For millennium, people have been predicting the year, the month and sometimes the day when:
A violent and sudden disaster will terminate all life on earth;
Major social and political upheavals will be experienced around the world;
The war of Armageddon will take place in the Middle East;
God will pour horrendous wrath on most of humanity; and/or
Christ will return in what is referred to as the second coming, accompanied by a group of avenging angels who will commit the largest genocide in human history: over 2 billion people are to be assassinated.
The prophesiers have almost always predicted that some major events would happen in their own immediate future. Both Jesus and Paul anticipated that "the end" would happen sometime in the first century CE. They were wrong. Thousands have predicted major events ever since.
All of these predictions share one attribute: none has ever come true.
"The way to tell when one of these groups becomes dangerous is when the focus becomes not God, or Scripture, but the person of the leader."
The only deprogrammer ever to work with members of the ill-fated Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas, Ross said cult leader David Koresh was a textbook example of a leader-focus.
"It came down to you did what David said," he said. "He had an answer for everything."
Ross said he asked former followers of Koresh whether the cult leader tolerated disagreements with his interpretation of the Bible. Those he asked said Koresh would allow argument but would never admit he was wrong or mistaken in his interpretation.
Bible-based cults like Koresh's tend to be extremely authoritarian and legalistic, Ross said. As an example of legalism, he mentioned certain practices of the United Pentecostal Church, which prohibited women from cutting their hair, wearing jewelry or immodest clothing. Men must have conservative haircuts and shun jewelry.
People from all walks of life, socioeconomic classes and levels of intelligence may be targeted by cults. When someone is feeling lonely or isolated, they vulnerable.
Today, especially among people ages 18 to 26, there is a desire to find someone to provide answers to life's questions, Ross said. "We live in a country with so many choices, and these groups can give a list of what is right, what is wrong, and give people a purpose." become vulnerable.
Today, especially among people ages 18 to 26, there is a desire to find someone to provide answers to life's questions, Ross said. "We live in a country with so many choices, and these groups can give a list of what is right, what is wrong, and give people a purpose."
Miller founded Concerned Christians in the early 1980s, preaching against the evils of cults and New Age movements. Along with Honsberger and Roggeman, Miller originally counseled people involved in cults and so-called New Age religions. In October of 1996, Roggeman, Honsberger and a seminary student confronted Miller with their concern of his control over several people in his group. During the confrontation, the three men claimed Miller began speaking to them, according to Miller, "...in God's own voice..." while referring to himself as "Kim" in the third person.
The group's leader, 44-year old Monte Kim Miller, espoused his belief that an apocalypse would strike Denver, and stated his intention to die in the streets of Jerusalem in December 1999, only to rise again in three days. Miller has made other doomsday predictions and claims to be the voice of God.
Miller might have started the movement as a financial scam. Nevertheless, the group transformed itself into an apocalyptic personality cult. Miller, 44, claimed that God was using him as a vehicle to speak to his followers. After prophesying that the Apocalypse would begin with an earthquake in Denver on October 16, the cult dropped from sight. It is believed they might be in Mexico en route to Jerusalem.
My fear is that, if (Miller's prophecy) doesn't happen, he's liable to do something bizarre just to ensure his place in history. And there's nobody in his group who could say, 'I don't think the Bible says that.' He has that much control.You question him - you question God."
The May 2011 end of times paranoia started with Harold Camping of Family Radio, who says that mathematics in the bible point to that date as the day that Jesus Christ is coming back to declare judgment on the world.
Believers are encouraged to make signs and distribute them in order to warn humanity of its impending doom and to repent and find Jesus.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/05/2011 02:49PM by frogla.