It's not clear how many chances a Doomsday prophet gets to predict the end of the world, but in the case of Harold Camping, it seems he's going to keep trying, hoping he hits it right one of these days. Why not, he did rake in $80 million this go-round.
Tonight he spoke at length for the first time since The Rapture that he assured everyone would come May 21 didn't. He admitted he was wrong AGAIN this time (he also predicted our demise in 1994), but said he now knows the REAL date it's coming -- October 21.
Phew, you still have time to send him all your money if you didn't quite believe him the first time!
The bizarre statements he was spewing during his Open Forum radio show tonight were so outrageous, they're almost funny. Not because some people out there are actually vulnerable enough to believe him, but the guy is seriously delusional (not that that's any big revelation, but I continue to marvel at it). The Huffington Post live blogged the whole thing, and it's just fascinating/frightening to read. A few of the choice bits:
As for how he explains the fact that we're all still here ... well, at first he was "astounded."
I can tell you when May 21 came and went it was a very difficult time for me -- a very difficult time. I was truly wondering what is going on. In my mind I went back through all of the promises God had made. What in the world was happening?
But then he figured it all out because, you see, the rapture did happen on May 21, it was just a "spiritual rapture." We have five more months before the all the really bad stuff happens.
We’ve already been talking about the end of the world being October 21, 2011 but we have not emphasized that because the beginning of it was the fact that we’d see all these things happening (over the five months).
When asked if he felt any responsibility for a woman who attempted to kill herself and her daughter because of his prophecy, he at first thought they died. When a reporter corrected him, he said:
She attempted to? Oh my that makes me feel better because death is terrible. It's contrary to all that the Bible teaches.
He went on to say that he took no responsibility for her actions regardless, and the only person he has "spiritual rule" over is his wife.
So what of all the money that he took from his vulnerable followers, will he give it back?
No, that money is still going out ... We are not out of business, we've learned that we still have to go another five months. We are spending it as wisely as possible. Maybe by October 21, we will only have $10 left.
Yeah right. At least this time, he says there will be no more billboards or street preaching. We can only hope.
My favorite quote of the night from Camping: "We don't always hit the nail on the head the first time." No, but we're pretty good about knowing a charlatan when we see one.
What do you think of Harold Camping's new date for the rapture to come?
Image via Lord Jim/Flickr