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May 23rd, 2011
05:04 PM ET

Preacher now says end of the world will happen in 5 months

By Kim Hutcherson and Dan Gilgoff, CNN

(CNN) – Harold Camping is sticking to his apocalyptic guns.

In his first radio broadcast since his doomsday prediction failed to pan out in a spectacularly public fashion, the California preacher insisted his was an error of interpretation, not fact.

What's more, he has another calculation for the day the world will end - October 21, 2011.

Camping had kept a low-profile since Saturday, the day he had forecast for the return of Jesus Christ to Earth. He and his devoted followers have been warning for months that on May 21, a select 2% to 3% of the world's population would be taken to heaven. Those left behind would face months of tribulation before perishing in the Earth's destruction, which Camping said would happen on October 21.

This is the basis for his new prediction, which Camping claims is not new at all. He told listeners on his Family Radio broadcast Monday that God is "loving and merciful," and had decided not to punish the humanity with five months of destruction.

But he maintains that the end of the world is still coming.

"We've always said October 21 was the day," Camping said during his show. "The only thing we didn't understand was the spirituality of May 21. We're seeing this as a spiritual thing happening rather than a physical thing happening. The timing, the structure, the proofs, none of that has changed at all."

However, Camping said his group would not be mounting another advertising push. In the months leading up to May 21, Family Radio billboards popped up across the country, warning that the end was near.

"We're not going to be passing out tracts," Camping said. "We're not going to put up any more billboards. We're not going to be advertising in any way. The world has been warned. We did our little share and the media picked it up. But now the world has been told, it's under judgment."

Fred Store, who led one of four RV caravans that toured the country in recent months to spread the word about judgment day, said he and other followers heard Camping's broadcast "and we were quite happy - it will be interesting to see what the next couple of months will bring."

"It appears as though this whole [rapture] thing happened in a spiritual, rather than a physical way," said Store, 66. The retired electrician said that he and the other nine members of his five-RV caravan were still at an RV park where they waited for the rapture to arrive on Saturday.

He said the park was within 100 miles of Boston, Massachusetts, but didn't want to disclose the specific location. He said the caravan was waiting for word from Camping's ministry, Family Radio, about arranging the return of the vehicles to the broadcaster's Oakland, California, headquarters.

Store said he and the others in his caravan were not disappointed that the dramatic events associated with the rapture had not come to pass.

"We think that judgment day did happen," he said. "It didn’t result in an earthquake, and there were a number of things that weren't exactly the way we said they would be, but we were only reading from the Bible.  We’ve been humbled by the whole experience."

Camping founded Family Radio, a nonprofit Christian radio network with about 65 stations across the country, in 1958. It received $80 million in contributions between 2005 and 2009.

He first inaccurately predicted the world would end in 1994. Despite his poor track record, he has gathered many followers. Some gave up their homes, entire life savings and jobs because they believed the world was ending.

Reporters who were allowed to ask questions during the broadcast Monday pressed Camping on this issue, but he would not admit that he bore any blame for his followers' predicaments.

"I don't have any responsibility," Camping said. "I'm only teaching the Bible. I'm telling ... this is what the Bible says. I don't have spiritual rule over anybody ... except my wife as the head of the household."

Experts in apocalyptic movements said that reinterpretations like Camping's are not uncommon in the wake of failed doomsday predictions.

“Historically, failed prophecies tend to result in disillusionment, with members deserting the group, or, more typically, a faith-saving (and face-saving) statement to the effect that while divine revelation remains infallible, human calculation is not,” said Lorenzo DiTommaso, author of the forthcoming book “The Architecture of Apocalypticism” and an associate professor of religion at Concordia University in Montréal, Canada. 

“In short: The math was off, and it’s back to the drawing board,” he said. “If the logic seems a bit self-serving, recall that in the apocalyptic mindset, faith precedes theory, and theory informs the evidence."

–CNN's Jessica Ravitz contributed to this report.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • End times • Faith Now

soundoff (4,998 Responses)
  1. Free

    I just watched The Simpsons episode "Thank God, It's Doomsday", and the predicted day of the rapture there was May 18. Eerie!

    May 23, 2011 at 11:43 pm |
  2. T-party

    flabbergasted anyone is religious

    May 23, 2011 at 11:19 pm |
    • James

      T-Party,

      How can you be flabbergasted anyone is religious? I am flabbergasted that you believe we all evolved from nothing. Look around at all of the plants and animals on this amazing planet. A big and powerful God created all of this. You should read about him and his son Jesus in the King James Version of the Holy Bible.

      May 24, 2011 at 11:57 am |
    • Slowgun

      LOL...2011 and peole still don't understand evolution.
      No wonder this guy was able to find followers and rake in $80 M.

      May 24, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
    • Toby

      To James:

      So, what you are actually saying is that you find many reasons to believe things on insufficient evidence or no evidence at all? Is this really the best way to approach life? My guess is that if those 19 hijackers didn't believe that a paradise awaited them upon their demise, they would have been hard-pressed to steer those 757's into our building. I think there is another way-perhaps a better and safer way to approach life's questions and unknowns; healthy skepticism and doubt-question everything. Peace.

      May 24, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
    • UncleM

      Knowledge and enlightenment are a threat to religion. Its followers keep themselves in the dark, seeking simple answers to their questions. Science has expanded human kind's understanding, but people like James remain willfully ignorant.

      May 24, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
    • Johhny B

      T-party, I cannot agree with you more.. thank you !! And to James, you are a complete idiot.. thanks for bringing down the average IQ..

      May 24, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • Sean

      James believes in mermaids and santa too!

      May 24, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
    • Frogist

      I think James and T-Party need to get together and have an honest conversation. I'm amazed James still has such a distrust for scientific pursuit. And I'm amazed T-party is still doesn't understand the pull of religion.

      May 24, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
    • Dawn

      James, dear, evolution is not found on the concept that all life sprang from "nothing". But please understand that as ridiculous as you find evolution (which is already unusual because you dont' seem to know what evolution actually IS), the idea that mankind was created from God blowing on a pile of dust seems rather ridiculous to scientists and people interested in understanding the universe.

      I used to wonder if God existed, then one day I realized it doesn't matter of God exists or not. I exist. You exist. This world exists. People spend so much time heaping glory on God, that they forget what is important and precious in life and in doing so, heap disdain on their fellow man. God either is or he isn't, but if he does exist he's not spending his time wondering if you're cheering him loudly enough or condemning everyone who doesn't.

      May 24, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
  3. Karl

    IT'S ALL ABOUT MONEY. HE MAKES THESE STUPID PREDICTIONS AND GETS FOOLS TO SEND HIM MILLIONS OF DOLLARS!

    May 23, 2011 at 11:12 pm |
    • Al

      He wouldn't be able to swindle anybody without being aided and abetted by the rapture ready neurotics.

      May 23, 2011 at 11:47 pm |
  4. Nightwyn

    ... Campaign 10/21

    *sigh*

    If you were God wouldn't this just make you mad?

    May 23, 2011 at 11:05 pm |
  5. HeavenSent

    Personally, I'm flabby-ass-ed

    Amen.

    May 23, 2011 at 10:57 pm |
  6. HeavenSent

    Camping is crazy and so is his followers. First of all they put in consideration that the anti-christ as to come to power. Well the illuminati hasn't put Raj Patel as the New World Order dictator yet, there depopulation plans won't happen until Dec. 21, 2012. Right now all they are doing is testing the HAARP project which creates disastrous weather and telepathic radio signals that they beam into peoples' brains. Just remember when you start hearing voices that claim to be renegade illuminati, angels, demons, god, devil, aliens or your friends and families voical cords it can be stopped just wrap tin foil around your head. Jesus is coming back.

    Amen

    May 23, 2011 at 10:38 pm |
    • Jo Roberts

      I think I speak for all of us when I say, "....What?"

      May 24, 2011 at 3:51 am |
    • darren

      Wow! I have no idea what you are getting at here. lol :s

      May 24, 2011 at 4:36 am |
    • Miles

      Makes perfect sense to me.

      LOL

      May 24, 2011 at 4:36 am |
    • Eric

      I think it's very funny that you can call someone crazy and then write... whatever it is you wrote.

      May 24, 2011 at 7:00 am |
    • Wally624

      OMG

      May 24, 2011 at 7:48 am |
    • James

      Wow...paranoid conspiracy theories inside of conspiracy theories...very bizarre, I think.

      May 24, 2011 at 8:37 am |
    • shane1171

      Paging Navy Seal Team 6!!!!!! Please take out these idiots.

      May 24, 2011 at 8:58 am |
    • Laughable At Best

      An even more wild conspiracy within a largely ridiculous conspiracy theory: Conspiracy-ception.

      May 24, 2011 at 9:03 am |
    • Sean

      You’ve convinced me! I’m ready to convert… who do I send my money to?

      May 24, 2011 at 9:26 am |
    • Mokrigg

      We have to go one level deeper!

      May 24, 2011 at 9:48 am |
    • Guido

      Yeah, well, pot will make you write weird things. Seek help for your drug addiction.

      May 24, 2011 at 10:34 am |
    • David Torrest

      call 717-290-9878 for therapy we over electrical shocks and other forms of therapy .

      May 24, 2011 at 10:35 am |
    • Jonathan

      Ha I think the dude was kind of being sarcastic people! Poking fun at how crazy some people are and if they just took a step back to see what silly gibberish they put their undying faith into, they'd laugh their asses off.

      May 24, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
    • GrogInOhio

      Got it... I think...

      May 24, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
    • Quantum Gravitational Fluctuation

      Ok everyone,.... shhhhh,...... keep very still, ......try not to make any loud noises,..... we can probably get a net over him.
      Get ready, I'll try to distract him.

      Hey Heaven,
      "and so is his followers", did you mean "are his followers" ?

      Boingk. Oh sh-t. Missed.

      May 24, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
    • Jeff

      I'm amazed that only Jonathan picked up on the sarcasm here.

      May 24, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
    • Dawn

      This entire event reminds me of that movie "A Beautiful Mind" where a schitzophrenic cryptographer finds conspiracy codes in everyday media that don't actually exist. It's natural for people to find patterns in data, but it is not only possible to find patterns that don't exist, but to believe that they do exist.

      I'm not bothered by people who believe the world is going to end. I'm bothered by people who WANT the world to end. Is life really so hard for you and so horrible that you feel the need to condemn us all to destruction? Heaven isn't going anywhere. If you're cleared to enter it'll happen when you die. Don't go projecting your own desire of oblivion on the entire planet. The rest of us are trying to live our lives and it's a real downer.

      May 24, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
    • Intelligent Design

      @Jeff
      You don't know HS like we do.

      May 24, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
    • Chicken Little

      @PeeWeeHerman
      http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-dance019.gif

      May 24, 2011 at 8:22 pm |
  7. asrael

    A new date has been announced (seriously) by the would-be reverend: He's now calling for October 21st. Get ready to do this all over again in 5 months...

    May 23, 2011 at 10:38 pm |
    • Nightwyn

      Who?

      May 23, 2011 at 10:42 pm |
    • Björn Møösefåartsniffensen

      Same guy. God is giving him a do-over.

      May 23, 2011 at 10:48 pm |
    • Nightwyn

      He is just a christian radio station owner.

      May 23, 2011 at 10:54 pm |
    • Cutterman

      No way, he only gets one mulligan. It’s some other crack pots turn.

      May 24, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
    • Jake

      1st in 1994, now May 21st 2011 (Past Saturday) and now October 21st 2011.

      That's 3 strikes. Where's the Ref? That camping guy will be out of the game.

      May 24, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
  8. theincognito

    The rapture did happen, but nobody on Earth was worthy for the rapture. Honestly, there can't be one person in the world who has lived a life free of sin. These are the endtimes and we are all damned. Sorry Camping and your followers, you are stuck with the 'nonbelievers' too. Welcome to hell.

    May 23, 2011 at 9:57 pm |
    • darren

      I hate to have to alert you to this fact, but the bible clearly says that while no man can be sin free, God sent his son Jesus to die on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins. If we ask for forgiveness and are truly repentent, it becomes as if our sins never existed. And no, being truly repentent doesn't mean purposely doing the same thing over and over and asking for forgiveness constantly for that same thing. There are no loopholes. Either you truly want change or you don't. Period! :)

      May 24, 2011 at 4:42 am |
    • Michael

      If only I always let fairy tales guide my life!

      "You've read King Kong, right?"
      "Uhh... no..."
      "And you believe that, right?"

      May 24, 2011 at 6:36 am |
    • flippin

      Why would babies be punished just for being bor? The rapture didn't come and go.. Camping is just one of those who refuse to believe he can make mistakes while he bosses his wife around.

      May 24, 2011 at 10:35 am |
    • flippin

      *born. Just for being born.

      May 24, 2011 at 10:36 am |
  9. Damion Houston

    all we need is the mark of the beast which i think is already here cnn talked about it a while ago it's called "Verichip"

    May 23, 2011 at 9:07 pm |
  10. Weslee

    The Bible Says that no one knows the time or the season when the Son of God will come back to earth. it will be in the twinkling of an eye the Bible says. this guy doesn't know what he is saying. and where did he get it that it would happen on May 21?

    May 23, 2011 at 9:07 pm |
    • YBP

      If it's not in the Bible, perhaps the Brothers Grimm covered it in one of their fairy tales.

      May 24, 2011 at 2:43 am |
    • Johhny B

      Fools.. the Bible offers cute stories but so does Dr Seuss- The Cat in the Hat... does anyone see 6' tall cats walking around ??

      May 24, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
    • Dawn

      The funny thing is if Jesus DID come back to Earth, many of his most zealous followers would probably call him a Dirty Freaking Hippy and have him thrown in a mental hospital. It's amazing how unChrist-like some christians are. It's like they don't even know what they're worshiping, and instead worship their own reflection and name it Christ.

      May 24, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
  11. Damion Houston

    we need to wake up and open our eyes

    May 23, 2011 at 9:04 pm |
  12. Marrrg

    Cut the guy a break. He may have been wrong but I'm sure he really believed what he was saying. I think he was just trying to help save people. He is probably really ashamed and embarrased.

    May 23, 2011 at 9:03 pm |
    • Scott

      And I’m certain that Adolf Hitler really believed what he was saying. Jim Jones and David Cornish too

      May 23, 2011 at 9:37 pm |
    • Karl

      I think he should be charged with a crime, it's like yelling fire in a crowded building.

      May 23, 2011 at 11:08 pm |
    • Free

      If he really felt sorry then he'd offer to liquidate some of his millions and compensate his followers for their loss, right?

      May 23, 2011 at 11:49 pm |
    • just a thought

      I think this new date is just him trying to save face....he's making a fool of himself, but the real fools are the ones that continue to follow and believe in what he claims.

      May 24, 2011 at 10:34 am |
    • beelzebubba

      For a minute there I was sure you'd bring up the usual "we shouldn't judge" argument. But you didn't. Good fer yeeeewww

      May 24, 2011 at 11:18 am |
    • TheBear

      Even if you want to give this guy the benefit of the doubt, in that he's not a con artist and truly believed what he was saying, the mere fact that he feels no guilt or responsibility for the plight of his loyal followers who gave away everything they had because of his message should tell you what type of man he is.

      If there ever is a rapture rest assured that Harold Camping will stay right here.

      May 24, 2011 at 11:35 am |
    • Jenn

      I could maybe, (not really) but maybe believe that if this wasn't the 2nd time he had said the same thing and now he goes and pulls a 3rd date out of his butt. Seriously don't try to defend this nut case!

      May 24, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • marc

      Hes not ashamed? he has a new date. And he doesnt care about the people who gave up everything for his delusion. He even denies responsibility for anyone but his wife. Honestly dont feel sorry for attention seeking false prohpets, or you may be suckered next.

      May 24, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • Just an observer

      If amassing 80 million dollars in assets is a "way of saving" other people, then we should all start saving each other. There will be no poverty nor unemployment...

      May 24, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  13. Damion Houston

    I'm going to make a false prediction if this happens and i know it probably wont " Starting today is the end of the world as we know it!" there have been massive tornados here in the states that are killing hundreds and massive flooding, over in the Serian Region there is a war that is happing and if people dont be careful in that region there is a mountainous region that is called Meggido which means armegedon so I think the end of the world starts today and we are in the middle of it it's only the beginning.

    May 23, 2011 at 9:01 pm |
    • John Richardson

      As bad as Joplin was (and I myself just recently confirmed that a good friend who lives there is okay, so I really, really do "get it" in this case), there have been untold thousands of natural disasters as bad or worse. And there have been untold thousands of wars much bloodier than what's going on in Syria today, including quite a few in and around Syria itself. It's sheer human hubris the way people constantly make their own bad times to be the worst ever.

      May 23, 2011 at 9:26 pm |
    • Michael

      "Everybody always figures the time they live in is the most epic, most important age to end all ages... don't start thinking this war, your war, is more important than any other war just because you're in it." – Jolee Bindo

      May 24, 2011 at 6:39 am |
    • NinaMarie

      I'm with John on this one. Things have always happened around the world. What do you think happened when the huge land mass split into 7 different continents? I'm pretty sure that as the plates moved and shifted, there were tsunami's and earthquakes, etc. But it is becuase of the media that it makes it seem all the worse, and our arragonce as humans.

      Even with plane crashes, the odds of dying in one is 1 in 20,000 whereas dying in a car accident is 1 in 100. But thanks to media, plane crashes get the most attention, therefore people are more afraid to fly than drive. People as a whole are stupid.

      May 24, 2011 at 9:58 am |
    • Just an observer

      I personally believe that the world ends for each of us when we die. And if we are at peace with ourselves when we die, then I believe, we achieve our own personal heaven. Karma. The Golden Rule. What goes around comes around. Do unto others what we want others do unto us. These rules or laws of nature can create either a life of heaven or a life of hell. We just have to figure how to apply these to our lives... This I personally believe in.

      May 24, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  14. desimber

    Then He said to the disciples, “The days will come when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. And they will say to you, ‘Look here!’ or ‘Look there!’ Do not go after them or follow them. For as the lightning that flashes out of one part under heaven shines to the other part under heaven, so also the Son of Man will be in His day. Luke 17:22-24 ....in other words, pay this guy no mind, not that any of us was anyway

    May 23, 2011 at 8:54 pm |
    • YBP

      You can't use additional nonsense to try to explain nonsense.

      May 24, 2011 at 2:44 am |
    • darren

      @YBP Might I ask what non-sense you might be referring to? It is plain as day in the bible. All in black and white print.

      May 24, 2011 at 4:48 am |
    • UncleM

      "You can't use additional nonsense to try to explain nonsense"

      It seems you can. That's exactly how religion works.

      May 24, 2011 at 7:46 am |
  15. Mark from Middle River

    Not to be flippant but can you imagine what might be going through the minds of those in Joplin when all of those tornados touched down.

    Seeing the footage and the videos, I know some of them must have felt the end was there. They say the storm came up fast and was on top of them before many could get away.

    May 23, 2011 at 8:50 pm |
    • beelzebubba

      Well, since they aren't from California, they probably thought it was a tornado.

      May 24, 2011 at 11:20 am |
    • just an observer

      Yes, for those who died that fateful day, it was the end of the world as they know it. Just hope they didn't suffer and died peacefully. Bless their souls...

      May 24, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  16. hoop26

    The end of the world is actually 5-24-11 since Harold Camping resides in CA because there's a 3-day waiting period with contracts. Break out the Kool-Aid tomorrow Harold!!!

    May 23, 2011 at 8:38 pm |
  17. cheekbrown

    In Old Testament Days a false prophet would be stoned to death. Today, Harold Camping could probably get a reality TV show deal.

    May 23, 2011 at 8:27 pm |
    • Mike in PA

      Camping really isn't a false prophet. To be a false prophet, he would have to proclaim that he is speaking for God. Instead he is saying, "God has spoken through his book and I interpret it THIS way". He's just an old bible teacher (and radio station owner) who has gradually allowed himself to fall into error. There's a difference.

      May 24, 2011 at 2:55 am |
    • Joe

      @Mike in PA

      A prophet would be somebody who claims to speak or preach from God. Camping calls himself a preacher, somebody that speaks God's words. He claims divine knowledge from God's words, and is speaking it to the masses with ihs prediction. So he is, in a sense, a prophet. Having made a prediction, claiming he knew it to be true based on God's word (or hearing it from God so to speak), and having that thing which was said not come to pass, makes him essentially a false prophet, in my oppinion.

      Either way, he was wrong, and because of this man, many have been led astray and come to financial ruin, and perhaps worse, Camping's false predictions may have helped to convince some not to turn to God, thereby making him indirectly a party to their lost souls.

      May 24, 2011 at 11:41 am |
    • Frogist

      @Joe: I disagree. Divine knowledge from God's words is what every person who reads the bible claims. Each has their own interpretation of what's a rule, a suggestion, a parable or literal. And they all predict their singular path will save everyone from hell even though they cannot prove it. If Camping is a false prophet, so is every Christian. They can't all have absolute truth and proof of the future when they never agree.

      May 24, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  18. The Bobinator

    He's so flabbergasted that he's giving back the donations people made? Wait, he's not?

    May 23, 2011 at 8:24 pm |
    • Mike in PA

      He still has a rather large shortwave and terrestrial radio network to run, and electricity isn't cheap. It's really kind of a shame, because aside from his errant bible teaching program, the Family stations actually have some decent programming and music from time to time. Not all the employees there are devoted followers of their eccentric boss's predictions.

      May 24, 2011 at 3:13 am |
    • Common Sense Has Gone Out The Window

      @ Mike in PA. Are you serious? I hope that you're being sarcastic. If your not, then let me hurry up and create a computer run radio station that quotes stuff out of the bible and you can send me all your money!

      All I can say, if anyone continues to follow this man and support his radio station. Then you deserve to have all your money scammed from him because you're a moron.

      May 24, 2011 at 11:24 am |
  19. Anonymous

    I consider myself to be a deist. Deists believe that there is a Creator, but not an anthropomorphic god who interacts with people.

    May 23, 2011 at 8:14 pm |
    • LinCA

      Who created the creator?

      May 23, 2011 at 8:20 pm |
    • PraiseTheLard

      It's obvious... The creator created him/her/itself...

      May 23, 2011 at 8:21 pm |
    • John Richardson

      In a deistic system, the creator is kinda like an axiom. Something you posit that is unproven but presumably needed to get the rest of the system to work.

      May 23, 2011 at 8:25 pm |
    • LinCA

      Ah, I get it. It's the "insert magic here". Someone/something to kick-start the big bang and then get out of the way and let the universe take care of itself.

      I guess I believe that too, except for the creator part, of course.

      May 23, 2011 at 8:30 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @LinCA "Ah, I get it. It's the "insert magic here"." Yeah, pretty much! :-D

      May 23, 2011 at 8:37 pm |
    • Anonymous2

      I Googled a bit of info about deism. I like it! You don't have all the baggage associated with organized religion.

      May 23, 2011 at 9:38 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      The creator created himself. He shat himself out of himself. That big coiler broke the mold, so there ain't but one god and his nextgen son. That's just how it all worked itself out.

      Amen.

      May 23, 2011 at 11:05 pm |
    • Sterling

      Logically speaking, if everything had to come from something else, then there would have to be something that either created itself or always existed to get the ball rolling or nothing could exist, thus Deism. I used to be a Deist, but realized that Deism was a semi rational solution to the problem. Now I'm thinking the ultimate truth may be irrational, and independent from something having come from something else. After thinking for a while I realized the ultimate truth... I really need to get laid!

      May 24, 2011 at 2:49 am |
    • Hillcrester

      A "Creator" is not a relevant concept in a multi-dimensional, Mobius-Strip world. Infinite regress doesn't explain anything–it just confirms that the "first" is unknowable. Hence, religion evolved (pun intended!). Ancients couldn't explain the rise/set of the sun–hence, there must be a Sun God making is happen. Rinse. Lather. Repeat.

      May 24, 2011 at 9:58 am |
  20. PTBarnum

    Bernie Madoff is sitting in jail kickin' himself. He had the right idea, but the wrong clientele. He'd be filthy rich & free from any responsibility today. He could just say "Oops! My bad", ask forgiveness and walk away (with the $$$).

    The lesson to be learned? Crime pays big time if you con religious people. The only skills needed are a big ego, a big mouth, no morals and no shame. Oddly, those skills are discouraged by the Bible. By hey, what do I know? I'm not great like Harold.

    When the Bible talks about false prophets getting stoned, it didn't mean pot !! But clearly, that's what Harold thought it meant.

    May 23, 2011 at 7:38 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      PT .... Bernie made 65 billion.... this guy had only a bit over 100 million.

      May 23, 2011 at 7:54 pm |
    • LinCA

      I'll take 100 million and be able to spend it over any number of billions and sitting in prison for the rest of my life.

      May 23, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      I do not know, its like a heck of a gamble Lin. If you knew you were going to be caught that is one thing but can you imagine seeing in the bookkeeping that option to possibly pocket 65 Billion dollars?

      You have to ask yourself, if you were given the option of making 100 million and knowing if you get caught you will not face any jail time or the option of making 65 billion and you might get caught. Could you walk away from the possibility of billions?

      May 23, 2011 at 8:40 pm |
    • LinCA

      Considering the size of the scheme Madoff was running, I'd say the odds of getting caught were pretty good. Also, after 10 or 20 million, does it really make that much of a difference?

      May 23, 2011 at 9:52 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Religion is the biggest scam. Running for centuries and milking the stupid for $$$billions$$$.

      Amen.

      May 23, 2011 at 11:00 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.