Now, I think it was a different collection of wacko nut jobs that appeared on a documentary on TV some years ago (Was it a Louis Theroux programme? I forget now) which had some prophet fellow surrounded by a load of believers waiting for a specific date he’d said was the end of the world. (His followers were so caught up in his ‘teachings’ that when he informed them that their God had commanded him to have sex with his right hand man’s wife, the man and his wife reluctantly capitulated because that’s what their God had told their leader to do. Brilliant!)
Anyway, the cameras showed the preparations for Judgement Day and the ‘end of the world’, and when the day came and nothing happened, the prophet fellow told his confused followers that the Judgement had been made and they had all been cleansed and they should rejoice. The guy whose wife had been regularly rogered by the prophet fellow was very confused and very upset. I think he sussed he’d been conned all round.
It’s not a new thing predicting the end of the world, heck it’s the basis of Christianity and Islam, and both have been expecting ‘end times’ for thousands of years. Look at how they started to wet themselves around the turn of the Millennium. Indeed, those who fall in to the environmental religion and attend the Global Warming church also have ‘end times’ featuring very high in their faith too. The ‘end’ is everywhere!
Many different religious cults have even opted for mass-suicide on a certain ‘end time’ day (usually the leader forgets to kill himself), others have set a date and then as it’s gotten uncomfortably near, golly gee, their God grants a stay of execution and the ‘end day’ gets postponed.
So, it’ll be interesting to see what Family Radio do from May 22nd onwards. They are quite adamant that we are all doomed on May 21st (that’s a Saturday. That’s to annoy the Jews, I guess), and their radio ministry is no doubt raking in the Mega-Dollars from concerned believers who somehow feel it’s important to part with their cash in return for being told the world is ending. Maybe it buys salvation or something. I’m not too sure how the mechanism works other than the Family Radio bank account gets fatter and ‘donations’ certainly won’t be returned on May 22nd when nothing has happened.
The options for Family Radio when they are still here after May 21st?
Well, I go for the “Our God’s given us more time before he judges us” option. This is far easier to sell than the day coming and going and nothing happening being re-sold as some form of cleansing. That’s a bit messy. Another more oblique option is that if some terrible earthquake or other disaster happens on that day, that’ll be some how woven into a sign of the judgement.
If it’s going to be that their God gives everybody more time, then I guess the bet will be as to when the first hint of this stay of execution is incorporated into the website or the scary ranting via the radio broadcasts. I’d go for about 48 hours before. Too early and the faithful might smell a rat. They need to be hypnotised with fear in order to not question too much when the noose is relaxed just a little bit.
When people such as my hero Derren Brown mess with people’s minds, everybody knows it’s a trick and is amazed at how frail the human mind is, such that it can be manipulated and controlled so easily by others. When the God-prophets cloak exactly the same mind control tricks inside a religious faith then those who have been hypnotised don’t realise it’s a trick, and find it harder to appreciate that something wrong is happening to their mind. And that’s why they get poorer whilst the trickster gets richer.
Meanwhile, prepare to meet thy maker. It all happens on Saturday the 21st! Between now and then you may wish to ease you conscience before you are judged, by transferring most of your money to my private bank account. You want my account number? Erm, I meant, “You WANT my account number!”