|Dorothy Milne Murdock|
Publicity photo of Murdock
March 27, 1960|
|Died||December 25, 2015(aged 55)|
|Pen name||Acharya S|
|Education||Classics (Ancient Greece)|
|Alma mater||Franklin & Marshall College|
|Subject||History of religions|
|Notable works||The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Sold (1999)|
Dorothy Milne Murdock (March 27, 1960 – December 25, 2015), better known by her pen names Acharya S and D. M. Murdock, was an American internet personality and conspiracy theorist, most renowned for being a proponent of the Christ myth theory. She wrote and operated a website focused on history, religion and spirituality, UFOs, aliens, the New Age movement, and various other conspiracy theories. She is an important figure in atheist and freethinking circles, where she gained renown for arguing that the Christian canon, as well as its important figures, were based on Roman, Greek, Egyptian, and other myths. Her theories have been poorly received by academic scholars active in their fields.
Murdock was born to James Milne Murdock and Beatrice Murdock in Massachusetts and grew up in Avon, Connecticut. She received a Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree in Classics, Greek Civilization, from Franklin and Marshall College, after which she spent a year at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, Greece. She died of breast cancer on December 25, 2015.
Murdock began her website, Truth Be Known, in 1995.
In 1999, as Acharya S, she published her first book, The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Sold, arguing the concept of Jesus Christ as myth. She states the Christ story is a fabrication.
Her 2007 book, Who Was Jesus? Fingerprints of The Christ continues the theme of The Christ Conspiracy by expanding her theory questioning the historical validity of Jesus Christ alleging "early Christian history to be largely mythical, by sorting through available historical and archaeological data."
In 2009 she released Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection and The Gospel According to Acharya S.
Acharya's work has been well-received by amateur 'christ mythicists', but roundly criticized by biblical scholarship.
Writer Russ Kick, in his book You Are Being Lied To, describes The Christ Conspiracy as "an essential book for anyone who wants to know the reality behind the world's dominant religion." Conspiracy theorist and publisher Kenn Thomas calls her a "great chronicler of the conspiracy known as Christianity".
Meanwhile, Baptist comparative religion scholar Clinton Bennett compares her views to those of radical freethinker Robert Taylor (nicknamed "the Devil's chaplain"), secularist MP and Christ-mythicist John M. Robertson, and American mythographer Joseph Campbell. Butler University religion professor James F. McGrath describes her viewpoint as one that "once had some currency among scholars" in the 19th and early 20th centuries, but was subsequently abandoned.
Acharya S has also been criticized by theologian Joel McDurmon, in part for the premise that Jesus was based on ancient sun gods because of the modern English homophones son and sun. Atheist activist and Christ mythicist Richard Carrier criticized her use of the inscriptions at Luxor to make the claim that the story of Jesus birth was inspired by the Luxor story of the birth of Horus. Theologian and Christ-mythicist Robert M. Price also criticized Murdock's first book, while promoting her Suns of God: Krishna, Buddha and Christ Unveiled, and writing the foreword to her Who Was Jesus?: Fingerprints of the Christ.
Her work has also been criticized by New Testament scholar Bart D. Ehrman, who, in his Did Jesus Exist?: The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth calls Murdock's The Christ Conspiracy "the breathless conspirator's dream". He says "all of Acharya's major points are in fact wrong" and her book "is filled with so many factual errors and outlandish assertions that it is hard to believe the author is serious." Taking her as representative of some other writers about the Christ myth theory, he continues "Mythicists of this ilk should not be surprised that their views are not taken seriously by real scholars, mentioned by experts in the field, or even read by them."
- Murdock, D.M. (as Acharya S) (1999). The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Sold. Kempton, Illinois: Adventures Unlimited Press. ISBN 0-932813-74-7.
- Murdock, D.M. (as Acharya S) (2004). Suns of God: Krishna, Buddha and Christ Unveiled. Kempton, Illinois: Adventures Unlimited Press. ISBN 1-931882-31-2.
- Murdock, D.M. (2007). Who Was Jesus? Fingerprints of The Christ. Stellar House Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9799631-0-0.
- Murdock, D.M. (2009). Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection. Stellar House Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9799631-1-7.
- Murdock, D.M. (2009). The Gospel According to Acharya S. Stellar House Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9799631-2-4.
- Murdock, D.M. (2014). Did Moses Exist? The Myth of the Israelite Lawgiver. Stellar House Publishing. ISBN 0-9799631-8-4.
- Picknett, Lynn & Prince, Clive (2008). The Masks of Christ. New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 59. ISBN 978-1-4165-9446-8.
- Foreman, Mark W. (2012). "Challenging the Zeitgeist Movie: Parallelomania on Steroids". In Copan, Paul & Craig, William Lane (eds.). Come Let Us Reason: New Essays in Christian Apologetics. Nashville, Tennessee: B&H Publishing. p. 170. ISBN 978-1-4336-7220-0.
- Lake Forest College Program in Greece & Turkey 1981 Dorothy Milne Murdock
- "Dorothy Murdock". Hartford Courant. January 24, 2016. Retrieved March 27, 2016.
- Murdock, D. M. "Who is Acharya S?". Truth Be Known. Archived from the original on May 7, 2012. Retrieved January 1, 2010.
- Price, Robert M. (2011) . "Foreword". In Murdock, D.M. Who Was Jesus?: Fingerprints of the Christ. Seattle: Stellar House. pp. v–vii. ISBN 978-0-9799631-0-0.
- Bennett, Clinton (2001). In Search of Jesus: Insider and Outsider Images. London: Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 208. ISBN 0-8264-4916-6.
- "The Christ Conspiracy – Home". Retrieved September 11, 2009.
- Price, Robert M. (Summer 2001). "Aquarian Skeptic". Free Inquiry. 21 (3): 66–67.
- ExChristian.net - Tribute to Mythicist D.M. Murdock, 1961-2015
- Acharya S. "What Are Acharya's Credentials?". Retrieved July 1, 2008.
- Barker, N.W. (December 27, 2015). "December 27th update". GiveForward. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
- "Welcome to the world of Acharya S/D.M. Murdock!". Truth Be Known. Retrieved December 26, 2015.
- Adventure Unlimited Press, rear cover of Murdock (1999)
- "The Gospel According to Acharya S". Stellar House Publishing. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved July 9, 2011.
- Kick, Russ (2001). You Are Being Lied To: The Disinformation Guide to Media Distortion, Historical Whitewashes and Cultural Myths. New York: The Disinformation Company. p. 272. ISBN 0-9664100-7-6.
- Thomas, Kenn (2006). Parapolitics: Conspiracy in Contemporary America. Adventures Unlimited Press. pp. 15, 127. ISBN 1-931882-55-X.
- Bennett, Clinton (2001). In Search of Jesus: Insider and Outsider Images. London: Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 339. ISBN 0-8264-4916-6.
- McGrath, James F. (November 15, 2011). "Fringe View: The World of Jesus Mythicism". The Christian Century. 128 (123). p. 12.
- McDurmon, Joel (2008). Zeitgeist: The Movie Exposed: Is Jesus an Astrological Myth?. Powder Springs, Georgia: American Vision. pp. 17–20. ISBN 978-0-915815-92-0.
- Carrier, Richard C. (2004). "Brunner's Gottkoenigs & the Nativity of Jesus: A Brief Communication". Frontline Apologetics. Archived from the original on January 23, 2010. Retrieved December 30, 2009.
- p. 1179
- Ehrman, Bart D. (2012). Did Jesus Exist?: The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth. New York: HarperCollins. pp. 20–24. ISBN 978-0-06-208994-6. OCLC 808490374.