Harold Camping, an 89 year old leader of the Christian fundamentalist network, Family Radio Worldwide has announced that the world is going to end starting from May 21st. The believers or the chosen ones will be saved on that day while others will suffer for another six months when the world will be finally completely destroyed. There had been mixed reaction to this strange but not unusual prediction. Harold actually had previously predicted that the world was coming to an end in September 1994. This time he backs his announcement with strange calculations.
Project Caravan launched: Many loyal followers of Family Radio have joined the Project Caravan launched in October 2010. They have been traveling around in caravan of RVs warning people of the impending doomsday and asking them to believe and repent. Most of them have left their jobs and their family to join the campaign. 75-year-old Gallegos from Utah have left behind a wife of 53 years and 10 children. Some others have sold all their valuables and joined the caravan.
New York man spends his life’s earnings: Robert Fitzpatrick, a 60-year-old Staten Island resident has spent $140,000, his entire life’s savings in advertising that the world will end on May 21st. He had spent this money subway-car placards and ads on bus kiosks and subways. He has also self-published a book called “The Doomsday Code” where he explains how the Bible offers proof that May 21st is the day.
Atheists offer party on May 22nd: While Harold Camping and his followers are busy spreading the news of the impending doomsday, an Oakland based atheist group offers to assist disappointed believers on the day after doomsday. They have announced a party on Sunday 22nd May to ”¹…”help’ the believers overcome their frustration. They have launched their own campaign with counter billboards that read “Th e Rapture: You Know It’s Nonsense: 2000 Years of “Any Day Now!””
Pastor says it harms Christianity: Robert Jeffress, a pastor writes on the CNN Belief Blog that such announcements are not supported by the Bible; they harm people’s faith in the religion. Jeffress mentions that i n discussing His return to Earth, Jesus told His disciples, “… of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.” (Matthew 24:36). As God didn’t reveal the date to his own son, there is doubt that He revealed it to Harold Camping. He fears that as the day will pass those who believed in the prophecy will blame the Bible or Christianity for it.
Profiting on Doomsday: Some opportunistic entrepreneurs are using this false alarm to boost their business. Eternal Earthbound Pets are offering a service to take care of your pets once the owner has left for heaven. The service costs $135. Their sales increased during the first quarter of this year by 27% compared to the first quarter of last year and they attribute this increase to the May 21st doomsday prophecy. Joshua Witter, a software engineer runs a message delivery service to those who are left behind after the Apocalypse. He charges $4.99 to $799.99 for delivering a pre-written letter to the loved ones. The price is more for handwritten letters by a calligrapher on a medieval parchment like paper. Though their sales have not really increased they are hoping for a sales boom.