Better Call Saul: Christian Romanism as the First Psy-Op, Part 1James J. O'Meara
Part 1 of 2 (Part 2 here)
James S. Valliant & Warren Fahy
Creating Christ: How Roman Emperors Invented Christianity
Crossroad Press, 2018
“Show me the coin for the tax.” And they brought him a denarius. And Jesus said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said, “Caesar’s.” Then he said to them, “Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” When they heard it, they marveled. And they left him and went away. — Matthew 22: 20-22
Both the narrative in Acts and the content of Paul’s message suggest that he was acting as a Roman operative in a “psy-ops” program that anticipated the later Flavian project by trying to convert messianic Jews into good Roman citizens. — Creating Christ
With talk of “Christian Nationalism” emerging suddenly and everywhere lately, a look at the origins of Christianity has never been more relevant. As per usual, the results may dismay Christians, but nationalists may also find some concerns.
While David Skrbina’s The Jesus Hoax: How St. Paul’s Cabal Fooled the World for Two Thousand Years theorizes that Christianity was created by Jews in order to destroy the Aryan race — based on little more than the claim that the Jews are really bad hombres, so it must have been them — the book under review here brings a wealth of evidence to the opposite claim: Christianity was a cunning plan by the Romans — specifically the Flavian dynasty — to subvert the politically turbulent and culturally unassimilable Jews.
Like the late, unlamented Brother Stair, Jesus of Nazareth proclaimed, shortly before his death, that he would return, with 10,000 of his angels, and wreak fiery vengeance on those who did not accept his message of Love (2 Thessalonians 1:8); and this would take place before some of those then living would be dead.
And as with Brother Stair, things seemed to go on much as before, so the earliest Christians devised various copes. Some maintained that John, the Beloved Disciple, had not died and was in suspended animation in a hidden location. Peter, on the other hand, put forward the clever assertion that, of course, as we all know, with God a day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years is as a day.
All these copes suffer from one fatal flaw: As Robert H. Price has pointed out, they make God into a conman, if not simply a jerk.
But what if — what if, as Tom Wolfe asked about Marshall McLuhan — what if he is right? What if Jesus was right?
Unlike the modern Evangelical’s idea of the Secret Rapture, there could not have been a “secret” return; the destruction of the temple and the armies in the clouds would be very public events. And, after all, they did happen: Within a generation the Temple was utterly destroyed, and armies did appear in the skies. All we need to do is to locate the Second Coming of Jesus in the triumph of the Roman Emperor Titus; unlike Jesus, Titus came, presumably saw, and conquered Judea.
What’s going on here? The hypothesis is that in order to deal with the turbulent Jewish militants who were mucking up the Romans’ hitherto successful efforts to peacefully incorporate local cults into the Empire and choosing to rebel in the name of their unique gods instead, the Imperial court around the Flavian emperors — which included several Jewish turn-cloaks, most importantly the court historian Josephus — decided to extend the existing cult of Emperor-worship by co-opting the messianic, goy-hating Jewish movement built around a failed rebel named Jesus, and then using it to preach a peace-loving, and Roman-loving, doctrine shorn of all those peculiar Jewish laws and customs that had led the Romans to call the Jews “haters of mankind”; first, using Saul of Tauris — code name “Paul,” a familiar of the Flavian circle and Praetorian Guards — as an agent of disruption, then drafting the Gospels (most likely the work of another member of the Flavian circle, Josephus) to provide a backstory.
Admittedly, an incredible story — in several senses — which the two authors have spent some 30 years putting together, and the evidence is pretty impressive. Of course, like most historical or textual arguments, it’s mostly circumstantial (though only mostly, as we’ll see), but what’s almost unique is their suggestion to not only take Jesus’ words at face value, but the evidence as well, for it’s not only disappointed cultists who generate endless copes, it’s historians and textual critics — most of whom are Christians, or employed by Christian institutions, and so have a vested interest in orthodox conclusions. But to paraphrase Groucho Marx, Christianity may look like Flavian propaganda, but don’t be fooled: It is Flavian propaganda.
Okay, what’s the evidence? Well, there’s a lot — the book is almost 500 pages long, including notes and illustrations — but the authors provide handy summaries at the beginning and end, which I will abstract and collate here to pique your interest in examining the full text:
In the New Testament we read exhortations to obey the Roman government as the appointed agents of God, to pay one’s taxes, and even to honor the emperor himself. We also see the earliest Christian leaders laying the foundations for the authority structure of the Church, with an endorsement of Church hierarchy coming even from Jesus long before such developments seem credible. We are presented with benevolent Roman centurions: according to Christ, the faith of one centurion exceeded that of any contemporary Jew.
And of course, those injunctions to love your neighbor and do good to those who hate you would certainly be welcomed by the Roman authorities:
Paul’s mission uniformly receives official protection from Roman governors, clerks and officials — including sympathy from the Praetorian Guard of Caesar himself. Paul refers to his contacts as those in “Caesar’s household” so casually in his correspondence to the Philippians it must have some basis in fact.
Indeed, Paul’s contacts reach the highest level of imperial servants and Roman aristocrats, including associates of Vespasian and Titus who had achieved their imperial office by conquering the messianic Jews and becoming Jewish messiahs and Roman man-gods.
This same family of Roman emperors produced a 1st Century “pope” [Clement]. Most of the New Testament was composed during their reign. Their family tomb became the first Christian catacomb. Their family symbol was Christianity’s first icon: the anchor.
The founder of the Flavian dynasty, Vespasian, presented himself as “the New Serapis” and performed healing miracles identical to Christ’s, syncretizing pagan elements of a mystery religion with his own status as the Jewish Messiah. Vespasian advertised himself as the father of universal peace, a new Pax Romana. [The Prince of Peace, indeed] And he was a monarch born to humble circumstances. Both his ascension to the throne and his death were portended by a star. Jesus, too, was a Jewish messiah, a divine “monarch” born into humble circumstances, and his birth was heralded by a star.
Both Vespasian and his son, Titus, were worshiped as savior gods in the East while they lived, and they were worshiped as official state gods in the city of Rome itself long after their deaths. The Gospels, no matter who wrote them, would have been ideal prophetic demonstrations of their divinity and messianic status as Roman Jewish Messiahs. The cult of Emperor Titus praised his beneficence with propaganda extolling his charity and fatherly love for the masses. Within only a few decades of his death, after his brother Domitian was assassinated, his dolphin-and-anchor motif became the predominant symbol of Christianity.
The unique combination of means, motive and opportunity, of time, place and people, surrounding the Flavians perfectly coincides with the origins of the New Testament. The oddly organized and widespread administration of early Christianity so unaccountable to scholars implies a top-down governmental hand in its creation. Moreover, that such a widespread effort could have been mounted so publicly in the wake of the Jewish War without Roman sanction is impossible to believe. The idea that Christians would be so favorable to the Romans, by praising a centurion’s faith so extravagantly in the New Testament or adopting an emperor’s seal as their own at their gravesites, simply in order to avoid persecution contradicts the entire story of Christian martyrdom and their refusal to appease pagans. Occam’s razor hovers over all efforts to explain away these facts, which collectively and effortlessly conform with this theory.
Although we will in the course of this book agree with nearly all of the accepted factual conclusions of historians who have covered the subject of Christianity’s origins, we will require no conspiracy-theory-like leaps of faith or logic to establish what we are suggesting; quite the opposite. The theory presented reconciles all of the seemingly contradictory evidence of Christianity’s origins for the first time with none of the convolutions employed by scholars and historians for centuries.
Quite an achievement. But wait, there’s more! In the course of that earlier review, I had noted Skrbina’s willingness to explain the origins of Christianity by postulating a vast conspiracy for which there was no evidence whatsoever, and somewhat snarkily suggested that it would be nice to find something like a note from Paul detailing the conspiracy, or at least a paystub.
So imagine my delight when opening Creating Christ to find the authors not only hewing as close to “settled science” as possible, but also suggesting just such a find as the topper:
Over the 30 years of research that produced this book, it was only at the very end, when we discovered the last piece of the puzzle we had suspected would be there at the beginning, that this hypothesis . . . was at last confirmed by physical evidence. [Authors’ italics] Not only did our theory and all of the other evidence predict it must exist, but by the current understanding of Christianity’s origins it was impossible that it could exist. And, though we anticipated it, what we discovered was far more conclusive than we ever imagined.
I don’t think I’m spoiling anything by revealing the evidence; I mean, the physical evidence: It’s right there on the cover of the book and revealed in the first chapter:
With all the propaganda typically generated by Roman emperors, it seemed certain that, if such a radical hypothesis were correct, at least some physical link between Flavian emperors and Christianity must have survived, even after the many centuries during which evidence could have been lost or purposely destroyed.
Of course, all the Flavian temples have been demolished, and the vast majority of documents from that era have disintegrated. Surely, however come coins [authors’ italics], a leading device used by Romans to promote their political objectives, must have endured to reveal this connection if it in fact existed.
Unfortunately, . . . a complete inventory of Roman coins was not readily available to us — until the advent of the internet.
And this is it. . . . The symbol it bears, a dolphin wrapped around an anchor, is the very symbol Christians used to symbolize Christ for the first three centuries before the Emperor Constantine replaced it with the symbol of the Cross.
I’m not sure why the Internet was needed to provide the last piece of the puzzle. Surely, in the 30 years of research the authors frequently reference, they must have strayed into an academic library or two, and surely books of Roman coinage were available, or else what have all those “numismatists” been doing all these years?
Anyway, it does provide a real “Greetings, fellow goyim” moment, like finding a neo-Nazi wearing a Star of David. More importantly, the existence of such a logo would be an inference from the hypothesis, and this kind of confirmation is what separates good theories from ad hoc theories that only explain existing data.
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 Anonymity and ubiquity are always suspicious: “This is where the now much-discussed topic of The Crisis Actors was brought into play. And, in many respects, it may have been one of the most ingenious scams ever pawned off on American patriots designed to misdirect their attention. . . . There is not one single individual who is able to say precisely ‘who’ it was who first introduced the concept of the Crisis Actors into the vernacular of the Sandy Hook truth seekers. And that is telling, in and of itself.” — Michael Collins Piper, False Flags: Template for Terror (America First Books, 2019 ebook edition), p. 514; cf. Ron Unz, “American Pravda: Alex Jones, Cass Sunstein, and “Cognitive Infiltration’.”
 And indeed, we find the same copes at the Overcomer Ministry: “James Rice has turned the Overcomer Farm away from logical truth and seeing the lies that Brother Stair taught and into greater blindness as he continues them on a greater path of destruction by lying on the lies to make them seem spiritual truths (1Kings 15:26, 34). This is what many didn’t foresee happening because they thought we’d have nothing to talk about once Brother Stair dies. That shortsightedness comes from not understanding what happens in cults when their leaders pass from the scene. This is when the power struggle begins and makes a good cover-up of the reality of the failures of the former leader. Watch as the Overcomer is now disintegrating and heading into Gnosticism. Rather than taking events at face value, they are spiritualizing everything. Making everything Brother Stair said meaningless, and that we are to just try to grasp the spirit of what he said rather than the manifestation of his words to come to pass.” As we’ll see, the book under review will rest its appeal on taking evidence at face value.
 If Jesus was fictional, why attribute to him an obviously false “prophecy”? And if he did exist, why would he make a false prophecy? Of course, Jesus is already on record as telling parables — i.e., bullshit — to the masses, while reserving the real story for his trusted disciples. This prediction, however, was given to the disciples themselves.
 “What If He Is Right?” New York Magazine, November 1965; reprinted in Wolfe’s The Pump House Gang (1968).
 “Titus Caesar Vespasianus (/ˈtaɪtəs/ TY-təs; 30 December 39 — 13 September 81 AD) was Roman emperor from 79 to 81. A member of the Flavian dynasty, Titus succeeded his father Vespasian upon his death. Before becoming emperor, Titus gained renown as a military commander, serving under his father in Judea during the First Jewish–Roman War. The campaign came to a brief halt with the death of emperor Nero in 68, launching Vespasian’s bid for the imperial power during the Year of the Four Emperors. When Vespasian was declared Emperor on 1 July 69, Titus was left in charge of ending the Jewish rebellion. In 70, he besieged and captured Jerusalem, and destroyed the city and the Second Temple. For this achievement Titus was awarded a triumph; the Arch of Titus commemorates his victory to this day.” Wikipedia.
 What about those armies? “A few days after the Passover feast on the 21st day of Iyyar (May 2nd) in 66 AD, Roman historian Tacitus and Jewish historian Josephus both record eye-witness accounts of angelic armies in the clouds above Jerusalem (Matthew 24:31). Tacitus also reports that ‘the temple [was] illuminated by a sudden radiance from the clouds’ (Matthew 24:27). The wise publicly declared that this, along with other ominous signs, were signals foreshowing Jerusalem’s destruction. It was these same angels that probably assisted the elect in escaping Jerusalem before the Romans besieged the forsaken city, similar to how Lot and his family were rescued before Sodom was destroyed (Genesis 19:15-16). Writing sometime before the beginning of the Roman-Jewish War (66-70 AD), the author of the letter to the Hebrews states that some believers have ‘entertained angels unawares’ (Hebrews 13:2).”
 Amazon: “A native of Los Angeles, James S. Valliant obtained a degree in philosophy from New York University and a Jurisdoctorate from the University of San Diego. For over 17 years, he was a Deputy District Attorney for the County of San Diego. . . . For many years he was a regular expert commentator on religious, legal, and political issues for various local television news programs in the San Diego area. He was the host and co-creator of the award-winning television interview program ‘Ideas in Action’.” He is also the author of The Passion of Ayn Rand’s Critics: The Case Against the Brandens (Durban House, 2006). Walter Fahy is “New York Times best-selling author of Fragment and the sequel, Pandemonium; [he was] a teenaged manager of a bookstore, wrote essays for royalty attending college, designed Internet movie databases for 5 companies, was lead writer on Rock Star Games’ Red Dead Revolver, helped coin the word ‘mullet’ as a hairstyle for the Beastie Boys, and wrote comedy for robots in Hong Kong.”
 The centurion was undoubted uncircumcised, which presages Paul’s dismissal of the rite as irrelevant to salvation. The “slave” whom he cares for enough to seek out a Jewish healer is likely a lover (“slave” and “boy” were, as today, slang terms for such relationships). The Gospels were written after the Epistles, and it’s interesting that Jesus, unlike Paul and Jude, himself never even mentions homosexuality; perhaps the cult had been fully Romanized by then? See my “Milo and the Miles,” reprinted in The Homo and the Negro, second embiggened edition, ed. by Greg Johnson (San Francisco: Counter-Currents, 2017). It’s also interesting that, in The Big Lebowski, the Jewish Walter points out to the Christ-like Dude that the rival bowler, Jesus (pronounced as in English), may be a good bowler, but “[h]e’s a sex offender, Dude.” Walter’s sabbath observance (“Shomer Shabbos!” he shouts) interferes with bowling and the Dude’s needs until the exasperated Dude retorts that Walter isn’t really a Jew, but only converted to marry and is now divorced. Are the Coen Bros. calling on the archetypes of the violent, observant Jew and the mellowed-out, non-violent, yet somewhat triumphant Christian? “Well, the Dude abides.”
 In Acts, Paul is repeatedly, constantly pursued by angry Jews and rescued by wise, judicious Romans; what we might today expect from a glowie: either an agent provocateur or paid informant from the beginning, or a rat.
 “Of course, in historical research, there is seldom a question of mathematical proof, and Skrbina rightly says ‘I’ll not claim certainty here.’ (p. 66) But he also fails to establish much of any connection between the perfidious Paul & the Gang and the creation and promulgation of the Christian ‘lie’. . . . I think it was Lenny Bruce who had a routine about his uncle who was fed up with being blamed for killing Christ and buried a bottle in their backyard with a note saying ‘We did it. We killed Christ. Signed, Morrie.’”
 Well, actually, a later version of the same symbol. What symbol? Keep reading!
 The first memes?
 I must say, though, that their description of the significance of coinage gives me a new, or admittedly a first time, appreciation for the subject. Previously I had only been acquainted with the pathetic Helmut Institoris, a “little manikin” in Thomas Mann’s Doctor Faustus, who represents the hollow-chested academic spokesmen for the Cesare Borgia and all historical things bloody and Nietzschean. “It was no great joy for a woman to take Helmut Institoris to bed!” the narrator exclaims with heavy German irony. Perhaps that’s the Internet connection: Today, Institoris would be posting about Bronze Age Pervert. Present at Adrian’s final breakdown, during which his wife’s infidelity is publicly revealed, he politely gets up and begs to be excused: “This man is mad. There has been for a long time no doubt of it, and it is most regrettable that in our circle the profession of alienist is not represented. I, as a numismatist, feel myself entirely incompetent in this situation.”