If the events of last week - including the bombing in Boston and the fertilizer plant explosion in Waco - seemed horrible beyond imagination, some people are claiming that they are not in fact random happenstance. The end of April (April 19 through May 1) is reportedly The Rites of Baal, a period of time in which believers are urged to make blood sacrifice to Baal, who is often equated to Satan.
There is a list floating around the internet (I found it here
, but I have seen it many places in the last week) of violent, tragic acts which have occurred at the end of April in the last twenty years. These include the siege at Waco (note the coincidence of location), the Oklahoma City bombing, the Columbine massacre, the Virginia Tech massacre, and more.
Of course, one could argue that this is a classic example of selection bias, in much the same way that the Bermuda Triangle doesn't really exist. Draw a triangle anywhere on the map and you will find huge numbers of ship and airplane disasters that happen inside its boundaries. Choose two weeks of the calendar and you can quickly compile a list of horrors that seem unrelated on the surface.
Baal is a sun god who demands bloody sacrifice - ideally involving incineration - in exchange for riches and power. It is clear that people have in the past worshiped Baal in this way. In fact, Baal-worship is mentioned in the Bible. Jeremiah 19.5
: "They have built the high places of Baal to burn their children in the fire as offerings to Baal."
According to this theory, these large violent events (like the Columbine massacre) are carried out as secret sacrifices to Baal. Instead of building an altar, the worshippers build pipe bombs and amass weapons stockpiles. And instead of sacrificing their own children, they arrange to have complete strangers sacrificed instead.
As always, I am drawn to the logistics of this theory. When Harris and Kliebold walked through their school shooting everyone, neither one became rich and famous as a result. They both died, as was their original plan. Were they simply hired by someone who arranged the whole thing (and reaped the rewards of the sacrifice)? Does Baal accept sacrifice-by-proxy in this fashion? I thought that kind of thing went out with Papal indulgences in the middle ages.
The sad truth is that sometimes it's more comforting to believe in a preposterously elaborate, secret and powerful conspiracy than to believe that sometimes bad people do bad things at random.