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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Nostradamus, Prophecy and Hoax.

"Satan disguises himself as an angel of light, therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness"  2 Corinthians 11:14-15

"And when they say to you, "Consult the mediums and the spiritists who whisper and mutter," should not a people consult their God? Should they consult the dead on behalf of the living?" Isaiah 8:19

Just three days after the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., Amazon.com reported on its website that three of the top ten best-selling books concerned the prophesies of Nostradamus, a 16th Century seer whom many claim prophesied modern events.
Within a week after 9/11, the Internet began to buzz with email messages about the attacks being the fulfillment of a prophecy by Nostradamus. The prophecy was quoted as follows:
"In the City of God there will be a great thunder,
Two brothers torn apart by chaos.
While the fortress endures,
The great leader will succumb.
The third big war will begin when the city is burning."
— Nostradamus, 1654
The "two brothers" were, of course, the Twin Towers in New York, and "the fortress" was the Pentagon.
The first problem with this "prophecy" is that Nostradamus died in 1566, 88 years before these particular lines were supposedly written. Second, Nostradamus wrote in quatrains — that is, four line verses. This stanza contains five lines. Finally, no such lines can be found in any of the published works of Nostradamus.
Several months after these lines appeared, it was revealed that they came from an essay about Nostradamus that was posted on the Internet in 1997. The essay was written by a student at Brock University in Canada. He fabricated the first four lines of the stanza to illustrate how easily an important-sounding prophecy can be crafted through the use of abstract imagery. He pointed out how the terms he used were so deliberately vague that they could be interpreted to fit any number of cataclysmic events.
It now appears that someone took this illustrative example from this essay and then added the fifth line about a world war. A fabrication was thus further enhanced by another fabrication. In short, the "prophecy" was a complete hoax.
But that wasn't the end of it. Someone quickly added another verse to the quotation:
"On the 11th day of the 9th month,
Two metal birds will crash into two tall statues
In the new city,
And the world will end soon after."
At least it was a quatrain. But it was just as bogus as the original "prophecy."

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