Linguistics ‘Hall Of Shame’ 2

Hi again, everybody! ‘Hall Of Shame’ continues!

2 LAURA KNIGHT-JADCZYK

Laura Knight-Jadczyk (henceforth K-J) is a widely-read independent scholar with highly radical views on history and the nature of humanity. I encountered her work at a stall run by her supporters at the 2008 Unconvention in London, and approached her with information on her linguistic claims, which do not loom especially large but are important – and display some knowledge of the subject but a (temporarily?) incomplete grasp. For example, she accepts Iman Wilkens’ linguistically naïve equations of Greek and English river-names (in his revisionist book Where Troy Once Stood) as clearly valid, and wonders how linguists can justify ignoring his ‘obviously’ impressive success in correlating the two sets of names.

K-J was unwilling to be corrected here (pending further reading), whereas she was (surprisingly) more amenable to my exposition of mainstream reservations about the much less fringe but seriously (and increasingly) controversial theory that Indo-European and several other language families had a common ancestor (‘Nostratic’) spoken 10-12,000 years ago. This theory would fit in with her view (quite widely shared and not altogether unsupported) that there was a world catastrophe at that time caused by minor-planet impact.

More generally, K-J regards the more extreme revisionist/catastrophist histories proposed by Immanuel Velikovsky, Michael Cremo etc. as much more strongly supported by the evidence than mainstream scholars would allow. She holds, in fact, that all such seriously revisionist views are systematically suppressed by ‘the powers that be’.

By way of another specific (more philosophical) issue, K-J is strongly opposed to Judaic-Christian-Muslim monotheism, regarding it as balefully influential even on recent scientific & historical scholarship, and in fact as ‘psycho-pathological’. Saliently, she holds that it would be psycho-pathological even for a creator god to claim the right to allegiance and obedience. I myself agree that humans could legitimately resist such claims – partly because of the logical argument, best summarised by Bertrand Russell, that objective ethical truths (if any exist) cannot follow from religious truths (ditto). But, despite my own atheistic views, I suggest that a creator god, if (s)he existed, WOULD have a prima facie case here, unlike truly psycho-pathological human tyrants making similar claims.

On the other hand, K-J holds (obviously against skeptics and most scientists) that the evidence for spiritual and ‘paranormal’ entities of other kinds is overwhelming and should persuade even those who themselves have no awareness of divine or parapsychological forces in the world. But she also thinks it likely that some humans have a ‘soul’ which confers veridical awareness of these entities. Others (including skeptics) have no such awareness exactly because they have NO souls. (This idea is similar to the less dramatic claim that humans have a psychic/spiritual ‘sense’ but that some are ‘blind’ in this respect.) Souls probably arose by way of mutation in the process of evolution (her version of same!). But it is not clear how such entities as souls (if they can exist at all) could arise in this way (though see for example Stephen Goldberg’s view, expounded in his book Anatomy Of The Soul, that important aspects of a mind can exist after the demise of the brain from which it is generated). And the fact that even members of the same family may differ in respect of such awareness surely renders K-J’s specific position dubious.

K-J is also searching for a new form or aspect of linguistics which would relate to her ontology by way of being ‘hyper-dimensional’. She declined to attempt to explain this idea to me, seeing me as one of the soul-less and thus being permanently unable to grasp the concepts involved. (For her, humanity is doomed to remain divided on issues of this kind, where empirical evidence does NOT directly apply. The soul-less have an incorrigibly impoverished world-view.) She did suggest that semiotics might be identified with her ‘hyper-dimensional linguistics’, but this notion seems to reflect either confusion or a so-far unarticulated non-standard view of semiotics (it is normally taken to be the study of symbolism, with linguistics as one of its most major sub-fields, and thus to be wider in scope than linguistics but NOT at a ‘different level’).

K-J’s main work is her book The Secret History of the World (Grande Prairie, AB, 2008), her main web-site is http://cassiopaea.org/, and her publishing-house, Red Pill Press, is at http://www.redpillpress.com/, where other books by K-J and her associates can be ordered. The most recent issue of the Red Pill Press newsletter (available on enquiry) advertises a second volume of Secret History, Comets and the Horns of Moses. (K-J also had interesting views regarding the predictions of Zecharia Sitchin and others regarding the anticipated appearance in 2003 of the rogue planet Nibiru; see http://www.cassiopaea.org/cass/sitchin.htm.)

Mark

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2 Responses to Linguistics ‘Hall Of Shame’ 2

  1. Bob says:

    Wow. I’m loving this series, Mark. :)

  2. davidgerard says:

    This is quite possibly the very nicest critique ever written of Knight-Jadczyk. I do think it’s worth noting that her work can in toto reasonably be characterised as a singularity of gibbering nutcasery, but that’s not of course specific to her linguistics ;-)

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