According to a poll conducted against the grim backdrop of climate change, the pandemic, nuclear brinksmanship, and doomsday cults, nearly four in ten Americans believe we are “living in the end times.”
According to a Pew Research Center survey of more than 10,000 Americans, 39% believe we are living in the “end times,” while 58% are confident that we are not headed for doom.
The Covid-19 pandemic, which has killed 6.65 million people worldwide, and worries about a warming climate with more severe hurricanes and wildfires were related by researchers to the high number of doomsayers.
They may also mention the threat made by Vladimir Putin of using nuclear weapons in his conflict with Ukraine or the narrow escape that the US democracy had when protestors stormed the Capitol on January 6 of last year.
The researchers from Pew noted that historically, “periods of tragedy and fear, such as the coronavirus epidemic, have prompted some individuals to expect that the end of the world as we know it — the “end times” — is nigh.”
In addition to turning back to “holy scripture” and the belief among Christians that “Jesus will return to Earth after or amid a time of great turmoil,” they continued, “those anxieties connect to both current reality and looking to the past.”
Although a majority of Christians believe that the Judgement Day is rapidly approaching, there are significant disparities among Christians regarding the end of the world; whereas 63 percent of evangelicals believe this, only 27 percent of Catholics do.
There is a partisan bias as well; only 33% of Democrats believe that the end of the world is near, compared to 46% of Republicans. Graduates from colleges were less certain that the end of the world was imminent than were people with only a high school diploma.
Even earlier before Michael Nostradamus’ predictions of a “king of terror” descending on the planet in the seventh month of 1999, there have been theories concerning the end of the world.
In September, a similarly outlandish and ultimately untrue idea that prophesied a global catastrophe on the 24th of that month after the posting of a video of a German politician went viral on TikTok.
However, those who demand the rapture have a wide range of other options.
Heinz von Foerster, an Austrian-American scientist, prophesied that humanity will end due to overpopulation in November 2026, the same year as the Messiah Foundation International claims an asteroid will strike Earth.
The QAnon conspiracy theory, which holds that an elite devil-worshiping pedophile class secretly controls US and international institutions, has given doomsday cults fresh life.
The views of QAnon, which include religiously inspired notions about societal purges and a Great Awakening that will bring redemption, are now held by close to 5% of Americans.
The survey by Pew also looked at opinions on the Christian belief that Jesus would someday come back to Earth for what is known as the “second coming.” Three quarters of Christians and more than half of US citizens believed that Christ would return.
In order to bring down the then-presidential candidate Donald Trump, a poster going by the name Q posted messages on the anti-mainstream website 4chan, claiming to be a senior federal official. This is where QAnon first appeared.
The discredited “Pizzagate” conspiracy theory that senior Democrats were engaging in pedophilia and cannibalism from a restaurant’s basement in Washington, DC, gave rise to Q. Q’s claims that Trump would topple the deep state and leave behind “clues” helped Q gain traction.
The central element of the conspiracy theory is that a group of powerful Democrats, Hollywood celebrities, and ‘deep state’ friends controlled organizations and a huge child sex ring.
It has evolved into a “big tent” conspiracy theory that includes untruths about anything from the safety of vaccines to alien landings. Followers claim that the inaccuracies are part of Q’s broader plan whenever the theories turn out to be false.
A purported Great Awakening, according to QAnon adherents, will usher in salvation.
The “Q” postings, which first appeared on 4chan in 2017, have also appeared on 8kun, a rebranded version of the defunct web forum 8chan.
Major social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have banned QAnon-related content and suspended or blocked accounts that promote it. Because of this, the majority of the group’s operations are now conducted on less moderated platforms like Telegram, Gab, and Trump’s faltering network, Truth Social.
People who have indicated support for the conspiracy idea have been connected to an increasing number of criminal incidents, which US intelligence authorities have warned could lead to increased bloodshed.
Supporters of QAnon were among those who brutally assaulted the Capitol building on January 6, 2021, during the unsuccessful uprising that sought to invalidate the results of the 2020 election.
In November 2020, two men drove a Hummer equipped with QAnon stickers, a rifle, 100 rounds of ammunition, and other weapons to a vote-counting location in Philadelphia. Authorities claimed that they were attempting to sway the outcome of the election.
A California father who claimed to have been enlightened by QAnon was charged with murdering his two children last year on the grounds that he thought they contained snake DNA.
A Colorado lady was convicted of trying to abduct her son from foster care in August after her daughter said she started hanging out with QAnon followers. Other followers have been charged with kidnapping a child in France, killing a New York City mob boss, shooting paintballs at military reservists, and environmental destruction.
Last month, police in Michigan fatally shot a man they said killed his wife and badly hurt his daughter. The Detroit News was informed by a surviving daughter that she thinks her father was inspired by QAnon.