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A Decade in Review of "Doomsday Madness"


Articles in the LOOKOUT section of this website span a number of decades and are re-published on behalf of Adrian van Leen for research purposes. Original dates are being added to articles so as to place them in their correct historical setting(s). Adrian has endeavoured to be as fair and accurate as possible at the time of the original writing, but please note that the original article information may no longer reflect the subsequent or current actions, values, beliefs, positions, opinions, teachings or policies held by individuals, groups and/or organisations referred to in the original published article at the time of writing. As people change and move on, the same often applies to related Internet links; some links referred to in articles may have been changed or may no longer be available online.

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"DOOMSDAY MADNESS"

The lead up to this past decade was also the lead up to the Y2K new millennium - at least in the Western (Gregorian) Calendar. This resulted in a boom in millennial calculations, predictions, gloom and doom products (books, cds, cd roms, and more). Linked into this feverish foolishness were uncertainties associated with the relatively new technologies of PCs (personal computers). Even the technological ‘nerds’ who, supposedly understood and knew ‘all about’ computers were caught up in dire predictions of computer failure once the clock of 1999 ticked over to a second after midnight. January 1, following the stroke of midnight, would see planes drop from the sky; traffic lights malfunction; electricity grids grind to a blackening close; home computers totally freeze up - and lots of similar technological malfunctioning disasters. The End of the World, as we had come to know it, was to come to an apocalyptic end with the end of the century and millennium. Fear and uncertainty swept across the world. People of all sorts of viewpoints and religious inclinations were caught up in the great consternation.

(Apart from people not understanding computer technology, even more people seemed unaware that our calendars were not strictly correct and accurate - so it wasn’t REALLY, ACTUALLY going to be the year 2000 - other than for calendar convenience - since we have no REAL idea or knowledge as to exactly WHEN time actually began, our dating is all relative rather than strictly accurate or exact.)

But the facts rarely get in the way of a ‘good story’ - and millennium doom and gloom presented enormous scope for doom and gloom stories - which had, by December 31, 1999, exploded into a multi-billion dollar doom and gloom products boom. The ‘prophets’ of doom weren’t too worried that their faulty predictions failed to eventuate - they had made quite a sizeable profit out of it all. Some tried to keep the momentum going with ‘recalculations’ for the future (and more book sales to come). Like all other previous end-times prophetic failures, the millennial madness that immediately preceded the year 2000, after the fireworks were over, it was all ‘ho-hum’ again.

(From TACL Vol 31 # 1 Jan-Feb 2010)