The Christian talk radio preacher who recently engaged in a multimillion dollar advertising campaign predicting “the rapture” would spirit away millions of believers on May 21 has suffered a stroke, according to a published report.
Harold Camping, the 89-year-old patron of the Oakland-based non-profit group Family Radio, was taken out of his home by paramedics on Thursday night, one of his neighbors told reporters at The Oakland Tribune.
“His speech appears to be a little bit slurred but otherwise he’s OK,” the neighbor reportedly said, following-up with reporters on Friday. “[Camping's wife] said he was doing good.”
Camping was the subject of an intense media furor after his group spent millions on billboards and buses promoting the “rapture” of Christians they insisted would happen on May 21.
When the rapture failed to take place, Camping told his followers — many of whom gave their life’s savings to promote the so-called end of the world — that he had miscalculated.
The true date for the rapture, he said, was actually set for October 21. He previously (and wrongly) predicted the end of the world once before, in 1994.
Following word of his stroke, it was unclear whether Camping would resume the helm of Family Radio, which has a network of 66 stations nationwide.
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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