“And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered… And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all the nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up onto God, and to his throne.” (Revelations 12: 1, 2, 5)
In the 1790s, during a time of global upheaval and extremism both political and religious, an English woman named Joanna Southcott, who came from a family of farmers, had little education, and worked as a domestic servant, began to experience strange visions of an impending apocalypse. She believed these visions to be satanic in nature and became maddened by them: “I fell on my knees in prayer, and could not avoid crying aloud; but could not express all with my tongue.” In response, Southcott had knives removed from her residence and surrounded herself with other women for help; and then suddenly, as everyone prayed and prayed, the Light of the Lord broke through Southcott and she moved around the room speaking the following words:
“I feel my JESUS is not gone;
I feel my SAVIOR will return;
He’th hid his face, but now he’s come;–
A tedious night shall a bright morning have;
Then my soul shall take its old abode,
And, cloth’d in flesh, I shall behold my God.”
Henceforth, Southcott declared herself a prophet, and in particular, the “Woman of the Apocalypse” that was foretold in Revelations. Southcott was fired from her servant position for being “mad” but she went on to amass quite a large number of followers, about 100,000 at its peak, of “Southcottians” who followed her prophecies, and who went so far as to harass and threaten detractors of her religious sect. In response, Southcott began to sell “tickets to Heaven,” seals that guaranteed a one-way ticket to Heaven. She sold thousands of these seals, and in turn became yet another grifter in a long line that continues to follow.
Since Southcott branded herself as the Woman of the Apocalypse, at some point, she would have to follow through with the Revelations’ big finish by delivering that “man child” messiah; and, at age 64, a miracle happened! Southcott’s belly began to swell, and she took this change as a sign of immaculate conception! Unfortunately, the swelling was a sign of a more serious medical issue, and instead of giving birth to the “Second Coming,” Southcott died. Her followers were devastated and refused to allow for immediate burial, waiting for days and days for her resurrection until the body began to decay so badly that they could no longer stand it.
Dead and buried, sans resurrection, nevertheless, Southcott lived on through a box that she left behind, a box with messages from the Lord that she insisted could not be opened until a moment of national crisis. Indeed, Southcott was very specific about exactly how this box would be opened: 24 current bishops from the Church of England would need to meet and pray together for a period of time until they would be assured that opening the box is necessary. For a hundred years, that box remained unopened while the Southcottians dwindled in numbers; then, in the early 20th century, the curiosity of its contents was too much to bear, and the box was opened. Its contents: a horse pistol, a lottery ticket, dice, a purse, a nightcap, a pair of earrings.
Now, unto this year of our Lord, 2022, we present to you, Filthy Dreamers, our prophet, the Woman of the Apocalypse. May her grift live on through this offering we give to you, Filthy Dreams’ On the Brink of a Miracle Easter Playlist! One of these mornings, God is really going to blow out the sun, impending nuclear war or not. Join hand-in-hand with us as we hold our tickets to Heaven high in the sky! He’s coming back! Hallelujah!
I love this playlist and the Southcottian narrative (Troma could do a good treatment of her life’s story). Really appreciating all the Klaus Nomi. I’ve had Alien Sex Fiend’s “Now I’m Feeling Zombified” in my head all throughout the day and night…