A retired MTA worker in New York is so confident the world will end next Saturday that he has spent $140,000 — his entire nest egg — on MTA advertising to assist his fellow New Yorkers in preparing for the rapture.
“I’m trying to warn people about what’s coming,” said 60-year-old Staten Island resident Robert Fitzpatrick, who retired from the MTA in 2006. “People who have an understanding [of end of times] have an obligation to warn everyone.”
“Global Earthquake! The Greatest Ever – Judgment Day: May 21,” the $50,000 – $90,000 ads literally shout from bus shelters, subway trains and subway platforms all around the city.
The Metro Transit Authority is happy to take his money, although critics wonder why the MTA is feeding into the May 21 hysteria.
“It’s an individual’s prerogative to spend their money as they see fit,” said MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz.
Fitzpatrick is a loyal follower of California evangelist Harold Camping, who used a complex mathematical formula to predict the exact date of Judgment Day when Jesus Christ returns to Earth to book Final passage for all believers, and non-believers.
Camping also predicted a previous Judgment Day — on Sept. 6, 1994. But that was just a dry run.
“It’ll start just before midnight [May 21st], Jerusalem time: It’ll be instantaneous and global,” said Fitzpatrick. “There are too many scriptures talking about ’sudden destruction.’”
And many of his fellow New Yorkers are taking notice.
“I’m curious to see what they’re going to say in a week when nothing happens,” said Mollie Kotzen, 23, of Prospect Heights, rolling her eyes as she passed the group in Union Square.
It’s natural for people to dismiss or otherwise joke about impending deaths of the most natural cause imaginable (the wrath of God). But others are quietly, and cautiously, taking note of the date and getting their affairs in order… just in case.
One loyal reader thanked me for writing my previous post on this subject. She said she was earnestly looking for a home, but now she has decided to put off looking, at least until after May 21, since most insurance policies don’t cover fire and brimstone damage.