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  Author, state in battle over Apollo moon bibles

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Author Topic:   Author, state in battle over Apollo moon bibles
Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 36999
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-18-2013 03:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Houston Chronicle reported Sunday (Feb. 17) on a tangled two-year legal battle in three courtrooms in Texas and Oklahoma over ownership of lunar bibles.
At the heart of this litigation odyssey is the little-known story of how a group of Christian faithful at Johnson Space Center, called the Apollo Prayer League, engineered a plan to have astronauts with the Apollo program in the 1960s and 1970s ferry microscopic editions of the King James Bible to the moon.

The subsequent dueling court battles center on whether a 91-year-old former NASA chaplain, John Stout, and his wife, Mary Helen — who have been declared wards of the state — are being held against their will in the Texas guardianship program and whether an Oklahoma Christian author, who claims she was given one of these highly collectible religious relics to auction for the elderly couple, was taking advantage of them.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 36999
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-18-2013 03:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE
Lawsuits leave lunar bibles in limbo: Legal battle over space-flown scriptures

Miniature bibles that flew to the moon more than 40 years ago are now at the center of a custody dispute between the author who wrote about their history and the state caring for the reverend who was behind their creation.

The two-year legal battle, which became public on Sunday (Feb. 17) through the reporting of the Houston Chronicle, began in 2010 when the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) intervened in a Dallas auction to prevent Oklahoma Christian author Carol Mersch from selling one of the so-called "lunar bibles" at auction.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 36999
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 04-24-2017 04:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The disputed lunar bibles are back in the news as cases in Texas and Oklahoma courts are attempting to sort out their disposition.
An ongoing slog in Texas and Oklahoma courts encapsulates the complexity of what to do with space relics: Connecting with the cosmos seems cool, but figuring out what to do with them can get costly and contentious back on Earth.

...Now, these "first lunar Bibles" are stored at the Tulsa County courthouse, awaiting a May 3 hearing over who owns them — Texas or Tulsa author and businesswoman Carol Mersch, who befriended Stout in 2009 while working on a book about attempts to land a Bible on the moon. Mersch claims the late chaplain gave her the Bibles while she wrote the book, and she keeps a certificate of authenticity signed by Stout and Mitchell as proof.

But that hasn't been good enough for Texas, whose attorneys argue that Stout and his wife became wards of the state in their twilight years after their son, Jonathan, raised concerns about his parents' deteriorating mental and physical well-being. She died in 2014; he passed away in December.

In the view of the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services, as represented by the state attorney general, that means the Jonathan Stout should inherit the Bibles.

All times are CT (US)

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