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“”The title and cover may change, but the message is always the same: The end is nearer than the last time I said the end is near.
|—T. L. Frazier on Hal Lindsey|
Hal Lindsey (1929–) is an American evangelist and author who promotes fundamentalist Christian end-times rapture dogma and dispensationalism. He has a television show airing on various fundamentalist networks where he mostly rants and raves about "Islamofascism."
The Late, Great Planet Earth
Lindsey is perhaps best known for his book The Late, Great Planet Earth, that attempts to demonstrate that the Bible predicted the then current state of the world and thus serves as the blueprint for all kinds of fantastic predictions for the future. These predictions involve virtually every known conspiracy theory including the rise of a one world government, the Illuminati, the occult, etc. The book is essentially a popularization of 19th Century theologian John Nelson Darby's premillennial dispensationalism.
Somehow, the book managed to become the best-selling non-fiction book of the entire 1970s, selling over 35 million copies, proving that the public's appetite for fiction is so strong that a fiction book can even top the non-fiction list.
The Late, Great Planet Earth was made into a feature film in 1979. It even had a run in the theaters and was narrated by Orson Welles.[note 1] Critics were not amused and gave it a near-universal thumbs down.
Satan Is Alive and Well On Planet Earth
Lindsey followed up The Late Great Planet Earth with Satan Is Alive and Well On Planet Earth in 1972, sounding the alarm over hip young people getting into astrology, Tarot cards, Ouija boards, marijuana, LSD, and of course Satanism in the 1970s. He went on to become a major promoter of the Satanic Panic and Satanic ritual abuse myths in the 1980s, most notably when he championed the fraudulent "testimony" of serial fake-victim storyteller Lauren Stratford.
Armageddon is coming
In 1980, Lindsey published The 1980s: Countdown to Armageddon, making the prediction that a pre-tribulational rapture would take place in 1981, seven years before Israel's 40th anniversary as a reestablished nation, because the founding of Israel set off a "prophetic clock" which committed Jesus to wrap things up within a "generation" (i.e., 40 years). When Jesus didn't return in 1981 or 1988, he said that a generation could be 70 years, so Jesus should return before 2018.
In Facing Millennial Midnight: The Y2K Crisis Confronting America and the World, Lindsey predicted widespread confusion and panic over the Y2K crisis, seven years before the 40th anniversary of the capture of Jerusalem by the Israelis, which was the event which really started the prophetic clock ticking all along. Of course, Y2K was a bust, and 2007 passed without Armageddon happening, so we're back to the 70 year generation idea. So maybe 2018, but 2037 for sure.
Pump and dump
In 2007, Lindsey told viewers of his television show that Zion Oil and Gas, a Texas-based hydrocarbon exploration company, was "on the verge of discovering oil," and that this points to the imminent return of the Messiah. He made similar pronouncements in his column on the right wing nut site World Net Daily. This caused the stock price of Zion Oil to increase over twenty percent. Lindsey did not disclose that at the same time, he and his relatives owned millions of dollars of stock in Zion Oil. This is known as a type of fraud, "pump and dump", but no charges were filed against Lindsey.
- Welles' debasement of narrating Late, Great… was partly-redeemed three years later by reprising his narrational stylings in Mel Brooks' comedy History of the World, Part I.
- T. L. Frazier, A Second Look at the Second Coming: Sorting Through the Speculations, Conciliar Press Ministries Inc. (October 20, 1999). ISBN 1888212144
- Hal Lindsey, The Late, Great Planet Earth. Zondervan, 1970. ISBN 031027771X
- Recent Premillenalism: Late Great Predictions at the Christian History Institute.
- America's Doom Industry on PBS Frontline.
- Prophetic belief in the United States, William Miller and the Second Awakening on PBS Frontline.
- Penn & Teller: Bullshit!, episode 1.04, End of the World
- Review of "The Late, Great Planet Earth" on infidels.org. "The quote from Demosthenes at the head of the first chapter should have revealed what would follow, but it didn't ring through to the Fool until second reading: 'We believe whatever we want to believe.' This is precisely what Lindsey does in the face of all evidence to the contrary."
- Hal Lindsey, The Late Great Planet Earth (1979) on youtube.
- The Late Great Planet Earth (1979) on imdb.com. The featured review calls it "One of the dumbest films of all time!"
- Hal Lindsey, Satan Is Alive and Well on Planet Earth. Zondervan, 1972. ISBN 0310277914
- Hal Lindsey, The 1980s: Countdown to Armageddon, Bantam, 1981. ISBN 0553013033
- Hal Lindsey, Facing Millennium Midnight. Western Front Ltd., 1999. ISBN 1888848294
- Mariah Blake, Let There Be Light Crude. on motherjones.com, January/February 2008.