February 21st, 2011


Genesis, maybe ... Grail, not so much

This is an example of what happens sometimes when I get a book from one of those B&N clearance sales, where I'm shopping on price ($1.99) and volume (get 13 to make it over $25 for free shipping), and have to make do with the extremely brief descriptions that go along with those on-line listings. I had thought this book was going to be about “something completely different”! One would think a book titled Genesis of the Grail Kings might have had something to do with Grail myths and European blood lines, yes? Yet Laurence Gardner's book never makes it past 1300 BCE … which causes one to wonder where the “grail” bits come in.

I guess if one had been a fan of Mr. Gardner's (rather than having this particular book be one's introduction to his work), one would know that he has written a whole series of books which have various levels of connection to the “grail lineage”. Of course, were one to have paid more attention to the sub-title: “The Explosive Story of Genetic Cloning and the Ancient Bloodline of Jesus” (even though there is only the most scant mention of that Jesus fellow in here), one might have figured that this was something else altogether. What “something else”, you ask? Well, it turns out that most of this book is based on those pesky Anunnaki (Enlil, Enki, Marduk & company) which seem to have sprung full-formed out of the head of the recently deceased Zechariah Sitchin some decades back. I've read a half-dozen or so of Sitchin's books, so am reasonably familiar with the “mythos” involved, but if it's news to you, he was a researcher into Sumerian cuneiform writing who began to see a pattern in the materials he was handling which suggested an alternative translation from that which had been the “official line” … this alternative involving space aliens who had come to earth and created modern man from existing hominid lines by way of splicing in their own DNA (now, doesn't that sub-title make a lot more sense?).

Like the poster said above Agent Mulder's desk, “I Want To Believe”, but as enticing as the Sitchin version of history goes, it's all a bit sketchy and boils down to interpretations of quite ancient texts and images. Obviously, Gardner has bought this all “hook, line, & sinker”, as it is the starting point for everything in this book. If he has solid ground to stand on, it's of the negative variety … he's taking a look at timelines and lineages which are not Bible-based … and, shockingly, to a large extent, the “official chronology” of middle-eastern archaeology is still very much fitted with “Bible blinders”:
“... the conventional chronology applied to the Egyptian dynasts in our history books was not compiled from Egyptian dates, but from the standard dating structure applied to the Old Testament. Archbishop Ussher of Armagh had published his biblical chronology in 1650, and the Egypt Exploration Fund was established in Victorian times with the express directive that archaeologists should seek to uphold the Old Testament tradition as dictated by the Christian Church.”
Indeed, it appears that, until very recently, if research contradicted “Biblical” views, it would have a very hard time getting published, and, as Gardner points out, this was directly outlined for Egyptian research, and was at least tacitly in place for the much older (but, fortunately, more recently discovered) Sumerian material.

So, what is Genesis of the Grail Kings about? Well … it is, essentially, tracing the main characters of Genesis (up into Exodus) from their origins in the Sumerian (read: Anunnaki) culture, on into Egypt, and then back out of Egypt. Now, Gardner spins a very interesting tale here, but one has to, on one hand, be willing to grant him the whole “Anunnaki thing” on the front end, and then cut him a certain degree of slack on making connections between names and attributions across linguistic and cultural lines. Admittedly, Abraham was from Ur, and Ur was a major Sumerian city, but Gardner makes a whole net of connections of who the various begatters and begattees of biblical lineages came from and what they did. He especially wants to re-write traditional concepts about the Flood, Noah, and even Adam & Eve (who he attributes to being a “type” rather than specific individuals).

This all gets quite complicated … with the struggle between Enlil and Enki effecting everything in Mesopotamia, and leading Abraham to move his family out of the region. This conflict carries on, as Enlil eventually is re-visioned as Jehovah, and there are differing traditions in the biblical narrative that come from the Enki/Anunnaki (multiple, married, mortal – if long-lived – deities) side of things, which get increasingly eradicated by the Enlil camp. Anyway, it turns out that Abraham and his family are “big deals” from Ur, and that there is a lot of Space Alien DNA in play with them. Eventually (you know the story: Abraham => Issac => Jacob => Joseph & brothers => Egypt) they end up in Egypt, and are not just “big wheels” in the court, but Gardner argues for assorted Biblical Patriarchs being actual historical Pharaohs.

Frankly, “the wheels came off the cart” to a large extent for me here. While Gardner had done a bit of linguistic stretching to get the early figures to match up with the right Sumerian locations, it was all “plausible” given the age and the sketchy info on both sides of the equation. However, with Egypt there is hundreds of years of research (albeit “Bible-biased”) on the dynastic successions, etc., and the language links seem very thin (sort of like the folks who say that Nostradamus was writing about Hitler when his quatrain mentions “Hister”, an old word for the Danube river). Here he tries to make a case that a major chunk of the late 18th Dynasty was, in fact, various biblical figures, with the most notable being Moses, who here becomes Akhenaten, with the worship of the Aten being the fore-runner of the Jehovian monotheism. Rather than being killed, he has Akhenaten being sent into exile, and eventually beginning the Sinai wanderings. While the Aten-cult connection to the eventual Jewish religion has been posited (with varying degrees of plausibility) previously, there is little else here that is particularly convincing, just a barrage of names that have some slight arguable similarity, and small threads of context holding the argument together.

I don't even want to get into the details of the “white powder of gold” (which was a “food” for the Anunnaki and their descendants), but this figures in the story of Exodus and the place in the Sinai where Moses/Akhenaten “spoke to God” as being a “factory” for the stuff (“not only is the powder of the highward fire-stone capable of raising human consciousness, but it is also a monatomic superconductor with no gravitational attraction” … I kid you not).

What is so frustrating with books like those of Sitchin and Gardner is that, on the whole, they're not “loopy” like some of the “newage” books I've reviewed here are … they “look and feel” like solid pieces of serious research. Heck, this has something like 40 pages of notes, 40 pages of charts, diagrams, and other data, and a 16-page bibliography. But then you have Akhenaten/Moses taking the people of Israel to a Hathor temple in the middle of the Sinai to load up the Ark with a “monatomic superconductor” white powder to have for supplies on the road to the promised land. Very hard to buy into.

Anyway, once I got what the book was about, I did rather enjoy most of Genesis of the Grail Kings, as it was a jazz-like riff on some familiar, if “out there”, theorizing. Needless to say, “your mileage may vary”. If you want to dip a toe in this particular quagmire, you might do better with Sitchin's “Genesis Revisited”, which at least spends more time making its arguments, but if this sort of thing “is your cup of tea”, by all means go find a copy of this (the latest paperback edition is currently at 60% off at Amazon).

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