Mass anxiety is simmering at the grassroots level waiting to burst out into full-fledged panic, due to anticipation of a massive global financial and economic meltdown after September 13, 2015, end of the Jewish religious Shemitah year.
Although the mainstream media has ignored the burgeoning parareligious financial meltdown apocalypse movement spearheaded by religious prophetic figures such as Jonathan Cahn, the social and cultural phenomenon is significant because it could generate a self-fulfilling prophecy scenario.
Fears and anxiety about an impending global financial meltdown after September 13, end of the Jewish religous Shemitah year, are being stoked by two groups of people with intriguingly interrelated and interwoven messages.
The first group consists of financial market gurus, such as David Stockman and Larry Edelson, who are proclaiming with evangelical fervor claims that the global economy has reach the end stage of a bubble and that the financial-economic bubble is about to burst, leading to what the financial gurus describe in superlative terms as "global financial crisis of epic proportions" that will bring the leading economies of the world to their knees.
The second group of financial meltdown doomsday prophets, represented by Judeo-Christian eschatology gurus such as the influential Jonathan Cahn, are winning large followership with predictions based on complexly elaborated biblical eschatological theories ultimately premised on the notion that September 13, which marks the end of the Shemitah year, that is, the seventh year of the seven-year agricultural cycle of the Jewish Torah, signals the commencement of divine judgment on the United States.
According to Cahn, author of a series of biblical prophecy books, including The Harbinger, and The Mystery of The Shemitah, the Shemitah year, which ends on September 13 (Elul 29), is a Sabbath year in which, according to the detailed prescriptions of the Old Testament books of Exodus and Leviticus, the ancient Hebrews were mandated to observe a rest for the land, that is, cease all agricultural activity directly related to the yearly agricultural cycle from planting to harvesting.
Elul 29, the last day of the Shemitah, which, according to Cahn, could be interpreted as the "release," was marked in ancient Israel as the day when all debts were cancelled. Cahn explains that the day was meant to be a blessing to the ancient Hebrews, but because of national sin and apostasy, it assumed the nuanced meaning of "falling," "collapsing" or "shaking," and thus a sign of judgment that led to national conquest and captivity, such as the historic 70-year Babylonian exile.
Cahn and his followers have been issuing "warnings" of an impending financial and economic calamity that will occur soon after the end of the Shemitah. Cahn and his religious millenarian are convinced that the principle of judgment that applied to Israel in the Shemitah year now applies equally to the United States which has allegedly forsaken God.
"I will state a warning which I have stated before. Whether it comes in this time parameter of the Shemitah or the year following or not, I believe a great shaking is going to come to this land and to the world that will involve the collapsing of the American economy... and the removal of its blessings and prosperity."Noting that the last five major financial and economic crashes, including the 2008 collapse, occurred on Shemitah years, Cahn warns that in the period after September 13, 2015, the world could see a major financial-economic meltdown of unprecedented severity in modern history.
"For years, financial observers have been mystified why it is that all the greatest crashes tend to take place the same time of year -- September to October. Do any of them take place at the end of the seven-year cycle of the Shemitah at the time of the wipeout and the answer is, 'Yes.' Every single one of them does. And the thing is the phenomenon is increasing. It's intensifying."Cahn goes on to identify a "prophetic key" he terms the "Super Shemitah," in reference to the Jubilee -- the year after the "seventh Shemitah," or seven cycles of seven years, amounting to 49 years.
Although Cahn admits that no one is sure when the Jubilee -- reckoned from its inception in ancient times -- falls, he argues that there are indications from prophetic patterns that the next Jubilee will run from September 2015 to September 2016.
Cahn points to the 2008 financial crisis as the divine warning. He claims that recent earthquakes, the Ebola epidemic, same-sex marriage and China's rise to superpower status are the "beginning of the end" because America has forsaken God.
Some pundits are pointing to the dangers inherent in a religious mass movement anticipating a financial collapse. Unlike the related predictions of an asteroid impact apocalypse in the period after September 13, the fulfillment of a financial meltdown apocalypse can be influenced directly by human actions.
Mass anxiety about global financial collapse stoked by self-appointed prophets could lead to human actions that trigger to a self-fulfilling prophecy scenario.
Widespread fears of impending financial meltdown could cause large numbers of people acting independently to take actions that cause the predicted meltdown.
"A self fulfilling prophecy -- Any positive or negative expectation about circumstances, events, or people that may affect a person's behavior toward them in a manner that causes those expectations to be fulfilled." -- Business Dictionary.David Stockman, former director of Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under President Reagan, is the most vocal among financial market gurus whose predictions of financial collapse have recently received attention in the conservative media and blogosphere.
Stockman's persistent warnings that the U.S. stock market is about to collapse is being widely linked with Jonathan Cahn's warnings based on the religious concept of the Shemitah.
According to Stockman, the U.S. stock market is about to go through a massive and unprecedented collapse.
Speaking recently in CNBC's "Futures Now," Stockman said that recent developments show that the "bottom is about to fall out."
His argument that a collapse is imminent is based on the premise that the current financial and economic bubble is the artificial creation of the Federal Reserve through inflationary monetary policies. In his view, the policy has created what he terms a "debt supernova."
"I think it's pretty obvious that the top is in. It's just waiting for the knee-jerk bulls, robo traders and dip buyers to finally capitulate. I think what we are seeing is the beginning evidence that the central bank-driven credit economy is over and we are in a new era. It's a huge disaster waiting to happen."
Pointing out that the S&P has traded for most of 2015 at a historical low, he argued that all signs point to "the end of the central bank enabled bubble" and the beginning of a deep global recession.
"The larger picture has nothing to do with the jobs report [Friday] or even the September decision by the Fed. It has to do with the fact that the world economy, including the U.S., is heading into what is clearly going to be an epochal deflation to the likes of what we have never experienced in modern time."He argued that the recent collapse of stock market in China is the signal for a recession that will spread to other markets globally. According to Stockman, China's crisis will affect the rest of the world because the entire global economy has been supported by China's investment and construction spending.
In line with Stockman's observations, some analysts have noted that the recent pattern of steady decline in U.S. stocks is disturbingly reminiscent of the pattern before the 2008 recession.
Another prominent financial market guru predicting a meltdown is Larry Edelson, Weiss Senior Analyst and editor of Supercycle Trader.
Edelson has predicted that the financial apocalypse will begin after October 1, 2015.
The extent to which Stockman and Edelson are influenced by Cahn's financial apocalypse movement is uncertain, but Edelson argues that by October 7, 2015, an economic super-cycle that began in 1929 will end in "global financial crisis of epic proportions."
Predictions of financial meltdown by financial market gurus are lending credibility, authority, and respectability to the gloomy utterances of religious prophets of doom which many would otherwise have dismissed as "conspiracy theory."
[Image: Wikimedia Commons]