Simon & Schuster Editor “Believes” Claims of “Jesus Descendant”

In the aftermath of the James Frey fiasco, is there any evidence that US publishers are showing increased scepticism towards claims made by their authors? Erm…USA Today reports (link added):

Meet Kathleen McGowan, novelist and self-proclaimed descendant of a union between Jesus and Mary Magdalene. McGowan, who says she is from the “sacred bloodline” Brown made famous in his mega-selling novel, says she’s ready to cope with people who think she’s crazy or a heretic.But among believers are her powerful literary agent and the editors at New York publisher Simon & Schuster, who are throwing their weight behind her autobiographical religious thriller The Expected One, out July 25, with a sizable first printing of 250,000 copies.

…Trish Todd, editor in chief at Touchstone, a division of Simon & Schuster…says she has no problem believing McGowan’s claim that she descends from a marriage between Jesus and Mary Magdalene. “Yes, I believe her. Her passion and her mission are so strong, how can she not be?”

McGowan is a New Ager, with a particular interest in numerology and astrology. She believes herself to have been in posthumous contact with the late astrologer Linda Goodman; a discussion board preserves one of her writings on the subject:

In the fall of 1997, a decade after my initial Star Signs indoctrination, I had the wonderful opportunity to travel to the Holy Land and study the Essene mysteries. This journey was caused, indirectly, by Linda’s passing. On the shores of the Dead Sea during a full lunar eclipse, I was given more information about this wonderful and powerful system of number vibrations. I learned to understand the deeper mysteries of the relationship between planets and numbers, blending the ancient wisdom of both astrology and numerology. I was instructed to take these teachings and share them with the world…I heard a clear voice, advising me to create a tool that would facilitate the teaching of the Chaldean numerology system.

Goodman apparently also shared McGowan’s beliefs about Mary Magdalene; another poster adds that

I read Dan Brown’s THE DA VINCI CODE last year when it came out, and remembered Linda speaking of someday hoping to find a marriage certificate in the vatican that would prove the marriage between Mary Magdalene and Jesus.

But even those who can believe all that may find one claim hard to swallow. Back to USA Today:

“Everyone’s going to think I’m on The Da Vinci Code bandwagon, but I’m not,” says McGowan, who began working on her book in 1989.

(Hat tip: Christianity Today Weblog)

2 Responses

  1. “Yes, I believe her. Her passion and her mission are so strong, how can she not be?”
    This reminds me of the recent story I read about the “scientists” who found what they believe to be pieces of wood from Noah’s Ark. They said basically the same thing: what else could it be?

  2. I read her book and I followed up by reading comments at her amazon site and a few forums around the internet. I feel like I been had. Not only was this book awful to read, but the author has no credibility. It feels like a big publicity scam to waste money on this book, not to mention the insult to my intelligence to even read the dam thing.

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