JEHOVAH’S WITNESS APOCALYPSE PROPAGANDA MAKES US WANT TO END IT ALL TOO
I learned this week that Jehovah’s Witnesses are quite literally sitting around waiting for the world to end. And after having to sit through some of the shit that comes out of their mouths I’m almost ready to bet on that pony too.
But I don’t, because as a Satanist I really don’t want the world to end. I would even call it the last thing I’m in the mood for, other than (perhaps ironically) any more seasons of “The Big Bang Theory.”
I’ll give this to the Jehovah’s Witnesses, at least they have the semi-respectability to make it look weird. And yet, most of our fellow Americans are theologically closer to them; I can’t decide if that’s our failing or everyone else’s, but someone is definitely fucking up here.
So this fella Telltale Atheist runs a YouTube channel documenting religious cults. I ran across him after he released a video about Satanism last year, which was clear-eyed on most key concepts and also poked fun at the baked-in cringiness of the Church of Satan’s “Rules of the Earth,” something most observers seem curiously unwilling to be honest about.
But as an ex-Jehovah’s Witness he expends most of his time on that front, including exposés of the baffling alternate dimension of Jehovah’s Witness propaganda videos.
A recent upload features a bunch of Jehovah’s Witnesses huddled in a basement waiting out the End Times, during which their acting talent was apparently Raptured away while the rest of them ended up Left Behind.
For some reason they’re passing the time exchanging banal anecdotes about faith in their past lives, making this the most boring and disappointingly nudity-free adaptation of The Decameron I’ve seen all year.
One woman repents of previously talking to her irreligious coworkers on coffee breaks. Having just spent ten minutes with her I’m convinced she owes an apology to them rather than “god,” but whatever.
“Exposing myself to bad association was being disloyal,” she says, with all the passion and earnestness of a malfunctioning Disney World robot speaking at half speed.
I sure hope the canned rat rations in that fallout shelter are good eating, because the company sure isn’t incentivizing anyone to stay.
Telltale contextualizes this seemingly meaningless pageant as something approaching normalcy in Jehovah’s Witness culture: “Not everybody can live on the cult compound, but you can at least completely isolate yourself from society.”
This evidently is the point of the video, although I myself was reduced to flipping a coin about whether there even was a point to the video. Apparently they produce a lot of this kind of material, which is kind of like if synagogues blood libeled themselves but I guess it’s their skin in the game.
When rendered in such stark terms and with such self-harm inducing production values, it’s easy to spot just how weird and alienating the End Times obsession is.
But again it’s worth considering that although Jehovah’s Witnesses are a particularly minor minority, on this issue they are scarcely alone.
According to Pew Research (whose name handily doubles as a pun in this context), 41 percent of Americans believe the Second Coming will happen by 2050.
That includes 20 percent people who call themselves “religiously unaffiliated.” I think I might have some awkward news for those people about what both of those words mean, but okay.
A 2013 OmniPoll found nearly identical results. And in 2011 a PPP survey found that although most people aren’t expecting the Rapture anytime soon, two thirds of Americans expect to go to Heaven if it does happen. Which would mean that Heaven is less exclusive these days than North Florida University.
The Jehovah’s Witnesses aren’t even the weirdest ones. Frank Amedia, a former advisor to alleged US President Donald Trump, claimed this week that the Space Force is going to usher in the Second Coming. I don’t have the energy for a “What does god need with a starship?” joke, but it’s there.
Fundy writer and dehydrated Dana Carvey lookalike Paul McGuire runs around the country telling people that Trump is prepping the world for “a Last Days soul harvest.” A phrase that should only ever be uttered by someone who includes at least two masks made from other people’s faces in his carry-on luggage.
And attention-seeking apocalyptic Rabbi Josef Berger now claims that volcanic eruptions in the Pacific herald the apocalypse. He may have a point, after all when have we ever seen volcanoes in the region that’s called *checks notes* the Ring of Fire.
As we noted on a recent episode of Black Mass Appeal, Satanism is one of the only American religions with absolutely no interest in seeing the world end. In fact, if anything we’re pretty keen to preserve it.
I can only say this so may times, but I can’t help but feel that we’re really not doing enough to prosecute the built-in PR advantage of being an alternative to toxic mainstream culture that celebrates the prospect of killing everyone on the planet.
When people look at their future, what do they imagine: A pluralistic future that happens to include Satanists, or crouching in a basement reliving the lost Jehovah’s Witness episodes of “The Office?”
If this is not already an easy choice, I think something is very wrong with this picture.