Ken Ham Keeps Getting Pounded

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.

add to del.icio.usAdd to Blinkslistadd to furlDigg itadd to ma.gnoliaStumble It!add to simpyseed the vineTailRankpost to facebook

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article

20 responses to “Ken Ham Keeps Getting Pounded

  1. I just wrote about creationist organization finances and provided a link to the most recent Form 990 filed with the IRS for AIG along with CMI and ICR. In those file you can see the revenue breakdown year over year and total contributions over the past 5 years. The real question is what will the 2012 990 form reveal but we are probably a few months away from having that become available. Donations have clearly slowed though some may be going to a new non-profit that has been set up to run the Ark adventure which will be a separate entity from AIG (well, not separate really but on paper they will be separate). Revenue is about 1/3 ticket sales, 1/3 donations and 1/3 books/videos/magazines etc.. http://thenaturalhistorian.com/2013/07/04/evaluating-the-state-of-creationism-creationist-finances-ken-ham/

  2. Ceteris Paribus

    Christianity Today says: “Later stages [of the ark park] would feature Babel and recreate a sinful antediluvian city.”

    Whooeee! Hey, Ken Ham, quit worrying about the construction schedule on your Ark, and pour your resources into that “sinful antediluvian city” project that is so close to your dark little heart.

    You get that little city up and running on I-75, and put up some suggestive bill boards for a couple hundred miles north and south of your freeway exit, and you will draw more cash customers to your park in one day than Bathsheba and her twin sister Salome on a three day romp on the roof.

  3. 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.

    Ho Hum. You see one Ark project, you’ve seen them all. Boooorrrring.

  4. Once again ol Yosemite Ham is left holding the keg o powder when the fuse runs down. What exactly would have prevented the universally revered K.Ham from contacting Christianity Today and politely asking for a correction notice reflecting their error? What publication doesn’t need to print a correction from time to time? Could it be the actual financial details that prevented him from doing so? A theo-feudal elbow fight at the donation trough possibly?

  5. docbill1351

    I remember the picture of the little kid who saved up coins enough to buy a peg and how Hambo the Con Artist, like Fagan, took the money and sent the tike out for more.

    All the money sent to Hambo by honest households and reverent little tikes will be squandered to support Hambo’s lifestyle and none of it, absolutely none of it will be returned when the project fails. And fail it will, of course.

    Zip lines at the Creationist Museum? How about a zip line from the Tower of Babel to the Ark? Just wait.

  6. It’s understandable why Hambo is so upset. Who wants to throw good money after bad? He realizes donations will dry up once people realize the Ark Park will never be built.

    He also realizes the only way to quell the rumors is to release actual figures — if indeed they are favorable. The fact that he hasn’t done so tells us the numbers must not be good.

    The only salvation for Ham is a very rich benefactor. He is not going to make it relying on kids giving him their piggy banks. Too bad. Like Ceteris Paribus, I’d like to see what he has in mind for his Sin City. Sinsinnati?

  7. The whole truth

    “and recreate a sinful antediluvian city”

    I’d like to get a job in that part of the park. 😉

    “I urge you to prayerfully consider supporting the Ark Encounter project…”

    In other words, give me your money, suckers.

    What does prayer have to do with giving hambo money? And isn’t there something in the bible about wealthy people not getting into heaven?

    If hambo’s god is so powerful that it can create and operate the universe, I wonder why hambo can’t get it to conjure up, at no cost, an ark and everything else hambo wants for his amusement park?

  8. Ken Ham: “Also, had they contacted us directly about Ark donations, CT would have learned that funding is steadily coming in for the Ark Encounter.”

    According to the “donation-meter” at arkencounter.com, there is indeed a steady trickle, but — relative to their ambitious goal — only a trickle. Monthly average for the last three months is some $ 140,000, with June as the weakest month since April (when I started making notes). They have raised nearly 13 millions, but the stated goal of 24.5 million is still FAR away (six years, at the current rate of donation).

    Can the project survive such a long delay? I’d say Ham’s only hope is to to attract very wealthy sympathizers who believe their entrance into heaven is assured if they only throw 10+ million in Ham’s direction.

    “We hope that once it’s built, it will stand as a beacon of light in a dark world.” Don’t tempt fate, Kenny! This sounds like an open invitation to an arsonist.

  9. Our Curmudgeon notes:

    It looks to us like the rumors about Hambo’s financial problems won’t be going away.

    In the eyes of a true Hambie, your statement here is proof you’re just jealous of Ol’ Hambo!

  10. Thank you, Natural Historian. I post the same information about the Discovery Institute, as it becomes available.

  11. anevilmeme

    A bible theme park is limited in what it can do. The Ark, Garden of Eden, The Parting of the Red Sea and Babylon are about the only 4 attractions it can have. The average American Christian never actually reads the Bible so those 4 stories are the only ones from the Old Testament they know anything about. Sounds like the fundie version of Westworld, but with zip lines.

  12. docbill1351

    Oooooh, don’t forget the exciting “Ten Plagues of Egypt” ride! I’m sure the children will love this one. According to an AIG spokesman,

    “The ride is not a thrill ride, it’s a seven to 11 minute ride through the nation of Israel, where visitors will see the plagues portrayed.”

    1. Plague of blood. Stinky river and rotten fish.
    2. Plague of Frogs. Uh, go figger, I mean, frogger!
    3. Plague of lice and gnats.
    4. Plague of Flies and Wild Animals. Killed all the livestock.
    5. Plague of Pestilence. Killed all the livestock AGAIN!
    6. Plague of Boils. The acme of acne.
    7. Plague of Hail. To smash the crops.
    8. Plague of Locusts. To finish off what the hail missed.
    9. Plague of Darkness. No light for only 3 days. WTF?
    10. Death of the firstborn. OK, now we serious.

    Actually, the “plagues” all sound like stuff that went on anyway at that time. I mean, nothing says Biblical times like lice and boils.

    Can you imagine ANY theme park with a ride like this? Not even the annual Haunted Houses are this gross. You have to wonder what kind of mental sickness old Hambo has to want to send people, and children, through something like this.

  13. He will surely also want a post-flood exhibit – a lovely rainbow over a dead landscape covered with rotting corpses.

  14. Ed proposes a compelling attraction for Hambo’s Creationist Theme Park:

    He will surely also want a post-flood exhibit – a lovely rainbow over a dead landscape covered with rotting corpses.

    Great–but sounds an awful lot like Jonestown…

  15. What Ham had planned for his Ark Park was also a creepy “Parade of the Animals” where the animals (Puppets?) are queued up and march into Noah’s Ark, while scoffers jeer at them. What’s creepy is that the scoffers are clearly stand-ins for modern-day evolutionists or atheists.

    It’s creepy because it reminds me of all those Passion Plays, like Oberammergau, where the whole point is that the Jews jeer at Jesus, mock him, scourge him, torture him, give him gall and vinegar to drink, etc.

    So Ken Ham’s plan was to create a Noachic version of a Passion Play, with Noah as Christ, and “Darwinists” as the Jews who jeer at his Christ-substitute.

  16. Mark Joseph

    Hmm, Hambo vs. Grahambo…

    It it beginning to look like the esteemed Mr. Ham is gradually crossing the line that separates pathological charlatanism from full-blown paranoia.

  17. Do yourselves the service of rolling over to PHARYNGULA, issue titled, “Hey, Ken Ham, don’t run away!”. Carefully read all entries under TIM HEYWOOD. Check against PZ.’s attempted reply. If chewing through that ‘free thought, enlightened, proposed mainstream science’ blog is too time-consuming, duck on over to AUSTRALIARISEUP dot com, go the the link, “Journey to the Thunderdome”.
    Mainstream science isn’t going to expire any time soon and it won’t be expiring at the hands of people so confused they can’t tell the difference between a thoroughbred and a skewballed donkey.

  18. Stephen Kennedy

    It is interesting that although it is now mid 9/13, the latest Form 990 for AIG is still the 2010 one showing financial results for the period ending 6/30/11. ICR and CSE have since issued more up to date 990s. Is it possible that there is bad news that they are reluctant to make public while trying to raise funds for the ark encounter project.

    I went to the ark encounter website and looked at how much they have raised to date, about $13.3, and found that this figure includes the revenue from “lifetime boarding passes” that they have sold since 2010. Based on figures for remaining passes still for sale and the listed price per pass, it appears that the amount collected through these sales amounts to more than $5 million or about 40% of the funds raised.

    It will be very interesting to see how they account for these prepaid sales on their now overdue Form 990 for 2011. If the ark encounter is never built AIG probably would have no legal obligation to pay back money that has been donated, but I do not see how, under the law, they could not be responsible for refunding this $5 million in prepaid sales. I think what is causing Hambo to get even more erratic lately is that the money collected has already been spent and AIG does not have anywhere near $5 million in liquid assets to make refunds.

    There seems to be only two ways out of this mess for AIG. One is they convince some billionaire that the only way he can get into heaven is by donating $10 million to AIG to build the ark and the other is the possibility that none of the thousands of true believers who purchased these boarding passes would actually sue AIG and risk eternity in the lake of fire.