The Mayans knew just as much about the end of days as I do about the sex of Kate Middleton’s fetus (I have my hunch but it could be a penis or it could be a gal with a tail, you don’t know what those Royals are covering up). What I definitely know is that there have been thousands of prophecies that came and went and this is likely to be another. Here are some of the most notorious cases of doomsday prophecies that mankind played around with like a Royal chasing her tail.
Business As Usual In 1666 C.E., Unless You Owned London Real Estate
If you were anywhere near the internet on 12-12-12, you’re aware that people put a lot of stock into consecutive numbers that occur within dates. Well, our western forbearers back in 1666 C.E were just as numerically ridiculous. There were many who thought that this year would bring about the end of days, 666 clearly indicating the mark of The Devil. The horned one may have been dancing on London’s rooftops during The Great Fire of London that year, but as far as the greater world was concerned, it was just another year.
The Prophet Hen of Leeds (1806)
Some chickens tell you the sky is falling, in Leeds in 1806 one chicken told us Christ was coming, literally. The hen in question had begun popping out prophetic eggs one day that read, “Christ is coming” and drove the town into an end of days fervor. It was later discovered that the farmer who owned the hen had been writing the missives onto the eggs with corrosive ink and then would shove the eggs back up the bird. His wife must have been a lucky woman.
The Millerites Get Used To The Great Disappointment (1844)
Even though the New Testament claims that, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” that has not stopped some religious minded people from speculating. Preacher William Miller believed that Jesus would return on October 22, 1844 to usher his followers into heaven. When Jesus totally spaced on his appointment and Miller and his followers had to face facts, it was known as, “The Great Disappointment”. Or, as the rest of the world called it, “The Great No Sh$%*”. .
Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Apocalypse Eventually (1914, 1918, 1925, 1975, …)
Say what you will about the Jehovah’s Witnesses, but at least they’re consistent in their inconsistencies. Since their inception as an offshoot of the Millerites they have interpreted apocalyptic prophecies in practically every generation. Law of averages they’ll probably be right one day. Except about Birthdays, because birthdays are awesome.
Planet Clarion and The Seekers (1954)
Dorothy Martin, a housewife active in Scientology, believed that she had been given a warning by aliens stationed on the planet Clarion that a flood was coming December 21, 1954. She amassed a small following and on the eve of what was surely the world’s destruction, these folk waited to be rescued by the concerned aliens. As 4am came and went and it was clear they weren’t coming, Martin was given a new message. This new message congratulated her and her flock for their belief and in so doing spared Earth from god’s destruction. Truly they are unsung heroes and not sad, deranged persons making the best of it.
Aum Shinrikyo Attempt At Self-Fulfilling Prophecy(1995)
The Aum Shinrikyo have the distinction of being a doomsday cult that actually attempted to further the doom along. Their leader Shoko Asahara ordered (amongst other acts of terror) the release of Sarin, a nerve toxin, into a public subway killing 12 and hurting thousands. As of this list, Asahara still waits to be executed pending further acts perpetrated in his name, reminding the world that you can’t pronounce Asahara without an, “Ass”.
Heaven’s Gate, Denied (1997)
The Heaven’s Gate cult believed that the world was about to be recycled (how 90s of them) and the human race would be wiped out in the process. The only means of survival was to hitch a ride on the Hale-Bopp comet passing by committing mass ritualistic suicide. They say comedy is tragedy plus time, but I’ll always feel a little bad for the Heaven’s Gate folk. All they wanted was to wear their new Nikes in space, I can’t hate on that.
Y2K Jades a Generation (2000)
I remember New Years 1999. My friends and I snuck some booze from Lana Kirkpatrick’s mom and talked about boys. At the stroke of midnight the sprinklers came on mysteriously in the front lawn and we danced in the water until I puked. Good times. Oh, the world still went on and people had a lot of canned food for the next couple of years.
Harold Camping Trolls Stupid People, Again (1994, 2011)
Behind a lot of doomsday prophecies is a doomsday prophet taking the money from the hopeless and the gullible. Harold Camping, like many before him, used clues from various Judeo-Christian texts to come up with September 6, 1994 as the day of The Rapture. When that ultimately didn’t pan out he doubled down on May and then October of 2011. Meanwhile his followers liquidated their assets not bargaining on needed a bank account after being tagged it by Team Jesus. Camping recently had a stroke but I’d like to think that it was god giving him a swift backhand for being a dick.
Do anyone of your friends believe the end is near? Or did you hide them already in your Facebook feed? Let me know in the comments!
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