Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Could Harold Camping Be Sued?
Christian Post ^ | 05/24/2011 | Katherine T. Phan

Posted on 05/24/2011 7:02:46 PM PDT by SeekAndFind

Family Radio has solicited millions from donors over the years and reportedly spent over $100 million on advertising for the May 21 Judgment Day.

But now that the "guaranteed" rapture didn't happen, people are wondering: Can Harold Camping or Family Radio be sued? Did they do anything illegal in soliciting donations based on the rapture prediction? And do donors have legal ground to sue the discredited prophet?

Probably not, says an executive of Charity Navigator, which evaluates over 5,500 of America's largest charities. The charity evaluator rated Family Radio as a 4-star charity, the highest possible ranking.

Sandra Miniutti, vice president of Charity Navigator, told The Christian Post she doesn’t think that Family Radio committed any wrongdoing, from a financial standpoint.

"They believed that the rapture was going to happen. I don't think they did anything illegal," Miniutti said Tuesday.

She said Charity Navigator doesn't evaluate a non-profit's mission, only its financial performance in the spending on its program, administration, fundraising, and efficiency in fundraising.

"We rate charities based on their financial performance. We don't make subjective assessments on the value of their mission. We just look on their financial performance," said Miniutti.

Based on her knowledge so far, Family Radio has used its donations where it was intended, on billboards and on public relations campaigns advertising the May 21 Judgment Day.

The Christian Post learned that Harold Camping spent around $100 million to advertise his May 21 end times prediction, according to Matt Tuter, Family Radio’s international projects manager.

Tuter told The Christian Post that most of the money did not come from donations, but from the sale of property – more specifically, KFTL television and an FM station.

"My understanding is that they were soliciting money to help people understand the word of God," commented Miniutti. "They spent it on what they intended to spend it on."

"Donors would only have a recourse if the charity was soliciting for one thing but spent it on something else."

Tuter also told CP that most of the staff at Family Radio, including himself, are not followers of Camping and do not believe in his Judgment Day predictions.

Miniutti acknowledged, "It's unethical if people doing soliciting didn't believe that the rapture wasn't going to happen in the first place."

However, Miniutti pointed out that donors should also do their due diligence in checking out charities' overall health before giving money.

"We believe that donors should check three things: financial performance, the charity's transparency and what the charity's actual results are, whether it's lasting change in the world," she said.

Charity Navigator currently doesn't evaluate a charity's transparency or results but will in the near future, she added.

When Miniutti was asked whether "false advertising" of the rapture could provide legal grounds for a lawsuit against Family Radio, she said a lawyer would better answer that question.

But she did suggest that if Family Radio got away with Camping's 1994 Judgment Day prediction, there is no reason they couldn't do the same in 2011.

"If it's legal in ‘94, it's probably legal again."

On Monday, in his first public address since the failed rapture, Camping touted Family Radio’s efficiency and honesty when it comes to money.

“We’re not in the business for money,” he said, stressing that he does not receive any compensation.

He said the contributions the organization receives are all directed toward one purpose: to get the Gospel out. “Every nickel has been spent as fairly as possible, as efficiently as possible,” he maintained.

Commenting on some of his followers and other listeners who spent their life savings to advertise Camping’s Judgment Day prediction or quit their jobs, he said the organization never advised them on financial matters and he refused to take any responsibility for their current situations.

TOPICS: Current Events; Evangelical Christian; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: haroldcamping; lawuit; rapture
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-2021-24 last
To: SeekAndFind

Well, can you sue someone who arranges a marriage and then the groom leaves the bride standing at the alter? You might muck around in that sort of precedent and find some grounds that might work, but even if you did, I don’t see how anyone would win anything they could actually get to court with. After all, Camping said all along it was a matter of faith, and on top of that had a track record of being wrong on the same topic before.

21 posted on 05/24/2011 9:25:24 PM PDT by Rashputin (Obama is insane but kept medicated and on golf courses to hide it)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Victor
"Tell me how Camping is any different than Madoff.....??"

Because Madoff lied to investors by telling them that their money was being invested in order to generate financial returns and was being done so in a manner that had a history of substantial success. It was all a lie - a false statement of past and current facts. The money was not being invested nor had the past financial success ever occurred. Finally Madoff violates substantial state and federal statutes regarding ponzi schemes. Textbook definition of fraud and statutory criminal violations. Camping broke no criminal laws. If you went after Camping you would have to after every single Pastor who preaches the the prosperity Gospel in order to generate contributions, including Joel Osteen. I think the prosperity Gospel preachers are much more despicable than Camping but would never, ever consider going after them criminally.

22 posted on 05/25/2011 3:09:44 AM PDT by circlecity (')
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: EQAndyBuzz

“It’s here all right. “

Nope. Weather happens every year. Sometimes more severe than other years.

23 posted on 05/25/2011 4:34:18 AM PDT by HereInTheHeartland (2008 was about words; 2012 will be about numbers)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Cvengr

Ozzy should sue Camping?

24 posted on 05/25/2011 4:46:31 AM PDT by tal hajus (ever the cynic)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-2021-24 last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson