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Doomsday? Prophesies wither away
Sydney, May 21 (IANS):
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Published on 22 May. 2011 12:09 AM IST
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Oh we are alive! That’s probably the first thought that crossed the minds of people in New Zealand as the appointed time of apocalypse predicted by a US fundamentalist preacher passed the island’s time zone Saturday.
Eighty-nine-year-old tele-evangelist Harold Camping had prophesised that the “Rapture” would begin with powerful earthquakes at 6 p.m. in each of the world’s regions, after which the good would be beamed up to heaven.
Saturday morning, Kiwis confirmed there were no signs of the dead rising from the grave, nor of the living ascending into the clouds to meet Jesus Christ, the Daily Telegraph wrote.
Twitter users were disappointed by the absence of Armaggedon. Daniel Boerman said on Twitter, the micro-blogging website: “I’m from New Zealand, it is 6.06pm, the world has NOT ended. No earthquakes here, all waiting for the Rapture can relax for now.”
Gavin Middleton wrote: “Well it’s 13 minutes past the Rapture here in New Zealand. I’m still holding out hope for the trumpet call and the firey rain...”
Similarly, on the Pacific islands whose clocks ticked over to 6 p.m. before the fateful hour hit New Zealand, there was no evidence of a “super horror story” predicted by Camping - no zombies, no true believers hurtling skywards, no arch-angels and no trumpeters, the newspaper said. A post on Godlike Productions, a website dedicated to conspiracy theories and UFOs, reported that Tonga, which reached 6 p.m. one hour before New Zealand, was “still on the map”.
Vicky Hyde, spokesman for the New Zealand Skeptic Society, said she was confident the Rapture was not imminent.
“These kind of predictions come up particularly in times of economic or social uncertainty - which is pretty much almost every year actually, you can track them, whether it’s commentary impacts or the rapture or giant space aliens or something,” the newspaper quoted her as saying.
“And the only thing they have in common is they are all wrong,” she added.
Camping spread his message of doom via Family Radio, which has a network of 66 radio stations and online broadcasts. After today’s day of reckoning, he said non-believers would suffer through hell on earth until Oct 21, when God would pull the plug on the planet once and for all.
But after incorrectly predicting the end of the world in 1994, Camping’s prophecies have been met with derision. And it seems this time he was wrong again, the newspaper said.

 
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