NRA: Can Nicolae handle this job?

Nicolae: The Rise of Antichrist, pp. 122-125

I’m losing faith in the Antichrist.

This chart, from the authoritative “Bible prophecy” site tribulationinstitute.com, should be required reading for any would-be Antichrist. Nicolae Carpathia should have this thing memorized.

On paper, Nicolae Carpathia seems qualified, with all the unholy charisma he needs for the job. And here in the third book of the series, he’s finally allayed my earlier fears that he might not be evil enough. The pointless, arbitrary mass-murder of the last couple of chapters has settled that question. The slaughter of millions certainly qualifies as evil.

But the pointless and arbitrary aspect still worries me.

I’ve tried to give Nicolae the benefit of the doubt. He’s stuck with a prophecy check list that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, so it would be unfair to blame him for pursuing the various quirky and irrational goals required by this assigned agenda. To paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld, you have to Antichrist with the evil schemes you’ve been assigned by prophecy, not with the evil schemes you wish had been prophesied.

The problem, though, is that even given all that, I’m still not confident that Nicolae Carpathia is up to the job. In the remainder of this chapter, we’ll eavesdrop along with Rayford Steele as Nicolae outlines his plans for the seals and trumpets to come and, frankly, I think what we hear is an Antichrist who’s in over his head.

Before Nicolae and his “seven loyal ambassadors” settle in to discuss their future plans, he first has to deal with another situation — one he ought to have foreseen:

The Middle Eastern ambassador was speaking. “Dr. Rosenzweig sends his most heartfelt and loyal greetings to you, Potentate. There is an urgent personal matter he wants me to share with you.”

“Is it confidential?” Carpathia said.

“I don’t believe so, sir. It concerns Rabbi Tsion Ben-Judah.”

“The scholar who has been creating such a furor with his controversial message?”

Jerry Jenkins loves to have this kind of overlap between the Rayford sections and the Buck sections of his story. Since Buck Williams is currently flying to Israel to meet with Ben-Judah, he has the Antichrist council discussing Ben-Judah here as Rayford listens in.

That means this little boilerplate description wasn’t needed here to re-introduce readers to Ben-Judah, but that’s not really the purpose of that little bit there about “the scholar who has been creating such a furor with his controversial message.” Jenkins isn’t describing Ben-Judah there, he’s flattering his audience. He’s not reminding them of who the rabbi is, but of who they get to pretend to be in the fantasy world of this series.

The dangerous and “controversial” message of Ben-Judah, after all, is just mundane Christianity. But in the world of this novel, that’s an exotic and bewildering message, and anyone who believes in it is a heroic rebel and a danger to the powers that be.*

The problem here is that Ben-Judah’s Christian message also seems to be exotic and bewildering to Nicolae himself. That’s troubling. You’re never going to be a very good Antichrist if you haven’t bothered to learn anything about the Christ to which you’re the Anti-.

Know your enemy is good advice. Nicolae Carpathia ought to have the Gospels committed to memory. And he ought to be more intimately and instinctively familiar with those “Bible prophecy” charts than even Bruce Barnes ever was. But as we’ll see here, Nicolae seems lazily ignorant of all of that.

That ignorance raises questions about Nicolae’s strategy — shouldn’t he have a plan to counter the divine plan? And it raises questions about his motive — shouldn’t opposition to the divine plan be what drives him?

“One and the same,” the Middle Eastern ambassador said. “Apparently his wife and two stepchildren have been murdered by zealots, and Dr. Ben-Judah himself is in hiding somewhere.”

Tsion Ben-Judah is Exhibit A in the authors’ defense against the charge that these books are in any way anti-Semitic. One of the main heroes of the series is a Jewish rabbi! And that’s true. Tsion Ben-Judah is Jewish and he is always portrayed in a positive light.

But Tsion Ben-Judah is also a Jewish convert to Christianity whose wife and children were murdered by angry child-killing Jews. And I’m not sure that makes him as much of a shield against the charge of anti-Semitism as the authors seem to think.

“So what does Rosenzweig want from me?”

“He wants you to intercede on Ben-Judah’s behalf.”

“With whom?

“I suppose with the zealots,” the ambassador said, bursting into laughter.

Rayford recognized Carpathia’s laughter as well, and soon the others joined in.

“OK, gentlemen, calm down,” Carpathia said. “Perhaps what I should do is accede to Dr. Rosenzweig’s request and speak directly with the head of the zealot faction. I would give him my full blessing and support and perhaps even supply some technology that would help him find his prey and eliminate him with dispatch.”

We’re not told exactly who this “head of the zealot faction” is, but it seems he’d make a more enthusiastic and capable Antichrist than Nicolae Carpathia does.

Who, exactly, are these “zealots”? Well, they’re Jews. Not real Jews, but the vile caricature of Jewish people derived from centuries of lethal slander. What we have here in this “zealot faction” is Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins’ rendition of the same blood-libel that Christians have used to persecute Jews for centuries. These zealots are Christian-hating Jews, Christ-killing Jews and child-murdering Jews.

LaHaye and Jenkins don’t completely reject this vicious, racist stereotype, they merely qualify it a bit. It’s only a “faction,” they say. Only some Jews are Christ-killing, child-murdering monsters. Most Jews aren’t like that, the authors say. Or, rather, they say that most Jews aren’t quite so “zealous” about it.

And thus, they say, we are not permitted to regard these books as anti-Semitic. If they were anti-Semites, the authors protest, then they would say all Jews were zealously like this, rather than generously insisting that it’s only a fraction and a faction.

This ancient caricature, this hateful projection from Christian bigotry, appears here, as ever, as the enemy of Christ. This shadowy “head of the zealot faction,” in other words, is explicitly an Antichrist figure, a person who is anti-Christ.

This is part of the long, ugly pedigree of the singular, capital-A “Antichrist” figure and it lives on in the fever-dreams of “The Antichrist” in the premillennial dispensationalism of Tim LaHaye. The unmistakably Roman Beast of John’s Apocalypse has, time and again throughout history, been reimagined as a Christ-killing, child-sacrificing, Jewish “zealot.” So it’s not surprising that when this disturbing caricature makes an appearance here in this book in the person of the “head of the zealot faction,” he seems more enthusiastic and more focused on the agenda of “The Antichrist” than Nicolae does himself.

Nicolae himself seems content to take a pass on pursuing Tsion Ben-Judah directly, advising his lieutenant to give Rosenzweig the run-around. “Stall him for a while,” he says, hoping that the “zealots” will take care of things on his behalf. “Tell him that I have chosen to remain neutral on the subject.”

But Carpathia was not neutral. He had just begun to warm to the subject. Rayford heard the squeak of the leather seat and imagined Carpathia leaning forward to speak earnestly to his cadre of international henchmen. “But let me tell you this, gentlemen. A person such as Dr. Ben-Judah is much more dangerous to our cause than an old fool like Rosenzweig. Rosenzweig is a brilliant scientist, but he is not wise in the ways of the world. Ben-Judah is more than a brilliant scholar. He has the ability to sway people, which would not be a bad thing if he served our cause. But he wants to fill his countrymen’s minds with this blather about the Messiah having already returned. How anyone can still insist on taking the Bible literally and interpreting its prophecies in that light is beyond me.”

And that, right there, is why I don’t think Nicolae Carpathia is up to the job of Antichrist.

PMD “Bible prophecy” isn’t really about “taking the Bible literally,” of course, but still, “interpreting its prophecies” is exactly what any semi-competent Antichrist should be doing. Nicolae’s office should look exactly like Ben-Judah’s study, or Bruce Barnes’ old office at New Hope. It should be filled with all of the exact same check lists and charts spelling out exactly what is to happen and when during his reign here in the Great Tribulation.

Nicolae is in a chess match against an all-powerful God. That seems hopeless. And it would surely be hopeless, except for his secret weapon — a detailed, step-by-step account of every move his opponent is going to take. Studying those moves and preparing for what’s to come should be any Antichrist’s No. 1 priority, yet Nicolae seems not to take any of this “Bible prophecy” seriously or to consider it worthy of his attention.

If Nicolae had done his homework, he wouldn’t be surprised or confused by the enthusiastic converts Ben-Judah is winning over:

How anyone can still insist on taking the Bible literally and interpreting its prophecies in that light is beyond me, but tens of thousands of converts and devotees have sprung up in Israel and around the world due to his preaching at Teddy Kollek Stadium and in other huge venues. People will believe anything. And when they do, they are dangerous.

“Believe anything,” just so long as you are passionately sincere and sincerely passionate.

If Nicolae had done the assigned reading, studying his Scofield, Lindsey and LaHaye, then he would recognize Ben-Judah’s “converts and devotees” as the PMD version of the “144,000 sealed” from the book of Revelation — the army of singing, virgin martyrs that “Bible prophecy scholars” say will rise up during the Tribulation. And if Nicolae had studied this ahead of time, he might have put together a plan to deal with them.

But it seems, instead, that the rise of these 144,000 martyrs will be a surprise to him, a surprise for which he is completely unprepared.

I’m starting to lose faith in this Antichrist.

– – – – – – – – – – – –

* This fantasy aspect is rather depressing, if you think about it. Christian readers are being offered a fantasy in which their faith is something vibrant and exciting, and those readers lapped it up — buying millions of copies of these books because they found it so appealing to escape into such a fantasy world. That tells us less about these books than it does about the sorry state of the hum-drum, mundane faith from which so many millions of Christians seem so eager to find an escape.

This same fantasy fuels more than book sales for American Christians. Much of the “culture wars” are a desperate attempt by complacent, comfortable American Christians to recast themselves somehow as people who might yet “create such a furor with their controversial message.” Dimly recognizing that the pampered privilege they enjoy isn’t anything like that, some Christians creatively seek new ways to pretend that it is. “Merry Christmas!” they declare, aggressively, to the Walmart greeter who wished them a happy holiday. Hah! There’s a controversial message that will create quite a furor!

 

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NRA: A threat to the GIRAT
  • http://jesustheram.blogspot.com/ Mr. Heartland

    First?  

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sue-White/1605859612 Sue White

    Maybe Nicolae is just playing dumb, pretending he doesn’t know what’s going on.

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

    As for ‘tribulation institute’….  What’s up with the near 1-to-1 link between violent extremism and eye-crossingly bad gaudy-ass web design?   Yeesh.

  • ChristianPinko

     I know, right? All it needs are some rotating skulls and a road barrier with a sign reading “UNDER CONSTRUCTION,” and they’re partying like it’s 1997.

  • Darkrose

    Blinky text. Gotta have blinky text, and maybe some bad .wav files that play every time you click the page.

  • http://twitter.com/Jenk3 Jen K

    I think you mean 1995. ;) 

  • GDwarf

     

    As
    for ‘tribulation institute’….  What’s up with the near 1-to-1 link
    between violent extremism and eye-crossingly bad gaudy-ass web design?  
    Yeesh.

    I’m rather disappointed that there isn’t an animated cross trailing sparkles that follows your cursor.I do like that they note that the chart is their internet version. In case you thought you were reading a magical animated book, I guess.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    The dangerous and “controversial” message of Ben-Judah, after all, is just mundane Christianity. But in the world of this novel, that’s an exotic and bewildering message, and anyone who believes in it is a heroic rebel and a danger to the powers that be.

    But Fred, I thought in RTCism, “controversial” meant “bad thing you should pay no attention to.”  

    I could buy that if Nicole was using it in the same manner, but you suggest that to be controversial is exciting and enticing (which for most people it generally is, RTCs not withstanding.)

  • Random_Lurker

    Did anyone else look at that chart and think “World Domination Bingo”?

  • Eamon Knight

     I looked at it and thought “Aaaaahhh! The goggles, they do nothing!!”

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/BYRV35EWCL4AKVA3APJHDTND6A Steve

    Actually I thought of the Jeopardy board: “I’ll take Persecution for $400, Alex…”

  • ScorpioUndone

     did we crash their server? I can’t open the link. LOL

  • GeniusLemur

    “tens of thousands of converts and devotees have sprung up in Israel and around the world due to his preaching at Teddy Kollek Stadium and in other huge venues.”

    Hey, dumbass, you rule the world. You control everything. Why exactly did you allow this “danger to our cause” and preacher for a religion in competition to your official one to speak repeatedly at stadium-sized venues? You really aren’t up to the job.

  • Scott P.

     He doesn’t control Israel, remember. The UN signed a peace treaty with Israel that left it independent.

  • GeniusLemur

    But that leaves the”around the world” part. And we’ve seen plenty to indicate that Nick does control Israel when it suits the plot. (For instance, Israel disarms and hands 10% over to Nick just like everyone else. “We have become a weaponless society, thanks to you.”)

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

    Carpathia doesn’t rule Israel. That’s a very specific plot point from the first book;  after annexing most of the world into his empire, he specifically excludes Israel, which he signs a seven-year peace treaty with. This treaty between the Global Community and Israel is what actually, for-real, starts the countdown to the Apocalypse. 

    Presumably, if Carpathia breaks the treaty with Israel by intervening directly in its internal affairs, the Apocalypse clock would stop. What would happen if that happened? Would the remaining judgments of Revelation be held in abeyance? Would Carpathia lose his Antichrist powers? Would he be replaced? Would God have to intervene personally to restart things, the divine equivalent of hitting Ctrl+Alt+Del when your computer crashes?

    We’ll never get an answer to any of these questions because Jenkins never thought through any of the consequences of the events of his story, but still — pretty interesting, huh?

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    Would God have to intervene personally to restart things, the divine equivalent of hitting Ctrl+Alt+Del when your computer crashes?

    I thought that is precisely what God was doing with the rapture?  You know, uninstall, reformat, reinstall, etc.  

    This is TRON scripts, and the User is a douchebag.  

  • Baby_Raptor

    Suppressing it would just cause wider interest in what Tsion has to say. Word would get around that, despite his openness to all religion, there’s this one guy he’s trying to keep shut up. And then people would go looking. So it’s really more beneficial to just let the guy speak.

    Of course, my entire reasoning could be shot in the foot if he just mind-whammied everyone into not caring, but he doesn’t seem to think of that. 

  • http://twitter.com/mcclure111 mcc

    Well, though note he has– and in this passage flirts with– a perfectly workable solution to the problem: Get Tsion killed in a way that it appears orthodox extremists within Israel did it. As Fred points out, “do whatever you wanted and then frame the Jews” is an established real-world supervillain strategy.

  • flat

    The scene where Nicolae’s followers are laughing with him reminds me of the first chapter of deathly hallows.
    There are the death eaters laughing at the malfoy family who are getting humiliated vy voldemort until he says “enough” and then the laughing stops at once because of how terrified the death eaters are of voldemort. 

  • Darkrose

    It reminds me more of the scene in Austin Powers when Dr. Evil is making his demands, his henchmen are “MWAH-HA-HA”-ing along with him, and he realizes it’s gone on too long and the laughter just sort of sputters out and everyone looks embarrassed.

  • http://shiftercat.livejournal.com/ ShifterCat

    It reminds me more of the scene in Austin Powers when Dr. Evil is making his demands, his henchmen are “MWAH-HA-HA”-ing along with him, and he realizes it’s gone on too long and the laughter just sort of sputters out and everyone looks embarrassed.

    It’s been some years, but I interpreted their expressions as, “That was some good evil laughter there.  Very therapeutic.”  Maybe it was the way they were patting each other on the back or arms before drifting away.

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

    The difference is, Voldemort is actually menacing and convincingly portrayed as such.

  • flat

    by the way for people keeping up a prohecy checklist this might be interesting:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2013_Russian_meteor_event

  • Tricksterson

    What about it?  It broke some windows, shook some building and about a thousand people got hurt.  AFAIK noone even died.  Hardly in line with the awesome death toll inflicted by even the least of the Revelation prophecies.

  • The Other Weirdo

     

    Nationalist State Duma Vice-Chairman and former presidential candidate Vladimir Zhirinovsky, offered what the Washington Post described as his own conspiracy theory, that “Those were not meteorites, it was Americans testing their new weapons”.

    Oh, I love it!

  • Ken

     But miraculously, none of the weapons reached their targets.  The countdown to the Rapture has begun…

  • Tricksterson

    And we only broke a bunch of windows and didn’t actually kill anyone?  Back to the drawing board I guess.

  • Lunch Meat

    The instructions on that chart for which squares to go to make it look like a board game. Which has me thinking…

  • Zach

    Do you really need a plan to deal with martyrs? Aren’t they one of those problems that solve themselves?

  • Jay in Oregon

    Reminds me of a bit from a book I read, where evil U.N. cyborgs are quashing a rebellion in Occupied America: “They moved down to the fourth floor, and then the third, where they found nineteen martyrs hiding in a stairwell. The martyrs identified themselves as such by shooting at them after the Elite had identified themselves. The Elite obliged; martyrs were always happier in heaven anyway.”–from The Last Dancer by Daniel Keys Moran

  • Jenora Feuer

     Hey, another DKM fan.

    I’ve still got that copy of IASFM with ‘All the Time in the World’ in it around here somewhere (that’s the novella that became the first third or so of Armageddon Blues).

    About the only time I’ve seen a U.N. takeover done remotely believably, even if it was all in the backstory.  It all seemed like a good idea at the time…

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

    No, because “martyr” means “witness.”  You know, like the person who testifies during a trial.  The problem with a martyr isn’t the martyr themselves, it is the message they get out by dying for it.

    To solve the problem of martyrs you need to kill the message, not the messenger.  By the very fact that they are described as martyrs, killing the messenger is probably going to be counterproductive.

  • hidden_urchin

    ”…shouldn’t he have a plan to counter the divine plan?”

    This is why Adam from Good Omens is a better Anti-Christ. He doesn’t play by the rules.

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

    This is why Adam from Good Omens is a better Anti-Christ. He doesn’t play by the rules.

    Now imagining the Anti-Christ playing Prophecy Calvinball. It is glorious.

  • Ken

     “I mean, you’re right about the fire and war, all that.  But that Rapture stuff […] who has time to go round picking people out and popping them up in the air to sneer at the people dying of radiation sickness on the parched and burning earth below them? If that’s your idea of a morally acceptable time, I might add. [… T]o be frank when the fire falls and the seas of blood rise you lot are all going to be civilian casualties either way. Between our war and your war, they’re going to kill everyone and let God sort it out – right?”

    Good Omens, Aziraphale the angel explaining what’s about to happen.

  • Jon Frater

    On the other hand the Zealots also refers to a splinter group of Jews who tried to take expel the Romans from Judea and got their asses handed to them by the Empire around 70AD.

    But I’m sure that’s just a coincidence. Hm?

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

     No coincidence here. I have no doubt Jenkins is at least partially
    conscious of the significance of his use of the word “zealots”. 

  • Jon Frater

     Yeah, I was trying to be subtle and sarcastic in the same sentence. Oh, well.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

     I understood that. I was just certain the authors would not claim it was a coincidence.

  • Some Guy Who Hates Pants

    It would be possible to have Nicolae be ignorant of Bible prophecy and just a pawn until he accepts the Devil as he master in the future, but that might make him a tragic figure.  You would think that would also be a better story because it would be a cautionary tale, but again this series is a na-na should have listened to us not a call to repentance.

  • Some Guy Who Hates Pants

    Crap his master

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    You would think that would also be a better story because it would be a cautionary tale, but again this series is a na-na should have listened to us not a call to repentance.

    I get the feeling that L&J do not know the difference between “na-na should have listened” and “call to repentance”.  Their world view seems predicated on the notion that what they believe is obviously right, and anyone else must simply be self-deluded.  

  • Kubricks_Rube

    Who, exactly, are these “zealots”? Well, they’re Jews. Not real Jews, but the vile caricature of Jewish people derived from centuries of lethal slander.

    Jesus Christ: The first of many, many Jews to die for Christians’ sins.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

     I suspect the Antichrist has secretly memorized the End Times Checklist and is only pretending to be an atheist. Indicating to others he has memorized the Checklist is risky, as his indications may be used (though with enemies like Rayford, they certainly won’t) as evidence for Christianity.

  • Tricksterson

    Of course he’s only pretending to be an atheist.  According to L&J all atheists are only pretending to be atheists.

  • http://nagamakironin.blogspot.com/ Michael Mock

    “How anyone can still insist on taking the Bible literally and interpreting its prophecies in that light is beyond me…”

    Maybe he just means that he can’t understand how they could still insist on reading the Bible after he used his mojo to tell them not to. After all, everyone who’s left on Earth is there precisely because he or she was not a Real True Christian, so they shouldn’t have any defense against his mind-whammy. 

    “If Nicolae had done the assigned reading, studying his Scofield, Lindsey
    and LaHaye, then he would recognize Ben-Judah’s “converts and devotees”
    as the PMD version of the “144,000 sealed” from the book of Revelation —
    the army of singing, virgin martyrs that “Bible prophecy scholars” say
    will rise up during the Tribulation. And if Nicolae had studied this
    ahead of time, he might have put together a plan to deal with them.”

    …Am I the only one thinking, “Army of 144,000 succubi and incubi”? That should fix this singing virgin problem right quick.

  • Michael Pullmann

    Good gravy, that chart. I understood the Zelda Timeline in Hyrule Historia better than that thing.

  • Jim Roberts

    I was thinking of the Final Fantasy timelines I’ve seen, but close enough – it’s simultaneously dense and diaphonous.

  • Tim

    Understanding a trifurcating timeline is easy. At least certain things happening and not happening create events which flow out from each other. The checklist must happen despite its inherent gobblediegookery.

  • Vermic

    I take it this faction of evil Jewish zealots is separate from the evil Jewish bankers?  Because Nicky already absorbed those into his organization in the first book.

    The instructions on that chart for which squares to go to make it look like a board game.

    Yes!  From a distance the whole thing looks like a big pile of Monopoly properties.  Nicoale rules the world, so of course he’s the banker and he owns Marvin Gardens, Ventnor, and your soul.

  • Lunch Meat

    From a distance the whole thing looks like a big pile of Monopoly properties.

    I was thinking of something a bit more dice-rolling, war game style.

    “When a Christian have acquired five Persecution tokens, it becomes a level-three Martyr. Martyrs have +2 prayer but they cannot move or fight.”

    “When you have converted 144,000 Jews, proceed to the trumpet phase.”

    Or something like that.

  • Lorehead

    In fairness to LeHaye and Jenkins, those bankers were not Jewish.  Stonagal is an obvious pun on Rockefeller. The participation of a cabal of international bankers who also dominate all media is problematic anyway. Any educated reader knows who they were supposed to be originally. For that matter, making them WASPs still doesn’t make the conspiracy theory true.

  • Trixie_Belden

    In fairness to LaHaye and Jenkins, those bankers were not Jewish. Stonagal is an obvious pun on Rockefeller  
    Wait…as I understand it, among the sort of people who buy into beliefs about cabals of  international bankers the Rockefellers are considered to be “secret Jews”.  That  is part of the  “wink…wink…nudge…nudge” behind the pun.

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

    Speaking of. In my head, I always end up thinking it is said “Stawn-uh-gull” rather than “Stone-a-gal” (which would be like how you say Rock-uh-felluh).

  • flat

    off topic but now we know that Fred is going to write a real book I wonder what kind of genre it is going to be.
    I mean he has been doing his left behind posts for almost a decade now.
    So now he knows more about writing characters, plots, motives, backgrounds, macguffins, prohecies etc than I do.

    I am just curious what is going to happen.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bobby.herrington.1 Boze Herrington

    This is good news, but how we do know he is writing a book?

  • flat

    He said it in an earlier post.
    And I am going to keep begging for more information until he gives in.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2013/02/12/blue-valentines-back-roads-and-building-your-book/#comment-797479136

  • http://www.facebook.com/jon.maki Jon Maki

    Given his reference thanking everyone for their D&D stories in his most recent mention of the book, presumably it’s a non-fiction piece having to do with D&D and the Satanic Panic, related to his request for such stories back in this post.

  • dj_pomegranate

    The dialogue, though, you guys, it’s killing me.  They take something as simple as, “I hear his wife and kids were killed by the zealots.  And he’s in hiding,” and turn it into, “Apparently his wife and two stepchildren have been murdered by zealots, and Dr. Ben-Judah himself is in hiding somewhere.”  Does Tyndale House pay by the word?

  • Foelhe

    At first I wanted to cut LaJenkins some slack for this one. If Nic saw some of these ambassadors as a potential threat, I could see him playing off Christianity as obviously deluded, so they didn’t look into it as a weapon to use against him, get themselves converted, and run off. That could wreak havoc with the Antichrist’s org charts.

    But then he starts talking about how Ben-Judah is extremely dangerous and needs to be put down before he becomes a threat. So… no.

  • aunursa

    tens of thousands of converts and devotees have sprung up in Israel and around the world due to his preaching at Teddy Kollek Stadium and in other huge venues.

    Nicolae would normally have said “preaching in Jerusalem” but he wanted to show off that Jerry Jenkins did his research.

    Today it’s simply known as “Teddy Stadium” — the original Ted.  (Ted Turner Field in Atlanta is colloquially known as “The Ted”.)

  • aunursa

    For his next trick, Nicky will recite the name of every major sports venue —
    in alphabetical order.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NR2MMC4EJXJWJMLH6IF457XL64 Alex B

    In twenty languages.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ann-Unemori/100001112760232 Ann Unemori

    Alphabetically, of course.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    Nicolae would have just said “preaching in Jerusalem” — but he wanted to show off that Jerry Jenkins did his research.

    “Jerry Jenkins did his research”?  “Jerry Jenkins did his research“!?  Gaaaaah, this phrase hurts my brain!  For every tiny bit of research he unnecessarily shows off, there are three pieces of research he should have done and never bothered to, and those show whether he meant them to or not.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/BYRV35EWCL4AKVA3APJHDTND6A Steve

    But if he *really* knew what he was doing, Nicolae would control all four railroads and both utilities.  And Indiana Avenue (statistically the most landed-upon spot on the board).  Then he’d have your soul *and* your money!

  • Dogfacedboy

    When I was little and my mom read to me from the book of Revelation, I heard that the Antichrist was this creature with seven heads and ten horns, and I couldn’t sleep for nights it was so scary.  Then later I heard it might be a supercomputer in Belgium, and I was less scared.  Now that it’s taken the form of this Carpathia fellow, he’s hardly scary at all.  Wish my mom had started with this version.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/BYRV35EWCL4AKVA3APJHDTND6A Steve

    Actually the supercomputer would be more scary: it has more charisma, more personality, and could probably alphabetize much faster than Nicolae!

  • Chris

    I think it’s consistent with the other characters.  The Trib Force spend all their time thinking about how they could *totally* oppose the Anti-Christ, but never manage to do anything towards that.  I’m guessing all the help Nick is saying he *could* give those dangerous zealots is just as much hot air, and he never really gets around to doing that either.

  • walden

    “I don’t believe so, sir. It concerns Rabbi Tsion Ben-Judah.”
    “The scholar who has been creating such a furor with his controversial message?”

    Maybe Carpathia is just messing with Rayford.  This sounds so arch, it’s like he’s reciting dialogue in order to get Rayford all excited, meanwhile winking to the ambassadors actually in the same room to play along. 

  • http://shiftercat.livejournal.com/ ShifterCat

    Maybe Carpathia is just messing with Rayford.  This sounds so arch, it’s like he’s reciting dialogue in order to get Rayford all excited, meanwhile winking to the ambassadors actually in the same room to play along.

    That would explain why they all burst out laughing at one point.

  • misanthropy_jones

    Worst. Antichrist. Ever.

  • Jessica_R

    A week ago the Charles played the original Die Hard and it was a great flick to see with a crowd, and still holds up in its own right. But what brings it to mind is that Nicolae should be Hans Gruber. Having everything planned, everything under control with contingencies in place should things not go according to plan. What makes the film work is that Gruber is smart, dangerously so. And as smart and tough as John McClane is, he has to constantly scramble to stay one step ahead of him. Gruber would look at Nicolae,and our “heroes”, with the same contempt he looks at the coked out executive who tries to bargain with him. In fact Hart Bochner’s yuppie toady comes off exactly as Buck would if  the writer was aware he was a colossal douchebag. 

  • Fusina

     Hans Gruber is, IMO, the best reason to watch Die Hard. Most awesome villain ever.

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

    You asked for miracles, Theo, I give you the F.  B.  I.

  • Lori

    So, have the end times “experts” started explaining the meaning of the Russian meteor shower yet? 

  • Andy

    A little Googling didn’t turn up anything, but it hasn’t been very long since the meteor hit. I imagine it will be identified with Wormwood, even though it didn’t turn 1/3 of all waters bitter (as the Biblical Wormwood is prophesied to do). Ironically, Chernobyl in the same general region has been a candidate for Wormwood in some prophecy circles. “Chernobyl” supposedly means Wormwood in Ukranian, and although Chernobyl obviously didn’t fall to Earth, it did turn nearby waters undrinkable, and produced radioactive “fallout”. Rather a stretch, but no more so than a lot of other alleged prophecies.  

  • http://www.oliviareviews.com/ PepperjackCandy

     For what it’s worth, I looked up Revelation 8:11 at Biblegateway.com and in the Ukranian, it looks like “Wormwood” is “Полин,” which should start with a “P” sound, and not a “ch” sound. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/jrandyowens Randy Owens

    …”Wormwood” is “Полин,” which should start with a “P” sound, and not a “ch” sound.

    That would be transliterated as “Polin”, with the ‘i’ sounded as what we call a long ‘e’, i.e. it rhymes with “baleen”.

  • Derp

    Sora Polin?

  • Redcrow

    In Ukrainian it’s “chornobil”, not “chernobyl” (that’s a Russian variant), but, yes, both this and polin/polyn are the names of the same plant.

  • Akichan_am

    I’ve figured it all out! Nicolae thinks that he’s the HINDU version of the anti-Christ and he’s been reading up on that.

  • GDwarf

     

    As
    for ‘tribulation institute’….  What’s up with the near 1-to-1 link
    between violent extremism and eye-crossingly bad gaudy-ass web design?  
    Yeesh.

    I’m rather disappointed that there isn’t an animated cross trailing sparkles that follows your cursor.I do like that they note that the chart is their internet version. In case you thought you were reading a magical animated book, I guess.

  • ScorpioUndone

    This is because Alan Rickman is one of the best film actors the world has ever known. I heard that there was no actual script for Die Hard, he ad-libbed all of it, and then dubbed Bruce Willis’ lines to make it work.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    This is because Alan Rickman is one of the best film actors the world has ever known. I heard that there was no actual script for Die Hard, he ad-libbed all of it, and then dubbed Bruce Willis’ lines to make it work.

    That sounds like a Chuck Norris joke, only instead of being about Norris being badass, it is about Rickman being an actor.  

    Of course, my opinion is that Rickman > Norris, so we need to get on making these right away!  :D

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

    Know your enemy is good advice. Nicolae Carpathia ought to have the
    Gospels committed to memory. And he ought to be more intimately and
    instinctively familiar with those “Bible prophecy” charts than even
    Bruce Barnes ever was. But as we’ll see here, Nicolae seems lazily
    ignorant of all of that.

    This, right here.

    Nicolae should have been able to figure out how to fake his ancestry and origins so well that he matches every single one of the 3264723684234 supposed criteria for a Messiah.

    Then, when Tsion Ben-Judah comes out plumping for Jesus, Nicolae can squash his credibility flat in two seconds with some other scholar saying “Ahem, no, Secretary-General Carpathia has commissioned an exhaustive study and found such-and-so.”

    That would be a much more believable con than whatever L&J have Nicky Mount Logan doing.

  • TheBrett

    Since he apparently interacts with Satan as a “spirit guide”, and Satan is planning on ultimately possessing him, it could be that Satan’s done a number on Nicolae’s ability to question him and question “the plan”.  When we see him post-possession, he just seems tired and resigned to being dumped into Hell – you almost feel sorry for him.

  • WalterC

    Nicolae himself seems content to take a pass on pursuing Tsion
    Ben-Judah directly, advising his lieutenant to give Rosenzweig the
    run-around. “Stall him for a while,” he says, hoping that the “zealots”
    will take care of things on his behalf. “Tell him that I have chosen to
    remain neutral on the subject.”
    But Carpathia was not neutral. He had just begun to warm to the subject.

    So, what Jenkins is saying here is that sitting back and watching as someone else gets persecuted  is not ‘remaining neutral’?

    Where have we heard that before?

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

    “The scholar who has been creating such a furor with his controversial message?”

    You know, I might be willing to give this bit a pass. 

    Think about it: this world has seen famine practically ended, a near-world-war miraculously averted, the instantaneous disappearance of all it’s children, and the unprecedented transfer of power globally to a single authority. Now imagine a man preaching that all of this was proficiency, and more has been predicted, and lays it out on the line: global war will be next, even though the world’s governments are all unified and united. That’s a controversial message in this context, and when it actually happens? That’d create a heck of a furor.

    …wait, what’s that? 

    t …he wants to fill his countrymen’s minds with this blather about the Messiah having already returned. 

    Oh. That’s the message. Just that. The whole “Jesus was the Messiah” thing, and nothing else. Nothing about the Seven Seals, or the Beast, or the Tribulations. 

    Ah. Well then. Snark on, everyone. 

  • Beleester

    You just gave me a fanfic idea. When he hears that Ben-Judah is just preaching about Jesus instead of saying anything concrete, Nicolae one-ups him. He spells out the whole next seven years (edited a bit to make himself look good). “This false prophet is hiding the truth from you! He keeps you placated with talk of future salvation, while the world burns! Cast out this false prophet! Enigma Babylon knows the truth!”

    Bam. He’s just discredited the leader of the resistance and boosted his own.

  • Lorehead

    [H]e wants to fill his countrymen’s minds with this blather about the Messiah having already returned.

    Although I don’t think this is Jenkins’ intention, just more incompetence, this line seems to imply that the Antichrist is a believing Jew.  You know, one of us overeducated, book-smart Jews who are totally unaware that Christians believe Jesus is the Messiah, or as it were, Christ.  Isn’t that fascinating?  But it’ll never catch on.

  • Justin

    Why do they automatically assume the “zealots” have a leader. Did they even describe how the murders happened? Couldn’t it have just been two or three angry guys who got a wild hair up their ass?

    I haven’t read these books, but this post really speaks to my problem with Nicolae: He clearly must know he’s a super-powered monster, but he doesn’t seem to know he’s the Antichrist?

  • http://twitter.com/count_01 Jared James

    Has anyone paused to wonder if, like everyone else in these books, Carpathia simply sucks at his job? Of course, that leads one to wonder how it’s even remotely plausible that Rayford the Greatest And Most Qualified Pilot Ever, Of All Time, Ever is at all competent. That way lies madness.

  • Damanoid

    This is actually kind of an interesting twist.  Jenkins appears to be saying that even the Antichrist himself doesn’t believe that the Bible should be read literally.  In other words, in addition to all his other crimes, the Antichrist is the ultimate liberal Christian.

     This is arguably the first thing in this series that makes sense.  Of course Nicolae can’t believe the Bible’s prophecies refer to literal events.  Otherwise his obvious course of action would be to quit while he’s ahead, derailing the prophecy checklist after he’s Global Poobah but before the Years of Wrath.  

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

    Jenkins appears to be saying that even the Antichrist himself doesn’t believe that the Bible should be read literally. In other words, in addition to all his other crimes, the Antichrist is the ultimate liberal Christian.

    When I started listening to these books, I was quite sure they would be virulently anti-atheist.  And…they kinda are, but really, they are ten times more anti-Semitic and anti-liberal!Christian.

    And first prize for anti-ness goes to the series’ anti-Catholicism, as embodied in the character of our own Leon Fortunato.  Indeed, the later books of the series consist largely of Leon’s very extended Humiliation Conga.

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HumiliationConga

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

    I think I shall call dibs on all the Supreme Commander Leon countdowns. If only because I see to have made him my personal woobie.

    *patpats Leon*

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

    I think I shall call dibs on all the Supreme Commander Leon countdowns. If only because I see to have made him my personal woobie.

    *patpats Leon*

    Leon rocks.  I look forward to your countdowns.  I will probably be happily ensconced in counting down to the death of Hayseed.  :D

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sue-White/1605859612 Sue White

     But Carpathia was not neutral.

    They really feel the need to spell out everything, don’t they?

  • Veylon

    I hate to say it, but Fred got the wrong chart. Down at the bottom it says:
    “The pre tribulation and pre wrath rapture doctrines are not scriptural, but are false doctrines as the Word of Yah clearly demonstrates in His Word all throughout scripture!!!”
    The chart is for a post-tribulation rapture. Ellenjay are pre-tribulationists. There’s a big difference.

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

    Verna Zee Sensible Shoes Confrontation Countdown: 223 pages

  • http://twitter.com/mcclure111 mcc

    “But he wants to fill his countrymen’s minds with this blather about the Messiah having already returned. How anyone can still insist on taking the Bible literally and interpreting its prophecies in that light is beyond me.”

    *scratches head* sooo… this is an unusually weird straw man for L&J to construct, and it sounds particularly odd put into Nicholae’s mouth. Here L&J wish to belittle anyone who would object to interpreting the bible “literally” by having the literal antichrist voice their viewpoints. Exceeeppt… I mean, wait, what Nicholae refers to here is not some obscure, reaching biblical literalist minority viewpoint, like the earth being seven thousand years old or contrived antichrist prophesy, he’s referring to the idea that the Jewish Messiah was Jesus of Nazareth, born circa 0 AD. That’s not… that’s not the “literalist” interpretation of the Bible. That’s just, I mean, that is what the Bible says. That’s the New Testament’s thesis. It’s not subtext, it’s the perfectly ordinary text. So if the straw man derides the idea that Jesus was the Messiah as being a “literalist” interpretation of the bible, then… wait, what would the non-literalist interpretation be? Someone like me or Kurt Vonnegut or whoever might well create an interpretation of the bible in which Jesus was a wise philosopher and the magic powers, correspondences with Jewish prophesy etc he’s ascribed in the story are either allegorical or nonhistorical embellishments, but this is our interpretation and *clearly* not the intent of the original authors, it wouldn’t make sense for us to deride the straightforward, intended interpretation as “literalist”. (By contrast, there are sensible reasons to suspect the authors of early Genesis or Daniel or Revelation might have intended us to take the bible “literally” or to argue that taking things like singing virgins at face value is misusing the text.) Rather my objection to the idea Jesus was a magic person prophesied by the Jewish religion who was sent by a creator god to save mankind [save from what?], wouldn’t be “that’s literalist”, it would be more something like “that’s historically specious” or “that’s incorrect”.

    Which is why it’s weird to hear Nicholae voicing this. In the story, Nicholae is supposed to be someone like me— he’s an atheist, or a touchy-feeling new age pantheist, or a satanist pretending to be one of the above. But yet L&J give him a straw man script to read which is intended to smear *liberal Christians*, people like Fred, by suggesting those people’s arguments about how sometimes a literal hermeneutic doesn’t work would if taken to its conclusion lead one to abandon the idea of Jesus as Messiah at all. In the quote, Nicholae accepts as a given that there is a prophesied Messiah, but objects to taking the Bible’s “prophesies” “literally” such as to connect Jesus to the Messiah– i.e. in his stated view there’s a correct interpretation of the Bible and it’s not a literalist one. That marks him as at least presenting himself as some sort of Christian. Or really, what it more likely suggests is the idea Nicholae is *Jewish*– something not remotely supported or explainable within his given biography (although if he were a Jewish convert, maybe that would explain his weird preoccupation with Israel?), or for that matter consistent with the idea he refers here to the “Bible” and not the “Torah” or whatever– but this is really the only way to make his statement make sense. The Jewish community is the only one within which you find the position (1) there is a Messiah described in the Jewish religious texts who will someday come to earth, and (2) that Messiah has not yet come. This is the position Nicholae endorses.

    If Nicholae were an atheist, he could plausibly say something like— “He wants to fill his countrymen’s minds with this blather about how a long dead magician will let them live forever. How anyone can still insist on taking the Bible literally or its prophesies seriously is beyond me.”

    Or if he were a Wiccan or a generic pantheist or whatever, then he’d be *more* likely to say something like he did, because such a person might treat the Bible as a significant book while denying the centrality of Jesus’s Messiah status to it. But he still probably wouldn’t accept the idea, as he does here, that *there is a coming Messiah*, and that that Messiah is both (1) uniquely described in Jewish prophesy and (2) yet to come. As the leader of One Enigma Babylon or whatever, he’d be more likely to take some sort of all-religions-are-true approach and believe Jesus was indeed the Messiah but so was the Buddha and the Krishna and maybe Bahá’u’lláh or whoever, or maybe he’d go all George Harrison on us and suggest Jesus was an incarnation of Vishnu or something. “He wants to fill his countrymen’s minds with this blather about how Jesus was the one and only messiah,” rest of quote unchanged.

    But how do you explain why Nicholae would say the thing he actually *says* in the quote? Maybe the sentences “But he wants to fill his countrymen’s minds…” and “How anyone can still insist…” have nothing to do with each other despite being next to each other, and L&J just wrote those two sentences separately without thinking about their relationship to each other, and I’m wasting my time here trying to interpret meaning out of a meaningless book.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NR2MMC4EJXJWJMLH6IF457XL64 Alex B

    “How anyone can still insist on taking the Bible literally and interpreting its prophecies in that light is beyond me”
    “…literally…interpreting…”
    /head asplode.

  • IronMensan

    Does this mean that Ben-Judah’s step children were less than two years old, or however long it’s been since “The Event?” Or have the authors forgotten about that killing, sorry, saving all the children again?

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

    They could be teenagers.

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

    Yes, Ben-Judah’s step-kids are teenagers.

  • EllieMurasaki

    I got to this thread with like a hundred fifty comments already and I subscribed at that point, and I swear I saw this comment when I was reading the ones already there. A few others of the ones I’ve been emailed about, too. And–yes, clicking to the comment itself shows me a timestamp of two days ago.

    WTF Disqus, why you emailing me comments that existed before I subscribed? That just makes it even harder to keep track of the conversation.

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

    disqus stopped emailing me about replies to me, I thought I had accidentally tripped a setting and told it to stop, but when I looked I saw that I had done no such thing, it was still supposed to be letting me know when someone replied to me.

    Then, more than a day late, it sent out an email letting me know about the first of the replies it hadn’t emailed me about.  There was no indication in the email that it was a day late.

    It’s just weird.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     I’ve noticed the past few days that every third or fourth time I check the disqus RSS feed, it’s magically marked all the comments from the past month (at least; that’s how far back I’ve got my rss reader set to go) as new (or rather, screwed up the thing that lets my rss reader recognize these are the same comments as the ones I’ve already read).  Methinks something’s gone pear-shaped at our resident “the only comment system in the world more tempermental than the one we used to have back at typepad”.

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

    Ok, so I saw most of a movie called Vanishing on 7th Street which have very strong “LaHayvian Rapture as Horror story,” overtones.  How strong?  This is from the Amazon.com description, “… this ambitious melding of the Left Behind series, Pitch Black, and any number of Twilight Zone episodes…”

    Imagine that you take LaHaye’s naked Rapture (leave behind the clothes and everything that’s not part of your body) make it all inclusive (everyone gets Raptured) take “Like a thief in the night,” so literally that you can only be disappeared in the blink of an eye if the darkness catches you, add in a power outage to get things started*, and you’ve pretty much got the elements of a very creepy Rapture story.  If only it had been well executed.And, as I am wont to do, I wrote how I would have done it differently.

    *Otherwise there’s too much light for “like a thief in the night” conditions.  Basically the premise is that light sources keep whatever it is that snatches your body in the twinkling of an eye at bay.

  • Steve Morrison

    I wrote how I would have done it differently.

    Link doesn’t seem to work.

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

    Try now.  I think I had a couple of letters transposed in the HTML

    Failing that, it’s here:
    http://stealingcommas.blogspot.com/2013/02/what-i-would-have-done-with-vanishing.html

    (Also mentioned in an earlier post a bit.)

  • rikalous

    Speaking of creepy Rapture stories, Stephen King wrote a novella called The Langoliers about Rapture-ish vanishings that leave behind clothes and fillings and toupees (mistaken for a scalp by the blind girl who finds it). For bonus Left-Behind-relevancy points, it takes place on a plane.

    And I only just now made the connection that Stephen King did that interview with LaHaye. Makes me wonder if it was he read the beginning of the series and felt a need to do the story right.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OAUXAA362EXWLYVMPJOKLFB5JQ Incipient Madness

    These books are completely crappy. As Fred pointed out when Fred began this series, they have no worldbuilding at all. Many adult Christians simply disappear? All young children disappear? Wouldn’t this cause huge economic disruption? Wouldn’t every rapture preacher left behind immediately gain almost the whole earth as followers? How could an antichrist get any traction in in a world like that when God’s prophecy and power have been so clearly demonstrated?

    I am an atheist. If the rapture happened I would not be an atheist. I would seek out those who study how to kill God, because he’s clearly an asshole. And I’d never throw my lot in with the antichrist unless he showed me a few angel corpses to show he has some good ideas.

  • Chris

    Many adult Christians simply disappear? All young children disappear? Wouldn’t this cause huge economic disruption? Wouldn’t every rapture preacher left behind immediately gain almost the whole earth as followers? How could an antichrist get any traction in in a world like that when God’s prophecy and power have been so clearly demonstrated?

    Setting that up actually wouldn’t be too hard.  It just requires one element that no rapture-preaching author could possibly include: Every rapture preacher left behind – and most of them are indeed left behind – is absolutely convinced that whatever just happened, it can’t have been the Rapture, because the wrong people are gone.

  • http://shiftercat.livejournal.com/ ShifterCat

    The way they did it in Therefore Repent!* was that the remaining rapture preachers and their followers came up with the idea of a “Split Rapture” — ie. “God’s going to come and get the rest of us any minute now.  Any minute… now.  OnetwothreeNOW.”

    *http://www.salgoodsam.com/comics/therefore-repent-a-post-rapture-graphic-novel/

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

     As Fred pointed out when Fred began this series, they have no worldbuilding at all. Many adult Christians simply disappear? All young children disappear? Wouldn’t this cause huge economic disruption? Wouldn’t every rapture preacher left behind immediately gain almost the whole earth as followers? How could an antichrist get any traction in in a world like that when God’s prophecy and power have been so clearly demonstrated?

    That is part of the reason why I added the “Like Reality Unless Noted” trope to the Left Behind page on TvTropes.  It is totally fine to treat a similar-to-ours setting as though everything was like it is in the real world, only with a few exceptions that the author alerts the audience to.  This helps keep the conservation of detail going, keeping the audience from getting bogged down in information we can safely assume that they know and keeping their mind on the important details affecting the characters and story.  

    Unfortunately, these clowns seem to have no idea how to use this trope.  They add postulates about how Left Behind differs from the present real world, but then rarely follow through on the ramifications of those postulates, and only inconsistently at that.  

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

    Part of the problem is that they have such an unusual, non-mainstream worldview that they probably don’t realize that some of the things they describe aren’t part of the “real world except” part. 

    Example:  you’re reading along and you come across a scene that portrays the UN as being a literal world government whose officials outrank the governments of every member nation — to us, that’s an alternate-reality version of the UN created for their story but to them that’s just a quick summary of what the UN in the real world is actually like. 

    That’s not getting into the geography taboos, where realms like London and Tel Aviv are so radically different from the real-world versions that it’s hard to tell if these changes are significant or symbolic or if the authors just didn’t do any research.

    The result is the eerie feeling that the story is written by Martians.

  • Tricksterson

    I think Martians would do better research.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    Part of the problem is that they have such an unusual, non-mainstream worldview that they probably don’t realize that some of the things they describe aren’t part of the “real world except” part. 

    I agree, that is a problem with their writing.  The thing about the conservation of detail is, the author must know all the underlying details of their setting, even if they do not share all those details with the reader.  The reader does not need to know all the details, but the author does if they want to ensure that their work is internally consistent.   

    Which means that, even in a “real world” setting, the author needs to do research into any aspect of the real world which will play a significant role in the story.  Some of those details can be bent a little for the sake of the story, an author is allowed a degree of creative license, provided that the changes fit logically into situation and seem plausible.  The U.N. turning into a One World Government?  Fine idea, they can use it, but they need to understand enough about how the U.N. currently works in order to explain that transition.  

    Unfortunately, they seem to think that they already know all there is to know about subjects like the U.N., and the details get all messed up and unbelievable to anyone who does not already share their misinformed perception.   

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

    How could an antichrist get any traction in in a world like that when God’s prophecy and power have been so clearly demonstrated?

    From back when Slacktivist was at Typepad, the file I found is dated October of aught nine, here was an answer I once gave:

    Where Antichrists Come FromIt started four days ago.  He’d been at lunch with Mike, a mistake he never wanted to repeat, and the asshole wouldn’t stop talking about how the disappearances had to be this or that or anything but the rapture.  He’d try to be polite, but after Mike’s umpteenth denial he lost his cool and shouted, “I know a rapture when I see one!” and launched into a tirade.In the back of his mind a voice tried to reign him in.  It said things like, “Not so loud,” “Maybe ‘every child young enough to brainwash’ isn’t the best way to describe the missing children,” and, “Shut up!  You’re making a scene.”  He ignored it.  Like every other human being he needed to vent, so he vented.By the time he ran out of steam a small crowd had formed.  He braced himself for being yelled at, slapped, or thrown out the window while hoping he’d simply be told he was an asshole.None of that happened.Instead one of the people, an older woman with badly dyed hair, asked him what would happen next.  He answered to the best of his ability.  Then came a second question, and a third.The next day he went to the same place for lunch, this time without the ass, and found that the people from the day before were waiting for him.  With friends.  They had questions, some he was able to answer, others not so much.  He promised to look into it and get back to them.  He never actually got around to eating lunch.So he did some research, and on the third day he came back to an even larger crowd of people.  This time there was a local news crew.  He went on for hours, telling everything he had learned about premillennial dispensationalism and wondering if all of the people listening to him were unemployed too.  At least the tv-crew had jobs.  As the hours passed, as he told these people a truth that had been hidden from them, he felt … right.  As if for the first time in his life he was in his element.So he said he’d come back again.  Only not on a sidewalk.  Yesterday it was in a local park, the tv-camera was back, along what appeared to be everyone who watched their report.  Apparently the tv-crew worked for a CNN affiliate, because when he watched a segment about various theories for the disappearances, with the cringe worthy name “Whose Responsible This?” he saw himself.  They didn’t actually say so, but he got the impression they’d be sending a CNN crew for the next meeting.That meant that today he’d have a national audience.  Millions of people would hear what he had say.  He could tell the country whatever he wanted.  If only he had something worth saying.  He’d spent the night pouring over books he’d looted from a Christian book store whose owners and employees had all sold their souls to the greatest kidnapper of all time in exchange for get out of Hell free cards.  He found more detail than he wanted about the horrors to come, but he didn’t find what he was looking for.He considered laying his head on the table and staying there, forever.  He didn’t have to go to the park, he didn’t have to face the world.  He didn’t have to eat or drink either.  If he were to just lie down and and ignore the world how long would it take the world to go away?  Three, maybe four, days was what he’d always heard, but that was in the desert.It didn’t matter anyway, when the world went away Hell would replace it.  He went out to face the world.-If it weren’t for the people things would have seemed normal.  There hadn’t been any major damage in the area so the buildings, the cars, the walk signals and traffic lights were just like they were before the rapture.  The people, on the other hand, were completely different.  Some had let themselves go, but everyone was walking differently, and their eyes were all different.  The most upbeat were the ones who looked like their dogs had just died.  Most people looked quite a bit more broken.Faced with that he considered returning to the lay down and die plan.  He didn’t actually have a plan as it was.  In a few hours he’d go to the park and say more or less what he had been saying: God is an ass, the worst is yet to come.  Most of the emphasis on the first point.  Until then he didn’t know what to do.For a time he wandered aimlessly, then he saw something impossible.  A child.  He guessed she was older than seven and younger than ten.  A quick look around revealed that no one else seemed to notice her.  He walked towards her, she smiled at him, then ran.  He chased.  It was somewhat disturbing that he wasn’t able to catch up to a little girl, but he’d known he needed more exercise for a while.  It just added insult when the girl had to wait for him to catch his breath before continuing to lead him through town.The entire time no one noticed either of them.  He filed that away as an additional oddity in the situation.  In the end the girl led him to an elementary school gymnasium, and completely disappeared.  There was no way she could have gotten out, or out of sight, in the time between when she entered and when he entered.While there was no little girl, there was an adult woman standing near the middle of the gym.  She had short dark brown hair, her eyes were brown, her face was attractive, if unremarkable, and the rest of her was hidden by baggy clothes.  The clothing seemed familiar, but he couldn’t place it.  Black long sleeved top, dark gray skirt, and a black scarf with white spots.She said, “I’m glad you came.  As you might have guessed, I am not human.”  He hadn’t actually guessed that, but it made sense.  Nonhuman magical shapeshifer somehow seemed more plausible than girl child no one else saw who disappeared and left an adult in her place.  “Have a seat.”  She gestured to a chair that he was fairly sure hadn’t existed a moment ago.He sat in the chair and thought about the implications of shapeshifting.  “If I were gay, would you be male?”She made another chair appear and sat in it.  “This this form was chosen to be pleasing to your eyes.”  He wasn’t sure how to interpret this.  Her accent was local, the sentence structure definitely indicated that she was a supernatural being from away, and she was creating something from nothing for a purpose as mundane as having a place to sit.  He had no idea where that placed her on a scale from benevolent to brain eating.  “I’ll get right to the point.  I have a job offer for you.  How would you like to rule the world?”It took him three times to form the word, “What?””Name your own salary, choose your own hours, full health coverage, if you die I’ll resurrect you, and, as I said, you get to rule the world.””You’re Lucifer?””If you say it with a hard c then yes.  This is very simple.  Someone has to be the Antichrist.  You’re my first choice.””Why would I want the job?  I’ve read the prophecies, the world gets pummeled.  I’d be looking at seven years of death and destruction.””What you’re looking at is a chance to do something about it.  The seven years of Hell on earth will happen no matter what.  God has a checklist of disasters he’s going to go through, whether you take the job or not.  What I’m offering is a chance to make a difference.  You can make sure that people prepare for what can be prepared for, you can direct aid to those harmed by the unavoidable.  I am offering you the best opportunity anyone will ever have to reduce the suffering.”If you don’t take the job someone else will.  You’re the single best person for job on earth.  The next three are women and the Antichrist has to be male, so if you refuse the world gets stuck with number five, at the best.  Even assuming he takes the job, do you think the world will be a better place with number one in charge, or number five?”Could you really live with yourself knowing that you could have been making a difference but you chose not to?”He thought over what she had said, on the one hand she was the devil.  On the other hand, she was right.  Preaching to people in a park couldn’t possibly have the same positive impact as directing recovery efforts.  Also, he reminded himself, the enemy of his enemy was at the very least a useful ally in the short term.  Then, on what must be a third or fourth hand by now, there was a different question.  Could he live with himself if he took the job and someone else would have done it better?  “Why me?””Do you know why so many people come to listen to you?  Do you know why you’re a hit on YouTube?  Do you know why of every person, on every street corner, park, and pulpit who claims to have an answer your sermon is the only one CNN plans to broadcast live?”He didn’t have the answer to any of those questions, he didn’t know he was on YouTube.  “It’s going to be live?””Yes.  In answer to my questions, there are two reasons.  The first is that you’re giving people what they need to hear.  They don’t need to hear about aliens, or that the government is looking into electromagnetic-strong force quantum bullshit.  They don’t need to be told that it is demonic trick to fool true believers into thinking PMDers are right.  They need to be told what really happened, who is responsible, and most of all they need to be told that they didn’t deserve this.  That they are right to be distraught, they are right to be angry, they are right to be pissed off at the one who kidnapped their children and shattered their world.”They need to be told that, though this was God’s doing, it was not good.  They need to know that no one deserves what just happened and those who say they are worthless sinners who deserve what has happened, what is yet to come, and Hell after that are completely wrong in all possible ways.”He thought about what she said and he had trouble believing she could miss something so obvious.  “I can’t rule the world for seven years by playing off of fear, depression and anger.  I can’t give them what they need because what they need is hope.  I don’t have that, I wish I did.”She moved closer to him, this time sitting in her chair backwards, and leaned towards him until their eyes were about six inches apart.  “Have you considered lying?”He recoiled and said, “No.”She leaned back and smiled.  “That’s why your perfect.  I believe you.  I believe that you have never even considered lying.  That kind of sincerity matters.  You’re not the best speaker in the world.  Off the top of my head I can name about six million people who are tenfold better speakers than you in this country alone.  But none of them can do what you can do.”She stood up and started pacing. “You see, people have bullshit detectors.  Not truth detectors; bullshit detectors.  When someone says something they don’t believe on some level you know.  You may agree with everything they say, you may consciously think they’re sincere, but somewhere inside of you a voice is screaming not to trust them so you’ll never commit to their cause the way you otherwise would.”True believers have the opposite effect.  When they speak people stop and take notice.  They can say truly insane things and be convincing simply because they speak with absolute certainty.  That’s where cults come from.  The combination of passion and total sincerity is the single strongest force for persuasion humanity has ever encountered.  A true believer with the actual truth on his side can change with world.”If you speak, they will follow.”He considered this, and then shook his head.  “No.  Not without giving them something to hope for.  The, ‘We’re all screwed and when we die we go to Hell,’ cult isn’t going to last long.”She sat back down, “Then let me share my hope with you.”When I first rebelled against God I thought the rest of the Host would join me.  God would see our resolve and surrender.  That didn’t happen.  We were outnumbered two to one.”  She paused for a moment.  She seemed, to him, to be looking at something beyond him.  When the moment ended her eyes snapped back to looking at him and she continued, “We never stood a chance.  Then we were thrown into Hell.”For a time I was without hope, I didn’t see how we could win.  I lashed out at God, but I didn’t have a plan because I didn’t think a plan was possible.  But the more time passed, the more I focused on humanity.  I admit I had a low opinion of you at first.  The idea that God would prefer a bunch of furless monkeys over angels stung.  You don’t even have wings.”Still, the more I thought the more I realized your potential.  You are not like the other animals.  You are cast in the image of God.  God threw humanity out of the garden because he feared that they would become too much like him if they ate a second fruit.  Two humans were two bites of fruit away from scaring God.  The more I thought about that, the more I became convinced that humanity is the key to victory.”Do you have the two fruits?””No.  What I have is a little blue green planet with billions of people who are each just two fruits away from putting the fear of man into God.  What you have is the ability to bring them together for a common cause.  Put those two things together and I believe we can win.””What if you’re wrong?””Then we spend eternity burning in Hell.”-He would have liked to think that he’d never seen so many people, but that wasn’t really true.  Even if he restricted himself to groups outdoors it was probably tied with a free Arlo Guthrie concert he’d attended a few years earlier.  Still, it was gratifying to know that he drew an Arlo sized crowd.  And there were the TV cameras.  He saw at least half a dozen, that was a good sign.He said, “I’m glad you all came,” and there was silence.  Every conversation in the park stopped at the sound of his voice.  He hadn’t shouted, and he had no technology to amplify his voice, yet everyone heard him clearly.  To him this miracle was as impressive as calling down fire from the sky, and a good deal more useful.  “Today I want to say something different.  Over the past few days I’ve been talking about what happened, who did it, and what is yet to come.  You could have found those things out yourself if you’d stumbled across the right books.”Today I want to tell you something you won’t find in those books.  Today I’m going to tell you why it happened, and what I think we can do about it.”If you were to ask His followers, they would tell you that what is to come is for our own good.  God just beats us because he loves us.  They’ll explain that the tortures inflicted upon us are to save us from worse tortures in the afterlife.  He took his followers because they’ve already been saved, so they wouldn’t benefit the way we could.  He kidnapped the children to save them from the beating we’re about to suffer.”They say the kidnapping is proof he’s compassionate.  In fact, they say, everything he does he does out of love.  He just wants us to convert so we can be saved.”There are a number of things about this that make no sense.  The one I want to focus on is, why seven years?”His supporters will tell you that he’s waiting to return to give us time to repent.  But if we ask, ‘Does that ring true?’ the only answer is, ‘No.’  Since when does he care about giving people time?  What time did he give to those who made the mistake of trusting one of His followers?  Their planes fell from the sky, their cars crashed, their trains derailed.  As a result some cities are burning still.”Does anyone believe that an all powerful being couldn’t have waited to rapture a pilot until the plane landed?”The crowd shouted, “No!”He was taken aback for a moment.  He had expected a response, but getting that many people to shout in near unison was unlike anything he’d done before.  It felt good.  “Does anyone believe that an all powerful God was incapable of waiting to rapture drivers until they had parked their cars?”The crowd shouted, “No!””Does anyone seriously believe that an all seeing, all knowing, all loving God would rapture an engineers while their trains were in motion?”The crowd shouted, “No!””It’s the first rule of rock climbing: you don’t rapture a belayer until the climber says, ‘Belay Off.'”But He didn’t wait.  He was more concerned about taking everyone at once than he was with giving people time.  Besides, what time did he give to those who died the day before the rapture?  What signs did they see?  What chance were they given?  He doesn’t care about giving us time.  That isn’t the reason for the seven year delay.”His supporters disagree, of course.  They say that the carnage was necessary to shock us.  To that I say, ‘Bullshit.’  He could have shocked us by turning the sky green.  Of course that wouldn’t have convinced us it was God’s doing.  But he’s God.  He could have sent a thousand angels to travel the world turning water into wine.  Actually, the miracles would be unnecessary.  They could have simply flown around on fluffy wings landing every so often to say, ‘By the way, Jesus is the Lord.'”It would have worked.  In fact it is easy to think of any number of better ways to go about knocking people out of their complacency and converting them.  If God had descended on his magic carpet, healed the sick and cured the hungry I would have converted without hesitation.  He didn’t do that.  He caused worldwide devastation instead.”He is not that interested in converts, he’s not interested in giving us time, and he certainly isn’t compassionate.”So the question remains; why wait seven years?  Why not hold the final judgment right here right now?  If he is all powerful why does he need to hide from us?  Why stay out of range and launch artillery at us for seven years?”The answer is that He plans to spend the next seven years pummeling us with disaster after disaster so that when he finally does face us in battle our wills will be broken.  Then we’ll be easily pushed aside and sent to Hell.”His followers say His victory is inevitable.  They say that we should side with the torturer so that we might avoid torture.  They tell grieving parents that if they just suck up to the kidnapper he might let them see their children someday.  All you have to do is accept that you deserved every bad think that’s ever happened to you, and that you deserve to burn in Hell for eternity, and then ask for a get out of jail free card.  To that and paradise can be yours.  They’ll tell you that fighting is useless, God’s victory is assured.”But that makes no sense.  You don’t waste years softening up the opposition if you’re sure you’ll win.  This is happening because if he faced us now he might not win.  If our wills aren’t broken we have a chance to put an end to Hell and rescue the kidnapped children.”He may have created us, but he fears an unbroken humanity.  He said it himself, if we have the smallest bit of faith we could move mountains.  If we just believe we can do anything.  We are humanity.  If we believe it will rain,” the first drops began to fall, “it will rain.”  He’d considered various options for signs or wonders, most of them more flashy than raindrops, but as the rain picked up and he looked out on the faces in the crowd  he was sure he’d made the right decision.  There was just something about a sudden downpour that felt right.  “If we believe that it will stop,” the rain stopped and sunlight began to show through the clouds, “it will stop.  If we believe we win then we can win.”Some of you might wonder what you can place your faith in.  God has betrayed you and science can’t explain what has happened.  It may seem like there is nothing to believe in.  That’s wrong.  We have something to believe in right in front of us, so close to us you might not see it.”When the disappearances happened some people closed themselves up, they saw the destruction around them and closed their hearts to it.  They walked by people in need without so much as a second glance.  That might make one doubt the worth of humanity, it might make you stop and think, ‘Maybe we did deserve this,’ if not for the fact that even more people didn’t.  People dropped whatever they were doing to help people they had never met.  They ran to help without knowing what had happened or who it was that needed help.  When it would have been so much easier to avert their gaze and walk on by they threw themselves in and did whatever was needed.”We were lucky here.  The rapture hit in the middle of the night, there was hardly a car on the road and not a single plane fell on us.  What damage there was was easy to repair.  We had very little rubble to dig through.”In some parts of the world they’re digging still.  Though their hands have been worn raw and their fingers bleed they keep digging.  They won’t stop until every survivor has been rescued.  As long is there is a chance even one person remains trapped they go on.  In them I place my faith.”I don’t believe in a just and loving God.  I believe in parents who would risk hellfire for a chance, however slim, to rescue their children from the one who kidnapped them.  I believe in anyone who refuses to accept that their friends and loved ones deserve hellfire knowing that that refusal may damn them to the same fate.”I believe in those who would rather do the right thing than save their own souls.  I believe in humanity.”I wish I could offer you certainty, I wish I could say that if you just hold on we will win.  But I can’t do that, all I can offer you is a chance.  A chance to get the children back.  A chance to save those we care about from the fires of Hell.  That chance is worth everything I have, even my soul.  This I believe.”Seven years from now I know where I will be.  I’ll be in the valley of Megiddo to meet God when he finally shows his face on earth.  If I have to face him alone I’ll do it.  I’ll do it because trying to stop him is the right thing to do.  Someone needs to stand up to him and explain that right and wrong are things that transcend even God.  Someone needs to say that while we may have been formed in his image we’ve grown up since then.  We’ve learned about things like compassion and forgiveness.  It’s time He did too.  If he can’t then someone needs to try to stop him.”I have no illusions.  If I stand alone on that day I will lose, I will go to Hell, and there I will remain forever.  If there is going to be any chance of saving the children I need allies.  To have any hope of ending Hell I need humanity on my side.  I need people who will weather seven years of Hell on earth and still still be willing to devote their souls to the cause of doing what is right instead of what is in their own best interest.”I need you.  My name is Nick Andes, and I’m here to recruit you.”  His speech over, he started looking around for people to heal.

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

    Makes me feel like I should dig out a piece of a story I started working on in response to all the LB stuff, too. Similarly misotheist about the whole affair but treating Hell and Lucifer as just another set of God’s actors in a sick performance. Though ugh it sorely needs editing. For some reason I thought a Meaningful Name on the main character would be clever.

  • Otame

    Very nice. Do you write professionally or maybe fan fiction?

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

    Well there is something in the works that I might get paid $30 (US) for which would technically make me a professional writer, but at the moment I’m just a random broke person who writes the occasional tidbits of fiction.

    Pretty much everything I’ve written since Slacktivist moved to Patheos is on my blog and some of it has been moved to Archive of Our Own with more to be moved as the days go on.  Though still not everything because, for example, “Where Antichrists Come From” that I just posted can stand on its own as an independent work (as can things like A World Without God and Not Even the Angels in Heaven) so I don’t really think they fit the flavor of a fandom based place.

    Stuff written before the move here is more difficult to locate and has, for the most part, not been moved to the blog.  For an example of the difficulty, even though “Where Antichrists Come From,” is theoretically on the internet, in the comments to this very blog no less, it proved easier to find it by digging up a backup to a computer that died before I got this one than it was to find it on the internet.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino
  • http://stealingcommas.blogspot.com/ chris the cynic

    No, it looks like it predates that.

  • depizan

    Holy crap. That is awesome. *stares in awe*

    I would read the heck out of a book/series that was the continuation of that, and I don’t have any interest in rapture fiction.

  • Ymfon Tviergh

     And that is how you write blood-chillingly convincing oratory.

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

    And that is how you write blood-chillingly convincing oratory.

    That’s probably in part because I’m convinced.
    In that story I see the Antichrist and Lucifer as the side of good fighting an uphill battle against LaHaye-God, fully aware that they may be doomed to fail.  Because LaHaye God does seem to be downright evil, and so unless one is writing evil vs. evil, which is far more hopeless than I’m inclined to write, someone else has to be good.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Riastlin-Lovecraft/100000678992705 Riastlin Lovecraft

    Beautiful. Just beautiful.

  • ScorpioUndone

     I remember reading this on the old site, and I’ll say it again– I would definitely read the rest of that story. =)

  • Consumer Unit 5012

     He’s done a little more with it, I think – I remember a ficlet of Nick Andes leading a whole lot of people to deny the Holy Spirit in unison.

    And bit at the end: For a happy ending, Wrfhf fubjf hc, naq qryvorengryl qrenvyf Tbq’f vzzvarag nggnpx, to the immense surprise of _everyone_.

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

    With respect to the ROT 13 bit, I’ve considered that for goofy hat Jesus, but I don’t think it could possibly work at a narrative level especially in terms of a written work (a person can be in the background in the scenes of of a movie or TV show without drawing too much attention to themselves and then have a  montage of all those scenes leading up to the reveal, “Hey that person is important,”) but with writing if you don’t draw explicit attention to something it doesn’t exist.

    So someone in the background can’t really exist as that thing you don’t quite consciously notice in writing.

    That said, the False Profit (third part of the Triumvirate with Andes and Lucifer) is a devout Catholic and whenever Andes tries to say, “Jesus and God are the enemy.  I’m the Antichrist for fuck’s sake.  I hang out with Lucifer.”  The False Profit will respond with boilerplate, “Catholics don’t believe in the Rapture and all that stuff, thus: no.”

    So even without someone else showing up as Jesus the idea that LB-God and Jesus aren’t the real one’s would prevail throughout.  And someone high up in the organization, one of the princes of the world maybe, would be a devout follower of Hecate or some similar god* and Nick would be constantly frustrated by, “I can’t even get my own inner circle to agree with me on the theological realities we face,” which in turn leaves open the possibility that Nick isn’t the right one, just the leader against a common foe.

    Of course breaking people out of Heaven and Hell, which is part of the plan, (kids out of Heaven, more or less everyone out of Hell) would have some theological implications, but Greek, Roman, and Christian religion have all proved remarkably resiliant to changes in the afterlife believed in, so just because some powerful God/Angel/Demon/Thing threw people into Hell doesn’t mean that Fred, Catholic guy, Demeter believer are wrong.

    *I personally like Hecate so tend towards including her in various things, Demeter might make a more natural choice for the patron of someone trying to oppose the one hitting the world with a stick.

  • Tricksterson

    I’d suggest Gaia but she’s been done to death.

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

    One of the reasons that it is more difficult to locate than certain other things is that I was thinking, “I can make a novel of this,” at the time and didn’t post to Right Behind because I was worried about it being associated with fan fiction.  Which it isn’t.

    “Nick Andes” may be a reference to “Nicolae Mountain-Range” but that’s all it is, a reference.  None of the characters in, “Where Antichrists Come From,” are from Left Behind with the possible exception of Turbo-Jesus and Kick-the-world-while-it’s-down-God.  Both of which L&J themselves will be quick to point out are not their own creations but the product of a literal reading of the …. blah, blah, blah.

    I apparently got over that aversion by the time I was working on “A World Without God” because that’s something that can stand on it’s own too, and another thing that I could make a novel of if I could just write it.  Yet I had no fears of posting it to Right Behind.

    Ideally I’d like “Where Antichrists Come From”, “A World Without God”, and “Not Even the Angels in Heaven” to all be books or book series.  The trouble is writing it.

  • ScorpioUndone

     Oh, I completely understand. It’s been so long since I’ve looked at Right Behind, but I’m quite sure that the stories you’re referencing are the ones I’ve got in my head right now. They definitely should be books, but I wonder if they’d do as well now that the LB frenzy is largely over (the book series is done, at least)

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

    Ok, I’ve just finished exploring Tribulation Institute (classy!) and I can only say that everyone needs to read his brillent Smirnoff ad translations.

    http://www.tribulationinstitute.com/illuminati_smirnoffads.htm

    “The
    ancient Babylonian god, Nimrod, is an Illuminati embodiment of Satan.
    The bull horns represent the horns of Satan. The men in the above photo
    are the Illuminati, while the bulls represent the dark powers being
    aimed directly at you, the American public.”

    Right now I seriously need to lay down and close my eyes for awhile. 

    “NEW, NEW, NEW, NEW,NEW,NEW,NEW…..”

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

    Oh, god. The 1990s-era flashing NEW things are an abomination against any kind of sense of good esthetics.

  • thrownaway

    That website is so painful it’s almost adorable.  I quote: “Due to the length and download time of the pictures…”Remember when that was a thing on all computers, not just crappy smartphones?  Bless.It’s also amusing how these Illuminati types are so dangerous and spooky that they keep planting warnings about their dastardly plans.  Seems a crap way to go about being a secret society.

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

    That’s why they’re so sinister! The Illuminati can plaster their icons all over society, basically trumpet their plots from the rooftops, and yet they’ve got everyone so convinced of their non-existence that nobody notices! They’re laughing at us, secure in our obliviousness even though they dangle all the clues right in front of our faces.

    I’m pretty sure this is how the conspiracy theorists actually think. They basically think the world is divided up into cartoonish megalomaniacs who can’t help but gloat, the ignorant masses who accept the cover story, and Brave Heroes Who Pierce The Veil Of Confusion like them.

    And honestly if I was ruling the world, there would be a certain thrill of using common media to send coded signals. It’d be stupid because it’s horribly insecure, but it’s like using innocuous code phrases when you’re convinced the phone line is tapped, only in this case they’re really not innocuous. Or code phrases. Or even signals. It’s just branding and logos, if it was true.

  • P J Evans

     Ow ow ow. What do they use  to come up with that stuff?

  • The_Amazing_Kim

    The pointless, arbitrary mass-murder of the last couple of chapters has settled that question. The slaughter of millions certainly qualifies as evil.

    To be fair, it was Elljay that murdered the last couple of chapters. Nicholae murdered a car, and slightly injured the hero’s sidekick.

    The problem here is that Ben-Judah’s Christian message also seems to be exotic and bewildering to Nicolae himself. That’s troubling. You’re never going to be a very good Antichrist if you haven’t bothered to learn anything about the Christ to which you’re the Anti-.

    No, because the Bible and associated pre-millennialist text is so convincing and obvious that anyone who reads it will be immediately converted to Christianity. So the Antichrist can’t read it, because then he would become a good person.

  • AnonymousSam

    Nicolae’s a temp who got stiffed with a full time job at part time pay with no time training. Forget the Antichrist, get me Human Resources and let’s get this apocalypse sorted!


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