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False prediction of the end has consequences

May 26th, 2011

Failed Doomsday Has Real Deadly Consequences

Benjamin Radford, LiveScience Contributor,
LiveScience.com – Tue May 24, 7:01 am ET
Harold Camping, the 89-year-old leader whose study of the Bible convinced him and his followers that the world would end, has been described by his wife as “flabbergasted” that the apocalypse didn’t start over the weekend. There are some red faces out there. And if that’s all it had been, then one could argue no great harm had been done.
But while Camping and his followers try to figure out what went wrong (or right) — with news Monday night that he now says Judgment Day will come on Oct. 21 — the failed prophecy did more than just damage Camping’s credibility: It also appears to have caused death and serious injury to true believers.
A California woman named Lyn Benedetto was one of millions who heard Camping’s message, and became concerned that her daughters would suffer terribly in the coming apocalypse. She allegedly forced her daughters, 11 and 14, to lie on a bed and then cut their throats with a box cutter. She then tried to kill herself, though police arrested Benedetto and all three survived.
Others were not so lucky. An elderly man in Taiwan reportedly killed himself on May 5 ahead of the Rapture by jumping out of a building. He had heard that doomsday was imminent, and had taken recent earthquakes and tsunamis as early warning signs.

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