Exclusive: See God’s Actual Handwriting!

While I was in San Francisco this January, I happened to notice this pamphlet in a newspaper kiosk outside my hotel:

Intrigued, I picked up a copy and read more. It turns out that this is the newsletter of one Vassula Ryden, a Greek housewife who, for over twenty years now, has been receiving regular messages from her guardian angel, God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the Virgin Mary, and many more august theological personages. Naturally, she’s made it her mission to tell the world – because, really, who wouldn’t?

And yea, verily, great loquacity hath poured forth from the pen of the Lord. Since 1986, Ms. Ryden has received over 1,550 pages (!) of divine revelation, which are all available for download on her website in convenient PDF form. This comes out to about 645,000 words – or to put it another way, several times the length of the New Testament and about four-fifths as long as the entire King James Bible.

But possibly my very favorite part of the whole collection of messages is this part, right at the beginning:

Copyright © Vassula Rydén… If you wish to view, print or download this material for commercial purposes, you must first obtain written authorisation from the Foundation for True Life in God. You are not permitted under any circumstances to remove or amend any trademark, copyright or other proprietary notice on this material.

Say what you will about the woman, but it takes serious stones for a mere human to claim copyright on God’s actual words!

Now, I bet you skeptics are already scoffing, saying, “Anyone can claim to be receiving messages from God and make up some theological gibberish that sounds like the way they think God would talk. There’s no proof that these ‘messages’ are anything other than her own imagination.” But scoff at this, skeptics: Ms. Ryden isn’t just receiving these messages in the privacy of her own head. No, she sets them down on paper for the whole world to see – in God’s actual handwriting! Just take a look at this excerpt or the scan below, and see for yourself how the penmanship clearly changes from one line to the next:

Although I do have to say, there’s a definite fifth-grader-practicing-cursive feel to this. I always kind of thought God’s handwriting would be more, you know, Gothic. And have echo-reverb.

I suppose it would be unkind of me to ask if anyone has considered a basic test such as oh, I don’t know, writing a message on a chalkboard in a room while Vassula isn’t present, then erasing it and bringing her into the room so that God, who is all-knowing, can dictate what it said through her hand. But really, who’d bother with a boring test like that, when we have images of Jesus appearing in a tree behind Vassula, or even Vassula’s own persuasive testimony of how her prayers saved the earth from a meteor impact:

This is in the prayer He gave us on the 28th November 2009! Otherwise who says that the meteor was not intended to hit the earth and cover us with ashes if it did? He had put in our mouths the words: “lash not on us Your wrath” twice, otherwise if His wrath was lashed out, “the waters will run dry and nature will wither.” Yes, if that meteor hit the earth that night it would have done this sort of damage.

Unfortunately, God hasn’t been speaking much to Vassula lately – he’s only communicated with her six times since February 2003, and not at all since December 2009. You know how it is; blogging is such a time-consuming hobby, he was probably feeling a little burnt out. (I hear he spends more time on Twitter these days.) Or could it be that he’s moved on to greener pastures? Now, if another contender turned up claiming to communicate with God and writing out messages in the exact same handwriting, that would be something to see. Any bookmakers want to offer odds on that proposition?

About Adam Lee

Adam Lee is an atheist writer and speaker living in New York City. His new novel, Broken Ring, is available in paperback and e-book. Read his full bio, or follow him on Twitter.

  • Dave

    There was an article about her in the March/April edition of Skeptical Inquirer by Joe Nickell (except from page 19):


    In the mid-1990s, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued two notices of concern about Ryden. The first came in 1995, pointing out “several negative elements and errors.” It requested bishops refuse to give her the opportunity to spread her questionable ideas within their dioceses and asked them not to treat her writings or speeches as “supernatural.” The following year, another notification encouraged priests to “exercise serious spiritual discernment” regarding Ryden’s messages, declaring hat they must be considered merely “private meditations” and not divine revelations. However, some of her Catholic supporters observe that the church does not completely discount her teachings…

    After all, who would know better about faking revelations from god than the Catholic church?

  • http://anexerciseinfutility.blogspot.com Tommykey

    I always kind of thought God’s handwriting would be more, you know, Gothic.

    I would have expected it to be in Hebrew.

  • Paul

    I’m absolutely fascinated at the crap grammar of the Light of the Universe:

    “would I not, who am your Father, and care for you not warn you?”

    First of all, put the bloody comma after “care for you”! You created time and space but can’t punctuate?

    Second, you’ve got an extra “not” in there (before “warn”). You are the alpha and omega but make a high school paper mistake?!

    And there are more mistakes!

    Sheesh!

  • http://www.motivating-minutes.blogspot.com D R @ Motivating Minutes

    Everybody needs a hobby…?

  • InTheImageOfDNA

    I was tagged in a video on facebook today that a well-meaning but uncritical Muslim acquaintance had made showing the supposed name of Allah written in Arabic script on everything from hair splotches on cattle to the geography of Mars.

    Of course, it was all pareidolia. But writing on the face of Mars! It puts all this Christian words on paper stuff to shame.

  • http://eternalbookshelf.wordpress.com Sharmin

    Everyone knows God writes his messages thirty-foot-high letters of fire.

    He [Prak] looked up at Arthur, and giggled again very gently.

    “There is one other thing I remember from the truth drug, apart from the frogs, and that is God’s last message to his creation. Would you like to hear it?”

    For a moment they didn’t know whether to take him seriously.

    “‘S true,” he said, “for real. I mean it.”

    His chest heaved weakly and he struggled for breath. His head lolled slightly.

    “I wasn’t very impressed with it when I first knew what it was,” he said, “but now I think back to how impressed I was by the Prince’s reason, and how soon afterward I couldn’t recall it at all, I think it might be a lot more helpful. Would you like to know what it is? Would you?”

    They nodded dumbly.

    “I bet you would. If you’re that interested I suggest you go and look for it. It is written in thirty-foot-high letters of fire on top of the Quentulus Quazgar Mountains in the land of Sevorbeupstry on the planet Preliumtarn, third out from the sun Zarss in Galactic Sector QQ7 ActiveJ Gamma. It is guarded by the Lajestic Vantrashell of Lob.”

    (Douglas Adams, Life, the Universe, and Everything, Ch 34, p. 230-1)

    Seriously, though, I do feel badly for this woman, if she really does think that she’s transcribing God’s actual words. If it’s a scam or if it’s one of those situations where she’s turning her own personal feelings about God into words, then she’s dishonestly deceiving people, and I feel very little sympathy.

  • http://www.daylightatheism.org Ebonmuse

    First of all, put the bloody comma after “care for you”! You created time and space but can’t punctuate?

    Second, you’ve got an extra “not” in there (before “warn”). You are the alpha and omega but make a high school paper mistake?!

    And there are more mistakes!

    Sheesh!

    Hey, cut the big guy some slack, Paul! English isn’t his first language, you know.

  • Jeff

    I’m absolutely fascinated at the crap grammar of the Light of the Universe

    Apparently, it’s actually proof of divine authorship:

    In old Bibles such as the King James’s we find each verse beginning with “And”. So when we look at Genesis we find “And God said”. If we look at one or two modern versions such as the Amplified or the New American Standard we again find the “And” (this is not found in some other translations).

    There is very little grammar in Biblical Hebrew. It is a rabbinical teaching that the absence of the grammar and the use of the “and” manifests that the work of God from the beginning of creation and all salvation history is one continuous unfolding act of God and is therefore expressed by one continuous sentence.

    True Life in God has few full stops. The accurate reproduction of the text, therefore, is in itself a witness of divine authorship to Jews, scripture scholars and anyone who wishes to exercise discernment when reading True Life in God. A false prophet with no scriptural knowledge would, by writing naturally, include full stops.

    IOW, good grammar = false prophecy.

    http://www.tlig.org/en/interreligious/seraphim/

  • Dan

    Reminds me of Veronica Lueken, famous for her “scheduled” apparitions of the Virgin Mary at Bayside (Queens) New York. So much revelation came forth that she turned into a veritable industry unto herself! Google “Our Lady of the Roses” and join in ultra conservative Catholic fun!

  • http://www.politicalflavors.com/2011/01/26/some-thoughts-on-the-state-of-the-union-address/ MissCherryPi

    Although I do have to say, there’s a definite fifth-grader-practicing-cursive feel to this. I always kind of thought God’s handwriting would be more, you know, Gothic. And have echo-reverb.

    Like in Sinfest?

    I’m absolutely fascinated at the crap grammar of the Light of the Universe

    I’m imagining Salma Hayek standing over Ryden’s shoulder, rolling her eyes, exhaling deeply and muttering, “One of the drawbacks to being intangible is that you have no say in the editorial process.”

  • Eurekus

    With all the religious gibberish about the second coming of Christ, like the year 2012 being the year of Armageddon, or should I say, I’mageddon sick of this and also what’s happened recently in New Zealand and Japan being other signs of the end, I recently have become rather negative. Negative of Humanity’s chance at surviving our own imaginings. After all, if humans can actually believe Ryden’s crap over science, we’re bound to fail.
    Pardon my attitude, but shit like this frustrates me.

  • kennypo65

    @ Eurekus: I still have hope brother. More and more people are abandoning faith for reason and someday there will be more of us than there are of them. So keep fighting the good fight and always call bullshit when you see it. Peace.

  • gamba

    Dunno who’s really funny here: Ebon or Vassula or God? I think its “…blogging is such a time-consuming hobby, he was probably feeling a little burnt out. (i hear he spends more time on twitter these days.)”

    Nice shot, Ebon.

  • Brock

    Something I remember from the Skeptical Inquirer article is that the Revelations are mostly generic “feel good” messages, with little real meat in them. I took their word for it, and didn’t bother to read much of the actual texts. I think this is probably a good rule for scams; keep it simple and non-controversial, focus on the “miracle” of the revelation itself. Mohammed did much the same thing; a good deal of the Koran is warmed-over Hebrew prophecy, given a new face as “Arabic” prophecy to appeal to the audience.

  • Le Grolandais

    @ Brock

    Same rules of writing apply for astrology and horoscope, that’s why so much people believe in these things.
    And it’s the main reason i’m inclined to think the same way Eurekus did here before : We’re all doomed !

  • http://www.defending-vassula.org/ Data

    Interesting comments and some very funny. A few points to ponder.
    Vassula makes no money from the writings> ZERO. This is a fact. Nor does she get paid to speak which she has done in over 70 countries 900 plus times. The reason the messages have stopped being made public is Jesus told her people did not appreciate or apply what he already gave – she still gets messages but we have no idea when and if they will be made public. If you sent your kid to college and all he did afterward was smoke crack – would you send him to grad school? So the messages are only rarely public now.

    So there are 3 possibilities:
    a. she is insane, deluded schizo etc. mildly or extremely .
    b. She is in it for the ego trip.
    c. I can’t propose here the devil made her do it ( so I guess there are only 2 possibilities).

    I have known her for 15 years and she is not insane and has been in the public domain for 20 plus years, no one reports she is insane. She gets mainly ridiculed so I do not see the ego trip there. I have seen people verbally attack her many times. Having spent long periods of time with her she acts just like a regular person, no ego trip and is very friendly and down to earth. Great cook too!

    So lets look at this rationally. Just as a hypothesis how would God – a divine being communicate if he wanted to do it and respect our free will if we hypothesize we have free will?
    Would there be a pattern to it? Well he usually chooses some smuck who does not want the responsibility and tells them – “here is my message – deliver it”. That is the thumbnail version or the “Moses model”.

    No doubt an all powerful being could do a TV stunt – one where even if you unplugged it He was still there. But if he is adhering to the Star Trek “Prime Directive” He would be as willing to do a TV stunt as say Picard or Kirk would do some “beam me up” tricks on a time travel to 1920′s New York . So how can he interfere hypothetically while adhering to the Prime directive? Maybe grab some lady who was basically into tennis, modeling, dinner parties and hanging out at the ex pat country club and if she agreed – give her a mission – to take his message and transmit it. Maybe they would believe a regular person? Who did not own a bible never went to church and did not have a religious bone in her body…

    To good reason!

  • http://killedbyfish.blogspot.com feralboy12

    My preliminary analysis of the handwriting suggests that God is a left-handed, obsessive-compulsive female of low education, possibly tending toward a histrionic personality.

  • http://stevebowen58.blogspot.com Steve Bowen

    @Data
    At the moment we only have your word for it that you know her personally. To paraphrase Nicholas Talib “If I tell you a fair coin has come up heads 999 times, what is the probability that the next throw will be tails ?”. The rational answer is very, very small as it is more likely that I lied about the coin being fair, than it is likely the result is genuine.
    Anyway,
    if your hypothesis is correct, God is an arsehole! Because he is deliberately being an obscurantist when the stakes of getting him wrong are a perpetuity in hell.

  • TEP

    Unfortunately, God hasn’t been speaking much to Vassula lately – he’s only communicated with her six times since February 2003, and not at all since December 2009. You know how it is; blogging is such a time-consuming hobby, he was probably feeling a little burnt out.

    Yahweh’s probably got another woman – just look at his track record. First there was Asherah, then there was the ‘virgin’ Mary and then in his human incarnation there was Mary Magdalene. And of course, don’t forget all the ‘brides of Christ’. So it wouldn’t be that surprising if it turns out that Yahweh’s been secretly exchanging revelations with some other prophetess behind Vassula’s back.

  • http://www.whyihatejesus.blogspot.com/ OMGF

    I have known her for 15 years and she is not insane and has been in the public domain for 20 plus years, no one reports she is insane.

    Just because she holds a delusion that is socially acceptable does not mean that she isn’t insane. Of course, she could also simply be mistaken. And, I don’t see how you can so easily dismiss the idea that she might be doing it for other reasons, like her own ego or maybe because she simply thinks this will further her religion.

    Just as a hypothesis how would God – a divine being communicate if he wanted to do it and respect our free will if we hypothesize we have free will?

    If god made his appearance known to all, it would not negatively impact our free will. Far from it, it would actually enhance our abilities to choose based on the best available knowledge, evidence, and data. Withholding evidence from someone doesn’t make their decisions and choices any more free.

  • Snoof

    I have known her for 15 years and she is not insane and has been in the public domain for 20 plus years, no one reports she is insane.

    Which is unusual, because I’d say writing over a thousand pages of conversations with an imaginary friend is pretty insane.

    The funny thing about people with certain types of delusions is that provided you don’t stumble across said delusion in casual conversation, they tend to seem pretty normal.

  • Eh

    I’m absolutely fascinated at the crap grammar of the Light of the Universe:

    “would I not, who am your Father, and care for you not warn you?”

    The structure of this sentence is simply terrible. Then again, the big guy never was the best at writing clear, easily-understood messages…


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