Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Christ Conspiracy: An Index to the Review

Since the review of The Christ Conspiracy reached spectacular lengths, a post that indexes the articles seems called for. Short summaries of the problems identified in each instalment follows. This post should be seen as an appendix to the conclusion. Due to the proliferation of posts dealing with chapters 20, 23 and 24, and their close relationship, these will be described in a separate, later post.

The problems encountered in this chapter do not really relate all that closely to the thesis itself, but do showcase that Murdock plays fast and loose with the truth.
A couple of really fudgy claims, based on a sequence of sources misunderstanding and exaggerating each other's claims. Unreliable sources in general. However, the chapter itself does not contribute much to the conclusion of the book. The general claim that is made could be made with credible sources – Murdock has just chosen to use shoddy sources and shoddy claims to prop up a reasonable claim.
Some fallacies along the lines of the etymological fallacy, and a particularly strange logical fallacy – viz. the idea that someone acting illogically is evidence of his non-existence. She also claims that 'pious fraud' was coined to describe Christian practices, when the phrase in fact pre-dates Christianity by several decades.
Protestant slander of a pope taken seriously. Saman and Maga? Sources please.  Pure speculation about the role of gnostics. Speculation about the 'malodorous chrism' as a term for sperm. A fabrication about the contents of the Nag Hammadi library.
A mistaken reference (demonstrating that Murdock has not verified the veracity of the sources of her source). Unreliable numismatic third-hand evidence. Shoddy referencing.
Misunderstands the Documentary Hypothesis. The orthodox dating of Pharaohs is off. A naive understanding of translation is evident. Ignorance of Hebrew phonemes makes for the amusing thought that the tetragrammaton contains the name of Eve. Acharya thinks that the use of the designation "Askhenazi" for eastern European Jews is evidence that early Judaism was greatly influenced by Aryans. Mr. Spock's (!) Vulcan Salute is presented as evidence that the Jewish God is a volcano God. Silly attempts to identify "Israel" as "Isis-Ra-El". Some more bullshit linguistics.
A genuinely sub-par understanding of what allegory is, as well as mischaracterizing the Hebrew grammatical gender as a system of allegory.
Identifies the Book of Jasher referred to in the Bible as the medieval Book of Jasher.
Reads Amos' harangue against the worshippers of the God Kaiwan as though this was admission that Kaiwan is part of Biblical theology. Without any supporting evidence, she equates Kaiwan and El. This is followed what looks suspiciously much like Acharya admitting to believing in astrology - her definition of astrology is very positive and downright naive.

This is followed by use of an unreliable source (Pike). It is claimed that toponomies in the Bible are widely astrological - a claim that rests on such a weak foundation that it's in fact laughable. (From an unreliable source, again). Strong pareidolia (since there's seven stars in the Pleiades, all sevens in Judaism much represent the Pleiades).

Also, the book of Job is a freemasonic ritual manual (as in, that's its origins)
The seven archangels are the seven hathors. Angels are the angles of the zodiac. Murdock thinks metaphor is what you get when you read literally.
Jesus being aware of crosses as an execution method is taken as evidence that he must be invented.  A few severely misleading pieces of reasoning regarding etymologies (hell, pesach), and other bad linguistics. Generally some of the reasoning indicates that Murdock thinks English designations are magical lenses into the past of a number of concepts. Bad dating of the Talmud. Claims which were not supported by their source whatsoever (i.e. Barbara Walker claiming that various things derive from Egyptian prayers to Osiris.)
A treasure trove of bad linguistics.
An instance of the linguistic fallacy of very short words (John - Aan), as well as an unsubstantiated and somewhat suspicious assertion.

A seriously debunked dating of the Dendera temple. Atlantean racial theories pop up - i.e. the fact that the author of Revelations mentions a 'man' as one out of four symbols is seen as evidence that the author of Revelations believed in Theosophist racial theories (i.e. Adam is The Atlantean). There's a distinct lack of argumentation beyond assertions.
Murdock subscribes naively to idealizing descriptions of the Essenes. She rejects the DSS as having anything to do with them, and thus basically ends up having next to no evidence regarding their beliefs. Nevertheless, she dares make several sweeping statements as to what these beliefs were. Her argument in general is unclear.

Onwards to the final chapters.

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