This article, From Skepticism to Belief: Shroud of Turin Researcher Shares Experiences, appears on the St. John’s University website:
Schwortz addressed hundreds of students, faculty, and staff in the Little Theater on the Queens campus. Describing his continuing research about the shroud, he spoke of the shroud’s impact on his own beliefs. “More than anything else, even if you’re a total skeptic, I hope students learn not to judge something by what they see in the media,” he said. “I hope they have an open mind—mine wasn’t open for 20 years.”
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Though Jewish, Schwortz found his research on the shroud a transformational experience. He was originally reluctant to join STURP. By the time the original study concluded, however, he felt his work remained unfinished. In 1995, he met someone who insisted the shroud was a fake—based largely on a tabloid article. The encounter compelled Schwortz to examine his own perspectives on the cloth: he realized that he believed in its authenticity. Schwortz went on to found http://www.shroud.com, the top Google search and oldest website on the topic.