Jesus’ Bones found in family tomb?

By Tim McGirk/Jerusalem, Time
February 23, 2007

Brace yourself. James Cameron, the man who brought you ‘The Titanic’ is back with another blockbuster. This time, the ship he’s sinking is Christianity.

In a new documentary, Producer Cameron and his director, Simcha Jacobovici, make the starting claim that Jesus wasn’t resurrected — the cornerstone of Christian faith — and that his burial cave was discovered near Jerusalem.
And, get this, Jesus sired a son with Mary Magdelene.

No, it’s not a re-make of “The Da Vinci Codes’. It’s supposed to be true.

Let’s go back 27 years, when Israeli construction workers were gouging out the foundations for a new building in the industrial park in the Talpiyot, a Jerusalem suburb of Jerusalem. The earth gave way, revealing a 2,000 year old cave with 10 stone caskets. Archologists were summoned, and the stone caskets carted away for examination. It took 20 years for experts to decipher the names on the ten tombs. They were: Jesua, son of Joseph, Mary,
Mary, Mathew, Jofa and Judah, son of Jesua.
* * END OF EXCERPT (entire article below)* *

Katia writes:

I don’t buy it.  Just like the James ossurary inscriptions were said to be forgeries, I bet this one is forged too.  It’s just too convenient to find such a tomb 2000 years later during this climate of Christianity-is-a-fraud.  So does this at least prove Jesus was not a myth, but came in the flesh and so did Mary and the others listed in the crypt?  Probably they won’t even admit that.  He is somehow both a myth AND a fraud, to the Jesus debunkers.  As for me, I think he was an historical character, lived and died.  AND resurrected.  So there.  — Katia

By Tim McGirk/Jerusalem
February 23, 2007

Brace yourself. James Cameron, the man who brought you ‘The Titanic’ is back
with another blockbuster. This time, the ship he’s sinking is Christianity.

In a new documentary, Producer Cameron and his director, Simcha Jacobovici,
make the starting claim that Jesus wasn’t resurrected — the cornerstone of
Christian faith — and that his burial cave was discovered near Jerusalem.
And, get this, Jesus sired a son with Mary Magdelene.

No, it’s not a re-make of “The Da Vinci Codes’. It’s supposed to be true.

Let’s go back 27 years, when Israeli construction workers were gouging out
the foundations for a new building in the industrial park in the Talpiyot, a
Jerusalem suburb of Jerusalem. The earth gave way, revealing a 2,000 year
old cave with 10 stone caskets. Archologists were summoned, and the stone
caskets carted away for examination. It took 20 years for experts to
decipher the names on the ten tombs. They were: Jesua, son of Joseph, Mary,
Mary, Mathew, Jofa and Judah, son of Jesua.

Israel’s prominent archeologist Professor Amos Kloner didn’t associate the
crypt with the New Testament Jesus. His father, after all, was a humble
carpenter who couldn’t afford a luxury crypt for his family. And all were
common Jewish names.

There was also this little inconvenience that a few miles away, in the old
city of Jerusalem, Christians for centuries had been worshipping the empty
tomb of Christ at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Christ’s resurrection,
after all, is the main foundation of the faith, proof that a boy born to a
carpenter’s wife in a manger is the Son of God.

But film-makers Cameron and Jacobovici claim to have amassed evidence
through DNA tests, archeological evidence and Biblical studies, that the 10
coffins belong to Jesus and his family.

Ever the showman, (Why does this remind me of the impresario in another
movie,”King Kong”, whose hubris blinds him to the dangers of an angry and
very large ape?) Cameron is holding a New York press conference on Monday at
which he will reveal three coffins, supposedly those of Jesus of Nazareth,
his mother Mary and Mary Magdalene. News about the film, which will be shown
soon on Discovery Channel, Britain’s Channel 4, Canada’s Vision, and
Israel’s Channel 8, has been a hot blog topic in the Middle East (check out
a personal favorite: Israelity Bites
Here in the Holy Land, Biblical Archeology is a dangerous profession. This
90-minute documentary is bound to outrage Christians and stir up a titanic
debate between believers and skeptics. Stay tuned.


By Ariella Ringel-Hoffman
February 23, 2007,7340,L-3368731,00.html

The cave in which Jesus Christ was buried has been found in Jerusalem, claim
the makers of a new documentary film.

If it proves true, the discovery, which will be revealed at a press
conference in New York Monday, could shake up the Christian world as one of
the most significant archeological finds in history.

The coffins which, according to the filmmakers held the remains of Jesus of
Nazareth, his mother Mary and Mary Magdalene will be displayed for the first
time on Monday in New York.

Jointly produced by Emmy award-winning documentary filmmaker Simcha
Jacobovici and Oscar winning director James Cameron, the film tells the
exciting and tortuous story of the archeological discovery.

The story starts in 1980 in Jerusalem¹s Talpiyot neighborhood, with the
discovery of a 2,000 year old cave containing ten coffins. Six of the ten
coffins were carved with inscriptions reading the names: Jesua son of
Joseph, Mary, Mary, Matthew, Jofa (Joseph, identified as Jesus¹ brother),
Judah son of Jesua (Jesus¹ son – the filmmakers claim).

Decades of research

The findings in the cave, including the decipherment of the inscriptions,
were first revealed about ten years ago by internationally renowned Israeli
archeologist Professor Amos Kloner.

Since their discovery, the caskets were kept in the Israeli Antiquities
Authority archive in Beit Shemesh, but now two have been sent to New York
for their first public exhibition.

Although the cave was discovered nearly 30 years ago and the casket
inscriptions decoded ten years ago, the filmmakers are the first to
establish that the cave was in fact the burial site of Jesus and his family.

The film, which documents the stages of the discovery, is the result of
three years labor and research. It will be broadcast on the international
Discovery Channel, Britain’s Channel 4, Canada¹s Vision and Israel¹s Channel
8, which also took part in the film’s production.

According to the filmmakers, the film¹s claim is based on close work with
world-famous scientists, archeologists, statisticians, DNA specialists and
antiquities experts.

* * * * * * *

By Stuart Laidlaw
The Toronto Star
February 25, 2007

A Canadian documentary filmmaker will reveal at a news conference Monday
that he has strong evidence a group of burial boxes unearthed in Jerusalem
belonged to Jesus Christ and his

The discovery could have profound implications 2,000 years after the boxes
were placed in the ground, shaking the foundations of modern faith and
raising Da-Vinci-Code-like speculation that Jesus had a child with Mary

“It’s mind boggling. It’s an altered reality,” Toronto documentary director
Simcha Jacobovici told the
Star last week.

The location of the press conference is being kept secret until Monday to
prevent a stampede of people wanting to see the artefacts on display.

The documentary is called The Lost Tomb of Jesus and its claim that that the
burial box of Jesus has been found along with his DNA, are sure to be met
with scepticism, if not outright hostility, by church leaders.

In an interview, Jacobovici said that while nothing in archaeology can ever
be proven beyond doubt, there is “compelling evidence” that the tomb he
explores under a Jerusalem apartment building is that of the holy family.

“You have to kind of pinch yourself,” said Jacobovici, known as the Naked
Archaeologist after a Vision TV series. “Are we really saying what we are

James Tabor, chair of religious studies at the University of North Carolina
and an expert featured extensively in The Lost Tomb, said that as an
academic he has seen enough to convince him of the evidence, but admits to
some trepidation about claiming that the tomb of Jesus has been found.

“There’s a part of you that says, it’s too amazing. How can this be true?”
Tabor told the Star. “It’s an archaeological dream.”

Critics are already dismissing the documentary’s claims.

“It’s a beautiful story but without any proof whatsoever,” Bar Ilan
University professor Amos Kloner, who researched the tomb for the Israeli
periodical Atiqot in 1996, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur on Friday.

Jacobovici says there is nothing in the documentary that should offend
devout Christians, since he does not argue that Jesus did not ascend to
heaven, at least spiritually, as told in the Bible.

“People who believe in a physical ascension — that he took his body to
heaven — those people obviously will say, wait a minute,” he said, adding
he hopes the film sparks more scientific study of the tomb and the ossuaries
found inside.

The tomb was unearthed in 1980 during construction of an apartment building
and was first connected to the Jesus family in a 1996 BBC documentary.
Jacobovici’s documentary uses scientific methods, including DNA testing,
statistical analysis and forensic examination, not available to the BBC 11
years ago.

It airs on Discovery in the U.S. and on Channel 4 in the U.K. on Sunday, and
March 6 in Canada on Vision TV. A book, The Jesus Family Tomb by Jacobovici
and Charles Pellegrino, comes out this week
Titanic director James Cameron <>,
executive producer of the documentary, wrote the introduction.

The film and book follow years of growing interest in the private life of
Jesus, fuelled by the 2003 Dan Brown novel The Da Vinci Code, made into a
movie last year, in which Jesus is said to have married Mary Magdalene and
had a daughter, sparking a centuries-long cover-up.

The novel, denounced by church groups around the world, spawned a
mini-industry speculating about the historical Jesus, his relationship to
Mary and his family life. Church leaders, including the Pope, dismissed the
book and movie as pure fiction.

Tabor, whose book The Jesus Dynasty last year raised many of the same
questions as the documentary, says the film cannot be as easily dismissed as
Brown’s novel, even though it too suggests that Jesus had a child with Mary

“This is archaeology. We got the casket. We’ve got the bones,” he told the
Star. “I think we can say, in all probability, Jesus had this son, Jude,
presumably through Mary Magdalene.”

DNA tests conducted for the documentary at Lakehead University on two
ossuaries — one inscribed Jesus son of Joseph and the other Mariamne, or
Mary — confirm that the two were not related by blood, so were probably

“Perhaps Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married as the DNA results from the
Talpiot ossuaries suggest and perhaps their union was kept secret to protect
a potential dynasty — a secret hidden through the ages,” narrator Ron White
says over re-enacted scenes of a happy Jesus and Mary home life.

“A secret we just may be able to uncover in the holy family tomb.”

The tomb was found in the Talpiot neighbourhood of Jerusalem during the
construction of an apartment building in 1980. Archaeologists were given
three days to document the tomb and excavate it for treasures.

Inside, they found 10 ossuaries and three skulls. Six ossuaries had names
etched into them — Jesus son of Joseph, Judah son of Jesus, Maria,
Mariamne, Joseph and Matthew — all Jesus family names.

At the time, however, the inscriptions raised few alarms. These were, after
all, very common names at the time of Jesus. Besides, with all the
construction around Jerusalem at the time, it was a boom time for uncovering
tombs, and the Israeli Antiquities Authority could barely keep up.

Any connection to the holy family was not made until 15 years later, when a
BBC crew researching and Easter special stumbled across the collection in an
IAA storage room. They immediately began work on a new program, based on the
tomb, which aired a year later.

That show, aired as part of the BBC’s acclaimed Heart of the Matter
newsmagazine, was dismissed by Biblical scholars as “laughable” for
suggesting, as Jacobovici does, that the tomb was that of Jesus Christ’s

Today, Kloner and others still argue that the names were so common that
there is no significance to them being found in a tomb.

“The names that are found on the tombs are names that are similar to the
names of the family of Jesus,” he conceded. “But those were the most common
names found among Jews in the first centuries.”

In The Lost Tomb, however, University of Toronto statistician Andre
Feuerverger calculates that while the names are common, the chances of them
being found together are 600 to one.

His conclusion is based on a few assumptions: that the Maria on one of the
ossuaries is the mother of the Jesus found on another box, that Mariamne is
his wife and that Joseph (inscribed as the nickname Jose) is his brother.

As the documentary tells us, there is reason to make these assumptions.

Maria is the Latin form of Mary, and is how Jesus’s mother was known after
his death as more Romans became followers. Mariamne is the Greek form of
Mary. Mary Magdelene is believed to have spoken and preached in Greek. Jose
was the nickname used for Jesus’ little brother.

As well, the Talpiot Tomb is the only place where ossuaries have ever been
found with the names Mariamne and Jose, even though the root forms of the
name were very popular and thousands of ossuaries have been unearthed.

This is not, however, the first time a Jesus ossuary has been found. The
first was in 1926.

Another famous ossuary, inscribed James son of Joseph brother of Jesus, is
also featured in the documentary.

Forensic testing of the patina on the Jesus ossuary and that of James
conclude that they came from the same tomb — seemingly proving the
authenticity of the often-questioned James ossuary and further increasing
the likelihood that it is the tomb of the holy family.

Feuerverger calculates for Jacobovici that if James is added to the
equation, there is a 30,000 to one chance that the Talpiot Tomb belonged to
the holiest families in Christendom.

The documentary speculates that the James ossuary was stolen shortly after
the tomb was found. The archaeologists examining the tomb 26 years ago found
10 ossuaries, but only nine are in storage at the IAA. In The Lost Tomb, it
is alleged that the James ossuary is that missing box.

But there is one wrinkle that is not examined in the documentary, one that
emerged in a Jerusalem courtroom just weeks ago at the fraud trial of James
ossuary owner Oded Golan, charged with forging part of the inscription on
the box.

Former FBI agent Gerald Richard testified that a photo of the James ossuary,
showing it in Golan’s home, was taken in the 1970s, based on tests done by
the FBI photo lab.

Jacobovici concedes in an interview that if the ossuary was photographed in
the 1970s, it could not then have been found in a tomb in 1980. But while he
does not address the conundrum in the documentary, he said in an interview
that it’s possible Golan’s photo was printed on old paper in the 1980s.


By Michael Posner
The Globe and Mail
February 24, 2007

Has the DNA of Jesus Christ been found?

That tantalizing question underpins The Lost Tomb of Jesus — a new book and
feature documentary film with potentially profound implications for

The two provocative works suggest that ossuaries once containing the bones
of Jesus of Nazareth and his family are now stored in a warehouse belonging
to the Israel Antiquity Authority in Bet Shemesh, outside Jerusalem.

Although the evidence contained in the film and book is hardly definitive,
it is compelling. Inscribed in Hebrew, Latin or Greek, six boxes — taken
from a 2,000-year-old cave discovered in March, 1980, during excavation for
a housing project in Talpiyot, south of Jerusalem — bear the names: Yeshua
(Jesus) bar Yosef (son of Joseph); Maria (the Latin version of Miriam, which
is the English Mary); Matia (the Hebrew equivalent of Matthew, a name common
in the lineage of both Mary and Joseph); Yose; (the Gospel of Mark refers to
Yose as a brother of Jesus); Yehuda bar Yeshua, or Judah, son of Jesus; and
in Greek, Mariamne e mara — meaning ‘Mariamne, known as the master.’
According to Harvard professor Francois Bovon, interviewed in the film,
Mariamne was Mary Magdalene’s real name.

The bones once contained in the boxes have long since been reburied,
according to Jewish custom — in unmarked graves in Israel.

If the evidence adduced is correct, the bone boxes — and microscopic
remains of DNA still contained inside — would constitute the first
archaeological evidence of the existence of the Christian saviour and his

Tests on mitochondrial DNA obtained from the Jesus and Mariamne boxes and
conducted at Lakehead University’s Paleo-DNA laboratory, in Thunder Bay,
Ont., show conclusively that the two individuals were not maternally
related. According to Dr. Carney Matheson, the lab’s head, this likely means
they were related by marriage.

Thus, the book and film raise seminal questions, not only about the early
movement of Judeo-Christians that Jesus led, but about whether, as some
scholars believe, he might have been married to Mary Magdalene and fathered
a family.

Nothing in the film or book challenges traditional Christian dogma regarding
the resurrection. But it could pose a problem for those that believe Jesus’
ascension, 40 days after the resurrection, was both physical and spiritual.
And, if further DNA testing were to link Jesus and Yose with Mary, it would
call into question the entire doctrine of the Virgin Birth.

The $4-million documentary is the work two Canadians — Emmy-award winner
director Simcha Jacobovici and his executive producer, Oscar-award winning
filmmaker James Cameron. It will air on Canada’s Vision TV on March 6th and
later next month on Discovery US and Britain’s Channel 4. A companion book,
The Jesus Family Tomb, by Mr. Jacobovici and Dr. Charles Pellegrino, has
just been released (Harper Collins).

Mr. Jacobovici and Mr. Cameron are scheduled to hold a press conference
Monday morning at the New York Public Library, with the Jesus and Mary
Magdelene ossuaries, flown in from Israel, on display.

Meanwhile, security agents have been hired to stand guard outside the
Talpiyot apartments beneath which the tomb lies, covered by a large cement

“I don’t think this changes the fundamentals of faith,” Mr. Cameron said in
an interview this week. “But the evidence is pretty darn compelling and it
definitely bears further study.”

Not everyone agrees. “It’s a beautiful story, but without any proof
whatsoever,” archaeologist Dr. Amos Kloner, who wrote the original report on
the Talpiyot cave findings, told an Israeli reporter last week. “The
names…found on the tombs are names that are similar to the names of the
family of Jesus. But those were the most common names found among Jews in
the first centuries BCE and CE.”

Yet if the individual names were common, the film and book ask: what is the
likelihood that this particular group of names, so resonant of the Jesus
story, would appear together, contained in the same family tomb?

“There are really only two possibilities,” says director Jacobovici. “Either
this cluster of names represents the tomb of Jesus of Nazareth and his
family. Or some other family, with this very same constellation of names,
existed at precisely the same time in history in Jerusalem.”

To calculate the odds, Mr. Jacobovici took the data to University of Toronto
mathematician Dr. Andrey Feuerverger. Factoring in the commonality of these
names in first-Century Israel, Dr. Feuerverger puts the odds of this tomb
not belonging to Jesus and his family at one in 600.

Another estimate, commissioned by Dr. James Tabor, chair of the department
of religion studies at the University of North Carolina, puts the odds at
one in 42 million. “If you took the entire population of Jerusalem at the
time,” says Dr. Taber, “and put it in a stadium, and asked everyone named
Jesus to stand up, you’d have about 2,700 men. Then you’d ask only those
with a father named Joseph and a mother named Mary to remain standing. And
then those with a brother named Yose and a brother named James.
Statistically, you end up with one person.”

The James reference is significant because of the 10 ossuaries found at
Talpiyot, one later disappeared. Many experts believe that coffin is the now
infamous ‘James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus’ ossuary that turned up a
few years ago and was put on public display at the Royal Ontario Museum.

Although many scholars have called the inscription ‘brother of Jesus’ a
modern-day forgery, at least as many academics continue to believe in its

Moreover, tests conducted for The Lost Tomb of Jesus show that the patina
encrusted on the James ossuary bears precisely the same chemical thumbprint
as the other ossuaries found at Talpiyot.

Neither the provenance nor the age of the ossuaries is not in dispute. The
boxes, never out of the control of professional archaeologists, are
effectively self-dating, since the practice of re-interring the bones of the
dead in limestone boxes a year after death was conducted by Jews in the Holy
Land for a period of only 100 years. Prominent families stored the boxes in
family tombs.

Moreover, all the inscriptions have been corroborated by some of the world’s
leading epigraphers, including Harvard’s Frank Moore Cross.

The ‘Jesus, son of Joseph’ marking is considered rare; of thousands of
inscriptions so far catalogued, only one other bone coffin contained the
same construction.

No Christian tradition suggests that Jesus had a son, but the Gospel of John
does refer to “the beloved disciple” who rests on Jesus’ lap at the last

And perhaps, says Mr. Jacobovici, “although this is pure speculation, when
Jesus on the cross says ‘mother, behold thy son,’ he’s not referring to
himself or to his mother, but to his son, who is there with Mary Magdalene”.

The book of Mark, he adds, also contains a passage that might allude to a
son — a reference to a young man, wearing nothing but linen who follows
Jesus after his arrest and, when guards try to apprehend him, slips out of
his clothes and escapes naked.

“That’s a very odd story,” says Mr. Jacobovici. “There’s no name is given
for the young lad, but the gospel writer obviously thought it was important
to tell it.”

“None of us,” maintains Dr. Tabor, “are gleefully presenting this as though
we’ve trumped Christianity. If anything, it might help clarify and refine it
a bit. Some people will immediately say this is sensationalism. I don’t
agree with that. I know enough about it to say this is a subject that
deserves serious and continued investigation.”

Indeed, it’s likely that there will be sequel to The Lost Tomb of Jesus.
While searching for the original Talpiyot cave, the filmmakers stumbled upon
a second crypt, only 20 meters away that has never been explored by
archaeologists. A miniature camera inserted into the tomb revealed three


By Simcha Jacobovici (Author), Charles Pellegrino (Author)
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: HarperSanFrancisco (February 27, 2007)
Language: English Sales Rank: #349 in Books



* * * * * * * *

By Jennifer Viegas
Discovery News
February 25, 2007

New scientific evidence, including DNA analysis conducted at one of the
world’s foremost molecular genetics laboratories, as well as studies by
leading scholars, suggests a 2,000-year-old Jerusalem tomb could have once
held the remains of Jesus of Nazareth and his family.

The findings also suggest that Jesus and Mary Magdalene might have produced
a son named Judah.

The DNA findings, alongside statistical conclusions made about the artifacts
— originally excavated in 1980 — open a potentially significant chapter in
Biblical archaeological history.

A documentary presenting the evidence, “The Lost Tomb of Jesus,” will
premiere on the Discovery Channel on March 4 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. The
documentary comes from executive producer James Cameron
and director Simcha Jacobovici

The Talpiot Tomb

On March 28, 1980, a construction crew developing an apartment complex in
Talpiot, Jerusalem, uncovered a tomb, which archaeologists from the Israeli
Antiquities Authority excavated shortly thereafter. Archaeologist Shimon
Gibson surveyed the site and drew a layout plan. Scholar L.Y. Rahmani later
published “A Catalogue of Jewish Ossuaries” that described 10 ossuaries, or
limestone bone boxes, found in the tomb.

Scholars know that from 30 B.C. to 70 A.D., many people in Jerusalem would
first wrap bodies in shrouds after death. The bodies were then placed in
carved rock tombs, where they decomposed for a year before the bones were
placed in an ossuary.

Five of the 10 discovered boxes in the Talpiot tomb were inscribed with
names believed to be associated with key figures in the New Testament:
Jesus, Mary, Matthew, Joseph and Mary Magdalene. A sixth inscription,
written in Aramaic, translates to “Judah Son of Jesus.”

“Such tombs are very typical for that region,” Aaron Brody, associate
professor of Bible and archaeology at the Pacific School of Religion and
director of California’s Bade Museum told Discovery News.

Ossuary Inscriptions

At least four leading epigraphers have corroborated the ossuary inscriptions
for the documentary, according to the Discovery Channel.

Frank Moore Cross, a professor emeritus in the Department of Near Eastern
Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University, told Discovery News, “The
inscriptions are from the Herodian Period (which occurred from around 1 B.C.
to 1 A.D.). The use of limestone ossuaries and the varied script styles are
characteristic of that time.”

Jodi Magness, associate department chair of religious studies at the
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, told Discovery News that, based
on the New Testament writings, “Jesus likely lived during the first century

In addition to the “Judah son of Jesus” inscription, which is written in
Aramaic on one of the ossuaries, another limestone burial box is labeled in
Aramaic with “Jesus Son of Joseph.” Another bears the Hebrew inscription
“Maria,” a Latin version of “Miriam,” or, in English, “Mary.” Yet another
ossuary inscription, written in Hebrew, reads “Matia,” the original Hebrew
word for “Matthew.” Only one of the inscriptions is written in Greek. It
reads, “Mariamene e Mara,” which can be translated as, “Mary known as the

Francois Bovon, professor of the history of religion at Harvard University,
told Discovery News, “Mariamene, or Mariamne, probably was the actual name
given to Mary Magdalene.”

Bovon explained that he and a colleague discovered a fourteenth century copy
in Greek of a fourth century text that contains the most complete version of
the “Acts of Philip” ever found. Although not included in the Bible, the
“Acts of Philip” mentions the apostles and Mariamne, sister of the apostle

“When Philip is weak, she is strong,” Bovon said. “She likely was a great
teacher who even inspired her own sect of followers, called Mariamnists, who
existed from around the 2nd to the 3rd century.”

DNA Analysis

Jacobovici, director, producer and writer of “The Lost Tomb of Jesus,” and
his team obtained two sets of samples from the ossuaries for DNA and
chemical analysis. The first set consisted of bits of matter taken from the
“Jesus Son of Joseph” and “Mariamene e Mara” ossuaries. The second set
consisted of patina — a chemical film encrustation on one of the limestone

The human remains were analyzed by Carney Matheson, a scientist at the
Paleo-DNA Laboratory at Lakehead University in Ontario, Canada.
Mitochondrial DNA examination determined the individual in the Jesus ossuary
and the person in the ossuary linked to Mary Magdalene were not related.

Since tombs normally contain either blood relations or spouses, Jacobovici
and his team suggest it is possible Jesus and Mary Magdalene were a couple.
“Judah,” whom they indicate may have been their son, could have been the
“lad” described in the Gospel of John as sleeping in Jesus’ lap at the Last

Robert Genna, director of the Suffolk County Crime Laboratory in New York,
analyzed both the patina taken from the Talpiot Tomb and chemical residue
obtained from the “James” ossuary, which was also found around 1980, but
subsequently disappeared and resurfaced in the antiquities market. Although
controversy surrounds this burial box, Genna found that the two patinas

“The samples were consistent with each other,” Genna told Discovery News.

Upon examining the tomb, the filmmakers determined a space exists that would
have fit the “James” ossuary. Given the patina match and this observation,
Jacobovici theorizes the lost burial box could, in fact, be the “James”

Statistical Data

A possible argument against the Talpiot Tomb being the Jesus Family Tomb is
that the collection of names on the ossuary inscriptions could be

But Andrey Feuerverger, professor of statistics and mathematics at the
University of Toronto, recently conducted a study addressing the
probabilities that will soon be published in a leading statistical journal.

Feuerverger multiplied the instances that each name appeared during the
tomb’s time period with the instances of every other name. He initially
found “Jesus Son of Joseph” appeared once out of 190 times, Mariamne
appeared once out of 160 times and so on.

To be conservative, he next divided the resulting numbers by 25 percent, a
statistical standard, and further divided the results by 1,000 to attempt to
account for all tombs — even those that have not been uncovered — that
could have existed in first century Jerusalem.

The study concludes that the odds are at least 600 to 1 in favor of the
Talpiot Tomb being the Jesus Family Tomb. In other words, the conclusion
works 599 times out of 600.

Another Tomb?

The researchers discovered a second, as-yet unexplored tomb about 65 1/2
feet from the Talpiot Tomb. During the documentary, they introduced a
robotic camera into this second tomb, which captured the first-ever recorded
footage of an undisturbed burial cave from Jesus’ time. The team speculates
that this other tomb could contain the remains of additional family members,
or even disciples, though further examination and analysis are needed.

In the meantime, Discovery has set up a special Web site, , to provide related in-depth information and
to allow viewers to come to their own conclusions about the entire matter.

As Academy Award-winner Cameron said in a press release, “It doesn’t get
bigger than this. We’ve done our homework; we’ve made the case; and now it’s
time for the debate to begin.”




(Includes diagram of tomb, tomb discovery outline, photos of ossuaries and
engravings, a downloadable pdf that describes and illustrates evidence, and
an outline of supporting evidence)





How many Kids did Jesus have & did marriage, motherhood diminish Magdalene?

How Many Kids did Jesus and Magdalene Have? Does being wife & mother diminish Magdalene? Does an anti-marriage bias make some people resist a Jesus-Magdalene marriage?

Margaret Starbird writes, and I agree:

I personally believe that Mary was expecting at the time of the arrest and crucifixion, which would have been the reason that the friends and family of Jesus made an immediate move to get her out of town. She is never mentioned at all in the Acts of the Apostles — although the mother of Jesus and the apostles and brothers of Jesus are all together on Pentecost.

Katia inserts:
Magdalene is mentioned repeatedly in all four Gospels, yet not in Acts.  Something must have taken her quickly out of the picture.

Margaret continues:
What happened to Mary, his most devoted companion / beloved?… If she weren’t pregnant, there would have been no reason at all to get her out of town and protect her whereabouts and identity. But as the bearer of a royal bloodline, she would have been protected as a “national treasure.” I believe  Mary’s only child was a daughter — and that this piece of her story is part of the “underground stream” of European legend, art, and artifact (the subject of my 1993 “Alabaster Jar” book that apparently launched Dan Brown’s research). I was very reluctant to believe in the possibility of a surviving child, but numerous synchronicities eventually convinced me that it is at least a possibility.

I do not believe that Jesus and Mary had any other children. That view is supported by Barbara Thiering who postulated 2 sons and a daughter (Tamar) in 1992 (“Jesus the Man” aka “The Riddle of the Dead Sea Scrolls”). Thiering postulates that Jesus divorced Mary Magdalene, an idea that has IMO even less credible evidence. The “three children” theory was adopted by Lawrence Gardiner in his “Bloodline/Grail” book, and has recently surfaced again in K McGowan’s book.

For years I’ve heard people argue that believing Mary Magdalene married Jesus and had a child somehow diminishes her — identifying her with a husband and child-bearing role rather than as a strong teacher or priestess in her own right.

Katia inserts:
As if parenting and partnering mean you can’t be a spiritual, magical, religious leader or teacher.  How many pastors today are parents and married? How many great men of the world were married with children?  Yet if a woman is not childless and completely independent of men she can’t be a strong teacher or priestess?  As a spiritual teacher myself (online Mystery School has 500+ students, 100 very active) it is true I struggle with motherly and wifely duties.  My three girls, one of them a baby in diapers, need my attention for hours of every day.  Furthermore, my oldest, as well as two teen step-sons are homeschooling, so I’m a school-teacher too.  I am plagued with guilt and worry almost on a daily basis as to whether I am doing right by them.  Motherhood is time consuming, yes, and you might could call it “distracting.” But it does not diminish a woman anymore than fatherhood diminishes a man.  A woman can still be a spiritual leader, can still write and teach inspiring things with kids in her life.  Magdalene probably only had one child.  That’s nothin’! 

Margaret, mother of five grown children herself, continues:
And, because certain feminists and others are not interested in conventional marriage, they don’t like the idea of a married Jesus / Magdalene, so they are sure it couldn’t have happened.

I’m be more interested in knowing the truth than in supporting a falsehood for the sake of a certain anti-marriage agenda.

In memory of Her–

 * * * * * * * * * * * *

While I was putting this post together, my friend Lore who moderates the Magdalene-List forum at, wrote to me as follows:

What interests me about Magdalene is that she can be used to set an example of what Yeshua really taught about women in order to wipe out the misogyny that gutted his teachings. Which is why I can agree both with Margaret about sacred union / their marriage and with Karen King that immersing her too far into marriage and motherhood might do more harm than good because she should be recognized as a spiritual leader in her own right.

Christian definition of marriage has done great harm to women over many centuries. We’re finally making progress in that realm but the [extreme Christian] fundies would like to turn around all the gains we’ve made and put women back into servitude to men via marriage. And the progress hasn’t gone far enough, which is why women file for more divorces than men. It is the party being harmed that generally wants out of any relationship. I knew before I filed for divorce that I would never marry again because I wanted control of my own life. The whole divorce debacle only reinforced that.

I didn’t find out until after I’d filed that he’d run up thousands and thousands on credit cards I didn’t even know we had. Because he was my husband, he had the right (at least back then) to sign my name and put me in astronomical debt without my even knowing about it — and the legal system said I had to pay. He also had the right to batter me emotionally and physically, then complain to the divorce judge that I was emotionally unstable because I sought therapy. My attorney told me that he could get custody of my children because I sought refuge and healing from him. How crazy is that?

That has changed somewhat today but not near enough, so I’d love to see a strong, single MM who chose to be in control of her own life, including being free to choose her sexual destiny. I think it would transform women’s image of themselves if that were true. I don’t believe it is though. I believe if they loved each other and spent so much time together, touching and kissing in public, then they had to be married.

The irony is that the RCC [Roman Catholic Church] never taught that Jesus was single or celibate. They avoided addressing that directly (probably because they knew he was married) but everyone thinks that was church dogma from the earliest days, therefore it must be true. Even those who railed against women and marriage as evil didn’t say he was celibate or unmarried.


Are you a Lord of the Rings Elf?

I was thinking about elves today, the tall, long-lived kind Tolkein incorporated in the Lord of the Rings.  He drew on existing lore and deep cultural memory. 

This came to mind as I viewed my 11-month old daughter’s pointy ears and remembered my mother calling me “Pixie-ears” my entire childhood.  It occurred to me that such traits as pointy pixie ears, tallness and longevity do run in certain families. Also some people simply feel a resonance with elves and intuitively sense they have elven blood. 

DNA memory could be calling, tugging at your awareness.  The elves interbred with “regular” humans so no one alive today has more than a smidgeon of elven blood.  But elven blood is out there flowing in some veins, methinks. You might be an elf if….

1.  You have pointy ears or did have pointy ears as a child. We are not talking Dr. Spock or Christmas elves here because as said above, the bloodline is watered down.  Ears come in all varieties but the pointy kind could indicate elf ancestors just as pointy eyes usually indicate far eastern ancestors.

2.  One side of your family is very long lived, especially as noted in family trees before the onset of modern medicine.  We’re talkin’ grandmas and grandpas that live to 90.  This is not normal as even in modern countries the lifespan is only up to 72 at best.  In most countries and just a hundred years ago, the lifespan couldn’t make it out of the 40s.  So if you have great grandparents or great great grandparents that made it to their late 80s or beyond, you are talkin’ unusual longevity.  The elves lived into the hundreds of years, so having one or more for an ancestor would increase longevity well beyond the norm.

3.  You are tall, or the great majority of one side of your family is tall.  Males above 5′-8″ and females above 5′-2″.

4.  You or much of your family are fair of face.  Elves were known for surrealistic beauty, a la Gweneth Paltrow.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, however, and all the most beautiful people on the planet are not necessarily elvish.  But if coupled with longevity and tallness, perhaps they are…

5.  You have an inner knowing.  If elves and elf magic, lore, etc. resonate strongly with you and seem to call you “home” every now and then, you are probably descended from them, at least partially.

6.  You and your ancestors love to travel, especially by ship, especially to new lands on the edges of civilization.  Elves were known to stay on the fringe and keep a low profile, taking ship when need be to faraway shores.  Ancestors of Americans and others who up and left the homeland possessed of the roaming spirit of adventure may have the elfish wanderlust and founding spirit.

7.  You love magic and all things magical.  Many people despise such intuitive alternative spiritual things as “magic”, wanting only logic and proofs to rule their lives.  (Those poor sots ain’t elves, get it?)

Again, nobody is purebred elf on earth today. Bloodlines theories like this and the Jesus bloodline are fascinating.  The bottom line is it can be in any person if said person strongly senses it.  Those who speak don’t know and those who know don’t speak, so if someone is trying to gain fame and fortune from their bloodline association you should be suspicious. But otherwise, I say don’t be so dubious.  Mankind goes back to the dawn of time.  You have ancestors from said dawn of time simply because you are alive today!  Stranger things have happened than a tall long lived race of magic-loving people to live here, a few of them intermarry, and then die off.  Cro-magnon man died off as did the “hobbits” scientists discovered in 2005.

Just some musings from a tall pointy-eared esoteric Christian with lots of 90 year old relatives.


P.S.  We need to expand our Mystery School’s Folklore and pre-Christian European magical studies programs.  In our Teutonic Studies we cover Lord of the Rings, the symbolism, the drawing upon earth’s ancient lore, etc.  But it is intriguing that Tolkein considered himself a “mystical” Christian.  His work is a merger of esoteric, occult Christian themes (as is his crony C.S. Lewis’ great work, Chronicles of Narnia).

Apocalypse Battlefield Middle East, Iran?

I just read this article, “To this question, the answer would be a Revelation” in the L.A. Times:


In Revelation, John…describes…a punishing vision of the plagues, famine, earthquakes and Satanic armies that will set the stage for Judgment Day.

Essentially, the plot goes like this: Billions of people perish in seven years of natural disasters and plagues, an antichrist arises to rule the world, the battle of Armageddon erupts north of Israel, Jesus returns to defeat Satan’s armies and preside over Judgment Day.


I was raised in a church that had frequent End Time seminars and sermons.  Used to scare us children to death. Too many preachers get frothy at the mouth over this topic.

Still, I think there is something to end time prophecy, and the Apocalypse study (eschatology) is downright intriguing.

Armageddon is located in a real place called the Jezreel valley in northern Israel.  In ancient history this great plain (20 miles wide) was a place of many many epic battles, a crossroads of war.  Lord of the Rings type battles took place there and it was famous to ancient people.  Perhaps a final conflict of sorts will take place on that piece of land.  But the thought occurs, maybe the entire Middle East — or at least all the area from Lebanon to Sinai — could become the “new Armageddon” geographical location.  So those “satanic armies” and the final battle could take place in the Middle East not necessarily on the relatively small Jezreel plain in northern Israel.

Then there is  Iran.  According to Nostradamus, the anti-christ is supposed to appear at the end of the world, some time after the year 2000, and wearing a blue turban.  Haven’t seen any blue turbans on Iranian leaders.  I wonder if the blue turban is symbolic — or ugh! — means the blue UN helmets!  Those Left Behind author dudes and countless other end time fear-mongers always say the anti-christ will be a UN leader or somehow connected to the UN.  Not sure I agree, but don’t like how the pieces too easily fit together and come out like an epic movie, comic book and interactive video game all rolled into one.


Paradigm Shift: Adding a Feminine God

Margaret Starbird writes:
A “paradigm shift” occurs when we honor the “Feminine Face of God” –as incarnated in Mary Magdalene, the Blessed Mother [Mary] and other holy women.

Katia writes:
I wish there was a Sunday School near me that did just this — honored both the sacred masculine and sacred feminine, God and Goddess.  My kids could sure use that balance.  This paradigm shift is so new and mainstream churches need to catch on. I’ve heard a handful of Methodist Churches honor Sophia as Christ’s “spouse” and as the Sacred Feminine.  But none are near me and my family.  Time to start our own Alternative Christian Church, we realized(!). And that’s just what we did here in Dallas / Fort Worth!

Pregnant Magdalene & Jesus standing as married from a Church in Scotland early 1900sMargaret continues:
One of the major points I try to make in my books is that when Magdalene’s voice was silenced, the voices of women were silenced as well, since she is the “model” for our relationship to Christ (the Church and each soul as “Bride” or “Partner.”)

The “Partnership model” was lost in the cradle of Christianity, before it could even get off the ground…. For me, THAT is the paradigm we’re trying to reclaim. It’s a HUGE shift from the “Patriarchial” model (God with a long white beard)– and is illustrated in the “sacred marraige” window posted at the top of my website which shows Jesus and Mary Magdalene “hand-fasted”–holding right hands, a symbol for marriage. Margaret’s website is here:

In reclaiming Mary Magdalene, we reclaim a piece of ourselves and restore the paradigm of “cosmic balance” of masculine and feminine energies.

Peace and well-being,

A lady named Rhonda had posted this:  “I was thinking that for so many years Mary was considered a prostitute and with all the historical evidence proving that she wasn’t and even the Vatican itself saying she wasn’t, that this is causing a VALUE SHIFT in how we think of not just Mary [Magdalene] but all women in the bible.”

All the women in the Bible.  Yes.  First we re-evaluated Magdalene and Mary, the mother of Jesus.   Magdalene went from being a prostitute with a demon problem to being the first Apostle and first witness to the Resurrection.  Some of us have shifted our value judgement of her so far as to make her a spouse of Jesus and co-Teacher with him.  And Mother Mary — we realized she does not have to remain a virgin even after giving birth to Jesus. The Church came up with the idea of her eternal virginity in order to satisfy celibate Catholic priests who were/are so against sex they condemn/ed it as filthy and dirty. 

Mary is now coming into her own, too, and is probably an incarnation of Sophia, the Goddess in the Old Testament (she is present during creation helping God, see Proverbs).  Mary can be a full living, loving woman, she doesn’t have to be sanitized and de-sexualized into a virgin any more than her son has to be sanitized into a celibate monk disdainful of women.

So back to Rhonda’s point about viewing all women in the Bible differently.  Yeah.  Look at poor Tamar, and Dinah, and even Sarah.  Our opinions of them are changing, too. That’s the Old Testament, but the New Testament women should all be re-evaluated also.  A shift, a definite shift is occurring where women are not viewed as either harlots or virgins, whores or chaste mothers.  This is good, this is revolutionary, we must keep it up.

We must never forget that however we view them now, we cannot change how their husbands, fathers and brothers viewed them when they lived, which is usually as property, as prized breeders, but not as equals.  Very, very, few men if any viewed women as intellectual equals, as full human beings. Jesus was very avant garde in his time.

The Church says Jesus was fully human but deny he did human things like experience sexuality, mate and produce children.  Ah, the contradictions.  But we are figuring all these flaws out and re-shaping our spiritual system, our Christianity, to include God-ess right alongside her pal God. 

It’s a great time to be alive, people!


Jesus’ Marriage to Magdalene: the Evidence

Margaret Starbird posted to the Magdalene-List forum today about the evidence be it circumstantial, that Jesus was married. The point about the prophecy verses in Micah is very fascinating.

Margaret writes:

The circumstantial evidence for the marriage of Jesus and Mary
Magdalene is “overwhelming” because of the numerous “shards” of the mosaic created when one assembles the pieces. Like a picture puzzle, when you get enough of the pieces in the right place, you can tell what the picture is going to be–

In keeping with the old adage, “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence”: Just because Scripture doesn’t say “Jesus’ wife was Mary called “the Magdalene” doesn’t mean that they weren’t husband and wife.

Evidence FOR the actual marriage union of Jesus and Mary Magdalene far exceeds evidence AGAINST it. Those who argue that they were NOT married, are arguing “ex absentia”: “the Gospels never say that she was the ‘wife of the Savior’.”

The case “FOR” the Bride:

Based on the Gospels, the chances for his marriage are 50-50 because Scripture never states either scenario–even though one or the other must be true!

Based on the practices of Judaism, that probability jumps to about 99% in favor of marriage. The brothers of Jesus and the other apostles all travelled around with their “sister wives” (as missionary couples)… it was the norm in their community! Two by two!

In addition, the Gospels mention the anointing as nuptial rite
(based on ancient rites of “hierosgamos”). Every pagan convert to Christianity would have immediately recognized the Bride.

We find also the “reunion” of Bride and Sacrificed Bridegroom/King in the garden on Easter morning (again, every convert would have immediately identified the “Bride.” So would every Jewish person who knew the prophecy of Micah: “Why are you crying?” (Micah 4:9, John 20:13).

And Mary’s title is derived from that same prophetic passage
(Micah 4:8-11). Amazing gematria of her title links her to the
Goddesses of Love and Fertility (the same ones that celebrate
the ‘hieros gamos’ and death/resurrection cycles of the ancient
rites of the “Sacrificed King.”

Numerous scholars/theologians have recognized Jesus as a
“Tammuz”/Adonis/Dionysus god/man incarnation. It’s time for
them to recognize and honor the Bride.

By the way, the 2nd c. Rabbi Simeon ben Azzi is mentioned in five places in the Talmud because he was so unique in the fact that he wasn’t married. But in two other places, it is said that he WAS married (to the daughter of Rabbi Akiba!) and divorced her so that he could devote himself to the “Torah”– In other words, EVEN HE was allegedly married…if only briefly. Details are found in Dr. Wm E Phipps, “The Sexuality of Jesus.”

The point that was being made in the Talmud was that Azzi’s case was SO VERY UNUSUAL and contrary to the norm (in Judaism marriage was a cultural imperative!). It was the duty of a Jewish father to find a suitable bride for his son by the time the young man was 18, (20 if he was studying to be a rabbi!) and if the father failed in this duty, the town’s elder helped him.

Dr. Phipps, does a really good job of making the case purely from the practices of Judaism. My work adds the “Hieros gamos” parallels of the Pssion story with ancient rites of the sacrificed king and its importance for our current age — the desperate need to “heal the wasteland” by reclaiming the “partnership” paradigm in the original strata of Chistian revelation and practice.

In memory of Her,

Why Magdalene was Called Prostitute

Yesterday, Margaret Starbird posted to a Magdalene forum about how the accusations of prostitute might have originated.  See below.  Her second theory is fascinating because it draws on the hierodule (sacred temple prostitute in the ancient world) theory without making Magdalene an actual sacred whore.  Margaret also explains why July 22 or 22/7 may have been chosen as Magdalene’s feastday.  Most intriguing.  It’s my mother-in-law’s birthday, too.  Hee hee.

Margaret writes: 

There is no scriptural foundation whatever for the idea that Mary Magdalene was a common prostitute. That “tradition” was derived from two possible sources:

1) her conflation with the woman who anointed Jesus at the banquet (Mary of Bethany in John’s Gospel) whom Luke calls “a sinner from the town” (Luke 7:37). Anointing of the “Bridegroom King” was the privilege of the Bride in ancient cults of the sacred marriage, but by the time the Gospels were written, the pagan ritual was performed by a “consecrated priestess” (“sacred prostitute”). Because of the association with the pagan rites, this “misidentification” became associated with Mary Magdalene.


2) in Judiasm, there is a strong theme of Yahweh’s unconditional love for his “Bride,” the people of Israel, who are not always faithful to him and often “prostitute” themselves before false gods….but God always calls them back and forgives him. He instructs Hosea to marry the prostitute Gomer and take her back when she is unfaithful, as “a sign for My love for My people….”So we have a “leitmotif” of God’s marriage to a “prostitute” throughout Jewish Scripture…. manifested in Christian tradition with the marriage of Jesus and Mary Magdalene, who represents her land and people (as in Isaiah 62)… “No longer shall she be called forsaken….”

I think the “prostitute” tradition is a combination of the two
possiblilities outlined above…. Magdalene as “Bride” represents the community/church/people and anoints the King/Messiah in this role. She was never a “prostitute.” I also think that we never would have had that tradition if Luke hadn’t removed the anointing scene away from Bethany and if he hadn’t stated that the woman was “a sinner” and made such a point about her being forgiven for her sins “because she loved much.”–He really
did a job on her (Luke 7).

Her feastday in the Western Church was adopted from the Eastern Orthodox in (I think) the 6th century. I personally think it
is because 22/7 is the ratio used to calculate the area and circumference of circles, a very important formula in sacred geometry and related by association with the “vesica piscis” (her pre-eminent symbol, formed when two circles intersect one another)…()

It’s also exactly one week before the feast day of her sister Martha.

peace and light,

Manipulating Brains to make non-criminals, non-rapists, & smarter kids

Wow, read this.  Probably half the people around you at any given moment are on anti-depressants.  We truly are headed for (or already there?) Aldous Huxley’s, Brave New World.  I am worried for our kids, grandkids.  What the hell kindof world will they be forced to live in.  Hope to god I don’t have to ask what the hell kindof drugs will they be forced to take.  I am scaring myself here… (What’s new!?)

By Francine Russo
January 18, 2007,8816,1580389,00.html

Deep brain stimulation, or DBS, is a treatment given to Parkinson’s patients who don’t respond to medication. A neurosurgeon implants a set ofelectrodes deep into the victim’s brain, where they give off little jolts of electricity to disrupt the involuntary tremors and other symptoms of the disease. But according to Martha Farah, a neuroscientist at the University of Pennsylvania, at least one patient routinely chooses which electrical contact to activate depending on how she wants to feel: calm for every day, more “revved up” for a party.

Devices like DBS and psychoactive drugs like Ritalin and Prozac are already manipulating brain function in millions of people. And future pharmaceuticals, Farah says, targeting very specific parts of the brain, will be even more effective and will have fewer side effects. These new brain-control tools open a Pandora’s box of ethical and philosophical dilemmas, including what kind of society — and what kinds of selves — we want.

Indeed, where there once seemed to be a clear boundary between mental health and mental dysfunction, it’s now clear that these states lie along a spectrum. “Thirty years ago,” says Farah, “only seriously depressed people took antidepressants. But I’m sitting in a coffee shop now where probably half the people have taken them.” Some ethicists argue that unless you’re ill, you’re not really yourself when you’re on these drugs. On the other hand, says Farah, we change our brain chemistry no more with Prozac than with coffee or tea.

With that in mind, Farah is studying modafinil, a drug developed for narcolepsy that is prescribed off-label to patients with depression, ADHD or even jet lag. In the military, it’s used to sharpen soldiers’ alertness and cognition. Her research is attempting to determine how this chemical affects
normal people. “Is there a trade-off,” she wonders, “between focusing attention and reducing creativity? And if more workers use it to excel, will we have a workforce of narrow, rigid thinkers?”

Neuroethicists are also worried that these new cognitive technologies could widen the gap between those who can afford them and those who can’t, eventually creating different classes of human beings. Just as problematic as unequal access, some say, is the prospect of people being forced, implicitly or explicitly, to take mind-altering medications. Someday we may all feel pressure to take — or give our kids — focus- or memory-sharpening drugs to compete at school or work. In fact, says Richard Glen Boire, senior fellow on law and policy at the Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics in Davis, Calif., “some schools require kids — not diagnosed with ADHD by doctors — to take Ritalin to attend school.”

Farah also imagines the day when we have what she calls a
“neuro-correctional system” that could transform criminals into
noncriminals. We already force sex offenders to take libido-dampening drugs or face denial of parole. A drug to dampen violent impulses might someday be similarly applied. That could, in theory, prevent crimes.

But so would the castration of rapists, and that is considered a nearly unthinkable invasion of a person’s body. Do we have a comparable right, neuroethicists ask, to “freedom of mind”? The ethicists are raising the questions, but it will be up to the courts — and ultimately society at large — to decide when the benefits of this powerful but intrusive branch of brain science outweigh the dangers.

God’s Hostages: Women forced into slavery, dehumanized, demonized, in the name of Religion

Oh, this is a heavy topic.  So many women and girls held hostage to warped and crazed religious ideologies.  I put my ruminations at the end of the short article below.

By Sam Harris
On Faith
January 19, 2007


“On Faith” panelist Sam Harris is the author of the best-selling books Letter to a Christian Nation (2006) and The End of Faith (2005), which won the 2005 PEN Award for Nonfiction and has been translated into many foreign languages.


Kajal Khidr was accused of adultery by her husband’s family and held hostage by six family members in Iraqi Kurdistan. Kajal Khidr was tortured and mutilated; family members cut off part of her nose and told her she would be killed after the birth of her child. After fleeing to Syria, two of her abusers were arrested. However, they were both released within twenty-four hours because authorities determined they had acted to safeguard the honor of the family. No charges were ever brought against them. (Amnesty International Website)

In northern Uganda, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) abducts children, forcing girls into “marriage” and institutionalized rape… The men then have total sexual control over their “wives” and “domestic helpers,” subjecting them to rape and various other forms of violence. (Amnesty International Website)

Mary Ann Kingston was pulled out of school at 13 and told to prepare for marriage. At 16, she was forced to marry her 33-year-old uncle. The order teaches that incest is a preferred practice to preserve a pure family bloodline originating from Jesus Christ. When Mary Ann ran away, her father took her to a remote ranch near the Utah-Idaho line and beat her with his leather belt. She counted 28 lashes before passing out. [The number of people in polygamous families in Utah is estimated at as many as 50,000.] (J. Nichols. “Wives suing to bring end to abuse under polygamy.” The Arizona Republic. October 15, 2003.)


For millennia the world’s great prophets and theologians have applied their collective genius to the riddle of womanhood. The result has been polygamy, sati, honor killing, punitive rape, genital mutilation, forced marriages, a cultic obsession with virginity, compulsory veiling, the persecution of unwed mothers, and other forms of physical and psychological abuse so kaleidoscopic in variety as to scarcely admit of concise description. Some of this sexist evil probably predates religion and can be ascribed to our biology, but there is no question that religion promulgates and renders sacrosanct attitudes toward women that would be unseemly in a brachiating ape.

While man was made in the image of God, the prevailing view under Judaism, Christianity, and Islam is that woman was made in the image of man. Her humanity, therefore, is derivative, contingent, ersatz (Gen: 2-21-22 Koran 4:1; 39.6; 7.189). Of all the animals, woman was the last to be made but the first to sin (Gen 3:12). The Old Testament puts the monetary value of a woman’s life at one-half to two-thirds that of a man’s (Leviticus 27). The Koran elaborates: it requires the testimony of two women to offset that of one man (2:282) and every girl deserves exactly one-half her brother¹s share of inheritance (4:11). God suggests in his tenth commandment that the woman next door is your neighbor’s material possession which, along with his house, slaves and oxen, must not be coveted (Exodus 20:17); Deuteronomy 5:21).

The God of Abraham has made it perfectly clear that a woman is expected to live in subjugation to her father until the moment she is pressed into connubial service to her husband. As St. Paul put it: “Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands.” (Ephesians 5:22-24). The Koran delivers the same message, and recommends that disobedient wives be whipped (4:34). The suppression of women under Islam achieved hideous precision through the writings of Al-Ghazali (1058-1111), perhaps the most influential Muslim since Muhammad:

She should stay home and get on with her spinning, she should not go out often, she must not be well-informed, nor must she be communicative with her neighbors and only visit them when absolutely necessary; she should take care of her husband and respect him in his presence and his absence and seek to satisfy him in everything; she must not leave the house without his permission and if given his permission she must leave surreptitiously. She should put on old clothes and take deserted streets and alleys, avoid markets, and make sure that a stranger does not hear her voice or recognize her; she must not speak to a friend of her husband even in need; Her sole worry should be her virtue, her home as well as her prayers and her fast. If a friend of her husband calls when the latter is absent she must not open the door nor reply to him in order to safeguard her and her husband’s honor.

She should accept what her husband gives her as sufficient sexual needs at any moment.  She should be clean and ready to satisfy her husband’s sexual needs at any moment. (Cited in Ibn Warraq’s, Why I Am Not Muslim, p. 300).

Recall the blissful lives of Afghan women under the Taliban, or reflect upon how many Muslim girls throughout the world are still obliged to wear the veil, and you will understand that this type of thinking has consequences.

The net effect of religion (especially in the Abrahamic tradition) has been to demonize female sexuality and portray women as morally and intellectually inferior to men. Every woman holds the dignity of men for ransom, and is liable to tarnish it with a glance, or destroy it outright through sexual indiscretion. From this perspective, rape is a crime that one man commits against the honor of another; the woman is merely Shame’s vehicle, and often culpably acquiescent — being all blandishments and guile and winking treachery. According to God, if the victim of a rape neglects to scream loudly enough, she should be stoned to death as an accessory to her own defilement (Deuteronomy 22:24). Every man’s daughter is a potential whore liable to grow drunk on the blood of good men — a Delilah, a Jezebel, a Salome. Every girl, therefore, must be mastered and locked away before she can succumb to the evil that is her all-too-natural enthusiasm. According to God, women have been placed on earth to service men, to bear their children, to the keep their homes in order, and above all to not betray them by becoming the object of another man’s sexual enjoyment. And so it falls to every man to shield his women from the predations of his rapacious brothers and oblige them, until death or decrepitude, to fulfill their most sacred purpose — as incubators of sons.

If we ever achieve a civilization of true equity, respect, and love between the sexes, it will not be because we paid more attention to our holy books.

Katia wonders:  Alot of this abuse is done in Mohammed’s name, in Allah’s name, but the only example of people still today oppressing women in Jesus’ name are the polygamists in Utah and a few other states.  Or am I forgetting something?  Modern Orthodox Jews are sexist and treat their women in certain restrictive ways, but they are not commiting heinous crimes against their women and daughters because their holy book or some religious authority’s writings told them to.

The author mentioned the three Abrahamic religions yet added in sati, a misogynist tragedy out of India.  Based on several women born and raised in India whom I’ve met and worked with, I think women in India are still struggling with sexism and abuse, too.  I don’t know that their religion sanctions it, however, so perhaps that’s why the author left them out.  Probably the same reason he left out China, other Far East countries and so many African peoples who still buy and sell, or worse yet kidnap, women as brothel or bridal sex slaves and domestic helpers.  He was focusing on religions that have historical writings used by these perverts today.

I wonder, is there any thing we can do?  What can be done to protect the suffering women and girls of Islam?

Conquering their menfolk and making them civilize, modernize, I suppose, is our only option.  Talking and reasoning with them doesn’t seem to have worked since the Ottomon Empire fell and World War 2 reshaped the country borders over there.  Educating thousands of them in our western schools hasn’t helped either.  Look at the movie Not Without My Daughter.  The heroine married one such Western educated Iranian.  Her horror story in the 1980s (or was it 70s?) only existed because of such cross-cultural contact.  It seems like no amount of talking and educating them — they won’t even let our books across their borders — is going to help the women and girls of the East.  Their men certainly aren’t going to voluntarily start treating the women better than they treat their dogs.  Sigh.  They are going to have to be forced because they refuse to change on their own.  Until they are forced to change, more women will keep quietly dying while the world sits back and argues about things like Saddam’s noose and whether he was mocked or not.

I just saw a CNN program over the weekend where women Muslims in London went to each mosque trying to gain admittance to pray and worship in the building that is supposed to be their place of worship.  One by one they were yelled at and doors slammed in their face.  No mosque will let them even cross the threshold, yet Islam requires daily prayer and visits to the place of worship — five times a day for the pious.  A men-only religion, is what it is, whether they admit it or not.  Women as property, if they have minds, must focus only on what the men tell them to focus on, and if they have any spiritual inclinations have to do their praying at home and all alone.  No sunday school, womens spirituality gatherings, etc. for them, dirty second class citizens that they are.  So hateful.  How can Islam get away with such hatred of its own, I wonder.  It’s like we are all making excuses for them, “Oh it’s their culture, they can’t help it, they bomb us and murder their teenage daughters because of our materialism and greed.  Yeah.  It’s all our fault.”  Wonder why we rationalize and make excuses like that.

Man o’ man — or I should say woman o’ woman — am I glad to be born in a Western country.  THANKyou God & God-ess for sending me here, and not there.  I just read several schoolgirls in Indonesia were beheaded by muslims just because they were members of the Christian minority there.  And Saudi Arabia has banned the X symbol from all display and usage because it looks too much like Jesus’ cross!  Well, say critics, you should ban the + sign then too, you fanatics, because it looks more like the cross than an X.  Geez.  Hah.  Just thought of something when I said that, Geez.  Geez-uz is the problem.  It’s like they are afraid of him or something. like he is so seductive he’ll take away worshippers into his camp — perhaps because he is/was the most popular faith in the West and they are sure this is a war of religions, a holy war.  The Jews certainly don’t care for Geez-uz, however, and we all know how the Muslims hate the Jews.  I wonder why they are getting hateful toward Jesus and the Pope lately when Islam often says Jesus was a prophet, even if not on Mohammed’s level and not a divine offspring of God’s.  Most perplexing, and contradicting is their worldview.  If only they would naturally (but very quickly!) grow away from abuse and into equal rights for women.  If not total equality, howabout at least something like the USA and UK had before women got the vote a hundred years ago.  The ones holding the power — all men — just don’t want Barbie, western clothing fashions, pants for girls, drivers licenses for women(!) and even school education for girls to get into the picture because then they will lose that power.

Power.  The P word which rules politics because that’s what politics is all about, said my old professor.  How the heck are we gonna straighten these jerks out?    Let them devour each other all the while torturing their females, or try to take over and set them on a modern political democratic path?  When the USA went democratic we had a strong desire from WITHIN to do it.  No outside force was going to come help us.  How many examples are there in the world of democracies being brought to a country from without, as we are trying to do with Iraq and Afghanistan?  Any succesful new democracies?  Japan maybe?  Germany after Hitler?  Russia after Hitler and France after Napoleon were still internal movements albeit with outside assistance.  Egypt and Syria, Saudi Arabia, etc., they do not want democracies and if they ever hold votes it’s just a sham covering a dictatorship.  Will this work with Islamic countries who adore Sharia law more than their darling daughters and wives?  Iraq is glad to be rid of Saddam but the vast majority of the men there do not want a secular democracy.  What the women want doesn’t matter one whit, as we all know.  The men (except for a tiny few) all want religious law and religious government.  Even the few who are trying hard to live and run the new democracy are just not enough to stand up to the multitude of men wanting to control the gov’t, the society, EVERYthing.  They each want to do things THEIR way.

What to do, what to do.  Our choices are let ’em rot or try to help them.  All those silent invisible women and girls hiding in their houses and huts, wishing for a chance to go to school, to high school, vocational school, to see a doctor (they don’t let women go to doctors very much in Islamic countries).  Or many might want to get out and just take off the veil, take a breath as a free person, and feel like a human being.  I feel for them, our sisters, so deeply, and I hope we can come up with some ideas what we can do from the outside of this horror they are living.


Day of the Magi, January 6 has Esoteric Meaning

On Jan. 6 comes Epiphany, the holiday which commemorates when the Magi came with gifts for a newly born god-man they’d discovered through their astronomy science.  It’s fascinating they came from Babylonia — modern-day Iraq.

The esoteric interpretation of Epiphany is fairly simple.

First of all, everyone says there were Three Kings or Three Magi, but we don’t actually know how many magi there were.  We only say three because there were three gifts mentioned.  But many more of them could’ve come, and some experts suggest perhaps NINE came.  The other six could’ve brought gold.  Each bringing a bag of gold and a few also bringing frankincense and myrrh seems quite probable.

I like to think of the drummer boy in there, too.  Hee hee.

Calling them Three Kings instead of Magi – they were Chaldean Mages from Babylonia, not royal kings — was the Church’s campaign to try to eliminate any and all magic from the Bible, from Christianity.  But we know Christianity and the Bible is full of magic, ESP, psychic phenomenon, even mediums (ghost whisperers) are in the Bible.  Anyway…

There is also a lot of significance to the date of January 6.

The vast majority of the earliest original Christians had Jan. 6 marked on their ancient calendars as Jesus’ birthday.  Jan. 6 was Christmas!  So when the Church changed Jesus’ birthday to Dec. 25 three hundred years later in order to match the winter solstice “birth” of the Sun (they were four days off since Solstice is actually Dec 21), they had to contend with the pesky Jan.6 Christmasday already on the books.  They dealt with it by making it Magi Adoration Day.  They said, that’s not actually the day he was born, but the day the Magi found him and came to adore him.  Poor Goddess Mary still living in that stable two weeks after giving birth!  January 6 is called Epiphany to this day, meaning “discovery”.  The discovery of the god-man born among us.

I read on another forum that some families keep their Christmas tree and nativity scenes set up until the 6th of January.  One said her family would scoot the three magi closer to the stable every day until on the 6th they “arrived”.   Sounds like a plan…

So what else shall we do to mark annual Magi Day in two days?  I usually burn frankincense around a gold candle, the candle symbolizing the Light of the World.  I have some nice myrrh, too, which I like to add in.

Here are a bunch of Magi images, paintings, etc. from all over the internet.  I see a slew of images depicted the Magi adoring the newborn godling, with Goddess Sophia-Maria looking on.  Click on each one for larger view:


Katia  (sometimes also known by my magi-kal name, Adepta Kristyana, which means “Christian Adept”)