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Index to The Happy Days Ahead

The Happy Days Ahead

By Robert A. Heinlein

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548                            EXPANDED UNIVERSE

[The Test of Science]

    The test of a science is its capacity to make correct predictions.  Possibly the most respected astrologer in America is a lady who not only has her daily column in most of the largest newspapers but also annually publishes predictions for the coming year.

The Happy Days Ahead                           549

    For ten years I clipped her annual predictions, filed them.  She is highly recommended and I think she is sincere; I intended to give her every possible benefit of doubt.
    I hold in my hand her predictions for 1974 dated Sunday January 13, 1974:
    Here are some highlights: "…Nixon ... will ride out the Watergate storm ... will survive both the impeachment ordeal and the pressures to resign ... will go down in history as a great president ... will fix the responsibility for Pearl Harbor" (vindicating Kimmel and Short) … "in ... 1978 ... the cure for cancer will be acknowledged by the medical world ... end the long search." (1974) "The dollar will be enormously strengthened as the balance of payments reflects the self-sufficiency in oil production."  "The trouble in Ireland will continue to be a tragic situation until 1978." (Italics added—R.A.H.)  "Willy Brandt" (will be reelected) "and be in office for quite some time to come.  He will go on to fantastic recognition about the middle of 1978." (On 6 May 1974 Brandt resigned during a spy scandal.)  She makes many other predictions either too far in the future to check or too vaguely worded.  I have omitted her many predictions about Gerald Ford because they all depend on his serving out the term as vice president.
You can check the above in the files of most large newspapers.
    e) & f)—no comment needed.
    g) & h) need no comment except to note that they are overlapping but not identical categories—and I should add "People who allow their children to watch television several hours a day." (Television, like the automobile, is a development widely predicted ... but its major consequences never predicted.)[1]
i) The return of creationism—If it suits you to believe that Yahweh created the universe in the fashion related in Genesis, I won't argue it.  But I don't have to respect your belief and I do not think that legislation requiring that the Biblical version be included in pub-

550                            EXPANDED UNIVERSE

lic school textbooks is either constitutional or fair.  How about Ormuzd?  Ouranos?  Odin?  There is an unnumbered throng of religions, each with its creation myth—all different.  Shall one of them be taught as having the status of a scientific hypothesis merely because the members of the religion subscribing to it can drum up a majority at the polls, or organize a pressure group at a state capital?  This is tyranny by the mob inflicted on minorities in defiance of the Bill of Rights.[2]
    Revelation has no place in a science textbook; it belongs under religious studies.  Cosmogony is the most difficult and least satisfactory branch of astronomy; cosmologists would be the first to agree.  But, damn it; they're trying!—on the evidence as it becomes available, by logical methodology, and their hypotheses are constantly subjected to pitiless criticism by their informed equals.
    They should not have to surrender time on their platform, space in their textbooks, to purveyors of ancient myths supported only by a claim of "divine revelation."
    If almost everyone believed in Yahweh and Genesis, and less than one in a million U.S. citizens believe in Brahma the Creator, it would not change the constitutional aspect.  Neither belongs in a science textbook in a tax-supported school.  But if Yahweh is there, Brahma should be.  And how about that Eskimo Creator with the unusually unsavory methods?  We have a large number of Eskimo citizens.[3]
j) The return of witchcraft—it used to be assumed that Southern California had almost a monopoly on cults.  No longer. (Cult vs. religion—I am indebted to L. Sprague de Camp for this definition of the difference. A "religion" is a faith one is born into; a "cult" is a faith an adult joins voluntarily.  "Cult" is often used as a slur by a member of an older faith to disparage a newer faith.  But this quickly leads to contradictions.
    In the 1st century A.D. the Christians were an up-start cult both to the Sanhedrin[4] and to the Roman priests.

The Happy Days Ahead                           551

"Cult" is also used as a slur on a faith with "weird ideas" and "weird practices." But this can cause you to bite your tail even more quickly than the other.  "Weird" by whose standards?
(Mr. de Camp's distinction implies something about a mature and presumably sane adult becoming a proselyte in a major and long-established faith, such as Islam or Shintoism or the Church of England ... but the important thing it implies is that a person born into, let us say, the Presbyterian Church is not being odd or unreasonable if he remains in it all his life despite having lost all faith; he's merely being pragmatic.  His wife and kids are there; he feels that church is a good influence on the kids, many of his friends are there.  It's a comfortable habit, one carrying with it a degree of prestige in the community.
    (But if he changes into a saffron robe and shaves his pate, then goes dancing down the street, shouting, "Hare Krishna!" he won't keep his Chevrolet dealership very long.  Theology has nothing to do with it.)
    One of the symptoms of this Age of Unreason, anti-science and anti-intellect, in the United States is the very prominent increase in new cults.  We've never been without them.  19th Century New England used to breed them like flies.  Then it was Southern California's turn.  Now they seem to spring up anywhere and also are readily imported from abroad.  Zen Buddhism has been here so long that it is usually treated with respect ... but still so short a time (1950) that few American adults not of Japanese ancestry can claim to have been born into it.  Ancient in Japan, it is still a cult here—e.g., Alan Watts (1915 - 1973), who moved from Roman Catholic priest to Episcopal priest to Zen priest.  I doubt that there is any count on American Zen Buddhists but it is significant that both "satori" and "koan" were assimilated words in all four standard U.S. dictionaries only 16 years after Zen Buddhism penetrated the non-Japanese population.
    And there are the Moonies and the Church of Scien-

552                            EXPANDED UNIVERSE

tology and that strange group that went to South America and committed suicide en masse and the followers of that fat boy from India and—look around you.  Check your telephone book.  I express no opinion on the tenets of any of these; I simply note that, since World War Two, Americans have been leaving their "orthodox" churches in droves and joining churches new in this country.
    Witchcraft is not new and never quite died out.  But it is effectively new to most of its adherents here today because of the enormous increase in numbers of witches.  ("Warlock" is insulting, "Wizard" barely acceptable and considered gauche, "Witch" is the correct term both male and female.  The religion is usually called either "the Old Religion" or "the Craft" rather than witchcraft.)
    The Craft is by its nature underground;[5] witches cannot forget the hangings in Salem, the burnings in Germany,[6] the fact that the injunction, "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live" (Exodus XXII, 18) has usually been carried out whenever the Old Religion surfaced.  Even during this resurgence only four covens have come to my attention and, not being a witch myself, I have never attended an esbat (easier to enter a tyled lodge!).
    The Craft is not Devil worship and it is not Black Mass but both of the latter have enjoyed some increase in recent years.
    If witchcraft has not come to your attention, search any large book store; note how very many new titles concern witchcraft.  Most of these books are phony, not written by witches, mere exploitation books—but their very existence shows the change.  Continue to show interest and a witch just might halfway reveal himself by saying, "Don't bother with that one.  Try this one." Treat him with warm politeness and you may learn much more.
    To my great surprise when I learned of it, there are over a dozen (how much over a dozen I have no way to

The Happy Days Ahead                           553

guess) periodicals in this country devoted solely to the Old Religion.[7]


continued… Time Span—The Cancerous Explosion of Government


  1. That is generally true, but Arthur C. Clarke — who for all intents and purposes in 1945 invented the idea of telecommunications satellites —  wrote a short story (I Remember Babylon, published in Playboy in 1960) in which he predicted the corruption of society through the use of subversive programs being broadcast over telecommunication satellites.  In that story he told of a plot by a power hostile to the US and the western world to flood the western hemisphere with television broadcasts that were to be extremely subversive, in that they were to exploit the craving of the western world for material of a pornographic nature and were to pertain to many other social aberrations that traditional moral standards ruled out.
        Considering today's contents of the Internet in that respect, which depict human and social abnormalities of any imaginable kind, it makes one wonder why Arthur C. Clarke held back in his descriptions by merely insinuating what could happen.  His expectations were far exceeded by what has become commonplace, ever since the religious constraints that Robert A. Heinlein so much desired to have eliminated were actually cast off.
        When I brought my family to Canada in 1962, I was amazed at the glow of the television screens at night, even in the late hours, in the front rooms of virtually every household.  I maintained ever since that the most potent weapon that the communist block could possibly design to destroy western society was not an atomic and biological one but rather a liberal agenda brought into every family's home via the one-eyed Odin, and to give all members of the population unlimited access to culturally and morally subversive and corruptive programs presented to them trough that.
        Whether it happened by design or by accident, the self-destruction of western morals and culture is now an accomplished fact.  It only took thirty years to achieve it. We destroyed our economy along with it.  What else is there to come now?

  2. Far be it from me to advocate the establishment of a state religion, but we did finally achieve general peaceful coexistence of the various factions of Judeo-Christian religions in western society.  By insisting on the constitutional right to freedom of religion we now have opened the door to calls for the abolition of all of the unifying moral standards upon which virtually all of our laws were based.  What Heinlein is proposing, apparently facetiously, is that any and all religions have the right of equal representation in the law.
        That is exactly the premise under which feminists and other factions of modern liberalism are systematically deconstructing all moral foundations that we once held inviolate.  The result is a social and moral chaos the likes of which have never before existed in any human society, except that this chaos is being systematically implemented on a world-wide scale under the sponsorship of the United Nations.
        For more details pertaining to this train of thought see the comments provided in connection with The First Commandment.

  3. Heinlein's wish has become reality.  It is incredible, as practical as he appears to be, that he couldn't foresee the consequences of the call for equality of all religions.  The wish exists in humanity to rationalize morality in terms of religious doctrine.  If we allow all religions to be equally valid and to have equal representation under the law, then that opens the door to the introduction of all of these religions into the curriculum.  That is exactly what has increasingly happened during the past twenty years or so.
        It would be interesting to see Heinlein's reaction and comments on the presence of the "old religions" in the curriculum and in our everyday lives.  All that previously held that to some extent in check were the unified principles of morality that the family-friendly traditional religions propose.  Those constraints now no longer exist.  However, instead of liberating science and the teaching of it from the oppression of Christianity that Heinlein desired so much, we are now being deluged by uncounted and numerous constraints of an insane multitude of miscellaneous religious cults that increasingly make their presence felt at all public educational institutions.
        In compiling information for my comments on The First Commandment I bumped into one web site that lists an incredible 1350 or so sundry deities —mostly of the female variety. (See also the definitions of some of these deities.)
        That isn't all.  At the UCSC and other universities the teaching of religious doctrine based on some of these re-invented deities takes up an increasing amount of space in the curriculum.  That's right!  The teaching of information pertaining to these religions doesn't just limit itself to investigate them from the viewpoint of history, but is has become the teaching of religious doctrine in an all-out attempt to indoctrinate students in feminist ideology, all in accord with the new curriculum promoted by the AAUW.
        What we appear to face with the call for the elimination of Christian "science" is a case of The Sorcerer's Apprentice who couldn't rid himself of the spirits that he summoned.  Clearly, the "cure" is far worse than the ailment.

  4. Sanhedrin: …the supreme council and tribunal of the Jews during postexilic times headed by a High Priest and having religious, civil, and criminal jurisdiction. [Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 10th Edition]

  5. That is no longer true.  Little could Heinlein know that witchcraft would become a prominent religious persuasion which is increasingly given credibility by talk-show hosts and the media in general, and that, moreover, is being taught at some universities. Yet, being the forecaster that he is, it is odd that he speaks of the emergence of witchcraft and yet failed to extrapolate from that to it's current prominence in our society.

  6. According to Heinrich Himmler, Reich Leader of the SS in a speech to SS Group Leaders, 1937 02 18: "...We must be clear about this, that the movement, the world-view can only have existence if it is carried by women, because men comprehend all things by logical reasoning, whereas the woman grasps things with her emotion.  The largest blood-sacrifices in the persecution of heretics and witches were made by the German woman and not by the man.  The "Pfaffen" [German derogatory term for clerics] knew exactly why they incinerated 5,000 to 6,000 women, because those clung emotionally to old knowledge and the old doctrine and because they wouldn't let themselves be changed emotionally and knew instinctively, while the man had already switched over logically and rationally: there is no purpose in resisting.  We are being submerged politically, I give in, I'll let them baptise me." [Gudrun Schwarz, "A Wife at his Side: Wives in the SS Clan-Community," p. 62, ISBN 3-930908-32-8, 1997,  original source: Bundesarchiv, Koblenz, NS 19/422]
        It is curious that this chapter in history is not researched well enough to find much supporting information that agrees even approximately with Himmler's quote of the number of women burned at the stake.  Their number would have included anyone who could be "proven" to be an opponent to the Roman Catholic Church and Church doctrine, not just "witches" but in the majority heretics.
        Other estimates I found ranged from 45,000 to 9.5 million victims that were put to death during the persecutions of the middle ages, with the lower numbers coming from the more reputable sources.  It must be acknowledged that even though most of the sources agree that is was primarily women who were put to death, most of them also made the point that the majority of the victims were not witches but rather heretics, in other words: alleged or real political enemies of the establishment.  Some identify that men comprised, depending on country, 50 percent (France) to 90 percent (Iceland) of the victims.
        However, there is something that may give the number quoted by Himmler considerable credibility.

"Today the Church is accused of being responsible for the persecution and sentencing of several million "witches" (the numbers mentioned range from 6 to 9 million).  A research institute was especially created during the Third Reich for the purpose of obtaining evidence desired for the destruction of the Church.  In the search for material, 154 archives and libraries were researched and considerably lower numbers were found:  For Germany, the number is considerably less than 100,000, and for all of Europe the number is more likely to be 500,000 than one million"

Here are some of the other claims that I found:

"In the German area (that would have included all German-speaking jurisdictions) estimates range from 100,000 to 500,000 [victims of all kinds].  Historians assume that the count of the victims in all of Europe goes into the millions." (Full story)

"The opinions are divided on how many people fell victim to this collective insanity.  [Estimates for all of Europe range from] 500,000 up to 9.5 million.  At any rate, it was most certainly a considerable number.  However, it should make those who are promulgating the picture of a general persecution of witches that was ordered and authorized from the top down pause to think that in Rome and in all of Catholic Italy there was virtually no persecution of any witches."
(That comment came from a web site dedicated to witches and witchcraft.)

"The persecution of the witches, which approximately took place from 1450 - 1792 (in all of Europe) demanded millions of victims, although only 200,000 of the cases were documented.  The apex of the mania was between 1625 and 1630.   During these five years almost 1/20th of the European population was burned at the stake."

"Estimates of people who lost their lives as the result of the persecution of witches since A.D. 1500:

  • 100,000 according to documented cases.

  • 200,000 according to Robbins.

  • 9,000,000" [No reference or qualification of any kind was given for that last number. —WHS]


All of those quotations and citations, except for that by Gudrun Schwarz in A Wife at his Side, have in common that none of them provide references to sources that can be researched, and to be true, Himmler himself didn't provide a reference to any specific source in his speech either.  However, one must wonder why someone who assigned a whole government division to ferreting out information that would be damaging to the Church managed to come up with a figure of only 5,000 to 6,000 women who were executed in Germany during the persecution of the witches.
   It would almost make one think that today's propaganda is better at telling the Big Lie than it was when it was just in its infancy during the Nazi era.

The truth about all of that is identified at at the following.

Witchcraft and the whole-sale burning of witches in the middles ages — What is the truth with respect to that?  If you want to know, go to:

The Domain of Patriarchy on the Internet, by Robert Sheaffer - Chief Patriarch and Oppressor-General

Pseudo-History About Witchcraft

Craving ever-greater Victim Status, Andrea Dworkin and other feminists invented a pseudo-history of a 'Women's Holocaust' in the Middle Ages. Turning upside-down the tactics of the 'Holocaust Revisionists', who claim that a real genocide never occurred, the feminists claim to be the victims of a genocide that wasn't. This myth, complete with a fabricated pro-feminist Pre-Christian Age, is taught as if it were true in so-called "Womens Studies" classes (full story)

Update 2008 10 25: 


Historian examines witch hunts past and present
By: Susan Corica, Staff Writer

"Connecticut would have been the leader in witch hunting if it hadn't been for Salem," historian John Demos told a full house the Windsor Historical Society.

Demos is the author of the recently published "The Enemy Within: 2,000 Years of Witch-Hunting in the Western World," and Samuel Knight Professor of History at Yale University. He is considered one of the foremost scholars on witch hunting....

The article states that,

Many parts of Europe were swept up in witch hunts, large and small, he said. It used to be thought that millions were killed, but now the best estimate is 50,000 to 100,000, "still a very large number."

Yes, that is a very large number, but one must consider that it represents the total number of witches executed over a period of 343 years, from 1450 - 1792.  That brings the annual average of executions of witches to about 146 to 292, considerably less than the millions of lives a year that modern-day witch hunts by totalitarian regimes claimed and still claim. 

Let there be no mistake.  As many as half or perhaps more of the witches killed during the old witch hunts were men.  During more modern witch hunts, such as those that took place during the Stalinist purges in the USSR, about 96 percent of the tens of millions of victims that had been killed were men.  The killing of those men in the USSR is quite clearly discernible in its impact on the population pyramids for Russia and Ukraine.

That is most certainly not an issue that any self-respecting and self-centered feminist ever complained about and clamored for equal rights.  A more politically-correct view on the role of women in witch hunts then and now is provided in the following quote from the article:

During the question-and-answer period of his talk, he said explained that the accusers in the colonial witch hunts were about 50/50 men and women, but women were always the primary targets, whether in New England, Virginia, Europe, or in other eras or parts of the world.....(Full Story)

From the information provided in the remainder of this footnote is is clear that a statement like that can only be made by someone whose objectivity is perhaps somewhat blurred by looking at history through the feminist gender lens.  Contrary to all such feminists assertions, it was men who were at least at times and in modern times without a doubt always the primary targets of witch hunts.

  1. I'm sure that the general prohibition of dedicating TV channels to religious denominations would enlighten Robert A. Heinlein, but what would he say about today's proliferation of items in the media that deal with matters of the occult or about the fact that there are numerous regular TV programs that in their subject matter lend a degree of credibility to actual witchcraft, mysticism and the paranormal, and that talk-show hosts regularly cater to and fawn over witches and psychics, but that they virtually never do that with anyone who is a representative for the traditional religious denominations?  Is the active promotion of witchcraft, witches, Voodooism, and many other cults the social improvement sought by Robert Heinlein?  Hardly!

See also:

2001 02 02 (format changes)
2006 03 04 (added link to Feminism for Male College Students)