You will also find that what I wrote or reproduced concerning the "Pagan" goddess Allat is accurate. Unless God had a sex change, it is quite clear that how we define or construct "God" is culturally dependent. Thus "Allah" represents a giant Arab man.
This perception of the infinite is a cultural artifact, not absolute reality.
I could just as easily swear my allegiance to Thor or Freya, the Norse deities. They are equally valid – in fact, they are far more applicable to me, as a Swedish person. Freya in particular, like me, since she's a female. Now, all I have to do is write a book claiming that Freya revealed Herself to me. That She is the top dog in the cosmos, THE "Lady of the Universe," before whom there shall be no other gods. I might try talking other people into accepting my newly created faith - and me as a prophet, or "daughter of Goddess" or some other such. But if that failed, and if I had the financial backing, I could have a great legion of warriors and buy massive weapons so that I could basically force my goddess, book and religion upon the rest of the world.
If I could convince - through persuasion and/or terror - enough people to follow my religion, it would then be as valid or more valid than all the others, and my goddess, Freya, would indeed be THE "god" of Earth's microcosm.
Do you see where I'm going here? This is how religions are born - all of them.
Concerning the claim that Islam preserved learning during the Dark Ages, I would argue that it wasn't "Islam" but Arabs who did that, in spite of Islam. I guess you haven't noticed it, but Islam is incredibly oppressive - and I'm talking about the Koran, not just how certain (and numerous) "self-hating" Muslims have behaved. We see the results of it by the 100s of millions. The misogyny within Islam is so bad that countless women have suffered horribly. It is simply unforgivable.
Modern religion is ancient religion in a state of senility and age-related dementia.
I would suggest that anyone interested in the truth, rather than belief, go back before Islam, before Christianity and Judaism, and study the world's cultures. The eternal cosmos was not "godless" until the 7th century. Such a conclusion that "God" didn't reveal "himself" until the 7th century seems to be the ultimate hubris, not to mention cultural bigotry (and sexism, since "God" was female in the human mind for thousands of years).
Religions are created for power, often of one people over another. Islam is no different from Judaism and Christianity in this regard.
I would like to ask religionists of any faith why they really need it at all. What is this fascination with "submission?" Is this some sort of masochistic fetish? Because you've been taught that you are a worthless creature who can only be redeemed by submitting your will to some giant man in outerspace? What if you had been taught the whole of creation is divine? Why submit to anything, if you're already there? How can you be separate from an omnipresent "God?"
To: Acharya S
Subject: Fw: "The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Sold" by Acharya S
Date: Sun, 14 Nov 1999 00:12:39 -0500
Interesting insite, this dialogue between the xians. I guess we have long since figured out that these sort can't put 2 and 2 together, let alone see any substantial portion of the big picture. They will never think outside the xian box. The same xian box that feels so much like a coffin. One thing I learned from my ex in-laws, you can not argue or even converse with closed minds trapped shut with illogic and emotionalism. This same type of shit was thrown at me when I questioned the LDS church of the historical records of their infamous founder committing public fraud. Intelligent people will indeed figure out the truth, but some of the more vulnerable young folks looking for the real answers may be misdirected by these xian know-it-all wannabes.
Another problem with many xian people is Fear. Fear of losing social status, friends, sense of fellowship, and possibly learning that the heaven myth is nothing more than just that. Of course, most of this is the typical us-against-them conditioning, lack of self-esteem, self-trust, and having to actually think for themselves and be individually responsible for their own accountability. "The devil made me do it" doesn't cut it anymore. This dialogue amongst the xians is nothing more than warm fuzzy stroking of each other to reassure each other that they aren't wrong. But that is as far as they would dare go. To venture too far on the path of knowledge would be perilous to their xian ideals. They will do no more than banter about amongst themselves and perform the usual circle-jerking of their weenie minds.
To: Acharya S
Subject: Being Buddaful
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 1999 22:19:38 -0600
Great site, sent here by someone on Yahoo Religion ....
You really must read and add to list of books a very scholarly work(s) by an Australian scholar, Barbara Theiring. Her three books on the Dead Sea Scrolls and how they reveal the true meaning of the New Testament and Jesus' life are remarkable. Just to show you her gist, the title of newest book is "The book That Jesus Wrote : John's Gospel." Needless to say, her premise is that Jesus survived the cruxifixtion and was born normally to two normal people who got a little ahead of themselves...haven't we all at sometime. Real twist is that she explains that Jesus intended to write Gospel at level of children and at level of logical adult. Code to reading the logical part was lost or destroyed by...someone ( I read catholic Church..she makes no such accusation...hell but who else).
You've a fine head on your shoulders and a dynamite bod underneath...you go, girl.
Thanks, doll. Barbara's books don't sound all that "scholarly" based on the conclusions you've shared. John's gospel wasn't written until around 175 CE, so "Jesus" certainly had nothing to do with it, even if he weren't fictional. Her premise sounds pretty much as childish as the party line, although these evemerists do shake up the fundamentalists. (Evemerists are those who believe, without any evidence, that beneath the layers of Pagan mythological lacquer there is still "some guy" named Jesus.) I will continue carrying my body - for a while.
From: "Rickity & Rutheless"
To: Acharya S
Subject: To the lost
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 1999 19:14:27 -0800
There are none so blind as those who will not see, none so condemned as those who mislead. You offer nothing and you will receive nothing. For all your efforts to block the light you will have eternal darkness.
Snore. How utterly arrogant, smug and condescending. Talk about dark! And ugly. If this is what "loving Christians" spout, what do demons say?
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 1999 22:20:57 EST
To: Acharya S
How do you keep on keepin' on? How do you maintain the energy to fight the good fight? Man, I'm only 34 and I'm so tired of it all!
Believe me, it ain't easy, with such weird people as the one who wrote the message above yours.
Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 19:19:38 -0700
To: Acharya S
Subject: Your excellent work
I wanted to take a moment to express my appreciation to you for your excellent work, The Christ Conspiracy. It is thoughtful, resourceful and thorough. Its arguments are well thought out, and they make their point. You have my congratulations…and my condolences. I am sure that you have found extraordinary resistance and even condemnation. But take heart, the world will be much better off when it takes a position based on knowing, versus a foundation based on belief.
Your work deserves a wider audience....
Thank you for your efforts, best wishes for a continued writing and research career.
Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 17:01:49 -0600
Subject: HOW DARE YOU!!!!
To: Acharya S
... How do you do it?? How do you stay strong with all these people attacking you like this?!?!
I had this girlfriend ... until one nite, we had come home from a bar, and she told me in a very serious tone that she had "found god." No, not like that - she meant GOD... telling me she had found God, and how she needed to cleanse from her SINS!! ... I looked at her in her eyes - and that was the scariest part - she was so sure of what she was telling me. I asked for a minute to just consider what if the Jesus guy didn't really exist? What if all the stuff in the bible is a lie??
... When my husband had a heart attack, it was just too much for her to hold back. And, of course, she - you know that way when people are sticking it up your ass, but they show the nicest of smiles?? Well, in that tone she told me how the Lord had "spared" my hubby's life, even though I don't look for "him." I told her, "Listen, if that god allowed in the first place for him to have a heart attack, I mean after all the shit we have been gone through ... then I hope he himself rots in his once-upon-a-time fallen angel's hell!!!!" What kind of god is that?? To allow this shit to happen? I would rather believe he is busy doing other things, that this god guy don't even know I exist!!!! I would rather believe this, than thinking this god just lets shit like this happen.
... just a little note to offer my cyber support. Be well, and I hope you are out of range of these full-of-crap people.
Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 19:09:58 -0200
To: Acharya S
Subject: Great Site!
At least some intelligent life on the internet!! Great site. Ser que voce conseque ler mesmo em portugues? (Do you really know how to read in portuguese?) Excelente!
Sim, posso ler em portugues um pouco.
To: Acharya S
Date: Wed, 17 Nov 1999 01:15:10 0100
... The truthbeknown website is outstanding! There are aspects which I have some concern about, but I'll save that for another time.... I want to compliment mostly. I don't in the slightest want to appear condescending, nor do I wish to appear stupid, at least not more so than I am. Your work as I've seen on your site is wonderful, funny, strong, feminine, bold, forthright, intelligent, informed, striving to experience life at its fullest, a screamer and pleasantly demonic in the spiritually turned on sense ... gracious, and there are other qualities of sensitivity which jump from the harshest moments.
Date: Thu, 18 Nov 1999 01:06:59 -0800
To: Acharya S
Subject: Wonderful site!
I have spent WAY too much time here reading your very intelligently written essays on Christianity. I was a Christian for YEARS and never was able to "put into words" exactly what was wrong with it. I had so many questions, which you have adequately answered. I cannot believe I never made the connections with the inconsistencies you seem so able to point out so articulately!
Since I have "emerged" from the *box* and have begun to think for myself, I have been so rewarded. You are WONDERFUL!
(haha! I DID think you were *an old scholar* when I first started reading your essays! After seeing your pics, all I can say is "whoa!!" :)
MAY ALL GOOD THINGS COME TO YOU!
Date: Thu, 18 Nov 1999 15:04:33 EST
Subject: Thanks 4 the info!
To: Acharya S
I have been reading your web sites and the information that you are providing on the origins of religion and Jesus Christ, and it has been a great help to me. I have always been looking for the "truth" or let me say the "total truth", and you are differently providing it. I for a long time have been saying that Jesus was a myth and that the Bible is not the word of God but just co-opted from writings that precede the Bible by centuries. My saying this publicly, and here in New York City, has caused me to be stalked on the streets by members of Black and Hispanic Hebrew Israelite groups who just can't deal with the truth when it comes from my mouth. They have also offered death threats. I guess my saying that believing in Biblical myths is the same thing as adults still believing in the tooth fairy was overdoing it a bit, huh? lol!
So please keep this information coming. It is so valuable. Thanks!!!
To: Acharya S
Date: Fri, 19 Nov 1999 18:15:54 -0500
I love your stuff; ALL OF IT!!!!!
To: "Acharya S"
Subject: O.K. I am convinced you are exceptional...
Date: Fri, 19 Nov 1999 20:05:13 -0600
I am about a third of the way through your book, and I am very impressed with the research you have summarized. The evidence is indisputable. My favorite counter argument you have detailed, and thankfully refused to dignify with a reply, is that the devil manipulated circumstances and designed all these ambiguities and inconsistencies. That our faith is being tested against our own reason and sensibilities. Even if I am wrong, I would like to think that by living an ethical life I could be forgiven for my naivete.
I hope the sales are going well, and that you will be able to travel and do some readings. No matter if these arguments have been made before, it is important for new generations to be exposed to these facts. Ignorance is how religions have gained so much power and influence. What is sad, is that faith is so linked with these rituals. That not everyone can find such balance within themselves.
Keep up the fight, it is an uphill climb. Stigma can produce its own kind of metaphysical alchemy, and when you couple that with a powerful fear, people fade into dogma. You have already accomplished many positive tasks, and I wish you much success as you continue to publish.
P.S. You should have used the the picture of you in those shorts for the back cover :) Not really.
To: Acharya S
Subject: The Christ Conspiracy
Date: Fri, 19 Nov 1999 21:40:22 -0600
I am about half way through, and it is brilliant! I am looking forward to your next book.
Date: Sat, 20 Nov 1999 07:15:18 -0500
To: Acharya S
Subject: An Ex-BORG
Damn, I wish I'd seen your writings back when I was in high school! You'd have scared the living hell out of me, but then perhaps I wouldn't have had to go through quite the sort of hell I did...so I thought I'd write to share my story, in hopes that some mutant like me who may be in the same situation I was in can read it and realize that assimilation does *not* have to be permanent. It is possible to reclaim your own soul.
When I was around eight years old, my family lived just up the street from a minister and "his" wife and kids. Mrs. P knew how much I was into science (both fact and fiction), and reading in general, and how voraciously I'd ask questions about how stuff worked. One day, she gave me a bible and told me something like "The answers are all here." I'd always heard vague talk about God and Jesus, so I was thrilled to have the source of the "real" story. Little did I know what I was getting into...
My family was generally pretty much irreligious, but accepted my newfound zeal with shrugs. My father even helped me find things in the bible that I was curious about. However, I still had a big interest in science, and read tons of sci-fi--so every question the bible "answered" seemed to lead to more questions. I finally ended up coming to some really convoluted conclusions, and developed quite a nice delusional system for myself. Since evolution made as much sense to me then as creationism, I finally decided that yes, we did evolve from apes, but Adam and Eve were the first examples of Homo sapiens...but that didn't quite square with the bible's timeline...but I wasn't supposed to question that, since that somehow meant I was denying God...but I had a conviction that God wanted me to use the brain he gave me...and on and on. Even talking to other Christians or scientists didn't slow the hurricane of cognitive dissonance that was brewing in my little head. Eventually that hurricane, among other things, led to a severe clinical depression when I was a teenager. The things in my head were sooo screwed up.
I never did feel like I fit in well anywhere, socially or otherwise. I felt like a mistake, both because I could tell I was "smart" and because of my visual impairment (I am legally blind). I felt like society was a big, cannibalistic, broken machine, literally anything involving sex or "drugs" was a sin - I was never going to amount to anything...yet I'd still dream of the day I could go into space. Then the shit hit the fan, as it were.
I started feeling suicidal. My head was a mess, my grades sucked, my parents were separated, and anything wrong in the world was my fault. My logic was thus: I'm a no-good shit. God wants no-good shits to go to hell. I want what God wants. Ergo, I want to die and go to hell where I "belong." If I only knew I was already in hell and could get out, I could have saved myself and those close to me a lot of agony. Eventually I was hospitalized and discovered just how Kafka-eque the mental health system could be, and met a few other people (mostly fellow patients more than staff) that I could really relate with.
I still don't know exactly when I gave up the Xtianity - there wasn't a defining moment. I just remember that there came a time when I'd hear fundies talking and realize that they hadn't thought about what they were saying. I'd feel relieved that I no longer had to have that kind of a belief system. I had to give up on *any* kind of belief, as far as I could tell--even belief in God's existence and non-existence, both! Only then could I set myself free. Reading books by people like Robert Anton Wilson, Timothy Leary, and John Lilly helped a lot, but I think mostly it was life experience and my continued insistence on questioning things that saved me from my downward spiral.
When I look back on all this, it seems to me that I basically had a very toxic memetic disease. So, while I may have a few semantic disagreements with some things you say in your essays, I feel I understand exactly what you're doing and I'm all for it! If we don't get some variety and mutation in the meme pool, we'll stagnate. Keep it up, Acharya! If a little "blind" geekboy can finally grow to see the light, I think anyone can.
Thank you for a very moving message. So glad you're better. Obviously, you CAN see.
To: Acharya S
Date: Sun, 21 Nov 1999 00:22:30 -0500
Thanks for your Amazing site. My thoughts are very very similar to yours. Thanks for sharing. And yes, most of society is insane ! Please promote your web site, because, as they say, THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE..
To: "From Sex to Superconsciousness"
Date: Mon, 22 Nov 1999 04:56:27 -0500
Subject: Circumcision - Jewish Rationale
While some may be a bit weary of the topic, the following shows that circumcision as a means of control has been written about by Jews for at least 800 years, with understanding of its true effects and their use to control others being around much longer.
From The Guide of The Perplexed (1195) (Shlomo Pines Translation)
Volumes I & II University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1963. Part III.
As regards circumcision, I think that one of its objects is to limit sexual intercourse, and to weaken the organ of generation as far as possible, and thus cause man to be moderate.
Some people believe that circumcision is to remove a defect in man's formation; but every one can easily reply: how can products of nature be deficient so as to require external completion, especially as the use of the foreskin to that organ is evident?
This commandment has not been enjoined as a complement to a deficient physical creation, but as a means for perfecting man's moral shortcomings.
The bodily injury caused to that organ is exactly that which is desired; it does not interrupt any vital function, nor does it destroy the power of generation.
Circumcision simply counteracts excessive lust; for there is no doubt that circumcision weakens the power of sexual excitement, and sometimes lessens the natural enjoyment; the organ necessarily becomes weak when it loses blood and is deprived of its covering from the beginning.
Our Sages say distinctly: It is hard for a woman, with whom an uncircumcised had sexual intercourse, to separate from him. This is, as I believe, the best reason for the commandment concerning circumcision.
Date: Mon, 22 Nov 1999 22:17:14 -0500 (EST)
To: Acharya S
Subject: uuuhh dduhhhh
I am totally stupefied!!! (please forgive my spelling errors and the like - I just decided not to edit this email and just let the moment flow, illustrating how your site profoundly hit me)