Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Indiana Jones and the lost tribes of Atlantis

The ultimate destination of bad science and crank theories.....

Whilst one can look at notions of the lost Atlantis, Lemuria, Theosophy and even naturism as merely eccentric, and trace there origins in 19th Century Germanic thought down one path to Haight Ashbury and onwards to today's new age exploitations, one can also trace them down the left hand path to death camps of the Nazi's for it is these same philosophies that so engaged Heinrich Himmler that he sent an expedition to Tibet, in search of lost Aryans. (See where Indiana Jones comes in now?)

Contemporary German science was all too keen to lend a hand, as concurrent with this nonsense were the growing disciplines of anthropology informed by the Social Darwinism of the likes of Galton who still have a lot to answer for.

The somewhat less than harmless pursuit of native skulls, and live specimens to be put under the callipers and gypsum casts of the anthropometrists lead inexorably to the experiments carried out in the death camps, by reputable accredited scientists with no regard as to what became of the subjects afterwards (I need not elaborate)

The relevance of this to Autism is very apt. Those whose reaction to disparagement of the autistic way of being is a desire to create Aspergian creation myths should take note, that false notions of our origins just will not do.

On the other side of the equation, the false origin theories of the quack bio med brigade will not do either, where unsustainable theory and the pursuit of personal gain drives the research and nothing else.

Ok by Godwin's law I have already lost the argument, but you cannot argue with the corruption in science, when the pursuit of objectivity is compromised by the political or economic regime, where to keep your job and succeed you have to go along with all the current notions.

This is where autism science is leading when funding is driven by the propagandist machine of the ignorant, just as surely as there were plenty of fellow travellers with populist notions of racial origin to fuel Nazi fanaticism.

And before I am accused of the inevitable bias in this, let me put in a word of discouragement for those extremists supposedly on the same side as me, those "Aspie supremacists" who regale an enthusiastic audience with equally pseudo scientific nonsense claiming our descent as a neurodiverse lost tribe and next step in evolution. To deduce our own existence from the supposed survival of Neandarthals or whatever, is as patently false and harmful as the notions of the descent of the Aryans from a lost Atlantean race of giants.

Those who argue that the truth does not matter, (as some Aspergians do) because everyone has a right to a creation myth of there own very much miss the real history, where the SS under Heinrich Himmler were equally as keen to supplant the Judeo Christian traditions with a Nordic pagan mythology of there own.

If anyone wishes to read more, this is the book I have just finished reading.
"Himmler's Crusade: The Nazi Expedition to Find the Origins of the Aryan Race" The connections between populist crackpot philosophy and the appeal of the Nazi's becomes very clear.

Apart from the events of this book possibly being the inspiration for Indiana Jones, the book tells the other side of those harmless not so new age philosophies as current at the end of the Nineteenth century as they still were at the end of the Twentieth. It will also tell you that all was not sweetness and light in the pre war Tibet of the current Dalai Lama's predecessor either, and that there is more to history than any one side would have you believe.

Thank heaven that not all German science was so corrupt because there were also those such as Dr Creutzfeld who openly refused to co-operate with the Nazi T4 extermination of "mental defectives" not forgetting our very own Dr Asperger either, whose upbeat descriptions of the positive attributes of his patients "disabilities" have to be understood in the context of the times he was working.


shiva said...

I've already seen that Neanderthal theory website posted on Stormfront (well-known fascist and white supremacist bulletin board, not directly linking for obvious reasons)...

laurentius rex said...

Yep both Stormfront and David Icke seem to be into this sort of stuff, allies like that we do not need.

This whole race stuff is so absurd because I have also seen theries that autism is a very Jewish thing, caused by circumcision no less.

The problem with any notions of race is that according to genetics there is a greater degree of variance within the so called races than between them, and of course never mind heirarchy of disabilities, being an opressed racial/cultural minority does not give you special priveleges when it comes to not being a bigot, we only have to look to the Nation of Islam for that lesson. Mind you when it comes to Muhammad Ali, and I recall his contretemps with Parky, I do not think he is anybody's bigot, I have such a lot of respect for the guy Parky was on the ropes during that discussion.

abfh said...

Hi Larry. Last week I removed a link to Aspergian Pride from my website while tidying up my sidebar, along with other links to websites that had little activity.

I was a member of the Aspergia forum five years ago, and I can tell you that the lost race stuff was never taken seriously. The original site explained that it was speculative fiction, intended to get people thinking about autism in terms of civil rights and education, as would happen with a minority race.

Granted, there was not much discussion of disability rights issues on Aspergia; but the site was not hostile to disability rights, either. It was not a supremacist website.

The guy who made the Neanderthal website (his name is Leif) was a member of Aspergia for some time, but his website was completely separate from it, and Aspergia did not promote the Neanderthal stuff.

Most of the Aspergian spinoff sites are defunct now, or close to it.

Clay said...

More points of agreement, Larry. I've never had any patience with that Neanderthal theory, or Aspie supremacism, and actively dislike the term "Aspergia" or any form of it.

I'm sure that Edan was a nice fella, but he admitted that he made the whole thing up during a coffee-fueled manic week after his Dx. He wisely walked away from it, I understand, but it was taken up by others.

One of them, who wrote the "Aspergians" link above, I have a great deal of respect for, but I can't abide with that word, because if anyone googles it, they come up with this fanciful, fantastical, pure fiction story that can only serve to make us look foolish.

PS. Asperger's a German name/word; it's pronounced with a hard "g", folks.

Clay said...

I forgot to say, thanks for that "pre-war Tibet" link. I've read most of it, and plan to read the rest of it. Very interested to learn that sort of thing.

Anonymous said...

Feloowship of the Aspergian Miracle is still around. It's a Yahoo Group. You just have to Google it.