Egypt was forced to close the Pyramids at Giza on Friday following allegations that Jews, Masons and numerologists were planning to mark 11/11/11 by holding bizarre and un-Islamic rituals at the site.
Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities succumbed to pressure after protest groups behind the revolution that overthrew Hosni Mubarak in February demanded that the Pyramids be sealed off for the whole of “Magic Friday”.
The council faced a backlash after it reportedly gave permission to a Polish numerologist group that wanted to hold a ceremony to protect the world from “cosmic forces” intent on destroying the planet next year.
The group, calling itself Dar Swiatowida, called on people to attend a “Ceremony of Love” at the Great Pyramid during which “two interpenetrated pyramid-shaped crystals” were to be placed inside the structure to imbue it with additional powers.
Numerologists believe that numbers have mystical properties, making November 11, 2011 — 11/11/11 — one of the most potent days in the planet’s history.
The Polish group said the crystals, sourced from an Indian mountain, would harness the energy of all sacred sites around the world to create a shield between the planet and cosmic forces. Dar Swiatowida shares the belief of some eschatologists that the world will come to an end on December 12, 2012 — 12/12/12 — a day that marks the end of a 5,125-year cycle in the ancient Mayan calendar.
The superstitious nature of the ceremony alarmed many in Egypt, a conservative country, with emotions growing more heated as increasingly outlandish rumours began to circulate.
It was claimed that 1,200 Jews were planning to attend the ceremony with the intention of erecting a Star of David above the Great Pyramid to assert their claim that it was built by ancient Israelites rather than ancient Egyptians. There were also allegations that Masons, who are sometimes associated with Satanism by people in the Arab world, were also planning to attend.
A tour agency with some Jewish links is involved in the ceremony, but has insisted that had no plans to erect any symbol above the sarcophagus of King Khufu, who is buried in the Great Pyramid.
Seeking to avoid further controversy, the Supreme Council of Antiquities said the closure was for “maintenance” reasons. It added that the Pyramids would reopen on Saturday.