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Five Years

John H.,
There are several reasons why I've resisting re-organizing my research and documentation into a monograph or manuscript for submission to a scholar-reviewed journal. First, the complete lack of cogent response to the evidence I've already assembled in Maya Cosmogenesis 2012, irregardless of who published it. This is not to say that I'm unwilling to give it another go, but I feel, at this stage, that the outcome will be somewhat predictable and disappointing. I've prepared and presented well documented and argued papers to various scholars and several journals; never has the core theory been directly addressed except by way of wan dismissals that refuse to engage the arguments and evidence. Usually, unrelated minutiae were targeted and a continuing dialogue was not possible. For example, in 1996 I submitted a carefully argued, succint, and thoroughly cited paper on precessional knowledge among the ancient Maya to Mexicon. The editor was nice enough to reply - more than what occurred regarding other submissions to academic journals - and he commented that it was unsuited for publication with them because it did not use their in-house bibliography style. I was, at that time, using the Dumbarton Oaks style as exampled by Schele's Forest of Kings and Maya Cosmos.
Or, I could cite my exchange with David Stuart earlier this year regarding the Starry Deer Crocodile, as you are aware. I've found that rational examination is not necessarily the prime directive of academic scholars. Having said that, if you feel you can facilitate a rational discussion about my "theory" that will go beyond a monologue response, I'd be interested in putting the time and energy, once again, into repackaging and representing the arguments. There are several new pieces of contextual evidence from Izapa and environs that can now be added to thirteen years of existing biblio- and field research. One of the challenges for an accurate review of my work is to find scholars suitably versed in the various relevant disciplines. Otherwise, each of the reviewers will reject or beg off when they encounter the part of the theory that is outside of their jurisdiction. So, it would be best if you have a journal in mind since they will have their in-house documentation style - any thoughts? Anc Meso. would be a good place, if I new I wouldn't be wasting my time with a quick and superficial rejection - how can we ensure that won't happen? I submitted a paper to them in 1994; Munro Edmonson was one of the reviewers and after some persistance they sent me his comments - they were non specific, cranky, amounting to something like "this is not my cup of tea." How can I even engage a rational dialogue with that kind of language? Or, I can just begin. Thank you for renewing the offer, and Happy New Year!

John Major Jenkins

December 30, 2007 at 8:01 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Five Years

The link provided by John Hoopes to a supposedly definitive 2012 astronomy page by Louis Strous illustrates well how the 2012 topic is misunderstood and misinterpreted by a scientifically rational person. Years ago I responded to Strous's web page, and had an email exchange with him, both of which are online here:

Readers are best served by reading both Strous's commentary and my response. One of the most fantabulous examples of a debunker showing his true colors was Strous's original refutation of the galactic alignment being non-existent. He did this by leaving out the important qualifying term "solstice" from the definition, resulting in a meaningless definition of the era-2012 galactic alignment being "the alignment of the sun with the galactic equator." The correct definition that makes it meaningful for era-2012 is "the alignment of the December solstice sun with the galactic equator." (This is a useful scientific definition I've published and emphasized since 1995!!) Strous also conflates my work with random phrases picked out of plagiarized websites taken out of context and poor summaries garnered elsewhere. This does not serve or further a rational treatment of the topic. Of course, false debunkers are not really interested in rational examination, but instead have a firmly entrenched bias that needs to be boosted by deconstructing (by whatever deceptions necessary) that which offends them. Jonathan Zap explained this very human reflex well:

Another debate I had, with yet another astronomer, is here:
It is very revealing of irrational closed-mindedness. There are those in academia who are more open minded about the relationship between the galactic alignment and the 13-baktun cycle end date, such as John Hoopes. Strous's 2012 page, however, should be treated with great suspicion as it contains several erroneous assumptions, as my response at the link above will clarify.
John Major Jenkins

December 29, 2007 at 1:24 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Five Years

The post by troubleeveryday is a good example of how thinking people can develop dismissive attitudes as a result of the media's erroneous framing of the topic. In the brief paragraph posted above, we can see that 2012 is assumed to be all about, and only about, "apocalyptic predictions" "Earth's end," etc. This attitude is understandable given the emphasis in the article, which is typical of most media treatments of the 2012 topic. But why should we throw the baby out with the bathwater? Is it possible that there is something interesting to be said about 2012? For example, is it possible that the ancient Maya achieved an understanding of precession, of galactic alignments, and developed a profound and sophisticated galactic cosmovision that was embedded in their Creation Myth and ballgame Mystery Play? Wow, maybe the Maya weren't primitive savages after all. Unfortunately, popular attitudes and the media have a hard time refraining from harping on doomsday predictions. It''s very seductive and alluring. And it distracts us from looking at the thing-in-itself --- the philosophy and tradition developed by the ancient Maya that relates to 2012. Can we examine and appreciate that paradigm without it having to narcissistically and hysterically relate to us? Can we study and appreciate it in the same way we might appreciate the Upanishads, or the Druids, or Hellenistic philosophy? I think we must learn to pierce the B.S. veil before we can even know how to approach what 2012 is.
John Major Jenkins

December 17, 2007 at 10:15 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Five Years

Yes, I actually had a little "exchange" with Strieber a few months before that. Scary indeed. Also, I and two others had the dubious honor of having an alien hit-contract taken out on our lives, since we were named in his book as the humans who the aliens were going to come after as soon as they arrived, because "we knew too much." Some kind of intergalactic mafia is apparently afoot!

December 14, 2007 at 9:24 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Five Years

John H. -
I guess I was over-generalizing there, and was only speculating on how Pinchbeck's popularity may be getting under your skin. I Probably shouldn't do that on my part. And your second paragraph - I totally agree. But this beast called 2012 has taken on a life of its own, whether we like it or not. Perhaps the general public doesn't care about good scholarship or even the truth. Or, more likely, the mass media that designs consumables for the mass public only go for splash and entertainment. When you pare back all the extraneous stuff in Pinchbeck's 2012 book, and find the thing that he relates to 2012, it's a fairly simple and innocuous message about "Quetzalcoatl" being the integration of opposites. I think Frank Waters first mentioned that one. Maybe it was Covarrubias. In terms of media that influences / distorts people's attitudes toward the Maya, did you have an issue with Apocalypto? I think the fear and violence meme does a lot of damage to the collective understanding of the Maya.

December 14, 2007 at 8:11 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Five Years

Thank you, John Hoopes, for the heads up and invitation to comment.

This is a nicely presented and written article. The audio clip with John Hoopes is especially useful, since transcribed talks can often be rife with mistaken meanings. My comments, as usual, grew lengthy, so I'll simply post the first two paragraphs here and link to a page on my website for the rest. The focus of King's article hones in on a somewhat contentious friendship between Hoopes and Pinchbeck, and generally the treatment is of "the 2012 movement" rather than the 2012 artifact itself. By this I mean that we hear of Hoopes's often insightful observations about the 2012 phenomenon in the culture at large. Daniel Pinchbeck's position as a visible front man for the 2012 "movement" is part of what comes under his purview. And we can sense his displeasure at Pinchbeck's success in the marketplace, probably, I suppose, because certain generalizations and inaccuracies occur in his rap and a scholar would prefer that the study and elucidation of Maya tradition be reserved for scholars.

On the far end of the spectrum, far beyond where Pinchbeck stands, are the truly ludicrous theories and ideas that dance around the 2012 meme. This is the area that journalists often feed upon. They compare these absurd fantasies with the other end of the spectrum, where calm and rational scholars assert with supreme confidence: "We [the archaeological community] have no record or knowledge that the Maya would think the world would come to an end in 2012." -Susan Milbrath. Hoopes himself emphasizes this several times. The world will not end. But I'd like to point out a discrepancy in many scholars' understanding of 2012, suggesting how academia is failing in its role of investigating 2012 rationally. For anyone who has spent anytime studying the Maya calendar and cosmology, it goes without saying that "the world will not end in 2012." The idea that it may, or will, is a complete paranoid fabrication of the media or an expression of some collective fear projection. The Maya calendar goes in cycles ...

-John Major Jenkins
see the rest of my comments at:

December 14, 2007 at 12:27 p.m. ( | suggest removal )