23 May 2011

About the OLB paper study

(this was posted 24 april 2011 on the UM-forum)

I would like to start discussing this article:

The Oera Linda Boek - A literary forgery and its paper
by A. Kardinaal, E. v.d. Grijn, H. Porck
published in: IPH Congress Book 16 (2006), p. 177-185

Abe and Alewyn have the PDF, and whoever wants it, can have it.
Just PM me a mailaddress as it is too big to attach here (480 kB).


Last year when I spent a whole day at Tresoar in Leeuwarden, the library that owns the OLB and has a collection of documentation about it. I asked for the most recent paper study report, as I had heard Jensma say in an interview that the paper was indeed found to be of the 19th century.

They said they didn't have anything, but gave me the mail-address of the head of the Tresoar collection, who gave me the address of the paper-historian of the Royal Library in Den Haag, mr. Porck, who is leading the research. I had asked both for the most recent publication, and now I got the answer that they were working on one, and that they would inform me when it would be ready. The rest you know. When after many delays it was finally published in a Dutch magazine for archivists, the result was very disappointing. I posted a translation of it on the forum on April 15.

Otharus, on 15 April 2011 - 09:11 AM, said:

The Oera Linda Boek, a 'cold case' and 'hot item'.
by Henk Porck, Ellen van der Grijn, Adriaan Kardinaal

But in this article, an earlier (2006) publication was mentioned, so I asked Porck for a copy of it.
When I politely started asking difficult questions, like
1) why the Dutch article does not say anything about the new estimated paper age, and how the paper was coloured, and
2) why the 2006 publication is not in the Tresoar collection, and why he had not told me about it before,
he did not answer any of them, only that they would not share any other or further information with me.

But he was kind enough to send me the 2006 article after all, which answered my questions.

The answer is: the results don't fit into their questions, because they ask the wrong questions.

The article shows that the researchers are not neutral but have a fixed idea about what the outcome should be.
Like Jensma, they very much want to believe that the OLB is a 19th century forgery, and that the Haverschmidt-Verwijs-Over de Linden conspiracy theory is right.

This time, an 'answer from silence', is a clear answer, because if the results would have confirmed their ideas, they would not have been so hesitant to share them. It rather means that the outcome is probably in conflict with their ideas, and that they have a hard time fitting them into their belief system.

Biased approach

That their approach is biased is very clear, as the title, the beginning and the end of the article stress the 'fact' (?) that OLB is a forgery, even though this conclusion is beyond the scope of their research.

In my opinion, their questions should just be:
1) when and where was the paper made?
2) is it all from the same stock?
3) was there other paper in the possession of any of the suspects that is of the same stock?
4) was the paper coloured artificially, if so: how?
5) what can be said about the conclusions of the 19th century paper examination and Ottema's reply to that?

Since they do not study the text itself, they can not say that it was a forgery, because however old the paper is, it can still be a copy of an older original.

By accepting Jensma's theory as if it were an established fact, they limit the possible outcome of their research, and there is no good reason why they should do that.

I also find it suspicious that they have completely ignored Ottema's reply to the conclusions of the 19th century paper examination (published in the introduction of his 1876 edition of the OLB). If what he said in this reply was all wrong, they should at least have said what was so wrong about it.

Interesting detail

One question I asked earlier is now answered:

The bold fragment is quoted from "De Gemaskerde God" (2004) by Goffe Jensma, p.256:

Otharus, on 09 April 2011 - 03:30 PM, said:

...some sheets of empty paper that were discovered between the things Cornelis Over de Linden had left behind when he died. It was discovered in the 1920-s, that is some 50 years after COL had died in 1874 (rather late I would say!?). The paper was "for the most part cut in the same size and also had lines drawn with pencil just like the paper from the OLB. This paper was not made brown (yet). These pages had been (...) numbered with pencil in the handwriting of Cornelis Over de Linden" (my improvised translation). The handwritten page-numbers appeared to fit in the gaps from the OLB; 193-194 and 169-188.

This leaves us with some questions:

1. How certain is it that it is indeed Over de Linden's handwriting?

In the 2006 article the authors say about this:

"The blank sheets from Over de Linden's estate have been regarded as identical to the OLB paper and connected to it in several ways:
- the blank sheets are present in the estate of Cornelis Over de Linden
- some blank sheets are numbered in pencil just as those of the manuscript and possibly with the same hand
- ..."

So it is not certain at all that it was Cornelis' hand, like Jensma wanted us to believe.
In fact, if it would resemble his handwriting, the 2006 article would mention this, since they are on Jensma's side, but apparently they are more honest.

It is just one example of how Jensma has manipulated facts to serve his theory.

One could also simply say that he has lied.
Or do his eyes see what his mind believes?

Either way: pseudoscience.

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