A 2012 Prophecy: Suicides Will Accompany the Advent of December 21, 2012

It’s not a nice thought, but this is an easy prophecy to make. And it’s the singular prophecy surrounding December 21, 2012 that will almost surely come to pass. Perhaps you remember Heaven’s Gate. Heaven’s Gate was a San Diego based cult whose members, in 1997, committed collective suicide in anticipation of the advent of a UFO. The UFO was supposedly going to arrive with the Comet Hale-Bopp. Needless to say, the UFO didn’t arrive, but after the prophesied date for its appearance had come and gone, 39 people were dead.

Likewise, it’s not hard to guess what December 21, 2012 will bring: misery to families mourning the loss of loved ones caught in 2012 hysteria.  There will be some people who will get themselves so worked up over this date that they will actually commit suicide in anticipation. Frightened by the end of the world, they’ll think it sensible to exit early, perhaps taking children with them. Of course, there will be the usual media hand wringing, and before the date arrives psychological professionals will go on television to counsel calm. But this today, at the National Geographic’s website, provides a hint of what’s really coming in 2012:

NASA’s Ask an Astrobiologist Web site . . . has received thousands of questions regarding the 2012 doomsday predictions—some of them disturbing, according to David Morrison, a senior scientist with the NASA Astrobiology Institute. “A lot of [the submitters] are people who are genuinely frightened,” said Morrison, who thinks movie marketers, authors, and others out to make a buck are feeding some of the fears. “I’ve had two teenagers who were considering killing themselves, because they didn’t want to be around when the world ends,” he said. “Two women in the last two weeks said they were contemplating killing their children and themselves so they wouldn’t have to suffer through the end of the world.”

This really is a moral issue. It’s not a harmless cultural fad coming our way. There is literally a 2012 prophecy industry that has built up around the bogus December 21 “end of the world” date, and at least some people are likely to die because of the concerted circulation of this stupidity. In this case, rationality really does matter. The 2012 meme is a rebuke to our educational system and the failure of the schools to teach even the most elementary critical thinking skills to students. And televangelists, movie producers, booksellers, and New Age charlatans making money trucking in 2012 irrationality will have blood on their hands. Not that they’ll give a shit, but the rest of us should.

And:

.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the above trailer (which you’ll have to click over to YouTube to watch) opens with a cult suicide, and then with the inane and paranoid conspiracy observation: “When they tell you not to panic, that’s when you run!” The trailer captures perfectly our contemporary collective moment in history, and the irrational forces driving it. It’s Rush Limbaugh meets Heaven’s Gate meets 2012. Art imitating life imitating art. Welcome to our pathetic cultural iteration. Look forward to a Tim LaHaye cameo in the above film. (And if there isn’t one, don’t you know that someone somewhere, over the past two years, was nevertheless on a phone breathlessly talking to “LaHaye’s people” trying to arrange one?)

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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22 Responses to A 2012 Prophecy: Suicides Will Accompany the Advent of December 21, 2012

  1. 2012hoax says:

    Nice! Excellent points. Added to 2012hoax.org/links under ‘blog posts’

  2. santitafarella says:

    Thanks for making this a link elsewhere.

    —Santi

  3. Stu says:

    But, it might not be the end of the world, but maybe the end of the world as we know it. Peak Oil, climate change, financial collapse, etc etc. Maybe 2012 could be about when the shit really starts to hit the fan.

  4. santitafarella says:

    Stu:

    All that shit has already hit the fan. Maybe 2012 is just a number, and will be like any other year.

    —Santi

  5. Andrew says:

    I recently have had a premonition on this same subject….it came to me all of a sudden one morning….very strong and heavy feeling of grief and anguish came over me…left me shaken for hours and i cried non-stop for no less than half an hour. This is a very serious matter…i never had a vision of this,just that strong overwhelming feeling that thousands will take,or at least attempt,to take their own lives,and possibly the lives of loved ones. If you know people who may already be contemplating such a thing,it is your moral obligation to convince them that it’s not the right thing to do…if the world is gonna end,we cannot stop what God has planned out for us…suicide is a one way ticket to hell…just go with the flow of Gods plan and let it be…the strong shall survive and move on to be with God in heaven. God bless you all.

  6. Pingback: ‘2012’ and all that | immanence

  7. Pingback: » ‘2012’ and all that : immanence : University of Vermont

  8. Pingback: 2012 doomsday!! | ThinkItRight

  9. AJ says:

    Prophecy’s have a reason for being around
    but i think something gonna happen iv had DREAMS BE-FOR 2012 MOVIE EVER WAS MADE N WEN I SAW IT WAS LIKE WTF MY DREAM WITH THE WAVS WAS CLOSE DEATH OF PEOPLE DIEING FOR STUPID REASONS
    WILL LATELY IV BEN HEARING PEOPLE KILLING THEM SELF’S ON O,D N ETC SO WHO KNOWS WHAT WILL HAPPEN
    I MEAN 2000 HAPPEN BUT NOTING HAPPEN 6-6-6 HAPPEN N NOTING HAPPEN 9,9,9 HAPPEN N NOTIN HAPPEN SO WHO KNOWS WHAT WILL HAPPEN IN 12

  10. Saddly you’re right, I’ve been having fun with the whole thing (sometimes I even try to be objective) but it’s something to write about, so whoever came up with the whole idea is o.k. with me. I really hope nobody does actually takes their own life, saddly that will will probably be the case, but you know what they say–natural selection at work. http://ficksitall.blogspot.com/2012/12/should-you-commit-suicide-in-advance-of.html

  11. Anonymous says:

    It appears I’m alive.

  12. Ray says:

    Doomsday has been canceled lol. Its a myth

  13. Anonymous says:

    so like… apocalypse n shit

  14. Anonymous says:

    STUPID FUCKING RELIGIOUS ASSHOLES!

  15. Anonymous says:

    GOD MY ASS…….DO YOU REALIZE HOW MANY PEOPLE OVER THE COURSE OF HISTORY HAVE BEEN MURDERED RAPED AND TORTURED DUE TO RELIGIOUS BELIEFS?

  16. Anonymous says:

    AND…..AND….GO TO HELL DOOMS DAY IDIOTS!

  17. An interesting discussion is definitely worth comment. There’s no doubt that that you need to write more on this subject matter, it might not be a taboo subject but generally folks don’t discuss these subjects. To the next! Best wishes!!

  18. Anonymous says:

    We survived. Atheists- 2. Christians-0. The other for the atheists was teh Higgs-Boson. Looks like we’re winning.

  19. Anonymous says:

    So much for this end of the world. This sucks everyone is still here i hate this end of the world at least they could of gotteb rid the loser who thought the world was gona end. Ill say it again this end of the world thing will not happen untill 7 years of peace in the middle east

  20. Very Bored says:

    Ha ha ha I think the mynas died before they could finish the calendar so here is how I say I had nothing to do!!!

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