Posted by: Johan Normark | April 14, 2009

2012: Prophet of nonsense #2 – Gregg Braden and fractal time

After describing Calleman’s prophecies of nonsense I decided to go for Gregg Braden’s new book Fractal Time: The Secret of 2012 and a New World Age. Apparently, Braden tries to merge fractal patterns with the view of a cyclic universe. This is an idea that partly steams from yet another prophet of nonsense, José Arguelles. Notice that all these prophets refer mainly to other “prophets” and their “interpretation” of the Maya calendar(s), not to established researchers that actually have an academic degree in Maya archaeology, epigraphy, iconography or ethnography. The main exception here is perhaps John Major Jenkins, another of Braden’s influences. Jenkins at least tries to base his galactic alignment nonsense on Mayanist research (particularly archaeoastronomical studies like Freidel, Schele and Parker’s “Maya Cosmos”). But it is still nonsense as there is no particular galactic alignment between the dark rift in the Milky Way and the winter solstice sun on the 21st of December 2012. This alignment has already occurred and will occur for many years after this date.

Back to Braden’s nonsense: All human history boils down to mirroring returning cycles of the past. When the cycle repeats, it brings a more powerful version of itself. This book sounds like Dr Phil: the best prediction for future behavior is past behavior. Everything will repeat and all we need to know is where to look in the past to predict the future. This is pretty much similar to those archaeologists/researchers who claim we can learn from the past for future sustainable development (although they do not insert a divine order into their formula). But there ends the comparison…

Braden suggests that the very location of Earth in space triggers cycles of spiritual growth. This location is apparently in relation to the galactic center (here is where Jenkins sneaks in). Braden has used Jenkins idea that the Long Count calendar of 5125 years is part of a roughly 26000 year long cycle (the precession of the equinoxes). Braden claims that climate changes detected in ice cores can tell us when we are close or far away from the black hole in the center of the Milky Way (which is the source of enormous energy). We do not even have to worry about global warming since this is not seen as a result of air pollution but the melting ice caps are part of a long cycle (of course, related to galactic alignments).


The most amusing, however, is to read the reviews of Braden’s book on Amazon. Some readers believe this is the greatest book ever, but some argue that it is complete nonsense. One would think that those who believe it to be complete nonsense have a more scientific approach. No… they are still believers of the 2012 nonsense, they do not just like this particular prophet of nonsense. They prefer some other mumbo jumbo since one of them argue that archaeologists (Mayanists in general I assume) have gotten it all wrong and that they are the ones writing nonsense about the Maya calendar(s). I do not like everything written about the calendars by Mayanists but at least they use empirical data critically. That is not something done by the prophets of nonsense and their ignorant followers. You do not need to have an academic education to see that this is a way to sell books to the ignorant. I have no doubt that these prophets of nonsense will sell far more books than all Mayanists combined, particularly in the US. But what will the prophets do on the 22nd of December 2012 when nothing has happened? I suggest the ignorant readers, who hopefully have changed their minds by then, demand their money back.

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Responses

  1. “Those that say they know do not and those that do know say nothing”

  2. And what about people delivering comments without clarfied target? Is it me of Braden you refer to? Anyway, your quote seems to be a perfect description of the 2012 prophets. They do talk a lot about things they have no clue.

    Is Gregg Braden actually a pseudonym for Barry Gibb (Bee Gees)?

  3. You wrote:
    “…there is no particular galactic alignment between the dark rift in the Milky Way and the winter solstice sun on the 21st of December 2012. This alignment has already occurred and will occur for many years after this date.”

    Good job on twisting semantics and engaging in polemical sophistry! The idea that the alignment of the December solstice sun with the galactic equator (or for a more expanded definition, the dark rift in the Milky Way) needs to happen only in 2012, is not and has never been a requirement of my 2012 alignment theory. It is absurd to expect the ancient Maya to have been able to target a forward calculation in the precession of the equinoxes to such a degree of precision. I suggest you read my work on this point before you cast aspersions so readily, for your spreading of disinformation on this point is as pernicious as the goofball activities of those you criticize. It’s fun for you to satirize all the craziness in the 2012 discussion, but you should try to pierce through the b.s. and determine what is being discovered now about how the ancient Maya thought about 2012, based on the evidence at Tortuguero. You’ll find that I was barking up the right tree many years ago, and that all the closed-minded scholars and naysaying debunkers will be feasting on crow and humble pie. Pull up a chair.

  4. So I guess it is the winter solstice sun´s impregnation of the dark rift then that is your main idea (First Father and First Mother)? That may indeed only occur on that date. However, the whole idea of mixing the Aztec five suns with the Maya Long Count to end up at a period that fits the precession is interesting but not supported. As far as I know there is in the Late Formative and Classic period corpus only the creation and a world before creation, not four earlier creations. That may indeed be a later Central Mexican influence. What about those dates beyond 2012 (at Tikal and Palenque)?

    As for me feasting on crow and humble pie, that is fine. The 2012 phenomenon is simply a minor interest of mine. It will be over in 2013, so then I guess all the 2012ers will be the ones feasting on whatever is left. Maybe 2027 can be their future feasting time?

  5. Whoa,

    I just got around to watching the video. Isn’t that an Aztec calendar they show when they mention the Mayan LC? If so, I guess they didn’t get the memo.

  6. It is… Well, he also includes Egyptian pyramids and other non-Maya stuff as well so actually having the Aztec calendar stone in the video is not the worst part.


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