Art Imitates Life Imitating Art: New Age Skullduggery and Indiana Jones

New-agers have associated the skulls with the belief that the Mayan "Long Count" calendar runs out on December 21, 2012, when it reaches the end of a 5,126-year cycle. According to this theory, all 13 skulls must be reunited and lined up together to prevent the world from falling off its axis.

"I personally feel that [the skulls] are coming out now because humanity needs the information, their energy and they have probably their own purpose why they're coming out: to help us to create world peace," said Joshua "Illinois" Shapiro, 53, a self-described Crystal Skull Explorer who makes a living touring and giving lectures.

Courtesty of the AP
If there was ever a case of fanatical religious whackjobbery the gobbledigook surrounding the mythology of the crystal skulls fits the bill. But it would make an excellent plot for a movie, wouldn't it...

Although not quite the snowjob in terms of adherents as Scientology the new age claims make for excellent reading. In fact they would make for an excellent plot to an adventure story and I look forward to seeing the new Indiana Jones movie when it comes out, which is in fact based on the myth of the Mayan skulls.

If this myth were left as a relic of the turn of the century fads involving ancient artifacts and the paranormal this would suit me fine. Unfortunately there are people out there who think that these skulls are actually capable of healing, acting as a crystal ball, creating holographic visions and even keeping deforestation at bay.

Take for example the Shapiro's, Joshua and Desyrainbow, quoted above. Here is a full length interview from the new age site Star Child Ascension which explains there beliefs. Here are a few choice quotes.

A person who is not a caretaker of a skull but has an opportunity to be in the presence of one or to hold and touch it for a time:

What type of experiences are these people having then?

a) Quick or instantaneously healings of all kind of illnesses, emotional or past life blocks
b) profound dreams after meeting one or even before meeting the skull
c) expansion of ones inner gifts -- or a new spiritual gift that just becomes active
d) going into altered states of consciousness -- even channeling information from other intelligent sources
e) expansion and upliftment of one's creative gifts, whether such gifts are consciously known or not
f) contact with intelligences from other dimensions or planets
g) receiving energy and becoming energized
h) having visions or reliving past lives
i) leaving ones physical body and projecting into other dimensions or the past or the future
j) receiving information or knowledge telepathically -- such information can be inspirational to help a person in their life or it can have to do with cosmic knowledge or knowledge held and programmed into the skull by advanced civilizations from our past

We believe for ourselves, based upon personal past life memories that we have where we had an intimate contact with the crystal skulls that they were definitely involved with the Maya, Atlantis and Lemuria... We know from the Mayans who are alive today they definitely had contact with the crystal skulls and too many have memories of Atlantis, so there is no doubt the crystal skulls were a key tool used by this ancient civilization.

For example, DesyRainbow and I have seen in our own inner visions or mind's eye definitely working in the temples of Atlantis where the crystal skulls were actively used... Here is what DesyRainbow remembers from her former lifetimes:

...This work was done in temples during Atlantian, Lemurian and Egyptian times as well as on other planets in our solar system. I discovered that I had many lifetimes where I worked in one way or another with these wonderful crystalline beings."
Unfortunately, their metaphysical story runs dry when confronted with the facts of the history of these skulls and their relatively modern propagation. The most famous skull, "found" by F.A. Mitchell-Hedges was more probably bought at Sotheby's for 400 English Pounds. Mitchell-Hedges is famous for his embellishment and fabrication of truth. He apparently "discovered" multiple ancient ruins and lost tribes which had been discovered years or centuries earlier, as well as caliming to have faught with Pancho Villa. A website dedicated to promoting his life and legend is here, and is not above linking directly to the New Indiana Jones movie.

Unfortunately, the fraud appears to have come full circle in a desperate belief by local Mayan's that these skulls (which are not authentically Mayan) can help to keep deforestation at bay.

Today, these beliefs persist in the jungles of southern Mexico among the Lacandon, the last unassimilated Mayas, some of whom still worship the skulls.

In the shadow of the Palenque ruins, Lacandon priest K'in Garcia fans copal incense and holds a heavy crystal skull above his head during ceremonies for Hacha'kyum, the Mayan god of creation.

Garcia, son of the Lancandon's most respected elder, Chan Kin, believes the skull has special powers, including the ability to stave off sickness and deforestation in the rain forest where the last Lacandon still live.
Life imitating art imitating life, and round and round it goes.