SIS WORKSHOP vols. 1 and 2 (9 issues - 1978-1980) ARTICLE ABSTRACTS/EXTRACTS

  SIS WORKSHOP 1:1 (Workshop 'Issue 1' )                                           Click here for cost                              

 The Bible Through a King James Filter, by Martin Sieff

Preconceptions tend to distort our perception of reality. When Immanuel Velikovsky suggested that a literal reading of the histories, mythologies and descriptive texts of the ancient world offered overwhelming testimony to the witnessing of skyborn catastrophes on a literally global scale by their authors, his suggestion was rejected - one might almost say exorcised - by a tautological declaration. As it was a priori assumed that the regular, uniformitarian processes of the Earth had continued undisturbed throughout historical times, all historical material, from the earliest times, had been viewed through the filter of this assumption and interpreted accordingly. Velikovsky's interpretations were, therefore, 'refuted' by explanations and interpretations which had been developed in the first place to explain the same material within the unquestioningly accepted uniformitarian framework. ...........
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The Background to Ramses II and His Time, by Geoffrey Gammon

As the third volume of Immanuel Velikovsky's revision of the ancient history of the Near East is to be published in Spring 1978, SIS members may find it useful to have a brief outline of the generally accepted views about the Egyptian XIXth and XXVIth Dynasties and their contemporaries in Western Asia. ...........
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Midsummer Madness, by Mike Rowland

Like many others, I was intrigued by the hypothesis put forward by Prof. G. S. Hawkins in his book Stonehenge Decoded, and, prompted by the rebuttal from Prof. R. J. C. Atkinson, quoted by Dr. Velikovsky in his article in Pensée (Vol. 2, No. 2), I decided to check the data on which Prof. Hawkins had based his ideas by visiting the site myself. It seemed to me that his case stands or falls primarily on the veractity of the major alignment of Centre/Heel Stone/Midsummer sunrise, by which Prof. Hawkins claims to establish the main purpose of the monument: co-ordination of the calender to the seasons. ................
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SIS WORKSHOP 1:2  (Workshop 'Issue 2')                                            Click here for cost

Lessons in Humility, by Malcom Lowery

          'It is always important for a scientist to be humble, and open, and questing,
          in face of the truth.'

Whilst it is not our purpose to give space to individuals, especially those who have shown themselves to be unsympathetic to our concerns, there is one personage who has recently achieved some prominence, and the following is offered as a matter of record. The heartening quotation above is taken from the fourth of Carl Sagan's televised Christmas Lectures at the Royal Institution (repeated during the Spring), and members may make what they will of that and the statements below, abstracted from various moments during the five days:-

         Of 'ancient cosmic catastrophes' [sic]: 'Things were very violent in the early history of the
         solar system.' - 'The scars of early catastrophes still exist on the lunar surface.'
 
         Of the cosmic time-scale: 'Mons Olympus is very young ... no older than hundreds of
         milllions or perhaps a billion years old.'
 
         Of conditions on Venus: 'Venus is very much like the classical description of Hell.'
 
         Of conditions on Mars: .......................
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Origins of the Zodiac and Some Horological Problems, by Michael G. Reade 

There is a distinct similarity between the signs of the zodiac and the face of a modern clock. The 12 zodiacal signs are equally spaced around the zodiac, which consists of a belt of stars sited close to the ecliptic, marking a single complete great circle on the celestial sphere formed by the heavens. ........................ There is a curious feature about this 'clock' however, ........................ 
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The Beginning of Religious Belief, by Mike Rowland

Man's first steps in philosophy, in thinking about himself and his environment, are lost in the mists of time. From what little evidence we have (some cave drawings, a few hand-tools and primitive carvings) Man appears to have been relatively unconcerned with the fate of his forefathers - in short, he lacked an historical perspective. Striking though they are, the paintings at Altamira have nothing of the 'Kilroy-was-here' legacy to posterity which has illuminated graffiti for the last 6,000 years. We can only surmise that Man was concerned only with today, the immediate yesterday and the immediate tomorrow. But the cave-drawings are obviously not mere pal[a]eolithic 'wallpaper'. They had a special magical significance to the artist and his companions. They are not displayed in the living quarters of his abode but in the inner sanctuary of his cave, away from the daily routine of his life. One may ask why he made paintings of animals in places dark, secret, remote, hidden and inaccessible. Did early Man worship animals? Were these primitive shrines? ......................
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Cosmic Imagery from the Time of Joseph, by Brendan O'Gheoghan
 
To all extents and purposes, the famine that lasted for seven years in the time of Joseph seems to have been a natural enough occurrence. We hear that it was widespread, affecting Egypt, Phoenicia, Arabia and Palestine [1]. There are no indications from the text of Genesis of anything extraordinary that might underlie this famine. Nor does Josephus mention any comcomitant plagues, celestial events, or archangels. In the legends collected by Ginsberg there is hardly a hint of anything amiss in the time of Joseph. However, suspicions are roused on reading a rather curious, and on the surface, far-fetched story to which Ginsberg devotes several pages [2]. This is a tale of how Judah confronts Joseph over the detention of their brother Benjamin. As the arguments gets more and more heated, so the characters lost some of their human frailness and become possessed of quite fearsome power. Many of their actions come to resemble those of the gods of Pagan legend. ............
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The Catastrophic Substructure of the Samson & Delilah Myth, by Derek Shelley-Pearce

Readers of Kronos will be familiar with the first part of the heading of this article which has been borrowed from Irving Wolfe. It seemed so approriate that it is hoped the writer will be forgiven.  There seems little doubt that Hebrew 'mythology' as contained in the Bible is a later monotheised version of earlier pagan mythologies culled from such sources as ancient Greece, Mesopotamia, Persia and Egypt. We are indebted to Robert Graves and Raphael Patai among others for disclosing the vestiges of these earlier mythologies in their book Hebrew Myths. Most biblical scholars emphasise Mesopotamia as being the main source for the early Genesis 'myths', but there are perhaps one or two exceptions to this, notably A. S. Yahude who published a book called The Accuracy of the Bible in 1934 in which he maintained that Egypt is the principle source for the Genesis material. .......................
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SIS WORKSHOP 1:3  (Workshop 'Issue 3')                                               Click here for cost 

King Solomon's Mines?, by Nel Kluitman

In SISR [SIS Review] II:4, the Editor asked for more information on the book My People. That book is in fact only a third (the middle section) of Indaba, My Children by Vuzumazulu Credo Mutwa, published by Blue Crane Books of Johannesburg. This fascinating book is a long history of Mutwa's tribe; after a wonderful poem on 'The Tree of Life', a sort of Genesis myth, the first part contains the story of the 'first red people'. ......................

[N. Kluitman goes on to suggest that many of the people mentioned in the book relate to the time of Solomon and his relationship with the pharaoh of Egypt, father of Solomon's Egyptian wife].
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Angels & Catastrophism - Some Theological Implications: Part I, by Derek Douglass  

The tradition of the Church is clear enough. At the same time as the creation of the material 'world', God created purely spiritual creature out of nothing called angels. There was a period of testing and then, through their own fault, the bad angels, who failed the test, were condemned to hell and thrown out of heaven together with their leader who is known variously by the name 'Devil', 'Satan', or 'Wicked Serpent'. Treatises on angeology became profuse during the time of the Schoolmen, led notably by St. Thomas Aquinas. A popular conclusion concerning these creatures was that because of the spiritual, i.e. non-corporeal nature, they were not limited to any particular location in time or space and therefore it was possible to conceive of a virtually infinite number of them dancing on the head of a pin. ............ However meaningless the end result of this rigorous a priori logic may seem to us today, raised as we have been in the mental structures of evolutionary thought, these medieval notions may, perhaps, reveal something of relevant interest to us as I now hope to demonstrate. .......................
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Response to Mike Rowland - 'The Beginning of Religious Belief',  by John J. Bimson

The item 'The Beginning of Religious Belief', by Mike Rowland ([SISW I:2], p. 7) makes several statements which do not bear close examination. The statment that painted caves of the Palaeolithic era are 'dedicated to Man's own supremacy' depends on the assertions that they contain 'no trace of superstition' and 'no imagery of gods and devils'. ................. 
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Further Thoughts on Time, by Mike Rowland 

Michael Reade's interesting article on the perplexities of Man's relationship with time [SIS Workshop 1:2] prompts me to suggest other lines of thought, particularly with regard to the  present-day calendar. ...................
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SIS WORKSHOP 1:4  (Workshop 'Issue 4' )                                                       Click here for cost 

Chronological Questions and Question-Marks, by Vera I. Kerkhof

At a public debate pro and contra Velikovsky's revised chronology for the period from the Exodus to Rehoboam/Shishak in Amersfoort, Holland, last October, several arguments came up against the revision which need, I think, serious attention.  ............... 
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Menkheperre Thutmose, A.K.A. Shishak Melech Mitzraim, by Monty Hennegin and Malcom Lowery

[Monty Hennegin:] - ............. the writings of early Hebrew, as with most alphabets in the Middle East, only had consonants: the vowels were interpolated at a later period. Consequently, the early transliteration of the name [Shishak] appears to have been Ssk. However, according to Velikovsky, quoting Dhorme in Revue Biblique Vol. XL (1931), the cuneiform transliteration of the name is Swsk; ............. [Malcom Lowery:] Well, I'm not convinced ......... Also, we start with a choice of Ssk (Swsk) and Sksk, which are distinctly different ..................... [Monty Hennegin:] You contend that phonological change only takes place in borrowings under three conditions, namely: unfamiliar sounds, spellings predominating and the passage of years. But if this is so, how do you account for phonological discrepanceis in the same script at the same period? If we look at the El Amarna Tablets, written in in Akkadian cuneiform and using Mercer's version, we find the name Nebma're .......in EA1 as Nibmuria, in EA2 as Nimuwaria, EA19 as Nimmuria and in EA 26 as Mimmuria. Neferkheperure becomes in EA7 Naphururia, EA16 Naphuria and EA41 Huria. ..............   Hittite, which used/was written in a Babylonian form of cuneiform, also shows great changes in the transition into Egyptian and Semitic cuneiform. In an article called 'The Egyptian Translation of Hittite Names', Dr. H. R Hall shows that the Egyptians quite regularly left of the masculine nominative ending s ..........................   The Hittitite Subbilulius or Suppilulius (the 'b' and 'b' were constantly confused  ..................................................... [Malcom Lowery:] .... There certainly does seem to be a lot of evidence for downright sloppiness among the scribal classes of ancient days. ............................I wasn't aware of the amount of lazy transcription that went on .........................
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Angels & Catastrophism Part II, by Derek Douglass

One rational explanation or perhaps rationalisation of such personal encounters which is elaborated in modern times is that angelic visitations (or visitations of a god if we are dealing with pagan sources) are a kind of paradigm to lend weight and credence to some special inspiration received by some person or persons. If Mary the mother of Jesus, for example, had calmly announced that she had received the inspired notion that she was about to be the mother of the Messiah, it is doubtful whether her boast would have excited much attention. Therefore, the traditional ruse of attributing such an inspiration, which purported to come from some source other than the imagination or fancy of the recipient as it were, [i.e.] to the visitation of an angel or a god, was necessary if it was to gain credence and influence the passage of events. The main problem with such an explanation ...............
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SIS WORKSHOP 1:5  (Workshop 'Issue 5')                                                       Click here for cost 

Geological Reflections, by R. M. Langdon

I grew up on the high plains of Colorado at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. This land is so arid that the prairies are almost desert in nature. It is doubtful that, in the 1920s, many people had ever tramped around them extensively. ....................... Two of the things that impressed me at that age [when growing up] were (1) the stratification of the land as it was exposed in the arroyos and gorges and (2) the carpet of small, round, dark red stones - literally thousands and thousands of them, ranging from [the size of] tiny peas to as much as an inch in diameter. My elders told me that the strata were layers of limestone - the little skeleton bit at the bottom of long-ago oceans -and the pebbles were meteorites. This, of course, was not much explanation, but it sufficed for the time. It didn't explain how those oceans got up to 5,000 feet, where I was standing, or the mountains rising another 5,000 feet just to the west, and it didn't explain where the meteorites came from; .........................
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A Point of View ('The Cold War, McCarthy and Velikovsky'), by L. Ellenberger

Many recent followers of the 'Velikovsky Affair' like myself may be somewhat mystified by the juxtapostion of McCarthy and Velikovsky. Commentators setting the background for the reception of Worlds in Collision in 1950 often describe the political milieu mentioning such items as McCarthyism and anti-intellectualism. For example, Storer offers:  

          ' ...  science  and  indeed  all  intellectual enterprises seemed to be under attack by right-wing
          forces in American society. The Cold War was at its chilliest ... and Senator Joseph McCarthy
          was waiting  in  the  wings.  Blacklists were drawn up, loyalty oaths were required and to be a
          scientist  was  to  be  a potential  traitor ... Scientists quickly adopted a defensive posture, and
          one  could  hardly  expect  them  to  welcome  with  open  arms  another  apparent  attempt to
          discredit established scientific knowledge.' [1]
 
Similar descriptions have been offered by Goldsmith [2], Asimov [3] and Ledeen [4].  Not having been old enough in 1950 to appreciate all the forces that were at work, I did not understand the significance, if any of the connection between the Cold War, McCarthy and Velikovsky. Could the association of right-wing oppression of scientists and Velikovsky's book be nothing more than a red-herring? ............ 
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Holocaust for Lucifer, by Chris Marx

If a person behaves irrationally - if he is neurotic, does incomprehensible things and even puts other people in danger - then the psychiatrist will look into this person's past. The treatment will bring repressed and apparently forgotten experiences into consciousness - and if the analyst succeeds in helping the patient to see the traumatic experiences as the underlying stimulus for the pathological actions, a cure is not far away. It is astonishing that the psychoanalytical method does not occur to anyone when a collective commits irrational actions! The 'Holocaust' series [of papers by Marx] bears witness to active and passive, mentally ill collective behaviour - but how helpless and lost for an answer, how confused by dreams of a perfect world the participants in the following discussion are, when faced with the audience's questions: How could this happen? Will it happen again? What should we do? And none of those involved, none of the specialists - not even the psychologist himself! - demands that an analyst should search in the past of the human collective for the underlying stimulus. ......................
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Exodus and Phaethon, by M. G. Reade

It is often suggested that the Phaethon episode and the Exodus catastrophe could have been one and the same. There are two principal arguments for dating the Phaethon episode earlier than the Exodus catastrophe, one of them Egyptological, the other Judaic-astronomical. ............................
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A Later Date for the Phaethon Event, by B. O'Gheoghan

Michael Reade has suggested that the Phaethon incident marks the most recent inversion of the Earth [1], and times it shortly after sunrise on a day close to the mid-summer solstice. Patten et al. suggest that the Phaethon event may have similarities with the long day of Joshua and they time this as happening in the autumn (October in fact), making it a 'case two' event like that of the Tower of Babel [2]. According to Velikovsky, the Phaethon incident was caused by Venus, an identification which ............  However, Patten et al. seem to have overlooked two vital pieces of information in formulating their arguments. ..............
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SIS WORKSHOP 2:1 (Workshop 'Issue 6')                                               Click here for cost 

Some Interdisciplinary Speculations, by R. M. Langdon

Someone once told me - it may have been Bill Mullen - that once you have read Velikovsky carefully, the world will never again look quite the same. However true this may be for most people, it has certainly been true for me. It has led to endless reading, endless speculation, and the hopeless feeling that I am never going to know very much about anything. However, the reading, discussion and speculation has turned up a few items which might be of interest to some.
At the beginning of the commercial jet age some 20 years ago, I became quite interested in high altitude ozone, its prevalence, its location and distribution horizontally and vertically in the atmosphere and its effects on the human body. .............
...... with regard to racial memories and/or amnesia, ................... It is easy to understand that the environment surrounding the Velikovskian catastrophes could cause massive genetic mutation.  It is generally agreed that most such mutations would be deleterious to the organism, even fatal, but the concept of the specificity of the data stored in the surviving mutants eludes me. .......................
Dr Velikovsky seems to be telling us that a broad racial knowledge of the cause of our phobias would enable the race to sublimate its guilt and agressivenes and relax and enjoy the short period of stability in the solar system ............. I am forced to wonder if the race would be better able to cope if it consciously understood that that system is probably quite unstable and could come unglued any day in ways which the race could not hope to survive. It occurs to me that our current manic behaviour might seem tame compared to what might [then] ensue. Perhaps this is the fundamental reason that lies behind the desperate efforts of Lyell and Darwin and their descendants, Shapley and Sagan, to assure the race that all is well ...................
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SIS WORKSHOP 2:2 (Workshop 'Issue 7')                                                       Click here for cost 

  The Antiquity of the Egyptian Decans, by M. G. Reade

It is generally supposed that the decans represent stars, probably ones chosen to mark the hours of the night by their risings. The indications are that a full set of decan comprises 36 stars, even if this does imply that the day and the night should have been divided into 36 equal parts instead of 24. Insofar as there is an orthodox explanation for this total number of decans, it is that stars were chosen which differed in their helical risings by 10 days, 10 days being the length of the official week at the time when the original selection of stars was made.  ....... The snag about the division of the day into 36 parts instead of 24 can be overcome by supposing that 'night hours' were much shorter than 'day hours' and that night was deemed to be only eight modern hours or 12 decans long. ........... The principal source of the lists of decans are the coffin lids from Asyut (10th - 12th Dynasties) and the astronomical ceilings (18th - 19th Dynasties, supplemented by later versions, down to and including Roman times; some water clocks and other ancillary objects can also be marked with decans.) ............
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SIS WORKSHOP 2:3                                                                                                                                               Click here for cost 

A Look at the Future, by R. Forshufvud

Knowing that there had been great catastrophes in the past, our ancestors generally believed that another catastrophe would follow. In the old traditions, this future catastrophe is known under names such as 'Day of the Lord', 'Day of Wrath', 'Doomsday', Ragnarok, and 'End of the World'. Some people even thought that world destructions repeat themselves at regular intervals, although there was a remarkable disagreement regarding the length of these intervals. Heraclitus taught that the world is destroyed in conflagration after every period of 10,800 years, but according to Aristarchus of Samos, the earth undergoes one destruction by fire and one destruction by water in each period of 2,484 years [1]. There is a special name for the discipline dealing with world ages and world destructions. It is called Eschatology. ................ Were all major catastrophes really caused by cosmic collisions? According to Velikovsky, the Great Catastrophe that was the ultimate cause of all other cosmic catatastrophes in the history of mankind was the Universal Deluge, which came when Saturn exploded as a nova. Should we draw the conclusion that one great catastrophe, the greatest of them all, was not caused by a cosmic collision? No, says Velikovsky, Saturn's nova explosion was the consequence of a close encounter between Jupiter and Saturn [4]. And this thesis is in good agreement with a theory that some astronomers used to favour, saying that nova explosions are caused by collisions between large celestial bodies. ................
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SIS WORKSHOP 2:4                                                                    Click here for cost
                                                                        Click here for cost              
Sodom and Gomorrah, by James E. Strickling 
 
Sodom and Gomorrah are probably the two most infamous cities that ever existed, the name of one having established itself in the English language in a term evidencing an undying image of wickedness: sodomy. Although their notorious image persists, the cities themselves have been lost for millenia - generally considered to be 'covered in the shallow waters ... near the southern end of the Dead Sea.' [1] 'The Dead Sea occupies ... a sunken block confined by two parallel geological faults' [2] - suggestive of a catastrophic origin. That is to say the depresseion was not created by the action of water, and the 'sea' is not really a sea but a landlocked lake. .......................
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