On February 7, 2011, I decided to call
Family Radio in Oakland, California, to ask if the radio network could be
handed over to me as a minister, once Harold Camping and his staff had
been taken off the earth because I wanted to be sure that the programming
continued after May 21, 2011.
Harold and his staff have for several years
been pushing very hard that this is the final day of this earth and it is
the judgment day for all unbelievers when the Christians will be removed
to heaven. Once the judgment is over, the earth will be destroyed and
there will be a new creation.
This is not the first time Mr. Camping has
predicted the end of the world but a third such prediction. He wrote a
book in the early 1990’s called “1994?” where he set the date for Jesus’
return to September 6, 1994.
BACK TO 1992
When I heard that Harold Camping was
teaching that Jesus would come back September 6, 1994, I decided to call
Family Radio and speak to someone in management. I asked if it was indeed
true that Mr. Camping was telling his listeners that Jesus would be coming
back on September 6, 1994 and that this was the end of the world. The
person confirmed it was true and that they were getting ready for it. I
then asked, “Is it possible that Mr. Camping can sign over Family Radio to
me as a pastor, so that I can take it over when Jesus comes?” The answer
was a firm “NO.”
I then asked, “Why do you ask for money to
expand the network beyond September 6, 1994, if you are so sure that Jesus
is coming back?” The person speaking with me said, “Not all of us here
believe that Jesus is coming back on that date.” I then asked, “Why isn’t
Mr. Camping removed from the station?” The answer was that this was the
wish of many of the employees, but the Board of Directors was firmly in
the grip of Mr. Camping and no one could do anything. That was the end of
my phone call.
Harold Camping was wrong and the staff was
right, but he was not bashful and once his date of Jesus return had
passed, he started to tell the listeners that he had made a mathematical
error and set a new date in October. He explained that this was tied to
one of the feasts in Israel, but once October had passed, Harold ignored
the whole matter and hoped that people would forget about it as he
continued droning on the “Open Forum” program. Here is what he said when
Jesus did not return on the expected date and the subsequent predictions:
September 6, 1994 (Subsequently
extended a few days, given the slight variations in the ancient
September 15, 1994, the Jewish Day of
September 25, 1994, the Jewish Feast
October 4, 1994, the actual birthday
of Jesus as calculated by Camping?
December 25, 1994, our traditional
celebration of Christmas and Christ’s incarnation and birth, based on the
statement in Revelation 11:10 that the enemies of God’s people would ‘send
gifts one to another?’
February 25, 1995, the Jewish feast
May 3, 1996, when he was so sure of
this date that he devoted several Open Forum programs to explain
how the ‘four watches’ (alluded to in Mark 13:35) extended the date until
September 6, 1994.
His current teaching, that September
6, 1994 was the right date after all, but it was for the beginning of the
Great Tribulation, not Judgment Day. Simple arithmetic would put the
return of the Lord no later than 2008.”
Picture from Family Radio's website
Very few people listening to Family Radio in
2010 remember all the fancy footwork that Mr. Camping did in 1994. He
changed the dates of the return of Jesus eight times and finally settled
on the year 2008, but this is not something he wants to remember or
anybody else for that matter. The year 2008 came and went, and true to his
arrogance, it didn’t bother Camping that he was wrong yet again. Once a
person has become a liar, it is easy to lie again, and so he set the new
date of Jesus’ return to May 21, 2011.
I do not know if Christians are dumb or
forgiving but Family Radio survived and everything was fine until Harold
decided that it was time once again for Jesus to come back. For a complete
background please see my article,
Harold Camping: A Man
with no Shame.
INFORMATON ABOUT FAMILY RADIO
I have been contacted by people
knowledgeable of the inner workings of Family Radio. Through e-mail and
telephone calls, I learned that even though Family Radio is a non-profit
religious corporation, registered with the State of California and the
IRS, its membership is unique in that the only members are those who
are members of the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors consists
of three people: Harold Camping as the president, William Thornton, who is
the supervisor of Family Radio printing department and another staff
member. There are no elections since there are no non-director members
even though the State of California requires that the membership elect
annual board members. No one has successfully challenged Mr. Camping on
this issue and thus he is illegally holding the office as president and
has made himself in effect an individual proprietor.
The biggest irony is that the
person who controls all aspects of Family Radio’s legal right to own and
control its 50 to 60 radio stations lives in Sacramento. Her name is Peggy
Renschler. She was Carl Auel’s personal secretary when he managed KEBR.
She is the one-and-only authorized person before the Federal
Communications Commission (of course under Camping’s signature) to
determine the future destiny of the LEGAL (not financial, but legal) right
of the chain of stations to operate.
I consulted with the founder of
Family Stations, Inc., the man who wrote the Articles of Incorporation,
Richard H. Palmquist, who told me, “No one has successfully challenged
Mr. Camping on this issue, though several have tried. Mr. Camping
inappropriately holds the office of President of a corporation, when in
fact Family Stations, Inc., has become, in effect, a de facto extension of
Harold Camping’s person. Mr. Camping’s authority over the corporate
structure has the effect of the corporation’s assets being so completely
under Mr. Camping’s control that the radio stations, the equipment, the
entire work of Family Stations, Inc., is controlled by Mr. Camping in the
same manner as it would be controlled if it were Mr. Camping’s personal
property. This one-man structuring would be legal for a business entity,
as such corporations require only one member. However, non-profit tax
exempt corporations must include accountability to a membership.”
There are some outstanding people working at
the corporation and it is their skill that makes the radio programs
possible: Richard H. Homeres, Bobbi Hamlin, Charles Menut, Larry Milliken,
Mike Zeimann, Seth Pitzer, Craig Hulsebos and Bill Sadlier.
From what I understand, Craig Hulsebos is
the supervisor of the Family Radio employees. This group has the power to
topple Harold if they act in unison but fear and intimidation have them
divided. Since Mr. Camping is the president and general manager, he has
total control over the finances, and he is the one that hires or fires a
Any of the employees could file a legal
complaint with the Secretary of California, Corporation Department, and an
investigation would show that Camping is illegally holding Family Radio
Any legal resident in the State of
California can file a complaint against Harold Camping, but it will
require the help of an attorney and there is a large cost of money
involved. Our ministry does not have the finances to file a complaint.
FIRST CALL TO FAMILY RADIO
My first call on February 7 ended up with an
answering machine. I left my name and number but never received a call
back. I called back the next around 3:30 in the afternoon and spoke to a
woman who would not give her name. I asked to speak to Craig Hulsebos and
was told that he had gone home for the day but he would be back in the
morning. I then asked to speak to Mr. Harold Camping and was told that he
had gone home as well.
I then asked this woman if she believed the
world was coming to an end on May 21, 2011? Did she believe this will be
the final judgment of the unsaved and that all Christians will be taken
away by Jesus? She told me without hesitation that she did not possess the
theological training to answer my questions. I then asked if she
was making any preparations for May 21, but she would not answer the
I asked about the possibility of taking over
Family Radio on May 22 after all of them had left. She told me that this
was something only Mr. Camping could answer. I then asked her if Harold
Camping takes phone calls to which she replied affirmatively.
This woman had been instructed on how to
answer questions like these since it is likely that a number of people are
calling Family Radio and asking questions. It is obvious that she does not
believe that Jesus is coming back on May 21 or she would have told me so.
My second telephone call took place the next
day in the morning of February 9. It was not the same woman who answered
from the previous day and I asked to speak with Craig Hulsebos and was
transferred to what I thought would be a direct line. A woman who claimed
to be his secretary answered and asked what I wished to speak about? I
told her that I wanted to have a private conversation with her boss but
she stonewalled me and asked again why I was calling. It was obvious she
was not going to let me speak with him. So I told her that I wanted to
talk about the future. The conversation got very interesting when she
said, “Mr. Hulsebos would be very uncomfortable talking to you about
this SINCE HE IS WALKING A VERY FINE LINE.”
I realized that the woman had said more than
she intended and this was as close as I would get Craig Hulsebos so I
began to talk with her and offered my services to take over Family Radio
and keep it going since they were all going to leave on May 21. “That is
not possible,” she told me, “There will be earthquakes and all kinds of
calamities on the earth on that day.”
I then told her that I did not believe that
Jesus was going to come back on May 21 because Harold Camping had
predicted Jesus’ return in 1994 and in 2008 and I had the books to prove
it. She paused when I asked if she believed that Jesus was coming back on
the May 21 and replied that it was possible but her voice lacked the
conviction and it was obvious that she does not believe what Mr. Camping
is teaching. She then tried to justify him by saying that “God used Mr.
Camping to start Family Radio and God is not going to let His work be
destroyed.” I corrected and told her that Richard Palmquist was the man
whom God gave the vision for Family Radio and that Harold came in later.
“That’s right,” she said, “Harold had the money and the heart to go with
it.” I reminded her again that Harold had been wrong twice and this was
his third prediction. She did not quite know what to say and just said,
“Pray for us.”
I changed the subject a little and told her
that even the children’s programs had been changed to teach that Jesus is
coming back on the May 21. “Isn’t that cute,” she said. I told her that I
did not think it was cute and asked her what they were going to tell the
children on May 22? “That is in God’s hands and there is nothing we can
do,” was her reply.
I then proceeded to tell her that Harold
Camping was destroying Family Radio and that people will lose all respect
for him and Family Radio when May 22 rolled around and that they would
lose all financial support. But she defiantly told me, “There is no
problem, we have lots of money.” Now this isn’t what she is supposed to
tell people outside Family Radio and she had worked herself into a corner.
She was speaking the truth because Mr. Camping has sold off assets and is
sitting on millions of dollars.
I told her that I have been a Family Radio
listener since 1969 and that I listen to it all the time. My wife and I
love the music but we turn off the radio every time Mr. Camping comes on
and she replied, “That’s fine, you have freedom to do that.”
I shared with her that I really miss the
program “Unshackled” from Pacific Garden Mission (PGM) in Chicago. She
told me that PGM had changed the program so that it was no longer
compatible with the policies of Family Radio. She agreed that the program
was good but it simply did not line up with the changes in Mr. Camping’s
policies. Up to that time Family Radio carried a number of great programs
free of charge to enhance their own programming. But Mr. Camping didn’t
like that each program ended with a call for people to contact the
ministry that had produced the program; instead, he wanted all inquires to
go to Family Radio, who it turn would pass on the information if they felt
like it. It was all about control and PGM and the other ministries were
discontinued when they did not go along with it.
I then proceeded to tell her that the only
preachers left on Family Radio were dead and in this way they could not
argue with Mr. Camping. She broke out in laughter upon hearing that and
agreed that only dead preachers like Bob Cook and Pastor Spencer are
allowed on Family Radio.
In wrapping up the conversation, I told her
that we are a group of people who would like to save Family Radio, if she
could pass that on to Craig Hulsebos? She promised to do that and I
stressed it was important to draw up plans now so that Family Radio can
continue after May 21. Surprisingly she said, “Don’t worry about it, Mr.
Camping has plans in place and it is all prepared.” She then emphasized
the importance to pray for Family Radio. Up until now she was in no rush
to end the conversation and kept talking to me but someone must have come
into her office because she started to end the call without warning.
Craig Hulsebos doesn’t agree with Harold
Camping that Jesus is coming back on May 21. His secretary made that clear
when she told me that “he is walking a very fine line.” The secretary does
not believe Harold either. Most likely the same is true for the rest of
the staff. Mr. Camping is sitting upon millions of dollars and yet the
fundraising continues even though there are only four months until
judgment day! The only conclusion I can draw is that he has been taken
over by evil spirits and is insane and the people working at Family Radio
are petrified, divided and unable to oust him to stop the lying.
Harold Camping has made contingency plan for
the time after May 21. Since he lost most of the listeners from 2008 and
back, he must believe that he can again “do some fancy footwork” and come
up with an explanation why Jesus did not come back, and then set a new
date again. After all, he is now 90 years old and he probably does not
think that he will be around much longer, so if he is wrong or not does
not matter once he is dead. He is not thinking about all of the people he
is deceiving who will have their belief system shattered.
WHAT CAN BE DONE?
If you are a Family Radio listener,
stop sending them money and call and write them and tell them that you do
not believe what Harold is teaching.
If you have the money, file a
complaint with the Secretary of California, Corporation Department that
Family Radio is not in compliance with state regulations.
Pray that God will remove Harold
Camping one way or the other.
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