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691[sacredlandscapelist] Black Virgin & genealogy

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  • Mark Swaney
    Nov 1, 1999
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      Thanks for the reviews you have been bringing the list I enjoy them very
      much. I have been moved to reply to your review of the Black Virgin book
      because I have recently been revisiting the whole Holy Blood Holy Grail
      theory. I read the book HBHG in the mid 1980's like everyone else. At the
      time I considered the theory to be interesting but unproved. Unfortunately,
      almost all of what I have read about it since has been hugely disappointing.
      For example, a book that has been out now for quite a while called "The Tomb of
      God" attempts to "solve" the mystery of Rennes by analyzing the geometry of the
      painting "The Shepherds of Arcadia" as well as other codes the author believes
      are hidden in and around Rennes. I think the book is BS and is very
      disappointing. I had the distinct impression that the author doesn't even
      believe his own theory, but was just making a book that would cash in on the
      interested but gullible public.

      That said, I also think that the subject of an "underground" quasi
      religious movement lasting centuries - with or without the involvement of
      Jesus's brat kids who may or may not have existed and who if they did exist may
      or may not have become the origins of certain royal families in Europe - is
      very interesting and not a crank theory.

      Another book I recently read is "The Bloodline of the Holy Grail" - an
      obviously bogus theory that the Stewart/Stuart Royal Scottish family can trace
      their roots to "The Grail Family" of Jesus and Mary Magdalen. I had actually
      abandoned all thoughts of researching the HBHG hypothesis long ago. So why did
      I pick up this book? Strange but true - I have been doing genealogy research
      on my family and what do I discover? You guessed it - my family is supposedly
      descended (on one line) from the Scottish Royal family. Terrible to have such
      bad blood . . . oh the shame of it all . . . to be related to a bunch of inbred
      mass murderers, and me an anarchist to boot.

      So I did a little math. Lets see now, it was 23 generations ago that the
      last King in my line actually ruled a country. How many ancestors did I have
      23 generations ago? Say in the time of Robert III, King of Scotland? Well, a
      good estimate is 2 to the 23rd power, or about 4 million people. But that's a
      problem, cause in the time of Robert III, the entire population of Scotland was
      under half a million. Going back a little further to William the Conqueror,
      another of my ancestors, we are in the 11th century and 30 or so generations
      before me. How many people in Northern Europe (my gene pool) qualify as
      ancestors of good old Mark Swaney? 2 to the 30th power is over a billion. Way
      more than the population of the whole world at that time. In other words,
      EVERYONE who lived in Europe before about the 14th century is almost
      mathematically assured to be my ancestor. And yours. So I feel relieved and
      can now freely admit to Royal Heritage without the usual shame and

      I would like to recommend to the list readers that they consider doing some
      family history if they, like me, feel the need to expand their "spiritual"
      horizons without descending into stupidity and PT Barnum style new age
      rip-offs. I got into it by accident about 4 or 5 months ago because I was
      contacted by a cousin I haven't heard from in 30 years. He had already done
      quite a bit on my mother's family so I was moved to redress the balance by
      researching my father's family. Genealogy research has been revolutionized by
      the interent and is no longer the purview of the aristocratic. In a matter of
      a few weeks I rescued from oblivion large portions of my father's family
      history in America.

      I have found this exercise to be very rewarding psychologically. I have
      been struggling with depression. And I have been looking for any tool, any
      weapon to help me battle the demons that too often haunt my nights and
      sometimes my days. I remembered the movie "Amistad" where the slave recounts
      to John Adams that his tribe believed that they could call on the spirits of
      their ancestors to help them in times of trouble. I cannot say what
      specifically was it was about doing the research on my family that has helped
      me. Perhaps its just the realization that I am not the only person in my
      family that has made mistakes or been a failure at some point. Maybe its
      seeing that most of my ancestors were ordinary but heroic people that somehow
      survived and flourished in tough times. Maybe the Africans are right and the
      knowledge of my ancestors grants me their powers. Who knows? But if anyone
      out there is battling the odds, or wrestling with the Face of Time in the
      Mirror, I recommend a study of your family roots. You never know what you will
      learn about yourself, but the effort has been well worth it to me.

      Mark Swaney
      a.k.a. LUKE MURPHY - swashbuckling super-hippy who desolves the evil agents of
      the DOOM conspiracy with waves and emanations of intense and disorienting
      contact-high . . .
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