Istanbul’s Whirling Dervishes

The audience looks on intently as the Whirling Dervishes conduct the preamble for their remarkable ceremony © Andrew Gough

The audience looks on as the Whirling Dervishes conduct the preamble for their remarkable ceremony © Andrew Gough

Mevlevi Lodge is one of Istanbul’s best-kept secrets. The fascinating complex, located a short walk from the 1,400-year-old Galata Tower, provides the perfect backdrop to the Sema Ritual, a sacred Sufi dance inspired by the legendary mystic, Rumi. The Mawlawi order was founded in 1273, not long after Rumi’s death, and Mevlevi Lodge was their Istanbul lodge. A Sufi museum by day, Mevlevi Lodgeprovides a unique glimpse into the history of the idiosyncratic order. It also includes an evocative cemetery, and each Sunday the grounds come alive with the vibration of one of the most esoterically rich ceremonies imaginable.

Sufi Cemetery, Mevlevi Lodge © Andrew Gough

Sufi Cemetery, Mevlevi Lodge © Andrew Gough

By 6pm the venue is filled to capacity and the audience is anxious to welcome the dancers, known as ‘Whirling Dervishes’, to the stage. The term ‘Dervish’ stems from the name of the initiate on the Sufi path, while ‘Whirling’ refers to the description of their evocative dance. I’m captivated by their regalia: a white gown symbolising death, covered by a wide, black cloak representing a grave, and a tall, brown hat that symbolises a tombstone, but which looks suspiciously like a beehive, an ancient Sufi symbol.

The Whirling Dervishes prepare to perform © Andrew Gough

The Whirling Dervishes prepare to perform © Andrew Gough

Nothing in the Whirling Dervishes’ performance is without symbolism. The ceremony commences with praise for Muhammad and is followed by the dancers’ introductory greetings. The atmosphere is haunting and the music is mesmerising, but what follows is truly astounding.

Two Whirling Dervishes greet each other © Andrew Gough

 Two Whirling Dervishes greet each other © Andrew Gough

The core of the Sema Ritual is the ‘Four Salams’ and here the dancers, representing the Moon, process around the Sheikh, or overseer, who represents the Sun.

The Whirling Dervishes process around the Sheikh © Andrew Gough

Processing around the Sheikh © Andrew Gough

The dancers skillfully spin off the toe on their left foot, with their right palm facing upwards towards Heaven and their left hand pointing at the ground. What strikes me straight away is the fact that the more experienced ritualists are ‘gone’, eyes shut, soon after they have begun, their bodies, led by spirit, unconsciously conforming to a ritual designed to take them on an invisible path to God.

A Whirling Dervish closes his eyes and drifts towards his God © Andrew Gough

 Drifting towards God © Andrew Gough

During the ceremony the dancers process around the stage four times, each procession representing a different aspect of their spiritual journey. The first is conducted in recognition of God, the second in honor of his unity, the third in surrender and the fourth in recognition of the heart. The final portion of the ceremony is called a solo Taksim, and concludes the evening in style.

Sema Ritual

The Sema Ritual © Andrew Gough

As I exited Mevlevi Lodge and walked out into the night, I felt cleansed, if not transformed, by the experience. The Moon seemed to smile, as though aware that it had just honoured the Sun in an ancient and spectacular ritual. I was keen to experience it all over again; only next time, I reflected, I am going to close my eyes.

Lana and the 27 Club

Live in London, 2012

Live in London, 2012 © Andrew Gough


My friend, Star Peimbert, is an amazing astrologer and occasionally she assists me with my research, such as when she provided invaluable insight into the astrological charts of Stalin and Lenin for my article, Russian Mysticism and the Secret of Stalin’s Skyscrapers. So, I have come to respect and rely on her expertise.

From time to time we Skype and in one recent conversation Star, who has studied my astral chart, spoke of events in my life in the context of a 27-year cycle, which commences at birth and provides a dramatic impact around the age of 27-28, and again around the age of 54-56. She continued telling me of her insights, but I had stopped listening.

“Excuse me, but did you just say a 27-28-year cycle?” I was asking her to rewind. “Have you heard of the 27 Club?” I continued. “The what?” she replied.

“You know – the phenomenon whereby many famous artists, usually rock stars, commit suicide (or overdose) at or around the age of 27. Nobody knows why. To be honest, I’ve always assumed it was coincidence.”

“I’ve never heard of that,” she added quizzically.

“Yeah, it’s quite famous. Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Brian Jones, Kurt Cobain and, most recently Amy Winehouse, all died from an overdose or similar cause at or near the age of 27. There is a long list of others. The thing is, I had just been thinking about the 27 Club, because the downbeat diva singer, Lana Del Rey, recently proclaimed in an interview that she wished she was ‘already dead’ – and she’s around that age.”

“Interesting… What would you like me to do?” Star asked, helpful as always to entertain my flights of fancy.

“Tell me more about the 27-year cycle, and if Lana will be next,” I replied, hoping that I was wrong, as I am a fan, having seen her in concert and enjoying the new album, Ultraviolence (her second), quite a lot.

“Ok. Send me her birth details and let me collect my thoughts, and then I’ll come back to you.” “Great. Thank you. That’s a deal,” I said with gratitude. And so I waited.

A couple of weeks passed and I decided to ping her on Facebook: “Star, hi, what’s up? Any news on Lana and the 27 Club?”

“Yes,” she said. “Skype me and I’ll tell you all about it.”

We spoke for ages, and what she shared was fascinating. She pointed out that she was able to find a ‘correlation’, but not a ‘causation’, to the tragic end of life that befell many artists around the age of 27. However, she added that this phenomenon was not limited to the entertainment industry, but that it merely had more visibility here.

Star shared that she had studied six musicians and one actor in detail: Jim Morrison (whose girlfriend, Pamela Coursen, also died at 27), Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Alan Wilson, Brian Jones, Amy Winehouse and Brandon Lee. All were famous and all had died, suddenly, by the age of 27.

Star shared that there are two cycles: the first involves the Moon and its Lunation Cycle, in this case the first Progressed Lunar Return. Their Progressed Moon, as she put it, was in exact conjunction (the same place) to their natal Moon, and less than 10° past the exact aspect. The first full cycle, she shared, takes place around the age of 27-28.

She then discussed the second cycle, which involves the first of Saturn’s Returns. She noted that Saturn was transiting at less than 30° before the exact conjunction to its natal place (Saturn Return) and that this cycle – the period when Saturn ‘returns’ by transit (regular planetary movement) to the same position as it was at birth takes about 27½ to 29½ years to complete, depending on the individual and on retrograde movements. Together, Star emphasised, these two cycle phases produce a tremendous emotional confrontation in the 27th year of life.

So, there was a pattern after all; and Star may have cracked the code. Now, perhaps for the first time, the propensity for someone of a particular set of life experiences to die young, as Star called it, ‘by a choice made at the soul level’, that is, not a conscious decision, but rather by ‘dissolving’ out of this existence and into another, at or around the age of 27, could be identified, and thus possibly pre-empted.

Star added that most of the 27 Club had reached a ‘pinnacle of existence’ at a very young age, and were public figures who (for the most part) experienced difficult childhoods and were required to mature too quickly. Fame and success came early, and rather than being ready to enter the next level, one of deeper emotional development and experience, they were seeking to escape what they perceived as the harsh realities of life. In the process most resorted to alcohol, psychedelics and extreme experiences of altered states as a way to ‘subconsciously return back to the Source’, as Star had put it.

Maybe consciously, or even unconsciously, Star added, these artists had already transcended to a higher expression of self, and were ‘dissolving’ into the ‘collective self’ on their way back to the source (via death).

I was fascinated, but had to know. “What about Lana?” I asked, pensively.

“She’ll be fine,” Star said. “I checked her chart. Not only has she just turned 28, but her Progressed Lunar Return has passed more than 9° already and her Saturn Return will still take more than 18° to conjunct her natal Saturn in her chart. So she doesn’t belong to the 27 Club. Rest easy. She’s not going to kill herself.”

“Excellent news!” I’m sure even Lana would be thrilled to hear that, I mused.

For further details on Star’s theory, you may contact her on Facebook: Star Peimbert; Skype: nydstar; and by email:

The Inquisitions: Atrocities in the Name of God

When director, Bruce Burgess, asked if I would present a television series about the Inquisitions, I complied straight away. Details were not important. I was in. He had me, as they say, at ‘hello’.

I have always been passionate about this period of history and had worked with Burgess before, mainly on the UK television documentary series, Forbidden History (I and II), as well as a further, yet-to-be-released project.  We trust each other, which might seem strange to those who had followed the bizarre aftermath of Burgess’s Bloodline documentary, but we have come to know each other well, and we both respect what this project is about – a chronicle of some of the earlier (and most infamous) accounts of genocide.

The five-part series spans the Cathar, Spanish and Tudor Inquisitions, the Salem Witch trials and more. Some of these injustices were motivated by religion, others by politics, but, clearly, what underpinned them all was that each was motivated by ignorance, intolerance and greed; and each was an unforgivable atrocity.

As the weeks passed, I reviewed my reference material and looked forward to meeting up with Burgess and the team in the south of France. However, as filming neared, it became apparent that history was repeating itself and that what we were about to film was no different than what was going on in many parts of the world today, including Syria, the country bordering the one in which I live, Turkey. What was the point, I wondered. Could human nature transcend? Could it learn from its past, just for once?

I arrived in Toulouse and immediately felt a bite in the air. It was autumn 2013. After greeting the team, we hit the road. Spirits were high, but the ebullient mood would not last.


Departing Toulouse


Appropriately, we kicked off in Béziers, for this is where the first of the Inquisitions took place. Here, coincidentally, or, more likely, by design, the first crusade against the Cathars, a pure, benevolent and Christian dualist movement, was fought on the feast day of Mary Magdalene, 22 July 1209. The Cathars appear to have had a special appreciation of Mary Magdalene and are purported by some to have been in possession of her (now lost) gospel. This sacred day would have been important to the Cathars and this presented an opportunity for the Church to wage both physical and psychological warfare.  



Béziers, site of the first of many atrocities by the Church


As the film crew got ready, I rehearsed my lines, which aptly set the scene. I tried to imagine the carnage, almost 800 years ago. In front of where I was standing a huge army of at least 30,000 men, mostly soldiers from pro-Rome northern France, had amassed around the walls of the town. Inside were the 10,000 citizens of Béziers, guarded by only a few hundred soldiers of the local lords and barons who were loyal to the Cathar cause.

Fearing a slaughter, the Bishop of Béziers tried to negotiate. The town was asked to give up its heretics or face the consequences.  And so it was given a list of 222 names of people accused of heresy, mostly Cathars. But it refused to comply.

Then, according to reports, a skirmish broke out at the gates to the town between some soldiers and some lightly armed locals.  This resulted in most of the foot soldiers storming the gates and sacking the city. A bloodbath ensued. Thousands of people were killed, including men, women and children. It would become known as the ‘Day of Butchery’.

About twenty years later, a local historian by the name of Caesarius of Heisterbach wrote about the attack and, in the process, coined what is perhaps one of the most unforgettable lines in history:

When they discovered, from the admissions of some of them, that there were Catholics mingled with the heretics they said to the abbot, ‘Sir, what shall we do, for we cannot distinguish between the faithful and the heretics.’ The abbot, like the others, was afraid that many, in fear of death, would pretend to be Catholics and, after their departure, would return to their heresy, and is said to have replied, ‘Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius’ – ‘Kill them all, for the Lord knoweth those that are His’.

Kill them all, and let God decide which are his. Could there be a more self-serving justification, and mantra, than genocide in the name of God and government? We finished our shoot and headed to Carcassonne.

The Inquisition moved to Carcassonne a few weeks later, but news of the massacre in Béziers had arrived long before, and so a similar show of brutality would not be required. The crusaders simply shut off the water supply and waited for those who valued their lives to exit the city. Most fled with only the clothes on their backs.


The walled city of Carcassonne



At the gate of the city





Although I had done my share of presenting in the past, our work in Carcassonne reaffirmed my respect, and admiration, for those who perform the job so well: presenters like Michael Wood, who makes everything look so easy. As we filmed in the busy market, I struggled to walk along the tourist-filled streets, remembering my lines, while hitting a mark on the ground, before turning to walk towards another mark on the ground, where I would deliver my concluding remarks to an imaginary spot three feet to the left of the camera.  All the while, bystanders took pictures – and the mickey!  ‘Cut! Let’s do it once more, just to be safe.’ That was Burgess’s way of saying, ok, let’s try and get it right this time.

Fittingly, we concluded the Cathar Inquisition episode in Montségur. The famous mountain-top sanctuary of the Cathars is now a thriving tourist site and one of the most popular sacred destinations in France. We prepared for filming, before being forced to wait while helicopters lifted some of the overly ambitious (and ill-prepared) tourists from the top of the deceivingly steep and arduous-to-climb mountain to their safety below. The delay was just what I needed, as it afforded me time to reflect.


Reflecting, while the helicopters perform their rescue


Although I have been to Montségur on many occasions, visiting the site is a treat, and is always moving. Standing at the monument to the Cathars, I contemplated what it would have been like to have walked, single file, into the pyre, as many of the Cathars did, rather than renounce their faith. The landscape is imbued and imprinted with this memory, as its name, Field of the Burned, suggests. I did my pieces to camera, but found it difficult to hit the mark. Burgess was asking for a relaxed and casual delivery. ‘Show us another gear,’ he said. The problem was that I was in the moment a little too much and found it hard – no, impossible – to be casual while immersed in the memory of it all.

Disappointingly, there is never much time to savour the moment on projects like these. We hurriedly packed up and rushed to the airport for our flight to Spain. I said goodbye to Montségur, and wondered if we could ever reclaim the purity and innocence that religious intolerance so brutally extinguished from this land. The opportunity and responsibility to do so is ours, I thought. We simply have to choose the reality.

John Dee And The Enochian Apocalypse

Doctor John Dee (1527 – 1609), remains one of London’s most intriguing historical figures. He even inspired Damon Albarn, the singer/songwriter of Blur to write and perform an opera about his life in 2012. This should not be surprising, for Dee’s talents are many and his legend seems eternal. Dee was a renaissance man; an occultist, mathematician, astronomer, astrologer and navigator. In addition to his prodigious skills, Dee was a confidant of Queen Elizabeth I, who guided the nation through one of its most challenging eras, partly based upon Dee’s unique blend of alchemy, divination and Hermetic philosophy. In fact, the Queen had so much faith in Dee’s calculations she had him choose her coronation date.  

By all accounts Dee was a distinctive looking gentleman, respected and admired by many, as John Aubrey describes: "Hee had a very cleare rosie complexion…a long beard as white as milke. A very handsome man…he was tall and slender. He wore a gowne like an artist’s gowne, with hanging sleeves, and a slitt. A mighty good man he was."

Doctor John Dee

Doctor John Dee


Dee lived in Mortlake, a West London village mentioned in the 1086 Domesday Book. Here, his modest residence along the River Thames provided easy access for Elizabeth and other dignitaries, especially other occultists, for Dee had amassed what was arguably the grandest esoteric library of his day. Sadly, fashionable apartments now stand where Dee once lived, and a block of council flats across the street boasts his name.

Doctor John Dee

The site of Dee’s house and library in Mortlake. . .


Doctor John Dee

. . . and a nearby block of council flats


What is less known is that Dee was obsessed with the apocalypse, and believed he had opened a supernatural gateway leading to a powerful and disgruntled spirit world. But this came later. During the early part of his career Dee had little interest in the supernatural. He was a devoutly religious man and deeply ambitious. From the 1550s until the 1570s, he honed his skills as a writer, as well as a navigator with unique technical expertise. Few recall that he coined the phrase, ‘British Empire’, and that he helped shape the emerging ideology of the nation.

Dee became frustrated with his perceived inability to uncover more occult secrets than he already had obtained, and so began his fascination with the supernatural. During the 1580s he focused his attention on contacting angels in the spirit realm in order to obtain greater wisdom. Initially, Dee tried his hand at using a ‘scrying’ mirror or crystal ball, each of which can be found in the British Museum.

Dee struggled to achieve the results he was hoping for and thus reached out to someone who professed to have expertise in these matters.

Doctor John Dee

John Dee’s crystal ball, and other tools of divination, at the British Museum


Enter the occultist and spirit medium Edward Kelley, who stumbled upon a ration of magical red powder, which he had received from an innkeeper in Glastonbury, who had acquired the powder from tomb robbers. In a different version of the story, Elias Ashmole, who wrote the first account of Kelley’s discovery, recounts how Kelley found a book containing the curious powder in the ruins of Glastonbury Abbey. Regardless, Kelley’s desire to learn as much as possible about the magical substance, which he believed could turn base metals into gold, led him to Dee, whose library attracted many such seekers.

Like Dee, Kelley was a fascinating man; a seer whose ritual expertise in the black art of necromancy, combined with his passion for alchemy, and his quest for the Philosopher’s Stone in particular so impressed Dee that the two soon became inseparable. Together they embarked on a journey that would transform their lives and quite possibly ours too. 

Dee and Kelley held various ‘spiritual conferences’; a quest that Dee believed would render immeasurable benefit to mankind. Kelley’s integrity, on the other hand, is the subject of continued debate and in fact before coming to London he was convicted of forging title deeds in Lancaster. Nevertheless, Kelley became Dee’s regular scryer and the two men appear to have achieved, if not exceeded, their goals, for Dee began to write truly remarkable, albeit sublime, works that he maintained were the product of angels, who spoke in language known as Enochian.

Doctor John Dee

Dee and Kelley’s scrying mirror, British Museum


In 1583, Dee and Kelley embarked for Europe, seeking the patronage of Emperor Rudolf II in Prague and King Stefan of Poland in Kraków, amongst others. The two occultists continued their alchemical pursuits on the continent for a number of years. Once incident in particular stands out, which stems from their involvement in necromancy. An inquisition by the Catholic Church proved messy, yet both men were acquitted in 1587. That same year the angels instructed Dee, through Kelley, that the two were to share everything, including their wives, which they did. Dee’s wife gave birth nine months later to what is now thought to be Kelley’s child.

At the best of times the two men had what could be called a terse relationship, and the ‘sharing’ mandate of the angels angered Dee and led to his break up with Kelley, who later died in prison. Dee returned to his residence in Mortlake, only to find that his world had changed. Much of his library had been pillaged and his political stature had fallen. What little that remained of his relationship with the Queen enabled him to assume the office of Warden at Christ’s College, Manchester in 1595. He returned to Mortlake in 1605, where he died in 1609 and was buried under the high altar of his parish church.

Doctor John Dee

The high altar in Mortlake Church, where Dee is buried.


Doctor John Dee

A peculiar stone carving in the cemetery, dating from Dee’s time


In retrospect, we can glean that the essence of the Enochian dialogues centred upon a coming apocalypse, which Dee’s angels referred to as ‘the Harvest’. Dee and Kelley had succeeded in manifesting the spiritual beings they had summoned, and what followed appears to have been the process of opening the gates to another dimension and obtaining the keys required to activate the angels’ agenda, an apocalypse of the mind – a poisoning of man’s spiritual essence and the rapid degeneration of society. In one instance the angel, Mapsama, instructs Dee as to his role in the whole affair:

Mapsama: These Calls are the keyes into the Gates and Cities of wisdom. Which [Gates] are not able to be opened, but with visible apparition.

Dee: And how shall that be come unto?

Mapsama: Which is according to the former instructions: and to be had, by calling of every Table. You called for wisdom, God hath opened unto you, his Judgement: He hath delivered unto you the keyes, that you may enter; But be humble. Enter not of presumption, but of permission. Go not in rashly; But be brought in willingly: For, many have ascended, but few have entered. By Sunday you shall have all things that are necessary to be taught; then (as occasion serveth) you may practice at all times. But you being called by God, and to a good purpose.

Dee: How shall we understand this Calling by God?

MapsamaGod stoppeth my mouth, I will answer thee no more.

The exchange is intriguing and hints at the angels’ selection of Dee as the wick by which the fuse to ignite the end of days would be lit. Had Dee and Kelley unknowingly ushered in the Enochian Apocalypse?

Three centuries later the Golden Dawn incorporated many of its teachings and one of their initiates, Aleister Crowley, picked up where Dee and Kelley had left off. He wrote: “Much of their work still defies explanation.” Crowley is known to have concentrated on Dee’s ‘Apocalypse Working’, although it is not known whether he accessed the elusive occult key necessary to usher in the apocalypse. Nevertheless, Crowley died in 1947, believing that he had opened the gate of the apocalypse almost 45 years earlier, in 1904, when he had spiritually ‘received’ The Book of Love.

Today, we are uncertain if Dee, Kelley or Crowley did in fact unlock the key of the apocalypse, for it is said that the apocalypse is a slow-working mental transformation within the collective unconscious of the human race.

The year is 2012. Now, as then, we contemplate the possibility that we are living in an Enochian end of days.  Doctor Dee influenced history at the highest levels of government.  His occult legacy influenced perhaps the most notorious of Occult groups, which in turn influenced the ‘New Age’ and modern occult movement.  But was he also instrumental in the opening of a door in human consciousness that would allow the apocalypse to manifest?

The Conspiracy Olympics

From the balcony of my Shoreditch flat I can just about make out London’s Olympic Stadium in the distance. Should any of the 2012 Olympic ‘conspiracy’ rumours come to fruition then I am assured of having a bird’s eye view of the proceedings. Let’s hope the most memorable thing about the Games is the athletes. 

The 2012 London Summer Olympics marks the first time a city has hosted the coveted spectacle on three different occasions. The first was in 1908 and the second in 1948 after a delay owing to World War II. Then, like now, the event was mired in controversy before it had even begun.

The bid process for the 2012 Olympics got off to an inauspicious start when London unveiled its Olympic logo on 4th June 2007. Those who did not ridicule it expressed their bemusement at its amateurish design, despite the fact that it cost £400,000. Then came the controversy over it’s overtly, some would say brazen, depiction of the word ’Zion’ in the numbers 2012, complete with a dot over the ‘i’. Proponents of the logo’s occult associations believe that the emotive word signals the start of a New World Order, and that the London Olympics will be its stage.


London’s unimpressive and peculiar 2012 Summer Olympics logo


Further suspicion was raised in what amounted to a surprise selection of London as the 2012 Summer Olympic host city. Paris had been the heavy favourite, but on 6 July 2005 the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced that London had won. The face of the former Olympic champion and London 2012 bid Chairman, Lord Coe, said it all. He appeared stunned. Coe and his team only jumped for joy, but also seemed startled by the news. It was later revealed that some of the votes may have been placed ‘in error’.

Tragically, London’s celebration was abruptly curtailed the very next day, 7th July, when a series of alleged suicide attacks occurred on three London underground trains and one bus during the morning rush hour. Four UK resident Islamists were identified as the guilty terrorists. Each was killed in the blasts, along with 48 other commuters, and more than 700 others were injured. Disturbingly, survivors commented on how the explosions came from under the seats of the trains. Inexplicably, no formal inquest was held, due to the fact that an investigation would, in the words of Prime Minister, Tony Blair, "undermine support" for the British Intelligence Agency, MI5. Were the bombings a form of retaliation for the IOC’s selection, or was there another motive? Many believe they were an inside job and that we should expect another ‘False Flag’ at the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games.


Chaos at Russell Square tube station during the 7/7 bombings

London’s 2012 Olympic odyssey continued on 19 May 2010, when the Games’ official mascots were introduced; two peculiar looking metallic figures by the names of Wenlock and Mandeville. One is blue and the other orange, and each has one eye. Curiously, each looks more like an alien caricature from a 1950s B-movie than a collection of molten steel consumed during the construction of the Olympic stadium that they are supposed to represent.


One-eyed Olympic mascots, Wenlock and Mandeville


Those who believe that the 2012 Summer Olympics are linked to an occult agenda also cite the Games’ East London stadium location as proof that ominous forces are at work behind the scenes. Their concerns stem   from the biblically inspired street names that surround the stadium, names such as Great Eastern Road, Carpenter’s Road, Angel Lane, Temple Mills Lane and Church Road.  They also question why the stadium grounds remained vacant so long, suggesting that it had been earmarked for this special occasion for a long time.

Conspiracists believe that the ‘Zion’-inspired logo, the bible-inspired street names and the alien mascots are all part of a plot to instil a New World Order. Rumours persist, albeit entirely unsubstantiated, that either one of two events will be simulated during the Games. The first is the return of a legendary messiah, such as Jesus Christ or Mohammed, in what amounts to a modern-day rapture, and the second is that aliens will descend on the stadium. In each scenario it is believed that holographic technology will be deployed to produce the illusion and, although the manipulation will be apparent to many, the majority of people will feel the events are genuine.  Proponents of this theory reference a curious incident at the closing ceremony of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games, when a flying saucer landed in the stadium and an alien addressed the crowd.  They believe this was a foreshadowing of the real alien landing that will occur during this year’s Summer Olympics.

Conspiracy theorists thrive on symbolism and the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, with their many rituals, including the highly symbolic passing of the torch, provide considerable fuel for their fire. Advocates also cite the symbolism and significance of numerology and, of course, 21 December 2012 is purported to mark the end of the world, according to the belief that the Mayan calendar foretells the end of days as we know them.  Numerologists believe that a New World Order will be ushered in, led by Prince William, due not only to his royal bloodline, but also the fact that he turns 30 on this year’s Summer Solstice and that this year is the 30th Olympiad, or XXX in Roman numerals.

It is easy to be sceptical and to criticise many of the so-called occult elements of the London 2012 Olympic Games. For instance, I live in East London and can confirm that there are many biblical street names in this part of the city. I can also see loads of underdeveloped areas from my balcony. Nevertheless, proponents point out that the first London Olympic conspiracist to go public with these ideas was a 28-year-old man by the name of Rik Clay, who managed a blog called the Cosmic Mind. Clay was found dead in August 2008, 3 months after exposing the London Olympics’ occult connections. Those sceptical of foul play reference the fact that he was simply regurgitating ideas that had already been developed by the British researcher, Ian R Crane, who had a considerably farther media reach than the young blogger. Furthermore, Clay’s parents acknowledge that their son had been depressed and are comfortable with the cause of death being suicide.

Ironically, the Olympics are, in fact, based in occult tradition, starting with the fact that they appear to have originated in Minoan Crete; a civilisation that is thought by many historians to be the historical Atlantis. Here, the Mother Goddess, Rhea, is said to have presided over sacred games, perhaps even bull leaping rituals, of which there is ample evidence. As with many cultural inventions, the Minoans influenced the Greeks in many ways, and of course it was the Greeks who adopted the more formal, if less feminine, version of the games that we have today. I wonder what the ancients would make of our version of their games, rituals and occult traditions. I suspect that they, like me, would conclude that the Olympic conspiracies are mostly bollocks.