Posts Tagged “doomsday”

Practical: The bunkers have escape tunnels with one sided hatches which can only open from the inside, as well as sealed contamination rooms between the entrance and living areas / Atlassurvivalshelters.Com, via (UK) Daily Mail.Here in Connecticut, a lot of folks aren’t likely to notice the passing of “the Maya Doomsday,” for obvious reasons. But elsewhere, there’s still a lot of interest. To the point where there are companies making living off this delusional non-event. The (UK) Daily Mail reports on folks who bought bomb shelters they think will help them ride out this coming worldwide catastrophe (WebCite cached article):

If you’re seriously concerned about the world ending on Friday, then this could be just the ticket.

Ron Hubbard has built a luxurious underground bomb-proof shelter in Montebello, California, with a leather sofa, plasma TV and wooden flooring — just in case the Mayans’ predictions come true.

The civilisation’s Long Count calendar which began 5,125 years ago in 3113 B.C. ends on December 21, 2012 — sparking fears among a small group of people that a major catastrophe could happen.

That “the Maya” never actually “predicted” any such thing, doesn’t seem to matter to folks willing to plunk down thousands of dollars on underground shelters.

Mr Hubbard manufactures hi-tech underground ‘recreational bomb shelters’ — and has seen his business boom from selling one a month to one a day in the past year.

The luxurious bomb, nuclear and chemical weapon-proof bunkers are kitted out with beds, kitchens, flushing toilets and even fireplaces — and sell for an average price of £46,000.

Just goes to show a lot of people in this world have more money than brains. I particularly love the fact that these people don’t seem to want to live after the Maya Apocalypse without their precious HD TVs.

As always I will point out that there will be no “doomsday” on December 21, 2012 … not a Mayan one, nor any other kind. The Maya long-count calendar will not “end” on that date, because calendars are by definition cyclical and perpetual, and they never “end.” See 2012 Hoax and this page at NASA if you really wish to understand the fraud behind the so-called “Maya Doomsday.”

Photo credit: Atlassurvivalshelters.Com, via the Daily Mail.

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2008-08-29_a_Imhoff-Schokoladen-Museum-24The fraudulent “Maya Apocalypse” is just under two weeks away as I type this. As one would expect — with humanity being a collective mass of ignorance and stupidity — this lie has touched off panics in various places around the world. The (UK) Telegraph reports on several of these (WebCite cached article):

Ahead of December 21, which marks the conclusion of the 5,125-year “Long Count” Mayan calendar, panic buying of candles and essentials has been reported in China and Russia, along with an explosion in sales of survival shelters in America. In France believers were preparing to converge on a mountain where they believe aliens will rescue them.

The article cites panics in places like Russia and China. But it adds:

Meanwhile in Mexico, where the ancient Mayan civilisation flourished, the end time has been seen as an opportunity. The country has organised hundreds of Maya-themed events, and tourism is expected to have doubled this year.

I say, good for the Maya in Mexico! Go ahead and take advantage of the “Maya Doomsday” fraud, and milk the idiots who subscribe to it for all you can get. When December 22 dawns, laugh at the fools all the way to the bank!

As I always do when I blog about this, I’ll make the situation as clear as possible. The Maya “Long Count” calendar will not “end” on December 21, 2012. All calendars are cyclical and perpetual. They never “end.” The Maya calendar can no more “end” than our own can. What will happen on that date, is that we’ll go from the 13th baktun to the 14th. That’s all. As for Nibiru, it doesn’t exist, it never has, and it will never collide with the earth. It’s a fantasy spun by a crank who claims to be the world’s only expert on Sumerian and Babylonian texts, but who actually knows nothing about them. Put bluntly, it’s a lie.

NASA has a very useful page explaining everything you need to know about the so-called “Maya Apocalypse 2012.” There’s also an excellent compilation of “Maya Doomsday” bullshit — and a thorough refutation of it all — at 2012hoax. I suggest going to either site and being educated about this presumed doomsday.

Photo credit: pakitt, via Flickr.

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InscriptionsOver the last couple of years, I’ve blogged a few times about the so-called “Maya apocalypse.” That’s the assumption that the Maya prophesied that the planet would be destroyed — or the universe grind to a halt — on December 21, 2012 because (supposedly) that’s the day their long-count calendar will “run out.”

Since this whole pseudohistorical and pseudoscientific scenario is predicated on Maya astronomy, the folks at NASA have, over the last several years, been barraged with questions about it. In response, they’ve periodically released information intended to calm the fears of many who actually believe all of this bullshit. As December 2012 arrived, they published an article on their Web site explaining the nonsense (WebCite cached version):

Dec. 21, 2012, won’t be the end of the world as we know, however, it will be another winter solstice.

Contrary to some of the common beliefs out there, the claims behind the end of the world quickly unravel when pinned down to the 2012 timeline.

Here’s a Newsy video report on NASA’s latest debunking effort:

They address a number of claims that have been made about what will happen on December 21, 2012. Among them is the wild-eyed claim that a planet Nibiru will collide with the earth. (That particular aspect of this lunacy owes its origins more to the laughable spew of Zechariah Sitchin than to anything the Maya left behind.)

That said, I have no doubt this will not actually calm the fears of the “Maya apocalypse” true-believers. Rather, they’ll decide that NASA’s efforts to debunk their delusions and lies are merely further evidence of their veracity (for instance, they’ll ask, “Why would a federal government agency spend so much time debunking ‘nonsense,’ unless there was something to it in the first place?”). The backfire effect is a powerful psychological force and it will certainly infect many, as the next couple of weeks go by.

As I’ve done previously, I’ll point out a few simple, obvious facts that explain how this whole “Maya prophecy” is pure bullshit:

  • The Maya calendar can no more “run out” than our own can. Calendars are by nature cyclical and perpetual. You always go from the last month of one year, to the first month of the next, over and over again, without letup. The Maya calendar works no differently, in this regard. December 21, 2012 will be the transition between the 13th baktun and the 14th. That’s all.
  • The idea that the Maya had any special knowledge of the future is laughable on its face. This is especially true when one realizes they never foresaw the collapse of their own civilization, which happened back in the 10th century. The upheaval the Maya experienced in the 10th century — a time in which they did not all “disappear” or “die out” as sometimes has been alleged, although many of their city-states declined measurably and in many cases precipitously — ought to have concerned them immensely, had they seen it coming.
  • Modern Maya (yes, the Maya still exist as a people!) don’t buy any of this bilge, themselves. Since they’re in a better position than the rest of us to know what the classic Maya thought and said, it’d behoove us to pay attention to them.

The bottom line is that the so-called “Maya apocalypse 2012″ is a flat-out lie, cooked up by an assortment of New Agers and cranks who have precious little knowledge of the Maya; they’ve taken that little bit of knowledge and extrapolated it to ridiculous proportions. It’s time for them to just fucking stop their lies.

Previously, I issued a challenge to the Maya-apocalypse-promoting cranks, and I’ll repeat it here: Will you state in advance — right here, right now, without reservation — that, once December 22, 2012 arrives and there’s been no “Maya apocalypse,” you promise to issue an unqualified apology for having lied to people, and without delay or equivocation donate the proceeds of your doomsaying to charity?

My guess is, none of them are sincere enough in their (crazy) beliefs to accept this challenge and make this pledge. More’s the pity.

Photo credit: selkie30, via Flickr.

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The Bible Guarantees It ... except when it doesn't! (Based on photo of Family Radio billboard.)The Bible scholar religionist crank Harold Camping finally came out of hiding after the failure of his Second Coming & Rapture prediction this past Saturday. He addressed his failure on his own Family Radio network of radio stations, according to the (UK) Daily Mail (WebCite cached article):

The preacher who predicted the end of the world has taken to the airwaves to reveal why we are all still here.

Harold Camping, 89, who became a figure of national ridicule after his warning of the apocalypse, said last night he was ‘astounded’ when May 21 came and went without the Rapture.

But he is already examining new theories… including the possibility that God did not want mankind to suffer for five months, and so will end the world all at once on October 21 instead.

And while the cadaverous crank admits the Rapture didn’t occur, he’s not conceding the Second Coming didn’t:

He also claimed that God did visit Earth on May 21 — but that he did so ‘spiritually’.

It was one of his faithful listeners, Camping claimed, who “revealed” why the Almighty changed his mind about the scheme he’d previously revealed to Camping:

He explained by saying he’d received a letter from a ‘listener’ who offered a very interesting theory he wanted to read.

He quoted: ‘The great earthquake and rapture and the universe melting in fervent heat will be happening on the last day — October 21 2011.’

‘It’s all going to happen on the last day.

‘The great earthquake didn’t happen on May 21 because no-one will be able to survive it for more than a few days or let alone five months to suffer God’s wrath because everything will be levelled and destroyed after that earthquake and there will be no food or water to keep everyone alive.

Aha. There, you see? God couldn’t impose five months of violent tribulation on post-Rapture humanity, because they’d never survive it. This only makes one wonder why the Almighty would have created this scenario in the first place, if he’d known all along that it was unworkable (and yes, the Almighty had to have known this in advance, due to his omniscience). This “explanation,” while it sounds sensible, only further reveals the irrationality of predictions like this, and it undermines the notion that God is implacable and once he makes a plan, he sticks to it forever (as he did, supposedly, in his covenant with Noah). If God can change his mind, then everything he ever said becomes questionable, and all of his promises, become useless.

What’s more, Camping based his prediction — which included a worldwide earthquake that was to have occurred at 6pm in each time zone during the day of May 21, 2011 — on (his reading of) the Bible, and one of Family Radio’s slogans, used in their ads, said, “The Bible guarantees it!” Camping thus admits the Bible’s “guarantee” is actually no “guarantee” at all.

Lastly, Camping’s claim that Jesus Christ did return on May 21, 2011, but he did so only “spiritually” or invisibly reflects what both the Millerites and Jehovah’s Witnesses did, when their own “End of the World” predictions fizzled in 1843/44 and 1914 respectively. Since the Millerites’ “Great Disappointment,” the Bahá’is have latched onto it, claiming that Jesus Christ did, in fact, return as predicted in 1844, when their proto-prophet, known as “the Báb,” began his mission.

Go figure.

The reason Camping, William Miller, Charles Taze Russell (of the JW’s), and so many others have managed to get away with this kind of stunt is because it’s all based on metaphysics. As such, their predictions are fuzzy and malleable, and there is no way either to confirm or refute them, even after they prove false … since people just cook up more metaphysics in order to explain the failure of the original metaphysics.

The bottom line is that anyone can make a doomsday prediction, any time s/he wants … but being correct about one, is damned near impossible.

Photo credit: Based on photo of billboard via Stuckinlondon.

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The End is Near sign at Sweet Melissa's, SavannahI’ve blogged a number of times about Bible scholar religionist crank Harold Camping of Family Radio and his wingnut prophecy that Jesus is going to return on May 21, 2011 (this Saturday! hallelujah!) and that the world will end five months later, in October. It’s obvious the guy’s theories are whacked. But what I find amusing are all the other Christians out there who are trying to angle away from Camping and his sheep. Just one example of this is Dallas megachurch pastor Robert Jeffress, who penned a whine for the CNN Belief blog about how Camping makes Christianity look bad (WebCite cached article):

What harm is there in an 89-year-old preacher making prognostications about the end of the world?

First, such predictions give non-Christians one more reason to discount the Bible.

There are plenty more examples I could cite, but this one is enough to make the point that a lot of evangelical and/or fundamentalist Christians are tripping over themselves trying to get away from the lunatic Camping and his “prediction.” The problem is that their religion is inherently predisposed to such predictions! Christians through the millennia have repeatedly predicted death, doom and destruction, based on any number of suppositions and extrapolations, only to be proven wrong eventually (cached). In fact, the founder of Christianity — none other than Jesus Christ himself! — made some very clear and explicit “End of the World” predictions, which likewise failed to come true:

“Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.” (Mt 16:28)

“But I say to you truthfully, there are some of those standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.” (Lk 9:27)

Those are not the only such predictions Jesus made, but they’re enough to make the point: No Christian can really be a Christian without believing in a Doomsday, and without believing in Doomsday predictions. To condemn Camping for making such a prediction, and triangulate away from him because he did so, is laughable. Selectively veering away from the more ridiculous aspects of their religion only makes Christians look like “fair weather” believers … eager to trumpet their metaphysics when they think it makes them look good to do so, but equally eager to get out of the way of the follies which are part and parcel of Christianity.

In case anyone isn’t already clear on the matter … all Biblical prophecy is bullshit. All of it. All the time. Forever and ever.

Photo credit: mmwm.

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Glenn Beck crying & pouting - boo freaking hoo, poor little Glennie!Over the last 10 years or so, talk radio in Hartford has taken a remarkably Right-wing turn. All the nationally-syndicated vehement Right-wingers are aired here, by one station or another (the two chief talk-radio stations being WTIC-AM and WDRC-AM). The local shows are, in many cases, even more extreme in their Rightism. Local talk guys like Jim Vicevich and Dan Lovallo sometimes make Rush Limbaugh look like a Marxist.

What makes this trend as odd as it is, is that Connecticut is more or less a reliably “blue state”: In the 2010 mid-term elections — which saw the Right and the GOP make gains across the country — Connecticut actually veered back toward the Left, electing a Democratic governor to succeed a retiring Republican, and keeping every statewide and Congressional office squarely in Democratic hands. This, of course, has enraged the Right and the local talk-radio hosts, who’ve done everything but burn the new governor, Dannel Malloy, in effigy over his proposed tax increases — and I expect that, soon, they’ll hold an anti-tax “tea party” rally in Hartford, where precisely that will be done!

But despite this trend, which as I said has been a long time coming and is firmly entrenched, one of the nationally-syndicated Rightist talk-radio hosts has lost his show in Hartford. It’s none other than Glenn Beck, and if this report from the Hartford Courant is to believed, it’s because his ratings fell due to being too religious (WebCite cached article) even if the station’s announcement doesn’t say it:

The management at the Blooomfield-based station suggested the Glenn Beck syndicated show was gently being dropped so it could add a new daily morning show with Jones, and a second featuring her and Davis sharing co-hosting duties.

But the real story, the Courant suggests, might be something else. The president of Buckley Radio which owns the station offered this:

“Some of his direction has changed over the last year and a half,” [Rick] Buckley said. “He is preaching a lot more than entertaining.” …

Buckley, whose father started the company in the 1950s, said Beck’s show had changed and taken on more of a religious tone since his August 2010 rally in Washington, D.C.

“There is no question I think he had a big change after his Washington conclave. Something hit him down there. His show changed after that,” Buckley said. “In its basic elements that he had been doing for a long, long time. He got much more into the doomsday and a lot more talking of the religious aspects of people’s lives and stuff like that. For us in New York and in Hartford, we just felt that a local program would be better.”

In recent months, Beck’s show has frequently veered into apocalyptic religiosity.”

What I don’t understand is, if the Glennster is somehow “too religious” for Hartford’s talk-radio crowd, why did WDRC’s rival station, WTIC-AM, give the convicted felon and former Connecticut governor John Rowland and his preacherman and erstwhile theo-political operative, Pastor Will Marotti a three-hour show called Church and State State and Church? I’d love to think Beckie-boy is “too religious” for Connecticut talk-radio, but I’m not really convinced it’s the case. I expect that it’s simply because the Beckster’s audience is beginning to unravel and he’s losing some of his loyal following — enough of it, at least, to cause his ratings to decline measurably.

Photo credit: Hartford Courant.

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And nearby seems to be the end of the world?‘Tis the season … for billboards, apparently. I’ve blogged already about the putative “Bible scholar” Harold Camping and his declaration that the Rapture will come on May 21, 2011, and the end of the world will come exactly 6 months later, on October 21, 2011. Apparently, in spite of his previous — failed! — prediction that “the End” would occur in 1994, his crew remains convinced of this lunatic scenario; The Tennessean reports on their advertising campaign (WebCite cached article):

There are 24 shopping days left till Christmas.

And 171 days left until Jesus’ second coming.

That’s the message on 40 billboards around Nashville, proclaiming May 21, 2011, as the date of the Rapture. Billboards are up in eight other U.S. cities, too.

Fans of Family Radio Inc., a nationwide Christian network, paid for the billboards. Family Radio’s founder, Harold Camping, predicted the May date for the Rapture.

The Tennessean doesn’t offer any pictures of the signs in question, but the Friendly Atheist does, and here’s one:

Picture of one of Camping's billboards, courtesy of the Friendly Atheist

Picture of one of Camping's billboards, courtesy of the Friendly Atheist

If you need to know why I’m sure Camping is wrong and has no idea what he’s talking about, I covered all that in my previous post on the matter, and honestly, he’s not worth my having to repeat myself, so I’m not going to duplicate that effort here.

Just a little food for thought: I wonder how many atheists are screeching and railing over these signs, and demanding that they be taken down, because they’re too “in your face.” Offhand, my guess is that none are.

Update: I’ve set up a special page on my blog, counting down to Camping’s predicted Rapture and Armageddon. Just so everyone is prepared … to laugh at Camping’s idiocy, when they fail to come to pass as he predicts.

Hat tip: The Friendly Atheist blog.

Top photo credit: Vlado Stajic.

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