June 1, 2011; Source: Examiner.com | The Freedom from Religion Foundation, a church/state watchdog group based in Madison, Wisc., is asking the California attorney general to investigate Harold Camping for fraud. Camping, of course, raised $100 million related to his prediction of the impending rapture. The group’s letter (PDF) reads in part:
There are media reports of dozens of Camping's followers who liquidated their own assets to contribute tens and sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars to Camping's organization, convinced (by Camping) that they would have no need for the money or material goods after May 21 and that they were needed by Family Stations Inc., in order to advertise for the proclaimed Rapture. Others incurred thousands of dollars in debt through extravagant purchases and family vacations, allegedly convinced (by Camping) that they should enjoy the world before its impending destruction. Some quit their jobs, sold or abandoned their homes, packed their families and moved in preparation for the 'end of the world.'
Sign up for our free newsletter
Subscribe to the NPQ newsletter to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.
The letter goes on to say that the attorney general has a responsibility to help protect the public from predatory charities. The group alleges that there is good reason to believe that fraud exists because, "Camping's actions and the actions of Family Stations seem to show that they neither behaved nor conducted business as if they sincerely believed that the world would end on May 21, and they continued to solicit donations up to, on and after that date."—Ruth McCambridge