Family Radio, the Christian Group That Wrongly Predicted the Rapture in 2011, is Slowly Going Under

You remember Harold Camping.

He’s the preacher who said the world was going to end on May 21, 2011 — and promoted the hell out of his prediction:

Family Radio, the Oakland-based evangelical network run by Harold Camping, had already spent more than $5 million on 5,000 billboards announcing Judgment Day — May 21, 2011 — according to tax documents.

Sounds like a lot but this is an organization that was worth well over $100,000,000.

Still, it turns out Family Radio is leaking money now that their biggest prediction has been shown to be totally wrong (let’s hope Sylvia Browne suffers the same fate)… but it’s not completely dissolved just yet:

Former and current insiders allege the situation may be even worse than it appears, claiming donations have dropped almost 70 percent since the Rapture prediction proved incorrect, leading to numerous layoffs of longtime Family Radio staff members.

Not everyone predicts Family Radio’s demise, however. Board member Tom Evans, who has taken over day-to-day operations since Camping suffered a stroke in June 2011, said Family Radio is hurting like any other nonprofit in this slow-to-rebound economy. But it is not closing, and the financial problems aren’t nearly as serious as some allege, said the trustee, who instead envisions a downsized, more efficient ministry emerging.

“Sufficient funds were in the bank and, thankfully, we didn’t spend everything (on May 21, 2011),” he said. “But it did force us to make quick changes.”

They do owe a lot of money in loans, too, but the point remains that they were severely hit by the combination of the recession plus putting most of their eggs into a basket that the rest of us knew always had an expiration date.

They deserve it, though. They lied to people and they were caught. Their mistake was being too specific — church pastors know you have to be vague about your predictions: God will answer your prayers… in the future. Stuff like that.

The 91-year-old Camping apologized for his bad prediction last year, but tried to find a silver lining by saying the event had gotten more people to hear about Christianity.

That might be true, but we also mocked it like crazy. While Family Radio raked in millions of dollars in donations at the time, it’s arguable that atheists got much more out of Camping’s prediction than Christians ever did.

Camping probably didn’t see this ending coming, either.

(via Christian Nightmares)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.


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