Posts Tagged ‘Harold Camping’

Apocalypse Not!

August 18, 2012

I have a theory that within a hundred years we will be bemoaning the lack of world population. The collapse of society will be forecast as an impending catastrophe as the total world population stabilises at less than 10 billion with the proportion of the young working population decreasing relative to the increasing numbers of the “leisured” population.  And that apocalypse too shall not come to pass.

Matt Ridley has a new essay in Wired which needs to be read. Just some excerpts below:

Apocalypse Not: Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Worry About End Times

When the sun rises on December 22, as it surely will, do not expect apologies or even a rethink. No matter how often apocalyptic predictions fail to come true, another one soon arrives. And the prophets of apocalypse always draw a following—from the 100,000 Millerites who took to the hills in 1843, awaiting the end of the world, to the thousands who believed in Harold Camping, the Christian radio broadcaster who forecast the final rapture in both 1994 and 2011. ………

(more…)

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Media touts Camping’s Rapture garbage again — and again it shall not come to pass

October 16, 2011

Harold Camping is at it again. (Or is he? –  it seems to be the media just highlighting a statement on his website and recycling his May 23rd interview rather than any thing more recent). After his predicted May 21st Rapture failed to appear (after his previous failed prediction for a September 6th 1994 Rapture), the 90 year-old is  now predicting the great day will be next week on Friday October 21st.

Christian Post: Harold Camping has predicted that the rapture will take place on Oct. 21, following his May 21 prediction failed to come to pass. He explained this by saying May 21 was just the spiritual rapture, and the physical rapture would soon follow in October. … When describing the rapture prior to May 21, Camping spoke about a great earthquake “such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.” He then said that those “who survive this terrible earthquake will exist in a world of horror and chaos beyond description. Each day people will die until Oct. 21, 2011, when God will completely destroy this earth and its surviving inhabitants.”

I suppose the Christian Post improves its circulation numbers by publishing this rubbish in addition to their usual nonsense.

But I note that the Family Radio websites themselves are just carrying a few lines which read:

But that universal judgment will not be physically seen until the last day of the five month judgment period, on October 21, 2011. ….. Thus we can be sure that the whole world, with the exception of those who are presently saved (the elect), are under the judgment of God, and will be annihilated together with the whole physical world on October 21, 2011, ….. 

Nevertheless, somebody must be making lots of money from this garbage. Camping is probably senile and apparently he suffered a stroke after the 21st May prediction (which was no debacle considering the amount of interest and money that was raised). But he is surely surrounded by those who are now intent on capitalising on the “Rapture brand” for whatever it is worth even if returns must be diminishing. The money for his Family Radio organisation comes primarily from milking the gullible and the suicidal and the weak-minded.

Newsvine: Amidst all of these predictions, Harold Camping has been profiting quite resoundingly.  The 2009 IRS filings from Family Radio, his radio network, indicated that it had over $104 million in assets.  And those profits aren’t all going toward Christian causes, like helping the needy or setting up missions.  Around $34 million of those assets are tied up in investments.  Harold Camping and Family Radio are profiting from these phony predictions, making money through their efforts to drum up fear.

Apparently in May, Camping and his followers spent a lot of money – though the numbers don’t quite add up:

The Guardian: Camping and his followers spent more than $100m worldwide on billboards and posters, financed by the sale and swap of radio stations. Advertising popped up across America and the globe from Iraq to Lebanon to Israel to Jordan, the Philippines to Vietnam, where thousands of the Hmong ethnic hill tribe gathered together on the Thai border in anticipation of the event. The campaign was backed up by Camping’s radio show. …. There has been a mini-boom in firms and individuals offering to look after the pets of those who believed they were about to be raptured. Eternal Earth-Bound Pets, set up by New Hampshire atheist Bart Centre, has about 250 clients who paid $135 (£83) for insurance policies that guarantee Centre and others will care for their animals when they ascend. Others paid out to sign up with websites that would send out farewell letters to friends and relations left behind.

But it all makes a lot of sense if one removes religion from the equation.

This is all just entertainment and the making of money from a serial radio show which is coming to the end of its natural life. It has been running since 1992 and no matter what one may say – it has had a very good run. The producer’s task is now to milk the “rapture” show until it is deserted by its listeners and has to be taken off the air. And if a few disturbed people give away all their belongings or kill off their animals or even commit suicide; so be it – it only strengthens the “brand”.

Arctic Ice: “Rapture” of an ice free Arctic now postponed till 2030

August 9, 2011

The ice free Arctic which was to have happened in 2008 according to Mark Serreze of the doomsday crowd has now been postponed till 2030 while scientists find that current concerns over a tipping point in the disappearance of Arctic sea ice may be misplaced.

From WUWT’s Quote of the week:

WUWT

We all cringed, then laughed when Dr. Mark Serreze of NSIDC first said it, then marveled about it as it got a life of its own, being the buzzphrase for every alarmist who wanted to shriek about declining Arctic sea ice.

In 2007 we heard him say:

“The Arctic is screaming,” said Mark Serreze, senior scientist at the government’s snow and ice data center in Boulder, Colorado.

So far, the “screaming” hasn’t kept anyone awake at night, and we have not returned to the low of 2007 in the last three melt seasons.

In 2008 Serreze made the  bold claim:

The ice is in a “death spiral” and may disappear in the summers within a couple of decades, according to Mark Serreze, an Arctic climate expert at the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado.

And in 2008 we had the forecast from NSIDC’s Dr. Mark Serreze of an “ice free north pole”.  As we know, that didn’t even come close to being true. Summer 2008 had more arctic ice than summer 2007, and summer 2007 was not “ice free” by any measure.

With those failed predictions behind him,  in an interview in The Age just a few weeks ago, Serreze pulled a Harold Camping, and changed his prediction date. Now he’s saying the new date for an ice free summer is 2030.

”There will be ups and downs, but we are on track to see an ice-free summer by 2030. It is an overall downward spiral.”

And in the meantime research reveals that ice levels in the Arctic were about half the present levels some 5000 years ago and had no problems in recovering.

Scientists say current concerns over a tipping point in the disappearance of Arctic sea ice may be misplaced. 


The world ends today!

May 21, 2011

Judgement day is today – according to Harold Camping

The homepage of the Family Radio website with a countdown to Judgment Day

Harold Camping, 89, is the leader of Family Radio, an independent ministry which spreads its word via a network on 66 radio stations and online broadcasts. 

Camping has previously written a book called ‘1994?’, in which he wrongly predicted the end of the world in that year, and was later forced to apologise for a mathematical error. 

The Rapture is supposedly the time when God’s chosen people ascend to heaven and the rest are left behind to face apocalyptic scenes of earthquakes and fire.

A period of ‘trial’ on earth for non-believers is forecast to follow and could last six months, but by October 21 all those who have not been saved will be dead, goes the prophecy. 

The concept of Judgment Day is a long-standing one, but the idea of the Rapture is more modern, having first appeared in Christian teaching in the 19th century. 

However, this predicted date is entirely the work of Camping and his followers, who have spent decades studying the bible for coded messages. 

So certain is he of his revised date, following on from his 1994 embarrassment, that he and his followers have spent millions of dollars on billboards across America that have been warning for weeks: ‘Judgment Day is coming May 21st, 2011 – The Bible guarantees it!’

Most Christians barely pay the ‘prophecy’ a second thought but Camping, from Oakland, California, stands by his latest Doomsday warning.

‘We know without any shadow of a doubt it is going to happen,’ said Camping.

‘There’s going to be a huge earthquake that’s going to make the big earthquake in Japan seem like a Sunday School picnic.’

But some more mathematical errors in the analysis will be discovered tomorrow and a new Day of Judgement will soon be forecast. Of course the Mayan end-of-the -world may come first in 2012. And if that is wrong then a world-ending flood when the ice-caps melt may get us in a decade or two — unless another ice-age whittles down the population of the Northern Hemisphere before Global Warming and carbon dioxide poisoning creates Hell on Earth.

I don’t see Mr. Camping and his followers going to the extent of taking a pro-active stand on this to prove the strength of their convictions. Mr. Camping’s organisation is not giving away any of its millions.

In times past Doomsayers could at least be executed by their patrons when their predictions failed.


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