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Tuesday, November 16 12:42 PM SGT

Egypt wary of prophets of doom at millennium celebrations


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GIZA, Egypt, Nov 16, 99 (AFP) -

Egypt is on guard against "pyramidiots" preaching millennium conspiracy theories on the Internet, with officials warning zero tolerance if they descend on the Giza Pyramids expecting Satan to appear as 2000 dawns.

At least two spiritual tour operators are advertising millennium trips to the pyramids, billing guest speakers such as David Icke, the former British television sportscaster-turned-prophet of doom.

Icke and others are warning that ex-US president George Bush will summon oppressive evil forces at a black mass in a dank stone burial chamber deep inside the great Cheops pyramid at midnight on December 31.

According to his website, Bush and the British royal family are key members of the world "Illuminati elite" of human-reptile hybrids whose rituals are designed to tap into fourth dimensional energy forces and deprive ordinary human mortals of their consciousness.

But the Egyptian government's custodian of the Giza pyramids, Zahi Hawass, said he has no time for the "pyramidiots" and warned they would be "dismissed" if they cause any trouble at the end of the millennium.

"All this is hallucination. We'll never permit anyone to insult the pyramids," Hawass said. "They're sacred and divine and I'm going to keep them sacred and divine."

The whole Giza plateau, including all three pyramids and the Sphinx, will be closed "for security" reasons for about 36 hours, from the evening of December 30, 1999 until after dawn on January 1, 2000, he said.

Police presence will be stepped up both at the pyramids and in the nearby desert where 50,000 party-goers will be channelled into an all-night, end-of-year spectacle starring multimedia artist Jean-Michel Jarre.

Although Egyptian security forces are mainly concerned about threats from Islamic militants, they will also be keeping a watchful eye out for fringe groups around the Giza trio.

But Hawass' plans to restrict access look set only to stoke the fires of pre-millennial hysteria as conspiracy theorists like US new age author Texe Marrs allege that the custodian is in on the plot with the black priests.

Not even the clean-cut Frenchman's electronic opera remains untainted after the Egyptian press started weaving its own strands in the tangled web of millenarian occult hype last month.

The notorious bi-weekly newspaper Al-Shaab, whose editor-in-chief was imprisoned in August for libelling a government minister, has accused Jarre of conspiring to impose "Zionist Freemasonry" on Egyptian civilisation.

Party-goers attending Jarre's multimedia show will watch giant images of the Pharaonic Eye of Horus projected on the sides of the Giza pyramids and a light-emitting golden pyramid will be lowered by helicopter onto Cheops.

Al-Shaab, along with numerous doomsday Internet sites, was quick to identify the images with what they call the "Masonic symbolism" depicted on the US one-dollar bill which shows an eye glowing from the capstone of a pyramid.

Hawass defended topping Giza's largest pyramid, saying it was designed to replicate the practices of the ancient Egyptians who he says crowned their pyramids with a golden capstone to celebrate their completion.

"If the Masons want to take our symbols, what can we do?" he asked.

Texe Marrs, a retired US Air Force officer, meanwhile suggests on his website that Jarre's concert, which will be staged in the desert around half a mile (about a kilometre) away from the pyramids themselves, is a diversion for the Illuminati rituals of "consummate evil."

"The grotesque ceremony, these men believe, will culminate in a visit by their glowing Masonic god of light and magic, Lucifer himself, at exactly the stroke of midnight, December 31, 1999," he writes.

And if you're wondering what the pyramids have to do with the Christian calendar, the prophets of doom are always ready with an answer.

Icke, for example, who plans to be at the pyramids with a Zulu shaman on December 31, says the Gregorian calendar was "created" by the Illuminati so New Year 2000 would coincide with a peak of mind-bending solar energy.

Others, such as Arizona Wilder, who claims to be a former human sacrificer for the Illuminati, would argue that Christianity is an extension of ancient Egyptian mythology and that the year 2000 will usher in the "Age of Horus."