Superstitious beliefs about the portentous date of 11/11/11 were bound to cause some trouble somewhere around the globe, so it might as well have happened at the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt. On Friday, the ancient monument was shuttered to tourists, ostensibly for garden variety maintenance reasons but actually, as The Guardian reports, to protect the pyramid from the unwanted attentions of fringey religious groups. —KA
What began as a single meditation ceremony planned by a Polish organisation—who claimed their activities would help save the earth from cosmic catastrophes—quickly mushroomed into something far larger, with outfits as diverse as the “Universal Kabbalah Network” and the “11.11.11 Gathering of Souls” announcing that they too would be converging on the last remaining ancient wonder of the world to hug, worship or simply climb inside the structure and be healed by the sacred power within.
Panicked by unconfirmed rumours in the local press that the activities would include Masonic rituals and the attempted placing of a Jewish Star of David atop the pyramid itself, the authorities moved this week to shut down access to the Great Pyramid altogether, blaming essential maintenance work for the move. The decision was taken after Egyptologists denounced the various ceremonies and a series of campaigns sprung up online to oppose them, including one spearheaded by an offshoot of the revolutionary April 6th movement, whose members vowed to hold a sit-in at the Giza complex and block access to new age revellers.