If millions of Christians suddenly disappear from the face of the Earth as the opening act for Armageddon, Threat Level thinks most nonbelievers will be too busy freaking the hell out to check their e-mail. But if they do log in, now they can be treated to some post-Rapture needling from their missing friends and loved ones, courtesy of web startup YouveBeenLeftBehind.com.
For just $40 a year, believers can arrange for up to 62 people to get a final message exactly six days after the Rapture, that day when -- according to Christian end times dogma -- Christians will be swept up to heaven, while doubters are left behind to suffer seven years of Tribulation under a global government headed by the Antichrist.
"You've Been Left Behind gives you one last opportunity to reach your lost family and friends for Christ," reads the website, which is purportedly run "by Christians, for Christians." The domain name is registered through an anonymous proxy service, presumably to protect the proprietors from the Forces of Darkness, and not because they're up to anything shady.
The e-mails will be triggered when three of the site's five Christian staffers "scattered around the U.S." fail to log in for six days in a row -- a system that incorporates a nice margin of safety, should two of the proprietors turn out to be unrepentant sinners or atheists.
Users can also upload up to 150 megabytes of documents, which will be protected by an unidentified encryption algorithm until the Rapture, then released to up to 12 nonbelievers of your choice. The site recommends that you use that storage to house sensitive financial information.
"In the encrypted portion of your account you can give them access to your banking, brokerage, hidden valuables, and powers of attorneys," the site says. "There won't be any bodies, so probate court will take seven years to clear your assets to your next of kin. Seven years, of course, is all the time that will be left. So, basically the Government of the Antichrist gets your stuff, unless you make it available in another way."
Of course, some of us would sooner trust the Antichrist with our stuff than turn it over to a company that hides behind an anonymous domain registration service, and doesn't list a single corporate officer or employee by name on its website.
The company, You've Been Left Behind LLC, didn't respond to an e-mail query, raising the obvious question of whether the Rapture has already begun. Developing …
Update: You've Been Left Behind's Mark Heard responded to our e-mail Wednesday.
The site is for real. I came up with the idea back in 1999, for my own personnel situation, but did nothing about it. I started thinking about it again last year. I first contacted another company about putting it together. We discussed it for about a month, but they weren't really interested. In the meantime I found two other sites that were offering a similar idea. One was run by and Atheist who mocked his customers. (not exactly trustworthy to the Christian!) The other was a postcard snail-mail system. Neither one had the ability to edit stored documents and addresses. I ended up building the system that I needed.
The encryption is 256bit, but that is all I know of it. I'm not that tech savvy. I'm the guy who pays, the central link between team members, and face.
I actually started by registering the domain name. I don't really no why it shows up as anonymous, possibly because of the service I registered it through, possibly because I did not buy their servers and assign the name to it.
We do have customers. The site has seen a great deal of traffic. I think that most of the traffic is by angry non-Christians checking it out and venting on various blogs. I have read quite a few of these and politely answered some of them. I have taken some of their negative comments as constructive criticism and ordered a few changes on the site.