Donations Page


What you see on this website all derives from the gifts of many people.  Most of it is volunteer labour.   Some of it has come in the form of money.  Where things are offered “for sale” on this site it is to raise funds to cover expenses. 


Let me assure you, nobody has ever made a nickel on THIS project!  Expenses have always outstripped revenues.


Mission Statement:

To provide ACIM students with the most accurate, authentic and reliable scholarly tools and resources possible.


In short: Get the Course Right!


This document is being written to explain generally what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, why we need your support, and the objectives your support will help bring about.


Getting ACIM right!

By Doug Thompson


I spent three of the happiest years of my life in “Biblical Studies” at the University of Waterloo, and I learned a fair bit about Biblical Scholarship, and how and why it’s done.  People study the Bible, many professionally, because they have the idea that in these documents there is “truth” and the “Word of God” or at least profound insights of very wise people into the nature of God and the relationship of humanity to the deity.  This makes the book “scripture” and “holy” and rather special and worthy of respect, care, and careful study.  This makes these pages somehow different than a newspaper or a shopping list.




1)     Christ or Antichrist?. 2

2)     Will the REAL ACIM please stand up! 3

3)     Editing and Un-editing. 4

4)     “Virtually Unchanged” or “Virtually Unrecognizable?”. 7

5)     Why this is needed. 9

6)     The Objective. 11

7)     What we’ve done so far 12

8)     Proofreading. 12

9)     What we have yet to do. 15

10)       Summary. 16


Top of page 

1)          Christ or Antichrist, who wrote ACIM?


Now ACIM isn’t the Bible but its claim to authorship by Jesus of Nazareth is clear.  And thus its claim to be a peer to the Bible is just as clear.  It’s a momentous claim. It is obviously rather important to discern if it is true or false!  If false, it is a scandalous hoax and fraud which must be exposed, while if true, it may be the most important book ever written in human history!


Whether one accepts the claim as true or not, it’s there in the text.  Either it is true or it isn’t.  If it is true then what we have here is at least as important as the Bible and debatably more important.  If it’s not true, then the author of the book is, whatever else he or she is, “untruthful” and whatever its merits, the work is substantially a hoax and a fraud whose author(s) have knowingly and deliberately set out to deceive consumers and separate fools from their money.  The book does make the claim to authorship by Jesus, there is no getting around that and that claim is either true or false, it can’t quite be “partly true” any more than one can be “a little bit pregnant.”  If Jesus is the author of any of it, then the material is comparable in importance and value to the Bible, and arguably more so!


In fact, due to the fact that so many people believe the book’s claim, those who think the claim is false and the book is a hoax have as much or more reason to study it closely as those who believe it’s true!  If it’s a hoax, it’s a large and dangerous one which should be thoroughly debunked so as to rescue those who have been deceived by it and restrain the dangerous criminals who have perpetrated this deception.  Careful and thorough scholarly inquiry is certain to find the evidence of fraud if its there.  What possible argument can be raised to object that such inquiry should not be done?


 Top of page

2)          Will the REAL ACIM please stand up!


With my background in Biblical Studies, where there is an enormous emphasis on trying to recover the “original words” of Biblical manuscripts, the fact that the “original ACIM” was being kept hidden was beyond scandalous!  It was incomprehensible.  The very idea of having in one’s possession a priceless fragment of an early copy of scripture, even a fragment which was unknown to the world and contained entirely new information, and then refusing to make copies of that available struck me as being as far beyond “the reasonable” as the Nazi persecution of Jews.  Just how could “human” beings form the idea that such obviously outrageous things should be done or could in any universe be conceived of as within the bounds of “acceptable” behaviour for one calling himself “human?”


Biblical scholars do curse the 4th Century Papal heresy-hunters who burned copies of the New Testament and other early Christian writings which contained material they didn’t agree with.  Much of the early textual history of the New Testament, and thus the history of the Church, along with any original manuscripts which might have survived to the 4th Century, went up in smoke at the same time.  Those Church leaders put “filters” over our view of the ancient texts, editing them to what they viewed as “correct” and reducing whole libraries of writings down to 27 slender “books”, all of which printed together fit into a vest-pocket volume.  It is true that we cannot, in a scholarly sense, even “see” the New Testament except “through a glass darkly.”  The filters and blinders of the 4th century have been imposed on us by our ancestors who reduced the pool of available evidence rather substantially and quite deliberately.  While the smoke of the fires in which they burned biblical manuscripts have long since dissipated, our view of what the New Testament originally said is still obscured by the smoke of burning papyrus. We genuinely cannot see through the smoke, we simply don’t know what was originally said, what was burned, or who added or removed material later, and for what reasons.  All we know for sure is that the material was substantially altered.  The rest is largely conjecture or inference based on fragmentary evidence. 


For many years it was asserted forcefully by those who were in a position to know, including the Scribes themselves, that ACIM’s history was very different.  How often were we assured that it was “virtually unchanged!”  Nobody, but nobody would make that claim for the Bible.  The most extreme fundamentalist can only argue that God’s finger made the changes.  The evidence of massive change is just too massive!


While the suppression and destruction of Scripture rather baffles me, it is much easier to understand the motives well-meaning scribes who altered material with the belief they were correcting a previous mistake.  A vast amount of that has happened.  Looking back on it we can often recognize those alterations as based on ‘mistaken belief’ and having seen so much of that “well intentioned corruption” we now adopt, in Biblical Studies, a passionate devotion to the idea of not tampering with the material!  This means not putting our own subjective “beliefs” between the source and the copy, but passing on the source with the maximum fidelity we can muster.  Where the Bible is ‘changed’ today, and it is still being changed, it is on the basis of solid evidence from new textual research that the proposed ‘change’ actually corrects an earlier error and restores the material more closely to its original form.  And where we think we are in a position to correct an error, we don’t do it without a footnote which invites the future to double check our work and notifies the future that we’ve been tampering!


 Top of page

3)          Scriptural History: Editing and Un-editing


One can divide the history of the Bible into two periods.  In the first the original material was copied and edited and copied and edited for centuries, and in the process a variety of changes happened to the material, and much of it was completely “edited out” or lost entirely.  In the second era whose beginnings I’d trace roughly to the origins of the printing press, early in the Renaissance, scholars looked at the mess and the variant readings and began the effort to undo the changes and restore the material as close to its original form as they could.  They at least began to give the earliest readings the most authority when there were variants around that time and they began to wholly disregard the idea that the material should be altered to reflect the doctrinal beliefs of contemporary clerics!  The printing press played a role because as people set out on the huge task of printing an edition of the Bible, they wanted of course to ‘get it right’ and they quickly became aware that ‘variant readings’ from ‘ancient authorities’ were available.  The question became serious “which reading is correct?”


It does seem shocking that ACIM’s short history so often parallels some of the more scandalous episodes of the Bible’s rather lengthy one.  We’ve got undocumented “tampering” galore, we’ve got efforts to suppress original material by those who think they are authorities.  We’ve got efforts to pass off abridged copies as the genuine article and then lie about it.  We’ve got deceptions and misinformation and cover-ups and a pretty solid case of perjury.  We’ve even got some evidence of deliberate destruction of early manuscript copies.  We’ve got variant readings and we’ve got some concern on the part of some people to ‘get it right.’


In the case of ACIM however, most of the original source material still exists, although important pieces of it remain inaccessible. There is reason to hope that we may in fact ultimately be able to establish with a high degree of confidence just what “it really says.”  The perplexing thing is that those who are in possession of the most original ACIM source material refuse to make copies available.  This is one of the major issues hobbling Course Scholarship today, the difficulty of getting access to the best and most original primary sources.  Again, there is similarity with Biblical scholarship, where the lack of primary sources is a severe limitation.  The difference with ACIM is that the problem isn’t that the material doesn’t exist, the problem is that at least one person wishes it didn’t exist, is trying to keep it secret, and happens to be in physical possession of it!


“The New Testament” has come down to us in thousands of manuscript fragments, the earliest of which have been dated to the 2nd century, almost certainly within a century of originally being written.  The earliest intact complete copies date from the 4th Century.  What’s survived from earlier has survived “by accident.”  Primary Biblical Scholarship has pored over these fragments, in work that often resembles the assembly of a jig-saw puzzle, to reconstruct individual pages and trace the copying history of each and every variant reading.  New Testament Scholarship is very sure there are “lost gospels” on which the canonical gospels were based, for instance.  Considerable efforts continue to reconstruct these.


When you pick up a copy of almost any contemporary version of the Bible, what you see on the page represents a translation (and very probably a very good translation) of a “consensus text” which is the most accurate rendition of the ancient texts which scholarship can produce.  With very few exceptions, when we look at the Bible, we are all looking at the same text, and one in which we can all have full confidence that it is the best, most honest, rendition of the original that honest scholars working in a very open and public manner are capable of producing. 

 Top of page

Where the Bible differs most from ACIM however, is that today, with the Bible,  there is no shadow of suspicion that any person has attempted to distort or falsify or misrepresent or hide or disguise or twist what’s there, at least not in the last 500 years or so!  We can qualify that in an important way.  Not only has no one deliberately tried to meddle with or misrepresent the material, it is unlikely that anyone has inadvertently done so because such inadvertent error would be caught and corrected by the Community of Scholars out of which such work comes.  Bibles aren’t published by lonely scribes working alone these days, but by panels of scholars and whole colleges of experts who, if one of them errs, will catch that mistake and correct it!


What’s there on the page is an honest, scholarly attempt to do the best that human scholarship can do.  Enormous efforts have been spent sifting through ancient manuscript fragments to reconstruct, as closely as human skill can, the most accurate representation of the original that is possible. Centuries of errors and interpolations by copyists, some inadvertent mistakes, and some well-intentioned “corrections” are stripped away, like removing tarnish from silver, to reveal “the original.”  Or at least as close to “original” as we can come.  And each of these efforts is reviewed and revisited by other scholars, other experts, such that any mistakes which get made … and humans do make mistakes … get corrected!


How utterly different is the case with ACIM! Top of page


When someone picks up a copy of ACIM in a bookstore today, the question arises “is what’s on this page what was really dictated?”  With the first few chapters the correct answer is, as often as not, “no.”  For large amounts of the material, what shows up on the page is a re-writing or a paraphrase of the original, often with very obvious errors and inadvertent omissions.  A substantial portion of the original dictation is simply missing from current editions.  While this is known to be the case, the publisher and others actively attempt to suppress this information and actively proceed to disseminate what they know has been deliberately tampered with, abridged and falsified.  That this continues largely unchallenged is perhaps one of the most interesting aspects to the story.  Even some of its publishers don’t really take ACIM or its message or its author very seriously and seem entirely unconcerned about the question of accuracy.


The need to “get the Course right” and to correct some of the many well-documented editing mistakes is obvious to many, and our work and this website are largely devoted to facilitating that undertaking.  Quite frankly I remain astonished that, seven years after it became widely known that the published versions of ACIM bore only a distant and vague connection to the original dictation at some points, very little work has been done on sorting out the early manuscripts and reconstructing the original dictation which is, in large part, quite unavailable to readers today.  The vast majority of copies of ACIM being sold today are severely abridged and fragmentary and in some places, downright incorrect!  While the publishers of these documents cannot be wholly unaware of this fact, by and large they don’t seem very interested in “getting it right.”  This need not be!


 Top of page

4)          “Virtually Unchanged” or “Virtually Unrecognizable?”


There is a lot of “disinformation” circulating about the Course’s various versions and their respective merits.  I am going to take a few minutes to explain what the problem is, in general terms, and how we got into it, and how we can get out of it.


It came as a bit of a shock to many people in January of 2000 when the “HLC” version of ACIM first showed up on the net.  This was the copy of the Course given to Hugh Lynn Cayce by Helen and Bill some time between 1968 and 1972.  Cayce had preserved that copy and deposited it in the Library of the Association for Research and Enlightenment in Virginia Beach.  There it sat for many years, largely unknown to the world.  In November 1999 it was copied, “paper captured” (typed into a computer file) and distributed on the Net. 


The HLC is fully 25% longer in the first five chapters than the 1975 FIP (Foundation for Inner Peace) edition.  Most of what had been removed could not in any way be characterized as “personal” material which the editors had been instructed to remove.  Much of what wasn’t removed was not copied word for word, but rather paraphrased, condensed and sometimes so thoroughly re-written as to be virtually unrecognizable, rather than “virtually unchanged.”  The editing had been described as divinely guided and the editors assured us it was all “as Jesus wanted.”  Yet even a cursory inspection of the HLC revealed glaring editorial mistakes in the conversion into the 1975 Abridgement.  The word “Soul” was gone, and replaced sometimes with “you”, sometimes with “spirit”, often completely changing the original meaning, as these terms are not synonymous and not equal in meaning.  The term “Spiritual Eye” was gone, replaced with the term “Holy Spirit” even where it was most obvious that this was not a synonym at all!  Dozens of the “paraphrases” changed meaning, often in obviously mistaken ways that could not be corrections.  Numerous inadvertent typos and omissions were found.  In truth, most of the editing changes and errors were minor and didn’t profoundly distort the overall meaning of the Course, but there were some of considerable significance.  Even where each mistake is small, if the total number is very large, the overall credibility of the edition is legitimately called into doubt.  And really, why not proofread it to get it right?


Many initially concluded that the HLC represented the “original dictation” and that subsequent editing resulted in a decline in accuracy.  In February of 2000 Endeavor Academy circulated a “comparison” document between the HLC and the 1975 FIP edition which showed many of the differences.  Revealingly, in that document they describe the HLC as “Jesus’ Original Dictation” and the FIP edition as “The Wapnick Version.”  It was known that Wapnick’s participation with Helen in editing began after the HLC was completed.  What we see here is that the “myth” of “virtually no changes” could not survive the obvious evidence in the HLC that the material had been savaged after 1973 but another part of the myth was not yet challenged, the part that said the “Scribes” (Helen and Bill) preserved the material accurately.  So what we see being supposed here, is the idea that Helen and Bill did fine until Wapnick got involved in 1973, and all the subsequent problems can be laid at his doorstep.  That myth too was soon to be shattered.


This was before the so-called “Urtext” material emerged later in the year 2000, along with enough fragments of the Notes that we can see that the editing, at every stage going back to the beginning, involved the introduction of inadvertent errors which were never caught, overzealous removal of “personal material” not all of which was at all “personal” and gratuitous re-writing which can be explained by Helen’s legendary “compulsive” editing, as Wapnick was later to call it.  One thing that is revealed in Notes fragments we do have is that the editing was assigned to Bill and Helen was told to keep her hands off it.  That the Scribes did not obey that dictated instruction is well known.  That this is why the editing is problematic, sometimes badly done, over done and needs to be re-done seems fairly obvious to me.  The Scribes deviated from their instructions and to that precise extent, error entered the project.  As the Author assures Helen more than once, He remains available to help with corrections of errors “when asked” … so here’s the asking!


 Top of page

5)          Why this is needed


For 25 years we’d been told, and had generally believed, that the 1975 edition of ACIM was “virtually unchanged” from the original dictation and only very slight editing for grammar, spelling and print formatting had been undertaken.


When it was realized that this was not at all the truth, and that the earlier HLC version was more accurate, many immediately recognized the need to “digitize” the HLC photocopy and make it available in electronic and print editions.  A number of projects to do just that commenced with considerable energy, motivation, and offers of funding.  All those ground to an abrupt halt in March of 2000 when Ken Wapnick’s Foundation for a Course in Miracles (FACIM) sought and obtained court injunctions prohibiting the publication of these more authentic and original ACIM source materials.


The litigation is now out of the way with Wapnick’s copyright claims having been thrown out by the courts, but the folks who were keen to get the material out in 2000 have mostly moved on to other things six years later.  Mostly … not entirely.


What we’re asking you to donate to and for is the work of processing those old photocopies into precisely accurate and thoroughly accessible electronic and paper documents suitable for “state-of-the-art” scholarly research.  On this website you will see some examples of what we’re talking about because the first phase of the work on the HLC text is largely completed.  Now I can show you at least some of what I’m talking about, with at least one portion of the “finished product.”  While an important chunk of the work has been largely completed there is vastly more left to do.


I wish to point out that this work not only needs to be done, it needs to be done to very high scholarly standards.  Another amateurish rendition of ACIM with inadequate proofing and footnoting would not only not be helpful, it would just add to the confusion and uncertainty surrounding ACIM.


We need, of course, to do a great deal more with the HLC and we need to fully process all the many other documents which make up the “original dictation” and “editing drafts” of ACIM.  There is enough work in this alone to occupy one person for a decade at least.  If we don’t want to wait a decade for the results, we need more people working on this.


Proofing the HLC and preparing the Concordance took me three years working “part time” while holding another job to pay the bills and finance the project.  At first it was very slow, developing techniques and learning software to make the work more efficient.  I set out to do it largely alone because efforts to drum up interest and support failed.  While I knew I couldn’t do it all alone, I observed that I was getting nowhere trying to drum up interest and support.  


Back in 2000 there was huge interest in the idea.  Following the lawsuits, that interest had largely evaporated.  While many expressed some interest, and even volunteered help, almost no one ended up actually providing help.  Rather than spend time trying to persuade people to help, I figured it would be more useful to just DO IT!  I thought the results, even preliminary results, would demonstrate the value far better than anything I could say about it.


The work will proceed much faster now that so much basic preparation work has been done.  It will proceed far faster yet, with a result that is much better, if more people are involved, and if those people are properly resourced.


 Top of page

6)          The Objective


The objective is to “get the Course right.”  It’s clear now how that can be achieved.  It’s also largely clear just what the full extent of the “source” material is.  There are five basic “versions” or substantially different redactions of ACIM, starting with the original handwritten notebooks and ending with the 1975 FIP “Blue Book.”  In between there are three typescripts, the HLC being the latest.  We have done enough work on all of these to see that as the new copy was made, many inadvertent errors entered, many passages were re-written needlessly, some were re-written so as to introduce error, some corrections were made, and some alterations appear where it is not immediately obvious whether it is a correction or a corruption.  At every stage where we have evidence, and we have some evidence for each stage, there are corrections of previous errors which are outnumbered by the introduction of new errors.  In most cases it is very obvious which is which.  This is “the story of the manuscripts” and at one level it is totally simple to see what needs doing … keep the corrections and ditch the corruptions!  That is simple in most cases, it is not complicated, and the result of that alone would be a vastly more accurate version of ACIM.  That’s the first objective. 


First we need accurate machine-readable copies of all versions.  When we have those we can then easily find all the “editing changes”, all variant readings.  When we can inspect each editing change, it is surprisingly easy to sort out the authentic “editorial corrections” from inadvertent “editorial errors” and unauthorized and unnecessary “paraphrasing” in the vast majority of instances.  It’s usually obvious to everyone what’s an error and what is a legitimate correction.  Only a few changes are ambiguous such that it might be seen as a “correction” and might be seen as a “corruption.”  Even most of these, I expect, will resolve themselves with deeper study.  A few changes may resist such efforts and remain “uncertain.”  Despite the fact that we will likely never retrieve the precise original dictation in its entirety, we can come extremely close, and much much closer than any extant edition or version of ACIM does so far.


 Top of page

7)          What we’ve done so far


While we do not yet have access to the original shorthand Notebooks or Thetford’s original typescript which is the actual Urtext, we do have the HLC which is the version Schucman and Wapnick edited into the FIP First Edition of 1976, and we have an earlier typescript which is probably Schucman’s first re-typing of the Urtext (Thetford’s original typescript).  While this document has been circulated in rough form under the name Urtext, that’s not what it is.  We call it the Sub-Urtext since we can’t be 100% sure it is the First re-typing.  The first phase of the work involves making accurate digital copies of each available draft.


 Top of page

8)          Proofreading


We began with highly inaccurate digital copies prepared by others, and the first job was simply that of proofreading these against the photocopies to make sure they were precisely accurate.  Proofreading is very simple in concept, just make the copy identical to the original.  The photocopy copies in circulation on the net were themselves of intermittent quality.  There were missing pages, crooked pages, and some illegible sections due to hasty or careless photocopying.  With the Sub-Urtext, this was much worse than with the HLC.  The Sub-Urtext has internally five different page numbering systems such that after the first hundred pages, the numbers written on the pages bear no consistent relationship to the actual page number!  We had to renumber all 1079 pages just to have the most basic reference system so we could identify the page number for any quote!  As we proofed the HLC we discovered errors in it which we checked against the earlier Sub-Ur.  Often these turned out to be copying errors or omissions of a word, a phrase, a line, a paragraph or even one whole page.  We had to do considerable work on the Sub-Ur just to make such cross-referencing reasonably quick.  One reason previous editors never proofed later versions against earlier ones is the sheer difficulty of finding, in a thousand page typescript, one particular quote if you don’t know exactly where it is!  In addition to page numbers we ended up inserting the HLC chapter and section breaks in the Sub-Ur and preparing a basic Concordance for it so that we could quickly find any passage from the HLC in the Sub-Ur so as to check for copying consistency between those two versions.


This is simple in concept but enormously complex in execution with such large documents in rather rough condition.


With an accurate machine readable computer file of the photocopy, we then prepare a Concordance.  For those not familiar with Concordances, their value is difficult to describe and impossible to over-estimate.  Once you’ve worked with one it becomes indispensable.  I mean you can cut trees without a chainsaw, but once you’ve used a chainsaw you can’t imagine how you did without it!  Of course, before the chainsaw you did it very slowly!  For those who are familiar with concordances, the utter necessity of a Concordance for any serious textual analysis is well-known.  With the help of computers, and with an accurate text, making a Concordance is fairly simple and quick.  However, with ACIM materials we have “reference and annotation issues” of considerable complexity.  “Page number” isn’t much use as a reference to ACIM because there are so many editions of so many versions, each with unique pagination.  We selected a reference system based on chapter, section and paragraph.  While these divisions in the text are not identical across all versions, and pre-HLC versions don’t have chapter and section breaks, they are similar enough in later versions to be useful, and they are easy enough to put into the earlier versions, which gives us a basic universal reference system that is useful, if not perfect.


The Concordances, along with Tables of Contents “open up” the huge text chunks. They make it almost instantaneous to locate passages across versions and track specific changes or compare specific passages, or find passages which been both re-written and relocated by editors in later versions!  Nothing makes a huge volume more accessible more quickly than a computerized Concordance.  With a bit of practice anyone can find almost any quote anywhere in any version in a matter of seconds usually, and rarely more than a minute or two.  Previously, those searches could take hours because even where there were machine readable copies, they weren’t accurate!


It’s vastly more powerful than a simple word or phrase search alone, although that ability is included in the Concordance and is sometimes a helpful supplementary search aid.


The ability to search for complex relationships between words enables the secondary scholar completely new ways of reading, viewing, and correlating the material according to theme, subject, synonym or other textual attributes in ways which are a practically impossibility without a Concordance.


So we have the HLC proofed, printed, and Concordanced.  We have well begun on the Workbook, Manual, Use of Terms, and pamphlets proofing.  We have the Sub-Ur Text  partly proofed and Concordanced.  We have a long way yet to go.


 Top of page

9)          What we have yet to do


The journey ahead is much larger than the journey completed, but it may well go much faster.  We can now proofread and typeset a large volume rather more quickly than we could at the beginning.  The time taken to proof depends almost entirely on how many people are proofing.  It also, of course, depends on the standard of accuracy one wishes to attain.  Generally a single pass by a competent proofreader will identify 90% or more of the errors which are present.  One pass is therefore a huge improvement over “no pass”.  And if one pass gets 90% obviously two passes bring you to 99% and for some purposes that is certainly good enough.  Where a high level of accuracy is required the industry standard is 10 passes or two passes in which no errors are found.


We still need to obtain copies of the genuine Urtext, the actual “Thetford Typescript” and of course, the most important, Helen’s Notebooks.  That’s a large and complex subject in itself but I will be very surprised if this material is not available within a year or so. 


Computer copies must be made, and with the Notes that will be a much different issue than with any of the typescripts simply because it is partly in shorthand and the first task will be to transcribe that carefully and accurately.  Preliminary assessment of fragments of the Notes which we do have suggest it is not likely to be a difficult task, Helen’s shorthand isn’t difficult.  But there are 3,000-odd pages to process, so it is a big task.  The final typed transcript will then have to be proofed against the Notes, and that too will be a big task, if not especially complicated.


With all versions in hand, we then begin to identify each change made to each passage from the beginning to the end of the editing.  This is basically a line by line comparison of all versions.  To remind the reader, this is needed because we don’t know until we carefully check, which alterations were genuine corrections which should stand and which are mistaken or inadvertent changes which should be restored to the original reading.  With accurate machine-readable files of each version, a computer can quickly generate a list of all differences from on to the next, and this is our “list of editing changes.”


With the list in hand, the process of sorting those into three categories can begin.  The three categories are 1) “obvious mistake”, 2) “obvious correction”, 3) “not obvious”.  The simplest way to do this that I can think of is to have a panel of perhaps a dozen or so Course scholars individually review each change and quickly decide which it is.  After the results are compared, only those changes which ALL agreed were mistakes are assigned to mistakes, only those ALL agreed are corrections are designated as corrections, and all those anyone assigned to “not obvious” or were otherwise not subject to unanimity are then more closely examined.  I expect that the vast majority of all changes will be resolved in this first pass.  Most of the time it is obvious which is a “correction” and which is a “corruption.”


The results of this stage alone will be a vastly more accurate version of ACIM in which the obvious mistakes are fixed.


I don’t know how much study and discussion will be needed for the “not obvious” category, but I do expect that with most it will become obvious fairly quickly, and before long there will be only a very small number of “not obvious” editing changes left unresolved.  While it would be nice if we could, we don’t actually have to resolve them all.  We can leave a few as “unresolved variant readings” and it’s far better to do that where there is uncertainty than to arbitrarily make a determination without conclusive evidence.


Then the final product, the “Original Version” of ACIM can emerge from the results of this work. Then our panel of scholars will have determined which “editorial changes” should be kept and which should be restored to the original reading, and it’s then simply a matter of publishing the result with a Concordance.


Top of page 

10)     Summary


What we do know without any shadow of a doubt is that all editions of ACIM currently in print are missing important material and include editorial interpolations and alterations which were not part of the original dictation and were, in fact, done in contravention of the dictated instructions for the editing.


The materials which are available as photocopies of Schucman’s ink-ribbon typewriter manuscripts from the 1960s and early 70s, have not yet been fully digitized and made available in accurate print or electronic editions. The thorough study of this material awaits the availability of accurate digital copies with Concordances.


The “paper extraction” whereby old paper documents are converted into searchable electronic copies is not a particularly difficult undertaking, but it is labour-intensive, time-consuming and therefore expensive when the print quality of the original is such that Optical Character Recognition technology isn’t very useful.  That is the case with these third and fourth generation photocopies of old ink-ribbon typescripts.  They are 99% legible to the human eye, but only about 50% recognizable to OCR technology.  This means copy typing and careful proofreading is needed to prepare accurate electronic copies of these manuscripts.  It should be noted that “paper capture” technology is advancing rapidly, new equipment is available which is far more accurate and tolerant of bad typing, and this problem will find resolution one way or another rather quickly.  Even the worst case scenario, of manual retyping and ten passes of proofing is by no means an insurmountable barrier!


With my background in Biblical Studies, where there is an enormous emphasis on trying to recover the “original words” of Biblical manuscripts, the fact that the “original ACIM” was being kept hidden was decidedly scandalous! The very idea of having in one’s possession a priceless fragment of an early copy of scripture, a fragment which was unknown to the world and contained entirely new information, and then refusing to make copies of that available struck me as incomprehensible as the Nazi persecution of Jews.  Just how could “human” beings form the idea that such obviously unreasonable things should be done?


Biblical scholars do curse the 4th Century heresy-hunters who burned copies of the Bible which contained readings they didn’t agree with because much of the early textual history of the Bible, along with any original manuscripts which might have survived to the 4th Century, went up in smoke at the same time.  Those church leaders put “filters” over our view of the ancient texts, editing them to what they viewed as “correct.”  It is true that we cannot, in a scholarly sense, even “see” the Bible except “through a glass darkly.”  The filters and blinders of the 4th century have been imposed on us by our ancestors.  While the smoke of the fires in which they burned most copies of the Bible have long since dissipated, our view of what the Bible originally actually said is still obstructed by the smoke of burning parchment. We genuinely cannot see through the smoke, we simply don’t know what it originally said, nor who added or removed material later, nor for what reasons.  All we know for sure is that the material was substantially altered.  It does seem shocking that the very same thing has happened to ACIM in its short history.  In the case of ACIM however, most of the original source material still exists, although some of it remains inaccessible, and there is reason to hope that we may in fact ultimately be able to establish with a high degree of confidence just what “it really says.”


Operating on the assumption that any serious student of any text would prefer the most accurate copy of that text available, as we have “more accurate” versions available, even though they aren’t the “most accurate” which can be achieved, we are making those available to the public.


Secondary scholarship, which involves the study and analysis of the text, can rarely be much better than the quality of the text being studied.  If we don’t know what words are, our chances of correctly understanding what they mean are greatly lessened.


The continued existence and success of this site and the “Scholarly Edition Project” is dependent on the support of many.


Please ask the Holy Spirit what you should donate today.


Thank you for taking the time to read this.


Doug Thompson

September 2006

Guelph Ontario


Top of page


We do need to get “paypal” or something like that and we do need to get the “charitable status” so donatoins are tax-deductible done and we do need to do about a hundred other things.


My personal priorities have been to do the proofing and make the Concordance, leaving these other things for later.  So for now, donations can be made by cheque to:


Doug Thompson

160-C Arthur St. N.,

Guelph, Ontario


N1E 4V5


Tel 519-780-0922 

Skype: dthomp74

email:  dthomp74 at