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Critical Research Failure / Left Behind

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  • The series totally misunderstands the nature and functioning of the United Nations, making it seem like it's a lot more powerful, influential, and functional than it really is. It's used in the story as the vehicle for this implementation on the one world currency and later the one world government and religion, which happens so easily that one can say that the series misunderstands the nature and functioning of all of humanity.
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  • The Internet appears to be everywhere. Tsion Ben-Judah, despite being holed up in the ancient city of Petra, can still reach a billion people with his website. In three years, nobody figures that they should just cut the Internet lines out of the city.
  • The various asteroids and comets that fall on Earth (e.g. Wormwood) are depicted as being of such a size that if they actually hit the Earth, it would cease to exist as a solid planet. Chalk this one up to the source material, which depicts stars falling from the sky during the End Times, but that was written at a time when "star" could refer to any shiny dot in the night sky.
  • Rayford is recruited as the pilot for Air Force One. Several things wrong with how this is presented:
    • The narrative treats it as if "Air Force One" were a single plane, but there's more than one of the special 747snote  that traditionally carry the President.
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    • "Air Force One" is actually the callsign of any aircraft which happens to be carrying (or about to carry) the U.S. President. Since there's now a One World Order, and there's no longer really a United States (let alone a President thereof), there's no point to the callsign "Air Force One".
    • Most egregiously, Rayford is a civilian airline employee. As the name "Air Force One" would suggest, this is a military appointment. If you look at The Other Wiki's list of all previous Air Force One pilots, all were military officers, and none were below the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
  • At the end of Tribulation Force and the beginning of Nicolae: The Rise of Antichrist, Nicolae finally does something properly evil by launching World War III. This takes the form of World War II-style bombing raids targeting such things as hospitals and airports — except using 100-megaton nuclear bombs. The biggest manmade explosion ever, the Tsar Bomba detonation, destroyed buildings hundreds of kilometers away from the test site — and that was a single 50 megaton weapon. What Nicolae did is the very definition of No Kill Like Overkill. And yet, although reality would suggest that any such bombing run would reduce everything nearby to a glass crater, a city that takes a direct hit is described as looking like London during the Blitz.
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  • Russia uses "almost the entirety" of its nuclear arsenal on Israel, suggesting that LaHaye and Jenkins don't know what an "arsenal" is (or really what a nuke does). First, it's incredibly stupid for the Russians to use their entire arsenal and have nothing left over to defend against a counterattack or use as a deterrent in the future. Second, this is again massive overkill — Russia has more than 4,000 nukes, enough to destroy every country on Earth several times over, and all of them are concentrated on Israel. The only way for Israel to possibly survive that is with Divine Intervention (which, of course, they get).
  • Buck Williams receives an "exclusive" interview with the new U.N. Secretary-General Nicolae Carpathia, which is scheduled for after Carpathia speaks to a number of other journalists. An "exclusive", as the name would suggest, is when an interview subject talks exclusively with one journalist or organization on a subject.
  • Buck arrives at Penn Station in New York City, walks for miles and miles until he's ready to collapse from exhaustion, finds a bicycle, counts it as a blessing from God, rides it for several miles more, and finally arrives in Midtown Manhattan. Penn Station is located in Midtown Manhattan, so he was already there when he started his journey. What's more, the island of Manhattan is only thirteen miles long (with Penn Station being about three miles from the southern tip). There aren't many places in it that require traveling miles and miles and miles to reach. Buck is supposed to be in really good shape, and should be capable of walking anywhere on the island and barely even feeling it.
  • The Jordan River is presented as a huge, broad river with heavy boat traffic, rather than the unnavigable stream it really is. Many Americans, especially those influenced by spirituals, have a tendency to picture the Jordan like the Mississippi, but LaHaye has actually visited Israel and should know better.
  • This one is relatively minor, but Israeli troops don't carry or attach bayonets, particularly not in the middle of Israeli cities. Despite what the trope would have you believe.
  • The number of people who disappeared in the Rapture is frequently referred to as "millions", which may or may not be an appropriate figure for the number of "true" Christians in the world, depending on how one views such things. The larger problem is that every child under twelve also disappeared, which would be more than a billion and reduce those taken because of their faith to little more than a rounding error. The story also never addresses the impact, psychological or otherwise, of a world without children.


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