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The Relevance of the Revelator:
Sheltering in Place with Brother Stair

2,807 words

“It shall come to pass, saith God, throughout all the world there will be chaos, there will be floods, and famines, and earthquakes, and fires, and plagues on every side, even before [March 2001] is past.” (Brother Stair, 2001 Prophecy) [1] [1] [2]

But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; how that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. The Epistle of Jude, vv. 17-19

The Ching-Chong virus has finally reached our little corner of the world, Stars Hollow [3]. Although there are no actual cases of infection, Mayor Doose [4] called an “emergency” town meeting last night, as usual, attempting to take over the town under the pretext of “better to play it safe.” Bottom line, we’re now living under the same extreme shutdown conditions as the most urban of locations. Quite by coincidence, while Doose’s Market has been sold out (never let a crisis go to waste!), next-door rival Luke’s Diner [5] now only has takeout, and Al’s Pancake House, due to its claim to have “international cuisine,” is closed down entirely. Speaking of which, Lane’s mother’s antique store is not only shut down, but both of them, being Korean, are under house arrest.

Since I always have enough supplies for martinis, this just gives me an opportunity to spend more time tuning in to Brother Stair’s 24/7 broadcast.

“Jesus Christ is Coming in Your Lifetime! This is the Last Generation . . . The Last Hour . . . Prepare to Meet your God!”

Readers of my earlier reports on Brother Stair [2] [6] will recall that having discovered his broadcast on a late night/early morning AM radio station, I had become fascinated with his mad ambition. Cobbling together not so much a network as an unstable and rapidly mutating rhizome [7] of AM and short-wave stations, the Internet (of course), an iPhone app, and even a phone line for grandma to listen in on all day, like an apocalyptic party line (“Make sure to call during low rate times!”), Stair claimed to be able to broadcast his message 24/7 to every corner of the planet, apparently — as in Arthur C. Clarke’s “The Nine Billion Names of God [8]” — intending to immanentize the eschaton [9] and bring about the Apocalypse by fulfilling Jesus’ command to preach the Gospel — or at least, Brother Stair’s unique version of it — to the whole world.

According to the local constabulary, of course, Brother Stair is also guilty of a ridiculous load of creepy departures from normative behavior; [3] [10] almost as if he had read about Harvey Weinstein and said, “Hold my beer. . .” [4] [11]

Readers will recall that what first attracted my attention was the primitive, home-made surrealism of his broadcasts. Drawing on almost a half-century of recorded material, they were a disorienting mix of deliberate eclecticism — long out-of-date “prophecies”; corny gospel songs (mostly sung by a high, though unsteadily-pitched, female voice, possibly his wife); thunderous Mormon Tabernacle-like choruses; bitter, Fred Sandford-style attacks on listeners who dared to call in with doubts, or even questions (“you peanut brain!” was a favorite); [5] [12] stolen news broadcasts of supposedly apocalyptic events (“another earthquake!”) or Illuminati shenanigans; Bible readings professionally recorded in some plummy “ac-tor” style; [6] [13] blasts on a shofar (perhaps Br. Stair himself?), and so on — overlaid with technological incompetence, as material would be not so much “mixed” as violently assaulted, ripped up, and slammed into, not unlike the editing style of a Coleman Francis or Ed Wood.

You can buy James O’Meara’s book Green Nazis in Space! here. [14]

High Weirdness [15], indeed; true archeofuturism, if not steampunk. But there was also something compelling about his actual teaching. Stair constantly reiterates his basic message, which is that in preparation for the coming Apocalypse, one must disengage from the “church system” (basically, everyone but him is a Satanic front), one’s job, friends, even family, if need be. Indeed, “Bro Stair’s ministry is a Ministry of Leaving [16].” The only hope is to leave it all behind and join Brother Stair’s rural commune.

And like his accidental archeofuturism, this is not exactly alien to the mentality of the Dissident Right: this is truly a “revolt against the modern world.” [7] [17] I was particularly struck by his rants from the days of the “mortgage meltdown” and the 2008 financial crisis:

“So, where’s your big house now, huh? Your marble counters and mudroom? You’re livin’ on the street now, ain’t you? [Brother Stair’s language drops into redneck from time to time, just infrequently enough to make it sound authentic] Not even in your big car, ‘cause you lost that too! You could be down here in Walterboro, housed and fed, but nooooooooo, you had to be a big shot!” [8] [18]

Hard to argue with that; I mean, if you ignore the plantation-type slavery and sexual abuse.

But Brother Stair’s message continues to evolve, keeping up with the current issues of the day, so as to continue to seem “relevant” while the Last Day dilly-dallies. [9] [19] Today, he mocks those who may still have houses, but are now confined to them, unable to go out to their jobs, or shop, or indulge their satanic desires. They’re the ones who are locked down now; those who joined Brother Stair’s community are the free ones, safe and sound. Who’s the peanut brain now?

This in turn slots in nicely with the all-too automatic resort to “conspiracy” on the Internet; [10] [20] even without going that far down the rabbit hole, the role of immigration, globalization, and other aspects of the Modern World in the spread of the virus itself certainly seems to lend some support to the disengagement strategy.

Like many Christians — including the earliest ones — Stair reads the Old Testament as a foreshadowing of the New, or even of today and tomorrow (while still maintaining it to be absolutely literally true, six thousand years and all) [11] [21]. To those who whine (as he vocally mocks them) that “God wouldn’t wipe us all out,” he points to the story of Noah, and its later recapitulation in the story of Sodom and Gomorrah (or “Gommorow,” as he says it). In both cases, the people of that day go about their business, buying and selling, marrying and giving in marriage, ignoring the messengers of God, until “the door slams shut” (to the Ark, or Lot’s house) and all Hell breaks loose. Those who ignore Brother Stair’s message will face the same fate; so don’t try to show up after you run out of toilet paper and hand sanitizer, you foolish virgins. [12] [22]

What’s fascinating is that God’s plan itself, according to the Revelator [13] [23], is very much like the sort of mass-depopulation schemes that Christians attribute to various New World Order groups, such as found on the Georgia Guidestones [24]. If I read the Book correctly, it would seem that when all is said and done, only about 144,000 will remain to don their white robes [14] [25] and bask in YHVH’s glory forever and ever, amen; the rest will be headed for the eternal Lake of Fire.

Stair’s vindication in current events is somewhat ironic, given that one of the things to be “left behind” is modern medicine itself. [15] [26] He preaches, in a trope familiar to the American tradition of New Thought, that God is the only healer; those who fall back on medical care are ipso facto turning their back on the Creator and signing up with Satan’s realm — in fact, Stair has a bunch of Bible verses to show that even the apparent “effectiveness” of such medicine is simply the work of the Devil.

Admittedly, Stair himself is an excellent recommendation for the no-medicine lifestyle, being all of 86 — 87 in May — although he admits his teeth are a mess; when his older recordings are replayed his voice is much less mushy.

Alas, all good things must come to an end, even a randy old codger like Brother Stair. I’ve noted before that, after his most recent incarceration, Stair’s theology had taken a darker turn: God is keeping him alive until it’s time, and his own death will signal the beginning of the End.

It’s a clever way to side-step the embarrassment of dying too soon, but Stair himself seems to be getting more and more morbid as the days go by. He speaks of lying down to rest “like a dead man;” he says he’s not weary, though, because “God told me not to be weary, so I can’t be.” When callers conversationally ask “How are you” he snaps back that “I don’t know how I am, I don’t feel anything, I’m just here as God’s Sign.”

“While I was in prison the last time [!], [16] [27] God gave me a prayer, David’s prayer to his son, “I am old and grayheaded. . .” [17] [28]

Stair mashes together Jesus and Jonah, and mocks us as a generation so wicked as “to deserve no signs but only the sign of the prophet.” [18] [29] Stair is no longer merely the Last Day Prophet but himself the Sign of the Last Day; but is this really a promotion? As such he seems increasingly a mere puppet, animated by God and soon to be tossed aside.

The ultimate Christian irony: as in “The Masque of the Red Death,” the zombies are not outside the walls — they are on the inside, running the place.


[1] [30] A website devoted to monitoring Brother Stair notes [1] that “What should be most surprising about this prophecy is not in what it says but in what was not said. It is void of some very direct and dramatic events that would shake the ministry and with it the world just a few months later:

None of these were hinted at in this prophecy nor has anything in this prophecy came to pass.

[2] [32]If Not the End of the World, At Least the End of An Era… [33]”, “Overcomer to the End: The Return of Brother Stair [34],” and “Stair’s Way to Heaven [35].”

[3] [36] SGT. DIGNAM: “Let’s look at the rest of the family tree. Your maggot uncle Tommy Costigan — he’s another goof — got busted selling guns to federal officers. Among many, many, many other departures from, ah, ‘normative behavior.’”

— The Departed (script by William Monahan, 2006).

[4] [37] Three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct; one count of assault with intent to commit first-degree criminal sexual conduct; one count of third-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor; one count of second-degree assault; and, in a prosecutorial burst of “oh, what the hell,” one count of kidnapping and one count of burglary. I guess they couldn’t get him for Grand Theft Auto, since he forbids autos. Also unlike Weinstein, Brother Stair is out on bond [38], but required to avoid children, and confined to his house and the “Radio Room”; also, unlike Weinstein, Brother Stair was nice enough to film some of his interactions and post them on YouTube [39] for our convenience.

[5] [40] After getting out of jail in 2002, Brother Stair announced that “God told me to stop calling you people ‘Peanut Brains.’“ However [41], “weeks later, Brother Stair would get angry and say, “That was such a good phrase, I wish I could use it.” Weeks later, Bro Stair went back to dispensing “Peanut Brains” upon God’s people without a second thought, without justification, and without repentance.

[6] [42] Subsequent research leads me to conclude this is the famous Alexander Scrouby recording of the KJV from 1944 [43]; he sounds remarkably like Christopher Plummer for someone born in Brooklyn.

[7] [44] Something like this [45]: “In his own words, ‘Professor [Matthew Rafael] Johnson’s academic work is dedicated to the delegitimization of the global capitalist system and the demystification of the ideology that justifies it. This is a demonic, serpentine Leviathan spreading the postmodern acid of American-sponsored mass-zombification to the world. The neurotic capitalist “liberated the individual,’ only to create the mass-man: a crippled, malformed cipher almost entirely incapable of higher-order thought.’” Among other things, Prof. Johnson links the murder of the Czar to the outbreak of Spanish Flu.

[8] [46] Reconstructed from memory, with a bit of Billy Joel thrown in.

[9] [47] As mentioned, Stair recycles a lot of old material; while contributing to the surreal atmos’, and helping to fill time, it also helps create the sense that he’s making all kinds of predictions, without, of course, the context showing these have long since failed to materialize and been silently memory-holed.

[10] [48] See, if you must, from Unz.com alone: “Is the Global Pandemic a Product of the Elite’s Malthusian Agenda and U.S. Biowarfare? [49]” by Max Parry; “Was the 2020 Wuhan Coronavirus an Engineered Biological Attack on China by America for Geopolitical Advantage? [50]” by Metallicman; “Who Made Coronavirus? Was It the U.S., Israel or China Itself? [51]” by Philip Giraldi; and “Bats, Gene Editing and Bioweapons: Recent Darpa Experiments Raise Concerns Amid Coronavirus Outbreak [52]” by Whitney Webb.

[11] [53] Though an unapologetic literalist — “There were no dinosaurs! Can I prove it? No, but I can proclaim it!” — he is less interested in six days of creation than he is in discerning a recurrent pattern of 6 + 1, hence the Sabbath, and — since “a Day of the Lord is as a thousand years” — six thousand year periods from the moment of Creation, culminating in the Seventh Day, Jesus’ millennial reign on Earth.

[12] [54] Matthew 25:1-13; for another New Testament parallel, see The Great Banquet of Luke 14:16-24: “But He said to him, ‘A man was giving a big dinner, and he invited many; and at the dinner hour he sent his slave to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come; for everything is ready now.’ “But they all alike began to make excuses. . . And the master said to the slave, ‘Go out into the highways and along the hedges, and compel them to come in, so that my house may be filled. ’For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste of my dinner.’”

[13] [55] A wonderful word, redolent of scratchy old tyme blues/gospel tunes [56]. I used to think it was Christian Ebonics, like wishing someone a “bless’d” day, but I find even scholars like Robert A. Price use it.

[14] [57] Price says this, like the white robe slipped into after full-immersion baptism, is a symbolic remnant of Paul’s notion of a Heavenly or Resurrection Body, itself similar to various alchemical notions; see Julius Evola, The Hermetic Tradition: Symbols and Teachings of the Royal Art (Rochester, Vt.: Inner Traditions, 1995) and The Yoga of Power: Tantra, Shakti, and the Secret Way, trans. Guido Stucco (Rochester, Vermont: Inner Traditions, 1992). The only denomination I know that explicitly limits salvation to 144,000 is/are the Jehovah’s Witnesses, one of many of their “weird” doctrines that have excellent Biblical support.

[15] [58] Like most such, Brother Stair is a bit inconsistent; the recently deceased Sister Sarah (his wife?) was apparently allowed some medical care, if only to avoid attracting even more of the State’s attention to the compound. Obviously, the ban on modern technology does not cover his elaborate broadcast facilities, including the Internet, although — like air conditioning — its use is restricted to the Prophet himself in his tireless search for news of the impending Apocalypse. The latter created a bit of a scandal, when the Prophet allowed about 45 seconds of Internet porn to get sent out on the airwaves [59]; although initially denying everything, Stair finally found scriptural justification: porn is the “strong meat [60]” that he, like Paul, can withstand, while his followers must subsist on milk. As usual, the enemies of porn are often creepier than the pornographers themselves.

[16] [61] Typically, Stair inflates his time in the local jail with “prison,” so as to compare himself with Paul.

[17] [62] I can’t find this reference; perhaps he’s confusing 1 Samuel 12.1-2: “And Samuel said unto all Israel, Behold, I have hearkened unto your voice in all that ye said unto me, and have made a king over you. And now, behold, the king walketh before you: and I am old and grayheaded; and, behold, my sons are with you: and I have walked before you from my childhood unto this day.”

[18] [63] Jesus replied, “A wicked and adulterous generation demands a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will stand at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now One greater than Jonah is here. . .” Matthew 12.39-41. Again, note the inflation: is Stair the new Christ?