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Following an unfulfilled May 21 “doomsday” prophecy—which was supposed to include a worldwide earthquake, a rapture of believers into heaven, and five months of torment for those left behind—Christian radio host Harold Camping declared his “Judgment Day” prediction had occurred “spiritually.” Assuming no additional responsibility, he later deferred its “physical” fulfilment until October 21.
“‘It was not a Judgment Day that was visible, and it’s a spiritual Judgment Day,’ he told his Family Radio audience and a throng of reporters in May. ‘But it is Judgment Day.’ And Camping insisted that we are right on track for total earthly destruction on Oct. 21,” NPR reported.
“On May 22, an obviously shocked Camping emerged from his home to say he was ‘flabbergasted’ that the Rapture stood him up,” Discovery News reported. “But then, a couple of days later, like all good doomsday prophets, he had an answer: May 21 was just the beginning; the Rapture would take a lot longer; the real Rapture will happen five months later...”
Reminiscent of his failed May 21 prediction, “Camping has refused to acknowledge any chance of the world not ending this Friday, just as he refused to acknowledge any chance of the Rapture not occurring in May,” International Business Times stated.
“Camping had a stroke 18 days later,” GPB News reported. “By September, he had recuperated enough to go on Family Radio with a modified prediction. ‘Probably,’ he said, ‘there will be no pain suffered by anyone because of their rebellion against God. Unbelievers might just fall asleep and never wake up.’”
Leading up to May 2011, many donated money in support of Mr. Camping’s campaign, with some quitting their jobs to spread the news of “the end of the world.”