Some Reactions to Joe Rogan Interviews about “History”

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A Brief History

Today’s article includes my reactions to some of the Joe Rogan interviews revolving around “history.”

Digging Deeper

1. “Africans Were in the Americas Before Columbus! – Hotep Jesus”

Joe Rogan, television and video personality, interviews an African American man known as Hotep Jesus, having been born as Bryan Sharpe.  The idea that Black children are brought up believing the Black race began as slaves while not teaching the free and sometimes vast civilizations that had existed in Africa, where some of these Black people were kings and queens is probably a valid point in the resulting reduced expectations of Black people in America growing up without the realization that historically some Black people had risen to the top of their society.  On the other hand, the allegation that Black people were already present in the Americas when Columbus arrived is totally without archaeological evidence.  The claim that the slaves taken by Columbus and his men were “melanated Africans” and not in fact Native Americans is not only not supported, it is academically ridiculous.  The interview subject alleges that there were Black Americans prior to Columbus, and that both those Black Americans and Native Americans sold Blacks to the White Europeans as slaves, and further, that few if any Africans were really brought to the Americas by European slave ships.  Genetics, DNA, and historical evidence is completely ignored in order to support his totally unsupported theory that Blacks were already in America before Columbus.  Another bit of “evidence” totally not supported by known fact is that Blacks lived in the Caribbean prior to Columbus, therefore it is “logical” that Blacks would have (of course) lived on the American mainland as well.  Yet another fascinating group of allegations forwarded in the video is that it was Black Africans (ie, the “Moors”) that brought technology to Europe such as running water and teaching Europeans personal hygiene among other cultural contributions.  Joe Rogan, the interviewer, cites numerous known facts to refute his guest’s baseless theories, to no particular avail.  No serious academic work is cited or referred to, and the main source of this startling information seems to be the “common sense” of the interviewee!

2. “Graham Hancock – America is Most Likely Home for Lost Civilization | Joe Rogan”

Once again, Joe Rogan has an interview guest that proposes historical theories in conflict with all generally accepted beliefs about the history of North America vis a vis the manner in which the land was populated by humans.  Graham Hancock starts off with an allegation that Egyptian civilization is evident in what is now the United States, specifically citing the Mound Builders civilization in Ohio as “proof” that Egyptian civilization was at some point transported to America, and further cites archaeological sites in Louisiana.  Hancock is not an actual historian or archaeologist, as he has only a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology, though he espouses incredible ideas about human civilization completely out of sync with accepted academic tradition.  His argument about “Egyptian” culture and religion existing in America pre-Columbus is less than compelling.

3. “Did Ancient Egyptians Visit the Grand Canyon?”

Once again, Joe Rogan interviews Hotep Jesus who cites other pseudo-scientific writers that have alleged Egyptians were living in America, including Ohio and the Grand Canyon areas prior to the arrival of Europeans.  In fact, he confidently states that the “sandstone” used to construct the pyramids in Egypt came from Ohio and were transported to Egypt specifically for the purpose of building the pyramids.  Modern scientists claim that the Pyramids of Giza are made of Limestone quarried from an area not far from the location of the pyramids, not Sandstone from Ohio.  Mr. Hotep does not remember all his sources and facts, but earnestly swears he really did a considerable amount of reading and research at some point in the past to support his allegations, although he can no longer cite the specific sources.

4. “Graham Hancock’s Theory about Ancient Civilizations | Joe Rogan”

Graham Hancock again addresses the ancient world, and this time his lack of knowledge about how things were accomplished, such as building the pyramids, allows him to create his own unsupported conclusions about how the ancients used some sort of lost technology, perhaps using magic or some such mysterious methods such as “psychic” powers.  After all, he says we have “anecdotal” evidence that psychic powers exist even today, a remnant of a more powerful and pervasive human telekinetic ability in ancient times.  Hancock refutes the usual explanations for how the pyramids were built, such as dragging giant stones up ramps, since those alleged ramps are no longer present.  Hancock also addresses previous massive climate change events, denouncing some of the widely accepted explanations and offering his own belief that comets were responsible for those various climate change events such as the ice ages.  Hancock also claims his beliefs are not being supported by modern scholarship because archaeologists are not searching and studying the “right” places.

5. “Joe Rogan – Robert Schoch Explains Sphinx Water Erosion Hypothesis”

Joe Rogan hosts Robert Schoch, the holder of a PhD from Yale and a professor at Boston University.  Despite his conventional education and mainstream employment, Schoch is largely dismissed by his peers as a “fringe” or “conspiracy theorist” academic for his theory that the weathering evident on the Sphinx in Egypt is due to the erosive effect of water, and that this erosion dates the Sphinx to as far back as 10,000 BC, or at least to 5000 BC, instead of the generally accepted date of 2500 BC.  Other prominent scientists dismiss Schoch’s ideas as “pseudoscience” and not serious scholarship.  Schoch claims he came to an instant realization about the “true” age of the Sphinx when he saw the artifact in real life for the first time.  Schoch claims that wind and sand could not have caused the erosion of the rock that makes up the Sphinx and therefore that erosion “must have” been caused by the action of water.  Schoch also opines that the last Ice Age is responsible for the severe erosion of the Sphinx, and that the site of Giza where the Sphinx and Pyramids are located was a rain forest when those monuments were built before climate change turned the area to desert.  He states that solar outbursts are the source of the climate change that turned North Africa into the Sahara Desert from its previous status as a rain forest.  Schoch has virtually no support among his academic peers for his radical ideas.

6. “Graham Hancock Explains the Mystery of the Olmecs | Joe Rogan”

Graham Hancock says he has little to say about the Olmec civilization, then goes on to say plenty about them!  Hancock refers to the “20 to 25 ton” carved stone heads made by the Olmecs, and offers the idea that the Olmecs were a “high” civilization, and although he admits that he is a heavy smoker of marijuana, by “high” he means an “advanced” civilization that left considerable construction evidence behind.  Hancock claims that Native American racial types are based on Polynesian and African influence as well as the standard explanation that Asians travelled to North America via a land bridge that existed from Northeast Asia to Northwest North America (Alaska).  Hancock cites the facial features of the stone heads as evidence of African racial heritage, although he offers no particular explanation for the apparent helmets on those famous stone heads.  Hancock seems less willing to make up “facts” about the Olmecs and admits they are largely a mystery to modern science.

Question for students (and subscribers): What are your reactions to the interviews in these videos?  Please let us know in the comments section below this article.

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Historical Evidence

For more information, please see…

Childress, David Hatcher.  The Mystery Of The Olmecs.  Adventures Unlimited Press, 2007.

Hancock, Graham.  America Before: The Key to Earth’s Lost Civilization.  St. Martin’s Griffin, 2020.

Van Sertima, Ivan.  They Came Before Columbus: The African Presence in Ancient America (Journal of African Civilizations).  Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2003.

The featured image in this article, a painting of Bonaparte Before the Sphinx by Jean-Léon Gérôme (1824–1904), is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author’s life plus 100 years or fewer.

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About Author

Major Dan is a retired veteran of the United States Marine Corps. He served during the Cold War and has traveled to many countries around the world. Prior to his military service, he graduated from Cleveland State University, having majored in sociology. Following his military service, he worked as a police officer eventually earning the rank of captain prior to his retirement.