What did David Wilkerson say that got so many people talking?

On March 7, evangelist David Wilkerson posted an "urgent message" to his blog, ministry website, and mailing list. It began:

I am compelled by the Holy Spirit to send out an urgent message to all on our mailing list, and to friends and to bishops we have met all over the world.
AN EARTH-SHATTERING CALAMITY IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN. IT IS GOING TO BE SO FRIGHTENING, WE ARE ALL GOING TO TREMBLE — EVEN THE GODLIEST AMONG US.
For ten years I have been warning about a thousand fires coming to New York City. It will engulf the whole megaplex, including areas of New Jersey and Connecticut. Major cities all across America will experience riots and blazing fires — such as we saw in Watts, Los Angeles, years ago.
There will be riots and fires in cities worldwide. There will be looting — including Times Square, New York City. What we are experiencing now is not a recession, not even a depression. We are under God's wrath.

Aren't such prophecies relatively common online?

Prophetic words in general are not very rare. For example, you can subscribe to Charisma magazine's "Prophetic Insight" newsletter to get the latest messages from those who say they have a message for the church directly from the Lord. The newsletter tends more toward the "words of encouragement" prophecies than "end times" parsing, though you can find lots of those newsletters online, too.

Are most of the other prophecy newsletters as calamitous?

Actually, Charisma's latest "Prophetic Insight" seems to be a response of sorts to Wilkerson. "Contra the doom-and-gloomers, and despite my own emotional pull to hit the panic button, America will not collapse economically or politically," wrote R. Loren Sandford, ...

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