A New York Times reporter in California checked out apocalypse predictor Harold Camping’s headquarters in Oakland yesterday.
Inside the offices, a reception desk was unstaffed and the door was locked. Several boxes filled with brochures were visible, showing slogans like “Gay Pride: Planned by God as a Sign of the End.” A calendar on the desk had a red circle around the 21st with a note reading: “Rejoice!”
Did he get swept away early? Was he able to take his money with him?
A former civil engineer, Mr. Camping, 89, built a small nonprofit empire in radio, going from a single station in San Francisco to more than 200 radio stations and a pair of television stations, according to The Bay Citizen, which also reported the organization’s most recent I.R.S. financial disclosure filings, showing $34 million in investments, $56 million in assets and $29 million in mortgages.
Of course, a lot of those gazillions got spent on advertising the rapture. Kind of looks like nothing happened. Maybe Camping will check his math again.
Pastor Dave Nederhood, of Christian Reformed Church in Alameda, said he had met Mr. Camping on several occasions and had followed his radio broadcasts about the apocalypse closely.
“My concern is for the people that have bought into his lie and have sold their belongings, quit their jobs, left their churches and their families and now they are sitting at home listening to Family Radio and waiting for the end,” Mr. Nederhood said. “I’m terribly concerned.”
Although the Family Radio headquarters were mostly abandoned on Friday, the company’s flagship station — KEAR, 610 AM — continued to broadcast religious music, interspersed with sermons and biblically flavored life lessons.
Copyright 2011 The Moderate Voice