Yes, most people have misinterpreted the "2012 prophecy", in one way or another. I actually have a cousin who studies ancient civilizations. The first thing to know, is that the Mayans did not create the ancient calendar that everyone is referring to. It was actually the Mesopotamians (sp?) who lived in the temples before the Mayans, who created the calendar.
And no where in any of the ancient prophecies that any spiritual or non-spiritual studier can decipher, says anything about any dooms days or catastrophic events. The mesopotamians simply could not see beyond the point where they stopped the calendar. As someone who studies and practices divination, I know that the farther out you go in your divining, the harder it is to predict an accurate future, and eventually, you go so far out that there are no answers, because that future has yet to be determined.
That calendar predicted events thousands of years into the future for the mesopotamians and the mayans. So it already when well outside of the boundaries that even most skilled diviners can reach. You can't expect it to go on like that forever, lol.