Dear History Channel;
We represent a number of internet users with a professional or amateur scientific interests. In recent years we have noticed a large increase in the numbers of children worried by absurd prophecies of global disaster in December 2012, not just on the internet, but in schools where some of us give talks on astronomy or related topics. For example, on the Yahoo!Answers question and answer site, there were 5000 questions on this thirty months ago, now the number exceeds 30,000 with multiple questions every day. Judging by spelling and grammar, most of the people asking are in their early teens.
Recently one of us was contacted by a worried school teacher who has had to comfort a suicidal eight year old girl, terrified that she will be killed before she reaches her teenage years.
In September 2008 the immanent first operation of the Large Hadron Collider produced a burst of absurd rumours which resulted in the suicide of a 16 year old girl in Madyha Pradesh, India. We are very afraid that the mounting hysteria over 2012, which has a longer and deeper history, will produce a similar result.
Your company has been advertising during the repeated airing of a
“documentary” about Doomsday in 2012 on the History Channel. This
program has been generating fear and despair among children. Many of
them believe that they are going to die in three years. More than
30,000 questions have been asked about this on one of the major
question and answer sites. Most of these are asked by frightened
children. I have seen some who say, “Why should I even go on if we
are all dead in three years?” and “Why should I bother with school
when we are going to die anyway?” You are contributing to this with
your financial support of the incessant airing of this doomsday
My fear, and that of a discussion (and action) group we have formed,
is that children will commit suicide because of this hoax. The
responsibility for any deaths that occur because of the doomsday hoax
fears will lie squarely upon those who are promoting and financing the
We realize that fear sells, but it isn’t worth it or defensible if
even one child dies due to this hoax. A 16 year old girl in India
committed suicide by drinking insecticide because of her fear of the
Large Hadron Collider. The fear generated by the 2012 Doomsday Hoax
is far greater and more widespread than that of the LHC.
None of the claims on this show have even a shred of evidence to
uphold them. Scientists are NOT saying these things are going to
happen. Only the hoaxers and fear mongers with books to sell are
We ask that you stop advertising to support the airing of this 2012
Doomsday tripe. We are asking the History channel to put together a
truthful documentary, with real scientists, such as Astronomers,
Astrophysicists, and actual experts on the Mayan Long Count Calendar.
If you support such a program, you could undo much of the damage that
has been done by your financial support of the hoax program.
Kay A. Turrill