End of the World predictor Harold Camping has passed on.

Harold Camping at 6:01PM Saturday, May 21st, 2011.

Harold Camping at 6:01PM Saturday, May 21st, 2011.

It’s a sad day for fans of Bible prophecy as one of its more noteworthy practitioners has shuffled off his mortal coil:

Controversial preacher Harold Camping dies at 92

A statement released late Monday by his Family Radio network says Harold Camping “passed on to glory” at 5:30 p.m. PT Sunday. He was 92. The statement revealed Camping had a fall at his home November 30, but he was in weak health due to a stroke since 2011.

Considering that I wrote about him more than once in the run up to his predicted end of the world — which somehow didn’t come to pass despite the ridiculous number of people who bought into it — I thought it would bring about a bit of closure to mention his passing.

Camping is a perfect example of someone buying into his own bullshit a little too much. Most of the time that’s not a huge problem, but in this case he hurt a lot of other people by convincing them he knew what he was talking about. The number of people who spent their life’s savings and gave away everything they owned because they believed his prediction is staggering. Hopefully most of them have rebuilt their lives by now and are a little wiser and more skeptical about such claims.

Goodbye, Harold. You were good for a laugh or two, but you should have kept your prediction to yourself.

No more goal post shifting for Harold Camping.

You remember Mr. Camping, right? The preacher who predicted the world would end on May 21st of 2011? If you’ve been paying attention then you know he was wrong. Then he doubled down and said that it was a spiritual rapture and that the real one would occur 5 months later in October. That one, also, failed to happen. It was shortly after that that he announced he was retiring.

He’s not going to leave us hanging without a proper explanation. Seems he just put out a news release wherein he admits that he was wrong and was pretty stupid for trying to predict when Jesus would come knocking in the first place:

Harold Camping Admits Rapture Prediction Was ‘Sinful Statement’.

We have learned the very painful lesson that all of creation is in God’s hands and He will end time in His time, not ours! We humbly recognize that God may not tell His people the date when Christ will return, any more than He tells anyone the date they will die physically.

We realize that many people are hoping they will know the date of Christ’s return. In fact for a time Family Radio fell into that kind of thinking. But we now realize that those people who were calling our attention to the Bible’s statement that “of that day and hour knoweth no man” (Matthew 24:36 & Mark 13:32), were right in their understanding of those verses and Family Radio was wrong. Whether God will ever give us any indication of the date of His return is hidden in God’s divine plan.

That said, Camping insists that there’s still an upside to his exercise in idiocy:

The May 21 campaign was an astounding event if you think about its impact upon this world. There is no question that millions, if not billions of people heard for the first time the Bible’s warning that Jesus Christ will return. Huge portions of this world that had never read or seen a Bible heard the message the Christ Jesus is coming to rapture His people and destroy this natural world.

Yes, we humbly acknowledge we were wrong about the timing; yet though we were wrong God is still using the May 21 warning in a very mighty way. In the months following May 21 the Bible has, in some ways, come out from under the shadows and is now being discussed by all kinds of people who never before paid any attention to the Bible. We learn about this, for example, by the recent National Geographic articles concerning the King James Bible and the apostles. Reading about and even discussing about the Bible can never be a bad thing, even if the Bible’s authenticity is questioned or ridiculed. The world’s attention has been called to the Bible.

Right, because no one was talking or writing about the Bible before Camping starting making his end-of-the-world predictions.

Truth is, the only thing the world’s attention was brought to was what a bunch of idiots followers of Harold Camping were. More than one of them sold or gave away everything they owned and spent all their savings because they honestly thought there was no tomorrow past May 21st. Lots of others quit their jobs and wasted money on billboards and fliers and generally being obnoxious to everyone they met about the coming End of Days. If you go read the whole statement from Mr. Camping you’ll note that he doesn’t even mention these people in it.

In fact, the only person (of such) that he asks for forgiveness from is God:

We were even so bold as to insist that the Bible guaranteed that Christ would return on May 21 and that the true believers would be raptured. Yet this incorrect and sinful statement allowed God to get the attention of a great many people who otherwise would not have paid attention. Even as God used sinful Balaam to accomplish His purposes, so He used our sin to accomplish His purpose of making the whole world acquainted with the Bible. However, even so, that does not excuse us. We tremble before God as we humbly ask Him for forgiveness for making that sinful statement. We are so thankful that God is so loving that He will forgive even this sin.

What about all those idiots you convinced to voluntarily ruin their lives for your cause? Don’t you think they might like an apology and, perhaps, a bit of contrition from you? You did no harm to God (mainly because he doesn’t exist) but you did a lot of real-world harm to others. Fuck them, right? It’s their own damn fault they were dumb enough to listen to you in the first place. That seems to be the message we should take away from Mr. Camping.

But I suppose we should give him a little credit. At least he’s given up the prediction game. Unlike some others we’ve followed here at SEB that are well into the hundreds of wrong guesses. That’s the real upside to this whole mess.

Word has it that Harold Camping is finally retiring.

In case you haven’t noticed, Harold Camping’s latest prediction for the end of the world has, again, failed to come to pass. We’ve not heard anything about this latest failure from the man himself, but rumor has it that he’s tossing in the towel:

Although Family Radio declined to confirm or deny Camping’s status to Charisma News, news reports are swirling that Camping has officially retired from Family Stations Inc.

Family Radio removed from its website Camping’s written comments on why the rapture did not occur on May 21. Those comments included a prediction that the world would come to an end quietly on Oct. 21.

Given Camping’s silence after the world did not end on Friday, a recent stroke from which he is still recovering, and the take down of his comments, it appears he may not make another rapture prediction.

Which makes him smarter than most of the people involved in predicting the Apocalypse. I’ve written several times of the goal post shifting from the folks at the True Bible Decoders website. They started predicting that New York would be hit with a nuclear attack back in April of 2006 and, as of today and by their own admission, they’ve made the same wrong prediction some 338 times. Their latest date was for sometime between October 23rd and 24th (today is the 26th). That hasn’t stopped them from claiming that several of their predictions have come true. They claim for example, that the Japanese earthquake and resulting nuclear plant disaster was “the second fire sign of 1Kings18”. You really have to read the explanation to appreciate just how silly it is. Just be sure to take precautions in case your head asplodes.

So if Camping is retiring then he deserves a little credit for recognizing when he’s talking out of his ass and packing it in. Now the question is: What will all his faithful followers do?

SEB PSA: You have 3 days until the End of the World. Again.

Harold Camping at 6:01PM Saturday, May 21st, 2011.

Hey, remember back in May when apocalyptic preacher Harold Camping’s prediction that the world would end on the 21st of that month totally failed to happen?  His excuse at the time was that it was a “spiritual” judgement day and the actual apocalypse — the part with the hell-fire and brimstone and the complete destruction of the globe — would happen in five months time. Well, that five months comes to an end Friday.

Camping hasn’t been making much noise since his last prediction failed to materialize because, he claims, that if you were saved prior to the “spiritual” judgement that took place back in May then there was no hope of being saved leading up to the actual end so why bother continuing to preach to anyone who hadn’t already gotten their shit together?

I have no doubts that Camping really believed the world was going to end on May 21st. Proof of that is the fact that he had a stroke not long after the events failed to unfold as he had predicted them to. I don’t even care that he really believed his own nonsense. What does bother me is that he managed to convince a shitload of other people to buy into it. Many of whom spent their life savings and quit their jobs and moved across the country because this old fool had sold them a bill of goods. He did real damage to people’s lives and he himself probably won’t be around that much longer to regret given his age and his health.

But that hasn’t stopped him from doubling down on his prediction that the actual destruction of the planet will take place this Friday in this video clip from the Associated Press:

No Harold, you’re definitely not a genius. But then it doesn’t take genius to make wild predictions. All it takes is faith, which you no doubt have in abundance. It’ll be interesting to hear what your next excuse will be when Saturday comes and the world and everyone on it is still here.

Try not to have another stroke over it. It really shouldn’t be much of a surprise the third time around.

Harold Camping has unveiled his excuse: The Apocalypse did occur, just not the way we thought it would.

Harold Camping at 6:01PM Saturday, May 21st, 2011.

We’ve all been waiting with bated breath for Harold Camping to come out of his shell and explain why the rapture didn’t occur last Saturday like he said it would. Will he shift the goal posts as is often the tactic of the overly credulous when their predictions fail to materialize? (It’s the tactic used by the True Bible Nutcases and it has worked for them nearly 300 times now!) Will he admit he’s a clueless old man who talked thousands into ruining their lives? Or will he stubbornly insist that his predication came true, just not in the manner he thought it would?

If you picked option C then you’re a winner!

Through chatting with a friend over what he acknowledged was a very difficult weekend, it dawned on him that instead of the biblical Rapture in which the faithful would be swept up to the heavens, May 21 had instead been a “spiritual” Judgment Day, which places the entire world under Christ’s judgment, he said.

The globe will be completely destroyed in five months, he said, when the apocalypse comes. But because God’s judgment and salvation were completed on Saturday, there’s no point in continuing to warn people about it, so his network will now just play Christian music and programs until the final end on Oct. 21.

“We’ve always said May 21 was the day, but we didn’t understand altogether the spiritual meaning,” he said. “The fact is there is only one kind of people who will ascend into heaven … if God has saved them they’re going to be caught up.”

via Preacher says world will actually end in October – Yahoo! News.

Yes, it’s not that he was wrong about the date of the rapture, he was just wrong about the saved being swept up into Heaven during the rapture. Instead, the saved get to stay here on Earth to annoy the hell out of the rest of us right up to the point where the Earth is destroyed by God in October.

The good news is that in 5 months time we get to make fun of Harold Camping and anyone who’s still stupid enough to believe him all over again.

And we had such high hopes too.

It would’ve been nice, but it was not meant to be.

SEB PSA: You have 12 days till the End of the World.

Pic of Family Radio Fools.

We're going to be very upset come May 22nd!

If you’ve been an SEB regular for awhile then you may recall back in January of last year when I wrote about Christian nutcase Harold Camping and his prediction that the rapture would occur on May 21st, 2011. For those of you without calendars, that’s a mere 12 days away. Still plenty of time to run up those credit card bills and tell off those family members who think you’re crazy for listening to a man who has already been wrong in predicting the end of the world once already. Your natural inclination is to think no one would take this nutter seriously, but plenty do making a point of listening to his sermons on FamilyRadio.com and handing out tracts to anyone who will accept them.

While it’s always fun to ridicule folks like Camping, it becomes a little less so when you realize just how much some folks have invested, sometimes literally, in his bullshit:

Haubert says the Bible contains coded “proofs” that reveal the timing. For example, he says, from the time of Noah’s flood to May 21, 2011, is exactly 7,000 years. Revelations like this have changed his life.

“I no longer think about 401(k)s and retirement,” he says. “I’m not stressed about losing my job, which a lot of other people are in this economy. I’m just a lot less stressed, and in a way I’m more carefree.”

He’s tried to warn his friends and family. They think he’s crazy. And that saddens him.

“Oh, it’s very hard,” he says. “I worry about friends and family and loved ones. But I guess more recently, I’m just really looking forward to it.”

via Is The End Nigh? We’ll Know Soon Enough : NPR.

My friends and family will be suffering eternal torment and I couldn’t be more stoked!

Yeah, that’s a bit twisted, but this is just sad:

“Knowing the date of the end of the world changes all your future plans,” says 27-year-old Adrienne Martinez.

She thought she’d go to medical school, until she began tuning in to Family Radio. She and her husband, Joel, lived and worked in New York City. But a year ago, they decided they wanted to spend their remaining time on Earth with their infant daughter.

“My mentality was, why are we going to work for more money? It just seemed kind of greedy to me. And unnecessary,” she says.

And so, her husband adds, “God just made it possible — he opened doors. He allowed us to quit our jobs, and we just moved, and here we are.”

Now they are in Orlando, in a rented house, passing out tracts and reading the Bible. Their daughter is 2 years old, and their second child is due in June. Joel says they’re spending the last of their savings. They don’t see a need for one more dollar.

“You know, you think about retirement and stuff like that,” he says. “What’s the point of having some money just sitting there?”

“We budgeted everything so that, on May 21, we won’t have anything left,” Adrienne adds.

Nothing, except for the fervent hope that all of them will be raptured.

Oh, but there will be some major disappointment come May 22nd. These people have thrown away their livelihoods and any aspirations for the future on a fantasy that isn’t going to happen. Harold Camping is 89-years-old so it doesn’t really matter to him if he’s wrong because he’s already lived his life. His legacy will be the hundreds, if not thousands, of people he managed to delude into believing his nonsense whose lives he will have severely damaged, if not outright ruined. He’s convinced them all to take the ultimate sucker’s bet and he’s gonna have some serious ‘splanin’ to do in less than a fortnight.

I often say that too much faith will make you crazy and it’s hard to find a better example of that than Camping and his fools. Still, they have every right to believe whatever stupid-ass thing they want to. Just feel bad they don’t have a Plan B just in case, and I know the chances are ridiculously slim, that Camping might be wrong a second time.

Too Much Faith Will Make You Crazy: End of the World edition revisited.

Remember the entry I wrote back in January of this year about 88-year-old nutcase Harold Camping and his prediction that Jesus would return on May 21st of 2011? I mentioned that he had made an earlier prediction of the same sort for 1994 which, if you’ve been paying attention, didn’t come to pass. I also commented about how you’d think that this would cause him to lose his followers, but that he still had plenty of fellow crazy people willing to believe him.

One such crazy person has been doing her part to spread the word in Colorado:

Marie Exley of Colorado Springs is convinced that Armageddon, the end of the world as written of in the Bible, will come next year.

Her conviction is so strong that, though unemployed, she’s paid $1,200 to buy advertising space on 10 Springs bus benches through October to get the word out. The ad says, “Save the Date! Return of Christ: May 21, 2011, WeCanKnow.com.”

“I want to do all I can to get the message out,” Exley, 31, said.

Never let it be said that I’m not willing to help get the word out… about crazy people. Exley is, of course, a follower of Harold Camping and she has truly bought into his prediction:

Exley has bittersweet feelings about Camping’s prediction.

“There are things I felt I always wanted to do — get married, have a kid, travel more,” she said. “But it’s not about what I want out of life. It’s about what God wants.”

People are often ask us atheists what harm there is in believing in God even if he doesn’t really exist. Exley is a good example.

Here’s a 31-year-old woman who has not only spent $1,200 she should be using to live on while she’s unemployed to buy bus ads that are unlikely to convince anyone, but who has also put her life on hold on the expectation that the world will end next year.

She’s going to be awfully disappointed come May 22nd, 2011.

Too Much Faith Will Make You Crazy: End of the World edition.

Don’t make any big plans for May 21, 2011. Why? Because according to 88-year-old Christian nutcase Harold Camping, that’s the true date for the end of the world:

Camping, 88, has scrutinized the Bible for almost 70 years and says he has developed a mathematical system to interpret prophecies hidden within the Good Book. One night a few years ago, Camping, a civil engineer by trade, crunched the numbers and was stunned at what he’d found: The world will end May 21, 2011.

Ah yes! It’s the old mathematical-system-for-decoding-the-Bible method of predicting the future! Very popular among your die hard Christian nutcases as we’ve seen many times before here on SEB.

Lest you think Mr. Camping is new to this game, let me assure you he is not! He has predicted the end previously back in 1994. Those of you paying attention to current events may have noticed it didn’t end. A revelation that was a bit of a shock to the dozens of followers and Camping as they sat waiting for Christ’s return. Later he would admit that he “may have” made a mathematical error.

This time it’s different, though! He’s spent 10 years working on this new date and he’s pretty confident he’s nailed it and he’s got the formula to prove it:

By Camping’s understanding, the Bible was dictated by God and every word and number carries a spiritual significance. He noticed that particular numbers appeared in the Bible at the same time particular themes are discussed.

The number 5, Camping concluded, equals “atonement.” Ten is “completeness.” Seventeen means “heaven.” Camping patiently explained how he reached his conclusion for May 21, 2011.

“Christ hung on the cross April 1, 33 A.D.,” he began. “Now go to April 1 of 2011 A.D., and that’s 1,978 years.”

Camping then multiplied 1,978 by 365.2422 days – the number of days in each solar year, not to be confused with a calendar year.

Next, Camping noted that April 1 to May 21 encompasses 51 days. Add 51 to the sum of previous multiplication total, and it equals 722,500.

Camping realized that (5 x 10 x 17) x (5 x 10 x 17) = 722,500.

Or put into words: (Atonement x Completeness x Heaven), squared.

“Five times 10 times 17 is telling you a story,” Camping said. “It’s the story from the time Christ made payment for your sins until you’re completely saved.

“I tell ya, I just about fell off my chair when I realized that,” Camping said.

Does it not surprise anyone else to learn that Mr. Camping is a former engineer? For some reason this sort of silly nonsense seems to come from a lot of engineers.

For example back in my youth, when I worked as a Desktop Publishing Coordinator for a local Kinko’s, I once met a man who also claimed to have mathematically proven the existence of God and had figured out the date of his return. He wanted me to print up a bunch of business cards with his proof on it. He had a bunch of numbers that he’d plucked out of his ass, that all meant something to no one outside of himself, and he had multiplied and divided and added and subtracted them for all manner of reasons, again known only to himself, and the final result was the number: 1. Which he interpreted as signifying God’s existence. He spent quite some time explaining it all to me and I smiled and nodded back the entire time. The same way you do with a crazy person brandishing a knife in hopes he won’t suddenly try to slit your throat with it to show you what a good job he did sharpening it.

Anyway, you’d be forgiven if you think Mr. Camping lost his followers after he fucked up the first time, but then you’d be grossly underestimating how credulous people can be:

Employees at the Oakland office run printing presses that publish Camping’s pamphlets and books, and some wear T-shirts that read, “May 21, 2011.” They’re happy to talk about the day they believe their souls will be retrieved by Christ.

“I’m looking forward to it,” said Ted Solomon, 60, who started listening to Camping in 1997. He’s worked at Family Radio since 2004, making sure international translators properly dictate Camping’s sermons.

“This world may have had an attraction to me at one time,” Solomon said. “But now it’s definitely lost its appeal.”

[…] Rick LaCasse, who attended the September 1994 service in Alameda, said that 15 years later, his faith in Camping has only strengthened.

“Evidently, he was wrong,” LaCasse allowed, “but this time it is going to happen. There was some doubt last time, but we didn’t have any proofs. This time we do.”

Would his opinion of Camping change if May 21, 2011, ended without incident?

“I can’t even think like that,” LaCasse said. “Everything is too positive right now. There’s too little time to think like that.”

And it’s not enough that they’re deluded, but they’re hoping to drag others into their delusions as well in as many countries as they can manage. According to the article they broadcast on AM stations around the world and are translated into 48 languages so no one misses out on the crazy!