Tag Archives | End of the World

China Arrests 500 Alleged Doomsday Cult Members

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.

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Chinese Man Who Stabbed 23 Children Was Inspired By Mayan Doomsday Rumors, Authorities Claim

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.

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A Year After the Non-Apocalypse: Where Are They Now?

Judgment Day

Photo: O'Dea (CC)

There will be someone new to take Harold Camping’s place, these end-timers never seem to go away. Writes Tom Bartlett on Religion Dispatches:

For a while, their message was everywhere. They paid for billboards, took out full-page ads in newspapers, distributed thousands of tracts. They drove across the county in RVs emblazoned with verses from the books of Revelation and Daniel. They marched around Manhattan holding signs. They broadcasted day and night on their network of radio stations. They warned the world.

That warning turned out to be a false alarm. No giant earthquake rippled across the surface of the earth, nor were any believers caught up in the clouds. Harold Camping, the octogenarian whose nightly Bible call-in show fomented doomsday mania, suffered a stroke soon afterward and mostly disappeared from sight. The press coverage, which had been intense in the weeks leading up to May 21, 2011, dwindled to nothing.

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Waiting For Armageddon (Video)

Via Waiting For Armageddon:

Americas 50-million strong Evangelical community is convinced that the worlds future is foretold in biblical prophecy — from the Rapture to the Battle of Armageddon. This astonishing documentary explores their world — in their homes, at conferences, and on a wide-ranging tour of Israel. By interweaving Christian, Zionist, Jewish and critical perspectives along with telling archival materials, the filmmakers probe the politically powerful — and potentially explosive — alliance between Evangelical Christians and Israeli alliance that may set the stage for what one prominent Evangelical leader calls World War III.

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Newly Found Mayan Calendar Goes Far Beyond 2012

MayanCalender

Wikimedia Commons (CC)

World to end on December 21st, 5012? Brian Vastag writes in the Washington Post:

The ancient Mayans were masters of time, keepers of good calendars. And now we have one of their timekeepers’ workrooms to prove it.

In a striking find, archaeologists in Guatemala report the discovery of a small building whose walls display  calendars that destroy any notion that the Mayans predicted the end of the world in 2012. This calendar spans some 7,000 years — heading much farther into the future than the supposed doomsday date.

The newly found calendars, which track the motion of the moon, Venus and Mars, provide an unprecedented glimpse into how these storied sky-gazers — who dominated Central America for nearly 1,000 years — kept such accurate track of months, seasons and years.

“What they’re trying to do is understand the large cycles of cosmic time,” said William Saturno, the Boston University archaeologist who led the expedition.

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Guatemalan Mayans to World: 2012 is Not the End, and We Should Know

Iximche

President G. W. Bush at a demonstration of a Mayan ritual at Iximche, Guatemala in 2007.

This breezy seemingly fluffy travel article in the Guardian just days before NYE that somehow got overlooked as the apocalyptic hysteria surrounding the Mayan Long Count date of 21 December 2012 reached a pots-New Year crescendo (for now).

In it, author Kevin Rushby reminds us that unlike the Atlanteans, the ‘noble savage’ and other imaginary creatures Mayan culture still exists and continuous with its more grandiose past.

When Rushby asks a local Guatemalan shaman about the end-of-the-world prophecy, he says, “It is the end of a 5,126-year cycle, that’s true, but there is no mention of the end of the world. People seem to have got that from the Dresden Codex (a pre-Columbian volume of Mayan writings now in the State Library of Dresden). But in that record there is no mention of 2012.” According to Rushby, “Some millenarian-minded person had put these two separate records together and made a doomsday scenario.”

Read more about contemporary Mayan culture over at the Guardian.… Read the rest

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World Will End In Exactly One Year

Well … maybe. A couple of years ago I produced a documentary about the now infamous end-date of the Mayan Long Count Calendar, December 21, 2012. Today is the Winter Solstice, and exactly one year remains until the current cycle of the Long Count Calendar expires. What does that mean? We asked many experts and wannabe experts in the film and as a special Winter Solstice offer, we’re pleased to bring you the opportunity to see their answers for just $2.49 (3-Day Rental). Enjoy!

For more information on the film, the experts and the companion book by Alexandra Bruce, visit 2012SOS.com.

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NASA: Solar Flare Can’t Destroy Earth

Feeling the heat from 2012 apocalypticists perhaps, NASA feels the need to reassure people that we won’t be fried in 2012. Mike Wall reports on NASA’s Nov. 10, 2011 statement, for Space.com:

If the world ends in 2012, the sun won’t be to blame, NASA officials say.

Contrary to what some doomsayers would have you believe, our star isn’t capable of blasting out a solar flare powerful enough to burn our planet to a crisp, according to the space agency.

“Most importantly, however, there simply isn’t enough energy in the sun to send a killer fireball 93 million miles to destroy Earth,” NASA officials wrote…

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