works. Well, Freud himself pronounced that sadism and masochism alwayscontain a bit of one another.Here's a brief list of some of the Doomsdays that had to be postponed:
1141 CE -- Hildegard of Bingen predicted the world would end thatyear. It didn't.
October 22, 1844 -- This was Doomsday, as calculated from the Bibleby William Miller, who had previously goofed by announcing that itwould occur in 1843. When the 1844 prophecy also failed, newcalculations from the same texts gave birth to the Adventists, theSeventh-day Adventists and, later, the Jehovah's Witnesses.
The Jehovah's Witnesses originally picked 1914 as the jackpot year.Some of them rejoiced in the bloody World War that began that year,as the palpable, visible, undeniable "beginning" of the end. But otherscalculated exact years for the end of the end: 1918, 1920, 1925,1941, 1975, and 1994, for instance. I survived all of them, and I guessyou did, too, or you wouldn't be reading this.
In 1957, a pastor named Mihran Ask chose April 23, 1957 as the LastDay; I remember that vividly because Paul Krassner claimed in thenext issue of
that the world
really ended that dayand we just weren't paying attention.
In 1986, Moses David of the Children of God predicted the battle ofArmageddon would happen that year and Christ would return in 1993.
In 1983, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh predicted the catastrophes wouldbegin in 1984 and climax in 1999.
The famous psychic Edgar Cayce predicted that Christ would return in1998. Why haven't we heard from him? Maybe he's having troublefinding a place to rent.
Another psychic, Criswell -- best remembered for his oratoricalperformances in Ed Wood's movies -- predicted August 18, 1999 as theend of time.This is only a very,
small selection of failed end-times prophecy; if youare curious, you can find longer lists of Doomsdayshereandhere
So far, the batting average of all Doomsayers has stayed firm at 0.000. That,of course, will not stop this ever-popular guessing game. We survived thealleged three meteors ofNovember 7, but we still have Y2K ahead of us;and if we survive that, well, the
Weekly World News
recently reported theFour Horsemen of the Apocalypse to be in the vicinity of Santa Fe, headingeast.As long as people enjoy scaring themselves and scaring one another, horrormovies will remain popular, and so will Doomsday. Pick a date -- any date --and you may become the leader of a new cult. You may even get as rich asRajneesh or the Pope.
Robert Anton Wilson is the author of 32 books, including
Everything Is UnderControl,
an encyclopedia of conspiracy theories, and maintains the Web's strangest