About the AIP

About the AIP:

The Great Pyramid contains secrets and mysteries waiting to be deciphered and understood.  That is the firm belief of the American Institute of Pyramidology.

The American Institute of Pyramidology was founded to continue the work of The Institute of Pyramidology in Harpenden, England, when it came to a sudden end at the tragic death of James Rutherford.  James and his father Adam had built a worldwide following through their regular newsletters and publications, most notably the four volume Pyramidology set, available now from Amazon. (It had been out of print and unavailable for decades).

Adam Rutherford spent hundreds of slavish hours measuring and studying the Great Pyramid, and his measurements are still used by many researchers (though most Egyptologists prefer the measurements of Flinders Petrie.) Rutherford claimed that the Great Pyramid contains divine revelations through the media of geometry and stone, in a way similar to the way Bible prophecy contains revelations in words. Both need interpretation. Egyptologists label the work of Rutherford, and others in this tradition, as “pyramidiots.” For those who take their marching orders for meaning and truth from Egyptologists, you need read no farther. You have your verdict.

I was always taught that when one resorts to ad hominems in debate (and to state the obvious, when someone calls someone else a “pyramidiot” that is an ad hominem) one is tacitly conceding.  Rational discourse has ended. While I respect the work of Egyptologists, and benefit from Egyptology in the same way I do all scientific attempts to uncover the past, it does not entirely encompass my human capacity in the search for meaning. While Egyptologists study religion and metaphysics, they do not engage in religion and metaphysics. Egyptology is a hard, empirical science, not a metaphysical religion.  The American Institute of Pyramidology, on the other hand, does have a metaphysical view.  While we do support all scientific efforts to expound the wonders of the Pyramid, we do not hide or deny the fact that we believe the Great Pyimageramid contains divine revelations.

While the AIP has many free resources and studies available to everyone (read through our blog entries here!) we simply ask that those who are not open to the idea that the Great Pyramid contains divine revelations not seek to join its membership. We continue in our work to keep alive in this world the idea that there are truths of eternal value to be found in the Great Pyramid of Giza, the only one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World still standing.

Larry Pahl, AIP Director

left: AIP Director at the Mena House, on a recent study tour of Egyptian pyramids. This is where Adam Rutherford stayed when he did his research on the Great Pyramid.


You don’t need … Egypt!

As AIP Director I have been on several study tours of the pyramids in Egypt. It is certainly exciting to be in a foreign country, exploring new sites, riding on camels and trying new food. And you can certainly see things in person that will never look the same as they do on a page in a book.

I remember the night before I was to go into the King’s Chamber of the Great Pyramid for the first time, I could hardly sleep in my room at the Mena House. I was within sight of that grand monument which I had read about for decades, but now I was soon to enter it, and its grandest room, the King’s Chamber. Morning couldn’t come soon enough.  And when that moment finally came, and I was inside the famous corridors of the Pyramid, exploring its mysterious chambers, I felt like I had been there before. Because I had been there before, through so many photos and images of the mighty monument I had seen in the past.

My explorations inside of the Great Pyramid were limited to one hour. (That’s me to the left at the empty coffer, the only furnishing in the King’s Chamber.) It is very hard to get the clearance that I received to be able to spend that hour. It was thrilling, and over quickly!  And yet you can spend hours, days, months and years in the Pyramid through the pages of the thousands of books which have been written about it.  You can explore all its chambers, learn of their measurements, browse their history, get an erudite guide and never worry about your “hour” coming to an end!

So if your goal is to really get to know the Great Pyramid, and to try to muscle closer to its secrets, don’t book a tour to Egypt.  Book a book. Now the problem you have won’t be finding the money for a tour, and finding the best tour groups that go to the pyramids, your problem will be, “Which books do I read?”  And I am afraid that for this search, there are no shortcuts or easy choices.  I’ll give you a bit of a guide soon, but first, let’s look at “What’s so great about the Great Pyramid?”.

What’s so great about the Great Pyramid?


So what’s so great about the Great Pyramid?

Let’s look at a variety of ways that the Great Pyramid of Giza sets itself apart as one of the greatest marvels of all time.

It is the only one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World still standing.

Gone is the Statue of Zeus, the Colossus of Rhodes, the Lighthouse of Alexandria, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Temple of Artemis, the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus. Only the Great Pyramid is still with us.

It is one of the oldest structures on the face of the earth and arguably the best built. Its mortar joints are consistently 1/50 of an inch, thinner than a sheet of paper! Sir William Flinders Petrie declared that this craftsmanship could be compared to the “finest opticians’ work on a scale of acres.”  Consider that there are hundreds of thousands of stones that make up the Pyramid, none weighing less than a ton, most weighing about two and a half, and some as much as 20 tons! The Pyramid covers over 13 acres of ground and is almost entirely solid masonry, not hollow or earth-filled like the Central American pyramids.

The Great Pyramid is uniquely situated on our planet. Joseph Seiss claims that the Pyramid lies in the center of gravity of the continents. Many others say that it also lies in the exact center of all the land area of the world, dividing the earth’s land mass into approximately equal quarters. The north-south axis (31 degrees east of Greenwich) is the longest land meridian, and the east-west axis (30 degrees north) is the longest land parallel on the globe. There is obviously only one place that these longest land-lines of the terrestrial earth can cross, and it just happens to be at the Great Pyramid! This fact alone is – incredible!

This is not the only intimate connection between the Pyramid and the planet on which it sits. In his fascinating narrative in Secrets of the Great Pyramid, Peter Tompkins lays out the historical and geometric evidence that the Pyramid is a geographic representation of earth’s northern hemisphere.  That could only be true if the ancient Egyptians had knowledge of the size and shape of the earth. It can now be established scientifically that these Egyptians knew the shape of the earth “to a degree not confirmed till the eighteenth century when it was established that Newton was correct in his theory that the planet was somewhat flattened at the poles, and they knew the size of the earth to a degree not matched till the middle of the nineteenth century…” (Tompkins, 211)

For the Pyramid to be a replica of the northern hemisphere, there must be a relationship between the measurements of the Pyramid and those of the earth. The Egyptian government sent J.H. Cole to measure the base of the Pyramid in 1925 and he found that twice the perimeter of the Great Pyramid’s base was 1,842.91 meters. The modern figure for a minute of latitude at the equator is 1,842.9 meters.  Thus, each base side of the Pyramid is equal to 1/8 minute of a degree, and thus twice the perimeter would be equal to almost exactly one minute of latitude on planet earth!


Despite being one of the oldest structures on the face of the earth, the Great Pyramid has been called one of the most accurately oriented, its four sides facing almost exactly due north, south, east, and west. The Paris Observatory, symbol of Enlightened man’s advancement by science instead of superstition and religion, is six minutes of a degree off true north. The Great Pyramid is only three minutes deviant, and E. Raymond Capt claims that is due mainly to subsidence. There are architects and engineers who have studied the Pyramid’s structure and contend that, with all our vaunted technological prowess, we could not build the structure today. Does the theory of evolution run in reverse?

What could explain this intimate relationship between the measures of the Great Pyramid and the dimensions of the Earth?  How could the ancient Egyptians have known something that history says was not to enter the annals of man for 4000 years, during the Age of Enlightenment?  The answer to this question depends on which school of pyramidology answers it…


Be true to your school


Two thousand years after the Great Pyramid was built, the Greek historian Herodotus, known as the “father of history,” revived the study of that Mighty Wonder. From that time to this, there was been controversy over its meaning and symbolism. In our day, opinions about the Pyramid fall into three schools, roughly sketched below.

  • “Pyramidiots”. This is the unflattering name given to those who believe the Great Pyramid is a revelation from the Creator. Those in this school say the plans for its building came from prophets who were in touch with the Divine will. One of the most distinguished scholars in this group was the Astronomer Royal for Scotland, C. Piazzi Smyth, (with Newton, Darwin and Einstein) a member of the Royal Society. Smyth, in his book Our Inheritance in the Great Pyramid (1864) claimed that the measurements he obtained from the Great Pyramid of Giza indicated a unit of length, the pyramid inch, equivalent to 1.001 British inches, that could have been the standard of measurement by the pyramid’s architects. Smyth claimed that the pyramid inch was a God-given measure handed down through the centuries from the time of Noah, and that the architects of the pyramid could only have been directed by the hand of God.  Adam Rutherford, who directed the Institute of Pyramidology, and wrote a 4 volume set entitled “Pyramidology,” is another leading “pyramidiot.”  Zahi Hawass regularly uses this term to dismiss any findings from this school. It is a generally undeserved ad hominem because of the serious and rational scholarship from many researchers in this group. But the Christian perspective of most of these authors dooms them to contempt from secular scholars.
  • Esotericists or “Theosophists.” The centerfold of this school would be current authors of widely circulated books speculating on the meaning of the Sphinx, the pyramids, and related matters, especially Robert Bauval and Graham Hancock, authors Fingerprints of the Gods and The Message of the Sphinx. Students and scholars in the Esotericist School believe the wisdom built into the Great Pyramid came from an intelligence not now present, either from a fallen former super-civilization, like Atlantis, or from intelligent aliens, gods from outer space who visited earth in an ancient past. Bauval and Hancock work from the standpoint that a great intelligence from the past has been lost, but they never directly posit intelligent aliens. Hancock has championed But that implication is always there to be drawn by those millions who buy their books and follow their work.
  • Egyptologists. This is the modern priesthood of pyramid knowledge, the small cadre of scholars holding doctorates in fields relating to ancient Egyptian history, language and religion. Modern Egyptologists believe the Great Pyramid was built by Egyptians in conventionally calculated historical times, and the Pyramid’s metrics, symbolism and meaning must all be interpreted from the religious beliefs of the Egyptians held at the time of the Pyramid’s construction. The most famous face of this group would be Dr. Zahi Hawass, who oversaw Egypt’s antiquities before the 2011 Egyptian revolution. While Hawass does not have an outstanding reputation as an honest scholar among many Egyptologists and Esotericists (Bauval regularly slams his scholarship and honesty), his enthusiasm for things Egyptian has captured the hearts of devoted followers around the world who see him on National Geographic specials, and in the news. I participated in two tours of the major Egyptian pyramids with Dr. Hawass, and appreciate his defense of the Egyptian authorship of these grand monuments.

The first group, the “Pyramidiots”, largely believe that the Pyramid is a divine revelation, the other two groups don’t. Egyptologists are largely empiricists.  The one way they might be said to acknowledge God is when they write about the many gods the ancient Egyptians believed in, and analyze their religious systems. The Esotericists might be willing to conjecture that the apparent geometric marvels of the Pyramid are the result of knowledge lost with Atlantis2 or some other highly advanced but now destroyed civilization, but they would belittle the possibility that God used prophets to direct the building of the Great Pyramid in the way that God directed Noah to build the ark. They are willing to exercise their muscles of hope for unseen Atlanteans, but not unseen divine prophets.

While there have been a wide range of sympathizers to the idea of divine inspiration in the Great Pyramid, from a variety of slants, including Sir Isaac Newton (I have studied his Dissertation upon the Sacred Cubit… in the rare book room of the University of Chicago’s Regenstein Library, in which he deduced a sacred and profane cubit), it might be helpful to look at the man who could be said to have sparked its modern consideration,  John Taylor Taylor’s book entitled, The Great Pyramid: Why Was it Built and Who Built it?  was published in 1859, the same year that Darwin published The Origin of Species.  The similar timing of these two seminal works seems providential in that they propose singularly opposing views on the origin, and ultimately the purpose, character and destiny of the human race.

Given these gigantic stakes, what were Taylor’s findings and conclusions?