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Sunday, May 22, 2011

WHAT IS THIS 'RAPTURE'?

This, to me is 'rapture': A beautiful Aegean sunset
So the "rapture" has come and gone, largely a non-event other than a couple of rumbles down in California and Iceland and a Icelandic volcano spewing a bit of ash.  Along with some of the other natural disasters that have happened recently, this hardly seems too disturbing.  What does disturb me though, is that this lunatic so-called "Christian" con artists, Harold Camping, should get away with his fear mongering and the huge scam that caused his gullible followers to sell property, quit jobs, and buy into his idea that on May 21 the world was going to end.  This same guy has pulled this stunt off before and once again he got away with it.  Meanwhile, I wonder what has become of him and the $70,000,000 he has amassed in his phony 'ministry'.  These kinds of nut-cases make a bad name for religion and there are far too many of them, along with the hard-core fundamentalist bigots who claim they are Christians.   I think Jesus called guys like Camping 'false prophets' and the others 'whited sepulcures'.  And the unfortunate thing is, these types have been around for centuries and still they con the masses with their wild predictions and glean funding from the poor saps in the process.

The River Acheron
One of the big con job of the past centuries was the so-called "Oracle of the Dead", the Necromanteion of Ephyra on the north east coast of Greece.  Back in the ancient times pilgrims came here to consult with the dead, bringing along their votive offerings to fill the sanctuary's coffers.  One of these was Odysseus who went there to consult with Achilles' spirit. 
The Necromanteion (Oracle of the Dead)
I've been to the Necromanteion on a couple of occasions and it's a fun boat trip from the port of Parga up the spooky river Acheron, symbolic of the Styx.  There isn't much left of the sanctuary now but you can get an idea of it and how these gullible souls were lead to believe that they were actually going to talk with their  beloved departed.  Here's the way it worked,  the pilgrims came (bearing their gifts -- nothing was free, even in those days). They were placed in windowless cells where they were visited by the priests and fed strange concoctions including beans and psychoactive lupin seeds which caused them to go into a trance.  When the priests deemed them ready, they were lead down a stone labyrinth full of hallucinogenic smoke and into a small dark room.  From here they descend into the pit of Hades where they would consult with the souls of the departed.  It was a very popular sanctuary, one of the largest in Greece.  Trouble is, it was phony.  The 'souls' were really the priests who already knew what the supplicants meant to ask the dead and knew the right answers. An elaborate scheme that they got away with for literally centuries! When the Romans arrived in 168 BC they discovered the scam and destroyed the place.  Later an orthodox church was built in the site.

You would think after what happened to all those poor folks who followed that other nut-case down to Guyana and allowed him to feed them poison that people would wise up to these charlatan so-called
'ministers of the gospel' but it seems that the charade goes on.  I wonder if Camping dares to show his face now or if he bit the bullet and found his own private 'rapture'.  Mostly I wonder about all those poor suckers that quit their jobs and sold their property.  Will they be reimbursed from the massive bank roll of Camping's phony church?

1 comment:

travelrat said...

'The world to an end shall come/in eighteen hundred and eighty-one' (Elizabeth Shipton)

When it didn't, her 'followers' changed the date to 1991.

When that didn't happen, they gave up! :D