Harold Camping has been definitively proven wrong. He said an apocalyptical earthquake would happen at 6 p.m. local time in New Zealand on May 21st. Then, it would spread east to Australia, Japan, China, etc., until it reaches the West Coast of the United States.
So far, none of that has happened. Neither did his predicted rapture of 200 million believers.
When 6 p.m. local time arrives in California, where Camping lives, the proverbial nail will be hammered to his ‘Doomsday prediction' coffin.
Currently, Camping is probably in hiding as the no one seems to know where he is, according to the most recent media reports. He hasn’t responded to any inquiries at all.
So what will Harold Camping do come May 22nd? History – of other failed prophets in the past, including Camping himself in 1994 – suggests three possible routes.
The saddest and most tragic outcome, and one that we all hope won’t take place, is a mass suicide. In 1997, 39 members of the Heaven’s Gate cult who believed the comet Hale-Bopp would mark the end of the world committed mass suicide.
The more frequent route, fortunately, is to claim an error in prediction and perhaps try for another ‘Doomsday’ date. The Jehovah’s Witnesses did it several times, Camping himself did it 1994, and some of the Millerites (including the sect’s founder) did it in 1844.
Of the Millerites that didn’t quit the faith and didn’t claim a future date, some claimed that the rapture happened invisibly, which is a third possible route Camping could take.
Camping’s own words provide him with a fourth option.
When asked what people should do in preparation for the ‘Doomsday,’ he said they should repent and cry out to God – like the people of Nineveh after they heard Jonah’s warning. Camping specifically referenced Jonah in several media ‘Doomsday’ interviews.
The men of Nineveh were eventually spared because of their repentance. It’s conceivable that Camping would claim the same outcome for the whole world on May 22, 2011.