Self-Styled “Prophecy Experts” Headed For Colorado Springs

From the website of magazine and TV show Prophecy in the News:

On July 26-28, 2013 Prophecy in the News will sponsor our 2nd Annual Prophecy Summit. We’ve chosen the spectacular summer weather of Colorado Springs for this annual event and in hindsight, we chose wisely—our event was a complete sell-out in less than 3 weeks! More than 1,100 people will pack out the Marriott Hotel near the US Air Force Academy, but we expect thousands more to join us via a Live Streaming feed, delivered in spectacular HD video. It’s the next best thing to being there in person and whole lot more cost effective!

For $50.00 you can watch all of the presentations in the main auditorium over the 3-day conference period, listening to men like Gary Stearman, Tom Horn, Chuck Missler, LA Marzulli, Mark Biltz, Bob Cornuke, Jonathan Cahn, Bill Koenig, Joseph Farah, Lennart Moller and many others bring you the latest and greatest messages from the world of Bible prophecy, science and archaeology.

In the evangelical “prophecy expert” subculture, fame and success come from the ability to combine strict Biblical literalism with an imaginative and original pet theory. It seems very unlikely that the various “latest and greatest messages” on offer can be synthesized with any coherence; yet the overall effect (here and at other such events) apparently is to reinforce the impression that the Bible is full of supernatural information, rather than to provoke scepticism at the whole industry.

Some names on that list are well-known: Joseph Farah, of course, runs the birther news website WorldNetDaily, and he’s a significant link between conservative evangelicals and the wider conservative movement; Jonathan Cahn’s book The Harbinger has achieved best-selling status, with its claim that significant developments in the USA in recent years – including 9/11 – can be explained by making comparisons with ancient Israel. Other speakers on the list I’ve noted previously include Mark Biltz (Evidence from NASA, combined with a study of the Jewish calendar, suggest that Jesus may return in 2015), Bob Cornuke (found Noah’s Ark in Iran), and (from the full list) Bill Salus (“the world stage is set for the Russian Iranian led coalition of nations”).

However, other speakers on the line-up are more extravagantly speculative and idiosyncratic: in the case of Tom Horn, for instance, the very title of one of his books indicates a somewhat bizarre perspective:  Exo-Vaticana: Petrus Romanus, Project L.U.C.I.F.E.R. and the Vatican’s Astonishing Plan for the Arrival of an Alien Savior (taglines include “The Role of Petrus Romanus for the coming Alien Serpent-Savior”). LA Marzulli, meanwhile (previously discussed here), claims that the famous elongated skulls found in Peru are evidence of the ancient Nephillim.

Prophecy in the News itself promotes some unconventional ideas: its founder, who died in 2011, was a certain JR Church, whose own theory, as expounded in Hidden Prophecies in the Psalms, was that an event in each year of the twentieth century was predicted by a Psalm of the corresponding number (Psalm 1 for 1901, Psalm 2 for 1902, etc). Church’s last book has the title Daniel Reveals the Bloodline of the Antichrist, and it apparently takes in subjects that include: the mountain “where the Nephilim descended to Earth”; “the secrets of Nimrod’s leopard priesthood”; and “one of the greatest cover-ups in Jewish history”, which was when “the rabbis altered the Jewish calendar and eliminated 243 years with the stroke of a pen.”

The organisation is now headed by his former associate, Gary Stearman. Stearman is the author of Time Travelers of the Bible: How Hebrew Prophets Shattered the Barriers of TimeSpace.

(Incidentally, for those who missed it: Chuck Missler recently came to wider attention after he was referenced by Robert Downey Jr in conversation with John Stewart on the Daily Show)

Anti-Islam Activists Take Aim at “Family of Abraham” Interfaith Events

From Andy Miller of the Tennessee Freedom Coalition:

Recently I had the pleasure of speaking at an event in Dallas that Frank Gaffney Jr. set up with about 45-50 prominent business leaders about educating and working with State Legislators on issues regarding the Political Nature of Islam. At that event was a Pastor named Rafael Cruz… Yes, Senator Ted Cruz’ Father. After the event he and I talked for close to an hour and a half and he told me that one of if not the most irresponsible and dangerous groups leading folks astray regarding Islam’s Agenda were America’s Clergy. He specifically brought up the “Family of Abraham” Interfaith Events and made it clear to me that when a Pastor or Preacher knows so little about another religion’s tenets or its clearly stated agenda and professes that “We pray to the same God” or that “Allah and God” are one in the same that they are not only leading their flock dangerously astray but are actually delivering them into the hands of Evil…

I’ve written about the Tennessee Freedom Coalition a few times previously: the group held an anti-Islam conference in Nashville in November 2011; the following February, it organised a training session for the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Department. Across the Atlantic, the TFC also supports the English Defence League, and it has made links with the lobby group Christian Concern (details here).

Pastor Rafael Cruz (var. “Pastor Raphael Cruz”), meanwhile, is the director of Purifying Fire Ministries, the narrator of a Spanish audio Bible, and a member of the Tea Party speaker circuit; he left Cuba in 1957 after being imprisoned by the Batista regime. His son Ted Cruz (described in a Star Telegram op-ed ahead of his election as likely to be one of the “most evangelical Republicans ever elected”)  is known for expounding various conspiracy theories, and he recently warned Glenn Beck that Obama may seek to have him (Beck) imprisoned.

Miller’s message is incorporated into a wider notice about a “Family of Abraham” event that was due to take place at Glendale Baptist Church on 20 June. The notice (written beforehand) also explains a plan by Bill Warner, of Political Islam, to attend with fliers entitled “A Voice for the Voiceless” and including the following message:

  • We demand a voice for the Kafir political class, particularly in matter of government. This includes education and law enforcement.
  • We demand a voice for the martyrs of jihad.
  • We demand a voice for those who suffer under political Sharia— apostates, women, artists, gays, free thinkers.
  • We demand that those who claim leadership and speak about Islam know the Islamic political doctrine found in the Koran and the Sunna…

Warner was apparently particularly annoyed that scheduled speakers included Blanche Cook, a Federal Prosecutor with the US Attorney General’s office:

This is the second time in two weeks that the DOJ (Department of Justice) has appeared in a Tennessee forum about Islam that does not allow a voice of the victims, reason and knowledge to be heard.

The previous incident refers to the appearance of U.S. Attorney Bill Killian at an event organized by the  American Muslim Advisory Council in Manchester (TN). Killian had been invited to speak following an incident in which local politician Barry West had posted a “joke” photo to his Facebook page encouraging people to point guns at Muslims. The Tennessean reported from what turned out to be a fractious meeting:

People were turned away at the door because the facility was too full. Some grew angry and started hurling terms such as “communist,” “socialist” and “Muslim” at law enforcement officials.

Killian brought a PowerPoint presentation that covered the First and 14th amendments and what constitutes a hate crime, among other things. He read the First Amendment verbatim, between interruptions.

Meanwhile, Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer appeared outside the meeting, warning that Killian’s intention was to “shut down speech deemed ‘inflammatory’ against Muslims”, and that “without freedom of speech peaceful men must resort to violence”.