Peter Popoff has been scamming people for decades
Do you feel like you’re naive sometimes? Hopefully you’re not naive enough to fall for those televangelists who promise salvation to those who just send them a check in the mail. And yet, so many Americans give thousands, even millions of dollars to those guys you see in the Saturday morning infomercials. Even when they get called out for defrauding people, they still roll around in cash piles on the floors of their mansions. Doesn’t sound too Christian to me.
Peter Popoff is just one of a handful of successful conmen, even after he got caught.
The Making of a False Idol
He seemed like a miracle man that was granted God-given powers to heal the sick and the poor of their ills. Peter Popoff started his ministry in the 1970s in California, and his powerful performances—where he would exorcise demons from people in order to heal them of everything from immobility to heart disease—became so popular that his show went on to be broadcast nationwide.
Drowning in Dollars
His show was so popular that people loved sending him money for his service to them. His ministry was collecting millions each year by the height of his fame in the ’80s.
But not everyone was convinced by his mighty abilities, so they started a campaign to expose him as a fraud.
Laying On of Hands
People were especially suspicious of his healing talents. Peter would wade into his massive, enthusiastic audiences saying that he was receiving messages from God about who needed help that day. He would know their names, addresses, and issues before ever even meeting them, and they were shocked.
Then he would lay his hands upon them to bless them so that their problems would disappear. Some people would rise out of their wheelchairs and start doing cartwheels in the aisle.
His showmanship was flawless, but soon all of his believers would learn that it wasn’t God that Popoff was listening to…