Cowpokes! The End is Nigh! Run for the hills! What with the threats of terrorism, biological warfare, solar flares, tsunamis, the flipping of the magnetic poles, an atheist woman as head of the Australian government and a black man as the head of the US government, it will be a MIRACLE if we last even another week! But, dear feiends, have no fear! Should one (or more!) of the aforementioned catastrophes overtake us, the folks over at Vivos have anticipated every eventuality for the approaching apocalypse and are offering the ultimate ‘life assurance’ and ‘the greatest chance of future restoration of the world as we know it, regardless of the catastrophe’.

Here – let them tell you about it in their own words:

Millions of people believe that we are living in the “end times”. Many are looking for a viable solution to survive potential future Earth devastating events. Eventually, our planet will realize another devastating catastrophe, whether manmade, or a cyclical force of nature. Disasters are rare and unexpected, but on any sort of long timeline, they’re inevitable. It’s time to prepare!

Vivos is a privately funded venture, with no religious affiliations, building a global network of underground shelters, to accommodate thousands of people. Vivos will provide a life assurance solution for those that wish to be prepared to survive these potential events, whether they occur now, in 2012, or in decades to come

Yes, by purchasing a share in a Vivos community bunker, or getting them to build your own bespoke shelter, you can survive the End Times and walk out refreshed into a world full of bracing post-catastrophe horror! To see what you’ll get for your money, you can take a tour around a typical Vivos facility, furnished with all the comforts of home, including attractive paintings of idyllic landscapes that you’ll never see again:

Geez guys, could you have found a more gloomy and depressing piece of music for that? Are you selling a shelter or a tomb here?

Seriously, no matter how hard I try, I can’t think of any calamity listed on the Vivos site that seems worse than ending up in some underground IKEA nightmare with a bunch of people who are inclined to believe that the world is going to end in 2012 ‘because the Mayan calendar says so’.1 Let me see: Electromagnetic Pulse? Nope. Killer comet? Nope. Planet X? Nope. Super volcano? Nope.2 I’d rather take my chances with any of those.

What are these people thinking? Have they never seen a post-apocalyptic movie? Have they never played Fallout? Do they really want to climb out of their bunkers after a year of mind-numbing boredom to find themselves wandering around a planet full of shotgun-wielding mutant vigilantes with no morals and bad personal hygiene? Or worse, Fundamental Islamic militia?

There are so many things wrong with this unhinged doom-laden vision that it’s hard to know where to start. From the hysterical countdown to annihilation (905 days, 06 hours, 31 minutes, 24 seconds remaining) to the hyper-paranoid ‘scenarios’ videos (Nuclear Terrorism! Surviving Anarchy! Secret Government Shelters!) the website plays out like some bad Hollywood projection of the Apocalypse. It takes mere seconds to find places where this plan will start splitting at the seams.

Take a quick tour around the Vivos Knowledge Base and see how many opportunities for failure you can find. The spectacular promises (hydroponic gardens to support 200 people for more than a year, 24 hour power generation with supplemental wind and solar, hotel-style amenities, impregnable defences to resist volcanic eruption, seismic disturbance and biological contamination) fairly reek of hyperbole.3 Half these things are all but impossible to achieve. And if Vivos doesn’t deliver, what are you going to do when the anarchist Muslim terrorist bio-freaks come pouring through your Vivos shelter airlock? Ask for your money back?

Tetherd Cow Advice: If you’re worried about the Apocalypse arriving in 2012,4 stock up on single malt whisky and plan to be somewhere with a good view. In the meantime, send me your bank account details. After all, you can’t take it with you.

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Big thanks to Atlas for bringing Vivos to my attention.

  1. You can watch a video on the Vivos site about how the ‘incredibly precise’ Mayan calendar (‘… a calendar more accurate even than our own’) predicts the world will end in 2012. []
  2. I’m a little surprised to see that Zombie Attack and Alien Invasion aren’t featured, to be honest. If nothing else, they’d make for some really cool additional icons. []
  3. For a start – where are they getting their air from? Filtered air from outside will be useless in a case of chemical attack, and it’s not like they can stockpile a year’s worth of oxygen for 200 people… []
  4. You can bet your Nigerian fortune that I’ll be revisiting all these predictions in 2013! []