The Operation Blackjack website that’s caused all the fear and consternation now displays this:
Given that Blackjack presented a nightmare scenario of nuclear devices destroying London, New York, L.A., and D.C., let’s hope that the game is, indeed, over. Especially for the guy who created this disturbing psychology experiment.
T’seekers would be “truth seekers”, I presume. “JW” would probably be Justin Williams, an assistant editor at the London Telegraph. Web sleuths assume that Williams is the man behind Blackjack, which is plausible given his less than favorable view of Christians who believe that the End Times are on the way:
So many are obsessed with the apocalypse and fancy they see it in every bug, every conflict and every economic hiccup because they equate the destruction of civilisation with the End of All Our Problems — global, local and personal. Plunged into negative equity by the house price slump? How about a wipeout at the hands of some crazed bioterrorist to end your mortgage nightmare? Staring redundancy in the face? A spot of global thermonuclear war ought to loosen labour conditions. Tired of queueing in the post office for your child benefit? Heh, there’s always catastrophic global warming or the end of the Mayan calendar in 2012 to trim the numbers.
This is not just some collective unconscious hangup from the days of fire and brimstone: it is modern meme brought on and transmitted by reaction to the sheer unpleasantness of the here and now and a fear that a future of austerity after so many years of plenty would be a grimness too great to bear. For many people, particularly the fortunate ones outside of our towns and cities with access to land, provisions and shotguns, doom is just the logical development of self sufficiency and green thinking. Some believe that the only way to save the Earth is to cull the population; others believe that the Earth will do this for herself. Spend any time on the forums and counter culture sites that these doomers, as they call themselves, gather and you will have read the almost gleeful anticipation of the early swine flu developments and the prospect of many millions of deaths and the palpable disappointment that accompanied the inevitable downgrading of the threat.
The hysteria has been whipped up by the governments of the West with their constant drumbeats of doom: doom from terrorism, doom from global warming, doom from pandemic viruses. The bad guys are going to get us with their germs, their chemicals, their carbon emissions and their dirty bombs. Forget that we’ve debauched your pensions, your currencies and your financial futures, you must sacrifice your remaining civil liberties and your final shreds of dignity so that we can save you. Is it any wonder that so many Americans believe in the imminence of the Second Coming, the Day of Judgement and that their government is stockpiling plastic coffins and planning to herd the populace into concentration camps?
Thanks to the web and to our increasingly authoritarian governments, doom is no longer the preserve of the Branch Davidians or the Rapturists.
No doubt the Telegraph will dismiss criticism by pointing to the disclaimer that Blackjack was “fictional”. But just imagine if the storyline had included the fictional idea that, say, people of color were less intelligent than Caucasians, or — unthinkable in this era of kick-ass female movie heroines — that women are weaker than, and in need of protection by, men. How quickly do you think the Telegraph would replaced the piece with an apology?
But a fictional account of the gruesome deaths of tens of millions — that’s OK. Because it’s fictional. And, as Williams’ blog post cited above illustrates, because it shows how eager apocalyptic dupes are to accept end-of-the-world scenarios, even ones presented as fiction.
And that’s the takeaway from the Blackjack experiment in social engineering. Progressives are convinced that Christians who believe in a prophesied judgment are dangerous ideologues desperate to kick-start the Apocalypse.
Which is exactly why I made that conviction the premise of The God Conspiracy.