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"In the spring of 2013, I was preparing a graduate seminar on utopian urbanism that surveyed a chronology of paradisiacal cities from Plato's Atlantis to Nazarbayev's Astana. Laying the groundwork for this course, I was struck by the sheer number of popular misconceptions about Kazakhstan that proliferate on the Internet. A cursory search through websites and blogs suggested that rather than being some uncouth backwater of illiterate boors -- a myth fabricated by Sasha Baron Cohen's outrageous mokumentary, Borat (2006) -- Kazakhstan had been denominated the international command centre of the Illuminati, a nefarious secret society plotting to take over the world.
I decided to perform a Google search using the terms "Astana + Architecture" and found myself plunged down a rabbit hole of connivance and conspiracy. I soon discovered that Astana is the sun-worship capital of Zionist Freemasons; that its principal buildings are connected to the pyramids at Giza by an energetic grid; and that the city's Master Plan is a coded "magical diagram" devised by a totalitarian world government.
Complicating these astonishing assertions has been the recent unearthing of the "world's first pyramid" in the Karaganda Region of central Kazakhstan (Fig. 1). Although in substantial ruins today, the structure once resembled the famous Step Pyramid of Djoser at Saqqara (ca. 2667 - 48 BCE). A flurry of viral media reports proclaimed that the Sary Arqa pyramid had been constructed 1000 years before its Egyptian counterpart, but the archeologists from Buketov Karaganda State University who investigated the site concluded it had been erected during the late Bronze Age (ca. 1570-1200 BCE).
Having carved myself a niche career as a specialist on the architecture of Freemasonry, I must admit to being unapologetically hooked. Soon every tab in my browser linked to a morass of sinister machinations and arcane symbols associated with Kazakhstan, including an enormous "Devil Pentagram" etched onto the southern shore of the Upper Tobol Reservoir (Fig. 2). Concerning its purported occult origins, archaeologist Emma Usmanova seemed to have dispelled all speculation when she determined that the 1200-foot pentagram was merely the remains of an old Soviet summer camp. After all, the symbol of the Soviet Union was a five-pointed star..."
Excerpted from Astana: Architecture, Myth & Destiny.