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GODS OF THE NEW MILLENNIUM
Author: Alan Alford
Reviewed by DAVE FRANKLIN
Gods of the New Millennium starts off with a disclaimer: that the whole basis of the book is not drawn from original ideas. In the seventies an author called Zecharia Sitchin put the original argument forward and Alford, in this book, has re-offered these ideas and expanded upon them due to his own research.
He starts with an interesting challenge to what we currently think we know, and it runs like this - which of the following is myth and which is truth?
1. The Biblical account of divine creation.
2. Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection as applied to mankind.
3. The Andean account of creation of mankind by the gods at Lake Titicaca in Bolivia.
He then goes on to show that all three sit on really shaky ground and can all be regarded as myth. The word 'Myth' then undergoes a re-evaluation and emerges as something a bit more wholesome than what the meaning of the word currently conjures up.
With certain paradigms and definitions re-examined we are armed with enough weaponry to dive into the 'facts'. As stated above, the book is based on the work of a previous author, Zecharia Sitchin, and the shared theory runs like this.
In Babylonian mythology there is a creation myth in which the main characters are stand-ins for the planets and as such their story is that of the creation of the solar system and the emergence of the earth from a later catastrophe. It also tells of a twelfth planet that follows an elliptical orbit that passes through our system at regular intervals with long gaps in between. Linked to this planet is the existence of an advanced race who have spent time on this planet in the past. According to Alford this race controlled some of the emerging nations of ancient times and conducted genetic enhancements upon the human race explaining the fact that Darwin's theory of evolution does not work for mankind.
What then follows is a detailed alternative history of the ancient near east and although it may come over as a pure fantasy, you've got to remind yourself that what we assume to be the truth, that is the real version of events, is based on limited evidence and a lot of assumptions that were drawn together by Victorian antiquarians, so there is plenty of room for re-evaluation.
I must admit that even as I'm writing this, the ideas presented seem a bit far fetched, but I'm trying to put together a minuscule snap shot of a theory that Alford takes 650 pages to present. Like most of the books of this type, some of the ideas will require a leap of faith as they are based on a whole new way of thinking about our history and development. Some of the ideas you may just not be able to get behind no matter how laterally you think round them. Some of the ideas will make you question some of the big, so-called truths that you have always taken for granted.
One thing that I admire about Alford is that during the research for his second follow-up book, he radically re-thought his argument and moved into less radical territory. For my money, anyone who can write a book and almost immediately distance himself from a third of its main ideas is someone who actually has an open view on his subject. Too many writers of academic works believe that once they have published their works it becomes carved in stone and unalterable even in the light of new discoveries. If you want to read Alford's later and academically better received books about Egypt, its religion and creation myths, it is still a good idea to read this his first work.
Von Daniken launched this type of book. I must admit that I was never that convinced by his theories of the involvement of extra-terrestrial factors in our own evolution. Alan Alford manages to provide a more convincing argument. Even if you don't manage to stay with him all the way to the end, he manages to give a lot of food for thought along the way. He may not give you a conclusive and convincing answer but at least he will give you enough information to question what you currently think you know, and that is never a bad thing.
I will finish by saying that I read this book almost every year and although I may not agree with all he has to say, Alford has a way of putting ideas in your mind that give you a fresh and healthy view on mankind. Like all the best things in life, it's not the arriving, it's all about enjoying the journey. Even if the destination is not your cup of tea, there is something in the journey for everyone.