August 3 2005
— Ernest Becker, The Denial of Death
It’s like taking candy away from a baby. The candy’s no good for the kid, but it will take him many years and much learning to realize the favor you did for him. In the meantime he’ll whine about how mean you were and how wrong it was to do that. But when he’s a healthy adult, because of the very thing you took away, he may actually develop the judgment and wisdom to thank you for what you did. In any case, he’ll be much healthier.
So too with beliefs. If you believe in magic, that some special phrase will keep you safe from harm in all situations and even immunize you from death, you can’t help but fail to perceive the true reality of the world before your eyes — that all things must pass, even though subtle aspects of us may journey onward through our offspring.
It’s a beautiful system when you think about it, one that governs every living thing in the known universe. And every living thing is more than satisfied with it — in fact, prospers in its vital joy because of it — except one. Us.
Humans, normally very discerning in every aspect of their infinitely varied lives, possess absolutely no standards at all when it comes to one subject — death. It is often said that instinct is stronger than reason, and in all the realms of human endeavor, nowhere is this more evident than in the amusingly inventive strategies humans develop to pretend they don’t really die.
The second most common human trait after survival is the urge to prosper and be secure, so it should come as no surprise that, very early on in our history, perceptive and enterprising people, upon recognizing this universal human need to deny that we die, rushed to develop and market products that satisfied the public demand to alleviate this fear. Every culture ever known to man left significant traces of this spiritual commerce.
You know the argument. Can we live our lives and accept that nothing follows? Or must we deceive ourselves and invent, with the power of our infinite imaginations, a way past this daunting wall of mortality. Well, the answer’s in, and the human species has clearly opted for the unprovable hope. But exactly what is the price of this willful self-deception?
This is no attempt to demean many thousands of years of honest effort by sincere people to distill lessons essential to healthy living into practical codes of conduct that reinforce the cause of harmony and provide useful paths to peace of mind. But given the nature of our affliction, of the terror of death we all have that needs to be repressed for our own tranquility, it is not difficult to understand how those who wield these secret formulas for happiness might just be tempted to exploit them for their own selfish purposes. It’s called the temptation of power, and I don’t think I need to explain it to you.
Furthermore, given that this problem has a higher priority than any other we face in our entire lives, and also that to each of us, the effectiveness of the cure is far more important than the actual legitimacy of the method, this leaves us — as we know from history — with a situation ripe for exploitation.
Lastly, there is the little matter of actually knowing the secrets of the universe. This we consign to the province of priests, and we pay them to make us happy, to make up a story that ties up all these loose, bleak ends which we don’t want to think about. But what if these beliefs hurt us in ways we don’t realize. Even as they may make us comfortable with simple tales that magically explain everything, do we really understand what the concepts of communion and resurrection really mean in terms of how we relate to our neighbors and our world? What is the danger when logic is subsumed by the magic of religious belief?
First, we must understand the process by which people think.
There is alluring evidence that ancient cultures actually possessed much more realistic religions than our own contemporary society. And they were developed by studying the sky. During the day, it was obvious that all life depended on the beneficent properties of the Sun. And during the fearful night, humans studied the stars for their cues to survival, and projected their own thoughts onto these phenomena. These two things form the basis of all existing religions, according to Acharya S.
How do people think? We anthropomorphize everything. It is how we learned to understand things. We talk to our plants and our stuffed animals. We give them names. Thus is it has always been, with all perceived phenomena. This is how stars became people, or at least animals. From Amun Ra, piloting his boat of heaven across the sky all those centuries ago, to the Great Bear, whom we still see every night.
The Sun became Krishna. The moon Inanna. Their setting and disappearance created new gods reborn daily, or monthly or yearly. They all got names, different ones, depending on where you lived. Osiris. Tammuz. Orpheus. Mithra. Millions of names. Millennia passed. One day, after thousands of years of war and peace, of fighting and loving, of civilizations rising and falling, suddenly, after a Roman conclave of regional movers and shakers, the approved deity’s name became Jesus. And he was still the Sun, and his disciples were the stars (the twelve signs of the Zodiac, actually).
Or so Acharya says, and I believe her. Why? Because it’s logical. It’s actual history. And though still myth, it is empirical rather than manipulative, a causative explanation rather than the magic trick of some unfathomable man who showed up one day and claimed he was God to people who wrote it all down and put it in a book called the Bible.
That’s the short version. The long version is two thousand years of suppressed scholarship, kept secret because it simply didn’t gibe with the propaganda organized religions produce to attract and addict adherents to their own particular interpretation of cosmic events and everyday life. But this more scientific explanation has always been out there, and reasonable, thinking people, who aren’t blinded by their own fear and cowed by their own self-inflicted spiritual gurus, have always known about it.
And Acharya S. has gathered it, folded it neatly and logically into two encyclopedic volumes of scholarly excellence. These are titled “The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Sold” (1999) and “Suns of God: Krishna, Buddha and Christ Unveiled” (2004). Both are published by Adventures Unlimited Press
Look at the world today. Endless wars, festering hatreds, a multitude of government lies telling us the world is one way when we suspect that’s not really the way it is. We should listen to our own voices and not blindly accept the smug statements of “authority” figures. How did we learn to do that? Guess. Just take a wild guess.
This story is not about taking your God away. Only an idiot would insist that men created the sunset, the orbits of the planets, or baby drool. This story is about analyzing the terminology you use to explain the way you see your life and the universe. And most of all, it is about the lies we have been told to keep us in our mental chains while those who control us — our preachers, priests, rabbis, mullahs, lamas and other assorted “holy” men — reinforce fear, abet slaughter, and profit mightily from the conspicuous lies that they promote as sacred gospel.
Sorry to be so blunt. You need to pay attention to this. The future of human society depends on your understanding what you are reading at this moment, and even that is kind of an understatement.
To our contemporary Christianized Western minds, the most astonishing thing Acharya S. proves beyond doubt in her two scholarly tomes is that the much-revered personality known as Jesus Christ is a completely contrived fictional character, and that Christianity has no substance whatsoever that was not stolen — created whole cloth out of pagan myths and traditions — from many of the world’s more ancient religions.
How does she prove this?
• By telling you about the many other “saviors” who existed prior to the creation of Jesus, many of whom were born in late December of virgin mothers and were of divine origin, most of whom performed miracles, held high morals, healed the sick, were the catalysts for salvation, were called “Savior” or “Redeemer,” and were crucified; whose legends all contain elements that were later plagiarized by unscrupulous Roman plutocrats when they got together to construct the Jesus myth as a method to usurp and unify preexisting creeds to better control their diverse and obstreperous masses.
• By analyzing all the contributions of known writers of that ancient time, through decades of study of the works of skeptical historians who have been researching this hoax for centuries, and observing that virtually none of these early historians ever mentions Christ or Christians, except for the works of a special few, and deeper analysis reveals these works to have been tinkered with, or outright fabricated, for the benefit of the manipulative politicians who created the most powerful mindlock human society has ever known.
• And by providing a detailed and accurate portrait of the actual evolution of religious myth, with a clear explanation of how all messiahs are merely anthropomorphic representations of the Sun, and how all the other mythological supporting characters, particularly when they are described in groups of 12, are merely personalities projected onto the stars.
This, not the debunking of the Jesus myth, is the overarching value of the book, and makes Acharya, in my sincere estimation, the ranking religious philosopher of our age, simply because she cuts through the sanctimonious crap and deals empirically and forthrightly with the facts.
But more than that, in this age of deliberate disinformation and mass mind control, the works of Acharya provide those who wish to think deeply about the nature of the human condition with a startling survey of priestly misbehavior and deliberate deception, which is what religion really is — a magic show that exploits people’s need for answers to unanswerable questions.
As such, her works furnish us with an essential tool to help us understand why we are powerless against an onslaught of facile mass media that keep telling us things we know are not true. What the state does the church first perfected with threats, violence, and forcing us to believe in our inmost hearts things that were never true.
But it’s the Jesus argument that gets everybody’s attention.
Or, as Acharya puts it, “ ... there is no evidence for the historicity of the Christian founder, that the earliest Christian proponents were as a whole either utterly credulous or astoundingly deceitful, and that said ‘defenders of the faith’ were compelled under incessant charges of fraud to admit that Christianity was a rehash of older religions.”
Let’s start with legendary figures of far greater antiquity whose attributes appear to uncannily resemble the much later legend known as Jesus Christ.
“The Jesus story incorporated elements from the tales of other deities recorded in this widespread area of the ancient world, including several of the following world saviors, most or all of whom predate the Christian myth,” Acharya writes.
These include (and I’ll edit this list, because it’s very long)
• Adad and Marduk of Assyria. • Adonis, Aesclepius, Apollo, Dionysus, Heracles, and Zeus of Greece. • Alcides of Thebes, divine redeemer born of a virgin around 1200 BCE. • Attis of Phyrgia. • Baal or Bel of Babylon/Phoenicia. • Buddha and Krishna of India. • Hermes of Egypt/Greece. • Hesus of the Druids. • Horus, Osiris, and Serapis of Egypt. • Indra of Tibet/India. • Ieo of China. • Issa of Arabia, born of the Virgin Mary in 400 BCE. • Jupiter/Jove of Rome. • Mithra of Persia/India. • Odin/Wodin/Woden/Wotan of Scandinavia. • Prometheus of Caucasus/Greece. • Quetzalcoatl of Mexico. • Salivahana of southern India, “who was a divine child, born of a virgin, and son of a carpenter.” • Tammuz of Syria, the savior god worshipped in Jerusalem. • Thor of the Gauls. • Zoroaster of Persia.
Attis of Phrygia was born on December 25 of the Virgin Nana, and considered the savior who was slain for the salvation of mankind. His body as bread was eaten by his worshippers. He was crucified on a tree, descended into the underworld and was resurrected annually on March 25 as the “most high god,” many centuries before Christianity was invented.
Buddha was born on December 25 of the virgin Maya, and his birth was accompanied by a special star, wise men and angels. He was baptized in water with the holy ghost present. He was resurrected and will return in the “latter days” to judge all men. His legends extend back more than a thousand years before Christ.
The Greek god of wine was actually a savior (as any drinker will tell you). Dionysus, born of a virgin, who rode in a triumphal procession on an ass, is considered by some scholars as the prototype of Christ.
The real model for all saviors, according to Acharya, was the Egyptian god Osiris. Quoting Barbara Walker, from “The Women’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets” (Harpers, 1983):
Of all the savior gods worshipped at the beginning of the Christian era, Osiris may have contributed more details to the evolving Christ figure than any other. Already very old in Egypt, Osiris was identified with nearly every other Egyptian god and was on the way to absorbing them all. He had well over 200 divine names. He was called the Lord of Lords, King of Kings, God of Gods. He was the Resurrection and the Life, the Good Shepherd, Eternity and Everlastingness, “the god who made men and women to be born again.” (Sir Wallis) Budge (once the preeminent Egyptologist) says, “From first to last, Osiris was to the Egyptians the god-man who suffered, and died, and rose again, and reigned eternally in heaven. They believed that they would inherit eternal life, just as he had done ...
Some claim Osiris lived up to 22,000 years ago. Acharya writes:
As Col. James Churchward naively exclaims, “The teachings of Osiris and Jesus are wonderfully alike. Many passages are identically the same, word for word.”
Acharya also exhaustively compares the details of Krishna and Mithra, as well as Prometheus, Quetzalcoatl, and Serapis. The reader soon begins to realize that all these stories the same. Conclusion?
It is evident that Jesus Christ is a mythical character based on these various ubiquitous godmen and universal saviors who were part of the ancient world for thousands of years prior to the Christian era.
Now, once you realize that, you know you have to prepare for the onslaught of true believers, who, when you mention that Jesus was a fictional character, are going to come at you with every verbal weapon they have retained during their misguided and propagandized lives.
The Bible is not a valid historical document. It is work of political and philosophical propaganda, designed to deceive and control, and take advantage of people’s need to have answers to questions that really have no answers, as far as human perception is concerned.
Often, fundamentalist Christians try to cite classical historical sources to buttress their unshakable belief that Jesus resurrected and (according to George Bush and the neocons) will return one day to blow up Jerusalem and lead his followers to a pleasant destination in the sky.
This may be the most valuable aspect of Acharya’s work. She considers the name of every known historian of the period and explains why what Christian fanatics insist they said can’t possibly be accurate.
Using thousands of footnotes from serious scholars over the many centuries, Acharya deftly explains all the revisions, interpolations and forgeries that allow some of the diehard faithful to argue that there actually is historical evidence of the existence of Jesus — when in fact there is not.
All the great first century historians — Pliny the Elder and Younger, Suetonius, Dio Chrysostom, Livy, Petronius, Plutarch, Seneca and many others whose works are still extant — never make any mention of the founder of Christianity.
Even though he lived in Jerusalem during the time Jesus was supposed to have existed, the well-known Jewish philosopher Philo Judaeus of Alexandria never mentions Christ or Christianity even once. Acharya quotes religious scholar John Remsburg about Philo:
He was there when the crucifixion with its attendant earthquake, supernatural darkness, and resurrection of the dead took place, and in the presence of many witnesses ascended into heaven. These marvelous events which must have filled the world with amazement, had they really occurred, were unknown to him.
The well-traveled Philo had pleaded the Jewish cause in Rome, knew of Pilate, the Essenes and the Therapeuts, yet never once mentioned Jesus or Christians.
As Acharya surmised: “One would think that if ... Jesus had suddenly appeared in Philo’s homeland, during his life, when he was a sentient adult, Philo would not only have noticed but would have jumped for joy, and written reams about the glorious event, seeing the promises and prophecies of Israel fulfilled. It could not be more obvious that nothing of the sort happened during Philo’s lifetime.”
But most Christian apologists don’t even know about Philo. The one historian they most often use to legitimize their claims that Jesus Christ was an actual historical personage is Flavius Josephus. And Acharya devotes a considerable amount of space demolishing those claims.
Josephus (37-95 CE) is the most famous Jewish historian of the time. Acharya writes:
... in the entire work of Josephus, which constitute many volumes of great detail encompassing centuries of history, there is no mention of Paul or the Christians, and there are only two brief paragraphs that purport to relate to Jesus. Although much has been made of these “references,” they have been dismissed by scholars and Christian apologists alike as forgeries ...
Many scholars investigating the matter believe that single mention of Jesus in all of the works Josephus was forged — interpolated — centuries later by an unscrupulous Christian named Bishop Eusebius.
In her second book, Acharya recounts the analysis of Bible expert Dr. Nathaniel Lardner (1684-1768):
Mattathias, the father of Josephus, must have been a witness to the miracles which are said to have been performed by Jesus, and Josephus was born within two years after the crucifixion, yet in all the works he says nothing whatever about the life or death of Jesus Christ; as for the interpolated passage it is now universally acknowledged to be a forgery.
But perhaps the most curious episode Acharya covers involves the Roman historian Tacitus, whose oft-cited passage about Nero persecuting the Christians is revealed as a fraud. And that leads to an interesting story so typical of the questionable construction of the Christian myth.
It seems that this particular mention by Tacitus, who lived in the first century CE, does not appear in literature until the 15th century, because numerous scholars have noted that not even the most ardent Christian apologists ever mentioned it until then. But that’s not the worst part.
Perhaps the quintessential bogus reproduction of a classical source for devious Christian purposes resides the famous passage in “The Annals” by Tacitus that describes Nero blaming Christians for the burning of Rome. Unfortunately for the Roman church’s propaganda machine, numerous experts have deduced that since neither Eusebius nor Tertullian nor any of the other devoted church fathers knew of the existence of this passage — because they surely would have mentioned it because it was so vividly sympathetic to their cause — it is likely that this entire book — The Annals of Tacitus, which is a staple of some classical libraries — is a 15th century forgery about a 1st century event meant to improve the nonexistent historical veracity of the Christian church.
But the history of real religion, ah, that’s a different and happier story. Acharya quotes Indian scholar S. B. Roy from his “Prehistoric Lunar Astronomy”:
To the ancients ... heaven was the land of gods and mystery. The sky — the Dyaus of the Rig Veda — was itself living. The stars were the abodes of the gods. The shining stars were indeed themselves luminous gods. Astronomy was the knowledge of not of heavenly bodies, but of heavenly beings.
“Astronomical or astrotheological knowledge reaches back to the dawn of humanity, appearing widespread and becoming highly developed over a period of millennia,” Acharya writes, and after a thorough examination of the subject, concludes:
The church fathers and other Christian writers also acknowledged this astrotheology and its antiquity, but denigrated it as much as possible. Why? ... the knowledge about astrotheology would reveal the Christians’ own religion to be Pagan in virtually every significant aspect .... the restoration of this knowledge is not to be despaired but rejoiced.
The Christian religion — as well as its monotheistic cousins, Judaism and Islam — are all based on primitive vestiges from a dim past that certainly most of their adherents do not adequately understand and doubtless many of its top officials do not comprehend, either. These are cannibalism and child sacrifice.
The tangent to cannibalism can be clearly seen in the act of Holy Communion, in which the faithful are urged to swallow “the body of Christ.” The example of child sacrifice occurs in the myth of “God” supposed sending his only son into the corporeal realm only to be tortured and murdered. This has always sounded to me like deep cover conditioning to indoctrinate believing dupes into being willing to die, or sending their children off to die, for their blessed country.
I don’t know of any literature that adequately analyzes the psychological ramifications of these two symbolically barbaric acts. But I do know that billions of people have participated in these crazed rituals and based their lives on the veneration of them. And we see too clearly the results of the belief paradigm in the senseless murder of billions over the century generated by the blind and savage faith in this supposedly holy cause.
Though there are infinite examples, the two that initially come to mind are the centuries of slaughter in the Western hemisphere by Spanish conquistadores and British pioneers who regarded different-looking fellow humans as mere animals eligible for thoughtless extermination. And now, there are the perverse rape- murders of innocent Iraqis by drug-addled and uranium-poisoned American, British and Israeli heroes. Same ballgame, different day — every single bit of it directly attributable to this bloodthirsty Judeo-Christian legacy.
And I also know one other important thing in these matters. When you live your life convinced that reality is a certain way and base your life on it, your life will turn out to be exactly what you believe. I believe there is a direct connection between the great Christian lie that you will survive death if you do what the priest says, and the everpresent reality of violence in the world.
The church teaches you to believe in the infallibility of what its leaders say, and to follow their orders no matter what, or you will roast in the fires of hell. History shows us, clearly, that no matter what denomination, the church fathers have lied terribly and caused billions of needless deaths. This lying, sanctimoniously emulated by government leaders — be they kings or presidents — has transferred this supernatural authority to the secular realm, and allowed our leaders to dupe their populations into endless killing for what our leaders said was right, but for what were ultimately deceitful reasons because they were based on deliberate lies. Just like the Christian religion, and its monotheistic cousins.
The population’s willingness to believe these lies relates directly to what their holy men told them — believe this, or you will suffer in hell for eternity. What you believe is what you become, and this attitude engendered by the Christian church and its maniacal monotheistic counterparts have, with their transparent lies that have been swallowed by millions of gullible people, lived up to the impotent threats of their insincere promises by creating hell on earth to convince you that they are right.
This holy mindlock has never been more obvious — nor more lethal — than it is today, in the year 2005, in which a despotic U.S. president who insists he talks to God has killed and is killing hundreds of thousands people all over the world, for reasons that anyone with a whit of sense knows are lies.
The two voluminous, solidly referenced works of the woman known only as Acharya S — “The Christ Conspiracy” and “Suns of God” — provide a valuable first step for many bewildered believers who have come to disbelieve the doubletalk of their religious leaders in detoxifying the self-deceptive misinformation that most of us have been bombarded with throughout our lives.
This knowledge has always been known, but it has been suppressed by the spin machine that organized religion, conferring its corrupt grace on tyrants for centuries, has always censored. The real picture of our misguided Christian believer was probably best expressed by St. Augustine himself all those long and agonizing years ago, in this passage recounted by Acharya S:
... one of the most famed and respected Christian doctors was St. Augustine, who “stakes his eternal salvation” on his assertion that he preached the gospel to “a whole nation of men and women, who had no heads, but had their eyes in their bosoms.”
• • •
Footnote: Just who exactly is Acharya S and why is she so hard to find? Really, it’s because of the persecution she has been forced to endure because of her work. Right now, not even her publisher knows where she is. She has gone underground after several unpleasant incidents during the past few years, one of which was the kidnapping of her son, a crime that was happily resolved after some period of intense stress that may have involved a well-known New Age guru.
A study in contradictions, Acharya S is obviously a nom de plume for an archeologist, historian, mythologist and linguist who has the qualifications, courage, and integrity to so professionally and thoroughly debunk the collective religious spin machine. But to talk to Acharya S is markedly different than reading her work, about the like the difference between a biker chick and a college professor, leading some to speculate if the rough-edged radical and the creator of the meticulously argued and scholarly tomes which bear her name are actually the same person.
Nevertheless, her two meticulously footnoted books present the lay reader and professional historian alike with a stark assessment of the outright lies the Christian church has told about its namesake. You can order the books from http://www.adventuresunlimitedpress.com/ or find out more about Acharya at http://truthbeknown.com/
If you read these books, it’s extremely doubtful you’ll ever go to church again. And if you do, you must carry with you the reverberating question: What happens to you when you know that what you have believed in the deepest recesses of your own heart is false?
All this time, in the name of a bogus magic formula stolen from others and renamed with lie upon lie, billions have been slaughtered, and billions more about to be. Open your eyes, for the real God’s sake, for the beauty of this universe that gives us life, that does not distinguish between man or beast, but gives everything that breathes this exquisite gift, with only one, single string attached — a string attached to everything that lives.
John Kaminski is a writer who lives on the Gulf Coast of Florida. He is the author of two collections of essays, America's Autopsy Report and The Perfect Enemy, many of which have been published individually on hundreds of websites around the world. In addition, he has written The Day America Died: Why You Shouldn’t Believe the Official Story of What Happened on September 11, 2001, a 48-page booklet aimed at those who still believe the government’s highly questionable version of events. A second booklet, 9/11: The Manipulation of Reality, will be published before the end of 2004. For more information on John or to purchase these books, go to http://www.johnkaminski.com/