Elizabeth Gould and Paul Fitzgerald's novel The Voice takes its audience on a quest for the real Holy Grail, entwining scientific mythology with geopolitical intrigue in an esoteric thrill-ride Dan Brown couldn't dream up, as a frustrated journalist unravels a 5,000-year-old mystery involving Templar knights, Celtic priests and Sufi mystics. Throughout the story the authors challenge Western linear views of reality by offering multidimensional paradigms that are perhaps more conducive to helping us better understand the unseen spiritual and quantum nature of our universe.
Commissioned by Oliver Stone as a screenplay in 1992 and originally published in 2000, The Voice is being reissued now because it is more relevant today than ever. Written before 9/11, The Voice eerily presages the "war on terror" on a number of occasions.
This mythological journey was inspired by the authors' real world adventures as the first Western journalists allowed into Afghanistan after the 1979 Soviet invasion. Gould and Fitzgerald tried to report a picture of the Soviet "jihad" that stood in sharp contrast to the propaganda Dan Rather and the mainstream media had been peddling to the world.
The Voice's protagonist is none other than Paul Fitzgerald, a middle-aged American writer living with his daughter Alissa in London and a former network news reporter whose wife had been killed while covering the war in Afghanistan. Not unlike real life, the character Paul's Afghanistan experience changed the way he perceives the world as he begins to make esoteric connections between the Crusaders, the mujahideen and the CIA.
His distrust of the global elite can be felt early on when during inner dialogue he explains how he came to see events and the course of history itself as "an ancient and ongoing struggle between the forces of darkness and light with the ultimate goal being the evolution of the human soul."
The book allows the authors to channel their own frustration and ironically tell the truth about past events as illustrated when Paul gives Rick Kendall from Transitron, a FOX-like communications conglomerate, a piece of his mind about being censored during the war:
"I don't need to be reminded of what you caused in Afghanistan. If you had told people the truth about what we were doing in the first place maybe those Chinese nuclear weapons wouldn't be in Pakistan. Maybe Osama bin Laden would still be in Saudi Arabia selling insurance to oil sheiks and there wouldn't be a crisis. For ten years you knew we drew the Russians into Afghanistan and you lied about it. You and your friends had to turn the whole affair into a holy war. So this is what you get."
Paul wonders aloud how the U.S. and CIA could "activate" Afghan holy warriors on the eve of the Apocalypse and not expect blowback, describing the power of the "freedom fighters" as mystical and real "just the way it was for the Crusaders in 1099."
Ironically, Paul has vivid dreams about a Black Knight calling him to go on his own personal crusade and soon begins remembering numerous lifetimes of his ancestors from the Geraldine bloodline, stretching back to 1170 A.D. -- the year the grail was brought to Ireland from Jerusalem.
The story integrates actual historical events, myth and Paul's dreams which he comes to realize represent the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy. Paul is the Black Knight, guardian of the grail, who must now act as a conduit between two realms and transform myth into reality in order to protect the grail's secrets.
A mysterious astrologer named Mad Mary tells Paul that the powers of the grail were at one point well known, but had to be hidden for fear of being abused by demagogues:
"Everybody who comes along from Nebuchadnezzar on down wants the power of creation for himself -- the magic rituals, the words of power. First it's the Pharaoh, then Sargon, then Solomon, Alexander, Julius Caesar and the Pope. Now it's Bill Gates and Rubert Murdoch hoarding the numbers and locking them up in little boxes, counting out their Shekels or Dinars or Pounds. But what are their qualifications for such wealth and power?"
Paul also stumbles upon riveting accounts of strains of an ancient pre-Celtic metaphysics that spanned Europe, the Near East and the Middle East in the fourth millennium B.C. that evidenced itself in all world religions. He also discovers that Irish monks practiced a mixture of paganism and Christianity that included rituals for communicating with spirits and demons, raising the dead and walking between worlds. He learns that all religion is a vast syncretion of beliefs accrued over a long period of time, but humanity needs to get back to the original idea in order to make sense of it.
During trips to the other dimension and through detective work in England and Ireland with help from Alissa, Paul pieces together the reality that the Crown has retained a colonial vice-grip on human destiny through secret societies since the beginning of recorded history -- from the ancient Babylonian Brotherhood to the Masons of the current era.
The Brits had become masters of the game by the time of the Faerie Queene's reign in the 16th century and, according to Paul, "The mystical past and the modern intelligence professional merged for the first time in the Elizabethan police state. It was the perfect marriage for seeking the Grail."
Even more shocking is when he learns that Transitron executives have been monitoring his dreams through cutting-edge technology and that the company president, Lord Gilbert De Clare, is really the head of a group of technocratic illuminati obsessed with controlling history and acquiring the power to conquer death. Lord Gilbert has actually been stalking Paul from lifetime to lifetime, using powerful virtual reality software to divert Paul from his mission and the role he must play as the end time nears.
The Voice is an enthralling fast-paced read that is even more enjoyable when read with an open mind. Many of the historical assertions about religion and power are somewhat disturbing -- and they should be. Belief in a world beyond our senses is a difficult one for a materialist society guided by rationalism and reason to digest. What is far easier to accept is the book's other premise, that governments and corporations would try to secure and retain power by any means possible -- both seen and unseen.