NPR, Washington Post, CBS News, Time Magazine, this guy is getting a lot of press. If I were Harold Camping, let me tell you what I would do. (If you don’t know, Harold Camping is the guy behind all those billboards that say the world will be ending on May 21st.) If I were Harold, I would disappear on the 21st, lay low, check into a hotel under another name or go sleep in an RV someplace where I would not be identified. Then about two weeks later, I would just pop up on my Family Radio show and say I’ve been to heaven. That’s right, I would say, I have seen the almighty himself, and he has sent me back to deliver wisdom and knowledge to you, the unworthy and smelly masses. If Camping did that, he would be an instant messiah.
It wouldn’t matter if most people wouldn’t believe him. He would still increase his following by about a thousand percent. He wouldn’t even have to be careful about his disappearance. If later, let’s say, some investigative reporter where to figure out where he had been for the last two weeks, it wouldn’t matter. His followers (old and new) would just think the reporter was lying. We Skeptics are all thinking Camping is crazy, daft, loopy, a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic. But if he did that – we’re not talking picnic – we’re talking Ringling Both. Barnum & Bailey Circus, with Harold Camping as the ringmaster.
Ok, so I’ll admit it. I’ve been reading too many conspiracy blogs again. That probably won’t happen. Camping doesn’t look that smart. But I’ll tell you what will happen. On May 21st, A few people will be reported to the police as having gone missing (as happens every day). Some religious group someplace is going to latch onto those reports and say those people were raptured and a brand new circus will come to town. And if you think believers wouldn’t do that because it would imply that they themselves had not been raptured, don’t worry they will say this was just round one. The real rapture is coming soon. Send in the clowns.