Michael Drosnin

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Michael Alan Drosnin (January 31, 1946 – June 9, 2020) was an American journalist and author, best known for his writings on the Bible Code, which is a purported set of secret messages encoded within the Hebrew text of the Torah.

Drosnin was born in New York City. After graduating from Columbia University in 1966,[1] he worked as a journalist for The Washington Post (1966–1968) and The Wall Street Journal (1969–1970).

Citizen Hughes[edit]

Michael Drosnin's first book, Citizen Hughes: In His Own Words — How Howard Hughes Tried to Buy America, a biography of the American businessman Howard Hughes based on documents which had been stolen in 1974 and subsequently tracked down by Drosnin, was published in 1985.[2][3][4][5][6]

The Bible Code Series[edit]

Drosnin began researching the Bible Code in 1992 after meeting the mathematician Eliyahu Rips in Israel.[7][8] His work was deeply inspired by the publication of the academic article entitled "Equidistant Letter Sequences in the Book of Genesis" by Doron Witztum, Eliyahu Rips, and Yoav Rosenberg in the journal Statistical Science, published by the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, in August 1994.[9]

In 1997, Simon & Schuster published Drosnin's The Bible Code, the culmination of his research, which asserts that the Bible Code predicts the future and that events can be affected by our actions.[10] The book also states that many famous assassinations — both past and future — were foretold in the Bible, and that the code can be interpreted with the help of a computer program. The book further claims that the code contains predictions of disasters and an apocalypse to occur between 1998 and 2006.

Drosnin later wrote a second book about the Bible Code entitled Bible Code II:The Countdown, published by Penguin Random House in 2003.[11][12][13][14]

His most recent book Bible Code III: Saving the World, published by Worldmedia, Inc. in October 2010, completes a trilogy.[15][16]

Criticisms[edit]

Drosnin has been criticized by some who believe that the Bible Code is real but that it cannot predict the future.[17][8] Some accuse him of factual errors, incorrectly claiming that he has much support in the scientific community,[18] mistranslating Hebrew words[19] to make his point more convincing, and using the Bible without proving that other books do not have similar codes.[20]

In an interview with CNN Interactive, among others, Drosnin challenged his critics to find a code similar to the Bible Code in the notable novel Moby-Dick.[21] An article from the Dartmouth College Mathematics Department described how Brendan McKay was able to find equidistant letter sequences in Moby Dick which could be read as a prediction of the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin.[22] Drosnin described this research as "nonsense", saying that the codes found in the Bible Code were "truth" and contained real predictions.[23]

Acquisition of The Bible Code by Warner Bros. Pictures and "Code" Screenplay[edit]

In May 1997, Warner Bros. Pictures acquired the film rights to The Bible Code. At the time of acquisition, "[t]he studio’s production presidents, Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Bill Gerber, said that the work 'addresses the age-old questions of our purpose on Earth, the meaning of the Bible, and our uniqueness in the universe — all issues that have stimulated the imagination for thousands of years'.”[24][25]

Drosnin, collaborating with filmmaker and writer Ruth Rachel Anderson-Avraham (née Yvonne Michele Anderson), an English Language and Literature and Religious Studies major from the University of Virginia who had then taken time off from her interdisciplinary graduate studies, including quantitative work and the pursuit of graduate degrees at HEC Paris and Harvard Law School, completed a screenplay entitled "Code" for Warner Bros. Pictures in 1998.[26][27]"Written after the terrorist bombing of the World Trade Center on February 26, 1993, but prior to September 11, 2001, the screenplay includes a plot line recalling the 1993 Al Qaeda attack on the Twin Towers, at a time when the tragic events of 9/11 were 'unimagineable'."[26] The action of the story was set in New York City and Jerusalem.[26]

Notwithstanding, this screenplay was never greenlit by Warner Bros. Pictures, and the rights eventually reverted to the author.[26]

In 2010, Relativity Media purchased the film rights to The Bible Code series, then a trilogy including The Bible Code, Bible Code II: The Countdown, and Bible Code III: Saving the World. Relativity Media had hoped to produce a Bible Code film for release in 2012, but this project never came to fruition.[28][29]

Death[edit]

Drosin died June 9, 2020, aged 74.[30]

Bibliography[edit]

Screenplays[edit]

  • "Code" on IMDb (1998, rights reverted)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Bookshelf". Columbia College Today.
  2. ^ Rosenbaum, David E. "Book Says Hughes Tried to Bribe U.S. Leaders, But Aide Challenges Proof", New York Times (online), New York, 17 January 1985.
  3. ^ Gonzales, Laurence. " 'Citizen Hughes' Reveals the Recluse Who Would Be King ", Chicago Tribune (online), Chicago, 20 January 1985.
  4. ^ Conroy, Sarah Booth. "Haunted by Hughes", The Washington Post (online), Washington, D.C., 3 March 1985.
  5. ^ Galloway, Paul. "Citizen Hughes: Papers Reveal an Obsession to Buy Power", The Chicago Tribune, as republished by the CIA Library of Declassified Materials Reading Room (online), Washington, D.C., 7 March 1985.
  6. ^ Howe, Peter J. "Uncovering the Truth", The Harvard Crimson (online), Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1 May 1985.
  7. ^ "Prof. Eliyahu Rips", The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Edmond J. Safra Campus, Einstein Institute of Mathematics (online), Jerusalem, Israel.
  8. ^ a b Rips, Prof. Eliyahu. "Public Statement by Dr. Eliyahu Rips, Professor of Mathematics, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel", as republished online by Torah-Code.org, Jerusalem, Israel, 3 June 1997.
  9. ^ Witztum, Doron; Rips, Eliyahu; Rosenberg, Yoav. "Equidistant Letter Sequences in the Book of Genesis", Statistical Science, Vol. 9, No. 3, pp. 429-438, Institute of Mathematical Statistics, Beachwood, Ohio, as republished online by JSTOR, August 1994.
  10. ^ The Bible Code, Simon & Schuster, New York, 1997
  11. ^ Bible Code II: The Countdown, Penguin Random House, New York, 2003
  12. ^ Drosnin, Michael. "The Bible Code", The New York Times (online), Opinion, Letter to the Editor, New York, 11 March 2003.
  13. ^ Barlow, Dilly / Narrator. "The Bible Code", BBC (online), BBC Two, Science & Nature, TV & Radio, Horizon, London, 20 November 2003.
  14. ^ Drosnin, Michael. "Is the end of the world near?" (excerpt from Bible Code II: The Countdown), as republished by Today (online), Book Club, New York, 26 November 2002.
  15. ^ Bible Code III: Saving the World, Amazon.com, October 2010
  16. ^ Noory, George / Host. "Bible Code Updates", Coast to Coast AM, with George Noory (online), Sherman Oaks / Los Angeles, 1 November 2010.
  17. ^ The Bible Code
  18. ^ Torah Codes
  19. ^ Review of Michael Drosnin's Bible Code Book 1
  20. ^ Barry Simon on Torah Codes Archived 2009-01-30 at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ "Lynn" / Moderator. " Meet Michael Drosnin, Author, 'The Bible Code' ", CNN Interactive (online), Atlanta / New York, 4 June 1997.
  22. ^ Maya Bar-Hillel, Avishai Margali, 1999, Dartmouth. "Madness in the Method", fig. 1-3.
  23. ^ CNN.com
  24. ^ Johnson, Ted. " WB Gains Rights to ‘Bible’ ", Variety (online), Los Angeles, 30 May 1997.
  25. ^ Dart, John. "Does God’s Hand Write in Code?", Los Angeles Times (online), Los Angeles, 10 June 1997.
  26. ^ a b c d "Code", IMDb.com / IMDbPro.com, Los Angeles. For the full reference for a screenplay which has not yet been greenlit, produced, or released, one must have access to the IMDbPro.com site.
  27. ^ "Ruth Rachel Anderson-Avraham (née Yvonne Michele Anderson)" on IMDb, IMDb.com / IMDbPro.com, Los Angeles.
  28. ^ Smith, Nigel M. "Relativity Buys Film Rights to 'Bible Code' Series", IndieWire (online), New York, 4 November 2010.
  29. ^ Kilday, Gregg. "Relativity Buys Film Rights to 'Bible Code' Book Series", The Hollywood Reporter (online), Los Angeles, 4 November 2010.
  30. ^ Kurutz, Steven (June 19, 2020). "Michael Drosnin, Who Found Clues in the Bible, Is Dead at 74". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 23, 2020.

External links[edit]