Aside from blog gossip, which we usually ignore, Fox News was the first real news organization we saw that reported a business slowdown for the creationist empire run by Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia, who runs the on-line ministry Answers in Genesis (AIG), and the infamous, mind-boggling Creation Museum.
We wrote about that in Is The End Coming for Ken Ham?, and Hambo commented on our post in Facebook. But it’s not just Fox news.
There’s also Christianity Today, a magazine founded by Billy Graham. They wrote A Flood of Arks, about eight — yes, eight! — separate Ark building projects that are currently underway, including ol’ Hambo’s project, about which they say:
Answers in Genesis (aig) hopes to build a $73 million theme park with a full-scale ark and a zoo. Later stages would feature Babel and recreate a sinful antediluvian city. Despite heavy media attention, funding is slow, and revenues from aig’s nearby Creation Museum have declined.
As you can imagine, ol’ Hambo responded to that. A week ago in his own blog at the AIG website he wrote Can “Christianity Today’s” Research Be Trusted? He said, with bold font added by us:
In the current (June) 2013 issue of Christianity Today, the magazine published a “briefing” on a number of Noah’s Ark projects being built around the world. Our evangelistic Ark Encounter project (a full-size, all-wood Ark to be built south of Cincinnati) was on its list, of course — but Christianity Today literally didn’t do its research about our Ark or our Creation Museum.
Okay, so what’s the real story? Let’s read on to see what Hambo says:
Now, our museum revenues have not declined. They are consistent with last year and are above our projections for this fiscal year (about to conclude).
We know doubletalk when we see it. What does “consistent with last year” mean? The same? Nearly the same? Lower, but only 10% lower? Hambo doesn’t tell us. And what does it mean that revenues “are above our projections for this fiscal year”? Who cares about projections? What are the revenues? And while we’re at it, what’s included in that vague term “revenues”? Is that ticket sales at the museum? Receipts at the museum’s gift shop? Zip line receipts? Could it also include a few one-time contributions? Some real numbers prepared by reliable accountants would be very helpful, but we’re not given any numbers. Hambo continues:
For all of AiG, our revenues are up from last year. But did the reporters at Christianity Today ever contact us at the Creation Museum and Answers in Genesis to ask us about our museum revenue or Ark fundraising? No, they didn’t, and yet this Christian magazine that claims that it is a trusted source says that museum revenues have declined.
What does it mean that revenues (whatever that expression includes) are up “for all of AIG?” A fuzzy formulation like that could very well mix ticket sales with Ark contributions. Maybe not, but the lack of specifics doesn’t help to quell doubts. It actually fuels them. So what are the numbers? Here’s more from Hambo:
Also, had they contacted us directly about Ark donations, CT would have learned that funding is steadily coming in for the Ark Encounter. Instead, CT used old figures.
Ah yes, “funding is steadily coming in.” How much this year? How much last year? Real numbers are necessary here to counter the bad publicity, but we’re not given any. Hambo then spends several paragraphs criticizing CT‘s sources, but he still doesn’t present any financial specifics. Moving along, Hambo complains:
Meanwhile, people are contacting us — after reading false reports on blogs and websites — and asking if the museum is in trouble. We wonder if there will be many people who may now re-think giving to the evangelistic Ark outreach because of this false information.
That could happen. Bad news tends to snowball. The best way to rebut it is to publish the actual numbers, but that isn’t happening. Ah, now Hambo lashes out at his enemies:
In recent times, we have seen a concerted effort by secularists who are so opposed to AiG that they spread such misinformation concerning revenue and attendance about the Creation Museum, Ark Encounter, and AiG in general.
Hambo goes on quite a bit more, and finally he finishes with this:
I urge you to prayerfully consider supporting the Ark Encounter project — we hope that once it’s built, it will stand as a beacon of light in a dark world.
To make matters even worse for ol’ Hambo, now there’s an article about all this in WorldNetDaily: Magazine in hot water over Noah’s Ark, sub-titled “Christianity Today blasted for coverage of Creation Museum.”
WND tells about the conflict between Hambo and Graham’s magazine, and they quote what Hambo said, but they don’t give any actual figures because it seems that nobody has any. Well, Hambo has the numbers, but he’s not disclosing them — at least we haven’t seen any links to where they can be found.
It looks to us like the rumors about Hambo’s financial problems won’t be going away. Hambo can blame “the secularists” (like Billy Graham’s magazine, Fox News, and WND) all he likes. He can even blame your humble Curmudgeon, although we’re merely reporting what’s already in the news. Hambo can stop the rumors, and the only way to do that is to publish the numbers — the real numbers, so the truth will be known. Until that happens, the rumors will continue.
Copyright © 2013. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.