If, At First, You Don't Succeed, Fail, Fail, Again
The explosion of apocalypticism in our "modern" 20th & 21st centuries
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Eliphas Levi Quote

1998 CE - Certifiable, delusional nutloaf William Kamm lead his own little breakaway Catholic cult in Australia called, "Our Lady of the Ark". In near-constant spiritual contact with Jesus, Mary and Joseph, Billy (who also called himself "Little Pebble" because... well, I guess because all serious cult leaders have to go by some goofy nick-name) was certain that he was going to be the next Pope. He also said that the Virgin Mary thinks smoking is fine in moderation, that adultery is fine for him, in particular and that he could fight dragons with the aid of angels disguised as organ grinder monkeys. Pebbles also liked to spout off like a stuck lawn sprinkler on the subject of the End Times. For ‘98 he predicted all the standard apocalyptic stuff and when exactly none of it came to pass, he just date-swapped and went on a’thumpin’. The main thing that tended to set Aussie authorities' teeth on edge, though, was his nasty habit of waxing lyrical over the subject of martyrdom to his devotees. By pure, dumb luck, this sort of talk never actually tripped over the line into genuine orders to action.

  Update: On Aug 9, '02 New South Wales police raided Pebbles's happy homestead and arrested him and his chief disciple, James Duffy on six counts of child sexual assault. As an extra treat, the raid produced a hefty cache of illegal guns and ammo stashed cozily away in the compound.

  One Mo' Update: Funny how he never predicted it, but on July 9, '05 Pebbles was convicted in a Sydney District Court on four charges of aggravated indecent assault and one of aggravated sexual intercourse. A few months later, a judge sentenced him to five years in the Big House for being such a naughty little nutbuggy. Since then, Pebs's once-loyal doom cult has been falling apart faster than a lint meteor. With their self-styled bishop excommunicated, their school principle resigning and their leader in the slammer, members can't run for the exits fast enough; most leaving for parts unknown, some actually going into hiding. So, unsurprisingly, for Little Pebble and his pack the end has come, after all... though not in the way they'd been pining for. Further info can be had at The Rick A. Ross Institute
(Thanks to "AGV" and to "Anti Pebble" for the update info.)

1998 CE - It’s Edgar Cayce, again; this time showing what a rugged individualist he was by ignoring all of those big, pointy rock piles the pyramidologists pine for and concentrating on the Sphinx, instead. So sayeth Eddy, a secret chamber was to have been discovered between the front paws of that mystic totem and inside that would be scrolls detailing the history of Atlantis. (which should have dried out in the sun by now, after rising from the ocean depths per his '68-'69 prediction) This, for some unexplained reason, (likely something that would make perfect sense in an Indiana Jones movie) was to trigger Armageddon.

1998 CE - Proving that there are few things in this world more intolerable than a reformed fill in the blank, ex-gambling addict R. Henry Hall replaced his old jones with a long-term Jesus bender and announced it was a sure bet that Earth would be cashing in its chips by 1998. Determined to prove the odds were in his favor, R. cranked out a series of nutty little tomes hailing the saintliness and wisdom of Ronald Reagan and the evil, Satanic badness of atheists, communists, liberals, the US Senate and rock music... not necessarily in that order. Too bad for R., 1998 uneventfully rolled over and his whole theory crapped out.

January 8, 1998 CE 8:00 PM GMT - In one of those rare lucky breaks that happen every so often, Spanish police on the island of Tenerife were able to break up a cult suicide party before the festivities really got rolling. Busting up a "Last Supper" thrown by Isis Holistic Center cult leader, Heide Fittkau-Garthe, the policia found a stash of poisonous chemicals and a collection of suicide notes in her possession. They decided this was quite enough for a prosecution and tossed the little space-cookie in jail for attempted murder. It seems that Heide (an accredited psychologist in Hamburg, no less) had managed to gather a little cult together to worship herself.

  Dubbed "The Source" by her cerebrum-scoured clan, Heide doled out the divine wisdom that the world was going to say auf wiedersein on the evening of Jan. 8, 1998. Of course, that ending was meant only for us poor, unenlightened peasants. Her clutch of kooks would be able to rise above the general doom. All they had to do was schlep 3,718 ft. up the side of Mount Krumpet... er, Teide, an extinct volcano on Tenerife and - if they didn't drop dead from the climb, alone - kill themselves a la Heaven's Gate. Having done so, they could be spiritually whisked away in a bright, shiny space ship by cheerful aliens from Planet Aida (in the solar system Verdi, no doubt). Whatever the cult members may have thought about the world failing to end and the aliens failing to show for spirit pick-up, they've kept it to themselves. Last bit of info I could find, though, shows no indication that the sect broke up over it. So, this may or may not be the last we hear of the Heide cult.

February 26, 1998 CE - Another prophecy from Edgar Cayce. He must have grown tired of shifting the poles around, so this time, he prophesied a whole brand new one. Pole, that is. This new pole was to cause a whole passel o' trouble, what with tidal waves and earthquakes and ultimate doom for all Mankind and whatnot. Of course, if a new pole were to appear (Which it could, in the midst of a reversal. Multiple poles could pop up in the damnedest places: Iceland; Guam; Newark, New Jersey ), the worst damage it could do would be to the compass industry, as their product would be worthless as anything but paperweights for a few thousand confusing years. But, Eddy never was one for the fine details.

March 8, 1998 CE - Citing every ol' thang from Nostradamus to El Niño, the Bible to the Bhagavad-Gita, a doomwailing cult in Karnataka, India began rolling up their trouser cuffs in anticipation of a series of divine earthquakes and global floods. Only their hometown of Bangalore would be spared the super-soaking. The rest of the Indian subcontinent - along with selected chunks of others - was to sink into the sea like so much nan into over-thin curry. Unfortunately for the cultists, the 8th came and went, leaving them (and much of the rest of the world) high and dry.

March 31, 1998 CE - A Taiwanese cult calling themselves "God's Salvation Church" felt the need to traipse all the way to Garland, Texas to await the Second Coming. Why Garland? Well, in one of those dreadful instances where reality seems intent on playing out like a bad racist joke, the cult's leader Hoh Ming Chen (just one of four spelling permutations of his name that I've run into) thought it sounded like "Godland" (yes, really) and took it as a sign. Holing themselves up in a local church, surrounded by news crews intent on getting first pics should they off themselves on the appointed day, the GSC members waited. They were entirely steadfast in the belief that only six days prior to the blessed event, God would broadcast a little TV commercial for himself on channel 18... The assumption being, I guess, that "the saved" must all have cable. When both the divine promo spot and the celestial sprog were pre-empted by reality, the sect folk just did the rearrange-the-dates dance and settled in to wait for a better time-slot.

April 30, 1998 CE - Israel turned 50 and still more Fundamentalist knees-bent running around ensued.

May 31, 1998 CE - Logic plays no part whatever in this precise date's popularity as an object of End Time obsession. Like tube tops and celebrity cigar smoking, it just seems to have been a fad that took on a life all its own. First up, Bible Code crank Peter Hader played a little game of New Testament Scrabble and came up with this date as the target for the big Rapture-fest. When it didn't pan out, he at least had the rare class to admit the fact... Then blew it all by groveling about teary-eyed, begging his readers to forgive him while reaffirming that, failure or no, the B-Code qua B-Code was still legit.

May 31, 1998 CE again - Prophecy pep-squadder Jack W. Langford, whose connection to planet Earth seems tenuous at best, was also drawn to a cheery Springtime apocalypse. One of those obsessives who harp endlessly on pointless minutia, Jack fiddled about with Jewish Sabbaths and feast days, Church birthdays, creative Bible quotes and a, shall I say, singular concept of history to arrive at this particular date. When it didn't pan out, he just laid low for a bit and then came back to squawk on about the Rapture coming by a comfortably vague "real soon now".

Also on May 31, 1998 CE - I had to think a bit before including this woman on this page instead of the one devoted to wackos of the world wide web. But, since glorified 'net kook Marilyn Agee did actually managed to get her lil' self published with a book called, "The End of the Age"... and people even bought it.... she managed to just squeak in here; though a couple of her devotees did not. (see The Net Kook's Korner for them) A Numerology nutter who left her brain on spin-cycle too long, Marilyn was certain that the End was a nigh kind'a thing and believed she had what it took to figure out just exactly how nigh it was going to be. In concocting her theory, she tossed the creaky old 6000 year earth warrantee chestnut together with the 50 year anniversary of Israel and some bizarre bit of business about the Resurrection vs. Holy Spirit time differential and - for some reason that only the voices in Marilyn's head can explain - this gave her May 31, 1998. When the date whizzed by without even the itsyist bitsyist Armageddon in sight, she just threw another bunch of numbers in the air and announced a new date. As a prime example of sheer, stupefying, fanatic lunacy, her site is not to be missed.

June 7, 1998 CE - Donald B. Orsdon is another one of those numbers-mulching mental giants with a triple-six fixation. So certain was he of the sum's divine import that he devoted an entire book to the subject; the unwieldily titled, "The Holy Bible - The Final Testament: What Is The Significance of 666?". According to Donny, the significance was that the Trib would be a festive, summertime affair, presided over by God and an Antichrist who was made in Japan. Better news still, the event would be suitable for some really first-class, quality Christian martyrdom for any of those poor unfortunates who didn't rate a Rapture 'rustle-up beforehand. I suppose one could give Donny partial points for this one. No Raptures or Tribs, but it seems he did anticipate the arrival of Pokémon.

June 7, 1998 CE - Marilyn Agee tries and fails again...

June 14, 1998 CE - And again...

June 21, 1998 CE - And again...

Saturday, June 20, 1998 CE - It would seem that the angels have nothing better to do with their time than pop in the bedrooms of prophet wannabes like "Dr." Samuel Doctorian and play them closing scenes from bad Bible movies. At least, that's the story Sammy stuck to when he announced the wide-screen, Technicolor planetary finalé that five trans-continental seraphs showed him the preview trailer for. The footage included all the usual SFX: War, pestilence, famine, fire, flood, earthquake, yadda, yadda, yadda... Sam never has explained why his promised Armageddon didn't go into wide release that summer like it was supposed to. If you ask me, they probably ran into copyright issues with the title, what with the Bruce Willis flick and all. And obviously, we didn't end up seeing it the next year, either. I chalk it up to poor scheduling. I mean, let's face it, even the Wrath of God just hadn't a prayer up against the latest Star Wars.

September 1998 CE - Two US Fundamental-cases thought they'd spend their holiday in the Holy Land by blowing up the Dome Of The Rock and starting Armageddon. Instead, their essays on "How I Spent My Summer Vacation" would have to be restricted to a description of a holding tank in Ben Gurion Airport and swift booting out of the country.

October 1998 CE - Yet another victim of Jerusalem Syndrome, Jacob Hawkins flipped out in '67 while working at a kibbutz in Israel and went back home to found his very own cult, the House of Yahweh in Odessa, TX. More bizarre still is Jake's Bro Yisrayl (formerly Buffalo Bill Hawkins... yes, really), who runs a branch of the cult in Abilene. Yis mixes Bible bits freely with conspiracy theories and has ties to assorted crazed right wing militia groups, like the poisonous Posse Comitatus. For years, one of the cult's main motivating forces was the belief that the world's protracted death throes would begin in Oct. 1998 and finish up by mid-summer 2001. That exactly none of the horrifying nuclear catastrophes they promised have occurred is a detail that goes entirely unexplained and ignored by the Householders. They just continue to hawk their message of imminent doom like desperate girl scouts hawking year-old cookies.

October 5, 1998 CE - The bodies of seven members of the ironically named Youngsang (Everlasting Life) Church were found charred to a crisp in a minivan in Seoul, S. Korea. The cult members, including their ringleader Woo Jong-Min had torched themselves just prior to the lunar festival of Chusok so they could ascend to Heaven before the world ended. Seems like an extreme way to beat the holiday blues. But, hey, whatever works...

October 10, 1998 CE - "The Concerned Christians", better known to the world simply as the loony "Denver cult", first made it into the news when some 60 of the little bedbugs liquidated their assets and disappeared into the night near the end of that September. Convinced by their leader, former marketing manager and Jesus-wannabe Monte Kim Miller that the city would be destroyed by a God-ordained earthquake on Oct. 10, the lot of them freaked and skipped town.

  As crazed cultists so often do, they left a rather large emotional mess in their wake in the form of abandoned family, friends and associates; all of them frantic to find out where the delusionals had gone to or even whether they were still alive. After some searching, 14 of the missing sheep were located in Israel, packed into a couple of houses on the Mount Of Olives, living off their life's savings. When word got out to Israeli police that the cult members were planning to get the ol' Armageddon ball rolling by committing various acts of violence in the Old City (with special plans for the Temple Mount) the cops didn't stand on ceremony; before you could say, "Second Coming", the lot of them were rounded up and punted out of the country. Unfortunately, their fearless leader was not among the puntees. To date, he and the majority of his brainwashed bunch are still unaccounted for.

November 1998 CE - In her book, "Eternal Laws - New Mankind - Spiritual Transformation" Natalia de Lemeny-Makedonova predicted that November '98 would see the birth of Immanuel. According to her, the Second Coming would be accompanied by most of the quality of life going. Why so many True Believers see this as an improvement of conditions says a lot about the dreary, aimless lives they lead.

1998 - 2001 CE - Most people would see mental illness and frequent hallucinations as something of a drawback in life. But former electronics consultant-turned prophet and faith healer, Gordon-Michael Scallion parlayed them into a whole new career! Obviously a big-time fan of Edgar Cayce, whose every physical malady and psychic vision (yes, including an obsessive love for polar shifts!) he has ripped off, Gordy pegged 1998 as the year the End would begin. Japan would sink below sea level, the western US would be hit with earthquakes that would break it up into bits and pieces and assorted other Biblical-proportioned nastiness would ensue, escalating to 2001. Presumably, whoever was left on any odd pockets of dry land by then, would greet the dawning of some golden age... and have one bitch of a time collecting on any insurance claims.

1999 CE - Doomsayer and survivalist headcase Byron Kirkwood predicted a shifting in the planet's axis, which would kill off 2/3rds of the populace. Kind of a modest estimate there, actually. But, then, a complete ignorance of science is often a great inspiration for optimism. Byr has a whole line of helpful hint books on how to survive the coming kerfuffle,... at least until the space brothers can swoop by to pick us all up in their nifty space ship. (just an aside: Am I the only one here who suspects that early in life, some of these people mistook a cordless power drill for an ear wax swab?)

1999 CE - Jack Van Impe, who likes to append his name with the dubious descriptor of "The Walking Bible", has been carrot-on-a-sticking his legions of chiliasm chasers for decades. With promises ranging from Jesus' Happy Returns party in 1975 to the hoisting of the Soviet flag over Independence Hall by 1976, (I guess I just must have missed that moment between the Bicentennial parades and the 500 Elvis impersonators at the Presidential gala that year) Jack-o has made himself one very rich little Parousia-peddler.

  Back in 1990, the Impe-Man began hawking a video with the catchy title of "A.D. 2000... The End?" in which he plotted out a '92 Rapture capture with a '99 Doomsday. (as a point of interest, the vid was a big seller amongst those Hyoo-go folks I spoke of earlier) In the tape, he went to great lengths to suggest such joyful predictions as WW III and kept harping on the notion that the faithful must spiritually prepare themselves for this inevitable disaster... with the strong intimation that they might not get that prepping quite right without his heartfelt help... available for a mere $24.95, plus shipping.

1999 CE - There's sure to be a hot time in the old town some night! The surviving members of the Order of the Solar Temple planned to get together in '99 for a big reunion blowout in Jerusalem and sparks were sure to fly! Trouble was, Israeli security was on High Kook Alert all year long and not one of the great balls o' fire wannabes managed to get through the airport exits. No one knows exactly when they plan to burn the midnight oil again. (though, best bet is to check your local listings for solstices and equinoxes) But, rest assured, if they can somehow sneak past Israeli passport inspectors, they'll certainly go out with their usual flare.

1999 CE - The Taiwanese "God's Salvation Church" group were back, again! This time, they decided that nuclear war would destroy large chunks of the planet's available real estate. (though Garland, TX was to remain hunky-dory through it all!) Tired of waiting around for a televised Second Coming, the group's leader, Hoh Ming Chen declared some poor nine year-old kid as the "Jesus of the East" who could save the world if only he could be hooked up (sort of like a car battery) to a "Jesus of the West". Said West-Going Jeez had to fulfill certain rather picky criteria. Oh, not ability-wise (this is religion, remember); no, he just needed to have been born in '69 in Vancouver, BC and be the spitting image of Abe Lincoln. Hmnn, now that I'm thinking about it, I do know a guy who was born in Albuquerque, NM in '71 and does a great impression of Richard Nixon singing "Memory"... Close enough?

1999 CE - Another charming polar shifting Armageddon a la Edgar Cayce. Shall we count the days?

1999 CE - According to Jeane Dixon, an Asian Antichrist ought to be consolidating power over the world's governments and religions any day now. Well, I don't especially like Pokémon, either, but really...

1999 CE - Paranormal paranoia peddler Charles Berlitz, (who tends to write about UFO's, conspiracy theories and arguments that the Philadelphia Experiment was something more than a bad movie) got the 1999 Doomsday ball rolling way back in '81 when he penned a little tome called "Doomsday, 1999 A.D.". A hodgepodge collection of half-baked prophecies, old legends, divine and/or psychic visions and cooked-up info-junk, the book was fairly popular for a time and helped prep the gullible for more millennial madness to come.

1999 CE - God was s'pposed to have come down good n' hard on the Antichrist sometime this very year, according to evangelist George Curle. In response, the Antispawn would be pissed off enough about it to tick off the Trib in revenge, to be followed shortly thereafter by Christ's gala return engagement. To anyone still holding their breath in anticipation... Don't let me stop you.

1999 CE - Yet another Biblical ET believer, Orville T. Gordon (a.k.a. Nodrog) went the usual route of insisting that a UFO taxi service would be picking up all the lucky duck members of his cult, the Roger Ramjet-ishly dubbed, "Outer Dimensional Forces". Soon after the Outies got saved, the standard world-wide flood was to have come and killed off all the rest of us poor Innies.

1999 CE - Nelly Hurtado, who's been sharing these cozy, girlfriend heart-to-hearts with Mamma Mary since 1991, claimed that Moms gave her the inside skinny on a killer comet, WW III and the Miracle at Garabandal (the nature of which was supposed to be a big, nifty neato surprise) all set to happen sometime between '98 and the chime of 2000... Well, if the "Miracle" was that the village idiot could end up as US President, score one for Mama M.

January 1999 CE - Weekly World News wannabe, Sun Magazine did a 1997 article on Pope John XXIII. It seems that even with all his prepping for Vatican II, the P-Man still had time left over to predict that space aliens in flaming chariots would come to earth in 1999 and share the secrets to Life, the Universe and everything with us humans. What an incredible way to usher in the new Millennium, eh? Unfortunately, what he failed to predict was that by the time the ETs landed everyone would be too busy watching the Clinton/Lewinsky/Starr/impeachment media blitz to notice. I guess the aliens must have just packed up all their universal secrets and left in disgust.

January 20 CE - February 4, 1999 CE - A "Dr." Morris Plammer had so little to do with his idle hours that he spread the news about how some NASA "inside source" had leaked word to him of a 20 mile-wide killer asteroid heading our way. Not only was the nasty thing supposed to smack right into us before Valentine's Day, but to add a bit of Biblical spice, he claimed the rock bore the face of Satan. Personally, I think it looked more like Elvis. The older, fat Elvis.

March 1999 CE - Any and all non-charred Davidians planned to gather together for a festive group viewing of the messy, burned-out, blood-soaked, gore-drenched end of the world slated for this month. Some folks just cannot get enough disappointment in their lives.

May 8, 1999 CE - Panic spread across India after an astrological pamphlet promising global destruction via planetary alignment got passed around. Deaf to the pleas for reason by Indian media, scientists and astrologers alike, some 60,000 workers from one Alang shipyard alone fled screaming into the hinterland in hopes of escaping the cosmic doom-to-come. Instead of a stellar womping, though, on May 8th Delhi actually had a very pleasant break from a nasty heat wave and it turned out to be a rather nice day... well, for anyone who didn't own an Indian shipyard, anyhow.

May 23, 1999 CE - Marilyn Agee prophesied again! I bet you're as impressed as the fates were.

June 30, 1999 CE - The Art Bell Show can be counted on to attract all the "best" folks, and back around Thanksgiving of '98, it attracted one "Father" Charlie, a.k.a. Charles L. Moore. A Fatimaphile of epic proportions, Father Chuck insisted that an early summer asteroid apocalypse was definitely on the Madonna's prophetic must-do list. Proof positive that on Arty's show, any time of year is right for half-baked turkey.

Wednesday, July 7, 1999 CE 07:00 AM GMT - Edgar Cayce isn’t the only polar shift shaman on the block. Author of "The Future Pass" Eileen Lakes, (who clearly has not been making contact with planet Earth for quite some time) has vied for the honors, too. Reading her scribblings can be enormous fun as it's not only immediately obvious that she's never attended a science class, it quickly seems increasingly possible that she's never attended a school. Another one of those Beliefs-in-a-Blender types who mix Christianity with UFOs, pyramidology, ancient myth and New Age nuttiness, Eileen is obsessed with the idea of planet Earth as a giant Baptismal font.

  The Intelligent Aliens Who Created UsTM just need to get us all sufficiently soaked to make us worthy of ascension, is all. Not a problem, "reasoned" Eileen. The intelligent aliens just planned to shift our poles via one o' them handy-dandy, all-purpose planetary alignments on July 7 (forget that one wasn't even scheduled to occur at this time) causing the Earth to, "turn very suddenly 90º to the right". True, one could be snotty and ask, "To the right of what?" But, just the idea of the planet shifting 90º in any direction is sufficiently amusing on its own. Well, if "amusing" is the proper term for an event in which everything on the surface of the Earth would be flung out into space to implode, freeze and turn into a decorative debris ring for the next few thousand years. Didn't notice any of that happening back on the 7th of '99? Well, don't toss out those high-top galoshes, yet! Something tells me Eileen will soon be bouncing back with another doom n' dunking date to delight us all with, again.

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