I assume you are the same Warwick who regularly posts on the Hall of Ma’at? How very, very different you must find things here on GHMB, where the promoters of alternative ideas and explorers of new theories can not be simply bullied off the forum by a crowd of clucking, tutting, sneering cynics in residence. The Hall of Ma’at, that tomb of dead ideas and intellectual cowardice, where the closing of ranks replaces debate and where any argument which challenges the smug preconceptions of the regulars is stamped upon. Where posts are edited, censored, or removed at the merest whiff of any dissent or alternative argument that might hold water, and where the slightest inkling of a fresh and thought-provoking take on the ancient world is enough to bring the moderators in like fussing mother hens to close down the thread. Yes, how very different you must find GHMB, when you regularly hone your skills on a forum where anyone with an alternative view has to proceed with two hands tied behind their backs while a gang of co-dependent reactionaries lay into them with full editorial backing and who then have the gall to pretend that they are actually freely debating anything or “weighing the evidence”. Why, it was daily entertainment at one point to tune in to that site just to hear the regular thud-thud-thud of Scott Creighton’s threads being shut down by the panicking moderators as quickly as he could start them. At one point they split the entire Ancient History section in two to try to quarantine Scott’s contributions. Such was the fear of new ideas. Such was the loathing for an independent mind. Such was the intolerance of anyone who dared to try to waken those leaden, sleeping, pedestrian brains, some of whom had once dabbled in alternative theory themselves and had their fingers burnt and so took up their new closed mindsets with all the venom of the convert. Yet when Robert Bauval visits the forum they all roll over to have their bellies tickled by the great man – his fame and book sales overcoming their die hard allegiance to the orthodox view. A most unedifying sight, a most unhealthy environment, and indeed it would all be weirdly funny were there not so many decent and open minded people interested in the alternate history field who wander innocently in to the midst of this self-serving cabal only to get the intellectual equivalent of a mugging.
Yes, tha Hall of Maat. How very different you must find things here. It is not enough here to simply sneer or snipe from the trenches, or snigger about little green men when the argument starts to run away from you. This place is about exploring new ideas. Anyone can stand and defend the orthodox, the status quo, anyone can naysay. It is the easiest thing in the world to dismiss a new theory, to demand incontrovertible proof from the word go, to expect every new truth to be brought on a plate to you, all neatly packaged. But that’s not how the world works, that’s not how progress is made. Sometimes it takes intellectually bravery, sometimes you need to go out on a limb and risk being wrong. These qualities are rare. For every Bauval, Osborne, Hancock or Creighton, there’s a thousand like yourself, clinging like a dog with a bone to the notion facts are only facts when they've finally been accepted by the orthodox majority, as though truth was subject to some kind of democracy based on the twisted practicalities of research funding. And that is what I mean by your “ilk”.
My love of Nicolas Poussin's "Et In Arcadia Ego" connects me to Gary Osborne's work, who references Scott Creighton, who carries on the ideas of Hancock and Bauval. All fascinating stuff. Is it right or wrong, is it all nonsense? I don’t know. But I’m glad there are minds out there pushing the boundaries. You see, this will come as a surprise to you, but we don’t know all there is to know. It’s not all in books yet. It can’t all be subject to peer review because some people do not yet have peers. They just have to get out there and push forward, and follow the truth as they see it to see where it’ll take them. How very different from those who squat on the fetid mound of received wisdom we call orthodoxy, taking pot shots at those who dare to think differently.
I had the great pleasure in seeing Graham Hancock in person in 2007 when he gave a series of seminars which touched upon our deep subconscious inter-connectiveness and the possible origins of the human species. I think I’m an educated, sceptical and pretty worldly person. I could have scoffed. At one level, it would have been the easiest thing in the world to have dismissed what he was saying as fanciful nonsense. Yet, there in the room with the man, and listening to him, you are aware that you are in the presence of a deeply, deeply involved and extraordinary intellect. And it’s at that point, if you are honest with yourself, that you have to have the humility to accept that there are minds out there with the capacity to see possibilities where you cannot. No, they are not to be regarded as primary sources, indeed they may still have everything to prove – but I’m glad they are contributing, I’m glad they are doing what they are doing, even if it ultimately all boils down to simply asking the questions that we should be asking even if the answers continue to elude us. There’s a tremendous worth in that.
It says a lot about us when we make the choice whether to contribute or merely tear down, whether to try to figure the world out for ourselves or merely repeat what we've been told. So do forgive me if I toss my tuppence worth in to briefly commend those with the courage who leave the comfortable certainties behind.
""It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it." - Upton Sinclair