With the year 2012 quickly approaching, the chorus of doomsday sayers has gained some popularity in the news lately. After doing some researching for myself, I have found many people who believe that the world will end in 2012 and consequently formed some of my own opinions about these pseudo-prophet men.
My web-browsing skills first drew me to Patrick Geryl, 59 of Antwerp quit his job in 2006 to start preparing for doomsday. He has reportedly even convinced a whopping 16 other people to join him on his quest to survive doomsday. Geryl draws from a plethora of resources including Mayan predictions, ancient Egyptians, and even from the folks at NASA to make his claim; a well-rounded group of sources if I don’t say so myself. I guess his credibility is bolstered by the fact he is articulate about his ideas and half-heartedly refers to science to strengthen his predictions rooted in ancient culture and myth. However, the fact that he quit his job to completely focus on doomsday works against him in my opinion, pointing to the fact that this behavior is iconic among the schizophrenic and insane, but I do admire his dedication. To prepare for doomsday, Geryl and his followers are planning on purchasing land in the mountains of Africa to isolate themselves. So, if we want to be prepared we should do the same thing and stock up on the supplies according to Geryl.
Patrick Geryl is just the tip of the iceberg. Dennis McClung, 31, of Phoenix (the fact that he is from Arizona makes me believe it’s some sort of political front for those crazy Arizonans. Just kidding, but really.) also believes the world will end in 2012. Unlike Geryl, McClung doesn’t subscribe to one, or any for that matter, prophecy, but thinks that we “ought to be prepared for anything” according to an interview with ABC. To do us all a favor, he has even made an online survival store chalk full of survival goodies. McClung differs from Geryl in the sense that he doesn’t subscribe to a particular claim, he apparently just thinks the world will end in 2012, or is looking to make a quick dollar. His arguments are bolstered by the fact that he has devoted a website to the effort, but his arguments are hurt by the fact that he has no apparent argument. In other words, he says that he’s “not a firm believer in one specific prophecy.” Well Dennis, a piece of advice, if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything, I think Malcolm X said something like that.
My 45 minutes of research ended with a fellow by the name of Graham Hancock, who believes there might be some credibility to beliefs that the world is ending next year. In his book, Fingerprints of the Gods, Hancock argues that the Mayans really were onto something special with their Apocalypto stuff, or maybe that was Mel Gibson. Nonetheless, Hancock argues that there is some evidence for the prophecy of absolute global destruction. As far as I can tell, Hancock offers no solution; being the smart man he is, he realizes a prophecy is a prophecy, there’s not really anything one can do to change it. In this sense, Hancock is very much like Geryl as he draws from ancient Mayan culture to make his claims about doomsday but he is also different from Geryl because it almost seems he believes in the possibility of a doomsday, he hasn’t quit his day job yet. He differs from McClung because Hancock is a well-established and educated author and has a definitive core belief that he draws his opinions from. On this same note, Hancock adds credibility to his argument because he is a well-educated and established author, sociologist and journalist. In terms of his doomsday arguments, he shoots himself in the foot by not putting all of his eggs in the doomsday basket. The audience wants shocking, Graham, not someone who is going to tippy-toe on the line between cataclysmic destruction and normal life.
After reading through countless web-pages containing apocalyptic prophecies, doomsday destruction sequences authored by self-professed prophets, I am content with carrying on with life as usual. One side of me is fascinated by the mystery and lore behind the 2012 predictions, the other side of me wants to gouge out my eyes. How some of these people are able to say the things they do is beyond me, but that’s what we get for freedom of speech, thanks a lot John Milton and John Locke. There is ultimately nothing I would do differently after reading through the doomsday news. First, because I think it is rather foolish to predict a certain date for the world to end. Second, because if the world were to end on the aforementioned date set in a prophecy, well, it’s a prophecy so I don’t really see how there is any way of changing that. Clearly, these doomsday-sayers have not read Harry Potter to see how prophecies work.