It’s certainly happened before. Faithful followers dress in white and stand atop hilltops, waiting to greet Jesus when He returns at the appointed time.
Of course the appointed time was not the one chosen by the Father, just some human prophet. And as midnight passes and Judgment Day has not occured … what happens?
Since the Rev. Harold Camping has already predicted unsuccessfully in the past — he was sure September 6, 1994 was the end not so long ago. When it came and went, he announced that he had missed key numerology hidden in the Book of Jeremiah.
So, this time he’ll probably just declare that his nationwide campaign was a success — he got people thinking about Jesus! And (drumroll please …) his numbers were off just a tad and, whaddya know, Judgment Day will actually occur on [here feel free to fill in some new date safely 20 years in the future].
It is our sincere hope that his followers will not follow the example of the Heaven’s Gate cult which in 1997 committed suicide together so their souls could ascend to a spaceship waiting in space, hidden in the tail of a comet.
“There will be no rapture on Saturday, May 21st. And I can’t wait to see how Harold Camping reacts on Sunday when he’s still alive, on this Earth, and in this human body.”
She relates the story of three scientists who joined a doomsday cult (incognito, of course) to study its inner workings back in the 1950′s.
“The cult was led by two people: a college physician who was fascinated by UFO and mysticism, and a woman (the researchers’ pseudonym for her was Mrs. Keech) who claimed to be receiving messages from aliens called ‘The Guardians’ via automatic writing. The duo’s teachings, according to Cialdini, were ‘loosely linked to traditional Christian thought'”
— especially after one of the aliens revealed itself to Mrs. Keech that he was actually Jesus.
Many of the members were so committed to the cult and to this “end times” scenario that they quit their jobs, gave away their belongings, dropped out of school, and severed connections with non-believers. They The press was hard on them; the media mocked their beliefs.
“When it came time for the UFO to arrive,” writes Bretsky, “the three undercover scientists sat with the rest of the cult members waiting for the clock to strike midnight. Everyone sat around quietly with their coats on their laps. They waited. And waited.
“And then the clock struck midnight. And absolutely nothing happened.
No UFO had come to save them. No “rapture,” so to speak, before the impending flood. (No flood ever came, either.)”
A bit dismayed, the group then went through the following four stages, which the three scientists noted with great interest:
1. They examined the prediction again
2. The leaders “re-iterated their faith” to the group.
3. Everyone contemplated the predicament.
4. One of the leaders broke down & cried.
“It seemed as if the group were about to dissolve into embarrassed disbelievers,” writes Bretsky. “But that’s not at all what happened.”
Instead, Mrs. Keech received another alien transmission that in fact, their little group had spread so much light that God had saved the world from destruction!
The news media chortled its amusement. However, the little group happily went on their way, delighted that they had rescued humanity.
Will that be Camping’s announcement sometime in the next day or two?