Posted by: Johan Normark | May 14, 2012

2012: New Age reactions to the Xultun discovery

On Friday 11 May, John Major Jenkins (JMJ) wrote this on Facebook in response to the Xultun discovery:

“Good news of new inscriptions. But scholars are using it to dismiss 2012. They are doing that by saying that it’s not about doomsday. DUH. Maya time is cyclic and goes on beyond 2012 — DUH. But then what about 2012? How did the ancient Maya think about it? What about the astronomy at Izapa and in Tortuguero Monument 6? Nothing said. Professional Maya scholars are far behind the curve of investigating the evidence for how the ancient did think about 2012. They are fixated on reacting to the silly doomsday meme in the marketplace, and in so doing they are forgetting to do their jobs.”

This is a typical response from one of the leading New Agers in the 2012-circus (although he claims he is not a New Ager…). First of all, JMJ has a personal grudge against pretty much anyone who disagrees with his ideas and points out problems with them (he sees academics as gatekeepers of knowledge). Two of the authors of the Science article, David Stuart and Anthony Aveni, have criticized him before. Now, JMJ believes they are using the Xultun discovery to dismiss 2012. He has clearly not read the article where there is no mention of this at all. JMJ cannot separate what interest media from scholarly interests. The authors of the article simply answer the questions being asked by journalists.

I am not sure if JMJ directs the second “DUH” (about Maya time being cyclic and going on beyond 2012) to scholars or to what he believes is “common knowledge”. What the new data from Xultun informs us about is that there is no end of a 13 baktun cycle (as believed by JMJ). Some Maya calendars are cyclical but the Long Count is primarily cumulative.

And why would these scholars mention Izapa and Tortuguero in this context? JMJ seems to believe all calendar stuff and archeoastronomical data must be about  or relate to his galactic alignment idea. It is all about him and he continues to spread disinformation by claiming that scholars are “fixated on reacting to the silly doomsday meme in the marketplace, and in so doing they are forgetting to do their jobs”. Saturno and others have done their job very well by making a contribution that will stand the test of time. It is always amusing when an amateur tells professionals how to do their jobs.


  1. Not to mention that David Stuart made a definitive statement about Tortuguearo Monument 6 already 🙂

    • Satoru Murata,
      What you have not noticed about that link you provided is that Stuart’s statement about TRT Mon 6 NOT projecting to a future “event” is absolutely NOT definitive. Read the challenge, in the comments section, by Gronemeyer and MacLeod, the epigraphers who have offered the most exacting analysis of the TRT Mon 6 text ( no. 34). Note that Stuart evaded responding to the evidence that was presented to him, and that his line drawing omits the glyph fragment under the P4 position (which can also be seen in my photos of TRT Mon 6, on The Center for 2012 Studies website). . In Stuart’s subsequent reiterations of his flawed position, in National Geographic, Explorer Journal, and elsewhere, he just continues making the misleading talking point. He seems irrationally dead-set on avoiding the evidence that an “event” was expected by the Maya on in 2012. Of course, as I’ve been saying for decades, it’s not a doomsday (Stuart seems to believe that 2012 and doomsday are synonymous terms). Instead, the “event” is a period-ending ceremony with the deity Bolon Yokte, and possibly supervised by a supernaturally present Lord Jaguar (this is stated in the Gronemeyer and MacLeod Wayeb no. 34 — read it.)

      • Hmm, you accuse people for misrepresenting you among many other things. Yet you do the same thing with David Stuart.

      • John, how do you know that “Gronemeyer and MacLeod have offered the most exacting analysis of the TRT Mon 6 text”? You can’t read Maya hieroglyphs and so are in no position to comment on whom has provided the best analysis of any text, let alone the Tortuguero one. Your statement is the equivalent of a blind man insisting that person X has given a more accurate description of a painting than person Y.

      • Maybe it’s too obvious a point, but there’s a real difference between “avoiding” and “evading” supposed evidence and disagreeing with it. Over the last couple of years I’ve posted, presented and published my thoughts on Monument 6, and I don’t know how I can make my opinions any more clear and available. I’ll say it again: I simply don’t agree that the final glyphs have anything to say about a prophecy, even though I entertained the opposite view some years back. And yeah, my hasty drawing omitted a slight detail on an eroded, unreadable sign. I’m even hearing oddball claims that I did so on purpose(?!) as part of some conspiracy to hide the real evidence. Well, I’ll happily post a revised version of my drawing one of these days. It still changes nothing in my thinking about text.

      • David,
        It’s understood that you don’t believe a new event is stated “to happen” after the 2012 date is stated on the right flange of Tortuguero Monument 6. But you didn’t respond to MacLeod and Gronemeyer’s pointing out of the epigraphic argument, in which because a new verb is stated, there’s no slinging back to the 669 AD building dedication date. A DN to 2012, a new verb, and thus a new “action” or “event” occurs at the end-point of that DN. It thus seems that resistance to the evidence that the ancient Maya did see “something happening” in 2012 (even if it were merely a ceremony) is part of a general and ongoing resistance to allowing 2012 to have had any importance to the Maya. You’ve stated this rather bluntly in recent media interviews. It’s a position that is not believable given the evidence, and we might try to entertain that Lord Jaguar at Tortuguero was intentional referencing 2012 for a number of reasons, including astronomy. (see my SAA presentation posted on

      • David,
        By the way, I’m sorry to hear that you are “even hearing oddball claims that I did so on purpose(?!) as part of some conspiracy to hide the real evidence.” Just to be clear, that wasn’t me. I can sympathize with your experience here, though. It sucks when critics project completely fallacious things on to you, and don’t bother to read what you’ve actually written or said. Luckily, I’ve only had that happen to me about 674,980 times.

    • One final thing, David. it’s great you’d like to update your drawing. The one currently used in Gronemeyer & MacLeod’s Wayeb no. 34 piece is slightly inaccurate. I visited the monument in March 2011, took photos and also analyzed that eroded DN that generates Lord Jaguar’s birthday. The resulting essay, posted a year ago on The Center for 2012 Studies website, contains close-up photos of the P4 area, and you can see that the fragmented glyph contains curved elements. Not that this makes a huge difference regarding decipherment, but in the interest of precision here are the best photos available:

      Click to access T6Monument.pdf

      By the way, my reconstruction of the DN at E4 argues for a birthday for Lord Jaguar of November 28, 612. At any rate, it is within a five-day range, November 28 -December 2. His birthday places the sun right at the Milky Way / ecliptic Crossroads, the same sidereal position of the sun on in 2012. This was noted by Grofe and is the fulcrum of my SAA paper of April 2010:

      Click to access Astronomy-in-TRT-SAA.pdf

      It provides a rationale for understanding Lord Jaguar’s motivation in using the 2012 date in his rhetoric of power, via the underlying astronomy in the 13 dates on Tortuguero Monument 6. This proposal was hotly debated in the discussion sponsored by scholars at The Maya Exploration Center in late 2010, transcribed in full here:

      Click to access MEC-Facebook-Discussion-2010-ON-Jenkins-SAA-TRT-Astronomy.pdf

      Since astronomy was so important to the ancient Maya, it would be great if astronomy could factor into our understanding of the ancient Maya.

      Finally, of some interest to you, and perhaps a catalyst for further dialogue, is my identification of a lunar sidereal cycle on those three dates from the stucco pier of Palenque Temple XIX that you briliiantly reconstructed in your 2005 book:

      Click to access sun-moon-crossroads.pdf

      and also see the following-up piece:

      Click to access 18Rabbit-BolonYokte-Astronomy.pdf

      I am off to Izapa!

  2. JMJ attacked Stuart for not including much of Tortuguero in his book “The Order of Days”:

  3. John Major Jenkins has 2012 books he authored to sell, DUH!

    • Joe Balona,
      Yes, authors try to make a living selling books. So do scholars, as we see in the long line of pop books by Aveni. What you have ignored, is that for 17 years I’ve provided hundreds and hundreds of pages of free material on my websites, many hours of free audio interview links, and more recently 5 hours of spoken-word excerpts from 20+ years of publications. Also, note hat ALL of the recent research essays on The Center for 2012 Studies are free:

  4. Indeed. And do not forget that he is selling his songs and poetry as well:

    • Johan,
      Again you reveal an inability to process reality correctly. I am not “selling” the audio excerpts at that link. Everything there is offered for free, with an invitation for appreciative users to make a donation so that I can continue doing my work and to support the websites. Good job, though of misleading your readers. You’re really good at that.

      • I am learning it from the master himself.

  5. JMJ is neither a scholar or a New Ager. He is somewhere in between, you know, like in the “dark rift” between the butt cheeks.

  6. Nice one, Ray Mardyks. I suspect you are intimate with what is found between butt cheeks. Thanks for the chuckle.

    • Not much to do today?

      • But notice that he won’t respond to my criticism of his claims about the Xultun 819 day count and his supposed almanac at Palenque. Hmmm, I wonder why.

      • Hmmm, me too.

      • No, actually I am preparing for the First Izapa Round Table conference in Tapachula, Mexico. Izapa Archaeologist Garth Norman will be there also, Vincent Stanzione, Mark Van Stone, and others. It will be a chance to understand more deeply how Izapa was involved in the formulation of the Long Count / 2012 calendar, as believed by Coe, Malmstrom, Guernsey, Rice, etc etc etc. I’m leaving tomorrow morning, so all you sadistic attack artists can abuse me in absentia after that time.

      • I surely hope there will not be too many sadistic attacks in the near future as I will not be able to moderate the blog for quite some time.

    • Not intimate really. Just observing what happens when someone who many find to be an a**hole struts around with his pants down for so long.

  7. I agree with David that TM6 has nothing to do with 2012. Why isn’t anyone discussing how both of the solar eclipses in 2012 are forecast in the Dresden Codex, accurate to the day? Major “astrological” events are composed of several factors, like ingredients in a recipe, and the completion of baktun-13 is just one of several. The “galactic alignment” was a set-up for later factors as one would “align” a pool stick in preparation for making a shot. Not JMJ’s, uhum, theory, but the original formulation of what the “galactic alignment” is! Does anyone know where the main center for ancient Maya archaeoastronomy was? Izapa? Yale? Austin? Giza?You “experts” act like that is what what they did, rather than integrate the fact that they were initiated astrologers.


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