We fail exams because we attempted the exam and did not get the required grades necessary to pass. Really now? Yeah that is it. Seriously, were you expecting a more articulated discussion with scholarly or scientific explanations? Were you expecting a well categorized if not exhaustive list of non student and student factors that could be contributing to failing exams?
Honestly, I had those in mind and more but after all is said and done, we fail because we did not pass. We failed to pass.
Naturally, the causes for failing is another matter and the reasons are as diverse as individuals are different or even as common as individuals are similar. However, most reasons fall within not turning up at the exam, mentally and physically ready, and turning up for the wrong exam. Whichever, we fail to pass and there are consequences.
IS FAILING AN EXAM, GOOD OR BAD?
Normally, achieving any goal, is a success and success is good. In short, failing is good if you were planning to fail but who plans to fail? Well, have you ever failed an exam? Did you plan to fail or it was simply “out of luck” happening to you?
Well, lots of time we foolhardily plan to fail and when we are successful and get the failing grade, we are surprised, disappointed and even get depressed. Yet our actions can increase the chances of our failing and action speaks louder than words.
For example, when we are approaching exams and we are not prepared and ready, we are actually planning to fail. If we can’t define the name of the subject that we are studying, or not having the syllabus for the exam and following it, then we are planning to fail. Not going to classes nor getting the course material and procrastinating studying for exams, we are planning to fail. Not being able to understand what we know and being able to relate it to the examiner, we are planning to fail. Not liking a subject and yet neglecting it while hoping for the best with our fingers crossed, then we are planning to fail.
In short anything we do that does not help to enhance our chances of passing the exam, is planning to fail and it is not good, unless failing is our goal. Bear in mind, if we fail to plan, we are planning to fail.
Of course, at times, failing an exam might put us into a better position. For example, failing an exam might get us the chance to do a resit and get higher grades. Losing a battle (failing an exam) in order to win the war.
On a philosophical note, failing is good when it reshaped people’s life for the better. Failing can create a sense of pride and kindle an ardent desire to succeed against the odds. A kind of failing being “a blessing in disguise”. Failing in one area might lead us to our success or calling in another area.
Also, failing an exam might be good as some people enjoy failing. For these people, failing is success since failing gives them gratification.
Nevertheless, failing can be terrible as it might affect our self confidence and sense of worth. Failing is also a waste of time and cost in terms of money, resources, sweat and tears. Some times we only have one try at an exam and failing is not an option. It’s now or never. No second chance so our career goals would get dashed; we would be denied job advancement and screened out from becoming a part of our aspiration group.
So whether failing an exam is good or bad can be relative but one thing is sure: exams exist.
EXAM: A NECESSARY EVIL?
Exams have been considered as useful tools to measure students’ knowledge, skill, and ability. Exams also serve as a way to allocate certificates of merit; determine qualification for upgrading and standardized entry requirement for college and professional groups. A “kind of screening mechanism to separate theCrème de la crème from the ordinary”.
However, the reliance on exams as a measurement tool can be troublesome. Empirical evidence has shown that students may have learnt and teachers may have taught and yet students still perform poorly on an exam.
Also, should a single grade on an exam determine our “success”? In fact, many educators are now suggesting that alternatives to final exams, such as course work grades, are better indicators of students’ performance as students earn grades based upon their performance on a wider range of assessments methods and types and over time.
On the darker side, exams can be rigged, test papers compromised, and even used for personal gains by teachers and administrators. The recent Stanford University scandal surrounding entry to universities is a good example.
Yet, despite the drawbacks of exams, necessary evil or not, they have been around for centuries and will continue to be. As such, it’s important that when we are faced with exam situations , we are ready to tackle them with confidence and fun.
FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO EXAM FAILURES
As mentioned above, there are many reasons or causes for failing exams. One way to understand the issue is to consider our failing of exams as the effects or symptoms of underlying causes or problems that existed leading up to the exam or even during the exam.
To stop failing exams we need to pay attention to these causes. It is not the failing of the exam that is the problem, it is the causes that are the problem.
These causes though common and varied are summarized using the Ishikawa or Fishbone Diagram as above. This Cause and Effect model classified the major causes for exam failure as: 1. the students’ learning, level of preparedness, resources, and home environment; 2. the teachers’ qualities and teaching methods; 3. the school’s systems and structures; 4. the type of exam, conditions and time of day; 5. Family and friends support and 6. the government’s commitment to education.
As can be seen, unfortunately, most of the factors that affect exam performance are out side our control as students. Accordingly, students are primarily responsible for their success on exams as the odds are stacked up against them. The onus is on us to get high grades.
HOW TO GET HIGH GRADES AND PASS EXAMS.
To pass an exam, be sure to prepare as if 100% is the passing grade. As such, aim for the ultimate. Know your strengths and weaknesses then accentuate your strengths and eliminate your weaknesses. Help yourself by identifying the causes that could affect your chances at success in exams. Check to see if these factors are out of your control and what you can do about them in order to mitigate their negative impact. Honest answers are needed. To thyself be true.
Basically, passing exams are the opposite of failing exams. Do plan to pass. Only do things that will improve your chances of passing. Treat your study time or the entire semester as an Exam prison sentence. Your “free”time is restricted by studying and you are allowed lesser privileges. The bright side is after the exam you will have time to do other types of fun and frolic. Wink. Wink. W
Here are a few hints, tips and techniques that you could consider. They worked well for me.
TURN UP FOR THE EXAM. Be ready and be on time. Turn up in body and mind.
HAVE FUN WHILE STUDYING. If you enjoy what you are doing, it is less work and more fun. Learn even while you are at fun with friends, spouse and family. Get them involved.
AIR. (ATTENTION. INTEREST. RESPECT). Get and give lots of AIR. The more Attentionis given, the more things open up. Put a little Interestwith Attention and you might be surprised to see how things that were as clear as mud, quickly become as clear as crystal. Seal it up with Respectwhich is the energy that guides Attention and Interest. Give and get respect.
MAKE YOUR PRIORITY YOUR PREROGATIVE AND YOUR PREROGATIVE YOUR PRIORITY. There are only 24 hours in the day and you should ensure that your exam is your priority and prerogative. Use up as much of the day doing them. Recall you are in Exam prison.
ALWAYS READ ONE OR TWO CHAPTERS AHEAD OF YOUR TUTOR. When you read ahead of your teacher the material will be as clear as mud to you. That’s okay for it to be a muddle then. When you are in class and the teacher begins that topic it will become as clear as Pepsi or Coke. When you reread it again at home it will be as clear as cream soda.
WORRY BEFORE THE TIME TO WORRY. There are three times to worry. Before the exam, during the exam and after the exam. The best time to worry is before the exams. If you worry before the exams, then during the exams or after the exams you won’t worry because you had already worried yourself.
PROPER PREPARATION PREVENTS POOR PERFORMANCE. “Dance a yard before you dance abroad”. This cannot be over stated. Get all the study material available from the examination body and teachers. Study them smartly. Swot the facts and learn the principles. Try and summarize a chapter of say 20 pages on a topic to down to a page or two of notes in your own words. Learn the moves now, develop style later.
TO FULLY UNDERSTAND IT, YOU NEED TO SEE IT WORKING. Theory is good but seeing it work in practice is priceless. Practice. Practice. practice. Nothing beats practice and being ready. Study, study and then study again.
THE MORE OF YOUR SENSES YOU USE WHEN STUDYING, THE MORE YOU LEARN. If you hear, say, write, see and even taste the topics you are doing, you will learn more. So after hearing your lecturer talk about an exam topic, you should go read it and write down notes on the topic, and then tell your friend about it so the brain record it better. Next, go watch a YouTube video on the topic for further understanding. Reinforcement and repetition are learning’s best friends.
GIGO. Garbage In Garbage Out. This computer term is applicable. In fact, what you put in is what you get out. Do a substantial amount of work and prepare for the exam as if it is two weeks earlier. Recall Murphy’s Law: if something can go wrong, it normally goes wrong.
ANY TOPIC OR SUBJECT YOU DON’T LIKE, LOVE IT MORE THAN THE REST. If you don’t like a particular topic on the exam, pay more attention to that topic. Go back to number 2. Give more AIR to weak or disliked topics .
DO NOT PROMISE YOUR BRAIN TO SPEND AN ENTIRE WEEKEND STUDYING. JUST DO IT. Normally the ideal is not the real and something is going to prevent you from doing it. . Mark you, it’s a noble idea but it rarely works. The brain seems to find ways out of it and the following week you and your brain are at malice or in remorse. Instead of promising to do do it, on the weekend, just do daily study of even an hour, and on weekends you increase.
STUDY NOW AND PRACTICE WEEKEND. If you study in little pockets of a 1/2 hr or a hour or two over a week, the brain works with you. It’s better to nibble away at a cake in small slices rather than try to swallow chunks of it at once.
USE UP THE ART OF PATIENCE. Find something to do while you wait. If your beauty parlour appointment is delayed by a hour, use the time to study ONE topic on the exam instead of fuming mad at the hair dresser.
SIX HONEST SERVING WO(MEN). In college we learnt the popular Rudyard Kipling rhyme: “I have 6 honest serving women, who taught me All I knew. There names are what, where when, how, why and who. You should know them all for every topic on the exam.
EXAM TECHNIQUES. It is important that you relax the week before exams and do a dress rehearsal. Always KNOW key verbs such as list, explain, outline, discuss, pros and cons etc. If the exam ask to list or state, don’t waste time discussing and explaining. That is time wasting. Also, if the exam ask you to discuss please don’t just list or state. That is wasting grades.
BE OBEDIENT. Do exactly as the exam paper instructed. Remember, you now need to show the examiner that you know, in the time allowed which is the length of the exam.
TURN UP FOR THE EXAM. A bit basic, but do make sure you are at the right exam, at the right time and right place, physically and mentally.
PUTTING IT TOGETHER – TO FAIL OR NOT TO FAIL
To fail or not to fail, at times, is a personal decision. An exam requires, according to Peter Tosh, our “full-icipation instead of “part-icipation”. We should decide if we are up to the task. Simply put, failing an exam can be out of our league if we give it our full attention, interest and respect (AIR and are prepared physically and mentally for it.
One way to be prepared is to know what causes exam failures. As seen some of these causes include our selves as students; our teachers; the school; our friends and family; and the type of exam. Unfortunately, most of the factors affecting our success at exams are outside of our control but we can influence our own destiny. As such we need to identify our strengths and weakness and take steps to accentuate the strengths and eliminate the weaknesses. Not over stressing it, but there is no short cut to high grades on exams: it is hard work. We need to put in if we want to get out. The most painful part of failing exams, apart from the time and cost, is the fact that most times when we fail, we are the ones who had foolhardily planned to fail. Suffice to say turning up at the exam with proper preparation can ensure exam success and boot out exam failure.
Whenever you visit supermarkets, gas stations, pharmacies, mom and pop shop and basically anywhere drinks are sold there is a high chance you are being sold a bottle of mixed drink consisting mainly of water as 100% juice. You might be saying, No way, Not I.
Just for the fun of it, the next time you go to your favourite supermarket or retail shop take a walk down the drinks aisle and look out for any bottle that has 100% Juice written on it. How many say 100% Juice are simply that? Juice.
Shouldn’t be a difficult exercise as these bottles are prominently displayed with the 100% juice conspicuously inviting you to “buy me, I am juice and good for you. I am a bit expensive but juice is expensive.”
Here is a picture I took of three such brands displaying their 100% Juice. There are many more brands that do this practice which some how is common and so wide spread we wonder if they are being regulated.
Of course. The Sales of Goods Act (1979), Fair Trade Commission, The Jamaica Bureau of Standards and the Consumer Affair Commission were created to protect consumers from companies that would dare to imagine much less sell mixed drinks as 100% juice. So we are protected? Right? Wrong?
Let’s check one of these bottles and see. As noticed, clearly written at the front: “Mott’s 100% Apple Juice. What does this mean to you? The bottle of liquid is juice and nothing but juice?
Now let’s check the ingredients which is usually at the back of the bottle and facing the back of the shelf. The ingredients are listed as water, apple juice concentrate and ascorbic acid (vitamin c). Interesting but what is the logic or the intent?
I should also mention that I have seen some Mott’s 100% Juice doing just that. Being just Apple juice. So one wonders even more. Is seeing believing?
CAVEAT EMPTOR VS CAVEAT VENDITOR
In law classes we learnt a Latin term called “Caveat Emptor” which meant “Let the buyer beware”. Simply, consumers are expected to think that businesses are ripped off artists and con men and they (consumers) should deal with businesses accordingly and with great reservations. It was quite common centuries ago. Is it happening now?
Centuries ago, in the Chandelor v Lopus (1603) famous case in the common law of England, a man paid £100 for what he thought was a bezoar stone. This is a stone that forms in animals’ intestinal systems, and was believed to have magical healing properties. The seller said it was a bezoar stone, which turned out to be false. The buyer sued for the return of the £100 purchase price. Should he had got back his money?
The Court held the buyer had no right to his money back, saying “the bare affirmation that it was a bezoar stone, without warranting it to be so, is no cause of action.” The majority of the judges held that the buyer was required to show either that the seller knew the stone was not a bezoar, in which case the seller was liable for deceit, or that the seller had warranted (contractually guaranteed) that the stone was a bezoar, in which case the seller would be liable for breach of warranty. Since the seller in this case was not alleged to have done either of these things, the buyer’s claim failed.
This sad case of sadness continued for centuries but in the late 1970s the concept of caveat emptor was giving way to caveat venditor (let the seller beware). The Sales of Goods Act (1979) and other legislation saw a new paradigm shift with the Courts basically warning sellers that, unless they expressly disclaim any responsibility, they will be held liable if the sold items are found defective or vary from the specifications.
FACTS VS FIGURES?
Yes. It has become such a sport to “exploit” people that many individuals and organizations delve into the art and science of persuading and confusing consumers. It is fun for some to get much from none.
At times, being hoodwinked by the supermarket, government and big corporations can be as painful as being ripped off by con men, gun men and three card men down town.
Not saying Mott’s is telling lies. False is different from misleading. It promotes and sells a mixture of water, apple concentrate and ascorbic acid as 100% Apple Juice. How ever, Mott’s did say CONTAIN 100% juice, not that the entire bottle is 100% apple juice. Figures don’t lie, but liars can figure.
Let’s look at a 16 ounce bottle of drinks. If Mott’s pours four (4) ounces of 100% apple juice in the bottle along with 12 ounces of water, what does one call the entire mixture of apple juice and water? Apple Juice? Apple Drinks? Watery Apple Juice? Maybe it depends. Tricks in trade? Mischievous in business?
RES IPSA LOQUITOR – THE THING SPEAKS FOR ITSELF.
Another term we learnt in Business law is : “res ipsa loquitor’ – the thing speaks for itself. Fortunately, most companies try to tell us what they are about but they do so using very fine print compared with the large print size for their “puffery”.
In summary, deception and fraud aside, the Bureau of Standards provides that manufacturers should list the ingredients for a product in descending order with the ingredient that is the most in terms of volume, weight and size being listed first.
Simply put, put the most first. If water is listed first it means that water is the majority of the content. If apple juice is listed first it means that apple juice is the majority of the content. By extension, if apple juice alone is listed, it means ALL of the content is a 100% juice.
Fooling some people some of times can make you Guilty all the time.
In 2011, Naked Juice was forced to retract their claim that their juice was “100% fruit” and “all natural.” The juice company, owned by Pepsi, was actually including ascorbic acid and synthetic sources of fiber in their beverages — proving that “all natural” and #100% can be fairly meaningless buzzwords. The complaint points out that the “front-of-package promises that the product is ‘ALL NATURAL’ and ‘100% JUICE.’
It was held by the Court that a reasonable consumer would not assume that defendants were being deceptive and would not know to read the very-fine-print ingredient label.
PepsiCo Inc. agreed to settle for a $9 million lawsuit where each customer could receive up to US$75 in accordance to the company’s false, misleading and deceptive advertisements. Other companies, such as Kashi and General Mills Inc. faced identical disputes for using GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, while claiming to be #100percent natural and containing no artificial ingredients.
It begs a possible question: If Pepsi was found guilty, can companies such as Mott’s and RubyKist be challenged?
FACING THE MUSIC: POISON BUT GOOD FOR ME?
At times, we find our selves in less than desirable relationships on many levels. How we handle them depends on many factors. Sometimes we are faced with a dilemma.
Then again, the options are not really many but they are far reaching as it can impact ones behaviour when faced with similar situations. We can continue with the relationship having the comfort in knowing that we know the other party is lying. We can stop the relationship knowing that where honesty, integrity and trust are lost , it is usually for ever.
Interestingly, I was listening to some musical tracks done by my daughter, Aneil, while writing this blog. Couldn’t resist sharing one of them with you. POISON. Not sure why I thought it would be a fitting song to conclude this section with but here goes: POISON: the #3 track on Aneil’s Extended Play was released 2018. Can click here to watch or click on the Picture below
Your love is poison
But oh baby I want it
And oh baby I’m ‘on it’ (ye ey ey ey ey)
Ya take my mind on a roadtrip
My mind can’t behold it
All the tantalizing things that you say.
You do for me what sanity won’t
And that is to be your only girl
In reality it’s so wrong
Because you are already ‘owned’
Your love’s like that drug; can’t get enough
ECG shows my heart all over the charts
You make me wanna ru-u-un, sta-a-ay, fight and rule the world (x2) with you
You make me wanna ru-u-un, sta-a-ay, fight and rule the world (x2) with you.
What to do about us
Can’t believe it got to this
Each day that passes, I need you more
Still I wait for the day, you’ll tell me it’s not okay.
Then I’ll ask why.
You and I have to cool it
Barriers broke down, leaving us bare
My love for you is heightened
My chest tightens at the sight of you
Your love’s like that song; can’t get enough
Put you on replay, I can’t get enough.”
According to the Holy Scriptures, or simply the Bible, the only time(s) that should be recognized or revered or worshiped are the Sabbaths, the Passover, The Feast of First Fruits, the Feasts of the Weeks, The Feasts of the Trumpets, Feasts of Atonement, and the Feasts of the Tabernacles. Leviticus 23.
Any other “holy days” such as Ash Wednesday, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Lent, Christmas and Sunday are UNHOLY days and are the devil’s creation and an abomination to the creator of the heaven’s and earth. They are all mystery religions from Sumer or Mesopotamia.
There is no part in the Bible that instructs us to worship mystery religions. Indeed, anyone who worships days such as Ash Wednesday, Sunday and Easter will cause peril and sickness upon their children’s children down to the the third and fourth generation.
No wonder why we are suffering so much. We have adopted Satan’s way: teaching darkness as light and madness as gladness.
Indeed, Jesus Christ summed it up neatly in Mark 7:7
Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
THE TRUE COMMANDMENTS
As mentioned, it is impossible to find any part in the bible that commands us to worship Ash Wednesday, Lent or Easter (Ishtar).
Exodus 20: And God spoke all these words, saying,
2 I am the LORD thy God,
which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image,
or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God,visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
8 Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.
Leviticus 19:26 King James Version (KJV). 26 Ye shall not eat any thing with the blood: neither shall ye use enchantment, nor observe times.
The Origins of Ash Wednesday
The worship of Lent is a fore runner to Ash Wednesday. It is a Mesopotamia mystery religion and based on mysticism. We got it not from divine scriptures but from the Greeks, Babylon and the Egyptians. The term Lent is a shortened form of Lenten, which derives from the Old English term lencten, which means spring. This word is from the Old English root word lang which means long. Lent thus refers to the Spring because it is the season when the days begin to lengthen.
Prior to the birth and death of Jesus, before Abraham was even born, Lent was a period of penance and abstinence for forty (40) days to mourn the death of Tammuz (a day for each year of his life as he was killed at age 40 by a pig). At the end of the mourning, on the Sunday after the Spring Equinox, Tammuz would come back to life and the agriculture would flourish and the animals fertile. The 40 day mourning and penance had to end on the Sunday after the first full moon after March 21 to coincide with the worship of Easter, the goddess of fertility.
You may be curious as to who was Tammuz. As we will soon realize, man also made gods in his own image and likeness. Tammuz, the god of fertility, was one such god. He was paraded as the immaculate conceived son of a great woman called Semiramis who, some legend has it, later became the Queen of Heaven, Easter or Ishtar or Ashtoreth as Isaiah and Ezekiel called her. (see below for more information on this mother/child relationship).
Lent was accepted into the beliefs of the Catholic Church at the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD. The council also settled upon the 40-day fast period as the standard length to celebrate Lent. During this time period Constantine’s (emperor of Rome) goal was to combine pagans and Christians into a peaceable unit within the Roman kingdom.
In 601, Pope Gregory moved the beginning of Lent from the fourth Sunday of the year to Ash Wednesday, 46 days before Easter. This changed allowed for 40 days of fasting with six Sundays counted as feast days, for a total of 46 days for Lent.
The interesting thing about Lent or Ash Wednesday is that it is attached to Easter. Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, is determined after the date of Easter has been designated. Easter begins on the Friday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox, which is March 21. By ecclesiastical rules, which fixes the date of the equinox to March 21, the earliest possible date for Easter is March 22 and the latest possible is April 25.
Accordingly, Ash Wednesday can be as earl y as February 4 and as late as March 11. It all depends on when the moon fulls after March 21 and counting backwards for 46 days from Easter Sunday to determine the beginning of Lent.
Wait a minute. I am sure if you were brought up in a nice Christian home like I did, you will be getting a bit puzzled now. What does the full moon, and beginning of Spring (March 21) got to do with Lent and Easter? The answer is everything. They both depends on the full moon after the Spring Equinox. March 21.
To fully appreciate the origins of Lent and Easter we must look back at where it all started. Thousands of years ago, man was very dependent on nature and its predictable yet uncertain behaviour. They quickly realized that the Sun, Moon and stars had a far-reaching impact and influence on harvests and live stocks.
As reasonable folks or better yet, as shrewd folks, they tried to give reverence and recognition to this profound fact. Common sense would dictate that the reverence be given to the Creator of the sun and moon but guess what, so far, no one has seen the maker of the sun and moon.
So man, being as creative as he is, decided to make gods in his own image, likeness and understanding. A god for everything of great importance. The sun was called the god of life and the moon was the goddess of fertility. Venus and Cupid took care of Love and Thor took care of war. You get the drift.
The greatest thing about this poly theism was that these gods were not jealous of each other. Each had his or her own affair and actually worked together. (Contrast this with Jehovah who is said to be so jealous that he is biased and prejudiced in that he will destroy those who serve other gods and take care of those who serve him).
Sentiments aside, let’s look at how the myths and legends explain the rituals and practices surrounding the worshiping of Lent and Easter.
According to the original and genuine Easter story, Ashtoreth/Easter (the goddess of fertility) was worshiped as the provider and re-starter of all life at Spring (March 21). Easter is also believed to be the deification of the infamous Semiramis, the wife of Nimrod, of bible fame. Recall the tower of babel great hunter. We learnt about him at Sunday School and how he was against Jehovah.
It is unclear how Nimrod died as in in the Book of Jasher it is said that Esau, son of Isaac) killed him; while Josephus states that Shem, the son of Noah, killed Nimrod. However, after his death, Nimrod body ascended into the heavens and became the sun god himself. A bit horrifying but here comes the romantic part. Nimrod, the sun god, became rays of light and implanted his seed into his wife, Semiramis now a widow, and impregnate her. (Virgin mother and child?).
The myth further stated that the child was called Tammuz , son of the sun god. He was responsible for bringing light into the world and to fight darkness. Can you guess when Tammuz was born? If you said at the Winter Solstice (December 22 – 25) you are correct. For those steeped in religious studies, you will recall that Invictus Sol (the unconquerable sun) was born on the shortest day of the year or the Saturnalia (December 22 -25) and we worship him today every December 25. That is Tammuz. Some customs called him Baal, or Mithra and more recently Jesus Christ, since the Council of Nicea, in AD 320 to legitimize its worship. Again, an apple by any other name is still an apple. Click here to See my blog on December 25 worship
The myth climaxed with the idea that Tammuz, at age 40, went hunting and was killed by a boar (hog, pig..same thing….how fitting). In order to bring back her son (Tammuz) to life an elaborate scheme was devised. The idea required forty (40) days of mourning for Tammuz (a day for each year of his life). At the end of 40 day mourning, Tammuz returns to life on the Sunday after the first full moon after March 21. Abstinence from meat, self and lust was the order of the day for the 40 days of Lent. At the end of Lent, a boar is killed and ham is eaten. Sweet revenge on the pig that killed Tammuz.
Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday was the day before Lent where people can revel in carnal affairs (Carnival) and have sex and promiscuous behaviour prior to the 40 days of penitence.
As the myth would have it, Tammuz’s mother, Semiramis died and the gods looked favorably on her as she was the mother of the son of the sun god. She was sent back to earth as the Spring fertility goddess, Ashtoreth/Easter, always shown as a well endowed bare breasted queen of fertility. According to the myth, she emerged from a giant egg that landed in the Euphrates river at sunrise on the Sunday after the full moon after the Spring Equinox.
Semiramis, the queen of heaven, was “born again” as the goddess Easter (Ashtarte). To prove her divine authority, Semiramis, now Ashtoreth/Easter, changed a bird into an egg laying rabbit. Decorated eggs and stories about rabbits are still part of today’s Easter ritual.
As the cult of Ishtar developed, the priests would impregnate young virgins on the altar of the goddess of fertility at sunrise on Easter Sunday. The babies would born in December. In March, of the following year, the priests of Easter would sacrifice these three-month old babies on the altar at the front of the sanctuary and dye Easter eggs in the blood of the sacrificed infants.
You must be saying wow. You knew Easter was bloody but it was suppose to be the blood of Jesus, that was shed to save the sins of the world. Not so fast, Easter Worship was going on before Christ was born.
Indeed, Christians are quick and proud to recognized Good Friday and Easter Sunday as Christ’s death and resurrection day. It is with good intentions that they do such acts of passion but the evidence shows that the crucifixion of Christ was only attached to Easter, 325 years after Christ died. Furthermore, the math and prophecies suggest that a Friday death and Sunday resurrection would not fit in with the “three days and three nights” requirement for the Christ to be dead and then resurrected. (Friday evening to Sunday morning is one day and two nights).
Interestingly, it should be noted that the New Testament even mention Easter by name and being around at the time of Christ and Peter the disciple. Acts 12: 4 stated that 4 And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people. (Seems the Romans were already worshiping Easter before Christ’s death). Hmmmmm.
Let’s look at the logic. If Easter is being recognized as the worship of the Death and Resurrection of Christ, how could Acts 12 vs 4 mention Easter while Christ was alive?The blind and even the ignorant can see that Easter was going on before Christ was killed.
Let’s put the icing on the cake: Easter is mentioned in the Old Testament too. King Solomon, married to foreign wives, “followed Astarte the goddess of the Sidonians” (1 Kings 11:5). Later the cult places to Ashtoreth were destroyed by Josiah. Astarte/Ashtoreth is the Queen of Heaven to whom the Canaanites burned offerings and poured libations (Jeremiah 44).
As you enjoy Ash Wednesday and Easter this year, remember, in the Old Testament, She was the Ishtar of the Accadians and the Astarte of the Greeks ( Jeremiah 44:17 ; 1 Kings 11:51 Kings 11:33 ; 2 Kings 23:13 ). There was a temple of this goddess among the Philistines in the time of Saul ( 1 Samuel 31:10 ). Under the name of Ishtar, she was one of the great deities of the Assyrians. The Phoenicians called her Astarte. Solomon introduced the worship of this idol ( 1 Kings 11:33 ). Jezebel’s 400 priests were probably employed in its service ( 1 Kings 18:19 ). It was called the “queen of heaven” ( Jeremiah 44:25 ).
Christopher Columbus, knowing the Earth is round, sailed from Spain westward and guess what he found. New places that he thought was the Asian mainland, and the discoveries led to a new marauding band.
Copernicus, Bruno, Galilei, and Newton all have something in common: they dare to say the earth moved and is a sphere end up life not spared or living in fear. C. Neil
My little poem above was written to set the stage for a meandering review or swipe at how belief in a round earth that moves can lead to discoveries and new exploration (Columbus) but can also lead to persecution and death (Bruno) or a twist of fate from heretic to hero (Galileo).
Indeed, the Galileo melodrama touches a very important point. What is Truth? Yesterday’s fallacy can be today’s fact and today’s fact may be tomorrow’s fiction. Yeah, history is not necessarily fair in its representation of truth as it is invariably written from the perspective of the victor and not the victim. Regrettably, many times the suppressed victim’s view is the right view as will see in Galileo’s case.
In the 21st century, fortunately or unfortunately, kids are now taught in kindergarten that the earth is spherical, does move but is fixed in its plane, orbits around the sun and doesn’t move under their feet because of gravity.
Of course in the 21 st century, there are also many folks who believe that such teaching is nonsense. This is understandable as most major ancient religions from Mesopotamia to Egypt to the Greeks and to the Hebrews were built on a perception of a flat fixed earth that is at the centre of the universe. This tenet was so important to religion and power, that to believe otherwise could get you persecuted or killed.
THE EARTH: EVOLUTION OF THE FACTS
Based on the literature, the idea of a flat geocentric earth was the first common and ordinary understanding of the universe. Many of the major ancient religions, from the occultism of Mesopotamia (Sumer), to the religion of Babel and Hindu, to the myths and legends of Egypt, to the conquest of Greece and Persia, to the might of the Romans, all had a common underlying thread of the creation of gods in man’s own image and likeness and the belief in a flat geocentric universe. .
The manufacturing of idols such as Ra, Osiris, Isis, Tammuz and Ishtar coupled with a flat geocentric universe was necessary for ” manageable and duly” control of the populace. Religion was authority and determine facts. It also ensured the perpetuation of nepotism and hereditary power. Of course, absolute power, absolute corruption.
In early Mesopotamian mythology, the world was portrayed as a flat disk floating in the ocean with a hemispherical sky-dome above, and this formed the premise for early world maps like those of Anaximander.
Needless to say, the neighbouring Hebrews adopted and assimilated these occultic thoughts and precepts into their religion as well. Indeed one of the months of the Jewish Calendar is Tammuz, named after Tammuz, Sumerian Mesopotamian god of fertility embodying the powers for new life in nature in the spring. Do you also recall how King Solomon adopted the pagan religions of his over 700 wives to the chagrin of the Hebrew God, Jehovah.
The flat earth dogma prevailed for thousands of years until it saw its first major opponent in the 6th century: Pythagoras (570 BC). His idea was proposed using constellation observations, by studying the earth’s circular shadow on the moon during a lunar eclipse and also his belief that every thing could be explained mathematically prompted him to feel that the sphere was a perfect shape.
Pythagoras (570 – 495 BC) also made the astronomic observation that the evening star and the morning star were in fact the very same object (Venus). He was more pragmatic than religious and his studying of astrology, numbers and metaphysics was ironically considered as occultism by occultists. His famous Pythagoras Theorem is an old Sumerian principle. He was caring to nature and was believed to be a vegetarian.
To compound maters, not only was Pythagoras using occultism ideas, he founded the Brotherhood of Pythagorean (who coined the term mathematics) which many argue, was the world’s first Secret Society and the forerunner of Free Mason. The Pythagorean Cult was infamous and Pythagoras was excommunicated by the Greeks. Pythagoras coined the term philosophy.
Philolaus 390 B.C , another Ancient Greece philosopher and student of Pythagoras, promulgated the moveable spherical earth view. He believed that there is a “central fire” that everything else in the universe revolved around, including the moon, earth, and the other planets. However, in his theory, the “central fire” wasn’t the sun itself. The sun is said to have revolved around the “central fire”, as well.
Aristotle (384 – 322 BC)
Aristotle refused to buy the moveable earth idea but he was sold on the the fact that the Earth is a sphere. According to Aristotle, the shadow of the earth on the moon during an eclipse suggested that it was a sphere. Indeed, both Plato and Aristotle adopted the spherical earth notion but rejected the moveable earth tenet component. This muddled philosophy since Aristotle is one of the most quoted philosopher. This meant that Plato and Aristotle were endorsing aspects of the Pythagorean Cult: a spherical earth.
Aristarchus (310 BC – 230 BC)
Aristarchus, a Greek astronomer and mathematician, is famously known as the first person to have proposed the new heliocentric idea of the solar system – that the earth rotated and revolved around a stationary sun. Like Galileo many years later however, his sun centred ideas were dismissed as most people found it easier to believe the views of Aristotle and Ptolemy, that it was the earth that was at the centre of the solar system.
Eratosthenes (276 BC – 195 BC)
Aristotle’s confused view of a spherical but stationary earth prevailed until, the father of Geography, Eratosthenes, became the first person to accurately calculate the circumference of the earth. Fortunately or unfortunately, his ideas were not abound and Aristotle’s view was still preferred and continued for the next millennium, until the “trouble maker” Nicolaus Copernicus was born.
Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543) came on the scene and blurted, “We revolve around the Sun like any other planet.” He formulated a model of the universe that placed the Sun rather than the Earth at the centre of the universe and the world as not been the same since. Though similar to Pythagoras, Copernicus however, believed the planets orbit the sun and not a circle of fire.
Literature had it that Martin Luther (1483 – 1546), the founder of Protestant Christianity, commented on Copernicus’ theory that the Earth orbits the sun:
“This fool wishes to reverse the entire science of astronomy; but sacred Scripture tells us that Joshua commanded the sun to stand still, and not the earth (Psa xciii. I). […] Who will venture to place the authority of Copernicus above that of the Holy Spirit?” Martin Luther, Quoted in Bertrand Russell (1946). Science has since decided who was the fool.
For meddling purposes, let’s share an alleged statement by Ferdinand Magellan (1480-1521), Portuguese navigator of the same period, who did not necessarily support the authority of the Church:
“The church says the earth is flat, but I know that it is round, for I have seen the shadow on the moon, and I have more faith in a shadow than in the church” –
Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) observation of Jupiter’s moons in 1610 confirmed the Copernican’s heliocentric view of the universe but it destroyed Aristotles geocentric cosmos andhorrified the Church. He too was persecuted and he died under house arrest in 1642 after being arrested in 1633.
At about the same time, German mathematician Johannes Kepler was publishing a series of laws that describe the orbits of the planets around the Sun. Still in use today, the mathematical equations provided accurate predictions of the planets’ movement under Copernican theory.
In 1687, Isaac Newton put the final nail in the coffin for the Aristotelian, geocentric view of the Universe. Building on Kepler’s laws, Newton explained why the planets moved as they did around the Sun and he gave the force that kept them in check a name: gravity.
Well, the flat earth theory is still alive and has its following.
SPHERICAL EARTH: PERCEPTION AND PERSPECTIVE
After all that bookish meandering and heady stuff, it is timely to close this blong (blog long) on some more mundane and contemporary happenings. Albeit, still a bit controversial but easier to conceive and digest. Remember Aristotle’s tenet – it is all a matter of perception. Here goes:
A few folks such as Pythagoras and Aristotle, (570 – 495 BC) and (384–322 BC) respectively taught that the round shadow of Earth on the Moon during a lunar eclipse meant that the earth is a sphere. Aristotle supported his belief by observing “there are stars seen in Egypt and Cyprus which are not seen in the northerly regions.” Since this could only happen on a curved surface, he believed the Earth was a sphere “of no great size, for otherwise the effect of so slight a change of place would not be quickly apparent.” (De caelo, 298a2–10).
Flat Earthers reasoned that the round shadow on the moon could be produced by a flat disc that always faces the Moon head-on during the eclipse. That is true, but the Moon is only rarely directly overhead during an eclipse and a given lunar eclipse is only visible from half of the Earth at a time. Problem?
Nope, Flat Earthers dismiss this empirical evidence of the shadow by simply saying that the moon is a hologram and not a solid. By extension, the visits to the moon by the Soviet Union’s unmanned Luna 2 mission on 13 September 1959, and the United States’ manned Apollo 11 mission on 20 July 1969 were impossible. Of course, January’s 2019 landing of an unmanned Chinese space craft on the far side of the moon was also a HOAX. Preposterous. It is simply a NASA conspiracy.
Suffice to say, not only did Galileo noticed the moons of Jupiter, he also saw mountains on the moon suggesting a solid.
Visits to Antarctica as a tourist? Normal but expensive.
It’s not a crazy idea? Simply put the craziest thing about going to Antarctica is the cold. Don’t be daunted by Flat-Earthers that claim Antarctica is a giant impenetrable icy wall encircling the Earth to keep us from falling off our disc-shaped world.
Antarctica is the world’s southernmost and 5th largest continent. It is bigger than the European Continent and twice the size of Australia.
An interesting fact is that Polar bears live only in the Arctic, and penguins live only in the Antarctic. It is also where the South Pole is situated which has 6 months of sunshine and six months of darkness with only one sunrise and sunset per year.
Is surface circumnavigation of Antarctica really possible?
The Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 2 March 1958 led by British Explorer Vivian Fuchs and New Zealander Edmund Hilary (the first man to climb Everest) successfully completed the first overland crossing of Antarctica via the South Pole.
Flat Earthers insist that no one has ever crossed Antarctica. They propose that the world is a north-pole-centered disc and Antarctica is an impenetrable ice wall that encircles the planet and hides any edges. The explanation is that east-west circumnavigation is simply moving around the disc in a circle. (This is true as East-West paths form a circle in both disc and spherical geometry).
However, Flat Earthers believe it is possible in the disc model to traverse the North Pole, but it is not possible to perform a circumnavigation that includes the South Pole, which it posits does not exist in any event.
The Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 2 March 1958 provided empirical evidence that Antarctica is a continent that can be traversed via a south pole that exist. Also, since the 1500s, many people have sailed or flown completely around the world in all directions, and none have discovered an edge or impenetrable barrier. As seen above, even tourists go to Antarctica.
There is a North and South Pole? True or False?
According to Flat Earthers, the South Pole does not exist. They do believe in a North Pole which is at the centre of the flat earth. However, how can there be North and no South? Can there be up without down or top without bottom? Is it perspective or perception?
Indeed, the South Pole does exist. It is also known as the Geographic South Pole or Terrestrial South Pole. It is one of the two points where the Earth’s axis of rotation intersects its surface. It lies on the opposite side of the Earth from the North Pole, at the centre of the Southern Hemisphere, on the continent of Antarctica.
The south pole is the only inhabited place on the land surface of the Earth from which the Sun is continuously visible for six months and is then continuously dark for the next six months. The South Pole sees the Sun rise and set only once a year.
Satellites Pictures of the Earth. Fake News?
Satellites (Artificial) have been known to been in space and have taken mind boggling pictures suggesting a curved earth. Indeed, it was as early as October 4, 1957, that the Soviet Union launched SPUTNIK-1 into an elliptical low Earth orbit. This made its flight path to cover virtually the entire inhabited Earth.
Flat Earthers say this is impossible as Artificial Satellites do not exist despite data showing that there are more than 40 countries have launched more than 4,000 satellites. According to Flat Earthers, GPS is operated by fibre optic cables running under the sea from continent to continent and by towers. There are no satellites. Fake News and conspiracy theory.
Claims by countries to have sent satellite into space is considered as conspiracy theory facilitated by NASA. One might understand NASA falsifying information but a conspiracy between the Soviet Union and NASA during the cold war era needs much thought.
SPHERICAL EARTH: HERETIC OR HEROIC?
The Mesopotamia is considered as the cradle of civilization and our perception of the world is shaped by their culture. Sumer is also famed for being the home of occultism and mysticism. These meaningful yet satanic rituals were adopted by Egypt and the subsequent world powers, Babylon, Greece, Persia, Rome and the Anglo Saxons (Britain). The Hebrews were also tainted.
According to Aristotle and behavioural studies, our approach to life is basically perception: how we make sense of the world. This is no easy task since the evolving of facts and the idea of an uncommon common sense make us note that even nonsense has sense in it. “Indeed, normal has become abnormal and abnormal has become normal”. By extension, today’s heresy can be tomorrow’s heroic deed.
A great example was in 1992, when Galileo Galilei went from heretic to hero. Pope John Paul II declared that the ruling against Galileo was an error resulting from “tragic mutual incomprehension.” Seems Galileo was right all along: heliocentric universe?
This embarrassing situation is creating a possible debacle for religion as we know it. It could affect the establishment’s need to keep people in line with dogma. The Church had argued that if the earth is not at the centre of the universe (geocentric) it could undermine the notion of man’s special relationship with god. Also, since scripture seemed to support a fixed earth, any attempt to prove otherwise could make the earth seem insignificant.
The critical thing to note is that the Truth exists and being special lies in the eyes of the beholder. Maybe, the time and effort being spent delving in astrology, science, metaphysics and religion could be best spent seeing that the hungry is fed; the naked clad and the sick given a bed. Man, be thy brother’s keeper.
SUPER BLOOD WOLF MOON – A FLAT OR SPHERICAL EARTH WONDER? GEOCENTRIC OR HELIOCENTRIC
Sunday night, January 20, 2019, I decided to tinker into the realm of astronomy, astrology, mythology, theology, philosophy and a little history by watching one of the best free celestial shows in town: The Super Blood Wolf Moon starring the Sun, Earth and Moon. The lunar eclipse. Did you see it? It was quite a sight.
I was watching from 9 pm until 2 am. The moon was in its glory and was telling me a story. A story of fact, feign, faith and fate. I watched with renewed awe as it went from golden to dark to copper red and back to golden.
At first, the edge of the shadow cover looked fuzzy or ragged. As the eclipse progressed, the shape of the shadow became round or curved suggesting that the object that was blocking the light from the moon was a round one. Finally, the full eclipsed occurred and the moon’s colour went copper or red. Super Blood Wolf Moon.
During the nearly 5 hour show, I managed to research lunar eclipses and the reason this one was called Super Blood Wolf Moon. It launched me into the Flat Earth/ Geocentric and Spherical Earth/Heliocentric debate. Let’s us delve into it together if you dare or care. Might be a bit disturbing for the weak of heart yet enlightening for the meek at heart.
Basically, the Super Blood Wolf Moon is a result of a number of several things occurring simultaneously.
Super Blood Wolf Moon: When a super moon occurs in January and coincides with a total lunar eclipse.
Supermoon: A super moon is the point at which the moon comes closest to the Earth during its elliptical orbit around it. The closeness and fullness combine to make the moon look particularly large at this time.
Blood moon: simply describes the reddish hue of the moon during a total lunar eclipse. The color is the result of sunlight filtered and refracted by the Earth’s atmosphere illuminating the moon. When the moon is opposite the sun, with the Earth in between casting its shadow on the moon, a lunar eclipse occurs.
Wolf moon: This is simply the indigenous American name for the January full moon. According to the lore of yore, this full moon occurs in the dead of winter when it’s cold, the ground is frozen, and the prey pickings are slim, so wolves were hungry during this time and howled plaintively at the moon, their calls echoing frighteningly in villages.
Perigee: The moon orbits around the Earth elliptically. The point in the orbit of the moon or a satellite at which it is nearest to the Earth is known as a perigee. When the moon is farthest from the Earth, it’s at its apogee. It takes about two weeks for the moon to travel from apogee to perigee.
Syzygy: It refers to a conjunction, or an alignment in a straight line, of three celestial bodies bound by gravity. For example, during a solar or lunar eclipse when the Earth, sun, and moon are all aligned, that’s a syzygy.
Perigee syzygy: When the moon is at its perigee and there’s a syzygy happening, aligning it with the sun and Earth, it’s called a perigee syzygy, also known as a super moon.
CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS AND THE LUNAR ECLIPSE OF JANUARY 1504 IN JAMAICA
Recall the story of Christopher Columbus (1451-1506) who discovered Jamaica on his 2nd visit to Jamaica in 1494. Well, according to the history books, he pulled a stunt and tricked the natives using the occurrence of a Super Blood Wolf Mooneclipse. On Columbus’ fourth and final voyage to the New World, an epidemic of ship worms ate holes in the ships of his fleet and Columbus was forced to abandon two ships. He then beached his last two in Jamaica on June 25, 1503. The natives welcomed the castaways and fed them. After six months, Columbus’ crew mutinied, and robbed and murdered some of the natives, who had grown weary of feeding the crew.
Columbus had an almanac that foretold a lunar eclipse on Feb. 29, 1504. He met the local chief and told him the Christian god was angry with his people for no longer supplying food. Columbus told them to expect a sign of God’s displeasure three nights later, when he would make the full moon appear “inflamed with wrath.” When the Super Blood Wolf Moon came to pass, the natives were terrified and “with great howling and lamentation came running from every direction to the ships laden with provisions,” according to an account by Columbus’ son.
Just before the total phase of the eclipse was about to end, Columbus said God had pardoned the natives and would bring the moon back. The crew was well fed until help arrived in November and Columbus and his men sailed back to Spain.
CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS USED THE SPHERICAL EARTH IDEA TO DISCOVER THE “WEST INDIES”
Not only was Columbus aware of astronomy, he also believed that the Earth was round and nursed a growing urge to sail west from Europe across the Atlantic Ocean hoping to find a route to the Indies—as the lands of China, Japan and India were then known in Europe. On August 3, 1492, Columbus led his three ships – the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria – out of the Spanish port of Palos with an objective to sail west from Spain to find an all-water route to Asia and the Indies where the riches of gold, pearls and spice awaited. Columbus took more than two months to encounter land on an island in the Bahamas that he called San Salvador; the natives called it Guanahani.
Although, Christopher was aware that the world was round (spherical) he, erroneously, thought that Spain was closer to China by sea westward than by land eastward and was just a few weeks away. As such, he naturally called the land he encountered “West Indies” thinking he had reach western Asia. This miscalculation of the distance of the Indies from Spain almost cause mutiny on the ships. The sailors began to wonder and cower in fear as they were not used to travelling this far westward . Columbus made several voyages to the Caribbean but never reached the mainland of the now America.
It was Amerigo Vespucci who got the acclamation for becoming the first explorer to recognize and identify the Mundus Novus (“New World”) in 1499 as a separate continent and not part of East Asia, contrary to what many, including Columbus had believed. While further exploring the coast of what is now South America, he learned to calculate how far west he had traveled by observing the conjunction of the Moon and the planet Mars.
MARTIN WALDSEEMULLER: MAPS AMERICA ON THE SPHERICAL EARTH
During this time, a German mapmaker named Martin Waldseemuller (1470 – 1520), was working on a contemporary world map. Waldseemuller designed his world map based on the writings of the ancient Greek scholar Ptolemy who touted the idea of a Spherical earth. Based on the writings of Amerigo Vespucci, Waldseemuller also became convinced, as did many scholars at the time, that the New World comprised new continents. He designed and created a wood block world map called Carta Mariana (or Cosmographiae introductio) that contained the first ever drawing of a new continent to the West which he named America in honour of Amerigo Vespucci. Thousands of maps were printed and distributed across Europe. People everywhere began to call the New World, America.
THE EARTH: FLAT OR SPHERICAL?
Everything written above is made on assumption that the earth moves, is a sphere and not at the centre of the universe. Poppycock? Needless to say, many people denounce this view and are more prone to believing that the earth is flat, doesn’t move and is at the centre of the universe. Actually, this is an age old debate and the Mesopotamia mystery religions would confirm that the earth is flat and doesn’t move. So, is it the sun that moves or is it the earth? Does it matter?
Sadly, many people have lost their lives because they believed that the earth moves and it is the sun that is at the centre of the universe (heliocentric). They were persecuted and killed by people who believed in a fixed Flat Earth which was at the centre of the universe (geocentric).
By now, you may have taken a side and have strong convictions to the fixed Flat Earth or movable Spherical Earth idea. Of course there are strong arguments on both side of the debate.
Religions and Flat Earth. Many religions embrace a Flat Earth concept which had its genesis in Mesopotamia. Mesopotamia (from the Greek, meaning ‘between two rivers’) was an ancient region located in the eastern Mediterranean, roughly today’s Iraq. The ‘two rivers’ are the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers . The Sumerians originally practiced a polytheistic (many gods) religion, with anthropomorphic deities representing cosmic and terrestrial forces in their world. Anthropomorphism is the showing or treating of animals, gods, and objects as if they are human in appearance, character, or behaviour. This can be seen as expressed in the colourful language used in the religions of Babylon, Egypt, Greece and even aspects of the Hebrew Bible.
The Babylonian cosmology was shaped like a modern domed stadium. The Babylonians considered the earth essentially flat, with a continental mass surrounded by ocean. The vault of the sky was a physical object resting upon the ocean’s waters (and perhaps also upon pillars). Sweet (salt-free) waters below the earth sometimes manifest themselves as springs. The Egyptian cosmology was also enclosed, but it was rectangular instead of round. (The Egyptians pictured the goddess Nut stretched across the sky as the enclosing dome.)
BIBLE, CHURCH AND FLAT EARTH
Egypt and early Greece, with their Flat Earth view, have had great influence on the Bible and the Church. It must be noted that the Church’s view and attitude were based on its interpretation of the Bible and its authority of scripture. Indeed, Joshua 10:12-13, 2 Kings 20:11, Psalms 93:1, 104:5, Ecclesiastes 1:5, Isaiah 30:26, Isaiah 38:8, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 and Habakkuk 3:10-11 all seemingly contradicted the astronomers.
Indeed, a peep at a few obvious texts from the bible do suggests that the earth is fixed: 1 Chronicles 16:30: “He has fixed the earth firm, immovable.”; Psalm 93:1: “Thou hast fixed the earth immovable and firm …” and Isaiah 45:18: “…who made the earth and fashioned it, and himself fixed it fast…”
However, this does not necessarily mean that the earth doesn’t orbit the sun. Indeed, we can reason that the earth has always been fixed and immovable, both in relation to us and in relation to its orbit or movement around the sun. The earth has not “unfix” itself and “move” itself out of its orbit around the sun. In fact we’ve learned to take it for granted that the sun will shine during the day and that there will be ground for us to stand on when we awake in the morning.
In, Joshua 10:12-13: Then Joshua spoke to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel: s“Sun, stand still over Gibeon; And Moon, in the Valley of Aijalon.” So the sun stood still, And the moon stopped, Till the people had revenge Upon their enemies.
The language that Joshua uses in addressing the sun and moon is the language of ordinary observation still used today in the scientific age. Probably Joshua and his contemporaries thought of the sun as moving around the earth, but his language should not be pressed to construct a “view of the universe” any more than should todays reference to the rising and setting of the sun (Marten Woodstra, The Book of Joshua, Grand Rapids, Eerdmans: 1981, p. 175).
Suffice to say, the Bible is written in colourful language using Anthropomorphism, figurative speech and personification, mostly influence by Greek, Babylon and Egyptian philosophy.
Provokingly, it is believed that one of the chief characters in the Old testament was not only influenced by Egyptian philosophy but was also trained at a high level. Moses, who is a Hebrew by birth, was brought up as an Egyptian in Pharaoh’s palace, learning the art and science of mysticism. It is even being postulated that the Decalogue or 10 Commandments mimic verses from The Egyptian Book of the Dead which was written circa 1800 BCE in 1491 BCE., some three centuries later.
A comparison of the Book of the Dead text with the version of the Ten Commandments found in King James Version Exodus 20:2-17 is striking in similarities and differences. Both consist of a series of negative statements but one extol only ONE god and revered the Sabbath.
Book of the Dead: “I have not belittled God. I have not murdered or given such an order. I have not copulated (illicitly); I have not been unchaste. I have not used false balances or scales. I have not purloined (held back) the offerings to the gods. I have not stolen. I have King t uttered lies or curses.”
Exodus 20:7-16: “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain….Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not commit adultery.Thou shall not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness against they neighbor…” 6,7
The major difference in the two writings is that Moses wrote the Decalogue from the point of view of monotheism (one god), a Hebrew doctrine, while The Book of the Dead embraced polytheism (many gods), a Mesopotamian and Egyptian doctrine.
The Book of the Dead: I know thee, I know thy name, I know the names of the 42 Gods who are with thee in this broad hall of the Two Truths .
King James Bible:Thou shall have no other gods before me cause I am a jealous God.
The Book of the Dead is also silent on the Sabbath but the Bible commands: Remember the Sabbath to keep it holy.
FLAT EARTH VS SPHERICAL EARTH POINTERS
There are many claims and counter claims supporting and denouncing the idea of a Flat Earth or a Spherical Earth. Many of these claims are for theologians, philosophers and scientists and will boggle the mind of the average person. It is possible to watch videos on Flat Earth vs Spherical Earth and switch views upon watching one or the other.
Needless to say, common sense is uncommon. It depends on the locale of the person.Imagine a Jamaican child who experiences almost 12 hours of sunlight and darkness (day and night), every day without fail for 365 days in a year. Now imagine a child in Barrow, the northernmost town in Alaska, who won’t see the sun for 67 days come winter, (beginning in November and ending in January) but enjoy the midnight sun all summer – over 80 days of uninterrupted daylight.
Now imagine the Jamaican trying to convince the Alaskan that it is impossible to see the sun at midnight or to have months of pure darkness and no sunshine. If they were reggae artists the Jamaican would sing “ every day the sun rises” but the Alaskan would sing “Only some days the sun rises”. Both would be arguing from their own “common sense” and both would be wrong outside their locale.
As seen above, determining fact from feign and truth from falsehood can be difficult. I have chosen a few of the claims for Flat Earth and Spherical Earth for discussion. These pointers include the curve on the moon during a lunar eclipse; Circumnavigation of the Earth; Antarctica being a continent and not a circle of ice around the earth; the existence of the South Pole; Satellite pictures of the earth and possibility of seeing the sunset twice in one day. The main thread in these claims is that they can be determined by an average citizen.
1. Reading Aristotle . Aristotle(384–322 BC) was Plato’s prize student and “the mind of the school” and he believed that the earth was a sphere. Aristotle observed “there are stars seen in Egypt and Cyprus which are not seen in the northerly regions.” Since this could only happen on a curved surface, he believed the Earth was a sphere “of no great size, for otherwise the effect of so slight a change of place would not be quickly apparent.” (De caelo, 298a2–10)
Aristotle provided further physical and observational arguments supporting the idea of a spherical Earth:
Every portion of the Earth tends toward the centre until by compression and convergence they form a sphere. (De caelo, 297a9–21)
Travelers going south see southern constellations rise higher above the horizon; and
The shadow of Earth on the Moon during a lunar eclipse is round. (De caelo, 297b31–298a10).
“The church says the earth is flat, but I know that it is round, for I have seen the shadow on the moon, and I have more faith in a shadow than in the church.” – Ferdinand Magellan (1480-1521) Portuguese navigator Discoverer of the Straits of Magellan and the Philippines.
The shadow of the Earth on the Moon during a lunar eclipse is always a dark circle that moves from one side of the Moon to the other (partially grazing it during a partial eclipse). This could be produced by a flat disc that always faces the Moon head-on during the eclipse, but this is inconsistent with the fact that the Moon is only rarely directly overhead during an eclipse. For each eclipse, the local surface of the Earth is pointed in a somewhat different direction. The shadow of a circular disc held at an angle is an oval, not a circle as is seen during the eclipse. The idea of the Earth being a flat disc is also inconsistent with the fact that a given lunar eclipse is only visible from half of the Earth at a time.
The only shape that casts a round shadow no matter which direction it is pointed is a sphere, and the ancient Greeks, since Aristotle, deduced that this must mean the Earth is spherical.
3. Visit Antarctica continent as a tourist. Not an impenetrable ice wall that encircles the Earth
Antarctica is the world’s southernmost continent resting in the Antarctic Circle and surrounded by the Southern Ocean. With 14 million square kilometers (5.4 million square miles) of area, it’s the 5th largest continent. It is bigger than the European Continent and twice the size of Australia.
Antarctica is the highest, driest, coldest, windiest and brightest of the seven continents. Almost 98% of the continent is covered by ice 1 mile thick. This ice accumulated over millions of years through snowfall. This makes for harsh terrain and not many people live there. In 2016, the highest population recorded during the year is just over 4,000 and were mainly researchers, scientists and tourists. Presently, the Antarctic ice sheet contains 90% of the ice on Earth and would raise sea levels worldwide by over 200 feet were it to melt.
Since, the Arctic and Antarctic are cold, dark, and remote, we often think these two places are nearly the same. However, they are quite different. One notable difference is that polar bears live only in the Arctic, and penguins live only in the Antarctic.
Despite housing zero permanent residents, Antarctica has two major marathons. The Antarctic Ice Marathon takes place at the base of the Ellsworth Mountains and has been running since 2004.Participants fly in on a private jet from South America to run over snow and ice, where the average temperature is between 0°F and 10°F, and the average windchill is -4°F.
However, don’t be daunted by Flat-Earthers that claim that Antarctica is a giant icy wall designed to keep us from falling off our disc-shaped world. It is a continent of 90% ice.
Flat Earthers believe that no one has ever crossed Antarctica.
3. Surface circumnavigation of the Earth and Antarctica
Since the 1500s, many people have sailed or flown completely around the world in all directions, and none have discovered an edge or impenetrable barrier.
Some Flat Earth theories that propose the world is a north-pole-centered disc, conceive of Antarctica as an impenetrable ice wall that encircles the planet and hides any edges. This disc model explains east-west circumnavigation as simply moving around the disc in a circle. (East-west paths form a circle in both disc and spherical geometry.) It is possible in this model to traverse the North Pole, but it is not possible to perform a circumnavigation that includes the South Pole (which it posits does not exist).
Explorers, government researchers, commercial pilots, and tourists have been toAntarctica and found that it is not a large ring that encircles the entire world, but actually a roughly disc-shaped continent smaller than South America but larger than Australia, with an interior that can in fact be traversed in order to take a shorter path from e.g. the tip of South America to Australia than would be possible on a disc.
Many exploratory airplanes have passed over the continent in various directions. The first overland crossing of Antarctica, the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition in 1955-1958, succeeded in the 1950’s what Sir Ernest Shackleton had attempted to do in his ill-fated expedition in 1914-1917. British Explorer Vivian Fuchs and New Zealander Edmund Hilary (the first man to climb Everest) led the expedition which took place during the IGY – International Geophysical Year. The expedition successfully completed the first overland crossing of Antarctica, via the South Pole, on 2 March 1958.
4. The South Pole Exists
The South Pole, also known as the Geographic South Pole or Terrestrial South Pole, is one of the two points where the Earth’s axis of rotationintersects its surface. It is the southernmost point on the surface of the Earth and lies on the opposite side of the Earth from the North Pole.
Situated on the continent of Antarctica, it is the site of the United States Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station, which was established in 1956 and has been permanently staffed since that year. The Geographic South Pole is distinct from the South Magnetic Pole, the position of which is defined based on the Earth’s magnetic field. The South Pole is at the centre of the Southern Hemisphere.
Today, the ice sheet above the South Pole drifts about 10 meters (33 feet) every year. Compared to the North Pole, the South Pole is relatively easy to travel to and study. The North Pole is in the middle of the Arctic Ocean on a sheet of ice, while the South Pole is on a stable piece of land.
According to Flat Earthers, the South Pole does not exist. They do believe in a North Pole. However, how can there be North and no South? Can there be up without down or top without bottom?
5. Observing the Sun
On a flat Earth, an omnidirectional Sun (emitting light in all directions, as it does) would illuminate the entire surface at the same time, and all places would experience sunrise and sunset at the horizon at the same time (with some small variations due to mountains and valleys). With a spherical Earth, half the planet is in daylight at any given time (the hemisphere facing the Sun) and the other half is experiencing nighttime. When a given location on the spherical Earth is in sunlight, its antipode – the location exactly on the opposite side of the Earth – is always experiencing nighttime. The spherical shape of the Earth causes the Sun to rise and set at different times in different places, and different locations get different amounts of sunlight each day.
In order to explain day and night, time zones, and the seasons, some flat Earth theorists propose that the Sun does not emit light in all directions, but acts more like a spotlight, only illuminating part of the flat Earth at a time. This theory is not consistent with observation; at sunrise and sunset, a spotlight Sun would be up in the sky at least a little bit, rather than at the horizon where it is always actually observed. A spotlight Sun would also appear at different angles in the sky with respect to a flat ground than it does with respect to a curved ground. Assuming light travels in straight lines, actual measurements of the Sun’s angle in the sky from locations very distant from each other are only consistent with a geometry where the Sun is very far away and is being seen from a hemispherical surface (the daylight half of the Earth). These two phenomena are related: a low-altitude spotlight Sun would spent most of the day near the horizon for most locations on Earth (which is not observed), but rise and set fairly close to the horizon. A high-altitude Sun would spend more of the day away from the horizon, but rise and set fairly far from the horizon (which is not observed).
6. Length of the day
On a flat Earth with an omnidirectional Sun, all places would experience the same amount of daylight every day, and all places would get daylight at the same time. Actual day length varies considerably, with places closer to the poles getting very long days in the summer and very short days in the winter, with northerly summer happening at the same time as southerly winter. Places north of the Arctic Circle and south of the Antarctic Circle get no sunlight for at least one day a year, and get 24-hour sunlight for at least one day a year. Both the poles experience sunlight for 6 months and darkness for 6 months, at opposite times.
The movement of daylight between the northern and southern hemispheres happens because of the axial tilt of the Earth. The imaginary line around which the Earth spins, which goes between the North Pole and South Pole, is tilted about 23° from the oval that describes its orbit around the Sun. The Earth always points in the same direction as it moves around the Sun, so for half the year (summer in the Northern Hemisphere), the North Pole is pointed slightly toward the Sun, keeping it in daylight all the time because the Sun lights up the half of the Earth that is facing it (and the North Pole is always in that half due to the tilt). For the other half of the orbit, the South Pole is tilted slightly toward the Sun, and it is winter in the Northern Hemisphere. This means that at the equator, the Sun is not directly overhead at noon, except around the autumnal equinox and vernal equinox, when one spot on the equator is pointed directly at the Sun.
The length of the day varies because as the Earth rotates some places (near the poles) pass through only a short curve near the top or bottom of the sunlight half; other places (near the equator) travel along much longer curves through the middle.
7. Watching the sun set twice
On level ground, the difference in the distance to the horizon between lying down and standing up is large enough to watch the Sun set twice by quickly standing up immediately after seeing it set for the first time while lying down. This also can be done with a cherry picker or a tall building with a fast elevator. On a flat Earth, one would not be able to see the Sun again (unless standing near the edge closest to the Sun) due to a much faster-moving Sun shadow.
When the supersonic Concorde took off not long after sunset from London and flew westward to New York faster than the sunset was advancing westward on the ground, passengers observed a sunrise in the west. After landing in New York, passengers saw a second sunset in the west
8. Satellites Pictures of the Earth
Satellites (Artificial) have been known to been in space and have taken mind boggling pictures suggesting a curved earth. Flat Earthers say this is impossible as Artificial Satellites do not exist despite data showing that there are more than 40 countries that have launched more than 4,000 satellites.
Indeed, on October 4 1957, the Soviet Union launched SPUTNIK-1 into an elliptical low Earth orbit. It was a 58 cm (23 in) diameter polished metal sphere, with four external radio antennas to broadcast radio pulses. Its radio signal was easily detectable even by amateurs, and the 65° inclination and duration of its orbit made its flight path cover virtually the entire inhabited Earth. This surprise success precipitated the American Sputnik crisis and triggered the Space Race, a part of the Cold War.
According to Flat Earthers, GPS is operated by fibre optic cables running under the sea from continent to continent and by towers. There are no satellites.Claims by countries to have sent satellite into space is considered as conspiracy theory facilitated by NASA. One might understand NASA falsifying information but a conspiracy between the Soviet Union and NASA during the cold war era needs much thought.
THE EARTH: MOVABLE OR FIXED? GEOCENTRIC OR HELIOCENTRIC?
Although Aristotle, whose ideas prevailed, believed that the Earth was a sphere he also believed in a Geocentric universe where the planets and the Sun orbited Earth. He saw no sign that the Earth was in motion: no perpetual wind blew over the surface of the Earth, and a ball thrown straight up into the air doesn’t land behind the thrower, as Aristotle assumed it would if the Earth were moving. For Aristotle, this meant that the Earth had to be stationary, and the planets, the Sun, and the fixed dome of stars rotated around Earth.
In the early second century BC, Eratosthenes underlined Aristotle’s spherical earth notion by accurately measuring the circumference of the spherical earth and Claudius Ptolemy’s Almagest, from the early second century AD, provided a useful model for calculating the positions of heavenly bodies. While this model was geocentric, it did not promote a flat earth, but instead was based upon a spherical earth.
For nearly 1,000 years, Aristotle’s view of a stationary Spherical Earth at the centre of a revolving universe dominated the studies of the physical world. This geocentric worldview became ingrained in Christian theology, making it a doctrine of religion as much as natural philosophy.
Then, according to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, “Of all discoveries and opinions, none may have exerted a greater effect on the human spirit than the doctrine of Copernicus. The world has scarcely become known as round and complete in itself when it was asked to waive the tremendous privilege of being the centre of the universe.”
Nicolaus Copernicus blurted, “We revolve around the Sun like any other planet.”
Although, Aristarchus of Samos, who had formulated such a model some eighteen centuries earlier, it was Nicolaus Copernicus, (1473-1543), a Renaissance-era mathematician and astronomer, that formulated a model of the universe that placed the Sun rather than the Earth at the centre of the universe and the world as not been the same since.
Martin Luther, the founder of Protestant Christianity, commented on Copernicus’ theory that the Earth orbits the sun:
“This fool wishes to reverse the entire science of astronomy; but sacred Scripture tells us that Joshua commanded the sun to stand still, and not the earth (Psa xciii. I). […] Who will venture to place the authority of Copernicus above that of the Holy Spirit?” Martin Luther, Quoted in Bertrand Russell (1946). Science has since decided who was the fool.
Tycho Brahe, (1546 – 1601) was a Danish astronomer and nobleman arguably the most famous astronomer of his day. He believed in the idea of a geocentric universe, a universe with Earth at its center was in opposition to Copernicus’ belief in a heliocentric universe with the sun at its centre. He advocated for an alternative to the Ptolemaic geocentric system: a geo-heliocentric system now known as the Tychonic system in which the five then known planets orbit the sun, while the sun and the moon orbit the Earth.
Giordano Bruno (1548 – 17 February 1600) was an Italian Dominican friar, philosopher, mathematician, poet, and cosmological theorist. Contrary to Tycho, he extended the then-novel Copernican model. He not only adopted the Copernican view that the sun was the centre of the solar system, but, also imagined that there were infinite worlds out there in space, many with intelligent life on them. Of course, such heretic thoughts wreak havoc with the idea that God had one son, who lived and died on one planet to be salvation to one specie etc.
“On the demand of the spiritual authorities, the Vatican (Inquisition or Holy See as the Romans loved to call it), Bruno was removed from Venice to Rome, and confined in the prison of the Inquisition, accused not only of being a heretic, but also a heresiarch, who had written things unseemly concerning religion. The special charge against him being that he had taught the plurality of worlds, a doctrine repugnant to the whole tenor of Scripture and inimical to revealed religion, especially as regards the plan of salvation. After an imprisonment of two years he was brought before his judges, declared guilty of the acts alleged, excommunicated, and, on his nobly refusing to recant (death before dishonour) , was delivered over to the secular authorities to be punished ‘as mercifully as possible, and without the shedding of his blood,’ the horrible formula for burning a prisoner at the stake.” He was burned at the stake in 1600 CE.
“History of the Conflict Between Religion and Science” by John William Draper (1881
Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) was a priest, Italian mathematician, scientist and astronomer. He acquired the design of Dutch inventor Hans Lippershey’s telescope (invented in 1608) and improved on the design. Galileo pointed his telescope into the night sky and the world was changed. He discovered that multiple stellar bodies have their own moons, and that the Earth orbits the sun. Galileo reported seeing … four ‘stars’ orbiting the planet Jupiter, which he eventually concluded must be satellites or moons. Galileo also observed the phases of Venus, which proved that the planet orbits the Sun.
Galileo was convinced that he had now seen proof of the Copernican view of the universe with his own eyes. He also concluded that if Aristotle were right about all things orbiting Earth, then these moons could not exist.
This so alarmed the Catholic Church that in 1616 CE they issued an injunction against Galileo to force him not to discuss these findings. Due to the Church’s implacable opposition to the heliocentric theory, Galileo’s cosmological work Dialogue on the Two Great World Systems was not published until 1632.
Clare Gibson tells this part of the story:
Horrified by its contents, the Church banned the book, subjected its author to house arrest and eventually ‘persuaded’ Galileo to recant his allegedly heretical, Copernican views.” Perhaps not very brave as Bruno, but practical to the end, he may have thought it best to be a live astronomer than a dead ideologue.
It took the church 359 years to rehabilitate Galileo Galilei. Only in 1992 did the Vatican formally acknowledge that it had been wrong and Galileo right.
At about the same time, German mathematician Johannes Kepler was publishing a series of laws that describe the orbits of the planets around the Sun. Still in use today, the mathematical equations provided accurate predictions of the planets’ movement under Copernican theory. In 1687, Isaac Newton put the final nail in the coffin for the Aristotelian, geocentric view of the Universe. Building on Kepler’s laws, Newton explained why the planets moved as they did around the Sun and he gave the force that kept them in check a name: gravity.
THE SUPER BLOOD WOLF MOON AND THE FLAT EARTH CONSPIRACY
The Aristotelian geocentric view that the earth was the center of the universe and that all heavenly bodies revolved around the Earth was a widely held notion up to the 18th century. Indeed, many of my Flat Earthersfriends share that view.
Interestingly, although Aristotle believed in a geocentric universe he felt that the Earth was a sphere but Flat Earthers vigorously disagree with him in this regard. In the early second century BC, Eratosthenes accurately measured the circumference of the spherical earth and Claudius Ptolemy’s Almagest, from the early second century AD, provided a useful model for calculating the positions of heavenly bodies. While his model was geocentric, it did not promote a flat earth, but instead was based upon a spherical earth.
Flat Earthers have claimed that a heliocentric universe and a spherical earth are conspiracy theories perpetuated by the corrupt Catholic Church. The only truth in that claim is that the Church is corrupt. As was seen, Copernicus (1473-1543), Giordano Bruno (1548 – 17 February 1600) and Galileo (1564-1642) all proposed a heliocentric universe (sun at centre of universe) but this was against Church teaching and they were persecuted, even killed. Their blood cried out to the maker of truth.
Lest we forget our past and repeat it. There are no records of Spherical Earthers killing Flat Earthers for their belief in a flat earth. However, history has shown that Flat Earthers represented by the crusades and Inquisition ordered by the Holy See or Vatican Church, have killed many innocent souls whose only crime was not to believe in a geocentric universe.
Is it really worth killing over a Flat Earth or a Spherical Earth? Does one feel demoted or extra special if one realizes that Earth, despite its small size, is still the place to live? Many Christians think that to believe that the Earth is not the centre of the universe but is just one of many planets, could reduce their faith in a great creator who made the Earth specially for his purpose. It would make them feel insignificant. They also think this knowledge could mean that no higher power cares about humanity, and Jesus did not suffer just for the benefit of its human inhabitants. The implications on prayer, faith and fate could result in the demise of the Church.
Common sense eventually prevailed, and fortunately or unfortunately, kids are now taught in kindergarten that the earth is spherical, and does move but is fixed in its plane and orbit around the sun as well as doesn’t move under their feet because of gravity. Indeed, the church bowed and in 1992 the Vatican formally acknowledge that it had been wrong and Galileo right. Eppur Si Mu ovo: And yet it (earth) moves. Galileo Galilei. Of course he was simply using observation to support Nicolaus Copernicus, “We revolve around the Sun like any other planet.”
There are a lot of things that Easter is and there are things Easter is not. Easter is a goddess. Easter is a queen. Easter is real yet it is make belief scene. Easter is sanity yet requires a degree of insanity. Easter is recognition of Jesus’ death by name but Easter dishonors Jesus’ death in deeds and fame. Easter is poisonous yet Easter is good for you. These are all factual despite seemingly diverse views. WHAT? How comes? Here goes.
EASTER, ISHTAR or Ashtoreth which means goddess of fertility, has been a part of my life for more than five decades. As a child, my Easter kite was one of my most prized possession. (Lost a few friends and got several spankings because of kite flying). Sigh. Bun and cheese and fish. That was my dish during Easter. Of course, I was carted off to church on “Good” Friday as well as bright and early morning Easter Sunday.
Was a glorious time though. Easter. “Good” Friday and Easter Monday were public holidays so no school, or as I got older, no work. It was a lot of fun and frolic , if not careful you could eat until you get colic.
I don’t recall our doing any Easter eggs but then again, maybe I was too caught up in kites and bun and cheese to noticed. What I remembered though was that there were images of an unfortunate man, called Jesus Christ, severely battered and strung up on a cross. Not so sure what he did to deserve such a wretched death. He seemed okay to me. I heard stories he raised people from the dead, healed the sick and also fed multitudes. Not sure why you would kill someone for that.
Well, you could say Jesus was kind of out of order or rude to go into the church and turn over the tables and then whipped the money changers. Maybe it border on destruction of property and physical assault occasioning bodily harm, felonious at worst but still not worthy of death. Also, he was a bit over confident and his claims about being with god when the earth was made was a bit troubling if not arrogant, but still not enough reasons to kill him like that. Mentally disturbed. Maybe. Criminal. Come on.
The man on the cross had a “crown” of thorns on his head and this was the sad part about Easter, so I thought. I even use to wonder if this crucified man on the cross was being celebrated or tolerated. I was perplexed why they allow us kids to foster a liking for such savagery and even required us to wear the cross(es) around our necks and had them placed in our homes. Interestingly, theses cross(es) were sold to us too. (Marketing or trickery?)
My family tried to explain to me that this seemingly wretched man was indeed of royalty and was the son of god. (Wow, there and then went my ambitions for royalty). They explained that he came and bore our sins and by his death and blood we were healed and our sins paid for upon his resurrection, three days and three nights after his death. To show our appreciation of this death and resurrection we celebrate good Friday for his Death and Easter Sunday for his resurrection. Needless to say, my mathematically inclined family could not, to this day, determine how we get from Friday evening to Sunday morning to consist of three days and three nights.
Such was Easter until I began working with the Library Service and got exposed to the world of reading and knowledge. Suffice to say, knowledge had me confused at first as I realized that many facts are fiction and many things seen as fiction are facts. Ignorance is not bliss and knowledge is not freedom missed.
Say, have you ever wondered what or who is Easter? When is Easter? Why is Easter? Is Easter real or make belief and just a figment of the imagination? Here is a possible, albeit, controversial if not heretical take on Easter based on literature and intuition. Read on and draw your own conclusion.
As mentioned, Easter or Ishtar or Ashtoreth means “goddess of fertility”. In a nutshell, Easter is an attempt by our pastoral fore-parents to recognize and celebrate the fact that when Spring comes, nature comes back alive after the long cold dreary dark winter. Fertility reigns and new born life flourish. Animals reproduce and plants and birds strive. Such glorious things need to be encouraged and one way to do this is to have rites and festivals of appreciation.
Our ancestors realized that the Moon, Sun and Venus influenced their agricultural output so these created things became the creator and were worshipped as the source of life. The Winter Solstice was given to the Sun (male) and the Spring Equinox was given to the Moon and Venus (female) . Of course all forms of worship need priests and a power order. Hence the origin of Winter and Spring worship and by extension religion.
IS EASTER REAL?
As suggested, Ishtar or Easter is the incarnation of nature at the Spring Equinox into a goddess and is one of the earliest form of documented worship and control.
Yet, the question still abound: Is Easter or Ishtar real or make belief? She is as real and as make belief as how the names of the days of the weeks are real but make belief. In other words, Easter is based on real things but is not real.
Is Sunday or Monday or even Wednesday real? Depends. What is real is that every 24 hr we see a repetition of things and we call it a day. For example, in the Caribbean, the sun appears first in the East almost same time everyday after 24 hours. That is fact and real. However when we give a name to a particular batch of time of 24 hour as Sunday or Monday or Wednesday, that is make belief and imaginary.
In reality, there is a day but no such thing as Sunday or Monday unless we imagined it exist by painfully taking note of each 24 hours and giving it a name. Now a days, we use a calendar to help with the make belief and ensure we keep the counting right.
In short we create a world of make believe where we all agree that a particular 24 hour is designated by a name and every 7 day we call it a week and start all over again. We go froward then back, forward then backward. This imagination is called civilization and progress and result in what we now call mid life crisis. Why not every 8 day or 10 day or no day is a week?
Similarly, Easter is an imagination or confusing state of mind associated with the full moon. (Recall people are believed to go crazy near full moon). That is what happen at Easter. A bit of shrewdness, schizophrenia and truth encapsulate in stories called Myths and Legends. Myths and Legends are boasty words for lies and fiction.
These stories were created with a shrewd copying and explanation of real things with a special goal of warping and training minds for proselyting and deception. Developed from before the time of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, these myths and legends were used to justify power and claim to leadership. The Easter story is one of the first set of myths and legends developed to honour nature (Moon) and to set up power and control over mankind. It was the first type of religion.
THE FIRST EASTER
Easter started thousands of years before the birth of Christ but was first considered organized religion with the Nimrod and tower of Babel story from a biblical perspective. It’s recognition and justification centred on the notion of Myths and Legends which are normally far fetched stories embodying some truth. Of course, different nations had their version of the “truth”.
According to these myths, Inanna, was the first name for the Spring Equinox deity as coined by the ancient Sumerian who called her goddess of love, beauty, sex, desire, fertility, war, combat, justice, and political power. She was also known as the Queen of Heaven. Later on, Inanna was worshipped by the Babylonians and Assyrians under the name Ishtar or Ashtoreth or Easter. She was associated with the planet Venus which as we know is the brightest “star” apart from the sun and moon.
In Greek Mythology she was called Aphrodite and her husband was Adonis or Dumuzid the Shepherd (later known as Tammuz). Ancient Egypt had her as Isis and her husband Osiris. Her most prominent symbols included the lion, and the eight pointed star.
So far, we have been looking at inanimate things surrounding religion and worship and the idea of Easter or Ishtar. Well, the plot thickened and this is where reality and imagination dove tail or become blurred.
WHO IS SEMIRAMIS?
Some literature state that Ishtar actually started out as the infamous Semiramis, the wife of Nimrod, of biblical fame who was an opponent to the Creator. The idea is that Nimrod started religion with the help of Semiramis. She influenced him to create a mystery religion based on the stars and zodiac. This polytheism (many gods) was to replace the Creator’s monotheism (one god). The place associated with this is Assyria and as such, most early myths began in Mesopotamia. As Assyria lost its world power status, Babylon simply adopt the concept with change of names. Persia, Greece and Rome did the same upon becoming world powers. The conqueror usurp the beliefs of the conquered.
For example Ishtar is akin to Venus (Rome), Aphrodite (Greek), and Isis (Egypt).
It is unclear how Nimrod died as in in the Book of Jasher it is said that Esau, son of Isaac killed him; while Josephus stated that Shem, the son of Noah, killed Nimrod. However, after his death, Nimrod body ascended into the heavens and became the sun god himself. A bit horrifying but here comes the romantic part.
Nimrod, the sun god, became rays of light and implanted his seed into his wife, Semiramis now a widow, and impregnate her.
The myth further stated that the child was called Tammuz , son of the sun god. He was responsible for bringing light into the world and to fight darkness.
Can you guess when Tammuz was born? If you said at the Winter Solstice (December 22 – 25) you are correct. For those steeped in religious studies, you will recall that Invictus Sol (the unconquerable sun) was born on the shortest day of the year or the Saturnalia (December 22 -25) and we worship him today every December 25. That is Tammuz. Some customs called him Baal, or Mithra and more recently Jesus Christ, to legitimize its worship. An apple by any other name is still an apple though. Click here to See my blog on December 25 worship
As the myth would have it, Tammuz mother, Semiramis died and the gods looked favorably on her as she was the mother of the son of the sun god. She was sent back to earth as the Spring fertility goddess, Ashtoreth/Easter, always shown as a well endowed bare breasted queen of fertility. According to the myth, she emerged from a giant egg that landed in the Euphrates river at sunrise on the Sunday after the full moon after the Spring equinox.
(By the way, that is how we set Easter dates. The Sunday after the full moon after March 21. Thus, Easter can be as early as March 22 or as late as April 25).
Semiramis, the queen of heaven, was “born again” as the goddess Easter (Ishtar/Ashtarte/Ashtoreth). To prove her divine authority, Semiramis, now Ashtoreth/Easter, changed a bird into an egg laying rabbit. Hence, decorated eggs and stories about rabbits are still part of today’s Easter ritual.
The Old Testament even referred to her. “The women were engaged in kneading dough and baking cakes of bread for the “Queen of Heaven” ” (Jeremiah 7:18). (Fertility, ability to have children, is important to a woman).
THE RITUALS AND FESTIVITIES OF EASTER
Cakes and buns: Our hot cross buns originated from the cakes which were baked and given as presents to Easter or the Queen of Heaven.
Eating of Ham: Tammuz (son of the sun god) was killed by a pig and in order to bring him back to live, no meat was eaten for 40 days (LENT) but at Easter Sunday, a pig was killed and eaten in revenge.
Fish eating on “Good” Friday: The fish symbol also represents the goddess of fertility and is considered as a woman’s vulva: the creator of life. The eating of fish on Fridays was a sacrament to the goddess.
Virgins sex: As the cult of Ishtar developed, the priests would take and impregnate young virgins on the altar of the goddess of fertility at sunrise on Easter Sunday.
Blood sacrifice: A year after impregnation, the priests of Easter would sacrifice these three-month old babies on the altar at the front of the sanctuary.
Easter eggs: The priest dyed Easter eggs in the blood of the sacrificed infants as eggs were great examples of the embodiment of fertility and life. (Recall the myth of how Semiramis came back to earth from a giant egg and then turned a bird into an egg laying rabbit).
You must be saying wow. You knew Easter was bloody but it was suppose to be the blood of Jesus, that was shed to save the sins of the world. Not the blood of infants.
WAS EASTER CREATED BEFORE JESUS CHRIST’S DEATH OR AFTER?
Until I was in my late teens, I honestly and fervently believed Easter was in recognition of Jesus’ death and resurrection. I began working with the Library Service and all that changed. In fact, I began to realize that Easter dishonored Jesus’s death.
The evidence show that the crucifixion of Jesus was only attached to Easter, 300 years after Jesus Christ died, under a political and ecclesiastical marriage of differences, initiated by Emperor Constantine of Rome to keep his subjects under rule. (Council of Nicea). In short, Easter predated Jesus by thousands of years so this negate the idea that Easter was being celebrated as the recognition of Jesus’s death and resurrection.
Interestingly, it should be noted that the new testament even mentioned Easter by name and being around at the time of Christ and the Peter, the disciple.
Acts 12: 4 state that 4 And when he (Herod) had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people. (The Romans were already worhsipping Easter before Jesus was attached 300 years after).
Easter, is also mentioned in the Old Testament, in the time of the prophets such as Isaiah and Ezekiel, thousands of years before Jesus Christ was born. Ashtoreth/Easter is mentioned in the old testament and in every instance that it is mentioned, Jehovah, the god of the Hebrews/Isrealite is pretty much annoyed, and in vengeance mode. In short, Easter dishonoured the Creator and Jesus, his son.
Here are a few examples of Easter or the Queen of Heaven in the Old Testament in abominable associations. Proof that Easter was worshipped long before Christ born.
Ezek 8:14 Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the LORD’S house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz. (Lent)
2 Kings 23:13 And the high places that were before Jerusalem, which were on the right hand of the mount of corruption, which Solomon the king of Israel had builded for Ashtoreth the abomination of the Zidonians, and for Chemosh the abomination of the Moabites, and for Milcom the abomination of the children of Ammon, did the king defile.
1 Kings 11:5-6. He followed Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and Molech the detestable god of the Ammonites. So Solomon did evil in the eyes of Yahweh; he did not follow Yahweh completely, as David his father had done.
1 Kings 11:33. I will do this (split the nation) because they have forsaken me and worshiped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians…., , and have not walked in my ways, nor done what is right in my eyes, nor kept my statutes and laws as David, Solomon’s father did.
So the people of Israel removed the Baals and images of Ashtoreth. They served only Yahuwah. (1 Samuel 7:3,4)
The women were engaged in kneading dough and baking cakes of bread for the “Queen of Heaven” (Jeremiah 7:18).
Jeremiah 44: 15-18 sated that the people actually believed that because they stopped worshipping Easter or the Queen of Heaven they were suffering. Jeremiah think contrary. It was the worshipping of Easter that caused the calamity.
Jeremiah 44: 23 Jeremiah replied, It is because you made offerings and because you sinned against the Lord and did not obey the voice of the Lord or walk in his law and in his statutes and in his testimonies that this disaster has happened to you, as at this day.”
Again, from the information in the Old testament, common sense, though uncommon, would dictate that if Easter was being worshipped before Jesus was born then Easter is not the recognition of Jesus’s death? Most importantly, it must be noted that the Creator punished peoples who worshipped Easter with the intention to get powerful. These countries flourished for awhile but suffer, eventually. Assyria, Egypt, Jerusalem, Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Italy.
THE LOGIC OF EASTER AS RECOGNITION OF JESUS’s DEATH?
The logic of Easter as Jesus’s death and resurrection is erroneous. Recognizing “Good” Friday as Jesus’s death day and Easter Sunday as his day of resurrection needs a high level of make belief if not schizophrenic tendencies. If we were to believe the scriptures and Jesus Christ, then Jesus Christ must be dead for three days and three nights. “For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (Matthew 12:38-40).
By mathematics, Friday Night to Sunday morning was not, cannot and will not be three days and three nights. It is two nights and one day.
The big question then is: WHICH DAY DID CHRIST DIED?
Christ was actually killed or preferably, crucified at midday on a Wednesday and died by 3 pm that same Wednesday afternoon, the day before the High Sabbath that occurred on Thursday that year when Christ died.
If Jesus died at 3 pm, the day before the Sabbath, yet the day after this Sabbath, the bible said, the women went to get spices and prepared them and then went home and prepared for another upcoming Sabbath. It is obvious that we have two Sabbaths happening in one week and days apart instead of a week apart.
The Passover or High Sabbath was not the regular weekly Saturday Sabbath.
Indeed, many of us do not know that the Jews had annual Sabbaths. As a matter of fact, two extra annual Sabbaths called High Sabbaths are observed every year starting at Nissan 14 (March or April) in remembrance of the Exodus of the Israelite from the Egyptians under Moses’s leadership. As a result, there are two Sabbaths every year in a week in March/April.
The High Sabbaths don’t have to be on a Saturday as they are dates not days and can be any day of the week. They are celebrated to recognize the Passover and Israel’s miraculous exodus from Pharaoh’s Egypt.
Recall the Exodus story and the Passover? How Moses had a hard time convincing Pharaoh to let the Israelite go. Jehovah had to kill all first born in Egypt except those whose doors were marked with a Red Cross . Before, the slaughter, the Hebrews who had killed animals for the last meal in Egypt, use the blood to smear the posts of their houses and the Lord passed over them and none was killed. Exodus 11:4-5.
Hence the creation of the Passover and the two High Sabbaths which were required to be commemorated annually by the Israelite. Leviticus 23: 5 – 8.
As mentioned, these two holy convocation or High Sabbath sometimes fall in the same week of Easter and sometimes they do not. The year when Christ was killed, the week of Passover and the Feast of the Unleavened Bread (High Sabbath) fell on a Wednesday/Thursday with the next day, Friday evening being the start of the Saturday, normal Sabbath.
Summarily, the bible mentioned two Sabbaths during the week of Christ’s death. The annual High Sabbath which occurred the Wednesday evening Christ was killed and the weekly Saturday Sabbath, the evening he rose.
Still a bit fuzzy? Let’s use the Gospels as our guide to get a clear idea of the timeline for Christ’s death. By the way, remember that in Christ’s time, a day began at sun set or in the evening. Not at midnight as we now do in the West. So Saturday actually begins Friday evening and ends Saturday evening with Sunday beginning Saturday evening and finishing Sunday evening. Hope that helped.
Went into the temple and whipped the money exchangers and turn over their tables. Felony?
Called the temple a “den of robbers and thieves”. (Slander?)
He healed some sick people and then spent the night in Bethany. Matthew 21:1-16
Spent his time preaching in the temple
Spoke parables such as the wicked tenants,
Discussed his views on the right to pay taxes
Declared that the greatest commandment is that we should love the Lord thy god with all our heart, soul and mind.
Curse out the Pharisees.
Upon leaving the temple he told the parable of the 10 virgins.
Judas went to the authorities. Matthew 21:23-27
Back to Jerusalem Matthew 26:17-19
Passover meal in the evening, at about 6 pm in Jerusalem.
After the meal they went to the garden of Gethsemane
arrested and brought before the Jews later in the night. Matthew 26:47-56
Tried and whipped early morning, 9 am Matthew 27:2-50
Crucified at midday
Dead at 3 pm
removed from the cross, wrapped in linen and placed in a tomb before 6 pm.
No time to prepare his body for burial as they had to prepare for the Annual Sabbath in a few hours.
Annual High Sabbath (Feast of unleavened bread) begins at 6 pm.
First night (6 pm – 6 am)
Christ is already dead. Luke 23:43-46
Annual High Sabbath (Feast of unleavened bread) continued.
High Sabbath ends 6 pm
First day (6 am to 6 pm)Second night (6 pm – 6 am)
Christ is already dead
After the end of the High sabbath Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, that they might come and anoint the dead. Mark 16:1
Spices were prepared in the day on Friday but they had to stop for the Saturday Sabbath was approaching. They intended to come back first thing Sunday morning to anoint the body.
The women rested on the Saturday Sabbath day (starting from 6 pm Friday evening). Luke 23:55 – 24:1
Second day (6 am to 6 pm)Third night (6 pm – 6 am)
Christ is already dead in the morning
Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James continue resting during the Saturday Sabbath until it ended on Saturday evening at 6 pm)
Christ risen around 6 pm, Saturday evening.
Third day(6 am to 6 pm)
Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James visit Jesus tomb on the Sunday, first day of the week. 6 am. Matthew 28:1-10
Christ already risen from Saturday (6pm)
If the gospels are right that Christ fulfilled the prophecy and was dead for three days and three nights, it questions the premise on which Easter is currently associated with Christ’s death on a Friday afternoon.
Easter, goddess of fertility and queen of heaven, is one of the great deities of all times. It is a pastoral recognition of the Spring Equinox, and although a figment of the imagination, her incarnation is glorified in myths and legends and rites and rituals.
Whether real or imagined, she has influenced our lives in many ways. As a pastoral pagan entity, her followers have done some ignoble things that would make it despicable to associate Easter
with righteousness or with followers of Christ.
Spring Equinox worship, Venus planet deification, hot cross buns, bunny rabbits, eggs painting, and human sacrifices are not really noble and Christlike traits despite the association of Christ’s name to Easter.
Of course, stars and full moon worship at the spring equinox make for great fireside tales but borders on schizophrenia masked with arrogance and power battles when used to influence our lives. This is utter darkness compared with the bright light of righteousness.
In fact, any attempt to turn darkness into light by giving the rituals and practices of Easter acceptability by simply designating the activities as those for Christ, can be dubious if not deceptive. With the fact that Easter precedes Jesus, attempts to continue this make belief that Easter is in recognition of Jesus is fruitless.
Easter or Ishtar is great by herself, and if people
want to break the first of the ten commandments and worship her, it is okay. We have choices and if we choose to follow a multitude to do wrong: so be it.
The only noble thing is to let Easter and Jesus remain in separate camps so we can clearly without blinkers, see the things that are Caesar’s and the things that are Jesus Christ’s. That is the only way we can render to God the things that are God’s. Yeah. A clear understanding that Easter is now Christianity and that the real reason for the season is a battle between dark and light: Christianity/Easter the dark vs Jesus Christ teachings, the light.
This year, 2018, Easter falls comfortably and fittingly on April 1 which is very suggestive if not profound. April 1 is All Fool’s Day but try not to be fooled.
I am not a fan of fancy jewelry or of designer clothes, fitting for a star or a celebrity that poses. Neither am I a lover of first class and VIP pass or special made cars that go fast. My friends and family think I am too ordinary and simple while some less charitable folks think it is a situation of “fox calling the grape sour because it cannot get it”. Don’t get me wrong. There are things I fuss about and will kick a tantrum or even cuss about.
For example, food and drink. I am crazy about what I eat and drink. You are what you eat so I try to avoid eating carcass or anything that had a face or brain. I also try to follow the wheat and rice motto: “If it white it not right”. Therefore, I try and avoid white bread, white rice and white sugar. For beverage, I do crave natural juices over mixed drinks.
Yeah. I love natural juices. Imagine 100% juice caressing your taste buds as it gushes down your throat and soothe your thirst. While I won’t pay large sums of money for designer jeans, I don’t mind paying mega bucks for quality juice.
In short, I try to eat healthy but it seems the best things in life are not free and are more for the wealthy. So, you can imagine my chagrin when a poor chap like me buys expensive things and get substitutes. Buying leather and getting leatherette or faux. Buying Juice and getting drinks. It is akin to passing off a harlot as a lady.
Here is what happened. I went into a reputable supermarket in Upper St. Andrew, Jamaica. I bought a bottle of 100% juice made by a reputable juice company. Needless to mention, the brand also had a reputation for high price. Imagine my surprise when I realized that I was sold mixed drinks as 100% juice. Are you surprised that I was surprised? Don’t laugh. Chances are you got shafted too.
You see, many times we are misled and even taken advantage of by people and organizations that we would not, even for a minute, expect such behaviour from. The painful part is not that we got shafted as in life we can expect to get used, abused and refused. The hurtful part is when we are taken advantage of by someone or something that we loved, respected and trusted. Yet, it is now so common to be ripped off that regrettably, uncommon is now common and abnormal has become normal.
Yes. It has become such a sport to “exploit” people that many individuals and organizations delve into the art and science of persuading and confusing. It is fun for some to get much from none. They make exaggerated claims and argue it is legal and it is called “puffery” or advertisement. In Jamaica, we say it is “tricks in trade and mischievous in business” or simply, bamboozled. Regardless of what they want to call it, an apple by any other name is still an apple. It’s deception.
Fooling some people sometimes
By the way, did I tell you which brand product it was that I bought in a reputable supermarket in a reputable area in upper St. Andrew Jamaica and also in Walmart and in Publix in USA. It is Mott’s: 100% Apple Juice.
Seriously now, who does that? It is more like, who doesn’t do that. A growing number of food and drink companies are labeling their products “all natural” or “100% juice” to attract health-concerned customers in order to improve their bottom line and get in the black. Do you feel deceived though?
Facts Vs Figures
Look at the picture and as they taught us in law course, “res ipsa loquitor’ – the thing speaks for itself.
Yes, as you can see the #100%juice is noticeable, big, pronounced, bold, standing tall. It is conspicuously placed at the front of the bottle and can be seen from far away. However, in smaller print, at the back of the bottle, is a list of the contents stating water, apple juice concentrate and ascorbic acid (Vitamin C). Wait a minute. The first ingredient is water in a bottle of 100% Apple Juice? The second ingredient is Apple Juice from concentrate. The third is ascorbic acid. What does this mean? Where is the 100% juice?
Let me quickly share a legal packaging requirement with you: Ingredients for a product should be listed in descending order with the ingredient that is the most, in terms of volume, weight and size, being listed first. Simply put, put the most first. If water is listed first it means that water is the majority of the content. In a bottle of a 100% apple juice, the only ingredient to be listed is apple juice.
If not, then we need to find a creative way of explaining it such that a child can understand that 100% doesn’t mean ALL, anymore. Please bear in mind that the label clearly stated, “contains 100% Apple Juice” and elementary school kids know that a 100% of something mean there is nothing else.
Not saying Mott’s, is telling lies. Mott’s did say CONTAIN 100% juice, not that the entire content of the bottle is 100% apple juice. Just that the statement is misleading if not false.
Let’s look at it this way: if Mott’s pour 100% apple juice in the bottle to say a ¼ full and then pour in water for the other ¾, it would not have lied. The bottle does contain 100% juice, albeit, the entire content of the bottle is not 100% juice. This should cover all legal requirements? Right? Tricks in trade and mischievous in business. Figures don’t lie but liars can figure. Sigh. False or misleading? Well. Hmmm.
Technically, the jury could still be out on this one and in the mean time this “façade” is seemingly being complicity given the green light by regulatory bodies, distributors and even us, as customers. I can understand businesses being crafty to make profits and i know how easy it is to deceive people. What I can’t appreciate is how the regulatory bodies and the distributors seems oblivious or even complicit to this deceptive act.
You see, when I was in college, they taught us Latin terms such as caveat emptor (let the buyer beware) and caveat venditor (let the seller beware). They told us that in the 18th and 19th century, buyers had to be on their Ps and Qs as producers were taking disadvantage of them. In short, ripping them off. Hence the term caveat emptor. Then they taught us that in the 20th century the table turned as sellers now had to be aware of how they produce and sold goods (caveat venditor). We were taught that legislation such as the Sales of Goods Act, Fair Trade Commission etc. would protect the unsuspecting and maybe “naïve” customers from the power and duplicity of big business. What morons we were.
Of course, there are some Mott’s drinks that are more juice than some but none is 100% juice. As mentioned, many other drinks company are also passing off mixed drinks as Juices. See photo.
The blatant way in which this deception is done makes the devil blush. While many devilish things are done in the dark, these companies exploit us in broad daylight after luring us with advertisements in our own home on television, online and in newspaper.
We know the bottom line for many businesses is profit and it is important to be in the black, but not by fraud and deception. (By the way, being in the black or making a profit is one of the few times the word “black” is use in a positive sense.If you are making a loss, then you are said to be in the red).
Of course, there are some companies that do have morals and value Honesty, Integrity and Trust. As such, they not only say it, but make it. In Jamaica, one such company is Orijin, which as we say in Jamaica , “a the real thing”. Their label says 100% juice and their list of ingredients back up the claim. No water.
In the USA, Naked Juice is also a really fruity juice. They too are 100% juice but I need to tell you the naked truth about what happened to them back in 2011. Naked Juice is made by Pepsi Co Inc and they were sued for claiming there juice was All Natural.
Guilty as charged.
Here is the facts of the “real news”. In 2011, Naked Juice was forced to retract their claim that their Naked juice was “100% fruit” and “all natural.” The juice company was actually including ascorbic acid (vitamin c) and synthetic sources of fiber in its beverages — proving that “all natural” and #100% juice can be fairly meaningless buzzwords. The complaint points out that the “front-of-package promises that the product is ‘ALL NATURAL’ and ‘100% JUICE.’ (Sounds familiar?)
It was held by the Court that a reasonable consumer would not assume that defendants were being deceptive and would not know to read the very-fine-print ingredient label.
PepsiCo Inc. agreed to settle for a $9 million lawsuit where each customer could receive up to US$75 in accordance to the company’s false, misleading and deceptive advertisements. They also dropped the “ALL NATURAL” claim from their labels.
Other companies, such as Kashi and General Mills Inc. faced identical disputes for using GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, while claiming to be #100percent natural and containing no artificial ingredients.
Facing the music
As Albert Einstein once said, The world is a dangerous place; not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.
I must agree, there have been changes in the ways that businesses operate today and we are and should be thankful for the Fair Trade Commissions and other legislation. However, it is hard to accept a bottle of ¼ juice and ¾ water being sold as a bottle of 100% juice.
If Pepsi was forced to change their labels and advertising for their Naked Juice, this precedent could and should be applied to other companies that are passing off mixed drinks as 100% juice. Just change the label…. and the price.
You know what they also taught in college. The customer is king and is always right. Fortunately, I was going through my recurring moments of truancy and had missed class that day so I didn’t learned it. I am glad I didn’t. Which King? Consumers are vagabonds.
If consumers are vagabonds, what are big businesses that exploit vagabonds? There is no winner.
I now hope that you are faced with the dilemma of keeping quiet, not rocking the boat and continue enjoying a “watery” bottle of 100% Apple Juice or kicking a tantrum like a spoil child whose parents are not giving him or her juice after he or she had asked for it.
Not that one should be distrustful of companies, supermarkets and government and become ardent advocate and #startamovement against false and misleading advertisement, but ignorance is not bliss nor is it an excuse at law.
As you have seen, reputable organizations do tell “lies” and call it advertisement and marketing. That prompted this blong as I am very uncomfortable of big business or people taking advantage of the poor and meek, because I am poor. I also detest the idea of so call advertisers making false or misleading claims and calling it marketing as I am a chartered marketer.
In fact, marketers are sworn to a strict code of ethics that prohibit them from lying and making false claims. We embrace the values of Honesty, Integrity and Trust (HIT). We become substandard and unworthy to be called marketers if we do deceptive practices.
For the fun of it, put the first letter in substandard (S) in front of the elements of good value (HIT) and you will find out the messy position you can be in if you lie.
It is true that figures don’t lie but liars can figure and it is easy to deceive but there is no real winner. Indeed, in 1983, I had a book of my poems published titled “VIEW” and one of the poems in it is called SOUL FREE. One verse goes like this:
If 6 was the same as 9, we would not need to choose. You may trick me and win, when you trick love you lose.