti-vaccine movement has a new ally: Nephilim enthusiasts!
If you're aware of the strange mix of Christianity and the occult that I call the Nephilim Whirlpool, you probably won't be that surprised by what you read in this bizarre post by Registered Nurse and self-described sinner and speaker of truth Donna Wasson. Writing on the website NewsWithViews.com ("Where reality shatters illusions"), Wasson rehashes a fairly typical recounting of the Nephilim as evil angel-human hybrids before launching into her description of the current science-government-Nephilim conspiracy to disrupt God's creation though government-administered vaccines:
"These Nephilim spirits are still giving advanced technological information to receptive scientists who are steeped in the occult, which includes the manipulation of DNA and the mixing of species. The end game? To once again contaminate human DNA with satanic/demon DNA as in the days of Noah, just like Jesus warned would happen in these last days. . . .
. . . I believe the mark [of the beast] will be administered in a vaccine serum containing a nanotechnology sized chip with biological material infused in it. Think about it! Why are world governments suddenly hell-bent on forcing vaccinations on citizens? It's always been a choice before, but it's becoming mandatory in some areas.
. . . I believe the mark of the beast will contain recombinant Nephilim/"alien" DNA, housed in some type of virus in/on the chip. . . .
. . . The point is, they will be infected with demonic DNA which will spread and mutate their own genetic code, turning them into something OTHER than 100% human. They will become a hybrid—a Nephilim of sorts, and thus ineligible for forgiveness.
Remember: ONLY human beings can be saved by the blood of Jesus. The fallen Watcher angels and their progeny cannot be saved and are forever damned in the Lake of Fire. THIS is why you absolutely cannot take the mark of the beast for any reason!"
So there you have it: if you value your path to salvation, avoid those government vaccines at all costs. It's not just that they're potentially unsafe, but they could actually be concocted by scientists in league with the forces of Satan bent on disrupting God's plan for the world.
That's according to a licensed medical professional in the state of Georgia, anyway. Though Wasson acknowledges that she can't prove it, she insists that what she proposes is " not science fiction or mere whimsical thinking. It is 100% possible for events to play out exactly as I've described."
There's a clear difference between the giants of the occultist, Nephilim-centric Christianity of people like Wasson, L.A. Marzulli, and Steve Quayle and the "bigger, smarter, stronger" giants of Young Earth Creationists like Kent Hovind and Joe Taylor. Given the depth of the paranoia that's visible among Nephilim enthusiasts, it did not surprise me to find the purported connection between Nephilim and vaccines in other places (e.g., this page from 2011 and this one from 2014). It's Wasson's status as a medical professional that I find particularly jarring in this case. Her views make Ben Carson's milquetoast response to a question about the connection between the MMR vaccine and autism during the last GOP debate look rabidly pro-science in comparison. Even America's first Nephilim enthusiast, Cotton Mather, was pro-vaccine.
There is plenty more to say here, but for now I'll just have to end with this:
All views expressed in my blog posts are my own. The views of those that comment are their own. That's how it works.
I reserve the right to take down comments that I deem to be defamatory or harassing.
Follow me on Twitter: @Andrew_A_White
Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sick of the woo? Want to help keep honest and open dialogue about pseudo-archaeology on the internet? Please consider contributing to Woo War Two.
Follow updates on posts related to giants on the Modern Mythology of Giants page on Facebook.