Someone takes James Valliant down a peg

Neil Parille

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We all took Valliant down a peg right here on OL.

I don't believe PARC ever went into a second printing.



Before I start, since you did not let the public know, I will. 

The entire video is over 2 hours and 45 minutes long. But Valliant only comes on at 2:13:20 and you have embedded the video to start there. Then Valliant stays on until he says he's outta there and leaves prematurely at around 2:33:25. In other words, Valliant's participation was only 20 minutes or so. 


On the Christian and gnostic front, I find Valliant to be a true believer of his own bullshit. (I skimmed through his book a while back.) His reasoning method is to take some minor points and some interesting items in history and use them to explain the total of extremely complex worldwide movements while dismissing anything that disagrees with his pet theory. His capacity for the blank-out is breathtaking.

And like all people who get wedded to a pet theory, it bugs the hell out of him when he gets challenged, especially by facts.

From what I have seen to date, I find it reasonable to say he is promoting a conspiracy theory about the history of Christianity. And not a good one at that.

But if you like to see some small truths wedded to a bunch of overblown speculations and huge blank-outs of large swaths of history and scholarship, his way of thinking should agree with you. I am pretty sure there is some made-up stuff in his book and thinking, too, but I don't want to say that without going back through that material. Imagine bickering about this stuff. Who needs bickering qua bickering? 

Besides, I would prefer to chew on razorblades than go back through his book looking for arguments. It would be like trying to discuss--in detail--phrenology with a true believer.



I have been meaning to post a video Valliant did with Robert and Amy Nasir (who, to me come off as nice people, good people) where he has a true believer expression on his face that jumped out at me.

In Valliant's discussion with the dudes in the video you posted, you can see this same expression frequently. Here is a screenshot from the video of what I am talking about, but the examples are many.


I do not believe this is faked. I think this shows correctly what he feels inside. And if you correlate the text of what is being said when he gets this expression, you can see he is in the throes (in his mind) of defeating Christ once and for all. He is rewriting and correcting mankind's fake history throughout the ages to the truth and single-handedly changing the world.


In the Nasir interview, he only got this expression on his face a few times at the end when he was discussing his book and how he was making the definitive case for taking down Christianity and proving it was a Roman political construct to keep them thar pesky Jews in line.

If you like, I will try to find the video. 

But is it worth the time?

Valliant is a crank, pure and simple.


Incidentally, I have been listening to a lot of lectures by James Lindsay on gnosticism and hermeticism--and even Christianity. (There is a thread here on OL featuring him: Reason, Faith and Gnosticism as Epistemology.)

And, based on that, I have looked at other places to understand Lindsay's way of thinking. So when I heard Valliant mention the demiurge to the dude who was challenging him, my ears perked up. But I could not make out what he meant by that. If I recall, he was saying some people used to call the Hebrew God at the time of Jesus the "demiurge." (I'm not going to look up the place on the video, though. Valliant's smug irrationality and bickering grate on me like the sound of fingernails scraping across a blackboard. It's visceral. :) )

That is not the way I have been learning it. The demiurge was above the Hebrew God in the Gnostic sects of the time of Jesus. That was the great secret they inherited from the hermetics in Egypt centuries earlier. The Hebrew God to them was a creation of Sophie (who was created by the demiurge) when she decided to be naughty.


And it goes on from there until getting to the Christ. Also, the demiurge (also called the builder) created physical reality. It's fascinating, to be honest. At least I find it fascinating. There's a great video I watched (not by James Lindsay) that explains all this. If you would like to see it, I will try to find it.


The thing I like about James Lindsay is that he reads the original documents from all ages, mountains of them, and cites his sources. And if you go to his sources (I have a several times), he reports accurately what is in them. He makes a clear distinction between presenting what they say, and presenting his own views about them and how they relate to other sources and schools of thought.

James Lindsay is not a Christian, in fact he's an atheist. But he is constantly lecturing at religious conventions and he is celebrated by them. The running joke I have seen on more than one occasion is that he knows more about the Bible than most Christians do, but on the atheism front, they are not yet finished with him.

He doesn't mind, either.



Anyway, when I look at the literature of the early history of Christianity and even the Jews (Hebrews), there are many, many more people who know a lot more than this Valliant crank who, unfortunately, comes from glitches in the way Objectivism developed.

There are so many first-rate minds out there to learn Christianity and Biblical history from (including Roman history), it's easy-peasy to get a correct education if you don't mind studying. So I do not recommend a third or fourth rate true-believer mind like Valiant's unless you like wasting your time bickering over a pet theory.


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Here is something else from Valliant.  He and Rabbi Singer repeat the probably false claim that Christians settled on December 25 as Jesus's birthday because there were December 25 Sun God celebrations.  I've sent Valliant the documentation that this is likely false, but he repeats it here as if it's not controversial.
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OK, Neil.

You hooked me back in a little bit.


Thank God AI now provides video transcripts and OL has a decent search function. If I had to look this stuff up and type it out, I would not have done it.


At 2:13:52 in the video you linked to, the heroic slayer of the Brandens and Christianity, James Valliant, said:

"No one has to put up with insults. There's no reason to leave the subject to talk about the person you're debating with. It's called ad homonym. It's a fallacy. It's not only a logical fallacy. it's offensive. it's insulting."

(I can't resist. I wonder if anyone noticed that Jesus was tortured, crucified and murdered as the people around slung insults at him. So was Valliant defending Jesus? :) )

On page 283 of the Passion of Ayn Rand's Critics, the Peikoff-endorsed visionary soul-seer, James Valliant, wrote about Nathaniel Branden:

"While his behavior was not, technically, rape, Branden's was nothing less than the soul of a rapist."


If this crank did not have double standards, he would not have any standards at all.



Valliant certainly does not know how to quote sources, at least not in the material I read that he has written. He spins a quote into an agenda with a half-assed paraphrase and calls that a quote. He puts words into the mouths of the people he quotes. He has always done that from what I can tell. That might have worked in front of a judge when he was a prosecutor working for the government. (I remember George Carlin saying, "It's a big club, and you ain't in it." :) )

But half-assed quotes don't work when he encounters real scholars like, I presume, Vocab Malone is. (Hell, you yourself nailed Valliant many times for this.) From what little I have seen of Malone, he shows the signs I look for in scholars I can trust. He is careful with the words of others. He distinguishes between fact and inference. And even then, he gives grounds for the inferences he mentions, whether his or ones by others. He looks at original sources to check doubts. And so on.


Well shit. Here I am talking about James Valliant again... There is another 30 minutes or so of my life I will never get back.

I must have nothing worth living for to waste the precious non-returnable minutes of my life like that.



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I made reference to gnosticism earlier in this thread.

If anyone has the patience to see the video below, they will get a view of what I mean, and what people who know this stuff mean. I believe this is far better than listening to a pet theory about how the ancient Roman world invented Christianity to deal with pesky Jews.

The video below shows the correct context of ancient thought and secret religious societies.

(When I first posted this, you couldn't see the video with the truncated quote, so I removed the video and embedded it below the quote. Now you can see it.) 

I can only imagine how this ties into--and was derived from--really primitive religions.

14 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

If anyone is interested in delving into Gnostic themes, I found the video a while back and it is awesome. Not because Gnosticism and gnosticism are awesome, but because this guy, Laurence Caruana, not only did his homework in super-depth, he has focused passion on the subject.

I only saw this video once, but I will see it several more times before I am done with it.

Enjoy, oh ye who enter here.




To keep this issue to the theme of this thread, if the people in power at the time of Christ and shortly thereafter wanted to fight the Jews for real, they would have had Rome adopt Gnosticism. They would not have invented Christianity.

In Gnosticism, Yahweh (the Hebrew God) went by several names depending on the sect. There was Demiurge, Yaldabaoth and so on. They all agreed with one thing, though.

The Hebrew God was a lesser god. The head honcho was at the top.


I guess it was possible for Romans to want to be deceptive in the way Communist China nowadays says it is for capitalism, or crony corporatists talk about patriotism and freedom, or liberals adopted the term "liberal" because progressivism had become toxic at the time they did that.

But ancient Roman rulers inventing an entire religion for political reasons and getting away with it by outsmarting them thar pesky Jews? 

That goes against human nature. Ancient Romans were conquerors by nature. Not deceivers on that scale.

So believe the pet theory if you want.

For me, meh...


I seek to learn about history and religion and philosophy--about the world at large. Not isolate myself from it by delving into the details of the bickering of cranks.


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Look at the opening post on this thread.

But you don't have to.

I took a screenshot.

What do you see?



I see the fact that somebody is watching us.

And it looks like they don't like what they see.


Whatcha gonna do?

Cancel culture is cancel culture in all its variations...


Yes indeedie do. 

They're gonna kill Christianity and change the world.



:evil:  :) 


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Stalin’s plans were for five years , heck Hitler was going for 1k, it’s been twice as long , did it work ?Or maybe it did the plan out lived the Romans :)

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  • 1 month later...


Cease and desist from what?

I watched a portion of this and I can't think of anything where cease and desist is relevant.

As to the discussion itself that is on the video, I don't have much to contribute. I like Vocab's demeanor and his comfort in his knowledge.

I don't understand why the Rabbi called in to ask him not to to present sections of his clips, but whatever. I still don't see where the law applies. I can't think of a clearer case of fair use than what I saw. 


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