There’s those that will knock you over to get your wallet, and those who con you into throwing away your life’s savings…
The sky turned dark Saturday afternoon, but it wasn’t a sign of the world’s impending doom – just passing rain.
Welcome to the No-pacalypse – a disappointing finish to what doomsday believer Robert Fitzpatrick thought would be the End of Days.
“I don’t understand why nothing has happened,” a deflated Fitzpatrick said in Times Square just after 6 p.m. “I did what I had to do. I did what the Bible said.”
“I obviously haven’t understood it properly, because we’re still here,” added Fitzpatrick, 60, surrounded by a phalanx of reporters and skeptical onlookers.
The retired MTA worker from Staten Island bought $140,000 worth of advertising, proclaiming that the end was near. He and followers of California televangelist Harold Camping thought a global earthquake would strike the East Coast just before 6 p.m.
I think Harold Camping is worse than the ordinary mugger. Some time ago I was listening to interviews on NPR with victims Bernie Madoff, the pyramid king. They felt so betrayed, and self-blaming. It’s really nasty to win someone’s trust and do that to them. Fitzpatrick sounds like a vulnerable man who had the bad luck to be cleaned out by a con man.
According to CNN Money Harold Camping has millions– more than enough to restore Robert Fitzpatrick’s life savings and whoever else he has particularly screwed over. He also holds enough FCC broadcasting licenses to make him a media baron. That’s really scary.
We need to re-think this religious tax exemption thing. I’m all for giving tax breaks to charitable and religious organizations that serve the community, but we shouldn’t let every con man who comes along build a tax-free empire. Even Jesus paid taxes. It’s in the Bible.
I truly feel sorry for Robert Fitzpatrick and all the others who gave money to this crook. But then again, Mr. Fitzpatrick looked forward to my imminent torment and death in the Great Tribulation. Even so, he’ll have the benefit of secular programs like Social Security and Medicare. The people who help him will be accountable in a way that failed prophets are not.