The new all-embracing, all subsuming ABC paradigm – now taking the world of sindonology by (almost) perfect storm….


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:


It’s been called a sea-change in iconological investigation. It’s been called the paradigm that has swept away decades of stale dead-end scholarship. The Vatican has described it as akin to the drawing aside of a heavy curtain in a previously dim room, illuminating it with dazzling white light. Others have compared it with a blinding flash of laser-generated uv light (from a pulsed excimer laser), the kind that leaves diminutive brown blotches on any nearby organic materials (linen especially). So what is this breakthrough  that has so mesmerised and excited the previously cloistered community of sindonological researchers, scarcely visible at their congresses?

It is the ABC doctrine as it has become known. That of course is just handy shorthand (see teccy details in box), an acronymic designation concealing a plethora of technicalities that are generally beyond the grasp of those not intimately acquainted with the controversies that have raged for decades.

Yup, anything but conduction, or ABC for short. That’s heat conduction, or a scorch in other words. The ABC paradigm is that anything could have produced the Shroud image, anything, that is, except scorching (which ticks far too many boxes and might conceivably, perish the thought, be TRUE).

But as Dr. Giovanni Cosifantutte of the University of St. J. Marino, Ohio has declared:  “We now have a clear line in the sand, a red line, or maybe a red line in the sand. Some have called it a marked trail, a route map, or maybe a marked trail on a route map with clearly designated red lines in the sand. Call it what you will, but one thing seems certain. While there are still undoubtedly many complexities to be resolved, and while it may take years, decades even to unravel them, with many more congresses to look forward to, poring over all the details, with this inspirational ABC theory, sindonology is liberated. It can at last break free from the chains of negative and unproductive lines of enquiry that have so bedevilled it up till now. With ABC we now have within our grasp an entirely new paradigm”.

Dr.Giovanni Cosifantutte, seen here looking thoughtful immediately prior to hospitalization.

(Ed. Sadly Dr. C needed to be hospitalized  shortly after those words were recorded. A preliminary diagnosis suggest signs of excessive exposure to the high energy radiation that has featured in his work, with his colleagues remarking on the numerous brown blotches that have recently been appearing on his hands and face, tentatively identified as semi-pyrolysed keratin).

Quote just in from Mr. Albert M. Sneeth (celebrated sindonologist and Official Documenter of Strange and Unresolved Paradoxes for the TRUMP team (Turin Relic Undergoing Multiple Prodding) and latterly founder and President of SLURP  (Shroud Licensing Under Research Pretext).  “Wow!  I am truly dumbfounded. What a breakthrough. This inspirational ABC paradime is arguably the breakthrough we’ve all been waiting for.  It offers seriously profound new opportunities for looking at the problem anew both in depth AND  from multiple viewpoints, all neatly circumcised within the ambit of ABC.  Rest assured that SLURP will continue to play its part by making available a full range of visual aids (price list on application).  In the right hands – and oh boy must we strive to ensure that the tender and fragile sindonology is well protected from the wrong hands – we can now look forward to a rich and textured new perspective on this ancient relic.  For far too long now, this iconic length of fabric has been the object of ill-intentioned scepticism based on false models of evidential proof. This new ABC paradime (or as I prefer to call it, paradollar)  represents a comprehensive, all-encompassing envelope within which future research can be nurtured and protected from outside interference.”

Mr.Sneeth asked me to remind my readers that all of this costs money, needless to say. Contributions invited: cheques should be made payable to Albert M Sneeth, Director of Shroud Marketing, ABC Education and Research Association Inc, a new fully-owned subsidiary of Las Vegas Promotions Inc, registered as a charity with the State of Nevada.


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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