Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Dear Ronnie

The inauguration of President Obama today marks another of your "crash and burn" prophecies for which we have impeccable evidence. The quotes are popping up again all over the place:

"... if we have the ability to elect someone, they will not take office… our country will be down the tubes by then."

"... there will not be a new president take office in January."

Word is out that you're now saying that it wasn't really a prophecy. Uh huh. Thing is, Ronnie, did the folk who heard you say that understand it to be speculation? Did you qualify yourself at the time by saying, "hey, this is just me rattling my tonsils, feel free to disagree or ignore this"?

Of course not. You appear far too narcissistic for that!

Initially Ronnie, I wondered whether you were actually convinced by your own arguments. Now I think, on balance, you were probably a shyster from the start. I'm sure you're well aware that religious movements survive disconfirmation. Branch Davidians were still meeting after Waco. The classic example from history is Shabbetai Zvi, the Jewish Messiah-pretender. Even after he converted to Islam there were lots of people who continued to believe that he was the promised one!

Confused people who have painted themselves into a corner rarely drop their paintbrushes immediately.

So while your income stream will slow, there's little danger it'll dry up. Financially I imagine that you're a whole lot better off than you'd have been staying with UCG, not to mention the globetrotting lifestyle. Talking up 2008 as the year of doom has doubtless set you and Laura up for life, congratulations.

But here's what you said less than twelve months ago:

If by Pentecost [June 8 2008] I’m just going to make this real clear to everyone. If by Pentecost it is not powerfully and abundantly clear that there has been a great deal of destruction that will clearly encompass a third of all plant life in the US and at least the clear results of this mingled with blood the death of very much animal life and the beginning of large numbers of human life then I will stop preaching. Just so all the critics and everyone out there will understand. I am true to my word in these things. OK? And for all the critics if by the end of July and for most likely around Pentecost if nothing has clearly caused great destruction and death I will make it very clear that I was a false prophet. I will do exactly what I said I would do on aaaaall those interviews that I have held. To do less. Well. Would be quite insane.” (Source)

It seems, in light of your subsequent actions, you were lying through your teeth. The only thing "down the tubes" here, Ronnie, is your credibility.

Maybe there's a warning you might heed in the end-tale of Elizabeth Claire Prophet (listen to an interview with her daughter on InterFaith Voices.) Maybe her early dementia has nothing to do with trying to block out her abject failure as the voice of the Lord, but then again maybe not.

Like you, she called the Pied Piper tune.

Like you, she got it very, very wrong.

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