I happened on this book in an unusual way. I was visiting my wife at her office in Harper Collins, and while waiting for her to complete this or that task, I looked around for items of interest. My eyes alit on this one. "Looks like weird fun," said I. Many of the books I review are selected by my esteemed wife dashing in the door and exclaiming, "you've gotta
read this!" Or one or the other of us catches an interesting TV interview with an author and picks the book up at Barnes and Noble (no, not Amazon, NEVER Amazon, which seeks to devour publishers like the one that employs my wife, not to mention most available book-reviewer sites). But this was more of a found object. And so, over a period of a couple weeks, I read this thing, bits at a time. When I had finally finished Our Occulted History
I felt like I had just gotten off a roller coaster designed by a person with no inner ear. I have had diverse reactions to this thing, and it should come as no surprise that the first line that popped into my head while reading the book was: "It's one thing to maintain an open mind, but maybe not so good to have one so porous it retains nothing of value. Jim Marrs' brain is so filled with empty space it is unlikely that even a virus could find enough substance to which to attach itself. He puts the pseudo in pseudo-science." Which may be the tiniest bit harsh. But I do think there is something going on here that bears some looking into.
Ok, how many of you have ever been exposed to marijuana? Let's have a show of hands. You know what I mean by exposed
. Don't get cute. And puh-leez, don't pretend you never inhaled. Looking out over the group, I can see that almost every hand is raised, which means we have some liars out there. Yeah, my hand is up as well. From the tender age of fifteen. And yet here we
sit, not a heroine addict, not a crack addict, not an alcoholic, and I have never been any of those, although I was
addicted to cigarettes for many years. While I do not see much menace in it, I do not smoke pot any more. No moral high ground here. The stuff, while admittedly a nifty enhancement to Hendrix, Santana and a host of other musical artists, particularly when one ingests music via headphones, puts me to sleep. For me, pot, hash and some other things I will not go into, proclaimed unacceptable by the forces of righteousness, whether or not those proclaimers were peddling cigarettes, alcohol or equally addictive food products, were, for me, gateways to bedtime. I freely admit that I have not partaken since the 80s, and even then it was a rare event. But I do concede that there are situations within which the use of pot, once normalized, might make it easier for one to consider other products that are less benign.
So, let's steer this vehicle back onto the actual roadway. What has this got to do with Jim Marrs? I'll tell you. There are all sorts of gateway drugs in the world. Not all will have a pharmacological impact, and not all, as with weed, will necessarily pave a pathway to perdition. Our next example is one of those. And again, it is one I have sampled, probably even more than pot. Alien visitation. No, no anal probes, abductions or anything of an extreme sort. Never met, saw or conversed with an alien. (My personal eX-files have to do with a very Earth-based failed marriage) But I have tasted the out-of-this-world product and I like it. I have read my share of UFO books over the years. Although I am not a regular viewer, I have seen more than one or two episodes of the pseudo-scientific eye-roller Ancient Aliens
. I mention this not to say that I buy their particular line of BS, but to note my starting position re alien visitation, namely that the subject matter still draws me. I have seen some freaky petroglyphs, in Hawaii, in Chichen Itza, the Anthropology Museum in Mexico City, in the American southwest. And despite Don Henley's claim that They're not here and they're not coming
, I am inclined to believe that they have at least stopped by for a look-see and were spotted by the locals, actually a lot of locals, all across the planet, so maybe it was less of a look-see than a "whoa-ho, what have we here? Let's check this place out" sort of thing. This requires no more suspension of disbelief than some of our more popular religions. And sustaining such notions does not lead to a suspension of intellectual processing. But the potential exists for this benign belief, given the proper (on in this case improper) influence, to be inflated into something alarming.
Just as a druggie friend can push one beyond a little weed into a much darker place, so people like Jim Marrs can take an interesting notion and, through their powers of story-telling, lead the gullible to a vulnerable place. I suspect that Jim Marrs is a lunatic. I fear that he may be a con-man. I can see that he applies the fuzziest of logic in looking for support for his theses. It is obvious that he lives in an echo chamber inhabited by other paranoids and conspiracy theorists and that they reinforce and embolden each other to the point where, as in the right-wing bubble, opposing opinions are routinely disregarded, and whatever theories are being floated by the elect are accepted as revealed truth. This is where the primary problem lies. Step inside the bubble and, like a spacecraft air-lock, eliminate from one's intake any competing notions. I also know that Jim Marrs is a gifted story-teller. However, you might need a pair of these
and one of these
to get through the entire book safely.
It is an amazing story he has to tell. Marrs claims that a close look at ancient literature from across our world, particularly from Sumer, reveals not only that aliens have visited our lovely planet, but that, in order to more effectively mine gold, they modified the genetic makeup of the local hominid population to make the homo sap we are today to create a usable labor force. It gets weirder, really. He also posits a magical, and I do mean magical, form of gold that has unnatural properties, like an anti-gravity capacity and maybe even a multi-dimensional one. Guess what was inside the Arc of the Covenant?
Funny powder, and not the sort they serve at after-parties on Oscars night. Ok, people. Time to break out your tinfoil hats. But let's make sure they are tinfoil tri-corner hats. (Sorry, I was unable to come up with a corresponding image) Marrs has a political agenda as well. On his web-site, Jimmarrs.com, I found the following:
Seeing how Paul and Palin are now candidates for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, the corporatists would love to weaken, if not stop, the so-called Libertarian Tea Party influence on the future direction of the Republican Party. [I guess Paul and Palin are not right-wing enough for Marrs] Live and learn and don't fall prey to revisionism, usurpation and political/media manipulation.
He makes statements that have the sound of reason, but lack the substance. Here is an example.
ìIn his 2010 book, Babylon's Banksters, Joseph P. Farrell, as a doctoral graduate of Pembroke College Oxford, who had unparalleled access to old books and manuscripts in Oxford University's library, said his thesis was both simple to state but difficult to understand. "Since ancient times and with more or less uninterrupted constancy, there has existed an international money power which seeks by a variety of means including fraud, deception, assassination and war to usurp the money- and credit-creating power of various states it has sought to dominate" (implying, of course, that if you find Farrell's case unconvincing it is because you just don't understand it. Yeah, I've heard that argument before).
What does unparalleled access mean? Is there a double-secret code that Dean Wormer gave Farrell that allowed him access to materials mere mortals were not permitted to see? Who says his access was unparalleled? Any fact-checking done on this? If there was, Marrs isn't telling. Are we to presume (yes, we are) that having this unparalleled access means that the researcher in question therefore has superior interpretive powers, and was thus able to spot, and interpret this secret info, and incorporate the gained knowledge into his thesis? But what that information might have been we are not told. It goes on. Marrs does not mention that among this great scholar's publications are Roswell and the Reich
and Genes, Giants, Monsters and Men: The Surviving Elites of the Cosmic War and Their Hidden Agenda
. Be sure to secure the hatch to the bubble after you step inside.
I could make a list of the outlandish claims that this guy makes, but it would make my usual, wordy reviews seem like headlines. There is a debating technique favored on the right known as Gish Gallop
. It entails spewing so much bullshit in a small amount of time that one's opponent winds up spending all his or her time refuting the bullshit and does not get to make their own case. Marrs' work has that feel. Replay Romney in the first debate for a taste, if you like. And Marrs seems like such a down-home folksy sort that one might be tempted to indulge in a few puffs. After all, even in his political attire, there are positions he holds that are pretty reasonable. But if you toke down, or snort up too much, you drift past the amber fields of reasonableness, and ascend until you are off in la-la-land and the world is suddenly really out to get you; 9/11 was an Israeli plot; remote viewing psychics in the US Army watched as aliens shot down Russian probes nearing Mars; The Rothschilds (translation: Jews) control the world's economic apparatus. It was JFKs driver who killed him. And so on. So make sure you load up on personal weapons, and for sure bring along that special hat, because you never know when they might be listening in. I'll give you an example of Marrs Gish-Galloping later.
Back to the book. So, next step. If they came here, why did they come? Was it to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before?
Columbus did not sail the ocean blue to check out the Caribbean beaches. He had a concrete, business purpose in mind. Marrs would have us believe that they, a race he calls the Anunnaki, from Sumer legends, came to earth, or at least stuck around on Earth, for the gold. I picture alien spouses asking star-traveler hubby, "So, Gorp, what did you bring me this time? Not another carnivorous flower, Geez!" To which Gorp smiles and hands over vast quantities of the shiny stuff. Lady Gorp blushes, throws her several arms around her main guy and exclaims, "This place is a keeper, Sweetie. When are you going back?"
Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. For instance, in anthropology, just because we do not have rock (or in this case bone) solid examples of each and every step along a path of natural selection, that does not mean that those steps did not take place. Scientists are constantly finding previously undiscovered bones, unthought of species. Here is one that came to my attention
just in the time since I began with Marrs' book. Mr Marrs prefers to fill our knowledge gaps with notions of alien interference. And he is not above the odd lie to bolster his case.
Although Darwin never explicitly stated that man descended from the ape, his devotees advocated that conclusion.
Actually they did not. Apes and humans are evolved from prior species, not from each other and it was only the opponents of Darwinism who characterized his work as claiming humans descended from apes. Erect straw man. Light match. And he continues,
Even after a hundred years of effort, no one has been able to fully substantiate Darwin's theories through documented fossil exhibits.
Um, well, actually yes they have. It is frequently the case that in any large chunk of science there will be specific steps from, say, point D to point F in a full alphabetic range, for which there is not 100% complete fossil evidence. It is the nature of science to extrapolate from available information. The absence of specific elements in the range of every possible piece of fossil evidence is not evidence that the missing bits do not exist. For a guy who is positing that humans were designed by an alien race, he seems unusually tetchy about insisting that every possible link be found in the theory that scientists across the planet accept as sound. But if Marrs can believe what he wants, why not the rest of us? I am not completely convinced that Jim Marrs is not the product of an alien huckster having bred with a cactus to produce him, I am still waiting for him to disprove that rumor, and he has never denied his questionable, and possibly prickly parentage.
They wanted our gold, so they fiddled with our (homo neanderthal, or maybe homo erectus) DNA to produce a work force trainable enough to to work the mines. It gets better. You may have heard the word Nefilim
, basically angel-human hybrids. In the hands of Jim Marrs, it looks like our eight-foot-tall visitors liked a little, very little, relatively, something on the side. I will leave aside all the obvious penis jokes here, although it does pain me to do so. Tall, blue and handsome + human female = the Jim Marrs special, alien/human hybrid children, the Nefillim. Also, the inspiration for a classic
film, well maybe not exactly a classic.
If you have not yet summoned men in white suits with large nets, here is where the bat really meets the shit. Marrs goes on and feeds into other wing nut paranoid fantasies about a core of thirty-three families (guess what sort of DNA they are protecting) who rule the planet, while, of course, suppressing the discovery of the proof of our alien ancestry. (We wouldn't want the baby to know who gran really is, would we, not until he is old enough to be able to handle the shock, and then, naturally, dominate his personal section of the planet) Of course what he counts as evidence has not convinced real scientists, and is unlikely to do so.
So what Jim Marrs has done, and has been doing for some time, is to take the nifty notion that they
were here at some point in human history and lace it with his own rich blend of opiated Tea Party paranoid delusion, fusing the two. Smoking at this pipe keeps ya coming back, if, that is, you buy in. And here is one final item, before a bit of a detour. He talks a fair bit in his book about a magical substance referred to as powdered gold. Well, it turns out that there are entities more than willing to sell this stuff to the gullible. I have no specific knowledge that Marrs has a financial stake in any of these companies, but let's just say I have my suspicions.
Not only is he proselytizing stealth political messages in his book, but it becomes much more overt when he lectures. I am separating this out from the already lengthy body of this review, tucking it under a spoiler label. There is enough detail involved that only those who are interested would want to spend the time to read it. It consists of a series of political claims Marrs makes in a lecture and how his claims are lacking in foundation.
Here is a quote from Jim Marrs: Hidden History Part 1, a lecture you can find on Youtube. This lecture was posted on February 7, 2012.
…global warming, which is turning out largely to be a hoax, because they fudged all the documents…they simply…but there is environmental change and there is a warming. Go outside. You can figure that one out. But, it's not us. It is solar system wide. Something is happening solar-system wide. The outer planets are becoming more luminescent. The ice, the polar caps on Mars are melting. The ice on the moons of Jupiter, they seem to be melting. So, whatever's happening, it's not your SUV, no matter what Al Gore says. By the way Al Gore happens to have been one of the creators of the carbon tax credit company, corporation, out of Chicago, which is gonna handle all the carbon taxes that we're all gonna have to pay, and manage the sale and trade and exchange of these carbon tax credits, which means that they'll rake in billions and billions of dollars. So, gee, Al, maybe you had an ulterior motive in pushing this global warming idea.So we will play Gish Gallop with Marrs here, as time is not much of a factor, but the methodology he uses should be illustrative of the tactic. Throw out enough lies and your opposition will have to spend all their time refuting them, while you move on to more lies. So, here goes.
Well, here I thought I was going. But a funny thing happened on the way to posting the review. Turns out that with this section included I have actually exceeded the maximum size for a review. Thanks to a recommendation from Traveller, I have moved the entire section (I know, you're dying to see it. Go ahead, admit it) to comment #6. Sorry. Yeah, I know. I do tend to drone on sometimes. Sheesh!
If you are ok with just reading this as an entertainment, Our Occluded History
delivers the goods. It offers a wild, entertaining, and occasionally thought-provoking tale. But if it strikes deeper in you than that, all I can say is "step away from the hookah."