Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Where Did That Come From?

I was reading some historical material and came across a reference to a "royal dynasty" that I knew nothing about. As usual, I dropped what I was reading and began to research this "dynasty".

I came across a fascinatingly diverse body of information and resources. The websites ranged from carefully researched and documented (referenced) data to bizarre and outrageous claims, conspiracy theories and end times prophecy interpretations.

The carefully researched historical data was quite limited and included a clarifying statement  which indicated that documented information was extremely limited.

Most of the websites I found contained such bizarre, off the wall material that I couldn't resist the urge to follow the multitude of links to increasingly ridiculous hypotheses. It was hilarious and yet sad at the same time. While I wondered where these nutbars came from, I also bookmarked a lot of this nonsense for further exploration. I find it is just too entertaining and intriguing to ignore. I don't understand why people actually signed their names to some of this 'pseudohistory'. The wildest ones were arguments relying on mythology, conspiracy theories, and biblical 'proof texting' as evidence supporting the author's position.

As I reflected on this stuff I thought of some people I have come across. They were individuals with very strong, unshakeable opinions. Unfortunately, their opinions seemed to be based on incorrect or incomplete information that they had picked up second or third hand. The sad part is that too many of these individuals were so narrow minded that they wouldn't tolerate a different opinion or do their own research to educate themselves or verify their opinion.

Every time I encounter attitudes like this, or weird, questionable information passed off as scholarly, factual presentations, I am reminded to examine my own beliefs, attitudes, and opinions to ensure that people listening to me don't wonder, "Where did that come from?"

If you're bored or curious, google 'merovingian line'.

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