Popular Anunnaki god put under house arrest for refusing to be part of great deception
On becoming Earth’s foremost Anunnaki god effectively in 2024 BC but substantively in 1954 BC, Marduk declared Nibiru as his celestial counterpart, not Earth itself as was the case with his predecessor Jehovah-Enlil. We have already dwelt on the reasons he did so. Not only did Marduk identify himself with the great planet: he decided, in due course, to make Nibiru the focus, exclusively, of a new religion he called the Star Religion. The “Star” was Nibiru: if you recall, Nibiru was also known as the Star of Jacob for reasons we have already spelt out.
Why did Marduk choose to place Nibiru at the centre of mankind’s religious fervour? Well, he had calculated, and rightly so, that the return of Nibiru was going to occur on his watch – the astrological Age of Aries, which mathematically ran from 2220 to 60 BC. The last time Nibiru showed up was circa 4000 BC, which enabled Anu to visit Earth. This time around, Nibiru was expected around the halfway point of the 6th century BC, between 600 and 500 BC.
What that meant was that when King Anu appeared, Marduk would be the one ruling Earth and would therefore be the primary host of the Solar System’s greatest sovereign. Needless to say, that would be the greatest milestone of his life. Of course it was not every time Nibiru was in the ecliptic that Anu visited Earth. But he was always expected anyway: elaborate and meticulous preparations for his arrival had to be made whether he turned up or not.
In Babylonia, the key person Marduk chose to propagate his Star Religion was Hammurabi, the Babylonian King. Hammurabi went at his brief hammer and tongs. In Marduk’s Star Religion, the astronomer priests, known as the MASHMASHU, worked practically day and night in the Esagil, Marduk’s temple-abode which was principally an astronomical observatory.
The Esagil’s main function was to “constantly observe the heavens, track the movement of stars and planets, record special phenomena (such as a planetary conjunction or an eclipse), and consider whether the heavens bespoke omens; and if so, to interpret what they did portend.” At the head of the Mashmashu was the URIGALLU, the Great Priest, who was a holy man, a magician, and a physician rolled into one. The Urigallu conveyed the astronomer-priests interpretations of celestial phenomena to Hammurabi through a special priest known as the ZAQIQU.
Marduk, however, had his mortal enemies to contend with – the Enlilites, who were not ready to cut him any slack whatsoever. THE ENLILITES JUST WOULD NOT COUNTENANCE THE IDEA OF KING ANU BEING RECEIVED BY AN ENKITE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF. That scenario was simply inconceivable. It is small wonder, therefore, that they raised kings who were unstinting in making inroads into Babylon, the nucleus of the Babylonian empire, so as to unseat Marduk. In their pathologically jaundiced mindset, Marduk just could not do right: every peace feeler he sent, every concession he tabled forth in the interests of peaceful co-existence with the Enlilites, fell on stone deaf ears. This Earth, My Brother …
MARDUK’S TELL-TALE COMPOSITE EMBLEM
When Marduk became the Lord of Earth, he chose the MUS-HUS as his regnal emblem. The Mus-Hus has been described as a mythical, hybrid watery creature with “a scaly (fish-like) skin, hind legs resembling the talons of an eagle, feline (lion-like) forelegs, a long neck and tail, a horned head, a snake-like tongue, and a crest”. In Babylonian sketches, Marduk is more often than not depicted standing by the Mus-Hus.
Since no such creature existed in real life, in Egypt, Marduk’s other bastion, it was represented by the crocodile. It was with the fat of the crocodile, known in Egypt as the MESSEH, that pharaohs were anointed on their accession as King. The crocodile was a symbol of virility (because of its sexual prowess), vitality (it’s the largest reptile on the planet), and longevity (it is among the oldest creatures of Earth, having existed in its present form for more than 200 million years).
Why did Marduk chose a nondescript creature as his emblem? The answer lies in the kinds of animals that were represented in the Mus-Hus. They were a fish, lion, eagle, and snake. The fish was probably a tribute to his father Enki, who was also known as the fish god, Oannes in Greek, Dagon to the Philistines. The lion represented homage to Sirius, where his mother Damkina came from.
Sirians evolved from a creature that was part-wolf, part-lion, and part-reptile. The snake was obviously a bow to Orion, where Enki originated and whose people evolved from a serpentine creature. As for the eagle, it in all probability represented the Carian race, one of the four major races of the Milky Way galaxy, the others being Reptoids, Felines, and Humans. The Carians evolved from a bird-like creature. (Egyptian gods such as Horus and Ningishzidda were sometimes depicted as bird-headed gods, which suggests a Carian genetic link.)
In sum, the Mus-Hus was Marduk’s statement that he had a universal outlook leadershipwise which was not partisan to any single galactic race. He was prepared to work with all and sundry in the interests of the planet Earth and its peoples. Sadly, the Enlilites didn’t care an iota. To them, whether Marduk meant well or not, he would always be a marked man.
BABYLON’S GOLDEN GLOW COURTESY OF MARDUK!
In the Bible, the term Babylon just stops short of being a swear word. It is a symbol of evil and defiance, a symbol of rebellion against “God”. From Genesis to Revelation, Babylon is mentioned only in unflattering terms. In Revelation for one , it becomes a byword for the so-called Antichrist’s evil world system spearheaded by the Roman Empire. For instance, in REVELATION 17:5, Babylon, as code for the Roman Empire, is described as “the mother of prostitutes and of Earth’s abominations”. The prophets have a field day lambasting and prophesying doom for Babylon and its god, Marduk, often referred to as Bel.
But don’t be taken in folks. The Bible, more so the Old Testament, is an Enlite document. It was written by the Jews, Enlil’s chosen people, his sheep. As such, it’s bias against the Enkites is to be expected. FOR IF THE TRUTH MAY BE TOLD, MARDUK DID TURN BABYLON INTO A MINI-PARADISE.
Babylonian texts extol Marduk as wildly popular because “he is seen as a approachable deity, who cares about human beings and their suffering”. In Babylon, happiness and joy were ubiquitous. There was scarcely any lack. Everybody was in blooming health. Strangers hugged each other more than they snapped at or wronged each other. The following extract from the letter of a Phoenician who had visited Babylon speaks volumes on the glory and grandeur of Babylon:
“The civilising power of Marduk: see in the streets of the city a man and a maid. He shines before the people as a sun in splendor, she as the Moon keeps her face to her Lord. As they pass, old men seated in their doorways smile. Old women cease to scold and the soldiers do not jostle. See in the market as they move, ripples of smiles upon the face of the people spreading among the throngs. Such is the power of Marduk. SEE THAT GOLDEN GLOW THAT WRAPS THEM AS ONE THAT IS THE MARK OF HIS POWER. It is not the power of Ishtar (Inanna), much more fiery and passionate. Marduk’s power spreads peace in man.”
The above scenario clearly is not a picture of a city or nation steeped in sin, as the Bible would have you believe: it is the picture of absolute bliss. Perhaps the most telling statement in the letter is the one we have emphasized – about the golden glow that shone forth from the people. This was the result of consuming Ormus folks – the monoatomic powder of gold known as Manna in the Bible. Ormus imparts perfect health, sharp faculties, and staggering spiritual and metaphysical insights.
This is the ultimate empowerment of the human race. And when you have just partaken of it, it makes your body give off a glow that can be seen from a distance. You shine like “the noon day sun” folks. You are “transfigured” courtesy of the gospels. For mainstreaming Ormus in Canaan, Marduk had his most devout cities, Sodom and Gomorrah, nuked at the orders of Jehovah-Enlil. For mainstreaming Ormus in Babylon, he was to be overthrown by the same Enlilite forces. But it is not easy to unseat a popular leader: it took close to 1500 years to make him budge.
ISHKUR-ADAD IS MARDUK’S MAJOR FOE
In order to fight, tame, and ultimately topple Marduk, the Enlilites groomed two powerful warrior nations primarily. They were Assyria to the north of Babylon and Hatti to the west. It were the Assyrians in fact who were the first to attack Babylon circa 1900 BC and would be Babylon’s main antagonist for the next 1000 years or so.
Ethnically, the Babylonians and Assyrians were Akkadians. Both were Semitic: indeed, GENESIS 10 makes it clear that the Assyrians were descended from Shem. The only element that set them apart was the god each worshipped. The Babylonian god as we have stated and restated was Marduk. The Assyrian god was Ashur. Who was Ashur?
The term Ashur (ESH-HUR when fully rendered) means “Fiery Mountain”. We know a fiery mountain is known as a volcano. “Volcano” (Vulcan, the god of fire, to the Romans) was what the Sumerians called Ishkur-Adad, Enlil’s youngest son, owing to his fiery temper and generally ruthless disposition. Indeed, the name Ishkur (ESHA-KUR in full) also means “Fiery Mountain”. When Adad became the god of Assyria, he usurped the title Enlil as a dare against Marduk, who had become the new Enlil in 2024 BC, and even conferred the queenly title “Ninli” on his spouse. And not only that: he also appropriated the winged disc, the symbol of planet Nibiru, as his own, just as Marduk had done. In Adad’s case, the winged disc bore an image of he himself, often carrying a bow, a symbol of war.
Hatti was the land of the Hittites, who had burst forth from Anatolia in today’s Turkey. The Hittites would blossom into a major military power and close ranks with the coalition of Enlilite states who were opposed to Marduk. The non-Semitic Hittites enjoy repeated mention in the Bible but without the rancor and virulence reserved for other nations such as the Babylonians. They were Abraham’s neighbors in Harran, and it was from Hittite landowners in Hebron, south of Jerusalem, that he bought the Machpelah burial cave. Bathsheba, the centre of King David’s sexual scandal, was the wife of a Hittite captain in his army. It was from Hittite farmers David bought the platform for the Temple on Mount Moriah. King Solomon bought chariot horses from Hittite princes and married one of their daughters.
The national god of the Hittites was Teshub. This is TESH-HUBA in full, also meaning “Fiery Mountain”. In short, Teshub and Ashur were the same god. The Hittites both with fondness and dread referred to Adad as the Storm God – the God of Thunder and Lightning and hence the god of rain. But they may as well have been referring to his stormy temperament.
As Teshub, Adad’s signature symbols were a triple thunderbolt and a bull, upon which he was depicted standing to send the message that he was the new Bull of Heaven, the title by which his father Jehovah-Enlil had gone by in the Age of Taurus. Throughout Aries, it was Adad who was Marduk’s greatest nightmare and not Enlil, Ninurta, Nergal, or Inanna-Ishtar as was traditionally the case in the countdown to Aries.
MARDUK ASKED TO BE PART AND PARCEL OF NEW GOD CALLED ANKI
For 400 years or so, the Enlilites fell flat in their resolve to depose Marduk. Meanwhile, as the centuries wore on, the reappearance of Nibiru – and possibly the return of King Anu, “Our Father Who Art In Heaven” – loomed ever large and inevitably attention overall shifted to this all-important planet of the gods. All of a sudden, Marduk’s Star Religion, which centred on Nibiru, assumed a universal dimension.
The urgency with which the Enlilites now were seized was, IN WHOSE HANDS WOULD BE THE SPACE-RELATED SITES WHEN KING ANU TOUCHED DOWN ON EARTH? If you recall, space-related facilities were the ultimate symbol of Anunnaki power and pride. This was because they linked Earth to the mother planet, Nibiru. The other reason was that like any other space traveler, King Anu arrived on planet Earth via a spaceport. Thus whoever controlled the spaceport enjoyed enormous prestige in the eyes of the King.
For example, when Anu came to Earth the last time around circa 4000 BC, he was received by Enlil, who was Earth’s Chief Executive, and piloted by Utu-Shamash, the Sinai Peninsula spaceport’s Chief Aviation Officer. Thus the people who controlled the space-related infrastructure were the primary hosts of Anu.
As the possible return of King Anu became imminent, the Enlilites decided to take several measures before he actually pitched. First, they were to ensure that all the space-related sites were under their aegis. At the time, the space-related sites were Babylon (the Mission Control Centre), Baalbek (the Landing Place) in Lebanon, the Great Pyramid at Giza in Egypt, and the Nazca Desert in today’s Peru.
Since this was circa 1600 BC, the Enlilites already were in charge of the Nazca Landing Place and the Giza Pyramid (since they ruled northern Egypt, where the Great Pyramid was located). Baalbek, however, was not under their control: it was being vied for by both the Enlilites and the Enkites. Babylon was out of the question: the Enlilites would not want to dignify it with Mission Control Centre status when Anu arrived.
THEY WOULD RATHER RESTORE JERUSALEM, WHICH WAS THE MISSION CONTROL CENTRE BEFORE 2024 BC, SINCE IT WAS LOCATED IN A REGION THAT WAS NOT UNDER THE DIRECT INFLUENCE OF MARDUK. Accordingly, it was on Jerusalem and Lebanon they set their sights. Now, if they had to capture Jerusalem from the Jebusites, who presently inhabited it, they needed their own people, the Hykso Hebrews, who were based in northern Egypt, as foot soldiers. That, however, was a tall order. The Hyksos had been in Egypt since days immemorial and they were for all practical purposes Egyptians. How were they to be prevailed upon to depart Egypt and fight for some obscure territory in Canaan? It was hard but a way had to be found.
Finally, Marduk either had to be overthrown or tactfully won over to the Enlilite side so that by the time King Anu arrived, an Enlilite was the de facto CEO of Earth. It was this measure the Enlilites took first. Having failed to unseat him over 400 years of naked aggression to date, they opted for the carrot approach as opposed to the stick approach. They made overtures to him to the effect that they needed his cooperation to bring about monotheism on the planet Earth. The one advantage monotheism had was that it would certainly unite Earthlings under the banner of one god and therefore make wars between nations, which were essentially religious, a thing of the past.
When Marduk asked as to how this monotheism was to be achieved, he was told that all Enlite and Enkite gods were to retreat into the shadows and pose as just one god, who would be unseen by Earthlings though he would be heard. The Anunnaki gods would take turns to be this representative god. The Enlilites also proposed that the role of the first such composite god would be carried out by Ishkur-Adad, to be followed by Marduk himself after a period of time.
Adad was chosen under the pretext that he was best placed to keep in check all those nations who kept waging war on Babylon since they were mostly under his control. But Adad, being a representative god, would not go under his own name. HE WOULD GO BY A NEW NAME KNOWN AS ANKI, WHICH MEANT “GOD OF HEAVEN AND EARTH”. Would that be music to Marduk’s ears or as pure garbage?
MARDUK BECOMES THE DEVIL
Needless to say, Marduk was far from impressed. He read the scheme for exactly what it was – a cleverly contrived strategy to undermine him as Lord of Earth and to ultimately unseat him. Besides, the idea of a non-visible god did not appeal to him. Marduk loved his people, his dear Earthlings, and wanted to be seen by them, to interact with them in person. He was a man of the people. What was the point of claiming that you were a god of your people without allowing them to see you? Even the Earthlings themselves would pooh-pooh the idea.
Those days, mankind worshipped or revered a god they knew – one they had seen with their own eyes. Tell them you were their god but they could not set their eyes on you, and they would denounce you as a joke. It goes without saying that Marduk rejected the Enlilite bait with the contempt it deserved. Whether they liked it or not, he was Earth’s foremost authority and he would remain so till the close of the Age of Aries.
The Enlilites did not take the spurn lying down. In 1595 BC, Adad sprang his Hittite warriors on Babylon. Their siege of Babylon was so overwhelming it was like a walk in the park but only because Marduk had instructed his king not to fight them as he was aware it was not the seizure of Babylon they were after per se: it was the seizure of he himself. As such, he didn’t want the lives of the Babylonians to be unnecessarily expended.
Indeed, the Hittite army headed straight for his sacred precincts and seized him. But they did not harm him at all: all they did was take him with them to a Mesopotamian city known as Hana. He was to be kept there under house arrest and was given 24 years in which to change his mind and sign up to the Enlilites’ monotheistic ploy.
Meanwhile, the Enlilites launched propagandistic pitches denouncing Marduk as the “Devil”, meaning “Prime Evil”. Devil resulted from a twisting of the term D’EA-BEL in Sumerian (Diabolos in Latin). D’Ea-Bel was Enki’s title, conferred on him for his lead role in the creation of Adam and Eve. It meant “The (D) Lord (BEL) of Life (Ea)”. In the case of Enki, the Enlilites corrupted D’Ea-Bel to Devil when he unilaterally illumined Adam and Eve knowledgewise, which Enlil took to be a betrayal. In the case of Marduk, who D’Ea-Bel Jr in that he was Enki’s heir, the Enlilites adulterated D’Ea-Bel to Devil as a vilification manoeuvre arising from his refusal to toe their monotheistic line. This Earth My Brother …
“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).” (Ch9 : 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.
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.
Although the interrogation ofJesus 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 ofhis 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 matterwas 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 ofFlavius 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 ofPilate, 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 ofTiberius 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 ofthe Antipas bribe had been re-arrested, bringing the number ofrespondents 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 ofJesus 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 ofhis being a Zealot), Herod Antipas, under whosejurisdiction 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 ofRome, 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.
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 disproportionatelydisaffected 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!