Robertson dubiously claimed "relatively good track record" on predictions

››› ››› KURT DONALDSON

In his widely reported comments from the January 2 edition of the Christian Broadcasting Network's The 700 Club, during which he predicted that there would be "very serious terrorist attacks" and "mass killing" in the United States in the "second half" of 2007, host Pat Robertson boasted that he had "a relatively good track record" on earlier predictions. But a review of Robertson's 2006 New Year's predictions undermines that claim. He predicted, for example, that:

  • "President Bush is going to strengthen."
  • "The fall elections will be inconclusive, but the outcome of the war and the success of the economy will leave the Republicans in charge."
  • "[T]he war in Iraq is going to come to a successful conclusion. We'll begin withdrawing troops before the end of this year."

Robertson did get some predictions right: former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party did lose the Israeli parliamentary election, and Judge Samuel Alito Jr. was confirmed to the Supreme Court.

As The American Prospect's Tapped weblog noted, on January 2, Robertson predicted that "if I'm hearing the Lord right," in "the second half" of 2007, "[t]here will be some very serious terrorist attacks," and there is "a definite certainty ... chaos is going to rule." Robertson added: "I'm not saying necessarily nuclear -- the Lord didn't say nuclear -- but I do believe it'll be something like that. They'll be a mass killing, possibly millions of people -- major cities injured." Robertson again noted on the January 3 edition of The 700 Club that "if one of those devastating devices is loosed in one of our major cities, the word that has come to me is chaos in our cities. There's going to be chaos."

Other Robertson predictions from the January 3, 2006, edition of The 700 Club:

  • "Much more disasters will befall the Earth than have happened heretofore."
  • "The Israeli people want peace so badly that they will repudiate strong leadership and surrender their birthright in favor of conciliatory leadership and an illusory peace with the Palestinians."
  • "There will be earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, tornados -- volcanic eruption. The coasts will be lashed by storms and disasters and, yet, this still isn't the big one. Bigger ones are even coming."

Further, as a January 3 Associated Press article reported, Robertson has a history of making dubious predictions:

The broadcaster predicted in January 2004 that President Bush would easily win re-election. Bush won 51% of the vote that fall, beating Democratic Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts.

In 2005, Robertson predicted that Bush would have victory after victory in his second term. He said Social Security reform proposals would be approved and Bush would nominate conservative judges to federal courts.

Lawmakers confirmed Bush's 2005 nominations of John Roberts and Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. But the president's Social Security initiative was stalled.

"I have a relatively good track record," he said. "Sometimes I miss."

In May, Robertson said God told him that storms and possibly a tsunami were to crash into America's coastline in 2006. Even though the U.S. was not hit with a tsunami, Robertson on Tuesday cited last spring's heavy rains and flooding in New England as partly fulfilling the prediction.

From the January 2 edition of the Christian Broadcasting Network's The 700 Club:

ROBERTSON: And I think people, [co-host] Terry [Meeuwsen], are interested in finding out, since we're talking about 2007 -- I've been away for a prayer retreat -- and I put these things out with humility but, nevertheless, I have a relatively good track record. Sometimes, I've missed, but --

MEEUWSEN: And -- and, without doubt, every year, as you see God, I guess this is his promise to all of us. But as you go away and seek him for the coming year, God shows you some amazing things.

ROBERTSON: Well, the first thing, Terry, that I think is God's word to his people, to the believers worldwide, not just here in America, and the promise is that this year is going to be a year of extraordinary miracles, and if I'm hearing the Lord right, there's such extraordinary things that are going to take place: Victory over demonic powers; victory of healing; some dramatic miracles taking place in people's lives, and the Lord has said it's going to seem to the people like heaven has come down to Earth. It's going to be that good. It's going to be really an extraordinary demonstration of God's power.

The other thing He said was that this is the final year of the great demonstration of His grace to the world. For the last 12 years, we have seen evangelism unprecedented in countries like India, Indonesia, and Nigeria and so forth, and CBN right now has -- we have recorded somewhere in the neighborhood of 461 million decisions since the fall of Communism. Well, that is going to come, I think, to an end, at least that great anointing.

Well, the other thing I felt was that evil men -- evil people -- are going to try to do evil things to us and to others during the last part of this year. I don't know whether it'll be in the fall or September or later on, but it will be the second half, somehow, of 2007. There will be some very serious terrorist attacks. The evil people will come after this country and there's a possibility that -- not a possibility, a definite certainty -- that chaos is going to rule and the Lord said the politicians will not have any solutions for it. There's just going to be chaos. Now because we saw chaos in the gulf after Katrina. The politicians had no answers.

MEEUWSEN: I think that that rang in everyone's -- resonate in everyone's heart as they looked at it and realized that when something big happens, it's -- it's --

ROBERTSON: We're not -- we're not ready --

MEEUWSEN: -- there's no solution.

ROBERTSON: -- but it's going to happen, and I'm not saying necessarily nuclear -- the Lord didn't say nuclear -- but I do believe it'll be something like that -- they'll be a mass killing, possibly millions of people -- major cities injured. I hope I'm wrong, and I hope people will pray, and that won't happen but, nevertheless, that seems to be what's coming up. And then the Lord said He will restrain the evil people, but he will not restrain them necessarily initially. And, you know, he doesn't' have to restrain people. You know, they're evil people and they do evil things and they desire evil.

[...]

ROBERTSON: I believe that it's going to be, these first few months -- I'm looking forward to it -- it's going to be an extraordinary time and we should expect miracles beyond our wildest fantasies -- in the first six months. Then after then, chaotic.

From the January 3 edition of CBN's The 700 Club:

ROBERTSON: You know, I don't want to be an alarmist, ladies and gentlemen, but there are evil people in the world who are targeting this great nation, and they apparently possess some form of nuclear or biological weapons -- the kind of weapons of mass destruction that could do devastating damage, and from what I gather, their targets are New York, Washington, Miami, Houston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles -- just for starters.

And I wasn't listening to many of those cities being named by [CBN News terrorism analyst] Erick [Stakelbeck] in his report on preparedness. But if one of those devastating devices is loosed in one of our major cities, the word that has come to me is chaos in our cities. There's going to be chaos. The government is not prepared. We were down in Katrina, right after that terrible hurricane that hit the Gulf, and the lack of preparedness was just appalling, and we all said -- I think everybody said -- that looking at what was done there, then you -- you see a really serious man-made disaster. We're not prepared, but if there's ever a time to get with it, it's now, and more than anything, if there is ever a time to pray, it's now.

From the January 3, 2006, edition of CBN's The 700 Club:

ROBERTSON: The Lord says not to be troubled because of things that'll be happening throughout the earth. He said, "It is my plan that a shaking will begin. Much more disasters will befall the Earth than have happened heretofore. There will be panic and terror. Prepare operation Blessing for a more significant role in helping the suffering." So, I think we've got to gear up. But, He says, first of all, before these things happen, "I warn people through my servants, the prophets."

[...]

ROBERTSON: Now, this is not just in America, this is all over the world, that the Lord Himself is going to shake this Earth. This is like the birth pangs, if you will, of a more glorious order that is coming, but it's going to intensify.

[...]

ROBERTSON: We love Israel, but here's what I wrote down -- you can, again, you know the Bible says you can judge what it is, but here's what I'll say -- I believe the Lord said: "The Israeli people want peace so badly that they will repudiate strong leadership and surrender their birthright in favor of conciliatory leadership and an illusory peace with the Palestinians. The danger to Israel that emerged in 2005 will intensify in 2006." The Lord spoke to me at the beginning of last year [2005] that it's going to be the most dangerous time in the history of that nation and, indeed, it's unfolding that way. Now, it's going to intensify in 2006 and, again, my friend Bebe Netanyahu is going to lose the upcoming election and Likud will become an effective counterweight but I don't think he's going to be elected prime minister.

[...]

ROBERTSON: Here are a few other things, Terry, that I wrote down. Bush is going to strengthen in 2006. The fall elections will be inconclusive, but the outcome of the war and the success of the economy will leave the Republicans in charge, but it's going to be inconclusive in this year, but I do believe the president is going to strengthen and that Alito is going to get confirmed. I believe another liberal judge is going to retire -- step down from the court. We'll have another opening there. And the war in Iraq is going to come to a successful conclusion. We'll begin withdrawing troops before the end of this year.

[...]

ROBERTSON: There will be earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, tornados -- volcanic eruption. The coasts will be lashed by storms and disasters and, yet, this still isn't the big one. Bigger ones are even coming, but that's what's going to be -- going to be happening.

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