Recent reports indicate that the California-based Christian radio network Family Radio, run by evangelist Harold Camping, may be facing dire economic straits, as seen by public tax documents and alleged interviews with former Family Radio employees.
The evangelical radio network, which has been on-air since 1958, has reportedly sold its three largest FM radio stations: WFME in Newark-New York City, WFSI in Annapolis, Md.-Washington, D.C., and WKDN in Philadelphia. Additionally, the Associated Press reported Monday that "tax records show the nonprofit network saw its net assets drop to $29.2 million by the end of 2011, from a net worth of $135 million four years earlier."
Family Stations, Inc., a ministry known for promoting its founder's May 21, 2011, Judgment Day prediction, spent more than $5 million on billboard advertising the year the big event was predicted to occur.
In 2009 and 2010, the organization, led by radio host Harold Camping, spent more than $137,000 and $732,000 on advertising, respectively, though tax documents for those years do not indicate whether those amounts include the cost of billboards. In 2011, the cost of the signs was listed separately from the amount spent on advertising, which was nearly $700,000.
The Oakland, Calif.-based organization used 1,200 billboards nationwide to promote the prediction, according to CBSnews.com. It also spread word about the event in 84 languages through its Family Radio network as well as through the use of caravans. more >>
After numerous failed doomsday predictions, Family Radio founder Harold Camping announced this month that he has no plans to predict ever again the day of God's Judgment. He also issued an apology to listeners, admitting that he was wrong.
"We have learned the very painful lesson that all of creation is in God's hands and He will end time in His time, not ours!" a statement on Family Radio's website reads. "We humbly recognize that God may not tell His people the date when Christ will return, any more than He tells anyone the date they will die physically."
Camping, 90, has made predictions about Judgment Day, Christ's return and the end of the world for the past few decades – with the May 21, 2011, forecast receiving the most media attention. Each time the date passed, he did not admit to mistaking the timing but instead reasoned that the events happened "spiritually" rather than physically. more >>
Researchers are debating whether or not the Mayan calendar actually attempted to predict the end of days.
Mayans existed in Central America between 250 and 900 A.D. They devised a cyclical calendar that can run 5,126 years, beginning in 3114 B.C. Because 5,126 minus 3,114 equals 2,012, conspiracies have started that the Mayans were trying to predict that the world would end in 2012.
Researchers say there is no truth to the conspiracies, according to ABCnews.com. more >>
Family Radio has commented on the allegations about its founder and president Harold Camping retiring since The Christian Post reported on Oct. 24 that the 90-year-old doomsday prophet had told a young church member he was "retired."
At the time, CP was not able to confirm that information directly with Camping or any official at Family Radio. However, the young man, also a documentarian, said he had recordings supporting his claims.
Susan Espinoza, Camping's daughter and manager of the international department at Family Radio, has denied that her father has retired completely. more >>
Harold Camping has shown a sign of repentance for his failed apocalypse prophecies. As The Christian Post reported Sunday, Camping has issued an audio address made available via the Family Radio website, in which he apologized for saying that people who did not believe his May 21 doomsday would not be saved.
"Incidentally, I have been told that I said back in May that people who did not believe that May 21 should not be the rapture date, probably had not been saved," Camping said. "I should not have said that, and I apologize for that. One thing we know for certain, is that God is merciful, merciful beyond anything that we would ever expect."
While some Christians have expressed gladness that the Family Radio president is showing signs of dropping his practice of trying to predict the rapture date, many remain skeptical, and some are still angry at the Bible scholar for the damage he has caused. more >>