Good-bye to Chris Marxdeutsch english español français
Berlin · June 2016 Uwe Topper and colleagues
Christoph Marx on February 26th, 2007 in Berlin (Foto U.Topper)
Christoph Marx died on May 18th, 2016, peacefully in his home in Basel at the age of 84 years, as Jochen Seelig notified via e-mail all near and distant friends. How can I write an obituary for a dear friend and teacher to whom I owe so much and with whom I disagreed very often? Maybe it helps if more friends and colleagues take part in this task. So this obituary to Christoph Marx is rather a wreath, bound from various branches and flowers round his person. The deceased was so versatile and so guiding that despite all the criticism and doubts about his manner of pronouncing the outcome of his research there remains sufficient substance to lift him into the ranks of the Olymp of historiography. First Uwe Topper offers his appreciation of the Incomparable, than the administrator of this site, Ilya Topper, then close associates like K. Walter Haug follow suite, and then some colleagues who agree at least to the fact that nobody who seriously studies chronology criticism and catastrophism can deny the importance of Chris Marx. At the end some phrases taken from the estimation of Eugen Gabowitsch are added.
Thus, we jump into the centre of the mindmoving story: Marx, in 1979, showed to the astonished German public the new theories of Immanuel Velikovsky and made them understandable. Although in 1951, the year after the first appearance of Velikovsky's work „Worlds in Collision“ in the US, a German translation was published, and a fierce debate in academic circles broke out, it had the same result as in the USA: Velikovsky was flatly refused, and the following almost three decades no other chance arose. Until 1978 when Christoph Marx travelled to the United States, met the heretic and acquired the rights for the German translation. And just in time: A year later Velikovsky died. However, he had a whole phalanx of disciples who had gathered around him and published not only his manuscripts, but also kept his teachings alive and compared them with recent research. The literature on this topic has grown enormously. Something similar happened now in German speaking lands. People began to reconsider Velikovsky’s theories and to enter into their discussion. That was the merit of Marx.
The numerous friends who helped him - Gunnar Heinsohn, Christian Blöss, Heribert Illig and many others - I will mention here only summarily; the history of chronological analysis will one day be written. The movement had grown and had soon cut loose from Velikovsky‘s rigorous dogma. The champion Marx remained alone because he retained the basic findings of Velikovsky and professed them with violence which many colleagues did not like. The "ILJE" became a bone of contention.
Oh, these unpronounceable abbreviations! Marx was belonging to a long-established Swiss family, and with his charm and his knowledge he opened many a door, but his way of writing was often enough rather cryptic. So what does "ILJE" mean? I shall explain the abbreviation because this brings us to the center of his whole working hypothesis: ILJE simply means "Inherent Logic of the Joshua-Event". Marx brought it to the point in a few sentences, which one should read on his own website (www.paf.li). I will briefly outline it in my own words:
The Joshua event is narrated in some verses in the Old Testament, where it is alleged that about three thousand years ago sun and moon stood still for half a day on the orders of the military commander Joshua, and that simultaneously stones fell from heaven. This piece of text must contain the memory of a true event, a celestial catastrophe, says Marx, because two phenomena - the stoppage of the celestial bodies and the hail of stones - were reported together, whereas the story-teller could not have possibly known that they are unconditionally related to each other. Therein lies the irrefutable conclusion that the report is true, the inherent logic, short "ILJE".
This creed contains the entire philosophy of Marx, and he has never refrained from it even to the end, although I was able to prove with references that these verses have a literary history and only entered the Old Testament around 1500 AD.
With Fomenko et al. Marx did not agree although he respected their undeniable statistically significant findings. He was concerned with the use of those data, and he clearly contradicted them, especially because Fomenko‘s results were missing the knowledge of cosmic disasters without which there can be no solution to the problem of chronology. Marx put forward his refutation in impeccable English when he criticised the dependence of the Joshua text from the Song of Roland, because Fomenko disregarded "The Internal Logic of the Joshua Event" in his line of reasoning.
With an equally unwieldy acronym the movement began to gain space: GRMNG = Society for the Reconstruction of Human & Natural History. This was the name of an association Marx launched in Münster 1982 (ending in 1988) who strove for education and re-creation of history. Soon Marx led the association alone, the founding members although inspired by Christoph‘s ideas did not manage to work with him.
For Christoph the only thing that mattered was the idea, regardless of any person. I quote from one of his letters to me dated June 6th , 2012:
"So it is not visionaries but visions; not inventors, but finds; not practitioners, but practice; not scientists but knowledge; not academics, but learning; not theorists, but models; & ultimately not man and nature, but life (software) and equipment (hardware)."
In the same letter he brings another credo that he presented with all stringency:
"We know the absolute dates of the Earth in relation to its environment for only a few hundred years, regarding
1st : its position (orbit) in the planetary system
2nd : its speed (on the orbit) considering the rotation
3rd : its rotational speed (in days / year) measured on the orbit
4th : the inclination of its axis in relation to the orbit.
For all these, we have no absolute values, which would reach beyond the (so far) Last Great Jerk. This term, last big jerk (or jolt), he abbreviated to LGR (last great Ruck) after Egon Friedell who wrote about this event that "not only the earth, but also the neighboring planets and indeed the entire solar system was affected around that year 1348.“ The words "so far" he added later (in parentheses): „(so far) last big jerk“, when a dispute had broken out wether the idea was admissible that a future disaster was possible. Illig and Heinsohn decided against while Marx and Topper opted in favour of such a possibility.
The LGR was for him the limit of possible knowledge of our history: The disaster in the Trecento (Italian for 14th century Christian reckoning) was the threshold of modern time, about 650 years ago, and so devastating, that regards on previous events could only be fragmentary, in any case it could not be evaluated for our understanding of history. Astronomical statements for the period prior to the LGR are impossible, there are no reliable records. In this point I do not agree with him but using Arabic and Greek documents as clue to earlier disasters and their proportions, which Marx always criticized and dismissed. As for the dating of the disaster, Marx had long since moved away from Velikovsky, who situated those events in the solar system in far away pre-Christian era. As for his ideas about the mechanisms of cosmic accidents – to wit, close encounters with planets or comets – he held and increased the collection of documents that attested to the recent accident, such as his review of Gregory of Tour's „History of the Francs“.
Of his many projects I shall pass the last – concerned with tombstones – and mention the big stroke of his last decade of life: GFMI, or the balance. The acronym stands for „gravitational field measurement instrument“ which since July 2004 records the fluctuations of the gravitational weight of mercury (Hg), copper (Cu), tin (Sn), and lead (Pb). By electronic notations of these highly fine-tuned scales Marx showed that the weights of the four substances (as examples, this concerns all metals) are subject to fluctuations that are cosmically related, such as resonances of the planets in their different positions relative to the Earth. Although my knowledge of physics is certainly not sufficient to understand the relations, I was excited from the beginning and built myself a scale according to Christoph's model. I used plastic film containers which proved so easy to handle that Christoph adapted this improvement for his scales. Yet my equipment was too primitive, the deflection of the pointer too sensitive to surrounding movements. We quickly discovered that vibrations in the house caused too much influence on the display, therefore we agreed that I should build my balance in my holiday home which is based on granite. My recording was still useless, the results far too dependent on technical shortcomings. Christoph improved his balances more and more, he installed vibration-free sealed boxes and soon achieved results that could actually detect the suspected relationship with planets or earthquakes. He published these measurements over many years on the Internet, everyone could follow them. I finished my tests after one year because I could not offer the necessary technical improvements. A Russian Institute in Petersburg paid tribute to his discovery and its importance for the space industry.
His aim was not to prove the statements of the alchemists who had claimed the close relationship between planets and metals (gold with the sun, Hg with Mercury, Cu with Venus, Sn with Jupiter, iron with Mars, etc.), but to demonstrate the theory of the Electrical Vortex Universe of Julius Zoller (1962), briefly called EVU. For Marx, this "basic knowledge" can explain the planetary disasters that have hit Earth, and with this the cause of the irrational behavior (world wars, genocide ...) of humanity. The re-acquaintance would lead to healing mankind in the sense of Velikovsky who for long time practiced as a disciple of Freud the profession of psychoanalyst.
Healing mankind is how Christoph Marx saw his task in life. He said: „Conventional historiography is completely incomprehensible, and when cataclysmic evolution as reason for the excitation background is not considered as causing element, so the trauma of the collective is not provided with true knowledge of the invented history.“ By this he has set solid standards to a new understanding of world history.
Uwe Topper June 2016
Follows a short evaluation by the administrator of this website, Ilya Topper:
"If one could follow his remarks – in fact, one cannot – then one would find out that Christoph Marx is still ahead of everybody else." This sentence I wrote a few years ago as a commentary on Marx‘s website paf.li. Of course this was not correct because there were readers who were able to follow his remarks. While it might be tedious, yet it opened unimagined vistas. Marx had to unite a broad overview of the history of mankind and the critical literature of the century and was able in a single sentence to combine astronomical cataclisms, old religious rites, archaeological findings and modern psychology. It was more than a glance: he had insight.
Reading remained painfully, however. Although I was never permitted to see him personally, I assume that most likely he must have made a very influential impression on his interlocutors. Marx followed in some sense the custom of the philosophers who design their own language and then tell the world the truth with the help of this medium. Of course, he was practical enough, each item was mentioned on an explanatory list: abbreviations like XK for today's normalized Christian era, PRW-Kombinat, pejoratively for philosophy, religion, science, etc.). Nevertheless, one had the feeling that he was hardly keen on persuasion but rather wrote for the seasoned reader, opening doors.
One must not forget that it was Marx who initiated the revolution of valid chronology in the 1980s and proposed a new critical view of history. That he originally started from Immanuel Velikovsky rather made me doubt because of the approach of the American psychoanalyst to overturn the scientific chronology framework and to replace it with one that was founded on the motto "The Bible is History" which actually scared me off. It is Marx's merit, following Velikovsky‘s skepticism concerning conventional data as well as the inclusion of astronomical disasters, not to partake in his naive belief in the Bible. Here was one trying for the first time to question everything, to exercise skepticism from scratch.
Of course you can also refer to Marx's writings – he has never published books on the subject at all – which criticize but sometimes fail to check the authenticity of those sources that are adduced as evidence (today I would no longer cite the so called Piri- Rais map as evidence). But this gradually progressive examining and revising one‘s own beliefs is a general process the whole chronology criticism is subjected to.
Let me also mention Marx's insistence on the drastic change in the obliquity of the Earth as a possible astronomical phenomenon that, as in vogue with many predecessors, should explain geological and climatic events. We have reason not to consider this relevant to explain the precession-jolts or lacuna in the calendar.
Finally it was Marx's highly polemical phraseology and his swipes against everything that calls itself science, that did little help to make known his ideas to a wider public, especially in an environment that is accused by opponents of being unscientific. Marx was not interested to meticulously document how scientifically as well as critically elaborated and founded his findings were – they were better founded than much of what has been written on the subject – but it would be wrong to think that he would have rejected the scientific approach as such: he declined only the word that he regarded as monopolized by a not really scientific but politically and religiously motivated clique.
The contribution of Marx for research on physical and electromagnetic forces I cannot appreciate for lack of knowledge. I hope that it may turn out to motivate similar critical visions and attract more searchers in the future.
Ilya Topper June 2016
Jan Beaufort: obituary for Christoph Marx
Relatively late I met Christoph Marx, because I was not aware of the chronology criticism until shortly before the turn of the millennium. Startled by Illig's books I was looking for ways to discuss chronological questions, & thus I found the newsgroups in Usenet. There I met Christoph, who with simple, clear theses fought against a dull, smirking mob of (especially) students & some of their professors. Never I felt my beloved academic science so contrary to logical behaviour as after reading the reviews of them. They did not accept seriously any new idea and did not examine impartially any original thesis but echoed and ruminated well known thoughts as if it was the absolute truth. The reinterpretation of the abbreviation of PAF, originally "Podium (for) Academic Freedom" changed into "Post-Academic Forum", was all too obvious under the circumstances. Even if I did not follow Chris in every point: His attitude was right for me and I chose his side.
Christoph answered my posts & decided sometime in the early years of the new millennium to visit me in Würzburg. At the age of nearly seventy years, he was still travelling tireless in his car, equipped with the then state of the art: a Navigator. Rarely have I spent so fruitful hours of intensive talk as on that day with Christoph Marx. At length we went to the history of GRMNG largely unknown to me. I uttered many questions, all of which he patiently answered. Thoroughly we discussed his own ideas of the ILJE, of the destructive madness of PRW, of LGR & beyond.
One of his considerations was that even a minor force could move the Earth's axis from its socket, because it has no fixed suspension. Chris introduced me then to tilts of the earth's axis, by explaining the Tippe-Topp effect. I shall mention this here briefly, because it is so characteristic for Marx‘ way of thinking: Velikovsky had interpreted old myths by which the sun once went down in the East & rose in the West, with a tilt of Earth's axis. However, if the Earth's axis tilts 180 degrees, the earth rotates no longer in counterclockwise direction, but in clockwise direction; the sun remains still in the East and sets in the west (the reader may check this surprising circumstance on a rotating object). Chris now told me the solution: The Earth tilts like a Tippe-Topp gyroscope which continues to rotate after the tilt in the same direction!
I think we talked at that time already about his GFMI, which we then discussed definitely some time with the physicists in Usenet. The idea that a simple wooden scale could bring more exciting findings than the currently "largest particle accelerator in the world" under construction in Geneva, was completely beyond the horizon of comprehension for our interlocutors.
Chris considered Heribert Illig & Gunnar Heinsohn as his students (a point they may probably think different about...). Their departure from the GRMNG hurt him. Nothing pleased him in his last years more than Heinsohn‘s new view, inherited from Chris‘ thesis for the first millennium, melting antiquity, late antiquity and the early Middle Ages with the West Roman Empire in a destructive mega-disaster in the 930 years (read the site www.q-mag.org). The fact that this thesis competes with his own idea of the LGR did not bother him. He was concerned with the matter, regardless of people & personal feelings, and thus ultimately also independent of the person Christoph Marx himself.
Here is a list of Marx‘ abbreviations used in this contribution:
PAF = Post-Academic Forum (formerly Podium Academic Freedom)
GRMNG = Society for the Reconstruction of Human and Natural History
ILJE = immanent logic of Joshua event
PRW (-Kombinat) = entirety of the collective thinking systems of philosophies, religions & [exo- & esoteric] sciences with the
CREED = "What is SEEN, is NOT perceived & what is BELIEVED is not observed"
LGR = Last Great Jerk
GFMI = Gravitational Field Measuring Instrument
Dr. Jan Beaufort, University of Würzburg, June 19th, 2016
Christoph Marx standing at the side of Eugen Gabowitsch in 2004
Finally we shall read some sentences of Eugen Gabowitsch who always underlined the enormous importance of Christoph Marx (CM) to the new movement of chronology criticism. This Florilegium uses a text by Eugen Gabowitsch from about 2005, selected and translated by Uwe Topper.
One of his main impulses CM gave to historical analysis was connected with the observation he made during his studies of Egyptian and Mesopotamian history and archaeology in the 1970s: The allocation of the stratigraphic layers as identified by historians with cultures of the past does not always correspond to the strict logic of the artifacts found in these layers, nor does it allow for the catastrophist scheme.
The texts of CM show that he is convinced that credible written sources of European history refer to the last 1000 years, and that planetary catastrophes have played a huge role in it, as well as throughout the history of mankind.
CM localized the last major catatclysm humanity has undergone in the middle of the fourteenth century; it reversed the whole civilisation of Europe. The monuments destroyed in this disaster series, rebuilt later only partially, bear witness to the extensive but not datable continental history before this disaster. CM has collected and published many testimonies of those events which ended 650 years ago: the so far last exoterrestrial series of cataclysms.
One of the main theses of CM is that the collective memories of the terrible disasters that have almost destroyed humanity from time to time, were repressed and exterminated. Where other critics term the conservative and criminal behavior of human collectives (persecution of dissidents, the fight against innovations, physical extermination of heretics, etc.) as due to such factors as the stupidity of man, his inability to generalize, the lack of a collective consciousness unable to see reality for fear of traumatic memories, etc., CM posits the collective repression as the general mechanism that determines and initiates the irrational behavior of collectives (wars, mass persecution, genocide, etc.).
This strictly psychoanalytic explanation of all the complex problems of humanity today and in the past (human sacrifice, religious wars, etc.) is in this exclusivity supported by only a few other catastrophists.
CM was one of the first in Germany who understood the importance of the mathematical and statistical (or rather computer-aided) analysis of historical texts and has begun to popularize and to process them. Nevertheless, he does not share many radical conclusions of the Russian chronology-critical school and started a critical dialogue with their representatives as Prof. A. T. Fomenko whom he knew personally, and Dr. G. Nossovski. He accuses the Russian chronology-critical school that it does not take into account cataclysms caused extraterrestrially.
Towards the traditional media (books, magazines, book chapters, articles, lectures to the auditorium) he developed in the 1990's a fairly radical sounding negative attitude: they are doomed to extinction, too slow and too conservative, because a book is outdated on the first day of its sale etc. In its place he put digitalized short texts easily accessable to everyone.
In this sense the website created by Gabowitsch (at that time with the linguistic help of the couple Topper) is still vibrant (de.geschichte-chronologie.de), it also contains an extensive list of digital texts of CM.
Recently a kind evaluation of Christoph Marx refering to Velikovsky's importance in the development of catastrophist knowledge appeared in the NET-journal 3/4 - 2017 (in German):
to be continued
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