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.