Classic EssaysRevilo P. Oliver

The Miraculous Needle’s Eye

Nelson Bunker Hunt

by Revilo P. Oliver

THE LATE H. L. Hunt was one of the eight or ten men whom journalists liked to call “the richest man in the U.S.” He was noted for his eccentricities, parsimony, and dogmatism, which he often supported with lavish subsidies. He tried to arrest the continuing Communization of the United States with a well-printed and ably edited magazine that brought to prominence the late Dan Smoot (the author of The Invisible Government), and then he liquidated it overnight on what was evidently a sudden whim. He published under his name an odd work of fiction about an imaginary country called Alpaca, for which he devised an ideal constitution (his ideal, of course). And in his later years he financed a very expensive radio program that tried to make an emulsion out of Jesus, free enterprise, and capitalism as Hunt understood it.

H. L. Hunt’s most prominent heir is Nelson Bunker Hunt, who attained some notoriety with temerarious speculations in silver, and more recently adorned with his visage the cover of the Saturday Evening Post for January-February 1985. He is, of course, an extremely rich man and not without some cultivation, for he has an extensive collection of Greek vases, coins, and bronzes, but according to the article in the Post, he regards Christianity as his “greatest investment.” Aside from a trifling $5,500,000 for a movie about the famous Jesus, he promotes such wealthy showmen as Robertson and Falwell, who so lucratively pitch the woo for Jesus and the Jews over the boob-tubes, and he rejoices that Falwell’s collegiate incubator is hatching out two hundred and fifty fast-talking theologians every year to “fight agnosticism and atheism” with clever gabble to stun the simpleminded. He finances a Campus Crusade to make college students even more superstitious than the public schools have made them. And he has his god’s spiel, brought up-to-date in Hollywood with all the tricks of the cinema business, spread “world-wide” in “60 or 80 languages” to induce all kinds of fuzzy-wuzzies to lease apartments in the mansions that old Jesus is said to be building someplace up there in the clouds. The article does not venture to guess how many scores of millions N. B. Hunt must dispense each year to promote mental fixations on Jewish myths.

The only interesting thing is that this egregious billionaire professes belief in the Bible and must have read, in his favorite King James Version, the tales in which Jesus ben Yahweh loudly proclaims, thrice for emphasis, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” Now since this Jesus is a god or at least one-third of one, he must be presumed to know what he is talking about, especially on a point like this, which he makes over and over and without contradicting himself, as he so often does when he hasn’t thought things out clearly. So Jesus has most emphatically assured N. B. Hunt that he, the aforesaid N. B. Hunt, is going to be broiled for millions and billions of years and thereafter for all eternity on a red-hot griddle somewhere under the ground and yet where the happy ghosts of trillions of squalid and malicious proletarians can gloat over his sufferings. And yet N. B. Hunt is spending millions and millions to glorify the celestial monster who is going to torture him for all eternity!

It doesn’t make sense, and since we must credit Hunt with some intelligence, it follows that he must have been convinced by some slick holy man that Jesus didn’t mean what he said. That should be hard to do, since there is no possible mistake about what Jesus meant by the standard rhetorical figure of “adynaton” (“reductio ad impossible”). The tales are full of his assertions that people who own property must sell it and give to the poor, i.e., poor holy men, and everyone knows that the economics of the gospels are pure Communism, so that one could infer that Jesus must have been reading Karl Marx’s piffle, if there were no chronological difficulties in the way.

God’s con men, however, can talk their way out of any logical impasse, and when they find a rich sucker to milk they usually resort to one of four standard ploys to convince him that they can keep him off the red-hot griddle even if he doesn’t make himself a pauper, and they commonly use good capitalist bait by promising that what he gives them is an A-1 investment, guaranteed by old Jesus in person to yield 10,000% profit plus a bonus of “everlasting life” in Jesus’s great retirement home upstairs. The profit, by the way, can be collected only after death, and it is a fact that no investor’s ghost has ever sued a salvation-huckster for fraud or misleading promises. Christians think this a proof that the game is on the up-and-up.

I don’t know which of the standard ploys was used to dazzle N. B. Hunt into making his “greatest investment,” on which he is to collect the 10,000% after his funeral, so I list all four of them:

(1) The most common trick of all, perhaps, is to claim that there was in Jerusalem at the time of the story a gate called “The Needle’s Eye,” so narrow that a laden camel had to be led carefully to get through it. This, of course, is simply a lie, but how could there have been a Christianity to begin with, if the story-tellers had told the truth?

(2) A slightly subtler dodge is to claim that the word ‘camel’ in the original really means a kind of thin rope or pack thread which can be threaded through the eye of a large needle by a clever seamstress. That’s another lie, of course, but few of the con man’s prospects would be able to check his statement in a dictionary, and by the time they’ve heard the rest of his spiel, they are so dazzled they stop thinking anyway.

(3) One argument is that old Jesus didn’t mean that all rich must fry – just that they were likely to, if they didn’t mind their “p’s” and “q’s” and stay in good with the dervishes. In other words, god on earth was just trying to scare the suckers into signing on the dotted line and getting their souls renovated by professionals.

(4) Some enterprising salesmen in the soul-laundering business simply quote another remark attributed to Jesus: “With God all things are possible.” This is taken to mean that if old Yahweh put his mind to it, the largest Bactrian camel could zip through the eye of the needle in your wife’s sewing machine as easily as Jesus walked on water or puffed himself up to float up into the clouds, where his daddy was waiting for him. By that rule, of course, one can believe that the whale swallowed Jonah and the wolf swallowed Little Red Riding Hood’s grandmother. And if Yahweh took a notion to play hob with arithmetic, why 2 + 2 could equal 5.65 or 1.82 or anything else. Needless to say, that means there is no reality, and it would be much more reasonable to go all the way and adopt the Hindu doctrine that the material universe is only “Maha Maya,” the Great Illusion, and nothing is real. But the salesmen for Yahweh & Son, Inc., never mention the advantages of competing wares.

I can’t tell you which bit of hokum convinced Nelson Bunker Hunt that his soul could eventually flit up to Jesus unsinged, and there is the further possibility that what really convinced him was the argument, so widely accepted a century ago, that Christianity can be used to bolster our racial morality, which it boldly expropriated centuries ago and actually undermined. I cannot remember now whether it was Wyndham Lewis or one of his contemporaries who remarked that in the Nineteenth Century the Christianity of the upper classes consisted in pretending to believe what they hoped the lower classes would believe.

Innovative Salesmanship

I learn from the press that a salvation-salesman in Belleville, Michigan, has invented a new way of attracting customers and reports that it is highly successful. He has leased a “drive-in” theater in which he exhibits nightly, free of charge, godly films, such as The Cross and the Switchblade. During an intermission, he makes his pitch for Yahweh & Son’s exclusive merchandise. So now you can repent of your sins and get a dose of Jesus while sitting comfortably in your automobile and fondling the female you have chosen for the evening. It looks like as though the United States is fast becoming a Christian nation.

Gladder Tidings for Christians

Some of the more intelligent among the True Believers have wondered why Christians have been praying away for almost two thousand years without ever having a single prayer answered by their deity. Now, at last, their dubeity is ended by a pronouncement from an unimpeachable source. The answer is simple. They have been barking up the wrong tree.

Their god’s real name is “Yah-weh,” which means ‘Daddy Yah,’ and he is peeved, if you call him by any other name. He had a son, the Saviour, whose name, naturally, is “Yah-shua,” which means, ‘Yah’s son,’ just as “Jacobson” means ‘Jacob’s son.’ You must never, never call him ‘Jesus,’ because that is the name of a Greek god, Zeus, mispronounced. So when you prey to ‘Jesus,’ you are really praying to Zeus, and no wonder he won’t have anything to do with you.

Yah-shua was born in 68 B.C. on October 13, so that’s the day you ought to celebrate, not the pagan festival of the Winter Solstice. He was never crucified. The stupid Jews arrested the wrong guy. Yah’s son became a world traveler, lived until he was 110, and was buried in the Great Pyramid at Gizeh. He is to be worshipped on the True Sabbath, which begins at sundown on Thursday and lasts until sunset on Friday. That is because the day is Friday, which means ‘Free Day,’ although wicked philologists pretend that the name is Anglo-Saxon “Frigedaeg,” ‘Frigg’s Day.’

There can be no possible doubt about this, and I hope no Christians will condemn themselves by being wicked skeptics, when they believe so many more improbable things every time they go to church. You see, Yah’s son got himself born again on earth just to save the pious from their fatal blunder. He calls himself Dr. Joseph Jeffers, and he runs the Kingdom of Yahweh, Inc. in Sun City West, Arizona (P.O. Box 5115). Christians who mean business about getting themselves Born Again had better hot-foot it to the real Messiah while there’s time.

* * *

Source: Liberty Bell magazine, November 1985

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Walt Hampton
Walt Hampton
29 April, 2021 12:17 pm

The Christian fundies have no chance against
the wit of the late great Revilo Oliver!

Prinz Edelhart
Prinz Edelhart
29 April, 2021 8:32 pm

I think the ‘eye of the needle’ is probably located in a super-secret room in a certain building in Amsterdam, a room so secret, in fact, that even the Franks couldn’t find it.
What’s that you say ?
There was no Amsterdam in muhJeebus’ time ?
Details, details…..