From the front page of the Sept 93 +quot;Freethought Today+quot; Jammal To Speak at FFRF C

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From the front page of the Sept 93 "Freethought Today" Jammal To Speak at FFRF Convention CBS "HOAX" TO BE EXPOSED California actor and mimer George Jammal, a Foundation member since 1986, will break his longstanding silence on his role in CBS' "Incredible Discovery of Noah's Ark," at an exclusive speech before the Foundation's annual convention in Huntsville on October 23. During Jammal's afternoon presentation, he will show a videotape of his featured appearance as a naive believer claiming to have discovered the ark on Mount Ararat. Jammal and the controversy surrounding his appearance on the popular CBS show, was featured in a full-page article in Time Magazine on July 5, 1993 ("Phony Arkaeology: In a pseudo documentary, CBS falls victim to a hoaxer"). The religious show was produced by fundamentalist David Balsiger of Sun International and purchased by CBS. Prof. Gerald Larue, well-known author and bible historian, has reported that he encouraged Jammal, an acquaintance, to pose as a true believer, in order to expose the shoddy research of Balsinger's Sun International. The highly-rated series of shows, including "Ancient Secrets of the Bible," have come under fire by many scholars and freethinkers. CBS has continued to defend the tabloid-style, sensationalist religious programming because they claim it is "entertainment," not news. The "Noah's Ark" prime-time special aired in February, [1993] with Jammal as its "piece de resistance," hilariously recounting how he and a mysterious friend named "Vladimir" laboriously climbed snowy Mt. Ararat, and hacked out a pice of historic wood from the ark. ("We got very excited when we saw part of this room was made into pens, like places where you keep animals," Jammal deadpanned. "We knew then that we had found the ark!" he said in the interview.) According to Larue, Jammal soaked a piece of contemporary pine in creative marinades and baked it in his Long Beach, California home. During the CBS interview, Jammal choked up when he stated why he had kept this "incredible" discovery to himself, maintaining he was traumatized by the untimely demise of Vladimir on the mountain. In real life, George Jammal, born in Palestine, is a longtime freethinker and a doting father of two children, 8 and 9. He will demonstrate some of his mimery following the Saturday dinner at the convention. The real "hoax," Jammal avers, was not perpetrated by him but by CBS with its irresponsible programming. From Freethought Today, Freedom From Religion Foundation, P.O. Box 750, Madison, WI 53701 (608) 256-8900 / 256-5800


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