JUSTICE FOR PRISCILLA
There has been an important development in the matter of the suspicious
"disappearance" of the 1997 edition of Priscilla's Letter: Finding the
Author of the Epistle to the Hebrews. Litigation spanning four years has
been successfully concluded.
The call I was waiting for came recently, when my Maryland attorney told me he
was looking at a settlement check for $70,000. It had been a hard-fought
battle, with desperate legal maneuvers by the publisher/defendant to overturn
the California court judgment. My attorneys had encountered daunting
obstacles that were overcome by persistence and some remarkable circumstances
that made success possible.
The judicial system worked for me when other civil liberties safeguards mostly
failed. The Rev. LaVonne Althouse's coverage in The Woman's Pulpit
was the chief media light in the darkness. Since I had sued for
suppression, as well as breach of contract and fraud, this is judicial
vindication for me, and for my book. The settlement amount send a clear
message that the suppression of Priscilla's Letter was an ill-advised
Interestingly, I was the only author-litigant; this tends to support the claim
of deliberate suppression. In a Motion to Dismiss, the publisher denied
direct involvement in any phase of the acceptance of my book, from manuscript
review to actual publication, except for affixing his signature to the contract.
However, this was a legal ploy, and may not have any other significance.
Nonetheless, Priscilla's Letter is a serious, well-documented case for a
female author of a major New Testament epistle. If you recall, it was
secretly removed from circulation only a few months into a two-year contract,
despite promising initial sales and the publisher's apparent enthusiasm for the
book. After three years, the book was back in print through Lost Coast
Press, in 2000.
Although the mystery has not been solved, justice has prevailed.