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by Barry Rumsey Smith


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Barry Smith was a school teacher and had taught in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. Better Than Nostradamus (1996), ISBN 08961-05-7. The Devil's Jigsaw (1998).

Barry Smith was a school teacher and had taught in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. Smith wrote several books (see details below) and gave regular public addresses, usually to audiences at churches both in major cities and small towns all around the world. His themes were principally Christian eschatology, conspiracy theory and a Christian evangelical message encouraging his audiences to accept Jesus Christ as their Saviour.

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Better Than Nostradamus quantity. Additional information. Chapter 1:Now Will You Listen? Suspended .

Better Than Nostradamus quantity. Chapter 2:Nostradamus. Chapter 3:A Mirror From The Past. Chapter 4:The History of the Seals.

Better Than Nostradamus. Series cast summary: Barry Smith. Himself 5 episodes, 2000. TV Mini-Series (2000– ). Episode Guide. See full cast . View production, box office, & company info.

by Barry Rumsey Smith.

Author:Smith, Barry Rumsey. We appreciate the impact a good book can have. We all like the idea of saving a bit of cash, so when we found out how many good quality used books are out there - we just had to let you know!

Author:Smith, Barry Rumsey. We all like the idea of saving a bit of cash, so when we found out how many good quality used books are out there - we just had to let you know! Read full description. See details and exclusions. Warning by Barry Rumsey Smith (Paperback, 1980). Pre-owned: lowest price.

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Better Than Nostradamus epub download

ISBN13: 978-0908961054

ISBN: 0908961057

Author: Barry Rumsey Smith

Category: Christian Books

Subcategory: Theology

Language: English

Publisher: MS Life Media (December 31, 1996)

Pages: 270 pages

ePUB size: 1162 kb

FB2 size: 1562 kb

Rating: 4.5

Votes: 919

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Shliffiana
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Bumand
Barry Smith, a New Zealand pastor, wrote '...better than Nostradamus?' airing all his fundamentalist prejudices in an extraordinarily offensive tirade. Barry Smith died in 2002, after the bulk of this review was originally written. I have not revised it to reflect this fact.

Style
I admit that it’s hard for me to take seriously a book written like a tabloid newspaper, such as Hal Lindsey’s 'The Late Great Planet Earth', or this book. Its garish cover, with the hint that the author himself is the one better than Nostradamus, does not help. The many exclamation marks, the boldface text, flippant remarks about deadly serious matters and extraordinarily tasteless cartoons add to the effect. He follows the von Däniken ('Chariots of the Gods') tactic, of cloaking the most outrageous speculation in the form of questions. All this, combined with bad spelling, bad grammar, bad logic, poor organisation and plain errors of fact (which I will denote (#) in my comments) create in me an almost insurmountable prejudice against whatever he might have to say. But I will try ...

Oklahoma, JFK, Waco and the Bavarian Illuminati
As early as the first page of Chapter 1, we are treated to the sentence, "The persons accused of the Oklahoma bombings i.e. possibly members of the nationwide movement called the Militia, many of whom are aware of the Luciferian Global Plan outlined here in this book, obviously believe that the end result of all this global talk is in direct conflict with the American Constitution."

We have been pitched head-first into the stream of consciousness of someone with a fevered, paranoid imagination, who has no idea how to build an argument or how to lead the reader from what he already knows to what the writer wants to tell him. He mixes speculation with claims to certainty in a way that leaves one’s head spinning: Who are aware of the Luciferian Global Plan, the persons accused or the Militia? Who believes that the end result conflicts with the US Constitution? And “all this global talk” doesn’t refer back to anything at all.

Next we are treated to the usual fruitless speculation about the Kennedy assassination. Oliver Stone managed to cram just about every crackpot theory into his movie, 'JFK', but even he didn’t dare to suggest that a Satanic conspiracy was involved. No doubt similar stuff will circulate about the Oklahoma bombing for just as long.

Next we are treated to the revelation that this is linked to the New World Order, itself a codeword for a devilish conspiracy, involving – wait for it – The Bavarian Illuminati, those invisible, but all powerful, arch-conspirators, who are, according to all the best conspiracy theory literature, Behind It All. But in a moment we are whisked from Oklahoma to Waco and the video, aired on Britain’s TV Channel 4, but debunked by experts, claiming that the BATF fired the compound – actually, Smith has even this wrong, because the fire occurred after the FBI had taken over the siege (#).

Now we begin to see who Smith sees as the good guys and the bad guys:
Good Guys: Kennedy, Branch Davidians, Timothy McVeigh(!), Right-wing militias, The Militia, writers of US Constitution (but see later).
Bad Guys: Lucifer (of course!), BATF, FBI, Witches, Clinton, Freemasons, The Bavarian Illuminati.

As for the “right to bear arms”, Smith falls for the right-wing propaganda that makes out that the founding fathers intended this to protect the people from the government, whereas a moment’s reading of the actual Bill of Rights shows that it says “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be abridged.” (#) I’m surprised that Smith doesn’t mention at this point that Hitler confiscated all weapons from private hands. Presumably the British tradition of tightly regulating gun ownership is also an abomination.

But in the footnotes, Smith turns from siding with the most right-wing extremists and shows liberal tendencies, worrying that the Clinton administration, abetted by Newt Gingrich, would abolish the welfare system. Actually Bill and Hillary attempted to do the opposite, by giving universal access to health care.

Next Smith tells us that Satan’s plan is to have a world government with three capitals: financial, religious and military, in London, Vatican City and Washington DC, respectively. Hasn’t he read The Late Great Planet Earth (TLGPE)? Then he would know that the religious and political capital will be Rome, at least until the Antichrist moves it to Jerusalem. And hasn’t he read up on the Christian Zionist literature that would have told him that the USA will be toppled from its political supremacy soon, because it isn’t quite as fanatically pro-Israel as God would like it to be? Apparently, the US will soon fall under the control of the UN, but how this will happen is not explained – not surprisingly, since the US can bring the UN to its knees by withdrawing funding.

At this point, Smith seems to have remembered his TLGPE after all, because he now talks of the US devastated and powerless. So what became of the 3-capital world government based in DC?

Smith finds, surprisingly, that large chunks of Jeremiah and Revelation speak specifically of the USA.

Thomas Jefferson, Adam Weishaupt, Bavarian Illuminati
Smith agrees with American conservatives in seeing the Constitution as a Good Thing, but he also sees Thomas Jefferson as part of a conspiracy of the Illuminists and Freemasons, which raises the obvious question: Why then did he write a Constitution that was so brilliantly designed to thwart that very conspiracy? But, apparently, this question was not obvious to Smith, because he doesn’t address it.
In 1776, Adam Weishaupt founded the Bavarian Illuminati – he is therefore considered by conspiracy nuts to be one of the ultimate Bad Guys, but I am impressed by his modesty: he once said “My general plan is good, but in the detail there may be faults.” This doesn’t sound like the sort of thing a megalomaniac, Satanic arch-conspirator would say.

The Dollar Bill
Next we have Smith’s analysis of the dollar bill, which was apparently designed by Satan. The pyramid has 13 steps and 13 is an “important” number in witchcraft. But since there were 13 original states, it seems perverse to seek another explanation for the number of steps on the pyramid.

Smith calls the eye on the pyramid “the eye of Lucifer” and says it’s identical to an eye of Horus he once spotted in Luxor, Egypt. I say “Eyewash!” From the illustrations in the book, it is clear that the eyes are far from identical. This “eye of Lucifer” is a left eye, unadorned, without make-up and hooded, whereas, the eye of Horus is a right eye, with make-up and fully open. How many more differences could there be?

Next we come to "Novus Ordo Seclorum". This does not mean “New World Order” (#), “but “New Order of the Ages”. "Seclorum" means “of the ages”, not “world”. Appar­ently this phrase was intended by the founding fathers to signify the new beginning represented by the American Revolution.

Smith realises that his comments on the dollar bill raise the obvious question: If it’s all Satanic, why do we have “In God we trust”? Well, Smith gives a conventional explanation of this, but makes no attempt to explain, why, under his conspiracy theory, it would be there. It would seem that Satan would have had it removed by now. But Smith can only see the evidence that points his way.

We are treated to a very silly game of pyramids and Roman numerals, designed to show that 1776 = 666. On the dollar bill, 1776 appears in Roman numerals: MDCCLXXVI. If we write this around three pyramids thus:
....M..........C..........X
.../_ ......../_ ...... /_
../___...../__..... /___
/_____../____../_____
D......C..L......X..V........I
[Forgive my ASCII art, which gets mangled by Amazon's renderer.]

and read along the bottom, we get DCLXVI, which is – horror of horrors – 666. A further claim that Smith makes is that “1776” refers not, as most people think, to July 4th and the founding of the USA, but to May 1st, the founding of the Bavarian Illuminati.

Smith never explains why Satan would choose to publish his super-secret conspiracy to the world, by emblazoning it on a major currency. Nor does he explain why Satan didn’t realise this would blow his cover and force him into the laughable tactic of trying to withdraw those notes and replace them with coins to cover his mistake, even though it would now be too late. Of course, whatever happens, Smith will claim it as a vindication of his theory, whether the dollar bill remains or goes.

Freemasonry
Smith is very troubled because the “Eye of Lucifer”, which appears on the apron of a Masonic Grandmaster, also appears on the walls of many Christian churches. So, let’s see if I have this right: the eye appears on the apron of a Masonic Grandmaster, who is of course, a Bad Guy, therefore, the eye is a symbol of evil; but the eye also appears on the walls of many Christian Churches, but that doesn’t mean the symbol is one of good. Hmm! Might not an anti-Christian mason argue: “Oh no, there’s a fiendish Christian conspiracy afoot! They’ve even managed to smuggle the sacred symbol with which they adorn their Churches into our sacred rituals and onto my very apron!”

Smith includes an illustration of George Washington as a Freemason, so here’s another framer of the US Constitution who made the inexplicable mistake of designing it to thwart the very principles of Freemasonry and Illuminism.

Smith has told us that most Freemasons are being duped about the true nature and goals of their organisation: apparently books have been written by 33° masons (who are in on its deepest secrets) exposing what the movement is really all about. Now, Smith treats us to a diagram which is never explained, but apparently shows that these 33° masons really know nothing because they are mere pawns of all the higher levels, including apparently a further 97 degrees! Of course, the idea that any organisation could have 130 levels of hierarchy is absurd. Smith takes three chapters in a row to deal with Freemasonry and it tells us more about Smith than about the movement. I hear a bitter, angry man, probably one who was once humiliated by a Freemason: he delights to portray Satan dragging Freemasons to Hell and himself triumphing over them in debate. I’m sorry, but this does not sound like the way God would woo poor, deluded sinners.

Lucifer in Scripture
It appears that Smith believes the King James Version is inspired (like those who say, “If it was good enough for St Paul, it’s good enough for me”). He brands many modern translations as faulty because they choose to translate the Hebrew הֵילֵל, hêlēl, as “shining one” rather than “Lucifer”. Does he think the translators were all part of the Luciferian Conspiracy? According to the New Bible Dictionary, "Lucifer was the Latin name for the planet Venus ... In Isaiah 14 v 12, hêlēl is applied tauntingly to the king of Babylon, who in his glory and pomp had set himself among the Gods ... The similarity with Luke 10 v 18 and Rev 9 v 1 has led to application of the title to Satan." It seems clear to me that inserting “Lucifer” here is unwarranted tampering with the text: there may be an allegorical reference to Satan here, but that is a matter of interpretation, not translation.

The Name of God
A further subtlety that is beyond Smith is that God doesn’t care what we call him. We may call him "Dieu, Dios, Gott, Bog, El, Allah, Jehovah or יהוה." What counts is not the name by which we address him, but the nature and character of the one we are addressing. So if someone happens to think “Lucifer” is a name of God, why should they not address him as such? To make it even clearer, suppose that in some language, Ruritanian, say, the word for the Devil happens to be “gohdd”. If I go on holiday to Ruritania and pray to “God”, does he reject my prayer as addressed to the Devil?

Washington DC
Next we are treated to Smith’s method of interpretation of symbols: the American eagle = the phoenix [actually a mythical, not a mystical bird] = the New World Order = the Tower of Babylon. By “logic” like this, one can equate anything to anything else: one might even end up equating Jesus to Satan!

This is followed by the map of Washington DC. Smith’s map has five roads forming a pentagram or five-pointed star, with one corner just next to the White House, but careful inspection of a real map of the centre of Washington shows that Smith’s map is incorrect and no such pentagram exists there. What makes this even more absurd is that the pentagram on Smith’s map is not even regular: it’s not the same shape as the one on the next page containing a goat’s head, and the goat’s head would look rather strange compressed into the irregular pentagram that appears on the map. It’s as if a square was a mystical symbol and someone who found a rectangle on a map declared it was the same thing. Furthermore, even if it was all deliberate and a Satanic plot, so what? Is Satan so superstitious that he needs a pentagram to give him extra power? And is he so strong when one exists that he can do what he likes there? Even if this sort of symbolism did mean anything, Smith doesn’t consider the fact that the White House lies outside the pentagram, or the fact that pentagrams are thought by some to enclose and limit evil power. Nor does he consider the symbolism of the Pentagon. (Actually Shea and Wilson “explain” in the "Illuminatus!" trilogy that it is there to hold in a fearsome demon!)

Next we have some nonsense about the District of Columbia. Who but a paranoid like Smith would see the DC flag (derived from George Washington’s family coat of arms) as a coded message from Lucifer? And no, there is no State of New Columbia (#). The idea was strongly promoted in the early 1990s by Jesse Jackson and others, but DC has since fallen on such bad times economically that this has been quietly forgotten.

Politics and the New World Order
Next we are told that George Bush Sr used the well-known socialist tactic of privatisation. It’s clear Smith cannot tell his political left from his right!

We are told that Smith waited patiently for 26 years to tell us that Bill Clinton’s first Secretary of State would be ... Henry Kissinger! (#)
Smith tells us that (a) the armies of the New World Order (the United Nations) are to be feared as the military agents that will enforce Satan’s global master-plan, and (b) they are toothless tigers, as he points out when referring to Bosnia and Somalia. Which is it, Smith?

Economics
Smith expounds at great length his global economic conspiracy theory, in which the pivotal role is played by ... New Zealand! I cannot begin to summarise his view, but he seems to be basically anti-globalisation. However, the main point I wish to make is that fundamentalists like Smith assume, without even thinking, that the present national boundaries are as God intends they should always be. In fact national boundaries are continually shifting: since 1989, we have had 15 new countries in place of the Soviet Union, five in place of Yugoslavia, two in place of Czechoslovakia, two in place of Ethiopia, two in place of Sudan, and one in place of West and East Germany. Going further back, the UK only included Ireland as late as 1801; going back further, Wales and Scotland were independent; and further back still, England consisted of seven separate kingdoms. Thus there is nothing sacrosanct about the present national boundaries and they will continue to change. In future, nations will have less significance as multinational companies and supranational organisations such as the EU proliferate. Even in my own extended family, five or six nations are represented. I believe this is all to the good and I would like to hear politicians say less about “the national interest” and more about the interests of the whole world, especially the poorer countries. I believe God cares much less about racial and national affiliations than fundamentalists like to think. Therefore, I do not care very much about the nationality of an executive whose company owns the New Zealand (or British) utilities. Smith, however, obsesses about this for seven chapters, bless him!

The European Union
In the 1974 edition of TLGPE, Lindsey could envisage a European Union of ten nations and tie this to the prophecies in Revelation of a ten-horned beast. Now however, there are 28 (with only one leaving, and others possibly joining) so a way must be found to weasel out of it. Smith writes of an “inner tier” of the EU consisting of ten nations, not knowing then that 19 nations would opt for monetary union. It will be interesting to see the next wriggle!

The Antichrist
Prepare for the third worst thing in this book. This chapter is so irresponsible that I am left almost speechless. Smith names a well-known public figure as a possible Antichrist and so could become responsible for some lunatic assassinating him. The fact that this person is not European makes him extraordinarily unlikely as a European president, which Smith sees as a necessary office for the Antichrist to hold. Furthermore, the EU is currently so far from political union that he is likely to be much too old by the time he would be needed.

Numerology
Smith continually throws in snippets without any explanation or justification, assuming his readers know no better and will not investigate further. His identification of 666 with the Greek letters Chi, Xi, Sigma is incorrect (#) – the final letter should be Digamma or Stigma – and he gives no explanation for why these should represent “to prick and mark in recognition of ownership”.

It turns out that letting A=1, B=2, ..., the letters of the name of the prospective Antichrist add up to 111, as do those of “New York” or “Computer”, but this is the wrong answer, so we must multiply it by the fudge factor, which is then right answer divided by the wrong answer, ie 6.

Smith is right that the Greek form of Jesus, Ιησους, adds up to 888, using the conventional Greek assignment of letters to numbers, but he is wrong about Hebrew: using the Gematria, the standard assignment of numbers to Hebrew letters, if you spell "Jesus", יְשׁוּהַ, yəshûa‘, you get a sum of 386; if as יְהו֗שׁוּהַ, yəhôshûa‘, "Joshua", you get a sum of 391. You do not get 888 as Smith says (#). Adding the Hebrew for “Christ” is still insufficient to reach 888. There is no reasonable way to make 888 using the Latin alphabet either, since the numbers involved are much too small (#).

Y2K and Satan
We are treated to the revelation that the Year 2000 problem was planned by the Satanic conspiracy: presumably millions of programmers throughout the 70s and 80s (including me) were brainwashed to create this problem!

Global Warming
Of course, global warming is barely a matter of debate among scientists, but it deserves to be treated more seriously than Smith is capable of, with his paranoia and talk of “scams”. He is not even capable of distinguishing global warming from ozone depletion, a totally different problem (#). Smith uncritically swallows the nonsense of a Mr Harry Alcock, whose views are “different to the established meteorological theories”, because, as is clear from an extended quote, he is a crackpot. Rising sea levels are already beginning to swamp Pacific islands, and a schoolboy could refute Alcock’s argument that melting ice should cause sea levels to drop: it is true that ice shrinks when it melts, but for floating ice, this is offset by the fact that some of the ice is above the water level: when floating ice melts, it leaves water levels unchanged. [Actually sea ice is fresh water, which is less dense than salt water, so water levels actually rise slightly when icebergs melt.] However, more seriously, global warming is melting the ice sheet of Antarctica, which is not floating and this is leading to higher sea levels. His observations on refrigerants are also plain wrong: he thinks chlorofluorocarbons are chemically highly reactive, whereas they were chosen because of their inertness, which means that they survive unscathed as they drift to the upper atmosphere, where they meet with a substance so reactive that it can react even with CFCs: ozone (#).

And crop circles are caused by UFOs!

Evolution
According to Smith, “evolution is the ultimate insult to the Creator God”. What? Worse than worshipping Satan or burning babies alive? Worse even than becoming a Freemason?? The “arguments” he gives here show that he has no idea what the theory of evolution says, eg that a human being must have all organs in place at the moment of birth. This is not only false (#) (eg secondary sexual characteristics, adult teeth), but even if it were true, it would have no bearing in evolution. Moreover, evolution has nothing to do with challenging God’s role as creator and designer, since it is a scientific theory, not a theological one.

Now we have another, even more uninformed, rant against the theory of evolution. Smith must live in a fantasy world to believe that “it has now become obvious to all thinking people that the theory of evolution has run its course” (#). Only a minority even of Christians are creationists. No one who knows anything about physics believes that the theory of evolution contradicts the second law of thermodynamics (#), which does not say “things always deteriorate and nothing ever improves of itself” (#).

Next, Smith confuses evolution with abiogenesis, and has the effrontery to accuse those who accept the latter of being “unscientific”, when he has demonstrated that his own scientific knowledge is so poor that he can print approvingly what a crackpot says about the weather. Next, Smith confuses the authority of the Bible with the authority of his fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible. Next, he assumes that no one who believes that God is the creator and designer of the universe can believe in evolution and he falsely states that evolution implies that life is mindless (#). Then he produces a meaningless mantra “nothing produces nothing” and suggests falsely that this is what is taught in schools (#).

Now Smith tries another attack on evolution, producing ... the duck! He imagines that the mere mention of this wonderful creature will silence the dreaded evolutionists. As for the bombardier beetle and the midwife toad, Smith makes the same mistake that creationists used to make about the eye – argument by incredulity – “I can’t imagine how this can have happened, so it didn’t”. We can see among living creatures many intermediate stages between no eye and the human one, so the argument that it’s useless until it’s fully formed doesn’t wash. It’s also worth mentioning that as an organ evolves, its function may change: feathers may have evolved originally for heat insulation.

We are also treated to a brief reference to Pascal’s wager: the appalling argument that it’s better to bet that God exists than not, because, if he doesn’t, you have lost nothing, but if he does exist, you had better believe in him, or else. This distorts Christianity into being a matter of fear, not faith.

Environmentalism
However, the second worst aspect of this book is his idea that concern for the environment is misplaced because it’s all going to be burnt up soon, anyway. How dare he treat what God has created with such utter contempt! Christians have been late in coming to a realisation of the importance of environmental issues, partly because of fundamentalist reading of “having dominion”, and it is true that pagans and New Agers often show a greater concern for the environment, but this is no reason to reject what is good in their views. However, Smith opts for the “Not Invented Here” syndrome: “we didn't think of it first, so it must be bad”.

Zionism, the End of the World and Russia
Predictably, Smith is a Zionist. He believes the Arabs have no rights to the land, that the Oslo peace accords are against God’s will and that Netanyahu has gone from a hero to a traitor. No word of the Justice of God, here, of course.

Now we have some sums that make a big deal of 1948 and predict 1998 as the year everything blows up. Oh dear, wrong again (#). But we have a get-out clause: by applying another fudge factor, we can predict the end in 2007; and when that doesn’t work, we’ll just fudge it again.

Smith thinks Russia, under a nationalist leader, such as Zhirinovsky or Lebed, is about to invade Israel! The truth, of course, is that Russia is no longer a world power militarily. Its army is demoralised and selling off its weapons. Even the attempt to control part of its own territory, Chechnya, nearly brought down the government. The idea that it could invade Israel, even under Zhirinovsky, is ludicrous. Lebed was not crazy enough to try a stunt like that – he brokered a peace deal with the Chechens, and is now dead, anyway. In 2017, it is clear that Zhironovsky has actually been bought out by Putin, and acts as a show opponent, intended to make Putin look moderate, and acting as a mouthpiece for ideas that Putin will adopt if they are sufficiently popular.

Catholics
Smith next turns his attack on the Roman Catholic Church, going a little further than Hal Lindsey dared in TLGPE in identifying it with the Scarlet Whore of Babylon.

Next he produces such bad arguments for Protestant doctrines that he does his cause no good.

He propounds the extraordinary theory that actual physical blood is sinful, except for Jesus’s. What would have happened if he had required a blood transfusion? Would he have become a sinner, by virtue of the tainted blood in him? We are first told that Jesus was fully man and fully God, but next we are told that Mary gave birth only to the man part of him. This is a desperate attempt to fight off the dreaded Catholic epithet of Mary, “Mother of God”.

Smith also argues against the Catholic doctrine of the sinlessness of Mary, by pointing out that she made a sin offering (presumably Luke 2 vs 22-24), but arguing in the same way, one could show that Jesus was a sinner because he requested John’s baptism of repentance.
In trying to show that Mary did not remain a virgin, Smith attacks the Catholic interpretation of Mark 6 v 3, “... Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?” He makes the elementary error of deducing meaning from etymology, by claiming that the Greek αδελφος, adelphos, brother, being related to the word for womb, must be literal. Of course, interpreting every reference to “brother” in the New Testament literally reduces it to absurdity (#).

There are also several puzzling aspects of the Gospel story that make more sense under the Catholic interpretation: Why, when the angel told Mary she would conceive a son did she say that she had no husband? If she expected to marry Joseph shortly and have a normal sex-life, this question makes no sense. If, however, Joseph was too old to be fertile or if Mary had taken a vow of celibacy, the question makes sense. Smith thinks that “But he had no intercourse with her till she had brought forth her first born son” is conclusive, but there are similar usages in Scripture where it is clear that the situation did not change after the “till”-event (eg Deuteronomy 1 v 31). If Jesus had full brothers, why did he not leave his mother in the care of one of them upon his death?

I raise these points, not because I believe the Catholic doctrines, but to point out how poor Smith’s reasoning is, even when I agree with his conclusions. Either of these arguments is better than Smith’s “conclusive” arguments on the other side.

Conclusion
The absolutely most unpleasant part of the book is the way that Smith takes such delight in the idea of people being dragged off to Hell. In lurid cartoons, he expresses his glee at their discomfiture in the flames and his triumphalism at the overthrow of those horrid atheists, masons, evolutionists and Catholics who have mocked him.

It has also become clear to me that Smith was deeply bound by super­stition: he was obsessed with the evil significance of numbers, dates, symbols, peoples and places.

A fair amount of this material is not original: there is an extensive Conspiracy Theory Literature, most of it non-Christian, but this book is every bit as bad as the other Christian book of this kind I have read: 'Understanding the New Age', by Roy Livesey.

The question must also be asked: "Supposing everything Smith says about the Global Luciferian Conspiracy is correct, what are we supposed to do about it?" Since its rise to power is unstoppable, what is the value of exposing it, except to scare us?

The book is also fundamentally dishonest in that the reasons Smith gives for many things are not the reasons that led him to those beliefs, but back-to-front arguments constructed afterwards and designed to end up at the point he has already reached, not by reason, but by prejudice. It is very common for fundamentalists to argue this way, quite reckless as to the soundness or otherwise of their arguments or “facts”, provided that they end up with the “right” conclusion.

The tragedy is that the vitally important message he wants to get across, the importance of being right with God through trust in the sacrifice of Jesus, is brought into disrepute by association with all the nonsense in this book.
Bumand
Barry Smith, a New Zealand pastor, wrote '...better than Nostradamus?' airing all his fundamentalist prejudices in an extraordinarily offensive tirade. Barry Smith died in 2002, after the bulk of this review was originally written. I have not revised it to reflect this fact.

Style
I admit that it’s hard for me to take seriously a book written like a tabloid newspaper, such as Hal Lindsey’s 'The Late Great Planet Earth', or this book. Its garish cover, with the hint that the author himself is the one better than Nostradamus, does not help. The many exclamation marks, the boldface text, flippant remarks about deadly serious matters and extraordinarily tasteless cartoons add to the effect. He follows the von Däniken ('Chariots of the Gods') tactic, of cloaking the most outrageous speculation in the form of questions. All this, combined with bad spelling, bad grammar, bad logic, poor organisation and plain errors of fact (which I will denote (#) in my comments) create in me an almost insurmountable prejudice against whatever he might have to say. But I will try ...

Oklahoma, JFK, Waco and the Bavarian Illuminati
As early as the first page of Chapter 1, we are treated to the sentence, "The persons accused of the Oklahoma bombings i.e. possibly members of the nationwide movement called the Militia, many of whom are aware of the Luciferian Global Plan outlined here in this book, obviously believe that the end result of all this global talk is in direct conflict with the American Constitution."

We have been pitched head-first into the stream of consciousness of someone with a fevered, paranoid imagination, who has no idea how to build an argument or how to lead the reader from what he already knows to what the writer wants to tell him. He mixes speculation with claims to certainty in a way that leaves one’s head spinning: Who are aware of the Luciferian Global Plan, the persons accused or the Militia? Who believes that the end result conflicts with the US Constitution? And “all this global talk” doesn’t refer back to anything at all.

Next we are treated to the usual fruitless speculation about the Kennedy assassination. Oliver Stone managed to cram just about every crackpot theory into his movie, 'JFK', but even he didn’t dare to suggest that a Satanic conspiracy was involved. No doubt similar stuff will circulate about the Oklahoma bombing for just as long.

Next we are treated to the revelation that this is linked to the New World Order, itself a codeword for a devilish conspiracy, involving – wait for it – The Bavarian Illuminati, those invisible, but all powerful, arch-conspirators, who are, according to all the best conspiracy theory literature, Behind It All. But in a moment we are whisked from Oklahoma to Waco and the video, aired on Britain’s TV Channel 4, but debunked by experts, claiming that the BATF fired the compound – actually, Smith has even this wrong, because the fire occurred after the FBI had taken over the siege (#).

Now we begin to see who Smith sees as the good guys and the bad guys:
Good Guys: Kennedy, Branch Davidians, Timothy McVeigh(!), Right-wing militias, The Militia, writers of US Constitution (but see later).
Bad Guys: Lucifer (of course!), BATF, FBI, Witches, Clinton, Freemasons, The Bavarian Illuminati.

As for the “right to bear arms”, Smith falls for the right-wing propaganda that makes out that the founding fathers intended this to protect the people from the government, whereas a moment’s reading of the actual Bill of Rights shows that it says “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be abridged.” (#) I’m surprised that Smith doesn’t mention at this point that Hitler confiscated all weapons from private hands. Presumably the British tradition of tightly regulating gun ownership is also an abomination.

But in the footnotes, Smith turns from siding with the most right-wing extremists and shows liberal tendencies, worrying that the Clinton administration, abetted by Newt Gingrich, would abolish the welfare system. Actually Bill and Hillary attempted to do the opposite, by giving universal access to health care.

Next Smith tells us that Satan’s plan is to have a world government with three capitals: financial, religious and military, in London, Vatican City and Washington DC, respectively. Hasn’t he read The Late Great Planet Earth (TLGPE)? Then he would know that the religious and political capital will be Rome, at least until the Antichrist moves it to Jerusalem. And hasn’t he read up on the Christian Zionist literature that would have told him that the USA will be toppled from its political supremacy soon, because it isn’t quite as fanatically pro-Israel as God would like it to be? Apparently, the US will soon fall under the control of the UN, but how this will happen is not explained – not surprisingly, since the US can bring the UN to its knees by withdrawing funding.

At this point, Smith seems to have remembered his TLGPE after all, because he now talks of the US devastated and powerless. So what became of the 3-capital world government based in DC?

Smith finds, surprisingly, that large chunks of Jeremiah and Revelation speak specifically of the USA.

Thomas Jefferson, Adam Weishaupt, Bavarian Illuminati
Smith agrees with American conservatives in seeing the Constitution as a Good Thing, but he also sees Thomas Jefferson as part of a conspiracy of the Illuminists and Freemasons, which raises the obvious question: Why then did he write a Constitution that was so brilliantly designed to thwart that very conspiracy? But, apparently, this question was not obvious to Smith, because he doesn’t address it.
In 1776, Adam Weishaupt founded the Bavarian Illuminati – he is therefore considered by conspiracy nuts to be one of the ultimate Bad Guys, but I am impressed by his modesty: he once said “My general plan is good, but in the detail there may be faults.” This doesn’t sound like the sort of thing a megalomaniac, Satanic arch-conspirator would say.

The Dollar Bill
Next we have Smith’s analysis of the dollar bill, which was apparently designed by Satan. The pyramid has 13 steps and 13 is an “important” number in witchcraft. But since there were 13 original states, it seems perverse to seek another explanation for the number of steps on the pyramid.

Smith calls the eye on the pyramid “the eye of Lucifer” and says it’s identical to an eye of Horus he once spotted in Luxor, Egypt. I say “Eyewash!” From the illustrations in the book, it is clear that the eyes are far from identical. This “eye of Lucifer” is a left eye, unadorned, without make-up and hooded, whereas, the eye of Horus is a right eye, with make-up and fully open. How many more differences could there be?

Next we come to "Novus Ordo Seclorum". This does not mean “New World Order” (#), “but “New Order of the Ages”. "Seclorum" means “of the ages”, not “world”. Appar­ently this phrase was intended by the founding fathers to signify the new beginning represented by the American Revolution.

Smith realises that his comments on the dollar bill raise the obvious question: If it’s all Satanic, why do we have “In God we trust”? Well, Smith gives a conventional explanation of this, but makes no attempt to explain, why, under his conspiracy theory, it would be there. It would seem that Satan would have had it removed by now. But Smith can only see the evidence that points his way.

We are treated to a very silly game of pyramids and Roman numerals, designed to show that 1776 = 666. On the dollar bill, 1776 appears in Roman numerals: MDCCLXXVI. If we write this around three pyramids thus:
....M..........C..........X
.../_ ......../_ ...... /_
../___...../__..... /___
/_____../____../_____
D......C..L......X..V........I
[Forgive my ASCII art, which gets mangled by Amazon's renderer.]

and read along the bottom, we get DCLXVI, which is – horror of horrors – 666. A further claim that Smith makes is that “1776” refers not, as most people think, to July 4th and the founding of the USA, but to May 1st, the founding of the Bavarian Illuminati.

Smith never explains why Satan would choose to publish his super-secret conspiracy to the world, by emblazoning it on a major currency. Nor does he explain why Satan didn’t realise this would blow his cover and force him into the laughable tactic of trying to withdraw those notes and replace them with coins to cover his mistake, even though it would now be too late. Of course, whatever happens, Smith will claim it as a vindication of his theory, whether the dollar bill remains or goes.

Freemasonry
Smith is very troubled because the “Eye of Lucifer”, which appears on the apron of a Masonic Grandmaster, also appears on the walls of many Christian churches. So, let’s see if I have this right: the eye appears on the apron of a Masonic Grandmaster, who is of course, a Bad Guy, therefore, the eye is a symbol of evil; but the eye also appears on the walls of many Christian Churches, but that doesn’t mean the symbol is one of good. Hmm! Might not an anti-Christian mason argue: “Oh no, there’s a fiendish Christian conspiracy afoot! They’ve even managed to smuggle the sacred symbol with which they adorn their Churches into our sacred rituals and onto my very apron!”

Smith includes an illustration of George Washington as a Freemason, so here’s another framer of the US Constitution who made the inexplicable mistake of designing it to thwart the very principles of Freemasonry and Illuminism.

Smith has told us that most Freemasons are being duped about the true nature and goals of their organisation: apparently books have been written by 33° masons (who are in on its deepest secrets) exposing what the movement is really all about. Now, Smith treats us to a diagram which is never explained, but apparently shows that these 33° masons really know nothing because they are mere pawns of all the higher levels, including apparently a further 97 degrees! Of course, the idea that any organisation could have 130 levels of hierarchy is absurd. Smith takes three chapters in a row to deal with Freemasonry and it tells us more about Smith than about the movement. I hear a bitter, angry man, probably one who was once humiliated by a Freemason: he delights to portray Satan dragging Freemasons to Hell and himself triumphing over them in debate. I’m sorry, but this does not sound like the way God would woo poor, deluded sinners.

Lucifer in Scripture
It appears that Smith believes the King James Version is inspired (like those who say, “If it was good enough for St Paul, it’s good enough for me”). He brands many modern translations as faulty because they choose to translate the Hebrew הֵילֵל, hêlēl, as “shining one” rather than “Lucifer”. Does he think the translators were all part of the Luciferian Conspiracy? According to the New Bible Dictionary, "Lucifer was the Latin name for the planet Venus ... In Isaiah 14 v 12, hêlēl is applied tauntingly to the king of Babylon, who in his glory and pomp had set himself among the Gods ... The similarity with Luke 10 v 18 and Rev 9 v 1 has led to application of the title to Satan." It seems clear to me that inserting “Lucifer” here is unwarranted tampering with the text: there may be an allegorical reference to Satan here, but that is a matter of interpretation, not translation.

The Name of God
A further subtlety that is beyond Smith is that God doesn’t care what we call him. We may call him "Dieu, Dios, Gott, Bog, El, Allah, Jehovah or יהוה." What counts is not the name by which we address him, but the nature and character of the one we are addressing. So if someone happens to think “Lucifer” is a name of God, why should they not address him as such? To make it even clearer, suppose that in some language, Ruritanian, say, the word for the Devil happens to be “gohdd”. If I go on holiday to Ruritania and pray to “God”, does he reject my prayer as addressed to the Devil?

Washington DC
Next we are treated to Smith’s method of interpretation of symbols: the American eagle = the phoenix [actually a mythical, not a mystical bird] = the New World Order = the Tower of Babylon. By “logic” like this, one can equate anything to anything else: one might even end up equating Jesus to Satan!

This is followed by the map of Washington DC. Smith’s map has five roads forming a pentagram or five-pointed star, with one corner just next to the White House, but careful inspection of a real map of the centre of Washington shows that Smith’s map is incorrect and no such pentagram exists there. What makes this even more absurd is that the pentagram on Smith’s map is not even regular: it’s not the same shape as the one on the next page containing a goat’s head, and the goat’s head would look rather strange compressed into the irregular pentagram that appears on the map. It’s as if a square was a mystical symbol and someone who found a rectangle on a map declared it was the same thing. Furthermore, even if it was all deliberate and a Satanic plot, so what? Is Satan so superstitious that he needs a pentagram to give him extra power? And is he so strong when one exists that he can do what he likes there? Even if this sort of symbolism did mean anything, Smith doesn’t consider the fact that the White House lies outside the pentagram, or the fact that pentagrams are thought by some to enclose and limit evil power. Nor does he consider the symbolism of the Pentagon. (Actually Shea and Wilson “explain” in the "Illuminatus!" trilogy that it is there to hold in a fearsome demon!)

Next we have some nonsense about the District of Columbia. Who but a paranoid like Smith would see the DC flag (derived from George Washington’s family coat of arms) as a coded message from Lucifer? And no, there is no State of New Columbia (#). The idea was strongly promoted in the early 1990s by Jesse Jackson and others, but DC has since fallen on such bad times economically that this has been quietly forgotten.

Politics and the New World Order
Next we are told that George Bush Sr used the well-known socialist tactic of privatisation. It’s clear Smith cannot tell his political left from his right!

We are told that Smith waited patiently for 26 years to tell us that Bill Clinton’s first Secretary of State would be ... Henry Kissinger! (#)
Smith tells us that (a) the armies of the New World Order (the United Nations) are to be feared as the military agents that will enforce Satan’s global master-plan, and (b) they are toothless tigers, as he points out when referring to Bosnia and Somalia. Which is it, Smith?

Economics
Smith expounds at great length his global economic conspiracy theory, in which the pivotal role is played by ... New Zealand! I cannot begin to summarise his view, but he seems to be basically anti-globalisation. However, the main point I wish to make is that fundamentalists like Smith assume, without even thinking, that the present national boundaries are as God intends they should always be. In fact national boundaries are continually shifting: since 1989, we have had 15 new countries in place of the Soviet Union, five in place of Yugoslavia, two in place of Czechoslovakia, two in place of Ethiopia, two in place of Sudan, and one in place of West and East Germany. Going further back, the UK only included Ireland as late as 1801; going back further, Wales and Scotland were independent; and further back still, England consisted of seven separate kingdoms. Thus there is nothing sacrosanct about the present national boundaries and they will continue to change. In future, nations will have less significance as multinational companies and supranational organisations such as the EU proliferate. Even in my own extended family, five or six nations are represented. I believe this is all to the good and I would like to hear politicians say less about “the national interest” and more about the interests of the whole world, especially the poorer countries. I believe God cares much less about racial and national affiliations than fundamentalists like to think. Therefore, I do not care very much about the nationality of an executive whose company owns the New Zealand (or British) utilities. Smith, however, obsesses about this for seven chapters, bless him!

The European Union
In the 1974 edition of TLGPE, Lindsey could envisage a European Union of ten nations and tie this to the prophecies in Revelation of a ten-horned beast. Now however, there are 28 (with only one leaving, and others possibly joining) so a way must be found to weasel out of it. Smith writes of an “inner tier” of the EU consisting of ten nations, not knowing then that 19 nations would opt for monetary union. It will be interesting to see the next wriggle!

The Antichrist
Prepare for the third worst thing in this book. This chapter is so irresponsible that I am left almost speechless. Smith names a well-known public figure as a possible Antichrist and so could become responsible for some lunatic assassinating him. The fact that this person is not European makes him extraordinarily unlikely as a European president, which Smith sees as a necessary office for the Antichrist to hold. Furthermore, the EU is currently so far from political union that he is likely to be much too old by the time he would be needed.

Numerology
Smith continually throws in snippets without any explanation or justification, assuming his readers know no better and will not investigate further. His identification of 666 with the Greek letters Chi, Xi, Sigma is incorrect (#) – the final letter should be Digamma or Stigma – and he gives no explanation for why these should represent “to prick and mark in recognition of ownership”.

It turns out that letting A=1, B=2, ..., the letters of the name of the prospective Antichrist add up to 111, as do those of “New York” or “Computer”, but this is the wrong answer, so we must multiply it by the fudge factor, which is then right answer divided by the wrong answer, ie 6.

Smith is right that the Greek form of Jesus, Ιησους, adds up to 888, using the conventional Greek assignment of letters to numbers, but he is wrong about Hebrew: using the Gematria, the standard assignment of numbers to Hebrew letters, if you spell "Jesus", יְשׁוּהַ, yəshûa‘, you get a sum of 386; if as יְהו֗שׁוּהַ, yəhôshûa‘, "Joshua", you get a sum of 391. You do not get 888 as Smith says (#). Adding the Hebrew for “Christ” is still insufficient to reach 888. There is no reasonable way to make 888 using the Latin alphabet either, since the numbers involved are much too small (#).

Y2K and Satan
We are treated to the revelation that the Year 2000 problem was planned by the Satanic conspiracy: presumably millions of programmers throughout the 70s and 80s (including me) were brainwashed to create this problem!

Global Warming
Of course, global warming is barely a matter of debate among scientists, but it deserves to be treated more seriously than Smith is capable of, with his paranoia and talk of “scams”. He is not even capable of distinguishing global warming from ozone depletion, a totally different problem (#). Smith uncritically swallows the nonsense of a Mr Harry Alcock, whose views are “different to the established meteorological theories”, because, as is clear from an extended quote, he is a crackpot. Rising sea levels are already beginning to swamp Pacific islands, and a schoolboy could refute Alcock’s argument that melting ice should cause sea levels to drop: it is true that ice shrinks when it melts, but for floating ice, this is offset by the fact that some of the ice is above the water level: when floating ice melts, it leaves water levels unchanged. [Actually sea ice is fresh water, which is less dense than salt water, so water levels actually rise slightly when icebergs melt.] However, more seriously, global warming is melting the ice sheet of Antarctica, which is not floating and this is leading to higher sea levels. His observations on refrigerants are also plain wrong: he thinks chlorofluorocarbons are chemically highly reactive, whereas they were chosen because of their inertness, which means that they survive unscathed as they drift to the upper atmosphere, where they meet with a substance so reactive that it can react even with CFCs: ozone (#).

And crop circles are caused by UFOs!

Evolution
According to Smith, “evolution is the ultimate insult to the Creator God”. What? Worse than worshipping Satan or burning babies alive? Worse even than becoming a Freemason?? The “arguments” he gives here show that he has no idea what the theory of evolution says, eg that a human being must have all organs in place at the moment of birth. This is not only false (#) (eg secondary sexual characteristics, adult teeth), but even if it were true, it would have no bearing in evolution. Moreover, evolution has nothing to do with challenging God’s role as creator and designer, since it is a scientific theory, not a theological one.

Now we have another, even more uninformed, rant against the theory of evolution. Smith must live in a fantasy world to believe that “it has now become obvious to all thinking people that the theory of evolution has run its course” (#). Only a minority even of Christians are creationists. No one who knows anything about physics believes that the theory of evolution contradicts the second law of thermodynamics (#), which does not say “things always deteriorate and nothing ever improves of itself” (#).

Next, Smith confuses evolution with abiogenesis, and has the effrontery to accuse those who accept the latter of being “unscientific”, when he has demonstrated that his own scientific knowledge is so poor that he can print approvingly what a crackpot says about the weather. Next, Smith confuses the authority of the Bible with the authority of his fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible. Next, he assumes that no one who believes that God is the creator and designer of the universe can believe in evolution and he falsely states that evolution implies that life is mindless (#). Then he produces a meaningless mantra “nothing produces nothing” and suggests falsely that this is what is taught in schools (#).

Now Smith tries another attack on evolution, producing ... the duck! He imagines that the mere mention of this wonderful creature will silence the dreaded evolutionists. As for the bombardier beetle and the midwife toad, Smith makes the same mistake that creationists used to make about the eye – argument by incredulity – “I can’t imagine how this can have happened, so it didn’t”. We can see among living creatures many intermediate stages between no eye and the human one, so the argument that it’s useless until it’s fully formed doesn’t wash. It’s also worth mentioning that as an organ evolves, its function may change: feathers may have evolved originally for heat insulation.

We are also treated to a brief reference to Pascal’s wager: the appalling argument that it’s better to bet that God exists than not, because, if he doesn’t, you have lost nothing, but if he does exist, you had better believe in him, or else. This distorts Christianity into being a matter of fear, not faith.

Environmentalism
However, the second worst aspect of this book is his idea that concern for the environment is misplaced because it’s all going to be burnt up soon, anyway. How dare he treat what God has created with such utter contempt! Christians have been late in coming to a realisation of the importance of environmental issues, partly because of fundamentalist reading of “having dominion”, and it is true that pagans and New Agers often show a greater concern for the environment, but this is no reason to reject what is good in their views. However, Smith opts for the “Not Invented Here” syndrome: “we didn't think of it first, so it must be bad”.

Zionism, the End of the World and Russia
Predictably, Smith is a Zionist. He believes the Arabs have no rights to the land, that the Oslo peace accords are against God’s will and that Netanyahu has gone from a hero to a traitor. No word of the Justice of God, here, of course.

Now we have some sums that make a big deal of 1948 and predict 1998 as the year everything blows up. Oh dear, wrong again (#). But we have a get-out clause: by applying another fudge factor, we can predict the end in 2007; and when that doesn’t work, we’ll just fudge it again.

Smith thinks Russia, under a nationalist leader, such as Zhirinovsky or Lebed, is about to invade Israel! The truth, of course, is that Russia is no longer a world power militarily. Its army is demoralised and selling off its weapons. Even the attempt to control part of its own territory, Chechnya, nearly brought down the government. The idea that it could invade Israel, even under Zhirinovsky, is ludicrous. Lebed was not crazy enough to try a stunt like that – he brokered a peace deal with the Chechens, and is now dead, anyway. In 2017, it is clear that Zhironovsky has actually been bought out by Putin, and acts as a show opponent, intended to make Putin look moderate, and acting as a mouthpiece for ideas that Putin will adopt if they are sufficiently popular.

Catholics
Smith next turns his attack on the Roman Catholic Church, going a little further than Hal Lindsey dared in TLGPE in identifying it with the Scarlet Whore of Babylon.

Next he produces such bad arguments for Protestant doctrines that he does his cause no good.

He propounds the extraordinary theory that actual physical blood is sinful, except for Jesus’s. What would have happened if he had required a blood transfusion? Would he have become a sinner, by virtue of the tainted blood in him? We are first told that Jesus was fully man and fully God, but next we are told that Mary gave birth only to the man part of him. This is a desperate attempt to fight off the dreaded Catholic epithet of Mary, “Mother of God”.

Smith also argues against the Catholic doctrine of the sinlessness of Mary, by pointing out that she made a sin offering (presumably Luke 2 vs 22-24), but arguing in the same way, one could show that Jesus was a sinner because he requested John’s baptism of repentance.
In trying to show that Mary did not remain a virgin, Smith attacks the Catholic interpretation of Mark 6 v 3, “... Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?” He makes the elementary error of deducing meaning from etymology, by claiming that the Greek αδελφος, adelphos, brother, being related to the word for womb, must be literal. Of course, interpreting every reference to “brother” in the New Testament literally reduces it to absurdity (#).

There are also several puzzling aspects of the Gospel story that make more sense under the Catholic interpretation: Why, when the angel told Mary she would conceive a son did she say that she had no husband? If she expected to marry Joseph shortly and have a normal sex-life, this question makes no sense. If, however, Joseph was too old to be fertile or if Mary had taken a vow of celibacy, the question makes sense. Smith thinks that “But he had no intercourse with her till she had brought forth her first born son” is conclusive, but there are similar usages in Scripture where it is clear that the situation did not change after the “till”-event (eg Deuteronomy 1 v 31). If Jesus had full brothers, why did he not leave his mother in the care of one of them upon his death?

I raise these points, not because I believe the Catholic doctrines, but to point out how poor Smith’s reasoning is, even when I agree with his conclusions. Either of these arguments is better than Smith’s “conclusive” arguments on the other side.

Conclusion
The absolutely most unpleasant part of the book is the way that Smith takes such delight in the idea of people being dragged off to Hell. In lurid cartoons, he expresses his glee at their discomfiture in the flames and his triumphalism at the overthrow of those horrid atheists, masons, evolutionists and Catholics who have mocked him.

It has also become clear to me that Smith was deeply bound by super­stition: he was obsessed with the evil significance of numbers, dates, symbols, peoples and places.

A fair amount of this material is not original: there is an extensive Conspiracy Theory Literature, most of it non-Christian, but this book is every bit as bad as the other Christian book of this kind I have read: 'Understanding the New Age', by Roy Livesey.

The question must also be asked: "Supposing everything Smith says about the Global Luciferian Conspiracy is correct, what are we supposed to do about it?" Since its rise to power is unstoppable, what is the value of exposing it, except to scare us?

The book is also fundamentally dishonest in that the reasons Smith gives for many things are not the reasons that led him to those beliefs, but back-to-front arguments constructed afterwards and designed to end up at the point he has already reached, not by reason, but by prejudice. It is very common for fundamentalists to argue this way, quite reckless as to the soundness or otherwise of their arguments or “facts”, provided that they end up with the “right” conclusion.

The tragedy is that the vitally important message he wants to get across, the importance of being right with God through trust in the sacrifice of Jesus, is brought into disrepute by association with all the nonsense in this book.