By Ronald H. Fritze
False History, Fake Science and Pseudo-religions
a sea of dunes
Anyone familiar with the history and lore of Atlantis and Atlantology knows that the large catalog of locations suggested for a historical Atlantis covers a significant portion of the lands and seas of the earth. Atlantis, it seems, is everywhere — and nowhere to be found. In 1954 L. Sprague de Camp listed 188 writers and scholars who had identified Atlantis with a relatively specific geographical location. In the half-century since De Camp compiled his list, hundreds of new books have been written about Atlantis and theories about its location.
an antebellum hoax
The Holy Stones are thought by some to be relicts of ancient Hebrews who migrated to the region that we now know as the state of Ohio. I can understand immigrating to Ohio. That is exactly what some of my ancestors did when they came to America. It’s a beautiful and bountiful region. The story of the ancient Hebrews and their relicts is not so pretty. Mainstream scholars consider the Holy Stones to belong to the phenomenon of archaeological hoaxes that were common in nineteenth century America. For those who consider evidence important in establishing fact and truth, mainstream scholars certainly have the best argument. With them, I think the Newark Holy Stones are relicts of an antebellum hoax and not artifacts of pre-Columbian Jewish settlers in the Americas....
Let's begin with a simple question: What is the book about? One word answer: pseudohistory. The prefix is rooted in the Greek pseudesthai, "to lie." So, Invented Knowledge is a selective study of false and spurious accounts of history. Many of these accounts are the focus of various popular subcultures, each tied to an alternative perspective on a particular aspect of the vast wilderness of the past. Some pseudohistorical texts are downright fantastic and very much fun to contemplate. Others are troubling interpretations of the human condition.
on the borderline
The prehistory of the Americas is a murky and contentious subject. All sorts of conflicting and contradictory theories speculate about how the Americas were peopled and who might have visited them before 1492. Even now in the early years of the twenty-first century, there is much that is unclear about how and when humans first arrived in the Americas....