Sunday, February 1, 2015

#1277: Mary Nell Wyatt, Betty Rhodes et al.

Mary Nell Wyatt (I think). Couldn't
find a picture of Rhodes (we doubt that
she is related to the late actress).

But of course. Combining “Biblical history” with “alternative” New Age pseudo-egyptology must have been just irresistible to people of a certain mindset, and the present entry concerns pseudo-archaelogy fans who try to argue that the Joseph of the Old Testament (whose stay in Egypt or even existence has of course not been even remotely suggested by any other source than the Old Testament) was Imhotep, the Vizier of the 3rd Dynasty Pharao. The kinds of hoops these pseudo-scholars have to jump through to back up their claims, and the kinds of inconsistencies they have to try to overlook, are as stunning as anything in New Age pseudo-history. The claims are extensively discussed here, and include Betty Rhodes’s meaningless and misguided musings about etymology and Mary Nell Wyatt’s attempt to reinterpret the significance of aerial photos of ancient Egyptian constructions. At least Wyatt tries, feebly enough, to make the chronology add up, which it doesn’t.

Mary Nell Wyatt is, apparently, the widow of legendary fundamentalist and Indiana Jones wannabe Ron Wyatt, and has written extensively in defense of the insane claims made by her late husband as well as continuing Ron’s quixotic quest to identify (mostly by pareidolia, motivated reasoning and outright lies) archaeological evidence for the literal truth of the Bible (as discussed e.g. here). Some of her “discoveries” are published in her book The Boat-Shaped Object
on Doomsday Mountain, which indeed concerns the Noah’s Ark that her husband discovered. Her Joseph/Imhotep claims are here (ArkDiscovery is a gloriously insane website run by Wyatt fan Kevin Fisher).

Betty Rhodes seems, apart from the penchant for ridiculous pseudo-archaeology, to share little else with Mary Wyatt. Rhodes seems – though information is a bit hard to locate – to be coming to pseudoarchaeology from, shall we say, an “astrological point of view.” Her “research” articles can be found here.

Diagnosis: Whatever motivates them these people are as unattached to any feature of reality as it is possible to be while having any reasonable chance of surviving everyday life. They are probably rather harmless to most people other than themselves – Ron Wyatt still has some fans, I suppose, but he’ll hardly recruit any who weren’t irretrievably lost to reality or reason already.

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