by Kelsey Rowslon
Although his six children, 28 grandchildren, and 38 great grandchildren didn’t believe him, Harold Camping, the man behind the May 21 End of the World, had his wife and thousands of followers across the country and the world on his side. Until it was May 22.
Now Camping has gone into hiding.
It all started with Camping reading Revelations. According to his website, Camping took from his reading that “on May 21st, 2011, only true believers elected by God to receive salvation will be raptured (taken up) out of this world to meet the Lord in the air and forever be with the Lord. All the rest of mankind (billions of people) will be left behind to experience the awful judgment of God, a horrible period of 5 months of torment upon earth.”
And that is how the idea of the end of the world came to be.
Camping is the 89 year old man behind 7000years.org and Family Radio, among other religious radio stations which broadcast worldwide. According to the Huffington Post, in 2009, Family Radio released their tax returns to the public that stated that “the group reported $18.4 million in contributions and $1 million through investments and other income. It spent $36.7 million and employed 348 people paid more than $9 million in wages and benefits.” Camping doesn’t ask for money, but apparently has very generous followers.
While Camping was waiting for his prophesized end of the world, and then going into hiding, I was celebrating. I decided to have an end of the world party with my friends so that if we were going to die, we could do it together. The theme was to dress how you wanted to be buried. Some people came in pajamas, some people dress up, while others came in all black as looters. I decided to be a zombie though.
We weren’t taking Camping’s statements seriously, after all he did predict that the world was going to come to the end back in September 1994…which obviously didn’t happen.
The Centers for Disease Control wasn’t taking the situation lightly though, the Assistant Surgeon General, Ali Khan, posted the Zombie Apocalypse guide. They wrote it in order to help people figure out where to go and who to call if the zombie apocalypse began. They continued by saying that the “CDC would provide technical assistance to cities, states, or international partners dealing with a zombie infestation. This assistance might include consultation, lab testing and analysis, patient management and care, tracking of contacts, and infection control (including isolation and quarantine).”
It became so popular that once word spread of the guide, the CDC’s website crashed therefore prompting some people to wonder if the crash was the result of the Zombie Apocalypse actually taking place.
Back to Camping though, if I was in his position, I wouldn’t stop creating all of this hoopla. He’s a millionaire for God’s sake! He’s pretty much an entrepreneur. He should start teaching classes on how to create a bunch of bullshit in order to freak people out enough to spend their life’s savings on getting the word out about the end of the world.
Maybe Camping does have good intentions though. Maybe he did truly believe that the dates he publicized would be the end of the world. But the more realistic reason, is because he’s a con man; just a money hungry old man who found a way to use God as a scare tactic and also as a way to loosen peoples pocket strings.
As for the rest of us though, looks like our lives will just have to go back to normal until the next predicted end of the world insanity comes to life again in 2012.