This week's World magazine cover story is a lengthy piece by editor Marvin Olasky on reported plans by those who control C.S. Lewis's estate "to downplay Lewis's Christian profession." If you like conspiracy theories, you'll love this piece. It's got secret cabals running around from Singapore to Liechtenstein, nameless clandestine puppeteers using the British apologist's corpse for their own personal marionette, a heroic journalist stymied at every turn, and corporate bigwigs challenged to choose all that is good and holy above insidious Mammon. It's The Insider meets The X-Files, Erin Brockovich meets The Pelican Brief.
To World, the controversy is that black and white. "And so the battle is joined," Olasky writes. "Zondervan, HarperCollins, and those who control the C.S. Lewis estate versus those who refuse to adulterate Lewis's ideas." The heroine of the story is Carol Hatcher, "a Christian screenwriter/producer" whose PBS documentary on Lewis reportedly was squashed by the C.S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. "because … the film script emphasized Lewis's 'Christianity' too much." The villain is the C.S. Lewis Company's Simon Adley, whom World identifies as a former publicist for a leather furniture maker, "a spokesman for the Labour Party's opposition to privatizing Britain's state-owned railroad," and a former employee of Scholastic, "which publishes the Harry Potter series in the United States."
It's all a terribly exciting read, until one takes a peak at the man behind the curtain. (Sorry, wrong children's book series.) Kudos to World for pointing out that the C.S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. and its C.S. Lewis Company are a pretty secretive bunch—but that doesn't make them nefarious. And World neglects ...1