The Trump prophets regroup

In the months to come, the pages and airwaves of Charisma featured a range of religious leaders and lay people telling of a Trump victory. Each claimed that God had revealed — in dreams, visions or ethereal signs — that Mr. Trump would take the presidency. There was, for example: Jeremiah Johnson, a youthful seer from Florida (“a relatively young man but has remarkably accurate prophetic gifts”); Kim Clement, a onetime heroin user from South Africa (“he reveals the heartbeat of God”); and Frank Amedia, a Jew-turned-evangelical preacher with a penchant for spiritual warfare (“known for his bold and accurate prophetic words”).

At this time, Charisma’s staff was producing 15 stories a day, many related to the election. (Typical headlines read: “Prophecy: God Sent Donald Trump to Wage War Against Destructive Spirits” or “Prophecy: Donald Trump Is Unstoppable Because the Lord Is Unstoppable.”)

“Running stories about politics got clicks. And stories about prophetic words also got clicks,” Taylor Berglund, a former editor at Charisma, said. “So you combine these two and you had the most popular articles on the site.”

Monthly readership of the Charisma website rose to somewhere between two and three million, Mr. Berglund said. “There was a real incentive to keep posting like that,” he said.

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