Doomsday Psychology: The Appeal of Armageddon

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Waiting For the World to End

"These people are so eager for this 'setting right of all injustices' that they make the mistakes so many have made in the past. These predictions have come and gone literally hundreds of times," he says.

But behind the eagerness is a dichotomy between hope for the "new world" and fear over the ending of this one, religious experts say.

With their buses emblazoned with slogans and their neon-colored T-shirts, Camping's followers have been, at times, jubilant as they spread the "awesome news" that "the End of the World is almost here!" Fitzpatrick seems to share none of their glee.

With only hours remaining before he believes most of the people of the world will be condemned forever, Fitzpatrick echoes his subway ads, urging others to pray. His voice has nothing of the preacher's fervor -- mostly, he just sounds tired.

"This is a time for sorrow and sobriety. We all have people we love who have no interest in this and the Bible tells us that these people will perish. A lot of children are going to die," he says.

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