You’re reading the words I typed between 4:00 and 5:00 a.m. on December 21, 2012, so obviously you’re not a casualty of the Mayan apocalypse, or if you are, it was apparently crazy enough to allow reading online news after death. I know of quite a few people who won’t be reading these words though, and it has nothing to do with worldwide catastrophes. Just the belief of it.
Eastern Lightning, or the Church of the Almighty God, is a quasi-religious cult founded by the notorious Zhao Wei Shan, whose belief that a peasant woman is the second coming of Jesus Christ seemed as good a thing to start a cult over as anything else. They’re a hateful group of religion-bashing zealots who follow their own fucked up system of theism and anti-government beliefs. Cough – Westboro Baptist – cough. The other time you may have heard of them was when they kidnapped and held 34 members of the China Gospel Fellowship hostage for over two months. You don’t even want these people flipping your burgers. Or egg rolls or whatever. Well of course, the Mayan prophecies are a part of their religious texts.
Over the last week, the Chinese government has taken a firm stance to crack down on these kinds of sects, arresting nearly 1,000 members of the Church for all the rumor spreading, and the subversive ways they go about it. Can you imagine if China had Facebook and Twitter to worry about? Only 1,000 people would go without being arrested. The Qinghai province police bureau ransacked many of the Church’s headquarters, confiscating banners, DVDs, books, computers, cell phones and other “advanced anti-detection” things. The group has also been banned from the country’s most popular microblog Sina Weibo.
While the Chinese government, itself a secretive group who forces members to follow the laws it creates, wanted to quell the worries that the group may have summoned within the Chinese population, it probably had more to do with the whole anti-government angle they had going, aiming to overthrow “the big red dragon.” (Just typing those words probably put me onto a warning list.)
Let me end by repeating my favorite paragraph from the story I sourced earlier. “The apocalypse predictions have received widespread coverage in China, thanks in part to the success of the Hollywood disaster film “this year”, which was inspired by the supposed Mayan prophecy.” I loved John Cusack in this year, what about you?