If Nostradamus knew the future, why didn’t he warn the French King of the tournament that would kill him in 1559? Instead, he wrote a book, Centuries, in which he made prophecies that included great things for King Henri, while the latter was still alive. This, of course, made the king a great admirer and promoter of Nostradamus.
But after Henri’s death, Nostradamus only saw his fame skyrocket. Henri’s wife, Catherine de Medicis, was his patron. Four hundred years of incredulous followers maintained his reputation.
But all Nostradamus did, could easily be articulated by the debunker James “The Amazing” Randi. Make a large number of pronouncements, concealed in ambiguous language, and use as much symbolism and allegory as possible. Those who want to believe will do so.
Beasts mad with hunger will swim across rivers
Most of the army will be against the Lower Danube
The great one shall be dragged in an iron cage
When the child brother will observe nothing.
This passage by Nostradamus was interpreted to signal the coming of Hitler. Why? Lower Danube translates to “Hisler” (An old Latin word). Before Hitler, the verse was applied to a Turkish invasion of the region – an event that occurred before Centuries was written.
You will meet many modern people who, like Nostradamus, become famous by making ambiguous predictions about the future. Some of these pronouncements may be wrapped in religious, financial, or pseudo-scientific language – usually because few people have expertise in these subjects. The result is that many people become followers, and will fight for the protection of their newly found Messiah.
Beware of false prophets, who come to you in. sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves.
– Mathew 7:15