Sometimes short and punchy is better than long and windy.
If you think my conclusions that Charles Dickens was not the original author of "A Christmas Carol," and that Edgar Allan Poe was not the original author of "The Raven," are absurd claims, consider that there are suspicious circumstances around the origin of both these works (circumstances I was unaware of when I first began to suspect that Mathew Franklin Whittier and his wife Abby wrote the first together; and that Mathew wrote the second after Abby died*).
Charles Dickens was desperate for cash, and supposedly wrote the "Carol" within six weeks. He was skeptical of the paranormal, adamantly anti-Spiritualist and subtitled the book "A Ghost of Story of Christmas," and yet the story shows signs of having real metaphysical teachings and principles embedded in it. Dickens was charged with plagiarism in at least two instances, and was proven to have plagiarized extensively in his "American Notes." He was caught in a long-time affair despite self-righteously protesting his innocence in what historians have called the "Violated Letter."
Edgar Allan Poe was desperate for cash. His former editor, George Rex Graham, is said to have turned down the poem but given Poe some cash to tide him over. Every historian makes the assumption that Graham was somehow fooled into not recognizing an excellent poem which would become a world classic--but that makes little sense. It is just as likely that he realized it wasn't Poe's work, and refused it on that basis. It was originally published under the pseudonym "------ Quarles," something that Poe typically didn't do. It was a pseudonym he had never used, and would never use again, nor did he typically use pseudonyms of that type, at all. Mathew Franklin Whittier, who had been publishing at least since late 1829, did. Poe appears to have scooped himself, by sending it in to another publication before it was published under the pseudonym, which is very strange (suggesting to me he wasn't scooping himself, he was scooping Mathew).** The poem is clearly, to the discerning eye, not so much a horror poem as a genuine grief poem, written by someone attempting to inject black humor into it. Poe was not, himself, grieving at the time "The Raven" was written. His explanation regarding how he came to write the poem sounds like a flimsy excuse, making it sound entirely like an academic exercise--even though the poem contains deep integrity and emotional authenticity, despite its odd mixture of humor (precisely Mathew's MO). The original manuscript has never surfaced. Poe has been suspected of plagiarism, especially when he was desperate.
There's more, but that's enough to show you that my "claim" (skeptics always refer to "claims" in a dismissive tone) is plausible, inasmuch as the historical foundation for these two respective attributions is very shaky.
The more I delved into them--especially, the "Carol"--the more confirming evidence I found.
Continue to dismiss what I'm suggesting if you want to, but if you do, you are not on the side of rigorous, honest investigation. You are automatically buying something you were taught in school, and which has been reinforced by every media reference you've ever run across.
And as to my personal megalomania in claiming that I wrote them in a past life, well, somebody had to write them!
Stephen Sakellarios, M.S.
*Thus, I did not cherry-pick weak instances of attribution to claim as my own past-life work. When I first began to feel that Mathew had been involved in the writing of these works, I had neither the evidence against their respective supposed authors; nor did I have the evidence for Mathew and Abby as the real authors. Actually, on some level, I knew this even from grade school. I felt a deep affinity for the "Carol," which is not too unusual; but in (I think it was) 6th grade, when I was first introduced to the "Raven," I couldn't bear to read it.
**I have been studying 19th-century literary newspapers, hunting for Mathew's work in them, for over eight years, and I cannot recall seeing a single instance in which one editor gave permission to another editor to scoop him, with an original submission. Where you see implausible explanations like this in historical accounts, they should be questioned. In this case, one should not blithely assume that permission was given, just because someone has said so, unless one has the evidence to support it. This is the kind of thing (and not the only example) in which historians of the future will whack their heads and say, "Of course, why didn't we see that?" It's like the magic trick in which the magician is successful because he has induced the audience to assume something erroneously. Once they take it as fact, everything else seems to follow--as, for example, that the coin had ever left the magician's hand in the first place. Plagiarism is, itself, a sort of magic trick. Similarly, denial of the reality of reincarnation as a real phenomenon, creates perceptual blinders in that it prevents people from seeing the obvious. My conclusions are obvious with all the evidence in; but due to prejudice, people refuse to "go there," and opt, instead, for the patently ridiculous.
Music opening this page: "Won't Get Fooled Again," by The Who, from the album "Who's Next"