Fire fire

Submitted by Charles Knighton


Dear Sir,

Shouting “fire” in a crowded theatre when there is no fire has always been cited as an example of free speech gone too far, causing theatre-goers to rush to small exits resulting in trampling and crushing death and injury to many. This is generally not the result of patrons rising en masse upon hearing the word “fire” but is rather the result of a small, easily panicked group rushing from their seats and the herd mentality which ensues.

On page 39 of the May 13th edition of the Barbados Advocate, with no disclaimers whatsoever ( e.g. “Advertisement” or the standard “the following does not necessarily reflect the views of this publication”) comes the broadside” Judgment day begins with a worldwide earthquake on May 21st 2011.”  What follows are the usual end of world rantings of religious charlatans to their “sheep”, a description I have always found quite appropriate when applied to the slow-witted, easily led and easily panicked members of their flock. While I would prefer to believe no segment of the population of Barbados is so benighted as to embrace such nonsense, the lucrative businesses of the obeah and psychic practitioners speak otherwise.

Which brings me back to the crowded theatre. If a small segment of the local population (5% would be about 15,000 people) take this prophesy seriously and manage to create a panic which results in serious damage or even death in the crowded theatre of Barbados, whom then would be held responsible? The charlatans who preached of the coming fire, the media outlets who gladly took money to announce the coming fire over a public address system, or the “sheep” deluded enough to act out?

As long as people have inhabited Earth, end of the world scenarios have been a constant, promulgated by prophets for their own ends (profits?). As I sit on my veranda reading the daily paper on May 22nd of two things  I can be certain:

1. The charlatans will again crawl out from under their rocks with new Judgment Day Revelations

2. They will have no difficulty recruiting “sheep”

29 thoughts on “Fire fire

  1. Not even Jesus doesn’t know when he is coming back.

    I have said in another thread that there are those who have entered the church to destroy it from the inside. They pretend to follow the teachings of Jesus, but in fact prefer to follow their own wisdom, as though it can save them.

    If any enters my path who are preaching this nonsense if will ask them sense they believe so strongly what they believe to sign over their earthly possessions to me, effective May 22.

  2. This is bit the bible has to say:

    Gal 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
    Gal 1:7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
    Gal 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
    Gal 1:9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

  3. I hate to get into religious debates, so I will refer these end time preachers to the following:

    Matthew 24:42 “Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.”

    Matthew 24:44 “For the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.

    Matthew 24:36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.”

    Matthew 25:13 “Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.”

  4. @Christopher Halsall, note at bottom of paper will increase profits at the Advocate if followed by the readers.

    I can’t contribute because I don’t buy dead trees.

  5. @Hants…

    I note it very well.

    As will two web sites which I won’t bother to repeat.

    It is interesting this has appeared as an (non-indicated) full-page advertisement in one of Barbados’ “trusted newspapers” only shortly after the traditional Fourth Estate were calling for censorship of the Blogs.


  6. I find it so hard to understand how these so call prophets knows so much about the world coming to an end. But are unable to be of any help in restoring balance in the world. Christopher I read the same thing in the Bible also. But the Bible also states.. “Beware of false prophets.” We all need to live our lives to the best of our ability, and take into considerations that we are our brother’s keepers. I am not a Christian, Muslim or any other religion for that matter. But I am a spiritual person that do believes in A Higher Power;
    I think that some of these folks only does the things for attention;

  7. It is hilarious that a paper like the Advocate that many look to as a serious paper would publish something like this without indicating whether it is an advertisement or not. It reflects the pitiful state of mind of that organization and what they would do to make more money with the note to all readers. How much lower can this paper go?

  8. @islandgal

    It says a little bit more. The Advocate is a conduit of news for government if you judge its editorial policy since the DLP assumed office. Anthony Bryan the owner was rewarded with the chairmanship of a Board. What does it say about our fourth estate?

  9. I thought it was December 2012? There is only one higher voice to listen to…that within yourself.

    All these individuals or indeed groups, who claim to ‘hear’ or reporesent the Almighty, from whatever denomination….are charlatans using spirituality to attempt control of the masses, wheter for power, conquest or monetary gain…that is all.

  10. Perhaps there is hope, please write to newly elected president of the Barbados Association of Journalist (BAJ) Jewel Forde, c/o The CBC, an effective lobby you think? When all fails there is former editor of the once local Nation newspaper who monitors BU but will not comment for another 3 years.

  11. Crusoe isn’t that is why man invented religion? To have control of the minds of the masses? I call it gross religious manipulation and deception. They say a fool and his money are soon parted, the Advocate really believes that the population are fools.

    @David ….. “The Advocate is a conduit of news for government if you judge its editorial policy since the DLP assumed office.” It also speak volumes about the Government to attach itself to a rag like this.

    • What Carl Moore, Julius Gittens and those of that ilk refuse to understand is that BU does not compete with the Fourth Estate, it complements it. Whether they like it or not social media has revolutionized how ordinary people interact and disseminate information. Get use to it!

      Why don’t they criticise the Barbados Advocate for being blatantly pro-government it its editorial policy? Why don’t they criticise the Nation and their affiliate companies for compromising journalistic principles at the altar of the advertisers dollar? What about CBC which has been a propaganda outlet for both BLP and DLP governments?

      The Nation, The Barbados Advocate and other media channels in Barbados are conferred the honour of being members of the important fourth estate of the realm but it does not end there. The professional standards of journalism must be practiced and seen to be each and every day. What we have in Barbados are individuals who work at media houses and not professionals. If they were professional they would have no problem coming together to ward off those 3 o’clock calls or other intimidatory tactics used by politicians and others.

      Would it not be useful for Carl Moore and others who the profession has given so much, according to them, to give some back and get involved in the BAJ as a start to lend guidance instead of using a wholly inadequate bi-weekly 600 word spot in the Nation and a few 2 line letters to the editor?

  12. A scan of the Sun today shows up Carl Moore’s ‘love affair’ with BU. He has a cohort in Esther Phillips another columnist. If only they knew some of the people behind the usenames.

    When local media begins to expose stories which speak to the issues the relevance of a BU will be no more. It is simple so.

  13. Agree that there should be a disclaimer indicating that the ad is a paid advertisement. Can anyone tell me if there is a code relating to advertising standards and who enforces it?

    The newspapers are not the only one who are guilty of this breach of professionalism, I keep hearing promoters of various products ( mainly health related) being “interviewed” on radio in Barbados and making all kinds of claims as to the viability of their products. These snake oil spokespersons are allowed to spout their rhetoric as though their claims are factual and were subject to independent confirmation.

    There is no mention that the views expressed are the views of the spokesperson for the company selling the product in fact the whole “conversation” seems to imply that the radio station endorses the product.

    It is time to stop this crap so gullible people are not relieved of their hard earned funds for dubious benefit.

  14. David, I Hants take responsibility for what I read and write.

    I also understand the concept of blogging (FREE and minimally censored) where I can CHOOSE what to read and whom to believe.

    I read the Nation and Advocate for the light stuff and articles written by “Lowdown” and Jeff Cumberbatch.

    And somebody please tell Tony Marshall that the housewives don’t protest the price of coffee any more. That used to happen 40 years ago.

  15. I told allyuh that people were talking about MAY 21
    and Islandgal and cohorts cussed me

    Now please cuss the Advocate
    To the assertion that Nobody knows when

    The people promoting the END address this question quite logically and believable

  16. I’ve been watching this, um, movement since last year with interest.

    In order for this prophecy to “work” you have to throw away everything you ever knew about prophecy.

    Yes, God uses numbers, but the absolute precision they claim, is not something you can hold God to.

    I think that there are going to be some very hurt people on May 22nd, so if you know anyone who believes this, see if you can schedule some counselling for them, for the inevitable bitter disappointment.

    Expect to see more dates however.

    Sad but true . . .

  17. @Tina Roach | May 15, 2011 at 7:12 PM |
    ‘I told allyuh that people were talking about MAY 21

    every day you talk about May 21. you seemed excited but if it did happen, where would your soul be? lost or with Jesus? i think you need to develop a relationship with th lord, you really need to, for your sake

  18. @me et al…

    This reminds me a bit of the old story about “the boy who cried wolf”….

    When (if?) this actually happens, how comfortable will each be within their own skin?

    Or are each opening a personal book that this will never happen, and thus morality shouldn’t impact on them?

    Just asking….

  19. @Tina cockroach……..The people promoting the END address this question quite logically and believable

    Tina you are sooo gullible you will believe anything! Go and give away all your wealth and crawl under a rock and await your fate! Fooolllll stupsssse

    • @Christopher

      Keith Headley has commented on blogs which dealt with renewable energy mostly. He is the son of the late Professor Oliver Headley.

      What other questions do you have Chris?

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