By John Clayton, 2009
Reprinted with permission.

Since the beginning of religion on this planet, there have been people who were predicting the destruction of the earth. It is pretty obvious that all of the predictions in the past have been wrong, at least up until the time you read this article. It seems there is always some religious nut who claims some startling new discovery or understanding has been made that gives a proof of the end of things. You would think people would eventually catch on and not get swept up in these things, but that is not the case. We have had the Jupiter Effect and Y2K in recent years and now we have the Mayan demise of planet earth. The claim is that on December 21, 2012 (the winter solstice) the end will come.

What has given this claim energy is the fact that the Mayan calendar, which is in many ways superior to the Gregorian calendar that we use, contains a cycle which ends on that date. The press has given this whole claim extraordinary publicity. Several scams using the Mayans and claims that they were involved with aliens have already been exposed.

The first thing to examine in a situation like this, is who is making the claims, what motives do they have, and what academic background do they have? Here are the primary sources of the latest doomsday fad:

  • José Argüelles is an art historian having taught at Princeton University and the San Francisco Art Institute and founder of The Planet Art Network. Since 1972 he has been a student of Tibetan meditation master Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and a promoter of UFO mythology and a variety of Tibetan myths.
  • Terence McKenna is an avid user and promoter of psychedelic drugs, and promoter of Gnosticism and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Well known for his 1992 book The Archaic Revival: Speculations on Psychedelic Mushrooms, the Amazon, Virtual Reality, UFOs, Evolution, Shamanism, the Rebirth of the Goddess, and the End of History.
  • Adrian Gilbert is a promoter of atheism and author of 2012: The War for Souls and Communion.
  • Adrian Gilbert is a promoter of Christian mysticism, yoga, love tarot, and a variety of New Age promoters of astrology.
  • Daniel Pinchbeck is a promoter of exotic cultures and Gnosticism, and the claim that we need to “Exorcise Christia from Christianity.”
  • Lawrence Joseph is the author of Apocalypse 2012 and promoter of Mayan shamanism.
  • Roland Emmerich is a film-maker of disaster movies including Independence Day who will release the movie 2012 to theaters through Sony Pictures in November of this year.

Notice that none of these promoters are scientists or have any recognition in archeology or anthropology. These are New Age promoters, many of whom are heavily involved in drugs and are opposed to Christianity.


  1. The Mayan calendar is more accurate than the Julian calendar used in Europe from the time of Caesar up to 1582 and the Gregorian calendar used from 1582 to the present. Scientists calculate that the earth orbits the sun in 365.2422 days. The Mayan calendar gets 365.2420 days while the Gregorian calendar gets 365.2425 days and the Julian calendar gets 365.25 days. Part of this accuracy was the addition of a year zero which readjusted the Mayan calendar as it went along. The Mayan scholars used astronomy to calibrate and maintain their calendar.
  2. While the Mayans were advanced in their astronomy and their calendar, they were incredibly primitive in others areas. They never learned to use the wheel, to use the true arch, to count in millions, to weigh things, to develop the potter’s wheel, to develop animal transport, to use the plow, nor to develop metal tools or pulleys. All the pyramids and huge buildings were built by human muscle using wooden tools.
  3. Mayans practiced human sacrifice, self mutilation, psychedelic drugs, and worship of local rulers. All misfortune was viewed as caused by evil spirits or disfavor of the gods, and religious practices involved torture and drug experiences.
  4. The materials circulated by the promoters of Mayan mysticism do not agree with each other on very many details. This is mainly due to the fact that they are all New Age promoters having different theories about the Mayan calendar and its cycles. There is no archeological support for the 2012 theory. There is some devastating factual work on Wikipedia about the promoters of 2012, especially Argüelles.
  5. The Mayan culture offers no guide to life and no way to promote peace and understanding among people. This is a doomsday cult presentation that has nothing to offer and is in the “scam” category.

This is another wild fad in the fringe area of humanity. There are no aliens making plans to come and destroy us who can be reached spiritually and with whom we can make deals to be spared. December 21, 2012 is just another day in history and like Y2K and the Jupiter Effect it will pass and the promoters of this doomsday spirit will be laughing all the way to the bank. Remember that Jesus said “For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. ... And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. ... And this gospel of the kingdom [the Church] shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come” (Matthew 24:5-14). Christianity offers answers, hope and solutions to the problems of life. Engaging in useless destructive prophecies offers no solutions and no hope.