An Interview with Author J. Allan Danelek
1. Why is 2012 said to be “the end of the world as we know it?” What are the implications of this statement?
Several books written over the last few years have suggested that when the Mayan Long Count calendar ends its fifth 5,125 year cycle on December 21, 2012, it will usher in a time of transition as the world moves into its next 5,125 year cycle. Some have interpreted this ancient belief to mean a number of catastrophic events will occur on that date, while others suggest this “end” will be more of a spiritual transition point rather than a physical event. In either case, millions believe the date holds tremendous significance for the future of humanity.
2. Besides the Mayan prophecy, are there others that state that the year 2012 will bring about worldwide change?
Several cultures over the centuries have supposedly made the case for cyclic changes taking place throughout history. Outside the Mayans, perhaps the Hopi are the best known for this, as are a few others as well. However, none of these groups have made specific claims as to when these cycles end or begin, the 2012 date being more a recent addition to these supposedly “ancient” beliefs than an original element of their teaching. It’s also important to recognize that many cultures that integrate astrology into their religious beliefs work around the premise of “earth cycles,” so none of these other belief systems are particularly unique in that respect.
However, I believe 2012 has been effectively co-opted by many in the “ends time business,” who have come out of the woodwork in an attempt to tie their individual ends-time ideas to the year. In effect, once 2012 became popularized, it became a magnet for every ends time belief system out there, much like honey attracting bees. The fact is that when one examines most of these ideas that predate the current 2012 craze, they’ll find little or no mention of when these cycles are set to end or begin. The 2012 date is merely handy.
3. The 2012 prophecy can be classified as a “doomsday,” or “end of the world,” prophecy. Why are such annihilistic beliefs often repeated throughout history?
I suppose it has to do with the fact that until comparatively recently, life was hard, brutal, and short. As such, end of the world prophecies promised a way to escape the cruelties of life by ushering in a golden age or, at very least, creating a path to heaven. In effect, they are an escape mechanism.
4. There have been several prophecies, “doomsday” or otherwise, in the past that have failed to come true. Why do you think that is?
Because all doomsday prophecies are nothing more than one person’s idea of what they believe will happen, based purely on their own intuition, imagination or misreading of ancient holy texts. In effect, they fail because the people making the predictions don’t know what they’re talking about.
5. Are there any prophecies that you feel have been proven “true?”
Edgar Cayce appears to have had a few “hits” with his predictions about the stock market crash of 1929 and the Second World War, though in being predicted so close to the time of these events, these might have simply been good guesses. Cayce was known to be a vociferous reader and may simply have been good at “reading the times,” making his predictions less prophetic in nature and more a result of astute observations. For the most part, however, I cannot find any prophecies that have been specific enough or accurate enough to be considered an undeniable example of a fulfilled prophecy.
6. The 2012 prophecy has garnered a large amount of attention, especially by the media. Why do you think this particular prophecy has received more attention than other, similar prophecies of the past?
Most likely because of the ease and speed at which new ideas are communicated nowadays. With the advent of the Internet, Twitter, and a host of other devices, ideas that might have been largely ignored by the traditional media can be accessed at the speed of light anywhere in the world. This makes it far easier to get these ideas out there, which has not been the case in the past (with the possible exception of the Y2K scare in 1999).
7. “The end of the world as we know it” can be interpreted in several different ways, as indicated above. What exactly do you feel 2012 holds for us?
Nothing out of the ordinary, beyond the Olympics and another presidential election. Good things and bad things are going to happen now and throughout the foreseeable future. It’s up to the individual to decide how much significance they want to assign any of them.
8. Is there any way we can change the course of the future, to ensure that whatever change occurs is positive change?
I don’t know if we can change the future, but we can understand that it is not something to be dreaded or feared. Life is a gift that should be enjoyed, not something to be endured. I suspect if more people embraced that idea, we might look forward to a much more positive future and even begin to create the sort of golden age so many “prophets” promise is coming.