2012 brings Doomsday, Inc.

2012 brings Doomsday, Inc.
December 31, 2011
New York Daily News

While no one can actually foresee what the end of the world will look like, it’s becoming increasingly clear what it sounds like:


As the new year begins and the countdown to Dec. 21, 2012 intensifies — the day when earth will supposedly implode in a cacophony of cataclysmic events or begin a new age of spiritual awakening — there is seemingly no end in sight to how people are cashing in on the end of times said to have been prophesized by the ancient Mayans.

Call it Apocalypse Cash Cow: The endless stream of books, DVDs, merchandise and even smartphone apps tied to the day when the Mayan calendar ends — and, as a slew of authors say, so will the world as we know it.

“It’s an amazing cottage industry,” said Benjamin Radford, managing editor of Skeptical Inquirer magazine and author of “Scientific Paranormal Investigation: How to Solve Unexplained Mysteries.”

“It’s as if anything with ‘2012’ and ‘doomsday’ on the cover is being cranked out. There are hundreds of titles already out there, and we expect dozens more. There clearly are people concerned the world will end on Dec. 21.”

A good portion of the 2012-themed books have been published by small houses specializing in paranormal topics, and feature attention-grabbing titles such as “Apocalypse 2012: An Investigation into Civilization’s End.”

But even the respectable “Compete Idiot’s Guide” series published a primer on 2012 to capitalize on the growing interest in the subject.

“They should sell this nonsense by the pound, that’s how much it’s threatening to take over whole bookshelves,” said paranormal investigator Joe Nickell, author of dozens of books debunking assorted myths, legends and supposed hauntings.

No matter that the Mayans, Central and South American Indians who flourished in the first millennium, never said the world was ending on Dec. 21 — only that their calendar was turning over on that date for another 394-year “baktun” or cycle, according to scholars.

“If it has ‘Mayan’ in the title, like ‘The Big Book of Mayan Crossword Puzzles,’ or whatever, it’s probably pretty good for sales,” said Nickell.
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