Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Is Sasquatch the Antichrist? - or - The Temptation to Believe Nonsense

NOTE - On April 29, 2106, Charlie Johnston responded to this post with outright lies, doing his best to libel me in the process. I go into detail about that here - Charlie Johnston Lies about Me - and I Admire Him for It! Charlie is one of the most outrageous frauds in the Catholic Church. He actually fascinates me - in a sad way. Read on ...


I don’t want to write about this, but I think I have to.  I’d rather not write anything more on this blog (most of my articles are now on Catholic Exchange and the Ink Desk), and I’m closing this post to comments.  But what I have to say has to be said.

Living the Christian Faith is not sexy.  It is not lurid.  It is not particularly exciting on a day to day basis.  It doesn’t have the flair of a Jerry Springer episode.  Types of antichrists are all around us, but Sasquatch is not one of them and if there is such a thing as a “rapture” it’s not a mass UFO abduction.

But we’re not satisfied with that.  We want celebrities.  We want false prophets.  We want National Enquirer headlines about the apocalypse.

Charlie Johnston


Charlie Johnston is from Belleville, Illinois, across the river from me.  He is becoming viral, sweeping the attention of conservative Catholics from coast to coast.  I’m hearing about him from all corners.  This is, sadly, due to a video of him posted on Vimeo, in which he talks to a group of serious Catholics, including Fr. Mitch Pacwa from EWTN.  Fr. Mitch’s presence in the audience of Charlie’s talk has made a huge difference to people’s perceptions of Charlie Johnston and Charlie’s “authority”.

If Fr Mitch Pacwa came to see Charlie. That spoke volumes to me! I Hold Fr Pacwa in very HIGH esteem. And Bishop Garcia is onboard as well, tells me to pay attention to Charlie. The Bishop is NO liberal for sure!!!

I found the video one of Hope for sure…

In the video, Charlie begins by saying some good things, such as how God works through the ordinary and how all we need to do as believers is to take the next right step.  Sound advice, and many others have said that.  But when the Q&A comes, Charlie expounds on his “visions”, delivered to him by an angel, he claims, of the coming “Storm”.  Charlie’s vision includes the following:

  • A world wide financial collapse.
  • The collapse of all order in society.
  • The conversion of President Obama, who will not finish his term in office.
  • The suspension of the 2016 elections.
  • The appearance of the Virgin Mary sometime in 2017, to be noticed by all people.
  • A utopia following the Storm, in which the Church is reunified and true believers live in harmony.  Our society will go from Ferguson to Mayberry, so to speak.

Charlie, however, also claimed that Christmas of 2013 would be our last normal Christmas.  When people point out to him that Christmas of 2014 was quite normal, he responds (in so many words), “Well, the government is now regulating Christmas lights and soon you won’t be allowed to decorate in front of your home and have a Christmas tree and we’re ceding territory to radical Islam and there’s Obamacare and you call that normal???  Oh, and nobody listened to Winston Churchill either.”  I’m paraphrasing, but read Charlie’s defense of this failed prophecy for yourself.

Note that when other Christians or Christian sects have made specific predictions about the End Times, and when the predictions are inevitably proven wrong, such false prophets typically respond, “I know we said the rapture was to take place at 12:01 am on September 2, 2015 - and everybody is still here - but it was a spiritual rapture and if you didn’t notice it, that’s your problem, not mine.  You’re not as spiritually sensitive as we are.  Oh, and we’re moving the date up to September of next year.  Be prepared!”

Now, worldwide economic collapse, of course, is quite possible, and even inevitable because of the nature of usury, but predicting when the economic shell game will end is just a guessing game.  And so when most ordinary people hear, “Last normal Christmas, Obama will convert, the Virgin Mary will appear”, they laugh, roll their eyes, and go about their business.  

But many Devout Catholics have apparently lost this quality, this virtue of common sense.

Charlie also says the summer of 2015 will be our “summer of discontent”.  As I write this, it’s almost Labor Day of 2015.  I’m still waiting for the beginning of the Storm, but I’m sure Charlie will tell me I missed it.

But there’s more.  

If you need more evidence of Charlie’s dubious status as a prophet, well, there’s this.  He claims to have walked across America.  He claims to have walked 3200 miles wearing a 70 pound backpack, even though he has nerve damage.  He claims to have slept outside, often fearing for his life in groves of trees in inner city ghettos.  He claims to have run into cougars.  He claims this experience changed him spiritually.  

Charlie Johnston is a former newspaper editor, radio talk show host and political consultant. From Feb. 11, 2011 to Aug. 21, 2012, he walked 3,200 miles across the country, sleeping in the woods, meeting people and praying as he went.

But if you look at Charlie’s own Facebook page, which he started for the purpose of chronicling this journey, here’s what you find …

  • Charlie departs from Alabama on Feb. 11, 2011.
  • He appears to be on foot all the way to Houston, where he posts on Facebook on July 4, 2011, covering over 400 miles in about five months.
  • He then posts from San Antonio, then Austin (a strange detour to the northeast), then from somewhere in New Mexico by Oct. 11, covering perhaps 600 miles in three months.
  • He then gets on a plane and flies to Chicago on Oct. 18.  He has pictures of this.
  • He stays in Chicago until Nov. 24, when he flies to San Diego.  He posts pictures from the plane window.  One of his Facebook friends doesn’t seem to realize that Charlie’s “walk across the U.S.” includes more than one plane ride and says, “So you have made it all the way to San Diego??? That’s truly incredible Charlie!!! God bless you.”  Charlie replies, “Ha! Most of the rest of the journey will involve going up and down mountains. Glad I had almost a year to train for that - because it is this second leg that, at least physically, is truly incredible.”  What’s truly incredible is the gullibility of Charlie’s Facebook friends.
  • After the first of the year, in 2012, Charlie is posting from his hometown of Belleville, Illinois - 2,000 miles to the east of San Diego by foot.
  • From his Facebook posts, Charlie appears to remain in Southern Illinois for several months.  He even alludes to this at one point, writing, “Funny thing...after a few months of living indoors, I am really no stronger than ever I was...I still have to conserve my strength and rest frequently because of my neurological damage. If you took any group of outdoorsmen, I would be among the last people [you] would think is the guy who has hiked 2000 miles across the country and has another 1200 or 1500 to go through the desert.”  At this point, he has walked perhaps 1200 miles, if that many, has not walked at all for almost six months, and is certainly not about to walk through the desert - especially from Southern Illinois, which is nowhere near the desert.  In fact, his remaining posts demonstrate that he came nowhere close to the desert on foot - and the only mountain climbing he did was in state parks, abetted by some car rides when he got tired.
  • By April, Charlie is posting pictures from the California coast.
  • By May of 2012, he’s freely admitting that people are driving him pretty much everywhere he’s going.
  • On April 25, he admits he rode in a car from California to Kansas.  After that, he says he rode into Colorado.
  • He seems to be on foot part of the time and hitch hiking most of the time through the High Plains of Colorado through the spring of 2012.
  • He spends the final two months of his “walk” living in Loveland, Colorado.
  • He claims he climbs Mt. Meeker, where he plans to build a shrine that will probably cost (from the look of the design) upwards of $50 million to construct.  Mt. Meeker is the end of Charlie’s “walk across America” - a walk that included at least two airplane rides and that featured very little walking at all or that saw him riding in cars for the bulk of the final nine months of his journey.  And this is all documented on Facebook!

First of all, if Charlie is lying about his “walk across America”, or at least stretching the truth, why would anybody believe him when he relates his “visions” and prophecies?

Secondly, if the economy is going to collapse and money will be worthless, why is Charlie soliciting donations for his $50 million shrine?  How can my cash be useful to him when it won’t be useful to me?  And where is the accounting for the money Charlie is apparently being given by people?  Does anybody know where such possible donations are really going?

Finally, Abraham told the Rich Man, “They have Moses and the Prophets, let them listen to them … If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.”  Well, we have both Moses and the Prophets AND someone who has risen from the dead.  Let us listen to them.  Why would we waste our time with the nonsense coming from the mouth of someone whose three verifiable claims - 2013 was the last normal Christmas, 2015 is our “summer of disconent” and “I walked 3200 miles across America” - are either subjective and vague or demonstrably false?

But, as I said at the outset, the day to day living of our Faith is apparently not sexy enough for us.  Even many of the Catholics I know who are skeptical about Charlie Johnston still want to believe him and are disappointed when I point out Charlie’s unreliability.

And that’s the core of the sin - wanting to believe him.  It’s a kind of morbid curiosity, a kind of morose delectation, a desire for more than what we have, which (as Catholics) is the presence of Jesus Christ Himself and His Spirit and access to His Father as adopted children.  What more can we want?

Why do we desire to augment that fullness … with this?  With titillating tales of the lurid and grotesque?  With claims that can be proven to be false by spending an hour on Facebook or Google?


Fellow Catholics, we must strive for “maturity in Christ”.  We can’t get there if we don’t simply grow up.

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