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TomasFlannabhra
November 26th, 2008, 06:31 PM
An Academic (P)Review of Akins' Lebor Feasa Runda
(http://community.livejournal.com/cr_r/318578.html?#cutid1)

odubhain
November 26th, 2008, 08:11 PM
An Academic (P)Review of Akins' Lebor Feasa Runda
(http://community.livejournal.com/cr_r/318578.html?#cutid1)

I took a quick spin through the article at the above URL and it's not really an academic anything. It's one person's opinions about things posted here and based on a sketchy understanding of what the book is about. The reviewer has not actually read the book.

I'll be the first to say that the LFR is by no means ascertained to be authentic at this point. Even if everything about it's history is as we've been told it is that means that what we'd have today is a translation of a translation of probably a translation and subject to all types of political and social pressures in the doing of them.

I'm going to have an actual copy of the book in my hands on Friday and will be sitting across the table from the author/publisher. I hope to have a less biased, more factual review available sometime next week. I also want to track down and verify the existence of the people who got the book to Steven Akins in the first place. The review above has things in it like the reviewer thinking that Henry Thorenson's name is a made up one using Rudolph Thurneysen's name as a basis. Is that a scholarly unbiased approach?

Akins may be hoaxing us yet OTOH he may be gifting us with a great gift. The facts and the truth of the matter will not be revealed from biased and prejudiced reviews. It will all come out in the light of day through objective and pain-staking analysis by a number of scholars who don't have any axes to grind.

Searles O'Dubhain

odubhain
November 26th, 2008, 09:08 PM
Perhaps you'll actually want to read it, carefully, and then make further comment.

The author lists and refutes many aspects of what Akins has revealed of his book thus far, tackling issues from anachronistic language to the inoculation of foreign elements, and also backs them with the works of notable Celtic scholars. I wouldn't easily dismiss the words of someone who holds a doctorate in Celtic Studies as "not really an academic anything."

I had some questions about the book that are similar to what "Prof. Jeremy M. R. F. Chesterfield-Pickles III" had to allow but the difference is that I'm actually going to work on these issues after reading the book and after investigating whether people are real people rather than making wild assumptions about them.

I think that coming down hard on the book right now is the absolute wrong thing to do. We should be trying to learn more about it, its history and its author. That's what I'm doing. Besides I completely disagree with what Prof. Jeremy M. R. F. Chesterfield-Pickles III had to say about Ogham in his (P) Review. Damian MacManus (who knows a lot more about many aspects of Ogham than most folks) says that Ogham was created in Ireland and not in Britain as Chesterfield-Pickles says. I tend to think that Ogham is as old as Filidhecht (since one of the main deities of the Filidh is said by the Filidh to have invented it). I do agree that the surviving known examples seem to have be written no earlier than the 3rd century CE but think there will yet be other samples and examples found pushing that date back quite a bit.

Let's learn as much as we can about this book before we make judgments. I think that would be the wise course to take.

Searles O'Dubhain

Faol-chu
November 26th, 2008, 09:47 PM
Perhaps you'll actually want to read it, carefully, and then make further comment.

The author lists and refutes many aspects of what Akins has revealed of his book thus far, tackling issues from anachronistic language to the inoculation of foreign elements, and also backs them with the works of notable Celtic scholars. I wouldn't easily dismiss the words of someone who holds a doctorate in Celtic Studies as "not really an academic anything."

I've read all of this and find it to be very interesting.

I have to say, though, that while Dr. Bernhardt-House certainly has some knowledge of Celtic Studies, and makes some interesting (and from what I can tell, valid) points, I found the emotionality of the review to be overwhelming.

Due to the very emotional response, Dr. Bernhardt-House seems to me to have an agenda of his own. I think it likely goes beyond Celtic Studies. It seems personal to me.

...And that makes me wary of his "academic review".

It will be interesting to have the book examined by someone with seemingly less invested....but with just as much if not more knowledge of the subject matter.

Ben Edair
November 26th, 2008, 11:24 PM
This afternoon I finished reading the Lebor Feasa Runda, which I purchased last week from Amazon.com shortly after having seen it advertised on Witch Vox, and I must say that as a book I throughly enjoyed reading it. While I am not convinced that it is an ancient book by any means, it is a book filled with ancient stories, retold in a way which makes them both understandable and consistant with concepts found in many Neo-Pagan traditions. In addition it also offers a highly workable system of magickal practice in the genre of Druidism, with an explicit emphasis on the Irish Celtic tradition. On the whole, the Lebor Feasa Runda does a very good job of fulfilling the role of a "sacred scripture" - something that has been woefully lacking in most Pagan traditions (Druidry in particular) that are practiced today.

While the Lebor Feasa Runda may not be a ancient pre-Christian Pagan text, it may well be a historic text, whose origins nonetheless do not ultimately lie with Akins himself. I noticed in reading the preface to the book that Akins himself hints at the possibility of the work he has translated as having a more recent (though still historical) origin, where he states:


Quote:
Among the individuals brought in to interrogate him [Rudolf Hess] was naval intelligence officer Ian Fleming who suggested that noted occultist Aleister Crowley be allowed to interview Hess regarding the more esoteric aspects of his mission. The higher ranking officials in charge of the case would not permit it however. Crowley’s peripheral involvement with the Hess incident does open the doors to some interesting questions regarding the authenticity of the Lebor Feasa Rúnda and has led to speculation that the British government may have secretly commissioned its forgery by Crowley, who was well known as a translator of occult manuscripts. It is certain that the British Intelligence Service considered hiring a number of astrologers to fabricate horoscopes to be passed along to Nazi officials for the purpose of influencing their timing of certain military maneuvers so as to be better anticipated by the Allies in their conflict with the Axis forces.

Many of the passages found in the Lebor Feasa Rúnda bear a striking similarity to a number of traditional, centuries old, Gaelic spells and incantations that were collected from the rural inhabitants of the Scottish Highlands and published by the folklorist Alexander Carmichael in his Carmina Gadelica, a work comprising six volumes, the first
two being released in the year 1900. This was not long after Aleister Crowley had purchased Boleskine House on the southeastern shore of Loch Ness, located about a mile north of the village of Foyers, Scotland. Crowley had taken up residence in the secluded 18th century lodge in 1899 for the purpose of concentrating on his occult studies in
undisturbed solitude. If any meeting between Carmichael and Crowley ever occurred, there is no known record which mentions it. Carmichael died in 1912, and the remaining four volumes of the Carmina Gadelica were published posthumously. Volumes III & IV were edited by his grandson, James Carmichael Watson, and published in 1940 and
1941. The final two volumes being edited by Angus Matheson and were not published until 1954 and 1971.


Could Crowley have been the original creator of the Lebor Feasa Runda? It is certainly an interesting possibility!

But regardless of the ultimate origin of this work, it does a wonderful job of being what it is - a "bible" for Celtic Pagans and Druids who lean toward the Irish traditions. And as such, it matters little whether the text is 3000 years old or 3 days old; it is just as legitimate a "holy book" as any that has ever been written, since that is what holy books are - the creations of men, inspired by their visions and beliefs to write such works, be they the Tanka, the Upshanads, the New Testament, the Book of Shadows, or the Lebor Feasa Runda.

I think people are too quick to label others as charlatans because they are afraid of being played as fools. But in a sense, that is what all religions do, they tell people things that aren't true, yet they are accepted as truth because people want to believe them. As Mark Twain once said: "Faith is believing what you know ain't true." In this sense, Mr. Akins is no more a villain than men like Moses, or Mohammad, or Joseph Smith, or Gerald Gardner. He has a message that he wishes to share with others, as all these other men did, and he has done an eloquent job of sharing it. The gods and the truths that are found in the pages of the Lebor Feasa Runda, are the same gods and truths that have existed from long ago, and are still the same gods and truths accepted by many people still today.

Those who wish to condemn this book, or the man who saw fit to publish it, merely seek a scapegoat on which to lay their own fears of being played for fools; but that is what all religions do if we are willing to admit it. The only difference being that the con-men who sold the world other faiths are long since dead and buried, and thus far out of reach of the razor sharpened for the scape-goat's neck.

Rest assured, there is no crime in taking delight in fancies such as are found between the pages of any book - our lives can be greatly enhanced by them. And that is all any sacred-text is; mere words on pages, which are wisdom to some and lies to others; regardless of how ancient or how remote their origin - they are all written by the hands of men. Their divine nature lies only in their ability to inspire the minds of those who read them.

Ben

Ben Edair
November 27th, 2008, 01:45 AM
One thing that I noticed in "Prof. Pickles" diatribe was that he completely overlooked the fact that the name of Parthalon may well have been a pseudo-patriarchal name derrived not from the Biblical name Bartholomew (as he suggests), but rather it may stem from the ancient geographic territory called Parthia, which lay to the south of Scythia (in the LFR and other Medieval Irish texts, the followers of Parthalon were said to have originated in Scythia). See the map below:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/ad/Scythia-Parthia_100_BC.png/350px-Scythia-Parthia_100_BC.png (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Scythia-Parthia_100_BC.png)

Since the Parthians are believed to be connected to (or descended from) the Scythians; it seems reasonable to consider the Parthians as being one and the same as the Parthalonians, or followers of Parthalon, who preceded the Nemeadians to Ireland, according to ancient accounts.

Another thing which Prof. Pickles seems to have not considered is that the Q-Celtic language from which Irish Gaelic evolved was very likely not the earliest language spoken in Ireland, but may have replaced an older P-Celtic tongue that was spoken prior to the arrival of Q-Celtic speaking tribes.

The Pictish language, which some scholars suggest may have been a form of P-Celtic, also bears strong similarities to the Basque tongue, which may have evolved as a survival of the earliest language spoken in Western Europe before the introduction of the Indo-European Gaelic and Cymric languages to the British Isles. The "Aryan" (or Indo-European) language having evolved very near (if not within) the territories encompassed by the ancient lands of Parthia and Scythia, and was subsequently spread westward across Europe by invading tribes from those regions. This would seem to give support also to the early histories of Ireland which state that the tribes who settled in Ireland originated in Scythia, as well as corroborating DNA evidence for the spread of the genetic R1 haplotype in Europe, which is closely associated with the Indo-European language:

http://www.geocities.com/littlednaproject/R1B_MIGRATION.JPG

Faol-chu
November 27th, 2008, 09:46 AM
And pray tell what that "agenda" could be.

Truly, your guess is as good as mine...
But I have my ideas...Though I'm not going to discuss them here.

It really doesn't matter.
Another, more thorough review is in order, by some one who seems to have less of an axe to grind (the disgust is apparent in his writing!)...who has actually read it.
That is my point.


Again I think Dr. Bernhardt-house makes some good points...But they're hard to see for the emotionality.

Faol-chu
November 27th, 2008, 09:58 AM
That was the "agenda" of Dr. Bernhardt-House--to make known that the LFR is not an authentic, pre-Christian Old Irish text, and that the contents of the book are the creative adaptions (or inventions) of the author. As a scholar and practicing Celtic polytheist himself, it was his duty to uphold the truth and address appropriately the falsehoods of Akins' book, and his noble efforts should be applauded.

...So am I to understand that you have a problem with the fact that people don't buy this review, hook, line and sinker?

...Cause it sure seems that way from your statement here.

Ben Edair
November 27th, 2008, 10:08 AM
I agree with Faol-chu, the apparent venom in which Bernhardt-House's denouncement of the book is steeped is, to say the least, distasteful. Moreover it leads one to believe that Bernhardt-House's motivation to act the part of a talking head may be the result of jealousy over the thought of someone other than himself having produced a work which might be well-received within the Pagan and Druidic community if given a fair chance to actually be read. The numerous blogs I have seen villifying Akins' work all appear to be a desparate attempt to discourage any unbiased examination of the book by individuals who should be quite capable of drawing their own conclusions, and do not require "thought police" to make up their minds for them.

Ben Edair
November 27th, 2008, 10:25 AM
So, sure, there may be a few "gems" in the book that are useful or inspiring for practice, but does that pardon the fact that the author fabricated an entire history to promote his book and tried to pass off his personal rendition of Irish mythology as an authentic translation of a pre-Christian druidic doctrine? So, because this book made your loins tingle, we should suddenly allow these fraudulent claims to persist?


Ah, you mean like burning bushes, Quran-revealing angels, or golden tablets? I see your point.....what right is there for such things to exist in the context of religion? Faith should all be based on broken pottery-shards and bog-bodies....no place for prophets and their wild tales in religion. It must all be based on archaelogy, even if that leaves us with nothing. [insert sarcasm disclaimer here].

Ben Edair
November 27th, 2008, 01:09 PM
No, but I'm astounded by some people's credulity that leaves them to abandon rationality and dismiss the words of respected community scholars, and to entertain the notion Akins' book contains any credibility.

I don't understand your issue with the review. You said yourself that you donnot believe the text to be an authentic, Old Irish text; Dr. Bernhardt-House presented an essay that showed that the text is indeed not an authentic, Old Irish text based on the content the author of the book has presented to the public so far, and supported his argument with credible sources. The authenticity of the text is exactly what the doctor was addressing. If you have issue with the author's tone, fine, but I'm not seeing any fundamental difference between your thoughts and the author's.

Perhaps you feel that Dr. Bernhardt-House is to be commended for his thought-policing pretensions in producing his apparently psychic review of this yet-to-be-read-by-himself text. I am certain that the mindless denizens of the internet, who require self-appointed authorities to pre-screen their reading materials for them, bow to the indisputable knowledge of talking-heads such as Dr. Bernhardt-House. No doubt such readers, insecure in their own comprehension skills, will find much to gain from his verbose assessment of this book and will feel his self-righteous indignation of its publication fully warranted. Perhaps he should engage in producing a series of like commentaries, offering scathing reviews of the preposterous origins of other similar absurdities, such as the Pentateuch, the Gospels, the Koran, the Book of Mormon, Leland's Aradia and Gardner's Book of Shadows....the world awaits Dr. Bernhardt-House’s blistering denouncements of all such lunatic prophets seeking to con the masses with their indefensible accounts of burning-bushes, messenger-angels, golden tablets and secret covens.

Ben Edair
November 27th, 2008, 01:22 PM
This is an absurd straw-man.

So, because Abrahamic religions make incredible claims about how divine knowledge comes to certain men, it is fine for someone to propagate an intended fraud within the Irish polytheist community? And I really hope you are suggesting that Mr. Akins' is anything like a "prophet" for Irish polytheists. The gods to not raise charlatans to proclaim for them.

Ben, your posts are further delving into the absurd and petty. This is not a matter of whether the contents of the book are useful or inspirational, and your utlitarian argument or what other religions do is irrelevant. The fact of the matter is that author deceived his prospective audience into thinking his reworkings of Irish myth and tradition were authentic translations from a pre-Christian text. You, too, said yourself that you do not believe the text is authentic, so what then is your problem? This is my issue as well as the issue of Dr. Bernhardt-House takes with the book.

I said that I doubt that the text is an actual surviving pre-Christian Irish pagan scripture, but I have made no determination in regard to the explaination given by Akins as to how the Lebor Feasa Runda came to him. His assertion that he translated it from a German transcription prepared by a former Nazi may well be true, irrespective of its antiquity, or lack thereof.

skilly-nilly
November 27th, 2008, 01:31 PM
I'll be the first to say that the LFR is by no means ascertained to be authentic at this point. Akins may be hoaxing us yet OTOH he may be gifting us with a great gift. Searles O'Dubhain


I had some questions about the book that are similar to what "Prof. Jeremy M. R. F. Chesterfield-Pickles III" (that's just rude, and petty. Glass houses, ya'know) had to allow but the difference is that I'm actually going to work on these issues after reading the book and after investigating whether people are real people rather than making wild assumptions about them.
Let's learn as much as we can about this book before we make judgments. I think that would be the wise course to take.
Searles O'Dubhain

Leaving aside the point that you felt competent to dismiss Dr. Bernhardt-House's review because he has only read the excerpts the author has posted while not having actually read the review itself, if there are egregious errors in those excerpts
to point out (as there are) then pointing them out is wholly justified. Dr. Bernhardt-House doesn't make assumptions about the body of the work, there are plenty of things to question in the bits the author has gifted us with.




>snip<
:blahblah:


I think that posting the same thing in more than one thread is wholly unnecessary, particularly when it's soooooooooo long.


I've read all of this and find it to be very interesting.

I have to say, though, that while Dr. Bernhardt-House certainly has some knowledge of Celtic Studies, and makes some interesting (and from what I can tell, valid) points, I found the emotionality of the review to be overwhelming.



Another, more thorough review is in order, by some one who seems to have less of an axe to grind (the disgust is apparent in his writing!)...who has actually read it.
That is my point.


Again I think Dr. Bernhardt-house makes some good points...But they're hard to see for the emotionality.



That was the "agenda" of Dr. Bernhardt-House--to make known that the LFR is not an authentic, pre-Christian Old Irish text, and that the contents of the book are the creative adaptions (or inventions) of the author. As a scholar and practicing Celtic polytheist himself, it was his duty to uphold the truth and address appropriately the falsehoods of Akins' book, and his noble efforts should be applauded. :qft:

As Dr. Bernhardt-House competently points out, there are linguistic errors in the supposed 'Old Irish' that is quoted in the excerpts posted. They are so bad that even I with my limited grasp of the language had noticed them. But I do not have a doctorate in Celtic Studies so I am glad to have Dr. Bernhardt-House speaking to these errors.

As well, when I read the first excerpt I was also offended that so blatant a piece of possible fakery would be seriously presented by the author with not so much as an acknowledgement of the dubious provenance appended. I read it out loud to my son and we both laughed to think that anyone would take it seriously. It's remarkable flim-flam and a tip-o-the-hat to the author who has created not just one but 2 separate back-doors to exit from when the temple he has created gets too hot.

I am also interested to see where this is going, but saddened that it's happening.

Here's
http://community.livejournal.com/cr_r/318732.html
a different pov; of course the author's a writer himself so does he have an agenda as well?

My take on it is that lying discredits content, but that's just me.

Ben Edair
November 27th, 2008, 02:01 PM
As well, when I read the first excerpt I was also offended that so blatant a piece of possible fakery would be seriously presented by the author with not so much as an acknowledgement of the dubious provenance appended. I read it out loud to my son and we both laughed to think that anyone would take it seriously. It's remarkable flim-flam and a tip-o-the-hat to the author who has created not just one but 2 separate back-doors to exit from when the temple he has created gets too hot.....My take on it is that lying discredits content, but that's just me.


Well, there goes the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Koran, the Book of Mormon, Aradia, and the Book of Shadows.....doesn't leave much for any religion to be based upon, does it?

Ben Edair
November 27th, 2008, 05:35 PM
But yet, as a "Celtic scholar and historian," he wasn't able to discern that the text he was translating was obviously a sham?

Not being a scholar, I wouldn't have the slightest clue as to what might be involved in translating a document from German into English and then determining whether the original source was authentic or not, or from what period it was supposed to stem. From what I understand in his preface it was supposedly transcribed more than once in Irish before the Germans ever made their translation of it, and as there was no original Irish text to examine, I can imagine that it would be very difficult for anyone to say with certainty when the copy that fell into German hands was made. I see in his preface where he makes this statement:


The remarkable history which surrounds this text was outlined by Thorenson’s own copious notes which detail how the Lebor Feasa Runda had passed from one owner to the next over the centuries. How much of this account is truth and how much may well be conjecture I am not prepared to say more than that my own extensive research into the events surrounding its discovery, and knowledge of Celtic culture and traditions, inclines me to believe that it has a solid foundation of truth.

Here he seems to rely on the information that the German translator had gathered and seems to base his judgement on the accuracy of that by what he was able to assess from his own research, saying that he leans toward believing that the information has a fairly strong likelyhood of being authentic - but that does not rule out the possibility of it being otherwise.

I don't see how that gives anyone the right to condemn the man, as he himself has made no assertation that any of it has been proven beyond doubt. He has simply provided us with his translation of a text which seems to belong in some way to the pagan Celtic mythological/religious tradition which came to him as a German translation made sometime during the last century. It is up to the readers of his work to judge for themselves what they believe about it, and either accept or reject it accordingly; but you shouldn't lay blame upon the messenger if you find fault with the message, as he makes no claims of it being his own creation.

skilly-nilly
November 27th, 2008, 05:50 PM
Well, there goes the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Koran, the Book of Mormon, Aradia, and the Book of Shadows.....doesn't leave much for any religion to be based upon, does it?

No, this is an apples and oranges argument.

I do not discredit and indeed I myself rely on UPG (unverified personal gnosis).

If the recepient calls it 'relevation' or 'holy communication' or 'communication from God/s/dess/desses' I'm fine with that. If they assert that it holds true for anyone other then themselves without examination then, yes, I'm going to argue about that..

Soooooo,
if someone says, "God/s/dess/desses spoke to me and this is what Ze said."
OK, that's unverifiable.

If someone says, "I have received an unverifiable ancient text and this is what it said, believe me."

Then that's not orange.
Besides, passing off your own work as 'ancient knowledge' is sooooo last century; I think that the general, Paganism, and the specific, Irish ReConstructionism, can support works of UPG.

Faol-chu
November 27th, 2008, 06:57 PM
No, but I'm astounded by some people's credulity that leaves them to abandon rationality and dismiss the words of respected community scholars, and to entertain the notion Akins' book contains any credibility.

If you're referring to me, here, I honestly have to say that I have serious reservations about the material presented in this book...just based on intuition and common sense alone....
And I've not "dismissed" anything. I just want more verification from someone who seems to have less of an axe to grind.


I don't understand your issue with the review. You said yourself that you donnot believe the text to be an authentic, Old Irish text; Dr. Bernhardt-House presented an essay that showed that the text is indeed not an authentic, Old Irish text based on the content the author of the book has presented to the public so far, and supported his argument with credible sources. The authenticity of the text is exactly what the doctor was addressing. If you have issue with the author's tone, fine, but I'm not seeing any fundamental difference between your thoughts and the author's.

Just to be clear...until this thread, I haven't said ANYTHING on this topic. And I've just said more in this post than I had at any point before now.

Dr. Bernhardt-House's point got lost in his clear emotionality on the topic (in my estimation).
Kudos to him for attempting to review it. I only wish he had done so AFTER he actually read the whole work...and after he might have taken step back (away from whatever emotions are driving him) before he did it.
I think it would have lended more credibility to him AND to his review.

While it may or may not apply to him, the fact is that everybody knows how easy it is to skew facts to make things look a certain way....and if an individual has an emotional investment, they are more prone to do so.

Because of this, I, personally will be looking for someone else to review it who HAS read it...and who does not seem to have such an emotional investment....
Both to give me clear unbiased evidence of (probably) what I already sense...and to use to give a reasoned argument to others about 'why they shouldn't waste their money or their time.'

Faol-chu
November 27th, 2008, 07:08 PM
Here's
http://community.livejournal.com/cr_r/318732.html
a different pov; of course the author's a writer himself so does he have an agenda as well?


I really like Brendan Myers' suggestion of how to fight this...

NOT talk about it...

Honestly, I had not heard of this book at all until Tomas' post about it.

I feel strongly that the posting of it here has rallied far more curiosity about it than it really deserves.

Those of us who are actually interested in research KNOW who the reputable authors are.
Those who are new to it WILL (I guarantee!) find people to ask who will point them in the right direction.

Ben Edair
November 29th, 2008, 08:10 AM
Phillip Andrew Bernhardt-House is a 25 year old metagendered pagan spiritualist, bisexual post Christian theologian working on a Ph.D. in Celtic Studies in Cork, Ireland. Source: http://www.whitecranejournal.com/52/art5205.asp

Phillip Bernhardt-House is a member of The Seattle LGBT Pagans Meetup Group

Additional Information
"I'm involved in the Ekklesia Antinoou (queer Graeco-Roman-Egyptian syncretist reconstructionist polytheism dedicated to Antinous, the deified lover of Emperor Hadrian), and also Celtic Reconstructionist paganism. I'm an academic!" Source: http://glbtpagans.meetup.com/194/members/5618320/

"You know by the way I walk
that I am All That, the pretty boy-girl,
the one you want to hug so bad it hurts.... "

- Phillip Andrew Bernhardt-House

Seren_
November 29th, 2008, 09:02 AM
Oh gods, teh gayz and der agendas!!11!1

I know. Words just fail me right now...

Dr Bernhardt-House raised some very good points about the excerpts of the book that have been posted publicly; points that show that anyone should have grave concerns about the veracity of the claims that the author is making. I agree, from the comments that have been made on the lj page, that it's perhaps a little dense for most people to want to read and maybe something a little more succinct and clearer is needed as well, but something like this needed to be said, and said with intelligence and authority.

The criticism that the piece is too emotional is an obvious one, but I don't see why that should detract from what's actually been said. The points raised are still valid. I really don't understand these oblique references to an underlying agenda, though (the agenda is...to point out the book's a fraud, in the considered opinion of an academic?), and childish pointers to Dr Bernhardt-House's sexuality or religious and academic interests are completely irrelevant to the matter at hand (not to mention the posting of his personal email address on a public forum. That's just rude).

If Akins is a noted Celtic scholar, then he should have picked up on the fact that there were linguistic inconsistencies in the German translation he claims to have been given. If he was indeed given the manuscript in the way that he claims, and if indeed he does actually believe the manuscript is genuine. There's a lot of ifs.

The fact that he didn't pick up on the inconsistencies, or address them (and the other obvious problems) in his public posts makes him either a bad scholar making disingenuous claims, or a terrible fraud. Either way, it's not a good indication that the book's worth buying, especially when you factor in the obvious inaccuracies and anacronisms evident in the excerpts that have been posted.

I do agree, though, that there comes a point when not much more can be said about the subject. The controversy that's been generated from this book is as good a piece of free publicity for the book as any author could hope for.

OK. So maybe I wasn't so lost for words after all...

Seren_
November 29th, 2008, 09:17 AM
One thing that I noticed in "Prof. Pickles" diatribe was that he completely overlooked the fact that the name of Parthalon may well have been a pseudo-patriarchal name derrived not from the Biblical name Bartholomew (as he suggests), but rather it may stem from the ancient geographic territory called Parthia, which lay to the south of Scythia (in the LFR and other Medieval Irish texts, the followers of Parthalon were said to have originated in Scythia).

At the risk of going off topic (I'm sorry, I just couldn't let it lie...). Um. No. I'd recommend having a read of Kim McCone's Pagan Past and Christian Present.



The Pictish language, which some scholars suggest may have been a form of P-Celtic, also bears strong similarities to the Basque tongue, which may have evolved as a survival of the earliest language spoken in Western Europe before the introduction of the Indo-European Gaelic and Cymric languages to the British Isles.


Again. Try Kathryn Forsyth's Language in Pictland, (http://eprints.gla.ac.uk/2081/) or the Wikipedia page for a briefer overview (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pictish_language) for a more up to date idea of scholarly thinking.

Phoenix Blue
November 29th, 2008, 09:27 AM
I have said before that MysticWicks welcomes those of all faiths and all sexual orientations ... but not bigots.

Further: Mr. Edair, you will not violate others' right to privacy if you wish to continue to be a member of MysticWicks.

_Banbha_
November 29th, 2008, 03:48 PM
I know. Words just fail me right now...

It's a most childish post that has no purpose or effect on this conversation.


Dr Bernhardt-House raised some very good points about the excerpts of the book that have been posted publicly; points that show that anyone should have grave concerns about the veracity of the claims that the author is making. I agree, from the comments that have been made on the lj page, that it's perhaps a little dense for most people to want to read and maybe something a little more succinct and clearer is needed as well, but something like this needed to be said, and said with intelligence and authority.

The criticism that the piece is too emotional is an obvious one, but I don't see why that should detract from what's actually been said. The points raised are still valid. I really don't understand these oblique references to an underlying agenda, though (the agenda is...to point out the book's a fraud, in the considered opinion of an academic?), and childish pointers to Dr Bernhardt-House's sexuality or religious and academic interests are completely irrelevant to the matter at hand (not to mention the posting of his personal email address on a public forum. That's just rude).

Given the tenor and the complete lack of substantive response to Dr. Bernhardt-House's (P)Review of the material presented from Akins' book thus far, I'm not overly surprised.

I think it's possible that some are confusing emotionality that would lead to some kind of bias with passion for the subject combined with a depth of knowledge that has provided a clear refutation of the materials Akins presented on line. Given how the piece is referenced on each claim, I find it difficult to understand how a passion for accuracy can be seen as getting in the way, unless of course you're predisposed towards suspicion when it comes to critical thinking or are against academic vetting.

This is not an uncommon response amongst some religionists as per the cry of not having a Celtic Polytheist to 'lead' a la Joseph Smith...as if CP's are missing out on something precious. Clearly, different strokes for different folks. This should not get in the way of clear refutation that this book is a fraud. It is not what it claims to be. That it is disrespectful to the actual tradition and lore it falsely claims to represent and it's unacceptable to modern readers who respect and revere said tradition and lore.


If Akins is a noted Celtic scholar, then he should have picked up on the fact that there were linguistic inconsistencies in the German translation he claims to have been given. If he was indeed given the manuscript in the way that he claims, and if indeed he does actually believe the manuscript is genuine. There's a lot of ifs.

The fact that he didn't pick up on the inconsistencies, or address them (and the other obvious problems) in his public posts makes him either a bad scholar making disingenuous claims, or a terrible fraud. Either way, it's not a good indication that the book's worth buying, especially when you factor in the obvious inaccuracies and anacronisms evident in the excerpts that have been posted.

I do agree, though, that there comes a point when not much more can be said about the subject. The controversy that's been generated from this book is as good a piece of free publicity for the book as any author could hope for.

I wonder about the saying that all publicity is good publicity in this context. People genuinely interested in learning about Irish lore will not want to waste precious time and money on a fraud. Yes, he's gotten more attention than he deserves in the short run but it's not the kind of attention that garners reputation or staying power. It makes him merely an asterisk of things to avoid on any moderately decent book list.

I agree with everything you've posted here though especailly about the linguistic inconsistencies. The basic anachronisms and inaccuracies in the "Lebor Feasa Runda" are there for anyone to see who is well versed in reading the lore from historical sources. Your post (http://mysticwicks.com/showpost.php?p=3781918&postcount=49) directed to Akins on the Book Fraud (http://mysticwicks.com/showthread.php?t=205102) thread raises the some of the same issues. It illustrates some serious problems on Akins grasp of the subject matter in it's actual context. If his "source", and not himself as he might claim, is the result of the inaccuracies, why does he fail to recognize them? This is indicative in the material provided. It's a red flag, beyond the unsubstantiated claims Akins has made given the convoluted provenance of his alleged documents.

It's a book to avoid especially given the authors insistence that the "Lebor Feasa Runda" is an authentic pre-Christian Irish "druidic" text. Caveat emptor.

Seren_
November 29th, 2008, 04:26 PM
Given the tenor and the complete lack of substantive response to Dr. Bernhardt-House's (P)Review of the material presented from Akins' book thus far, I'm not overly surprised.

I think it's possible that some are confusing emotionality that would lead to some kind of bias with passion for the subject combined with a depth of knowledge that has provided a clear refutation of the materials Akins presented on line. Given how the piece is referenced on each claim, I find it difficult to understand how a passion for accuracy can be seen as getting in the way, unless of course you're predisposed towards suspicion when it comes to critical thinking or are against academic vetting.

Exactly. (And he also mentions a few books that I'd love to hunt up sometime, but that's a little OT :p ).


I wonder about the saying that all publicity is good publicity in this context. People genuinely interested in learning about Irish lore will not want to waste precious time and money on a fraud. Yes, he's gotten more attention than he deserves in the short run but it's not the kind of attention that garners reputation or staying power. It makes him merely an asterisk of things to avoid on any moderately decent book list.

I agree. But I was thinking that really, it's a self-published book that I hadn't heard of. If I wandered onto Witchvox more often then maybe I would've seen it, but otherwise I doubt it's something that would've come onto my radar. Given the resulting controversy I was thinking that there are going to be some people, having seen it, who might buy a copy to see what all the fuss was about that would otherwise have ignored it or not even noticed it.

When I was looking for reviews a while ago I noticed that there are some hard-back copies for sale on Amazon for $50+ so some sellers certainly thinks there's a few dollars to be made from it. At least $15 dollars above the sale price for a new copy, anyway. Secondhand paperbacks are similarly inflated.


I agree with everything you've posted here though especailly about the linguistic inconsistencies. The basic anachronisms and inaccuracies in the "Lebor Feasa Runda" are there for anyone to see who is well versed in reading the lore from historical sources. Your post (http://mysticwicks.com/showpost.php?p=3781918&postcount=49) directed to Akins on the Book Fraud (http://mysticwicks.com/showthread.php?t=205102) thread raises the some of the same issues. It illustrates some serious problems on Akins grasp of the subject matter in it's actual context. If his "source", and not himself as he might claim, is the result of the inaccuracies, why does he fail to recognize them? This is indicative in the material provided. It's a red flag, beyond the unsubstantiated claims Akins has made given the convoluted provenance of his alleged documents.

It's a book to avoid especially given the authors insistence that the "Lebor Feasa Runda" is an authentic pre-Christian Irish "druidic" text. Caveat emptor.

Thanks :p

Ben Edair
November 29th, 2008, 05:36 PM
It's a book to avoid especially given the authors insistence that the "Lebor Feasa Runda" is an authentic pre-Christian Irish "druidic" text. Caveat emptor.


Somewhere out there a Christian is admonishing another Christian that Books like Jubilees, Enoch, and the Gospel of Judas are "to be avoided", less they might be tempted to read some scripture that is not sanctioned by the authorities.

Seren_
November 29th, 2008, 05:48 PM
Somewhere out there a Christian is admonishing another Christian that Books like Jubilees, Enoch, and the Gospel of Judas are "to be avoided", less they might be tempted to read some scripture that is not sanctioned by the authorities.

Seriously, is this all you have? Posts about the Bible and attacks on Dr Bernhardt-House's sexuality, yet nothing to say about the actual content of the article provided by the OP itself?

How are either points pertinent to the thread? It's embarrassingly obvious from such posts that you have nothing to contribute as to the actual content. And utterly off topic.

Seren_
November 29th, 2008, 05:53 PM
I think we know who has "won" this when someone starts posting irrelevant information about the author instead of refuting his claims.

Well, Ben, we now know you can use Google. So how about using it for something more productive than ad hominem attacks and see if you can deconstruct the doctor's essay?

Indeed.

Ben Edair
November 29th, 2008, 06:05 PM
Seriously, is this all you have? Posts about Bible and attacks on Dr Bernhardt-House's sexuality, yet nothing to say about the actual content of the article provided by the OP itself?


It is biased from the viewpoint of a radical leftist with an obvious prejudice against someone with a more traditional outook. I posted only what Bernhardt-house had to say about himself on public web-pages for the purpose of establishing what sort of influences color his judgement. This was in no wise different from the sort of hearsay allegations that have been pointed out in regard to Akins (except for the fact that the remarks reflecting on Bernhardt-House originate with himself, whereas those reflecting upon Akins stem from third-hand information arising from an article appearing in a disreputable tabloid publication of the lowest order).

_Banbha_
November 29th, 2008, 07:49 PM
Exactly. (And he also mentions a few books that I'd love to hunt up sometime, but that's a little OT :p ).

I have some of the books here at home, including Cary's Grail book as one of my most recent acquisitions. I didn't reply immediately because I was taking some time to process and do some background reading on the information he was presenting. I'm amazed at how quickly some came to conclusions after a quick scan of it. I'd say I don't think that's entirely possible.

And, I'd definitely want to seek out a couple more books mentioned in the (P)Review as well.



I agree. But I was thinking that really, it's a self-published book that I hadn't heard of. If I wandered onto Witchvox more often then maybe I would've seen it, but otherwise I doubt it's something that would've come onto my radar. Given the resulting controversy I was thinking that there are going to be some people, having seen it, who might buy a copy to see what all the fuss was about that would otherwise have ignored it or not even noticed it.

When I was looking for reviews a while ago I noticed that there are some hard-back copies for sale on Amazon for $50+ so some sellers certainly thinks there's a few dollars to be made from it. At least $15 dollars above the sale price for a new copy, anyway. Secondhand paperbacks are similarly inflated.

Ah, I see, similar to free advertising. Perhaps it's become something of a curiosity piece to some as well.

It is certainly a curious thing. :kooky:



Thanks :p

YW. I think others might find that post and the one you quoted helpful. :p

_Banbha_
November 29th, 2008, 07:52 PM
Somewhere out there a Christian is admonishing another Christian that Books like Jubilees, Enoch, and the Gospel of Judas are "to be avoided", less they might be tempted to read some scripture that is not sanctioned by the authorities.

What? There is no centralized authority here, only a fraudulent book that either is a modern invention or is one that is based on a modern invention.

So please save the bible study shtick for an appropriate venue.


Seriously, is this all you have? Posts about Bible and attacks on Dr Bernhardt-House's sexuality, yet nothing to say about the actual content of the article provided by the OP itself?

How are either points pertinent to the thread? It's embarrassingly obvious from such posts that you have nothing to contribute as to the actual content. And utterly off topic.

Seriously. :uhhuhuh:


I think we know who has "won" this when someone starts posting irrelevant information about the author instead of refuting his claims.

Well, Ben, we now know you can use Google. So how about using it for something more productive than ad hominem attacks and see if you can deconstruct the doctor's essay?

1) Absolutely.

2) That'd be a switch!

Philosophia
November 29th, 2008, 08:05 PM
It is biased from the viewpoint of a radical leftist with an obvious prejudice against someone with a more traditional outook.

Okay, I've been following this discussion and this statement has me confused. How do you know that he is a radical leftist?

Ben Edair
November 29th, 2008, 09:02 PM
Okay, I've been following this discussion and this statement has me confused. How do you know that he is a radical leftist?

In much the same way that someone might asscertain that he is much too eager to express his opinions on a work he has not even read as a means of parasitically riding the coat-tails of its publisher to draw attention to himself by refuting the word of that individual whose work stands in competition against his own agendized pronouncements.

Cu Glas
November 30th, 2008, 08:48 AM
Hello Ben Edair!

This IS Dr. Phillip A. Bernhardt-House, raging faggot leftist and utterly happy with being identified as such by you. What, though, does any of that have to do with my academic credentials (which are unassailable), or my evident disgust with this blatant attempt to manufacture false legitimacy for oneself and one's claims on the part of Akins?

Needless to say, your attempts at an ad hominem attack against me are feeble and ill-conceived. As I've been a member here since before this all began (but have not spoken up until now), I seriously doubt the administrators will look kindly on these actions. However, I leave that to them.

Of the many things I did not mention in my essay on this particular example of forgery, a further one comes to mind in the midst of the present discussion. If Thorenson was a scholar of any sense whatsoever (which is moot, since he didn't exist), he would not have spent what little time he had with the manuscript translating it, he would have made a transcription of it to the best of his ability. The work of even translating one paragraph of Old Irish from a printed edition, for even the most able textual scholars today, can take weeks, if not longer (indeed, at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies Old Irish seminar on one occasion in the 90s, the greatest scholars of Old Irish took two weeks to translate and discuss one sentence!). I seriously doubt that a scholar no one has ever heard of could have made such a translation so easily at that period; he would have had to have been as learned and skillful as Rudolf Thurneysen, who was dead by 1940, and was in retirement in Bonn in the 30s. Thorenson is not Thurneysen, however! If this theoretical Thorenson figure had made the transcription, he could have come back to it any time, shown it to others after the original manuscript had been "spirited away" again, and it would no doubt have been in his papers somewhere so that Akins could later look at it and evaluate it himself. (Or perhaps it STILL IS in papers that Thorenson's widow did not show him? If that turns out to be the case in the near future, we'll know where he got the idea!) However, since the entire edifice is a fraud, and a very ill-planned one at that, it was easier to create something in German than it would have been to learn Old Irish at a level competent enough to create a convincing forgery. The transparency of the forgery becomes clearer and clearer the more one even thinks about the incredible (in the original sense of "utterly unbelieveable and without credit") narrative of how it was supposedly re-discovered.

As for my own motivations (emotional or otherwise) where Akins' fraud is concerned, it is to oppose wherever possible the propagation of erroneous information, especially when passed off as legitimate (no matter how shoddily the forger attempts to do so). If Akins simply called this work his own version of Irish-Wiccan syncretism, or even historical fiction, there would be no argument from me; if anyone who decides to take his work seriously as a spiritual path does so because they find it is appealing and works for them (rather than because of any claims that it is the "true and right way" for "the Celts"), that would also not be any of my concern. However, Akins calls it legitimate ancient tradition, which it most certainly is not.

As an academic Celticist, the amount of re-education we have to give interested college students due to frauds not even as egregious as this one is astounding. As a practicing polytheist, I'm dedicated entirely to fír and its upholding whenever and wherever possible, and the blatant attempts by some people to justify their own fictions as authentic and true traditions (usually in an attempt to seize some amount of "spiritual authority" for themselves) is something that appalls me on every level. I currently have no plans to write a book of my own on these subjects; I merely wish to publish articles on topics that I find interesting, with the possible utility of these findings (which are actually based on actual study of the medieval Irish textual sources--imagine that!) left entirely up to the people who decide to use them. I am sickened by the idea that anyone would want to be a "prophet" or a "pope," in effect, for any Celtic spiritual movement, and most certainly do not seek this for myself.

If I express my exasperation with verbal vehemence, so be it--apparently, those who think I'm too emotional have not seen some of the academic debates in Celtic Studies, which have included fist fights (and I'm utterly serious on that)...this is actually downright civilized in comparison to some such debates!

For those who have supported my critique on this website, I thank you very much indeed, and appreciate it greatly. I would be happy to speak with any of you further about the matters raised in my essay at any time.

Dr. Bernhardt-House

odubhain
November 30th, 2008, 11:12 AM
Hello Ben Edair!

This IS Dr. Phillip A. Bernhardt-House, raging faggot leftist and utterly happy with being identified as such by you. What, though, does any of that have to do with my academic credentials (which are unassailable), or my evident disgust with this blatant attempt to manufacture false legitimacy for oneself and one's claims on the part of Akins?

Hi, I'm Searles O'Dubhain and I'd like to ask you exactly what your academic credentials are? I think you've said in other places that you have a PhD from UCC IIRC. If that is true, then what was the title of your dissertation and what was the major focus of your study there? Who was your major advisor? It's rare that a person who is Pagan oriented attains to a university degree in Celtic studies and I'd like to value your effort.


Needless to say, your attempts at an ad hominem attack against me are feeble and ill-conceived. As I've been a member here since before this all began (but have not spoken up until now), I seriously doubt the administrators will look kindly on these actions. However, I leave that to them.

I'd much prefer if everyone here just addressed the material in the book of Leabhar Feasa Rúnda and its provenance rather than getting into side issues, personalities or even political and personal beliefs. That goes for everyone including you and of course myself.


Of the many things I did not mention in my essay on this particular example of forgery, a further one comes to mind in the midst of the present discussion. If Thorenson was a scholar of any sense whatsoever (which is moot, since he didn't exist), he would not have spent what little time he had with the manuscript translating it, he would have made a transcription of it to the best of his ability.

How do you know the book is a forgery?

How do you known that Henry Thorenson did not exist?

Has this been proven elsewhere? If so I'd love to see some quotes from the proofs. If not, then perhaps you are expressing opinions that are not based on facts. If the facts support your opinion then let's hear them.


The work of even translating one paragraph of Old Irish from a printed edition, for even the most able textual scholars today, can take weeks, if not longer (indeed, at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies Old Irish seminar on one occasion in the 90s, the greatest scholars of Old Irish took two weeks to translate and discuss one sentence!).

O'Dubhain's law says that the time to translate a work increases exponentially in proportion to the number of scholars attempting the work. :-)

It does take time, energy, thought and resources to make such a tramnslation even by a single person. It's easier to do nowadays because EDIL is online and more works are available through UCC and archives like ISOS.


I seriously doubt that a scholar no one has ever heard of could have made such a translation so easily at that period; he would have had to have been as learned and skillful as Rudolf Thurneysen, who was dead by 1940, and was in retirement in Bonn in the 30s. Thorenson is not Thurneysen, however!

Yet it is true that Old-Irish and much of its grammar and literature was pretty much saved by people like Zeuss, Thurneysen and Meyer (among others). I expect that a scholar could have done a translation if he had the entire resources of Germany at the time available to him. Of course, records of Thorenson's birth, commission, education, death and other accomplishments should be sought and verified if we are to dispel innuendos and assumptions about him, his existence and his capabilities. Have you done this search? Is that why you are stating that he didn't exist at all as if it were a fact? I'd love to see the information and the proof. I'm looking for it myself before making any claims about him.


If this theoretical Thorenson figure had made the transcription, he could have come back to it any time, shown it to others after the original manuscript had been "spirited away" again, and it would no doubt have been in his papers somewhere so that Akins could later look at it and evaluate it himself. (Or perhaps it STILL IS in papers that Thorenson's widow did not show him? If that turns out to be the case in the near future, we'll know where he got the idea!)

I hope that calm minds and valid research will give us all more reliable information on this matter.


However, since the entire edifice is a fraud, and a very ill-planned one at that, it was easier to create something in German than it would have been to learn Old Irish at a level competent enough to create a convincing forgery. The transparency of the forgery becomes clearer and clearer the more one even thinks about the incredible (in the original sense of "utterly unbelieveable and without credit") narrative of how it was supposedly re-discovered.

How does it become a fraud without proof? I think you actually seem to be saying that your opinion is that it is a fraud and that this opinion is based on subjective factors rather than facts (like actually reading the book or discussing it with the author).


As for my own motivations (emotional or otherwise) where Akins' fraud is concerned, it is to oppose wherever possible the propagation of erroneous information, especially when passed off as legitimate (no matter how shoddily the forger attempts to do so).

Calm, factual, logical presentation is what I've found to be the best means of proving anything.


If Akins simply called this work his own version of Irish-Wiccan syncretism, or even historical fiction, there would be no argument from me; if anyone who decides to take his work seriously as a spiritual path does so because they find it is appealing and works for them (rather than because of any claims that it is the "true and right way" for "the Celts"), that would also not be any of my concern. However, Akins calls it legitimate ancient tradition, which it most certainly is not.

Actually, Akins said straight to my face over lunch on Friday that he doesn't have anyway of proving that the Old Irish manuscript of Leabhar Feasa Rúnda exists other than the word of Henry Thorenson's wife, Evelyn, and the German pages of Henry's translations. He also admits that he flavored the style of the language in his own version of it by using what he considered to be King James English. He told me that he did this because the book has and obvious spiritual and religious importance and he felt that that type of language would be appropriate to it. His translation should probably be considered more of a paraphrasing of the German rather than a literal, academic translation.

I have questions about the spells, incantations and Ogham talismans he's provided and am awaiting email communication to clarify those. I do note that Steven Akins did say on the OBOD message board that he modeled the incantations after the style of Alexander Carmichael. Based on these remarks and my conversation with him, the best that can be said about the work is that it is a loose, popular rendition of Akins' impressions of the work from his own translation attempts.

Much more could be learned about its veracity if the full German text were available in the published work (it's not). We do have some of this from what Steven has posted here on this forum (though sadly not enough of it). I also have more of this that he's shared with me via email but will not release that unless he says it's OK to do as it is private information.


As an academic Celticist, the amount of re-education we have to give interested college students due to frauds not even as egregious as this one is astounding. As a practicing polytheist, I'm dedicated entirely to fír and its upholding whenever and wherever possible, and the blatant attempts by some people to justify their own fictions as authentic and true traditions (usually in an attempt to seize some amount of "spiritual authority" for themselves) is something that appalls me on every level. I currently have no plans to write a book of my own on these subjects; I merely wish to publish articles on topics that I find interesting, with the possible utility of these findings (which are actually based on actual study of the medieval Irish textual sources--imagine that!) left entirely up to the people who decide to use them. I am sickened by the idea that anyone would want to be a "prophet" or a "pope," in effect, for any Celtic spiritual movement, and most certainly do not seek this for myself.

Then why not approach the entire matter academically and holding strictly to the truth rather than presenting opinion without substantiations? I'd love to see the additional information that you must have since you hold your opinions on the man and his book so strongly.


If I express my exasperation with verbal vehemence, so be it--apparently, those who think I'm too emotional have not seen some of the academic debates in Celtic Studies, which have included fist fights (and I'm utterly serious on that)...this is actually downright civilized in comparison to some such debates!

For those who have supported my critique on this website, I thank you very much indeed, and appreciate it greatly. I would be happy to speak with any of you further about the matters raised in my essay at any time.

Dr. Bernhardt-House

I think there's a lot of work to be done regarding the Leabhar Feasa Rúnda and the material in Irish myth and magic that it addresses. The best way to do this is to take energy that is being consumed by passion and emotions and put it into digging out the facts as they actually exist (or don't). The work has a vey unproven history and a very loose translation as it now stands. I think it would be a great service to truth everywhere if people who can do such work get to work on it objectively but not necessarily with vehement objections.

Searles O'Dubhain

odubhain
November 30th, 2008, 11:26 AM
For someone with a "traditional outlook," he has really demonstrated a grave disregard for tradition and precedent and virtue, which were highly valued by the ancient Irish.

Oh, but the same is available for Akins (http://www.druidry.org/board/dhp/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=25517&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&start=40#p286033) as well.

The man is pretty well straight forward as to his beliefs. My personal impression of him from a face-to-face meeting is that he comes out of a heritage and an area of the United States that espouse what he is quoted as saying in the link that you provided above. I know what the beliefs and ideas are in the United States and the South, having spent over 50 years here while many of the attitudes expressed have been changed and are still changing. Children were taught these things in the 40's, 50's and 60's of the last century. It was not until the revolution in attitudes of the 60's and beyond that many had the chance to learn differently. Older people in the South still have their earlier programming to deal with as I'm certain you understand being in Florida. :-)

I've out grown the beliefs that were around me at my birth and surrounding the lands of my family and my ancestors. I think others can do the same if they keep their minds open to the truth no matter how it supports or detracts from one's beliefs.

Hopefully, the next four years of American history will teach *ALL* people where the truth is in terms of achievement, merits and a future for all of us.

The future will have no room to grow if minds are closed on either side of its vistas and potentials.

Searles O'Dubhain

odubhain
November 30th, 2008, 11:29 AM
Indeed.

When I read this I first thought that you were referring to the irrevelent attacks on Steven Akins. :-)

Searles O'Dubhain

Ben Edair
November 30th, 2008, 01:24 PM
Cú Glas,

Mr. O'Dubhain seems to have already acknowledged your joining our conversation here before I had a chance to reply, and his many questions already cover pretty much everything I would like to know myself; so in this instance, I will give you the opportunity of addressing those before engaging you further on these matters.

Ben

Cu Glas
November 30th, 2008, 02:58 PM
Searles and Ben,

My Ph.D. in Celtic Civilisations (Irish spelling) was submitted and conferred in 2006 at University College Cork/the National University of Ireland, with a dissertation called "Canids in Celtic Cultures: From Celtiberia to Cú Chulainn to the Kennels of Camelot." My advisor was Dr. John Carey, and the dissertation committee consisted of Prof. Máire Herbert and Prof. Séamus Mac Mathúna.

At this stage, I find no record of Thorenson in the Bibliography of Irish Philology and Manuscript Literature Publications, 1913-41, nor the volumes preceding it (which covers everything up to 1912) or following it. Any Celticist of any repute during that time period would have had their publications listed in these extremely thorough catalogues. As the volumes have been produced accounting for all publications up to 1971, this would be a major oversight if he were not included and yet did exist. If he had not published anything during that time period (i.e. before 1971), then he most certainly wouldn't have been considered a scholar of any authority or accomplishment. While such oversights and omissions are known to happen, he would have had to have been a legendary scholar in order to produce a translation without a transcription, and thus my conclusion at this stage is that he could not have existed.

As for exact details of whether or not such a person as Thorenson existed, birth and death records, etc.--I do not have that information at present. If such reliable information did come to light, that would be a cause for revision of my statements; however, the fact of his absence from the Dublin Institute's bibliographies is enough to cast serious suspicion on his existence as stated.

The CELT project at UCC and the ISOS project at DIAS have very little bearing on the questions at hand, or the abilities of modern scholars to translate texts (and ISOS requires a password to do serious work of transcription, unless one's vision is extremely good); however, eDIL does bear on this matter. As you say, because it is so easily available online, and has been for a while, surely Akins should have been intelligent enough to have consulted it for the morphologies he used in the German? The linguistic factors I cited in my essay are facts, as far as anyone who is qualified to express an opinion on this matter is concerned, and that would be enough to categorically state that this book is a fraud, at least as it has been advertised up until now.

In terms of the need for an actual examination of Akins' book in order to assess if it is a fraud: that is a matter easily solved. Akins could submit a review copy to myself or to an academic specializing in these areas for comment. I assume he would probably not submit such a thing to myself, for obvious reasons, and I also doubt that any qualified academic (i.e. a Celticist who specializes in Old Irish texts) would agree to waste their time reading something that is very transparently a fake, which is evident from the title of the book itself, as I've already stated. Giving review copies to reputable academic journals, societies, and individual scholars is standard practice, and just because this book happens to be self-published does not make it an exception. This is an expense that Akins should be willing to cover himself, especially if it is likely to exonerate him of any fraud allegations.

If Akins was as honest to you about the lack of proof for his assertions, then that is all the evidence anyone needs to be able to decide that his statement that this is an ancient 8th c. BCE book transcribed from ogam staves in the 3rd c. CE is false and patently unproven. No matter how useful or interesting the materials in the book happen to be, this basic statement about its provenance is a blatant lie, and if he seriously doesn't want to be subjected to accusations of forgery, then he should label his creation as creative quasi-historical fiction. That would actually be very easy to do, and indeed there would be nothing wrong with having done so (apart from giving his work a misleading start in the world and casting doubt on his general credibility...but that can be forgotten if the merits of the work stand on their own).

At this stage, I must conclude that it lies with Akins to substantiate his claims about this text in ways that are less suspicious than the fables he's already told. If, as you've said Searles, the full German text is not given in the published book, then we already have enough material presented on Mystic Wicks to be able to falsify his claims. If he has held back textual information that would entirely substantiate his assertions at this point, I'd find that very surprising. I would therefore say that my opinion on these matters has not changed, and given the current state of evidence, it is not likely to change unless something truly major were to come to light.

Dr. Bernhardt-House

odubhain
December 1st, 2008, 08:36 AM
Searles and Ben,

My Ph.D. in Celtic Civilisations (Irish spelling) was submitted and conferred in 2006 at University College Cork/the National University of Ireland, with a dissertation called "Canids in Celtic Cultures: From Celtiberia to Cú Chulainn to the Kennels of Camelot." My advisor was Dr. John Carey, and the dissertation committee consisted of Prof. Máire Herbert and Prof. Séamus Mac Mathúna.

Those are certainly credentials and scholars that command respect.


At this stage, I find no record of Thorenson in the Bibliography of Irish Philology and Manuscript Literature Publications, 1913-41, nor the volumes preceding it (which covers everything up to 1912) or following it. Any Celticist of any repute during that time period would have had their publications listed in these extremely thorough catalogues. As the volumes have been produced accounting for all publications up to 1971, this would be a major oversight if he were not included and yet did exist. If he had not published anything during that time period (i.e. before 1971), then he most certainly wouldn't have been considered a scholar of any authority or accomplishment. While such oversights and omissions are known to happen, he would have had to have been a legendary scholar in order to produce a translation without a transcription, and thus my conclusion at this stage is that he could not have existed.

This point is pretty much lost on me.


As for exact details of whether or not such a person as Thorenson existed, birth and death records, etc.--I do not have that information at present. If such reliable information did come to light, that would be a cause for revision of my statements; however, the fact of his absence from the Dublin Institute's bibliographies is enough to cast serious suspicion on his existence as stated.

I will also track this down through both conventional and very non-conventional means.


The CELT project at UCC and the ISOS project at DIAS have very little bearing on the questions at hand, or the abilities of modern scholars to translate texts (and ISOS requires a password to do serious work of transcription, unless one's vision is extremely good); however, eDIL does bear on this matter. As you say, because it is so easily available online, and has been for a while, surely Akins should have been intelligent enough to have consulted it for the morphologies he used in the German? The linguistic factors I cited in my essay are facts, as far as anyone who is qualified to express an opinion on this matter is concerned, and that would be enough to categorically state that this book is a fraud, at least as it has been advertised up until now.

The CELT project and ISOS are very useful in terms of doing translations. I must be special because I can access ISOS and get very good high quality images from it that are as easy to read as the originals. They are very large however and do require large screens and computers with tons of memory.

EDIL is not so useful to one attempting a translation of a German original though it might help with some of the Irish names contained in that document. It might also help with some of the Ogham characters found there (but only if their Irish equivalents were found).

Akins book is stated by Akins to be his best attempt at translating the German document he was given. I do not see this type of effort as being "fraud."


In terms of the need for an actual examination of Akins' book in order to assess if it is a fraud: that is a matter easily solved. Akins could submit a review copy to myself or to an academic specializing in these areas for comment. I assume he would probably not submit such a thing to myself, for obvious reasons, and I also doubt that any qualified academic (i.e. a Celticist who specializes in Old Irish texts) would agree to waste their time reading something that is very transparently a fake, which is evident from the title of the book itself, as I've already stated. Giving review copies to reputable academic journals, societies, and individual scholars is standard practice, and just because this book happens to be self-published does not make it an exception. This is an expense that Akins should be willing to cover himself, especially if it is likely to exonerate him of any fraud allegations.

He has given me a review copy and is currently discussing with me the details of it and the copies upon which it is based. So far, what I've seen is useful though there are certainly areas that are to be investigated more fully. The Boibel-Loth used in some of the Ogham talisman drawings seems to point to a later Medieval version of Irish.


If Akins was as honest to you about the lack of proof for his assertions, then that is all the evidence anyone needs to be able to decide that his statement that this is an ancient 8th c. BCE book transcribed from ogam staves in the 3rd c. CE is false and patently unproven. No matter how useful or interesting the materials in the book happen to be, this basic statement about its provenance is a blatant lie, and if he seriously doesn't want to be subjected to accusations of forgery, then he should label his creation as creative quasi-historical fiction. That would actually be very easy to do, and indeed there would be nothing wrong with having done so (apart from giving his work a misleading start in the world and casting doubt on his general credibility...but that can be forgotten if the merits of the work stand on their own).

Steven Akins has not withheld anything from me in response to questions about his work or what he has done. I'm checking the sources provided; looking into the people mentioned and basically researching what can be known about pre-Christian Ogham and Druidic writings (which is to say scanty materials, which is why what he has produced may well have a high value placed on it if validated).


At this stage, I must conclude that it lies with Akins to substantiate his claims about this text in ways that are less suspicious than the fables he's already told. If, as you've said Searles, the full German text is not given in the published book, then we already have enough material presented on Mystic Wicks to be able to falsify his claims. If he has held back textual information that would entirely substantiate his assertions at this point, I'd find that very surprising. I would therefore say that my opinion on these matters has not changed, and given the current state of evidence, it is not likely to change unless something truly major were to come to light.

Dr. Bernhardt-House

Steven Akins was very forthcoming with the German text he used for his translations and paraphrasing of Leabha Feasa Rúnda before he was banned from these forums. One consequence of that is that only a small part of the German version is generally available. It would have been better for his cause and the ability of other scholars to dig information from the German version if more was available (if not all) in his book. Akins is not a man of substantial means so he was only able to publish the English version through his own resources. If a later or revised edition occurs, maybe he can give a side-by-side German/English version of the book?

The Ogham talismans are interesting to me as they seem to be very close to a use of Ogham I've independently developed from my own studies and seem to mirror a diagram found in the Book of Ballymote's Ogham lists.

I'll restate here that I don't think enough of the information, discrepancies, interpretations, mistakes and esoterica of Leabhar Feasa Rúnda have been seen and discussed to label it as a fraud or as genuine. It can be said that it does provide information to begin such a discussion and for that I am thankful.

Searles O'Dubhain

Nuadu
December 1st, 2008, 09:09 AM
For someone with a "traditional outlook," he has really demonstrated a grave disregard for tradition and precedent and virtue, which were highly valued by the ancient Irish.

I can definately understand your outrage on those terms Tomas but being honest this is a condemning review of a book that noone has read... thats not great for the book or the reviewer.

In the interest of fostering a little more tolarance here put yourself in the shoes of someone native to ireland viewing reocnstructionism. CR really is all three things you mentioned above.

It is a product of a culture very different to Irish culture though we share a language. A capitalist society founded on modernism has very different virtues to our primarily socialist society founded in a great part to romantacism. Reconstructionism is un precedented in that its a group outside a culture trying to revive traditions from within the culture for their own use. CR also houses Pan-Celtic Reconstructionism which disregards traditions from all the celtic cultures.

I personally like Celtic Reconstructionism some Reconstructionalists work on a level you dont see in universities and some could be considered great Irish people for the effort they put in and for their reasons for doing it even if they were born outside Ireland but... from one perspective or another everything we do is open to criticism.

We all need to show a little humility in the face of others efforts because our own efforts might meet the same attacks.