If you haven’t noticed the media, the world is due to end in October, and Judgement Day is just over a week away (May 21, 2011).
Which means, for those folks who believe in the rapture and the validity of the numerology behind that date, May 21, 2011 is checkout day.
I just had a little look around. And it seems that the May 21, 2011 movement (e.g. here) is pretty large, in comparison. Larger than most of these little millenarian groups.
And that makes me nervous. When I read the absolute certainty in the words of doomsday cultists, my mind comes back always to Heaven’s Gate, to The Order of the Solar Temple, and to Jonestown. Its a short step from believing that God will bring the end of the world, to believing God wants you to help him do so.
Whatever it takes to get your indoctrinated loved ones home that day, do it. Even if it means promising a last minute conversion.
Maybe I’m paranoid. But combine an irrational belief in the end of the world with a massive humiliation and undermining of belief, and I think few people would act rationally.