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http://www.religioustolerance.

org---------------------------------Cults, Sects and


DenominationsLevels of belief-coercion within religious groupsAllegations of
"brainwashing" within religious cultsDoomsday Cults Defined01.Aum Shinri Kyo
02.Branch Davidians03.Jeffrey Lundgren04.Charles Manson05.Heaven's Gate06.Jim Jones
07.Solar Temple08.Concerned Christians09.House Of Yawheh10. Characteristics of
Cults11.What Does the Future Hold? 12.Failed PropheciesCults, Sects and
Denominations"...if you believe in it, it is a religion or perhaps the religion;
and if you do not care one way or another about it, it is a sect;but if you fear
and hate it, it is a cult." Leo Pfeffer A humorous quotation, but one that is
uncomfortably close to reality.Meanings of the Word CULTReligious groups and
individuals are notorious for assigning multiple meanings to a single word. The
term "Unitarian" is a good example: Pre-1776 CE: Belief in a single God and the
rejection of the Christian concept of the Trinity.Post-1776: A creedless, dogma-
free religious organization. The Unitarian Universalist Association, (UUA) is an
association of Unitarian groups.Utter confusion reigns when an author is using one
definition of "Unitarian," while a reader assumes the other meaning.
Misunderstandings also happen when an author assumes that both definitions refer to
the same organization or belief. Perhaps the most confusing and dangerous religious
term is "Cult". We have found that the word has at least 8 very different meanings.
One is positive; some neutral; some negative; one is even extremely negative:
Positive Meaning: Theological usage: A style of worship and its associated rituals;
devotion or homage to a particular person or thing. This is the historical meaning
of the word, but is rarely today heard outside of religious circles. A reference to
the "Cult of Mary" appeared in a newspaper report on the Pope's 1999 visit to the
Americas. It simply means that the Pope devotes special attention to the Virgin
Mary.Neutral Meanings: Sociological usage: A small religious group that exists in
a state of tension with the predominant religion. Hinduism might be considered a
cult in North America; Christianity might be considered a cult in India.The
Observer: An English newspaper seemed to use the term to refer to any small
religious group, no matter what its age or teachings. 1General religious usage: A
small, recently created, religious organization which is often headed by a single
charismatic leader and is viewed as an spiritually innovative group. A cult in this
sense may simply be a new religious movement on its way to becoming a denomination.
The Christian religion, as it existed in 30 CE might be considered a cult involving
one leader and 12 or 70 devoted followers. The Mormon denomination was started in
the 19th century by Joseph Smith and a few followers; it later grew to become an
established denomination.Negative Meanings: Evangelical Christian and Counter-Cult
Movement usage: Any religious group which accepts most but not all of the
historical Christian doctrines (the divinity of Jesus, virgin birth, the Trinity,
salvation, etc.). The implication is that the cult's theology is invalid; they
teach heresy. Under this definition, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints (the Mormons), Unification Church and Jehovah's Witnesses to be cults. But
they would not classify Wicca as such, because it is not associated with
Christianity. The earliest use of this meaning of the word "Cult" is believed to be
a 1938 book "The Chaos of the Cults" by J.K. VanBaalen.Fundamentalist Christian
usage: Some Fundamentalists would accept the Evangelical definition of cult defined
above. Others might brand any religious group which deviates from historical
Protestant Christian beliefs as a cult. This definition would include the Mormon
Church, Wicca, mainline and liberal Christian denominations, Islam, Hinduism, and
all of the other religions of the world. Over 70% of humanity would belong to
cults, by this definition.Mental Health Groups and anti-cult movement usage: A
small number of therapists, research psychologists, self-taught individuals,etc.,
form the anti-cult movement (ACM) They attempt to raise public consciousness about
what they see as dangerous and authoritarian mind control cults and doomsday cults.
Many do not care about the faith group's theology. They target only what they see
as deceptive practices, and dangerous psychological pressure techniques, such as
brainwashing. The ACM appears to hold opinions about the effectiveness of
brainwashing that are not shared by the mental-health community generally. They see
mind control/doomsday cults as a widespread social problem.Very negative meaning:
Popular, media usage: (very negative meaning) a small, evil religious group, often
with a single charismatic leader, which engages in brainwashing and other mind
control techniques, believes that the end of the world is imminent, and collects
large amounts of weaponry in preparation for a massive war. Often used as a synonym
for mind control religious group or for doomsday cult. The earliest use of this
meaning of the word is believed to have been in a 1965 book by Walter Martin "The
Kingdom of the Cults" (revised and expanded in 1985).The word "Cult" has so many
different and largely unrelated meanings that we recommend that the word be rarely
used. We would recommend substituting the term new religious movement, alternative
religious movement, emergent religion or faith group. These terms are more precise
and have not (yet) been burdened by so many negative connotations, as has "cult."
In 1998-MAY, the Associated Press decided to avoid the use of the word "cult"
because it had acquired a pejorative aura; they have since given preference to the
term "sect."This web site normally refers only to "doomsday faith groups" as
"cults." We feel that use of the word "cult" without careful definition in advance
leads to confusion and misunderstanding. Of course, if you are an author, public
speaker or teleminister who wants to concentrate public fear and hatred against a
new religious group, then "cult" is an ideal word to use. But the use of the term
may be irresponsible and immoral, depending upon your system of values. Meaning of
the word DENOMINATIONA Denomination is an established religious group, which has
usually been in existence for many years and has geographically widespread
membership. It typically unites a group of individual congregations into a single
administrative body. Denominations differ greatly in the sharing of power between
individual congregations and the central authority. Baptist churches have
historically allowed individual churches to hold diverse beliefs. (An exception is
the Southern Baptists Convention who reversed centuries of tradition and expelled
some congregations over the homosexual issue.) Other denominations centralize
authority, and allow congregations little freedom to deviate in beliefs or
policies. Meaning of the word SECTA Sect is a small religious group that is an
offshoot of an established religion or denomination. It holds most beliefs in
common with its religion of origin, but has a number of novel concepts which
differentiate them from that religion. Many religions started as Sects. One well-
known example was the Nazarenes. This was an reform movement within Judaism formed
by Jesus' apostles after the execution of Jesus circa 30 CE They were largely
dispersed or killed some four decades later when the Romans attacked Jerusalem and
destroyed the temple. Perhaps the most obvious North American example of a sect
that evolved into a denomination is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints, the Mormons. Their founder, Joseph Smith, had a revelation from God that
the ministry of Jesus Christ continued after his crucifixion, as described in what
is now called the Book of Mormon. The Mormon sect has since evolved into the Mormon
denomination of Christianity with the passage of time and the gathering of
increasing numbers of followers. Within a few decades, it is expected to become the
dominant faith group in the American west. When statehood was being considered for
Utah, a major impediment was the beliefs and practices in the Church regarding
polygamy. Shortly after a new revelation from God banned the practice, statehood
was granted. This caused a number of small sects to break away from the established
church, in order to allow their male followers to continue to have multiple wives.
Some of these sects continue to this day in the United States and Canada, although
they have been excommunicated by the main Mormon Church. A similar crisis occurred
in the mid 1970's when a new revelation from God abolished the church's
institutionalized discrimination against Afro-Americans. This time, the membership
accepted the new ruling; there were no breakaway sects. Sects can therefore be
considered a normal mechanism by which new religious movements are generated. Most
sects die out quickly; others linger; still others grow and evolve in to a new
established religious movement and are properly called denominations. There remains
a negative connotation for many people to the word sect; they would much rather
refer to their faith group as a denomination.Reference:1. An English newspaper,
the Observer maintained a page dealing with what they call "cults". Unfortunately,
they mixed together a variety of new religious groups, dangerous life threatening
cults and small established faith groups. The only common factor among the faith
groups that they describe is that they are all small in membership. Many of their
essays were not particularly accurate. They were at:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/observer/cults/a-z-cults/index.html Unfortunately, this
link appears
to now be dead. their web site was once a useful example of the misuse of a
emotionally biased word to raise public fear and hatred against benign religious
groups.- E N D - Levels of belief-coercion within religious groupsTopics
covered in this essay:Levels of belief-coercion within religious groupsActual mind-
control groupsNon-existent mind control groupRole of discipline in religious groups
Methods used by high-demand groupsReferencesLevels of belief-coercion within
religious groupsAll religious groups require their members to conform to specific
beliefs; they attempt to restrict members' behaviors to certain norms. But faith
groups vary greatly in the level of demands and the degree of control that they
maintain over their membership: At the "low control" end might be a congregation of
the Unitarian Universalist Association where members are not required to believe in
and follow a specific creed. They are encouraged to critically investigate all
sources of spirituality for themselves. The role of the congregation is to help
each member to develop his or her own ethical and belief systems. The vast majority
of the 1,200 or so religious organizations in North America place greater demands
on their members than the Unitarian Universalist Association, but in no way can be
considered high-demand, mind-control or brainwashing groups. In the more
conservative denomination, pressure for the individual to belief is a natural
outgrowth of some of their theological beliefs; they often teach that only a select
few who trust Jesus as Lord and Savior will be saved; the vast majority of humans
will spend eternity in Hell. This teaching places considerable pressure on the
member to believe. Some denominations use the threat of excommunicating or
disfellowshipping members in order to enforce conformity. Those members who obtain
their entire spiritual, religious, and social support from the faith group
frequently find exile to be very disruptive. At the higher end of the spectrum
might be a Roman Catholic convent or monastery that requires its members to adhere
to a strict schedule of sleep, work and prayer, a limited diet, poverty, celibacy,
total acceptance of decisions by those in authority, etc. Next would be actual
mind-control groups. These are often small, local, new, Christian groups who make
extremely high demands on their members, and are often led by a single charismatic
individual. Their total membership is quite small.At the "high demand/control" end
would be the destructive doomsday cults which so completely control their members
that they have occasionally led many to their deaths through suicide and murder.
Actual "Mind-Control Groups"One definition of a Mind-Control group is "A religious
group that engages in extreme spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional
manipulation of its members in order to control closely their beliefs, thoughts,
emotions and behavior"The critical word here is "extreme". There have existed (and
continue to exist) many truly abusive mind-control groups in North America.
Usually, these are headed by a single leader who uses manipulative techniques to
control his/her followers. The group is tightly knit and often remains hidden
unless some criminal act is discovered. Almost all are Christian (probably because
85% of the North American population is of this religion). The Anti-Cult and
Counter-Cult Movements rarely target these groups, perhaps because their activities
are not publicly known. Also, they are invariably to be local groups with a small
membership. They are virtually undetectable unless some criminal activity brings
them to the attention of the police and press. Sometimes these mind-control groups
become known because of their use of physical abuse, particularly of children. A
massive study of child abuse funded by the US federal government did uncover a
troubling level of what they called "religion-related abuse". Much of this abuse
probably occurs within mind-control cults. The study identified three main forms of
child abuse: psychological and physical abuse during exorcisms unreasonably harsh
corporal punishment of children due to religiously influenced child raising beliefs
withholding needed medical attention from children in favor of prayerDuring 1995,
two instances of unintentional deaths during exorcisms were widely publicized in
North America. One occurred in California; the other in Ontario Canada. Similar
deaths have been extensively published since, at the rate of about one per year.
One can reasonably assume that there was much unreported abuse during exorcisms
that did not lead to death of the victim. Accounts of children needlessly dying of
treatable diseases surface from time to time in which the church group required
that prayer be used in place of medical intervention. A Non-existent Mind-Control
CultThere is one group that up to 90% of Americans believe exist: an inter-
generational, underground, international Satanic conspiracy which kidnaps children,
abuses them, ritually kills them, eats their flesh and drinks their blood. This is
perhaps the longest lasting urban folk tale in existence, having been circulating
since about the 2nd century CE. There are a whole range of myths that have arisen
about these groups: they allegedly keep thousands of women in concentration camps
to generate babies for sacrifice; they kill 50,000 infants in the United States
every year; their rituals are inverted, sacrilegious parodies on Christian
religious practices, etc. No hard evidence has ever been found to support any of
these beliefs. Such groups either exist in very small numbers or don't exist at
all. Many of the myths are traceable to the "burning times" during the late Middle
Ages and Renaissance, when hundreds of thousands of people suspected of selling
their souls to Satan were routinely rounded up, tortured and executed. In a sense,
the burning times are still being promoted today, and the work of the Inquisition
continued. Role of Discipline in Religious Groups:Much of the propaganda of the
anti-cult movement is based on a misunderstanding of the role of discipline within
religious groups. For centuries, such groups have required their members to submit
to a restricted diet, work hard, spend hours in repetitive prayers, live a very
simple life without luxuries, conform to the rules of the group, remain celibate,
abandon smoking and drinking, etc. Such requirements within convents and
monasteries have been long accepted in society. Some within the Anti-Cult Movement
attacked sincere religious faith groups for these same practices, and concluded
that the groups are profoundly evil, dangerous and manipulative. The reality is
that most people join these groups and stay as long as membership remains a
positive experience. Some leave after a few days; others stay only for a few weeks;
still others stay for years, but later leave for a variety of reasons.4,5 People
are almost always physically free to leave religious groups. If organizations
attempted to restrict freedom of movement, they would be vulnerable to a charge of
kidnapping or forcible confinement. There have been rare instances reported where
destructive cults have prevented members from leaving. The People's Temple case in
Jonestown is one of the few examples. During their last days, when the situation
was quickly degenerating into mass suicide and mass murder, armed guards kept
people from leaving. The Students of the Seven Seals (Branch Davidian) in Waco TX
is a more typical example. Members were allowed to leave even during the midst of
the armed standoff with government agencies. There can be a potential negative side
to membership in high demand religious organizations. Some require their core,
dedicated members to accept strong discipline; this can develop a deep commitment
to the church. In the case of Unificationists, for example, such members must
remain celibate before marriage, abstain from tobacco and alcohol and work long
hours. The group can become their whole life, the source of their religious,
cultural, social, and other support systems. If they become disillusioned by some
aspect of the church, they can find it difficult to leave the organization and
abandon these support networks. When they do leave, they sometimes become angry
with themselves and the church, believing that they have wasted perhaps years of
their life within the group. Methods used by "high-demand" groupsThey use all of
the techniques as "low demand" faith groups use: requiring members to accept a
system of beliefs, conforming to certain behavioral norms; expecting them to
involve themselves in the life of the congregation, etc. However, mind-control
groups add many additional methods, and take them all to a much higher level. Some
are: Members' access to outside information is severely restricted Their thoughts,
beliefs and emotions are tightly controlled by: stress; e.g. long hours of work;
little or no free time restricting sleep requiring endless repetition of prayers
auto-hypnotic exercises generation of fear and paranoia; viewing the outside world
as threatening restricting criticism of the leadership or group policiesTheir
behavior may be controlled by: public shaming and humiliation requiring personal
confessions isolation from outside contacts, including their family of origin
Members are not physically restrained from leaving the group. They are not held
prisoner. They can walk away at any time. But there are strong pressures to remain.
If they left, all social and emotional support would disappear; they will often be
shunned. Some groups teach that God will abandon or punish them if they leave. They
may be told that they will die in the imminent war of Armageddon if they leave the
protection of the group.These high-demand groups tend to
have a rapid turnover of membership. Members are initially attracted because they
feel loved and supported. In time, many find the group experience to be less
positive. They may leave after days, weeks, months or years.The total membership of
high demand/mind-control groups is miniscule, compared to the total number of
people involved in new religious movements generally.References:1. D.B.
Bromley, A.D. Shupe, "Strange Gods: The Great American Cult Scare," Beacon Press,
Boston, (1981). This book describes the anti-cult movement that had its origins in
the 1970's. It explodes the "brainwashing" scare. 2. D.G. Hill, "Study of Mind
Development Groups, Sects and Cults,", Toronto (1980) 3. "Study of Mind
Development Groups, Sects and Cults in Ontario", Ontario Government (1980)4. S.J.
Gelberg, "On Leaving the 'Hare Krishnas'", Communities, Issue 88, Fall 1995, Route
1, Box 155, Rutledge MO 63563. Cost is $4.50 in the US, US $4.50 elsewhere. This
article describes a member's gradual disillusionment with the movement, which lead
up to his departure from the group. 5. S.V. Levine, various articles, cited in:
S.B. Ferguson et al, "New Dictionary of Theology", Inter-Varsity Press, Downers
Grove, IL (1988), Page 460-461. 6. Eternity On-line Magazine has an essay: "How
Cults Manipulate People" at
http://www.ultra.net.au/~johnedmiston/eternity/cultconv.htm Original date of
publication: 1995-SEP-11Latest update: 1999-MAR-13Author: B.A. Robinson- E N D -
Allegations of "brainwashing" within religious cults
TerminologyOther terms used to refer to brainwashing are: "thought reform,"
"coercive persuasion, and "mind control." We will use the term "NRM" (new religious
movement) in place of "cult" in this essay, because of the high negative emotional
content to the latter term.Beliefs Promoted by the Counter-cult MovementMany
individuals in the Anti-cult Movement (ACM) have attempted to raise public
consciousness about what they perceive to be a major threat to youth. They believe
that many NRMs are profoundly evil. These groups, which they call "cults" are seen
as: recruiting large numbers of young people into their religious groupssubjecting
them to severe mind-control processesdestroying their ability to think critically
and to make independent decisions. endangering their followers. Many groups have
induced their members to commit suicide.Many in the CCM see NRMs as being
particularly efficient in attracting normal, intelligent older teens and young
adults, and convincing them to: donate major amounts of time and effort to the
group, to uncritically accept its teachings, to conform to their behavioral
restrictions and to make a permanent commitment to remain in the NRM. Extensive
confirmation for these beliefs has come from disillusioned former NRM members. A
minority of psychologists who specialize in the mind-control field also support the
CCM's conclusions. CCM beliefs have been widely accepted by the general public and
the media. They mesh well with the mind-control themes seen in The Manchurian
Candidate (1962) and similar horror movies. The public has uncritically accepted
these works of horror fiction as representing reality. The public has also absorbed
misinformation about the efficiency of brainwashing techniques used by the
communists during the Korean War, and by the CIA. CCM beliefs are also neatly
reinforced some feminists, conservative Christians and others who believe in the
widespread existence of Satanic Ritual Abuse. SRA promoters claim that secret,
underground Satanic cults exit on a local, state, national and international level.
Satanists are believed to ritually kill many infants. Other infants and children
believed to be programmed to respond as robots without any degree of self-will.
Their victims can allegedly be triggered at a later date by sounds, words, images,
colors etc. to mindlessly perform pre-arranged acts in support of the Satanic cult.
Belief in mind-control by NRMs is essential to the continued existence of the CCM
groups. Otherwise, they have no legal or moral reason to continue their
deprogramming and exit counseling programs. Without those programs, their main
source of financial support would disappear.Beliefs Promoted by Other GroupsThe
mental health and academic religious communities are approaching a consensus that
this type of mind-control can not be achieved by psychological means. They see
people as entering NRMs because of the emotional support and certainty of belief
that the religious groups supply. Almost all leave the group of their own volition,
when their continued membership is no longer a positive experience. The average
length of membership is probably less than 2 years. Some statements by mental
health and religious communities follow:Resolution of the Society for the
Scientific Study of Religion:In 1990, after having received many requests to
evaluate the practicality of brainwashing by religious groups, the Society passed a
resolution:"This association considers that there is insufficient research to
permit informed, responsible scholars to reach consensus on the nature and effects
of nonphysical coercion and control. It further asserts that one should not
automatically equate the techniques involved in the process of physical coercion
and control with those of nonphysical coercion and control. In addition to critical
review of existing knowledge, further appropriately designed research is necessary
to enable scholarly consensus about this issue."Article from an American
Psychological Association (APA) PeriodicalPhilip G Zimbardo, PhD wrote an article
in the APA Monitor titled: "What messages are behind todays cults? " He is
professor of psychology at Stanford University and a former APA president. Some
excerpts from his article are: "Cult methods of recruiting, indoctrinating and
influencing their members are not exotic forms of mind control, but only more
intensely applied mundane tactics of social influence practiced daily by all
compliance professionals and societal agents of influence.""...cult leaders offer
simple solutions to the increasingly complex world problems we all face daily. They
offer the simple path to happiness, to success, to salvation by following their
simple rules, simple group regimentation and simple total lifestyle. Ultimately,
each new member contributes to the power of the leader by trading his or her
freedom for the illusion of security and reflected glory that group membership
holds out.""Cult mind control is not different in kind from these everyday
varieties, but in its greater intensity, persistence, duration, and scope."
Analysis by Answers in ActionBob and Gretchen Passantino of "Answers in Action"
have analyzed the CCM belief systems about NRM brainwashing and have found them
lacking in credibility: (2) Brainwashing experiments have all been unsuccessful.
The CIA used drugs and electroshock during their investigations into mind-control.
"Their experiments were failures; they failed to produce even one potential
Manchurian Candidate, and the program was finally abandoned." The brainwashing
attempts by Communist military organizations during the Korean war also failed.
They were forced to use torture to supplement their mind-control techniques and
were able to obtain success in only a few cases. However, CCM promoters appear to
believe that modern forms of mind-control within religious organizations represent
a major advance over earlier primitive brainwashing techniques. The Passantinos
question how relatively uneducated NRM leaders could succeed when highly trained
experts had earlier failed. They wonder how NRMs can brainwash recruits in a week,
while professionals failed after years of indoctrination. They quote the writings
of sociologists Bromley and Shupe (3) which point out how absurd this idea is:
"...the brainwashing notion implied that somehow these diverse and unconnected
[religious] movements had simultaneously discovered and implemented highly
intrusive behavioral modification techniques. Such serendipity and coordination was
implausible given the diverse backgrounds of the groups at issue. Furthermore, the
inability of highly trained professionals responsible for implementing a variety of
modalities for effecting individual change, ranging from therapy to incarceration,
belie claims that such rapid transformation can routinely be accomplished by
neophytes against an individual's will." The CCM movement has collected some
information to support its belief that religious groups successfully employ mind-
control techniques. But the data is unreliable. The information typically
represents a very small sample size. It is not practical to obtain information
before, during and after an individual has been in a NRM. Often, their data is
disproportionately obtained from former members of a religious organization who
have been convinced during CCM counseling that they have been victims of mind-
control.One good indicator of the non-existence of mind-control techniques is the
ineffectiveness of NRM recruitment programs. "Eileen Barker (4) documents that out
of 1000 people persuaded by the Moonies [Unification Church] to attend one of their
overnight programs in 1979, 90% had no further involvement. Only 8% joined for more
than one week..."Another indicator of the non-existence of mind control is the high
turnover rate of members. Eileen Barker (4) mentions that there is a 50% attrition
rate during the members' first two years.The opinions of former NRM members who
have left on their own are clear. Barker comments: "...those who leave voluntarily
are extremely unlikely to believe that they were ever the victims of mind
control." The Passantinos conclude: "...the Bogey Man of cult mind control is
nothing but a ghost story,
goodfor inducing an adrenaline high and maintaining a crusade, but irrelevant to
reality."Analysis by The Institute for the Study of American Religion:J. Gordon
Melton is the author of the three-volume set "The Encyclopedia of American
Religions." He also directs The Institute for the Study of American Religion. The
Cult Awareness Network quotes him as saying: (5)"Slowly, the collapse of the
brainwashing hypothesis in relation to the new religions is being brought to
Europe, though as in America it will be some years before the strong prejudice
against the new religions which has permeated Western culture will be dissolved."
Analysis by the Association of World Academics for Religious Education The Cult
Awareness Network quotes "AWARE" as stating: (5): Because of its vested interest
in maintaining the conflict, the anti-cult movement has been unresponsive to
objective scholarly studies, and has proceeded with business as usual, as if these
studies were non-existent. Scholars whose work directly challenges the cult
stereotype are dismissed as either naive or as being in collusion with the cults.
Rather than responding directly to mainstream social science, a small band of anti-
cultists with academic credentials have instead conducted research on their own
terms, and have created alternative periodicals which featured studies supporting
the worst accusations against NRMS."... Without the legitimating umbrella of
brainwashing ideology, deprogramming - the practice of kidnapping members of NRMs
and destroying their religious faith - cannot be justified, either legally or
morally. While advocates claim that deprogramming does nothing more than reawaken
cult members capacity for rational thought, an actual examination of the process
reveals that deprogramming is little more than a heavy-handed assault on
deprogrammers belief systems. The vast majority of deprogrammers have little or no
background in psychological counseling. They are, rather, hired gun vigilantes
whose only qualifications, more often than not, are that they are physically large
or that they are themselves ex-cult members."References which Debunk Cult
Brainwashing1. The Society for the Scientific Study of Religion: "SSSR
Resolution on New Religious Groups", SSSR Newsletter, 1990-DEC. Available at:
http://www.psych-web.com/psyrelig/sssrres.htm 2. Bob and Gretchen Passantino,
"Overcoming The Bondage Of Victimization; A Critical Evaluation of Cult Mind
Control Theories". See: http://www.answers.org/CultsAndReligions/mind_control.html
3. D.B. Bromley, A.D. Shupe, Strange Gods: The Great American Cult Scare, Beacon
Press, Boston, (1981). 4. Eileen Barker, "New Religious Movements: A Practical
Introduction," Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, UK, (1989).5. Cult
Awareness Network, "Brainwashing and Mind-Control: The Hoax Crumbles," at:
http://www.cultawarenessnetwork.org/cani2/page20.html 6. D.G. Hill, "Study of
Mind Development Groups, Sects and Cults,", Toronto (1980) 7. Massimo
Introvigne, " 'Liar, Liar': Brainwashing, CESNUR and APA" at:
http://www.cesnur.org/gandow_eng.htm 8. The Center for Studies on New Religions
(CESNUR) has placed online some "...documents of the U.S. brainwashing
controversies, particularly with respect to events of 1987 involving the American
Psychological Association..." See: http://www.cesnur.org/APA_Documents.htm
References which Support Cult BrainwashingAlthough promoters of the concept of NRM
brainwashing have obviously been discredited by the mental health and religious
academic communities, their beliefs still have a strong following among the public.
Their theories resonate well with that part of the public which visualizes the
universe as an interconnected web of conspiracies. The Freedom of Thought
Foundation (FOTF) promotes theories of alleged CIA mind-control experiments,
federal government harassment of the population through the use of microwave
energy, etc. An extensive mind control bibliography, primarily of articles by "true
believers" in various conspiracy theories is available at:
http://www.azstarnet.com/~freetht/omcbibl7.htmDick Sutphen, "The Battle for Your
Mind" web site at: http://www.ctyme.com/bwash/bwash.htm Steven A. Hassan has a web
site: "Understanding Cult Mind Control" at: http://www.shassan.com/ He also is the
author of a leading book promoting the effectiveness of cult mind control:
Combating Cult Mind Control.David J. Bardin, Arent Fox Kintner Plotkin & Kahn
Washington, "Psychological Coercion & Human Rights: Mind Control ("Brainwashing")
Exists," at: http://people.delphi.com/ruthj/capramme.txt Jan Groenvald, "Totalism
in Today's Cults," at: http://www.reveal.org/library/psych/totalism.html - E N D -
DOOMSDAY, DESTRUCTIVE RELIGIOUS CULTSWe define Doomsday/Destructive/Apocalyptic
cults to be religiously based extreme mind control cults that have caused or are
liable to cause loss of life. Destructive doomsday cults and associated topics
covered in this essay are: Aum Shinri KyoBranch Davidians The Family (Charles
Manson) Heaven's Gate Jeffrey Lundgren The People's Temple (Jim Jones) Solar Temple
There are many potentially destructive cults in North America:Concerned Christians
(we are not certain if this groups is dangerous to
themselves or others)House of Jahweh Other related topics: Common Factors Among
Doomsday Cults What Does the Immediate Future Hold? Predictions of the end of the
world:1. AUM SHINRI KYO (SUPREME TRUTH)The Aum Shinri Kyo is a destructive,
doomsday cult centered in Japan. Their name is a combination of Aum which is a
sacred Hindu syllable, and Shinri Kyo which means "supreme truth". It appears to be
a syncretistic religion, founded in 1987, and combining elements of Buddhism with
Christianity. It has been rejected as a legitimate Buddhist faith group by Buddhist
leaders in Japan.Its leader, Shoko Asahara was born in 1955 as Chizuo Matsumoto,
the son of a tatami straw mat maker. He was partially blind at birth, and attended
a school for the blind. As an adult, he was an acupuncturist. In the early 1980's,
he opened a folk medicine shop. Later, he established a school for yoga. Then he
traveled to the Himalayas to study Buddhism and Hinduism. This led him to organize
the Aum Shinri Kyo in 1987. Asahara is regarded as Christ by his followers. Using
the book of Revelation from the Christian Scriptures, and the writings of a 16th
Century Christian astrologer, Nostradamus, he has predicted major disasters to
occur in the final years of this millennium. His group reached a peak membership of
about 20,000 worldwide. Many of them were drawn to the group because of a promise
that they would develop supernatural powers; others were attracted by the group's
rejection of the corruption and materialism which they saw throughout modern Japan.
Many arbitrary, strict rules of behavior were enforced on the membership. They were
explained as being part of an ancient tradition. Supreme Truth emphasized a siege
mentality: that outside groups, including federal governments, were intent on
destroying their organization. Asahara claims that he has traveled forward to the
year 2006 and has talked to people who have survived World War III. Asahara called
for the group to fight in a final world revolution against the enemies of Japan,
including the US. The group established a number of chemical factories and
stockpiled various chemicals, as preparation for this Armageddon. There have been
allegations that Asahara had ordered the assassination of at least one of his
followers. A study by the New York Times revealed that the cult had also mounted at
least nine biological attacks on different installations in Japan. Targets included
the Legislature, the Imperial Palace, the U.S. base at Yokosuka. Cult members
sprayed microbes and germ toxins from rooftops and convoys of trucks. The attacks
failed; they resulted in no known deaths. It appears that the the germs that they
were able to obtain lacked sufficient virulence. (4)In the late 1980's, counter-
cult lawyer Tsutsumi Sakamoto was campaigning on behalf of the families of some of
the cult's members. He was interviewed in 1989 by the Tokyo Broadcasting System
where he revealed details of the cult's illegal activities. The interview was never
broadcast. One source stated that he, his wife and child were kidnapped and
murdered a week later by Aum members who have since confessed to the killings. At
the trial, prosecution witnesses said that members of the cult entered the Sakamoto
home while the family was sleeping, injected them with lethal doses of potassium
chloride and strangled them. 5As of 1996-JUN, Asahara is on trial for the spreading
of a nerve gas, Sarin, in a Tokyo subway station on 1995-MAR-20. The gas killed 11
passengers and injured over 5000. US Senate testimony revealed that if those
responsible had not made errors in preparation and dispersion of the gas, that many
thousands of innocent subway patrons would have been killed, and untold thousands
injured. Over 100 Aum members have been charged. Trials are expected to last up to
10 years. The government is attempting to outlaw the cult under their Anti-
Subversive Activities Law. Membership had dropped to about 7,000. Ikuo Hayashi,
"Dr. Death, " is a formal medical specialist of the Aum group. He was found guilty
of spreading deadly gas in the Tokyo subway system. He was sentenced to life
imprisonment. His "apparent remorse and his co-operation in the investigation were
believed to have influenced the decision to punish him with life imprisonment
instead of the death penalty." 5The government failed in 1997-JAN to have the group
disbanded. A legal panel ruled that there were insufficient grounds to believe that
it remained a threat to the public with only 1,000 full and
part time members.6 Estimates of the number of members in the group vary widely
from 1,000 to 5,000. During 1997-AUG, the Japanese Public Security Investigation
Agency announced that the AUM has has established 10 new "departments" and reopened
five regional chapters and one training center. They now have 26 facilities in
Japan,In 1998-OCT, Kazuaki Okazaki, a founding member of the Supreme Truth group
was found guilty of conspiring with five other group members in the murder of
lawyer Tsutsumi Sakamoto, his wife Satoko and their baby son Tatsuhiko in 1989-NOV.
He was also found guilty of killing Shuji Taguchi, a member of the cult, in 1989-
FEB. Okazaki will be executed; Japan is one of the few industrialized countries
that still has the death penalty.Rika Matsumoto, third daughter of group leader
Shoko Asahara has now taken charge of the cult. The group apparently believes that
she has great spiritual abilities because she was born after her father was
"enlightened" in 1982.A Christian-Buddhist group. Total body count: 11 killed, 5000
injured (1995) References1. Timoth3y (with a 3) Romero has an on-line essay "Aum
Shinri Kyo and the Japanese Police". See: http://www.dotco.com/t3/Aum.html 2.
David E. Kaplan, Andrew Marshall "The Cult at the End of the World : The
Terrifying Story of the Aum Doomsday Cult, from the Subways of Tokyo to the Nuclear
Arsenals of Russia", Crown Publ., (1996)3. Timoth3y has a series of notes on
apparent errors in the above book. See: "Lies at the End of the World" at:
http://dotco.com/t3/Aum/Kaplan/index.html4. "Cult Unleashed Germ Attacks," New
York times Service, 1998-MAY-255. "Doomsday cultist sentenced to death," BBC
Online Network, 1998-OCT-23 at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/asia-
pacific/newsid_199000/199363.stm6. Miwa Suzuki & David Williams, "Teenage girl
takes over Japan's subway gas attack cult," AFP news service, 1998-NOV-1Essay last
updated on 1999-APR-24 - E N D -2. Branch Davidians, Students of the Seven Seals
Overview:This is a sect that split away from the Seventh-Day Adventist church.
Under their leader, David Koresh, it was a destructive, doomsday cult whose
membership experienced a major loss of life in Waco, TX. History of the ChurchThe
group that became popularly known as the Branch Davidians were a splinter sect that
broke away from the Seventh-Day Adventist Church (SDA) in 1929. The SDA church is
well known for their belief in the imminent return of Jesus Christ to earth, for
their special vegetarian dietary restrictions and for their retention of Saturday
as their Sabbath. The breakaway sect was founded by Victor Houteff, who had joined
the SDA church in 1919. His beliefs deviated from main-line church doctrine. This
became obvious when he wrote his book The Shepherd's Rod in which he outlined
errors that he found within the denomination. He believed that Christ's return
would only occur when at least a small number of Christians had been sufficiently
purified. Houteff believed that he was a messenger sent by God to conduct this
cleansing. He saw his task as a brief one, consisting of: revealing the secret
information contained in the scroll described in the Biblical book of Revelation,
Chapter 5. This scroll has written on both sides a description of the events to
occur when Christ returns and the world as we know it ends. The scroll had been
protected by seven seals. purifying a small group of Christians, and thereby
trigger the second coming of Jesus Christ to Jerusalem, when the Downfall of
Babylon (i.e. the end of the world) would occur and the Kingdom of David would be
established.He founded the Mt. Carmel Center near Waco TX with 11 followers in
1935. He called the group "The Shepherd's Rod" after his book title. They attempted
to recruit membership from within the SDA church with only modest success. In 1942,
he broke completely away from the SDA because the latter refused to grant of
conscientious objector status to its members during World War II. He selected the
name Davidian Seventh-Day Adventists for his organization. After the war, he
started to recruit members internationally. After Houteff's death in 1955, control
of the Davidians passed to his wife Florence. She moved the community to a new
location farther from Waco. She prophesied that the 1260 days mentioned in
Revelation 11:3 would end and the Kingdom of David would be established on 1959-
APR-22. Many hundreds of followers sold their possessions and moved to Mt. Carmel
in anticipation of the "end time". They were bitterly disappointed when April 23
dawned and it was business as usual around the world. The group almost did not
survive the failure of the prophecy; only a few dozen members remained. Many had
left to form the Davidian Seventh-Day Adventist Association which remains active to
this day. Florence Houteff left in 1962. Benjamin Roden assumed control of the
group, and renamed it the General Association of Davidian Seventh-Day Adventists.
He proclaimed himself to be King David's successor. After his death in 1978, his
wife, Lois Roden took control. She had been receiving visions that God is both male
and female, that the third person of the trinity (the Holy Spirit) was female, and
that Christ would take the form of a woman at his/her second coming! A power
struggle developed between Lois and her son George. Vernon Howell (1959-1993)
joined the group as a handyman in 1981. In 1984, he married the daughter of a
prominent member of the community, Rachel Jones, then aged 14. A series of power
struggles resulted. George Roden had Howell thrown off the property. He later dug
up a 25 year old corpse, placed it in the chapel and declared that the person who
returned the corpse to life would be the next leader. Howell and followers sneaked
into the compound to photograph the casket. They were detected and a gun battle
between Vernon and George Roden resulted; George was wounded, and later imprisoned
for violating a restraining order and for contempt of court. The latter charge was
caused by a series of legal actions that he filed which were filled with profanity
and threats against the judges. When Roden was imprisoned in 1987, Howell and his
followers took over control. They found an illegal drug laboratory on the premises
which made methamphetamine; they also found a large quantity of pornography. Both
were removed. Howell was later tried for attempted murder, but the jury could not
reach a verdict. In 1989, Roden split his roommate's head open with an axe; he was
found not-guilty of murder by reason of insanity. He lived in the Big Spring State
Hospital in west Texas state mental facility. (On 1998-DEC-5, at the age of 60, he
escaped and was found dead of a heart attack on the hospital grounds.)A major
international recruitment drive was established in 1985; it was aimed at SDA
members (in particular those who had been disfellowshipped from the church due to
their beliefs). This effort brought in members from Australia, Canada, Great
Britain, etc. A number of businesses were created within the compound; guns were
purchased wholesale and resold at gun shows. There were 130 members living at Waco
in the Spring of 1993; they were a multi-racial, multi-ethnic group of whom 45 were
black. The group called themselves "Students of the Seven Seals" (meaning in
reality: students of the scroll protected by the seven seals). The term "Branch
Davidians" (BD) was derived from Roden's expression "Get off the dead [Shepherd's]
Rod and move onto a living Branch". It was not generally used by the membership,
but became the name most commonly used by the public and media. In 1990 Howell
changed his name to David (after King David of the Israelites) Koresh (after the
Babylonian King Cyrus). In 1992, Koresh renamed Mt. Carmel "Ranch Apocalypse",
because of his belief that the final -encompassing battle of Armageddon mentioned
in the Bible would start at the BD compound. Church BeliefsTheir basic beliefs
follow those of the Seventh Day Adventist church, with its emphasis on the imminent
arrival of Jesus Christ, dietary rules, the inerrancy of the Bible, etc. They
differ only slightly from many Evangelical churches. However, they have added a
number of additional, novel concepts: God has provided a prophet whose
pronouncements are to be regarded on a par with the Bible. Christ's death on the
cross provided salvation only for those who died before 32 CE. People who have died
since will only be saved through the activities of the current BD prophet. They
believe that the "lamb" mentioned in Revelation 5:2 is not Jesus Christ (as
essentially all Christians believe) but is David Koresh himself. The lamb is to
open up the seven seals and trigger the sequence which ends the world as we know
it. This belief caused a great deal of misunderstanding; many Christians believe
that Koresh viewed himself as Jesus Christ, and was thus psychotic. After the
breaking of the seals, Christ would return to earth. A battle would occur in which
the BD's would play a major role. The BD members alone would ascend to heaven to be
with God. Church Practices:The BDs at Waco led a communal, highly regulated and
disciplined life: raising early, eating together, growing their own food,
committing long intervals of time to Bible study, etc. Some members had jobs
outside the community which contributed financially to the organization. They
published a periodical "Shekineth Magazine" They held conventions which were
synchronized with the Jewish feast days defined in Leviticus 23:4-43. Following
Koresh's "New Light" doctrine, he began to persuade married women within the group
to join him as "spiritual wives;" this involved sexual access. Couples were
separated and their marriages dissolved. All but Koresh and his spiritual wives
were required to remain celibate. There were
rumors that Koresh was sexually and/or physically assaulting children in the
community. This was supported by disgruntled ex-cult members and by a father
involved in a custody suite. Strong physical punishment was used in the compound
for discipline of children. However assertions of actual abuse of young children
are of doubtful validity. Several investigations were conducted by local Child
Protective Services; they turned up no evidence. None of the children who left the
compound during the siege exhibited any signs of abuse. However Koresh did state
in a videotape that he is the father of more than a dozen children with several
"wives" who he allegedly impregnated at the age of 12 or 13. If he was telling the
truth, then he certainly was guilty of statutory rape. They assembled large
supplies of arms; one source estimated 11 tons of arms including antitank rifles.
During the 1990's, all but one of the elements which are commonly found in doomsday
cults were present at Ranch Apocalypse.Only one element that has been generally
found in other destructive cults was missing. There does not appear to have been
strict control of information in to the compound. Ranch Apocalypse was a powder
keg, awaiting only a spark. Some BDs observed the approach of 76 heavily armed
employees of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) and interpreted it
as the start of the Battle of Armageddon which they so devoutly had been studying
and anticipating for years. Given their religious beliefs, no other interpretation
was possible. What is Known about WacoA major tragedy happened at Waco in the
Spring of 1993. There is a general consensus that the sequence of events included:
The ATF decided to arrest David Koresh on firearms violations. He could have been
easily arrested away from the compound while jogging or while visiting Waco. But
apparently it was necessary for them to arrest him at the compound near the guns in
order to have a chance of winning a court case. A group of 76 armed ATF agents
entered the compound on 1993-FEB-28 and attempted to serve a search warrant A shot
was heard; it is unclear whether it was an accidental firing by an ATF agent, or an
intentional or accidental discharge from within the buildings. In the resultant
firefight, 6 Davidians and 4 ATF agents died; at least one Davidian and 24 agents
were wounded. The ATF withdrew. The FBI took charge; a 51 day siege followed. Based
on a report from a psychiatrist at the Baylor College of Medicine, the FBI believed
that the Branch Davidian children were being sexually and physically abused inside
the compound. (The FBI has since acknowledged that the report is false. It is
apparently based on false memories implanted in the children) The FBI consulted a
number of experts on new religious movements with knowledge about destructive
cults, who warned of a high probability of mass murder or suicide if aggressive
action was taken. The FBI also consulted a number of psychiatrists, who had no
specialized experience with doomsday cults, who assured the FBI that the chances of
major loss of life was slim. The Bureau decided that it was safe to attack the
compound with tear gas. The FBI seem to have ignored the religious experts and
accepted the beliefs of the psychiatrists. The FBI emergency response team had been
at the site for almost 2 months. If the siege lasted much longer, then the team
would be in need of refresher training; there was no replacement team. On 1993-APR-
19, specially adapted tanks approached the building to penetrate the walls and
inject a form of tear gas inside; A group of fires started almost simultaneously in
different locations within the compound; they combined to form a great
conflagration. 8 followers were able to escape during the attack; many were
severely burned Koresh and about 75 of his followers [numbers differ in various
sources] died of stab wounds, gun shots, and from the effects of smoke and flames.
This included 21 children. 5 followers were convicted of voluntary manslaughter and
firearms violations. Two others were convicted of arms charges. Later, a famous
video has been distributed which appears to show a flame-throwing tank igniting the
compound. This has been proven to be a fake: a forged picture of a flame
superimposed in a film laboratory on top of actual footage of the tanks at Waco.
The latter was taken about 2 hours before the fire. Whenever a high-profile and
tragic event occurs (e.g. the assassination of President Kennedy, the bombing at
Oklahoma City, etc.) facts become mixed with fantasies. Waco is no exception; the
truth will probably remain unknown. There have been many individuals and groups who
have disseminated information of varying quality, including: surviving members of
the Branch Davidians still faithful to David Koresh's beliefs disgruntled ex-
members of the group the ATF the FBI counter-cult groups anti-cult groupsWe believe
that none of the above are reliable sources of information. Some seem to have
intentionally disseminated misinformation in order to further their own agendas
and/or to protect themselves and/or to project their religion in a very positive or
negative light. Others have given versions of events as they remember them to be,
but which may have been colored by their intense emotional involvement. It is
difficult to separate fact from fiction, although rumors of attacks by helicopter
gun ships do seem most improbable, and flame throwing tanks have been proven to be
a hoax. We feel that the main fundamental, preventable causes of the tragedy were:
David Koresh refused to recognize a government search warrant. David Koresh and the
FBI were unable to communicate effectively. Koresh and his followers anticipated
death at the hands of government agents; most were willing to commit suicide by
arson rather than surrender. The FBI ignored the advice of destructive cult
experts; they accepted the advice of mental health professionals who had no
specialized knowledge of destructive/doomsday cults. The FBI believed (incorrectly)
that children were being abused. Many of the Branch Davidian parents refused to
recognize the danger and send their children out of the compound to safety.What is
Not Definitely Known about WacoWere there illegal weapons at Waco? : Probably there
were. Koresh implied so in a telephone conversation with the FBI; he also admitted
it to his lawyer. There is also evidence in the form of a famous video clip showing
bullets emerging from within the building and penetrating the outside wall; the
firing rate and uniformity would indicate an automatic weapon. The McLennan County
Sheriff's Office determined that UPS had been delivering components which could
convert legal firearms into fully automatic (illegal) weapons. 4 live grenades, 6
grenade launchers and 48 automatic weapons were recovered after the fire, in
addition to 151 legal weapons. Countless rounds of bullets and a number of hand
grenades exploded during the fire. When the "bunker" was excavated, about 750,000
bullet casings were found. Was Koresh guilty of statutory rape? Probably not. There
is one rumor from former members of the BD that Koresh believed that he had an
obligation to father two dozen children by mothers who were virgins, and that he
obtained permission from parents to engage in sexual activities with some of the
children. Yet a number of investigations by Children's Protective Service found no
evidence of any wrongdoing. A report issued by a psychiatrist at Baylor College of
Medicine concluded that the children of the Branch Davidians were being sexually
and physically abused. This report is now known to be false. The children initially
denied any such abuse and only told stories of sexual assaults after intensive
interrogation. Were Army personnel present at Waco? Apparently not. There are
claims of helicopter gun ships and tanks equipped with flame throwers being used at
Waco. But this appears to be intentional misinformation. Who fired the first shot?
Only the person responsible knows that, and he/she may be dead. Some believe that
an ATF agent accidentally discharged his firearm and shot himself in the foot;
there is a rumor of one or more guard dogs being shot; others believe that someone
within the compound fired the first shot. Was a non-fatal resolution possible?
Probably. On April 14th, Koresh promised to surrender if he was given time to write
a document explaining the seven seals of Revelation. The attack started 5 days
later, while he was writing the book, and after he had completed writing on the
first seal. How were the fires started? : There is one belief that when a tank
punched a hole in a compound wall, it overturned a propane tank which broke into
flames. . However, this scenario cannot account for the large number of small
blazes that were observed to start about the same time in many buildings. There is
another belief that Koresh ordered quantities of kerosene to be placed around the
compound and lit manually. This is supported by the video evidence which seems to
show a number of small that quickly combined into a general conflagration. The
engineering consulting firm Failure Analysis were hired by the National Riflemen's
Association to study the fire. They presented their findings at a seminar at MIT,
concluding that a series of small fires were most likely set by the Branch
Davidians themselves. An anti-government propaganda film shows a tank equipped with
a flame thrower attacking a building. The film was crudely doctored and a phony
flame was added in a film lab. Who is responsible for the deaths? This question has
as many answers are there are investigators into the tragedy. It is our belief that
the responsibility should be divided into 4 more or less equal parts:David Koresh
for:assembling a large cache of weapons, exciting
his followers into a fever pitch anticipating the end of the world being unable to
communicate his beliefs and intents clearly, refusing to submit to a government
warrantThe Branch Davidians generally for staying at Waco (and keeping their
children there) in spite of all of the warning signs that they were members of a
destructive, doomsday cult Some of the experts hired by the FBI who were apparently
so unaware of the dynamics of doomsday cults and of the Branch Davidian beliefs and
practices that they advised the FBI to take aggressive action, assuring them that
the possibility of resistance and of mass suicide was low The FBI for:believing the
wrong "experts" in the presence of contradictory recommendations for total lack of
understanding of Koresh's message; it was discounted as "Bible babble" by one
agent. Another agent thought that the 7 seals were sea creatures. A careful study
of his teachings would show that they formed a consistent interpretation of the
Bible. Events from the Branch Davidian perspectiveKoresh had been preaching the
imminent end of the world in which the Branch Davidians would play a major role. He
himself would break the seven seals mentioned in Revelation 5:2. The BD's fully
expected to be attacked by the government. But there were several confusing
features to the ATF raid and subsequent FBI siege: they had calculated that the end
would occur in 1995, a full two years in the future they surprised that no tanks
and fire were involved in the initial raid by the ATF agents as prophecy predicted.
(Tanks and fire were to come later). they believed that they would be transported
to Jerusalem for the final battle; this was not happening.David Koresh was
apparently confused by the lack of agreement between reality and prophecy. He
initially offered to surrender if his sermon was broadcast nationally. It was
broadcast over the local Evangelical Christian radio station in Waco TX and over
the CBN Network on March 2. However, he changed his mind after receiving a
revelation that God wanted him to wait. Believing he had received this directive,
it is inconceivable that he would surrender at that time. During the siege, Koresh
made repeated requests to communicate with Biblical scholars. Two academics did
offer to help in the negotiations, but were turned down by the FBI. David Koresh
repeatedly stated that he would not surrender until he received instructions from
God. On April 14, he believed that he had received his long-awaited revelation. He
was instructed to write a description of the Seven Seals and then to surrender to
the FBI with his followers. He was apparently engaged in this task when the attack
occurred 5 days later. One of the followers who escaped from the compound during
the fire carried a floppy disk containing the part of Koresh's book that he had
just completed. It probably would have taken a few weeks more for him to complete
the task. The Branch Davidians Today:The Branch Davidian movement continues, but is
divided into two factions: one is an anti-Koresh group which claims to be the
original Branch Davidian group before David Koresh took over. They now control the
compound property and have erected a museum on the site which is both anti-Koresh
and anti-government. The other group of about 24 members reveres the memory of
Koresh and are still attempting to comprehend the events in Waco in the light of
Bible prophecy. They anticipated that David Koresh would return to earth on 1996-
DEC-13, and that they will be reunited with the members who have died. If that had
happened, it would have been a unique event in the history of the world. It didn't
occur on schedule. The current Branch Davidian theology believes that the 2300 day
interval prophesized in Daniel 8:14 began at the time of the mass deaths at Waco,
on 1993-APR-19 About 1999-AUG-6, the sixth seal will be fulfilled, the Cleansing of
the Sanctuary will occur, and 5 months of torment will begin. About 250 surviving
Branch Davidian members and relatives of the dead are suing the Federal government.
They believe that the fire was started when federal agents punched holes in the
walls of the compound and fired tear gas inside. They allege that the gas canisters
caught fire and started the conflagration that burned down the entire compound. On
1997-SEP-7, US District Judge Walter Smith reimposed long prison sentences on five
Branch Davidian members. Four men received 10 years for voluntary manslaughter and
30 years for using a firearm in a violent crime. The fifth was received 10 years
for possessing a hand grenade and 10 years for using a firearm. Events from the FBI
perspectiveThey looked upon Koresh as a deranged individual. He believed himself to
be Jesus Christ. They knew that he had a huge arsenal of illegal weapons. They
genuinely believed that he sexually and physically abused children. Some believed
that he was producing illegal drugs. They were totally insensitive to the religious
nature of the conflict, and treated the standoff as a conventional hostage
situation. They discounted Koresh's obsession with the 7 seals, and interpreted it
as an indication that he was psychotic. They assumed that he was lying when he said
that he was waiting for a revelation from God with instructions how to proceed.
When he said that he had received the revelation, they interpreted it as simply
another delaying tactic. Seeing no end to the standoff, having received an "expert"
opinion that mass suicide or murder was unlikely, and being concerned about the
fate of the children in the compound, they decided to risk mass suicide and
killing; they attacked with tear gas. Link to the Oklahoma City BombingThe federal
office building in Oklahoma City, OK, was bombed 1995-APR-19, on the second annual
anniversary of the disaster at Waco. Timothy McVeigh was charged and convicted as
the person primarily responsible for the bombing. According to his former army
buddy, McVeigh was primarily motivated by a desire to avenge the 1993 government
siege at Waco TX. McVeigh allegedly believed that the "orders were issued" for Waco
from the building in Oklahoma City. He was wrong. McVeigh allegedly compared the
government workers to storm troopers from the movie Star Wars. At one point,
McVeigh allegedly was considering a suicide bombing by staying inside the rented
truck to make certain that the bomb went off. ReferencesS.A. Wright, "Armageddon in
Waco", University of Chicago Press, Chicago IL (1995) V.T. Houteff, "The Great
Controversy Over 'The Shepherds Rod", Universal Publishing Assoc., Waco TX (1954)
J.D. Melton, Ed, "The Encyclopedia of American Religions, Vol. II", Triumph Books,
New York (1991), P. 676 T. Miller, Ed, "America's Alternative Religions", SUNY
Press, Albany (1995), P. 149-158 D. Koresh, text of taped sermon recorded on 1993-
MAR-02. Analysis by Stephen Tice included. See:
gopher://wiretap.spies.com/00/Library/Religion/Fringe/koresh.txt D.J. Reavis "The
Ashes of Waco. Featured at http://rampages.onramp.net/~djreavis/ The site also has
a FAQ at: http://rampages.onramp.net/~djreavis/Ashes_faq.html J. Tabor, E.V.
Gallagher, "Why Waco", University of California Press (1995). Featured at:
http://www.neo.com/ucalpress/whywaco/ The PBS program Frontline has a FAQ list on
Waco. See: http://www.boston.com/wgbh/pages/frontline/waco/topten.html An expose
"GOP keeps focus on ATF'S mistakes in Waco" is available at:
http://www.nando.net/newsroom/nt/nation7.html Another expose, by K.S. Van Horn
"Abuses of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms is at:
http://www.access.digex.net/~croaker/koramer.html A list of the firearms found at
Waco; sound bytes of 911 calls, etc; links to other Internet sites about Waco, etc
are at: http://www.nashville.net/~police/waco/ The "Internet Crime Archives"
contains descriptions of various "killer cults [which] tend to be led by
charismatic megalomaniacs who pit themselves and their churches against the rest of
the world". They include the Branch Davidian group. See:
http://www.mayhem.net/Crime/cults.html A list of 45 references to the Branch
Davidian group and to its leader can be accessed at:
http://www.unc.edu/~elliott/koresh.txt Congressional testimony by Dr. Bruce Perry
concerning treatment of children at Waco is at:
http://www.bcm.tmc.edu/civitas/publications/congress.html "Real History Archives"
has links to two conspiracy-minded WWW sites about the Waco incident. One includes
a map to the compound. See: http://www.webcom.com/~lpease/waco.html "...the
official website of many Branch Davidian survivors who were with David Koresh
during the 51 day siege at Mt. Carmel" has three domain names":Seven Seals
Revelation, Book 1 at: http://www.sevenseals.com Seven Seals Revelation, Book 2 at:
http://www.branchdavidian.com Seven Trumpets (material in text and audio) at:
http://www.seventrumpets.com/ The Waco Holocaust Electronic Museum describes the
Waco disaster as an intentional government extermination. They appear to accept the
existence of flame-throwing tanks. See: http://206.55.8.10/SkyWriter/WacoMuseum/
Originally published: 1995-SEP-28Last update: 1999-FEB-6Author: B.A. Robinson- E N
D -5. JEFFREY LUNDGRENMORMON SPLINTER GROUP, UNDER JEFFREY LUNDGRENThis was a
destructive, doomsday cult founded and led by Jeffrey Lundgren: (1989) He was the
leader of a small group of about 2 dozen members that broke away from the
Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS). The RLDS Church has
a membership of about 250,000, and is centered in Independence MO. The Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints split from the RLDS when the former moved to
Utah. Lundgren in turn split from the RLDS in 1987 because of its liberal
tendencies (e.g. allowing women to be ordained as priests). There is also suspicion
that he had embezzled money
from the Church. Members prepared for an expected war in which they would attack
the original Temple in Kirtland which is now preserved as a historical site by the
RLDS. They engaged in strange sexual rituals, and para-military training. One
family, the Averys, opposed some of Lundgren's rulings, were executed and buried on
the group's ranch. Lundgren was sentenced to death for his crimes; his wife and son
received long prison sentences. A Christian group. Total body count: 5. 3. CHARLES
MANSONTHE FAMILY (CHARLES MANSON)Quotation: "You made your children what they
are.... These children that come at you with knives, they are your children. You
taught them. I didn't teach them. I just tried to help them stand up.... You can
project it back at me, but I am only what lives inside each and every one of you.
My father is your system.... I am only what you made me. I am a reflection of you."
Charles Manson: This group is unrelated to a faith group called: the Church of God,
Family of Love and The Family. Charles Milles Manson (1934- ) is a person with an
unusual ability to dominate others. He assembled a destructive, doomsday cult
around himself, which the media later called The Family. At one time, it numbered
in excess of 100 individuals at the Spahn Ranch some 30 miles northwest of Los
Angeles CA. Manson was referred to both as "God" and "Satan" by his followers. As
the family's guru, he claimed to be a reincarnation of Jesus Christ. Manson was
concerned about damage to the environment and pollution. He once commented: "Your
water's dying. Your life's in that cup. Your trees are dying. Your wildlife's
locked up in zoos. You're in the zoo, Man. How do you feel about it? " The police
and DA argue that Manson found sections within the Beatles' song Helter Skelter and
within the last book in the Christian Bible, Revelation which he felt referred to a
devastating future race war between blacks and whites. He expected to take over
control of the surviving Afro-Americans after they had exterminated the whites. By
murdering some high-profile people, he expected to trigger the "final days"
conflict. Although Manson is not believed to have killed anyone directly, he
ordered his followers to commit the famous Tate, LaBianca and other murders. The
first murder by the family was of Gary Hinman, a Los Angeles drug dealer and
musician. His body was discovered on 1969-JUL-31.The first series of mass murders,
called the "Tate" homicides, occurred at the home of Sharon (Tate) Polanski on
1969-AUG-9. Three victims were shot and/or stabbed multiple times on the grounds of
the estate. These were Abigail Folger, Steven Parent and Voiytek Frykowski. Sharon
Polanski and Jay Sebring were murdered inside the house. Sharon, 8 months pregnant
at the time, died from numerous stab wounds; Jay died of blood loss. Both had been
hung by a rope over a rafter.The next homicides, called the "LaBianca murders,"
occurred two days later in the home of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. They were found
stabbed to death with dozens of wounds. Finally, Donald Shea was murdered. He was
a former stuntman and hired hand at the Spahn Ranch.The police appear to have been
stunned by the horrific details at the mass murder crime scenes. They badly bungled
the task of collecting evidence. They were unable to find the clothing worn by the
murderers; a television news crew was able to locate the clothing later. A major
break in the case happened in 1969-NOV when Family member Susan Atkins was arrested
on a charge of prostitution. While in prison, she talked to her cellmate about
having been involved in the Tate murders.Charles Manson and three of his followers
(Krenwinkel, Atkins, Van Houten) were charged with the Tate/LaBianca murders. The
trial was spectacular. Manson spent much of the time with his back to the judge;
his actions were repeated by his co-defendants and other followers. He shaved his
head and carved an swastika on his forehead; his "family" followed suit. All four
were found guilty and sentenced to execution. Manson and other family members later
received death sentences for the Hinman and Shea killings. The death penalties were
commuted to life imprisonment in the 1970's when California law was changed.One of
his followers, Lynette "Red" "Squeaky" Fromme, was tried, convicted and imprisoned
for life in 1975. She attempted to assassinate President Gerald Ford on 1975-SEP-5.
Her motive appears to have been to publicize Manson's request for a retrial, and
his concern about the environment. She remains in maximum security section of a
medical facility at Carswell, TX.In 1997-MAR, Charles Manson, 62, made his ninth
unsuccessful request for parole. Apparently, he wasn't too disappointed. In 1997-
AUG, Manson was transferred from Corcoran State Prison to the tougher Pelican Bay
State Prison as punishment for his recent drug bust. He was be placed in a
segregated Security Housing Unit where he had little contact with other inmates. In
1998-MAR-26, he was returned to Corcoran where he remains today. His address is:
Charles Manson, B-33920, 4A 4R-48, P. O. Box 3476, Corcoran, CA 93212. He is
currently eligible for parole, although his chances of being freed are slim.One
source 1 found "at least 100 pages of information from the faithful" on the
Internet. One remarkable web site compares Manson with the Hindu God Shiva. 2
Another site, Access Manson, 3 appears to be a semi-official Manson web site. It
contains extensive information about ATWA (Air, Trees, Water, Animals) which is
Manson's environmental group. The Family was a group with Christian beliefs. Total
body count (1969): at least 8.References:1. Deborah K. Fillmer, "Forensic
science and the Charles Manson murders," at:
http://www.cris.com/~dfillmer/Manson.htm2. "Astonishing similarities between
Charles Manson and the Hindu God Shiva," at:
http://members.aol.com/KarolMay/manson.html 3. "Manson Family Murders, 1969-1971"
at: http://www.umi.com/hp/Support/K12/GreatEvents/Manson.html 4. A web site "Access
Manson" is dedicated to Manson and is billed as "A real source for Manson Thought."
See: http://www.atwa.com/ 5. A list of web sites which deal with Charles Manson
and The Family is at: http://www.goto.com/d/search/p/befree/? Books:V. Bugliosi & C.
Gentry, "Helter Skelter, The true story of the Manson murders," Bantam Books,
(1974)C. Manson, & N. Emmons, "Manson in his own words," Grove Press, (1986).E.
Sanders, "The Family," Clarke, Irwin & Company, (1971) M. Terry, "The Ultimate
Evil," Bantam Books; (1989) 4. HEAVEN'S GATEHeaven's Gate is a destructive,
doomsday cult centered in California. 21 women and 18 men voluntarily committed
suicide in three groups on three successive days starting on 1997-MAR-23. Most were
in their 40's; the rest covered an age range of 20 to 72. "Heaven's Gate" was the
latest of three organizations founded by Marshall Herff Applewhite and Bonnie "Ti"
Lu Trusdale Nettles, a.k.a. "The Two." The first was Human Individual Metamorphosis
(HIM) which they organized in 1975. They traveled to the Colorado desert to wait
for the arrival of a UFO. None came. Bonnie Nettles died of cancer in 1985.
Applewhite organized a new group called Total Overcomers Anonymous or "TOA" in
1993. They placed an ad in USA Today, announcing that the Earth's present
civilization was about to be "recycled." Applewhite originally went by the nickname
"Bo", and more recently was called "Do" (pronounced "Doe"). Marshall moved to San
Diego County CA with the group, now renamed "Heaven's Gate", and lived on to become
one of the 39 suicides. They followed a syncretistic religion, combining elements
of Christianity with unusual beliefs about the nature of UFOs. They interpreted
passages from the four gospels and the book Revelation as referring to UFO
visitation. In particular, they emphasized a story in Revelation which described
two witnesses who are killed, remained dead for 3 1/2 days, were revived and taken
up into the clouds. They look upon earth as being in the control of evil forces,
and perceived themselves as being among the elite who would attain heaven. They
held a profoundly dualistic belief of the soul as being a superior entity which is
only housed temporarily in a body. Applewhite said that bodies were only "the
temporary containers of the soul...The final act of metamorphosis or separation
from the human kingdom is the 'disconnect' or separation from the human physical
container or body in order to be released from the human environment." They believe
that about 2000 years ago, a group of extra-terrestrials came to earth from the
Kingdom of Heaven (the "Next Level"). One of these was "Do". He was given
instructions by "Ti", his female companion, whom he referred to as his "Heavenly
Father." He left his body behind, transported to Earth in a space-ship, and
incarnated (moved into) a human body, that of Jesus Christ. A second group of
extra-terrestrials returned to earth, starting in the 1920's. Do was the Captain of
this expedition; Ti was the Admiral. They each moved into a human body, but somehow
became scattered. Do and Ti held public meetings to disseminate their beliefs. They
were pleasantly surprised to find that most of their converts were the long-lost
crew members. Members called themselves brother and sister; they looked upon
themselves as monks and nuns; they lived communally in a large, rented San Diego
County (CA) home which they called their monastery. Most members had little contact
with their families of origin or with their neighbors. Many followed successful
professional careers before entering the group. Some abandoned their children
before joining. They were free to leave at any time. They dressed in unisex
garments: shapeless black shirts with Mandarin collars, and black pants. They were
required commit themselves to a celibate
life. Eight of the male members, including Do, submitted to voluntary castration.
This seems to have been a form of preparation for their next level of existence: in
a life that would be free of gender, sexual identity and sexual activity. The group
supported themselves through a commercial effort called Higher Source which
designed WWW pages for a profit. They also used the Internet as a recruitment tool;
they have a site called Heaven's Gate. On their site, Applewhite (calling himself
the "Present Representative") drew parallels between himself and the spirit from
Heaven that occupied the body of Jesus Christ. Their main page says: "As was
promised - the keys to Heaven's Gate are here again in Ti and Do (The UFO Two) as
they were in Jesus and His Father, 2000 years ago". They discussed their task is
"to work individually on our personal overcoming and change, in preparation for
entering the Kingdom of Heaven." Their web site was taken over by the FBI, but some
individuals were able to download the site files and create mirrors at various
locations. Marshall Herff Applewhite was gay. There are rumors that he had one or
more affairs with male students when he was a music teacher. He is believed to have
checked himself in to a hospital over two decades ago in order to overcome his
homosexual feelings. This occurred when many therapists believed that a person's
sexual orientation could be changed. Needless to say, the therapy was unsuccessful.
One theory being proposed is that he was unable to accept his sexual orientation
because of the homophobia that he had adsorbed during his youth. This motivated him
to live an celibate life and to create a group which also suppressed their sexual
behavior. Another theory is that among UFO groups, there is a widespread belief
that extra-terrestrials have no vocal cords, an atrophied digestive system and no
sexual organs. This is symbolic of three common religious disciplines: silence,
fasting and celibacy. Perhaps Applewhite was attempting to emulate both the UFO
inhabitants and ancient Christian tradition. In common with many other UFO groups,
they believe that UFOs are inter-stellar space ships operated by extra-terrestrial
beings who are attempting to bring humanity to a higher level of knowledge.
However, they have a belief not shared by other UFO groups: that by committing
suicide together at the correct time, they will leave their containers (bodies)
behind. The soul goes to sleep until it is "replanted" in another container.
Eventually, the soul will be grafted onto a representative of the "level above
human." The latter will be on-board a UFO space ship such as the one that they
believe is currently hidden behind the Hale-Bopp comet. A video tape taken shortly
before their suicides showed them to be excited about the future. The timing of the
suicide was apparently triggered by the arrival of Easter, and by the closest
approach to earth of the comet, which they regarded as a celestial "marker". The
timing was apparently unrelated to the Spring Equinox of MAR-20. They feared
persecution, death, arrest, physical torture or psychological torture while they
remained on earth. They felt that this persecution would come from outside their
group - either from "some irate individual or from "the powers that control this
world." There is one report that the group had a large cache of weapons and
ammunition. A couple of the surviving members of the group who did not "leave" have
been maintaining their web site at http://www.heavensgate.com and distributing
materials and information that the group left behind. During the 1980's the group
made over 500 audio tapes of their secluded classroom teachings. They also made 11
video tapes and wrote a large anthology of their teachings. The survivors have
digitized over 200 hours of those audio tapes, and about 20 hours of Video material
and stored the entire archive on three CD-ROM's which can be played on a computer
using the RealPlayer technology. They feel it is important to offer this world a
permanent record of this groups activities. They are making the CD's themselves
available at no charge, asking only that the shipping charges be covered by the
recipient. Email rep@heavensgate.com with your postal address to receive the
material.A Christian-UFO believing group. Total body count: 39 dead. ReferencesThe
Heaven's Gate web page is at: http://www.heavensgatetoo.com/ Michael Nielsen at
Georgia Southern University set up a mirror site at: http://www.psych-
web.com/psyrelig/hg/hg.htm Yahoo has a number of links to sites describing the
Heaven's Gate group. See:
http://www.yahoo.com/Society_and_Culture/Religion/Faiths_and_Practices/ The Higher
Source Contract Enterprises web page is at: http://www7.concentric.net/~Font/ The
UFO group that proceeded Heaven's Gate is described in: Jacques Vallee, "Messengers
of Deception: UFO Contacts and Cults", Ronin Publishers (1979). Roy Wallis, Ed, "Bo
and Peep: A Case Study of the Origins of Messianic Leadership In Millennialism and
Charisma", Queen's University, Belfast, Northern Ireland, (1982) James R. Lewis,
Ed., "The Gods have Landed: New Religions from Other Worlds", State University of
New York Press, Albany, NY (1995). Robert W. Balch & David Taylor. "Salvation in a
UFO.", Psychology Today 10 (1976) Robert W. Balch, "Seekers and Saucers: The Role
of the Cultic Milieu in Joining a UFO Cult.", American Behavioral Scientist 20, no.
6 (1977), P. 839-60. Essay first published: 1997-MAR-25Latest update: 1999-JAN-4
Author: B.A. Robinson 6. JIM JONES THE PEOPLES TEMPLE (JIM JONES) This was a
Christian destructive, doomsday cult founded and led by James Warren Jones (1931-
1978). Jim Jones held degrees from Indiana University and Butler University. He was
not a Fundamentalist pastor as many reports in the media and the anti-cult movement
claim. He belonged to a mainline Christian denomination, having been ordained in
the Christian Church/Disciples of Christ. The Peoples Temple was initially
structured as an inter-racial mission for the sick, homeless and jobless. He
assembled a large following of over 900 members in Indianapolis IN during the
1950's. "He preached a 'social gospel' of human freedom, equality, and love, which
required helping the least and the lowliest of society's members. Later on,
however, this gospel became explicitly socialistic, or communistic in Jones' own
view, and the hypocrisy of white Christianity was ridiculed while 'apostolic
socialism' was preached." 1 When an investigation began into his cures for cancer,
heart disease and arthritis, he decided to move the group to Ukiah in Northern
California. He preached the imminent end of the world in a nuclear war; Ukiah was
judged to be as safe as any when war broke out. They later moved to San Francisco
and Los Angeles. After an expose during the mid 1970's in the magazine New West
raised suspicions of illegal activities within the Temple, he moved some of the
Temple membership to Jonestown, Guyana. The Temple had leased almost 4,000 acres of
dense jungle from the government. They established an agricultural cooperative
there, called the "Peoples Temple Agricultural Project." They raised animals for
food, and assorted tropical fruits and vegetables for consumption and sale.Jones
developed a belief called Translation in which he and his followers would all die
together, and would move to another planet for a life of bliss. Mass suicides were
practiced in which his followers pretended to drink poison and fell to the ground.
During the late 1970's, Jones had been abusing prescription drugs and appears to
have become increasingly paranoid. Rumors of human rights abuses circulated. This
motivated Leo Ryan, a Congressman, to visit Jonestown in 1978-NOV for a personal
inspection. At first, the visit went well. Later, on NOV-18, about 16 Temple
members decided that they wanted to leave Jonestown with the visitors. This came as
quite a blow to both Jones and the rest of the project. While Ryan and the others
were waiting at the local airstrip, some heavily armed members of the Temple's
security guards arrived and started shooting. Congressman Ryan and four others were
killed; 11 were wounded. Fearing retribution, the project members discuss their
options. They reach a consensus to commit group suicide. 638 of his adult followers
and 276 children died. Some committed suicide by drinking cyanide-laced kool-aid.
Others appear to have been murdered by poison injection or by being shot. A few
fled into the jungle and survived. The bodies were in a state of extensive decay
when the authorities arrived. There was no time to conduct a thorough
investigation.The Peoples Temple organization did not survive the mass
suicide/murder in Guyana. Their former headquarters building in San Francisco was
demolished by the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989.Conspiracy TheoriesThe
murder/suicide of over 900 people sent shockwaves through the world. It generated
enormous public support for the anti-cult and counter-cult movements, which
continues today. As with many major political assassinations or mass murders,
Jonestown has spawned a number of conspiracy theories which attempt to explain this
remarkable occurrence: Some people believe that the People's Temple was an
experimental laboratory operated for or by the CIA in order to perfect mind-control
techniques. We have not been able to uncover any hard evidence that would support
this belief. The anti-cult movement also cites mind-control techniques by Jim Jones
and his officials as the cause of the disaster. Some surviving members claim that
they were exposed to mind-control methods. However, others claim that it was the
best experience of their life.Some in the academic community view the disaster as
having been primarily caused by the hounding of Jonestown by
anti-cult groups, news reporters and federal investigative agencies. If this
theory is true, then the mass death at Jonestown was a self-fulfilling prophecy.
1,2,3,4Our Assessment: The views of the anti-cult movement, sociologists and NRM
(New Religious Movements) researchers are hopelessly divergent. Our beliefs, for
what it is worth, are that contributing factors to the Jonestown tragedy were: Jim
Jones' mental illness, aggravated by his use of drugs.The group's intense fear of
the imminent end of civilization.The extreme isolation of the Agricultural Project.
Opposition and pressure from anti-cult groups, the media and U.S. government.
Freedom of Information:The Committee on Foreign Affairs of the U.S. House of
Representatives (now called the Committee on International Relations) conducted an
investigation into Congressman Ryan's death. Much of the documentation that they
collected on Jonestown was classified and has "remained inaccessible for the
intervening decades to scholars, individuals who lost family members at Jonestown,
and the general public." 9 An academic group of NRM scholars asked the House
committee to declassify the documents. They held a press conference on the 20th
anniversary of Ryan's death, 1998-NOV-18 in Washington. Dr. Gordon Melton of the
Institute for the Study of American Religion said:"Twenty years later there appears
to be no compelling issues of national security or interest to keep these documents
secret...it is our belief that the time has come for the release of these documents
so that a more thorough assessment of what occurred at Jonestown can be made. Our
understanding of the Jonestown deaths is still hindered by the unavailability of
numerous key documents that would highlight the situation at Jonestown immediately
prior to and during Congressman Ryan's visit, the relationship of the State
Department to the Jonestown community, and the state of mind of Peoples Temple
leader, Rev. Jim Jones."Over 6000 pages of information has been obtained from the
U.S. Department of State by an unknown person who has posted it on the Internet. 7
References:1. Department of Philosophy and Religion, University of North
Dakota, "Alternate Considerations of Jonestown and the People's Temple," at:
http://www.und.nodak.edu/dept/philrel/jonestown/ Keven Hozak has published "an
alternative view to the usual anti-cult hysteria which characterized discussion of
Peoples Temple... It will also raise questions about the treatment of Peoples
Temple -- both in life and in death -- by various governmental agencies: local,
state, and federal."2. M. McCormick Maaga & Catherine Wessinger, "Hearing the
Voices of Jonestown," Syracuse University Press, Syracuse NY (1998) Read reviews
and/or order this book from the Amazon.com online bookstore 3. Catherine
Wessinger, "Millennialism, Persecution and Violence," Syracuse University Press,
Syracuse NY (Not yet published as of 1999-MAR)4. John R. Hall, article in
Stuart A. Wright, Ed., "Armageddon in Waco", University of Chicago Press, Chicago
IL, (1996). Read / order this book 5. Tobin Dickerson, "People's Temple -
Jonestown," at: http://cti.itc.virginia.edu/~jkh8x/soc257/nrms/Jonestwn.html This
essay has an extensive bibliography and list of hyperlinks to "People's Temple" web
sites.6. SF Gate at www.sfgate.com has a series of articles from the San
Francisco Chronicle on Jonestown that you can find by entering jonestown in the
"jump to:" box.7. The Jonestown, Guyana Tragedy: Primary Source Materials From The
U.S. Department of State at: http://www.icehouse.net/zodiac/ has over 6000
documents obtained from the State Department. Included on the website are parts of
the House of Representatives report on Jonestown.8. Laurie E Kahalas, "SNAKE
DANCE: Unravelling [sic] the Mysteries of Jonestown," at: http://www.jonestown.com
She was "contacted by an Angelic Presence four years prior to what the world would
come to know as 'The Jonestown Tragedy.' " She has now published her views in a
book and web site. 9. "Scholars present request to declassify Jonestown
documents," at: http://www.cesnur.org/guyana_doc.htm10. Deborah Layton,
"Seductive Poison: A Jonestown Survivor's Story of Life and Death in the People's
Temple," Anchor (1998). You can read reviews of this book and order it safely from
Amazon.com 7. SOLAR TEMPLE(INTERNATIONAL CHIVALRIC ORDER SOLAR TRADITION)The
International Chivalric Order Solar Tradition was a destructive, doomsday cult
founded by Luc Jouret in 1977. It adsorbed the Foundation Golden Way led by Joseph
Di Mambro (1926-1995). Jouret convinced his followers that he was a member of the
14th Century Christian Order of the Knights Templar during a previous life, that
his daughter Emanuelle was "the cosmic child", and that he would lead them after
death to a planet which revolves around the star Sirius. They regard death as an
illusion and that life continues on other planets. Solar Temple groups were
organized in Australia, Switzerland, Quebec, Canada and other countries. They
follow a form of Christianity mixed with New-Age philosophy, homeopathic medicine
and high finance. Jouret believed himself to be Christ. He ran into legal
difficulties in Canada and was convicted of illegally possessing gun silencers. The
leadership felt that the Solar Temple was being persecuted by various governments.
They anticipated the imminent end of the world due to an environmental catastrophe,
and felt that they were to play a major role in the collapse. They decided that
some members should leave the earth prematurely and "transit" to a better world.
Fire forms an important part of their belief. They believe that the world will end
in fire. In order for them to transit to another world, they must die in a fire.
For many months prior to the suicides, rumors of financial mismanagement had
circulated within the Solar Temple. An infant, aged three months, was killed in
1994-OCT at their Canadian site by driving a wooden stake through his heart. Former
group members explained that Di Mambro ordered the killing because the baby was
believed to be the Anti-Christ described in the Bible. A few days later, Di Mambro
and twelve followers had a ritual Last Supper together. A few days later, mass
suicides and murders were conducted at two villages in Switzerland and in Morn
Heights, a ski resort north of Montreal, Quebec. 15 inner circle members (called
the "awakened") committed suicide by the use of poison. 30 (called the "immortals")
were killed by bullets or smothering. 8 others (called the "traitors") were also
killed. A Christian group with New Age beliefs. Total body count in 1994: 53. Just
before Christmas in 1995, 16 of the remaining members of the group disappeared from
their homes in France and Switzerland. Four left notes which hinted at a second
mass suicide and expressing a desire to "see another world". 13 adults and 3
children were later found dead in a remote forest on the Vergers plateau, in
southeast France. Investigators concluded on 1996-NOV-15 that at least four of the
16 did not die willingly. Three were children. The fourth, Ute Verona, 34, had her
jaw fractured before she died; this indicates a struggle had occurred. Most had
been given sleep-inducing drugs. They died on 1995-NOV-16, close to winter
solstice. Five additional adult members, and three teenage children apparently
tried to committed suicide on the day of the spring equinox 1997-MAR-20, in St.
Casimir, Quebec, Canada. The attempt failed due to faulty equipment. The teenage
sons and daughter of one of the couples convinced their parents that they wanted to
live. They were allowed to leave, while the adults made their second, successful,
attempt to burned down the house with themselves in it. Four of their bodies were
arranged in the form of a cross. The teens were found drugged and disoriented, but
otherwise safe, in a nearby building. A note was found there which described the
group belief that death on earth leads to a transit to a new planet where their
lives would continue. Members of this religious group appear to synchronize their
mass murders/suicides to follow shortly after the solstices and equinoxes. The
Quebec police carefully monitored the Queze family during the summer solstice in
1966. But there was no unusual activity at that time, or following the 1996 fall
equinox in September or winter solstice in December. So, the deaths just after the
spring equinox came as a surprise to the authorities. The police decided on 1997-
APR-25 to not charge the three teen-age survivors of the St. Casimir mass suicide
with arson. They are aged 13, 14 and 16. Although they triggered the incendiary
device, they were under the influence of sedatives at the time, and had been
psychologically affected by living with members of the Solar Temple group. Other
factors considered by the prosecutor were that they tried to persuade the adults to
not commit suicide, and that they chose life for themselves. The Solar Temple group
continues to exist; it is believed to have over 30 surviving members in Quebec and
from 140 to 500 worldwide. More mass murders and suicides in Quebec, France or
Switzerland are probably inevitable following the times of future solstices and/or
equinoxes near the end of March, June, September and December. The Canadian police
are limited by the country's Charter of Rights and Freedoms; they cannot
investigate religious groups that are registered as such with the government. They
can only investigate individuals. A Roman Catholic Christian-New Age group. Total
body count (1995-1997): 74 8. Concerned Christians The "Concerned Christians" Cult
Concerned Christians is a group of at least 78 adults and children, led by Monte
Kim Miller, (1954-1999? ). (Some sources incorrectly call him Kim Monte Miller).
Until recently he had been
a marketing executive of Proctor & Gamble. Ironically, Miller was an anti-cult
activist in the 1980's. He formed Concerned Christians in the 1980's to fight the
New Age movement, and what he regarded as the anti-Christian bias of the media. His
newsletter, "Report from Concerned Christians" attacked feminist spirituality, the
1987 Harmonic Convergence, New Age trends in Evangelical Christianity, alternative
medicine, Coalition on Revival, Southern Baptists, Assemblies of God, the Roman
Catholic Church, the World-Faith movement, and many other Christian denominations
and organizations. He produced a radio program "Our Foundation" for a while in
1996. In 1996-JUN, he announced that he speaks for God. Some followers are
disillusioned by this and leave; most remain in the group. He predicted that an
unspecified disaster would wipe Denver CO off the map on 1998-OCT-10. His
followers believe that Miller is the one of the two witnesses mentioned in
Revelations 11. He has predicted his own death, and that of his co-prophet, in
1999-DEC in Jerusalem. He expects to be resurrected three days later. He taught
that his group are the only true Christians; salvation can only be earned by
repenting and following him. 6 Presumably the remaining 6 billion people in the
world will all go to Hell.The Denver apocalypse didn't happen. However, about 78 of
the group sold some of their possessions, emptied out their homes, and left Denver
near the end of September. (Estimates range from fewer than 60 to up to 80). At
least some relocated to Jerusalem. Many Christians believe that when Jesus returns,
he will descend from the sky and make landfall on the Mount of Olives, near
Jerusalem.1 On 1999-JAN-3, Israeli police raided two suburban-style homes in the
Mevasseret Zion suburb, in the western outskirts of Jerusalem. They detained eight
adults and six children who belonged to the Concerned Christians. They had been
living quietly, financing themselves on their savings and donations from the U.S.
Brigadier General Elihu Ben-Onn, an Israeli police spokesperson alleged that the
cult members planned to "carry out violent and extreme acts in the streets of
Jerusalem at the end of 1999." 2 This would begin "a process that would bring about
the Second Coming of Jesus." 4 If this is true, then their technique appears to be
to incite a religious war that would expand into the War of Armageddon as
prophesied in the book of Revelation of the Christian Scriptures. Most conservative
Christians believe that this would bring about the second coming of Jesus. The
Israeli police allege that the group planned a deadly shoot-out with police near
the Church of the Holy Sepulcher where some Christians believe the tomb of Jesus is
situated. No evidence has been made public to support these allegations. No
firearms were found at either of the group's residences. 11 of the group were
deported; the 3 other members were temporarily arrested on suspicion of being
involved in a conspiracy to violate a law which protects holy places. The 3 told
their lawyer that they didn't want to return home because they feared that the U.S.
would be destroyed soon. One of the detainees. John Bayles, denied any evil intent
on the part of his group: "I'm not here to hurt anybody. I don't feel I pose a
threat of physical harm to anyone. I don't feel I have committed any
conspiracy.'' 3 On JAN-4, a reporter found a taped message and associated
photocopied document on the doorstep of one of the then-abandoned homes that had
been rented by the Concerned Christians. It was labeled "Series # 18, Tape # 30"
indicating that it was apparently one of a large group of such messages. The voice
on the tape has not been identified. It linked Presidents Clinton and Coolidge with
mass murderer Charles Manson. It linked such events as hurricane Andrew, the Oslo
peace accords, and Nagasaki. The speaker predicted that the United States, the
"dragon kingdom" would receive "double the judgment" that Japan experienced at
Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This tape may be totally unrelated to the Concerned
Christians group. All 14 arrived back in Denver on JAN-9, accompanied by Israeli
security agents. 5 They avoided friends and relatives who were waiting for them in
the airport. Dozens more are being sought by Israeli police.On JAN-8, prayer leader
Hayan al Idrisi at Jerusalem's Al Aqsa mosque referred to the Concerned Christians
as "a dangerous group.'' He claimed that the group planned to destroy the mosque.
It is located on the Temple mount and is Islam's third holiest shrine. Although no
evidence has been produced to support this theory, it does match prophecies in the
Bible. The Jewish Temple is described as fully functional and engaged in regular
ritual animal sacrifices when Jesus returns. "There is growing concern in Israel
that the group, the Concerned Christians, is a forerunner of hundreds of fanatics
who will be drawn to Israel at the close of the millennium for what they expect
to be the return of Jesus." 5 The Israeli security authorities established a task
force in 1998 to deal with violence perpetrated by various Christian groups as the
year 2000 approaches. The police have asked for a budget of $50 million dollars
(U.S.) to handle the problem.The Denver Post published a news item about a law-
enforcement official in England. He fears that Monte Kim Miller and followers may
be targeting the Millennium Dome, a massive exhibition hall being built east of
London. This concern appears to be based solely on the rumor that some of Miller's
followers said that the was in England doing "research." "Scotland Yard will launch
a massive operation to protect the site from all cults and terrorists...The
operation will cost about $10 million." 9 OCRT Comments:We have a nagging concern
that the Concerned Christians may be exactly what they claim to be: a peaceful
group that believes in the imminent return of Jesus, and who had traveled to
Jerusalem to view the event. The anti-cult movement, counter-cult movement, and
media have given this group a lot of bad press. The police have made public only
accusations of violent plans. No solid evidence has been provided that indicates
any murderous intent. No weapons have been produced. Since there will be no trial
in Israel, the government will not have to prove that their accusations have any
validity. We wonder if the government merely picked on this group as an example to
frighten off other apocalyptic organizations from visiting Jerusalem. Note:This
Concerned Christian group is not connected in any way with another Concerned
Christian group in Mesa, AZ. The latter have a web page at:
http://www.concernedchristians.org They conduct an Evangelical Christian ministry
to Mormons - trying to convert Mormons into ex-Mormons.References: 1. Christopher
Walker, "Doomsday cults are converging on Jerusalem," The Times of London, 1998-
OCT-22.2. Deborah Sontag, "Apocalyptic cultists arrested in Jerusalem," New York
Times Service, Jerusalem, 1999-JAN-33. "Israel orders 11 U.S. doomsday suspects
out," Reuters news item at:
http://abcnews.go.com/wire/World/Reuters19990104_923.html 4. "Israel to Deport
Cultists," ABC News, 1999-JAN-03 See:
http://abcnews.go.com/sections/world/DailyNews/israelcult_010399.html 5. "Cult
Arrives in Denver," ABC News, 1999-JAN-9. See:
http://more.abcnews.go.com/sections/world/DailyNews/israelcult990109.html 6. Jason
Barker, "Concerned Christians," Watchman Fellowship Inc., at:
http://www.watchman.org/concernedchristianspro.htm 7. A chronology of activities by
the Concerned Christians was published in the Denver Post, Denver CO, on 1999-JAN-4
8. Terry Walker, "Sad saga of the 'Concerned Christians'," at:
http://members.tripod.com/~tokyoboardwalker/cc.html 9. Kevin Simson, "Cult
leader suspected of British plot," at: http://www.denverpost.com/news/cult0119.htm
9. HOUSE OF YAHWEH (r)(tm)(ABILENE & ODESSA, TEXAS)These groups have not resulted
in a loss of life. However, the Odessa TX branch in particular appears to be a high
risk doomsday group, with the potential of developing into a destructive cult,
posing an extreme danger to its members. There have been a number of recent,
negative media reports, including a Newsweek magazine article in 1997-APR, a
mention on the "This Morning" TV program for 1997-AUG-28, and an interview of their
leader on Hard Copy. House of Yahweh, OdessaThe House of Yahweh was organized by
Jacob Hawkins. He is an American, who had gone to Israel in 1967 to work on a
kibbutz. While there, he heard of an archeological discovery of a 1st century
building that had "House of Yahweh" (in Hebrew) over the entrance. He believed that
this was the name of a group specially selected in ancient times by God. He decided
to return to the US and to build a sanctuary in Odessa TX with that name. Members
worship Yahweh (Elohim) and Yeshua, His son. They are Sabbatarians; that is, they
hold religious services on Saturday. They celebrate the main Jewish festivals
(Passover, Pentecost, Feast of Tabernacles). They reject, with considerable
justification, Christmas, Easter, Halloween as Pagan inventions. They believe that
Yeshua was born in the spring time, when the shepherds are out watching their flock
at night during the birthing season. They teach that Yeshua's shed blood cleanses
believers from sin, but only if they also adhere to the 10 commandments. Members
tithe 10% of their earnings. The group's leadership is from 12 disciples and 70
elders. They publish a periodical: The Prophetic Watchman. They don't keep
membership records, but reported (in 1980) congregations in the US, Israel, India,
South Africa, West Africa, Burma, Australian and Belgium. House of Yahweh, Abilene
Jacob's brother Yisrayl was originally part of the Odessa group. But he left to
form a second House of Yahweh
in Abilene TX. He is the High Priest and is assisted by elders, and male and
female deacons. They celebrate the various Jewish feast days specified in Leviticus
23. They also celebrate two additional feasts: "Yahshua's Memorial" and "Last Great
Day". They have a periodical called The Prophetic Word. In 1987, they reported
seven congregations served by 35 ministers. They have about 100 followers living at
their headquarters. Yisrayl Hawkins has written a number of books and articles
about Biblical prophecy. In 1983, he predicted that the Middle East Peace Accord
would be signed in 1993. He has written a book "Can We Avoid The Next Holocaust? "
about massively disruptive events in the immediate future. Other books include: The
Book of Yahweh: The Holy Scriptures Devil Worship: The Shocking Facts The Sabbath:
Every Question Answered The Mark of The Beast--Volume 1 & 2 Unveiling Satan: Her
True Identity Revealed The Two Witnesses Did Yahshua Messiah Pre-exist? Deceptions
Concerning Yahweh's Calendar of Events The Lost Faith Of The Apostles And Prophets:
History and ProphecyCopies can be ordered from their home page at:
http://www.yahweh.com/index.shtml They believe that Satan is a female who has been
in indirect control of all of the world's governments and religions by appointing
all of the political and religious leaders. They believe that Catholicism and
Protestantism are evil faith groups, symbolized by the two horns of the beast
mentioned in Revelation 13:11. They place major emphasis on an end of world
scenario which will start on 1998-OCT. By mid-2001, they predict that 80% of the
world's population will have been killed as a result of nuclear war. There have
been a series of largely unconfirmed allegations about: extreme psychological
control over the membership of the Abilene group, the assembly of weapons by the
leaders, "Four men tied to the militant, anti-government Posse Comitatus of
Wisconsin are elders or guards in the House of Yahweh." (4) polygamy within the
group the belief that the House of Yahweh will play a major role in the War of
Armageddon. Potential for DisasterThe Abilene group appears to fit at least 9 of
our 10 indicators of a destructive cult. We have no information on one indicator:
the degree of censorship imposed by the group on external information. The Abilene
group certainly has the potential to develop into a destructive doomsday cult,
placing its members at great risk. References1. Richard Horn & Loretta Fulton,
"House of Yahweh may be Breaking Foodstamp Law", Article: Abilene Reporter-News,
1996-APR-14. See: http://texnews.com/news/yahwehfood.html 2. Jody Beard, "House
of Yahweh Member Responds", Article: Abilene Reporter-News, 1996-APR-18. An elder
of the Church states that alleged irregularities in the Abilene group do not exist.
See" http://texnews.com/news/yahwehbeard17.html 3. Richard Horn & Loretta
Fulton, "Daughter of Yisrayl Hawkins responds to food stamp issue", Abilene
Reporter-News, 1996 article. A daughter of Yisrayl Hawlins, Margo Corneillie,
Available at: contradicts Jody Beard's column. See:
http://www.texnews.com/news/yisrayldaughter.html 4. Richard Horn & Loretta
Fulton, "House of Yahweh has ties to Anti-government group Posse Comitatus",
Article: Abilene Reporter-News, 1996-MAY-5 10. Characteristics Of CultsCommon Signs
of Destructive CultsFactors commonly found in mind-control GroupsThere is no
objective, precise checklist of danger signs to watch for in religious and other
groups. You cannot rate a group's level of mind-control on a scale from 0 to 100.
However, some individuals and organizations have written guidelines that give a
general idea of the degree of manipulation found in religious and other groups.
Each of the following approach the problem from a different perspective. They list
some symptoms that are found to some degree in many perfectly legitimate religious
groups. It is when the symptoms become extreme that one should become concerned:
The Institute for First Amendment Studies, Inc. has a web site at:
http://www.berkshire.net/~ifas/ They promote freedom of religion and the separation
of church and state. They oppose various political activities of conservative
Christian groups. They have checklist of symptoms to be sensitive to when you, a
friend or family member becomes involved with a religious group. See:
http://www.berkshire.net/~ifas/wa/warning.html These early warning signs were
prepared by former deprogrammer and current exit counselor, Rick Ross. Ross was
recently found guilty of conspiracy to limit the civil rights to freedom of
religion of a member of a Pentecostal church. However, the above guidelines appear
to have merit in spite of the background of the author. The AFF describes itself as
an anti-cult group. However, they appear to have a major counter-cult component in
their activity. Its home page is at: http://www.csj.org/. They have a checklist
available to help you determine if you or a friend is involved in a mind-control
cult. See: http://www.csj.org/checklis.html P.E.I. Bonewits, founder of the
Druidic group ArnDraiocht Fein. In 1979, he developed a checklist of 15 items to
consider when evaluating the potential danger of religious (or similar) groups.
This was published in Real Magic, Revised Edition, (Samuel Weiser, NY, 1989). He
has since updated this checklist with Version 2.0. See:
http://www.neopagan.net/ABCDEF.HTML or
http://www.witchvox.com/basics/cultaware.html Daniel Goldman published an article
'Early warning signs for the detection of spiritual blight', in the journal of the
Association for Transpersonal Psychology (1985-Summer). He lists some "typical
pitfalls" of deceptive groups. He comments: "Of course, in one or another context
each of these signals may be a false negative - a benign symptom with no underlying
pathology. But more often than not, they mean that an open-minded, skeptical
inquiry is called for." An edited version is available at:
http://www.globalideasbank.org/BI/BI-279.HTML Factors commonly found in doomsday
groupsDoomsday groups represent the most dangerous fringe of mind control groups.
We have studied a number of organizations that have lost membership through suicide
or killing. They have exhibited most or all of the following common factors:
Apocalyptic Beliefs:the leader's preaching concentrates on the impending end of the
world, often at a great battle (e.g. War of Armageddon). Alternately (as in the
case of the Solar Temple and Heaven's Gate groups) the leader preaches that through
group suicide at the right time, they will all be transported to a wonderful place
and escape the devastation that is about to come to the earth. the group is
expected to play a major, elite role at the end time Charismatic Leadershipthey are
led by a single male charismatic leader the leader totally dominates the
membership, closely controlling them physically, sexually and emotionally Social
Encapsulationthey are a small religious group, not an established denomination the
group (or at least the core members) lives together in an intentional community
which is isolated from the rest of society there is often extreme paranoia within
the group; they believe that they are in danger and that they are being closely
monitored and heavily persecuted by governments or people outside the group. People
on "the outside" are demonized. information from outside the cult is severely
curtailed. Other Factorsthe group leadership assembles an impressive array of guns,
rifles, other murder weapons or weapons of mass destruction. They prepare defensive
structures. they follow a form of Christian theology (or a blend of Christianity
with another religion), with major and unique deviations from traditional beliefs
in the area of end-time prophecy Many intentional communities and many religious
groups exhibit a few of the above factors, but are not dangerous. However, if you
are involved with a group in which many of the above factors are present, we would
urge you to consider leaving the organization for your own safety. Essay first
published: 1996-MAR-16Latest update: 1999-JAN-5Author: B.A. Robinson11. The Future
What Does the Immediate Future Hold? As the end of the millennium approaches, an
increase in the number of destructive cults is expected; many will anticipate the
end of the world at or about the year 2000. Some groups base their calculation on
the following beliefs: that God created the world during 4004 BCE; it took 6 days
that one day is as a 1000 years to God that the world will last for a total of 6000
years that the end of the world will occur at or about the year 2000.Since 1658 CE,
many Christians accepted the calculations of James Ussher, an Irish archbishop, who
estimated that the first day of creation was 4004-OCT-23 BCE. He also estimated
that the end of the world would occur on 1996-OCT-23, give or take a day depending
upon the method of calculating leap years. His prediction apparently did not come
true. Other predictions have ranged from the middle of the 16th century, and 2239
CE. Considerable civil unrest occurred in Europe as they year 1000 CE approached.
There was major popular disillusionment when the end did not occur on schedule;
many publicly criticized the church. Perhaps in response to this backlash, a series
of church sponsored genocides followed. Heretics were targeted for extermination.
We anticipate a rising hysteria as the year 2000 approaches. Afterwards, when the
end of the world does not occur, there might well be a repeat of backlash against
minority faith groups, and resulting persecutions. 12. Failed PropheciesThe
millennium, and 74 failed end-of-the-world predictionsPast predictions of the end
of the world all share one factor: none ever came true. We are once again
approaching
a year with three zeros in it. A lot of people are predicting major events of
cosmic proportion. We are quite certain that they will be disappointed.However, we
have a prediction of our own: that sometime in the future, a large asteroid will
head towards earth. If it is not pulverized and scattered, or deflected, it will
wipe out most of humanity. The rock may come next month, or may be delayed for tens
of millions of years. But it is coming!Disclaimer: We offer no guarantees that the
prophets listed below actually made these predictions. We have described their
alleged predictions as they were reported on the Web, in newspapers, books, etc. We
do not have the resources to track down original source material. TEOTWAWKI (The
end of the world as we know it) topics covered in this essay:OverviewWhen does the
millennium start? Not-so-hopeful signsHopeful signsInteresting signsPast predictions
that have not panned outSome predictions in the future which will not happen
ReferencesOverview:The Christian Bible contains many prophecies about the future.
In particular, the book of Revelation talks extensively about the return of Jesus
Christ to this earth, horrendous suffering, and the end of history as we know it.
Because of ambiguities in the Bible, many conflicting belief systems have been
developed down through the centuries that predict the sequence of events that will
occur at this time: Historical Premillennialism, Dispensational Premillennialism,
and Amillennialism. Countless individuals and organizations have predicted the
precise date of the return of Jesus. A few sources once agreed on a single year for
the great event: 1914. But since then, few competing groups have been able to agree
on a common date. One denomination that has been burned many times because of their
estimates is the Jehovah's Witnesses. Each of their predictions have seen the world
continue without a ripple. According to Robert Johnson, a spokesperson for the
denomination, they no longer make estimates. "We learned our lesson...The Bible has
a list of about two dozen things to watch out for. They've all [already] happened."
As J. Gordon Melton, head of the Institute for the Study of American Religion has
commented: "Everyone who predicted the end of the world had one thing in common.
They were wrong." We suspect that this record will continue unblemished for the
foreseeable future.Stephen D. O'Leary, a millennial scholar at the University of
Southern California, commented: "What the prophets try to do is make predictions
and leave the fulfillment vague...The prophets who do get specific tend to the more
marginal ones." 1Many Christians believe that the end of the world as we know it
and/or the battle of Armageddon and/or the return of Jesus Christ to earth will
happen at the start of the new millennium. An Associated Press poll in 1997 found
that 24% of adult American Christians believe that Jesus Christ will return to
earth within their lifetime and initiate the events described in the book of
Revelation in the Christian Scriptures.When does the new Millennium Start? The first
year in the common era (CE) was year 0001. There was no year 0 CE. The day after
0001-DEC-31 BCE was 0001-JAN-1 CE. Thus the first century ended at the end of 0100
CE. The second century started on 0101-JAN-1. Similarly, the third century started
on 0201-JAN-1, the second millennium started on 1001-JAN-1 and the next millennium
will start on 2001-JAN-1. However, most people attribute magical powers to the year
2000, and thus will be celebrating on 2000-JAN-1, one year before the next
millennium really begins.A lot of people will celebrate 2001-DEC-25 as the 2,000th
anniversary of Jesus' birth. Actually, most theologians believe that he was born
about 4 BCE, probably in the autumn. Thus, the 2,000th anniversary of Jesus' birth
has already happened, perhaps in 1997-AUG.What Will Really Happen in the Year 2000?
We predict that there will be three significant developments at the start of the
new millennium: Thousands of computer programs will fail, largely in small
commercial establishments. This will cause an unknown degree of disruption to all
sectors of the economy. 2 A few electrical generators probably fail temporarily.
There many well be temporary brownouts in some areas of North America.Millions of
misunderstandings will occur in the way in which we record dates, after the year
2000. For example, consider 01/02/03. Does it mean January 02, 2003 or 01
February, 2003 or 2001 Feb 03? The major theological developments, that so many
people expect, will not happen. There will be massive disappointment and
disillusionment among those who anticipated some great event. This might generate a
major backlash which will involve attacks on small religious groups such as
Jehovah's Witnesses , New Agers, Satanists, members of the Unification Church,
Wiccans, etc. Other more established religious minorities such as Buddhism,
Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, etc. might suffer as well. The Satanic Ritual Abuse hoax,
which is currently dissipating, may well be regenerated as the fervor intensifies.
Not-so-Hopeful Signs:A magic year is approaching - one that ends in three zeros.
Millennial Fever is catching hold of people's imagination. The Trends Research
Institute (Rhinebeck NY) predicted that, during 1998, the prophecy business would
boom as the Fever spreads throughout most of the world. Common predictions relate
to the return of Jesus, the appearance of the Antichrist, and a massive battle of
Armageddon, which will result in a loss of billions of lives. Others anticipate the
arrival of visitors from outer space that will change our world in major ways.
Still others see massive upheavals that will destroy much of human civilization.
Richard Landes, director of the Center for Millennial Studies at Boston University
said: "I am more worried about after 2000 than about 2000 itself...The real problem
is that in the immediate period after disappointment, - the first decade of the
next century - one of the tendencies of disappointed apocalyptic groups is to get
nasty. They [will] look for scapegoats." The anti-cult movement is creating concern
of religiously-motivated mass suicides associated with the millennium. Some
security forces consider Jerusalem to be a focal point for potential mass suicide
cults, like Heaven's Gate. There is also the likelihood of Christian terrorists
coming to the Holy Land and attempting to trigger Armageddon, by firing up a
religious conflict. 14 members of the Concerned Christians were deported from
Israel in 1999-JAN in the belief that they were planning some sort of major
disturbance - perhaps triggering a religious war. Picking the few terrorists and
mentally unstable individuals out of the 5 million expected Christian pilgrims to
Jerusalem may prove to be a very difficult task for Israeli security.Hopeful Signs:
The most hopeful factor is that all of the end of the world predictions in the past
has failed. This will probably continue.There also seems to be a rise of rational
belief, that the year 2,000 is simply a year that has three zeros. i.e. it is in no
way special. After all, if humans had been born with 8 fingers on each hand, then
our numbering system would be based on 16 (hexadecimal), not 10 (decimal). And our
year 2,000 would then just be year 8D0 in hexadecimal. Nothing special; just
another year with an unremarkable number.Harvard professor of zoology and geology
Stephen Jay Gould has pointed out that the word millennium was originally a
Biblical apocalyptic term linked to the second coming of Jesus. 3 It is evolving
into a matter-of-fact designation for the end of a 1000 year period. "The basic
reason for 'millennium' switching from a description of the future to a counting in
the present stems from the failure of this expected future to materialize."Michael
R LeGault, a journal editor and reviewer of science books noted: 4 "The millennial
message would appear to be that knowledge based on experience has won out over
knowledge based on doctrine...this knowledge is a record of both our intellectual
and moral progress. And that only in rational pursuit and use of this knowledge is
our physical, emotional and spiritual well-being ensured.Interesting signs:Israeli
psychiatrists: An unidentified news service described in 1998-MAY that Israeli
psychiatrists are preparing to deal with an influx of pilgrims with psychological
problems related to the millennium. Dr. Yair Bar-El has documented the "Jerusalem
Syndrome", a belief by pilgrims that they are Biblical figures or on a godly
mission.Squatters in Israel: Richard Landes, head of the Center for Millennial
Studies at Boston University has recommended that Israeli authorities deny entry to
visitors who do not have a round-trip ticket and a place to stay. 5 "I would say to
Israeli security: the Mount of Olives might be taken over by squatters waiting for
Jesus to return. If, in their disappointment, they dig in, you have an impossible
situation."Relocating to Israel: Some Evangelical Christians from the U.S. have
sold their assets and relocated to the Mount of Olives, overlooking Jerusalem. The
Mount of Olives Hotel has written to 2,000 Christian groups in the U.S. asking "How
would you like to be staying at the Mount of Olives Hotel the day that Jesus
returns? " The Hotel is run by Palestinian Muslims. As of 1998-OCT, there were three
known religious groups in the U.S. who are selling all of their possessions,
planning to move to Jerusalem. One was Concerned Christians, a group that was
arrested by Israeli security and ushered out of the country.ELCA pastoral letter:
Ecumenical News International (ENI) reported on 1998-NOV18:"The bishops of the
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) have issued a pastoral letter
dismissing 'wild prophecies'
that the world is about to end and declaring that the third millennium should be
welcomed with hope. The statement by H. George Anderson, the church's presiding
bishop, and the 65 synodical bishops of the ELCA, which has more than 5 million
members, said the letter was necessary because of growing apprehension about the
turn of the millennium."50 (at last count) past predictions, that have not panned
out: Some Christians have made predictions which involve several events that they
believe are related: the second coming of Jesus, the war of Armageddon, the arrival
on earth of the Antichrist, the Tribulation, the Rapture, some horrendous natural
disaster, etc. It is worth noting that all of the following predtictions have
failed. We expect that predictions being made today about our future will also
fail.About 30 CE: The Christian Gospels record many predictions by Jesus of
Nazareth that God's Kingdom would arrive within a very short period, or was
actually arriving.About 60 CE: Paul of Tarsus believed that Jesus would return
and usher in a rapture during the lifetime of persons who were living in the middle
of the 1st century. 2nd Century CE: Prophets and Prophetesses of the Montanist
movement predicted that Jesus would return sometime during their lifetime and
establish the New Jerusalem in the city of Pepuza in Asia Minor. 968 CE: An eclipse
was interpreted as a prelude to the end of the world by the army of the German
emperor Otto III.992: Good Friday coincided with the Feast of the Annunciation;
this had long been believed to be the event that would bring forth the Antichrist,
and thus the end-times events foretold in the book of Revelation. Records from
Germany report that a new sun rose in the north and that as many as 3 suns and 3
moons were fighting.1000-JAN-1: Many Christians in Europe had predicted the end of
the world on this date. Many had given their possessions to the Church in
anticipation of the end. Unfortunately, when Jesus did not appear, the church did
not return the gifts. Serious criticism of the Church followed. The Church reacted
by exterminating some heretics .1000-MAY: The body of Charlemagne was disinterred
on Pentecost. A legend had arisen that an emperor would rise from his sleep to
fight the Antichrist. 1005-1006: A terrible famine throughout Europe was seen as a
sign of the closeness of the end.1033: Some believed this to be the 1000th
anniversary of the death and resurrection of Jesus. His second coming was
anticipated. Jesus' actual date of execution is unknown, but is believed to be in
the range of 30 to 33 CE.1205: Joachim of Fiore predicted in 1190 that the
Antichrist was already in the world, and that King Richard of England would defeat
him. The Millennium would then begin, sometime before 1205. 1533: Melchior Hoffman
predicted that Jesus' return would happen in 1533 and that the New Jerusalem would
be established in Strasbourg, Germany. He was arrested and died in a Strasbourg
jail.1669: The Old Believers in Russia believed that the end of the world would
occur in this year. 20 thousand burned themselves to death from 1669 to 1690 to
protect themselves from the Antichrist.1689: Benjamin Keach, a 17th century
Baptist, predicted the end of the world for this year.1794: Charles Wesley, one of
the founders of Methodism, thought Doomsday would be in this year.1830: Margaret
McDonald, a Christian prophetess, predicted that Robert Owen would be the
Antichrist. Owen helped found New Harmony, IN 1843-MAR-21: William Miller, founder
of the Millerite movement, predicted that Jesus would come on this date. 1844-OCT-
22: When Jesus did not return, Miller predicted this new date. In an event which is
now called "The Great Disappointment," many Christians sold their property and
possessions, quit their jobs and prepared themselves for the second coming. Nothing
happened; the day came and went without incident.1914 was one of the more important
estimates of the start of the war of Armageddon by the Jehovah's Witnesses
(Watchtower Bible and Tract Society). They computed 1914 from prophecy in the book
of Daniel, Chapter 4. The writings referred to "seven times". The WTS interpreted
each "time" as equal to 360 days, giving a total of 2520 days. This was further
interpreted as representing 2520 years, measured from the starting date of 607 BCE.
This gave 1914 as the target date. 1914, 1918, 1920, 1925, 1941, 1975 and 1994 were
other dates that the Watchtower Society or its members predicted. 1975 looked
likely as it was computed as the 6000th anniversary of the creation of Adam in the
Garden of Eden in 4026 BCE. They interpreted Psalms 90:10 as defining the length of
a generation to be 80 years. Since 1914 plus 80 equals 1994, they predicted
Armageddon would occur around that year. This prediction came from the grass-roots
level; the Watchtower Society did not officially proclaim it. The latest estimate
is 6000 years after the creation of Eve, for which no date can be determined with
any accuracy. 1953-AUG: David Davidson wrote a book titled "The Great Pyramid, Its
Divine Message". In it, he predicted that the world would end in 1953-AUG. 1957-
APR: The Watchtower magazine quoted 6 a pastor from California, Mihran Ask, as
saying in 1957-JAN that "Sometime between April 16 and 23, 1957, Armageddon will
sweep the world! Millions of persons will perish in its flames and the land will be
scorched.' 1960: Piazzi Smyth, a past astronomer royal of Scotland, wrote a book
circa 1860 titled "Our Inheritance in the Great Pyramid." It was responsible for
spreading the belief in pyramidology throughout the world. This is the belief that
secrets are hidden in the dimensions of the great pyramids. He concluded from his
research that the millennium would start before the end of 1960 CE. 1970's: The
late Moses David (formerly David Berg) was the founder of the Christian religious
group, The Children of God. He predicted that a comet would hit the earth, probably
in the mid 1970's and destroy all life in the United States. One source indicated
that he believed it would happen in 1973.1981: Teleminister Arnold Murray teaches
an anti-Trinitarian belief about God, and Christian Identity. Back in the 1970's,
he predicted that the Antichrist would appear before 1981. 1978: Chuck Smith,
Pastor of Calvary Chapel in Cost Mesa CA predicted the rapture in 1981.1981: Hal
Lindsey predicted that the Rapture was coming in 1988. This failed prophecy did not
appear to damage his reputation. He continues to write books of prophecy which sell
very well indeed.1986: Moses David of The Children of God faith group predicted
that the Battle of Armageddon would take place in 1986. Russia would defeat Israel
and the United States. A worldwide Communist dictatorship would be established. In
1993, Christ would return to earth. 1988: Alfred Schmielewsky, a psychic whose
stage name was "super-psychic A.S. Narayana," predicted in 1986 that the world's
greatest natural disaster would hit Montreal in 1988. Sadly, his psychic abilities
failed him on 1999-APR-11 when he answered the door of his home only to be shot
dead by a gunman.1988-OCT-11: Edgar Whisenaut, a NASA scientist, had published the
book "88 Reasons why the Rapture will Occur in 1988." It sold over 4 million
copies. About 1990: Peter Ruckman concluded from his analysis of the Bible that
the rapture would come within a few years of 1990.Early 1990's: In 1992, David
Koresh led the Students of the Seven Seals (a.k.a.Branch Davidian) group in Waco
Texas. He changed the name of their commune from Mt. Carmel to Ranch Apocalypse,
because of his belief that the final all-encompassing battle of Armageddon
mentioned in the Bible would start at the Branch Davidian compound. They had
calculated that the end would occur in 1995. After a 51-day standoff, on 1993-APR-
10, 76 members died as a result of a deliberately set fire.1992-OCT-28: Lee Jang
Rim, a Korean Christian pastor, taught that the Rapture would occur on this date.
It didn't happen; many of his followers committed suicide.1993: Benny Hinn, an
Assemblies of God pastor from Florida predicted that the rapture would come in
1993. He also said that God would destroy all homosexuals by 1995 at the latest.
1993-NOV-11: The 1993-JUL-20 issue of the Weekly World News contained an article
titled "Doomsday Asteroids." Top scientists allegedly wrote a top-secret document
which revealed that M-167, a known asteroid, would hit the earth on NOV-11 and
perhaps end all life on earth. The M series of astronomical objects were catalogued
by Messier: M-1 is the crab nebula; M-31 is the Andromeda galaxy; M-45 are the
Plieades. There is no M object with a number higher than M-110.1994, approximately:
There have been continual reports that Jesus and Mary have bee appearing in
Conyers, GA on the 13th of every month to deliver a message to Nancy Fowler, a
homemaker and nurse. Over 1 million pilgrims have visited her prayer site. On 1994-
FEB-6, Jesus is recorded as saying: "Conflicts will turn into wars....Then so will
the earth tremble in many places. The earth will divide. The earth will divide and
take away your riches. Some of you will die suddenly. You will have no
warning...The clock continues to tick. The hour is rapidly approaching when one
disaster after another will befall you. There will be fighting everywhere. There
will be famine and polluted water in many places." No specific dates were given for
these occurrences. 71994-SEP: Harold Camping, president of Family Radio predicted
on his radio programs that the end of the world would happen during this month.
Sometime in 1996: The book "The Return of Jupiter: End of the world in the light of
the Bible" Dorrance Publishing, Pittsburgh PA predicted a disaster starting in the
Pacific Ocean: "A terrible earthquake is going to break the oceanic earth crust
under
the Pacific Ocean by the year 1996 AD"1996-OCT-23: Since 1658, many Christians
have accepted the calculations of James Ussher, an Irish archbishop, who estimated
that the first day of creation occurred on 4004-OCT-23 BCE. This would make the
time interval between the creation of the world and a common estimate of the birth
of Christ to be precisely 4000 years. Some people believe that Ussher fudged the
data to make it come out neatly. He also estimated that the end of the world would
occur exactly 6000 years later, in the fall of 1996. This is based on the concept
of the "millennial week": that each of the 6 days of creation mentioned in Genesis
is linked to a 1000 year time span in the life of the earth. On the 7th millennial
day, 1996-OCT-23, Ussher expected that life as we know it will cease.1997-OCT-23:
Bishop Ussher, a 16th century archbishop calculated that the first day of creation
occurred on 4004-OCT-23 BCE. Other conservative Christians prefer to link the end
time to the year 2000 CE. 1997-MAR-8: The Vortex of the Star of David religious
sect of Luskville, Quebec was quoted 8 as predicting the end of the world on
Saturday, MAR-8. A father, Jean Leon Marcoux, was interviewed; he was worried
because his children will be visiting their mother at the sect's commune on that
weekend. He approached the Quebec police but was unable to get them to take any
action. A spokesperson for the sect stated that they do not follow a doomsday
scenario. 1997-APR-10: Dan Millar, of Surrey, BC, Canada and Bob Wadsworth of the
Biblical Astronomy newsletter are two religious researchers. They followed the age-
old tradition of looking for signs in the heavens for the arrival of the
Antichrist, second coming of Christ, etc. Ancient prophecies told of heavenly
events and even a cross in the sky in advance of momentous developments. Millar and
Wadsworth predicted the arrival of the Antichrist on APR-10. Dan suggested that we
watch news from the Vatican and from Jerusalem on that day, because he expected
some sort of coup by the Antichrist. He was expected to come to power in the
Vatican as Pope Peter II. One heavenly indicator was the intersection by two comets
of the star Algol in the constellation Perseus. Comets Hyakutake and Hale-Bopp
intersected the star on the same date (APR-11) on two adjacent years (Hyakutake in
1996 and Hale-Bopp in 1997). Plotting the two comets' trajectories over the period
APR-1 to APR-30 on the two years forms an almost perfect cross. They intersected
between the eyes of the Medusa head that Perseus is holding in his left hand.
"Algol" means "Demon Star" in Arabic. The head is known as Rosh Satan (the head of
Satan) in Hebrew. There was one further heavenly sign: on the evening of APR-10,
there will be a lunar occultation of the star Aldebaran in the constellation
Taurus. 1997-OCT-20: A Jewish group, called the Temple Mount and Land of Israel
Faithful Movement were expected to attempt to place the cornerstone of a new temple
on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. This is a small piece of real estate that is the
most sacred spot in the world to Jews, and one of the most sacred to Muslims. The
Rapture Ready home page has predicted that the "Tribulation" would be triggered by
that event. Previous attempts had failed either because of riots, or police action.
There was one report that they were going to try to airlift the stone by helicopter
this time. On OCT-20, several thousand police officers were deployed throughout
Jerusalem; they successfully prevented access to the Temple Mount.1997-NOV-27: The
Sacerdotal Knights of National Security report that "A space alien captured at a
UFO landing site in eastern Missouri cracked under interrogation by the CIA and
admitted that an extraterrestrial army will attack Earth on November 27 with the
express purpose of stripping our planet of every natural resource they can find a
use for -- and making slaves of every man, woman and child in the world!" 1997:
Superdave the Wonderchemist 9 takes the magic number 1331 and adds it to 666 the
"Number of the Beast" from the Book of Revelation to get the year of the arrival of
the Antichrist and the end of the world. Why is 1331 a magic number? 1331 is the
same backwards as forwards. It is 11 raised to the 3rd powerIt displays the unlucky
number 13 when read in either direction. it is the fourth row in Pascal's Triangle:
1 1 1 1 2 1 1 3 3 1 1 4 6 4 1 etc. 1997-
DEC-31: The 1997-JUL-29 issue of the Weekly World News reported that the biggest
end of the world scare since the Cuban missile crisis was circulating through
Washington. President Clinton called a secret meeting with leading Bible scholars
for the week of JUL-27. A confidential Pentagon memo sparked the scare; it predicts
a worldwide cataclysm of unprecedented proportions. Earthquake activity is on a
rise and will peak at year-end; the earth's crust is shifting ominously. Sometime
in late 1997 or early 1998: The 1997-JUL-29 issue of the Weekly World News carried
a statement by a spokesperson of the International Association of Psychics. 92% of
their 120,000 members have had the same "end time" vision. Spokesperson Madame
Vredeau predicted:A rise in religious belief. Prophets and saints will appear and
lead the faithful to safety The oceans will shrink. Deserts expand. Crops will
fail; there will be massive starvation Widespread emotional and mental collapse;
increase in crime and violence Changing weather patterns; basic laws of nature will
be disrupted Satanic demons will appear in broad daylight. War, pestilence, a
worldwide plague will spread.Mankind will disappear around the year 2001 CE.1998-
FEB-26: Edgar Casey predicted that the earth would have a new pole during the
winter of 1997-1998. Since the earth spins like a gyroscope, this would take an
enormous amount of energy to achieve. That amount of energy would cause a massive
disruption to the oceans and the earth's crust. That could, in turn, cause very
serious, worldwide tidal waves, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.1998-MAR-31:
About 150 followers of a Taiwanese Christian-Buddhist spiritual sect, God's
Salvation Church, moved into Garland TX (a suburb in northern Dallas) to await
God's arrival. They expected that on MAR-25, God would broadcast a commercial on
Channel 18 in Garland. He would then be reincarnated into a man on MAR-31 at 10:00
AM, local time. They anticipated a crowd of about one million who want to be
touched by God. Their leader, Hoh-Ming Chen, selected Garland because it sounds
like "God land". News reports from Taiwan indicated that the group plans to commit
mass suicide if God does not appear. These appear to be unfounded.1998-MAY-31:
Evengelist Marilyn Agee predicted that the rapture would happen on this day,
Pentecost. This, she believes, would trigger the various events listed in the book
of Revelation, including the war of Armageddon.1998-JUL-5 The Church of the
Subgenius predicts that on "X Day", the end of the world will occur. At 7 AM, "the
Men from Planet X, or XISTS, will arrive on Earth, close a deal with "Bob," rupture
the card-carrying Ordained SubGenii up to the Escape Vessels of the Sex Goddesses,
and destroy the remaining population of Earth, VERY VERY SLOWLY." Bob is J.R.
Dobbs, leader and High Epopt of the Church of the SubGenius, Living Avatar of
Slack, the Saint of Sales. He was responsible for founding the Church on a
shifting, sandy beach of hypocrisy." Since X day did not materialize, they say:
"we're still here -- a little shaken, perhaps, and re-evaluating the interpretation
of PreScripture..." Further study indicated that we have been given a reprieve. The
artifact on which the date was written was accidentally inverted; the end of the
world will really happen in 8661 CE!1998-SEP: Two Christian pilgrims from an
American Fundamentalist group were detained in Israel's Ben Gurion airport. They
had allegedly planned to attack the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, which is the site of
Islam's third holiest shrine. Their goal appears to have been to precipitate a
massive religious conflict which would escalate into Armageddon. Their group
advocates the construction of the Third Temple on the location now occupied by the
Al Aqsa mosque. Their goal appears to have been not Biblically based. Verses in the
book of Revelation imply that Jesus' return will only occur after ritual animal
killing is reinstated at this location.1998-OCT-10 Concerned Christians is a
destructive, doomsday cult of 30 to 60 adults and children, led by Monte Kim
Miller. Miller was an anti-cult activist in the 1980's. He predicted that an
unspecified disaster would wipe Denver CO off the map on OCT-10. He predicted his
own death in 1999-DEC and his resurrection three days later. The Denver apocalypse
didn't happen. They left Denver near the end of September and relocated to
Jerusalem. Many Christians believe that when Jesus returns, he will descend from
the sky and make landfall on the Mount of Olives, near Jerusalem. 10 Israeli police
arrested members of the group and deported them. The Israelis seem to be motivated
by fear that the group may commit mass suicide. 1998-OCT: The House of Yahweh,
Abilene(tm) predicted that an end-of-world scenario will start during 1998-OCT. By
mid-2001, they predict that 80% of the world's population will have been killed as
a result of nuclear warfare. 1998-NOV: Natalia de Lemeny - Makedonova has written
a book titled "Eternal Laws - New Mankind - Spiritual Transformation" She predicts
that the "Son of Creator - Immanuel - the ruler of the millennial empire, announced
in the Bible, will be born in Slovakia in November...His birth will be accompanied
by a star which will shine in the sky and will be visible in the whole world.This
event will also be announced by other unearthly phenomena in the sky." A
purification of the earth will begin at his birth; it may be either "catastrophic
or symbolic." 111998-DEC-12: A survivalist from Arkansas spammed a warning to some
mailing lists. He predicted that in the early morning hours, a massive nuclear war
will begin in the U.S. Food will be wiped out; water will be contaminated; 75
million will die immediately; even more will die later. He recommends to "Get
strong in your spiritual life, get out of large cities and away from military sites
and military storage facilities and get prepared to survive." Sometime in 1998:
Centro is a very active religious organization, largely centered in the
Philippines. They predict that the world will come to an end in 1998. They
recommend that their followers retreat to safe places.The famous psychic Edgar
Cayce predicted that a secret, underground chamber would be discovered between the
paws of the Great Sphinx. Inside, there will be documents revealing the history of
Atlantis. This revelation will trigger the Second Coming of Christ. This prediction
is rather interesting, because two recent independent studies have revealed that
there is in fact an underground structure just where Cayce said it would be.Fr.
Sefano Gobbi, a Roman Catholic visionary, predicted on 1989-JUN-17 that the end of
the world, the final judgment and the dawning of the Marian Reign of Peace would
unfold in 1998.1999-JAN: According to the 1997-JUN-24 issue of Sun Magazine Pope
John XXIII predicted in 1962 that visitors from outer space will arrive in chariots
of flaming steel and will share their advanced knowledge with humanity. Our life
span will be increased to 150 years or longer. Most diseases will be wiped out.
1999-JAN/FEB: Between JAN-20 and FEB-4, an asteroid measuring 20 miles in diameter
and traveling about 20,000 miles/hour was predicted to earth. At that speed and
probable mass, it would totally disrupt all life processes on earth. Dr. Morris
Plammer said that a photo was leaked to him by "highly placed friends" within NASA.
The photo allegedly contains markings in the shape of a Satanic face.1999-FEB-23:
In 1997-NOV, evangelist Dan Bohler predicted that the Clinton Administration would
fall on or about this date. He predicted that there would be tanks driving up and
down the main streets in every American city, and that there would be bombs going
off in Washington DC. Although not quite as disastrous an event that other
predictions, it still would be quite distressing to the American people.1999-MAR:
The Students of the Seven Seals (Branch Davidians) teach that disaster will strike
the earth in the form of warfare, earthquakes, blacked skies and other horrors. On
AUG-6, David Koresh will return to earth. He will raise the dead, judge humans, and
start over in Jerusalem. None of this happened.1999-MAR: Roman Catholic visionary
called by the pen name Robert Hartman predicted that "the Miracle" would happen
before the year 2000, in a month that contains two full moons. The last opportunity
for this to happen was 1999-MAR, when a full moon occurred on the 2nd and 31st. By
including the prophecies of other visionaries, 1999-MAR-11 appeared to be a prime
date for the Miracle. 1999-APR-3: Ed. Dames, president of PsyTech predicted that
solar flares would strike the earth during the Easter weekend (APR-3 and 4 in the
West). Persons who were living in caves or under the earth might survive. The rest
of the world's population would be killed. He predicted that space aliens would
arrive about 2012 to rescue the few survivors. Ed., his family and employees
spent the weekend hiding out inside a lava tube in Hawaii. Solar activity was high
in early 1999; it varies over an 11 year cycle.1999-APR: On 1999-MAR-18, J. Adams,
Webmaster of the "Spirit of Truth" web page made a prediction: When the Dow Jones
Industrial Average reaches the magic 10,000 point, a surprise world war will be
triggered, followed by the utter destruction of America and the Western powers. The
index has been over 10,000 for some weeks now, and there is no indication of a
suprise attack.1999-APR/MAY: Various Roman Catholic apocalypticists during the
1990's have predicted a great Miracle, final judgment and the dawning of the Marian
Reign of Peace, starting on APR-8, APR-15 or MAY-13.1999-MAY-8: An Evangelical
Christian from New Brunswick, Canada, Terry Peterson, had a vision in 1989. It
involved terrible destruction caused by a continent-wide earthquake. The epicenter
will be in California, as the entire state plunges "into the ocean as God's
punishment for the 'immoral' state's sins." He also reports massive devastation on
the east coast of North America. Unfortunately, God only revealed to him a partial
date: MAY 8, 199? . He believes that the earthquake will occur between 11 PM on MAY
7 and one hour before dawn on MAY-8, Eastern time. 1999-MAY-21/22: Evengelist
Marilyn Agee predicts that the rapture will happen on this day, Pentecost. Earlier,
she predicted that it would happen on the Pentecost of 1998. The rapture, she
believed, would trigger the various events listed in the book of Revelation,
including the war of Armageddon.1999-MAY-23: M.J. Agee writes in the Bible Prophecy
Corner that because Noah had a 7 day warning that the flood was going to begin,
perhaps we today will receive a 7 months warning of the rapture. He notes that the
Wye Memorandum peace agreement was signed on 1998-OCT-23 by representatives of
Israel and Palestine. This is 7 months prior to Pentecost on 1999-MAY-23 as
celebrated by the Orthodox churches.1999-MAY: Bryan Elder, an Arkansas hydraulics
specialist, was quoted in Time magazine (1999-JAN-18) as predicting that an
alignment of the planets will burn up the earth sometime during this month.Well, we
have made it this far, and none of the prophecies have come true.12.8 References:1.
John Whalen, "Apocalypse When? ," at:
http://www.sfweekly.com/extra/apocalypse.html 2. Dr. Ed. Yardeni, Center for
Cybereconomics, at http://www.yardeni.com/cyber.html 3. S.J. Gould, "Questioning
the Millennium: A Rationalist's Guide to a Precisely Arbitrary Countdown.", Harmony
Books, (1997) You can read a review and perhaps buy this book from amazon.com
online bookstore 4. M.R. LeGault, "Worried about the year 2000? Nature doesn't
care.", The Globe and Mail newspaper, Toronto ON, 1997-NOV-15. A review of S.J.
Gould's book.5. The Center for Millennial Studies deals with the coming
conclusion of the current millennium at the end of the year 2001:1. Their home
page is at: http://www.mille.org/ 2. They have a list of Millennial Sites at:
http://www.mille.org/sites.html 3. They have an essay on the year 1000 CE called
"The Year 1000: Apocalyptic Year Extraordinaire, or A Year Like Any Other? " at:
http://www.mille.org/1000-pg.html 6. The Watchtower magazine, Watchtower Bible
and Tract Society, 1958-OCT-15, P. 613 7. Appearances of Jesus and Mary in Conyers,
GA, are described at: http://www.conyers.org/conyers.html 8. Global TV network
newscast, 1997-MAR-4 9. "Superdave the Wonderchemist's" estimate is at:
http://www.math.gatech.edu/~jkatz/Religions/Numerics/1997.html 10.
Christopher Walker, "Doomsday cults are converging on Jerusalem," The Times of
London, 1998-OCT-22.11. "White Dove - Prophecy about the End of the World," at:
http://www.biela-holubica.sk/ 12. Kevin Creed, "Celestial Rock is 20 Miles
Wide...", Weekly World News, 1998-APR-21, Page 9.13. Conspiracy Watch 2000 Web
Ring links together many Web sites "that deals with UFOs, Conspiracies, and/or
other paranormal activities..." See: http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Cavern/9757/
14. The Rapture Ready web site has a listing of world events that the Webmaster
believes are related to the rapture, arrival of the Antichrist, etc. See:
http://www.novia.net/~todd/rap16.html15. CALENdeRsign(r) "Countdown to
Millennium" discusses various events about the year 2000. See:
http://web.vip.at/calendersign/ 16. If you want to know how many
years/months/days/hours/minutes/seconds are left until the year 2000 CE, try:
http://www.syracuse.com/cgi-bin/COUNT_DOWN? 2000,1,1,0,0,0 (link may be defunct)17.
The End Times Information Center has a Web page at: http://www.lawtonok.net/etic/
18. "Apparitions: appearances of Jesus and the Virgin Mary" at:
http://www.concentric.net/~stambros/app.html 19. The Millennium Watch
Institute has collected prophetic texts associated with the millenium since 1992.
The collection is stored in therare book collection of the Deidrich-Van Pelt
Library Center at the University of Pennsylvania. 20. The Pacific Way Foundation
promotes the concept that "...disaster doeesn't need to occur IF we take action" in
advance. See: http://www.pacificway.org/index.htm Suite101's contributing editor,
Florence Cardinal, chose this essay as a weekly selection for 1998-JUL-26. Last
update: 1999-APR-27Compiled by B.A. Robinson