When that crazy Harold Cramping character made himself look like a total nutjob last May, with his claims that he knew the exact day the world would end, he didn’t let it go.
He re-calculated his calculations and came up with a new date: today, October 21, 2011… Your world didn’t end either, huh?
Harold Camping, the 90-year-old leader of Family Radio International, stirred a global frenzy when he predicted that the Rapture would take 200 million Christians to heaven on May 21. When the Rapture didn’t occur, Camping said he got his Bible-based calculations wrong and revised his prophecy to set the world’s end on Friday, Oct. 21.
But as Friday morphed into Saturday around the world, there was no sign that doomsday had come. Two moderate quakes jolted the San Francisco Bay area on Thursday, and floods threatened to swamp Bangkok, but no world-shattering changes took place — sparking this typical Twitter refrain: “Dear Harold Camping, Worst. Apocalypse. Ever.”
Millions of dollars had been spent by Family Radio and its followers to get the world out about May’s date with doomsday. Some quit their jobs, or donated retirement savings or college funds for the more than 5,000 billboards and 20 RVs that were plastered with Judgment Day messages.
This time around, Camping took a lower profile — perhaps because he was chastened by the mockery he suffered in May, or perhaps because of his health.
Camping suffered a mild stroke in June. His daily radio program, “Open Forum,” is no longer aired on the Family Radio syndication network, which includes more than 60 U.S. radio stations.
Contacted by telephone on Thursday, Family spokesman Tom Evans declined to comment on Camping or his prophecies — except to say that he had “retired” as a radio host but remained chairman of the board of Family Stations Inc.
Camping himself had little to say when he answered the door of his home in Alameda, wearing a bathrobe and leaning on a walker. “We’re not having a conversation,” he told a Reuters reporter, shaking his head with a chuckle. “There’s nothing to report here.”