Japan’s Twitterverse is abuzz with the news that US-born psychic Ron Bard has predicted a huge natural disaster in Japan with major loss of life by the end of 2013. Bard, who calls his work “parapsychological consulting”, is well-known in Japan and counts major players at companies like Sega and Merrill Lynch Japan among his clients.

Bard took to Twitter yesterday with a series of translated messages for his fans in Japan including one that read: “I predicted March 11, but no one believed me. You can save lives this time by retweeting this!”

Here is a translation of all of Bard’s tweets on the topic in order of appearance:

1) To everyone in Japan, once again, hello. I have some important messages to convey to you today in Japanese. (Translation: Yoko Fujimoto)

2) Last night, I was able to see into the future of Japan. I’d like to share those visions with you.

3) In two or three months, Japan is going to experience a natural disaster.

4) My message is very important. Everyone, please retweet this so that many people in Japan will know. In particular, tell your family, friends and loved ones. Please tell as many people as possible to follow me on Twitter.

5) This is not a joke. If you are not going to believe this message, please go ahead and stop reading now.

6) But if you would like to keep your loved ones and many other safe, pass my message on to as many people as possible. Or have them follow me on Twitter.

7) For the next couple of months, please read my tweets carefully. As the day of the disaster gets closer, I will be able to say which parts of Japan are most at risk.

8) As you all know, I predicted the March 11 disaster. Around the summer of 2010, it began to become clear to me. That prediction was published in the Tokyo Sports Shimbun, but it appears few people took notice of it. That’s why I want to stress the importance of my message this time.

9) If you want to protect your family and friends and others around you, please take my tweets seriously. And encourage people to follow me on Twitter. In this way, many people’s lives might be saved.

10) When it has passed, two or three months feels like a twinkling of an eye, but when there are two or three months to go, it feels like an eternity. But time is of the essence. From this moment on, you must imagine yourself in a state of emergency, and it is important that you prepare yourself mentally, as well as stocking up necessary goods.

11) I was raised in Christianity and Judaism, but now I believe that Japan is the source of all the world’s religions. Everyone, please pray together with me for the safety of the people of Japan. If you pray with me, perhaps we will be able to save your family, friends and loved ones.

Really? First of all, claiming that he predicted March 11 is pretty rich. What he actually said on March 8 was, “Before Japan reaches a major turning point, it is going to experience a great difficulty.” If he was really referring to the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster that were going to happen a few days later, it’s a bit of a dick move not to lay out any specifics. Could have saved a few lives, you know? But maybe he was referring to something else? After all, 2011 was the year that Nogizaka 46 rose to challenge AKB48 and we were faced with en exponential increase in the amount of annoying pop “music” assaulting us from all sides.

Secondly, does this strike anyone else as desperate? I mean, how many times does the man have to say “please follow me”?

Finally, did you notice that nice little out he gave himself in the end? After all, saying a major disaster will happen in two to three months is fairly specific, even for disaster-prone Japan, but if we all pray together, maybe it won’t happen! Either way, he gets to claim that he accurately predicted the future and/or prevented a tragedy, winning a whole lot of new followers on the way who just might buy from his line of mystic incense and oils.

Using the death of thousands to further your sketchy business and scaring credulous people more than they already have cause to be is pretty darn low, Mr. Bard. But if your message encourages even one person to double-check their emergency kit, I suppose you are not a complete waste of space.
[ Read in Japanese ]