Hold onto your hats, folks. As if George W. Bush's warmongering
speeches weren't enough, just about every prophet, trance-medium and New
Age crank today--and some long dead whose words are being quoted--is predicting
a bad time for mankind in 2003, and a world-wide conflagration, if not
the Apocalypse itself, beginning in the year 2012.
What's most alarming about all of this is that many of these (often reluctant)
prophets present, though they may dress it up in somewhat different clothes,
more or less the same vision of our future, no matter the respective backgrounds
of the prophets. That vision: Atomic war with Islam, a drastic thinning-down
of the earth's population by at least two-thirds, and the extension of
the life span of the survivors to at least 1,000 years.
What's equally alarming is that it's impossible to dismiss some of these
prophets as your ordinary, garden-variety New Age kook or crazy. One, for
example, is Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet James Merrill (1926-1995),
whose 500-page poem The Changing Light at Sandover (1982), allegedly partially
dictated by spirit guides, contains complex and far-reaching predictions
for our future that match the above scenario.
There are other prophets of doom as accomplished as Merrill who, if they
don't see the same details, are unequivocal in their assertion that we're
becoming involved, as 2002 turns into 2003, in an ever-downward-turning
spiral of relentless violence. One of these is Dr. Chet Snow, a Ph.D. in
history, living in Sedona, Arizona, a past-life regression therapist who
is involved with a form of mental time traveling into the future. Another
is the great French author of Les MisZrables Victor Hugo, who, in 1853-1855,
while in political exile on the English Channel island of Jersey, attended
over 100 "table-tapping" spiritistic sZances. Hugo's spirit guides
predicted harsh convulsions to come in man's future, including a series
of blows beginning in the year 2000. As a remedy, they proposed a radical
change in man's nature, one apparently based on the ideas of Giordano Bruno
and other earlier hermeticists such as Marsilio Ficino.
Not only is the advice of Victor Hugo's spirit guides not followed; it
is scarcely even known.
Nostradamus and Joseph Noah's Bible Code
It was the seer Michel de Nostradamus (1503-1566) who first and famously
predicted an attack on the West from the Middle East, to come several centuries
in his future. Nostradamus wasn't a prophet of doom, and saw the world
as lasting until at least the 86th century. But several of his veiled quatrains
appear to describe, in the words of Nostradamus scholar John Hogue, a "new
type of world war to come, one using surprise and ambush. A rogue leader
from the Mideast will trigger it. He is a terrorist, code named in the
prophecies as Mabus or the Third Antichrist (Napoleon and Hitler are consideed
to be the first two)." Hogue says Nostradamus predicted that the war
would be a bloody one lasting 28 years but that it would end in the defeat
of the Antichrist. After September 11, 2001, a number of previously unknown
quatrains by Nostradamus, purporting to describe the attack of Bin Laden
on the World Trade Center, were widely circulated but soon discovered to
The contents of Nostradamus's quatrains allegedly describing warfare between
the Middle East and the West are echoed, if in much greater detail and
with a much worse outcome, in Future Prospects of the World According to
the Bible Code (2002) by retired engineer and Texas resident Joseph Noah.
Noah uses the "Bible Code," popularized by best-selling author
Michael Drosnin (The Bible Code, 1997), to discover, in the Torah and The
Book of Revelation, numerous prophecies that bode ill for the future of
mankind. Throughout his book, Noah insists these prophecies are not "written
in stone" and are merely "future prospects," and that we
can still save ourselves if we manage to become almost completely selfless.
But there's no getting around the Old Testament fire and brimstone in Noah's
words when he pieces together, in sequences of the same Hebrew letter separated
by equal numbers of different letters, a description of our future that
includes a battering of earth by seven asteroids that were originally Mars's
satellite Phobos, plagues and famine, atomic war between the U.N. and the
Arab world, and a thinning down of our planet's population to 1.3 billion,
including 144,000 sanctified souls who act as caretakers. Skeptics may
close Noah's book firmly when they come to his assertion that the 144,000
caretakers will be the reincarnated souls of the followers of Moses across
the Sinai Desert. They may throw the book away when they're told that Noah
also claims the life span of the survivors will be extended first to 350
years, then to 1,000 years, due to the beneficent effects of cosmic rays
streaming to earth from a Blue Giant star that went supernova in 1987.
Compelling Corroboration from James Merrill
The skeptic may find himself brought up short, though, when he learns that
the brilliant and sophisticated poet James Merrill (son of Merrill-Lynch
co-founder Charles Merrill) paints, in his lengthy poem The Changing Light
at Sandover, a devastating picture of mankind's future that is, in its
main outlines, not different from the one unearthed by Joseph Noah in the
For 30 years, Merrill and his long-time companion David Jackson communicated
with numerous spirit guides on a Ouija board, always finding the experience
too fascinating to give up. According to these spirits, two intelligent
species, the first a race of winged men, the second of centaur-like beings,
preceded ours on earth. Both species, who were immortal, destroyed themselves
in atomic wars (actually, the number of pre-human species on earth was
three, since the centaur race genetically engineered its own servant race
of giant bats, this race also destroying itself; in Future Prospects of
the World According to the Bible Code, Noah unknowingly corroborates Merrill
when he says his readings indicate that mankind was preceded by three "root"
races). God then placed us, homo sapiens, on earth, making us mortal, but
enabling us to acquire wisdom through a series of reincarnations.
These pre-homo sapiens intelligent races had total free will. So did mankind--until
abuses to this free will, culminating in the chaos caused by Nefertiti
and Akhenaton in 14th century B.C. Egypt, prompted God to "clone"
a "No Accident Clause" into the world's cultural and political
leaders, starting with Moses. These odd notions of "cloning"
and "No Accident Clause" seem to mean that the minds of great
men were now to be programmed before birth in such a way that these leaders
no longer had complete free will but were obliged to act in accordance
with the word of God communicated directly to them. Working through these
leaders with the help of four angels, God was now able to impose some measure
of control upon man's errant behavior.
Merrill's guides confide to him, though, that, in our present age, the
"No Accident Clause" has begun to unravel. The better leaders
can no longer impose their will, since the population explosion, combined
with the spread of democracy and the triumphs of technology, has given
the ordinary man--including the criminal and the thief--the means and the
leisure time to make or break our planet, the latter, for example, by setting
off an A-bomb. The spirits warn Merrill somberly: "We used to see
100 years ahead but the of late/ Increasing human smog limits the visibility/
& our fears to this: A concerted use of atomic/ Weaponry now falling
into hands of animal [completely 'uncloned'] souls." The spirits add
that, due to democratization, they also fear the coming of "the idiot
in power;" some readers see in this harsh statement a reference to
George W. Bush.
Most alarming of all--and this was told to Merrill in 1977--the spirits
affirm that the "God" Mohammed "does our work...by preparing
[Earth's] last holy war." This war, beginning in 2007, constitutes
a vast "thinning process" (one that the spirits consider necessary,
given man's failure to mature), leaving behind only a million or so of
the souls programmed before birth with the "No Accident Clause."
By war's end, God, working through his four lieutenant angels, will have
begun to genetically revise homo sapiens, converting these survivors into
a semi-new species called "Alpha Man," who will be winged, and
whose life span will be gradually and methodically lengthened until, after
several centuries, the dominant intelligent species on earth will once
again be immortal.
There is a tragic note to this evolution of mankind into Alpha Man. The
new breed of homo sapiens will not possess genius, since genius, though
it creates sublime works, also does hideous deeds. Such a gift of will
not be entrusted to Alpha Man.
Future Prospects of the World According to the Bible Code author Joseph
Noah told a reporter that he had never read Merrill's poem, and in fact
had never heard of it. That shouldn't be surprising, given that the Ouija
board-oriented poetry of James Merrill is difficult and read principally
only by English professors and poetry enthusiasts. Merrill himself knew
nothing of the Bible Code and its revelations, since Drosnin's book appeared
in 1997, two years after the poet's death. Nevertheless, the texts of Noah
and Merrill share another odd and esoteric concept that had been expressed
by few books before them outside of the Kabbalah. This concept, a strange
and ancient twist on reincarnation theory, is called the Samaritan doctrine
of the "taheb."
Merrill's spirit guides often refer to the "Five," or "V"
- five immortal souls that, not forgetting their previous lifetimes, reincarnate
time and again to help mankind. A primary manifestation of each of these
five souls is as an archangel; and, here and there throughout The Changing
Light at Sandover, the archangels spell out the line of descent of their
reincarnating selves--this sort of reincarnational pattern being a classical
expression of taheb. Along with much else, "V" stands for the
five senses; the Archangel Michael is "God's seeing on earth,"
and Michael's earthly incarnations include Akhenaton, Madame Curie and
Galileo. The Archangel Raphael is God's hearing on earth, and he has been,
successively, Homer, Mohammed, Mozart and "an East German astrophysicist"
still alive and still anonymous. The Archangel Emmanuel is God's touching
on earth, and he has come among us as Montezuma, Noah and George Cotzias,
the latter a scientist and friend of Merrill who, before he died in 1977,
had been in the process of unlocking the genome that governs aging, and
who speaks to Merrill from the afterworld. The Archangel Gabriel embodies
two sensory functions on earth, as God's tasting and His smelling; he has
manifested this through incarnations as varied as Nefertiti, Rachel, Shiva,
Plato, Genghis Khan, the British poet Edwin Muir and W.S. Auden.
This notion of heaven-including cycles of reincarnation also emerges for
Joseph Noah as he explores the Bible Code. Only, as he presents them in
Future Prospects of the World According to the Bible Code, the lines of
reincarnational descent, though similar in nature, feature somewhat different
lifetimes. Noah reports that the Archangel Michael was incarnated just
once, as Melchizedek, while the reincarnations of the Archangel Gabriel
comprise Adam, Rama, Joseph, Isaac, Solomon, Buddha and Jesus. The Archangel
Raphael lived lives on earth as Abel, Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Moses, David,
Mohammed and Kahlil Gibran (Noah adds elsewhere that Raphael also incarnated
as Daniel, Krishna and Socrates). Finally, says Noah, the Archangel Chamuel
walked among us as Seth, Elijah, Ezekiel, John the Baptist, Plato, Ali
(son of Mohammed), Kung (or Confucius) and Edgar Cayce.
For Noah as for Merrill, the karmic interweaving of these successive lifetimes
one with the other provides much cause and consequence for the coming apocalyptic
events hinted at in Merrill's poem, described in horrifying detail in Noah's
book. In the ancient Jewish doctrine of taheb, the same mysterious principle
is at work--though here, again, the lifetimes are somewhat different, with
Adam passing through successive incarnations as Seth, Noah, and Abraham
before becoming Moses. In the teachings of the taheb, the future causes
and consequences engendered by the reincarnations of the pre-existing soul
are even more mysterious and elusive.
In Mass Dreams of the Future: A Prognosis
James Merrill was a man of great erudition who, at the time of his death,
was considered America's greatest poet; a latter-day reluctant prophet
whose erudition may be as great as Merrill's is Dr. Chet Snow, of Sedona,
Arizona. Snow holds a Master's degree in history and sociology from Columbia
University, New York, and a Ph.D. in French history from the International
Institute of Advanced Studies. In the early 1980s, he was trained by Dr.
Helen Wambach, a founder of the past-life regression movement, in past-life
regression therapy, a therapeutic modality in which the practitioner seeks
to hypnotically regress the client to a previous lifetime. On occasion,
the therapist comes across a past life whose unfulfilled or traumatic nature
is causing health problems in the present-day life of the regressee; often,
the therapist is able to make the ailment, psychological or physical, virtually
disappear by "reconfiguring" this past life of the sufferer.
Snow learned Wambach had carried out a research project in which she had
hypnotically regressed 1,000 volunteers to previous lives in specific epochs.
While they were under hypnosis, Wambach asked them simple questions like,
"What are you eating?" In the overwhelming majority of cases,
those responding gave answers that correlated with known historical facts
such as population curves, sex ratios, race distribution, and nutrition
Snow eagerly joined the pioneering Wambach in a new research project, one
consisting of hypnotically "progressing" volunteers--the number
would eventually reach 2,500--to "probable future" lifetimes,
first of all one in the period 2100-2200 A.D., then one beginning in the
year 2300 A.D. Dr. Wambach died in 1985; continuing the project on his
own, Snow found that, for the first future time period, only five percent
of progressees reported experiencing any future lifetime at all, while
the still small figure of 11.5 percent of the group reported experiencing
a future lifetime beginning in 2300 A.D..
Snow concluded that the low figure of five percent suggested a massive--perhaps
as great as a 90 percent--drop in the world's population taking place between
the present and future time periods, leaving most of the visiting 20th
century souls with no future-lifetime body in which to surface in 2100-2200.
In 2300 and following years, the population seemed to double over what
it was in the first future time-frame.
Remarkably, the 500 or so reports of a future lifetime, collected by Dr.
Snow, reported on one of only four probable futures. Remarkably, because,
if there had been no kernel of truth in the concept behind the project--if
the volunteers had been imagining it all rather than actually, in some
mental fashion, traveling to a probable future--then the researcher might
have expected the volunteers' reports would describe 500 different futures.
Three out of four of these probable futures seemed to hint--one unequivocally--at
a post-global disaster future in 2100-2200 A.D. Snow describes the three
futures in Mass Dreams of the Future, first published by McGraw-Hill in
1989, now published by Deep Forest Press. The first of these probable futures
was a joyless and sterile one in which most people lived in space stations,
the second a bleak and mechanical future where people lived in underground
cities and cities enclosed in domes and bubbles. The third revealed a world
that had been ravaged by some global, possibly nuclear, disaster, where
post-disaster "survivors" eked out a threadbare living in homes
ranging from urban ruins to caves to isolated farms. In a fourth, "non-disaster"
probable future, "New Agers" reported living happier and more
natural lives, in natural settings.
Intimations of Immortality in 2300 A.D.?
Beginning in the year 2300, these probable futures, all except that of
the threadbare survivors in a post-disaster world, had evolved considerably,
and favorably. In the most positive (now) of the (still) four time streams,
the inhabitants of the space station seemed to be advancing outward into
the universe, beyond our Solar System, not only in spaceships, but in a
"pure energy" state; the capability of voyaging in the latter
form seemed to suggest that the human race would begin to surge, in the
late 2300s, toward a form of immortality.
Continuing his researches in an on-again, off-again, individual, fashion,
Snow reported in 1993 that certain positive actions on the part of human
beings--perhaps a growing awareness of the dangers inherent in our pursuing
our present, dangerous path had played a role--had considerably softened
the four futures; for one thing, our planet was in most cases far warmer,
and far less limited in terms of communications, in afuture epoch.
In recent years, however, Dr. Chet Snow has seen this tendency start to
sour. In his Mass Dreams Newsletter for October, 2002, he writes:
"ÉAlthough I am at best a reluctant 'prophet,' seeing positive
growth & learning opportunities in all scenarios, my inner senses tell
me that the 8 to 9 year 'window of opportunity' we enjoyed from 1992 to
2001 is closing and a bumpier road may lie ahead, so be prepared. Obviously,
a new war - if we 'go it alone' - would be a major trigger. But, even without
bombs, the collapse of American business ethics that's led to Enron, World-Com,
etc., our huge trade deficit that's only whispered about, our ecological
ignorance leading to more global warming, genetic manipulation of crops,
plus our uninspiring leadership, all cry out for radical change - a sure
recipe for disruptions. I continue to believe that we can still make positive
choices & avoid either an Armageddon or an Apocalypse but we need to
make them soon."
The Man Who Talked to Aliens in 1853
In 1853-1855, while in political exile on the Channel island of Jersey,
poet/playwright/novelist/politician Victor Hugo participated in numerous
"table-tapping" séances. At least 115 "spirits"
communicated with the already world-famous author, his family, and his
fellow political exiles. The alleged discarnate entities included the famous
dead, such as Shakespeare, Plato and Galileo; legendary animals, like Balaam's
Ass and the Lion of Androcles; entities who claimed never to have been
alive, with names like The Shadow of the Sepulcher and Death; a series
of nonetheless vocal 'abstract concepts,' with names like India, Metempsychosis,
and Ocean - and extraterrestrials from Mercury and Jupiter (who drew self-portraits
with a pencil attached to the tapping table leg).
Skeptics--and almost everyone else--have no trouble dismissing these occult
experiences of Hugo's: The main "medium" at the seances was Victor's
son, Charles, who, himself a talented writer, was afraid of seeming to
challenge his famous father and instead unconsciously created the spirits;
Victor Hugo, a creative genius of towering powers desperately lonely on
the island, unconsciously created the spirits himself; Hugo was mostly
insane at the time, suffering from what French surgeon Jean de Mutigny
calls "fantastical paraphrenia."
Certain problems arise in connection with these explanations, although.
Martin Ebon, author of two-score books on parnormal phenomena including
essays on Hugo's channeling experiences, describes a night when the seance
aficionados communicated with the spirit of the poet Andre Chenier, who
had been guillotined during the French Revolution. Chenier's spirit dictated
the second half of a poem the live poet had left uncompleted when he was
taken out to be beheaded. "The 'channeled' piece of poetry was brilliant,"
says Ebon, "a match for the piece left behind." Only a poet of
Hugo's stature could--perhaps--have telepathically caused the table to
"tap out" the poem. But Hugo wasn't present at the seance that
Bizarre also was the spirits' insistence that the transcripts of the seances
should be released in segments every 20 years following the poet's death
(fearing ridicule, Hugo didn't want them released at all), with the final
segment being released in the year 2000 (Hugo died in 1885). In that year,
said the spirits, "a dark cloud will begin to pass over the face of
mankind," and the wisdom of the spirits would be needed.
Did Victor Hugo Channel Giordano Bruno?
According to John Chambers, translator of a collection of the Jersey island
transcripts called Conversations with Eternity: The Forgotten Masterpiece
of Victor Hugo (1998), that wisdom consisted largely (and rather oddly,
since Hugo claimed never to have read him) of exuberant exhortations for
us to live a vastly expanded life written remarkably in the vein of the
works of brilliant renegade Dominican priest Giordano Bruno, who was burned
at the stake in Rome in 1600. Chambers points to this passage, allegedly
channeled through the spirit of Galileo, and of which there is much more
of the same:
"You know what I would do if I were in your place?...I'd drink from
the milk basin of the Milky Way; I'd swallow comets; I'd lunch on dawn;
I'd dine on day and I'd sup on night; I'd invite myself, splendid table-companion
that I am, to the banquet of all the glories, and I'd salute God as: My
host! I'd work up a magnificent Hunger, an enormous thirst, and I'd race
through the drunken spaces between the spheres singing the fearsome drinking
song of eternity..."
'Galileo' actually seems to be advocating the practice of various vigorous
mental exercises, popular during the Italian Renaissance (and thought to
derive from Ancient Egypt), in which the accolyte seeks to create step
by step a miniature universe inside his head, one that will empower him
to soar through the real universe. These exercises were meant to be carried
out with the accompaniment of certain objects (gems, flowers, etc.) sympathetic
to the personality of the practitioner and therefore capable of drawing
down the sympathetic powers of heaven; this was the "astral magic"
of the time. Curiously, the exercises themselves match up with a number
of mental 'procedures' for the expansion of the soul channeled through
medium Jane Roberts from "multidimensional being" Seth in the
popular 'Seth' books of the 1970s. The channeled entities of the 1970s
in the U.S. in fact seem to take up where Hugo's spirits left off--except
that the latter leap forward to categorically predict, almost 150 years
ahead of their time, the harsh events that will take place on our planet
beginning in the year 2000.
This year--the 200th anniversary of Hugo's birth--has seen increasing interest
in all aspects of his life, including the occult; Conversations with Eternity:
The Forgotten Masterpiece of Victor Hugo has been translated into six languages.
In late August, 2003, a three-day artistic festival, "Light and Shadow,"
is scheduled to take place on Jersey island celebrating the 150th anniversary
of the beginning of Hugo's table-tapping experiences. Musicians will recreate
music said to have been channeled from Mozart during the seances, and speakers
will come from all parts the world, including Viet Nam where the popular
Cao Dai religion is based on the periodically-channeled presence of Victor
Hugo and son Victor-Francois.
On the final night of the festival, on the rocky beach of Jersey island,
an attempt will be made to contact Hugo's spirit. Tapping his way through
a table or spelling out words on a Ouija board in the light of the campfire,
the shade of the great author will perhaps refer the attendees to the parallel
and dark visions of Joseph Noah in Future Prospects of the World According
to the Bible Code or James Merrill in The Changing Light at Sandover. This
way, Hugo won't have to rake up the past; and he'll prove to his audience
that he keeps up with his reading in the afterworld just as well as he
did when he was alive.
- Prestwick Times, August, 2002
Director, New Paradigm Books