The novel 'The Last Templar' written by Raymond
Khoury, represents another opportunity to share your faith. It
was also made into a mini-series by NBC.
First here is a summary of the book (spoilers
In 1291 A.D a small party of the Knights Templar are forced to
leave Jerusalem and the Holy Land on account of losing their fight
against the Saracens. They leave with a small secret chest on
a ship which is damaged in a storm at sea and sinks. Some of the
Knights survive and make their way back to Europe. The chest is
lost at sea, but an encoded letter is delivered. A few years later
the King of France disbands and destroys the order.
Fast forward to the present day. A violent raid in public - with
four people dressed as Templars on horseback - in New York's Museum
of Art results in the theft of a strange encoding device. A number
of leads are followed, resulting in what amounts to a treasure
hunt with three competing parties: an archaeologist with an FBI
agent, a violent antagonist who wants to bring down the Catholic
Church, and a representative of the Vatican who is also violent
and is seeking to stop the hunt.
A number of confrontations ensue. In the first another letter
is found stating that the secret chest was hidden in the ships
figurehead. This leads to the next confrontation in the Mediterranean
Sea after the figurehead is located. This second confrontations
takes place in a storm and the boats of all parties sink. It's
during this confrontation that the violent Vatican representative
is killed. We next find the archaeologist and the FBI agent washed
up on a small island being taken care of by locals. As it happens
the figurehead was also washed up and the chest is found, opened
and the contents seen. Ancient paper with Aramaic writing - the
supposed diary of Jesus where he explains he's just an ordinary
man. This leads to a final confrontation with the violent antagonist
who although escapes with the ancient diary, falls off a cliff
and the pages of the diary are scattered with the ink washing
away in the sea.
Along the way and independently both the violent antagonist and
the Vatican representative try to persuade both the archeologist
and the FBI agent that there is no basis to the Christian faith
and that the gospels are exaggerations of the truth.
A friend of mine read the book and asked me for
my opinion. This is what I sent to him:
You asked for my opinion so here it is: please not another "riding
in the 'da Vinci code' coat tails" book. This is a "Dan
Brown meets Clive Cussler with a surprisingly violent monsignor
touting an automatic and who has no qualms shooting 23m incendiary
shells" book. Ok it's a fun read but that's all. Let me better
outline the problems as I see them:
1a) Theory: the idea of a Holy Grail/Graal bloodline as a result
of Jesus marrying Mary Magdalene, and the idea of a Priory of
Sion with the Knights Templar - the focus of this book - as its
military arm and financial branch, the idea that the Catholic
Church is out to destroy all remnants of both the Priory of Sion
and the Knights Templar because of a secret they possess that
would undermine the church.
1b) Facts (summarized from Wikipedia on a critique of The Holy
Blood and the Holy Grail, written by Baigent, Leigh and Lincoln,
where many of these ideas originate) :
- In 2005, Tony Robinson narrated a critical evaluation of the
main arguments of Dan Brown and those of Baigent, Leigh and
Lincoln, "The Real Da Vinci Code", shown on Channel
4 [and also in the USA where I watched this]. The program featured
lengthy interviews with many of the main protagonists. Arnaud
de Sède, son of Gérard de Sède, stated
categorically that his father and Plantard had made up the existence
of a 1000-years-old Priory of Sion, and described the story
as piffle. The program concluded that, in the opinion
of the presenter and researchers, the claims of Holy Blood were
based on little more than a series of guesses. (The Real
Da Vinci Code, Channel Four Television, presented by Tony Robinson,
transmitted on 3 February 2005.)
- The Priory of Sion myth was exhaustively debunked by journalists
and scholars as one the great hoaxes of the 20th century (The
Secret of the Priory of Sion, CBS News '60 Minutes' (CBS Worldwide
Inc.), 30 April 2006, Presented by CBS Correspondent Ed Bradley,
Produced By Jeanne Langley)
- Quoting Robert McCrum, literary editor of The Observer newspaper,
about The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail: There is something
called historical evidence - there is something called the historical
method - and if you look around the shelves of bookshops there
is a lot of history being published, and people mistake this
type of history for the real thing. These kinds of books do
appeal to an enormous audience who believe them to be 'history',
but actually they aren't history, they are a kind of parody
of history. Alas, though, I think that one has to say that this
is the direction that history is going today. (The History
of a Mystery, BBC 2, Transmitted on 17 September 1996.)
- Quoting British historian Richard Barber: The Templar-Grail
myth... is at the heart of the most notorious of all the Grail
pseudo-histories, The Holy Blood and The Holy Grail, which is
a classic example of the conspiracy theory of history... It
is essentially a text which proceeds by innuendo, not by refutable
scholarly debate... Essentially, the whole argument is an ingeniously
constructed series of suppositions combined with forced readings
of such tangible facts as are offered. (Richard Barber, The
Holy Grail, The History of a Legend (Penguin Books Ltd; 2004).
2a) Theory: the idea the Jesus wrote his own Gospel
2b) Fact: There is no documented evidence that Jesus wrote anything
down. Clearly no evidence for this and I suspect invented for
this story as an alternative 'secret' to the Holy Grail/Graal
3a) Theory: the idea that the four Gospels are extrapolations
of actual events written long after the events (over 40 years),
that they were specially selected, that the so called 'Gnostic
Gospels' written about the same time were suppressed and contain
- The New Testament consists of 4 gospels and 23 letters. The
letters of the New Testament are generally thought to have been
written before the gospels. The earliest - James - was considered
written 12 years after the Easter story. I find it interesting
that there is an abundance of attacks against the gospels but
little to none against the letters.
- The letters back up the key claims in the gospels. Pauls letters
to the early churches explain what Jesus mission was. In fact
a proper attack on the Christian faith requires not just an
attack on the Gospel claims of Jesus' resurrection, but also
on Paul - how did this man, a devout Jew who persecuted Christians,
suddenly become the strongest defender of the faith?
- "For you have heard of my previous way of life in
Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and
tried to destroy it. I was advancing in Judaism beyond many
Jews of my own age and was extremely zealous for the traditions
of my fathers. But when God, who set me apart from birth
and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son
in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did
not consult any man, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see
those who were apostles before I was, but I went immediately
into Arabia and later returned to Damascus. Then after three
years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Peter
and stayed with him fifteen days." Galatians 1:13-18.
- The last verses in the book of Acts reads: "For two whole
years Paul stayed there [Rome] in his own rented house and welcomed
all who came to see him. Boldly and without hindrance he preached
the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.".
It does not mention the death of Paul nor what happed to Christians
under Nero. In fact no letter does. Given that the persecution
of Christians started in Rome in 64AD, this strongly indicates
the latest date for the book of Acts. Acts was written after
the Gospel of Luke (see Acts 1). Luke is considered to derive
much of its text from Mark. Thus we have strong indication that
one letter and two gospels were written within 30 years of Jesus
ministry. Further many of Pauls letters were written while he
was in prison, during the events described in Acts. Therefore
many new testament letters can also be attributed to this period.
In fact most think all but one of the letters (Revelation) was
written in the period 45-65AD. 30-33AD the common estimate for
the period of Jesus' ministry.
- The earliest books in the New Testament are considered to
be James and 1 Thessalonians.
- "We believe that Jesus died and rose again".
1 Thessalonians 4:14
- Here are other quotes from the letters regarding the central
claims of the gospels - the death and resurrection of Jesus.
The first is considered the earliest creed, circulating and
in use well before it was written down:
- "For what I received I passed on to you as of first
importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the
Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the
third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared
to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared
to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time,
most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.
Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and
last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally
born." 1 Corinthians 15:3-8.
- "But if it is preached that Christ has been raised
from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no
resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of
the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ
has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is
your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false
witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that
he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him
if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are
not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And
if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you
are still in your sins. " 1 Corinthians 15:12-17
- "But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead"
1 Corinthians 15:20
- "But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from
the agony of death, because it was impossible for death
to keep its hold on him." Acts 2:24
- "God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all
witnesses of the fact." Acts 2:32
- "You killed the author of life, but God raised him
from the dead. We are witnesses of this. "Acts 3:15
- "We are witnesses of everything he did in the country
of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging
him on a tree, but God raised him from the dead on the third
day and caused him to be seen." Acts 10:39-40
- "But God raised him from the dead, and for many days
he was seen by those who had traveled with him from Galilee
to Jerusalem. They are now his witnesses to our people."
- "Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an
apostle and set apart for the gospel of God the gospel
he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy
Scriptures regarding his Son, who as to his human nature
was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of
holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by
his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord."
- "Paul, an apostlesent not from men nor by man,
but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from
the dead" Galatians 1:1
- "For we know that since Christ was raised from the
dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over
him. " Romans 6:9
- "But now a righteousness from God, apart from law,
has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.
This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus
Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all
have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are
justified freely by his grace through the redemption that
came by Christ Jesus." Romans 3:21-24
- "You see, at just the right time, when we were still
powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will
anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone
might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own
love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ
died for us." Romans 5:6-8
- "And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the
dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead
will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit,
who lives in you." Romans 8:11
- "Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who diedmore
than that, who was raised to lifeis at the right hand
of God and is also interceding for us." Romans 8:34
- "For this very reason, Christ died and returned to
life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the
living. " Romans 14:9
- "For I received from the Lord what I also passed
on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed,
took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and
said, "This is my body, which is for you; do this in
remembrance of me." In the same way, after supper he
took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant
in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance
of me." For whenever you eat this bread and drink this
cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes."
1 Corinthians 11:23-26
- "because we know that the one who raised the Lord
Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present
us with you in his presence." 2 Corinthians 4:14
- "That power is like the working of his [Gods] mighty
strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him
from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly
realms" Ephesians 1:20
- "Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead,
descended from David. This is my gospel, for which I am
suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal."
2 Timothy 2:8-9
- "For you know that it was not with perishable things
such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty
way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but
with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish
or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world,
but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through
him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and
glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God."
1 Peter 1:18-21
- The book mentioned Gnostic gospels or the "Nag Hammadi
library". They were not written at the same time as the
other gospels. These documents were dated to the 4th century,
and are thought to be copies of 3rd or even 2nd century writings.
Even being generous, these texts have been dated to over 100
years after the ministry of Jesus. Is it really conspiracy that
they weren't included in the New Testament?
- A word on reliability. There seem to be around 50 manuscripts
associated with the Gnostic gospels. Compare this to about 650
known copies of Homers Illiad, the greatest number of any book
from antiquity second only to the New Testament - which has
over 25,000 known ancient copies of New Testament manuscripts.
(Evidence for Christianity - Josh McDowell)
- Another perspective: if Jesus did not rise again from the
dead, then why did so many people go out of their way to spread
a lie and be martyred for it? Do you know what happened to Jesus
disciples and early evangelists? According to the bible, and
Hippolytus (~200AD) and Eusebius (~300AD) + other online research:
- As recorded in Acts, Stephen was one of the first
men to suffered early Christian persecution.
- In Acts (ch12) James, the elder brother of John the
Apostle, was beheaded in A.D. 44. [this is 11 years
after Easter. So James' letter in the New Testament
is clearly one of the earliest.]
- "And he killed James the brother of John with
the sword." Acts 12:2.
- "James, his brother, when preaching in Judea,
was cut off with the sword by Herod the tetrarch, and
was buried there." Hippolytus.
- "First Stephen was stoned to death by them,
and after him James, the son of Zebedee and the brother
of John, was beheaded" Eusebius
- Philip, who served in Upper Asia was scourged in Phrygia,
thrown into prison and later crucified (A.D. 54).
- "Philip preached in Phrygia, and was crucified
in Hierapolis with his head downward in the time of
Domitian, and was buried there." Hippolytus
- Matthew the tax collector served the Lord in Parthia
and Ethiopia where he was slain with a halberd (a shafted
weapon with an axe-like cutting blade and a speared
end) in the city of Nadabah, A.D. 60.
- And James the son of Alphaeus, when preaching in Jerusalem,
was stoned to death by the Jews, and was buried there
beside the temple. Hippolytus
- Matthias, the man who was chosen to replace Judas
as an apostle, was stoned at Jerusalem and then beheaded.
- "Andrew preached to the Scythians [modern day
Georgia] and Thracians [modern day Bulgaria], and was
crucified, suspended on an olive tree, at Patrae, a
town of Achaia [Greece]; and there too he was buried."
- Mark was converted to Christianity by Peter and
served as amanuensis (he wrote for Peter). He was dragged
to pieces by the people of Alexandria.
- Peter, the apostle, was sought by Nero to be put to
death. Jerome wrote that Peter was crucified with his
head down and his feet up, because he thought himself
unworthy to be crucified in the same form and manner
as the Lord.
- "Peter preached the Gospel in Pontus, and Galatia,
and Cappadocia, and Betania, and Italy, and Asia, and
was afterwards crucified by Nero in Rome with his head
downward, as he had himself desired to suffer in that
- "It is, therefore, recorded that Paul was beheaded
in Rome itself, and that Peter likewise was crucified
under Nero. This account of Peter and Paul is substantiated
by the fact that their names are preserved in the cemeteries
of that place even to the present day." Eusebius
- Paul was really persecuted several times. He was
scourged, stoned, and finally, Nero had him beheaded by
- Jude, the brother of James, commonly called Thaddeus,
was crucified at Edessa in A.D. 72.
- Bartholomew: Bartholomew, again, preached to the
Indians, to whom he also gave the Gospel according to Matthew,
and was crucified with his head downward, and was buried
in Allanum, a town of the great Armenia [modern day southern
- doubting Thomas, preached the Gospel in Parthia and
India. He excited the rage of the pagan priests and
was martyred by being thrust through with a spear.
- "And Thomas preached to the Parthians, Medes,
Persians, Hyrcanians, Bactrians, and Margians, and was
thrust through in the four members of his body with
a pine spear at Calamene, the city of India, and was
buried there." Hippolytus
- Luke the author of Luke and Acts traveled with
Paul through various countries and was suppose to have been
hanged on and olive tree by the idolatrous priests of Greece.
- Simon the Zealot preached the Gospel in Mauritania,
Africa, and even Britain where he was crucified in A.D.
- Related to this: Christians could easily escape persecution
by denying the faith. Why didn't they? Consider this exchange
of letters. Pliny the Younger was governor of Pontus and Bithynia
from 111-113 CE. He wrote to the Emperor Trajan
- Pliny the Younger to the Emperor Trajan
It is my practice, my lord, to refer to you all matters
concerning which I am in doubt. For who can better give
guidance to my hesitation or inform my ignorance? I have
never participated in trials of Christians. I therefore
do not know what offenses it is the practice to punish or
investigate, and to what extent. And I have been not a little
hesitant as to whether there should be any distinction on
account of age or no difference between the very young and
the more mature; whether pardon is to be granted for repentance,
or, if a man has once been a Christian, it does him no good
to have ceased to be one; whether the name itself, even
without offenses, or only the offenses associated with the
name are to be punished.
Meanwhile, in the case of those who were denounced to
me as Christians, I have observed the following procedure:
I interrogated these as to whether they were Christians;
those who confessed I interrogated a second and a third
time, threatening them with punishment; those who persisted
I ordered executed. For I had no doubt that, whatever
the nature of their creed, stubbornness and inflexible
obstinacy surely deserve to be punished. There were others
possessed of the same folly; but because they were Roman
citizens, I signed an order for them to be transferred
Soon accusations spread, as usually happens, because
of the proceedings going on, and several incidents occurred.
An anonymous document was published containing the names
of many persons. Those who denied that they were or had
been Christians, when they invoked the gods in words dictated
by me, offered prayer with incense and wine to your image,
which I had ordered to be brought for this purpose together
with statues of the gods, and moreover cursed Christ--none
of which those who are really Christians, it is said,
can be forced to do--these I thought should be discharged.
Others named by the informer declared that they were Christians,
but then denied it, asserting that they had been but had
ceased to be, some three years before, others many years,
some as much as twenty-five years. They all worshipped
your image and the statues of the gods, and cursed Christ.
They asserted, however, that the sum and substance of
their fault or error had been that they were accustomed
to meet on a fixed day before dawn and sing responsively
a hymn to Christ as to a god, and to bind themselves by
oath, not to some crime, but not to commit fraud, theft,
or adultery, not falsify their trust, nor to refuse to
return a trust when called upon to do so. When this was
over, it was their custom to depart and to assemble again
to partake of food--but ordinary and innocent food. Even
this, they affirmed, they had ceased to do after my edict
by which, in accordance with your instructions, I had
forbidden political associations. Accordingly, I judged
it all the more necessary to find out what the truth was
by torturing two female slaves who were called deaconesses.
But I discovered nothing else but depraved, excessive
I therefore postponed the investigation and hastened
to consult you. For the matter seemed to me to warrant
consulting you, especially because of the number involved.
For many persons of every age, every rank, and also of
both sexes are and will be endangered. For the contagion
of this superstition has spread not only to the cities
but also to the villages and farms. But it seems possible
to check and cure it. It is certainly quite clear that
the temples, which had been almost deserted, have begun
to be frequented, that the established religious rites,
long neglected, are being resumed, and that from everywhere
sacrificial animals are coming, for which until now very
few purchasers could be found. Hence it is easy to imagine
what a multitude of people can be reformed if an opportunity
for repentance is afforded.
- Trajan to Pliny the Younger
You observed proper procedure, my dear Pliny, in sifting
the cases of those who had been denounced to you as Christians.
For it is not possible to lay down any general rule to serve
as a kind of fixed standard. They are not to be sought out;
if they are denounced and proved guilty, they are to be
punished, with this reservation, that whoever denies that
he is a Christian and really proves it--that is, by worshiping
our gods--even though he was under suspicion in the past,
shall obtain pardon through repentance. But anonymously
posted accusations ought to have no place in any prosecution.
For this is both a dangerous kind of precedent and out of
keeping with the spirit of our age.
4a) Theory: Many senior clerics in the Vatican think the story
of Jesus is a myth
4b) Fact: it's not just the Vatican. There are many church leaders
who think this. They believe in a form of 'liberal' theology -
that is there is a positive benefit to faith even if it's not
real. On the other hand there are many church leaders who consider
the stories real. So here's the question: if God exists, is He
playing an active role in the world or not? There's clearly a
difference of opinion on this.
- One effect of this is the politics of religion. Many people
in the past have sought power through religion, and taken advantage
of people. These are the folks who give religion a bad name,
and who the atheists write about as reasons why religion is
bad for society.
- One the other side is that religion is deeply personal. People
claim to have a relationship with God, to talk to Him, to hear
Him, and claim how their lives have changed because of Him.
This is the part that atheists miss and don't understand. So
in spite of all their attacks, their convictions that churches
will be empty in a generation - they are ignored. Simply because
people feel God working in their lives.
- So are people happily deluded or is it real? How do you tell?
Of all the nonsense out there on this topic, these are the most
meaningful to me
- The Old Testament was completed about 400 years BC. Yet
there are over 100 specific prophecies about Jesus.
- If you think the New Testament is made up, then you need
to deal with all the above.
- If God is real, active and working then anything goes,
and the Gospel is actually easier to believe than any other
- Jesus is a historical figure. There are secular references
to Jesus and early Christians. Examples:
- Publius Cornelius Tacitus (56 117AD) Book
15 of the Annals: "Consequently, to get rid
of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted
the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their
abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus,
from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme
penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of
one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most
mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment,
again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source
of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous
and shameful from every part of the world find their
center and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was
first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their
information, an immense multitude was convicted, not
so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred
against mankind. Mockery of every sort was added to
their deaths. Covered with the skins of beasts, they
were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses,
or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as
a nightly illumination, when daylight had expired."
- Lucian (a Greek Satirist): "The Christians,
you know, worship a man to this day the distinguished
personage who introduced their novel rites, and was
crucified on that account
You see, these misguided
creatures start with the general conviction that they
are immortal for all time, which explains the contempt
of death and voluntary self-devotion which are so common
among them; and then it was impressed on them by their
original lawgiver that they are all brothers, from the
moment that they are converted, and deny the gods of
Greece, and worship the crucified sage, and live after
his laws." (Lucian, The Death of Peregrine,
11-13 in The Works of Lucian of Samosata, translated
by H. W. Fowler (Oxford: Clarendon, 1949) vol. 4)
- A reference to Thallus on the crucifixion:
"On the whole world there pressed a most fearful
darkness; and the rocks were rent by an earthquake,
and many places in Judea and other districts were thrown
down. This darkness Thallus, in his third book of History,
calls (as appears to me without reason) an eclipse of
the sun" (Julius Africanus, Extant Writings
XVIII in Ante-Nicene Fathers, ed. A. Roberts and J.
Donaldson (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1973) vol. VI, p.
- Mara bar Sarapion, believed to be the provider
of one of the earliest non-Jewish, non-Christian references
to Jesus: "What advantage did the Athenians gain
from putting Socrates to death? Famine and plague came
upon them as a judgment for their crime. What advantage
did the men of Samos gain from burning Pythagoras? In
a moment their land was covered with sand. What advantage
did the Jews gain from executing their wise king [i.e.
Jesus]? It was just after that that their kingdom was
abolished. God justly avenged these three wise men:
the Athenians died of hunger; the Samians were overwhelmed
by the sea; the Jews, ruined and driven from their land,
live in complete dispersion. But Socrates did not die
for good; he lived on in the teaching of Plato. Pythagoras
did not die for good; he lived on in the statue of Hera.
Nor did the wise king die for good; he lived on in the
teaching which he had given"
- The Babylonian Talmud includes a few rare references
to Jesus. "It is taught: On the eve of Passover
they hung Yeshu and the crier went forth for forty days
beforehand declaring that "[Yeshu] is going to
be stoned for practicing witchcraft, for enticing and
leading Israel astray. Anyone who knows something to
clear him should come forth and exonerate him."
But no one had anything exonerating for him and they
hung him on the eve of Passover. Ulla said: Would one
think that we should look for exonerating evidence for
him? He was an enticer and G-d said (Deuteronomy 13:9)
"Show him no pity or compassion, and do not shield
him." Yeshu was different because he was close
to the government"
So in short - I suppose I have a fairly strong and personal faith
in the person of Jesus, and I certainly believe it's all real.
I guess it'll take more than pulp fiction to cause me to seriously
re-examine what I believe.
Irvine, June 2009