I'm sort of proud of myself

Alert readers (both of you!) may have noticed that I didn't blog about any of that rapture stuff. It's because I really didn't see the point. Obviously non-believers don't take any of it seriously, but the overwhelming majority of believers don't take it seriously either.

End-times prophecy is big business, as testified by the huge sales of the Left Behind series of books. I've personally known people who stocked their attics full of "Tribulation food". The most insidious part of this whole story is that several people gave their life savings to Harod Camping, the old fart behind the fiasco. I've said it many times before: wherever there are people stupid enough to believe in that stuff, there will be someone smart enough to make money of off their stupidity.

End-times groups/cults/whatever you want to call them are actually fascinating to me from sociological and psychological standpoint. In literally every end-times story from the return of Christ to 2012, the gist is the same: everyone else gets destroyed, but we – the true believers – find ourselves in a new utopia. That's why you can find dozens of websites selling supplies for the Tribulation or for 2012. End of the world events are only the end of the world for "them". It's a radical conjuration of in-groups who feel cut off and disconnected from the rest of the world, and the destruction isn't so much feared as romanticized. 

I'd love to see some real anthropological research on the phenomenon. To my understanding, such stories are almost as old as civilization itself.


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