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Good Thinking Investigates: Peter Popoff
Peter Popoff is a man few skeptics will need any introduction to, given his highly-publicised fall from grace following proof by James Randi that Popoff's divine insights came not from god, but from the earpiece he wore to communicate with his wife. Declared bankrupt in 1987, almost three decades on Popoff is back and making millions from his 'prosperity gospel' business.
Over the last seven months, we have been investigating ‘faith healer’ Peter Popoff and his highly-lucrative current business of promising to heal sickness and cancel debts in exchange for ‘seed faith’, in other words: cash donations.
Since March of this year, we have received 23 letters from Popoff, asking for donations totalling more than £1500. Each letter is designed to look highly-personal, but identical letters are sent to thousands of people, soliciting millions of pounds in donations.
In May we attended Popoff’s event at The Troxy Theatre, London, to covertly record his miraculous claims and supposed acts of faith healing, and to witness thousands of people donating large amounts of cash to his ministry. We witnessed Popoff supposedly curing sufferers of tumours, blood infections and arthritis in the 2000-strong crowd, as well as claiming to have cured cancer and HIV in the past.
Perhaps most interestingly, one audience member claimed to have been cured of incessant pain throughout her body, which has persisted for years - falling into a convulsive fit at the touch of Popoff's hand. We witnessed the same audience member earlier in the day, handing out official Peter Popoff pens. It seems possible that she was a member of Popoff's team, planted into the audience to give a dramatic example of Popoff's curative powers.
So far, our investigation has been featured in the Sunday Times and the Daily Mirror. We have also released a video summary of our investigation, showing Popoff's many letters and the healings he claimed to perform at the London event. We have reported our findings to the police for further investigation - we'll keep you updated of any developments.
Watch the full video summary of the investigation now >>