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  • Hidden in Plain Sight: A Companion Reference to Threats, Real and Imagined, as Configured in Late Twentieth-Century Christian America
  • Chauna Craig (bio)

Ace in the Hole

  1. 1. The first Minuteman Missile—America’s first solid fuel, fully automated, push-button missile and John F. Kennedy’s secret weapon against the Soviets during the Cuban Missile Crisis—was buried in Alpha Six silo, forty miles southeast of my hometown. It took only thirty-two seconds to launch. In 1962, when Khrushchev’s threats escalated, Air Command overrode the usual safety procedures requiring four separate approvals from two different command centers to release a missile. Only one command center was actually finished, and rules are always suspended in a crisis. See Great Falls, Montana, Malmstrom Air Force Base, and Minuteman Missile.

  2. 2. The unregistered junk gun my father bought from a junior-high guidance counselor “just in case” and hid in a box in our attic. See also Saturday Night Special.

American Redoubt

With origins in the military concept of “redoubt,” which means a safe or protected enclave, this describes the region in the American West recommended as a refuge for Christians in the coming end times. The American Redoubt consists of eastern Washington and Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana, an ideal hideaway due to its sparse population, libertarian ideals, and landscape abundant with natural resources, like water and game. Proponents have observed, however, that Christians moving to the American Redoubt would be wise to remain west of missile bases, due to the probability of nuclear fallout. See also Malmstrom Air Force Base.

American Doubt and Redoubt are awaiting apocalypse. Doubt is annihilated. Who is left? [End Page 5]


The opposite of Christ, and thus the opposite of sacrifice and salvation. An ungodly beast whose intention is to enslave us all, the Antichrist can take any form, including that of the Pope, Communist world leaders, and/or Democrats.

My ex-husband liked to tell his children, my stepchildren, that he was 666 years old. We lived in the Bible Belt then, and the kids gleefully shared this detail with their classmates and teachers. When I suggested that claiming to be the Antichrist was no way to make friends, he said I never could take a joke.

My own children recently told me that their father claims to be 666 years old. I see no reason to argue.

See Armageddon and Revelation (Book of).


The final battle between good and evil, for which the signs and indicators are abundant if you know where to look. All of my childhood was an education in where to look. See Eschatology.

Cabin in the Middle of Nowhere

Before I was born, my grandfather bought a primitive log cabin in a canyon in the middle of Meagher County, Montana. Single room, sleeping porch, outhouse. It was the summer weekend escape of my childhood. Over the years, he added a well and a root cellar “just in case.” The only thing I remember anyone keeping in that root cellar was a six-pack of bottled Coca-Cola in 1985 when rumors of a new formula felt like the end of the world.

See Armageddon, Iodine-131 and Y2K. See also Kaczynski, Theodore.

The Day After (1983)

A made-for-television movie dramatizing the effects of nuclear war on a town in Kansas and starring Jason Robards and John Lithgow. ABC drew a record 100 million viewers, and the horror of this imagined event was so potentially traumatizing that a free counseling hotline was available.

Lawrence, Kansas, was chosen as the setting for The Day After because the 150 Minuteman missiles nearby made the town a “realistic” target. My mother comforted us with this thought: we lived near more missiles than that and would never suffer radiation sickness. We would be annihilated. [End Page 6]


The study of end times and all the signs and wonders surrounding them.

Freemen, Montana

On a ranch in southeastern Montana, more properly known as the Middle of Nowhere, a group of people calling themselves “Freemen” gained national attention when one of their leaders declared in the spring of 1995 a holy war of God’s laws versus man’s...


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