Early uses of the phrase "the 2012 Phenomenon" by Geoff Stray / John Major Jenkins

compiled by JMJ

This is the section that appeared in my original version, completed March 18, 2004, of my Foreword to Geoff Stray's book Beyond 2012 (Vital Signs, U.K., 2005). It contains the phrase "the 2012 phenomenon." However, my Foreword coins and uses the terms "2012ology" and "2012ologist" to refer to the study of the entire spectrum of 2012 related material, including efforts to reconstruct what 2012 meant to the ancient Maya and acadmeic treatments of 2012 (usually of a sociological nature).

Excised from "Into the Beyond: Laying the End to Rest," Foreword to Geoff Stray's book Beyond 2012:


"I suppose I am biased in wanting to see 2012 become a serious topic of study, not just for sociology students studying apocalyptic and millenarian movements in history (whose conclusions are often tainted with an implication of ungrounded, alarmist lunacy), but for students of theology, cosmology, archaeology, astronomy, and the history of science and religion.  My bias is my assumption that 2012, or at least one facet of the 2012 phenomenon, is based in real Mayan traditions and in empirically demonstrable astronomical realities, and is therefore subject to sane, rational analysis and discussion. The very fact that such a discussion has been wanting is a phenomenon in and of itself, and might be added as its own category of “Academic Myopia” in future editions of Beyond 2012.

"Nowhere is this better demonstrated than in the late great Stephen Jay Gould’s book called Questioning the Millennium. He concluded that Year 2000 was in no empirical way special or unique. Gould’s position is factually untrue: Year 2000 almost exactly targeted an extremely rare alignment in the cycle of precession, an alignment of the December solstice point with the galactic equator – an alignment that the Maya associated with the end of an age. (Jean Meeus calculated the alignment to culminate in 1998, and I assert we must consider at least a one-year variable; thus Year 2000 is a very close target for an alignment that happens only once every 26,000 years.)

"This association relates directly to the eschatological fervor that Year 2000 and other millenarian proponents hold so dear – so the rare event is appropriate to the consensus meaning of the date. In other words, this is not an example of a randomly defined conjunction of planets that is calculated to occur only once every 546,234 years, and therefore the rarity is just a function of your choice of criterion, which can willfully be contrived in the most rare of possible terms. Such an argument is ungrounded and does not discern (or it willfully ignores) the irrelevance of such an approach. What is relevant is that the galactic alignment indicates the end of a large cycle of time, the precessional cycle, and the Year 2000 millennial target also marks an end of a large period of time. The synchronizing of the two is both appropriate and astounding – so astounding in fact that the rationalist will tend to ignore or dismiss out of hand (usually with the talisman called “coincidence”) such a factually demonstrable connection. Is not such a compelling connection a vector for further inquiry? Only if your eyes are open. Thus, the category Academic Myopia. Reactions to 2012 theories, rather than 2012 theories themselves, can be placed in this category."

---John Major Jenkins, September 18, 2004


Note, the above was also posted and explained on the Yahoo2012News Group in late 2006; that site was closed and deleted in 2007 or 2008. As mentioned in my essay on this topic --- "The Coining of the Realm (of the 2012 Phenomenon)" --- the important thing is that Geoff Stray did use the phrase more than once in his 2005 book, and several times before that on his website, going back at least to August 2002. For example: Stray used the phrase in a news item of August 2002 (Item 72 at http://www.diagnosis2012.co.uk/new3.htm#judge; also at http://www.diagnosis2012.co.uk/newz13.htm), and also in a news item of September, 2003 (http://www.diagnosis2012.co.uk/newz25.htm).