TELEPHONE INTERVIEW — TAPE #14, SIDE #2
The Los Angeles Times article "'Miracle' Awes Hindus Worldwide" is presented at the end of this tape side transcript. A black and white version of this image accompanied the article and similar images were presented throughout the international coverage of this unusual mass event.
Q: Mark Russell Bell (interviewer in Los Angeles)L: Ellen Russell (my mother in California)P: Mike Phelps, Ancient Biblical Research CenterM: Maxine Mc Wethy (the mother in Centrahoma, Oklahoma)
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: I TAPED THE FOLLOWING FROM MY PACIFIC BELL MESSAGE CENTER. ‘V’ DESIGNATES PHONE VOICE. I HAD ASKED MY MOTHER TO HELP ME SORT OUT THE BILLING SITUATION FOR MY STAY AT THE ALHAMBRA FACILITY SINCE SHE HAD WORKED IN MEDICAL RECORDS. MIKE PHELPS WAS RESPONDING TO THE FAX I HAD SENT HIM OF ONE OF THE CRYPTOGRAMS FROM OKLAHOMA. I HAD BEEN TOLD AT THE WHOLE LIFE EXPO THAT IT RESEMBLED THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS.)
V: Sent Sunday October 8 at 5:31 p.m.
L: Hi, Mark. I forgot to ask you the most important question. Can I just say — instead of going through all the folderol about Medic-1 may I just say that I’m your next of kin? Your mother. And I’m, you know, now in charge. Can I say that? Tell me if that’s okay. Call me back later. Bye.
V: End of message. To repeat this message press one — Message saved. Sent today at 3:50 p.m.
P: Mark, this is Mike Phelps at Ancient Biblical Manuscript Center returning your call about the fragment that you faxed. The image that you faxed to us let me say first it is not a Dead Sea Scroll. Based on the script, nothing in the Dead Sea Scrolls looks even close to that. Secondly, I’m not sure what language it is in — which causes a problem for identification. But the Dead Sea Scrolls are in Greek, Aramaic and Hebrew, and this is none of those three. I believe it is Arabic but I do not know Arabic so I can’t say that definitely since I can’t read the letters. But, dang, it looks like Arabic and so do some of the diacritical marks that are next to the letters look like Arabic diacritical marks so I have no idea what your fragment is, but if you have further questions give me a call. I can confirm it’s not a Dead Sea Scroll and I believe it to be Arabic, so good luck. Thanks much. Bye bye.
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: I CALL MIKE PHELPS TO GET ADDITIONAL INFORMATION.)
Q: So it’s probably Arabic?
Q: Because I’m doing a book and you know a lot about the Dead Sea Scrolls, I’m just wondering if some information that I’ve heard is wrong. Is it true that Jesus is never mentioned in the Dead Sea Scrolls?
P: That’s true.
Q: Why do you think that is?
P: Well, most of the Dead Sea Scrolls pre-date Jesus. The greatest period of literary activity by the sect that wrote the scrolls was in the century before Jesus was born. The sect were contemporaries of Jesus — their sect was destroyed in 68 A.D. — so about thirty years after he died. So he would have been late news to them. Secondly —
Q: Is that still sort of enigmatic?
P: What do you mean?
Q: The fact that there was nothing found. The way it had been presented to me was that this was sort of a mystery.
P: I don’t think it’s very mysterious at all. Their sect lived in the extreme south of Israel in the desert and Jesus was active in the extreme north of Israel and Galilee. It seems that Jesus would have made the nightly news of his day at the height of his career but —
Q: What age do you think he was at that time? I know that no one really knows for sure.
P: Supposedly, he was crucified around the age of thirty.
Q: But some people are estimating he was a little older now.
P: Thirty — thirty-three is where most scholars —
Q: Are you familiar with Zecharia Sitchin’s books?
P: No, I’m not.
Q: He focuses on Sumer and he’s found amazing parallels between various cultures and religions.
Q: And he found a parallel to Christ in a pre-Christian mysterium that was called “The Death and Resurrection of Bel-Marduk.” But instead of being crucified, Bel-Marduk was incarcerated inside the Great Pyramid at Giza.
P: There are dying and rising myths throughout the —
Q: Right. Exactly. This particular book is The Wars of Gods and Men. I think you’ll find it fascinating if you’re into that, which I’m sure you are.
P: I usually don’t get that early in time.
Q: The parallels are what’s so interesting. The book that I’m doing incorporates all these various things. It’s this really strange story that’s taking me to all these different places.
P: I hear you.
Q: It’s very interesting.
Q: I’m writing this New Age Testament that incorporates poltergeists and angels and reincarnation. This is really a mystery that I’m trying to solve.
Q: So, anyway, keep my name on file. Call me and tell me what your thoughts are after you read that book.
Q: Because I’m doing research and if there are any suggestions you would have in terms of what other things I might read, let me know. And I’ll let you know what I find about this once I find an Arabic translator.
P: Have you heard of a book called The Disappearance of God by Friedman?
Q: Well, it doesn’t sound like it would appeal to me.
P: The history of religion in the West.
Q: Do you believe in angels?
P: I’m a fairly conservative Christian. I’d say yes to that question.
Q: What started me on this book thing was investigating a poltergeist case in Oklahoma for a potential screenplay. Anyway, His name is Michael. The more research I do, the more it seems He is the archangel Michael. I mean it just sounds totally crazy.
P: It does sound totally crazy.
Q: It does. In fact, that’s what I have sent you. The angel Michael had written that on a mirror in this house in Oklahoma.
Q: The family has been taped for a TV show called “Put It To The Test” which might be airing on ABC on Halloween. There’s no confirmed air date yet.
Q: But they didn’t film any of the phenomena. I did witness some of the phenomena myself so I am definitely a believer. It was very, very amazing. So you might read that book. I’d love to hear what somebody with your background thinks of this parallel.
P: What’s the guy’s name again?
Q: Well, you can look it up in the glossary. There’s one mention of Jesus in the glossary. Marduk is the name of the earlier entity. His full name is Bel-Marduk.
P: Just the name of the author.
Q: Zecharia Sitchin. He’s done a whole series of books.
P: I’ll take a look at them.
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: THE NEXT RECORDED CONVERSATION IS WITH MAXINE.)
Q: Just to bring you up to date I no longer take Michael for granted, which is something that we all do sometimes.
Q: And I don’t think it hurts his feelings — well, maybe it does hurt his feelings. Who can really say? But, anyway, in the newspaper yesterday it said scientists have discovered the master genetic switch that makes plants bloom. Did you see that?
Q: And, last month, of course there were the miracles of milk-drinking statues, which were impressing Hindus throughout the world. Did you read about that?
M: Well, no, I didn’t.
Q: Of course, no one believed them even though it said that millions of people had witnessed it. So I think we’re witnessing many profound manifestations of love. And one of the messages Michael gave me by turning on and off my TV set is that “LOVE IS THE ONLY RELIGION.”
Q: Last Saturday, I went to the Whole Life Expo at the LAX Airport Hilton. Michael communicated with me via a channeler through the process of automatic writing. Have you ever done that with him?
Q: The Spirit’s words were: “THE IMPORTANCE HERE FOR HIM IS NOT TO RESOLVE WHO MICHAEL IS. IT IS TO RESOLVE WHO MARK IS AND WHAT HE INTENDS TO DO WITH THAT INFORMATION.”
Q: Well, the book — I always knew that. Remember the cover of Fortean Times with the Sphinx? I guess this has something to do with our case. It dates way back to that time, apparently. At the Expo someone commented to me that one of Michael’s cryptograms looks like it could be from the Dead Sea Scrolls. I faxed it over to the Ancient Biblical Manuscript Center to have it interpreted and it may turn out to be Arabic. I found out at the Expo that one of the other cryptograms can be interpreted as expressing completion while another symbolizes rejoicing. So those are very positive messages. Remember that beetle I saw?
Q: An Egyptian word for it is scarab. It is the symbol for resurrection and immortality. There are so many parallels that can be drawn from everything that has happened. I even see a correlation with some lyrics in a song by The Beatles: “And in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make.” What do you think about that?
M: Sounds good, doesn’t it?
Q: There’s a little bit of Michael in each of us, you know?
[2021 UPDATE: AS MENTIONED IN A METAPHYSICAL ARTICLES BLOG POST, THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE OF SEPTEMBER 23, 1995 PROVIDES AN EXAMPLE OF THE DENIALIST ASSUMED IMPERATIVE THAT REPORTS OF ANOMALOUS OCCURRENCES (OR 'MIRACLES')—EVEN THOSE WITNESSED BY NUMEROUS PEOPLE—ARE SIMPLY TO BE DISMISSED WITHOUT ANY RESEARCH OR INVESTIGATION WHATSOEVER. SOMETHING NOT MENTIONED IN NEWS REPORTS OF THIS EVENT IS THAT THERE ARE PARALLELS BETWEEN THESE MASS ACCOUNTS AND TESTIMONIALS PUBLISHED IN CASE STUDIES OF 'SUPERNATURAL' OR 'PARANORMAL' PHENOMENA, INCLUDING THE TALKING POLTERGEIST' HAUNTING EXPERIENCED BY THE 19TH CENTURY BELL FAMILY OF TENNESSEE. HERE IS THE NEWSPAPER ARTICLE, WHICH I READ DURING THE MONTH FOLLOWING MY RESEARCH EXPEDITION TO OKLAHOMA.]
'Miracle' Awes Hindus Worldwide
India: Many believe milk-drinking statues are an act of God. Others accuse controversial guru of orchestrating hoax.
By John-Thor Dahlburg
Times Staff Writer
NEW DELHI—Indians by the millions rushed to see, and believed.
Rumors began spreading with astounding speed throughout India and Hindu communities from Nepal to Britain—and even Los Angeles—on Thursday that the statues of Hindu gods were drinking milk dispensed from spoons.
"God has come down to gauge us, to see how many followers He has and to serve a warning upon us that He exists," said Nagababa Ujjain Giri, chief priest at the Shiva Temple in the New Delhi neighborhood of Chanakyapuri.
In enormous throngs, Indians rushed to temples in New Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta, Madras and other cities to offer milk to statues of the elephant-headed Ganesha, the deity of good luck, and his parents, Shiva, the mighty god of creation and destruction, and Shiva's consort, Parvati.
Milk virtually disappeared from New Delhi shops by noon. The local government increased the city's milk supply by 25,000 gallons as prices rose as much as fourfold.
The outpouring of faith cut across caste and education. "At first, I did not believe it. But having come here and offered milk, I have no doubts left," a corporate executive, Parmesh Soti, told an Indian news agency in New Delhi. "It cannot be a hoax. Where would all that milk being offered go?"
In neighboring Nepal, thousands of people thronged Hindu temples. Even King Birendra, who is held to be an incarnation of the god Vishnu, turned out. In London, a statue of Shiva's bull, Nandi, at a temple reportedly began to quaff milk.
Scientists dismissed the idea that anything supernatural was happening. Hari Om Updhaya of the National Physical Laboratory toured a number of New Delhi temples and found that the pious were failing to notice the thin white film of milk trickling down the statues, which often are carved from white stone themselves or wreathed in flowers.
The craze subsided on Friday as quickly as it had erupted. At Giri's temple in Chanakyapuri, thousands of people had dispensed 50 gallons of milk on Thursday to small white marble statues; by 8:30 a.m. Friday, another 50 people had come, but the numbers dwindled rapidly.
Religion and politics are often inextricably tangled in India, and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, a Hindu nationalist group, seized upon the happenings as a miracle. Meanwhile, Welfare Minister Sitaram Kesri from the ruling Congress (I) Party accused two right-wing Hindu groups of kindling the rumor to "produce a surge of religious fervor" that could be exploited in the next elections.
The Indian Rationalist Assn., formed in 1949 to combat superstition, came up with its own explanation. After an investigation by its 18 state committees, it concluded Friday that the unnatural wonder had been the doing of a controversial and well-connected guru, Chandraswami, who is now being investigated by Indian police.
Between 2 and 4 a.m. Thursday, said Sanal Edamaruku, secretary general of the rationalist association, telephone calls had been made to main temples around the country to organize what would appear to be a spontaneous and widespread act of God.
It reached as far as the San Fernando Valley. Hundreds of worshipers, lured by word of mouth, phone calls from India and reports on CNN, flocked to the Hindu Temple and Cultural Center in Chatsworth on Thursday to feed milk to a small stone statue of Ganesha. Unlike in India, however, the phenomenon continued Friday in Chatsworth, and hundreds more visited the temple.
According to Edamaruku, "It was a well-connected network. Where there were no communications, there was no miracle.
"What [Chandraswami] is trying to do is make believe that, if he is interrogated or questioned, miracles will happen," he said.
On Sept. 15, the guru was arrested for alleged connections to organized crime. He has been linked by an arrested gangster to the chief suspect in a series of bombings that rocked Bombay in March, 1993.
"I had invoked Lord Ganesha yesterday," Chandraswami told reporters after stories of the drinking statues began sweeping India. "This is only the beginning of godly miracles."
Correspondent Nicholas Riccardi in Chatsworth contributed to this report.