Christian preacher Harold Camping's laughable attempt to upstage the Mayans, and predict the end of the world a year before the ancient Americans' billing, has gone horribly wrong, leaving his followers devastated, both financially and psychologically.
Some devastated followers have come out in the open recounting the tragic tale of how they exhausted all savings thinking the world would end on May 21. Others have ruminated over the possible legal implications Camping will face.
Some people, reacting on Twitter, reserved the harshest comments for Harold Camping and have said his future is doomed. yup. It's crazy to think an insane old man's doomsday ramblings can have such effects, said SkeptiKat Abby O'Genesis.
I bet Harold whatshisface is probably starting to recalculate his Doomsday prediction. He should just punch himself instead, said DatKaren Karen Datangel on Twitter.
Paul Vallance posted the following in the Facebook page of Harold Camping community: Harold this is from my 7 year old daughter. you are stupid and silly and very irresponsible. Well take that, I think she knows what she is talking about. May God have mercy on your soul. I think you should now give all your money to charity to make up for your dreadful predictions which are no more than a money making scheme. If you are lucky he may let you go to heaven but don't count on it!
Posts like this which show a mix of anger, frustration and ridicule are pouring in on the social sphere and Internet.
The consensus among observers is that the expensive joke played by the Family Radio leader is not the end of the story. Cults like Doomsday groups are not known to giving it up and turning a page once they end up with pie on the face. Nor are they known for being rational. They regroup around another false belief, get themselves teflon-coated against criticism and lampoon.
In this case of failed end of the world prophesy, Camping and his followers will most likely come up with a theory that the rapture will certainly happen, if not today, then another day. They could certainly say millions of Camping followers' prayers to God finally made the difference! That God probably decided not to annihilate the world for now. Some could even argue that the minor quakes that happened around the world were warning signs. Angry prophets have always used natural phenomena to interpret God's mind.
One of the options is for the group to say, 'Society wasn't ready, Jesus felt there weren't enough people worthy of rapturing. Hence, we've got to go out and convert more people,' Stephen Kent, a sociologist at the University of Alberta, told LiveScience.
According to Harold Camping, the 'rapture', would have taken place on May 21, 2011 at 6.P.M.localtime, in all regions of the world. The rapture us is the Biblical belief that Jesus Christ will arrive in a Second Coming to carry the believers up to heaven.
Camping said a rolling earthquake will devastate the world on May 21, 2011 and those left behind will end up as victims of the final, all-encompassing destruction six months later.
While there is no trace so far of Harold Camping after the prophesy bombed, the naysayers, always in majority, have had a field day. Atheists are basking in the I told you before moment, media just loves to rip apart the end of the world predictor, his dejected followers now have to face what is labelled as a 'financial Armageddon', after having blown up life's savings for spreading an idiosyncratic theory.
According to a Reuters report, Camping's house in Alameda, CA was covered with shades and the Family Radio office had put up a sign saying The Office is Closed. Sorry we missed you!
Experts say it's far too early to conclude the doomsday theorists will fade away in their shame. If you have a strong leader, the group survives, according to a professor of religion at Concordia University in Montreal. Sometimes the group falls apart. Most often, the answer given by the group is that the prophecy is true, but the interpretation was wrong, Lorenzo DiTommaso is quoted in the article.
It is also pointed out that failed predictions lead to the mushrooming of sects, as divergent thinking gets articulated by splinter groups. If this happens with Harold camping's followers, probably the world can expect more doomsday predictions. But the catch is that they first they have to regroup and shore up their battered finances.
They can now pander to the cults' yearning for spectacular happenings. We get to do the Mayan version of Doomsday next year, but the way they do it everyone goes, not just a chosen few, said InDistan.
Some who responded to the doomsday prophesy threw light into the legal aspects of the situation. Is Harold Camping guilty in the eyes of the law? Has he criminally overstepped the freedom of expression to mislead people in a such a physical harm could be caused?
Harold Camping is an utterly ridiculous, sanctimonious and self-indulgent turd. It's a shame that governing principles that protect freedom of expression aren't evaluated on a practical basis; this turd should not have been given any attention by the media given his unsupportable
theories. If suicides result due to his reckless fear mongering, he should be held fully accountable and be brought to justice on the foundation of criminal negligence causing death, said Joseph.D. Ahmad on the Facebook page.
Some have taken the whole thing in a lighter vein. Someone in Twitter made a pithy comment about the fallacious prediction: Today was Doomsday, tomorrow is another day, said SilkyTHEGREAT.
Doomsday was fun think we should have it at least once a year like Christmas, said Jazz_Katt Jazz Katt.