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Hotel owners around the pyramid-shaped Mount Rtanj, a supposedly mystical mountain in the east of the Balkan country, say that bookings are flooding in, with believers who are convinced that the end of a Mayan calendar heralds the destruction of the world hoping that its purported mysterious powers will save them from the apocalypse.
Adherents of the end-of-the-world scenario think the 5,100ft-high mountain, part of the Carpathian range, conceals a pyramidal building inside, left behind by alien visitors thousands of years ago. Arthur C Clarke, the British science fiction writer, reportedly identified the peak as a place of “special energy” and called it “the navel of the world”.
“In one day we had 500 people trying to book rooms. People want to bring their whole families,” said Obrad Blecic, a hotel manager.
Tag Archives | Doomsday
Have rumors of the apocalypse in China triggered mass panic and inspired a bizarre and horrific knifing spree? Or is the Mayan calendar proving useful for Chinese authorities as a scapegoat and justification for crackdown? Via the BBC:
Chinese police have arrested more than 500 members of a doomsday cult for spreading rumors about the imminent end of the world, state media say.
At least 400 followers of the Almighty God Christian group were detained in western Qinghai province in recent days. Dozens more were held elsewhere. China’s state news agency Xinhua describes the Almighty God Christian group as a cult, saying it was established in 1990 in Henan.
In Henan province, six officials have been sacked after a knife attack by a suspected doomsday cult disciple wounded more than 20 children. The attack sparked widespread anger. The officials sacked had handled the incident improperly, state media said.
Is the possibility of a looming apocalypse causing people to lose it in horrific fashion? Via the Christian Science Monitor:
Chinese police said that they suspect that the man who stabbed 23 children in a rural Chinese elementary school just hours before the Newtown, Conn., massacre “injured innocent people and children with a knife because he was influenced by doomsday rumors.” None of the wounded children died of their injuries.
The knifing spree is the darkest manifestation yet of how end-of-the-world rumors have taken hold in China. Chinese are susceptible to doomsday reports, suggests social psychologist Wei Zhizhong, because “scientific knowledge is still not widespread in China. People have abandoned their traditional mystical relationship with nature, but they are still exploring scientific ways of coexisting” with the natural world.
Unclear Holocaust is a feature-length autopsy of Hollywood's New York-destruction fantasy, gleaned from over fifty major studio event-movies and detourned into one relentless orgy of representational genocide. It is the unrivaled assembly of the greatest amount of capital and private property heretofore captured in one frame, that, with unfathomable narrative efficacy, suicides itself in an annihilatory flux of fire, water, and aeronautics...We see the Cinema as it really is; an unequivocal annihilation, the auto-genocidal mass fantasy of a megalomaniacally depressed First World.
New York Times reports strange December 21st phenomena in Russia, caused by humans:
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There are scattered reports of unusual behavior from across Russia. Inmates in a women’s prison near the Chinese border are said to have experienced a “collective mass psychosis” so intense that their wardens summoned a priest to calm them. In a factory town east of Moscow, panicked citizens stripped shelves of matches, kerosene, sugar and candles. A huge Mayan-style archway is being built — out of ice — in Chelyabinsk in the south.
In Prison Colony No. 10 in the village of Gornoye, in November wardens told that anxiety over the Mayan prophecy had been building for two months, and some inmates had broken out of the facility “because of their disturbing thoughts.” Some of the women were sick, or having seizures.
More common are reports about panicky buying. In Ulan-Ude, the capital of the Buryatiya region, citizens have reportedly been hoarding food and candles to survive a period without light, following instructions from a Tibetan monk called the Oracle of Shambhala, who has been described on some Russian television broadcasts.
Good to know that we may finally have an answer on this. The BBC reports:
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Cambridge researchers at the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER) are to assess whether technology could end up destroying human civilisation. The scientists said that to dismiss concerns of a potential robot uprising would be “dangerous”.
Fears that machines may take over have been central to the plot of some of the most popular science fiction films. But despite being the subject of far-fetched fantasy, researchers said the concept of machines outsmarting us demanded mature attention. “The seriousness of these risks is difficult to assess, but that in itself seems a cause for concern, given how much is at stake,” the researchers write.
The CSER project has been co-founded by Cambridge philosophy professor Huw Price, cosmology and astrophysics professor Martin Rees and Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn. Prof. Price said that as robots and computers become smarter than humans, we could find ourselves at the mercy of “machines that are not malicious, but machines whose interests don’t include us”.
An estimated 20,000 true believers have already flocked to a village at the base of the eerie and beautiful Pic de Bugarach in the belief that the mountain contains an alien spacecraft which will emerge on December 21 and rescue nearby humans from the end of the world.
However, your shot at extraterrestrial salvation is over, as French authorities are now blockading the area, the Daily Mail reports:
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French officials have banned access to the Pic de Bugarach to avoid a rush of New Age fanatics, sightseers and, above all, journalists [due to] the rumour that the mountain in south-west France will burst open on December 21st revealing an alien spaceship which will carry nearby humans to safety.
A hundred police and firefighters will also control approaches to the tiny village of the same name at the foot of the mountain, and if too many people turn up, they will block access there too.
The New York Times examines the booming business of selling preparedness for societal breakdown, with more and more Americans worried that civilization may be on the verge of collapse in the wake of major hurricanes, blackouts, financial crisis, Iran building the bomb, et cetera. The irony is that the movement’s proponents are so obsessed with “getting ready” for the end of everything that in a sense they have already given up on our world:
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The preparedness industry, always prosperous during hard times, is thriving again now. In Ron Douglas’s circles, people talk about “the end of the world as we know it” with such regularity that the acronym Teotwawki has come into widespread use.
The goal isn’t just to sell to the same old preparedness crowd. Red Shed wants to attract liberals and political moderates to a marketplace historically populated by conservatives and right-wing extremists. It’s about showing the gun-toting mountain man in his camouflage and the suburban soccer mom in her minivan that they want the same thing: peace of mind.
Another day, another doomsday cult:
Dominican Republic authorities are still rounding up suspects following a shoot-out between law enforcement personnel and a group of German citizens said to be members of a doomsday cult called the Academy for Future Health. The shoot-out took place in an exclusive neighborhood popular with German immigrants. One of the cult members was killed in the firefight. The cult’s leader, Peter Brunck, was taken alive. He was wearing a bullet-proof vest at the time of his arrest. A cache of weapons, including grenades, rifles and crossbows, was discovered in the house.
Brunck’s son Daniel was taken into protective custody last week. Daniel’s girlfriend Isabella Dietrich was also arrested.
The Academy for Future Health website is in German, but an admittedly poor translation to English via Google describes Brunck as a successful speaker and man who knows “the truth” about “situations”.… Read the rest