Hagee's EU Antichrist Predates Hutaree's
The claims made in "Ten Horns of the European Super State, Mr. Europe, and Seven Years of Peace in Israel," a 31-page document about the end times on the Hutaree's website, are not uncommon, although many world leaders besides Solana have been targeted as the Antichrist. Televangelist and founder of Christians United for Israel (CUFI), John Hagee, describes in equally minute detail the imminent "Fourth Reich" that he claims will emerge through a revived Roman Empire. In Hagee's movie Vanished, the Antichrist is portrayed as the "President of the European Union" who brings about a "New World Order" very much like that in the grand conspiracy theories currently rampant throughout our society. Cloud Ten, a Christian-themed movie company which produced the movie starring and co-written by Hagee, lists it on their website under the heading documentaries.
Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins sold over 60 million copies of the Left Behind series of fictional prophecy books in which the Antichrist was portrayed as Nicolae Carpathia, Secretary General of the U.N. Cloud Ten also produced the Left Behind movies as well as an additional series of movies produced from 1998 - 2002 which continued the story line of Hagee's Vanished. In these movies the Antichrist/E.U. leader Franco Macalousso heads "One Nation Earth." The movies portray police, officials, and media around the world as working with this one-world government to hunt, torture, and kill newly "born again" Christians during the period of Tribulation.
These end times prophecy narratives are not intended by their authors to be viewed as futuristic fiction, but as representations of coming prophesied events. Both Hagee and LaHaye produced study bibles to accompany their media. Hagee's Prophecy Study Bible was published in 1997, and the Tim LaHaye Prophecy Study Bible in 2000, both including charts, timelines and graphics of the events of the end times.
Chip Berlet wrote in his Religion Dispatches article,
"Some 20-40 percent of the population of the United States tell pollsters that the biblical prophecies about an End Times battle between Godly Christians and the evil forces of Satan predict actual future history."
Berlet emphasizes that apocalyptic conspiracy theories are not new. These narratives have been used at different times in history to demonize Roman Catholics, Jews, and Freemasons, among others.
In the late 1800s and early 1900s, American fundamentalists embraced a literal and meticulously detailed end times narrative which plotted out the events that would have to take place before Jesus could return to earth. The major teaching aid was the commentary of The Scofield Study Bible. I have a republished 1917 edition which includes notes below the verses, for instance, stating that Gog and Magog in Ezekiel refers to Russia, and that Revelation 13 refers to a future rebuilding of the Roman empire which will be headed by the "Beast" or Antichrist, and will be "outwardly religious, scientific, cultured, and elegant." Books like Daniel and Revelation are interpreted as literal road maps of current political events.
Many fundamentalists, including some of the editors of the 1917 version of The Scofield Study Bible, also embraced the overt anti-Semitic conspiracy theories of their era which they believed confirmed the validity of their Antichrist narrative. Like many "restorationists" before and since, their narrative was extremely Judeo-centric in terms of the prerequisites for the end times, and despite the anti-Semitic undertones, became the foundation for modern Christian Zionism. Jews and unbelievers would have to endure the horrors of the end times, but evangelical Christian believers would be spared by being snatched from the earth to heaven in the "rapture" just prior to the Antichrist's takeover of the world.
The explosion of prophecy media beginning in the 1970s provided unprecedented exposure to these Antichrist narratives. Millions of copies of books were sold by Hagee and LaHaye as well as an array of other prophecy writers. Across the country pastors and seminary professors were challenged by readers who assumed that the blockbuster Left Behind prophecy somehow represented standard Christian eschatology (end times theology). The reality is that most denominations from across the spectrum have soundly rejected this literal end times narrative.
Warriors of the End Times
What was interesting about the Hutaree militia is that they apparently share the belief in many details of the Antichrist narrative and timeline, but pointedly reject the belief that Christians will be snatched to heaven before things really start to get ugly. On their website, under the heading "The Beast" they reject a "pre-Trib" rapture, meaning that they believe Christians must prepare to remain on earth during the "Tribulation" or the horrors of the end times.
This has become increasingly common in recent years as many fundamentalists and charismatics are teaching that Christians must begin to train for the battle against the Antichrist. The idea of being raptured before the battles has been deemed cowardly and defeatist. Furthermore, since there will be no obvious event like the rapture to signal the beginning of the Tribulation, some are teaching that the fighting could begin at any moment. They view their role as similar to the heroic warriors in the books and movies of Hagee and LaHaye, despite the fact that both of these evangelists advertise their marketed products as warnings about the dangers of remaining unsaved and being "left behind," and therefore as evangelizing tools. The Left Behind series was supplemented by marketed CDs of testimonies of those who had found salvation due to reading these books, including Jews, Mainline Protestants, and Catholics.
Hagee's E.U. Antichrist
In Hagee's movie Vanished, the head of the E.U., Franco Macalousso, takes control following the chaos of the rapture, in which millions of people suddenly vanish from the earth. The Antichrist Macalousso brings peace, order and stability. One of his first acts of business is a 7-year peace treaty between Jews and Muslims signed in Jerusalem. He is hailed by most of those left on earth as a man of peace and vision, and lauded in interviews and press coverage by World News Network (WNN) apparently a play on CNN. (Hagee thanks God for FOX news from the pulpit.)
The movie's drama is interrupted every few moments for narration by Hagee, which is given as if he is talking to those who have been left behind. He coaches them to resist the appeals of the Antichrist. Hagee states, "He will seem like the greatest leader who ever lived." The nonbelievers who are left behind are represented in the portrayal of a Catholic priest and a Jewish rabbi who declare Macalousso to be the true messiah since he has brought peace.
Once Macalousso has taken control he begins to take power over his one-world government. The new Christian believers who reject him are targeted by everyone else as "Haters," who are an impediment to the "New Order," and are beaten in the streets and imprisoned. In France, followers of Macalousso try to get through the fences to attack the Christian prisoners who are interned. Churches and piles of bibles are lit on fire by the angry mobs in a night scene reminiscent of Kristallnacht, the night in 1938 when many of Germany and Austria's synagogues were burned down and Jewish businesses destroyed. The first church in Hagee's scene of burning churches is labeled "Berlin."
Harbingers of the Antichrist
Hagee's movie begins with the events of the rapture, but in his books and sermons he provides the warning signs of the coming one-world government of the Antichrist. At the top of the list is efforts to bring about peace in the Middle East which are considered to be of demonic origin. Hagee has claimed that the Antichrist may "perhaps be a Nobel Peace Prize winner."
Hagee charges that both George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton advanced the agenda of the "New World Order." Hagee describes this as an ongoing satanic rebellion that began on the "plains of Shinar" as a plot by Nimrod in Babylon, then continuing through history in the form of the Illuminati, "a super secret European organization of international financial power brokers." He then tracks this Illuminati conspiracy to Hitler, Stalin, the New Deal, the United Nations, and the Federal Reserve, which he claims is controlled by the Rothschilds.
Hagee claims the conspirators are attacking patriotism, family, and evangelical Christianity, and intentionally devaluating the U.S. dollar in preparation to take sovereignty from the U.S. and give it to the powers of the "New World Order." Planned Parenthood, the NEA, the Rockerfeller Foundation, Council on Foreign Relations, the United Nations, and the European Union, are not just opposed politically by Hagee, but described as tools of Satanic forces to destroy the U.S. in preparation for the Antichrist. Hagee states, "After a collapse of the world's monetary system, he will assume control and usher in a few years of unprecedented and spectacular prosperity and peace."
Like the document on the Hutaree website, Hagee interprets the ten little horns of Daniel 7 to refer to the European Union as the revived Roman Empire that produces the Antichrist.
"In time, the United Nations is going to be replaced by a European Union of ten nations, with headquarters in Europe, that will birth the Fourth Reich. From the Tower of Babel, to the United Nations, to what will soon develop out of Europe, in the rebirth of the Roman Empire, godless men have been clamoring for thousands of years for a New World Order, and God is about to say to them its enough, you've rejected me, you've rejected my word, you've rejected my son, and I'm going to send Satan's messiah, the son of perdition, and I'm going to let him rule the world for seven bloody years. It's going to be a nightmare like the world can never fathom, the antichrist is going to make Hitler look like a choir boy. When he first comes to power he's going to slaughter one third of the earth's population. He's going to produce hell on earth. You'll take his mark in your hand, and when you do, you have damned your soul. If you do not take his mark, he will cut your head off."
Like the narrative on the Hutaree website, Hagee goes into great detail to explain why the number ten is still applicable to the European Union although it now has more than ten nations.
Hagee does not play the game of naming public figures as the Antichrist, but, in addition to his movie depiction of the Antichrist as the head of the EU, he has described from his pulpit that the Antichrist is probably German and most definitely gay and "partially Jewish as was Adolf Hitler, as was Karl Marx." The last quote has been pointed out numerous times on Talk2action, however, it should be understood not only in the context of anti-Semitism but in the context of the fear being generated about the coming reign of the Antichrist.
Apocalyptic Conspiracy Media - Cloud Ten, God TV, The Prophecy Club In addition to the Left Behind movies, Cloud Ten produced another series with the titles Apocalypse, Revelation, Tribulations, and Judgment, which continued the same story line as John Hagee's movie. Apocalypse featured Jack van Impe in the role of warning those left behind, as Hagee did in Vanished. In these movies, produced from 1998 to 2001, groups of Christian resistance develop against the Antichrist. Government leaders and media figures from around the world partner with Macalousso to torture and execute Christians by guillotine. Movies in the series included known actors and actresses such as Gary Busey, Margot Kidder, Nick Mancuso, Cobin Bernson, Mr. T., Carol Alt, and Howie Mandel.
Cloud Ten is currently advertising Grant Jeffrey's Shadow Government, How the Global Elite Plan to Destroy your Democracy and Freedom, as a documentary, and Final Warning: Economic Collapse and the Coming World Government, along Jack and Rexella van Impe's Mark of the Beast. The Hutaree's site linked to the Van Impe's ministry which broadcasts around the nation warinings of the U.S. government's role in the coming "New World Order."
God TV, which claims to reach a viewing international audience of over 400 million, broadcasts "John Hagee Today" daily and also is running their second annual Apocalypse and the End Times series. The series features evangelists warning of the coming "New World Order" including Paul McGuire, professor at Jack Hayford's King of Kings Seminary and author of the The Day the Dollar Died. McGuire claims that the financial meltdown is a conspiracy of the coming one-world government to destroy the dollar and will result in Christian patriots being interned in concentration camps being built all over the United States. God TV features a combination of those who believe that Christians will be raptured and those who believe that Christians must prepare to fight in the end times. Currently Mike Bickle is featured explaining why tolerance is evil and a sign of the Antichrist and gives his explanations for why Christians will remain on earth during the Tribulation. (He teaches a post-Trib but pre-millennial rapture.)
These end times narratives have become increasingly conspiracy laden since the 1990s, but are still tame compared to those of The Prophecy Club, which has been the topic of several articles by Talk2action contributors. The Prophecy Club distributes videos such as Imminent Military Takeover II by (Ret.) Col. Jim Ammerman, and over 100 other apocalyptic/New World Order conspiracy movies. Most of these videos were produced in the 1990s, many as attacks on the Clinton administration, but these themes continued during the George W. Bush administration and have been revived on a larger scale since the 2008 election. Many of these speakers are explicit in their claims that American sovereignty is about to be lost to the "New World Order" and that after martial law is proclaimed, FEMA concentration camps outfitted with guillotines and/or gas and will execute Christian patriot who resist.
Variations of these narratives have become part of the fabric of much of American culture. They are not limited to the "virulent elements on the far-right political and religious fringes" as claimed in Newsweek. Grand conspiracy theories are a method for redirecting anger from the actual political policies that have impacted Americans, to scapegoating a narrow segment of the population. Strikingly absent from these narratives are critiques of the dangers for working Americans in the continuous assault on regulatory policy and the elimination of New Deal protections. The dangers are all defined as coming from coordinated cabals of satanic conspirators or "Global Elite."
Again, the dangers of these apocalyptic narratives are not just in the possible violence of the fringe. These narratives are barriers to informed and intelligent political dialogue. It is becoming increasingly imperative that we recognize and address these grand conspiracy narratives and how they are being used to manipulate the valid fears and distress of millions of Americans.
Hagee's EU Antichrist Predates Hutaree's | 2 comments (2 topical, 0 hidden)
Hagee's EU Antichrist Predates Hutaree's | 2 comments (2 topical, 0 hidden)