I thought bringing champagne to Harold Camping's Family Radio headquarters on Hegenberger Road in Oakland on the morning of the Rapture was an intriguing idea, and set up a private facebook invite for it months ago. However since then, after discussing it with other practicing members of the Mimosas Witnesses, we've sort of decided it was a bad idea for several reasons:
-Difficulty of getting people to Hegenberger Road for any reason.-Possibility of offending or confronting people over there during a time full of expectations.-Possibility of being cited for public drinking, or worse.
I've been invited to no fewer than three other rapture parties in the next 24 hours, but I still desired some sort of pilgrimage on Saturday to see the scene. Especially after I read SF Chronicle journalist Justin Berton's 2010 article about Harold Camping, "On Sept. 6, 1994, dozens of Camping's believers gathered inside Alameda's Veterans Memorial Building." (That was the last time he predicted Judgment Day on an exact date.) Not finding any evidence of a Camping-sponsored party myself, I e-mailed Berton asking if he knew of a gathering or if Camping was having a press conference somewhere some time, and to let me know if he heard anything. Berton wrote back and said that Camping had advised his followers to stay at home with their loved ones this time around.
Mocking and concern
A few nonbelievers have suggested throwing a party outside Family Radio's headquarters Saturday night, mimosas in hand. Other skeptics, however, say the fact that Camping has assembled a dedicated following is nothing to laugh at.
Inside the sprawling, threadbare Oakland headquarters of Family Radio Worldwide the staff has prepared for the end of the world this weekend — and it appears they mean it.
“There’s so little time left,” a smiling elderly woman said, hugging a colleague.
On Monday, the last day outsiders were welcome inside the gated compound, recording studios sat empty. Current programming for the independent Christian broadcast ministry was produced weeks ago. No more shows are needed.