Televangelist Peter Popoff’s ministry has reimbursed a Nanaimo woman after she went public with concerns about the fundraising techniques used by the California-based church.
The first story about the Popoff rip off and Josie Gurney appeared in the Nanaimo paper May 12th and was drawn to the attention of the Popoff headquarters in the US by a Canadian Word for the World (Popoff employee), who sent the original article to the California headquaters.
Her faith started turning to suspicion when she compared notes with her sister, and realized the letters were word-for-word the same. Then she saw a television documentary debunking the faith healer.
In the 1980s, Popoff was widely known for accurately guessing audience members’ home addresses and their illnesses, fueling belief he truly enjoyed divine revelation.
But in 1987 skeptic James Randy followed the evangelist across the U.S., eventually learning his assistants gleaned information from audience members before the show, then fed it to Popoff using FM radios transmissions to a receiver fitted in Popoff’s ear.
His ministry collapsed and went bankrupt within months of the news being revealed on the Johnny Carson Show.
Popoff is now back, and today he sells his message on late-night television.
Gurney was shocked when she learned the truth.
“I just feel awful, I feel stupid,” she said.
Hello Petey – the original Jame Randi exposure.
Peter Popoff disappeared after being found out and resurfaced again in 2007. He is on Canada’s Vision Channel, several US stations and is picking up air time all over the world.
Charity Navigator: Popoff is raking it in again. Breakdown of revenue growth, salaries, assets etc.
via: Religion News Blog
Update: Some time ago a 30 minute documentary was made on the Randi exposure of Popoff. A clip from it can be seen on YouTube. The film was made by Aron Ranen.
Update: A website has been set up to document Popoff’s scams, history, finances, companies, direct mailing operation (former Kelly Media employee talks about her employment with the Popoff’s family company), expensive homes etc. Parts of his website People United for Christ has now been blocked in Canada because of ongoing exposure and past investigation.
There are things Canadians can do, A few Global stations, Vision, and CHEX carry his informercial/services. A polite letter writing campaign will help get this fraud of Canadian airwaves and prevent him from conning more vulnerable Canadians.
His web on demand site in the US is no longer operational. ABC’s 2007 report and the Better Business Bureau information is also available on Peter Popoff: Pwn and Owned.