Doomsday prophet, followers ‘flabbergasted’ world didn’t end.
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It’s hard to feel bad for someone whose doomsday predictions caused so much anxiety, but 89-year-old Harold Camping’s recent admission that he’s “flabbergasted” the world didn’t end last weekend sounds somewhat pitiful.
“It has been a really tough weekend,” Camping said Sunday, after emerging from his Alameda, California home for the first time to talk to a reporter from the San Francisco Chronicle. “I’m looking for answers … But now I have nothing else to say,” he said, adding that he would make a full statement today.
Camping’s PR aide, Tom Evans, told the L.A. Timesthat the group is “disappointed” that 200 million true believers weren’t lifted up to heaven on Saturday while everyone else suffered and eventually died as a series of earthquakes and famine destroyed the Earth. “You can imagine we’re pretty disappointed, but the word of God is still true,” Evans said. “We obviously went too far, and that’s something we need to learn from.” The group posted 2,000 billboards around the country warning of the rapture, while Camping–an uncertified fundamentalist minister–spread the word on his radio show.
Evans, Camping’s PR aide, told NPR he hopes Family Radio will reimburse followers who spent their savings in anticipation of the rapture, but that he can’t guarantee it.
Protesters gathered outside Camping’s radio headquarters to mock the false prophecy over the weekend. Some of them set aloft a toy cow with balloons to lampoon the idea that a select elite would ascend to heaven. Meanwhile, other religious groups tried to recruit disappointed Camping followers.
Here’s video of Camping refusing to comment on his false prophecy: