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2/19/2003                                                                                       View Comments

EndVenture

by smithbrad

My good friend and empathologist Sharon Kukhahn cautioned me to not have "an agenda" in creating this web page, reminding me that the truth does not have to be proven if, indeed, it is the truth. And that coincides with something Eric Hoffer wrote in The True Believer:

Whence comes the impulse to proselytize? ... It is a search for a final and irrefutable demonstration that our absolute truth is indeed the one and only truth. The proselytizing fanatic strengthens his own faith by converting others. The creed whose legitimacy is most easily challenged is likely to develop the strongest proselytizing impulse.

Of course, Hoffer fails to recognize the fact that many Christian fundamentalists are sincere in their love of others, and are desperate than no one should perish, but that everyone should "repent of their sins" and be "saved" from eternal damnation. Regardless of what many atheists and ex-Christians want to believe, a good number of the most fervent Bible-thumpers really are motivated by love and concern. What else is one to do, who thinks a family member, friend or neighbor is going to burn forever? The Jesus-screaming fanatic on the street corner is living a life much more consistent with his faith than the Sunday morning Christian who is uncomfortable offending others with his religious beliefs.

But Christianity - especially the "hellfire and brimstone" brand - is what I've come to recognize as

A VERDICT WHICH DEMANDS EVIDENCE

I've chosen this tag based on the book by Christian apologist Josh McDowell entitled Evidence That Demands a Verdict. In this book, McDowell is clearly "preaching to the choir" in his attempt to prove fundamentalist Christianity, providing nothing more than opinion and circular reasoning as "evidence" to support the very "verdict" which his target readership is seeking.

Why does this verdict demand evidence?

A friend recently pointed out that if I'm wrong, and hell exists, I'll go there for not believing in it; but if he's wrong, and there is no such place, he has nothing to worry about. (This well-meaning Christian apparently does not know how upset "Allah" is with him for not believing in the hell of the Koran!)

There was a time when I agreed with this young man. After all, with no evidence to "prove" any belief system, it seemed better to play it safe, and believe that God was going to "get" me if I didn't find, then follow the correct version of the hundreds of brands of Christianity.

However, having found evidence to refute the fundamentalist concept of hell - evidence so overwhelming in volume that it makes the Bible look like The Hobbit - I finally understand what is meant by the phrase, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."

There is no such place as hell. How can I make such a seemingly arbitrary assertion? Several reasons, all of which I will cover on this page. But the most important reason is that, while there is no evidence to support the existence of hell, there is, however, massive evidence to prove that almost all the major Christian religions are the products of a purposeful, concerted effort over the past two millennia to keep a large portion of the world's population in a state of fear.

This is why it is difficult for me to follow Sharon's advice to not have an agenda. Close to two billion people are living their lives in fear of, rather than in love with God and each other, due to this erroneous belief in hell. Specifically, the Columbine killers come to mind - boys who thought that, since they were not "good Christians", their only alternative was to believe in Marilyn Manson and Adolph Hitler.

But Sharon is right. Rather than use this evidence to "prove" anything to those who are attached to their fear-based theologies, my purpose in posting this page should be to provide sanctuary to those who have always known, despite what they have been taught to the contrary, that God is good, and loving, and righteous - and that God's moral standards are at least as high as our own.

I can hear it now: "That's blasphemy." Further into this page, I'll address the obvious reasons as to why God is incapable of creating a place like hell. But first I'll cover why humans are not only capable, but culpable of creating the concept of hell.

Though the different Christian sects which believe in hell vary in their specific methods for escaping this supposed wrath of God, all of them point to Jesus of Nazareth, whom most claim to be God in perfect human form, to be the way to salvation. But what if Jesus was not who they say he was? Since these sects all base their beliefs in the Bible (or on the Bible and tradition, or on the Bible and the writings of their founders), then it is obvious that overwhelming evidence against the Biblical Jesus Christ must either be accepted or refuted.

Again, the purpose of this page is not to "prove" my case to those who believe everything their church leaders and theologians claim regarding Jesus and the Bible. Its purpose is to present to you the evidence which shows that fear-based theology is the result of the twisted imaginations of those who would seek to control you.

Why does it matter if hell does or does not exist? Because the deception is so enormous. When I first discovered this material, I wondered, somewhat self-consciously, if everyone but a few ignorant fundamentalists and Catholics was familiar with the material I was discovering; but since I began my research I've found that no one I know has heard of this, even though there are dozens of books and websites providing the same information. So my motivation is not to win arguments or weaken another's faith, but to provide the reader with the real "gospel" ("good news"): the evidence supporting a verdict which states that hell does not exist; and also, the bad news, which is the unsettling fact that a lot of people do not want you to know it.

WHAT EVIDENCE?

The evidence has been on the shelves of the "godless, immoral, humanist" universities which your religious leaders warned you not to attend - as well as on the shelves of your local library - all this time. I discovered this when I first came across a website by a woman named Acharya S entitled "The Origins of Christianity and the Quest for the Historical Jesus Christ".

The amount of historical evidence she presents against the Biblical Jesus Christ (as well as her unconventional name) motivated me to research her claims. I thought I was embarking on a difficult project, but the author merely presents what every honest historian has known for over a century.

Before I relate the findings of my own independent research, I'll present some of the claims Acharya S makes about the origins of Christianity:

It is evident that there was no single historical person upon whom the Christian religion was founded, and that "Jesus Christ" is a compilation of legends, heroes, gods and godmen. There is not adequate room here to go into detail about each god or godman that contributed to the formation of the Jewish Jesus character; suffice it to say that there is plenty of documentation to show that this issue is not a question of "faith" or "belief." The truth is that during the era this character supposedly lived there was an extensive library at Alexandria and an incredibly nimble brotherhood network that stretched from Europe to China, and this information network had access to numerous manuscripts that told the same narrative portrayed in the New Testament with different place names and ethnicity for the characters. In actuality, the legend of Jesus nearly identically parallels the story of Krishna, for example, even in detail, as was presented by noted mythologist and scholar Gerald Massey over 100 years ago, as well as by Rev. Robert Taylor 160 years ago, among others. The Krishna tale as told in the Hindu Vedas has been dated to at least as far back as 1400 B.C.E. The same can be said of the well-woven Horus mythos, which also is practically identical, in detail, to the Jesus story, but which predates the Christian version by thousands of years.

The Jesus story incorporated elements from the tales of other deities recorded in this widespread area, such as many of the following world saviors and "sons of God," most or all of whom predate the Christian myth, and a number of whom were crucified or executed.

Adad of Assyria
Adonis, Apollo, Heracles ("Hercules") and Zeus of Greece
Alcides of Thebes
Attis of Phrygia
Baal of Phoenicia
Bali of Afghanistan
Beddru of Japan
Buddha of India
Crite of Chaldea
Deva Tat of Siam
Hesus of the Druids
Horus, Osiris, and Serapis of Egypt, whose long-haired,
bearded appearance was adopted for the Christ character
Indra of Tibet/India
Jao of Nepal
Krishna of India
Mikado of the Sintoos
Mithra of Persia
Odin of the Scandinavians
Prometheus of Caucasus/Greece
Quetzalcoatl of Mexico
Salivahana of Bermuda
Tammuz of Syria (who was, in a typical mythmaking move,
later turned into the disciple Thomas)
Thor of the Gauls
Universal Monarch of the Sibyls
Wittoba of the Bilingonese
Xamolxis of Thrace
Zarathustra/Zoroaster of Persia
Zoar of the Bonzes
The Major Players

Buddha

Although most people think of Buddha as being one person who lived around 500 B.C.E., the character commonly portrayed as Buddha can also be demonstrated to be a compilation of godmen, legends and sayings of various holy men both preceding and succeeding the period attributed to the Buddha.

The Buddha character has the following in common with the Christ figure:

Buddha was born of the virgin Maya, who was considered the "Queen of Heaven."
He was of royal descent.
He crushed a serpent's head.
He performed miracles and wonders, healed the sick, fed 500 men from a "small basket of cakes," and walked on water.
He abolished idolatry, was a "sower of the word," and preached "the establishment of a kingdom of righteousness."
He taught chastity, temperance, tolerance, compassion, love, and the equality of all.
He was transfigured on a mount.
Sakya Buddha was crucified in a sin-atonement, suffered for three days in hell, and was resurrected.
He ascended to Nirvana or "heaven."
Buddha was considered the "Good Shepherd", the "Carpenter", the "Infinite and Everlasting."
He was called the "Savior of the World" and the "Light of the World."

Horus of Egypt

The stories of Jesus and Horus are very similar, with Horus even contributing the name of Jesus Christ. Horus and his once-and-future Father, Osiris, are frequently interchangeable in the mythos ("I and my Father are one"). The legends of Horus go back thousands of years, and he shares the following in common with Jesus:

Horus was born of the virgin Isis-Meri on December 25th in a cave/manger, with his birth being announced by a star in the East and attended by three wise men.
He was a child teacher in the Temple and was baptized when he was 30 years old.
Horus was also baptized by "Anup the Baptizer," who becomes "John the Baptist."
He had 12 disciples.
He performed miracles and raised one man, El-Azar-us, from the dead.
He walked on water.
Horus was transfigured on the Mount.
He was crucified, buried in a tomb and resurrected.
He was also the "Way, the Truth, the Light, the Messiah, God's Anointed Son, the Son of Man, the Good Shepherd, the Lamb of God, the Word" etc.
He was "the Fisher," and was associated with the Lamb, Lion and Fish ("Ichthys").
Horus's personal epithet was "Iusa," the "ever-becoming son" of "Ptah," the "Father."
Horus was called "the KRST," or "Anointed One," long before the Christians duplicated the story.
In fact, in the catacombs at Rome are pictures of the baby Horus being held by the virgin mother Isis - the original "Madonna and Child" - and the Vatican itself is built upon the papacy of Mithra, who shares many qualities with Jesus and who existed as a deity long before the Jesus character was formalized. The Christian hierarchy is nearly identical to the Mithraic version it replaced. Virtually all of the elements of the Catholic ritual, from miter to wafer to water to altar to doxology, are directly taken from earlier pagan mystery religions.

Mithra, Sungod of Persia

The story of Mithra precedes the Christian fable by at least 600 years. According to Wheless, the cult of Mithra was, shortly before the Christian era, "the most popular and widely spread 'Pagan' religion of the times." Mithra has the following in common with the Christ character:

Mithra was born of a virgin on December 25th.
He was considered a great traveling teacher and master.
He had 12 companions or disciples.
He performed miracles.
He was buried in a tomb.
After three days he rose again.
His resurrection was celebrated every year.
Mithra was called "the Good Shepherd."
He was considered "the Way, the Truth and the Light, the Redeemer, the Savior, the Messiah."
He was identified with both the Lion and the Lamb.
His sacred day was Sunday, "the Lord's Day," hundreds of years before the appearance of Christ.
Mithra had his principal festival on what was later to become Easter, at which time he was resurrected.
His religion had a Eucharist or "Lord's Supper."

Krishna of India

The similarities between the Christian character and the Indian messiah are many. Indeed, Massey finds over 100 similarities between the Hindu and Christian saviors, and Graves, who includes the various noncanonical gospels in his analysis, lists over 300 likenesses. It should be noted that a common earlier English spelling of Krishna was "Christna," which reveals its relation to '"Christ." It should also be noted that, like the Jewish godman, many people have believed in a historical, carnalized Krishna.

Krishna was born of the Virgin Devaki ("Divine One")
His father was a carpenter.
His birth was attended by angels, wise men and shepherds, and he was presented with gold, frankincense and myrrh.
He was persecuted by a tyrant who ordered the slaughter of thousands of infants.
He was of royal descent.
He was baptized in the River Ganges.
He worked miracles and wonders.
He raised the dead and healed lepers, the deaf and the blind.
Krishna used parables to teach the people about charity and love.
"He lived poor and he loved the poor."
He was transfigured in front of his disciples.
In some traditions he died on a tree or was crucified between two thieves.
He rose from the dead and ascended to heaven.
Krishna is called the "Shepherd God" and "Lord of lords," and was considered "the Redeemer, Firstborn, Sin Bearer, Liberator, Universal Word."
He is the second person of the Trinity, and proclaimed himself the "Resurrection" and the "way to the Father."
He was considered the "Beginning, the Middle and the End," ("Alpha and Omega"), as well as being omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent.
His disciples bestowed upon him the title "Jezeus," meaning "pure essence."
Krishna is to return to do battle with the "Prince of Evil," who will desolate the earth.

Prometheus of Greece

The Greek god Prometheus has been claimed to have come from Egypt, but his drama took place in the Caucasus mountains. Prometheus shares a number of striking similarities with the Christ character.

Prometheus descended from heaven as God incarnate as man, to save mankind.
He was crucified, suffered and rose from the dead.
He was called the Logos or Word.
Five centuries before the Christian era, esteemed Greek poet Aeschylus wrote Prometheus Bound, which, according to Taylor, was presented in the theater in Athens. Taylor claims that in the play Prometheus is crucified "on a fatal tree" and the sky goes dark:

"The darkness which closed the scene on the suffering Prometheus, was easily exhibited on the stage, by putting out the lamps; but when the tragedy was to become history, and the fiction to be turned into fact, the lamp of day could not be so easily disposed of. Nor can it be denied that the miraculous darkness which the Evangelists so solemnly declare to have attended the crucifixion of Christ, labours under precisely the same fatality of an absolute and total want of evidence."

Tradition holds that Prometheus was crucified on a rock, yet some sources have opined that legend also held he was crucified on a tree and that Christians muddled the story and/or mutilated the text, as they did with the works of so many ancient authors. In any case, the sun hiding in darkness parallels the Christian fable of the darkness descending when Jesus was crucified. This remarkable occurrence is not recorded in history but is only explainable within the Mythos and as part of a recurring play.

The Creation of a Myth

The Christians went on a censorship rampage that led to the virtual illiteracy of the ancient world and ensured that their secret would be hidden from the masses, but the scholars of other schools/sects never gave up their arguments against the historicizing of a very ancient mythological creature. We have lost the arguments of these learned dissenters because the Christians destroyed any traces of their works. Nonetheless, the Christians preserved the contentions of their detractors through the Christians' own refutations.

For example, early Church Father Tertullian (@ 160-220 C.E.), an "ex-Pagan" and Bishop of Carthage, ironically admits the true origins of the Christ story and of all other such godmen by stating in refutation of his critics, "You say we worship the sun; so do you." Interestingly, a previously strident believer and defender of the faith, Tertullian later renounced Christianity.

The "Son" of God is the "Sun" of God

The reason why all these narratives are so similar, with a godman who is crucified and resurrected, who does miracles and has 12 disciples, is that these stories were based on the movements of the sun through the heavens, an astrotheological development that can be found throughout the planet because the sun and the 12 zodiac signs can be observed around the globe. In other words, Jesus Christ and all the others upon whom this character is predicated are personifications of the sun, and the Gospel fable is merely a rehash of a mythological formula (the "Mythos," as mentioned above) revolving around the movements of the sun through the heavens.

For instance, many of the world's crucified godmen have their traditional birthday on December 25th ("Christmas"). This is because the ancients recognized that (from an earthcentric perspective) the sun makes an annual descent southward until December 21st or 22nd, the winter solstice, when it stops moving southerly for three days and then starts to move northward again. During this time, the ancients declared that "God's sun" had "died" for three days and was "born again" on December 25th. The ancients realized quite abundantly that they needed the sun to return every day and that they would be in big trouble if the sun continued to move southward and did not stop and reverse its direction. Thus, these many different cultures celebrated the "sun of God's" birthday on December 25th. The following are the characteristics of the "sun of God":

The sun "dies" for three days on December 22nd, the winter solstice, when it stops in its movement south, to be born again or resurrected on December 25th, when it resumes its movement north.
In some areas, the calendar originally began in the constellation of Virgo, and the sun would therefore be "born of a Virgin."
The sun is the "Light of the World."
The sun "cometh on clouds, and every eye shall see him."
The sun rising in the morning is the "Savior of mankind."
The sun wears a corona, "crown of thorns" or halo.
The sun "walks on water."
The sun's "followers," "helpers" or "disciples" are the 12 months and the 12 signs of the zodiac or constellations, through which the sun must pass.
The sun at 12 noon is in the house or temple of the "Most High"; thus, "he" begins "his Father's work" at "age" 12.
The sun enters into each sign of the zodiac at 30°; hence, the "Sun of God" begins his ministry at "age" 30.
The sun is hung on a cross or "crucified," which represents its passing through the equinoxes, the vernal equinox being Easter, at which time it is then resurrected.
Contrary to popular belief, the ancients were not an ignorant and superstitious lot who actually believed their deities to be literal characters. Indeed, this slanderous propaganda has been part of the conspiracy to make the ancients appear as if they were truly the dark and dumb rabble that was in need of the "light of Jesus." The reality is that the ancients were no less advanced in their morals and spiritual practices, and in many cases were far more advanced, than the Christians in their own supposed morality and ideology, which, in its very attempt at historicity, is in actuality a degradation of the ancient Mythos. Indeed, unlike the "superior" Christians, the true intelligentsia amongst the ancients were well aware that their gods were astronomical and atmospheric in nature. Socrates, Plato and Aristotle surely knew that Zeus, the sky god father figure who migrated to Greece from India and/or Egypt, was never a real person, despite the fact that the Greeks have designated on Crete both a birth cave and a death cave of Zeus. In addition, all over the world are to be found sites where this god or that allegedly was born, walked, suffered, died, etc., a common and unremarkable occurrence that is not monopolized by, and did not originate with, Christianity.

Etymology Tells the Story

Zeus, aka "Zeus Pateras," who we now automatically believe to be a myth and not a historical figure, takes his name from the Indian version, "Dyaus Pitar." Dyaus Pitar in turn is related to the Egyptian "Ptah," and from both Pitar and Ptah comes the word "pater," or "father." "Zeus" equals "Dyaus," which became "Deos," "Deus" and "Dios" - "God." "Zeus Pateras," like Dyaus Pitar, means "God the Father," a very ancient concept that in no way originated with "Jesus" and Christianity. There is no question of Zeus being a historical character. Dyaus Pitar becomes "Jupiter" in Roman mythology, and likewise is not representative of an actual, historical character. In Egyptian mythology, Ptah, the Father, is the unseen god-force, and the sun was viewed as Ptah's visible proxy who brings everlasting life to the earth; hence, the "son of God" is really the "sun of God." Indeed, according to Hotema, the very name "Christ" comes from the Hindi word "Kris" (as in Krishna), which is a name for the sun.

Furthermore, since Horus was called "Iusa/Iao/Iesu" the "KRST," and Krishna/Christna was called "Jezeus," centuries before any Jewish character similarly named, it would be safe to assume that Jesus Christ is just a repeat of Horus and Krishna, among the rest. According to Rev. Taylor, the title "Christ" in its Hebraic form meaning "Anointed" ("Masiah") was held by all kings of Israel, as well as being "so commonly assumed by all sorts of impostors, conjurers, and pretenders to supernatural communications, that the very claim to it is in the gospel itself considered as an indication of imposture . . ." Hotema states that the name "Jesus Christ" was not formally adopted in its present form until after the first Council of Nicea, i.e., in 325 C.E.

In actuality, even the place names and the appellations of many other characters in the New Testament can be revealed to be Hebraicized renderings of the Egyptian texts.

As an example, in the fable of "Lazarus," the mummy raised from the dead by Jesus, the Christian copyists did not change his name much, "El-Azar-us" being the Egyptian mummy raised from the dead by Horus possibly 1,000 years or more before the Jewish version. This story is allegory for the sun reviving its old, dying self, or father, as in "El-Osiris." It is not a true story.

Horus's principal enemy - originally Horus's other face or "dark" aspect - was "Set" or "Sata," whence comes "Satan." Horus struggles with Set in the exact manner that Jesus battles with Satan, with 40 days in the wilderness, among other similarities. This is because this myth represents the triumph of light over dark, or the sun's return to relieve the terror of the night.

"Jerusalem" simply means "City of Peace," and the actual city in Israel was named after the holy city of peace in the Egyptian sacred texts that already existed at the time the city was founded. Likewise, "Bethany," site of the famous multiplying of the loaves, means "House of God," and is allegory for the "multiplication of the many out of the One." Any town of that designation was named for the allegorical place in the texts that existed before the town's foundation. The Egyptian predecessor and counterpart is "Bethanu."

The Book of Revelation is Egyptian and Zoroastrian

One can find certain allegorical place names such as "Jerusalem" and "Israel" in the Book of Revelation. Massey has stated that Revelation, rather than having been written by any apostle called John during the 1st Century C.E., is a very ancient text that dates to the beginning of this era of history, i.e. possibly as early as 4,000 years ago. Massey asserts that Revelation relates the Mithraic legend of Zarathustra/Zoroaster. Hotema says of this mysterious book, which has baffled mankind for centuries: "It is expressed in terms of creative phenomena; its hero is not Jesus but the Sun of the Universe, its heroine is the Moon; and all its other characters are Planets, Stars and Constellations; while its stage-setting comprises the Sky, the Earth, the Rivers and the Sea." The common form of this text has been attributed by Churchward to Horus's scribe, Aan, whose name has been passed down to us as "John."

The word Israel itself, far from being a Jewish appellation, probably comes from the combination of three different reigning deities: Isis, the Earth Mother Goddess revered throughout the ancient world; Ra, the Egyptian sungod; and El, the Semitic deity passed down in form as Saturn. El was one of the earliest names for the god of the ancient Hebrews (whence Emmanu-El, Micha-El, Gabri-El, Samu-El, etc.), and his worship is reflected in the fact that the Jews still consider Saturday as "God's Day."

Indeed, that the Christians worship on Sunday betrays the genuine origins of their god and godman. Their "savior" is actually the sun, which is the "Light of the world that every eye can see." The sun has been viewed consistently throughout history as the savior of mankind for reasons that are obvious. Without the sun, the planet would scarcely last one day. So important was the sun to the ancients that they composed a "Sun Book," or "Helio Biblia," which became the "Holy Bible."

The "Patriarchs" and "Saints" are the Gods of Other Cultures

When one studies mythmaking, one can readily discern and delineate a pattern that is repeated throughout history. Whenever an invading culture takes over its predecessors, it either vilifies the preceding deities or makes them into lesser gods, "patriarchs" or, in the case of Christianity, "saints." This process is exemplified in the adoption of the Hindu god Brahma as the Hebrew patriarch Abraham. Another school of thought proposes that the patriarch Joshua was based on Horus as "Iusa," since the cult of Horus had migrated by this period to the Levant. In this theory, the cult of Joshua, which was situated in exactly the area where the Christ drama allegedly took place, then mutated into the Christian story, with Joshua becoming Jesus. As Robertson says, "The Book of Joshua leads us to think that he had several attributes of the Sun-god, and that, like Samson and Moses, he was an ancient deity reduced to human status."

Indeed, the legend of Moses, rather than being that of a historical Hebrew character, is found around the ancient Middle and Far East, with the character having different names and races, depending on the locale: "Manou" is the Indian legislator; "Nemo the lawgiver," who brought down the tablets from the Mountain of God, hails from Babylon; "Mises" is found in Syria and Egypt, where also "Manes the lawgiver" takes the stage; "Minos" is the Cretan reformer; and the Ten Commandments are simply a repetition of the Babylonian Code of Hammurabi and the Hindu Vedas, among others. Like Moses, Krishna was placed by his mother in a reed boat and set adrift in a river to be discovered by another woman. A century ago, Massey outlined, and Graham recently reiterated, that even the Exodus itself is not a historical event. That the historicity of the Exodus has been questioned is echoed by the lack of any archaeological record, as is reported in Biblical Archaeology Review ("BAR"), September/October 1994.

Like many biblical characters, Noah is also a myth, long ago appropriated from the Egyptians, the Sumerians and others, as any sophisticated scholar could demonstrate, and yet we find all sorts of books - some even presumably "channeling" the "ultimate truth" from a mystical, omniscient, omnipresent and eternal being such as Jesus himself - prattling on about a genuine, historical Noah, his extraordinary adventures, and the "Great Flood!"

Additionally, the "Esther" of the Old Testament Book of Esther is a remake of the Goddess Ishtar, Astarte, Astoreth or Isis, from whom comes "Easter" and about whose long and ubiquitous reign little is said in "God's infallible Word." The Virgin Mother/Goddess/Queen of Heaven motif is found around the globe, long before the Christian era, with Isis, for instance, also being called "Mata-Meri" ("Mother Mary"). As Walker says, "Mari" was the "basic name of the Goddess known to the Chaldeans as Marratu, to the Jews as Marah, to the Persians as Mariham, to the Christians as Mary . . . Semites worshipped an androgynous combination of Goddess and God called Mari-El (Mary-God), corresponding to the Egyptian Meri-Ra, which combined the feminine principle of water with the masculine principle of the sun."

Even the Hebraic name of God, "Yahweh," was taken from the Egyptian "IAO."

In one of the most notorious of Christian deceptions, in order to convert followers of "Lord Buddha," the Church canonized him as "St. Josaphat," which represented a Christian corruption of the buddhistic title, "Bodhisat."

The "Disciples" are the Signs of the Zodiac

Moreover, it is no accident that there are 12 patriarchs and 12 disciples, 12 being the number of the astrological signs, or months. Indeed, like the 12 Herculean tasks and the 12 "helpers" of Horus, Jesus's 12 disciples are symbolic for the zodiacal signs and do not depict any literal figures who played out a drama upon the earth circa 30 C.E. The disciples can be shown to have been an earlier deity/folkloric hero/constellation. Peter is easily revealed to be a mythological character, while Judas has been said to represent Scorpio, "the backbiter," the time of year when the sun's rays are weakening and the sun appears to be dying. James, "brother of Jesus" and "brother of the Lord," is equivalent to Amset, brother of Osiris and brother of the Lord. Massey says "Taht-Matiu was the scribe of the gods, and in Christian art Matthew is depicted as the scribe of the gods, with an angel standing near him, to dictate the gospel." Even the apostle Paul is a compilation of several characters: The Old Testament Saul, Apollonius of Tyana and the Greek demigod Orpheus.

In just that portion of her article, Acharya S included over eighty footnotes (which you can read in detail here.) Even the article in its entirety is only a small portion of her book, The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Sold.

I downloaded and printed the article, then took it to a small county library in Parkland, Washington. I was not surprised that I didn't find the authors I was looking for in such a small library. I was surprised, however, to find that the stacks of books about mythology in that library backed up the above claims.

I carried about a dozen to the checkout line, where I noticed a cart of old library books for sale at fifty cents each. An old book by Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (East and West in Religion) caught my eye, and as in waited in line I picked it up and opened the book to a random page, where I read the following:

Constantine's conversion to Christianity, which led to its triumph, was not quite assured for some considerable time. He hesitated a good deal between Mithra and Jesus, because the two religions of Mithraism and Christianity very closely resembled each other.

(In the above excerpt of the article by Acharya S, the third god listed under "The Major Players" is Mithra, Sungod of Persia.)

The old book I was holding was written in 1933, and it dawned on me that this information has been sitting on library shelves all over the free world, gathering dust, and it was exactly what I would have learned if I had attended one of the "godless, immoral, humanist" universities my Christian leaders warned me against.

Since then, I've been finding comparisons between the lives and teachings of the various godmen without even trying very hard. Type "sun god astrology" or "Christ myth" into a search engine (Dogpile is a good one), and you can spend hours reading the same comparisons.

Or click on this link to read what I've
found on the Internet so far regarding
sun worship and Christianity.

Or a trip to your local library will unearth the same information. The only thing you have to fear is fear itself.

WHAT IF THIS IS TRUE?

Most of the material I've found that takes issue with conventional evangelical fundamentalism or conservative Catholicism has been written by atheists. I'm not sure why that is, since lack of evidence for the traditional, Biblical Jesus does not automatically erase all possibility of God's existence.

If the Jesus many of us grew up believing in is, in fact, partly or wholly created by ambitious men to control the masses through fear of hell, does this mean that we now must believe that the universe evolved out of nothing, and that nothing exists outside the beginnings and ends of our short lives?

A respected psychology professor and textbook author was discovered to be a fraud. In one of his textbooks he happened to include his opinion that women are typically more emotional than men. Does that professor's tarnished credentials now make it impossible for his opinion to be true? The existence of God is a belief that is neither proved by its inclusion in the Bible and other ancient writings, nor disproved by disbelief in those texts.

So who was Jesus Christ? No one knows. We have no reliable records, and, as has always been the case, we all gather data to prove our presuppositions. Therefore, no one is going to hell for having died with the wrong conclusion.

Among the most pro-Christian of these anti-fundamentalist researchers is John Shelby Spong, author of (among many others) Why Christianity Must Change or Die.
Thomas Whitmore wrote 100 Scriptural Proofs That Jesus Christ Will Save All Mankind in 1840.
The Jehovah's Witnesses' Biblical argument against eternal suffering makes sense if one accepts the JW's claim that all translators other than those behind the New World Translation have purposefully slanted certain passages - an assertion that is becoming easier for me to believe.
Christian Science and Unity are two more Christian denominations untouched by fear-based fundamentalist theologies, and on the same metaphysical track is The Paradigm of Christ by Masahito Koishikawa.
For disillusioned Catholics, The White Robed Monks of St. Benedict might be a good place to start. (And did you know that in 1999, Pope John Paul II declared that hell and purgatory are not literal places?)
Finally, Jesus' Missing Years in India is one of many articles which explore the possibility that Jesus taught there between the ages of 18 and 30 (beliefs found in the teachings of such east/west spiritual masters as Yogananda and Radhakrishnan).
Personally, I've found the highest spiritual enlightenment, during this time of private religious upheaval, in Neale Donald Walsch's Conversations With God, as well as the writings of Wayne Dyer and Dan Millman.

You can't read everything that has ever been written. Browse the shelves of any large bookstore (especially one that sells used books) or surf the 'net for a few hours in search of ultimate Truth with a capital T. Some of the material is the result of hundreds (thousands?) of hours of writing; so are you supposed to do nothing for seventy years except read everything you can find about the nature of mankind, the universe and God, and then decide how you should have lived your life? Some say that this life is a test, but that method of living would make life more like a game show, in which the final answer is all that ultimately matters.

Even if this did turn out to be something along the lines of a cosmic game show, God is definitely not so cruel as to make an everlasting pit of liquid fire the consolation prize.

Fundamentalist Christianity, and Roman Catholicism in particular, view God as our father. Jesus is quoted in Matthew 7:9-11 as saying:

"Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone? Or if the child asks for a fish, will give a snake? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!"

Earlier I stated that God's moral standards are at least as high as our own; in the above passage, Jesus is claiming that God's moral standards are higher than ours.

So imagine a pit of lava beyond the point where your children are allowed to play. Now imagine writing them a letter to instruct them on how to avoid the burning pit. You refuse to actually appear in front of them and assure them that the letter is genuine - you expect them to discover the letter and figure out for themselves that you wrote it. (Okay, go ahead and include in the letter something like "all letters written by me, your father, are true, so pay attention to them" ... similar to the passage in 2 Timothy 3:16,17.) If they don't discover this important letter, it is the responsibility of their siblings to show it to them. If a child of yours goes too far and ends up in the lava pit, you feel sad, but it's the child's fault, and the fault of his siblings. Never mind that you could have physically stopped that child. Your ways and your thoughts are higher than the child's (Isaiah 55:9), and who is the child to argue with the father (Romans 9:19)? Mercy and compassion are doled out to your children at your pleasure (Romans 9:15).

As a result of your insane parental neglect, most of your offspring end up in the lava pit. After all, none of them have ever seen the pit, then returned to warn others about it; once they see it, they're in, burning and twisting, screaming for Daddy to rescue them. But Dad left that letter lying around, so they have no one to blame but themselves.

Did I mention that this lava pit doesn't kill your children immediately? They will suffer for days in that fire before they finally die. They really should have read that letter. (Some of your children did read the letter, but ignored it, or didn't recognize it as genuine. Serves them right, doesn't it?)

Of course, unless you're pure evil, you're not going along with any of this. You would start each day with a severe face-to-face warning on the dangers of that lava pit; your children would have no doubt that they were hearing the voice of Dad. You would physically prevent them from ever going near it. (If just one of them found his way into the lava, the knowledge that he suffered ultimate torment for several days before finally dying would be enough to drive you to suicide.) You would build a wall around your property to keep them away from the lava. There would be no discussion of free will, or sin, or the need for sacrifice. Your children are not going into that pit, period.

Better yet, if it was in your power to do so, you would remove the pit. In fact, you wouldn't have put the pit there to begin with!

God is an even better parent than you or I. If hell existed, he would have hung a flashing neon sign in the sky warning us to stay away from it. But God didn't create hell, because God is good; men created the concept of hell in order to frighten an ignorant population into submitting to their authority. In my example above, the lava burns the children for several days before killing them; but the hell we've been taught is one of eternal torment. God couldn't even think of that, let alone create it.

The real shocker for me was when I realized that, even back when God was in the habit of speaking directly to his children, he did not, according to the Genesis account, warn Adam and Eve that hell was the result of their sin!

Click here for a Biblical study of
Sheol ("the grave") and the
absence of hell in the Old Testament.

Though the concept of Sheol exists in the Old Testament books, the original children of the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob do not, and never did, believe in eternal punishment.

With the Roman Catholic Church officially out of the hell business since August 1999, and with most of her offshoots having preceded her in enlightenment, it is left to protestant evangelical fundamentalists to carry the banner of wrath and fear.

These are people who openly state that the Bible is their sole authority in matters of faith and doctrine (sola scriptura), even though the Bible says the opposite. Really think about that for a minute. Not a single Bible verse exists which claims the Bible is the Christian's final guide; send a fundie looking for a verse which teaches sola scriptura, and watch the hermeneutical gymnastics. The lack of such a passage is not enough to break the fundamentalist's hold on this false doctrine, and neither are the verses which state the opposite.

Just as most fundamentalists are surprised at the fact that the rapture is relatively new and distinctly American theory, most have no idea how recently Christian fundamentalism was formulated.

Fundamentalist writers - especially those who write against the Catholic Church - insist that fundamentalism is nothing but a continuation of Christian orthodoxy, which prevailed for three centuries after Christ, went underground for twelve hundred years, surfaced with the reformation, took its knocks from various sources, and was alternately influential and diminished in visibility. According to its partisans, fundamentalism is what remains after the rest of Christianity, if it can be granted the title, has fallen into apostasy. (Karl Keating, Catholicism and Fundamentalism)

The Fundamentals was a 12-volume set commissioned by Milton and Lyman Stewart, written by 64 contributors (among them C.I. Scofield and W.J. Eerdman) and published in 1909, in order to "set forth the fundamentals of the Christian faith" (from the preface). The word "fundamentalists" found its way into print for the first time in 1920, coined by Curtis Lee Law in the New York Watchman Examiner. Christian fundamentalism is a fairly recent worldview, and its origins are the United States, not Bethlehem.

You can't read everything that has ever been written, and the Truth is not found in a single source. Divine inspiration can be found in parts of the Bible, in other sacred texts, in contemporary fiction and nonfiction, in movies, music and the ideas of others.

The fundamentalist position on all of this is that the Bible is the inspired word of God, and that those in rebellion toward God's will cannot see clearly enough to recognize what the Lord has given us. (Personally, once I stopped resisting God's will for my life, he led me out of fundamentalist Christianity in a hurry.)

Click here for the Christian apologetics claims most commonly used as "evidence" for the inspiration of the Bible.

But as soon as you point out the flaws in the reasoning of Bible fundamentalists, they fall back on "faith". They believe "God's word" because they "have faith".

In other words, deep inside is "a still, small voice" telling them what is Truth. That voice is in each of us, trying to guide. That's where God actually resides - inside each of us - and the fundie has to admit it in order to perpetuate his own belief system.

So why are we all getting conflicting reports?

A BLURRY LINE

I've tried to divide this page into what I'm convinced of and what I'm beginning to suspect; that dividing line, while admittedly blurry, is here. I've told you what I'm convinced of, and the remainder of this page will consist of my opinions as to why so many of us are finding conflicting answers in our search for truth.

We're getting clues, messages, ideas and supernatural experiences from "the other side of the barricade" (I'll get into that further down this page) - good and bad, true and false, beneficial and damaging. Here are three examples which immediately come to mind, all of which fundamentalist Christians like to attribute to "demonic activity":

The Miracle of the Sun at Fatima, witnessed by over 70,00 people, has certainly been responsible for a good share of converts to Roman Catholicism; Edgar Cayce, famous for putting himself into a trance in order to heal, look into the past or future and speak in other languages, was said to have had a 90% success rate; and the National UFO Reporting Center has logged an average of 217 sightings per month since September 1, 1999. (Click here for a broader look at these three phenomena.)

Suffice it to say that supernatural events and occurrences are happening all over the world, and have been throughout the ages. Professional skeptics do a good job of exposing the fakes and hoaxes, but if one percent of the claims are genuine, the question remains: Who is doing these things, and to what end?

I brought up the above three examples to show that some of the more public phenomena are hard to ignore, yet tend to mutually exclude each other's explanations. For example, in 1917, the year of the Miracle of the Sun, the Roman Catholic Church was still claiming to be the only way to "salvation"; and if that was true, the healings of Edgar Cayce and the sightings of UFOs could only be explained as the work of demons.

And even though I don't believe in Mormonism, I believe Joseph Smith's claim that he was given plates of scripture by a supernatural being; 11 witnesses to this miracle (three of whom claimed to have seen the angel Moroni, while the other eight claimed to have seen and touched the plates) went to their deaths without recanting their signed, sworn testimonies. As a once-orthodox Catholic, I had to conclude that this claim or experience of Smith's was either deception on his part, or on the part of a demon who disguised himself as an angel, for to believe Smith's claim would have meant accepting the Latter Day Saints' assertion that they are the "one true church".

We all gather data to prove our presuppositions, and there came a time when I had to admit to myself that I was doing just that with Fatima: it was data to prove what I was already trying to believe (Christianity). I had to admit that if I was going to believe in the Miracle of the Sun, then evidence supporting Cayce, UFOs, Mormonism, etc. deserved the same benefit of the doubt. The problem was, as I've already mentioned, that these phenomena cannot logically coexist.

During this period of my life my confusion was so intense that I wrote:

I really suspect, sometimes, that nothing exists - as in never has, doesn't now, never will. As in, none of this is real; it's not even a dream or a fantasy because no one exists to dream or think about it; it's not even a millisecond-long electrical spark that seems like billions of decades-long lives, because no space or energy exists in which the spark could have ignited. As in, nothing exists - not me, not this keyboard or this monitor, not even the past or the future.

Does that last paragraph sound insane? Of course it does. Is it as insane as claiming to exist and yet not being able to define existence? That's about a tie. To say "I think, therefore I am" is to employ circular reasoning, for only someone who exists can claim to possess thoughts.

If God created everything, then included in his creation was space and time; if he created space and time, then he also pre-existed those concepts; if he pre-existed space and time, then he once existed nowhere, at no time - which means he did not exist. Did he pop into existence out of nothingness, then, without the slightest hesitation, create space and time in an instant (the "big bang")?

I brought this up now to lay the groundwork for the remainder of this page by pointing out the idea that

OUR VERY EXISTENCE IS ABSURD!

During the same period of spiritual disillusionment I wrote:

Our existence is not only absurd, it's impossible! Even if the creator did exist from eternity past - if he was everywhere, all the time, even before he created time and space - would the vast superiority of his omnipotent intellect not drive him insane with the paradox of having no beginning? I'm not being flippant here; I really mean this.

I've always believed this - as an agnostic, a fundamentalist Christian, an orthodox Roman Catholic and now, as a Recreationist. Our very existence is absurd, and there is not a single explanation of our genesis that can stand up to logic. The reason I've gone to such pains to emphasize this point is to show that what I'm about to present is no less logical, credible or possible than any other theories of creation or evolution.

As I stated earlier, I have finished writing about what I'm convinced of, and have moved on to what suspect; therefore, I will not be backing up these claims with an abundance of hyperlinks and references. We all gather data to prove our presuppositions, and our very existence is absurd. It would have been nice if God had issued us textbooks, but since he didn't, all we have to go on is experience, the inner voice and input from outside sources.

My sources for the rest of this page are the experiences of the past several years; seemingly random events that later appeared to be suspiciously well orchestrated by some unseen intelligence; dreams and visions; the opinions and observations of friends, acquaintances and coworkers; the ideas of authors Richard Bach, Wayne Dyer, Harold Kushner, Dan Millman, Neale Donald Walsch and Paramahansa Yogananda; and, at the same time these beliefs were forming, the following movies were being released, each one presenting not-too-subtle "clues" which seemed to add to my emerging theology: American Beauty, The Icicle Thief, The Matrix, The Sixth Sense, The Truman Show and What Dreams May Come.

The above paragraph lists my sources as experience, dreams/visions, other people, books and movies ... but before you dismiss everything that follows, remember that some people base everything they believe on the Bible, even though they ultimately must admit that it is experience, intuition and the opinions of others, written and spoken, that is the basis of their belief in the Bible. We all gather evidence to support our presuppositions.

THE BEGINNING

God was once the "something" in the center of infinite nothingness. His size was irrelevant, since he was the only thing that existed, and "nothing" existed outside of him. There was no way for God to experience himself (and there was nothing else for him to experience!) in the absence of both space and time, so in an instant he split himself into an infinite number of pieces. This is the moment evolutionists refer to as "the big bang".

God did not destroy himself with this act, but rather is the sum of each of the infinite number of pieces. Our relationship to God is not that of a child to a parent, a servant to a master or any of the conventional theological models; our relationship to God is that of a twin, for we are all parts of the whole. God experiences himself though the lives of each one of us, and we experience God in the same manner.

God did not actually "create" anything; a more accurate description would be to say he manifested everything. Nothing exists outside of God, even after the big bang; everything that exists, from the highest good to the most horrible evil, is a part of God.

At first glance, this seems to place the blame for all the world's problems on God, and, in a way, that's correct; but each one of us is one of those pieces of God, and you, I and everyone who has lived, and will live, is responsible for the pain, the suffering, the hatred and the evil. When we want it to stop, all we have to do is stop it. But we choose all of it, the beauty and the beast, because we love all of it. Every second of our existence, at the soul level, we are swimming in joy and sorrow, hope and despair, generosity and bitterness.

We could end the world's suffering tomorrow if we wanted it to end, but since we love our existence exactly as it is, we oppose each other with politics, religion, greed and lust for power.

Eventually, we, the one "something" in the midst of "nothing", will grow bored with the game and get on with the creation process. The end result of the big bang is for us to "re-create" who we are, to "re-member" ourselves. As we collectively heal, love and nurture each other, we will be remembering and recreating, and in a few hundred or thousand or million years from now, we will once again be one single being. Then there will be nothing left to do but blow ourselves apart again. (This may not be the first time we've done this.)

In the meantime, when an individual dies, he once again becomes part of the ever-imploding "whole", once again knowing every part of himself, having lived every part that ever existed, past, present and future. He can remain a part of the whole, or he can reincarnate; he can choose who and where and when he wants to be, then dive back in and swim another lifetime.

In these lifetimes, supernatural events happen and hoaxes are perpetuated, these being the tools of those who exist "on the other side of the barricade". Having borrowed the word "barricade" from the opera Les Miserables - "Somewhere beyond the barricade is there a world you long to see?" - I'm referring to the three dimensional screen that separates us (the inhabitants of this dimension) from beings who take a very proactive role in our societal evolution.

Just as God manifested himself as an infinite number of selves, he also manifested himself as an infinite number of dimensions. There is much more to this, but before I go on I'll explain part of this with an analogy:

On the side of the freeway is a strip of grass, and its only purpose is to be a strip of grass on the side of the freeway. You can't build a house or a business, grow crops or have a picnic on that strip of grass, as it would be unsafe to do so just a few feet from all those rushing vehicles. Its only purpose is to just be a strip of grass by the freeway.

Under the grass and dirt are insects which never see the sun. They don't know there's a world above them, and even if they did, all they would know is a world of grass and noise. They could never understand what is making all that noise. If you could miraculously give these insects a human brain and teach them how to communicate, you would still have trouble expanding their consciousness enough to help them understand the history of automobiles and the interstate freeway system.

But if they understood you up to that point, the next step in their education would be nations, continents, oceans and the shape of the planet, not to mention your limited knowledge of world history. Then it would be time to teach them about the sun, the moon and our solar system.

If you and I were to take a position outside of the Milky Way galaxy, we would see that the earth is outside of the galaxy's outer edge. In addition, the Milky Way is dwarfed by much larger galaxies ... Earth is afloat on the distant boondocks of a minor galaxy. (William Bramley, The Gods of Eden)

Meanwhile, these insects are living way beneath the grass by the side of the freeway, surrounded by dirt which seems to go on in every direction, infinitely. They could not begin to understand the nature or purpose of a shovel, even if a shovel someday appeared. We humans are living in a more advanced dimension than the insects under the strip of grass by the freeway, and it is immensely easier for us to effect their existence than it is for them to effect ours.

OUTSIDE STIMULI

There are other beings living in dimensions so much more advanced than ours that we are comparable to the insects under the strip of grass by the freeway.

In one of those dimensions, we are mere entertainment ... not figurative, but literal entertainment. Each of these advanced beings is playing multiple roles as directors, writers and observers. To further complicate the situation, some of them are into soap operas, others enjoy dramas, some like comedies or thrillers or adult entertainment ... so each of us has a number of writers and directors mixing up our plots for their own entertainment and amusement. It doesn't matter if we devote our lives to the needy, or kill others for sport; the only wrong move is to give a half-hearted performance.

In another dimension, we are to the advanced species what wilderness animals are to civilized humans. There was a time when so few of us encountered these visitors that anyone who claimed to see one was scoffed at; later, they began to live among us; eventually they put us in enclosed places so they could watch us at their leisure; and lately, they have begun to experiment on us.

There is also a dimension wherein the "highly evolved" beings are a particularly unsavory crowd, comparable to a bunch of greasy, sweating gamblers in a smoke-filled basement ... and we are the roosters in a cosmic cockfight. These bastards have no other purpose than to keep us fighting. As a result, religious doctrines cancel each other out, political parties do everything possible to ensure that problems remain unsolved and wars rage across the planet like out-of-control brushfires - all for the amusement of some deranged sports fans.

As you can see, with all three of these dimensions interacting with us at once, without our knowledge (for the most part), the experience of life on this planet is decidedly complicated and unexplainable. If there were only three dimensions of advanced species messing with our civilization, we might have a fighting chance at piecing together the whole puzzle. But there are an infinite number of dimensions, all of them mixing in stimuli as busily as those in the last three paragraphs!

And if that weren't enough, most of them have their hands in each other's affairs, as well.

Who, then, is responsible for the secret societies, the rogue governments, conspiracies and cover-ups, the IRS, FBI and CIA, UFOs, AIDS, cancer, divine healings, the pyramids, apparitions, sacred writings, the foretelling of future events, near-death experiences and the Internet?

ONE SINGLE INDIVIDUAL

"I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together." Does that sound familiar?

The whole theory of the universe is directed unerringly to one single individual - namely to You. (Walt Whitman)

We are an extremely imaginative God; you've known that from a very young age, but have since had it swept under the carpet of your consciousness by the programming of those on the other side of the barricade. They, as well as a good number of people right here in our own dimension, are, for their own education, entertainment and amusement, perpetually scattering the puzzle pieces. They want to stop the re-membering of God, in order to make this experience last as long as possible. Are they working against God? No, they are God ... no more or less God than you and I.

This is why death is such a beautiful experience: not because you get to fly around in heaven for eternity, but because you get to see the Big Picture. For these higher species from other dimensions are also parts of the whole. All of it - every human who has ever lived or will ever live, every creature on the planet, even the insects under the strip of grass by the freeway, all the plants, and minerals, every drop of water, every atom, and every atom from every other dimension - from the big bang to the final re-creation, it is all God, and you will know everything, all at once ... for as long as you want ... until you decide to dive back in and try it again.

Who is responsible? You are; I am. All of us are, individually and collectively, the I AM.

How does one accurately discern right from wrong? If you set out to drive from Seattle to Los Angeles, yet get on I-90 eastbound instead of I-5 southbound, you're "wrong" - you've made a choice inconsistent with your stated purpose. In the same way, if what you want for your world includes such values as peace, righteousness and security, and you decide to rape and kill, you're wrong.

And if one does not want a world filled with peace, righteousness and security? Then one might be tempted to rape and kill and commit any number of heinous acts. The fact that each of us is a member of the same divinity does not remove our autonomous natures, and in the same way that another's desire for safety did not keep you from harming him, your desire to freely move about the planet will not keep society from locking you up. Actions have consequences, but the only considerations which have ever guided your behavior have been whether or not your actions and their consequences are consistent with the kind of world in which you would like to live.

Then where is the justice?

THERE IS NO JUSTICE

Justice has never existed, and never will. We should all be fairly comforted by that fact, rather than disappointed by the truth that our enemies will not be burning in hell for eternity.

White Americans in particular seem to have a fixation with justice, fond of demanding it but quick to admit to rarely receiving it. Somehow, the problem always seems to be with "the present"; justice is something that was plentiful in the past, but has now been gradually taken away from "us". A few decades ago, there was "more justice" for white people than now; a half-century before that, for white men; and before that, for white male landowners. Clearly, the only justice that exists is the justice one is able to make for himself or his people.

In every society and every government since the beginning of time, those in power have enslaved the general population (those who were not members of the ruling elite), and America is no different. But as an experiment, America has been a resounding success: those in power have finally figured out that the way to keep an entire nation under the collective thumb of the powerful was to create very comfortable slaves, living lives that would make the royalty of most previous civilizations look like common proletariat. We often hear rumblings that suggest that open rebellion against our government is just around the corner, but, in reality, most would not take up arms against their government even if they did lose their SUVs, DVDs, computers, cell phones and credit cards. History has proven that only those who are hungry and threatened will lash out against their masters, and ours are never going to let that happen, as they have finally figured out how properly to enslave an entire population. We are happy slaves, and the powers that be want us to stay that way. It truly is a great nation.

Keep fighting perceived injustices; there's no sense in lying down and taking everything dished out by a bunch of unseen other-dimensional players who have nothing better to do than amuse themselves by messing with your act. Remember that there are players on the other side who are effecting the outcome to your advantage, but only if you continue to put on a good show. After all, no one wants to be bored.

But justice? Depending on how you want to look at it, the universe is perfectly just and balanced ... or justice does not exist.

Is the universe a friendly place? What do you think? You - the universe - are as friendly or menacing as you choose to be.

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