Camping-deaths, did you see this?

by carla 8 Replies latest jw friends

  • carla

    Failed Doomsday Has Real Deadly Consequences

    Harold Camping, the 89-year-old leader whose study of the Bible convinced him and his followers that the world would end, has been described by his wife as "flabbergasted" that the apocalypse didn’t start over the weekend. There are some red faces out there. And if that's all it had been, then one could argue no great harm had been done.

    But while Camping and his followers try to figure out what went wrong (or right) — with news Monday night that he now says Judgment Day will come on Oct. 21 — the failed prophecy did more than just damage Camping's credibility: It also appears to have caused death and serious injury to true believers.

    A California woman named Lyn Benedetto was one of millions who heard Camping's message, and became concerned that her daughters would suffer terribly in the coming apocalypse. She allegedly forced her daughters, 11 and 14, to lie on a bed and then cut their throats with a box cutter. She then tried to kill herself, though police arrested Benedetto and all three survived.

    Others were not so lucky. An elderly man in Taiwan reportedly killed himself on May 5 ahead of the Rapture by jumping out of a building. He had heard that doomsday was imminent, and had taken recent earthquakes and tsunamis as early warning signs.

    There were other unconfirmed reports of doomsday-related suicides around the world as well.

    This is of course not the first time that failed doomsday predictions have led to tragedy. The most famous pre-apocalypse suicides in recent times occurred in 1997 when the Heaven’s Gate Christian UFO group came to believe that the comet Hale-Bopp was a sign that Jesus was returning, and the world would end soon. Prompted in part by scripture, rumors, and late-night radio talk shows, the group's fanaticism led to nearly 40 deaths.

    Camping's failure holds an important cautionary lesson, because doomsday predictions are not going away. Many people, especially those in the New Age community, believe that 2012 will bring global cataclysm. It's easy to dismiss and ridicule failed prophets as modern-day harmless Chicken Littles misleading the gullible, but apocalyptic visions can have deadly consequences —even when they are wrong.

    Benjamin Radford is deputy editor of Skeptical Inquirerscience magazine and author of "Scientific Paranormal Investigation: How to Solve Unexplained Mysteries." His Web site is

  • straightshooter

    Yes I saw that. I wonder how many died as a result of the WTS 1975 prediction.

  • Iconoclast

    YES! I saw that! Holy cow. It took my breath away. How could someone slit their children's throats? Because of some loony man?

  • ProdigalSon

    Yeah....but once again let's give credit where credit is due.....the Holy Bible breathed from God's lungs.

  • flipper

    This is why Harold Camping should be held criminally negligent and charged with extortion if not an accomplice to attempted murder. What about the man who spent $ 140,000 of his retirement on putting up stupid 5/21/11 billboards and now is broke ? Will Harold Camping pay him back his lost retirement ? NOT HAPPENING.

    Too many religious leaders are NOT held accountable enough for deceiving , duping, and extorting the public. Too much tolerance in the so-called name of " freedom of religion ". When religion extorts, misrepresents, and otherwise hurts people emotionally, mentally, and physically - THAT is where the boundary gets crossed into unacceptable and criminal actions - in my opinion. It disgusts me. In my mind Camping is as accountable as the WT society, David Koresh, Jim Jones, and the leader of Scientology - David Miscavage. I throw them all into the same pot. A bunch of jerks

  • sinis

    The funny part is that they keep crying wolf and no one will believe them for when it truly does hit...

  • moshe

    He was told about the mother trying to kill the 2 girls, at his press meeting on the 23rd- he basically said, I'm just a humble teacher- it's not my fault.

  • undercover
    This is why Harold Camping should be held criminally negligent and charged with extortion if not an accomplice to attempted murder.

    If that were to happen (however unlikely) the WTS would be shittin' bricks. How many have died due to the blood doctrine? If Camping is directly responsible for the deaths of gullible people then the WTS will be just as guilty of the deaths of those that refused blood.

    But - don't expect to see that happen. Not in the US anyway...

  • sd-7

    The concept of religious leaders being untouchable and unaccountable for their teachings is something that needs to come to an end. But then, how far would one go? What if a person comes to believe there is no God and as a result commits suicide? Would that be the fault of the religious leader who taught them to believe in God? The rest of the belief system is a domino effect of that one belief/assumption, that God exists. I think it would get very complicated if it is followed to its logical conclusion.

    If the leader believes it himself, however, how can he be blamed? I mean, if he's a true believer, he's just as upset as any other true believer. Of course, with so much money involved, I find that hard to believe that he doesn't feel a sense of real responsibility and yet is a true believer.

    Darn. It's confusing. Thing is, we're going to die anyway. So why do it now if you've got a shot at meeting the Man Upstairs for real in a few days? If I'm to die for my sins by divine hand or whatever, I'd like to watch it happen. Front row, my first beer open, and some buttery popcorn. But I feel sorry for the poor folks who got suckered by this chumpface and his theological tomfoolery. It sickens me to no end.


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