Know Your Antichrist Candidates


Al GoreName: Albert Arnold Gore, Jr.

Birth: March 31, 1948, Washington, D.C., the son of a moderate Democratic U.S. congressman and later senator from Tennessee.

Claim to Fame: Served as U.S. congressman from Tennessee’s 4th District from 1977 to 1985, where he became the first congressman to appear on C-SPAN and “invented the Internet” as sponsor of the High Performance Computing and Communication Act of 1991; served as U.S. senator from Tennessee from 1985-93; ran for the Democratic nomination for President in 1988; was elected Vice President on a ticket with Bill Clinton in 1992, and served until 2001; ran for President against George W. Bush in 2000 and received a majority of popular votes cast, but lost the electoral vote to Bush after a ballot recount in Florida and a controversial decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in Bush’s favor; retired from politics (mostly) to become an activist on global warming issues; in 2007, Gore’s film, An Inconvenient Truth, won an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature; and, also in 2007, he won an Emmy for his role in founding Current TV, and the Nobel Peace Prize.

Power Base: 50,999,897 disappointed American voters in the 2000 presidential election; environmentalists; and, apparently, members of the Academies of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and Television Arts & Sciences and the Nobel Committee.

Google Hits: 269,000 hits for “al gore antichrist” on October 14, 2007

Merits: There has been a definite spike in searches for “Al Gore antichrist” landing people here on this site since Friday’s announcement of the former Vice President’s Nobel Peace Prize, prompting us here at the Cocktail Hour to take another look at his antichrist candidacy.

  • Since his loss in 2000, Gore has managed to remake himself in remarkable fashion, as described in a recent Rolling Stone article:

He has put aside his wooden, policy-wonk demeanor to emerge as the Bush administration’s most eloquent critic. And thanks to An Inconvenient Truth, Gore is not only the most impassioned leader on the most urgent crisis facing the planet, he’s also a Hollywood celebrity, the star of the third-highest-grossing documentary of all time. “He’s perceived very differently now than he was six years ago,” says Frank Luntz, the Republican consultant who advised George W. Bush to dispute global warming during the 2000 and 2004 elections. “He’s an icon. Imagine that: Al Gore, Mr. Straight and Narrow, Mr. Dull on Wheels — now he’s culturally cool.”

al gore = 97 + 108 + 32 + 103 + 111 + 114 + 101 = 666

“I am convinced that Al Gore has sold his soul to the devil,” Eshoh continues. “He is noted for his wooden appearance, something that makes me suspect he is nothing but a puppet being manipulated by Satan.”

  • Dr. Rusty “Joe” Shackleford proposes the following reading of Revelations in light of Al Gore’s affiliation with Google:

Rev 13:16 and he [Al Gore, the inventor of the internet and soon to be partner with Google] causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: [url recognized by Google's search bot, I'm sure]

Rev 13:17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. [You think any online business would work without Google? How about an online provider of news and opinion without Google News? Think about it.]

Rev 13:18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number [is] Six hundred threescore [and] six. [Google=6 letters; Search=6 letters; Al Gore=6 letters......]

Along similar lines, other commentators note that, since the numerical value of W is ‘6,’ and “www” is the equivalent of “666,” as the “inventor of the Internet,” Al Gore has the mark of the Beast.

  • In 2000, Sterling Allan analyzed Gore’s numerology and explored the penumbra of definitions of the word “gore” in the English language (such as “mass of filth” or “blood,”; and “to pierce or penetrate with a pointed instrument” or “horns”), juxtaposed against Old Testament lexicons, and concluded that Al Gore could represent “the use of tyrannical force to bring about a counterfeit of this unification of the world.”
  • Gore, in his book Earth in the Balance, wrote that “we must all become partners in a bold effort to change the very foundation of our civilization,” a suggestion that writer Samantha Smith assails as advocating a New World Order, one “who would strip America of its progress and industry, incorporate population control, establish an international police guard to enforce compliance of international laws on the environment, and lead a battalion of interfaith advocates in earth stewardship–rationing the ‘sacred’ earth’s resources.” Smith sees these ambitions as being consistent with the spiritual goals of a New Age Movement that would denounce God in favor of a worship of nature.

Quay Fortuna’s Analysis: The fact that a Republican tells Rolling Stone that Al Gore is “cool” does not make it so — although, you have to admit, it’s like he became a new person after 2000. His remarkable transformation, however, only really supports the notion that he sold his soul to the devil right after the 2000 election. I mean, come on, would anyone have predicted that Al Gore could have ever received an Oscar, an Emmy, and a Nobel Peace Prize, let alone in the same year? Anyone taking odds that he might win an Olympic gold medal? Don’t bet against it!

Those with short memories have already forgotten that his popular vote in the 2000 election was a close one, and that even many Democrats were disappointed with Gore as a presidential candidate at the time. If we must, as the scholars suggest, see the antichrist as a charming and beloved figure, we must ask ourselves the following question: Is it possible that before his election loss in 2000, Al Gore would not have been capable of being the antichrist, but now that he’s a Hollywood celeb and talk show bon vivant, he is now suddenly capable of being the antichrist? I think the preferred view would be that the antichrist is going to be the antichrist from birth onward. And no antichrist worth his salt would have allowed himself to be so overshadowed by the devilishness of Bill Clinton for eight years.

Abdullah IIName: King Abdullah II bin al-Hussein of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

Birth: January 30, 1962 in Amman, Jordan.

Claim to Fame: Successor to King Hussein, for whom the Jordanian constitution had to be amended to permit the ascension of a man whose mother was not an Arab Muslim, but an Ipswich typist; supposed 43rd-generation direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad; and, an extra on Star Trek: Voyager.

Power Base: The old guard among the tribes of the East Bank (Transjordanians) who occupy important positions within the Jordanian security forces and the public sector, and who hold a tight grip on the majority of the Jordanian parliament through gerrymandering.

Google Hits: 84,800 hits for “abdullah ii antichrist” on September 21, 2006

Merits: Here in the West, we patronizingly tend to think of little King Abdullah as one of the good Arabs. Educated in the U.S. and at Oxford, he is charming, witty, has a blazingly hot young wife, and is frequently seen wearing European suits at the center of progressive global initiatives involving ecumenism, economic development and peace.

Russell at Jesus-is-the-Way.com makes the case for Abdullah’s candidacy with the following evidence:

  • The Bible says that the Antichrist will be from Assyria (Isaiah 10:12, 14:25), which in its heyday included the lands now under the control of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (Jordan’s people, incidentally, are genetically close to the Assyrians, according to a study by Stanford’s L.L. Cavalli-Sforza);
  • The “ten kings” in the Book of Revelations refer not to the nations of the European Union, but to a confederation of Middle Eastern sub-nations united in their desire to destroy Israel (in accordance with Psalms 83:1-5), many of which are now united under the umbrella of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan;
  • Abdullah’s British mother, Antoinette Gardiner, provides him with “Roman ancestry,” thus giving him the credentials for establishing a “Revived Roman Empire”;
  • As a so-called direct descendant of Muhammad, Abdullah is “looked upon by moderate Muslims as the al-Mahdi, the eschatological saviour to Islam” – a handy conflation of the Christian tradition of the antichrist with the Muslim tradition of the Mahdi;
  • In 1965, psychic Jeanne Dixon predicted a “child born somewhere in the Middle East on February 5, 1962 will revolutionize the world… and bring together all mankind in one all-embracing faith… a new Christianity… every sect and creed united through this man,” a description of an antichrist if ever an apocalyptic Christian has heard one. (NOTE: Although this prediction is often invoked to argue for the candidacy of actress Jennifer Jason Leigh as the Antichrist (she’s pretty creepy, I’ll give you that), astrologers cite the period around that date as “a very significant astrological event: a close grouping of seven planets in the sign of Aquarius, grouped within 17 degrees, at the same time as a solar eclipse.” And as astrologers like to say, it is appropriate to watch events unfold within a few days on either side of a solar eclipse to measure its effect – thus giving Abdullah’s birthdate of January 30, 1962 a possible identification with Dixon’s prediction. I’m just sayin’ . . .)
  • The fact that the Vatican announced a revision in the words of exorcism (eliminating references to a “Prince of Darkness” in favor of formulas referring to “causes of evil”) on the same day that Abdullah was named as his father’s successor (January 25, 1999);
  • The fact that Abdullah seems to be playing a role of increasing importance to the Middle East peace process, and in fact has been suggested as a possible new ruler for Iraq, post-Saddam Hussein.

Quay Fortuna’s Analysis: This Antichrist candidacy has a certain appeal to those who would choose to find an Antichrist in the Muslim world — though, judging by the search terms that bring many readers to my site, most anti-Muslim readers hope that the Antichrist would turn out to be someone much less loveable, like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Hassan Nasrallah, or Osama bin Laden. The fact that people in the West seem to see Abdullah in a positive light, such as a 2003 Travel Channel program which portrayed him as

… a “man for all seasons” … flying a helicopter, appearing in grand style in military situations, touring Petra (after taking a camel ride through the desert), riding a boat on the beautiful Gulf of Aqaba, meeting the Bedouin desert people (showing his common touch), amply demonstrating his charm/wit and Western education and command of English, making a rigorous climb of a mountain to a shrine for ” prophets ” of various religions

means to me that he is a much more solid candidate. Those other guys? Punks.

Viewing the question strictly through the smudged lenses of apocalyptic Christians, the credibility of King Abdullah as a candidate depends upon which part of the world will ultimately do the most to screw up Israel – the European Union, or moderates in the Middle East. According to the hard-line die-hards, it could truly go either way.

The-HoffName: David Michael Hasselhoff

Birth: July 17, 1952, Baltimore, Maryland

Claim to Fame: 6′-4″ All-American TV action/soap hero who has made over $100 million as star/producer of the syndicated series Baywatch, after playing second fiddle to a late model sport-coupe on the series Knight Rider

Power Base: Viewers of TV “t&a” on every continent of the world except Antarctica; and, of course, “the Germans love him.”

Google Hits: 60,800 hits for “david hasselhoff antichrist” as of August 29, 2006

Merits: Earlier this month, David Hasselhoff stole a nanosecond’s-worth of celebrity headlines by musing aloud, “Maybe I am the Antichrist. Maybe that’s why all this weird shit that has started happening to me and women yell at me on the street.”

By “all this weird shit,” Hasselhoff is no doubt referring to a summer of crazy Hasselhoffery, including: (1) a comeback stint as a judge on the NBC hit show, America’s Got Talent; (2) a new European single, “Jump in My Car,” accompanied by a campy video, ; (3) a notorious episode of public tears, when Taylor Hicks won American Idol (“I find it incredulous in this country that if a heterosexual man cries, it’s like ‘Film at 11′”); (4) the spectacle of his nasty public divorce from Pamela Bach, who claims that Hasselhoff is a drunk who broke her nose in an episode of domestic violence (he claims the only person who has broken his estranged wife’s nose was her plastic surgeon — ouch!); (5) that shaving or tooth-brushing accident that resulted in four sliced tendons and one sliced artery in his right arm; (6) that time in July when he was banned from a British Airways flight leaving Heathrow for the States for appearing too intoxicated (he says it was bizarre pain-killing meds for his arm thing) …

Am I leaving anything out? Weird shit, indeed — but not half as weird as the strange coincidences found by Warren S. Apel, the investigative brains behind the now classic web exposé, David Hasselhoff is the AntiChrist. Among Apel’s finds, after reviewing the evidence:

  • “David Hasselhoff” is an anagram of the phrase “Fad of Devil’s Hash.” Explains Apel: “Baywatch is David’s fad. David is the devil. The Hash is what makes Knight Rider popular in Amsterdam. I was actually hoping to make the letters in his name spell out ‘he is of the devil,’ which would be possible if his middle name was ‘Ethesis,’ which it might be. I’m sure his publicist would hide such a middle name if it were true”;
  • Hasselhoff and his crew are mentioned throughout the book of Revelations, from 13:1 (“And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea”) to 20:11 (“And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away” — to which Apel asks “Doesn’t this sound like an exact description of what the lifeguards on Baywatch do? They sit on their big white wooden throne, and watch out over the sea — waiting for a dying person to get cast up”) to 13:15 (“And in those days men shall seek to find death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them” — to which Apel observes, “One word: CPR”) to the references in 17:3-5 to the whore of babylon, identified by Apel as Pamela Anderson; and
  • Several expert numerological analyses of Hasselhoff’s name, all leading to the inevitable ’666′ — including one march of logic and calculation through a childhood production of Rumplestiltskin in which Hasselhoff participated at age 7.

Not to mention that “Hasselhoff” apparently means something like “horny” in German (although, as the nouveau-80s Dutch band named for Hasselhoff has so eloquently put it, it “doesn’t mean shit in Dutch – or any other language for that matter.”).

Add to all that the circumstances of the falling of the Berlin Wall in November 1989, and suddenly we start to build a real case for Hasselhoff as the Antichrist. In 1989, Hasselhoff released an English-language cover of a 1970s German pop hit, “Auf Der Strasse Nach Suden,” renaming it “Looking for Freedom” — and almost as if by some nefarious miracle, it raced up the pop charts while revolt was in the air throughout Communist Europe. According to the BBC:

By the time Berliners started hacking away at the concrete wall that had divided their city for a generation, the torch-bearing anthem had been number one for several weeks in West Germany.

With its lament, “I’ve been lookin’ for freedom; I’ve been lookin’ so long; I’ve been lookin’ for freedom; still the search goes on,” the song embodied the frustrations of Germany’s years of division. The album of the same name topped the charts for three months and, that December, Hasselhoff was invited to headline a New Year’s Eve concert in the recently reunited city. The gig was apparently rubber-stamped by the then German chancellor, Helmut Kohl.

The singer himself has powerful memories of the performance. “It was the first time Germany had been unified, and close to a million East and West German fans stood together in the freezing cold at midnight watching me perform. I was overcome with emotion,” he recalls.

Hasselhoff, who by now was appearing in Baywatch, scooped a clutch of top German music awards and went on to become one of the country’s biggest selling artists of the 90s.

His popularity even prompted a headline in one German newspaper, “Hasselhoff: not since the Beatles”.

Looking back on the episode prompted Hasselhoff to question, last year, why there were no pictures of him in the Berlin Museum at Checkpoint Charlie, commemorating his role in helping to end the Cold War.

Quay Fortuna’s Analysis: Try as we might to dismiss the Hasselhoff theory as just another tin horn on the “so-and-so is the Antichrist” bandwagon (i.e. “Paris Hilton is the Antichrist,” “Britney Spears is the Antichrist,” “Wilford Brimley is the Antichrist”), that stuff about the Berlin Wall stops us in our tracks. It is the sheer improbability of the helmet-headed actor’s role in the fall of Communism that catches us off-guard — making us think it’s all nothing but a fluke, a trick of chronology and media hype. This, of course, is exactly what the Antichrist would have us think, while he quietly goes about consolidating his power over us.

Much of the answer here probably lies in a further analysis of another question that has been making its rounds through forums and the blogosphere of late: Does the Antichrist know he’s the Antichrist? It is a question that we must reserve for answering at another time — in fact, I’m planning to hold a symposium on this topic in Atlantic City in December — but I will say that if, in fact, it is a theological prerequisite that the Antichrist acts upon his own volition and is not simply some kind of Manchurian Candidate Satanic automaton, then it is possible (despite Hasselhoff’s own musings) that David Hasselhoff can be eliminated from consideration. It is rare, even in show business, to find someone whose apparent lack of self-knowledge is so … well, monolithic is really the only word I can come up with.

At any rate, even if we believe that the Antichrist doesn’t have to be quite so self-conscious about his role on Earth, then in Hasselhoff’s case I think we have a way to head ‘em off at the pass. Keep him on those pain-killing meds until the Great Tribulation passes, and we should all be relatively safe.

Jack Van ImpeName: Dr. Jack Leo Van Impe

Birth: February 1931, Freeport, Michigan

Claim to Fame: Apocalyptic televangelist and self-styled “Walking Bible,” head of the Jack Van Impe Ministries World Outreach Center in Rochester Hills, Michigan

Power Base: Mesmerized television viewers of “apocalypse porn” in 210 TV markets around the U.S., where his half-hour show Jack Van Impe Presents often airs between midnight and 6 a.m. on Sunday mornings

Google Hits: 33,000 hits for “jack van impe antichrist” as of 8/07/06 — although, to be fair, the guy talks a lot about the Antichrist, so the number is probably incidentally inflated.

Merits: “BEWARE OF JACK VAN IMPE,” writes David W. Cloud of the Fundamentalist Baptist Information Service. “He is a deeply deluded and very dangerous man.”

Although it is often true that fundamentalist Baptists and apocalyptic televangelists make very good bedfellows, Jack Van Impe has had a severe falling-out with a large number of people who would otherwise be a part of his natural flock over the past few decades.

A 1952 graduate of the Detroit Bible College (now known as William Tyndale College), Van Impe launched his career as a preacher in the Detroit area — warning about the dangers of rock ‘n roll, alcohol and communism. Eventually, he gained a national following as a traveling, musical “ambassador for Christ,” and later, through his syndicated radio show. As a popular leader among conservative Christians, Van Impe was well-known for his fierce advocacy of “Biblical separation” — the idea that most self-labelled Christian faiths were practicing in error, and that true fundamentalist Christians should isolate themselves from all the “wrong-thinking” faiths.

In the 1970s, however, Van Impe began to undergo an astonishing change of belief when he began to criticize the “appalling lack of love and unity among so many of the brothers and sisters in Christ,” striking an ecumenical chord and even going so far as to refer to Pope John Paul II as a “defender of truth.” As David Cloud observes, “The ecumenical river is running powerfully in the direction of the City on Seven Hills where the old harlot lives (Rev. 17) [i.e. Rome], and if a preacher does not aggressively paddle against the current, he will be swept down stream.”

In addition to Van Impe’s defense of Roman Catholicism, fundamentalist apocalyptics are suspicious of the following:

  • Van Impe has lashed out at other apocalyptics. In 2005, for example, after Pat Robertson called for the assassination of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, Van Impe compared Robertson to Osama bin Laden, and called for Robertson to recant not only the Chavez remark, but also Robertson’s expressed hope that a Supreme Court justice would die and pave the way for a pro-life Court majority.
  • Van Impe proclaims that Islam is a peaceful religion — much to the profound irritation of apocalyptics. In March 2003, according to Todd Stranberg of RaptureReady.com, Van Impe “all but declared Islam to be equal to Christianity.” Detractors point out that Van Impe has been praised by the Islamic Supreme Council of America for his “fairness,” and that in September 2004, Van Impe exhorted his viewers to “thank God for the Muslims who are preaching love.”
  • The surname “Van Impe” is a Dutch-Flemish name which is believed to be derived from the old German word “impfen,” or “to graft.” By the 1400s, it was common to use the word “imp” to refer to “a child,” but it was even more common a century later to use the word to refer to a “child from hell,” or, the “spawn of Satan.” These days, “imp” is generally accepted to mean “fiend,” “evil creature” or “small demon.”
  • Finally, Jack Van Impe is known to play a mean accordion — which, if it is not considered to be the devil’s instrument, it certainly should be.

Still, in all, J-Vim continues to host his weekly TV show with gusto, his slightly creepy amanuensis Rexella sitting by his side. (David Futrelle in Salon described Rexella thusly: “Prim and cheerful, with permed blonde hair and a Home-Shopping-Network fashion sense, Rexella speaks of the end of the world as calmly as if she were announcing a potluck.” Hard to beat that kind of prose.) He ebulliently quotes bible verses and interprets news stories with an eye towards showing that the Rapture, Armageddon and the Second Coming are just around the corner. He himself now seems to favor the theory that the EU is the Antichrist. He had seen, in the 1979 energy crisis, signs of an apocalypse that could have occurred as early as 1980; in the years leading to 2000, however, he was fairly Y2K-obsessed, predicting widespread catastrophes associated with the turning of the millennium, and he was also fond of saying that Bill Clinton was the “End of Times President.” Since then, in general, Van Impe has shrewdly kept his viewers on the edge of their seats, refusing to make an outright prediction of the date of the end of the world.

Quay Fortuna’s Analysis: Within the provincial world of apocalyptic fundamentalist Christians, Jack Van Impe’s turnabout from “Biblical separation” was a cutting and treacherous blow, and the sense of outrage over it tends to make Van Impe out to be a much more important character to the fundamentalist community than he really is to the rest of the Earth.

On the other hand, wouldn’t it be just like the Antichrist to keep calling attention to the impending apocalypse, mollifying us with the right hand of anticipation while the left hand, while we’re not paying attention, grasps us firmly by the windpipe and clenches down hard? Yes, he’d be giving us false dates and false antichrists high and low, wouldn’t he? And the more clever among us would see right through it, by employing that one time-honored, tried-and-true rule — “He who smelt it, dealt it.” Ultimately, that is one law of nature that is difficult to argue with.

So, yes, there are some compelling arguments that Jack Van Impe might be the Antichrist. In my own humble opinion, however, if it were true — well, I must say I would’ve expected that the Antichrist would have a more hip haircut, wear nicer suits, and have a better time slot on the tube.

Juan Carlos IName: Juan Carlos Alfonso Victor Maria de Borbon y Borbon, better known as H.M. Juan Carlos I of Spain

Birth: January 5, 1938 in Rome, Italy

Claim to Fame: Athletic son of the exiled King of Spain is handpicked by fascist Franco to be his successor; squanders opportunity by peacefully ushering in pluralistic, parliamentary democracy

Power Base: The Spanish army, and entrenched interests among the Spanish political and business elite

Google Hits: 41,800 hits for “king juan carlos antichrist” as of 7/13/06

Merits: The late Charles R. Taylor forcefully made the case for Juan Carlos in his book The Antichrist King: Juan Carlos (1994), and many antichrist watchers have recently taken up his cause. Among other pieces of evidence, the Juan Carlos proponents (“JCers,” I call them) cite the following:

  • According to Daniel 7:23-25, the “prince who will come” will be the leader of the 11th nation to join the revived Roman Empire, or, as interpreted by the JCers, the European Union. Spain was the 11th nation to join the EU.
  • According to Daniel 9:27, the antichrist shall “confirm a treaty with many for one week.” “One week” is taken to mean “seven years” by JCers; but more importantly, when surveying the world for places in desperate need for a treaty of some kind which also have some biblical significance, the JCers point to tensions in the Middle East. Oddly enough, it appears that Juan Carlos has been playing either an indirect or a direct role in the Middle East peace process for some time. The 1991 Madrid Conference which kicked off multi-lateral talks among Israel, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and representatives of Palestine, initiated by the Americans and the Russians, was hosted by the Spanish government. Subsequently, Israel lobbied hard for Juan Carlos to take a leading role in mediating Israeli and Palestinian differences in 2001; and many have observed that the body most likely to monitor any resolution of Middle East tensions is NATO, which from 1995-99 was headed by former Spanish foreign minister Javier Solana.
  • Various renderings of Juan Carlos’ name (in Hebrew, Greek, Latin, English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French, German and Russian) apparently add up to ’666′ under numerological scrutiny.
  • Juan Carlos is said to be a descendant of those dastardly Merovingians, the ancient Frankish kings who were the focus of Dan Brown’s ramblings in The Da Vinci Code.
  • Juan Carlos allegedly has a yacht called The Dragon, seen as a reference to Satan, who is depicted as a dragon in Revelations 13: 2, 11-14.
  • The 1992 Summer Olympic Games, held in Barcelona, were particularly freaky to some JCers, featuring a closing spectacle described as follows:

[The closing spectacle was] an exercise in demonic/pagan symbolism which ended with the mating of a Black Serpent and the Greek goddess of love and fertility, the multi-breasted Artemis who then gave birth to the “Great Dragon,” the head of which rose 75 feet above the top of the stadium. The alleged theme of the pageant was the birth of the world in fire and it was represented by 250 happy devils . . . who began the “festival of fire.” Giant wooden structures, including 2 caped figures of Satan and grinning goats’ heads, were set ablaze and constantly moved through the cavorting devils. A group of devils, one dressed in the robes of a king, danced frenziedly around a fiery maypole . . . Weird tones, underlaid with constant jungle drumming, were sporadically joined by eerie wails, long sighs and howling. Occult symbols were everywhere. Well represented was the Baphomet (goat’s head of witchcraft), the pentagram or “devils star,” the maypole, which is an ancient pagan phallic symbol, and demonic faces, well endowed with horns. As expected, television network commentators were “awed” by the spectacle. At times the audience joined the celebration, swaying to the demonic music with arms outstretched to heaven. [sic]

Quay Fortuna’s Analysis: A favorite among hardcore apocalyptic Christians, Juan Carlos looks like a pretty good candidate on paper, and unlike other constitutional monarchs, he seems to hold some sway over his dominion. He stepped right into Franco’s shoes after the death of the Generalissimo in 1975, but was expected to be a puppet beholden to prime minister Arias Navarro, and a figurehead of the continuation of the old authoritarian regime. Instead, Juan Carlos removed Arias Navarro from power and pressured his successors to enact political reforms culminating in free democratic elections. He kept the Spanish army in check through an attempted coup in 1981, as well as through the rise of the Socialist Party in 1982 and its subsequent decline.

Still, Juan Carlos has an underwhelming public profile where the rest of the world is concerned. He has all the bearing and elegance one would expect of an Armani-clad 21st century royal (Vanity Fair has called him one of the world’s best dressed men), and we suspect that over the course of his life he has developed some of the usual decadent vices commonly exhibited among those in his class. That kind of understated charm, though, has not translated into anything like a worldwide following of blind admiration. Mucking about with Castilian plantation owners and an occasional irate Arab doesn’t add up to a profile of global domination, either. It just doesn’t seem likely to me that Satan would choose a somewhat diffident and faceless representative from a fading Old European institution to be the vessel of his terror and world domination. But that’s what Satan thinks I’ll be thinking!

Okay, let’s be practical. Here are a few ideas of things Juan Carlos could try if he really needs to firm up popular support for any future demonic plans:

  • Launch a new signature fragrance;
  • Tour Africa with Bono or Brad and Angelina;
  • Do something you need to apologize for, and appear contrite on Larry King or Oprah (preferably both);
  • Hire Elliot Mintz as your publicist; and
  • Get your own reality TV show.

ArnoldName: Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger

Birth: July 30, 1947, Thal, Styria, Austria

Claim to Fame: Austrian “Mr. Universe” takes Hollywood by storm, marries a Kennedy, wins political office

Power Base: Governor of California

Google Hits: 68,500 pages for “arnold schwarzenegger antichrist” as of 7/7/06

Merits: Phil Maxwell, on www.scatteredsheep.com, ranks Arnold Schwarzenegger first in an array of hundreds of potential candidates based on Schwarzenegger’s BNF, or “beast number factor,” of 94. (The first runner-up, Tony Blair, rates a BNF of merely 83 by comparison.) Phil’s Bill Jamesian approach to antichristology is obtained by combining a numerological analysis of the candidate’s name (Phil’s analysis of “President Arnold Schwarzenegger” results in the dreaded “6-6-6″ combo — never mind the fact that Schwarzenegger is constitutionally barred from becoming president) with a Google test, and then piling on some pass-fail grades on several other indicators, such as having a “larger, stronger physique” (from Daniel 7:20), being an “icon of success” (Daniel 8:24), being a “subordinate politician” who emerges from the pack (Daniel 7:8, 11; 8:9), being “stern-faced” and, finally, being a “womanizer.” Schwarzenegger, according to the learned Phil, fits the bill on all counts. Phil monitors Schwarzenegger’s antichrist progress on The Arni-Christ Project.

Quay Fortuna’s Analysis: The image of a suave, smooth, universally-beloved antichrist is fundamentally at odds with Schwarzenegger’s current image. True, he knocked off incumbent California governor Gray Davis in a 2003 recall election; but if being more charming than Gray Davis is a good threshold criterion for antichrist consideration, I’d say half of the insurance salesmen I’ve met might be the antichrist. If you stand Arnold up against guys like Michael Caine, George Clooney or even Bill Clinton, Arnold comes off looking like Attila the Hun — and I don’t mean politically-speaking.

Although the polls still show him to be holding a slim lead in his re-election effort, Schwarzenegger’s tenure as California governor has been a rickety one at best. As reported by the Los Angeles Times in February:

The governor “faces dismal poll ratings, an empty campaign treasury, a peeved Republican base and other troubles as his new political team plots his campaign for a second term.”

“The governor has yet to recover from his November special-election debacle, which squandered more than $45 million of his campaign money and drew a withering ad assault from organized labor… Adding to his difficulties is the poor national political climate for Republicans. Public anger at President Bush and the GOP over the Iraq war, a lobbying scandal, a botched Medicare drug plan and other issues could hurt Schwarzenegger and other Republicans on the California ballot in November.”

Plus, just because The 6th Day, Jingle All the Way and Kindergarten Cop may have been positively diabolical pieces of cinema, it doesn’t mean Arnold’s the spawn of Satan. Now, on the other hand, becoming one of the top box office stars of the 1990s and getting elected as a Republican governor of California after emerging from the ranks of a vaguely homo-erotic pseudo-sport and possessing a rudimentary command of the English language — well, I guess all that might be a good indication of some sort of pact with the devil . . .

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