Peter Popoff
German-American televangelist
Peter Popoff
Peter Popoff is a German American televangelist, conman and self-proclaimed prophet and faith healer. He conducts revival meetings and has a national television program. He initially rose to prominence in the 1980s. He went bankrupt in 1987 after skeptics James Randi and Alexander (Alec) Jason exposed his method of receiving information about revival attendees from his wife via an in-ear receiver. According to Fred M.
Biography
Peter Popoff's personal information overview.
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Alarming Resurgence In Exorcisms
Huffington Post - about 3 years
There is an alarming resurgence in the age-old practice of exorcising demons. Dioceses across Italy and Spain are officially qualifying priests to perform exorcisms. In America, Pew Research data shows that 68 percent of the population believes angels and demons are active in the world. The legitimation of exorcism is far more frightening than supposed demons. It can lead to mistreatment of psychiatric illnesses, in more extreme cases death, financial exploitation of the vulnerable by con artists like Peter Popoff, and a mockery of religious healing which is about prayer and mediation, not medieval remedies to mental health issues. The Catholic Church attributes the rise in demonic cases to people dabbling in paganism, Ouija boards and black magic, but my sneaking suspicion is that mental health issues, along with the rise of fiction horror movie fantasies, are a more likely cause. The Church does readily admit that most of "those claiming to be possessed by the Devil are actua ...
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Huffington Post article
Parker Agrees to Acquire Velcon Filters to Strengthen Its Position in Aviation and Industrial Fuel and Process Filtration Applications - Press Releases
Business Review USA - over 4 years
CLEVELAND, Oct. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Parker Hannifin Corporation (NYSE: PH), the global leader in motion and control technologies, today announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire Velcon Filters, LLC, from The Sterling Group LP, a private equity firm. Velcon is a global market leader in the manufacturing of filtration equipment and replacement cartridges for the aviation, industrial fuel, and industrial process filtration markets.  Terms of the transaction were not disclosed and are subject to regulatory approval. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/19990816/PHLOGO ) Velcon reported sales of $115 million for the twelve months ended August 31st, 2012 and has approximately 300 employees globally.  The acquired company will become a part of Parker's Filtration Group.  Approximately 33% percent of revenues will be reported in the Industrial North America segment and 67% percent reported in the Industrial International segment. "This acquisition brings u ...
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Business Review USA article
'Top' psychics offered $1M to prove powers - CBC.ca
Google News - over 5 years
Randi, who gained fame for taking on televangelist Peter Popoff and Israeli spoonbender Uri Geller, said since the challenge was established, hundreds of psychics all over the world have taken up the offer. "Most of them have been convinced that they'd
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Google News article
Skeptics Issue $1 Million Psychic Challenge - Discovery News
Google News - over 5 years
James Randi has exposed such "psychic" techniques for years, including his 1986 investigation into TV faith healer Peter Popoff, who knew details of his audience members' lives, including their illnesses and home addresses. Randi showed that Popoff was
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Google News article
Jesus is my Rug of Choice - Patch.com
Google News - over 5 years
... Day prediction of May, and yes I feel a little silly about investing all my life's savings (a giant jar of pennies and a collection of Batman Returns trading cards) to that Peter Popoff “Miracle Water and Supernatural Debt Elimination” plan
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Google News article
Rhonda Callow Social-Medicine: a good or bad idea? - Sync (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Desperate people do desperate things – buying “miracle water” from Peter Popoff, for example. Although I'm all for support groups, I can't help but feel that a medical social network is a bad idea. Agree or disagree? Leave a comment and share your
Article Link:
Google News article
Basic paying to pay - Macon Telegraph (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
After making all these purchases you might need to seek some financial help from one Peter Popoff. He's anointed and appointed and will sell you something in an envelope sent by God himself to get you the money you deserve. It's called “miracle money”
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Google News article
Staged? Eddie Long Receives Huge Stack Of Cash In Church - News One
Google News - over 5 years
Peter Popoff (born July 2, 1946) is a German-born American. He claims to be a faith healer, and performs revival meetings on national television which include laying on of hands. His ministry US Ministry People United for Christ Inc is based in Upland,
Article Link:
Google News article
Can we not 'talk maturely, openly, and seriously about sex and fidelity' with ... - MLive.com
Google News - almost 6 years
... skip the self-help huckster. Go seek out a licensed marriage counselor, psychologist, or trusted member of the clergy. Expecting a second-tier Tony Robbins to help your marriage is akin to hoping Peter Popoff can cure your cancer
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Google News article
REVEALED: TRICKS OF THE TRADE - Express.co.uk
Google News - almost 6 years
The American TV evangelist Peter Popoff made his fortune in the Eighties by claiming to hear from God the names and illnesses of people in his audience and then to cure them by the laying on of hands. The magician-turned-debunker James Randi revealed
Article Link:
Google News article
Fake Exorcists From Broward Arrested - Broward New Times (blog)
Google News - almost 6 years
The exorcisms were performed via mail-order, in the style of the latter-day Peter Popoff. A prospective mark received a letter saying something to the effect of: "Beware! You are under spiritual assault! Send money immediately!" Some folks did
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Google News article
Nation of Cowards: Should Detroit really worry about a post-bin Laden terror ... - MLive.com
Google News - almost 6 years
Peter Popoff crossed with Charlie Manson. He convinced his followers that they would be rewarded in death as martyrs of God. When the Navy SEALS brought the fight to his doorstep, he hid behind his wife. Like a chump. When it mattered, he preferred his
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Google News article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Peter Popoff
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2015
    Age 68
    In September 2015, Michael Marshall of the Good Thinking Society documented Popoff's latest promises of "fabulous extreme fortune" and "miracles" in exchange for donations to his organization.
    More Details Hide Details At a recent London gathering, GTS filmed Popoff "healing" a woman supposedly "wracked with pain", though Marshall and a colleague had previously seen her—in no obvious distress—handing out pens and questionnaires to audience members. Soon after the "healing", they watched her quietly leave the room. Popoff's longtime assistant Reeford Sherrell, now calling himself Pastor Lee Sherrell, has also begun a televised Texas-based ministry. Like Popoff, he uses an offer of a religious trinket (in this case, a free prayer cloth) to compile an address list. Once a follower requests the prayer cloth and inputs his or her address, letters asking for money are dispatched. Popoff was collecting almost $4 million per year in the late 1980s, according to Randi. In 2003, his ministry received over $9.6 million, and in 2005, over $23 million. In that year, he and his wife were paid a combined salary of nearly $1 million, while two of his children received over $180,000 each. Financial data is not available for Popoff's ministry since 2005 because Peter Popoff Ministries changed from a for-profit business to a religious organization in 2006, making it tax-exempt. Popoff purchased a home in Bradbury, California, for $4.5 million in 2007. He drives a Porsche and a Mercedes-Benz.
  • 2012
    Age 65
    Popoff was also the inspiration for a character in the 2012 thriller film Red Lights, a psychic who uses information fed to him via a hidden earpiece to persuade the audience at his shows that he is receiving personal details psychically.
    More Details Hide Details The script includes Elizabeth Popoff's infamous line, "Hello Petey, can you hear me? If you can't, you're in trouble", almost verbatim. Heavy metal band Death's 1990 album Spiritual Healing was written in response to Popoff being outed as a fraud on The Tonight Show. Broadcasters airing his TV program include: WNYW, WWOR, The Word Network (US); VisionTV (Canada). Broadcasters no longer airing his TV program include: BET (US). Official and critical
  • 2009
    Age 62
    In 2009, Popoff began running advertisements in UK periodicals offering a free cross containing "blessed water" and "holy sand".
    More Details Hide Details The water, he claimed, was drawn from a spring near Chernobyl (site of the 1986 nuclear reactor disaster). Animals and humans drinking from the spring were purportedly spared radiation sickness. Responders to the ad received a small wooden cross bearing the inscription "Jerusalem" and a solicitation for donations, followed by numerous additional solicitation letters. Popoff continues to offer his Russian "Miracle Spring Water" on late-night infomercials in the US and Canada, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand. Respondents are promised miraculous protection from disease and disability, along with financial prosperity (which may include "divine money transfers directly into your account"), if they sleep with the water for one night before drinking it, then pray over the empty packet and send it back to Popoff—with a donation. Multiple solicitation letters follow, requesting more donations in exchange for miracles. Currently, Popoff's "People United For Christ" organization has a "Did Not Disclose" rating with the Better Business Bureau, indicating its refusal to disclose information that would enable BBB to determine adherence to its Standards for Charity Accountability. "Since making his comeback to television," BBB said, in its review, "Popoff appears to have resumed his faith healing sessions in a manner identical to his method prior to his exposure as a fraud."
  • 2008
    Age 61
    In 2008, the UK broadcasting regulator Ofcom issued strong warnings to broadcasters for transmitting Popoff's material, which the regulator felt promoted his products "in such a way as to target potential susceptible and vulnerable viewers".
    More Details Hide Details These programs included offers of free "Miracle Manna" that allegedly provided health and financial miracles.
    In July 2008, a Nanaimo, British Columbia resident was reimbursed by Popoff after she went public with her concerns over his fundraising tactics.
    More Details Hide Details Popoff was designated by the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF) as one of its recipients of the 2011 Pigasus Award for fraudulent practices, along with Mehmet Oz (from The Dr. Oz Show) and CVS Pharmacy. "Debt cancellation is part of God's plan", according to Popoff, who teaches that God will respond to prayer and seed-faith by providing financial blessing. Credit.com wrote a blog post concerning Popoff's claims. However, when Senator Chuck Grassley singled out six US televangelists for investigation regarding mishandling of finances, Popoff's ministry was not included.
  • 2007
    Age 60
    In May 2007, ABC's 20/20 focused on Popoff's comeback and explored the lives of a few people who felt cheated.
    More Details Hide Details Various other media outlets have run similar stories.
    A February 2007 Inside Edition segment reported that Popoff's new infomercials depict him "healing the sick" in a manner identical to his methods prior to James Randi's exposé.
    More Details Hide Details Victims were interviewed, including a married couple who charged that Popoff had taken "thousands of dollars" from them. Popoff refused to comment. "Flim flam is his profession," Randi explained to reporter Matt Meaghan. "That's what he does best. He's very good at it, and naturally he's going to go back to it."
  • FIFTIES
  • 1998
    Age 51
    In 1998, The Washington Post reported that Popoff was making a comeback, seeking to jump-start his ministry by repackaging himself for an African-American audience, buying time on the Black Entertainment Television network.
    More Details Hide Details Popoff, along with Don Stewart and Robert Tilton, received "criticism from those who say that preachers with a long trail of disillusioned followers have no place on a network that holds itself out as a model of entrepreneurship for the black community".
  • FORTIES
  • 1987
    Age 40
    His ministry's viewer ratings and donations declined significantly after the Carson airing, and in September 1987 he declared bankruptcy, listing more than 790 unpaid creditors.
    More Details Hide Details Popoff's attorney, William Simon, "attributed the collapse of his ministry to financial mismanagement more than to disclosures about Popoff." Jason's video footage was also aired on the NOVA episode "Secrets of the Psychics" in 1991. The episode was released on video as part of a lesson in critical thinking.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1986
    Age 39
    Popoff's methods were definitively exposed in 1986 by the magician and skeptic James Randi and his associate Steve Shaw, an illusionist known professionally as Banachek, with technical assistance from the crime scene analyst and electronics expert Alexander Jason.
    More Details Hide Details With computerized radio scanners, Jason was able to demonstrate that Popoff's wife, Elizabeth, was using a wireless radio transmitter to broadcast information that she and her aides had culled from prayer request cards filled out by audience members. Popoff received the transmissions via an in-ear receiver and repeated the information to astonished audience members. Jason produced video segments interspersing the intercepted radio transmissions with Popoff's "miraculous" pronouncements. Randi also planted accomplices in Popoff's audiences, including a man dressed as a woman whom Popoff "cured" of uterine cancer. Randi and Shaw recorded Elizabeth Popoff using a racial slur to describe an African-American audience member, and warning her husband to " keep your hands off her tits... I'm watching you." At another healing session, Elizabeth and her aides were heard laughing uncontrollably at the physical appearance of a man suffering from a terminal stage of testicular cancer.
    In 1986, the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry charged that Popoff was using electronic transmissions to receive his information; Popoff denied it, insisting that the messages were divinely revealed.
    More Details Hide Details Skeptic groups distributed pamphlets explaining how Popoff's feats could be accomplished without any sort of divine intervention. Popoff branded his critics "tools of the devil".
  • 1985
    Age 38
    In 1985 Popoff began soliciting donations for a program to provide bibles to citizens of the Soviet Union by attaching them to helium-filled balloons and floating them into the country.
    More Details Hide Details When skeptics asked him to prove that the money he had collected had in fact been spent on bibles and balloons, Popoff staged a burglary at his own headquarters. On subsequent broadcasts he tearfully begged for additional donations to help repair the damage. At the height of his popularity in the 1980s, Popoff would accurately announce home addresses and specific illnesses of audience members during his "healing sermons", a feat that he implied was due to divine revelation and "God-given ability".
  • TWENTIES
  • 1970
    Age 23
    Popoff married his wife Elizabeth in 1970 and the couple settled in Upland, California.
    More Details Hide Details He then began his television ministry that, by the early 1980s, was being broadcast nationally. His miraculous "curing" of chronic and incurable medical conditions became a central attraction of his sermons. Popoff would tell attendees suffering from a variety of illnesses to "break free of the devil" by throwing their prescription pills onto the stage. Many would obey, tossing away bottles of digitalis, nitroglycerine, and other important maintenance medications. Popoff would also "command" wheelchair-bound supplicants to "rise and break free". They would stand and walk without assistance, to the joyous cheers of the faithful. Critics later documented that the recipients of these dramatic "cures" were fully ambulatory people who had been seated in wheelchairs by Popoff's assistants prior to broadcasts.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1946
    Born
    Popoff was born in occupied Berlin (West Berlin) on July 2, 1946, to George and Gerda Popoff.
    More Details Hide Details As a child, Popoff emigrated with his family to the United States, where he attended Chaffey College and University of California, Santa Barbara.
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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