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November 28, 2007

Update on Antony Flew’s press release

For a commenter who seemed to doubt our information about Antony Flew's press release defending his new book, I promised to find out for certain if there really was such a press release. I now have a copy of it, sent to me by Helena Brantley at HarperOne, who confirms that it also was sent to Publisher's Weekly and other media outlets. An excerpt:

In the New York Times, writer Mark Oppenheimer questioned whether Flew has actually changed his mind and does in fact, believe in God, and whether he actually wrote the book.

“My name is on the book and it represents exactly my opinions,” said Mr. Flew in a statement this week.

“Tony’s journey to this conclusion began over twenty years ago,” said co-writer Roy Varghese. “For three years, assorted skeptics and freethinkers have hounded the poor man trying to get him to recant.  Believe me, if there was the slightest indication, the remotest suspicion, that he had retracted his new-found belief in God, it would be plastered all across the worldwide web (and beyond).”

If you're interested in obtaining your own copy of this release, you can call (415) 477-4400 and ask for the publicity department.

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Steven Carr

Why was it not on the Harper Collins press release site?

Of course, the press release simply confirms what Oppenheimer said - Flew did not write the book, and that Pastor Bob Hostetler did most of the (ghost)writing.

Gina Dalfonzo

Steven, I'm not an employee of HarperOne, so I don't know how they decide what goes on their website. You could call the number I provided and ask them yourself.

And I'm not familiar with this Pastor Bob Hostetler you keep talking about, or why you assume he has something to do with Antony Flew, but his name is not mentioned in the press release.


Gina, on this website there's the claim that Bob Hostetler did some freelance editing of the book: http://www.bobhostetler.com/

The idea is that there is a vast right-wing Christian conspiracy - with the publishing houses acting in collusion - to fabricate this entire story. This would be consistent with the idea that all of Christianity is built on lies and spread by liars.

Of course, this is ridiculous - the book was actually written by the men who actually shot JFK, and edited by the ghost of Elvis.


If this were truly the effort of a VRWCC, why go only part-way? Why portray Flew as merely convinced of a general theism instead of having him undergo a far more dramatic, full-blown conversion to evangelical Christianity?


Ken wrote: "If this were truly the effort of a VRWCC, why go only part-way?"

Aha - the VRWCC is stupid only because they thought they could sneak this past the vastly more intelligent atheists. Had this pathetic sham succeeded, certainly the VRWCC's next step would be to announce that Flew had become a Christian and would soon be joining the Discovery Institute.

It's only a nut-job conspiracy theory if it's false, BUT BELIEVE ME, IT'S ALL TRUE. You've seen the difficulty Dawkins, Hutchins and Harris have had in getting published, haven't you?

OK, enough sarcasm for one day.

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