Monday, February 11, 2008

Governor Jesus bunny the God

What? From the Feb. 4th Toronto Star by Michele Mandel:

We were whipped by a wind storm last week and hammered by a snow storm, but what we didn't have, despite all his dire predictions, was a world-ending firestorm.

And so I reach the man who calls himself Governor Jesus bunny the God, aka Harper Cooke, to find out how he's doing after the world failed to burn up last Monday as he'd long prophesized.

For weeks, the self-described prophet had been calling our city desk to warn that Jan. 28 was Judgment Day and we'd better all take cover. He even came by personally to leave his inscrutable business card that foretold of a fire that was to begin at 5 p.m. and consume us all unless we got the sick out of the hospital and "women out of the prison house": "This message is urgent to every one as Advisery (sic) of the Burning Up of January 28 2008 JUDGMENT DAY FIRE."

We gave him a call -- just in case.

SMOKING LAKE

"Eight years I've been trying to get in touch with everyone, nobody stirs," lamented Cooke, who says he owns a courier company. "Now is the time. The city is rotten and decayed. The lake is smoking. People are going to be purified. It will come to pass. Get ready."

At least one other apocalyptic soothsayer was pulling for him.

Bruce Beach is a survivalist who has built Ark Two, an enormous underground fallout shelter made up of 42 school buses buried beneath his land in Horning's Mills north of Toronto. For decades he's diligently stockpiled radiation detection equipment and antidotes, provisions and seedlings in preparation for the doomsday that has yet to materialize.

"I was a millennialist myself," the 73-year-old admits a little sheepishly from his home. "I did think that by the end of 2000 everything would wrap by then.

"So my position is that it's difficult to speak as a prophet," he laughs. "Better to speak as an historian."

Last Monday, Cooke packed up his house, went down to the waterfront and diligently waited for the end that did not come. Instead, the day came and went like most every other day.

The oracle was surprisingly sanguine about being wrong. "We just got a postponing," he insisted.

Can't win them all, I guess. I've known about Bruce Beach for years as I used to live a couple of miles away from him. Never got to see his compound, however.

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