- Jeff Thomas
The Creation of "Armageddon's Disciples."
The creation of Armageddon’s Disciples
“Armageddon’s Disciples” began its life as a nonfiction memoir of my fifteen-year association with a high control religion. A few years after we left that association, I assembled some notes and ideas but decided I didn’t have enough new material to warrant a book. At the same time, new technology in the form of the internet made its appearance. So, when the Naval Fiction Board opened, I began writing my alternate histories, and posting them there. But “Armageddon’s Disciples” was always part of my personal plan.
I planned to deconstruct various prophetic interpretations, notably the “year-for-a-day” method. There is still some of that in “Disciples,” and there will be more in the next book. But recently, the religious world has been shaken by other scandals – theological, financial, and sexual. Those trends are central to the story depicted in my book.
I decided a work of fiction offered a better vehicle for what I wanted to accomplish. I’ve found it difficult to explain life in a cult to someone who has never experienced it. Although people are interested in my history, the most common reaction is “why didn’t you just leave?” Put simply, it isn’t that easy. Leaving such a belief system requires saying goodbye to all your family and friends who still believe.
I made up a religion for my book because I wanted to provide a wide view of high control religions. There are many such groups, I wanted to start a general discussion, not an attack on a particular faith. Most of all, I hope I’ve presented food for thought in an entertaining format.
I plan to make a post (or more than one) about the problems with trying to predict future events based on Biblical interpretation.
Please feel free to leave comments, I value your feedback.
For those reading my alternate histories, I’m not done with them. I just need to do something different for a book or two. Somewhere down the road, there will be a story involving Lexington class battlecruisers hunting Akagi and Kaga in their three flight-deck configurations.