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Mind

Camping's Followers Struggle to Make Sense of May 22

The IntersectionBy Chris MooneyMay 23, 2011 2:36 AM

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We still haven't heard from Harold Camping. We can only speculate what he will say happened. Journalists have tracked down some of his followers, though, and the Atlantic Wire provides a good rundown. Here are some interesting ones:

Rosana, Jeff’s wife, who had been out at a friend's birthday party, comes home a little after 6. “What, nothing happened?” she asks with no small amount of contempt. Meanwhile, Jeff is checking his text messages. “There are a bunch of friends here who are mocking me,” he says. “And that’s all right! I just put on my spiritual shield and endure.”

This one sounds pretty sure to keep the faith. Robert Fitzpatrick, who spent $ 140,000 of his savings on rapture ads, was actually out in public in Times Square when nothing happened. His response?

When the hour came and went, he said: "I do not understand why ...," as his speech broke off and he looked at his watch. "I do not understand why nothing has happened."

He may offer more of an understanding soon. Tom Evans, described as "Camping's PR aide," was the most frank--but still defended Family Radio:

"You can imagine we're pretty disappointed, but the word of God is still true," he said. "We obviously went too far, and that's something we need to learn from." "As bad as it appears—and there's no getting around it, it is bad, flat-out—I have not found anything close to the faithfulness of Family Radio," he said.

The key development will still be when Camping emerges to tell these believers how to interpret what has happened--and, perhaps, to resolve their dissonance. Meanwhile, here's a video of Fitzpatrick before and after, from the New York Daily News: AC_FL_RunContent('codebase','http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=9,0,28,0','width','485','height','350','title','Video Player','src','http://www.nydailynews.com/swf/video_player/vp_485_single_06092010', 'FlashVars', 'embedCode=JqYnNnMjop3vIbiAsZmRaig5rc7UXKDO', 'quality','high', 'play', 'true', 'loop', 'true', 'allowFullScreen', 'true', 'pluginspage','http://www.adobe.com/shockwave/download/download.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash','movie','http://www.nydailynews.com/swf/video_player/vp_485_single_06092010' );

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