Just before his death an elder member of the Amitakh and Chiappalone sect gifted a book with a handwritten note that ended on “Interesting premise.”, curiously, a book he read according to the note before joining the sect. It remained unread by the writer until inquisitiveness got the better, to find out what the kindly old man, quiet and apparently well read, wanted to convey before he died. Its a fascinating read, an impressively unbiased account, in wonderful details, of a collective of people who, like Amitakh and Chiappalone, in contact with “upstairs” believed major catastrophe is about to strike, and get together waiting for it all to happen. It focuses on people which makes it all the more fascinating, characters and their interplay as it develops around ‘higher instruction’ and prophecy, that leads surprisingly to a riveting and thoroughly satisfying climax, and it’s all factual. In essence it’s a facsimile of the Amitakh and Chiappalone story and their followers.
From the foreword:
Imagine, for a moment, that a group of people are convinced that in a few months a cataclysmic flood will destroy the North American continent. They also believe that, minutes before the catastrophe, a vehicle will arrive from outer space, swoop up this small band of believers, and carry them to safety on a distant planet. Suppose that these people are not wild-eyed kooks wearing white robes and carrying signs saying “REPENT!” but are intelligent, sensible people with nice homes, loving families, and good jobs. In accordance with their belief, they have quit their jobs and given away their money and possessions (who needs money and possessions on a far-off planet?). Now they are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the spaceship and the beginning of their adventure, which will take place precisely at midnight on December 21. How will these people feel and what will they do on December 22, assuming of course that North America still exists and the spaceship did not arrive?