If you’re reading this, I guess the world didn’t end after all

Yisrayl Hawkins predicted that the world will end on 12 June. He’s in Texas, so I presume he was using Central Time…and since it is now the early hours of 13 June here, I guess we can safely say that we dodged a bullet. Whew. I was getting worried. Hawkins, after all, is an expert prophet, well practiced in predicting the end of the world — he has done it twice before.

Of course, if the world did end, I hope you left some messages for your loved ones, or sent me your power of attorney, or something.


  1. Sangy says

    Oh, darn. I was so looking forward to sitting up in heaven and laughing at all of the nasty sinners down below.

    Oh well- there’s still West Coast time!

  2. Charlie Foxtrot says

    You could have asked me, I could have told you 15 hours ago that 12 June had come and gone serenely.

    There must be some interesting discussions going on there right now :)

    The fascinating point completely left unanswered was how did they expect their little compound to be excluded from a worldwide nuclear incident? Oh, wait – not thinking like a kook… ugh “Goddiddit”… ok, I understand now…

  3. says

    Yisrayl Hawkins predicted that the world will end on 12 June. He’s in Texas ….

    Aren’t these people always in Texas? What is with Texas?

  4. Janine ID says

    Yeah! Now that I know the world still spins, it is safe for me to go to bed.

  5. says

    Wow. In the article about nutso Yisray Hawkins:

    All group members change their last names to Hawkins and live in the compound.

    That sounds creepy, sad, and really confusing.

    Hawkins (the leader) claims:

    “I don’t control their mind in a witch-like fashion that the world is speaking of, to where I have some sort of power over them. I merely teach the laws to them.”

    It doesn’t take witch-like powers to brainwash people…good old fashioned brainwashing and intimidation techniques will do quite nicely, tyvm.

  6. Mary Lupin says

    What I would like to watch is the process of rationalization that goes on when predictions like this fail. The Jehovah Witnesses have been through this several times with their penchant for believing that the world as we know it will end before the last of the World War I survivors has quite passed away (I think that’s right – although I don’t claim to be an expert on their theology). And of course there are the famous predictions at the year 1000…None of these failures stop predictions and that is what I find interesting…how to create a story that is so flexible that anything that, to us, appears a failure (i.e. the prediction and the actual state of affairs don’t match) can be turned into a success (e.g. our prayers stayed god’s hand). That’s what I think is going on now in Texas. Their experience of the bothersome nature of the empirical world sure as shit isn’t going to turn them into reasonable people.

  7. says

    Nah, the universe gets taken off-line for maintenance every millennium or so. You know, fix corrupted files, defrag the hard drive, that sort of thing. Though the recent upgrade to storage, RAM, and processor has given us problems. Soon as admin consolidates its feces we’re going back to a more intuitive interface and methodology.

    I think you’d appreciate the postmortem fate we have planned for Bill Gates and his kind.

  8. Charlie Foxtrot says

    Ha! I’m just imagining the scene – that classic “threw a party but no-one came” scene. A big banner behind the couch says “Welcome, End Of World!” and there’s a bowl of chips on the table and everyone just sitting quietly around with party hats on and half glasses of drink…
    ~more silence~
    “anyone for ‘Twister’?”…

  9. says

    Damn. Did I live through the end of the world again?! This has gotten really old!

    I remember listening to hapless old Harold Camping of Family Radio back in 1994 when he patiently explained to his radio audience how he knew the date of the Second Coming and the End of the World and, later, how he must have made a mistake in his calculations. Good for a few laughs.

  10. Marc Buhler says

    P.Z. – Unfortunately, the world *did* end (at least down here in Australia), but it did so a day early so we complained and got our money back.

    (Those datelines are funny things…)

    On the subject of datelines, on our return to Sydney from our last trip stateside we had the 10:30pm departure on a United 747-400 from SFO on December 31st (no big party on the flight I’m sad to say, they quieted us down quickly and got the lights dimmed and the first of five or so movies going). Around 14 hours later, we landed here and it was like 7am on the 2nd of January. January 1st *never existed* for us! I’m not sure if that means I am a day younger, or if I can count off the whole year.

  11. says

    His website, http://yisraylhawkins.com, is a real hot-bed of insanity.

    Maybe the world has ended? I tried to follow that link for my daily dose of dumbfeckery and woo with a helping of extra nuts, and instead got a “server not found” error.

    Looks around … nah, it’s just the comma at the end of the hyperlink.

  12. says

    It’s late in the day on the 13th here.

    Though the real surprise out of all this is how much attention our society pays to loons who predict the end-times. After 2000 years of apocalyptic predictions on earth made by people from crazy loners to parishioners with mass followings and biblical knowledge, not a single event has even shown the slightest hint of fruition. Now many are looking to natural causes of mass-extinction events to validate their claims.

    My point is that while the media gives coverage to these crazy ideas, the more that the idea will sit in our head. This is about as much news as an anthropomorphic shadow on Mars. When will we as a society learn to ignore the inane ramblings of deluded fools?

  13. Kseniya says

    The world did end, and this is proof of the afterlife.

    Two birds. One stone.

  14. Leigh says

    Wow, K., what a disappointment. I had so hoped the afterlife would be an improvement . . . or that at least I would be able to get some SLEEP!

    Texas, current home of the world’s most concentrated, industrial-strength craziness. I must be a world-class masochist, my own self.

  15. Sioux Laris says

    Pardon, but it says “getting word” at the moment instead of “getting worried”. That’s likely a minor error rather than satire and should be corrected.
    Delete this afterwards, if possible.

  16. Draconiz says

    PZ, haven’t you noticed that the dolphins are all gone too? I have in my hand a post card from sea world and it says “Goodbye, and thanks for all the fish!!”

  17. Wowbagger says

    Maybe it’s the sunshine, wide-open spaces and cattle – just like Queensland.

    I’m kind of glad I don’t live in either – though I’m forced back to Queensland from time to time to visit the family.

  18. CrypticLife says

    Each time I think they can’t possibly really believe this stuff, some bonehead makes a hard and fast prediction sure to embarrass themselves publicly.

  19. Serena says

    This is funny. Or is it sad?
    I don’t know why so many cults want the world to end. It’s really not so bad.
    The JW’s did make a few predictions about “the end of this system of things” (that’s a very common phrase in JW households). They are still expecting it to end soon but they know better then to give it a date. My mom hoped it would happen before I became a teenager, she now hopes it will happen before my brother is 18 (he’s 13).

    They say that biblical prophecies are occuring that show that it will happen soon. Crime, famine, natural disasters, generall ‘badness’. So basically things that have always happened.
    But it’s getting worse! And it has nothing to do with the increase in population or technology! It’s the end of times!

  20. Eli says

    No, no, no… don’t you listen to Coast to Coast AM?

    Heed the words of the great “scientist” (yes, he’s been called that) Art Bell… the world isn’t set to end until December 2012.

  21. watercat says

    The world did end, and this is proof…

    The world ended on Nov 2, 2004 when the election result came in. Unnoticed by anyone,the universe imploded through a singularity into a Kafkaesque realm where Science leads to killing, Education is evil, the bible is history, blastocytes are people, the founding fathers were Christian, we live in the Homeland, war is patriotism, pacifists are traitors, wealth is virtue, poverty is laziness, and ‘reality-based’ is a slur. We’re all in hell.

  22. Hank Fox says

    I still say if you predict the end of the world, you should be killed the next day, just on general principles.

    That way, every prophet who predicts the end of the world can be certain that he’s correct, for at least one person.

  23. Moggie says

    Yisrayl Hawkins is amusing if you focus on his repeated apocalyptic predictions, but there may be a darker side. Polygamy, sex abuse, needless deaths, child labour… Nothing proven yet, as far as I know, but it’d hardly be surprising, given what we know about cults.

  24. CosmicTeapot says

    I was searching for a biblical reference to the end of the world (which implied it would be around 200 AD) and came across a site that will really let you know when he lord will come.

    Just buy the eBook for only $4.95, or pay $14.95 for the printed version. Mmmh, bargain.

    I must write a book like that. With the number of fundies over there, I’ll be rich.

    Then I need work no more, and can spend all day reading the comments on this site.

    Or play Doom.

  25. wildcardjack says

    These people are passive aggressive. Or at least passive.

    I’ve had their fliers stuck to my door. I’ve never seen hide nor hair of them. Not as good as the time some local church went around sticking DVD copies of The Gospel of John to peoples doors one Sunday Morning. I caught on and ran around snapping up a stack of them.

    They sold for about $6 each on Amazon.

  26. says

    Yeah, he has a history of failed predictions. I remember a few years ago when he made a prediction – nuclear war on September 12, 2006. Some people on the internet mocked him by setting up a big September 13th party.

  27. themadlolscientist says

    In my experience, Friday the 13th has a always been a good-luck day. The streak continues with the observation that the world is still here! :-)

  28. CosmicTeapot says

    Continuing my search for the biblical references to the second coming (ooh err), I came across several listed on http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/says_about/end.html

    I must learn these bible references so that the next time some religious person tells me of the truth of the bible, I can throw it back at them.

    I know it won’t change their mind, but it will make me feel better.

  29. Holbach says

    I can picture Bugs smirking and letting out with that apt comment of his; “What a maroon!”

  30. BobbyEarle says

    Hawkins’ site does have an email link.

    I was sorta, you know, worried so I went ahead and emailed him, expressing my concern and disappoint over having missed the End o’ the World thingy.

    Fourth time is a charm…stay tuned.

  31. Lassi Hippeläinen says

    #4: “Aren’t these people always in Texas? What is with Texas?”

    Personally, I like it that way.

  32. negentropyeater says

    Ah, it’s quite easy to make up prophecies from the bible ;

    This is the prophecy straight from the loon’s mouth :

    The Prophecy is clear and
    states where the first nuclear wars will
    start, in and around the great River
    Euphrates. This Prophecy also shows
    exactly when this baby would be
    conceived and what kinds of weapons
    would be used in this nuclear war that
    will kill a third part of man over that
    fourth part of the earth where the
    Euphrates River runs.
    These nuclear birth pains of war
    started already on the exact date and we
    have had nuclear birth pains on the exact
    dates Yahweh shows in Scripture. The
    worst part of this nuclear war, the part
    of birth when a third part of man will be
    killed in that fourth part of the earth, is
    being held back according to the Inspired
    Prophecies for a “little moment” Yahweh

    Now obviously, if you wait long enough, this kind of thing might eventually happen. Israel bombs Iran, etc…
    1/3 of humanity killed seems a bit high, but ok.

    Obviously, to find a description of a nuclear attack in the Bible, you need to have a special gift at interpreting verses such as ;

    Revelation 18:23, 16-17
    16 And saying: Alas! Alas, that great city,
    that was clothed in fine linen, and purple,
    and scarlet, and decked with gold, and
    precious stones, and pearls!
    17 For in one hour such great riches came
    to nothing! And every sea captain, and all
    the company in ships, the sailors, and all
    who earn their living from the sea, stood
    afar off

    Isn’t it obvious that this describes a nuclear attack ? And which other city can it be than Teheran, decked with Gold, precious stones, and pearls, clothed in fine linen…

    For the prophecy maker, the Bible is a bit like Home Depot, when you search long enough, you always find something, that can be twisted and contrived to do the job.

  33. AndyD says

    You unbelievers are all the same. The world did end but you have to have faith to realise it. When will you people wake up to reality?

  34. 386sx says

    Damn. Did I live through the end of the world again?! This has gotten really old!

    Yeah really, it happens so often that I always forget the world never ended yet. That’s pretty bad!

  35. 386sx says

    I predict that the end of the world will *not* be tomorrow, June 14th 2008. God told me.

    Careful, God always tells people the complete opposite of what really happens. Be careful with that my friend!!

  36. Lilly de Lure says

    negentropyeater said:

    For the prophecy maker, the Bible is a bit like Home Depot, when you search long enough, you always find something, that can be twisted and contrived to do the job.

    The worrying thing is I doubt what they come up with is any less bugshit insane than whatever the hell the prophecy writer was actually trying to get across!

    Revelation 18:23, 16-17

    16 And saying: Alas! Alas, that great city,
    that was clothed in fine linen, and purple,
    and scarlet, and decked with gold, and
    precious stones, and pearls!

    17 For in one hour such great riches came
    to nothing! And every sea captain, and all
    the company in ships, the sailors, and all
    who earn their living from the sea, stood
    afar off

    Ah, The Book of Revelations, so much wingnuttery, so little time!

  37. Michelle says

    Well… If he predicted the end of the world TWICE, I guess we can trust it.

    The world’s over, folks! Move along, move along!

  38. rob says

    I am old enough to remember the splendid satirical show “Beyond the Fringe” (1961) and the “End of the world” sketch:


    It is full of gems …

    ” And will there be a mighty wind, Brother Enim?
    Certainly there will be a mighty wind, if the word of God is anything to go by…”

    ” And will this wind be so mighty as to lay low the mountains of the earth?
    No – it will not be quite as mighty as that – that is why we have come up on the mountain, you stupid nit – to be safe from it. Up here on the mountain we shall be safe – safe as houses.

    And what will happen to the houses?

    Well, naturally, the houses will be swept away”

    Read slowly and enjoy …

  39. says

    The world ended years ago. Sixty-five million years ago, actually. Heaven is well-populated with virtuous dinosaurs. You and I are just crawling around in the debris.

  40. Vidar says

    OMG! We are all still here, in spite of ever nation on earth threatening to throw nukes around.

    Why the hell do people listen to these ‘end of the world on a specific date’ kind of prophets anyway? They are always wrong, and their message ins’t exactly positive one.

  41. 386sx says

    The world’s over, folks! Move along, move along!

    Yeah really, nothing to see here folks. It’s just the entire universe being destroyed out from under our feet again. Nothing new there people. Move along everybody!! Don’t you have lives!!

  42. MPG says

    The world ended years ago. Sixty-five million years ago, actually. Heaven is well-populated with virtuous dinosaurs. You and I are just crawling around in the debris.

    So what you’re saying is…there has been a raptor rapture?

  43. negentropyeater says

    Ah, The Book of Revelations, so much wingnuttery, so little time!

    Ah well, the churches have been interpreting those damned books for centuries, no wonder some nutcases are still trying.
    Even the mainline churches can’t stop the bad habit, problem, they can’t seem to agree between the different options;
    preterism, partial-preterism, dispensationalism, tribulationalism, pretribulationalism, midtribulationalism, post-tribulationalism, premillennialism, Amillenialism, postmillennialism, caesaropapism, historicism, idealistic view…

    The guy who wrote that book (John of Patmos probably) would have never guessed that his crooked imagination would have given birth to the most “isms” in history.

    Let’s invent a new one in his honour : “nuclearism” and let the theologians masturbate themselves with it.

    The churches gave the bad example, and can’t even recognize how stupid the whole thing is, this Mr Hawkins is just following the tradition.

  44. watercat says

    there has been a raptor rapture?

    That’s it! We’ve solved the mystery of the dinosaur’s disappearance!

  45. says

    We’ve solved the mystery of the dinosaur’s disappearance!

    They were just waiting for the right apocalypse. Now they’re back and they’ve taken over.

    You’ve got to admit, that was one extra-kewl apocalypse. I bet there’s a sequel.

  46. True Bob says

    When is the next time the world comes to an end? Is there anything sooner than Dec 21, 2012?

  47. Lilly de Lure says

    negentropyeater said:

    Let’s invent a new one in his honour : “nuclearism” and let the theologians masturbate themselves with it.

    Ewwww – now there’s an image I needed to take with me into my lunchbreak, thanks a bundle ;-)

    Aside from that – not a bad idea!

    Mike O’Risal said:

    You’ve got to admit, that was one extra-kewl apocalypse. I bet there’s a sequel.

    Oh, but it is the sequel – everyone knows that the real apocalypse was the Permian extinction when 95% of everything got raptured (including some really cool Mammal-like Reptiles).

    The one we’re heading for is Apocalypse III: This Time it’s Personal! [/paleontology pedant]

  48. engineergirl says

    Funny thing is, his prediction *did* correspond with BLITEOTW. Maybe the psychic force of people simulating the apocalypse threw his game off.

  49. wobert says

    Can we sue, as for Friday the 13th, just won the raffle at my local boozer yaaay. I would have said whasisface Hawkins is a wanker but I doubt he’s got time.No disrespect to the other Hawkinsesese, and his brother Darryl and his other brother Darryl.

  50. says

    Ok. Whew. That was rough. I just scanned his site and found this.

    More Scientists Admitting Sin Is The Cause Of Today’s Curses

    That title is scary enough, but the PDF it links to. WHOA.

    That is some concentrated YIKES!

  51. Yisrayl Hawkins says

    I’ve spoken with my sources and they have concluded that this was in fact a Hoax prediction eminating from a capricious lesser Norse Deity (****** Loki).

    But now that I have your attention we are having a fundraiser this Saturday, bring all your daughters.

    Punch supplied free.

  52. Brendan S says

    I’m glad he was able to convince god to postpone the world distruction for a while!

    I have some work to get done…

  53. philosophia says

    We’re all in hell. (#25)

    That explains so much XD

    Seriously though, a nuclear baby? That’s a new one.

  54. says

    Re #57 Posted by: True Bob

    When is the next time the world comes to an end? Is there anything sooner than Dec 21, 2012?

    You think you can get an appointment?

  55. says

    another @7,

    Huh. I feel fine.

    Thanks. I almost snorted coffee out of my nose.

    Has anyone visited this cult this morning? I wonder if they went all “purple cloth and Nike shoe” on us?

  56. DiscoveredJoys says

    Now if only the ordinary cult members (and journalists, and bloggers) made a point of saying in advance “If the world does not come to an end when you say it will, will you disband your followers? Or refund our money? Or take your own life?”.

    That should sort out the deities from the mortals.

  57. raven says

    Kill False Prophets

    1) Suppose there are prophets among you, or those who have dreams about the future, and they promise you signs or miracles, and the predicted signs or miracles take place. If the prophets then say, ‘Come, let us worship the gods of foreign nations,’ do not listen to them. The LORD your God is testing you to see if you love him with all your heart and soul. Serve only the LORD your God and fear him alone. Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him. The false prophets or dreamers who try to lead you astray must be put to death, for they encourage rebellion against the LORD your God, who brought you out of slavery in the land of Egypt. Since they try to keep you from following the LORD your God, you must execute them to remove the evil from among you. (Deuteronomy 13:1-5 NLT)

    2) But any prophet who claims to give a message from another god or who falsely claims to speak for me must die.’ You may wonder, ‘How will we know whether the prophecy is from the LORD or not?’ If the prophet predicts something in the LORD’s name and it does not happen, the LORD did not give the message. That prophet has spoken on his own and need not be feared. (Deuteronomy 18:20-22 NLT)

    Looks like old Yisrayl is in big trouble. It says in several places in the bible that False Prophets are to be killed. False Prophets are the ones that are wrong.

    True biblical literalists, Real Xians(TM), would be tossing stones at this guy right now. Of course Robertson, Kennedy, Falwell, Hagee, and a few thousand other ministers would have long since ended up under a pile of rocks.

    These hypocritical slackers never, ever pay any attention to their holy book. They are too busy making fools of themselves and trying to persecute everyone else to bother.

  58. Dennis N says

    Mary Lupin, you should read When Prophecy Fails and When Prophecy Failed, which are two books I have yet to read, but they deal with the cognitive dissonance that comes after failed prophecy. It more often than not leads to a stronger conviction in the next chosen date, and rarely causes anyone to doubt that the end is coming.

  59. Sili says

    Well, Ireland rejected the Lisbon treaty. That’s too damn close for comfort, really.

  60. says

    When is the next time the world comes to an end? Is there anything sooner than Dec 21, 2012?

    Of course, the end of the world will be July 5th of 1998 this year, known as X-Day. The Church of the Subgenius has met every 1998 for the end of the world to be picked up by flying saucers, leaving the NORMALS to burn as the Earth is destroyed by the Xists as fortold by Jehovah One.

    Every year so far, the subgenii have uncovered another plot by the Conspiracy, Freemasons, Illuminati and others who have thrown off the calender, which is why July 5th 1998 has not happened yet.

    More information on X-Day, the rupture, and the one true kook Church

    Pull the wool over your OWN eyes, slack off NOW!!

    Praise Bob

  61. --PatF in Madison says

    If you look up “Yisrayl Hawkins” on YouTube you will find more stuff by this fool. My favorite is when he claims STDs cause global warming.

    Uhhh…. Yeah….

  62. says

    There are some jokes about how The End of the World will be reported in various newspapers. For those who know about Canada’s time zones: “World will end at eight o’clock, eight-thirty in Newfoundland.”

  63. Snitzels says

    Don’t worry, I emailed asking politely for an explanation. I’ll be sure to let everyone know what happened as soon as they get back with me. I’m sure it was simply a slipup…someone didn’t carry the one? Maybe the world DID end and we just didn’t get sucked up the heaven hose with all the “good” people?

  64. Arnosium Upinarum says

    Dennis N (#72): There is no doubt that everyone has an end coming. It doesn’t even require anything as strong as what you are pleased to consider a “conviction”. An idiot would know that.

    As for the claim that reading any books (which you “have yet to read”) “rarely cause anyone to doubt that the end is coming”, might I suggest that any fool already knows that things don’t last forever, but the biggest fools hasten it along?

  65. Dennis N says

    By the end, I mean worldwide apocalypse, not individual death.

    I don’t understand your second part. The books are studies on how people in cults react when the date of their prophecies pass and they are still around. What you would think causes cult members to give up their beliefs is the failure of the prophecy, but in fact it only increases their conviction in their beliefs.

  66. themadlolscientist says

    Yisrayl Hawkins. Bah. Humbug. If you need more proof that he’s a ß@+$#!+ crazy tard of the highest order, look no further than his family life. What sane man would set himself up with two dozen mothers-in-law?

    Meow, meow, meow, meow…… =^.^=

  67. says

    There are some jokes about how The End of the World will be reported in various newspapers

    Years ago, the Wall Street Journal had a joke version of the headline they’d use if the world ended, but the WSJ could still publish. It was a perfect example of the style of headlines and subheadlines they used. As best I recall it:

    Hundreds stranded in airports
    But some hope in Chicago
    You can’t take it with you

  68. Nick Gotts says

    watercat@25. 2004? Nah. I’m convinced it’s all been a rather badly-scripted SF simulation since the early ’80s. I mean: AIDS, the end of the Cold War, the Internet, climate change… come on, who do they think they’re kidding?

  69. JJR says

    Reporting live from Texas, the World is still not at an end.
    It’s Friday, and I’m just about outta here.
    Back to you in the studios, PZ…

  70. DLC says

    As I commented elsewhere: what good is an apocalyptic cult if you never have an apocalypse. No doubt the head witch-doctor is now proclaiming he saved the world by asking god to hold off the hammer of doom for a while. And no doubt god sayeth unto him: “so I shall stay the end, so long as your followers continue to donate large sums of money”, or words to that effect. Rather extreme when really all you need to do is proclaim that if you don’t get eight million dollars god will “call you home”.

  71. says

    God Cancels End of the World

    Today God, the Supreme Being, announced he was canceling the end of the world. Should Humanity come to in end, it will be Man’s own damn fault.

    Said God, “We just had a highly advanced species destroy itself some 3 billion light years from Earth. At the moment Heaven is dealing with a sudden influx of 20 billion whiny spirits, and we’re really not up to dealing with some 7 billion bitchy souls.”

    When asked when Humanity would see God deal with matters afflicting Mankind, He is reported as having said, “What, your arms’ broken?”

    Satan in turn had this to say, “God, you’re such pussies.”

  72. OctoberMermaid says

    I’m amazed Yisrayl Hawkins is known to anyone outside of town. I’ve lived near the cute little cult for years. Everyone in town (who, uh, isn’t in the cult) considers them a tiresome but harmless joke.

  73. BaldApe says

    Actually, the world did end in January of 2001. We have been in hell ever since.

  74. brian faux says

    A long time ago I read about Charles Taze Russell who I think was the founder of the Jehovahs Witnesses and predicted the end of the world (possibly As We Know It rather than big explosion)in 1914.
    Maybe (at least to westerners) he wasn`t that far wrong.