Self-proclaimed Doomsday prophet Harold Camping who heads the Family Radio in Oakland, CA, claims that about 200 million people will Rapture on May 21, 2011 at 6 p.m. (PST), and those who remain behind will witness the complete destruction of the world by October 21, 2011.
The destruction will come about through a series of natural disasters, including violent earthquakes that would make the recent Japan’s earthquake look like “a Sunday school picnic in comparison”.
Camping and his followers “know without any shadow of a doubt it (Doomsday) is going to happen,” as he has based his calculations on specific verses in the Bible, viz. Genesis 7:4 (“Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth”) and 2 Peter 3:8 (“With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day”). May 21, 2011 is supposed to be exactly 7,000 years after the Great Flood (4990 B.C.), Camping claims.
The Family Radio president’s apocalyptic message has triggered fears in the hearts of hundreds of thousands of people even as many Christian leaders have debunked his prediction, calling him a false prophet.
People suddenly disappearing into the air, earthquakes and natural disasters, and a massive amount of panic are some the repertoire Camping is using the stir the public. All Doomsday prophets and false Messiahs use the same technique to gain followers. To date, all Doomsday prophets have failed in their predictions.
Below are the top ten Doomsday predictions (chronologically, the most recent one being first) since the 20th century that haven’t quite worked out.
Ronald Weinland, 2008
Ronald Weinland, God’s Church minister, said in his book, “2008: God’s Final Witness”, that “by the fall of 2008, the United States will have collapsed as a world power and no longer exist as an independent nation.”
Y2K, January 1, 2000
Toward the end of the millennium, many people were seriously worried that computers may not distinguish between 2000 and 1990. Stories about catastrophic events, ranging from massive blackouts to nuclear holocaust, disturbed the public. But January 1, 2000 was another bright New Year day.
Michel de Nostrdame, August 1999
16th-century French apothecary and seer Nostradame have made several predictions during his lifetime. One of such predictions is that in the seventh month of year 1999, a great king of terror will come from the sky. The world did not end in August 1999.
Heaven's Gate, 1997
The rumor about aliens coming with Hale-Bopp comet spread in 1997. Although the claim was refuted, a San Diego UFO cult called Heaven’s Gate believed the world would come to an end soon, resulting in 39 of its members committing suicide. The body of the cult’s founder Marshall Applewhite was among the dead.
Harold Camping, September 1994
Harod Camping ranks among the failed Doomsday prophets because he had already predicted once that in September 1994 God will destroy the whole world. However, when nothing happened, Camping excused himself saying he had made a mathematical error.
Will Camping’s May 21, 2011 Doomsday prediction come true? If not, then Camping will have the distinction of successfully fooling gullible people twice.
“Hyoo Go” (Rapture), October 28, 1992
A notorious Korean cult “Hyoo Go” believed that they will Rapture on October 28, 1992 (“Hyoo Go” means Rapture in Korean). They firmly believed that Jesus was coming on that date and they will be joining with him in the air. People gathered in huge stadiums to Rapture. When the event did not happen according to the prediction, chaos broke out and some even tried to kill the cult leaders with knives.
Vladimir Solovyev, 1990
A Russian theologian Vladimir Solovyev made a wild prophecy that Japanese will conquer most of the world but then Europeans will win them back. An intellectually brilliant individual would then rise up and unite the entire world and be accepted as the Messiah, even by the Jews. But when the Jews will find out that he is not a Jew, it will resulting in a revolt in Jerusalem and an eruption of a volcano near the Dead Sea.
Marion Gordon Pat Robertson, 1982
A famous televangelist from the 1980’s, Pat Robertson shocked the media by saying that the Judgment day will come in 1982. Millions of people believed him because he held an eminent position not only as a televangelist but also in the business industry. When his prediction failed, many people derided him.
Doug Clark, 1976
Doug Clark in his book in 1976 “The Death of the United States and the Birth of One World Government Under President Carter” said that President Jimmy Carter would be “the president who will meet Mr. 666, the Antichrist”. The earth did not end but the controversial author’s popularity took a dive.
Halley's Comet, 1910
Interestingly, scientists, and not religious fanatics, spread the panic saying that the Earth will pass through the tail of Halley’s comet in 1910 and predicted that deadly toxic gas cyanogen emitting from the comet will envelope the world and the toxic fume will kill everybody. However, far from the worst population decreasing, it has increased by at least 4 times.