Peter Popoff is at it again

There are few men with the batting record of Peter Popoff. The man seems to have an innate ability to scam people out of their hard-earned money, and does so without breaking a sweat. He’s been largely free to bamboozle people out of their hard earned money using the best shield against rationality, responsibility and accountability: religion.

He began in the 70′s as a faith healer, racking up millions of dollars by making eerily accurate and dramatic “revelations” about his audience’s illnesses, until James Randi exposed him on Johnny Carson in 1986. Turns out Popoff was using a hidden ear-piece and his wife’s rather unprophetic reading of pre-filled prayer cards to make his convincing “miracles” happen. Shortly after, Popoff’s ministry went bankrupt, and he disappeared.

But much like the plague, which lies dormant until our collective immune system is once again primed for infection, Popoff has had a number of resurrections. He first started popping up in Canada in the late 90′s selling holy water he claimed could work miracles (he also said the water came from a magic source near Chernobyl where animals had no diseases).

Apart from selling snake oil, he’s now turned his sights to those in need of debt relief. His latest scam, which he heavily advertises on BET (black entertainment television), is to ask people to make donations, and in exchange promises to ask God to relieve their debt.

When asked to answer critics who say he takes advantage of desperate people, Popoff issued a written response.

“As for religious leaders calling me a fraud, that places me in good company,” Popoff said. “The religious leaders of Christ’s day called him a fake and a demon-possessed fraud. They went so far as to crucify Him. I have no time for my critics, I have a job to do and I’m doing it for God’s glory.”

God’s glory, so far, has netted his ministry roughly 24 million dollars a year, and allowed him to command a salary of more than half a million dollars.

It would be easy to stop this man were it not for the fact he is part of a whole industry of deceit and unaccountability. Prosperity gospels do very much the same thing he does, and the fact all of this is considered a form of religious expression means they aren’t doing anything illegal by lying to people in order to make money. After all, if you prosecuted every single preacher who took money from gullible people in exchange for some improvable supernatural blessing, every single God-pimp would be broke or behind bars.

So long as people continue to believe in absurdities without any critical thought, scumbags like Peter Popoff will enjoy all the luxuries afforded to them by such profound ignorance. You want to make people scam-proof? Start by teaching them enough critical thinking skills to see through the deception of religion. Otherwise, someone like Popoff will always be waiting to pounce on the weak minded and gullible.

Comments (12)

  • avatar

    Bruce

    Coming from FL and sorry for complete off topic but Jake, WHERE is Ryan?! Know you’re far from your old duties of poke prod, telling him he’s awesome, keeping that good ole self esteem up, but the dude hasn’t been around for a while and usually when he goes MIA like this he posts to say he’s MIA. Any info I can send back to the jackals would be appreciated. Thanks and look forward to hearing the next podcast.

  • avatar

    L.Long

    Popoff is a hero!
    Here is a guy who makes a fortune spreeing pure BS at incredibly STUPID people who not only believe this twit but pay him huge sums to pour BS into their skulls!
    This is a valued service. If you want to find some of the dumbest people around just go to one of his gatherings and take the names of the people there.
    How long would someone like Popoff or the pope or any other con man last if people used the minds and THOUGHT for a change? They’d be laughed out of business. They all are a valued service of pointing out the ignorant.

  • avatar

    greenseed

    what Bruce said…. is Ryanlinker dead or in prison?

  • avatar

    Jeff Swenson

    I’m glad to see more people are writing about this. I want to call BET Entertainment out until they actually feel embarrassed.I understand networks make compromises on infomercials as many of the products are bogus diets or exercise equipment, but Popoff is taking advantage of BET’s core audiences who go to church and are susceptible to this stuff. Disgusting.

  • avatar

    Zach

    This guy gives real Christians a terrible name. It makes me sick that he is actually manipulating people, in the midst of their own personal suffering, with promises of wealth, love, and health. It’ll all come back and bite him in the ass someday.

  • avatar

    Simmy

    What made me more susceptible was the testimony coming from the people on the program. I don’t think they are paid, so what gives about their results?

  • avatar

    Bruce

    Just another white man scamming off the blacks, am shocked that Reverand Al isn’t all over this making it out to be a form of hate crime. However, with little doubt most of the worlds problems can be traced back to religion and that magically trickster in the sky that never seems to be around to fix any of the problems. So long as the masses keeping going back to that opium known as religion, people like Popoff will be there to turn a buck, and well if I believed in the stupidity of hell, I’m sure Popoff would be headed there

  • avatar

    Jerica

    I live in Georgia. I decided to go out on my faith to see if the Lord had been working through this man to speak to me. I have until April to see if what has been told to me is true. I have faith and the bible states that all you need is faith the size of a mustard seed. I believe and if I am wrong for believing then I guess we can, I can call it a lesson well learned.

  • avatar

    Donald Westinghouse

    He’s so fucking entertaining. I hope he never disappears. That will mean less hours of entertainment for me.

  • avatar

    Donald Westinghouse

    BTW, racist piece of shit Bruce, why don’t you drop the “oppressed” bullshit already? Stop blaming whitey for your race’s shortcomings, racist faggot.

  • avatar

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