Back in 1988, a nun I knew who had just relocated suddenly got the idea to get a new coffee pot.
It was a little odd: while she had a pot that was getting a bit too old, it was no pressing matter; she hadn’t been thinking of getting another so soon, and yet now she had this compelling notion.
So it was that she headed to a store in Omaha, Nebraska, that sold coffee pots and walking up to it, was approached by a young stranger — a man, who wanted to hand her something.
Who was this?
What was this?
A pamphlet. He handed her a 23-page booklet. She described the fellow to other sisters as the most handsome man she had ever seen. Smiling. Full of life. Everything vibrant and radiant about him.
So he handed her the booklet, which she took and glanced down at. When she looked back up, he was gone. No goodbye. He had left — virtually vanished, oddly, as you hear in so very many of those mysterious stranger accounts.
Immediately, she thought it might be an angel — the way everything occurred and felt and looked. I remember another nun, Mother Angelica of EWTN, recounting a similar encounter with a mysterious handsome man to me — not the same one, I wouldn’t surmise (hers was in Italy), but reminding us of Scripture where it speaks of angels appearing this way. (Hebrews 13: “Let love of the brethren continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.” Mystery strangers.) I’ve had my own experiences.
Similar, except in this case, something was left behind: that pamphlet.
It wasn’t just any pamphlet.
Recently I secured a Xerox copy of it. The cover bore a simple drawing of a tattered upside-down U.S. flag on a broken pole and was entitled:
“The Fall of America.”
That got my attention. Needless to say, I read it in one sitting, and it is what I would like to share here in this “Special Report,” for purposes of: discernment…
Let me make clear that no angel printed the pamphlet — just handed it out. On the very first page, there is a brief introduction and then the apparent publishers: “Christians, Box 5844, Sacramento, California, 95817-0844, phone 1-916-393-5354.” Google Earth shows the address as a modest, tree-lined residential neighborhood in the state’s capital. When I tried the phone number, I got a recording saying the number was disconnected. Probably a case, I figure, of a small religious group simply disbanding.
But the pamphlet they distributed remains with us, and it is a stark indictment of the U.S. — again, made decades ago. I can’t tell what year it was first printed, only that the nun received it in the late 1980s.
The three major predictions:
· America will suddenly and almost totally be destroyed by the Soviet Union
· But Russia will not occupy the U.S. after the battle (“possibly,” it says, “because of nuclear contamination”).
· Survivors of the holocaust will flee the country as refugees, or be taken as prisoners to other countries.
Too apocalyptic? There was more.
Admittedly, I wouldn’t have paid overwhelming heed to it — some (it’s very interesting in and of itself), but not overwhelming heed — save for the fact that it had involved that mysterious stranger appearing to a person who would never have concocted such a story. (This nun ended up generating 72 vocations — including nine priestly vocations. Not bad fruit.)
Plus, I’ve had my own “angel” encounters.
Coincidence? When shortly after we moved into a modest new home we built, I had just turned on a sprinkler for the grass seed when the phone rang. It was William Reck, editor of the Trumpet of Gabriel, calling with last-minutes changes. I got caught up in the important conversation (to repeat, it was the book about angels) and when we hung up I realized I’d been on the phone for more than an hour and the grass seed would now be flooded and washing into the gutters!
I expected to see a muddy little river on the driveway but rushing downstairs and out the door was dumbfounded to find that the sprinkler was off and the soil seemed perfectly dampened. Who could have shut it off? There were no footprints. We didn’t know any neighbors. And my wife was away until hours later.
A short time later, when the grass came up — perfectly, splendidly — I was surveying it when I spotted a man about my own age coming up the street, and though he seemed like a block away, I could see this tremendous smile and hear him as he said with joy, “You must be that Catholic author!” It’s all he said, and then went on his way up our street over a knoll as I smiled as my only reply and again was confused: no one in the neighborhood knew I was a writer, let alone a Catholic one! I never saw this man again (even though everyone on the cul-du-sac had to pass our house).
There are more accounts I could tell. So: I take the issue of “mysterious strangers” seriously. But I never was given anything physical — like a pamphlet…
Again, it’s not like an angel wrote it, the pamphlet given the Omaha nun, nor even necessarily the case that the stranger subscribed to all it said. But perhaps — just perhaps — this unusual fellow was handing it out because there were and are germs of truth and warning in it.
It goes on for those twenty-odd pages and originally was distributed by Australians. (When I tried the Australian number, I also encountered a disconnected line.) It argues that while the U.S. has thousands of nuclear weapons, they’re defensive weapons. “A defensive army will never conquer the world, but sooner or later it will be conquered itself,” it says. “Such is the fate of the lukewarm!”
It is a tough indictment of America. Too tough?
The U.S., it warned, was “in the uncomfortable position of having taken Christ’s Name, without actually following through with all He had to say. She has just enough religion to make her miserable, but not enough to warrant God’s miraculous protection.” The pamphlet noted that presidential candidates commit “political suicide” if they don’t at least pay lip service to the Christian faith, but that doesn’t mean they are totally sincere. Christian symbols like the Cross, fish, and dove may be everywhere, it pointed out:
“But all of this religious activity is a far cry from the teachings of the Founder of Christianity.
“Read on, and you’ll understand why we make such a claim.”
And so I read on. It noted that America’s religious heritage had come to be what it labeled a “commercial enterprise” — mentioning major televangelists.
The spirit of Babylon still lives on, says the pamphlet, “in the form of capitalism and communism.”
This is where — with Babylon — we get to the meat of things and where this pamphlet begins to compare our times with certain passages, predictive ones, in the books of Daniel and Revelation.
A key mention: world government.
We are facing, claimed the booklet, the approach of “the ten-man world government.”
Hmmm. “These (ten men) will have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the Beast” (Revelation 17:10, 10-13).
“A new world empire is about to arise,” warned the booklet, so mysteriously circulated. “It is unique in that it will be run by a committee, after three nations are subdued by the eventual world dictator.
“This final empire is a conglomerate of the leopard, bear, and lion. But there’s no mention of the eagle. The eagle has been so totally plucked that it ceases to exist. The U.S., like Sodom and Gomorrah, will be left uninhabitable when God’s judgments are complete!”
As I said: radical stuff. I do have to admit that through the years I have been both amazed and skeptical at how so many who have alleged visions or near-death experiences have claimed they saw huge swaths of the U.S. destroyed by natural disasters and also “saw” invasions by Chinese and Russians.
I haven’t been able to conceptualize how Russia or China could possibly land troops on U.S. soil — with all our bases and military wherewithal — although a breakdown of our infrastructure, through natural disasters, is always a possibility.
Constantly mentioned: massive quakes. Let’s face it: you never know what will occur next. Epidemics. An asteroid (one, two or three miles wide, striking the ocean, would send water a hundred miles or more inland).
I also note that people like Howard Storm — who had that famous afterlife “hell” experience, during which angels allegedly prophesied to him (there’s to be a major movie about him) — also spoke about American materialism/selfishness and also said there’d be a massive breakdown in infrastructure.
I’ll admit this gives me a few goosebumps when I think of the “1990 prophecy” that said, “Your era is ending. Soon the world will not be the world you know. I am not speaking of a barren world, or one depopulated, but of the end of your technological era. Many inventions of mankind will be broken down and there will be more of a peasant attitude and way of life everywhere. After this breakdown of false society will come persecution of Christians and also a new world order. The anti-christ will be on earth trying to affect the new world order.”
“The new dictator will be extremely popular at first,” states the Sacramento-Australia pamphlet.
“Nations which have been commercially exploited by the U.S. and its many multi-national corporations will be thrilled at the reforms and initiatives introduced by the new world power. Many will be convinced the ‘millennium’ has already begun” (Daniel 8:25; Thessalonians 5:3-4).
The Beast, states the booklet, will be “totally possessed” — almost bionic.
When an anti-christ is mentioned, I often hearken back to what Patricia (Pachi) Talbot, a seer from Quito, Ecuador, once told me: that the anti-christ is alive but (at the time we spoke, in the early 1990s) was as yet young; she said he would be from the realm of “science and media” (this was before the explosion in personal computers and the internet, which is exactly a combination of science and the media); and there are times I look at certain prominent folks on the scene, whether from Microsoft and Google or Facebook and Amazon, etc.
And that means?
Well, very little, at this stage. But vigilance isn’t a bad attribute.
“When a number of worldwide catastrophes begin, the Beast blames them all on Christians, whom he slaughters by millions, while exalting himself as God,” says the mystery pamphlet — again, sounding like the 1990 missive. “The catastrophes include plagues, poisoned oceans and lakes, earthquakes, tidal waves, worldwide forest fires, deadly hailstorms, a black-out of the sun, and changes in the earth’s orbit, all of which may stem from a collision with a huge meteor and /or warheads launched (perhaps accidentally) from earth-orbiting satellites.”
Thus, if we believe this, it doesn’t have to be a nuclear event, and if it isn’t, it puts it more in line with Storm.
That brings to mind the word “wormwood” from Revelation and let me say this: if we conservatives don’t think our mistreatment of God’s Creation is not a serious matter — a very serious one — we better pray a lot more about that. At LaSalette in France, the Blessed Mother depicted a whole slew of natural disasters and said that “nature is seeking vengeance because of man.” The seasons, it said (back in 1846), “will be altered.”
Forget the political arguments. This already is occurring. There will be fire. There will be great quakes. I believe a volcano is in the mix.
When it comes to prophecies and mysterious strangers and angels, I immediately think too of many reports through the years on what became known as “vanishing hitchhikers”: strangers who would be picked up by a motorist, utter a few words predicting major world events, and then, when the driver turned to look back or sideways at them, would be gone — clearly with no explanation of how they could have disappeared. I’ll have a “special report” about them in the future. There were so many that a professor named Lydia M. Fish at the State College of New York at Buffalo even did a formal study of them.
One example: on the New York Thruway there was said to be a “beautiful young hippie” clad in shining white who would enter a car, buckle his belt in the back seat, and talk about religion. Mainly he seemed to want to know if the driver believed in the Second Coming. “The Lord is coming soon,” one hitchhiker told a fellow in Mattoon, Illinois, I interviewed. Some of these cases are decades old…
Admits the Omaha pamphlet, “The date for the fall of America is not precisely predicted, for example, since that is only a prelude to the real countdown, which begins with an agreement between the Beast and the heads of the world’s three main religions (Christianity, Judaism, and Islam) to build a temple in Jerusalem for use by all three.”
As far as time-frames, it adds, “The word ‘hour’ in King James English (Bible) means only a short period of time (like when we say, ‘just a second’ today). And the Hebrew word for week is simply ‘seven,’ which can refer to a week of seven days or a week of seven years, as in the story of Jacob” (Genesis 29:27).
It is at the point of the Beast and his agreement with the major religions, posited the booklet, that God will manifest — in a supernatural, worldwide way. (Praise Him)
Now, the pamphlet was printed by what sound like evangelicals who would not be familiar with Saint Faustina’s prophecies of such a manifestation, and they certainly would not be familiar the 1990 prophecy, which was given years after the Omaha encounter and said Jesus will manifest as a “tower of light.”
True Christians will survive in the wilderness without dependence on the system, it further says. True Christians.
Summing up, the booklet says: there will be the fall of America as it currently exists; the U.N. will sign an agreement to rebuild the Temple; the Beast will be resurrected by the false prophet; there will be a global computer credit system (again, this stated years before the internet became big); two prophets will preach to the world; Christians will be forced to live by faith (no more lukewarmness); earth will be hit by a meteor or nuclear device; millions will die under the Beast; Christ will return or manifest; God’s wrath will have been poured onto the world; His reign will begin.
“When all the systems of man begin to crumble, and the promised ‘secret rapture’ fails to take place, most churchgoers will be totally unprepared for survival as individuals in an alien world,” it states, adding that 144,000 leaders would be needed to shepherd millions of others, who are confused in their faith (Revelation 7).
The pamphlet concluded that money is just a symbol and now symbolizes our times, which rightly belongs to God. Idolatry is valuing an object as an end in itself. “The U.S. has done this with money, by making it a crime even to destroy money,” it says. “This kind of blind devotion to money destroys a person’s (and a nation’s) ability to think rationally.
“Modern man has become so obsessed by money that it now controls us rather than us controlling it. Until we can again learn to live without money, we will never be free to control it.”
Take it for what you feel it’s worth. You may not think it’s worth much. You may think it’s worth a bunch, that it’s “right on.”
It’s what we do here in these special reports: go much deeper in presenting matters for your individual evaluation during these increasingly tumultuous times…
[Footnote: Meanwhile, is this passage relevant (from Isaiah 65: 11-12)?
11 “But as for you who forsake the Lord
and forget my holy mountain,
who spread a table for Fortune
and fill bowls of mixed wine for Destiny,
12 I will destine you for the sword,
and all of you will fall in the slaughter;
for I called but you did not answer,
I spoke but you did not listen.
You did evil in my sight
and chose what displeases me.”