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Harold Camping’s predicted rapture for Oct. 21, 2011 has once again failed to materialize, and since Friday’s failure the Family Radio founder has become the butt of many online jokes.
Some bloggers are noting the fact that Camping himself has in fact disappeared as his prophesy said he would; pointing to the fact that he has not come out in public since Friday. Others have highlighted the fact that Family Radio’s response to its founder’s very public failed prediction is to call for its listeners to donate more money.
A day following his failed prediction, Family Radio began broadcasting an appeal on its airwaves asking its listeners not to lose faith; a very timely message of comfort. It then also goes on, however, to ask its listeners to donate more money to the station; many bloggers note that this message is perhaps ill advised timing.
Camping has also made similar failed predictions in 1994 and earlier this year on May 21. After May’s Doomsday prediction apparently failed to arrive he explained that he had simply missed what God had been revealing in Scripture, and that Oct. 21, 2011, would be the true and final day of God's judgment on the world.
His reassured his followers that he was in fact correct that judgment came on May 21 – but only “spiritually.” And that the “physical” and therefore visible rapture would take place five months later in October.
The message also revealed that the station, which reaped about $80 million in donations between 2005 and 2009 and also benefited from sales of some of its radio properties, may be in danger of experiencing financial difficulties.
The radio announcer, who was not identified, said: "I trust that you too will pray for us often that we can minister in many ways. That God will provide wisdom to those of leadership and that we continue to minister to you, and to teach God's word daily. Please pray for us and pray about continuing to support this totally listener-sponsored Christian radio network. We have a great need for daily operating funds. Without your generous support at this time we might be forced to face some very important decisions. I trust those of you who enjoy some of our programming daily will be able to share generously in the months ahead."
The announcer did mention that Family Radio has "a large operating budget," coming from some 60 operating stations, as well as "other opportunities," but that these funds are limited.
As of Sunday night Camping has yet to address his followers publicly to explain why his latest prediction was wrong.