The Urban Legend of the Government’s Mind-Controlling Arcade Game



What was Polybius, and did it ever exist? (Photo: albund/

IN A SUBURBAN ARCADE NEAR Portland, Oregon, in 1981, a dull, digital glow bounced off the faces of teenagers who clutched joysticks, immersed in the game. Tiny lines and dots danced or exploded with high-pitched beeps across them all, but one game cabinet, Polybius, drew the longest lines.

Gamers who tried it couldn’t stop playing, and began acting oddly: they were nauseous, stressed, had horrific nightmares. Others had seizures or attempted suicide, many felt unable to control their own thoughts. It was only later that they recalled how Polybius was serviced more often than other games. Men in black suits opened the machine every week, recorded its data, and left, with no interest in its coins. Soon after it appeared, the mysterious arcade game vanished without warning—taken by the men in black suits, leaving no record of its existence.

That’s the story, at least. This legend is one of the big unsolved mysteries of the gaming world, though most concede that the game never existed. It’s since become an urban legend on gaming and conspiracy websites and the internet horror wiki Creepypasta, and like all good stories, it is kept alive by its fans.

It’s uncertain just how far back the Polybius tale goes, but the earliest known discussion of it is thought to be from 1998, when a mysterious description appeared on the vintage gaming website The current entry for Polybius states that the game “had a very limited release, one or two backwater arcades in a suburb of Portland,” and according to rumors it was “developed by some kind of weird military tech offshoot group” and “used some kind of proprietary behavior modification algorithms developed for the CIA.”

The 1998 post was shared with others in 2000 on a precursor to internet forums called Usenet, and seemingly sparked further lore about the game; by 2003 it appeared in a list of urban legends in GamePro magazine. In’s comment section in 2006, someone by the name of Steven Roach added to the story: it was created by a company he and a few other naive programmers began, called Sinneslöschen, he explained. They were hired by a separate “South American company” to do the work, he claimed; they were merely in over their heads with their advanced, accidentally dangerous graphics.

The possible title shot from Polybius, as featured on the website (Photo: Courtesy

In response, amended its entry in 2009 with a rebuttal, saying “Steven Roach is full of himself, and knows nothing about this game.” The response claimed staff was planning to sort it all out by flying to the Ukraine; “Stay tuned.”

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As with most legends, the details are evasive. No one even has a copy of the original Polybius game file (which are often found and shared by vintage game lovers), so no one can agree on what the game was actually like: was it a puzzle game, or a shooter game? What kind of graphics did it use?

Atari’s Tempest, the arcade game that Polybius is compared to. (Photo: frankieleon/CC BY 2.0)

Polybius, or at least the simulations fans have made of the legendary game, was disorienting and confusing. In it colorful geometric shapes bend and fold from a center portal like some sort of digital acid trip. If you’re prone to seizures, the simulation may actually trigger them. According to legend, the intense combination of vector and raster graphics in Polybius—which was supposed to be impossible, at least back in 1981—made the mind susceptible to subliminal messages from the U.S. government.

While details about the game are ambiguous, its story has roots in truth. Just a few decades before Polybius supposedly terrorized Oregon gamers, the government really was secretly testing unwitting subjects. MKUltra, an unethical government-led experimental program of the 1950s involving LSD, was uncoveredin 1975 by the Church Committee of U.S. Congress and an investigation of the CIA, whose predecessor controlled the program.

The Senate Report into Project MKULTRA. (Photo: US Government/Public Domain

Many of MKUltra’s subjects did not know they were part of the tests—all designed to explore brainwashing and confession techniques. Despite an attempted cover up, a cache of 20,000 documents were revealed in 1977, and more information was declassified in 2001—showing over 185 researchers and 80 institutions participating in experiments with mind control, resulting in terrible effects on the research subjects.

Reports of injuries from video games actually happened too, though from entirely different (and real) arcade games. A newspaper from the Portland area at the time reports that a 12-year-old boy named Brian Mauro got sick after drinking coca-cola and playing Asteroids for 28 hours (an arcade representative said they were “massaging his hands” to keep the kid going.) Another boy at the same arcade on the same day experienced a seizure from Atari’s game Tempest—a puzzle game with fast-paced, disorienting graphics that Polybius is frequently compared to.

Even the government-video game connection is real; the army and the marines have and still use video games to train soldiers. What’s more, shady arcade owners sometimes dabbled in illegal gambling, so the FBI may have actually been walking around arcades and checking machines for evidence.

1980s arcarde games on display in New Jersey. (Photo: Rob DiCaterino/CC BY 2.0)

Combine all of that with the existence of the short-lived 1985 game Polly Play, an eight-game arcade cabinet that was recalled (possibly, according to Skeptoid, for copyright concerns), and you have a pretty solid foundation for a massive urban legend. The name Polybius could have been a misconstrued version of Polly Play, or an intentional reference to the cyphering system of a Greek historian named Polybius, born around 200 BCE.

Polybius itself may not exist, but that hasn’t stopped its story from capturing the imaginations of gamers, writers and artists. The Last Starfighter, a 1984 movie in which a man in black recruits a teen for his epic video game skills, might have been influenced by (or influenced) the legend. A 2006 Simpsons episode called “Please Homer, Don’t Hammer ‘Em” shows Bart next to a Polybius cabinet, with “Property of the U.S. Government” stamped on the front.

A series called Doomsday Arcade by Escapist Magazine is based on it. Blister Declassified, a three-part series that was supposedly focused on Polybius was canceled before the third installment could be released. There’s even a T-shirt, and in 2015 a Kickstarter campaign for a Polybius documentary was in the works, but it unfortunately didn’t get the necessary funding.

Polybius never seems to completely go away. Some online members of the Vintage Arcade Preservation Society claim to own it; one lists the serial number as “666”. Photos of unknown origin of its screen and cabinet bounce around the internet as “proof” that it exists, and every now and then a supposed sighting of the cabinet shows up.

A bar in Brooklyn called Barcade created a Polybius cabinet for Halloween in 2012, and it was so convincing that an Instagram post of it attracted believers and instigators; user broyomofowrote a comment saying: “…please tell me that you didn’t activate that machine and it was simply a gag decoration for some sort of party,” and added that they’d played the original game, suffered a seizure, and “became addicted to the point that I kept playing and, for reasons I can’t remember, I attempted to commit suicide.”

A few days ago, a Craigslist ad in Los Angeles advertised a Polybius cabinet for sale—this time, though, the culprit was a prop house for Sony Pictures, which made the cabinets for a movie that was never made. The cabinet has an engraved plaque labeling it “Property of the U.S. Government.” In an email, Andreas Kratky, who is listing the prop, told me that the “Polybiusmachine was dressed up to resemble all aspects of the myth….They clearly took care to satisfy the nerdism of the gamer community regarding the myth of the game.”

Since posting, the listing has gotten multiple emails commenting on its worth and rarity. “The post has become something like a crystallization point for the imaginations about the game,” Kratky adds.

While many believe it to be an urban legend or hoax, the story of Polybus still has people searching for the one thing that keeps it just out of arm’s reach from fact: hard evidence. It is likely they’ll keep looking for years to come.


Canadian Government Quietly Compensates Daughter of MKULTRA Victim





The victim was kept in a chemically induced sleep for weeks and subjected to rounds of electroshocks, experimental drugs and tape-recorded messages played non-stop.

CBC News recently reported that the Canadian government reached an out-of-court settlement of $100,000 with Allison Steel, the daughter of Jean Steel, a woman who was subjected to horrific brainwashing experiments funded by the CIA.

The settlement was quietly reached in exchange for dropping the legal action launched by Allison Steel in September 2015. The settlement includes a non-disclosure agreement prohibiting Steel from talking about the settlement itself. However, the existence of the settlement and its total amount appeared in public accounts released by the federal government in October.

CIA-Funded Torture

Jean Steel’s ordeal began in 1957, at the age of 33. She was admitted at the Allan Memorial Institute in Montreal after being diagnosed with “manic depression and delusional thinking”.

The Allan Memorial Institute in Montreal, Canada

In the following months, Steel became a victim of CIA-funded MKULTRA experiments conducted by Dr. Ewen Cameron.

Dr. Ewen Cameron was a Scottish-born psychiatrist who served as President of the American Psychiatric Association (1952–1953), Canadian Psychiatric Association (1958-1959), American Psychopathological Association (1963), Society of Biological Psychiatry (1965), and World Psychiatric Association (1961-1966). During the 1950s and 1960, he was funded by the CIA to carry out experiments for the MKULTRA mind control program.

Cameron’s experiments aimed to “de-pattern” the victim’s mind through intense trauma in order to “re-pattern” it afterward. In other words, he was researching the basis of Monarch Programming – the mind control program that is often discussed on Vigilant Citizen.

Cameron believed a combination of chemically induced sleep for weeks at a time, massive electroshock treatments, experimental hallucinogenic drugs like LSD and techniques such as “psychic driving” through the repeated playing of taped messages could “de-pattern” the mind, breaking up the brain pathways and wiping out symptoms of mental illnesses such as schizophrenia. Doctors could then “re-pattern” patients.

However, the de-patterning also wiped out much the patient’s memory and left them in a childlike state. In some cases, grown adults forgot basic skills such as how to use the bathroom, how to dress themselves or how to tie their shoes.
– CBC News, Federal government quietly compensates daughter of brainwashing experiments victim

Hundreds of pages detail the horrific experiments Jean Steel was subjected to.

According to a report written by Cameron, Steel was kept in a chemically induced sleep for weeks. One series lasted 29 days. A second lasted 18 days. The sleep therapy was accompanied by a series of electroshocks.

“She was extremely confused and disoriented but much more co-operative,” Cameron wrote in his report.

Nurses’ notes on her charts detail repeated doses of sodium amytal, and how Steel would pace the hall and rail about feeling like a prisoner: “‘It’s just like being buried alive. Somebody please do something.’ This was all said screaming at the nurse and doctor,” one note said.

Steel then began to exhibit bizarre behavior. Her daughter recounts:

“When you wanted to talk with her about something emotional … she just could not do it,” Steel said. “Her emotions were stripped. It took away her soul.”

Her mother would sit alone in the dark, writing codes and numbers on the walls.

“One time I came home and the ceiling was spray-painted with red swirls all over it,” Steel said. “She would take wallpaper and cut out little sections of it and she would pin it to the whole room.”

While MKULTRA is viewed by mass media as a “shameful episode of the past”, it is also part of our present. The program still exists in a much more refined version under the name of Monarch programming.

Here’s an interesting 1980 documentary about MKULTRA experiments in Canada produced by the CBC:

Puerto Rico, Now What? part 2



For far too long, the people of Puerto Rico have chosen to accept the comfort of a familiar yet broken status quo over the uncertainty of real, revolutionary change. Indeed, many on the island and in the diaspora adhere to a colonized mentality, one that believes an independent Puerto Rico is economically unsustainable. But liberated nations across Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America have demonstrated otherwise.

Singapore is a prime example. With a size 14 times smaller than Puerto Rico, less natural resources, and a significantly higher population density, Singapore has thrived socially and economically since gaining independence — even exceeding the per capita income of the United States.

Wake Up!

7 horribles orígenes históricos de los famosos logos corporativos

Usted no tiene que saber una maldita cosa acerca de la mitología griega y romana de haber oído hablar de Pandora o los troyanos – los personajes han sido utilizados en los logotipos de la empresa y por los equipos deportivos durante tanto tiempo como cualquiera de los dos ha existido. Después de todo, nadie tiene el copyright de los mitos antiguos. Entonces, ¿por qué crear un nuevo nombre para su empresa cuando se puede llamar a Cerberus? Una palabra de consejo, sin embargo. Antes de ir pegando una figura mitológica en su logotipo, tome unos minutos para buscar su historia. De lo contrario, obtendrá algunos resultados absolutamente desagradables hilarante. Me gusta …


La Sirena Starbucks

El símbolo se utiliza para: Una figura de apariencia elegante para poner en el signo de la cadena del café y tazas.

Pero el Símbolo Realmente Significa:

Obsesión, adicción y muerte.

Si está familiarizado con el logotipo de Starbucks, es probablemente porque, estadísticamente, usted está dentro de un Starbucks ahora mismo. Si usted no está familiarizado con Starbucks, eso es porque usted es una persona hipotética creada para poder dar a este párrafo una estructura satisfactoria.

De cualquier manera, es posible que no se hayan dado cuenta de que la mujer en su etiqueta verde con los senos alegres y trato de pez espada gemelo es una sirena de la mitología griega.

Según el blog de Starbucks, fue elegida como el logotipo porque Starbucks estaba buscando un tema náutico para capturar el espíritu de Seattle. Recuerde que esto estaba detrás en 1971, cuando Seattle fue sabido para la navegación y los puertos de mar en vez de la roca del grunge, de la lluvia y de los hipsters.

En la mitología, las sirenas se ven constantemente como una personificación del océano – y eso no es una buena cosa. Son sociópatas brutales que te asesinen siendo atractivos. Según los eruditos, cantan una canción “irresistiblemente dulce” que “golpea cuerpo y alma en letargo fatal”. Los marineros que se cruzaban con una sirena llegaban a estar tan obsesionados que se estrellaban contra las rocas y morían.

Mucho de la misma manera que un sinnúmero de personas han sido seducidas por el atractivo del café caro, la compra de taza tras taza hasta que finalmente sucumbir, la compra de un ordenador portátil de Apple y pasar el resto de sus vidas en una de esas diminutas mesas, .

Medusa de Versace

El símbolo se utiliza para:

El logotipo en una etiqueta de moda italiana de gama alta.

Pero el Símbolo Realmente Significa:

La vanidad y la promiscuidad te arruinarán. Lo más probable es que esté familiarizado con el nombre de Versace, aunque sea sólo como “esa palabra impresa en cosas que no puedo pagar”.

Igual de icónico es el logotipo, basado en Medusa:

Y por Medusa, nos referimos a una mujer tan horrible que mirándola convirtió a los hombres en piedra.

Para el crédito de Versace, la leyenda dice que Medusa era originalmente increíblemente hermosa, tanto que sedujo al dios del mar Poseidón. El único problema es que hicieron lo desagradable dentro del templo de Atenea, otro dios que no estaba muy contento. Así que Athena castigó a Medusa con los colmillos y las serpientes de pelo y todo eso.

El punto es, esta casa de moda internacional de alto precio basado su logotipo en un cuento cauteloso sobre los peligros de la lujuria y ser demasiado atractivo.

La historia de Medusa termina con ella finalmente ser decapitada. Su cabeza era utilizada como un arma, ya que incluso cuando fue cortada de su cuerpo todavía era fea y peligrosa.

Además, la sangre que se derramó de la cabeza se convirtió en serpientes venenosas que infestaban el mundo. Ahora ve a comprar ropa sexy, ¡maldita sea!

Preservativos troyanos

El símbolo se utiliza para:

Preservativos, presumiblemente para proyectar fuerza y ​​masculinidad.

Pero el Símbolo Realmente Significa:

Un contenedor que se abrió y liberó un enjambre asesino de guerreros.

Podrían ser el ejemplo más famoso, pero la compañía más grande del condón en los E. es apenas el único caso de alguien que utiliza “Trojan” como su mascota. La Universidad del Sur de California lo utiliza como la mascota para sus equipos deportivos, y Googling alrededor revelará un montón de empresas que lo adoptan por su nombre y logotipo. ¿Y por qué no? Los troyanos eran guerreros malvados. Troy es, después de todo, la ciudad que resistió un asalto de la totalidad de Grecia durante 10 años consecutivos. Fuerte, resistente, todo lo que pueda desear en un equipo de fútbol y algo que abraza a su boner durante el sexo.



Pero pregunte a cualquiera lo que piensan cuando escuchan la palabra “troyano”, y le van a contar sobre el caballo de Troya. La parte más famosa de la historia de guerra de Troya. Sabes, al final, cuando Troy perdió. Conoces la historia, ¿no? Los invasores construyeron un enorme caballo de madera, sus soldados se escondieron dentro de él y los troyanos la trasladaron estúpidamente dentro de sus paredes? Entonces los soldados se escabulleron y asesinaron a todos? Después de todo, así es como conseguimos otro uso popular de la palabra “troyano”, el tipo de virus informático. No se llama eso por su capacidad de atrapar el semen. En su lugar, es una descarga de aspecto benigno que se abre y libera siete millones de gifs animados de pollas en su disco duro.

Así que lo que estamos diciendo es que “Trojan” probablemente no era la mejor elección de palabras para algo que está tratando de convencer a una mujer para poner en su cuerpo. A menos que el objetivo fuera convencerla … Ah no importa.

El Volkswagen Phaeton

El símbolo se utiliza para:

Una línea de sedanes de lujo. Pero el Símbolo Realmente Significa:

Un adolescente imprudente que casi destruyó el mundo con su conducción de mierda.

Las compañías de motor tienden a nombrar sus coches basándose en lo que se desprende bien de la lengua. O bien es una palabra sin sentido, simple (Ford Escort, Honda Civic) o es una que invoca pensamientos de velocidad y peligro, como “víbora” o “mustang.” Así que Volkswagen probablemente pensó que “Phaeton” era una palabra genial. Después de todo, suena como un arma de Star Trek o algo así.

Presumiblemente no sabían que la historia de Faetón de la mitología griega es la historia de un joven testarudo que, cuando llegó a la mayoría de edad, pidió prestado el carro de su padre. Cuando su padre dijo: “Claro, lo que sea”, Phaeton salió, se divirtió y casi se estrelló antes de que Zeus lo matara con un rayo. Todos tenemos una historia similar de nuestra juventud.


Phaeton era el hijo de Apolo, el dios que llevaba el sol a través del cielo, por lo que su “carro” que estaba pidiendo prestado también fue remolcando el sol alrededor. Así que tal vez fue la idea, que este coche es tan badass que te sientes como si estuvieras conduciendo un carro tirando el sol masivo y ardiente detrás de ti?

Pero eso sólo hace que la historia sea peor, ya que estrellar su carro significó estrellar el sol en la Tierra. Así que Volkswagen nombró a su sedán de lujo después de un incidente de conducir borracho casi apocalíptico. Uno que sólo se evitó porque alguien asesinó al conductor antes de que pudiera hacer más daño.

HTC Droid Eris

El símbolo se utiliza para:

Una línea de teléfonos inteligentes.

Pero el Símbolo Realmente Significa:

La diosa de la frustración. Los celulares parecen ser nombrados por las mismas personas que llaman coches.

Ellos obtienen palabras totalmente compuestas (Razr) o vagamente sci-fi sonando (Galaxy) o, en este caso, los nombres que suenan como personajes de videojuegos (Eris).

El Droid Eris fue el primer smartphone que llevaba Verizon Wireless y, al igual que muchos smartphones modernos, se jactaba de un montón de sonidos como “sense” y “multi-touch”, ninguno de los cuales importa más que el importante ” tener algún maldito servicio “característica que, por desgracia, no tenía.

Y es por eso que el nombre es tan involuntariamente apropiado – Eris era en realidad la diosa griega de la discordia, la frustración, la rivalidad y la contienda. Ella es conocida por follar las bodas y comenzar la guerra de Troya lanzando una manzana con las palabras “A la más justa” sobre una mesa llena de dioses griegos y diciendo “Ustedes probablemente pueden arreglar eso”.

Así que ella es básicamente el símbolo griego de los inconvenientes masivos, lo que tiene sentido cuando estás fumbling con sus dedos demasiado grasa sobre una pantalla táctil smudgy que grietas si tanto como proyectar una sombra en él. Aunque originalmente el teléfono fue llamado HTC Hero, Verizon cambió el nombre cuando accedieron a darle soporte. Parece como si alguien estuviera tratando de advertirnos.

 El símbolo de la medicina, el caduceo

El símbolo se utiliza para:

Instituciones médicas de todo el mundo.

Pero el Símbolo Realmente Significa:

Engaño y ganancia.

Es probable que por lo menos conscientes del símbolo universal de los médicos y la medicina, pero cuando lo vio en la parte trasera de una ambulancia, es probable que no sabía lo que el infierno dos serpientes y un par de alas tenía que ver con cualquiera :

La respuesta no es mucho. Sin embargo, el símbolo, que se llama un caduceo, tiene fuertes connotaciones que implican el engaño, el engaño y la codicia corporativa. En realidad es el personal de Mercurio, dios romano de mentirosos y ladrones. Para ser justos, parecería ser más apropiadamente el símbolo de las compañías de seguro médicos más bien que de doctores.

El uso del caduceo como un símbolo de la medicina entró en boga en la década de 1850, muy probablemente debido a un malentendido hilarante – otra imagen, la vara de Asclepius, es en realidad el antiguo símbolo para el dios de la medicina y la curación, pero sólo tiene una serpiente y sin alas. Así que, sí, se alegra de que todavía no están viviendo en una época en la que el tratamiento médico involucrado obtener golpeado con una vara de serpiente.

Cuando estaban buscando un logotipo apropiado para los médicos y médicos, que simplemente tiene los dos símbolos confundidos. Resulta que palos con serpientes envueltos alrededor de ellos son más comunes en la mitología de lo que nadie se dio cuenta.

Cerberus Capital Management

El símbolo se utiliza para:

Una de las mayores firmas de capital privado de Estados Unidos.

Pero el Símbolo Realmente Significa:

Un perro vicioso que te esquiva y te devora vivo.

Una empresa de gestión de capital trabaja encontrando empresas que deberían estar haciendo muy bien pero no lo son y luego inyectándoles dinero en efectivo para que realmente puedan disparar por las estrellas. En el mejor de los casos, son como la gigantesca versión corporativa del Sr. Miyagi, enseñándole algunas técnicas de “cera de automóviles” y “movimientos de pelea” (estabilidad financiera e inteligencia de inversión, respectivamente) bully local “(clima económico tumultuoso). En el peor de los casos, son como un gigantesco perro de tres cabezas que te atrapa a un lado de un río y amenaza con comerte vivo si alguna vez intentas escapar.

Cerberus Capital eligió su nombre porque el fundador quería invocar la imagen de custodiar los fondos de sus clientes. Pero el perro mitológico es definitivamente mejor conocido por comer a la gente viva y atraparlos en un lugar que no quieren ser (Hades) – exactamente lo contrario de lo que una empresa floreciente quiere que su nuevo socio a hacer, a menos que de alguna manera su modelo de negocio .

Hicimos una broma acerca de Cerberus ser una malvado cabal de sombra, pero el fundador Steve Feinberg ya nos golpeó al golpe con este comentario:

“Tratamos de ocultar … Si alguien en Cerberus tiene su foto en el papel y una foto de su apartamento, haremos más que disparar a esa persona. Lo mataremos. La sentencia en la cárcel valdrá la pena.

Sí. Vamos a dejar eso por ahí solo.




Just Imagine what would happen if we all were trapped in a Computer Game,and were just designed to perform specific tasks,our body and actions were controlled by someone else,probably by one who is more intelligent than us,then what would be the scenerio?Is it Possible?

Hold Your Breath…..

Firstly,Let’s understand…..


According to this Hypothesis…

“Reality is not real,its just an illusion,or just a Simulation,most probably a computer simulation”

This Hypothesis gives rise to an unbelievable theory,which is quite hard to believe but somewhere,somewhat it can be true.This Hypothesis suggests that we all are living in a programmed universe,in which each and every single thing,is programmed.

It is believed that,we all are living in a computer simulated world,designed by our future Generation.Our actions are under Guidance.They would probably,have the ability to run many such simulations.

According to Moderator,Neil deGrasse Tyson,a direction of the museum’s Hayden Planetarium,He will put the odds at 50-50,that our entire existence is a program on someone else’s Hard Drive.“I Think the Likelihood may be very High”.
He explained the gap between Humans and our ancestors chimpanzee intelligence,despite the fact that we share almost 98% of our DNA.
Somewhere,Somewhat, there would be someone,who is more powerful and more intelligent than our own.

“If that’s the case,it is easy for me to imagine,that everything in our lives is just the creation of some other entity for their entertainment”he added.

There are many other theories also,that may force us to think,that we are programmed and living in a computer simulated Universe.

For example,the more we explore about the happening of our galaxy,planets,more they seems to obey mathematical law.

As per Max Tegmark,a cosmologist at MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY,if he was a character in a computer game,he would also discover that the rules seemed completely rigid and mathematical.That just reflects the computer code in which it was written.”If it turns out tha we really are living in a version of “THE MATRIX”,though,so what?”
May be we are living in a simulation,may be we are not,but if we are its not so bad.

“My advice is to go out and do really interesting things,so,the simulators wont shut you down”he added.


After going through all these theories and believes,We can not deny the SIMULATION HYPOTHESIS in one go.
However,it may be hard to believe,but,Yes,there is 50% probability that we all are living in a COMPUTER SIMULATED UNIVERSE.

Was the Heretic Pharaoh Akhenaton in Fact the Father of Modern Monotheism?


                                               How plentiful it is, what you have made,

Although they are hidden from view,

Sole god, without another beside you;

You created the earth as you wished,

When you were by yourself,

Mankind, all cattle and kine,

All beings on land, who fare upon their feet,

And all beings in the air who fly with their wings.

This passage may read like a passage from the Old Testament of the Bible; but, this is a quote from the Hymn of Aten, a work by Pharaoh Amenhotep IV better known as Akhenaton. This so-called heretic king was the only known Pharaoh in Egyptian history who believed in a monotheistic doctrine when most of the ancient world adhered to polytheism.

Just how did this Pharaoh start to form the practice of worshiping a single god?

Religion in Egypt Before the Sun God Aten

Religion seemed to dominate every aspect of ancient Egyptian culture.  Before pharaonic times, there were a variety of deities worshiped in various districts throughout Egypt.  It wasn’t until the First Dynastic Period under King Narmer that the country was unified.  Religion too was unified, but there wasn’t an official canonization of gods that minimized or eliminated the importance of lesser gods.   Instead, deities were cosmopolitan – all of the gods of Egypt were recognized as an important part of the pantheon.  This created some confusion and some overlap in beliefs but still no hegemony of deities seemed to exist in ancient Egypt.



Representations of six gods from the Ancient Egyptian Pantheon (Public Domain)

This codification of religion brought a substantial change in kingship.  The birth of the concept of a Pharaoh emerged in which the king was no longer just a civil ruler but a part of the divinity – the godhead to be precise.  The new god-king ruled in conjunction with Ra, or Amen-Ra, and he was often depicted as a powerful man with a falcon head nested upon his head with cobra surrounding the sun.


Imentet and Ra from the tomb of Nefertari, 13th century BC (Public Domain)

With this uncontested rule of the god-king came another important change.  The role of the priests became much stronger and more dominant.  Unlike today’s priests, they weren’t charged with guiding the masses.  Instead, they were the keepers of tradition and played an integral part in appeasing the gods and goddesses through rituals and sacrifice.   During the 18th dynasty, there was a temple created in Amen-Ra’s honor and Thebes became the city representing a unified Egypt, after a brief takeover by the Hyksos.  The Pharaohs of this era paid homage to this god by incorporating the name Amen in their names, hence Amenhotep.

The Sun-Disk Pharaoh Emerges

By the time Amenhotep IV took the throne, pharaonic Egypt was in full swing.  Rituals and traditions of the priests had been set in stone for many generations.  Pharaohs simply assumed authority and let the priests do all the work while they enjoyed the finer things.  This didn’t sit well with Amenhotep IV, however.  Unlike his predecessors or even his successors, he was unhappy with tradition and was especially disgusted with the power of the priesthood.  Whether Amenhotep IV unhappiness was due to him being fed up with Egyptian decadence or him being tired of the priests control over the Pharaohs is uncertain.  But one thing for sure is that after five years of his reign he set out to turn Egyptian religious practices upside down and because of his divine authority, no one could stop



Statue of Akhenaten – Father of Tutankhamun (CC BY-SA 2.0)

One of the first things he did was abandon the name Amen-, a name associated with a god he now despised – and changed his name to Akhenaten.  Aten was the name of the sun disk god he now embraced as the only god.  He then moved the capital from Thebes to Amarna.  Most likely this move represented a break from the old and freedom from the authority of the priesthood.  He then employed agents who outlawed the worship of other deities and forced the people to recognize only one god.  To ensure that the people would follow his orders, he closed the Temple of Amun and defaced all of the deities in the temple.


Statue of Amun (Public Domain)

Life After Aten

Akhenaten’s religious fervor was undoubtedly strong during his lifetime and his cronies supported his desire to spread the power and influence of the Aten religion.  Unfortunately, upon his death, the religion of Aten faded as swiftly as it had come.  Akhenaten’s reign became a historical mockery.  Even depictions of him seemed to mock his figure – oval eyes, high cheekbones, pot belly, frail build.  Artisans and historians alike worked to minimize Akhenaten’s significance, not by writing him out of history or art; but making him look like a madman with unusual laws and an unusual appearance.  The power of Egypt was restored to Thebes, the priesthood was reestablished, and even Akhenaten’s son defied his father’s teachings and reembraced the religion of Amun.


The exaggerated features of Akhenaton (CC BY-NC-NA 2.0)

Could Akhenaton be Moses?

Akhenaten certainly seemed like a religious zealot devoted to a single god.  Perhaps his passions were divinely inspired or maybe they centered on a more worldly aim of absolute power and control free of the priesthood’s influence.  One man seems to imply that Akhenaten’s motives stemmed from the fact that he was Moses himself – the man depicted in the old testament of the Bible.  Ahmed Osman – author of Moses and Akhenaton: The Secret History of Egypt at the Time of the Exodus – is convinced that archaeological and Biblical evidence prove that Akhenaten and Moses were the same man.




Ahmed Osman – author of Moses and Akhenaton: The Secret History of Egypt at the Time of the Exodus

Interview with Expert Ahmed Osman on the Moses–Akhenaton Debate

Mel Childs: Why do you think that Akhenaton was Moses?

Ahmed Osman: The reason for me to conclude that King Akhenaten of the Egyptian 18th Dynasty

was the same person as Biblical Moses, as well as both of them have introduced the

first monotheistic belief, they lived in Egypt at the very same time.

MC:  It is implied that Moses of the Bible had a conflict with Pharaoh Ramses; however, history doesn’t account for Akhenaton having any issues with any other Pharaohs.  How do you explain this?

AO: The Pharaoh at the time of Moses is not mentioned by name in the Bible.

However, the name Ramses is mentioned as the city the Israelites had to build

for Pharaoh.

I believe that Akhenaten was forced to abdicate his throne for his son, Tutankhamun,

and live in Sinai in exile. When all the kings of the 18th Dynasty died, General Ramses,

who established the 19th Dynasty, was challenged by Akhenaten, who came back from exile,

demanding his throne.

When he lost his throne, Akhenaten also lost his name and became known as Moses.

This indicates in Egyptian the son or heir.

MC:  Do you think that Akhenaton’s monotheism influenced later forms of monotheism that emerged?

AO:  Akhenaten’s monotheism, not only influenced other religious beliefs, but also philosophy.

As ancient Egyptians believed that humans have physical and spiritual dimensions,

Akhenaten was the first person to recognize the cosmos also has a spiritual dimension.

Is Akhenaten the father of monotheism as it is known today?  Share your opinions below.

Top image: A house altar showing Akhenaten, Nefertiti and three of their daughters. 18th dynasty, reign of Akhenaten (Public Domain)

By Melisha Childs


Nardo, D. Life in Ancient Egypt. San Diego:  Referencepoint Press, 2014.

Aldred, C. Akhenaten:  King of Egypt. NY: Thames & Hudson. 1988

Dersin, D. What Life was Like on the Banks of the Nile: Egypt 3050 – 30 BC. Fairfax: Time-Life Books. 1997.

Religious Literature. Hymn to Aten.

Is There a Natural Explanation For The Unnatural Ages in Genesis?


By Nils Ekblad

Is there any significance to the puzzling ages of the antediluvian patriarchs in the fifth chapter of Genesis? And why do these numbers differ between the Masoretic text and the Septuagint?


These questions occupied the Swedish 19th century novelist, journalist, scholar and later member of parliament, Viktor Rydberg during the late 1860s.

In 1869, he had come up with answers to these questions that were published in Swedish. The ideas of Rydberg caught the interest of Samuel Birch of the British Museum and a paper was published in English a few years later in Transactions of the Society of Biblical Archaeology (1877:vol.V) under the title “ Key to the genealogical table of the first patriarchs in Genesis ”.

Since then, the paper has been left largely unnoticed.


Lifespans of the Biblical Patriarchs. ( CC BY SA )

Rydberg’s Thesis

The paper suggests that an astronomical table is hiding behind the numbers of the patriarchs. That table includes figures central to the astronomy of the time and specifically crucial to the archaic Hebrew lunisolar calendar.

However plausible the solution was, it remained quite speculative with little source material to support it. Later archaeological findings however, like the Sumerian King List and the Dead Sea Scrolls, seems to offer some support to Rydberg’s thesis.



Cuneiform writing on a clay brick, written in the Sumerian language (during the time of the Akkadian empire), listing all kings from the creation of kingship until 1800 BC when the list was created. Displayed at Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.  (CC BY SA 4.0 ) This is one piece of evidence which seems to offer support for Rydberg’s thesis.

Let´s take a closer look at it. Comparing the lineages in Genesis 4 and 5, Rydberg assumed they shared a common source document, which he set out to reconstruct. He believed Seth, rather than Elohim, had been the divinity in the original document. Since the names Adam and Enosh has the same meaning, he figured one of them was added later. Seth and Enosh were therefore not included in the reconstruction. He ended up with a list of eight antediluvian patriarchs.



Seth. Patriarchs line in iconostasis. Zhdan Dementiev, Vologda. Cathedral of the Assumption, St. Cyril-Belozersky Monastery. Museum of Cyril Belozersky Monastery. ( CC BY SA 3.0 )

In Genesis 5 three numbers are connected to each patriarch. Their age at the birth of their first son, the remaining years of their life, and their age at death. The age of Enoch being 365 has been taken as a hint towards an astronomical interpretation. Arranging these numbers in columns and adding them together confirmed the astronomical hint. The first column gave the number 1461, otherwise known as the Sothis-cycle – the number of years between two heliacal risings of the star Sirius on the same date of the solar year. This would imply that the deluge happened exactly a Sothis-period after the creation of man.


‘The Deluge’ (1834) by John Martin. ( Public Domain )

The second column yielded the number 4947. That number happens to be the number of lunar years equivalent to 4800 solar years. In 600 years, this cycle diverges with less than a day, if an intercalary day is observed every 50th year. This fits perfectly with the so-called jubilees described in Leviticus (25:8–13).

These two exact numbers occurring when the ages of the patriarchs are added together can hardly be explained away as mere coincidences.

Supporting Evidence

Furthermore, the unearthing of the Sumerian King List provides a possible explanation to why the Masoretic text has ten patriarchs rather than eight.

Also, it is well known since the finding of the Dead Sea scrolls in the 1940s that the calendar was a burning issue for the movement that took refuge in Qumran by the Dead Sea. By the time the Qumran Community was established, the temple in Jerusalem had adopted several Greek customs, among them the more convenient metonic 19-year cycle for making calendars.


Two scrolls from the Dead Sea Scrolls lie at their location in the Qumran Caves before being removed for scholarly examination by archaeologists. ( Public Domain )

Moreover, comparing the Masoretic text with that of the Septuagint, Rydberg noticed some important differences. Although the full ages of the patriarchs are the same (except for Lamech), their ages at the birth of their first sons (and hence the remainder of their lives) differ considerably. By the time of the first Greek translation of the Torah, the astronomical significance may very well have become out of date in favor of the Greek lunisolar calendar. However, the lineage did serve a purpose as a pseudo-historical document tying together later events with the creation of the world.

Rydberg argued that the Masoretic text was based on Babylonian documents for exactly this purpose.

The Septuagint, on the other hand, was corrected to harmonize with the historical documents of the Egyptians, most probably Manetho’s Aegyptiaca. When comparing lineages of the patriarchs after the flood in the Septuagint, they seem to match the king lists of the Egyptians up to the time of the 30th dynasty.

The time of the first eleven dynasties of Egypt adds up to a period of 2262 years, and so do the Septuagint numbers of the patriarchs before the flood




Genesis 5:24: “And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” (KJV) illustration from the 1728 ‘Figures de la Bible’; illustrated by Gerard Hoet (1648–1733) and others, and published by P. de Hondt in The Hague; image courtesy Bizzell Bible Collection, University of Oklahoma Libraries. ( Public Domain ) Enoch was the seventh of the ten pre-Deluge Patriarchs.

Likewise, the time from the flood to the Exodus amounts to 1777 years in the Septuagint, which matches the time from the twelfth dynasty up until Pharaoh Tutmosis. And finally, the time from the Exodus to the end of the 30th dynasty is 1117 years in both the Septuagint and the extant fragments of Aegyptiaca.

In sum, Rydberg’s paper suggests that the numbers in Genesis 5 were originally an astronomical table, but when Greek calendars made the jubilee calendars obsolete these numbers were used to reconcile the histories of the Hebrews with the Babylonians in the Masoretic text, and with the Egyptians in the Septuagint.

Top Image: ‘Abraham and the Angels’ by Aert de Gelder ( Wikipedia). Abraham was said to have lived to the age of 175.