Ron Rosenbaum

2012: The New End-of-the-World Cult

I’m curious: I’ve been listening to this Y2K to the nth power type stuff for a couple of years now, primarily becasue of my fascinaton with the delusional types featured on the four-hour long, late night radio show “Coast to Coast AM”.

Don’t get me wrong there are often interesting and legtimate guests on “Coast” as they call it, some genuine physicists, astronomers and archaelolgists, among the conspiracy theorists and UFOlogists. But lately the show seems to have given up on any skepticism about 2012 and the cult that has grown up around it.

So I’m curious how many of you are aware of this cult, which is centered around the supposedly cosmically profound fact that the Mayan calendar ends (or ends a cycle of some sort) in 2012?

And how many believe there’s some basis for fearing therefore that the world will come to an end, aliens will show up for breakfast and the like?

It’s become a merchandising device: I’ve heard every type of nutball attach his or her particular brand of nuttiness to 2012 lately–sometimes with a specific date, December 21, 2012–none of them with any specific evidentiary basis for believing that anything special is going to happen after December 21 than December 22.

And yet thee seems to be an appetite for apocalypse. 2012 is tied into both traditional religious apocalyptics and the new UFO based versions. The “Coast” audience, or at least its calllers, seems to eat it up. The host, George Noory, who usually is genially tolerant of mountains of nonsense without necessarily buying into his guests fantasies, seems to take it seriously.

Are you aware of this? And if you are what do you think about it?