The Secret on Ararat: Foreword

I have a feeling Tim LaHaye is awfully nervous that even his devoted RTC readers might doubt claims that Noah’s Ark is sitting around on Mount Ararat, just waiting for adventurous Biblical archeologists to wander around.

He is right to have these feelings—more on that as we hit Michael’s lectures.

While LaHaye’s Message in Babylon Rising prepped us for the appearance of one Professor Michael Murphy, man of God, man of action, all-around ass-kicker (so much so that he was named after LaHaye’s own son-in-law!) The Secret on Ararat opens with a Foreword that breathlessly and defensively explains that the Ark has been seen by “scores of credible people,” none of whom managed to preserve any photographic evidence or lead others to the site.

But hey, you don’t get any more credible than Marco Polo, right?

Marco Polo was one of the hearsay witnesses—he did not claim to have seen the Ark himself, but knew vaguely that it was on The Mountain of Noah’s Ark.  As you would expect.

In the Foreword, LaHaye mentions Russian soldiers who supposedly saw the Ark in 1917.  Of course, the other big event of that year, the Russian Revolution, meant that the evidence was lost.

Boy, what are the odds, eh?

So, perhaps the explanation is as simple as this:

Noah’s Ark is a myth, and those who claim to have seen it were lying, confused, mistaken, and/or simply too hopeful regarding artifacts of their faith.  For a variety of reasons, people believe in alien abductions, demon possession, the Loch Ness Monster, and other…er, highly improbable things.  Not so shocking that some people would have a similar reaction to Noah’s Ark, right?

Wrong.

Now, as you all know, Christian entertainment delivers a pretty good number of excellent, mind-exploding lines.  But I have to wonder if LaHaye is blowing his wad in the Foreword with this gem:

There must be a sinister force that has opposed all the searchers’ valiant efforts up to the present from seeing the light of day.

This is a statement from Tim LaHaye IN THE FORWARD.  No shit, SATAN is making sure that no evidence of Noah’s Ark ever surfaces.  That MUST be it.  And it must be part of his multi-faceted scheme, the one that includes strategically placing fossils all around the world so that humans will be tricked into thinking the Earth is more than six thousand years old.

There is no evidence of Noah’s Ark.

There would be, but for TEH SATANIC CONSPIRACY.

This is going to be a fun ride.

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Posted on May 10, 2012, in Babylon Rising, Books, The Secret on Ararat. Bookmark the permalink. 59 Comments.

  1. Oooooooh boy. I guess we’re gonna see whether Michael Murphy or Joshua Jordan can win the “prima donna” contest, eh?

  2. And it must be part of his multi-faceted scheme, the one that includes strategically placing fossils all around the world so that humans will be tricked into thinking the Earth is more than six thousand years old.

    And placing stars so very far away from us. And a hundred or so primary-axis rotators in the asteroid belt. And scores of… well… scores on the dark side of the moon.

    • I know more than one Christian who believes just that–and some who believe that God did it to trick humans into believing in evolution, so that he could test who has real faith or not. Or something like that. Sometimes I get confused by all the “logic”

      • I just cannot fathom the depths of that kind of thinking. I mean, for a faith that depends on God being so infinitely full of love,it sure seems to spend a lot of time creating hoops to jump through, and seemingly arbitrary “tests” of one’s strength of belief.

  3. Grammar Police

    I can’t help but wonder how much of TLH’s forward will end up in Murphy’s first lecture of this book.

    When was this written? In 2010 there were some evangelical Christian explorers who supposedly found Noah’s ark. They didn’t take any pictures and they refused to say exactly where on Ararat they found it, but they brought back some wood for testing. — Could this book be LaHaye’s “up yours!” to those heathenist doubting scientists who refused to take the explorers seriously?

  4. Flying Squid with Goggles

    You’ve struck gold even before the book technically begins! Fantastic!

  5. Ah, the sign of the hopelessly lost. Lack of evidence for your position IS evidence for your position. Bring out the tinfoil hats.

    Hmm, Jordan vs Stepola. A battle of titans to be sure. On the one hand, Joshua has probably the bigger ego, perhaps because he isn’t yet passing any of the credit for his awesomeness to god yet. And it is just painful to see him convince himself that his shady group of millionairs founding a media outlet for the express purpose of spreading propaganda in his personal conflict with the democratically elected government is somehow a fight for the rights of the common American man.

    But… I still think Paul wins this one. Paul’s treatment of Jae is worse than Josh’s treatment of his son for even worse reasons. Josh hasn’t converted yet but if he acts anything like other RTC ‘heroes’, he doesn’t really have to change much. Paul meanwhile used to gun down fleeing RTCs a few mere weeks before he has fully internalized the logic that everyone not actively risking their life on behalf of the RTCs deserve to die. And of course, Josh hasn’t yet formulated a plan to have his RTS system reroute a nuke towards washington if his demands are not met.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy

      Lack of evidence for your position IS evidence for your position. Bring out the tinfoil hats.

      It’s a sign of Grand Unified Conspiracy Theory logic in play. I first heard about it from Rich Buhler’s afternoon radio talk show in the Eighties (during the Satanic Panic), when he described trying to shake a conspiracy type and came to the conclusion it was literally impossible:

      1) Any evidence against The Conspiracy is Disinformation planted by The Conspiracy. (“That’s what THEY Want You to Think!”)

      2) Lack of evidence for The Conspiracy is Proof The Conspiracy is so Vast and so Powerful They Can Silence Anyone.

      30 years before Rich Buhler, C.S.Lewis described the same in Chronicles of Narnia: The Last Battle: “The Dwarfs are for The Dwarfs! We won’t be taken in!”

  6. I do genuinely worry about this sort of thinking. It seems awfully like the dolchstosslegende and other conspiracy theories.

    I think it all comes from a lack of understanding of science. If a large and ancient wooden boat were found on top of a mountain – let’s say with actual evidence of animal occupation – scientists from realityland would be going “wow”, not “let’s suppress this so as to push our atheist-theology”. (Projecting much, Tim?)

    • I think it all comes from a lack of understanding of science.

      I agree with this, but I think it goes one step deeper. It comes from a lack of understanding of critical thinking. The Intelligent Design movement is just one big argumentum ad ignorantiam fallacy. Unconfirmed, second-hand eye-witness testimony and unsubstantiated claims by a person with a conflict of interest are not, to critical thinkers, good evidence. Neither is blind faith.

      LeHay’s basic formulation (“I know my conclusion is true, therefore the absence of evidence does not falsify the conclusion, but requires an alternate explanation that preserves it”) is pretty much the opposite of how actual critical thinking works.

      The other explanation is one I’m stealing from Pandagon:

      I think they only “believe” it. Which is to say, there are two kinds of ways people believe something. They have things they believe because they’re factually accurate: That it’s raining outside, that items dropped will fall, that Barack Obama is President. Then there’s stuff that isn’t real that people believe: that there’s a God in heaven and an afterlife, that miracles happen, ghosts exist. These are things you don’t really believe in the same way you believe in truths.

      In my experience, the healthiest people (besides those who largely avoid the habit of “belief”) are those who have a strict divide between accuracy-beliefs and myth-beliefs. God stays in church where he belongs, etc.

  7. Former Conservative

    If Noah’s Ark existed, Indiana Jones would have found it by now.

  8. Ah, Noah’s Ark nonsense. Such a long-lasting, and rather bizarre, belief. I mean, no one now claims to have found the original bronze-serpent-staff-thing that could cure snake bites, or Samson’s hair, or whatever. I mean, there must be potentially thousands of things mentioned in the Bible that could conceivably have somehow survived ’till the modern day, but most of them are ignored in favour of the ark.

    If anything, the ark’s one of the least likely things to survive, surely. It was made of wood. Wet wood. Covered in excrement. In the open air. It would’ve rotted away incredibly quickly. It’s not as if it was a small thing that could’ve survived in a dry cave somewhere. Yet it’s such a popular thing to try and find.

    What’s more, it’s one of the more blatantly impossible of the Biblical artifacts. There’s zero evidence (and quite a bit of counter-evidence) for a world-wide flood, and the sheer logistical and engineering problems needed to get the ark to work means that short of divine intervention (in which case why have Noah build it at all? Why not just magic it into being?) it could not possibly have worked.

  9. I remember in high school when Buzz Aldrin (I think it was Buzz… it was an Apollo astronaut.) came to speak. And… looking back, the guy is awesome for what he’s done, but he was… a little… erm….

    He was looking for Noah’s Ark. 😦

    On the other hand, someone’s building an ark based on biblical measurements and it’s rather cool to see. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johan's_Ark It’s a half-scale replica — 150m LOA rather than 300m — but still interesting.

    If there’s any truth to the Noah’s Ark story, I think that Noah may have just built a boat big enough for his local community and their farm animals, possibly in relation to the Bronze Age Collapse, but I haven’t studied it. Too many flood stories are from that era, originating either with the cyclical flood of the Nile or the detonation of Thera.

  10. No that was James Irwin. Buzz Aldrin is indeed totally awesome – he decked the guy who was pushing the Moon Hoax idea!

    • So…guess who The Secret on Ararat is dedicated to?

      “Dedicated to the memory of famed astronaut Colonel James Irwin, who walked on the moon in 1971. His faith in Jesus Christ and the Bible caused him to search diligently during the 1980s for the ever-elusive Ark of Noah, which many believe will one day be found high in the rugged mountain peaks of Ararat, where it has been preserved in ice for about five thousand years—waiting for someone like him to locate what many expect will be “the greatest archaeological discovery of all time.”

      No joke.

      😀

      • First: Thanks for the correction, Geri!

        Ruby: For some reason, that dedication makes my blood boil. LeHaye is a sanctimonious shill and a f****** hypocritical jacknape. Without all the science that has been done in the past five hundred years, despite YECers and evolution-deniers and anti-intellectuals like him, James Irwin would never have walked on the moon. We would have never gotten off this bloody planet. And yet this asshole is praising a man who put his faith in science to walk on another heavenly body, by hyping up the guy’s search for a legend.

        Carl Sagan weeps for our future.

      • Preserved in ice? How??? Just assuming that the story was true, the survivors wouldn’t have just left a huge store of usable wood sitting there after they landed. You only have to see the pictures of the Japanese tsunami aftermath to have an idea of how the landscape would have looked after forty days of flood. The Ark would have been taken apart for use as building materials or fuel – mainly fuel, if it was cold enough for ice.
        Or did God miracle up some dry housing and fuel stores for Noah and his family? If so, why didn’t he just miracle up the Ark as well?

      • Jenora Feuer

        And never mind that the ‘Ararat’ named in the Bible is almost certainly not the modern ‘Mount Ararat’ in Turkey, seems to refer to an entire range, and there have indeed been arguments over the centuries that placed it in many places, including over in the Orient. I know that’s the least of the problems with all this, but still…

  11. It’s been pointed out that even if the ark did exist, Noah and his family would have torn it apart pretty quick after leaving it because it would have been the only timber around. So even within his own belief system, LaHaye is completely ridiculous.

  12. The question becomes, WHY would God be so resolute to keep the ark intact? It served its purpose of keeping the world’s (or at least the Atlantis Archipelago’s, outside of Iceland–{teleports to safety]) species from being obliterated by the deluge, why waste effort keeping it around? What about the ark suggests that it should be regarded as a holy relic in the same sense as the True Cross (once you figure out how much of the literal forest’s worth of alleged splinters actually CAME from it, anyway), the Sangreal, the Spear of Longinus, the various saint bones, etc.?

    Actually, given his low opinion of Catholicism, isn’t LaHaye just a LITTLE worried that this might qualify as medieval relic-mania, and thus redolent of Catholic ritualism? Even without the “it can heal the faithful” conceit?

    • Grammar Police

      Oh, but the Catholics do it *wrong* you see; they worship Mary and saints instead of understanding that All The Power and The Glory (TM) comes from God and God alone, except when it comes from Jesus.

      Which is why the Magic Words (TM) work to save your soul, and why a bronze snake can heal the sick while a golden calf cannot. Because it comes directly from God who just happens to choose to work through nondirect means like that. *eye roll*

      .

      (For the record, I know Catholics do not worship Mary or saints. But good luck convincing a fundy of that. Been there, tried that, gave up in disgust.)

    • *God gazes down on Noah and his family as they stumble from the Ark onto the empty, soggy world*

      “GUYZ. I KNOW YOU PROBABLY WANT THE WOOD FOR HOUSES AND SHIT, BUT I NEED YOU TO LEAVE THAT WHOLE THING THERE, ‘KAY? FUTURE GENERATIONS NEED TO TOTALLY FAIL AT FINDING IT. TIA, GOD”

      • Clearly, God would not want His people to die without shelter and fire. But there’s no account of Him providing it. So Noah et al must have broken up the Ark.

        Therefore… the “Ark” that His Murphyness is about to find… is a fake Ark set up by the Devil to lead Bible-Believing Christians astray! After all, if God’s willing to allow it with fossils…

    • Headless Unicorn Guy

      Actually, given his low opinion of Catholicism, isn’t LaHaye just a LITTLE worried that this might qualify as medieval relic-mania, and thus redolent of Catholic ritualism?

      — Skyknight

      I think LaHaye et al are willing to take that risk because:

      1) They’re RTCs with Totally Correct Theology/Soteriology/Eschatology, NOT Romish Papists.

      2) Any relic-mania danger would be completely eclipsed by the Absolute PROOF of Biblical Literacy and Young Earth Creationism.

      But other than that, yes it IS the Ultimate Relic for RTCs.

  13. Sorry to be such an English teacher about this, but foreward is a direction(or an out-of-date adjective meaning “sexually pushy”), the bit of a book before the book is the foreword.

  14. Headless Unicorn Guy

    This is a statement from Tim LaHaye IN THE FORWARD. No shit, SATAN is making sure that no evidence of Noah’s Ark ever surfaces. That MUST be it. And it must be part of his multi-faceted scheme, the one that includes strategically placing fossils all around the world so that humans will be tricked into thinking the Earth is more than six thousand years old.

    “When your Conspiracy Theory doesn’t fit the facts, Imagine a Bigger Conspiracy.”
    — Kooks Magazine

    I have long noted RTC’s obsession with “Ark-ology”; every couple years you hear of another attempt (either RTC or financed by RTCs) to Find Noah’s Ark. The reason for this obsession is that Finding Noah’s Ark would absolutely PROVE Young Earth Creationism, Flood Geology, and The Literal Truth of Genesis (and by extension, the Entire Bible — start presentation of Four Spiritual Laws now…). A lot of RTC attempts at science at their core are attempts to find Absolute Proof of The Truth of the Bible, something they can use as a “Witnessing Tool” to PROVE it to Those Heathens. (How much of this is “I’M RIGHT! YOU’RE WRONG! SEE? SEE? SEE?”, akin to the Abominable Fancy of the Raptured in Heaven gloating as they watch all those Heathens cast into Hell — see Left Behind: Volume 12 for details.)

    “They keep trying to Prove the existence of God — as if God had nothing to do but exist!”
    — C.S.Lewis, “The Great Divorce” (from memory)

  15. Headless Unicorn Guy

    If you want a much better story regardng Noah’s Ark and Mount Ararat, I recommend the secret-history spy thriller Declare by Tim Powers. It is everything Secret of Ararat et al tried to be and failed.

    As Harry Turtledove is the master of Alternate History among current SF authors, so Tim Powers is the master of the “Secret History” sub-genre, i.e. “What if all those conspiracy-behind-the-scenes stuff were for real?” And Declare also has a strong Christian subtext; Powers is a practicing Catholic. (It’s no accident most of the high-quality Christian SF in the mainstream comes from a Western-Rite Liturgical Church background instead of LaHaye’s RTC background.)

    • Tim Powers? Tim “On Stranger Tides” Powers? O_O

      I shall have to seek this Declare out….

      • Headless Unicorn Guy

        Yes, Tim “On Stranger Tides” Powers.

        Though Declare is almost twice as long as On Stranger Tides and is set in the Black Ops world of World War Two and the Cold War, centering around the Kim Philby defection, Jinn, Arab folk beliefs, and an Ark on Mount Ararat. Powers includes an afterword telling which parts were fictionalized and which were retellings of real events; he blends the two so well you need the afterword.

        • Meanwhile, LaHaye and Jenkins need an afterword to say which parts were fictionalized during the writing of the novel and which parts were fictionalized as part of LaHaye’s Biblical interpetation; They blend the two forms of self-congratulationary wish-fulfillment so well you need an afterword.

        • I have started reading Declare. I am already arrested by it. I went into it expecting a LeCarre thriller with some Christian elements and suddenly I’m getting sucked into a world that’s like an extremely, deathly serious Laundry Files, and I don’t know what to expect anymore, and that’s only on page 50 or so.

          THANK YOU for recommending this!

    • I shall also have to locate this person’s writings. 🙂

  16. So, from hints dropped here and there, I’m gathering that the secret on Ararat is … Noah’s Ark? Am I warm?

    Creationists are a strange, strange group. On the one hand they like to claim that their God miracled away all evidence of the Deluge to “test our faith” or whatever, but then he apparently left the frickin’ boat itself on a mountain for us to find. It turns out that the mysterious ways in which God works aren’t that mysterious at all: they precisely map onto whatever point his followers want to prove at that moment.

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