Historians confess:
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Historians confess: "We were NOT seeking the whole truth!"

Much of what you were taught IS NOT TRUE! You just took it for granted — because you were told it was true! Read here what professionals admit about "facts" they teach.

   You would be shocked to hear what scientists, historians, theological professors confess to each other about their own professions. We probably have assumed ever since we began school that historians and men of science know how man originated, why man is here and where man is going. Or at least they write as if they know.
   But when pinned down, they privately confess they really do not know — they have been guessing!

Time to Think!

   You probably never stopped to question whether the ideas you were taught are really true, have you? How many of you have ever considered WHY your parents were taught and believed different ideas than you have accepted? — and WHY your children are being taught something different than the "facts" you were taught in school to accept as true?
   It is high time we took stock of the ideas put into our minds. Few people really know how they came to believe the things they do — and fewer still know how their ideas originated! You would be shocked if you knew! I was, when I heard it openly discussed a few weeks ago.
   At the end of December each year many of the men and women who formulate our thinking assemble in conferences. These professional people — teachers, ministers, historians, scientists — belong to various Learned Societies whose function is to prepare new ideas to shape educational and religious instruction. I had again this year the opportunity to meet with four of these Learned Societies. What I heard shocked me.

What Historians Confess

   In today's society we are taught to accept whatever the "authorities" say or write. "They know," we are told! "They have the facts!"
   But do they?
   Here is what one famous historian Hendrik Van Loon — dared confess in his book Story of Mankind, written for the layman: "We live under the shadow of a gigantic question mark. What are we? Where did we come from? Whither are we bound?" he asks.
   And his answer: "We still know very little but we have reached the point where (with a fair degree of accuracy) we can GUESS at many things."
   GUESS at many things! It is these guesses that have masqueraded as facts — that we have been taught to assume as proven and true!
   What you probably did not know is that historians and scientists know that they have been interpreting — guessing about — the facts they find. Here is what Professor Kelly acknowledged at the annual meeting of the American Historical Association on December 28 (and reported in the Feb. 5 issue of "U.S. News & World Report"):
   "History is art as well as fact; everyone in this room knows that the facts do not automatically arrange themselves without the historian's creative leap, which occurs in our craft as well as in the exact sciences..." (italics ours).
   The tragedy is that most have leaped in the wrong direction!
   But this is not all that Professor Kelly revealed. To his fellow professors he disclosed how he had been asked to use his historical knowledge to draw up the case for the NAACP which brought about the Supreme Court decision to order desegregation.
   Here are his own words:
   "The problem we faced was not the historian's discovery of the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth; the problem instead was the formulation of an adequate gloss....
   "It was not that we were engaged in formulating lies; there was nothing as crude and naοve as that. But we were using facts, emphasizing facts, bearing down on facts, sliding off facts, quietly ignoring facts and, above all, interpreting facts in a way to... 'get by...'" the segregation issue.
   This candid admission of Dr. Alfred H. Kelly strikes at the heart of the problem! Many times educators and ministers and writers of textbooks are confronted with the conflict between truth and the beliefs and ideas of the society around them. If they are to be accepted by the people, they must conform — by rejecting part of the truth!
   Of course they use facts — but how they use those facts — which facts they use, which facts they ignore or reject and the interpretation they place on the facts — that is the crux of the problem!
   Trapped in the vicious whirl of intellectual pressures like so many others, Dr. Kelly, professor of history at Wayne State University, admitted he was forced unwittingly to face the question of whether he would compromise his conscience in a legal case that was to come up before the United States Supreme Court. He reported to fellow historians on December 28, 1961, that he was asked to produce "a plausible historical argument that will justify.." a certain particular enactment concerning public schools. "I was facing," he continued, "the deadly opposition between my professional integrity as a historian and" — notice it! — "a contemporary question of values, of ideals, of policy, or partisanship and of political objectives. I suppose if a man is without scruple," he noted as a concluding thought, "this matter will not bother him, but I am frank to say that it bothered me terribly...."
   What a tragedy! A man forced to make a decision between historical truth and the whims, the false ideas, the political partisanship of society!

"Anything but Historical Truth!"

   After days and nights of hard labor, Dr. Kelly finished a lengthy document to be presented to the highest court of the land. "I am convinced now that this interpretation, which we hammered out with anything but historical truth as our objective, nonetheless contains an essential measure of historical truth."
   He was now convinced by his own argument! That is exactly how every human mind works!
   Thousands of educators, scientists, textbook writers and ministers have faced similar situations — and finally convinced themselves they were justified in believing what they had done. But even here they privately and inwardly still know that they hid their mind and conscience from the whole truth. They kept just enough facts to make an argument appear as truth — when it was only a half truth!
   This world's entire educational system, its philosophy, its theological beliefs are all a strange mixture of a few facts woven over a mass of error to make that error appear true. There are generally two reasons why we believe half truths: 1) because we took them for granted without questioning, or 2) because we want to believe what we wish to! Educators call their theories "facts" and their hypotheses "self-evident" proofs. But that does not make them true.
   In another meeting of educators and theologians in St. Louis, Missouri, the same problem confronted the speakers. How to justify their beliefs about Christ when they did not believe the facts recorded in the Bible about Him. Their answer was appalling.
   Here were the great theologians and professors who teach the ministers what to believe!
   Of the historical Jesus they admittedly knew next to nothing. The gospel records they had quietly ignored, or interpreted to suit their denominational bias. How, then, asked the editor of the Journal of Biblical Literature and Exegesis, did we come to inherit so many differing beliefs about the "Christ of faith"?
   His answer — It was all added over the centuries "rung by rung." It is only "myth."
   "MYTH"? Yes, MYTH! That was his confession!
   There was no other way for him to explain so many contradictory, non-Biblical beliefs held by each sect about the Christ of faith.
   "'Is it really true?' you will ask," continued editor Enslin. "Of course it is!" These myths, he continued, that are taught in Sunday School, from the pulpit, in theological seminaries, "are true and perpetually lovely.... Who would deny they are true?"
   And that was the only proof he cited to justify modern theology!

Why Not the TRUTH?

   Isn't it time we faced the facts? Isn't it time we began to question whether the ideas we were taught are true, instead of blindly accepting myths?
   In schools and colleges today young people are taught to accept what the authorities write. Evolution is taught as if it were fact. History is taught as if it were true. Religion is taught — if at all — as if it did not matter what you believe and do, just so long as it satisfies you. The Bible is usually assumed to be myth and without authority. Where it is discussed, passages are silently ignored or interpreted to justify cherished ideals people want to believe.
   It is high time we recognized that most so-called authorities and learned men do not even know what truth is! Most of them refuse to admit that there is eternal truth. How, then, can they ever find it since they would not recognize it if they heard it! They have refused to retain God in their knowledge. They have rejected His Word and substituted in its place myths of their own invention!
   You — and your children — are going to be judged on what you do with your mind and character. Are you going to fill your minds with myth, with hypotheses, with self-justification? Or are you going to admit it when you find you have been wrong and have the character to accept and do the truth when you find it in your Bible?

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Plain Truth MagazineMarch 1962Vol XXVII, No.3