“End of the World in 2012” discussion on Aztlan, August-September 2011,
followed by (in Part 2) the sequence that led me to quitting Aztlan
Compiled by John Major Jenkins
Beginning with a post to Aztlan from Arthur Dunkelman:
Arthur adunkelman at kislak.com
Tue Aug 23 13:03:44 CDT 2011
2012: End of the world?
David Stuart, expert on Maya history and culture, will speak about the global hysteria surrounding the Maya
"end-of-the-world" prophesies for December 2012. Dr. Stuart will discuss the true meaning of the Maya calendar
and imagery at the Library of Congress on September 16th (Spoiler alert: Dr. Stuart says these predictions
Author of a new book, The Order of Days: The Maya World and the Truth about 2012, Dr. Stuart is a professor of
Mesoamerican art and writing at the University of Texas at Austin. He began deciphering Maya hieroglyphs at
the age of eight and at 18 was the youngest-ever recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship "genius grant" for
his study of ancient inscriptions.
Presenting the fifth Jay I. Kislak Lecture at the Library of Congress, Dr. Stuart will interpret what
ancient Maya records actually had to say about time and the cosmos. According to his research, the
real intellectual achievement of ancient Maya timekeeping is far more impressive than any of the popular
outrageous claims about this advanced civilization.
About the lecture:
Friday, Sept. 16, 2011, at 7 p.m., Library of Congress, Coolidge Auditorium, Thomas Jefferson Building,
10 First St., SE, Washington, DC. Deciphering the Art of the Ancient Maya and the
Year 2012<http://www.loc.gov/rr/hispanic/events.html>, open to the public free of charge.
About the book:
The Order of Days: The Maya World and the Truth about
by David Stuart, published 5/17/2011 by Harmony Books, hardcover, 368 pages, $24.00
Followed by my post:
Jenkins kahib at ix.netcom.com
Tue Aug 23 20:36:21 CDT 2011
Just a brief note, and a reminder of the recent work being done to understand 2012 ("Archaeoastronomy
and Ethnoastronomy: Building Bridges between Cultures," ed. Clive Ruggles, Cambridge University Press,
2011: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayJournal?jid=IAU). I think it's very unfortunate to constantly frame
the 2012 topic as an "End of the World?" question. I think it's pretty clear by now that
the "end of the world" hysteria is a pop culture, mass-media-fed red herring, designed, in fact,
to distract us from treating the 2012 topic with the seriousness that it deserves. We endlessly hear of
Maya scholars saying "no evidence for doomsday" --- this is like a genetic biologist assuring us
that storks don't deliver babies. Obviously, to anyone who has spent time with the 2012-related
evidence and material, this is true. Since the date occurs on Tortuguero Monument 6, we must accept
that the 2012 date is, as I've been suggesting for over two decades, a "true artifact" of
ancient Maya thought. If we can get past the doomsday hype -- whether we subscribe to it
or are merely transfixed by the silliness it attracts --- we may actually begin to make progress
in understanding how the Maya, particularly Lord Jaguar from Tortuguero, utilized
the 2012 period-ending date in all of its multifarious astronomical, political, ceremonial,
and ideological ramifications.
John Major Jenkins
Followed by Jorge to me, but addressing me in the third person (this was typical of how I was frequently treated on Aztlan, as if I was an outsider who couldn’t be directly addressed):
Jorge Pérez de
Lara Elías jorgepl at estudioelias.com
Wed Aug 24 07:43:42 CDT 2011
My personal opinion is that framing the topic of 2012 in terms of refuting the "End of the World" on the part of
scholars is driven by the need to dispel all the senseless broohaha that has been built upon this whole non-issue.
Most of what I read on this topic by scholars has to do with a desire to educate the general public. At times,
it can be tiresome (because of the frequency with which the topic is cropping up) but the intention seems to be
to try and use the public attention the nonsense has generated to call attention to a genuinely fascinating field.
Having said that, I differ with John in seeing any need for "treating the 2012 topic with the seriousness that it
deserves", because I truly believe that the evidence found so far argues for exactly the opposite: that
the Maya did not think much about 2012 at all. Consider this: there is only one, quite brief mention of the date
on a single monument carved by the virtually unknown king of a site of pretty secondary importance. Furthermore
the text, as is now understood, does not grant ANY conclusions, but rather only speculation.
If we were to adhere strictly to the scientific evidence that can be gleaned from that single monument,
acknowledging that any speculation around it is just that, we are left with the one thing that the majority
of scholars has been opting for: taking the chance to debunk the 2012 nonsense and using the opportunity
to try and build genuine interest in a culture that is without question worth understanding more.
My 2 cents.
I attempted to respond with a post (Aug 24, 26); rejected twice, see below.
So, I had an email exchange with Jorge offlist (this is preserved in another file).
Barb responded to Jorge; her post was allowed:
Barb MacLeod bmacleod at austin.rr.com
Wed Aug 24 14:58:08 CDT 2011
We are in agreement about the importance of efforts to dispel the burgeoning nonsense, and we all have our roles
in attempting to defuse it. Mine has been to undertake an exacting epigraphic and linguistic approach to the
whole text of Tortuguero Monument 6--and not just to its excursion into 2012. I have made several attempts
to share this material publicly via local lectures to groups of the millenarian persuasion, but find that
most are not especially receptive, even though they are friendly and transiently interested. Nobody wants
to come back for a paradigm shift.
For any who follow up on John's suggestion to look at the Cambridge University Press volume online, I hope you'll
agree that our session in Lima earlier this year entailed some interesting, even provocative, scholarly effort.
My short paper was constrained by time and publication constraints. Volume 24 of "Archaeoastronomy" is currently
being edited by John Carlson and will be published early in 2012 by UT Press; it will contain much longer versions
of our presentations plus a few additional papers.
Jorge, you say that the closing passage of TRT 6, as it is now understood, does not grant any conclusions,
but rather only speculation. My feeling is that the belief that the text contains nothing of importance
is itself speculation, with no more protein in it (I think less) than the scholarly alternative. There are
epigraphers who have collaborated with me on this text who consider that the signs deemed "unreadable" by some
CAN be read (with sufficient reliability to move forward into syntax and semantics) employing the best possible
resource--the mosaic photo of the passage by Paul Johnson and Mark Van Stone (seen on the cover of Mark's new book
on 2012). There are also points of discourse analysis (as I have recently addressed with Nick Hopkins) which add
substance to the position that there is actually 2012-based substance in the text. It requires unbiased attention.
What Sven and I said in 2012 in Wayeb Notes 34 < http://www.wayeb.org/notes/wayeb_notes0034.pdf > has been modified a bit;
the i-li collocation (quite visible in the Johnson/Van Stone photo but not in Stuart's drawing in The Order of Days)
is now best understood as the Ch'ol demonstrative 'this', with the whole passage reading 'will happen THIS display
of Bolon Yookte' in the great return (or investiture). The methodology we use is that which epigraphers agree is
productive in making sense of damaged texts.
In sum, I see this monument as having become politicized along a boundary between millenarians and scholars
to the tune of "YES, it says Bolon Yookte' will descend and the ninth galactic wave will wash down
upon us" vs. "NO, it says nothing about 2012; it's just a quick dash out to the next big 4 Ajaw and right back
to contemporaneous events, and what we haven't translated can't be read".
We can do better, if only to honor this Tortuguero king and the elegant literarary achievement that this entire
Followed by Jorge’s response to Barb:
Jorge Pérez de
Lara Elías jorgepl at estudioelias.com
Mon Aug 29 11:39:33 CDT 2011
Dear Barb (and Listeros),
I truly believe your response to all the broohaha involving TRT Mon. 6 being to "undertake an exacting epigraphic
and linguistic approach to the whole text of Tortuguero Monument 6" is exemplary. This is exactly what should be
done if anything worthwhile discussing is to be arrived at (and the same is true of any other texts, of course).
And here, I must confess my position so far has been greatly relying (perhaps excessively) in the consensus of
epigraphers I have long known and trusted. (I am no fan of Ronald Reagan's but his "trust but verify" sounds like
especially good advice, indeed.)
I have only learned recently about your (and Sven's and Mark's) work on the monument and I think the fact
that you (who have impeccable credentials as epigraphers) have found elements in the inscription that
offer "sufficient reliability to move forward into syntax and semantics" is certainly very exciting news.
I think the critical element in claiming a better (or deeper) understanding of the text is to be able to
read it properly. I must say that so many claims of "a better or deeper" understanding of the text made
by non-epigraphers have in the past awoken my suspicion more than my interest.
I very much look forward to reading your work.
Preceded (Aug 24) and followed by my attempted response to
the ongoing thread from me, which was rejected at least twice (see Appendix 2).
After trying to repost it two or three times, I queried to Ruggeri by email:
>> Is there something wrong with my post, responding to Jorge? I've sent it two or three times. You'll notice that
I overlooked his several flippant comments about "2012 nonsense" and provided a completely valid call for proactively
continuing an open-minded investigation of TRT Monument 6, including the astronomy / archaeoastronomy, which has
never been discussed on Aztlan. I think it is important for the Aztlan community to recognize that 2012 can be considered
a viable topic for investigation, outside of it's carnival marketplace associations. That is how I have always thought of it,
and that is how some scholars are now treating it, as can be seen by Carlson's, Grofe's, Callaway's, and MacLeod's
Cambridge papers. And my 2010 SAA paper. (Note: these are approaches that are not, like Hoopes's and largely Stuart's
approach, just "debunking" and denouncing people and ideas.) Is Aztlan going to be open to discussing 2012 proactively?
What is your policy going to be as we get closer to the date and the two additional 2012 anthologies are published?
>To: John Major Jenkins <email@example.com>
>Cc: Hixon Dave <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Schwaller Fritz <email@example.com>
>Subject: 2012 QUERY FROM JOHN MAJOR JENKINS
>Here is our problem. You may remember that we had to suspend the topic awhile ago because of the volume of New Age and SciFi
posts we were getting. I posted a few recently, including yours, since they were to the point, and then we got a volume of
the usual stuff backed up. We have to decide how we will proceed. If we post yours, then what about the others? So this is
a big problem for us. We cannot devolve into a New Age listserv, but it will if we continue posting 2012 stuff. We are waiting
for our 3rd moderator to come back from the field so that we can make a decision together on this.
>I am posting this to the other two moderators, so they can read what I have said here.
I responded to Ruggeri:
I understand. But my post was actually an appeal to cease any kind of treatment of the "New Age" silliness (even if it is
in the context of rational criticism of it by professional scholars) from that which addresses how the ancient Maya were
actually thinking about it. I can see how the reality is problematic for sifting through the deluge of emails that must happen.
Perhaps, as I think might have been suggested in the past, a sub-list-serve on this specific topic could be set up, moderated
by others you could select. Hoopes? Van Stone? Normak? Sitler? The defining limits should probably exclude what the modern
Maya are doing with 2012 (since that is almost always infiltrated by modern theories), and focus on the evidence for what
the ancient Maya thought about it. We already have a spectrum of approaches to this in the papers by Grofe (astronomy),
Callaway (Era Base Creation myth parallels), Carlson (deity roles, sacrifice and worldrenewal) and MacLeod (TRT Mon 6,
period-ending ceremonialism). Just some thoughts.
As if in response to my post and the censoring of it, Aztlan
moderator Michael Ruggeri sent the following message to the group,
alluding to “New Age posts” which could not be allowed:
ruggeri michaelruggeri at mac.com
Mon Aug 29 11:05:42 CDT 2011
As you may know, we decided to suspend discussion on the 2012 question awhile ago because we were eventually
flooded with New Age posts on the topic. In order to keep the listserv free of this kind of diversion from
real archaeology, we had to do this. Recently, we posted a couple of posts on the topic because they were
introducing lectures or books on the topic that were serious, and a few posts that were valid archaeology.
As soon as we posted these, the New Age posts began to arrive. So, once again, we want to affirm that we
will continue with the suspension of the topic. There are listservs that are only about 2012, and we encourage
those who want to continue a wide ranging discussion of this topic to post there.
We do have some serious posts on the topic in the queue, but we cannot post some and censor others without
more problems on the list.
We will continue to post all news of lectures and publications on this topic.
Thank you for your understanding of this,
The Aztlan moderators
Followed by the senior site moderator, Michael Ruggeri, re-asserting an earlier advertisement for the SAME David Stuart talk:
ruggeri michaelruggeri at mac.com
Thu Sep 1 14:19:56 CDT 2011
September 16, 7:00 PM
Fifth Jay I. Kislak Lecture at the Library of Congress
"The Order of Days: The Maya World and the Truth about 2012"
David Stuart, expert on Maya history and culture, will speak about the global hysteria surrounding the Maya
"end-of-the-world" prophesies for December 2012. Dr. Stuart will discuss the true meaning of the Maya calendar
and imagery at the Library of Congress on September 16th (Spoiler alert: Dr. Stuart says these predictions are
Author of a new book, The Order of Days: The Maya World and the Truth about 2012, Dr. Stuart is a professor
of Mesoamerican art and writing at the University of Texas at Austin. He began deciphering Maya hieroglyphs
at the age of eight and at 18 was the youngest-ever recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship "genius grant" for
his study of ancient inscriptions.
Dr. Stuart will interpret what ancient Maya records actually had to say about time and the cosmos. According
to his research, the real intellectual achievement of ancient Maya timekeeping is far more impressive than
any of the popular outrageous claims about this advanced civilization.
Library of Congress,
Thomas Jefferson Building,
10 First St.,
SE, Washington, DC.
Having been forced out of the thread, I sent a private email to Barb:
Offlist (August 30)
I'm glad your post was allowed through. Thank you for addressing the distinction between reactionary denials and proactive
investigative scholarship, a framing of the ongoing problem that echoes the second post I sent last week, unfortunately rejected
by Ruggeri. It is below if you'd like to read it.
While my post reflects the same distinction that you suggested, I also was trying to nudge the discussion in the direction of
acknowledging the astronomical component of TRT Monument 6. As the 2012 discussion moves forward, how do you anticipate this
material being acknowledged? Do you think it has any merit, or usefulness, in helping us understand the larger motivations and
intentions of Lord Jaguar? If it is introduced through Grofe's findings, how do we provide space for the discussion of the
similarity of those findings to the astronomy I've been exploring for 17 years? Or should that be considered off the map,
a New Age nuisance, not admissible, poppycock?
My report on my examination of TRT Monument 6 this past March, which I posted and announced in July, provided physical
evidence in photos, clearly showing proportions of the "5" number bar and spacing to the edge of the monument. Upon this,
I based my confirmation that the K'in portion of the DN must be between 6 and 10. I note that in your Wayeb 34 with Sven,
his preferred larger DN is still being used. Michael tended to default to this position, probably out of diplomacy, but of
course the likelihood of the smaller DN came up as a distinct possibility in the MEC-Facebook discussion last December. This
was one of the things I wanted to settle in my field trip to TRT in March. I wonder if my definitive confirmation of the
smaller DN will ever be cited, or if scholars will just start assuming it? Did I reinvent the light-bulb? I have never seen
any analysis of close up photos, resulting in a very clear conclusion. I'd assume that if that already existed, Sven would have had to accept it.
Another item I was able to bring some clarity to was Bahlam Ajaw's birthday. Have you read my argument for the greater
likelihood of "10" in the Kin position, thus his birthday being Nov 28, 612 AD (J), 12 Ajaw? My argument for Nov 30 was
calendrical and based on the T-shape of the monument. I suggested that of the 5 possible birth dates, Nov 28 and Nov 30 stand
out as being of the greatest likelihood. Each of them is within one day (Nov 29) of the precise SY commensuration with
220.127.116.11.0 in 2012.
Do you consider my TRT report on Monument 6 (at http://www.thecenterfor2012studies.com/) to be a cite-able reference? Or can I
anticipate that it will be ignored and should I seek other officially approved avenues of publication? I'm sure that Carlson
would love to publish something by me, especially since his own "Lord of Creation" and worldrenewal ideas about 2012 so closely
reflect my own. I found it highly odd that Van Stone, Hoopes, and a few others expressed little interest in making the time
to read it. Since my close-up photo of the P4 glyph called into question the accuracy of the currently used line drawing, I thought
there should have been an immediate response / assessment. I'm well aware that it is this kind of thing that makes me so despised,
so if you have any thoughts as to how to pry open some eyes, let me know. I guess I'm wondering if this will just continue and
I should toss in the towel now.
Beyond all this, I have several items of investigation with the TRT monuments that I would like to discuss with you, if you have
the time and feel inclined. Best wishes,
John Major Jenkins
Note: there is a longer version of this letter (see Appendix 1)
There was a behind-the-scenes email exchange going on between me and Hoopes, which can be read here: http://www.Update2012.com/Hoopes-Scholars-Jenkins-July-September2011.html. Other scholars were cc’d on this, and it reveals Hoopes’s chicanery and evasion. In addition, there were private emails with Barb around August 30 and Robert Sitler, September 1-2.
Next, John B Carlson’s post to the thread, with his clips including ONLY to Jorge’s response to Barb, omitting my (first and only) post and addressing it only to Jorge, Barb, and “listeros”. This may seem trivial, but we see here Carlson’s attitude to omitting and excluding me from recognition. I’ve proposed that was his strategy in never responding to my various article proposals for his Archaeoastronomy Journal, going back to 1994, including his preference that other authors (contributors to his journal) would not reference me. Tacitly or consciously, Hoopes has played a complimentary role that aids Carlson’s agenda of mitigation, in publishing false and defamatory constructs about me and my background. Carlson, in turn, abets Hoopes’s efforts by green-lighting his sub-standard and unsupportable assertions in his journal. A pretty neat self-supporting feedback loop of collusion on mitigating me --- even while Carlson prepared to echo my core ideological interpretation of what 2012 meant to the ancient Maya.
John B Carlson tlaloc at umd.edu
Thu Sep 1 22:19:43 CDT 2011
Dear Jorge, Barb, and Listeros,
I am very glad that our excellent triumvirate of AZTLAN Moderators
decided to post your comments, which only further scholarship in
serious studies of the "2012 phenomenon". I just have three brief
things to add:
1) The actual hardback publication of IAU S278, including the
proceedings of our session on 2012 studies, is now in print ahead of
schedule, from Cambridge University Press. My copy arrived today.
"Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy: Building Bridges between
Cultures" edited by Clive L.N. Ruggles, Cambridge University Press,
SUBTITLE INFORMATION: "Proceedings of the 278th Symposium of the
International Astronomical Union and 'Oxford IX' International
Symposium on Archaeoastronomy held in Lima, Peru, January 5-14, 2011."
2) When I saw your original post, Jorge, before Barb's reply, I was
struck by one thing in particular, and almost wrote to you privately.
To say that the Maya did not think about the end of the cycle of 13
Baktuns, which is also significantly 260 Katuns, because there is
only one clear reference on a carved stone dynastic monument from the
Classic period, might be like saying that a world of Jewish scholars
might never have thought about the year 7000 in their calendar
because it does not appear on their public monuments. (I think it is
still currently the year 5771... I hope that's right, and I think it
is calculated from the 6th day of Genesis.) For the ancient Maya,
virtually everything they ever thought about and wrote about is gone,
forever I imagine, and a tiny fraction of their thinking was carved
on the few remaining dynastic monuments that have survived and that
have been discovered. And regarding Tortuguero, I wonder how many of
those monuments that survived into the 20th century have ended up
either in private collections somewhere on the planet or sent into
the cement factory or were ground up for road grading. (The sad case
of Tortuguero was a particular archaeological tragedy.) In this case,
absence of evidence is definitely not evidence of absence, and,
knowing you, I am sure you agree.
3) Are there any sources that might be investigated to give us some
idea about what at least some ancient (Late Classic) Maya might have
anticipated for 18.104.22.168.0 in the Long Count? There are, and some of
your colleagues have been thinking about this and looking into it for
quite some time. I could list more than a dozen, and our friend and
colleague, the late Linda Schele was among them. In fact, Barb
MacLeod has been interested in these questions longer than just about
anyone I know except for Michael Coe.
Thanks for all of your AZTLAN posts which have helped so much over
Clipped previous posts appended to Carlson’s email (he excluded my post which, in response to Dunkleman’s simple event announcement,
actually launched the thread):
On Aug 29, 2011, at 12:39 PM, Jorge Pérez de Lara Elías wrote:
> Dear Barb (and Listeros),
> I truly believe your response to all the broohaha involving TRT
> Mon. 6 being to "undertake an exacting epigraphic and linguistic
> approach to the whole text of Tortuguero Monument 6" is exemplary.
> This is exactly what should be done if anything worthwhile
> discussing is to be arrived at (and the same is true of any other
> texts, of course). And here, I must confess my position so far has
> been greatly relying (perhaps excessively) in the consensus of
> epigraphers I have long known and trusted. (I am no fan of Ronald
> Reagan's but his "trust but verify" sounds like especially good
> advice, indeed.)
> I have only learned recently about your (and Sven's and Mark's)
> work on the monument and I think the fact that you (who have
> impeccable credentials as epigraphers) have found elements in the
> inscription that offer "sufficient reliability to move forward into
> syntax and semantics" is certainly very exciting news. I think the
> critical element in claiming a better (or deeper) understanding of
> the text is to be able to read it properly. I must say that so many
> claims of "a better or deeper" understanding of the text made by
> non-epigraphers have in the past awoken my suspicion more than my
> I very much look forward to reading your work.
> On Aug 24, 2011, at 2:58 PM, Barb MacLeod wrote:
>> We are in agreement about the importance of efforts to dispel the
>> burgeoning nonsense, and we all have our roles in attempting to
>> defuse it. Mine has been to undertake an exacting epigraphic and
>> linguistic approach to the whole text of Tortuguero Monument 6--
>> and not just to its excursion into 2012. I have made several
>> attempts to share this material publicly via local lectures to
>> groups of the millenarian persuasion, but find that most are not
>> especially receptive, even though they are friendly and
>> transiently interested. Nobody wants to come back for a paradigm
>> For any who follow up on John's suggestion to look at the
>> Cambridge University Press volume online, I hope you'll agree that
>> our session in Lima earlier this year entailed some interesting,
>> even provocative, scholarly effort. My short paper was constrained
>> by time and publication constraints. Volume 24 of
>> "Archaeoastronomy" is currently being edited by John Carlson and
>> will be published early in 2012 by UT Press; it will contain much
>> longer versions of our presentations plus a few additional papers.
>> Jorge, you say that the closing passage of TRT 6, as it is now
>> understood, does not grant any conclusions, but rather only
>> speculation. My feeling is that the belief that the text contains
>> nothing of importance is itself speculation, with no more protein
>> in it (I think less) than the scholarly alternative. There are
>> epigraphers who have collaborated with me on this text who
>> consider that the signs deemed "unreadable" by some CAN be read
>> (with sufficient reliability to move forward into syntax and
>> semantics) employing the best possible resource--the mosaic photo
>> of the passage by Paul Johnson and Mark Van Stone (seen on the
>> cover of Mark's new book on 2012). There are also points of
>> discourse analysis (as I have recently addressed with Nick
>> Hopkins) which add substance to the position that there is
>> actually 2012-based substance in the text. It requires unbiased
>> What Sven and I said in 2012 in Wayeb Notes 34 < http://
>> www.wayeb.org/notes/wayeb_notes0034.pdf > has been modified a
>> bit; the i-li collocation (quite visible in the Johnson/Van Stone
>> photo but not in Stuart's drawing in The Order of Days) is now
>> best understood as the Ch'ol demonstrative 'this', with the whole
>> passage reading 'will happen THIS display of Bolon Yookte' in the
>> great return (or investiture). The methodology we use is that
>> which epigraphers agree is productive in making sense of damaged
>> In sum, I see this monument as having become politicized along a
>> boundary between millenarians and scholars to the tune of "YES, it
>> says Bolon Yookte' will descend and the ninth galactic wave will
>> wash down upon us" vs. "NO, it says nothing about 2012; it's just
>> a quick dash out to the next big 4 Ajaw and right back to
>> contemporaneous events, and what we haven't translated can't be
>> We can do better, if only to honor this Tortuguero king and the
>> elegant literarary achievement that this entire monument represents.
>> Barb MacLeod
>> *************Original Message**************
>> From: Jorge Pérez de Lara Elías <jorgepl at estudioelias.com>
>> To: Aztlan <aztlan at lists.famsi.org>
>> Subject: [Aztlan] 2012: End of the world?
>> Message-ID: <051BC7E5-B986-447F-830B-D7C7B28945F8 at estudioelias.com>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
>> My personal opinion is that framing the topic of 2012 in terms of
>> refuting the "End of the World" on the part of scholars is driven
>> by the need to dispel all the senseless broohaha that has been
>> built upon this whole non-issue. Most of what I read on this topic
>> by scholars has to do with a desire to educate the general public.
>> At times, it can be tiresome (because of the frequency with which
>> the topic is cropping up) but the intention seems to be to try and
>> use the public attention the nonsense has generated to call
>> attention to a genuinely fascinating field.
>> Having said that, I differ with John in seeing any need for
>> "treating the 2012 topic with the seriousness that it deserves",
>> because I truly believe that the evidence found so far argues for
>> exactly the opposite: that the Maya did not think much about 2012
>> at all. Consider this: there is only one, quite brief mention of
>> the date on a single monument carved by the virtually unknown king
>> of a site of pretty secondary importance. Furthermore the text, as
>> is now understood, does not grant ANY conclusions, but rather only
>> If we were to adhere strictly to the scientific evidence that can
>> be gleaned from that single monument, acknowledging that any
>> speculation around it is just that, we are left with the one thing
>> that the majority of scholars has been opting for: taking the
>> chance to debunk the 2012 nonsense and using the opportunity to
>> try and build genuine interest in a culture that is without
>> question worth understanding more.
>> My 2 cents.
Followed a few days later by a new post from me. (This was a test, because it was only an announcement of an IMS lecture, which was supposedly allowable; see the games I was forced to play?) They passed it through:
Thu Sep 1 22:26:58 CDT 2011
My IMS lecture on TRT Monument 6 astronomy is now available in full on Youtube:
John Major Jenkins
Much later in 2011, Josh Berman posted a link to an edited version of the ABCNightline interview I had been involved in, back in the summer of 2009.
Josh wrote: (Dec 19)
>ABCNews Nightline goes to Palenque to discuss the Long Count (John Major Jenkins explains calendar), Tortuguero
Monument 6 (Christopher Powell), and luxury bunker designs for apocalypse-believers. For mainstream news, I think
it's a decent piece, do you agree? (it's under 5 minutes):
I responded; here’s my post from December 24, 2011:
John Major Jenkins kahib at ix.netcom.com
Sat Dec 24 18:34:04 CST 2011
Thank you Joshua for posting this. I can contribute some context for understanding this piece, and in particular
what the mainstream media does with the 2012 topic. Viewers will note that there is a brief 5-second quote from me
in this report from ABC Nightline. This is a truncated rerun of something that ran in November of 2009, that I
interviewed for in August 2009. That version showed me indicating the dates on a schematic of Tortuguero Monument 6
(but my voice was overlaid with the narrator saying something else). In the actual 1-hour interview I did,
I explained in detail how there were 13 dates on TRT Monument 6, and a rational assessment of the astronomy
associated with those dates highlighted certain themes. Namely, the theme defined by Lord Jaguar’s birthday
(Nov 28 – Dec 2, 612 AD), which provides a sidereal position of the sun in parallel to the sidereal position
of the sun on 22.214.171.124.0 in 2012. (As a result of my visit to study TRT Monument 6 in March 2011, the date
parallel is reduced to within 1 day: http://www.thecenterfor2012studies.com/T6Monument.pdf). I pointed out, in the interview in
ABC’s New York City studios, that this astronomical scenario indicates the much derided and still widely
misconstrued “galactic alignment” that has been the centerpiece of my reconstruction work since 1994 and
the titular subject of my 2002 book Galactic Alignment. For more information on this, please see my article
called "Approaching 2012" in the recently released anthology titled "2012: Decoding the Countercultural
Apocalypse," ed. Joseph Gelfer.
Unfortunately, that astronomical information --- so important for understanding Lord Jaguar's intent in
referencing the 2012 date --- didn’t even make it into the first version of this piece, broadcast in November
2009. Since then I’ve presented this same information at the Society for American Archaeology (April 2010,
at: http://www.thecenterfor2012studies.com/Astronomy-in-TRT-SAA.pdf), at the Institute of Maya Studies (January 2011, in full on
Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUj_i80wCCc) and at dozens of conferences around the world. After ABC’s initial
run of the piece, Gronemeyer & MacLeod published their Wayeb No. 34 essay (August 2010), which examined
better photos of the eroded verb glyph at P4 on the monument. This renders ABC’s recent truncated rerun
as completely out of date and misleading, because now we do have a very clear idea of what is conveyed
in that part of the 2012 text: a reference to a future period-ending ceremony involving Bolon Yokte and
a “great return” (MacLeod) --- i.e., a “transition to a new era” (Gronemeyer). BTW, These are interpretive
concepts for 2012 I’ve been advocating for almost two decades. So, we can see how ABC chooses to cut out
more of the factual information and simply highlights the crystal healers and the exploitative survivalists.
It’s pathetic, but successfully reinforces the notion that 2012 is a joke, a topic not to be treated seriously.
A similar occurrence happened in Shining Red Production’s film (for the Discovery Channel) called, in its
English rendition “2012 Apocalypse Revelations,” which aired last week. This was a script written by
Graham Townsley that was originally broadcast a few months ago on Latin American Discovery as a 3-episode
series. It was licensed to the North American English-language Discovery Channel, and was chopped down to
55 minutes. In this version it consisted mainly of clips from Roland Emmerich’s doomsday-2012 film of 2009,
with your typical doomsday pimps and endless repetitions of imagery of doomsday. All of my comments in a
1.5-hour interview that I went to Washington DC in July 2011 to do were cut, although a spurious association
between the galactic alignment and catastrophe launches the English-language program, setting the stage for
a NASA spokeswoman to denounce the relevance of the galactic alignment (it’s relevance to doomsday). So, “Houston
we have a problem.” It is a problem of accurately presenting the research that has contributed to understanding
how the ancient Maya thought about 2012. It is a problem that the news media constantly replays ad nauseum,
of haphazardly appropriating only useful parts of my work to craft a false doomsday framework, and then torch that.
A few things can be identified in this process of media presentation. First, the “galactic alignment” is
immediately associated with doomsday or pole flips or solar flares. As the originator and persistent purveyor
of the “2012 galactic alignment / 2012 theory,” none of that has ever been part of my work. But the media,
having established such a false connection, can then bring on “experts” to argue that such an alignment does not
or cannot cause catastrophes. This effectively evades dealing with the galactic alignment as something that is
reflected in Lord Jaguar’s birthday, in GI’s “earth touching” on Palenque’s Temple of the Cross carving, in
K’an Bahlam’s rite of 642 AD, in the 126.96.36.199.0 date from Copan, in the archaeoastronomy and iconography at Izapa,
and in various other dated contexts.
In a related matter, we have the report from the recent Palenque Round Table
conference (http://mesapalenque.cultura-inah.gob.mx/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=24&Itemid=45). This provides quotes
from Sven Gronemeyer and Erik Velasquez regarding how they interpret 2012. Check it out for nice reiteration
of "new cycle" concepts I've been stating in my books and articles since 1995. Now that the ideological part
of my reconstruction work is being embraced and echoed, it is time to revisit the astronomical part
of my reconstruction work. The main source for this, as always, is my 1998 book Maya Cosmogenesis 2012, but my
recent work on the Tortuguero inscriptions and astronomy is well represented in free essays
at http://thecenterfor2012studies.com. Best wishes,
John Major Jenkins
[Note: curious, this was written on the erroneous Coe-Waters end date!]
Josh response a week later:
Joshua Berman jberman at gmail.com
Sat Dec 31 10:46:37 CST 2011
Listeros, related to John Jenkins's woes below (and to more HuffPo
Weirdness), I just received my first mainstream apocalyptization of my work as well. Check out this article that
I published yesterday on Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joshua-berman/post_2775_b_1176085.html
I submitted this piece about tourism to the Maya region without a single mention of the world 'apocalypse' or
'Armageddon.' My editor, however, I'm sure because of 'trending keywords' or something, inserted both words
into the article -- AND into the title.
The result? 228 comments (and growing), every single one of which
simplistically debates whether or not the world will end, as if they all read the title and nothing more.
It's quite fascinating and I can't wait to read the new
Gelfer<http://numenoldmen.wordpress.com/2012-decoding-the-countercultural-apocalypse/>collection that addresses this phenomenon.
Anyway, my article, "The Maya World Braces For 2012 Apocalypse, Tourism
Boom,"<http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joshua-berman/post_2775_b_1176085.html>encourages people to choose Maya-owned tourism
businesses and I truly hope the Maya benefit from any boom to the region. Enjoy it and I hope you like
the slide show at the bottom.
A few weeks later, in January of 2012, I quit Aztlan. This is how it unfolded. One of the site moderators announces Hoopes’s “blog” (it’s not a
blog, it is the repeat of an article from the previous year):
David Hixson aztlandave at yahoo.com
Thu Jan 5 07:15:48 CST 2012
Dr. John Hoopes (the original founder of the Aztlan listserv) has authored a well-researched and extensive
blog entry regarding 2012. We, the current moderators of Aztlan, have asked list members to refrain from
back-and-forth discussions of the 2012 phenomenon on our list. But we have promised to forward any messages
that relate to solid research being published online or in print. To that end, here is a link to Dr. Hoopes'
new resource for both academics and the general public:
What You Should Know About 2012: Answers to 13 Questions
He wrote, in part
"[This blog entry] originated in my email answers to two international journalists, one from China and
the other from Bulgaria, as an attempt to answer some of the most common questions that I've been fielding
from the media over the past several years (my first interview on this topic was in 2006). If there's anything
in the post that you think merits correction or clarification, please don't hesitate to let me know. I'm
trying my best not to perpetuate any more disinformation on the topic than is already out there! I keep
hoping that providing basic information in clear terms will lead to more sophisticated and interesting
questions about the Maya and Mesoamerica. I've thought for a while now that the 2012 hype and the
massive tourism that will accompany it will result in a watershed for quality knowledge about the
Please contact Dr. Hoopes directly with any comments or questions at:
Hoopes, John W. <hoopes at ku.edu>
To this I responded, but was censored.
Hoopes then posted:
W. hoopes at ku.edu
Thu Jan 5 13:19:30 CST 2012
A point of clarification: I’m not the “original founder” of AZTLAN, just one of its early (and appreciative!)
It would be nice to reconstruct the history of the listserv, which is hopefully to be found in the list’s
digital archives from the 1990s. Do they exist? (I may have bits of them around someplace...)
The moderator responds to Hoopes:
David Hixson aztlandave at yahoo.com
Thu Jan 5 14:30:00 CST 2012
I was blending your hip rep as an early internet archaeologist from the mid 1990’s with our beloved first
Aztlan host, Jim Cocks.
Remember this website?
That was one of the earliest and best resources for the esoamerican archaeologist online, and the one that
I used as my web portal at that time. I found the old Aztlan welcome message there. It has a link to the
old Aztlan archives, but only back to 1998.
David R. Hixson, Ph.D.
Maya Archaeologist – chunchucmil at yahoo.com
Aztlan Co-Moderator – aztlandave at yahoo.com
W. hoopes at ku.edu
Thu Jan 5 22:14:35 CST 2012
That does bring back memories!
Somewhere—either on backup disks/CDs or maybe an old hard drive—I think I may have some AZTLAN archives from
before 1998. If someone else has them in a more accessible place, it would be nice to add them to what we’ve got.
I think I joined back before 1992, since I have some vague recollection of posts relating to the Columbus
Quincentennial. However, my biological hard drive is not as reliable as I would like it to be for sectors
that are now 20 years old! Do you know when AZTLAN was started?
My second attempt to post is blocked.
Hoopes posts another thread, praising Wikipedia:
W. hoopes at ku.edu
Thu Jan 5 22:29:10 CST 2012
Actually, for the first section of that entry I went directly to the original 1787 hardcopy (!) edition of
Clavigero (an English translation from the Italian) that is cited in the references. (KU has a copy of it
in our Spencer Research Library, a wonderful collection of rare books.)
Fortunately, Brinton and several other sources (including the one by Antonio del Río) are available in
online digital editions.
I strongly encourage anyone who would like to add additional information to do further additions and
editing to this and other Wikipedia entries. The WikiProject Mesoamerica has done a wonderful job of
following relevant entries, editing and fact-checking them, policing content, and even rating them as
best the editors are able. It, along with the diligent work of countless volunteers, is what has helped ensure
a relatively high quality of Wikipedia entries on Mesoamerican topics.
I encourage other interested listeros to consider participating in this admirable contribution to high quality
My third attempt to post was blocked. (see my rejected posts at my essay here: http://update2012.com/controlling-information.pdf).
Eight days later, another thread (a tobacco discussion) turned to hallucinogens, and I succeeded in posting to this thread:
Jenkins kahib at ix.netcom.com
Fri Jan 13 23:26:48 CST 2012
Based on information supplied by Barbara Tedlock and Dennis Tedlock, Peter Furst (1974:191) relates that
Stropharia cubensis occurs in the Guatemalan highlands, where it was observed growing in the droppings
of sheep and goats. Furst also observes that “riding the deer” is a metaphor for shamanic intoxication,
and argues that psilocybin-containing mushrooms did not require ungulate animals (cows) in order to grow –
deer work fine. The literature on this is quite large, and points to the pre-Conquest presence of
psilocybin mushrooms on Mesoamerica. For example, ritual mushroom stones found on the Pacific coast
of Guatemala and Mexico do not contain the tell-tale "spots" diagnostic of Amanita muscaria, the only other
non-psilocybin-containing mushroom that would have a ritual-shamanic use. (Some of these stones are in
the Regional Museum in Tapachula, near Izapa. A discussion of this topic can be found in my book
Maya Cosmogenesis 2012 (1998: 193-4, 381).
The Furst (1974) source is: “Fertility, Vision Quest, and Auto Sacrifice: Some Thoughts on Ritual Blood-Letting
Among the Maya” in The Art, Iconography and Dynastic History of Palenque Part III, edited by Merle Greene Robertson,
pp. 181-193. Pebble Beach, CA: The Robert Louis Stevenson School.
John Major Jenkins
>From: "Hoopes, John W." <hoopes at ku.edu>
>Sent: Jan 13, 2012 9:20 PM
>Subject: Re: [Aztlan] Use of tobacco in mesoamerica
>I think it's important to question whether the oft-cited "mushroom stones" are actually representations of fungi.
>The notion that they represent hallucinogenic mushrooms is often taken for granted, even though--as I
understand it--current research suggests that the coprophilic Stropharia cubensis and Psilocybe mexicana
(the distinction between which is confused) are post-Contact invasive species.
Jenkins kahib at ix.netcom.com
Sun Jan 15 11:49:04 CST 2012
"The notion that they represent psychoactive mushrooms was popularized in non-scientific writing and by
rather spurious authors with covert agendas."
In two previous posts I alluded, with citations, to the work of Peter Furst and Stephen Borhegyi, scholars
publishing in academic publications. I would also add to this the works of Bernard Lowy published in Mycologia,
a scientific journal:
Lowy, Bernard 1971 New Records of Mushroom Stones from Guatemala. Mycologia 63:983-993.
---1972 Mushroom Symbolism in Maya Codices. Mycologia 64:816-824.
---1974 Amanita Muscaria and the Thunderbolt Legend in Guatemala and Mexico. Mycologia 66:188-191.
If I'm not mistaken, your statement seems to be referencing the "popularization" of the psychoactive mushroom
interpretation, by "spurious authors with covert agendas," as a rationale for questioning the legitimacy of
the original scholarly work on the question. I do, however, agree with you that Wiki is not a reliable source
for a certain types of information. Thank you for bringing that up to the list.
Your mention of the mushroom possibly relating to the vault of heaven reminds me of the "Sampo" in the
Finnish Kalevala, which preserves elements of ancient shamanism. The Sampo embodies multiple meanings,
including "the many ciphered cover" (the celestial vault) and psychoactive mushrooms (namely, Amanita).
Harva's great old source "Finno-Ugric & Siberian Mythology" (1927) is useful, as is Finnish and German
scholarship on the Far North traditions. As I mentioned earlier, multiple meanings seem to be the rule
with these conceptual artifacts. These things were discussed in my book Galactic Alignment (2002).
John Major Jenkins
This was the last post I got through, as my next post was censored and I appealed to Michael Ruggeri and the moderators. They would place
my posts on hold and by the time they get posted the thread is over. My post involved the issue of accuracy on Wikipedia, citing some studies
on the problem (see my rejected posts at my essay here: http://update2012.com/controlling-information.pdf).
It was so intensely frustrating to be blocked and censored, when my posts had relevance to the ongoing discussion, and weren’t
even about 2012! I decided then that Aztlan was being moderated by duplicitous double-standard-bearing friends of Hoopes, that what
they were doing to me was basically harassment, that I was being selectively and intentionally excluded and censored, and that I had
better things to do with my time. So, after almost 16 years of membership in Aztlan, I quit and deleted my membership.
Longer and more personal version of a briefer letter sent to Barb August 30, 2011
I'm glad your post was allowed through. Thank you for addressing the distinction between reactionary denials and proactive investigative scholarship, a framing of the ongoing problem which echoes the second post I sent last week, unfortunately rejected by Ruggeri. It is below if you'd like to read it.
I greatly appreciate the work you are doing to lend clarity to the overall text and the specific passage. I’ve spent quite a bit of time studying all of the TRT texts, mainly via Gronemeyer’s translations but augmented by astronomy, which I believe to be a valid interpretive subtext. I can also sympathize with your experiences of giving talks in public venues. I've been doing this myself for many years, hundred of them at this point, and before 2006 the only audiences one might speak to were coming into 2012 from the New Age wastelands. Adopting the value of educating on the basics, I did that and also summarized academic interpretations of Maya time philosophy, astronomy, and calendar studies. These discussions often ran the gamut through many of the academic sources listed in my MC2012 bibliography (http://alignment2012.com/bibbb.htm).
While sometimes losing, and boring, these pop audiences, I nevertheless attempted to lay out the evidence for my own interpretations and deductions, based on archaeoastronomy, astronomy, Creation mythology, etc etc. Few of these talks are available on Youtube or elsewhere. None of my appearances in the mass media documentaries should be assessed as a viable testimony to my work, as my words were usually truncated, distorted, and attached to the media’s doomsday fetish. I’ve tried to help scholars understand that, but since the unfortunate fact of it aids their own denunciations, they choose to ignore the clarifications I’ve offered them.
For two decades I've been responding to and correcting all of the marketplace nonsense as it appears, and it saddens me that my efforts to guide and clarify the 2012 discussion have been ignored and I am consistently and unfairly misrepresented by Aveni, Freidel, Guenter, Villasenor, Stuart, Carlson, Hoopes, and Van Stone. I believe this is what you referred to as 2012 being “politicized.” I’d be interested in learning more about what you mean by this term. The way this occurrence impacts me personally involves the constant and insistent, almost tacitly agreed agenda, to discredit me and my work in a biased, undiscerning way. There are many ways that scholars. Such as Hoopes, are framing 2012 that contributes to this “politicizing” of my role in the 2012 discussion. This usually involves guilt by association (with “New Age” authors or events), or simply by asserting or insinuated compromising information. References to me on Wikipedia are thoroughly misleading and unreliable, and I’d need an army to police the constant posts by Hoopes and his minions.
The irony of “The 2012 Phenomenon” entry on Wikipedia is two-fold. First, it’s not a term that Sitler coined; my friends Geoff Stray, Jonathan Zap, and I were using it long before that. The concept of a Y2K-like millenarian “phenomenon” attached to 2012 in the pop culture was indirectly referenced in a piece I wrote in 1999 and appears in the original version of my foreword to Stray’s book (2004), and the subject of various discussions online (see, e.g., http://alignment2012.com/zap-jenkins-dialogue.html). Stray himself used it many times after founding his website in 1999. Second, thorough critiques of those problematic marketplace manifestations that comprise the 2012 phenomenon were completed and published, by myself and Geoff Stray, many years before the term was used by scholars, who then, on Wikipedia, tossed Geoff and I into that barrel. Apparently that wasn’t enough, however, so Hoopes crafted the Mayanism entry to his hearts content in order to cast more aspersions on me and others. The indictments and falsely amplified polarities then become blurred in the public eye, and categories arise in which I get shunted over into the highly dubious realm, in contrast to the always generous, beneficent, rational, and logical scholars.
Sometimes this can happen in indirect and unintentional ways. For example, you wrote in your recent Aztlan email that you see the TRT monument “as having become politicized along a boundary between millenarians and scholars to the tune of "YES, it says Bolon Yookte' will descend and the ninth galactic wave will wash down upon us" vs. "NO, it says …”. So, in this construct you use the terms “millenarians” and “scholars”, and the millenarians believes that a “galactic wave” comes down on us. In any number of places, including at least one of the Cambridge essays, I am spuriously identified as a “millenarian” (which, by the way, I disagree with). Since “millenarian” thinkers are opposed to “scholars” in your either-or construct, my identification (elsewhere) as a millenarian means that I am categorically not a scholar. I also write about the “galactic” alignment and to the lazy reader your use of the term “galactic” probably evokes me in their mind’s eye. I suspect this as a great likelihood because I see similar conflations of me and my work with all manner of crazy ideas in the marketplace, all the time.
It would have been best to correctly attribute the “ninth wave of the galactic underworld” ideation and the continued erroneous use of Stuart’s “descent” decipherment, specifically to Dr. Carl Calleman, whom I have debated and corrected on numerous occasions since 1999. Although I’m sure it wasn’t your intent, the construct as stated easily reinforces misinformation about me in the minds of the many under-informed and biased readers. Also, ironically, Calleman has a PhD, which should theoretically identify him instantly as a scholar, so paradoxically he must be both a millenarian and a scholar. Of course, since 1999 I have exposed his inability to think rationally, do good research, document his arguments well, or process evidence logically, so he in fact does not behave like a scholar, even though he dotted his i’s, crossed his t’s, and bought his letters.
Please don’t take my observation here as an indictment of you, I’m just trying to point out how readers project their misconceptions onto statements that are not sufficiently crystal clear about who, and whose work, is being talked about. Believe me, I see it time and time again. But the “scholars” are indeed actively and intentionally blurring out and misrepresenting my work, which could be easily presented if they’d only report some of my many defining statements and explanations of my own work. That has NEVER happened in any of the critiques of my work. Instead, blurry pejorative categories are vaguely identified and I am insinuated as belong to them. I see a generalized portrayal of “non-scholarly writings” in Van Stone’s vague allusions to my ideas; he and Hoopes simply exploit these pre-existing gray areas in the minds of their readers to avoid treating my work directly while succeeding in feeding the murky disinformation about it. That behavior seems exceedingly un-scholarly to me, especially in their cases because I’ve patiently explained and discussed my work with Van Stone and Hoopes in many emails. Instead of accurately reporting what my work is about, they search for ways to blur it into vague associations with murky and dubious ideas. As an example, Mark Van Stone in his much-mentioned self-published book (which contains many errors that apparently only I can see), went to New Age writer Greg Braden for a definition of the galactic alignment, never once mentioning that I pioneered the 2012 alignment theory, reported in 1999 the astronomical calculations of Meeus and Wallace, discussed the parameters of the galactic alignment, and wrote an entire book (in 2002) called Galactic Alignment. Mark knew all this by 2008, because I emailed him the info, but he chose instead to ignore it and target the New Age appropriation and distortion of my work. Brilliant! Give him a medal, or at least make him co-chair with Carlson of the 2012 conferences in Peru and Austin.
So, let’s look at what scholars are recently deciding the ancient Maya thought about 2012. I note in the Cambridge essays that several themes are emerging in how scholars think about 2012. Disregarding Hoopes's comments, which are reactionary and cleverly polemical in their misleading framing of my background and motivations, we can look to those who said something proactive about 2012. These comments are found in your essay, Carlson's, Grofe's and Callaway's. You and I know that Grofe's brief comment on the astronomical parallel between Bahlam Ajaw's birthday and the 2012 date is just the tip of an iceberg that goes a long way toward understanding how the ancient Maya were tracking precession, a key idea in my 2012 alignment theory. So, in the Cambridge piece we at least have the astronomy question put on the table --- specifically, an indictment of the same solar alignment scenario that is the centerpiece of my work.
On another front, we have interpretations that can be called ideological --- that is, how the ancient Maya apparently would have thought about 2012. Your piece discusses a "great return" or "investiture" ceremony with a deity. Carlson goes as far as to discuss a "Lord of Creation" and world renewal ideas that are oddly reminiscent of my own terminology. Callaway weighs in on the idea of a calendrical "like-in-kind" parallel between 3114 BC and 2012 AD --- the same idea that I've been skewered for a hundred times since the mid-1990s. So we have ceremonial ritual with a deity, a period-ending world renewal, (i.e., "transformation and renewal" --- the byline of my presentations and books for over 15 years), and precession-based astronomy. My point here is that my role in pioneering, presenting, and arguing these same interpretations of the 2012 period-ending is not being acknowledged in what amounts to the first peer-reviewed treatments of 2012 by scholars (with the exception of Grofe, who briefly mentioned my 1998 book and labeled it a “popularized proposal”). It would be more accurate to identify that book as a well-documented and well-argued pioneering reconstruction of the ancient Maya’s precession-based cosmologies, which contains the first publication of several observations of academic import that are being appropriated by “professional” scholars without due acknowledgment.
Rather than acknowledging my contributions, such as the first publication of the Izapan ballcourt’s solstice alignment, a counter-propaganda is identifiable in academia. When scholars such as Aveni, Krupp, Hoopes, or Van Stone decide to critique my ideas, they craft clever defamatory statements. In Hoopes's case, they are libelous and unsupportable, such as stating (in his review of Aveni's and Van Stone's books in the recent Archaeoastronomy journal) that I derived my "galactic" ideas from Dane Rudyar (totally false) and once worked as a professional astrologer (totally false, never even tried to). As soon as scholars decide that the alignment of the Izapa ballcourt with the solstice sunrise azimuth is important, I'm sure all of my work will be granted wholesale to Aveni, who published the fact of it in 2000, four years after I first did. When I heard Carlson's false statements about me in his museum talk of May 2010, I cordially emailed him about it, and he behaved like a little brat. That was my first contact with Carlson since I sent him an article proposal on Izapan archaeoastronomy around 1999, which he ignored. Before that, I offered to send him my MC2012 book in 1998, which he refused.
I look back over my early correspondence with scholars and I see a naïve and idealistic young man patiently trying to engage rational dialogues. I thought these people were suppose to be teachers. The cordial tone of respect and caution on my part is hilarious, in retrospect, because they never deserved such respect. Considering all the careful explanations of my work that I sent in letters and emails in exchanges that thereafter quickly ended, I'm flabbergasted that so much willful mis-characterization of me and my work has actually been expressed by “professional” scholars, sometimes in peer-review journals that are supposed to vet for false information and ad hominem attacks.
So, we should probably stop referring to the 2012 climate as being "politicized" and call it for what it is --- professional scholars unwilling to acknowledge the prior work of an independent outsider, whose ideas they themselves are unavoidably beginning to reiterate. I understand that this first Cambridge journal was not exactly the place to explore the similarities and relationships between my previous work and what is now being expressed by scholars, but I’m wondering if and when it will ever happen.
Considering that the astronomy question is now being slowly breached, my rejected post below was trying to nudge the conversation in that direction. You and Grofe (and Sitler) are my only hope for any kind of fair representation of my efforts. If you have any time and can suggest how I might stay sane in dealing with the avalanche of false denunciations and misleading defamatory attacks, please feel free. Since the publishing world is filled with corporate thieves, and my recent Tarcher book was suppose to be the Big One, my financial situation is no different than it was when I delivered Chinese food and lived in a garage. I have gone from a bright and hopefully idealistic young man to a bitter, frustrated and angry old man. Scholars have largely disappointed me with their willingness to behave like irrational and arrogant gatekeepers, despite my best efforts to be (at least in the beginning) patient and cordial. The things that have triggered my descent into bitterness are the times when scholars who I’ve respected asserted falsehoods or mis-characterizations of me and my work, and then refused to hear or acknowledge, let alone correct, their factually incorrect positions --- Freidel, Krupp, Aveni, Hoopes, Guenter, Van Stone, now Stuart. I’ve been forced into a defensive mode by these bewildering attacks, often merely opinionated assertions, which I often cannot square with what I know that these critics know to be true. One elder scholar I know, in anthropology but not specifically Maya studies, leveled with me and said “that’s academia for you --- that’s exactly what they’re trying to do to you. Mitigate you, defeat you by any means necessary, make you go away.” Wow … I mean, wow.
Since this pathetic situation is demonstrably the case in Maya “2012” studies, especially in relation to the environment I have contributed to becoming “politicized” by being who I am, one wonders how the consensus that is defined by these intellectually dishonest and unethical scholars will in any way accurately reflect ancient Maya thought. Now, it may not be PC to use the terms “intellectually dishonest” and “unethical,” but the behavior that these terms identify are demonstrable, and I use them not out of spite but in the interest of defending my work from the dubious machinations of those who aren’t actually practicing scholarship, but something else entirely. It may be that Hoopes, Van Stone, Villasenor, Guenter, Freidel, and others think they are applying critical thinking to my work, but it is very easy to respond and show, as I have done dozens if not hundreds of times, that their positions are underinformed or misinformed regarding my work, apparently because they haven’t bothered to actually read my work. This is where they develop a bad attitude toward me, because in emails or phone conversations I point out factual errors in their thinking or correct them on various mistaken ideas they have expressed about me and my work. Faced with having to admit a correction offered them by me, they instead dig in deeper and try to find other polemically compromising tidbits they can use against me. That is being intellectually dishonest and unethical.
I’m sorry for the lengthy coverage here; I’m trying to give a small sense of what my life’s been like in recent years, through which I’ve continued to try to get my work across, like a losing battle in a mudslide, and bend to the dictates of academia with my 2010 SAA presentation, the taxing MEC-Facebook Discussion, going to Mexico myself to examine TRT Mon 6 and produce an ignored report with important new analyses, photos, and information, publish a half-dozen essays on the TRT monuments at The Center for 2012 Studies website, and go through peer-review process with two forthcoming pieces in academic anthologies.
Note: I don’t know if this was sent to Barb or if it was my own personal exegesis on the shorter letter, which I did send (see above).
My second post to the thread (August 24), rejected and censored as discussed above
Post sent at least August 24 and 26, rejected:
You refer to "the topic of 2012" as a "non-issue." But clearly, 2012 is a legitimate topic of investigation (TRT Monument 6, etc). This is precisely the murkiness that needs to be clarified. My comments were thus an invitation to differentiate the silly marketplace "doomsday" billboards from the serious investigation of the 2012 topic that can be pursued, and has been being pursued for quite some time (in some quarters). The desire of scholars to educate and clarify for the public what is real and not real in the 2012 topic is laudable. It's clear that catastrophic doomsday scenarios a la Hollywood are not real. The next step, then, is, what can be proactively said about 2012? Are we really done with the Tortuguero "2012" text? (I think not, since the astronomical implications of the 13 dates in that text are still being worked out.) I was merely trying to suggest a proactive, investigative focus as opposed to having a reaction to what it certainly isn't.
You're certainly entitled to your opinion on TRT Monument 6, but it's quite clear that "the majority of scholars" who have actually studied the text, and the related texts from the site, do not think that the Maya didn't think much of 2012. Again, I'd direct readers to the "Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy: Building Bridges between Cultures" volume I previously linked to. Several of the essays signal the kind of proactive treatment of 2012 that I alluded to as the preferable approach. (They were recently, and may still be, available as free downloads.)
Rather than rubber stamping 2012 as a "non-issue" and filing it away, we are clearly just beginning to understand how the Maya tracked things like the sidereal year. Consequently, considering the sidereal positions evident in the astronomy of the 13 dates on TRT Monument 6 and how they are related to the 2012 astronomy, additional open-minded investigation is called for. Reconstructing royal narratives and suggesting why things were said and done is not necessarily easy, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be pursued. And astronomy, although very frequently ignored as a viable evidence set, can be very helpful in determining what Maya kings were doing ceremonially, and why certain dates were chosen.
John Major Jenkins
Note: Even while my posts were being censored I had four separate email conversations: 1) with Hoopes and other cc’d scholars; 2) with moderator Ruggeri; 3) with Robert Sitler (see http://www.Update2012.com/Hoopes-Scholars-Jenkins-July-September2011.html); 4) and with Barbara MacLeod (see above). On August 31, I also composed a lengthy review of the early draft of MacLeod and Van Stone’s piece for Zeitschrift fur Anomalistik. My recent review (August 2014) of their final published paper is here:
(Just to have it somewhere), an email to Michael Grofe from Brazil, Sept. 2012
Email to Michael Grofe from Wasiwaska, September 13, 2012
I know you are probably super busy, so feel free to overlook this. I'm in Brazil; my NEARA article is a bit long for their format, so I'm looking at cutting out some sections. I was wondering if you felt that my comments on Barb's, Carl's, and Carlson's articles in the recent Archaeo 24 were inappropriate. I didn't think so, but I see that my comments do revolve around defending the fact that I enunciated and published the same or similar interpretations in my own work, which all of those writers were apprised of and therefore, if fair citation practices are being honored, should have been acknowledged. Of course, I know that fairly referencing JMJ is not recommended, even while writers are bending over backwards to acknowledge minuscule "p.c." conversations occurring privately in emails. I do thank you for the acknowledgement you gave to me, and for citing my work in your piece.
So, the two End Notes in which I discuss Carl's and Barb's comments, are here:
 My idea here was first circulated among Maya scholars in 2009 and was presented at the Institute of Maya Studies in January 2011 (Jenkins 2011b). A similar idea has been offered by Callaway (2012) and cited by MacLeod (2012:131, 139) without reference to my earlier suggestion. The difference in our respective positions is that I believe (Jenkins 2011d:42-44) a future invocation of the departed king is necessary, presupposing the existence of his descendants in 2012 (at least in the expectation of Lord Jaguar), whereas Callaway suggests a more free-form belief that a Maya king can “navigate through time beyond his own death” (Callaway 2012:51).
 MacLeod (2012: 127) stated that “there is no reason to suggest a connection” (between the Ahkal K’uk on Tortuguero Monument 6 and the king of Palenque named Ahkal Mo’ Naab). There are actually several reasons for suggesting this. One is the rationale that it supports Lord Jaguar’s bid for greatest legitimacy in ruling the Palenque polity (which included Tortuguero; they shared the place-name “Bakaal”) by claiming direct descent from an early king of the founding dynasty at Palenque. Pakal, in comparison, did not have this direct lineage (I discuss this in the text and in Jenkins 2010). Another is that Ahkal Mo’ Naab was ruling Palenque (501 – 524 AD) when the sweat bath rite at Tortuguero occurred (Date 12, in December of 510 AD). The two towns are only 35 miles distant, and Maya Kings often visited neighboring towns. Another reason is that Ahkal Mo’ Naab of Palenque died in 524 when the sun occupied the Crossroads, the same location of the sun on Lord Jaguar’s birthday 88 years later, and on 188.8.131.52.0 in 2012. Since Lord Jaguar was crafting a narrative to weave together various empowering associations to support his lineage and his rule, then Ahkal K’uk, who MacLeod presumes to be a historical “lineage ancestor” (MacLeod 2012:127), succeeds in having the same attributes that we know Palenque’s Ahkal Mo’ Naab embodied. These are several reasons for suggesting that the two Ahkal’s are one and the same person. The suggestion is also supported by Martin and Grube (2000:165) and Skidmore (2010:24).
And my comments on Carlson's nine-step-god idea are here, in the text (page 15):
In a curious echo of my own pioneering ideas, Carlson’s first published paper on 2012 (Carlson 2011) proposes a world-renewal and transformation when the “Lord of Maya Creations” returns in 2012. In a museum presentation of May 2010, Carlson stated he had thoroughly read my 1998 book Maya Cosmogenesis 2012, and I had submitted a proposal to his Archaeoastronomy Journal in 1999, of which he remains editor-in-Chief, in which I detailed the paradigm of deity sacrifice, astronomical alignment, and world-renewal I had reconstructed at Izapa.
In my 2006 essay on Bolon Yokte I pointed out that “My own reading of the deity’s name allows for the homophony between bolon and balan, nine and jaguar,” and thus that Bolon Yokte was the “God of Nine Steps” (Jenkins 2006a). Finding evidence for this in the Tortuguero Monument 6 text, I noted that Date 3 occurred 360 days after Date 2 (Jenkins 2010) and that 360 days was nine steps of 40 days each, during which the coefficient of the Tzolk’in date increases by one at each step, from 1 Ok (Date 2) to 10 Ok (Date 3) (see also Jenkins 2011:26-27). Carlson (2012:166-167) mentioned the 40-day “stepping” process of 360 days (1 Tun), but he overlooked the evidence for it in the Tortuguero inscription. Nevertheless, it does provide a context for understanding Bolon Yokte as a “God of the Year” (a mam or Year Bearer), with the same ritual function as the modern cult deity of the Tzutujil Maya named Maximon (Grofe 2009).
My contributing perspective here, cited above, is actually from my 2006 essay on Bolon Yokte, which you cited in your God L piece. Online since mid-2006, and reiterated in my "Lord of Maya Creation" article published in New Dawn magazine (Australia) in late 2006.
So, I'm also considering cutting the entire "Two Camps in Academia" section (3300 words), which contained a critique of Stuart's evasion of the Wayeb 34 decipherment from Sven and Barb, in 2010 and also in his Maya Decipherment blog of October 2011. I was heartened to see Barb addressing this directly in her Archaeo 24 piece, which I mentioned in a note:
 MacLeod discusses these odd evasions in her recent article (MacLeod 2012:137-139), echoing my earlier concerns about the breakdown of scholarly communication on this point (Jenkins 2012e, 2012i, p.c. to MacLeod in 2012), although such cognitive dissonance has not been unusual in the academic treatment of 2012 (Jenkins 2009; 2011d: 45-48, 2012h).
But, again, I'm needing to cut sections. I'm doing some work around stopping the cycle of stupidity/abuse here in Brazil, and wonder if I should eliminate all contentious corrections and assertions of my prior publication of ideas that scholars are claiming. I thought in my email communications I was contributing to the discussion. I can't figure out if my enunciation of certain ideas, now taken up by others without credit given, was not read and they are arriving at their own thoughts independently, or they are trying to give the impression that they don't know about my first enunciation of those ideas, or they ignore me because I'm JMJ or a non-scholar, or what. I think I'm having to entertain the possibility that some of the scholars I thought I was communicating with, e.g., Barb and Carl and Carlson, actually do not read what I've sent them. It may be my own hubris to believe that they have cared at all to even open my emails or articles sent, let alone look at them and read them. This would explain the lacuna in due credit. It's a bit of a baffling place to be hanging in.
He offered a cordial response, saying he didn’t think my comments and corrections were inappropriate or defensively worded. The items ended up not appearing in the NEARA Journal. They balked at publishing it, despite their early enthusiasm (I gave a talk at their conference in Concord, NH, in April 2012). I wondered if John Carlson being on their board had something to do with it. They said it was long and technical. Technical? Really? I quickly supplied a muted and truncated version; still no go. So I decided to let it grow, added a few appendices, and published it through my old Four Ahau Press imprint as a smallish book in mid-October, 2012: Reconstructing Ancient Maya Astronomy.