Posted by: Johan Normark | June 11, 2009

2012: Prophet of nonsense #7: Lawrence Joseph – poor excuses for getting published

Here is yet another prophet of global catastrophes. According to Publishers Weekly, Lawrence Joseph’s book Apocalypse 2012: An Investigation into Civilization’s End argues that he uses the Mayan “prophecy as a starting point, but claims that his interest lies in more substantial scientific threats to the planet—including cracks in Earth’s magnetic field, the eruption of supervolcanoes and flareups of sunspot radiation. On the other hand, he also gives credence to planetary alignments and The Bible Code before veering into a rant about how the real problem is Christian fundamentalists who want to manipulate the Middle East into Armageddon. When he sticks to science journalism, Joseph is a lively tour guide, introducing readers to Mayan shamans and Russian scientists with equal aplomb. But when he encourages readers to start praying they survive the coming apocalypse, he comes off as exactly the sort of crackpot he claims to eschew. Still, there’s less kookery than in other 2012 books, making Joseph a reasonably straightforward guide to the theory.”

On Joseph’s website one gets a short summary of his prophecies. Of course, these are not only associated with made up “Mayan prophecies” but also with Chinese philosophy, Hindy theology and the Bible. There will be a peak of global warming due to solar activity in 2012. Hurricane Katrina and others storms are related to the solar storms as well, so be prepared for even greater storms in 2012. The Earth’s magnetic field that protects us from solar radiation is dwindling and there will be a pole shift (in 2012 of course). We will also enter an interstellar energy cloud that destabilizes the Sun, Earth and other planets. A supervolcano, at Yellowstone, will erupt and kill loads of people. Actually, he claims that there is a possibility that terrorists will insert a thermonuclear device into the volcano and igniting the whole thing…

What a fantastic series of coincidences, and the Maya knew about this a couple of centuries BC, when the Long Count calendar was created. Of course, they had knowledge about solar activity, magnetic fields, pole shifts, 21st century terrorism and interstellar energy clouds (maybe we all turn into the Thing, Mr Fantastic, the Human Torch or the Invisible Woman when we pass through this cloud? If so, we can save the planet…).

In an interview for CNN Joseph admits that he does not believe the world will end.

“I do, however, believe that 2012 will prove to be… a very dramatic and probably transformative year,” Joseph said.

The author acknowledged he’s worried his book’s title might scare people, but said he wanted to alert the public about possible dangers ahead. He added that his publisher controls the book’s title, though he had no issue with the final choice.

“If it had been called ‘Serious Threats 2012’ or ‘Profound Considerations for 2012,’ it would have never gotten published,” Joseph said.

So apparently earning money by spreading fear is his (and the irresponsible publisher’s) primary goal. In this sense he is like all the other prophets of nonsense. I bet he is one of those who tried to cash in on the Y2K hoax. I wonder what he will try to make a living on in 2013? Is there any other prophecy in some ancient society that needs to be brought up again?


  1. “I do, however, believe that 2012 will prove to be… a very dramatic and probably transformative year,” Joseph said.

    Aren’t they all?

    But seriously, one can put down any book that starts like that as soon as it ventures into these mystic prophecy areas. Yeah, it might come true what he says, but it still had no basis in scientific thought.

    That said, I think people buying a book like this willingly, most often desperately WANT to soak up all the panic and fear they can get.

    • You are probably right. Maybe the books are a bit therapeutic, they give you something highly unlikely to worry about when you should worry about more down to earth problems.

  2. Thank you for that. While there may well be earth changes occuring that could threaten the survival of humanity, after studying the Maya for nearly 40 years, I really can’t see where they predicted the end of the world. Rather, they believed in rebirth and renewal.

  3. You are absolutely right in that they did not predict the end of the world. Like other agricultural socieites all over the world, they believed in renewal, rebirth, etc. (of their crops, the return of rains, etc). This is what their renewal was (or still is) about, not that spiritual transformation you mention on your blog. To me, Calleman and Joseph/Geryl are just different sides of the same New Age coin that has little to no evidence in the archaeological, epigraphic or iconographic records.

    • So you are suggesting that the Mayan’s were just commonsense practical people with no serious spiritual ideas or beliefs? That’s not what the archaeological evidence suggests, whether we are taklking about the Mayans, the ancient Egyptians, the Assyrians or anyone else. Attempts to explain away the beliefs of early civilizations by applying only the myopic mindset of contemporary reductionist scientism to them are always unconvincing.

      • That is not what I am suggesting. How did you come to that conclusion?

  4. Change is occuring at a rapid pace. Obama elected, Iran will soon have a new pro-western leader. Mexico has rapidly became unstable. The worlds macro economy is unsustainable. The U.S. hate groups have gained large numbers of converts in recent months and are beginning to act on their misplaced rage. Families jobs, housing, health care, transportation, belief systems, politics, capitalism etc.. All these changes (and more) are, or will be, for the betterment of mankind. The birthing pangs will be forgotten. Forget about the whole 2012 thing and embrace the changes around you.

  5. I am embracing the constant changes around myself since change is immanent in the ontology I follow. But there are no calendar dates when things suddenly transform (at least not those associated with a modern made up myth of some supposedly ancient prophecy). One question though: how is the unstable situation (which one, the drug war or the swine flu) in Mexico a betterment for mankind?

  6. Isn’t it interesting that the Mayan Calendar runs out at the end of the hurricane season of 2012?

    Another statistical link between weather and the Mayan Year 2012.

  7. No, the Maya calendar (they had many but you refer to the Long Count) does not end in 2012. We have future dates that indicates that it goes on to at least AD 4772. There is no indication what so ever that the Long Count calendar tracks the hurricane season.

    Does not the hurricane season in 2012 also run out at the time of the US presidential election as well (as it has done every fourth year)? Maybe this is the correlation then?

  8. “I wonder what he will try to make a living on in 2013?”

    Oh, he found something new….The Solar Cataclysm! Scaaary….lmao! Not only is the current solar maximum a weak maximum, it looks like it’s even weaker than predicted. And he calls himself a “solar expert” also, what a d**k!


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