In Genesis, there is one man who is only scantily mentioned but who is deserving of VIP treatment. This is Enoch.
Enoch receives two passing mentions in the Old Testament (GENESIS 5:21/5:22-24) and three such in the New Testament (LUKE 3:37; HEBREWS 11:5; and JUDE 1:14). What marks out Enoch as special is that he’s one of only three beings in the entire Bible who reportedly did not die but ascended straight to Heaven. The other two are Jesus and Elijah. It is therefore curious why the writers of Genesis whilst commending him for his quintessential righteousness did not bother to dwell on his saga in proportion to his feats. Why was he left practically in the lurch when he should have been profusely eulogised?
Outside of the Bible on the other hand, Enoch is a preeminent subject. In the Sumerian records, he takes pride of place. One apocryphal book of Old Testament times, The Book of Enoch, is actually devoted to his exploits. The book was left out of the Old Testament canon primarily because it exposed the angels – Gabriel, Michael, Sariel, etc – as flesh-and-blood beings (that is, as Anunnaki) rather than spiritual entities. In another apocryphal book left out of the Old Testament corpus, called The Book of Jubilees, Enoch features rather prominently.
As we hinted last week, Enoch was born about 80,000 years ago as the seventh descendent in the royal line of Adapa, the third of the Genesis Adams who fathered Cain (legally, not biologically as he was actually the son of Enki), Abel, and Seth. The Sumerians document that he was the son of Jared and Baraka. GENESIS 5:22-24 says, “After he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked faithfully with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters.
Altogether, Enoch lived a total of 365 years. Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.” HEBREWS 11:5 says, “By faith, Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: He could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God.”
Enoch is said to have travelled to “Heaven” (Nibiru) twice, the second time for good. Who was the “God” with whom Enoch walked for 300 years? Where did this God take him when he attained 365 years of age? And was he indeed 365 years old when he disappeared from the public domain?
ENOCH IS AN ENLILITE PROTEGE
In the Sumerian chronicles, Enoch goes by several names. The first is Enkime. “By the name Enki-Me, by Enki ME Understanding, in the annals he was called,” relates Enki in Zechariah Sitchin’s The Lost Book of Enki, the MEs being “tiny objects with formulas for all aspects of science and civilisation”, or computer chips of some kind. The others are Enmeduranna ("Master of the Divine Tables of the Heavenly Bond") and Enmeduranki ("Master of the Divine Tablets of the Bond Heaven-Earth"). All these names are titular ones and suggest that Enoch was a leading navigational astronaut, which he indeed was.
Enoch was the second surpassing human intellect after Adapa. He was particularly adept at mathematics and physics and phenomenally quick on the uptake, as a result of which Enki took a great shine to him. He devoted himself to teach him astronomy, astrology, and astrophysics.
Enoch expressed a keenness to explore the celestial bodies in the neighbourhood of Earth and to that effect Enki assigned him to his firstborn son, Marduk, to groom him. Now, in those days, all manner of learning was a privillege and not a right: only selected Earthlings were entitled to illumination of any sort. As such, all kinds of learning, including academics as we know it today, were occultic, which simply means they constituted secret knowledge. Those undertaking the learning were not called students: they were called initiates. We can now understand why Enoch was so-called, as in Hebrew Enoch means “initiated”. Enoch was initiated into knowledge that was strictly the preserve of the Anunnaki and only a handful of elite Earthlings.
Marduk first took Enoch to the Moon. Later on, he took him to Mars. The Igigi, the Anunnaki who were based on Mars as well as in orbit around Earth and Mars, were smitten by Enoch’s staggering wisdom and intelligence. When Utu-Shamash, Enlil’s grandson who was in charge of the spaceport at his cult city of Sippar, heard of Enoch’s glowing report, he approached Enlil and asked that Enoch be brought under his wing as being the seventh from Adapa and seven being the number of Enlil, he should be chaperoned by the Enlilites.
Whereas Marduk scoffed at this purely philosophical pitch, Enki gave it the nod, his reasoning being that Sippar was a most fitting setting for Enoch given his mathematical and astronomical genius. Enoch accordingly settled there, married his cousin Edinni, and had a son called Matushal (Methuselah in the Bible).
When Enoch set up his abode at Sippar, Shamash christened him with another name, Utu-Abzu, which paraphrased means “Utu’s man who explores space”. Remember, the term Abzu had several meanings, one of which was “watery deep”. This was simply another term for “outer space”, space being the “Ocean of the Kaa” as some ancient records aver.
At Sippar, Shamash made Enoch the first astronomer-priest (also known as the “Keepers of the Secrets”, which simply means “initiates”) in his “bright” Temple (palace) called Ebabbar. Given the knowledge that now was at Enoch’s command, he was not allowed to mingle with fellow Earthlings willy-nilly (unless on a special commission) lest he let slip some of it. He was to circulate only within the Anunnaki ranks. He was thus said to be “with the Elohim” (the Elohim being the ruling pantheon of the Anunnaki presided over by Enlil, the primary Jehovah/Yahweh) or to “walk with the gods”, not “God” as the English versions of the Bible rather misleadingly put it.
ENOCH JOURNEYS TO NIBIRU
The Enlilites told Enoch that he was their Adapa. That is to say, he too would be given a chance to travel to Nibiru to meet King Anu but that had to be earned. He was given 18,000 years (the 300 years in Genesis is reduced by a factor of 60 and so should be multiplied by that number) in which to prove himself unfailingly loyal to the Enlilites, failure to which he would forfeit the opportunity to go to “Heaven” and meet “God’. In fulfilling this conditionality, Enoch so went out of his way to please the Enlilites that he turned his back almost wholly against the Enkites under whose tutelage he cut his teeth.
When his 18,000-year probationary period was over, he was brought before Enlil and was told that he had done a swell job and should immediately prepare to travel to Nibiru to meet King Anu, “Our Father Who Art In Heaven”. He was to be accompanied by two Enlilites, Utu-Shamash and his uncle Ishkur-Adad, who would act as his “archangels” (that is, chief escorts), just as Adapa was accompanied by two Enlilites Dumuzi and Ningishzidda on his trip there. Before he set off, Enoch was given what was called the Kibdu, an electronic data storage device that contained knowledge pertaining to Nibiru and all celestial bodies in the Solar System. He was instructed to write down all that he would learn from his voyage to serve as a reference treatise for all the astronomer-priests who would come after him.
Enoch’s journey and visit to Nibiru is described in reasonable detail in the Sumerian tablets. It was a comprehensive journey whereby he had to start from the planet Mercury and overfly all the nine planets, each referred to as “Heaven”, before he finally got to what is described as the “10th Heaven”, that is, Nibiru, which indeed is our Solar System’s 10th planet but which is seen only once in 3600 years. As the spaceship sped past each planet, Enoch was shown a documentary about that particular planet. Of course some of the things that were contained in the documentary were a mere brainwash: they were far from truthful.
For instance, over the Second Heaven (Venus or Mars, as the order of planets has not always been the same over time), he was shown a documentary of “prisoners tormented, their sin having been not obeying the Lord's commands”. This was to embed in his mind the concept of an afterlife “Hell” for humans who were in the habit of defying the Anunnaki.
Over the Fifth Heaven (either Jupiter or Saturn), the documentary showed “the banishment place of the angels who have connected themselves with women”, that is, the Anunnaki who had had sexual relations with Earthling women. The idea in this regard was to get Enoch to be disparaging of Enki and Marduk, who were the first Anunnaki men to have sexual relations with Earthling women and were therefore condemned to an afterlife Gehenna. It was all cheap propaganda to turn Enoch against Enki and his clan.
ENOCH ACCUMULATES ALL MANNER OF KNOWLEDGE ON NIBIRU
Finally, Enoch touched down on planet Nibiru. To ready him to appear before King Anu, he was given special attire and anointed with special oil by the King’s palatial Chief of Staff, or “archangel” in the parlance of the account. Then when Shamash and Adad presented him before the great King, Enoch was so overawed he fell down at the King’s feet in tears. The King enjoined him to spring to his feet immediately. “Arise Enoch,” he said, “Have no fear. Arise and stand before my face and gain eternity.”
Having gone through all the rituals, protocols, and formalities, Enoch was assigned to the King’s Chief Librarian. The Chief Librarian was instructed to "bring out the books from the holy storehouse, and a reed for quick writing, and give it to Enoch so that he would write down all that the archangel will read to him, all the commandments and teachings." The Chief Librarian accordingly dictated to Enoch “all the secrets of the works of heaven, earth and sea, and all the elements, their passages and goings, and the thunderings of the thunder; the Sun and Moon; the goings and changes of the stars, the seasons, years, days and hours; and all human things, the tongue of every human song … and all things fitting to learn.”
Finally, King Anu himself recounted to Enoch how Nibiru 4 billion years ago reformatted the Solar System by the destruction of the primeval planet Tiamat to fashion from it a new planet called Earth and the Asteroid Belt in a cataclysmic event dubbed the Celestial Battle. When he was done with writing down all that he had been taught, the scribal output amounted to a whopping 360 books. It was now departure time.
King Anu instructed Enoch that the moment he arrived on planet Earth, he was to set about teaching his sons about what he had learnt so that they could pass down the knowledge to a new line of priests that was to serve Shamash and Adad. But he was going to be amongst the Earthlings for only 30 days in Nibiru time, which translated to 900 days or two-and-half years in Earthly time given that a day on Nibiru was equivalent to 30 Earthly days. Once the 900 days were over, he was to return to Nibiru and settle there for good.
Enlil’s gimmick had worked: the priestly line was now under the aegis and sway of the Enlilites when hitherto it had been under the auspices of the Enkites. Enoch was the ‘Seventh Sage” from Adapa and since 7 was the number of Enlil, it’s small wonder that he did his utmost to wrest Enoch from the Enkites’ sphere of influence. But Enki had an ace up his sleeve: he wasn’t going to take the matter lying down.
ENOCH TAKEN TO HEAVEN?
Enoch did as he was told shortly after returning to Earth. First, he brought all his sons before Shamash and Adad. Then his firstborn, Methuselah, was made to swear on behalf of his brothers that some aspects of the knowledge that were going to be imparted and entrusted to them was classified: it wasn’t meant for the consumption of ordinary Earthlings.
That done, Enoch assembled all his sons and his aides and set about instructing them on the knowledge with which he was now endowed. The setting was that of an initiation school within a homestead. The entire course lasted two-and-half years. At its conclusion, Enoch passed on all the 360 books he had written whilst on Nibiru to Methuselah. He also exhorted his sons to be “patient and gentle, to give alms to the poor, to be righteous and faithful, and to keep all of the Lord's commandments”.
By this time however, rumour had spread throughout Sippar that Enoch had very special teachings to impart to mankind. The residents of Sippar accordingly marched on his house to demand that they too be partakers of this crucial knowledge. This instigation obviously was the work of the Enkites. Enoch, however, declined to emerge, only sending word that he would address the people on an opportune day.
The “opportune day” he chose was his very last day on Earth in line with his brief by King Anu. He asked the people to gather at a square in central Sippar, then in the dead of night, he went there and began to preach to them from a raised platform. About 120,000 people were in attendance. What happened next was something for which Enoch was prepared but which the people were not.
A flying saucer swooped down from nowhere and a team of Anunnaki filed out. Then standing on the platform alongside Enoch, they announced through the sound system that Enoch had found favour with King Anu thanks to his obedience and loyalty to the god Enlil and he was therefore being taken to Nibiru there and then. Enoch was indeed led to the flying saucer and moments later the saucer soared away into the inky darkness. A huge wail of happiness and nostalgia went up among the people. From that day on, Enoch was never publicly seen.
Now, I say “publicly” because Enoch was not taken to Nibiru straightaway. He was taken to some underground bunker at the spaceport right in Sippar. The Enlilites had decided to use him as their superintending spy both on the Enkites and mankind as he was the only Earthling they could trust. Enoch thus has gone into the annals of our planet’s history as the first secret agent. He did go to Nibiru alright but that was much later, at the onset of the Deluge.
According to the Sumerian records, Enoch had served as priest of Shamash for 21,600 years (equivalent to roughly 365 days according to Genesis since the Genesis writers reduced their figures by a factor of 60) before “he was taken from amongst the children of men by the angels (Anunnaki), who conducted him into the Garden of Eden (the spaceport at Sippar, which was in the broader Edin) in majesty and honour”. The Book of Enoch also says, “Before these things, Enoch was hidden, and no one of the Children of Adam (Earthlings) knew where he was hidden, and where his abode was … His days were with the Holy Ones (the Anunnaki).”
It is clear from the above statements that humans were aware Enoch wasn’t at that point in time taken to Nibiru: he was simply hidden somewhere on Earth. Even Genesis does not say he was taken to Nibiru: it says “God (Enlil) took him away”. In order to spite the Enlilites, the Enkites must have propagated the news that Enoch was very much on Earth and was nowhere near Nibiru.
Meanwhile, according to the Book of Jubilees, “Methuselah and his brethren, all the sons of Enoch, made haste and erected an altar at the place whence and where Enoch had been taken up to Eden”. As for Enki, what plan did he hatch up to get even with the Enlilites for prising Enoch from within his clutches? That we shed light on in the next two or so pieces.
A case can be made, General Atiku, that history’s most infamous Roman is Pontius Pilate. It was Pilate who condemned Jesus, the “Son of God”, to the most cruel, most barbaric, and most excruciating of deaths – crucifixion – and cowardly at that as the gospels attest for us.
Yet the exact circumstances under which the crucifixion took place and what followed thereafter far from jells with what is familiarly known. The fact of the matter was that there was a lot of political wheeling and dealing and boldfaced corruption on the part both of the Jewish authorities and the Roman establishment in the person of Pontius Pilate. In this piece, we attempt, General, to present a fuller photo of Pilate as the centre of the whole machination.
Pilate’s historicity, General, is not in doubt. In 1961, an Italian archeologist unearthed a limestone block at Caesarea Maritima on the Mediterranean coast of Israel, which as of 6 AD was the Roman seat of government as well as the military headquarters. The block bore the inscription, “Pontius Pilate, the Prefect of Judea, has dedicated this Temple to the divine Augusti” (that is, then Roman Emperor Tiberius Caesar and his wife Livia).
Pilate also gets varying degrees of mention in the works of Roman senator and historian Cornelius Tacitus (56-117 AD); the Hellenistic Jewish philosopher and chronicler Philo of Alexandria (25 BC to 50 AD); and the legendary Jewish historian Flavius Josephus (37-100 AD).
Although his year of death (37 AD) is documented, his year of birth is a matter of conjecture, General. He came from the Pontii tribe (hence the name Pontius), a tough, warlike people. The Pontii tribe was of the equestrian class, the second-tier in the Roman caste system. Originally, the equestrians were those Romans with ample pocket power to bribe their way to knightly ranks in the Roman army. Pilate was born to Marcus Pontius, who had distinguished himself as a general in Rome’s military campaigns.
Following one of his particularly sterling military exploits, Marcus was awarded with the Pilum (javelin), a Roman decoration of honour for heroic military service. To commemorate this medal of valour, the family took the name Pilati, rendered Pilate in English and Pilatus in Latin.
The son, Lucius Pontius Pilate, also distinguished himself as a soldier in the German campaigns of Germanicus, a prominent general of the early Roman Empire. Thanks to his scintillating military profile coupled with strategic connections in the hierarchies of the Roman government, Pilate was able to wend his way into the heart of Claudia, the granddaughter of Caesar Augustus, the founder of the Roman Empire and ruler from 27 BC to 14 AD.
Claudia’s mother was Julia the Elder, who was also the biological mother of the apostles John and James. When Claudia was about 13 years of age, Julia sent her to Rome to be reared in the courts of Emperor Tiberius Caesar, to whom Julia was once married from 11 BC to 6 BC.
Although Tiberius was not the biological father of Claudius, General, he gladly acquiesced to being her foster father in deference to the memory of her late grandfather Caesar Augustus. Pilate arrived in Rome when Claudia was sixteen years of age. In AD 26, the two tied the knot. Needless to say, it was a marriage based not on love as such but on political opportunism.
The high-placed connection who facilitated Pontius Pilate’s smooth landing into the inner sanctums of Rome’s royalty and put him on a pedestal that saw him take pride of place in the cosmic gallery of rogues was Aelius Sejanus. Like Pilate, Sejanus came from the subordinate equestrian class, who would never be eligible for a seat in the Senate, the legislative council of ancient Rome.
Sejanus, however, had over time become Emperor Tiberius’ most trusted lieutenant and to the point where he was the de facto prime minister. He had been commander of the Praetorian Guard, the elite Special Forces unit created by Augustus Caesar as a personal security force, which developed under Sejanus’ command into the most significant presence in Rome.
In AD 26, the emperor was not even based in Rome: he had confined himself to the 10.4 km2 island of Capri, about 264 km from Rome, and left control of Rome and the government of the Roman Empire to Sejanus. It was Sejanus who recommended the appointment of Pilate as prefect, or governor/procurator of Judea. The appointment was pronounced right on the occasion of Pilate’s nuptials with Claudius.
Philo records that when the bridal party emerged from the temple where the marriage ceremony was celebrated and Pilate started to follow the bride into the imperial litter, Tiberius, who was one of the twelve witnesses required to attend the ceremony, held him back and handed him a document. It was the wedding present – the governorship of far-flung Judea – with orders to proceed at once to Caesarea Maritima to take over the office made vacant by the recall of Valerius Gratus.
Pilate was notified by Sejanus that a ship was in fact waiting upon him to transport him to Palestine right away. The only disadvantageous aspect about the assignment was that Pilate was to leave the shores of Rome alone, without the pleasure of spending a first night in the arms of his newly wedded wife: by imperial decree, the wives of governors were not allowed to accompany them in their jurisdictions. Pilate, however, was a royal by marriage and so this prohibition was waived. By special permission granted by His Imperial Majesty Tiberius Caesar, Claudia soon joined her husband in Judea. The wily Pilate had calculated well when he married into royalty.
A SADISTIC ADMINISTRATOR
The Judean perch was not prestigious though, General. The prefects of Judea were not of high social status. At least one – Felix, referenced by Luke in the Acts of the Apostles – was an ex-slave, which says a great deal on the low regard in which the province was held by Rome.
Pilate was only secondarily sent to Judea on account of having married into royalty: his posting to the volatile province stemmed, primarily, from his being of a inferior social pedigree. Be that as it may, Pilate relished the posting in that it gave him the chance to exercise power, absolute power. Absolute power corrupts absolutely and in Pilate was the archetypal example, General.
Pilate’s brief was simple: to collect taxes, maintain law and order, maintain infrastructure, and keep the population subdued. Although he was born lowly, he positively had the power of life and death over his Jewish subjects. Let us, General, listen to Josephus in his allusion to Coponius, Judea’s first Roman governor and who like Pilate was from the same subservient social class: “And now Archelaus’ part of Judea was reduced into a province and Coponius, one of the equestrian order among the Romans, was sent as procurator, having the power of life and death put into his hands by Caesar.”
Pilate, General, was callous to a point of being sadistic. He was scarcely the scrupling judge with the rare soft spot that we encounter in the gospels. Philo charges him with “corruptibility, violence, robberies, ill-treatment of the people, grievances, continuous executions without even the form of a trial, endless and intolerable cruelties”.
He further declares him to be a “savage, inflexible, and arbitrary ruler” who was of a “stubborn and harsh quality” and “could not bring himself to do anything that might cause pleasure to the Jews”. The essentially humane character of the Pilate who presided over the trial of Jesus as portrayed in the gospels may not be wholly fictitious but is highly embellished, General.
Why did Pilate have such a pathological hatred of the Jews, General? Sejanus had more to do with it than the spontaneous leanings of his own nature. According to Philo, Sejanus hated the Jews like the plague and wished “to do away with the nation” – to exterminate it. In AD 19, for instance, he forced the Jews in Rome to burn their religious vestments and expelled them from the city without much ado.
For as long as Sejanus was in power, General, Pilate could do pretty much as he pleased. He didn’t have to worry about compromising reportage reaching the emperor as everything went through the implacably anti-Jewish Sejanus. Sejanus was unrivalled in power: golden statues of the general were being put up in Rome, the Senate had voted his birthday a public holiday, public prayers were offered on behalf of Tiberius and Sejanus, and in AD 31 Sejanus was named as Consul jointly with Tiberius.
The Judea posting also gave Pilate a golden opportunity to make money – lots of it. The governors of the Roman provinces were invariably rapacious, greedy, and incompetent: this we learn not only from Jewish historians of the day but from contemporary Roman writers as well such as Tacitus and Juvenal.
As long as the money skimmed from the provinces was not overly excessive, governors were allowed a free hand. It is said of Emperor Tiberius that, “Once he ordered a governor to reverse a steep rise in taxes saying, ‘I want my sheep shorn, not skinned’!” For those governors, such as Pilate, who had support from the very acmes of Roman power, General, they were practically a law unto themselves.
PILATE’S WINGS ARE CLIPPED
Pontius Pilate, General, was untrained in political office. Furthermore, he was a sycophant to the core who was prepared to go to any length in a bid to curry favour with and prove his loyalty to the powers that be in Rome. Both these attributes gave rise to a series of blunders that brought him the intense hatred of the Jews.
The first abomination he committed in the eyes of the Jews, General, was to set up a temple dedicated to Emperor Tiberius, which he called the Tiberieum, making him the only known Roman official to have built a temple to a living emperor. True, Roman emperors were worshipped, but Tiberius was the one exception. According to the Roman scholar and historian Suetonius, Tiberius did not allow the consecration of temples to himself. Pilate’s act therefore, General, was an overkill: it was not appreciated at all.
Throughout his tenure, General, Pilate had a series of run-ins with the Jews, some of which entailed a lot of bloodshed and one of which sparked an insurrection that paved the way to Calvary. Then it all began to unravel, General. On October 18 AD 31, his patron Sejanus was summoned to the office of Emperor Tiberius and an angry denunciation was read out to him. It is not clear, General, what caused Sejanus’ fall from the emperor’s good graces but circumstantial evidence points to the perceived threat to the emperor’s power.
As the ancient historian Cassius Dio puts it, “Sejanus was so great a person by reason both of his excessive haughtiness and of his vast power that to put it briefly, he himself seemed to be the emperor and Tiberius a kind of island potentate, inasmuch as the latter spent his time on the island of Capri.” Sejanus, hitherto the most powerful man in Rome, General, was thrown into a dungeon.
That same evening, he was summarily condemned to death, extracted from his cell, hung, and had his body given over to a crowd that tore it to pieces in a frenzy of manic excitement. His three children were all executed over the following months and his wife, Tiberius’ own daughter, committed suicide. The people further celebrated his downfall by pulling his statues over. Meanwhile, General, Tiberius began pursuing all those who could have been involved in the “plots” of Sejanus.
In Judea, Pilate, a Sejanus appointee, must have been badly shaken, General. Were his friends and family under suspicion? Would he be purged like others? Imperial attitudes to the Jewish race seemed to have changed now with the riddance of Sejanus. Tiberius made sure this was the case by appointing a new governor for Syria (who went by the title Legate and to whom Pilate was obligated to report).
The governor, Lucius Pomponius Flaccus, arrived in Rome in AD 32. Philo records that Tiberius now “charged his procurators in every place to which they were appointed to speak comfortably to the members of our nation in the different cities, assuring them that the penal measures did not extend to all but only to the guilty who were few, and to disturb none of the established customs but even to regard them as a trust committed to their care, the people as naturally peaceable and the institution as an influence promoting orderly conduct.”
So Pilate, General, had lost his supporters at the top, his new boss was on his doorstep, and there had been a change of policy regarding the very people he was in charge of. Surely, he would have to watch his step. The fact of the matter, however, General, was that he hardly did so. In November 32 AD, for instance, he provoked a mini-uprising by the Zealots led by Judas Iscariot, Theudas Barabbas, and Simon Zelotes. It was this revolt, General, that culminated in those three “crosses” of Calvary that are indelibly etched on the mind of every Christian.
Until as recently as the 1980s a career often meant a job for life within a single company or organisation. Phrases such as ‘climbing the corporate ladder’, ‘the glass ceiling’, ‘wage slave’ & ‘the rat race’ were thrown about, the analogies making clear that a career path was a toxic mix of a war of attrition, indentured drudgery and a Sisyphean treadmill.
In all cases you fought, grafted or plodded on till you reached retirement age, at which point you could expect a small leaving party, the promise of a pension and, oddly, a gift of either a clock or watch. The irony of being rewarded with a timepiece on the very day you could expect to no longer be a workday prisoner was apparently lost on management – the hands of time were destined to follow you to the grave!
Retirement was the goal at the end of the long, corporate journey, time on your hands – verifiable by your gifted time keeping device – to spend time working in the garden, playing with the grandchildren, enjoying a holiday or two and generally killing time till time killed you.
For some, retirement could be literally short-lived. The retirement age, and accompanying pension, was predicated on the old adage of three scores years and ten being the average life expectancy of man. As the twentieth century progressed and healthcare became more sophisticated, that former mean average was extended but that in itself then brought with it the double-edged sword of dementia. The longer people lived, the more widespread dementia became – one more life lottery which some won, some lost and doctors were seemingly unable to predict who would succumb and who would survive.
However, much research has been carried out on the causes of this crippling and cruel disease and the latest findings indicate that one of its root causes may lie in the former workplace – what your job entailed and how stimulating or otherwise it was. It transpires that having an interesting job in your forties could lessen the risk of getting dementia in old age, the mental stimulation possibly staving off the onslaught of the condition by around 18 months.
Academics examined more than 100,000 participants and tracked them for nearly two decades. They spotted a third fewer cases of dementia among people who had engaging jobs which involved demanding tasks and more control — such as government officers, directors, physicians, dentists and solicitors, compared to adults in ‘passive’ roles — such as supermarket cashiers, vehicle drivers and machine operators. And those who found their own work interesting also had lower levels of proteins in their blood that have been linked with dementia.
The study was carried out by researchers from University College London, the University of Helsinki and Johns Hopkins University studying the cognitive stimulation and dementia risk in 107,896 volunteers, who were regularly quizzed about their job. The volunteers — who had an average age of around 45 — were tracked for between 14 and 40 years. Jobs were classed as cognitively stimulating if they included demanding tasks and came with high job control. Non-stimulating ‘passive’ occupations included those with low demands and little decision-making power.
4.8 cases of dementia per 10,000 person years occurred among those with interesting careers, equating to 0.8 per cent of the group. In contrast, there were 7.3 cases per 10,000 person years among those with repetitive jobs (1.2 per cent). Among people with jobs that were in the middle of these two categories, there were 6.8 cases per 10,000 person years (1.12 per cent).
The link between how interesting a person’s work was and rates of dementia did not change for different genders or ages.Lead researcher Professor Mika Kivimaki, from UCL, said: ‘Our findings support the hypothesis that mental stimulation in adulthood may postpone the onset of dementia. The levels of dementia at age 80 seen in people who experienced high levels of mental stimulation was observed at age 78.3 in those who had experienced low mental stimulation. This suggests the average delay in disease onset is about one and half years, but there is probably considerable variation in the effect between people.’
The study, published this week in the British Medical Journal, also looked at protein levels in the blood among another group of volunteers. These proteins are thought to stop the brain forming new connections, increasing the risk of dementia. People with interesting jobs had lower levels of three proteins considered to be tell-tale signs of the condition.
Scientists said it provided ‘possible clues’ for the underlying biological mechanisms at play. The researchers noted the study was only observational, meaning it cannot establish cause and that other factors could be at play. However, they insisted it was large and well-designed, so the findings can be applied to different populations.
To me, there is a further implication in that it might be fair to expect that those in professions such as law, medicine and science might reasonably be expected to have a higher IQ than those in blue collar roles. This could indicate that mental capacity also plays a part in dementia onset but that’s a personal conclusion and not one reached by the study.
And for those stuck in dull jobs through force of circumstance, all is not lost since in today’s work culture, the stimulating side-hustle is fast becoming the norm as work becomes not just a means of financial survival but a life-enhancing opportunity , just as in the old adage of ‘Find a job you enjoy and you’ll never work another day in your life’!
Dementia is a global concern but ironically it is most often seen in wealthier countries, where people are likely to live into very old age and is the second biggest killer in the UK behind heart disease, according to the UK Office for National Statistics. So here’s a serious suggestion to save you from an early grave and loss of competencies – work hard, play hard and where possible, combine the two!
The gospels which were excluded from the official canon, the New Testament, at the Council of Nicaea are known as the Apocrypha. One of these Apocryphal works, General Atiku, is the gospel of Phillip. In this gospel, the intimate relationship between Jesus and Mary Magdalene is openly discussed thus:
“And the companion of the Saviour is Mary Magdalene. But Christ loved her more than all the disciples and used to kiss her often on the mouth. The rest of the disciples were offended by it and expressed disapproval. They said unto him, why do you love her more than all of us? The Saviour answered and said to them, why do I not love you like her? … Great is the mystery of marriage, for without it the world would never have existed. Now, the existence of the world depends on man, and the existence of man on marriage.”
It is clear from the above statement, General, that Jesus held marriage in high regard because he himself was part and parcel of it. The disciples (that is, most of them) were offended not because he and Mary were an item but because they simply did not approve of her as she was a Gentile and a commoner.
Otherwise, the kissing was not offensive at all: it was a customary expression of mutual affection between the sacred bride and groom. This we gather from the prototypically romantic Old Testament text known as The Song of Solomon, which opens with the words, “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine.” As the Davidic groom, Jesus was therefore entitled to kiss Mary Magdalene as his bride.
THE FIRST MARRIAGE
In September AD 30, General Atiku, Jesus and Mary Magdalene had their First Marriage ceremony. Jesus had turned 36 in that year, the appropriate marriage age for a Davidic heir, and September was the holiest month in the Jewish calendar. Having been born irregularly himself (in the wrong month of the year because of his father Joseph’s intransigence), Jesus was determined that he himself follow the law to the letter so that his child would not suffer the same indignities as he did. The First Marriage is captured in LUKE 7:35-50.
The marriage took place at the home of Simon the Pharisee. This, General, was another name for Simon Zelotes, the stepfather of Mary Magdalene. Although Mary Magdalene is not directly named, she is described as a “sinner”. This was another term for Gentiles, as in the eyes of the Jewish God, they were unregenerate and therefore hopeless sinners. Mary Magdalene, whose mother Helena-Salome was of Syrian origin (Syro-Phoenicia to be specific), was a Gentile.
On the occasion, Mary Magdalene performed three acts on Jesus as set out in LUKE 7:38. She wept; kissed his feet; and anointed him with ointment. This is what a bride was supposed to do to her groom as clearly evinced in The Song of Solomon, a series of love poems concerning a spouse and her husband the King.
Of the three rites, perhaps it is the weeping that require elucidation, General. This was at once symbolic and sentimental. The First Marriage was simply a ceremony: the moment the ceremony was over, the husband and wife separated, that is, they lived apart until the month of December, when they came together under one roof. This was in accord with Essene stipulations for dynastic marriages, that is, those of the Davidic Messiah and the priestly Messiah.
Prior to the First Marriage, the bride was known as an Almah, meaning a betrothed Virgin. After the First Marriage ceremony, the Almah was demoted to a Sister. This was because the ensuing three-month separation meant husband and wife would not indulge in sexual activity and so the wife was as good as a sister to her husband. The imagery of Sister also being a wife is seen in 1 CORINTHIANS 9:5, where the apostle Paul refers to his wife as Sister. In ACTS 23:16, Paul’s wife is again referred to as his Sister.
Now, when the Almah became a Sister, General, she was metaphorically called a Widow, because she was being separated from her newly wedded husband. As such, she was expected to symbolically weep on account of this separation. That explains why Mary Magdalene had to weep at her first wedding. It is a pity, General, that most Christians and their clergy miss the real story so wrongly indoctrinated are they.
In December AD 30, Jesus moved in with Mary Magdalene to consummate the marriage. It was hoped that Mary would fall pregnant so that in March the following year, a Second (and final) Marriage ceremony would be held. Sadly, conception did not take place. According to Essene dynastic procreational rules, the couple had to separate again. They would reunite in December AD 31 for another try at conception.
The reason they separated was because for a dynastic heir, marriage was purely for procreation and not for recreational sex. But even that year, General, Mary did not fall pregnant, necessitating another year-long separation. What that meant was that Mary would be given one more last chance – in December AD 32, by which time Jesus would have been 38. If she did not conceive this time around, the marriage would come to an end through a legal divorce and Jesus would be free to seek a new spouse.
THE FINAL MARRIAGE
In December 32, Mary Magdalene, General, finally conceived. When Jesus was crucified therefore in April 33 AD, his wife was three months pregnant. By this time, the Second Marriage ceremony, the final one, had already taken place, this being in March. The Second Marriage is cursorily related in MATTHEW 26:6-13; MARK 14:3-9; and JOHN 12:1-8.The John version reads as follows:
“Jesus, therefore, six days before the Passover, came to Bethany, where was Lazarus, who had died, whom he raised out of the dead; they made, therefore, to him a supper there, and Martha was ministering, and Lazarus was one of those reclining together (at meat) with him; Mary, therefore, having taken a pound of ointment of spikenard, of great price, anointed the feet of Jesus and did wipe with her hair his feet, and the house was filled from the fragrance of the ointment.
Therefore said one of his disciples – Judas Iscariot, of Simon, who was about to deliver him up – ‘Therefore was not this ointment sold for three hundred denaries, and given to the poor?’ and he said this, not because he was caring for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and what things were put in he was carrying. Jesus, therefore, said, ‘Suffer her; for the day of my embalming she has kept it, for the poor you have always with yourselves, and me you have not always.’”
This story (also see JOHN 11:1-44) centres on four people primarily, General. They are Jesus; Lazarus; Mary; and Martha. “Mary” was actually Mary Magdalene. “Martha” was a titular name for her mother, Helena-Salome. In the Lazarus story, the two ladies are referred to as “sisters”. This denotes conventual sisters, like the Catholics refer to conventual nuns, and not sisters by blood. Helena-Salome actually headed a nunnery. By the same token, the reference to Lazarus as “brother” has a connotation akin to what Pentecostals refer to as “Brother in Christ”.
Thus, the story revolves around Jesus the groom; his bride Mary Magdalene; his father-in-law Simon Zelotes; and his mother-in-law Helena-Salome. This is a family affair folks, which provides strong hints as to the exact relationship between Jesus and Mary. The raising from the dead of a man called Lazarus, sadly, was not a miracle at all: it was a ceremonial restoration from excommunication back to the Essene governing council, which comprised of Jesus and his so-called 12 disciples.
The “Lazarus” who was thus restored was actually Simon Zelotes, at the time the most “beloved” by Jesus of the entire apostolic band, who had been demoted under circumstances relating to a Zealot uprising against Pontius Pilate. More will be said on the subject at a later stage.
The anointing of Jesus by Mary with “spikenard”, General, harps back to ancient married rituals as patently demonstrated in The Song of Solomon. This was the second time Mary had anointed Jesus, first at the First Marriage in September AD 30 AD and now at the Second Marriage in March 32 AD. On both occasions, Mary anointed Jesus whilst he sat at table.
In SONG OF SOLOMON 1:12, the bride says, “While the King sitteth at his table, my spikenard sendeth forth the smell thereof”. The anointing in the gospels was therefore an allusion to the ancient rite whereby a royal bride prepared her groom’s table. Only as the wife of Jesus and as a priestess in her own right could Mary Magdalene have anointed both the feet and head of Jesus.
The anointing in effect had two purposes: first, to seal the marriage, and second, to officially announce to the Jewish nation that Jesus was the Davidic Messiah (and not his younger brother James, who had been so promoted by John the Baptist). It all harped back to the tradition in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, where Kings or Pharaohs were anointed for office (in their case with crocodile fat) by their half-sister brides.
The King’s bride actually kept the anointment substance for use for one more time – when the King died. You can now understand, General, why Jesus said “the day of my embalming she has kept it” in reference to his anointing by Mary Magdalene and why the first person to feature at the tomb of Jesus was none other than Mary Magdalene!
Three passages in the Lazarus story (in JOHN11: 1-44) are particularly telling. They are Verses 20, 28, and 29. They read as follows: “When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed in the house … After Martha said this, she went back and called her sister Mary privately. ‘The Master is here,’ she told her, ‘and is asking for you.’ When Mary heard this, she got up and hurried out to meet him.” The reason Mary (Magdalene) first kept her place before proceeding to meet Jesus, General, is not supplied in the Johannine gospel.
However, the Apocryphal document which has come to be known as The Secret Gospel of Mark sheds more light, General. It explains that on the first occasion, Mary did come out to meet Jesus along with her mother Martha (Helena-Salome) but upon being rebuked by the disciples of Jesus, she repaired back to the house. Why was she lashed out at, General? Because according to the Essene matrimonial code, she was not permitted to come out of her own accord and greet her husband: she was to wait until he had given her express permission to emerge.
There is yet another element in the conduct of Mary Magdalene that has parallels with Solomon’s queen, General. In the back-and-forth romantic dialogue between the couple, the queen is referred to as a “Shulamite” (SONG OF SOLOMON 6:13). The Shulamites were from the Syrian border town of Solam and we have already seen that Mary’s first foster father, Syro the Jairus, was a Syrian, as was her mother Helena-Salome.
JUDAS DENOUNCES THE MARRIAGE
The marriage of Jesus to Mary Magdalene was vehemently opposed by most of his so-called disciples. The most vociferous on this position, General, was Judas Iscariot. The writer of the John gospel characterises Judas as a “thief” who used to pilfer alms money but that is a smear. The gospels were written post-eventual and therefore Judas’ name was already in ignominy.
His detractors therefore had a field day at sullying his character. Yet prior to the betrayal, Judas Iscariot, General, was one of the most respected figures among the Essene community. At the time of Jesus’ marriage, Judas was the second-highest ranking Essene after Simon Zelotes (that is the meaning of “Judas of Simon” in the passage quoted above, meaning “Judas the deputy of Simon”): Jesus was third, although politically he was the seniormost.
Judas opposed the marriage on grounds, primarily, that Mary Magdalene was not only a Gentile but a commoner. Judas had the right to pronounce on Jesus’ marriage because it was he who was in charge of the Essene’s order of Dan, to which Mary Magdalene belonged prior to her marriage to Jesus and therefore had the right whether to release her for marriage or retain her in the convent. Judas would rather the spikenard (the most expensive fragrance of the day, the reason it was only used by queens) was sold and the money generated donated to the Essene kitty (“the poor” was another name for Essenes: when Jesus in the Beatitudes said “blessed are the poor”, he was not referring to you and me: he meant the Essenes).
Sadly General, as high-standing as he was, Judas had no right of veto over the marriage of a Davidic heir: only Simon Zelotes had by virtue of his position as the Essene’s Pope. Simon Zelotes was Mary Magdalene’s step-father and there was no way he was going to stand in the way of the marriage of his own daughter. Moreover, Jesus had already begun to fancy himself as Priest-King.
As far as he was concerned therefore, he was at once the Davidic Messiah and the Priestly Messiah – the Melchizedek. Thus even if Simon Zelotes had perchance objected to the marriage, Jesus would have gone ahead with it anyway. It was Jesus’ highly unpopular appropriated role as the Melchizedek, General, that set him on the path to Calvary.