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October 18, 2021

End of World Beliefs, a guest post by Kathleen Kaufman (@kathleenkaufman)

“Very near Auch, Lectoure and Mirande 
a great fire will fall from the sky for three nights. 
The cause will appear both stupefying and marvellous; 
shortly afterwards there will be an earthquake.”

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Us humans like to muse about our own destruction. This quatrain from the late, great Nostradamus is one of the earlier examples of this preoccupation. Does it predict the end of the world in the year 3797? Maybe. Students of Nostradamus’ quatrains will tell you that his verses have predicted everything from Hitler, 9/11, and even a certain orange-hued politician’s rise to infamy. Are we seeing what we want to see in his words or is the truth truly obvious to those who care to look?   

Enigmatic leaders and writers have a long history of successfully compelling the impressionable masses to believe that their theory about the end is the right one. So why do we listen? And how do they convince us that their end is the end?   

The conclusion to the Diabhal Trilogy, The Son of Abraham, seeks to answer those very questions. The novel opens with an unthinkable act of terror, perpetrated by women and men who are your neighbors, your friends, your co-workers. However, they use their trust, their anonymity to do the bidding of their leader, the Son of Abraham, a man they believe to be a deity incarnate, a god on Earth, who will reward them all in the world to come.      

It’s an old story, and one we like to repeat throughout human history. Jim Jones convinced his followers that the world would be destroyed by nuclear war on July 15, 1967. When the date came and went, he isolated his followers in the Guyanese jungle. Just a hair over ten years later, he would be responsible for the murder of over 900 souls. Women and men who were somebody’s neighbor, someone’s friend, another’s co-worker. Women and men who believed the man they followed to be a deity incarnate, a god on Earth.   

In The Son of Abraham, Alan Robertson wishes to usher in the end times as a way to steal back the power he feels he was robbed of in the world to come. What compels his followers to listen to his words? To act on his behalf? Is it the same compulsion that drove people to upend their lives and follow their guru to Guyana? Or to swallow poison in hopes of catching a comet’s tail to another dimension? Alan Robertson is a work of fiction, but Jim Jones, Marshall Applewhite, Aum Shinrikyo were frighteningly real, as is the compulsion to muse about the end of the world, and all its horror.    

About The Son of Abraham

The Son of Abraham

Ten years after the city of Los Angeles is nearly destroyed by a violent domestic terrorist attack, Esther Robertson struggles to reconcile her father’s culpability as leader of the deadly Son of Abraham cult. She grants CBS’s top reporter, Cooper Carlson, a rare interview and insight into her father, Alan Robertson, who sits awaiting trial for his crimes in federal prison.

A report of a horrific and seemingly natural disaster interrupts the interview. Another will follow and another after that. Are these increasingly violent and bizarre phenoms truly natural, or is there another force behind them?

In the epic conclusion of the story of the Society at Sinder Avenue, the end times–put into motion by a demonic deal made generations ago–are finally unfolding. Destruction, famine, war, and pestilence reign. But is it God who comes to answer the prayers of the suffering and dying world, or is it Ceit Robertson, the ascended matriarch of the Society, Goddess of the Dead, and Ruler of the Night Forest? Will they offer salvation or Armageddon?

Buy The Son of Abraham at Amazon

About Kathleen Kaufman

Kathleen Kaufman

Kathleen Kaufman’s prose has been praised by Kirkus Reviews as “crisp, elegant” and “genuinely chilling” by Booklist. She is the author of the Diabhal trilogy, featuring Diabhal and Sinder, with The Son of Abraham being the third and final installment. Her novel The Lairdbalor will soon be a feature film with Screen Australia and director Nicholas Verso. She is also the author of acclaimed historical horror Hag and sci-fi thriller The Tree Museum. When not writing, she can be found teaching literature and composition at Santa Monica College or hanging out with a good book. Kathleen Kaufman is a native Coloradan and lives in Los Angeles with her husband, son, hound, and a pack of cats.

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