Stolen Legacy: A Book Review by Femi Akomolafe

Book Review Stolen Legacy:  A Book Review by Femi Akomolafe

A few weeks ago, a friend sent me a link to an article by a leading Chinese scholar who denounced the myth of Greek Civilization on which the entire fabric of Western scholarship was anchored.

Excerpts: “Last November, in a viral video on Douyin, Prof. Jin Canrong straightforwardly questioned the existence of the Ancient Macedonian philosopher and scholar Aristotle. This sounded impertinent, erroneous, or even extravagant to many people in the Western world. But, is the leading Chinese scholar wrong, or have all the Western academics been formed and operated as mere ‘knowledge administrators’ of a mostly absurd, delusional, and tyrannical bureaucracy of universities?

We can be sure of only one fact: had Prof. Jin Canrong (金灿荣/Цзинь Цаньрун) been a Western academic employed in any local institution, he would have been fired exclusively because of his statement. In the Western world, there is no freedom of thought or freedom of expression, particularly when one truthful scholar attacks the crumbling foundations of a corrupt system based on falsehood, distortion, and fabrication. You can find Prof. Canrong’s videos, brief presentations of his approach, reports and news about it, and curriculum at the end of the present article.

I. Aristotle: a Major Founding Myth of the Western World

II. When, where, and by whom was the Myth of Aristotle fabricated?

III. The Myth of Aristotle and its First Byproducts: Scholasticism, East-West Schism, the Crusades & the Sack of Constantinople (1204)

IV. Aristotelization: First Stage of the Westernization and the Colonization of the World

V. Aristotelization as Foundation of all the Western Forgeries: the so-called Judeo-Christian Heritage and the Fraud of Greco-Roman Civilization

VI. The Modern Western World as Disruption of History

VII. The Myth of Aristotle and the Monstrosity of Western Colonialism…” -

We did not set out to beat our chest, but it’s quite uncanny how many of the things that yours sincerely labored to write about four or so decades ago are coming off as freshly minted and are germane and topical today.

I was called all sorts of names when I reviewed GM James' monumental scholarly work ‘Stolen Legacy,’ in the 1980s.

It was in pre-internet saturation days; our battles were fought on primitive newsgroups like

Many of those who denounced me as a scholarly fraud were fellow Africans who didn’t even bother themselves with reading the book whose review they criticized. It was enough for these self-loathing, West-worshipping Africans that their much-beloved West veneration mentality was called into question.

The question that we in Africa refused to ask ourselves remains: How can a self-hating people build their own civilizational space and gain the respect of the world?

Below, please find my review.
Stolen Legacy
A Book Review by Femi Akomolafe
Question: To what country do we owe our Civilization, Philosophy, Arts, and Sciences?

Answer: Greece
Question: Who is the wisest man the world has ever seen?

Answer: Aristotle
Question: Name the world’s three greatest thinkers of all time.

Answer: Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle?
Question: Who is the world’s greatest mathematician of all time, the one who invented the theorem of the Square of the Hypotenuse?

Answer: Pythagoras.
Socrates: “(b. c. 470 BC, Athens -d 399, Athens, an ancient Athenian philosopher who directed philosophical thought toward analyses of the character and conduct of human life and who is remembered for his admonition to ‘know thyself.’

Socrates wrote nothing. Information about his personality and doctrine is found chiefly in the dialogues of Plato and the MEMORABILIA of Xenophon.” The New Encyclopedia Britannica, vol. 10, Micropaedia, 15th edition, p.929

Plato: “(b.428/427 BC, Athens, or Aegina, Greece-d. 348/347, Athens), ancient Greek philosopher, the second of the great trio of ancient Greeks – Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. He developed a wide-ranging system of philosophy that was strongly ethical, resting on, resting on a foundation of eternal Ideas or Forms that represented universals or absolutes. Platonism influenced currents of philosophy up to the 20th century.” The New Encyclopedia Britannica, vol. 9, Micropaedia, 15th edition, p.509

Aristotle: “Greek ARISTOTELES (b. 384 BC, Stagira, [or Stagirus, or Stageirus], Chalcidice, near Macedonia-d, 322, Chalcis, Euboea, Greece), ancient Greek philosopher, scientist, and organizer of research, one of the two greatest intellectual figures produced by the Greeks (the other being Plato). He surveyed the whole field of human knowledge as it was known in the Mediterranean world in his day, and his writings long influenced Western and Muslim thought.” The New Encyclopedia Britannica, vol. 1, Micropaedia, 15th edition, p. 555

I have quoted from an encyclopedia, which is often defined as ‘volumes containing collections of human knowledge.’

You don’t argue with an encyclopedia, do you?

I answer that, as Africans, we have no choice but to argue and to contest, vigorously, much of the distorted information contained in these encyclopedias and other books vain-glorious and self-worshipping Europeans wrote to celebrate themselves.

We should not hold sacred any book that is based on historical falsification and racial prejudice, however hallowed, praised, and expensive – as Encyclopedia Britannica certainly is.

You will be adjudged CORRECT and RIGHT if you give the above answers in an examination. But actually, none of the answers is TRUE.

Based on what we know of history today, they are FALSE.

The greatest crime Europe committed against the world is the intellectual theft of Africa’s heritage. Empires could be stolen, whole countries snatched and named after pirates, rapists, and swindlers. Palaces and monumental edifices destroyed could be rebuilt, but when you steal a people’s cultural patrimony and use it to enslave, colonize, and insult them, you have committed unforgivable acts that border on the sacrilege.

That Greece invented philosophy, the Arts, and the Sciences is the only basis on which the arrogance of Europe stands today. It is those things credited to the Greeks that made every European believe himself superior to other peoples\races. Conversely, it is the awe with which the other races viewed these grand ancient achievements, which made them cringe at the altar of supposed European superiority.

What course would the history of the world have taken if the European scholars[?] had not FALSELY claimed for the Greeks what is certainly not theirs? Would the arrogance of Europeans not have been diminished or tempered if the truth about the contribution of Africa to human civilization had been correctly written?

Would Africans have held themselves in such utter self-contempt if they had tried sooner to uncover the truth about their past? Would Africans be cringing at the altar of Westernism if they knew that almost every idea Europeans use today was brazenly stolen from us? Would we be supplicating to a supposed son of an imaginary god, if we knew that we gave RELIGION to the world?

Every European holds ‘The Greek Civilization’ as an inspiration. They go around the world with volumes upon volumes celebrating Greek this, Greek that. From their original abode in Europe to the real estate they stole from other people, they shouted in the top voice about how they single-handedly invented and sustained human civilization! Sororities are created at institutions of higher learning. ‘Great thinkers’ waxed lyrical and sentimental about ‘Greek Civilization.’ In the same vein, Africans are lamenting their singular historic ‘achievement.’

Some even believe that theirs is a ‘cursed race.’

“The term Greek philosophy, to begin with, is a misnomer, for there is no such philosophy in existence. The ancient Egyptians had developed a very complex religious system, called the Mysteries, which was also the first system of salvation.” That was the opening statement from ‘STOLEN LEGACY: Greek Philosophy is Stolen Egyptian Philosophy,’ by George G.M. James.

George James begins his book by informing us that the Egyptian Mystery System was the oldest in the world and was ‘also a Secret Order, and membership was gained by initiation and a pledge to secrecy. The teaching was graded and delivered orally to the Neophyte; and under these circumstances of secrecy, the Egyptians developed secret systems of writing and teaching, and forbade their Initiates from writing what they had learned.’ – p.1

The Egyptians have developed their systems and taught the same to Initiates around the world long before the Greeks were allowed into the temples. It was only after the invasion of Alexander the Destructor (called the Great by Western mythorians) when the temples and the libraries were plundered, that the Greek gained access to all the ancient books, on which Aristotle built his school and his reputation as the wisest man that ever lived!

In the first chapter of his book, James masterfully destroys the myth of Greek philosophy. Pythagoras, the oldest of the so-called Greek thinkers was a student in Egypt for several years. Back in his native Samos, he was exiled when he started to teach what he had learned. Socrates was executed for teaching ‘foreign ideas.’ Plato was sold into slavery. Aristotle was also exiled. What we are asked to believe by Western scholars is that these ancient Greeks were persecuted in a society that was sufficiently advanced in philosophy.

On what basis do Western scholars claim philosophy for Greece? Because all the literature was written in Greek. As is still in existence today, most Orders prohibit their members from writing down what they learn. This explains why Socrates, as even the Encyclopedia Britannica admitted, did not commit anything to writing!

The Babylonians and the Chaldeans, who also studied under the Egyptian Masters, also refused to publish those teachings. It is usurpers like Plato and Aristotle that brought into the book forms all the secret teachings of Egyptians and claimed authorship!

George James points out the absurdity of this stance. The Hebrew scriptures, called the Septuagint, the Gospels, and the Epistles were also written in Greek, why are the Greeks not claiming authorship of them?

‘It is only the unwritten philosophy of the Egyptians translated into Greek that has met such an unhappy fate: a legacy stolen by the Greeks. ‘

This is not the only absurdity James pointed out in the book. Another one: The number of books whose authorship is credited to Aristotle is simply impossible to be the work of one single man, even in our age when word-processing software makes writing a lot easier. We also have to keep in mind that Aristotle was purported to have been taught by Plato. Plato, as the book shows, was a philosopher. Aristotle is still regarded as the greatest scientist of antiquity. The question thus beggared is how could Plato teach Aristotle what he didn’t know himself?

The truth of the matter is that Aristotle, aided by Alexander the Destroyer secured the books from the Egyptian Royal Libraries and Temples. ‘In spite however, of such great intellectual treasure, the death of Aristotle marked the death of philosophy among the Greeks, who did not seem to possess the natural abilities to advance these sciences.’ p. 3

‘The aim of this book is to establish better race relations in the world, by revealing a fundamental truth concerning the contribution of the African Continent to civilization. It must be borne in mind that the first lesson in the Humanities is to make people aware of their contribution to civilization, and the second lesson is to teach them about other civilizations. By this dissemination of the truth about the civilization of individual peoples, a better understanding among them, and a proper appraisal of each other should follow. This notion is based upon the notion of the Great Master Mind: Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’ Consequently, the book is an attempt to show that the true authors of Greek philosophy were not the Greeks; but the people of North Africa, commonly called the Egyptians; and the praise and honor falsely given to the Greeks for centuries belong to the people of North Africa, and therefore to the African Continent. Consequently, this theft of the African legacy by the Greeks led to the erroneous world opinion that the African Continent has made no contribution to civilization and that its people are naturally backward. This is the misrepresentation that has become the basis of race prejudice, which has affected all people of color.

For centuries the world has been misled about the original source of the Arts and Sciences; for centuries Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle have been falsely idolized as models of intellectual greatness; and for centuries the African continent has been called the Dark Continent, because Europe coveted the honor of transmitting to the world, the Arts and Sciences. ‘ p.7

To leave no one in doubt about the cogency of his impressive arguments, chapter one (Greek Philosophy is Stolen Egyptian Philosophy) opens with an examination of the stories of the so-called ‘Greek Philosophers. Pythagoras, after receiving his training in Egypt, went back to his native Samos and established an Order as was the custom in those days. Anaximander and Anaximenes, Parmenides, Zeno, and Melissus were all natives of Ionia and they taught nothing but Egyptian mysteries. Ditto, Heraclitus, Empedocles, Anaxagoras, and Democritus. What we have to remember here is that Ionia was a colony of Egypt (readers are directed to Martin Bernal’s, ‘Black Athena,’ published by Vintage, especially vol. I, ISBN 0 09 988780 0).

At the apex of its glory, Egypt held sway over much of the known world including what is today’s Greece. The Ionians would later become Persian subjects after the fall of Egypt before they even became Greek citizens.

All of these Ionians did not claim for themselves the glory of philosophy or the sciences. The Persians and the Chaldeans were also introduced to the Ancient Mystery Systems, yet they did not claim authorship.

It was the Athenians – Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle – who usurped this African legacy and thereby distorted historical reality and changed the trajectory of human history. What is quite clear was that it was in Athens that those who taught the mysteries were persecuted the most until Alexander’s time.

We know with certainty that these philosophers were roundly persecuted by the Athenian Government for teaching foreign doctrines.

What is incredible about these ‘Great Philosophers’ is the total lack of any knowledge about their early lives. The world is asked to believe that these men who possessed all the supernatural abilities attributed to them had no education, no training whatsoever; philosophy, mathematics, and the sciences just came to them!

The only evidence adduced for this fraud was that the books were written by the Orders founded by the Athenian impostors. But as GM James repeatedly reminds us, the ancient Egyptians forbade their pupils from writing, and this injunction was obeyed by all but the Athenians.

We have to excuse Socrates, whom James believed to be the only properly trained Initiate. Instead of divulging the secrets he had learned, he drank poison. Both Plato and Aristotle fled Athens. Yet they came back and claimed the credits!

The crucial question of how Aristotle got all the books that bore his credit is easily answered by the simple historical fact that he went with his friend, Alexander, in the latter campaign and conquest of Egypt.

After Egypt was conquered and destroyed, the Royal Library and the Temples were looted by Aristotle. It was with these books that he established his school and, aided by his pupils, Theophrastus, Andronicus of Rhodes, and Eudemus, started to copy the books. These men were also credited with the authorship of several books, and it was them who formed the organization of ‘The Learned Study of Aristotle Writings.‘

‘It would certainly appear that the object of the Learned Association was to beat Aristotle’s drum and dance. It was Aristotle’s idea to compile a history of philosophy, and it was Aristotle’s school and its alumni that carried out the idea, we are told.” (p.19)

Chapter II, ‘So-Called Greek Philosophy was Alien to the Greeks And Their Conditions of Life.’ Here James draws for us the conditions under which the Greeks were living at this period in history. According to the Western mythorians, the period of ‘Greek Philosophy’ was located 640-322 BC. ‘But history tells us that this (640-322 BC) was a period of internal and external wars, and was therefore unsuitable for producing philosophers. History supports the fact that from the time of Thales to the time of Aristotle, The Greeks were victims of internal disunion, on the one hand, while on the other, they lived in constant fear of invasion from the Persians who were a common enemy to the city-states.

… The obstacles against the origin and development of Greek philosophy were not only the frequency of wars; and the constant defense against Persian aggression; but also the threat of extermination from the Athenian government, its worst enemy.’ pp.21 – 26

Chapter three shows that the so-called ‘Greek Philosophy’ was just an offspring of the Egyptian Mystery System. All the arts, philosophy, and religion, credited to the Greeks have been in existence in Egypt thousands of years before the Greeks were permitted to learn them. “The earliest theory of salvation is the Egyptian Theory. The Egyptian Mystery System has as its most important object, the deification of man, and taught that the soul of man if liberated from its bodily fetters, could enable him to become godlike and see the Gods in this life and attain the beatific vision and hold communion with the immortals.” (Ancient Mysteries, C.H. Vail. P.32)

Close attention should be paid to the foregoing paragraph. What that simply means is that a system of beliefs that Africans evolved thousands of years ago, has been distorted and it is being used by the Christians to abuse the Africans today!

When Western mythorians roll out Aristotle, Plato, and Socrates, they fail to tell their audience how these guys were persecuted by their government. These ‘philosophers’ were persecuted for exactly the same reason – ‘introducing strange divinities.’

Socrates’ charge sheet reads, in part, ‘Socrates committed a crime by not believing in the Gods of the city, and by introducing other new divinities. He also committed a crime by corrupting the youth.’ He was further accused of ‘busying himself with investigating things beneath the earth and in the sky, and who makes the worse appear the better reason, and who teaches others the same thing.’

Whereas astronomy was part of the required study in the Egyptian Mystery Schools, the Athenian government was persecuting its citizens for pursuing such studies.

Who, now, is the father of what?
Chapter three further deals with the Egyptian mystery systems and shows its close correlation with what has been wrongly attributed to the Greeks. Even the structures of the Lodges, James informs us, were built to Egyptian standards.

The conquest of Alexander and the destruction of the Lodges and the libraries plus the edicts of Emperors Theodosius and Justinian, suppressed the Egyptian Mystery Systems and the Greek philosophy schools alike, thus paving the way for Christianity which is nothing but a badly misunderstood Egyptian religion.

In chapter four, we learn how the Greeks were allowed into Egypt, where they had been banned for several years. ‘Owing to the practice of piracy, in which the Ionians and Garians were active, the Egyptians were forced to make immigration laws restricting the immigration of the Greeks and punishing their infringement by capital punishment, i.e, the sacrifice of the victim.’ – p.41. It was Egyptian king Amasis who lifted the restriction and allowed the Greeks to enter Egypt as mercenaries – they were not permitted to study until the Persian invasion. It was not until the Alexandrian conquest that they gained access to the libraries, most especially the Royal Library at Alexandria, which was converted into a Greek city.

Plato himself attested to the fact (in his TIMAEUS) that Greek aspirants to wisdom visited Egypt for initiation, and that the Egyptian priests referred to them as children in the mysteries.

It was Herodotus who informed us that Pythagoras was allowed into Egypt only after Polycrates (king of his native Samos and a friend of Amasis) gave him a letter of introduction. Even after that, he had to undergo several trials including circumcision which was compulsory – “Apud Aegyptios nullus aut geometrica studebat, aut astonomiae secreta remabatur, nisi circumcisione suscepta,” (No one among the Egyptians, either studied geometry, or investigated the secrets of Astronomy, unless circumcision had been undertaken.)” – p.44.

It is to Pythagoras that the world is giving credit for a theorem that the Egyptians most certainly used in building their pyramids!

Herodotus, Diogenes, and Laertuis informed us that Democritus traveled to Egypt to receive instructions from the priests. Plato was also shown to have undergone a similar pilgrimage.

In Chapters Five through Seven, George James analyzes the doctrines of the so-called Greek philosophers and convincingly shows their Egyptian origin. From pre-Socratic ‘Philosophers’ like Thales, Anaximander, Anaximenes, and Pythagoras to Eleatic ‘philosophers like Xenophanes, Parmenides, Zeno, and Melissus, to the Ionian school of Heraclitus, Anaxagoras, and Democritus, he shows that what history has attributed to these impostors was nothing but what they copied from the Egyptians.

In these, the most important chapters, James concludes that the Greeks were guilty of plagiarism of the highest order.

Chapter eight deals with the Memphite Theology which ‘is an inscription on a stone, now kept in the British Museum. It contains the theological, cosmological, and philosophical views of the Egyptians. It has already been referred to in my treatment of Plato’s doctrines, but it must be repeated here to show its full importance as the basis of the entire field of Greek philosophy.’ p.139.

Here GM James shows how portions of the philosophy of the Memphite Theology were assigned to the Greeks. This is a very important chapter as it throws enough light, not only on the whole argument of where the Greeks got the ideas credited to them but also on the true source of modern scientific knowledge.

If the modern Nebular hypothesis credited to Laplace which holds that our present solar system was once a molten gaseous nebula is ever proven right, credit should go to the ancient Egyptians. Their cosmology is strikingly similar. They knew that the universe was created from fire. The Egyptian God Atum (Atom) together with his eight Created Gods that composed the Ennead or Godhead of nine, correspond with our nine major planets. Atom, the sun God, was the Unmoved Mover, a doctrine that has been falsely attributed to Aristotle. Likewise, the injunction, ‘Know Thyself,’ was wrongly attributed to Socrates.

As GM James points out, it was an inscription found on every Egyptian Temple. The Cardinal virtues, justice, wisdom, temperance, and courage which were falsely credited to Plato owed their origin to the Egyptian Masters.

We also learn the attributes of the Egyptian God Atum which is shared by modern ATOM: The similarity of names; the Egyptian God means self-created, everything and nothing, a combination of positive and negative principles, all-inclusiveness, and emptiness.

Even beginner science students will recognize these as the properties of atoms.

In the concluding chapter nine, ‘Social Reformation through the New Philosophy of African Redemption,’ James writes: ‘Now that it has been shown that philosophy and the arts and sciences were bequeathed to civilization by the people of North Africa and not by the people of Greece; the pendulum of praise and honor is due to shift from the people of Greece to the people of the African continent who are the rightful heirs of such praise and honor.

This is going to mean a tremendous change in world opinion, and attitude, for all people and races who accept the new philosophy of African redemption, ie the truth that the Greeks were not the authors of Greek philosophy; but the people of North Africa; would change their opinion from one of disrespect to one of respect for the Black people throughout the world and treat them accordingly.

It is going to mean a most important change in the mentality of the Black people: a change from an inferiority complex to the realization and consciousness of their equality with all the other great peoples of the world, who have built great civilizations. With this change in the mentality of the Black and White people, great changes are also expected in their respective attitudes towards each other, and in society as a whole.’ p. 153.

GM James sketches for us a simple New Philosophy of Redemption which consists of the following proposition: ‘The Greeks were not the authors of Greek Philosophy, but the Black people of North Africa, The Egyptians.’

He exhorts us to live up to this philosophy. ‘Being liberated from inferiority complex by their New Philosophy of Redemption, which is destined to destroy the chain of false tradition which has incarcerated them, the Black people must face and interpret the world according to their new vision and philosophy. Throughout the centuries up to our modern times, world conditions have been influenced by two phenomena that have affected human relations: (i) – The giving of false praise to the Greeks: a conduct which appears to be an educational policy conducted by education institutions… (ii) – The second phenomena is Missionary enterprise whereby Black people’s culture has been caricatured in literature and exhibitions, in such specimens as provoke disrespect and laughter. Let us not forget that the Roman Emperors Theodosius and Justinian were responsible for the abolition of the Egyptian Mysteries that is the culture system of the Black people, and also for the establishment of Christianity for its perpetual suppression.’ pp. 159-160.

The appendix presents a brief analysis and summary of the main arguments.

Stolen Legacy is not a book anyone could argue with. Almost every single sentence and every single paragraph is duly attributed to verifiable sources.

George James must have been fully aware of the burden he was carrying when he wrote his monumental work.

Stolen Legacy is a book that is easy to read and understood even by LAYMEN, unlike the hogwash western mythorians dish out, suffused with brain-twisting grammatical pyrotechnics to hide their internal dis-harmonies and in-coherences.

No one, in our opinion, should be allowed to teach African history who has not read Stolen Legacy.

No one should call himself educated unless he has read Stolen Legacy. The next time anyone, especially an African, brandishes a Ph.D. in your face, your question should be, ‘Have you read Stolen Legacy?’

PS: As an intellectual exercise, those excited Christians, especially the African variety, who believe that their god gave them 10 Commandments should try to get and read the 42 Laws of Maat (yes, any search engine will do). That is if the efforts will not kill them.

Fẹ́mi Akọ́mọ‌láfẹ́
Farmer, Writer, Published Author, and Social Commentator

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