Barber Perfect took a good, long look at the Captain who was standing in front of a Tourista Kiosk along the Seine. "Why is he wearing a British flag on his coat?" he asked. He's got enemies, Lucky told him. "In Paris?" The Captain has a Hundred Husbands who want him dead, Lucky explained. Barber made the Cuckold Sign and used his eyebrows as question marks. Yup, Lucky nodded. "So how does that make him a Nigel?" Barber asked. And that was it. From that moment on the Captain was "Nigel" to Barber and before long he was Nigel to Lucky too. But you would have to ask Nigel himself about the Camo-value of a Union Jack in PostPost Paris. Barber is coming with us to the Pantheon on our quest to hunt down the footprints of Holy Michael Archangelo in Paree - but he's short-tempered and agitated. Within 5 minutes of first meeting Barber Perfect the Captain - quite innocently, I'm sure - asked Barber what he could tell him about the Secret Gospel of Mark. Barber did a slow burn. His short hair bristled and you could swear that it started smoking. The Captain has developed great suspicions about the "viability" of the Christian Bible - most especially, the New Testament. He's been swept away by his short, but sultry, affair with Elaine Pagels. And now he's got Gnostic Texts like a rash. He should have "itched it" somewhere out of Barber's sight. Lucky got between them quickly and reminded the group that they were on a Mission and that they had a Purpose and that it was about St. Michael and his Semiotics and not about another Secret Gospel. Even though this one had a huge "bang for buck" potential. Fuck all that Dan Brown shit about Jesus's 1st Wife. What about Jesus and the "Warm Brothers?" Good God, if Jesus was a Homo, Christianity would slither away and die in a hole it had so laboriously dug itself. If Christ was a Faggot it would poison the whole concept of Love which his Church was built around. Of course all those Boy Buggering Priests would be fast-tracked for Sainthood, but still ... if Jesus was Gay the last 2,000 years would have to be redacted, rewritten, "resensioned" and hosed down with Lysol. Not to worry, the Vatican has been doing that shit for centuries.
The "Secret Gospel of Mark" is either one of the world's greatest forgeries or it is an IED waiting to explode and finish off a dying Christianity. The term refers to a Non-Canonical Gospel which is either an addendum to the Canonical Gospel of Mark, or the Original Gospel of Mark before the "Secret" was expunged and the gospel rewritten. So maybe it's the 1st draft of Mark's Gospel. There is - or was - only one copy of this "Secret Gospel." It was "discovered" in a Greek Orthodox Monastery at Mar Saba - about 20 klicks from Jerusalem in the Judean wilderness. It was 1958 and Morton Smith, a Columbia University History Prof. was spending his summer "looking for ancient mss. and handwritten entries in old printed books at monasteries in Turkey, Greece, and the Holy Land."
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Smith had once before spent several months at the Greek Monastery - not as a scholar, but as a budding Monk totally immersed in the Ora et Labora of the daily life. He was later ordained an Episcopal deacon - but later left that life for his gig as a Scholar. Now he was back, but not to pray. In the bibliotheque - which was right off the pages of an Umberto Eco thriller - he discovered a book without a cover or a title page, written in Latin and Greek - it was a 1646 edition of the letters of Ignatius of Antioch, edited by Isaac Voss. The endpages - which had originally been blank - contained a handwritten Greek Ms. from the 18th century which "purported to be a copy of a letter by the 2nd century church leader Clement of Alexandria.
Those CFOs [Convicted Sex Offenders] at Wikipedia are drooling all over themselves about Secret Mark. "In the Mar Saba letter, the Secret Gospel of Mark is described as a second `more spiritual' version of the Gospel of Mark composed by the evangelist himself. Its purpose was supposedly to encourage gnosis among more advanced Christians, and it was said to be in use in liturgies in Alexandria."
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The Clement Letter is addressed to an unknown "Theodore" who had apparently asked Clement about a Secret Gospel of Mark. In Morton Smith's discovery, Clement answers Teddy by quoting 2 bits from the Secret Gospel. Professor Smith took a picture of the letter and spent the next 15 years studying the Ms., arguing with colleagues, and simultaneously writing and publishing two books on the letter. That's the way he told the story.
Barber was drunk and Ibeca was pissed. She said that Lucky and Barber were holding up the filming because of their childish, drunken behavior. As if Paris was ever a city to stay sober in - Paris, where there are 3D Stencils fucking on the walls. Non-Affiche. Barber believes, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Pooler Jones - his `brother' - is behind Morton Smith's forgery of the Secret Gospel of Mark. And Lucky does not disagree; he and Skippy have helped both of the brothers Salt a Provenance or two. Skippy, the artist element of the Dopplegänger Skippy/Lucky, has even crossed the line and is active in the `Family Bidnez.' He and Pooler, much to Barber's chagrin, have recently completed a "certifiable" Adolf Hitler watercolor which is scheduled to be `discovered' soon. Very soon. Skippy hid a photo of the painting on this page, but you'll have to find it. It was recently estimated that over 40% of what you will find in the world's museums are fakes, forgeries, what Kenny La Roche calls: Bogeys. The Poussin Bogey which Barber is "restoring" in Paris as a Teaching-Project for the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts is a small sketch - a "pen and wash" drawing of an alternative version of Poussin's masterpiece: A Dance to the Music of Time. Until now, Art world wisdom knew of only one other sketch of that painting and it hangs in the National Gallery of Scotland in Edinburgh. It too is a Pen and Wash. Lucky and Barber are going to Scotland soon to season the discovery with a piece of `Just So' evidence which is shaky enough to get the Etics interested. And that means money. Euros - and Millions of them. The Art World has a serious Jones for that kind of money - so serious that things like Provenance are regarded thru blinkers. It's a balancing act. You shoot to stay under the Radar where the Early Adopters are sniffing around for first bites. In Art, it doesn't matter so much that it's authentic - only that it's interesting, or notorious, scandalous, or could change history. Hitler's Art sells under the counter for millions.
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Don't forget: Ne fronti credi. Ne fronti credi.
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The Mar Saba "Clementine" letter of the Secret Gospel of Mark includes only 2 short excerpts from the disputed gospel. Clement tells Theodore that the first excerpt is to be inserted in the Canonical Gospel of Mark between verses 34 and 35 of Mark 10. It is this excerpt which has the experts spinning - as well as the Vatican. On the face of things it would be easy for the pros to throw the excerpt out as an obvious forgery except that both of the excerpts give neat resolutions to some very puzzling passages in Canonical Mark. The first excerpt is printed below in its entirety.
"And they come into Bethany. And a certain woman whose brother had died was there. And, coming, she prostrated herself before Jesus and says to him, 'Son of David, have mercy on me.' But the disciples rebuked her. And Jesus, being angered, went off with her into the garden where the tomb was, and straightway a great cry was heard from the tomb. And going near, Jesus rolled away the stone from the door of the tomb. And straightaway, going in where the youth was, he stretched forth his hand and raised him, seizing his hand. But the youth, looking upon him, loved him and began to beseech him that he might be with him. And going out of the tomb, they came into the house of the youth, for he was rich. And after six days Jesus told him what to do, and in the evening the youth comes to him, wearing a linen cloth over his naked body. And he remained with him that night, for Jesus taught him the mystery of the Kingdom of God. And thence, arising, he returned to the other side of the Jordan."
Obviously Peter Jeffery has made up his mind. He uses a Semantic Deconstructionist Ax on the "Secret Gospel," and argues that Morton Smith forged the Clement Letter and left his fingerprints on the ways he misinterprets Ancient attitudes and mores on Homosexuality with 20th Century attitudes - so his argument is based on Anachronisms within the "forged" text. Then it gets real interesting and starts to account for Barber's obsession with Oscar Wilde, L'Hotel, and his famous play: Salomé. Jeffery argues that the construction of the "Secret Gospel of Mark" was influenced by Wilde's Play Salomé and that the entire forgery can be traced to a Sub-Rosa British University Homosexual society called the Uranians to which Wilde belonged. Uranianism hated women and Christian Moralists who were so hypocritical as to deny Christ's "real" sexuality. Barber Perfect bristles. And Lucky suddenly sees that none of the things happening to Kenny in Paris are accidents. Besides the Poussin, Barber has another agenda in the City of Light and it has nothing to do with what the others call History.
Click on Despair and face the Demon: the Entzauberung der Welt - the Disenchantment of the World - you will never understand Oscar Wilde's play Salomé or Secret Mark until you face your Immortality. Click on the Speed Limit to find the Trinity in New Mexico - More Motorcycle tales and Girls with 7 Veils.
Click on this to go to Page 3 of Holy Michael the Archangel