Tag Archives: Martin Luther

Apocalypse: 150,000 years of myths of End Times

The nightmare that the demented minds of Sarah Palin, Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann and her former drug-addict and self-proclaimed untrained and uneducated pastor Bradlee Dean [Smith], Ron Paul, Mitt Romney and Rick Perry (none of whom have any theological or linguistic training but are self-styled definers of the “word of god” that has no relationship to anything in any verifiable  religion) leagued together in the torturous stream of malcontent that is the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) is that proposed  years ago by the biblically challenged Beverly and Tim LeHaye in their End of Times mythology, has crippled academic growth and intellectual insight in the USA and like a fungus is spreading worldwide among us.  End Times mythology was gleaned from the Christian chimera catalyzed by the school of scribes writing the Revelation ascribed to the pen of the already dead Apostle John the Beloved to frighten chrestianos into joining christianos in the dying Emperor Constantine I’s unfortunate ecclesia (εκκλησία or law court {sometimes known as a “congregation of advocates”} linguistically transmogrified into the absurd distortion of “church”) that became his catholic (universal) religion in 325 CE as an effort to stop the disintegration of the civil empire. 

There is an enormous amount of fiction around the Book of Revelation in the Christian Bible.  Far from being a prediction it is a lamentation about current affairs.  While many fundamentalist preachers and priests claim that the Book of Revelation was written towards the end of the 1st century CE by a man, known only as John, the language of the text and the content of the text points to it being penned no earlier than the second century–and then the language varies in nature and kind. What must be understood is the name John is a reference to a group of people who lived in fear of the growth of the Roman Empire.  In this case, John is a collective plural proper noun.  It is not the same John who allegedly wrote the Gospel of John.  This is conclusively shown to be the case after a thorough statistical analysis of the two texts.  Word choice, word order, and textually it is noticeably different throughout the scroll.

The authors of Revelation adopted the moniker of John of Patmos as seen in the singularity of the reference to “John” in Revelation 1:1, 4, 9; 22:8.  We read that the authors refer to “his” exile to the island of Patmos, of the coast of Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey), in Revelation 1:9, where the Book of Revelation was penned. We know that Patmos was an escape-point for those who were attempting to flee the growth of the Roman Empire, but they had to hide, as Patmos was under the control of the extremely powerful Roman Empire. This fact determines and defines the true, non-prophetic meaning from Revelation, especially in light of two symbols in the Book of Revelation.

Seven-headed dragon attached by Archangel Michael (1109)

The seven headed (with ten horns; Revelation 12:3) demon or beast (Θηρίον; the mythological hydra) is considered by many to be an allegorical reference to the seven Roman Emperors that had ruled until John’s time. The problem is that past and current scholars can’t agree on which specific seven emperors John was referring, but it is clear that the passage is a reference to Roman imperial power.  Far more realistic is that the authors of the Apocalypse, first mentioned in Revelation 11:7 as emerging from the abyss that would indicate an underwater (sea) cave. His appearance, detailed as being exceptionally ugly with the mouths of the creature resembling those of a lion’s mouth and his feet are like the paws of a bear (Revelation 13:1-10), is described in detail in

Seven-headed dragon serpent protecting a god in the Orient

Revelation 13:1-10 with some of the mystery behind his appearance is revealed in Revelation 17:7-18, is that it is a reference to the serpent or dragon of Ugaritic myths from which comes the monster Abram and his nomadic clan, and comes from Babylonian lore (Daniel 7).  The seven-headed dragon is also common in Asia and throughout Oriental theology, for the seven-headed dragon or serpent is the protector of good gods and the warrior against evil.

Most of the problem comes from the incorporation of legends based on numerology (gematria or gimatria (Hebrew: גימטריה‎, gēmaṭriyā) is a system of assigning numerical value to a word or phrase and is basically found in the Kabbalah as in the definition of the gods (elohim) as 1 + 30 + 5 + 10 + 40 = 86,  Contrary to the writings of several on the records of Plato, the Greek philosopher never used the concept or wrote concerning numbers as substitutes for words) that has a Semitic background. To this end 666 becomes “the Mark of the Beast” a term that is no less than ten thousands years before the Hebrews even appear in history. 

American Black Baptists and Black, White, Latino Pentecostals have long been giving credence to this mythology  as its roots stretch back into ancient Africa.  When Franklin Delano Roosevelt championed labor, Black preachers came out against the program as being a part of the plot of evil. Outside of black churches, twentieth century evangelism in America tended to regard labor unions as the mark of the Beast–a thesis now used by the Koch Brothers, Ed Koch former Mayor of New York, and many Orthodox Rabbis as being an offense against the gods of the Old Testament that wants people to work at will of the provider or to negotiate separately for wages and security.  Black and now Puerto Rico  evangelicals who had originally worked keep the classes separate are beginning to labor to eliminate class distinctions–except in the cases of same-sex couples who their limited or nonexistent linguistic knowledge.  This is the , as in the case with Ruben Diaz, have libeled as sinners and transgressors.  If the Pentecostals had read the Apocalypse or even Matthew 7:1, they would learn that they are the embodiment of the number 666, with Ruben Diaz being the high priest of the Antichrist. 

Papyrus 115 found in Oxyrhynchus Egypt, earliest known fragment from the Book of Revelation

The problem within Christianity is that most Christians do not study  original texts (and the oldest is Egyptian, being Papyrus 115), and those who glance at the fragments detailing the mythology of the fable of the marked beast  have no power of translation and are unfamiliar with any concept of interpretation.  The earliest reference the Mark of the Beast is found on the Egyptian Papyrus 115 found in Oxyrhynchus Egypt.  It is the earliest known fragment from the Book of Revelation.  Quite clearly, the number of the Beast on Papyrus 115 is not 666.  Anyone who reads carefully can see that the number is 616 and the reference is to a multi-headed dragon, not to a moral nor to any Anti-Christ as the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod attempts to define in its vilification of the papacy and those who do not lavishly worship before the writings of the mad monk of Wittenberg: Martin Luther.  Instead the text is a reference to a magi(cian) who can change water into wine.

Daniel 7: Vision of the four beasts (Woodcut by Hans Holbein the Younger)

The multi-headed beast is but a rephrasing of the nightmare found in Daniel 7.  In this Babylonian myth Daniel also see multi-headed beasts, and is faced with numerous monsters.  The Christianized version of Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse is found in the four beasts of Daniel that various speculators have attempted to divine as being four different kingdoms: those that oppress their people.  In the ancient world, the beasts were the Neo-Babylonian Empire, second the Achaemenid Empire (made up of Medes and Persia), the third the Macedonian Empire and the fourth being the Roman Empire.  However, monks and priests in the European Middle Ages identified the animals with current medieval groups: the Northmen (Norway) who attacked Scotland (Picts), the Danes who overran England, the Normans (revitalized Norwegians), and ultimately the Islamic Caliphate.  The animals are empires, and the nations “horns” are kings over individual nations; “the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings” (Daniel 7:24).  The most absurd interpretations come from the Historicist (e.g. Adventists) and the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS). For example, an Adventists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and WELS argue that the “little horn”, is Papal Rome that came to power among the 10 Barbarians tribes (the 10 horns) that had broken up the Pagan Roman empire.  To this day the WELS, among the most backward and undereducated of mainline Protestant Christianity, consider the pope to be the anti-Christ and say little about Adolf Hitler who vowed he was defending Jesus and the Church dedicated to the worship of the New Testament figure. Pentecostals and Orthodox Jews have similar feelings, out of touch with reality and harkening to a day of fantasy that was built on plagiarisms.

Vates "coventina" celebrating Hope (Gaelic)

Second, the authors of the Apocalypse go further by associating the beast with seven hills. Rome, from its earliest recorded history, is and always has been known as the city of seven hills.  It is built on seven hills, with the most famous hill being the one dedicated either to the seer (or soothsayer, as that is how Vatican translates; those dedicated to worshipping gods were known as vates (οὐάτεις; meaning “prophets”) and were Celtic in origin) Vatican Mons Vaticanus or to the Etruscan god of prophecy and protector of childbirth, thereby being known as the god for children or “the children’s god”.  The name Vagitanus translates correctly as “crying, squalling, wailing,” and thus the god “who presided over the beginning of human speech” (Simmons, George C., ed., (1972) Education and Western Civilization: Greece, Rome, and the Middle Ages.  Arlington, VA, USA: College Readings, p. 93). 

Aulus Gellius "Noctes Atticae" ed. Grovonius (1706 vellum, in author's private library)

The name Vagitanus was changed to Vaticanus in an attempt to purify the Roman language and rid it of popular idiomatic misuses that the Roman erudite, led by Grovonius who edited the work of Aulus Gellius (c. 130-180 CE), Latin author and grammarian, probably born at Rome. He studied grammar and rhetoric at Rome and philosophy at Athens, after which he returned to Rome (Grovonius edition of the work of Gellius was first released in Editio princepa/First printed edition (Rome, 1469; a 20 volume work: The Noctes Atticae is valuable for the insight it affords into the nature of the society and pursuits of those times, and for the numerous excerpts it contains from the works of lost ancient authors) with Grovonius completing the most authoritative edition and had it published in 1706, thought tarnished its history.  That the god existed is attested to even by Augustine of Hippo.  Augustine mentions Vagitanus/ Vaticanus three times in Book 4 On the City of God in deriding the “mob” of Roman gods (turba deorum) although he had personally prayed to many in his earlier years. In demonstrating that the names of gods reveal their function, he points to Vaticanus, “who presides over the cries (vagitibus) of infants,” noting elsewhere that among the many deities associated with childbirth, Vaticanus is the one who opens the mouth of the newborn in crying (in vagitu; Augustine of Hippo, De civitate Dei 4.8:Vaticanus, qui infantum vagitibus praesidet and (4:11) ipse in uagitu os aperiat et uocetur deus Vaticanus; mentioned again in passing at 4.21.  Augustine’s life-long hypocrisy will be discussed later).

In Etruscan theology this deity’s name is Vagitanus (who was allegedly crucified with his head pointing to the earth and his feet projecting into the sky).  The temple of Vagitanus was built on the ancient site of Vaticanum and is Etruscan in origin and timeframe.  It was destroyed under the order of Pope Leo IV (847-855, a man who would never qualify as a saint but raised to the altar when enough bishops were bribed to acclaim the pontiff as blessed as he spent most of his time and most of the wealth of the church repairing churches and walls hit by Saracens)  in the 9th century CE. 

Pope Joan as "Whore of Babylon"

Medieval records claim that Leo was succeeded by Pope Joan, but this female pontiff has been attacked as a person who did not exist–although there was a chapel built to honor her after she died giving birth to a child, and was later libeled as the Whore of Babylon. The first mention of the female pope appears in the chronicle of Jean Pierier de Mailly, a Dominican chronicler working in Metz in the mid-13th century. In his Latin chronicle of the Diocese of Metz, Chronica universalis Mettensis, the fable of Pope Joan first appears in written form (ref.: The chronicle, edited by G. Waitz, was printed in Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Scriptores, vol. 24 (Hannover, 1879:502-26) and is in this author’s personal library; Jean Pierier de Mailly set the pontificate as existing in 1099, and wrote “[translation from the Latin]

Query. Concerning a certain Pope or rather female Pope, who is not set down in the list of Popes or Bishops of Rome, because she was a woman who disguised herself as a man and became, by her character and talents, a curial secretary, then a Cardinal and finally Pope. One day, while mounting a horse, she gave birth to a child. Immediately, by Roman justice, she was bound by the feet to a horse’s tail and dragged and stoned by the people for half a league, and, where she died, there she was buried, and at the place is written: ‘Petre, Pater Patrum, Papisse Prodito Partum’ [Oh Peter, Father of Fathers, Betray the childbearing of the woman Pope]. At the same time, the four-day fast called the “fast of the female Pope” was first established“.  [Translated from the Latin.  The name of the female is not given.]

An earlier edition is Geschichte der Monumenta Germaniae historica : im Auftrage ihrer Zentraldirektion / bearb. von Harry Bresslau, Hannnover [Germany]: Hahnsche Buchhandlung, 1921, xii, 17 sq., 469 sq).  Jean’s account was quickly modified by a fellow Dominican Etienne de Bourbon, who moved the pontificate to the ninth century, when records were more obscure. Martin of Opava’s Chronicon Pontificum et Imperatorum later in the 13th century is the first to attach a name to the figure, indicating that she was known as “John Anglicus” or “John of Mainz” (Opava is also known as Troppau). This account  also changes the date from the 11th to the 9th century, indicating that Joan reigned between Leo IV and Benedict III in the 850s, and while the story still states that the female pope died in childbirth, Martin claims the birth process occurred during a papal procession.  The anti-female, sexism of the medieval church is clearly stated:

John Anglicus, born at Mainz, was Pope for two years, seven months and four days, and died in Rome, after which there was a vacancy in the Papacy of one month. It is claimed that this John was a woman, who as a girl had been led to Athens dressed in the clothes of a man by a certain lover of hers. There she became proficient in a diversity of branches of knowledge, until she had no equal, and, afterward in Rome, she taught the liberal arts and had great masters among her students and audience. A high opinion of her life and learning arose in the city; and she was chosen for Pope. While Pope, however, she became pregnant by her companion. Through ignorance of the exact time when the birth was expected, she was delivered of a child while in procession from St Peter’s to the Lateran, in a lane once named Via Sacra (the sacred way) but now known as the “shunned street” between the Colisseum and St Clement’s church. After her death, it is said she was buried in that same place. The Lord Pope always turns aside from the street, and it is believed by many that this is done because of abhorrence of the event. Nor is she placed on the list of the Holy Pontiffs, both because of her female sex and on account of the foulness of the matter” [Translated from the Latin].  

Interestingly, popular accounts have respect for Joan, and describe her as learned, resourceful, a friend to the poor and needy, and saintly. The most popular and influential version was that interpolated into Martin of Troppau’s Chronicon Pontificum et Imperatorum somewhat later in the 13th century.  Another version of the Chronicon has Joan surviving, her son becoming the bishop of Ostia who has his mother interred in his cathedral when she dies.

Concerning the dating, there is one version of Anastasius Bibliothecarius (d. 886), a compiler of Liber Pontificalis, where Joan is mentioned.  This manuscript, in the Vatican Library, bears the relevant passage inserted as a footnote at the bottom of a page, out of sequence, and in a different hand, one that dates from after the time of Martin von Troppau that has led the Vatican to claim the addition to be a forgery, however glosses were common and all glosses had to be approved by the supervisor of the scriptorium where the glosses were created. Other versions either exclude all mention or where she appears the ink has been deliberately damaged. 

The problem with the dating of Pope Joan in the ninth century is that there is an unbroken host of printed material that demonstrates no break between Leo IV and Benedict III (Hincmar, ep. xl in P.L., CXXXVI, 85).  Also, Rome’s greatest enemies, the Patriarchs of Constantinople, do not mention any female pope.   Photius I who became Patriarch in 858 and was deposed by Pope Nicholas I in 863, was an enemy of the Pope but wrote at one point  “Leo and Benedict, successively great priests of the Roman Church” thereby not giving weight to the story (Pardoe, Rosemary and Darroll (August 1988). “Chapter 3: ‘Did Joan exist?'” The Female Pope: The Mystery of Pope Joan. The First Complete Documentation of the Facts behind the Legend. Crucible).  Once more we are faced with the problem of dating a record, an incident, a life.

On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church (Martin Luther)

A more plausible possibility for their being a Pope Joan would be during the  time frame 1086–1108, when there were several antipopes, and the reign of the legitimate Popes Victor III, Urban II, and Paschal II was not always established in Rome nor universally recognized, since Rome was occupied by Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor, and later sacked by the Normans, then with Popes such as Julius II more warrior than preacher, and Leo X more earthly than other world oriented Martin Luther wrote his pamphlet On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church in 1520.  Luther was End Times in psychology and all the carnal realities that were around him (to which he surrendered to his basest appetites, especially gluttony) made him question and then break with Rome.  This also would agree more closely with the earliest known version of the legend, by Jean de Mailly, as he places the story in the year 1099. De Mailly’s story was also acknowledged by his companion Stephen of Bourbon, and while both chroniclers were repulsed by the idea of a woman pope, neither claimed she was legend or argued that she did not exist.  What is known of the eleventh and twelfth century was the great fear of an Apocalypse, as the year 1000 was thought by many to be the End Times (a misreading of Luke 21:32).

Bartolomeo Platina, prefect of the Vatican Library, wrote in his Vitæ Pontificum Platinæ historici liber de vita Christi ac omnium pontificum qui hactenus ducenti fuere et XX in 1479:

Pope John VIII: John, of English extraction, was born at Mentz [sic: Mainz] and is said to have arrived at Popedom by evil art; for disguising herself like a man, whereas she was a woman, she went when young with her paramour, a learned man, to Athens, and made such progress in learning under the professors there that, coming to Rome, she met with few that could equal, much less go beyond her, even in the knowledge of the scriptures; and by her learned and ingenious readings and disputations, she acquired so great respect and authority that upon the death of Pope Leo IV (as Martin says) by common consent she was chosen Pope in his room. As she was going to the Lateran Church between the Colosseum Theatre (so-called from Nero’s Colossus) and St. Clement’s her travail came upon her, and she died upon the place, having sat two years, one month, and four days, and was buried there without any pomp. This story is vulgarly told, but by very uncertain and obscure authors, and therefore I have related it barely and in short, lest I should seem obstinate and pertinacious if I had admitted what is so generally talked. I had better mistake with the rest of the world, though it be certain, that what I have related may be thought not altogether incredible.

The accounts that gave a more thorough discussion were ordered burned by the Vatican, and a general purge was ordered of all libraries to remove any record of the female pope.  She was seen as the Whore of Babylon as accursed in the Apocalypse by Martin Luther and early Protestants, but there is no scriptural foundation for their aspersions nor for the vilification of woman as is the practice of WELS.  Revelation 17:5 states Βαβυλὼν ἡ μεγάλη, ἡ μήτηρ τῶν πορνῶν καὶ τῶν βδελυγμάτων τῆς γῆς: “Babylon the Great, the Mother of Prostitutes and Abominations of the Earth.”  It is a reference to a city, to a power, not to a woman.  Prostitutes were not women (nor men) engaged in sex, but rather those who brought comfort and pleasure rather than leading others to prayer and praise. “Abominations of the Earth” meant the celebration of this life, not a quest for a spiritual life after death, for the concept of Tribulation, End Times, and other myths have no support anywhere in the original scrolls.

Title page of a 1766 edition of "The First Blast" by John Knox, with modernized spelling of the text

Full distrust and hatred of women came with John Knox (1510-1572) and his publication entitled

The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women.  Knox wrote (original spelling maintained):

For who can denie but it repugneth  to nature, that the blind shal be appointed to leade and conduct such as do see? That the weake, the sicke, and impotent persones  shall norishe and kepe the hole and strong, and finallie, that the foolishe, madde and phrenetike shal gouerne the discrete, and giue counsel to such as be sober of mind? And such be al women, compared vnto man in bearing of authoritie. For their sight in ciuile regiment, is but blindnes: their strength, weaknes: their counsel, foolishenes: and judgement, phrenesie, if it be rightlie considered.

“Babylon” was a cryptic name for Rome (Revelation 17:9: seven mountains in the KJV, seven hills in the NIV, and the city had to be the center of the world’s merchandise (Revelation 18:3, 11–13); and it was defined as a culture of  brutality as seen in torture and dictatorships, greed as found in the ranks of the Tea Party and the Koch Brothers, and paganism as a word for “country people” or “uneducated”–a plight that is now universal, and a failing of academics as seen in the USA when over 7000 students drop out of high school every day.

In 1404, Adam of Usk’s Chronicon gives the female pope a name: Agnes.  At the same time the recorder mentions a statue in Rome that is said to be of the popess. This statue had never been mentioned by any earlier writer anywhere. It is presumed, today, to be an actual statue that came to be taken to be of the female Pope.

A late-14th-century edition of the Mirabilia Urbis Romae, a guidebook for pilgrims to Rome, tells readers that the female Pope’s remains are buried at St. Peter’s Cathedral. It this time a long series of busts of past Popes was made for the Duomo of Siena.  One of these busts was that of the female Pope, with the inscription: “Johannes VIII, Foemina de Anglia”.  The bust was included between Leo IV and Benedict III.

Pope Clement VIII, in 1601, declared the account of the female Pope to be false. The famous bust of her, inscribed Johannes VIII, Femina ex Anglia, which had been carved for the series of Papal figures in the Duomo di Siena was either destroyed or recarved and relabeled, replaced by a male figure, of Pope Zachary (Stanford, Peter (1999). The She-Pope: a quest for the truth behind the mystery of Pope Joan. London : W. Heinemann, 1998).  The Church feared more the outrage of gynephobes than scholars, and sought to insulate itself by revising its history.

Horsemen riding to battle in Panathenaic procession (Greece)

A third, another major problem with the Biblical Revelation is the now infamous Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, mention in Revelation 6:1-8. The four horsemen of the Apocalypse are mercenaries as defined in the order that they appear and the colors that are associated with each: White (Conquest, not purity), Red (war and violence), Black (Famine and theft), Pale (Death).  This imagery harkens back to the mythical story of the Jews fleeing Egypt in the Old Testament book of Exodus and the imagery of the ten plagues. Once more this tale show that the authors were writing about the Roman Empire and Roman persecution of the christians of the day–not in the first century, as the tale of Nero persecuting Christians is a lie, he was doing the same kind of writing the Jews did when writing Exodus.

Saturn (Cronus) eating his children (oil by Francisco Goya)

Fourth, the authors of the Apocalypse were saying that God will intervene, exact justice for his downtrodden people, in the same sort of way that is written about in Exodus, by means of plagues (Exodus 7:14 – 12:36: דָם, צְּפַרְדֵּעַ, כִּנִּים, עָרוֹב, דֶּבֶר, and so forth, being the universal acts of devils fighting the forces of good in “a strange land” that becomes Gog and Magog).  The struggle or battle between good and evil exists in most theologies and for all times.  The religion of the ancient Greeks is full of violent struggles among the inhabitants of Mount Olympus, with Cronus eating his children, and Zeus fighting his father while courting and having sex with Europa and Ganymede.  The same is true in the ancient Germanic/Nordic traditions where the various deities are afraid of being abandoned by mortals and without their prayers and praise the god(s)/goddess(es) know that they are doomed to disappear for all time: the twilight of the gods–presaged by supernatural warfare that ultimately engulfed all of life by

Zeus/Jupiter overthrows father Cronus/Saturn and unleashes 4 horsemen: Titanmachy (painting by Cornelis van Haarlem, 1588)

appearing on the Planet Earth as prolonged famines (as in Somalia), epidemics

"God so loved the world" (John 3:16): Somalia starving 2011

(such as AIDS that has ravaged Africa for over 200 years), natural disasters (with Pat Robertson calling the Hurricane that hit Haiti the “will of an angry god” punishing the people “for the sins of their grandfathers” and

Pat Robertson: "God judged Haiti and destroyed it for their ancestors sins"

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann pontificating that Hurricane Irene’s

Bachmann's god "So loves the world that he sent Hurricane Irene" from North Carolina to New Jersey August 28, 2011

rampage up the northern coast of the USA was “[her] god’s revenge” for sin–equal to the epidemic of suicides in her Minnesota district, quoting John 3:16,

Bachmann silent on epidemic of suicides in her district 2011

and with Bradlee Dean and other evangelicals and Pentecostals led by the Moral Majority, a political-action group founded by the Rev. Jerry Falwell, used homosexuality as the source for AIDS (even though it is an equal opportunity virus irrespective of gender) that  became the tool, and gay men the target, for the politics of fear, hate and discrimination, and claiming it was the beginning of the Apocalypse promise of diseases before Jesus would ride out of heaven on a horse (supposedly Jesus was afraid to fly) carrying a sword (not willing to use any automatic weapon). Falwell, founder of Liberty University that has little claim to academic soundness, said AIDS is the wrath of God upon homosexuals: “AIDS is not just God’s punishment for homosexuals; it is God’s punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals”.  Reagan’s communications director Pat Buchanan argued that AIDS is “nature’s revenge on gay men.”), leading to the uncared for death and even the murder of AIDS sufferers, and Reagan said nothing, already suffering in his first term from Alzheimer’s Disease.

Asian woman dying of AIDS 2007 while pastor reads "God so loves the world" (John 3:16)

Margaret Marabe, a volunteer of the organization Igat Hope (Pidgin English for I’ve Got Hope) spent five months on an AIDS awareness campaign in the remote Southern Highlands of the Papua.

Child with AIDS about to be buried alive

“I have seen five people buried alive. One was calling out “Mama, Mama” as the soil was shoveled over his head. One of them was my cousin, who was buried alive. I said, ‘Why are they doing that?’ And they said, ‘If we let them live, stay in the same house, eat together and use or share utensils, we will contract the disease and we too might die’.” said Marabe. She found from the villagers that it was a widespread habit for people to bury AIDS victims alive.  While it is claimed that New Guinea is Christian and doing “the Lord’s work” by burying their children and other AIDS sufferers, in an effort to stop the impending Apocalypse, the people of New Guinea tell a different tale of fear of the gods: According to the Papuan belief, death is not accepted as a natural phenomenon, but it is always the result of the evil action of a spirit, in most cases headed by a witch or wizard. Women suspected of practicing witchery have been tortured and murdered by mobs, blamed for the “mysterious” deaths of young people hit by HIV infection.  It is the issue of witchcraft that led to the rise of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) in Africa and Asia demanding the exorcism of witches and if they do not repent, they are to be killed, as Assembly of God Pastor Ed Kalnins anointed and attested, when former witch doctor Thomas Muthee ‘prayed over’ Sarah Palin.

Forty-plus Orthodox rabbis in New York reiterated the cruelty of their gods in calling for the ouster of a congressional candidate based on their misreading of the Torah, and so forth), and wars (many USA Pentecostals saw the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan–conflicts continuing for generations–as being the judgment of their gods) served as reminders that life was fleeting and civilization itself was fragile at best.  It is interesting to note that the Republican Party’s candidate the 40 Orthodox Rabbis endorsed to expel the Jew who was running for the Congressional seat sided with Pat Buchanan who denied the Holocaust and claimed there are no good Jews: (New Republic, 10/22/90), on April 21, 1987,  in The New York Times, Buchanan discussed his attempts at closing down the US Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations (which was in charge of prosecuting Nazi war criminals), and laughed at any Jew supporting a Republican; on  February 25, 1989 proclaimed his support for the KKK that still had (and has) a large following in New York and New England.

KKK salute opposing and demanding the death of Blacks, Jews, Roman Catholics, and Gays

Pat Buchanan is decidedly against democracy. In his book Right from the Beginning, Buchanan refers to Spanish dictator Francisco Franco as a “Catholic savior” (Buchanan, Patrick J. (1988). Right from the Beginning.  Boston, MA, USA: Little-Brown).  He called Franco, along with Chile’s Gen. Pinochet, “soldier-patriots” (syndicated column 9/17/89). Both men overthrew democracy in their countries. Buchanan devotes a chapter of his autobiography — Right from the Beginning — to defending Senator Joe McCarthy.  He advocated that Nixon “burn the tapes” during Watergate, and he criticized Reagan for failing to pardon Oliver North over Iran-Contra. Buchanan, shortly before he announced he was running for president in 1995: “You just wait until 1996, then you’ll see a real right-wing tyrant.” (The Nation, 6/26/95; this ideology has never changed.)

The one thing that all of these cults: the NAR, Assembly of God, Republican Party, and Pentecostals have in common is that their gods demand human sacrifice, especially of children (מַכַּת בְּכוֹרוֹת) who are to be sexually abused (circumcision is performed on both males and females), mutilated, or murdered be it Isaac (עקידת יצחק in Genesis 22:5, 8), Ishmael (Qur’an  37:99–113) with the problem being in the translation of the text, for Abraham was to transfer “his first-born son” and that was Ishmael, as Isaac was not even yet conceived; consider this interpretation:

Abraham's sacrifice of his son

(Ref.: Abul-Fidâ’ Ismâcîl Ibn Kathir ad-Dimishqî Tafsir Ibn Kathir) It has similarities within the vita of Jesus, and any of the other 37 crucified saviours who are mentioned or suggested as being a part of the Apocalypse.

Like so much of the New and Old Testament, the Apocalypse was definitely not original here but a mangled collection of tart plagiarisms from other world religions who used terror to frighten illiterates into a priestly conceived belief system.  The purpose was simple: create a theology that would weakly define the origins of all species, detail what codes of conduct must be followed, and elaborate upon what system of punishments and/or rewards those who accept the ontology of the writers determine.

USA pastors who seek the end to human rights while supporting the 13th amendment for themselves

How does this connect to the 2012 myth–which is the modern version of End Times and the Final Battle as bleated by the NAR and its god squad of untrained or poorly trained theatrical preachers and monolingual readers of contemporary redactions of the text of the Apocalypse?  It keeps bad schools, like the Fuller School of Theology, in business, apologists rather than searchers for truth using a detailed conduct of inquiry without preconceptions employed, and serves to corrupt individual identity and choice so that its leaders: rabbis, priests, pastors, mullahs, and so forth, continue to have mind control over the gullible and are supported by hate

New York State Senator and Pentecostal Pastor Ruben Diaz

filled political leaders similar to state senator  Ruben Diaz of New York who also is a Pentecostal preacher who prefer a theocracy over any democracy and will do everything to make certain that human and civil rights are trampled under the claws of the monster of their Armageddon that has been called upon by the Khristian Knights of the Ku Klux Klan to hang Blacks, Jews, Orientals, LGBTs, and others.

Christians in Omaha, NE lynched and burned black Will Brown in 1919 in testimony that "God so loves the world" that Blacks are not allowed

Believers in the 2012 myth claim that because The Book of Revelation predicts the end of the world, and that it must mean December 21, 2012.  This screed of scurrilous superstition is based on the Irish Bishop’s dating using the Julian calendar while claiming dating in sync with the Gregorian calendar, with the desire to use the dead hand (mortmain) of the church to exercise control over the uneducated masses who prefer to follow rather than to lead. 

Worshipping the Bible as a god

The Apocalypse commits numerous fallacies in addition to being an outright plagiarism from numerous older records. The most obvious of which is confirmation bias:  “It is in the Bible, so therefore it is fact”–the excuse of bibliolatry (where the book is worshipped as a god, rather than an understanding of the message).  The second, to a lesser degree, is post hoc, ergo propter hoc, which means “After this, therefore because of this”:  a formula designating an error in logic that accepts as a cause something that merely occurred earlier in time.  This, in itself, elevates “blind faith” over and above science and common sense (Damer, T. Edward (1995). Attacking Faulty Reasoning: A Practical Guide to Fallacy-Free Arguments (3rd. ed.). Belmont, CA, USA: Wadsworth Publishing. p. 131).

Bishop Jesús Moliné Labarte of Chiclayo, Perú

Contrary to the historically challenged near-biblically illiterate ruminations of Bishop Jesús Moliné Labarte of Chiclayo, Perú, there is not one word that is original in the Bible when it speaks of End Times in the Apocalypse, but Moliné Labarte is like most prelates and pastors who work to frighten people into a faith that can economically enrich themselves or their religions, while in the past they slaughtered indiscriminately native people who had a similar succubi hallucination.  Bishop Jesús Moliné Labarte of Chiclayo speak out on life, but

Tubal (ectopic) pregnancy of 10mm embryo still in the oviduct (about 5 weeks old)

shows no knowledge of embryogenesis or trophectodermology and considers a fetus to be a living person, even though essential organs do not begin to appear until the ninth week at the earliest.  The bishop still claims that the fetal tissue is a “baby” and abortion is denied even in the case of rape, incest or knowledge that the fetus will not live or if it continues its evolutionary pattern could be born with any number of problems especially with environmental toxins, parental alcoholism, spontaneous abortion (Ljunger E, Cnattingius S, Lundin C, Annerén G (November 2005). “Chromosomal anomalies in first-trimester miscarriages”. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand 84 (11): 1103–7; available online, but membership required), and so forth (Wilcox AJ, Baird DD, Weinberg CR (June 1999). “Time of implantation of the conceptus and loss of pregnancy”. New England Journal of Medicine 340 (23): 1796–9, full article is available here).

At the same time, this bishop (like most others) celebrates mock executions of faux-christuses that are more sadistic sentences than religious celebrations.  Sermons are given recounting passion and promising an End Time when all believers will be united with the “slain saviour”–and readings from the Apocalypse.  The reading is given as if it is prophecy–ignoring that the record was a statement of a dream: a revelation.

Faux-Jesus crucified in Chiclayo

Education means little to the bishop as can be seen in the low quality of education in the school systems, and where, in the parochial classrooms, prayer is considered of greater value than learning usable information and skillsm teachers are poorly trained, supplies and books are in demand but the demand is not met, and grades are of little consequence as students are passed more for attendance than academic excellence.  If religion (Roman Catholic and evangelical/fundamental Protestant) was turned over to the literature sections/areas of schools, and emphasis was placed on science and mathematics, Peru would be academically richer.  As it is, Peru ranks low in education–lower than Bolivia which is a far pooer nation, but the government of Peru mandates religion to be taught in all of its schools (public, private, and parochial), and it cannibalizes time, resources, staff, and educators–a fault that is now inching more rapidly into USA education as seen in Rick Perry’s Texas system, the devolution of science in Louisiana and the South, and the sloughing of ontology into the classrooms in Kentucky, Iowa, Ohio, and elsewhere.  Fundamentalists are battling for the insertion of religion in the few states where academic excellence has been achieved: California, Washington, and Massachusetts; Delaware fought back by a parent taking to court those pushing creationism (Intelligent Design), and won in the celebrated case of Tammy Kitzmiller, et al. v. Dover Area School District, et al. (400 F. Supp. 2d 707, Docket no. 4cv2688; more here).

Ancient Egypt Trinity

Thousands of years before Christianity was conceived in the minds of men and refashioned in the image of Paulinity and reformed Judaism, the Egyptians had a similar concept that was birthed with their novel idea of a Trinity: the Sun, the Moon (who was known both as Asherah/Astarte or Venus, and Yahweh), and the Earth.  These globes were all that the ancient Egyptians knew until a few who wanted to be fed while speculating on the reason for their existence and termed themselves priests of the globes, redefined them as Ra (Sun), Isis (Moon), and Horus (Earth; sometimes known as Amun who was the Creator god) which became El (god).  When Isis bested Ra, she took precedence, and the Trinity of Ancient Egypt was known as Is-Ra-El.

During the first millennium BCE, Zoroaster in Persia detailed a final confrontation between Ahura Mazda and an evil usurper: Angra Mainyu [Ahirman], but far older is the war

Indra and Vritra (India)

between Indra and Vritraof India.   While the Hindu theology does recognize that there will be “a great change” in the world in 2012, it is not the end or destruction of either the Planet Earth or the people on the planet as Hindu thought is similar to that of the Mayans, that no god is so evil as to destroy that which was “created” by various forces.  Instead, Astrologer Dattatreya Siva Baba is positive about 2012: “There will certainly be natural and man-made calamities prior to the dawning of this new era of enlightenment, or the Golden Age. Between now and 2012, there will certainly be seemingly apocalyptic happenings. The world will not be destroyed, but it will be cleansed of negativity, ignorance, hatred and conflict.” 

Tiamat, Universal Creatrix Goddess, on a Babylonian cylinder seal

In ancient Babylon there was the final battle between Tiamat and Marduk a thirty-two centuries old theology.  Tiamatis, the eternal Creatrix who was pictured as a sea serpentor dragon–animals who symbolized knowledge and wisdom, and sought out other women with whom to converse about intellectual matters that mortal men would be too afraid to discuss (as was the case with Adam and Eve, where only Eve spoke with the Serpent in the

Dakshinamurthy or Jnana Dakshinamurti (Sanskrit: दक्षिणामूर्ति) Tree of Knowledge

Tree of Knowledge).  She has been portrayed as a chaos monster (the word “monster” meant, originally, anything that had both human and animal characteristics or attributes, as with a griffin, or the cherubim of ancient Babylon, it is not wrongly used to imply ugliness until after 1250 CE to suggest something that is “unnatural” or “misshapen”), a primordial goddess of the ocean, who, when mating with Abzû, produce younger gods in the same manner as the myth of Eve who had more children than Cain, Abel, or Seth (Genesis 5:4-5), they are not all named.  The goddess-creatrix’s name known as Thalattē (as a variant of thalassa, the Greek word for “sea”) in the Hellenistic Babylonian Berossus’ first volume of universal history comes later.  Because of her superiority there was an initial war, where the goddess is killed and her body divided to create the heavens and planets.  It is one of the earliest recorded versions of the Chaoskampf, the battle between a culture hero and a

Enuma elish (Babylonian cuneiform)

chthonic or aquatic monster, serpent or dragon; it is repeated in later plagiarisms in the Babylonian Enuma Elish, Tarhunt against Illuyanka in Hittite theology, and Yahweh (originally a cow god in ancient Egypt) against Leviathan (an ocean god) in the Hebrew Bible.  The numerous hands who fashioned the New Testament for the emerging cult of Christianity also stole from the legend of the chaoskampf  in the form of Saint George and the Dragon, Saint Michael who Jehovah Witnesses believe was incarnate into Jesus Christ (who was also a part of the chaoskampf [struggle over chaos] within the Jesus crucifixion narrative (Rudman, Dominic (2003).  “The crucifixion as Chaoskampf: A new reading of the passion narrative in the synoptic gospels = La crucifixion comme Chaoskampf: une nouvelle lecture du récit de la Passion dans les évangiles synoptiques”, Biblica 84: 102-107), and the Devil who was not the Serpent in the Garden, but an evil being (ref: Wyatt, Nick (2005).  Arms and the King: The Earliest Allusions to the Chaoskampf Motif and their Implications for the Interpretation of the Ugaritic and Biblical Traditions (1998), republished in There’s such divinity doth hedge a king: selected essays of Nicolas Wyatt on royal ideology in Ugaritic and Old Testament literature, Society for Old Testament Study monographs, Ashgate Publishing, 2005, pp. 151-190).

Tiamat’s death by Marduk is evidence of  a shift in power from a matriarch controlling society to a patriarchy and the rise of vain and unscrupulous men who invent a priesthood (commonly known as Levi) open only to males to keep females subordinate.  Because her child mourned her, they promised an Apocalypse to restore the beauty that their mother gave the denuded universe, charging it from nothing into something.  These confrontation would be cosmic and result in the end of civilization as known–but not the end of life.

Marduk defeating Tiamat

Speculation began about the universe and various civilizations speculated on there being other planet, especially one so terrifying it could not initially be named.  At first it was given only a  mark as its name–a mark that became the Roman numeral for ten: X.  The X was, ultimately, changed to the invention of the Planet Nibiru (a name that is wrongly attributed to the Sumerian language and people but was created by a woman who predicted the End Time and doom of Planet Earth would occur in 2003), whose mission was (by various forces from extraterrestrials to gods and intergalactic invaders) to collide with and destroy planet Earth that has been

James Ussher Archbishop of Armagh, Primate of All Ireland by Sir Peter Lely

around for more than four billion years–not the claim of Bishop James Ussher (4 January 1581–21 March 1656), who was Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland between 1625–56, who wrote that the world was only six thousand years old beginning the night preceding October 23, 4004 BCE, based on a counting (complete with miscalculations) of the genealogies of the Bible, in his book entitled Annales Veteris Testamenti, a prima mundi origine deducti, una cum rerum Asiaticarum et Aegyptiacarum chronico, a temporis historici principio usque ad Maccabaicorum initia producto. Most of western theology: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, can be found in the far older texts of Hinduism

Mayan calendar ending 2012

By the modern era of today, there are many theories of the End Times–some

Mayan calendar wheel

based on the Mayan calendar (the Mayan calendar, unlike the Western calendar, used a zero, but the zero was introduced into Europe not through Mexico but brought in by Arabs who called it صفر ṣifr).  Those who cite it are untrained in the symbols used in Mayan civilization and have little to no knowledge of its culture or educational system.  While the Mayan “calendar” ends on December 21 (plus or minus one day depending on the reading), 2012, what the doomsayers ignore is the message that after that date the old cycle overturns and a new cycle begins and live and the planet continue to live on as the Mayans had a cylinder calendar that rolls over once each part is complete and starts again with Day Zero as they had no higher counting system (Aveni, Anthony (2009). The end of time : the Maya mystery of 2012. Boulder, CO. USA: University Press of Colorado; cf. G. Jeffrey MacDonald (March 27, 2007). “Does Maya calendar predict 2012 apocalypse?” USA Today; and David Webster (September 25, 2007). “The Uses and Abuses of the Ancient Maya” (PDF). The Emergence of the Modern World Conference, Otzenhausen, Germany: Penn State University).

La Mojarra Inscription and Long Count date Mayan calendar

The Aztec calendar is far more practical. The calendar consisted of a 365-day calendar cycle called xiuhpohualli (year count) and a 260-day ritual cycle called tonalpohualli (day count). Together these two cycles formed a 52-year “century,” sometimes called the “calendar round”. The xiuhpohualli is considered to be the agricultural calendar, since it is based on the sun, and the tonalpohualli is considered to be the sacred calendar.  The problem with the dating of the Mayan calendar is that those who have labored on reading it and continue to study it do not firmly understand the Mayan language, have weak translation skills and their skills in interpretation are base at best.  Many symbols are ignored, and the fact that the space at the conclusion of the script is not definitive makes many assume that it was an intentional design and determination rather than one that occurred because there was no further room.  This is the problem in interpretation and in translation when those attempting either science have too weak a background in the fine points of the skills or do not take the time to study them in light of other realities–such as the Aztec calendar.  The Aztec calendar was not only used by the Aztecs but other Pre-Columbian people of central Mexico.

Aztec calendar

The Aztec calendar may be far older, for the dating is different (Brad Schaefer (Yale University). Heliacal Rising: Definitions, Calculations, and Some Specific Cases (Essays from Archaeoastronomy & Ethnoastronomy News, the Quarterly Bulletin of the Center for Archaeoastronomy, College Park, MD, USA : The Center, [1991-1999] University of Maryland,  Center for Archaeoastronom: Number 25).  Its date or origin is unknown, but has been calculated around the first appearance of the Pleiades (Tianquiztli, he was a god of horror and caused fear among his followers, being a vengeful warlike god similar to Matthew 10:34; the name translates as  “Left-Handed Hummingbird” and he demanded human sacrifice in a manner similar to that of the gods of the Old and New Testament: from Abram and Isaac to the “Father” of Jesus; cf. Boone, Elizabeth Hill (1989). Incarnations of the Aztec Supernatural: The Image of Huitzilopochtli in Mexico and Europe. Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, vol. 79 part 2. Philadelphia, PA, USA: American Philosophical Society.  The brutality of religion is best seen in Huitzilopochtli whose thirst for human blood rivaled anything that Hitler or the Spanish Inquisition required, but there was one far worse and closer in relationship to the early bishops of Constantine’s catholic (universal) Church:  his brother Tezcatilpoca. Tezcatilpoca was almost as powerful but his appetite endless, and it is recorded that he consumed 25,000 virgins a year) asterism in the east

Huitzilopochtli, as depicted in the Codex Telleriano-Remensis.

immediately before the dawn light.  The Aztec Apocalypse was different from others, as it was believed to be every fifty-two years, but when the date for the “horror” arrived, the priests would chase it away by the Aztec priests starting a small fire on the slashed chest of the victim (human sacrifice was common and the slaughter of a virgin victim considered essential, for the victim was selected not only because of his or her virginity but because of the individual’s physical beauty that would indicate the person was a “child of god” and thus would return to the Supreme God when he or she died on a cross of burning woods). Once the fire was kindled and the victim burned, the fire was carried to the temple of the Sun god Huitzilopochtli (the ultimate Son of God who was a part of a Trinity), and to the homes of the Aztec people (ref.: Aveni, Anthony F. (2001). Skywatchers (Rev. and updated ed. of: Skywatchers of ancient Mexico, 1980 ed.). Austin: University of Texas Press; the Spaniards would take parts of this mythology back to Spain with them and incorporate it into their religion (ref: Read, Kay Almere (1998). Time and Sacrifice in the Aztec Cosmos. Bloomington: Indiana University Press), as ancient Mesoamerican ontology and religious practices buttressed many of the pagan rites and symbols that the Christian bishops incorporated once they became the supreme power under Constantius II, especially after 385 CE.  The Aztecs used a solar calendar but where it was divided into twenty-day periods for a total of 360 named days and 5 nameless (nemontemi) that were avoided as they were considered unlucky).  In noting the Mesopotamian records and comparing them with the ancient Habiru/Hebrew and early Christian records, the noun for deity is always plural; even to this day there is no single god, but religions from Zoroastrianism and Hinduism to Judaism and Christianity in the guise of a Trinity–technically three characteristics but long assumed, especially in art, as three separate deities: Parent, Child, and Prompter or Wisdom (Spirit: being a corruption of the word λόγος with the plural λόγο). This finds fulfillment in the Apocalypse with a war between good (Ahura Mazda/Jesus, etc) and evil (by various names). 

The confusion and continued propagandizing of this fairy tale is most common in Pentecostal Christianity, especially used by “pastors” with marginal training in linguistics or world religions such as the pathetic preachifications of αγράμματος of New York’s scelerate State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr whose άνομος goal is to deny human and civil rights to those who disagree with his ideas: in keeping with the gods of evil of the ancient world order and their agathokakological and cacodemonic commandments. Forty Orthodox Jewish rabbis in New York’s 9th Congressional district, came out against democracy in the USA and told their congregations that voting for the Democratic candidate, Weprin, was “forbidden according to Torah law” following tactics identical to Adolf Hitler. 

NY Orthodox Rabbis forbidding a free vote in the 9th Congressional District ending separation of state and church.

It was the Orthodox Rabbis desire to see democracy overthrown and a rigid theocracy installed in the USA with laws based on Old Testament canons as they wrote in a letter to their followers, yet in pure hypocrisy, refused to give up their IRS tax exempt status.  This follows the promise of Armageddon in all cultures, where the priestly class takes control of human minds to invite chaos and ultimate slavery to religion.  Among those who signed the letter, who want

Rabbi Yisroel Belsky

an open class war, are: Rav Yisroel Belsky, Rav

Rabbi Shmuel Khoshkerman

Yisroel P. Gornish, Rav Simcha  Bunim Cohen, Rav Shmuel Kamenetsky, Rav Avrohom Yaakov Nelkenbaum, Rav Hershel Zolty, Rav Grainom Lazewnik, Rav Eliyahu Brog, Rav Chaim Benoliel, Rav Max Maslaton, Rav

Rabbi Greinom Lazewnik

Yaakov Yisroel Rubin, Rav Shlomo Stern, Rav Yosef Eisen, Rav Yitzchok M. Landau, Rav Rahamim Harary, Rav Chaim Krauss, Rav Yosef Leifer, Rav Shmuel Friedler, Rav Mechel Rosenbaum, Rav Pinchos M. Twerky, and a dozen others.  It is a shame that these rabbis are not taken to Nazi concentration camps so they could see what intolerance breeds, as their bigotry and hatred is identical to that of the Nazis. The 40 rabbis and the others that signed their demand on how people voted in New York is tantamount to religion interfering in civil matters, and is a barely disguised insistence that all Americans follow Jewish law (their Orthodox Hebraic interpretation with the same vigor that Islamic ayatollahs demand that justice follows Sharīʿah (Arabic: شريعة‎ šarīʿah) that literally translates as “path to a watering hole” that Islam claims originated with the bedouin god’s messenger telling Muhammad what the gods wanted, set down in time in what became the Qur’an, and the example set by the Islamic prophet Muhammad in the Sunnah.

Sharia law requires the hand cut off of a thief

Sharia law requires the hand cut off of a thief

The Qur’an goes further in its grotesque concept of justice, going beyond the barbaric (originally Babylonian) law of an “eye for an eye” (Exodus 21:23-24)–by demanding that a hand be cut off for the theft of a banana or if a child  was to strike a father, masturbate, or use the hand for anything that could be considered a “crime against nature” or forbidden by the gods Allah. 

The injustice of Sharia goes back to the laws allegedly ordered by the voice of the gods of the Bedouins: “As to the thief, Male or female, cut off his or her hands: a punishment by way of example, from Allah, for their crime: and Allah is Exalted in power.” – Quran 5:38, and Bukhari Volume 8, Book 81: Number 774, 779, 780, 791 and Sunan Abu-Dawud, Book 38, Number 4356, 4357, 4367 etc.;  for no action directly sanctioned by mullahs or other Islamic cleric is to be taken without the forfeiture of a hand or foot, or hands and feet, that today is matched by the Christian New Apostolic Reformation and its extremist evangelicals.  

Muslim woman stoned to death for adultery.

A woman is to be stoned to death for committing adultery while the man is whipped. The death penalty was demanded by Hammurabi for theft, witchcraft, and adultery.  The stela on which the well-known code is transcribed has been plagiarized by most Mesopotamian civilization, and found its way into what would eventually become Israel after the Hebrews stole it from the native Canaanites (Palestinians). In the 12th century BCE, the Elamite king Shutruk-Nahhunte brought it from the city of origin (probably Sippar, the city dedicated to the god of justice) to Susa.  It was eventually found by 20th-century archaeologists at Susa, but its code had spread to Persia and other lands as far south as Sheba (Ethiopia) and Sudan. Scholars believe Shutruk-Nahhunte is responsible for scratching out columns of inscription on the bottom of the tablet (some of which have been reconstructed from copies).

Attempts to impose Sharia have been accompanied by controversy, violence, and even warfare (cf. Second Sudanese Civil War that has been using child soldiers).  Some states within the USA have given permission for Sharia to be used instead of American justice, for judges have listened to arguments that faith has precedence over human or civil rights.  This is the same argument of the 40 rabbis in New York at the last election.  It is said that by permitting the barbarity of the Orthodox rabbis letter to be printed and mailed and by allowing former New York City Mayor Ed Koch to robotically call Jews to tell them to vote according to the wishes of the Rabbis, New York guaranteed freedom of worship.  That is not true.  The message sent out by the rabbis was one of hate and intimidation, and they have invited a civil war to stain New York with human blood.  The rabbis have no more right to act as judge and jurors over others than do radical Islamists who claim that their first allegiance is to their god, for both the rabbis of New York and the extremists in the Islamic community are openly working to establish a theocracy where only their religion is permitted, and the civil and human rights of others is to be denied.

The sole difference is that the Torah (סֵפֶר תּוֹרָה) appeared before the Qur’an.  Both their histories and their writing is dubious. Both are the product of plagiarism and elitism.  The Torah is alleged to have been given to Moses by the gods Moses personally spoke with (Genesis 33:11, but Moses never spoke face-to-face with the deities, that is found in Qur’an 4:164), but the Torah is written in the third person and its style belies the claim that Moses wrote it for the Torah contains narrative, poetry, legislation, and other types of writing with a variety of styles and variations of words within the same fables.  Most of it was written about 450 BCE–not the 3313 BCE date that many rabbis claim for the authorship.   The Qur’an is written in the first person.  Muslims claim that the Qur’an was written in the seventh century CE.  There is a Qur’an in the Topkapi museum and it is one of the oldest Korans with the claim that it dates from 650 CE–but this Qur’an is written in Kufic script.  The Kufic script did not come about until circa 8th century so this Koran could not date from 650 CE, according to many writers, but the argument is rejected by others: B. Moritz, “Arabic Writing”, Encyclopaedia Of Islam (Old Edition), 1913, E. J. Brill Publishers, Leyden & Luzac & Co.: London, p. 387.  If the former is true, it means that the first Qur’an does not appear until 200 years after Muhammad died; if the latter is correct than much of Islamic history is fashioned from stale material, as Muhammad was illiterate, and because he could neither read nor write, he had to memorize what Allah was saying, then transmit it repeatedly, orally, to Remembrancers the rest of Muhammad’s life (a life that has no record outside of the Qur’an; later confessions of faith mention Muhammad, but like Josephus writing about Jesus, there is little evidence as to the reliability of the accounts for they are apologetics written to please a leader).  When the account (Qur’an) was finally written down, Muhammad was dead and could not review it for accuracy, and there were no immediate relatives still living.  That made it essential for heirs from the two sides of Islam jockey for position into defining what was correct.  That is a Herculean task, and one filled with potholes.

The laws of Moses are nothing less than the revision of Hammurabi’s Code (Hammurabi was King of Babylon, 1792-1750 BCE) and other Mesopotamian laws while the ancient Jews were nomadic mercenaries working for the ruler who paid the most when they would enter into a world war that would be the End Times of mortal kind.  Their origins and explanations are all that differ.  Most of the time the Moses commentary is longer, except for Exodus 22:7-9 that discusses the giving of any form of wealth to someone believed worthy of trust and then having to regain the good, as it takes no less than five lines in Hammurabi’s code to force the return of a good placed with another for safekeeping.  Frequently, violence occurred and wars broke out–give birth to the fear that there would be an ultimate war to remove mortals from the Planet Earth or that mortals create an environment  or various natural phenomena take over that makes the planet uninhabitable: an Apocalypse of Fire (of Gehinnom, or the Lake of Fire) is but one ancient scenario and has led to a plethora of historical writing.

There is no truth to the fiction in either the Book of Daniel nor in the Apocalypse of John (nor the less known Apocalypse of Abraham, written around 150 CE).  They are meant to terrify, intimidate, persuade, and gain a mental foothold over people and enslave them to the demands of a few, such as C. Peter Wagner and the New Apostolic Reformation.  Starting a church, or better yet initiating a new religion, remains the safest and fastest way to become rich.  Let the less enterprising drop out of school and work for you, as has been the drug of choice for Bob Vander Plaats when he created his FAMiLY LEADER program in Iowa based on Nazi and fascist ideologies, Rick Perry pushed during his Restoration day of prayer, and Sarah Palin is buttressed by her prayer warriors who use as their logo the Star [shield] of David with a cross embedded in the center: a symbol few Jews or Christians would accept, but a vain attempt to equate Palin with Moses and Jesus.  These “warriors for Jesus” will be faced with a pitched battle with the Orthodox Rabbis of New York.

Charles Koch of Koch Industries (Wichita, KS) who bought the governorship for its henchmen Samuel Dale Brownbeck who continues to be a member of The Family of C Street in Washington, DC, and is determined to bring about the Apocalypse, funds all certified hate-groups from Americans for Prosperity to the American Family Research Council, and so forth.  Koch Industries that poured vast sums into the pockets of the Rabbis of New York, depend on citizens of the USA to continue to buy its products so that more far-right-wingers are elected and the international holocaust of the Apocalypse can begin.  The products are Georgia-Pacific paper products whose factories in Arkansas are polluting Coffee Creek, such as Northern Quilted and Angel Soft paper products, Brawny and Sparkle paper towels, Mardi Grass paper napkins, Vanity Fair paper plates, Dixie cups and other paper products, Cordura nylon, and Lycra fabric products, ranching to fertilizers to chemicals and energy sources.

Charles Koch in his Wichita, KS office waiting for the Rapture

On the eve of the November 2010 midterm elections, Koch Industries sent an urgent letter to most of its 50,000 employees.  Each employee was advised whom to vote for and warning the employee and his or her family about the dire consequences to their families, their jobs and their country should they choose to vote otherwise.  Included with the cover letter, dated October 24, 2010, from its president and COO, David Robertson was a detailed list of Koch-endorsed state and federal candidates, with the warning to vote for each candidate or risk losing the individual’s job and benefits.  The letter reads:

“As Koch company employees, we have a lot at stake in the upcoming election. Each of us is likely to be affected by the outcome on Nov. 2. That is why, for the first time ever, we are mailing our newest edition of Discovery and several other helpful items to the home address of every U.S. employee” [emphasis added].

On a separate page with the letter (a pdf of the full letter is here), the Koch Brothers included the following note labeled “Elect to Prosper”:

“The following candidates in your state are supported by Koch companies and KOCHPAC, the political action committee for Koch companies. We believe these candidates will best advance policies supporting economic freedom.”

The rest of the letter offers an apocalyptic vision of the company’s free-market struggle for liberty against the totalitarian forces of European Union bureaucrats and deficit-spending statists.  Labor is to be controlled, bargaining rights offend the interest of profits, and Charles Koch gives his employees a “history lesson” that is so erroneous that a sixth-grade history student can easily disprove each line to be false.  Charles Koch, whose father was a co-founder of the John Birch Society, wrote:

“….Warren G. Harding and his successor Calvin Coolidge for producing “one of the most prosperous [eras] in U.S. history.” Harding was great because of  his insistence on “cutting taxes, reducing the national debt and cutting the federal budget…”  Koch pick for the worst president is Iowa’s Herbert Hoover, whom he accused of undermining “economic freedom” and thus precipitating the Great Depression. “Under Hoover,” he writes, “federal spending roughly doubled and personal income tax rates jumped from 25 percent to 63 percent. He raised corporate taxes, too, and doubled the estate tax. Hoover also pressured business leaders to keep wages artificially high, contributing to massive unemployment.

The truth is quite different.  The Warren Gamaliel Harding (November 2, 1865 – August 2, 1923) a self-made publisher and US Senator (R-OH) and John Calvin Coolidge, originally a lawyer from Vermont who moved to and became the governor of Massachusetts (R-MA) administrations’ free-market romp was one of the key factors that led to the Great Depression that Hoover inherited and then passed on to Franklin Delano Roosevelt whom the Koch father called a “socialist”.  The time that Harding and Coolidge were in office was marked by obscene corruption (while corruption was nearly 100% under Harding, it was less under Coolidge who tried to undo Harding’s damage; Coolidge’s major corruption scandal came with Henry Ford’s proposal to develop federal property at Muscle Shoals, Alabama), racial violence (Coolidge did attempt to repair racial relations but he lacked genuine enthusiasm required to bring harmony to the nation, but his action was not popular with the majority of USA citizens who remained racists), union busting (Coolidge’s antilabor policies, similar to that of the Koch-bought Wisconsin governor Scott Walker (R-WI) is considered the ultimate reason for the Great Depression), feudal wealth inequalities (with the inequitable “flat tax” proposed that rejects equality of all people and is a regressive tax requiring the poor to pay as much as the rich, meaning that the rich pay little, and the poor pay the same amount that leads the poor into debt peonage) and, shortly thereafter, the total collapse of the American economy. Realities that led to the formation of numerous Pentecostal End Times churches and communities and preparation for the Rapture.

According to U.S. Census Bureau data released Tuesday September 13th, 2011, the nation’s poverty rate rose to 15.1% in 2010, up from 14.3% in 2009 and to its highest level since 1993. 

Percent and number of people below the poverty threshold in the USA

The poverty level has a direct relationship to religious groups and affirmation.

Religious growth and decline in the USA (1990-2000)

The poorer the USA becomes, the more people turn to atheism and “other” Christian forms, primarily pentecostal.  While the following chart attempts to claim a limited increase in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, this is not correct.  The LDS (Mormons) count everybody who either converted to the LDS or were baptized into the LDS even without their knowledge (baptism of the dead is considered by the LDS to be “by proxy” and only in specific Temples that have facilities for the proxy baptism: (“Why Mormons Build Temples,” Ensign, January 1972, p. 42). According to the Pew U.S. Religious Landscape Survey the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints replacement rate has dropped to 80% and the decline is increasing as more Mormons are now acting as “missionaries” to expose the church for its stand on race, women, work, and so forth. That means that for every five members who leave Mormonism behind four new converts join the Church. With this situation growing, more people are becoming devotees to End Times and the final Apocalyptic battle the between good and evil when “the anointed one” (Rick Perry) gains the presidency of the USA.  The NAR is determined to awaken the warrior Jesus (Matthew 10:34) to begin his bloody war against mortal kind.

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The Meaning and Value of Words

1843 ed. Charles Dickens, "A Christmas Carol"

When Charles Dickens wrote his classic A Christmas Carol (first published by Chapman & Hall on 17 December 1843 and, then, reprinted frequently until it became a much-loved classic that was made into various movie productions (now more than forty different versions) by numerous companies in a plethora of nations with great economic success and profit: from the first being filmed in 1901 under the title “Scrooge: Marley and His Ghost” to the second one released in 1908 version which starred Thomas Ricketts as Scrooge and was a short cinema under the title of “A Christmas Carol”), his readers understood the words he chose and the context in which they appeared. In time, however, there was some confusion over terms, phrases, and even words in the novella.  This confusion was the result of the linguistic changes in the world of languages as they became more “modern”: incorporating vulgar (common or street) words and expressions, colloquialisms, and jargon.

I do not see the modernization of language as a positive or good thing. The reason that I do not accept most modern idiomatic expressions, colloquialisms, jargon, and vulgar language is because they not only change but transmogrify, distortively, the writer’s/writers’ original intent. For example, in the First Stave, we find the salutation “Merry Christmas!”  Later in the Stave we read of “merry gentlemen”.  Today “merry” means “full of happiness” and “full of cheerfulness”, but in the days of Dickens, the word meant “causing happiness”.  This is more in keeping with older records, for the Old English (before 900 CE) the word “merry” was understood to mean “to be pleasant” and “to be agreeable”: in short, to be benevolent, to be charitable, to be kind.  It did not include the drunkenness nor the gaiety that appears in today’s misinterpretations and malinterpretations. The same is true in other literary works, especially those considered Holy or scriptural.

In modern-day bibles (actually since 1612), one reads of a man (who some allege married “Eve”) called “Adam.” (Genesis 2:7 and 5:1-5).  In the early scrolls, however, the telling of this account the word is “adamah” אדמה that is the feminine form of אדם translates as “ground” or “earth”.  Moreover, as philologists and linguists would teach in any valid class in interpretation in a reputable school of languages, it is actually a composite term, and not either a word nor a projector, for it is Edom-dam.  The word/name אדום (Edom) means “red”. Dam is the “red” blood, adamah is the “red” ground; linguistically it is a reference to the red soil, from which ancient mythologies created the “red” man [who tills the soil], with man being in the plural (mankind / mortal kind).  What is bitter in the current translations is the desperation of those who would create that which did not exist: a legend intertwining contemporary people with an “original” or “first” human being created by the gods (in the original scrolls, the most frequent word used to describe a supernatural being(s) was אֱלהִים (elohim) which is the plural of אֱל el or il (or god) and means gods / goddesses.

In the ancient Hebrew world, a person’s name was not simply an identifier but descriptive of one’s character. The word for “man” was never used. Instead it was the coloration which reflected the blood that flowed in the veins of the individual allowing him to work. “Eve” does not appear as a woman.  The word is Eva (Hebrew: חַוָּה, Ḥawwāh in Classical Hebrew, while in modern Israeli Hebrew it is “Khavah”, and in Arabic:حواء), who, according to the Apocrypha, was the second wife of Adam after Lilith, but linguistically the word must be translated and interpreted as “living one” or “source of life”, being related to ḥāyâ, “to live” coming ultimately from the Semitic root ḥyw but is far older, originating from the Hurrian hoddess “Kheba” dating from the Late Bronze Age (dating c. 3000 BCE in Greece and China, but c. 1900 in England, etc).

For tens of thousands of years, and probably longer than that, wars and murders have occurred among and between people over who had the right god or goddess (monotheistically or polytheistically), and what that deity or deities demanded, as seen in the cognates for elohim in the Ugaritic ʾlhm and the original Arabic ‎ إله‎; plural: آلهة ʾālihah(ʾilāh) for “god” (the feminine is ʾilāhah إلاهة “goddess”) centuries (if not longer) before “Allah” ( الله‎ that corresponds with the Aramaic form ʼĔlāhā ܐܠܗܐ and Biblical Aramaic, while repeats the ʼAlâhâ ܐܲܠܵܗܵܐ in Syriac) appears in any record as it is  the name of the monotheistic god of all of the Abrahamic religions as al-Lāh, literally “the God”. 

Theology frequently plays a major role in the mistranslation and deliberate misinterpretation of language, especially that which has been recorded in some manner (usually written). Than can be seen in the word Allah (الله‎), which actually comes from Hubal (Arabic: هبل‎) who was regarded as the chief god of gods and whose idol was near the Kaaba in Mecca, being made of red agate, and shaped like a human, but with the right hand broken off and replaced with a golden hand (traditional with ancient Egyptian theology that recorded that gods wrote with golden hands). Hubal had the assistance of three goddesses, known as a trinity:  Allāt (Arabic: اللات‎) or Al-Lāt was a Pre-Islamic Arabian goddess who was the senior goddess of Mecca and is mentioned in the Qur’an (Sura 53:19), indicating that pre-Islamic Arabs considered her as one of the daughters of Allāh along with Manāt and al-‘Uzzá; her sisters were Al-‘Uzzá (Arabic: العزى‎) “The Mightiest One” or “The strong” and was of many Arabian fertility deities; and, Manāt (Arabic: مناة‎) who was the goddess of fate and destiny and a foreteller similar to the Holy Ghost. All of the goddesses, their father and relatives (especially Wadd (Arabic: واد‎) God of love and friendship whose symbol was that of a snake representing the phallus), were worshipped widely, which is why Muhammad made war on Mecca and Medina where their shrines stood in testimony to the polytheism of Arabia.

A true philologist must be dedicated to the language and not to an ontology, theology or philosophy stoked by the passion to prove that which cannot be proven or is incorrect. It is the misuse of language is what causes wars: verbal and assault weapons. This can be seen in the contemporary misuse of the word  جهاد‎  (jihad) that appears forty-one times in the Qur’an (Koran).  It is a noun (definitely not a verb as Islamic terrorists declare) that means “struggle” and is a reference to an inward battle (within the mind / soul) to obtain righteousness.  It is a religious (not military) duty: a service or action that is “striving in the way of God (al-jihad fi sabil Allah)“.  (Cf. William M. Watt, Islamic Conceptions of the Holy War in: Murphy, Thomas P. (1974), The Holy War. Ohio State University Press, p. 143.) Nowhere in the Qur’an / Koran is the term jihad used for fighting and combat in the name of Allah; qital is used to mean “fighting” and it becomes  كفاح kifāḥ  only in the modern world after World War II when Muslims, especially Palestinians, felt they were betrayed a second time (the first time being the unholy crusades) by western civilization and Christians and Jews who made up the majority of all western nations.

When the misuse / mistranslation / misinterpretation of words prove to be a problem is when the words are so grossly changed that with the passing of time no one understands nor even knows their original meaning.  This reality does not require thousands of years to pass, as we can see it within the past two hundred plus years, as when studying the Declaration of Independence of the Colonies, when Thomas Jefferson wrote, borrowing the expression

Philip Mazzei

from an Italian friend and neighbor, Philip [Filippo] Mazzei, that “all men are created equal” (as a rebuttal to the going political theory of the day: the Divine Right of Kings [Romans 13:1-7, used by Martin Luther to authorize the slaughter of peasants in revolt in his Wider die räuberischen und mörderischen Rotten der Bauern (1524-1526); 1 Peter 2:13-17 was used by the medieval papacy to justify a ruler as being  irreproachable), the latter which had Biblical precedence and support, while the former did not)–he was not referring to Black or other minority men (he had numerous slaves and called them “property”) but referred only to white men over the age of 25 who owned property.  (On Philip Mazzei, see: Philip Mazzei, The Virginia Gazette, 1774. Translated by a friend and neighbor, Thomas Jefferson (Cf.  http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=103_cong_bills&docid=f:hj175eh.pdf):

Tutti gli uomini sono per natura egualmente liberi e indipendenti. Quest’eguaglianza è necessaria per costituire un governo libero. Bisogna che ognuno sia uguale all’altro nel diritto naturale.

All men are by nature equally free and independent. Such equality is necessary in order to create a free government.
All men must be equal to each other in natural law

Black men did not become citizens until the Fifteenth Amendment was ratified February 3, 1870. Women did not have the franchise until the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified on August 18, 1920.

Marriage is the most heatedly discussed (and argued) word in many nations, especially in the USA when it initially provoked an evangelical storm over legalizing divorce and then remarriage, and finally in the late twentieth and early twenty-first century over the issue of same-sex marriages.  Few people understand its meaning, save from a Judeo-Christian background. Linguistics, however, separates prefixes, affixes, suffixes, and focuses on the true meaning of words, which usually lowers tensions and invites a more reasonable response. For example, with marriage, we find it to be a compound term and not a word; the critical issue is the suffix (-age) that comes from the Latin -aticum meaning “belonging to, related to,” and originally was a neutral adjective as seen in -atus,  prepositional phrase suffix of verbs of the first conjugation. Marry, however, from the Latin maritare, meant “to give away” or “to renounce parenthood” or “give up possession.”  To this day a father “gives away” the bride, which, before 1000 CE meant “a connection consisting of a thread or a number of threads for joining various solid parts of a design in needlepoint lace” and in the ancient world meant the individual who cooked (not prepared) the food. Gender had nothing to do with it (cf. Aeschylus, Myrmidons, fr. 135-136) as late as the fourteenth century CE (Aeschines, Adversus Timarchus, 142; cp. Plato, Symposium 178E-179; Plutarchm Erotikos, 751c; Philostratus, Epistles 5, 8; [Lucian] Amores, 54, and Lucia, Dialogues de Dioses 8.4; cf. Martial 11.44) until the 324 CE but few followed the law and many contemporaries declared it to be a forgery (see: Mommsen, Theodor (or Teodore) and Meyer, Pavlvs M. ed. (1905).  Theodosiani libri XVI : cum Constivtionibvs Sirmondianis et Leges novellae ad Theodosianvm pertinentes; consilio et avctoritate Academiae litterarvm regiae borvssicae [Berolini, apvd Weismannos]).

Andes Ice Cap with Quelccaya Ice Cap (NASA photo)

Of more critical importance to Latin Americans, especially those in South America (such as Perú, Brasil [the correct spelling], Argentina, and Chile), the phrase “ice cap” has become defined as “a mass of ice and snow that permanently covers a large area of land” and is associated with the Andes Mountains (although this “cap” is eroding rapidly and may disappear by 2030). Science has a different interpretation, and makes ice cap a compound noun, meaning “A dome-shaped body of ice and snow that covers a mountain peak or a large area and spreads out under its own weight. Ice caps have an area of less than 50,000 square km (19,500 square mi).” A more popular definition would be a “polar cap” (Arctic or Antarctic), but none of these elements are “permanent” (present participle of the Latin permanēre “to remain”) anymore because of global warming and climate change.  Even permanent, which meant “intended to exist or function for a long, indefinite period without regard to unforeseeable conditions: a permanent employee; the permanent headquarters of the United Nations,” has changed to “until a different situation occurs involving change.”

Since Mick Jagger (a rock-and-roll singer and band leader of the Rolling Stones), the word bird (originally it meant “any warm-blooded vertebrate of the class Aves, having a body covered with feathers, forelimbs modified into wings, scaly legs, a beak, and no teeth, and bearing young in a hard-shelled egg”) has invaded street English to mean (1) a small penis (see: http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/8159878-mick-jagger-bird-small-said-the-legendary-band-the-rolling-stones-guitarist-keith-richard), (2) a girl, a promiscuous girl, the middle finger, and even an aircraft (see: http://onlineslangdictionary.com/meaning-of/bird), (3)  youth (see: http://www.musicsonglyrics.com/M/mickjaggerlyrics/mickjaggerpartydolllyrics.htm) and more if one incorporates contemporary music lyrics into the lexicon of language. The problem with incorporating music of any period into a dictionary (now made popular by Oxford University Press–a for-profit organization without respect for purity of language) is that the meaning of words changes far more rapidly (the English Club is gracious when it writes that modern music uses “very informal language”–primarily “Slang [that] is a kind of language consisting of very informal words and phrases”; see: http://www.englishclub.com/ref/Slang/Music/index.htm) than most rappers change their underwear. To this end Daddy Yankee’s “Gasolina” says nothing but indicates the need to drive fast. Daddy Yankee (Ramón Luis Ayala Rodriguez (born February 3, 1977, born in Puerto Rico) has no formal education (he was married at age 17, common in the Latino world), and whose English is paltry at best. His main challenge is to translate correctly, but as most Latinos and other non-native speakers do, uses an automatic electronic (usually Google) translator to form his words.  Errors abound using such devices, for example, in Spanish:

English text with Google and Freetranslation renditions (2011)

For these reasons, any quality school of Languages will have not only language courses, but courses in correct translation and interpretation, with the professional educators knowing and employing the differences that separate the two and assist the student to fully understand what is essential in being a translator, interpreter or a combination of the two in business, tourism, foreign diplomacy, and various forms of negotiations. What is essential is that the student understands that one cannot do a verbatim (word-for-word) translation any more than an idealized interpretation and be correct.

Fortunately, in French, there are no “cross comparisons” although Americans and others who study the French language attempt to find or “prove” such “cross-comparisons.” A mon avis, ‘comparaison entre (between) deux langues’ ou ‘similitudes entre deux langues’ suffit. Pas la peine de rajouter “croisées”. Mais ce n’est pas incorrect. En tout cas, sans trait d’union. While Spanish is attempting to end the use of accent marks, such is not the case in French, for the French know that accent marks enable both the reader and speaker to better learn and understand the language.

Sadly, those who are weak in language skills assume that interpretation and translation are correlative to the language itself. This is not true as to know a language requires the speaker / learner to also know the culture, customs, and so forth of the language itself (for that reason, there are numerous forms of French (dialects) as there are numerous forms of English, German (High {Hochdeutsch [High German] refers to the languages that were spoken inland in the more mountainous regions, especially in Hanover and had its biggest impact on Yiddish}, Middle {a more “modern” German and is used between the Main line and the Benrath line}, and Low {Low German (used all regions north of Benrath line) did not take part in the second vowel change in 7th and 8th century CE. The second vowel change affected especially German consonants (plosives and occlusives) p, t and k that were transformed to pf/f, ts/s and ch} and note the difference between Dutch and Deutsch), and so forth. Low German had its biggest impact on English, Flemish, Dutch and other lowland countries in the northern hemisphere}. Examples of the differences in German include: English do, Dutch doen, Low German doon : German tun; English mother, Dutch moeder, Low German Modder, Mudder : German Mutter; and, English bid, Dutch bieden, Low German bidden : German bitten, Bavarian pitten.

For years, now, foreign languages have been taught adequately. This is the result of numerous causes, but the most significant that language centers ignore are:

Language transfer, to which one-third of the deviant sentences from second language learners can be attributed.  There is a notable difference between those whose native tongue is Spanish and those whose native tongue is French when learning English is essential.  Spanish speakers learning English may say “Is raining” rather than “It is raining”, leaving out the subject of the sentence. French speakers learning English, however, do not usually make the same mistake. This is because sentence subjects can be left out in Spanish, but sentence subjects cannot be omitted in French (Cook, Vivian (2008). Second Language Learning and Language Teaching. London: Arnold, p. 13; attempting to use the French language and not knowing it produces some unique problems, as learned by Colgate that introduced a toothpaste in France called Cue, the name of a notorious pornographic magazine).

Intralingual interference being composed of:

  • overgeneralization associated with redundancy reduction
  • ignorance of rule restrictions
  • incomplete application of rules
  • semantic errors such as building false concepts/systems

Sociolinguistic situation: motivation (instrumental or integrative) and settings for language learning

Modality of exposure and production / reproduction of the language

Age being the chronological and intellectual age of the learner: whether or not the individual is motivated to learn and has accepted the necessity of studying: reading, writing, speaking, listening, interpreting, and so forth. Along with this factor is the student’s willingness and ability to stay awake during class (many students in poor nations work when not in class and arrive at class tired if not exhausted) and are not embarrassed to talk in class (many of the students with whom I have spoken about this problem have explained to me that their shyness was because of being ridiculed either by the teacher or other students for common errors or mispronunciation; the teacher must reassure the student(s) that errors are a part of human frailty and that all can learn from mistakes).

Foreign languages have been taught for countless years, but since the era of the world wars (1914 and after) language learning has declined remarkably, where most professors and the majority of students are barely knowledgable and not truly proficient but accepted as linguists. It is now imperative that foreign languages be taught accurately.  This will only happen when there are professional trained linguists and philologists: people who know how to accurately pronounce, read, write, and interpret words, as well as use them in their proper context.  To become proficient in the second language, the learner must be given opportunities to use it for communicative purposes (Doughty, Catherine; Williams, Jessica, eds (1998). Focus on Form in Classroom Second Language Acquisition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; and, Ellis, Rod (2002). “Does form-focused instruction affect the acquisition of implicit knowledge?” Studies in Second Language Acquisition 24 (2): 223–236).  Academic Deans must be involved in this opportunity and challenge language directors and chairs of language departments to coordinate efforts, hire qualified faculty, set learning languages near libraries, and require regular testing of students while offering tutorial services for those with a desire to master a language yet are deficient of the language nuances.

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Cannibalism: Part 1

The term cannibalism means the eating of human flesh by human beings, and/or eating of animals by members of their own species. It is a relatively recent word, and not found in the ancient world or any ancient text. However, the action of consuming blood and flesh are common throughout the world’s history.

Carib Indian natives in Dominica

Cannibalism was derived from the Carib Indians, discovered by Christopher Columbus, during his quest in search of the West Indies. The earliest mention of the Caribs is that made by Columbus in his journal on 26 November 1492: ‘All the people that he has found up to today, he says, are very frightened of those of can iba or can ima’ [the name of a place, not a people]. Evangelicals distorted the name so that the Caribs were defined as man-eaters, and the Spanish name for the tribe was Canibales, meaning in Spanish: bloodthirsty and cruel (http://ian.macky.net/secretmuseum/page_1.2.html) but the Caribs saw themselves as god-fearing, loyal, and loving who live in the Lesser Antilles islands. (http://www.dominicacompanies.com/features/caribpeople.html) The people were betrayed by the evangelizing missionaries who gave them an alternative: convert or die. Conversion was made simpler by incorporating many of the Caribs native faith into Christianity, with the Last Supper being the easiest to explain.

The practice of cannibalism reaches back into antiquity and has been found in many areas of the world. Evidence indicates that it may have been practiced as early as the Neolithic Period. The Greek historian Herodotus (5th century BCE) wrote of the ανθρωπογενών τρώγοντες  or Androphagoi (man-eaters) [Histor. 1.216 (to bring a happy death as a sacrifice): When a man is very old all his kin meet together and kill (thuousi) him, with beasts of the flock besides, the boil the flesh and feast (kateuokheontai) on it. This is held to be the happiest death; when a man dies of a sickness they do not eat him, but bury him in the earth, and lament that he would not live to be killed. While both the Issedones and Massagetae are generally presumed to have been Iranian-speaking, Herodotus also attributes cannibalism to two tribes living immediately south of the Indus: the Kallatiai, who ‘devour (katesthiousi) their parents’ (3.38), and the Padaioi, described as nomads who eat raw flesh, among whom when ‘one has come to old age, they sacrifice (him) and feast (kateuokheontai) on his flesh’ (3.99). Later, in 4.26 Herodotus notes how flesh-eaters will cut up the flesh of the dead father), 106 (eat people to gain their strength)], and other ancient writers gave accounts of various ancient people as being cannibals. Strabo (63 BCE – 24 CE) arguing it was a custom among the Irish whereas in Britain the family will devour (καταβροχθίσει: katesthiein) the dead to honor them (Geographia 4.5.4); in 11.11.8 he writes: When men become over 70 years of age they are slaughtered and their flesh is consumed (analiskousi) by their nearest of kin; but their old women are strangled and then buried. However, the men who die under 70 years of age are not eaten, but only buried. Marco Polo details cannibalism in the Orient in his Travels (1.61; cf. http://www.armeniapedia.org/index.php?title=The_Travels_of_Marco_Polo_1:_Chapter_61 with full text at http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Travels_of_Marco_Polo/Book_1/Chapter_61) reported tribes ranging from Tibet to Sumatra who practiced cannibalism.

North American Indian tribes of the western coast of the Gulf of Mexico practiced cannibalism. Until recently the practice prevailed throughout much of central and western Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Melanesia, Sumatra, New Guinea, Polynesia, and remote portions of South America. (cp. http://hubpages.com/hub/cannibal)

Cannibalism at times has had religious significance. This stems from the belief that the person who eats of the deceased person acquires the desired qualities or characteristics of that person if both the body and the blood of the one who is living is to be sacrificed and consumed immediately upon death. Frequently this consumption of body and blood took place in a large cave or tomb in front of which a huge stone was rolled to keep non-communicants out for three days. After the three-day period of feasting and gorging on the body and blood of the sacrificed person, the congregants would emerge and declare that the one whom they had fed on had “risen” (meaning: the person had become a part of them and they a part of the sacrificed whom they would meet after death). In most cases this resembles the theory of sympathetic magic: something must transfer the effect of the magician’s actions on the physical object to the person who once was in contact with the object, and became a part of Middle Eastern / Mesopotamian cultural theology; cf. Meyer, Melvin W., translator.
The Secret Teachings of Jesus: The Four Gnostic Gospels. New York: Random House, 1984; 5:102-103). Some examples of this are seen in Attraction of Blood that meant that not only did the man’s blood contain his life (women were seldom sacrificed), but the blood that was drunk (usually from the severed skull) also contained his experiences, characteristics and qualities.

It soon came to be thought these characteristics and qualities could be passed onto others if they consumed or were touched by the blood [Cavendish, Richard, The Black Arts. New York: Peigee Books, Berkley Publishing Group, 1967]). Rituals were performed for many reasons. These reasons included ritual purification after an immersion in sanctified water (baptism), pacification of gods, and ancestor worship which was common throughout the world from Asia to Mesoamerica. It is true that in a few instances cannibalism was practiced for revenge, but these also had religious overtones, for the revenge killing and eating of the deceased’s body and drinking his blood gave to the assassin special magical powers that would permit the slayer to ascend to a near deity position and summon others to attend him as followers (οπαδοί) who were usually twelve in number (twelve being a specially significant and religious potent symbol) or in rare cases 70 (as in Luke 10:1). There are twelve ‘ Jyotirlingas’ (epitome of God Shiva) in Hindu Shaivism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam (In Shi’a Islam, there are twelve Imams, legitimate successors of the prophet Muhammad), and also found in some older religions and belief systems. For example: In ancient Greek theology, the Twelve Olympians were the principal gods of the pantheon. The chief Norse god, Odin, had 12 sons (in memory of his nine-day crucifixion, Adam of Bremen (eleventh century) relates that every ninth year, people assembled from all over Sweden to sacrifice at the Temple at Uppsala, where male slaves and males of each species were sacrificed and hanged from the branches of the trees; cf. Turville-Petre, Gabriel. Myth and Religion of the North: The Religion of Ancient Scandinavia. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1964, and Munch, P. A. Norse Mythology: Legends of Gods and Heroes. In the revision of Magnus Olsen; translated from the Norwegian by Sigurd Bernhard Hustvedt. New York: The American-Scandinavian foundation; London: H. Milford, Oxford University Press, 1926), quite similar to Jacob’s 12 sons in the Old Testament (Genesis 29:31-30:24). In other cases it was believed that the ghost of the enemy would be utterly destroyed when his body was eaten, thus leaving nothing in which his spirit could exist.

The Binderwurs of central India ate their sick and aged in the belief that the act was pleasing to their goddess Kali. While the blood was fresh and warm, the head of the family and community, revered as a priest, pronounced an invocation that the drinking of the deceased’s blood be a remembrance of the dead and a drink of everlasting life.

Aztecs sacrificing to the gods Codex Tudela folio 76

The Aztecs sacrificed thousands of human victims annually to their deities. Following the sacrifices, the Aztec priest and people ate the bodies of the victims believing the acts brought them closer to their gods. Ritual prayers were said over the dead bodies before the flesh consumed, and when the blood was brought to all the faithful, it was drunk with knowledge that each of those who tasted the blood of the sacrificed victim would obtain greater strength.  In some records there is a hint that those who drank the blood would win eternal life. (cf. http://video.pbs.org/video/1207009525/program/1185782726) Many of the 16th century sources that describe ancient Aztec customs do not come from impartial observers. Their authors, in fact, were especially interested in Aztec culture from a religious perspective, namely because they were Catholic evangelists. Authors such as friars Sahagún (who is claimed to have been Mexico’s first anthropologist), Torquemada, and Motolinía, amongst many others, dedicated themselves to writing gargantuan works on everything from Aztec religious rituals to their astronomy and fine arts. These early Roman Catholic writings express how misguided and barbaric they thought their Mexican charges to be in their worship of multiple gods, and eating of human body parts, yet used the Aztec theology to push their own Christian theology.

Mesoamerica communion sacrificial ritual

Aztec religious mythology was about the creation and destruction of the world. If the gods, who created humankind, did not receive regular gifts of human blood, the Aztecs believed that life as they knew it could easily be taken away. To stave off this apocalypse, the Aztec people ate the bodies and drank the blood of sacrificial victims. All of those sacrificed (we know only of males) were about thirty years of age (a sacred number), all celibate males, and all who were hailed as the “Sons of God”.  Captives who faced the sacrificial knife acted either as live images of gods or offerings to them. Their deaths signified the continuation of the life cycle, be it agricultural, lunar, or seasonal. It is imperative in solid interpretation of the original texts chiseled in stone or cast in other formats to view the bodies the Aztecs ate as ‘little pieces of life’, symbols of good fortune to come. Often, only people of high standing were privileged enough to consume human flesh, and they were styled and called priests and bishops who presided over an altar dedicated to God of the Aztecs pronouncing incantations prior to drinking the blood and eating the body of the Son of God—much as in the same way as did the ancient Egyptians. While later Christian missionaries attempted to portray the Aztecs as bloodthirsty and enjoying the sacrificial rituals, this is propaganda, as the texts that exist today show that the Aztecs didn’t consider sacrifice to be pleasurable. It simply had to happen in order for the earth to keep on turning.

There are those who claim that the Aztecs practiced cannibalism and human sacrifice in order to compensate for meat shortages, but there is no proof of this assertion. If it did happen, there is no record, but at best the material (flesh) and other dietary needs were not known at that time. A far better reason would be that the principle justification for sacrificial blood rites among the Aztecs was to maintain the metaphysical and cosmological system that upheld the hierarchical social order of the Aztec elite. The Aztecs believed that the universe depended upon the blood of the sacrificed victims just as Christians believe that the universe began and will end in relation to the body and blood of Christ.  The violence of Aztec civilization was directed against smaller tribes considered to be enemies of the empire. Likewise, Christian civilization was spread by colonial violence, all over the world. “He that is not with me is against me”(Matthew 12:30) and “Go all of you into the world and preach the Gospel to every creature”(Mark 16:15) are two of the many sentences of Christ that justified the violence and rapaciousness of Christian colonial practices. The Aztecs have no record of ever using a speech by a god or a son of a god to justify colonialization or the overthrow of a people, as did the Spaniards, Luther’s German nobility (see: Martin Luther, Wider die räuberischen und mörderischen Rotten der Bauern), and other sects in Christianity. When Christianity plundered the New World and soiled the earth with human blood in quest of forced conversions, those who brought the sword came like thieves at night to wreck carnage on all people. Far crueller were the Christian missionaries, especially the Jesuits, Augustinians, Benedictine, Franciscans and

Cannibalism in the New World

Dominicans who celebrated the most barbaric tortures (including water boarding) to be inflicted on the natives who did not rush to Christian conversion, always citing scripture when raping, murdering, and robbing the natives. The missionaries frequently proclaimed that the Biblical Christ said he did not come to bring peace but a sword (Matthew 10:34), to divide “brother against brother” (Matthew 10:21), and indeed he did so, as two thousand years of bloody Christian wars and conquests demonstrate. The hypocrisy of the Conquistadores, whose own Eucharistic rite was symbolically cannibalistic, could hardly condemn Native American practices when their own practices were as bad or worse.

Seige of Tenochtitlan by Cortez 1519

With the blessings of the Roman Catholic the Spanish tortured and maimed those they considered heretics. Aztecs and other tribes people were burned at the stake, thrown into pits of spikes and attacked by ferocious mastiffs (large dogs) brought from Spain. Both Aztecs and Spaniards committed carnage in the name of a god that no one knew but declared primacy rights over!  The Spanish attacked the Aztec capital (Mexico City) with only a few score of men in 1519, and massacred thousands in a single day. W.H. Prescott wrote: “The carnage was horrible. The ground was heaped up with slain, until the maddened combatants were obliged to climb over the human mounds to get at one another. The miry soil was saturated with blood, which ran off like water and dyed the canals themselves with crimson.” 

Spanish priests praised god in song and with masses, and when news of this barbarity reached Europe, church bells pealed and Te Deum was the only song sung with prelates everywhere celebrating the slaughter of babies, women, and the elderly who dared to feast on the blood a god other than their own.

Inquisition Museum (Lima, Perú)

Spanish priests in Perú were extremely cruel and extraordinarily brutal in forcing conversions. They established torture chambers throughout the capital city of Lima, and invented mind and body breaking techniques to “encourage the heathens” to change from their religion of consuming the body and drinking the blood of their victims whom they saw as sons of god so that the Inkas and other indigenous people would eat the body and drink the blood of the son of the Christian god. Those who would not obey the cruelty of the Spanish Jesuits in Lima, or refused the orders of the Augustinians, truly the most corrupt of all missionaries to Perú, were

Inquisition in Lima, Perú

 forced to parade around in the garments of fools (complete with dunce caps) until the natives of Perú were “dispatched” for refusing conversion to Christianity.  The attack upon the natives continued while the Jesuits and other religious orders founded schools to teach (demanding rote memorization) Christianity which confused the locals who saw no difference between the new religion and their old. Those who dared question the priests and brothers were put before the Inquisition which tortured them into submission–a scar that remains to this day in Perú education where students go to schools and universities to sit and listen without being invited into discourse unless the conversations supported the professors. Those   executed by the Spanish Inquisition in Lima, Perú were decapitated and their skulls thrown into a pit at the convent/monastery-church of San Francisco to decompose with hundreds of other martyred Inkas.

Convent San Francisco (Lima, Perú)

Critical thinking was denied and the goal of students was only to complete their learning and escape the insanity of the religious orders. Unfortunately, that remains the rule for most of Perú’s schools and universities: do not question, do not read widely, sit silently and know that they will pass the course and complete their studies to go on and teach the same ignorance to future generations.  Learning was not a process to gain knowledge or to question all things, as originally enjoined by Socrates (cf. Plato, The Republic, Book 10), but, instead, was blind obedience to the pomposity of the teachers who were to be venerated as surrogates and intercessors of the Christian gods (the Trinity) and subservience to the interpretations of mortal men who molested women, children, and the elderly with impunity, while Spanish soldiers spread veneral diseases among the Inkas and other tribes, decimating their numbers so that most disappeared within a generation. (Captain Francisco

Francisco Pizzaro

Pizarro formed a partnership in Panama with Diego de Almagro and the nefarious and vile priest Hernando de Luque in order to explore the Pacific coast, looking for a Biru tribe that became the name Peru.  An envoy invited Pizarro to come to Cajamarca to meet the dominant Inca emperor Atahualpa, wrongfully thinking that Pizarro was a rational and reasonable man–two qualities the Spaniard lacked. Instead of treating the Inkas with human respect, he commissioned Hernando de Soto, who found five hundred women from a convent in a square, to give many of them to his men who were laced with syphlis. Pizarro sent Soto and his brother Hernando Pizarro ahead with fifteen horseman and the interpreter Martin; Atahualpa complained that they had treated chiefs badly by chaining them but offered them houses on the square. This did not soften Pizarro’s hear, for when Francisco Pizarro arrived he planned a treacherous

Pizzaro slaughters Inkas

attack. Atahualpa asked the Spaniards to return what they had stolen and threw down a prayer book that Friar Vicente de Valverde gave him. The Dominican shouted it was an outrage against the Dominican’s god, and Pizarro ordered the cannons fired. As if they were from the Apocalypse, Spanish horseman rode out and slaughtered the unarmed Incas, as Pizarro tried to grab Atahualpa. Pizzaro was successful and the king was captured. In two hours about 7,000 natives were killed in Cajamarca. Pizarro had Atahualpa instruct the Incas to surrender, and Soto gathered men, women, llamas, gold, silver, and clothing. Although Governor Pizarro said the Spaniards wanted only gold, Atahualpa promised to fill a room with gold in exchange for his freedom. Some caciques came and obeyed their captive Inca emperor. His rival brother Huascar was killed on the road, and Atahualpa also had two half-brothers murdered.  Pizarro, his priests and evangelists and royal officials condemned the Inca emperor to be burned; but because he agreed to be baptized, Atahualpa was strangled in 1533.  Later Young prince Manco, son of Huayna-Capac, arrived and denounced Chalcuchima, who refused to become a Christian and was burned to death. In 1535, when Cuzco would not surrender to Pizzaro, Hernando Pizarro ordered women natives killed. In 1539, the Spaniards captured the Inka high

Pizarro marches on Cuzco

priest Villac Umu in October and executed him with Tiso and fifteen commanders the following month.  Discrimination against mestizos became official in 1549 when Carlos V decreed they could not hold office nor have Indian servants. He also forbade coercing natives to work but allowed it if they were paid. In 1551 the University of San Marcos was founded in Lima, and the first ecclesiastical council of Lima condemned the use of coca, education became marginalized and the conduct of inquiry and opposition to current thought discouraged with the whip and execution. Rectors and professors were selected not for intellectual abilities nor for knowledge, but, as it is today, because they were friends with the conquerors or received royal patronage, a situation that further eroded education in Perú, to the point that today not a single university, with the exception of the Pontifical University in Lima, ranks above 5000 in the world. Worse yet, in 1532 the Andean population had been about nine million, but by 1590 only about one and a half million survived by submitting to the Christian yoke.)

Spanish Inquisition slaughtering all heathens in Mexico of all ages

In order to preserve the power and values of the status quo, in a given society, sacrificial violence must be brought against those who live outside the society. From this the psychological concept of social deviance emerged long before it was written down and codified (see: Social deviance : readings in theory and research / edited by Henry N. Pontell; 3rd edition, Upper Saddle River, N.J. : Prentice Hall, c1999; סטייה חברתית / ש. גיורא שוהם ; עברית, דבורה מורג;  Tel-Aviv: Agudat ha-studentim, Universiṭat Tel-Aviv, [1978]; Kai T. Erikson, Wayward Puritans : a study in the sociology of deviance. Boston : Pearson/Allyn and Bacon, c2005.) In the case of mortuary cannibalism, the dead of one’s own people must be eaten, to preserve the power of tribal values against the ravages of time and bodily mortality. Among the Hua, of New Guinea, for instance, mortuary cannibalism serves to assimilate the spirits of the dead back into the living—a concept in vogue in first century cloistered communities in Israel. It was also used to preserve an elaborate reciprocity of balance and submission among power relationships between males and females. While females in most societies were given little notice, save as housekeepers and child bearers, in Hua society women were important as without women there would be no future generations. For this reason, women were as quick to cannibalize their dead as were men willing to eat their women. The devouring of dead males by females, the Hua believe, insures the tribe of regeneration, and follows the rituals of most ancient agricultural communities.

Maori (New Zealand) cannibal

One example in particular can be found practiced in the funery rites of certain Melanesians. In their society, this act of ritual cannibalism is observed as an essential act upon an ambiguous attitude of death by maintaining ties to the deceased and with the ancestors who oversaw the continuation of the family line. While some argue that this ritual reveals a level of disgust and fear of death at the same time, this cannot be empirically proven. (William A. Haviland, Anthropology (10th ed. Belmont, CA : Wadsworth/Thomson Learning, c2003, 376) Anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski, who actually witnessed this type Melanesian ritual, described the act to be an “approved” collective means for individuals to express these feelings of grief and fear of being separated from the original family source while still maintaining social cohesiveness, thereby preventing disruption of society. (Haviland; 377; the 13th edition is subtitled The Human Challenge pub. 2010). The Wari, it is found today, use cannibalism to stay closer to their ancestors and thus to god (Ritual and belief: readings in the anthropology of religion / edited by David Hicks; 2d ed.;  Boston: McGraw Hill, [2001], pp 220-223.)

All civilizations have illustrations and other art forms depicting the bereaved and the faithful eating the body of their dead: be it a lord, a god, or a son of god. It is not only in Mesopotamia nor in Mesoamerica, but there remain many African tribes who practice cannibalism (see, for example: Idi Amin: http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/august/16/newsid_3921000/3921361.stm and http://www.nndb.com/crime/690/000044558/ both before and after his conversion to Islam while ruling Uganda) . Remains of Peking Man, discovered in 1972 near Choukoutein in China, and possibly half a million years old, show evidence of human skulls split open and their brains extracted. This practice was especially true in Europe, as well.

The Christian St Jerome wrote of cannibalism in Scotland in the 4th century CE (Jerome. “Against Jovinanus.” Book 1: Why should I speak of other nations when I myself, a youth on a visit to Gaul, [I] heard that the Atticoti, a British tribe, eat human flesh, and that although they find herds of swine, and droves of large or small cattle in the woods, it is their custom to cut off the buttocks of the shepherds and the breasts of their women, and to regard them as the greatest delicacies?). Yet Jerome sees nothing peculiar with the British eating human flesh while praising a similar practice in his own community.

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