Here at Balladeer’s Blog I enjoy treating conspiracy theories as a form of modern-day mythology. Just like mythology and religious beliefs conspiracy theories are irrational explanations for occurrences or situations that have much more rational explanations. Here’s one of my all-time favorite neglected conspiracy kook bits.
THE DEAD CAN BE RESURRECTED ON PLANET JUPITER – The enigmatic Toynbee Tiles are the major source for the enjoyable canon behind this notion. At some point in the 1980s odd tiles laid into the asphalt of actual streets and roadways were being found, bearing some variation on the following message: “TOYNBEE IDEA/ IN MOVIE 2001/ RESURRECT DEAD/ ON PLANET JUPITER.”
“Toynbee idea” seems to refer to Arnold Toynbee, who held various theories, one of which can be simplified by saying that since matter is neither destroyed nor created that means the molecules of everyone who has ever died can be reassembled no matter what the cause of death. This was one of many attempts over the ages to reconcile science with the Christian claim that when Jesus returns the dead will all be bodily resurrected for Final Judgement.
“In movie 2001” refers of course to Kubrik’s film 2001: A Space Odyssey, which the possible madman behind the Toynbee Tiles felt was conveying the secret message that Toynbee was right and that conditions around Jupiter were ideal for reassembling the molecules of everyone who had ever died.
This theory has some hilariously involved backstory that ties it into ham radio operators, talk radio conspiracy shows from decades ago, a reclusive figure in Philadelphia and a play by David Mamet. Unfortunately a terrific documentary Resurrect Dead hasn’t boosted the public profile of the Toynbee Tiles conspiracy like I had hoped it would.
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