Weird Science 02-27-09
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Editor, The Konformist
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Who Was Jesus?
Fingerprints of The Christ
A Review by
Author of Atheist Universe
Anyone who knows me personally already appreciates what a huge fan I
am of D.M. Murdock (aka "Acharya S"). After reading-and thoroughly
enjoying-her book Who Was Jesus? Fingerprints of The Christ, my
admiration of Ms. Murdock has climbed to an even loftier elevation.
Murdock is one of only a tiny number of scholars with the richly
diverse academic background (and the necessary courage) to adequately
address the question of whether Jesus Christ truly existed as a
walking-talking figure in first-century Palestine. This question, and
many others related to New Testament reliability, are directly
confronted and satisfyingly answered in Who Was Jesus? I loved this
book. It is absolutely superb in every way, from the eloquence of the
writing to the integrity of the scholarship. This book should be
required reading in every American classroom.
My personal recommendation is that Who Was Jesus? should be the first
book purchased and studied by anyone, atheist or true believer, who
wants to debate Jesus' existence and the Bible's veracity. Why the
first book? Because Who Was Jesus? presents all the background
knowledge from which any informed discussion of Christianity must
proceed. In doing so, Murdock quotes the very voices of Christian and
New Testament scholars, evangelists and apologists themselves,
hoisting them on their own petards! Just as a diplomat could not make
meaningful proposals for Middle East Peace without an intimate
knowledge of the region's history, neither can any individual engage
in intelligent discussion of Christianity without a working
familiarity with the information in this brilliant volume. You should
therefore make this book priority reading even over The God Delusion,
God is Not Great and other excellent but, in my opinion, less
important books than Murdock's.
Amply citing Old Testament text to document how the New Testament was
adaptively contrived from the Old by using it as a blueprint,
Murdock's book focuses primarily on how the New Testament was put
together, or should I say "thrown together." I have read many books,
both by Christian apologists and resolute atheists, in which the
authors displayed very poor understanding of what's actually found in
the New Testament. Most people, including some New York Times best-
selling authors, seem to derive their "knowledge" of the Bible from
hearing their own pastors' sermons on Sunday mornings or, if they're
atheists, from their distant childhood memories of their pastors'
sermons on Sunday mornings. In either case, as Murdock points out so
adroitly and entertainingly, our popular conception of what Scripture
says is often completely at-odds with the text itself. Yes, most
people remember that the first four New Testament Books are Matthew,
Mark, Luke and John. But their knowledge of the Bible stops abruptly
at that point. And even here, Murdock describes in a most fascinating
way why these four Gospels were almost certainly not written in the
order in which they currently appear, nor were they authored by the
men whose names they bear, not even appearing in the historical
record until over a century later!
Murdock provides a splendid and concise summary of the events
described in each Gospel account and shows how they are inconsistent
with each other in innumerable details. She also presents a
spellbinding analysis of the so-called "secular historical
references" to Jesus. In each case, she reveals how this extra-
biblical "evidence" is completely lacking and how, incredibly, even
these dubious "historical references" to Christ were authored by
writers who weren't even born until years after Jesus' alleged
crucifixion. Even charitably interpreted, therefore, the extra-
biblical allusions to Jesus are second-hand hearsay, or twenty-fifth-
hand hearsay, and are of no value whatever in determining the
accuracy of the New Testament. The fact that there are no
contemporary historical references to Jesus argues against his
purported existence, especially in consideration of his astounding
alleged acts and widespread fame as depicted in the New Testament,
other facts emphasized in Who Was Jesus? As Murdock further
demonstrates, the New Testament is internally inconsistent as well
and showcases within its own pages the best possible evidence against
its Divine origin. My very favorite chapter began on page 139:
Questions About The Gospel Story. If the battle between atheism and
Christianity may be described as a philosophical and theological war,
then this chapter provides your invincible arsenal of weapons of mass
Ms. Murdock also describes Matthew's tale of newly resurrected
corpses wandering the streets of Jerusalem following Jesus'
crucifixion. Allegedly, these zombies popped back to life and walked
away from their Jerusalem burial sites; yet there is not a single non-
biblical historical reference to this unimaginably eye-popping event.
Murdock points out that, in this instance-and in many other New
Testament instances as well-the best explanation for the lack of
outside references is simply that the biblical account was
fabricated. Otherwise, we are left with the conclusion that no
historian of the time considered such a mass resurrection of the dead
to be noteworthy.
I really enjoyed reading this book. It was an easy and pleasurable
read. Even though I've been interested in this subject myself for
over thirty years, there was a great deal of information that I
learned from Ms. Murdock's book. The book puts together the text of
the New Testament with texts of extra-biblical sources and integrates
them with common sense and logic. The result is that an objective
reader is left with the conclusion that the Bible is simply false.
Murdock has stated that she doesn't tell her readers what to believe:
She just presents the evidence. Perhaps so. But the evidence she
presents is so compelling and so skillfully argued that the
conclusion, it seems to me, is inescapable: Christianity is merely
another ancient mythology, like Greek or Roman mythology. Murdock has
devastatingly checkmated her theologically enslaved opponents in this
I don't know whether the remainder of my comments (below) belong in a
book review, but I'm expressing them nonetheless.
D.M. Murdock/Acharya S, like all authors on controversial subjects,
has many critics. But they all share one commonality: They don't know
what they're talking about. Murdock understands many languages and
has a breadth of knowledge her critics cannot match. This fact irks
the uninformed. Having given a fair hearing to some of her online
detractors and their "rebuttal" videos, I have detected not only a
lack of knowledge on the part of her critics, but also, in some
cases, a thinly disguised misogyny. Objectively speaking, D.M.
Murdock is an attractive and dazzlingly brilliant woman. This is more
intimidation than some men can handle, even some atheist men. To
those who follow the teachings of the Apostle Paul, who forbade women
to even speak in church, it "logically" follows that Ms. Murdock
should remain silent as well, especially since she is grieving the
Holy Ghost. In plain English, Murdock is dealt criticism that would
never befall an ugly old man in a monastery. I would like to think
that 21st-century America is beyond such juvenile conduct, but that
is sadly not the case.
If you live in America and you are considered a "mainstream
intellectual," you may proffer the most absurd arguments imaginable-
and they are considered all well and good. But if you're viewed
as "outside the mainstream," you may proffer the most carefully
prepared, incontrovertible evidence possible, and you will
nevertheless be viewed cynically by those who cannot be troubled to
think through the issues for themselves and who must instead rely
upon "appeals to authority" (a logical fallacy). Murdock's critics
invariably fall into this slipshod and errant category.
To summarize: D.M. Murdock's Who Was Jesus? Fingerprints of The
Christ is unquestionably one of the finest and most enjoyable books
I've ever read. It is thorough and scholarly, yet pleasurably
provides invaluable knowledge on the most riveting of all subjects. I
admire Ms. Murdock tremendously, as much for her personal courage and
character as for her remarkable and vitally important volume.
Author of Atheist Universe
Acharya S/D.M. Murdock
Author, "The Christ Conspiracy," "Suns of God," "Who Was Jesus?"
and "Christ in Egypt"
February 22nd, 2009
The enclosed Resolution Against the Use of New Nuclear Power Plants
to Solve America's Energy Problems passed this weekend (Feb. 20-21,
2009) at a meeting of the California-Pacific Conference of the United
Methodist Church, Conference Board of Church and Society. The
Resolution was presented by Peter Moore-Kochlacs. Peter then took
the document to Washington, where he is right now, presented it to 25
people from various interfaith groups, and plans to present it to
Congressional aides this Monday (February 23, 2009).
I am deeply honored to have had a part in the creation of the
Resolution, along with many other people, and I hope it will be
widely distributed and endorsed. If you, or any group you are
associated with, endorses this Resolution, please contact Peter and
let him know:
Resolution against the use of new nuclear power plants to solve
America's energy problems
Whereas the Bible is clear that we are not to pollute our
neighborhoods, the planet, and the poor, but are to be good stewards
of all (Genesis 2:15, Isaiah 24, Jeremiah 4:2&7,Micah 6:6-8 & Matthew
Whereas the building of nuclear power plants, the generation of
nuclear power and the plant's radiation byproducts have been proven
to be very unhealthy to life, and
Whereas, every step in the nuclear process is fossil-fuel intensive,
including mining, milling, fuel fabrication, building the power
plants, and even operating them -- let alone the fossil fuel and
other resources which will be needed to care for the used reactor
cores after they have been irradiated inside the reactor, and
Whereas, the only safe nuclear power plant is one that does not
exist, since no human structure (e.g. underground storage facilities,
kick and roll burial of "low level" radioactive materials) can
withstand the forces of nature, and
Whereas, every step in the nuclear process is not only fossil-fuel
intensive, but terribly polluting in its own right, starting with
leakages of radioactive radon gas from the mine tailings, to the
radioactive "shine" which emanates from the spent fuel casks, despite
several feet of concrete and several inches of steel, and
Whereas, our children are 100 to 1000 times more susceptible to
radiation poison damage than adults, and
Whereas, thousands of diseases which are caused or enhanced or
exacerbated by radiation are so much worse for children who have no
voice or vote, and
Whereas, there is a very sound scientific reason why nearly $100
billion dollars in research funding so far has produced nothing in
the way of safe containments for nuclear waste (the scientific reason
being that radioactive decay is far stronger than any chemical bond
in nature -- known or postulated), and
Whereas, money spent on nuclear power will buy, at most, half the
number of jobs that money spent in developing and building cleaner
energy sources, such as wind power, would buy, and the new energy
would be delivered as much as ten years sooner, and
Whereas, the nuclear industry is incapable of purchasing insurance on
the open market, because the size of a catastrophe would bankrupt any
and all insurance agencies, and
Whereas, the Government does not provide adequate insurance (the
Price-Anderson Act is a hollow shell which would hardly compensate
any one after an accident); those few who would receive anything,
would get fractions of a penny on the dollar, and
Whereas, every operating nuclear power plant produces isotopes of
plutonium and hydrogen and other elements which are the raw materials
of nuclear bombs, and
Whereas, every operating nuclear power plant has a list of security
and safety violations, which if fully known and understood by the
public, would create such an outcry that all current nuclear power
plants would likely be shut down, and
Therefore, be it resolved that the California Pacific Conference
Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church insist
that the United States Federal Government provide that no government
money be invested in any nuclear power technology, except as maybe
necessary to pay for shutting down the current nuclear power plants
as quickly as possible and caring for their waste in as safe as
possible a manner, and
Therefore, be it further resolved that we oppose the building of any
new nuclear power plants, their funding, or their approval and that
the currently operating plants be closed as soon as feasible, and
Therefore, be it further resolved that people who have already been
harmed by nuclear power be both identified and compensated as best as
Therefore, be it further resolved that cleaner energy alternatives
such as solar, wind, geo-thermal (atmospheric vortex engines, ocean
thermal energy conversion, low flow rate undersea turbines) and other
workable and sustainable clean energy solutions be invested in by our
Federal Government, instead of Nuclear Power Plants, and
Therefore, be it finally resolved that this resolution be presented
to members of the US Congress, other government bodies, public policy
organizations, religious bodies and congregations of faith across the
United States and World for their information and hopeful affirmation
Author, The Code Killers:
An Expose About Nuclear Crimes High and Low, Large and Small, Far and
Free download: www.acehoffman.org
phone: (800) 551-2726; (760) 720-7261
address: PO Box 1936
Carlsbad, CA 92018
Subscribe to my free newsletter today!
Ammiano bill would legalize marijuana in state
Wyatt Buchanan, Chronicle Staff Writer
Monday, February 23, 2009
SACRAMENTO -- California would become the first state in the nation
to legalize marijuana for recreational use under a bill introduced
today by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco.
The proposal would regulate marijuana like alcohol, with people over
21 years old allowed to grow, buy, sell and possess cannabis - all of
which is barred by federal law.
Ammiano said taxes and other fees that accompany regulation could put
more than a billion dollars a year into state coffers at a time when
revenues continue to decline. He said he anticipates the federal
government could soften its stance on marijuana under the Obama
"We could in fact have the political will to do something, and
certainly in the meantime this is a public policy call and I think
it's worth the discussion," Ammiano said. "I think the outcome would
be very healthy for California and California's economy."
A spokeswoman for the Drug Enforcement Agency in Washington, D.C.,
declined to comment on the proposal.
The use of marijuana for medical conditions has been legal in
California since voters approved Proposition 215 in 1996.
E-mail Wyatt Buchanan at wbuchanan@....
Smoke This Recession
It's simple: First we tax the booze. Then we legalize the pot. Done.
By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist
Friday, February 20, 2009
It is a time of strange bedfellows and bizarre contortions and
extraordinary responses to extreme situations, all overslathered with
gobs of panic and dread and oh my God, I might have to sell the Range
In other words, it is a time -- like you don't already know -- of
plentiful alarmist rhetoric, resulting in weird outbursts of
ingenuity and wanton ethics-loosening, all in a desperate effort to
suck up some much-needed cash.
Translation: Money's tight, baby. City's in trouble. State's deep in
the hole. Nation's broke.
Solution? Upend the system. Think differently. Get creative. Demolish
Ye Olde Ways. And maybe get a really nice buzz on while you're at it.
Where to begin? How can the city/state refill their empty coffers and
further gouge the populace to make ends meet? Increased bridge tolls?
A new per-mile driving tax? Heavier parking fines? State parks
abandoned and left to seed? Child's play, darling.
You want to raise funds in an instant? You want a sure-fire, double-
barreled source of nearly limitless funds from a wary, burned-out
citizenry? That's easy. Go after its biggest vices, its most beloved
Up first: booze. Already local governments are quietly proposing
jacking up the alcohol tax and loosening sales restrictions because,
well, why the hell not? Aren't you, right this very moment, as you
prepare your taxes and weep over your gutted portfolio and stare down
one very bleak 2009, more in need of a drink or three than at any
time in recent history except for the entirety of the last eight
miserable, Bush-stabbed years? Well, there you go. Tax increases on
cocktails, here they come.
But it's not just governments. Check out the happily shameless TV
networks who, for the first time in a whocares number of years, are
allowing ads for alcohol and K-Y lube during prime-time programming.
Oh the outrage! Oh the debauchery! Who, pray who, will protect the
children? Oh wait, the children are out buying daddy some more beer
and applying for a job at Starbucks to help pay rent. Never mind.
New taxes on the other Great American vices: porn, gambling,
prescription meds, pro sports, obesity, Miley Cyrus? Watch for it.
Now, let's get serious. Because there are, of course, bigger fish to
fry in the sea of potentially lucrative, all-American inebriates.
There is a far more potent, obvious solution to the state's budget
woes, a huge, untapped revenue source, and now might be the perfect
time to, you know, light it up.
Really now, could there be a better time to decriminalize/fully
legalize pot? Or, more fully, to decriminalize pot, and then spread
respectable pot shops and vending machines and dispensaries far and
wide, instill quality control and decent oversight and then tax the
living hell out of the glorious, stress-reducing goodness, as we stop
wasting billions fighting its grand ubiquity and instead sink into
profitable pools of warm, hazy progress? Don't you already know the
It's difficult to imagine that some intrepid legislator hasn't
already walked into Arnie "Pot is not a drug" Schwarzenegger's office
and said, "Governator, now is the time. Light it up. Inhale the new
reality. Pot is, by a huge margin, the single largest cash crop in
the state unless you count porn stars and celebrity rehab. It rakes
in upwards of $14 billion a year -- maybe a lot more than that -- and
that's just from five clever hippies and a couple intrepid grandmas
in Ukiah. Imagine what we could do if we went all-in."
Are the discussions ongoing? Are they passing the bong of possibility
around the state Senate chambers? You're damn right they are. What's
holding them back? Probably the usual: the negative PR,
looking "soft" on crime, encouraging permissiveness, pressure from
prison lobbies, and so on. Don't worry, Sacramento. Everyone's
already plenty drunk/high on prescription meds trying to alleviate
fears of losing their job to care about that nonsense right now. Get
There won't be much pushback from D.C. President Obama's already
stated that his upcoming appointee to head the DEA is going to knock
it the hell off with the insidious raids of harmless medical pot
shops in California, and wants to quit using federal resources to
bash hippies and circumvent state laws.
Look. Is there really anyone left who doesn't already know the "War
on Drugs" is a pathetic joke, an abject failure and a taxpayer
nightmare, and the only reason it survives at all is to fund the CIA
and fellate the prison guard unions and support a shameful prison
system, and to let politicians say they're "tough on crime" so they
can to deflect all those uninformed parents who relentlessly whine
about pot in public schools just before dashing off a wine-tasting
party to snort a nice line of Bolivian coke?
Anyone left, furthermore, who doesn't know that pot is far safer than
booze, less addictive, nonviolent, more transportable, easier to
light, and generally won't interfere with your ability to crawl
across the carpet and lick cookie crumbs from your lover's thighs?
And sure, while heavy, daily usage can make you slow and stupid and
rather useless to the world, well, so can a six-pack of Diet Dr.
Pepper and six hours of TV every day. Gateway drug? That's on Channel
2, right after "Oprah."
And another thing. Maybe it wouldn't be merely tax 'n' puff. Maybe
California, already the pot-growing capital of the nation, could
become something more. A hub. A world-class research center. Pot
education, study, medicine, import/export, the works. We could ship
our crop to various nations in desperate need of chilling the hell
out, like Israel. Palestine. Pakistan. Russia. The N-Judah on a
Friday afternoon. We could become the largest research and
manufacturing center in the world. How proud we would be. You know,
Let's phrase this grand scenario in another way: Why the hell not try
it? What have we got to lose? What, we could go more broke? We could
get more desperate and anxious? Fact is, economic nightmares need not
breed only miserable stories of lost homes and lost jobs and
shuttered businesses. They can also spawn creative solutions,
innovative thinking, widespread munchies. Now is the time.
Let's not get carried away. Pot's only one little inebriate, one mild
and -- let's just admit it -- relatively boring feel-good plant.
California is $40 billion in debt and we're running low on water and
we can't give away those hideous tract developments out in Stockton.
Milking the pot cow for all she's worth might net us, at best, a few
billion a year. To get out of this massive hole, we'd have to
legalize Ecstasy too. (Someday, honey, someday).
But it's something. It's radical new thinking that's not the
slightest bit radical, or new, and in fact the notion is now even
more obvious than it's been for the past 30 years. What are we
waiting for? A match?