To whom it may concern:
I can assure you that Acharya's work was NO
T plagiarized. Acharya is not the only person to realize this information nor write about it. I had come across this exact same information years before Acharya's book was written.
The following statement is from Edwin Kagin, sent to me on On 10/17/2010 7:09 PM via email after he was notified of this thread.
Edwin Kagin wrote:
Edwin to Acharya S. a.k.a. D.M. Murdock Website and friends:
For reasons unclear to me, you did not contact me directly about this, but rather put it forth on an online forum. It is true that my list is similar to Acharya's, but this was not intentional. I apologize for any confusion this may have caused.
Please be assured that I did not knowingly plagiarize any of her writings. I do not do that sort of thing, and indeed I freely give credit where and when due. As to certain phrases, ideas, or words in common usage for years, or of unknown origin, I do not give credit only because I do not know to whom such should go. Every idea any of us write about doubtless had a beginning somewhere before it dropped from our creative electrons.
Also, please be assured that if the material was originally (as you say) created by Acharya, I would have credited her. But much of this information is in multiple places, including "Pagan Origins of the Christ Myth," available from American Atheists.
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Blair Scott, thank you for posting and providing Kagin's comment. I also appreciate Kagin taking the time to respond.
Blair Scott: "I can assure you that Acharya's work was NOT plagiarized."
Kagin: "It is true that my list is similar to Acharya's, but this was not intentional. I apologize for any confusion this may have caused. Please be assured that I did not knowingly plagiarize any of her writings."
Fair enough, except that he's essentially copied dozens of lines verbatim from someone else's work, wherever he may have first seen it. The problem is that some of these verbatim sentences are ONLY found in Acharya's book or those that came afterwards based on her work. Kagin may not have intended to plagiarize Acharya's work on purpose, but the fact remains that the end result is the dictionary definition of plagiarism.
* Notice that there is no distinction made between intentional and unintentional found in the definition of plagiarism. It has been considered a crime since the 18th century beginning in "1710, when the world's first copyright act was passed in London"
and 1783 in the USA.
Blair Scott: "Acharya is not the only person to realize this information nor write about it. I had come across this exact same information years before Acharya's book was written."
That sentence comes off as a red herring fallacy to me. While it's true that Acharya S is not the only person to write about this information - and thank you for confirming that she didn't just "make it all up" - a fact she makes clear throughout her own books via numerous source citations and bibliography, those lists were originated by Acharya S, in her own words, and where she's quoting or paraphrasing others, she cites her source. She did not copy them from anyone. So, if you have "come across this exact same information years before Acharya's book was written
" then, I would like to see it. It's not the same information we're concerned about here, it's the VERBATIM sentences in the EXACT order in Acharya's books, without proper citation. And we're not even concerned with single sentences here and there - we've seen that over the years, and we understand that it's really hard sometimes when going through notes, for example, to figure out if a sentence here or there belongs to someone else. (Courts and the media, however, seem not so generous, as they have harangued people for a few single sentences here and there.)
But in this case we're talking about numerous sentences, entire paragraphs and the lists themselves in the exact order. I feel we've already established the fact that the lists used in Kagin's article certainly originated with Acharya S, evidenced in the fact that even the commentary at the bottom in the list for Horus is word for word:
From Kagin's article:
"Inscribed about 3,500 years ago on the walls of the Temple at Luxor were images of the Annunciation, Immaculate Conception, Birth and Adoration of Horus, with Thoth announcing to the Virgin Isis that she will conceive Horus; with Kneph the “Holy Ghost,” impregnating the virgin; and with the infant being attended by three kings, or magi, bearing gifts. In addition, in the catacombs at Rome are pictures of the baby Horus being held by the virgin mother Isis—the original “Madonna and Child.”
HorusGoogle books link
"Furthermore, inscribed about 3,500 years ago on the walls of the Temple at Luxor were images of the Annunciation, Immaculate Conception, Birth and Adoration of Horus, with Thoth announcing to the Virgin Isis that she will conceive Horus; with Kneph the "Holy Ghost," impregnating the virgin; and with the infant being attended by three kings, or magi, bearing gifts. In addition, in the catacombs at Rome are pictures of the baby Horus being held by the virgin mother Isis—the original “Madonna and Child.”
Notice that I've linked to a general search of Google Books, not just to her book in specific, and the ONLY book that comes up is hers - because that language is HERS, not anyone else's, even though she herself did not make up any of the material conveyed by those exact words. (On the images page 214a, Acharya cites Gerald Massey's for this material - she has since discussed the Luxor image in detail in her book "Christ in Egypt," an excerpt of which can be found in her online Luxor article.)
The lists are exactly the same with a few words changed here and there - I can provide many more examples like the above via linking to Google Books, if anyone remains unconvinced.
Edwin Kagain: "Also, please be assured that if the material was originally (as you say) created by Acharya, I would have credited her. But much of this information is in multiple places, including "Pagan Origins of the Christ Myth," available from American Atheists."
If you're talking about the book by John Jackson, Acharya said she has never read it, although she does cite Jackson's book Christianity Before Christ
in her book Christ Conspiracy
. She did not get her material or words from "Pagan Origins," so these verbatim sentences did not come from there.
Meanwhile, as I pointed out in the original post here:
"Our major problem with this issue aside from what looks like blatant plagiarism is the fact that some atheists hold nothing but contempt for Acharya's work; meanwhile, they actually agree with her thesis when her name isn't mentioned. Acharya has been abused and derogated by some atheists for years, including some from American Atheists who've been holding their noses at the mere mention of her name, even if they've never read her work."
So, by dismissing this whole fracas by claiming that you've seen the "exact same information" - definitely NOT exactly the same, since the unquoted words are original to Acharya - you seem to be heaping on the same sort of abuse we're constantly seeing. And it's this mistreatment that led me not to alert Kagin first before posting here, because I figured that the article would just quickly be removed hastily without any acknowledgment that it was in fact Acharya's writing that was being showcased without proper citation. We are frankly sick and tired of this sort of abuse, when, like it or not, Acharya is clearly a courageous pioneer in a field full of harsh knee-jerk reactions. While others as in this case are getting patted on the back for providing such "groundbreaking" information, Acharya is being attacked and vilified, even when it's HER work getting the applause under someone else's name.
By all means, keep the article up at the American Atheist website - all we're asking for here is to make right this wrong by simply providing the proper citation and link. And, as I stated in the original post here:
"We'd also like to see discussion of the newly created Mythicist Position
link and video. Never before has there been such a succinct, clearly explained position for mythicists; read this thread for further explanation
. Many atheists and freethinkers would most likely appreciate it."
And as I also stated in the original post,
"We consider ourselves freethinkers and a part of the same team. The discrimination, abuse and any potential misogyny against Acharya S/D.M. Murdock must stop."