Family Radio president Harold Camping, who famously predicted that about 200 million people will Rapture on May 21 and the world will be destroyed five months later, on Thursday night suffered a stroke which has affected his ability to speak.
A neighbor of the 89-year-old radio preacher said Camping is out of danger but the stroke, which was “on his right side”, appears to have left his speech “a little bit slurred.”
Family Stations Inc. regional manager Charles Menut has requested everyone not to bother Camping or his family. He said Family Radio will try to “publicly update everyone on Monday” about Camping’s health. Family Stations Inc. is the parent company of Family Radio, which owns over 66 radio stations worldwide and is estimated to worth around $100 million.
Camping grabbed media attention last month after predicting that 200 million people will Rapture on May 21, 2011 and the world will witness series of natural disasters, including violent earthquakes that would make Japan’s recent earthquake “look like a Sunday school picnic in comparison.”
The world, Camping said, will be completely destroyed on October 21, 2011.
When nothing happened on May 21, Camping excused himself by saying he meant spiritual Rapture and not physical. However, he continued to claim that the world will be physically destroyed on October 21.
Camping’s prediction earned him a lot of ridicule and criticisms from atheists and other Christian leaders, because many of his followers, believing in his prophecy, had sold their possessions and quit their jobs in preparation of Doomsday. There were even reports of suicides committed by those who wanted to avoid “The Great Tribulation”.