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Enkites Go To War

Benson C Saili
THIS EARTH, MY BROTHER                                                     


Osiris slain by “Satan”, Horus exacts vengeance


Not long after the Deluge, the enigmatic Galzu appeared to Enlil, the Bible’s main Jehovah/Yahweh, in a kind of vision. Galzu delivered a message to Enlil that changed full cycle the status quo in relation to the rulership of Earth.

Up until now, that is, roughly 95,000 years, Enlil had been the only ruler of Earth. Not anymore, announced Galzu. From now henceforth, rulership of Earth was to alternate between the Enlilites and the Enkites. One clan would rule for “three celestial portions” (that is, three zodiacal ages) and the other would rule during the next three – and so forth and so on.


The first to rule would be the Enlilites. The announcement was made in the Age of Leo and therefore Leo did not factor in the permutations. As such, the Enlilites were to exercise hegemony in the first three ages after Leo, namely Cancer, Gemini, and Taurus and then hand over to the Enkites in the Age of Aries. This measure, Galzu said to Enlil, was taken with a view to foster harmonious relations between the two ever-feuding clans.
 

When Marduk heard the news, he was stirred. Since his father Enki had long promised him that he was going to make him the next ruler of Earth come rain or shine, it was a matter of course that come the Age of the Ram, as Aries was otherwise called, he would ascend to the supremacy of Earth.


He would be the new Enlil! (Enlil, meaning “Commander-In-Chief”, was the title of the Anunnaki ruler of Earth, not a name.) He therefore decided that he would start preparing for the Lordship of the world there and then; that’s how determined he was to rise to the commanding heights of the planet. Accordingly, he stepped down as ruler of Egypt and handed over power to his son Shu, after ruling for only 1000 years.


Shu was not Marduk’s heir: it was Nabu. But Marduk sidestepped Nabu for strategic reasons. He wanted to campaign with him all around the world since Nabu was the Anunnaki’s most eloquent and persuasive speaker. He was a demagogue, propagandist, and rabble-rouser rolled into one. He had such a gift of rallying people to his cause that he could turn the most loyal follower of an opponent into a Judas. It’s small wonder that the Jewish term for prophet is “Nebo”, an alternative rendering of Nabo.  
 

The Age of the Ram was some 8640 years away at the very least (about two-and-half years in Anunnaki time) but Marduk and Nabu set about proclaiming it as the era of the Enkites right away so as to etch the prospect indelibly on the psyche of mankind.

 

SETH’S “SATANIC” RAGE AT OSIRIS

 

Shu, who was married to his half-sister Tefnut, ruled Egypt for 700 years.   He was succeeded by his son Geb, who like his father was espoused to his half-sister Nut. Geb was on the throne for 500 years.

Now, Geb and Nut officially had five children – three boys and two girls, though one boy is not named. The firstborn was a boy known as Asaru, also spelt Ashur. The name Ashur has been interpreted to mean the All-Seeing Eye by Zechariah Sitchin. Well, we beg to differ. Ashur is actually the abbreviated form of Asa-Ur-Ur – the name of the star system we call Sirius.


It was a commemoration of the Anunnaki’s partial origins. The Anunnaki originally came not from Nibiru but from the Sirius and Orion star system. Ashur is best-known as Osiris, the Greek rendition of the same name.


Osiris was married to his half-sister Aset. Again like Osiris, Aset was named in honour of the Orion Queen, whose throne title amongst others was Ast.  The Orion Queen, who later became the Sirian-Orion Queen after the two empires merged and therefore King Anu’s ceremonial wife, was the mother of Enki.


Aset too is best-known by the Greek version of her name – Isis. Apparently, the Greeks knew better: another of the numerous titles of the Orion Queen was SSS-SSS (meaning Queen of the SSS World, the Orion Empire), which the Greeks clearly abbreviated to Isis.          


Osiris’ younger brother was known as Satu. This is Set in English and Seth in ancient Greek, but in its full Sumerian rendering, it was Satu-An, meaning Prince Satu. Satu-An is Satan in English. Thus the term Satan (like the term Devil) did not originally have the diabolical connotation it carries today: it was a very noble name which traced back to the Orion Empire, the paternal origins of the Enkites.

The beings of the Orion Empire were known as the SSA.TT.AN, which simply meant the “Serpent Race of Heaven”, Heaven being the Orion Empire.  It were the Enlilites who twisted the name Satan to become the very byword for embodied evil for reasons we shall dwell upon at the opportune time.   Satu was married to Nebat, Geb’s second daughter.
 

In truth though, the five kids were not all blood siblings. Not all the five were the biological children of Geb. Osiris was the result of an incestuous relationship between Marduk and his granddaughter/daughter-in-law Nut. Isis too (and the unnamed boy) arose when Ningishzidda, who was Enki’s best-looking son, was lured into bed by Nut. Thus only Seth and Nebat were Geb’s biological sons.
 

Given the above convoluted state of affairs, both Osiris and Seth had a legitimate claim to Geb’s throne. In the case of Osiris, he may not have been Geb’s biological son but the fact that his father Marduk was senior to Geb meant he had a higher princely status than Seth. In the case of Seth, he was the true firstborn of Geb, not Osiris, who was a bastard child. So Seth too had a case for ascendancy to Geb’s throne.
 

But as far as Geb was concerned, Osiris was his firstborn, period, and so upon stepping down, he bequeathed the throne to Osiris. Seth, however, just could not take the matter lying down. In the next 100 years, he lobbied relentless at least for a share of the throne, insisting that it was he who was Geb’s legitimate heir.

The matter was referred to the elder statesman Enki, who at the time was living at Abu Island near Aswan. Enki wanted peace amongst his clan. Therefore, to avert a possible civil war, he ruled that Egypt should be divided into two parts and allocated to both Seth and Osiris. 


Accordingly, Osiris was given Lower Egypt (the north, ironically) and Seth Upper Egypt (the south). One would have thought Enki’s gesture was just but not Seth. Seth was wroth. First, he was disgruntled that Osiris got northern Egypt, which was more prestigious in that it contained the famous and aviationally strategic Giza pyramids.

Second, by wedding his half-sister Isis, Osiris had ensured that the heir to the Egyptian throne, in the event that it was reunited, would come from his loins. This was because according to Anunnaki rules, one had to be the son of half-siblings to succeed to the throne, which meant Seth’s heir would not be entitled to the throne as he was married to a full-sister. 


Seth thought Osiris had done him a great injustice left, right, and centre. He had deprived him not only of the throne but also of the succession.  Seth’s indignation was such that it sparked what came to be known as the First Pyramid War.

 

OSIRIS IS NO MORE

 

From the day he became King of southern Egypt, Seth was determined to eliminate his brother and rule the whole of Egypt, directly or through a successor, and not only part of it. The day of reckoning finally arrived during the visit to southern Egypt of the Ethiopian Queen Aso. At a banquet held in her honour in Seth’s palace, all the Anunnaki royals and VIPs were in attendance to grace the occasion. 


As the wining and dining proceeded apace, a “poisoned chalice” disguised as a wine goblet was served Osiris by one of Seth’s henchmen and Osiris was so stoned he drifted into a deep slumber. Seth then had his henchmen carry Osiris to a guest room ostensibly to put him to bed.

That, however, was a ruse.  Osiris was immediately placed in a casket-like chest, which was then hermetically sealed.  The chest was then loaded into a chopper, taken to the Red Sea, and dropped deep into the brine. Osiris, who had ruled Egypt for a total of 450 years, was no more. It was the first time an Anunnaki had murdered a fellow Anunnaki on Earth.


The moment Osiris’s disappearance was conveyed to his half-sister wife Isis by informers, she sought the help of Marduk and a concerted search was launched for the body of Osiris with the help of satellite scanning. Satellite pictures showed that the casket had been carried by the waves of the sea and had been deposited on the coast of Babylos in modern-day Lebanon. It was quickly located and Isis had it hid in a secret place. Meanwhile, she called upon Ningishzidda to rush over and try to restore Osiris to life using his medical wizardry.


But before Ningishzidda could pitch, Seth somehow found the hiding place and spirited away the casket. Then removing Osiris’s lifeless body, he cut it into 14 pieces and scattered them over a wide stretch of forest using a chopper. But Isis simply was no quitter: once again, with the help of satellite pictures, she had  the body parts retrieved with the exception of the genitalia, which Seth had ground to powder for fear that Ningishzidda might use his medical magic and raise Osiris’s heir from the extracted sperm cells.

 

EXIT OSIRIS, ENTER HORUS

 

When Seth was arrested and brought to trial, Isis demanded two things essentially. First, Seth must be sentenced to death for murdering her husband. Second, Marduk should produce Osiris’s heir with her. Sadly, neither of her pleas was satiated. Seth was pardoned at the insistence of the Enkites themselves. Enki was of the view that two wrongs would not make a right, that the Enkites could not lose two of their pillars as that would serve to advantage the rival Enlilites.

As such, Isis was bidden to make peace with Seth and produce a heir by him. Isis vowed she would never share a bed with the succubus that was Seth. Seth tried all sorts of ways to prevail over Isis to marry him, including forcefully taking her to a secluded place to vainly ram sense into her, whereupon Ningishzidda came to her rescue.
 

It was Ningishzidda she appealed to to help her find a means of conceiving using the DNA from Osiris’s tissues. Like the genius he was, Ningishzidda did measure up to the plea: he managed to produce sperm cells from Osiris non-sexual DNA using a revolutionary process known as artificial meiosis. Isis then inseminated herself with these sperm cells at ovulation time and that was how the famous Horus was born.


After the death of Osiris, Seth approached Marduk and demanded that he be declared the sole ruler of a united Egypt as he was now the only eligible heir. Isis countered the move, insisting that she was already pregnant with Osiris’s baby. Seth scoffed at the assertion, dismissing it as pure  hallucination. Until Isis physically presented a legitimate heir to Osiris, Seth had every right to ascend to the throne.  Isis was wary of unveiling an infant Horus  and so Seth was installed as  the sole ruler of Egypt. Altogether, he ruled Egypt for 350 years.


Meanwhile, Isis hid baby Horus in the papyrus swamps as Seth was always on the lookout for the little threat to his throne. Once, Horus was bitten by a scorpion and escaped death only thanks to Nngishzidda’s medical intervention. At some stage, Horus was adopted by Gibil, one of Enki’s children.    

Throughout his clandestine upbringing, Horus was told his main preoccupation in life was to unseat Seth from the Egyptian throne. He was raised up as Netch-Atef, meaning “Avenger of his Father" Osiris. Gibil meticulously coached him in the art of war, both aerial and infantry, as well martial arts to ready him for a future duel  with Seth. All the while, Seth was not aware Horus even existed. 

 

“SATAN” IS VANQUISHED

 

When Horus was sufficiently grown, he decided it was time he claimed his late father’s throne. He made a dramatic appearance before the “Council of the Gods” and demanded that Seth steps down forthwith to allow for his coronation as the new and rightful King of Egypt.
 

The Enkite pantheon were taken aback, more so Seth. He couldn’t believe what he was seeing. Horus wasn’t just making a casual claim: he came armed with the requisite genetic evidence that had been certified by DNA expert Ningishzidda.  What followed is summed up by Zechariah Sitchin in his book The War of the Gods in the following words:


“Seth suggested that the gods' deliberations be recessed so as to give him a chance to discuss the problem peacefully with his newly appeared nephew. He invited Horus to ‘come, let us pass a happy day in my house,’ and Horus agreed. But what Seth had in mind was not peacemaking: his mind was set on trickery. And when it was eventide, the bed was spread for them, and the twain lay thereon. And in the night Seth caused his member to become stiff, and he made it go between the loins of Horus.
 

“When the gods next met in council, Seth demanded that the Office of Ruler be resolved as his, for Horus was disqualified: whether or not he was of the seed of Osiris, the seed of Seth was now in him, entitling him to succeed, not precede, Seth!


“Now it was the turn of Horus to surprise the gods. When Seth poured out his semen, ‘I caught the seed between my hands,’ Horus said. In the morning he showed it to his mother, telling her what had happened. Isis then made Horus erect his member and pour his semen into a cup. Then she went to the garden of Seth and poured the semen of Horus on the lettuce that Seth then unknowingly ate.
 

“So, announced Horus, ‘Not only is Seth's seed not in me, but my seed is in him! It is Seth who has been disqualified!’ Baffled, the gods called upon Thoth (Ningishzidda) to resolve the issue. He checked the semen that Horus had given his mother, which Isis kept in a pot. It was found to be indeed the semen of Seth. He then scanned the body of Seth and confirmed that it contained the semen of Horus.”
 

Seth, however,  was not in the least inclined to cede power. He straightaway declared war on Horus.

   
The war was long and protracted. It was the first war in which the Anunnaki involved humans. Fighting under the banner of the wildly popular Horus were the Mesniu, the first humans to use firepower weaponry, and rallying to Seth was an ethnic army commanded by Canaan, Ham’s son and Noah’s grandchild. The war was fought in two phases.


Initially, armies squared up against each other. Then at some stage, there was a decisive one-on-one face-off between Horus and Seth with a view to stem profligate losses of the cannon folder that were human lives.
 

In the mano-o-mano confrontation, Horus was the first to be hit. He was struck by a chemical weapon which brought him to the brink of death. Again it was Ningishzidda his mother called upon to use his extraordinary medical knowledge and expeditiously restore her son to health. Once Horus was fully recovered, Ningishzidda provided him with a fighter craft called the Nar, which, sadly, was  quickly destroyed by a game and spirited Seth.


Horus then resorted to a sophisticated, stealth bomber-like  flying saucer which was used by Marduk and from there fired off a Multiple Warhead Missile called a Harpoon at Seth (it is telling that when in 1977 McDonnell Douglas developed a naval-guided anti-ship missile, they called it the Harpoon Missile. The Military Industrial Complex are well-informed.) In the event, Seth was felled. Not only did he lose his testicles but he was blinded and captured.

 

Horus wanted to finish him off and braced to slice off his head but Isis had pity on her half- brother and facilitated his flight from captivity. Upon learning this, Horus was so mad he decapitated his own mother. But thanks to Ningishzidda’s surgical prowess, the severed head was put back in place and Isis cheated death.

 

The two adversaries were at long last brought before the Council of the Gods, the Egyptian chapter of the Anunnaki pantheon which was headed by Enki.   The matter to be decided was this: should Horus the victor rule Egypt alone or it should again be split into two countries in which both Horus and a blinded and genitally dismembered Seth would have sovereignty?

 

NEXT WEEK: THE SIN OF HAM THAT NEVER WAS!

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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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