Can’t say that Camping didn’t try to warn you


File photo of Harold Camping, credit: BBC

File photo of Harold Camping, credit BBC

In the spirit of all those terrible “Left Behind”-type videos and books that churches had added to their libraries in the 1990’s to be found by unbelievers after the rapture, I have set this entry to be automatically posted to my blog at 8h on the morning of Saturday, May 21, 2001, because that’s the day Harold Camping predicts a giant earthquake marking the beginning of the world’s destruction. I’ll delete this post in the morning, if the rapture and destruction of the world hasn’t happened.

So if you’re reading this, either Camping was right, or I slept in.

According to interviews with Camping, if you didn’t die in the initial earthquake, God plans on killing you by October 21. Just FYI.

It’s remarkable that Camping was the only man in history clever enough to figure out the secret codes hidden in the Bible. The smartest people of Western society have been reading that book for millennia, but it kept its secrets virginal and pure for Camping to find—and just in time too! In fact, most Bible scholars agree that even Jesus said that the exact day cannot be known. (Matthew 24:36) Turns out that Jesus was wrong and Camping was right. Score one for Camping.

I think the most shocking thing about Camping being right is that he’s been wrong before. The Bible gives something of a test for prophets:

When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him. (Deuteronomy 18:22 ESV)

Camping did just that—he spoke in the name of the Lord, saying that the end would come in 1994, and it didn’t come to pass. But then again, that must be one of those parts of the Old Testament that Christians have decided do not apply to them.

At this point you’re probably wondering what you should do now that you’ve been left behind. You can start by reading this instructional comic from Chick Publications.

It may seem strange that I directed you to a Chick Tract. If you asked me yesterday about Chick Tracts, I would have said that they are a festering boil on the butt of Christianity, and an embarrassment not only to Christians, but to all humanity, as they are an example of some of the worst sort of the hatred, pride and contempt that humanity has produced. I posted that link because I wouldn’t recommend reading the Bible anymore, since only Camping and his ilk seem to be clever enough to figure out what it actually says.

So it turns out that the extremely conservative Christian cult groups were right. It’s time to issue an apology to all the Fred Phelpses, Jack Chicks, Harold Campings, and Mark Driscolls out there. I used to say they were little more than hate-mongers. I used to say that they were misogynists and homophobes. Probably because they thrived on fear, bullying, subjugating women and oppressing minorities. And by doing so, they made a tidy profit and did it all in the name of Jesus.

But it turns out they were right to do so all along. Live and learn! Well … not in this case, I guess.


    title = {Can’t say that Camping didn’t try to warn you},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2011-05-21,
    url = {}


Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "Can’t say that Camping didn’t try to warn you" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 21 May 2011. Web. 22 Mar 2019. <>


Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2011, May 21). Can’t say that Camping didn’t try to warn you [Web log post]. Retrieved from

16 responses to “Can’t say that Camping didn’t try to warn you”

  1. Murph E. says:

    Oops. I slept in.

  2. Pickles says:

    Well, in all fairness, did he state the time of day? There’s still time…

  3. Murph E. says:

    I think he said 6h, but yeah I guess it would depend on the time zone. It’s still 5h19 in Honolulu.

  4. Mike Morton says:

    This billboard went up today:

  5. Murph E. says:

    Haha … is that a real billboard, or is that photoshop?

    I was really angry when I wrote this, apparently! I think I get angry because of the way Camping ruined so many people’s lives and mis-spent millions of dollars.

    He took literally millions from people on false premisses, and wasted that money on spreading a lie.

    Those funds could have gone to pay for the cure of preventable diseases in 3rd world countries. They could have gone into medical research. How many preventable deaths could have been averted with this money that was completely wasted? A thousand? A hundred? Even if only twenty lives could have been saved with this money, it seems like it is an ethically reprehensible waste.

    I really hope that there’s some way that Camping can be sued by some of the people who made a large donation. I mean, Camping did lie and take money on that basis. I’m no expert on tort law, but I feel like there would be fewer of these things happening if the likes of Camping were held responsible for their words.

  6. tianmu says:

    While I’m not happy that Camping did what he did (or that many “Christians” do many rotten things to other people for that matter), I think that is quite a spectrum of names to lump together.

  7. Murph E. says:

    There may be differences among them, but mostly differences of degree, not differences in kind.

  8. tianmu says:

    Hmm.. Didn’t expect that response. I didn’t realize to what degree time has perhaps changed us both since those days of midnight mcdonald runs. Sorry if I was inflammatory or insensitive there. My bad.

  9. Murph E. says:

    I certainly have changed in a number of ways, but don’t worry—I’m not offended. I was kind of expecting some flak on that one. :P

  10. tianmu says:

    Phew. Seriously, I am very much relieved. I dislike how impersonal the internet can be and how hard it is to smooth over harsh appearing words without the benefit of a physical presence and nonverbal subtleties.

  11. Murph E. says:

    We should do a voice call or something. More subtlety that way. :)

  12. tianmu says:

    You know, I’d like that. I have a registration exam on Wednesday so it might have to wait a few days, but I’ll try to find some time to set something up in the near future.

  13. Murph E. says:

    Cool. All I’m doing is writing a paper/my thesis these days, so my schedule is very flexible.

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