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The following excerpts are from huffingtonpost.com posted by Jaweed Kaleem
Harold Camping will long be associated with the failed predictions of the end of the word. But who is this man responsible for the multimillion dollar campaign declaring May 21 2011 as Judgment Day?
Harold Camping, 89, the California evangelical broadcaster who predicts that Judgment Day will come on May 21, 2011, is seen reading the Bible in his office at Family Stations Inc. offices in Oakland, California in this still image from video May 16, 2011. The head of the Christian radio network Family Stations Inc says that he is sure an earthquake will shake the Earth on May 21, sweeping true believers to heaven and leaving others behind to be engulfed in the world's destruction over a few months.
He was born by the name of Harold Egbert Camping in 1921 in Boulder, Colo. At an early age, he moved to California where his interest in math and science developed, later taking him to University of California Berkeley during World War II, where he received a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering.
Shortly after the end of World War II, he began his own construction business where he was able to earn his own living.
In 1943, he married his wife Shirley with whom he had seven children. During their early years they were congregants at First Christian Reformed Church of Alameda where he shined as the most popular Bible studies teacher.
He had become a self-taught Bible instructor for his students. His charisma and eye for biblical details helped him gain popularity among his students and the church.
From 1954, he became the owner of Camping Construction Company, and by 1958 he and two others formed the non-profit ministry of Family Stations, Inc. in San Francisco.
Family Radio was the ministry’s Christian educational network and it expanded over the decades as it broadcast teachings, Bible readings as well as Christian music such as southern gospel music across the country. Some stations chose to play contemporary Christian music.
When he was in his 40s, he began hosting his own Open Forum program during the weekends, which still continues to be broadcast on more than 140 stations in the U.S.
In 1973, he sold his business and became a full-time volunteer employer of Family Radio where he served as the president and general manager of the stations.
The network is reportedly now worth more than $120 million and has 66 stations throughout the country. The network's broadcasts can reach as far as Nigeria and are available in 61 languages online.
In 1970, Camping published the Biblical Calendar History, where he proclaimed that the creations of the world happened in 11,013 BC and Noah’s flood, 4990 BC.
While 1988 became a popular doomsday year due to a book written by Edgar Whisenant, 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Could be in 1988, Camping began to proclaim the world’s impending end during his radio program as well in his Bible class.
Camping didn’t agree with Whisenant’s end of the word date but he didn't yet provide his own prediction.
Due to his persistence on the end of the world, his church elders told him to cease all prophesying about the apocalypse. He, his family and 110 members decided to leave the church, according to The Huffington Post.
In 1992, he published his book 1994? where he predicted that the world would end, though he wasn’t certain about the year; he was only certain that it would happen sometime soon.
In 1994, his followers gathered inside Alameda’s Veterans’ Memorial Building to wait for the return of Christ. People dressed themselves in their Sunday best and held their Bibles open faced towards heaven.
But nothing happened.
Camping said that was just a “preliminary study,” hence the question mark in the title of the book, and he spent the next decade completing that study.
In 2002, he announced the end of the church age and claimed that God was no longer blessing and using local churches because of their apostasy and that believers should quit the church. Three years later, he published Time Has an End where he officially began proclaiming that he had recalculated the rapture date to be May 21, 2011.
According to his prediction, around 200 million people will be raptured at 6 p.m. that day and the rest will suffer for five months until Oct. 21, making it the definitive date for complete world obliteration.
Currently, among his family members, only his wife of 68 years believes him and none of his six living children, 28 grandchildren and 38 great grandchildren believe in his theories.
Below are excerpts from articles about self proclaimed prophet Horold Camping including an article on huffingtonpost.com Posted: 05/21/11
Each day, Harold Camping’s slow and sonorous Bible readings and his Open Forum call-in show broadcast for hours from the Oakland, Calif. headquarters of Family Radio, where Christian gospel and shows with titles such as “Beyond Intelligent Design” and “Creation Moments” punctuate his words.
And while the retired civil engineer and former Sunday school teacher has been preaching the gospel for decades and talking about God’s wrathful plan for the past two years, recent times have brought him into the spotlight like never before.
In the last week, variations of “End of the World May 21st” and “Harold Camping” have remained among the top search terms on Google. On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control released a mock guide to the “Zombie Apocalypse” on its web site that quickly went viral.
But "it’s no laughing matter," Camping told The Huffington Post. “It is not something where it's a tiny, tiny, tiny chance it may happen. It is going to happen.”
He and his fringe group of churchless followers believed that at 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 21, a massive earthquake will make its way around the earth, beginning in Fiji and New Zealand. Graves will open and two hundred million 'saved' individuals will float up to heaven. The doomed remainder will live on an unruly earth for five months before God annihilates it five months later.
Complex Biblical numerology partially based on a literal reading of the King James Bible and partially based and obscure interpretation of the book’s many symbols form the basis for Camping's warnings.
He says certain numbers repeat in the Bible along with particular themes. The number five means "atonement;" ten equals "completeness;" 17 is "heaven." Multiply those numbers by each other and multiply the result by itself. It equals 722,500.
"Christ hung on the cross April 1, 33 A.D.," he says. "Now go to April 1 of 2011 A.D., and that's 1,978 years."
If you multiply that number by 365.2422 -- the number of days in the solar calendar -- it equals 722,449. And if you add 51 (the number of days between April 1 and May 21) to that number, it equals 722,500.
It gets more confusing.
Camping also believes that May 21 marks the 7,000 anniversary of Noah's flood and the end of a 33-year-year period of Tribulation, during which he claims Satan has ruled churches. He points to the increasing acceptance of gay clergy, for example, or the rise in charismatic and Pentecostal movements as signs that churches have gone astray. To him, rituals such as baptism and confession are worthless.
He made a similar prediction in the 1990s but later said he didn't look close enough at the Book of Jeremiah. This time around, he was absolutely certain.
Like many of those who follow his predictions, Camping wasn't always so radical.
Born in Colorado, he moved to California at an early age and, with a budding interest in math and science, trained as a civil engineer at the University of California-Berkeley in the in the early 1940s. During World War II, he worked as an engineer for Kaiser. Afterwards, he joined a small construction business in Oakland.
But he really shined in church.
At the First Christian Reformed Church of Alameda, Camping, his wife Shirley and seven kids were well-known for his popular Bible study class. Self-taught with no formal religious training, the charismatic Camping would read and dissect the Bible with an ease and depth that attracted dozens of students.
For much of the time since its humble founding in 1958 in San Francisco and its expansion over the decades, Family Radio largely preached a command brand of evangelism, featuring Bible readings, early American hymns and southern gospel along with programming from Protestant churches across the country. Some local stations played contemporary Christian music, and shows from socially conservative organizations such as Colorado Springs-based Focus on the Family were also syndicated.
By 1988, as Camping began quietly proclaiming a pending end of the world during his radio and Bible class lectures (he had no date yet), his church life and Family Radio changed drastically. In Alameda, church elders sternly told him to stop his predictions. Instead, he and 110 members of the church left to start their own congregation, which Camping quickly left after declaring the "church age" over.
"I began to see that the doctrine of salvation was wrong. Every church would say 'We will show you how to become saved,'" says Camping. "Salvation only comes through faith. We don’t know what’s going to happen to Family Radio or the banks or anyone else on May 21, but it will be horror."
Camping himself doesn’t know if he will be 'saved.' He says that’s predetermined by God.
Some Christian evangelists today are "millennialist," which means they believe in a literal 1,000-year reign of Christ upon his return, when there will be peace on Earth.
Not Camping. On May 21, the saved will go to straight to heaven to meet Jesus, he claims. The unsaved, including those already dead, "will never have conscious existence again...That person himself will not know anything about it they are dead," he said.
"Christ has no pleasure in the death of the unsaved. It is an enormous comfort about our loved ones," he added. "Pray they die quickly."
As Camping started to preach such views on Family Radio, programming that wasn't attune to his reading of the Bible was banned. Today, the station produces the majority of its writing in-house, devoting a chunk of the day to repeats of Camping’s own shows.
Worth more than $120 million and with 66 stations throughout the country, the network's broadcasts reach as far as Nigeria. Via the Internet, it's available in 61 languages. While Camping doesn't ask for donations, he admits that followers have generously given and also financed their own campaigns. Many have quit jobs and depleted their life savings to join caravans that preach across the U.S.
In 2009, the last year Family Radio publicly released a tax return, 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.
Christianity isn't the only religion that believes the world will end, though its prescriptions about end times tend to be more frequent and pronounced than other faiths. In non-Abrahamic religions, such as Buddhism and Hinduism, the idea of death and destruction is more cyclical than finite.
Denominations differ on the exact chronology and length of Christ's second coming, but almost all say that the date is unknown and point at two key passages. One is 2 Peter 3:10: "The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night." Another is Matthew 24:36: "Of that day and hour knoweth no [man], no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only."
Yet Judgment Day preachers say reading these passages alone leads to misinterpretation, claiming God has only recently given humans the ability to understand the hidden code of his book.
Throughout history, dozens of end-times predictions have gone unfulfilled, but some have had a lasting outcome.
In 1844, Baptist preacher William Miller gained thousands of followers by predicting Christ's return. Dubbed the "Great Disappointment" when Jesus didn't come, Miller's movement nonetheless grew into today's Seventh-Day Adventist Church.
In the 1970s and 1980s, Hal Lindsey famously promoted in "The Late Great Planet Earth" and the idea that end times would soon approach, set off by a Soviet invasion of the Middle East.
The year 2000 passed without widespread digital breakdowns, while the year 2012 has also gained popularity among those interested in the ancient Mayan calendar.
On the date of Camping's Sept. 6, 1994 prediction, dozens of his followers gathered a short drive from his station's office in Alameda to watch for the return of Christ. They wore their best clothes and held their Bibles open toward heaven.
When the day came and went, the preacher initially didn’t admit his error. Instead, he offered a new date. Nothing happened again.
After a San Francisco Chronicle reporter asked him to explain, he said "nothing has been negated...The Bible is based on the Biblical calendar, which began in March. So 1994 runs until March 31, 1995."
“I always said if it wasn't 1994, it would be 2011,” Camping says today.
On May 21, the preacher, who says he rarely watches TV and even more rarely uses computers, joined Shirley in his living room. They watch for news of the quake.
He said: When we see it, we will be “trembling before God for mercy."
The octogenarian hasn't been able to avoid the alienation many of his followers experience. His six living children, 28 grandchildren and 38 great-grandchildren think his theories are a sham. Only Shirley, his wife of 68 years, believes him.
"Most do not understand at all," he said of his family. "They think I have lost it."
Watch Harold Camping discuss the 'Judgment Day' and the end of the world:
For all the hype leading up to this, countless broadcasts and a sprawling nationwide campaign, the airwaves of Christian station Family Radio became silent when May 21, 2011 finally arrived.
Reuters reported Family Radio has been airing "recorded church music, devotionals and life advice unrelated to the apocalypse" throughout today. The station's website typically allows you to listen live, but the feature had been having problems today, likely due to server overload.
Camping and his group of believers had said repeatedly in past days that the rapture on May 21 was a certainty.
The non-profit Family Radio, based in California, has been a primary driver to spread the word. The non-stop promotion has gone so far that the station changed the HTML Title Name of its website to "Family Radio (FR) Worldwide - Judgment Day: May 21, 2011."
But Now Reality is Setting In
'Judgment Day' came and went on Saturday, and John Ramsey hasn't been able to sleep.
The 25-year-old Harrison, N.J. resident had rearranged his life in recent months to devote himself to spreading a fringe California preacher's prediction that May 21 would bring worldwide earthquakes and usher in a five-month period of misery before the world's destruction.
Like many of those convinced of the Rapture was pending, Ramsey quit his job, donated "a couple thousand" to Harold Camping's Family Radio network and convinced family members to join him to spread news of the Rapture on Manhattan streets.
His family nervously huddled in their apartment living room Saturday, holding their Bibles open, switching between CNN, Facebook and Google for news of quakes in the Pacific.
They cried. They hugged. They argued. But mostly, they waited. Nothing happened.
On Sunday, a dejected Ramsey said he faces a "mixed bag."
He has to find a new job. So does his mother. His 19-year-old brother, who had quit high school the year prior ("It's pointless to graduate," the brother had said), is thinking of re-enrolling or finding employment.
His wife, Marcia Paladines, had come to accept that she might never meet her unborn baby, whom she and Ramsey had named John Moses. Now, she's praying for a healthy birth. The child is due as early as Friday.
"Life goes on," Ramsey said Sunday. "I get to live. I get to be a dad."
The May 21 prediction came from the Biblical numerology of Harold Camping, an 89-year-old televangelist who owns the Oakland, Calif.-based Christian Family Radio network. Camping had previously predicted a similar end-times scenario in 1994.
Several Camping followers previously interviewed by The Huffington Post did not return phone calls and emails Sunday. But a few did publicly declare their reactions.
"I guess no man knows the day or the hour," said Peter Lombardi, a 44-year-old from Jersey City, N.J. who had had taken an "indefinite break" from his job in April to preach about May 21.
He had fitted his Dodge minivan with stickers proclaiming the "awesome news" of Judgment Day and paraded with neon green Caravans through Manhattan's business districts to hand hundreds of fliers about the date. On Sunday, he was peeling the stickers off.
Lombardi said he is going back to work -- he owns a construction business -- and said he has "no regrets." He added, "I'm not disappointed. I'm still living today." He believes Camping and others must have read the Bible incorrectly.
Lombardi had donated $1,100 to Family Radio in recent months to help the organization purchase thousands of billboards and other ads throughout the country, but said he doesn't expect any of his money back.
"What can you do?" he said. "I don't think they were scamming me, but I am definitely waiting to see what they say Monday on the radio show."
"It's not [Camping's] fault," said Ramsey, who added he also won't ask for his money back. "Nobody held a gun to my head. I read the Bible. The math added up. I don't think anybody would do something like this without meaning it."
Camping has gone silent and given no interviews over the weekend. The Family Radio web site has not been updated. A countdown on the site says there are zero days left to 'Judgment Day' and an image shows the numbers "2012" crossed out.
"Mr. Camping certainly won't shy away from this," Family Radio spokesman Tom Evans told The Huffington Post on Sunday. "But when and how that will happen will be forthcoming."
Evans, who had spent 'Judgment Day' with his wife and kids, said he was happy that he gets more time to be with his family, but added that "a believer's highest hope is to be with the Lord forever." As for his belief in the second coming, "nothing has changed other than the ramifications for Family Radio and Mr. Camping's credibility in the world."
After Camping's failed Rapture prediction in 1994, Evans stayed with Family Radio, but he declined to say whether he would stay on the job this time.
Camping, who told The Huffington Post last week that May 21 was "no laughing matter," had refused to discuss what he would do with donations if the day passed without event. In recent months, followers have given generously to his company, which runs 66 radio stations in the U.S. and is worth at least $120 million.
On Sunday, Evans said Family Radio's assets "far outweigh its liabilities," and that it will "certainly do everything it can to take care of people." But he said that there has been no decision on giving money back to donors.
In 2009, the last year Family Radio publicly released a tax return, the group reported $18.4 million in income from contributions and $1 million from investments and other income. It spent $36.7 million and employed 348 people paid a total of more than $9 million in wages and benefits. Camping has said he has worked without pay for several years.
Followers like Ramsey and Lombardi said they had few hard feelings toward Camping and still agreed with some of the self-taught preacher's views, such as one that says all churches and denominations have been corrupted.
"I have leaned to study the Bible really well. This guy has opened my eyes to a lot of truths," said Lombardi.
"If he makes another prediction, I can't tell you what I am doing to do," said Ramsey. "But I've really taken an interest in the Bible. I know it's the word of God. And I've been reading into more parts today."
He quoted Mark 13:22: "For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall [show] signs and wonders, to seduce, if [it were] possible, even the elect."
The following excerpt is from an article on huffingtonpost.com by Steve McSwain May 20, 2011
The CDC: Preparing for the Apocalypse - or Rapture, or "Judgment day"
If you haven't seen the CDC's action plan for surviving doomsday, here's a last-minute reminder for those of you who'll like me will be Left Behind. Yes, and I'm even a Christian, too. But since I'm a proponent of all faith traditions and believe with my Ba'hai friends there are many paths and one destination, I've been deservedly banned by some believers. Just as well, I suppose. We'd probably have a hard time getting along in the world beyond.
1. Prepare an emergency kit -- standard stuff to start with. The Walgreens, corner of Poplar Level and Trevillian, Louisville, still has a generous supply of bottled water, flashlights and first-aid supplies. I stocked up on Charmin -- still the softest, in my humble opinion, and a few creature comforts will be nice. Sam's Warehouse has flats of Charmin everywhere. Soap, too. You've got to have a membership there. I think they're still accepting new customers. Oh, and I'd stock up on guns. Should be plenty of those around since the Pre-millenial rapturists will have left theirs behind. I have a neighbor who's sure he'll be among the raptured, so I've asked him to leave his arsenal he hides under the mattress.
2. Stock up on a supply of drugs, too. For me, I've got several bottles of Zyrtec for my allergies and a generous supply of Ambian. What has been an occasional sleepless night, since I turned 50, is likely to get worse after doomsday. Sleeping through some of the anticipated madness will be a needed respite.
3. Don't forget the documentation: driver's license, passport, birth certificate. Too late for visas.
4. Devise an emergency plan. I'm in New York City today. But since my flight from New York to Cincinnati is not until early afternoon on Doomsday, it would be nice to know what time the Rapture is to occur tomorrow. Looks like these predictors of the end could be a bit more specific, doesn't it? You'd think if they alone know the date, they could clue the rest of us in on the actual time. Don't want to be late for the party. Don't want to be too early either. So, if anybody knows, would you be so kind as to inform the rest of us? That way, I'll know whether to hail a cab to LaGuardia or flee to the Poconos Mountains instead. I love New York, but I don't want to be caught on this lone island when chaos ensues. Now, what would really be cool would be to fly over the Rapture as it occurs. If you don't know, the faithful are to be caught up into the clouds. So, I'm thinking, at 33,000 feet, well above the spectacle, it should be spectacular -- better than orchestra seating at the Radio City Music Hall.
5. Set a meeting place. Too late for me on this one. Since I'm in New York and the family is in Kentucky, I'll have to pass on this one. As a backup, however, I think I'll call Hertz and rent a car just in case my plane is canceled. Unlike Hilton, Hertz won't charge your credit card if you don't show up. I should add an XM radio. A Never-Lost system, too. Might come in handy.
6. Plan your evacuation route. I'll have to let this one go. I've been to NYC dozens of times and I still can't figure out the difference between uptown and downtown or the blue line from the red line.
7. Or, stay put. Now, that sounds like my only option, especially if the Rapture occurs early in the morning. Which is why I asked the night clerk for the top floor at the Doubletree. If I'm going to be stuck here in NYC during the fireworks, I wanted to make sure I had a good view of the city and the sights. To my right is the Empire State Building, Madison Square Garden to the left. In between, nothing but open sky and the streets way down below. Perfect.
8. Identify emergency contacts. Our entire family has iPhone 4s, except for one. He has a hand-me-down 3GS. But, it works well. Two of us even have iPads. I'd say we're good to go. Since I don't know any of the police force here, I was a little concerned at first. But then, I remembered, New York is known for its firefighters. They're the best. Need I say more?
9. Finally, stay cool. It is actually. But, I think the CDC means "Don't lose your cool." I won't. Pretty good chance you won't either. In fact, I'd say there's a good chance life tomorrow will be much like life today. Which is why I'm looking forward to going home. Seems the mother robin we've been watching sit on her nest for weeks just hatched three baby robins this morning. I can't wait to see them.
Meanwhile, it would be nice if the sky would stop raining so much and the sun would come out. I wanted to take a stroll through Central Park. They say it's beautiful at spring. Later today, I thought about visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I hear it's a favorite of many. Ever since I arrived in the city, however, raindrops keep fallin' on my head.
Which reminds me of the song B J used to sing...
Raindrops keep fallin' on my head
But that doesn't mean my eyes will soon be turnin' red
Cryin's not for me
'Cause I'm never gonna stop the rain by complainin'
Because I'm free, nothin's worryin' me.
Here are the Japanese making fun of our Trials and Tribulations LOL
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