Former Porn Actress Wonders if The Faithful Can Sue Judgment Day 'False Prophet' in Post-Non-Rapture

A Family Radio "Judgment Day" billboard in Houston, TX (Photo by gsloan via Flickr)

The rapture came...and went...on Saturday, and, well, we're all still here. Today, former porn actress Jennifer Ketcham explores the post-nonapocalypse issue in the Huffington Post, namely if those "true believers" who made significant plans and life changes to prepare for the May 21st rapture can sue Bay Area-based prophet Harold Camping.

Camping, of Oakland-based Family Radio, mounted an extensive billboard and promotional campaign to spread the word about Judgment Day, though on the day-of, he was conspicuously absent from the media. As SFist illustrates, at 6:01 p.m. local time on Judgment Day, Camping was tucked away in his home, curtains drawn.

But Camping was wrong: Shouldn't he eat a little crow after all his crowing? Or at least explain why he was wrong, despite insisting he was so right?

Ketcham explains:

Euro-American Evangelical pastor John S. Torell said Camping already had an "Oops, I'm wrong" speech ready, claiming, "he has already prepared a defense to explain to the radio listeners that he was not wrong, but that God has heard all the prayers and seen the repentance of people, and in His mercy has postponed the judgment."

Camping told the San Francisco Chronicle he was "flabbergasted" the rapture did not happen, noting, "[i]t has been a really tough weekend."

Because of Camping's claims, many people spent their life savings on the cause, ran up credit card debts they thought would be non-existent come May 22, and, as Ketcham points out, "suicide hotlines have been set up to help those True Believers who've had their faith pummeled by Camping's faulty predictions."

But did these believers act willingly? Was Camping lying?

Ketcham, who up until a stint in Dr. Drew's "Sex Rehab" was better known as adult entertainment performer "Penny Flame," believes Camping's followers suffered from cognitive dissonance. Using porn and Jim Jones as comparative cases, Ketcham looks at instances where people justify changes to their rationale based on conditions to which participants become adjusted. "Shouldn't we be asking the same thing about Harold Camping?" asks Ketcham, who has been blogging for the HuffPo's Los Angeles site since its December 2009 launch.

"Harold Camping is NOT a true Christian, and has fabricated his own cult," writes David J. Stewart on a section of the site called "Harold Camping's Heresies EXPOSED."

She concludes, "[Camping] has preyed on the beliefs of faithful men [...] I believe these people have been wronged by an old man who should know better than to shout 'Fire!' in a crowded theatre. And I believe Harold Camping, a quintessential false prophet, knew perfectly well there would be no fire."

Lawyers, get your briefs ready!