NRA: You know who else was an evil, homicidal tyrant?

Nicolae: The Rise of Antichrist; pp. 116-120

Buck Williams is studying — carefully reading through the notes and sermons from Bruce Barnes’ computer:

Late in the afternoon, Chicago time, Buck broke from the fascinating reading of Bruce Barnes’s writing and finally got through to Chaim Rosenzweig.

That word “finally” there confirms what we already suspected about Buck’s “reading” — that it just means he had Bruce’s papers in front of him while he dialed and redialed his phone.

Buck has been trying to reach Chaim in the hopes that he can help Buck find the born-again Rabbi Tsion Ben-Judah. Chaim Rosenzweig is a high-level assistant to the Antichrist and Ben-Judah is the Antichrist’s Public Enemy No. 1, so it’s a bit strange to seek Chaim’s help with this. But since Chaim and Tsion are the only Jews Buck knows, he figures they must also know each other. And since that’s how these books work, they do.

“Cameron! I have finally talked live with our mutual friend. Let us not mention his name on the phone.”

Just in case anyone is listening in, it’s best to avoid drawing their suspicion by mentioning that you don’t want to draw their suspicion.

“It was a strange message, Cameron. He simply said that you would know whom to talk with about his whereabouts.”

“That I would know?”

“That’s what he said, Cameron. That you would know.”

Buck seems puzzled by this, but readers will be reminded that I was wrong above to say Buck only knows two Jews — he actually knows four, with the other two being Moses and Elijah. Yes, the actual patriarch Moses and the actual prophet Elijah from the Hebrew scriptures. Buck and Tsion met them in the last book at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, where they have returned to act as evangelical Christian street preachers. This is Tim LaHaye’s idea of the “Two Witnesses” from the book of Revelation.

The evangelistic technique of these two witnesses doesn’t seem very promising. Mostly they’re just chanting “Jesus is Lord,” which is a succinct statement of what Christians believe, but not a particularly persuasive approach to winning converts. There’s also the problem that anyone who comes forward during their altar call tends to get burned to cinders by giant flames shooting out of their mouths.

The Two Witnesses have been out there for more than a year now and it seems that Buck and Tsion were the only two people who have been allowed to approach to speak to them. They confirmed to Buck and Tsion that they are, indeed, Moses and Elijah, returned to the Earth. That seems like a newsworthy bit of information, but Buck never reports it through his news organization. It also seems like a compelling piece of information that might serve as a persuasive attention-getter for Tsion’s own evangelistic ministry, but he seems to be keeping it a secret too.

All told, the Two Witnesses could use a refresher course in my Four Essential Rules for Street Preaching:

1. Speak clearly in a loud voice.

2. If you’ve returned from beyond the grave, lead with that.

3. Don’t kill everyone who tries to talk to you.

4. Give a clear, concise presentation of Christian belief.

They’ve got the first and the fourth one down, but still need practice on the other two.

Anyway, readers here on page 117 quickly realize that Buck will need to talk to Moses and Elijah to reconnect with his friend Tsion. Buck himself will figure that out in about another 30 pages.

We return to Rayford Steele. When last we saw him, we were slogging through an elaborate multi-page set-up in which it was arranged to have Nicolae Carpathia’s top-secret meeting with his 10 global princes on the airplane, where Rayford (and therefore readers) would be able to listen in.

But then Rayford got off the plane.

Fortunately, instead of a top-secret meeting, Nicolae will be making another global broadcast, and Rayford and readers will still be able to listen in by watching it on television in the Baghdad airport terminal. So it all works out. We don’t actually hear what Nicolae says in his broadcast anyway, just Rayford’s distracted impression of the gist of it:

It was clear Carpathia had completely effected his will and spin onto the news directors at every venue. While the stories carried the horrifying pictures of war, bloodshed, injury, and death, each also spoke glowingly of the swift and decisive action of the potentate in responding to the crisis and crushing the rebellion.

Rayford stops watching before Nicolae begins to speak:

Rayford shook his head and went to a desk in the corner, where he found stationery from a Middle Eastern airline and began composing a letter to Earl Halliday’s wife.

The Antichrist’s Global Community has consolidated all governments, all banks, all religions, all currencies and all languages. But the airlines apparently all continue as independent, private sector businesses.

Logic told Rayford he should not feel responsible. … Rayford didn’t even know yet how Earl had been killed. Perhaps everyone on his flight to Glenview had perished. All he knew was that the deed had been done, and Earl Halliday was no more.

If you’re thinking I skipped the scene where Earl died, that’s because the authors did too. There was a scene in which Earl feared Nicolae wanted him dead, and there was a scene in which Fortunato said they would need a replacement for Earl after he gets dealt with, but this is the closest we get to a scene confirming that any of that ever really happened.

As he sat trying to compose a letter with words that could never be right, he felt a huge, dark cloud of depression begin to settle on him. He missed his wife. He missed his daughter. He grieved over his pastor. He mourned the loss of friends and acquaintances, new and old.

Like, for instance, his old acquaintance Irene. Or whatsisname, the kid.

Rayford knew he was not responsible for what Nicolae Carpathia meted out against his enemies. The terrible, dark judgment on the earth rendered by this evil man would not stop if Rayford merely quit his job. Hundreds of pilots could fly this plane. He himself had learned it in half an hour. He didn’t need the job, didn’t want the job, didn’t ask for the job.

And yet here he is, doing the job. For the Antichrist.

Twice now in two pages Rayford has reminded himself that he is not “responsible” for the evil deeds he is facilitating by collaborating with the Antichrist. He’s working his way through many of the classic rationalizations: If he didn’t do it, someone else would; he’s only doing his job/following orders.

These rationalizations are familiar, so let’s step back and deal with that familiarity.

How does Godwin’s Law* apply to a story about the Antichrist?

In Tim LaHaye’s “Bible prophecy” mythos, the Antichrist will be a global dictator and tyrant and the epitome of evil. The Antichrist, LaHaye insists, will be the cruelest and most evil leader the world has ever known.

So I’m afraid we’re going to have to Godwin this thread, because, by definition, the Antichrist must be worse than Hitler.

That’s a difficult, in some ways offensive, idea to grasp in trying to read these books. We’ve already got an idea in our heads of what superlative evil looks like, and these books’ claim that the Antichrist will be even more evil than that can seem like disrespect to the gravity of the real, historical evils this Antichrist is supposed to surpass, and to seem like disrespect to the real, actual people who really suffered under such evil regimes.

It takes a bit of mental wrangling, then, to keep in mind that Nicolae Carpathia is supposed to be worse than Hitler, that the Global Community is supposed to be worse than the Third Reich.

But what does that mean for our hero, Rayford Steele, who is a personal assistant to the Antichrist and a high-ranking officer in his regime? The authors have stressed that Rayford has “Clearance level 2-A” — the highest level of security clearance, reserved for the highest ranking servants of the Antichrist who work personally and intimately with this worse-than-Hitler tyrant.

I suspect that the authors would cry foul if they heard us make the comparison this invites and demands, but how can we not ask? What makes Rayford Steele any different from a Nazi collaborator?

I think Jerry Jenkins is trying to address just that question here with all of Rayford’s soul-searching. The problem is that Rayford’s own justifications sound like he’s cribbing from Burt Lancaster in Judgment at Nuremberg.

And then Rayford’s justifications get even worse:

He didn’t need the job, didn’t want the job, didn’t ask for the job. Somehow, he knew God had placed him there.

That’s right, it’s God’s will that Rayford collaborate with Nazis.

On one level, this is just another appalling example of Piperism — the shallow, Panglossian theology that holds that everything that happens must be God’s will because if it wasn’t God’s will then it wouldn’t have happened. But even John Piper isn’t quite as enthusiastic as the authors are here in attributing evil directly to God.

Look again at that phrase above, “The terrible, dark judgment on the earth rendered by this evil man.” The Antichrist himself can say, along with his collaborator Rayford, that “Somehow, he knew God had placed him there.”

The “terrible, dark judgment on the earth rendered” by the Antichrist is always exceeded in these books by the even more terrible and darker judgment on the earth rendered by God. The authors constantly give what sounds like a perverse rendition of the people’s song in 1 Samuel: “Nicolae has slain his thousands, but Jesus his tens of thousands.”

Somehow, he knew God had placed him there. For what? Was this surprising bugging of the intercom system by Earl Halliday a gift directly from God that allowed Rayford to somehow protect a few from the wrath of Carpathia?

Already he believed it had saved his daughter and son-in-law from certain death in the Chicago bombings, and now, as he looked at television reports from America’s West Coast, he wished there had been something he could have done to have warned people in San Francisco and Los Angeles of their impending doom.

As we’ve already discussed, repeatedly, there was plenty he could have done to warn people. He chose not to.

He chose, instead, to send his wife back to Chicago to check on his daughter, and in order to ensure her safety he did nothing to warn anyone in San Francisco or to attempt to interfere in the slaughter that he, as Nicolae’s pilot, was helping to ensure.

Rayford Steele is charged with being a collaborator complicit in all the evil of the Antichrist’s wicked regime. Here is Jerry Jenkins’ three-part defense of Rayford:

If he didn’t do it, someone else would.

And he’s only doing his job.

And he has to protect his own family, first, before sticking his neck out for anyone else.

The prosecution rests.

- – - – - – - – - – - -

* For those not familiar with all Internet traditions, Wikipedia has a good summary of “Godwin’s Law.” The key points are the law itself:

As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.

And the customary corollary:

There is a tradition in many newsgroups and other Internet discussion forums that once such a comparison is made, the thread is finished and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost whatever debate was in progress.

  • GeniusLemur

    Hitler’s official position was  that he didn’t want to destroy the Jews, but they were such a terrible threat to Germany that it was necessary.
    (“If the international Jewish financiers in and outside Europe should succeed in plunging nations once more into a world war, then the result will not be the bolshevization of the earth and this the victory of Jewry, but the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe!” January 30, 1941 speech to the Reichstag)

  • aunursa

    Stephen King could knock this guy out of the park.

    This was discussed a couple of weeks ago…

    Writing Advice from Stephen King & Jerry Jenkins

    KING: I got to know [Jerry] through the Left Behind series, which has a lot in common with The Stand—both are stories about the end of the world, with Christian overtones (mine has more four-letter words). While I’m not a big believer in the Biblical apocalypse and end-times, I was raised in a Christian home, went to church a lot, attended MYF (Methodist Youth Fellowship—lots of Bible drills, which every writer could use, Christian or not), and so I knew the story. The Left Behinds were like meeting an old friend in modern dress…. Jerry writes sturdy prose and plots well. He’s also warm and compassionate. Understands families inside and out. There’s a lot there to like.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

     Oh, yeah but the difference is that King would make Rayford likable, but you would know for sure that he is no hero. 

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

    King would make Rayford likable, but you would know for sure that he is no hero.

    Lloyd Henried, the nicest man ever to serve as the right hand of the devil

  • Jurgan

    “Hundreds of pilots could fly this plane. He himself had learned it in half an hour.”

    Wait, wait, time out.  Didn’t we spend a few hundred chapters insisting Rayford was the only one super-special enough to fly this super-special plane?

  • http://heathencritique.wordpress.com/ Ruby_Tea

    Verna Zee Sensible Shoes Confrontation Countdown: 228 pages

  • http://heathencritique.wordpress.com/ Ruby_Tea

    Just in case anyone is listening in, it’s best to avoid drawing their suspicion by mentioning that you don’t want to draw their suspicion.

    Unsurprisingly, this only gets worse as the series progresses, to the point where people begin phone conversations with David Hayseed, their mole inside the palace, with “Is this a secure connection?” and “David, are you absolutely, positively sure that no one is listening in?”

  • tatortotcassie

    Wouldn’t it be awesome if in the end it was Rayford who ended up being the true Anti-Christ and Nickie is just one of the false prophets?

  • aunursa

    All text and dialogue are from Book #7 The Indwelling The Secure Line

    Ming: I need an interrogation room.
    GC Peacekeeper: Commander, last door on the left.
    Ming: Private, no viewing, no bugs.
    GC Peacekeeper: That’s the secure one, ma’am.

    Hannelore: Jacov?
    Buck: No, Hannelore, this is Greg North.
    Hannelore: Buck! What happened? Where–
    Buck: Hannelore! Your phone is not secure!
    Hannelore: I don’t care anymore, Buck! If we die, we die! Where is Jacov? What happened to Chaim?

    Fortunato: Patch me through to Director Hassid at the palace, secure line.

    She didn’t recognize the number, but her comrades had assured her the phone was secure. She would not jeopardize them if she answered, even if her number had fallen into the wrong hands.  Leah opened the phone and tucked her head behind the back of the seat in front of her. She spoke softly but direct. “This is Donna Clendenon.”

    Hattie: Buck is it really you?
    Buck: Hattie! Where are you?Hattie: Colorado.
    Buck: You’re on a secure phone?

    Leah: I told him I’d love if he could talk directly to Buck and he said he’d be happy to, but I didn’t feel right about giving out Buck’s number.
    Rayford: That was wise.  Let Buck decide that. His phone is secure, but this pastor’s is likely bugged if they just had a GC cleaning.

  • Dash1

     After which Tabitha was released unharmed.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/GUFZNDXKK6JQGEIGV7VGXFUDKE c2t2

    Now that’s just confusing. King should be the most qualified person in the world to recognize how bad Jenkins’ writing is. Yet he’s praising it without weasel words or dodging (ie: “Successful author beloved by his fans,” ”A plot of biblical proportions told from a unique perspective.”)

    I see four possibilities:

    1. All us slacktivites are wrong, and these are somehow good books written by good people.

    2. King was BSing and has never read more than a synopsis.

    3. He was being sarcastic, which got lost in translation.

    4. He was deliberately telling blatant lies to further his evil plot… resurrecting an Eldrich Abomination?

    Okay, I’m stumped. Anyone else?

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    With that kind of reminder about the security of the lines, one wonders why nobody ever pegged Hayseed as the mole.

  • Some Guy Who Hates Pants

    Father Ted did a better job explaining why Father Fintan Stack was worse than Hitler* than Ellenjay did explaining why Nicky is.

    *(Ted labels him “worse than Hitler”, because “you wouldn’t find Hitler playing jungle music at three in the morning”). from wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Jack_City_(Father_Ted)

  • ReverendRef

    He chose, instead, to send his wife back to Chicago to check on his
    daughter, and in order to ensure her safety he did nothing to warn
    anyone in San Francisco or to attempt to interfere in the slaughter that
    he, as Nicolae’s pilot, was helping to ensure.

    Since the whole of Fred’s post acknowledges Godwin right up front . . . I read this passage and the only thing I thought of was, “Thank God it was Schindler in charge of that factory and not Rayray.”

  • http://jesustheram.blogspot.com/ Mr. Heartland

    To be fair, Moses & Elijah are not actually trying to convert anyone.  They’ve been sent by God to defend the warp whistle with all neccessary force. 

  • aunursa

    There’s actually a very good reason why, despite their best efforts, nobody at the GC could figure out who the mole was.

    Austin Powers in Goldmember

  • Some Guy Who Hates Pants

    Already he believed it had saved his daughter and son-in-law from certain death in the Chicago bombings

    His SAVED daughter and son-in-law who would go to paradise versus all the unsaved people he could have warned and possibly saved from eternal punishment.

    Why why why do the tribbles fear death so much when they have such proof that they are right and will go to heaven? Why would do they want to stay on the world that their God gave to Satan to rule, a world that is going to go through all of these judgements and punishments?

  • Some Guy Who Hates Pants

    Didn’t Chaim introduce Buck to Tsion?

  • http://heathencritique.wordpress.com/ Ruby_Tea

    I know, right?

    Also, it would have been awesome to see Fortunato ask to speak to Hayseed on the unsecure line.

  • http://heathencritique.wordpress.com/ Ruby_Tea

    Sadly, as stupid as Hayseed is, almost everyone else in the palace is even stupider.

  • http://stealingcommas.blogspot.com/ chris the cynic

    Nicolae can’t be Hitleresque.  The world population took a massive hit in the Rapture.  All of the kids are gone, that’s bad, all of the RTCs are gone, that’s probably relatively minor, all of the people whose lives depended on RTCs (like say depending on the fact that the driver of the car in front of them wouldn’t suddenly be vaporized or that the flight crew wouldn’t disappear) are gone.  There were suicides in the wake of that.

    The population is at less than four billion and falling fast as the greatest crimewave in history has struck every part of the world not shown on the page (nice how you can talk about the crimewave without ever actually having to deal with the consequences) and a nuclear World War III just broke out.

    If Nioclae wants to run this world with its dropping population he cannot be the Hilter or Stalin of his day because the world was set up to be run by more people than currently exist.  Now, granted, he could take everyone who worked in child related stuff (not infant related as they’ll be needed nine months post Rapture) and assign things to the stuff those who died in the Rapture, post-Rapture suicides, World War, and whatever else were supposed to be doing, but the fact is that he has a world whose systems are all built around the belief that there will be more people than he actually has at hand.

    If he starts going off on campaigns of concentration camps or what have you to kill of those he considers undesirable then he’ll have even fewer people, and more than that he’ll need to tie up a portion of the not-to-be killed people to run the person killing efforts.

    He cannot go around killing large numbers of people.  If he wants to be a despotic ruler he needs to have a population to rule and without a massive restructuring of the way the world works (which I suppose could have been done with the one world currency, one world religion, and the grief counselling that somehow allowed everyone to go to work the day after every child on earth was vaporized, which is to say off screen) Nicolae has taken over an understaffed planet.

    He may destroy this city or that city to make an example, but for the most part he has every interest in trying to preserve the lives of everyone who surived, the replacement generation won’t be ready until well after the big battle with God that Lucifer probably mentioned to him, at least in passing.

    He can’t run a sustained death machine the way the standard yardsticks of evil did, because he should want to maintain as large a portion of the population as he can.  He’s going up against God in 5.5 years, and the survivors of earth’s population are the only ones he has to draw his army from.  (Unless he plans to use an army of people 6 years three months and younger.)  Until then he has a world to rule, and that world needs people to run it.  He can’t go around exhausting the already depleted population.

    A million here or there maybe, but nothing like the concentration camps raised from a regional to a global scale.  Nothing like Stalin raised to global dictator.

    The Rapture put a bigger dent in the world population than the Black Death put in Europe’s, granted most of those lost to it weren’t in the workforce.  But as people age out of the workforce there’s no younger people aging into it, and anyone whose efficiency was diminished by, “My kids were vaporized,” isn’t contributing as much as they were before.

    Nicolae needs people. 

  • aunursa

    Didn’t Chaim introduce Buck to Tsion?

    Yes.

  • aunursa

    But as people age out of the workforce there’s no younger people aging into it, and anyone whose efficiency was diminished by, “My kids were vaporized,” isn’t contributing as much as they were before.

    Kids age 10 and under were Raptured.  Presumably there would still be lots of teenagers who could toil as slaves in the underground sugar caves.

  • Some Guy Who Hates Pants

    David Hayseed? I was like Hayseed is that a play on Hasid so I went off to wiki and looked up characters from Left Behind and it looks like I was right, they really named a Jewish character Hassid. Why am I shocked, guess I haven’t been paying attention.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    It seems sort of banal to measure evil purely in terms of body count. Sure, Joe Stalin has the highest body count, but he was for the most part killing his own people in relative secrecy. Hitler was with deliberation and malice aforethought trying to commit genocide. And Osama Bin Laden was trying to spread terror and provoke a response that would hurt the US’s standing in the world.

    If it’s just body count, then how about Chairman Mao? Or that guy who didn’t wash his damned hands and as a result spread the first case of influenza that managed to jump the species gap to humans?

  • Ken

    “Cameron! I have finally talked live with our mutual friend. Let us not mention his name on the phone.”

    I’m imagining Chaim’s end of the line, where he’s got Cam on speakerphone, and Nicolae, Leon, Hattie, and the rest of the gang are listening in and trying to keep from laughing.

    (And yes, I’ve seen Cabin Fever.)

  • Ken

     build a wall around the area in which they are preaching and throw a canopy over the top.

    I’d pour cement into the enclosure, but I’ve read the Evil Overlord list.

  • reynard61

    “I see four possibilities(…)”

    A fifth possibility is that King has a blind spot for a fellow “writer”‘s work and, willfully or not, simply refuses to see and/or critique just how abysmal Jenkins’ writing actually is. (Kind of like how some [insert high-paying profession here]s will refuse to critique a colleague because they feel that they have to protect each other in order to “protect” the profession, but end up doing neither.)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

    Rayford Schindler would have built Hitler an invincible army of giant robots but would still consider himself a reliable anti-Nazi because he carved an insulting nickname into the barrel of each death-bots laser cannon.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    So I’m afraid we’re going to have to Godwin this thread, because, by definition, the Antichrist must be worse than Hitler.

    Actually, we HAVE seen dictators who are most probably “worse than Hitler”.  Josef Stalin immediately comes to mind, with over twice the body count.  Mao Zedong (bigger body count than Stalin) and his historic preincarnation Chin Shi Huang-Di.  The Kim Dynasty of North Korea.

  • Launcifer

    Nicolae needs people

    Damnit, now I’m imagining that Nicolae is C.E.O of the Soylent Corporation*. Actually, that’s quite possibly yet another outcome that would make more sense in context than anything in the flipping books.

    ___

    * And now I’m also wondering whether it’s Rayford or Buck who’s played by Chuck.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667708632 Kenneth Raymond

    King: (thinking) “Well, I’ve pretty much been guilted into doing this thing with Jenkins, and it’ll be awkward as hell to be open about how much that guy’s writing sucks, right to his face. Not to mention the hate mail. Jesus, just what I need, his entire captive audience freaking out and offering me their ‘Christian love.’ Better play nice.”

    Yeah, yeah, I know, fat chance. Even though I’m not actually a Stephen King reader, I can at least dream about him just being perceptive and pragmatic, on behalf of all my friends who do love his stuff.

  • http://twitter.com/uPermAbrasion Micro Perm Abrasion

    I threw away a copy of the first Left Behind book in 2009, and described it this way, in the course of describing how I had handled dispensing of other items when cleaning up my home:

    “My dad’s copy of ‘Left Behind?’  Trash.

    That last one makes me chuckle.  He loaned it to me when I was living with him.  I knew I disagreed vehemently with its theology but I had this idea that its enormous popularity meant that the story was actually compelling in some way.  I guess I was expecting Dan Brown-type bad writing.  What I got in the first 20 pages that I read or so, was such illiterate and comically awful story-telling–not to mention the writing–that I could read no more.  It made me desperately sad for the state of my father’s intellectual life.  He’s read all 12 or whatever books in this series and thinks, apparently, that they’re really f—ing great.  This gives me great cognitive dissonance.

    Anyway, I don’t want to give it back to him, because I don’t want to tell him I never read it because it’s a f—ing piece of trash.  So I just threw it away.”

    That was years before discovering the Slacktivist, the Prophet Fred Clark, and everything else.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/GUFZNDXKK6JQGEIGV7VGXFUDKE c2t2

    I dunno. You don’t get King-level good at writing without being able to identify not-even-hack levels of terrible. And writing is horribly competitive, there’s no real guild or union to pressure authors into solidarity.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/GUFZNDXKK6JQGEIGV7VGXFUDKE c2t2

    I maintain that King could have easily used not-quite compliments and qualified praise in any situation that called for politeness. It’s not like the man doesn’t know how to manipulate language; it would be a piece of cake for him.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Rayford Graystone would have happily given Andreas Phaulkon all the robots he wanted, but consoled himself that he was really in the right because he spent one night reading up on Tauron society.

  • Worthless Beast

    I haven’t read all of the Left Behind marked posts, but three books in and having kept from Hitler thus far… Congratulations.  And, no, the discussion doesn’t end.  Just as “sometimes fear is the appropriate response,” sometimes “Hitler” is, too.

    When I think about it, while people often forget that Hitler was human and had banal “human” things in his life, Carpathia doesn’t even reach that.  He was never particularly scary to me… Carpathia has bombings and guillotines, right?  I only read maybe six books into the series back in the day, but I don’t remember ”his people” setting up massive death camps with things like scientific experients done  on people or making leather out of human skin.   There was an Antichrist in a Chick Tract I read once – making a short comic that I thought quite silly (New Age Hippies as minions of the Antichrist?) scarier than what I remember of these books.  

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    When you add it all up, God and TurboJesus manage to easily best Nicolae in death counts just because that’s the way the End Times prophecy cookie crumbles.

  • Worthless Beast

    Urg for lack of editing and lack of paying attention: 

    The Chick Tract I read actually had people from the evil side torturing Christians on screen with electric probes, making that silly tract scarier to me than what I remmeber reading in Left Behind becuase all I rememer Carpathia doing is a lot of speeches and “a million is a statistic” type bombings that even the “heroes” didn’t personalize or seem to feel very much for.

  • Guest

    Why should Nicolae bother to silence them? As either evangelists or as resistance, the Witnesses seem consummately ineffective.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    For what people with moral sense and good writing skills do with a character who is in a position like Rayford’s, see Deep Space 9′s “Duet”. 

    When is Rayford going to break down crying about the screams he could do nothing to stop? Not ever, I’m guessing.

    I absolutely loved that episode.  Hell, I wanted to be that character.  It is a wonderful redemption story, mixed with a good mystery.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    You couldn’t pay or give me enough to change places with Aamin Marritza. :O

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Alan-Alexander/502988241 Alan Alexander

    It should be obvious why Ellenjay would consider Carpathia vastly worse than Hitler. Hitler killed millions, but they were mainly Jews, homosexuals, socialists, Gypsies and Eastern Europeans. Ellenjay has and will kill millions of WASP Americans. Granted, there are few RTCs among his victims, but his WASP toll is much higher than Hitler’s and those are really the only ones that matter to the authors.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    You couldn’t pay or give me enough to change places with Aamin Marritza. :O

    My mother always did say I have a martyr complex.  It felt like the fantasy of someone who feels an immense amount of cultural guilt, but unlike James Cameron’s Avatar, the one carrying the guilt knows that they cannot go on to be a hero, not after everything else.  Understandably, I felt drawn to the character, wanted to be the character.  

    Besides, just from an actor’s standpoint, who would not love to ham it up like an evil overlord, and bring your audience to sympathetic tears in the same scene?  

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    Kids age 10 and under were Raptured.  Presumably there would still be lots of potential teenage slaves to toil in the underground sugar caves.

    I for one, welcome our new pacifistic overlords.  

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    Heh, this most recent Sinfest strip reminds me of the Tribbies.  

  • Trixie_Belden

    IIRC, when this same interview was discussed a few weeks ago, the general consensus is that King was being collegially tactful.  “[S]turdy prose” and “plots well”, are positive things that one could say, when one is being pressed for a reply and  knows that weasel words such as the type you suggested above would be a little to obvious.  It may be that King and Jenkins have met or very well could meet face-to-face one day.   

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667708632 Kenneth Raymond

    The article says they met through a fundraiser for a voice actor who had (professionally) read both their works who’d gotten into a severe accident. “Collegially tactful” really is probably what’s happening, or perhaps the personal element of their involvement colors King’s evaluation – whether how he actually reads Jenkins’s writing, or how he claims to read it.

    Jenkins also mentions hearing from a lot of his fans that they also read King, so it could be a matter of King trying to placate and preserve that segment of his audience. (Not too dissimilar from my joking comment that King said it to avoid “Christian love.”)

  • Rae

    Hmmm… maybe A is the highest, and then B, and then C, and then they decided to make the top one AA (sort of like how the smallest women’s size is 00) and then decided to call it 2-A because they didn’t want people thinking that everyone at that level was in Al-Anon? 

    But really, it’s not that hard to do a cursory internet search – standard UN security clearances run from 1-5, US DoD and Canada both use the Confidential/Secret/Top Secret/SCI system (although different US agencies have different letters for each level), and the UK has a five-level security clearance system much like the UN’s but with their own names for the levels.

  • Turcano

     He did give Stephanie Meyer the stick she deserved, so I don’t think so.


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