Michael Barkun

in A Culture of Conspiracy

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 2003 | ISBN: 9780520238053
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520939721 | DOI:

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Millennialism and New World Order conspiracy theories have been closely intertwined. They seemed to provide a way of predicting the emergence of the Antichrist. Among the conspiracy-minded, millennialism has included a generalized belief in the end of history, attempts to fuse alien arrival with Christian millennialism, the addition of non-Western millenarian ideas, and even the belief that millennialism itself is part of the conspirators' plot. UFO writers have been able to link ideas about extraterrestrials with more traditional apocalyptic expectations. The millennium is incrementally achieved through a gradualism that makes apocalyptic disasters unnecessary. Bridging mechanisms are organizational devices that link the domain of stigmatized knowledge to accepted forms of political expression. Three bridging mechanisms of particular significance are: the cultivation of crossover audiences, the development of alternative communications systems, and the indivisibility of the stigmatized knowledge domain.

Keywords: Millennialism; New World Order; Antichrist; bridging mechanisms; apocalyptic disasters

Chapter.  7641 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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