Millennium Rage

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

MILLENNIUM RAGE: SURVIVALISTS, WHITE SUPREMACISTS, AND THE DOOMSDAY PROPHECY begins with a brief accounting of various terrorist groups and individuals acting during the last two decades of the twentieth century. Through the use of extensive quotes, alternating between the Book of Revelation and the written and oral communications of the terrorists themselves, author Philip Lamy relates the assorted groups described to what he refers to as the “millennial myth,” the belief that the human race will be destroyed in a holocaust in or near the year 2000 A.D.

The book continues with an historic perspective on this way of thinking, beginning with New Testament times and continuing through the late twentieth century. Particular emphasis is placed upon the modern Christian fundamentalist movement and its relationship to past evangelical movements.

Lamy continually refers to ancient Babylon, which has been used since biblical times as a metaphor for evil in general, and especially for the Roman Empire in early Christian times. Lamy points out that the ruins of Babylon lie less than fifty miles south of Baghdad, Iraq. This made it inevitable that the Persian Gulf War of 1990 and 1991 was seen by many as a sign of Armageddon, the final war between good and evil predicted in the Book of Revelation.

Numerous examples of evangelical terrorist groups are described. The Unabomber, the Branch Davidians, and various racist groups are discussed. There is also some discussion of more pervasive beliefs, including communism and fascism, and their use of the millennial myth to try to justify their actions.

MILLENNIAL RAGE is occasionally repetitive and tedious, and the author is clearly biased against millennial beliefs, ridiculing them even when they do not result in overt violence. Nevertheless, it is a fascinating report of some of our most pressing problems at the end of the second millennium, and their relationship to an ancient mode of belief.