The more you have, the more you hoard … (Barrie’s Song)


Late addition (July 2019)

Please forgive this postscript, correction, “prescript”,  correction, intrusion, added many years later – based on some 350 and more postings here and elsewhere.

That’s including some 7 years of my hands-on investigation into image-forming techniques, chosen to be credible with simple, indeed crude, medieval (14th century) technology etc etc.

(Oh, and yes, I accept the radiocarbon dating, despite it being restricted to a single non-random corner sample, making all the oh-so-dismissive, oh-so-derogatory statistics-based sniping totally irrelevant – a ranging shot being just that me dears- a single ranging shot, albeit subdivided into three for Arizona, Oxford and Zurich).
Sindonology (i.e. the “science” , read pseudoscience – of the so-called “Shroud ” of Turin) can be simply summed up. It’s a re-branding exercise, one designed to pretend that the prized Turin possession is not just J of A’s “fine linen”, described in the biblical account as used to transport a crucified body from cross to tomb.

Oh no, it goes further, much further, way way beyond the biblical account. How? By making out that it was the SAME linen as that described in the Gospel of John, deployed as final “burial clothes”. Thus the description “Shroud” for the Turin Linen, usually with the addition “burial shroud”. Why the elision of two different linens, deployed for entirely different purposes (transport first, then final interment)? 
Go figure! Key words to consider are: authentic relic v manufactured medieval icon; mystique, peaceful death-repose, unlimited opportunity for proposing new and ever more improbable image-formation mechanisms etc. How much easier it is to attach the label “Holy” to Shroud if seen as final burial clothes, in final at-peace repose – prior to Resurrection- as distinct from a means of temporary swaying side-to-side transport in an improvised makeshift stretcher !
As I say, a rebranding exercise (transport to final burial shroud) and a very smart and subtle one at that . Not for nothing did that angry local Bishop of Troyes suddenly refer to a “sleight of hand” after allegedly accepting it when first displayed. Seems the script was altered, or as some might say, tampered with! It might also explain why there were two Lirey badges, not just one. Entire books could be written on which of the two came first… I think I know which, with its allusion (?) to the Veil of Veronica… yes, there are alternative views (the face above “SUAIRE” a visual link to the face-only display of the Linen as the “Image of Edessa” or as that on the then current “Shroud” per se.


Face shown  (left) on mid- 14th century Machy Mould (recently discovered variant of the Lirey Pilgrim Badge) above the word “SUAIRE” (allegedly meaning “shroud”). Inset image on the right: one version among many of the fabled “Veil of Veronica” image.  I say the two are related, and deliberately so, but this is not the time or place to go into detail.

No, NOT  a resurrectional selfie, but instead a full size version of, wait for it,  the legendary VEIL OF VERONICA , product of inital body contact – no air gaps- between body and fabric, but with one important difference. The Turin image was intended to look more realistic, less artistic.

How? By displaying a negative tone-reversed image implying IMPRINT (unless, that is, you’re a modern day sindonologist, in which case ‘resurrectional proto-photographic selfie” becomes the preferred, nay, vigorously proferred explanation assisted by unrestrained imagination, creation of endless pseudoscience etc etc, with resort to laser beams, corona discharges, nuclear physics, elementary particles, earthquakes etc etc – the list is seemingly endless! 
Welcome to modern day sindonology. 
Personally, I prefer no-nonsense feet-on-the-ground hypothesis-testing science, aided by lashings of, wait for it, plain down-to-earth common sense.

Start of original posting:


I’ve just spotted this item (the first of the three shown) on the BBC’s website:

BBC website, 26 July 2012

Maybe that top one could be set to music and called “Barrie’s Song”.

Lyric: “The more you have, the more you hoard, the  more you have the more you hoard (repeated over and over again)…   Chorus: “Mine, all mine, mine, all mine…”

This thought was inspired by Barrie Schwortz (aka STERA) Inc’s burgeoning list of copyright holdings, which now includes not just the Shroud pictures which he was invited to take,  with his camera and expertise, but those of Secondo Pia’s (1898), Mark Evans’s (70s), and even pictures of Caravaggio’s art would you believe it… ? Oops, I nearly forgot – the Pray Codex too (11th century) – see a previous post for the evidence.

At the risk of sounding monotonous:  “The more you have, the more you hoard, the more you hoard (repeated over and over again)…   Chorus: “Mine, all mine, mine, all mine…”

I tried to work in “licensing rights and lucrative copyright fees”  but it didn’t scan…  😉

PS: You can read Barrie’s and STERA’s attempts to justify their monopoly on Shroud  images, data and memorabilia elsewhere. It appears to have convinced a few trusting souls, though not mine (who cannot understand why permission to use HD photomacro- and photomicrographs is explicitly refused for the  internet – while available to book publishers at a price – yet in the same breath stating that licensing income is used to support Barrie’s  and STERA’s own website (“”). So there’s good internet (Barrie’s) and bad internet (other people’s). Good Shroudie internet is presumably a shop window for marketable Shroudie (and non-Shroud) products.

Me – I’m just a disinterested researcher. Everything I post is free for anyone to use. How they use it is their business – since I’m not in the business of promoting and peddling “an enduring enigma” – just rational and hard-nosed science …

Tomorrow’s post will address scorching and fluorescence – a topic I have given considerable thought ever since BS came out of the woodwork onto Dan Porter’s site to inform this Johnny-Come-Lately  (Dan’s description) that scorching had been conclusively excluded on the basis of (lack of) fluorescence. Ah yes, science by consensus (or rather self-selected STURP consensus that I am determined to expose for what it is – useful facts but (all too often) –  “enigma”-promoting  via Mickey Mouse interpretations.

Tomorrow I shall talk about pyrolysis and temperature-dependent fluorescence-generating aromatization – the kind of  TESTABLE detailed molecular level stuff that you won’t find in STURP reports or STERA’s largely superficial copyright holdings.   But I would like all STERA’s HD images to be posted to the internet – if only to distinguish between blood and non-blood, but also between old blood and new blood (the latter the subject of my next posting).

So how can BS and his STERA justify holding copyright on Mark Evans, Secondo Pia, Caravaggio and the Pray Codex?

“The more you have, the more you hoard, the  more you have the more you hoard (repeated over and over again)…   Chorus: “Mine, all mine, mine, all mine…”

PS: this comment has just appeared on The Other Site:

“If you want to do research and would like Barrie’s pictures to do that research, visit and e-mail him and request whatever pictures you would like to use to do your research. That is precisely what I did and he has been most generous. Perhaps you ought to read Barrie’s response posted in Dan’s blog elsewhere.

The real problem is that not everyone will honor these legal and rightful copyrights. Barrie has extensive experience with this area since he was a professional photographer for about 40 years and also taught copyright law in a school in California. In this area he is an expert. This is like telling John Jackson how to do physics or Ray Rogers, God rest his soul, how to do chemistry.”

As I have just said, when Barrie Schwortz,  President of STERA (that’s the “Shroud of Turin Educational and Research Association”) comes out of the woodwork, saying he does not normally bother with what is written on blogs (BUT…) and then attempts to trash my science, citing STURP science (STURP science note, not STURP photographs)  then you can forget any idea that I am going cap in hand to the President of STERA for permission to access STURP data.). I have said it before, and I shall say it again. I do not approve of STERA’s, or rather its President’s modus operandi.  Fair and open contest, YES.  Guerilla hit-and-run tactics by a non-scientifically qualified individual, NO. I don’t even think that someone invited to photograph an icon should have copyright to those photographs. He should have been contracted on a fee-only basis, maybe with a small commission too, but has no business denying access to those photographs, especially the HD ones needed to resolve scientific controversies. I repeat – all that material should be in the public domain, not hoarded by a “copyright expert”.

As for the second paragraph, I had a good chuckle over that one. I have already told John Jackson that his 3D-imaging, while welcome, was over-engineered at the planning stage, and reminded him of the “suck-it-and-see” principle.  Scientists freely criticize each others approaches. It’s not personal.  It’s what professionals do – though usually at conferences rather than on internet sites.  As for Ray Rogers, he was for sure a gifted thermochemist working on explosives. But he was out of his depth when speculating on image-forming mechanism. Had he kept his feet on the ground, he would have performed nitrogen-analysis to see if there was any mileage in that wacky Maillard-mediated gaseous-diffusion hypothesis of his. Real scientists – those who do or still do experiments that is  instead of talking about other people’s experiments – rarely use the term “expert” in my experience. “Expert” is a term that tends to become risible when one is an experimental scientist.  There are no “experts” – just researchers who are good, bad or indifferent at winkling out the relevant evidence, and evaluating it sensibly to arrive at the truth (or as often as not  an approximation thereto).


About Colin Berry

Retired science bod, previous research interests: phototherapy of neonatal jaundice, membrane influences on microsomal UDP-glucuronyltransferase, defective bilirubin and xenobiotic conjugation and hepatic excretion, dietary fibre and resistant starch.
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