CESNUR - Centro Studi sulle Nuove Religioni diretto da Massimo Introvigne

A Controversy about J. J. Hurtak and The Keys of Enoch: Texts by Mr. Hurtak's lawyer and by Carol Matthews


A Reply on Behalf of Dr. J. J. Hurtak (January 4, 2006 )

As a lawyer who has worked with Dr. J.J. Hurtak, the subject of a lengthy article on your website, I have just read the above captioned piece by Carol S. Matthews and feel compelled to respond on behalf of Dr. J.J. Hurtak.  The paper presented at the CESNUR 2004 International Conference at Baylor University in Waco Texas on June 18-20 2004, by Carol S. Matthews misconstrues the spirit and meaning of Dr. Hurtak s book (The Book of Knowledge: The Keys of Enoch®).

Ms. Matthews focuses on Key 109 within the larger text of Dr. J.J. Hurtak's writing on science, psychology and religious philosophy.  What must be realized is that this key or chapter is clearly addressing the field of astrophysics and is not related to any one cultural syntax or reference point.  Verse 15 of Key 109 expressly states that "this key is directed to human astrophysics."  Throughout the Key, one examines the various stages of stellar evolution through various historic and contemporary symbols of astrophysics, from the Sanskrit and Arabic to modern Western models. Within the context of astrophysical models, Mecca is actually described by Dr. Hurtak as a sacred area showing the function--namely, beginning of end, of cosmogenesis of 'universes' (plural).

Dr. Hurtak, speaking from an astrophysics standpoint speaks specifically of the Black Cube as exemplifying the nature of condensed matter which in Islamic tradition is the 'meteorite material' placed in the Black Cube of Mecca.  Key 109 is showing all stages of star birth, death and recreation.  The Black Cube is not referenced as a negative nexus point but rather as a connector with dark matter and dark energy critical for the original and ongoing expansion of creation.  The word 'dark,' relative to dark energy and dark matter, is not to be associated with dark or darkness in the biblical sense.  The interplay of matter is not to be confused with the higher message of Islam; in fact, the 64 Keys of Enoch® speak of a divine synthesis where Mecca is mentioned as being the place of the Black Cube showing an appreciation of this sacred site for the early stages of cosmic evolution and part of the evolutionary building blocks. Any meteorite material would be indicative of the transitory nature of our life in space just as the Alan Hills meteorite sample from Antartica (AHL 84001) shows the dust and debris from our sister planet Mars that holds secrets for the understanding of evolution in our solar system.

In fact, Dr. Hurtak's work has been one of promoting a synthesis and a cumulative understanding of all the great religions including Judaism, Christianity and Islam.  This is evidenced throughout his work for interfaith dialog.  If one reviewed the work on Dr. Hurtak's website there is an area that deals with the most frequently asked questions.  It has been crystal clear that his approach is one of harmonization of the religions of the Near East and the rest of the world.

On the website in the section entitled Questions and Answers in issues of religion he is asked: How is the message of the keys reflected regarding various religions such as Islam.  His response is: Enoch known as Idris, is an important prophet in the Islamic culture and the higher message of Islam is reflected in several passages of The Keys. The Keys additionally speak of the Sufi teaching as part of the teachings of light especially in the context of The Keys as musical keys of knowledge for the soul.

Not only does Ms. Matthews misinterpret Dr. Hurtak's comments on Key 109 but she also asserts that Dr. Hurtak has alleged CIA connections. even going so far as stating that he may be a CIA consultant.  These type of allegations are spreading untruth and is clearly beneath the level of any genuine scholarship which we hope that Baylor University and CESNUR would represent. In fact, this smacks of character assassination as in the McCarthy era when progressive thinkers were attacked as spies or agents. No one who knows Dr. Hurtak would ever consider him connected with the CIA and the focus of the discussion if anything should remain in the area of astrophysics.  Key 109 simply does not represent a political agenda in contrast to what the author Matthews brings into the picture of a world of 'haves' verses 'have nots' masquerading as an elite group of people. 

Another picture in the Book of Knowledge entitled Plate 7 for Key 114 shows a Mosque side by side an Ashram within a futuristic religious community showing a deep pluralism and unity of the Abrahamic religions with those also of the Eastern tradition. Further on page 180 there is a picture of the Shepherd of Arcturus connected with the key of astrophysics and cosmology. Some parts of the text are written in Arabic because the key acknowledges the great tradition of Islamic philosophers and astronomers who actually reshaped the renaissance of the West. Thus, if one carefully reads the Book of Knowledge in a spirit of love (non-dualistic) one sees the collective nature of the ecumenical fellowship. 

More importantly, in Key 307 we see children of the world of all different backgrounds.  One of the children has the Islamic symbol on his shoulder, another child the indigenous religious symbol, etc.,  showing all branches of the planetary spiritual family sharing the wisdom of Mary; the divine mother with the interrelation of the angelic hierarchy.  In another context, in Key 207, there is another illustration which shows the philosophical black cube representing the Philosopher's Stone that one has to be part as a key basic mathematical symbol of life  before we can graduate from our physics into the reality of being aware that we are a multi-dimensional being. The Keys, thus, carry and display a message of openness to all major religious traditions, including all people of the world who join hands on planet Earth.

I also must contend that the Matthew's article fails to comprehend the unique terminology and concepts of Hurtak’s book and the use of words like the 'Christ Race'  requires the deeper understanding that Christ was here for all peoples --correcting his own disciples who wanted to politicize his message.  Let us not do that same thing 2000 years later and overlook the pluralistic pictures throughout the book depicting a higher lever of spiritual integration by self-realized people representing all branches of the human race.  I understand that in order to fully understand the use of Christ Race in the context of the modern world, some writers may have to rediscover the original meaning of the ecumenical side of religious life, where Christ is the anointed one and not that of a particular institution, and to rearticulate it to the people of our time.

In fact, when the KEYS address the people of the world it refers to all people.  Dr. Hurtak speak of the limitation of singular sun systems, whereby the term 'sons of darkness' refers to a restrictive culture, which is restricted due to our singular stellar system. The goal of  graduation is for all of humankind, and for all religions to move from the restrictive light of a singular sun system (such as ours) to a multi-sun system or a higher Light system so that we, as sons of darkness by virtue of being under a single stellar system can evolve beyond the restricted system (see Glossary under title 'Sons of Light.').  The message of the Keys is that we will need to evolve beyond this solar system.  There is no implication that the people of any one race, color or religion are condemned by virtue of their incarnation; as a matter of fact several plates in Hurtak's book illustrate this.

One of the plates in The Book of Knowledge shows in Key 303 an illustration of a divine family of God with the image of Christ with numerous other angelic faces of many cultures and backgrounds on page 375. However, within the wheel of faces in the center is placed a woman showing the female nature that is hidden within each of us, the inner scribe or 'Yophiel'  appears as the Islamic Woman who represents all the women of the world who emerge as the inner voice of theological teaching in the circle of the Divine Family. 

Such statements made by Matthews as "As Muslims circumambulate around their most sacred shrine in Mecca, they are exhibiting the 'black hole function' of refusing to evolve up to the next level of organic organization" are her own words and do not even come close to any commentary that could be found in The Keys of Enoch®Further terminology of Ms. Matthews that Muslims guided by extraterrestrial forces from alpha Draconis are "vampirically infected by the resulting energies of degeneration, vengeance and anti-evolution" are also NOT to be found in Hurtak's writing. Instead of listening to someone who seems to not understand what they are reading, nor has ever asked the author for his understanding, we recommend that each reader is invited to carefully read and re-read the Keys of Enoch®

I believe the reader will find that the Keys instead throw light on how science and religion share common objectives for humanity. This understanding according to Hurtak is that we are all apart of one person (Adam) who emerges out of material reductionism.  Far from being a book of racial intolerance, this book is in keeping with the spirit of Divine Love in showing the symbols of all major religions are from the higher Divine Source that is beyond cultural and  linguistic separations of history. 

In short, The Book of Knowledge clearly acknowledges that the Black Cube of Mecca represents an astrophysical power point connected with the heavens in determining the axis mundi of the world.  The very way that Mecca is mentioned clearly reflects that it is an astrophysical mirror for heavenly events.  One sees that the emphasis is bringing together the many disciplines of archaeology, astronomy, cosmology and the direct experience of the higher nature of 'unity' with all branches of the human race.

Finally, Dr. Hurtak has argued and presented to the Parliament of the World's Religions at its meeting in Barcelona, Spain (July 2004) and its previous meeting in Capetown, South Africa (1999), that we must all have respect for all religions and faiths. At the Barcelona conference, his students presented an architectural model with the symbols of the three religions of Abraham with the hope of building a shrine of peace on the Golan Heights as a central focus of brotherhood.  Traditionally, Mt. Hermon in the Golan is the place where the angels of the Most High God were said to come down to earth.  Dr. Hurtak has argued before world wide audiences for compassion, brotherhood and unity and the need to build a shrine to all three religions, the religions of Abraham, in this sacred location. 

James Traitz 


A Rebuttal by Carol Matthews (January 6, 2006)

I do not regard this letter so much as a rebuttal as a reminder to Mr.Traitz concerning the nature and limits of academic discourse.  As an academic, it is not my responsibility to concern myself with the “spirit” of the work of any author, nor can I hope to accurately represent all the possible meanings that any specific text might engender, particularly a text and commentary that purports to be revelation.  What I am concerned with is what a text appears to actually “say,” in a literal linguistic sense-insofar as that can be determined-- and what sense may be made of that “saying” given various historical contexts and antecedents.  I am fully aware that what a revelatory text might “say” in a literal sense, may come to be interpreted differently as historical contexts and needs change.  One sees this in the interpretation of religious texts all the time.  For example, a careful perusal of the Old and New Testaments would find little literal textual support for an anti-slavery/abolitionist position.  Yet, abolitionists were able to pull out of these texts what they needed to provide a fully religious interpretation of their political position.  A full 30 years have passed since Dr. Hurtak first wrote/received the Keys and I’ve no doubt that he has come to see the value in finessing his interpretations of the Keys accordingly. 

Irregardless of whether Dr. Hurtak is speaking from a standpoint on astrophysics (on a topic and in a manner that I’m sure would surprise most astrophysicists), what Key 109 clearly states is: “THE ANTI-UNIVERSE IS COMPOSED OF STAR FIELD ENERGIES REVEALED ON THE BLACK CUBE IN MECCA WHICH SHOWS THE FUNCTION AND DESTRUCTION OF THREE DIMENSIONAL UNIVERSES.”  In the third paragraph of Hurtak’s commentary on this key, (page 85), he relates his narrative of the historical context, which for him, provided the moment that, in his words, “this key was unveiled.”  His commentary makes it very clear that it was a moment of seeming Islamic uprising that provided the “nexus” of inspiration for this Key.  I note that Mr. Traitz does not challenge my historical understanding of context, nor the apparent conflation of events that Hurtak apparently committed, purposefully or not in his commentary. As an example of Hurtak’s commentary in this portion I simply offer the following, in Hurtak’s own words, taken from this first paragraph of this section: “Just as our living universe has a pyramid of light as the central matrix for star evolution between the universes of intelligence, so also the anti-universe has its matrix of dark cubic space which is the violation of the Living Light exemplified in the Kabba, the Black Cube in Mecca.” 

Further in the commentary of Key 109 (page 86) Hurtak says : “The Sons of Light, the B’nai Or, have established a light pyramid functioning on this end of the light spectrum in relationship to the Pleiades and Orion.  Conversely, the Black Cube functions with alpha Draconis for the Children of Darkness. The Black Cube is symbolic of all the anti-matter which passes through our planetary system of creation.  It shows ‘alpha and omega’ tracings of sub-atomic decay and dying star properties.  To save the peoples of the world who are under the energies of the Black Cube is to bring them the Torah Or, God’s program of Light….”     The text goes on from there.

I focused on Key 109 because this Key seems to provide a central place wherein the “astrophysics,” or perhaps more accurately, the creative occult synthesis developed in the “The Book of Knowledge” takes place.  But lest anyone think that such themes and terms are limited to the text in Key 109, I will refer the reader to Key 209 (page 258) wherein Hurtak’s commentary warns: “The Black Cube geometries of destruction must not be offered up as our consolation, for verily, it would be our destruction.  The righteous must clearly see the spiritual dialectic taking place between those who choose the Pyramid of Light as the touchstone for evolution in the higher spiral of Light as opposed to those who choose the Black Cube which contains the codes for containment of the flesh, retrogressive evolution with three-dimensional form, and the annihilation of the hope for spiritual liberation.  These codes were placed in the Black Cube as a witness to the fallen teachings that were removed from the Garden of Eden at the time of the spiritual fall.”

My summarized interpretation, which Mr. Traitz cites, is derived from various parts of “The Book of Knowledge,” wherein relationships between the powers of the Children of Darkness, extraterrestrials from alpha Draconis, black holes, and the Black Cube of Mecca are mapped in fairly precise and very consistent symbolic language. “The Book of Knowledge” says, unequivocally, (in the commentary for Key 109) that the Black Cube represents “the anti-power of life” and is “the anti-Christos.”   I take Dr. Hurtak’s use of language very seriously when he says the following in a variety of places (and these citations are not exhaustive, they represent what one can find by simply looking up alpha Draconis in the index Dr. Hurtak provides; in fact, the index is indispensable for understanding the matrix of symbolic associations that is developed in “The Book of Knowledge”):

“And at the end of our program, those who carry the image of the Lamb will be separated from those who carry the image of the Bear (Ursa Major) and the Dragon (alpha Draconis), the fallen spiritual powers controlling the old linear astronomy of the Babylonian sciences, forcing man to do homage to the lower heavens” (page 56) 

“Alpha Draconis represents the devouring, negative entropy which keeps the planispheres like the Earth chained to the entropy of singular sun systems, allowing intelligence to be devoured by the body of the Lion-Sun, were it not for the intervention of the Ophanim into this furnace of fire.” (page 75)

“Within this key (Key 109) the positive universe and the anti-universe come together through the mathematics of Light; on one hand through the Pleiades, Orion, and Jerusalem; on the other hand through alpha Draconis, omega Draconis, and Mecca.”(page 85) Emphasis mine: note that all of a sudden here it isn’t the Cube, it is the holy city of Islam itself.

“The Sons of Light, the B’nai Or, have established a light pyramid functioning on this end of the light spectrum in relationship to the Pleiades and Orion.  Conversely, the Black Cube functions with alpha Draconis for the Children of Darkness.” (page 86).

Within the context of understanding collapsing geometries (utilizing a black hole metaphor): “And if one seeks simply its own splendor, it must exist in the Night of Darkness out on the edge of its respective galaxy, living in darkness rather than in the pluralistic light, the Many in One Light.” (page 93).

“All of these previous star field programs will be drawn into the light codes so that all those who were locked in space in previous ages will be judged in terms of the way they used their soul potential.  In addition, those who are in three-dimensional slavery by being victims of earlier electromagnetic changes and racial code structures will be graduated from the image of the Dragon, the devouring seed, if they are infused with the Living Light of the Christ.” (page 153).

What these various texts demonstrate, if taken together, is indeed, a highly specialized language, wherein, as I suggest in my paper, symbols map upon symbols, creating a highly dense, layered effect.  This is as true of the running symbolic argument which, culminating in Key 109, suggests that rank and file Muslims are victims of the Dragon, as it is of various symbolic and linguistic linkages made between the Christ race and what Hurtak calls the Adamic race, a term that he didn’t invent, but which has been part of occult/Theosophical literature for over a century (and that some scholars have traced back even further).   The overall impact of the visual symbolic images contained in Dr. Hurtak’s commentary on the Keys concerning Muslims can be read as a direct allegory: In the same fashion that solitary stars can collapse and crush themselves, devouring the surrounding light of other luminaries, so, Muslims who circumambulate the Black Cube of Mecca, can be seen as spinning themselves into a similar crushing darkness.  No, these words, as such, are not in the “The Book of Knowledge.”  I am simply arguing that the implication is present, given what the book does say about Muslims and the symbol system Hurtak presents.  In fact, the “vampirically devouring” metaphor that I used was suggested to me by a friend, who, it happens, is a trained and practicing astrophysicist (not in a Hurtak sense, but an actual scientist), who was good enough to read through most of  “The Book of Knowledge” with me. Again, the citations listed are Hurtak’s words, not mine.  I am merely reporting the matter as it seems to be.  While Hurtak is not saying “Muslims are evil” in so many words, his commentary, written at a time (1973) of increased conflict between the Islamic world and the West, does seem to directly attack the Kaaba, the most sacred object/shrine site in Islam.  This can be read, without difficulty, as an implicit condemnation of all Muslims who would consider the Kaaba to be sacred.  Thus, far from being an “axis mundi,” the “The Book of Knowledge” seems to suggest that the Kaaba is a focused concentration of anti-Christ darkness, with light collapsing in on itself in the same fashion as a collapsing star becoming a black hole, absorbs and sucks away the light around it. Such informed interpretations are the prerogative and substance of academic scholarship, as Dr. Hurtak well knows, having written two dissertations himself, neither of them, incidentally, in the field of astrophysics. 

It happens that my particular academic specialty involves locating constructions of race and biology in sectarian American religious texts, especially those that claim to be revelation.  I am well aware that when “The Book of Knowledge” refers to members of the Adamic/Christ race, it is not referring to skin color, or any  specific ethnicity, or to “haves and have nots.”  But the term “race” does not have to have those meanings to reflect an expression of superiority, or chosenness.  Hurtak appears to attach the word “race” to something that is highly abstracted, and yet seems to be very concrete: DNA, and more specifically, regular human DNA and a kind of evolved star-seed DNA.  In innumerable places (one only has to consult the index and glossaries in the back) “The Book of Knowledge” refers to “codes,” “programs,” “genetic heritages,” etc. and these terms are linked, mapped and layered together rather like the terms Children of Darkness, alpha Draconis, and Black Cube.  Hurtak doesn’t have to single out any particular group on earth, (although he does single out typically religious Muslims) because those who realize their Adamic heritage will not be defined by skin color or place of origin.  Still, these elect will belong to an advanced vanguard of humanity .  In that sense, they represent a Master Race (or more to the point, a Master Race language is being used to describe their advanced spiritual/genetic/ultraterrestrial inheritance).

With regard to Mr. Traitz’s individual comments: 

Plate 7 for Key 114, upon close examination, could represent a Mosque with an Ashram, but both are contained within a Pyramid, which I assume, given the text, represents the Pyramid of Light enclosing Hindu and Muslim shrines: thus, I would guess that “The Book of Knowledge” is to be construed as the answer for religious problems between the two groups, e.g. particularly in India, and this is an illustration of that possibility.

While it is true that page 180 contains an illustration taken from an Arabic text labeled the Shepherd of Arcturus, page 229 shows another illustration, apparently taken from an Arabic astrology/astronomy source, which, if one reads the surrounding English commentary, one can take quite differently: “Languages of chemistry which do not connect this universe with other universes are languages not of higher luminaries but of fallen luminaries, who rule the lower universes and keep them locked in space.  This is why we are told in this key (Key 206) that fallen language patterns exalt not creation, but in actuality, create three-dimensional chemical enslavement within fixed magnetic fields.” (Page 228).  The illustration itself is of a compound constellation that has had several names, including Corvis and the Hydra and the Crow.  Arabic scholars (specialists in medieval texts) who I’ve asked to examine this illustration, have unanimously insisted that Dr. Hurtak’s caption labeling the illustration is at best a bad translation, at worst a deliberate misrepresentation.  The Arabic title The Serpent (lit. “brave or singular one”) and the Crow is mistranslated to read: The Struggle between The Serpent and The Dove for the Ascension of the Species. There is nothing in the Arabic to suggest anything about “ascension of the species,” and the remainder of the Arabic text simply indicates the seasonal location of the constellations, related planets, etc.  The bird is a crow, (despite its appearance, the Arabic is quite specific), and the Greek mythological story that underlies this constellation, even with variations, seems to indicate that the Crow is the real villain in this story and is being punished by Apollo.  The serpent is protecting the contents of the cup from the Crow, who according to these myths, once had plumage like a dove, but was rendered black for his insolence.  Knowing this story puts a whole different light on Dr. Hurtak’s commentary, but I will leave that to the interested reader (a simple search on the Internet will avail the reader handsomely here).  The point is that both the Shepherd illustration and the Serpent/Cup/Crow illustration appear to come from generic books of Arabic astronomy which simply describe these constellations: the significance that Hurtak attempts to draw from them is simply not present in the source materials.  That Arabic is not considered to be one of Hurtak’s “ur-languages,” despite its long presence and importance in generating and preserving religious, philosophical, scientific, mathematical, mystical, alchemical and Gnostic texts, plus the fact that the examples given are poorly mistranslated and taken out of context, does make one wonder how committed Hurtak is to true ecumenical understanding, particularly in light of what is said above regarding “fallen language patterns.”

Mr. Traitz contends that Key 307 and Key 207 indicate that Muslims are to be included in the children of light.  It is true that “The Book of Knowledge” affirms that individuals who are enslaved by the powers of darkness can be brought to full awareness of their true spiritual/genetic heritage (and this is the role of the B’nai Or, according the “The Book of Knowledge”).  The question here is not whether Muslims can be included in the Adamic program of Light, it is why features of Islamic heritage and holiness (i.e. the Kaaba and Mecca) are being singled out as literal representations of  potential evil enslavement, as many above passages seem to indicate.  Interestingly, Mr. Traitz implies as much himself when he tries to cite the importance of the Black Cube (illustrated in Key 207) as representative of ‘the Philosopher’s Stone.’  According to Mr. Traitz, this cubic structure is a geometric matrix “that we must graduate from” or, “grow out of,” pick your phrase.  The difficulty is since this Black Cube has already been symbolically linked with the Kaaba in Mecca, it’s difficult not to reach the conclusion that traditionally religious Muslims have a way to go in this regard.  This line of reasoning appears to be linked to the pattern of molecular organization described by Buckminster Fuller, whose theories I describe in my paper.  The difference is that Mr. Fuller was describing stages of molecular complexity, not human religious practices. Mr. Traitz would have us believe apparently, that traditional Muslims just aren’t “grown up enough yet,” but they are at a stage we must all pass through.  In rereading Mr. Traitz, I couldn’t help but be struck by the patronizing implication of his remarks.

Finally, Mr. Traitz contends that the illustration for Key 303 is indicative of “The Islamic Woman” as representing all women as the “inner voice” for the Divine Family of humanity.  The illustration does show a veiled woman in the center, but since, according to many occult, Gnostic and Kabbalistic sources, both Shekinah and Sophia are said to be veiled (Isis is often said to be so covered as well, the tradition of veiling being a Middle/ Near Eastern/Greek convention that long pre-dated Islam), and since the text does not indicate the woman in the middle is Islamic, there is no reason for any reader of the text to necessarily assume the woman is Islamic except, apparently, for the fact of her veiling.  It goes without saying that assuming a woman is Islamic because she is veiled is a gross, very Western, and probably very American, assumption about Islamic women in general.   When I initially saw the illustration, I assumed that Hurtak was making an occult allusion to the veiled nature of the Feminine Divine, not any particular religious or cultural type of woman.  That Mr. Traitz would use this as an illustration of Hurtak’s inclusiveness demonstrates the very cultural chauvinism that he is trying to deny. 

As for Mr. Traitz’s concern about Dr. Hurtak’s past: My text reads (in passing, I might add) “alleged CIA consultant,” a reference to a persistent set of rumors that have attached themselves to Dr. Hurtak given the relative paucity of biographical information about the man.  It is interesting to me that Mr. Traitz seems to think that I am attempting to impugn Dr. Hurtak’s character, when, in fact, I intended quite the opposite. In some quarters, being associated with the CIA might be considered a positive asset.  I know several individuals who have been FBI or CIA consultants, who are all fine and decent people, and I consider Mr. Traitz’s seemingly paranoid concern to reflect the fact that the CIA doesn’t enjoy the same prestige it once had in the 1960’s and 1970’s.  I do not know the source of the persistent rumor connecting Dr. Hurtak with the CIA. It could simply be due to his association with Sidney Sheldon who wrote “The Doomsday Conspiracy (1992) ,” a novel about a CIA agent who discovers evidence of extraterrestrial presence on earth (Dr. Hurtak claims to have been a source for Sheldon, at least according to his interview on the video “Extraterrestrial Realities:” circa 1993)  The source for the rumor could stem from Hurtak’s associations during the sixties and seventies when he was involved in UFO research and with the eccentric Egyptologist Puharich, who, as a matter of record, was involved in U.S. intelligence projects. Thus, the qualifier “alleged:” there is no way to verify the rumor, but it persists nonetheless, an obvious indication that Hurtak has made enough of an impression that rumors might circulate about him.  It is not character assassination to simply replicate what is present in the public domain with a qualifier. In fact, the qualifier “alleged” was intended to let Dr. Hurtak off the hook, as it were, in the event that true biographical material might come to light resolving this issue. If Dr. Hurtak wants to come forward with a definite public statement about the matter, then let him do so. There is nothing in my paper, as far as I can tell, to indicate that I believe Dr. Hurtak is involved in any kind of world conspiracy, an assumption that would give him and “The Book of Knowledge” far more credit and power than either probably deserves.  Indeed, Mr. Traitz seems to know more about such conspiracy theories than I do; I simply don’t know what he’s talking about in his comments regarding this. My sole concern as a scholar, is to try to understand “The Book of Knowledge” within its historical context as one of many sectarian American religious documents that purports to present a new revelation, and to assess its possible impact in religious/spiritual communities.

Contrary to what Mr. Traitz suggests, I take Dr. Hurtak very seriously, and at his word, and it is his words that are at issue, not the Spirit and Meaning in which they might be taken.  I have read “The Book of Knowledge” from cover to cover several times, and I find it to be a genuinely creative, innovative synthesis of occult endeavor, particularly significant because of its drawing together of any number of psychological, occult, biological and cyber disciplines, and the neo-logistic paradigms, now quite current in New Age/Ascensionist literature, that Hurtak either developed or anticipated.  That doesn’t mean I don’t also find it potentially dangerous, disturbing, divisive, and itself, very dualistic in some of its formulations, all of which I have outlined in brief in my paper. Keep in mind the articulation of the conflict between the Pyramid of Light and Children of Darkness comes from “The Book of Knowledge,” it is not my invention.

As I said at the beginning, I’m quite sure that the intervening three decades have caused Dr. Hurtak to reflect deeply on his revelation.  But the problem with a published revelation is that, once the text is out there, one is accountable for it, and it is subject to analysis, critique and debate. Academic credentials do not shield individuals from scrutiny, and surely Dr. Hurtak believes that whatever truths may be contained within “The Book of Knowledge,” will survive applications of the historical-critical method. If Dr. Hurtak is a man of faith, then he knows the truth will attend to itself and he does not need lawyers to defend it. The Church of Latter Day Saints has been haunted by passages in the Book of Mormon that clearly state that people of dark skin (in this case Indians) bear the Mark of Cain and must be “whitened.”  Although the Church has changed its stance on African Americans (and Indians) through further revelation, those texts remain as proof of the historical context (early 19th century America) out of which the revelation was forged.   Many thoughtful Latter Day Saints are able to acknowledge that context while yet affirming the revelatory nature of the receiving of the Book of Mormon itself.

I have no idea how committed to interfaith dialogue Dr. Hurtak has been since he wrote these commentaries.  A list of venerable activities does not automatically erase dangerous ideas and words.  I’m not the only person who has voiced concern over the portrayals of Islam in “The Book of Knowledge” as Mr. Traitz apparently recognizes by mentioning that the Academy of Future Sciences website fields questions concerning such issues. Mr. Traitz doesn’t seem to know it, but I have attended workshops sponsored by associates of Dr. Hurtak (who generally is unavailable for questioning), so I do know that many of the issues raised by my paper, and occasionally by other attendees are assiduously avoided by those facilitators.  I also have witnessed similar concerns raised on websites and in chat rooms, and by other scholars who have read “The Book of Knowledge.” The Academy of Future Sciences website does seem to indicate a slightly different orientation than “The Book of Knowledge” would suggest, and Hurtak’s more recent interpretation of the “Pistis Sophia” does include references to Islamic Sufi tradition, where it is mentioned briefly, without discussion of the many schools and theologies under which various Sufi orders operate. The inclusion of such information could be due to many factors including an expansion of Dr. Hurtak’s frame of reference, and the fact that Sufism is currently “in fashion” throughout many mystical/New Age communities in the West. However, I note that there is no overt reference in “The Book of Knowledge” to Sufism, contrary to what Mr. Traitz implies. 

Personally, I would like to believe that Dr. Hurtak may have expanded his understanding of the role of Islam and/or of Arabic peoples, and that he is attempting to teach the “The Book of Knowledge” from that more inclusive/expansive viewpoint.  But the texts I’ve cited above remain pretty clear and unambiguous, and will not be so easily dismissed.  And this is the substance of the warning in the paper.  If ideas and symbols are indeed powerful, which seems to comprise the essence of Hurtak’s message, than he has more than simple damage control to accomplish. So, I agree with Mr. Traitz: read “The Book of Knowledge,” but do not let anyone, not even Dr. Hurtak, nor myself, attempt to control personal interpretations.  I will stand by mine, given my position as a scholar.   I encourage Dr. Hurtak to come forward, out from behind his lawyers, and be accountable.

Carol Matthews