Posted by: Johan Normark | January 30, 2010

2012: The mysterious elders

Rob Bast, who runs a couple of 2012 related web sites, proposes that not only the Maya, but pretty much every “culture” in ancient times were invented by some mysterious elders. Here follows a couple of quotes and summaries of his revolutionary ideas found on his 2012 forum (notice the sense of irony intended here). I also add some of my comments during this discussion.

A common tendency among the 2012ers is that they believe they think outside the box (the box of critical thinking and evaluation of evidence that scientists are trapped within). Hence, in response to my summarizing blog post on the 2012 circus, Bast says that:

An advantage I have over those with expertise on the topic of the ancient Maya is that I am looking at a much bigger picture, including:

– global nature of pyramids

– unneccessary immensity of pyramids

– extinction of mega-fauna 12,000 years ago

– the variety of things that could go wrong for us any old time (Yellowstone, comets, CME etc)

– global myths and prophecies

– roles of mysterious elders in numerous ancient civilizations

– Einstein!

Experts on specifics can put forth some pretty solid debunking. But when you look at the big picture through my eyes, you’ll find that there’s enough accumulated doubt to have a level of concern.

Thus, Bast’s assumption is that experts on the Maya lack any knowledge about the rest of the world. Pyramids do not have the same global origin, they are local developments and if they do appear to be similar it is because the morphogenic processes are similar. The unnecessary immensity of the same buildings can be explained by Rathje’s potlatch idea, etc. Bast’s interpretation of global myths and prophecies is as superficial as it can be. Just because ancient “cultures” talk about floods, mysterious beings, etc. does not mean they explain the same global event or phenomena. We simply live in a world where natural phenomena repeats and change. This is observed by humans and humans can come up with similar ideas and myths independent of each other. The reference to Einstein among 2012ers (either him or quantum physics) appears to be added to make their own ideas more credible. Einstein has very little to contribute to social science. Finally, the mysterious elders are the topic of this post so let us take a look on what Bast visualizes:

It seems reasonable to suggest, that to some degree, outsiders were involved in building pyramids throughout the world. I think it is unfortunate that most researchers take the alien angle, because although it is more interesting, so far it has been impossible to prove.

My angle is the “mysterious elders”. If they are of Earth, then they are either humans just like us (but with secret knowledge), or they are a different species of human. If they have always been on Earth, then there should be clues about their existence. If they still exist today, it should be possible to find them. I’m not aware of any efforts being made to locate them. [Would not these contemporary mysterious elders be people like Bill Gates, Ingvar Kamprad (IKEA), etc.? I am sure they are from this planet anyway]

Ancient advanced cultures have stopped dead in their tracks worldwide – not just the Mayans. My understanding is that the Mysterious Elders left them, and left to their own devices they were unable to be advanced any more. Couple that with fighting between the new factions, and you rapidly revert to how you were before the mysterious elders arrived on the scene. [The Maya “collapse” is therefore the result of these elders leaving them. I guess a couple of them stayed at Mayapan, Tulum and Utatlan even after the collapse because the Maya could never have maintained such skills]

Simply put, worldwide there were cultures that made mighty structures (pyramids), and then suddenly were unable to. And that’s just for starters. We had ancient cultures that performed dentistry, had electroplating, and so on. [Because people have the capability to do dental work throughout the world the knowledge must have been given to them by some mysterious people. Electroplating is often brought up as evidence of a mysterious knowledge that the ancients may have had a technology superior of ours].

One of the big puzzles regarding the ancient Egyptians is why their biggest and best pyramids came first, and those that followed were significantly inferior.[Their biggest pyramids were not the first ones built, the late pyramids also indicate changing functions, a stressed economy, etc.]
Not only had Angkor Wat completely disappeared, the locals have not shown any inclination or ability to make anything similar since. [Angkor Wat is one of many temples at Angkor and there are several massive constructions built after Angkor Wat (such as the walled city of Angkor Thom and the Bayon temple in the centre). The major construction activities of Angkor Thom are believed to have put severe stress on the Khmer state economy causing its downfall. After Angkor’s demise we have large Thai cities like Sukothai and Ayutthaya. Much of these cities have architecture derived from Khmer architecture]
In Samoa is a pyramid – the locals say “nothing to do with us!” [There are countless of stories around the world where people lack knowledge of past ruins in their backyard. I have no idea of who constructed some old ruins in the nearby forest where I live. It has nothing to do with me, but are they remains of some mysterious elders? I think not]

In order to fit the whole world historical chronology into his arborescent model (such as the 3,500 years that separate the Pyramid of Khufu and Angkor Wat, or why not modern skyscrapers as well) Bast needs to come up with an explanation why these elders moved from place to place:

That’s what I think – once the locals got sick of building pyramids for elders whose promises didn’t come true, they revolted.

The mysterious elders then moved on. There weren’t (aren’t?) many of them, so they were typically only at one place at a time, moving from place to place over thousands of years. I am slowly working on a timeline of their movements. I think there may have been two different factions, those that encouraged human sacrifice and built giant structures, and a more peaceful bunch who hung out in northern Europe.

One have to twist and bend archaeological, architectural and art historical data to explain how these mysterious elders changed architectural styles, construction techniques, art styles, writing systems, and more as they moved along. One has to explain why there always is a local development preceding the largest architecture. The Khufu pyramid did not just emerge out of nowhere. There is ample evidence that the Egyptians experimented with forms for several centuries before this pyramid (from Predynastic mastabas, to Djoser’s step pyramid, Huni’s pyramid and Sneferu’s Bent and Red pyramids).

The mysterious elders of the north would have been more peaceful and not performing human sacrifice according to Bast. No quite true. The Vikings and their predecessors sacrificed people now and then. By this logic it would also mean that those that built huge southern Buddhist monuments in SE Asia (Borobudur on Java, Bayon at Angkor, Bagan in Myanmar, etc) also performed human sacrifices? For Bast’s “theory” to work, there have to be plenty of mysterious elders and several factions of them that apparently had no knowledge of the others. I wish Bast good luck with outlining the movement.



  1. A couple of points I feel need addressing here…

    Einstein endorsed the crustal pole shift theory, that’s his connection. The book he was reading when he died was also about pole shifts, one can take that to mean that he dedicated his last remaining days to examining the concept further.

    The fact remains that of all the cultures globally that built pyramids, none were able to continue doing so, and none do so today, even with modern technology (shells like in Vegas excepted).

    Electroplating and dentistry are of interest to me, not just because they had the technology in ancient times, but because the technology disappeared. Why would dentistry skills disappear??

    You may have no idea of who constructed some old ruins in the nearby forest, but you would have an idea as to why…

    The ideas that building giant pyramids created economic stress would be fine, if we had an understanding of how they were built. No proof exists on how the Great Pyramid was built, and no one theory is widely accepted. Only when we know the technique can we judge the economic stress…

    Global pyramids due to similar morphogenic processes does not cover why the Great Pyramid and the Pyramid of the Sun incorporate the same mathematical principles. Nor does it explain the repeated use of chambers below ground level.

    I realize that the only way to “prove” the mysterious elders concept is to locate them or find proof of their existence. I’ll leave no stone unturned, from the possibility that they are actually Yeti, to the idea that they made up Atlantis as a red herring, or that DNA testing could out those that exist among us today. Ridicule will not put me off 😉

    • I am not a great fan of pole shifts whether or not Einstein was interested in it. There is no evidence for such shifts.

      The statement that “cultures” no longer build pyramids is a completely subjective evaluation. Only in Egypt do we find “true” pyramids and they went out of fashion during the Middle Kingdom (however, some argue that the whole Valley of the Kings is a symbolic pyramid). What is usually termed pyramid in Mesoamerica or in India is simply a building with a broader base than the top and a stairway leading to its higher levels. Such buildings were constructed up until the late 17th century in the Maya area (Tayasal) and it was only the Spaniards who destroyed them not elders leaving the Maya… Prangs in SE Asia are still constructed so I guess the elders still live in that area. What about Burj Khalifa, is it a pyramid as well? Economic stress…

      Yes, why do technologies and skills disappear? Probably because these were the skills of a limited few (these people need not be mysterious in any way) and they were probably not institutionalized with a proper educational system.

      Sure there are proofs as to how the pyramids in Egypt were constructed. Their giant size suggests that thousands of people during several years were involved (unless we include alien spaceships, etc.). That costs.

      And those same mathematical principles would be what? The angle or the areal extent of the base (which is similar). Both pyramids used completely different technologies, Khufu is a one phase construction and the Sun pyramid have several construction phases.

      How do you detect mysterious elder DNA then?

  2. […] More: 2012: The mysterious elders « Archaeological Haecceities […]

  3. Electroplating in Babylonia, has that ever been proved to really have happened? Isn’t the story just that some jars have been found with a content which is known TODAY to be useful if you design a primitive electric device? But did the Babylonian bronze age priests understand that? They maybe just saw some pots with edible contents. If you study old things with today’s eyes you may not understand how the old folks looked at the same things. To us Heron’s steampowered whatever it was in Alexandria was a possible steam engine. Maybe the contemporaries more regarded it as entertainment, as a toy, and not a source for machine power?

    Or: if some Babylonians found out that you could design a battery, maybe they kept quit about it – being secretive is a good method to delay advances in science and technology. If you think that way you don’t have to let any “elders” come and go to explain advances or backsliding.

    And people may know but don’t do: I think it was in living memory in Zimbabwe how the megalith buildings were erected, but no one was interested in building new ones.

    PS. Have just found out that the end of the world is in year 2013. If some publisher advances me a huge amount of money I will write a book which explains how the old Nordic scriptures, i.e. the Edda, explains it all. If there is an error along the way, we may try with 2014 instead … DS

  4. I have no idea what the facts and fictions are in the “battery” story. But you are absolutely right that people look at these ancient remains from a present (and ethnocentric) perspective. People have developed several kinds of technology and then never develop it further (China is the classic example). The 2012ers see things from a completely linear perspective and everything should end up in a technology like our own (or better).

    No, the world does not end in 2013. It ends in 2027.

  5. “2012: Time for Change”
    projects a radical alternative to apocalyptic doom and gloom. Directed by Emmy Award nominee Joao Amorim, the film follows journalist Daniel Pinchbeck, author of the bestselling 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl, on a quest for a new paradigm that integrates the archaic wisdom of tribal cultures with the scientific method. As conscious agents of evolution, we can redesign post-industrial society on ecological principles to make a world that works for all. Rather than breakdown and barbarism, 2012 will herald the birth of a regenerative planetary culture, where collaboration replaces competition, where exploration of psyche and spirit becomes the new cutting edge, replacing the sterile materialism that has pushed our world to the brink.

    Interviews with design scientists, anthropologists, physicists such as Dean Radin, Barbara Marx Hubbard, John Todd and Paul Stamets and celebrities such as Sting, Ellen Page and Gilberto Gil.

  6. 2012 will not herald anything. This is just wishful thinking. Exploration of psyche and spirit will not be a true helper in present and future needs. Creationists, scientologists and other “spiritual people” help the Haitians with their holy words whereas that sterile materialism help them with planes delivering food, industrialized food, etc. “Tribal wisdom” will be slightly better than creationism but this is just taking the wrong direction.

  7. For information on who the Elder Gods were, pyramid building, 2012 etc. read the non-fiction 2012 trilogy, The Ark of Millions of Years by E. J. Clark, co-authored by B. Alexander Agnew. I highly recommend these books as the authors have written more on this subject and 2012 than any other authors in the wold. The books are well documented from reliable sources.

  8. I doubt it.

  9. Hey Johan can you do a forum or blog about Angkor as a dedication for me:)! I think a lot people should give more credit to this civilization!

  10. Oh I think when it comes to the pyramids of Egypt and the temples of Angkor it can be said that they are equal despite the fact that the pyramids are older! But it lacks a lot of stuff that Angkor can produce! When it comes to Angkor, everything is on a grand scale!

  11. I have made two blog posts dealing with Angkor. There will be at least one more in the future.

  12. Talking about Angkor: in the early 1950s an archeaological “elder” (have not memorized his name unfortunately) speculated about connections between the old Khmer kingdom and the Mesoamerican cultures. He thought that the building styles are similar in Angkor and the Maya lands. Did that theory die with that “elder”?

  13. No, it prevails among 2012ers. It is usually related to Atlantis and the “mother civilization” idea.

  14. Yes. the buildings of Angkor and Mayan are similar in a way but not quite! Angkor temples are more intricate and complex to build than Mayan pyramids! It requires a lot of man power just to build one temple! I do hope you know that the Angkorians built thousands of temples and shrines all over south east Asia not just the temples in Angkor! It took them only 600 years to build all of that which is quite amazing! You should check out the many Bridges they built still standing and still in use lolz!


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