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Going underground

6 June 2011

I had put off typing up this column until I was certain that the world would not come to an apocalyptic end on 21 May. No, not the launch of ABSs, but the day of ‘Rapture’ predicted by Harold Camping, an American (of course) evangelical broadcaster who, at 89 years old, is perhaps closer to his day of judgment than most of his fanatical followers.

It followed his previous declaration that the world would end in 1994. It didn’t. But that didn’t prevent millions of dollars being spent on advertising and promoting ‘end of the world day’, followers distributing their worldly wealth and possessions and parties being organised across the land, waiting for Mr Camping’s prediction to come true: that true believers would be swept up to heaven while a giant earthquake brought destruction for those left behind.

As dawn broke on 22 May, some awoke gleeful, realising that their lives had been spared a few months longer. Others woke to realise that all they had left i...

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