The (2nd) greatest mass delusion in history

Andrew L. Urban

The anthropogenic global warming scenario was launched 36 years ago this month, on June 23, 1988, in the US Senate committee with the testimony of James Hansen of NASA.  To emphasise the ‘warming’ at the congressional session, Hansen’s Democrat ally, Senator Tim Wirth, scheduled the hearing on a day forecast to be the hottest in Washington that summer.

In addition, Wirth sabotaged the air-conditioning the previous night, hoping to ensure the TV cameras could show everyone sweating in the heat. Wirth later told Deborah Amos (NPR News) how he did it: “What we did is that we went in the night before and opened all the windows, I will admit, right, so that the air conditioning wasn’t working inside the room. And so when the hearing occurred, there was not only bliss, which is television cameras and double figures, but it was really hot … The wonderful Jim Hansen was wiping his brow at the table at the hearing, at the witness table, and giving this remarkable testimony.”

That cheap trick launched what became an unstoppable hysteria now called climate change – a wrecking ball dragging energy draining political change with it. We demonise life-supporting CO2 as ‘dirty’ energy … pollution. We demean and delegitimise the plant food of a flourishing world without questioning the claims that launched the absurd fear of fossil fuels.

Nobody, not even the (supposedly) professionally cynical media, picked up the clue that this consequential presentation was given in the political setting of the US Senate – not in a scientific setting such as a university or scientific institution. We are now paying the price. ‘Political science’ has a new meaning …

Princeton Professor emeritus, William Happer, who has studied possible CO2 related climate change for over 40 years, succinctly states his opinion:  “There isn’t a climate crisis. There will not be a climate crisis. It is utter nonsense.” His opinion is not unique. “It will be remembered as the greatest mass delusion in the history of the world,”  is how MIT Professor, emeritus, Richard Lindzen, refers to it. Well, maybe the second greatest …

Arguably the No. 1 greatest mass delusion in the history of the world is the supernatural story of the resurrection of Jesus. I apologise to Christians for the blunt statement – no offence or disrespect is intended. And no diminution of your belief in Jesus son of God. It was indeed the controversial but God fearing Sydney theologian Dr Barbara Thiering who introduced me to Jesus the man and explained how the resurrection story served a political purpose: to sell the divinity of a man who was breaking taboos and teaching then-radical behaviours that today we regard as in line with the enlightenment. The idea of his resurrection would be a potent message to his followers – and would-be followers. A membership drive, in today’s jargon.

When Jesus said “I’m the Son of God,” he was simply claiming – in the Hebrew idiom of the time 2000 years ago – that he was a high priest; even so, this was a revolutionary claim, since only those born into the tribe of Levi could be high priests. Here was a layman, albeit a descendent of King David, claiming to be a priest. It ended badly for him. Except that Dr Thiering showed that the crucifixion was not the end of him. No wonder she caused such a fuss … To this day, her work is roundly derided by some – but still not disproved – by scholars, as well as those who might readily believe a supernatural resurrection but refer to the proposition of a resuscitation as ‘not credible’.

I spent many hours and days interviewing and reading books by the late Dr Thiering (November 15, 1930 –November 16, 2015), for newspaper articles and for my upcoming book, Bastard, Rebel, Wicked Priest, about the life of Jesus she meticulously put together largely from the Dead Sea Scrolls. (That’s another story…)

Dr Thiering, noted for her lifelong study deciphering the Dead Sea Scrolls using the pesher, which resulted in several books, was insistent that her work, rather than alienating Christians, provided the knowledge that rescued them from a childish view of the real Jesus and his life’s work. She referred to them as ‘the babes in Christ’.

“Jesus did not die on the cross.” Those words begin the chapter “The Death That Failed” in Dr Thiering’s book, Jesus the Man (Jesus and the Riddle of the Dead Sea Scrolls in hardcover). She continues: “This is not conjecture, but comes from a reading of the text by the pesher method. Its basic assumption is that nothing supernatural took place, no visions: these are the fictions for the “babes”. When Jesus “appeared” in a “vision” to Peter or Paul in subsequent years, as recorded in Acts, it was the real flesh and blood Jesus, holding an audience with his ministers.”

To understand how Jesus could have avoided death by crucifixion we have to understand how exactly the crucifixion unfolded. And importantly, when. Dr Thiering explains.

The crucifixion took place on a Friday, on the eve of the sabbath, and in the afternoon. If it had taken place just one day earlier on Thursday, Jesus would have certainly died on the cross, as intended. There could have been no ‘resurrection’. The history of the Christians and probably the history of the world, would have been different.

Observance of the sabbath rules was mandatory and Pilate, already on notice by Rome for breaking Jewish laws, had to be careful. By 3pm, for example, it was no longer permitted to make a journey of more than 1000 cubits (457 metres) and by 6pm it was no longer permitted to lift up a burden. These rules helped the plotters who were attempting to save Jesus from death.

Antipas, the tetrarch, went to Pilate with a request, framed in the context of the sabbath laws – and also knowing that Pilate wanted to get back to Jerusalem. He urged Pilate to change the method of execution to burial alive and to hand them over to the Jews to be managed under Jewish law. Simon and Judas could have their legs broken (by pulling tight their ankle chains and snapping the bones), taken down to be buried in a nearby cave and left to die. Jesus, who appeared to be dead already, could be buried with them. The stone covering the cave could not be moved aside by the men with broken legs.

This was all within the rules of the Jews and was also convenient for Pilate. A good plan …

Dr Thiering provides meticulous details of how it was done, but in short, the rules of the sabbath made it possible for Antipas and his collaborators to interfere with the normal procedures of the crucifixion in order to rescue Jesus from death.

Simon Magus is carried into the western chamber, where he applies the aloes and revives Jesus. The thick syrupy liquid squeezed out of the aloe leaves acts as a purgative. It was sent gradually down the throat of Jesus over about six hours until midnight. During that time he would have been revived sufficiently to be able to co-operate with the purgative.

When Mary Magdalene (then pregnant) together with Helena and Mary the mother of Jesus came to the cave at 3am to nurse Simon and Judas, Simon told them “He is risen,” which could be taken to mean that Jesus had risen in status, earned by his suffering … or it could mean he had risen from the dead. The women knew the truth, of course, as later Christian tradition records. “But the formula used by Simon was passed on to others, who could choose to believe in a resurrection if it helped their faith,” as Dr Thiering believes. She follows ‘the risen’ Jesus as an ageing Jesus, Peter, Paul and Luke set out by ship in June 60 AD for Rome, via Crete and Malta. In March 61 AD they board another ship and sail to Rome, arriving on what is now Easter Sunday, 28 years after the crucifixion.

In Dr Thiering’s scenario, ‘he is risen’ meant ‘he is resuscitated’. In Professor Lindzen’s scenario, any global warming aka climate change is due to natural variability. As was the end of the ice age.

Andrew L. Urban is the author of Climate Alarm Reality Check (Wilkinson).







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