Harold Camping
Harold Camping believed that the Rapture would occur on May 21st, 2011

Harold Camping
Image Unavailable

Harold Egbert Camping (1921- ) is the president of Family Radio, a fundamentalist Christian broadcast organization with more than 150 outlets in the United States.


Camping claimed that the Rapture would occur on May 21st, 2011, accompanied by worldwide earthquakes. This would be followed by 5 months of tribulation and God would then completely destroy the earth on October 21, 2011.

It's just another example of pseudo-religious bunk by people trying to interpret the bible to fit in with their own crackpot ideas. This time the perpetrator is Harold Camping. Here is his 'calculation':

"The number 5, Camping concluded, equals "atonement." Ten is "completeness." Seventeen means "heaven." Camping patiently explained how he reached his conclusion for May 21, 2011.

"Christ hung on the cross April 1, 33 A.D.," he began. "Now go to April 1 of 2011 A.D., and that's 1,978 years."

Camping then multiplied 1,978 by 365.2422 days - the number of days in each solar year, not to be confused with a calendar year.

Next, Camping noted that April 1 to May 21 encompasses 51 days. Add 51 to the sum of previous multiplication total, and it equals 722,500.
Camping realized that (5 x 10 x 17) x (5 x 10 x 17) = 722,500.
Or put into words: (Atonement x Completeness x Heaven), squared."

In other words, it's total numerological nonsense. Add, subtract and multiply various numbers until they give the result you want. Why not multiply 10 by 17 and then take the square of that and add 5? Where do the rules come from? Out of thin air, of course.

Camping claimed that 21st May 2011 would be the Rapture and 21st October 2011 will be the end of the world. Since he also predicted the end of the world for 27th September 1994, 29th September 1994, 2nd October 1994 and 31st March 1995, perhaps he ought to call this the really, really, definite, I honestly mean it this time, end of the world.

An Attempted Murder-Suicide

According to a news report (via YouTube) a mother tried to kill her daughters and herself due to Camping's "End of the World" predictions. This was not the only one, there were several such attempts.

Cashing in

According to CNNMoney, in 2009 Camping's organisation, Family Radio, drew nearly $18 million in contributions. In 2011, one family were shocked to discover that their recently deceasd aunt had left nearly her entire estate to Camping and his followers.

No Rapture on May 21, 2011

Unsurprisingly, there were no global earthquakes or mass disappearances on May 21, 2011.

New Prediction

Following the failure of his May 21 Rapture and worldwide earthquake, Camping later revised his prediction. He said that a spiritual judgement had taken place, God had decided not to make his people suffer, but that the world would still end on October 21 2011.

No Rapture on October 21, 2011

There were also no global earthquakes or mass disappearances on October 21, 2011.

A Radical Change in Views

Brandon Tauszik, a documentarian who has been attending Camping’s Oakland, Calif., church for eight months told The Christian Post … that he spoke with Camping in person on Oct. 16, only a few days before the second coming of Christ was about to occur, as predicted by the Bible teacher.

Tauszik said that Camping seemed very unsure about the exact date of the end of the world when they spoke. When asked if he was wondering what would happen Friday (Oct. 21), Camping reportedly said that God has not given anyone the power to know exactly when the Rapture would come – a radical change from what Camping had said [before]1

Ig Nobel Prize

In 2012, Camping was jointly awarded the Ig Nobel Prize in Mathematics with fellow failed prognosticators Dorothy Martin, Pat Robertson, Elizabeth Clare Prophet, Lee Jang Rim and Credonia Mwerinde for teaching people to be careful with predictions.

Further Reading




Forum Threads



Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License