Deleted Repeatedly from TB2000. : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Deleted Thread : One Thread

It finally went up and seems to have stayed, but in case it gets deleted again.

The End Is Near for Y2K Hucksters What to Do With the Leftover Potato Flakes and Pinto Beans?

Dec. 8, 1999

By David J. Krajicek

Michael S. Hyatt - aka "Mr. Y2K" -- was kind enough to send Crime Beat three or four mass mailings in the past few weeks, lest we find ourselves short of cheese powder and textured vegetable protein as Armageddon draws nigh.

"I am concerned about your welfare," Hyatt wrote earnestly in one of his missives, a 30-page catalog of his various millennium-survival products cleverly disguised as a "magazine."

For the uninitiated, Hyatt was an obscure employee of a specialty publisher in Nashville, Tenn., who struck it rich by writing one of the early alarmist books about the millennium bug. For the past couple of years, he has been adding more and more titles to his personal Y2K catalog -- survival guides, a bad novel, videotapes and all sorts of special products for Christians, who for a time seemed especially susceptible to millennium fever.

Conveniently, Hyatt also introduced his own line of nonperishable foods.

Media critic, media hero

Hyatt now says he is outraged that so many media weaklings have bought into the government spin that Y2K likely will be no big deal.

In his "magazine," he harangues the "traditional" media for its gullibility in parroting the government's Y2K optimism -- in short, that while there may be scattered computer-related problems, the authorities do not expect the sort of catastrophic failures that would prompt bands of marauders to break into storage bunkers and steal powdered milk.

But the same media that Hyatt harangues has been very good for his business. By his own count, he has done more than 650 media interviews about Y2K, and that hasn't hurt his sales of books and rolled oats.

Despite all this free publicity, Hyatt's sales pitches have grown ever more urgent; some say these dried-food purveyors find themselves with more potato flakes and pinto beans than they can get rid of with just a few weeks before Bug Day arrives.

As a hedge, Hyatt and other millennium Chicken Littles are now trying to milk Y2K even longer by pushing back the dates of predicted mayhem until later in the year.

These developments bring a wry smile to the face of Steve Hewitt, a quiet hero in the Y2K goofiness. Hewitt, editor-in-chief of the Missouri-based Christian Computing Magazine, has led an accountability campaign against media figures like Hyatt and Don McAlvany, a Colorado-based Y2K entrepreneur, who invoke God's name in selling millennium products.

McAlvany, who like Hyatt continues to hype the all-but-passi predictions of martial law and a financial collapse, has diversified into breathless screeds about soon-to-occur mass persecutions of Christians.

"I disagree with their message and question their motives," Hewitt tells Crime Beat. "They are continuing to play tricks by putting off the results of Y2K until the middle or end of next year. They hope we will forget their many predictions of events that are supposed to take place next month, and by seeking to prolong the fictitious events of Y2K in the fall of 2000, they hope they can slip quietly into the night."

A voice of Christian dissent

So far, Hewitt hasn't allowed that to happen. He has called Hyatt to task, for example, after his predictions of computer failures on April 1, 1999, and Sept. 9, 1999, failed to materialize.

And Hewitt deserves some credit for Jerry Falwell's remarkable Y2K turnaround. The television preacher recently pulled his $28 gloom-and-doom videotape off the market and disavowed his earlier comments that Christians should stockpile food, fuel and ammunition.

'See you on the other side'

Hewitt, a former pastor who has edited Christian Computing for 11 years, put himself and his magazine at financial risk last year when he took an editorial stand against the wacky Y2K predictions that had begun to overrun Christian radio programs, often based upon speeches by people -- like Hyatt and McAlvany -- who stood to profit from the panic they helped create.

Hyatt's literature continues to pander to Christians with references to faith. (He writes in his magazine, "May the Lord watch over you and keep you. See you on the other side.") And McAlvany manages to close most of his sales pitches with scriptural quotations.

But Hewitt said most Christians no longer buy the hype, and many are offended by shameless attempts to capitalize upon faith.

"As I have traveled across the nation, pastors of all denominations have been grateful for my message of calm," Hewitt said. "Many of them were between a rock and a hard spot in trying to calm their congregations while their people were listening to the local Christian radio station and hearing a different story of fear and panic.

"Overall, most Christians have calmed down considerably," he added.

Happy New Year!

Hewitt said he would spend New Year's Eve at the magazine office, where he will host a live Internet broadcast.

Crime Beat is weighing options for the big night. One detail is certain: We will be wearing a sandwich board that reads:

Repent, Y2K Hucksters: The End Is Near.

-- posterboy (, December 09, 1999

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