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CLOAK OF HOLY SECRETS
Copyright 2006-2007 by Olaf H. Hage. All rights reserved.
This is a novel about real mysteries, not imagined ones. If you were disappointed by THE DA VINCI CODE's anti-Christian bias, and were hoping for a book that was based upon genuine historical research, then read this upcoming novel.
The author, Olaf Hage, has written on and given presentations about Biblical and Church History for nearly three decades. He attended Middlebury College, where he studied Literature, Philosphy, Religion, and Formal Ethics. He later studied Systematic Theology through Emmanuel College. He is the author of THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE BIBLE (2001), and the upcoming PARADISE FOUND: ADAM & EVE AND THE GARDEN OF EDEN IN HISTORY. He has been a guest on numerous national and international radio shows over the past decade.
His late wife Elizabeth had previously been a nun. She petitioned Pope Paul VI for release from her vows and returned to lay service. Some of her experiences have helped inspire certain elements of this novel. She was not, however, a spy for the Vatican, although she probably would have loved the idea. She was reading a novel much like this one when she died.
The author's late father, on the other hand, actually served in the FBI's intelligence service in WWII, and was indeed a Special Agent for the United States government working undercover in foreign countries, where he spied on Nazi agents. He was personally commended by J. Edgar Hoover and President Eisenhower for his services to the nation, during and after his years in the FBI. He loved to read mystery and spy novels and had hoped to one day write one based upon his experiences in Washington and overseas, but never was able to do so. He revealed little of what he did for the government, even after decades, a testimony to his training and the secrets he died keeping.
This book is respectfully dedicated to the author's late wife and father, who never met in real life.
PREFACE TO THE ON-LINE EDITION:
Through the long ages of mankind's history, certain inspired religious relics have been hunted down, captured in war, often abused & ravished by their captors, but by others prized beyond gold & diamonds & rubies.
Men have wagered their souls over them. Empires have expired in lust for them. World history has oft bent its course in deference to them.
Yet these tender twigs of Divine contact have stirred the hearts of our poets, the spirits of our saints, and the courage of our kings.
That Age of Quests has not ceased. Be-knighted steeds may no longer lumber under the strain of clanking armor, but the weary hunters remain on the trail of lost legends and spectre-guarded grails. The Indiana Jones fables are based upon the secret relic wars waged among FDR, Hitler, Stalin and the British Crown. That part of the tales was true...and remains true to this day.
Some relics are older or far more significant than the public realizes. Some are secrets known only to those who hunt them. Indeed, it is not merely their almost incalculable monetary value that drives the frenzy to possess them. Rather, their attraction lies in the promise of supposed spiritual powers and in the lure of immortality or magical weaponry.
Beyond these carnal motives, however, others are drawn by a Divine Impulse, by the hope of touching, as it were, the very fabric of God, much like the desperate woman who once clutched at the hem of Jesus [Mk 5:23-34: This Bible verse and my late wife Elizabeth's illustration of it now adorn her gravestone on the coast of Maine].
The tale that follows tells of these precious relics and those who chase after them. Unlike the other fictional versions, this one will cling as close as possible to the historical evidence. As you shall see, the true stories are vastly more amazing than novelists have imagined.
Every relic described is absolutely real, regardless of its seeming obscurity, although its current status may be speculative. Has it survived? Was it destroyed in war? Where is it now? Who holds it? There are many questions we cannot now answer.
But there are also many things we can declare as fact: The Vatican, the Israeli government, the Moslem world, and a host of foreign intelligence services, global religious denominations, universities, museums, scholars and archaeologists, and yes, even Nazis...are still extremely interested in these ancient artifacts.
Some of these people will do anything to capture them...or even destroy them. Of these things there is no doubt.
Yet amid all the secret questers lurk the persistent legends of sacred men whose mission it has been to safeguard and protect these precious relics down through the ages. Grail guardians, of whom the "Brotherhood of the Cruciform Cross" was the fictional movie version. More to the point, the old knight Indiana Jones found in the cave was no fiction. There are many actual tales of such Guardians.
For they too are real. And this is their story also...
FOR ELIZABETH, WHO URGED ME ONWARD AND WAITS FOR ME STILL, HERE AT LONG LAST IS OUR STORY, RECLOTHED & RETOLD, BUT EVER TRUE...