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Power Politics on Nibiru

Benson C Saili
THIS EARTH, MY BROTHER

Alalu Vs House of  An

It is said, General Atiku, that  life on Earth began 4.1 billion years ago. If so, how was it incepted and who incepted it?  Well, it was propagated by our star ancestors, the ruling race of females from the Orion star system along with the leading lights of their male offspring. These primeval beings were of the Serpent race, the Surbah in olden languages.  

The Theory of Panspermia posits that “seeds of life” came to Earth on the backs of meteorites that crashed into our world billions of years ago. These seeds of life were not Y-chromosome-based: they were X-chromosome-based because as we demonstrated in The Earth Chronicles series, the Y chromosome is a recent arrival, having debuted only 130 million years ago. Why did X-chromosome life have to precede Y-chromosome life? It is because female life forms, General, can reproduce on their own, whereas male life forms cannot.

Now, these X-chromosome life seeds did not come from without: they had cosmic ancestors. Whether the seeds of life came to Earth by accident or by design, their ancestors were obviously X-chromosome based. But we know life on Earth was purposefully seeded by intelligent beings because nothing happens by accident in the universe; everything has a purpose even if we may not understand that purpose, General.

If the intelligent beings, our star ancestors, who sowed the seeds of life wanted X-chromosome life to flourish first on our planet, then they themselves must have been   X-chromosome based. They must have been female or were of female progenitors. Cosmic history indeed does bear that out. Who were these powerful race of extraterrestrial females who spawned life on Earth, General? It was of course the beings of Orion, General, the Serpent race.

THE SERPENT PREDOMINATES

The Serpent Cult, General,  was the most widespread on Earth due to the cosmic significance of the Orion Queen and her most famous and most impactful son, Enki. In Africa, almost all cultures worshipped the serpent (that is, the spirit behind it, namely the Orion Queen). The San, Southern Africa’s earliest people who are also known as Bushmen, worshipped the python. Virtually all the original   diKgosi (chiefs) were themselves Reptilians and not full humans.

Some ancient Israelites worshipped the serpent, or vacillated between worshipping the serpent and other gods. The Old Testament attests to that in its account of Moses, who when the Israelites were being bitten by snakes as punishment by their Anunnaki god Ishkur-Adad (Jehovah) fashioned a brazen serpent and asked the Israelites to look up at it for immediate healing (NUMBERS 21:7-9).  

Even today, the serpent is very much reverenced, General. Most of the family crests of Illuminati families, e.g. the Rothschilds, bear serpent imagery. The earliest symbol of medicine, the Rod of Asclepius, as well as the modern one, the Caduceus, both depict a serpent or two serpents coiled around a staff. Ostensibly, this is to evoke the universal healing that arose in the Moses incident but the real, unstated reason is to indirectly deify the serpent, which in effect is to deify the Reptilian Queen of Orion.

In due course, when the Sirius star system became the companion empire to Orion as opposed to a subsidiary empire, which it was before, and was now ruled by Kings instead of Queens, the Kings of Sirius also adopted the title An, or Anu, meaning “Heaven” or “He of Heaven”. Consequently, Sirius also came to be known as Heaven, with its King being referred to as the Supreme God. In Sumerian times, the Orion Queen was actually only minimally directly adored: it was the Sirian King,   Anu, who was worshipped either directly or through proxies – his offspring who were now directly ruling Earth. The Orion Queen was not completely discarded: she too was venerated but through her offspring too.

THE ANUNNAKI

About half a million years ago, General, Earth was again colonised by a highly advanced race from a far-flung place in the Milky Way Galaxy. Since this race constitute the latter colonisers of Earth, it occupies a prominent place in the annals of our planet particularly that it is so amply documented in ancient records by the Sumerians, the world’s best-known civilisation of old.

In the Sumerian textual corpus, General, this race is referred to as the Anunna. It is in subsequent Akkadian texts (Akkadian being a language that stemmed from Sumerian and was the precursor of Hebrew) that it is referred to as the Anunnaki. The term Anunna has been defined as “Beings from Heaven” or “Peoples of Anu”. The term Anunnaki has traditionally been understood to mean “Those who from Heaven to Earth came”.

Since Heaven in this context simply means the cosmos, what these terms actually refer to are Aliens or ETs, General. Aliens are beings from other planets within the Solar System or from other star systems in the vast expanse of space. Yet the original rendering of Anunnaki, General,  was actually Anu-Ene-Eke. This meant “Creator Beings of the Heavenly Realm”. The Heavenly Realm was the Orion star system, the domain of the great Orion Queen whose array of titles included Ene, meaning “The Lord”; An, meaning “The Heavenly One” or simply “The One”; and Eke, meaning “Divine Creator”.

Ene-Eke can also be written as Eke-Ene because in ancient languages syllables could be reversed without altering the meaning. It is Eke-Ene that gave rise to the English word archon (arkhein in Greek, meaning “rulers”). By the first century, however, the term archon, which was popularised by the Gnostics, no longer referred to Aliens in general. It referred to interdimensional Reptilians, what the Bible calls demons, and their physical manifestation as Drakons of the Draco star system.

In the Bible, the Anunnaki as a group are variously referred to as the Anakim, the Elohim, or  the Nephilim in the original Hebrew language. In the English translation, they are referred to as simply “God” or “The Lord God”. The singular terms Jehovah, Yahweh, Adonai, etc, all refer to various members of the Anunnaki pantheon, the Anunnaki royals who were led by Enlil, the most prominent Jehovah (various members of the Anunnaki alternated as Jehovahs) who originally was Earth’s Chief Executive, and his step-brother Enki, who was second in command and who in the opening chapters of Genesis is referred to as the Serpent. It was Enki who fashioned Adam, by way of genetic engineering, using the genes of Homo Erectus and those of a dark-skinned Anunnaki, what we today call Olmecs.

OZONE HOLE IN NIBIRU ATMOSPHERE

The saga of Enki, General,  effectively begins with planet Nibiru. In the course of time, a crisis arose on a planet which Sirius had long colonised. This planet was part of a planetary system known as Buida, after its sun. Buida (meaning “far-flung”) was already part of the greater Orion Empire and was located along the 9th Passageway, which was policed by the Sirius star system’s King Anan’s army on behalf of the Orion Queen, the overall sovereign. About 4 billion years ago, the planet was part of Sirius B in its formative stages.

Then when Sirius B aborted as a star, that is, failed to develop into a full-fledged sun, the planet was lobbed into the greater void of space. It continued to drift and strayed close to Buida’s planetary system, whereupon it was permanently caught up by the gravitational pull of the giant planet Anshar, which we now call Neptune, as the 10th planet. Buida is what we now call Sol, our sun. The captured planet is variously known as Planet X, Planet 9, or more commonly Nibiru, and having the most elongated orbit of all planets of the Solar System, it is seen only once every 3600 years.

Nibiru was the first planet the Anunnaki colonised in the Solar System, General.  This is understandable in view of the fact that when it is at its apogee (the furthest point from the Sun), it is only a stone’s throw, in a manner of speaking, from Sirius A, which is only 8.7 light years from Earth. At the time King Anan was ruling Sirius, Nibiru was being ruled by another Sirian royal called Lhama. Meanwhile, King Anan was attended at court by his cousin Alshar. Alshar went by the title Cup-Bearer. The Cup-Bearer was actually the Crown Prince. Those days in Sirius, the Crown Prince was not the King’s son but his half-brother or cousin typically.

Under the rule of Lhama, Nibiru was beset by a crisis that had been scores of years in the making (a year on Nibiru, called a shar, is equivalent to 3600 Earth years).  Some ranks of Nibiru’s leading meteorologists pointed to a kind of Ozone hole as the cause, a gap in the upper reaches of the atmosphere – something our planet is presently afflicted with too.  The Anunnaki tried all sorts of scientific tricks to remedy the atmospheric breach but to no avail. In the midst of the ensuing groundswell of disaffection both in royal circles and amongst the body politic, King Lhama sent to King Anan in Sirius to prescribe a way forward.

ALALU TAKES THE REINS

When King Anan of Sirius received the message of the crisis on Nibiru, General, he assigned  Alshar to attend to the Nibiru problem. Now, Alshar was not only in direct charge of the imperial Sirian army but he was a most ambitious, power-hungry man. He coveted power and wanted to be his own sovereign. To him therefore, the Nibiru crisis was an opportunity to realise his dream of expeditiously becoming King.

So what he did was to stoke the fires of the anarchy that was sweeping Nibiru with a view to having Lhama overthrown, whereupon he would take over the most important planet in a potentially very rich planetary system. Alshar figured that if he took the reins on Nibiru, it would be easy for him to secede from Sirius and the broader Orion Empire.

In the event, Lhama was deposed and murdered. The forces that seized power were working under the clandestine direction of Alshar. King Anan did not suspect anything; instead, he thought Alshar had dismally and catastrophically failed to contain the situation. Being a warrior king, Anan decided to enter the lists himself. He voyaged to Nibiru with the aim of crashing the rebellion and restoring total order on the planet. It wasn’t as easy as he had anticipated though.

The rebels put up a formidable fight. They were ultimately defeated but King Anan was seriously wounded. By the time he was brought back to Sirius, he was dead. The Orion Queen conferred the highest honour on the late King and gave the procedural green light for Alshar to succeed to the throne. On his coronation, Alshar took a new name. He was to be known as King Alalu.

ANU’S COUNTER-COUP

Meanwhile, General, King Anan’s eldest grandson Anu was seething. He rightly suspected that the death of his grandfather was an inside job, that it was a tactical elimination masterminded by Alalu. As such, he undertook to secretly plot the ouster of Alalu. And not only that: he decided that once Alalu was overthrown, he would move to declare Sirius and the entire 9th Passageway independent of the Queen of Orion as he was disappointed that the Queen had failed to discern Alalu’s artifice with respect to the death of his grandfather.

When Alalu got wind of Anu’s schemings, he was alarmed. He knew that the potential to overthrow him was feasible. If he himself had pulled off a tactical coup against the deceased king, what would prevent his own detractors from doing so?  In order to pacify Anu and win him over, Alalu decided to make him his Cup-Bearer. Anu accepted the offer but it was simply his way of biding time. It was not long before he staged a direct coup and assumed the reins.

It was easy for Anu to topple Alalu in that he was a scion of the great An, who was a most beloved king and still was looked upon with nostalgia. The fact that the coup entailed hardly any bloodshed attests to the popularity of Anu. Alalu did not put up a sustained fight to reclaim the throne. Instead, he decided to flee Sirius altogether for dear life and head for the planetary system of Buida.

The planet Alalu chose as his asylum was the third from the Buida star. It would in future be known as Kisiri, meaning “Mineral Resource Centre”, since it was so richly endowed with minerals (from ki [to produce, manufacture, or create] and siri [to smelt ore]). We today call it Earth, General.

ALALU STRIKES GOLD ON PLANET EARTH

Touching down on planet Earth, Alalu was soon fetched by his most trusted confidante who he had long sent there to study its flora and fauna. This was Alalim, his Master Geneticist. Following weeks of acclimatising to the planet, which was going through an Ice Age at the time, Alalu and his team went to work immediately. They set about prospecting for and confirming the presence of gold in the marshlands using an instrument called a Tester.

“Into deeper waters he waded, the Tester into the waters he inserted,” narrates Enki. “Then Alalu’s heartbeat stopped: there is gold in the waters, the Tester was telling! … A cry of triumph from Alalu’s throat emanated: Nibiru’s fate in his hands now was!” Rushing back into his rocket ship, he turned on a sophisticated orbit detector and communication device and immediately established a link with the Nasa of the Wolfen World in Sirius.

“On another world I am, the gold of salvation I have found,” he ecstatically and magisterially announced. “The fate of Nibiru is in my hands. To my conditions you must give heed.” To his listeners, Alalu’s announcement was as alarming as it was exhilarating, General. The news that he was on a planet in the planetary system of Buida did not exactly surprise King Anu. It was no secret that Alalu had long dispatched Alalim, his fiercest loyalist, there and if he wanted a veritable place of refuge, that was the most obvious direction to head. Indeed, the Sirian space centre’s engineers confirmed that Alalu’s words were indeed being beamed from well beyond Sirius.

Voice analysis experts also put paid to the thesis that the communicant was possibly an Alien simply playing mind games with the people of Sirius: it was Alalu all right. The displaced King was not only chilling out on snow-hued Earth; he had struck potentially incalculable finds of gold so he said – the precious metal that was so desperately needed to repair Nibiru’s diminishing atmosphere.

King Anu wasted no time in attending to the matter. He travelled to Nibiru and after marathon consultations with his sons Enki and Enlil, the Jehovah/Yahweh of Old Testament fame, and other sages from across the social spectrum, he got the Nibiru space centre command to send the following message to Alalu forthwith according to Enki’s records: “Anu, the King, to you his greetings sends; of your well-being to learn he is pleased … If gold for salvation you have indeed discovered, let Nibiru be saved.”

Anu’s words were of course more opportunistic than heartfelt: Alalu was a wanted man in Sirius. People wanted him to answer for his involvement in King Anan’s death. But all that was now a thing of the past, General. He had struck gold and was now the saviour of planet Nibiru. The stark reality was that it was he who now called the shots.

Alalu’s reply was blunt and unequivocal. “If your saviour I am to be, your lives to save, convene the princes to assembly, my ancestry declare supreme. Let the commanders make me their leader, bow to my command! Let the Council pronounce me King, on the throne Anu to replace!” Alalu wanted to be King of Sirius once more, or at the very least the autonomous King of Nibiru since the ruler of Nibiru was effectively the ruler of the entire Solar System given the supremacy of that planet.

Although the Solar System was legally a property of the broader Sirian-Orion Empire, Anu was in a bind: he just had to negotiate with Alalu. He and the Queen had decided that they had had enough of wars and in circumstances of conflict diplomacy should take precedence over warfare. The union of the thrones of Sirius and Orion was intended to engender lasting peace not only between the two star systems but throughout the overarching empire.

NEXT WEEK:  ENKI, ENLIL JOIN ALALU     

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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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