Things Are Gonna Slide!

Japan Take Note: Nuclear Radiation Good for Tourism


Across Europe and beyond, vacationers are warming to the idea of industrial tourism, as they discover the "nonutilitarian possibilities of utilities."

Vacationers seeking a thrifty get-away "a la Homer Simpson" find relaxation in the warm waters that cycle through power plants. The water, which is used to cool reactors and is then deposited in nearby waterways, is bathtub temperature and "almost like a spa."

In France, about I million people visited the nuclear, hydroelectric, tidal and thermal power plants of state-owned Electricite de France. Tourists have been flocking to a uranium enrichment factory in France, which makes for great game viewing. In Prague, doctors recommend a soaking in the slightly radioactive waters of the Jachymov spas, built on the side of an old uranium plant. And in Florida, the Tampa Electric Co. opens a viewing center every winter where visitors can watch the manatees that take refuge from the chilly coastal waters in the warm-water discharge canal of the Big Bend coal-fired power plant.

But some envirom-nentalists have criticized industrial tourism. Dima Litvinov of Greenpeace: "This is eco-destruction tourism. They're trying to greenwash the power industry" (Fuhrmans/Fleming, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 4).

Big Hole in the Angel Scroll

Of the below news item, religious conspiracy scholar Acharya S notes succinctly, "Since the Dead Sea Scrolls were NOT written by 'Essenes,' and this scroll contains Essenic images straight out of Josephus, I would suspect it is a forgery." Check her book, The Christ Conspiracy, for more on religious hoaxterism.

JERUSALEM - A religious text that has mysteriously surfaced in Israel and is being billed as one of the "lost" Dead Sea Scrolls uses some of the same phrases and im- agery as the other 2000-year-old writings, a scholar said Monday after studying excerpts.

But it is too soon to say whether the "Angel Scroll," which describes a believer's trip through the heavens, is a major find that will shed new light on Jewish mysticism and the origins of Chrisfianity, or an elaborate hoax, said Stephen Pfann, president of the University of the Holy Land.

The story of the Angel Scroll is shrouded in mystery.

Rumors have circulated for years among scholars in the Holy Land that one of the scrolls - the religious writings of the Essenes found in caves near the Dead Sea between 1947 and 1954 - made its way to an antiquities dealer in one of the nearby Arab capitals.

On Monday, the Jerusalem Report magazine reported that in 1974, Benedictine monks bought the parchment filled with 1,000 lines of Hebrew text, spirited it to a monastery on the German-Austrian border and secretly studied it.

The monks were sworn to secrecy, but one - identified only by the pseudonym Mateus - broke the vow, bequeathing a transcript and his commentary to a German friend after his death in 1996.

The transcript was given to an Israeli college administrator and a physician with an interest in Kabala, a form of Jewish mysticism, the magazine said.

It said the two men had insisted on anonymity but allowed the magazine to look at the transcript.

The limited access meant that the magazine was unable to draw conclusions about the scroll's authenticity, the report said.

The college administrator handed Pfann, one of several scholars deciphering the Dead Sea Scrolls, part of the transcript for review.

In the document, a man identified as Yeshua ben Padiah describes a religious vision he had while at Ein Eglatain, a desert encampment on the eastern shore of the Dead Sea.

He says he was taken by an angel, Panameia, on a j oumey through the heavens, entering through the gates of a heavenly palace.

A second unidentified source in the document provides embalming recipes for the resurrection of the dead and the use of herbs and stones for healing, practices attributed to the Essenes by the Jewish historian Josephus, a contemporary.

Phrases associated with the Essenes recur in the new text, such as "children of light" and "children of darkness," as well as the word "el" for God.

Grammar and spellings are similar to those of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Pfann said.

He said he also found a complete phrase in Yeshua's story that he had been trying to reconstruct in one of the scrolls he was working on.

The Angel Scroll is plausible, he said.

"I haven't found anything to knock this totally out of the ballpark," he said. If it's a forgery, it was done by an expert who has studied Dead Sea Scrolls at length, he said.

Letter from X. Sharks DeSpot

Dear Steamshovel:

I just purchased the book Inside The Gemstone File. After nine years of wanting to see Roberts's original papers, I now have a look at one of them, confirming that it isn't enough. Look, either the Skeleton Key was simply a rehash of notes gathered by Stephanie Caruana for an article entitled "Why Was Howard Hughes Kidnapped?" in 1974 from public sources (newspapers, magazines, books) with a few quotes from Roberts thrown in, or it was written primarily by Roberts, not a rehash of clippings from Brussell's file cabinet. If it was written by Roberts, you have your choice of public sources, paranoid delusions, or original information not available through public sources.

The one letter enclosed in your book does not provide any clear information as to which one of the above the Skeleton Key was. I have not read the book straight through, so I have no right to judge, but the mention of cancer and radioactive assholes makes me think that it was after March 15, 1975 when Roberts was hospitalized, probably after the Skeleton Key itself was put into circulation. The attack on San Francisco mayor Joseph Alioto makes me convinced it's a real Roberts' letter.

"The Key is, finally, a pricktease, promising much more and delivering mostly nothing." I agree.

Previous Things Are Gonna Slide! Column