American Christian broadcaster Harold Camping, who has vehemently predicted the end of the world three previous times, has softened his 4th doomsday claim.
“The end is going to come very, very quietly, probably within the next month…by October 21,” Camping said in a radio address at the beginning of October.
Use of the word “probably” indicates doubt, compared to his earlier doomsday predictions which were filled with confidence and warning for non-believers:
“We can be sure that the whole world, with the exception of those who are presently saved (the elect), are under the judgment of God, and will be annihilated together with the whole physical world on October 21, 2011,” Camping said in a statement shortly after the May 21 letdown.
Camping originally predicted the end of the world would include a rapture of 200 million and natural disasters for multiple days, including fires, earthquakes, and plagues, before God destroyed the world on May 21st.
He has now changed his tune, saying May was just the “spiritual rapture” and so could not be seen, and that the “physical rapture” would follow on Oct. 21.
“Probably there will be no pain suffered by anyone because of their rebellion against God,” affirmed Camping in his radio address at the beginning of this month.
“They’ll quietly die and that will be the end of their story,” he added.
Camping now predicts the end of the world will happen through a succession of earthquakes. According to ITN news website, geologists have confirmed that ten earthquakes happened millions of years ago on October 21, but they also noted that several million earthquakes occur every year.
Critics argue that Camping has softened his claims after receiving mass public criticism after his May 21 flub. Many followers sold their possessions in reaction to Camping’s predictions, and when May 22 arrived, they were left with depleted bank accounts.
“I don't have any responsibility. I don't have any responsibility of anybody's life. I'm only teaching the Bible. I'm simply saying, ‘This is what the Bible says’," he announced in reaction to criticism.
Shortly after the false prediction, Camping, 90, suffered a stroke which many attribute to stress.
Many are wondering what will happen to Camping’s health if Friday’s predicted doomsday turns out to be false.