Not With a Bang But a Note

Over the last several weeks, my spam filter has held a large number of comments filled with Abrahamic eschatology. At first, not seeing a strong overlap in audience, I thought it might be an automated barrage of every comment field they could find. Each of them being in German just made it seem more like a blanket approach. But then I realised the language was part of the message; perhaps the most important part.

I could easily imagine a keyword engine mistaking my blog for fertile ground for prophecy of Biblical End Times; but it seemed unlikely my blog would appear to be in German. My immediate thought was the strong thread of Protestantism that came out of Germany: that this was perhaps a Lutheran rather than Catholic revelation. Except, the warning made neither sectarian nor geographical references: it did not feel as if it sprang from the same well as historical propaganda about Papists serving the Antichrist.

Many Christian sects consider Christianity to be the only path to salvation for everyone. However, some consider the reference in the Book of Micah to followers of other gods as a sign that Christianity is the true path to salvation for those the Abrahamic god has chosen with other gods potentially offering rewards to their chosen people. With the warnings of end times I received being filled with unusual interpretations of Biblical verses, it seemed unlikely the theologians behind it had not read and considered the Book of Micah. Which suggested they might be speaking not to Christians but those who were not.

An acceptance of parallel faiths that fits the history of pre-Christian Northern Europe. From the ancient sagas featuring heroes who did not worship the gods and did not suffer for it to Iceland holding a referendum on whether to become Christian or remain pagan (and how to accommodate the religion of whichever side lost), Northern Europe was built on acceptance that multiple religions can be equally valid.

Of course, this might seem a theory idly fitted together on a Monday morning for entertainment were it not for the repeated references to barcodes in the comments. As with many other eschatological theories, they warned of the barcode as the mark of the beast; however, Germany is famous (at least among barcode aficionados) for having a unique barcode, the Pharmazentralnummer; if international barcodes are the prophesied world-spanning conspiracy of evil, then Germany is not part of it.

Seen as warnings to Northern Europeans of non-Christian faith the appearance on my blog made more sense: my bio refers both to me living in the United Kingdom and having an altar to the Dark Lord Cthulhu. Which puts the message in a whole other context: these are not warnings to people the apocalypse will affect; these are warnings to those who will be unaffected directly by the Abrahamic End Times. A version of “Grab the Wheel of My Pickup When the Rapture Comes” as polite and neighbourly as letting the old couple whose lawn you mow know that you’re moving house so won’t be around to do it any more.

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