41

We all joke about it but there's probably lots of people that took him seriously.

Now that the world hasn't ended, many are claiming he is a fraud and a con man. Did Harold Camping or his Family Radio statement benefit financially from making this claim?

If so, how? Through donations? Publicity?

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    The news report of at least some people that gave all their belongings to Harold Camping. Let's see what we can dig up. – Lagerbaer May 25 '11 at 14:34
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    I've removed the "any other way" from the question: he obviously profited by having media coverage (hence notoriety). – Sklivvz May 25 '11 at 14:42
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    @Sklivvz - now we know how to popularize Stack Exchange sites! – user5341 May 25 '11 at 15:16
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    Does attention count as profit? – BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft May 25 '11 at 16:34
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    "Doomsday date was miscalculated, says Harold Camping" - What, again? Oh, wait, he just moved it to October this time. Hilarious! I love doomsday predictions. I wonder what he will say in October. :-) – Lennart Regebro May 26 '11 at 5:05
14

It would seem not. Certainly not much.

Donations to Family Radio were huge over the last few years, but it does appear that the money was spent on advertizing the date of the Apocalyse, which was of course the point. This article talks quite a bit about the finances of Family Radio:

In 2009, in the last Family Radio tax return that was made public, the group collected $18.4 million in contributions, and earned more than $1 million in investment and other income. That year the group spent $36.7 million, and $41.2 million the previous year.

"Donations have picked up, but not enough to offset the amount of money we're spending," said [Family Radio board member Tom] Evans

In other words, Family Radio was spending more than it earned on the Apocalyse.

Camping says that he works on a voluntary basis for Family Radio. Charity Navigator, with which Family Radio has a 4 star rating, backs this up.

  • if that's true, kind of have to feel sorry for him. He's a good, but deranged man. Unless of course, he happened to own shares in the companies he chose to "advertise" with? – Samuelson May 26 '11 at 23:06

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