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Kumarbi’s Mutiny

Benson C Saili
THIS EARTH, MY BROTHER…

Alalu’s grandson strikes out at King Anu in bid to wrest Earth from Sirian-Orion control

Anu was first taken on a familiarisation tour of the Abzu, the region of modern-day Africa where Enki had detected subterranean gold ores. Anu then chaired a meeting at Eridu, the Anunnaki headquarters on Earth, during which he spelt out what he envisaged of the Earth mission.

Full-scale, high-tech mining was to commence in the Abzu: Enki, like the gifted engineer he was, was tasked to devise the requisite equipment. A permanent settlement, an extension of Eridu, was to be established and a spaceport, an aerodrome and all the allied logistical infrastructure such as maritime vessels for shipping the ore from the Abzu to Eridu were to be constructed. Further, bases were to be set up on every habitable planet in the Solar System or where that was not feasible one or more of its satellites.

“Way stations from Nibiru to Earth to establish, all the Sun’s family in one Kingdom encompass!” Anu declared. “The first on Lahmu (Mars) to be fashioned, the Moon for the plans also to be considered. On the other planets or their circling hosts stations to set up.”

Anu’s decree explains why the Anunnaki to date maintains a presence on Mars, on the Moon and on Saturn’s largest moon Titan (There are arguably several other Anunnaki colonies on planets and/or their moons we are yet to discover, or which we are not aware of but the Illuminati do).  Once again, it was the quick-thinking Enki who suggested a name for the proposed expanded Eridu.

“Let it the EDIN be called,” he said. EDIN (or ATEN in alternative renderings) meant “Abode of the Pure Ones”.  The Anunnaki referred to themselves as the pure ones (also as righteous, upright, bright, or illuminated ones) to distinguish themselves from the Earthlings they would later create. They were “pure” because they came from the “pure” planet Nibiru or the “pure” region of the Sirius-Orion star system and therefore possessed a purer gene pool compared to ordinary mankind.  

The Edin is the Eden of the Bible. Contrary to what the Bible may have us believe, Eden (the first one, as there would later be a second one in Africa) was not a zoological and botanical garden fashioned by “God” as a dedicated haven for Adam and Eve. It was part of a collection of city-states established and dwelt by the Anunnaki, who mankind would later come to call “gods”. The Levites, who wrote the first five books of the Bible, did so when the Jews were in captivity in Babylon in the 6th century BC. Thus they incorporated a lot of data on the origins of man they happened upon there that Sumerians had set down on cuneiform clay tablets and cylinder seals.  

Tragically, the Levite scribes so deliberately spun and slanted this information to suit their own contrived theology that some aspects of the Bible border on legend. “Scripture” is far from “God-breathed”: a great deal of it is simply the product of the whims and caprices of inherently fallible man, like you and me. When I say this to fellow Christians, I become an object of scorn and suspicion such is this Earth, my Brother.  

ENLIL AGAIN SUPPLANTS ENKI

At the Eridu indaba, it was Enki who spoke after Anu, rather than Alalu, who remained curiously quiet.  Enki’s turn preceded Enlil because at the time, Enki was Earth’s Chief Executive. In other words, on Earth Enki was senior to Enlil.

Regarding the proposed Edin, Enki said, “The commander of the Edin let me be, let Enlil the gold extraction perform.”

Enki was an innately creative person and so he preferred making a showcase of the Edin to superintending over   mining activities in the blistering hot Abzu, a hostile environment to an albino-white race that was used to the perennial cold of Nibiru. He also knew that in terms of executive authority, the overseer of the Edin would carry more clout and command more respect and the goodwill of the Anunnaki, whereas the exacting tasks of underground mining would turn the Abzu overseer into a kind of pet hate.      

Enlil, however, took strong exception to Enki’s pitch. An ex Air Force General and a trained aeronautical engineer, Enlil thought it was he who was best suited for the tasks of the Edin:  “Of commanding and tasks to perform I am the better; of skyships I have the knowledge. Of the Earth and its secrets my brother Ea is the knower. The Abzu he discovered: let him of the Abzu be the master.”

When Enki tried to counter him using plain logic and tools of analysis, Enlil, who habitually operated on a short fuse, fired back angrily and abrasively and a slanging match between the two step brothers ensued. King Anu, who had the quiet and calm demeanour of Enki, finally intervened. He reminded his sons to not be oblivious of the fact that they were effective joint rulers of Nibiru rather than mere princes: when he replaced Alalu as King of the Sirian Empire, he did declare to the Nibiru nation that he was going to rule that planet in particular with his two sons. Since the three of them were co-equal, Anu proposed that they settle the matter by casting lots. The outcome would determine who among the three would go back to preside over Nibiru, who would go to the Abzu and who would stay in Eridu. The two sons nodded in concurrence.

“The three, father and two sons, clasped their hands together,” recalls Enki in his memoirs as ghost-written by Zechariah Sitchin. “They cast lots; by the lots the tasks they divided.”

The result redounded to Enki’s displeasure, who was not that lucky a being. King Anu was to return to Nibiru; Enlil was to run the Edin; and Enki was to take charge of the Abzu. Enki was so crestfallen he shed tears: he had such an attachment to Eridu, which he had built from scratch (Alalu was of the view, which he aired at a later stage, that Anu had rigged the outcome in favour of Enlil given that Enlil was his biological son whereas Enki not only was his step son but a son-in-law of his nemesis Alalu). He was only consoled by the assurance by Anu that although he would operationally be based in the Abzu, he would still remain the Lord of Eridu, though Enlil would be overall-in-charge of the Edin.

The new scenario thus was this: Enlil had now supplanted Enki as Earth’s Chief Executive. He was now “Lord of the Command”, that is, Earth’s Commander-In-Chief, though he would in due course be better known as Jehovah/Yahweh. Enlil was also put in overall charge of the Igigi, the Anunnaki fighter astronauts in orbit around Earth. That way, he supplanted Marduk, Enki’s firstborn son, as the “Prince of the Power of the Air” (EPHESIANS 2:2).

Enki, on the other hand, would have authority over all of Earth’s seas as he would be in charge of maritime shipments of ores from the Abzu to Eridu. Hence his other characterisation in due course as Poseidon, the God of the Sea. Enki would also be in charge of all of Earth’s firm lands except the Edin. This was very fitting in that prospecting for mineral ores, particularly those of gold, all over the Earth was his responsibility. As such, when Enki is referred to as “Lord of the Earth”, it means two things (a point most scholars including Zechariah Sitchin have missed). First, he was the Eridu (stem of the English term “Earth”) Lord. Second and even more important, he was overall in charge of the firm lands, where mineral prospecting and mining activities were taking place. Otherwise, the real Lord of the Earth was Enlil.

Poor Enki! He should have been in line to inherit the Sirian-Orion throne but that was denied him. He should have been King of Earth after Alalu but that again was deprived him. He was a first-class intellect, the Anunnaki’s greatest brain, something even Enlil himself openly acknowledged, but where it came to ascending up the imperial totem pole, he was destined to be no higher than second.

ALALU UNDER HOUSE ARREST

Meanwhile, Alalu was dumbfounded at all the goings-on right under his nose. He had been watching with ominous silence, his hands nonchalantly folded on his chest. As Anu prepared to board the celestial boat back to Nibiru, Alalu stepped up to him and called for an impromptu, all-inclusive meeting which Anu reluctantly consented to. In the meeting, Alalu wondered aloud to Anu why he was parceling out Earth to his sons when he well knew that he (Alalu) was Earth’s sovereign.  

Anu’s response was that the status quo hadn’t changed: Alalu was still King of Earth. Enlil and Enki were simply his right-hand men, just as they had been to Anu himself on Nibiru. What they had been assigned were simply executive roles. They remained subordinate to and accountable to Alalu.    

Alalu wasn’t convinced: he was of the view that he was being systematically dispossessed of authority over the affairs of Earth by sleight of hand and before long, he would be a nobody. Enki tried to assure him that he personally would not allow such a scenario as it would be criminal and therefore illegal. Alalu was aware Enki as his son-in-law meant well but Enlil worried him. Anu had elevated Enlil above Enki and   put him in charge of the armed forces, including the Igigi, the fighter-spacemen who were previously superintended over by his grandson Marduk. To    Alalu, it was clear Anu’s secret wish was to purge all those key figures who were related to Alalu in one way or the other so that at some stage Alalu was relegated to a nonentity.   

As Anu set to return to Nibiru, Alalu and his grandson Kumarbi began to communicate by radio, in code language.  Kumarbi got the message. Kumarbi had been left on one of the space stations in orbit around Earth and when Anu arrived there to pick him up en route to Nibiru, he was nowhere to be seen. But somehow, Anu managed to contact him using the Anunnaki’s ultra-sophisticated communication devices and wondered where he was. Kumarbi’s response was frank and forthright: he was staying put and would not be returning to Nibiru with Anu.   

Kumarbi’s gesture threw a shudder into Anu. This must spell trouble, Anu thought. Anu straightaway contacted Alalu to get him to ram sense into his grandson but Alalu made it clear Kumarbi was an adult and he was in no position to dictate matters to him. Frustrated that he wasn’t getting anywhere with Alalu, Anu frantically got in touch with Enlil and the two decided, to the exclusion of Enki, that Alalu should be divested of his powers as overall ruler of Earth and must be put under house arrest. At the same time, a warrant of arrest should be issued immediately for Kumarbi.

But it was too late. Kumarbi had already gotten into stride as all these instructions ran round.    

KUMARBI IS KING

When travelling between planets or star systems, the Anunnaki had several modes of serial transport. First, there was the natural means of transport using the planet Nibiru itself. A planet is a spaceship in its own right,    more so in the case of Nibiru in that its elongated, comet-like orbit (it’s a comet-planet) straddles the circuits of all the planets of the Solar System. The Anunnaki typically journeyed to Earth when Nibiru was in the ecliptic, setting off from the planet using a celestial boat, their name for a spaceship.

However, King Anu did not simply travel by a celestial boat. He also used another form of transport, a mothership.  This was a hollowed out asteroid which was the size of a mini-planet. It was called the MATA. Another of its name was the Royal ARI (The Sirian-Orion Queen also had her own mothership known as the ATEN, which we will dwell upon in due course). Although it was primarily a cosmic battle ship, the Royal Ari was a self-contained mini-world which could accommodate millions of people. To most people in there, it was the only world they knew. They were born in that artificial world, which was of Paradise proportions in terms of the quality of life, and died there.

Because of its humongous size and therefore its powerful gravitational force, the Royal Ari was stationed yonder in space, well away from both Earth and the Moon. King Anu used a celestial boat to depart from Nibiru and join the Ari, to depart the Ari to land on Earth, and vice versa.  So as his celestial boat neared the Ari, it was suddenly fired upon from the direction of the Ari. King Anu’s  Dak Elite Royal Guard had been trained for such a contingency and so they changed course in a desperate endeavour to get the King to safety. What had happened was that Kumarbi not only had mobilised the Iku and Beh forces against King Anu but he had also captured the Ari flagship itself with very little resistance.

This short-lived battle between the forces of  Anu (the Titans) and the forces of Kumarbi (the Olympians) is  characterised in the Sumerian tablets as a wrestling match between Anu and Kumarbi (or Alalu in some accounts)  in which Prince Kumarbi bites Anu in the genitals and wrenches them off. It’s all allegorical language. What actually happened was that Kumarbi set his DAK forces (the collective Iku and Beh Anunnaki warriors) on the Ari mothership. The Dak were figuratively the “teeth” of the Sirian-Orion Empire and the Ari mothership was Anu’s “Ball of Power”. Thus by invading and capturing the Ari flagship, Kumarbi had prised this ball from Anu’s control. Sadly, even our highly esteemed Zechariah Sitchin literarised the plainly allegorical account.    

In Greek mythology (which is actually rooted in fact), the same story says Zeus gathered the younger gods (Anunnaki) on Mount Olympus and waged war against Uranus  the father of the gods who was at the head of the Titans, defeating them at long last. In this story, Zeus refers to Kumarbi. Kumarbi’s other title was “ZU”, meaning “Supreme Master” (of the Dak forces). When he seized the Ari mothership, he became King, or ZU-ZU (doubling a title in antiquity denoted a senior royal rank). Zu-zu, also rendered Zu-uz, would in time be corrupted to ZEUS. The Uranus  of the story is Anu and the Titans are the Anunnaki forces loyal to Anu who manned the Ari.

When Kumarbi captured the Ari, he earned another title AR-ZU, meaning “Supreme Lord of the Ari”. Since he was now the new King of Earth, he took occupancy of the palace of his grandfather Alalu, now an ex-King, which was perched atop a mountain as most ancient fortresses were.  Alalu’s palace was known as “AL-AMBA-HU”. Kumarbi renamed it “'AL-AMBA-ZU”, meaning “Place of gathering of AL (Alalu) and ZU (Kumarbi)”. In English, Al-amba-zu becomes “Olympus”, hence “Olympians” for the name of the Dak forces who fought under Kumarbi.

Note that Kumarbi did not forcefully displace his grandfather as King of Earth. Alalu instigated the Kumarbi-led putsch against Anu and  voluntarily gave way to Kumarbi simply because in the greater scheme of things,   it scarcely made a difference: it was the House of Alalu which still ruled.

Kumarbi, who officially ruled under his real name Alargar, became King of Earth after Alalu had ruled for 28,800 years (8 shars), although a part of this tenure falls to Alalu’s master geneticist Alulim, who as we have already related was the first Sirian to land on Earth and ruled for a while  before Alalu arrived. It explains why some ancient records mistakenly assign the entire 28,800 years to Alulim as if it is a ploy to write Alalu out of  history altogether.  

NEXT WEEK: ANU STRIKES BACK

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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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Columns

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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