The Year the World Ended
Right now you can go out to a book store or web site and buy a 2013 calendar, which may even have a few months of 2014 included as well. What is more difficult to buy is a calendar for the year 3414, for example. Why? Because sales would be abysmal. Imagine how angry some ancient Mayan’s boss was when he realized his toady calendar maker was getting WAAAAYYYY ahead of himself. So he had him stop obsessive-compulsively carving out new dates. Flash forward to present day: conspiracy nuts think the OC Mayan was actually predicting The End. Get real.
In case you missed our previous Armageddons, here are some absolutely guaranteed drop-dead-end-of-the-world predictions in the last 100 years…
1914 – Jehovah’s Witnesses calculated this expiration date from made-up stories, as is their wont, later revising it to 1915. Then 1918. Then 1920, 1925, 1941, 1975, 1994… ah, who even pays attention to them anymore?
1919 – Six planets would align and tear apart the Sun. Or not.
1936 – Herbert W. Armstrong, who cobbled together several religious disciplines and called it the Worldwide Church of God, tried to stir up his own end-of-world scenario to build up a following. The revised date was 1975.
1948 – The Jews finally got an official homeland, and Christians ran for the hills, thinking this was the final sign of the Apocalypse.
1953 – David Davidson’s “The Great Pyramid, Its Divine Message” stirred up some sales with its doom and gloom message.
1957 – Not having any luck with their own predictions, the Jehovah’s Witnesses laid a 1957 prediction on a California padre named Mihran Ask.
1959 – Future Branch Davidian leader Florence Houteff predicted world’s end for 1959, although it wasn’t until 1993 that most of the faithful went up in flames with David Koresh.
1960 – Another old pyramid-related prediction came and went.
1967 – Another rousing victory by the Israelis in their 6-day war got Christians wringing their hands all over again. Simps.
1973 – The comet due to hit Earth as predicted by Moses David (David Berg) of The Children of God apparently missed. You Gotta Believe
1980 – Baha’i Faith leader Leland Jensen saw our nuclear demise go up in smoke.
1981 – Chuck Smith, another California padre, calls it wrong.
1981 – Arnold Murray of Shepherd’s Chapel had his own 1981 prediction. I wonder if he and Chuck Smith compared notes afterward.
1981 – The Reverend Sun Myung Moon liked 1981, too.
1982 – Marion Gordon “Pat” Robertson went with a 1982 Armageddon, and when that didn’t work out, he then ran for President in 1988.
1982 – Another alignment of the planets doom scenario made astronomers John Gribben and Setphen Plagemann poop their pants, but the rest of us got through it okay.
1984 to 1999 – The Rajneesh movement predicted a series of natural and man-made events of global destruction for this period. Well, it did rain a lot.
1985 – Shepherd’s Chapel’s Arnold Murray was at it again, saying Armageddon would start on June 8th of that year in Alaska. At least he had the guts to be specific.
1986 – Since his 1973 comet missed the Earth, Moses David went with a Battle of Armageddon for 1986, and the return of zombie Jesus in 1993.
1987 – 2000 – Lester Sumrall sold a lot of books predicting a lot of doom, and was wrong on every count.
1988 – Again blaming the formation of Israel, perennial predictor of preposterous prophesies Hal Lindsey incorrectly guessed 1988 as the Final Year.
1988 – The year Alfred “Super-Psychic A.S. Narayana” Schmielewsky said it would all end. He was later murdered after his Super Psychic powers failed to warn him of a gunman at his front door.
1988 – A 1981 movie called “The Man Who Saw Tomorrow” helped prove what a crackpot Nostradamus was.
1988 – Edgar Whisenaut, a NASA scientist, became a best-selling author with his book “88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Occur in 1988.” October 11, to be specific. I want my money back.
1990-ish – Some guy named Peter Ruckman came up with his own nebulous timetable.
1994 – Harold Camping reveals the results of 3 decades of biblical computations to peg September 6, 1994, as Judgement Day. Well, back to the drawing board.
2009 – The Large Hadron Collider particle accelerator goes on line in November, creates a black hole, and destroys the Universe. Yeah, sure.
2011 – May 21, to be precise. “The Bible Guarantees It”, claimed Harold Camping, having re-calculated and revised his 1994 Apocalypse. He had a stroke in June, 2011, so maybe he was predicting in the first person.
2012 – Okay, really, this is it. December 21, 2012.
But wait! This just in…