• dameetch

Contrary to the predictions of the 90-year-old radio preacher Harold Camping, who’s been at this game for a while, the rapture was not consummated on the earth today. We’re all still here, I think. Camping famously predicted an earlier date—May 21—and revised himself when it didn’t happen then, either. In fact the May 21 date was his second stab at apocalyptic prophecy. A couple decades ago Camping believed that the rapture would occur on September 6, 1994. He wrote a book about it and went on Larry King to discuss it. It didn’t happen, and, as Dan P. Lee reports in a good profile of Camping in this week’s New York magazine, the preacher returned to his calculations:

Every day it was him and his Bible. Years bled into each other, with old listeners coming back into the fold, new ones dropping by the dial and staying. Camping continued beseeching God, calculating, promising his listeners he was getting closer. About six years ago, it all began coming together. He realized that 7,000 years needed to pass between the Great Flood—whose year he calculated as 4990 B.C.—and the end. Which led him to 2011. He then applied to his equations “special” numbers rife with symbolism—5=atonement; 10=completeness; 17=Heaven; 23=destruction—uncovering “marvelous proofs.”