Glenn Beck went to the Vatican and was anointed by…someone. You have to hear this to believe it. Listen to the tone of his voice. Note the pregnant pauses. And tell me if Jim Jones doesn’t come to mind.
BECK: We are entering a…we are entering a dark, dark period of man. Um, I was, um, I was in the Vatican, and I was surprised that the individual I was speaking to knew who I was. And they said: ‘Of course we know who you are. What you’re doing is wildly important. We’re entering a period of great darkness, and if good people don’t stand up, we could enter a period unlike we have seen in a very long time.’ It was odd to stand in the Vatican and hear those words. Of all places that would understand the Dark Ages.
Beck never bothered to identify the “individual” to whom he was speaking. The implication was that it was a Vatican official of some sort. The phrase “we know who you are,” suggests that it was not a private person speaking for himself, but a representative of a group. And Beck portrays this person as someone whose opinion carries some weight. Why else would we care that he regards Beck as “wildly important?” Of course, this is Glenn Beck we’re talking about, so it may just have been some schnook in line for the tour.
The creepy thing about this is that it is further evidence of Beck’s Messianic ambitions. He clearly wants to convince his audience that he is more than just a television pundit, he is a spiritual leader with a mandate from God. He even said as much on another program:
BECK: It’s darkness, and I can just feel it coming. And I started to say…I said the problem is…and I stopped. Because I don’t want to utter something like this without really thinking it through. But I was about to say, the problem is that God is giving a plan, I think, to me that is not really a plan. And I stopped myself because I didn’t want to utter those things out loud if that’s not exactly right, and it’s not. [...]
Then I said the problem is is that I think the plan that the Lord would have us follow is hard for people to understand. But I’m telling you, here’s what I feel with everything in me. If you’ve listened to this program – oy, are they gonna use this against me – If you’ve listened to this program for a long time you know who I am. And you know that many of the things that I have done and said that have put me in, you know, harm’s way, one way or another, they always start at the same place. They always start at my gut or my heart. And then I figure it out as we go along. All the stuff that I feel has been important on this show has been things that I felt and didn’t understand. [..]
I beg of you to pray for clarity on my part. The plan that He would have me articulate, I think, to you, is “Get behind me.” And I don’t mean me, I mean Him. Get behind me. Stand behind me.
So God is giving him a plan (that isn’t really a plan) and you, his faithful listeners, know who he is (the Son of…?), and you know that he is suffering (in harm’s way) for your salvation as he prays to let this cup pass from him. Yet he will endure his fate and accept the things that he feels but doesn’t understand (not as I will, but as thou wilt). Yes, Glenn Beck is hearing the voice of God and passing His Word on to his disciples. First and foremost in the message is the imposing darkness that is enveloping us all. This is an image that Beck returns to often. It is an image of a world in total collapse:
“You’re gonna see a black and white world, man, that is nothing but destruction and ugly.”
“Find the exit closest to you and prepare for a crash landing, because this plane is coming down, because the pilot is intentionally steering it into the trees. [...] They are taking you to a place to be slaughtered.”
“I know what our country is headed towards. I know the struggles that are ahead in my life and I know the struggles that are ahead in your life. It’s not going to be pretty.”
“It is the eve of destruction in America.”
“The rain is coming. I think you feel it in your gut. It is time to build an Ark. It is time to prepare yourself for some tough times.”
I don’t know where Beck wants to sail in his Ark, but I suspect it’s someplace like Guyana, or perhaps the free-market paradise of Somalia, the world’s best example of the conservative ideal of small government. Someplace he can preach to his congregants of God’s plan for him and the world he fears is doomed. And I hope his Ark is big enough to hold all those who are demented enough to want to follow him. America will be a better place when they set sail for their homogeneous, free-market, theocratic, utopia.