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Escapism has become the biggest social problem of our times!
With the future unthinkable, the present unacceptable, millions seek ESCAPE from the problems they can't face!
And EVEN THIS was prophesied!
See, in this article, what escapism is doing to the moral fiber of our peoples, and where God says it's leading.


THE "4-F's" of our time are not just those unfit for military service; they're the frightened, fearful, futile and frustrated.

"Anyone who seeks to analyze and define this age in tangible terms is likely to experience a sense of bafflement," said a syndicated columnist recently.

"It is an age of contradictions, of challenging paradoxes. In a time when men are seeking to explore the stars, they are finding it increasingly difficult to solve the problems which affect them on this planet. And in a period when technology promises to usher in a new scientific Utopia in which everyone will be happy, millions are gripped with a feeling of insecurity. Small wonder someone has called this 'an age with a split personality' "!

And small wonder that, when a little boy was asked what he wanted to be when he grew up, he answered, "Alive!"

You're living in staggering times!

Probably, you refuse to admit to yourself how truly FRIGHTENING these days are. If you're like so many millions of others; the mere mention of hydrogen bombs, nuclear war, world famine, impending race riots, mass starvation, or the war in Viet Nam gives you a sort of "willies" — and you turn instantly to something more comforting.

It's the "something more comforting" that has become a part of frightening reality!

Millions of our peoples are playing a desperate game of "let's pretend"! "Let's pretend" these shocking problems aren't REAL — and maybe somehow they'll go away. But the problems don't go away — and much GREATER problems are being created by the millions who won't face the ones that exist.

The fruits of this awesome fear we refuse to face are everywhere around us. Public preoccupation with sex, increased degeneration and lasciviousness among teenagers, gambling, alcoholism, and drug addiction are some of the temporary escapes from reality being used today.

And we can't even face the LITTLE problems, let alone the big ones!


What ARE the "Big" Problems?

The greatest problem facing mankind today, overpowering the threat of hydrogen-bomb war, is the population "explosion" — the awesome, steady, irrevocable increase in the number of human beings on this crowded earth. Immediately behind it, still more awesome and inevitable a problem than the threat of nuclear war is the obvious result of overpopulation; impending FAMINE on a global scale!

Another problem of mammoth worldwide proportions, and directly related to population pressures, drought and famine, is that of DISEASE epidemics! Next comes the threat of extinction through THREE SEPARATE MEANS!

First and most widely publicized is the threat of NUCLEAR-BOMB WAR, and the total annihilation of all mankind!

Second, and perhaps even more staggering because of the prospect of a lingering death for multiple millions, is the possibility of CHEMICAL warfare; nerve gases; new chemicals which destroy the will of an enemy to resist, or which effect total changes in the personality!

Third, and equally as nightmarish in portent is BIOLOGICAL warfare!

The public has been warned that even a tiny dose of certain germ cultures, such as botulinus toxin, into the water supplies, or air, of enemy nations would kill multiple millions before it were ever detected!

Staggering? Frightening? Awesome? These words lack the force and power to really describe such massive problems. We simply lack the ability to describe in terms real to OURSELVES the unbelievable FACTS of this modern age of ours!

Taking all these really BIG problems together; you must multiply their significance many times over when you realize the tremendous ideological struggle under way between the big powers today!

Seeing the imminent proliferation of atomic weapons; the decay of NATO; the emergence of dozens of new nations (each with a vote equal to that of the United States or USSR in the United Nations); the deep and seemingly insoluble problems of race, culture, language, religion, and government — looking at the WHOLE picture, is it any wonder most seek ESCAPE?

Millions of us find these incredible facts UNACCEPTABLE! We simply "CAN'T" believe it's all that bad. "Don't WANT to" might be a better term!


Too Many LITTLE Problems to Worry About

Paradoxically, it's not these overpowering BIG problems from which most people seek escape.

When the American Secretary of Defense says, in a casual, clinical, dispassionate way, that "130,000,000 Americans would perish" if the Soviets attacked with missiles tomorrow — it scares no one. But an announcement by major tobacco companies about a hike in the price of cigarettes? It could touch off demonstrations!

People seek escape from their DAILY pressures more than any other thing!

The high-tension living of our modern age of automation, mechanization, and impersonal dog-eat-dog competition drives many to drink!

And rising taxes, the boss on the job, the mother-in-law, the good-looking girl around the corner, racial tensions, the war in Viet Nam, and the constant cry of the daily news is enough to make most people want to escape from it all!

Our modern plays, book titles and music illustrate the point! "Stop the WORLD, I Want to Get Off," they cry. Or, "HELP!" Or, at the very bottom of the barrel of incredible loneliness is the cry of the "Beatles" of "I Want to Hold Your Hand!"

Take a look at the myriad forms of escape we're using.


Ambassador Cottage Photo

A tangled maze of metal, wood and wire — a manufactured Mecca of madness; a fairyland of frolic and fantasy: Disneyland, California.
Millions of tourists from all over the world rush to this man-made permanent carnival.


Get Away From It All!

How many times have you heard someone say, "I've just gotta GET AWAY from it all for a while!"?

And how many times have YOU felt the same way?

The most obvious form of escape is literally getting away, LEAVING the scene of your personal problems.

In Britain, "HOLIDAY" is a colorful, exciting, pulsating word of fun, frolic and fancy! And business, enterprise, service, emergency or birth can WAIT when "holiday" is around the corner.

Millions of Britons who can little afford it rush frantically to the dozens of "holiday" camps, to Scotland or Wales, to Europe or America.

"Holiday" is a corruption of "Holy Day," and, in the tenacious grip millions have upon their sacred free time, you'd be led to believe it is just a little bit "holy" to many a frustrated and jaundiced eye, still.

Travel is a HUGE business, today!

The millions who want to see the world before it blows up (as one teenager put it, "I want to get to Europe this summer, because who knows whether Europe will be there next year?") provide the most important industry in many nations. Without tourism, Mexico, Denmark, Switzerland and many other nations would find their national economies seriously injured!

The sales of airline and steamship tickets, of leased and rented cars, of train and bus tickets, and the "go-now, pay-later" plans being offered so prolifically today are mounting into HUGE sums — but this is only a part of the picture.

Sales of various types of travel and camping equipment have boomed into the multiple millions of dollars per month!

People are traveling today as NEVER BEFORE IN HISTORY!

The largest influx in the HISTORY of Europe is expected this summer — and traffic jams unparalleled will be the daily occurrence in Switzerland, France, the Riviera, Italy and Great Britain.

This massive onslaught of tourists is related directly, of course, to increased wages, more leisure time, and the impulse to rush forward to capture the pleasant experiences of life before they disappear forever.

Daniel was told his prophecies would be closed to general understanding . . . even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased" (Dan. 12:4). So, at this time in world events when technological knowledge has led mankind to the brink of nuclear insanity, man tries to escape the frightening world of his own devising by frantically running "to and fro" — thinking a change in physical environment can somehow blot out the fears and worries of day-to-day living.

Travel can be broadening and educational. It can be recreational in the right sense — and well-earned travel to carefully selected places for specific and right purposes is NOT mere "escape."

But the nagging, driving URGE to travel, to LEAVE the scene of one's own frustrations — travel for the purposes millions admit they travel, is pure escapism.

However, travel is by no means the greatest form of escape; and is probably the least harmful of all.