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February 28, 2007

Popoff pops up again

Back in the 1980s, Peter Popoff represented all that was honest and decent about faith healers. He placed perfectly mobile people in wheelchairs and then—Praise the Lord!—made them walk. He interpreted the hopes and dreams of audiences with help from his “God given ability” wife, radio transmitter and hidden earpiece. He promised the faithful that God would make them rich—a process that, inexplicably, involved sending large sums of money to Popoff. And he got exposed on network television, which bankrupted his ministry.

Popoff, of course, didn’t go personally bankrupt, and his Upland, California-based ministry survived. In 2005—the most recent year for which numbers are available—the ministry raked in more than $23 million from the godly gullible, and paid Popoff a salary of well over half a million dollars.

But hey, it costs real money to run a Porsche 911 convertible, so Popoff—now calling himself “Prophet Peter Popoff”—is out there flogging his miracle cures again:

A televangelist exposed as an alleged fraud 20 years ago on The Tonight Show has resurfaced with a new pitch, New York-based Inside Edition said Tuesday.
The man known as Popoff now claims to be a faith healer who offers free miracle spring water that isn’t free, and a bag of special sea salt, Inside Edition said in its segment on Popoff that aired Tuesday.
By following his instructions, including sending him money, the user will receive riches.
You see it’s not the water that releases the power. It’s the obedience to the instructions of the Prophet of God, Popoff said on his infomercial.
One couple said they spent $4,500 on the water and salt.
I just look back on it and think you know I’m a pretty stupid person, the husband told Inside Edition.

No argument there.

Should have bought the Divine Transfer Kit instead, complete with “Beautiful Cross Necklace Personally Brought Back From Israel By Rev. Popoff Filled with Holy Land Soil and Water.” A $390 value—yours as a “love gift” for only $89.99.

Posted by Stephen at 12:57 PM in Religion + cults | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

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