Fallen idol

My exposé of the most insidious
deception in human history

By Thomas Harrison, reporter, Channel 4 News
Thomas Harrison, reporter, Channel 4 News
Thomas Harrison, reporter, Channel 4 News

It is with a clear conscience that I endure the world’s venomous loathing. My actions, heinous to so many of you, were made in good faith, and with pure intentions. I offer no apology for the havoc I have supposedly reaped upon our planet.

We were duped – all of us.

When the “holy man” Vox Dei emerged from the Afghan steppe, only the foolhardy followed him. He was just another madman, claiming to be the voice of God.

Yet, there were wonderful tales to be heard, and so-called “miracles” witnessed. With each trick and conjuration, his audience grew. Soon enough, we the press felt obliged to report it. Consequently, Vox Dei’s disciples multiplied exponentially.

Within months of his appearance, the prophet had trekked across the desert and “persuaded” the Iranian border patrol to allow his 14,000 thirsty followers to cross into their country and drink from lake Chah Nimeh – unprecedented leniency from the notorious border patrol.

Reports emerged that he [I refuse to refer to Vox Dei with capitalised pronouns as many of my peers bleatingly insist] had even strolled across the surface of the water to give sermon. A miracle!

Vox Dei's passage through Afghanistan into Iran
Vox Dei’s passage through Afghanistan into Iran

And hence, we were horrified – all of us; believers and cynics alike – when Vox Dei was set upon by radical Islamists in the desert city of Mohammadābād. The web was saturated with the brutal, bloody lynching. Violence of such unforgiving disgrace – it will surely haunt the human race for millennia.

And yet, the impossible transpired.

Vox Dei returned from the dead. He walked once more among the people – smiling, gracious, magnanimous – and everyone on Earth was overcome. God had returned to us, after such a long, painful exile.

My detractors point to those salad days as reason for silence alone: peace brokered throughout the world, warring radicals of all religions laying down their weapons. Even the most fanatic of zealots were listening – really listening – to this celestial prophet. Peace was his message, and love for all things. We’d had it wrong for such a long, long time.

But my vocation as an investigative journalist had brought me to a story of such brazen deception, of such horrible consequence, I was compelled to reveal it.


Vox Dei was a charlatan – pure and simple. But, dispiritingly, he was nothing more than a pawn in a sadistic Machiavellian ruse contrived by disgraced philanthropist Charles Pinsent; he of global conglomerate Pinsent Pryce & Myers.

Pinsent’s conspicuously failed attempts at philanthropy – the Rwandan scandal; social unrest in Haiti; the bloody Dubai exodus – had caught my attention. Here was a man apparently desperate to help those in need, but only through meddling and subversion. Not content to donate his billions to charity, Pinsent wanted to correct society through manipulation.

Charles Pinsent, co-founder and CEO of Pinsent Pryce & Myers
Charles Pinsent, co-founder and CEO of Pinsent Pryce & Myers

By means not strictly legal (I admit them now that I am in exile from humanity), I found evidence Pinsent had been grooming a potential “saviour” for decades in the secluded confines of his Buckinghamshire mansion.

Pinsent dubbed his project “The Greatest Trick”. He poured billions into a society of scientists, scholars and sociologists – sworn to absolute secrecy – and charged them with forging a prophet so convincing, the world would stand still, awed into peace. It was to be his legacy – though his involvement was to forever remain obscured.

God from the machine

Trickery of imperceptible genius was employed to carry out these “miracles”, using technologies ranging from private satellites, to microscopic carbon-polymers; from behavioural vapour dispensers, to osmotic antibiotic contact administrators. They beguiled the world into believing Vox Dei had walked on water, healed the sick, parted the clouds and summoned the heavens.

But the grandest lie was unforgivable: Vox Dei’s “resurrection” was nothing of the sort.

The philanthropist knew the most profound machination would be for his prophet to rise from the dead, and only by replicating a feat akin to those of Jesus Christ would the faithful take this saviour into their hearts.

Pinsent knew Vox Dei would have to die and walk again. Dwell on that for a moment.

The billionaire was relying on religions of the world to violently reject the prophet – all religions. Though the Afghan steppe made for a convenient remote locale for his messiah to garner a following before the wider world took notice, the scheme would have been just as easily executed in the bible belt of America, or the Hindu provinces of northern India, or the Jewish state of Israel. It was merely for convenience’s sake that Islam was made the scapegoat.


Pinsent’s scheme was reliant on guilt. The prophet must be murdered – as was inevitable in a world of violent fanaticism – and the guilt must be all-consuming. Only with such crushing self-hatred could the messiah’s magnanimous return have such faith-breaking power.

Alas, there was no trickery ingenious enough that could convince thugs they had murdered when they had not. What we saw was real: a man, beaten to a pulp, torn limb from limb by baying crowds and held aloft in bloody debasement of a false idol. Those were real arms, legs, organs. That indelible image – history’s most shameful photograph – of a young man’s head, impaled upon a spike, eyes asunder and mouth agape, was exactly as it appeared.

No: in Vox Dei’s place, four days after he was murdered, a second Vox Dei appeared – a different person. Pinsent’s ploy was of Shakespearean simplicity, but there was no comedy in this error – an identical twin took the place of Vox Dei, stepping into his brother’s still-bloody sandals.

Pinsent had been conditioning this pair of twins to save civilisation from itself. Where one twin sacrificed his life to the murderous mob, the other replaced his brother with a frightening coldness that still makes me shudder to this day.

Child abuse
The Buckinghamshire estate of Charles Pinsent
The Buckinghamshire estate of Charles Pinsent

Heaven knows how Pinsent chose which of his orphans to send into the fray first, knowing full well the inevitable consequences. He indoctrinated that first child with ideas above his station, suicidal in essence, and marched him off into the lion’s den to be devoured.

And only Pinsent knows how he reared the second twin to so graciously excuse the lynching of his brother; to place his hands upon the killers and say, “I forgive you.”

And yet it is I who fears for his life. I am the subject of your disgust – your contempt. And all because I alone recognised the hypocrisy of a peace founded in the blood of a manipulated child.

Peace has crumbled, yes. Religious dogma and fanatical violence has erupted; a painful and unfortunate truth. And Vox Deiism thrives in abundant denial, despite my exposé.

But whatever your religion – if you still stomach such a wretched thing – God does not belong in a man. Humankind is too powerful and too unwieldy, even for the all-powerful. And if I had not revealed the truth of this ethereal hoax, God would be trapped in the breast of an exploited orphan, and the dismembered corpse of his twin brother.

I regret nothing.

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