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Old 12-05-2016, 09:21 AM   #1
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Walrus's Avatar
Joined: Jun 2014
From: Wisconsin
Posts: 949
So... about those "Three Days of Darkness"

So a while ago we had a very interesting visitor, Edward Palmer, who has repeatedly asserted such things on this forum about how he is the fulfillment of the Prophecies of Daniel, and how he is the antichrist, and other similar things. He claimed that the world would see, on November 24-26, "Three Days of Darkness".

Nevertheless, he's been silent since the dawn of November 24th, when the sun rose and his predictions fell flat. It's worth noting that he made this prediction last year, and when it failed to be fulfilled then he merely predicted new dates, but he appears to have committed to the November 24th dates, as the main page of his site reads, as of the time of typing this:

Just for clarification as to what this means for all other online postings regarding the Three Days of Darkness : if all those things foretold in all (and any) of the other accounts of the Three Days of Darkness do not conclude in their entirety by November 27, 2016 A.D., those prophecies shall be deemed false prophecies forever, and as such shall never occur.
IE since the sun rose on November 24th, according to Eddie's writings on his sites, he is now committed to the belief that the "Three Days of Darkness" are false prophecy. So hopefully we've heard the last of him.

So... why am I writing this, exactly??

Well. I enjoy studying religion, as you all know. And so I've decided to take a look on the Three Days of Darkness Prophecies and, well, see what they look like from a Baha'i context.

So first, what exactly are the Three Days of Darkness?? Well, unfortunately for this examination, most of it appears to be online conspiracy theories to which Edward Palmer was apparently only the tip of the iceberg.

"So Walrus", no doubt someone is thinking, "why bother investigating these conspiracy theories at all??"

Well... firstly I am still a huge Religion Geek and would study this regardless. I believe, ultimately, that we can learn insights on religion from everyone, even from a conspiracy theorist who has himself given up on his theories.

But more interestingly these conspiracy theories have their roots in supposed prophecies that refer to “Three Days of Darkness” which came from Christian, typically Catholic, mystics, some of whom wrote and lived in the early 1800’s.

We as Baha’is believe this age was an age of great spiritual awakening. These pre-Bab, early 1800’s prophecies occurred at a time when we acknowledge there was a lot of spiritually significant awakening going on. So perhaps they are worth looking into…

Getting to the “source” of these prophecies has proved difficult. Because of the nature of conspiracy theorists and the fact that conspiracy theorists are, unfortunately, the main proponents of the Three Days of Darkness prophecies, online sources tend to attribute other writings that do not even mention “Three Days of Darkness” as being related to their theory. Of the numerous persons attributed to the Three Days of Darkness, I’ve narrowed the list presented by conspiracy theorists down to just five quotes that actually mention “Three Days of Darkness”.

The best source comes from Blessed Anna Maria Taigi, who actually did write a prophecy about three days of darkness. There is also a fragmentary quote I’ve found attributed to St. Gaspar del Bufalo, but can find absolutely no proof of its authenticity. The remaining three sources are attributed to various Catholic nuns: Sister Palma Maria, Sister Marie de Jesus Crucifice, and Sister Marie Dehenny de la Faudais. The only sources I can find on these nuns come from sites that are proponents of this Three Days of Darkness theory, IE, I cannot find any credible source on them either.

So the best source I can find on this reads thusly:

Originally Posted by Blessed Anna Maria Taigi
God will send two punishments: one will be in the form of wars, revolutions and other evils; it shall originate on earth. The other will be sent from Heaven. There shall come over the whole earth an intense darkness lasting three days and three nights. Nothing can be seen, and the air will be laden with pestilence which will claim mainly, but not only, the enemies of religion. It will be impossible to use any man-made lighting during this darkness, except blessed candles. He, who out of curiosity, opens his window to look out, or leaves his home, will fall dead on the spot. During these three days, people should remain in their homes, pray the Rosary and beg God for mercy.

All the enemies of the Church, whether known or unknown, will perish over the whole earth during that universal darkness, with the exception of a few whom God will soon convert. The air shall be infected by demons who will appear under all sorts of hideous forms.
So these Three Days of Darkness, according to Blessed Anna Maria Taigi, are the following:
-Occur at or near a time of wars and revolutions.
-Will last three days
-Earth “covered in an intense darkness”
-“Nothing can be seen”
-Air “laden with pestilence”
-Both enemies of the Faith and the Faithful will die during this time.
-The only light that will shine is “blessed candles”.
-Those who leave their homes will “fall dead on the spot”.
-All enemies will perish.
-The air shall be infested with demons who will appear under all sorts of hideous forms.

The rest of the less-credible sources say much of the same, but a few details added:
-Republican, sectarian revolutions in France, Spain, and Italy (Palma Maria)
-Many clergymen will die (Maria de Jesus Crucifice)
-Afterwards, many people will be dead (Marie de Jesus Crucifice, Marie Dehenny de la Faudais, St. Gaspar de Bufalo)
-All vegetation will be destroyed (Marie Dehenny)

We should also note that the term “Three Days of Darkness” comes from one of the plagues of Egypt described in the Bible/Torah, so the prophecy is a reflection of the past and a predictor for the future.

So we acknowledge as Baha’is that many in the 1800’s experienced a spiritual awakening, so it is possible these prophecies were truly divinely inspired (assuming, for expediencies sake, in the case of the four poorly-sourced examples, that such quotes are true and such persons existed). These prophecies aren’t exactly commonly known, so there’s no official Baha’i stance on them, but I still must wonder what happens when you look at them and history through the Baha’i lens. So let’s go through the list of “Three Days of Darkness” qualities and see if anything fits!!

The Three Days will last three days

The most basic thing is the time period given: three days. Of note in most Baha'i prophetic interpretation, days = years. So from a Baha'i perspective, if this prophecy is true and has been fulfilled we're looking at a period of three years.

The Three Days will see earth “covered in an intense darkness” and “Nothing can be seen”

As Baha'u'llah explains, the world being in a state of light can refer to revelation, and things like "darkness" or the sun darkening can mean things like being cut off from the Grace of God.

So roughly, I'm thinking the interpretation would refer to a three-year period of time where the world is without a Messenger to guide it. Now does my theorized interpretation fit any period of Baha'i History??

Yes. The Bab was executed on July 9th, 1850. Baha'u'llah would not declare his mission until 1863, however, when Baha'u'llah was released from the Siyah-Chal (where Baha'u'llah was told of his station) and exiled from Persia he and his family traveled to Baghdad. He arrived on the 8th of April 1853, and began teaching, soon becoming well-known to the Babi community, sparking many people to travel to Baghdad to meet with him, and causing many to think of him as the leader of the movement.

So there we have it. From 1850 to 1853, there was no prophet to guide the Babi movement, following the death of the Bab in 1850, until Baha'u'llah establishing himself and beginning to teach and lead in 1853. Even though he would not publicly claim his station for another 10 years, the Babis were thus guided by a prophet, albeit unknowingly, starting in 1853.

For a time of four months during this period, Baha'u'llah was imprisoned in the Siyah-Chal, the Prophet of God literally imprisoned in darkness.

So 1850-1853: I present the Three Days of Darkness.

The Three Days will occur at or near a time of wars and revolutions.

So now that I'm proposing 1850-1853 as the Three Days of Darkness, do the other parts of the prophecy line up?? Was the Three Days a near a period of extreme war and revolution?? Yes, in fact, 1848-1849 saw massive upheaval, war, and revolution in Europe.

The Three Days will see air “laden with pestilence.”

There's two ways to approach this one. Literally or figuratively.

The literal approach and the historical record shows Yellow Fever outbreaks at this time in the United States, devastating cholera outbreaks in the US, Denmark, and Russia. Influenza across the entirety of North America. And plague in what is now Yemen. Notable, perhaps, but not exactly out-of-place for the time period.

Figuratively, however, we could say that this period of time represented a spiritual pandemic. After all, consider the following quote from Baha'u'llah, who compares God to a physician, himself as the remedy, and mankind as the patient with a disease of the spirit:

Originally Posted by Baha'u'llah
The All-Knowing Physician hath His finger on the pulse of mankind. He perceiveth the disease, and prescribeth, in His unerring wisdom, the remedy. Every age hath its own problem, and every soul its particular aspiration. The remedy the world needeth in its present-day afflictions can never be the same as that which a subsequent age may require. Be anxiously concerned with the needs of the age ye live in, and centre your deliberations on its exigencies and requirements.
The Three Days will see both enemies of the Faith and the Faithful will die during this time.

This period of time saw Babi revolts in Zanjan and Nayriz. Prominent Babi's were arrested, executed, or imprisoned. Indeed, both enemy and Faithful casualties were seen at this time.

The Three Days will see the only light that will shine is “blessed candles”.

I'd propose that this would refer to the Babis, the few blessed candles alight in a world of spiritual darkness.

The Three Days will see those who leave their homes will “fall dead on the spot”.

Perhaps meaning those that turn from the Faith will have a state of spiritual death.

The Three Days will see all enemies perishing.

The man who orchestrated much of the persecution of the Babis, Amir Kabir, died during this time.

The Three Days will see the air shall be infested with demons who will appear under all sorts of hideous forms.

Could easily refer to the many trials and tribulations the Faith underwent at this time, demons in many forms.

Now, of note, we'll examine the less credible sources as well, though it is important to note that these sources seem much less credible than the prophecy examined above.

The Three Days will see Republican, sectarian revolutions in France, Spain, and Italy

My proposed revolutions included Republican, sectarian revolutions in the countries Sister Palma Maria lists. However, of note Sister Palma Maria supposedly wrote her prophecy after the time period of my proposed three days. So if my interpretations of the more credible source are true and this less credible source is also true, then Sister Palma Maria was noting past events.

The Three Days will see many clergymen die

I don't see much notes of clergy deaths during the above wars or the period mentioned, but as explained above this isn't a very credible source.

After the Three Days, many people will be dead

Many were "spiritually dead" after the time, though not a very credible source.

The Three Days will see all vegetation destroyed

Definitely did not happen, but source not that credible.

In short: All the points from the one credible "prophecy" line up with the history of our faith from 1850-1853, though the lines for the more obscure/less credible sources don't all line up.

So in the theme of "you can learn spiritual truths from even the strangest of sources", I present my findings. Edward Palmer, for all that can be said about him, led me to an extensive online community of conspiracy theorists, which in turn led me to a early 1800's prophecy (and four other, less-credibly sourced variations of that prophecy) which seems to have been fulfilled by the history of our faith using common Baha'i scriptural interpretation strategies.

Well that was fun!!

Last edited by Walrus; 12-05-2016 at 09:24 AM.
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darkness, days, three days of darkness

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