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Or maybe not

So yeah, I’ve spent some time the past week making fun of Camping and his rapture predictions, and linking to people who did likewise. And I’ll even continue that by linking some possible explanations for the lack of mystical occurrences.

I’d especially like to make you all aware that Eric won one internet yesterday, with his explanation of how a Richter scale works. I must have missed class the day we talked about flagariaoptomicopons.

But all humor aside, there were serious consequences to Camping’s campaign. I don’t know whether he believed his own predictions or not, but he was convincing enough that plenty of other people believed it. Many of those folks sent him their life savings, confident that the world was ending and they would no longer need money, or they quit their jobs to spread the word. But now it’s May 22, what are they going to do? Camping isn’t going to give their money back.

Worse than that: there have been reports of people killing their children and/or themselves so they wouldn’t be left behind. And I don’t think there’s any way to hold Camping liable, for the deaths or the money. Those people were presumably mentally ill, and may have been set off by something else eventually, but Camping was what actually did set them off.

And it’s just going to happen again, next year and the year after and the year after.