Meet Shakina Kami: the alter-ego of the self-described prophet Mark Taylor, who claims to have foreseen the Donald Trump presidency as early as 2011 and tells all in his new book, “The Trump Prophecies: The Astonishing True Story Of The Man Who Saw Tomorrow… And What He Says Is Coming Next.”
It all started as the retired firefighter watched Trump give an otherwise innocuous interview to Fox News. In his book, Taylor describes how God spoke to him as the interview went on: “The Spirit of God says, ‘I have chosen this man, Donald Trump, for such a time as this. For as Benjamin Netanyahu is to Israel, so shall this man be to the United States.’”
From that moment on, Taylor explains, he felt his political and religious role shift dramatically—realizing that he “was no longer simply Mark Taylor” but also “Shakina Kami,” a name that supposedly translates from a combination of “African” and “Indian” languages into “Beautiful One Whose Desires Are Fulfilled, and in Whose Life the Lord Dwells with the Divine Wind of Providence.” The rest of the book is devoted to revealing Taylor’s visions about how Trump is the “chosen one” who will unite the “Army of God.”
These prophecies depict political events that range from to unconstitutional to explicitly violent.
For example, Taylor argues that “we simply must stop saying that the Church and/or God doesn’t belong in politics” and, as such, he believes that God will use Trump to unite Church and state by evicting “the evil that currently resides” in the government, in some cases “possibly” arresting politicians who oppose the administration. Among those that will be replaced are five Supreme Court justices, who will be overthrown in a dramatic fashion: with one retired, one dead, and three forced to resign amidst scandal. In addition to purging the government, Taylor explains, the Spirit of God often tells Taylor that President Trump will finally defeat all threatening non-state actors as well, such as the “illuminati and ISIS.”
However, according to Taylor, this process will not be without difficulty. Taylor frequently supplements his prophecies with stories of personal obstacles: Namely, Taylor describes how he is targeted by evil spirits for “speaking out against the powers of evil that have strongholds in high places,” especially in the Supreme Court. In some instances, Taylor uses self-aggrandizing superhero tropes to depict his battle with “demonic” and “powerful” spirits, who try to undermine his mission to expose them. Taylor boasts about how he has called upon “the physical self-defense strategies” that he “had learned to rely on as a fireman” in order to “reach out and attack” the “powerful” and “demonic” spirits that torment him at night.
The demonic adversity that Taylor endures only strengthens his resolve to help Trump unite a Christian Army. In fact, his individual encounters with evil seem to enhance the violent war imagery Taylor uses to describe how the Christian Army should oust political opposition:
The Spirit of God says, ‘America, get ready, for I AM choosing from the top of the cream, for I AM putting together America’s dream team, from the president and his administration, to judges and congress to ease America’s frustrations!’ The Spirit of God says, ‘Rise up, My Army, and get in the fight… Rise up! stomp the enemy’s head with bliss; send the enemy back to Hell and into the abyss.’
Taylor has become a minor celebrity among a certain segment of Trump-loving End Times prophets, appearing on televangelist Jim Bakker’s TV show and speaking with far-right radio host Rick Wiles. Perhaps chief among Taylor’s supporters is Mary Colbert, who wrote three chapters in the book detailing how she used Taylor’s prophesies, in tandem with her own, in order to facilitate daily prayer chains among evangelicals all across the country. According to Colbert, these prayer chains were so successful that Colbert and her husband were eventually invited onto Trump’s evangelical advisory board, which allowed her to advocate on behalf of the Religious Right directly to Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway. Colbert also boasts of having dinner with the president, proudly describing how she directly confronted “establishment politicians” such as Chris Christie and Rudy Giuliani. (Colbert has previously claimed to have been on the Trump campaign’s evangelical advisory board, but we have seen no outside confirmation that she actually was a member.)
“The Trump Prophecies” is an especially colorful example of the efforts of many on the Religious Right to frame Trump’s victory in divine terms. A group of self-proclaimed prophets and apostles has even formed what they call a “POTUS Shield” dedicated to guarding the president and his agenda with prayer.
Taylor concludes the book by declaring that under the Trump presidency, the “future is very bright” for those who have joined the ranks of “the Army of God.”