Over the last six 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. In May of this year 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.
Today’s Daily Mirror features a report on our six-month investigation into ‘faith healer’ Peter Popoff. As the paper reports:
Is the old charlatan “Reverend” Peter Popoff returning to his wicked ways?
The American snake oil salesman has been in the UK, churning out begging letters and holding a rally to heal the sick.
Among those “cured” at the latest London gathering was a woman who said her body was wracked with pain.
Popoff laid his hands on her and yelled “Back to the pits of hell”, apparently with remarkable results. But was it all it seemed?
Among the audience members was Michael Marshall of the Good Thinking Society, a charity that promotes rational debate.
“The woman he ‘healed’ had a convulsive fit when he touched her on the head,” said Michael.
“But she seemed to be part of his team, she was handing out pens and a questionnaire at the start, which leads us to believe that it is possible she was a plant.
“If she was part of their team, they should have been open about this, but just before the ‘healing’ she came out of a row of seats in the auditorium as if she was just another member of the audience, and left soon afterwards.”
The full Daily Mirror article can be read online and in today’s print edition.
Our six-month long investigation saw Popoff attempting to persuade us to give him over £1000, sending dozens of letters along with all manner of ‘miracle items’, which were also sent to thousands of other people:
In May 2015, Popoff appeared at the Troxy Theatre in London, where he claimed to heal sick members of the 2,000-strong audience, before soliciting cash donations. By our rough estimate, he is likely to have received more than £40,000 on that day alone. What’s more, one of the audience members allegedly healed by Popoff’s touch had previously been seen helping with event organisation. It seems possible that she was a member of Popoff’s own team, embedded into the audience.
We’ve shared our findings with the City of London police Action Fraud team for further investigation. We’ll be sure to keep you up to date on any developments.