DID JESUS EXIST ? ( Part one). |
Academics on the bandwagon
When the novel “The DaVinci Code” broke the bank, it confused millions with pretensions of dramatic historical evidence which were no more than garbled, borrowings of other people´s efforts. There was work however in the world of the low grade media to keep it busy for a whole year at least as the fancy piece of story telling led to a film that promised to reveal more. This piece of literary folly, awakened public sentiment more than any straightforward honest investigations that laid bare much of the myth of the clever priests. This piece of literary tinsel was probably the most miraculous book launch of the millennia. For inexplicable reasons (but probably due to the huge subliminal marketing) , it broke hurdles of readership habits hitherto unknown. This resulting piece of extraordinary public behavior , would have made George Orwell wonder whether his Brave New World was not as brave or New as he thought it was. The public reaction to this piece of marketing hike was outrageously blatant about human behavior and mental manipulation. However, the social pantomime of relative simpletons wanting to be seen to be reading this new piece of yuppie status symbol, was not the sort of reaction one would have expected of a novel based on legendary but religious reliquary. Even “In the Name of The Rose” by Umberto Eco did not go that far. In short it became a must “not be caught out without a visible copy”, even if it eventually ended up in the trash bin or left somewhere to be replaced by another when the film eventually put an end to it all. On beaches on benches and even on window cleaning elevator cradles the name DaVinci blazed out reminding people that there was a “cognoscenti” on board ! The puzzled readers, not to be marginalized by those who started off with “have you read….” struggled to pin down the dreadful “secrets” promised to be revealed. Yet, this piece of journalistic tripe, was no more than a plagiarized version of the work of previous authors like Gerard de Sede (a relatively unknown chronicler of the 19th.century close to the Templar Regent)
It was the deeply rooted efforts of the trio, now sadly dead, which created the first public waves of stupefied reaction and caused the Church itself to quake in its boots fearing the worst. Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln (the trio) put an impressive number of years into their research, but fell short of an understanding of the important material available, not only of the survival of the Order or the evidence they appeared to have of a Jesus line of descent, but the real reason for its installation in the first place. They confused themselves by associating Freemasonry and the Order of the Temple and fell into a variety of readable but inconsequential cul de sacs. “We had to” they told the Press, “in order to take in Masonic readers and give us access to their records”. Such draping of truth and honest appraisals by writers and their copiers, was probably one of the reasons why the very historicity of Jesus would one be questioned.
The Original Scandal
The conspiratorial Frenchman de Sede however, who even terrified the Templars of the day with his then explosive “revelations” could not have done it on his own and must have had access to secret documents which modern , commoner leaders of the Order were starting to brandish around. The aristocracy of the early 19th. century, cut down brutally and with the shadow of the guillotine still very present, had ceased to have their hands on the Temple reins and has, as traditional guardians, been replaced by the first commoner who was, it must be admitted of a high intellectual standard but riddled by the complexes of the masses. In short, his main failing was his fear of losing academic ground and his second, his inability to accept some of the documentary revelations that any Grandmaster of an Order like this one, would have been handed on formal installation as Head of such an important Order.
The demise of the Aristocracy
The masters of the “European” people , the aristocratic powers, were not there to defend their very own property and the decline of the Order, in terms of grandeur and sophistication, began. In size and popularity, it increased in strength throughout the post revolution world but in quality of entrant it failed to provide and very badly (especially after the great leveling of World War II). Behind it all loomed a weakened Vatican and a varied “new Royalty” that grew uncomfortably under the unmistakable signs of common entry into a bastion of secrecy and aristocratic oligarchies it was fed and fed by In the 20th century –some 150 years later. Baigent, Leigh and Lincoln picked up the threads of the De Sede gossip and got entangled in the claims that the Merovingian Crown was being resuscitated by a mysterious Order called Sion. These claimed to be Guardians of the Order of the Temple and had had a parallel existence guided by descendants of the union between Jesus and Mary Magdalene. It led to hilarious manipulation of the families involved- consecrating them in burlesque photography that did the issue and Jesus´s historicity no favours at all. After a very successful television series on the subject - directed by Baigent and Leigh for the BBC series , “Chronicles”, modern Templars fell out of the shadows once again. Not to be outdone, a relative amateur writer with little under his hat, doomed to obscurity and by the name of Dan Brown, took over not just as a diligent storyteller, but as a full scale plagiarist unable or unwilling to distinguish between fantasy and reality and who opted for the novel as a vehicle. This enabled him to pad the published findings with the sort of charlatanism that could provide the reader with a sense participation in terrible truths. Even money obsessed academics were unable to go that far in the name of knowledge, but all the other pseudo writer /investigators, blown out of their minds by the sort of money Brown was making suddenly “found” their own secrets and pretended to add another piece to the growing self contradictory jigsaw. None of these bandwagon merchants even sold more than a few hundred thousand despite public alertness to this new phenomenon. The Latin countries became the secondary victims as readers of very restricted material in their own language allowed the established plagiarists of the day to take to their pens, convinced that they would take the market over and beat Brown at his own game ! In a TV programme in Spain on the eve of the Da Vinci film a hysterically jealous broadcaster who had vowed to kill the book by Brown, invited a modern Templar executive to be ostracized in the programme, whilst the plagiarists with ridiculous badly translated books under their arms, screamed at every turn of phrase the Templar executive managed to be allowed to come up with before being howled out. Scenes of orgies and Satanism, worthy of Philip Le Bel accusations drowned every attempt to place common sense where spurious childish diatribe had been planted. The programme called TNT which specialized in scandal mongering, was attended by none other than one of the personalities exclusively interviewed by the Messianic Legacy/Baigent trio. He was later met by a Reuters team for an extensive world broadcast and who had realized that he could play an important part in the Da Vinci Code broadcasts queuing up for viewing.
The new generation of spoof authors who even appeared on television programmes to discuss their own so called research, were those who struggled intellectually to interpret what was not there and even adding their little “sacred knowledge” based on puerile inspiration, to the social chatter of the day. Brown (who even assured all that his novel was based on fact!) , cannot be blamed for undermining public ingenuity to launch a miracle of modern publishing but unfortunately opened Pandora´s box to future ways of ensuring that this type of other people´s efforts could, with blatant lies and millionaire publicity, provide best sellers. The Baigent trio, caught out by their own complacency were, however , under the same editorial roof and could do little more than grab what they could as operators betrayed by their own contracts. It led, shamefully, to their financial ruin and the loss of everything they had built round their work. Much of the historical references to the Christ movement and its founder, went the same way. Jumping on the band wagon like the history written by the victors, is as ancient as it is the singular reason for anything to consolidate beyond a point. Today, effectively much about religious leaders and public figures of consequence is either twisted or removed from the records. Jesus was treated any different and amazingly including the so called ultimate evidence of Josephus, was so doctored (interpolated by Church and rivals) that nothing including the much hailed Slavonic version can be trusted.
It is this destructive phenomenon based on half truths and lies with the disappearance of original testimonies, that in the early days of Christianity brought about what is now called, contradictory and ambiguous evidence which modern writers like Michael Paulkovich have utilized to “prove” the non existence of Jesus. Ancient and modern readers drew from good and bad material whatever conclusions they cared to demand public attention with. The very religious institutions themselves, not to mention jealous State powers, apart from throwing every bit of embarrassing commentary on the blazing pyres to remove their implications from the face of the earth, destroyed the ability of future generations to determine what had been or what to learn from. Throughout the centuries, these ignorant and ruthless destroyers of history twisted and weakened future literature to eventually enable new political forces to win their audiences with alternative possibilities. That is why with respect to Christianity we have the old and new testament (both hopelessly ambiguous if not contradictory texts put together from various sources, ) its Synoptic Gospels, the discarded Apocryphal, Nag Hammadi and Qumran Scrolls etc. and which are academic minefields viewed by friend and foe with caution. The singular works by the Roman writer called Josephus has various versions of his work doing the rounds but only one appears to make an anonymous commentary on the figure of Jesus. Such is the result of the work of the those who , as in the case of Jesus, enabled people like Paulkovich write his best seller “Did Jesus Exist” with some conviction.
As we shall see, the historical reality of Jesus cannot be found in ancient texts or even contemporary or later Roman or Jewish documents, but in the indirect references, related historical events and overall summaries that add up to a person whose name may not have been Jesus or Hessus, but who appears to be the orgins of modern Christianity - as we know it.
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