Not all prophecies come true ....

F.K.Baganoff et al.

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was the date of a solar eclipse. In England, royalist propoganda had predicted divine vengeance on a nation which had beheaded its own king three years earlier. The diarist John Evelyn wrote "Hardly any would work, and none stir out of their houses, so ridiculously were they abused by knavish and ignorant star-gazers". "Black Monday", as it was called, turned out to be a fine day. (1)

This was neither the first, nor the last, of end-of-world predictions, nor of a myriad of individuals who have issued such prophecies, sometimes bringing tragic consequences to their followers. Apocalypic visions have always had an enduring hold on mankind. Why this should be so is discussed by several scholars in Frontline's Apocalypse section.

In recent history, the year 2000 brought a rain of prophecies, many of which related to the end of the world. Even those who did not believe the direst prophecies cleared the shelves in supermarkets, stocking up for a prolonged period when society would break down because of the so-called computer "millenium bug". In the event, January 1st 2000 dawned with very little disruption to anyone and, as points out, at least 42 prophecies did not come true.

However, governments take Doomsday Cults seriously - they are capable of self-fulfilling prophecies, as shown in the Canadian Security Intelligence Report of December 18th 1999.

Whether 2012 will bring about a 5th dimension or a polar shift causing global disasters, or whether the simple aims of the Uttar Pradesh government to make the rural areas in the state free of open-defecation will come to pass, who can tell?

It may be the end of time as we know it, it may be nothing. What is certain is that there will be a proliferation of prophecies relating to it which will engage individuals and society as the date draws closer.

1. Astrology: A History - Peter Whitfield 2001 (The British Library)

Copyright: Jackie Burnett 2006

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