April 16, 2011, Upland, California]------It's astonishing what some will believe in and criminal what others would do to take advantage of that naivete or vulnerability.
I was flicking through television channels one night when I couldn't believe what I stumbled upon. Peter Popoff, a fraudulent, snake-skins selling salesman of a preacher whose house of cards came crashing down around him when his fake healings were exposed in 1986.
Popoff had a sweet scam going. He pretended to heal sick folks in his People United For Christ church: pretended to know intimate details of their lives through God when all the while the only 'god' who was speaking to him was his wife Elizabeth, through a secret microphone hidden in his ear.
After the fraud hit the airwaves, you would think that was the end of Popoff's 'pimping in the pulpit.' In fact, he should have been prosecuted for fraud because he made millions off his deceptions.
Fast forward to today, over 3 decades later and unbelievably, Popoff is till peddling his wares on televisions across the U.S and beyond. He reportedly broadcast in numerous countries around the world as well, still preying on vulnerable folks, pimping his holy oil and promising to get rid of his believers debt through pray and a little donation at first then a sizable one later.
A majority of his gullible followers are African Americans and to my surprise BET has sold spots to this fraud to peddle his scam to folks desperate for help with their debt.
There is reportedly no proof that this man is even a real reverend for no one can seem to find any records to substantiate his claim.
Meanwhile, Popoff and his family, wife Elizabeth and children Amy, Alex and Nicholas are raking in the dough, almost $24 million in one year in the U.S. alone. No one knows just how much they are really making all around the world with his Peter Popoff Ministries.
Why would anyone still listen to this man after he was exposed as a fraud? People in other parts of the world may not have heard about his 'sinful' deeds but what excuse do his ffollowers in the U.S. have?
Plus, why isn't he in jail? Why hasn't the Federal government gone after this man, who still operates as a pastor, enjoying the 50% deductible limitation reserved for charities by the IRS?