The Eve of Destruction? DM talks ‘End Times’ with Loren Coleman, America’s Unlikely Cassandra

An extravagantly open-minded wuss, I’ll probably spend Friday’s long-awaited “Mayan Apocalypse” wearing one unbroken wince of apprehension. Thank Christ I don’t have a TV – a newsflash’d probably kill me! All the same, I can see that there’s little real reason to worry. For one, we constantly read that the Mayan calendar is apparently cyclical – even NASA has emphasized this (as if they’d be quietly fueling their shuttles otherwise). And, for two, since when did everyone start giving a toss what the Mayans thought about anything anyway?

Someone who will be leaving 2012 with a reputation for foreseeing carnage, however, is Loren Coleman. As I’ve already detailed, this morbidly sagacious fellow has a penchant for fingering the future through the present, and made use of his idiosyncratic cocktail of behavioral science, synchromysticism and intuition to predict the Aurora shootings back in July. Naturally, not everyone will agree with this statement, but his prediction – the context of which made it eerily precise – seemed to defy coincidence. As such I could think of no better person to quiz on the 2012 phenomenon. It transpired that Coleman’s thoughts on it were by no means independent of current events…

Thomas McGrath: Loren, first things first, have you stocked up on canned food for the 21st?

Loren Coleman: No. I do not fear the world is going to end on Friday. I don’t have extra food, batteries, or supplies in my home. I won’t take any unusual precautions for living my life on December 21st. Fear mongers, however, including certain sensationalistic elements of the media, are whipping this up.

TM: How would you explain the tenacity of this “2012” meme? Do you think there could be some preternatural source for its potency, or does it strike you as mere hysteria?

LC:  Tucson, Aurora, Oak Creek, Sandy Hook: If it feels like the End is Near, in large part it has much to do with the fearful, the vulnerable, the suicidal-homicidal who are causing self-fulfilling End of the World prophecy events to come true. It must be awful times for those kinds of folks. Because of that, the red dawns, the bloody killing days, are all around us, and awareness is important. While we must be alert, we should not live in fear.

Psychologically, we all know we are going to die. Humans are not immortal. Sometimes an intriguing psychological process infrequently occurs around these “end of days” deadlines. People somewhat enjoy thinking they can know when they will die, when society will die, and that they will not be alone in the “final event,” because if it is global, everyone dies. It is massive parlor game gone mad.

That the latest event here in the States (on the night of Sunday, December 16th) involved a “Mayan” location, seemed beyond coincidental.

TM: It occurs to me that this 2012 phenomenon might betray the existence of an emergent religion, a sort of New Age syncretism with a number of specific traits (a mythology woven out of conspiracy theory, for example). Apocalyptic predictions and manias are a common feature of most jejune religions and religious movements. Of course they’ve all been wrong so far, though many survived the inaccuracy. Any thoughts on this?

LC: Some end of days (which even has a name, eschatology) movements have evolved into religions, mainstream today, and cults who self-destructed in the past. These include, for example, The Seventh-day Adventist Church and Jehovah’s Witnesses (who are still around); The Solar Temple and the Heaven’s Gate groups (who are less significant because their membership has been declined by mass suicides). Others like The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are eschatological too, and these Mormons (remember Mitt Romney is an elder in the Church) believe earthquakes, hurricanes, and other disasters, including school shootings, are a sign of the Second Coming.

I do not see any eschatological movements coming out of this Mayan-blamed date. Yet.

TM: You’ve alluded to certain apocalyptic/catastrophic intimations of your own in Twilight Languageposts I’ve come upon. Do you suspect we are in fact living in “end times”?

LC: No. When humans are living they think everything happening now is super-significant. It is, for them. But humans tend to be shortsighted, and forget human history more than they wish to acknowledge. Several “end times” predictions have been visited upon humans. We just weren’t alive then, so they seem less important than this one.

TM: You’ve gone on record with predictions for an Israeli strike on Iran - do those stand for the present? Care to share them with our readers?

LC: My hope, always, is that men and women who talk peace will find a path to peace. However, sabre-rattling seems more in tune with what’s happening in Iran, Israel, Syria, Egypt, and the USA in the coming months in the Middle East. An attack seems in the making, for the fear of war with an attack or two seems the next step in these warrior states sitting down to talk peace, unfortunately. Look to the Spring.

TM: Any other predictions for 2013?

LC: If 2012’s earlier theater, church, workplace, mall and school shootings in America follow the patterns of the past and continue to be predictive of the future, I feel awareness for various kinds of dangerous incidents should dictate awareness to December 21-22, 2012, and during the “red danger” period of April 14-30, 2013. I hope not, but the Newtown violence was so horrific, the copycat effect may be a contributing factor to repeat incidents, in the short term and next spring.

Posted by Thomas McGrath
09:46 am
The Copycat Effect: Meet the man who predicted the Aurora shooting
05:50 pm

Loren Coleman may well be a modern-day Cassandra, but when I first happened upon his Twilight Language blog in July – via Christopher Knowles’s frequently fascinating The Secret Sun – I considered it an example of conspiratorial “synchromystic” navel-gazing par excellence. Instantly apparent, for instance, was the seemingly obligatory preoccupation with Christopher Nolan’s Batman films, in this case The Dark Knight Rises. I saw Coleman had done three consecutive posts on the movie – due for its US release the next day – and I browsed through them with a slightly superior air.

Essentially, it seemed to have caught Coleman’s eye for the same reason it had Rush Limbaugh’s – the “Bane” (as in, the villain) and “Bain” (as in Mitt Romney’s villainous company) homonym. While Coleman had no truck with Limbaugh’s widely ridiculed conspiracy theory that the correspondence was a Democrat propaganda ploy, he appeared to think that the “coincidence” (ahem) warranted scrutiny to an extent that I initially found idiotic.

So, Coleman examined the etymology of the two words, looked into the character called “Bane” and detailed the filming locations for the movie (these included a Romanian Masonic temple, wouldn’t ya know?). For the last in the short series – posted that morning (07/19/12) – he looked into the significance of the following day’s date, noting that it was historically associated with space exploration and assassinations. Finally, he moved on to events that had occurred on the release dates of the previous Dark Knight films (including Al Qaeda raids and a crane disaster), and observed that, almost exactly a year ago, Anders Breivik had embarked on his infamous killing spree on a day that also saw the release of Captain America, a movie that reportedly kicks off to the sound of Nazi rapid fire in Norway.

It was becoming obvious that Coleman’s analysis was not piecemeal, but cumulative – the assembled “data,” which meant next to nothing to me, had aroused his foreboding enough for him to describe the release of The Dark Knight Rises as “rushing towards us.” The very last words he would post prior to the Aurora massacre where these:

“What will happen on July 20, 2012?”

It ain’t often you seem to read tomorrow’s news today, and I certainly experienced an otherworldly chill when I learned of the shootings the following afternoon. And there was more…
Something I didn’t realize when I first came upon Twilight Language was that the blog’s founding and enduring purpose was to promote and elaborate upon Coleman’s 2004 book The Copycat Effect, an entirely sober work of behavioral science examining the media’s role in causing and exacerbating outbreaks of violence through sensationalistic wall-to-wall news coverage of suicidal and homicidal acts, as well as through violent film and music.

Funnily enough, it was in this precise context that Coleman had previously written of Nolan’s films, having predicted and then documented the emergence of copycats inspired by Heath Ledger’s Joker in 2008’s The Dark Knight. James Holmes, of course, would shed his gas mask, body armor, and fatigues to reveal that beneath his distinctly Bain-reminiscent exterior, he was himself a self-proclaimed Joker copycat.

Coleman’s ongoing analysis of Aurora’s aftermath has almost been as impressive as his anticipation of it. There has been, for example, the extensive copycat incidents that have proceeded it (you may have noticed the high number of mass shootings over recent months), not to mention the surrounding coincidences that connect them – ranging from the Sikh Temple shooter’s living on Holmes Street, to the name of the Quebec shooter being Richard Henry Bane.

In the immediate wake of the Aurora killings, Coleman observed that Aurora means “dawn” in Latin, while Colorado translates as “red”: red dawn, a traditional warning. He showed that related symbolism occurred everywhere, implicit in both the film’s title The Dark Knight Rises, and its subtitle, A Fire Will Rise. In The Dark Knight, character Harvey Dent voices the following line “The night is darkest just before the dawn, and I promise you, the dawn is coming.” Obama, referring to the Aurora survivors: “It reminds you that even in the darkest of days, life continues and people are strong. Out of this darkness, a brighter day is going to come.” Aurora is a hub of strangeness, what Coleman describes as a “complex ‘occult’ (as in the original meaning of the word, ‘hidden,’ not ‘paranormal’) synchronicity story of which more and more is being revealed daily.”

In recent correspondence with Coleman, I asked about his other predictions. There have been a fair few, many of them similarly ghoulish (homicidal and suicidal acts being an area of especial expertise). My asking inspired him to write up a selection of them, which you can read here. His acumen has previously led to attention from CNN, among others, but such coverage tends to emphasize his use of behavioral science and “pure psychology.” He encourages this, stressing that there’s “no magic here.” But there is a bit of madness in his method, to be sure.

I mean it as a compliment: that he seems to be able to make use of a Fortean/Jungian worldview of rippling relationships to peer into tomorrow’s news is riveting.

Posted by Thomas McGrath
05:50 pm