Fractured Fairy Tales

By Bill Maher

In Massachusetts, Misha Defonseca, a 75-year-old woman who had written a best-selling Holocaust memoir, was ordered to repay her publisher over $22 million dollars when evidence surfaced that her whole story was fake. (The woman claimed she had lived with a pack of wolves while hiding from the Nazis as a child.) By way of explanation, the author said, “This story is mine. It is not actually reality, but my reality, my way of surviving.” Whatever. And Donald Sterling isn’t a racist.

But it got me wondering about the book “Proof of Heaven,” by that neurologist who claimed he was flying around heaven on a butterfly while his brain was completely dead. Esquire wrote a damning article about the guy, and both Sam Harris and Oliver Sacks say he’s full of shit. So why hasn’t there been a lawsuit about that book? Or Colton Burpo’s book, in which he saw Jesus riding a rainbow-colored horse, and which is also listed as “nonfiction?”

At least in Colton’s case, nobody’s claiming he was brain-dead when he had his visions. But in the case of the neurologist, it seems it would be an easy enough matter to put his claims to the test in a court of law.