TF: LaHaye World

TF: LaHaye World January 8, 2010

Tribulation Force, pp. 126-128

Nicolae Carpathia is explaining to Buck how he plans to purchase every major newspaper, newsmagazine, radio and TV station in the world. He can do this, he explains, because he is the sole heir of Jonathan Stonagal's fortune. And he is motivated to do this, he says, because of peace on earth and wanting to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony.

And none of this makes sense.

The sort of sappy, vapid idealist that Nicolae is pretending to be wouldn't see any need for such a global media monopoly. That sort of guy would just gather all the reporters and editors together, sing a few verses of "Kumbaya," and send 'em all back to work fired up to share the Good News of the bountiful and benevolent OWG. Instead here he is on the one hand pretending he's ushering in the Age of Aquarius while on the other hand acting like Richard Nixon.

And in much of the world there are laws against monopoly ownership of the media in particular, as well as laws against monopoly ownership in general. Just trying to corner the market in a single American city would get Nicolae in trouble with the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission while at the same time getting sued by Rupert Murdoch.

And Murdoch wouldn't be the only holdout. A great many media outlets simply aren't for sale. Imagine Nicolae's surprise when, after sending a check for the purchase of WGBH in Boston, he receives back a form letter thanking him for his generous support of public radio and informing him that, since his pledge was greater than $120, he may choose between the Best of Car Talk CD set or the coveted golf umbrella.

The authors seem to think that any such obstacles to Nicolae's One World Media plan could be easily fixed with brute force of either the political or the financial sort, and they assure us that the Antichrist — thanks to the U.N. and to Stonagal — has an unlimited supply of both.

This is, again, how former John Birch Society lecturer Tim LaHaye views the world. He believes the United Nations is some kind of hierarchical federation that can overrule the sovereignty of all of its member nations. And he believes that the world's financial system is secretly run by a nefarious cabal of spectacularly wealthy international bankers, represented in this story first by Jonathan Stonagal and now by his heir, Nicolae.

I have no problem enjoying a work of fiction that has a character like Stonagal in it. It's like the movie trailers all say, "Imagine a world …"

I can imagine such a world. But it's not this world. It doesn't look anything like this world.

It's very odd to run into an old Bircher like LaHaye or others with a parallel paranoia, like the LaRouchies who sometimes lurk outside our post office. There's a quaint anachronism to their conspiracies. Listening to them go on about the Rothschilds and Rockefellers makes one wonder how they've managed to go for so long without ever hearing those ubiquitous reports of the 10 Richest or 100 Richest or 468 Richest People in the World.

The Top 10 is always some mix of Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, that Mexican cell-phone guy and Sam Walton's kids. The old-money families from the old-school Illuminati conspiracy theories are still on the list, but they're pretty far down. I suppose Tim LaHaye would argue that Forbes is in on the conspiracy, helping to hide the true wealth of the cabal. In LaHaye World, the richest people on earth must be nefarious Jews international bankers of indeterminate ethnic/religion origin. That a software magnate or a cagey old investor or a bunch of Arkansas discounters could have more wealth than the Stone-a-gals and Rock-a-fellers is simply impossible in LaHaye World.

So this latest plot development here of Nicolae inheriting Stonagal's fortune is yet more evidence that we are reading a story set in LaHaye World and not in the actual world of reality — not in this world here in which we actually live and in which LaHaye keeps insisting a series of supposedly prophesied events are fated to actually occur.

And that's probably the biggest failure of these epic-fail-on-every-level books.

LaHaye & Jenkins show that the allegedly biblical prophecies they insist will be fulfilled any day now require as a condition of that fulfillment that the United Nations be something radically different from what the United Nations actually is. And those prophecies require that the Rockefellers and Rothschilds be something radically different from what they actually are. What these books show, in other words, is that LaHaye's alleged Bible prophecies can only come true in LaHaye world. They will not and cannot come true in this world.

This is precisely the opposite of what the authors set out to demonstrate. They have, despite themselves, written a premillennial dispensationalist prophecy novel that disproves premillennial dispensationalist prophecy.

Anyway, while Nicolae Carpathia explains his diabolical scheme for the global media domination that will enable him to become Ruler of LaHaye World, Buck Williams finds his mind drifting.

"I am not interested in personal wealth," Nicolae continued. "My history proves that. I know the value of money. I do not mind using it as a form of persuasion, if it is what motivates a person. But all I care about is mankind." …

Buck's mind flew to Chicago, and he suddenly missed Chloe. …

There follows here a strange passage mixing Buck's cringe-inducing pining for Chloe with an unexpected fundamentalist spin on the redemptive potential of romantic love.

* * * * * * * * *

We'll get to that. But for now I want to take advantage of Buck's abrupt change of the subject to abruptly switch gears myself and deal with a bit of housekeeping.

Fridays have gotten trickier for me, work-schedule-wise, in part because Thursdays have gotten trickier too. I used to have those two days off and that made Left Behind Fridays a sensible arrangement. Working Thursday nights and Friday evenings now makes the day a bit squeezed.

So what I'd like to do is pick up the rest of this post on Monday. See how that works for a bit.

"Left Behind Mondays" doesn't quite have the same ring to it, but perhaps it will grow on us.

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