Friday, September 24, 2010

Stolen Fantasy

The Pyramids of Giza

The following is an old posting I did years ago in reply to a posting at the Website In the Hall of Maat concerning the Book Stolen Legacy by G. M. James.1 The posting can be fond at the In the Hall of Maat website.2 The posting is by Ra Hotep Amen and he posted in its entirety a review by Femi Akomolafe called Review of George G. M. James Stolen Legacy. All quotes from the review in italics.

I notice that the author, of the review posted, very carefully avoids mentioning that G. M. James in his book says that Aristotle stole Egyptian books from the Library of Alexandria. A truly remarkable feat given that the library did not exist until after his death.3 Has for the rest of the piece please find below some comments on selected excerpts.

Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.- Ancient Egyptian saying, wrongly credited to the Christian bible.

Is it or is it not in the Bible and if it is how can it be "falsely" attributed to the Bible?

Question: To what country do we owe our Civilization, Philosophy, the Arts and the Sciences? Answer: Greece.

Who is this "We" and who the hell says this?

Question: Who is the wisest man the world has ever seen?
Answer: Aristotle
Says Who?

Question: Name the world three greatest thinker of all times?
Answer: Socrates, Plato and Aristotle?

Says Who? and what about Jesus, the Buddha and Confucius.

Question: Who is the world greatest mathematician of all times, the [person] who invented the theorem of the Square of the Hypotenuse?
Answer: Pythagoras

Says Who?

All in all a collection of Agitation Propaganda points and assertions designed to generate much heat and little light.

I have quoted from an encyclopedia, which is often defined as 'volumes containing collections of human knowledge.' You don't argue with an encyclopedia, do you?

Why Not? and I certainly do!

You will be adjudged CORRECT and RIGHT if you give the above answers in an examination. But actually, none of the answers are TRUE. Based on what we know of history, they are FALSE.

Pure Agitation propaganda.

The greatest crime Europe committed against the world is the intellectual theft of Africa's heritage. Empires could be stolen, whole countries snatched and named after pirates rapists and swindlers. Palaces and monumental edifices destroyed could be rebuild. But when you steal a people's cultural patrimony, and used it to enslaved and insult them, you have committed unforgivable acts that border on the sacrilege.

I can think a few things more serious than alleged "theft" of intellectual ideas like, the slave trade and colonialism. Of course how can intellectual property be the collective property of a group and that use of it, borrowing it or being influenced by it can be theft?

That Greece invented philosophy, the Arts and the Sciences is the only basis on which the arrogance of Europe stands.It is those things credited to the Greek that made every European believed himself superior to other peoples\races. Conversely, it is the awe with which the other races view these grand ancient achievements, which made them cringe at the altar of supposed European superiority.

Again more agitation propaganda, the belief in European superiority rested mainly on the rather unpleasant fact that Europeans were able too by force impose themselves on most of the world and this lead to the belief in European superiority. Not just the idea that the Greeks invented philosophy, but also the idea that since the Europeans had steamships, the telegraph, etc., etc., a great many foolish Europeans thought they were superior to everyone else. This argument that European belief in their superiority rests entirely on a set of beliefs about the Greek achievements is hopelessly simple-minded. Besides it ignores the European belief in some sort of superiority based on the Christian tradition.

What course would the history of the world had taken if the European scholars[?] had not FALSELY claim for the Greeks what is certainly not theirs? Would the arrogance of Europeans not have been diminished if the truth about the contribution of Africa to human civilization have been correctly stated and interpreted? Would Africans have held themselves in such self-contempt if they have tried sooner to uncover the truth about their past? Would Africans be cringing at the altar of westernism if they know that almost every idea Europeans are using today was brazenly stolen from us? Would we be supplicating to a supposed son of an imaginary god if we knew that we gave RELIGION to the world?

So you are openly stating that your purpose is political and not a disinterested search for the truth. Some more agitation propaganda about "brazenly Stolen" ideas, again with the notion that ideas are collective property of a group and no other group may use them. Guess what no one society or people invented "religion" it is a universal.
Every European hold 'Greek Civilization' as an inspiration.

More agitation propaganda and besides it is not true.

They go around the world with volumes upon volumes celebrating Greek this, Greek that. From their original abode in Europe to the real estate they stole from other people, they shouted on top-voice about how they single-handedly invented and sustained human civilization! Sororities are created at institutions of higher learning. 'Great thinkers' waxed lyrical and sentimental about 'Greek Civilization.'

More useless polemics, designed to create heat and not light.

"The term Greek philosophy, to begin with is a misnomer, for there is no such philosophy in existence. The ancient Egyptians had developed a very complex religious system, called the Mysteries, which was also the first system of salvation." That was the opening statement from Stolen Legacy: Greek Philosophy is Stolen Egyptian Philosophy, by George G.M. James.

Some Greeks did "philosophy", since some Greeks did Philosophy there is Greek Philosophy. QED. But then this is a insult to the Greeks arguing that they contributed very little. G.M. James Mysteries are very strange in that he tells us very little about the mysteries except that they were secret but he is sure that the Greeks ripped them off even though they were secret and little can be said about them.4

George James began his book by informing us that the Egyptian Mystery System was the oldest in the world and was 'also a Secret Order, and membership was gained by initiation and a pledge to secrecy. The teaching was graded and delivered orally to the Neophyte; and under these circumstances of secrecy, the Egyptians developed secret systems of writing and teaching, and forbade their Initiates from writing what they had learn.' - p.1

Thus G.M. James can avoid telling us much about it because it was secret. It removes the need to supply evidence on the part of G.M. James. This does not prevent him from pontificating about theft. Needless to say the Greeks are given no credit for getting these ideas into the light of day rather than being secret knowledge available only to a few.

The Egyptians have developed their systems and taught same to Initiates around the world long before the Greeks were allowed into the temples. It was only after the invasion of Alexander the Destructor (called the Great by western mythorians) when the temples and the libraries were plundered, that the Greek gained access to all the ancient books, on which Aristotle built his own school and his reputation as the wisest man that ever lived!

Lots of assertions and nonsense. Aristotle had established his own school more than twenty years before the conquest of Egypt by Alexander. And regarding the ideas that Alexander "ripped off", How he could have gotten his Politics, (a discussion of overwhelmingly Greek political systems) or his The Athenian Constitution from Egypt is beyond me. Most of Aristotle's writing are prior to Alexander conquering Egypt and of course there is little to no evidence that Aristotle ever went to Egypt. (he died in 322 B.C.E.)5

In the first chapter of his book, James masterfully destroyed the myth of a Greek philosophy. Pythagoras, the oldest of the so-called Greek-thinkers was a student in Egypt for several years. He was exiled when he started to teach what he had learned. Socrates was executed for teaching 'foreign ideas.' Plato was sold into slavery. Aristotle was also exiled. What we are asked to believed by western scholars was that these ancient Greeks were persecuted in a society that is sufficiently advanced in philosophy.

It is possible that Pythagoras went to Egypt although not likely. Regarding Plato he was not sold into slavery. Also Pythagoras was not the oldest of Greek thinkers that honour was given to Thales of Militus. What does the Greek persecution of Philosophers have to do with where the Greeks got their philosophy. The comment about persecution is pure polemics what does that have to do with anything? The French Philosophers of the Enlightenment were often persecuted and harassed also.6

On what basis do western scholars claim philosophy for Greece? Because the literature were written in Greece. As is still in existence unto today, most Orders prohibit their members from writing down what they learn. This explains why Socrates, as even the Encyclopedia Britannica admitted, did not commit anything to writing! The Babylonians and the Chaldeans, who also studied under the Egyptian Masters, also refused to publish those teachings. It is usurpers like Plato and Aristotle that brought into book forms all the secret teachings of Egyptian and claim authorship!

Mere assertion. Evidence please. Note the polemical flourish of describing Plato and Aristotle has "usurpers". I note that the touch that it was all oral saves the need to provide evidence.

George James pointed out the absurdity of this stance. The Hebrew scriptures, called the Septuagint, the Gospels and the Epistles were also written in Greek, why are the Greek not claiming authorship of them? 'It is only the unwritten philosophy of the Egyptians translated into Greek that has met such an unhappy fate: a legacy stolen by the Greeks.'

Maybe because specific works were specifically claimed to be the work of Plato, Aristotle etc. And maybe they wrote them! I note that Plato wrote dialogues about conversations that various people he knew allegedly had. I note that since the Greeks did not claim to have written the Septuagint it was because they didn't write it so that if they claimed they wrote something (i.e., a Greek wrote it) maybe they did.

This is not the only absurdities James pointed out in the book. Another instance: The number of books whose authorship is credited to Aristotle is simply impossible to be the work of one single man, even in our age when word-processing software makes writing a lot easier.

We know that a lot of Aristotle's books were lecture notes and he had students help him with projects. I note that Isaac Asimov wrote over 500 books.7

We also have to keep in mind that Aristotle was purported to have been taught by Plato. Plato, as the books, show was a philosopher. Aristotle is still regarded as the greatest scientist of antiquity. The question thus beggared is how could Plato taught Aristotle what he didn't know himself?

Plato did teach Aristotle any evidence otherwise (i.e., that someone else taught him?) Excuse me but can't Aristotle have found things for himself?

The truth of the matter was that Aristotle, aided by Alexander the Destroyer (some called him the Great), secured the books from the Egyptian Royal Libraries and Temples. 'In spite however of such great intellectual treasure, the death of Aristotle marked the death of philosophy among the Greeks, who did not seem to possess the natural abilities to advance these sciences.' p. 3

Aside from if the Egyptian knowledge was oral how could Aristotle find it in written form, what evidence that Aristotle pillaged Royal libraries in Egypt. The statement about Greek philosophy ending with Aristotle is completely false. The purest form of drivel.8

'The aim of this book is to establish better race relations in the world, by revealing a fundamental truth concerning the contribution of the African Continent to civilization. It must be borne in mind that the first lesson in the Humanities is to make a people aware of their contribution to civilization; and the second lesson is to teach them about other civilizations. By this dissemination of the truth about the civilization of individual peoples, a better understanding among them, and a proper appraisal of each other should follow. This notion is based upon the notion of the Great Master Mind: Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.' Consequently, the book is an attempt to show that the true authors of Greek philosophy were not the Greeks; but the people of North Africa, commonly called the Egyptians; and the praise and honor falsely given to the Greeks for centuries belong to the people of North Africa, and therefore to the African Continent. Consequently this theft of the African legacy by the Greeks led to the erroneous world opinion that the African Continent has made no contribution to civilization, and that its people are naturally backward. This is the misrepresentation that has become the basis of race prejudice, which has affected all people of color.

How falsehoods and disparaging the Greeks will do this is beyond me.

To leave no one in doubt about the cogency of his impressive arguments, chapter one (Greek Philosophy is Stolen Egyptian Philosophy) opens with an examination of the stories of the so- called 'Greek Philosophers. Pythagoras, after receiving his training in Egypt, went back to his native Samos and established an Order as was the custom in those days. Anaximander and Anaximenes, native, Parmenides, Zeno and Melissus were all native of Ionia and they taught nothing but Egyptian mysteries. Ditto, Heraclitus, Empedocles, Anaxagoras and Democritus. What we have to remember here is that Ionia was a colony of Egypt (readers are directed to Martin Bernal's, Black Athena, published by Vintage, especially vol. I, ISBN 0 09 988780 0). At the apex of its glory, Egypt held sway over much of the known world. The Ionians would later become Persian subjects after the fall of Egypt, before they even became Greek citizens.

Lots of assertions backed by no evidence. Pythagoras went to Italy, not to Samos, to establish his school. Ionia was never a part of Egypt.9

All of these Ionians did not claim for themselves the glory of philosophy or the sciences. The Persians and the Chaldeans were also introduced to the Ancient Mystery Systems, yet they did not claim authorship. It was the Athenians - Socrates, Plato and Aristotle who usurped this African legacy and thereby distorted the reality of human history. What is quite clear was that it was Athens that those who taught the mysteries were persecuted the most until Alexander's time. We know with certainty that these philosophers were roundly persecuted by the Athenian Government for teaching foreign doctrines.

Any evidence? of course not.10

What is incredible about these 'Great Philosopher' is the total lack of any knowledge about their early lives. The world is asked to believe that these men who possessed all the super-natural abilities attributed to them had no education, no training, philosophy, mathematics and the sciences just came to them!

Again mere polemical assertion and agit-prop. Who says that they had no education after all Plato was a disciple of Socrates and Aristotle was a student of Plato and besides they could read the Ionian philosophers.

The only evidence adduced for this fraud was that the books were written by the Orders founded by the Athenian impostors. But as James repeatedly reminded us, the ancient Egyptians forbade their pupils from writing, and this injunction was obeyed by all but the Athenians. We have to excuse Socrates, whom James believed to be the only properly trained Initiate. Instead of divulging the secrets he had learned, he drank a poison. Both Plato and Aristotle fled. Yet they came back and claim the credits!

"Athenian impostors", let the useless, polemical insults fly! Has for not allowing them to write how convenient for G.M. James but of course our impostors get no credit for saving knowledge from obliteration. The stuff about Socrates is nonsense Socrates drank poison because he was tried and convicted for corrupting the youth, not to avoid telling secrets.12

The crucial question of how Aristotle got all the books that bore his credit is easily answered by the simple historical fact that he went with his friend, Alexander, in the latter campaign and conquest. After Egypt was conquered and destroyed, the Royal Library and the Temples were looted by Aristotle. It was with these books that he established his own school and, aided by his pupils, Theophrastus, Andronicus of Rhodes and Eudemus, started to copy the books. These men were also credited with the authorship of several books, and it was them who formed the organization of 'The Learned study of Aristotle Writings.' 'It would certainly appear that the object of the Learned Association was to beat Aristotle's own drum and dance. It was Aristotle's idea to compile a history of philosophy, and it was Aristotle's school and its alumni that carried out the idea, we are told." (p.19)

A collection of assertions and insults about Aristotle. The "simple historical fact" is that there is NO evidence that Aristoltle was ever in Egypt or that he looted libraries (of written down information that was supposidly only past down oraly!?).13

Chapter II, 'So-Called Greek Philosophy was Alien to the Greeks And their Conditions of Life.' Here James drew for us the conditions under which the Greeks were living at this period in history. According to the western mythorians, the period of 'Greek Philosophy' was located 640-322 BC.

The statement Greek philosophy was confined to the period 640-322 B.C.E. is simply false.14

'The period of Greek philosophy (640-322 BC was a period of internal and external wars, and was therefore unsuitable for producing philosophers. History supports the fact that from the time of Thales to the time of Aristotle, The Greeks were victims of internal disunion, on the one hand, while on the other, they lived in constant fear of invasion from the Persians who were a common enemy to the city states.

This is mere assertion Philosophy seems to have flourished in Europer in the past few centuries despite constant wars. I could also give China in the Era of warring states (c. 600-221 B.C.E.)15

When Western mythorians roll out Aristotle, Plato and Socrates, they fail to tell their audience how these guys were persecuted by their own government.

The Death of Socrates is one of the Cliches of the western tradition.16

These 'philosophers' were persecuted for the exactly the same reason - 'introducing strange divinities.' Socrates charge sheet read, in part, 'Socrates commit a crime by not believing in the Gods of the city, and by introducing other new divinities. He also commit a crime by corrupting the youth.' He was further accused of 'busying himself with investigating things beneath the earth and in the sky,a nd who makes the worse appear the better reason, and who teaches others the same thing.' Whereas astronomy was part of the required study in the Egyptian schools, the Athenian government was persecuting its citizens for pursuing such studies. Who, now, is the father of what?

More Agit-prop and so what how does this prove that Greek scholars did not write the books or make the discoveries atributed to them? Also Socrates new god was his personal "daemon" not a Egyptian deity. Oh and the story of Athens presecuting philosophers seems to be seriously exagerated. After all Athens attracted thinkers from all over the Greek speaking world.

The conquest of Alexander and the destruction of the Lodges and the libraries plus the edicts of Theodosius and Justinian suppressed the Egyptian mystery systems and the Greek philosophy schools alike, paving the way for christianity which is nothing but a badly mis-understood Egyptian religion.

After insulting the Greeks lets insult Christians.

In Chapter five through chapter seven, George James analyzed the doctrines of the so-called Greek philosophers and convincingly show their Egyptian origin. From pre-Socratic 'Philosophers' like Thales, Anaximander, Anaximenes and Pythagoras to Eleatic 'philosophers' like Xenophanes, Parmenides, Zeno and Melissus, to the Ionian school of Heraclitus, Anaxagoras and Democritus, he showed that what history has attributed to these impostors were nothing but what they copied from the Egyptians.

"Impostors", more insults. Besides perviously our Author had said the Ionians were good guys unlike the evil Athenian three (Socrates, Plato, Aristotle). G.M. James shows no such thing except very vague alleged similarities.17

In these, the most important chapters, James concluded that the Greeks were guilty of plagiarism of the highest order.

Once again ideas are property of one particular group and of course the Greeks are guilty of "plagiarism", basically by mere assertion.

Chapter eight dealt with the Memphite Theology which 'is an inscription on a stone, now kept in the British Museum. It contains the theological, cosmological and philosophical views of the Egyptians. It has already been referred to in my treatment of Plato's doctrines; but it must be repeated here to show its full importance as the basis of the entire field of Greek philosophy.' p. 139. Here James show how portions of the philosophy of the Memphite Theology were assigned to the Greeks. This is a very important chapter as it throws enough light, not only on the whole argument of where the Greek got the ideas credited to them, but also about the true source of modern scientific knowledge.'

G.M. James chapter fails quite competly to show any influence on the Greeks of this theology or even that the Greeks were aware of it.

If the modern Nebular hypothesis credited to Laplace which holds that our present solar system was once a molten gaseous nebula is ever proven right, credit should go to the ancient Egyptians. Their cosmology is strikingly similar. They knew that the universe was created from fire. The Egyptian God Atum (Atom) together with his eight Created Gods that composed the Ennead or Godhead of nine, this correspond with our nine major planets. Atom, the sun God, was the Unmoved Mover, a doctrine which has been falsely attributed to Aristotle. Likewise, the injunction, 'Know Thyself,' was wrongly attributed to Socrates. As James pointed out, it was an inscription found on every Egyptian Temple. The Cardinal virtues, justice, wisdom, temperance and courage which was falsely credited to Plato owed their origin to the Egyptian Masters.

The idea that the world emerged out of swerling chaos is quite common. Again more vague similarities that G.M. James interprets as consistant with Greek thought, with little thought to providing a link to Greek thought. Oh and is our author asserting that the Egyptians knew of nine planets, (now eight since Pluto as been demoted)? If so our author as a serious case of woo.

In the concluding chapter nine, 'Social Reformation through the New Philosophy of African Redemption,' James wrote: 'Now that it has been shown that philosophy, and the arts and sciences were bequeathed to civilization by the people of North Africa and not by the people of Greece; the pendulum of praise and honor is due to shift from the people of Greece to the people of the African continent who are the rightful heirs of such praise and honor.

Open admission that this is designed to "steal the heritage" how revealing.

No one, IMO, should be allowed to teach African history who has not read Stolen Legacy. No one should call himself educated who has not read Stolen Legacy. The next time anyone brandishes a Ph.D in your face, your question should be, 'Have you read Stolen Legacy?'

Yes I have and it is very bad book full of distorions, falsehoods and insults all for a very clear political purpose to which honesty and accuracy and simple good scholarly etiquite are sacrificied.18


1. James, G. M., Stolen Legacy, Philosophical Library, New York, 1954.

2. In the Hall of Maat at Here.

3. Snowden, Frank M. Jr., Bernal’s “Blacks” and the Afrocentrists, in Black Athena Revisted, Ed. Lefkowitz, Mary R., & Rogers, Guy, Mclean, The University of Noth Carolina Press, Chapel Hill NC, 1996, pp. 112-128, p. 121.

4. For early Greek philosophy see Kirk, G. S., Raven, J. E., & Schofield, M., The Presocratics, Second Edition, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1983, Waterfield, Robin, The First Philosophers, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2000, Barnes, Jonathan, Early Greek Philosophers, Second Revised Edition, Penguin Books, 2001. The above books contain the surviving fragments of the pre-Socratics with commentary.

5. See Aristotle, The Politics, Penguin Books, London, 1962, and his The Athenian Constitution, Penguin Books, London, 1984.

6. See Footnote 4 for more detail on Pythagoras.

7. See Wikipedia Bibliography of Isaac Asimov Here

8. For Greek Philosophy after Aristotle see Long, A. A., & Sedley, D. N., The Hellenistic Philosophers, v. 1 & 2, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1987. See also Walbank, F. W., The Hellenistic World, Fontana Press, London, 1992, pp. 176-199.

9. Footnote 9.

10. For an evaluation of the idea idea that Athens routinely prsecuted philosophers and how very dubious the whole idea is see Stone, I. F., The Trial of Socrates, Little, Brown and Co., Boston, 1988, pp. 231-247.

11. Footnote 3.

12. Footnote 10.

13. Footnote 3.

14. Footnote 8.

15. Nivison, David Shepherd, The Classical Philosophical Writings, in Loewe, Michael & Shaughnessy, Edward L., The Cambridge History of Ancient China, Press, Cambridge, 1999, pp. 745-789, Harper, Donald, Warring States, Natural Philosophy and Occult Thought, in Loewe, pp. 790-884.

16. Footnote 10.

17. For more about these Ionian Philosophers see Footnote 4.

18. For more about Afrocentrism see Howe, Stephen, Afrocentrism, Verso, London, 1999. See also the essays in Black Athena Revisted and Lefkowitz, Mary, Stolen Legacy ( or Mythical History): Did the Greeks Steal Philosophy From the Egyptians? In Skeptic, v. 2 No. 4, 1994, pp. 98-103, Appiah, Kwane Anthony, Beyond Race: Fallacies of Reactive Afrocentrism, in Skeptic, v. 2 No. 4, 1994, pp. 104-107. For Why people believe strange stuff see Shermer, Michael, Why People Believe Weird Things, W. H. Freeman and Co., New York, 1997.

Pierre Cloutier

Sunday, September 12, 2010

We’re all Quentin Tarantino’s Toilet

Movie Poster

Once again my hatred and contempt for Quentin Tarantino. is amply confirmed. Once again Quentin Tarantino. plants his ass over the mouth of the movie going public and evacuates his bowels and empties his bladder into that mouth. Of course as per usual most of the movie going public finds Quentin Tarantino's shit and piss the rarest of rare treats, tasting like caviar and truffles with a really expensive bottle of champagne to wash it down.

As per usual the script has people talking like severely retarded morons / aliens. The number of pop-cultural references is both legion and boring. Quentin Tarantino as per usual takes the opportunity to "quote" a myriad of much better films, while patting himself on the back about how clever he is. No doubt Quentin Tarantino is now quite spent; having once again creamed himself many, many times.

As per usual the film is a totally empty confection with zero substance. The acting is as per usual the sock puppet, wooden, I'm so totally bored, we've come to expect in a Quentin Tarantino effort / abomination.

Brad Pitt once again cements his status as this generation’s Tony Curtis; his acting non-ability is as per usual quite breathtaking. Like Tony Curtis he should thank his good looks and sheer dumb luck, certainly not any acting ability. His performance here ranks even lower than his pathetic / risible turn in Troy. (I recommend seeing Troy if only to see Brad Pitt and Peter O'Toole act in the same scene, Peter is so good and Brad so bad that Peter literally annihilates Brad)

As per usual the good look of a Quentin Tarantino film is simply to polish a really ripe turd.

Scene From Movie

Pierre Cloutier