Book: Vampire or Gods: The True Stories of the Ancient Immortals
Author: William Meyers
Type of Book: Non-fiction (sort of), supernatural, paranormal, alternative history
Why Do I Consider This Book Odd: If you were to substitute vampires for aliens in some of the more accessible “alien intervention” conspiracy theories, you’d end up with something like this book. Also the dude on the cover who is eating grape is… unsettling.
Availability: Published by III Publishing in 1993, it’s out of print but you can still get a copy from second-hand sellers on Amazon:
Comments: Halloween looms so what better time to dig out and discuss this relic. It’s strange at times to consider the enormity of weird information available to us and how normalized such weirdness has become. That’s been a boon for people like me, and presumably anyone reading this, but it’s fun to revisit books that predate the rise of the Internet. This book is a hoot and there’s a reasonably good chance that even ardent readers of this site may not have heard of this title. As time permits, hopefully I can discuss more hidden, somewhat Halloween-ie media that may appeal to those looking for creepy stuff with a nice fringe. We’ll see, I can’t even believe Halloween is this week. I don’t even have pumpkins yet. Time is not so much slipping into the future, to paraphrase Steve Miller, as it is hurtling into some quantum physical state wherein time speeds up and keeps speeding up. Someone tried to explain “Schuman Resonance” to me once and it was like trying to teach a dog stoic philosophy so enough about that. Let’s discuss some vampiric high weirdness.
This is a book that is easy to summarize but very hard to discuss in depth. The concept is easy: William Meyers believes that the old gods, and the new, were actually real people who once lived very long lives, thousands of years in some cases, and they were so long-lived because they were/are vampires. He thinks the historical record, as well as common themes that run through world religions, points to vampirism being a part of our world since human beings organized enough to need or appreciate governments and spiritually dogmatic beliefs.
I walk a fine line when it comes to conspiracy theory. It’s very subjective as to whether or not something like this is harmful. Martin Gardner would think so and we can all agree he was way smarter than me. But I am not bothered by this as much as I am the recent “false flag” trends that cause cretins to harass the families of dead children and deny the existence of bomb victims. This is not as horrible to me as shady purveyors of “non-Western medicine” who convince hopeless cancer victims that medical science is evil, driven only by profits and making them sicker via chemo, and then sell those cancer sufferers very expensive crystals or pyramids or instructions for miserable regimens of coffee enemas out of the goodness of their hearts.
This book is entertaining conspiracy, a form of alternate history that shows how creatively human beings can weave together disparate ideas into a larger tapestry that tries to tell the story of humanity. And it seems to do little harm. I don’t see holy wars or anti-vaccination screeds or weird instructions on how to mutilate the genitals of children springing forth from this theory. And that’s not just because this theory requires both a belief that mythological gods were once living beings AND that vampires are real, something that will require a huge leap of faith in the average reader. Rather, this attempt to explain interesting correlations in religious stories and how they all point to a world shaped and ruled by vampires is not a dogmatic belief system.
It’s the dogma that gets you. It’s always the dogma. And without dogma we’ve got ourselves a fun, sometimes bizarre, interpretation of recorded human history. (And to be perfectly honest, I review this book with the mindset and influence of Mac Tonnies, a brilliant examiner of alien-oriented theories for whom the conversation was as important as the “truth.” I may not believe much but I still find myself examining theories like this with Tonnies in mind, willing to muse about the idea as much as its validity. Well, I do that when it doesn’t seem too harmful, but even so I still cut conspiracy theorists a lot of slack. That I let them leave comments here at all is a testament to the legacy of the importance of discussion that the late Tonnies fostered.)
Just in case anyone thinks that Meyers is just positing and not endorsing the notion that vampires are real and that Set and Cybele and Dionysus and many others were all vampires who actually walked the earth once as humans or humanoids, let me disabuse you of that notion:
…there is the possibility that we are not dealing, in the case of vampire-gods, with humans at all. Perhaps they are a distinct species, related to man as man is related to gorillas. Or the gods were a result of a mating between immortal beings and ordinary humans, as is claimed in the stories of Dionysus, Hercules, Jesus Christ and others. Perhaps the rash of women claiming to have been abducted by UFO’s in the past two decades will find that their children are immortal or have unusual abilities.
One informant who claims to know real “vampires,” humans who do not age or age only slowly, says that while they are not sure what causes their condition, a common theory is that it is simply a rare and recessive gene or set of genes. This could explain why most immortals chronicled in this book were the result of some sort of sexual liaison that today is considered incest.
Yep, Meyers believes gods were living beings and even goes so far as to try to explain their origins. What makes this so awesome for me is that as he tries to offer explanations for these gods, he invokes mainstream science in the form of evolution and recessive genetics AND marries his theory with other stories of external beings manipulating mankind. Alien intervention, alien abduction and possibly even the biblical stories of Nephilim and giants mating with humans can stand alongside Meyers’ vampire-god theories. I love this sort of synthesis, a combination of all the ways of interpreting and explaining the world around us.
However, Meyer does offer some caution when examining his ideas.
One definition of Gods that fits our subjects is “various beings conceived as supernatural, immortal, and having special powers over the lives and affairs of people.” However, with the rise of monotheism each religious cult claimed its particular God was the Supreme and only Deity. A Roman or Greek had several Gods to choose from, and might, in good judgement, at one point serve Mars and at another Venus. Modern worshippers usually put all their eggs in one basket.
To believe that rising from the dead is sufficient to be credentialed as the Supreme Being is to put yourself at grave risk. You may not be worshipping a God, but a vampire. The vampire, to preserve its own immortality, is likely to be more interested in your soul or life energy than in mere blood.
This is some fascinating stuff right here. In this explanation, Meyers tells us that he believes that perhaps some of the gods were not human-vampire hybrids with an interest in this world as a place to benignly shepherd mankind but rather see us lambs to the slaughter. So if you decide to worship Vampire Jesus, bear in mind that he could be a vampire and perhaps the Norse pantheon with a variety of Gods to choose from may enable the believer to hedge some bets.
So with that caveat in mind, it just gets more delightfully weird. Of course, transubstantiation of blood to wine, emphasis on martyrdom and resurrection of the martyrs, and consumption of flesh both symbolic and literal are going to play heavily in this book so I won’t belabor those points. And even though this book is relatively easy to read and can be completely read in an evening, it covers almost every set of religious beliefs from the beginning of recorded history (Islam and Buddhism don’t seem to be vampire-infested). No matter how short a book may be, if it attempts to prove even in brief surveys that most religions are made up of vampire-gods who once were mortals, probably royals, who died and were resurrected and pose terrible risks for us regular humans, you can’t really summarize it effectively unless you want to write an entirely new book, which I am often prone to do but don’t have time for at the moment. So instead I want to share with you some of the more interesting statements Meyers made about world religions infested with vampires.
The first damn sentence in the first damn religious analysis and we’re off to the races. Regarding Egyptian gods:
Osiris is the most ancient immortal of whom there is record. We can trace his rise from approximately just before or during the first dynasty of the ancient Egyptians – about 3100 B.C. He was still a powerful vampire-god until at least 400 A.D. Osiris was originally the king of a small city-state, and after his death and resurrection became the central figure of Egyptian religion and perhaps the true power behind the long procession of kingly dynasties.
But where would Osiris be without Isis:
It’s very likely that Isis, who in the legends became an immortal and god in her own right, was either Osiris’s mortal wife/queen or was already immortal when she decided to restore him to life.
He would be nowhere, as it seems like she was the alpha/omega of vampires:
It is important to note that she never died. Therefore she can be regarded as the source-stream of immortality.
There has to be a first cause uncaused and it appears as if Isis may be it for the vampire-gods, or at least the Egyptian pantheon. It’s kind of a daring move on Meyers’ part to impart that status to Isis, a female god.
Meyers isn’t afraid to get down with even obscure godhead. Regarding the cult of Cybele:
Cybele is a doubly enigmatic figure, an incarnation of the Earth Mother, possibly once the female almighty god, she was greatly reduced in stature by the replacement of matriarchal by patriarchal society and religion. […]
The Greeks identified Cybele with a variety of female gods, including Rhea, the mother of Zeus. Hera was a sanitized good-wife version of the Earth Mother, and Demeter, the goddess of agriculture and fertility, acted as another manifestation. The Romans called Cybele Mater Deum Magna Idaea – Great Idaean Mother of the Gods. In other places she was called Inanna, Ishtar, Anat, Atargatis, Dictynna, Baubo, or Allat. Her cult was established in Rome after her priestesses said Hannibal would be expelled if she were worshipped in Rome; he was and her temple as set up there on 204 B.C.
But was she a vampire-god?
Was Cybele merely a symbol, or did she have an actual human existence? It is thought that she, and sometimes her followers, were baptized in the blood of a bull, giving them eternal life. […] Doubtless most of Cybele’s temples were staffed only by priests and statues, but it is most likely that a real woman or women were behind the cult, which took real blood offerings. When she died, and how long she lived, we do not know.
As an aside, this is an interesting idea, that the first cause uncaused in this vampire-god universe Meyers believes in may be a woman and that other older cults were created by and run by women. Go girls! But then again they were vampires who, you know, fed on the mortal living, so, really, it’s hard to know if this is really a score for womankind. Still, interesting to consider.
Let’s talk about Mithras:
The earliest known mention of Mithras dates from the fourteenth century before Christ. Like most other vampire religions, his lasted until about the fourth century A.D., when it was forcibly supplanted by Roman Christianity. […]
Unlike some of the other ancient immortals, there is no clear record of his conversion from an ordinary man to an immortal; he enters history as a god. Moreso than many of the other gods, however, he interacted directly with people, rather than representing some remote natural force.
He was a vampire-god of the people:
Mithras was a model vampire; one of the greats who most contributed to the modern vampire “myth”. True, he did not drink human blood. Rather, he was almost always depicted as slaying a bull, and it was the bull’s blood that conferred immortality [another legend says it was a mixture of bull fat and soma that was the true elixir]. Very likely the bull was symbolic, though bones of bulls are commonly found when Mithras’s temples are excavated. The bull was represented by the constellation Taurus, and also was the symbol of the Egyptian vampire Osiris. Very likely it meant that Mithras either defeated Osiris in battle or that Mithras had drunk Osiris’s blood in order to gain immortality.
Meyers goes on to close the loop between blood, flesh consumption and resurrection, as he does in all his analyses, so it continues in this fashion, each chapter stating his assertions of vampirism and quoting historical documents he thinks back up his case. In addition to Egyptian and various Mesopotamian gods, Meyers addresses Greek and Roman pantheons (with a very interesting notion that Caligula, one of the few “gods” discussed whom we can reliably believe actually was alive and human at one point, was a vampire), Aztec gods, and Taoism, as well as a chapter about the King Daddy of all vampires, Vlad Tepes.
Just for a moment, imagine Meyers lived before Jesus came, somewhere in Near-East Asia, and was looking at the stars, thinking of stories of other lands told to him by exotic travelers, wondering why blood seemed to come up so often in the stories of the gods, he may well have managed to create an overarching mythos not dissimilar to this one. Meyers of course had access to so much more information but he distilled it in the nature of the mythic story-teller, and in such cases being interesting is far more important than being right. If you read this book, read it with that thought in mind. Weird ideas make the world so much more interesting.
Plus this book can give the fan of vampire lore a new focus on the topic. Others have gone down this road before (I cannot even attempt to incorporate the ideas of “bug” hunters, the elite forces who are said to investigate vampires who have infiltrated the American government, mainly because I don’t have time, I don’t know whether these people are genuine in their beliefs, and clicking to any “official” site will cause your computer to burst into viral flames) and the whole “Jesus was a vampire, that’s why Christians drink blood” argument is certainly nothing novel. But this book preceded most such musing. It’s terribly earnest, almost naive in its approach, and while it doesn’t engage in much lurid speculation about the goals of vampire-gods, this theory can definitely lend itself well to frightening ruminations about the way of the vampire-gods and what they intend for us all.