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Oh, There's Much More To Come...! PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   

Folks, I want to remind you that the dingbat using the name Harold Camping, the one who had his fellow-dingbats in a terrible dither on May 21 about his promised End-of-the-World prophecy, has – predictably! – followed the formula adopted by those other “prophets” who have offered that very same scenario down through the ages; he now explains that Jesus Christ – see Google.com – really did “arrive spiritually” on that date, but since his capricious dad (and The Donald and I wanna see the birth certificate, please!) decided to spare all life on Earth the promised five terrible months of earthquakes, hurricanes, rain, even higher gas prices and continued Schwarzenegger bulletins, the world will still be ending on October 21.

No surprise. Camping may be mildly amused at the huge number of naifs who opted to swallow this ridiculous claim of his, those who spent all their savings and pension checks to finance his madness, but he has pressed the “rationalize” key on his computer, and for the next 149 days, he’ll enjoy more media notoriety, and donations will continue to arrive from those who are still willing to troop to the abattoir singing…

Camping’s website has now been carefully edited to remove references to what appears – to us – to be a failed Judgment Day prediction, but it will surely re-direct its attention – and what attention the sheep can manage to summon up – to every fire, storm, natural disaster, traffic jam, or scandal that occurs up to and including October 21, as proof of the postponed End. And when Saturday, October 22 arrives, new rationalizing will be successfully invoked, the donations will continue, and Bibles will be just as enthusiastically thumped.

The public just won’t learn. Back in 1994, Camping had predicted The End, and that failure was promptly forgotten by the media. They took a second bite this year… And this is hardly the first time a preacher has survived a total, dismal, resounding exposure. Not long after we revealed “Reverend” Peter Popoff as a fake on the NBC Tonight Show in 1986, Johnny Carson retired, and he would call me every few weeks to marvel at the fact that the TV evangelist was still working the same old scam, though on different channels. John couldn’t believe that the definitive exposé we’d offered to the public and the media had not been more effective, though I wasn’t at all surprised.  In fact, just two years ago Popoff brought in one million dollars more than he’d received the same year that we showed his methods…! These people are the Unsinkable Rubber Ducks of our present world…

The latest duck marching in that parade is Harold Camping…

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2012
written by Weatherwax, May 25, 2011
I'm a little curious as too how many of the people making fun of Camping (as they should) take the 2012 nonsense seriously. People just can't seem to be consistent in their logic.
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written by DKrap, May 25, 2011
What adds insult to injury about the whole Harold Camping and the "end-of-the-world" issue is that his lies are protected by the First Amendment to the Constituion as religious speech. On top of that, contributions to his cause are totally tax deductible without limit!

If Camping were lying about a car that would get 1,000 miles per gallon of gas, then take deposits for the delivery of said car on May 21 (now October 21) and he did not deliver, he could be charged with fraud. But, the laws protect the extreme lies that he uses to collect money and to dupe innocent people. Bottom line, he is a criminal of the same type as Bernie Madoff. They should be cell mates!
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written by rosie, May 25, 2011
Wouldn't that be a trifle hard on Bernie?
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written by rjh02, May 25, 2011
The problem that Camping has now is that the failed predictions are on the Internet. Thanks to the archive website anyone can now look at what any page used to look like. I predict that he will have fewer followers and less money in October.
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The world DID end!
written by Willy K, May 25, 2011
I swear it must have ended and I am in Hell because if this was Heaven there would be no Harold Camping or any of those cosmic screwballs! smilies/tongue.gif
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..., Lowly rated comment [Show]
End the religious exemptions
written by Bentspoon, May 25, 2011
It is stories like this that make you wonder why we allow tax exemptions for religion. So Harold Camping is ripping people off. So is Peter Popoff and Pat Robertson.
I believe the exemptions are linked to separation of church and state - when did we ever really have that? I don't see why we don't see them as invisible taxwise. You make money, you pay taxes. We don't care who you are.
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It's possible the world WILL end...
written by orpheus66, May 25, 2011
Technically, if Camping offs himself on 10/21, the world WILL end... from his perspective. Wonder how far he'll go to prove himself right?
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The stuff is still there if you dig
written by gerdbonk, May 25, 2011
You can still use google to get to the May 21 prediction material. Family Radio removed the navigation, but the content is still on the web site.

http://www.familyradio.com/gra...gment.html
http://www.familyradio.com/gra...proof.html
http://www.familyradio.com/gra...knows.html
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written by lytrigian, May 25, 2011
I'm pretty sure the media are covering this with tongue planted firmly in cheek. I really can't recall any stories where the writer expressed serious expectations that it would happen.

I personally know no one who took him seriously other than a co-workers young daughter, who he had to take some time to reassure.
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written by Steel Rat, May 25, 2011
As much as I feel for the people in the midwest right now, one who believes god causes natural disasters might think a reverse rapture is going on.
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written by Calima, May 25, 2011
I'm more afraid of raptors than I am of raptures.

But yes, it is sad that, despite all evidence to the contrary (not the least of which being that we're breathing), the world will not end when some bozo says it will.

The real victims are the people who are woefully but innocently uninformed, who simply don't know enough to make a good decision.

As for the people who perpetuate this claptrap and rake in tons of cash from those mentioned above, well, I can imagine a Dante-esque circle of Hell where they are surrounded by microphones and television cameras, where they are interviewed by hosts and personalities for all eternity... and in front of them, never fading, is a small, simple sign reading, "No one is paying attention to you."

And you know what I find funny? I haven't looked at the Big 10 in a while, but last time I checked, lying was a sin. Which means, they're either knowing hypocrites or insane.
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written by Chris H, May 26, 2011
What I found...erm...funny about the Family Radio website was that they were performing "security maintenance" on their donations page eight days before the Apocalypse. See included screenshot, and little orange pop up that appeared in the top left corner of my browser when I visited their website.

http://www.melbourneskeptics.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/familyradio.jpg
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written by Zoroaster, May 26, 2011
The billboards are still up in my town proclaiming the end will come on May 21st.
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written by philosaur, May 26, 2011
@Caller X:

Sure, if by "not long" you mean "six years later when Johnny Carson actually retired."


Why wouldn't he mean that? Or does the phrase "not long" have some absolute meaning to which only you are privy?


Well, no, it's not. It's protected as speech, as is your egregious misstatement. I'm giving you a pass on the poor spelling.


You're trying too hard. The poster's use of "religious" was not necessarily intended to create a new category of speech over-and-above that which the Bill of Rights protects. Your correction corrects nothing but your own misinterpretation.

And keep your passes to yourself. No one here values your laughable criticisms as much as you do.
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written by drzeus99, May 26, 2011
For a short while, I felt a little sympathetic to those people who
donated so much money (their life savings even), quit their jobs, sold their
possesions, etc....but then I started thinking it over, and my opinion changed.

With technological advances in medicine, farming, transportation, etc - natural selection
no longer plays as big a role in human survival and adaptation as it used to.

I see it as natural selection working on the psychological weaknesses of humans
since we've advanced to the point where science and medicine often prevent natural
selection from taking its course in "culling the herd" in people born with serious
hereditary medical conditions.

Had many of the people living today been born at any other time in the 100,000 or so
years that modern humans have been around, they probably would have died at birth, or
at an age too young to reproduce. Today, in areas where advanced medical treatment is
readily available, it greatly inhibits (and even prevents), natural selection from
occuring in a segment of society.

To me, this just looks like a different flavor of natural selection at work.
Maybe this is just nature showing that "survival of the fittest" in modern
humans, isn't just for the physical traits of our species, but also
encompasses the mental/emotional/psychological as well.

And yes, I know it's not a "real" thing, and natural selection in this sense
wouldn't prevent these "dummy" genes from being passed along (LOL). But that's how
nature works. They weak (physically AND mentally) are prey.

Basically, I guess I'm saying is they got what was coming to them for a reason.
If an individual is that naive and gullible, they shouldn't expect that people
won't take advantage of that. Even without being taken advantage of, just by the
simple fact that they "are" this gullible and naive, that implies that their own
actions will eventually lead to some type of letdown.

So yeah....not sympathetic. That's what people get for failing to think for themselves
and incorporate logic, common sense and critical thinking skills in their everyday lives.
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written by Zoroaster, May 26, 2011
I don't know but I have the impression that Mr. Camping is not so much a charlatan but more of a self-deluded zealot. It is suspicious the way his delusions can adjust themselves whenever his predictions don't come true, nevertheless, I think this is a coping mechanism that allows part of him at least to believe in his own special understanding of the Bible. A charlatan would have taken the money and run long ago. It is much more important for Camping to believe that the rapture is coming soon as the Bible said over and over 2000 years ago (BTW CallerX, that would make six years a "short time" in Biblical terms anyway) I don't know what the new adjustment will be on Oct. 21 but it will somehow allow Camping to believe he has special knowledge and the end is coming soon.
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@Calima
written by Caller X, May 26, 2011
I haven't looked at the Big 10 in a while, but last time I checked, lying was a sin. Which means, they're either knowing hypocrites or insane.


It's not bearing false witness against your neighbor, and in the O.T. you neighbor means a fellow Jew. The opposite is "stranger". So they're in the clear.
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@philosaur, Lowly rated comment [Show]
A group of my friends and I
written by TlalocW, May 26, 2011
Have started referring to Camping as Nostradumbass. Seems applicable.
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written by Mark P, May 27, 2011
Had many of the people living today been born at any other time in the 100,000 or so
years that modern humans have been around, they probably would have died at birth, or
at an age too young to reproduce.


Yes, of cholera or typhoid or plague or ... etc. But not of a susceptibility to fakery.

If anything, it would seem likely that we are religiously biased because it gives us an advantage. Otherwise how would that bias have been so strongly implanted?

But in general citing modern life as not providing a setting for Darwinian selection shows a lack of knowledge of modern life and selection both. Perhaps it does not favour the criteria you think are best, but then natural selection is not about the big and the strong and the clever necessarily.
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written by Alan3354, May 27, 2011
That video from ssjudge is hilarious.

clubconspiracy.com/forum/f29/judgment-day-may-21-2011-a-13663.html

Check it out.
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Re: ssjudge
written by EarlyOut, May 27, 2011
The poster ssjudge is just David Mabus, a.k.a. Dennis Markuze, well-known paranoid schizophrenic Internet troll. At last report, he was working in a Burger King in Montreal, a good reason to dine elsewhere. Given the number of threats he's made on various skeptic/atheist forums, and given the nature of Canadian law on the subject, it's remarkable that he's still on the loose. This is someone who's truly dangerous.

He routinely gets banned, but keeps coming back under different user IDs. But the nature of the posts is always instantly recognizable.

It really is amazing, however, how violently the faithful react when someone has the affrontery to point out that their fairy tales make no sense.
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written by drzeus99, May 27, 2011
If anything, it would seem likely that we are religiously biased because it gives us an advantage. Otherwise how would that bias have been so strongly implanted?



That religious bias you speak about that is so strongly implanted comes, is something that is
less inherent in "nature" than it is in "nuture"

That's why religions start to indoctrinate their "flock" when they are young children.
Chilren naturally want to learn. They also have no reason to doubt the information that
is being "taught" to them by adults, teachers, and religious leaders, especially when this
information is being tauted as "the truth".

Their minds are easy to mold at such a young age, and religious institutions have figured this
out LONG ago. Just look at the madressas that fanatically teach young children the Koran by having
them engaged in constant recitation and repitition.

Do you think those young children have any chance of NOT being brainwashed to believe that what
they are being told is the absolute truth?

Granted, that is an extreme example, but the fundamentals are the same. Constantly teaching and telling
children to blindly believe ANY religion, almost guarantees an inclination to believe that "THAT SPECIFIC"
religion is TRUE. Combine that with peer pressure from classmates and in many places, THE WHOLE COMMUNITY,
and chances are that the children really have no other option than "following the crowd", and being "part
of the group".

And, BTW, "being part of the group" is something that is inherent in nature, not religion.
So, when a person's friends and community all believe in one specific religion, it's this
"need to belong" that's also a driving factor in why people believe.

So, this "need to belong to a group", combined with indoctrination at a young age (which
is what is "planted") is what's responsible.

If people are being honest, they'll agree that if an intelligent adult was somehow raised with
NO concept of religion or their texts, and they came upon the bible while doing research in a library,
they'd think MUCH differently about its contents than someone who has already been biased with
a belief in its validity.

An unbiased reader with no prior knowledge would be appalled that the "diety" mentioned within the
book was such a cruel, viscious, hypocritical, bigoted, etc..MONSTER.

They also be bewildered as to WHY any decent person would WANT to worship, honor or pray to this
entity. They'd also wonder why this entity was so insecure as to NEED/WANT people to praise and worship
him. And they'd also be amazed how inept the so called omnipotent being was being portrayed.
And the clincer would be that this being was so sadistic and cruel that he made a human form of himself
to be born on earth who was certain to be tortured and murdered via a horrific crucifixtion.
And to top it off, this "high and mighty grand poobah" is SO PETTY as to make ALL humans
automatically born with sin as punishment for "the distortion of the nature of man" (which god created !!!)

Talk about being a vindictive SOB, not to mention not having any concept of making a punishment
fit the crime...sheesh.

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Love doom and gloom.
written by Paulhoff, May 28, 2011
There seems to be a large part of the population that just loves doom and gloom. It takes no real knowledge to have it, it can be shared with others quit easily, and it can spread like wildfire with no wind needed to help it along.

Paul
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oops
written by Paulhoff, May 28, 2011
"others quite easily"
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written by Random, May 28, 2011
The natural sciences have their fair share of doom-sayers. They are not quite so specific as to the date of catastrophe, but often equally blind to their own previous errors when returning to predict once more the fall of man. Ehrlich is just the most famous, but with a chair at Stanford he is bizarrely respectable, considering he still stands by the core thesis of a book that said it was 50/50 that my country would not exist by 2000 AD/CE, and if it did I would be starving.

How many more scientists who were present at the first Earth Day in 1970 are still repeating the predictions of doom that have never come true? How many people here are still taking them seriously?

Camping is a fool. His ideas are strange, irrational and unsupportable. I personally cannot see how any thinking person can believe in a supernatural deity, let alone a benign, omnipotent, omniscient god. However rational people believe in things that are based on deeply flawed logic. To me the flaw in Ehlich's logic is just as obvious as the flaw in Camping's, and however I might argue against both the religious and environmentalist doomsayers I would mock neither, as I cannot prove beyond possibility of error either is wrong, despite all their failed predictions that diminish their central hypotheses. So to go so far as to mock them is to stoop to their level, their arrogance and self-righteousness.

Al Gore I would mock. He is just an idiot, who ironically learnt environmentalism at bible college, and wasn't good at it. He still isn't. But then I never claimed to be more perfect morally or in consistency (or indeed grammatically or logically, given this sentence) than I am as a natural philosopher.
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The Problem isn't Camping....
written by timtimes, May 29, 2011
The .0000000005% (?) of the population that's so committed to the idea of Jeebus returning on the 21st of May (or October now) isn't what worries me. It's the forty odd percent of people who think Camping is C R A Z Y for picking a date so soon for an event they are just as sure will come in THEIR lifetime. Those people don't care how badly they destroy things because they don't figure to be around anyway.

Here's my take on the Catholic Conference of Bishops report considering the causes/solutions to their child sex abuse problem:

Good news-bad news for Catholic schoolboys!! First the good news. Recently completed research claims to show the Catholic clergy (seven out of ten priests agree!!) are finally slowing down on their child sex abuse. We all wish to believe that the era of priestly “hide yo kids, hide yo wife, and hide yo husband cuz they rapin’ everybody out here”


http://thetimchannel.wordpress.com/2011/05/25/that-settles-that/

Enjoy.
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Family Radio's webmaster is naive too
written by Zep, May 29, 2011
FYI, if you go to the Family Radio website and look at the downloads section, all the crazy diatribes and predictions are still there as PDFs, including all Camping's stunningly insane calculations. No wonder he got the date wrong! His maths is a jumble of alphabet soup made up of all the printed numerals in a KVJ in a broth of nonsense. Seriously, the poor old dodderer is only tangentially impinging on reality. I'm calling it either senile dementia or a darn good act.

The sad part was all those followers who spent all their own money believing and supporting his barking madness. Fortunately their presence far outweighed their numbers.
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The biggest believer is Camping HIMSELF...
written by SheldonHelms, May 31, 2011
Like many others (but apparently not many of the commenters here), I think Camping actually BELIEVES his own predictions. The best charlatans are the ones who buy their own charlatanism, and he's very good at this. It's a matter of cognitive dissonance with him, as well as with his followers, that the re-calculation occurred. There's a large body of research on this phenomenon, beginning with psychologist Leon Festinger who joined a doomsday cult back in the 1950s to study the effects when the prophesy didn't come to fruition. Some left the cult, but many stayed. Check out his book "When Prophesy Fails" to learn more.
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