ONE PROPHECY TOO MANY?
American films and culture thrive on disaster scenarios. It may have something to do with the role of the apocalyptic in American religion or the feeling engendered by the competitive atmosphere of American capitalism that life itself is one big crisis. It's rare however with so many false prophets and doomsters in America that a preacher can have a forecast made on only his Blog internationally known and into sceptical press outlets like The Australian. But David Wilkerson as founder of Teen Challenge, (now World Challenge) and one of the first pastors anywhere back in the sixties to tackle inner city drug and crime problems and as such himself once the subject of a bestseller and a film, can go further than most.
Wilkerson enjoys trust and respect not reliant upon alleged prophetic gifts. And despite negative things I shall say here I have to concede this preacher and activist deserves some respect as a pioneer and a person of integrity who has raised a voice against corruption among such as tele-evangelists in America. But like the angels who lost their first estate one feels he really shouldn't have aspired to the role of prophet he periodically assumes and now so devastatingly.
This time he has it that “soon” - but he doesn't know when - there will be an earth shattering event in which especially New York but other cities in America and even the world will be in flames as gangs pillage and loot and the scenario will be so terrible people will be trembling with fear. You can read his declaration of March 7th at this address.
and click the corner with Urgent Message
I don't terribly believe this forecast for reasons that will become apparent, but it's an interesting case and there are reasons not to dismiss it completely. So I want to do two things: a) say something about Wilkerson himself and his reliability and b) indicate when it's most likely his calamity would eventuate if it should happen to do so “soon” this year at all.
DAVID WILKERSON AS WOULD-BE PROPHET
Wilkerson, a Pentecostal, has never claimed in strict charismatic – pentecostal terms to be a prophet (i.e. someone given the specific role and giftings of a prophet) he is just someone who has prophetic flashes now and again. Critics may deem this position almost a cop-out seeing he has repeatedly spoken dogmatically and as though he were a prophet and no matter how wrong he has been. And prophets are not supposed to be wrong or they should be silent and strictly speaking the biblical rule is that those who fail are not supposed to be listened to either. (Fundamentalists however can read their Bibles more selectively than they admit!)
David Wilkerson's bestselling and still highly influential work of 1973, The Vision, includes the information that the late healer, Kathryn Kuhlmann, would be persecuted (she never was) similarly to Billy Graham who now nearly ninety enjoys a good reputation he is not now likely to lose. The book foresaw (soon!) a vast economic crisis and collapse leading to a one world order, but it begins in Europe not America like the current crisis, the most serious since the 1930s. If by chance W was glimpsing events today (even accurate prophets can get wrong time frames) he does see banks and the automobile industry collapsing, that much can be granted him. But this pastor would subsequently predict total collapse through the Y2K and then total economic collapse in 2004. He also maintained America would “die” back in August '98 when a gay Jesus play which didn't last long on Broadway, was premiered. Back in 1994 he was predicting that within five years America would have no further gospel networks but they are still with us like the reputation of Reagan who was supposed to leave office in disgrace, just as America was supposed to lose the Gulf War. Well over 30 years after his initial main vision nudity is not featured on at any rate mainstream US TV and there is certainly no nude dancing in churches.
DAVID WILKERSON AND HOMOSEXUAL PANIC
No amount of failure can diminish Wilkerson's influence as prophet even if people get hurt and misled along the way like people back in 1993 told to stock up with a month or more's goods in order to manage the impending crisis. (The latest warning advises similarly). Gays could well complain that Wilkerson's The Vision, along with other statements, is virtual fons et origo of much contemporary Christian conservative prejudice and paranoia since the book saw gays as becoming so strong and “brazen” (W's image of gays is derived almost wholly from pride parades!) they will be raping kids in the parks – as the Bible forecasts (which of course it doesn't). I don't have my copy of The Vision to supply page and exact quote for that but I recall my shock at reading the libel and I see from a published book of mine that on p. 78. W associates gays with the coming church of the Antichrist. There's not a thing in or out of religion or public space gays could do right!
Wilkerson is seriously one of the homosexual panic types for whom no real distinction exists between homosexual and pedophile, a confusion conservatives almost need to keep alive in order to protest the laws as they do. Given this assumption everything becomes a slippery slope towards pedophilia if society tolerates gays and a slippery slope nationally towards fires from heaven too since any tolerance duplicates doomed Sodom. Wilkerson has been so far from risking fires from heaven and contamination for himself and associates that in the past I recall reading somewhere he excluded gays from his drug cure programs. If so, it's one of the most questionable, unattractive things about him and which if it went on overtly today would have him up for politically incorrect behaviour, one imagines.
It's worth mentioning in parenthesis that when a couple of years ago I tried to communicate some criticisms to Rev Wilkerson I found that like most American religious orgs one is against a fortress system which wants to limit and rank any questions and suggestion in advance thus making almost any personal contact with the “star” figure impossible, (though W's latest development towards influential blogging appears to allow contact). Whatever, there is no question that Wilkerson's reading should include such as Dr Michael Carden's study, Sodomy: The Story of a Christian Biblical Myth (2004). Its scholarship conclusively demonstrates that Sodom as home of homosexuality and judged for it from heaven is a late invention of Christian rather than Jewish rabbinic commentators and some Christians, like especially medieval fanatic, Peter Damien, similarly to Wilkerson, are happy to misquote scripture to have the kind of Sodom, Sodomy and Sodomites they choose to imagine.
There is a lot of choosing to do where Wilkerson is concerned. I was amazed that he released his recent urgent prophecy to unburden himself. Normally one would expect a prophet would release a major forecast under the immediate direction of God and granted he does begin by saying the Holy Spirit compels him - a major claim he should really hesitate to make given his history of failures - but it's typical of the ambiguities that attend his absolutes that he speaks of an unburdening of soul to us which, given his history and style, is very likely the case. But as though introducing an element of doubt he suggests we do with the message as we choose. If this really is a divine message whatever happened to the uncompromising delivery “Thus says the Lord”?
DAVID WILKERSON, CULT FIGURE
As a well-established figure people want, even need, to believe Wilkerson. I see there is even an urban myth (someone who recently used it to “prove” to a religion site that believers must listen to Wilkerson as a true prophet has since apologized for mentioning it) that he and his Times Square Church people foresaw 9/11 to the point they prepared sandwiches the night before to be given out to those in distress. There is another myth that Wilkerson's org itself has had to deny that he forecast the closing of all American banks following troubles in Latin America. The forecast is from someone many years ago but keeps getting recycled to this day. Such myths arise because to a certain sensibility W's forecasts, often delivered in woeful and even weeping when not angry tones (one wonders does this pastor/prophet ever laugh) seem wonderfully stirring and sensational; it's some people's idea of the biblical “real thing” even though, so far as one can see, it's either untrue or at most half true.
Ironically, the relative success of the gay movement that W never understood, is the nearest to his hitting the prophetic gong and for good reason. Though his various forecasts in 1973 of the advent of gay clergy and acceptance of gayness as gift etc probably seem magically accurate to his average reader, someone living in the major gay centre of New York and aware the MCC church was founded in 1968 by an excommunicated Pentecostal pastor who had been ordaining gays and preaching an inclusive message, would supply Wilkerson his rumour-like prophecies. Noticeably W's prophecies in this area didn’t extend to foreseeing the more recent and unexpected movement for gay marriages which slippery slope conservatives now have to portray as an attack upon marriage itself.
Wilkerson’s latest urgent forecast seems strangely like a re-hashed enlargement of the fires and mayhem in New York vision that he released in 1993 and gave the next year as the latest time for its fulfillment. It's as though the pastor has an idee fixe around fires, the fires of anger and lust, the fires of hell, of judgment fires from heaven and now the fires of Manhattan.
But let's imagine for a moment that Wilkerson, like people who certifiably had insistent dreams about the sinking of the Titanic, is seeing fires because they will be coming. To some extent it's almost inevitable they will, whether or not W has the information from divine inspiration or the collective unconscious or simple deduction...
CHANCES FOR A NEW YORK DISASTER.
Forecasting fires and mayhem in at least New York is by now almost as sure a bet as declaring there will be a major earthquake in California - surely it's just a matter of time! And America is now in big trouble that is going to cause disturbances because despite appearances to the contrary, things are not going to be getting better in that country quickly. Despite the fact that for Wilkerson, astrology, biblical though it is through the Magi, is demonic, occult and always wrong, the fact is that good astrologers like Richard Nolle have been forecasting the collapse of the world economic system and what has happened to America for some time now and would insist that the US and the world hasn't seen the worst yet. We haven't yet approached the kind of aspects that prevailed at the worst of the Depression in the thirties, but we have had the initial socio-economic reality check that factors like the entry of Pluto in Capricorn last year warned would strike us. So, hopes of improvement will for the time being prove illusory and worse will come, hence one can indeed expect some protest leading to mayhem on the streets.
I now myself turn to a little astrology and prediction. I have noticed something that could prove relevant to disaster in N York and further afield and perhaps this year. There is an interestingly exact and potent placement of the asteroid Manhattan (there is no New York asteroid) opposite America's natal Neptune and this pair stand in close affliction square to America's Mars. By the usual rules this does suggest a real potential for serious Manhattan disaster one day given sufficient activation of the foundation pattern. Neptune is a malefic with a variety of associations, obviously floods but also various forms of human loss and within certain patterns quakes, while Mars is certainly involved with violence, mayhem, fires, reckless action and disturbances of many kinds. One just needs the right eclipse, progression or mix of heavy transits to set this kind of potential off.
Predicting for America is nevertheless a tougher than usual job for astrologers because no one is agreed on the foundation time but I follow Michael O'Reilly, Marc Penfield and the White House acknowledged time of around 2.20 pm which gives a Scorpio rising pattern. This seems to work accurately and highlights present problems. This year, though at least there aren't the hits to America's dangerous Uranus that seem to manifest with major disasters like Hurricane Katrina and which therefore should ideally be present for Wilkerson's world shattering calamity, nevertheless there are factors that could increase the nation's current challenges and disturbance levels.
There is a solar eclipse in July challengingly and ponderously opposite the national Pluto, (ruler of the whole pattern if we have the right birth time), and two lunar eclipses, one in July opposite the national sun and in August near to a conjunction with the base of the chart (which could have implications for the land, property and phenomena like weather patterns). During much of this time, (if we have the right birth time), transiting malefic Neptune is necessarily conjuncting the national moon in its sector of home base, land, property.
What perhaps most gathers up all these tricky negative indicators and moreover does so when serious Pluto has returned to a world point - a potent point for report of international events and disasters - is the lunation of 20th August. This falls in a fire sign setting up various interesting connections including to Wilkerson's own chart which would need to be engaged if his forecast came true and put him in the news. I feel, then, that overall if there are to be any of the earth shattering, fiery calamities starting in Manhattan and that I remain sceptical about, then mid August to mid September looks to have most potential for them.
ASTROLOGY, A PICTURE OF TRENDS
Astrology is not prophecy or fortune telling or divination (though people like Wilkerson are always saying so to demonize it) but one can usually “get the idea”, at least a general idea of trends and prevailing energies through astrology. On this Blog and not knowing Obama's birth time and given doubts about his birth place (an important point), I forecast that Hillary Clinton would win the presidential election but that if she didn't there seemed to be positive factors for her and her family despite this so that she and they would be quite happy in losing.
This of course was correct because early in the year factors like a lunar eclipse suggesting an advance for Hillary's career was in fact linked to assumption of the role of Secretary of State. I'll say it was easier for me to see this using Hillary's personal chart than dealing with questions around the disputed US pattern. So...to summarize and repeat. I have serious doubts that Wilkerson is right but if he should be so, I'd be most careful to watch the summer period, from July on and especially mid August to mid September since most potential for trouble seems to lie there. But the period could just mark another challenging period for America within its current cycle of ongoing challenges.
As to Wilkerson himself, a (stubborn, persistent) Taurean born May 19th 1931, can we see his burdens and obsessions in his natal pattern? Actually, yes, and even very much so. His Uranus (shocks, surprises, revolutions, and in some contexts anything to do with the gays and astrologers he doesn't favour) is significantly placed in fire sign Aries in major close affliction to a Jupiter/Pluto conjunction itself much involved with his being famous – there are more people in Who's Who with Jupiter/Pluto aspects than anything. This negative aspect alone, I don't say there aren't others, will dispose Wilkerson to think, sometimes mistakenly, in terms of big fires (Jupiter enlarges) and big and ominous threats (Pluto) from gays (Uranus). “The heavens declare....” (Ps 19). It's a pity for himself and all of us Rev. Wilkerson isn't listening and watching them more.