Let's Talk 2000
"The heartbeat of 2000 A.D. from cyberspace"
March 1, 1998, Volume 4,
Issue 4, a monthly bulletin
Topics covered in this issue:
The Millennium Doctor Speaks
News from the Field:
Talk from the Forum:
New Millennial Sites:
The Millennium Doctor Speaks:
the pulse of 2000 A.D."
It's been one of those wild and wonderful apocalyptic months in the media
as scientists speculated on killer asteroids. Within two days, the panic
was gone. Apparently, revised calculations for the year 2028 have the asteroid
passing 600,000 miles from earth rather than the scarier 26,000 mile calculation.
Talk 2000 contributor Michael Ronan MRonan@aol.com
commented, "As everyone probably knows by now, asteroid fever has already
passed. Front page headlines in two New York tabloids--always a great source
of poetic summary--put it this way: "The End Is NOT Near"---"Kiss
Your Asteroid Good-bye."
What do you do when millennial prophecy fails? One year to the day after
the Heaven's Gate suicide, a Taiwanese flying saucer spiritualist church
in Garland, Texas was awaiting a March 31st pick-up. Disappointed by the
no-show of God in a March 25th predicted broadcasts, reactions to the disconfirmation
varied. University of Chicago PhD candidate, Dereck Daschke firstname.lastname@example.org,
took a contingent of graduate students down to Garland, TX to investigate.
Did you catch the two-part episode of Chris Carter's imaginative TV series
"Millennium"--which included a story plot between "Owls"
and "Roosters"? It appears writers for this series have been reading
Richard Landes web site http://www.mille.org/landes-rob.htm,
creator of this taxonomy which typifies these dueling millennial cries.
Landes told Talk 2000 these TV writers "have read me more carefully
and with greater understanding than my colleagues in medieval history!"
This issue of Let's Talk 2000 is full of news and summaries from our forum.
For those interested in new millennium celebrations, we report on Orange
County's "Class of 2000" mega-program. Our second feature, "Project
Charts Millennium Change Indicators," reports on how one group is looking
into research indicators which could chart the emergence of a post-industrial
paradigm beyond 2000.
In contrast, our "Millennial Rites of Passage?" piece in the "Talk
from the Forum" takes a critical look at the notion that 1999 to 2001
might bring some quantum leap of change. And under our web sites section,
Charles Cameron, our Millennium Concentrate contributor, offers his review
of sites which seek to use the Y2K bug as fodder for apocalyptic alarms.
News from the Field:
"Here is the
latest news on year 2000 efforts."
ORANGE COUNTY UNVEILS MILLENNIAL CELEBRATION
Plans for the Orange County California celebration of the new millennium
-- a two-year, 100-plus event, 31-city, 2.6 million-person, $25 million
extravaganza called Orange County Class of 2000 -- were announced March
11th by the Orange County Business Council, major underwriter of the celebration.
"Orange County Class of 2000 is probably the first, and certainly the
most ambitious celebration to be launched in response to President Clinton's
challenge to the nation to create community events to commemorate the coming
millennium," said Jack Lindquist, former president of Disneyland and
a co-producer of the program. "We want to do this thing right,"
he quipped. "If we miss this time, we'll have to wait another thousand
years to do it again."
The countywide program, to begin Jan. 1, 1999, not only will be Orange County's
salute to the next thousand years, it will serve as a national and international
showcase for Orange County's heritage, lifestyle, business opportunity and
its approach to the future.
The program will be directed by the Orange County Business Council through
its new, non-profit company, Orange County Millennium Inc. Events will be
produced, managed and marketed through Class of 2000 LLC, an organization
formed by Lindquist and Steve Clark, another veteran Disney executive.
Business Council Chairman John Schueler noted that the celebration will
create a platform from which all of the county's 70,000 businesses, large
and small, can tell their stories to the county or to the world. "Through
this program we will honor our past, celebrate our present and imagine our
future -- in essence, we'll create the image and identity for Orange County
that will propel us into the 21st century with global recognition for leadership,
innovation, quality and commitment," he said.
"We are still nine months away from the opening ceremonies and the
program continues to develop and evolve," said Lindquist. "But
among the signature events that will be produced are: A Salute to the Military,
acknowledging the U.S Marine Corps for its integral role in the Orange County
community since 1944; the Pacific Rim Tourism Summit; the International
Millennium Festival; a technology conference and exposition, and a salute
to the Olympians 2000."
"This program is about all of Orange County," added Schueler.
"It is a great opportunity for businesses to demonstrate their own
readiness for the 21st century and their pride in this vibrant community.
Equally important is that all of Orange County's residents can, in a meaningful
way, join in the celebration of the new millennium." Source: Orange
County Class of 2000, (714) 753-1854, Jim Colonna.
PROJECT CHARTS MILLENNIUM CHANGE INDICATORS
Many people have talked about the new millennium as a time of change past
industrial era paradigms, but few have put forth tangible indicators to
help social researchers measure transformation until now.
Taking up this challenge, the "Millennium Project" in San Anselmo,
CA, directed by social scientist Duane Elgin, has been circulating a research
paper since May '97 entitled "Global Consciousness Change: Indicators
of an Emerging Paradigm."
Project coordinator, Coleen LeDrew, says that more than 5,000 hard copy
papers have been sent out and their web site now allows users to download
PDF files of the report, complete with diagrams http://www.awakeningearth.org/.
"We have had a great response," claims LeDrew. "What people
really appreciate about this report is, 'What are these indicators?' or
'What would it look like for consciousness change?' as we move into the
In the document, Elgin and LeDrew pinpoint five indicators which might point
to the growth of a new "transformational" mindset. They claim
a core group of roughly 10 percent of U.S. adults seems to be pioneering
this new culture; with a much larger sympathetic group of 14% responding
to these values. They outline the values, with corresponding questions in
1) Global consciousness and the communications revolution
Is a new level of communication emerging in the world? Is the global communications
system--with its network of computers, televisions, telephones, and satellites--becoming
the social equivalent of a central nervous system? Are we creating a paradigm-changing
"global brain" for the planet?
2) Global ecological awareness and concern
To what extent is the population of the Earth aware of and concerned about
the health of the planet? Are people aware that life as we know it may not
be able to be sustained? Are people willing to sacrifice economic growth
for the ecological health of the planet?
3) Postmodern social values
Is there a shift from material values to a concern for environmental sustainability?
Is there greater tolerance for ethnic, racial, and sexual differences? Is
there a shift from institutional authority to personal authority? Is there
a conscious shift from power to partnership in gender relations?
4) Experiential spirituality and a new consciousness
To what extent are people practicing some form of personal or "lay
spirituality"--for example, taking time to meditate, do yoga, practice
the "inner-game" of sports, or in other ways exploring their personal,
subjective experience? To what extent do people view nature as a sacred
and spiritual presence?
5) Sustainable ways of living
Is there a shift toward ecological lifestyles that integrate inner and outer
aspects of living into a balanced whole? Are there shifts in work, diet,
consumption patterns, transportation, relationships, or other areas that
express a desire to live more sustainably?
LeDrew states their project has yet to receive foundation funding, in part
because they "are a little ahead of its time" with a research
focus on "consciousness and spirituality." But if funded, the
project will monitor behavioral changes worldwide, in keeping with these
"We are looking at the millennium as a possibility," LeDrew adds,
"not that the millennium itself, of course, is going to make any major
shifts or awakening."
Citing a January 1997 Yankelovich poll, LeDrew reports that 63% of Americans
think the start of the millennium should be a special time for "prayer
and reflection," rather than a time for "fun and parties"
(17 percent) or both (12 percent).
LeDrew concludes, "As we go through this, it is a time of reflection
where people for the first time might reflect on the human family, on the
bigger picture outside their own life and ask, 'What it is all about?' 'Why
are we here?' 'What is the bigger evolutionary purpose we are all apart
of?' and 'Where might we head next?'"
Duane Elgin, director of the "Millennium Project" proposal, is
a former researcher with California think-tank SRI International. He has
authored several books on human and cultural evolution, including Voluntary
Simplicity and Awakening Earth. His next research project deals
with projections out to 2020, and the pressures which population growth,
climate change and declining oil reserves might have on global society.
Source: Let's Talk 2000, email@example.com
MILLENNIUM SONG HAILS NEW DAY
Most days, Lenny Green sits out on his front porch and watches the sun break
up over the hills of northern California. But one morning in 1997, "All
of sudden, it just came to me, it wasn't a hard song to write," says
the 59-year-old songwriter. The pop song called "Millennium" is
now in demo form, sung by lead singer John Gummoe of The Cascades.
The song has three verses, with a chorus that sings, "Millennium.......
the future is here; A day in the journey that man had been on for two thousand
years; Celebrating our role in tomorrow; Remembering yesterday's tears;
Green has been a song writer since late 50s, and was as a musician with
his own group for a short spell. There was no fame involved in that, so
he became a staff writer in Nashville. Many of the 400 songs he wrote were
recorded by successful country music artists, but none reached golden record
What is the chance "Millennium" might make it to the charts? "It's
favorable," Green replies. He says he really didn't know if the song
had captured everything that needed to be said about the millennium until
after the song was written. "I was pouring over millennium sites to
see how people were talking about the millennium, I found out that I had
said everything in that song that people were hoping for."
Lenny Green NuSong@psyber.com has
sent the "Millennium" demo to various producers working on large
millennium events or broadcasts. He says the public can keep track of the
song's progress at his web site, http://www.psyber.com/~nusong
Source: Let's Talk 2000, firstname.lastname@example.org
Talk from the Forum:
"Here is a recap
of recent conversations"
MILLENNIAL RITES OF PASSAGE?
On March 4th, Montreal special events producer Adrian Harvey email@example.com
started a thread on how the millennium could be compared to a rite of passage.
"What do you think the coming Millennium media blitzkrieg and resulting
mania will do to the *rate* of change we're already experiencing? Maybe
this will be a Super Rites of Passage all by itself. No one will escape
it and its impact on our individual and collective psyche.
"We will know we're going through a once in a lifetime experience,
one that's going to bare our naiveness and stupidity (rough word) to the
bone, hoping to come out the other side in one piece.
"I'm sure that no society in history will have ever experienced such
a trip, making it exceptionally significant to humankind. Would this culture
wrenching blast qualify as a quantum millennial leap?
Philadelphia-based millennium scholar, Ted Daniels firstname.lastname@example.org
responded: "I'm glad you used that phrase 'rite of passage' because
it's been evident for some time that the turning of the calendar definitely
has the potential to be just that. However, there's an important difference
between this Rite of Passage and the kind Arnold van Gennep and his successors
"In the anthropological rite, there is a transition from one known
social status (single, child, living) to another (married, adult, dead).
That is, these statuses have known although arbitrary social meanings and
constraints that govern them.
"It's crucial to recognize that the Rites of Passage also contains
a 'liminal' phase, that is, a part of the rite where the old status has
been shucked off but the new one is not yet imposed. Think wake, honeymoon,
bar mitzvah party. This is the phase of carnival, where all rules are suspended
and license reigns. It also accounts for the famous and often mysterious
and strange 'antinominaism' of millenarian movements....
"The millennium and its observance will perhaps display the same structure
-- 1999, the end of the old, 2000, liminal phase, and 2001, starting the
new. But the important difference is that no one has any idea what the new
order will actually be like.
"Lots of people have a variety of utopian hopes and dystopian terrors,
but, despite the level of confidence with which they may proclaim them,
the fact remains that the new millennium is entirely unpredictable. No one
can know what new rules and conditions we're going to have to adapt to.
So how can we reasonably prepare ourselves for them?
"The fact of course is that nothing at all needs to happen with this
new millennium. It is not by any means necessarily millennial. Change will
occur, as it always does, but it will be essentially gradual, though it
may seem all but instant, given the enormous interdependence and cultural
resonance of global society. Unlike the 'true Millennium,' which effects
everyone in one of two ways (salvation/damnation) all at once, whatever
the new millennium holds will come in patches, with no apparent justice,
and by degrees."
In addition to Ted Daniels, I responded to Harvey's notion of a quantum
leap come 1999 - 2001: "I don't know? Did World War II, a much longer
passage, with much more direct involvement produce quantum change? In some
ways, yes. Did it bare as you say 'our naiveness and stupidity'? Yes. Did
the world change? Initially no. It took time to see the change work itself
into institutions, like the European Union, despite a 'Cold War' which impeded
change for 40 years.
"The point I am making is that the birth of epoch-making change is
usually not concurrent with century's end. Even if it was, it probably wouldn't
be recognized until 30, 100, 300 years later. The day when Steve Jobs invented
the Apple computer in his Silicon Valley garage, it wasn't carried on the
nightly news. When the Magi arrived in Bethlehem, the wall calendar read
752 A.U.C., not 1 A.D.
"Irrespective of the turn of the millennium, there are massive changes
occurring in society, often seemly twin contradictory changes, such as globalization
and tribalization. Which of these trends will prevail. It is possible that
a variation of both will.
"I am convinced that millennial celebrations will showcase a great
deal. But will it *produce* mythic change and be recognized 200 years from
now as the dawn of a new era in human history? I don't know I would go that
"Our focus should not merely be on the celebrations of Millennium's
Eve, but the last quarter century of preparations for our passage into the
third millennium. 'Is the world changing for the better or worse?' 'Are
we prepared to make those informed choices which will bring forth the future
THE TRIUMPH OF THE IMMACULATE HEART
On March 7th, Catholic artist Joe Orlando launched
an extensive thread on Marian devotion entitled, "The Triumph of the
Immaculate Heart." The thread, largely carried out between Orlando
and I, went back and forth for several days, offering contrasting ways to
view apocalyptic visions in this century attributed to the Mother of Jesus--and
to what degree Pope John Paul II publicly has embraced these in reference
to the Holy Year 2000.
On March 7th, I asked Orlando: "Would you say that John Paul II embraces
this mystical view of Mary as 'patron saint' of the coming Jubilee and advent
of the Third Millennium?....[Because] officially speaking, it would appear
the Jubilee of 2000 in Rome is not apocalyptic."
> Pope John Paul II has dedicated his entire reign as Pontiff to the
Most Blessed Virgin
> Mary. He goes much further than "patron saint", in fact,
wishes to entitle
> the Virgin with "Co-Redemptrix" and Mediatrix of Graces.
Offering a bit of half-time commentary on these volleys, medieval historian
Richard Landes email@example.com added:
"All of this is just the kind of issue that a reading of owls and roosters
can illuminate: the marian roosters want co-redemptress status and a chiliastic
year 2000 -- the messianic age or something quite like it; the owls keep
pulling back and insisting that this is not millennial despite its fascination
"The roosters hear what they want to hear (i.e. they believe that the
pope is on their side) and the owls what they want to hear (that this is
not apocalyptic). the point is not 'what is', but what are the potential
outcomes of all these (quite passionate) perceptions. if the owls have always
won at the end of the game, the roosters are often way ahead at half time.
Editor's note: Long live the owls AND the roosters who awaken them from
their slumber. :-) To read the whole conversation on Mary--the mother of
Jesus as related to Catholic "Jubilee 2000" commemorations retrieve
our 450k March archive at USC by emailing this statement "get 2000ad-l
log9803" to firstname.lastname@example.org
CONSPIRACY THEORY--A LESSON AND A BOOK
On March 10th, Millennium Watch Institute director Ted Daniels email@example.com,
gave a free lesson on the "fair-minded" methods of conspiracy
"As you're aware, millennialism often gets involved in these notions:
'How could the world be so wicked unless there were an enormous plot to
make and keep it that way? We can know the conspiracy's there, and its power
perfect. If it weren't, there would be some evidence.'
Daniels continued: "And so we come to today's lesson, an article headline
from an e-journal; called 'The Konformist'. This is an archetype of the
genre; notice especially the question mark, as though the issue really were
open to doubt and this was a fair-minded examination of the 'evidence':
"Ben Franklin: Founding Father or Cross-Dressing Serial Killer?"
Editor's note: A couple of days earlier I posted a brief book notice on
Gregory Camp's Selling Fear: conspiracy theories and end-time paranoia,
Baker Books, 1997 (ISBN: 0-8010-5721-3). It is a general, but well-written
historical and contemporary treatment of the rise and fall of conspiracy
theories in 2000 years of American experience.
Released by an evangelical publisher, author Gregory Camp claims to help
isolate the ignorance which often accompanies End-Times scenarios. The author
names the aberrant tendencies various teachers take, such as Tex Marrs,
Hal Lindsey, Jack Chick, etc., etc., etc.
The back cover of Selling Fear reads: "Throughout its history,
America has been exposed to a multitude of chilling theories about 'what's
really going on behind the scenes.' Many believe that the world economy
and its political and social systems are controlled by a few sinister men
belonging to secret organizations that seek to rule the earth.
"A host of Christian teachers have tapped into conspiracy theories
to design their own end-times scenarios. But how do their prophetic schemes
hold up against Scripture, logic, and history?
"In Selling Fear, historian Gregory Camp offers a sane examination
of conspiracy theories that have cropped up over the years and exposes the
false teachings and assumptions that have instilled fear in the uninformed.
"Some of the topics explored include conspiracy theories surrounding
the Illuminati, 'one-world government' dangers associated with the Council
on Foreign Relations and the United Nations, and the New Age movement.
"As the new millennium dawns, and end-times paranoia becomes more apparent,
Selling Fear will help readers discern the truth amid a barrage of
errant teaching, providing a defense against prophetic beliefs that are
grounded only in ignorance and fear."
New Millennial Sites:
new sites in cyberspace"
Charles Cameron firstname.lastname@example.org,
Talk 2000's "Millennium Concentrate" contributor, offers this
review of web sites, related to apocalyptic scares concerning the millennium
I just caught a "Trinity Broadcasting Network" program on Los
Angeles Channel 16 (1:30 am Pacific, Wed, Mar 25 1998) in which Craig Smith
of "Year 2000 National Educational Taskforce" at http://www.y2knet.com
was discussing the Y2K computer problem with "Pat", and Pat was
talking about "how the devil could be using it for his purposes",
and saying the aftermath of a Y2K turnover upset would be fertile ground
for the One World Banking and Data proposal, leading to the mark of the
I believe I was the first to predict that this kind of association between
the Y2K problem and "end times" scenarios would be made in a post
entitled "Apocalyptic: a hidden dimension to the Y2K problem",
sent to this list on Wed, 8 Jan 1997, and now on the CMS website at:
I tried at that time to alert the Y2K community -- i.e. those most concerned
to *fix* the bug, via Peter de Jager and the folks at http://www.year2000.com/
-- to the possibility that apocalyptic thinking might add a significant
new sociological wrinkle to the problem: but they were basically too busy
to take much notice, and although entirely polite and friendly, didn't forward
my post to their mailing list.
Since then, the only example of the Y2K / apocalyptic connection I had seen
until tonight was the extraordinary post by Ivan Strand, a computer specialist
at Indiana U, to a prophecy mailing list in New Zealand dated Tue, 18 Feb
1997, which Ted Daniels forwarded to Talk 2000 on Tue, 18 Mar 1997, and
which is now available on the CMS website at:
Again as far as I know, this was the first time the connection was made
in an evangelical context.
For all I know, the particular TBN program I caught tonight may have been
running for some time, and there may be a bunch of other articles or books
on the subject by now. I'd be happy to be kept informed... but TBN picking
up on this idea certainly means it is now getting wide circulation. We can
expect to hear more about Y2K from Christian millennialists...
I leave you with this (fairly mild) closing quote from the mainly computer
problem / fix oriented pages of the "Year 2000 National Educational
Taskforce", from a piece entitled "Y2KAOS" by the same Craig
Smith who was giving the TBN interview, at:
:: 5. Finally, prepare mentally and spiritually. Pray for a clear mind.
Pray for our
:: leaders. Remember, God remains in control even in the face of confusion,
:: and crisis - in fact the truth often shines brightest in the darkness.
Share what you
:: learn about Y2K with your pastor, priest, or rabbi. Above all, once you
:: the Y2K threat is serious, do something to alert those whom you love
:: serious trouble is coming and the time to prepare is now.
Best wishes, wry grins, Charles Cameron
"Your link to
the third millennium"
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