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Podcast #7 - James Churchward and "The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Sold"

In researching my great-grandfather James Churchward, I am sometimes confronted with references to his works. In some cases, the proposals allegedly supported by James' works agree in principle with the world view espoused by James. In other cases, such as video games and Science Fiction adventure films, the references to his works are meant as a lark and not part of a scholarly work. Another category encompasses those academic theories that use James' words to prove something that contradicts James' world views and beliefs. This is the subject of this commentary podcast. While there are numerous examples, today I want to address a specific instance of an author using James' works to prove a theory that he himself (that is, James Churchward) did not espouse.

Just the title of the book would probably make my great grandfather rollover in his grave. "The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Sold" was written by a person identified as 'Acharya S.'

First, let me state that I am not a Christian and not a devout Buddhist; however that should not indicate I am not a person of faith. While there is no personal requirement to reject her theory on religious grounds, all my Buddhist teachers recognize that the historical Jesus was a great man and would dismiss any suggestion otherwise. Also, in my humble opinion, the world is a better place with the Jesus who spoke of peace, loving-kindness and compassion.

'Acharya S.' is welcome to espouse her theories, however controversial and each reader should weigh the evidence carefully, especially in the case of Acharya S. Her view indicates that Christianity, as an institution, is irreconcilably corrupt and enslaves humanity. One must wonder what motivation drives someone to discount and demonize an entire religion and its followers. On the other hand, James' world view sees a fallen humanity and speculates a possible return to greatness. James would have identified himself as a Christian and would not have agreed with the premise of the written works of 'Acharya S'.

Now, onto the subject at hand; 'Acharya S.', her background, beliefs and character are all discussed on the internet. Please avail yourself of the opportunity to read her articles and the rebuttals thereof; however, I must warn those at work to note that her website is blocked as 'hate speech' on some corporate firewalls.

Out of the 1130 notes in the book, "The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Sold," thirteen (13) are attributed to James Churchward which might indicate only a minor influence, however one chapter (#24) begins with a paragraph long quotation from James the source of which is not noted. The underlying premise and conclusion is:

"In reality, the gospel story of Jesus is not a factual portrayal of a historical "master" who walked the earth 2,000 years ago but a myth built upon other myths and godmen who in turn were personifications of the ubiquitous solar mythos and ritual found in countless cultures around the world thousands of years before the Christian era. As such, the tale served to amalgamate the numerous religions, cults and sects of the Roman Empire and beyond, to create a state religion that was promulgated through forgery, fraud and force."(page 407)
James did not agree. In the 1926 "Lost Continent of Mu Motherland of man" on page 313; he explicitly states his belief in the corporeal existence of Jesus when he writes:
"Christ was placed on earth as an example for man to teach and to show what man must eventually become."
If that is not enough, in his April 1931 lecture before the American Society for Psychical Research, James Churchward states that he saw written records in a Himalayan monastery about Jesus and even quotes a written record about the early life of Jesus. James Churchward did believe in the corporeal existence of the historical person named Jesus and acknowledged him as a 'Master.'

The author in question chose to select passages where James' credibility and prestige could sway the reader. That James' theories did not weigh heavily enough to be included elsewhere is of no concern; James tried to establish evidence for the source of a highly advanced civilization that could bind humanity together. The author's written text labors to prove that a common belief among Christians and Muslims is a hoax; that a symbol representing goodness and mercy is actually selfish and evil and never existed. If the only bone I had to pick with her was that she cherry-picked passages to support her theories, then she was in good company with James, however; the outrage just starts there.

In this supposedly scholarly work, the author's choice of quotations from James' works attempts to persuade the reader to accept evidence that is contrary to the theories espoused by James. I know the listener will want examples, so let's give it a go:

On page 114, to indicate that Jesus and Osiris were the same characters displaced by time, the author states:

"As Colonel Churchward naively exclaims, 'the teachings of Jesus and Osirus are wonderfully alike. Many passages are identically the same, word for word.' "
Taking only the first sentence from the paragraph on page 254 of "The Children of Mu" (the quoted passage) leaves out the closing sentence:
"Both Osiris and Jesus were selected instruments of our Heavenly Father, the Great Nameless, sent on Earth by Him to teach His children the road to eternal happiness."
James believed that Osiris and Jesus physically existed and did not ascribe to the theory that they were only a myth, which is the conclusion to be drawn from her reference. That is an outrageous abuse of James Churchward's written works.

On page 387, the author uses a passage from the 1931 "Lost Continent of Mu". The end of the quoted passage leaves off the following sentence:

"The rest of the chamber reminded the adept of what he passed through. He now emerged from the tomb."
The next sentence in the "The Christ Conspiracy" after the quote by James reads:
"Thus, the Great Pyramid is not and never has been a 'tomb' except symbolically, as it was used to introduce the adept to the higher mysteries of death."
James called the Great Pyramid a tomb in the text the author chose to leave out. The author abuses his words to indicate that the Great Pyramid is not a tomb. This is another example of outrageous abuse perpetrated by the author.

I would also like to mention that James' younger brother Albert Churchward was also used as a reference in this work to support her theories. Albert's written works predate the works of James and Albert wrote more than a couple books from a Freemason's viewpoint. However, one would not know that from the references in this book because from my reading, there are only page number references after Albert's name. The titles of his works are left off so that page 87 could be from the "Signs and Symbols of Primordial Man" (1910) or "Origin and Evolution of the Human Race" (1921) or any of his other books. This is an obvious abuse of Albert's works, just like James, but this presentation does not research the quoted passages and provide examples. Since Albert was also a Christian, it is also safe to assume that he (Albert) would not have agreed with the underlying premise of this book.

Such scholarship calls out for the other 98% of the references to be checked and verified by the reader before the author's statements can be believed, especially since both examples clearly demonstrate the willingness of the author to take statements out of context when James' intent was quite different.

In summary, James Churchward would roll over in his grave if he knew that his works were being used to support and advance the theories set forth in "The Christ Conspiracy." Whether or not I agree with the views espoused by James or 'Acharya S.' does not enter into the discussion. The fact that the author quoted and misquoted James Churchward does not indicate that James Churchward or his written works are in agreement with the theme, conclusions, or goals of the "The Christ Conspiracy." Actually, as shown earlier, James Churchward did NOT agree.

Furthermore, considering the outrageous scholarly behavior, I would not be inclined to read another sentence from her pen, nor would I ever quote her works so as to avoid the stain thereof.

If you believe that the author's work did not deserve this scrutiny or that I have somehow offended someone's sensibilities (or heaven forbid, been politically incorrect,) please leave a comment on the blog at If you wish to respond with a video comment of your own, please post a link to it on the same blog. Angry or insulting comments will be ignored (and perhaps removed.)

Thanks for listening and have a great day.

2007 Churchward & Company, Inc.