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Dorothy M. Murdock, better known[1][2] by her pen names Acharya S and D.M. Murdock,[3] is an author and proponent of the Christ myth theory.[4] She has authored six books and operates a website named Truth be Known. She believes Christianity is founded on earlier myths and the characters depicted in Christianity are based upon Roman, Greek, Egyptian, and other myths.[5]

Works

In 1999, Acharya published her first book, The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Sold (ISBN 978-0932813749), arguing the concept of Jesus Christ as myth. She states the Christ story is a fabrication based on earlier pagan mythology.[4]

In 2001, Acharya wrote the Foreword to a new edition of Kersey Graves's The World's Sixteen Crucified Saviours: Christianity Before Christ (ISBN 093281395X).

A follow-up book, Suns of God: Krishna, Buddha and Christ Unveiled (ISBN 978-1931882316), was published in 2004. Acharya comments on the Hindu story of the life of Krishna, as well as the life of Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama). She claims parallels to the Christian stories of the life of Jesus as evidence that the story of Jesus was written based on existing stories, and not the life of a real man. Suns of God (with a foreword by author and theologian W. Sumner Davis) also seeks to address some of the criticisms leveled at Christ Conspiracy.[6]

Her 2007 book, Who Was Jesus? Fingerprints of The Christ (ISBN 978-0979963100) continues the theme of The Christ Conspiracy by expanding her theory questioning the historical validity of Jesus Christ alleging "early Christian history to be largely mythical, by sorting through available historical and archaeological data."[7] In 2009 she released Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection (ISBN 0979963117) and The Gospel According to Acharya S.[8]

Her work was used extensively in the movie Zeitgeist.[9] She also acted as consultant for the movie.[10]

In her various books, Acharya describes the New Testament as a work of mythic fiction within a historical setting. She claims that the story of Jesus Christ is a retelling of various pagan myths, representing "astrotheology," or the story of the Sun, and also incorporates the science of archaeoastronomy. She asserts the pagans understood the stories to be myths, but Christians obliterated evidence to the contrary by destroying and controlling literature when they attained control of the Roman Empire, which led to widespread illiteracy in the ancient world, ensuring the mythical nature of Christ's story was hidden.[11]

Acharya compares Jesus' history to other "Saviour gods" such as Mithra, Horus, Adonis, Krishna, Quetzalcoatl, and Odin, claiming the similarities result from a common source: the myth of the sun-god or solar deity.[12]

Author's background

According to her website, Acharya received a Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree in Classics, Greek Civilization, from Franklin and Marshall College. She also attended the American School of Classical Studies at Athens in Greece.[13]

Acharya served briefly as a fellow of The Council for Secular Humanism's Committee for the Scientific Examination of Religion (CSER).[14]

The website of Stellar House Publishing, based in Seattle and "specializing in Archaeology, History, Astrotheology, Mythology and Religion", states that the company was founded in 2005 by Acharya S (D.M. Murdock).[15]

Reception

Acharya's positions have received a wide spectrum of criticism including those by Christian apologists Mike Licona,[16] and James Patrick Holding[17] as well as sceptics such as Bart Ehrman,[18] Richard Carrier[19] and Robert M. Price.[20][21] The Christ Conspiracy received a favourable review from Christ myther Earl Doherty.[22]

Acharya's presentation of Christianity as a "conspiracy" has drawn attention from conspiracy theorists. In his book You Are Being Lied To, Russ Kick describes The Christ Conspiracy as "an essential book for anyone who wants to know the reality behind the world's dominant religion."[23] In a book on American conspiracy theorists, Kenn Thomas calls her a "great chronicler of the conspiracy known as Christianity," but relates that she was once disinvited from a "UFO conference" because her theories offended another speaker.[24]

Acharya has been interviewed on a variety of radio stations,[25] including the Alan Colmes Show and the Jeff Rense Show.[26] She also appears on less well known podcasts, such as Black Ops Radio.[27] She has been interviewed in Paranoia magazine[12] and by The Progressive Observer.[28]

In his book In Search of Jesus, religious scholar Clinton Bennett describes her views as being similar to those of Robert Taylor, John M. Robertson and Joseph Campbell,[29] but with a "New Age perspective".[30]

A critique of the movie Zeitgeist criticizes her contributions to the movie, saying she "cherry-pick[ed]" material that was "outdated and always fringe" in order to "support her own astrological fantasies".[31]

See also

External links

References

  • Murdock, D.M. (as Acharya S) (1999). The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Sold. Kempton, Illinois: Adventures Unlimited Press. ISBN 0-932813-74-7. 
  • Murdock, D.M. (as Acharya S) (2004). Suns of God: Krishna, Buddha and Christ Unveiled. Kempton, Illinois: Adventures Unlimited Press. ISBN 1-931882-31-2. 
  • Murdock, D.M. (2007). Who Was Jesus? Fingerprints of The Christ. Stellar House Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9799631-0-0. 
  • Murdock, D.M. (2009). Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection. Stellar House Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9799631-1-7. 
  1. Murdock, D.M.. "Who is Acharya S?". Truth Be Known. http://truthbeknown.com/author.htm. Retrieved 1 Jan 2010. 
  2. Robert M. Price in Murdock (2007) p. v.
  3. "More recent exponents [of the Christ Myth theory] are the British-based Egyptian researcher Ahmed Osman (The House of the Messiah, 1992); the British philosopher/historian team of Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy (The Jesus Mysteries, 1999, and other books); 'Acharya S.,' or Dorothy M. Murdock (The Christ Conspiracy, 1999); and philosopher and filmmaker Jay Raskin (The Evolution of Christis and Christianities, 2006)." Picknett, Lynn & Prince, Clive, The Masks of Christ: Behind the Lies and Cover-ups About the Life of Jesus, (New York: Touchstone, 2008) 59.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Adventure Unlimited Press, rear cover of Murdock (1999)
  5. ""The Christ Conspiracy - Home"". http://www.truthbeknown.com/christ.htm. Retrieved 2009-09-11. 
  6. "IG: Acharya S - 2nd Appearance - Suns of God". The Infidel Guy. 2001. http://www.fluctu8.com/podcast-episode/ig-acharya-s-2nd-appearance-suns-of-god-25807-21891.html. Retrieved 2010-01-04. 
  7. "Stellar House Publishing Releases 'Who Was Jesus? Fingerprints of The Christ' for Worldwide Distribution". December 27, 2007. http://www.prweb.com/releases/2007/12/prweb591641.htm. Retrieved 2010-01-04. 
  8. http://stellarhousepublishing.com/gospel.html
  9. "Zeitgeist: The Movie - Interactive Transcript". http://www.zeitgeistmovie.com/transcript.htm. Retrieved 2008-08-01. 
  10. "Zeitgeist: The Movie - Credits". http://www.zeitgeistmovie.com/sources.htm. Retrieved 2008-08-01. 
  11. Murdock (1999) ch 22, The Making of a Myth
  12. 12.0 12.1 Fox, Storm. "Man's Inhumanity to Man: An Interview with Acharya S". Paranoia. http://www.paranoiamagazine.com/acharayas.html. Retrieved 2008-08-01. 
  13. "Who is Acharya S?". http://truthbeknown.com/author.htm. Retrieved 2008-07-01. 
  14. "CSER Home / CSER's Mission / JSER / Conference 2005-06". http://www.secularhumanism.org/index.php?section=main&page=CSER. Retrieved 2008-08-01. 
  15. http://www.stellarhousepublishing.com/about.html
  16. Licona, Mike (2001). "A Refutation of Acharya S's book, The Christ Conspiracy". http://www.answeringinfidels.com/answering-skeptics/answering-acharya-s/a-refutation-of-archary-ss-book-the-christ-conspiracy-pt-1.html. Retrieved 2008-08-01. 
  17. Holding, James Patrick. "Gospel Gossip: A Refutation to Acharya S on the Gospels". http://www.tektonics.org/af/achygosp.html. Retrieved 2008-08-01. 
  18. Barrett, David V. (April 2007). "The Gospel According to Bart". Fortean Times (221). Archived from the original on 2008-07-06. http://web.archive.org/web/20080706142806/http://www.quango.net/ekklesia/wcghistory/topsecret/barterhman.html. Retrieved 2008-08-01. 
  19. Carrier, Richard C. (2004). "Brunner's Gottkoenigs & the Nativity of Jesus: A Brief Communication". Frontline Apologetics. http://www.frontline-apologetics.com/Luxor_Inscription.html. Retrieved 2009-12-30. 
  20. Price, Robert M. (Summer 2001). "Aquarian Skeptic". Free Inquiry 21 (3): 66–67. http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-10515613_ITM. 
  21. Price, Robert M. "Review: D.M. Murdock (Acharya S.), Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection". http://www.robertmprice.mindvendor.com/reviews/murdock_christ_egypt.htm. Retrieved 2009-12-30. 
  22. Doherty, Earl. "THE CHRIST CONSPIRACY" Jesus Puzzle
  23. Kick, Russ (2001). You Are Being Lied To: The Disinformation Guide to Media Distortion, Historical Whitewashes and Cultural Myths. New York: The Disinformation Company. p. 272. ISBN 0-9664100-7-6. 
  24. Thomas, Kenn (2006). Parapolitics: Conspiracy in Contemporary America. Adventures Unlimited Press. pp. 15, 127. ISBN 1-931882-55-X. 
  25. "Acharya S in the Media". http://truthbeknown.com/radio.htm. Retrieved 2008-07-01. 
  26. "Jeff Rense - Past Guests/Links". http://www.rense.com/about/GUESTSLINKS.htm. Retrieved 2008-07-01. 
  27. "Black Op Radio, Show #351 Part 3 - Acharya S Episode". 2007-12-07. http://www.trumix.com/podshows/2174976. Retrieved 2008-07-01. 
  28. "The Good Shepherd Part II: Revelations". http://www.progressiveobserver.com/arts/theobservation/. Retrieved 2008-08-01. 
  29. Bennett, Clinton (2001). In Search of Jesus: Insider and Outsider Images. London: Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 339. ISBN 0-8264-4916-6. 
  30. Bennett, Clinton (2001). In Search of Jesus: Insider and Outsider Images. London: Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 208. ISBN 0-8264-4916-6. 
  31. McDurmon, Joel (2008). Zeitgeist: The Movie Exposed: Is Jesus an Astrological Myth?. Powder Springs, Georgia: American Vision. pp. 17-20. ISBN 978-0-915815-92-0. 
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