Article Overview:   What is the "Jesus Hoax?"   Was James really Jesus' brother?   Are artifacts from 1 AD the foundation of our belief systems, or is the need for Vigilance the keystone?   Find out what James means when he says:  "Just Do It!"


Thursday--June 19, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 645
The Terror Of Truthful Lies--
"The Jesus Hoax"

Cliff McKenzie
   Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

  GROUND ZER0, New York, N.Y.--June 19, 2003-- Dogma changes like light striking the facets of the Hope Diamond.
     It takes on the brilliance of its supporters, or invites the angst of its critics.

Many Theologians believe James is the brother of Jesus

    That's the essence of what is called the "Jesus hoax."   It started in 2002 when a stone box, called an ossuary, was said to hold the bones of Jesus' brother, James.
     The shoebox-sized ossuary was purchased in the 1970s by an anonymous Israeli collector.   Thinking it "ugly," he allegedly shoved it into a nondescript location on his balcony until a French academic examined it in 2002 and found an Aramaic inscription that read, "James, son of Joseph."  In fainter letters scribed into the ocher-colored stone were the words, "brother of Jesus."
      Then, all Hell broke loose.

According to the Catholic Church, Mary was a perpetual virgin and had no children other than Jesus

      Roman Catholic and Orthodox Christians rose up in arms.   According to their theology, Jesus' mother, Mary, was a perpetual virgin and had no other children.
      Skeptics who have refuted Mary's perpetual virginity--attacking her holiness and lofty position in the Church doctrine--hailed the discovery as proof that the Roman Catholic foundations were riddled with fraud.
      The James Ossuary was shipped to Toronto and hundreds of thousands came to see it, believing it was real.   Archeology often serves as history's judge and jury, and the presence of the ossuary fed veracity to claims of Mary's mortality rather than her spirituality. 
       Israeli authorities who restrict the purchase and shipping of antiquities, moved in to investigate the find.   Similar to the CIA, the antiquities squad is called the IAA, Israel Antiquities Authority.   The IAA found the dealer who shipped the ossuary and promoted it as valid was Hershel Shanks, publisher of Biblical Archeology Review, a man noted to stretch publicity to his favor.
      Before being shipped to Canada, the James Ossuary was authenticated by the Geological Survey of Israel.     Upon its return to Israel, IAA authorities seized it.  They discovered the anonymous collector was a high-tech businessman named Oded Golen.  Antiquity licenses are required to trade, sell or export archaeological finds, and Mr. Golen had none.
       Politically, antiquities are used to support claims by Israel of ownership of the land it occupies.   The major conflict between Israel and Palestine, as well as with other Mid East countries, is the question of original authority of Israel to claim its historic homeland.  Antiquities help to either support or deny such claims.

The ossuary was genuine but the inscription was forged

        The James Ossuary was only one of a number of artifacts found in Mr. Golen's possession.   He also had a charred sandstone tablet, three inches thick and nearly a foot long called the Yoash Inscription.  It was covered with four ancient scripts describing King Yoash's attempts to renovate a temple, which would have predated Islam's claim their temple was first.
         Palestinians argue no Jewish temple existed on the ground where an Islamic shrine stands.  If there were proof of Yoash's Temple, it would punctuate Israel's claim of sovereignty.   The Yoash Inscriptions appeared to validate the Jewish claim.
         Grueling investigation revealed both the James Ossuary and Yoash Inscriptions were forgeries.   While the box that allegedly held James's bones was authentic--that is, it dated back to the 1st Century, in line with James's death in AD 62--the words scribed upon its surface were carved after the fact.

         Stones stored in caves develop a patina, a film created by chemicals that seep out of a rock over centuries.   The IAA discovered that both inscriptions on the James Ossuary and Yoash Inscriptions had been cut through the patina.   Further, they found chemicals only present in modern tap water.  Thus, the mystery of James relation to Jesus remains an enigma, and, proof of a Jewish temple outdating an Islamic one remains a question mark.
          But, the legacy of James has not been lost in antiquity.
          James was a unifier.  He brought together both Jews and new converts under the umbrella of Christianity.   He was, in his way, one of the great Sentinels of Vigilance.

         In the Bible's Book of James, the author calls out for action rather than words.   He says, "faith without works is dead."    His chapter is known as the "do-it" chapter, for James promotes that one must be a "doer," a person who takes "actions of faith."
         Dogma aside, the James Ossuary, even though a fraud in a theological sense, arrives at a time when his message deserves special attention.
         Vigilance is about becoming a "doer" rather than an "observer."
         Terrorism's big job these days is to drive societies into states of Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.   The worst of these three is Complacency--that inaction one takes to accept things "as they are," to become trapped in a "rut of despair," or to refute the ability to change from one state into another.
         Violence in Iraq is an example of Complacency.   The citizens are moving backwards not forwards.   Under Saddam Hussein, the nation was in a constant state of violence, centered at the top of the pyramid.   The despots could, on a whim, murder, rape, pillage and plunder whomever they wanted.
         The civil violence in Iraq is Complacency to change.  Instead of embracing the freedom that exists, and working to build their nation, the violence is an attempt to drive out those who seek to help.   If the U.S. were to leave, there is a great chance the nation would soon fall under similar despotic control, perhaps of a different size or shape, but basically the same as existed before.
         James sought to unify the differences between people and offer them a new alternative to life not only for themselves, but for their children, and the Children's Children's Children.  In that sense, he was a true "brother" of Jesus.
         If he were walking the streets of the United States today, he would be asking people why they were sitting back watching and waiting for someone else to do what they should do.   He would urge them to take charge of their lives, and not fall Complacent to finding differences between themselves and others, but to find the similarities.  He would probably become the marketing director for Nike, and help underscore their theme, "Just Do It!"  But, he would add, "Just Do It--For The Children's Children's Children."

Just do it:  Take the Pledge of Vigilance

        Terrorism can only be fought with Courage, Conviction and Right Actions for future generations.   When it is tackled with Triads of Vigilance, the Beast of Terror falls hard.
         Today, in this climate, James would be waving the Pledge of Vigilance in everyone's face, urging them to sign it, to commit to its Principles of Vigilance, and to pass on to their children and loved ones the ability to face off the Beast of Terror in any confrontation.
          While the James Ossuary is counterfeit, the message James offered us all is not.
          "Just Do It--For The Children's Children's Children."
         You can "Just Do It" now.
         You can take the Pledge of Vigilance today.

June 18--The Outer Limits Of Terrorism

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