Not Quite the End of the World

Richard Abanes. End Time Visions: The Road to Armageddon. Four Walls Eight Windows, 1998.

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This detailed critique of end of the world beliefs, is aimed at a similar audience to the promoters of the end of the world prophecies of conservative Christians, and goes into much more detail in refuting their claims, and quoting their literature against them. He is especially effective in tracking down the frequent changes of date and various excuses as to why the world had failed to end, some of them displaying the most amazing chutzpah. Among the worst offenders were the Jehovah's Witnesses whose dates for the end of the world have advanced from 1874 through 1914, 1925 and 1975, before they gave up trying for specific dates. The spiel seems to rely roughly on arguing 'just because we said the world was going to end in 1925, then foolish actually through that we meant that the world was going to end in 1925, which is, of course, not what we meant at all'. The fearful are reassured that, contrary to doomsayers claims, that there is no objective increase in the number of earthquakes, hurricanes and other 'signs of the end'. Abanes also points out the connections between the apocalyptic evangelists and the radical right, whose antics we have noted several times in these pages. The Christian agenda is put forward relatively lightly, and there is much interesting information. -- Peter Rogerson. Magonia 65, November 1998.

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