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Zidda Illumines America

Benson C Saili
THIS EARTH, MY BROTHER  
 

Meanwhile, Marduk has a new rival to contend with courtesy of Inanna

Ningishzidda’s departure from Egypt to Babylon in August 3113 BC was significant in his own view.  In that very same month, he introduced a new calendar to toast to the peace of mind that came with his move. Zidda though did not intend to stay in Babylon for long: it was simply a whistle-stop on his way to the Americas. The moment he arrived in Babylon, he sent an advance party of a loyal team of Olmecs – the dark-skinned, Bantu-like  Anunnaki – to the Americas so they could prepare for his arrival there as per Enki’s urging. Then three years later, in 3110 BC, Zidda himself set off for the Americas after the Olmecs had signalled to him that he was being awaited there with bated breath as their prospective god.  

In the Americas, Zidda’s legal domain encompassed Mesoamerica (Mexican-speaking territories which included the whole of Mexico and parts of today’s US) and Central America but his influence permeated all the way down to the northern parts of South America.  The people he ruled over were the Aztecs, today known as Mexicans ; the Yucatans, who are found in the northern parts of Mexico;  the Mayans, who today inhabit southern Mexico, El Salvador, Belize, and Honduras;  and the Incas of ancient Peru.

The Mayans document that their “white-skinned, bearded god” arrived during the Fourth Sun, which they called “The Era of the Black-Headed People”.  We know by now that the Black-Headed people was how the Anunnaki referred to mankind in general but to the Sumerians in particular. The Codex Rios, which was written in 1566, says the Fourth Sun began “5042 years ago”. Counting from our day, this dates back to approximately 6,000 years ago, when the Sumerian civilisation blossomed.

As god of the Americas, Zidda was known by several names. The Aztecs called him Quetzalcoatl, meaning “Flying Reptile”. This was because he was an Enkite – the Serpent race – and he flew in a huge aircraft. The Incas called him Viracocha, meaning “Creator of All”. The Mayans called him Kulcan, meaning “Great Bird of the Snake”, again in reference to both his flying craft and his genetic pedigree. The Yucatans called him Votan, whose meaning is obscure. But they do give us a clue as to who Votan was.

He’s characterised as “the first man whom God had sent to this region to people and parcel out the land that is now called America”. The Yucatans go on to say, “…  his emblem was the Serpent. He was a descendant of the Guardians, of the race of Can. His place of origin was a land called Chivim … At the tributary of a great river he built a city which was the cradle of this civilisation …  He called the city Nachan, which means Place of Serpents."

There are a lot of tell-tales in the above pieces of data. The “Guardians”, or Neteru, was how the Anunnaki were referred to by Egyptians. The Serpent was the insignia of the Enkites, in particular Enki and Zidda: even Marduk was scorned as “The Great Serpent” by the Enlilites. The notion of Votan having descended from the race of “Can” – the biblical Cain, the founder of the Indian race – is a mix-up but only slightly so as Cain, having been sired by Enki and Titi-Eve, had more Anunnaki than human blood in him. Chivim was in Canaan and the Canaanites were found in both Egypt and Palestine. Nachan jells very well with Nachash – the Hebrew word for Serpent.   

There was a yet another little-known name by which Zidda was called by the Peruvians but which today carries  more resonance geopolitically than the rest. This was Amaruca. Amaruca derived from the ancient compound word  Ome-Ori-Eke, which meant  “Divine Creator Spirit”, or simply God. It was Amaruca/Ome-Ori-Eke which through a linguistic twist and the evolution simply of words became America. The official version of how the name America came about is that it was in honour of the pioneering Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci (1454-1512).

However, researchers have long debunked this claim. It has been found that Vespucci actually changed his first name from Alberigo, his original name, to Amerigo after his return from the Americas (North and South America). In other words, the continents were already known by the name America long before he turned up there. In any case, if the two continents were to be named after him, they would have been called Vespucca, after his surname. Landmarks are named after a legend’s surname (or both names in some cases) and not his first name. One example is America’s political capital, which is known as Washington and not George.

BLACK ANUNNAKI CIVILISE AMERICA

In the Mayan annals, Quetzacoatl has been described as “tall of stature, bright of countenance, bearded, and wearing a long tunic. His staff, shaped like a serpent, was painted black, white, and red; it was inlaid with precious stones and adorned with six stars”. He was the great benefactor of the Hispanics in all manner of ways. He inaugurated his own civilisation for that region of the world when he arrived there  in 3110 BC. He was “master of wisdom and knowledge” who “introduced learning, crafts, laws, and time reckoning according to the fifty-two-year cycle.”

But the white-skinned Zidda was simply the figurehead: the people who actually civilised the Americas were his loyalist men, the Olmecs, who even today remain immortalised in stone in various parts of that region. The Olmecs were the first to arrive in the Americas in 3113 BC and by the time Zidda joined them in 3110 BC, they had made mammoth strides in revolutionalising the region. Writes Zechariah Sitchin in his War of the Gods: “The first Mesoamerican glyphic writing appears in the Olmec realm; so does the Mesoamerican system of numeration, of dots and bars.

The first Long Count calendar inscriptions, with the enigmatic starting date in 3113 BC; the first works of magnificent and monumental sculpted art; the first use of jade; the first depictions of hand-held weapons or tools; the first ceremonial centres; the first celestial orientations—all were achievements of the Olmecs. No wonder that with so many ‘firsts’, some (as J. Soustelle, The Olmecs) have compared the Olmec civilisation of Mesoamerica to that of the Sumerians in Mesopotamia, which accounted for all the ‘firsts’ in the ancient Near East.”

It’s small wonder the meticulously sculpted Olmec stone heads are so colossal – to testify to the fact that they wrought great accomplishments in Mesoamerica. One such sculpture “measured about eight feet in height, twenty-one feet in circumference, and weighed about twenty-four tons. It depicts without question a Negroid African wearing a distinct helmet.” The latter part, of the Olmecs being “Negroid Africans”, is a mere assumption owing to the fact that indeed the Olmecs bore features that were African in every respect. But the fact of the matter is that they were not Africans at all: they were dark-skinned Anunnaki.

If you expected Caucasian chroniclers who write much of Earth’s history to state categorically that these great, gigantic dark-skinned people were from another planet, you would be deluding yourself. They would rather say the Anunnaki were “blonde-haired, blue-eyed, and white-skinned”. Yet the Anunnaki, as we keep emphasising, were not a homogeneous race: they came in all hues – black, white, Indian-like, Chinese-like, Semitic-like, Hispanic-like, etc. The white-skinned Anunnaki are famous only because they were the ruling clique. It were the Olmecs who did much of the gold mining in Africa before Enki fashioned mankind as their skin pigmentation was more amenable to the climactic conditions of the planet  obtaining at the time, which the white-skinned Anunnaki found oppressive in the extreme. And it was the gene of an Olmec that Enki blended with that of Ape Man to create Adam.

Of particular significance was  Zidda’s now famous Mayan Calendar, known as the Long Count.  Writes Zechariah Sitchin. “The oldest of the three Mesoamerican calendars is known as the Long Count: it counted the number of days from a ‘Day One’ that scholars have identified as August 13, 3113 BC. Alongside this continuous but linear calendar there were two cyclical calendars. One, the Haab, was a solar-year calendar of 365 days, divided into 18 months of 20 days each plus an additional 5 special days at year’s end.

The other was the Tzolkin, a Sacred Calendar of only 260 days, composed of a 20-day unit rotated 13 times. The two cyclical calendars were then meshed together, as two geared wheels to create the Sacred Round of 52 years, when these two counts returned to their common starting point and started the counts all over again.”

Zidda introduced three calendars in Mesoamerica, the  most famous being the Long Count, which  brought  the year 2012  to the fore of global discourse. A Long Count is a cycle of 5126 years. The starting point of this calendar was what the Mayans called Point Zero – the very year Zidda devised the Long Count, or 3113 BC. The Long Count can be measured in days (a  kin); 20-days (1 uinal); 360-days ( 1 tun); 7,200-days (1 katun); and lastly 144,000-days (1 baktun). 

Typically, the Long Count is measured in baktuns. Now, if  you count the number of years that will have passed from 3113 BC to the end of 2012, you will arrive at exactly 5126 years. A Long Count equals 13 baktuns, or  1,872,000 days (144,000 x 13). The 13th Baktun ended on December 22  2012, such that in January 2013, the cycle began all over again. Since 13 is a unlucky number to the wider world (yet a lucky number to the Illuminati), it explained the trash talk that ran riot about the end of the world on 22 December 2012. It was all bollocks really as we rightly predicted in one of our Weekend Post articles of April 2012.

EXIT ZIDDA, ENTER DUMUZI

If Marduk thought by getting Zidda out of the way he was now firm in the saddle, he was greatly mistaken. For no sooner had Zidda left the scene than another contender emerged to try and throw a spanner in the works.  This was none other than his youngest brother Dumuzi.  Dumuzi was Enki’s youngest son and automatically the dearest as all lastborns are. “Greatly beloved was Dumuzi,” the Sumerian records relate. “By Enki after the death of Asar (Osiris)  he was favoured.” But as much as Enki doted on Dumuzi, the Enlilites were enamoured of him too. They looked upon him as a possible political ally.

To date, they had to a degree won over two Enkites. These were Nergal, Marduk’s immediate younger brother, and Zidda, the fourth   brother. Nergal was won over when he was enticed to marry Ereshkigal, Enlil’s granddaughter  through his second-born son Nannar-Sin. Zidda was  to all intents and purposes a direct Enlilite stake: he was Ereshkigal’s son, having arose in the course of a romantic liaison between Enki and Ereshkigal that predated the latter’s marriage to Nergal. The Enlilite eyes now were set on Dumuzi too. Why him rather that other siblings of Marduk in Gibil and Ninagal?  

Gibil and Ninagal were not that politically ambitious and were very far from the scene of the tug-of-war that was Egypt. Dumuzi on the other hand was based right in Egypt. Although he had never ruled Egypt as a whole, Enki had seen to it that he had a semi-autonomous enclave known as Meluhha, or Nubia, which encompassed today’s central Sudan and southern Egypt and where all Tswana-speaking people originate. Meluhha was not only one of the most fertile and richest parts of ancient Egypt but it was also well-endowed mineral-resourcewise.  Say the Sumerian chronicles: “In the Land of the Two Narrows (Egypt) for Dumuzi and the shepherds a habitation did Enki fashion. To Dumuzi, his youngest son, Enki a large domain above the Abzu allotted. Meluhha, the Black Land, was its name. Highland trees there grew, its waters abundant were. Large bulls among its river reeds roamed, greatly numbered were its cattle. Silver from its mountains came, its copper bright as gold was aglitter.”

Even more significant, Dumuzi and Inanna-Ishtar, Enlil’s granddaughter, were madly in love. Their love affair, which was initiated through the gallantry of the sex-crazy Inanna herself, is arguably the world’s first Romeo and Juliet affair and the inspiration to King Solomon’s Song of Solomon love canticles of the Old Testament. Solomon never had a devoted, sizzling love affair to write about: what you read in Song of Solomon was purloined from the Dumuzi-Inanna romance. The couple’s affair  blossomed when Horus was ruling Egypt (between 8970 and 8670 BC). When the war between Horus and Seth for the control of Egypt, where Inanna was known as Ashtoreth, was at feverpitch, Inanna fought at the battlefront on the side of Horus for the sake of Dumuzi, who was backing Horus in the confrontation.

What exactly attracted Inanna to Dumuzi? For starters, Dumuzi had a potent enough libido (primarily because he was young and therefore hot-blooded) to satisfy the seamless sex-craving of Inanna.  Dumuzi was also filthy rich, from both his pastoral exploits (the reason he was known as “The Herder” or “The Shepherd”) and his mineral wealth. But the reason that overrode all others was that Inanna wanted to use Dumuzi as a foil on Marduk’s ambitions and as the fulfiller of her own. 

It was  Dumuzi she wanted to take over as the  Enlil when the Age of Aries dawned at the expense of Marduk so that she could realise her age-old yearning to become the “Queen of Earth”. As for Dumuzi, he was smitten by Inanna because she was at once a stunning beauty, a courageous warrior, and a feared fistic fighting machine at just five-foot-five, a midget in Anunnaki terms.  “Beautiful beyond describing she was,” say the Sumerian tablets. “In martial arts with Anunnaki heroes she competed.”

INANNA AND DUMUZI TIE KNOT

Dumuzi and Inanna, who had an on-and-off relationship despite their fabled love affair, dated for almost 6000 years before they decided to tie the knot. Why did they take that long? Bear in mind that in Anunnaki terms, this was hardly a long time: it was just over one-and-half years. Of the duo, it was Inanna who prevailed over Dumuzi that it was time he led her to the altar. The timing on the part of Inanna was strategic. It was circa 3100 BC, when civilisation took effect in Egypt. Thus if Dumuzi was to ascend to the reins and Inanna was queen, the couple would preside over a country with enormous economic and technological potential.

Inanna was the first to inform her clan of the planned nuptials. Sin, her father, and Ningal, her mother, were ecstatic. Utu-Shamash, her twin brother, who had always nudged his sister in the direction of Dumuzi, gave her the thumbs-up to. As for Enlil, the Bible’s main Yahweh/Jehovah, the marriage was very politically apt. “Perchance the espousing peace between the clans truly will bring,” he reasoned as he gave the intended union the nod. The Enkites too were over the moon when Dumuzi broke the news to them. True, Inanna wasn’t a woman of particularly good standing morally: she was famed for her outrageously loose sexual morals.

What counted in her favour, however, was the fact that she carried a lot of political clout among the Enlilites. To give just one example, she had been promised rulership of the Indus Valley and so if she were to marry Dumuzi, it meant the Enkites would have considerable sway in an Enlilite sphere of influence. Moreover, as King Anu’s favourite female relation, she enjoyed his support, albeit qualified, and more often than not,  she got away with just about every transgression in the book  owing to this backing. Finally, there was the matter of cementing peace between the Enlilites and the Enkites, a factor that outweighed any other.   

At Dumuzi and Inanna’s engagement party, “a bethrothal bed of gold by Gibil was fashioned, Nergal blue-hued lapis stones sent”. As the two love flames prepared for the big day, Inanna seemed to make it clear to Dumuzi that their forthcoming marriage was as much about politics as it was about spontaneous mutual affection. Every time they made love, Inanna cooed her agenda for Egypt into Dumuzi’s ear whilst emphasising that  it was her who would be calling the shots. “Subdue the rebellious country, let the nation multiply,” she urged. “I will direct the country rightly”. When the wedding day arrived, Dumuzi’s half-sister Geshtinanna was her chaperone. As she touched and spruced her up, Inanna confided in her her designs on Egypt.

“A vision of a great nation I have, as a Great Anunnaki Dumuzi there will rise,” she gushed prospectively. “His name over others shall be exalted, his queen-spouse I shall be. Princely status we will share, rebellious countries we shall together subdue. To Dumuzi I will status give, the country I will rightly direct!”

Geshtinanna was disturbed upon hearing this. If Inanna persuaded Dumuzi to oust Marduk, what would prevent her from persuading him to do the same with Nergal and  other Enkites so that Dumuzi ended up the sole ruler of the vastly rich continent  of Africa? So it was that on the very day the wedding concluded, Geshtinanna took Marduk aside and divulged to him what Inanna had told her in confidence. Marduk, who initially had supported the idea of the marriage, now rued his folly. Did Inanna’s cunning know any bounds? And now that she had dug her hooks into Dumuzi,  could she ever be tamed?

 NEXT WEEK: MARDUK INDICTED FOR MURDER

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Honesty – a fundamental human characteristic

12th October 2021

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

Influence of materialism

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

Desire for worldly gain

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

Thoughtless individual behaviour

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

Integrity and reliability

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

Honesty and truthfulness go hand in hand

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

Honesty in a comprehensive manner

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

Prophetic teachings

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

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

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

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A Sham of a Trial

12th October 2021

Verdict a foregone conclusion as Pilate is bought

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

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

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

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

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

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

PETER DOES A JUDAS

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

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

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

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

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

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

JUDAS TREACHERY BACKFIRES

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

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

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

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

MAKE-BELIEVE REFERAL TO ANTIPAS

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

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

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

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

NEXT WEEK: JESUS SACRIFICES FOR HIS BROTHER

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Distress Flare

12th October 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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