Mainstream religion never seems to get tired of the end of the world. Which seems to leave only Satanists with the job of preserving the world to the best of our ability.

This is not our ideal division of labor, but given how bad apocalypse watchers are at hitting their own goals it’s probably for the best we don’t give them anything harder to deal with.

On May 21, 2020, Bay Area Satanist came together (virtually, as we’re still social distancing for the good of our members) for End Of the World Day, a new Satanic ritual commemorating late Oakland preacher Harold Camping’s almost endearing obsession with the apocalypse, and also commemorating our newest class of Patron Sinners.

Camping was a Bay Area original noted for his flimsy grasp of Biblical numerology and habit of predicting the Rapture and subsequent destruction of the world whenever the thought crossed his mind–as it seemingly did with regularity.

In 2011, Camping made international news with his multi-million dollar coast-to-coast ad campaign informing America that the world would end on May 21–according to Camping, the Bible “guaranteed it.” This was not his first doomsday prediction, but neither he nor his followers seemed to pay that any mind.

When the world did not end on schedule, Camping’s reputation never recovered. But local Satanists are happy for his service–his antics teach us a lot about the nature of faith, mainstream religion, and the world around us, even if none of these lessons are the ones Camping actually had in mind.

After Tabitha and Daniel presented an invocation via YouTube marking the occasion (embedded above), a group of about 20 Bay Area Satanists meeting via video chat took a few minutes to also induct our 2020 class of Patron Sinners.

We chose this year’s dishonorees by popular vote, adding eight new names to the list of 20 previous sinful standouts. For more on past Patron Sinners–including an explanation of precisely what a Patron Sinner is–head over to our Satanic Bay Area Resources page.

It will take a few days more to update the list to include this year’s class, which includes:

  • Cosmologist Carl Sagan.
  • Rockstar Freddie Mercury.
  • Latter-day film stars Theda Bara and Hedy Lamarr.
  • Blue legend Robert Johnson.
  • Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson.
  • Internationally acclaimed satirist Terry Pratchett.
  • Crossdressing cult actor Divine.

After our members hailed each of these historic figures for their iconoclastic accomplishments, we lit an altar candle in their honor.

This May 21, like all of the May 21s past, did not bring with it any earth-shattering events. The world kept turning just as it always has.

But for Satanic Bay Area, it was a time to pause our day-to-day lives and reflect on the things we most value about our non-ended world, and to be grateful for the contributions of those revolutionary figures who left it a slightly better place.