OF RELIGION Field Guide to the

In a Nutshell

R.G. (Ralph) Stair, who styles himself "Brother Stair," is a radio evangelist who has declared  for many years that he is "The Last Day Prophet of God to America."


The Claims   

The 1989 book Soothsayers of the Second Advent by William Alnor included a section describing Stair's activities at that time:

South Carolina radio preacher Brother R. G. Stair was whipped into apocalyptic fever in early 1988. In his "Overcomer" radio broadcast, heard over fifty stations nation-wide, he thundered that God has appointed him "God's end-time prophet to America," and that he had anointed the end-time "Elijah" - a young Russian man - several years earlier.

Furthermore, God had spoken directly to him, and the jig was up for America. Before "April" was over, the United States would face an economic collapse, followed by the forcible removal of President Ronald Reagan from office. Then a limited nuclear war would strike the United States before the end of the year, wiping out every major city.

A way to escape the horrors to come was to get out of the cities and flee to the countryside, Stair roared, sometimes altering his voice to sound as if God were speaking through him. Stair then announced that he was building "cities of refuge" (farms) throughout the rural south, from which the "remnant" could weather the great tribulation.

His radical claims struck a chord. People from all over the United States began selling their homes and started sending money to Stair's Faith Cathedral Fellowship, located near Walterboro, South Carolina. As contributions came in Stair was able to extend his daily message of fear to almost 100 radio stations nationwide.

In Philadelphia three local churches eagerly tuned in to the message, and members started selling their possessions. Before May was out, about ten church members joined Stair at his commune, turning all their money over to him in exchange for living quarters in his commune. Obviously the economy didn't collapse, Reagan finished his term, and doomsday never came. Despite the failures, many of Stair's new converts stayed with him, accepting his explanation that God had changed His mind.

But one couple that exited, months after joining, left deeply wounded. The wife had joined Stair's commune while she was well along in her pregnancy, and Stair had discouraged the use of medicine and modern doctors. As a result the couple's ten-pound, twelve-ounce baby boy was born dead in Stair's commune on July 6 at the hands of unlicensed midwives - sect members. The next day Colleton County Coroner Bob Bryan investigated the death and ruled the baby died of "anoxia," or an absence of oxygen caused by a prolonged delivery. Though no criminal charges were filed, he ruled the death could have been prevented.

My wife and I covered the unfolding story of this cult for the Delaware County Daily Times, in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania; we wrote more than thirty stories on Stair and the local doomsday cults seeking to join him. Two things became very clear as we researched the stories: It was Stair's message of fear that seemed to draw his followers, and he reinforced that fear through his monthly newsletters. Among the fantastic stories it contained were:

Descriptions of the "New Age conspiracy."

Accounts of the coming Antichrist.

Tales of the "Beast computer" in Brussels.

References to fiber-optic wires, connected to your television set, that could allow the Antichrist to control your life, watch you twenty-four hours a day, and kill you in your own home.

A lot of that may sound familiar - much of Stair's material came from prophecy teachers we've talked about. In the March, 1988, issue, Stair even used one of Southwest Radio Church's photographs and reprinted part of their article to scare people into believing the three-story "Beast computer" is already here.


The Allure

Even as far back as the 1980s, Stair's radio programs were appealing to current and former members of the Worldwide Church of God, particularly because, like Herbert W. and Garner Ted Armstrong, he condemned the pagan origins of traditional holidays such as Christmas and Easter.

In recent years, Stair's appeal for some exWCG members has increased because Stair has embraced observance of the Sabbath and the annual Biblical Holy Days, and seems to accept some sort of version of the doctrine of British Israelism.

In addition, some exWCG members have been uncomfortable without a "prophetic" leader to follow since the death of Herbert Armstrong and the scandals surrounding Garner Ted Armstrong. Stair's radio personality is similar to Herbert Armstrong in his heyday—bombastic, dogmatic, self-assured, self-aggrandizing. Stair leaves no question that he considers himself to be God's Spokesman for the End Times—just as the Armstrongs had declared themselves.

Anyone who is already convinced that the End may be Very Nigh and who is fearful how to escape the coming horrors can be swept along by the bombastic claims of media preachers like Brother Stair.



The following comments are applicable to a number of current teachers, and portions of these comments will be repeated in the entries for each of them.

For many former followers of Herbert W Armstrong, "doctrine" seems to be the defining issue in deciding who is "a servant of God." Thus any media preacher who bombastically and dogmatically thunders against what they believe to be false doctrine, and who embraces some of the doctrinal distinctives that they believe to be true, may be accepted without question as a spokesman for God. But the Bible does not define God's servants only by their doctrine. The Pharisees in Jesus' time believed and taught obedience to the Law of God, just as did Jesus. But Jesus did not recognize them as spiritual leaders. To coin a phrase, "Fruit is more important than bark."

A number of current teachers, including Brother Stair, exhibit several characteristics which deserve careful scrutiny by their listeners.

Unsupported claims to be the only, or the main, spokesman for God on earth.

Acceptance of a role of spiritual superiority over followers.

Exercise of almost unconditional power over the lives of followers, including such tactics as encouraging followers to make extreme life choices such as moving to be near the teacher.

False dogmatic prophecies and predictions, excused with weak explanations when the events do not come to pass.

After this profile of R G Stair was posted for a few months, information was sent to the Field Guide website regarding a number of extremely serious allegations against Stair. After examining the testimonies of several unrelated individuals who had been intimately involved with Stair's "Overcomer Communities," it would certainly appear that anyone considering becoming involved in any way with Stair's ministry ought to closely investigate these allegations. They include detailed descriptions-- not just rumors--of incidents of severe mental, emotional, physical, spiritual, and sexual abuse.

A group of former supporters of Stair banded together to provide information about these allegations in an attempt to rescue those still in bondage to this ministry and prevent new people from becoming entangled. Their stories deserve to be heard, and can be seen at The Net Team website at the location below.


As a result of the efforts of the Net Team group, Ralph G Stair was placed under arrest on Thursday, May 16, 2002 on charges regarding serious sexual and financial matters. He was denied bond the next morning and remained in jail until August 8. At that time he was released on $400,000 bond, half of it required to be paid in cash. He was restricted to his Overcomer Ministry commune, and had to pay to be fixed with a personal Global Positioning Satellite transmitter to keep track of his movements.

A variety of news articles from the Walterboro, South Carolina, Press and Standard and other media outlets reporting Stair's arrest and detailing the allegations against him can be seen at:


As with many such cases, the issues involving Stair ground extremely slowly through the court system, and were ultimately settled with him pleading to lesser charges. This does not negate the reality of the testimony of many witnesses, who deserve to be heard.



R. G. Stair claims to be not just one of many teachers and servants of God, but rather "The Last Day Prophet of God to America." He offers no real confirmation of this status except his own word—and the words of his supporters.

As can be seen by the documentation in the Bibliography below, Stair accepts accolades as a great spiritual leader by his supporters and associates and followers, and exercises almost total dictatorial power over those who come under his influence. This includes a number of them who have sold all their possessions, given the money to Stair's ministry, and now live in a communal setting under his jurisdiction.

As did Herbert Armstrong and a string of other self-proclaimed "prophetic figures," Stair regularly makes dogmatic prophetic claims which do not come to pass, and then excuses those "misses" with a variety of verbal gymnastics.

One example:

A 4/1/97 interview with Stair, posted on his Overcomer Ministry website noted the following—

Stair, who is 63 years old and has been a preacher for 47 of them, has been predicating the end of the world as we know it for quite some time. When Ronald Reagan was president, Stair said the end would come while he was still in power.

Stair said Friday that this wasn’t really wrong, because Reagan still has a lot of influence within the government and is still being protected by the Secret Service. "Reagan still has influence and power, a lot more than many other presidents ever had," he said.

Unfortunately for Stair's "logic" in this matter, Ronald Reagan is now dead and has no influence or power of any kind. This does not seem to have affected the opinion of Stair's supporters regarding his role as God's "Last Day Prophet." But perhaps it should.

This complete interview is included in the Bibliography below.


Overcomer Communities

In recent years, Stair has encouraged the development of a number of "Overcomer Communities" throughout the south modeled after his ministry's headquarters compound in South Carolina. Stair is viewed by these communities as their spiritual overseer. One such community is in Tennessee, under Pastor Charles Dowell. The excerpt below is from an interview of Dowell by Jim Searcy.

Searcy is one of a number of nationally-recognized "prophetic" teachers who have promoted the ministry of Brother Stair. He is also one of a number who predicted the Tribulation would start in October 2000, and who have claimed that Prince Charles of England is the Antichrist.

Searcy was also for quite some time the main proponent for the claims to prophetic authority by a man in Israel whom Searcy claimed to be THE Elijah of the Bible. Searcy's ministry regularly posted photos and written and audio clips of the pronouncements of this “Elijah the Tishbite.”

One of the "proofs" which Searcy used to establish the authenticity of this Elijah figure is that he uses the King James Version of the Bible. Searcy, along with Stair and many other ultra-conservative ministries, believe the King James Version to be the only English version that True Christians should use. They do not even claim the KJV to be "the best" translation of the Bible, but rather to be inspired in the same way that the original manuscripts of the Bible in the original languages were inspired. And they promote the idea that all modern English translations are, not just inferior translations, but counterfeits as part of a Satanic plot to water down Biblical truth. See the Field Guide King James Only Movement overview for information on this theory.

Information on this Elijah no longer appeared on Searcy's website as of January 2004, so it appears that he withdrew his support of the man's claims some time before that, although there is nothing about the matter on the website now.

Details of the claims of this Elijah can be seen on other sites which promote him. There is even a Yahoogroups forum where his latest prophetic statements are posted.


Earlier audio files of messages from this man are available gathered from Jim Searcy's website.


More excerpts from this interview are included in the Bibliography at the end of this article.

Jim Searcy (JS) / Charles Dowell (CD) interview excerpt:

JS You have been working on setting up a big double wide trailer and that is a very dangerous operation which is especially dangerous in this case where you are setting it on a sloping hillside. One thing about the Straightway Community that the Lord has anointed you to lead, is that Brother Stair has the spiritual oversight. You look to him for spiritual leadership. Could you tell us what a difference that has made and just how important that spiritual authority is in a community of faith?

CD Sure I can, Brother. You know the bible teaches us that if you receive the prophet you receive the prophet's reward. The prophet's reward is revelation truth. Beyond that the blessings that the prophet has, will come down upon those who are walking together with him. The prophet of the Lord, at this time is Brother R.G. Stair. He is the voice of the last day prophet of God. Prophet Stair has oversight, spiritual oversight over this community. Brother Stair will tell you, that he does not try to come to the communities or run them, but he does take the spiritual oversight of them. What that means is that he determines, with the gift of spiritual discernment that he has, he determines who to move on to the land and who not to allow to move on to the land. He has such an outreach that people are constantly looking to get into community lifestyle. Prophet Stair is definitely God's man, and an anointed man of God, for this last days time frame in which we live. We are blessed of the Lord to have such an anointed man of God to take the spiritual oversight of our community.


Web Documentation   

The official website of the ministry of R.G. Stair


The introduction to the site declares:

The Voice of The Last Day Prophet of God.

Jesus Christ is Coming in YOUR Lifetime.

THIS is the LAST Generation.

Prepare to meet your God.



More excerpts from the Jim Searcy/ Charles Dowell Interview

Christian Community Living : How It Can Be Done Rightly & Quickly

Jim Searcy Interviews Pastor Charles Dowell of Straightway community

JS We rebroadcast from the satellite the Overcomer Broadcast ministry of Brother R.G.Stair 24 hours per day and 7 days per week. On the line with us we have one of the Overcomer community leaders Pastor Charles Dowell, from Straightway community in Nashville, TN. Pastor Dowell, we might say, holds the record for bringing a community of people of like minded faith together in record time. We welcome you Pastor Dowell.

CD All is well, all is well. The Lord is good, Brother Jim.

JS You have been working on setting up a big double wide trailer and that is a very dangerous operation which is especially dangerous in this case where you are setting it on a sloping hillside. One thing about the Straightway Community that the Lord has anointed you to lead, is that Brother Stair has the spiritual oversight. You look to him for spiritual leadership. Could you tell us what a difference that has made and just how important that spiritual authority is in a community of faith?

CD Sure I can, Brother. You know the bible teaches us that if you receive the prophet you receive the prophet's reward. The prophet's reward is revelation truth. Beyond that the blessings that the prophet has, will come down upon those who are walking together with him. The prophet of the Lord, at this time is Brother R.G. Stair. He is the voice of the last day prophet of God. Prophet Stair has oversight, spiritual oversight over this community. Brother Stair will tell you, that he does not try to come to the communities or run them, but he does take the spiritual oversight of them. What that means is that he determines, with the gift of spiritual discernment that he has, he determines who to move on to the land and who not to allow to move on to the land. He has such an outreach that people are constantly looking to get into community lifestyle. Prophet Stair is definitely God's man, and an anointed man of God, for this last days time frame in which we live. We are blessed of the Lord to have such an anointed man of God to take the spiritual oversight of our community.

Let me give you an example. When we first started this community, I told the prophet that I would like to go and get some mobile homes from the local mobile home dealer. He said, Pastor Dowell, don't go out and get those trailers. You start looking for used mobile homes and the Lord will bless you with some that need a little work for very little money. You will find that by the time you get finished doing a little work on those trailers that need some work, you will end up with better homes than the brand new mobile homes. So we did what he said. Sure enough the Lord blessed us and we can get trailers at unbelievable prices. The average trailer here in this community runs us now about $200 each.

JS Wow!! That is $200, not $2,000??? That is $200 for a home?

CD $200 Brother.

JS That is absolutely fantastic. There is only one thing that you can say, that is God! Brother that is phenomenal.

CD Brother Jim, you would just have to see them. It is one thing to talk about something. It is something else to actually see them. You know right now that many people have that doubting Thomas spirit. They have to see first before they believe.

JS Actually, the Lord has used you to bring that community together in a matter of months. Wasn't it brought together in a matter of just 4 or 5 months?

CD That is true, Brother Jim. The prophet will tell you and anyone who has come here that indeed this community was put together in about 4 to 5 months. There was no community and nothing was started at the time he said to begin. It was 4 and a half months from when he said get started until the time of his first visit to the Straightway community. This community is now almost as fully established as the one established for 17 years. There is Victory community in North Carolina has been established for about 2 years. Pastor Roberts was here a few weeks ago and these were his exact words, "Pastor Dowell, I knew the Lord was going to do a quick work here, I just did not know it could be that quick."

JS Alleluia! You know that you and I both receive the prophet. Before we began this interview we were talking about the fact that there are so few people in the ministry who will support and encourage people to take heed, and pay attention to, and HEAR the voice of the last day prophet of God. I am sort of an exception to the rule. I did not know that God had raised up such a voice until about a year ago. We were called to go out in '96 and strengthen faithful people along the I-35 corridor. These people had been hearing the Spirit of God say, "Come out of the apostate Laodacean churches and keep the 4th commandment." We were to meet with these people and tell them that they were not crazy and indeed it was the voice of the Lord. We were to confirm that the Lord was saying these thing. We were to confirm that the Lord did want them out of the churchianity apostasy and to keep His commandments, including the 4th one. We were to tell them that their important fellowship was to be with the Lord. That if they were faithful to Him and would diligently increase their faith by diligently studying the Authorized bible, that God would eventually bring them together with others of like precious faith, and that He would use them for His purposes and His glory in the last days. We were to confirm that this indeed was what the Lord wanted them to do. All of them wanted more encouragement and that is part of the reason why we put up the Great Joy in Great Tribulation internet web site.

But once I heard Brother Stair, I can't tell you what a blessing it was to me. I finally had a place that I could recommend that these people of like precious faith, could go for encouragement on a 24 hour per day 7 day per week basis. There was finally a place where I could tell these people that there is a voice which God has raised up, that you can trust. That indeed God had raised up a voice that would give His people His directions on a daily basis. Brother Stair is the voice. He is the voice of the last day prophet of God. There may be many prophets out there but God is going to have one clear voice. God will have one clear voice. That voice will be the one that passes that judgment of what the many prophetic voices are saying. He will judge or confirm the words of the other voices so that the people of God will have clear direction. If it is important for God's people to hear a word, that word will be heard through the voice that God has raised up to be His clear voice. He will judge or confirm the words that the Lord may bring forth through other men of God. If it is important, it will be heard through the voice that God has raised up. He will bring it on. Brother Stair brings all these other people on, he gives them free air time, he blesses and promotes their ministries. And yet, they never mention him in their news letters, tapes or videos, or web sites, or anything else, and many even speak against him while they are blessed by him. Yet Brother Stair still brings these people on to his broadcast ministry.

It is so vital to have Brother Stair's spiritual oversight. Because the most important thing, please correct me if I am wrong, in any community of people of like precious faith is that there is a leader of that community that the people recognize is called and ordained by God as the spiritual authority for that community.

CD That is true Brother. You are exactly right.

JS Now I thought that might be like pulling teeth from you. I know and I am sure you have experienced, not just in your military career but now especially as you are leading this community of faith, that it is a lot easier to be UNDER authority than it is to be IN authority.

CD AMEN Brother!

JS And human nature being what it is, especially for all of us in the American culture of covetousness, unless there is a clearly defined and recognized spiritual authority, the community will never get off the ground. They that build a house labor in vain, unless the Lord build the house. The first thing that the Lord will do to build a house is establish the man that He chooses to be that head or authority. There there is only one head and that is Yeshua. But there must be someone to clearly be in authority. Otherwise you will have nothing but strife and contention. You will probably still have it a little bit. Nobody in his right mind, would ever seek to be IN authority. The only way anybody who has been in authority, under authority, or understands authority, would ever want to be IN authority, is that if he were totally convinced that God had called him to be IN authority. Can you explain how Brother Stair has made that whole problem of authority in the community much simpler.

CD The prophet is such a highly anointed man of God. The one thing that the prophet does is that he strengthens the hands of the pastors or leaders of the community. He constantly supports. He constantly gives spiritual insight.

Many people have problems submitting to someone in spiritual authority. It must be a sign of the times. The difficulty in submission and strength of self will is amazing. People often have difficulty submitting to someone in spiritual authority over them. It is difficult for most to humble themselves and submit to even God ordained spiritual authority. When Prophet Stair comes to these communities, brother, there is no doubt in any mind who is in authority. He is the man in charge and even when he is not here he is still the man in charge.

Now we are the pastors of the community. He does not question our authority. He confirms it. He strengthens us. He affirms us. And yes he will surely judge us. He provides leadership. Many times if I e-mail him or call him, he will just say, "What is the Spirit saying to you?" He leaves the decisions totally to you. He is glad that we are in these areas. When the voice of the last day prophet of God comes to these communities, I automatically sit down and keep my mouth shut. I don't have anything to say because I know I am in the presence of a seasoned man of God who has more important things to say than I do.

JS That is right. He has 50 years in the ministry. He is a seasoned man of God. You can see how God had led him through his life in a certain way to prepare him for the high call of God in these glorious last days. He has seen the good, the bad, and the ugly from the big names in religion and churchianity. He is genuine. With $3 million passing through his hands this year, he still lives in a small cabin built of all used materials and drives a 1983 automobile. You can trust a man like that. He does come out to the community and strengthens the hand of the pastor or leader of the community. That is so important. The people in the community must know that there is someone in the community who can settle the issues on a moment by moment basis within the camp.

CD Well this is true brother. There can only be one spiritual authority. No matter where you are there can only be one spiritual authority. Anything more than that is confusion. You cannot have 2 heads. The double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

JS In most American chruchianity structure today, there is usually a deacon board or some demon board as I usually call them, that tells a pastor what he can teach. When you dig a little deeper you often find these deacon boards are composed of freemasons in the majority. The god of freemasonry is Lucifer. So the demon board designation is not too far off in many cases. You know that God's structure of authority is not a democracy. "Let's take a vote on it," is not the way we find in the bible.

CD True. The reason why they do that is they want everybody accountable to everybody, with nobody accountable to God. We will hire you pastor to be our pastor. Of course such a practice would not be found in the bible. There is often even a contract that the pastor has to sign. It gives the stipulations, the usher board, the deacon board, worship board, music board and all of these different boards. They want everybody accountable to everybody so that if the pastor doesn't quite measure up to the standards of what the board members and controlling power structure in the church feels the pastor should be, you may be ostracized at a moment's notice.

JS Once you have a community of people of like precious faith, there will be a well defined spiritual leader just like James was the acknowledged spiritual leader of the Jerusalem community of faith described in the book of Acts. It is so different. People are hungry for truth and a truly biblical lifestyle. People are hungry to get into communities of people of like precious faith. Just to be surrounded by people who do not think you are crazy to literally believe the Authorized scriptures is God's word and should be obeyed is such a blessing. People are hungering to know what God is doing, and if they don't have a religious spirit on them, they can listen to the voice that God has raised up. I see God doing a quick work. The whole context of the Book of Acts is that what is mine is His, and His yours. What is mine is His, He is the creator, if He did not create it I would not have it, so it is really His. What is His is yours if you are my brother. If you have a need for it, then it is really more yours than it is mine. This whole concept and context of the Acts church, is so foreign to our American culture even our American churchianity culture of COVETOUSNESS. We have such a difficult time to relate to this concept and context of Acts in our churchianity culture of covetousness. But this church He describes in the book of Acts is the church that He is going to restore. That is where the spots will be removed and the wrinkles will be ironed out. Could you elaborate on this?

CD It all boils down to just trusting God. We have, in our selves, a measure of faith. We say we trust God. How much do we really trust God? In the book of Acts you read in chapter 5 about Annanias and Saphaira who had a chance to really be a blessing to the church. But they chose to hold back the price of the piece of land. Not only that but in holding back the price of the land they thought that they could deceive the man of God and they did not. The Holy Ghost was IN the man of God. There was no way they were going to deceive the man of God. They ended up dying on the spot at the altar before the man of God. They were killed by the Holy Ghost for lying to the Holy Ghost when they held back the price of the land. Jesus told us that unless a man forsake ALL that he has, he is not fit for the Kingdom. Now that revelation has never come to the church until NOW. Unless a man forsake All! What does that mean? Jesus said the foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the son of man hath nowhere to lay His head. Now it is all really coming to pass. Jesus said, unless you hate your mother, your father, your bothers, your sisters, even your children, you can in no wise be My disciple. He said all of these things. Over and over you often hear preachers itching the ears of the people saying, "It doesn't really take all that." They are saying that Jesus did not mean what He said! It amazes me because I believe Yeshua, and Yeshua did say it took ALL of that!

JS Yes it does take it all. Yeshua does mean exactly what He said. God can NOT lie. The context of Acts is that "They who had houses or lands sold them and brought the proceeds and laid them at the apostles feet, and NONE CONSIDERED OUGHT THAT HE HIS OWN. "Why is that so important in a community?

CD It is very important that we get rid of the things that we "CALL OUR OWN." In the Kingdom of God, the scriptures tell you that you are not your own. You are bought with a price. That price is the precious blood of Jesus Christ.

JS Alleluia!

CD Now, in Acts 4th and 5th chapter, we see that the people sold ALL their possessions and laid the proceeds at the Apostles feet. They laid it at the feet of that leader that God had raised up to lead and oversee, and care for that community of people who had that like precious faith. In THAT, they were saying, I AM TRUSTING GOD. I am trusting God for my salvation. I am trusting God with the man He has placed in authority to have oversight of your souls. Regardless of what we may have been taught or learned otherwise, this is the ONLY way that the saints will be purified and be made white. It will be when they live together. They must lay down everything.


You can see the complete text of the interview for much more.




R. G. "Brother" Stair is just one of many would-be prophecy pundits in the Wild World of Religion. The following books contain documentation and commentary on the many varieties of End Times Prophecy speculation, and assist the reader in evaluating the validity of the claims of the pundits.


Armageddon Now! The Premillenarian Response to Russia and Israel Since 1917
Wilson, Dwight
Baker Book House, Gr. Rapids MI
(history of prophetic speculation from 1917-1977)


Doomsday Delusions: What's Wrong with Predictions About the End of the World?
Pate, C. Marvin; Haines, Calvin B. Jr.
Intervarsity Press, Downer's Grove IL


The Gentile Times Reconsidered: Chronology and Christ’s Return
Jonsson, Carl Olof
Commentary Press, Atlanta GA
1983, 1998
(evaluation of the Jehovah's Witness speculation on End Time prophecy)


The Last Days Are Here Again
Kyle, Richard
Baker Book House, Gr. Rapids MI
(history of prophetic speculation)


Naming the Antichrist: The History of an American Obsession
Fuller, Robert
Oxford University Press, New York NY


The Sign of the Last Days: When?
Jonsson, Carl Olof and Herbst, Wolfgang
Commentary Press, Atlanta GA
(overview of Jehovah's Witness speculations on prophecy)


Soothsayers of the Second Advent
Alnor, William M.
Fleming H. Revell Co., Old Tappan NJ
(Profiles of a number of current prophecy teachers)


When Prophecy Fails: A Social and Psychological Study of a Modern Group that Predicted the Destruction of the World
Festinger, Leon; Riecken, Henry W.; Schachter, Stanley
Harper & Row, Publishers, New York NY

Author Festinger, a social psychologist, coined the term "cognitive dissonance," and introduced it to the general public in this work. The book is considered a classic in the field of Social Psychology. Festinger and his social-psych team were interested in testing a theory they had about how people in religious groups which dogmatically predict a date for "the end of the world" respond when the prediction fails. They happened to stumble on a small group just forming around a woman who claimed to be receiving messages from extra-terrestrials. She declared that a great series of natural disasters would occur on earth on December 21 of the current year, and that only those who heeded the messages of her unearthly contacts would be rescued. The book first surveys the history of "End Times prophecy" teachers and groups from the first century to the 20th. And then it describes how they were able to infiltrate this growing cult with research assistants and obtain reports of the reactions of the members before and after the date of the predicted "End." For more details on the book, see the When Prophecy Fails section of this Field Guide.


When Time Shall Be No More: Prophecy Belief in Modern American Culture
Boyer, Paul
The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA


End Time Visions: The Road to Armageddon?
Abanes, Richard
Broadman & Holman Publishers, Nashville TN
(history of prophetic speculation)



Check out the Field Guide Profile on the End Times Prophecy Movement for more information on related topics.




Unless otherwise noted, all original material on this Field Guide website
is © 2001-2011 by Pamela Starr Dewey.

Careful effort has been made to give credit as clearly as possible to any specific material quoted or ideas extensively adapted from any one resource. Corrections and clarifications regarding citations for any source material are welcome, and will be promptly added to any sections which are found to be inadequately documented as to source.



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R. G. "Brother" Stair

Overcomer Ministry