evening, dear reader.
My name is Ignatius Donnelly; politician,
failed but visionary land speculator, attorney, orator, farmer, historian,
scientist, idealist, congressman, poet and novelist, affectionate husband
and father, a man of generally liberal and sentimental disposition. I was
born in the year 1831 and departed this planet in what can only be regarded
as prophetic timing on January 1, 1901, the first day of the twentieth
century. I have the pleasure and honor of rejoining you here (you will
note my rather ghostly form) at the approach of the hundredth anniversary
of my passing and the great dawning of a new millennium. I intend to provide
you with an evening of religion, history, and prophecy which I believe
you will find entertaining and pertinent to your most intimate and contemporary
concerns -- many of them I should say are precisely those that filled my
mind a century ago. Moreover I propose to embellish these insights of the
tradional sort with the best and latest of your marvelous scientific findings
on such diverse topics as climatic change, both ancient and modern; emergent
and frightening health concerns (including those two great world epidemics
of your age, AIDS and Lyme's disease); and physics, both global and astral.
What I have to say to you this evening will affect the planning of your
careers, the management of your investments, the creation and reordering
of your family and spiritual life.