Written by P.M. Wortham
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Topics: Religion, Armageddon

Monday, 6 April 2009

image for Doomsday Prophets and Profits: Faithful Beware
Bomb, Famine, Locusts, Earthquake. Is it time to bend over, and grab your ankles?

As if the world didn't have enough to worry about, already inundated with daily news of war, famine and economic tragedy, a new swarm of doomsday hucksters have invaded the Internet, major intersections and even your favorite little coffee shop. Bending the ears of anyone who might listen or even the vast majority who don't care to, these xenophobes have latched onto Andy Warhol's proverbial 15 minutes, and are riding that minute-hand until the clock batteries wear out.

"It's all going to end in December of 2012", says Minister Heywood Jhadumi from New York's eclectic "Church of What's Happening Now". His assertion about the biblical implications of the end-of-days is predicated on something other than the Bible. "The ancient Mayan calendar is the source of truth, and the calendar ends in 2012." Says Jhadumi. "It's also pretty good for the church business."

Jhadumi is not boasting. His website and mail order catalog business has been strong, with bibles, t-shirts, count-down calendars and other paraphernalia priced appropriately for the already panic stricken. "My best seller is the After-Armegeddon survival package, complete packets of dehydrated water". When questioned about the numerous other dates for the end of the world that have come and gone, Jhadumi just shrugged his shoulders. "But this date is actually based educated information" Jhadumi says.

So were other dates. 1284 AD was the date a group of priests had predicted the Rapture, 666 years after the founding of the Muslim faith. In 1832, the Mormons predicted the return of Christ and the end of days. In 2000, everyone had jumped on the bandwagon petitioning the faithful for larger donations and more recruits in anticipation for the real 'Final Jeopardy'. 2006, 2007, 2008 were all chosen by some set of religious leaders to represent the end of mankind. Deep breath. Anyone know what happened there?

"I won't lie to you man", Jhadumi says. "The end of the world speech has been great for business, and great for my love life too. It's amazing how many people need comfort in these difficult times. Armageddon it about five to seven times a week". Jhadumi was seen winking.

One reporter asked, "Could it be that after a couple of thousand years of calculating celestial calendars, the Mayans just figured that was probably good enough?" Jhadumi replied, "Yeah, maybe. But we'll just find another date that freaks people out. I've already picked May 14, 2023. That's the 25th anniversary of Seinfeld's last show. Man, now that was the end-of-days."

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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