What Do the 5-21’ers Believe?

For those of you not in the know, there is a faction of people out there that have come to believe that the world will come to an end on 5/21/11. Or, rather, start coming to an end (mmm, I smell an out). The actual End of the World will be in October.

The date was set by Harold Camping, President of Family Radio based on a bewildering calculation that puzzles even other evangelicals.

The formula:

Ok, it’s not much of a calculation.

5/21/2011 is 722,500 days from the date of Jesus’ death, April 1, 33 AD (note, there is no actual historical record of the date of Jesus’ death).

And, 722, 500 is a very special number … according to Camping, anyway. Just take (5 x 10 x 17) x (5 x 10 x 17). According to Camping, 5 stands or atonement, 10 stands for perfection, and 17 stands for heaven. Get it?, Atonement Perfects Heaven. Oh, poetic. But, why twice? Why not repeat the 5, 10, 17 sequence one more time to get three permutations? Three, for the holy trinity! Well, that would give us another date. A date a very long way off. Way too long    for Camping to be a part of the fun. Perfectly scientific.

Now, these aren’t the most apparent numbers to take. There’re not really in the Bible. Maybe they’re in there somewhere, but they aren’t any of the big numbers. The ancient Hebrews, after all, had their fair share of numerological beliefs. There’s 40, a number that usually stands for a generation; 30, considered the age of maturity; 70, believed to have been the numbers of nations at the time. And 3, of course. But, Camping choose the numbers 5, 10, and 17  instead. All for no apparent reason, other than catching the eye of Camping. Frankly, I’m very disappointed. Camping is, after all, an engineer. He could have come up with a far more impressive calculation.

I wonder, is this is how he thinks scientific formulas are derived? That people just guess at shit? No wonder creationists don’t believe in evolution.

5/21/11 – Judgement Day. Taking the “every eye shall see him” verse from the Bible into account, it should be pretty hard to miss. Though, I wouldn’t be surprised if on 5/22, someone starts declaring that it all happened “spiritually”.

10/21/11 – Full fledged End of the World.

So, anyone out there that does think the world will come to an end on the 21st (of either May or October), I would like to request that you keep a journal of your experiences. It will prove to be quite interesting, not only for me, but for cognitive scientists world wide.

According to the cults we’ve studied so far, after a big miss about the “end” of the world, some members do indeed leave their religion. Others, however, will become even more convinced of it’s Truth and increase their proselytization. Apparently, being wrong is too much for them, so trying to convince others helps settle their cognitive dissonance. Neat.

Explore posts in the same categories: Superstition in the Modern World

8 Comments on “What Do the 5-21’ers Believe?”

  1. Blak_Dynamite Says:

    Some folks will believe anything; Christians have been waiting for the end of the world for 2k years now. What a bore.

  2. Kassul Says:

    It’ll be a Great Disappointment to all those people when nothing terribly unusual happens on those days. As you say, it’ll probably all have happened in a spiritual manner that only they can detect.
    Maybe their vigorous proselytizing will have softened god’s heart enough to delay the End of All Things until, ohhh, how about July 17th 2016? That sound good to everyone? I’m sure I can figure out a way to generate that date using awesome numerology.


  3. Shit. I have a dentist appointment May 21st. I hope i don’t miss anything.


  4. […] everyone, Christian or not, believes that the 5-21′ers, Harold Camping’s group that believes Jesus will be literally coming down from Heaven and […]

  5. HairguruLisa Says:

    just so u kno- MY BIBLE says- “that NO ONE KNOWETH THE DAY NOR THE HOUR- BUT ONLY THE FATHER! NOT EVEN HIS SON!” LOL- so then if JESUS doesnt even kno- then who can say but for our Father GOD in heaven?
    get right w/the LORD NOW! The path is narrow to the kingdom.

  6. Victor Says:

    Yeah, my Bible says something like that, too.

  7. Victor Says:

    Not sure how trinitarians reconcile that statement.


  8. […] And he will, apparently, come back on May 21, 2011. […]


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