Posted by: Johan Normark | December 25, 2012

2012: Some pizza related reflections on the Swedish media coverage of the 2012 phenomenon

This post is written on the first day of the 14th baktun according to the “new” GMT+3 correlation, just in case the doomsday/transformation of conciousness arrived yesterday and not on December 21. No apocalypse and no transformation of consciousness have occurred yet (although both can always be said to begin on this/these date/dates for those who still believe in these things/events). I am sure someone in the future will claim that the beginning of the end began around this time anyway.

After being interviewed in several Swedish radio shows, newspapers and TV shows I have noticed common tendencies. Most news media have been surprised that the Maya did not predict anything of what the 2012-circus is about. This means that ALL news media only read what other news media reports. They seldom look into what academia has to say (there are some exceptions, such as Kulturnyheterna and Vetenskapsradion Historia).

This tendency is most clearly seen in the frequent questions regarding the various mountains in Europe where people are said to have sought refuge, most commonly Bugarach in France, but also on mountains in Serbia and Turkey. In one of the live radio interviews I was linked to a journalist, currently in Turkey reporting on one of these mountains and the “doomsday” tourism it has generated, such as specific “doomsday” wines, etc. I do not doubt that some people went to these mountains but they must have been small in numbers since these mountains are virtually nonexistent in the 2012-mythology. They may have been important in earlier “doomsday” or New Age mythologies, but not in this one. Local authorities at these villages may have taken the opportunity to cash in on the circus and the media followed this like ducklings. At the end of my live appearance in Nyhetsmorgon on TV4 (a Swedish version of Good Morning America), these mountains were brought up but I had no chance to comment on it.

In most of the interviews I appeared in I was alone and had the chance to give a straight forward answer (I have not checked how all the non-live interviews have been edited, it is after all Yule). However, on my appearance in Nyhetsmorgon I was joined by the Swedish Yoga-instructor/celebrity/actress Malin Berghagen who was invited to represent the “New Age” faction (no “doomsdayer” was invited). The hosts asked me if there is a doomsday tomorrow (this was broadcasted on the 20th) and I answered them what the Mayanist position was regarding Monument 6 at Tortuguero (whose picture was held in the wrong position and I had to correct the mistake). I concluded that there is/was no doomsday.

The hosts then turned their attention to Malin and stated that this is not her opinion either. Malin replied that religions (I assume she means World Religions) emphasize doomsday, apocalypse and fear, which perhaps is something of human nature. She believes it is the end of an era and says that we recently experienced 12-12-12 and this will not reappear for a long time (well, that is the case for 12-12-11 as well, etc.). Here she makes a connection between the 12th day of the 12th month of the year 2012 in the Gregorian calendar and the (then) upcoming end of the 13th baktun in the Maya Long Count calendar, calendars that have no connection with each other apart from the attempts to correlate them. She also talked about personal observations in her Yoga courses. People who attend her courses have gone through changes like divorces and illnesses in 2010 and 2011. In 2012 these things have become better (but apparently not for people in Syria, the Third World, etc.). She also mentions that astrologers (and astronomers!) she knows read what is written in the stars (if these people say that they are astronomers they are lying to her). This is the era of breakup and she mentions that 2013 is the number of a goddess so that must be good.

After this “clarification” of the New Age standpoint the hosts asked me why the hieroglyphs at the end of Monument 6 are eroded. I told them that this is probably the effects of it being old and being buried in dirt. Malin added that “we can fill in the blanks ourselves”… This is quite a common view among New Agers, nothing is “written in stone”, everything can be adapted to one’s own wishful subjective thinking.

This was followed by a several minutes long clip, shot at the Observatory Museum two weeks earlier, on the same day when I held a lecture at the same place. The female host introduced this section with more or less this phrasing: “now we are going to watch a people closely related to the Maya Indians, the Inka Indians”. First of all, “Indian” is usually a derogative term in the Americas (like the N word is for Afroamericans), second of all, here they indirectly argue that all Indians are related in one way or another. This is like saying “now we are going to watch a people closely related to Swedes, the Arabs in Egypt” (the spatial distance is more or less the same).

My expertise in Andean history is not great but as far as I remember Inka is the name of a social class, not a people. The people talked and still talk Quechua. The Observatory Museum was visited by two paq’os or healers (Don Dante and Don Mariano) from the Q’ero people who are said to have lived isolated on mountain peaks for 500 years and they have now left the Andes to tell us in the West about their prophecy. That they have been isolated is not entirely correct if you check out the Wikipedia entry on the Q’ero. Don Dante and Don Mariano tell us that “between December 21 and 24, the energy from four Suns will be united. Great sources of energy will emerge and a portal will be opened. This is a time for reflection.” There is no doomsday, it is an era of positive changes.

After this section the hosts turned to Malin and said that this is in your line of thought. After talking to her they turned to me for a comment. Parts of what the paq’os said sounded too similar to various New Age stuff (like the portal and the four Suns, but I know the Inka celebrated the Sun in the past). The portal could be the common “shamanistic” interpretation of “Amerindian” beliefs, but these are too infested with the heritage of Eliade’s armchair research rooted in fascism. Hence, I could not at that point in the interview tell how “unaffected” these ideas were from later European ideas (Christianity and New Age). Since this section had nothing to do with the Maya calendar (the reference to December 21 is not strange since this is the winter solstice on the northern hemisphere or the summer solstice in Peru), I ended my part of the interview by turning back to the Maya calendar by stating that the calendar does not end, it continues to at least AD 4772. After this there was a short section on Bugarach as mentioned above.

Tonight I made a brief research on who the two paq’os are. This google-based research directed me to several New Age websites in Sweden and Europe. Apparently they have been on tour, visiting people who shares Malin’s view. I have no doubt that the supposed connection to the Maya calendar has been introduced to the paq’os by New Agers. Read this link and you will see that the Swedish author of this pdf file mentions the date October 28-30, 2011. That rings a bell! On October 28, 2011, Swedish New Ager Calleman prophesized that the Maya calendar would have ended. They also believe their ancestors are from the Pleiades. Vibrations and the 12-12-12 energy portal are mentioned as well (I wonder if Malin has seen the clip or heard about these people before). No wonder Malin’s point of views was the same as these people’s views. They are the result of the infamous Pizza effect, the effect or rather the cause that has driven the whole 2012-circus!

The “Maya doomsday” structured Nyhetsmorgon that morning. It was brought up at the beginning of the show and was maintained throughout the whole show. It became a fun curiosity, just as Swedish media has treated this topic from the beginning (but thank you TV4 for giving me some excellent data for my upcoming publications on the 2012-phenomenon). I cannot but make the same conclusion as these two gentlemen from The Muppet Show:




  1. The belief that “everything can be adapted to one’s own wishful subjective thinking” seems to be characteristic of our time, unfortunately. I had an experience with it about a year ago that still leaves me shaking my head.

    You may have heard of the “Occupy Oakland” protest in which ex-Marine Scott Olsen received a serious head injury. I was a supporter of the Occupy movement, so of course I watched Occupy’s videos that claimed to prove he was deliberately shot in the head at close range with a tear gas grenade by police, while peacefully standing in front of police lines. Occupy’s sympathizers even released the name, address and phone number of the police officer who supposedly shot Olsen. However, although the videos that I saw showed a lot of gas grenades being fired, and showed Olsen standing only two meters or so from police lines, the videos didn’t show that anyone fired anything at him.

    Therefore, I watched the videos carefully to find out what they *did* show. A careful comparison of aerial and ground views indicated that a fellow protester ran through Olsen’s position while harmlessly playing around with firecrackers. Immediately afterward, Olsen is seen lying on the pavement while the other protester continues running. So, there was reasonable doubt that Olsen was injured by police action: Olsen may have been knocked down hard by the other protester.

    I reported this to several Occupy supporters. None showed the least interest. All felt that Occupy was justified in reporting that the Police had shot Olsen despite the lack of supporting evidence for that claim, and despite the grounds for reasonable doubt. Some went so far as to threaten me.

    Surprisingly Occupy opponents showed no interest in the analysis either. To them Olsen was a trouble maker who deserved what he got. Although I was saying that Olsen was probably injured entirely by accident, they accused me of being a “tin hat conspiracy theorist”.

    So both sides adapted evidence (or selected it) according to their own wishful thinking. The reputation of a possibly innocent police officer be damned. Not to mention the potential results of inflaming a tense situation via inaccurate reporting by both sides.

  2. It is seven Suns, actually.


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