About James Deardorff
My college years began as a freshman at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, in 1946-47, but then I switched to Stanford University, where I entered their Naval ROTC program, while majoring in physics. There I received the BS degree in 1950. With a year more of tuition covered by Naval ROTC, I attended UCLA in 1950-51, where I majored in meteorology, having had a strong interest in weather since early youth. So I received a second BS degree at UCLA, in meteorology. Then the Navy took me as an ensign, assigning me as a line officer aboard the USS Yancey (an AKA or "attack" cargo ship) for about two years, traveling between Oakland, CA, and Japan (Yokosuka and Sasebo), after which I transferred to Albuquerque, NM, to train in Special Weapons deployment and see the desert country. This led to a stint aboard the USS Lake Champlain (aircraft carrier) in the Mediterranean. After about 4 years in all I opted out, being a Ltjg then, so as to pursue a civilian research career within the field of meteorology, which interested me more and more.
The University of Washington was where I attended graduate school, in their Dept. of Meteorology, where I received the MS degree in 1956 and PhD in 1959. There I met my wife-to-be, Leona Winder, and we were married in 1956. After a couple years of post-graduate work there, in the field of air-sea interaction, I was accepted for a position at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, CO, in 1962. There I migrated into a study area involving laboratory and numerical modeling of turbulent thermal convection, and boundary-layer turbulence and diffusion. After a few years at NCAR I became a senior scientist, enjoying a successful, 16-year research career there. A list of the published research papers during this career is given in my #Curriculum Vitae. During this time our family had grown to five, with three lively daughters.
Leona and I had become members of Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church in Boulder, singing regularly in their choir. (I had been raised as a nominal Presbyterian, but switched to my wife's religion, Lutheran, upon marriage.) This experience provided a valuable background to my later interest in the origins of Christianity.
After pressures at NCAR towards administrative duties, which I disliked, grew too strong, I took a position at Oregon State University in Corvallis, OR, in 1978, as a research professor in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences. A desire to return to the Pacific Northwest, with its proximity to the Cascade Mts. and to the Pacific Ocean, entered into this decision.
It was in Oregon that I became interested in the UFO phenomenon in the late 1970s, soon deciding that the evidence points conclusively towards its being a reality. Perhaps a previous interest in science fiction helped draw me in this direction. By 1985 I realized that my research interests had switched over irrevocably towards the UFO area and its implications for society; it was around this time that the first two of #My 5 or 6 UFO Sightings occurred. So in 1986 I made the decision to take early retirement from OSU. Writing papers, research grant proposals and attending to associated administrative duties no longer seemed as important as exploring the UFO phenomenon and trying to help bring it to public attention. However, by 1987 I had written #Three Papers dealing with the UFO subject in peer-reviewed journals. Yet, the Meier UFO-contactee case and the Talmud of Jmmanuel (TJ) absorbed most of my attention.
Since established scholars cannot treat the TJ seriously, and have no incentive to investigate it, I was motivated to turn myself into an independent New Testament scholar to the best of my ability. A course in New Testament Gospels at a community college in 1987 was a helpful beginning. However, from it I quickly learned that the basic conclusions that are taught as fact depend upon the degree of theological commitment of the instructor and of the writers of the textbooks selected for the course. For example, my instructor (a minister) taught that if two of the three Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) agree upon an item or teaching, it is probably true, and if all three agree it must certainly be true. However, common sense instead indicates that if one Gospel writer made heavy use of the Gospel that came before his, and the third made heavy use of the two that came before his, as even the early church fathers testify, this guideline need not be true at all. So the rest of my education in New Testament scholarship came from self-learning through spending days on end in the Oregon State University library's book stacks, making frequent use of inter-library loans, and in visiting other university libraries. Occasional tips from OSU's Prof. Marcus Borg were also helpful in leading me to certain reference material. Later I took a course in New Testament Greek, which was useful in enabling me to better understand scholars' arguments within journal articles and textbooks. Still later I partook in Internet e-mail lists dedicated to various biblical topics for further exposure to both mainstream and alternative viewpoints.
My New Testament studies, plus independent study of the topic of reincarnation, caused me to leave the Lutheran church in the mid-1980s. My wife and I then switched to the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Corvallis. That church has no theological creeds to recite, and their tradition of tolerance allows a wide range of personal beliefs within their members. I was even allowed to give a couple of guest sermons -- one on reincarnation and one on the UFO phenomenon, in 1986 and 1987, respectively.
My studies on the subject of reincarnation were prompted both by what Meier had learned from his contacting ETs, and by the TJ. At first I was surprised to find so much evidence supporting the reality of reincarnation, this being expressed either directly or indirectly in over a dozen books written just by MDs and PhDs. (These lent very little, if any, support to the Hindu concept of transmigration of the soul to other animals, nor does the TJ.) There are studies of very young children who at times spontaneously spoke of their past lives to sufficient extent that the past-life family could be identified beyond doubt -- some 1500 of these cases are in the records of the late Dr. Ian Stevenson, and still others within the files of other researchers. Then there are tens of thousands of past-life descriptions supplied by patients who underwent hypno-regression therapy, and some of these have received definite confirmation, although the past-life therapists' interest was usually more in healing the patient than in trying to verify reincarnation. There are other cases of adults experiencing occasional past-life flashbacks spontaneously, and much documentation of near-death experiences, which themselves are consistent with the soul or spirit surviving death. See my #Short Bibliography on these topics. After much reading and study of these in the 1980s, the TJ's teachings on reincarnation appeared quite factual and credible to me.
By 1990 I had learned enough about the Meier contactee case, the TJ and New Testament scholarship to write a book about the Talmud of Jmmanuel, pointing out the several hundred reasons either supportive of or consistent with the TJ being genuine and the Gospel of Matthew having derived from the TJ, rather than vice versa. It is called Celestial Teachings: The Emergence of the True Testament of Jmmanuel (Jesus), (Wildflower Press); however it went out of print around 2002. Its publisher was Dr. Brian Crissey of Granite Publishing and Wildflower Press, who also published the TJ's first three editions in English, in 1992, 1996 and 2001. The German text of the TJ is printed on facing pages, because Meier has insisted upon this format for any translation in order to better maintain the quality of the latter.
Because the TJ points to terrible falsehoods within Christianity and some within Judaism also, it and my book, Celestial Teachings, could only be distributed primarily within New Age bookstores, which scholars of course do not frequent. So in order to make the TJ's solutions for long outstanding, but not heretical, problems of New Testament scholarship available to open-minded scholars, I wrote The Problems of New Testament Gospel Origins, which Mellen Press in Lewiston, NY, (actually Mellen Research University Press) published in 1992. In it I avoided any mention of the Meier UFO contactee case and the TJ's major heresies in order that scholars not have those particular excuses for ignoring the book. However, in it I did make one brief reference to the TJ and to Celestial Teachings to let the serious reader know that most of the basic ideas did not stem from me.
I also wished to make the TJ's solutions to outstanding New Testament problems that do involve great heresies for Christianity available to the open-minded non-Christian scholar. So I wrote a third book, Jesus in India: A Reexamination of Jesus' Asian Traditions in the Light of Evidence Supporting Reincarnation. I was fortunate to find a publisher for it -- International Scholars Publications of Bethesda, MD, in 1994, later taken over by University Press of America, an imprint of Rowland & Littlefield Publishers.
More recently, much of my time has been devoted towards working on this website, which I hope you find informative and enlightening.