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Angel Flight 44, The Money

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Angel Flight 44, The Money

(Last updated March 29, 2011)

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In this post, we will analyze the evidence and use some inductive reasoning to see what types of AF-44-related funds likely came into KCM as a result of these promises made by Kenneth Copeland. You can then compare my figures with those KCM is trying to publish now, and consider which might be more realistic given the evidence.

In short, what I will do within this article is endeavor to explain why I believe that the original Angel Flight 44 related “cash intake” into Kenneth Copeland Ministries (KCM) was likely $2 to 4 million or more.

(Note: KCM attempted another fund raising effort in April 2010 for this same project, but I have not included any possible funds that they may have raised therein within this estimate above. There are just too many uncertainties in my mind regarding the potential success of a second attempt 3 years to the month later, to raise money for a project they did not complete the first time they promised it. So that effort could have added to the cash figure above, or it could have been a complete flop.)

In justifying that $2-4 million figure given above, I will explain in this article the three categories of cash intake that KCM received from that promised project.

Before beginning our journey herein, however, let me note that I am not only a preacher of The REAL Gospel, but also a person with a business background and have earned four business certificates from Cornell University—one of which is in Financial Management. Thus, I am reasonably qualified to do at least a little analysis of such issues.

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Follow the Money:

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In the famous book (and resulting movie) about President Nixon’s Watergate fiasco called, All The President’s Men, the mysterious informant tells reporters Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward to “follow the money” to get to the root of the scandal. Let us take a moment and do the same here, investigating three different but related revenues for Kenneth Copeland Ministries, derived from their failed AF44 promises:

  • Money donated that was specifically designated for the Angel Flight 44 ministry
  • New “partners” recruited, and money acquired in general offerings, as a result of the promises made about the new Angel Flight 44 ministry
  • The funds brought into KCM from their April, 2007 “partner letter” book giveaway, which alone I estimate to be $1.24 million at a minimum (based on figures that KCM staff told me personally).

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AF44 Designated Money:

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As will be discussed more specifically within the next post AF44’s Status in 2010, the official Angel Flight 44 website (www.angelflight44.com) has been up since the first quarter of 2007. This website is actually owned separately from KCM by Mr. Glen Hyde.

On the “Donate” page, AngelFlight44.com says the following:

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We truly appreciate your interest in becoming a partner with Angel Flight 44.

Angel Flight 44 is an auxiliary ministry of Kenneth Copeland Ministries, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit ministry, headquartered in Texas. Therefore, your gifts are tax-deductible under IRS tax code in the United States. Moreover, any seed you sow specifically towards Angel Flight 44 will be designated for Angel Flight 44 operations and projects. (KCM and Angel Flight 44 do reserve the right to redirect funds toward other humanitarian relief efforts as needed.)

What is even more exciting: God Himself will multiply your contributions and create a future harvest for you…and for those your gift will ultimately impact:

“Now he that ministers seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness…the administration of this service not only supplies the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God…” (1 Corinthians 9:10,12)

Online Giving Coming Soon.

All contributions being forwarded by mail can be directed to:

Angel Flight 44
C/O Kenneth Copeland Ministries
Fort Worth, Texas, 76192
USA

Please be sure to make your check payable to KCM, and write “Angel Flight 44” in the memo field.

God bless you, and thank you for supporting the ministry of Angel Flight 44.

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If for some reason that website gets taken down sometime after this article, Angel Flight 44, The Money, gets posted, then here is a PDF of the entire AngelFlight44.com website which was created January 23, 2010. It even includes images the two web pages that do not function at present (click to download):

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AngelFlight44.com Website PDF

Note: Adobe’s free Acrobat Reader 7.0 or higher is recommended to view the PDF .

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As was noted in the post The AF44 Miracle and Kenneth Copeland’s Promises, offerings began to be received into KCM—in conjunction with promises that a new Angel Flight 44 aviation humanitarian relief ministry had ALREADY been formed—at the 2006 Southwest Believers’ Convention (SWBC) in August of 2006. Additionally, copies of the new Angel Flight 44 book were given away at the January, 2007 KCM “Ministers Conference.” The January 2007 editions (English and Spanish) of KCM’s “Believer’s Voice of Victory Magazine” (BVOV) also promoted the new ministry, as did their March 2007 “Special Partner Edition” of the BVOV magazine, in which Kenneth Copeland went so far as to say:

You need several million dollars to build an airplane hangar and buy helicopters, airplanes, food and supplies for Angel Flight 44, your international aviation outreach that helps the needy in times of disaster… Those aren’t just outreaches of Kenneth Copeland Ministries. If you’re a Partner, they’re your outreaches too.

Finally, the April 2007 “partner letter” sent out from KCM also included promises about the new ministry, and an offer to receive a “free” copy of the newly published book, Angel Flight 44. (More on that in a moment.)

Some Questions:

  • Is it possible that people who read the book, or heard Copeland speaking at one of the aforementioned recorded services, or read one of the three BVOV magazines, came to the official AngelFlight44.com website? Yes, I know many did. When the book was first released to the partners, the website had very strong traffic (and I monitored the stats regularly back then).

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  • Is it possible that some of the visitors to that website decided to send in a donation directly to KCM as AngelFlight44.com’s Donate page instructed them? Yes, again, I know that some people did, for I heard of testimonies of people who were inspired to send in a donation, or who said they planned to (and I am sure there were more people than those I knew about).

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  • And very importantly: How much of the money that was INTENDED by donors to be invested into Angel Flight 44 was redirected into their substituted “Relief Fund” instead? While the “buzz” of the new ministry was still among the partners, KCM added the “Relief Fund” button to their website (instead of the promised AF44 button), and used pictures from the 2005 Hurricane Katrina relief missions to solicit donations thereon.

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This last point is VERY critical to think about with regard to Mr. Swisher’s ridiculous claim that only $7,788.43 came into the AF44-designated fund. In fact, I wrote Glen Hyde a private email about this troubling issue on July 19th, 2007, in which I explained:

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Glen,

After I got off the phone with you, I discussed our conversation with Donna. She explained the burden she has had over the AF44 issue of late, and pointed out a couple of facts that I was not aware of. First, that the KCM.org web site has a “KCM Relief Fund” banner on the website, but no mention of the AF44 ministry at all (although, Larry Roques’ picture is on the banner). Second, the BVOV magazine for August 2007 (which we just received recently) has an article about a couple in Slidell, Louisiana and Hurricane Katrina, with absolutely NO mention of the new AF44 ministry….

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“Donna” is my wife, and “Larry Roques” is the pastor of the church in Slidell, Louisiana which received most of the Katrina-related relief deliveries in 2005. So although people still had “Angel Flight 44″ related pictures put before them by KCM (while the promises of the new AF44 ministry were still ringing within their ears), the new “Relief Fund” was absorbing their donations instead of the ministry that was promised by Kenneth Copeland publicly and repeatedly.

This is blatant “bait and switch” behavior. If this had been done by a retail store like Walmart, it would be illegal, and charges would likely have been filed.

The Christian public—and especially KCM partners (including the former partners who gave towards AF44, like ourselves)—CERTAINLY deserve to see verifiable documentation of the Angel Flight 44 fiasco, especially in the light of the above “bait and switch” activities. We will NOT just take KCM’s “word” for it, as their behavior to date clearly demands that a public accounting be made to verify their claims.

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New Partners/General Offerings:

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In the KennethCopelandBlog.com post The AF44 Miracle and Kenneth Copeland’s Promises, we reviewed three videos and three KCM Believer’s Voice of Victory magazine editions. When you watch these videos and read these magazines, you can clearly see that their descriptions of the new Angel Flight 44 ministry were tied to offerings and donor recruitment. (We will discuss only two of the videos here for brevity’s sake.)

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More questions:

  • The first video on that post took place during the KCM donor recruitment service, known back in 2006 as “Increase Day” (though other outreaches of KCM were also featured within that same service).
    • Is it possible that some of those who answered the “call” to become partners with KCM—or even members of their “Elite-CX Team” preferred partner groupdid so at least in-part because of what they saw with regard to the Angel Flight 44 ministry that Copeland detailed?

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  • The second video on that post took place during the Friday evening service, wherein a special Angel Flight 44 presentation was made with standing ovations from the audience. Kenneth Copeland immediately began his offertory teaching thereafter, and mentioned the AF44 missions and new ministry again before instructing the ushers to receive the offering.
    • Is it possible that some people were motivated to give—or to give more than they might otherwise have—because of the stirring Angel Flight 44 presentation they had just witnessed?

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  • Again, ALL three of the BVOV magazines had the Angel Flight 44 ministry tied in some way to partnership with KCM, and the April, 2007 edition was even called the “Special Partnership Issue.” Kenneth Copeland was even so bold as to say in that issue, “You need several million dollars to build an airplane hangar and buy helicopters, airplanes, food and supplies for Angel Flight 44, your international aviation outreach that helps the needy in times of disaster… Those aren’t just outreaches of Kenneth Copeland Ministries. If you’re a Partner, they’re your outreaches too.” (Page 9)

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The very nature of the two services above and the three BVOV magazines clearly indicate that partner recruitment and the solicitation of offerings were tied to presentations about Angel Flight 44 in some way and to some degree.

Consequently, it is a reasonable use of inductive logic to assume: KCM’s overall increase in partners and donor contributions might have been at least partly due to the presentations given about the previous Angel Flight 44 missions and the promises Kenneth Copeland made about the new ministry that he said had “already” been formed.

Like Bernstein and Woodward, we have been simply following the money trail to see where it leads us. However…we have not talked about the BOOK giveaway yet, have we? Let us look at some real numbers for just a moment before we discuss conclusions…

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The Angel Flight 44 Book Giveaway:

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In the Angel Flight 44, The Book post, we reviewed extensive excerpts from the ORIGINAL edition attributed to (and approved by) Kenneth Copeland. We also discussed how a total of about 77,700 copies of Angel Flight 44: The True Story of Two Dedicated Pilots, a 60-Year-Old Airplane, and the Amazing Hurricane Katrina Mission That Birthed a New Aviation Ministry were given to the partners of KCM and ministers attending the 2007 KCM Minister’s Conference.

Again, the “Partner Letter” give away of the Angel Flight 44 book was directly tied to donations—the check box for requesting the book being right above the contribution amount blank on the donation form.

Moreover, let me explain to you some numbers about the BIG April 2007 “partner letter” giveaway that will clarify a few things:

  • KCM paid the publisher only $2.30 per copy of the 75,000 ordered for the April 2007 “partner letter” giveaway (but since 76,400 were delivered and no additional cost charged, their net price per book was actually about $2.26). They were given a ridiculously good deal (about 91% off the retail price) because the publisher actually allowed them to name their own price.
  • KCM staff told me that they typically get MORE offerings back when they give away products “for free” in their partner letters. I was told it varied, but typically $20 per product given was the minimum offering they received back from those requesting the “free” products. (They particularly like to give away DVDs and CDs because their total cost per product shipped is less than $1).
  • When we add postage, the envelope, and other direct expenses, KCM’s direct expenditure was still less than $4 per book requested.
  • Thus, a minimum of about FIVE times what they spent on the books probably came in to KCM with the donor cards checked to receive a copy of the book: That is likely a minimum of about $1.24 million as a return on investment (i.e. profit) JUST ON the approximate 77,700 books they “gave away.”
  • If KCM’s average rate of returned offering was higher than their normal $20 minimum, then those figures could climb quickly into multiplied millions of dollars received by KCM into their GENERAL FUND that can be attributed to their broken AF44 promises. For example: At $30/book, $2.02 million; at $40/book, $2.8 million; and at $50/book, about $3.6 million.

And again, as we already noted on our previous post, Angel Flight 44, The Book, we need to pay special attention to the following scanned image. Notice how the “gift” request check box was located DIRECTLY ON the KCM donation card mailed to KCM’s partners:

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(Click image to enlarge)

Donation card included with KCM partner letter

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So now add to the above book “give away” figures those funds that likely came into KCM’s general fund through AF44-related partner recruitment and general offerings, and you can readily understand why KCM’s published figure of only $7,788.43 is an absurd insult to the intelligence of Christian believers everywhere.

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Conclusions:

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So here is the summary of where I get KCM’s $2-4 million “cash haul” figure (at a minimum) regarding Kenneth Copeland’s promises about forming an Angel Flight 44 humanitarian relief fight ministry:

  • The “book giveaway” offered in the April 2007 KCM “partner letter,” which alone likely brought in a minimum of $1.24 million.
  • The new donor recruitment done at the 2006 SWBC meeting, and subsequently though the BVOV magazine in the first quarter of 2007.
  • The AF-44 designated funds, which are claimed by Stephen Swisher to be only $7,778.43 (though there is no documentation offered by KCM to support that claim).
  • The many “Relief Fund” donations which were likely given by people in expectation that they were to be used to develop the Angel Flight 44 ministry, but which were redirected in a “bait and switch” manner by KCM without any reasonable clarification about the change.

And as you can probably see within the categories above, I am actually being quite conservative with the $2-4 million figure.

It appears to me that KCM’s overall general budget (i.e. not merely the AF44-designated funds) almost assuredly increased as a result of their “Angel Flight 44 book give away” and donor recruitment efforts—to the tune of potentially millions of dollars.

Yet, the ministry does not FULLY exist today, and there has NEVER been a reasonable explanation why it does not.

(Note: There is a hastily formed “window dressing” of an AF44 ministry, put together in the first quarter of 2010 as a result of this website and our press releases. However, there have been no visible signs of any further development thereof, as was clearly promised by Kenneth Copeland. It is also not clear if Mr. Hyde’s Super DC-3 aircraft has received its 2011 annual inspection, which is required by the FAA for the airplane to be flown legally for humanitarian relief missions. So even the “window dressing” may not be operational any more.)

Since Kenneth Copeland promised the new Angel Flight 44 ministry, and since KCM has likely benefited financially from those promises, then it is the biblical and ethical thing to do to explain to the partners and Body of Christ WHY that ministry does not exist today—especially since millions of dollars were likely given to KCM in expectation of such a ministry being fully functional today.

To date, neither KCM nor Kenneth Copeland himself, have offered any explanation for their failure to carry through on their promises, nor have they made an honest public accounting of the money that was taken in. (And I have been trying for about four years to get them to come clean, first privately, and now publicly.)

Consequently, KennethCopelandBlog.com is publicly calling the Copelands to repent.

Let me also state again that a generic “Disaster Relief Fund” is no substitute for a fully-functional aviation support ministry. The earthquake victims in Haiti in early 2010, for example, would have preferred Copeland’s promised aircraft landing with food and water than KCM’s non-transparent distribution of their alleged “Disaster Relief Fund” (i.e. nobody really knows what money goes where, or if at all, for KCM is not certified by ANY third party financial accountability entity such as the Evangelical Counsel for Financial Accountability; and Wall Watchers’ MinistryWatch.com has given them a financial transparency grade of “F” for their lack of openness.)

Furthermore, I am sure the suffering Haitians appreciated the delivery of the medical supplies (likely donated by the McKesson Pharmaceutical Company). However, I am also quite sure that they would have liked it to show up sooner—rather than only after KennethCopelandBlog.com issued press releases exposing their apparent negligence and disregard for the suffering in Haiti.

I also do not doubt that KCM has “partners” on the ground helping in Haiti, as KCM has repeatedly stated—Operation Blessing International being one of them. I really do not doubt that they give money to those partners to help in such disasters. What I doubt is how MUCH of those funds donated by other people to KCM’s Disaster Relief Fund are properly used in this way…especially since it was not a “fund” but an aviation support ministry for humanitarian relief that they originally promised.

Lastly, it appears that this is NOT the first time KCM has conducted an apparent “bait and switch” campaign with donor funds, as Deja Vu (or “This Sure Seems Familiar”) discusses more fully.

To continue examining the Angel Flight 44 fiasco, proceed to the next post,  AF44’s Status in 2010.

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