September 3rd, 2007
Penn Kemp host of CHRW Radio's Gathering Voices
"Accidental Christ is a divinely intriguing book that you won't be able to put down. DuQuette's take on the familiar Jesus narrative relies on the Gospels for much of its dialogue. But his interpretation of Biblical events is entirely his own, and
delightfully plausible at that. Duquette has the ability to present his story with clarity, wit and profound humor. A joy to read... until the horrific sucker punch of the ending. Promise me not to read the last lines first."
May 15th, 2007
“A GRIPPING TALE . . . .gives us an entirely different view of the basis of the belief system that has been predominant for two millennia.”
Read the entire review at the Washington Times website.
Dangers and Opportunities Unearthed in The Lost Tomb of Jesus
by Lon Milo DuQuette
Monday, 12 March 2007
Like millions of people around the world, I recently viewed with great interest Emmy-winner Simcha Jacobovici’s and Oscar-winner James Cameron’s documentary film, The Lost Tomb of Jesus. I also watched the panel discussion moderated by Ted Koppel that followed the two-hour Discovery Channel special. Because of the uncanny timing of this broadcast vis-á-vis the recent release of my book on the life and times of Jesus, Accidental Christ – The Story of Jesus (As Told by His Uncle), I feel delightfully compelled to offer a few brief comments.
I drew the characters, plot, and setting of Accidental Christ primarily from the four Gospel narratives familiar to Christians around the world; but I painted the story against the backdrop of what historical research indicates were the cultural and political realities of First Century Palestine. Needless to say, I wanted to be as faithful as possible to history and to the Gospel narrative. However, I intentionally created Accidental Christ as a work of fiction so that I would be free to let my imagination run wild. I had no idea at the time that many of the elements of the story that sprang full-formed and Minerva-like from my brain were, in fact, historically credible. Several of the most important rudiments of my story are the same issues raised by Jacobovici in The Lost Tomb of Jesus: the social standing of Jesus and his family, his life and death as a teacher firmly within the Jewish tradition, and his relationship with Mary Magdalene.
Unfortunately, most critics have been reduced to ridiculing the film’s use of dramatic recreations and subjective assumptions based on church traditions. In fact, many of the film's detractors began vocalizing their protests against it several days before it was broadcast. “If you don’t like the message, make fun of the box it came in” seems to be the order of the day.
However, the most profound issues raised in both Accidental Christ and the Jacobovici documentary have less to do with specifics and more to do with profoundly important generalities. One of the most fundamental and important of these concerns the social status of Jesus’ family and his role in the politics of his day.
The charming Jesus story that has been handed down for centuries has taught us that Jesus came from an obscure and impoverished family. In fact, the Gospels go to great lengths to show that both sides of his family were aristocrats of a royal bloodline leading back to King David. Indeed, it is his status as the hereditary King of the Jews and claimant to the Throne of Israel that first earned Jesus the title of Messiah. Jacobovici’s film also focuses on this aspect of the life of Jesus as a primary and integral factor that colored every aspect of his life.
The quality of the tomb and ossuaries suggests that these people were not impoverished peasants or itinerant religious fanatics; they were individuals of status and means. Whether or not this ultimately proves to be the tomb of Jesus, its appearance is completely in line with what we should expect of such a tomb. Once we realize that Jesus was born to a wealthy and noble family, we are compelled to reconsider the Gospel narrative not only from a perspective of mysticism and revelation, but also from the realities of local politics at the time.
Another important idea raised in the film concerns the possibility that Jesus was married, specifically, to Mary Magdalene. Although in Accidental Christ I did not go so far as to chronicle their marriage, I clearly showed the two to be lovers who in all likelihood would marry.
There is no question in my mind (or among a very large number of scholars) that the historical Jesus married. As a Jewish man in his thirties living in First Century Nazareth or Jerusalem, as a teacher, a rabbi and a public figure, this was all but certain. Unless he was a cripple, a leper, or obviously mentally ill, Jesus most certainly would have been married. It would have been a conspicuous and scandalous cultural abnormality if he were to remain a bachelor. Admittedly, nowhere in the Gospels does it say that Jesus was married to the woman who appears in numerous verses as Mary Magdalene. But if we are to assume that the other things we are told about Jesus are accurate, then we must also assume that he was married, and if so, then she is the most likely candidate. As wife of the King of Jews, she most certainly would have been buried with her husband.
The Lost Tomb of Jesus is already being harshly denounced as an attack on the Christian faith. Whether or not the tomb contains what its proponents claim is a fascinating historical challenge. My first reaction to the news was that many Christians would no doubt rush to assert that this might very well be the tomb of the historical Jesus. With so many books and so many “preachers” of various faiths (Science among them) now denouncing religion wholesale, even claiming that the entire Gospel story is a fabrication and no such person as Jesus ever existed, one might expect Christendom to embrace this discovery, to shout to the world, “Yes! He lived! Here is the proof! Here lies both his family and his disciples, just as they are named in the Bible!”
Instead, Christians have rushed to condemn the tomb story, and condemn it in the harshest terms without even bothering to examine its merits. Why? Because there is something else at work here, something cultural or psychological, not historical. The idea of Jesus as God made flesh is fundamental to Christian thinking. But centuries of church teachings have emphasized his divine aspects to the extent that we can no longer picture Jesus as a normal human being. The Bible tells us that he needed to eat and sleep, that he grew tired like other men, and that he suffered the agonies of his crucifixion. Indeed, without this sense of humanity, Jesus’ sufferings are an illusion, a cruel farce, and God’s “sacrifice” of His only Son nothing more than an empty drama.
Thus, the core of Christian doctrine must acknowledge a Jesus of flesh and bones, a man who lived and bred, who urinated and defecated just as surely as he preached the Word and healed the sick. Yet somehow the reality of such a flesh-and-blood Jesus has become unthinkably abhorrent to millions of people all over the world. It’s almost as if Christian critics are confessing, “We are quite content with the lovable Disney-style story of Jesus that has been sanitized and sweetened over the centuries. We don’t want a Jesus soiled by history, or for that matter any rational thought about the story. We only want the Jesus of our dreams!”
I’m sorry. To ignore the empirical history that is behind the scriptures is to invite their misuse by social and political entities that are always ready to incite fear and hatred between peoples in order to serve their own interests. As the violence spawned by religious fundamentalism demonstrates to us today, when a group of people surrenders their intelligence, common sense, and rationality to blindly accept inflexible religious dogmas, they become easy prey to political manipulation.
I believe that the greatest evil in the world today is religion used for political ends. For the sake of life on this planet it must stop.
Regardless of its ultimate accuracy, I also believe that The Lost Tomb of Jesus can help those whose minds (and dare I say it...souls) that are trapped in this narrow and childish view of spirituality to wake up. Books, including inspirational novels such as Accidental Christ, can help people to open their eyes, re-activate their God-given powers of reason, and become spiritual grown-ups. To me, a sensible and universal understanding of the historical Jesus could very well represent the true “Second Coming of Christ”- a revelation of rationality that, once grasped by enough people on our planet, could start to free humanity from the horrors of religious strife.
Perhaps once an entire generation is liberated from an irrational religious mindset that obliges us to abandon our powers of rational thought, it is only a matter of time before we are liberated from the irrational cultural mindset that prevents us from realizing the fundamental and universal brotherhood/sisterhood of humanity. This second coming would indeed be an event of Biblical proportions - the promised gift of “Peace on Earth” from the “Prince of Peace.”
Lon Milo DuQuette is a best-selling author, lecturer and authority on mystical and religious traditions and systems. His first novel, Accidental Christ -- The Story of Jesus (As Told by His Uncle) (www.accidentalchrist.com), was published in late January of 2007. He can be contacted through his web site: www.lonmilo.com.
February 4th: Orlando, Florida
Lon Milo DuQuette autographing copies of Accidental Christ at INATS East in Orlando.
Accidental Christ will debut at INATS East in Orlando, Florida, February 3-5, 2007. Author Lon Milo DuQuette will be there on Sunday, February 4. Look for him, and Accidental Christ, at the New Leaf exhibit.
Friday, 25 August 2006
LEADING AUTHOR OF ESOTERIC BOOKS TAKES ON LIFE OF JESUS
Oak Park, Illinois — One of the world's leading experts and most prolific authors on the mysterious world of esoteric religious traditions and occultism is to publish his first novel late this year. A fictional tale that offers a provocative yet plausible retelling of what has been called the greatest story ever told — the life of Jesus Christ.
Illinois-based Thelema Aura LLC announced today that it would be publishing Lon Milo DuQuette’s Accidental Christ – The Story of Jesus (As Told by His Uncle), sometime in late December. The book will be DuQuette’s first work of fiction, and marks his transition from an author specializing in works aimed at students and scholars of esoteric subjects to a mainstream storyteller.
“This is an exciting time for me. I’ve always loved telling stories and focusing on the narrative in my books. For years people have urged me to apply my knowledge of history, religions and sacred traditions of our world to a work of fiction — so I decided to take a shot at it. The result is Accidental Christ.”
DuQuette admits that the book by its very nature is bound to offend those who will mistakenly feel it is an attack on their belief system. However, he stresses he just wants to entertain his readers and challenge them to consider different ways religious texts and traditions might be interpreted.
“What we're learning about life in first century Palestine is throwing light on many obscurities in the Gospel narratives, and is offering many interesting and provocative alternatives to how those texts can now be more objectively interpreted.”
“When you get right down to it, nobody owns Jesus. His name and character aren’t trademarked; the words attributed to him aren’t copyrighted. Whether or not his historical existence will ever be confirmed, he’s become a classic mythological figure who, for good or ill, has taken up permanent residence in the psyche of Western Civilization. I have as much right as the next person to interpret the Gospels.”
“Considering Christendom’s role in the bloody conflicts of the last two-thousand years, and the history behind the hatred that fuels today’s Middle East conflicts, it might be time for twenty-first century adults to take a new look at the greatest story ever told. So I wrote one.”
Further details and the latest news on Accidental Christ – The Story of Jesus (As Told by His Uncle) can be obtained at the book's official site: www.accidentalchrist.com.
Born in California, raised in Nebraska, the 58-year-old DuQuette currently resides in Costa Mesa, California. Among his many best selling books are The Magick of Aleister Crowley; The Chicken Qabalah of Rabbi Lamed Ben Clifford; Understanding Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot; Angels, Demons & God of the New Millennium, and his autobiographical My Life with the Spirits. His most recent published work, The Key of Solomon’s Key, is an in depth and controversial look into the esoteric secrets of Freemasonry. Further details on and contact information for DuQuette can be obtained at www.lonmiloduquette.com.
Thelema Aura LLC is a publishing and media production company that specializes in comparative religion and esoteric subject matter. Founded in 2005, the company is headquartered in Oak Park, Illinois with a production and operations center in Kanagawa, Japan. Further details on and contact information for the company can be obtained at www.thelemaaura.com.
Thelema Aura LLC
Public Relations Department