Harold Camping predicted the rapture on
2011-MAY-21 & world end
He apologized on 2012-MAR & died in 2013.
He left a legacy: Rapture Party Day
1 About Harold Camping: his predictions of the rapture, and the end of the world:
Harold Camping (1921-2013) was the president of Family Stations Inc -- a.k.a. Family Radio. He had specialized in predicting momentous events in his future, including:
The rapture, when many fundamentalist and other evangelical Christians believe that:
Jesus will come towards Earth.
Graves will open, dead bodies of born-again Christians will be reconstituted, will be changed into spirit bodies, and will rise towards Jesus in the sky;
Saved individuals living on Earth will then be similarly changed and rise in the air.
This is a relatively new belief in the history of Christianity, but one that is widely accepted by many fundamentalist and other evangelical Christians.
The tribulation will occurr. During that time, Jesus will lead a very large army who will exterminate many of those left behind. This will be the greatest genocide in the history of the human race -- over two billion people will be murdered because of their religious beliefs -- a loss of life more than 300 times greater than the Nazi Holocaust of Jews during the 1930's and 1940's.
The end of the world, when the world and perhaps the universe will be destroyed. This is a less common belief among conservative Christians.
His web site, Family Radio announced on 2011-MAY-21 that there were zero days left before the Judgment Day:
But he was wrong. It didn't come.
Webmaster's comment: The world would be a much happier place if every time the phrase "The Bible says that..." was used, it was replaced with "My interpretation of the Bible is that..."
Decorated bus in New York City : 2
Harold Camping had previously predicted the rapture for 1994, and lost considerable credibility when it did not happen. However, he rebounded and made a new prediction for 2011-MAY-21 at 6 PM local time in each time zone around the world. He also predicted that the end of the world would occur five months later on 2011-OCT-21.
As the vast majority of commentators predicted, the rapture did not happen on that day either. In fact, the Bible did not guarantee it. That failure weakened his credibility as a student of the Bible.
He left behind many disillusioned followers some of whom had cashed in all their life savings and assets to promote his ideas. They anticipated being part of the rapture. Some had euthanized their pets to prevent them from starving to death. At least two believers committed suicide to avoid the tribulation. In addition, a woman tried to kill herself and her children, but was unsuccessful. He appears to have had a lot of blood on his hands.
Although his prediction of the rapture and start of the tribulation did not materialize, one personal disaster did happen. He suffered a mild stroke on 2011-JUN-14. He died two and a half years later, on 2013-DEC-15.
Harold Camping released an audio message that actually used the word "probably." It said:
"We would have not been able to be used [by God] to bring about the tremendous event that occurred on May 21 of this year, which probably [will] be finished out on OCT-21 that's coming very shortly. That looks like it will be ... the final end of everything."
The end of the world did not happen on that date either. Camping did not make any more predictions after that one. He died during 2013-DEC.
2016: Harold Camping's legacy: Rapture Party Day:
As Harold Camping's prediction of the end of the world for Saturday 2011-MAY-21 approached, some believers anticipated the rapture and a rolling apocalypse taking 24 hours to slip through each time zone until all the world was horrendously affected.
But some folks, expecting that Camping's prediction would fail, planned a group of "good-riddance rapture parties" on that day. No matter what happened on MAY-21, they felt that it would personally be a win-win situation. Most were irritated at the intolerance exhibited by some conservative Christians and hoped that the world would be a better place if saved Christians left the Earth and rose into the sky. Also their departure could allow the unbelievers left behind to raid the possessions of the raptured and pick up some free stereos, cell phones, etc. On the other hand, if the rapture was a "no show" then they could make fun of the prediction which, like thousands of predictions before it, never materialized.
Five years later, Judgment Day Party lives on. But Harold Camping died in late 2013.