Picknett, Lynn 1947-
PICKNETT, Lynn 1947-
Agent—c/o Author Mail, Carroll & Graf, 245 West 17th St., 11th Fl., New York, NY 10011.
Writer, lecturer, and broadcaster.
WITH CLIVE PRINCE
Turin Shroud: In Whose Image? The Truth behind the Centuries-long Conspiracy of Silence, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1994.
The Templar Revelation: Secret Guardians of the True Identity of Christ, Bantam Press (New York, NY), 1997.
The Stargate Conspiracy: Revealing the Truth behind the Extraterrestrial Contact, Military Intelligence, and the Mysteries of Ancient Egypt, Berkley Books (New York, NY), 1999.
(Also with Stephen Prior) Double Standards: The Rudolf Hess Cover-up, Little, Brown (London, England), 2001.
(With Shona Grimbly) The Royal Year: A Year in the Life of the Royal Family, Orbis Books (London, England), 1984.
Flights of Fancy?: 100 Years of Paranormal Experiences, Ward Lock (London, England), 1987.
Encyclopaedia of the Paranormal: A Complete Guide to the Unexplained, Macmillan (London, England), 1990.
The Mammoth Book of UFOs, Carroll & Graf (New York, NY), 2001.
War of the Windsors: A Century of Unconstitutional Monarchy, Mainstream (Edinburgh, Scotland), 2002.
Mary Magdalene: Christianity's Hidden Goddess, Carroll & Graf (New York, NY), 2003.
Writer and lecturer Lynn Picknett explores the worlds of the controversial, the paranormal, and the clandestine in her works. Ghosts, conspiracy theories, UFOs, secret societies, and religious figures abound in her books as she seeks answers and offers theories on mysteries that have confounded readers and investigators for decades, some for centuries.
In Flights of Fancy?: 100 Years of Paranormal Experiences, Picknett offers a chronology of the supernatural and paranormal around the world. Topics include ESP, fairies, levitation, auras, spontaneous human combustion, seeing the future, and more. Picknett provides detailed coverage and in-depth reporting of each incident as well as information on connections or similarities to other events. The book includes coverage of both documented fakes and phenomena that still defy explanation. Mary L. Holshouser, writing in Kliatt Young Adult Paperback Book Guide, observed that the book "leave[s] the reader with much to think about." Similarly, in the Encyclopaedia of the Paranormal, Picknett relates several cases, both well known and obscure, of paranormal events, including the appearance of ghosts, harassment by poltergeists, and the clear detection of voices of long-dead relatives and friends. "This book is extremely interesting as well as informative about theories of the existence of paranormal appearances, voices, and actions," commented Esmond Wright in Contemporary Review.
Picknett and collaborator Clive Prince offer a controversial solution to a long-standing religious mystery in Turin Shroud: In Whose Image? The Truth behind the Centuries-long Conspiracy of Silence. Thought by some to be the burial shroud or winding sheet of Jesus Christ, the Shroud of Turin has been the subject of fierce debate for centuries. For those who believe it bears the image of the crucified Christ, it is a holy relic. For those who reject its holy origins, it is an elaborate, if mysterious, forgery. Carbon dating has placed the Shroud's origins in the late Middle Ages, well beyond the time of Christ. Critics have suggested that the Shroud's image is a painting or a rubbing, but the "Shroud's image is very faint, superficial (it is known that the image on the Turin Shroud resides only on the peaks of the fibers) and lacks artists' pigments and brush strokes," commented Daniel C. Scavone on Shroud.com. Picknett and Prince offer a solution to the mystery of the image, one that to Mark Steyn, writing in American Spectator, "is such an audacious act of cultural appropriation it could almost be the ultimate emblem of a great struggle in our secular age—the battle between religious faith and scientific rationalism—carried to the most potent and defining image of Christ himself." They suggest that the image on the Shroud of Turin is that of Leonardo da Vinci, and that da Vinci himself created the image using the world's first photographic techniques. In addition to their argument depicting da Vinci as civilization's primal photographer, the book contains a detailed recreation and modern demonstration of the technique.
The Templar Revelation: Secret Guardians of the True Identity of Christ contains many pieces of evidence assembled by Picknett and Prince, and makes a number of "bold assertions," including: "Everything you know about Christianity is wrong. The Nativity is a myth, the ministry of Jesus has been misrepresented, and the Crucifixion may have been a publicity stunt that went awry. The truth has been purposely suppressed for two millennia by men who were bent on promoting their own agenda, beginning with early church leaders including the Apostles Peter and Paul," explained L. D. Meagher on the CNN Web site. The authors explore developments, connections, and conspiracies among a diverse group of historical figures and organizations, including the Freemasons, the Rosicrucians, Leonardo da Vinci, Mary Magdalene, the Cathars, John the Baptist, the Isis Cult, the Holy Grail, the Shroud of Turin, and the Knights Templar. They find parallels in the death and resurrection stories of Osiris and Christ, uncover evidence in the Gnostic Gospels, determine that Mary Magdalene was in fact the companion, or wife, of Christ, and suggest that John the Baptist was worshipped in early times and is still worshipped today. In the end, they conclude that "Christianity was not the religion founded by the unique Son of God who died for all our sins: it was the worship of Isis and Osiris repackaged. However, it rapidly became a personality cult, centered on Jesus," noted Rowland Croucher in a review of the book on the John Mark Ministries Web site.
Picknett undertakes further study of the ancient role of Mary Magdalene in Mary Magdalene: Christianity's Hidden Goddess. Picknett starts from the idea that Mary Magdalene was never a prostitute-turned-saint, but was instead a close disciple—even priestess, lover, and wife—of Jesus Christ, an equal who participated in sexual rituals of the esoteric early church. These rituals were later suppressed, Picknett suggests, and the role of Mary Magdalene rewritten by later male church leaders who wanted to eliminate her influence and who did want her to provide a strong role model for women. "This reformist take on the much-maligned Mary Magdalene is sometimes fascinating, but conjectural and prone to hasty theorizing," commented a Publishers Weekly reviewer. "Picknett's impressive and broad-ranging research raises some thought-provoking questions about" topics such as early Christianity, Egyptian religion, famous religious figures and artifacts, and ancient cults "and the connection all these matters have with one another," remarked Gary P. Gillum in Library Journal.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Spectator, July, 1995, Mark Steyn, review of Turin Shroud: In Whose Image? The Truth behind the Centuries-long Conspiracy of Silence, pp. 68-69.
Booklist, September 15, 1985, review of The Royal Year: A Year in the Life of the Royal Family, p. 104; September, 1988, review of Flights of Fancy?: 100 Years of Paranormal Experiences, p. 7.
Contemporary Review, June, 1991, Esmond Wright, review of Encyclopaedia of the Paranormal: A Complete Guide to the Unexplained, p. 335.
Kliatt Young Adult Paperback Book Guide, September, 1989, Mary L. Holshouser, review of Flights of Fancy, p. 54.
Library Journal, May 1, 2003, Gary P. Gillum, review of Mary Magdalene: Christianity's Hidden Goddess, pp. 121-122.
Publishers Weekly, March 31, 2003, review of Mary Magdalene, pp. 62-63.
Spectator, May 5, 2001, Duff Hart-Davis, review of Double Standards: The Rudolf Hess Cover-up, p. 41.
Book Publicity .co,http://www.bookpublicity.co.uk/ (March 12, 2004), review of The Stargate Conspiracy: Revealing the Truth behind the Extraterrestrial Contact, Military Intelligence, and the Mysteries of Ancient Egypt.
Crime & Mystery Fiction Journal,http://www.tangled-web.co.uk/ (February 12, 2004), review of The Mammoth Book of UFOs.
John Mark Ministries Web site,http://www.pastornet.net.au/jmm/ (March 12, 2004), Roland Croucher, review of The Templar Revelation.
Quanta Gaia Web site,http://quanta-gaia.org/ (February 12, 2004), review of Turin Shroud.