Has Harold Camping Apologized Yet? May 22, 2011

Has Harold Camping Apologized Yet?

Nope. The only statement Harold Camping has made comes via his daughter:

His daughter Sue Espinoza received a call from him Saturday morning, according to the Times.

“He just said, ‘I’m a little bewildered that it didn’t happen, but it’s still May 21 [in the United States],'” Espinoza said, standing in the doorway of her Alameda home. “It’s going to be May 21 from now until midnight.”

And what about Robert Fitzpatrick, who spent $140,000 of his life savings to “warn” people about the Rapture?

Well, his response is just sad…

As he stood in Times Square in New York surrounded by onlookers, Fitzpatrick, 60, carried a Bible and handed out leaflets as he waited for Judgment Day to begin.

By his own reading of Bible, which was slightly different than Camping’s, Fitzgerald expected the great worldwide event to begin at 6 p.m. Eastern Time.

When the hour came and went, he said: “I do not understand why …,” as his speech broke off and he looked at his watch.

“I do not understand why nothing has happened.”

Part of me wants to say he deserves it for being gullible, but that reaction is just so fucking depressing… I can’t bear to laugh at his misery.

I don’t know if a lawsuit is even possible, but I hope these people who gave up everything to follow a conman find a way to get their money back.

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  • Steve

    I certainly don’t feel the need to laugh at him or get some sort of enjoyment out of his misery. Far from it. But at the same time I can’t bring myself to feel sympathy either.

  • K Patterson

    I just feel so sorry for Fitzpatrick. He’s an older gentleman and the loss that money must be devastating, especially if he gets cancer or some other catastrophic illness and there’s nothing left for health care or other basic needs. I hope he has family who can help him. Harold Camping is evil and, no doubt, is laughing all the way to the bank.

  • S-Y

    Thinking about it this way: In a hypothetical world where it did happen, would they be laughing at us?

  • Rich h

    I saw the video on GMA this morning. And while I do enjoy a good deal of schadenfreude when I see some true believer get screwed, Fitzpatrick look crushed. This wasn’t some huckster who was bilking old ladies out of their money. This was a true believer whose god let him down.

    I truly felt sorry for the guy.

    Of course, the sorry SOB will come up with some reason why it’s his fault, and not god’ss, and not the bible’s. And he will continue to be a sad, tortured soul…

  • He is the victim of delusion, and I am willing to accept that Camping is more of a deluded person than he is a con-man. I am sure that he truly believed that he was right about this whole thing.

    A lawsuit would have a heavy burden of proof to show that he had willingly and knowingly deceived his followers.

  • Philbert

    From the BBC:

    “I had some scepticism but I was trying to push the scepticism away because I believe in God,” said Keith Bauer, who travelled 4,830km (3,000 miles), from Maryland to California, where Mr Camping’s Family Radio is based, for the Rapture.

    I think many of us have been there. It is one of the saddest things, seeing people battle against themselves to sustain belief in the unbelievable.

  • Shawn

    Poor guy. I wonder how many people like this there are?

  • Ed

    Fuck’em all, morons.

  • Spencer Lucas

    I don’t have any thought to ridicule this man. I can ridicule the belief, but what happened to him makes me mad. Somebody should pay him back. Well it should be Camping, but I doubt that will happen voluntarily or even though a law suit. He’s not the only one devastated today.

  • Ron in Houston

    Awe come on Hemant – there must be at least a little schadenfreude.

  • BJD

    I disagree. He deserves what happened to him and I laughed. I’m not a cruel person, but this ‘True Believer’ clearly didn’t believe enough to read his own damn Bible. If you are going to make a life-changing decision, you should know exactly what you are getting into.

    One of the four Gospels, probably most popular part of the Bible, clearly spells out that Camping is full of shit. Matthew 24:36- no one can know.

    This man is just plain stupid. We should not sympathize with the stupid or the effects of their stupidity. They should be ridiculed in the hope that they will be less stupid in the future.


    Of course they would. They would be laughing as they did in life, wth their high and mighty attitude that Jesus hated.

  • Thaddeus

    I have zero sympathy for those who gave up their money for this shyster. Quite frankly, they deserve to lose their money for their credulity.

  • Bob Carlson

    I don’t know if a lawsuit is even possible, but I hope these people who gave up everything to follow a conman find a way to get their money back.

    But are Camping or Fitzpatrick bigger frauds than people like Billy Graham or his grandson?

  • GrapeDrank

    It is definitely funny. But it is also sad at the same time.

    I wonder what their reaction would be if we atheists took up a collection to help the poor deluded and bewildered rubes who gave their life savings to the conman Camping?

    Oh right, “Evil Atheists Exploit Rapture Failure Through Disingenuous Altruism For Camping Followers”

  • Kyle H

    “Part of me wants to say he deserves it for being gullible, but that reaction is just so fucking depressing… I can’t bear to laugh at his misery.”

    I can, but I probably fall more under the category of confrontational, rather than friendly, anti-theist. Fitzpatrick is a dipshit whose efforts aided in this snowball-effect of idiocy.

    Most of Camping’s followers are just self-deluded, unintelligent religious nuts (perhaps that’s repetitive), but this guy is shameless. Fuck him (and, indeed, he is fucked).

  • Stephanie

    I feel sympathy for this man. I think he really was trying to save people from a danger he believed existed. There’s something noble in that in a Don Quixote sort of way.

    What he was doing was still naive at best, but I found him sad more than annoying. There are plenty of other rapture hopefuls who were much more dangerous and irksome.

  • The only difference between Camping’s followers and any other Christians is that Camping’s followers settled into a date for the judgement. The rest of the Christians just believe it will happen at some future undisclosed time.

  • Camping, as well as Fitzgerald, are deluded, and more than a little gullible. There really is no difference between their beliefs and someone that really believes in Bigfoot or UFOs. Their belief just happens to have a set date and time associated with it. By his language, he seemed like he was also a creationist, so he was most likely raised into it (I don’t know of many people that have coveted to YEC).

    While they will probably alway hold the Bible up as an inspired work, right now they might be willing to give up on it’s power as magic ball. If they’re willing, now’s the time to give them some good critical reading material.

  • Enti

    I personally can’t bring my self to feel sorry for someone who wants me to be killed horribly along with everyone else who doesn’t share the delusion (Or the 144k some Jewish male virgins, depending on the version you go by). Why is this guy sad? Because we are still alive. Can’t feel sorry for him.

  • wilsim

    While it is sad to see someone spend (some of?) their life savings on fiction… i do have a feeling of shadenfreude on the whole about this entire situation.

    Belief is a choice.

    While i believe this old man was genuine in his belief and was really trying to help people in his own way he did consciously make the decision to spend that money on his own.
    Has his mind been completely poisoned by religion and entirely lost its ability to be skeptical of religious based supernatural claims? Ugh.
    Anyone here think he would have been one of the farmers with guns outside on the night of october 30th, 1938 trying to defend the rest of us from the martians? Most likely not, because H.G.Wells’ show was not based on religion but on science fiction.

  • Michael

    Anyone else get the commercial for science education before the video? Loved that part.

  • JJR

    Why didn’t members of Fitzpatrick’s family try to talk him OUT of such foolishness? That’s who I’m pissed at.

    The only silver lining is, it’s never too late for Robert to see the light of Reason and step away from the delusion of faith, albeit as a pauper utterly dependent on the social safety net. I’d recommend he stop voting Republican if he ever has before because of pet religious ideas…

  • ephymeris

    This makes me so sad 🙁 I feel sympathy towards those who were fooled and deluded.

  • ImJustAKid

    better if they donated their money to the charity..

  • I don’t think anybody should sue anybody. This is what happens when people try to understand an uninspired, embellished, edited, and supplemented human document as Holy Writ. What about the 8 years when I was a Christian, that I paid a double tithe. And what about my new camp trailer that I gave to the church as “seed” for my faith, expecting God to give me a 100 fold return. Should I be able to sue because I was trying my hardest to understand the Bible, as stupid as it was. This was almost play-for-play what happened to Adventists in 1843-44. They get to taking a day for a year, and try to understand the Jewish festivals, and get all goofed up. But I do not think Camping is a con artist. He just tried harder than most to make all the conflicting verses of the Bible fit. If his followers should sue, then every person who leaves Christianity should be able to sue their church for the years they devoted themselves to and supported their Christian priest, pastor or church.

  • ludovico

    I feel sorry for Mr. Fitzpatrick–living under his particular delusion–a mental illness of a sort I guess, is a sad thing, and not something to made fun of any more than making fun of someone who suffers (and yes, he seems to be suffering) from any other psychological delusion would be, regardless of the source of that delusion.

    Mr. Camping, however, is another story–how the f**k did he ever amass assets worth $104 million [see USAT story] as a non-profit? And no doubt tax-free as well! Didn’t Jesus say something about how easy it would be for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for the rich to enter heaven?

    Just imagine if either of these men used their fortunes to do exactly what their Lord commanded them to do, namely, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, and visit those in prison.

  • Big Al

    No sympathy for Fitzpatrick. He made his choice, he spent his money willfully.

  • grazatt

    That rotten old rat! I don’t feel sorry for him one bit!

  • HamsterWheel

    Shame on the advertising companies who published $100 million worth of Camping’s bullshit without hesitation. As for Camping’s deluded followers, I have no sympathy for people who just a few days ago were basically telling all reasonable, rational people to disregard their own intellect and blindly accept their primitive superstitious fantasy. Fuck. Them.

  • DYaKen

    I feel very sorry for Mr Fitzpatrick.

    As a matter of fact his situation reminds me a little of Jesus’ (at the end of the book of Mark) when he cries out “my god, why have you forsaken me?”. It is a heart wrenching plea. Both Jesus and Mr Fitzpatrick were so certain of different endings to their respective stories.

    Yes, I am an atheist, but I can imagine how horrible it must be to feel so betrayed by a being you poured your absolute love and trust in.

  • sally

    investing money is sad but what about the woman who attempted taking the lives of herself and her 2 children all because she feared the end?

  • unbeliever

    I have a little sympathy for people who were taken in, but I will have zero sympathy for people who don’t take this as a serious wake-up call and leave their religious faith by the roadside and move on. At least those defrauded by Camping have the chance to live the rest of their lives with a more worthwhile sense of purpose.

  • Mike

    First, let me say that I have a hard time deciding whether those who were deluded are to be pitied or not. Those who are mentally unstable (manic depressives, etc) should clearly be pitied that they had no one to protect them. Those that willfully close their eyes… not so much.

    But, I cannot help but comment on Jeff P’s observation:

    The only difference between Camping’s followers and any other Christians is that Camping’s followers settled into a date for the judgement. The rest of the Christians just believe it will happen at some future undisclosed time.

    It is not only Christians that believe that the end of the world will come at some “future undisclosed time.” It is a pretty well established fact that as our sun ages, it will eventually wipe out any life on this planet (assuming any is left at that time.) This event pretty much sets an upper bound on human existence at a “future undisclosed time.”

    But this is not (I’m assuming) what you meant by your comment. You were referring to a day or reckoning for all humanity. While you are probably correct that many (maybe even most) Christians believe this, I am certain that not all Christians believe that judgment day will come as described/inferred from Revelation with the sorting of good/bad folks and the grand Hollywood imagery of angles on one side and fiery pits on the other. Many of us do not believe that “judgment day” is a calendar event (rather it is more likely an individual event… if even an event at all). Many of us recognize Revelation for what it is (an encoded missive between early Christian communities) and nothing more.

    I did not intend this to be such a long comment. But it always pushes my buttons when people try to paint all christians with a single brush (or if they’re feeling generous, two brushes).

  • NotYou007

    I’m to damn tired to laugh at him but I do find it amusing. I’m not going to feel sorry or bad for him. His choice, not mine.

  • jen

    A lot of us Christians just shrugged our shoulders when Camping and his crew made the May 21st prediction and quoted the passage about “nobody knowing but the Father” to ourselves. There were a lot of churches who used yesterday to do some community service as a reminder to themselves and others that they’re called to always be ready to give an account of their lives if/when Christ returns.

    The Book of Revelation is largely allegorical and metaphorical anyway so unless you understand the metaphors (“7” = “perfection” for example — I don’t believe in any 7-eyed lambs), it’s a really weird read.

    As for the man who blew his $140,000 retirement on this whole thing, I feel bad for him but it was his choice. Do I hope his local church helps him out? Yeah. I’d really wonder about their “testimonies” if they didn’t.

    Not expecting an apology though — not sure if there’s a point. Camping and his crowd have been proved wrong and I’m sure are feeling humiliated.

  • John

    I am directly laughing at him. He wanted it to happen. Which includes my being killed as well as millions or billions of others…What a db! He needs ppl laughing at him to shock him into really reconsidering that validity of that fairytale! – Sometimes IN YOUR FACE is necessary.

  • Dark Jaguar

    Laugh at the belief, belittle the belief, point out how absurd it is and if you’ve got the time, explain why.

    But the people? This guy’s a victim. Part of the problem is that saying gullible people deserve to be taken advantage of is a sign of a sociopath. In the end, he was taken in by something ridiculous, and lost big because of it. This guy needs some help. I’m not saying we should coddle his belief, but we can still relate to the fact he’s a human being.

  • When deciding if it’s ok for me to have schadenfreude (aside: how cool is it that that word has become mainstream since Avenue Q?) about these people, I consider two facts:

    1) They’ve been going around gloating that they’re going to heaven and everyone else isn’t – even their friends, coworkers, siblings, and children. It’s a way of expressing “I’m better than you, because God loves me more, so I’m going to the eternal party and you’re going to burn in hell forever, ha ha.” And they think the eternal suffering of everyone around them is just peachy. This, folks, is a classic hate group, albeit disguised in flowery words of christianity. This is the same manner in which the KKK operates: by making its members feel good about themselves by telling them that they’re superior to everyone else and so everyone else deserves to suffer.

    2) I’m gay, and one of the fundamental tenets of Camping’s beliefs is that homosexuality is so evil that it’s one of the primary reasons God is going to end the world. So all of these people who blew their life’s savings on advertising were in fact spending all their money to push the idea that I’m so horrific that God will end the world just to put a stop to me. Again, this is a classic hate group tactic, to pick a scapegoat and blame all the evils of the world on them. You know, like black people, or jews.

    Nope, I have no problem whatsoever with the idea of feeling schadenfreude about Camping’s followers. Go ahead, laugh away. They’re bigots and they got burned by their own bigotry.

    The ones I feel sad for are their families that didn’t believe but who have had to suffer first the obnoxious smarmyness of the believers and now the financial consequences of their stupidity. Especially the kids. Like those kids the New York Times profiled, who now probably can’t afford college because their parents stopped saving and quit work to spread the message of the rapture. I feel really sad for them – sad they had to put up with this BS, sad they might have to go through life with inadequate education because of it, and sad that they’re going to have to live the rest of their life knowing their parents are a couple of morons who value the inane ravings of an old and obviously incorrect kook over the well being of their own children, who they clearly hate because they told them they’re going to hell.

  • Kyle

    This is sad…I am a believing Christian…and like most of the rest of us out there, I never bought this for a second. The bible clearly states that we are not to know the date for the rapture….I hate how people are taking this sad misrepresentation of our Faith and using it to talk down about all of us. ONLY A SMALL PORTION OF ALL OF THE TRUE BELIEVERS IN CHRIST ACTUALLY BOUGHT INTO THIS MAJOR FALLACY!!!

  • Larry Meredith

    you may not be able to laugh at it but I still can.

    He was an idiot. A gullible idiot. People repeatedly warned him and tried to explain it to him. He actively refused to accept logic and embraced the ignorance. It’s sad that he lost all his money but he can’t just go blaming it all on Camping. He chose to listen to nonsense, fund it, spread it, and he needs to accept the punishment for that… embarrassment and ridicule and bankruptcy. I feel no pity for the man that willingly threw it all away when everyone was telling him the truth. If he tries to sue Camping I hope he loses.

  • qwertyuiop

    … I can’t bear to laugh at his misery.

    I can.

    Well so long as no innocent children or family members were affected.

    @Kyle: http://i.imgur.com/ST3VX.jpg

  • @Mike,

    About painting with one brush…

    If you are from a branch of Christianity that doesn’t hold the following core beliefs
    – Man created innocent but with free-will
    – Man falls and is tossed out by God (God can’t or won’t be in the presence of sinners)
    – Man given opportunity to be saved through Christ
    – There will be a day of reckoning

    Then good for you. I wish more were like you. You may be on the road to being good without God.

  • I have sympathy for the victims of a con but not for the perpetrators of it. Perhaps this will be a lesson to future generations? Yeah, I doubt it too.

  • TRex

    Poor deluded fool. There may still be some hope for this gentleman though. He atleast is questioning why the rapture didn’t occur. How long and how deep he will ponder this question is anyone’s guess. I wonder if anyone has ever reached out to him to see if he’s even willing to take this questioning of his holy book even further? He seems to be fairly far gone but you never know.

    And how sad is it that he comes off so delusional, confused, neurotic, etc.? He seems completely out of touch with reality at moments here all because of FAITH placed in an ancient book full of Bronze Age mythology and superstition. Add in years of indoctrination and mental programming. A truely lethal combination. I’ve grown to despise the word faith. Boggles my mind. And it depresses me that this neurosis infects so many normally rational people.

    Ya know, if this guy made predictions like this for any other reason and his imaginary friend’s name was Fred and not Gawd, he would have been medicated and held for observation long ago.

  • Paula Paixao

    I’d just like to say that it is NOT God’s fault, and God has NOT let him down. The bible specifically states that no one will know when judgment day will be, not even Jesus himself but only God the father. So please, before you go saying that “he’s been let down by his God…” he hasn’t. He was simply stupid enough to believe the foolish teachings of Harold Camping [who has predicted the end of the world three times already and was wrong all three of those times] a man who is NOT a pastor, and has NEVER taken a theology class. Harold Camping is a retired engineer and that’s the only kind of credibility that he has. I am a Christian, and yes I believe in judgment day… however this man is an idiot, and I can say this because my dad was also one of the idiots who believed this nonsense and shoved it down our throats. My dad’s ridiculousness caused my parents’ divorce. So please, don’t say that it’s God’s fault, or the bible’s fault. It’s his fault completely and there is no doubt about that.

  • Rebecca

    Faith can supposedly move mountains. In this case; faith can move your money into MY bank account. It’s a win-win! LOL Seriously though, I don’t feel sorry for the guy. I do have hate for those who take advantage of people like him.

  • Brian

    Someone wiser than I has said, “The only sin is stupidity.”

    And, if you look at it, “faith” is as destructive of humanity as poverty, ignorance, cruelty, hunger, etc., and I gotta believe only the stupid have faith.

  • Matt H

    The stupid thing is that he probably believes “government hand outs to lazy minorities are wrong”, and yet, he’s now going to be counting on government assistance for himself.

  • trulyjuly

    I noticed Family Radio.com is back up. The last day of their broadcast was May 18th, but his link for donations is still open..
    I listened to the open forum on that day, and could not believe all the garbage he was sayng…I don’t know if I feel sorry for those poor people who lost everything because of his so called ‘teachings’ or not…I guess they were just average folks who were seeking answers for their miserable lives.

  • Kyrie Firelight

    When given the choice between ‘Christian’ compassion and all this vitriol, is it really any wonder people choose Christianity?

    Yes, he made a mistake. We all make mistakes. Yes, he needs a reality check. At times, we all need a reality check. It is even very likely that HAD something happened, he WOULD be laughing at all the rest of us.

    None of that matters. He is still a member of the human race, he still deserves the respect that any one of us would ask for ourselves. What this man really needs isn’t our ridicule. It’s our compassion. Real compassion, the kind that doesn’t make demands or have prerequisites, that doesn’t say you must ‘be’ this, or ‘believe’ that, in order to be valid.

    Yes, he was duped. We’ve all been duped. Yes, he’s been manipulated. Have any of us not been, at some point?

    Religion tears apart. It’s destructive. We as a community have the power, through empathy and really showing ourselves to be ‘good without god,’ not just using it as a flashy catchphrase, to heal those rifts.

    Or we can make them worse. It’s our choice.

  • Margy

    I think Camping, Fitzpatrick, et. al have been brainwashed, and I feel compassion for them. I was heavily indoctrinated by the Roman Catholic Church, so I know how it feels. Somehow, I managed to break away, but not everyone is so lucky.

  • dc

    Harold Camping was well aware of what the bible attributes to Jesus saying in Matthew 24. He has an extensive response to that entitled “No Man Knows” on his home page, siting numerous bible verses that talk about the time being revealed to God’s people shortly before the end comes.

    That’s the problem with the bible – it contradicts itself. I’m annoyed by all the Christians who “would never fall for that because of what Jesus said”. Jesus also says (in Matthew 24) that the end would come to that generation. Who’s the false prophet now? 🙂

    I almost have to admire Harold for his boldness and confidence in his faith. Most Christians don’t set dates for the same reason they don’t proclaim that God can restore an amputee – they know better than to put themselves/their god on the line like that when it comes to getting too specific.

    I come from a Seventh Day Adventist background and I can only hope that this recent fiasco will stir up some major cognitive dissonance in those I “left behind” when I started thinking for myself.

  • Big bren

    “I just feel so sorry for Fitzpatrick. He’s an older gentleman and the loss that money must be devastating, especially if he gets cancer or some other catastrophic illness and there’s nothing left for health care or other basic needs. I hope he has family who can help him. Harold Camping is evil and, no doubt, is laughing all the way to the bank.”

    A decent society would provide health care for all it citizens regardless of wealth.
    The USA is in reality a selfish atheist country. Jesus never charged the sick.

  • These people, sad as they are, must be held accountable for their gullibility. They do not deserve to have their money returned to them.

  • ATL-Apostate

    Family Radio’s website is back up.


    ALL references to Judgment Day 2011 have been scrubbed. If you had been in a coma for the past 10 years, woke up today and went to their site, you’d never know about Camping’s crazy prediction.

  • Sandman

    Im at a loss to understand why the hell you have any sympathy for these self righteous retards at all. They are the ones happy to condemn everyone not part of their sick death cult at the drop of a hat, almost jacking themselves off in glee at the thought that they will be “saved” and everyone else will fry.

    Screw them all. They deserve nothing but ridicule and derision in bucket loads, and over in the UK that is what we would heap on them. That may explain why these wierd millenialist death cults seem to thrive in the US and not be a part of UK culture. Here we heap derision on these fools and laugh them off our streets, and so dont have to suffer their presence in our public lives.

    Stop being nice to them and apply a little tough love. That way they may pack in their bigoted stupidity and learn the difference between reality and fantasy sold by shabby snake oil salesmen and hucksters like Camping.

  • Heidi

    Why do Christians who post on here almost always start in with fighting strawmen?



    Why are you shouting? Nobody said otherwise.

    But it always pushes my buttons when people try to paint all christians with a single brush (or if they’re feeling generous, two brushes).

    Which nobody did. But as Jeff P & qwertyuiop pointed out, there are certain core tenets that all people who call themselves Christians believe, are there not?

    I’d just like to say that it is NOT God’s fault, and God has NOT let him down.

    Another thing nobody said. If you mean DYaKen’s comment, that was referring to how Fitzpatrick and others like him must feel. Atheists don’t believe there is anybody there to let us down.
    You guys meed to learn to see reality for what is actually there, not for what you’ve conditioned yourselves to see. On so many levels.

  • E Henry Thripshaw

    Guys these aren’t true believers.They are following a man followers whom has falsley predicted the rapture in 1994,1996,2011 and now oct 21 2011.It does show the wisdom of stoning the false prophet after the first time.The rapture itself is a doctrine that was not taught till the late 1830s by a girl who formally dabbled in the occult having a supposed vision of it and then being peddled by a Thomas Darby.If you look at what Jesus himself said look at the parable of wheat and tares which seems to say the opposite the angels gather the tares and throw them into the fire.So instead of the popular left behind fables,the tares or non believers are harvested for the fire not the belivers disapearing.

  • Drew M.

    @Kyrie Firelight:

    That was awesome.

  • In general, I don’t feel sympathy for the situation they have willingly put themselves into over nothing more than somebody else’s words. The sympathy I feel for them—but especially Fitzpatrick—is that they are both old men, and in all the decades they have lived, they have learnt nothing useful for life.

    They have gone through all those years completely unable to distinguish fact from fantasy. There is little difference between them and those freak in Michigan(???) who tried to hurry up Armageddon by shooting police officers. Or, for that matter, between them and those that blow themselves up in crowded markets or fly airplanes into skyscrapers. The difference is one of focus, not substance.

  • Haroldtards

    Followers and believers in Harold Camping’s prophecy’s.

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