Posted by: Johan Normark | May 26, 2010

2012: How not to diagnose the symptom of the universe

In the past few days I have had several visitors from a website that has posted a comment by Calleman. While reading his reply on a previous post about his so-called Maya calendar I note several statements that indicate that Calleman sees himself as a prophet and that he widely exaggerates his importance.

Calleman begins by saying that “among those that are not hallucinogen users I may be the only one, who is a professional scientist.” As I have said elsewhere, he is not a professional Mayanist. That is as if I would write a book about quantum physics and then claim expertise on the subject by my PhD in archaeology. That is pretty much what Calleman does. His expertise in science is found elsewhere. His work on the Maya calendar has not been published by any scientific journal or academic publishers, only by “New Age” publishers.

He claims that John Major Jenkins galactic alignment theory is a fantasy that “has been very successfully sold to people to the point that some think that there actually exists something to back it up despite the persistent denial of this by professional astronomers.” This is indeed true and then one might think that Calleman has something better to offer. Calleman is also right when he says that the precessional cycle is not mentioned in Maya texts. Unfortunately, he does not say that his own version of the Long Count is not supported by calendar inscriptions either, something I will return to later.

In any case, at this point of the text we begin to learn more about Calleman than about the Long Count. Calleman says: “the galactic alignment idea holds a great risk in that it makes human evolution dependent on some astronomical event outside of our control. The risk is that in as much as people believe in the galactic alignment fantasy, they will not be living up to their potential role as co-creators in due time.” Calleman thinks that a competing New Age interpretation of a non-event will keep people from evolving into a higher consciousness. That is why he has put quite a lot of effort in trying to debunk Jenkins as a calendar expert. Just note that few of these so-called “calendar experts” actually do refer to real calendar experts which has published in serious journals or academic book publishers (such as David Stuart, Linda Schele, Prudence Rice, Mark Van Stone, Anthony Aveni, etc.). An exception is actually Jenkins who at least has some basic connections to Mayanist studies, something that Calleman does not have.

As is normal among 2012ers, Calleman joins the conspiracy theorists as well. He says that “it should then not surprise us that also all the forces that want to back up the current world of hierarchies, including Hollywood, are doing their best to support the December 21, 2012 date. This date thus serves to foster a wait-and-see attitude and to divert the changes that are under way.” The world hierarchies are into this conspiracy since they attempt to hide Calleman’s truth. Calleman says that Jenkins “is playing games with the future of humanity because they themselves are well aware of the complete absence of evidence in the Mayan sources for this galactic alignment theory.” Playing games with the future of humanity??? Really? This is indeed to put too much belief and importance into an ancient calendar. Calleman persistently says that he is a realist but I wonder whose reality he refers to.

Calleman argues that people have not rigorously examined the sources of the Maya calendar. So let us with a brief example see how rigorous his expertise on the Maya calendar is (note that I am not an expert on the calendar myself but it is still easy to point out Calleman’s lack of expertise). He argues that the books of Chilam Balam were written when the katuns and baktuns no longer was in use. Wrong. The last celebrated baktun ending occurred in 1618 (it was celebrated by the Xiw in Merida) and katuns ceased to be used in the early 19th century (the so-called Valladolid calendar with 24 year long katuns).

The Calleman Long Count has a particular non-Maya approach. That is, he seeks patterns throughout the world or the universe in order to find correlations. For example: “we may for instance understand that the katun in the Long Count with the tzolkin energy of 4 Ahau (AD 20-40) did have a special energy (we know from history that this is the energy that brought the teaching of Christ)”. Now, just remember his critique of Jenkins that said there is no evidence for the galactic alignment in the inscriptions. Please, Calleman, show us the inscription that support the quote above.

Calleman argues that his “work has resulted in a series of books where the actual phenomena in the universe, biological historical or otherwise, are understood from quantum shifts emanating from the Cosmic Tree of Life. These arguments are not speculative, but supported by massive empirical evidence. Long time Mayan calendar expert, author and publisher Barbara Hand Clow has on this basis referred to my most recent book The Purposeful Universe as “possibly the most important book that has ever been written” and others have come to concur with this assessment.” His arguments are purely speculative and not supported by empirical evidence. A true scientist does no choose the “evidence” that fits his model and skips the massive empirical data that contradicts it. The most important book that has ever been written? Probably, for Calleman and his followers. I look forward to the future peer-reviewed article(s) that for sure must come out of such an important piece of work.

He continues to flatter himself when he claims that “I, on the other hand, can credit myself to some very significant predictions in my books, published years in advance, that have later turned out to be correct. Very notable is for instance, the prediction of the precise timing of when the economic downturn would begin, which was based on the October 28, 2011 date. It is important to realize that this would not have been possible if I had been relying on the Hollywood-approved end date of December 21, 2012.” OK, let us see how correct how correct one of his recent prophecies was. He has suggested that during “Night 6” which began on November 7 2009 paper money should have lost its value. Has it really lost its value more than 6 months later? No… If his calendar is correct all his predictions must be correct as well. But I guess he just pick those that he vaguely predicted correctly. Just ignore those failed prophecies.

Calleman is getting cold feet since he “personally think that if we are to approach the future with realism we will have to give up silly fault finding games and look primarily at the evidence for connections between the Mayan calendar and historical reality.” Yes, I am sure he wants people to stop looking for fault and flaws in his “research”. That would be devastating to his credibility. Calleman (and Jenkins) cannot diagnose the symptom of the universe. Black Sabbath and Ozzy do that better.




  1. If you read “The transformation of consciousness and the Mayan Calendar”
    first then you would understand the Purposeful Universe.
    my non profesional opinion is Caleman is right on.
    i cannot beieve you even read the book by what you said here

  2. Nope, neither will I read it in the future. My whole blog post here has nothing to do with his book in the first place, but rather his self-aggrandizement.

    If you do take some time to read what the Long Count and other calendars from more reliable sources you will see that Calleman´s work is bogus.

  3. From what you’ve said, all I can say Calleman is motivated at least by some positive intent. His self-aggrandizement is unfortunate.

    His general reasoning that 2012ism is causing people to huddle and wait rather than evolve is mostly right.

    Bread and circuses mixed with Camelot worship (government, Hollywood, Camelot is Camelot), is how the classes are quietly kept apart.

    But there is no scheduled evolutionary step. We have the opportunity to evolve in step or ahead (or behind) the pack.

    Ironically, his notion of a scheduled jump in human evolution is precisely the same thing he rails against. The whole Age of Pisces, Age of Aquarius hogwash accomplishes precisely the same thing. While it does encourage some personal development, it’s ruined by constant chest beating along the lines of, “All you doubters will get yours when the time comes.”

    Sadly, there is a systemic failure occurring, but it seems that both Jenkins and Calleman are guilty of creating a catatonic sit n wait behavior. Neither one is encouraging real change.

  4. True, if someone wishes to change the world for the better, he or she should go for action, not words:

  5. Well, I’m shooting for 1000 community currency exchanges in the US in the next 3 months.

    We have 48.

    I am gathering my benificent minions.

    Not gonna wait around for the next stimulus to not materialize.

    What with a phony cyberwar looming people gotta get ready for the final soap opera before the novelty of the new millennium wears off.


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