End Times Events And
Bible Code: Clever Fakes?
Olivia J Clymer

We received two versions of the basically the same letter. Here are both, and then our response.

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From: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "olivia j clymer"
Subject: Re: PA-via_Positive_Atheism_Index
Date: September 14, 2001 2:56 AM

I have studied the reports about The Bible Code, having been familiar with the basic premise for over twenty years, now. This idea is easily dismissed by substituting any modern novel (or even a sleazy pornographic paperback, for that matter) into the algorithm used to produce the Bible Code grids. Any book you choose to use will result in almost anything you want -- in just about any language you want (any language which uses Roman letters, of course, but then you can use numerical conversions to do this with any character-based language). Thus, you could probably "prove" that a sleazy dime-store romance is actually secret code message for terrorists by coming up with the numeric equivalents to Arabic characters and fudging a bit on the spellings (like The Bible Code did with its spellings of both Hebrew and English words).

End-times prophesy, to me, is the most underhanded and despicable recruiting techniques that the various churches have resorted to (apart from the physical violence of the Inquisition, although that's a different kind of persuasion altogether). The "Left Behind" and "Late Great Planet Earth" scenario of Premillennialism is today a mainstay of Evangelical Protestantism, however it originates from Roman Catholicism. Before it became popular about a hundred years ago, most Protestants interpreted the Book of Revelation to be talking about Roman Catholicism: Anti-Christ meant "instead of Christ" and this, to them, referred to none other than the Vicar of Christ. To distract the impact of this interpretation, Roman Catholic theologians began to popularize amongst Protestants the notion that the Book of Revelation is to be read literally and thus spoke of events that had yet to occur.

Protestants, particularly tongues-speaking Pentecostalists, picked up on this angle. It caught on like wildfire because it proved so utterly effective at frightening people into joining the fold. Premillennialism enjoyed a revival during the 1960s, when just about everybody was experimenting with bizarre religious themes in preparation for the "dawning of the Age of Aquarius." As a bizarre religious theme in its own right, Premillennialism fit right in. Premillennialism played easily into the Utopian mind set of the 1960s because it preys on the same human emotional weaknesses as does Spiritualism, with its Astrological forecasts and Tarot prognostications and other alleged methods of obtaining information without having to work for it. The Bible, then, became a variant of the Crystal Ball of the fortune teller.

Reason can only reject these claims, it does no good to contend with them. Study the methods of the Skeptics such as Victor Stenger and Michael Shermer. You will see clearly how none of this stuff is even worthy of casual consideration, but is just a bunch of hooey designed to separate people from the hard-earned contents of their pocketbooks. In short, it is religion on steroids, doing what religion does so well but doing it openly and without any sense of shame about it.

We have a whole section of writings designed to help you learn those techniques of discerning truth from falsehood as well as the indeterminate from bogus claims.

Cliff Walker
Positive Atheism Magazine
Six years of service to
    people with no reason to believe

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