Second Advent

Second Advent
Media
Image
A photo of a draped red flag with G666 painted on it in a large gothic font.

Since 2041, Second Advent has identified itself with the G666 brand, a combination of G6 and the number of the beast.

Ideology

Apocalypticism

Founded

September 2036

Founder(s)
Headquarters

San Antonio, Texas

Members

Between 5.5 and 6 million

Status

Active

Second Advent is an unrecognised proto-state that occupies large parts of Texas and several territories of the United States (US) through political and military control. It split off from the ultra-fundamentalist Church of Christ Embattled (CCE) in 2036 and evolved into a doomsday cult with a combination of religious and secular motifs to its apocalypticism.

It is estimated that Second Advent has between 5.5 and 6 million members in Texas and the US, and an unknown number of international members. The United Nations (UN) has rejected Second Advent’s claim to statehood and classified it as a terrorist organisation responsible for committing human rights abuses, genocide, and ecocide.

On October 4th 2049, Second Advent leader John Patmos was killed by a drone strike in connection with the assassination of Xu Shaoyong and Yuri Golitsyn. Second Advent has condemned the attack and promised “swift, divine retribution,” with online chatter indicating that the cult believes Patmos is still alive.

History

Founding

Though its origins remain a matter of debate, most historians agree that Second Advent was formed in September 2036 by a faction of the Church of Christ Embattled (CCE). This ultra-fundamentalist Baptist church was founded in San Antonio, Texas in 2033 and practiced an apocalyptic dogma focused on hastening the return of Christ in order to fulfil the rest of the Messianic prophecy. The CCE, which by 2036 had a membership of 145, advocated “the punishing of violators of the law of God” and repeatedly targeted BIPOC and LGBTQ+ individuals, holding them responsible for “keeping this world in thrall to Satan.”

During the United States (US)-wide super summer of 2036, almost half of the CCE’s parishioners succumbed to primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) due to a waterborne infection from the free-living amoeba Naegleria fowleri. [1] Refusing aid from San Antonio’s mayor, CCE founder Arnold Boxer hailed the PAM infections as “divine discipline,” proclaiming his belief that he had been deliberately spared by God to “bring about the Second Advent of Christ” and citing other impacts and effects of anthropogenic climate change as evidence that “the Storm is upon us.”

In early 2037, Boxer’s warnings of a storm and other perceived codes in his language prompted QAnon to rally around Second Advent under the assumption that it was a sting operation enacted by former US President Donald Trump. [2] Online chatter associated with QAnon tags indicated that its adherents began to attribute the Messianic prophecy to Trump, whom they believed had faked his own death in 2023 to covertly prepare for his return to power. This led to QAnon organising Second Advent “chapters” in other US states, often backed by supportive elements of various hate groups and militias, including the Proud Boys and the boogaloo movement. [3] Boxer reportedly embraced this “serendipitous” expansion of Second Advent into far-right circles because it intensified pressure on the targets of his extremist dogma.

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A photo of two Second Advent followers on patrol at night in San Antonio, Texas. Both men are heavily outfitted with military-grade weapons and gear, with their faces hidden behind masks and various symbols of affiliation on their flak vests.

Second Advent followers on patrol in San Antonio, Texas in 2046.

To coordinate its rallies and recruitment efforts, Second Advent made use of Sovereign, which contributed to the platform’s shutdown in October 2037. In 2038, QAnon groups in other countries latched onto the Second Advent name and mission, leading to an influx of international followers. During the 2038 midterm elections, a number of Republican politicians inserted dog whistles to Second Advent into their campaign speeches, which further galvanised membership. [4]

In February 2039, it was revealed that US Army lieutenant general Brian Friedberg, who was commander of Camp Stanley in Texas, had been organising training exercises in survivalist urban combat with the explicit goal of “preparing for the Second Advent.” After he was relieved of his command, Friedberg introduced his training programmes to Second Advent followers and encouraged active-duty members and veterans of the armed forces to join him, leading some observers to describe Second Advent as a paramilitary organisation. [5]

Opposition to colloids

In December 2039, the US announced that it would work with the World Health Organisation (WHO) for the distribution of diagnostic colloids as part of international contact tracing efforts to contain the spread of Cariappa-Muren disease (CMD). In response, Boxer condemned colloids as the mark of the beast and called for the murder of Xu Shaoyong, whom he proclaimed to be the Antichrist. Boxer’s opposition to colloids in the context of mitigating the CMD pandemic attracted various anti-vaxxer communities to Second Advent, and the WHO’s partnership with Zhupao drew support to the cult from white supremacist, TERM, and ethnonationalist groups. [6][7]

In January 2040, Second Advent started a campaign to intercept shipments of colloids coming into the US, often using military hardware as a show of force or posing as private contractors hired to protect the transports. Many of the intercepted shipments were subsequently destroyed, though some were sold back to the US or on the illicit market as a means of additional funding for Second Advent’s activities. In June 2040, the Department of Justice (DOJ) called the actions of Second Advent “examples of domestic terrorism” and announced a series of charges, which led to Second Advent followers firebombing five Texas field offices of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

On July 3rd 2040, the governor of Texas, Andrew Bost, declared a statewide martial law and deployed the National Guard, despite reports that many units had been infiltrated by Second Advent or were sympathetic to its cause. The increasing range of flashpoints across Texas overstretched the National Guard deployments and allowed Second Advent to seize control of San Antonio, with many residents fleeing their homes to find shelter in neighbouring counties. [8] In September 2040, Boxer announced that he would order hostilities in all US states ceased in exchange for a seat on the Republican side of the Texas House of Representatives. Governor Bost initially balked at Boxer’s demand but acquiesced at the direction of the DOJ. On September 17th 2040, Boxer was officially sworn in as a state representative. [9]

Texan secession

Boxer’s term in the House was most notorious for the heavily armed Second Advent escorts that accompanied him to and from the Texas State Capitol and patrolled the entrance while he was inside. He frequently clashed with other representatives, consistently ignored House rules and parliamentary procedures, and made “vile threats” when he was called out on Second Advent’s reported human rights abuses in San Antonio. [10] According to his colleagues, Boxer “pushed non-pertinent legislative issues that never made it to the floor” and “mostly went on long rants about the end times.”

When China requested an emergency special session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) to propose the international adoption of mìngyùn in November 2040, Boxer held a 43-minute speech to denounce “the works of the Antichrist” and warned of “dire consequences” if the US supported China’s proposal. Boxer’s threat of violence was seen as the reason for the US opposing an assembly vote at the UNGA session’s second sitting on December 11th 2040. When the US ultimately voted in favour of adopting Resolution ES-13/6 on February 11th 2041, Boxer called for “the liberation of Texas to reassert its status as an independent nation under God” and ordered Second Advent to “storm the Capitol.”

Within minutes of Boxer’s order, several Second Advent militias converged on the Texas State Capitol and occupied it. [11] Police forces were quickly overwhelmed and the National Guard was delayed in mobilising, allowing the militias to entrench themselves in the building. Governor Bost, who was captured before he could be evacuated, was executed while other representatives were kept as hostages. After a three-day standoff that left 78 dead and caused severe fire damage to the Capitol, the US capitulated to Second Advent and drew up terms for granting Texas the status of self-governing territory in exchange for “the unmolested passage of any individual or group wishing to leave Texas and enter the United States.” [12] In response, Second Advent declared itself “the sole governing authority in the independent nation of Texas” and relocated its capital to San Antonio. [13]

Campaign against G6

As Second Advent intensified its occupation of Texas and called for its US chapters to disrupt the deployment of G6 under the G666 brand, United Nations Secretary-General (UNSG) Maria Vahekeni Cardoso called an emergency meeting of the Security Council in March 2041 to discuss a response. Due to opposition from the US and China, the meeting was adjourned without agreeing on a joint statement. Further attempts to come to a council resolution on the matter of Second Advent have met with similar results. [14] In October 2041, the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) classified Second Advent as a terrorist organisation.

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Second Advent leader John Patmos, wearing a white robe and his arms kept to the side in an open gesture. In front of him is a lectern and behind him is a draped red flag bearing the G666 brand.

Second Advent leader John Patmos during his last public appearance in 2042.

In January 2042, Boxer died of an undisclosed illness rumoured to be CMD due to his increasingly erratic behaviour in the months leading up to his death. After a mourning period, Second Advent hosted an online leadership election in which more than 2.6 million members participated. On February 1st 2042, John Patmos was elected leader of Second Advent with 72% of the vote. Though a relative unknown compared to the other candidates, Patmos had been mentioned by Boxer as “a saviour of God’s Promised America” due to his financial ties to Second Advent, which caused him to be celebrated as a foundational figure ahead of the election. [15]

On February 11th 2042, Patmos livestreamed a three-hour sermon in which he denounced the use of G6 and colloids, quoted heavily from the Book of Revelation, and promised “delivery from the final Storm.” Following the sermon, Second Advent intensified its physical and cyberattacks against G6 infrastructure in the US, including the bombings of G6 hubs and the kidnapping of Datalign personnel. When US authorities attributed some of these attacks to Five of Swords (FoS), the group issued a message through Vessel which stated: not_us.we/want/to_end/G6_but/not_like_this. FoS has since launched multiple crowdsourced investigations of Second Advent, with most information about the cult’s inner workings originating from these probes as well as multiple undercover operations.

On October 3rd 2049, Second Advent was implicated in the assassination of Xu and Yuri Golitsyn after the Chinese investigation uncovered evidence that the cyberattack originated from a Second Advent training camp in California. At 07:16 CDT on October 4th 2049, Patmos was killed by a drone strike at Second Advent’s headquarters outside San Antonio. The strike has been claimed by China and condemned by Second Advent, promising “swift, divine retribution” and calling on all chapters in the US to “root out the evil that withholds our salvation.” On October 5th 2049, Second Advent followers began to incite violence in several US states, with reports of a G6 hub in Indiana being overrun by an armed militia loyal to the cult.

Ideology

Second Advent rejects the labels of a doomsday cult and a terrorist organisation, referring to itself as a “congregation” in its official communications. Its ideology has been described as “a self-contradictory, self-reinforcing, ever-evolving quagmire of prophecies, conspiracy theories, and mass delusions that’s impossible to discredit or argue against.” It is primarily centred around a great battle, commonly referred to as the Storm, that is either coming soon or currently being fought, with anthropogenic climate change as a recurring justification for enacting violence.

Second Advent’s opposition to colloids, and by extension G6, stems from its latent religious elements, which considers the modern world “as one where each person is marked for identification by a corrupt government headed by the Antichrist.” This belief stems from a quote from the Book of Revelation, Chapter 13, Verse 16-18:

And he shall make all, both little and great, rich and poor, freemen and bondmen, to have a character in their right hand, or on their foreheads. And that no man might buy or sell, but he that hath the character, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. He that hath understanding, let him count the number of the beast. For it is the number of a man, and the number of him is six hundred sixty-six.

The FoS investigations have indicated that Second Advent has adopted a series of religious practices around staying cool, such as prolonged baptisms by complete immersion. [16]

See also

References

  1. Hallup, D. (September 2036). “Controversial minister Arnold Boxer loses 71 parishioners, including wife Betty, to brain-eating amoeba.” San Antonio Express-News
  2. Monkman, E. (February 2037). “Don’t ask how QAnon came back. Ask why it never left.” The Atlantic
  3. Rose, S. (March 2037). “Bored with the slow-motion apocalypse of climate change, America’s doomsday cults start picking deadly fights.” The Daily Beast
  4. Parnell, A. (October 2038). “Lack of accountability from police and lawmakers has ‘emboldened’ Second Advent.” The Texas Tribune
  5. Buff, B. (April 2039). “Second Advent is assembling a military flash mob of trained shock troops right under our noses.” CNN
  6. Hornbostel, A. (December 2039). “Colloids are not a vaccine for Cariappa-Muren disease, despite what anti-vax voices are shouting.” Slate
  7. Tartaglia, X. (January 2040). “Trumpism given boost by CMD pandemic and Second Advent.” The Intercept
  8. Vidmar, J. (August 2040). “Presidential campaigns suspended as violence across US deepens.” CNN
  9. Odoardi-Koop, L. (September 2040). “The fighting is over for now, but don’t be fooled by Arnold Boxer’s modest demand.” Huffington Post. 
  10. Ahmad, I. (October 2040). “Second Advent dominates San Antonio through terror, indoctrination, and the provision of services to those who obey.” Al Jazeera
  11. Zamperla-Smith, H. (February 2041). “‘How Could This Happen’, Asks Nation That Looked Away Last Time It Happened.” The Onion
  12. Gunarathna, A. (February 2040). “With the US fighting battles on so many fronts, one of them had to give.” The Guardian
  13. Archbutt, F. (February 2041). “Losing Texas may be the best thing for America. Really.” Washington Post
  14. McCausland, M. (April 2041). “US in talks with Second Advent to ensure nation-wide energy resilience.” The Economist
  15. Folco, V. (December 2041). “Financial firm Coradial uncovered as foreign interest ‘muddle fund’ to support American anti-government groups.” Politico
  16. Tychon. (April 2047). “How Second Advent hides and survives in the unliveable areas of the American South.” Vessel