Carole C. Carlson: The Mother of Modern Prophecy

Hal Lindsey is known as the father of modern bible prophecy. His famous Late Great Planet Earth sold over 35 million copies and spawned the billion-dollar end-times industry whose books and videos repeat his dispensational theme and are patterned after his novel writing style.

Who Really Wrote The Late Great Planet Earth?

However, after two decades of basking in the praise for creating this new genre of prophetic literature, it was quietly revealed that the books were actually ghost written by a mysterious C. C. Carlson. Recently C.C. Carlson began appearing on the back cover of Lindsey’s books as co-author. But even today, few realize that the writer whose genius triggered this global phenomenon was a woman. The Late, Great Planet Earth is the title of a 1970 book and later a movie narrated by Orson Welles co-authored by Hal Lindsey and C. C. Carlson.

Whether the book’s central thesis originated with Lindsey or with Carlson is not clear, since Carlson is a ghost writer who has co-authored many books with others, mostly with a religious theme.

Who is C. C. Carlson?

C. C. Carlson is Carole C. Carlson. She has written over twenty books that we know of. There is no telling who is writing for whom in the dispensational community since the use of ghost writers and professional writers by the big names like Billy Graham has become the norm. In fact, one wonders if Hal Lindsey has written any of the books that bear his name.

Hal Lindsey was 42 in 1971 when Late Great Planet Earth appeared. There is no indication he had ever written anything longer than a term paper to that point in his life. And his background as a New Orleans tugboat captain and campus evangelist suggest he never had an aptitude for writing. He is more of an active, outdoor type with strong interpersonal skills.

While Hal continues to appear on TV, maintain his high visibility and lead tour after tour to Israel (over 80 trips to date), Carole is quietly at home in Ventura, California with her feet under her word processor. They are both doing what they do best and Carole appears happy to let her famous partner enjoy the limelight.

However, it is very unusual for a woman to write a prophecy book in Protestantism. Prior to 1971, you could count them on one hand. Elliot and Spurgeon survey history and list the best expositors in Horae and Commentating on Commentators. Neither man mention a woman.

And this woman has not only written a prophecy book, but the most influential series of prophecy books in this century. And her books have sold more copies than all the other prophecy books ever written combined!

The Mother of Modern Bible Prophecy

Certainly, Carlson deserves some of the recognition and praise that Hal is enjoying instead of being treated like a skeleton in the closet. And if he is the father, is not Carole C. Carlson the mother of modern bible prophecy?

In 1990, David Jeremiah and co-author C. C. Carlson claimed to have written Escape the Coming Night — a book about the rapture. It was soon discovered that significant portions of the book were plagiarized from best-selling author Hal Lindsey’s 1973 work There’s a New World Coming, which was also co-authored by C. C. Carlson. After realizing there were at least 47 pages of plagiarized material in the Jeremiah book, his publisher Word Books destroyed the inventory and, in a written statement, actually admitted the theft in late 1998. – from Christians Behaving Badly

But this shocking story really began in 1997. That was when I discovered that much of a 1990 book, Escape the Coming Night by David Jeremiah and C. C. Carlson, was a brazen plagiarism of Hal Lindsey’s 1973 book There’s a New World Coming. I can’t recall which part of Escape made me suspicious and led me to do a thorough examination. It may have been the description of the 144,000 as “Jewish Billy Grahams”—-an unforgettable phrase I knew Lindsey had used. (Originally published by Word Publishing, Escape had later been taken over by Thomas Nelson Publishers, the largest Bible and inspirational book publisher on earth.) Thieves’ Marketing by Dave MacPherson

In the 1970s, Hal Lindsey and Carole C. Carlson built a publishing empire on “The Late Great Planet Earth,” one of the biggest non-fiction hits of that decade. From Late Great Planet Hollywood.

Gary North in his forward to Gary Demar’s The Legacy of Hate Continues (1989, American Vision, Atlanta) comments on Hal Lindsey’s book The Road to Holocaust:

The Road to Holocaust can accurately be described as chloroform in print. I was its target, yet it nearly put me to sleep. (Please, whatever you do, don’t smoke in bed while reading this book!) It is not just that he got his facts wrong, it is that Hal Lindsey, without C. C. Carlson to ghost write his material, is boring! The man just can’t write.”

Books written by Carole C. Carlson