Following Harold Camping, Facing A Failed Prediction

May 24, 2011
Originally published on May 23, 2012 11:48 am

On Sunday morning, when Harold Camping awoke to clocks ticking, clouds moving, a world still existing, his response was one of bewilderment. At least, that's what he told photographer Brandon Tauszik.

The Oakland-based photographer has been shadowing Camping and his congregation for the past few weeks, before and immediately after Camping's predicted May 21 "rapture." Tauszik, who considers himself Christian, says he was fascinated by the people responsible for the billboards and flyers that warned of End Times.

Tauszik attended church services with them, and found the congregation to be not a group of radicals, but "families, middle-class ... normal people," he says, who thought they had an answer.

Camping, 89, is an engineer and founder of Family Radio, a Christian radio network. The self-taught Bible teacher convinced many of his listeners that the end was near as well. Many people quit their jobs and left their families, and some gave away their money to the cause.

When the day came and went without an earthquake of rapture, Camping recovered quite quickly. On Monday, he said in a broadcast that there was a spiritual judgment in heaven on Saturday — one we could not see — and that the world would be destroyed on Oct. 21. He added that he's not going to discuss judgment day anymore.

"I mean, Camping is 89," Tauszik says. "I don't know how much, at that age, you have left in you to do this whole media spectacle again. His attitude Sunday was very defeated."

Camping said he will not return the money that believers gave to the cause, noting, "We're not at the end. Why would we return it?"

As he spoke, Tauszik captured Camping, once again, calm, cool and collected.

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