Alive with Microbiome

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Microbiome: the microorganisms in a particular environment (including the body or a part of the body). “we depend on a vast army of microbes to stay alive: a microbiome that protects us against germs, breaks down food to release energy, and produces vitamins”

Understanding the microbiome—human, animal, and environmental—is as important as the human genome.

As we have been taught, a human being is an individual who has grown from a fertilised egg which contained genes from both father and mother, right?

A growing band of biologists, however, think this definition incomplete. They see people not just as individuals, but also as ecosystems. In their view, the descendant of the fertilised egg is merely one component of the system. The others are trillions of bacteria, each equally an individual, which are found in a person’s gut, his mouth, his scalp, his skin and all of the crevices and orifices that subtend from his body’s surface.

The microbiome, like a rain forest or grassland, has all the complexities that an ecosystem entails. Just as the gorillas and leopards of African forests differ from the wolves and moose of American ones, so, too, do microbiomes vary around the world.

A healthy adult human harbours some 100 trillion bacteria in his gut alone. That is ten times as many bacterial cells as he has cells descended from the sperm and egg of his parents. These bugs, moreover, are diverse. Egg and sperm provide about 23,000 different genes. The microbiome, as the body’s commensal bacteria are collectively known, is reckoned to have around 3,000,000.

The entire microbiome accounts for about 1-3% of total body mass. Collectively weighing about three pounds — the same weight as our brain. Humans are like “bacteria in a suit.” Each of us is literally more bacteria than human. Not only do our bacteria outnumber us, their genes outnumber our genes. In many ways, their genes have more of an influence over our day-to-day life than our own genes do.

The microbiome of the gut has been characterised as a “forgotten organ”; and the only “organ” that can be replaced without surgery. Although it is not a distinct structure in the way that a heart or a liver is distinct, an organ does not have to have form and shape to be real. The immune system, for example, consists of cells scattered all around the body but it has the salient feature of an organ, namely that it is an organised system of cells.

The far larger genome of the microbiome has correspondingly greater capabilities, and complex carbohydrates are no match for it. They are relentlessly chewed up and their remains spat out as small fatty-acid molecules, particularly formic acid, acetic acid and butyric acid, that can pass through the gut wall into the bloodstream—whence they are fed into biochemical pathways that either liberate energy from them (10-15% of the energy used by an average adult is generated this way) or lay them down as fat.

The human microbiome may have a role in auto-immune diseases like diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, and perhaps some cancers. A poor mix of microbes in the gut may also aggravate common obesity.

Studies between metabolic products and disease, have shown that the amount of formic acid in someone’s urine is inversely related to his blood pressure—a risk factor for cardiac problems. The connection appears to be an effect that formic acid has on the kidneys: it acts as a signalling molecule, changing the amount of salt they absorb back into the body from blood plasma that is destined to become urine. Since the predominant source of formic acid is the gut microbiome, the mix of bacteria there is a factor in heart disease.

Perhaps the most striking claim, however, for links between the microbiome and human health has to do with the brain. It has been known for a long time that people with autism generally have intestinal problems as well, and that these are often coupled with abnormal microbiomes. In particular, their guts are rich in species of Clostridia. This may be crucial to their condition.

Interestingly, microbiomes go through a huge upheaval by the third trimester of pregnancy. They end up looking like the microbiomes of people with metabolic syndrome — a disorder that involves obesity, high blood sugar and a higher risk of diabetes and heart disease. These communities might indicate someone on the verge of chronic disease — or merely motherhood. Packing fat and building up blood sugar makes sense when you are nourishing a growing fetus.

During the last three months of pregnancy, antibodies from the mother are passed to her unborn baby through the placenta. This type of immunity is called passive immunity, because the baby has been given antibodies rather than making them itself. Antibodies are special proteins that the immune system produces to help protect the body against bacteria and viruses. The amount and type of antibodies passed to the baby depends on the mother’s immunity. For example, if the mother has had chickenpox, she will have developed immunity against the condition and some of the chickenpox antibodies will be passed to the baby. However, if the mother hasn’t had chickenpox, the baby will not be protected. Immunity in newborn babies is only temporary and starts to decrease after the first few weeks or months. Breast milk also contains antibodies, which means that babies who are breastfed have passive immunity for longer. The thick, yellowish milk (colostrum) produced for the first few days following birth is particularly rich in antibodies. Premature babies are at higher risk of developing an illness because their immune systems are not as strong and they haven’t had as many antibodies passed to them.

The microbiome is a teeming collection of thousands of species, all constantly competing with one another, negotiating with their host, evolving, changing. While your genome is the same as it was last year, your microbiome has shifted since your last meal or sunrise.

The microbiome is the sum of our experiences throughout our lives: the genes we inherited, the drugs we took, the food we ate, the hands we shook.

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Euro-American Sins

Euro-Americans killed an average of 81 American Indians, every day, for a period of 400 years; that is an average of 29,408 American Indians killed per year, for 400 years.
The North American Indian population was estimated at 12 million in 1500; the population was 237,000 in 1900. This is genocide. This is a holocaust.

Euro-Americans killed an average of 3,288 buffalo a day, for a period of 50 years; that is an average of 1.2 million buffalo killed per year, for 50 years. Estimates put the peak bison population, during the mid-1800s, near 60 million. Less than 400 wild bison were left by 1893. This is despite the fact that a mature bison bull weighs approximately 2,000 pounds while a mature bison cow weighs approximately 1,100 pounds. During one contest, a person from Kansas set a buffalo killing record, killing 120 buffalo in 40 minutes.

Euro-Americans shipped approximately 11,863,000 Africans across the Atlantic, with a death rate during the Middle Passage reducing this number by 10-20 percent. As a result between 9.6 and 10.8 million Africans arrived in the Americas. About 500,000 Africans were imported into what is now the U.S. between 1619 and 1807–or about 6 percent of all Africans forcibly imported into the Americas. About 70 percent arrived directly from Africa.

In addition, it now seems clear that during the era of the Atlantic slave trade, many and perhaps most of the enslaved were kept in Africa. It is imaginable that as many as 60 million Africans died or were enslaved as a result of these various slave trades.

The Union victory in the American Civil War (1861-65), freed 4 million slaves.

Now imprisonment has taken the place of slavery in America.

During South African apartheid, the prison rate for black male South Africans, under immensely unfair laws, was 851 per 100,000. In America today, young black men face a rate of imprisonment effectively ten times that number at 10,000 prisoners per 100,000.

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Vanished Civilization

10 Civilizations That Disappeared Under Mysterious Circumstances

For almost as long as we’ve had civilization, we’ve lost it. There are records going back hundreds of years of explorers discovering huge temples encrusted with jungle, or giant pits full of treasure that were once grand palaces. Why did people abandon these once-thriving cities, agricultural centers, and trade routes? Often, the answer is unknown.

10 Civilizations That Disappeared Under Mysterious Circumstances

The Maya
The Maya are perhaps the classic example of a civilization that was completely lost, its great monuments, cities and roads swallowed up by the central American jungles, and its peoples scattered to small villages. Though the languages and traditions of the Maya still survive up to the present day, the civilization’s peak was during the first millennium AD, when their greatest architectural feats and massive agricultural projects covered a vast region in the Yucatán — today, an area stretching from Mexico to Guatemala and Belize. One of the largest Mesoamerican civilizations, the Maya made extensive use of writing, math, an elaborate calendar, and sophisticated engineering to build their pyramids and terraced farms. Though it’s often said that the Maya civilization began a mysterious decline in roughly the year 900, a great deal of evidence points to climate change in the Yucatán combined with internecine warfare, which resulted in famine and abandonment of the city centers.

10 Civilizations That Disappeared Under Mysterious Circumstances

Indus Valley Civilization
One of the great civilizations of the ancient world is called simply the Indus or Harappan civilization. Thousands of years ago, it may have boasted up to 5 million people, almost 10 percent of the world’s population, spread over a region that encompassed parts of today’s India, Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan. But its grand walkways (with sophisticated roadside drainage), metallurgy shops, and massive, multistory, brick hives of houses were abandoned over 3,000 years ago. It’s likely that this ancient civilization, like the Maya, suffered from gradual changes in rainfall patterns that made it difficult for its peoples to raise enough food for their massive population.

10 Civilizations That Disappeared Under Mysterious Circumstances

Easter Island
The people of Eastern Island represent another classic “lost” civilization, famed in part for its enigmatic, enormous stone statues of human heads (called Moai) lined up along the island’s coastline. How did this thriving Polynesian civilization disappear after centuries of monument-building and navigating hundreds of miles of ocean waters to go from island to island? Jared Diamond sums up what many scientists now believe in his book Collapse, which is that the Easter Islanders were incredibly sophisticated, but their methods weren’t sustainable. During the time they settled Easter Island, possibly between 700-1200 AD, they used up all the island’s trees and agricultural resources, and then had to move on.

Catalhoyuk

Catalhöyük
Often called the world’s oldest city, Catalhöyük was part of a large city-building and agricultural civilization thriving between 9,000-7,000 years ago in what is today south-central Turkey. What’s interesting about Catalhöyük is its structure, which is quite unlike most other cities since. It contained no roads as we know them, and was instead built sort of like a hive, with houses built next to each other and entered through holes in the roofs. It’s believed that people farmed everything from wheat to almonds outside the city walls, and got to their homes via ladders and sidewalks that traversed their roofs. Often, these people decorated the entrances to their homes with bull skulls, and buried the bones of their honored dead beneath the packed dirt of their floors. The civilization was pre-Iron Age and pre-literate, but they nevertheless left behind ample evidence of a sophisticated society, full of art and and public ritual, that was possibly 10,000 strong at many points in its 2,000 year existence. Why did people eventually abandon the city? It is unknown.

Cahokia
Long before Europeans made it to North America, the so-called Mississippians had build a great city surrounded by huge earthen pyramids and a Stonehenge-like structure made of wood to track the movements of the stars. Called Cahokia today, you can still see its remains in Illinois. At its height between 600-1400 AD, the city sprawled across 6 square miles, and contained almost a hundred earthen mounds as well as an enormous grand plaza at its center. Its population might have been as much as 40,000 people, some of whom would have lived in outlying villages. The people of this great city, the biggest so far north in Mesoamerica, were brilliant artists, architects, and farmers, creating incredible art with shells, copper, and stone. They even diverted a branch of the local Mississippi and Illinois rivers to suit their needs for irrigation. It’s not entirely certain what led people to abandon the city starting in the 1200s, but some archaeologists say the city had always had problems with disease and famine (it had no sanitary system to speak of), and that people left for greener (and healthier) pastures elsewhere on the Mississippi River.

Artist's reconstruction of Cahokia

It is often claimed that the only indigenous New World peoples to develop civilization were those of Central and South America, such as the Maya, Aztec, and Inca. There are even widely-cited theories purporting to explain why North American Natives never developed large, complex societies. Yet in southern Illinois, close to the Mississippi River, lie the ruins of what supposedly should not exist: an advanced Native American metropolis.

Engraved copper plates from Cahokia

The city of Cahokia was settled sometime during the 9th century, and reached its peak between 1050 and 1200. During this time, it housed up to 40,000 people, making it one of the largest cities of the world, bigger than London at the same time. Cahokian architecture was the largest and most advanced in the New World north of Mexico, consisting of huge earthen mounds topped by multistory wooden buildings. The biggest such structure, likely a temple or chief’s palace, rose some 150 feet high. Cahokia relied on extensive agriculture, growing mainly corn, beans, and squash, and also manufactured farming equipment for sale to other population centers. It controlled trade routes extending across North America, from the Gulf of Mexico to the Great Lakes, and became the economic center of the greater “Mississippian culture.” During its golden age, Cahokia also possessed a thriving artistic scene, not only producing abundant pottery and jewelry, but also a technologically advanced copper workshop, which created metal artifacts of exquisite beauty.

Cahokia began to decline sometime in the 13th century, and was totally abandoned by 1400. The exact reasons for its collapse are somewhat mysterious, though resource exhaustion from deforestation and over-hunting is considered a likely theory. Nor is it known which modern Native peoples, if any, are descended from the Cahokians. The name “Cahokia” comes from a tribe which later settled the same region, but there is no established relationship between the two.

In any case, Cahokia was neither the only nor the last North American Native civilization to arise prior to European invasion. The Iroquois League, an alliance of Native peoples united under a common “Law of Peace,” was established during, or shortly after, Cahokia’s reign, and endures to the present day as the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. The Iroquois League was a major player in colonial European politics, and its government, composed of two houses to which the elder women of each tribe elect representatives, seems to have been a model for that of the United States. It is supremely ironic, given the U.S.’s brutal history of conquest and genocide against Natives, that its system of government, and by extension modern democracy in general, may owe its shape to the influence of Native American civilization.

10 Civilizations That Disappeared Under Mysterious Circumstances

Göbekli Tepe
One of the most mysterious human structures ever discovered, Göbekli Tepe was probably built in 10,000 BCE, and is located in today’s southern Turkey. A series of nested, circular walls and steles, or monoliths, carved evocatively with animals, the place probably served as a temple for nomadic tribes in the area. It was not a permanent residence, though it’s possible a few priests lived there all year. It is the first permanent human-built structure that we have ever found, and probably represented the pinnacle of the local Mesopotamian civilization of its era. What were people worshiping there? When did they come? Were they there to do something other than worship? We may never know, but archaeologists are working hard to find out.

gobekli-tepe-pillars-615

The Sumerian culture is traditionally cited as the first human civilization, arising around 7,000 years ago in Mesopotamia. Since then, complex societies have arisen independently many times all across the world. However, anatomically modern humans have existed far longer, up to 200,000 years. Assuming that the first Homo sapiens had the same mental capacities as ourselves, they should have been capable of producing civilization all along. Why the sudden proliferation after 190,000 years’ delay?

gobekli_tepe04_02One possible answer is that humans did produce civilizations in the remote prehistoric past, whose ruins have for whatever reason not endured to the present. The site of Göbekli Tepe in Turkey may be a key piece of evidence in proving this was the case. Consisting of stone walls, rectangular buildings, and elaborately decorated pillars up to 23 feet high and 50 tons in weight, it appears to have been the product of an advanced civilization, requiring a workforce of hundreds and a system of government to mobilize them. Yet at over 11,000 years old, Göbekli Tepe hails from the last Ice Age, predating the beginnings of Mesopotamian civilization by some four millennia.

Göbekli Tepe has only been excavated since the 1990s, and most of the site remains unexplored. So far we can only conjecture as to its full significance in human history. Adding to the mystery is the fact that there are no signs of permanent settlement in surrounding areas, or of agriculture, which remains unknown from such ancient times. This has led researchers to believe Göbekli Tepe was a temple rather than any kind of population center. According to archaeologist Klaus Schmidt, it suggests that religion played a central role in the rise of civilization, uniting large populations together in a common purpose, and later motivating the invention of agriculture to support them. This is the reverse of traditional theories, which have long claimed agriculture as a necessary precondition for complex societies.

If people can create civilization without agriculture, it seems more likely still that cultures prior to Göbekli Tepe might have done so, although no substantial proof for this has yet been found. Nonetheless, in Part Three we will explore further the possibility of civilizations up to tens of thousands of years older than Turkey’s Ice Age culture, as hinted at in the heritage of peoples alive today.

10 Civilizations That Disappeared Under Mysterious Circumstances

Angkor
Most people have heard of the magnificent temple Angkor Wat in Cambodia. But it was only one small part of a massive urban civilization during the Khmer Empire called Angkor. The city flourished during the late middle ages, from 1000-1200 AD, and may have supported up to a million people. There are a lot of good reasons why Angkor may have fallen, ranging from war to natural disaster. Now most of it lies beneath the jungle. A marvel of architecture and Hindu culture, the city is mysterious mostly because we still aren’t certain how many people lived there. Given all the roads and canals connecting its many regions, some archaeologists believe it may have been the biggest urban site in the world at its height.

10 Civilizations That Disappeared Under Mysterious Circumstances

The Turquoise Mountain
Though not every crumbling monument represents a lost civilization, some of them do. Such is the case with the Minaret of Jam, a gorgeous architectural feat built in the 1100s as part of a city in Afghanistan, where archaeological remains suggest that it was a cosmopolitan area where many religions, including Jews, Christians, and Muslims, lived together harmoniously for hundreds of years. It’s possible that the incredible minaret was part of the lost medieval capital of Afghanistan, called Turquoise Mountain.

10 Civilizations That Disappeared Under Mysterious Circumstances

Niya
Now a desolate spot in the Taklamakan Desert of Xinjiang province in China, 1600 years ago Niya was a thriving city in an oasis along the famous Silk Road. For the past two centuries, archaeologists have uncovered countless treasures in the dusty, shattered remains of what was once a graceful town full of wooden houses and temples. In a sense, Niya is a relic of the lost civilization of the early Silk Road, a trade route that linked China with Central Asia, Africa, and Europe. Many groups traveled the Silk Road, from wealthy merchants and religious pilgrims to scholars and scientists, exchanging ideas and creating a complex, enlightened culture everywhere the 4,000 mile Silk Road passed. The route underwent many changes, but its importance as a trade route waned as the Mongol Empire collapsed in the 1300s. Traders afterwards preferred sea routes for trade with China.

10 Civilizations That Disappeared Under Mysterious Circumstances

Nabta Playa
From 7000 and 6500 BCE, an incredible urban community arose in what is today the Egyptian Sahara. The people who lived there domesticated cattle, farmed, created elaborate ceramics, and left behind stone circles that offer evidence that their civilization included astronomers as well. Archaeologists believe the peoples of Nabta Playa were likely the precursor civilization for the great Nile cities that arose in Egypt thousands of years later. Though the Nabta civilization is today located in an arid region, it arose at a time when monsoon patterns had shifted, filling the playa with a lake and making it possible for a large culture to bloom.

Since the 19th century, the dominant position among European researchers has been that the Egyptians were of Caucasian descent. More recently, Africanist scholars have rejected this view as the legacy of anti-black racism, arguing that they were of sub-Saharan African ancestry instead. The evidence does not clearly favor either position. Forensic evidence shows that Tutankhamun was probably of African descent; on the other hand, Cleopatra’s family tree shows only Greek and Persian ancestors. Certain tomb paintings portray Egyptians as pale-skinned, in contrast with darker Nubian figures. Others, however depict Egyptians and Nubians with similar coloration, while ancient Greek accounts describe Egyptians as “black with wooly hair.”

The obvious conclusion to draw from such “contradictory” pieces of evidence would seem to be that ancient Egypt was a multiracial society, composed of people from diverse and mixed backgrounds. So far this doesn’t seem to have caught on with mainstream Egyptologists of either camp, however, demonstrating the influence of racially charged political agendas over scientific reasoning. It also doesn’t answer the question of which group – Caucasians, Africans, or a mixed population – “founded” ancient Egypt in the first place.

Megalithic star map at Nabta Playa

The answer lies in the Nubian Desert of far southern Egypt, where the culture of Nabta Playa began and thrived from about nine to five thousand years ago. At the time, the Nubian climate was much wetter, with heavy rainfall for at least part of the year, and the Nabta Playans grazed livestock and constructed deep wells to hold water through the dry season. They also built stone dwellings, hearths, and megalithic monuments, and possessed an advanced knowledge of astronomy and mathematics. Their solar calendars, which marked the summer solstice and seasonal transitions, were among the first in the world, predating Stonehenge by about a thousand years. In all respects, the Nabta Playans appear to have been much more advanced than their contemporaries in the Nile River Valley, and provided a template for the later Egyptian civilization to build on. The Nabta Playans’ complex social order and religion, which centered on cattle in a similar manner to the Egyptian Hathor cult, appear to have been particularly influential.

According to bone studies, the Nabta Playans were of sub-Saharan African ancestry. Perhaps this is why, despite their great historical importance, they remain so little-known. Against the long-held opinions of European scholars, and assumption of white cultural and racial superiority, the Nabta Playans show that the Africanist position is correct. Ancient Egypt – and through its influence, much of “Western” civilization – does indeed owe its origin to black Africans.

Archaeological site at Sarkel, once a Khazar fortress

Khazaria – Russia’s Jewish kingdom

The medieval conflicts between Christian Europe and the Islamic Middle East are well-known and infamous, as are the Vikings and their ruthless conquests of northern Eurasia. Barely remembered at all, however, is the civilization caught in the crossfire between these three warlike cultures: the Khazars.

Khazar warrior on horseback, with prisoner

The Khazars began as a nomadic tribe native to the Caucasus region between the Black and Caspian Seas. Long subjects of more powerful empires, the Khazars rose to establish their own empire following the collapse of the Gokturks in the 7th century. After conquering many surrounding tribes, the Khazars put their traditionally warlike ways aside, and began to use their location to much greater advantage, acting as economic middlemen between the Muslim caliphates (Umayyad and, later, Abassid) and Christian Europe. For the next few hundred years, they thrived on trade, collecting tax on all goods passing through their lands, as well as exporting items of their own, including wine, honey, wax, and isinglass. So as to remain politically neutral in the violent conflicts between these two civilizations, the Khazars adopted as their state religion the ancestral faith of both Islam and Christianity: Judaism.

Khazar seal featuring the Star of David

Many Jewish cultural elements were widely adopted, including the Hebrew alphabet.
In any case, the Khazar populace continued to practice a diversity of other religions, including Christianity, Islam, Zoroastrianism, and various pagan cults. All of these were officially respected, as shown by the composition of the Khazar Supreme Court, which included two Jews, two Christians, two Muslims, and a pagan. The Khazars also seem to have been multiracial, with many accounts describing both “white” Khazars with red hair and blue eyes, and “black” Khazars with dark skin. All in all, they seem to have been one of the most peacefully diverse cultures of their time, and provided refuge for Jews and other religious minorities fleeing persecution under Christian or Muslim rule.

Maintaining peace with both Christian Europe and the Islamic caliphates was always a delicate political balancing act, with many brief but violent disturbances. The balance was tipped once and for all with the rise of the Rus (Viking) Empire to the north, whose ruthless conquests led to wars with both Christian Europe and the Abassid Caliphate. The Khazars, meanwhile, attempted to trade with the Vikings, hoping to preserve their own peace and prosperity. Unfortunately, this only served to alienate their traditional allies, leaving the Khazars politically vulnerable. Between 965 and 968 CE, the Khazars lost much of their territory to Viking invasion. In 1016, Christian Byzantium joined forces with the Vikings, betraying its former ally and destroying what was left of the Khazar Empire.

Despite its great importance to Western and Islamic history, and unique status as a Jewish state, between the fall of Judea in 135 CE and founding of modern Israel in 1948, few people today even know of Khazaria’s existence. Joseph Stalin (1878-1953) actually banned all Soviet research on the Khazars. As a result, direct archaeological studies have been possible only since the fall of the USSR in 1991. On the other hand, if Khazars intermarried with Jews, this could mean that some Jews today are actually descended from converts rather than the original Hebrews, this is at odds with Jewish tradition and ethnic identity. Some Jewish scholars have condemned study of Khazaria as anti-Semitic in itself, leaving further research on the Khazars in something of a political no-man’s land.

Premodern China – the birthplace of “Western” technology

Unlike most of the cultures on this list, China is not a little-known civilization. To the contrary, the modern Chinese nation is one of the world’s leading superpowers, and even the most myopic outsiders are generally aware that China possesses a long and rich history. Western depictions of “premodern” (aka pre-Westernized) China, however, tend to be very one-sided, focusing on such things as the tyranny of its rulers, the rigidity of its social order, and the mystical powers of its monks and martial artists. China’s art and spirituality are widely considered its greatest cultural accomplishments, even among Chinese, who have at times blamed these aspects of their culture for “suppressing” scientific or technological progress. This was the case during the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s and 70s, which sought to advance “modernity” by purging the influence of traditional thought systems such as Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism.

Zheng He (1371-1433), who explored the Indian Ocean as far as southern Africa
What such portrayals of Chinese culture overlook is the many other ways in which China has long been one of the most advanced and influential civilizations on Earth. Against stereotypes of Chinese political tyranny, China was in fact the birthplace of some of history’s first theories of ethical governance. Some even foreshadowed the principles of democracy: Confucius (551-479 BCE) and Mencius (372-289 BCE) both taught that a ruler only possessed the “mandate of Heaven” so long as he governed with the consent of his people, whose right it was to overthrow and replace him if he abused his power. Citizens of the “Middle Kingdom” were also great international explorers, with Chinese expeditions voyaging as far as ancient Rome, southern Africa, Indonesia, and possibly even to North America.

In Western culture, the rise of scientific thinking is often traced back to Aristotle (384-322 BCE), whose philosophy described a universe governed by physical laws. Chinese cosmologies have explained the universe in terms of natural processes for at least as long, and became widely accepted and taught by the Taoist and Confucian traditions while orthodox European worldviews still emphasized (and for many, still do) the primary influence of an intervening God. Perhaps it was China’s early acceptance of a naturalistic worldview that led it to develop so many advanced technologies hundreds or even thousands of years before Europe: seismometers, hot air balloons, helicopter prototypes, animation devices, and movable type printing presses, among others.

For many of these technologies, it is disputed whether or not later Western inventors lifted their ideas from Chinese designs, or developed them independently. Perhaps the most historically important of all “European” technologies, however, is indisputably Chinese in origin: gunpowder. Gunpowder was invented in China during the 9th century CE, and the earliest historical record of firearms is in fact a Chinese Buddhist painting, showing demons with flamethrowers and grenades. Firearm technology spread through other parts of Asia, eventually making its way to Europe via either Mongol or Arab traders, where it was developed into the powerful weaponry later used to subjugate most of the world during the Age of Exploration. In other words, “European” technology actually originated in China, and the global dominance of Western civilization was possible only through the appropriation of Chinese ingenuity.

Modern thatch structure in the courtyard of Great Zimbabwe

Shona – nation builders of southern Africa

The Republic of Zimbabwe in southern Africa is a young nation, established under its present name in 1980. For the previous hundred years it was dominated by Europeans, first as a British colony and then as the white-ruled Republic of Rhodesia. The country’s name testifies to a far more ancient heritage, however. In the language of the Shona, the country’s largest ethnic group, Zimbabwe means “great houses of stone,” and refers to Great Zimbabwe, the first of several powerful kingdoms created by their ancestors.

One of the Zimbabwe Birds, prized soapstone sculptures featured on the modern Zimbabwean flag

Shona civilization seems to have begun around 500 CE, with the advent of iron smelting technology in southern Africa. Great Zimbabwe was established as its center by the 11th century, when construction began on the titular great stone city. The city consisted of huge enclosures, walls, and towers up to 30 feet high, made out of granite stones carved and fit together without mortar. At its height, Great Zimbabwe was home to some 5,000 people, ruled over by a monarchy. The populace included skilled artisans, who worked with gold, iron, ivory, and soapstone to create ceremonial and decorative works, as well as goods for international trade. Great Zimbabwe amassed fabulous wealth through trading, a venture which brought them into contact with such distant cultures as the Middle East and China.

The Shona’s economic success did not end with the collapse of Great Zimbabwe around 1450 CE. Rather, the city’s dissolution led to the spread of Shona across southern Africa, and creation of numerous successor states. The most successful of these was probably the Kingdom of Mutapa, founded by warriors sent north from Great Zimbabwe in search of new salt mines. Mutapa spread outward to the shores of the Indian Ocean, eventually coming into contact with the Portuguese. While the Portuguese were ruthless invaders, subjugating and enslaving many coastal African peoples, the Shona of Mutapa managed to evade conquest and even use European contact to their own advantage. They hired Portuguese as advisers and interpreters, harnessed their shipping routes to trade with India, and even won their ruler an official coat of arms from the King of Portugal, remaining partially independent until 1917. Today, the Shona continue to thrive on international export, especially of stone sculpture in the stylistic tradition pioneered in Great Zimbabwe.

Study of Shona civilization, especially Great Zimbabwe, has been wrought with controversy, ever since the city’s “discovery” by Europeans in 1867. The ancient Egyptians, as discussed in our entry on Nabta Playa, were at the time regarded as Caucasian, and many coastal African kingdoms could be linked to the influence of Islamic culture. Great Zimbabwe, as an advanced civilization created by black Africans independently of outside influence, threatened white European assumptions of cultural and racial superiority over blacks. As such, the first few generations of white scholars to study it denied Great Zimbabwe’s connection to the Shona, instead attributing it to Jews, Arabs, or Phoenicians. As late as 1979, the white-dominated government of Rhodesia censored and even deported archaeologists who dared suggest it had been created by black people. It is now finally acknowledged by most historians that Great Zimbabwe, and its successor states, were produced by the Shona. However, the Shona civilizations’ lack of popular recognition outside Africa demonstrates that even today, they continue to threaten widespread Eurocentric attitudes and racist prejudices.

Underwater tikis off the island of Mo'orea, symbolizing the forced conversion of Polynesians to Christianity

Polynesia – the people who tamed the Pacific

Polynesia, like China, is not “obscure” in the sense that few people from outside the culture know of its existence. However, only the most superficial aspects of its culture have entered mainstream international consciousness: luaus, hula dancing, and (thanks to Lilo and Stitch) the Hawaiian word for “family.” The fact that Polynesian people even exist, on remote islands in the middle of the largest and deepest ocean on Earth, should immediately point to their history as an advanced culture. Despite this, their legacy as humanity’s greatest seafarers remains sadly unappreciated.

Micronesian stick map, similar to those used by Polynesians

The Polynesian people seem to have originated in southern China, migrating through southeast Asia and gradually spreading across the Pacific from about 900 BCE onward. Their maritime technology was primitive: wooden canoes carved from logs and fitted with sails. Their ingenuity in using it was not, however. The Polynesians refined the practice of boat-making to an art, producing numerous distinct canoe designs for different speeds, distances, and loads. Their methods of navigation were more impressive yet. The Polynesians used the positions of the stars, color of the water and sky, appearance of clouds, wildlife sightings, and the shape and direction of waves to guide their travels across thousands of miles of open ocean, and to detect signs of new land long before it became visible. They produced maps to aid them, lashed together from sticks and shells. Even so, learning to successfully navigate took many years of training, and Polynesian navigators formed powerful guilds to protect the secrets of their expertise, bringing them great social power and prestige.

Everywhere they settled, Polynesians produced thriving local cultures. Among their most enduring cultural accomplishments are their many forms of song and dance, still widely performed today, and sculptures, including the wooden tiki of the Maori and colossal moai, the iconic stone statues of Easter Island. They may also have produced a written language, Rongorongo, preserved only on Easter Island and so far undeciphered. If Rongorongo is indeed writing, as opposed to just decorative art, it would make the Polynesians one of just a small handful of cultures to independently develop a written language.

"Perego Man"

Polynesians ultimately conquered nearly the entire southern Pacific. To the south, they settled as far as the Auckland Islands, over 200 miles south of New Zealand in sub-Antarctic waters. To the east, they colonized Easter Island, 2,000 miles from any other habitable land, and even continued another 2,000 miles to South America. The legacy of their contact with South American Natives is evident in shared words between the two cultures, Polynesians’ use of American sweet potatoes, and Native genetic ancestry among Easter Islanders. Hawaii is generally believed to be the northernmost extent of Polynesian colonization. However, individual expeditions may have voyaged much farther yet. Maori legend tells of a commander named Ui-te-Rangiora who sailed south until he reached an ice-covered sea, making Polynesians the first humans ever to sight Antarctica (with one possible exception, covered in Part III). Some experts have identified signs of cultural exchange with Native Americans in California, and Polynesian origins have been claimed for “Perego Man,” a stone face carving discovered on Whidbey Island, Washington. Whether they mastered the entire Pacific Ocean, or just its southern half, the Polynesians are arguably the greatest seafaring culture in human history, accomplishing with just canoes and their senses what took Europeans centuries longer, and far more complicated technology, to achieve.

Gunditjmara dwelling

Budj Bim – farmers, artists, and explorers of ancient Australia

In the popular Western imagination, Australian Aborigines are primitive nomads, scraping out a harsh existence as they wander the Outback alone or in small bands. Until recently, most anthropologists supported this, maintaining that it was how the Aborigines always lived. From their first arrival in Australia some 60,000 years ago until European colonization, they supposedly hunted and gathered for survival, never developing agriculture, permanent settlements, or civilization.

Budj Bim, an archaeological site in southeast Australia, proves that this was not the case. For at least 6,700 years, the ancestors of the modern Gunditjmara people have lived here, along the edges of Lake Condah, in permanent dwellings made of wood, thatch, and volcanic rock. The Gunditjmara used irrigation, carving channels and damming streams to create a system of artificial wetlands at least a hundred square kilometers in area. In these wetlands, they raised eels and other fish, which they trapped in wooden baskets and used both for food and to trade with neighboring cultures. Today, Budj Bim is the only known pre-Colonial permanent settlement still in existence, thanks to the Gunditjmara’s dedication in preserving it. After nearly 200 years of combating European efforts to scatter them, at times through violent warfare, the Gunditjmara successfully won recognition for Budj Bim as a National Heritage site in 2004, and gained full legal title to their land in 2007. The discovery of ancient fish traps elsewhere in Australia, and early 19th century European accounts describing Aboriginal crop harvests and comparing the landscape to a well-tended “park,” indicate that Budj Bim may not always have been so unique. An agricultural lifestyle may have long been the norm rather than the exception.

Fish basket from Budj Bim

Anthropologists’ longtime denial of indigenous Australian agriculture or permanent settlements is not the only way in which Europeans have downplayed the cultural accomplishments of Aborigines. For example, prehistoric burial sites and cave paintings in Europe are world-renowned, and often treated by historians as breakthroughs in human cultural evolution. However, the oldest known evidence of ritual burial actually comes from Lake Mungo, Australia, where ancestral Aborigines performed cremations and painted bones in red ochre some 40,000 years ago. The earliest rock paintings are also Australian, dating to at least 28,000 years old and so predating European cave art by a good 10,000 years.

Rock painting of seagoing boat, over 15,000 years old

Some Aboriginal rock paintings reveal another historical first: large boats with high prows, suitable for deep ocean voyages. Images of such vessels, created between 15,000 and 22,000 years ago in northwest Australia, indicate that prehistoric Aborigines may have been advanced seafarers. According to mainstream theories, the first people to reach Australia came by land, traveling through Asia and island-hopping across the southeast Asian archipelagos during periods of low sea level. However, images of prehistoric boats have led several researchers to argue that the first Aborigines may actually have sailed directly from Africa instead. Additional evidence for this theory includes motifs common to Aboriginal and southern African art, and the presence of certain plants (such as baobob trees) on both continents. Genetic data shows another cross-continental link: mixing with Indian populations 4-5,000 years ago. If the DNA evidence is correct, it should be possible to find cultural evidence of interaction as well, such as Sanskrit loanwords in Aboriginal languages, or Australian motifs in Hindu mythology. If the African and Indian connections can be firmly substantiated, it would show that Australian Aborigines sailed the prehistoric oceans tens of thousands of years ago, and were perhaps even the first civilization on Earth.

Huge ring-shaped ditch in the Bolivian Amazon

First Amazonians – the people who planted a rainforest

For many, the Amazon Rainforest is the supreme symbol of the natural world and its riches. The planet’s largest rainforest, it is home to a tenth of all living species on Earth, and responsible for much of the world’s total oxygen production. Environmentalists often point to the Amazon’s rapid deforestation to typify the war between humans and nature. It would therefore be supremely ironic if the Amazon Rainforest turned out to have been created by humans in the first place!

Amazon geoglyphs revealed by logging, similar to the famous Nazca Lines of Peru

Difficult though it is to believe, this may in fact have been the case. Though it has been long thought that the Amazon was sparsely populated prior to European invasion, by primitive tribes living in harmony with their environment, logging since the 1970s has revealed massive human-made structures diagnostic of complex civilization. These include long roads, protective walls, canals, artificial ponds, crop fields, and deep trenches up to 16 feet deep, which when viewed from above join to form elaborate geometric designs hundreds of yards across. The oldest such structures are more than 2,000 years old, at which time much of the land now covered in forest appears to have been dry savanna, as shown by sediment cores collected from lake beds. Others are far younger, including the ruins of settlements which housed tens of thousands of people as recently as the 17th century, long after the landscape had been overrun by jungle. It seems likely that these Amazonian cities thrived right up to the time of European arrival in South America, when the rapid spread of disease killed off nearly all of their inhabitants. If so, the isolated, seemingly “primitive” tribes living in the rainforest today may in fact be the survivors of a once advanced civilization, rather than the living Stone Age relics anthropologists have long assumed them to be.

The existence of large populations capable of reshaping the land, both before and after the rise of the modern rainforest, has led some researchers to propose that humans themselves played a major role in the Amazon’s growth. While the initial growth of lush vegetation probably owed more to increased rainfall than human intervention, humans may well have deliberately selected for specific types of plants in accord with their own interests, greatly influencing the composition of species in the rainforest today. The spread of terra preta – fertile soil artificially enriched with charcoal, bone, and manure – across much of the Amazon shows that its early inhabitants also modified the earth to increase plant growth.

At first glance, the notion that the Amazon Rainforest owes its existence partly to humans may seem deeply challenging. If grassy savanna turns out to have been its original state prior to human tampering, it certainly complicates efforts to curtail logging, at least if simply “preserving nature” is the primary rationale for doing so. On the other hand, the co-evolution of the Amazon and its native societies also illustrate an important point as to humans’ relationship with the natural world: that people are not apart from nature, but a part of it, whose actions and continued survival are intimately connected with the rest of the ecosystem. Viewed that way, what better argument could there be for care and caution in the ways we impact our environment, and efforts to prevent its reckless destruction?

Yaghan – America’s Australian discoverers?

The Yaghan, one of the indigenous peoples of Tierra del Fuego, the far southernmost tip of South America, are extraordinary in many respects. Although they traditionally lived in dome-shaped buildings heated by fire, prior to European colonization they wore no clothing, and often slept outside despite the bitter cold of their environment. For food, they dived naked to gather shellfish in the sub-Antarctic waters. Supposedly, the Yaghan possess a body temperature a full degree higher than other people. This seems plausible given their seemingly superhuman resistance to cold, but the source of the claim is unknown, and it may be impossible to verify, for there is only a single pure-blooded Yaghan left alive today, Cristina Calderón of Chile. The Yaghan population was devastated by European diseases in the 19th century, and many of the survivors were murdered by white sheep farmers. As of 2002, only 1,685 people of Yaghan ancestry remain in Chile.

Even more fascinating than their incredible cold tolerance is the Yaghans’ cultural legacy. Astonishingly, the Yaghans’ first ancestors may have been Australian Aborigines! According to Brazilian anthropologist Walter Neves, the earliest known human skulls in South America, from 12,000 to 6,000 years old, are similar to those of indigenous Australians. They do not resemble those of the Clovis people, who crossed into North America from Siberia via the Bering Land Bridge around 15,000 years ago, and are generally considered the ancestors of all indigenous New World peoples. Circumstantial evidence that Australians may have reached South America first also includes bones painted with red ochre (like the Aboriginal Lake Mungo remains), and the rock shelters of Pedra Furada in Brazil, which contain stone artifacts dated as old as 60,000 years (roughly the same age as the first signs of human activity in Australia).

Among living South American Natives, the Yaghan and other peoples of Tierra del Fuego are the only ones to retain such Australoid features. DNA studies support Neves’ theory, showing a mixture of Siberian and Australian genetic markers among Fuegians. If Neves’ theory is correct, the implications are incredible: it means that more than 12,000 years ago, Australoid peoples either migrated through northern Asia and North America without leaving a trace, crossed the Pacific Ocean directly by boat, or island-hopped from Australia to Antarctica and then to South America. The latter two theories may seem impossible. However, as we have previously shown, Australian Aborigines had ocean-going boats at least 15,000 years ago, and may even have sailed the Indian Ocean voyaging to and from Africa and India. And if any premodern people can be imagined surviving an Antarctic migration, it would be the ancestors of the cold-resistant Yaghan.

The idea that they descended from seafaring Australian explorers, while incredible, is consistent with the Yaghans’ own apparent feats of navigation. Arrowheads and a Yaghan boat have been discovered in the Falkland Islands 300 miles east of the Patagonian coast, while stone tools are reported from marine sediment samples from the South Shetland Islands. The South Shetland Islands lie some 500 miles south of Tierra del Fuego, but a mere 58 miles from the Antarctic mainland at their southernmost point! It should be noted, however, that such artifacts may actually postdate European arrival, after which time Yaghan are known to have been hired or enslaved aboard their conquerors’ vessels.

If these extraordinary theories are true, the Yaghan represent the farthest outpost of the ancient seafaring Australian culture discussed previously. Their ancestors would have been some of the most daring pioneers in human history: the first people ever to sail the Pacific Ocean, discover the New World, or possibly even set foot on the Antarctic coast, tens of thousands of years before any other human group would attempt the same. As for the living Yaghan, they are a unique and fascinating people no matter their origins, whom we may hope recover from their brutal decimation by Europeans and thrive again as a culture long into the future.

Flores, Guatemala lies atop the ruins of Tayasal, the last independent Maya city

There are many other long-overlooked civilizations deserving of recognition: the Ghana Empire, which laid the foundations for later West African kingdoms before the arrival of Islamic civilization. Norte Chico, a seafaring Peruvian civilization which predated the better-known Inca by 4,000 years. The Maya cities of Tayasal and Zacpeten, which successfully resisted nearly 200 years of Spanish attempts at conquest. The Siddis of India and Pakistan, descendents of African slaves who established independent nations of their own. Hopefully it will be possible to explore these and more in future follow-up articles.

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fukushima

Did you know there were two nuclear plants at Fukushima?

Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, was a multi-reactor nuclear power site in the Fukushima Prefecture of Japan. The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster occurred after a 9.0 magnitude Tōhoku earthquake and subsequent tsunami on 11 March 2011, only 14 days before the reactor was to be shut down. This offshore earthquake, near the island of Honshu, produced a large tsunami in Japan.

Fukushima Daini Nuclear Power Plant, was a sister plant to Fukushima Daiichi. It is about 10 kilometers to the south. Daini also suffered severe damage but escaped Daiichi’s fate. The plant is located on a 150 ha (370-acre) site in the town of Naraha and Tomioka in the Futaba District of Fukushima Prefecture, Japan.

The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) runs the plants.

On December 26, 2011, the Prime Minister officially cancelled the nuclear emergency declaration for the Fukushima Daini plant officially ending the incident.

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centralbank.gov

“Enough. There’s no such thing. We take what can be taken. That is what we do.”

“The central banking Ponzi scheme requires an ever-increasing base of demand and the immediate silencing of those who would threaten its existence” – Gaddafi Planned Gold Dinar, Now Under Attack

Central Bank

A central bank, reserve bank, or monetary authority is an institution that manages a state’s currency, money supply, and interest rates. Central banks also usually oversee the commercial banking system of their respective countries. In contrast to a commercial bank, a central bank possesses a monopoly on increasing the monetary base in the state, and usually also prints the national currency, which usually serves as the state’s legal tender. The primary function of a central bank is to control the nation’s money supply (monetary policy), through active duties such as managing interest rates, setting the reserve requirement, and acting as a lender to the banking sector

Central banks in most developed nations are institutionally designed to be independent from political interference – limited control by the executive and legislative bodies

This means unless the central bank is state-owned, there is very limited control by the executive and legislative bodies. The bank runs the country.

2000: there were only eight countries had a state-owned Central Bank. They were Afghanistan, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, Syria 

2015: there are only three countries that have a state-owned Central Bank: Cuba, North Korea, Syria. 

NOTE: Venezuela paid off all debt to the IMF and World Bank in 2007, but still reports to the IMF Executive Branch.

Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan, and Libya were all countries which were attacked, occupied, and fractured by US/NATO power.

Afghanistan

Pre-2001: the banking system of Afghanistan was made up of six “state-owned commercial banks” that were largely unconnected with one another and engaged in very little coordination. Because the state-owned banks were used to fund the government entirely at the whim of a corrupt leadership of tribalists with little understanding of effective central banking, and because Afghanistan had spent the better part of the second half of the 20th century in a state of war, the Afghan currency had become virtually worthless.

2003: after the Taliban was deposed, the Bactrian gold was found in secret vaults under the Central Bank of Afghanistan in Kabul. Tillya tepe, Tillia tepe or Tillā tapa or (literally “Golden Hill” or “Golden Mound”) is an archaeological site in the northern Afghanistan province of Jowzjan near Sheberghan, excavated in 1978 by a Soviet-Afghan team led by the Greek-Russian archaeologist Viktor Sarianidi, a year before the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The hoard is often known as the Bactrian gold.

February 26, 2003: the Islamic State of Afghanistan (Afghanistan) settled its overdue financial obligations to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). With the settlement of these arrears, which totaled SDR 8.1 million (about US$11.1 million), Afghanistan is now current on all its financial obligations to the IMF. The settlement of arrears to the IMF is part of a coordinated plan under which Afghanistan is clearing arrears to the Asian Development Bank, the IMF, and the World Bank. Afghanistan’s arrears to the Asian Development Bank were cleared on December 2, 2002, and arrears to the World Bank were cleared on February 24, 2003. The coordinated arrears clearance operation has been supported by grant contributions from Italy, Japan, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is a regional development bank established on 22 August 1966 which is headquartered in Metro Manila, Philippines, to facilitate economic development in Asia. The bank admits the members of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP, formerly the Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East or ECAFE) and non-regional developed countries. From 31 members at its establishment, ADB now has 67 members, of which 48 are from within Asia and the Pacific and 19 outside. The ADB was modeled closely on the World Bank, and has a similar weighted voting system where votes are distributed in proportion with members’ capital subscriptions.

Since 2014, ADB releases annual report of Creative Productivity Index and comparatively includes Finland and United States for the list of Asia-Pacific members. At the end of 2013, Japan holds the largest proportion of shares at 15.67%. The United States holds 15.56%, China holds 6.47%, India holds 6.36%, and Australia holds 5.81%.

February 2004: the law known as the DAB, or Law of Da Afghanistan Bank, established the authority of the new Afghanistan Central Bank, Da Afghanistan Bank, to regulate and supervise all other banks within the country, as well as having control over monetary policy.

Iraq

October 30, 2000: CNN article “U.N. to Let Iraq Sell Oil for Euros, Not Dollars,” stated: “A U.N. panel on Monday approved Iraq’s plan to receive oil-export payments in Europe’s single currency.”  Baghdad currently is selling about $60 million in crude a day, about 5 percent of the world’s oil exports.”

October 31, 2000: F. William Engdahl, consulting economist and author of A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order, stated in Current Concerns article titled “A New American Century? Iraq and the Hidden Euro-dollar Wars”: “Until November 2000, no OPEC country dared violate the dollar price rule. So long as the dollar was the strongest currency, there was little reason to as well. But November was when French and other Euroland members finally convinced Saddam Hussein to defy the United States by selling Iraq’s oil-for-food not in dollars, ‘the enemy currency’ as Iraq named it, but only in euros…

By 2003: There was no more Saddam Hussein to dictate monetary policy at his whim, and no more state control over banks. Instead, the “free market” would take the place of the former central banking system.  The term “free,” however, is a misnomer when referring to the Iraqi Central Bank. This is because the new Central Bank of Iraq, now known as the Trade Bank of Iraq, was completely restructured and privatized. Slightly more obvious than the privatization of the Afghanistan banks, it was openly announced that none other than J.P. Morgan was chosen by the Coalition Provisional Authority to “set up” the new bank.

NOTE: The fact is that one of the largest derivatives facilitators in the world is one the principal architects of the Trade Bank of Iraq, plus it is also well-known that J.P. Morgan has a direct connection to the Rothschild banking dynasty; a trend that is to be seen in virtually every central and major bank in existence across the planet.

Libya

NOTE: The Central Bank of Libya (CBL) was 100% state owned and represented the monetary authority in The Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and enjoyed the status of autonomous corporate body.

January 22, 2015: Fighters loyal to a renegade general in Libya seized a Central Bank facility in the coastal city of Benghazi according to The New York Times. Libya’s ongoing civil war split the country between an Islamist-supported central government based in Tripoli and a rival nationalist administration held together by the renegade general Khalifa Hifter and based in the eastern city of Tobruk. Hifter’s militia seized the building from the Tripoli-government-allied Islamists guarding it. According to the Times report, Hifter’s men have “posted video images online that appeared intended to show that they had not broken into the vaults, at least not yet.” But in the process, he has shown that there is a highly vulnerable payoff sitting in the middle of Benghazi’s stateless vacuum.

NOTE: NATO-backed Libyan terrorists announced the creation of a new central bank of Libya even before foreign forces ever became involved. Announced relatively early on in the destabilization campaign, the Transitional National Council declared the “Central Bank of Benghazi as a monetary authority competent in monetary policies in Libya and the appointment of a governor to the Central Bank of Libya, with a temporary headquarters in Benghazi.” It is also noteworthy to mention that immediately after the official creation of the new bank, the newborn institution actually signed an oil deal with Qatar, an Anglo-American client state and brother-in-arms of brutality.

2009: in his capacity as head of the African Union — Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi had proposed that the economically crippled continent adopt the ‘Gold Dinar,’” noted Ilana Mercer in an August opinion piece for WorldNetDaily.

February 26, 2011: United Nations Security Council Resolution 1970 was passed unanimously, referring the Libyan government to the International Criminal Court for gross human rights violations. It imposed an arms embargo on the country and a travel ban and assets freeze on the family of Muammar Al-Qadhafi and certain Government officials. Claims of “genocide” as the justification for NATO intervention were disputed by experts, several other theories have been floated. Oil, of course, has been mentioned frequently — Libya is Africa‘s largest oil producer. Gadhafi’s plan to quit selling Libyan oil in U.S. dollars — demanding payment instead in gold-backed “dinars” (a single African currency made from gold) — was the real cause. The regime, sitting on massive amounts of gold, estimated at close to 150 tons, was also pushing other African and Middle Eastern governments to follow suit.

March 28, 2011: “Libya also holds more bullion as a proportion of gross domestic product than any country except Lebanon, according to the London-based World Gold Council using January data from the International Monetary Fund,”according to Patrick Henningsen of Market Oracle.

Sudan

South Sudan is now a separate and officially recognized country, the ability to cut off the oil supply to Sudan as punishment for refusing American directives is now a realistic option. South Sudan is, in fact, the region of Sudan (as it was originally demarcated) that houses the majority of Sudanese oil. As one of the first orders of business after South Sudan seceded from Sudan and was officially recognized by the UN, a private central bank was established. In fact, the South Sudanese Constitution itself provides for the creation of such an institution; the document states that the central bank will be called the The Bank of South Sudan and that it will be “an independent corporate legal entity.”

Syria

Syria, another country with a state-owned central bank, is likewise being subjected to an onslaught.

2006: the IMF actually published its annual Article IV Consultation Report regarding Syria’s economic developments. Among the recommendations made by the IMF in the report were suggestions of changing the Syrian banking system.

Syrian banking system largely consists of four state-owned banks and fourteen private banks, mostly foreign banks providing services to the private sector inside Syria. For at least forty years, the state itself has maintained a total monopoly on the Syrian banking system. Even when that total monopoly was broken, it was not in the form of the privatization of the central bank, it was merely allowing private banks to operate commercially inside the country at all.

Iran and Cuba have just signed peace agreements with the US.

Iran

The Central Bank of Iran (CBI) was established in 1960. As stated in the Monetary and Banking Act of Iran (MBAI), CBI is responsible for the design and implementation of the monetary and credit policies with due regard to the general economic policy of the country. “The Government is the sole authority having the right of issuing notes and coins and this right is hereby vested exclusively in Bank Markazi Iran.”

The importation of goods, issuance of documentary credits and registration of orders for documentary bills of exchange for imports are also done in accordance with the policies of the Central Bank. It is a member central bank of the Asian Clearing Union. According to the IMF, since Islamic banking forbids pure monetary speculation and stresses that deals should be based on real economic activity, it could pose less risk than conventional banking to the stability of financial systems.

The Asian Clearing Union (ACU), with headquarters in Tehran, Iran, was established on December 9, 1974 at the initiative of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). The primary objective of ACU, at the time of its establishment, was to secure regional co-operation as regards the settlement of monetary transactions among the members of the Union and to provide a system for clearing payments among the member countries on a multilateral basis. In October 2013, Iran unveiled a plan suggesting that members of the union –Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Iran- employ a home-grown system developed by the Central Bank of Iran to get around SWIFT called SEPAM in Farsi.

May 28 to June 9, 2011: An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission led by Mr. Dominique Guillaume visited the Islamic Republic of Iran to conduct discussions for the Article IV Consultation. Article IV Consultations are an important part of the IMF’s regular surveillance activity with all member countries and are usually conducted every year.

2005: the government obliged the Central Bank of Iran and the Iranian banks, mostly state owned, to set up all the necessary infrastructures (regulatory, hardware, software) for fully launching e-money in Iran by March 2005.

Cuba

May 28, 1997: the creation of Banco Central de Cuba (BCC), as disposed by the Council of State by means of Decree-Law No. 172, provided the country with an institution, capable of concentrating its efforts in the execution of its central banking functions and established a two-tier banking system integrated by Banco Central de Cuba and a group of banks and non-banking financial institutions, capable of coping with the needs which arise from the development of new ways to organise the internal and external economic relations of the country. As the governing authority of the Cuban banking system, BCC has the mission:

  • To issue the national currency and seek for its stability.
  • To contribute to the macroeconomic balance and orderly development of the economy.
  • To keep custody of the country’s international reserves.
  • To propose and implement a monetary policy which allows to attain the economic goals established by the country.
  • To ensure normal internal and external payment operations.
  • To dictate mandatory regulations.
  • To exercise the functions related to the discipline and supervision of the financial institutions and representative offices authorised to establish themselves in the country and of any other entrusted to it by the laws.

Cuba has managed to stay outside the scrutiny of the mainstream media propaganda efforts in recent years, also maintains a 100% state-owned central bank. Yet, even though the Cuba card has yet to be played in recent Anglo-American endeavors, the tiny nation remains designated as dangerous threat to the United States and “democracy” the world over. Indeed, it is safe to say that Cuba’s Castro regime has not faded from the radar screen of the Rothschild banking dynasty or the enforcement arm of that dynasty known as NATO and the United States.

North Korea

On February 15, 1946, a central bank of North Korea was announced, which was to be under the control of the Soviet military. However, the bank failed to accomplish its objectives, being unable to meet its costs of operation, and the 100 million wŏn capitalisation was ineffective. The North Korean Interim People’s Committee did not look upon the bank favourably, and chose instead to work through the Farmers’ Bank, which also existed at the time. By late 1946, banking functions were consolidated into two main institutions, the Central Bank and Farmer’s Bank.

In June 1947, around 1,000 million wŏn was concentrated in the Central Bank, allowing it to extend credits totalling 900 million wŏn for economic rehabilition. The consolidation reflected a return to the original objectives of the People’s Committee, which wanted closer control over the economy; any banking people opposed to the changes within the system were removed from their posts. On December 6, 1947, a comprehensive program of currency reform was announced. In 1959, the Central and Farmers’ banks were merged to form the Central Bank of the Democratic’s People’s Republic of Korea. The Foreign Trade Bank was established to handle the Central Bank’s international business. The Central Bank has over 220 branches.

It is interesting to note that the model totalitarian state for the world under the coming global system, North Korea, lacks in only one thing – a private central bank. Another example of central banking opportunities squandered by selfish psychopaths like Kim Jong Un and Kim Jong Il, the fact is that while the society as a whole matches the blueprint created for the rest of the world many years ago, North Korea still represents the lack of total domination by the private banking cartel which control the overwhelming majority of finance and industrial sources. Thus, North Korea retains its place firmly on the list of governments that will be overthrown, replaced, and erased from the history books, as the New World Order is gradually implemented throughout the entire planet. 

North Korea follows Songun, or “military-first” policy. It is the world’s most militarized society, with a total of 9,495,000 active, reserve, and paramilitary personnel. Its active duty army of 1.21 million is the fourth largest in the world, after China, the U.S., and India. It also possesses nuclear weapons.

Look for a united Korea, soon.

Iceland

After 2008: Iceland took a radically different path than the United States after their financial crisis and nationalized the banks, threw some people responsible for the crash in jail and bailed out the homeowners instead of worrying about only bailing out the banks.

October 6, 2008: a number of private interbank credit facilities to Icelandic banks were shut down. Prime Minister Geir Haarde addressed the nation, and announced a package of new regulatory measures which were to be put to the Althing, Iceland’s parliament, immediately, with the cooperation of the opposition parties. These included the power of the FME to take over the running of Icelandic banks without nationalising them, and preferential treatment for depositors in the event that a bank had to be liquidated. In a separate measure, retail deposits in Icelandic branches of Icelandic banks were guaranteed in full. The emergency measures had been deemed unnecessary by the Icelandic government less than 24 hours earlier.

Iceland’s financial position has steadily improved since the crash. The economic contraction and rise in unemployment appear to have been arrested by late 2010 and with growth under way in mid-2011. Three main factors have been important in this regard. First is the emergency legislation passed by the Icelandic parliament in October 2008. It served to minimise the impact of the financial crisis on the country. The Financial Supervisory Authority of Iceland used permission granted by the emergency legislation to take over the domestic operations of the three largest banks. The much larger foreign operations of the banks, however, went into receivership. A second important factor is the success of the IMF Stand-By-Arrangement in the country since November 2008.

By mid-2012: Iceland was regarded as one of Europe’s recovery success stories. It has had two years of economic growth. Unemployment was down to 6.3% and Iceland was attracting immigrants to fill jobs. Currency devaluation effectively reduced wages by 50% making exports more competitive and imports more expensive. Ten-year government bonds were issued below 6%, lower than some of the PIIGS nations in the EU (Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece, and Spain).

Venezuela

The Central Bank of Venezuela is the central bank of Venezuela. It maintains a fixed exchange rate for the Venezuelan bolivar. Banco Central de Venezuela BCV (bank) principally engages in the formulation and implementation of monetary policy in Venezuela. It also participates in designing and carrying out exchange rate policy; regulates currency, credit, and interest rates; and administers international reserves. In addition, the company monitors and regulates the foreign exchange market; observes the functioning of the country’s payments system and set the operating rules; issues currency; and exercises the rights and takes on the obligations of the Republic at the International Monetary Fund.

Article 46 “The Central Bank of Venezuela must: 1. Submit periodic reports to the Executive Branch (IMF) on the domestic and foreign monetary and financial situation and make pertinent recommendations as it deems advisable.”

http://www.activistpost.com/2012/09/state-owned-central-banks-are-real.html

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Nephilim as “giants”

nephilim-skeleton

Genesis 6:1-4: And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.

Commentators trace the word “Nephilim” to the root “Niphal” meaning “distinguished ones.”

Numbers 13:32-33: And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.

The Brown-Driver-Briggs Lexicon gives the meaning of Nephilim as “giants”. Many suggested interpretations are based on the assumption that the word is a derivative of Hebrew verbal root n-ph-l “fall”. Robert Baker Girdlestone argued the word comes from the Hiphil causative stem, implying that the Nephilim are to be perceived as “those that cause others to fall down”. Adam Clarke took it as a perfect participle, “fallen”, “apostates”. Ronald Hendel states that it is a passive form “ones who have fallen”, equivalent grammatically to paqid “one who is appointed” (i.e., overseer), asir, “one who is bound”, (i.e., prisoner) etc. According to the Brown-Driver-Briggs Lexicon, the basic etymology of the word Nephilim is “dub[ious]”, and various suggested interpretations are “all very precarious”.

The majority of ancient biblical versions, including the Septuagint, Theodotion, Latin Vulgate, Samaritan Targum, Targum Onkelos and Targum Neofiti, interpret the word to mean “giants”. Symmachus translates it as “the violent ones” and Aquila’s translation has been interpreted to mean either “the fallen ones” or “the ones falling [upon their enemies]”.

The Nephilim taught their wives and children a assortment of new technological skills, magical knowledge, and occult wisdom. Azazel the leader taught men how to make swords, shields, and breastplates and how to use metals. He also taught the women the art of jewelry making and make-up. Shemyaza, another fallen watcher angel, taught humans the use of root cuttings and the magical art of enchantment; Armaros taught the resolving of enchantments; Baraqijal taught astrology; Kokabiel taught  astronomy; Chazaqiel taught about clouds and the sky ; Shamsiel the sun; Sariel the courses of the moon; Penemuel instructed humans in the art of writing and reading; and Kashdejan taught the diagnosis and healing of diseases and the science of medicine.

(Supposedly?) As a result of all this corruption (what corruption?), God sent a flood on the earth during the time of Noah and all of the Nephilim offspring were killed. According to the Book of Enoch the 200 fallen watcher angels were bound up for 70 generations.

The Hebrew words for the “sons of God” is B’nai Ha Elohim, which would mean these are Heavenly beings, giving credence to them being offspring of fallen angels (the term Elohim is literally the plural of ‘god’). And then we see the children of these sons of God and daughters of men were “mighty men” and of “renown.” They were also “giants.” Something in their genetics made them super-sized people.

Northern Spain and Southern France is where you can find some of the highest concentration of the RH-negative factor in the Basque people. Another original group were the Eastern/Oriental Jews. In general, about 40 – 45% of Europeans have the RH-negative group. Only about 3% of African descendent and about 1% of Asian or Native American descendent has the RH-negative group. Due to the larger European numbers, it is a safe bet that was where it was introduced into the human genetic code. Could this also be where the Caucasian was introduced? Is the introduction of Caucasian related to the RH-blood factor.

This would lend credence that the RH-negative factor was introduced from an outside source. Could the source be from human like beings from another planet? Or maybe we are just as alien as they are, in that, we are a product of their manipulation and interference. Could they have come here and manipulated life forms already present on earth to create modern man?

Many ancient texts, including, the Bible, do support this theory. Many stories in the ancient texts, especially pre-Christian texts, do tell about a race that from the Heavens to the Earth Came. In the Bible,  man saw them as gods, living long lives and performing miracles. In the Book of Enoch, which never quite made it officially into the Bible as it was considered idolatrous and too concerned with the story of the angels, the Nephilim and fallen angels are referred to in detail.

The book was written by Enoch who was a very interesting and creative Biblical character. He was considered to be the same historical figure as Abraham in the Talmud. It is believed he was closely connected to Archangel Metatron, who, although he sounds more like a Power Ranger, is believed to be the highest of all the Archangels and the closest to God. Some believe he is the angel who greets you at the spiritual bridge between earth and heaven which technically makes him the Grim Reaper. In Greek mythology he is considered the equivalent of Hades who took spirits across the Styx to the Underworld.

These giants were not confined to the Middle East. Two dozen human footprints of abnormal size have been found in the Paluxi riverbed, Texas, some of them measuring eighteen inches long. Other giant markings have been discovered in such diverse places as Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and California.

In the Mt. Vernon area of Ohio, Dr. Wilbur G. Burroughs of the Geological Division of the Berea College, Kentucky, reported finds of human foot prints 23.75 cm. long and 10.25 wide! Near Antelope Springs, Utah, William Meister discovered in 1968 two human footprints 32.5 cm. long and 11.25 wide.

Similar giant footprints have been discovered in other countries especially in the Mt. Victoria region of Australia.

Not only do we have footprints of giants but actual skeletons as well. In 1936 Larson Kohl, the German paleontologist and anthropologist, found the bones of gigantic men on the shore of Lake Elyasi in Central Africa. Other giant skeletons were later found in Hava, the Transvaal and China. The evidence for the existence of giants is incontrovertible.

“A scientifically assured fact,” says Dr. Louis Burkhalter.

The Nephilim also were giants in knowledge. According to the Book of Enoch, God was incensed against the fallen angels partly because they disclosed certain classified information to humans. The ancient world associated demons with special esoteric knowledge and with superior intelligence. The word “demon” in Greek (daimon) comes from the root meaning “knowledge” or “intelligence.”

The Scriptures also testify to the fact that demons have access to knowledge and information denied to ordinary mortals. We read in the Gospels how they recognized and acknowledged the deity of Christ when humans seemed totally blind to the fact.

When the Gaderene demoniac saw Jesus, he fell down before him, and cried out,

“What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high?” (Luke 8:28).

These demons recognized Jesus at the beginning of His ministry, way ahead of His own disciples.

In the Book of Acts, with the same supernatural knowledge, demons recognized the mission and message of the Apostle Paul. The possessed damsel at Philippi cried,

“These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation” (Acts 16:17).

This happened at a time when the people of Philippi had no idea who Paul was, nor did they know the nature of his mission. We cannot but note that every recorded statement made by demons in the New Testament concerning Christ or Paul was one-hundred percent accurate.

Clement of Alexandria suggested an interesting reason for this superior knowledge of demons:

It is evident, since they are demoniac spirits, that they know some things more quickly and more perfectly than men, for they are not retarded in learning by the heaviness of a body.

Examples of this trait in demons is supplied by various missionary organizations. They tell us how people possessed by evil spirits acquire superior knowledge, far above that of their brethren. In an editorial in Christian Life Magazine we find these words concerning the murder of five young American missionaries in the jungles of Ecuador in 1956:

“Indians at Arajuno mission base knew in a few hours what had happened when five missionaries deep in Ecuador’s Auca territory in 1956 failed to make radio contact with anxiously waiting fellow missionaries. How? They asked a local witch doctor. He obliged by falling into a trance, calling up his favorite demons and asking them to tell him where the missing missionaries were. According to the friendly Indians, they heard demons leave the scene and, in a short time, returned with the message that the missionaries were in the Curaray River with Auca lances in them.”

John L. Nevius, a medical missionary in China at the end of the last century gathered a significant compendium of data on this subject. After sending a detailed questionnaire to Protestant missionaries all over China, he gleaned a vast amount of information about the symptoms of demonism. 

One characteristic he found again and again was the prevalence of superior knowledge and intelligence in the possessed person–even on subject matters of which the person had no prior knowledge. 

This may well supply the key to the great knowledge and expertise that characterized certain men in ancient times. As already seen, such knowledge and expertise by “primitive” men continue to defy explanation. P.J. Wiseman admits to this mysterious factor:

It was expected that the more ancient the period, the more primitive would excavators find it to be, until traces of civilization ceased altogether and aboriginal man appeared. Neither in Babylonia, nor Egypt, the land of the oldest known habitations of man, has this been the case.

Arthur Custance pertinently states this strange sequence right at the beginning of human history:

“…an unbelievably long time with almost no growth; a sudden spurt leading within a very few centuries to a remarkably high culture; a gradual slowing up, and decay, followed only much later by recovery of lost arts and by development of new ones leading ultimately to the creation of our modern world. What was the agency which operated for that short period of time to so greatly accelerate the process of cultural development and produce such remarkable results?” 

Could this agency be the Nephilim? Could this expertise have been imparted by beings from outer space? And could this explain the mysteries surrounding Stonehenge, the Mayan Caracol, Tiahuanaco, the Bay of Pisco, and particularly the Great Pyramid? Did the knowledge necessary to construct these monolithic structures come from the Nephilim? Were they the ones responsible for what Custance calls the “climax at the beginning”?

As for the Great Pyramid, many scientists suggest a date back in the generations preceding the Flood. If so, those happen to be the very times of the Nephilim, the generations of the “giants” and of the “men of renown.” But what if it could be proven that the Great Pyramid was not built until after the Flood? There is still no problem.

Could not Noah and his family have carried this information with them into the Ark, and transmitted it later to their descendants? According to the Babylonian version of the Flood, the “Chaldean” Noah was made to bury his books before the Flood, and then disentomb them after emerging from the Ark.

But there is still another possibility: Could this knowledge have come from the second eruption of the Nephilim, which occurred after the Flood? 

If we go further back, could one find a linkage between this esoteric knowledge and the “tree of knowledge” found in the Garden of Eden? We know that this was the one tree whose fruit Adam and Eve were forbidden to eat, or even touch (Genesis 2:17, 3:3). Why was this tree so named?

Few commentators have shed any light on its meaning. Many dismiss the account as mere symbolism, without even telling us what the symbolism is supposed to represent. Others look upon the passage as poetry, conveniently forgetting poetry is often the truest history. It not only relates facts but interprets them as well. Poetry has been described as “history written from the inside rather than from the outside, and therefore incomparably truer. Or in the words of British author Graham Green, “Poetry is the photography of the invisible.”

Supposing we applied this principle to the “tree of knowledge.” If it is a symbol, then obviously it must be a symbol of something. Or if poetry, then it must convey some inner truth. But why should one speculate and search for cryptic meanings when the truth may well be on the surface. Obviously, the “tree of knowledge” must have something to do with knowledge, or why should it be so named? It undoubtedly contained the key to certain divinely classified material that God did not want early man to possess. But somehow, and it could well be by means of the Nephilim, early man did come to possess that knowledge–at least a part of it.

This was knowledge that primitive man could never have discovered on his own. Indeed, it was knowledge beyond the capacity of modern man! Kelly Segraves reminds us:

“With all our intelligences, we cannot figure out how pyramids were constructed.”

We ask again, could this intelligence have been transmitted by the “sons of God”?

Egypt is not the only country that has pyramids. A whole network of them can be found around the planet–in Cambodia, ShenShi, China, Thailand, Mexico, Nazca, Yucatan, Alaska… How does one account for such advanced scientific technology, on such a universal scale, and in such prehistoric times?

Could the answer be man’s longevity at that time? The average age span before the Flood was close to nine hundred years– thirteen times the proverbial “three score and ten.” This, of course, provided exceptional opportunity for learning, research, experimentation and the accumulation of knowledge. If only modern-day scientists could live that long! But longevity alone could never account for the specialized knowledge that our forefathers possessed. Their awesome expertise indicates a source outside of themselves. No other viable explanation can be offered except that mankind was preprogrammed from the depths of space.

The Bible not only supplies the key to the source of this knowledge, but to the way it was transmitted–space-beings called “fallen-angels.” As we have seen, such extraterrestrials possess superior knowledge. This they transmitted to man in direct contradiction to God’s wishes.

Satan, the leader of fallen angels, is himself a creature of rare brilliance and inimitable genius. The Latin translation of his name, “Lucifer” (from the Hebrew “Helel”), comes from a root meaning “brilliance” or “magnificence.” This is a trait he shares with his cohorts. He and they have access to classified, divine information, and are cognizant of hidden things (See Acts 16:16, 17).

According to Professor C. S. Dickerson,

“The source of their knowledge is found in their superior created nature and in their vast experience, as they lived through many thousands of years observing and collecting information.” 

John L. Nevius, after surveying demon possession in China, documents the amazing knowledge revealed by the demon- possessed:

“Many persons while demon possessed give evidence of knowledge which cannot be accounted for in ordinary ways. They often appear to know of the Lord Jesus as a divine person and show an aversion to, and a fear of Him. They sometimes converse in foreign languages of which in their normal states they are entirely ignorant.” 

Giants in wickedness is another distinction of the Nephilim. Sired by demonic beings, their character and activity certainly reveal the nature of the “fallen ones.”

Many of the legends surrounding the cross breeding between the natural and the supernatural depict subhuman behavior. To the last one, the semi-gods of mythology–Zeus (the Roman Jupiter), Poseidon (Neptune), Eros (Cupid), Hermes (Mercury)–were violent, wanton, lustful and promiscuous beyond restraint. They constantly engaged in sex orgies and seduction, and produced the strangest of offspring.

Emil Gaverluk tells of Zeus:

“He disregarded marriage laws and engaged in love affairs with members of both sexes. Zeus married Hera, his sister. One of the loves of Zeus was Europa. He seduced her by becoming a bull and carrying her away. Another was Leda, daughter of Thestios, King of Aetolia and the wife of Tyndereus, King of Sparta. But this did not stop Zeus…Athene was the daughter of Metis by Zeus. Metis tried to evade him. He seduced her. She warned him that if he did this again and the child was a male, that child would depose and conquer him. Zeus didn’t like the sound of this and took no chances. He swallowed the child whole. Zeus’ amorous victories illustrate the actions of uncontrolled spirit-beings lusting after human flesh.”

This is only one example from Greek mythology of the evil associations between spirit-entities from space and human beings from Earth. But it was not only the spirit-beings who acted this way; they seem to have passed on the trait to their descendants.

The Nephilim were giants in pride also. Lord Acton claimed that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. So does knowledge. With their superior intelligence and knowledge, the Nephilim soon succumbed to the sin that became the downfall of Lucifer–pride (1 Timothy 3:6). Like Lucifer, his followers also dreamed of being gods, desiring to control and rule the Earth. Their advanced knowledge was the desired diet for their egoism. Such knowledge wedded to an already arrogant nature led to self-deification.

They craved divine honors and religious worship. This was the ambition of Lucifer, of the Nephilim, and of every fallen creature. They were propelled in all that they did by self-will, self-determination, self-glorification, and ultimately self-deification. No wonder Josephus refers to the Nephilim as “sons who were overbearing and disdainful of every virtue.”

Man’s fascination with the occult and otherworld phenomena is amazingly significant today. At no other time has he been more conditioned to accept the possibility of extraterrestrial life. Having once escaped his Mother Earth, man now strains at his celestial tether, wondering what or who lies beyond the final frontier. With this starward look, the stage could be set for the coming of the unwelcome guests from space.

Is it any wonder when incorrigible spirit-beings and rebellious humans cooperated to pollute Earth, to seek genetic control and produce hybrids that threatened the race itself, and even tried to thwart the very plan of God, that God should intervene in a judgment terrible to behold?

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sky god An

The Anunnaki (also transcribed as: Anunaki, Anunna, Anunnaku, Ananaki and other variations) are a group of deities in ancient Mesopotamian cultures (i.e., Sumerian, Akkadian, Assyrian, and Babylonian).

The name is variously written “a-nuna”, “a-nuna-ke4-ne”, or “a-nun-na”, meaning “princely offspring” or “offspring of Anu”. According to The Oxford Companion to World Mythology, the Anunnaki: “…are the Sumerian deities of the old primordial line; they are chthonic deities of fertility, associated eventually with the underworld, where they became judges. They take their name from the old sky god An (Anu).”

Their relation to the group of gods known as the Igigi is unclear – at times the names are used synonymously but in the Atra-Hasis flood myth the Igigi are the sixth generation of the gods who have to work for the Anunnaki, rebelling after 40 days and replaced by the creation of humans.

Jeremy Black and Anthony Green offer a slightly different perspective on the Igigi and the Anunnaki, writing that “lgigu or Igigi is a term introduced in the Old Babylonian Period as a name for the (ten) “great gods”. While it sometimes kept that sense in later periods, from Middle Assyrian and Babylonian times on it is generally used to refer to the gods of heaven collectively, just as the term Anunnakku (Anuna) was later used to refer to the gods of the underworld. In the Epic of Creation, it is said that there are 300 lgigu of heaven.”

The Anunnaki appear in the Babylonian creation myth, Enuma Elish. In the late version magnifying Marduk, after the creation of mankind, Marduk divides the Anunnaki and assigns them to their proper stations, three hundred in heaven, three hundred on the earth. In gratitude, the Anunnaki, the “Great Gods”, built Esagila, the splendid: “They raised high the head of Esagila equaling Apsu. Having built a stage-tower as high as Apsu, they set up in it an abode for Marduk, Enlil, Ea.” Then they built their own shrines.

The Anunnaki are mentioned in The Epic of Gilgamesh when Utnapishtim tells the story of the flood. The seven judges of hell are called the Anunnaki, and they set the land aflame as the storm is approaching.

According to later Assyrian and Babylonian myth, the Anunnaki were the children of Anu and Ki, brother and sister gods, themselves the children of Anshar and Kishar (Skypivot and Earthpivot, the Celestial poles), who in turn were the children of Lahamu and Lahmu (“the muddy ones”), names given to the gatekeepers of the Abzu (House of Far Waters) temple at Eridu, the site at which the creation was thought to have occurred. Finally, Lahamu and Lahmu were the children of Tiamat (Goddess of the Ocean) and Abzu (God of Fresh Water).

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