Copeland’s Financial “Titanic” is Sinking Faster
(Updated and dramatically expanded July 3, 2011): This is an important update post for all our advocates because we have two sets of major developments to share with you:
First, as many of you may have heard by now, there is a new CBS “Inside Edition” investigative report about Kenneth Copeland which aired this past May 24th, 2011. The investigative team did a great job exposing the lavish lifestyle and hypocrisy of Kenneth Copeland (and to a lesser degree, Creflo Dollar). If you have not already watched this excellent report, then we highly recommend that you do so by clicking on the following still image from the program:
One of the most interesting things Copeland did within the video above was when he was caught lying to the reporter toward the end of the news report. The video shows Kenneth claiming that, “we are open…” (i.e. transparent, honest, have nothing to hide, etc.). But when the reporter asks two legitimate and sincere questions, “Why do you need a fleet of jets [when] you are a minister?” and “How many jets do you have?” Kenneth demonstrates how “open” he really is by barking back, “That is NONE of your business!” and storming off in a rage.
Of course, Kenneth is merely demonstrating why Kenneth Copeland “Ministries” (KCM) has an appalling “F” transparency grade with MinistryWatch.com when he does such hypocritical things. Seeing him getting caught lying on camera merely helps to emphasize the fraudulent and deceptive nature of that organization (which we have documented repeatedly on this website within many posts).
So the above video is a very well-done investigative report of the Copelands’ lavish lifestyles and systemic deceit. Nevertheless, despite the fact that the Copelands obviously “live large” (as Deborah Norville stated within the video above) by devouring the wealth and income of their ignorant supporters, things are NOT really at all that well financially at KCM these days, as my next point explains…
Evidence That KCM’s “Titanic” is Sinking
As we explained within our highly publicized press release from August 6, 2010, Why is Kenneth Copeland Desperate for Donor Cash?, things are not going all that well at the Copeland-Corral near Fort Worth, Texas. Behind the high security fence surrounding the cult’s compound, it would seem that their supposed financial “battleship” is turning out to be another “Titanic” that will soon head toward the ocean’s floor.
Before we move on to view the latest information, will will first review older evidence that the financial “ship” of Kenneth Copeland “Ministries” (KCM), a.k.a. Eagle Mountain International “Church” (EMIC), as been “taking on water” since 2008.
Note: We and our many advocates consider the words “ministries” and “church” to be merely alleged by the Copelands, as it has become demonstrable that they are really “wolves in sheep’s clothing” and not biblical ministers. Therefore, we put those words in quotation marks whenever citing the various names of their family business (a.k.a. “ministry”).
Kenneth Copeland boasted on January 23rd, 2008 that he is personally a billionaire. He continued, “Now don’t tell them senators about this…the last accounting of it, this has been two, three years ago…there would probably be at least another $150 million added to this, because our income last year  was over $100 million..there has been over $1.3 billion come into this ministry.” That totals $1.45 billion by 2007.
However, shortly after the Senate Finance Committee investigation and U.S. economic recession began in late 2007, evidence emerged that suggested strongly that their financial position had changed dramatically:
- Kenneth Copeland started sending his children, grandchildren, and in-laws, out in 2008 to churches and conference around the country to rally support for KCM.
- On March 11, 2008, KCM announced that they were relocating their “West Coast Believer’s Convention” (WCBC) to Long Beach, California for their 31st WCBC annual event after a previous 30-year run in Anaheim, CA. This was probably a cost-cutting measure, given the very high expense of holding meetings the Anaheim area.
- However, their 32nd such convention in 2009 proved to be their last, as they quietly cancelled the WCBC entirely! This would seem to be a consolidation of their summer conventions into the single centrally-located “Southwest Believer’s Convention” (SWBC) in their hometown of Fort Worth—which would be significantly cheaper to maintain, given the fact that most of their staff and equipment is local. They also moved this event earlier in the vacation season from its previous slot in August to early July, in order to use the former WCBC time slot instead for Texas. (Note: This year’s SWBC runs from July 4 – 9, 2011; and the 2012 SWBC is tentatively scheduled for July 2-7, 2012.)
- Soon after, KennethCopelandBlog.com began in early 2010 to publicize and document some of the probable frauds committed by KCM in regard to their Angel Flight 44 multimillion dollar deception and subsequent Haitian earthquake relief failures. Almost immediately, there was a significant increase in Copeland family appearances on Christian television shows; and new “Behind the Mission” donor recruitment conferences were scheduled in cities around the United States. It would seem that financial panic was driving their expanded itinerary.
And now for the more recent points of interest…
It’s Sinking Even Faster Now…
Additional information has been coming to light of late. Brave and honorable whistle blowers have contacted us here at KennethCopelandBlog.com to inform us of issues related to the fact that the financial “Titanic” of KCM appears to be “sinking” even more quickly.
According to our informants, toward the end of 2009, KCM was already about two million dollars in dollars in debt about the time Craig Atnip departed from the executive staff and moved to Georgia.
- We were also informed by a whistle blower that in March of 2010, John Copeland called a staff meeting within the KCM “chapel” building. At one point he reportedly said to the employees, “We are all family here, right? So please keep this confidential because we don’t want this getting out into the media.” John then informed them that the alleged “ministry” was about $4 million in debt.
These two reports from our whistle-blowers also seems to be substantiated by KCM’s own behavior:
- For example, in August of 2010, KCM drastically reduced their media budget by almost completely eliminating their Sunday BVOV television broadcast. They simultaneously renegotiated many of the weekly broadcasts onto the cheapest station within that viewing area, as this whistle-blower informed us:
Yes, I am referring to the Lansing/East Lansing, MI area. I recorded BVOV every morning on WLAJ-TV here at 6:00 a.m. to watch when I got home from work at night. This week, it was replaced with infomercials. Also, this past Sunday on BVOV on another local channel, WSYM, Fox 47, there was a crawler that said that BVOV would no longer be seen on WSYM after August 29th. I’ve asked the other local stations, and I don’t find anyone picking it up, for the first time in my memory that BVOV won’t be on in our local area. It is still listed on the KCM site as being on WLAJ, but that is not accurate. I do read your blog and remembered what you had written about the sudden appearance of these “Behind the Mission” meetings, and drop in donations, and wonder if that is why BVOV isn’t being broadcast locally , at least for this Fall. Thank you for all the factual information you are providing about the Copelands in your blog. It is greatly appreciated.
And then a few days later this same whistle blower explained:
I noticed this morning that the station that is dropping the Sunday BVOV, effective 8/29, has apparently picked up the daily broadcast on it’s station at 8:00 a.m….This is not reflected on the KCM website, and no one still has picked up the Sunday broadcast that this same network dropped.
Of course, KCM had to explain this sudden BVOV broadcast shuffle to their viewing audience. Citing alleged and unpublished “extensive surveys” of KCM’s “partners and friends” (which nobody has ever received to date according to the now-former KCM partners that we have heard from), KCM actually tried to spin this obvious cost-cutting effort as a benefit to their partners. However, this brings the following question into focus:
If (and this is a big “if”) KCM is a real Christian “ministry,” and their BVOV broadcasts are filled with genuine teaching from God’s Word, then how could they justify such cancellations as some sort of a “benefit” to their viewing audience when they are reducing the amount of “beneficial” programming that people can watch?
Obviously, they cannot. It was surely a cost-cutting effort—a fact which the relocation of their weekly broadcast to another local station also seems to attest. Gloria Copeland’s brother owns the media company that negotiates their air time purchases, and it would seem they put him on an emergency budget reduction effort in order to help save their financially sinking “Titanic.”
(Rich Note: Among other things, I have a Certificate in Financial Management from Cornell University; so my analysis of KCM’s behavior is founded upon copious facts—some of which we must keep confidential in order to protect our sources—as well as upon educational expertise.)
You can read KCM’s press release “spin” on these issues by clicking on the following image:
- Additionally, on September 23, 2010, KCM forced over two dozen veteran employees to resign. The employees are known to have ranged in tenure from as little as 8 years to as much as over 30 years of service. One of our whistle blowers wrote:
[One woman] has worked there 21 years and just bought her first home in April [of 2010]…she is a single mom with a heart of gold…another person…was [similarly] let go – 30+ years [working for KCM].
This group of about 20 employees were all brought into the executive offices of KCM on the same day, to meet with John Copeland. Several others were separately marched about that same time into the Human Resources department, to be told instead by an HR manager.
Regardless of which “messenger” brought the “love message” to them, however, each of them were told the “reasons” they were then considered “sub standard” or “unacceptable” for employment at KCM (i.e. the trumped-up reasons why they were being forced out of employment). They were then “offered” four-month severance pay packages under the condition that they would sign draconian confidentiality agreements that prohibited them from talking with the media or anybody else (such as the founders of this website, KennethCopelandBlog.com). A PDF made from scanned copies of one such agreement can be downloaded by right-clicking on the following image, and saving the target file to your computer:
If you read the “terms” you will see that KCM expected them to sign away nearly every right afforded to them by the U.S. Constitution, Federal law, and Texas State laws. Understandably, the employees were experiencing a mix of shock and feelings of betrayal, coupled with fear for their own financial futures. Under such high-pressure circumstances, all the employees that we are aware of accepted the “terms” within a few days (many on the spot) and actually signed the above agreement in order to receive their four more months of pay and flee the madness.
The legality of such a draconian contract is certainly questionable, but what is known are the fear tactics used by KCM to pressure them into signing such an agreement: They would be “sued” by the “ministry” and forced to return the four-months severance pay, if they talked to us, the media, or anybody else, about this situation.
Adding further insult to injury, these employees were replaced and their positions were not eliminated. Almost as soon as the door hit these veteran employees on their backsides, new employees hired at roughly $8/hour stepped in to fill their shoes. In short, the higher-paid veteran employees were run out of KCM so that cheaper labor could replace them, thus cutting the KCM/EMIC payroll budget. (Of course, nobody seems to know if the Copelands and their family volunteered to take any pay cuts to help alleviate the payroll expenditures. However, most people knowledgeable about the situation have expressed doubt that the Copelands ever did.)
- The very next day, John Copeland (who conducted the meeting in which the 20 employees who were fired in the executive offices) hopped into the family jet (commonly referred to as the “ministry” jet) to join his parents at an invitation-only golf tournament at the ritzy Waldorf Astoria resort. This was not a publicized event; and the Facebook posts made by a couple of people who attended seem to suggest that this was likely a fundraiser:
The references to KCM, “partners,” and explanations KCM’s “outreach,” tend to all suggest a “soft sell” tactic being used to “wine and dine” the attendees in order to raise money at this private golf tournament, held at a ritzy resort in Florida.
Thus, in summary, the following financial details about KCM’s financial Titanic seem to be validated and verified:
- KCM was likely about $2 million in debt by the close of 2009. (Note: KCM is known for teaching “how to live debt free” supernaturally, and they consider debt in all forms to be under “the curse of the law.”)
- KCM’s debt had increased to about $4 million by March of 2010.
- Drastic television/media budget reductions were made in August of 2010 in an obvious effort to offset budgetary shortfalls.
- Payroll expenses were cut in September of 2010 (and probably at other times also) by replacing higher-paid veteran employees with lower-wage workers. (Note: We have been informed that the veteran employees ALSO lost their retirement benefits through this action, thus reducing KCM’s retirement expenditures as well.)
- A private Waldorf Astoria golf tournament was held immediately after the axing over 20 employees, in what appears to be a fundraising effort.
- And all of the above suggests that KCM revenues through donations and product sales have fallen drastically from their 2007 high of “over $100 million” (as stated by Kenneth Copeland at the 2008 Minister’s Conference).
In short: The “godfather of prosperity” is going broke…and that, very quickly.
But is this in agreement with Kenneth Copeland’s “prophecies” about prosperity?
Ironic Proph-e-Lies (i.e. False Prophesies)
Kenneth Copeland “sells” himself as a “prophet” of God. Considering the content of his “prophecies” however, many people consider him as just making those things up out of his own head. Even a supporter of Kenneth’s that emailed me said, “I think that Kenneth ‘thinks’ that he is a prophet.” (Whenever a “spirit” does seem to manifest through him, however, the often heretical content of these prophesies tends to suggest that it is NOT the God of the Bible that is speaking through Kenneth at such times. Thus, that would qualify him as a false prophet if he is a “prophet” at all.)
Regardless, around the turn of nearly ever year, Kenneth kicks things off with the latest “prophecies” about the New Year. Ironically, he seems to be right on some of these…but NOT in the “positive” ways that he seemed to originally intend:
- Kenneth declared on November 11, 2006, that 2007 would be “The Year of the Open Door.” This turned out to be true, in a rather bizarre twist of irony:
- Senator Grassley and the Senate Finance Committee “opened the door” in November 2007 on the SFC investigation of six televangelists; KCM was one of those subjected to this public scrutiny.
- In the previous month of October, the stock markets began their precipitous fall, as the “flood doors” of Wall Street began to burst and put systemic pressure on the world’s financial systems…to include KCM’s own budget.
- Then Kenneth declared on December 31, 2007, that 2008 would be “The Year that the Lord has Designed.” That sort of turned out to be true too:
- KCM revenues began to fall significantly, as the economy weakened ever more—and more negative media exposure came to KCM. This seemed to demonstrate God’s “designed” judgment upon that errant organization.
- We launched KennethCopelandBlog.com in October 2008 at the Lord’s direction and according to the design that He put in our hearts. (Though this website is certainly not perfect, it has proven to be quite effective, and has been blessed by the Lord.)
- Of course, 2009 was supposed to be the year that “The Glory Will Shine.” That one had some ironic fulfillment too:
- KCM’s revenues fell even more, until they were about two million dollars in debt by the year’s close.
- Long-time KCM executive, Craig Atnip, “jumped ship” off of KCM’s sinking Titanic.
- KCM shut down the West Coast Believer’s Convention in 2009 after 32 continuous years of annual meetings, and has never had one again.
- Kenneth then seemed to be running out of steam trying to get the “year” prophesies right. So in 2010 he waited until August to tell everybody, “Everything is Going to Be Alright!” Of course, several things were going on at the time, and one has to wonder if he was just proph-e-lying again…or trying to encourage himself that things might get better:
- KennethCopelandBlog.com began to issue press releases in January 2010 to draw attention to KCM’s frauds.
- Christian Today reports on AF44 controversy in February 2010.
- John Copeland told KCM employees in March 2010 that KCM/EMIC was about four million dollars in debt.
- The BVOV broadcast budget was slashed in August 2010.
- Veteran employees were “axed” in September 2010.
- And an invitational golf tournament was organized that same month—seemingly to raise funds.
- Now Kenneth has decided to cover all his bases. So on November 11, 2010 he proph-e-lied that in 2011 “It will be a time of changes. It’ll be the best of times and it’ll be the worst of times.” (Well, that about covers it all, does it not?)
(Click here to see the list of Copeland’s “best” proph-e-lies, i.e. those that the KCM staff lets you read, and not the weirder ones…some of which we may publish later for them.)
The Bow is Going Down
Anyone who has seen images of the Titanic as it sank have likely seen pictures of its bow starting down into the water, its stern (back of the ship) rising up into the air with all the lights on, and life boats frantically rowing away to avoid being pulled under by the suction once the ships final dive began. Everyone with any sense could see what was about to happen. However, meanwhile, the band played its music and the songs continued on board until the inevitable began.
Similarly, KCM seems to be close to the inevitable.
In truth, the entire foundation of the Copeland financial empire is a religious fraud, coupled with an illusion:
- The false doctrine of instant riches through “seed sowing” is the fraud they sell to greedy and/or desperate people, who are looking for a quick fix to their money problems. People buy KCM products, attend KCM/EMIC meetings, and “sow their seed” into KCM’s rotten “ground” and hope in vain for a “harvest” with which to pay their bills—or even to fund their own opulent lifestyles. Meanwhile, only the Copeland family’s lavish living continues to be funded through this scam, while the people who gave are generally only poorer for their “donations.”
- The illusion is that the Copelands live large by their own “seed sowing,” and that their opulence is because of their “giving.” This is what sustains the money-machine for the family. Thus, the need to hide any and all financial “hiccups” KCM experiences is extreme, because once the public finds out that it DOES NOT WORK for the Copelands as advertised, then the money spigots will immediately turn off completely—and the “Titanic” will begin its dive for the ocean floor.
And as the word spreads regarding these facts, the donations and products sales will dry up even quicker, accelerating the inevitable financial collapse of KCM as their failed “prosperity gospel” becomes more and more obvious to the Christian public.
Since the Copelands and their “wolf” friends do not seem to be very enthusiastic about repenting of their multiplied lies, frauds, and heresies, then it would seem that such a collapse would certainly be best for the Body of Christ because it would eliminate at least one “wolf den” from the scene.
We also encourage everyone who reads this to spread the word throughout the Internet. Please consider using the “Tell Others About This Article” features within the column to the right, or the “Share/Save” button below, to notify others of these developments. You can also “re-tweet” and “like” this article using the special buttons at the top and bottom of this page. The more these issues are exposed publicly, the quicker the frauds. lies, and heresies, of KCM will come to an end.
Our sources have told us that KCM was operating just barely in the “black” prior to the Inside Edition investigative report posted above. That means that after all their cost-cutting and donor recruitment efforts, their inflows (revenues) were just barely enough to cover their outflows (expenses). Thus, it is probable that KCM still has much of those multiplied millions of dollars of outstanding debt.
And with the recent CBS report above and our own continuous efforts here on KennethCopelandBlog.com, we believe that their precarious financial position is already plummeting downward once again.
Again, the more these issues are exposed publicly, the quicker the frauds. lies, and heresies, of KCM will come to a very inglorious end.
Lastly, Donna and I would like to express once again our sincere gratitude to all our advocates. Your personal notes to us—and willingness to spread the word about this website so far and wide—has been a real source of encouragement. Thank you.
Always in Jesus,
-Rich & Donna Vermillion