Gary North-Y2K Guru – Reflections 2 Decades Later

It’s been almost two decades now but New York Times Magazine referred to him in those days as “Gary North-Y2K guru.” ABC featured him in a prime-time head-for-the-hills news story and Wired called him “a historian and early leader in the Y2K preparedness movement.”

His name is Gary North and the media had anointed him as their official Year 2000-survival poster boy. But who was spinning whom then? Let’s take a closer look and learn from the mistakes made some two decades ago:

“My concern about Gary North was that there were a lot of innocent citizens out there who were taking his information as the unadulterated truth,” gripes Steve Davis, co-author of Y2K Risk Management: Contingency Planning, Business Continuity, and Avoiding Litigation (John Wiley&Sons). “Y2K just came along and fit his agenda perfectly. While Y2K was considered a real problem with real consequences, it’s uncertainty provided the perfect cover for a whole slew of millennial panic profiteers.”

Unfortunately, the details of North’s agenda were not revealed because reporters were too busy lapping up his end-of-the-world sales pitch when they should have been checking his background. If they would, they’d discovered that North was using the Y2K problem to promote his larger agenda of Christian Reconstructionism. (more…)

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