I get email…from WND


aliensguy

World Net Daily, that cesspit of far right wing kookiness, often spams me with weird advertisements. As I was about to hit the delete key, the latest one caught my eye: it was about UFOs. UFOs? I knew the site was all about political and religious extremism, but where do flying saucers fit into that picture? So I actually read a little further, and saw a name I recognized: L.A. Marzulli. I met Marzulli! I heard him give a talk! Marzulli is totally bug-boinking batty!

Just to give you an idea of how bizarre his thought processes are, he gave a talk in which he claimed aliens had visited the earth, and that ancient civilizations had amazing technology, and by the by, Jesus is coming. For instance, he has traveled extensively in South America, and he spent a fair amount of time talking about these simple houses he found there. They were constructed of tufa, that soft, light volcanic rock, and he showed a row of old homes built from cut, stacked tufa. They looked plain: this stuff is the equivalent of modern cinderblock, a kind of rough-textured gray building material.

Then he explained to us, with no evidence whatsoever, that the plain back walls of these buildings, which had no windows or doors, must have been piezoelectric teleporters, and that ancient Peruvians would have just walked through their back walls to be instantly zapped a thousand miles away. Why did he think this? I don’t know. It was just so.

Well now this blithering ninny has a whole video series called The Watchers, marketed by WND, promoting these freakish ideas. Here’s a preview in which he peers at stone walls in Peru, no doubt imagining that they produce magical energy that links megalithic sites all over the world.

I guess I’m not surprised that a site known for its political derangement is also capitalizing on the broad general gullibility of its audience. It’s still surprising to me.

By the way, I heard Marzulli at the Paradigm Symposium, which will be held again this coming October, at the Mall of America(?). I’m tempted to go, just because it’s such a concentrated dose of wild fringe weirdness, but I don’t know that it’s worth $280…and I’m pretty sure that after my performance as an invited speaker, in which I explained the absurdity of their beliefs in aliens, there’s no way I’d be invited back.

Comments

  1. Sili says

    $280? That almost makes the $250 to go see Richard Dawkins look like a bargain. (For some reason auto correct wanted to make that “bathtub”. Wonderful in all its absurdity.)

  2. latveriandiplomat says

    Surely Evolutionary Psychology tells us that weird beliefs about aliens are adaptive in some way?

  3. chigau (違う) says

    The poster has an endorsement from Erich von Däniken.
    That’s pretty special.

  4. says

    Yeah, the year before I attended they had both Giorgio Tsoukalos and Erich von Daniken as speakers, and I just missed them.

    Maybe I should wait on attending again until they have at least one of those eminent fellows of the fringe.

  5. anteprepro says

    Ancient Aliens plus Jesus does not sound like a winning recipe. I don’t know how you have such a thing. Jesus was actually an alien with advanced technology, but should be uniquely worshiped anyway? Sure, all those other religions were just describing ancient aliens and their magical technology, but Jesus, he was legit 100% divine magic? All of the aliens were legitimately also magical, but Jesus was just Super Alpha Top Dog of the bunch? I don’t even know.

  6. chigau (違う) says

    If you go to the linked page be sure to click on the hat company ad.
    Really, you won’t regret it.

  7. says

    Hey, they are very nice hats, and they only cost a little more than the registration fee for the conference.

  8. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    I see no hat advert :( I see an advert for a book called When a Jew Rules the World by Joel Richardson. Blurb: Is God done with Israel?>/q>

  9. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    tsk tsk tsk
    that video, at the very beginning, warns the viewer that reposting it on the internet is punishable by ~~something~~ [I got distracted by the additional warning against “reverse engineering” wtf?]

    I’m always amazed by the free reign these people give their imaginations. They create these wondrous stories to explain anything that’s still mysterious to everyone else.

    And even when I try to keep an open mind [so open my brain falls out] to try to get a sense of it; I can never grasp these magic “lei lines” they’re always talking about. How do they map them? Was Stonehenge discovered to be at the intersection of several, or do they draw the lines with Stonehenge as a locus point? To rephrase, did they draw the map first and then notice that one of the locii just happens to be under the location of Stonehenge, or did they first start with a map, with Stonehenge marked on it, then started drawing lines to other “mystery sites” and declare those interconnections the “magical lei lines”?
    As a D&Dnerd I like magic, but it always goes way past me, like a lightning bolt.

  10. Sastra says

    For some reason the video won’t play for me, but I got a lovely commercial for The Genesis Movie — it will reconcile science and faith!

    This bizarre mash-up of New Age “paradigms” and fundamentalist Christianity looks to me like yet another version of Sheilaism, where the believers pick and choose whatever spiritual views appeal to them in order to form their own personal religion. Which is highly amusing in light of the WND’s usual outrage against people rejecting the One True Word of God in the Bible and instead embracing horrors like picking and choosing from many sources..

  11. Trebuchet says

    @10: You may have clicked the wrong link. The hat ad is in the Paradigm Symposium one at the bottom.

    The hatter is very proud of his traditional methods. Traditional methods involved mercury. That may explain some of the odd stuff at the bottom.

  12. Gaebolga says

    anteprepro wrote:

    Ancient Aliens plus Jesus does not sound like a winning recipe.

    That’s only because you’ve obviously never heard Beborn Beton’s song Newborn King….

  13. moarscienceplz says

    If you go to the linked page be sure to click on the hat company ad.

    Nice! Also, apparently wearing a fedora and/or facial hair helps you with paranormal research.

  14. says

    @5: I heard some shit like this at a local YEC presentation I went to a few years back. I forget the details, but it seemed to be something along the lines of Pre-Flood civilizations had high technology, including space travel, which if course was all lost when the Flood happened, but they had colonies elsewhere, and UFOs are those colonists coming back for a visit (something like that). As to the motivation, maybe it’s just that it’s fun to sex up the base narrative with sci-fi themes. It really is a bizarre gloss added on top of the usual YEC silliness.

  15. says

    From the WND link (bplding mine)

    Pinlight LLC is delving into the paranormal in this documentary on UFOs, hosted by the expert on the Nephilim, L.A. Marzulli. Marzulli looks at the current manifestations of UFO activity worldwide and relates these experiences to what ancient texts say about them, as well as current understanding. There is no doubt that UFOs are here and not going away. What does this mean? What are interdimensional beings? What are “orbs” and why are all these things happening now? Has humanity finally become enlightened enough to accept new life forms? This documentary will bring L.A. Marzulli, a favorite on the wildly popular “Coast to Coast AM” radio show, into a realistic discussion on UFOs, entities and actual facts that are surrounding them.

    The thought of someone being an expert in imaginary beings is chuckle-worthy.

  16. roxchix says

    Tuff vs Tufa.

    Tufa is a rock composed of light porous precipitated calcium carbonate.

    Tuff is a rock composed of consolidated volcanic ash.

  17. Sili says

    Hmmm. Four of the speakers seem to feel compelled to scratch their chin. Is that to keep themselves from laughing uproariously?

  18. anteprepro says

    About L.A. Marzulli, in his own words: http://www.lamarzulli.net/about_lynn_marzulli.htm

    His new series On the Trail of the Nephilim is a full color, over-sized book which uncovers startling evidence that there has been a massive cover up of what he believes are the remains of the Nephilim, the giants mentioned in the Bible! …..
    Marzulli is a frank super-naturalists who has lectured on the subjects of UFOs, The Nephilim, and ancient prophetic texts, presenting his exhaustive research at conferences and churches,

    Other fundies don’t care for him too much:
    http://www.christianmediaresearch.com/content/another-gospel-examines-la-marzulli

    This week’s episode of Another Gospel, the 30 minute radio program produced by the Christian Media Network, probes the work of False Prophet Lynn (LA) Marzulli. A writer, radio host, and prophecy conference speaker, LA Marzulli has authored multiple books, largely on the subject of Bible Prophecy. His literary and broadcast output emphasizes the Nephilim account, and Marzulli predicts they will return in the guise of extraterrestrials.

    Fielding a regular blog, as well as his own radio program, Marzulli’s worldview is examined in the program, as this new episode of Another Gospel seeks to track how LA Marzulli carefully seeds the faulty Israel-First theology into the mindset of those interested in the ET phenomena. Like most Nephilim aficionados, Marzulli presents himself as on a mission to educate the church about the so called “coming deception.” In reality, the deception is already well underway, and Marzulli is a significant contributor to it……

    Each installment of the program features three segments, with the first two segments comprising a radio narrative presenting the views of a specific False Prophet, whose work and doctrine is featured throughout the show. The deceiver is afforded the majority of the program, as the final third segment of each program seeks to address the false doctrine just broadcast by citing Scripture.

    Another Gospel is unusual in that it is the first radio program which intentionally provides a lengthy presentation of false doctrine, as spoken by the deceiver in question. The idea is to accurately distill that person’s teaching down to about 20 minutes, to get to the often hidden facts associated with their doctrine. This revolutionary approach provides the Christian Media ministry with a vehicle with which to reprove the individual (and or/ministry) target of the probes.

    And someone gives us a bunch of information which I believe largely come from PZ’s tweets about the conference!
    http://www.jasoncolavito.com/blog/weird-roundup-angels-drive-ufos-ufologist-runs-for-school-board-and-graham-hancock-redates-the-neolithic

    L. A. Marzulli, a “Nephilim” researcher, novelist, and Biblical prophecy explicator, claims that deformed Peruvian skulls—specifically those produced by the widespread practice of head-binding—are proof that the Nephilim-aliens manipulated Peruvian DNA. He also argued that the Roswell event is connected to Mt. Hermon, the Levantine cult site where Enoch claimed that the Watchers (whom he takes for Nephilim) met, because he says Roswell and Mt. Hermon are exactly 180 degrees of longitude apart—exactly opposite on the terrestrial sphere. Roswell is at 104.5 degrees west, while Hebron is located at about 36 degrees east. Clearly, these do not make for 180 degrees of longitude. (Myers wrote that Marzulli identified the site as Mt. Hebron, but I have taken the liberty of assuming that is a transcription error.) Marzulli told the audience that angels drive UFOs and enter earth from a parallel dimension.

    Marzulli argued that centaurs, the Minotaur, and fauns were all real, and that David slew Goliath by hitting his pituitary gland. Marzulli further claimed that non-Jews of the Bronze Age were soulless products of the evil Nephilim and deserved to be killed, but that the soulless Nephilim escaped the heroic Jewish genocide by fleeing to South America, where they became the white gods of the Inca. Worse, Marzulli adopted Scott Wolter’s claim that Mystery Hill, New Hampshire (a.k.a. “America’s Stonehenge”) can be connected to Stonehenge in Britain by a straight line—as any two points on the globe can be via the Great Circle—but he also takes over Wolter’s extended claim that the circle leads directly to Mt. Hermon in Israel (Wolter actually gave only a generic “Phoenicia”) in order to make the whole thing a Nephilim-demon-alien conspiracy.

    Marzulli then rejected evolution, claimed that South American stone structures had piezoelectric properties and teleported people to other dimensions—claims drawn directly from Ancient Aliens, where David Childress and William Henry argued that the Inca had star gates in the form of false doors. Marzulli then connected the entire conspiracy to Nephilim living among us today. He said that the man who gnawed another’s face off last year, allegedly while high on bath salts, was in fact a soulless Nephilim, and that Satan was behind alien implants in UFO abductees.

    On his website, Marzulli describes himself as providing “Biblical” answers to modern questions, including “tornadoes, earthquakes, … flooding, riots, and the rise of lawlessness.” These Biblical answers happen to take the form of extra-biblical, non-canonical claims from the Book of Enoch that repurpose New Age ancient astronaut nonsense and reassign it back to the demons that ancient astronaut theorists first appropriated to serve as their aliens. He also asserts that “the current political landscape” (Are we to read that as Barack Obama?) is causing Biblical prophecies to come to fruition, culminating in the “supernatural events” of Revelation.

    Holy fucking shit, I don’t even.

  19. says

    Tony @17: The thought of someone being an expert in imaginary beings is chuckle-worthy.

    You mean like, every theologian since, well, antiquity?
    Seriously though, this is a step beyond “normal” fundy absurdity. The Nephilim get passing mention in Genesis and Numbers — two places in the entire Bible — and kooks build a whole body of pseudoknowledge out of it.

  20. says

    I got wondering again, as I’ve been doing lately, how this kind of fantasy is likely to fare in a world where we really do have some evidence of life elsewhere. I’ve heard it said discovering life elsewhere in the universe is likely to have a profound impact upon us, potentially a rather positive one, in that it might make us a bit less self-absorbed, among other things, anyway. And I think, for what it’s worth, this is plausible. You’d think it would be pretty epochal, even for those of us increasingly figuring it’s not even going to be that surprising, intellectually at least. It’s one thing to suppose, quite another to have it confirmed, on such questions, I think.

    Notwithstanding this likelihood, I think it will be a long time before we know what we know about it concretely enough and in enough detail that it will entirely chase out the more silly conceptions people do seem able to construct as amalgams between more recent findings and older beliefs. Given I figure the mostly likely first evidence for such life is going to be lines in a spectrometer suggesting the presence of a gas mixture unlikely to be entirely abiotic in origin (the most obvious example being oodles of free oxygen, but there’s no guarantee it will even be as compelling as that), and really little way of knowing anything beyond that something there is probably doing some form of metabolism, and having quite possibly to settle for that as all we can get on the question for many a decade, there will be still lots of space (if you’ll pardon the expression) for those among us who wish to argue this is the planet Elvis left to build, or whatever, and for some time…

    Still, I guess watching that, too, will be interesting, in its own little way, if it happens to be in my lifetime. And it’s maybe an interesting question: will it make us ‘grow up’ a bit? Or enough to notice? It may just be that fantasies about Elvis clones and Jesus aliens will seem increasingly humdrum, against such real evidence, however tenuous it might be. Or that the purveyors of the same will get a little more nervous about imagining and promoting such fantasies, increasingly uncertain how long their notions will hold up against what increasingly capable instruments and techniques tease out of the EM spectrum, given we have come so far in recent decades, from zero confirmation of extrasolar planets, to thousands in the catalogues, and spectra, even, off a few candidates that lend themselves to our getting them even with our current, very limited abilities.

    But the latter thought, even as I write it, just seems naive. We’ve had ‘prophets’ happy to forecast a specific end of the world date (and whose followings did not entirely evaporate when they were proved wrong). Push out the horizons of our knowledge as far as you like, I suspect they’ll always be there, and there will always be somewhere they figure they can safely tuck their gods. And yes, churches, temples and mosques alike will declare their various prophets and saviours also came to save anything that might be there on Gliese whichever, and theoretically capable of reading the canonical works. And for years, decades, or millennia, some may well insist we have found only algae, if that is all we’ve found (and this is plenty, for me), for whichever reason already obviously present in their theology.

    Which, actually, no, doesn’t especially depress me, if anyone’s wondering. It might be nice if the real world suddenly got so interesting to so many that their heads were too full with engaging it to waste much time on such a fantasy as is linked here, but I’m not sure I expect that much. Whatever we find, Hadean anaerobes, algae, or just more rocks, it will still be a larger universe, for all willing to look up from such scribbling and ranting, and at the stars.

  21. Rich Woods says

    @slithey tove #11:

    I can never grasp these magic “lei lines” they’re always talking about. How do they map them? Was Stonehenge discovered to be at the intersection of several, or do they draw the lines with Stonehenge as a locus point

    They just draw lines on the map, connecting ancient sites, medieval churches, etc. You can, quite legitimately, connect large numbers of such places in the UK over distances of 600 miles or more. More importantly, you can also do exactly the same with branches of Woolworth’s (before it went bankrupt, naturally).

    Go to http://www.tomscott.com/ley/ and enter a randomly-selected postcode like, um, GL52 2JW.

  22. Rich Woods says

    Oops, forgot this:

    As a D&Dnerd I like magic, but it always goes way past me, like a lightning bolt.

    That’ll be because of your loaded D20!

  23. weatherwax says

    #11 slithey tove: ” I can never grasp these magic “lei lines” they’re always talking about. How do they map them? Was Stonehenge discovered to be at the intersection of several, or do they draw the lines with Stonehenge as a locus point?”

    Not surprisingly, they’re mapped with dowsing rods. And yes, they say “I’ll bet there’s a line running between Stonehenge and Easter Island, and that would mean it would run through about here”, and sure enough, they manage to find one.

  24. says

    Eamon Knight @21:

    You mean like, every theologian since, well, antiquity?

    Pretty much.

    Seriously though, this is a step beyond “normal” fundy absurdity. The Nephilim get passing mention in Genesis and Numbers — two places in the entire Bible — and kooks build a whole body of pseudoknowledge out of it.

    I didn’t know that about the Nephilim. That makes Marzulli’s “expertise” chuckle- chortle- and snortle- worthy.

  25. says

    must have been piezoelectric teleporters, and that ancient Peruvians would have just walked through their back walls to be instantly zapped a thousand miles away.

    Eh, wake me when he locates El Dorado.

  26. unclefrogy says

    if the real knowledge we have accumulated today of the nature of reality and the history of the universe has not made a dent in some peoples fantastical beliefs I see no reason to expect that any new discoveries what so ever about prehistory, biology/evolution, deep physics or extraterrestrial life will have any marked effect on those believers in such fringe ideas.
    I will be child’s play to add any distortion of the new discoveries that they fancy to their stories or just wave it away with what ever twisted logic they like, they have been doing it like forever.

    uncle frogy

  27. says

    I can never grasp these magic “lei lines” they’re always talking about. How do they map them?

    1. Find an interesting feature in the landscape. Mark it on a map.

    2. Find another interesting feature in the landscape. Mark that on the map.

    3. Draw a line between the two.

    4. Marvel and be astonished. There will always be a straight line connecting them!

  28. says

    Marzulli argued that centaurs, the Minotaur, and fauns were all real, and that David slew Goliath by hitting his pituitary gland.

    I’m pretty sure that if I threw a rock and hit someone in the pituitary gland, it would be instantly fatal.

  29. unclefrogy says

    @31
    you wouldn’t even have to be that close with a sling sized rock either.
    uncle frogy

  30. says

    Al Dente, the guy with the Centauri hairdo is Giorgio Tsoukalis, not Marzuli. He’s a common fixture in various UFO programs shown on places like the History Channel

  31. weatherwax says

    #30 PZ, you forgot the step where they run dowsing rods or swing a crystal over the map to confirm the lei lines are there. No, really, I’m not kidding.

  32. gakxz1 says

    Let’s not forget that the ancient alien nonsense has racist origins; those natives couldn’t have possibly built their own monuments and civilizations, must have been aliens.

    But I’d admit to watching the “Ancient Aliens” tv show ironically; nothing better after a busy day than to fall on a couch and laugh at the crazy alien people, with their weird hair, deranged theories, and booming “Let’s take these anicent alien researchers seriously” narration. Although, I’m reminded of that Mitchel and Webb “Apprentice” spoof:

    Mitchel: “There’ll be alot of other people who flatter themselves by watching with a sense of irony…”
    Webb: “And remind me, how do these ironic non-idiots show up in the ratings?”
    Mitchel: “They show up the same, my friend. They show up just the same.”

  33. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Tony!, #17:

    The thought of someone being an expert in imaginary beings is chuckle-worthy.

    Until Peter Jackson decides to make an 800 million (US) dollar series of movies about those imaginary beings and needs some consultants.

  34. savant says

    The idea is to accurately distill that person’s teaching down to about 20 minutes, to get to the often hidden facts associated with their doctrine. This revolutionary approach provides the Christian Media ministry with a vehicle with which to reprove the individual (and or/ministry) target of the probes.

    anteprepro @ 20,

    Fascinating how they use rational, sensible techniques to examine “heresies”, but don’t ever seem to take the half-step extension to apply those same techniques to their own belief of choice.

    Still, all the power to them, huh? The more familiar they are with rational thinking, the more likely it seems that they might put the pieces together and realize their own beliefs are about as shaky.

  35. grumpyoldfart says

    The background drum machine wasn’t set loud enough. I could still hear some of Marzulli’s words.

  36. says

    savant @39: Don’t be too quick to give these people credit. They *might* cite scientific sources to show he’s a fruit loop. Or they might just say, Well he contradicts this and that verse of scripture, therefore he’s wrong. That’s what counts as refutation in fundy circles.

  37. jnorris says

    PZ @ #31: sounds like he read The Well World series of novels by Jack L. Chalker.