Harold Camping, who prematurely sold the idea of a doomsday to gullible millions, is refusing to fade away from news. He is still a hot search topic on the Internet and is still routinely discussed in social networks even after he rolled in the mud and bandied out the most incongruous explanations for his failed May 21st Doomsday prediction.
He appeared before the press on Monday to offer his views after the rapture failed to happen. He also revealed how he 'coped' that day and how life just sailed by him even as God refused to pull curtains on this world.
Camping did keep on 'praying and praying the entire day, he said, but nothing he wished for happened. Instead, he had to force upon himself the slow-sinking reality that the world would still be there the next morning and that there would be egg on his face.He would have to meet people again and make some unsavory explanations while taking in probably the biggest jolt of his life.
The process would not be easy on him. He would say some very interesting, deeply researched comments. It would be a tremendous effort from a man who sat on the ruins of his beliefs and still braved odds to parrot his utterly erroneous theories. So we helped him piece together his broken world post the false doomsday prediction.
When May 21 came and went, it was a VERY difficult time for me, he said, recounting the harrowing day when millions of people DID NOT get crushed by the fury of the mother of all earthquakes. As time passed, Camping got restless, but turned to prayer. What in the world happened? I was praying and praying.
Still nothing happened and the first shoots of doubts began to surface in his mind. I was truly wondering what's going on, I went back to all the proofs, promise, God has made.
Yet, more ominous silence from God. Nothing is happening. Not even the remotest rumblings of an earthquake is heard anywhere. No, that’s not it, wife is moving the furniture about.
He put his old ears to the ground and waited. Still nothing was happening.
The old man takes a flight of fancy and thinks 'What if it were'. The gala days of the doomsday campaign! The cheers of the followers, many wonderful people who trusted his words and ruined their lives forever, in the stupidest of ways.
Billboards, Caravans, it was marvelous everything was going together, he ruminated. It indeed was fun seeing poor faithful selling off their life's savings at fire sale prices and funding his advertising campaign intended to win over the nonbelievers.
What would he tell his followers, Camping thought hard and long as the appointed time of destruction slipped by without offering the feisty visuals of buildings collapsing, people dying on streets. And yes the rapture. He was the chosen herdsman who would guide millions through a rapture, to beatific bliss, to salvation.
As his moment of glory failed to materialize, Camping was lost in deep thought, trying to find a way to explain away the doom -- not the doom that he predicted, but the failure of his prediction that he could not foresee.
But then he could not focus. Incoming phone calls, people walking up to his door to ask why he, and them, were still there. He had to give explanations to everyone as to why he/she did not rapture. It was getting a little too hot in there.
I stayed away home from one night ... The pressure of the phone, people knocking on door, it was so much pressure, he recounted.
The stress was building up. And it was getting late in the evening, and the fridge was empty. There was nothing to eat on the table, for the next dinner was booked in heaven -- post rapture. Why not check out some hotels in the area?
So my wife and I went to a hotel that night. Camping must have heaved a sigh of relief as he entered the hotel; there was still some dough left in his wallet. Suddenly he thought of his follower Robert Fitzpatrick, the retired transport worker who spent as much as $140,000 to advertise the doom. What would he do on that dreadful evening? Where will he stay and dine?
No, this is not the time to go soft in the knee. This is not the time to show kindness. Prophets usually have tough demeanor, they should talk tough like Jeremiah, they should be clinical and incisive in their utterance. If that Fitzpatrick crosses my path again I will tell him to get lost. As it is, I'm mighty annoyed with the whole thing. I am no one to tell him what he should be doing.
After all, is it my job to give financial advice to anyone? We at Family Radio, we don't tell them advice. It's between them and God. And if they still come to me to seek advice, I would tell them to pray about it. ... there are a few people, i know a few of them who have given their jobs. they do it because they love the lord. they're getting their spiritual blessings.
Does it mean I would do the same on October 20, the eve of the new doomsday (of course, according to my own prediction)? Not at all. You are asking me if I will give away all my possessions before October 21.
No, I need to live until the end. i will leave it behind. Alright you pesky scribe wants to know if i will sell them off on October 20? Why would i? what would be the value? if i gave it, what can they do with it?
See these guys do not get the point. I need to live until the end. The whole thing is about me, they fail to see. The Judgment, the all-consuming earthquake and the biblical apocalypse, all should happen while I'm still there. The single minded passion with which I chased the D-Day all my life... How can I not see the spectacle? Am I not the chosen one?
My God will make sure I live to see my detractors going under cosmic debris on October 21. And I will still be in my living room watching the whole thing unfold. God has told me I will get to watch an eyeful of the cataclysmic spectacle of people and houses, children and their toys, animals and plants get tossed around in the quake and flying in the air. All that should have happened at 6.P.M. in New Zealand local time on May 21. I was getting ready to watch it, sitting on my couch with a cup of tea in hand.
Well, that's not to be. It's too late in the evening. Now that I and my wife have finished the doomsday dinner at the hotel, I would rather go back home and check the mailbox.
We then we got home.. and we watched the local news...
Now who's on the TV screen talking about the Judgment Day? It's my friend Dr. O'Terra..It feels much better to listen to him. He didn't understand everything I was teaching, but isn’t he talking sense? He said: When September rolled around in 1994, when I first predicted the end of the world ... that day, 1994 ... the Lord did return to the earth.
So that was a pre-taste of the Judgment Day. So the lord did return to earth that day. Taking the holy spirit here again to evangelize the world.
But what then of the earthquake? The great earthquake and everything, it will all happen on October 21, 2011! Well, no, don’t hasten to say I'm changing the date. That date was there. It was there from the beginning. It's the last day, the FINAL day.
But then why did the earthquake not happen on May 21? I need to tell something to my followers lest they be confused. Yes, why not tell them God is compassionate? I will tell them: because no one would survive it more than a few days... let alone 5 months.“
God is a merciful and compassionate God ... He will not let anyone suffer for 5 months ... He won't let anyone suffer eternity in hell. God is a merciful and compassionate God.
But what about the wicked people who were supposed to be left behind after the rapture and be doomed for five months until they are bumped off in October? My people will ask this question because i have told them before that God is has a clinical mind, that he never forgets and forgives the sinners and that he goes about the business of destroying the world with dispassionate objectivism.
Well, I would say something like this: It's not in God's character for someone to suffer for 5 months... the bible says Christ has no pleasure in the death of the wicked.
He did not allow the great earthquake to happen, so that no man will have to suffer for 5 months of hell on earth.
Now who is raising a question from the far corner? You want to know how much money i raised in this campaign and how much I spent?
People talk about money. it's alien. i'm not interested.
Now i know you will certainly raise the question about the lives I ruined with what you call my false prophesy. You want to know if I will take responsibility for Adrienne Martinez, the pregnant woman who sold of all her property and that foolish Fitzpatrick, the ex-transport worker. I know you will, and guys like you make me at times feel that a real physical earthquake should have descended on the world. Right now.
Anyway let me tell you, I'm not responsible. The Bible is. I'm just teaching the bible. I don't have spiritual rule over anybody except my wife.
Yeah my wife, she should be quite tired by now, let me check on her.
Never mind the old man Fitzpatrick was standing in New York's Times Square, being jeered at by people and fumbling for answers. For him may 21 was the doomsday indeed. Whether it was spiritual, metaphysical, or hallucinatory, one would have have to ask Camping himself.