I have been studying pretty intensely the ongoing Demonization of Bill Cosby and I am finding it extremely helpful in imagining Christian origins.
For example there have been two waves of accusations.
The 1998-2006 Wave:
The first wave started in 1998 with a woman falsely claiming to be his daughter. She tried extorting $40 million dollars from him. She was arrested by the FBI and sentenced to 4 years in prison. In 2000, a starlet, having failed an audition with him, went to the police three days later and claimed that Cosby had placed her under his sweatshirt and “started to move it south.” When she pulled her hand away, Cosby said, “fine” and told her to go home. The police looking at the complaint simply dismissed it as no crime or non-consensual act had been committed. They did not bother to inform Cosby. In 2005, another woman, a 31 year old friend that he had known for a year and a half went to the police and claimed that one year before Cosby had given her an herbal drug after she asked for something for her mental stress, and that the pills he gave her immobilized her and she had a “fuzzy” memory of them engaging in mutual masturbation. She slept over and left his house the next morning. She was now unemployed, broke and having mental problems. Cosby called this another attempt to extort money from him. The police investigated for two months and could not find any evidence to support her claims. She started a civil suit against Cosby for $150,000 plus lawyers fees. Cosby was forbidden by the court from talking about the case in public. At this point, a lawyer named Tamara Green, who was facing disbarment from the California Bar for stealing $20,000 from three clients announced that 30 years before, Cosby had done the same thing to her. She immediately went on the Today Show, CBS News, Fox News, and gave interviews to declare that she had also asked him for drugs for the Flu, became immobilized (apparently for and fought him off when he tried to undress and kiss her. After this media blitzkrieg, more women started accusing Bill Cosby. The next accuser was paid $7,500 for her story by the National Enquirer tabloid magazine and when Cosby threatened to sue the magazine, it negotiated an exclusive interview with Cosby in return for not running the story. She later sold her story to another newspaper. The lawyers for the woman who filed the lawsuit were able to find 12 “Jane Does” willing to testify against Cosby about druggings and near sexual assaults that had happened 20, 30 and 40 years before. In late 2006,. The lawsuit was settled out of court and none of the 12 “Jane Does” testified. A couple of the Jane Does went public going on television and being paid for exclusive interviews to tabloid magazines.
Jesus had 12 apostles, the accusers of Bill Cosby had 12 Jane Does. The story died down for eight years. The five women who had accused Cosby were quickly forgotten.
Then in November, 2014 a black comedian (the Judas in our mythology) did a comedy routine in which he called Bill Cosby “a rapist.” Newspapers and tabloid websites started talking about the comedy routine and reprinting all the charges of the accusers, without noting that no proof of any crime was ever given by any of them. The following week, the Washington Post, known for its meticulous fact-checking, from the book and movie “All the President’s Men,” gave Barbara Bowman, one of the 2006 accusers, a chance to do an editorial, without any fact-checking. In it, she asked rhetorically, “Why did it take so long for people to believe me?” Five women came forth with tales about being drugged and/or sexually assaulted right after this. Then a lawyer announced that Bill Cosby should give $100 million dollars to be shared by all the women he had wronged. In the past two months since then, 30 more women have come out with accusations. None has provided the slightest proof, and some have told stories directly contradicted by facts. Some even drastically change their stories from telling to telling.
It is interesting that the Demon Bill Cosby Mythology has been fed by a number of factors – racism, a desire to help raped women, a desire for publicity and most of all the desire for money. All of this has contributed to the media feeding frenzy, where every single day there is a crazy new story or several told. The main stream Mass Media, who generally dismissed the absurd stories of the accusers in 2005, are now treating the new accusers as heroes, weak and long oppressed women who are finally standing up and revealing the truth, and taking their unproven and mostly unprovable near-miracle stories seriously.
It is kind of a weird new religion, where proponents shout “Hallelujah, another accuser testifies to the truth of the Demon Cosby.” One can imagine this as an echo of Second century Christians shouting, “Hallelujah” another sinner testifies to the truth of the God Jesus.
I suspect the Early Christian mythology developed in more and more fanatical waves very similar way to the Demon Cosby Myth.
However, one thing to note is that we now have the ability to create instantaneous myths involving real living people. In the First Century communications technology was much more primitive and myths of fictional characters could have spread just as easily. In other words, now, due to technology we cannot historicize fictional characters, although we certainly can mythologize historical characters. I think in ancient times fictional characters could be historicized. All or most ancient mythology testifies to this.