A few weeks ago, a few Serbian media outlets took an April 2012 article from the clever satirical Croatian news portal News Bar, gave it the absurd headline “Zagreb in a panic: Scientifically proven that Croats are descendants of Serbs”, and republished it, in its entirety, as fact. Then someone translated the article into English and it spread to some “pro-Serbian” blogs in the United States. The discussion continues to inspire heated debate on obscure forums across the Internet.
But of course, Serbia isn’t the only country in the region where you can find people who take fringe pseudoscientific claims to ancient origins seriously. Macedonia, for instance, is fertile ground for some ideas so odd they’re actually beyond satire. The World Macedonian Congress is an “ultranationalist NGO” so insane it’s basically the Scientology of nationalism. The group describes itself as the “world parliament” of Macedonians. Footage from one WMC party congress reveals an atmosphere similar to that of a UFO-worshipping doomsday cult.
According to the World Macedonian Congress, the following is true: The people of Macedonia are the oldest nation on Earth and belong to a special race called the Macedonoids. Besides the Macedonoids, there are only two other racial groups in existence, the Mongoloids and the Negroids. Macedonoids are “the progenitors of the white race”, meaning that all white people on Earth descend from FYROM. Greeks have been engaged in a protracted genocide against the Macedonoid people which continues to this day. Every time a person with a vaguely Macedonian-sounding name dies of natural causes in Greece, the group’s leader, Todor Petrov, labels it “a call to war”. Oh, and Bulgarians don’t exist. And just when you thought that Balkan definitions of war-related crimes had been stretched to the breaking point, Mr. Petrov declares that any discussion of the name dispute between Macedonia and Greece is a crime against humanity. If Mr. Petrov ruled the world, a lot of well-meaning Eurocrats would be rotting away in the Hague, playing table tennis with Vojislav Seselj for all eternity.
Disturbingly, the WMC are said to have close ties to Macedonian PM Nikola Gruevski’s ruling party, VRMO-DPMNE (the same party that unleashed the architectural terror project “Skopje 2014” on the capital). As Zdravko Saveski and Artan Sadiku, two researchers from Skopje, concluded a few months ago, “Radical right ideas, commitments, theses and values, which in other countries are mostly on the margins of public space or completely excluded from it, are part of the conventional media and public space in Macedonia.”
If you really want to get a sense of the WMC’s vibe, check out their nine-minute fascist short film “Macedonian Prayer”, which was regularly aired on Macedonian state television a few years back. It gives you a lot of good info about the world’s racial groups (direct quote from the voice of God: “Your Mother was inhabited by me with three races: the White — Macedonoids; the Yellow — Mongoloids; and the Black — Negroids. The rest — all mulattoes”) and about how God is going to come back to Earth (Macedonia) pretty soon so he can open Alexander the Great’s grave and “tell the truth” about the divine supremacy of the first white people, the Macedonoids.