Apparently, by coincidence, the group’s sacred literature also predicts the end of the world this coming Friday.
While many of the arrests have been linked to genuine belief in the coming end of the world, others have been down to the more rational activity of profiteering from people’s fears.
The Guardian (UK) reports that 6 people have been arrested in Fujian for selling ‘apocalypse proof’ charms, while other related activity has included gas masks, tinned food and even a RMB300,000 survival pod.
Although the Chinese governments response may be deemed heavy handed, it is at least on the side of the generally accepted opinion of scholars. As Mayanist scholar Mark Van Stone states, “There is nothing in the Maya or Aztec or ancient Mesoamerican prophecy to suggest that they prophesied a sudden or major change of any sort in 2012…The notion of a ‘Great Cycle’ coming to an end is completely a modern invention.”
So, Friday is definitely the end of the Mayan calendar, and probably the end of doomsday profiteering for a while. But, end of the world? Time will tell.
- Mayan apocalypse – China cracks down on doomsday rumours: state media (thenewstribe.com)
- Doomsday cult arrests surpass 400 in China (terradaily.com)
- China makes 500 doomsday cult arrests (chinadailymail.com)