Old Testament + New Testament → Christianity
Christianity → White suicide
Old Testament + New Testament → Christianity
Christianity → White suicide
Now that I have been translating articles and letters of the Spanish blogger Manu Rodríguez for The West’s Darkest Hour a thought arrived to my mind today.
Couldn’t the Protestant, specifically the Puritanical version of Christianity that the Early Founding Fathers brought to this continent be the perfect operating system, complete with an in-built bug, to undermine the Aryan spirit?
Judge it by yourselves my dear readers. It was the Yankees sans Jews the ones who horribly betrayed their kinsmen during the American Civil War on behalf of the Negroes: the seeds of what would happen big time in the next century with American betrayal of Germany on behalf of the Jews.
After all it was the American Puritans, as Tom Sunic demonstrated in his latest book, the ones who introduced Old Testament (OT) values in the Low Culture: something that explains the runaway Zionism in the contemporary evangelical scene. If in addition to the Holy Book of the Jews subtly introduced to the Aryan psyche after the Reformation you add the New Testament’s (NT) non-ethnic but universal message, Love your neighbor, help the poor and disadvantaged, etc., the perfect recipe for Indo-European suicide has been formulated, right?
OT + NT = White suicide
If this interpretation of Western history is correct, Christianity in general, and Murka in particular, must burn to save whites from extinction.
It seems to me that the etiology of Western malaise is more complicated than what the average nationalist has imagined. While reading MacDonald’s first trilogy study on Jewry I thought that the etiology was, at least, threefold.
First: the hardware. As MacDonald and many others have pointed out, whites “have some unique characteristics such as individualism, abstract idealism and universal moralism” that are apparently genetic (precisely the characteristics that presently are being exploited by the tribe).
Second: the software. If the above is a problem in the hardware (something like whites being wired the wrong way when dealing with other races), these hardware characteristics were augumented after a Catholic cult, which means “universal” including all ethnic groups in the world, took over the Roman Empire.
Third: the virus. Paradoxically, once Christianity starts to be abandoned by the white people, our universalist-individualist-idealistic frame of mind, taken to its ultimate logic naturally results in liberalism, a “virus” of the mind operating within the white psyche.
If our diagnosis of the West’s darkest hour is correct, then the Jewish Problem is an epiphenomenon of the deranged altruism resulting from the secular fulfillment of universal Christian values. (Proof of it is that Muslims don’t allow the suicidal empowerment of Jews in their nations.) It also means that both our hardware wiring and our Judeo-Christian software must be understood before we can grasp the whys of the psycho-ethical structure that is preventing us from taking elemental action (e.g., disempowering the Jews). For the Christian that I was, and this is purely anecdotal (others may find different venues), the first step to understand the virus was starting to question the historicity of the gospel narratives.
These are the excerpts I typed from Helms’ book. I do this in honor of Porphyry, the first man to write a prolegomena of what fifteen centuries later started to be called “higher criticism” of the Bible.
Note: I edited this article on Christmas 2012
and eliminated several redundant sentences. Incidentally, I didn’t take the trouble to type excerpts of the last two chapters of Randel Helms’ slim book; it looked like readers were simply uninterested in the subject.
Below, a section of Andrew Fraser’s “Natural Born Citizen? Obama and the Fourth American Revolution” published today at The Occidental Observer.
Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity
The constitutive principle of the First (Federal) Republic was liberty. But the festering contradiction between the progressive ideal of liberty and the reactionary realities of Negro slavery unleashed another wave of revolutionary dynamism, found in its most extreme form in the rise of the abolitionist movement.
Eventually, the First (Federal) Republic was overthrown. When the War for Southern Independence was lost, the federal principle which licensed the secession of the slave states was subordinated to the colour-blind ideal of personal liberty. It was clear that sovereign authority had passed from the citizens of the several states into a consolidated Union-dominated government under the direction of Northern commercial and industrial interests.
But formal legal recognition of the Second (Bourgeois) Republic required another constitutional coup d’état. The revolutionary Fourteenth Amendment was adopted by Radical Republicans to subordinate the states to the federal government and to create a uniform national citizenship.
According to Article V of the federal Constitution, however, amendments require the formal consent of three quarters of the states. The South was still under military occupation by Union troops. Fraud and coercion were employed freely to compel Southern legislatures to ratify the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868. In effect, white Southerners were made an offer they could not refuse: ratify the Fourteenth Amendment or be denied re-admission to the Union.
The Second Republic was founded on the principle of equality. But it eventually foundered upon the multiplying contradictions between the formal legal ideal of equality and the substantive social realities of race, class, and gender.
Seventy years after the Civil War, the New Deal ushered in the Third (Managerial/Therapeutic) Republic which radically expanded the powers of the federal government. No effort was made to obtain the formal consent of the states to this constitutional revolution.
Indeed, in 1937, the Supreme Court, too, was compelled to abandon its early resistance to repeated and sweeping federal usurpations of state jurisdiction by making the famous “switch in time that saved nine.” Faced with Roosevelt’s threat to pack the court, the judiciary simply turned a blind eye to the Article V amendment procedure, choosing instead to place its imprimatur on the Third American Revolution.
The Third Republic based itself upon the revolutionary ideal of fraternity among American citizens of every class, race, and gender. While allowing Congress a free hand to regulate the economy, the Supreme Court brought every so-called “discrete and insular minority” under its own wing. In the Forties and Fifties, the Court waged its own revolutionary war against discrimination in landmark cases such as Shelley v Kraemer and, most famously, Brown v Board of Education.
By the Sixties, it was obvious that the principle of fraternity stood in stark contradiction not just to individuals’ freedom of association but also to the exclusionary character of allegedly “racist” immigration laws. Accordingly, the progressive leaders of the Republic launched a demographic revolution which extended the blessings of American citizenship to millions of non-Whites drawn from every corner of the Third World.
As a consequence, the principle of fraternity quickly morphed into the celebration of diversity as an end in itself. But demographic diversity stands in clear contradiction to the ancient republican ideal of a body politic in which citizens unite in pursuit of the public interest and the common good.
Homo americanus long ago renounced his historic allegiance to throne and altar. Soon afterward, the blood faith that his colonial ancestors had shared with their kith and kin across the Atlantic was replaced by the civil religion of the Republic. Americans had also become hopelessly addicted to endless economic growth and territorial expansion. Within that future-oriented, novus ordo seclorum, it was impossible to define the constitutional abstraction known as the sovereign people-at-large in backward-looking, traditional terms of shared blood, language, and religion.
A commenter said…
“Inspired by the secular humanist ideology of the European Enlightenment, America’s constitutional faith strove to incarnate the principles of liberty, equality, and fraternity, one after another, in a series of revolutionary republican moments.”
Wait, no mention of the influence of the Bible and the Ten Commandments? Yet, these leaders were overwhelmingly inspired by the Bible as evidenced by an army of relevant sources. Here’s a cursory list:
• “Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for a government of any other.” —John Adams, 1798 in letters to the Massachusetts Militia.
• “It is equally undeniable… that the Ten Commandments have had a significant impact on the development of secular legal codes of the Western World.” —U.S. Supreme Court, Stone v. Graham, (1980) (Justice Rehnquist, dissenting)
• “The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount. The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings we get from Exodus and St. Matthew, from Isaiah and St. Paul. I don’t think we emphasize that enough these days.” —Harry S. Truman, Feb. 15, 1950, Attorney General’s Conference.
Suggested Reading: The Ten Commandments & their Influence on American Law
The ten books that made an impact in my life
before I became racially conscious
2.- The Sickle
(read in 1979)
The very first post of the old incarnation of this blog has a 2006 entry, “Eschatology: The Cult That I Left,” that provides the context to understand The Sickle, authored by William W. Walter. Walter’s Sickle, published in 1918, is one of the two textbooks of the cult I was immersed since December 1978 until May 1980 (though I continued to believe some of Eschatology’s dogmas throughout the ’80s and well into the ’90s).
Eschatology is a comparatively small religious movement that derived from Christian Science. There is no way to transmit why the book made such an enormous impact in my life except by reposting my long article, with several syntactic improvements, in this new incarnation of The West’s Darkest Hour. I chose The Sickle rather than the other Eschatology textbook, The Sharp Sickle for this entry’s title as one of the books that have impacted my life because I did not read The Sharp Sickle until 1984 or 1985, when I officially had already left the cult.
Eschatology: the cult that I left
by César Tort
“Obviously the greatest tragedy that can happen to Christian Scientists occur when they die of a curable disease after postponing a consultation with a medical doctor. A more subtle kind of tragedy afflicts believers who, after not being healed by faith, assume that the failure is a defect in themselves.”
On August 9, 1985 I arrived at midnight to the San Francisco international airport from Mexico City. I was alone and awaiting the immigration department officer, who was interviewing another young man. When the officer finally came to me he inspected all of my luggage belongings. It surprised me he was amiable and that he easily let me go out into the city as a tourist. I had deceived him: my project was to become an immigrant. I told to myself with enthusiasm:
They don’t know what they’re doing! They don’t know what they’re doing! They have no idea about the menace I represent! Now the end of the world is at hand…
I believed I had the key to develop paranormal powers. I believed that I and those who developed such powers would force the eschaton in history; that we would irrupt in human destiny to the point of thoroughly transforming the world just like the novel Childhood’s End (a book I’ll review this Thursday).
How could such a bizarre idea got into my mind?
I had been indoctrinated in a New Age cult called Eschatology. My plan was based on the expectation that I only needed to complement the Eschatology training I received in Mexico with parapsychological studies in American libraries and institutes.
But how did I fell prey of such a cult?
As a teenager I was crushed emotionally by my parents and a witch-doctor they hired. It’s understandable that, once the adolescent crisis was over, in a state of utter confusion I fell in a cult. Although I was pretty sure it would save me, the cult damaged me even more. Since I believed that Eschatology would solve my problems it made no sense to go back to a school I had abandoned due to the extreme abuse at home.
But instead of recounting my misadventures in Eschatology I shall talk about the kind of cult I fell and how I escaped it cognitively.
Mary Baker Eddy (1821-1910), a sensitive New Hampshire girl, was victimized by her father, a zealous Calvinist who inculcated her the idea of predestination to eternal damnation. Mary became disturbed. The physicians who attended young Mary were as naive as today’s psychiatrists: they approached the family problem with physical treatments. Mary rightly became resentful of conventional medicine. The disorder caused by the family was profound. After getting married and becoming an early widower, for decades Mary’s life shipwrecked until she found shelter in the fatherly figure of Phineas Quimby, one of the typical American quacks who flourished in the 19th century inspired by Franz Mesmer. Like Mesmer, Quimby believed in the power of the mind and suggestion to treat diseases. The encounter was crucial. Instead of physical methods Quimby was interested in Mary as a person, and without explicit intention Quimby helped her to transfigure the father’s Calvinism to a more benign version of Christianity with no hell at all. Quimby sometimes used the expression “Christian science” for his quack teachings, a term that Mary Baker subsequently appropriated to name the church she formed.
With no credit for Quimby as her mentor, in 1875 Mary Baker published the first edition of her textbook Science and Health with the Key to the Scriptures. The following year she formed, with some of her followers, a society and in 1877, at fifty six, she married again, with Asa Gilbert Eddy. In 1879 Mary Baker Eddy officially founded a church, which in 1890 counted with four thousand followers. Since then the established Church and its numerous churches grew up exponentially. In 1895 a temple was built in front of New York’s Central Park, and by 1906 another immense temple was built in Boston when Eddy already was eighty five years old. Stefan Zweig wrote:
In twenty years out of a maze of metaphysical confusion she created a new method of healing; established a doctrine counting its adherents by the myriad, with colleges and periodicals of its own; appointed a Sanhedrin of preachers and priests; and won for herself private wealth amounting to three million dollars.
Zweig adds that since Queen Elisabeth and Catalina of Russia no woman obtained such a triumph over the world, nor lived to see on Earth a monument to her rule as Mary Baker Eddy.
Her followers were Legion: hundreds of quacks and dozens of minor sects with varied names sprouted throughout the United States, factions by apostates or those who had been excommunicated by the church. One of them was a young man called William Wilfred Walter (1869-1941).
William W. Walter
Starting as a barber, Will Walter had to earn a living at seventeen in Aurora, Illinois. At twenty one he married Barbara Stenger and the couple had a son. In a cult it is difficult to get basic information about the founder, but one of the very few pieces of biographical info about Walter is that at his late twenties he got a job as a buyer in a large warehouse. He initiated contact with the local Christian Science church after he developed tuberculosis. Walter ignored that spontaneous remission is not unusual in cases of pulmonary tuberculosis; he remained convinced that a church practitioner had healed him by purely psychic means. Walter became a devout follower of the church and reached the position of first reader (though officially there are no clergy in the church, the first reader may appear to outsiders as the equivalent to a Protestant pastor).
In 1912 Walter’s revolutionary idea of God distanced himself from the church. Or perhaps he was excommunicated. The information from eschatologists I have is contradictory. At any event, Walter accepted the title “The Walter Method of Christian Science,” which served his followers to distinguish the incipient organization from the mainstream church. He received correspondence from disillusioned Christian Scientists and claimed to heal his clients through mental means alone. In 1917 he taught his first class at home, but not until 1928 he changed the name of his small movement to “Eschatology.”
With the exception of his abandonment of theism, Eschatology shares almost all the incredible Christian Science doctrines, such as the belief that for advanced understanders it is possible to heal any illness and even old age to the point of staying centuries in this world.
Alas, both Eddy and Walter died at common ages of dying. Walter died without having finished a series of booklets that he promised would be forty. In 1940 he wrote: “This is booklet number thirty-one. The first of the fourth series of ten of the Common Sense Series.” But soon after he wrote booklet #34 death surprised him.
After he passed away the information I possess is, once more, contradictory. Some say that the movement fell apart; others, that Walter’s wife passed on the torch to Genevieve Rader. At any event, in the 1960s the organization moved to California, where all sort of New Age movements flourish. In the 1970s the wealthy Mexican Mario Estrada, who studied with Rader, brought Walter’s doctrines to Cuernavaca. Estrada was the teacher of Juan del Río, whom I met in Mexico City in 1977 through one of his sons.
Well: 1977 had been precisely the year in which my parents confabulated with a witch-doctor to control me through drugs that my mother poured furtively in my meals. (See my paper, “Unfalsifiability in Psychiatry and Licit Drugging of White Children”.) Such criminal behavior could have destroyed my life and I escaped by the skin of one’s teeth. The abuse explains the state of confusion in which I found myself at that time, and why I entered the world of Eschatology.
Even though Christian Scientists are not very devout of theism, Walter understood deity more or less as the posterior New Age: he became to believe that each individual is God, something like democratizing for mankind what had been said about Jesus Christ in the first Christian councils, the famous formula Vere homo, vere Deus. But Walter suffered horrible inner struggles to get rid from the theism he had been taught as a child in Catholicism: an agony that reminds me my own religious crisis even if Walter was able to overcome the parental introject by eliminating from his mind all belief of God as a personal being. (Chapter 14, where he recounts his spiritual agony, is the most important chapter of The Sickle from the psychological viewpoint.)
In Walter’s worldview Jesus of Nazaret, despite of having been the individual who has better understood the Science of Life (called “Eschatology” by Walter) and that developed paranormal powers best, was a man like any other. Potentially everyone can develop extra-sensory perception as Jesus read the thoughts of the Samaritan woman; and psychokinesis, the domain over the material world as Jesus healed people and walked on the water. The “Master Mind Jesus,” Walter tells us, learned those powers thanks to a long Hebrew tradition of understanders of the Science of Life, as registered in the Bible albeit in veiled form to hide the psi development formula from “the evil minded.” Walter wrote:
The so-called wonders wrought by Moses were done through his own understanding of the mental power; and therefore, they were not miracles, but the producing of mental phenomena through known methods. With the same amount of understanding they could be again reproduced in this age. The fact is that greater so-called wonders are now being produced by students of Mind.
Since not only Jesus but every human being is God incarnate, Walter deduced that the age in which mankind attains consciousness of its divinity, and therefore of its potential powers, will arrive when his students understand—as Jesus and Walter understood—the Science of Life. When this happens the consequences will be eschatological. In The Sickle, a title extracted from a passage of the Book of Revelation, Walter tells us that after the publication of The Sickle the understanding of the application of mental power will come, and with it “the end of the age.”
All of these grandiloquent, though megalomaniac ideas of Walter and his followers infected the altogether confused adolescent I was and explain my soliloquy at the San Francisco international airport. To understand my alienation I have no choice but to enter into detail in the art of developing mental powers as Walter taught it.
The Law of Importunity
In Eschatology there are three laws that Juan del Río taught me and my female classmates since the first formal class; laws that I interpreted in a very practical way.
The first one, the Law of Cause-effect, tells us that given our divine nature we can create ex nihilo whatever we desire.
The second one, the Law of Proportion, tells us which quality our thought should have to be “causal”: it must be an absolute feeling in the objective reality of our desire. Walter interpreted that this is what Jesus tried to say: “Therefore I tell you, all things whatever you pray and ask for, believe that you have received them, and you shall have them” (Mk. 11:24). The textbook illustration chosen by del Río was that of an Apothecary scale. When a pan of the scale accumulates 51 per cent of our positive thoughts and feeling (“Believe that you have received them…”) the scale will tip on the bottom stop and the manifestation of our desire is automatic (the opposing pan would represent the “appearances” and “misleading” shortages in our lives). Hence the name of “proportion” for this Law. But the real problem starts here. If we possess the ability to cause (the First Law) and we know the quality our thinking must have to be causative—a profound conviction (the Second Law)—how can we reach such a conviction?
The Third Law, the Law of Importunity, does the trick. According to the eschatologists Importunity means “to pray insistently and persistently until the mind yields,” that is, until the sum of thoughts generates a positive feeling without doubt. This is something that Walter also deduced from Jesus’ teachings: the parable of the man and his neighbor in the midnight that asks for some bread; the man answers that everybody is asleep but, because of the neighbor’s Importunity, he wakes up and gives the neighbor what he wants (Lk. 11: 5-13). The idea is repeated in the metaphor of the widower that with great persistence importunes a judge pledging for justice, a parable with the moral “to pray always without becoming weary” (Lk. 18:1-8). Walter interpreted the praying of these verses not as a pledge to an nonexistent personal God, but as the mental practice of the advanced student of the Science of Life. The way to reach the state of profound conviction (“believe that you have received them!”) is a repetitive and bothersome mental exercise, an importune praying to oneself which culminates in the feeling of conviction. Following the metaphor of the Apothecary’s scale, through the importune repetition of thoughts the individual mind accumulates the needed 51 per cent on the “right” pan for the scale’s arm to lean toward our favor, that is, to generate the feeling of conviction.
To illustrate how an understander may utilize these three Laws let’s suppose he lost a hand in an accident and wants to have it back. According to the First Law he can since his thought is causative and he can create from nothing. According to the Second Law, to achieve it he has to feel that he already has his hand. Now then, to generate a feeling that contradicts all appearances he must “pray,” the Third Law tells us, he has to say to himself that the hand already exists with inexorable Importunity until the conviction is achieved. The way to do it is to withdraw to a solitary place, maybe hiding the stump where the hand ought to be so that the appearances will not disturb the eschatologist, and to repeat a line of thought such as “My hand exists and I know it’s here” with as much feeling as he can put into it.
With time, the theory goes, thanks to Importunity a mental sate will be reached in which the eschatologist will really believe he has a hand. That would mean fulfilling the Second Law, and voilà, in the objective world a new hand will appear. Of course: students are taught that in order to achieve such a feat they must start with much lesser goals such as healing oneself from a flu or a nervous ulcer. These modest accomplishments will be the platform to develop an invincible faith in one’s own ability to cause; a faith that, with the step-by-step feedback of successes, will allow us to solve increasingly difficult problems (such as the re-expression of an amputated limb).
In essence, that is the formula to develop psychokinesis according to Walter: a power that, The Sickle claims, when quite a few eschatologists develop it “the end of the age” will arrive. (In this article I use the terms “psychokinesis” and “psi” but the eschatologists do not use parapsychological terms.)
Thirty years ago, when I believed fervently in Walter’s apocalypse, I imagined that if Eschatology teachers got sick, old and died as any other mortal it was because they didn’t apply the teachings adequately; I believed they were mediocre individuals with no ambition whatsoever. One of the reasons I broke away with Juan del Río and with my second teacher, Jaime López, was that I didn’t see any psychokinetic result not only in my life, but in theirs. Del Río, who died of cancer in 2001, looked like a man of his age, a fifty six years old, when I studied with him in 1979. Once a new student told me he had asked del Río in front of other students if he knew at least a single eschatologist who did not age. Del Río stayed silent for a little time and responded in the negative. “Then Eschatology still doesn’t iron out wrinkles!” exclaimed the student. I thought exactly the same. Where were the centenarians that had to exist per force once Eddy and Walter rediscovered the “Science of Life” that had originally been discovered by understanders like Methuselah and the other Biblical centenarians? In theory, the most elemental development of psychokinesis ought to control, through psychic means, one’s own body. Eddy herself taught that her science could forestall the ravages of old age, and many of her devout followers did not expect her to die. What I saw flatly contradicted what Walter had promised.
Walter devoted two chapters to the subject of how to overcome old age in The Sharp Sickle, the other textbook of Eschatology. In the chapter “Youth and Maturity” Walter wrote:
Youth, being a sense of youth, can be consciously continued or maintained with all its vigor, energy, and good emotions. That this is not a mere theory can be established by the longevity of the Bible characters, who understood this fact.
Walter’s disciples swallow this claim. In one of her booklets Florence Stranahan wrote:
“You say yours [the hair] is prematurely gray. Age has nothing to do with it. It is your own thought.”
That eschatologists really believe they possess the elixir of youth is also apparent in the commentary by Genevieve Rader about those chapters of The Sharp Sickle: a commentary that is read to the advanced students and ratifies and elaborates Walter’s statements. But like Eddy, Stranahan and Walter, Rader, who for forty years directed Eschatology until 1981, got old and died.
(The organization’s logo)
So the great masters were getting old and dying just like everyone else. But that didn’t concern me much since I also swallowed the eschatologists’ rationalizations: that Eddy, Stranahan and Rader didn’t understand quite well the Science of Life, and that Walter did his “transition” to the next world because he wanted.
To believe in these ingenious rationalizations allowed me to continue my studies of Eschatology. During my first year in the cult I tried countless times to fulfill the tortuous Law of Importunity but I couldn’t. I felt like a fool parroting so many lines of thought without any result whatsoever and never accomplished the marathon sessions of hours or even days that, del Río told us, Walter had performed. I was twenty years old and wanted to become a virtuous of praying—Importunity—to manifest my youthful desires. But it never occurred me to question the existence of such powers. It didn’t occur to me that the fault was not mine, or that other eschatologists had passed through similar difficulties in the praxis of Importunity. I didn’t dare to think they had fulfilled the Law of Importunity with no result, and even less did I dare to think that the stories of the marathon sessions of Walter were just tale-telling by the eschatologists. Perhaps it was Jaime Hall, my closest Eschatology friend (who passed away in 1996 due to a sudden heart failure), the one who told me that Walter had prayed for days; that he needed money and a former student sent him a check by mail: a miracle he attributed to his marathonic Importunity. It never occurred to me to question that miracle or those attributed to Jesus. I couldn’t conceive that what the gospels tell could not have been historical but literary fiction, and that the “metaphysical” interpretation of Eddy and Walter about the New Testament was humbug. Years, oh how many years had to pass to call into question the historicity of the Biblical tales!
Now that I have abandoned all faith in the existence of such powers I can see some elemental things that I didn’t see due to my blind faith. If Eschatology were a science and its laws as real as the gravity law or the thermodynamics laws, it’s more than elemental that I would have witnessed plenty of demonstrations of such laws by my teachers Juan del Río and Jaime López. (A vignette: During a conversation with my father in the early 1980s I once referred to the latter as “Yoda,” since I had just watched The Empire Strikes Back.) Gravity does not need demonstration: we see it every day. But neither I nor any Eschatology student had seen a relatively modest paranormal feat such as moving a small object psychically, let alone a centenarian Methuselah who re-expressed amputated limbs.
They die younger…
To anyone close to fell prey of Eschatology or any other New Age cult I would recommend considering this litmus test to distinguish a false science from the true sciences:
Scientists can demonstrate the reality of their sciences at sight of everyone: electricity, engineering, computing, medicine, aeronautics, petrochemistry, automotive mechanics and many more. Pseudoscientists can’t. Had I reasoned this way before moving to the States I would have realized that I didn’t need to travel in pursuit of “serious” parapsychological materials to strengthen my eschatological faith. The fact that no eschatologist kept himself or herself young, or at least healthier than the norm, should have been enough for not seeking my salvation there.
According to the Journal of the American Medical Association of 22 September 1989 thousands of deaths of Eddy’s followers were registered along with a control group. If Christian Science was a real science one would expect that its followers lived longer than the control group. But the journal revealed something different. The death rate among Christian Scientists from cancer double the national average, and 6 percent of them died from causes considered preventable by doctors. The non-“Scientists” on the average lived four years longer if they were women and two longer if they were men.
Contrary to what they believe, followers of Eddy die younger of cancer than the average American due to their reluctance to go to the doctor. If similar studies were performed on Walter’s followers, who are also reluctant to ask for help in medicine because “belief in disease causes disease,” I bet that a study would throw very similar results. My former teacher Juan del Río fell seriously ill precisely because he forfeited medical check-ups even after he became rich as a result of having many Eschatology students, and when he developed symptoms the cancer was already in an advanced stage.
I must say that the best lesson I ever received about the Law of Importunity was given to me by del Río in private. His exposition was clearer and more didactic than the very chapters of The Sickle that teach the student how to “pray.” Twenty years later, when the cancer was detected, del Río had a window of opportunity of more than four years to pray with Importunity and overcome the disease. But he failed. And he failed for the simple fact that cancer has no “mental” etiology nor it is healed by “healthy thoughts” or by “eradicating all hate” as predicated by Walter.
My other teacher, Jaime López, went even further than del Río regarding the dilemma of whether or not going to the doctor. He once made a critical remark of the del Río family since they practiced prophylactic vaccination (Juan was a physician and he practiced his profession before entering the cult). In his study at Puebla, López told me that he didn’t vaccinate his sons, and that Juan and his wife had disappointed him for doing it. Jaime López ended his commentary telling me that he functioned in life “as Walter says.”
It is important to notice that presently Raquel Hall, Juan del Río’s widower, teaches hundreds of students of Eschatology, which she now calls “Mental Application.” Incredibly, the long agony of her husband has not moved her to question the dogma that that disease is curable by mental means alone. The believer in a cult, religion or pseudoscience rarely grows up when confronted with what psychologists call cognitive dissonance.
(Juan del Río, 1923-2001)
Yes: as a young man I was ignorant about the study of the American Medical Association and believed that the teachers’ old age and death was caused by their lack of the understanding that Jesus and the Old Testament centenarians had. Once more: it never occurred to me that the “Laws” of Eschatology simply did not exist, that it all was a grandiose fantasy. It didn’t occur to me because I could not conceive the inexistence of the paranormal: an idea that my father had inculcated me as a child with his beautiful tales about the miracles of Jesus. Although as a young man I had abandoned Christianity, I erroneously believed that the existence of extra-sensory perception and psychokinesis, on which the systems of Eddy and Walter are tacitly based, had been demonstrated scientifically by parapsychologists and that I only needed to check and see it for myself in the American labs of parapsychology. Hence the need to emigrate and my soliloquy that night at the airport.
Teach me a Yoda-like lesson!
The terrible experience of 1985-1988 in California after I left the airport is the subject of the last chapters of my autobiographical book. Here I will only quote a passage from my diary that shows the maturity of my ulterior apostasy from the cult:
2 September 1997
Yesterday I read two chapters of The Sharp Sickle after years of not reading it and something important happened. For the first time I doubt Walter’s honesty. Remember my handwritten note in that Skeptical Inquirer article about how should I have reacted before the claim of the Law of Importunity?:
Guru: “Don’t take my word for it. You can learn to do psychokinesis yourself.”
Skeptic: “Great! I’d love to! But before I put in the time and shell out the cash, I want to do a little consumer research. How about a demonstration?”
This is the crux. Neither Walter nor Genevieve or Robert Durling could even do a little psychokinetic demonstration like what Walter claims on page 219: that with his pure thought he affected pieces of steel, rubber, stone, wood and clay. Today my attitude would be to request a demonstration (“before I put in the time…”) or not trying to fulfill the interminable hours of the alleged Law of Importunity. It’s on this point where I have changed. He who now reads this Sickle is another man: a skeptic.
It’s a gem what Walter says on page 207: “Investigate the works [emphasis in the original!] of those you chose as leaders and you will not be far mislead,” because he died abruptly. “That Mrs. Eddy did not discover the whole is seen in that she is no longer here,” Walter wrote in the most treasured book by eschatologists. Another gem, since there’s nothing more fatal for Eschatology’s credibility that Walter died even younger than her!
At the end of his chapter “Conclusion” I wrote with red ink: “OK, Walter or contemporary teachers of Eschatology, I ask you this with no scorn whatsoever: Teach me a Yoda-like lesson by levitating the ship in front of Luke as in the film The Empire Strikes Back and tomorrow I’ll humbly re-start studying the first booklet of the Plain Talk Series!”
Except for a few syntax corrections, that’s what I wrote in my 1997 diary. The “Plain Talk” booklet is the text for the first classroom lesson in Eschatology.
It is worth mentioning that in his time there were people who considered Walter a swindler. Florence Stranahan, one of his most loyal disciples, wrote in the booklet Messages on Christian Science series I:
You write that Mrs. __ says that Mr. Walter is a crook [...] and that he is promoting a money-making scheme.
Stranahan doubted that the accusation of the unnamed woman was accurate. But Oliver Roberts de La Fontaine, a rich man from Wells Fargo & Co. in California, wrote in The Great Understander that Walter charged him $10,000 for a course for the initiate (the value of a mansion in those times). In his book Oliver confessed that when he heard such a figure he momentarily harbored the thought that Walter had been chasing him with previous courses so that, once convinced, take out from him a fortune.
Oliver paid Walter what he wanted. The anecdote moves me to point out that some paragraphs of his textbook suggest a lack of principles of the man who, in absentia, I took as my spiritual guide and mentor. Walter wrote:
There are two positive stages of unfoldment which precede conscious transition [for eschatologists "conscious transition" is going to the Next World without experimenting death]; and these must be fully understood and demonstrated before the third stage of conscious transition can be understood and demonstrated. Therefore, whenever any student of mine will prove to me through demonstration that he or she understands these first two stages, I will gladly give him the law governing the third stage.
The first stage is the demonstration of invisibility. Jesus could accomplish this at will, as is stated in the Scripture. The second stage is the transfiguration.
Did Walter really believe this? In his words (“whenever any student of mine will prove to me through demonstration that he or she understands these first two stages…”) it is implicit that, if Walter asked the student such a demonstration, he could make himself invisible and transfigured as well, as premiliminary stages of the complete understanding of the Mind.
Years ago I used to think that Walter was simply a crackpot. Now I am starting to look at him under a more sinister light. If Walter didn’t make himself invisible he was not a crank, but a charlatan. The difference between a crackpot and a charlatan is that the crank believes in his myths, whereas the charlatan swindles consciously. Martin Gardner distinguishes between the two in his hilarious book Science: The Good, the Bad and the Bogus: a crank is someone like Velikowski, who believed in his lunatic astronomy; a charlatan is someone like Uri Geller, who deceived us with his “psychokinetic” tricks.
So I repeat: Did Walter really believe what he asked his students, that with time they could make themselves invisible? As I said, in such a request it was not only implicit that he, Walter, did master invisibility but that he had transfigured like Jesus too. But it is an established fact that Walter never demonstrated he could made himself invisible before the men of science in his age. Had he done that he would have revolutionized the scientific world.
Presently I do not believe that Walter made himself invisible. And that can only mean one thing: that Walter lied to his pupils and readers by implying, in the above-cited quotation, that he could achieve such parapsychological feat. This conclusion can upset eschatologists, since Walter ended The Sickle stating that, above all, one must be sincere with oneself.
It is impossible to prove a negative; for instance, that Walter did not become invisible. But it is possible to show what science really is. There are two basic rules of the thumb in the skeptical community.
The first one is “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence,” for example, not only evidence that Walter had demonstrated invisibility publicly but that advanced eschatologists could do it today. But in his book Walter does not even bother to describe an ordinary proof for his extraordinary claims (the same fault appears throughout the textbook of Walter’s mentor, Mary Baker Eddy).
The second one is “The burden of proof rests upon the claimant alone.” It has been noted that in pseudosciences the burden is inverted; for instance, the teacher requests the student to make himself invisible—even if the teacher himself has not previously demonstrated invisibility! (contrast it with the teachers of magic in the Harry Potter films).
Let’s assume for a moment that Walter could make himself invisible. Why didn’t he perform public demonstrations? Was it to hide his secret formula of Importunity to develop such powers from the evil minded?
Don’t make me laugh, Walter! How absurd it would have been that Edison, just after he invented the electric light bulb, showed it to nobody but kept his most important invention to himself. Let’s imagine that he asked his students that they, not the inventor must show Edison how to create a light bulb—before letting them enter into his lab to see the shining light bulb of the teacher!
After pondering over the two Sickles with a healthy dose of skepticism, the inescapable verdict about Walter is that he may well have behaved as a crook, just as the woman mentioned by Stranahan stated in the above quotation.
To fully understand Walter it may not be a bad idea to read the biographies about the mischievous lives of the creators of religious empires on American soil: from Joseph Smith to L. Ron Hubbard and the reverend Sun Myung Moon passing through those who, like Walter and a myriad others, couldn’t create large organizations and their followers are barely known. Martin Gardner’s The Healing Revelations of Mary Baker Eddy is a good starting point. Whoever wants to know why real scientists do not believe in paranormal powers—which many cults promise to their followers—cannot miss Leaps of Faith by Nicholas Humphrey: a treat!
On 6 March 1941 the Aurora Beacon News, the newspaper of the small town in which Walter spent most of his life, published the note: “William Walter Dies Suddenly in Florida Home.” The article specified that that house was Walter’s “Winter home,” and that he died “of heart attack.”
The note demonstrates that what I heard in Eschatology is a myth: that Walter didn’t die like everyone else but made the “transition” to the next plane just like Jesus. (Eschatologists claim that the gospel tale about the Ascension describes Jesus’ “conscious transition” to the “next plane” of existence.) In the final chapters of Gospel Fictions, which first chapters were already quoted at length in this blog, Randel Helms demystifies the Resurrection and Ascension stories.
For the other nine books see here.
To overcome the deranged altruism of the white man that created the colored tsunami that’s killing us, Christianity must be debunked.
Below, part of Gospel Fictions’ fifth chapter, “Miracles (II): The Fourth Gospel” by Randel Helms (ellipsis omitted):
The Fourth Gospel presents an understanding of miracles quite different from that in the Synoptics, and even uses a word for miracle—sign (semeion)—which the others explicitly reject. The understanding of “signs” in the Fourth Gospel, indeed the word itself, stems from the Septuagint: Moses “wrought the signs [semeia] before the people. And the people believed” (Ex. 4:30-31 LXX).
Mark 6:5 claims (though Matthew and Luke refuse to repeat the verse) that in cases of weak faith, Jesus “could work no miracle.” Nowhere in John is faith the precondition of miracle. In the Synoptics, faith precedes the miracle; in John, the miracle precedes faith. John’s uneasiness about miracle-engendered faith, blending uncomfortably with the conviction that this was the way Jesus chose to reveal himself, may lie behind the strange fact that there are so few miracles in the Fourth Gospel: seven, compared to twenty in Matthew and twenty-one in Luke. John’s way of accounting for the paucity of his miracle stories is to declare that he has written only a selection of a much larger number available to him:
There were indeed many other signs [semeia] that Jesus performed in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. Those here written have been recorded in order that you may hold the faith that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that through this faith you may possess life by his name. (John 20:31-31)
The water made wine in Cana
An examination of the account of Elisha’s providing flour and oil in III Kings LXX reveals some direct verbal sources for the story of Jesus’ miracle at Cana.
One of the most puzzling aspects of this first miracle in the Fourth Gospel is Jesus’ rudeness to his mother: “Woman, what have I to do with you? [Ti emoi kai soi, gunai].” As has been seen before, the statement is here not a historical report but an antitype of Elijah: for the woman (gune) in need of food says to the prophet, “What have I to do with thee? [ti emoi kai soi]” (III [I] Kings 17:18 LXX).
Archaeologists at modern-day Cana found pieces of stone jars, including the one shown here, that date to the time of Jesus and appear to be the same type of jar mentioned in the water-to-wine story.
But as it happens, Elijah’s miracle provides flour, not wine. Why the change?
It appears that this miracle story in the Fourth Gospel was not only mediated through the story of Moses, where it picked up the concept of “sign,” before it reached John; it also went through one other transformation, influenced by the mythology of Dionysius. As Bultmann has pointed out:
On the festival day of Dionysus the temple springs at Andros and Teos were supposed every year to yield wine instead of water. In Elis on the eve of the feast, three empty pitchers were put into the temple and in the morning they were full of wine.
In other words the miracle story had an extensive history before it reached the author of the Fourth Gospel. Neither he nor anyone he knew attended a wedding at Cana-in-Galilee at which Jesus provided a hundred and twenty gallons of wine to those who had already drunk so freely they had exhausted the day’s provisions; the story is fiction and has a clearly traceable literary lineage.
The rest of Helm’s chapter examines the following Johannine miracle stories: the healing of the nobleman’s son, the healing of the crippled man at Jerusalem, the healing of the man born blind, and the supreme sign: the raising of Lazarus.
To overcome the deranged altruism of the white man that created the colored tsunami that’s killing us, Christianity must be debunked.
Below, part of Gospel Fictions’ fourth chapter, “Miracles I (The Synoptic Narratives)” by Randel Helms (ellipsis omitted):
Käsemann’s judgment is that the “great majority of the Gospel miracle stories must be regarded as legends.” The kind of incidents which in fact commend themselves as being historically credible are “harmless episodes such as the healing of Peter’s mother-in-law from a fever and the healing of so-called possessed persons.”
The next two chapters will examine the thirty-odd narratives in the Gospels which depict the Synoptic and Johannine attitudes toward miracles, demonstrating their literary lineage, and discuss how these fictional or legendary stories came to be composed.
Narratives about Jesus’ performing miracles were virtual requirements, given first-century Christianity’s understanding of the Old Testament. Matthew 11:2-5 makes this quite clear:
John, who was in prison, heard what Christ was doing, and sent his own disciples to him with this message: “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to expect some other?” Jesus answered, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind recover their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are made clean, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, the poor are hearing the good news.”
Matthew has Jesus list what are, in fact, signs of the advent of the New Age, as Isaiah had predicted: “The eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall hear. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart” (Isa. 35:5 LXX). Matthew combined Second Isaiah’s declaration using that prophet’s very words from the Septuagint.
The resurrection of a dead son
Both Elijah and Elisha mediate two striking miracles, the creation of abundance from little and the resurrection of a dead son. If these sound familiar to a reader of the Gospels, we should not be surprised.
Since Luke’s account of the raising of the widow of Nain’s son so clearly betrays its literary origins in the Septuagint, I shall begin with it:
And it came to pass [kai egeneto] afterwards that Jesus went to a town called Nain, accompanied by his disciples and a large crowd. As he approached the gate of the town he met a funeral. The dead man was the only son of his widowed mother; and many of the townspeople were there with her. When the Lord saw her his heart went out to her, and he said, “Weep no more.” With that he stepped forward and laid upon the bier; and the bearers halted. Then he spoke: “Young man, rise up!” The dead man sat up and began to speak; and Jesus gave him back to his mother. Deep awe fell upon them all, and they praised God. “A great prophet has arisen among us,” they said. (Luke 7:11-16)
Either Luke or some Greek-speaking Christian behind Luke composed this story on the basis of the account in the Septuagint version of Kings depicting the raising of the dead son of the widow of Sarapeta (III, [I] Kings 17:8-10, 17, 19-23 LXX). Both stories begin with a favorite Septuagintal formula, “And it came to pass.” Both concern the dead son of a widow (chera). In both the prophet “went” (eporeuthe) to the town, where he met a woman at the “gate of the city” (ton pylona tes poleos—LXX; te pyle te poleos—Luke), even though archaeological study has shown that the village of Nain in Galilee never had a wall. Nain’s fictional gate is there for literary reasons: Sarepta’s gate transferred. In both stories the prophets speak and touch the dead son, who then raises and speaks. In both stories it is declared that the miracle certifies the prophet (“Behold, I know that thou art a man of God”—LXX; “A great prophet has arisen”—Luke). And both stories conclude with precisely the same words: “and he gave him to his mother” (kai edoken auton te metri autou).
The raising of Jairus’ daughter
Early Christians knew, on the basis of Isaiah 26:19, that raising of the dead was to be one of the signs of the advent of God’s kingdom. The only Old Testament narratives of resurrection are in the stories of Elijah and Elisha. In Mark 5, Matthew 9, and Luke 8, the president of an unnamed synagogue, one Jairus (whose name, “He will awaken,” betrays the representative and fictional nature of the account), comes to Jesus. Like the Shunnamite woman to Elisha, “falls at his feet and entreats him many times,” saying, in both Mark and Luke, that his only daughter was dying. In Matthew, to align more closely with the story’s Old Testament source—as is typical of the careful and knowledgeable first evangelist—the child is already dead.
The story stays close to the Old Testament original. In both, the prophet, on the way to the child, receives a message that it is dead, but continues resolutely. In both stories the prophet seeks privacy for the miracle: “After turning all the others out, Jesus took the child’s father and mother and his own companions and went in where the child was lying,” just as Elisha shut the door upon himself and the child. And in both, the prophet touches the child and speaks, and the child awakes. In Mark, the parents were “ecstatic with great ecstasy” (exestesan… ekstasei megale—Mark 5:42); in Kings, the mother of the child is “ecstatic with all this ecstasy” (exestesas… pasan ten ekstasin tauten—IV Kings 4:31 LXX). Just as the widow of Nain’s son began as the widow of Sarepta’s son, so the daughter of Jairus began as the dead child of Shunnam.
The other process, the heightening of the miraculous and the elimination of hints about the limitation of Jesus’ power to work miracles, is evident in later treatments of Mark’s account of Jesus at Nazareth. There in his own town, says Mark, he was not notably successful:
Jesus said to them, “A prophet will always be held in honour except in his home town, and among his kinsmen and family.” He could work no miracle there, except that he put hands on a few sick people and healed them, and he was taken aback by their want of faith. (Mark 6:4-6)
Matthew, with a more “advanced” theology and a more fully deified Jesus, could not accept Mark’s assertion, so he treated it as fiction, untrue; it was not that Jesus could not perform great miracles in the face of lack of faith in him, rather he chose not to do so. Bearing this in mind, we may more readily grasp why Matthew and Luke chose to leave out altogether two of Mark’s miracle stories. Jesus is asked to heal a deaf mute:
He took the man aside, away from the crowd, put his fingers into his [the man’s] ears, spat, and touched his tongue. Then, looking up to heaven, he sighted, and said to him, “Ephphatha,” which means, “Be opened.” With that his ears were opened and at the same time the impediment was removed and he spoke plainly. (Mark 7:33-35)
In the next chapter, Jesus is asked to cure a blind man:
He spat on his eyes, and laid his hands upon him, and asked whether he could see any thing. The blind man’s sight began to come back, and he said, “I see men; they look like trees, but they are walking about.” Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; he looked hard, and now he was cured so that he saw everything clearly. (Mark 8:23-25)
For Matthew and Luke, who eliminated both these stories from their revisions of Mark, the notion that Jesus needed any kind of ritual (magic word) or medicinal (spittle) help, or even that he needed a little time and repetition of the treatment, was unthinkable. (Matthew characteristically depicts Jesus’ miracle-working powers as instantaneous.)
A Romanized Jesus in this painting found in a Christian catacomb in Rome. The beardless Jesus (Romans regarded the beard as a feature of the Barbarians) also has short hair and is wearing a Roman tunic.
Matthew ensures his story replaces the two he removed from Mark by depicting the man as both mute and blind.
Then they brought him a man who was possessed. He was blind and dumb, and Jesus cured him, restoring both speech and sight… But when the pharisees heard it, they said, “It is only by Beelzebub prince of devils that this man drives the devils out.” (Matt. 12:22-24).
A miracle story grows here before our eyes. Luke’s mute becoming mute and blind.
Like so many of the other miracle stories, these too have their origins in the Old Testament.
The disciples, though they have presumably just witnessed Jesus feed five thousand with five loaves, naively ask, “How can anyone provide all these people with bred in this lonely place?” —Mk. 8:14. Mark obviously found two stories in unrelated layers of oral tradition and, failing to grasp that they were different versions of the same story, put them into narrative sequence, making the disciples appear unbelievable stupid.
In any event, both narratives stem from IV [II] Kings 4:42-44 read as a typological foreshadowing of the career of Jesus. Both Testaments specify the number of hungry persons (one hundred in the Old; four and five thousand—much greater miracles!—in the New); both specify the inadequate amount of food available (twenty loaves in the Old Testament; five and four loaves—again greater miracles—in the New). In both the prophets instruct their disciples to feed the people, and in both the disciples protest the inadequacy: Elisha’s disciple complains, “I cannot set this before a hundred men” (IV [II] Kings 4:43); while Jesus’ disciple asks “How can anyone provide all these people with bread?” (Mark 8:5). Finally, in both stories, the meager loaves are miraculously amplified to feed all present and more: “And they ate, and left some over” (IV [II] Kings 4:44); “They all ate to their heart’s content, and seven baskets were filled with the scraps that were left” (Mark 8:9).
Interestingly, the miracle of the loaves and fishes is one of the very few Synoptic miracle stories which have also been used in the Fourth Gospel.
Stilling the storm; walking on the sea
Jesus also showed his power over nature in fictions about water. The ancients knew from Psalm 107 what power Yahweh has over the sea (Ps. 107:25-30). In Jonah, the sailors “called on the Lord and said, ‘O Lord, do not let us perish’” (1:14); in the Psalm, “They cried to the Lord in their trouble.” As a consequence, Jonah says, the “sea stopped raging” (1:15); the psalmist, “the storm sank to a murmur, and the waves of the sea were stilled.”
Matthew knew, unlike Mark, that the stilling of the storm was based in part one on the Book of Jonah, for again he rewrote his version of Mark’s narrative. Taking key words from Jonah—“Lord,” “save us,” “we perish”—Matthew rewrites Mark: a fictional correction of a fictional account, each of which is based in its own way on the Old Testament.
With this in mind, the nature of the rest of the miracle story as Mark first wrote it is more easily grasped. If it seems strange that Jesus could sleep in the stern of a small open fishing-boat in the middle of a storm so violent that waves were breaking over the vessel and filling it with water, Jesus’ sleep should be seen not as a description of an event but as a literary necessity.
Jesus also showed his power over the sea by walking on it (Matt. 14; Mark 6; John 6); a variant of the stilling of the storm.
Both versions reveal their origin in the same part of the Old Testament, Psalm 106 of the Septuagint (107 Heb.), with perhaps additional influence from the Book of Job. Early Christians knew from Job 9:8 that the Lord “walks on the sea [peripaton epi tes thalasses] as on dry ground”; thus they also presented Jesus “walking upon the sea” (peripaton epi tes thalasses—Mark 6: 48). But for the basis of their narrative about this “predicted” event, they went to the Septuagint Psalms, as may best be seen by comparing Mark’s and John’s versions of the pericope. Matthew enriches his account with a fascinating addition about Peter’s effort to copy his Lord.
It is tragic that erudite criticism on the New Testament, which started in the third century with the textual analyses of Porphyry, was lost after the Imperial Church burned all copies of Porphyry’s book. We had to wait until Reimarus in eighteenth-century Germany for the science of critical studies on the New Testament to be developed again.
Below, one of the few surviving fragments of Porphyry’s book, a comment about Matt. 14.25 & Mark 6.48:
Another section in the gospel deserves comment, for it is likewise devoid of sense and full of impossibility; I mean that absurd story about Jesus sending his apostles across the sea ahead of him after the banquet, then walking [on the sea] “at the fourth watch of the night.” It is related that they had been working all night to keep the boat adrift and were frightened by the size of the storm surging against the boat.
Those who know the region will tell us that, in fact, there is no “sea” in the locality but only a tiny lake which springs from a river that flows through the hills of Galilee near Tiberias. Small boats can get across it within two hours. And the lake is too small to have whitecaps caused by storm. Mark seems to be stretching the point to its extremities when he writes that Jesus—after nine hours had passed—decided in the tenth to walk across to his disciples who had been floating about on the pond for the duration!
As if this isn’t enough, he calls it a “sea”—indeed, a stormy sea—a very angry sea which tosses them about in its waves causing them to fear for their lives. He does this, apparently, so that he can next show Christ miraculously causing the storm to cease and the sea to calm down, hence saving the disciples from the dangers of the swell.
Again, this was written 1700 years ago!
To overcome the deranged altruism of the white man that created the colored tsunami that’s killing us, Christianity must be debunked.
Below, part of Gospel Fictions’ third chapter, “Nativity legends” by Randel Helms (ellipsis omitted between unquoted passages):
Two of the four canonical Gospels—Matthew and Luke—give accounts of the conception and birth of Jesus. John tells us only of the Incarnation—that the Logos “became flesh”—while Mark says nothing at all about Jesus until his baptism as a man of perhaps thirty. Either Mark and John know nothing about Jesus’ background and birth, or they regard them as unremarkable.
Certainly Mark, the earliest Gospel, knows nothing of the Annunciation or the Virgin Birth. It is clear from 3:20-21 that in Mark’s view the conception of Jesus was accompanied by no angelic announcement to Mary that her son was to be (in Luke’s words) “Son of the Most High” and possessor of the “throne of David” (Luke 1:32 NEB [New English Bible]).
According to Mark, after Jesus had openly declared himself Son of Man (a heavenly being, according to Daniel 7:13), his family on hearing of this “set out to take charge of him. ‘He is out of his mind,’ they said.” Surely Jesus’ mother and brothers (so identified in Mark 3:31) would not have regarded Jesus’ acts as signs of insanity if Mark’s Mary, like Luke’s, had been told by the angel Gabriel that her son would be the Messiah.
But Mark’s ignorance of Jesus’ conception, birth, and background was no hindrance to the first-century imagination. Many first-century Jewish Christians did feel a need for a Davidic messiah, and at least two separate groups responded by producing Davidic genealogies for Jesus, both to a considerable extent imaginary and each largely inconsistent with the other. One of each was latter appropriated by Matthew and Luke and repeated, with minor but necessary changes, in their Gospels. Each genealogy uses Old Testament as its source of names until it stops supplying them or until the supposed messianic line diverges from the biblical. After that point the Christian imaginations supplied two different lists of ancestors of Jesus.
Why, to show that Jesus is “the son of David,” trace the ancestry of a man who is not his father? The obvious answer is that the list of names was constructed not by the author of Matthew but by earlier Jewish Christians who believed in all sincerity that Jesus had a human father. Such Jewish Christians were perhaps the forbears of the group known in the second century as the Ebionites.
The two genealogies in fact diverge after David (c. 1000 B.C.) and do not again converge until Joseph. It is obvious that another Christian group, separate from the one supplying Mathew’s list but feeling an equal need for a messiah descended from David, complied its own genealogy, as imaginary as Mathew’s in its last third. And like Mathew’s genealogy, it traces the Davidic ancestry of the man who, Luke insists, is not Jesus’ father anyway, and thus is rendered pointless.
Moreover, according to Luke’s genealogy (3:23-31) there are forty-one generations between David and Jesus; whereas according to Mathew’s, there are but twenty seven. Part of the difference stems from Mathew’s remarkably careless treatment of his appropriated list of names.
Thus we have a fascinating picture of four separate Christian communities in the first century. Two of them, Jewish-Christian, were determined to have a messiah with Davidic ancestry and constructed genealogies to prove it, never dreaming that Jesus could be thought of as having no human father.
But gentile Christians in the first century, who came into the new religion directly from paganism and were already infected with myths about licentious deities, had a much different understanding of what divine paternity meant. Plutarch speaks for the entire pagan world when he writes, in Convivial Disputations, “The fact of the intercourse of a male with mortal women is conceded by all,” though he admits that such relations might be spiritual, not carnal. Such mythology came with pagans converted to Christianity, and by the middle of the first century, Joseph’s paternity of Jesus was being replaced by God’s all over the gentile world.
“The virgin will conceive and bear a son, and he shall be called Emmanuel,” a name which means “God is with us.” (Matthew 1:20-23)
The Septuagint, from which Matthew quotes, uses, at Isaiah 7:14, parthenos (physical virgin) for the Hebrew almah (young woman) as well as the future tense, “will conceive,” though Hebrew has no future tense as such. Modern English translations are probably more accurate in reading (as does the New English Bible), “A young woman is with child.” We can scarcely blame the author of Matthew for being misguided by his translation (though Jews frequently ridiculed early Christians for their dependence on the often-inaccurate Septuagint rather than the Hebrew). We can, however, fault him for reading Isaiah 7:14 quite without reference to its context—an interpretative method used by many in his time and ours, but a foolish one nonetheless. Any sensible reading of Isaiah, chapter seven, reveals its concern with the Syrio-Israelite crisis of 734 B.C. (the history of which appears in I Kings 16:1-20).
Jesus’ real father? According to a malicious, early Jewish story, Jesus was the illegitimate son of a Roman soldier called Pantera. The name is so unusual that it was thought to be an invention until this first-century tombstone came to light in 1859 (for the Latin inscription see below).
It is clear, however, that though the mistranslated and misunderstood passage in Isaiah was Matthew’s biblical justification for the Virgin Birth, it was not the source of the belief (indeed Luke presents the Virgin Birth without reference to Isaiah). The doctrine originated in the widespread pagan belief in the divine conception upon various virgins of a number of mythic heroes and famous persons in the ancient world, such as Plato, Alexander, Perseus, Asclepius and the Dioscuri.
Matthew writes that Joseph, having been informed in his dream, “had no intercourse with her until her son was born” (Matt. 1:25). Luke gives us a different myth about the conception of Jesus, in which the Annunciation that the messiah is to be fathered by God, not Joseph, is made to Mary rather than to her betrothed. Embarrassed by the story’s clear implicit denial of the Virgin Birth notion, Luke or a later Christian inserted Mary’s odd question [“How can this be, since I know not a man?”], but the clumsy interpolation makes hash of Jesus’ royal ancestry.
The inscription reads: “Tiberius Julius Abdes Pantera of Sidon, aged 62, a soldier of 40 years’ service, of the 1st cohort of archers, lies here” (only “Abdes” is a Semitic name).
In due course, Jesus was born, growing up in Nazareth of Galilee, a nationality different from the Judean inhabitants of Jerusalem and its near neighbor, Bethlehem. After Jesus’ death, those of his followers interested in finding proof of his messiahnship in the Old Testament worked a Christian reinterpretation of Micah 5:2 concerning the importance of Bethlehem as the birthplace of David and his dynasty:
You, Bethlehem in Ephrathah, small as you are to be among Judah’s clans, out of you shall come forth a governor for Israel, one whose roots are far back in the past, in days gone by.
That is, the one who restores the dynasty will have the same roots, be of the same ancestry, as David of Bethlehem. Prophesying, it would appear, during the Babylonian exile, Micah (or actually a sixth-century B.C. interpolator whose words were included in the book of the eight-century B.C. prophet) hoped for the restoration of the Judaean monarchy destroyed in 586 B.C.
But since some first-century Christians did read Micah 5:2 as a prediction of the birthplace of Jesus, it became necessary to explain why he grew up in Nazareth, in another country, rather than Bethlehem. At least two different and mutually exclusive narratives explaining this were produced: one appears in Matthew, the other in Luke.
Matthew has it that Mary and Joseph lived in Bethlehem when Jesus was born, and continued there for about two years, fleeing then to Egypt. They returned to Palestine only after Herod’s death. For fear of Herod’s son, they did not resettle in Bethlehem. But moved rather to another country, Galilee, finding a new home in Nazareth.
Luke, on the other hand, writes that Mary and apparently Joseph lived in Nazareth, traveling to Bethlehem just before Jesus’ birth to register for a tax census. They left Bethlehem forty days later to visit the temple in Jerusalem for the required ritual of the first-born, returning then to their hometown of Nazareth.
Examination of these two irreconcilable accounts will give us a good picture of the creative imaginations of Luke, Matthew, and their Christian sources.
In most of Matthew’s Gospel, the major source of information about Jesus is the Gospel of Mark (all but fifty-five of Mark’s verses appear in Matthew, either word-for-word or with deliberate changes). But Mark says nothing about Jesus’ birth. When one favorite source fails him, Matthew inventively turns to another—this time to the Old Testament, read with a particular interpretative slant, and to oral tradition about Jesus, combining the two in a noticeably uneasy way.
We must remember that for the Christian generation that produced our Gospels, the Bible consisted only of what Christians now called the Old Testament, and a particular version thereof, the Greek Septuagint. But before they wrote the New Testament, Christians created another entirely new book, the Old Testament, turning the Septuagint into a book about Jesus by remarkably audacious and creative interpretation. Meanings it had held for generations of Jews, its historical and poetic content especially, ceased to exist; it became not a book about the past but about its own future.
Of course, other groups such as the Qumran sect also read the Bible oracularly, but Christians specialized this technique, finding oracles about Jesus of Nazareth. If a passage in the Septuagint could be read as a prediction of an event in the life of Jesus, then the event must have happened. Thus, if Micah were understood to mean that the Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem, then Jesus must have been born there, no matter what his real hometown. But as it happens, the Bethlehem birth story, dependent upon the Christian interpretation of Micah, and the magi-and-star legend, dependent upon Hellenistic and Jewish oral tradition, fit together very uneasily. The story of the magi (“astrologers” is a more meaningful translation) says that “the star which they had seen at its rising went ahead of them until it stopped above the place where the child lay” (Matt 2:9).
In all the stories, the astrologers point to a special star, symbol of the arrival of the new force (Israel, Abraham, Jesus). Says Balaam: “A star shall rise [anatelei astron] out of Jacob, a man shall spring out of Israel, and shall crush the princes of Moab” (Num. 24:17 LXX). The astrologers in Matthew likewise point to a star: “We observed the rising of his star” (Matt. 2.2).
Now the source of the story of the king (Nimrod, Herod) who wants to kill the infant leader of Israel (Abraham, Jesus) shifts to the account of Moses in Exodus, the classic biblical legend of the wicked king (Pharaoh) who wants to slay the new leader of Israel (Moses). Indeed, the story of Moses in the Septuagint provided Matthew with a direct verbal source for his story of the flight into Egypt. As Pharaoh wants to kill Moses, who then flees the country, so Herod wants to kill Jesus, who is then carried away by his parents. After a period of hiding for the hero in both stories, the wicked king dies:
And the Lord said unto Moses in Midian, “Go, depart into Egypt, for all that sought thy life are dead” (tethnekasi gar pantes hoi zetountes sou ten psychen—Ex: 4:19 LXX).
When Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and go to the land of Israel for those who sought the child’s life are dead” (tethnekasin gar hoi zetountes ten psychen tou paidiou—Matt 2:20).
Of course, Moses flies from Egypt to Midian, while the Holy Family flees to Egypt through Midian.
“This was to fulfill the words spoken through the prophets: ‘He shall be called a Nazarene’” (Matt. 2:23). There is, however, no such passage in all the Old Testament. Matthew had apparently vaguely heard that such a verse was in the “prophets,” and since he really needed to get the Holy Family from the supposed birthplace to the known hometown, he reported the fulfillment but left the biblical reference unspecified.
Like Matthew, Luke faced the same problem of reconciling known Nazarene upbringing with supposed Bethlehem birth. His solution, however, was entirely different, and even less convincing. Whereas Matthew has the Holy Family living in Bethlehem at the time of the birth and traveling to Nazareth, Luke has them living in Nazareth and traveling to Bethlehem in the very last stages of Mary’s pregnancy. Though Luke 1:5 dates the birth of Jesus in the “days of Herod, king of Judaea,” who died in 4 B.C., he wants the journey from Galilee to Bethlehem to have occurred in response to a census called when “Quirinius was governor of Syria.”
As historians know, the one and only census conducted while Quirinius was legate in Syria affected only Judaea, not Galilee, and took place in A.D. 6-7, a good ten years after the death of Herod the Great. In his anxiety to relate the Galilean upbringing with the supposed Bethlehem birth, Luke confused his facts. Indeed, Luke’s anxiety has involved him in some real absurdities, like the needless ninety-mile journey of a woman in her last days of pregnancy—for it was the Davidic Joseph who supposedly had to be registered in the ancestral village, not the Levitical Mary.
Worse yet, Luke has been forced to contrive a universal dislocation for a simple tax registration. Who could imagine the efficient Romans requiring millions in the empire to journey scores of hundreds of miles to the villages of millennium-old ancestors merely to sign a tax form!
Needless to say, no such event ever happened in the history of the Roman Empire.