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Becky Friedman stands outside a rapture party on Saturday, May 21, 2011 at Dorky's Arcade in Tacoma, Wash. (Joshua Trujillo/AP)
Becky Friedman stands outside a rapture party on Saturday, May 21, 2011 at Dorky's Arcade in Tacoma, Wash. (Joshua Trujillo/AP)

Globe Editorial

Lessons from the apocalypse that wasn't Add to ...

We're still here, and Harold Camping, the octogenarian eschatologist who said Saturday would bring the Rapture, is not - carried out of sight, probably not up to his Lord, but down to some less vaunted place.

Is he wallowing in shame and confusion? Or just readying his next ad campaign? Savvy marketing and religious fervour are an irresistible brew, after all, and Mr. Camping still has millions in his kitty to lure another set of believers with new tall tales. He, or his ilk, will be back; don't put those "The End *Was* Nigh" signs away just yet. The end is not nigh, for the end of "Nigh" signs is not yet nigh.

Even those of us who hadn't made preparations for the Afterlife - or wouldn't want to go there if a one-way trip was on offer - fall, in our own way, for irresistible stories, even when the facts belie them. Anyone who has believed an unfaithful spouse who promises that "this time will be different," or who places his trust in a political leader who promises that the dreamed-of utopia is just around the corner, is at risk.

The solution to this human frailty, clearly, is to get ready for the real End Of Times. The Mayan prophecy will be fulfilled in December 2012. Pack your bags!

 

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