Review: Jesus in Salome's Lot: The Dawn of the Pisces Cycle

by Brett Gillette



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Toby Johnson's books:

Toby's books are available as ebooks from smashwords.com, the Apple iBookstore, etc.


Finding Your Own True Myth - The Myth of the Great Secret III

FINDING YOUR OWN TRUE MYTH: What I Learned from Joseph Campbell: The Myth of the Great Secret III


Gay Spirituality

GAY SPIRITUALITY: The Role of Gay Identity in the Transformation of Human Consciousness


Gay Perspective


GAY PERSPECTIVE: Things Our Homosexuality Tells Us about the Nature of God and the Universe


Secret Matter


SECRET MATTER, a sci-fi novel with wonderful "aliens" with an Afterword by Mark Jordan


Getting Life

GETTING LIFE IN PERSPECTIVE:  A Fantastical Gay Romance set in two different time periods


The Fourth Quill

THE FOURTH QUILL, a novel about attitudinal healing and the problem of evil




Two Spirits
TWO SPIRITS: A Story of Life with the Navajo, a collaboration with Walter L. Williams



charmed lives
CHARMED LIVES: Spinning Straw into Gold: GaySpirit in Storytelling, a collaboration with Steve Berman and some 30 other writers


Myth of the Great Secret


THE MYTH OF THE GREAT SECRET: An Appreciation of Joseph Campbell



In Search of God


IN SEARCH OF GOD IN THE SEXUAL UNDERWORLD: A Mystical Journey



Unpublished manuscripts


About ordering


Books on Gay Spirituality:

White Crane Gay Spirituality Series


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  Toby has done five podcasts with Harry Faddis for The Quest of Life

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  Articles and Excerpts:

Review of Samuel Avery's The Dimensional Structure of Consciousness


Funny Coincidence: "Aliens Settle in San Francisco"


About Liberty Books, the Lesbian/Gay Bookstore for Austin, 1986-1996


The Simple Answer to the Gay Marriage Debate


A Bifurcation of Gay Spirituality


Why gay people should NOT Marry


The Scriptural Basis for Same Sex Marriage


Toby and Kip Get Married


Wedding Cake Liberation


Gay Marriage in Texas


What's ironic



Shame on the American People


The "highest form of love"


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Gay Consciousness


Why homosexuality is a sin


The cause of homosexuality


The origins of homophobia


Q&A about Jungian ideas in gay consciousness


What is homosexuality?


What is Gay Spirituality?


My three messages


What Jesus said about Gay Rights


Queering religion


Common Experiences Unique to Gay Men


Is there a "uniquely gay perspective"?


The purpose of homosexuality


Interview on the Nature of Homosexuality


What the Bible Says about Homosexuality


Mesosexual Ideal for Straight Men



Varieties of Gay Spirituality


Waves of Gay Liberation Activity


The Gay Succession


Wouldn’t You Like to Be Uranian?


The Reincarnation of Edward Carpenter


Why Gay Spirituality: Spirituality as Artistic Medium


Easton Mountain Retreat Center


Andrew Harvey & Spiritual Activism


The Mysticism of Andrew Harvey


The upsidedown book on MSNBC


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Enlightenment


"It's Always About You"



The myth of the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara


Joseph Campbell's description of Avalokiteshvara


You're Not A Wave



Joseph Campbell Talks about Aging



What is Enlightenment?



What is reincarnation?



How many lifetimes in an ego?



Emptiness & Religious Ideas



Experiencing experiencing experiencing



Going into the Light



Meditations for a Funeral



Meditation Practice



The way to get to heaven



Buddha's father was right



What Anatman means



Advice to Travelers to India & Nepal



The Danda Nata & goddess Kalika



Nate Berkus is a bodhisattva



John Boswell was Immanuel Kant



Cutting edge realization



The Myth of the Wanderer



Change: Source of Suffering & of Bliss



World Navel



What the Vows Really Mean



Manifesting from the Subtle Realms



The Three-layer Cake & the Multiverse


The est Training and Personal Intention



Effective Dreaming in Ursula LeGuin's The Lathe of Heaven


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Gay Spirituality


Curious Bodies


What Toby Johnson Believes


The Joseph Campbell Connection


The Mann Ranch (& Rich Gabrielson)


Campbell & The Pre/Trans Fallacy


The Two Loves


The Nature of Religion


What's true about Religion


Being Gay is a Blessing


Drawing Long Straws


Freedom of Religion


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The Gay Agenda


Gay Saintliness


Gay Spiritual Functions



The subtle workings of the spirit in gay men's lives.


The Sinfulness of Homosexuality


Proposal for a study of gay nondualism


Priestly Sexuality


Having a Church to Leave


Harold Cole on Beauty


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Marian Doctrines: Immaculate Conception & Assumption


Not lashed to the prayer-post


Monastic or Chaste Homosexuality


Is It Time to Grow Up? Confronting the Aging Process


Notes on Licking  (July, 1984)


Redeem Orlando


Gay Consciousness changing the world by Shokti LoveStar


Alexander Renault interviews Toby Johnson



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Mystical Vision


"The Evolution of Gay Identity"


"St. John of the Cross & the Dark Night of the Soul."


Avalokiteshvara at the Baths


 Eckhart's Eye


Let Me Tell You a Secret


Religious Articulations of the Secret


The Collective Unconscious


Driving as Spiritual Practice


Meditation


Historicity as Myth


Pilgrimage


No Stealing


Next Step in Evolution


The New Myth


The Moulting of the Holy Ghost


Gaia is a Bodhisattva


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The Hero's Journey


The Hero's Journey as archetype -- GSV 2016


The  Gay Hero Journey (shortened)


You're On Your Own


Superheroes


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Seeing Differently


Teenage Prostitution and the Nature of Evil


Allah Hu: "God is present here"


 
Adam and Steve


The Life is in the Blood



Gay retirement and the "freelance monastery"


Seeing with Different Eyes


Facing the Edge: AIDS as an occasion for spiritual wisdom


What are you looking for in a gay science fiction novel?


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The Vision


The mystical experience at the Servites'  Castle in Riverside


A  Most Remarkable Synchronicity in Riverside


The Great Dance according to C.S.Lewis


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The Techniques Of The World Saviors

Part 1: Brer Rabbit and the Tar-Baby


Part 2: The Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara


Part 3: Jesus and the Resurrection


Part 4: A Course in Miracles


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The Secret of the Clear Light


Understanding the Clear Light


Mobius Strip


Finding Your Tiger Face


How Gay Souls Get Reincarnated


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Joseph Campbell, the Hero's Journey, and the modern Gay Hero-- a five part presentation on YouTube


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About Alien Abduction


In honor of Sir Arthur C Clarke


Karellen was a homosexual


The D.A.F.O.D.I.L. Alliance


Intersections with the movie When We Rise


More about Gay Mental Health


Psych Tech Training


Toby at the California Institute


The Rainbow Flag


Ideas for gay mythic stories


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People


Kip and Toby, Activists


Toby's friend and nicknamesake Toby Marotta.


Harry Hay, Founder of the gay movement


About Hay and The New Myth


About Karl Heinrich Ulrichs, the first man to really "come out"


About Michael Talbot, gay mystic


About Fr. Bernard Lynch


About Richard Baltzell


About Guy Mannheimer


About David Weyrauch


About Dennis Paddie


About Ask the Fire


About Arthur Evans


About Christopher Larkin


About Mark Thompson


About Sterling Houston


About Michael Stevens


The Alamo Business Council


Our friend Tom Nash


Second March on Washington


The Gay Spirituality Summit in May 2004 and the "Statement of Spirituality"


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Book Reviews



Be Done on Earth by Howard E. Cook


Pay Me What I'm Worth by Souldancer


The Way Out by Christopher L  Nutter


The Gay Disciple by John Henson


Art That Dares by Kittredge Cherry


Coming Out, Coming Home by Kennth A. Burr


Extinguishing the Light by B. Alan Bourgeois


Over Coffee: A conversation For Gay Partnership & Conservative Faith by D.a. Thompson


Dark Knowledge by Kenneth Low


Janet Planet by Eleanor Lerman


The Kairos by Paul E. Hartman


Wrestling with Jesus by D.K.Maylor


Kali Rising by Rudolph Ballentine


The Missing Myth by Gilles Herrada


The Secret of the Second Coming by Howard E. Cook


The Scar Letters: A Novel by Richard Alther


The Future is Queer by Labonte & Schimel


Missing Mary by Charlene Spretnak


Gay Spirituality 101 by Joe Perez


Cut Hand: A Nineteeth Century Love Story on the American Frontier by Mark Wildyr


Radiomen by Eleanor Lerman


Nights at Rizzoli by Felice Picano


The Key to Unlocking the Closet Door by Chelsea Griffo


The Door of the Heart by Diana Finfrock Farrar


Occam’s Razor by David Duncan


Grace and Demion by Mel White


Gay Men and The New Way Forward by Raymond L. Rigoglioso


The Dimensional Stucture of Consciousness by Samuel Avery


The Manly Pursuit of Desire and Love by Perry Brass


Love Together: Longtime Male Couples on Healthy Intimacy and Communication by Tim Clausen


War Between Materialism and Spiritual by Jean-Michel Bitar


The Serpent's Gift: Gnostic Reflections on the Study of Religion by Jeffrey J. Kripal


Esalen: America and the Religion of No Religion by Jeffrey J. Kripal


The Invitation to Love by Darren Pierre


Brain, Consciousness, and God: A Lonerganian Integration by Daniel A Helminiak


A Walk with Four Spiritual Guides by Andrew Harvey


Can Christians Be Saved? by Stephenson & Rhodes


The Lost Secrets of the Ancient Mystery Schools by Stephenson & Rhodes


Keys to Spiritual Being: Energy Meditation and Synchronization Exercises by Adrian Ravarour


In Walt We Trust by John Marsh


Solomon's Tantric Song by Rollan McCleary


A Special Illumination by Rollan McCleary


Aelred's Sin by Lawrence Scott


Fruit Basket by Payam Ghassemlou


Internal Landscapes by John Ollom


Princes & Pumpkins by David Hatfield Sparks


Yes by Brad Boney


Blood of the Goddess by William Schindler


Roads of Excess, Palaces of Wisdom by Jeffrey Kripal


Evolving Dharma by Jay Michaelson


Jesus in Salome's Lot by Brett W. Gillette


The Man Who Loved Birds by Fenton Johnson


The Vatican Murders by Lucien Gregoire


"Sex Camp" by Brian McNaught


Out & About with Brewer & Berg
Episode One: Searching for a New Mythology



The Soul Beneath the Skin by David Nimmons


Out on Holy Ground by Donald Boisvert


The Revotutionary Psychology of Gay-Centeredness by Mitch Walker


Out There by Perry Brass


The Crucifixion of Hyacinth by Geoff Puterbaugh


The Silence of Sodom by Mark D Jordan


It's Never About What It's About by Krandall Kraus and Paul Borja


ReCreations, edited by Catherine Lake


Gospel: A Novel by WIlton Barnhard


Keeping Faith: A Skeptic’s Journey by Fenton Johnson


Dating the Greek Gods
by Brad Gooch


Telling Truths in Church by Mark D. Jordan


The Substance of God by Perry Brass


The Tomcat Chronicles by Jack Nichols


10 Smart Things Gay Men Can Do to Improve Their Lives by Joe Kort


Jesus and the Shamanic Tradition of Same Sex Love by Will Roscoe


The Third Appearance by Walter Starcke


The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight by Thom Hartmann


Surviving and Thriving After a Life-Threatening Diagnosis by Bev Hall


Men, Homosexuality, and the Gods by Ronald Long

An Interview with Ron Long


Queering Creole Spiritual Traditons by Randy Conner & David Sparks

An Interview with Randy Conner


Pain, Sex and Time by Gerald Heard


Sex and the Sacred by Daniel Helminiak


Blessing Same-Sex Unions by Mark Jordan


Rising Up by Joe Perez


Soulfully Gay by Joe Perez


That Undeniable Longing by Mark Tedesco


Vintage: A Ghost Story by Steve Berman


Wisdom for the Soul by Larry Chang


MM4M a DVD by Bruce Grether


Double Cross by David Ranan


The Transcended Christian by Daniel Helminiak


Jesus in Love by Kittredge Cherry


In the Eye of the Storm by Gene Robinson


The Starry Dynamo by Sven Davisson


Life in Paradox by Fr Paul Murray


Spirituality for Our Global Community by Daniel Helminiak


Gay & Healthy in a Sick Society by Robert A. Minor


Coming Out: Irish Gay Experiences by Glen O'Brien


Queering Christ by Robert Goss


Skipping Towards Gomorrah by Dan Savage


The Flesh of the Word by Richard A Rosato


Catland by David Garrett Izzo


Tantra for Gay Men by Bruce Anderson


Yoga & the Path of the Urban Mystic by Darren Main


Simple Grace by Malcolm Boyd


Seventy Times Seven by Salvatore Sapienza


What Does "Queer" Mean Anyway? by Chris Bartlett


Critique of Patriarchal Reasoning by Arthur Evans


Gift of the Soul by Dale Colclasure & David Jensen


Legend of the Raibow Warriors by Steven McFadden


The Liar's Prayer by Gregory Flood


Lovely are the Messengers by Daniel Plasman


The Human Core of Spirituality by Daniel Helminiak


3001: The Final Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke


Religion and the Human Sciences by Daniel Helminiak


Only the Good Parts by Daniel Curzon


Four Short Reviews of Books with a Message


Life Interrupted by Michael Parise


Confessions of a Murdered Pope by Lucien Gregoire


The Stargazer's Embassy by Eleanor Lerman


Conscious Living, Conscious Aging by Ron Pevny


Footprints Through the Desert by Joshua Kauffman


True Religion by J.L. Weinberg


The Mediterranean Universe by John Newmeyer


Everything is God by Jay Michaelson


Reflection by Dennis Merritt


Everywhere Home by Fenton Johnson


Hard Lesson by James Gaston


God vs Gay? by Jay Michaelson


The Gate of Tears: Sadness and the Spiritual Path by Jay Michaelson


Roxie & Fred by Richard Alther


Not the Son He Expected by Tim Clausen


The 9 Realities of Stardust by Bruce P. Grether


The Afterlife Revolution by Anne & Whitley Strieber


AIDS Shaman: Queer Spirit Awakening by Shokti Lovestar


Facing the Truth of Your Life by Merle Yost


The Super Natural by Whitley Strieber & Jeffrey J Kripal


Secret Body by Jeffrey J Kripal


In Hitler's House by Jonathan Lane


Walking on Glory by Edward Swift


The Paradox of Porn by Don Shewey


Is Heaven for Real? by Lucien Gregoire


Enigma by Lloyd Meeker


Scissors, Paper, Rock by Fenton Johnson




Toby Johnson's Books on Gay Men's Spiritualities:




Gay
Perspective cover
Gay Perspective

Things Our [Homo]sexuality
Tells Us about the
Nature of God and
the Universe


Gay Perspective audiobook
Gay Perspective is available as an audiobook narrated by Matthew Whitfield. Click here







Gay
Spirituality cover
Gay Spirituality

Gay Identity and 
the Transformation of
Human Consciousness



gay-spirituality-audiobook
Gay Spirituality   is now available as an audiobook, beautifully narrated by John Sipple. Click here








charmed lives
Charmed Lives: Gay Spirit in Storytelling

edited by
Toby Johnson
& Steve Berman







secret matter
Secret Matter

Lammy Award Winner for Gay Science Fiction

updated







Getting Life
Getting Life in Perspective

A Fantastical Romance





Getting
Life in Perspective audiobook
Getting Life in Perspective is available as an audiobook narrated by Alex Beckham. Click here 






The Fourth Quill

The Fourth Quill

originally published as PLAGUE




johnson-the-fourth-quill-audiobook
The Fourth Quill is available as an audiobook, narrated by Jimmie Moreland. Click here






Two
Two Spirits: A Story of Life with the Navajo

with Walter L. Williams




Two Spirits
audiobookTwo Spirits  is available as an audiobook  narrated by Arthur Raymond. Click here






Finding Your Own True Myth - The Myth of the Great Secret III
Finding Your Own True Myth:
What I Learned from Joseph Campbell

The Myth of the Great Secret III








In
Search of God in the Sexual Underworld
In Search of God  in the Sexual Underworld










The Myth of the Great Secret II

The Myth of the Great Secret: An Appreciation of Joseph Campbell.

This was the second edition of this book.




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Toby Johnson's titles are available in other ebook formats from Smashwords.



The Unabridged True Story of Jesus

Nothing Is As It Seems


Jesus in Salome's Lot cover

Jesus in Salome's Lot: The Dawning Of The Pisces Cycle


By Brett W. Gillette

2015
316
pages, Trade paperback, $22.99

9781522828549


Available from Amazon.com
Jesus In Salome's Lot: The Dawning Of The Pisces Cycle



5 stars

When I was a young man in the 1960s in Catholic seminary, the revolutionary and new way to understand the Bible was through "exegesis" and "hermeneutics." Starting in the middle of the 19th Century, in Germany and in Jerusalem, Protestant Biblical scholars began to try to understand the Bible as it would have been understood at the time it was written by the people it was written for. That was a surprisingly revolutionary idea. The scholars had realized they had to understand the "literary genres" in which the books were written, i.e., how you say something determines what you say: poetry is more metaphorical than history; some poetry is realistic, some "surreal" and allegorical. A particular literary form peculiar to the Hebrews that they discovered is called midrash. It's pseudo-history written with symbols and references from earlier myths and legends. The major example of midrash in the New Testament is the story of the Magi. The Biblical scholars determined that story was made up using references to Jewish history to make a point about the universality of Jesus's teachings. It isn't about actual events; it's about the meaning of the situation those events are portrayed in. In our day, an example of midrash would be the stories of George Washington cutting down the cherry tree or Davy Crockett killing him a bear when he was only three.

By the 1950s, Catholic scholars had begun to align with the Protestants. I was fortunate to study Scripture under such a scholar, a Passionist priest named Barnabas Ahern, C.P. Besides being a Scripture scholar, who'd studied in Jerusalem, he was also a preacher of retreats to nuns—that's what priests of the Passionist Order do. When I met him at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, he was an old man and was somewhat chagrined, I believe, about the consequences of his dual roles. He had taught the nuns all over America in the 1950s that the events in the Bible hadn't really happened—they were "wisdom stories" and parables. There'd really never been any Magi, any Annunciation by an angel, any Visitation, any finding of the boy Jesus in the Temple. Barnabas Ahern was in great part, if indirectly, responsible for the nuns' rebellions in the 1960s. Those women understood the implications of what he'd taught them. Using a term I learned from C.G. Jung and Joseph Campbell—and which Fr. Barnabas would NOT have used—those stories were all myths. They meant something—but it wasn't "history," it was "mystical vision."

Ideas about how to understand the Old and New Testaments that form the Bible have changed over time. The Bible has been taken for absolute truth, word for word. It's also been taken as a source of inspiration for the Holy Spirit to communicate—indirectly—with the devout reader. Remember, the major tenet of the Protestant Reformation was "Private Interpretation of Scripture," i.e., what the Bible means is what it means to YOU. The truth isn't in the words; it's in the consciousness of God you experience when you are reading and understanding the words.

The Bible has also been taken as code; secret meanings are embedded within it which can only be understood by figuring out the clues. Medieval Jewish Kabbalah imagined that the Hebrew letters were alive and that the text was filled with secret meanings that could be understood by rearranging and meditating on the letters.

In the 1990s, the notion of the "Bible Code" was popularized. There are various ways of deciphering the code. One way was to skip to every 50th letter; others were to highlight "equidistant letters" in the Hebrew scrolls. It turned out such methods sometimes resulted in meaningful sentences, and actually held prophecies and predictions for real events that have happened throughout history. Skeptics noted that you could do the same thing with any book or text and get surprisingly meaningful results. When applied to the U.N. Law of the Sea Treaty, for instance, you get such phrases as: "Hear all the law of the sea" and "safe UN ocean convention to enclose tuna"—they are meaningful, but out of nowhere. Nobody wrote the Treaty with the intention of encoding secret messages. But they are there!

Brett Gillette's remarkable and mind-bending book of Biblical meaning, Jesus in Salome's Lot, similarly presents hidden meanings or, at least, new ways to understand the Biblical stories. It seems to me his process is somewhere in between the exegetes', the Kabbalists', the Bible Code's, and Barnabas Ahern's. Whether the secret meanings are encoded intentionally by the writers or by God's intervention, whether they are really there or not, matters less than what you can ferret out and use to amplify your own interpretation. Here's the Protestant principle of interpretation applied at the level of the letters and words of the text—and taken to the extreme.

A important way that Gillette's amplification of the meaning of the Scriptures is different from those others is that he applies his method to the English translation, not to the original Hebrew or Aramaic. The exegetes and the Kabbalists deal with the original text, using documents as old as possible. At least in the old days, God spoke in Hebrew, and Jesus spoke Aramaic and Greek. If you are looking for the meaning in the words as they were originally intended to mean, you probably should use the words in their original language. But if you're looking for a more mystical, esoteric meaning, then it's probably quite legitimate to use your own language, because it is within your consciousness that you are discovering the amplified meanings. And, at any rate, Christians, especially Biblical Fundamentalists, have always held that God oversaw the translations, so they maintain the Divine Inspiration. And, indeed, applying the Protestant principle, God would also be overseeing your own private process of reinterpreting the words.

In some ways, I think this is the most salient point about Brett W. Gillette's presentation: that he can do this is evidence of some sort of "inspiration" function within human consciousness. The meaning you are finding in the text comes from the eyes with which you are doing the looking. Because it is "Sacred" Scripture, a text like the Bible can function for scrying, like a crystal ball, bringing deep intuitions into consciousness, so that God or Higher Consciousness speaks through the text but beyond the actual words of the text.

And, indeed, this is literally true in Jesus in Salome's Lot, for one of the processes of interpretation Gillette uses is looking at the Biblical text with a magnifying glass and observing how the distortions in the lens as you move it away from the page seem to rearrange the letters.

Gillette writes that he applied five methods to decode the Christian Bible:

1. Identify the Characters. Using sound-a-likes (e.g., Cajaphas for Cleophus, Zebedee for Zeus), numbered sets (like the 7 Mary's, the 7 Portholes, the 12 J's, the 4 Swords) and interior clues that Gillette has figured out, the various characters in the Gospels are discovered to be ciphers for one another. The young man wrapped in a sheet who is mentioned at the time of Jesus's arrest will be identified as the disciple whom Jesus loved, the old prophet Bartimaeus, Simon the Leper, Lazarus and the author of the Books of Mark and John. The same people—because they act as conveyors of meaning—are called by different names in different contexts and different sequences.

2. Search for the Timeline Clues. Gillette calculates a 76 day period for Jesus's public life and the stories in the Gospels. He arranges events so they fit into a timeline running forward and a timeline running backwards (actually, there are multiple times lines involving different characters). This allows him to merge the narratives of the four Gospels and place events in meaningful sequences.

3. Convert the Actual Dates. Using references in the text to historical events,
like the death of Julius Caesar and the shift in High Priests from Annas to Cajaphas, Gillette lines up the dates and times in the Bible stories.

4. Research the Historian References. Again using clues within the text, Gillette can compare Jesus's Timeline to Roman and Greek accounts of history.

5. Connect the Past Lives of Jesus, John the Baptist, the Disciples, the Favored Women and the Old Testament Prophecies to the New Testament life of Jesus. Gillette, of course, is mixing Far Eastern notions of reincarnation with Middle Eastern religion—which probably didn't have any afterlife at all originally. But once he makes the assumption of reincarnation, he's able to find correlations between Old Testament and New Testament characters. And, for the sake of uncovering the Code, it doesn't really matter whether there is reincarnation or not, the writers intended to suggest these links—here's midrash again. John the Baptist is Elijah the Prophet. Yes, John fulfills the expectation of the return of Elijah, and the religious authorities actually questioned him if he were the return of Elijah.

The Timelines—Forward and Backward—are one of the most interesting concepts in this book. Though a little difficult to understand, these offer their own story of what is going on. Gillette shifts the history from the daily life of Jesus and the Apostles to the great movements of the Earth in space and the mythic drama within the procession of the Zodiac. Indeed, the procession of the Ages—caused by the precession of the Earth on its axis (the wobble)—runs in the opposite direction from that of the Astrological signs throughout the year, to wit, February is followed by March, the signs of Aries to Pisces. But as Earth's pole slowly rotates through a "Great Year" of 25,920 years, the Ages turn backward from Aries to Pisces. And that is the secret of Jesus and the change in the Age. At roughly the year zero and with the birth of Jesus, the Age changed from Aries the Ram, the lawgiver Jehovah, to Pisces, the two chasing fish in the 69, yin-yang circle of equals, whose God is Jesus and whose law is Love.

To put it in Gillette's whimsical way, Jehovah was fired and Jesus took over the job of being God.

In the year two-thousand, we all recently experienced another change in Age, referred to as the Turn of the Millennium, Y2K. From Pisces, we moved into Aquarius—the Age of Aquarius and a new consciousness. Perhaps Brett W. Gillette's insights into how to "decode" the Bible are a manifestation of this change. Women's Liberation, Gay Liberation, Racial Justice, Civil Rights, the Equality of Human Beings—these are the accomplishments of the Aquarian Age. And decoding the New Testament shows these as among the main teachings of the Gospels. So the change in the Age is a recovery of the real message of Jesus. Gillette calculates that the end of the Great Year of the Pisces Cycle and beginning of the Aquarius Cycle actually occurs on June 21, 2017. He hypothesizes the possibility of a polar shift sometime in the year leading up to that.

Jesus in Salome's Lot is itself written in an idiosyncratic English. The text (though not always the complex ideas) is relatively easy to read, but the punctuation seems to follow rules all its own. The sentences are more like idea-fragments than syntactical units with subject, verb, object, period. Periods—and especially semi-colons—appear in unexpected places. The most peculiar quirk of the language is the word "as." Gillette's writing uses "as" as a conjunction, like "and," as an adverb of time, like "at the same moment as," as a pronoun, like "who" or "which," as in Joanna as Tamar, and maybe even as a preposition, like "in the role of," since that's the first of the methods of  decoding: to identify the characters. The constant use of "as"—often effectively as the subject of the sentence—gives the book a sense of immediacy and flow. Past and present, backward and forward seem kind of simultaneous. As a professional copyeditor, I was baffled by the punctuation, but had no problem reading and following the text. The editor part of me thinks this book could have been titled "Nothing Is As It Seems." And there's that "As."

Another aspect of Brett Gillette's decoding is calling supernatural events in the Bible after their more common pop names today, i.e., UFOs. The Cherubim with the flaming sword at the gate of Eden, Elijah's chariot, the star of Bethlehem, the Voice that comes from above during Jesus's Baptism and His Transfiguration—lights in the sky—are interpreted as UFOs. The Nephilim, the "giants in the Earth" in Genesis, are interpreted as the Serpian Race of extraterrestrials who had visited our planet in the past.

Gillette's decoding finds homosexual secrets within the story of Jesus. Judas's kiss with which he betrays Jesus by identifying him to the Roman soldiers was an act of gay entrapment
. Jesus comments that he had been preaching in public every day and they had not arrested him; they needed a real "crime"—and that was the homosexual kiss. Jesus's injunction to eat his flesh and drink his blood means to give oral copulation. And the "secret of the Kingdom of Heaven" which Jesus was said to teach certain disciples in a nighttime ceremony called Naked Baptism was some sort of sex act. What the Jesus of history was arrested and executed for was homosexuality. And that is a real possibility. (This idea is also propounded in Dark Knowledge by Kenneth Low which I have also reviewed.)

A word about the cover is in order. The two women in front of a grandfather clock are not intended to look like Biblical characters, because, of course, they do not: they're blondes, and there weren't clocks in Jesus's time. But, according to a blog entry on jesusinsalomeslot.com, they do represent the "twin sisters" of Magdalene, but, astronomically/astrologically, with as Salome (Pisces) as the approaching Age and Joanna (Aries) as the receding Age. These are among the women who stood at the Cross of Jesus, and they are more than just themselves in the larger story. This Joanna is called Mary, as the sister of Lazarus, and Tamar, as the great grandmother of David. Gillette's decoding of Scripture collapses names, personalities, archetypal meanings—so that Salome, the alluring step-daughter of Herod, becomes also Martha, the sister of Lazarus, and John the Baptist becomes Elijah. In the decoding, the women of history seem to become female principles in the great scheme of the universe. "Salome's lot," that is, her fate, her winnings, her "lot in life," then, is to be the female principle in the cycle of Pisces.

The punch line of the book is that the dawning of the New Great Year of the Aquarius Cycle predicted between December 21, 2016 and December 21, 2017 may result in a shift of the magnetic poles of the planet, including a three-day period during which one side of the Earth will face the Sun and the other the darkness continuously as the planet stops rotating, then reverses rotational direction, so that literally day becomes night and night day. This will be truly a new beginning.

Perhaps such an astronomical event proves the decoding is correct—or maybe not. I think Bible scholars, like my old teacher Barnabas Ahern, would think Gillette's analysis ridiculous; they are looking for the real history. Mystics and visionaries, on the other hand, are not necessarily concerned with the "real" at all. And they might not be concerned that the prediction of a pole shift did or didn't happen. The real meaning is the personal secrets they can decode for themselves, the gnosis, the hidden knowledge.

As a student of comparative religion myself, I'm inclined to think the "coded message" is less in the text of the Bible than in the mystical vision of the student of the esoteric. The "meaning" isn't in the text; it is in the consciousness that is studying the text. The decoding process generates the code. Seek and ye shall find.

Fans of conspiracy theories and students of esoterica and fringe phenomena—from apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary to alien abductions to UFOs in the night sky—are likely to find this book fascinating and deeply engaging. Whether Gillette is right about a hidden meaning encoded in the Bible or not, I think he is certainly right that sacred scriptures and ancient monuments and unexplained phenomena all point to a greater reality than the everyday world of scientific materialism. This is a book about the layers of consciousness.


Reviewed by Toby Johnson, author of
The Myth of the Great Secret: An Appreciation of Joseph Campbell, Gay Spirituality, Getting Life in Perspective and other novels and books





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Toby Johnson, PhD is author of nine books: three non-fiction books that apply the wisdom of his teacher and "wise old man," Joseph Campbell to modern-day social and religious problems, four gay genre novels that dramatize spiritual issues at the heart of gay identity, and two books on gay men's spiritualities and the mystical experience of homosexuality and editor of a collection of "myths" of gay men's consciousness. 

Johnson's book GAY SPIRITUALITY: The Role of Gay Identity in the Transformation of Human Consciousness won a Lambda Literary Award in 2000.

His  GAY PERSPECTIVE: Things Our [Homo]sexuality Tells Us about the Nature of God and the Universe was nominated for a Lammy in 2003. They remain in print.

FINDING YOUR OWN TRUE MYTH: What I Learned from Joseph Campbell: The Myth of the Great Secret III tells the story of Johnson's learning the real nature of religion and myth and discovering the spiritual qualities of gay male consciousness.

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