If I told you that I have discovered:
- The sunken city of Atlantis
- El dorado – the legendary city of gold
- The fountain of youth
- The Holy Grail
- And the Kruger millions
What would you say? My guess is that unless you are beyond gullible you would immediately call shenanigans. But let’s say I insist that I’m being serious and that I really did discover all of these things. Well I would hope that at this point you would be asking me to prove my claims. So then, I offer you the following proofs:
- My word in the form of a sworn statement
- Some photos of the environment where I made these discoveries (showing things like rock formations that may or may not prove anything)
- A few blurry photos of the items I claim to have found (that don’t clearly show anything)
Would you believe me?
I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t! After all I have just made some absolutely extraordinary claims and I failed to provide the extraordinary evidence required to prove it beyond the shadow of a doubt. You would then (correctly) assume that I made the whole thing up. After all, anyone in his/her right mind would be suspicious of such wild claims. Or would they?
See, here’s the thing – someone actually came along and told the world that he has discovered:
- The Ark of the Covenant (with the sword of Goliath next to it and the blood of Christ sprinkled on the lid)
- The actual site of the crucifixion (Hint: It was right above the chamber holding the Ark of the Covenant)
- Sodom and Gomorrah (what’s left of it)
- The site of the Red Sea crossing
- The real Mt Sinai
Even more amazing than all these claims is the fact Christians worldwide threw out every bit of critical thinking they had and wholeheartedly embraced these claims as totally true. This, even though the only evidence this Holy Indiana Jones (Ron Wyatt) provided was:
- His word that he really did find these things (since for a lot of these he was the only one to actually see it)
- Some landscape photo’s featuring far away mountains and rocks – one rock formation was vaguely boat shaped so obviously it was Noah’s Ark!
- A few bad photographs of the alleged artifacts
I would hardly call that convincing evidence, but that didn’t stop untold numbers of Christians to fall for this story hook line and sinker. The claims of Ron Wyatt have since been shown to be fraudulent – not by some Atheistic Conspiracy of Lies (inc) dedicated to hiding the truth about God, but by evangelical, Bible literalist Christians - people who actually wanted it to be true - who simply dug a little deeper. You can read a good article about that here and see a full index of investigations done here. Here are some of the highlights:
When news agencies paid him a lot of money to take a camera crew to these discoveries he could never show it to them – but that didn’t stop him from asking for more money.
His son later admitted that the coins and chariot wheels that proved the Red Sea crossing were planted by them.
As for his photographic evidence of his findings, well you be the judge:
There is Noah's Ark in the background. Right?
Here is a picture of the Ark of the Covenant - but I shouldn't have to tell you that, I mean it's really obvious from the picture right?
(All of his pictures can be seen here)
When considering all this evidence it's hard to believe that anyone could believe these claims and yet, I used to be one of the people who believed it. I did not know who Ron Wyatt was until very recently yet I have known about his "discoveries" since childhood. Even though I never saw any of these pictures or knew much about the story behind the discovery, I believed it because pastors that I believed in and trusted told me these discoveries were made from the pulpit. This is exactly why I am including Ron Wyatt and the W.A.R in the "The Christian I am not" series. As I have often explained in this series, this is not about me throwing rocks at people I don't agree with for whatever reason. Rather this is about people/groups who - under the banner of Christianity - do incredible damage to Christianity. From these people I feel the need to distance myself, to go on record as being against lest I (by my silence) be thought of as one of them. W.A.R Inc most certainly fits this description. Even with Ron Wyatt long dead, even though all of these claims have been thoroughly debunked, they are still being shared as truth from pulpits, internet discussion boards and via emails. And people are still falling for it.
In a way I can't really blame them - after all we don't expect our fellow Christians to be this deceitful. To be fair, the vast majority of people who spread this disinformation are doing so in the sincere belief that it is the truth. It is for this reason that anyone who knows the truth needs to stand up and expose the deceit.
Honestly, what does it say about the Christian faith if we are this willing to believe claims that (as I tried to demonstrate in the beginning of this post) if they concerned anything else we would have immediately thought them to be fraudulent! This goes beyond wanting to believe in the Bible, it creates the impression that we have serious doubts regarding the veracity of the Bible and therefore have a need to believe in the Bible. Is our faith really so weak that we would let go of all critical thinking and grasp at any straw just to attempt to vindicate our faith? If it is, then we are in big trouble. Maybe we should first work on our (apparently fragile) faith, maybe then we can be free from this horrible need to be proven right. Until then the scam artists will continue to prey on us at will. Until then the people at Wyatt Archeological Research Inc and the Wyatt museum will continue to fleece the faithful.
In the meantime, I for one plan on opposing these wolves in sheep clothing wherever I find them.