We’re moving into modern day apocalypticism. We’re going to talk about 3 main figures: Bo Gritz, Julie Rowe, and John Pontius. Bo was former marine and Mormon convert who ran for president of the United States in 1992, receiving a significant number of votes in Utah.
Christopher: Yes, absolutely. In the 1990s, Bo Gritz is a great representative, as well as guys like Jim Harmston, and others, of a Latter-day Saint who’s become concerned about New World Order conspiracy theories. The United Nations, what role are they going to play in sort of setting up the scene for an anti-Christ figure and certainly our own distrust of the idea of the sort of global government? I just find that really interesting how Latter-day Saints turn in that direction as well. This is a moment where far right conservative, political ideas–John Birch Society is functioning in Utah and sometimes, John Birch Society isn’t far enough for some people in Utah County.
Julie Rowe currently has a YouTube channel where she shares her beliefs. John Pontius has written an influential book called Visions of Glory.
Christopher: John Pontius wrote this book, “Visions of Glory,” which is Spencer’s story of his near death experience. Then there’s Julie Rowe, whose publisher Chad Daybell, helped her write several books about her experiences. Some people have wanted to say, the reason Spencer had so much more influence, particularly amongst mainstream Latter-day Saints, is because he was a man, Julie was a woman. I think that’s related to what’s going on here. But I actually think something else is going on here, because Spencer played the rules. The rules are, you don’t want to become a celebrity, you’re not trying to build a following away from the Church. He makes himself anonymous.
His narrative is about how he actually had this vision and didn’t share it until God told him to. He was friends with an apostle, and that apostle discouraged him from sharing it until he received revelation to do so. His details are so thoroughly–I mean, it’s really a Last Days’ event, that is about the power of the church, like the church coming together. I mean, he plays by all these rules, but the most important rule he does is he doesn’t continue to write. He doesn’t show up in podcasts. He doesn’t have a website you can watch him. You can’t send him money for energy work.
Whereas Julie, and Julie would say, she’s received direction to do this. Part of her message is what she’s going to do. She’s going to be this general in a Last Days’ army, this nine-month war. She needs to prepare camps and gather supplies for individuals. She wrote multiple books. She started a YouTube channel. You can pay her a significant amount of money to have energy work done. I assume she’s doing it for the best of reasons, but she’s an entrepreneur. This is something that most Latter-day Saints would think is a little too close to being a paid preacher, or a little too close to being schismatic. So, I think it’s interesting to piece those two together, and think why would one be prosperous in these stories and one not? Ultimately, it’s interesting to me that these visionaries rise to popularity, and then they rise and fall. So, when one falls another shows up. I trace that most of these are based on near death experiences. So, I think it’s interesting that Betty Eadie, the first major near death experience writer who wrote her own book, was a Latter-day Saint.
Dr. Christopher Blythe will tell us more about these recent figures. Chad Daybell has been in the news over the past year over the suspicious disappearance and deaths of his new wife Lori Vallow’s children and relatives. We’ll talk about their messages of apocalypticism with Dr. Christopher Blythe.
Christopher: In the case of Chad Daybell, it seemed to come up with some terrible results. So, at this point, children have been discovered. Julie [Rowe] has disavowed him, as has the prepper community. We’ll see what happens in court. But it would appear that from interviews around that, Lori, Chad’s new wife had come to believe that her children were zombies. Their term for zombie meant that you’d become possessed so much, that your own spirit couldn’t possess your body again. Your spirit’s stuck out there in sort of limbo and now your body is being used by something evil. So you’re no longer Rick Bennett, you are, fill in the blank.
GT: One of her children had autism. Is that correct?
Christopher: I think that’s right. Yeah, this child, and she saw that his behavior, allegedly, on his last day on earth, his behavior, she claimed, telling her friend Melanie, that he had climbed up onto a ledge and knocked over a picture of Jesus. He was acting bizarre, and she believed this was a sign that he was possessed. We’ll see what’s determined, but usually they would pray. So, every day they would pray to get rid of all the zombies in the world. According to Melanie Gibb, who was a friend at the time, they could then say, “This morning, there was 1000 zombies in the world. But now there’s 940. So we know that our prayers, wiped out 60 zombies,” that sort of thing. But, in this case, it seems like they were more proactive in ridding the world of zombies.
It’s a sad, terrible story.
Many people have heard about the White Horse Prophecy, but few people understand the details. Did you know it has been disavowed by LDS Leaders? In our next conversation with Dr. Christopher Blythe, we’ll dive in deep to this well-known but misunderstood prophecy and discuss the ties to Mitt Romney.
Christopher: So, the story of the White Horse prophecy is recorded in 1902. It’s largely based on the Civil War Prophecy. It has an idea that the Gentiles are going to attack the Saints. actually, all sorts of wars are occurring here. It begins with this reference that says there’ll be a terrible revolution in the land that leaves the United States without any supreme government. So, great, wild moment’s going to happen. Ultimately, the Constitution is going to hang by a thread. In the White Horse Prophecy, it’s not a politician that saves it either. The Red Horse, the Native Americans align with the White Horse, the Mormons are going to join together, and they’re going to preserve the Constitution. Anyways, the White Horse prophecy was very prevalent for about 20 years and even into the 50s. I mean, the White Horse Prophecy is very popular.
GT: So just quickly, he wrote it down in 1902, but, supposedly, this had happened decades earlier.
Christopher: Yes, and this would make sense. I mean, in 1840, Joseph Smith did make a prophecy with the Constitution. Every other element of the White Horse Prophecy document he wrote, you could find somewhere else. Some of the specifics like an invasion from China on the West Coast, the same time there’s an invasion from European forces on the east coast.
What are your thoughts about these modern-day apocalypticists? Did you know the White Horse prophecy had been disavowed? Were you aware of all of the details about the prophecy?
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