Writing about Outrageous Hypotheses and Extraordinary Possibilities: A View from The Trenches
The same basic rationale also lies at the heart of my next book, Fingerprints Of The Gods (published in 1995), in which my purpose was to make a comprehensive case for the existence of a lost civilisation - a great, worldwide prehistoric culture that was all but wiped out, leaving only a few survivors, at the end of the last Ice Age some 12,500 years ago.
To this day I am astonished by the response that Fingerprints has generated amongst orthodox academics and their supporters. Some reacted with intense horror, like devout Catholics affronted by an act of blasphemy. Others poked fun at me - as though I must be a lunatic even to have conceived of such ideas. Others noticed how popular Fingerprints had become - a Number One bestseller in Britain, Italy and Japan with total sales in excess of three million - and concluded that I had somehow conned the public into making me rich.
I sincerely hope that I have done no such thing. As I said a moment ago, I have never claimed to be anything other than a professional author. After years of debt and dicing with financial disaster I am proud to say that my books are now making money. This gives me independence and freedom of action and allows me to invest in proper field research. Whether my arguments are 100 per cent right or 100 per cent wrong, it tells me that people must like to read me and must, by and large, feel that they get 'value for money' from doing so. It also tells me what my 'job' is - the job, in other words, that the public are funding me to do when they buy my books. This is to make the best case I possibly can for a lost civilisation, to fight tooth and claw with the historians, archaeologists and other 'authorities' who insist that no such civilisation ever existed, and to champion the intuition - which many of us share -- that a great mystery may have been locked away somewhere deep in humanity's past.
A parallel for what I do is to be found in the work of an attorney defending a client in a court of law. My 'client' is a lost civilisation and it is my responsibility to persuade the jury - the public - that this civilisation did exist. Since the 'prosecution' - orthodox academics - naturally seek to make the opposite case as effectively as they can, I must be equally effective and, where necessary, equally ruthless.
So it is certainly true, as many of my critics have pointed out, that I am selective with the evidence I present. Of course I'm selective! It isn't my job to show my client in a bad light!
Another criticism is that I use innuendo to make my case. Of course I do - innuendo and anything else that works.
I don't care about the 'rules of the game' here - because it isn't a game and there are no rules. The 20th century witnessed the emergence of an overwhelming academic concensus, supported in the media and at all levels of the education system, that no lost civilisation lies forgotten in the human past. This concensus is so strongly reinforced that no serious research has been done on the subject for more than 50 years and not a single academic institution in the Western world presently has a faculty of 'Lost Civilisation Studies'!
So I'm proud to have stood shoulder to shoulder during the 1990's with my friends and fellow writers Robert Bauval and John Anthony West in stirring things up so badly for orthodox historians -- Egyptologists in particular -- that millions of people all around the world now have serious doubts about the 'official' picture of past. I'm proud that so many who were formerly indifferent are now prepared to give the benefit of this doubt to the extraordinary and exciting possibility of a lost civilisation. And I'm proud that orthodox thinkers, who would prefer to have ignored us, have been compelled into a backlash.
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