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Censorship of 16th-Century Big Thinker Erasmus Revealed

Ancient Book
© Owen Jarus (left); Pearce Carefoote (right)
A newly catalogued 1541 book, written by Erasmus (left) has pages ripped out, text blotted out with ink and two pages glued together. This book is now in the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library at the University of Toronto. A 1538 book in which Erasmus introduces the writings of fourth-century Saint Ambrose. In it Erasmus' work is censored but this time with great beauty, with watercolors and baroque frames; it is now at the Centre for Renaissance and Reformation Studies, also at the University of Toronto.
More than 400 years before modern-day governments tried shutting down blogs or blocking tweets, two people tasked with censoring a sometimes-critic of the Catholic Church in Renaissance Europe took to their duties in very different ways: one with great beauty, the other with glue and, it appears, a message.

Now, two books, housed at separate libraries at the University of Toronto, illustrate two unusual approaches censors took when dealing with the same author, Erasmus.

Born in Rotterdam around 1466, Erasmus was a prolific writer who sought out wisdom in ancient Greek and Latin texts. His writings, mass produced thanks to the printing press, were at times critical of the Catholic Church.

By the time he died in 1536 the church was breaking apart, with splinter groups known as Protestants coming into conflict with the Catholics. English king Henry VIII was one of the most famous examples of a Protestant, creating a Church of England separate from church authorities in Rome.

Sherlock

Zodiac killer still alive and living in California, new book alleges

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© Unknown
A new book claims that the infamous Zodiac killer is still alive and living in Northern California.

The Zodiac Killer Cover Up was written by a former California Highway Patrol officer, Lyndon Lafferty, and adds another theory to the much-discussed serial killer case in Northern California.

The Zodiac killer is blamed for at least five slayings in 1968 and 1969. There was never an arrest in the case.

Three killings occurred in Vallejo. Teenagers David Farraday and Betty Lou Jensen were shot to death in December 1968. Darlene Ferrin, 22, was shot and killed seven months later at Blue Rock Springs Golf Club. Her companion, Michael Mageau, 19, survived.

In The Zodiac Killer Cover Up, Lafferty claims the killer is now a 91-year-old man living in Solano County. The book uses aliases and does not identify the alleged killer by name. Lafferty claims he and other lawmen investigated the suspect in the early 1970s but were stymied by "power brokers" in Solano County.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the book has stirred new debate among those who have followed the famous killings.

The San Francisco police formally closed the case in 2004.

The Zodiac killer got his name by taunting newspapers and the police with letters and puzzles.

Info

Female Genitalia Carvings Are Europe's Oldest Rock Art

Ancient Rock Art
© Raphaëlle Bourrillon
A carved image of a vulva from Abri Castanet.

The oldest rock art ever found in Europe reveals an interest in the female form - and the type of décor that the first Europeans preferred for their living spaces.

The new discovery, uncovered at a site called Abri Castanet in France, consists mainly of circular carvings most likely meant to represent the vulva. The carvings were etched into the ceiling of a now-collapsed rock shelter about 37,000 years ago, researchers reported Monday (May 14) in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"It's quotidian art, it's everyday art," study researcher Randall White, an anthropologist at New York University, told LiveScience. "It's over their heads as they're doing everyday, banal sorts of things."

Earliest artists

The artists who created this ceiling décor were the first humans in Europe, a group called the Aurignicians. Arriving from Africa, they would replace the Neanderthals in Eurasia.

They were hunter-gatherers, White said, and their society was quite complex. They painted, sculpted and made carvings. Their jewelry included woolly mammoth ivory beads, pierced animal teeth and shells from both the Mediterranean and the Atlantic.

The Aurignicians would have spent winters at the site in southwestern France, perhaps in groups of up to 300 people, White said. These hunter-gatherers found shelter beneath a rock overhang about 23 feet (7 meters) deep and about 6 feet (2 m) tall. On the ceiling, they pecked away rock, carving multiple depictions of notched circles likely meant to represent the female genitalia. (Anthropologists still debate if the images are meant to be vulvas or something else.) Other European rock art sites have similar carvings, White said, though there are regional differences in how the symbols are drawn.

Blackbox

Easter Island heads have bodies!?

Excavations of the bodies have been going on for many years, you can find out more from the Easter Island Statue Project. It's generally accepted that the statues were made sometime between 1250 and 1500 AD. There is controversy surrounding why the bodies are buried. Was it time and erosion, or were they buried on purpose? Aliens? The soil surrounding the bodies for so long has preserved interesting carvings (petroglyphs, or rock markings)...
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© Easter Island Statue Project

Hourglass

Easter Island, the Loneliest World Ever Settled by Man

easter island
My cup runneth over. Thirty three years ago I had the great good fortune to visit Easter Island, and now I have come back from an almost unimaginable (and undeserved) second visit to the loneliest world ever settled by man. Let me first present my thoughts written at that now remote time, complete with what I now know were prevailing errors and blindnesses about the future. What errors and blindnesses will I write into my account of this second journey?

Easter Island, August, 1971

I have just returned from Easter Island! It was not easy to get there, for seats in the weekly airplane from Santiago, Chile, to Easter Island and Tahiti, with connections to Australia, were jammed for weeks with Chilean Germans fleeing from Salvador Allende's Marxist-Leninist "Revolution." The revolutionaries and most of the news-following world think of Allende's Chile as the scene of a class struggle and of a rebellion against North American imperialism. But these Germans felt it as ethnic revenge, as Hispanic Chilean reassertion against these Chilean Germans and an appropriation of the wealth the latter had created and amassed. They had seen their businesses struck, harassed and seized, their homes broken into and looted with impunity by leftist Hispanic thugs and leftist Hispanic police. They all had tales of friends and relatives who'd been murdered. They were terrified and they were fleeing while they had the chance.

This was my unexpectedly political introduction to Easter Island, for I was getting off the plane there, not fleeing from Allende to Australia. We don't think of Easter Island in connection with politics, but it is now overwhelmed by the political storm. The Easter Islanders had been carried off into slavery and almost exterminated by Peruvian slavers in 1862. Their missionary priest and presently the Chilean and French Catholic hierarchies had effected their return later in the 1860s, a shattered remnant dying of smallpox. A succession of priests of the island, at first French but culminating in the great, scholarly and saintly Bavarian Capuchin, Father Sebastian Englert, who had served his flock from 1935 till his death less than two years ago, backed by the Catholic Church as a whole, had restored the Easter Island population from about 200 to 1600 today (over 4,000 before 1862), enjoying a Spartan but decent life. Grateful, the Easter Islanders always voted overwhelmingly Christian Democratic. To the various Marxist-Leninist groups in Allende's chaotic coalition (in which the actual Communist Party, on Moscow's orders, is paradoxically the most moderate element!) the Easter Islanders are therefore counterrevolutionary traitors in league with the North American C.I.A. To the resurgent Hispanic Chilean majority, they're Injuns, alien savages.

Gear

Perpetuating the Bible fraud: Archaeological discovery confirms King David as historical figure

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© Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Prof. Yosef Garfinkel with a stone shrine model found at Khirbet Qeiyafa
An archaeologist from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem says he has discovered cultic shrines dating back to the time of the biblical King David, which may provide clarity to some obscure building references in the Bible.

Professor Yosef Garfinkel says his discoveries at Khirbet Qeiyafa, an ancient fortified city that is 30 kilometers southwest of Jerusalem and is adjacent to the Valley of Elah, have confirmed the biblical view of the region prior to the construction of Solomon's Temple.

"This is the first time that archaeologists uncovered a fortified city in Judah from the time of King David," Garfinkel said in a press release. "Even in Jerusalem we do not have a clear fortified city from his period. Thus, various suggestions that completely deny the biblical tradition regarding King David and argue that he was a mythological figure, or just a leader of a small tribe, are now shown to be wrong."

Comment: It is now fairly well established that both Judaism and Christianity more or less emerged from the same crises at the same approximate period of time. Just as there was no crucifixion and resurrection of a "son of god" behind Christianity, there was no "ancient Israel" behind Judaism. There was no King David, no Solomon, no great kingdom, at all. They didn't exist, except as fragments of far older mythologies woven together for purposes of political control. There was no slavery in Egypt, no Exodus, and no Moses getting the Ten Commandments. It's all a fraud, a sick hoax, and humanity has been paying the price for over 2,000 years.

Read The Secret History of the World, by Laura Knight-Jadczyk to learn more on the topic.


Cowboy Hat

Easter Island statues' hats explained by researchers

easter island red hats

Easter Island: The two British experts believe the first hats appeared between 1200 and 1300, which coincides with an important increase in the size of the statues on this remote island.
The riddle of why scores of the statues on Easter Island are wearing red hats may have been solved by a team of British researchers.

The presence of the large disks of red stone has been one of the great mysteries of the island, situated 2,500 miles off the coast of Chile, since European archeologists began studying it a century ago.

Dr Colin Richards from the University of Manchester and Dr Sue Hamilton from University College London managed to reconstruct the journey taken by the sculptured rocks after following an ancient road which leads to a "sacred" quarry where the material was mined.

Dr Richards told The Independent: "It is clear that the quarry had a sacred context as well as an industrial one. The Polynesians saw the landscape as a living thing and after they carved the rock the spirits entered the statues."

Info

The Secrets of Easter Island

Easter island
© Paul Trachtman
Local artists are reviving the island's traditions. Carolina Edwards prepares to dance.
The more we learn about the remote island from archaeologists and researchers, the more intriguing it becomes

"There exists in the midst of the great ocean, in a region where nobody goes, a mysterious and isolated island," wrote the 19th-century French seafarer and artist Pierre Loti. "The island is planted with monstrous great statues, the work of I don't know what race, today degenerate or vanished; its great remains an enigma." Named Easter Island by the Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen, who first spied it on Easter Day 1722, this tiny spit of volcanic rock in the vast South Seas is, even today, the most remote inhabited place on earth. Its nearly 1,000 statues, some almost 30 feet tall and weighing as much as 80 tons, are still an enigma, but the statue builders are far from vanished. In fact, their descendants are making art and renewing their cultural traditions in an island renaissance.

To early travelers, the spectacle of immense stone figures, at once serenely godlike and savagely human, was almost beyond imagining. The island's population was too small, too primitive and too isolated to be credited with such feats of artistry, engineering and labor. "We could hardly conceive how these islanders, wholly unacquainted with any mechanical power, could raise such stupendous figures," the British mariner Capt. James Cook wrote in 1774. He freely speculated on how the statues might have been raised, a little at a time, using piles of stones and scaffolding; and there has been no end of speculation, and no lack of scientific investigation, in the centuries that followed. By Cook's time, the islanders had toppled many of their statues and were neglecting those left standing. But the art of Easter Island still looms on the horizon of the human imagination.

Just 14 miles long and 7 miles wide, the island is more than 2,000 miles off the coast of South America and 1,100 miles from its nearest Polynesian neighbor, Pitcairn Island, where mutineers from the HMS Bounty hid in the 19th century. Too far south for a tropical climate, lacking coral reefs and perfect beaches, and whipped by perennial winds and seasonal downpours, Easter Island nonetheless possesses a rugged beauty - a mixture of geology and art, of volcanic cones and lava flows, steep cliffs and rocky coves. Its megalithic statues are even more imposing than the landscape, but there is a rich tradition of island arts in forms less solid than stone - in wood and bark cloth, strings and feathers, songs and dances, and in a lost form of pictorial writing called rongorongo, which has eluded every attempt to decipher it. A society of hereditary chiefs, priests, clans and guilds of specialized craftsmen lived in isolation for 1,000 years.

Sherlock

Mystery of Missing US Colonies Remains Unsolved

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© Agence France-Presse
In this lithograph, Roanoke Colony settlers are shown baptizing Virginia Dare, the first child born in the New World to English parents.
Twice in American history, entire groups of people have suddenly disappeared - to the point that archaeologists and anthropologists today cannot say where they went or what happened to them.

One was the first boatload of English settlers in the New World. In 1587, they established a colony on Roanoke Island, off the Atlantic coast of what is now the state of North Carolina. The settlement had great difficulties with food and hostile Indians, so its governor went back to England to get supplies and arms.

When he returned, the whole colony of about 100 people had vanished without a trace. All that was left in what became known as the Lost Colony was the word "ROATAN," carved into a tree. The Roatans were Indians in the area.

The second mystery evolved several hundred years earlier, and several thousand kilometers to the west, in what is now the state of Colorado, past the Rocky Mountains in a place called "Mesa Verde" - "green table" or tabletop in Spanish.

A mesa is a long, flat-topped mountain, rising above a valley. About 1,900 years ago, this one was the home of a native people that today's Navajo Indians call the Anasazi - the ancient ones.

Sheeple

Agriculture spread thoughout UK in just 50 years

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New scientific techniques reveal how large tribal gatherings swept neolithic Britain

They were the stone-age equivalent of Glastonbury festival. People gathered in their hundreds to drink, eat and party every summer at revelries lasting several days and nights. Young men met women from nearby communities and married them. Herds of cattle were slaughtered to provide food.

These neolithic carousals even had special sites. They were held on causewayed enclosures, large hilltop earthworks built by our forebears after they brought farming to Britain from the continent 6,000 years ago.

This picture of ancient British bacchanalia has been created by researchers led by Professor Alasdair Whittle of Cardiff University and Dr Alex Bayliss of English Heritage. Using a revolutionary technique for dating ancient remains, they have built up a detailed chronology of the first farmers' arrival in Britain and have shown that agriculture spread with dramatic rapidity. In its wake, profound social changes gripped the country, culminating in the construction of causewayed enclosures where chieftains or priests held revelries to help establish their power bases.

Comment: Lauding the arrival of agriculture as a good thing is tragic when we consider the fruits of its labour compared with what is known of the original stone circle people. As Laura Knight-Jadczyk pointed out in The Golden Age, Psychopathy and the Sixth Extinction:
According to the mainstream scientific view, the Neolithic Revolution - the switch to agriculture - was one of the steps that led us to where we are today. This event involved the development of a system for the production and storage of food. Apparently, a human society already highly diversified and in the process of changing over to growing and storing food was already  - according to Gellner and others  - a 'ritually restrained society'.
"But it [agriculture] was also a tremendous trap. The main consequence of the adoption of food production and storage was the pervasiveness of political domination. A saying is attributed to the prophet Muhammad which affirms that subjection enters the house with the plough. This is profoundly true. The moment there is a surplus and storage, coercion becomes socially inevitable, having previously been optional. A surplus has to be defended. It also has to be divided. No principle of division is either self-justifying or self-enforcing: it has to be enforced by some means and by someone.

This consideration, jointly with the simple principle of pre-emptive violence, which asserts that you should be the first to do unto them that which they will do unto you if they get the chance, inescapably turns people into rivals. Though violence and coercion were not absent from pre-agrarian society, they were contingent. They were not, so to speak, necessarily built into it. But they are necessarily built into agrarian society...

The need for production and defense also impels agrarian society to value offspring, which means that, for familiar Malthusian reasons, their populations frequently come close to the danger point... The members of agrarian societies know the conditions they are in, and they do not wait for disaster to strike. They organize in such a way as to protect themselves, if possible, from being at the end of the queue.

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With agriculture came domination
So, by and large, agrarian society is authoritarian and strongly prone to domination. It is made up of a system of protected, defended storehouses, with differential and protected access. Discipline is imposed, not so much by constant direct violence, but by enforced differential access to the storehouses. Coercion does not only underwrite the place in the queue; the threat of demotion, the hope of promotion in the queue also underwrites discipline. Hence coercion can generally be indirect. The naked sword is only used against those who defy the queue-masters altogether...

... the overwhelming majority of agrarian societies are really systems of violently enforced surplus storage and surplus protection... Political centralization generally, though not universally, follows surplus production and storage. ... A formalized machinery of enforcement supplements or partly replaces ritual." (Ernest Gellner, Anthropology and Politics, Blackwell, 1995)