Let's Talk 2000

"The heartbeat of 2000 A.D. from cyberspace"

April 1, 1999, Volume 5, 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:
Contact Information


The Millennium Doctor Speaks:
"Taking the pulse of 2000 A.D."

Don't bet on the millennium experience from now until 2001 being a cohensive one. This movement through time is being shaped by a cacaphony of "Fs": Fear, Fantasy, Fun and Faith. The apocalyptic promoters of a Y2K computer crisis lead the Fear quadrant. The tinseltown producers of films, such as the prequel to Star Wars lead the Fantasy quadrant. Times Square or the Olympics will shape the Fun quadrant. And the Pope is the drumbeater for Faith, calling humanity to cross the threshold of hope.

This issue of Let's Talk 2000 illustrates two of these quadrants. In the Fantasy corner, note the invitation by the Wise Wizard to walk down the yellow-brick road and celebrate the Magical Year of 2000, the centennial of America's favorite fantasy, The Wizard of Oz.

Our entire "Talk from the Forum" section looks at the Fear factor. John Reilly posts an insightful analysis of emerging Globalism and its apocalyptic response, while Ted Daniels forwards a post illustrating a "patriots [paranoid] millennium." And Penny Boston wonders whether a more boring candidate for the Anti-Christ could be nominated than Prince Charles.

Finally, our web section offers a pointer to a provocative left-leaning site, Public Eye, which seeks to expose threats to "democracy and diversity" by undercovering the assumptions behind conspiracism, demagoguery, demonization, neofascism, sexism, supremacy, theocracy, or all around scapegoating. Happy new millennium, eh?

News from the Field:
"Here is the latest news on year 2000 efforts."

ART.COM UNVEILS ART OF THE CENTURY
Lake Forest, Ill., March 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Art.com (http://www.art.com), is paying homage to the art and events of the 20th Century with the unveiling of its Art of the Century gallery. As a celebratory farewell to the millennium and a welcome to the year 2000, Art.com has created a ten-month serial online exhibit that will highlight each decade of the 20th Century, focusing on the impact of major historical events on society and on the artists who depicted them. During Art of the Century, Art.com site visitors will discover and celebrate the greatest, most representative works of the 20th Century. In addition, audiences will be able to vote for the century's top artist and qualify to win prizes, including the chance to travel to London, the center of the art world, at the beginning of the new millennium.

'Works of art are among the most enduring symbols of society and the individuals who shape it,' said Bill Lederer, founder and president of Art.com. 'Art.com is pleased to present this engaging way for people to view, learn about and purchase the 20th Century art works that are exceptionally meaningful to them. We consider Art of the Century a unique and significant tribute to history.'

The Art of the Century gallery will run from March 15, 1999 through December 1999. Each month, a new display will be posted on the Art.com site, following a serial timeline that focuses on the art, pop culture and events of each succeeding decade. As each new gallery is posted, visitors will have the unique opportunity to compare decades in order to understand how history and art have evolved. They will also be able to view and purchase the art included in the current and previously posted galleries. As always, Art.com will offer gift certificates, and all framed and unframed prints featured in Art of the Century will be sold at the traditional Art.com discounts of 20 to 50 percent off traditional costs. Contact: Lauren Grelier of Alexander Ogilvy Public Relations, 404-897-2300, ext. 316.

WIZARD OF OZ TO CELEBRATE MAGICAL YEAR 2000
Everyone knows the millennium is fast approaching but few know that the 100th anniversary of America's most beloved fairy tale occurs in 2000 as well. To celebrate "The Wizard of Oz", a fan club is offering a free electronic newsletter. The e-zine will cover this shared odyssey by offering current events pertaining to Dorothy and Toto in Kansas and the celebration of the Millennium. Creators invite the public to "walk down the yellow brick road and [get] a close-up view of Oz as we get closer and closer to the Emerald City and the magical year 2000." To subscribe, go to: http://www.onelist.com/viewarchive.cgi?listname=--2000-and-OZ-- Source: WiseWizard <WiseWizard@over-the-rainbow.com>

THE MILLENNIUM IN THE MEDIA
"2,000 Reasons to Hate the Millennium," by Dennis Berman and Ann Palmer Therese. Business Week. n3617, Feb 22, 1999, p. 154. 1 pages

"U.S. Y2K expert allays fears at millennium meeting," Manila, March 2 (Reuters) - The chief of the United States' millennium compliance programme on Tuesday allayed fears of a global recession which may be brought on by the millennium bug.

"Lawsuits may halt info sharing: Without limited liability for small business plaintiffs' lawyers may endanger Y2K fix." Jack Farris. Knight-Ridder/Tribune News Service, March 4, 1999 pK1470. Elec. Coll.: A54007298.

"Temple town to host India millennium celebrations," by Sanjeev Majpuria, Saturday, March 6, 1999, KHAJURAHO, India (Reuters) - Ancient Hindu temples known for their erotic sculptures will form a backdrop to classical dance and music concerts as India kicks off a year of millennium celebrations.

"Senate takes up Y2K lawsuit bill," by Jim Abrams, March 7, 1999, Washington (AP) - With just over 300 days left before the new millennium, Congress is taking a hard look this week at the seriousness of the Year 2000 computer problem and what can be done to ease disruptions.

"The millenium in perspective, without hoopla." (2000 Seen By) Karen Durbin. The New York Times, March 7, 1999 s2 pAR15(L) col 1 (23 col in).

"Futurists have a mixed record in forecasting human progress," Rick Montgomery. Knight-Ridder/Tribune News Service, March 12, 1999 pK4401. Elec. Coll.: A54084552.

FDIC plans campaign to calm fears of Y2K. Danielle Herubin. Knight-Ridder/Tribune News Service, March 17, 1999 pK6497. Elec. Coll.: A54138569.

"52 Percent in U.S. believe Jesus will return by 3000," New York, March 21 (Kyodo) -- More than half of Americans in a public opinion poll believe Jesus will return to earth in the next millennium, according to the U.S. weekly magazine Newsweek's latest issue.

"Putting perspective back into the Y2K debate," Ed Zander. Knight-Ridder/Tribune News Service, March 22, 1999 pK7210. Elec. Coll.: .A54164277.

"Millennium Fevers," by Paul Gray, Time. v153 n12, Mar 29, 1999, p. 216. 2 pages

Talk from the Forum:
"Here is a recap of recent conversations"

THEONOMY, GLOBALISM & BABYLON
On March 30th, Talk 2000 colleague and millennial scholar, John J. Reilly Aesir@prodigy.net posted this perceptive forecast of foreign policy and how apocalyptic Christians might posture themselves:

Those of you who get the Sunday New York Times may have noted the somewhat startling cover art on the magazine of March 28, a picture of a clenched fist with an American flag painted on it. The story it illustrates may mark a significant turning point in liberal thinking about foreign policy issues, and maybe in American politics generally. Its argument might even rate as "millennial" in its own right. I mention it here, though, because of the way it dovetails with some premillennial web material I have come across that treats of questions of world order.

The piece in question was written by Times Columnist Thomas L. Friedman. The title is "What the World Needs Now: For globalism to work, America can't be afraid to act like the almighty superpower that it is." Friedman makes much the same argument about America's political elites and globalization that I (and others) have made about politically active millenarian Christians and Jews: they really don't have a clue in terms of a general theory of statecraft.

The elites, say Friedman, have a variety of ideas about domestic economics, trade issues and military posture, but no one has succeeded in constructing a model for how these things can work together. This is the case despite the fact that America benefits most from globalization, and is simultaneously the prime target for "blowback" from the process. (Readers may be reminded of Salman Rushdie's recent remark that "international" is becoming a euphemism for "American.")

Friedman suggests a synthesis uniting a hegemonic strategic policy with a generous welfare state and a regime of largely unfettered free trade. Nice work, if you can get it. Though he does not mention it, his prescription is much like the mix of the late New Deal. In fact, Friedman's argument is original mostly in that it issues from the liberal part of the spectrum.

Culturally conservative internationalists, notably those at the Weekly Standard, have been groping toward some such synthesis since the Bush Administration. (Even I took a poke at it: see the section of Spengler's Future dealing with 1992 -- 2022 at http://pages.prodigy.net/aesir/sfol/sf10.htm The belief in a need for a Grand Hegemonic Doctrine could easily become a consensus, as containment theory did after the Second World War.

Meanwhile, unremarked by the Times editorial page, there are some new shoots in the garden of eschatology. I have come across a sophisticated website http://www.endtimesnetwork.com maintained by the Antipas Ministries and the Institute for the Study of Religion in Politics. The site includes a readable online book, "The Antipas Papers," by one Steven Ray Shearer, which explains the doctrine of these people. The material is significant because (1) it makes much the same assessment of geopolitics as does Thomas Friedman and (2) it also makes some shifts of emphasis in the familiar premillennial endtime scenario to accommodate the assessment.

The Antipas Ministries is vigorously evangelical, but their eschatology is a minority position. That is, while they are premillennial, they also hold that the church will have to go through the Tribulation. Also, though based in California and apparently staffed in part by former US Army intelligence officers, they place the locus of evil in the final days in the US rather than in the European Union.

Since the premillennial revival began in the US in the 1830s, it has always been something of an anomaly that its projections for world history required an increasingly muted role for America as the endtimes approached. For 150 years, the general expectation has been that Israel would be reestablished and that Europe would be united by the Antichrist, who would make a false peace with Israel.

In this scenario, the Roman Church or Europe as a whole is the Scarlet Woman, destined for destruction, while the US is either a bystander or one Antichrist's deluded allies. According to Antipas Ministries, in contrast, America is Babylon, which in the future will be ruled by an Antichrist of wholly Gentile origins. The identification of the US with Babylon is made partly through a conventional critique of economic globalization. "The Antipas Papers" is the first premillennial document I have encountered that quotes extensively from William Greider and Alexander Cockburn.

A remarkable feature of this material is its root and branch rejection of every link between the church and politics. There are predictably harsh remarks about such Theonomy (or Dominion Theology) advocates as Gary North and Rousas Rushdoony, who hope to establish a theocracy in the United States. However, the condemnation also extends to the Christian Coalition and such mainstream figures as Ralph Reed, as well to attempts to coordinate the public policy agendas of Catholics and evangelicals. Real evangelicals, according to Antipas Ministries, don't have public policy agendas. This world is wholly under the dominion of Satan. It is not just futile to attempt to save it, but actually dangerous.

Indeed, the Theonomists and the Christian Coalition are part of the forces of Antichrist in this endtime scenario. The program to create a culturally conservative theocracy will succeed, but its leader will be Antichrist. Antipas even goes so far as to quote Hitler's calls for a return to traditional morality. The argument is not that traditional morality is fascist, of course, but to warn that a politicized moral platform can be trap for an antichristian agenda.

There is a great deal of material on this site, and I have not been over all of it. However, it does not seem to have any nasty features. Though Antipas Ministries anticipates that real evangelicals will be thrown out of their churches during the Tribulation, I saw no survivalist language. The site suggests that believers prepare for the persecution by forming house churches now, and otherwise keeping a low profile.

It is hard to see how here can be much of a future for a style of eschatology that makes ecclesiastical anarchy a virtue, but then evangelicalism has always managed to live with this feature. It is also hard to imagine anyone but the Antichrist himself being much annoyed by the sort of mild, pietist "inner migration" that Antipas Ministries seems to represent.

Should the hopes of people like Thomas Friedman be realized, this species of premillennialism could grow in counterpoint to the successes of the Grand Hegemonic Doctrine.

THE GREAT COLLAPSE -- A PATRIOT'S MILLENNIUM
On March 26th, Dr. Ted Daniels mpred@pipeline.com, editor of the Millennial Prophecy report, forwarded this post to Talk 2000 from SNETNEWS illustrating how a paranoia Patriot militant sees the millennium:

The Great Collapse by Franklin Sanders
Editor and Publisher of The Moneychanger, (901) 853-6136
(Taken from TABLETALK - April 1999)

"From lightning and tempest; from earthquake, fire and flood; from plague, pestilence, and famine; from battle and murder, and from sudden death, Good Lord, deliver us." So the church has prayed the Great Litany since memory runneth not to the contrary. So, also, we pray today in the certain hope of Christ's redeeming blood that God would deliver us from every catastrophe, including the Year 2000 computer problem, and make us in every circumstance His faithful servants. What follows in not a prediction, only an imagination of how things might work out.///

You ask, my son, about the Great Collapse. I write that you may take heart in God, and keep before your eyes always the deliverances He works for His people.

I was 14, two years younger than you, at the end of 1999. In late 1998, my mother and father had begun to discuss Y2K. We owned a summer cabin in Jackson, a two-and-a-half-hour drive from our city. (It sounds like an impossible exaggeration now, but more than a million people lived there.) Daddy and Mother began to buy supplies and store them at the cabin. To me, the future they prepared for promised only the world's longest summer camp. Another Danial Boone, I would tote a rifle and Bowie knife, and carve a home in the wilderness. Even when Mother and Daddy sold our home and moved into a rental house (they needed money to prepare), I never worried.

The year 1998 did not end well. The stock market dropped that summer, but recovered in the fall. No one imagined that prosperity would not last forever. Later, the market dropped thousands of points in a few days. Life savings disappeared overnight. Daddy never lost his job, but every night we heard that more of our friends had lost theirs.

Early in 1999, real estate prices began to drop. Back then, most people's wealth was in their homes. Since prices had risen for 50 years, no one imagined that would ever change. Then one day, you couldn't sell at any price. With mortgages 10 times their home's value, without jobs or savings (they believed in stocks,) people simply had to walk away.

In April, several states (there were states then, not just counties) entered the 2000 fiscal year. In spite of the fair promises, computers simply locked up. They couldn't pay public servants or state debts or welfare. States and cities began to issue "warrants." These were promises to pay, but at first they were worthless because no one would cash them. Cash -- we used paper currency, check, and credit cards in those days -- was almost impossible to get. Soon "discounters" began to cash warrants, but only at a fraction of face value. Cities, counties, and even large corporations began to issue paper money. Newspapers reported the riots in New York City. The National Guard was called out, but there weren't enough of them. I'll never forget one picture: Shoppers went wild at a grocery store, and hanged three clerks from a lamppost outside.

In July, more states began new fiscal years, but payments weren't the only problem. Everything governments did -- police, administration, record-keeping, welfare, roads -- depended on computers, and the computers were down.

Only after the Global Positioning System failed in August did the federal government declare martial law. Presidential executive orders rationed cash withdrawals, and made checks and credit cards legal tender. Food riots became so frequent that the newspapers stopped reporting them long before they were forbidden to publish "defeatist" news. Then September 9, 1999, hit. It's hard to explain, but the computers couldn't handle 9/9/99.

The worse things got, the more the government tightened the screws. Checkpoints guarded every road into cities. You couldn't come or go without a pass; nobody wanted more mouths to feed. Everyone was searched, and woe be unto you if they found contraband.

What was contraband? Everything useful, edible, or shootable. When the troubles began, the press and the politicians began to blame "hoarders," "doom-and-gloomers," and "extremist." They rationed gas and food, but so many programmers were working on Y2K repairs that few could be spared to set up rationing. It was too big a job without computers. Food, gas, shelter, a job -- everything depended on who you knew. No connections, no ration coupons, and no job.

Cities were so huge and supply lines so thin and computer-fragile that they couldn't be supplied in the face of computer breakdowns. You couldn't count on delivery by rail or road. When food supplies did show up, trucks were convoyed and warehouses guarded. As soon as word leaked out that food was there, crowds began to gather. Starvation turns peaceful people into a mob. Nobody lined up peacefully or waited their turn; fights broke out over every item.

Cities had neither money nor food, so churches set up relief kitchens. Those who had stockpiled food in anticipation of Y2K found their supplies nearly exhausted long before December. One large church near us opened a soup kitchen, but without a police guard. We were strictly forbidden to leave home, but with little to do all day (schools were open only two days a week -- they couldn't pay the teachers) we sneaked out. From a hill above the church we say the crowd. It seemed orderly enough at first. As they handed out food parcels, a fight broke out. Suddenly we say two women and a man collapse. That far away, it took a second before the Pop! Pop! Pop! of the gunshots reached our ears.

The victims were church members distributing food, but that tradgedy wasn't enough to stop them. The men of that church armed themselves, and the next time they distributed food there was peace. It violated martial law, but the authorities turned a blind eye. Christ's Church continued its work, a .357 Magnum in one hand and a Bible in the other.

When December 31 came, I didn't see how things could get much worse. Until then, we had power and water. I can't imagine how Daddy got fireworks, but it was New Year's and he was celebrating. It didn't take long to shoot off every rocket and firecracker. At midnight, the bells began to ring in the New Year.

Then came the silence -- and the darkness. But the darkness didn't last long. Fires lit the night sky red. The mobs had hit the streets.

Why my father had waited so long to leave I don't know, but after one night in a freezing house without water, he know we couldn't stay. Our car hadn't had gas for a month, but if we could reach the cabin we could eat. We walked, or we starved.

The next night we packed everything edible. Daddy strapped on two pistols and gave one to my mom. Wordlessly he handed me a Mini 14 and three boxes of shells. The look in his eyes said enough. Fourteen or not, from then on, I was a man.

We had to avoid the checkpoints, but the military wasn't the biggest threat. With a gold sovereign or wedding ring, they could be bribed. If we fell into the hands of a gang, no bribe would save us.

Once outside the city, we paralleled the highway near the woods, hiding whenever we heard a car. When they spotted us, Daddy was in the bushes with me, but on the side toward the road. Three cars braked and 10 or 12 men jumped out, not more than 250 yards away. Daddy spit out, "Run, take your mother and sisters!"

He bolted out of the bushes and ran. Over my shoulder I spotted him running across the headlights' beam. I heard shouting and pounding feet, but I never looked back. Eight, maybe 10 minutes later I heard the shots. They lasted a long time, but I never turned back. We kept running until dawn, deeper into the woods. Every time they stopped, I pushed them on.

We covered 180 miles in 12 days, or better, 12 nights. We couldn't risk daytime. Unknown refugees were shot on sight, but at Jackson we knew people. In the months followed the small church there became for us the shadowing wing of the Almighty. Distance from the cities protected us from the Killing Time, and the men of our church and others organized road guards.

Food we had in plenty, for everyone who had, shared. My father had planned well, even stocking seeds. When the spring came, our brothers in Christ helped me plant a garden. Dreams of carving out a wilderness home don't much match the reality.

In the fall of 2000 I went back to the city, but never found Daddy. That trip is a tale better left untold. I have spent these last 21 years trying to forget what I found.

You have heard about the Y2K martyrs, those who stayed to serve, and were killed by the very people they sought to save. Was my father right to take us away, to flee? I think so, for life, the life of one's family, must be preserved by all lawful means. Duty leads God's people down different paths. Those martyrs have added glory to the noble army of God, but so did my father, and so we ought to remember them all.

For the rest, let the past bury the past. Out of every evil, God brings victory to his people.

THE ANTICHRIST AND A CUP OF TEA
On March 26th, Ted Daniels mpred@pipeline.com, forwarded to Talk 2000 this book notice posted to the Conspiracy Theory Research List:

The Antichrist and a Cup of Tea by Tim Cohen (Prophecy House, Inc.) http://www.bookmasters.com/marktplc/00240.htm offers *hard-evidence* concerning the identity of the antichrist of Bible prophecy, who appears to be Prince Charles of Wales. Prince Charles, unlike all previous candidates, fulfills the following scriptural criteria: His name calculates to 666 in both English and Hebrew; the symbols in his heraldic achievement or coat of arms are identical to those of the "first beast" of Revelation 13; he claims descent from David, Jesus, and Mohammed, but is most likely from the tribe of Dan and Odin (Satan).

He literally serves the red dragon (Satan), which was central to his 1969 investiture as the Prince of Wales; he wants to be the King of Europe; he heads the United World Colleges; he steers the environmental ethics and business agendas of over 100 of the world's largest multinational corporations; he is credited for the success of the Rio Earth Summit and thus the Kyoto Protocol, and he has spearheaded the push for enforceable environmentalism worldwide; he initiated the Global Security Programme and its lecture series, for which Mikhail Gorbachev has become a spokesperson; he has partnered with the United Nations and the World Bank.

He appears to be responsible for the initiation of the current Mideast "peace process", and has been directly involved since Yitzhak Rabin's funeral; he has taken a traceable bio-chip implant; and his media exposure has exceeded that of every other man in history. The book also details the British Monarchy's centuries-long conspiracy for a "New World Order" using the Order of the Garter, which is the core leadership of the Priory of Sion, the Knights Templar, the Rosicrucians, English and French Freemasonry, and the Illuminati, as well as the overarching "Committee of 300." This work is must reading for all who are interested in the modern fulfillment of Bible prophecy. Price: $19.95

IN RESPONSE, PERENNIAL TALK 2000 FAVORITE, Penelope Boston pboston@complex.org of Boulder, CO replied: Wow, I'm pretty disappointed that Prince Charles is the Anti-Christ. I'd hoped for one with a bit more personality. Or at least, one that looked a bit more demonic rather than one that resembles an accountant. Oh well, that's the way the millenium crumbles.

New Millennial Sites:
"Here are new sites in cyberspace"

PUBLIC EYE: "Focusing on Threats to Democracy and Diversity"
A Boston-based coalition of academics challenges the "right-wing backlash" by helping the public understand issues behind authoritarianism, anti-semitism, apocalypticism, conspiracism, demagoguery, demonization, ethnocentrism, millennialism, neofascism, oppression, prejudice, racism, repression, sexism, stereotyping, supremacy, theocracy, and all around sloth or scapegoating.
http://www.publiceye.org/

MARIAN APPARITIONS: "Impact of Catholic Apocalypticism?"
This site provides an in-depth and objective research tool for surveying the apparitions of Mary, and Catholic popular eschatology and prophecy inthe late-twentieth century. Included are: introductory materials, an on-line digest of Marian news and reviews, one of the most comprehensiveapparitions links pages on the web, an excellent bibliography, and a reference card to many of the purported apparitions of Mary through history.
http://members.aol.com/UticaCW/Mary-App.html

PLYMOUTH 2000: "The official Millennium website for Plymouth County, MA"
The central place for finding every millennium-related event which will take place in Plymouth county from 5/99 through 2000.
http://www.plymouth2000.org

CELEBRATEY2K.COM: "A comprehensive guide to New Year's Eve 1999"
Includes geographically organized information in six categories: Events, Trips, Parties, Kids, At Home and Links. The site also contains party planning ideas, fun stories, an interactive quiz and a survey. Welcomes submission for free on New Year's Eve 1999. Find a party or event, plan a trip or learn secrets to host a perfect party.
http://www.CelebrateY2K.com

Contact Information:
"Your link to the third millennium"

Talk 2000 Forum Home Page: http://www.talk2000.org

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