It's hard to feel bad for someone whose predictions that the end of the world would be May 21 were so obviously ridiculous, and who caused so much anxiety among people who looked up to him, but at least Harold Camping appears genuine.
The 89-year-old says he's "flabbergasted" we're still here.
"It has been a really tough weekend," Camping said Sunday at his Alameda, Calif., home. "I'm looking for answers ... But right now I have nothing else to say."
Camping's PR aide, Tom Evans, told the L.A. Times that the group is "disappointed" that 200 million true believers didn't ascend to heaven Saturday as everyone else suffered and eventually died as a series of earthquakes, fires and famine.
Personally, THG is pretty stoked.
"You can imagine we're pretty disappointed, but the word of God is still true," Evans said. "We obviously went too far, and that's something we need to learn from."The group posted 2,000 billboards around the U.S. warning of the rapture. Camping, an uncertified fundamentalist minister, spread the word on the radio.
Camping's Family Radio, which airs on 66 U.S. stations, has apparently rebranded itself quickly. The station's website has scrubbed all mentions of the Judgment Day, and its countdown clock to the May 21 rapture is obviously gone.
But the false prediction might not be so easily effaced from the lives of Camping's followers. Keith Bauer, a 38-year-old tractor trailer driver, took a road trip with his family to see the Grand Canyon before the world ended.
"With a bunch of maxed-out credit cards and a growing mountain of bills, he said, the rapture would have been a relief," the L.A. Times writes.
But Bauer is not angry at Camping for his false prediction.
"Worst-case scenario for me, I got to see a beautiful part of the country," he told the paper. "If I should be angry at anybody, it should be me."
Lo and behold ... an intelligent quote related to this saga!