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Reptilians Evolve First

Benson C Saili
THIS EARTH, MY BROTHER…

They are Earth’s senior citizenry and not us humans

About 65 million years ago, a global war arose on planet Earth. The two belligerents were not Earthlings at all: they were from other parts of the universe and were of different races.

One race was from the Procyon star system. It was humanoid, exactly as we are. Procyon is a binary star system, meaning it comprises of two suns – Procyon A, the main star, and Procyon B, a white dwarf. Procyon A is 1.42 times larger than our Sun and is about 12 light years from Earth. It is one of the ten brightest stars in the evening sky. The humanoids in question came from the fourth planet in Procyon A’s planetary system. They were tall, blonde-haired, and blue-eyed.

The other race was Reptilian. It was from Alpha Draconis (also known as Thuban), another binary star system in  the Draco constellation which is 3.5 times our Sun’s size and 300 light years from Earth. The Reptilians came from a planet called Tiphon, the fourth in order of orbit.  

The clash between the two foreign races was the first global war on our planet.

The first to arrive were the humanoids. When they so did, they established two colonies on Earth, one on the continent we today call Antarctica and another on the continent we today call Asia. This was at a time when the Earth’s land mass was essentially one whole, the so-called Pangea.  The land mass had already cracked and the continents had drifted from each other but not to the extent they have today: they were much closer. It was a time when dinosaurs and other giant reptiles roamed the Earth.

About 150 years later, the Reptilians from Alpha Draconis touched down on the planet. Just like the humanoids, the Reptilians had come to Earth to look for one very vital commodity – copper. In the annals of Earth’s history, copper has been vastly underrated (maybe deliberately so) but it has a host of key uses most Earthlings are not aware of that make it a highly-sought-after metal by advanced races from other worlds. Our planet was, and still is to some degree, very rich in copper, one of the reasons it has been a magnet for ETs.    

Reptilians are a very pugnacious and violent-prone race, particularly versus humanoids. Whilst the humanoids were prepared to co-exist with the Reptilians, the latter were not interested. They wanted to rule the planet and make the humanoids subject to them irrespective of the fact that the humanoids were the pioneers.  The humanoids told them to go get stuffed and war broke out. It was a high-tech war which was mostly fought in the higher reaches of the sky and in orbit.

Initially, the humanoids had the upper hand: they were very good at conventional warfare and therefore inflicted substantial casualties amongst the enemy ranks. Fearing decimation and possible annihilation, the Reptilians, who are the oldest race in our universe and therefore the most advanced technologically, decided to employ an experimental, non-conventional weapon whose exact consequences they were not even sure of.

The weapon was a special kind of fusion bomb and was meant to destroy life but leave raw materials intact in the Earth’s crust. It was fired from space and detonated somewhere around the Bermuda Triangle in Middle America. The result was so catastrophic even the Reptilians regretted having used the weapon just as Americans continue to regret having used the atom bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The radiation from the bomb was so phenomenal that the humanoids were practically wiped out, with the few survivors hastily beating a path back to Procyon, and much of animal life, which included the dinosaurs, perished partly from the immediate effects of the detonation but mostly from the nuclear winter that resultantly engulfed the planet and lasted for more than 200 years. The dinosaurs actually became extinct within 20 years. Forget about the oft-pedalled and now ingrained lie that it was a meteor or asteroid impact that wiped off the dinosaurs. It was not. It was a Reptilian-made fusion bomb. One of the fallouts from this same fusion bomb was the coming into being of new elements such as iridium for instance.

Having messed up the planet, the Reptilians took to their celestial boats and sailed back to Alpha Draconis. For the next 200 to 300 years, no outsiders showed interest in the wasteland and hazardous place that now was Earth.

EARTH’S FIRST GLOBAL WAR

In every cataclysm though, not all life goes into oblivion. Some animals survived the fusion bomb holocaust. They included fish species such as sharks; little creepy mammals (our ancestors); crocodiles; and some other small reptiles. One of the surviving reptiles resembled what scientists call an Iguanodon, which had developed alongside the creature we now call Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Although this 1.5 metre tall creature was a pure reptile organically, some of its external features looked mammalian. The creature was able to walk on two legs and grab things. This creature proceeded to evolve and in the span of about 30 million years (evolution is so glacially slow), it was able to think more or less rationally, living in caves instead of the open air, using branches and stones as tools, and making fire to protect itself from the cold.     

During the next 20 million years, nature divided this reptile into 27 sub-species. In the course of time, 24 of these species ceased to exist owing to primitive wars of dominance among themselves and natural attrition occasioned by evolution itself.  Thus 50 million years after the Reptilian-Humanoid war and the extinction of dinosaurs, only 3 Earth-bred Reptilian species remained.  These were very technologically advanced and had reached a stage of sophistication beyond where we humans are at today. Being so thoroughly versed in genetic engineering, the three species decided to merge into one through natural and artificial cross-breeding on the one hand and self-induced genetic manipulation on the other.  

The resultant, unified species was able to eliminate from its genome the dividing-prone genes so that it could retain its identity   indefinitely. At this juncture, which was 10 million years ago, this unitary Reptilian species ceased to evolve physically. The only minor changes that have taken place in the intervening period relate to the aspect of its looking more humanoid and mammalian-like in outward appearance as every other species does in the fullness of time. Otherwise, the species has not sub-divided.

This Reptilian species was the first civilisation to evolve on our planet and now resides under the surface of the Earth (at a depth of about 2 to 8 km) in inconceivably sophisticated cities.  

In December 1999, a young Reptilian female emerged from this subterranean society and gave a now famous interview to a Swede who lived in an isolated cottage in southern Sweden. Her name was "Sssshiaassshakkkasskkhhhshhh" but she opted to be simply called Larceta, which is Latin for “Lizard”. She said she was 28 years old and was a social scientist with a keen interest in terrestrial civilisations.  

“We live in large and advanced cities and colonies,” she told the bemused Swedish recluse. “Major sites of us are beyond the Arctic, the Antarctica, Inner Asia, North America, and Australia.” She confided that the entry points to the Reptilian underground dwellings were usually found inside caves but were not easy to spot by humans because their doors were fitted with a device that made humans see an ordinary cave wall and not the door itself. This device sent a scrambling signal to the human mind.

Larceta was interviewed on two occasions. At first, she appeared just like a normal human being. In a subsequent session, however, she presented herself in her true Reptilian form, which scared the daylights out of the Swede. The human form, she said, was an optical illusion she implanted in the minds of humans by telepathy, using a biological switch we have somewhere inside our brain which was  deliberately installed by the Anunnaki when they genetically upgraded us about 40,000 years ago.  

THE ANATOMY OF INDIGENOUS REPTILIANS

How do the Reptilians indigenous to Earth look like? The following is how Larceta described the physical characteristics of her race to the Swedish recluse:

“Imagine the body of a normal human woman and you have at first a good imagination of my body. Like you, I have a head, two arms, two hands, two legs and two feet and the proportions of my body are like yours. As I’m female, I have also two breasts (despite our reptile origin, we have had to start to give milk to our babies during the evolution process — this happened around 30 million years ago — because this is the best thing to keep the young alive. Evolution had done this for your species already in the dinosaur age and — a little bit later — also for ours. That does not mean we are now real mammals.) but our breasts are not as large as those of human women and their size is generally equal for every female of my kind.

“The external reproduction organs are for both sexes smaller than those of humans, but they are visible and they have the same function as yours (another gift of evolution to our species).

“My skin is mainly of a green-beige colour – more pale green – and we have some patterns of brown irregular dots (each dot of the size of 1 – 2 centimeters) on our skin and on our face (the patterns are different for both sexes but females have more, especially in the lower body and in the face). You can see them in my case as two lines over the eyebrows crossing my forehead, at my cheek and at my chin.

“My eyes are a little bit larger than human eyes (for this reason, we can see better in the darkness) and usually dominated by large black pupils, which are surrounded by a small bright-green iris (males have a dark-green iris). The pupil is slit and can change its size from a small black line to a wide-open egg-shaped oval, because our retina is very light sensitive and the pupil must facilitate this.

“We have external round ears but they are smaller and not as curved as yours though we can hear better because our ears are more sensitive for sonic (we can also hear a wider range of sonic). There’s a muscle or "lid" over the ears which can completely close them (for example under water).

“Our nose is more pointed and there is a V-shaped curving between the nostrils, which enabled the ancestors to ‘see’ temperature. We have lost most of this ability, but we can still feel temperature much better with this ‘organ’.

“Our lips are shaped like yours (those of females a little bit larger than those of males) but of a pale brown colour and our teeth are very white and strong and a little bit longer and sharper than your soft mammal teeth.

“We have no different hair colours like you (but there is a tradition to colour the hairs in different ages) and the original colour is —like mine— a greenish brown. Our hairs are thicker and stronger than yours and they grow very slowly. In addition, the head is the only part of our body where we have hairs.

“Our body, arms and legs are similar in shape and size to yours, but the colour is different (green-beige, like the face) and there are scale-like structures on the upper legs (over the knee) and upper arms (over the elbow).

“Our five fingers are a little bit longer and thinner than human fingers and our skin on the palm is plain, so we have no lines like you but again a combination of a scale-like skin structure and of the brown dots (both sexes have the dots on the palm) and we have no fingerprints like you. If you touch my skin, you will feel that it is smoother than your hairy skin. There are small sharp horns on the upside of both middle fingers. The fingernails are grey and generally longer than yours. You see that my nails are not so long and round at the top. This is because I’m female. Males have sharp pointed nails with a length of sometimes 5 or 6 of your centimeters.

“The following feature is very different from your body and is part of our reptilian origin: if you touch the backside of my upper body, you will feel a hard bony line through my clothing. This is not my spine but a very difficult shaped external plate-structure of skin and tissue following exactly our spine from the head to the hip. There is an extremely high number of nerves and large blood vessels in this structure and in the plates (which are around two or three centimeters long and very touch sensitive (this is the reason why we  always have problems  sitting in chairs with a back like this chair).

“The main task of these small plates (beside a role in our sexuality) is simply the regulation of our body temperature and if we sit in natural or artificial sunlight, these plates become more blood-filled and the vessels become wider and the sun is able to heat up our Reptoid blood (which circulates through the body and through the plates) for many degrees and that gives us a great pleasure similar to and even greater than what you humans feel when you have sex.”

OUR ANCESTOR SPECIES EVOLVES

Meanwhile, our mammal ancestors, the simians, had been evolving alongside the dinosaurs for about 150 million years and also survived the fusion bomb of 65 million years ago being very tiny animals at the time. Then 10 million years ago, they became land-dwelling animals from the exclusively tree-dwelling animals they used to be.

During the evolutionary process, they divided into various species of all sorts – the larger chimpanzees, gibbons, orangutans, etc, and the smaller baboons and monkeys. It was only in the last 2-3 million years that one particular simian species was able to become relatively intelligent, the species that was to become known as Ape-Man, Homo Erectus, or Cro-Magnon man over time and Homo Sapiens eventually.  Prior to that, this primate ancestor of ours was a simple, purely instinctive animal without an ounce of intelligence.

“We are a very old race in comparison to your kind, which was jumping around as small monkey-like animals in the trees at this time while we invented technology, colonised other planets of the Solar System, built large cities on this planet – which disappeared without a trace in the ages – and engineered our own genes while your genes were still those of animals,” Larceta iterated to the Swede.

“If nothing extraordinary had happened to your kind, we wouldn’t be able to sit here and talk because I would be sitting in my comfortable modern house and you would be curled up in your cave clothed with fur and trying to discover the secrets of fire. Or maybe you would be sitting in one of our zoos.

“But things developed differently and you believe now you are the ‘crown of creation’ and can sit in your modern house on the surface of the Earth in natural sunlight whilst we hide and live beneath the Earth or occasionally venture to the surface in remote and secluded places.”

What “extraordinary” thing happened to our ancestor simian species and how did Larceta’s species end up living underground instead of on the surface?

That we unpack in the next installment.  

NEXT WEEK: DEVELOPMENTS IN THE SIRIUS STAR SYSTEM

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Honesty – a fundamental human characteristic

12th October 2021

“When honesty is lost, then wait for the Hour (the Day of Judgment)”.  These are the words of Prophet Muhammed (pbuh).  They paint a picture of the time leading up to the Day of Judgement, when righteous people will be sorrowful due to the lack of honesty around them. 

Influence of materialism

Honesty, like morality, is an in built and essential characteristic of every human but the influence of materialism and the greed and desire for status, position, fame, wealth, etc. have wreaked havoc in human society, to an extent never seen before. In the 21st century, we live in a world where honesty is less valued than ever before and in fact even shunned at times.  We expect people to be honest in their dealings with us yet we ourselves promote deceit and dishonesty through our action and speech on a daily basis.  Many of us even watch and applaud television shows and movies that promote and encourage lying, infidelity and deceitfulness.

Desire for worldly gain

In the corporate world, ‘deceitful’ statements and figures are announced and pronounced to lure investors, glamorous yet deceitful adverts to attract customers, etc. have all become the norm and honesty goes out of the window. Even in the media industry, honesty seems to be waning very rapidly. Let alone the due regard of one’s conscience but without a second thought or due consideration of the rights of the others, stories are churned out with so-called “sensational” add-ons, etc. simply for the sake of being the “first” to break the news or for the sake of having the “best” story or maybe even for the sake of just having increased an readership or viewership.

Thoughtless individual behaviour

Without thinking, we indirectly teach our children that dishonesty is acceptable.  When we expect our children to tell the caller on the telephone we are not home, this is a lesson in deceit.  When we answer the cellphone and say that we are busy in a meeting yet we very much relaxed and free, or we say we are out of town yet we are at home, etc. we are being blatantly dishonest. When we refuse to settle our debts and dues making all sorts of pretences, we are actually lying.  We admonish and reprimand our children for lying, yet the reality is we have been their teachers.  Whether we tell lies, or whether we allow our children to live in a world surrounded by deceit, the lesson is learned and the honesty begins to disappear from the hearts of people – in particular the next generation.

Integrity and reliability

We must understand that honesty incorporates the concepts of truthfulness and reliability and it resides in all human thought, words, actions and relationships.  It is more than just accuracy; it is more than just truthfulness, it denotes integrity or moral soundness.  Belief in God Almighty commands truthfulness and forbids lying.  In the Holy Quran, God Almighty commands that humans be honest: “O you who believe!  Be conscious of God Almighty, and be with those who are true (in word and deeds).” (Ch  9 : v 119). A renowned Holy Quran scholar explained the meaning of this verse.  He said, “Being truthful and adhering to truthfulness, means you will be among the people of the truth (by speaking and behaving in a truthful manner) and be saved from calamity and that is what will really make a way out for you from your problems (in the long run)”.

Honesty and truthfulness go hand in hand

A true Believer, one who is truly submitted to God, has many characteristics by which he/she can be identified.  The most obvious of these noble characteristics are honesty of character and truthfulness of speech.  Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) was a perfect example of honesty.  The records of history clear show that even before he was bestowed Prophet hood by The Almighty, he had earned the titles of “As Saadiq” (the truthful) and “Al Ameen” (the trustworthy one), within the community. They had full trust in his honesty and integrity to such a degree that they would accept anything he said. Prophet Muhammed (pbuh), once gathered all the people of Makkah at the base of Mount Safa and asked them, “O people of Makkah!  If I say to you that an army is advancing on you from behind the mountains, will you believe me?”  All said in one voice, “Yes, because we have never heard you telling a lie.”  All the people, without exception, swore to his truthfulness and honesty because he had lived an unblemished and extremely upright life among them up to that point in time – for forty years.

Honesty in a comprehensive manner

This honesty, an essential ingredient of the human character, includes being truthful towards God by worshipping Him sincerely; being truthful to oneself, by adhering to God’s laws; and being truthful with others by speaking the truth and being honest in all dealings, such as buying, selling, social interaction, marriage,etc.  There should be no deceiving, cheating, falsifying or withholding of information, thus a person should be the same on the inside as he/she is on the outside.

Prophetic teachings

Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) informed us of the great benefits of living in an honest and truthful way and warned us of the dangers inherent in dishonesty and falsehood.  He said: “Truthfulness leads to righteousness, and righteousness leads to Paradise.  In addition, a person keeps on telling the truth until they are recorded by God Almighty as a very truthful person.  And falsehood leads to wickedness (and evil-doing), and wickedness leads to the (Hell) Fire. In addition, and a person keeps on telling lies until they are recorded by God Almighty as a very great liar”.

For those who wish to be among the truthful, Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) has left us with these words of guidance, “Let he who believes in God and the Last Day either speak good or (otherwise) remain silent”.

A successful, vibrant society is based upon honesty and justice, and is intolerant of dishonesty in all its various forms.  The Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) exhorted the faithful to be scrupulously honest in all their social dealings, business transactions, etc. at all times.

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A Sham of a Trial

12th October 2021

Verdict a foregone conclusion as Pilate is bought

Although the interrogation of  Jesus in a joint hearing by Annas and Caiaphas was not a trial, General Atiku, it was more or less conducted along the lines of a trial.

Jesus had a defending witness. This was one of  his disciples, Bartholomew, whose real name was John Marcus. Apparently, Jesus was allowed only one such witness. Besides his principal accuser, the turncoat Judas Iscariot, there were a number of witnesses who testified against him. The gospels  refer to them as false witnesses but this is probably an exaggeration: they simply misunderstood some of his statements largely because he tended to use allegorical language, which could be properly interpreted only by Gnostics. On occasion, he chose to be deliberately ambiguous, as when he said, “Do to Caesar what is due to Caesar and to God what is due to God.”

The crux of the matter  was whether there was anything in his conduct that could associate him with the Zealots. For example, he was accused of harbouring and voicing designs to destroy the Jerusalem Temple within “three days”. The Zealots did band about such threats, General. In truth, what they sought to destroy it was the Temple establishment – the priesthood and the Herodian Sadducees. The perception was that these somewhat benefitted from Roman patronage. Thus, if Jesus did instigate doing way with the Temple establishment by foul and crook, this could obviously not sit well with Annas and Caiaphas, both of whom belonged to this clique. But Jesus’ words had been taken out of context. In Gnostic language, the Temple (the correct translation should be “palace”  as the Jewish word for temple and palace is the same)   was the human body because it housed the real being – the spirit-soul. So what Jesus was saying to those who wished him ill, General, was that even if they physically killed him, his soul would continue to live (a person can be clinically dead but at the etheric level, he is irreversibly dead only after three days). Clearly, General, he was grossly misunderstood.

Jesus vehemently denied being a Zealot. He made it clear to the panel that every time he taught or preached, he was heard to promote peaceful co-existence with Rome. How then could he be a Zealot, who preached enmity with the Romans? Put differently, General, Jesus was saying he had played no part whatsoever in the November 32 AD riots against Pilate. The fact that Simon Zelotes was his father-in-law was pure happenstance.

In their heart of hearts, both Caiaphas and Annas were aware Jesus was not inclined to violence and therefore could not be a  Zealot. So the matter they seized upon was his claim to be Priest, Prophet, and King. This was what revolted them the most, the sin for which they sought to teach him a lesson.  The gospels say they set men (the Jerusalem Temple police who had escorted Caiaphas) on him who blindfolded him, slapped him around, spat on him, and dared him to “prophesy” as to “who has hit you” – a sneering allusion to his claim to be Priest and Prophet as only the High Priest could prophesy. This physical mockery did probably take place but there is an underlying symbolic language, General.  When a person was spat upon (by a “holy man”, such as the  High Priest),  it meant he had been demoted from priest to a mere layman. A “blind man” was another characterisation for an Essene who was of Grade 8 level, a novice. A novice was not yet initiated and therefore he was blind because he had not yet “seen the light”, that is, not yet been illuminated.

What it all boils down to, General,  is that by decree of the three priests Annas Sr, Caiaphas, and Jonathan Annas, Jesus had been downgraded from Grade 2, the third position in the Essene hierarchy (the first two being Grades 0 and 1), which was the position of the Davidic King (now held by his young brother James), to Grade 8, the position of a novice, a virtual nobody. Thus, when he appeared before Pontius Pilate, that was the status he would declare when his occupation was asked of him. This lowly social status would significantly bear upon Pilate’s psychology and therefore his contemplation of Jesus.

PETER DOES A JUDAS

Now, when a hearing or trial was in progress, General,  the Essene rule was that there had to be two doorkeepers. These were two people who were close to the person who was the subject of the proceedings, typically a relative and an associate/friend.

In the case of Jesus, the doorkeepers he selected were Simon Peter and his mother Mary. Besides being Jesus’ disciple, Simon Peter was Jesus’ personal bodyguard and chief ecclesiastical minister. As the Davidic King, Jesus was entitled to a bodyguard and chief spokesman, both roles of which were ably performed by Peter. That made Peter arguably the closest to Jesus in an occupational sense. As for Mary, she substituted for Jesus’ wife Mary Magdalene, who was now three months pregnant and therefore was on mandatory separation from her husband according to Essene dynastic procreational rules. The two doorkeepers ceremonially opened the doors for the panelists or judges to enter the hearing room. As the male doorkeeper,  Simon Peter stood by the door in the inner corridor whilst Mary stood by the same door in the outer corridor.

Peter, however, had been assigned another role – that of the rooster of the night. The rooster that crowed three times as per the gospels was not a bird, General: it was Simon Peter. “Rooster”, or “Cock”,   was the term for a religious person assigned to call out the time. Remember,  they had no clocks those days and at nighttime, the sundial, which was used during the day to read time, could not be used. So during a momentous occasion such as this one (the week of Passover), a person was detailed to announce the time every three hours at Qumran. Since Jesus’ hearing took place shortly before midnight, Peter was expected to announce the times at 00:00; 3 am; and 6 am. 3 am was specifically called cock-crow (see MARK 13:34). It was just before 3 am that Peter “denied”  Jesus. He did not deny him at three intervals, General: he denied him only once but before three inquisitors.

Now, Simon Peter was also a Zealot, a point we have long underscored. It explains why in the gospels he comes across as combustible, argumentative, and highly assertive. He was known as Simon Bar-jonah, which has been wrong translated as “son of John”. Bar-jonah actually derived from “baryona”, which was Aramaic (the most widely spoken language of the day in Palestine) for “outlaw”. We know, courtesy of  Flavius Josephus, that Zealots were referred to as outlaws by the Romans. So as Jesus was being interrogated, one of the witnesses against him made mention of the fact that he must have been a Zealot since his own bodyguard was a Zealot. Peter was therefore instantly called upon to confirm or deny that he was a Zealot. As could be expected, Peter stoutly denied he was. He also proceeded to say that he was not as close to Jesus as many people thought.

Once he had exculpated himself, Peter resumed his vigil as doorkeeper. The hearing lasted for hours and there were intervals in between, during which Peter also took time off to warm himself before a fire. During one such break, Mary, Joseph (Jesus’ second brother)  and James (the son of Zebedee) also confronted him and demanded to know why he  without shame or scruple just stopped short of disowning Jesus. Peter was unflinching, saying they were all mistaken: he was not as close to Jesus as they thought. It was at this point that he stood up to announce the time 3 am for the hearings to resume. Shortly thereafter, it dawned on him that he had stabbed Jesus in the back and later apologised teary-eyed to Mary. The man Jesus called “Rocky” was far from being a rock: he was a chicken, a flip-flopper.  Maybe it was no coincidence, General, that on this fateful night he was assigned the role of a male chicken!

That said, Peter had very valid reasons to deny Jesus anyway. Jesus had elevated Judas Iscariot to his second-in-command in an independent Israel at the Last Supper and Peter was irate that that role should have been entrusted to him and not to Judas. Maybe Jesus deserved Peter’s betrayal given that Peter had served him loyally through and through both as a bodyguard and confidante.

JUDAS TREACHERY BACKFIRES

Pontius Pilate, General, arrived at Qumran towards 6 in the morning to conduct a kangaroo court trial for the people wanted for the November 32 AD uprising in which some Roman soldiers were killed. Why, if we may ask, General,  did the Roman governor have to travel all the way from Jerusalem, where he was based during the Passover week, to Qumran and not insist that the trial be held in Jerusalem itself?

There were two reasons for this in the main. First and foremost, there was something in it for him. He had been backhanded with a tantalising bribe by Herod Agrippa to excuse Judas Iscariot. We know Pilate was hopelessly weak where it came to palm-greasing and extra-legal trials. Philo, the Jewish philosopher and historian who was a contemporary of  Pilate, records that Pilate was prone to corruption (a streak that ran through all Roman governors and of which the emperor himself was acutely aware) and “continuous executions without even a form of a trial”. Second, a trial of the leading Zealots in Jerusalem at Passover time would have provoked another uprising as Jerusalem at this time of the year swarmed with Galilean pilgrims most of whom were either Zealots or pro-Zealot. Qumran was therefore a safe venue as it was remote and was not crawling with too many people. The trial would thus pass practically unnoticed by the wider population.

Arriving at Qumran, Pilate was determined that he was going to sentence the culprits (save for Judas of course) to death. The November uprising had tarnished the record of his emperor: it was the only insurrection in Judea during the reign of  Tiberius Caesar. Pilate would use the sentence as a showcase to the emperor that he was a no-nonsense man who did not in the least brook dissident tendencies.

Now, Herod Antipas had learnt of Agrippa’s bribe to Pilate and he and Agrippa rarely saw eye to eye, being rival claimants to the Jewish monarchy.  Antipas was aware that the crucifixion Jesus would be subjected to would not be fatal but a partial one that would ensure his survival. However, Theudas Barabbas was too old to bear the strain of even partial crucifixion whereas Jesus and Simon Zelotes were much younger. Chances therefore were that Barabbas might perish right on the cross.  So in a private meeting with Pilate before the trial commenced, Antipas offered Pilate a bribe substantially higher than that which Agrippa had given him. Accordingly, the two agreed that Judas should be reinstated as a culprit. At the same time, Barabbas should be released. It was game, set, and match, General.

MAKE-BELIEVE REFERAL TO ANTIPAS

The trial was held in the north vestry, the same place where the hearings by Annas and Caiaphas took place. Annas, Caiaphas, the Herods, and the brothers of Jesus were in attendance.

The trial, General, was a farce. The proceedings were almost wholly orchestrated. On trial was Judas Iscariot too, who courtesy of  the Antipas bribe had been re-arrested, bringing the number of  respondents in the dock to four. Judas, as the overall commander of the Zealots, pleaded guilty. That is what the gospels mean when they say he “hung himself”. Now penitent of having falsely implicated Jesus, Judas also told the court that Jesus was innocent and had played no part whatsoever in the November 32 AD insurrection. Judas’ absolution of  Jesus is what is cryptically referred to in the gospels as “returning the 30 pieces of silver to the chief priest”, meaning he no longer was leader of the 30-man group that John the Baptist had established: its leadership had now reverted to the current Essene high priest Jonathan Annas. Judas was resultantly sentenced to death by crucifixion along with Simon Zelotes and Theudas Barabbas.

However, General, Agrippa was determined that Jesus be found guilty in order to get even with his brother-in-law Antipas. He and Caiaphas were in full flow, insisting that Jesus not only was a “Galilean”, which was another code name for Zealots, but he urged Jews to refrain from paying taxes and also fancied himself as “King of the Jews” when that title now belonged to Emperor Tiberius Caesar. This was treason and for that he deserved to die.

Although Pilate had no intentions of acquitting Jesus (it was he who was to be sacrificed for Barabbas as per his stratagem with Antipas), he at least wanted to superficially cast himself as a reasonable and impartial judge. Judas had exonerated Jesus and the priests had countered that. So Pilate announced to the gathering that since Jesus was of Galilean origin (he feigned ignorance of the fact that the term Galilean was used in the context of  his being a Zealot), Herod Antipas, under whose  jurisdiction Galilee fell, was to break the ice. Antipas was asked to try Jesus in another room and whatever verdict he rendered would be binding. This aspect was not part of the pre-plan with Antipas but Antipas did welcome it nonetheless as it openly underlined that in the eyes of  Rome, he took precedence over his rival Agrippa. As for Agrippa, all he could do was froth at the mouth. From that day on, General, Pilate became his mortal enemy: on the other hand, Antipas and Pilate became abiding friends.

NEXT WEEK: JESUS SACRIFICES FOR HIS BROTHER

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Distress Flare

12th October 2021

No one could have predicted what we have just gone through with COVID 19, lock downs, State of Emergency, banning of international travel etc. etc. In fact that’s not quite true as many had been predicating the possibility of a global pandemic for a while – I guess it was the case of not listening or not wanting to listen.

This week I was left thinking what life would be like if the internet crashed. This was prompted after being deprived of social media when the services of Facebook, Instagram & WhatsApp were disrupted for hours on Monday night. I am not much of a user of the 2 former platforms but I do use Whatsapp extensively and even had a call scheduled on the app which I was clearly unable to make. It is also the main way that I keep immediately updated of family whereabouts, comms etc.

Like many I felt quite cut off even though I could have made a normal telephone call or gone on the internet and sent mail messages. People kept saying that the internet was down because to some people Facebook is the internet!  Twitter, realising this, saw it as the perfect time to enjoy its rare spotlight and tweeted “Hello literally everyone” from its main account. It garnered 2.4 million “likes” in just four hours and a stampede of users eager to sign up.

In other parts of the world where apps are essential to commerce, health care and basic functioning of government it was a serious matter. In India, doctors sounded the alarm about being unable to coordinate their schedules or share patient scans. And in Malaysia, some small-business owners were left without a way to manage day-to-day operations as all business communications are conducted through the app.

In many developing countries, services including WhatsApp, Facebook and Facebook Messenger have become deeply integrated into the delivery of primary health care, education and other government services,” Marcus Leaning, a digital media education professor at the University of Winchester in the U.K., said. “In the global North, we tend to (merely) use such services as supplementary to other channels of communication, so the global outage will have a disproportionate impact.”  These platforms are also often offered on restricted-access (or non-smart) phones, meaning that those on lower income were disproportionately  disaffected in 3rd World countries, our own included.

Meanwhile, as netizens (citizens of the internet) were feeling somewhat inconvenienced and annoyed, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg took a financial hit losing $6 billion in just a few hours as Facebook stocks plunged, principally through lost advertising revenue and loss of business confidence and he himself personally dropped to No. 5 on the list of the world’s richest, below Gates. Talk about a bad day at the office!

The impact on myself was considerably less but with my ability to WhatsApp stopped I did feel quite put out and wondered what it would be like if the whole internet crashed one day and what that would it do to the markets, the military, the hospitals, not to mention how would I be able access all the movies on Netflix?

It couldn’t really happen, could it, if you understand that all the internet is, is a bunch of interconnected computers and that they would all have to crash at once? Conventional wisdom tells us that as a planetary network of computers and machines the internet is too big, too decentralised and too redundant to all fail at once?  But wait! Didn’t they say something similar when the Titanic was built? Surely the lessons of that hubris are still valid today?

According to Laura Brandimarte, Assistant Professor, Management Information Systems, University of Arizona, ‘Everything being connected today may bring along significant convenience, but it also implies that everything can be hacked. What if the nation’s power grid were successfully attacked? No electricity also means no internet access. The internet also relies on physical infrastructure, such as subsea cables and other fiber cables: any infrastructure issues (cable cuts, damages), whether due to criminal activity or natural disasters that were to affect major subsea cables could potentially shut down the Internet.

In a different sense, authoritarian governments can also potentially shut down the internet if they somehow all colluded against it, either blocking internet access to citizens altogether (we have seen that in Egypt during the Arab Spring, for example, or in the Democratic Republic of the Congo  HYPERLINK “https://www.rappler.com/world/regions/africa/81477-dr-congo-block-internet-kinshasa” \t “_blank” during a period of unrest); or substantially limiting it (we see that in countries where internet censorship is widespread and information access is controlled by the central government, as it happens in China). There are ways around censorship, of course: Privacy Enhancing Technologies, or PETs, such as virtual private networks or VPNs, and anonymous browsers such as Tor, can help circumvent it, but censorship essentially prevents the vast majority of the population, who may not be familiar with these tools, to access the internet, de facto making it disappear.’

And there are natural disasters that also could create havoc.   Patrick Juola, a computer science professor at Duquesne University, offers up one such interplanetary electronic disaster. “A sufficiently powerful solar flare could produce an electromagnetic solar pulse [EMP] that would shut down most of the computers in the world. While some systems are protected against EMPs, any human-built protection is only so strong, and the sun can be a lot more powerful.”

 

An internet crash resulting from this type of solar flare sounds like science fiction or one of those once-every-10,000-years events, but it isn’t. The worst recorded X-class (highest level) solar flare, called the Carrington Event, was a coronal mass ejection that produced a geomagnetic storm that spread across the earth over two days, September 1-2, 1859. The storm produced auroras around the world. The ones in the northern hemisphere reached as far south as the Caribbean, and were so bright people in the north-eastern United States could read newspapers by their light at night. The major electric utilities affected were the telegraph systems that failed across Europe and North America. The telegraph pylons threw sparks and shocked operators still at their keys. 

The frequency of recorded CMEs is worrying. Less powerful geomagnetic storms were recorded in 1921 and 1960, and a 1989 storm disabled power over large sections of Quebec. Then, on July 23, 2012, a “Carrington-lass” solar superstorm narrowly missed the earth by nine days when it crossed the planet’s orbit.

The Titanic was built to be unsinkable – all engineers and scientists agreed to that. Yet obviously they had not thought of every conceivable scenario and so when the boat was in the wrong place at the wrong time, the rest, as they say, was history. The same must be true of the internet. The thing that can take it down – not so much governmental censorship but some of that super global warming we hear so much about – could yet prove its downfall.  Now that really is solar power!

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