Daily Picture Show

Following Harold Camping, Facing A Failed Prediction

  • On the morning of Sunday, May 22, Harold Camping says he is shocked and "totally bewildered" by his failed prediction that the rapture would occur May 21.
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    On the morning of Sunday, May 22, Harold Camping says he is shocked and "totally bewildered" by his failed prediction that the rapture would occur May 21.
    Brandon Tauszik
  • Mock evidence of a rapture was left by partying visitors outside the Family Radio office Saturday.
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    Mock evidence of a rapture was left by partying visitors outside the Family Radio office Saturday.
    Brandon Tauszik
  • After his last sermon on May 15, Camping and his wife enjoy a final meal with the congregation.
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    After his last sermon on May 15, Camping and his wife enjoy a final meal with the congregation.
    Brandon Tauszik
  • Judgment Day T-shirts are distributed after a Sunday morning service.
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    Judgment Day T-shirts are distributed after a Sunday morning service.
    Brandon Tauszik
  • When asked how they would spend May 21, most congregation members said they didn't have plans.
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    When asked how they would spend May 21, most congregation members said they didn't have plans.
    Brandon Tauszik
  • Family Radio broadcasts its programming internationally via shortwave radio and four satellites. It is translated into more than 50 languages, including Polish and Somali.
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    Family Radio broadcasts its programming internationally via shortwave radio and four satellites. It is translated into more than 50 languages, including Polish and Somali.
    Brandon Tauszik
  • The Oakland base of Family Radio is the source of all of the May 21 billboards and literature seen worldwide.
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    The Oakland base of Family Radio is the source of all of the May 21 billboards and literature seen worldwide.
    Brandon Tauszik
  • A Sunday service led by Harold Camping commences outside Oakland.
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    A Sunday service led by Harold Camping commences outside Oakland.
    Brandon Tauszik
  • Camping prepares for Open Forum inside the Family Radio compound in Oakland. Open Forum is a live talk-telephone program broadcast daily on radio and TV.
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    Camping prepares for Open Forum inside the Family Radio compound in Oakland. Open Forum is a live talk-telephone program broadcast daily on radio and TV.
    Brandon Tauszik
  • Members of Camping's congregation wait outside the empty church building on Sunday morning after the predicted rapture.
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    Members of Camping's congregation wait outside the empty church building on Sunday morning after the predicted rapture.
    Brandon Tauszik
  • Scott Nobel, a member of Camping's congregation, stands in the empty sanctuary on Sunday.
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    Scott Nobel, a member of Camping's congregation, stands in the empty sanctuary on Sunday.
    Brandon Tauszik
  • Camping addresses the media on the Open Forum show on Monday. He stated that the rapture occurred in a spiritual sense, and the physical world will end on Oct. 21.
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    Camping addresses the media on the Open Forum show on Monday. He stated that the rapture occurred in a spiritual sense, and the physical world will end on Oct. 21.
    Brandon Tauszik

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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.

Harold Camping inside the Family Radio compound in Oakland, Calif. i i

Harold Camping inside the Family Radio compound in Oakland, Calif. Brandon Tauszik hide caption

itoggle caption Brandon Tauszik
Harold Camping inside the Family Radio compound in Oakland, Calif.

Harold Camping inside the Family Radio compound in Oakland, Calif.

Brandon Tauszik

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.