left biblioblography: June 2006

Thursday, June 29, 2006


I trust everyone here realizes that I have a glorious love of language. I enjoy wrapping my tongue around the well-turned phrase, the simplistic elegance of a straightforward homily, or a gem of a quote that opens the door in the mansion of the mind.

A recent blogversation prompted something that’s been turning over in my skull for quite a while.

A recent post here (just a snippet):

In my post on morality, I said “I found the flavor wholly repulsive, and turned my face away from that innate darkness that humans have built into their nature. With no help from religion, I might add.”

To wit, the response on the other blog went as follows:

“These statements sound an awful lot like the doctrine of original sin. Yet, while recognizing the “innate darkness” humans have, they venomously deny original sin. Secondly, if humans have “darkness built into their nature”, what makes that darkness wrong?”

Now, it’s not his fault that he drew more out of my words than what was meant. Allegory tends to dent the dialogue: one searches for excess meaning, when sometimes, as Freud put it: “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.”

And then I remembered this gem:

“Anthropomorphism? You mean like, “Mother Nature”, which is a term more often on the lips of macroevolutionists than intelligent design supporters.”

Double take, and say what?

And it put me in mind of a correspondence with Michael (aka ‘HairlessMonkeyDK’), where I sent him the synopsis of my novel, which described a Christian captain of a whaling ship embarking on a mission to rescue his niece and nephews from an evil creature. To wit, he responded that it seemed, well, antithetical to my current belief/non-belief system. I recall (doing this from memory), going into this knee-jerk, long, involved explanation about the hows and whys and whatnot (how it was written in my pre-atheist days, etc.). That night, I went to bed, and realized: WTF? Why did I even need that long drawn-out explanation/set of excuses?

Short version: I don’t. So I sent him off another email, next day, rescinding all of it. I of course, was polite about it.

And so we come to the crux of the matter:

I will use any bloody turn of phrase I bloody well please, thanks much. Because:

  1. It’s called the First Amendment, and

  2. No one has a lock on specific phrases, quotations, citing of literature, etc.

I tire of asking, “Can I still use saint/demon/angel/soul (or any other word with religious significance)?” Can I say ‘Bless you?’ without being censured? Can I blaspheme freely, without someone claiming I’m lending credence and value to something I speak against?

Well, goddammit, I’m going to do so, whether I receive approval or not.

For instance: I understand that Harlan Ellison (a writer of such magnitude of power and grace, I am unworthy to tie his shoelaces) is an atheist. Yet he wrote some stories with religious undertones (or overtones, contingent on the title we’re talking about), without apology. Asimov (another writer whom I esteem, who is quoted as saying that the bible is the single best argument for atheism) was also an atheist, yet he wrote Azrael, a collection of stories about a man with a demonic sidekick.

So the short version: I’m a little sick of this PC crap, that stipulates what I can and cannot say. Henceforth, I will refrain from phrases like, “It touched my soul” (as I am fairly positive there’s no such thing). But if I refer to ‘that innate darkness’, or use a comment like ‘wrestling with his/her/my/their demons’, and you think this is some sort of nod or validation of the other side, well, you’re SOL.

So here it is: I’m giving myself a free pass. That’s right: I’m gonna use whatever colors are on the palette to paint my picture on the blank page. Since the English language is public domain, I will borrow as I please, select phrases that evoke a specific image, to make a point, or draw on the canvas.

Because there’s no copyright, trademark, or exclusive rights to any well-turned evocative imagery, phrase, concept, or sentence that’s in the public domain.

As Phillip K. Dick (another marvelous author) once said: “The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use the words.”

And let’s face it, folks: letting them get away with a corner on the market in matters of speech, is giving them control over how we speak. Whether the control is microcosmic or macrocosmic, it’s still control. Something the religious have had for far too long.

Herein, then, is my formal declaration: I snap the leash, I snap at the hand that holds it. I will not be censored, or censured in this manner.

Anyone want a cigar? No?

Till the next post, then.


Monday, June 26, 2006


"Holly came from Miami, F.L.A.
Hitch-hiked her way across the USA
Plucked her eyebrows on the way
Shaved her legs and then he was a she
She says, Hey babe
Take a walk on the wild side
Hey honey
Take a walk on the wild side

Candy came from out on the Island
In the backroom she was everybody's darlin'
But she never lost her head
Even when she was giving head
She says, Hey babe
Take a walk on the wild side
I Said, Hey baby
Take a walk on the wild side
And the coloured girls go
doo do doo do doo do do doo."
- "Walk on the Wild Side" - Lou Reed.

I went Sunday morning out to the Gay Pride Parade. I went as la Tourista, playing looky-loo, and enjoyed my jaunt immensely.

It comes as no surprise to my readers, that I’m GBLT-friendly (how friendly? None o’ your beeswax, hehehehe).

I was filled with a deep sense of love (maybe there was some lust, but none directed at me: a small bit of me mourns the fact that I was unapproached in any way, shape or form by anyone, except a tall, lovely black woman who talked me into buying some Shea butter product, in a booth), light, and a general sense of happy.

There were costumes a-plenty (varying from sexy to kitsch), and the place was PACKED, eight (?) city blocks, clogged with human traffic. People broke into spontaneous dance, albeit I saw noone copulating in public (though some came close). A whole lotta nudity (and there were moments I was tempted to give some of these folks a few bucks, so they could buy some clothes).

It was a glut for my visual senses, a moveable feast in many ways.

I did get the occasional eyeball (one from a mascaraed young black fellow, dressed androgynously in black leather, bearing a banner that said ‘Miss something-or-other’, sorry, shot memory). I think I got the come-hither look, but I’m an old fart, what do I know? I ignored the men: I’m a skirt lifter, meself.

I came across a gaggle of she-males (who were for the most part drop dead gorgeous, tall and/or taller than me) posing for a camera op, struggled through one cross street where a group of BSDM adherents spontaneously erupted into a performance that drew many onlookers (I only got a few glimpses: the guy behind me kept pushing and carrying on about how heavy his acoustic guitar was getting). Two middle-aged women scantily dressed also erupted into a spontaneous dance number (interrupted by a mini ambulance honking through, some partier who’d overdone his partying, hope the guy’s all right). One of them, judging from her pencil-eraser nipples, had had kids at some points (signs of breast feeding), the other was very thin, and it was fun to watch.

I was there about six hours. I wandered to and fro, like a kid trying to swallow experience whole with his eyes alone.

A dimunitive vietnam vet struck up a conversation while I was listening to Shadowplay (good, solid rock ‘n roll, you could feel it in your ventricles, I kid you not), we chatted a bit, but most of it lost via the loud riffs of the band. He wandered off finally, too many hits from his bottle of Thunderbird clouding his senses.

I’m something of a voyeur, obviously, so I enjoyed it immensely.

This is my third or fourth time. I enjoy the gaudy costumry, the giddy sense of release (no, not that kind, so please), the general atmosphere of par-TAY.

The heat was offset by blasts of wind (hey, it’s S.F, no wonder there), and I stopped more than once, hoping for a modern version of the old Monroe performance. I actually started staring at this gorgeous woman in fishnet stockings as I walked, who was selling ‘Magic Fudge brownies’, so much so that I interrupted a gay couple by walking right through their hand-holding (I wonder what the latin phrase for that would be?).

I have this thought every time I go: if this were a St. Paddy’s day parade, there’d be chunks blown and fists a-flyin’.

The streets were clogged with trash, mind you, but as a rule, everyone left others alone.

I saw one aged black fellow, taciturn, carrying a big green sign that said ‘Jesus Christ Loves You.’ I let him be, as did everyone else.

On the outskirts, young white men with ties desperately tried to hand out religious literature. I told them, “No thanks, I’m an atheist,” but I think that got lost: no big whoopie. I got the distinct impression of starved vultures.

I like this crowd. They’re as a rule, outrageous, but kind: tolerant, well-behaved (usually), friendly (I had no dialogue with anyone Sunday, but I’ve had involved discussions with GLBT folks before). In short, lovely people.

Personally, I think they should be left to their own devices. Morality be damned: it ain’t none o’ MY business who sleeps with who. Adults who say yes, and all that.

I drank a sip of the wine of hedonism, and I admit, I rather like it. Of course, I always have: who doesn’t?

But I shan’t climb into the bottle: but that’s just me.

Be that as it may, it’s definitely a must-see event, no matter what your predilections. Old and young, beautiful and…not-so-much, all walks of life.

That, dear readers, was a moment I felt the need to share with you. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did experiencing it.

Till the next post, then.


Saturday, June 24, 2006


Here it is: my first attempt at a parable. Please be as brutal as possible in your critiques, else I won’t learn from my mistakes.


And it came to pass, that a builder of houses was walking past the outskirts of a village, when he chanced upon a cottage.

It was a sad affair: poorly built, hastily put together from the look of it. He’d passed many of these in his wanderings, never stopping unless in need of food and a place to stay (of which he need neither).

A small boy squatted in the undergrowth, drawing in the sand with a stick. As he walked by, the youth looked up, hope in his tiny eyes, smiling.

“Are you my father?” he asked.

Startled, the carpenter shook his head. “Sorry.”

The child mumbled, and went back to his drawing.

The man glanced down, and saw nothing unusual in what the boy was drawing. And so he went on his way. He’d heard about some woman, who’d borne a child out of wedlock, and the gossips at the tavern had it that the father had been one of the armored invaders that held this area in their grip for some time. There were one or two of them who’d mumbled about evil spirits being involved as well, but those had been laughed into silenced.

Five years passed, and the carpenter again found himself walking that same road, past that cottage, and he espied the child. That building hadn’t changed much: a little better in some ways, a little worse in others.

The boy had grown larger. Long and tanned, tunic tattered, hair tousled, he squatted in front of a fire, mumbling to it. To the carpenter’s surprise, several rabbit carcasses were criss-crossed over it: some had been skinned, some not. The scent of burning fur was shifted to his nostrils.

The child became aware of his presence, standing, piercing him with his eyes. “Are you my father?” he asked, gutturally.
”Why, no, I’m not,” replied the builder.

The boy looked him over critically. “I thought not.” When the carpenter looked at him questioningly, he replied: “My father is at least seven feet tall. His beard is a flowing river: his hair is like the mane of a lion. His stride is so long that he can step from one mountain to another at once. He is stronger than a bear, fiercer than a tiger.””How do you know all this?” asked the stranger. The child fixed him with such a look, that he felt uneasy, and trembled a little.

“I just know,” is all the orphan said.

“Why are some of the rabbits skinned, and some not?” asked the man.

“My father is a hunter. He likes the smell of burning flesh, and charred fur,” was the reply.

Troubled, the carpenter bid the lad farewell, and left in haste.

Another five years passed, and the carpenter found himself walking down that same road. He had but a vague memory of discomfort, which he shrugged away, until he came to the cottage again.

The building was nearly the same as he remembered. Some yards away, however, a second hut had been built. It was rude and primitive in comparison. As he neared it, he saw poorly carved hieroglyphs above the entrance, and mounted on several branches that protruded from the thatched roof were animal skulls. A crude clay oven sat in front, and tongues of flame spat ashes into the air. The scent of burning meat filled the air.

The lad came out, clad in a long brown tunic, his long mane of hair tangled, patches of dirt and ash marring his young face. His almond eyes were even fiercer than the stranger remembered.

“You are not my father,” he said, a simple statement.

The carpenter blinked. “No, I am not. I am a simple traveler,” he answered, afraid of telling this boy of his profession, lest he be pressed into service.

“My father is as tall as the tallest tree in the woods. With a single swat of his huge hand, he can fell the mighty oak, or kill the largest buck. His eyes are as fire; his hair can cover the forest in one swoop. His legs are as tree trunks. With his mighty arms, he can wrest the mountains from their footholds, and throw them at the moon, to knock it from the sky. His words are earthquakes, and with a single bellow, he makes the sun tremble.”

“Then you have met him?” asked the carpenter. The youth’s eyes blazed ferally, and the stranger took two steps back in fear.

“I do not need to. I know this is so.”

Uneasy, the traveler bid him farewell, and took a hurried leave.

Another five years passed. Again, the carpenter found himself walking the same path. He trod carefully: memories of the fierce, disturbing youth made him wary. What changes may have come, he asked himself, in five years?

He came to the cottage. To his relief, he saw the smaller building gone, until he looked upon the cottage itself.

It was larger, and in much better shape than the last time he’d seen it. Even the landscape surrounding it showed signs of being well cared for. There was a lingering scent of cooked meat in the air; the thatching had been replaced with a proper roof, a chimney sat at the back, where curling smoke rose in the air.

And the youth came out. Gone was the wild tangle of hair; he was well groomed. His face was clean, a small beard was beginning to grow large, brown tunic had been replaced by a flowing white robe. He cast his gaze upon the traveler, and his tan face broke out into a radiant smile.

“Hello, stranger! Well met, and a long time it has been! How are you?”

“Ummm, fine, thank you,” he replied, startled. “How have you been?”

“Welcome to my father’s house!” said the young man. “Are you thirsty? Hungry? Are you in need of rest, my friend? Come in, and sit with us!”

Some heads peeped out of the house, other youths with curious gazes. “I am fine, and on my way home, but thanks to you anyways. Is your mother still about?”

The youth cast his eyes down. “Alas, my mother is no longer with us.”

“My sorrows to you, then, I did not know.”

“She passed some time after your last visit. But she is with my father now, and is now in peace.”

Remembering his prior visits, the carpenter said nothing.

The host raised his head. “Come! I will not have it said, that I am inhospitable! Please! Come inside!”

And upon this, the boy’s followers swarmed out and around him, shouting joyfully. Mumbling words of protest (for he was a mild sort of man), he was herded into the temple.

Never to be seen again.


Friday, June 23, 2006


And here I go again.

Some nitwit at the NGB (claiming to be a world traveler, no less) claimed that:

  1. Muslims have not contributed to Western civiliztion (I have yet to see why we’re the best thing since sliced bread, anyways), and

  2. They should all be wiped from the earth.

I guarantee you; I had some harsh words for this mook. Somewhere along the lines of dental rearrangement. I’m a peaceable guy, but some things are beyond the pale.

I see this a LOT in this country. This dehumanization process, deposited in one broad stroke, over a group of folk that are as diverse, and as human, as we are. So here I am, playing Devil’s Advocate yet again, trying in my small way to inveigh against the rabid mad-dog patriotism, by putting a face to the looming specter of the Saracen we are being told to believe in.

I have expounded elsewhere, on the significant contributions of the Islamic world to our culture.

Time now, to pull out our history books (no moaning in class, students! I have my ruler at the ready, should yer knuckles be a-needin’ it! I kid, of course), and bring a human element into the discussion.

Two words:Omar Khayyam.

I trust this name rings a bell? Good.

I read the Rubaiyat some decades ago (along with Kahlil Gibran’s the Prophet, though in what order, I couldn’t tell ya). Shamefacedly, I admit: I can only quote a few stanzas:A jug of wine, a loaf of bread, and thou
Art all I need

I stumbled across this on the Internet this morning (why? How? Who knows?) researching what, I can’t recall.

From here:
(image placeholder) “Omar Khayyam, Poet / Astronomer
  • Born: 18 May 1048

  • Birthplace: Nishapur, Persia (now Iran)

  • Died: 4 December 1131

  • Best Known As: The author of The Rubaiyat
Historically speaking, Omar Khayyam has led a double life. In his own time he was a respected mathematician and astronomer who helped reform the ancient Muslim calendar. In the modern era he is more fondly remembered as the author of the brief, lyrical poems known collectively as The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.
Omar is said to have adopted the name Khayyam ("the tentmaker") in honor of his father's trade.”

Most Americans will shrug, and say, “So what? He wrote some poetry. Big whoop. Is the game on?”

This fella was a whole lot more. Same source (encyclopedia):

“The details of his life are mostly conjectural, but he was well educated and became celebrated as the outstanding mathematician of his time. As astronomer to Sultan Malik Shah, he was one of a group that undertook to reform the calendar. Their work led to the adoption of a new era, the so-called Jalalian or Seljuk era, beginning Mar. 15, 1079. Although he wrote a number of important mathematical studies, Omar's fame as a scientist has been greatly eclipsed in the West by the popularity of his Rubaiyat, epigrammatic verse quatrains.”

Put down the remote. There’s more:

“Most people who speak English know about Omar Khayyám. They recall that he wrote about "a jug of wine, a loaf of bread, and Thou." In fact, he did not. That was Edward FitzGerald, a 19th-century English poet whose translation of Omar was so loose that most scholars consider the FitzGerald poetry as a separate work.”


“Omar was a great poet himself, as readers of Persian attest. But he is also the mathematician who solved the general cubic equation of the third degree hundreds of years before Tartaglia, the 16th-century mathematician generally given credit for the feat. Omar's method for solving the cubic did have some limitations, however. It was completely geometrical and so produced only positive roots (a line segment cannot have negative length).”

I’m betting I couldn’t find one American in a hundred who even understands the ramifications of that. Myself included.

“Omar's work was also a step toward the unification of algebra and geometry that came in the 17th century with Descartes and Fermat. Omar pointed out that algebra is not just a collection of tricks for obtaining an answer, but a science deeply related to geometry.”

Can you say, “Ahead of his time, boys and girls?” I’m just guessing here, but this guy was way smarter than I could ever hope to be.

Wait: more to come.

“Omar Khayyám and Islam
The philosophy of Omar Khayyám was quite different from official Islamic dogmas. It is not clear whether he believed in the existence of God or not, but he objected to the notion that every particular event and phenomenon was the result of divine intervention; nor did he believe in any Judgment Day or rewards and punishments after life. Instead he supported the view that laws of nature explained all phenomena of observed life. Religious officials asked him many times to explain his different views about Islam. Khayyám eventually was obliged to make a hajj [pilgrimage] to Mecca in order to prove he was a faithful follower of the religion. “

There’s a poem of his following this, well worth the read.

So somebody, tell me please: is this the face of fear?

Too often we make the hasty judgement, the snap decision, without realizing that there is so much more, depths to the lake we were told was a shallow puddle.

Mind you, this isn’t an unrepresented example: their history abounds with people who stood high, and were far from the savages we’ve been told about a million times, by television, by film, by fiery rhetoric and fear.

I will, from time to time, trot out some more examples. Other efforts to put a human face to the stereotypical hype we’re innundated.

Because there is one thing that transcends boundaries, race, creed, religion.

Hemoglobin is the same color, no matter where you go, no matter who spills it.

And too much of it has been spilled already.


Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Somewhere, somewhen, there’s some unwritten rule that we atheists are required to explain how it is that we’re moral creatures, without the benefit of having transcendent guidance.

I hate this crap.

At some juncture, I just lose interest. Besides which, I think it’s a trap, a pitfall we fall into as a rule. I mean, really, why on earth do I HAVE to explain it? I don’t. I feel that I (and my fellow atheists) best exemplify by example. To wit: the large percentile of crimes committed in this (or for the most part, any other) society is committed by religious folk.

But, in the blogosphere, many of my cohorts in crime seem to feel this compunction, and as such (the shelf life of peer pressure is far too long: but evolution has had its way with me, as it has with us all, and so), I feel that niggling option to comply.

And true enough, some revel in it: Aaron Kinney and Frances the Magnificent seem to rather enjoy the battle – good for them, I say. Me, not so much.

I prefer to avoid labels: atheist thus far is the one I accept. Besides which, a person can absolutely drive themselves bugfuck trying to figure out just which term fits their unique perspective.

I’ve pretty much abandoned all hope (hee-hee, poor Milton gets paraphrased on such a regular basis) of finding a good fit. I’ve given moral relativism the old heave-ho: determinism seems to have merit (but my ego still has problems with letting go of the concept of free will). Thus far, it seems I’m a moral naturalist.

Moral naturalism is a form of cognitivism derived from applying evolutionary game-theory to ethics. Rather than interpreting morality as the result of negotiations between members of a large group of free moral agents, moral naturalism sees morality as an emergent phenomenon arising as an unintended side-effect of the interaction of those agents in smaller groups. In other words, morality is not to solve a single problem but a number of recurring problems, in the same manner that natural selection adjusts populations of organisms for changing environmental conditions. This puts moral facts in a class with natural facts about the world, which contradicts the assertion of divine command theory that morality is defined by the arbitrary revelation of God.”

I think that covers it very nicely, thanks.

Most of my perspective arises from the fact I was a bullied child. First off, I grew up a white kid in a demographic of approximately 80% Hispanic, which meant that

  1. I became a really fast runner (because when you’re the odd man out, no matter what your skin color, you become a target), because (and again, this isn’t exclusive to ANY population) you fight one, you fight them all. That would apply to the reverse as well (i.e., Hispanic kid in predominantly white population).

  2. Sometimes, I’d be forced to fight another white kid, for entertainment purposes, and

  3. I was a giant among my peers (not anymore), who refused to fight.

So, given my limited options in that environment, I had two defense mechanisms to choose from:

  • Become a sociopath, and completely disconnect from anything remotely resembling empathy, or

  • Become almost completely pacifistic, refusing to harm anyone, or anything.
I trust that the choice made is abundantly clear.

I personally believe that morality is an individual choice, and that one’s environment is a huge factor in that choice.

This isn’t to say I was ‘saintly’: most young boys engage in behavior that would be considered Sociopathic in an adult – it’s a matter of whether it’s a touch, or a wholesale wallowing that makes the distinction. I found the flavor wholly repulsive, and turned my face away from that innate darkness that humans have built into their nature. With no help from religion, I might add.

So, in short, I’m a morally upright individual – I don’t steal, I rarely lie, I’m excruciatingly honest (to my own detriment, I might add), I understand what the word no means (I feel that rape – the ultimate conscious violation – is perhaps the most disgusting crime one being can commit on another), children absolutely adore me, domestic pets as a rule gravitate to me, I’m about as friendly as another human being can be in person, and I won’t strike another person without due provocation. I also haven’t seen the inside of a cell in approximately thirty years (one time was enough: in some things, I’m a fast learner).

Which begs the question (for the theists): from whence came morality?

So I’ll paraphrase myself (I’m entitled to), and add to an earlier quotation of mine:

‘From the womb of evolution sprang religion. From that womb also came morality.’

Because, let’s face facts, folks: any individual of a species that behaves in a manner contrary to the well being of the herd, is cast out. I won’t trot out any scholarship in this regard: I leave it to my readers to investigate for themselves.

And I leave you with one of my all-time favorite quotes:

‘Words, not deeds, shall speak me.’ – John Fletcher, English dramatist (1579 - 1625)

Till the next post, then.


Sunday, June 18, 2006


It’s Hoax-us pokes-us time again.

This is approximately along the same timeline as the last, so let’s not worry about the chronology, shall we?

This was yet another piece of esoterica I stumbled upon during that fateful struggle with faith and reality (luckily, reality won, as we all know). This is known in some circles as the ’12 missing years of Christ’, or ‘The Unknown Life of Jesus’ as the title of the book.

Nicolas Notovitch (1858-?) was a Russian Aristocrat and journalist made famous for his revelation that during the years of Jesus Christ's life missing from the Bible, he followed traveling merchants abroad into India and Nepal, where he studied and taught Buddhism. Notovitch's writings were immediately controversial and his claims where widely rejected. However, the modern scholar Fida Hassnain claims the visit to be real and there are others who claim to have seen the same manuscripts.”

The story here is an interesting one, replete with foreign lands, strange circumstances, and even stranger politics.

I’ll quote mix-‘n-match here, as some websites provide rather…stilted versions.

Dec 03, USA (SUN) — In his book entitled "The Unknown Life of Christ", published in 1894, Nicholas Notovitch published the findings of his life study and experiences concerning Jesus Christ's travels to India. Born in 1858 into a wealthy Russian family in the Crimea, Notovitch converted from Judaism to Eastern Orthodox when he was quite young. He later became a journalist and political writer who did a great deal of traveling. In 1877, Notovitch undertook a journey to India, “to study the customs and habits of the inhabitants of India amid their own surroundings, as well as the grand, mysterious archæology and the colossal, majestic nature of the country”. “Wandering” about the land, traveled through Afghanistan, what is now Pakistan, Northern India, Kashmir and finally arrived in Ladakh, India. While in Ladakh, which is sandwiched between Kashmir and Tibet, Notovitch fell from his horse and was injured. The Buddhist monks from the Hemis monastery who cared for him, and it was through this relationship that he learned of the proof that Christ had, in fact, spent time in India. One of the Lamas at Hemis that Notovitch became friendly with produced a number of ancient scrolls written in Tibetan by Buddhist historians. An interpreter translated the scrolls, and Notovitch managed to make copies of a significant portion of them. The scrolls narrate the story of Jesus (identified as "Issa") from birth to death. But most significantly, the scrolls tell of Christ’s travels between the ages of 13-30. According to the Hemis scrolls, Christ came specifically to study the teachings of the Buddhists. His travels took him through Sindh, the Punjab and eventually to Juggernaut, where he studied the Vedas. The scrolls also indicate that Jesus was driven out of the temples when he taught the Holy Scripture to those whom the local Brahmins thought unworthy, and when Jesus spoke out against caste distinction. The Hemis Lamas noted: "We also respect the one whom you recognize as Son of the one God. The spirit of Buddha was indeed incarnate in the sacred person of Issa [Jesus], who without aid of fire or sword; spread knowledge of our great and true religion throughout the world. Issa is a great prophet, one of the first after twenty-two Buddhas. His name and acts are recorded in our writings."

I spy with my little eye – something that begins with the letter ‘S’. Yepper, syncretism it is.

It does leave out the more…combative portions.

From here:

F. Max Muller. In October 1894, preeminent Orientalist Max Muller of Oxford University (who himself was an advocate of Eastern philosophy and therefore could not be accused of having a Christian bias) published a refutation of Notovitch in The Nineteenth Century, a scholarly review. Four of his arguments are noteworthy: (1) Muller asserted that an old document like the one Notovitch allegedly found would have been included in the Kandjur and Tandjur (catalogues in which all Tibetan literature is supposed to be listed). (2) He rejected Notovitch's account of the origin of the book. He asked how Jewish merchants happened, among the millions of India, to meet the very people who had known Issa as a student, and still more "how those who had known Issa as a simple student in India saw at once that he was the same person who had been put to death under Pontius Pilate." (3) Muller cites a woman who had visited the monastery of Himis and made inquiries about Notovitch. According to a letter she wrote (dated June 29, 1894), "There is not a single word of truth in the whole story! There has been no Russian here. There is no life of Christ there at all!” And (4) Muller questioned the great liberty Notovitch took in editing and arranging the alleged verses. Muller said this is something no reputable scholar would have done.Notovitch promptly responded to Muller's arguments in the preface to the London edition of The Life of Saint Issa, which was published the following year (1895). But his response did little to satisfy his critics. He said: (1) The verses which were found would not be in any catalogues because "they are to be found scattered through more than one book without any title." (But in his first preface he said the Convent of Himis contained "a few copies of the manuscript in question." (2) Regarding the unlikeliness of Jewish merchants encountering those who knew Issa as a child in India, Notovitch said "they were not Jewish but Indian merchants who happened to witness the crucifixion prior to returning home from Palestine." (Even so, it would still be unlikely that - among the millions in India - the merchants would come upon the precise people who knew Issa as a child.) (3) As for editing and arranging the verses in The Life of Saint Issa, Notovitch said that the same kind of editing was done with the Iliad and no one ever questioned that. (But how does this legitimize Notovitch's modus operandi?) (4) As to the refusal by the lama of Himis to affirmatively answer questions about the manuscript (as he apparently did with the lady who wrote Muller), Notovitch says this was because "Orientals are in the habit of looking upon Europeans as robbers who introduce themselves in their midst to despoil them in the name of civilization." Notovitch succeeded only "because I made use of the Eastern diplomacy which I had learnt in my travels." (This was a convenient rationalization, for Notovitch could always point to a lack of "Eastern diplomacy" on the part of a European challenger whenever a monk refused to corroborate the Issa legend.)Assuming (wrongly) that his response to Muller laid criticism of his work to rest, Notovitch suggested that in the future his critics restrict themselves solely to the question: "Did those passages exist in the monastery of Himis, and have I faithfully reproduced their substance?" J. Archibald Douglas. J. Archibald Douglas, Professor at Government College in Agra, India, took a three-month vacation from the college and retraced Notovitch's steps at the Himis monastery. He published an account of his journey in The Nineteenth Century (June 1895), the bulk of which reproduced an interview with the chief lama of the monastery. The lama said he had been chief lama for 15 years, which means he would have been the chief lama during Notovitch's alleged visit. The lama asserted that during these 15 years, no European with a broken leg had ever sought refuge at the monastery.When asked if he was aware of any book in any Buddhist monastery in Tibet pertaining to the life of Issa, he said: "I have never heard of [a manuscript] which mentions the name of Issa, and it is my firm and honest belief that none such exists. I have inquired of our principal Lamas in other monasteries of Tibet, and they are not acquainted with any books or manuscripts which mention the name of Issa." When portions of Notovitch's book were read to the lama, he responded, "Lies, lies, lies, nothing but lies!" The interview was written down and witnessed by the lama, Douglas, and the interpreter, and on June 3, 1895, was stamped with the official seal of the lama. The credibility of The Life of Saint Issa was unquestionably damaged by Douglas's investigation.Nicholas Roerich. In The Lost Years of Jesus, Elizabeth Clare Prophet documents other supporters of Notovitch work, the most prominent of which was Nicholas Roerich. Roerich - a Theosophist - claimed that from 1924 to 1928 he traveled throughout Central Asia and discovered that legends about Issa were widespread. In his book, Himalaya, he makes reference to "writings" and "manuscripts" about Issa - some of which he claims to have seen and others about which people told him. Roerich allegedly recorded independently in his own travel diary the same legend of Issa that Notovitch had seen earlier.”

There’s just so much wrong with so many of the final analyses that slander Notovitch, it’s hard to know where to begin.

Well, first and foremost, it was a rare moment of lucidity, engaging Mueller to discredit Notovitch’s work, in an effort to appear open-minded, by the Catholic See. But the holes begin appearing in BOTH sides of the debate fairly quickly. The actual story was that NN fell, broke his leg, and was laid up at the Himis monastery. The tale goes that, having learned of the ‘scrolls’, he pestered (and finally prevailed) on the Head Lama to translate/read the story to him. Some versions have a French translator (who is unnamed, and should’ve been the FIRST target of the detractors: instead, this little tidbit gets overlooked).

Here’s an overlooked gem:

Muller cites a woman who had visited the monastery of Himis and made inquiries about Notovitch. According to a letter she wrote (dated June 29, 1894), "There is not a single word of truth in the whole story! There has been no Russian here. There is no life of Christ there at all!"

Who is this woman? I have found no version, which gives her name.

Here’s another:

J. Archibald Douglas, Professor at Government College in Agra, India, took a three-month vacation from the college and retraced Notovitch's steps at the Himis monastery.”

Back when I was researching this, I found absolutely no outside references to this fellow. None, zip, zero, zilch. The only place (on the internet) that I’ve found is in reference to this event. I even shot off an email to Agra U, asking about him. Received no reply.
Strange. A university professor with no monograms, scholarly works, anything a normal academic instructor would be expected to output.

[As an aside, I found this portion especially amusing, for some reason:
Notovitch says this was because "Orientals are in the habit of looking upon Europeans as robbers who introduce themselves in their midst to despoil them in the name of civilization."]

And here is some research, for those interested in looking at both sides of this coin. I have commented elsewhere on James W. Deardorff, and so shall forbear.

Final Analysis – mistaken identity.

I still say that all this hubbub was about Apollonius of Tyana – since baby Jebus never existed, and old A of T was known to have traveled in those parts, in accordance with Philostratus and Damius.

What a tangled web we weave…etc.


Thursday, June 15, 2006


I tuned into the Tonight show, hoping to see some major fireworks (I’m not a huge fan of Leno, so this was a rarity). A few Internet pundits predicted a display to equal July 4th at any county fair.

I speak of course, of the slotting of Carlin vs. Coulter (I’m sure a few people expected a boxing ring, “In this corner, weighing in at 90 pounds,” etc, “LET’S GET READY TO RUUUUMMMMBBBBLLLEE!”).

Alas, such was not to be found.

Carlin came out and did his buzz-word monologue (I’ve heard it before, but it always cracks me up), chatted with Leno, and later out came the main event: the Right Wing’s Screaming Mimi, the Banshee of Bullshit, Coulter. I’m assuming here (actually hoping is a better word) that the shrieking and howling of the audience was from hired voices.

And everybody behaved themselves. Carlin made a comment about his moving to the ‘right’ for Coulter, but mostly he sat quietly during the host/guest interview.

An occasional shot showed old GC somewhat bunched up with tension. I’m just guessing here, but I think he may have been asked/told to behave. And let’s face facts: it’s a talk show, not the McLehrer-Laughlin hour.

In the meantime, Neo-con Coulter did the usual conservative dance – liberal mixing and matching of truth with askew point of view.

She pointed out that liberals didn’t seem to care that they’d be called ‘godless’ (hey, we’ve been called everything else under the sun, that’s a mild epithet at best), she had the (paraphrased here) only smart liberal she knew read her book (but did a gentle aside to GC: “I didn’t know I would be appearing here with you,” yeah, right, you need to fire your publicist if that’s the case, tell me this wasn’t arranged in advance) and had no problem with it, that the ‘liberals’ are using the 9/11 widows for gain (tell me your side would never use those tactics, lady? Yeah, right. We’ve seen how morally upright the Neo-cons have been over the years, go tell it on the mountain).

And Leno did address it, but in keeping with his nice guy persona (he’s so saccharine, my pancreas threatens to shut down), he asked her, “Isn’t this a little mean?”

At one point, Leno asked her about hiring bodyguards. And of course, the K-12 response was: “I hang out with a lot of conservatives. They’re a fierce bunch. They can take them.”

The most disturbing part of the whole charade: camera close-up on Coulter.

Dead eyes. I saw not a vibrant, strong female, but a puppet.

Final analysis: UNHINGED. Sociopathic.

I’m no psych major, but I know sociopathy when I see it.

She should be seeking active care, not leading people to the brink of the abyss.

And that, dear readers, is my nickel’s worth. Spend it, or pocket it: it’s up to you.


Tuesday, June 13, 2006


It has been observed (and rightly so), that as atheists, we tend to complain a great deal. Granted, there’s a lot wrong with this world, the way this country is run, a great many askew perspectives.

So, in an effort to march to the beat of a different drummer (which I do anywhoways), today’s rant will be bypassed entirely. Instead, I will go for the ‘warm fuzzy feeling’ that I (and most of my ‘brethren’) tend to neglect.

To each of my readers, I extend this challenge:

What do you love? Allow me to set the parameters: twenty items (This ain’t a hard-‘n-fast rule, try to keep it there though, if you could), and it should not involve harming others (by word or deed). The emphasis here, of course, is the positive side. Being a huge believer in balance, walking the middle road, etc., I try very hard (perhaps not Herculean, but I make an effort) to incorporate some balance in my life, such as it is.

Allow me to begin:

TWENTY (OR MORE) THINGS THAT I LOVE (not necessarily in order) –

  1. Doing Tai Chi (there’s nothing quite like that calm buzz you get).

  2. Watching Chinese (or any) martial arts being done well.

  3. A child’s smile.

  4. A woman’s walk.

  5. Getting people to laugh.

  6. Getting people to think.

  7. A good argument.

  8. Children.

  9. Computers.

  10. A bird flying (eagles especially!).

  11. The written word, done well.

  12. A well-turned phrase or quote.

  13. Comedy.

  14. Martial arts films (does that make me an intellectual lowbrow? Oh well).

  15. The feel of silk on my skin.

  16. Food.

  17. Friendly people.

  18. A bit of a natter.

  19. Sex (yeah, bit of a hedonist: who isn’t?).

  20. The smell of spring on the air.

I originally started with ten. Had to up it a bit. There’s quite a bit more. But twenty’s a nice even number, good enough to get the ball rolling.


Sunday, June 11, 2006


While the blogosphere is going absolutely apeshit over this woman, I am going to go a different route.

I invoke Formosa’s law.

Answers.com defines this as: “Formosa's Law -
“The truly insane have enough on their plates without us adding to it.” That is, flaming someone with an obvious mental problem can't make it any better. Most often cited on alt.usenet.kooks as a reason not to issue a Kook-of the-Month Award; often cited as a companion to Godwin's Law. “

I mean, let’s face it; the woman’s deranged. I won’t even quote some of the nonsense that’s come spilling out of her mouth (she kisses her mom with that?)

Oh, all right. If you insist.
Anyone remember this little gem?

“When contemplating college liberals, you really regret once again that [American Taliban supporter] John Walker [Lindh] is not getting the death penalty. We need to execute people like John Walker in order to physically intimidate liberals, by making them realize that they can be killed too. Otherwise they will turn out to be outright traitors.”

Let’s face facts: she’s a madwoman. Pure and simple.

In the meantime, while most of us are getting our panties in a twist, I’m pretty sure something’s going on behind the scenes. What, I couldn’t tell you.

Because, let’s be clear here: this kind of nonsense is simple sleight-of-hand. Right up there with Uri Geller massaging a spoon with one hand, nothing happening, but bringing up another utensil in the other hand that’s bent. “See? I really DID do it!”

If you can’t figure out how that’s bullshit, abandon all hope.

I play the blame game here: those horrendous, cheap, shallow talk shows (thanks, Donohue, for coarsening our culture just a touch more, like it needed it), where ‘he said she said’ rapidly devolves into free-for-alls, fists flying, chairs being used for something other than their normal functions.

Jesus, it’s all so middle-school.

And we (by we, I mean us ‘leftie pinko commies’, hehehehe) fall for it just about every single time. I mean, get a clue, folks! So while we’re focusing on this harbinger harpy of doom, meanwhile, those clowns (the Powers That Be, you know who you are) are snickering behind clenched fists. Because it works every time.

Criticize the criticizers. Muddy the waters. Turn it into a battle of personalities, only in this case, whoever’s more deranged wins.

And of course, since the Neo-cons have more wackinoids on their side, guess what? Lost battle. Lost cause.

I say we take up a collection for the poor creature. Let’s all pitch in and supply her with a year’s worth, of say, Prozac, or Thorazine, Xanax, whatever.

Let’s face facts: I live in the S.F Bay Area. I’ve had crazy people say absolutely bizarre things to me.

Do I put them on TV? Do I stop, and calmly discuss their (ir)rational rationale with them? Do I call the local newspapers, with a human-interest story? No.

I keep walking.



(YAG = Yet Another Gospel)

Here’s something I stumbled upon a few years back, in my researches on Christianity.

From the above link:” This "Gospel of the Holy Twelve" (Evangelists) of the Christian Dispensation is one of the most ancient and complete of early Christian fragments, preserved in one of the Monasteries of the Buddhist monks in Tibet, where it was hidden by some of the Essene community for safety from the hands of corrupters and now for the first time translated from the Aramaic. The contents clearly show it to be an early Essenian writing. This ancient community of the Jewish Church called Yessenes, Iessenes, Nazarites, or Nazirs, strongly resembling the Therapeutae, and the Buddhists, who practiced community of goods, daily ablutions, daily worship, and renounced flesh eating, and strong drink and the sacrifice of animals, and the doctrine of "atonement" for the sins of some by the vicarious and involuntary suffering of others, as held by the Pharisees and Sadducees, and by the heathen before them; thus preparing the way for those Orders and Communities of men and women which have since arisen throughout the East and West, like cities set on hill, to show the more perfect way to Christians living. In the world, notably those of S. Basil in the East, and S. Benedict in the West, and, with them, the Carthusians and the Franciscans, and before them all, the Carmelites (who had their headquarters on Mount Carmel) to whom they are similar in their customs, and even their dress, if not altogether identical with them, tracing their origin to Elias, abstaining from all flesh meats and strong drinks, whose symbol was, it is said, an iron cross in a circle, and among the animals, the Lamb and the Dove their special emblems. See Philo (in Loco) or Kitto's Cyclopaedia (art, Essenes), also Arthur Lillie's "Christianity and Buddhism."

Before we delve into this…oddity, let’s examine the source (I shall attempt to NOT poison the well, but the restraint required shall be…difficult at best).

The source is one Rev. Gideon Jasper Richard Ouseley M.A. 1835 – 1906. The biographical info is as follows:

(snip) “This because, believing that he had been called to undertake this important mission, he set about to present to the world the hidden text “The Gospel of the Holy Twelve,” the Christian Dispensation pieced together from the most ancient and complete collection of Christian fragments, preserved in one of the Monasteries of the Buddhist monks in Thibet, where it was hidden by some of the Essene community for safety from the hands of the Corrupters and for the first time to be translated from the Aramaic. It was a translation of an original Aramaic document purporting to be a reconstruction and revision of the Gospel narrative.”(snip).

Answers.com is strangely silent on this fellow. But here are the facts, as I know them:

  1. There are no ‘hidden texts’

  2. Ouseley claimed to have garnered this via a vision, as per the following:
Szekely Essenes: Readers of the Gospel of Peace scribed by Szekely. These sometimes accept other channeled modern texts like the Gospel of the Holy 12 and the Aquarian Gospel. These often believe in Szekely's Essene Communions but seldom do them. These often associate the name with dairy using vegetarianism, fasting, enemas and colonics.”

Yes, you read that right: CHANNELED. Ouseley claimed to have received these ‘writings’ via a number of individuals (all of whom were deceased) by the names of Swedenborg, Maitland, Kingsford, and Placidus.

Having cleared that up, I will touch briefly on key points. Truthfully, when I read the thing, I rather liked it. It portrayed the mythical character as kind to animals, a vegetarian (which makes a sort of sense), a veritable middle-eastern Dr. Doolittle (here, it states that: And for seven years he conversed with God face to face, and he learned the language of birds and of beasts, etc), well traveled (AND after a time he went into Assyria and India and into Persia and into the land of the Chaldeans. And he visited their temples and conversed with their priests, and their wise men for many years, doing many wonderful works, healing the sick as he passed through their countries. Same link above), I mean, it really portrays JC as a well-rounded renaissance fella.

A large portion (about 80% is my guesstimate) is obviously culled from the Synoptics and John.

Here’s a portion I rather liked:

Iesus Condemneth the Ill-Treatment Of Animals.
1. AND some of his disciples came and told him of a certain Egyptian, a son of Belial, who taught that it was lawful to torment animals, if their sufferings brought any profit to men. 2. And Iesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, they who partake of benefits which are gotten by wronging one of God's creatures, cannot be righteous: nor can they touch holy things, or teach the mysteries of the kingdom, whose hands are stained With blood, or whose mouths are defiled with flesh. 3. God giveth the grains and the fruits of the earth for food: and for righteous man truly there is no other lawful sustenance for the body. 4. The robber who breaketh into the house made by man is guilty, but they who break into the house made by God, even of the least of these are the greater sinners. Wherefore I say unto all who desire to be my disciples, keep your hands from bloodshed and let no flesh meat enter your mouths, for God is just and bountiful, who ordaineth that man shall live by the fruits and seeds of the earth alone.

Note the interchanging of the ‘J’ with an ‘I’. This happens a great deal. Also, Iesus is referred to as ‘Jesu-Maria’ (Why? I’m not sure why, not sure I want to know).

"Iesus Releases The Rabbits And Pigeons

1. IT came to pass one day as Iesus had finished his discourse, in a place near Tiberias where there are seven wells, a certain young man brought live rabbits and pigeons, that he might have to eat with his disciples. 2. And Iesus looked on the young man with love and said to him, Thou hast a good heart and God shall give thee light, but knowest thou not that God in the beginning gave to man the fruits of the earth for food, and did not make him lower than the ox, or the horse, or the sheep, that he should kill and eat the flesh and blood of his fellow creatures. 3. Ye believe that Moses indeed commanded such creatures to be slain and offered in sacrifice and eaten, and so do ye in the Temple, but behold a greater than Moses is herein and he cometh to put away the bloody sacrifices of the law, and the feasts on them, and to restore to you the pure oblation and unbloody sacrifice as in the beginning, even the grains and fruits of the earth. 4. Of that which ye offer undo God in purity shall ye eat, but of that kind which ye offer not in purity shall ye not eat, for the hour cometh when your sacrifices and feasts of blood shall cease, and ye shall worship God with a holy worship and a pure Oblation. 5. Let these creatures therefore go free, that they may rejoice in God and bring no guilt to man. And the young man set them free, and Iesus break their cages and their bonds.

Hmmm…sounds like my kinda guy. Preaching = practicing.

So, lessee: No ancient script to be found, verbiage received from on high, no historical proof whatsoever (there’s a brief reference to Origen mentioning the bloody thing, which is neither here nor there).

Final analysis: HOAX.

But of course, isn’t all religion?


Thursday, June 08, 2006


Let’s get this straight:
I absolutely loathe Disney.

What’s up my nose, you ask?
This started back in my long ago days in high school. Yes, that long ago. Three decades, no less. I had, in the lost days of my youth, read The Jungle Book. Wonderful read. Absolutely excellent. Kipling was a genius.

It’s a profoundly dark novel. Filled to the brim with tooth and claw and survival of the fittest.

I saw not long after that, a preview for the Disney version. I was aghast. Dancing monkeys? A dancing bear? Even Shere Khan does a musical number?

I’m leveling a charge here: you guess the word for it.

Don’t read me wrong here – I’m all for a re-telling of a classic (hell, I wrote one myself, not long ago), if done within boundaries. But honestly, people don’t bust out in song like some Broadway musical (unless you’re a drunk at a karaoke bar).

I inveigh here against the dilution, the utter ravage of a great story badly retold and retrofitted to pander to the lowest common denominator.

Mind you, I’ve never seen this wretched feature. I refuse to watch any of the following travesties:

Pocahontas (she was FOURTEEN, fer cryin’ out loud, when she saved Wolfe), Hercules (GAH! Theseus rode Pegasus; Herk didn’t have a sidekick, a flying horse being jealous of his GF, Hades spouting off street-smart smack? C’mon!), Beauty and the Beast, Mulan, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Aladdin, oh hell, any revamped concept specially tailored to the madness of the masses.

And the absolutely worst portion of all this, is that it’s all so formulaic. There’s always a sidekick (sometimes plural, a certain percentile of which can be inanimate objects), the bad guy is always this two-dimensional cardboard cutout figure straight from the days of vaudeville, dripping evil and menace, no redeeming features whatsoever.

And yes, I know this is for the sake of the kids. A little fantasy never hurt anyone. But this delusory methodology is keeping people from reading a book. Using their imaginations.

And what is this with not being able to leave well enough alone? If a story works, if it’s a classic, why bother messing with it? Little touches, that’s fine. Modernizing it? Weeellll…as long as its not slapped on a chopping block and hacked to pieces beyond recognition, I can go along with that. Hell, I rewrote Peter Pan with Pan as the villain. Saberhagen did his own version on the Dracula and Frankenstein classics that were a little bit of all right. But taking The Arabian Nights and re-casting it in the image of the Honeymooners?

And, for the record, the reason people believe lemmings are suicidal, is that in an early feature, the film crew on a documentary (Disney, yeah, you guessed it) herded the poor things off a cliff to provide some ‘drama’. Charming.

There are limits.


Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Today’s the benighted day: the sixth day of the sixth month of the sixth year, when the devil becomes a daddy.

Oddly enough, a rash has broken out on my left hand: and the eruption has formed itself to a mark…THE DREADED MARK! Of course, when I show it to someone else, they see the numbers 999…but I know better.

Hmmm…I’m feeling knobs growing on either side of my forehead, and either they’re horns, or a brain tumor gone terribly awry.

Curiosity has touched my fragile mental state, and so I wonder: what happened on the momentous day, on June 6th, 666 CE? My guess is: probably nothing, other than some fanatics going a little apeshit.

Over the years, I’d always dreaded the MARK. I’d even silently sworn never to deny ole JC, and when I applied for welfare over two years ago (and failed miserably: I’m a middle-aged white male without kids, and not suffering from dementia, so tough stuff baby), they took a picture of my eye, and was I convinced I was marked (yes, this was pre-atheist days).

And we’ve all heard the wild postulations. The Social security number is the mark, the upcoming Identity cards are the mark, hell, I’m sure some wackinoid has come up with the theory that the GPS chips in our automobiles are the dreaded mark (which of course, means only non-drivers will be Raptured, hallelujah!).

We’ve all probably heard the wild ideas the religious have: Clinton was the Antichrist, Bush is, hell, someone might even think Prez Garfield was (that’d be a preterist, of course).

I recall lo these many years ago; someone brought home a printout from the Inglesia ni Christos (the church that kicked out my ex, and took her back after her husband committed suicide, another long story), that claimed the Pope was, via the subjective numerology derived from the writing on his hat. I wish I were joking.

When the fact of the matter is, that the mad ramblings of Revelation were targeting Nero (aka Neron) and the Roman Empire of that day.

Anyways, it’s just a number.

To top it off, a quote from one of our best presidents:

It is between fifty and sixty years since I read the Apocalypse, and I then considered it merely the ravings of a maniac, no more worthy, nor capable of explanation than the incoherences of our own nightly dreams.... what has no meaning admits no explanation.-- Thomas Jefferson, to Alexander Smyth, January 17, 1825


Sunday, June 04, 2006


(Note: YATAJ = Yet Another Theory About Jesus)

So here we have another…odd duck. One Billy Meier, with the (so-far-out-in-left-field-it-may-as-well-be-Pluto) theory that’s literally out of this world.

From here:
“This discovery occurred in 1963 as Swiss citizen and then world-traveler, Eduard Albert Meier, and his older friend, an ex-Greek-Orthodox priest, Isa Rashid, were walking along a roadway just south of the Old City of Jerusalem late one afternoon. Meier happened to glance up the slope and notice a small opening in the ground amongst the rocks and shrubs. According to Meier's much later recollection in August of 1997, this hole was about 30 cm, or a foot, on a side. Being curious, he reached into his packsack for his flashlight and peered into the hole to notice that it continued inwards. So he and Rashid proceeded to dig away rocks and earth until the hole was large enough that they could crawl inside. It was an old tomb site, half filled in with earth. After further digging and exploring inside it they discovered, buried underneath a flat rock, a bundle which they took back with them to Rashid's abode; it was about 60 cm in length and 25 cm wide. The bundle turned out to contain the Talmud of Jmmanuel (or TJ) in the form of rolls of written sheets, along with a few small artifacts. They had been wrapped up together in animal skin, which was in turn encased in resin, by then dry and crumbly, but recalled to have been black on the outside and yellowish-brown on the inside. There were four rolls, each of which contained many leaves or pages of Aramaic writing. They were obviously old and fragile but the writing was clearly legible. Meier recalls that each leaf was roughly 30cm by 40cm in size, or somewhat larger than the European AID A4 size of paper, which is 21cm by 29.4cm. He is not sure if they were made of very thin, translucent parchment or of papyrus. “

Oh, great, doing it from memory. Reminds me of that old ‘strong oral tradition’ crap the religious keep spewing.

Rashid, who could read most of the old Aramaic due to his Palestinian background on his father's side, soon noted that the TJ was heretical in several respects. For one, its title involved Jmmanuel (i.e., Immanuel, spelled with a J symbol supplying the "i" sound in place of the Aramaic/Hebrew letter "Ayin") rather than Jesus or Y'shua. For another, its writer was given as Judas Iscariot, the supposed betrayer. For a third, it mentioned that Adam's father had been Semjasa, the leader of the celestial sons, who were El’s, or God's guardian angels, and who were "distant travelers." Thus it was apparent from the beginning that if they wished this document ever to become public, its translation would have to proceed in secret. The Old Testament God had been an extraterrestrial leader rather than a "Father" in heaven. We shall be referring to him by his title of El, as in Immanuel.”

Holy crap, is this guy the love child of von Däniken, or what?
So you may ask (and rightly so, indeed), where oh where is this earth-shaking document?
Well, according to the website, Meier and Rashid parted company, and Rashid Isa (Isa: does this name ring a bell with anyone else?) sent Meier a communication:

This letter briefly explained that his translation project had become known to certain authorities, forcing him to flee from Jerusalem, together with his family, the TJ rolls and further translations, to a refugee camp in Lebanon. But his presence there became known to Israeli authorities, and the camp was heavily bombed, forcing him to flee again, this time to Baghdad, where he posted the letter to Meier. However, he and his family, like the other refugees, had to flee so suddenly that Rashid had no time to retrieve the Aramaic rolls or his further translations of them, and they were destroyed in the resulting conflagration.
In 1976 Meier learned that Rashid and his family were assassinated in Baghdad, making him (Meier) the only known surviving witness to the TJ's discovery and historicity.”

While I’m not one to scoff at another’s misfortune, the ‘sole survivor’ scenario is sketchy, and a little convenient.
One Jim Deardoff, a retired research emeritus professor (in oceanic and atmospheric sciences), is the ‘keeper of the keys’, so to speak. Also, a conspiracy theorist way out there. I mean mesospheric, boys and girls. From here:

Maintenance of the UFO Coverup
That there is a UFO coverup can scarcely be denied (Fawcett & Greenwood, 1984; Good, 1988; Greer, 1999, pp. 301-312; Maccabee, 2000). It has been maintained through the voluntary wishes of about half the population, particularly persons in position of authority, as well as by the various governmental agencies that established the UFO ridicule factor.”

That almost sounds rational, doesn’t it?

This factor has been especially effective in causing the UFO topic to be taboo for scientists. However, the coverup has also been maintained by the UFO aliens themselves (Douglass, 2001). This should be obvious, considering the several hundred-thousand screened UFO reports since 1947, many multiply attested, in which the aliens could have made their appearances definite or could have stayed in one place long enough for the news media to gather and present the event to the world—that is, if the aliens had wished to allow this and show how easily they could, in self-defense, defeat the military forces that would converge upon the scene. Instead, not only the multitudinous sightings and landing-trace evidence, but abductions, crop-circle formations and cattle mutilations have all been accomplished covertly, without leaving sufficiently firm evidence behind to satisfy most ufologists.

Just as there are some folks who should never do drugs, apparently, there’s folks who shouldn’t be allowed within arm’s reach of science fiction.

Some of his takes on the TJ are pretty funny:

· Is Genesis 6:1-2 more than just a metaphor:
When men began to multiply on the face of the ground, and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were fair; and they took to wife such of them as they chose.
· Were the gospels written by the men whose names are attached to them? Who wrote the source for the first Gospel? Why weren't the Gospels referred to by name prior to about mid-2nd century?
· What gave rise to the tradition that the Gospel of Mark is connected to the disciple Peter?
· Was there something to the "immaculate conception?" Was the angel Gabriel, who figures prominently in Luke 1:26-38, involved with it?
· Why does Luke imply that the year of birth of Jesus/Jmmanuel was in A.D. 6 while Matthew implies it was a year or two before 4 B.C.? Which gospel is correct?
· Why was his name said to be Jesus if the Isaiah prophecy was for a messiah with the name Immanuel?
· Why do so many biblical events seem like they involve UFOs and ETs? This includes the star of Bethlehem, the angels, whether seen in dreams or real life, the voice coming down from the heavens during the baptism at the river Jordan, and the Ascension.
· Why do the Old Testament and Matthew portray God as a male being, who can wrestle with Jacob or sit on his throne, while in the Gospel of John (4:24) "he" is spirit? Is God a physical, humanoid male or a spiritual consciousness?
· Were all or most of those miraculous healings by Jesus/Jmmanuel actually real? How could he do it? Why does Matthew's version of the healings usually read like a remembered version of events, with some details forgotten, in comparison with Mark's version?
· Why do some Gospel verses indicate that the "kingdom of God/heaven" is a present place in the sky, while others indicate it is a future realm to be?
· Why are there some verses in Matthew that imply Jesus/Jmmanuel was speaking about reincarnation? And why are there other verses that sound like admonitions based upon karma?
· Why do some Gospel verses say that Jesus/Jmmanuel would come again soon, or the End Days would be soon, while others indicate that the end would not come until much later?
· Why does the Holy Communion sacrament of bread and wine (body and blood) so strongly resemble the ancient ritual stemming from Mithraism?
· What was the true significance of the sign of Jonah (Jonah in the "whale")?
· How were the detailed words of Jesus/Jmmanuel within the Gospels known in those circumstances when no witnesses were around to hear them?
· How can we explain the betrayal of Jesus/Jmmanuel by Judas Iscariot for a mere 30 pieces of silver when, as treasurer of the Twelve, he would frequently have collected much more than that?
· How does one account for the appearances of Jesus/Jmmanuel to his disciples after his entombment, with a body having crucifixion wounds partially healed, and with an appetite for eating fish?
· Why did Saul/Paul, before his conversion, pursue and persecute the disciples if he had never met Jesus/Jmmanuel or heard him teach? How did Saul know, during his conversion event, that it was really Jesus/Jmmanuel who was speaking to him, if he had never heard his voice before, and was blinded by the light? How come the men with Saul also heard the voice, on the Road to Damascus?
· Why are there so many traditions indicating that Jesus/Jmmanuel, along with mother Mary and Judas-Thomas, traveled through Anatolia and eastward to India and Kashmir, in years following the crucifixion?

And there you have it: all those pesky questions answered that have bothered humanity since time immemorial: ET DID IT.

Honestly, I’d be delighted to find out that life on earth was brought about by extra-terrestrials. I can see Fox News going absolutely apeshit over that one, you betcha. Pat Robertson bursting a vein while trying to explain that it’s the ‘Devil’s work’. I can see the movie trailers now: The Asimov Code.

So we have here a world wanderer (sorry, traveler), who makes this monumental discovery with someone who no one can prove ever existed (that Isa last name still bugs me to no end), and said document is nowhere to be found.

Final analysis: HOAX.