Chief Priest Montezuma cuts out Victim’s heart.
Credit: Discovery Civilization
The Mesoamerican march through cultural history seems to have started out on the wrong foot. Deciphering the Mayan language has revealed a culture with a fatal attraction to a monstrous theology. Maybe you have not noticed, or are in denial, but I recognize there are legions of monstrous people in this world—no one needs to look further than today’s ISIS, yesterday’s Al Qaeda, and the murderous theology behind their actions. By far, most of the victims of these cults are from their own religion. The same was true regarding the Mayan theology of gods that fed on human blood, which finally ended when Cortez put down the blood-sacrificing Aztecs.
The Western World woke up to this on September 11, 2001, at the cost of 3,000 lives on a fine Autumn morning, after sleeping through many increasingly violent provocations from the same perpetrators. It was a revelation, when even progressives recognized the truth: not just America but Western civilization faced an implacable foe, an existential threat to their civilization. At that moment, no one felt an iota of political correctness when calling the murderous cultists incorrigible. We went for Al Qaeda’s throat.
However, that event was 16 years ago, and Western memories, common sense, education in history and logic, religious mores, and instincts of self-preservation have since been dulled by the solipsistic philosophy of postmodernism, and its societal corollaries: political correctness and the misapplication of genetics to “diversity.” In truth, postmodernism is nothing more than spoiled children screaming, “I don’t subscribe to societal values. I have a right to do whatever I want.” Always unsaid is the corollary: “And society must pay for it.” In the case of the Mesoamerican theology of human bloodletting, the entire population lived in a ring of hell, where everyone was liable to find their heart plucked out on the pyramids of blood.
Recent generations have never had a truthful education in history’s lessons: Communism precipitating the Cold war; Nazi and Japanese fascism precipitating World War II; the depth of the Great Depression and proper use of the word “Great;” the merciless rise and fall of nations stretching back 6,000 years to Mesopotamia—that which could motivate fact-free Westerners to learn more about government, constitutions, rule of law, and the mutual benefit of shared mores. A similar blight affected Mesoamerica.
Two thousand years ago, the Maya were already mired in an entrenched theocracy where “might is right” and losers living hearts were extracted atop innumerable altars as the only acceptable sacrifice to their reigning demons. These altars were huge, and sadly and rarely noted, their only distinguishing form of architecture. Their demons led the Maya and their offspring cults to make human sacrifices on an industrial scale. Teotihuacan, which we visited in Post 127, was just one long, wide avenue of altars. I walked that avenue, and knew the purpose was nothing more than a factory for mass murder.
Certainly, among the Sumerian and Egyptian kings, we know some forced a subset of their retinue of palace courtiers to commit mass-suicide, apparently by poison, when their monarch was buried. We have addressed this perversion in Posts 12 and Post 13 as a major evil—based upon a shared theology in both Sumer and Egypt that the victims would accompany their sovereign into an afterlife where their services would be needed. Bad theology again, but recognizably prescient in discerning that the light of the human soul is not extinguished at death. But this theological insight does not excuse those murders.
And there was worse in the Fertile Crescent: the Levantine practice of sending children to the flames of Moloch reveals a vile, widespread process which passed via Phoenicians to Carthage, as discussed in Post 89. We even see this hideous practice show up in the Bible with Abraham ready to sacrifice Isaac, and Jephthah sacrificing his daughter. But, we find no evidence murder was done in the Fertile Crescent on an industrial scale with methodical human slaughter e.g. as by the Nazis, Tamerlane, Pol Pot, and ISIS.
Not so with the Mesoamericans, from Maya to Aztec, who sacrificed war captives and innocent victims atop the highest points in their cities—sometimes in the thousands. This was denied by generations of academics with the usual idealist drivel that Mesoamerica was a Shangri-La… Kumbaya. However, that fantasy about pre-Colombian Mesoamerica is no longer believed by anyone since the decoding of Mayan language. Their vicious streak undeniably emerges from the earliest inscriptions.
Even as a child reader of The Romance of Archaeology (see Bibliography tab), I knew Mayans threw children down a deep well at Chichen Itza in a religious ritual. Who created the subsequent pacifist myth about these Mesoamericans? This proclivity to wishful thinking is a modern form of societal suicide.
I present this video to summarize the viciousness of the last heirs of the Maya culture, the Aztecs, and this video to summarize the substantial engineering feats (both good and evil) by the Aztec Neolithic culture. If you tell me that I can’t fault a nonvoting people misled by their religious governors, I agree. But, I think one of the great gifts to future humanity was the destruction of the governing infrastructure—agency if you will—of this 2,000-year curse upon the Mesoamerican masses. There are periodic upwellings of evil around the globe. Rational people should celebrate the collapse of all where murder is considered good.
The Mayan culture apparently dissolved in the mid-first millennium AD; some think the people rebelled and killed off the vicious elite. But their cultural heirs down to the Aztecs were not exterminated: their monstrous culture was defeated and disbanded along with their government. Today, there are 6 million still-identifiable Mayans in Mesoamerica. But, if history is correct, all the Aztecs in their capital, Tenochtitlan, were exterminated. And I certainly wouldn’t bet on neighbors’ helping Aztec refugees.
No postmodern fluff can justify the bloody culture of human sacrifice that developed in Mesoamerica. When observing such an obvious evil, for one to say “to each his own” identifies the observer as evil.
We won’t continue further with Mesoamerica, which by the 16th century AD had not yet emerged out of the Stone Age. Humanity did not progress there.
Next week, we’ll look at more scholarly archaeology. Sometime later, we might look at the Inca.
Thanks for visiting.
R. E. J. Burke