The end of the world as we know it?

August 9, 2014

isis-church-1800-louis-sako-mosul-christiansThe photo above is of a centuries-old church burning in Mosul.  It survived invasions by Arabs, Turks, Crusaders, Turks again, the French and the British. No Muslim leader ever tried to destroy it, until now.  History is being misappropriated for mindless destruction.


I realize that it’s been several months since I posted on this blog. Partially, I’ve been busy. Also there didn’t seem to be any widespread panic in the media about the earth being hit by a meteor or a long-vanished culture predicting the return of the dinosaurs and so I got busy with other things, like (ahem) my new book, DEFENDING THE CITY OF GOD.
This book was begun as an investigation into life in the Crusader States between the waves of invasions from the east and west. I emphasize the interactions among the newcomers and those whose ancestors had lived there since before history was recorded. Also, I did my best to fill in the gaps left by later historians who weren’t interested in the lives of women, farmers or craftspeople.
As I researched and wrote, the Arab Spring began. As I continued, I had to keep checking to be sure that I was commenting on the past and not the present. In vain, I pointed out that the current uprisings were nothing new, just better recorded. Rarely were medieval sieges and invasions motivated solely by religion. The proof of this is the number of alliances between European Christians and Turkish Muslims, both newcomers. I also looked at something that we in the West are just picking up on, the number of communities of people who follow religions that are early Christian, Muslim splinter groups or faiths that combine bits from many sources. I found echoes of ancient prejudices in the news every day.
But now things have come to such a pass that I can’t find a medieval comparison. What’s happening now is much worse than anything that happened during the crusades. Again, I don’t think religion has anything to do with the upswing in violence and intolerance. But I do believe that there are parallels with the Crusaders moving in during a power vacuum and ISIS or ISIL or whatever, doing the same thing in the same place. What I don’t know is whether or not they will adapt to the culture as the Crusaders did or if they will be the trigger that brings about the end of everything.
Cheery, isn’t it?

The Next Apocalypse!

January 4, 2013

For those of you who were sorely disappointed when the world didn’t end or a new world begin on Dec. 21, I’ve found a new end date for you.

Get in on the ground floor!  Start a website!  Add on something from Nostradamus, the Maori or the prophecies of Merlin!  Spread the news, straight from Science Friday on NPR

http://www.sciencefriday.com/segment/01/04/2013/a-journey-to-the-oort-cloud-where-comets-are-born.html

Inside this seemingly innocuous report is the information that two Russian amateur astronomers have discovered a totally NEW comet, dubbed ISON.  This comet should pass near (they say) earth around December of 2013.  No one knows where it came from, who sent it or if it will change life on earth forever!!!!

Stay tuned for more mythology as it accretes around this mysterious astral phenomenon.  Now we have have another eleven months to prepare for the End.  There is no need to return to banal daily life or worry about wars, injustice or global warming.  Hooray!

Image

It’s blurry now, but just wait! 

 

Did you miss the rapture?

December 3, 2012

I know we have almost three weeks until the Mayan calendar (one of them, anyway) ends and the galactic Death Ray will disintegrate the earth etc. but one group has already vanished, the True Believer cows!

Cow clicker inventor, Ian Bogost, informed me of this.  While humans are still waiting to be raptured up, the cows have made their getaway, rather like the dolphins in Douglas Adams’ SO LONG AND THANKS FOR ALL THE FISH.  I’m so pleases that someone else is taking the matter as seriously as I am.

http://kotaku.com/5814207/in-cow-clickarg-the-cowpocalypse-is-nigh

cowpocalypse

For all of you who were worried about there being milk, cheese and hamburgers in Heaven, relax.  You can count on the Holy Cow to provide for you.  The rest of us will have to make do with products from heretical cows, slightly curdled, no doubt.   But that’s what happens on the edge of oblivion.  More to come….

Weathering the Apocalypse in France? What a Great Idea!

November 26, 2012

 

I’ve spent a lot of time in the back country of Southern France.  I even drove up to Rennes-le-Chateau for my book on the Da Vinci Code,   but even when I was researching THE REAL HISTORY OF THE END OF THE WORLD, I totally missed the news about the town of Bugarach (really) apparently known as being a psychic vortex and, when the world ends, will be the only place spared.  It seems, from the articles I’ve read, that the people who survive will largely be reporters.  This should make the post-apocalyptic world interesting.   For those who, like me, have missed this, here is a link from The Guardian:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/nov/19/bugarach-french-village-survive-mayan-apocalypse
I have radio interviews right up to Dec. 21, so I suppose that I’ll miss this one.  However, the nice thing about predicting the End is that there is always another coming up.

The Next harmonic Convergence is coming!

November 13, 2012

How could I forget the Harmonic Convergence?  It‘s such a popular New Age way for the End to begin.

 Image

The first observance of the Harmonic  Convergence was on Aug. 16, 1987.  This was thought to be the convergence  “of a number of planets in Leo that trines Jupiter in Aries, and also trines Saturn and Uranus in Sagittarius. This event initiates a spiritual humanity factor and mother Earth, which restores Mother Earth’s’ identity and spiritual nature as we converge harmonically in a major unification of souls with purpose on this planet.”  http://www.radioastrology.com/TFG/HarmConv.htm

Got that?  A lot of people went to high places, like Mt. Shasta and Mt. Tamalpais in California and Sedona in  Arizona.  A friend who ran a vegetarian restaurant in Sedona at the time said that week was the best business she ever did as people didn’t want to ascend with meat in their stomachs.  Once again, the masses waiting for the End were disappointed.

BUT it turns out that the problem was that the 1987 convergence was just the beginning of 26 years of signs that were meant to prepare us for the REAL convergence that will happen, you guessed it,  on Dec. 12, 2012!!!

Many websites are now explaining this

“The conclusion of the Ninth Hell refers to the release of humanity into the
26-year time zone of free will, choice and decision in preparation for
the completion of the cycle, 2012, and the galactic synchronization,
2013. The full and true Harmonic Convergence until the earth itself becomes Galactic Seed, 2013”

http://www.2012.com.au/harmonic_convergence.html

Becoming Galactic Seed sounds uncomfortable to me, but the following site explains how to prepare for the time when bad people are removed.  Maybe they are the “bad seed”.

Part of the new convergence will be three days of darkness to rid the earth of dark living beings and will be accomplished by the usual method, putting a space craft in front of the sun.  But this site lets you know how to survive. 

“We have arranged that electricity will not function, so consider that in your preparations. The day times will not be as dark as night, just mid-twilight is to be expected, there is some light released around the eclipsed area.”  http://www.2012.com.au/Three_Days_Dark.html 

 

Youtube has many warnings and suggestions on how to pass through the culmination of the 26 years of transition which climaxes on Dec. 21, 2012.  Here are a few:

“On December 21, 2012 when the Earth moves fully into the photon belt and the solstice sun is in alignment with the Galactic equator will you be ready for lift off, Into a state of heart centred multi~dimensionality…”   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bbcUTMGTp8&feature=related

Before lifting off, please be sure you aren’t in a room with a low ceiling.  This site will also let you check on the state of you chakra in advance.

You may also want to meditate on the upcoming change.  It will help if you fixate on this image.

Image

In case you find this hard to understand, the following video explains “The planets in our solar system are raising their vibrations right now. These planets are making preparations for the transformational shift to occur in the upcoming years culminating in 2012. This is proof that the shift is already happening” 

I didn’t find any place to get a planetary vibration sensor but obviously those who did the experiments have one.  This video suggests getting rid of negative people in your life so they won’t impede the ascension.  Good advice.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6-GFQqTkkg&feature=related

 

 

 

 

The Election as Apocalyptic Sign

October 27, 2012

This is the usual American image of Halloween.  Adorable children in costumes, going door to door, collecting treats and laughing.  When I was a child we went out alone and ranged as far as we could walk.  Now children are shadowed by parents or organized into parties at community centers.  In my grandfather’s day they were

closer to the original meaning of Halloween.  He and his friends stole furniture from porches, tipped over outhouses and generally destroyed anything they could.

Now, what has this to do with either the election or the end of the world?  OK, it’s a tenuous connection.  But I was thinking about how many people feel that if their candidates don’t win, the world is headed down in a spiral to destruction.   Nothing prophetic, Biblical, Mayan or mathematical.   One group is certain that the world will be crushed under a load of debt.  The other is sure that international industrialists will run amok and destroy the ecosystem so we’ll have nothing left to eat, drink or breathe.

I’m not as concerned about the accuracy of these theories as I am about the climate that is producing them.   Even though the Mayan believers have been quiet lately along with the ones worried about a galactic alignment, sunspots and rogue killer asteroids, there is still an overarching sense of impending DOOM.

Campaign ads are to blame, I’m sure of it.  Never mind racial or gender slurs, opposing candidates have become antichrists.  If we don’t vote for the correct one, Satan will rule.  If you don’t believe me, watch a few hundred of these.  Therefore, my feeling is that we’ve done this to ourselves because in our collective id, we like feeling on the edge of disaster.  Why?  I’m really asking.  I have no idea.  Is it adrenalin?  A need to wipe the slate and start over?  Too many post-apocalyptic movies where the main characters are gorgeous and compassionate and we think there will be more of them then for us to meet?

Why aren’t we thinking more about saving the world for the cute, innocent kids to trick or treat in?
Just a thought.

 

On the Edge of the End and Would You Mind?

September 14, 2012

For my next book, I’ve been researching the early years in the Crusader Kingdoms (1099-1162)  A number of people thought that the Christian conquest of Jerusalem was the beginning of the End of the World.  Some of the Western Christians certainly were hoping for that, but not the ones who settled there.  At least one Armenian, Matthew of Edessa, wrote a treatise about how all the invasions by Turks, Christians and Greeks clearly presaged the end.   It’s been interesting, but all too familiar.

I’m very surprised that I haven’t heard anything in the past few weeks about new prophecies.  Even the Mayans haven’t been getting much attention.  Maybe it’s too obvious that we are on the brink?  Iran will blow us up or someone else will.  The climate will make the seas boil, very Biblical that.  There will be class warfare and we’ll have another wholesale bloodbath of the very rich, as in the French Revolution, followed by anarchy.  And, of course, there’s the serious zombie threat.

I’m beginning to realize why apocalyptic theories are so popular.  Even after writing a whole book on them, I couldn’t get my mind around the reason why so many people really liked to think that we were all going to go ‘poof!’ very soon.

The way things are going now, with what seems to me to be collective global insanity, a nice total flood or earth- destroying asteroid sounds positively like a relief.

But, in case that isn’t in the offing, what should we do to restore, or perhaps establish, a world where reason has a voice at last?

Whatever Happened to Critical Thinking

July 25, 2012

What Ever Happened to Critical Thinking?

I recently have been put to a great deal of trouble based on information that someone got from a website that I hadn’t updated in over two years.  It would have taken less than five minutes to find out if the information was accurate but the person took the page as current and never bothered to follow up, even though logic would have told him that it put me in two places at the same time.

This was annoying but it also brought home to me how much we believe these days from only looking at single sources.  Part of this is, as someone explained to me, “People like to believe things that confirm their prejudices.”  If what you read does, why bother to check further?

One result of this is that people are happy to base their votes on the certainty that Mitt Romney personally hired Chinese peasants to take jobs from Americans or that Barack Obama is on the payroll of the Israeli government. (I’ve heard both of these. DON’T cite me as a source)  Which you believe depends on how you already feel about these men.  How many of us are happy to hit “share” without finding out if there is any truth in the statements?

We have always been inclined to do this.  Word of mouth has been a source of “accurate” news for thousands of years.  Advances in the means of communication has only accelerated this and not just recently.  As I say in THE REAL HISTORY OF THE TEMPLARS, King Philippe IV had broadsides read throughout France telling of the crimes that the Templars confessed to.  These were so successful that some people still believe them. 

But now anyone with internet access can find both totally unsupported gossip and also, with more work, the facts behind it.  The problem is that few people bother.  One of the things I notice most, as an historian, is the way in which myths root themselves like stinkweed and can’t be eradicated.  I know for a fact that there are people who believe everyone in the Middle Ages was five feet tall, didn’t live past thirty, thought the earth was flat, never bathed, put women in chastity belts and believed everything the pope told them. (Of course my readers are smarter than that)  All of these things have been proven many times to be false but, because so many people WANT to believe they’re true, they never bothered to find out.  Even worse, they are sure that historical and archeological reports to the contrary must be fabricated.

Why is it that so many people thought/think that the Mayans predicted the end of the world?   How many are certain that aliens have visited earth?  All rich people are heartless and greedy.  All poor people are lazy and don’t want to work.  We love thinking in generalities.  I include myself in this, but I have also been trained as an historian and that means finding more than one source to prove my assumptions.  It also means being able to accept that my first impressions and preconceptions might be wrong.

I’m posting this on both blogs and my fan page.  It covers everything.  I suppose it’s a sort of manifesto against fuzzy logic.  Along with the grammar police, I intend to submit a bill in the Senate requiring schools to emphasize analytical thinking.  I shall also establish remedial classes for anyone entering politics.  Any out-of-work historians or experimental scientists like to apply to teach them?

Super-Pac Me

July 20, 2012

I haven’t posted on my senatorial campaign for a while.  Part of me has been rethinking it.  Even for a pension and health care, do I really want to hang out with politicians for a whole six years?  How badly do I need a secure income?  Writing is such an exciting profession.  Random paychecks are always a nice surprise.

Then it occurred to me.  Super pacs are giving millions to candidates, apparently anonymously.  This means that the donors can’t ask the person elected to do them favors, right?  And, if the candidate loses, she doesn’t have to give the money back. Reminds me of the plot of “The Producers”.  OK!!  Hey, I think just one million would keep me for the rest of my life, if I budget carefully.  That’s nothing compared to what most campaigns are raking in.  If I lose, I’ll go quietly and someone else can take my place in the next election.  If I win, I suppose I’ll have to go to Washington.  Of course, the grammar police will be at the top of my agenda, starting with my colleagues.  After that, I think I’ll lobby to re-institute a medieval economic system, where the 1% at the top is considered responsible for the care and feeding of all the people in the area they govern.  Image

 

Actually, if the super pac money went to charity, schools  (and me)  the economy would improve and there would be educated taxpayers in the next generation.  Just as good, I’ve worked out that with the money the presidential pacs have made, they could just send $10.00 to each person in America, buying our votes honestly, like in the good old days.

Thank you for your support.
So, where’s my super pac?

What Happened to the End of the World?

June 30, 2012

I can’t believe it; I’m out of town for a few weeks and, when I get back, I learn that Dec. 22 (or 23) won’t be the end of the world after all.  It seems that archeologists have found an older Mayan calendar that says we have at least another seven thousand years.   Serious news outlets broadcast this information widely. http://www.sci-news.com/archaeology/article00310.html

What has surprised me is that there has been no response from the most vocal advocates of the Mayan apocalypse.  After all, they were able to raise thousands to make “documentaries” explaining that it wasn’t just the Mayans, but the Hopi and others who predicted the end.  Added to that were solar waves, pole reversal, the 10th planet (or maybe the 9th, now that Pluto has been demoted) and a cosmic convergence that would apparently send us a death ray from the center of the galaxy among many other signs.  With all of that going for them, why has there been no counter- claim from the True Believers?

There are so many arguments that could be made against this alternate calendar.  First of all, it’s much older than the one from which the initial prediction was made.  That could mean that the first calendar was wrong, a beta version, and that the later one reflected new and more accurate calculations.  If supporters of the Mayan date are unsure about that, they can certainly come up with a myriad of other portents that are clear signals of approaching doom.  Weather patterns are always usefulImage: fire flood and earthquake are old standbys, tried and true. Or, as the poor guy in this photo found out, volcanoes are pretty final. The economic shift from West to East has many people worried that civilization, if not the world, is on the brink.  The fact that so many believe that “reality” shows are unscripted shows that we may die out through our own credulity.

And yet a search of popular apocalypse web sites has turned up nothing, not even a new date.  What is the matter with these people?  Have they lost the faith?  I’m crushed.  I was not planning on buying Christmas presents this year; now I suppose I’ll have to.  The good wine I’ve saved will have to stay in the cellar.  And I suppose I’d better keep receipts for next year’s taxes.

If anyone has heard of a rebuttal to this oddly serendipitous calendar find, please let me know.  I was so hoping for fantastic end.  My only hope was that it could come before our election.  Campaign ads are enough to make anyone long for Armageddon.


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