George W. Bush: president of the United States, commander in chief of the most lethal military force on the globe, born-again Christian, scourge of the sane…and Anti-christ? Four years ago, the notion that George Bush jr. might be the spawn of Satan could have been easily dismissed out of hand by most rational Christians, even though his record as Governor of Texas illustrates a proclivity towards "evil", or at least, very un-christian-like behavior. But given the amount and degree of Satanesque actions Bush has instigated in the last four years, even the non-religious have to think twice before dismissing the theory.
The theory itself is discussed in a multitude of sources: premillennialists who are always declaring someone in power to be the Anti-christ, but are sure they have the right person this time; premillennialists who believe in the Anti-christ but do not think it is Bush; regular Christians who don't believe in premillennialism but are concerned with the nature of Bush's actions; and satirists who use the language of premillennialists to not only poke fun at the them, but to point out the reality of Bush's "evil" side. In fact, it is often these satirical sources that provide some of the most complete information and evidence for the argument that G.W. is the Anti-christ, or at least an incompetent son-of-a-bitch. Furthermore, while scanning the various articles from all the groups above, I encountered instances where the "true believers" mimicked the satirical sources, almost as if they couldn't tell that these sites were a joke, and even going so far as to cross-link their sites. This is why I will present the argument based on the best satire site I found, because the same points are to be found on the premillennialists sites, but with a much poorer presentation.
The web site titled "George W Bush is the Antichrist" (http://www.geocities.com/ trebor_92627/Bush.htm) provides a complete presentation of the theory that Bush is the son of Satan. The first point of argument is the attempt to associate Bush with the iconoclastic number 666. This attempt at numerological wizardry is where all of the various hermeneutics are at their weakest (see also: http://www.konformist.com/ 2000/bushjr666.htm). Apparently it must be attempted, because everyone knows the true Anti-christ has to be associated with the sign of the Beast, 666, so that the shoe must be made to fit, by any means necessary. The next and perhaps most universal point in the theory is the interpolation of the biblical prophesies noted in the books of Daniel and Revelation. Once again, these descriptions (similar in all the sites) make for fascinating reading in the way the coincidences and points of collusion all fit together nicely to form a coherent narrative. However, as Mark Fenster describes in his book Conspiracy Theories, this form of eschatology formulates its conclusion first and then recreates the evidence to fulfill it in a process that is continual and repeating (158). Thus, one can imagine that once Bush fails to fulfill his role as bringer of the Apocalypse, an interpretation based on a new Anti-christ will materialize easily out of the premillennialists grist mill.
A third and similar aspect of this theory is the interpretation of the prophesies of Nostradamus regarding the end of the world (see also: http://www.100megsfree4.com/ farshores/jd0924.htm). This process of interpretation is similar to the one above and just as problematic for its narrative form. Both attempts to extrapolate meaning from historical texts in order to prove their relevance to present reality ("reading the signs") take on the appearance of a psychic or tarot card reading. In other words, the narrative is made relevant by picking and choosing which parts of both the prophetic text and present reality to include in the interpretation. Hence, one can easily find texts from the late eighties and early nineties declaring George Bush Sr. to be the Anti-christ, and later, shunting Bill Clinton into place at the head of the table of the "New World Order".
The most common and well-documented piece of evidence concerns both Bushes' membership in Yale's clandestine organization, the Skull and Bones Society, and in a related manner, Prescott Bush's financial ties to the Nazi party before and during WWII. Even if the accusation is not taken as far as Bush is the Anti-christ, this evidence is used to show that George Bush Jr. is a Satanist, or at least connected to a money-mongering "evil" family (see also: http://www.cuttingedge.org/news/n1314.cfm , http://www.tarpley.net/bush2.htm , http://www.clydelewis.com/dis/societal/societal.html). Both of these points are fairly well documented (CBS's 60 Minutes aired a special on Skull and Bones October 6th) but it is usually the premillenialists who infer that associations like these prove that Bush is the Anti-christ. Until Bush bares his fangs and starts shooting brimstone out of his eyes, this assumption cannot be proven, however, the evidence does prove two points: one, that Bush and many other persons in positions of power hold allegiance to a "secret" fraternity that potentially uses participation in its own rites as forms of blackmail, and two, that the Bush family has a history of making a profit off of war, regardless of the human consequences.
I have chosen this particular conspiracy theory because it fulfills the criteria of the assignment: "it is quite plausible", but while I do not think it is correct, it nevertheless points out specific truths about George W. Bush and our government. Being at least agnostic, and most likely atheist, I do not believe in the Anti-christ. However, given the nature of George W. Bush's nefarious behavior over the past few years (see http://www.wage-slave.org/scorecard.html for an "evil index"), I am willing to hear the various explanations for his motives. Has George Bush's agenda been hijacked by war mongerers and the proponents of the Project for the New American Century, or by Satan. Well, what's the difference? Can it be the case that he and others think they are actually bettering the world by systematically destroying part of it? Maybe so. One thing the Anti-christ conspiracy does point out is that for whatever reason, something has gone severely wrong in George Bush's White House. Some may say it is evil. I would say it is evil only in a non-supernatural way. It is low level, base, and human evil, based on a simplistic human nature's co-tendency toward greed, laziness and power-control. One of my cohorts claims that a 9/11 conspiracy is impossible because they "believe in human nature more than that." First off, human nature needs qualifications; it is not inherently or exclusively "good" or "bad". And second, given all that we have uncovered as a class and as a society concerning the misdeeds of those in power, how are we to understand this "badness" if we do not view it as being unmistakably human? Interpreting George Bush as the Anti-christ and all his works as pre-ordained acts of evil biblical prophesy fulfilled is disempowering. It is a point that relates to both of Fenster's discussions of Christian millennialism and conspiracy theory as play. Concerning the former he states: The apocalyptic biblical prophecies, particularly as they are interpreted and articulated within popular eschatology, provide a violent, fantastic vision of supernatural warfare that allows for little human agency beyond the individual choice of committing one's life to Christ. (171) And regarding conspiracy theory as play, "It may be a source of populist pleasure, but conspiracy theory of this sort also substitutes fears of all-powerful conspiratorial groups for political activism and hope." And it is this "political engagement" that "has been abandoned as a site of endemic disappointment, an impossible instrument to work individually or collectively on the world" (219). Therefore, the downsides of both forms of conspiracy dealing with in this particular anti-christ theory are the potential for disempowerment and political disengagement. For the Christian premillenialists, they are able to stick their political heads in the collective sand while simultaneously thinking that they are meaningfully participating in society by continually "reading the signs" of current events. And for the people engaged in conspiratorial play, the obvious pitfall lies in using humor not just as a coping mechanism that might lead to liberation from fear, but one that becomes bogged down in ineffectual cynicism. As Fenster points out, it is "a cynical abandonment of profound political realities that merely reaffirms the dominant political order" (219).
Both of these outcomes are unacceptable, and only serve to empower the object of their disdain by creating political apathy. George Bush is not the Anti-christ. For one, he is too stupid. If one is to follow the prophecy, the Anti-christ will be intelligent, charming and able to win the hearts and minds of the people worldwide. Clearly, if he is the Anti-christ, then he is failing to adequately fulfill the role he has been given by his Father. He is more like the Anti-christ's "special" brother, who, tired of being kept away in the attic, escapes and attempts to prove to the world (and his Father) that he really can be the Anti-christ, if only they had given him the chance. Perhaps that is even more dangerous than a true Anti-christ, a third-string anti-christ with something to prove. Regardless of George W. Bush's anti-divine status and mental capabilities, he must not be underestimated. His "evil" must be kept out of the range of the supernatural, precisely because he and all his "handlers" or cronies (depending on how you want to look at it) are merely humans, and their corruption and conspiratorial war and money mongering can be exposed as just that, human fallacy. To think otherwise is to place the Monkey King on a pedestal he doesn't deserve, a pedestal beyond the reach of the people he is supposed to represent.