The Astrological Origins of the Old and New Testaments
July 4, 2006 3:26 PM   Subscribe

"The Naked Truth" This Google Video is a documentary (pack a lunch, it's nearly two hours long) that systematically eviscerates the purported origins of the Old and New Testaments. Turns out, it's really all about astrology. Who knew? The evidence is tremendously compelling, well documented, and sure to raise the ire of people whose minds are made up on the subject.
posted by wordswinker (45 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
OH MAN. whatever. unwatchable and unsubstatiated new age pap. "systematically eviscerates" itself only.
posted by BrodieShadeTree at 3:45 PM on July 4, 2006


2 hours? ... that "systematically eviscerates" my evening right there ... no thanks
posted by pyramid termite at 3:53 PM on July 4, 2006


This really isn't very good. The important bits may be yet to come, but I'll never know because I suspect they're trying to sell me male hair dye and accident coverage.

[shudder]
posted by NinjaTadpole at 3:54 PM on July 4, 2006


The first 15 minutes tell you that what you are about to hear is going to change your life forever, and then the next 1 hour and 45 minutes are just confusing. I couldn't even find what their central thesis is.
posted by geoff. at 3:54 PM on July 4, 2006


(I only watched 10 minutes and then some optimistic skipping, I haven't seen nearly enough to make a balanced opinion, but boy, it's shite.)
posted by NinjaTadpole at 3:56 PM on July 4, 2006


Anybody coming up with a better synthesis, other then "oh boy it sucks" ?
posted by elpapacito at 4:00 PM on July 4, 2006


Man's religions, all from the very beginning of recorded time, even into the pre-Cro-MANGON days...

Aaaaaand, scene.
posted by Gator at 4:04 PM on July 4, 2006


Anybody coming up with a better synthesis, other then "oh boy it sucks" ?

Sorry, but it's subtitled 'Awaken The Sheeple' and someone refers to Zimbabwe as Rhodesia within the first couple of minutes (a surefire sign of a nutter, and probably a racist nutter) - I'm going with the 'Oh boy, it sucks' crowd on this one.

I suggest reading Hamlet's Mill instead, which is still quite crazy. Or maybe The Golden Bough, which is considerably less so.
posted by jack_mo at 4:14 PM on July 4, 2006


Turns out, it's really all about astrology

Jesus wants you for a sunbeam.
posted by Sparx at 4:31 PM on July 4, 2006


Is this a copyrighted work? Why?
posted by mischief at 4:36 PM on July 4, 2006


It sure looks hokey but "awaken the sheeple" is just the name the uploader gave it. and they guy was probably in zimbabwe before the 1980 name change.

that said it still looks hokey
posted by bhnyc at 4:41 PM on July 4, 2006 [1 favorite]


Are you kidding? Judaism is older then astrology. What's next, a documentary illustrating how Islam is really just based on Marxism?
posted by Paris Hilton at 4:58 PM on July 4, 2006


Around 32 minutes in, some guy comes on to explain that a very ancient order of Buddhist monks who are led by the Dalai Lama are somehow precursors to Jesus' being called the lamb of god. He bases his assumption on the fact that Dalai is Latin for "god" and "lama" somehow sounds like "lamb".

This is some much horseshit i can barely break it down. 1. Tibetan buddhism is younger than Christianity. You could make the case that it started around 200 ACE, but really it didn't get rolling til about 770. 2. The position of Dalai Lama didn't get invented til about 1500; and 3. Dalai is Mongolian meaning "Ocean" (as in "of Wisdom") and Lama is the Tibetan translation of the Sanskrit word "Guru," or teacher.

No, they didn't have Wikipedia back in the day when they made this vid, but for the love of Jeehuvanutz, it's all in the freaking Encyclopedia Brittanica. What a shame that what could've been a kick-ass Joesph Campbell type of extravaganza was so poorly researched and full of bluster.
posted by DenOfSizer at 4:58 PM on July 4, 2006


If you enjoyed this, try any of David Icke's lectures next.
posted by flabdablet at 5:04 PM on July 4, 2006


It must be true: it was produced by the International Research and Educational Society. In fact, I believe they were so successful in researching and educationalating that they disbanded and eliminated all trace of their existence after "The Naked Truth".

BTW, Derek Partridge (the Rhodisian) is hardly racist. In fact, according to his biography, he was almost the next James Bond after George Lazenby. Also, he is willing to narrate your next sensational documentary in German, Italian, Spanish, or even French. Personally, I think I'll have him do my next "hold message."

Yes, I'm procrastinating reviewing phonological priming literature and this is much sexier.

So see, this video is all about "a look at the facts and only the facts," like religious societies have more crime and social problems than less religious countries; more people have been slaughtered because of religious beliefs than secular wars; also, you only have to look at"normal, non-religious societ[ies]" to see how much more tolerant they are. These are verifiable facts stated with persuasive authority by a professional narrator.

[developing story]

posted by imposster at 5:25 PM on July 4, 2006


I enjoyed The God Who Wasn't There, myself. The guy that made is kind of an asshole though. Surprising, huh?
posted by puke & cry at 5:25 PM on July 4, 2006


Still downloading, but I'm looking forward to something in the mst3k category.
posted by jam_pony at 5:27 PM on July 4, 2006


No, they didn't have Wikipedia back in the day when they made this vid, but for the love of Jeehuvanutz, it's all in the freaking Encyclopedia Brittanica.

Britannica was written by the oppressive Christians, who spread their filthy lies to cover up the TRUTH, don't you know that?


posted by Mikey-San at 5:52 PM on July 4, 2006


Tripod is the new Trinity.
posted by Gator at 5:56 PM on July 4, 2006


I knew I should've rehosted it.

Chalk up another one to the Christian cover-up conspiracy.
posted by Mikey-San at 6:00 PM on July 4, 2006


#Paris Hilton: Judaism is older then astrology.

Actually Judaism was only codified around 650BC by I believe Josia. Astrology well predates Judaism.
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 6:12 PM on July 4, 2006


Okay, so the heart of the program is a lecture from Jordan Maxwell (who had a minor role in the movie "Man of Faith" ((although his name isn't listed on IMDb - an accident or a conspiracy?))) According to him, the Bible is really about astrology and astronomy based on the Zodiac. If you don't want to hear this "you must be in denial" - you just "need to do your homework." Although he doesn't suggest why zodiac references in the Bible should make us doubt it more than say the fact that it also includes multiple accounts of people coming back from the dead, I'll summarize his argument below (n.b. I am a religious person myself, but I'll try my best to let "the facts speak for themself" as the producers intended):
-the zodiac is a division into 12 of the year: 12 apostles
-also, the Bible (John 14:2) says "my Father's house [abode] has many mansions [houses]" (houses of the zodiac -- get it?)
-Book of Job (38:31-33): God asks Job if he can buy the influences of the Pleiades or the power or Orion (even God knows the power astrology!); "ordinances in heaven" = zodiac!
-2 fishes, 5 loaves: 2 fishes = Picses; day of judgement = last day in the age of picses; then he goes into the age of aquarius (symbolized by the waterbearer); Luke 22:10 - where will Jesus begin his new kingdom - "Go into the city and you will meet a man with a water pitcher"
Mathew 28:20 "I will be with you till the end of the age"
"This age and the age to come" = age of picses and age of aquarius (marked by the water bearer)
-Jesus is symbolized by a fish, too
-Sun = "Son" of God (coicidence?)
-Behold he cometh with clouds and every eye shall see him (sunrise) -- walked on water (sunset) -- crown of thorns = sun's rays
-the sun moves through zodiac constellations entering at the 30th degree and leaving at the 33rd degree = Jesus begins ministry at 30 and ends at 33
-crucified savior = personification of sun dying on the cross of the zodiac

So you might not be convinced yet, but then Michael Chandler, founder of the now extinct IRES brings new verifiable facts that are both researched and educational:
-SOLOMON = sol (sun in Latin languages) - om (what people chant in eastern religions and symbolizes the sun) - on (the sun in Egyptian)
-Jonah (semitic for the sun) lives in the fish for 3 days (Winter solstice)
-Samson (solar myth): 12 adventures, strength in his hair (sunrays)

Ram, bulls, virgins - etc.

-Manna from heaven: actually a MUSHROOM, a magic mushroom!

Well, it goes on from there, but my curiosity is satisfied. I still don't believe all this nonsense, but I intended to seek counselling for my denial. In the meantime, I have to return to all those "verifiable facts" about the facilitation of lexical decisions based on phonological priming (which is really just a big myth based on paleolithic worship of pointy rocks). You don't need to thank me for doing your "homework" for you.
posted by imposster at 6:14 PM on July 4, 2006


Creative philology seems to be a speciality of this film (probably because it is so easily researched and verfied.) [DON brought up the verifiable relationship between Dalai Lama and Lamb of God (lama sounds like lamb, get it?) and I previously mentioned the Sol - om - on reference.] There is another one I can't resist mentioning, this one by Jordan Maxwell: Israel = Isis + Re + El, Isis and Re being the Egyptian gods the Hebrews learned to worship in slavery and El being the name of the Canaanite god they learned about when returning to Palestine. Any linguists like to comment?

[According to Wikipedia, "ishr - al" (the new name given to Jacob by God in the book of Genesis) translates roughly to "upright (with) God"]
posted by imposster at 6:38 PM on July 4, 2006


OMG I just realized:
"Awaken the Sheeple" (the subtitle)

AWAKEN = to rise in the morning after sleep (sunrise = Son of God = return of Jesus)

SHEEPLE = sheep (lamb = Lamb of God) + El (the Canaanite God, but also the masculine article in Spanish, and the name of the public transportation system in Chicago)

Just as the Bible is really about astrology, I believe this video is really about the return of "El Sheep" (Jesus) in Chicago at the dawning of the "Age of Aquarius" (recorded by the 5th Dimension in 1969 on the same album as a cover of Cream's "Sunshine of your Love" = Sun = Son = Jesus)

And that's where the trail runs cold. Anyone?
posted by imposster at 6:47 PM on July 4, 2006 [1 favorite]


And that's where the trail runs cold. Anyone?

Dude. You forgot the "The" part of "Awaken The Sheeple." "The" = "Theo" = GOD. This tells me that Malcolm-Jamal Warner is actually the Messiah.
posted by Gator at 6:59 PM on July 4, 2006


I'd never heard the astrology claim before, but I know that those ancients were big on it. I do know that Kabbalah is steeped in astrology. It also predates Judaism as we know it. It also is knowledge that until the Berg's (I hear they know Madonna!) got a marketing plan that went public with thousands of years of scholarship formerly reserved for Jewish scholars over 40, it epitomized the esoteric--that is, knowledge that's exclusive to an elite group.

If there are strains and themes of astrology in the Bible, it should surprise no one and wouldn't necessarily be patently obvious to all but an elite few.

People found meaning in the stars long before they knew how to write (still do). Why wouldn't it be logical for that to be included in a search for meaning in a tome with the Bible's provenance?

Maybe I'm gullible, but I know something of the subject having a (granted, very old) minor in religion. Religion's roots are long and tangled, full of influences that are impossible to fully parse today.

At what point does coincidence become meaningful, anyway?

The ark, virgin birth, Moses in the bullrushes, crucifixion and ressurection are just a few of the Biblical stories repeated across many civilizations. People don't want to hear that shit.

Unless you take the book literally, none of this should diminish anyone's perceived value of its lessons. In fact, that the themes appear through time, and have persisted until today, is testimony to their emotional resonance.

The immediate assumption in the comments that anyone posting this must be an idiot is something I will take into consideration, though. It's important to be open-minded.
posted by wordswinker at 7:10 PM on July 4, 2006


And that's where the trail runs cold. Anyone?

Christ, man, it's so obvious. Re-arrange the letters!

"Awaken the Sheeple" =
A HEATHEN K(n)EELS (at the) PEW
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:32 PM on July 4, 2006


Metafilter: Best of the Half-Assed Crackpot Badly Researched Metaphysical Credulous Pap.
posted by unSane at 7:34 PM on July 4, 2006


(also=)
HELP SATAN! HE WEEKE!
EATEN SHEEP, HE WALK!
HE HELP WAKE SENATE!
WE SEEK AH ELEPHANT!
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:38 PM on July 4, 2006


n.b. I am a religious person myself, but I'll try my best to let "the facts speak for themself" as the producers intended)

I still don't believe all this nonsense,

This seems to be a perfect summary of the comments in this thread, don't you think? I don't believe THIS nonsense, I believe the OTHER one..
posted by c13 at 9:18 PM on July 4, 2006


c13: Except that I would never suggest that my religious beliefs are verifiable facts.
posted by imposster at 9:34 PM on July 4, 2006


People found meaning in the stars long before they knew how to write (still do). Why wouldn't it be logical for that to be included in a search for meaning in a tome with the Bible's provenance?

I don't think that people here are necessarily objecting to that idea. I think they are objecting to "evidence" put forward to prove this point.

Like someone upthead, I was expecting some Campbell-like allusions to archetypes and the collective unconscious. To the contrary, it sounds like the film mostly consists of a bunch of newage sewage.

I don't think I'm going to commit two hours of my life to watching it.
posted by Afroblanco at 9:44 PM on July 4, 2006


Well, this is what makes it interesting to me. Your beliefs are not verifiable by definition. Most of the statements that are made in the video (the ones you've summarized in you 9:14 post) are either directly verifiable (quoted passages either are or are not in the bible, for example), or are at the very least as plausable as any other interpretations. So why exactly is it nonsense? At least, how are they really any worse than more traditional interpretations?
posted by c13 at 10:04 PM on July 4, 2006


To the contrary, it sounds like the film mostly consists of a bunch of newage sewage.

I don't think I'm going to commit two hours of my life to watching it.


Heh heh.. That's one fine way to form opinions!
posted by c13 at 10:08 PM on July 4, 2006


"Astrology well predates Judaism."

Banging on rocks predates both of them. So?

I haven't watched the video linked above, and will only do so if one of the following conditons are met:

1) It has at least one laugh per minute, without canned laughter telling me when to laugh.
2) There's a car chase in it.
3) There's a sex scene in it.
4) Emmalina narrates about five minutes of it.
5) There's robots, ninjas, or pirates in it.
6) Cat weightlifting!
posted by ZachsMind at 10:18 PM on July 4, 2006


I think it's perfectly rational to scan through the comments before committing myself to 2 hours of watching a video that I wasn't all-too-interested-in anyway.
posted by Afroblanco at 10:20 PM on July 4, 2006


Well, this does appear to be the consensus here, Afroblanco.
posted by c13 at 10:29 PM on July 4, 2006


c13: I have no problem with his suggestion that the writers of the Bible incorporated elements of astrology and the zodiac into the symbolism of their literature or oral traditions that were recorded at a later date. But it is nonsense to say that the Bible is really about astrology/zodiac when there are clearly so many other influences present (also, except for the quote from the Book of Job, none of his references show a direct influence from astrology and the relationship must be interepreted.) I'm not a fundamentalist and strongly believe in subjecting the Bible to multiple interpretations, especially from a literary standpoint.

Here's the problem: Is there astrological symbolism in the Bible? Yes. Is there lots of other symbolism in the Bible? Sure. Is Christianity deeply rooted in eariler myths and religious practices? Of course. Does this prove that religion (and Christianity in particular) is a farce and scourge upon mankind? Not really.

Worse yet, the video is couched as "fact-based," objective assesement of religion (including a phoney research institute and "expert" guests; e.g. the James Bond that only exists in the 5th dimension). In fact, the "facts" are generalizations, inferences, made-up etymologies, and (at best) interpretations.
posted by imposster at 10:39 PM on July 4, 2006


c13: At least, how are they really any worse than more traditional interpretations?

They fail to shed new light on how a follower of Jesus can better live their life in service to God (the Golden Calf might be related to Taurus in the Zodiac, but it doesn't mean I love my neighbor any less. God didn't like the Golden Calf anyway.) Plus the interpretations aren't offered as an alnternative to tradition; they're meant to prove how weak the foundations of Christianity are (a strange proposition since the first segment of the video is devoted to Derek's hearfelt declaration of his deep and tolerant personal spirituality.)
posted by imposster at 10:49 PM on July 4, 2006


(a strange proposition since the first segment of the video is devoted to Derek's hearfelt declaration of his deep and tolerant personal spirituality.)

Hmmm.. I'm pretty sure he said that he never belonged to any organized religious group and that his philosophy is to do as much conscious good and as little conscious evil as possible. That has very little to do with spirituality and in no way conflicts with disparaging the foundations of religion (note that by comparing christianity with buddism and sun worship he doesn't just point out the latter's weaknesses, but of all of them). Questioning or criticizing something is not the same as being intolerant. Even if it happens to be your sacred cow (or golden calf).
As far as "failing to shed new light..", if you believe in it already, you don't really need it to begin with.
Finally, they do provide facts. You can look up particular passages in the bible, you can verify Egyptian religious practices and texts. As far as inferences and interpretations, come on, they are talking about the bible.
posted by c13 at 11:11 PM on July 4, 2006


I think the main point of the video was that christianity is not very original. And indeed, would no one figure out that you should treat others the way you want to be treated without the bible? Or that you shouldn't kill people, or steal from them? Why would you need ANY religion for that?
The ubiquitous great flood story, etc.?
And if it is not original, then why is it so special?
posted by c13 at 11:28 PM on July 4, 2006


c13: Forgive my misrepresentation of Mr. Partridge's personal beliefs. I had conflated his statement with ones made shortly thereafter by Mr. Jenkins.

Questioning or criticizing something is not the same as being intolerant
I agree. Stating that "religious societies" are maladapted/violent/etc without reference to some sort of data other than sensationalistic headlines about the terrible things done in the name of religion? Maybe intolerant?

Your question: At least, how are they really any worse than more traditional interpretations?
One value of new interpretations of the Bible is that they can reveal new directions for spiritual growth or action. Christian thought has undergone multiple revolutions based on new interpretations of scripture. (I especially like the ones about inclusion, social justice, and peace.)

In closing, these are not facts (I'm making them small because I've already mentioned them):
-religious societies have more crime and social problems than less religious countries (assertion)
-more people have been slaughtered because of religious beliefs than secular wars (makes a false distinction between two integrally related phenomenon)
-"normal, non-religious societ[ies]" are more tolerant (assertion; assumes a false norm and fails to define a "non-religious society")
-lama = lamb; sun = son (false cognates)


On preview: I think you would be hard pressed to find Christians who would say that the story of Jesus is totally original.

And if it is not original, then why is it so special?
For most Christians, it is not the originality of the story that makes it special, but rather that they find some truth in it (or rather "truth," as different from "verifiable data").

Would no one figure out that you should treat others the way you want to be treated without the bible? Or that you shouldn't kill people, or steal from them? Why would you need ANY religion for that?
That's not the argument of the video or Christianity.
posted by imposster at 11:42 PM on July 4, 2006


Heh heh.. That's one fine way to form opinions!

Yup, watching two hours of new age dross on Google Video is *exactly* how people form their opinons in this day and age.

So what about that World Trade Centre? I hear that the jews did it?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:28 AM on July 5, 2006


Oh come now, imposter. Terrible things done in the name of religion? Let see, the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, Salem witch trials, wide spread illiteracy, 9/11 (I of course don't blame Christianity for the last one). Do you really need references? Look in the bible, its not always "thou shall not kill", its also stoning your kid for talking back to you or treating women as property. That really is my problem with the bible. You talk about inclusion, peace and social justice, but turn the page, and its exactly the opposite. But that really is a topic for another time.
While the video does make some pretty weakly supported inferences, and is obviously not a definitive treatment of the subject, I think it does have a rather interesting perspective. Astrology is centuries old, and has very little to do with "the new age", even if hippies happen to dig it. This could make for an interesting dicussion, unfortunately we seem to be the only people who actually watched the video.

On preview: Of course not, PMD. Who needs to actually know what they are talking about?
posted by c13 at 5:10 AM on July 5, 2006


As if implying that religion first arose from fear of dinosaurs isn't enough to undermine your credibility, it's just kind of a red flag when your "chief researcher" has a history with Coast-to-Coast AM (better known as "Art Bell's show"), and when the chief qualification for another one of your three main presenters is his seven years spent hosting an AM talk radio program.

The video is excruciating long and at many points painfully dull, but honestly, that's to be expected and should be forgiven. It's trying to cover a lot of ground with some detail, and that's just going to take a while. And it does have some value. Pointing out that Christianity is just another installment in a long line of retellings of one core set of myths is valuable, and they raise some interesting points about sun worship and astrology, but they just don't document anything at all, and that's unfortunate because they say some odd things. I mean, I've never heard of Mary's womb appearing as "clear transparent crystal." Similarly, it's an interesting and believable hypothesis that the word "amen" derives from Amen-Ra worship, but that's all it is without some other kind of support. Some casual searches turn up nothing on either of these things, and there are plenty of other similarly provocative but unsubstantiated or weakly supported claims. Other claims, like the one that Krishna was crucified, are apparently far from settled fact. And still other claims, like the insistence that English language puns ("sun"/"son") are evidence of... anything about ancient Semitic or Egyptian religions, are just bizarre.

Going back to the Art Bell connection, these guys are clearly coming from a conspiracy theorist mindset, which is to say: they've found a little evidence, derived a pattern from it, and then are shoehorning all the other evidence to fit that pattern. I mean, the golden calf represented Taurus? I mean, maybe, but maybe cows are symbolically potent to agrarian societies for other reasons -- such as, you know, being a critical source of meat, milk, and labor. One gets the impression that they've made up their minds about their conclusion, and they're going to do whatever they need to do to find facts that support them, whether that means using the beliefs of tiny splinter sects to represent the orthodoxy of their parent religions, or using a mix of language and symbolism (both contemporary and ancient) as a kind of crude epistemological Rorschach test.

At the same time, they're kind of weirdly all over the map. Okay, maybe the Israelites used psychedelics... and? And what? What does that mean? How is that relevant? How did that shape the development of the religion? Do you have a point here, or do you just want to show us drawings of men in funny hats? And then to wrap the whole thing up with, "intelligent design is real, the evidence is that the world exists, God is love, some scientists told me so"... ? ... What? I mean, it's fine if you believe that, but didn't you begin the program, and end the program, and sprinkle the whole program throughout with lectures about how you're only presenting facts and how belief is only belief? WTF?

This program is useful in that it touches upon a broader historical context for religious myth, within which the Judeo-Christian tradition is but a part, and it presents a lot of provocative ideas that, for an open-minded viewer, are interesting and fun to think about and explore. There is a serious, serious warning here, though, that the scholarship is extremely sloppy. I would not trust one single thing these guys say -- not one single thing -- without investigating it thoroughly. Given the breadth of the subject and the unreliability of the "facts" they present, this program is little more than a novelty. It is distributed by a company that has produced videos on a wide range of subjects, such as pyramid power, ufology, and dolphins, and it clearly deserves its place amongst them.
posted by nationelectric at 4:34 PM on July 5, 2006


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