Okay, so there I am, getting into my car after work and wondering if I should tune in to the local Family Radio station. It's time for Harold Camping's Open Forum show, and I wonder if he's going to start explaining himself or whether they're just going to run an old show in the time slot. To my surprise, it was a news conference, with Camping answering questions from reporters. I really should have seen his answer coming. Camping was never going to admit he was completely wrong. What he's done is use the old trick of past religious groups that have failed to deliver on their prophetic pronouncements, and "spiritualize" the prophecies when the actual prophesied events didn't take place.
Camping is declaring that Judgment Day did indeed arrive on May 21, 2011, but that it was invisible and spiritual but that the world is now under judgment and the world will end suddenly on October 21, 2011, instead of suffering through five months of hell on earth between May 21 and Oct. 21 (his previous view). Camping didn't get the date wrong, you see, he just "misinterpreted" it.
Interestingly, Camping says they won't be putting up billboards or doing the kind of campaigns that they were for the May 21 date. No doubt the rest of the Family Radio staff, board or whatever they have, didn't want the same kind of emphasis put on any new date (or the waste of money publicizing an event that doesn't take place).
Camping's PR aide, Tom Evans, told the L.A. Times that the group is "disappointed" that 200 million true believers weren't lifted up to heaven on Saturday while everyone else suffered and eventually died as a series of earthquakes and famine destroyed the Earth. "You can imagine we're pretty disappointed, but the word of God is still true," Evans said. "We obviously went too far, and that's something we need to learn from." The group posted 2,000 billboards around the country warning of the rapture, while Camping--an uncertified fundamentalist minister--spread the word on his radio show-Doomsday prophet, followers ‘flabbergasted’ world didn’t end
I listened to the show live, but here's a blow-by-blow from the HuffPost (sample below with link to the whole report):
What About People Who Depleted Life Savings to Promote Camping's Message?
Camping declines to offer them help.
He says the country experienced a recession. "Lots of people lost their homes" and jobs. But he says "they survived."
"People cope. People cope," says Camping.
He says job, housing and investment loses during the recent economic decline are far worse than what "the average Family Radio listener" has experienced.
On Saturday, Family Radio spokesman Tom Evans had vaguely indicated the station might give aid to donors who are now without jobs and money.