They are prophets, or at least they claim to be. They are supposed to be God’s emissaries for the heavenly messages that He wants earthlings to grab a hold of. Unfortunately, these people’s minds got too warped with their own intellect that they became convinced of their own perception about how and when the world would end. Who among these individuals is the worst at such a claim?
Doomsday Prediction: October 22, 1844
Basing his calculations principally on Daniel 8:14: “Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed”, Miller taught and pointed out that the cleansing of the sanctuary represented the Earth’s purification by fire at Christ’s Second Coming. His findings led him to deduce that Christ would return in 1818. Although he was convinced of his calculations about it, he continued to study privately until 1823 to ensure the correctness and validity of his interpretation. He relentlessly tried to figure out the real date of doomsday which led to the “Great Disappointment.” It happened on October 22, 1844 — the day Jesus was expected to return. It ended like any other day to the disappointment of Miller himself, and of his believers.
Doomsday Prediction: March 26, 1997
A native of Texas, Applewhite attended several universities and, as a young man, served in the United States Army. In 1972, he developed a close friendship with a nurse named Bonnie Nettles. Together, they engaged in intensive discussions about mysticism and concluded that they were called by the heavens as divine messengers. They operated a bookstore and an educational center for a short while, then traveled to various locations around the US in 1973 to spread their teachings. Eventually, Applewhite’s efforts transformed him into a cult leader and founded what became known as the Heaven’s Gate religious group. In order for them to reach the divinity that only heaven can offer, Applewhite organized their mass suicide in 1997, claiming the lives of thirty-nine people.
Doomsday Predictions: September 6, 1994; May 21 2011; October 21, 2011
He believes that the Bible alone is the word of God in its entirety, and thus, is absolutely trustworthy. This was the very core of his teachings which he has been airing in the radio station in which he serves as its own president for many years. In spite of such principles however, he deviated from one of the stipulations of the holy book that says, “No one knows about the day and hour,” of the second coming of Christ or that of doomsday. After May 21 2011, passed without the predicted incidents, Camping said he believed that a “spiritual” judgment had occurred on that date, and that the physical Rapture would occur on October 21, 2011, simultaneously with the final destruction of the universe by God. Obviously, his predictions never came to pass which led to the huge financial loss of his family, the company where he works, and the destruction of the lives of his many followers.
Doomsday Predictions: September 30, 2008; May 27, 2012; May 19, 2013
He is the leader of a faction of the religious denomination called Worldwide Church of God. Under his own sect, he claims to provide “support, education and warning” to everyone who they believe have lost their way from what a true Church of God should hold on to. Under Weinland’s guidance and teachings, his new church adopted an apocalyptic belief in the imminent end of the existing world order. He repeatedly predicted the swift return of Jesus Christ, whom he believes will set up the Kingdom of God upon our planet. Such views are clearly expressed in the books he authored, The Prophesied End-Time and 2008 – God’s Final Witness. He is very bold in his claims that he is in fact “the spokesman of God’s two end-time witnesses – two of the most distinctive characters mentioned in the book of Revelations who will play a very huge role in bringing this world to and end, and in ushering in the new one.
Doomsday Prediction: October – November 1982
He is not only a doomsday preacher, but one who also predicts calamities and election results. In January 2004, Robertson said that God told him President Bush will be re-elected through a landslide. Bush did in fact win re-election, but not in a landslide. On May 8, 2006, Robertson said, “If I heard the Lord right about 2006, the coasts of America will be lashed by storms.” While this claim didn’t garner the same level of controversy as some of his other statements, it was simply taken as an object of ridicule and mild amusement by many press people. In September 2011, Robertson and several others who incorrectly predicted various dates for the end of world were jointly awarded an Ig Nobel Prize- a parody of the real Nobel Prize. The award was for “teaching the world to be careful when making mathematical assumptions and calculations.”
Doomsday Prediction: 1995
It was in 1983 when he began claiming that he has the gift of prophecy. He had a lot of endeavors to claim and announce his greatness, the most notable of which was when he founded his own religious sect called “The Branch Davidians.” His claims include that he would be the father of “The Chosen One,” who would be born from a 65-year old woman named Lois Roden, the prophetess and leader of the religious sect where he was a part of. He also tried his luck in the music-recording scene with no success. When illegal transactions and crime are talked about, he also happens to be among those people in the hot seat, for most of his adult life. He is a spiritual leader, a criminal, and an aspiring musician – a man of many talents. Although such talents led to the destruction of the lives of some people, and that of his own.
Doomsday Prediction: late 80s
As a seminary student during the late 60s, Hal worked with Campus Crusade for Christ – a ministry that focuses on youth programs. He then helped organize a Bible School to which many ministers and missionaries were trained. It was where he honed his speaking skills and biblical expertise while crafting his charismatic personality. Eventually, he became in demand as a speaker for prophecy conferences, churches and other engagements which granted him a Doctorate degree from the California School of Theology. During the 1980’s, prophetic issues were so rampant and Hal Lindsey became a favorite target of people opposed to the prophetic movement. He has been challenged at every turn for his beliefs and has been antagonized by both the media and the Christina community. Even so, he is still working actively today, preaching his beliefs in an ever unwavering manner, ignoring the fact that in his efforts to prevent people from falling into Satan’s trap, he was labeled by some as an agent of Satan himself.
Doomsday Prediction: 1891
Smith published many revelations and other texts that his followers regard as scripture. His teachings mostly state views about the nature of God, cosmology, family structures, political organization, and religious collectivism in a manner that’s unheard of before his time. His followers regard him as a prophet comparable to Moses and Elijah. His reputation grew to the point where several religious sectors would consider themselves the continuation of the church Smith organized. To make his teachings more accessible, he published many revelations and other texts that his followers regard as scripture. Mormons and ex-Mormons have produced a large amount of scholarly work about Smith, and to a large extent the result has been two discordant pictures of very different people: a man of God on the one hand, and on the other, a fraud preying on the ignorance of his followers.
Doomsday Prediction: 1967, November 18, 1978
Sensing some kind ‘messiah complex’ within himself even as a child, he read and studied about some historical people with fascinating leadership skills which included Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, Mahatma Gandhi and Adolf Hitler. People he met during childhood recalled Jim Jones as being a “really weird kid” who was “obsessed with religion … obsessed with death.” Such an obsession led him to stitch up precepts about him being some kind of modern messiah that deceived a lot of people. He later moved to California in the mid-1960s, and gained a great number of followers. It is where he orchestrated a murderous act on November 18, 1978. He convinced his people it would prevent them from the severe torture that evil men would inflict upon them, and that they would be ushered to the eternal life comfortably after. Nearly three hundred children were killed, almost all of them by cyanide poisoning. Jones died from a gunshot wound to the head. Authorities suspect his death was a suicide.
Michel de Nostredame
Doomsday Prediction: August 1999
He was a French physician and a prophet recognized by many, though he was regarded by some as a false one. He published collections of written prophecies that continue to gain notoriety even hundreds of years after his death. Popularly known to the modern world as “Nostradamus,” he is best known for his book Les Propheties, the first edition of which appeared in 1555. Although his book is no longer publicized that much since his death, He has attained a level of fame along with much of the worldwide press people who credits him with predicting many major world events. Expert opinion state that the correlations made between some global phenomena stem form misinterpretations or mistranslations. Nostradamus’s life has been depicted in several films and videos, and his life and writings continue to be a subject of media interest. Such depictions tell stories of him as a genius, someone who’s way too ahead of his time, and according to some… a fraud.
Who among them should be ranked as No. 1?