Wednesday, 14 May 2008


The Seven-Per-Cent Solution is the title of a 1974 novel by Nicholas Meyer. It is written as a pastiche of a Sherlock Holmes adventure, and was adapted for the cinema in 1976. The novel's full title is The Seven-Per-Cent Solution: Being a Reprint from the Reminiscences of John H. Watson, M.D..

Published as a "lost manuscript" of the late Dr. John H. Watson, the book recounts Holmes' recovery from cocaine addiction (with the help of Sigmund Freud) and his subsequent prevention of a European war through the unraveling of a sinister kidnapping plot. It was followed by two other Meyer pastiches, in chronological order, The Canary Trainer and The West End Horror, neither of which has been adapted to film.


An introduction states that two canonical Holmes adventures were fabrications. These are The Final Problem, in which Holmes apparently died at the hands of Prof. James Moriarty, and The Empty House, wherein Holmes reappeared after a three-year absence and revealed that he had not been killed after all. The Seven-Per-Cent Solution's Watson explains that they were published to conceal the truth concerning Holmes’ "Great Hiatus".

The novel begins in 1891, when Holmes first informs Watson of his belief that Professor James Moriarty is a "Napoleon of Crime". The novel presents this view as nothing more than the fevered imagining of Holmes' cocaine-sodden mind; it further states that Moriarty was the childhood mathematics tutor of Sherlock and his brother Mycroft. Moriarty meets Watson, denies that he is a criminal and reluctantly threatens to sue Holmes for slander unless the latter's accusations cease.

The heart of the novel consists of an account of Holmes’ recovery from his addiction. Watson and Holmes’ brother Mycroft induce Holmes to travel to Vienna, where Watson introduces him to Dr. Freud. Using a treatment consisting largely of hypnosis, Freud helps Holmes shake off his addiction and his delusions about Moriarty, but neither he nor Watson can revive Holmes’ dejected spirit.

What finally does the job is a whiff of mystery: one of the doctor's patients is kidnapped and Holmes’ curiosity is sufficiently aroused. The case takes the three men on a breakneck train ride across Austria in pursuit of a foe who is about to launch a war involving all of Europe. Holmes remarks during the denouement that they have succeeded only in postponing such a conflict, not preventing it; Holmes would later become involved in a "European War" in 1914.

One final hypnosis session reveals a key traumatic event in Holmes' childhood. His father murdered his mother and then committed suicide because she had a lover. Moriarty, who broke the news to the young Sherlock, then became a dark and malignant figure in his subconscious (see shooting the messenger). Freud and Watson conclude that Holmes, consciously unable to face the emotional ramifications of this event, has pushed them deep into his unconscious while finding outlets in fighting evil, pursuing justice, and many of his famous eccentricities, including his cocaine habit.

Watson returns to London, but Holmes decides to travel alone for a while, and the famed "Great Hiatus" is thus more or less preserved. It is during these travels that the events of Meyer's sequel The Canary Trainer occur.

References to other works

In his Introductory, Meyer's Watson declares that "The Lion's Mane", "The Mazarin Stone", "The Creeping Man" and "The Three Gables" (all Arthur Conan Doyle-written adventures from 1927's The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes), are forged "drivel". "The Creeping Man" has been accused of resembling a science-fiction tale more than a Holmes adventure, "The Mazarin Stone" is often viewed as an awkward adaptation of a theatrical script by Doyle and some have objected to a perceived racist characterization in "The Three Gables". "The Lion's Mane", while perhaps less controversial than the other tales, is notable for being one of the canon's two stories narrated by Holmes. Meyer's Watson also states that other forgeries exist, though whether canonical works are concerned is not specified.

On the train to Vienna, Holmes and Watson briefly meet Rudolf Rassendyll, the fictional protagonist of the 1894 novel The Prisoner of Zenda, returning from his adventures in Ruritania.

Film adaptation

Robert Duvall and Nicol Williamson in the 1977 film

The story was adapted for the screen in 1976, starring Nicol Williamson as Sherlock Holmes, Robert Duvall as Watson, and Alan Arkin as Dr. Sigmund Freud. Laurence Olivier played the brief role of Professor Moriarty.

Though Meyer adapted his novel to screenplay form, the film version differs significantly from the novel, mainly by substituting the book's young Austrian baron-villain with an older, Arabic foe. Also, the film departs from traditional Holmes canon in portraying the detective as light-haired instead of the traditional black-haired, and as a somewhat flirtatious Holmes at that. (Doyle's hero never let women see any signs of interest.) Furthermore, the traumatic revelation that affected Holmes in his childhood is heightened; in the final hypnosis therapy reveals that Sherlock personally witnessed his mother's murder by his father and Moriarity is revealed to have been her lover. Meyer's three Holmes novels are much more faithful to the original stories in these regards. Meyer's adapted screenplay was nevertheless nominated for a 1977 Academy Award.

Charles Gray, who plays Sherlock's brother Mycroft Holmes in the film, later went on to play the same role opposite Jeremy Brett in four episodes of Granada Television's The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes series.

Stephen Sondheim wrote a song for the movie ("The Madame's Song") that was later recorded as "I Never Do Anything Twice" on the Side By Side By Sondheim cast recording.

External links



Wherever people subscribe to a religion or any doctrine of moral excellence, there may arise the sin of hypocrisy. The hypocrite wishes to enjoy the approval of his peers and even the perquisites of a religious office by appearing outwardly moral or religious, while inwardly he is not. Or, where religion makes serious demands upon people's lives, such as Islam's call to jihad or Buddhism's strict precepts of monastic discipline, the hypocrite tries to circumvent these demands while appearing outwardly righteous. The hypocrite does not pay the price of commitment to the religious life and hence does not reap its spiritual benefits; he remains at a low state. Furthermore, when hypocrites rise to high position, they set a bad example for ordinary believers and bring religion itself into disrepute.

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within they are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but within you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

1. Christianity. Matthew 23.27-28

King Alexander Jannaeus said to his wife, "Fear not the [true] Pharisees nor the non-Pharisees, but those hypocrites who ape the Pharisees."

2. Judaism. Talmud, Sota 22b

And Jesus said to them, "Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written,
This people honors me with their lips,but their heart is far from me;in vain do they worship me,teaching as doctrines the precepts of men."

3. Christianity. Mark 7.6-7

Matthew 23.27-28: Cf. Matthew 7.15-16, p. 446; 12.34-37, p. 487; 23.2-3, p. 810; Hadith of Tirmidhi, p. 446. A good example of hypocrisy is the attitude of the priest and Levite to the mugging victim on the road in the Parable of the Good Samaritan, Luke 10.25-37, p. 971. Sota 22b: Although among Christians the term 'Pharisee' has come to mean people with a rigid, formalistic religion, the historical Pharisees were a party of sincere Jewish believers. The New Testament's condemnation of the Pharisees should be taken to refer to the hypocrites among them.

The man of superior "righteousness" takes action, and has an ulterior motive to do so.The man of superior "propriety" takes action,And when people do not respond to it, he will stretch his arms and force it on them.

4. Taoism. Tao Te Ching 38

What is the use of your matted hair, O witless man? What is the use of your antelope skin garment? Within, you are full of passions; without, you embellish yourself [with the paraphernalia of an ascetic].

5. Buddhism. Dhammapada 394

Some go to bathe at holy places--With hearts impure and faculties false.As one part of impurity they wash, twice more freshly stick to them.They washed themselves outside; inside they are full of deadly poison.The pure in soul are pure even without ritual bathing;The wicked will be wicked in all ritual performances.

6. Sikhism. Adi Granth, Var Suhi, M.1, p. 789

The brahmin's sacred thread binds not his passions and lust for woman.Each morning his face is covered with shame.By the thread his feet and hands are not restrained;Nor his slanderous tongue and lustful eyes...Listen, O world! to this marvel:This man, blind in soul, is called wise.

7. Sikhism. Adi Granth, Asa-ki-Var, M.1, p. 471

He who has the character of a sinner, though he lays great stress on the outward signs of his religious calling as a means of living, he who does not control himself though he pretends to do so, will come to grief for a long time.

As hemlock kills him who drinks it, as a weapon cuts him who awkwardly handles it, as a demon harms him who does not incant it, so the Law harms him who mixes it up with sensuality.

8. Jainism. Uttaradhyayana Sutra 20.43-44

Mark 7.6-7: Jesus is quoting Isaiah 29.13. Cf. Matthew 7.21, p. 811; James 3.13-18; Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith 2, pp. 598f. Tao Te Ching 38: Lao Tzu is criticizing action according to conventional ethical and social norms as leading to self-righteousness and legalism. Dhammapada 394: Cf. Tevigga Sutta, Digha Nikaya xiii.33-34, pp. 209f. Var Suhi, M.1: Cf. Var Mahj, M.1, p. 485, Udana 6, p. 858. Uttaradhyayana Sutra 20.43-44: Cf. Sutrakritanga 2.1.18-19, p. 446.

Many with a yellow robe on their necks are of evil disposition and uncontrolled. Evil-doers on account of their evil deeds are born in a woeful state.
Better to swallow a red-hot iron ball [which would consume one] like a flame of fire than to be an immoral and uncontrolled person feeding on the alms offered by the devout....

Any loose act, any corrupt practice, a life of dubious holiness--none of these is of much fruit.

9. Buddhism. Dhammapada 307-12

Whoever derives a profit for himself from the words of the Torah is helping on his own destruction.

10. Judaism. Mishnah, Abot 4.7

Not every one who says to me, "Lord, Lord," shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

11. Christianity. Matthew 7.21

God's Messenger is reported as saying, "When one commits fornication he is not a believer, when one steals he is not a believer, when one drinks wine he is not a believer, when one takes plunder on account of which men raise their eyes at him he is not a believer, and when one of you defrauds he is not a believer; so beware, beware!"

12. Islam. Hadith of Bukhari and Muslim

The opulent man who is liberal towards strangers, while his family lives in distress, has counterfeit virtue which will first make him taste the sweets [of fame], but afterwards make him swallow the poison [of punishment in hell].

13. Hinduism. Laws of Manu 11.9

Woe to those who prayand are heedless of their prayers,to those who make displayand refuse charity.

14. Islam. Qur'an 107.4-7

Dhammapada 308: Cf. Lotus Sutra 2, p. 411; Var Sarang, M.1, p. 1013; Oracle of Hachiman, p. 728. Abot 4.7: Cf. 2 Thessalonians 3.8-12, p. 1013; James 3.13-18, p. 798; Var Sarang, M.1, p. 1013. Matthew 7.21: Cf. Abot 1.17, p. 811. Hadith of Bukhari and Muslim: Cf. Qur'an 6.151-53, p. 168; 25.63-76, p. 233; Jeremiah 7.1-15, p. 1088. Qur'an 107.4-7: Cf. Qur'an 2.177, p. 861; Shinto Uden Futsujosho, p. 830.

Beware of practicing your piety before men in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.

Thus, when you give alms, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by men. Truly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

15. Christianity. Matthew 6.1-4

O believers, void not your freewill offerings with reproach and injury, as one who expends of his substance to show off to men and believes not in God and the Last Day. The likeness of him is as the likeness of a smooth rock on which is soil, and a torrent smites it, and leaves it barren. They have no power over anything that they have earned. God guides not the people of the unbelievers.

16. Islam. Qur'an 2.264

When We show favor to a man, he withdraws and turns aside, but when ill touches him then he abounds in prayer.

17. Islam. Qur'an 41.51

I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, I will spew you out of my mouth.

18. Christianity. Revelation 3.15-16

And of mankind are some who say, "We believe in God and the Last Day," when they believe not. They think to beguile God and those who believe, and they beguile none save themselves; but they perceive not. In their hearts is a disease, and God increases their disease. A painful doom is theirs because they lie. And when it is said to them, "Make not mischief on the earth," they say, "We are only peacemakers." Behold they are indeed the mischief-makers but they perceive not.

19. Islam. Qur'an 2.8-12

Matthew 6.1-4: Cf. Matthew 6.5-8, p. 830; Mencius VII.B.11, p. 986. Qur'an 2.264: Cf. Qur'an 2.271, p. 873; Matthew 5.23-24, p. 993. Revelation 3.15-16: This was said to the wealthy church of Laodicea, whose comfortable and lukewarm Christianity was nauseating. Qur'an 2.8-12: 'We are only peacemakers': these were the lukewarm Muslims of Medinah who wanted to maintain their peaceful lives and a comfortable coexistence with the unbelievers, when Muhammad was calling the people to total commitment to the cause of Islam.

As for you, son of man, your people who talk together about you by the walls and at the doors of the houses, say to one another, each to his brother, "Come, and hear what the word is that comes forth from the Lord." And they come to you as people come, and they sit before you as my people, and they hear what you say but they will not do it; for with their lips they show much love, but their heart is set on their gain.

20. Judaism and Christianity. Ezekiel 33.30-31

The evildoers who pursue Devotion held sacred by thine initiate,Because they have no part in the Good Mind, O Lord,From them she shrinks back, with Righteousness,As far as the wild beasts of prey shrink back from us!

21. Zoroastrianism. Avesta, Yasna 34.9

Many are the gurus who are proficient to the utmost in Vedas and Shastras; but rare is the guru who has attained to the supreme Truth.

Many are the gurus on earth who give what is other than the Self; but rare is the guru who brings to light the Atman.

Many are the gurus who rob the disciple of his wealth; but rare is the guru who removes the disciple's afflictions.

Many are they who are given to the discipline and conduct according to caste, stage, and family; but he who is devoid of all volition is a guru rare to find.

He is the guru by whose very contact there flows the supreme bliss; the intelligent man shall choose such a one as the guru and no other.

22. Hinduism. Kularnava Tantra 13

Ezekiel 33.30-31: Cf. Micah 3.5, p. 446.


Israelites Sue God For Breach Of Covenant

NEW YORK–Attorneys representing the Tribe of Abraham filed suit against God in New York's Southern District Court Monday, citing 117 specific instances of breach of covenant.

Lawyers for the Children of Israel, who are suing the Lord for $4.2 trillion.

The Israelites are seeking $4.2 trillion in punitive and compensatory damages.
"My client, the Children of Israel, entered into this covenant with the Defendant in good faith. They were assured, in writing, that in exchange for their exclusive worship of Him, they would be designated His chosen people and, as such, would enjoy His divine protection and guidance for eternity," said Marvin Sachs, the Manhattan attorney bringing the suit on behalf of the Israelites. "Yet, practically from the moment this covenant was signed, the Defendant has exhibited a blatant and willful disregard for its terms."
According to Sachs, the Israelites have not received the protection they were promised in the covenant.
"Despite the presence of numerous 'chosen people' clauses throughout this covenant, my client has suffered countless tragedies over the past 5,000 years, from the destruction of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem to the Spanish Inquisition to the Holocaust," Sachs said. "Does that sound like protection to you? Clearly, the Creator had no intention of honoring His legal and binding agreement with us from the start."
Continued Sachs: "The covenant also states that the plaintiff is be entitled to all the lands of the Earth. This, too, has not occurred. Furthermore, it states that the plaintiff will become more numerous than the dust thereof. This has not occurred, either, assuming, of course, that the world contains more than 14 million particles of dust."
Sachs then produced a Torah scroll and said, "I was raised to believe that this is more than just a piece of paper. What about Him?"
Court officers visited the Defendant atop Mount Sinai early this morning, serving Him with papers and setting the legal machinery in motion. Though He has declined comment, lawyers in His employ have already cited multiple points of contention with the Israelite argument, questioning the authenticity of the thousand-year-old hand-inscribed documents and taking issue with the selection of New York, "a city of Israelites," as the trial site.

A disputed section of the covenant, which promises the plaintiff divine protection and providence.

Kevin Harrigan, chief legal counsel for the Lord, called a press conference Tuesday to read a personal statement from his Client.
"Where was Marvin Sachs when I created the Heavens and the Earth? Where was Marvin Sachs when I laid the cornerstone of creation, and all the morning stars sang together? Can Marvin Sachs bind the influences of the Pleiades and loose the bands of Orion? Can Marvin Sachs call forth the snow or the small rain or the great storm?" the statement read. "He should not be so quick to sit in judgment, he who knows not the ordinances of Heaven nor their dominion of the Earth."
Added Harrigan: "We'll agree to minor malfeasance. The Creator pays you a token $15,000 settlement, plus your filing fees, and we go easy on you."
Despite the Lord's confidence, the Israelites say they have a case.
"For 5,760 years, the plaintiff has honored their side of the contract, worshipping the Defendant with total devotion. But in return, they have gotten bupkes," Sachs said. "They trusted Him to protect them, and He threw them to everyone from the Egyptians to the Cossacks to the Nazis to the Palestinians. I'd have a hard time believing that anyone even remotely familiar with the plaintiff's history would argue that they're not victims of detrimental reliance."
Harrigan responded that God's case is clear under the provisions of New York's commercial code.
"We have yet to determine whether the Jews are arguing for the Covenant of Abraham, which covers homeland and birthright issues, the Davidic Covenant, under which they say they were guaranteed a Messiah, or some combination of the two," Harrigan said. "But one thing is clear: Standard assumptions for any legal contract in this district specifically state that the Defendant is not responsible for acts of God."
Continued Harrigan: "I must also point out that the plaintiff has been given a homeland and offered at least one viable Messiah. If the plaintiff chooses not to accept them for whatever reason, it demonstrates that no meeting of the minds was truly possible and that they acted in bad faith, and the covenant is therefore rendered null and void."
Harrigan went on to note that the Lord has not ruled out filing a breach-of-covenant countersuit against the Israelites, claiming that they "have failed to worship the Lord in an acceptably faithful manner." Among the evidence cited: a 70 percent rise in interfaith marriage among Jews since 1900 and last year's turnout of just 36 percent at worldwide Yom Kippur services.
As of press time, the Israelites were moving forward with their case, undaunted by the fact that the Supreme Deity has never lost a trial.
"My client has been searching for answers for a long time," Sachs said. "And they will continue to search for answers and seek the truth–no matter what the cost in legal fees."
Really at first I read the news with disbelief and re-readed it again and again. I just couldn't accept what was there to be seen by anyone, but it was true.
I don't use to make comments about each one beliefs. But I think this is different. This is human stupidity (at the least).
I found this words said by Jesus (they fit well to that kind of people):
"Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written,
This people honors me with their lips,but their heart is far from me;in vain do they worship me,teaching as doctrines the precepts of men."
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...