Robert Baird,
Diverse Druids
(Invisible College, 2003)

Robert Baird has some ... interesting theories, which can probably be neatly summed up in this quote from pages 129-130 of Diverse Druids: "Yes, there are many Jews who are Keltic and directly connected to the builders of the Pyramid who colonized Egypt from many of the far flung colonies of this worldwide Phoenician Atlantean enterprise." Baird appears to believe that the entire ancient world, with the exception of Rome and Greece and their respective empires, was populated by either Atlanteans or Celts -- excuse me, "Kelts" -- or both. It is his contention, for instance, that the Great Pyramid was designed by druids.

The problem with Baird's theories is that they contradict established anthropology, archaeology and scholarship. He is an admitted conspiracy theorist and believes that the "Merovingians" (the first kings of what would eventually become France) conspired with the Catholic Church to suppress ancient knowledge and technologies -- but he offers no proof for his assertions. He quite often hints at various connections and conspiracies, but then neatly avoids providing any background material by saying that that is a discussion for another time, or that he has no room for that topic, or that it is outside the scope of the present work. At one point, he criticizes a certain Roman writer for using the phrase "it is said," and yet, on numerous occasions, he does the exact same thing, using phrases like "I believe."

Baird's writing style presents another difficulty. Childish and awkward, it is exceedingly difficult to follow. Although Diverse Druids is passed off as an academic treatise (though Baird gleefully acknowledges that he has no academic credentials), the author intrudes himself far too much into the work, and the result reads more like a blog full of personal rants. He will make a statement or present a theory, then shoot off on a tangent, then suddenly shoot off on a tangent to that tangent and so on, until by the end of the paragraph, he's miles -- if not continents -- away from where he started. Many of his statements simply make no sense, such as one in which he mentions a Russian archaeological site in which curved mammoth tusks were found straightened. No one could figure out how the tusks had been straightened and he concludes, "I guess they never cooked carp."

He also quotes other authors, sometimes at great length (one quote ran over two pages), without setting the quoted text off from the main text, so that the only way the reader can tell that he's quoting other material is that the quality of the writing improves dramatically. According to his author's bio, for the last three years, Baird has been writing a book about every six weeks, which is by all means impressive. However, he might have done better to slow down his schedule and gone back and edited his writing for grammar and clarity.

And yet ... like a train wreck, Diverse Druids is also weirdly compelling -- if only to see what Baird is going to say next, or how far we have to go before aliens enter into it.

- Rambles
written by Laurie Thayer
published 23 October 2004

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