Looking For A Writer

Hi. My name is John MacDonald. I’ve posted here a number of times. I’m VP of Internet Infidels/Secular Web and run the Secular Wen Kids site. I have 2 essays that passed peer review on topics about alternate Christian origins. I think that they could be made into an interesting thriller like The Da Vinci code. Dan Brown’s Da Vinci code basically recapitulates Baigent and Leih’s Holy Blood Holy Grail, which is interesting, but has no real historical merit. The script I’m thinking of doing challenges the idea that Jesus died to pay our sin debt, and the idea the tomb was empty because he rose from the dead. If you would be interested in helping to write such a script, or could suggest someone who would, I’d like to collaborate. Ideally I’m looking for someone with a background in Eng Lit / Creative Writing. Please do check them out and get back to me!

  1. The Justified Lie by the Johannine Jesus in its Greco-Roman-Jewish Context : The Justified Lie by the Johannine Jesus in its Greco-Roman-Jewish Context » Internet Infidels
  2. A Critique of the Penal Substitution Interpretation of the Cross of Christ: https://infidels.org/library/modern…tution-interpretation-of-the-cross-of-christ/

You should try a writer’s forum of you are looking for writers. They need the work

While my second degree was in English-creative writing, I think lausten if right- you may want to go to a writing forum and hopefully you can find someone who’s interested in such a story. The other problem is, that story has been done at least 4 times over in the Bible and Gene Roddenberry and his writers did it a few times too. Capt. James T. Kirk has had more resurrection than Jesus Christ, not to mention Spock’s resurrection. That story has been done to death. If you want that exact script though, I suggest going to the works attributed to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. If that’s not enough, then venture out to other works of fiction that have that outline to them.


I’m not sure what you mean. The articles work to debunk the resurrection appearance claims, the empty tomb, and the penal substitution interpretation of the cross. They offer a new perspective, and as I said have been peer reviewed, meaning they have been vetted by PhD New Testament scholars from accredited universities, and it is their professional opinion that the essays are plausible interpretations of the evidence. I think a fiction writer would have fun turning the ideas into a story.

Indeed they would and it’s been done many times over. I said that in my last post.

So, it looks like the novel idea is going to work. The novelist/poet I met on IIDB has proposed a synopsis, which I think is very fun and creative. Here is the potential synopsis he posted on IIDB today:

In the near future, the Pope gives a rambling — drunken? — speech in public at the Vatican, on Christmas Eve, promising “startling revelations” about the history of Christianity. He also invites young boys in the crowd to “come sit in Santa’s lap.” Mortified aides manage to rush him from the balcony. The world is aghast, and wonders if the Pope has lost his marbles.

A few days later, the Vatican announces that the Pope has died suddenly of a heart attack — though the youthful, charismatic Church leader, who has captivated the world, is only 45, but also rumored to have a weakness for strong drink and young male flesh. However, no one has been able to prove these rumors, but his sudden death raises suspicions everywhere, especially after he is succeeded by a staunch, 80-year-old conservative who vows to restore the primacy of Roman Catholicism “around the world,” by force if necessary, and who announces that the Vatican is pursing nuclear weapons. Many people liken the new Pope to a Catholic version of the late Vladimir Putin, who was deposed by the Russian military after his invasion of Ukraine produced a calamitous quagmire. To reunite Russia, power is bestowed, at least nominally, on the Russian Orthodox church, with the new head of state Patriarch Kirill.

One man, however, thinks he knows the truth about the Pope’s mysterious demise.

He is a self-styled “renegade investigative historian” named Rosco Spangler. Spangler was the author of the monumental “The Metaphysics of History, Volume 1: Ontological and Epistemological.” But he renounced teaching altogether and his own book in particular on the grounds that all of a history was “an idealist construct with no ontological grounding.”

He has long been in touch with renegade operatives within the Vatican who have been feeding him, via a secure internet connection, long-buried documentation from the archives of the Vatican concerning the “true” history of the Church, which suggests that its accepted past is a “metaphysical forgery.” Spangler is awaiting the biggest prize of all — the touted “confessions of St. Paul” — when the renegade Pope dies, but his contacts assure him that the pontiff was in fact poisoned, because he had decided to open the archives to all, including the mysterious “Confessions.”

As will develop in the novel, the “Confessions” reveal that Saul/Paul conspired with others to basically invent a version of Christianity at odds with the actual life of Christ, and that there was no substitutionary sacrifice and that there was no resurrection. There will be bombshell revelations of who Christ really was and what he actually stood for.

But after death of the Pope, Spangler’s contacts with the renegades inside the Vatican are abruptly terminated. Spangler then launches himself on a world quest to find the truth behind history’s greatest metaphysical deceit. His journey takes him from the wastelands of Chile’s Atacama desert, with its mysterious sculpture of a left hand presiding over a vast and lifeless desolation, to a bordello in Paris, where he begins a passionate love affair with a transsexual prostitute named Black Rose, who later turns out to be a spy working to destroy Spangler; it takes him from the bowels of Area 51, where he views the remnants of a giant crashed flying saucer, to the icy, windswept doorstep of the Himalayas, where he meets a hermit stylite who proclaims himself to be the direct lineal descendent of the only son sired by Christ and conveys to him by memory alone the entirety of the Confessions of St. Paul.

Along the way we will encounter a telepathic dog named Veritas, a Russian fortune teller who retrodicts the past rather than predicts the future, a very old man with a long white beard in a dive punk bar on Manhattan’s Lower East Side who insists that he is the Wandering Jew, and the ghost of Jorge Luis Borges, who is the proprietor of a infinite bookstore at the center of the earth, infinite because its branches extend into higher spatial dimensions; in fact into Hilbert Space.

Meanwhile the Vatican, under its mad new Pope, had made an alliance of convenience with the new Orthodox Russia, which has supplied him with nuclear weapons. The deranged pontiff is preparing to launch a volley of nukes at the “heathen world,” specifically identified as Islamic nations and “secular America.” Spangler finds himself in a race against time to bare the metaphysical forgeries of Christianity — specifically Roman Catholicism — as revealed by the Confessions of St. Paul, and in so doing perhaps precipitate the downfall of all the Christian churches and save the world from nuclear annihilation.

Okay, I skimmed a little after “telepathic dog”, a little too derivative. If this is a “guy” story, like “A Boy and His Dog”, it’s dead on arrival. The world travel, looking for clues, sounds fun, but it could work, depending on the writer. Words like “epistemological” and “ontological” will turn off a lot of potential readers.

I’ve been through the Dan Brown years, and all the way back to “The Last Temptation of Christ”, and others. I think the challenge is to come up with something new.

If anyone would like to follow the development of the novel about my penal substitution/justified lie religious studies essays, the author is posting the novel as he writes it on this IIDB forum thread here: Looking For A Writer | Internet Infidels Discussion Board

  1. I just wanted to mention the idea that big part of what made “The Da Vinci Code” (both novel and movie) a big success was that it had a plot, theme, and characters that depicted Feminist philosophy in such a positive light.

  2. In other words, “The Da Vinci Code” didn’t just debunk the “Jesus=God” theory. It also promoted somethink akin to the “Divine Feminine” theory and spirituality seen in ancient Greco-Roman religion and in some poets and other writers of the Romantic era and of today’s New Age spirituality.

  3. “The Da Vinci Code” didn’t just debunk the traditional Christian religion–it also suggested a positive form of spirituality to replace it.

  4. I agree with Dr. Paul Kurtz, one of the founders of C.F.I., that it isn’t enough for secular Humanists to just present facts and arguments that undermine the credibility of ancient religions.

  5. Dr. Kurtz said that humanists must not just be debunkers. Humanists must fill in the hole left when the ancient religion passes.

  6. People need a coherent, systematic philosophy or spirituality that guides them so that they can live lives of meaning and goodness.

  7. Sam Harris speaks of a non-supernatural form of “spirituality.”

  8. Dr. Paul Kurtz created a secular philosophy for living called “Eupraxsophy,” and wrote a couple books about it. So far, Eupraxsophy has not caught on. Dr. Kurtz has passed. But his ideas live on, and, maybe will yet spread to more people.

  9. In any case, I think the record of history and the findings of psychology and sociology indicate that most people cannot be wholly rational all the time like the character Spock generally is in “Star Trek.”

  10. I love Spock! But we are Homo Sapiens, not Vulcans!

  • Write a novel of your story first, either a regular “words only” novel or a graphic novel.
  • You can even publish and sell that yourself on Amazon and other websites.
  • Once you’ve demonstrated some level of consumer interest in your story in that modality, then put the same story in screenplay form, and market it to film producers, using the novel’s track record on Amazon as evidence in support of your assertion that a film of your story will be a moneymaker.
  • It costs millions to produce a movie. So, film producers are very selective about what they will invest in. Very hard for unknown, first timers to get real consideration.
  • It cost basically nothing to publish a traditional words-only novel on Amazon.
  • If you yourself can draw well enough, graphic novels don’t cost anything to produce or publish online. If you can’t draw and must hire an illustrator, even that is a small cost compared to the cost of producing any movie.
  • Good luck! Tell your story. Write the story yourself. You’re super smart, so you can easily learn the patterns, tropes, and structures of fiction stories of the type that interest you.
  • Just remember: Your real story is your whole, real life with yourself and some other people. That’s the story that really matters.
  • Okay. I read that summary of the proposed novel. That could work.
  • But that summary says very little about characters or about relationships dynamics between characters.
  • “The Da Vinci Code” was so popular, in part, I think, because of the 4 main character and the ways they related to each other:
  • the young, handsome, intelligent, SINGLE professor;
  • the old professor;
  • the beautiful, intelligent, sexy young SINGLE woman;
  • the psychologically disturbed, self-flagellating Opus Dei monk.
  • The young man and women did not end up as a couple at the end, since the writer needed to keep his main protagonist single so that he could have different love interests in the subsequent novels. But the erotic tension and attraction between them was there during the whole story.
  • “The Da Vinci Code” was really FOUR romantic love stories woven together:
  • Jesus’ love for Mary Magdalene;
  • the romantic love between the young profession and the young woman;
  • the father-son love between the young professor and the old professor; and
  • the insane Opus Dei monk’s love for the traditional God that the Church taught him about.
  • Love! Readers and viewers love love! Make your story mostly about love and you can’t go wrong!
  • I know you want to debunk Christianity.
  • But that wasn’t the main secret to the success of “The Da Vinci Code.”
  • It was LOVE!

Hi . I have been researching for many years and I believe I have the answers for you.
What who when how and why we exist.
I will try a short summary of my conclusions.
1.deconstruction… flesh>atoms>subatomic particles >
Subatomic electromagnetic energy waves > consciousness……
2. Physical is just a perception of vibrating energy.
10011100011 angstroms decibels firing synapses > all just subatomic electromagnetic energy waves.
We are a singularity that is creating our consciousness by vibrating.
I think therefore I am… everything is a product of our thinking.
There is more such as the past is over doesn’t exist anymore > the future doesn’t exist yet.
Only now ever exists… now after now … we are an ever expanding singularity consciousness.
Energy cannot be created or destroyed so the purpose of the universe is to make our existence as a singularity (1) in a universe of nothingness (0) 1100011100
A more enjoyable experience…. Eternity is a long time to be lonely and bored.

I hadn’t heard of eupraxsophy, and I’ve been hanging around CFI for a long time. Getting people to change the meaning of “spiritual” is no easy task. I avoid it by using “non-material”. “Material” has more negative connotations, so people are more interested in a “non” version of that.

You might like this critique of Spock. His logical approach constantly fails.

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Spirituality. Does reek of religion which is a disgusting justification for arguing fighting and killing people in the name of one’s own personal opinions.
But how does one refer to the concept of mutual respect and understanding of others views?
Any suggestions…

Evolution via natural selection.
If peaceful people get rewarded with long life and opportunity to procreate, eventually there will be only peaceful people in the gene pool.

I don’t think it’s that hard. We’ve been doing for as long as there has been writing

I attended and listened to Julia’s lecture that year. I miss living there, where I was able to get to such events easily.

Speaking of Sam Harris. This recent Waking Up podcast is a very interesting conversation between people who have taken different paths to a place that has roots in spiritual traditions, but have figured out what is practice and what is “IRL”, in real life.

You’ll need a subscription to unlock it. He offers them for free, with no need to bet vetted.