J. Michael Sayer
James Michael Sayer is pitching his "research" in exchange for your cash.

Who is J. Michael Sayer?

On the comments page, "mary" asks: "Who is J. Michael Sayer?"

That's a good question. We've run across that name before, but unfortunately we don't have a good answer… yet.

The short answer is that he's the guy behind "http://www.2012officialcountdown.com/"1.

The long answer is "We don't know". He's a cipher. His name appears on that website, but the domain record is occluded. An internet search turns up several possible matches, but nothing definite2

In another forum a post appeared yesterday which mentions some of Mr. Sayer's predictions.3

Prior to setting up the above website, Sayer was apparently unpublished on the topic of 2012… so much for his being a "respected internet scholar"… whatever that is supposed to mean anyway.

Any merit to this?

In the comments section of the main page "L.S." asks: "Any merit to this?"

Absolutely no merit at all, and the alarm bells should be ringing when you read that site. WTH does "respected internet scholar" mean? He's so respected I can find absolutely no information on him! The name "james michael sayer" pulls up only a few results, and none of them related to "history, spirituality and exposing untruths."

The domain record is occluded… no information on it is available (that's not all that unusual, 2012hoax.org is also occluded). The entire site appears to be simply a sales pitch for his book, mp3 recording, and his 'membership'.

Since he gives no real information, it is impossible to decipher what merit, if any, his claims have. There are a couple of clues, however. In the membership description he talks about conducting phone interviews with "other experts". I wonder who those would be? I have a feeling it is the same cast of characters we are already familiar with.

When reading through that site, I kept imagining the voice of Billy Mays reading it off. It was just like one of his late night infomercials for Oxy Clean, KaBoom or Mighty Putty. "… a value of $120 dollars, but if you sign up right now you can have it for the low price of just $49.95!"

He hits all of the points too. Nostradamus, Mother Shipton, Hopi Indians, Crop Circles, planetary alignments, etc., etc., etc.

Same stuff, different net.kook.

Ignore it, and definitely do not send him $50.

"Astroturf" campaign

The term "Astroturf campaign" is assigned to a phony "grass roots" campaign designed to create a buzz around a particular topic, and make it appear as if it is more popular than it really is. We're getting a whiff of fake grass around Sayer's sites4

Clickbank Vendor

We recently learned that the "2012OfficialCountdown" site is a ClickBank vendor. Here's part of their pitch:

2012 Official Countdown To December 21, 2012. The #1 2012 Product On CB And The Internet. This Will Be The Most Talked About Topic Around The World For The Next 3 Years. High Search Volume, Cheap Traffic, High Conversions, Great Product, $33+ Per Sale *Huge Earning Potential*5.

If you click on the "Vendor Spotlight" you will see this screen (local copy of a screenshot).

Additional Information

The site was spammed on twitter by an account that also spammed several other sites. When we looked into the sites they all had the same 'feel', a single long page with a major pitch for a product.6

Ian O'Neill's take on it

Our good friend Dr. Ian O'Neill over at AstroEngine has an entry on this site as well.

Scam Spam

As part of our research, we signed up a throwaway email account for "free updates" from the '2012officialcountdown' site. We now are treated to offers of reduced prices for purchasing the entire History Channel "Apocalypse Collection", and "secret plans for free energy generators".

What do you actually get for your $49.95?

Somebody who bought a copy of 2012 Official Countdown was sufficiently annoyed at the fact that he'd been swindled for some worthless trash that he sent us a copy. Haven't you always wondered about those ads you see where you are promised "shocking facts, the truth they've been hiding from you, revelations that will turn your world upside down", all for the price of $1000, $100, $89, $79, the low-low price of $49.95? Well, now's your chance to find out.

We'll begin by looking at the advertisement:

  • Find out…
    • Why all the governments of the world ultimately decided not to tell you the truth.
    • How millions will be devastated, and your world will be turned upside down… forever.
    • How you can safeguard your life… and the lives of your family members. Because you really can survive… and spiritually thrive in the wake of this life-changing event.
  • Every Major Religion… Minor Religions You've Never Heard Of… Non-Religious Spiritualists… And Even Atheists And Agnostics Agree…
    • In 2012… something will happen.
  • You get all the angles… from all the true experts.
  • Find out…
    • Exactly where you DON'T want to be on that fateful date.
    • The down and dirty truth about how the calendar we have been using for centuries is so inaccurate we would have done better to just carve days into a tree trunk…
    • How the Mayan Skywatchers worked backwards to discover the precise moment the planets would “reset.” Is this the big do-over the world needs?
  • You're just moments from…
    • Discovering the massive “phantom” that's hiding right behind the sun. Is it Niburu? Planet X? Something else entirely?
  • The hugeness of what's coming is frightening.

Hmmm. Sounds like a pretty big deal. But what does the book actually say? Here is a chapter by chapter review.


We start off with some typical conspiracy 'science doesn't know everything' claims, giving examples such as that at one time the majority of people thought the world was flat and people laughed at Noah. We are then told that currently, humanity is in the grip of chaos.

Significance of a date

Here we are told that the solstice date of 21st December 2012 was 'discovered'. We go on to hear that on this date, "the Sun will conjunct with the Milky Way and the elliptic plane of our solar system's normal cycle." It's actually the ecliptic plane and the Sun lies in this plane by definition. Supposedly, this event has only happened once, precisely 5126.24 years ago. Well, no. It happens twice a year, every year.
We then hear about Terence McKenna and his Timewave Zero hokum and the author goes on show his support of the claim of Jose Arguelles that the Gregorian calendar is destructive to our environment and that calendar reform must take place.

The Prophets

Now we come on to a sequence of paragraphs on so-called prophets. The Sybils, The Hindus, The Indigenous Americans, The Maya (including a 4 page interview with Mayan timekeeper and tribal elder George Barrios Kaanek), The Hopi (including another 8 pages on Hopi beliefs), Inca, Celts, Druids and Merlin, Mother Shipton, Nostradamus (naturally), Bible Prophecies and finally, the Web Bot. The Web Bot section includes a list of predictions made in April 2009 for events to come in 2009-10. A perusal of this list reveals no particular insight or accuracy, but includes this gem: "New volcanoes will form and erupt due to the squeezing of the planet by the approaching Milky Way Galaxy system", followed by "We will see a great deal of odd behavior due to the magnetics and lack of sleep as the earth is being squeezed." Since the Web Bot is supposedly picking up its predictions from trawling the internet, one might assume that its scope is being restricted to crank websites.
The section on prophets drags on for 34 of the book's 123 pages and can best be described as padding.

Significant Natural Facts

This section gets off to a bad start with Celtic legends and 'Our Musical Universe'. Then we are told that "The magnetic fields that lie beneath the surface of this planet are what keep it revolving at the proper axis and speed." And there's me thinking that it arises from the residual angular momentum from the Earth's formation. Then we are told "December 21, 2012 is the date that the current age of Earth will end." So are we getting somewhere? Well, not really. This claim is not elaborated on, we are just told that the date could be wrong because "By removing the connection between the energies that connect humans with their natural world, a displacing of energies is highly probable." More Jose Arguelles type nonsense. Oh well!
The book then launches into 12 pages of examples of crop circles and what they might be telling us. A vital question is asked: "Are they emphasizing prophecies and reminding us that the Mayan Long Count will stop, ending the world as we know it on December 21, 2012?" This question is not answered. A simple "No" would have sufficed.
Then we're told that the Egyptians suffered a pole shift 3,600 years ago. No evidence to support this is proffered. Maybe they underwent their own pole shift while the rest of the world carried on as normal, not noticing anything.
The cataclysmic pole shift prediction of Edgar Cayce is mentioned and is actually claimed to have been correct although his prediction is watered down to 'changes' and is claimed to have been supported by Topex/Poseidon satellite data finding changes in the extremely fine details of the Earth's gravitational field. So 'cataclysmic pole shift' = 'tiny changes detectable only with the most precise of instrumentation' = 'correct'. Another winner from Ed Cayce then!

Events in the Cosmos

Now maybe we're getting down to the essentials. But alas, not real events just descriptions of Nibiru and Planet X and more about what the Sumerians are alleged to have thought (but probably didn't). Then some real astronomy about the discovery of Neptune but we lapse once more into fantasy with tales of UFOs and alien visitation. All this takes up another 15 pages, then we are on to the LCROSS lunar impact mission in the search for water on the Moon in October 2009. No doubt 2012 Official Countdown was being written at around the time of this 'bombing' of the Moon because it was all the rage in conspiracy circles back then and has been duly (and pointlessly) incorporated into this book. Then some comedy. "The National Science Foundation is going to cut the funding for the McDonald laser ranging station at Ft. Davis, Texas. Does this mean following the bombing, we will have no idea where the Moon is in relation to Earth?"
This chapter is concluded with reports of strange cubes in Google Earth photos and a SOHO image where a space object can be "clearly seen" to be firing a laser at another object. Riiight

Conspiracy Theory

Inevitably, this chapter is as bad as you would expect it to be. "It has been somewhat apparent for many years that there is something drastically wrong with the very functions of this country" and "Why is the Pope announcing the New World Order?" But it gets worse as it descends into crazed claims about Illuminati, Freemasons and an army of spacecraft gathering near the Earth, whilst NASA is only interested in bombing the Moon.
We learn that Michael Jackson was killed by the Illuminati and there are claims that the NWO and Illuminati are connected with the events predicted for 2012. Then, hints that the movie '2012' is a prequel to real events and doomsday programming on the History Channel is really designed to heighten our sense of chaos and danger. Strange. I thought they were there to make money from people who aren't very discerning about their viewing.

Spiritual Awakening and Human Enlightenment

This chapter starts with "The New Age: The fundamental beliefs held by a majority of New Age followers are:" followed by 5 pages of descriptions which you could have obtained (as for the majority of this book) by a few minutes of searching around on the internet, mainly on conspiracy websites. This is followed by more claims of what the Hopi and Maya thought.
At last we reach the end with some final (conspiracy) words: "Do not delay your study of information and discovery. The vast supply of knowledge we are so used to accessing on the Internet, may not last. Those who control what you are allowed to know and have access to are busy working on clamping down on this freedom too." And if ever we were in any doubt that the author is a true conspiracy nut, the book concludes with: "The New World Order will change every thing that you know and all freedoms will be removed."


So there's nothing here that couldn't be found out by surfing the internet with a strong bias towards picking up the conspiracy nonsense side of things. But we still have another book, the Survival Guide, to study for yet more vital information.

Survival Guide


We're told that unknown events to occur in 2012 will make planning difficult and catastrophes will be greater than ever experienced. Nobody knows what the eclipse of the Milky Way with our solar system will do. Well actually we do know. It will do nothing.

Where you don't want to be

Apparently, large cities will be difficult to leave, especially with martial law being enforced. Earthquakes will be much worse - and there is a repetition of the nonsense that the Web Bot predicts new volcanoes. Solar storms of great intensity, rogue planets, comets (which we're told are electromagnetic) and believe it or not, Comet C/2006 P1 McNaught was the cause of winter storm Kyrill in Europe. Well, fancy that!

A survival plan

This doesn't really tell you anything you wouldn't find in a typical survival skills book or web page. All the author has done is thrown in a bit of conspiracy nonsense to spice it up a bit. Did you know that you can be observed through your own computer monitor screen by the New World Order? Then, besides preparing for survival in your underground bunker, you may also have to cope with martial law being declared and finding yourself incarcerated in one of the 800 FEMA concentration camps in the USA.


If you take away the doom and and conspiracy nonsense, you're left with a run-of-the-mill survival guide booklet of about 30 pages.

Comparison with advertising

So what do we actually get in the book, as opposed to what the publicity for the book tells us?

"Find out why all the governments of the world ultimately decided not to tell you the truth. How millions will be devastated, and your world will be turned upside down… forever."
Well, no. The book doesn't actually say anything about this.

"Every Major Religion… Minor Religions You've Never Heard Of… Non-Religious Spiritualists… And Even Atheists And Agnostics Agree…In 2012… something will happen.”
This is plain false. No religion has anything to say on the specific predictions for 2012.

"You get all the angles… from all the true experts."
True experts? Make that one non-expert in everything except conspiracy theories.

"Find out.. Exactly where you DON'T want to be on that fateful date."
We're not even told what is actually alleged to happen, never mind where is the best place to be - or not to be.

"Find out.. The down and dirty truth about how the calendar we have been using for centuries is so inaccurate we would have done better to just carve days into a tree trunk."
The accuracy of our calendar is never mentioned, but in fact it's accurate to 1 day in 3,300 years, which isn't bad.

"Find out.. How the Mayan Skywatchers worked backwards to discover the precise moment the planets would “reset.” Is this the big do-over the world needs?"
Nope. We don't find out this. The fact that this 'reset' of planets is never specified and sounds like meaningless tosh, plus the Mayan Skywatchers never having made any prediction far into the future, might have something to do with it.

"You're just moments from… Discovering the massive 'phantom' that's hiding right behind the sun. Is it Niburu? Planet X? Something else entirely?"
This turns out be based on a single photograph taken from a STEREO satellite of a bright object to the right of the Sun. Is this the 'new, unknown planet' they're telling us about? Well, no. Five minutes of investigation on the STEREO website revealed that the object is in fact - the planet Mercury.

"The hugeness of what's coming is frightening."
What's actually coming is a dent the wallets of people who've been gullible enough to fall for this nonsense.

Refund? You'll be lucky!

At the bottom of the original advert for this book, is the following statement:

P.P.S. — Remember… you're not obligated in any way. Signing up now gives you the opportunity to ask for a full refund for two full months! No questions asked. If you're not happy for any reason… just write and your cash is fully refunded.

So, after reading this official guide, our correspondent was certainly not happy. He writes:

Official2012countdown is a FRAUD, J Michael Sayer is a THIEF (And so is clickbank, that still take the payments). There is no money back guarantee, as promised, even though I gave very good reasons for it.

So "just write and your cash is fully refunded"? Well, actually it's not. But when you're dealing with a snake oil salesman, can you honestly expect anything else?


We conclude that J. Michael Sayer doesn't exist, and that his website is a scam.


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