Doomsday "prophet" Harold Camping, founder of the Family Radio Network, is under fire today for his big, hilariously false prediction that today, May 21 would be the end of the world. Some people are annoyed, while others are chuckling about the prophecy. But a handful are outraged, and I don't blame 'em. They realize some innocent people were taken for a ride by a man who is now $80 million dollars richer, thanks to his apocalypse message.
In fact, Harold Camping's Wikipedia page was just recently defaced by web users who are obviously, and justifiably, angry about the apparent greed behind Camping's prediction. Around 11 a.m. EST today, the first sentence of Camping's bio read:
Harold Egbert Camping (born July 19, 1921) is a liar who says the world’s going to end to make more money but is [sic] is a piece of crap.
Now, as of almost 3 p.m., it has been partially restored, but still refers to Camping as a "false prophet."
That much is certainly true.
But even if he actually did believe his own prediction (who knows -- but I doubt it), he couldn't have been clueless about the fact that he was running a profitable business based on a cockamamie work of fiction.
He raked in tons of dough from Family Radio followers between 2005-2009. Sure, you could argue that it's his followers own fault for falling for Camping's BS. I definitely agree with that to some extent. Some of his followers blew their money on luxury cars and vacations. Kinda dumb!
But on the other hand, it pains me to hear that some of his followers were so blinded by Camping's message that they gave everything they had to the man. New York local news reported that one men spent all of his savings to buy an ad campaign for the May 21 doomsday message. One teenager admitted that his parents stopped saving for his college education. Some of his followers even budgeted their money so they'd be left penniless today. All of this is shameful and at the very least, cringe-worthy.
Granted, the government kind of has bigger fish to fry, but instead of re-writing Camping's Wikipedia page to reflect what a scam artist he appears to be, I say someone who feels deceived by the Christian radio broadcaster-turned-false prophet should take the fearmonger to court!
Do you feel bad for people who went broke because of Harold Camping and Family Radio, or is it their own fault?
Image via Stefan Kloo/Flickr