To Infinity And Beyond!
A stroll through failed prophecies-to-be
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Ralph Waldo Emerson Quote



 
 

December 21, 2012 CE - When he isn't busy talking up the benefits of consuming hallucinogenic drugs, Terence McKenna is playing math games with the I Ching to work out what he calls the Novelty Theory. And novel it most certainly is. Terry's worked out that there's this big timewave that fluctuates all over the place, but has patterns that can be read. And it's all working up to what he calls "The Omega Point". At which time, "the coincidence of the moment of the solstice and the heliacal rising of the galactic center, levels of planetary novelty will exponentially increase."

  Right.

  Well, whatever that means, it's not good for planet Earth. Terry doesn't want to limit his options too much, so among the list of possible Omega Pointers is the impact of a killer asteroid, contact with meanie aliens, the sun suddenly going all nova on us, a black hole at the galactic center sucking down a really big star and frying us with super-mega radiation or else, a "hyperspacial breakthrough". The last being something so ookie Terry won't give an actual explanation of it unless you subscribe to his newsletter.

  Of course, all need not be lost, human race-wise. All we need to do to save ourselves, see, is travel back in time! Sure, no prob. Just don't go all the way back to the ice age unless you want to share a cramped little cave with Mariette Hartley and a really P.O.ed Mr. Spock.

Between 2012 and 2013 CE - Amidst all this prattling about death and destruction, sometimes you come across a pack of prophetic fluffbonnets that just make you want to go, "Aw!" Such a crew are the followers of P'taah. No, I wasn't spitting anything out. That's what their fearless leader, sometime-singer, sometime-waitress, sometime-sailor???... full-time schizophrenic Jani King calls the ET she "channels". Pleiadian P'taah is a friendly sort of incorporeal deific entity, though. He/she/it just wants the wide world to know that very soon now, Transition™ will be a happenin' thang. What's Transition™, you ask? Why, it's when all of humanity will shed their nasty ol' earthly husks and ascend to a higher, more enlightened, kind'a fairytale princess level. At least that's what it was before the webpage all about it disappeared and was replaced by a vague, bland-ish, hand-wavey FAQ.

  If you think it all sounds suspiciously Heaven's Gate-ish, give yourself a cookie. But, there doesn't seem to be any signs of "forced ascension" being suggested. In fact, Transition™ is supposed to affect all humanity, card carrying cult member or not. So why join? Well, it's sort of a self-help group for the voices-in-the-head set. Affirmation and empowerment for the twilight zoned. Besides, even though Transition™ will sweep up everybody, the lucky P'taah-ists are assured a head start in the enlightenment dept., with years of spiritual training under their incorporeal belts... So, it would seem that even among the P'taah-ites, after the world ends, the class system lives on.

December 22, 2012 CE - A lot of doomtalk has sprung up lately around the ancient Mayan Calendar and how it'll be completing its cycle on this date. Mayan Armageddon is nothing to sneer at, either. At that moment, everything in the world that humans are fond of, from darling Fluffy romping in the yard to the new espresso maker on the kitchen counter will make like a Fox TV special and attack their unsuspecting owners. The forces of nature will get a go at us next and then big bits of space debris will have a shot, too. In the end, humanity will be quite thoroughly heinie-whipped for being so very sinful and impure.

  The End Times aficionados are so entranced by the thought of this whole new mythology they can pull apocalypses out of, that they've entirely overlooked the itsy-bitsy factoid that 2012 isn't the Mayan date for end of the world, at all. That's not scheduled until sometime in the fiftieth century. 2012 will only mark the end of a calendrical cycle, and as such, a pretty good time to party... well, unless you're an End Times obsessive.

December 23, 2012 CE - Yet another pyramidology maven, Graham Hancock doodled out a tome called, "Fingerprints of the Gods" in which he MixMasters the pyramid of Giza and the Sphinx together with the pyramids of Mars, UFO's, a whole lot of retreaded "Chariots of the Gods" frippery and apocalyptic hysteria. The resultant frothy mess includes a fiery terrestrial termination date smack dab in the midst of the last minute holiday shopping rush. Of course, if they can manage to end it all before my December credit card bills come in, I won't have too serious a problem with it.

August 23, 2013 CE - Did you know that the mad monk, Rasputin wrote a series of end of the world prophecies that have been locked up in secret for decades by the KGB? It's true!... Well,... okay... says the Weekly World News. According to my favorite fount of fluffery, Rassy predicted a whole mess o' stuff to happen in the coming years. From Satan rising in 2002, to deadly plagues in 2003, the reappearance of Jesus in 2005, the rising up of the Loch Ness Monster in 2006, (which, paced that way, would rather upstage Jesus, don'cha think?) to fundamentalists grabbing hold of governments in both east and west in 2007, to the firey poof-out of everything in the dog days of 2013. And to think, all this from a guy who couldn't predict his own messy whacking back in 1916.

2014 CE - As amazing as it may seem, there are still followers of that long-gone wannabe Virgin Mom, Joanna Southcott hanging about. This, they believe, will be the year Joanie's magical mystery box will be opened to reveal St. John's apocalyptic millennial prophecy... which most likely will read, "Ha-ha, made you look!".

2016 CE - In an amazing break with tradition, Sun Magazine forgot all about Pope John XXIII and dug up old Pope Leo IX from the dusty files of the 1500's. So says the rag, in 1516 Leo had the End pegged in exactly 500 years time. If true, it's a good illustration of why he was Pope in the first place; Here was a guy who understood the PR value of a prophecy with "legs".

2016 CE - According to another juicy column in the Weekly World News, a Professor Lloyd Cunningdale of Salt Lake City went digging around the site of the Donner Party's 1847 freeze-a-thon and found time capsules with predictions for the future tucked within. Says the Prof., the bad-tempered, cannibalistic Donner bunch predicted, among other things, 20th century bio-warfare and a man-made mega-disease that would wipe out virtually every human on the planet by 2016. It is at this point that one should remember these were the same people who couldn't predict that it snows in the mountains in the wintertime.

AT ANY MOMENT BETWEEN 1998 and 2017 CE!!!!! - Post-traumatic stress disorder is a piteous thing. Its depredations on the human mind can be no better illustrated than by the post-Viet Nam trajectory of one patient X who, out of respect for privacy, we will simply call "Larry Wilson of Wake Up America". Clearly, his decision to go see the film "Meteor!" so soon after being discharged had a profound adverse effect on his critical thinking skills, and he has since devoted himself to warning the world of God's imminent cosmic rock-lobbing and the unbridled ickiness to follow. One thing I can say for Larry Wilson of Wake Up America is that he plays no favorites in his Doomsday dabblings. No easy-out Raptures for him! No sir! When that space wad hits home, we will all have to face the fiery consequences with no Get Out Of Trib Free tickets allowed. I really have to respect him for that. No coward's way out for Larry Wilson of Wake Up America... Actually, no way out at all.

Somewhere 'twixt now and 2019 CE - Self-proclaimed "Last Prophet of God" R.G. Stair runs a short-wave radio holy roll-a-thon called, "Overcomer Ministries". He also presides over a flock of life-bereft trailer-trash who camp out across his 80-some acre South Carolina farm in (what else?) trailers. R.G.'s message is simple enough. Kind of a backwoods, Bible-beater's variation on "tune in, turn on, drop out". Except the only thing he wants folks to tune in to is his radio show and the only turn on he approves of is the crazed endorphin rush of terminal religious whack-out. His Last Days spiel is pretty standard Biblical stuff. Nothing new or original. He's not too fond of setting any precise dates, but that doesn't mean he intends to just sit around forever while the Big Guy putters about. No sir! As a matter of fact, R.G. only plans to give the Lord another twenty years to get his Divine behind in gear. In R.G.'s own words, "If the Lord God Almighty does not make a major move before the year 2000, I'll tell God to 'go to Hell." Hmn, I guess the Lord would have to be down to his Last Prophet, if the quality's sunk this low.

  Update: On May 16, '02, "Brother" Stair got his prophetic self nabbed by SC authorities on charges of criminal sexual conduct and breech of trust. Since then, R.G's sorrows have only snowballed, as discovery of an infant's corpse on his property has led him to be charged with improper burial and movement of a human body and the suspicious death of a young follower may yet lead to charges of neglect. Yes, yet another shining example of the beauty of faith!
(Thanks to Kathy Lewan for alerting me to R.G.'s website and Jeremy Pallant for the update info and URL.)

February 1, 2019 CE - At the height of the summer brain-baking season, word got out that a big, new asteroid by the musical name of 2002 NT7 had been discovered winging its way Earthward-ish. Should it hit, astronomers breezily babbled, it could be a grand doozy of the Doomsday kind, due to fall down, go boom in less than seventeen years. Naturally, every media outlet ran this info morsel as, "SCIENTISTS FIND DOOMSDAY ASTEROID! IMPACT IN 2019!!!" causing hysterics and apoca-pluggers alike to get all madly hot and quivery for about 24 hours.

  Leave it to NASA to spoil the paranoia party with the bad news that more specific calculations showed the rogue rock missing us with room to spare. In fact, it only rated a pitiful "1" on the Torino Scale, a 0 to 10 gauge measuring the degree of danger posed by various bits of cosmic litter. "0" being "Don't worry! Be happy!" and "10" being "I think you have just enough time to strike a pose for your fossil remains." By this standard then, 2002 NT7 was strictly in the "Fuggetaboutit" range in 2019. But, don't toss that tinfoil anti-asteroid umbrella hat into the attic, yet! According to those same astronomers, 2002 NT7 will be back again in 2060! And as yet, the chances of it coming in for a touchdown have not been entirely ruled out. Even if it is, this lil' chunk o' junk will be circling back again and again many times after that. So, cheer up, End Times fans! Doom springs eternal!

September 28, 2020 CE - George Madray* is one of the precious few Doomwags to actually get anything like a college degree. Though how soil chemistry and Dentistry qualify him as an expert on the apocalypse, I have no idea. They certainly didn't qualify him as a writer, since his book proposing a Yom Kippur kaput in 2020 is one of the most agonizingly dull reads I have ever had the displeasure to endure in all my tender years. The problem is, George is one of those folks whose idea of thinking is being able to rearrange Bible quotes in almost limitless combinations for page after synapse-suiciding page. This fills a lot of space, but it doesn't resemble anything like actual cognition. So, the whole dreary endeavor reads like little more than a compendium of "Famous Bible Quotations To Bore And Annoy". As for his reasons, they're the same tired old hash of numerology, pre-dispensationalism and Creationism seen a thousand times before, with a touch of trendy right-wing paranoia thrown in for color. Recommended reading for insomniacs, only.

January 20, 2021 CE - According to that font of happy tidings, Floyd Hand, (who already let us know that his Star People would be coming to Earth at century's end with a suitcase full of natural catastrophes) the world will be hitting the end of the line on this fateful date.

Anytime between Now and 2023 CE - Former BBC TV host and minor league music producer Ian Gurney popped his cork in a Biblical way about a decade back. From that point on, he started fixating, as all good obsessive basketcases do, on cobbling together whatever bits and pieces he could find from the New and Old Testaments, CNN and some 4th grade "Science Can Be Fun!" books to bolster up his notion that the world will end no later than 2023. Before that happens, though, we should be kept quite busy with an earthquake in California, (No! Ya' don't say?!) the death of the Pope, (Shocking, ain't it?) world famine, nuclear war and the pasting of NYC with a mega-tsunami. ('Cause, like, it just isn't a real apocalypse unless New York gets completely peed on.) His site, devoted to touting his book, is a simpleton's paradise and good for a laugh. Have fun.

2025 CE - Ah, the Raëlians! A saucer cult so far adrift from planet Earth that they could dream up a holy symbol picturing a Star of David with a Nazi swastika at its center... and not have the vaguest clue why anybody would be upset about it. According to the Raëlians and their ET conduit/fearless leader Raël (a.k.a. former sportswriter Claude Vorilhon), the aliens, who are better known in Raëlish circles as the "Elohim" (didn't I tell you UFO cults aren't big on originality?) will be bopping down to Jerusalem to bring the wisdom of the Universe to our scruffy little planet. Super good news for all the world's geniuses, (especially Raëlian geniuses, I'd bet) who will promptly be dubbed the elite rulers of the world. Not such a hot info item for the rest of us poor sub-par slobs, who'll be lucky if we're not all summarily sterilized and kept around as collectible conversation pieces... like "Beanie Babies", sort'a... only with less re-sale value.

2026 CE - Still another target date for those who time Armageddon from some big day in the life of Jesus. This time, the defining moment is the beginning of his ministry. Yeah, that must be it! And if Jesus began his ministry at age 30, and you correct for Dinky Dennis' birthdate bobble by four years, you end up with 2026. Well, what could be more obvious than that, I ask you?

November 13, 2026 CE - Numbers may not lie, but they can sure pull a good practical joke every now and then. In a stunning example of science made stupid, a 1960 issue of "Science" magazine included an article stating that the human population would reach "infinity" on this date. One tends to wonder how one calculates for breeding to infinity... Though, perhaps they were genuinely way ahead of their time and anticipated the "Trailer Trash Gets Invetro - Gives Birth To Mega-Litter!" phenomenon.

2029 CE - Hearts will be a-pounding amongst the millennialist die-hard set who hang their hopes on the 2000th anniversary of the year Jesus got pinned. (and who correct four years for Dennis)

2033 CE - Dennis correction not included.

Anytime between 1997 - 2030 CE - Dr. James McKeever, editor of the "End Times News Digest" used his finely honed deductive skills and keen intellectual reasoning to deduce that the world had not, in fact, ended in 1996. No matter! God doesn't have to punch a time-clock, after all. He could dawdle all he wants and still stay more or less on schedule. After all, if a thousand years make up one God day, then it takes approximately 41.666 years to make up one God hour. So, God could take another 33 years by our calendar, and by his lights, he'd only be running a shade over 45 minutes over-time. Hardly worth mentioning when you're an independent contractor. He just probably went to get a coffee at the celestial Starbuck's.

2020 to 2037 CE - Long gone psychic celeb Jean Dixon had this span booked solid for the Battle of Armageddon and the Second Coming in her oracular opus, "The Call to Glory". It's a veritable embarrassment of riches to see the Jean Dixon effect played out again slowly over seventeen years... or, maybe, it's just an embarrassment, period.

January 19, 2038 CE 3:14:07 AM - Thought you'd seen the last of the Y2K bug, didn't you? Figured if we made it past Jan. 1, 2000 with civilization intact the hysterics would have to slink back under their rocks and stay there, eh? Well, guess again! It seems that there's yet another computer bug-a-boo lurking in the shadows, just waiting to jump out and go "Booga-Booga!" all over the world's hard drives. It's called the "Y2038 Bug" and it works like this: Computers using C-language programs have clocks that have been counting the passing seconds ever since January 1, 1970. But, it turns out these systems can only count just so high before "overflowing" and going all crazy cuckoo on us. At that point, every one of those systems will experience a collective flashback and revert to Jan. 1, 1970 all over, again. One can only imagine what disaster this could bring when computers across the globe suddenly start displaying nothing but psychedelic oil lamp shows and endless games of Pong.

2038-ish CE - Much as I admire Greenpeace, they really went on a bender when they declared that the polar ice caps would be... no, not shifting... melting, by this date. This, in turn, would cause coastal flooding like nobody's business and the extinction of thousands of species. If you ask me, I think somebody was watching too many reruns of Baywatch while trying to work out the stats and something... just...snapped.

2038 CE - Right up until August '99 there was an online site devoted to the wild-eyed rantings of a book called "The Bible and the Future". It's sadly drifted into the electro-ether now, but while it lasted, it prophesied Armageddon in 2038. Of course, according to the timeline offered up in this cockamamie codex, the Arab nations should've been bombing each other to hell by now, the Pope ought to have been kidnapped by Middle-Eastern terrorists, Iran and Iraq should be attacking Europe, the Jews should be halfway through construction of the Third Temple and Vatican City should be in the hands of Muslims. You may just have noticed a stray trace of a "theme" to all this. The anti-Islam hysteria ran at fever pitch through those pages and paid off in a typically gory, merciless and total decimation of the heathen by a small God-sponsored "army of Christ". A prime example of faith-endorsed fear mongering and bigotry.

2040 CE - Max Toth, pyramidologist, on the lookout for his "Kingdom of the Spirit" once again. According to Max, this year will see the physical incarnation of Christ and a whole lotta neato stuff will happen karma-wise. But, don't get too comfy yet.

2076 CE - Remember St. Bede the Venerable? Got everyone to switch over from Anno Mundi to Anno Domini way back in 750 CE, or AD or 5950 AM or whatever?... Right. Him. Anyway, his calendrical stunt just put off the 6000 year millennial week problem and dumped it into our epochal backyard. Gee, thanks, Bede.

2240 CE - Of course, most Jews couldn't care less what ol' Bede came up with. According to the Jewish calendar, the year 6000 won't be cropping up until this date, right here.

2280 CE - Moon rocks. Yep. Moon rocks. That's the sign of the end of the world, ladies and gents...Who knew? Well, the prophet Muhammed, silly! And not caring what either Bede or the Jews cooked up, he set it all down in the Quran. You can find it there if you only know where to look and have the proper code... Oh, yes, the code. The Quranic Code. Like the Bible Code, only... well, you get it, right? Anyways, another sign is The Creature™. Though, most of us would know it better by its other name, "the computer"... on days when it isn't crashing and freezing and losing all our data. The Creature™ helped to suss out the gematrical mystery number, just as the Quran foretold it would! How 'bout that?! United Submitters International are the cheery code breakers touting this news. Be prepared for the usual at their site. Lots of delusional thinking, lots of paranoia, lots of self-righteousness, lots and lots and lots of anti-Semitism.

2436 CE - Nostradamus wasn't bothered by either Bede or the Jews or the Quran when, according to the Weekly World News in their March 21, 2000 issue, he pegged this year for the Big Bon Voyage. (Occurring just a few, scant years after the dead walk the earth, the world economy collapses, humans start talking to animals, homosexuals quadruple in number and the populace institutionalizes global nudity.)

2979 CE - And Max Toth couldn't care less what Bede or the Jews or the Quran or Nostradamus (or the Weekly World News) figured out End Time-wise, 'cause the Great Pyramid is what he sets his timer by. It seems the pyramid of Giza runs out of prophecy space about here and well,... we all know what that means, now, don't we?

3000 CE - Picking up a "God Day" after his millennium target, 18th c. minister Jonathan Edwards says good-bye and good riddance to the whole worldly business. And unless the New Year's parties are an improvement over 2000, I'd have to second that motion.

3000 CE - If only he owned a computer, I've no doubt that Kenna E. Farris would distinguish himself in a weekend as a 'Net Kook extraordinaire. Unfortunately, the sixty-something Ken prefers to take his message to the people using the low-tech approach: He hand scribbles big cardboard signs about the apocalypse and sets them out in his yard. Right by the roadside, so passers-by can get a shot at salvation while barreling along at 65.

  A one-time Missouri eatery owner, on the day he heard the voice of God in his head, Ken gave it all up to stump for the Lord. Since then, he's not only regaled the motoring public with pretty solidly incoherent holy posters, he's also taken time out from his busy schedule to suss out who might fill his qualifications for millennial pre-show Satan slayer. Ken's pick? A local circuit court judge who tries to put as brave and friendly a face as he can on being the object of a schizophrenic's delusions. Ken is pretty darn certain that the End won't actually be coming along until the year 3000. But, there should be plenty of Lightness/Darkness one-on-one grudge matches between now and then, so he figures there's no sense just sittin' around sinnin' in the meantime.

3420 CE - Yet another date that Nostradamus was supposed to have nailed as the end of the world.

3797 CE - And if you don't like that Nosey date, try this one. It's almost certainly just as accurate.

7000 CE - Then, of course, there's this alternate Nostradamus End date for those who are cockeyed optimists... Or hardcore pessimists... depending on whether or not you like this sort of thing.

Anytime between now and 12,000 CE - "SOMETHING IS EATING THE STARS - AND IT'S HEADED TOWARD EARTH!" So says the subtle, unassuming headline from the pages of the ever-reliable Weekly World News. (April 24, 2000 issue) According to "noted astronomers", a strange cosmic object has been sighted a mere 10,000 light-years from Earth. First thought to be an ordinary black hole, this fiendish phenom has been observed stalking (yes, stalking) poor, unsuspecting stars, which are fixed (yes, fixed) in the firmament, so they can't run away, then gobbling them up like a galactic great white shark. Even worse, this wandering solar sucker may be traveling faster than the speed of light! (forget how anyone could observe it doing anything, if this were the case) So, it might actually get here as early as Groundhog Day!!! Oh, how to break the news to poor Punxsutawney Phil?!

202,009 CE - Well, I got yer good news and yer bad news. The good news is, according to the latest astronomical information, the ol' home planet may be threatened by far fewer killer asteroids than once was thought! In fact, the estimated number of one to two thousand extinction-makers crossing earth's path has been cut in half, reducing our chances of getting cosmically beaned in the next 1000 years to a paltry .5%. The bad news is that despite the fact that astronomers have been getting their rocks off by quite a large margin, we still have a good 700 or so lethal projectiles flying around the solar system in uncomfortably close quarters. Statistically speaking, the new numbers do all but guarantee an impact sometime in the next 200,000 years. Start fluffing up the throw pillows in your survival bunker, now.

1,002,009 CE - Let's hear it for the folks at the JPL, apocalypse fans! Seems that even if we manage to avoid getting pasted by our current crop of projectile planetesimals, we will still be looking at serious target range time when some nearby star goes a-wandering too close to our Oort cloud. The resulting gravitational tug-o-war will send oodles of once-docile, homebody-type comets spinning wildly toward the inner solar system and likely straight across our traffic lane. From there, well, I needn't draw you a picture, need I? According to the JPL bunch, Gliese 710, a red dwarf star in the constellation Ophiuchus is winging its deadly way Oort-ward even as I type and will hit the cloud smack-on in exactly one million years... Darn, and I had plans for that weekend.

Anytime between now and 100,002,009 CE - And even if we prove too elusive to nail with a wayward rockpile or ice-chunk, we won't be catching any breaks should a local binary neutron star system suffer a solar collision. According to Princeton astronomer Stephen E. Thorsett, careless jostling of that sort tends to lead to rude expulsions of very lethal gamma rays. More to the point, there's a solar couple that fits the bill a mere 1,600 light years away and a binary bumping from them could result in a gamma ray burst that would hit the Earth with the force of 10,000 megatons of TNT. Not a happy prospect for the planet, I'm afraid. Though, presumably, a whopping boon for the sunscreen industry.

Approx. 5,000,002,009 CE - And even if we should somehow outmaneuver the asteroids and the Oort cloud comets and the deadly gamma rays, there's just no way, no way at all that Earth is going to catch a break once our own sun goes into menopause. You know how it is. In about five billion years, all the hydrogen'll fuse into helium, the core'll collapse and that's when she'll just start to swell up like the worst case of water retention you ever did see. Poof! will go Mercury, then Venus, then our own home planet. Even Mars will get swallowed up like a little red charcoal briquette. But, just like a hot flash, after about 100 million years or so, the ol' girl's atmosphere will blow off and she'll be left as nothing but a shriveled little white dwarf... with no health insurance, most likely... and probably several cats.


Beyond this date, boys and girls, it's all up for grabs. But, not to fear! There's a whole universe of Doomsdays just waiting to hatch out from some wonky human mind out there. Multitudes of mass hysterias yet to be realized. Cults and prophets, doomsayers, con artists, sheep, suicides, seekers and psychos yet unborn. An eternity of Armageddons to look forward to! The only limits are our imagination and our gullibility - two qualities whose absolute boundaries remain undiscovered. If things seem a bit vacant after 5,000,002,009 CE right now, don't worry. Before the midnight chimes of 5,000,002,010 ring out, our far-flung descendants will see a whole new crop of fresh End Times spring up. That's the prophecy of Alma Geddon, pilgrim. Spread the good news.
 
 






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