Biblical prophecy watchers, apocalypse predictors, rapture preachers, and doomsday preppers are buzzing about an upcoming day that might finally usher in the End of the World As We Know It: September 23, 2015. This is supposedly the day that a confluence of events, both political and scientific, is going to herald the destruction of humanity.
It’s clear that in prophecy circles, this is a big deal. A search for “September 23 2015 apocalypse” brings up 11 million hits. References to the “events of September, 2015” are all over major conspiracy websites, talking about everything from rapture to asteroids to aliens to Biblical blood moons. YouTube is brimming with videos showing “the signs” of what’s about to happen. Even Isaac Newton is said to have prophesied the end of the world for this date.
So what’s going to happen that day? What are the sources of these prophecies? And most importantly, should you be worried?
Let’s start with what’s being predicted for September 23, 2015 – and for September 2015 in general. According to various conspiracy, prophecy, and prepping websites, the following things will happen on the date itself:
• Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement.
• President Barack Obama is scheduled to meet with Pope Francis at the White House. Of note is that Francis is the 266th Pope, September 23 is the 266th day of the year, and the average length of human gestation is 266 days.
• The Autumnal Equinox.
• The First day of the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha, also known as “the Feast of the Sacrifice.”
If you add in days either just before or just after 9/23/15, you also get a number of apocalyptic events:
• A range of dates that Comet 67P is scheduled to make an extremely close passage of Earth, September 15-28.
• The September restart of the CERN Large Hadron Collider will open a portal to another dimension.
• The end of Jade Helm 15 on September 15.
• The September 25th launch of a new UN initiative, Agenda 2030, which signals the end stage of Agenda 21 implementation.
• The date of the last of the “Four Blood Moons” heralding the End Times, on September 28.
• The approximate date of predicted economic collapse.
• The end of a Shemitah year in the Jewish Calendar, the last year of the seven year agricultural cycle, that traditionally brings with it great tribulation.
All of these events have been prophesied to form a combination that will bring on the End Times. What are the sources of these predictions?
• The obvious confluence of the three major world religions on September 23.
• Biblical prophecy, specifically the “Four Blood Moons” prophecy.
• The End Times prophecy of Sir Isaac Newton.
• A dire warning from French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who claimed on May 13, 2014 that we have “500 days to avoid climate chaos.” 500 days after May 13, 2014 is September 24, 2015.
• Prophetic dreams and visions by people attuned to such things.
• Predictive programming in Hollywood entertainment – specifically, many uses of the numbers “9” and “23” in films and TV.
If all of this is correct, September 2015 is going to be a spectacularly bad month for humanity, with climactic, scientific, economic, and godly chaos brought down upon us. So stock up on beans, guns, and guns that shoot beans, because we’re in for it.
Except skeptics don’t think like this. We don’t see omens and prophecy and rumor, grab our bug-out bags and head for the bunker. We grab our facts and head for the…facts bunker.
Let’s start with these events of September 23 itself.
• Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement. The most important day on the Jewish calendar, Yom Kippur happens every year, sometime in the fall, as determined by the lunar calendar. In fact, it’s taken place on September 23 many other times, including 1852, 1863, 1882, 1901, 1939, and 1996. While you can say that some of those years weren’t especially good for Jews or humanity (1939, especially), the world didn’t end in any of them.
• President Barack Obama is scheduled to meet with Pope Francis at the White House. Of note is that Francis is the 266th Pope, September 23 is the 266th day of the year, and the average length of human gestation is 266 days. It’s true that President Obama is meeting with Pope Francis on this day. But so what? Popes and Presidents meet all the time. Obama and Francis had already met once before, on March 25, 2014. The world didn’t end that day. Obama met with his predecessor, Benedict XVI, in July 2009. George W. Bush met with Benedict four times, and John Paul II had 15 different presidential visits over five presidents. The world didn’t end any of these times – nor did it the six times Paul VI met with a president. Sure, the re-occurrence of “266” is mildly interesting, but what does it signify? A suggestion that “something is being birthed” that day appears to come from an anonymous quote on a conspiracy theory website.
• The Autumnal Equinox. This happens every year, always on the same day. Again, so what?
• The First day of the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha, also known as “the Feast of the Sacrifice.”
Another holiday that happens every year, though unlike Yom Kippur, it can take place any time of the year. It’s fallen on September 23 before, most recently in 1950.
So with the religious elements of the day dismissed as coincidental or not especially important, what about the “other” events said to be headed our way on or our around September 23?
• A range of dates that Comet 67P is scheduled to make an extremely close passage of Earth, September 15-28. According to NASA, it’s not true. They don’t show any comet or asteroid tracking close to earth, and no credible authority has claimed otherwise. In fact, Comet 67P is actually moving AWAY from the Earth.
• The September restart of the CERN Large Hadron Collider will open a portal to another dimension. The LHC has already been restarted. It went back online in April after a two year break for upgrading. There doesn’t appear to be anything unusual going on there, nor any particular reason why Cern would want to open a portal to another dimension in September, as opposed to August or October. I can’t find any information about any unusual experiments they’re conducting then. It’s also not confirmed that the LHC can, in fact, open portals to other dimensions. It also can’t cause earthquakes, pole shifts, or black holes. It’s cool, but it’s not that cool.
• The end of Jade Helm 15 on September 15. We’ve discussed Jade Helm extensively on Skeptoid, and the conclusion is that as a UN martial law gun-grab, it’s a bust.
• The September 25th launch of a new UN initiative, Agenda 2030, which signals the end stage of Agenda 21 implementation. Agenda 2030 is a real thing, and its full name is “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.” It will be announced at the upcoming UN Summit on Sustainable Development, and doesn’t appear to have any link to conspiracy tentpole Agenda 21 other than a similar name. In any case, the impact of Agenda 21 has been fairly slight, with a noticeable lack of dissenter executions and the cramming of survivors into urban ghettos. Anything’s possible, of course.
• The date of the last of the “Four Blood Moons” heralding the End Times, on September 28. The phenomenon of a blood moon, ie, the moon turning red during an eclipse, is thought by some fringe Biblical scholars to be a harbinger of the end times. In 2008, apocalyptic pastor John Hagee concocted an end of the world theory based on the fact that the next cycle of four blood moons (known as a “tetrad”) coincide with four feast days on the Jewish calendar, Passover and Sukkot in two consecutive years. Without getting into the ins and outs of this complicated and silly theory, we know that blood moons, eclipses, and tetrads have happened for billions of years, and not one has brought the end of the world. We even know why blood moons happen – an effect called Raleigh scattering, which is the same reason sunsets look red. It’s science!
• The approximate date of predicted economic collapse. Disaster porn mavens have been pushing “upcoming economic collapse” as part of their shtick for years, warning of martial law, confiscation of property, and people eating each other in the streets. But tough economic times comes and go, just like they always have. As bad as the 2008 recession was, we got through it, and things have been getting better since then. We’ve gotten through recessions before that, the Great Depression before that, and any number of panics before that. And don’t forget that the loudest voices heralding economic collapse are always the ones selling something to help you survive it – books, prepping supplies, etc.
• The end of a Shemitah year in the Jewish Calendar, the last year of the seven year agricultural cycle, that traditionally brings with it great tribulation. It’s true that the last two Shemitah’s have ended with difficult economic times – the recession of fall 2008, and the Dow crash in September 2001. But those events had very real reasons for happening – the collapse of the real estate market, and the 9/11 attacks. Things happen for reasons, not because of fringe Biblical prophecy. Not to mention that the Shemitah before that, which ended in September 1994, happened during a period of recovery, and the first stirrings of the dot com boom.
So with the coming end of the world sorted out, what about these “signs and portents” of what’s to come?
• The obvious confluence of the three major world religions on September 23. – Already addressed, and not a big deal.
• Biblical prophecy, specifically the “Four Blood Moons” prophecy. – Ditto.
• The End Times prophecy of Sir Isaac Newton. – Nonsense. Isaac Newton may have been a brilliant scientific thinker, but he was also an Occult-dabbling crank who wasted a large amount of his life looking for hidden codes in the Bible. Newton wrote in several unpublished letters and folios that he predicted the end of the world “no later” than 2060. This became a huge news story when it went public in 2003, but this was just an element of Newton’s late in life obsessions with numerology and eschatology. Not to mention it has nothing to do with “September 23, 2015.” That particular date stems from an article on conservative conspiracy hub World Net Daily, and a quote from one of the pushers of the “Four Blood Moons” nonsense. Not to mention that World Net Daily has previously used Newton’s name as a harbinger of the End Times, claiming in a 2008 piece that Newton predicted the end of the world for 2013. That’s the beauty of apocalypse predicting: when it doesn’t happen, just claim you “refined” your calculations and move the goalposts.
• A dire warning from French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who claimed on May 13, 2014 that we have “500 days to avoid climate chaos.” 500 days after May 13, 2014 is September 24, 2015. It’s likely that Fabius was referring to the next UN climate conference, scheduled for November 2015. Some have attempted to connect the oncoming comet strike to this, but since the oncoming comet strike isn’t actually a real thing, the other explanation is likely the correct one.
• Prophetic dreams and visions by people attuned to such things. Not scientific in any way. Sorry.
• Predictive programming in Hollywood entertainment – specifically, many uses of the numbers “9” and “23” in films and TV. Predictive programming has long been a buzzword of conspiracy theorists, specifically in regards to 9/11, but there’s no evidence it actually works or is a real thing. Going through the catalog of film and TV looking for certain numbers that support your hypothesis is cherry picking, and if I scoured Netflix looking for occurrences of ANY number, I’d eventually be successful.
So that’s that. According to my “research,” September 23 will be a day when Jews and Muslims celebrate holy days on their calendar, the President meets with the Pope, and the rest of us go to work, see our families, and get on with our lives.
And remember, when the End of the World doesn’t happen, the doom prophets will simply claim God has other plans, and change their predictions. Or as longtime economic collapse watcher (and frequent Skeptoid blog target) Michael Snyder writes:
“I want to make it clear that I am not claiming that anything specific will happen on any particular date.
But I am not claiming that nothing will happen on any of these days either. “
That’s some rock solid bet-hedging right there.