home
RSS
End times for doomsday-linked radio network?
Harold Camping, now 91, is the force behind Family Radio -- and a couple failed prophecies.
May 16th, 2013
07:00 AM ET

End times for doomsday-linked radio network?

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

(CNN) - Dealing with a struggling radio business – this wasn’t the way it was supposed to be. By all his calculations, Harold Camping expected to be nearly two years into his Rapture revelry, hanging in heaven with God and the select others who’d been saved.

But when his predicted and vastly promoted May 21, 2011, Day of Rapture came and went, and the end of the world on October 21, 2011, didn’t pan out either, Camping lost his doomsday mojo. It didn’t help that he had another knock against him, having made a similar failed prophecy back in 1994.

By March 2012, the degreed engineer who’s spent more than a half-century studying the Bible admitted mistakes. He vowed to back off from the prediction business.

Now it seems Family Radio, the nonprofit Christian radio broadcasting network Camping started in 1959, may be foundering, according to an investigative story recently published in the Contra Costa Times.

Financial documents show that Family Radio's assets dropped by more than $105 million in less than five years, despite an influx of $85 million in donations over that time, the California newspaper reported. This, of course, was during the big push to spread the news about the end that wasn’t. The paper also said donations have tumbled nearly 70%  since May 21, 2011, spawning layoffs of longtime employees. And saddled with loans, a dwindling cash flow and alleged mismanagement, the network was reportedly forced to sell off its three biggest stations.

“You eliminate those three (FM stations) and, ultimately, the rest of it dies,” former employee Matt Tuter told the Contra Costa Times. “I believe they are killing it off.”

All of these financial struggles, however, come as the network grapples with losing the voice of its biggest star - Camping himself. He suffered a stroke in June 2011. And though he remains involved and still serves as the network's president, the flagship show he hosted, "Open Forum," is only running previously recorded programs.

It was through Family Radio – and its multitude of U.S. stations, satellite feeds, shortwave radio use, Internet reach and translation machine – that Camping’s teachings and 2011 predictions spread across the globe. His doomsday message was bolstered by a massive billboard campaign at a reported price tag of $5 million. There were also initiatives like Project Caravan, which dispatched teams of volunteers in RVs to warn the people.

CNN hopped on board one caravan and traveled with faithful ambassadors who’d given up everything for this cause.

The coordinator for Project Caravan, Ted Kim, left Family Radio soon after May 21, 2011. Once his ambassadors - still around and not raptured - had a place to go, he told CNN, his work was done.

Even though he doesn't work there anymore, that doesn’t mean he’s lost faith in the mission. He still believes spiritual judgment occurred in 2011 and that the world’s physical destruction is near.

Photos: Doomsdays throughout time

Kim, who is now home schooling his children and caring for his mother, suspects the supporters who fell away had erroneously put more stock in Camping than they’d put in the Bible or God himself.

But Tuter, the former employee who served at Camping’s side for years before he was fired in 2012, suggested to the Contra Costa Times that a demise of Family Radio may be deliberate. He said Camping made it clear to him in 1996 that he wanted the network to die when he did.

"He was very specific he did not want it to continue," Tuter told the newspaper. He said Camping confided in him a week before going into heart surgery: "God raised up Family Radio just as a platform for me!"

Tom Evans, who has taken over the network’s day-to-day reins since Camping suffered that stroke, could not be reached by CNN for comment. But he offered the newspaper a very different perspective than Tuter's. Evans said he hopes that Family Radio can move forward, leaving this end-of-the-world banter behind it.

“We want to be a comfort and reminder of God’s strength and mercy,” he said. “In the end, our founding mission is to proclaim the word of God.”

That mission, coupled with the network’s recent history, may not make them boom like they once did. But to Evans and those who are keeping the faith, neither should it portend doom.

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: End times • Media • Radio

soundoff (1,487 Responses)
  1. Bob

    How do you know Jesus was not the devil? Only the devil would use tricks to impress men. God can speak directly to all of us. He does not need a representative. He does not need to impress us with magic. It is obvious that Jesus was a demon trying to trick man. That is why he was killed.

    May 16, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
    • TheTruth

      Prophecies about Christ are in the OT written thousands of years before Jesus was born in Nazareth. They clearly mention where Christ will be born, His ministry, His death and resurrection !!!

      May 16, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
    • Bob

      Jesus was NOT the prophet they spoke of. Jesus is a fake prophet!

      May 16, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      And does the Torah have that same detail? Or maybe it was tweaked later by christian zealots.

      May 16, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
    • TheTruth

      Bob, you sound like a muslim who thinks Jesus is a prophet.

      No, Jesus is the Son of God, the Savior, the Christ!

      May 16, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
    • Observer

      The Truth,

      The Old Testament also tells us to kill unruly children and that God is grossed out if handicapped people enter his church. It also talks about talking animals and unicorns.

      What is your point?

      May 16, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
  2. Paul Wilson

    Harold Camping made a lot of noise preaching a predestination gospel and did untold mischief by breaking up families, stealing people's life savings, etc. I myself never believed it. In fact, far too much time has passed since Christ ended his ministry. IF he ever existed, he does not exist NOW. He's not coming back, so quit wasting your lives waiting.

    May 16, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
    • TheTruth

      Jesus forewarned us in Matthew 24:23-27...

      "Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be."

      May 16, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
  3. Bob

    Room beware, there is a godless anti-christ bob here, and there is me, born again Bob. One sent from below, the other from above.

    May 16, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
    • Answer

      Room?

      You reject babblers are hilarious.

      May 16, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
    • Bob

      You are anti-God by following the devil known as Christ. God needs no representative. He can speak directly to all of us. You shut out God and invite in the devil by listening to the false prophet. How are you so certain that Christ is not the devil?

      May 16, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
    • TheTruth

      Bob,

      Have *you* decided that God needs no representative? And does God have to accept your decision ? 🙂

      May 16, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
  4. Observer

    Why do so many hypocritical Christians pick-and-choose to support admonitions against gays and yet pick-and-choose to ignore the MORE IMPORTANT Golden Rule?

    May 16, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
  5. The fact of the matter

    "... despite an influx of $85 million in donations... " That there are still people naive enough to donate to this charlatan is the real story.

    May 16, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
  6. sly

    Since Earth was destroyed by God last year I've really been enjoying life Here in Heaven.

    Rather than wondering about it all and arguing with each other, just take a look around and enjoy this blissful heaven we now live in. It is actually a whole lot like earth used to be like before it was ended.

    May 16, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
  7. Bob

    Anyone that claims to know anything about the next life is full of it. We barely understand this life. Face the truth. All religions are false. There is not even a shred of reality in any of them.

    May 16, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
  8. Bob

    As many as received Him (Jesus Christ) to them He gave the right to become children of God. ...John 1 We must be born again (born from above) to be His spiritual children. Receive Christ as Lord and Savior, God bless.

    May 16, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
    • Bob

      Answer, the verses are received by His elect. Those who have ears to hear my friend.

      May 16, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
    • Answer

      Sure sure.

      Keep posting the whole babble. You'll see your own kind flock to it while we'll just laugh at them.

      May 16, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
    • Bob

      Jesus was the devil. You worship a false god. Jesus is burning in hell right now. Repent before it is too late.

      May 16, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
    • cufi

      And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John1

      May 16, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Do you have any evidence to support your delusion?

      May 16, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
    • Answer

      Let's see the babble quote battle. Woohoo.

      May 16, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
    • ed dugan

      Pathetic, simply pathetic. However, you have taken the art of self-delusion and risen to a new level. Your god certainly didn't "bless" that old looney toon with the radio stations.

      May 16, 2013 at 6:13 pm |
    • Bob

      Ed, Camping made the mistake of many. Jesus was clear: "No man knows the day or the hour of the return of the Son of man". ...Mathew 24 Some think they know bette than the Lord Himself. Imagine that? That would be very foolish wouldn't you agree? I hope you don't think you know more than the Lord.

      May 16, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
  9. Bob

    Is is Christ who died, yes rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. ...Romans 8:34

    May 16, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
    • cufi

      1Timothy 2 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,

      May 16, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
    • Observer

      Christ didn't die. The Bible says he was the son of God and was alive after he "died".

      May 16, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
    • Bob

      Cufi, amen

      May 16, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
    • Bob

      Jesus Christ was killed by God because he was the devil posing as the false prophet. Those that follow Jesus follow the devil's teachings.

      May 16, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
    • Bob

      Room, beware. There is a godless, anti-christ bob here, and there is me, born again Bob. Be not deceived.

      May 16, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
    • Bob

      You follow the devil by worshiping Jesus. God, the almighty, needs no representative. You follow the evil lord if you listen to the words of Christ. Repent before it is too late.

      May 16, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
    • ed dugan

      Gee, now you can join that old looney toon with the radio stations. How come your "god" didn't "bless" his ministry? Self-delusion at its finest.

      May 16, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
    • ed dugan

      Folks, that's a direct quote from the latest edition of that work of christian fiction called the bible.As for the nutcase with the radio stations, "there is no fool like and old fool". Is that in the bible also?

      May 16, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
    • Ken

      Bob
      Christ makes intercession for us? Can't he do it himself, I thought he was supposed to be God too?

      May 17, 2013 at 8:07 am |
  10. Bob

    This is life eternal that they may know You, the Only True God, and Jesus Christ Whom You have sent. ...John 17:3

    May 16, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
    • Answer

      You can post all the babble you want til you die and it will never be relevant.

      May 16, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
    • Bob

      Jesus was the devil taking the form of a man. That mo fo has spread the word of the devil, and now, you spread it. Repent before it is too late.

      May 16, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
  11. Bob

    Can a man hide himself..so I do not see him? Do I not fill the heavens and earth? declares the Lord. ...Jeremiah 23:24

    May 16, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
    • Ken

      Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
      Genesis 3:8

      Bit of a contradiction here, eh?

      May 16, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
    • Bob

      Ken, you clearly show your spiritual IQ, I'm afraid its not very hight my friend. Of course God knew where they were. They thought they could hide from Him. Sin causes us to seperate from God. He is Holy, we are not. God called out to them, not because He didn't know where they were, but to give them opportunity to come clean. Are you trying to hide from the Lord? You need to come clean.

      May 16, 2013 at 6:39 pm |
    • Ken

      Bob
      Then why would God ask “Where are you?” in verse 9? You do read the Bible as the literal truth, correct?

      May 16, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
    • Bob

      Ken, I just told you why He asked, didn't you read what I said? For their sake, not because He didn't know. He was reaching out to them even though they had disobeyed Him. He is doing that even today to the world. Ken, are you listening, or are you hiding?

      May 16, 2013 at 6:52 pm |
    • Ken

      Bob
      It doesn't say that in the text, so you are injecting a meaning that clearly wasn't intended. With so many contradictions in the Bible Christians do that a lot.

      May 16, 2013 at 7:05 pm |
  12. Bob

    Every house is built by someone, but the Builder of all things is God. ...Hebrews 3:4

    May 16, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
    • D

      And who built the builder? oops!

      May 16, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
    • Answer

      Quotes of authority that have no basis.

      Too bad.

      May 16, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
    • cufi

      Double like!

      May 16, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
    • TheXDude

      That rug really tied the room together... The Dude : 14.5

      May 16, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
    • Bob

      D, He is the uncreated Creator, God is Self-Existent. He Is. "I AM"....Exodus/John

      May 16, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
    • Ken

      Bob
      Bit of special pleading to claim that your explanation didn't need a cause, but a natural one did, isn't it?

      May 16, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
  13. Bob

    You have created all things, and for Your pleasure they are and were created. ...Revelation 4:11

    May 16, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
    • cufi

      He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, Hebrews 1

      May 16, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
    • D

      And who created the creator?

      May 16, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
    • Ken

      So, parasitic wasps who lay their eggs in live hosts so that their young can have fresh meat to eat once they hatch was designed by God for his pleasure, eh?

      May 16, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
  14. Bob

    By the Word of the Lord the heavens were made. ...Pslm 33:6

    May 16, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
    • cufi

      Amen!

      May 16, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
    • Ken

      The heavens, which the ancient Hebrews understood as being under the Firmament, which they thought of as a solid shell with little holes in it that they saw as stars which also let the rain in from the "waters" they imagined were out where we think of outer space. That's the biblical idea of what the "heavens" were. For those people the heavens were pretty much up against the mountain tops, which is why God was thought to hang out there.

      May 16, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
  15. Bob

    The heavens are telling of the glory of God, And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. ...Psalm 19:1-2

    May 16, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
    • cufi

      True indeed!

      May 16, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
    • Ken

      This would be a reference to astrology.

      May 16, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
    • Bob

      Ken, its a refernece to the glory of God.

      May 16, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
    • Ken

      Bob
      Which they believed the stars were telling them, through astrology. Remember, God supposedly put them there for that purpose.

      And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years. Genesis 1:14

      And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars. Luke 21:25

      And even the Star in the East that the Magi followed was most likely some astrological reading, unless you believe in stars that move and, somehow, hover directly over particular houses?

      May 16, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
  16. Moi

    Acknowledging or coming "face-to-face" with God means a soul-search, identification and acceptance of sinfulness, then change...a white funeral...and giving up one's right to his/herself. This is no easy task...and nothing good or worth having in this life comes easy. Facing God is the most difficult task we come up against in our lives; not for the squeamish...it's much, much easier to deny the existence of God. If you are victorious and can overcome your *self*, the payoff is immeasurable and indescribable.

    May 16, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
    • Ken

      It's easy to deny the existence of God like it's easy to deny the existence of dragons, leprechauns, and fairies.

      May 16, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
  17. Bob

    He upholds all things by the Word of His power. ...Hebrews 1:3

    May 16, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
    • cufi

      For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil. 2 Corinthians 5

      May 16, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Double bullsh!t. Your cult's crap only applies to you and your fellow members.

      May 16, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
    • Ken

      cufi
      Is it actually "evil" not to believe in him? To realize that you don't have any good reasons, or evidence to believe in him?

      May 16, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
    • Dippy

      "Word of his power". What the fuck does that mean? "Power of his word" might make some kind of sense, but not "word of his power."

      May 16, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
    • Ron

      Dippy, Having trouble understanding the Bible? So, you wish to rewrite it to your liking? "The natural man does not receive the things of God, for he cannot, for they are spiritually discerned". Get it? Or do you require an explanation?

      May 16, 2013 at 8:59 pm |
  18. D

    Hahaha! Couldn't happen to a more deserving nutter 🙂

    May 16, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
  19. The clock is ticking...

    I think we all share the sentiments of the tombstone that Read
    "I expected this but not yet".

    May 16, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
    • The clock is ticking...

      Matthew 24:“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.37“For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah.
      No one knows the day or the hour, but everyone is ultimately accountable when the clock stops ticking!

      May 16, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
  20. The clock is ticking...

    Pete and Tony were great baseball fans. They were talking about baseball
    one day & Pete says, “I wonder if there is baseball in heaven.”

    Tony replies, “I don’t know.”

    Soon after, Tony dies. One day he calls Pete from heaven and they’re
    talking and Pete says, “Tony, you gotta’ tell me. Is there baseball in
    heaven?”

    Tony says, “Well, I have some good news & some bad news. The good news
    is that there is baseball in heaven. The bad news is that you’re pitching
    tomorrow.”

    May 16, 2013 at 5:51 pm |
    • Answer

      Oh so materialistic..

      You get to have baseball.. to play.. to have things, objects.

      You'll escape the reality of our materialistic society and then follow up with a fantasy of another so called "better afterlife" which is also materialistic.
      Hilarious.

      May 16, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
    • Answer

      Don't forget to have god print money up in your heaven.

      That is IF you have an afterlife economy. LOL

      May 16, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
Advertisement
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.