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:
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?