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Old 12-03-2012, 12:35 AM   #1
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Russians freaking out about the apocalypse

From the NYT:

Quote:
Inmates in a women’s prison near the Chinese border are said to have experienced a “collective mass psychosis” so intense that their wardens summoned a priest to calm them. In a factory town east of Moscow, panicked citizens stripped shelves of matches, kerosene, sugar and candles. A huge Mayan-style archway is being built — out of ice — on Karl Marx Street in Chelyabinsk in the south.

For those not schooled in New Age prophecy, there are rumors the world will end on Dec. 21, 2012, when a 5,125-year cycle known as the Long Count in the Mayan calendar supposedly comes to a close. Russia, a nation with a penchant for mystical thinking, has taken notice.

Last week, Russia’s government decided to put an end to the doomsday talk. Its minister of emergency situations said Friday that he had access to “methods of monitoring what is occurring on the planet Earth,” and that he could say with confidence that the world was not going to end in December. He acknowledged, however, that Russians were still vulnerable to “blizzards, ice storms, tornadoes, floods, trouble with transportation and food supply, breakdowns in heat, electricity and water supply.”

Similar assurances have been issued in recent days by Russia’s chief sanitary doctor, a top official of the Russian Orthodox Church, lawmakers from the State Duma and a former disc jockey from Siberia who recently placed first in the television show “Battle of the Psychics.” One official proposed prosecuting Russians who spread the rumor — starting on Dec. 22.

***

Russians, however, can be powerfully transported by emotions, as the Rev. Tikhon Irshenko witnessed during his visit to Prison Colony No. 10 in the village of Gornoye. In an interview with the Data news service, Father Tikhon said he was summoned to the prison in November. The wardens told him that anxiety over the Mayan prophecy had been building for two months, and some inmates had broken out of the facility “because of their disturbing thoughts.” Some of the women were sick, or having seizures, he said.

“Once, when the prisoners were standing in formation, one of them imagined that the earth yawned, and they were all stricken by fear and ran in all directions,” the priest said. He lectured the inmates about the signs of the apocalypse according to the New Testament, he said, and after that “the populist statements about the end of the world were dispelled and the tension eased.”

Worth a read. One particularly interesting suggestion about why they're freaking out:

Quote:
Though news outlets are likely to pay a price for this episode, Maria Eismont, a columnist for the newspaper Vedomosti, argued that the government’s recent embrace of archaic religious conservatism set the stage for apocalyptic thinking. At the blasphemy trial against the punk protest band Pussy Riot last summer, she noted, the young band members were sentenced in part on the basis of writings by Orthodox clerics from the seventh and fourth centuries.

“It would be unfair to consider Omutninsk a unique site of flourishing mysticism,” she wrote. “If Cossacks in operatic costumes march in downtown Moscow, and the State Duma is quite seriously considering introducing punishment for the violation of believers’ feelings, then why shouldn’t people living in a depressed town a thousand kilometers from Moscow not buy matches out of a fear of cosmic flares?”
Raises an interesting point about expecting your population to behave rationally when the government has repeatedly made demand of them based on something as irrational as religious fundamentalism. Or nearing it, at least. Essentially saying: I demand that you believe in this silly proclaimation and ignore all other similarly silly proclamations.

That said, it seems to be more of a cultural than religious issue. There are plenty of fundies in the US and I haven't heard any reports like this coming from there. It is really interesting how sensitive some people are to this kind of stress. And the scenes inside the women's prisons are also really fascinating. Strange.


Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/02/wo...elsewhere.html

This is probably riddled with typos; I'm iPhone posting.
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Old 12-03-2012, 12:52 AM   #2
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Steven Spielberg could use this in his next movie.
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Old 12-03-2012, 02:34 AM   #3
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"Russians were still vulnerable to “blizzards, ice storms, tornadoes, floods, trouble with transportation and food supply, breakdowns in heat, electricity and water supply.”
But no apocalypse.
Ah, the government: providing comfort and assurances once again.
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Old 12-03-2012, 04:06 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frimble3 View Post
"Russians were still vulnerable to “blizzards, ice storms, tornadoes, floods, trouble with transportation and food supply, breakdowns in heat, electricity and water supply.”
But no apocalypse.
Ah, the government: providing comfort and assurances once again.
The government made good on it's prediction.

Quote:
Thousands of drivers have been trapped since Thursday in a huge traffic jam on a major freeway connecting Moscow and St. Petersburg, caused by heavy snowfall.
At its worst point the line of trucks stretched 200 kilometers, starting in the Moscow region and ending in the Tver region.
The Emergencies ministry dispatched some 175 rescuers and 100 snow-cleaning vehicles in response to the heavy snowfall.
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Old 12-03-2012, 09:52 AM   #5
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I can't wait for Dec. 21 to arrive, just so people will stop being stupid about this very stupid thing.
The Mayans didn't even predict an apocalypse on this date. And even if they did, why would they be right about it?? If they were such great prophets, why aren't they still around?
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Old 12-03-2012, 10:36 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by efreysson View Post
I can't wait for Dec. 21 to arrive, just so people will stop being stupid about this very stupid thing.
We'll just start hearing about a new date that's supposed to be the end of the world.
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Old 12-03-2012, 01:38 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Shadow Dragon View Post
We'll just start hearing about a new date that's supposed to be the end of the world.
December 22nd.
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Old 12-03-2012, 02:26 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Shadow Dragon View Post
We'll just start hearing about a new date that's supposed to be the end of the world.
Exactly. It was supposed to end last October too, iirc. The other day, as a joke, I google "the world is going to end" plus my birth date (88) apparently the world was going to end that year too.
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Old 12-03-2012, 02:56 PM   #9
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We'll just start hearing about a new date that's supposed to be the end of the world.
I was just advised on Friday by an anonymous internet poster, that certain astrological charts in John Dee's Monas Hieroglyphica indicate that the world will end May 9, 2016. Enjoy, your reprieve...
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Old 12-03-2012, 03:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by efreysson View Post
I can't wait for Dec. 21 to arrive, just so people will stop being stupid about this very stupid thing.
The Mayans didn't even predict an apocalypse on this date. And even if they did, why would they be right about it?? If they were such great prophets, why aren't they still around?
The maya are still around. They survived a brutally thorough attempt by Spanish missionaries to wipe out every aspect of their culture.

The prophecy thing is still nonsense.
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Old 12-03-2012, 03:03 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by efreysson View Post
I can't wait for Dec. 21 to arrive, just so people will stop being stupid about this very stupid thing.
The Mayans didn't even predict an apocalypse on this date. And even if they did, why would they be right about it?? If they were such great prophets, why aren't they still around?
Whenever this comes up, my tendency is to start explaining about the different Mayan calendars, and how every calendar, including the one on my wall, has an end date and then you start a new calendar.

But then I stop, because I remember the whole thing is based on somebody thinking that a particular preindustrial people had a magical ability to look into the future.
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Old 12-03-2012, 03:50 PM   #12
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I can't believe it, but I had a dream about the end of the world last night. In my dream, I even said, "Maybe the world really will end on December 21st." I woke up in terror which was followed quickly by the greatest relief of my life when I realized it was just a dream. LOL
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Old 12-03-2012, 03:55 PM   #13
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I woke up in terror which was followed quickly by the greatest relief of my life when I realized it was just a dream. LOL
Or was it?

Maybe this is a dream and that was real.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVSRm80WzZk
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Old 12-03-2012, 04:18 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Alpha Echo View Post
I can't believe it, but I had a dream about the end of the world last night. In my dream, I even said, "Maybe the world really will end on December 21st." I woke up in terror which was followed quickly by the greatest relief of my life when I realized it was just a dream. LOL
I dream about the apocalypse whenever I'm really stressed out. Planes falling from the sky, buildings swallowed by the earth. It's just as unsettling each time.
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Old 12-03-2012, 04:52 PM   #15
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I was just advised on Friday by an anonymous internet poster, that certain astrological charts in John Dee's Monas Hieroglyphica indicate that the world will end May 9, 2016. Enjoy, your reprieve...
I'll bet it was Kenneth Grant.
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Old 12-03-2012, 05:19 PM   #16
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I dream about the apocalypse whenever I'm really stressed out. Planes falling from the sky, buildings swallowed by the earth. It's just as unsettling each time.
Me too. When I was little, it was giant Godzilla-type monsters, or Soviet H-bombs. Nowadays, it's more general collapse and gigadeaths from war and famine. Which I actually expect to happen.
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Old 12-03-2012, 05:58 PM   #17
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Me too. When I was little, it was giant Godzilla-type monsters, or Soviet H-bombs. Nowadays, it's more general collapse and gigadeaths from war and famine. Which I actually expect to happen.
I don't dream it, but I expect it.
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Old 12-03-2012, 06:03 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by frimble3 View Post
"Russians were still vulnerable to “blizzards, ice storms, tornadoes, floods, trouble with transportation and food supply, breakdowns in heat, electricity and water supply.”
But no apocalypse.
Ah, the government: providing comfort and assurances once again.
So, the world's not going to end - they'll just wish it would.
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Old 12-03-2012, 06:06 PM   #19
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