TULSA, OKLAHOMA—Having made a name for himself as a denier of the historical Jesus, Pritchard Barrier’s latest research project uncovered a startling truth – Barrier himself is a fictional character borrowed from various sources. Our Faux correspondent was able to get an exclusive interview, offering a unique glimpse into this groundbreaking discovery.
Faux correspondent (FC): Pritchard, thank you so much for sitting down with us. To begin, could you give us the short version of how you discovered that, like Jesus, you in fact do not exist?
Pritchard Barrier (PB): Well, first, I want to clarify that I’m not saying there absolutely never was a person by the name of “Pritchard Barrier” living in the 21st century. More precisely, “I” either never existed, or, if I did exist, nothing can be known about me with any confidence. Either way, I’m certainly not the god of historical studies I was made out to be.
FC: That’s fascinating. I had no idea you were considered a god of historical studies. Is that found in your published work?
PB: It’s certainly hinted at. My cocksure arrogance and dismissive attitude toward any and all criticism is certainly supporting evidence. But even more conclusive is the as-yet-unpublished private correspondence that spells out my supposed divinity more explicitly.
FC: Sounds like another book in the works!
PB: Probably not. As you know, my latest research shows that there’s not actually anyone to write that book.
FC: Ah, yes, so sorry. Please continue.
PB: So, I was doing a book signing in Grand Rapids when an intrepid reader asked me if I had ever investigated my own existence. At first, I was like, “Are you kidding? That’s ridiculous.” But after the event, the question kept plaguing me until finally I thought, “Ok. If I’m willing to investigate an important ancient character like Jesus, I should be willing to objectively investigate myself.” And that’s what got me started.
My first goal was to check out the circumstances of my birth, so I checked my birth certificate for the doctor that supposedly delivered me. Turns out, he had died a few years ago. No matter, I could just dig up his body to prove that he was real, right? Conveniently, his “family” said that he had been cremated, ashes spread across a golf course, so there was no way to confirm there was ever a physical body belonging to a person by his name. That’s pretty much when I knew I was onto something big.
FC: So, without a doctor, the birth certificate comes into question, right?
PB: Exactly. Now, it could have been that some of the information was simply falsified for whatever reason, so I needed more proof. That’s when I decided to do a literary analysis of my published work. The most obvious evidence of fiction was the surname “Barrier”, which is a common modern archetype that is nearly ubiquitous: traffic equipment, protection in video games, sexual prophylaxis, and even marine formations off the coast of Australia. I couldn’t turn my head without running into another connection.
FC: Mm, yes, I can certainly see how the Pritchard Barrier persona could have evolved out of those examples.
PB: Right? So, getting into the texts themselves, things really started getting crazy. In some of my later work, I attempt to use Bayesian calculations to show that characters like Jesus never existed. But the number of errors and faulty assumptions was so great that if I had actually existed and been as great as I claimed to have been, these mistakes wouldn’t have existed.
FC: So you’re saying a god of historical studies would not have committed such errors.
PB: That’s correct. And as you can see, the evidence really began stacking up. At a certain point, I just couldn’t deny it any more. I had to follow the evidence where it led and admit that the Pritchard Barrier most people think they see and interact with is just pure fantasy.
FC: Wow, time to chalk another one up to the growing list of mythological characters. Thank you so much for “not being” here with us today! Hahaha!
PB: “My” pleasure! One last thing. There’s a lot of people like me who have been hiding a secret about their personal beliefs and I just want to get it out in the open so they know they’re not alone. I am a poly-mythicist. For years, I had been committed to one myth and a lot of good things came out of that commitment. It paid for pretty much everything I have now. But I just wasn’t satisfied. Now that I’m an open poly-mythicist, I am seeking to live in that truth as authentically and honestly as possible and hope that others will do the same.