End-Time Visions: The Road to Armageddon?

End-Time Visions: The Road to Armageddon?

End-Time Visions: The Road to Armageddon?

End-Time Visions: The Road to Armageddon?

Synopsis

In this look at doomsday madness--its history, leaders, followers, and dogma--Abanes cites historical antecedents from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance and discusses in detail the myriad of popular doomsday prophets, including Japan's Aum Shinrikyo, and other international movements. Illustrations.

Excerpt

I'm glad it's over. Hurry, hurry my children, hurry. . . . [L]et us not fall in the hands of the enemy. Hurry my children, hurry. . . . Now quickly, quickly, quickly, quickly, quickly. . . . No more pain. . . . No more pain. . . . All we're doing is laying down our life, we're not letting them take our life, we're laying down our life. All it is is taking a drink . . . to go to sleep. That's what death is, sleep. [SCREAMS in BACKGROUND]. . . . I'm tired of it all. . . . [A]ssure these kids, can some people assure these children of the relaxation of stepping over to the next plane. We'll set an example for others. . . . [O]ne thousand people who've said we don't like the way the world is. . . . [K]eep your emotions down, keep your emotions down. . . . [It] will not hurt if you will keep your emotions down, if you will be quiet [SCREAMS in BACKGROUND]. . . . Death is a million times preferable to ten more days of this life. If you knew what was ahead of you, if you knew what was ahead of you you'd be glad to be stepping over tonight. . . . This is a revolutionary suicide. It's not a self-destructive suicide. . . . [SCREAMS in BACKGROUND]. . . . [T]he best thing you can do is relax and you will have no problem. You will have no problem with the thing if you just relax. . . .

-- Reverend Jim Jones (November 18, 1978) excerpted recording of Jones' final address to followers as they committed suicide

Not since the 1978 mass murder-suicide of more than 900 people at Jonestown, Guyana has the world been so keenly aware of end-time religious cults and their deadly power. the term "cult" was coined by German theologian Ernst Troeltsch (1865-1923) in his classic work, The Social Teaching of the Christian Churches (1912). He applied the designation to any spiritually-oriented group or movement that was neither a church nor a sect. Eventually, however, the word cult evolved into a disparaging label for any group advocating "curious and unconventional belief and behavior."

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