Lifestyle & Belief

Harold Camping, doomsday preacher, apologizes for wrongly predicting rapture multiple times


Participants in a movement that is proselytizing that the world will end May 21, 2011, Judgment Day, walk through the streets in New York City. The Christian based movement, which claims thousands of supporters around the country and world, was founded by the Oakland, Calif.-based Harold Camping. Camping was wrong on his prior end-of-the-world prediction in 1994, and also wrong about the rapture coming on May 21, 2011. Camping is now predicting October 21, 2011 to be Judgment Day. Probably.


Spencer Platt

Harold Camping, the doomsday radio preacher who has predicted the end of the world multiple times, has apologized to his followers in an open letter, admitting that he had "no new evidence" for the claims.

Camping, 90, had spent millions of dollars last year publicly predicting May 21, 2011 as Judgment Day, according to the LA Times.

However, as the date passed with the planet intact, Camping switched his claim to Oct. 21, 2011, as "real" rapture day.

(GlobalPost reports: Harold Camping's "real" rapture, October 21, is upon us)

Camping, who according to the Oakland Tribune presides over an empire of more than 70 radio stations estimated in 2009 to be worth $72 million, also predicted the end of days in September 1994. 

After his most recent prediction failed to come to pass, he suffered a stroke and was hospitalized. 

In his apology letter, posted Thursday on Family Radio’s website, the Alameda preacher called the May 21 campaign — which according to the Times inspired Camping's followers to empty their bank accounts and quit their jobs — "an astounding event" that raised awareness about the Bible and Jesus Christ.

However, he said, his prediction a "sinful statement" and he asked God’s forgiveness.

"Family Radio has no interest in even considering another date," the letter said. "We have learned the very painful lesson that all of creation is in God’s hands and he will end time in his time, not ours!

"We humbly recognize that God may not tell his people the date when Christ will return, any more than he tells anyone the date they will die physically."

Camping reportedly spent more than $100 million over the past seven years publicizing the rapture, mainly through billboards and constant chatter on his Oakland-based Family Radio International.

On that day, he prophesied, the Rapture would redeem believers, while heathens would walk the Earth in misery until a fiery finish five months later.

Camping said in his letter that as he had no evidence that his predictions would ever come true, he would cease predicting the apocalypse. 

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