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Yahweh as an Anunnaki: The Trouble With Imaginary Beings (LSP #197)

Yahweh as an Anunnaki: The Trouble With Imaginary Beings (LSP #197) June 21, 2021

Hi and welcome back! I had a laugh earlier today looking at something online that was written by a very worried-sounding Christian conspiracy theorist: Oh gosh, y’all, what if Yahweh himself is really one of the Anunnaki? See, that’s the biggest problem with believing in a powerful being who doesn’t actually exist. It gets you all worried about the strangest things. Today, Lord Snow Presides over a very worrisome possibility for someone who can’t bring critical thinking skills to bear on supernatural stuff.

it's in berlin - argh
(Corbin Mathias.) Part of the Ishtar Gate of Babylon.

(There are a lot of spellings of “Anunnaki.” This is one I’m using.)

Everyone, Meet Jan Erik Sigdell. He Loves Anunnaki Conspiracy Theories.

What really surprised me here is that the writer of today’s focus, Jan Erik Sigdell, isn’t a nobody. He’s a somebody — to a very particular niche of people. Namely, he’s somebody to conspiracy theorists, who like to swirl bits of mystic Christianity in with their all-powerful aliens. Though he started off on a good foot with a medicine-related degree and training, he went off the rails very quickly.

He’s written a number of books, most concerning themes you’ll notice right off the bat (Wikipedia):

So yes, he’s a real handful. Maybe he realized he could make a lot more money in woo mysticism than in artificial organ engineering. If so, dang, either woo pays well or a lot of medical students are about to get very angry.

Sigdell seems to buy into Christianity — but he brought his own unique spin of woo to a religion already stuffed-to-bursting with it. Now he has a very old-school Web 1.5 sort of website that contains a lot of his conspiracy-theory writing.

However, I didn’t find today’s story at christian-reincarnation.com. I found it at an absolutely bizarre Spanish site that seems to want to be the end-all, be-all of weird woo and conspiracy theories.

The Anunnaki and Nephilim.

Initially, I was just wondering if QAnon believers have mixed the Anunnaki up in their beliefs. (The answer is yes, if one supposes the Anunnaki to be reptilian aliens, which most of them do.)

In reality-land, the Anunnaki are just a group of ancient deities from Sumerian, Mesopotamian, and Babylonian days. They’re part of a pantheon descended from An and Ki, the god of heaven and goddess of earth respectively. Their name means “the offspring of An.” People began using the term Anunnaki around 2100 BCE, and at the time they included “seven gods who decree” — An, Enlil, Anki, Ninhursag, Nanna, Utu, and Inanna. These gods judged the dead and decided upon people’s fates, among other things.

The Bible does not mention the Anunnaki as a name at all, but it does talk a very little about the Nephilim. Some people think that Genesis 6:1-4 (written by various factions between 950-400 BCE) is talking about the Nephilim when it talks about “giants in the earth.” Others see Numbers 13:32-33 (written around 1428 BCE) talking about the Nephilim as “the sons of Anak.” And others perceive a third reference in Ezekiel 32:27 (written in the early 6th century BCE), where the writer talks of the dead lying “with the warriors, the Nephilim of old.”

(Sort of. These translations seem to be disputed.)

Often, believers in the Nephilim imagine that they are the mixed-race children of male demons/angels and human women.

But overall, Christians don’t seem to have any idea how to deal with Nephilim. One evangelical site, Got Questions, can only say that “perhaps” the Anunnaki derived from the Bible’s mythology:

So, it is possible that the myths regarding the Anunnaki originate in the reality that was the Nephilim.

And that’s quite an interesting guess, considering the first mentions of the Anunnaki predate the writing of those three books of the Bible by anywhere from like 600 to 1600 years.

An Essay About the Anunnaki Starts Promisingly.

So, I guess we shouldn’t be all that shocked to find an essay by Jan Erik Sigdell asking if Yahweh himself is one of the Anunnaki (archive link). The site owner indicates that Sigdell emailed him this essay in 2010. And it’s a real doozy.

The essay reads like the worldbuilding one might do for a really elaborate roleplaying game. First, Sigdell establishes that the original conceptualization Israelites had about their god was that he was just one of a large pantheon. He talks about Asherah and the “other gods” in ancient Israelite religious thought. He wonders aloud about exactly why Yahweh was mystified about the killer of Abel, where exactly Cain found his wife when he and his parents were supposedly the only humans created, and more. So far, so good.

Then, he heads right off the rails by bringing in the Nephilim:

The text makes a difference between them and the humans. Hence they were not humans.

Were they half-gods? And the “giants” who were born from them, where they maybe quarter-gods?

Guess what? I was just talking about this with Mr. Captain last night, about why one doesn’t see many people who are half-anything in those Elder Scrolls video games. I guess their developer, Bethesda, just thinks it’d introduce too many variables for mechanics and give too little payoff at the end for all that effort.

You’d think that if we realized that, Yahweh’s ghostwriters could have too.

Yahweh, False God and Anunnaki Governor.

Then, we get a couple sections exploring the idea of Yahweh as a false god. Whoever the real god was, he had to be a god of love, Jan Erik Sigdell thinks. But Yahweh is demonstrably cruel beyond all human imagination. So he can’t really be the real deal.

So he must be one of the Anunnaki. And the Anunnaki are the Nephilim. And the Nephilim are reptilians.

See? It all comes around full circle if you wait long enough.

Now, Zecharia Sitchin, the “Ancient Astronauts” wingnut, says Yahweh is actually the supreme god of the Anunnaki. But Sigdell is too cool for that. He just thinks Yahweh is a plain-Jane member of the Anunnaki.

Like, maybe Yahweh was a “governor” of the group or something. Yep. In that capacity, Yahweh helps supply his people with the life-blood of sacrifices (human and animal alike), which powers them like batteries. Yes. Batteries.

Y’all, this essay is astonishing. Every time you think he’s flung himself as high into the wingnut sky as anybody possibly could, Sigdell pulls more rocket fuel out of his wingnut hat. It’s amazing.

I mean, I loved seeing him diss Sitchin like that. But if anything, Sigdell managed to look even worse.

Wingnuts Meet the Anunnaki.

By now, conspiracy theorists are awash in ancient astronauts, Nephilim, Anunnaki, and disguised reptilians in high places of power.

Without a way to double-check our ideas against reality, we can’t bring ourselves back to Earth again. Instead, we just spiral further and further into wingnuttery. And there’s no way in the world for any wingnuts to show support for any of the ideas mentioned above.

What these wingnuts actually have instead are grievously misinterpreted ancient sources and a conspicuous lack of persuasive archaeological evidence. And lots, and lots of essays that build mistakes upon mistakes, like what Jan Erik Sigdell has accomplished in this 2010 essay. It’s painful to see him pull a guess out of his nether regions about how the Anunnaki could possibly survive on their home planet, Nibiru. (Yes, we get Sitchin’s nonexistent dark planet Nibiru in this essay too. Suck on that one, astronomers!) Sigdell writes:

Hence the planet during more than 3000 years is so far away from the sun that everything must be frozen there. How can they live in such a world?

The answer will be that they are multidimensional beings, maybe 5-dimensional. They are said to be of a reptilian nature. We are only three-dimensional, i.e., we can only perceive three space dimensions and think only three-dimensionally. It seems that the Anunnaki have made us this way so that we should not perceive them, unless they appear in there [sic] three-dimensional form.

“It seems,” does it now? And he can show support for this idea how, exactly?

He can’t. It’s all just so painfully, obviously ad hoc reasoning.

But then, so is the entire essay.

Sailing Off-Course Into Wingnut Territory.

Without reality as a tether, people just fly off further and further into wingnut space. As problems with their ideas occur to them, they just layer on more and more wingnut guesses to save themselves from being wrong. Eventually, you end up with an essay by what appears to be a decently-well-respected woo-seller that is nonstop wingnut guesses spiraling further into weirdness with every new section.

What’s so weird is that Christians should be immune to wingnuttery. They should be the last people on Earth to fall for any woo or conspiracy theories. In theory at least, they’ve got a Bible that’s supposedly completely true and authoritative, a god living inside of them who can guide them at any time they ask, a quickened spirit that can discern truth from lies and right from wrong, and probably more besides that I can’t remember offhand.

And yet they seem to be the very easiest to fool with this stuff. The more fervent they are, the easier they are to fool.

It’s just so weird!

As we sail our ships through life, we need the solid form of the coastline — reality — to guide us. Nothing else can reliably get us to our destination. We must be able to check at any time to see where that coastline is and where it’s going, so we can adjust course as needed.

If we decide that the coastline isn’t good enough for us, and if we simply must have something else to guide us, then it’d better really exist. If it doesn’t, then we’ll soon find ourselves sailing off the edge of the world

Today, Lord Snow Presides over the coastline of reality that saves people from wingnuttery — if they let it.

NEXT UP: Those nutty medieval Christians and what they added to the doctrines about Hell. See you then!


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About Lord Snow Presides (LSP)

Lord Snow Presides is our off-topic weekly chat series. Lord Snow was my very sweet white cat. He actually knew quite a bit. Though he’s passed on, he now presides over a suggested topic for the day. Of course, please feel free to chime in with anything on your mind: there’s no official topic on these days. We especially welcome pet pictures!

About Captain Cassidy
Captain Cassidy grew up fervently Catholic, converted to the SBC in her teens, and became a Pentecostal shortly afterward. She even volunteered in church (choir, Sunday School) and married an aspiring preacher! But then--record scratch!--she brought everything to a screeching halt when she deconverted in her mid-20s. That was 25 years ago. Now a comfortable None, she blogs on Roll to Disbelieve about psychology, pop culture, politics, relationships, cats, gaming, and more--and where they all intersect with religion. She lives with an adored and adoring husband named Mr. Captain and a sweet, squawky orange tabby cat named Princess Bother Pretty Toes. At any given time, she's running out of bookcase space. You can read more about the author here.
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