Day of Wrath, 5

Julian Jaynes and the bicameral mind

In recent decades several historians without any link to the deMausean school have written about thirty books on histories of childhood. I will mention only a couple of those published in 2005: When Children Became People by Odd Magne Bakke and Growing Up: The History of Childhood in a Global Context by Peter Stearns. DeMause has iteratively complained that books of this sort are presented to history students as if childrearing in the past had been as benign as Western childrearing in our times. Stearns for example is author and editor of more than forty books, but he attempts to absolve the parents by claiming that infanticide had an economic motivation; when it is well documented that in some periods infanticide was more common in well-off families.

Psychogenesis is the process of the evolution of empathy, and, therefore, of childrearing forms in an innovative group of human beings. In a particular individual it is an evolution of the architecture of his or her mentality, including the cognition of how the world is perceived. A “quantum leap” in “psychoclasses” depends on the parents’ breaking away from the abusive patterns in which they were educated; for example, stop killing their children: a prehistoric and historic practice that deMause calls “early infanticidal childrearing.”

A fascinating essay by Julian Jaynes throws light on how, by the end of the second millennium before our era, a huge alteration occurred in human mentality. In 1976 Jaynes published The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind. Jaynes calls “breakdown” the transit of bicameral mind—two chambers or brain hemispheres—to modern consciousness. The transit is relatively recent, and it represents a healing process from a divided self into a more unified or integrated one. Jaynes describes how society developed from a psychological structure based upon obedience to the god’s voices, to the subjective consciousness of present-day man. Like deMause’s psychohistory, Jaynes’ model caused many of his readers to see mankind from a new perspective. He elaborated a meta-narrative purporting to connect the loose pieces of previously unconnected fields—history, anthropology, ancient texts, psychiatry, language, poetry, neurology, religion, Hebrew and Greek studies, the art of ancestral societies, archaeological temples and cuneiform writing—to construct an enormous jigsaw puzzle.

Jaynes asked the bold question of whether the voices that people of the Ancient World heard could have been real, a common phenomenon in the hallucinated voices of present-day schizophrenics. He postulated that, in a specific lapse of history a metamorphosis of consciousness occurred from one level to another; that our present state of consciousness emerged a hundred or two hundred generations ago, and that previously human behavior derived from hearing voices in a world plagued with shamanism, magical thinking, animism and schizoidism.

In the Ancient World man had a bipartite personality: his mind was broken, bicameralized, schizophrenized. “Before the second millennium B.C., everyone was schizophrenic,” Jaynes claims about those who heard voices of advice or guides attributed to dead chiefs, parents or known personages. “Often it is in times of stress when a parent’s comforting voice may be heard.” It seems that this psychic structure of a divided or bicameral self went back to cavemen. Later in the first cities, the period that deMause calls “late infanticidal childrearing” (Jaynes never mentions deMause or psychohistory), the voices were attributed to deities. “The preposterous hypothesis we have come to is that at one time human nature was split in two, an executive part called god, and a follower part called man. Neither was conscious. This is almost incomprehensible to us.” Preconscious humans did not have an ego like ours; rational thought would spring up in a late stage of history, especially in Greece. However, orthodox Hellenists usually do not ask themselves why, for a millennium, many Greeks relied on instructions coming from a group of auditory hallucinating women in Delphi. To explain similar cultural phenomena, Jaynes lays emphasis upon the role that voices played in the identities, costumes and group interactions; and concludes that the high civilizations of Egypt, the Middle East, Homeric Greece and Mesoamerica were developed by a primitive unconscious.

The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind describes the theodicy in which, three thousand years ago, subjectivity and the ego flourished. For the common man consciousness is the state of awareness of the mind; say, the conscious state at walking. Jaynes uses the term in a more restricted way: consciousness as the subjective universe, the self-analyzing or self-conscious mind; the “I,” the will and morality of an individual, as well as the development of the linear concept of time (which used to be cyclic to the archaic mind, perhaps due to the observation of the stations of the year). The man who left behind his bicameral thinking developed a more robust sense of the self, and Jaynes finds narrative evidence of this acting self in the literary record. He examines Amos, the voice of the oldest Old Testament text and compares it with the Ecclesiastes, the most recent one. Likewise, Jaynes scrutinizes the Iliad looking for tracks of a subjective self, and finds nothing. The Homeric heroes did what Athena or Apollo told them; they literally heard their gods’ voices as the prophets listened to Yahweh’s. Their psyches did not display brightness of their own yet. (If we remember the metaphor of my first book, the mentality of ancient man was similar to what astronomers call a “maroon dwarf”: a failed star like Jupiter, not a sun with enough mass to cause nuclear fusion so that it could shine on its own.) Matters change with the texts of Odysseus’ adventures, and even more with the philosophers of the Ionian islands and of Athens. At last the individual had accumulated enough egocentric mass to explode and to shine by itself. Jaynes believes that it was not until the Greek civilization that the cataclysm that represented the psychogenic fusion consolidated itself.

By Solon’s times it may be said that the modern self, as we understand it, had finally exploded. The loquacious gods, including the Hebraic Yahweh, became silent never to speak again but through the bicameral prophets. After the breakdown of divine authority, with the gods virtually silenced in the times of the Deuteronomy, the Judean priests and governors embarked upon a frenetic project to register the legends and stories of the voices that, in times of yore, had guided them. It was no longer necessary to hallucinate sayings that the god had spoken: man himself was the standard upon which considerations, decisions, and behaviors on the world rested. In the dawning of history man had subserviently obeyed his gods, but when the voice of consciousness appears, rebelliousness, dissidence, and even heresy are possible.

Through his book, which may be called a treatise of psycho-archeology, Jaynes follows the track of how subjective consciousness emerged. His ambitious goal is to explain the birth of consciousness, and hence the origin of our civilization. Once the former “maroon dwarfs” achieve luminescence in a group of individuals’ selves, not only religious dissent comes about, but regicide, the pursuit of personal richness and, finally, individual autonomy. This evolution continues its course even today. Paradoxically, when the West reaches the stage that deMause calls “helping mode” in child-rearing, it entails ill-fated consequences such as Caucasian demographic dilution and the subsequent Islamization of Europe (as we will see).

Although Jaynes speculates that the breakdown of the bicameral mind could have been caused by crises in the environment, by ignoring deMause he does not present the specific mechanism that gave rise to the transition. Due to the foundational taboo of human species, explained by Alice Miller in my previous book and by Colin Ross in this one, Jaynes did not explore the decisive role played by the modes of childrearing. This blindness permeates The Origin of Consciousness to the point of giving credibility to the claims of biological psychiatry; for example, Jaynes believes in the genetic basis of schizophrenia, a pseudoscientific hypothesis, as shown in my previous essay. However, his thesis on bicameralism caused his 1976 essay to be repeatedly reprinted, including the 1993 Penguin Books edition and another edition with a 1990 afterword that is still in print.

In the bicameral kingdoms the hallucinated voices of ancient men were culturally accepted as part of the social fabric. But a psychogenic leap forward gives as much power to the new psychoclass as the Australopithecus character of 2001: A Space Odyssey grabbing a bone. “How could an empire whose armies had triumphed over the civilizations of half a continent be captured by a small band of 150 Spaniards in the early evening of November 16, 1532?” The conquest of the Inca Empire was one of a handful of military confrontations between the two states of consciousness. A deMausean interpretation would lead us to think that it was a clash between the infanticidal psychoclass and an intermediate state of ambivalent and intrusive modes of childrearing. The Spaniards were clearly up the scale of “psychogenic leaps” compared to the Incas.

This reading of history is diametrically opposed to Bartolomé de Las Casas, who in his Apologética Historia claimed that in some moral aspects the Amerindians were superior to the Spanish and even to Greeks and Romans. Today’s Western self-hatred had its precursor in Las Casas, who flourished in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. In identical fashion, in the 21st century it is irritating to see in educational TV programs an American in Peru saying that the Incas of the times of the Conquest “were much smarter than the Spanish.” The truth is that the Incas did not even know how to use the wheel and lacked written language. They literally heard their statues speak to them and their bicameral mind handicapped them before the more robust psyche of the Europeans: something like an Australopithecus clan clashing with another without bones in their hands. The Spaniards were, certainly, very religious; but not to the point of using magical thinking in their warfare stratagems. According to a 16th-century Spaniard, “the unhappy dupes believed the idols spoke to them and so sacrificed to it birds, dogs, their own blood and even men” (this quotation refers to Mesoamericans, the subject-matter of the next section). The Peruvian Mario Vargas Llosa believes that his ancestors were defeated due to a pragmatic and basically modern European mentality in contrast to the magical thinking of the natives; and the Mexican Carlos Fuentes wrote that the conquest of the American continent was a great triumph of the scientific hypothesis over the indigenous physical perception.

Jaynes overemphasizes that the prophets of the Old Testament literally heard Yahweh’s voice. Because the minds in the Ancient World, like present-day schizoid personalities, were swarmed with sources of hallucination, humans still lacked an inner space for retrospection and introspection. Bible scholars have debated at length about what could have caused the loss of prophecy gifts in the Hebrew people after the Babylonian exile. I would say that the elimination of the sacrificial practice of infants meant a leap toward a superior psychoclass, with the consequent overcoming of the schizoid or bicameral personality.

But going back to Jaynes: Formerly terrestrial and loquacious, the later mute gods were transported to a heaven, making room for human divination: the consultation of human beings that (for having been raised by more regressive parents I may infer) still heard the fateful voices. Even though the divine voices made themselves unnecessary for the new kind of human, praying continued to a god who was incapable, centuries ago, of communicating through divine voices.

The entire succession of [Old Testament] works becomes majestically and wonderfully the birth pangs of our subjective consciousness. No other literature has recorded this absolutely important event at such length or with such fullness. Chinese literature jumps into subjectivity in the teaching of Confucius with little before it. Indian hurtles from the bicameral Veda into the ultra subjective Upanishads. Greek literature, like a series of steppingstones from The Iliad to the Odyssey and across the broken fragments of Sappho and Solon toward Plato, is the next best record, but still too incomplete. And Egypt is relatively silent.

Jaynes’ book is dense, closely argued, and despite its beautiful prose often boring. But the chapter on the Hebrew people titled “The Moral Consciousness of the Khabiru” is must reading. If he is right, it was not until the fifth century before the Common Era when the bicameral mind began to be seen as the incapacitating disorder that is presently labeled as psychosis. In contrast to the mystic psychohistorian Robert Godwin, I am closer to Jaynes in that one of the most persistent residues of bicameralism is our religious heritage.

Jaynes, who died in 1997, may be the proverbial author of a single book, but many people continue to read The Origin of Consciousness. Tor Norretranders, a popular author on scientific subjects, expanded the bicameral hypothesis in a book published a year after Jaynes died, The User Illusion, and he cites more recent investigations than those collected by Jaynes.
 
Popperian falsifiability

Despite the book’s popularity and the fact that Jaynes taught in Princeton University and did archaeological work, his colleagues did not pay him much attention. Many academics reject theories that have been presented through literary books. It is understandable that a book with such lyric passages has been ignored by the dry science taught in the psychology departments; by neurobiologists, and by evolutionary theorists. Jaynes, basically a humanist, had not presented his theory in a scientific or falsifiable format.

Adepts of social sciences grant such authority to the hard sciences that, when they run across a text that emphasizes the humanities, they want to see everything translated to the language of science. They do this in spite of the fact that, in the reign of subjectivity, hard sciences are incapable of producing something truly significant. Notwithstanding this scientific demand, I concede that if we humanists make claims that could be interpreted as scientific hypotheses, it doesn’t hurt to present them in such a way that they may be refuted, if per chance they are wrong. Consequently, I must make it very clear that the trauma model is falsifiable.

For instance, it occurs to me that, if the model is correct, in the Israeli kibbutz children cannot be easily schizophrenized. The cause of this would be, naturally, that in the kibbutz they are put farther away from potentially schizophrenogenic parents than the children in nuclear families. Something similar could be said about Jaynes’ ideas. His hypothesis can be presented in falsifiable form always provided that the presentation is done through a deMausean interpretation of it, as we will see almost by the end of this book.

Once it is conceded that even humanists who venture into foreign lands can present their theories in falsifiable form, I must point out that very few academics, including psychologists, are willing to delve into the darkest chambers of the human psyche. To them it is disturbing that prehistoric man, and a good deal of the historic man including their ancestors, had behaved as marionettes of hallucinated voices or nonexistent gods. Jaynes’ ideas represent a serious challenge to history as it is officially understood and even more to religion, anthropology, and psychiatry. He seems to postulate that a scant connectivity of the two brain hemispheres produced voices, and that the changes in consciousness caused the brain to become more interconnected through the corpus callosum. In case I have interpreted him correctly, I am afraid it is not possible to run tomographs on those who died millennia ago to compare, say, the brain of the bicameral pythoness against the brain of the intellectual Solon. Let’s ignore this non-falsifiable aspect and focus on hypotheses that may be advanced by epidemiologists in the field of social sciences. Studying the changes of incidence patterns of child mistreatment through history or contemporary cultures is a perfectly falsifiable scientific approach.

In the book reviews of The Origin of Consciousness available on the internet it can be gathered that the experience of many readers was as electrifying as a midnight ray that allowed them to see, albeit for a split second, the human reality. If the ultimate test for any theory is to explain the most data in the simplest way, we should not ignore the psychohistories of Jaynes and deMause. If they are right, the explanatory power of an unified model would help us understand part of the human mystery, especially religion and psychosis.

 
___________

The objective of the book is to present to the racialist community my philosophy of The Four Words on how to eliminate all unnecessary suffering. If life allows, next time I will publish here the section on schizophrenia theorist Silvano Arieti. Those interested in obtaining a copy of Day of Wrath can request it: here.

On pre-Hispanic Amerinds, 7

SunStoneColored-NG

 

Standing in a bookstore when I was much younger I read a passage from a book by an out-closet homosexual, the Mexican poet Salvador Novo analyzing the term “pecado nefando” (heinous sin). Novo mentioned Nezahualcoyotl, a 15th-century king and member of the Aztec Triple Alliance, who promulgated a law code that included that those who had engaged in the passive role of homosexual anal intercourse had their intestines pulled out, then their bodies were filled with ash, and finally, were burnt (the active or penetrating partner was simply suffocated in a heap of ash): a punishment more severe than a mere capital punishment against sodomy in the Muslim world. Novo included an illustration of a dead male Amerind with his intestines pulled out, but now that I looked if that image was available in the internet I didn’t find it.

I mention this because one of the reasons why the behavior of pre-Hispanic Amerinds is unknown lies in the fact that the deranged Christians and liberals who are obsessed with out-group altruism have been most reluctant to speak about the level of cruelties in the American continent before the white people arrived. In the latest threads I have spoken about some members in the pro-white movement that get mad when I dare to challenge their dogmas. For instance, in an article at Majority Rights I was once called “Jew” because I dismissed 9/11 conspiracy theories. But in my long life I have had similar experiences with this sort of fanatics.

In my book for example I mention that I have taken issue with my father about Nezahualcoyotl. He has enormously idealized this Indian, to the extent that he even composed a short musical piece for one of the poems that some attribute to Nezahualcoyotl. From time to time I have tried to transmit to my father the fact that the historical Nezahualcoyotl ordered his son to be killed, and that that must be enough to stop idealizing him.

In his uttermost dishonesty, my father has not tried even to respond. He simply continues to idealize Nezahualcoyotl during family meetings and even before visitors from Europe; he continues to flatly claim that figure of Nezahualcoyotl proves that the Aztecs were highly civilized. (Incidentally, in my discussions I never mentioned that Amerind fags were disemboweled in such horrible way after Nezahualcoyotl’s laws; only that he ordered his grown-up first born to be killed.)

Another personal vignette. Back in 2008 I was in a taxi with my father and my six-year-old nephew. Those days I had been discussing with him about the fact that according to my sources the pre-Hispanic Amerinds were cannibals. I even photocopied Mexican newspapers notes saying that such anthropophagy had been corroborated by archeological evidence. Keep in mind that virtually all Mexican press side the Amerinds against the Spanish conquerors, but even the indigenista press has to acknowledge the facts.

My father simply stopped talking to me in the taxi, changed the subject of conversation and started to talk with my six-year-old nephew…

Of course: people like my father, completely unconcerned with the facts, exist by the millions. But I find it healthy that presently the top cultural institutions of Mexico have been corroborating the facts (not my psychohistorical theories) that I cited in The Return of Quetzalcoatl. That’s why I have been reviewing the academic treatise El Sacrificio Humano in these series about pre-Hispanic Amerinds. So let’s now continue to refute my father’s intellectual cowardice with another chapter of El Sacrificio Humano.

The Aztecs and the Mayas were not the only sons of bitches in Mesoamerica (see the previous entries of these series). In the opening paragraph of “El Sacrificio Humano en el Michoacán Antiguo” Grégory Pereira says that Tariácuri, the founder of the empire of the Purépecha culture which developed in the Mesoamerican Postclassic period, congratulates destiny when learning that his own son would be sacrificed (page 247). This of course reminds me what my father’s “civilized” Nezahualcoyotl did. Pereira cites the Spanish Relación de Michoacán as a reliable source about how the Michoaque people behaved before the arrival of the Spaniards.

The Relación states that part of the captives such as old people and children were sacrificed by extraction of the heart right on the spot of the battle, and that (my translation) “the bodies of these victims were cooked and consumed at the same place.” I mention this only to show how my father, who has a good library in his study including books about the pre-Hispanic Amerinds, simply doesn’t want to face what’s right in front of his nose.

Q3

On page 254 Pereira includes a diagram showing a skeleton with points that show the impact of the rib cut to reach the heart during those sacrifices, and he adds that those who performed the ritual were called opítiecha or “holders” who grabbed the extremities of the victim. He adds: “Once slaughtered and decapitated, the dismembered body was in the house of the priests and the various parts offered up to the gods and eaten by the priests and lords. Those who were killed at the scene of the conflict were eaten by the victors… After the cannibal feast, the bones of the slaughtered apparently were gathered and preserved in the house of the priests.”

On the next page Pereira includes an illustration of the Relación depicting the consumption of human flesh. Later, on page 262, the author reveals that Tariácuri also ordered the killing of another of his sons, Tamapucheca, as punishment for having escaped being sacrificed.

Then Pereira recounts that on the day following the sacrifice, they “wore the skin of the slaughtered in a dance, and for five days got drunk.” That is, the cadavers were skinned so that the priests could wear the skin as clothes.

I just wonder… How would an American leftist react before such information. Like my father did in the taxi?

Xipe, Veracruz

A figurine at the Museo Nacional de Antropología
showing an Amerind covered with a human skin.

On pre-Hispanic Amerinds, 6

SunStoneColored-NG

 

Tell me which gods you worship and I’ll tell you who you are.

In another chapter of the book El Sacrificio Humano I’ve been reviewing, Marie Areti-Hers, the author of the article on human sacrifice in the Toltec-Chichimeca culture, says that “to penetrate” into the Mesoamerican world one must take into account the complex statue represented by the last incarnation of that world, the “Summa Theologica locked in the formidable images of Coatlicue” (page 241).

The Spaniards placed Our Lady of Guadalupe, the symbol of Catholic Mexicans, on the Hill of Tepeyac. But what the authorities conceal from the Mexican schoolchildren is that precisely on that hill the Aztecs used to worship their goddess. And what a goddess…!

A picture is worth a thousand words. The below photograph shows a stone representation of almost 9 feet high of the Aztec goddess that you can see at the Museum of Anthropology when you visit Mexico City.

diosa-azteca

The Coatlicue is always represented with a skirt of interwoven snakes (nahuatl: Coatlicue, coatl, snake; cueitl skirt). See her collar consisting of a skull flanked by mutilated hands and hearts; her two large snakes that by kissing each other form a hideous face because the goddess’ children had decapitated her and the original face of the mother is missing. See also the phallic snake hanging between her paws like a third leg, paws which look as claws since, in the Aztec imagery, their favorite deity feeds from corpses. (In Tenochtitlan’s houses there were more figurines of the Coatlicue than of Huitzilopochtli, the male god of the Aztecs.) This goddess that devoured human hearts and blood was also the goddess of fertility and of the sacred earth.

The above image has lost its color. How had the statue made its impact when painted with the most violent colors (see the Aztec Calendar above, also of stone) in the pre-Columbian temple? Her aspect was so terrifying that Amerind women entered the shrine headed down to avoid making eye contact with the monster while offering her beautiful flowers.

And not just flowers… As I say in my book, it was said that to placate such goddess sacrifices of juicy infants were needed.

No wonder why the Spaniards chose the hill of Tonantzin-Coatlicue, which used to house the formidable statue, to impose the image of the Lady of Guadalupe they had copied from the Spanish Virgin with the same name. Most Mexicans ignore that the name of the Lady of Guadalupe derives directly from Extremadura, homeland of many conquistadors including Hernán Cortés himself (info in Spanish including an image of the Spanish Guadalupana: here).

Only with such transposition of deities the Spanish conquerors managed to banish the Aztec cult of the terrible mother…

Published in: on December 10, 2013 at 7:49 pm  Comments (4)  
Tags:

On my moral inferiors

Recently a regular visitor let me know by email that he was dismayed because of my wish to exterminate those who trade by skinning alive some poor animals. He merely wanted to close the Chinese factories that supply more than half of the fur garments for sale in the corrupt, deranged West. This is my response:

I am not the monster. Those who don’t harbor exterminationist fantasies are the moral Neanderthals compared to me.

Take as an example my recent posts on pre-Hispanic Amerinds. In the last one a disturbing possibility was raised by the author of an academic paper (take heed that this is an establishment source): Several Maya skulls show marks of sharp and unhealed cuts, particularly around the eye sockets, which suggests that some of these individuals might have been flayed before the sacrifice. The presence of women and children among these skulls mean that even they, not only mature men, might have suffered a horrible death, like what still happens today in the Chinese fur factories.

I usually don’t get comments on my pre-Columbian posts, perhaps because the unearthed data sheds light onto such ghastly history that it makes it difficult to digest. But if we dare to see that the same is happening today to some animals, the emergent individual who approaches these subjects can only see those who avoid it as intellectual cowards. Why? Because the whole subject of white survival depends upon regaining a self-image that puts whites above the other races from the moral—i.e., the development of empathy—standpoint, especially empathy toward women, children and our cousins, the animals.

After my previous post on Maya sacrifice I have read another academic paper in the book El Sacrificio Humano (28 authors), this one by Vera Tiesler and Andrea Cucina, a chapter with nine pages of bibliographical references of specialized literature. (*)

Tiesler and Cucina let us know that modern Mayanists are using, in addition to the Spanish chronicles and the iconographic evidence of pre-Columbian art, the science of taphonomy (analysis of skeletons) as tangible evidence of human sacrifice in the Maya civilization.

Maya-sac

On pages 199-200 the authors mention the techniques that the Maya used in their practices, now corroborated by taphonomy: the victim could have been shot by arrows or lapidated, his or her throat or nape could have been cut or broken, his or her heart could have been extracted either through the diaphragm or through the thorax; could have suffered multiple and fatal lacerations, or incinerated, disemboweled or skinned or dismembered. The body remains could have been eaten or used as trophies, or used in the manufacture of percussion instruments.

The authors deduce this by direct, physical evidence of the studied skeletons (or other remains) and they also mention a form of sacrifice that I had not heard of: the offering of human faces in the context of the influence on the Mayas by the Xipe Totec deity, “Our Lord the Flayed One,” who was widely worshipped at the north, in central Mexico.

Tiesler and Cucina also point out to other kind of physical evidence in the Maya civilization (that I already had mentioned in The Return of Quetzalcoatl): many skeletons with sacrificial marks have been found at the bottom of the cenotes of sacrifice. On page 206 they include the illustration of some Maya dignitaries showing off on their “uniforms” inverted heads such as the one I already added in my entry on pre-Columbia Oaxaca. The news is that a skeleton has been found of an individual showing on his thorax a human mask that hanged from his belt when he was alive.

On page 209 the authors let us know that the Mayas even sacrificed animals, and include an illustration of a jaguar surrounded in flames. They don’t say if the animal was alive when sacrificed; and on page 211 they tell of “an elevated percentage of child, adolescent and female victims whose cadavers used to be, also, the object of ritual manipulation.” In the same page appears a Maya depiction of a decapitated woman, and on page 215 a photo is reproduced of a perforated thorax suggesting that the body remains might have been used as manikins “with the objective of a terrifying display of institutional power.” They also suggest that the sacrifices might have been still performed long after the Spanish Conquest, albeit “clandestinely and increasingly resorting to animal substitutes.”

This makes my point beautifully. If you forbid a barbarous practice in a primitive race the violence will be displaced, not eradicated.

The sacrificial victims are now the animals. Remember my entry where I mentioned the case of recent torture of bunnies in Mexico? The reason why I speak with haughty contempt of non-exterminationists (“my moral inferiors”) is because they are afraid of taking their premises to their logical, commonsensical conclusion. It is not enough to close the Chinese skinning factories or the Mexican slaughter houses. To put an absolute end to such practices with no further displacement you got to wipe out the entire psychoclass behind such cruelties. (Cf. my views on psychohistory to grasp the meaning of the term “psychoclass” and also the last pages of Pierce’s The Turner Diaries.)


_______________

(*) “Sacrificio, Tratamiento y Ofrenda del Cuerpo Humano entre los Mayas Peninsulares,” in López Luján, Leonardo & Guilhem Olivier (2010): El Sacrificio Humano en la Tradición Religiosa Mesoamericana [Human Sacrifice in the Mesoamerican Religious Tradition]. Mexico City, Mexico: Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (INAH) and Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Instituto de Investigaciones Históricas. ISBN 978-607-484-076-6. OCLC 667990552. (Spanish)

On pre-Hispanic Amerinds, 5

SunStoneColored-NG

 

In their article, “El Sacrificio Humano en la Parte Central del Área Maya”, pages 169-193 of El Sacrificio Humano en la Tradición Religiosa Mesoamericana, Stephen Houston and Andrew Scherer write:
 

Some examples [frescoes] of Piedras Negras, Guatemala, show a knife with knots of paper and a feathered plume of the sacrificial victim, with his heart possibly extracted, leaning over a bundle of paper for a burnt-offering.

The reduced size of the characters raises the possibility of youngsters or infants, whose breasts are opened more easily by its cartilaginous nature. There is a series of images on plates with infants whose breasts show a small cut on the heart (e.g., the famous dish of the Popol Vuh, K3395). But not all of them are representations. In 1985, as a member of Project Caracol in Belize, Stephen Houston excavated a reused crypt with at least twenty-five individuals, where he found the body of a newborn on top of a plate.

Incidentally, it is remarkable the presence of fire in scenes of children, such as in a mural of a jamb of Tohcok, Campeche, and another on Stela 3 of Yaxhá, Guatemala. The first image traces the shape of a body on an incendiary base, bundles of firewood with ajaw on the head, corresponding to the sign of the homes of the founders of dynasties, especially those related to the pre-eminent city of Teotihuacan.

The second image shows the remains of a human body on a plate supported by cross-shaped sticks. From above fall grains of incense, ch’aaj in the ch’olan language in most classical texts; from below clouds of fire raise up. Through the sign for “wood,” , inscribed next to the trait, it is indicated that the dish will also burn.

Maya vase K1645

A documented vase (K1645, above) by Justin Kerr explains the mythical context of these historical facts. Two supplicant characters, the first perhaps tied as a captive (at least placed in a very uncomfortable position), faces two “packages” with heads of gods, a scene that appears in other vessels, but with different dates and other companions. The verb “born” sihyaj suggests that Chahk, the rain god, and the so-called god of “Pax” are newborns. In the vase K1645 the supplicants are ch’ajoomtaak, “those who spread incense.” The first character carries the attributes of the ch’ajoom, “incense spreader,” even a distinctive headband and a dress of dry leaves.

Both supplicants offer to the enthroned figures an object named “his foot,” yook, perhaps referring to the wooden scaffolding that stands in the stela of Yaxhá. The link to the fires is made clear with the presence of the inflammatory base behind the scaffold. Unlike other sacrificed children, the infant appears to be alive [Chechar’s note: see image below].

poor-maya-kid

As in several Mesoamerican societies, the image of a supernatural act can function as a basic model for the dynastic rituals. There is a parallel in the evidence of the sacrifice by fire, a torture with fatal goals, applied by a god on the back of another…

The presence of infants over the plates, especially in contexts of way [Mayan word] or co-essences of Maya rulers, indicates that this is a special “food.” Usually, the way was very different food from the food of human beings, with emphasis on hands, eyes, bones, and in this case, the soft bodies of children.

[Above I excerpted passages from pages 170 to 173. Below there’s an excerpt from page 182, where the authors discuss other Maya sacrifices:]

The presence of women and children indicates that these individuals were not enemy combatants and strongly suggests a sacrificial context, though perhaps a sacrifice of wider political significance.

Several skulls of Colhá show marks of sharp and unhealed cuts, particularly around the eye sockets, which suggests that some of these individuals were flayed, either shortly before or after death. The skinning of the face supports the iconographic images of beheading showing substantial mutilation, particularly of the eyes. Although it is likely that much of this occurred post-mortem, we must ask whether at least some of these traumas were inflicted before death to maximize the suffering of those about to be executed.

____________________

Note: For my psychological interpretation of Maya and other Amerind cruelty, see The Return of Quetzalcoatl, a chapter of my book.

On pre-Hispanic Amerinds, 4

SunStoneColored-NG

 
The lead paragraph of Wikipedia article “Human trophy taking in Mesoamerica” starts with this sentence:

Most of the ancient civilizations of Mesoamerica such as the Olmec, Maya, Mixtec, Zapotec and Aztec cultures practised some kind of taking of human trophies during warfare. Captives taken during war would often be taken to their captors’ city-states where they would be ritually tortured and sacrificed. These practices are documented by a rich material of iconographic and archaeological evidence from across Mesoamerica.

Today I added some info to that article.

In the South West of Mexico there are various pre-Columbian figures in which high-ranking characters, warriors and ball players wear ritual and military paraphernalia, holding inverted heads with their loose, long hair hanging down. One of these figures can be seen in the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington (see drawing below). Javier Urcid writes that these trophies may have been “soft parts of decapitated heads turned into relics to hang.” There are also several figures showing characters with facial skin on their face: the skin of a flayed human. Urcid’s article in El Sacrificio Humano en la Tradición Religiosa Mesoamericana includes several illustrations of these trophies in the southern west of Mexico, including a brazier depicting a ball player with a flayed facial mask, wearing a necklace of human bones and carrying a severed head.

National Museum of the American Indian in Washington

The Relación Geográfica of 1580 mentions the festivity of the tlacaxipehualiztli in the context of human skin as trophies in Oaxaca: “… and with rods they hit throughout the body until it swelled, and then flayed the bodies and washed the meat with hot water and ate it, and carried the skins in the nearby villages for begging.”

Sometimes it is not even necessary to add value judgments about such practices. A simple enumeration of the facts is enough. More info about this cute ritual, the tlacaxipehualiztli, performed by these little angles that were the pre-Hispanic Amerinds appears in my book. Keep in mind that the tlacaxipehualiztli was performed every year before the Spanish conquest.

Published in: on December 3, 2013 at 3:58 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags:

On pre-Hispanic Amerinds, 3

SunStoneColored-NG

 

Eduardo Matos Moctezuma is a prominent Mexican archaeologist that has directed excavations at the Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan. In his article “La Muerte del Hombre por el Hombre” in El Sacrificio Humano en la Tradición Religiosa Mesoamericana (pages 43-64), he includes fifteen illustrations of ancient codexes, of which I’ll reproduce only a couple of them.

After quoting the details of Maya human sacrifice recounted by Diego de Landa (1524-1579), a Spanish bishop of Yucatán, Matos Moctezuma writes (my translation) that “in some Mixtec codexes this practice is shown as in the Codex Borgia, where we have images of the extraction of the heart, and also in the Codex Laud:

Codex-Laud-1

A few pages later the archeologist describes another form of sacrifice that was popular in both Teotihuacan and in the Maya world, decapitation: “Also in various codexes we see images of decapitation, as in the Codex Vaticanus B, pre-Hispanic, in which page 24 a figure can be seen of a bat with outstretched arms holding in each of his hands a bloody human head. It corresponds to the eastern trecenas [13-day period used in pre-Columbian Mesoamerican calendars] and reads like: ‘They are time of vampire Xolotl, the deadly lethal bat that cuts heads and takes off hearts’.”

Codex-Vaticanus-1

I don’t want to repeat what I already said about pre-Hispanic human sacrifice in The Return of Quetzalcoatl. I want to add something new. And since art is the royal road to enter the soul of a totally alien culture, I find it convenient to include these images of how the books authored by the representatives of the high culture in the Amerind world looked like before they were conquered by the white man.

Codex_Zouche-Nuttall_01

The above is a highly-pixelated image. Click on it to see the details (click again for even more detailed close-up). I may be no expert in deciphering such codexes but a central image on the left page looks like a grey-faced man holding a decapitated head with blood pouring under it.

Published in: on December 1, 2013 at 1:24 pm  Comments (1)  
Tags: ,

On pre-Hispanic Amerinds, 2

SunStoneColored-NG
 
The academic treatise El Sacrificio Humano en la Tradición Religiosa Mesoamericana sheds light on a photograph I used in a chapter of my book, the picture above the note “Photo by Héctor Montaño,” a photo of a recent discovery of a child offering to Huitzilopochtli that Montaño kindly sent me a few years ago when I was researching the subject of child sacrifice in pre-Columbian America. (By the end of this entry I reproduce this high-quality photo again: click on it if you want to see the details.)

In an article of El Sacrificio Humano, “Huitzilopochtli and child sacrifice in the Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan” (my translation) by Leonardo López Luján, Ximena Chávez Balderas, Norma Valentín and Aurora Montúfar (pages 367-394), the authors tell us:

Everything indicates that this deposit is the material expression of a mass sacrificial ceremony motivated by the devastating drought of year 1 Tochli, corresponding to our 1454 C.E. and reported in a number of Indian annals. The presence of the Offering 48 in the northwest corner of Temple fully agrees with the documentary sources of the 16th century (pages 367-368).

During such ceremonies [to Tláloc], subject to the calendar or performed in times of crisis, children were symbolically similar to the dwarfs and deformed assistants of rain, as their profuse tears shed when immolated served as a hopeful omen of abundant precipitation. The careful study recently published by Michel Graulich about human sacrifice among the Aztecs indicates that, usually, the chosen children were given away or sold by their parents…; little slaves offered by the lords and wealthy people; infants purchased out of town, or children of prisoners of war. There are indications, moreover, that the kings and lords to some extent responsible for the smooth running of the meteors destined their own offspring to the téhcatl during droughts or floods, or to get rich harvests (pages 368 & 370).

The taphonomic analysis

Numerous cut marks on the ribs of both sides of the rib cage, as well as perimortem fractures produced by the same cutting action… In our view, this body of evidence is sufficient to conclude that the child of Offering 111 died during a sacrificial ceremony in which his tiny heart was extracted (pages 377-378).

Q2

Child sacrifice, war and Huitzilopochtli

Not all child sacrifices were linked to the gods of rain and fertility. Some historical documents reveal that people who were in situations of adversity, or had lost their freedom, or had been suffering a terrible disease, promised to give their children in exchange for their salvation. In other cases, the life of infants was claimed just before the military confrontations (pages 381-382).

In the following pages the authors mention the Spanish chroniclers as complementary sources of what recent archeology has discovered; chroniclers and 16th century texts such as Francisco Lopez de Gómara, the “List of Coatepec and his party,” Antonio Tello, Diego Durán and Bernardino de Sahagún.

It’s nice to see that modern science confirms, not denies, what the 16th century Spaniards had witnessed and reported.

On pre-Hispanic Amerinds, 1

SunStoneColored-NG

 

Recently I was in the bookstore of the Museo Nacional de Antropología (MNA), which I had not visited for years, and the cover of a DVD for sell caught my attention. Although it was about human sacrifice in pre-Columbian America, the back cover of this BBC documentary claimed that “women had more rights” in the pre-Hispanic world than in the West. I immediately put the DVD, which before reading that had tempted me to purchase it, back to the shelf.

It is unbelievable the level of chutzpah and blatant historical lies that presently are broadcasted to the unsuspecting masses. As I wrote in my book rebutting similar, outrageous claims by renowned British historians, unlike pre-Columbian women “European women were not deceived to be sacrificed, decapitated and skinned punctually according to rituals of the Gregorian calendar.”

In my chapter of Hojas Susurrantes dealing with the Aztecs I did not include references because the format of that chapter is literary, not academic. But now that I was in the MNA I obtained a copy of what could be regarded as the most up-to-date academic work on human sacrifice in Mesoamerica.

El Sacrificio Humano en la Tradición Religiosa Mesoamericana is a 600-page, academic treatise authored by 28 scholars on the subject of pre-Columbian sacrifice: Mexican, European and American archeologists, historians and anthropologists. Published in 2010 by both the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (INAH) and the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), this can be the ultimate source to validate what I wrote in my book about the Aztecs. In addition to the sources I already knew, El Sacrificio Humano includes some new archeological evidence corroborating the 16th century claims of the Spaniards about Amerind infanticide, sacrifice and cannibalism.

Of course: the Mexicans who coordinated the publishing of this major work are politically-correct idiots whose main objective is that the readers continue to subscribe the non-judgmental ethos so fashionable in anthropology today, an ethos that takes Boasian anthropology as axiomatic. This can be gathered from the presentations to this collaborative work by the director of the INAH (“Accepting the reality of the sacrificial practices in ancient Mexico does not mean to rule in favor or against them”—my translation); those who coordinate the MNA (“…the Hispanist fundamentalism that sees only the most barbaric aspects of this practice”), and the director of the Institute of Historical Research of the UNAM (“…among the non-specialist public often circulates reductionist ideas about it [the Mesoamerican sacrifice]… the papers presented here allow a more accurate and nuanced approach”).

Take note that these men and women and all Mexican and non-Mexican anthropologists and historians that contributed with academic papers to El Sacrificio Humano don’t deny the facts about what the pre-Hispanic Amerinds did. What modern academics do is, like their guru the Jew Franz Boas, abstaining from value judgments about such practices. In today’s historiography you can say everything you want against whites, the Germans and the Nazis, but even the slightest condemnation of non-white cultures is considered disloyal.

In one of the first chapters after the above-mentioned presentations, the archeologist Eduardo Matos Moctezuma presents the archeological evidences of sacrificial rituals—skeleton remains of the victims, stony bases for the sacrifice, the instruments used in the immolations, etc.—that Leonardo López Luján, the main coordinator of the book, acknowledges in the very first chapter as “having their referents in the historical sources from the 16th century.” This scholar is thus acknowledging that what the Spanish chroniclers saw and recorded in the 16th century is now being corroborated by archeology. López Luján of course uses the passive voice, “fueron muertos” instead of the natural “los mataron” (they killed them) in that introductory chapter when writing about the sacrificial victims.

In the next entries of these new series I will be examining the naked facts that the scholars of El Sacrificio Humano present about how these little angels, the Amerinds, behaved before any substantial contact with the Europeans.

tenochtitlan-3

Tenochtitlan, the world’s most beautiful city in the 16th century.
For my interpretation of Aztec human sacrifice see my book: here.

Infanticide in the historical Israel

Below, a Spanish-English translation of pages 602-608 of my book Hojas Susurrantes. For a broader context of the subject of infanticide, see the Metapedia article (here).


In the past, the shadow of infanticide covered the world, but the Phoenicians and their biblical ancestors, the Canaanites, performed sacrifices that turn pale the Mesoamerican sacrifices of children.

The Tophet, located in the valley of Gehenna, was a place near Jerusalem where it is believed that children were burned alive to the god Moloch Baal. Later it became synonymous with Hell, and the generic name “tophet” would be transferred to the sacrificial site of the cemetery at Carthage and other Mediterranean cities like Motya, Tharros and Hadrumetum, where bones have been found of Carthaginian and Phoenician children.

Semitic-offering-to-molech

According to a traditional reading of the Bible, stories of sacrifice by the Hebrews were relapses of the chosen people to pagan customs. Recent studies, such as Jon Levenson’s The Death and Resurrection of the Beloved Son: The Transformation of Child Sacrifice in Judaism and Christianity have suggested that the ancient Hebrews did not differ much from the neighboring towns but that they were typical examples of Semitic peoples of Canaan.

The cult of Yahweh was only gradually imposed in a group while the cult of Baal was still part of the fabric of the Hebrew-Canaanite culture. Such religion had not been a syncretistic custom that the most purist Hebrews rejected from their “neighbor” Canaanites: it was part of their roots. For Israel Finkelstein, an Israeli archaeologist and academic, the writing of the book of Deuteronomy in the reign of Josiah was a milestone in the development and invention of Judaism.

Josiah represents what I call one of the psychogenic mutants who firmly rejected the infanticidal psychoclass of their own people. Never mind that he and his aides had rewritten their nation’s past by idealizing the epic of Israel. More important is that they make Yahweh say—who led the captivity of his people by the Assyrians—that it was a punishment for their idolatry: which includes the burning of children. The book of Josiah’s scribes even promotes to conquer other peoples that, like the Hebrews, carried out such practices. “The nations whom you go in to dispossess,” says the Deuteronomy, “they even burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods.” (12: 29-31). “When you come into the land that the Lord is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominable practices of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering.” (18: 9-10).

This emergence, or jump to a higher psychoclass from the infanticidal, is also attested in other books of the Hebrew Bible. “The men from Babylon made Succoth Benoth, the men from Cuthah made Nergal, and the men from Hamath made Ashima; the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak, and the Sepharvites burned their children in the fire as sacrifices to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim” (2 Kings: 17: 30-31).

There were kings of Judah who committed these outrages with their children too. In the 8th century B.C. the thriving King Ahaz “even sacrificed his son in the fire, following the detestable ways of the nations the Lord had driven out before the Israelites” (2 Kings 16: 1-3). Manasseh, one of the most successful kings of Judah, “burnt his son in sacrifice” (21:6). The sacrificial site also flourished under Amon, the son of Manasseh. Fortunately it was destroyed during the reign of Josiah. Josiah also destroyed the sacrificial site of the Valley of Ben Hinnom “so no one could use it to sacrifice his son or daughter in the fire to Molech” (23:10). Such destructions are like the destruction of Mesoamerican temples by the Spaniards, and for identical reasons.

Ezekiel, taken into exile to Babylon preached there to his people. He angrily chided them: “And you took your sons and daughters whom you bore to me and sacrificed them as food to the idols. Was your prostitution not enough? You slaughtered my children and made them pass through the fire” (Ezekiel 16: 20-21). The prophet tells us that since his people wandered in the desert they burned their children, adding: “When you offer your gifts—making your sons to pass through the fire—you continue to defile yourselves with all your idols to this day. Am I to let you inquire of me, O house of Israel? As surely as I live, declares the Lord, I will not let you inquire of me” (20:31). Other passages in Ezekiel that complain about his people’s sins appear in 20: 23-26 and 23: 37-39.

A secular, though inspired by Jung, way to see God is to conceive it as how the ego of an individual’s superficial consciousness relates to the core of his own psyche: the Self. In the following diatribe by Ezekiel (16: 35-38) against his people we can hear this inner daimon, the “lord” of the man Ezekiel:

Therefore, you prostitute, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Lord says: Because you poured out your lust and exposed your nakedness in your promiscuity with your lovers, and because of all your detestable idols, and because you gave them your children’s blood in sacrifice, therefore I am going to gather all your lovers, with whom you found pleasure, those you loved as well as those you hated. I will gather them against you from all around and will strip you in front of them, and they will see all your nakedness. I will sentence you to the punishment of women who commit adultery and who shed blood; I will bring upon you the blood vengeance of my wrath and jealous anger.

When a prophet—that is, an individual who has made a leap to a higher psychoclass—maligned his inferiors, he received insults. Isaiah (57: 4-5) wrote:

Whom are you mocking? At whom do you sneer and stick out your tongue? Are you not a brood of rebels, the offspring of liars? You burn with lust among the oaks and under every spreading tree; you sacrifice your children in the ravines and under the overhanging crags.

Ezekiel wrote in the 6th century B.C.; Isaiah in the 8th B.C. Although Julian Jaynes would say that their visions were bicameral, it has been said that some of those diagnosed with schizophrenia have a much higher moral standard of values than the average individual. The very psalmist complained that people sacrificed their children to idols. But what exactly were these sacrificial rites?

Since the 10th century B.C. the spoken tradition of what was to be collected in biblical texts centuries later complained that Solomon “built a high place for Chemosh, the detestable god of Moab, and for Molech, the detestable god of the Ammonites,” and that his wives made offerings to these gods (1 Kings 11: 7-8). And even before, from the third book of the Torah we read the commandment: “Do not give any of your children to be passed through the fire to Molech, for you must not profane the name of your God.” (Leviticus 18:21). A couple of pages later (20: 2-5) it says:

Say to the Israelites: “Any Israelite or any alien living in Israel who sacrifices any of his children to Molech must be put to death. The people of the community are to stone him. I will set my face against that man and I will cut him off from his people; for by giving his children to Molech, he has defiled my sanctuary and profaned my holy name. If the people of the community close their eyes when that man gives one of his children to Molech and they fail to put him to death, I will set my face against that man and his family and will cut off from their people both him and all who follow him in prostituting themselves to Molech.”

Despite these admonitions, the influential anthropologist James Frazer interpreted some biblical passages as indicating that the god of the early Hebrews, unlike the emergent god quoted above, required sacrifices of children. After all, “God” is but the projection of the Jungian Self of a human being at a given point of the human theodicy. Unlike Larry S. Milner, a Christian frightened by the idea, I do not see it impossible that the ancient Hebrews have emerged from an infanticidal psychoclass to a more emergent one. In “The Dying God,” part three of The Golden Bough, Frazer calls our attention to these verses of Exodus (22: 29-30):

Do not hold back offerings from your granaries or your vats. You must give me the firstborn of your sons. Do the same with your cattle and your sheep. Let them stay with their mothers for seven days, but give them to me on the eighth day.

A similar passage can be read in Numbers (18: 14-15), and this one (3: 11-13) seems revealing:

The Lord also said to Moses, “I have taken the Levites from among the Israelites in place of the first male offspring of every Israelite woman. The Levites are mine, for all the firstborn are mine. When I struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, I set apart for myself every firstborn in Israel, whether man or animal. They are to be mine. I am the Lord.”

The psychohistorian Howard Stein, who has written several scholarly articles on Judaism since the mid-1970s, concludes in an article of 2009 that the gathered information suggests a particular interpretation. According to Stein, the substrate of fear for the slaughter “helps to explain the valency that the High Holiday have for millions of Jews world-wide,” presumably echoes of very ancient happenings.

In contrast to what we were taught in Sunday school as children, Moses did not write the Torah: it was not written before the Persian period. In fact, the most sacred book of the Jews includes four different sources.

Since the 17th century thinkers such as Spinoza and Hobbes had researched the origins of the Pentateuch, and the consensus of contemporary studies is that the final edition is dated by the 5th century B.C. (the biblical Moses, assuming that ever existed, would have lived in the 13th century B.C.). Taking into account the contradictions and inconsistencies in the Bible—for example, Isaiah abhorred animal sacrifice—it should not surprise us that the first chapter of Leviticus consist only of animal sacrifices, which the “Lord” called holocausts to be offered at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting. After killing, skinning and butchering the animal, the priest incinerates everything on the altar “as a burnt offering to the Lord; it is a pleasing aroma, a special gift presented to the Lord.” A phrase that is repeated three times in that first chapter, it also appears in subsequent chapters and reminds me those words by Cortés to Charles V about the Mesoamerican sacrifices (“…they take many girls and boys and even adults, and in the presence of these idols they open their chests while they are still alive and take out their hearts and entrails and burn them before the idols, offering the smoke as the sacrifice”). In the book of Exodus (34:20) even the emerging transition of child sacrifice to lamb sacrifice can be guessed in some passages, what gave rise to the legend of Abraham:

For the first foal of a donkey, they should give a lamb or a goat instead of the ass, but if you do not give, you break the neck of the donkey. You must also give an offering instead of each eldest child. And no one is to appear before me empty-handed.

Compared with other infanticidal peoples the projection of the demanding father had been identical, but the emergency to a less dissociated layer of the human psyche is clearly visible. As noted by Jaynes, the Bible is a treasure to keep track of the greatest psychogenic change in history. The Hebrews sacrificed their children just as other peoples, but eventually they would leave behind the barbaric practice.

isaac sacrifice

After the captivity in the comparatively more civilized Babylon in 586 B.C., the Jews abandoned their practices. In his book King Manasseh and Child Sacrifice: Biblical Distortions of Historical Realities, published in 2004, Francesca Stavrakopoulou argues that child sacrifice was part of the worship of Yahweh, and that the practice was condemned only after the exile. Like their Christian successors, the Jews had sublimated their filicidal desires in the Passover ritual. Each year they celebrate the liberation of their people and remember how Yahweh killed the firstborn Egyptians: legendary resonance of the habit of killing one’s eldest son.

But the biblical Moloch (in Hebrew without vowels, מלך, mlk), represented as a human figure with a bull’s head was not only a Canaanite god. It also was a god of the descendants of the Canaanites, the Phoenicians. The founding myth of Moloch was similar to that of many other religions: sacrifices were compensation for a catastrophe from the beginning of time.

Above [i.e., in my book] I said that Plutarch, Tertullian, Orosius, Philo, Cleitarchus and Diodorus Siculus mentioned the practice of the burning children to Moloch in Carthage, but refrained from wielding the most disturbing details. Diodorus says that every child who was placed in the outstretched hands of Moloch fell through the open mouth of the heated bronze statue, into the fire. When at the beginning of the 3rd century B.C. Agathocles defeated Carthage, desperate and immersed in the most abject magical thinking the Carthaginians began to burn their children in a huge sacrifice as a tactical “defense” before the enemy. The sources mention 300 incinerated children.

Blake-Moloch

Had I run a career of film director, I would feel the obligation to visually show to humanity their infamous past by filming the massive red-hot bronze statue while the Greek forces besieged the city, engulfing child after child, who would slide down to the bottom of the flaming chimney. In addition to Carthage, the worship of Moloch, whose ritual was held outdoors, was widespread in other Phoenician cities. He was widely worshiped in the Middle East and in the Punic cultures of the time, including several Semitic peoples and as far as the Etruscans. Various sacrificial tophets have been found in North Africa, Sicily, Sardinia, Malta, outside Tyre and at a temple of Amman.

Terracotta urns containing the cremated remains of children, discovered in 1817, have been photographed numerous times. However, since the late 1980s some Italian teachers began to question the historicity of the accounts of classical writers. Tunisian nationalists took advantage, including the president whose presidential palace near the suburban sea is very close the ruins of the ancient city of Carthage.

The Tunisian tourist guides even make foreigners believe the Carthaginians did not perform sacrifices (something similar to what some ignorant Mexican tourist guides do in Chiapas).

Traditional historians argue that the fact that the remains are from very young children suggests sacrifice, not cremation by natural death as alleged by the revisionists. The sacrificial interpretation of Carthage is also suggested by the fact that, along with the children, there are charred remains of lambs (remember the biblical quote that an evolved Yahweh implies that the slaughter of sheep was a barter for the firstborn). This suggests that some Carthaginians replaced animals in the sacrificial rite: data inconsistent with the revisionist theory that the tophet was a normal cemetery. To make matters worse, the word mlk (Moloch) appears in many stelae as a dedication to this god. Had there been simple burials it would not make sense to find these stelae dedicated to the god of fire: the graves are not marked with offerings to the gods.

Finally, although the classical writers were bitter enemies of the Carthaginians, historical violence is exercised by rejecting all accounts, since the time of Alexander to the Common Era. The revisionism on Carthage has been a phenomenon that is not part of new archaeological discoveries, or newly discovered ancient texts. The revisionists simply put into question the veracity of the accounts of classical writers, and they try to rationalize the archaeological data by stressing our credulity to the breaking point. Brian Garnand, of the University of Chicago, concluded in his monograph on the Phoenician sacrifice that “the distinguished scholars of the ridimensionamento [revisionism] have not proven their case.”

Nonetheless, I must say that the revisionists do not bother me. What I cannot tolerate are those individuals who, while accepting the reality of the Carthaginian sacrifice, idealize it. On September 1, 1987 an article in the New York Times, “Relics of Carthage Show Brutality Amid the Good Life” contains this nefarious phrase: “some scholars assert, the practice of infanticide helped produce Carthage’s great wealth and its flowering of artistic achievement.” The memory of these sacrificed children has not been fully vindicated even by present-day standards.

The Carthaginian tophet is the largest cemetery of humans, of boys and girls in fact, ever discovered. After the Third Punic War Rome forced the Carthaginians to learn Latin, just as the Spanish imposed their language to the conquered Mexicans. Personally, what most worries me is that there is evidence in the tophets of remains of tens of thousands of children killed by fire over many centuries. I cannot shudder more over imagining what would had become of our civilization had the Semitic Hannibal reached Rome.

P.S. for this blog:

And the traitors of today are planning to make a movie depicting the non-Aryan Carthaginians as the good guys and the Romans as the bad guys of the film…