03.31.10

American Cults

Posted in Crazy Weapons, Extremism at 8:09 am by George Smith

Survivalism expert Jim Rawles discussed the mindset of preparedness in an uncertain world, and the wild cards to prepare for including solar flares, EMP attacks & global economic collapse …

Part of what made Mark Thompson’s write-up for TIME magazine on electromagnetic pulse doom so wretched was the omission of how many far right kooks subscribe to it. When a journalist does this he’s dishonest, trying to cover up those inconvenient details which strip an issue of respectability and take it into the land of nuts.

The box quote is from a recent post to YouTube of a recording from Coast to Coast, the nationwide radio show that caters to listeners who believe in ghosts, big feet, UFOs, chem trail poisoning and the coming end.

For the past two years, electromagnetic pulse doom has been a regular feature of it, too. And one can frequently hear William Forstchen there, for his book — One Second After — which deals with an EMP attack throwing America back to the time of The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.

Forstchen is connected with Newt Gingrich, another member of the Cult of EMP Crazy, one fond of pushing the author’s book because he wrote a foreword for it.
Amusing one-star reviews of the book are here on Amazon.

Forstchen’s book is only fiction.

However, there is a far right kook portion of this country’s populace that is obsessed with end times mythology and survivalism. The Coast to Coast guest tries to make the point that the Christian white identity crazies who comprise ninety-nine point eight percent of it somehow share common ground with tree-huggers and hippies.

When the mainstream media covers these stories, the pieces are linked to the arrival of Barack Obama as president of the United States. And more and more, one sees experts from the Southern Poverty Law Center, a group that tracks extremism in the US, consulted when small groups of these people are carted off to jail.

The electromagnetic pulse doomers are not generally potential criminal nuisances. But they share much with the Hutaree including an increasingly insane rage over the Obama administration.

Some, like the Hutaree, are obsessed with the apocalyptic ending of civilization. Fortschen’s book, for example, is hardly the only example. Here is another entire series of Christian sermonizing built into an extended parable about the end brought on by an electromagnetic pulse. (And still another here, including a rant about the president.)

Reasonable people see the connections. The far right is a home for these types. It is welcoming and inclusive to them in 2010. The raging gripes about the descent of the US government into tyranny and the coming of the end are part of the mainstream daily noise.

Back in September, sampling from the old blog:

Stockpile! Obama will bring on the end of things. The masses — me included — will come rushing out of LA, head north and try to steal your stuff. Buy ammo or books on how to make landmines and makeshift claymores, so you can defend your stuff from those of us who would take it without paying in silver or gold.

“[Some white Americans, all Republicans] think an electromagnetic pulse — EMP for short — set off by a hostile nation exploding a nuclear device in space could fry computer chips — shutting down everything from toasters and cell phones to trucks moving food, medicine and other essentials around the nation,” reports the Oregonian.

[A precious metals] dealer, said some of his customers ‘are actually making sure they have a vehicle that’s not going to be impacted by an EMP.'”

“Failure of the power grid is a common theme — say if huge federal deficits trigger inflation and workers abandon their jobs, or if solar flares damage the grid the way they fused telegraph lines in 1859.”

“[Some fellow in the countryside] has factored predatory gangs into his plans to flee to his Snake River hideout with his wife … and their supplies.”

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