Rapture Index

Via Educated Guesswork, it has come to my attention that the wingnuts over at Rapture Ready maintain a Rapture Index.  Delightfully, it includes the price of oil, so that rising oil prices indeed bring us closer to the long-awaited rapture.  The index just went up one to 154.  However, this is down significantly from it's all-time high of 182 shortly after 9/11.  Graph below the fold. Good to know that these things are being tracked in a properly quantitative manner.

Rapture Index over the last eighteen months. Click to enlarge. The red zone means "Hold onto your seatbelts". Source: Leftblank.org

This is another dimension of what I talked about in the Fear of Losing Immortality post a few weeks back. If you think you're going somewhere else when TSHTF, why care what happens to this planet?
I would bet that in periods of high 'rapture' levels, stocks do better. (contrarian indicator)
For those not caught up in the rapture , it might be possible to obtain a position with CERA, Projecting huge quantities of fossil fuels coming online toward the end of the century . The bunnies and butterflies should partially offset a dearth of angels.
Real data, trends and predictions are what we seek, Stuart, and finally you have provided us with some as opposed to all that mathematical modeling nonsense you do based on the real world. Now, as we see lately that Iraqi oil exports (if not producton) are about to go to ZERO, we can certainly expect a dip in the definitive Rapture Index.

Finally glad to see that despite your doctorate in Physics (with study of the Early Universe) and tacked-on masters degree in Computer Science, and your devoted study of peak oil over the last several months, you have finally woken up and smelled the coffee--and seen where the truth really resides.

Keep up this kind of in-depth analysis, finally we're getting somewhere with these depletion issues.

And have a happy new year!

best, Dave
I'm so sorry, I think I said the current situation in Iraq would result in a dip in the Rapture Index where perhaps I meant to say a rise.

Having once taught Automata (Formal Language) theory at the the University of Texas at Austin to computer science undergraduates there (the course was meant to winnow--ie. flunk--people out), I find the Rapture Index mathematics too hard to follow. My apologizes for any error I might have made.
Well, at least these guys are peak oilers. "The supply of oil" weighs in at a very high #4 on their "Prophetic Top 10" list (which also includes global warming and hurricanes). There is a clear overlap in their interests and ours.

However, I'd bet most of us at TOD expect to be here post-peak [left behind, if you prefer ...]. And that gives a stronger incentive to make workable longer-term plans.

Remember: After the Rapture, we get all their stuff.

I call dibs on the closest Prius or Insight.

I don't think anyone who expects to leave this planet will invest in a Prius. But then again, perhaps God won't let in SUV drivers?

"...it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God"

From what I can observe, this business about 'camel' and the 'eye of the needle' is not one of the 'chosen' verses that born-agains are interested in. They seem to equate God's approval with how much 'stuff' you can accumulate.....
One of my favorite Bible quotes is, "Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel."

From a web site I Googled: "To strain at (rather, out) a gnat and swallow a camel was also a proverbial expression (Matt. 23:24), used with reference to those who were careful to avoid small faults, and yet did not hesitate to commit the greatest sins. The Jews carefully filtered their wine before drinking it, for fear of swallowing along with it some insect forbidden in the law as unclean, and yet they omitted openly the "weightier matters" of the law." (http://www.christiananswers.net/dictionary/camel.html)

From my point of view, the general public is so focused on the gnats that they can't see the camels. I'm glad for sites like this one that encourage people to see the bigger picture!

Both Peak Oil, Rapture, Y2k, radical islam, radical Baptists, etc share common precepts. For the disenchanted, and underprivileged, these 'unprovable' theories allow them the semblance of relative vs absolute performance vs their competitors (other humans).

So the early part of any of these potentially apocolyptic theories is going to be peopled by a large % of conspiracy theorists, who pay less attention to the details than the message, because it makes their lives feel better, on the relative-vs absolute algorithm in our adapted brains.

As time (and knowledge) increases about Peak Oil, I think it will attract more of first the entrepreneurial, then government, then academic then mainstream populations.

An excellent book on our evolutionary propensities to believe in religion and higher powers is David Sloan Wilson's Darwins Cathedrallink here.

On this theme, the classic tract in my mind is The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements by Eric Hoffer.  Hoffer was a self-educated longshoreman and published this book in 1951, but it's an incredibly thoughtful and insightful book that's still very relevant today.  It argues that the adherents of mass movements are driven more by a sense of meaninglessness and inadequacy in their own lives, which they ameliorate by being caught up in this larger movement.  The specific philosophy of the movement is less important to the adherents than it's ability to fulfill these psychological needs.  He cites examples of Nazi's finding it much easier to convert communists to the Nazi cause than ordinary moderately successful citizens.
Apocalypse Now and the Brave New World
Richard Moore

21 Sep 2005



We are now on the cusp of one of the most momentous historical episodes of all time -- the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are about to ride. Peak oil is the primary underlying condition forcing change, and Apocalypse is the action plan ruling elites have chosen as their response to that condition. Not only does this response make a great deal of sense, from their Machiavellian perspective, but by their recent actions they have clearly signaled the scope and direction of their intentions. Furthermore, their planned response is in complete alignment with earlier responses to similar situations in the past -- by these same people or by their direct predecessors.

The Four Horsemen of this Apocalypse:


Brzezinski, Zbigniew, The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives, Basic Books, New York, 1998.

Chossudovsky, Michel, The Globalization of Poverty: Impacts of IMF and World Bank Re-forms, Second Edition, Global Outlook, Shanty Bay, Ontario, 2003.

Engdahl, William, A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order, Revised Edition, Pluto Press, London, 2004.

Higham, Charles, Trading with the Enemy, Dell Publishing Co., New York, 1984.

NSSM 200: Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for U.S. Security and Overseas Interests, http://web.archive.org/web/20041122015841/http://www.africa2000.com/SNDX/nssm200all.html.

Project for a New American Century, Rebuilding America's Defenses, http://www.newamericancentury.org/defensenationalsecurity.htm.


Historical background
"History teaches by analogy, not identity. The historical experience is not one of staying in the present and looking back; rather, it is one of going back into the past and returning to the present with a wider and more intense consciousness."

-- Daniel Estulin, investigative journalist

Peak oil is real. That is to say, we have reached the point where our annual consumption of oil is considerably greater than our annual ability to develop new sources. While global consumption continues to increase, potential sources can only decrease. No matter what anyone does, our oil-based global economy cannot continue for much longer in its current form -- at current population levels. At the same time, we must remember that the remaining reserves are vast -- perhaps the same amount remains as has ever been pumped, although it will become increasingly expensive to extract.

The fact of peak oil, in itself, does not necessarily imply that apocalypse is inevitable. If humanity were to face this problem in a sensible way, there is much that could be done to alleviate the crisis, re-organize our societies and economies, localize our production and consumption, reduce our wasteful practices, move to appropriate technologies, develop alternative energy sources and transport methods, etc. But it is not `humanity' that is in the driver's seat.

As we have watched the arrogant and radical behavior of the Bush administration over the past five years, it has become apparent to all that the neocon clique that dominates the White House is pursuing an agenda of its own, an agenda that is partially described in their PNAC document, "Rebuilding America's Defenses", which they proudly display on their website. This is not an agenda that `humanity' has chosen, nor have the American people chosen it. In fact people and nations all over the world are resisting and protesting this agenda, Bush's popularity is at an all-time low in America -- and none of this makes any difference to the pursuit of the agenda.

For the moment at least, we can all see that a clique is setting the world's course, a clique that acts in its own self-interest, following an agenda that in no way has any kind of democratic legitimacy. Many people assume, however, that this situation is an aberration from our normal political process, something unique to Bush and his crowd. Some see the sinister hand of a Zionist plot, and some point to the Bush family history of collaboration with the Nazi regime. If only we can get Bush out of office, such people think, we can return to some kind of sanity. If only it were so simple.

If we want to understand what we are facing, we need to be a bit more careful in identifying who are the ultimate movers and shakers behind world events. In fact, we are not looking at a Zionist plot, and we are not looking at a recent aberration. A careful examination of history over the past century reveals that a very specific elite clique has come to totally dominate and control world affairs. The neocons are not that clique; they are its agents, eagerly pursuing their assignment because of the looting opportunities thereby made available to themselves and their corporate cronies.

"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws."

-- Amshall Rothschild

The elite clique I refer to include the top financial circles in New York and London -- the people who control financial institutions like Chase Manhattan, Citibank, HSBC, Rothschild's, and Lloyds TSB. We're talking about a handful of people, blessed with inherited wealth, and operating mostly behind the scenes. The Rockefeller brothers are the most obvious members of this clique, due to their uncharacteristically high profile in public affairs. As with the Rockefellers, whose wealth came from the 19th Century exploits of oil-baron J.D. Rockefeller, this clique exhibits considerable continuity through the decades, both in terms of its approach to maintaining its power, and in terms of the family trees and connections that characterize its membership.

I won't repeat here the story of how this particular elite gained its power. Suffice it to say that the financing of wars, when governments are desperate for funding, has been one of the primary vehicles by which this clique has gained its wealth and power. It would be a gross understatement to say that this clique "influences governments". It would closer to the truth to say that the U.S. and British governments are owned, lock stock and barrel, by this clique, a fact which is symbolized by this thing we call `national debt'. The Federal Reserve Bank, the Bank of England, the IMF, and the World Bank are all directly controlled by this clique and its agents and banks. Presidents and Prime Ministers are groomed in their careers, and selected for their turn in office, based on which particular agendas are being pursued at any given time.

The Bilderberger meetings, the Council on Foreign Relations, and a network of think tanks and foundations serve to rationalize and promulgate the agendas of this clique among lower-level echelons and officials. Through ownership, investment, and other means of influence, this clique controls the mainstream global media and the spin that is applied to the important stories. With their ability to set interest rates and credit availability, and their domination of exchange markets, they exercise decisive control over global finance generally. Their power is extended still further by their close fraternal relationships with key players in the Anglo-American oil cartel and in American and British Intelligence circles.

It is important to make a distinction between ordinary corporations and banks, between corporate power and the power of finance. Ordinary corporations are in the business of making money, and they favor policies that generate economic growth and development. Apart from weapons manufacturers, corporations tend to favor peace and stability in world affairs, as that's when they can grow and develop their markets. When recession hits, corporations suffer, or even go under.

The situation for the big banks is quite different. Banks gain in both good times and bad. In all conditions banks make loans of money they don't actually have, and then collect both the principal and interest. In good times, they also make money on their investments in productive enterprises. In bad times, even though the paper value of their assets may temporarily decline, they are able to foreclose on failing enterprises, pick up bargains by buying faltering enterprises, and they can make money by short-selling assets just before they go down, based on their insider knowledge and their ability to manipulate markets. Economic cycles are like a two-phase pump, and both phases benefit the banks. The banks understand that money is simply an accounting system. For them money is not so much an end in itself, as it is for ordinary corporations, but is more a vehicle of ownership and power. Wars and economic collapses have been intentionally engineered by this elite Anglo-American banking clique throughout the past century, as this elite has systematically sought to maintain and consolidate its power.

The reason why the Anglo-American bankers in particular are running things, as opposed to other financial elites elsewhere, has to do with the immense wealth and influence that was accumulated during the heyday of the British Empire, the close fraternal relationships between London and New York banking circles, and a particular strategy of financial dominance. That strategy has very much do with oil, but oil profits are not the main issue. The main issue is that every nation, since the early 20th Century, must have oil to operate.

The strategy is very simple and very effective. If you can control the sources of oil, and if you also control the currency in which oil is traded, and the price of oil, then you have your hand on Archimedes' lever: "Give me a lever long enough, and a fulcrum, and I can move the world". Yes the profits from oil are considerable, but control over oil is much more important -- it gives you control over every nation's economy, their ability to wage war, etc. This strategy was adopted by British elites prior to Word War 1, was also adopted by American elites, and has been the core geopolitical strategy of the dominant Anglo-American alliance to this day.

We are not talking here about a gross mechanism, where elites say, "Do what I want or I'll withhold oil from you." The game is more subtle, having to do with the price of oil, and the kind of loans a nation can get to deal with its development needs, etc. Ultimate power is financial power, and oil-dominance, in today's world, is the key to financial power. Through intrigue and pressure from this clique, OPEC nations accept payments for oil only in dollars. Every nation must therefore accumulate dollars, making dollars artificially valuable, and thereby financing U.S. deficits. This influx of capital is called "petrodollar recycling". This petrodollar wealth then finds its way to London and enters the `Eurodollar market', where funds can be recycled into unregulated global investments. Thus both New York and London banks are able to grab their share of the profits from the oil-dominance strategy. Oil company profits are simply one more source of funds that end up being invested in banker-controlled investment portfolios. Ordinary corporations are powerful, but they play within the game whose rules are set by the banking elite.

This is the context in which we need to examine current events. It is this historical context that leads me to interpret current events in terms of the Four Horses.

While there is much I agree with in the article I think the author has overplayed his hand somewhat. Yes, there does seem to be a loose sort of organisation and cooperation amongst this ruling elite that has existed for many decades. But is it just an expression of common interest rather than a formal organisation with a 'plan'?

They will seek to exploit whatever circumstances to their advantage, though I doubt they wish global apocalypse to further their collective aims. Of all people they are the ones most likely to survive and control the future after a period of deep turmoil but it would take a heavy toll on them, too.

Perhaps Roy Harper, once heralded as the 'British Bob Dylan', was more accurate...

'I Hate the White Man' Roy Harper 1969

Far across the ocean in the land of look and see
There once was a time for you and me
Where the winds blow sweetly and the easy seas flow still
And where the barefoot dream of life can laugh and cry its fill
Where slot machine confusion and the plastic universe
Are objects of amusement in the fiction of their curse
And where the crazy white man and his tear gas happiness
Lies dead and long since buried by his own fantastic mess
For I hate the white man in his plastic excuse
O I hate the white man, and the man who turned him loose

And the reins of coloured thunder of the stallion of the dawn
Ride the coal-fire morning on the beach where all is borne
Where the emperor of meaning is burning up his fort
And sits to warm his toes around a fire made up of useless thought
And when the children tempt him with the riddles of their trance
He flings the flames of solstice casting laughs into their dance
And where the crazy white man in the desert of his bones
Lies as bleached as the paradise he likes to think he owns
And I hate the white man in his evergreen excuse
O I hate the white man, and the man who turned him loose

And far across the reaches of the drifting yellow sands
The living carpet wilderness forever joins its hands
With heaven's hell's attainment in a surging crest of fire
Where more than all is thrown upon the everlasting pyre
And through the countless canticles of Jason's charcoal fleece
Are sung the songs of nothing in the timeless masterpiece
And there stood in the middle is the everlasting bust
Built by God's very own white man as he tries to rule the dust
And I hate the white man in his doctrinaire refuse
O I hate the white man, and the man who turned you all loose

And the bowels of his city have been locked into a safe
Where the spew stains on the sidewalks are defenders of the faith
While back inside his kitchen the bowler hatted long haired saint
Cleans with soap and water but it's really just white paint
While his gorgon-headed scandalsheet presents its daily bite
To give the righteous news believers drugs to keep them white
And outside in the whitewash where the guns are always always right
The shooting star has summoned death's dark angel from his night
And I hate the white man in his evergreen excuse
O I hate the white man and the man who turned him loose
And the man who turned me loose

Some neat lines there. Roy is playing 4 nights at the 100 Club, Oxford Street, London, in late January.

He didn't say TPTB wanted an Apocalypse.  He said Apocalypse is a strong possibility if TPTB are to loose control.  He is leaning more towards the "Brave New World" solution which is a "controlled demolition" of the global economy and population which may include the use of small scale nuclear war...


I'm not so sure about that, AC. I read him as saying that apocalyse is a necessary and planned prerequisite for them being able to impose their 'Brave New World' solution. Take this example...

Within the context of peak oil, and from the perspective of our callous banking elite, it is easy to understand why a sharp decrease in world population would be highly desirable. I've seen several reports that a target of "80% reduction by 2020" has been adopted in elite circles, but I haven't been able to track down that particular claim to any reliable source. Nonetheless, such a program would certainly change the parameters of the peak oil phenomenon, and pave the way for constructing some kind of new, post-Apocalyptic system. In any case, based on what they say and what they do, I think it is impossible to escape the conclusion that population reduction, a euphemism for genocide, is indeed a primary elite priority.

I also disagree strongly with several other aspects of his argument. Firstly, I do not foresee Russia and China coming into direct conflict; they have been very good at avoiding significant conflict in the past and it is much more likely that they would oppose the US together rather than fight between themselves.

Which brings me to the manageability of nuclear war: it isn't. Should a nuclear conflict start its results would be almost totally unpredictable and could occur too fast for any rational control. Even a handful of newks hitting major US cities would have a massive effect on the US economy, causing many more subsequent deaths than the initial blasts and disrupting infrastructure hugely. A more controllable way could be specifically engineered viruses which targetted certain racial groups.

For anyone interested, there is a fine new book about the delusions and perils of religion:

The End Of Faith
Sam Harris

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0393327655/qid=1136035781/sr=8-1/ref=pd_bbs_1/102-3464098-9806543?n =507846&s=books&v=glance

For an antidote, see the new Internet religion:

The Church Of Reality


Perhaps coincidently, I saw the following bumper sticker the other day:


I've seen that one before - it's one of my favorites!
Molly Ivins may have said it best: "The full-throated roar of a free people exercising their constitutional right to free speech can be a little deafening at times." This is certainly a case in point.

Seriously, though, if you sum up enough random scale-of-one-to-five guesses, you get a number precise to infinitely many decimals, right? Isn't this how almost all ratings data - student ratings of professors, the relative worth of spotted owls, the likeability of businesses, etc., etc. - are compiled?

This reminds me of a favorite graph using delightfully parsimonious data - see http://www.venganza.org/ and scroll down. Shows the relation between Global Average Temperature versus the Number of Pirates. The whole site is worth checking out and is guaranteed to offend the uber-religious who lack senses of humor or for that matter, common sense!

Enjoy and Happy Date Change! We are at the same point in our orbit around a star that we were a year ago!


I often think about that... all of the summers in my memory took place on the other side of the sun, all of my winters over here.
As someone who is planning on being "left behind", I can hardly wait for the rapture to come.  The phrase "don't let the screen door hit you in the ass" comes to mind.  And think of the demand destruction without all those pickup trucks heading to MalWart after church every Sunday!  Of course, NASCAR will be out of business too - how much fuel is used at a typical NASCAR rotary advertising festival?
Have all you people missed the main point??? The Rapture Index is STILL in the RED!!!  Murray
From an unnamed source, I have sad news to report:   When Yahweh and son originally designed the Rapture, they based their pulley system on the average person weighing 150 or less which was probably the case in Biblical times.   Now when all the megasized Christians--and Lord knows they're everywhere--try to ride that golden string upward, we can expect massive failures and a rain of blubber such as the planet has never seen.

Getting left behind will be no picnic.

I wonder how people who believe in the rapture account for the fact that violence has declined globally since the early 1990's? Read,

The Peace Epidemic
The world isn't so dangerous after all.
By Timothy Noah

which references,

The Human Security Report 2005

If there can be a Rapture Index, why can't there be a Peak Oil Index?  The ideas are similar:  you can give an idea of how close a future event may be, without going out on a limb by predicting an actual date.
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has an index somewhat like this. See the clock at: http://www.thebulletin.org/index.htm. It moves in both directions, but is currently at 7 minutes to midnight.
That clock has been at around 7 minutes to midnight since the 1970s. Possibly even earlier.
And yet it was so easy to check


1 minute to midnight in 1984.

The difference is, a nuclear war might never happen.  But peak oil must happen.  And, unlike the rapture, we will all be left behind.
My Inaugural Address at the Great White Throne Judgment of the Dead, after I have raptured

out billions!

At:  My Inaugural Address (PDF File)  
Main site at:  My Inaugural Address  

Your jaw will drop!